Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Special Time and Handwork...

 As a mom this time of the year is always so hard...back to school time.  UGH!  Our local schools start back tomorrow, August 1st!  It always breaks my heart to send my boys back to school each year, I always enjoy having them home with me during the summer.  

It is hard to believe that Hunter will be starting the 5th grade this year.  Just seems like yesterday Andrew was starting and he is 19 yrs old now!  :(  A few days ago as I was searching through some photos I ran on to these of Hunter when he was a baby.  The first one is of him in his high chair.  He had this thing that every time you scolded him he would lay his head over and smile, just trying to look sweet!  He was a stinker!  He would also do that if you asked him if he was sweet too.  So cute!  
Here he is in his camo!  I had 4 ultrasounds while I was pregnant with him and each time they told me he was a girl!  Well....HE wasn't!!  So I had to take back all of the pretty pink and purple dresses and Richard bought camo!  LOL!  
The past couple of days have just been spent having "special time" with my boys.  I did squeeze in a little bit of handwork, that I will show you later in the post and I also did a little bit of pondering...

Speaking of Hunter, he snapped this photo as I was setting the table for dinner after Church on Sunday.  He was sooooo anxious to cut into that cake, but of course he had to eat his supper first.  He loves chocolate cake, nothing fancy, just "cake in a box" as he calls it.  
 I did manage to get 4 baskets finished and this takes me to 33 of them.  I really need to take a couple of days and do nothing but prep more blocks.  I also need to dig through some fabric and look for more backgrounds for them.  
 I also did some pondering...as you know we moved into our house the middle of this past January and it is still not finished, but that is a total different story.  I realized that I have NOTHING quilt related that is Christmas/Winter themed to display during that season.  What got me thinking was that Hunter made a comment the other day that our house didn't feel "cozy" to him.  As a mother, I want my house to feel "cozy" to my kids.  I think a lot of it is the fact that it is not finished, we still have plywood floors, not a lot of stuff on the walls, the wood trim is not done, we don't even have doors for all of the doorways.  Don't get me wrong, I love my house and the kids do too, and we are very grateful, but I guess it doesn't have that "homey feel" to it right now.  So, back to my story.  I have a million magazines and books that have Christmas/winter related patterns in them but I just didn't feel like digging through them all right now.  Ordering fabric and patterns are not options right now either, but I did dig through some of the patterns that I already had. I found three that would fit the bill but probably don't have time to finish all of them.  
 The first one is a wallhanging/door banner pattern from Country Threads and it is called "O' Holy Night"  If you click the photo on the website it shows more detail than my photo does.  I love it!  I love what it represents.  This one is definitely on my to-do list before the holidays.  I'm sure I can find some fabric in my stash for it.  

The center one is called "Over the Hills and Through the Woods" from Crab Apple Hill.  This one I would love to make, but somehow I don't see it getting done before the holidays.  Maybe I could start it and have it done by NEXT holiday season....hmmmm.....that is a thought.  

The last one is a small wallhanging measuring only 15 x 17.  It looks like it would be quick and easy to do.  It is called "Here I am Lord" by Bloomin' Minds.  You will have to go to the website to see the full detail of it.  This one I could easily make from scraps.  

Of course I have a million other things that I want to finish soon, like my Wrapped in Red quilt and some customer quilts and they do need to be finished first.  I sure wish we would get a break in this heat so that I can work on some machine quilting, this is just crazy!  

Anyway....do you all have any Christmas/holiday projects that you plan on making for YOURSELF???  I have a few things planned to make as gifts but these that I have shown in this post are things that I want to make for ME!  :)

BTW...if you bought quilt books from me, the rest of them are being mailed out tomorrow!!!!  Hope you enjoy them!

Have a wonderful and Blessed day!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Plugging Along...

 I don't even feel right complaining about the heat upstairs in my sewing room that has almost put a halt to my machine quilting.  To tell you how hot it has been up there....I had a can of compressed air upstairs that burst!!!  If all goes well, we will have the air conditioning connected up there in the late Spring.  It has been so hot and humid here but we have also been getting some much needed rains.  I thank God for that!!!  

So all of my sewing has been downstairs.   The past couple of days I have been sewing but you really can't see a lot of progress, just a lot of piecing.  I did get the handwork done on this quilt that was supposed to be a Christmas gift last year but wasn't done in time.  That is the last quilt of my own that I have machine quilted.  I guess this means that I have a head start on Christmas this year!  :)
Here are lots of pieced units that need pressing before they can be constructed into bigger units and then pieced into blocks.  I so wanted to get this quilt top finished and not put it away, but I'm not going to have enough of red/white prints to finish it.  I have all of the reds cut except for the 2.5" squares and I think I still need something like 400 of those.  So I will just sew until I can't sew anymore on it and put it away...
Here is my design wall right now.  I have a few of the block centers up there, ONE COMPLETED RED/WHITE BLOCK, and 6 basket blocks.  I think I am now up to 29 baskets!  
Here is a close up of the Wrapped In Red block.  I like that it will be on point.  I can't wait to see a few of these put together. 
And my baskets!!!  I'm loving the relaxing handwork that I'm doing with these.  Of course, I still have a million more to go but this is one of those projects that you know once it is finished you will miss it.  
Today will be more of the same, just piecing, cleaning, and cooking.  I wouldn't change it for anything.  Life can be hard sometimes but I do love my life and family.  

I miss my mom!  Just makes me cry to even type this...  My brother, sister, and I are just as close as we can possibly be to my mom and it is always so hard when she leaves for work.  She is gone for 28 days at a time and we miss her terribly.  For some reason this time was especially hard on her leaving.  My sister still lives at home and she said that mom had broke down and cried the night before she was to fly out.  Mom called me once she arrived and she said that she didn't want to wish time away but she couldn't wait until she could retire.  Anyway, my mom will only be 59 next month so she still has a few years before she can retire.  

She is out on the Mississippi River and goes back and forth between New Orleans and St. Louis.  She has not been well this time out there.  She sounds so weak and tired.  Her blood pressure is up and down along with her heart rate.  Along with a bunch of other stuff.  They was going to send her home to go to the doctor but she decided to just wait it out.  I think she has a couple more weeks left before her time is up to come home.  I love her and miss her and pray everyday that she is okay.  

So yesterday morning I was sorting through some photos and decided that I needed a photo of my mom in my sewing room.  I finally decided on this one of her at Richard's graduation in May of this year.  I love snapshots because they are so real looking.  
I also ran on to these when she was younger.  I always thought she was so pretty.  I am 40 years old and one thing that I can always remember about my mom is that she has always gone to Church.  Growing up I can never remember a time in my life that my mom didn't go to Church and take us kids to Church.  
Okay......enough of the sappy stuff.  I just mentioned Richard's graduation back in May...  I had thought that things would be finished by now and he would be working at a "nursing" job but I didn't realize what all he had to do first.  Even though the graduation ceremony was in May, his classes were not over until the middle of June.  He also had to wait for them to turn the list of names in to the board of nursing before he could go any further.  After that it has just been testing and testing fees galore!!  So many different exams, fingerprinting, background checks, just never ending.  So I'm happy to say that at this point all is done except for him taking the NCLEX (his state board exam)  We are just waiting for them to schedule that, so hopefully it will be done real soon.  I know this is killing him too, that is why I try not to say much about it to him.  

Well, it's now almost 6am.  I need to get my butt in gear.  Lots of chores to do before it gets too hot.  Hunter also asked me to get him up early this morning so that we could have some extra "special time" today.  He starts school Wednesday, August 1st, and that is just breaking my heart.  I have always enjoyed having my boys home and it always stressed me out when school started back.  

Have a wonderful and Blessed day

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Loving my new treasure...

 Had to make a last minute trip to town today.  I had forgotten that Hunter's inserts were in at the podiatrist's office and they needed to be picked up so they could size them to his new school shoes.  It was pouring rain so Richard went with us.  While in town we stopped by 3 thrift stores and the only thing I bought was this....

A White sewing machine!!!  It was a little dirty but not too bad.  I didn't know if it would sew or not but everything seemed to move freely and the only thing missing was the bobbin case.  So I asked how much and she said $5   I loaded it in the buggy and told Richard that if we couldn't get it to work, it was only a $5 loss.  
The first thing I did when I got home was email Michelle.  She knows about everything there is to know about old machines.  I didn't even have a clue on how to thread this baby up!  She quickly sent me an email back saying that after work she would see what she could do for me.  Meanwhile, I cleaned and oiled her up!  Yep! She is a "her" and I've named her "Beatrice"  :)  

Here she is all clean, shiny, and oiled!  
I got an email from Michelle telling me what I needed to know and even sent me a link to a printable manual for her!!  Thank goodness, because I would have never have figured out how to thread her.  So once I wound a bobbin, threaded her up and hit the pedal......this is what she did!!!  She sewed perfectly!!!  I didn't even have to adjust the tension at all!!!  
 I was so excited that I had to run outside and show Richard what she did!!  Such a good feeling to see her sew!  

If you remember last month I bought my Kenmore for $4 and it sews like a dream!  I love that machine and this one sews the same way.  I have an old cabinet in Andrew's room that he is using to set his tv on, not sure if I will put this machine in that cabinet or have Richard to build me a box thing to set it in.  Of course, I could just leave it the way it is, I suppose...

Have a wonderful and Blessed day!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Wrapped In Red...Progress

 Today I was able to work on my red/white quilt.  It is actually called, "Wrapped In Red", but I can never remember the name so I just call it my red/white quilt.  As I mentioned yesterday, I had broke a needle and my machine was skipping.  Richard just didn't feel like adjusting it yesterday so he is up there doing that now as we speak.  So tomorrow I will be back to the grind.  I really need to get this quilt off the frame and off to the owner.  

So today I got to sew for myself since my quilting machine was down.  In my last post, I showed the units put together like this.  This is the center of the blocks.  I worked on these today and now have 14 of the 25 needed.  
Now I need a million of these units.  Well, not actually a million, but 256 of them....close enough right?
I did go ahead and lay out this block with all of the pieces.  The blocks will be set on point and I need a total of 25 full blocks and then all of the pieced setting triangles.  
So the next sewing day that I get for myself, I will be cutting out the 256 white rectangles and 596-- 2.5" squares in red.  I'm sure that I will take me a while to do.  But at the end of the day I am pleased with my progress on it.  

I also pressed 60+ of my blue HST's!!!  At least that is a start on the  1100+ of them.  I have the little tub sitting on my ironing board so I just press a few at a time.  It will be slow doing it that way but at least maybe I will not get overwhelmed with them.  
Late last night I finished up another basket blocks.  Makes me a total of 23, I think.  I have 6 more prepped, so I will work on them a  little during the evenings.  
 Oh and here is Donkey!  He has been just going in and out all summer and staying outside most of the time, but this morning he came upstairs and napped as I sewed.  Doesn't he look comfy?
 That is all for today, just waiting for Richard to adjust my machine and if it cools off up there I may do some machine quilting before bed.

Have a wonderful and Blessed day!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Making Progress...

 Got Richard up at 4:30am this morning so that he could get an early start on the day.  As soon as I got him fed and out the door I headed upstairs to quilt.  Machine quilted for about 10 minutes and broke a needle.  Not good!  Never again will I buy cheap needles from Walmart, I got them as I was waiting for some to arrive that I had ordered.  Now my machine is skipping.  UGH!  Richard is great at fixing that so I just stopped and waited for him to get home to fix it for me.  He is home now, but snoozing in the recliner.  :)  

So what did I do???  A little of this and that.  First off, I finished cutting apart my blue/white HST's.  There are 1120 of them in this pile!!!  Now comes the fun part of pressing them.  :(  I figure I will leave them on my ironing table and just do a little bit at a time.  
Then I moved on to this.  I had string pieced the strips a few months ago and it was still laying up there.  I decided to finish it to get it out of the way.  It is a small mini, measuring 17 x 19.  It looks a little out of square here but it is just the way it is hanging on the design wall.  
See, it is square....or rectangle.  LOL!  I went ahead and cut the binding for it too.  Now to just dig out a small piece of backing and scrap batting.  I will probably just quilt this on my regular sewing machine since it is small.  Not even sure what I will do with it once it is finished.  
 Found a couple of quarters laying around in my sewing room and added them to my quarter stash.  Here is the deal with that...  My sister brought home this cookie tin from work that one of the drug reps brought them.  Anyway, it was cute and I had it in my sewing room and was throwing threads in it.  Then I decided to SAVE QUARTERS in it.  It is only 10 inches tall.  
 Today I added .75 to it, because that is what I found.  The quarters are only up in the tin about 1.5 inches and already has $35.25 in it.  I wonder how much it will hold if it is full?  LOL!  Now, if I can just keep this a secret from the family, I can go on a fabric shopping spree once it is full.  :)  Unless...something else comes up and I have to use it.  :(
 Okay, now back to quilting.  I made some good progress on my red/white quilt today.  I have 80+ of the square-in-a-square units done and I need 128 of them.  I needed a break from those so I moved on to some of the other units.  
 Then I couldn't stand it and had to piece some of it together.  It is hard to see in the photo but there are white squares in the corner of the block.  
 Now the blocks don't end there.  There are more pieces that go around it.  So as you can see, I still have a long way to go, but at least I felt like I made some progress on it today. 
 More pressing that needs to be done and lots more cutting.  
 Oh and I also prepped 6 more basket blocks.  I have several of the background squares cut so I will just throw these in the basket beside my couch and work on them as I can.  
 I was sitting here and I kept hearing something and it sounded like a mouse chewing or making noises.  I could not figure out what it was until I said, "Hunter, do you hear that noise, what is it?"  Then by the look on his face I knew it was him....  BTW...don't look at the mess, I have a quilt pattern and a can of Pledge on the couch and books to mail out on the chair...oh and Hunter built a toy gun out of wood.  :)
 He was eating a bag of pistachios!  Silly boy!  It was driving me crazy trying to figure out what it was.  
 That is all for tonight, got to finish cleaning house, my MIL and Richard's grandmother are coming to visit tomorrow after Church and I am fixing dinner for them...

Have a wonderful and Blessed day

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Look what I found...

 I'm still plugging away on my red/white quilt....slowly.  Doing this a little in between machine quilting.  The machine quilting is going slow too.  With this heat and no air upstairs, it gets hot up there quick!  Next summer will not be as bad since we plan on having the central air connected up there.  :(  Anyway, I'm loving the red and white quilt so far.  I can't wait until I can start putting the blocks together.  Right now I am just working on the smaller units.  
Last night I couldn't sleep and really didn't want to sew so I headed upstairs to clean and sort some of my quilting stuff.  There was no way that I could machine quilt because Richard was sleeping in the bedroom directly under my sewing room.  So....I still have a few BIG totes of quilting stuff that needs to be put away.  Some of the stuff is just "stuff" and some of it is UFO's.  As I'm sure you can guess, I have several UFO's!  LOL!  Another one that I found is "Market Baskets"
I quickly threw these up on my design wall to look at them.  I had forgotten about this quilt until last night.  This is from the Kim Brackett book, Scrap Basket Surprises or you can also just order the pattern from here.  The pattern has it in a straight setting but I like it better on point.  What do you think?  Straight or on point?  If I do it on point, like I want too, then I have to have several more blocks.  More blocks is NOT a problem as far as that goes because I still have 33 more that are cut out, they just need to be pieced.  I have 17 blocks already pieced.  Last night I actually thought that I would just sew together the blocks that I had and call it finished but I really hate to do that on this quilt.  I would like to have it bed-size. 

The only thing that I had to do differently from the pattern is, I turned the borders of the blocks around on every other block so that they would be off-set.   Of course this is not the final layout, I just threw the blocks up on the wall so when I do actually get it sewn together I will change them around to spread out some of the fabrics.  
So while I was messing around with it, I started to dig for some border fabric and something to use for the setting triangles.  I pulled this and may use it.  The lighting wasn't the best up there last night so you can't really tell the true colors but the border fabric will be the brown/cedar looking stuff and the setting triangles with the print.  
I've had them for a while and usually when I buy border fabric for my stash, I usually by at least 3 yards of it.  The brown/cedar stuff is from Connecting Threads.  I got it on sale for something like 40% off and I don't remember the name of the print but I got it for $2.50 yard on clearance at the quilt shop.  
Here is the rest of the blocks that are cut out.  I think I will probably have to cut out more of the cream assorted backgrounds.  There doesn't seem to be enough of those there.  The whole tub needs to be pressed.  
 I also found 13 more string pot holders that I had pieced for gifts last Christmas that did not get finished in time.  I just need to dig out scrap pieces of binding and finish them up.  I will probably just keep them to use for myself.  
Oh and I still have a few books left for sale so if you are interested they are posted here.  I have some other stuff to get rid of too, as soon as I gather it all up.  I found a thread tree, still in the box that holds 32 CONES, I guess if I haven't used it by now I probably will not use it at all.  That is one of the things that I will be posting next.  

Now on to some family stuff....

Sunday after Church, the Sunday School had a trip for the kids.  We took them to Camden Park for the day.  It is a small little amusement park about 45-60 minutes from here.  They all had a blast!  Honestly, Richard and I did too!  :)  It was nice to relax for the evening with the kids.  When I got out of bed Monday morning, I could barely walk!  UGH!  My hips and back were killing me.  

Hunter starts school back August 1st!  He is not looking forward to that at all.  I have a little more school shopping to do and he will be ready to go.  The boy drives me up the wall over school.  He hates it but makes straight A's.  When I ask him "why?"  he just says that "school interferes with his playtime"  BOYS!!!

Andrew is one happy boy right now!  He loves to play guitar and is really good at it.  He can play anything from Bluegrass, Gospel, Country, Blues, and Classic Rock.  Thank goodness he doesn't care much for this new rock/pop stuff that is out now.  :)  Anyway, he has a Fender Acoustic, a Fender Stratocaster, and now this new baby!!!  He has been working and putting a little money back out of each check, saving up for this.  I was so proud of him, he has had enough money for a while to get it but wanted to save up more so that he wouldn't be broke!  LOL!  BTW...I made him shave after this photo!  He is only 19 but could grow a full-faced beard.  

This is a Gibson Les Paul.  The link is for the actual website that he ordered it from, the woodgrain on it is beautiful.  He was shaking when the UPS truck pulled in and he couldn't get that box open fast enough.  Good thing that he didn't have to work that night because I think he would have cried if he had to had left it.  He played until his fingers were sore.  :)  He is a good boy and I'm sure there are worst things he could have spent his money on.  
Now last but now least....today is Richard's birthday!!!!  He turned 42 today!  He left the house about 6am this morning and I haven't seen him.  He is doing some logging and should be back in the house sometime this afternoon.  No big plans but I wanted to fix him something special for dinner.  I asked what he wanted and he said "BEANS, TATERS, AND CORNBREAD!!"  That's my country boy!  So first thing this morning I put on pot of pinto beans, the cornbread is done, haven't started the fried potatoes yet but I will.  Oh and baked him a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.  He doesn't know it yet but his mom and grandmother are coming out to have dinner with us.  I think he will be happy to see them.  

Anyway, I thank God everyday for my little family!  I was thinking about this last night and I know that things happen in life that brings us down a little.  Just in the past few months I can think of several things right off the top of my head but in the end, I wouldn't trade my life for anything!  We are a very close family and try to live by God's word in everything that we do.  We are far from perfect but we do try to do the best that we can.  I thank God everyday for Blessing me with my little family.  

Okay.....back to cooking and cleaning

Monday, July 16, 2012

Quilt books for SALE!!!

 A few days ago I was putting away a bunch of quilt books and such and  decided to get rid of several of them.  I thought I would put them up for sale on my blog.  If you are interested in any of them please let me know.  

I will check my blog often for comments.  They will be sold on a first come, first serve basis and I will mark them sold on the blog as soon as possible to keep down on confusion.


First up...


Fanciful Quilts to Paper Piece- by Wendy Vosters.  96 pages.  New/no creases.

$10 includes shipping

Mariner's Medallion Quilts- by M'Liss Rae Hawley.  78 pages.  New/no creases.

$10 includes shipping

Quiltmaker's Fancy- the editors and contributors of Quiltmaker Magazine.  80 pages.  New/no creases.

$10 includes shipping

Fat Quarter Fun- by Karen Snyder.  127 pages.  New/no creases.

$10 includes shipping

BOOK #10
Stitch and Split Applique- by Jayme Crow and Joan Segna.  95 pages.  New/no creases.

$10 includes shipping

BOOK #11
A Shortcut to Drunkard's Path- by Ann Frischkorn and Amy Sandrin.  79 pages.  New/no creases.

$10 includes shipping

BOOK #12
Quilt and Sew Fanciful Folk Art- by Miriam Gourley.  144 pages.  New/no creases.  Has pattern pack in back of book, never opened.

$10 includes shipping

If you have any questions, please let me know...

I guess that is all for now.  I will probably have more later but this is all that I have sorted through so far.  I had a bad habit of buying books and just putting them on the shelf and not taking the time to even look through them.  UGH!  

Have a wonderful and Blessed evening.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Fingers crossed...

 If you have read my blog for awhile, I'm sure you know that I work and work on projects but don't seem to get them finished.  I always seem to jump from project to project because I get sidetracked or loose interest.  I'm not sure why I do this because I use to not do this.  I can remember several years ago when mom worked for the railroad and she came home on Thursday evenings and left out again on Sunday evening.  I would always try to have a new quilt top ready to show her on Thursday night when she came home.  Most weeks I had something new to show her.  Now.....I just can't seem to get things done.  I thought about this last night as I was trying to fall asleep and decided that most of the quilts that I work on now are a little more detailed than the big 12-14 inch blocks before and most of those were simple blocks at that.  

Soooooo.....since I could not sleep last night and got up because Richard was not laying right!  Giggle!  His back was hurting him so he said he needed to lay on his right side and I kept feeling like he was right in my face since I am on his right side and I have to lay on my left side due to nerve damage in my hip.  I know....confusing....anyway.....he was in my face and I had to get up!!  LOL!  So I went to digging around in my UFO's.  I've decided that I would like to work on my red/white star quilt.  

This is a quilt that I started back in October and really didn't get that much of it done.  I have 32 of these units finished and I think that pattern calls for 128 of them.  So my goal for today is to finish up all 128 of them.  I think that is possible, if I try.  
Here is a photo of the pattern in the magazine.  I would like to get this one finished.  As far as I can tell, I should have all of the fabrics needed, if not it will be real close.  So keep your fingers crossed that I can get this one done.
Of course this has to be worked on between machine quilting.  I know it is just a little after 6am but Richard is already out and about so I decided to start machine quilting for the morning.  That did not last but a few minutes.  I wasn't paying attention and hit a button on the quilt.  :(  Now my machine is skipping so I will wait for Richard to come back in later in the morning or afternoon and help me adjust it.  He is so good at doing that for me.  

Oh and here are some of my string blocks that I had been working on.  I still have several more to do but there are 130 of them here.  They are all trimmed and the papers removed from the backs.  
 In my last post I mentioned that I was trying to clean the house up. Do you know how hard it is to clean a house that is not finished and have it looking neat and clean?  It is almost impossible.  Things just don't look put together and neat, but I'm still grateful that we are living in it and we will finish things as we can.  

So here are a few photos of my clean unfinished house, or at least part of it.  :)  My camera batteries were dying so some of them are dark.  This is part of my living room and yes that is Richard's boots beside his chair.  
 Here is the kitchen.  This is the room that I can't wait to finish.  I want cabinet doors, upper cabinets, my island, new appliances, and everything.  I just can't wait to get this room done.  
 This is the other side of the kitchen.  I did move that picture out of the floor.  This is the picture that I took down in the living room to put up the horse picture.  This one will be moved upstairs in the guest room when I get ready to set it up.  
 The main bathroom.  Not much to say about it other than I can't wait to get the cabinet doors on.  :)  
 Last but not least, part of the master bedroom.  
 Giggle, there is a reason that I did not show you Hunter's room.  :)  He was still cleaning on it when I took the photos.  And then there is the upstairs.  My sewing room is a mess as usual, Andrew's room stays pretty clean because he is just in and out so much that it doesn't have time to get dirty.  The guest room and bath #3 are not finished so there is not really anything to show.  

Anyway, all of this cleaning was done because my grandmother came for a short visit.  She had not seen the house since we had before we had moved in.  

I'm off to get some sewing and chores done.  Hunter has a friend coming over today.  His mother is dropping him off somewhere around 8:30am on her way to work...