Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Around and around and around...

It has happened. Jakob was out on the road. He begged me to let him drive around Black Road and then again and again. It was frightening! Alright, I guess I have to admit he didn't do too badly. We did make it back alive. I have a feeling we will be doing this each evening when we can. Before long I will have to let him drive whenever we go somewhere so he gets time behind the wheel. I always love it once they have their license and a car to drive so I can drive again!!!!!!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Better than I thought

I finished my quilt top and it truly is better than I thought it would be. The borders helped a lot. I also have to say I did four beautiful mitered corners on my borders. Let me know what you think. Now it is time to really crack down and get some denim cut and sewn. I also need to get at least 2 quilts put together for a silent auction in the next month. I just have to say that this quilt looks even better on this page - great background.
In case you are wondering, Rebecca and Jon are spending tonight in Kent, TX. It is about 160 miles east of El Paso and from her description it is pretty much a ghost town.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

I have't posted for a while so I guess I should rectifiy that. I just got home from my twice yearly trek to Camp Lutherhaven on beautiful Lake Coeur d'Alene for the Cut, Crop, Craft and Quilt retreat. I didn't see the lake much this weekend because it snowed off and on the whole weekend and this morning we woke up to between 2 and 3 inches. This time I stayed Thursday night at the camp also so I didn't end up feeling so frantic to get things done. This might not have been the best thing since it didn't seem like I got that much done! Karla and I did get a quilt top put together for a wedding gift and I finally got my 2002 Shop Hop quilt top together. I still have borders to put on it and I am not that thrilled about it but it is done so I will be adding 1 more top to my quilt count to the right today and another when I get those borders done. The best part of the weekend was spending time with old and new friends who share a love a quilting. All right, I will admit the real best part was seeing little Layden for a few hours. Nothing can make your heart melt quicker than having your grandson throw his arms around your neck and give you a slobbery kiss.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Making progress

Layden brought his mommy and daddy across the mountains to visit us this weekend. He is so adorable. I even got to baby-sit him last night and maybe again tonight while his parents have some adult time alone!!!!! Contrary to some of his mother's posts, he is a good little boy who does know what no means and he even minds sometimes! He has discovered a new taste treat - buttered popcorn rice cakes. It is something he will actually eat more than one bite of.
Meanwhile, Chelsea has hauled an old quilting project out of my newly cleaned closet and has cut some more pieces and has actually started sewing pieces together! She won't get it finished this weekend but she is making progress. She may just finish a quilt someday...but don't hold your breath! While she did start it while in high school, I have at least 25 years on her for longest lasting project!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day

I feel so special. The entire county helped to give me a good Valentine's Day because only a few people needed service on their appliances today so I got to stay home. Mostly I did stuff in my sewing room, no big projects completed or anything but sometimes it is nice to just do little things. Larry brought home carnations for me this afternoon and Jakob brought home a Valentine he made in German class. Then, Larry took Jakob to driver's ed and brought home pizza for a romantic Valentine dinner. My back says it wants to sit for the rest of the evening so I guess I will rip more jeans instead of cutting what I have already ripped.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Cramping My Style

Jakob had his first driver's ed class this evening. He goes three days a week so this is really going to cut into my sewing time! Glad I am going to my quilt retreat next week so I can get something done.

This week Layden and his parents are supposed to be coming for a visit. That should be fun and interesting. It has been over a month since I have seen that grandbaby.

Rebecca is doing well. She and John are in the Phoenix area right now.

My upper back and shoulders have been getting tight and tired so I ordered a Posture Pleaser to help me keep my shoulders back. It seems to make a difference when I put it on so hopefully it will allow me to sew a bit more than I have been able to recently.

Well, that is my story and I am sticking to it!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

A Thing of Beauty

Wow! I didn't realize this sewing room was so big! I finally got everything put where it will go at least temporarily and it is great. My sewing table has been uncovered so it can actually be used for projects! There are a couple of extra boxes in the closet right now but some go with me to the quilt retreat, never to return and I have the denim out so I can work on whittling that down a bit so there is some clutter but nothing like it was. Clear plastic bins are so great for fabric in the closet. You can see what is in there so you aren't checking each box. Almost all fabric is undercover to protect it from fading except a few pieces that I need to get into LWR quilts. All in all, it is a beautiful thing.

Our wayward neice came over last evening for a visit and to show off her new car. Maybe she and I will whip something up in the new improved sewing room!?!?!

Friday, February 9, 2007

Almost There

I stayed home from work today and worked on the sewing room. It is much improved! I took some stuff to the thrift store and some is boxed up for other venues. Had to stop to run some errands including: taking one sewing machine in for cleaning and oiling so it runs better, taking my computer in to get it cleaned up and oiled so it runs better, dropping stuff at Goodwill, getting a couple more bins for the closet (it is looking nice) and finally, taking Jakob in to get his learner's permit. So if you are driving in the greater Port Orchard area, look out! You might see Jakob on the road. He won't get to drive one of our cars for a couple weeks though until he has driven with an instructor. He won't be driving on his own until at least August 15th since he has to have a permit for 6 months.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Making Progress

We got home a bit early today so I have been able to work on my sewing room. I went through a couple of boxes of crafting supplies and projects and sorted through. Rediscovered some cool stuff I had forgotten about so I hope to work on some new things and finish some old things once everything is cleaned out. Got some more bins for fabric, supplies and projects and started filling those. Now it is time to fill some boxes with stuff I don't want so it can come out of the room so I can see what is left.

My little boy is enrolled in driver's ed. He starts classes on Monday so we are hoping to get his permit either tomorrow afternoon or Saturday. He won't start driving until he has completed 5 classes and passes the test that day. He is a little nervous but I am sure he will be fine. He was a wicked driver on the 'telephone car' when he was just a year old.

Rebecca posted today on her blog and also called - to check in and to ask for more money on her cell phone! I am not going to complain as long as she keeps calling me!

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

You can walk into the closet now but...

... you will have trouble moving around in the sewing room! I have removed a heaping box of stuff from the room and took it to the church tonight for the daycare and school. I also have a pile for the thrift store and a bunch of trash. Unfortunately I also found two more boxes and a bag of denim! I guess I shouldn't complain since I have yards and yards of fabric for denim quilt backs that I would like to use up to make room for...more fabric! I bought 8 plastic bins to put my stash (fabric, silly!) in but now they are full and I still have more fabric and some other projects that would do nicely in bins. If anyone wants a bunch of cross stitch fabric, plastic canvas and embroidery hoops they should let me know because I have a bunch and I probably will never use any of it. I think I am over my cross stitch phase.

Time To Purge

I have completed another quilt top. This one is not really denim as most of the squares are from Rebecca's old Carhartts (she sent about 4 pairs back from Alaska with me in November) but it does use the same pattern. The next top will be green with some camo denim added.

Speaking of Rebecca, since she has been unable to post on her blog and I have spoken to her several times, I will let you know that she is doing well and having fun. Last night they were about 28 miles west of Palo Verde, CA out in the middle of nowhere.

I think I have reached critical mass in my sewing room and since I can't seem to convince Larry that I need a sewing studio somewhere on the property I need to clean it out. I need to be brutal. I need to get rid of the sentimentality and just get rid of 'stuff'! I need to face facts and keep only things that I will really use - not the stuff I might use someday. Someday will probably not come and if it does I won't be able to find what I am looking for and I will go out and buy new. I think if I do this I will be able to work more efficiently in the space I have. I might post before and after pictures if I am not too embarrassed by them!

Sunday, February 4, 2007

I don't think there is a patch for this one.

I had my quilt top done before the third quarter was over. During the last quarter I might get the next one's layout done.
Some think I am a little crazy for all the denim quilts I make. I blame my problem on my sister. She got me started when we made graduation quilts for our 2001 high school grads. I was hooked right away.
I have tweaked the pattern a little. It originated as a Kaffe Fassett pattern pictured on the front of his Glorious Patchwork book. I am not sure who adapted it for denim with black strips but I just love the look.
I have made numerous quilts using this pattern, including a king size, queen size, extra long twin and 4 handbell table covers. I have used the pattern with other fabrics besides denim and they turn out well but my favorite is plain blue denims from a wide variety of old jeans. I started out tying the quilts but I have now perfected a method for machine quilting the lap quilts using my Pfaff on my sewing table. I have given about 40 to foster kids in our county for their high school graduation, several have been baby quilts, 2 went with the youth from our church to Mexico to give to the two families they helped build homes for, and on and on and on.
I think it probably could be considered an addiction but I don't think they have rehab for this addiction.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Sewing Machine Museum

I had a pretty good day today. I got phone calls from both my daughters and one niece (Jody Marie), had an awesome hot stone massage that got the kink out of my shoulder (thanks Lori!) and I finished my first denim quilt top for the year. It is my hope that between Super Bowl commercials I will be able to get another top done.

Toward the end of my sewing, my sewing machine was really complaining and slowing down. I know, I know, I should just oil it occasionally and it would do much better. The sad thing is, I did just oil it. So instead, I just pulled out my 'spare' sewing machine and kept sewing. The amazing thing is, my 'spare' sounds great, why was it the spare? And actually, it was only one of my spares. I am the proud hoarder of 11 sewing machines and one serger. My favorite machines are my three 1970's vintage Pfaff 1222's. I have 7 Singers: one Featherweight, three 99K's, two 301's and one 66. I also have one little mint green Bell portable. It may seem that I am a little crazed but in my defense, I only purchased 4 of them! Larry bought the others. I bought my first Pfaff in about 1985 after I sold my Singer Touch & Sew at a garage sale. I bought it used and I have never regretted that purchase. My next machine was inherited from my mother. It is her black 301 in a cabinet. The machine that I learned to sew on many years ago. The next came a few years ago when my Pfaff decided to give me problems just a week before a quilt retreat! My sister had seen another used Pfaff at the sewing machine repair shop near her home. On the way to the retreat I bought it as a spare for the retreat and the future. I bought my first 99K at an antique shop for my daughter to have at school in Sitka. Larry started looking at and bidding on machines on eBay and got the 3rd Pfaff. The second one then went to live with my oldest daughter and her husband as I really didn't need two back-ups! He also bought the other two 99K's, 301 and the featherweight. A friend has one of the little Bell's and I thought it would be fun to have one and got it on eBay. The final Singer, the 66 (pictured) was given to me a few months ago. I just looked up its serial number online and discovered that it was made in 1911. Not sure about the manufacturing date for all the rest but none are less than about 30 years old.

I keep telling Larry that he needs to build me a new sewing studio so I would have room for all the machines, fabric and pending projects.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Is denim like rabbits?

I decided it was time to start cutting all my denim into squares for more denim quilts. I thought, "I will go in the attic and get the box of denim I have ready to cut and then I won't have any more denim up there." How silly of me. Why did I think it was safe to put any denim in the attic. I should know that whenever I do, it just starts reproducing like the proverbial rabbits. I discovered I have three more boxes of jeans, shorts, overalls, etc. waiting to be ripped so it will also be ready to cut into squares! I guess I will just have to start ripping that this summer when I can make my mess outside. That will be my start for next winter's denim quilts. And I won't put any more up in the attic! Just too dangerous.

2 more down, 2 more to go

We didn't have a full load of calls today so Larry 'let' me stay home. I really wanted to take advantage of our beautiful weather to get more pruning done and I did. I got two more trees pruned.

That leaves two more apple trees to prune. Sadly they are the two biggest I think. Later this summer I will need to go around and do a bit more pruning of dead wood but it is hard to tell what to do right now for that.

The other sad thing is that my arms and shoulders will be angry with me for a few days because I was foolish enough to do that second tree! It was beautiful outside as you can see from the pix. The birds were singing on the trees and the cats came out to see what I was doing.