Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I Goofed...

I got up super early this morning so that I could do some machine quilting. I had no more than got started when Richard needed to plug up his welder. machine is upstairs in the house and we don't have electric in there yet so I have to run his big cord up there, but he needed to finish his trailer because he needs to use it. So I'm going to try to finish it up in the morning. It is hard having to share the electric cord. :(

After cleaning the house I sewed some star blocks. I noticed that I messed it up a little bit but I'm not going to change it now. I have all 25 of my churn dash blocks finished and I had planned on doing the centers beige, not sure how I ended up doing them ALL navy! Oh well life goes on, it just changes the whole look of the quilt but that is okay because I am not changing them now!

I don't have them sewn together they are just laying there. I still have several more navy star blocks to do but you can get an idea of how it is going to look. Tomorrow is actually Hunter's birthday! So tomorrow will be spent with lots of "Hunter time" It's hard to believe that my baby will be 9 years old.

Before I go I have a little "funny" to tell you. As you know we had Hunter's birthday part last Saturday evening but we also had a wedding to go to earlier that day so it was a very busy day for us. Now most times when I am home and not going anywhere my hair is up in a ponytail and no makeup. So I was in the bathroom and had just fixed my hair and was finishing my makeup when Hunter popped in and said "Mommy you look beautiful"

I know it is sad that he doesn't see me fixed up more often but I am still far from BEAUTIFUL. LOL! He went into the living room where Richard was and I heard him say "Daddy, when mommy comes in here you need to tell her how pretty that she looks" LOL! So when I did walk into the living room Richard was being silly and whistled. Now here is the funny part...

I was standing there putting my jewelry on and Hunter walked up to me and it went like this....

Hunter: "Excuse me, are you from Tennessee?"

Me: "What?"

Hunter: "I was just wondering because you are the only TEN that I SEE!"

LOL! Now is that a line or what?????? We all had a good laugh!!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sewing Progress...

Well my boy is pretty sore! This photo was taken yesterday and today it has a much "greener" look to it! Poor little thing he is "milking it for all it's worth" He had a doctor's appointment yesterday, just routine to get medication for his ears. He has eczema of the ear canal so I have to put medication in them every other day to keep them from drying out. Anyway....all checked out fine with his eye too. He did have a x-ray just to double check the cheekbone but it was fine. The doctor did put him on an antibiotic just for a precaution. Now he has decided that he wants lots of "mommy time" he wants to be loved on and taken special care of so I'm not going to turn him down on that, when he gets a little older he will not want me to do that so I will take advantage of that now! LOL! So he has camped out in the living room all day, lots of pillows, quilts and toys scattered everywhere. I actually moved my sewing machine in the living room too so that I can sew in between the snuggles. Before he got up out of bed this morning I did get to work on the antique quilt that is on my frame for a few minutes. I must say that changing the batting did make some difference but I am still having some thread issues but I think that is because of the different fabrics being used so I have to really go slow and it is not too bad that way.

I've got a lot of sewing done today but not any housework but that is okay. I have been working on my Civil War Wreaths UFO and it is coming right along. I have all 25 churn dash blocks finished but those are the easy blocks. Oh and I even recovered my ironing board! LOL! It looked horrid! I only have one of these star blocks pieced and this one is just laying there and is not sewn together. I need a total of 24 of those blocks. I have all of the strips sewn together for the 4 patches now I just need to sub cut them and sew them to make the 4 patches. And I only have just a few of the star points done. So hopefully I will have this top completed within a few days. I have really enjoyed working on this one and it also feels good to get another UFO out of the way. If you remember last week I completed the 30 blocks needed for my spiderweb quilt and that was a UFO too. But I still need to get the fabric to finish that one up but after I get the fabric it will not take too long to finish that one into a top. Not sure what I will work on next, as far as piecing goes. I have a couple of my quilt tops that I would love to machine quilt after I get these customer quilts finished but I also like to have something to piece going at the same time.

I guess that is all for now, Hunter is wanting me to watch another movie with him...

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Birthday Party and a Black Eye...

Hunter turns 9 next Thursday the 30th of June but we had his party yesterday. Nothing really fancy just a few of his friends over, some family and neighbors. Here is a photo of his cake...he loves Star Wars! This is one of his friends, Chris and his GIRLFRIEND, Olivia. I keep telling him he is too young to have a girlfriend but he doesn't listen. Isn't she cute with that curly hair?
And here is Andrew. It is hard to get a photo of him, he doesn't like his photo taken. For some reason it turned out really fuzzy. It's hard to believe that he will be starting college in the fall.Now on to the black know how kids are and they don't always listen to their mom, well that is what happened here. Hunter had a piece of rebar and was throwing it pretending it was a spear. I told him to stop and he did but grabbed it again when I was getting the burgers off the grill from Richard. He threw it at a tree, it hit the tree and bounced back and hit him in the face! I didn't see it happen. Chantal, my sister started yelling at me and when I looked her way all I saw was Hunter with blood on his face and his eyes rolling back in his head! I guess it almost knocked him out! Of course, I grabbed him and in the house we went to clean it up to see how bad he was. It looked worse at the time than it really was. I was afraid it would need stitches until I got it cleaned up but it doesn't. This photo was taken last night before bed, it looks much worse today.He was very lucky that it didn't put his eye out! Of course we had a little talk about listening to mommy! He is very sore today but maybe next time I tell him something he will realize that I am not trying to be mean to him but just don't want him to get hurt!

Shamefully I usually only check my mail about once a week unless I am expecting something. Today as we took his little friend home I stopped by the mailbox. My mailbox sits down by the road which is a little over a mile from my house. Anyway....I got some goodies!!! This is from a sweet lady named Laura! She sent me these wonderful reproduction fabrics as a thank you gift for something that I had sent to her. They are lovely! I didn't have any of them and I just can't wait to use them in some of my quilts! Thank you so much Laura!
Now that Hunter's party is over I need to get everything cleaned back up and get back to quilting! Actually I have one on the frame right now! It is that antique quilt that I was having trouble with a few weeks ago. I have it pinned back on the frame and I am going to try a different batting to see if that works. Wish me luck! I also have several others floating around in my head that I want to work on too.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Lots of sewing going on...

I'm feeling really good about the past couple of days of sewing! I got all of my string blocks pieced and the top sewn together! I'm satisfied with the size of it now, it will fit my bed. I promise that the borders are not that wavy. LOL! Monday afternoon Hunter started asking a million questions about when we could move in the new house. Well we still have a little way to go before we can do that but we made him happy by "camping" in the house. We packed up blankets, pillows, drinks, snacks and a portable DVD player for Hunter and stayed in the house. It was fun! The only room that doesn't have a bunch of tools and saws in it is my sewing room! So we spent the night in my sewing room! Hunter slept on the love seat and Richard and I shared a rollaway bed. Here is Hunter snoozing away...Actually we stayed up there last night too! Maybe that is why I am getting a lot of sewing done! LOL! Here is Festus while I was working on my string quilt, he was wanting some attention.If you look close you can see a place on his nose, I guess he has been fighting again. Last night while we were staying out there I got out my Civil War Wreaths UFO. This was started with a free pattern by Mary. I had to change my color placement a little from the original because of the yardage that I had. I was sorting through the box and I could have sworn that I had more of it cut out and pieced. I put it away because I didn't want to recut what I knew I already had...somewhere.
Next I got out another UFO. My spiderweb blocks. I had several of these done but needed to pieced more of them to get the 30 blocks that I wanted. I want to do a 5x6 setting, that will make a nice bedsize quilt. When I started this quilt I picked the ugliest scraps that I had so that I could get rid of them and use them up. Here I have a few of the blocks out so you can get an idea of how it will look. I still need to purchase fabric for the pieces between the blocks, which are just triangles sewn on 4 corners and a border. Not sure what I want yet but I'm thinking maybe a red. I'll know when I see it. So this one will be set aside until I get the fabric to set it up with and I still have to peel the paper from the backs of them. I'll do that a little bit at a time as I'm watching tv during the evening. That gives me something to do with my hands.

This morning after breakfast we all set in and got the animals fed. Here is Cocoa munching on some leaves. She is so funny! She is my favorite goat! She is so playful, she runs and jumps constantly. Hunter gets her out and plays with her almost everyday. I'm thinking....she may have a baby somewhere along September. We'll have to wait and see...

After breakfast and feeding the animals, I was on a mission to find those missing pieces to my Civil War Wreaths.....I found them!!! As you can see there are a ton of 1/2 square triangles that need to be pressed and the papers peeled from the backs. I do love sewing my triangles on paper they come out wonderfully. So this is what I will be working on. This quilt will be a huge one I think the blocks that I have planned will make it just shy of 100 inches square.
I'm loving that I can actually see what I have to work on instead of having to dig through every tub and tote that I own and destroy the closets in the process. Now I have some major house cleaning to do before I can get back to quilting. :( My sister is picking up a different type of cotton batting for me this evening after work so that I can try it with that antique quilt that I mentioned the other day. I'm hoping this will help, wish me luck! I'm hoping to get it quilted this weekend!!


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sorting the sweatshop

Today Richard worked on my kitchen cabinets! This a slow process and he is completely making them himself. He sure is handy to have around! LOL! Anyway...I know that when building or hanging cabinets you usually do the top cabinets first, but the money just isn't there to do all of the cabinets at once. So I would rather start with my bottom cabinets until we get moved in and finish the top ones as we can. Like I told him if he wants me to cook then I at least have to have a countertop! LOL! Anyway, I didn't get any photos of them yet, not a lot to show as of yet but they are coming along nicely.

While he worked in the kitchen I sorted some stuff up in the sweatshop. I'm sure I will move everything around up there once I actually start using it to sew in. But I took a few photos, I'm sure you all are probably tired of sewing them.

This is just an old stool that I love to sit on and I dumped several hundred yo-yo's in that Longaberger basket. I'm slowly working on Hunter a yo-yo quilt and need at least 2,000 yo-yo's. I made mom and Andrew each one several years ago. Mom's has 2,500 yo-yo's and Andrew's has 2,000 in it. I enjoy working on them a little at a time.

My bookshelf again. Sorry for all of the dust but it is hard to keep it dust free with all of the drywall sanding. I brought my featherweight out and set it up on my antique ironing board/chair/ladder. Mom bought the ironing board for me years ago for $10. I didn't recover it, just left it as it was but it is tattered and dirty. I put my featherweight case under it, but I may move it later. It has the pedal and all the attachments. I bought is a couple of years ago for $5, cleaned it up and it works perfectly. Love those junk stores! Oh...and as you can see, I still need to finish painting the walls. My floor still isn't down and it will probably be a while on that. Richard is making our own wide plank hardwood flooring and we will start with the downstairs first. They are 10 inch wide oak planks with tongue and groove. The ceilings up here will be oak too they are not dried out enough yet to install either. On around from the old ironing board starts the 20ft wall of closets....but they are only about 5.5 to 6 foot tall. But at least it is storage. These will also have doors on them so that I can hide the stuff. To the left of the small self is several hundred romance novels in boxes. Those will be moved after some of the other rooms are finished. The bookshelf holds my quilting pantos and rulers. The tubs are precut scraps and strips sorted into different sizes. A box of misc. quilting stuff and the two boxes on the bottom are yardage. On the other side of the boxes is where I will put my drawers of fabric that I posted the other day. Starting left to right here. On the bottom is the tile for bathroom #3. On top of those is a tote of yardage. The other 3 larger totes on the bottom are just bits and pieces of backings, sheets, batting, and stuff like that. The small clear totes are UFO's/WIP's. The boxes have the same thing UFO's/WIP's and scrap batiks and odds and ends. I had my sister to save boxes for me from her work so that I could box up some of my stuff for the move. I do plan on buying more clear tubs so that it will look neater and I can see what is in them. Oh and I have some batting and stuff stuck over in the corner. Richard still has to build shelving in the closets too.

As you can see, I haven't even started to paint this wall. I still need to paint/stain my table that Richard made for me too. My machine will sit here along with my ironing board and iron. The big basket in the back has scrap fabrics in it. The 3 smaller ones are actually "mangers" that I bought at the Dollar Store. They are wood and I thought they would make good little baskets so store leaders and enders in or something like that. The other small basket just has paper and pens in it. And my pin cushion... Oh and I plan on changing that chair out too, it was just upstairs.

I still need move in my cutting table which is an antique round kitchen table but it is still in the storage building and I can't get to it yet. :( I still have some fabric and a huge tote of UFO's to move and .....about 6 more sewing machines!!! Not even sure where they will go yet.

And my frame/machine sits in front of my closets as you have seen in past photos. He is installing lighting over my frame too.

Tonight I will start working on my strings again. I would love to get those finished soon.


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Need more strings...

I have been working on my string blocks and thought I had them all finished. I stopped when I got 120 of them. For one thing I was tired of making them and also I figured this would make a good lap quilt. Well....last night I peeled the paper off the backs and started sewing them together. Got up this morning and started sewing again. I got them all sewn together and even pulled fabric for the border, but when I spread it out on the floor, I just wasn't happy with it. So after I saw it like this, I really wasn't satisfied with it, I want it BIGGER! :) Now I'm thinking that it needs to fit my bed. I just really like bed size quilts. So back to the string bin to dig out some more.

While I was upstairs in my sewing room, I had a visitor...Festus! He had not been around for a few days but he dropped by for a visit. Then he decided he wanted to play with my pins. He and Donkey both want to pull them out of the pin cushion and play with them.I am slowly trying to get my "sweat shop" pulled together. Not sure if I posted a photo of my bookshelf lately or not but I snapped a photo anyway. I have all of my quilting books and magazines on it now and I have been slowly digging out my Longaberger Baskets. I have a ton of them but they are all boxed up. So far I have found 8 of them. All of these will not stay on this shelf. When we move in, I will spread them throughout the house. The funny thing is, I have them on this shelf and they are all empty except the one with the patterns in it. I figure the big one in the floor would be great to store a hand project in. Anyway, I guess I will get back to sewing strings...

Friday, June 17, 2011

Depressing fabric stash...

Yesterday evening I was outside with Hunter and sat down on a old tree stump, I looked down and what did I see? Do you see the little yellow dot in the center of the photo? That is one of my stick pins! Hmmm....still not sure how it got out there and this stump is over next to one of the horse lots. Oh well...Snapped this photo of Hunter while he rolled around in the grass. Silly boy has a long sleeved shirt on! I promise that he dressed himself. LOL! And my precious little Smokey rolling around too! Isn't he soooooo cute? I love him so much! He is the best little dog and not a minutes trouble. Last vet visit he weighed a whopping 5.1 pounds! Now to show you how creative that hubby is! See this rusted steel? He is in need of another trailer. Living on a farm you always need several trailers for different things. Buying one is not an option for us right now so what does he do? He gathers up some old rusted steel that he had in various lengths and started cutting and welding. This is just the start of it but I will take another photo as he gets more of it done. After it is all welded and gets the axles on it he will sand and paint it. He is pretty handy to have around! :)Now on to quilting...I haven't had a chance to load that antique top back on the frame yet. Hunter has a friend over and he is a VERY active friend! So going out there and machine quilting is not an option tonight. Still not sure what to do with it yet.

I think I am finished with my string blocks. I now have 120 of them finished. Now to peel the paper off and sew them together in some type of design. Not sure about that yet either.I realized something today.....MY STASH IS VERY SORRY LOOKING! :( If you have read my blog for a while you will remember that hubby got laid off December 2009 and is currently going to college! :) He will graduate June 2012 with a degree in Nursing, I am so proud of him. I know it was hard for him to go back to school after so many years. ANYWAY....I have been on a LOW BUY since then with fabric. I have purchased some but not enough to amount to anything. I guess that is one good thing about having a stash, without it I would not have had anything to sew this past 1 1/2 years. Don't get me wrong I do have fabric but nothing that I want to use! LOL! I have some yardage that goes from 2-3 yards and I try to save those for borders and don't want to cut into those for piecing. I was digging around in my fabrics today and realized just how low that I actually was...

This drawer has my greens in it! Not much there, right? Actually I have some of them out I will show a photo of that later in the post. The other row of fabric is some novelty stuff and panels. I don't actually use a lot of that stuff. This drawer has my blues/pinks/reds in it and a few solids that are in the back. These drawers hold fabrics that vary from 1/2 yard to 1 yard cuts. This last drawer is a little mixed up, it has browns, blacks, purples, yellows and oranges in it. I really need to sort this drawer a little better don't I? I also have scrap tubs that have been cut down to strips, strings and 2.5" squares. I'm not sure how everyone else selects fabrics for scrap quilts but if I don't have it precut, I always go to my scrap basket first, shown hereMy scrap basket has pieces that are smaller than fat quarters but pieces that I'm just not ready to cut down yet.

After I sort through my scrap basket for pieces I then go to my fat quarters. I didn't get a photo of them but I probably only have somewhere around 25 of those.

Then I head to my drawers that I just showed photos of. These drawers hold cuts from 1/2 yard to 1 yard. If possible when I cut into these pieces I cut a fat quarter out and put it in the FQ tub.

I also have a very small stash of Civil War fabrics that I LOVE and a small tub of neutrals that I use for scrappy backgrounds.

I guess I do have a stash and I am thankful for what I have but just depressed that it is not what it used to be! LOL! I'm sure I will live! Now on top of this I have a zillion UFO's that I need to finish but they just get on my nerves anymore and I don't want to mess with them.

I mentioned earlier in this post that I had some of the greens out of the drawer, here they are.

I'm not exactly sure what I will do with them but I'm just not real crazy about medium/lights. So I would like to use them up and get them out of there. I tend to go more for the darker fabrics. I'm thinking that I want to make something fairly simple with them and be done with it. Oh and I did pull some darker greens out the other day to plan a quilt with, just haven't used them yet. I guess I am finished complaining for now. Anyone else ever feel like whining about their stash? Hubby said that I was just being "hormonal" today! :(


Thursday, June 16, 2011


I'm back! Hopefully things have slowed down for a while. The hay is up and we were also just working around on the farm doing somethings that needed to be done. I am sooooo tired from it all and put my back out. It is getting better now just a little bit "quicky" One evening this past week Hunter wanted to go back fishing so Richard took him down to the pond. I stayed home and nursed my back. Here is a photo of a few catfish that they caught. They are now in my freezer and I will fix them for supper real soon. Now I have a question for some of you machine quilters out there. Let me give some background first. If you remember I moved my machine/frame into the new house and set it up. I had a customer quilt on the frame and started to quilt it and my tension was completely off. So I took that quilt off and put on a baby quilt that will be donated so that I could get my tension adjusted correctly. During that time I broke my plastic quilting foot and ordered a new one. I put the customer quilt back on the frame and started to quilt it. Now my tension was adjusted and quilted fine on the baby quilt but when I started quilting this one the tension was messed up again. The tension is off, it is skipping stitches and breaking thread so I'm thinking that it is not the machine but maybe the fabric in this top.

This quilt top is an antique top that is completely hand pieced. I do love antique quilts and have a fascination with them. I have several antique quilts of my own and also several antique tops that need to be quilted. If you look in the photo below...the red and blue fabrics in the sashing are a VERY THICK fabric, something between a polyester knit and an upholstery fabric. Most of the fabrics in the blocks are cotton or a cotton blend. This is the back of the top and you will see that these blocks are pieced on a very heavy muslin so that makes it extra thick and very dense. So I'm wondering if these things that I have mentioned could be the problem.So I removed the top from the frame once again because I do not want to damage it at all. I've used every thread combination that I can think of and that doesn't help. A fellow longarmer suggested that I try a different batting with it. Right now I am using warm & natural but she suggested a thinner cotton. Any suggestions????

Late last night I worked on a few more blocks while I was racking my brain trying to figure out what to do for this antique top. These string blocks are mindless sewing and sometimes I think I need something like that. If I am thinking correctly I should have somewhere around 100 of these string blocks. This pile needs to be trimmed. My mom flew out for New Orleans this morning. :( I miss her already! Funny thing, she called around 7am this morning and Hunter answered the phone. She said "Tell your mommy that I just landed in Detroit" Hunter......."Uh....I think you went the wrong way!" LOL! But you know how that is with connecting flights.

Yesterday morning we got a call that Richard's grandmother had fallen. So to the ER she went, nothing major just a bad sprang. When we first got the call we were told that her ankle might have been broken but thankfully it wasn't. She just turned 91 last week! She is unable to get up and down by herself but her youngest daughter lives with her and helps her. She usually goes from the recliner to the wheelchair and to bed. But with her ankle injury she can't put any weight on it so she can't help herself get up and down and she is not a small lady. :) So after the ER visit, Richard helped her get settled at home. Then they called again around 5:30pm (that's what time she goes to bed every evening) they could not get her up out of the chair and into the wheelchair and on to bed. Richard drove back in to town to get her put in bed. This morning he was there at 7:30am to get her up and will be going back this evening. So just say a little prayer for her that she gets her strength built up so she can get around a little better. Richard called today about a gait belt that should help handling her.


Friday, June 10, 2011

So busy...

Just thought I would check in! Life is soooo busy right now. I would love to be quilting but farm chores take priority right now. Cutting, baling and putting up hay! It has been so hot and sticky, just miserable!

As you can see here we have been working from morning until dark. This was at the edge of dark when I took this photo. My back is killing me but it has to be done.
On Monday, Lexie was here and spent the night. Not a lot of quality time spent doing family things because of having to get the hay put up, but at least she was here with us. She and Hunter rode their bikes and played around. It was nice having her here and Hunter was very happy to spend the time with her. My little Honey-bun (pet name) getting ready to hit a ramp that he built.
Oh and lastly, another batch of soap that I made late Sunday night while I couldn't sleep! This batch is Honey/Almond. Got to get back to it! Rain is coming in and still have more to put up!


Saturday, June 4, 2011

The weekend so far...

Well I broke my quilting foot!! I almost had my tension adjusted perfect and broke a needle and somehow broke my closed toe foot! The one that I had on there had a clear plastic circle and I liked it because I could see through it and it was closed and would not catch on threads. I ordered another one and it should be here in 3-4 days!!! Meanwhile, I got some tops, batting, and backings ready to quilt. I have a couple of customer quilts to do first then I have 3 of my own ready to be quilted as of right now. I have several more backings but I think they are packed up. But that should keep me busy for a while.

Last night Hunter spent the night with my mom and sister. Hunter will be 9 yrs old the end of June and this was the very first time that he spent the night away. We missed him terribly. It just wasn't the same with him not here. I can walk through the woods and be at mom's house in a few minutes, if I drive it is less than 1/2 mile! LOL! So he was not that far away! I honestly didn't think he would stay the whole night and we all told him that he could come home at anytime but he stayed! :( I went out there this morning to get him and he didn't want to come home! :(

Today after I broke my machine, (LOL) I took a nap while Richard worked on his hay cutter. It was 90+ degrees so I stayed inside with the A/C. After it cooled down and Richard finished we went fishing! Andrew went to the river to fish with some of his friends and we headed to the Lake! We live near Yatesville Lake, which is a 2,300 acre lake with an 18 hole golf course. When on horseback we can ride through the woods and be at the lake in less than 10 minutes! And if we drive we can be at Eagle Ridge Golf Course in 10 minutes! LOL! But we don't play golf! Anyway...Hunter bought a remote control boat with his money that he had saved up. He played and played with it today. Richard with his HUGE fish! LOL! Nothing big was caught but that was not the point of the fishing trip. We just wanted to have some family time together.

So as I sat there watching my bobber, I removed all of the paper from my string blocks! As you can see I used some of Hunter's old homework papers to sew them on! :) And of course, I had my Diet Pepsi with me.
I also took some yo-yo's to work on.
Then as the evening went on it got too dark to sew so I just enjoyed the fresh air and sounds of nature. I was trying to take a photo of the lake at the edge of dark and about the time I started to snap the photo, Hunter caught a tiny fish.

We stay to well after dark and had to use the flashlight to see to get back to the truck. We were a little late with our evening farm chores. As soon as we got home we had to feed all the animals and milk the goats! If all goes well tomorrow after Church, I plan on making another batch of soap.