Thursday, March 29, 2012

What is your opinion?

It has been a long couple of days, my quilting machine is down. :( It has drove me crazy and near tears. I have a customer quilt on the frame that I need to get finished and delivered and I don't like much having it done. My machine just locked up and will not move at all. Anyway, I should have a loaner/demo machine delivered today as mine is being fixed. They assured me that it was fixable. Anyway......other than that this is what has been going on here...

Here is my much needed basket of chocolate! Let's just say that after trying to mess with my machine and being stressed over it, the basket is not this full now. LOL!
As I was upstairs waiting for the repair guy to call 50 times, I wondered around in my sewing room. I did sew a couple of strips together to try out my Hugs & Kisses pattern. Of course, the fabrics will be mixed up a little better, I was just trying to see how it would look. I can't find my white fabric so I will pick that up as I go out in a few days. I really can't do more of this quilt.

I also dug through a few of my UFO's and I have so many that really don't need that much done to them. This one is a spiderweb pieced with scraps. I read the post that I did last year where I had dug it out and worked on it a little bit that I mostly used the ugliest scraps that I had for this quilt. I actually saw a few pieces in there that I wished that I had saved for my Hugs and Kisses quilt. I had 19 blocks pieced and enough paper pieces printed off for another 6 blocks. That would make a setting of 5x5. I would rather have a 5x6 setting but I'm not sure if I want to make the extra blocks or just finish that last 6 and call it DONE. Here is where I placed a few blocks up on my temporary design wall. I still have to sew on my corner pieces for each block but what color do you think I should use? This photo would show you sorta what it would look like with white corners.Here it is with cheddar corners.
Here it is with red corners. The red is not this bright, I think it is just where the light is shinning on it.
So what it your opinion on the corner pieces, white, cheddar, or red? I would like to get this one finished and marked off of my list of UFO's. I actually pieced a few more of the triangle pieces yesterday so it really wouldn't take me but a few days to finish it all.

While I was upstairs most of the day yesterday my babies were up there with me. Most of the time it is just Smokey but yesterday there were all up there. I keep calling them my three stooges. Smokey always sleeps on this quilt, he wants to be wherever that I am at all times.

And last, I snapped this quick little photo of Rev. I realized that I had not posted a photo of him on my blog. This is Andrew's little stud colt that he drove to Tennessee to pick up. He is a Tennessee Walking Horse and has a wonderful championship bloodline. His papered name is "The Revenge of JFK" He is such a sweet little thing. In a few months he will be headed off to the trainer so that he can get ready for the show ring. I'll try to get a better photo of him soon. We now have 6 horses here on the farm. I love them all.
I'm off, I have to get my day started. Richard is getting ready to leave and Hunter is in the shower getting ready for school. I need to clean my sewing room back up so that it will be ready for my loaner machine this afternoon.


Friday, March 23, 2012

Lots of this and that...

I have several photos to post of various things from the past few days. Just a bunch of this and that stuff. First off I want to thank those who are going to trade some calico fabrics with me. I actually thought that I had more of them in my stash than I did. I did actually cut some of the strips needed for the "Hugs and Kisses" quilt that I plan on making. I wanted to piece a block but I could find my solid white yardage. I'm not even sure if I have anymore of it, so I will probably pick it up this coming week at the quilt shop. I have to drop off some quilts so I will get it then.

Here are a couple of photos of my "clean" sewing room (sweat shop). I worked on it a little at a time during the night while I could not sleep. After a few nights it looked pretty good. I took the photos the other morning before I started quilting and making a mess in there again. :)

Here is my bookcase all clean and neat...well...sorta... I still have to do something with that stack of junk in the floor on the right side of it. Here is the rest of the room. I have been thinking about putting up a design wall but since this is like an open loft area I don't want everything seen from downstairs. I used some scrap pieces of batting and pinned them to the wall and put up a few of my Log Cabin blocks on it. See it over by the bookcase. So as of right now this is what I am thinking.....I will move the bookcase over on the other wall where I have the old ironing board sitting since that is what you see as you get to the top of the stairs and make a 8ft x 8ft design wall where the bookcase is now. You can not see that part from downstairs. Then of course I will move some things off of the bookcase so it will look a little neater than it does now. Do you think that sounds like a good idea? When I do the design wall I plan on using 2 4x8ft pieces of insulation board to give me a 8ft square board and cover it will warm & natural batting.

Speaking of design walls... this is what I have on my little temporary one right now. My Farmer's Wife blocks.
I have a total of ten of them done. Most of them are simple blocks and go together rather quickly. Right now the blocks that I am making I am using my scrap bin of Civil War fabrics. I do have a few fabrics in there that are not Civil War but they do blend in fairly well. I want to use up some scraps before I cut into my fat quarters or yardage. Here is a quick glimpse of a customer quilt that I did the other day. I kept thinking as I was quilting it that I sure would like to have that red to use in my Hugs & Kisses quilt. LOL! I do have several other customer quilts to show you but I will probably wait and do them all in one post. As I was cleaning I organized a few more scraps. Actually I see that I need to take some of those red prints out of there and put them with my red & white soon as I find it. LOL! I still have a bunch to go through.
Oh and wait until Andrew comes home tomorrow and sees what I piled in his room. Last week when Richard was painting I moved this pile of quilts out of my sewing room and into Andrew's room which is right beside it. If you look close in one of the above photos you can barely see the pile through Andrew's doorway. I will move them in a few days and try to find something to do with them. Look at what I got in the mail today. I just love anything Judy Martin and this is her latest book. It has some very pretty patterns in it. Most of them look like they would take a while to make so it will go on the shelf for now. I have too many customer quilts to finish up and other things for myself. Now on to some odds and ends shots. Today as I was doing dishes I looked out my kitchen window and just loved the sight of this redbud. I can't wait for everything to turn green! It sure made the dishes a little easier to do. I changed the sheets on the bed today and also removed the other quilt that I had on there, it was a little heavy and it has been really warm here the past several days. I dug this one out of the pile to use. I made it several years ago and it is lightweight. I don't even remember the name of the pattern that I used. It reminded me of the nice spring weather that we have been having. I'll change it to something else soon. I will probably change them around until I get my Courthouse Steps top quilted and put on the bed. And last but not least, Hunter has a friend staying over tonight. They have been playing the PS3 and eating LOTS of pizza! Not sure if you can see it but if you look real close you can see what my little COUNTRY BOY has in his mouth!!! HAY! Yep, he walks around with a piece of hay in his mouth most of the time when he is home. He just loves farm life and I am so proud that he does. I know this was a rather long post but I had several things to catch up on. Stay tuned for more quilty stuff in the next few days and lots of customer quilts.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Anyone want to barter or trade???

I bought this pattern several weeks ago and posted about it on my blog. It is "Hugs & Kisses" by Jaybird Quilts. I just love it! The photo is a little dark but the quilt on the cover is very bright and cheery. Most of the fabrics that I have are Civil War Reproductions but I wanted to make this quilt in calicos!!

After I ordered the pattern, I remembered seeing this set of calicos at the quilt shop. My next trip down there I picked up a fat quarter of each of the BRIGHTER ones. They had several more but they had mostly a white background or they were a very light pastel print and I wanted BRIGHT.On the back of the pattern it has basic yardage requirements for different sizes. I want to make a queen size and it calls for about 9 yards of prints.
I picked up 3 yards in fat quarters at the shop and found a few scrap pieces in my stash. Mom gave me a couple of scrap pieces too. So here is my question......Does anyone want to trade? I would love your calico scraps! As long as they are at least 2.5" wide then I can use them. If so just let me know what you would like in return for them.

Thanks so much and I am looking forward to a little swapping!


Saturday, March 17, 2012

My first 3 blocks...

This being Saturday and the fact that we didn't have alot planned we slept in this morning! I just hate when we do that, I always end up with a headache. We actually slept until 7:30am!! :) We are always up somewhere between 5:30am to 6am everyday. Anyway, Richard and I got up and I let Hunter sleep in until breakfast was finished. We ate and Hunter and I headed to town. I had a few errands to do, grocery shopping and had to pick up a load of horse feed.

After we got back and got everything put away, I had to take a break because my back and side were hurting. I have an appointment with a GI specialist soon so I'm hoping they can figure this out. After my little rest I cleaned the house up a little bit and went upstairs to my sweat shop.

I worked on a customer quilt for a couple of hours but I just kept looking at the mess that was everywhere up there. So much stuff was piled in the middle of the floor because Richard needed to paint that main wall up there yesterday. I had moved that pile of 100+ quilts into Andrews room and piled them in the corner. He will kill me when he sees that. LOL! I will get there out of there in a day or so, I just needed to move them quickly so he could paint. Today I also moved the loveseat that was in my sewing room to Andrew's room. He had mentioned that he wanted it in there and I wanted it out of my sewing room. Moving it out of there gave me so much more space.

This is the wall space where I had the loveseat and the 100+ quilts piled. I moved the old ironing board and my featherweight over there. I will probably move the thread rack but I just needed to put is somewhere until I cleaned and sorted more stuff. Actually I am thinking that I will end up building me a big design wall and putting it there and moving the ironing board in a few weeks. I want my design wall to have hinges so that I can fold it and put it away when it's not in use or I have company coming over.

I also cleaned off my sewing table. I'm not sure how long it will look like this but right now it looks all clean and neat. I was watching season 1 of the Games Of Thrones as I was cleaning and quilting.

After I cleaning up this side of the room I decided to work on a couple of the Farmer's Wife blocks. This being the weekend I didn't want to work on customer quilts ALL weekend. As of right now with the Sow-A-Long they have a total of 9 blocks done so I would like to get caught up with everyone else.

This block is Block 21 in the book and is called Contrary Wife. A very simple block to do.
This is the second block that I did today. It is Block 6 in the book and is called Big Dipper. I will probably redo this one because I'm not happy with my center. It was an easy block but I'm not sure why my center is off so bad. Here are my first 3 blocks of the Farmer's Wife quilt. These take care of week #1 of the Sow-A-long. After that I went back to cleaning and sorting. I saw this on a blog the other day and I thought this would be a great way for me to sort my scraps. I saw it here! She has a ton of fabrics and scraps, I'm amazed on how she organized it all. I picked up a couple of these little containers this morning at Walmart and got started with a few of my scraps. Right now they are piled in baskets and big totes on the floor and it is hard to find anything. These are pieces that are smaller than a fat quarter, leftover border pieces and stuff like that, but things that are too big that I don't want to cut up as strips or small squares and sort them in other tubs. I have other totes that hold strips of 2.5", 2", and a few other strip sizes and also precut squares that I like to use for scrap quilts. I already had a bunch of comic book boards that I had bought and wrapped some of my fabrics that are in my drawers. I cut those up into 2.5" strips so that I could wrap the scraps around them and they would fit in my containers. As I get more of them wrapped I will sort more by color and add more containers. I'm thinking that I may store these containers on the back side of my sewing table. My table is 36" wide so I could put them on the back side of the table against the wall and they would be in view from my machine and easy to get to them when I needed to.
While I was doing my thing today Richard worked more on our stair post. He even did more on it after I took this photo but it is almost ready for stain. You can see that he sanded more on it today while he worked because it is all over the stairs again. :( I'm really pleased with his work and he has made every piece of it....the trim and all, even the small dental mold on it.
After he worked on the post and did some farm work outside he had some "special time" with Hunter. Hunter wanted Richard to play the PS3 with him. Please don't look at the messy room. Trust me it doesn't always look like this. :)

Mom and Chantal came back out this evening because Chantal wanted Richard to help her trim up her dog's hair. Giggle....she has a FAT poodle that was hot because she had too much hair and needed it cut. They did that while mom and I watched them and talked. After they left I warmed up leftover lasagna for supper and that was it. Tomorrow will be a busy day....Church in the morning then going to visit Richard's 91 year old grandmother, then Church again at 7pm. Then Monday morning will be back to work on customer quilts for me!!!!!!


Friday, March 16, 2012

A little Progress...

Today has been a busy day but I really didn't accomplish anything. Ever have one of those days? Richard was home today and decided to paint everything is a big mess around here. I'll show paint photos later in this post but right now I will talk about quilting...

First off, I've decided that I am not going to post about customer quilts in every post that I do. Trust me, I am working on customer quilts somewhere around 4-5 days a week, sometimes 6 days a week. Anyway, I figure I will post about them every couple of weeks or so and show a bunch of photos of them in one post. I do enjoy machine quilting and showing the quilts that I do for others but this blog was started years ago because I wanted to share my stuff, my family and our farm life, I miss talking about that stuff. As it is right now, I do the machine quilting through the day and take breaks every little bit to let my legs rest and instead of going downstairs I will work on a block or two of my own stuff. Also if you have read my blog for a few years you will know that every once in a while I take a spell of not being able to sleep at night and do alot of sewing then. The past several nights I've had trouble sleeping again and since my sewing room is directly above the master bedroom I can't use my quilting machine during the night because I don't want to wake Richard up. My regular sewing machine is not as loud as my quilting machine so I am able to do a little sewing then. So here it goes...

Here are my log cabin blocks! I counted and I have a total of 140 of them finished and I need 28 more of them to piece the design that I want. I'm getting anxious to get them finished.

And as bad as I hate to say it.....I broke over and bought the Farmer's Wife book!!! I know I really shouldn't have but I did it any way. I am going to try to catch up on Randy's Sow-A-Long. I think they have 9 blocks of it finished right now and tonight I pieced one of them.

Here is my first block. It is Basket Weave. I must say that I love the look of the finished quilt in the book but I absolutely don't like how the book is setup. It shows the blocks, then you have to flip on back through the book to see how it is pieced and then there is a cd with the templates that you can print but there are no cutting sizes in it. The blocks all seem to be common blocks and would be very easy to figure up the sizes for the pieces but just aggravating that you would have to do that and it not in the book with the blocks. Oh well....just my opinion. I'm almost embarrassed to show this but look what I found today all wrinkled Civil War Love Letter quilt top. It will take me hours on end to press this thing. :( All 121 blocks are pieced and sashed, I just need to sew the outer border on it and quilt it. The sad thing is, it has been at this point for a few years now and all it needs is the outer border on it and it is even a solid border. I even have the fabric for it. This will be something that I plan on getting done soon. Here is an upclose shot of one of the blocks. They are all pieced in pinks and browns. I love this quilt.
Now on to Richard's painting....this is the stairway wall. He worked a little more on the stairway post today too. See all of the dust on the stairs? He was sanding on the post and I hadn't swept it up yet. Anyway, he has more of the post done now and hopefully it will be done in a few days and we can start on the railing.
This is upstairs. This wall is a 40 ft wall that goes down the center of the upstairs. You can see it is still dusty up there. The door on the end will open to an upstairs balcony out there....someday. :) If you look close you can see all of the mess that I have stored in the guest room up there too. We still have tons of trim to do but I am pleased with the painting so far. This is the same color that will go in my sewing room too. He has part of it painted but I'll show it after it is finished.
Mom and my sister, Chantal came out for supper this evening. I made a big lasagna! Mom has been sick for a week or so but is starting to get a little better. She has bronchitis. I guess that is all for tonight......

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Another one off the frame...

I have been busy quilting lately! I am only posting one quilt photo for tonight because the other photos are still on my camera and I'm too lazy to go upstairs and get it.....sorry! :( I'll try to post them tomorrow or the next day. Anyway, this first one is a pretty little baby quilt. It is a crazy quilt. I love the soft blues and yellows in it. I have two other quilts quilted and waiting to be delivered and another one on the frame. I haven't started quilting on it yet but plan to start on it tomorrow after I clean and oil my machine. I usually clean and oil it pretty often but I just really haven't taken the time to do that for a little while. It is starting to "clank" and that is not a good thing. :) Anyway, I'm hoping that I can get the biggest part of that quilt finished tomorrow.

Last night I couldn't sleep and was up until 3am. I wanted to quilt but I was afraid that I would keep Richard awake. My quilting machine and frame is upstairs and directly over our bedroom, I'm not sure how much noise that it would make down there so I was afraid to use it. We will have to test that while he is awake and see what he thinks about it. So since I couldn't sew on my quilting machine I did piece a few log cabin blocks since my regular sewing machine is not loud at all. I need a total of 168 log cabin blocks and I think that I am close to that.....I think. :) I'm really anxious to get them finished and it works out great that I am working on a few log cabin blocks as I take breaks from the quilting frame that way I can get both accomplished....customer quilts and log cabin blocks.

Now on to other things... I had a doctor appointment early this morning. They are still trying to find out what is causing the pain in my left side and back. If you remember a month or so ago they found a big cyst on my right ovary but didn't see anything on my left side. Now they are referring me to a GI specialist. They haven't called me yet with my appointment date but I'm hoping that it is soon. The pain shoots my BP up really high so I need to get something done. The only time that my BP is normal is when I take the pain medication, which is almost all of the time now. I take two BP pills a day but this morning when I went to the doctor I hadn't taken my pain medication and when I got there my BP was 142/112! :( Oh well, hopefully we will get this all figured out real soon.

Richard was on Spring Break last week and he painted the master bedroom for me while I worked on a couple of customer quilts. Here are a few photos of the progress so far. He will be putting up all of the wood trim in there soon.

This first photo is from inside the door, looking to the left. Between the door and the antique wardrobe is the walk-in closet. The french doors will lead to a deck....someday. Actually we will have a big wrap around porch, but right now the only thing that is done is the front porch.

This is the angle going on around the room. I have the curtains but I don't want to put them up until the wood trim is up and as you can see we still need to install the wood flooring but it isn't ready yet. We are making that ourselves too and the wood is still drying out. This angle is standing in the corner by the french door. Oh, I almost forgot....Richard painted my bed for me too. I think it looks better in there painted dark instead of the white that it was before. In the edge of the photo you can see the edge of a doorway, that is our master bath, that isn't started yet. :)
Sorry, this is almost the same angle and I didn't realize that I had uploaded this one on here.

After he got the bed and walls painted, I had to spread out my Courthouse Step quilt top on the bed to see how it would look with both paints. I'm really pleased with how it is all turning out. I plan on quilting this quilt top after I get my customer quilts finished.

As far as the house goes that is all of the progress that we have made lately. As soon as he gets a chance Richard is going to paint the living room, upstairs balcony wall, my sewing room and the hallway. I can't wait for that!

And now I will leave you with a photo of my precious boys! Here they are having some "bubby time" together this past weekend. It is hard to catch them together because Andrew is gone so much with school and work. They rented a movie to watch together. Have a great evening and I will try to post more quilt photos tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Catching Up...

I'm hoping that things have slowed down here for a while. This is a photo heavy post!! I'm trying to catch up on blogging and I am so behind on reading blogs too.

First off, thanks for all of the prayers for our friends and neighbors that were affected during the tornadoes. The clean up is beginning but still a long way to go for so many of them, not only here in our little county but several states. One sad thing that breaks my heart is that Hunter doesn't have school tomorrow because they are having a funeral for one little girl that lost her life in the tornado, along with her grandmother. They are expecting a very large crowd so they are holding it at the local high school. She was only 14 yrs old.

Here are two quilts that I delivered this morning to the quilt shop. The first one is an Evening Star that measures something like 110x118! It was her first quilt!!! She was certainly brave to make her first one that big! It is beautiful when it is all spread out but I just didn't have to room to do that for the photo. It is quilted with the Chantilly Lace design.

Here is the second quilt! It is a simple patch quilt but man was I in love with those fabrics!!! Such a wonderful variety of Civil War Reproductions. She wanted this one done with a stipple/meander design. It measured 88x97. Here is a closeup of the fabrics! The whole time that I was quilting it, I kept thinking about how pretty it would look on my bed! :)
Look how close that I came to running out of thread on it!!!! I was getting nervous! I have a thread order placed but it will be a few more days before it arrives. Oh BTW...the little project that the thread spool is laying on it a little table topper that I have been working on when I have to sit down and take a break from the quilting machine. It isn't finished yet, it still looks like it does in this photo. :(I ordered a few things a week or so ago! Just things that I eventually want to work on when I get the time. I'm hoarding!!! LOL! The first one is Hawaiian Delight, it is a paper pieced pineapple quilt. The middle one is a set of 3 tablerunners that I would like to get done sometime before next Winter! I'm sure that will not happen but at least I can hope, right? I ordered these from one of my favorite places, Laundry Basket Quilts. I have several patterns from there that I just keep putting back to do later. The last one on the end is called, Hugs & Kisses, by Jaybird Quilts. I thought it was so cute! A few weeks ago when I was down at the quilt shop, I saw so small calicos and I thought of this pattern. I didn't get the fabrics that day, I wanted to get the pattern first and then make my final decision on the fabrics.
So today while I was at the quilt shop, I picked them up!!!! I couldn't resist them! I picked up a fat quarter of every bright one that they had. Now I just need to start collecting calicos until I have enough to make the quilt. See the pillow form in the background?? I picked that up at Walmart today because I want to make a pillow for my back to use at Church. We go to this little old tiny country Church that I love with all of my heart, but those old Church pews are NOT comfortable! I noticed the other day that several people there had pillows behind their backs so I decided that I would make one for myself. I probably will not get it done before next Sunday but you can bet it will be moved closer to the top of my list. :)After I got home, I started digging through some of my scraps and found this "vintage" piece of calico. The word "vintage" makes me feel old since these were the fabrics from my childhood. Friday I will turn "40" and my kids are giving me a hard time about it. :) Anyway, I need to look through mom's fabric because I think that she still has some that I can use in my quilt. I also ordered this fabric so that I could finish a quilt that I started some time last year....maybe. I glanced back through my blog a little but I couldn't find it, I know it is on here somewhere because I saw a photo of it the other day and that is what reminded me to look for the fabric. See, I had just enough fabric to finish the quilt and was going to be cutting it close and wouldn't you know....I cut the last few blocks of the navy fabric the wrong size!!!! So I ordered this and I plan on finishing it real soon....well....after I get more of these customer quilts finished. I have some more beautiful ones coming up!!And in between quilting this is what we will be doing......painting!!!! Actually Richard will probably be doing more of the painting than I will. He painted the master bedroom a few days ago and I painted my metal bed today. I'll post photos of that as soon as I get it all cleaned back up and things put away in there. He didn't paint down around the floor or the very top of the wall near the ceiling because we will be putting up the wood trim in there in a few weeks. The big buckets in the photo are for some of the other rooms. One 5 gallon bucket is ceiling paint. I'm sure that is not enough but at least that will get us started. The other 15 gallons are all the same color beige and that will go in my hallway, living room, upstairs balcony, and my sewing room. I dread all of that painting and I'm not even sure if that will be enough. And now I will leave you will something that I don't get to see that often boys together! Andrew goes to college and works so much that he is just in and out most of the time, but here they are up in Andrew's room. Andrew is helping Hunter with his homework! :) you can see, Andrew's room isn't painted yet either! I do have the curtains bought for his room but they are not up yet. I'll hang those after it is painted. It is on the second floor and we live out in the middle of nowhere so it's not like anyone can see in there. :)
I guess that is all for tonight!! My plans for tomorrow are to go grocery shopping and then load on another customer quilt!!!!