Friday, December 14, 2012

Good Friends, good times, LOL...

All of yesterday's activities ended in the grand finale of spending the evening with good friends who share a common bond...quilting, sharing lots of stories and memories, making more memories but most of all sharing love for one another. Needless to say that our Christmas party was a lot of fun, we had lots of great food and all the gifts were carefully thought out and everyone went home with something awesome. Cindy and Rosalee did a wonderful job of hosting the evening. Thank you Cindy and Rosalee.
I was very remiss and did not take any photos of the festivities. I guess I am not a very good roving reporter. I was just enjoying myself too much to think about snapping photos. I will try to do better next time.

I did manage to get the house in order yesterday, at least the public areas. I did not get into the studio except to wrap up the gifts for last evening. So today would be a good day to get down there and clean up a bit before I start cutting out the baby quilt. Tina is going to come over tomorrow to quilt a t-shirt quilt for her son for a Christmas present therefore I need to get the room ready. We will also be running over to a local quilt shop so I can pick up some fabric to add the binding on the table runner that is waiting to be finished. So I will work on that while she is quilting. This evening Tina and I are running over to Warren, Pa to pick up my machine, she has a machine to drop off and she can play on the new Tiara quilting machine. We might just do some other shopping too.

Lots to do this weekend starting today, the baby quilt, curtains for the baby Jake's room, dye some socks, t-shirts and big girl panties for a Christmas present for GD#1. Speaking of dyeing, I have to dye my hair so that I can get highlights put in on Monday, I must say that this type of dyeing is not one of my favorites. I also need to enter 2 more months of business info into the computer, a little of that everyday is all I can take because that is also not one of my favorite things to do. I would rather be in the studio creating things. One of my resolutions for next year is to keep up with this job so I don't have a lot to do at one time at the end of the year. Can you help hold me accountable to that next year?

The sun is shining here and it looks to be a beautiful day, I hope that you have a wonderful day no matter where you are or what you have on your plate to do today. May the Christmas spirit be with you as you go about your day.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

One big project finished...

I am so happy to be finished with my Christmas Dresden plate quilt, not because I didn't enjoy working on it but because it turned out so beautiful and I can't wait to share it with you and to use it on my couch for the holiday season. Applying the binding was not an easy task using the long arm but that was because the batting was so thick that the binding would shift easily. I think it would have done the same thing if I had attached the binding with the sewing machine. I just had to take it slow and reposition the binding a lot. Here are the pictures.
As much as I love the front, I love the back just as much. Do you remember that I had to piece my backing to get it to be wide enough for the top? Well, I love the stripe going down the middle and I love how well the quilting shows up on the back of the quilt.
So what do you think? What do you like about it? This quilt took a lot longer than most of the quilts that I do but it surprised me how fast it did go for being a custom quilt job and all of it being ruler work except for the background fill work. I just might have to make me another Dresden plate quilt or find a vintage top to quilt. I love this design. I also finished quilting a table runner yesterday but when I went to bind it, I can't find a single fabric in my stash that will work that I have enough of, in these cases I would use several fabrics and make a scrappy binding but as this is for a customer I don't want to do that. This piece is too elegant to go scrappy on the border.

Today I am going to clean house, prepare for a Christmas party tonight, and run to the store to get a few items I need for the dish I have to prepare for the party. If I have time I am going to start working on a special baby quilt that I need to have done by the 30th. So I best be on my way and get all this done so that I can party tonight without worry.

I hope you have a great day and even if it is a busy and stressful day I hope you can keep a calm and thankful attitude through it all.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Successful day...

Yesterday was a rather successful day all around. I dropped my machine off at Domestic Sewing Center in Warren Ohio. I must sing their praises. They are wonderful people. Their customer service is number one. Linda is a great sales person too without being overly pushy. She showed me the new BabyLock Tiara sit down quilting machine and I must admit that I was lusting for one by the time I left. I seriously don't have the room for one nor can I afford one right now but it was nice to play on such a beautiful high quality machine. If anyone is looking for a good machine but doesn't have the room for a long arm or doesn't want to quilt standing up this is a great machine. Just a little plug for Linda. Good machines, good people and good service. I like going over to her shop. I didn't even get all the way through the door before she was asking me what I brought for show and tell.

Back on the home front, I managed to get the rest of the quilting done on my Christmas quilt. I finished the background fill around the Dresden plates, added another 2 ovals inside the interlocking oval border design, and put orange peals into the center circles of the stars.

I hope you can see the detail. Click on the photo for a larger image. Today, I will attach the binding while still on the longarm. I have attached binding once before with the longarm so I will give it a try again since I don't have Lilly for the time being. I also plan on quilting the Christmas table runner for a customer today. If I can get it to the binding stage I will be happy.

I also went up to the school to walk. It is open in the evenings for people to use to walk for exercise. I am into my second week of walking regularly up there. I am hoping that it will help me with my stamina and get me back into shape.

I mailed off a package for Kate yesterday, shush, it's her birthday present. Don't tell.

My first task for today is to work on some more of my business paper work and get it ready for tax season. Jeff likes to get an early start on working on the taxes.
Then I will get to the studio to work. It will be a busy day.

I hope that you have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Road trip...

A road trip is in my plans for today. I was waiting to see what the weather was going to be like before I made definite plans but I think it is going to be ok to go over to Warren and take Lilly in for a checkup and repair job. We got a dusting of snow last night but the rest of the day looks like it will be good to go. My appointment went well yesterday at the doctors. Another good to go report. So now Lilly needs to get better so that we can continue to sew up a storm.

I worked on cleaning up the studio a little, and I do mean a little. Not a lot done on that range but enough so I can keep working. I then worked on the Christmas quilt. I have the side and bottom border done now and started to do the background fill work. I thought that it was going to be a rather slow process since I am doing a rather tight fill design but since there is not that much area left to quilt it is going a lot faster than I anticipated. I think I worked it for about an hour and got 1/3 of it done. So it should be off the frame soon. I won't promise today since I have to go to Warren. I might get side tracked with some shopping and not get back right away. Here is a shot of what that background fill is going to look like and how it makes the other motifs pop.
It is turning out much better than I had anticipated. I want to get this finished asap.

I need to share this photo of Brianne. She was not impressed with the jolly old fellow and did not want to sit on his lap so this is the best photo that Lindsey could get of her with him, but Lindsey had to sit with them too. I laughed so hard the first time I saw it.
I think we have a little stinker on our hands. Don't you agree?

Well, I have my plans for the day and I need to start to execute them or they will just hang out there without some action. So have a great day and be safe in all of your activities.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Playing catch up...

This weekend has put me behind schedule and now I am going to be playing catch up for a while. First of all I didn't get to post anything Friday as I had an early morning eye appointment which went well. Everything was fine. No problems with the side effects of the medication affecting my eyes the doctor felt it was a combination of sinus problems along with the steroids that I was taking at the time. I have been off the steroids now for a couple weeks and everything is getting back to normal. They did dilate my right eye so I couldn't focus well, when I got home I decided to take a nap while the effects of the drops wore off. I thought a nice hour long nap would be good. I didn't wake up until 1:45, a 3+ hour nap. Evidently I needed it. Once I woke up though my eyes were fine and I could get back to work.

Saturday was Stitch and Bitch day at Tina's so I packed up a couple projects and headed over there. I had a phone call from a lady who bought quilted items from my mom and she heard that I quilt and wanted to know if I had anything she could possibly purchase. Of course was my answer so she is coming by this morning. She wanted to know if I had any Christmas items which I thought I had 1 table runner left from the craft sale but afterwards remembered that I didn't have it after all. So I cut out 2 Christmas table runners at Tina's and I added borders to my bunny rabbit project. Here are photos of those. First the bunny.
It needed the pops of greenish blue in the corners and the narrow green border. Now I think it is big enough to quilt. I finished one table runner last evening.
It is not the traditional Christmas colors but I like it. The backing is a predominately pink floral print fabric so it can be reversible making it usable for more than one season. The second runner is not quilted yet but its ready to be done today. It does boast the Christmas colors.
I think they are both quite elegant.

Sunday, Jeff and I helped a cousin of Jeff's move out of his mom's house. She passed away in October quite suddenly and the owner of the house gave Jon one days notice that he had to pack up and get out as her house had burned down and she planned on moving in, as she owned the house he had little recourse. So we hitched up the trailer to the truck and headed over early in the morning. He had a storage unit that we packed full of stuff and we got done around 1. An aunt and uncle of his came from Michigan to help and were going to take some of the stuff back with them so we left the rest to them to sort out. Over all it went rather smoothly. It always amazes me how much stuff can come out of such a small house and how much junktreasures we tend to hold onto. This has been one of my goals this year is to get rid of stuff that I don't need or doesn't hold any sentimental value. I still have a long way to go but I am working on it.

So my schedule for today is meet with Jane, hopefully she will want to buy some of my bigger pieces. I have a doctor's appointment this afternoon. Lilly is going to need some repairs. I am not able to adjust the tension on her. I had a little piece of metal fall out that looks like it broke off from somewhere and now the tension is really off so she will have to go in for a check up too. She needs fixed soon as I need to make a baby quilt before the end of the month. Another unexpected turn of events. I need to remember to be flexible when life throws me a curve ball and hits me unprepared. That is an important lesson to be learned, how to be able to pick ourselves up when the storms of life come along to rock our boat. If we panic we can capsize and go under, if we do nothing we can also go under but if we can take a minute to determine the best plan of action and do it, we can avoid a major catastrophe. We might even be able to help someone else out when their boat is going under if we are prepared and ready to lend a helping hand.

This is the season to reach out and help others who are less fortunate. I watched a great movie last night called The Christmas Angel. It was about a wealthy man who figured out that money didn't bring him happiness and purpose but that helping out others by being a secret Santa did, he was ill therefore finds a young woman, who struggled all her life to trust people, to be his helper. She learned to see that everyone needed something, mostly to know that someone cared about them and that they matter. She finally is able to take her eyes off herself and her past hurts and reach out to others and she becomes a great secret Santa. Very sweet and touching movie, I hope you are able to see it sometime.

So today will be spent playing catch up for me and looking at all my junk uhm stuff with fresh eyes and deciding if it is worth having family and friends rummage through it all and decide what to do with it all if something should happen to me. I don't want to leave them with a mess that they have to wonder "what the heck was mom thinking keeping this stuff". Not that I am planning on leaving them with this type of mess any time soon mind you. Just thinking and planning and doing.

Have a great day, remember to be on the look out for someone who just needs to know that you care about them and show them how much. Burdens are hard to shoulder any time of the year but they are especially hard during the holidays.