Sunday, December 30, 2007

A little end of year project

Maybe it is more of an early start on 2008's first project. I know it won't be completely finished tomorrow but the top might be done. This is my impression of a snowflake. I think I will add a little border yet, before calling it good, or at least adequate! This is my offering for the winter installment of the Four Seasons Quilt Swap, unless I change my mind or decide to try a second one and see which one turns out best. I have until January 30 to get it in the mail.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Last one for 2007

I did it! I finished my Christmas quilt. Granted, it wasn't by Christmas but only 3 days later. We slept under it last night and I will keep it out for at least a couple of weeks before it is put away till next December. I am quite sure that will be the last finished item for the year so my total comes in at 57. Not to shabby. It will be interesting to see how well I do at finishing things in 2008!

We had a great week here. Larry took the week off and the grandbaby brought his mom and dad over for almost a week and we just goofed off. Things did get done but nothing major - mostly chasing a certain 2-year old from one near disaster to the next.

Now we need to work on all those year-end things to get ready for tax time. Larry is doing inventory today and I need to get November and December information into the computer. Then we wait for all the year-end papers from banks, etc. and we should be able to get our paperwork to the accountant by the end of January if all goes well.

Yesterday after the kids left we did a little tidying around the house and I did laundry and ironing. I also got my birthday fabrics prewashed and pressed so they are ready to go once I figure out exactly what I am doing with them. First on my agenda, however, is a little quilt for the Four Seasons Quilt Swap. Winter is the theme and I am still at a loss as to what I will make so I need to really focus if I am to get it finished by January 30.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas to all!

Our company is here so there is lots going on all the time so I haven't had much time to post. Besides that I got a pretty new car yesterday so there was the negotiation and picking up thrown in there. Not really a Christmas present though. I got a new car so our son can use my previous car. He thinks he is having a pretty good Christmas also in spite of being turned down for the exchange program to New Zealand.

Right now the grandbaby is w-w-w-watching his new movie with everyone, tucked under his new quilt. Princess Lucy got two new toys so she is having fun. Everyone else is allowed unlimited Chex Party Mix so life is good around here!

Friday, December 21, 2007

The birthday is over

My final birthday gift came yesterday from my sister. A Christmas story book, not the Christmas story but a Christmas story about a little girl, a monkey and an organ grinder. I might read it to Layden but it might be a bit beyond him yet!

I have been keeping busy. Thinking about what to do with my birthday fabrics and working on the quilting of my Christmas quilt. I have 9 more squares to quilt and the sashings and borders around them. Then I can get the binding on and use it on Christmas Eve or maybe Christmas Day. I have baking to do but luckily my family doesn't expect too many goodies. Mostly its the Chex Party Mix that needs to get made so they will not starve on Christmas Day since my rule is that I don't cook on Christmas! That ended about 20 years ago when I was busy making Christmas dinner in the kitchen and the children and their father were having fun in the living room and dining room watching movies and playing games. Now we lay around all day and it is awesome!

We did some food shopping today so we should have most of what we need for next week. Larry is done with work for the rest of the year. The grandbaby arrives on Monday (as long as the pass stays open!) and life is good!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Still more birthday!

Last night at craft night we celebrated my birthday in Sally's fancy dining room with cake and ice cream. We didn't really get much crafting done but lots of great visiting. I even got another present! This beautiful packet of fabric. It isn't really something I would have chosen for myself but Nadine thought I needed to step a little further outside the box. Now I have two more quilts I need to make!

Yesterday we also got our propane tank delivered and we started up our new stove for the first time. The bad news is that in the fine print it says that you must run it for four hours the first time you use it as a part of the paint curing process. In real people terms, this means that the stove will smoke a bit and cause smoke alarms to go off. Some of our alarms we could remove the battery from, but the one up at the top of the cathedral ceiling we can't reach easily so every 8 minutes one of the boys had to use a dowel to make it shut up! I was glad to leave for craft night! We were a little concerned when we turned it on this afternoon that we would have a repeat performance but it has been on for several hours with no beeping. The boy and the dog are enjoying the fire.

The birthday fun continues tonight when we go out for dinner and I have been told that there should be one more package in the mail tomorrow or the next day.

Monday, December 17, 2007

An excellent day!

At least so far! You see, it's my birthday! I got packages ready for mailing first thing this morning and then went out to run an errand and when it was done I stopped off at a LQS to use my birthday coupon entitling me to a discount of half my age - the one place that values age!!! I saw this quilt online this morning and decided I would use my discount on fabric to make a similar one. Mine will be in blue, yellow, green and white instead of the orange, green, brown and white since they are my favorite color combination! I told my husband that he did a great job of picking out my birthday present this year! His only question was "How generous was I?"

My two best friends (and drinking buddies) took me out to a very nice lunch which included a bottle of champagne and a lovely dessert. They also gave me these two lovely gifts which they are planning to share! We are hoping to have the "Perfect Hot Toddies in front of the gas stove sometime after the holidays and I am sure we will manage to work the Kahlua chocolate fondue in sometime soon also! We are nothing if not willing to try new things!

When my little boy got home from school he presented me with a lovely gift also - a Paul Potts CD One Chance.

We will go out for my birthday dinner on Wednesday since that is the last day of school before Christmas and the boy doesn't need to get home so early!

Tomorrow our new propane tank will be delivered and we might be able to have fire tomorrow night! I won't be home since it will be craft night and I am bringing a from scratch German Chocolate Cake for a treat! I hope to spend the day getting presents wrapped so they can move out of my sewing room!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

...a lot...

Ornaments are on the tree, boxes are back in the attic and I am tired! I probably don't even have half of my ornaments on the tree but it is full enough. I still have a couple of little trees I will put somewhere for a bit of extra color. There is also some tidying to do but I have at least 5 less boxes going back into the attic than I took down. Two are definitely going to the thrift store, some was trash (lights that don't work, anyone?) and some I might decide to put on eBay (Christmas Corelle and various mugs and glasses). There are still various items that need a little glue or ironing or whatever, but a good day all in all!

We are heading to a Christmas party tomorrow afternoon and are supposed to each bring the requisite white elephant gift so while I was in the attic today I brought down a couple of priceless treasures from the white elephant gift box. Several great things to choose from. Tomorrow I will post pictures of what we took to the party and what we are forced to bring home! You can decide whether we traded up or down.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

...a little...

I think this is where the Christmas tree will be this year. It is kind of stuck behind the futon but until that piano is gone it is the best place to put it so we can still move around! The lights are on and maybe today I will bring ornaments down and start getting those sorted out.

Today will be a day for running errands. I need to get some groceries and do a little baking/candy making so I can get a package off to Alaska to make sure it is there in time for Christmas. I also need to get some sort of boxes for the ornaments I made so they will ship well.

Sunday, December 9, 2007 look...

I have made a little more progress on the decoration front. On Friday I borrowed a taller artificial tree from a friend who isn't using it this year because of travel plans. I got the tree together and in one possible spot. It might get moved elsewhere if we can create a better spot. We were unable to get rid of our piano this year so it is still a little crowded in the great room with a tree.

Yesterday I spent the day decorating at church and setting up for our annual (well, mostly annual) Christmas musical performance and dinner. We had a poor turnout last night but the program went well and the additional space we have in the sanctuary makes doing a production like this so much easier. I forgot my camera so I will have to take a picture this evening when we do it all again and it is all decked out and candlelit.

I hope tomorrow to get the tree at home in its final home for the holidays and get at least lights on it. I would also like to get this year's ornaments finished so I can get them in the mail to family that we won't be seeing over the holidays. I have been filling any spare time with hand quilting on my Christmas quilt with my feet up. I hope to have that done to put on the bed by Christmas eve but we shall have to see about that one!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Doing my part

If you have heard any news reports this week you know that western Washington go a little bit of rain and snow Saturday - Monday of this week. We are very lucky and have had no real problems. Larry got delayed in getting home on Monday and it was very wet and the power went out a couple times for short periods but we were lucky. Elsewhere in our county and the rest of western Washington bridges washed out, homes were flooded or destroyed, trees came down, lives were lost, sinkholes opened up in roads and even I-5 is closed under up to 10 feet of water! As I said, we were very lucky!

One of the Seattle TV/radios stations was accepting donations to help flood victims today over in Renton at IKEA. I had really wanted to donate some of my quilts when Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans but it just didn't seem to work out so today I piled 9 denim quilts, 5 crazy quilts and one other quilt into my car along with some food and other items and drove over to Renton and dropped them off. By 1 pm they had one semi full and enough piled alongside it to fill another semi and they are collecting until 11 tonight! It is overwhelming! I am just glad I had the opportunity to give something when we are so blessed!

Monday, December 3, 2007

It's beginning...

I have gotten started on Christmas decorating. These three little trees were our alternative Christmas tree three years ago which was the last time all three kids were home for Christmas. That was before our last remodel and the thought of having a Christmas tree taking up space when everyone was home just didn't seem like a good plan.

The last two years we have been away for Christmas for Layden's (grandson) birth (December 22) and his first birthday so we really didn't get the house decorated at all.

This year our oldest daughter, our son-in-law and grandson will be here and I want to go through all my decorations and decide what to keep and what needs to go away. So this is my first box that came down. I used some Christmas fabrics to hide the trunks a bit.

The picture isn't great but the best I could do what with limited light from outside (it is stormy here) but it gives the idea.

Our weather here since Saturday am has been interesting at best and downright nasty at worst. Western Washington is making headlines with this storm. Out our house we had an inch or two of snow on Saturday. That was demolished by rain Saturday evening. Sunday morning brought more snow followed by warming temperatures and rain all afternoon. Overnight the wind and rain got heavier and have continued this morning. Because we are on a hill our house isn't affected much but Larry is stuck in Bremerton because the roads out of town are flooded and closed.

With the weather and my cold it has been a great time to just sit and do some hand-quilting!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Better but not great

The cold is starting to clear up but very slowly. I really haven't gotten much done this week at all. Just did what I had to do and watched TV. In a perkier phase I got the Christmas quilt basted and since I wasn't sure about how to quilt it I decided to go with hand quilting which has given me something easy to work on during the TV watching!

I am hoping that I will feel much better next week so I can work on getting out the Christmas decorations. Because we finally have our house remodeling finished (well, except for the trim work) I have decided to go through all my Christmas decorations and whatever I don't put out this year is just going away. Those festive items just take up too much space in the attic so it needs trimming down! There is talk of snow here tomorrow but if it holds off and it isn't raining either I hope to get my outdoor stuff done then.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Sick Sucks!

That bad cold turned into something I would rather not have had. Yesterday was awful. I was coughing, my nose was running, my breathing sounded much like Darth Vader and it felt like there was a 30 pound weight on my chest. I answered pages for the business, played on the computer some and sewed the backing seam for the Christmas quilt but that was all I had energy for. I was so glad I had one last bowl of leftover turkey soup in the fridge that just needed a quick zapping for lunch!

Today has been a bit better and after tidying up the sewing room a bit I managed to get my sister's little giftee almost done. I hope to finish it off in the next half hour and then when Jakob gets home from school I can head down to the post office to put it in the mail. I can't leave before that because Larry is expecting the delivery of a couple of electronic items today that might need signing for so someone has to be home all day. I probably should also run into town to Walgreens to get Jakob's passport photos for his VISA, student ID, etc. for New Zealand.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Almost a Week

I have just been busy this past week what with traveling, playing with the grandson, cooking turkey, eating, running around looking for a lab coat for the son, and getting a bad cold.

Today was busy with phone calls after a 5 day weekend from the business. I did get the fabric I need for a giftee for my sister and got a package off to one daughter.

I also finished ripping out part of a Christmas quilt top that I made ? years ago and got it back together. Here is a picture I just took of it. The circles are some candlewicking ornaments that I wasn't sure just how to finish so I just appliqued them to some muslin and then added the 9-patch blocks and put them together with the sashing - the gold parts are supposed to be stars but they don't stand out really well. I am hoping that quilting will help that. Looking at it hanging I realized I could have placed the blocks better but I am not ripping all the blocks apart and redoing the whole thing. I just want to get it finished! I figure if I just say I started it several years ago anyone who notices the strangeness of it will understand. Most people probably won't even notice. In my defense it was originally planned as more of a bedspread so there was some extra stuff between the top and second rows so none of the blocks would be hidden in the tuck under the pillows. I know, not much of a defense but it's all I've got!

I have the backing in the washer so once I sew one more seam I will be ready to get that quilted soon. Not tomorrow but soon. I would like to get my sister's gift done so that can get in the mail in the next few days. I am hoping she will like it.

I got my partner's name for the Four Seasons Quilt Swap so I am starting to think about what I am going to do for that. Winter is the theme and I think I am not going to do a holiday quilt but more wintery.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I've been TAGGED!

Yes, I was tagged by Knitted Gems. She and I have swapped comments on occasion and hers is on of the blogs I read when I should be doing other things!!! Not sure if it is an honor or a curse, this tagging, but here goes.

1. Name one person who made you laugh last night?
Jake, my son. He is a funny guy - at least at home.

2. What were you doing at 0800?
Sitting at my computer, getting caught up and drinking my morning coffee.

3. What were you doing 30 minutes ago?
Sitting at my computer, getting caught up after running errands m.ost of the day

4. What happened to you in 2006?
Finally got our remodeling mostly finished.

6. How many beverages did you have today?
Two so far. Coffee and light lemonade.

7. What color is your hairbrush?

8. What was the last thing you paid for?
A photo album for my son to use as a photography portfolio that is due tomorrow!

9. Where were you last night?
At home, watching Dancing with the Stars and hand-sewing some bindings.

10. What color is your front door?

11. Where do you keep your change?
A Longaberger basket

12. What’s the weather like today?
Cold and gray

13. What’s the best ice-cream flavor?
Any flavor I have in my freezer.

14. What excites you?
Quilting and my grandson

15. Do you want to cut your hair?
No. I've finally found the right length.

16. Are you over the age of 25?
Yes, but not quite double it!

17. Do you talk a lot?
Most would say yes!!!

18. Do you watch the O.C.?

19. Do you know anyone named Steven?
Yes, at least 3.

20. Do you make up your own words?
Yes, when the English language fails me!

21. Are you a jealous person?
No. Not really.

22. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘A’.
I have a cousin named Allison and an acquaintance named Amanda. But then, my name is Alicia, and I am fairly fond of myself.

23. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘K’.
My niece's name is Katie. I also have a sister (and friend) named Karla and a friend named Karen.

24. Who’s the first person on your received call list?
On my cell phone, my husband called me last.

25. What does the last text message you received say?
Other than work pages the last was from my son asking me to pick up the photo album for the portfolio that is due tomorrow!

26. Do you chew on your straw?

27. Do you have curly hair?

28. Where’s the next place you’re going to?
My neighbor's for craft night.

29. Who’s the rudest person in your life?
I try to avoid rude people.

30. What was the last thing you ate?
A lovely truffle.

31. Will you get married in the future?
No, I love the husband I have and twice married is more than enough!

32. What’s the best movie you’ve seen in the past 2 weeks?
The best one I have seen for the first time was Door to Door. William H. Macy is excellent!

33. Is there anyone you like right now?
I like most people, unless they are rude!

34. When was the last time you did the dishes?
Yesterday afternoon

35. Are you currently depressed?

36. Did you cry today?

37. Why did you answer and post this?
Because I was tagged and this survey seemed easier than coming up with 7 random things about myself.

38. Tag 5 people who would do this survey.



I got my second quiltlet done last night but instead of just one I ended up with a second also. When I planned this little quilt out I must have been a little brain dead and so made a miscalculation and ended up making two 8.5" squares. I added borders and came up with two quiltets. I got them both quilted yesterday and got the bindings on but I wasn't satisfied with the quilting on one (the patchwork ended up crooked) so I ripped out the quilting on that one and redid this morning. Now I am pleased with both of them. Tonight I will give one of these and the toile one to my friends. Linnea will get to choose between these two since I think the borders are better on one but the patchwork is a little better on the other.

In case I don't get a chance to post tomorrow - have a great Thanksgiving with family and friends. We are heading over to see the grandson (and his parents).

Monday, November 19, 2007

Halfway there

I finished the first of the two little quilts yesterday. It turned out pretty well though it is fairly stiff. I think it is because I don't think the fabric was pre washed. I am torn - should I wash it before I give it to my friend or give it to her and she can wash it if she wants to. I am leaning toward the second option. Here is the quilt that these leftovers came from. I thought the back turned out quite well also.

I got started on the second little quilt yesterday also. It was inspired by this quilt by Jeanne. Once again I didn't look close enough so I made a miscalculation that might lead to me having a second little quilt. Hopefully I will be able to post a photo of that one tonight or tomorrow.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Back to the machine

Last night I finished getting caught up on the business books - a nice birthday present for my husband. It was his 50th and he actually took the day off - a first since he became self-employed.

After making a number of phone calls to set up service calls for Monday and Tuesday and an exciting trip to the dump and recycling facilities I finally got a chance to get some sewing done. I got started on the first of the little quilts I am making for my other two crafting friends. This first one I made out of leftovers that Nadine gave me from a quilt that I helped her get put together after some pattern issues. I made some Ohio Star blocks and got them put together with a pieced border. Then I put together a fun back out of more of the leftovers and I still ended up with this pile of pieces . Probably enough for a nice little doll quilt for myself. I hope to get this one quilted tomorrow and get a start on the second quilt so I will have them both done for craft night on Tuesday.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

House Cleaning

Today I actually worked at cleaning the house. Between phone calls i managed to get the floors swept and vacuumed and got a little dusting done. I also did several loads of laundry and got some folded but the rest will wait for tomorrow - my feet are tired!

Before I got started on the cleaning I finished the binding on my grandson's twin size quilt so it is ready for his birthday or Christmas along with the matching pillowcase.

My next projects are a couple of small quilts, or quiltlets, as i like to call them. i think that will probably be tomorrow.

I am also almost caught up with the book work for the business. I am working on the September invoices and checks this evening and hope to get that done while watching TV. That just leaves the October stuff for me to get done this month and I can mark something off my to-do list!

Friday the old man is taking the day off for his 50th birthday so I am not sure what his plan is. so I am making no plans!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Other Things

I think I definitely get more sewing/crafting/quilting done during the week than I do on the weekends. Too many other things need to be done when the boys are home. I did get the twin size quilt pin basted but that is it!

We did get the propane stove into position in the corner. We are liking it more all the time. It will be really nice once the propane is connected! That involves digging an 18" ditch from the house to wherever we put the propane tank. We might wish it was all done today if the wind keeps up and knocks out the power again. It was out for a while during the night. Luckily DH and I got most of the leaves picked up from inside the yard before it started raining. The wind was picking up already but it didn't stop us from getting things raked up.

It was a little quieter around here over the weekend since my little boy went on a road trip with a friend and her mom to visit a couple of colleges including WSU and they spent the night the grandbaby and his parents. Brittany is excited about applying to WSU and fell further in love with my little grand son. He is such a cutie! Jakob wasn't as excited about the college tours since right now he is focused on his upcoming year in New Zealand.

With the wind blowing today I am not sure if I will be able to get much quilting done, I may have to resort to using the laptop to do the business books if the power goes out again.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Not much left!

Yesterday I finished the top of the grandson's twin size quilt. Today I made a pillowcase to match and cut the binding and then used up the rest of the fabric for the back. Well, almost all the fabric, this piece is what is left over. Figuring out how to get those pieces together without cutting them up too much seemed to take almost as much time and planning as making the whole quilt top. My sewing table is almost completely cleaned off so I think I will work on getting this project basted so I can get it off the WIP list! Besides, then I have a Christmas/birthday present all finished.

Speaking of Christmas, I think I have that all figured out. Our oldest daughter and her husband already got theirs, I know what I am getting for the second daughter but that will be ordered and shipped to her in Alaska later and the son gets to go to New Zealand for a year so really doesn't need anything more! I have most of the supplies for the Christmas ornaments that I am making this year so I just need to get going on that. I am in pretty good shape - well, gift-wise, anyway!

I am now the owner of an iMac. It isn't too bad though I would never admit that to my son! I have quite a bit moved onto it from my old computer but still have a bit more to do. I am taking my time so I can sort through the stuff I don't really want anymore.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


Thank you all for your supportive comments! After Rebecca's comment and a quick re-read of my last post, I sound like such an over-achiever! I don't feel like one though. It seems to me that, technically, you have to be trying to be an over-achiever. I don't try, I just sew a lot! As I have said before, it is my therapy and I am pretty sure quilting is still cheaper than counseling!

Here are my two latest achievements. They are about 16.5" square and are birthday gifts for a couple of friends. I hope they like the colors I chose for them. I got the pattern idea from here. It is a pretty easy pattern but you do have to do some thinking in the planning and pay attention as you sew it! I do want to point out that I used all scraps for the quilt except for borders, backs, batting and binding which all came from my stash.

I had a great time with my little grandbaby this weekend. The adage "If I had know how great grandkids were I would have had them first" was proven once again! When he arrived I got a 10 minute hug! He wouldn't let go even to switch hips! Then following his 6 hour drive over here (with no sleep) and a short half hour break at the house, he chose to come with Grammy to run some errands and was a little angel! Between visits I always wonder (read worry) if he will remember me when we are together again and each time I am pleasantly surprised. I think that as grandparents we instantly love that little child, even before they are born, but when you only see them about once a month it is hard to be sure about whether the feeling is mutual. I think I got enough reassurance this weekend to last even two months!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

50 finished products!

Many bloggers celebrate 50, 100, 200 or more posts; I celebrate finished products and Thursday I completed the binding on another crazy quilt and changed the tally on my blog to 50 FINISHED PRODUCTS! Now not all of those are huge quilts, some are very small but they all got finished since the 1/1/07! That is pretty exciting to me! And even better is the fact that some of those were projects that have been sitting around unfinished for months, or more likely, years!

Here is wishing all of you many finished projects in the coming months!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Blocks together

I did get the 9-patch blocks together yesterday and then I went on to finish the May business computer work. I even started on the June work since we don't ever get any Trick or Treaters out here in the country. Today I finished June and got the blocks all together. I still have a couple of borders to add before the top is done and I will have to decide if I use the leftover fabrics for the back or make some throw pillows for his bed or maybe pillowcases.

It is time to tidy the sewing room for a few days since the little boy in question is coming for a visit with Grammy, Grandpa and Juncle for the weekend and they need somewhere to sleep!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Slow progress

I have been a little lax in my posting. I haven't had much to say (well, not much of interest!).

I have been doing computer work for our business and not much sewing though I get a little in each day. This picture shows the progress I have made on my grandson's big boy quilt this past week. The fabric got washed and ironed. I have the big tool blocks cut and bordered and the 9-patch blocks cut (yes, I know I could strip piece 9-patch blocks but I like the results better the old fashioned way). I think my Halloween 'treat' will be giving myself permission to get the 9-patches done today. Who knows, I might even get the whole top done this week.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Almost forgot...

... that on Tuesday at craft night at my neighbor's I put the Out of the Darkness top on her design wall and got a better picture than the one of it on my bed. I finally remembered to make sure it got posted for all to see.

The more I look at it, the more I like it. I think part of the draw is that the vivid colors against the black remind me of old fashioned granny square afghans.

In the midst of working on the computer I have gotten some pieces cut for Layden's quilt. I am being good and doing the books and just allowing myself a little quilting time each day to keep my sanity!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Keeping the feet up

I have been having some problems with my feet and legs recently and the best thing for them beside stretching is staying off of them. This tends to be difficult when you really want to be making quilts! I did get some quilting done by doing the machine quilting sitting down instead of in my usual standing position at the sewing table. They were small quilts so it worked ok. Then doing the hand-sewing on the bindings also keeps me off my feet.

I have now shifted to working on getting my husband's appliance repair business information into the computer so tax time is easier for our accountant. That should take a couple of weeks to get finished and I can do it all on the laptop while seated in my recliner. I know that I need to get that project done so I am not frantically doing it in January, February or March! This year Christmas is here at home and then January will be busy with a visit from our Alaska daughter and getting ready for my little boy to head to New Zealand for a year as an exchange student. So I really want to have everything but December's work done before mid-December so I don't have that hanging over my head too.

I am sure I will do some work on quilting projects, especially the quilt for the grandson's big boy bed. I got the fabric yesterday and it is all prewashed and ironed so I have done a little cutting when I get tired of the computer work. I guess I will have to get my quilting fix by looking at and reading about everybody else's work!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Three more waiting for hand sewing

I got three more crazy quilts quilted yesterday and today and the bindings are on so I need to get my hands busy! I finished the bindings on the last three quilts I got quilted so three more finished products on the list! I have two more to quilt but one needs the batting cut and the other needs a back I believe.

Did I mention I ordered fabric to make a quilt for my grandson's 'big boy bed'? He isn't ready to move into it yet but I want to be ready when he is. I saw a couple of quilts made from this fabric that is covered with tools so I got the name of the company that makes it to see if I could find out where I too could have some of the perfect fabric for my little guy. I checked out the website and I was even able to download the pattern. Now I normally don't buy a pattern and then make a quilt from it using the exact fabrics the pattern calls for because I usually don't like something about the pattern or the fabrics but this one is just perfect except I am making it twin size. The only thing I might change is that I might do a wacky nine-patch instead of the traditional. The fabric is supposed to arrive tomorrow so I am excited about that. My sister figures I will have the top done in the next few days and the quilt will be ready for either his birthday in December or Christmas but we will see.

I am pretty sure I am heading next door for craft night tonight so I will try to get at least one of the bindings done, but I might talk too much to get anything done!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

An ugly little problem

Several months ago, my husband, dropped this 'beauty' in my lap. I did what any self-respecting woman would do - I jumped! Then I looked at it and realized that it was just little threads all crammed together. It came out of one of his customer's washer's drain hoses. She had just completed a rag quilt and did the necessary washing to make it fuzz up. She called us to come out because for some reason her washer wasn't draining. After much checking of washer parts and finding no problem, Larry found this clog in her drain hose.

Most of the directions for rag quilts include the admonishment to check your dryer lint screen several times during the drying process but they don't warn you that larger pieces of thread can get into your washer and clog the drain hose, or worse yet, get knotted in your drain pump.

Now most of us don't admit to our spouses the actual amount we spend on fabric but it is really hard to hide the bill from the appliance repairman! So this is just a friendly warning to anyone making a rag quilt - GO TO THE LAUNDROMAT!!!!

Not what I planned...

...but still ok. I didn't get that binding finished yesterday, but I did get another top quilted and got the binding on. This one was the third bug jar baby quilt top that I have had finished since fall of 2005. One of the three went to my niece's second son and the second went to my first grandson. I made three at once so I would have a baby quilt top made - just in case.

This morning I also got another crazy quilt top quilted and the binding is on. I usually end up with extra binding when I am done with a quilt so, since I always use the same width of binding I just put it in one of my little plastic drawers to be used sometime. Crazy quilts and scrappy quilts are great times to use them so that is what I am using for the binding on as many of the crazy quilts as I can.

I have decided that for the rest of the day I will work on the hand sewing of the bindings to give my feet and legs some time off and I can add three finished products to my tally!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Wall quilts done

It is very interesting how a power outage changes our attitudes. We got candles and oil lamps lit and spent time just talking. My son even read to me for a while. I was able to get my hand sewing done before it got dark so the two wall quilts are done and ready to take the the church.

About 11:40 the power came back on and since I was awake because Lucy needed to go out, I got up and turned off all those lights that were left on. I tried, but couldn't sleep so I got up again and surfed the net for an hour or so. So my night was not long enough, especially since my son's alarm didn't go off this morning and I had to take him to school. There were a couple of trees down on power lines on our way. A crew was working on one of those when we went past. The lights flickered again today once but I am hoping that doesn't mean we will lose power again.

Today I did the quilting on one of my crazy quilts for Project Linus and hope to finish off the binding today also. I have 6 more to get quilted and finished off soon and maybe the one baby quilt that needs quilting too. That would feel good to have 8 more items completed in the next couple of weeks!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Wall Quilt #1 done, #2 quilted

Here is the first of the two wall quilts for the preschool room all finished! I decided to use white as the binding for contrast. I thought black was too boring. I like the effect. All in all I am very pleased with both of them and hope that the daycare director and the kids appreciate them also. As I quilted them I marveled at how well I matched up the outside of the squares with the inside square. As I recall I did it mostly randomly just making sure they didn't clash horribly and contrasted nicely.

The second quilt got quilted today and the binding is on ready for hand stitching during Survivor and CSI tonight. That is, as long as we have power so we can watch TV. The Pacific Northwest is getting a bit of a windstorm today (it has already started blowing) and one never can tell when the power will go out! I love the trees here but the wind blows them down onto power lines and causes problems!

I think while my sewing table is pretty empty I will get some more quilt pinned and quilted to get some more items onto the finished pile! Because of foot problems though I can only get one quilted per day so I am not on my feet too much. Today I am going over to my good friend's house to have a massage that hopefully will help my feet and legs a bunch!

(As I was pushing the publish post button the power started flickering!)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Wall Quilt I

I got the first of the two wall quilts I am making for our church's preschool quilted and the binding on ready for me to put my feet up and finish the hand stitching! Tomorrow I should be able to get the second one quilted and bound also. I also did some mundane chores like making bread and brownies, taking care of some laundry and ironing so all it all a productive day.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The top is done!

I worked hard today between phone calls and finally finished off the Out of the Darkness quilt top!

I downloaded the pattern at the end of August 2006, made sure I had all the fabrics on a trip to Fabric Depot a week later, cut all the pieces and started sewing blocks at the fall quilt retreat that year. I got 4 or 5 of the blocks done at the retreat and finished the rest of the 10 after getting back home.

Other projects with more pressing deadlines came up so the project got put on hold until I pulled it out again for the quilt retreat a couple of weeks ago. I got a bit more done at the retreat and decided that I just needed to do a big push and finish it off so it could be marked off the list of unfinished tops so here it is! It will again be put away for awhile so I can get some other things totally finished and also get some things done around the house that are more pressing.

One of our more pressing needs is a freestanding gas stove as an alternate source of heat in case the power goes out here like it did last winter. Our need was underscored last night when the lights flickering a bit during a bit of wind. With all electric heat it gets pretty cold pretty fast! Do any of you have a direct vent propane or natural gas stove? I would love to hear from you about that.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The secret is out

Here is that project I couldn't talk about. It is a redo swap quilt because the first one I sent in September never made it to my swap partner. I was not obligated to make another but I felt bad for her to not receive one so I made this. It is one of the blocks from my Out of the Darkness quilt pattern made in fall colors. I think it turned out pretty well and I am glad that Darlene got it in just a few days!

I am continuing to work on the outer borders of the OOTD quilt. I am getting close to having all the blocks done for them and I hope to get the put together in the next day or two so I have the top done and can move on to getting the wall quilts quilted and finished so they can be put up at the daycare/preschool.

In the midst of my sewing I am answering pages for our appliance repair business, doing research on freestanding gas stoves, looking into getting our piano appraised so we can sell it, finding someone who will reupholster our antique couch, getting the business books into the computer so we can have taxes done this year and getting Jakob ready for his time in New Zealand.

Well, I guess I should stop typing and get to work on something on that list!

Friday, October 12, 2007

A little more progress

Here is my progress on the Out of the Darkness quilt. (I know this picture looks a little strange - it is because I hung the quilt upside down so the picture has to be upside down to make the butterfly right side up. Confusing, I know!) I realized as I looked at the center panel hanging in my sewing room that the purple buds should have come to a point so I ended up ripping it just enough to fix those before I added the wreath blocks around it.

This quilt uses a different process for piecing than any I have used before which makes me actually read the directions but the nice thing is that all the measurements come out right all the time if you do read the directions. The green and black strips around the center panel that I had cut in advance of any piecing actually were the right lengths to add on each time. Kind of a novel experience.

I am very pleased with the quilt so far but I am not sure I will ever use the pattern again other than maybe making the individual blocks for table toppers or wall hangings.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Smells like fall

Yesterday I made progress on my Out of the Darkness quilt top. I now have the center panel put together as you can see. I had to stop work on that to work on a different project that I cannot post about yet but needs to get done soon!

I also needed to go out and harvest some of our grapes. Our grape vines were planted years ago by my great-uncle who owned our house before us. We go to the effort to prune them each year and some years we get a few and some years we get a lot - depending on the weather. This year is one of the bountiful years. These grapes are not the greatest for eating because of the seeds and the fact that the skins are kind of tough and sour. As kids we learned that you could squeeze the grape out of its skin and swallow it and suck the rest of the good flavor out of the skin. Then they were delicious! What wasn't eaten fresh off the vine my mother made into jelly and juice that lasted through the winter.

So back to my story...I picked grapes yesterday afternoon and this afternoon I pulled them all off the stems and cooked them up for juice. The boys and I won't drink all 22 quarts of juice so I will hand most of it off to my daughter and my sister's family.These are the 11 jars of juice from the first kettle of grapes and this is just a fun picture of the foam at the top of one of the jars.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Ooops! I almost forgot...

When I got home from the retreat I had a happy little package waiting for me! It was my quilt from the Four Seasons Fall Quilt Swap from Meghan. Thanks so much Meghan! It looks very nice on my dining table.

I'm Baaaaaack!

I'm sure everyone thought (or maybe hoped!) I had just given up on the blog thing, but no, I was just out of town. Last Wednesday I drove to Sandpoint ID to my sister's home to spend some time with her family, my brother and his wife, and my daughter and grandson. We had a great time together playing with little Layden, playing pinochle, visiting and eating good food (my sister fed us a couple of family favorites). On Friday, Karla and I packed up the minivans to head to our quilt retreat on Lake Coeur d' Alene. Chelsea and Layden also started heading south and we met at JoAnn's to look for Halloween costume fabric. Chelsea got taffeta for $2 for Oli's vampire cape and muslin for her costume. You can see the cape here.

Karla and I had a good time at the quilt retreat. I worked on my 'Out of the Darkness' quilt but I ran into a snag when I discovered I was missing a few pieces of one of the green fabrics and I didn't have any extra fabric with me. So, instead of finishing that I moved on to put the borders on the two wall quilts and then worked on this year's shop hop blocks. Because the shop hop focus fabric is a Washington print, I may use that quilt as a gift for Jakob's host family in New Zealand (our 17-year-old is going to NZ as an exchange student for a year beginning in Jan/Feb 2008).

On the way home from the retreat yesterday I stopped at my daughter's house to drop off a rug (my sister had a new braided wool rug for my living room at her house so Chelsea and Oli got the old one) and a 60" X 80" folding plywood table topper to use for a work surface for quilting. I also dropped off some smaller pieces of batting from my sister that she can use for her Project Linus quilts. Layden was very pleased to help unload the batting and a few spools of thread - very cute!

I was very pleased last night when I got home that I found more of the missing green fabric in my stash since I am hoping to finish the OOTD quilt top while my sewing table is still fairly well cleaned off! Here is what I have done so far - maybe tomorrow I will have this part finished with the 10 blocks I did a year ago attached?

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Postage Stamps

Sometime in the 1980's my mother's sister, Lou, made this postage stamp quilt for my mother. It was the 'Nappy Quilt' that she shared with most of her grandchildren when they needed a nap with Oma. It has been well loved and has been mended many times over the years. When we sorted through my mother's house I was blessed with this quilt.

Sometime in the late 80's or early 90's, when my aunt was cleaning out some of her leftovers, she sent a shoe box full of the leftover pieces from this and several other quilts like it that she made at that time. I took up that challenge and decided to make a quilt for my sister. When I got started putting those little pieces together I discovered that they were not all the same size so I first had to trim them all down.Here is a picture of that quilt that I finished in time for her birthday in 1992.
There were lots of little pieces leftover still and I put them back into that shoe box and tucked them away for some other day. The other day I saw that shoe box and decided it was high time I do something with those little squares. I discovered that I had added more squares to the box back in the early 90's and that I had not trimmed all the squares down so That will be a project for this evening.

I have started hand sewing the 1 1/2" squares together into strips of 4. My plan is to make them into 16-patch blocks and then either just put them together or add some sashing. Whatever I decide, I will do this project all by hand, so don't look for a finished product anytime soon!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

It is ready!

I have been working for about 2 weeks trying to get the sewing room closer to a guest room than it has been in preparation for a visit from my brother and sister-in-law. They arrive sometime yet tonight and I did it. I turned this or something much worse than this:into this (please note the two handmade quilts on the bed (there is one more hiding underneath those two also):I am quite pleased with the results. This is the most tidy it has ever been for guests in the four years it has been my sewing room. It still has a ways to go but once I get rid of some of the boxes of fabric for Lutheran World Relief quilts and Project Linus quilts it will be much better.

I haven't really gotten much done sewing-wise. I have just been working on the hand quilting on my row by row quilt. I am happy with what I have done on it so far but there is a long way to go yet!I also took three sewing machines in to be cleaned, oiled, checked over and adjusted where necessary. My two Singer 301's and this old beast...My other project that last few days has been getting things together to take to my quilt retreat next weekend. With company in the sewing room I wanted to get a head start on the packing up.

Monday, September 24, 2007

A different kind of project

In my last post I talked about getting sidetracked constantly in my quest for a cleaner sewing room. Today I got sidetracked by a different kind of project. I had a bin in my sewing room of pictures and things to hang on my walls that I just haven't gotten up yet. I decided that needed to be tackled so I sorted through them and found all the one with black or silver toned frames and thought they would work well on my hallway wall. I laid them all out and then started looking for a couple more old photos to frame and put up also.

That got me started scanning lots of old family pictures that I have been storing for several years since we emptied my mom's house when she moved to a nursing home. Luckily, technology has advanced as it is wont to do, so I am now able to scan these pictures myself instead of having to pay someone else to do it.

This is one of those pictures - A shot of my mother and father in 1944 before they were married. It was lots of fun looking at all these pictures again and seeing my parents and grandparents likenesses in my sister, brothers, nieces and nephews faces.

I still have many more pictures to scan and I was afraid that it was going to be drudgery to do but I have found that I enjoy it and can easily get lost in doing it - almost as easily as I get lost in quilting!