Monday, April 30, 2007

Silver Linings

Today we were fairly busy at work and barely made it home in time for me to do the roto-tilling before it started raining. Part of the problem was getting the tiller started in the first place. Larry gave it a new carburetor but it still just isn't too excited about starting. We are thinking it might just need a new engine but it is old (somewhere between 15 and 20 years now) so do we want to put the money into it? It still tills nicely so we shall have to think about it.

We got a call about 2 pm our time from our little girl. Rebecca has officially made it to St. Augustine! Her friend Raven should have picked up to hang out for about a week before she heads to Sitka for graduation. So it took her exactly 3 months to go about 3000 miles across the country on her bike. Have I mentioned that I am very proud of her? Did I have to?

When we picked up the mail today I had a box from Deb with Rebecca's round robin quilt ready for the binding. I got that on it but had a denim quilt to finish the hand sewing on so I will work on Rebecca's tomorrow. I also got the next denim top sandwiched and ready to quilt so I might get some or all of that done tomorrow also.

I don't want you think think I am not proud of my other two children so I will tell you a little about them too. Chelsea and her wonderful husband, Olaus, have been working in their front yard this spring and have made a retaining wall and 5 raised beds to grow vegetables. The beds look quite nice even if they do take over our parking spot in the front yard! They are also the parents of my most precious little grandson, Layden, who I just can't get enough of.

Jakob is my 'baby'. He is working hard at school and in the process of applying to go to New Zealand next year as an exchange student. It will be hard to let him go but on the other hand we get the house to ourselves a year earlier! One always needs to look for the silver lining.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Getting older sucks!

I have another denim quilt totally done and another close to done. That will be three. I worked outside again today and now my body complains about hand sewing! Bed is sounding so good. Tomorrow is another day and hopefully, at least one more top quilted and ready to hand sew!

Had fun at the dinner and auction last night. My quilts went for $90 and $180 so I am pleased about that. I only won one silent auction (I actually only bid on one so that works out well) for a bunch of gardening stuff. I used my new gloves, kneeling pad, trowel and pruners today. The gloves are great! I finally found some that I can use for pulling weeds. Besides cleaning up a good bit of flowerbed today I also did an initial roto-tilling of the lower garden. I used the big tiller and later this week I hope to use the small one to break it up more. I also mowed some of the hill so things are looking pretty good.

Rebecca is in Lake City tonight and heads out at about 5 tomorrow morning for her last 90 miles. Her friend will be picking her up at the end of the ride so she has to finish those 90 miles for sure.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

A pretty day

I got another top quilted and have the binding on. Finished the first one totally last night! This afternoon I worked in the yard - tied up the raspberries and weed-whacked the berry garden (maybe I will roto-till tomorrow) then I cleaned out flowerbeds and watered everything. The beds don't look too bad considering I haven't done much so far this year. The lilacs are starting to bloom so I will have to pick a bouquet for my table tomorrow. I needed a day like today to get me inspired to get out and get things cleaned up and improved. I see lots of projects to work on so I need to start spending lots more time out there!

Talked to Rebecca last night. It sounds like things are going very well and she has only two or three more days of riding left - less than 200 miles! Wow!

Now we are off to the Luther Center dinner and auction. I can see how much my quilts go for and might even bid on something for myself.

Friday, April 27, 2007

She has seen it, so I can post it

When I got home today there was a voice message from Deb. She said there was a beautiful red and white quilt top hanging on her design wall and this is it. It turned out so well. I am particularly pleased with my part of it which is the seven ladies doing their chores for the seven days of the week. Their dresses and bonnets are appliqu├ęd and the rest is red work embroidery. When I was given hers to do my part on it I looked through my old embroidery patterns for something that could be done in red work and this was the only one I could find but it was perfect. The red square in the lower right corner next to the Saturday lady says "or just quilt everyday" which would be my philosophy! This means that there are now just 6 more round robin quilts to be finished. Mine is one of them and I am excited to see it. Mine was a Christmas themed one.
Deb also let me know that she has finished quilting Rebecca's round robin quilt and it is on its way to me so I can get the binding on and take it to Alaska for Rebecca's graduation. My shop hop quilt isn't quite finished so that will come in a few days.
Rebecca was in Tallahassee yesterday so she is making great progress. I am so looking forward to seeing her in a little less than two weeks.
Well, I need to use my time wisely and get another denim quilt done so I guess my machines are calling me!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

I did it!

As an update, I did manage to get one quilt machine quilted this evening and the binding is on so I can hand sew while I watch TV tonight and I have 10 minutes to spare. That is pretty good considering I had it about one-quarter of the way quilted when I discovered that the tension was not right. The back was horrible. The good news is that made it much easier to rip out! I also broke three needles in the course of one quilt, possibly a record for me. I think I have a whole box of them so I might be able to get all 20 of the quilts done without too many trips to the store! Now it is definitely time for a cup of tea and a couple of hours with my feet up!

They are done!

I am finally finished with my last ten (for this spring) denim quilt tops! It seems like it took forever but really only about 2 weeks. Now I will get all the denim put away and haul out the flannel and other backing fabrics so I can get started on quilting. I would like to have at least one quilted by this evening so I can do the hand sewing on the binding while I watch Survivor and CSI tonight. It will come in handy to have two sewing machines so I can have one on the sewing table to do the quilting and the other on the sewing cabinet to do the backs and bindings. In theory I should be very efficient but that remains to be seen!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

There IS a faint light at the end of the tunnel

I got some flannel scraps trimmed up at Sally's tonight and heard about Cindy's trip to Alaska with her dad. Got me excited for my trip to Sitka in a couple of weeks. I got home and decided I would sew long enough to get one more top finished. I just finished it off so there are just two more to finish and one is about half done. Just another day or two and I can get started getting backs put together and then get started on the quilting.

Rebecca continues on her trek. She figures she just has 8 or 9 more days of riding, by my calculation it is around 350 more miles. It is getting very close! Wish I could be there to greet her at the Atlantic Ocean!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Another Monday

We had a fairly busy day today which is normal for Mondays. It was a beautiful day which is frustrating since I know I need to get things done outside and when I got home I just didn't have the energy to work outside. It is supposed to be nice this weekend so maybe I can get some weeding done so things start looking better.

I finished another top yesterday so that brings it up to 7 and the next one is close to being done with the 9th one started. I look forward to having the tops done. Today one of our customers told me about Long Arm University. A place in Renton that has 4 day workshops on long arm quilting. I am kind of thinking about going in the fall to see if I feel comfortable with that aspect of quilting. The class I went to last year was a joke and didn't really help me any. I shall have to save my pennies (and dollars) for that one!

I did go outside for a little yesterday. Did some digging so I could plant the hollyhocks that I got at Costco.

Tomorrow night is Craft Night at Sally's - Woo-Hoo! Always fun even if I don't really get anything accomplished. I think I will bring some scraps to sort through so I feel like I did something worthwhile besides just chatting and laughing!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Two more done!

I made up for not sewing yesterday by finishing two more denim tops today. Another is about half done. So that is 6 out of 10. I had to get more black washed, dried and ironed so I can cut more strips.

The water heater project is done and the closet is reloaded. Sorted through all the sheets that were in there so if people just put things where they belong and take them out somewhat carefully it should stay tidy.

The weather never got nice enough to talk me into getting out there. Maybe tomorrow. I seem to be a bit lazy about getting things done outside this year. Not sure what that is all about but that is how it is. What gets done will be good enough I guess. At least Larry is keeping up with some of the mowing for me.

Friday, April 20, 2007

I don't think I did any sewing today! That is quite strange for me and I am not even sick. I did get some things cleaned up this morning and then there was work and after work Jakob reminded us that we had not had our monthly dinner out (his birthday dinner didn't count). So we went out and had dinner and then stopped at Jo-Ann's so I could use my 50% off coupon that expired today. I bought a whole roll of 90" wide Warm and White! It is huge. The boys were quite impressed. I wish they carried the 124" wide stuff but they don't so I will have to use this. I am guessing it will be mostly gone by the end of May when I need to have the denim quilts done and the other auction quilt.

If the weather is good tomorrow I will head outside for some weeding and mowing and maybe roto-tilling if I am really feeling frisky.

Rebecca is still on the move. She is nearly out of Mississippi according to the message I received through Jakob (not the most reliable message-taker in the world). That will leave two or three days in Alabama and then she will be in Florida.

Where are you?

I know that a lot of people read blogs but are a little iffy about commenting. Jakob, my little computer geek, hooked me up with Google Analytics. It lets me know how many people are reading my blog and where they come from. I know that I have had visitors from all over the US, but also from China, New Zealand, Australia, England, Germany, Czech Republic and several other spots. I just don't know anything else about most of you so I am hoping you all (or at least some of you) will step out of your comfort zone and comment and tell me your first name, where you are, how you found me and maybe what some of your interests are. Just click on comments at the bottom of this post, type in your comment, click on anonymous and publish the comment. It really is easy! Thanks!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Crisis averted

It turns out the old water heater was leaking for awhile from the upper element onto at least one of the thermostats. The new water heater is in and working. No missed showers! Yahoo! Since it lives in Jakob's closet we had to pull everything out of the closet and take down the shelves so the Great Room is a mess. The mess will have to move to our bed tomorrow since Doris will be here to clean things up. I am glad she is coming the day after we moved the water heater out and not the day before!
I am close to having the next denim top done but didn't quite make it tonight. I will have to finish it tomorrow and maybe another one also. That would be great - three-fifths done!
The weather is supposed to be good this weekend so I am hoping to get some more flowerbeds cleaned up or maybe the garden or maybe make a new raised bed or maybe...
But for now it is time for sleep!


Jakob commented yesterday that the water in the shower was awfully hot. I hadn't noticed it until I took my shower yesterday. We alerted the appliance repairman and he made a service call this morning and condemned our water heater. It seems to be leaking into the thermostat and causing it to overheat. Sounds like we will be replacing it tonight. We figure it is 15 years old so that isn't so bad - a pain, but not so bad.

In other news, I got yesterday off and got to have lunch with Vicky. I even was nice and picked up Jakob from school. On our way home we got caught in a hail/thunder shower. Very LOUD!!! I also got another denim top done so that is 4 of the last 10 for this year's graduates. I keep plugging away.

Talked with Becca last night. She had a rest day yesterday. She did some figuring and she is on track to make it all the way to St Augustine as long as she has no major delays. It is just three weeks till we are in Sitka with her for graduation. Pretty exciting - our first college graduate (I am sure I will get nasty comments from Chelsea but I haven't seen that diploma!). Now I don't want anyone pointing out that Oli has graduated, I know, I was there for the graduation but not for the birth!!!

Bruce is liking his clean home and the new food/friends. There are only 6 of the 11 fish left and one of the remaining is missing parts of his/her fin. Those of you who have watched Rebecca's video of her little turtles can rest assured that her babies are fine, NO TURTLES WERE HARMED IN THE MAKING OF THAT VIDEO, she caught them when they dove off the mail box.

Monday, April 16, 2007

She's getting better

My little girl (ok, she isn't that little, but she will always be one of my babies) is feeling better and her 'wound' is also doing better. She is being good and keeping a close eye on it however. She is on the move again and should be out of Louisiana in another day or so.
I have been working on the denim and have finished #2 and I am close to finishing #3 and have #4 started. I am really looking forward to having the tops done so I can get started on the quilting and finishing. I won't bore you with pictures of all the tops since they all look pretty much the same with minor variations. Maybe I will have a picture of the pile when they are all done!
Larry got a jury summons the other day for the week immediately after our trip to Sitka so he sent it back requesting a change of date. Hopefully they will let him change it to the end of May.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Finally a clean home

No, it isn't my home that is finally clean - I don't think it will ever be 'really' clean but it is Bruce who finally got his tank cleaned. It is not my fault his home has been a bit messy, it is all his fault. We bought him some goldfish as friends/food way back in October or November and he finally ate the last one on Thursday. I told him when he ate the last one I would clean things up for him so I followed through. We do want him to trust us. Anyway, it is nice and tidy and we even added red glass 'rocks' for him to move around. He looks happy, doesn't he? He will get more friends/food soon also.
Last night I had a great time at Lori's place. Karen is now a Body Shop representative and we did a facial/make-up Girl's Night Out. There were just 6 of us including Rhianna (Karen's second daughter)and lots of great snacks and a few bottles of champagne (ok, we made it through 7 but whose counting?). No, we didn't contribute to the delinquency of a minor, Rhianna had sparking cider!
Today, is my Rebecca's 22nd birthday! I am hoping she is feeling much better and is getting ready to hit the road again if she hasn't done so already.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

One down, nine to go!

I quit cutting denim when I had enough for 10 more tops. This morning I finished the first of those 10 tops and I have another started. There is of course more denim in the attic to be used but it will just have to wait for next winter probably, though summer is a good time to rip the jeans since I can do it outside and all the little threads will be blown away on the wind.
My two quilts for the auction were picked up last night. I was asked to place a value on them for the auction booklet and just wasn't sure. Any thoughts?
The weather is starting to improve around here but spring can bring some very changing weather each day so it is hard to get out to work. I am hoping to get out some on Saturday.
Well, off to the sewing machine.....

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Feeling Better

I am starting to feel better. Had a good night's sleep last night. Yesterday both Larry and I felt pretty crummy though we did have a good day business-wise. We just sat around all evening though. I finished the binding on the quilt I am donating to the Luther Center for Learning auction while I sat around though. Here is a picture of it.

Talked to Rebecca. She is still feeling sickly and is very lucky to have found a place to stay for a few days while she recuperates.
Well, time to get my coffee made and get on with my day. Have a great one!

Big Reveal #2

The last two Round Robin quilts that were revealed for the first time last night were:
Mariah, chose purple and lime green.

Jane started hers with some jars of food and got awesome paper pieced corn cobs by Mary and 3D grapes from Cindy. Very cool!

I have a picture of Deb's quilt but since she hasn't seen it I won't post it yet. Mary, Cindy, Linnea, Nadine, Sally and I will be the final reveal. They got held up a little due to health concerns in the families of some of the participants but I am sure they will be worth waiting for!

Great work everyone!

Big Reveal #1

Yesterday evening was the big reveal in Sandpoint of 7 of our latest Round Robin quilts. Brita already got hers when she was here but the rest were seeing theirs for the first time. Here are the first four:

Karla, of course, asked for blue and white. This is not a surprise for anyone.

Teena chose a Christmas theme. This turned out so well. I especially like Linnea's two trees complete with bead 'ornaments'.

Jill's is blue, yellow and white a combination close to my own heart. It always cheers me up.

Sarah's is another holiday - Halloween this time. I did the paper pieced pumpkins near the bottom. The witch is just great and was done by Deb.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Happy Easter!

Had a good day today. I still feel kind of crummy but it didn't keep me from getting some things done. First was church where I helped with the Easter breakfast and sang in the choir and rang my little bells in the bell choir. After church I sat with my feet up and read the paper and had a cup of coffee. Then it was so nice out I decided I needed to do a little in the flowerbeds so I got some weeding done. Then I came in and found a back for a quilt and got it basted and quilted and now the binding is on waiting for Extreme Makeover and Desperate Housewives. In there somewhere I also got a couple of loads of laundry done, chatted with Rebecca (she spent a second day in Big Cane since she doesn't feel too great either), made dinner and did the dishes. For those of you who know me fairly well, you will recognize that the last two items are rather unusual!

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Spring snow?

Yesterday we celebrated Jakob's 17th birthday with dinner at Puerto Vallarta - probably his favorite place because of the fried ice cream. Last night he didn't have to clean his plate to get it though because he was the birthday boy and he got free fried ice cream once he sat through their birthday song and being fed a bite of ice cream and whipped cream by a waiter - oh, and don't forget the cherry on top! Evidently it was worth the embarrassment!
Today I feel kind of lousy with a cold or allergies or something. Not lousy enough to stay in bed but I feel kind of like a zombie! I did manage to get bread dough made along with bunny roll dough. I also boiled up the eggs and got them colored (yes, there was the ceremonial dumping of the dyes all together down the sink at the end). Most of the eggs and most of the bunny rolls will go to church for the Easter breakfast tomorrow morning though the boys will need some here too.
The weather outside matches my attitude today - gloomy and drippy! A big change from yesterday when the temps were close to 80 degrees! The rain is making the pear blossoms fall like snow from the trees outside my window.
Rebecca had a good day yesterday - she finally made it out of Kinder, LA. Not that it was a bad town, she just really wanted to be moving along.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Getting Back to Normal

The company is gone. It is just the three of us again. A little quiet but we will get used to it. Towels and sheets are washed and put away, quilts and pillows and mattress are back where they belong.
I got the day off and the weather was nicer than I expected so I did a little mowing. Nice to get the first cutting of the spring done on some areas. I also got Becca's taxes checked over and ready to mail, organized my pictures on the computer, uploaded photos and even made dinner and three pies. Now I have my feet up and we are watching some shows we have recorded - DVRs are amazing things.
Rebecca is still stuck in Kinder, LA. First a broken spoke so a wheel needs to be ordered, then the wheel is late, then it is too big. So frustrating for her. Hopefully she will have resolution soon so she can finish up the last third of her trip.
I do miss that little grandbaby, though.

Round Robin Update

We are winding up another fun Round Robin. I have done Paperbag Quilts (no, mine still isn't done), Slash The Fat Quarter (this one I got finished), Row by Row (mine is ready to quilt) round robins over the years. This one is a Border Round Robin (each person puts a border on one, two or three sides of the quilt). It has been going for over one and a half years but is finally winding down.
Rebecca got hers in January when she had all her borders done. Her theme was green and white and turned out awesome. This was her first round robin. Her top has been sent to Deb for quilting and then will come back to me for the binding.
Brita received her top on Monday evening. Her theme was black and brights with movement. She is 14 now and this is her second round robin. Her big sister, Katie helped her draw a paper piecing pattern for her center block based on fabric she found on the 2005 Western Washington Shop Hop. Hers was one of everyone's favorites.
This is Katie's third round robin and she chose a fabric for her theme and wanted an 'Asian' influence but no Koi, Komodo Dragons or Kimonos! Unlike Brita and Rebecca, Katie still has one more of the round robin quilts to put borders on but we decided she could have hers. Since it is mine she has to finish I know it will get done (or else!).
It sounds like there will be a big reveal next Monday in Idaho for the rest of the folks from there along with western Montana. It sounds like it could still be a while for the rest of us. We did learn from this round robin that 16 people is just too many. While you like having lots of people adding to your quilt, it just takes too much time. When we finish this one we are looking to break up into a couple of smaller groups for the next one.

Finally I can write...

Several posts ago I hinted that I was working on some special projects that I couldn't write about. They have finally been presented so I can show pictures and tell about them.
On Monday evening at 'Craft Night' at Sally's we surprised Karla with cake and ice cream to celebrate her 5oth birthday. Then I brought out the presents...
First was a 'quiltlet' for Karla made from a pattern and fabric featuring Matryoshkas that I bought in Sitka in November.
Next, I brought out a 'quiltlet' for Brita for her birthday in March. It was made from the same pattern as her mom's but I used a fabric I bought special for her that was black and brights. Along with it, she got the promise of a road trip to Fabric Depot sometime.
Third, I handed Karina a lap sized quilt so she wouldn't feel left out. It was a larger version of the I Spy With a Twist pattern. Karina is from Ukraine and has been with the Olsons since August as an exchange student. She is such a sweetie and she will be missed when she heads home in June.The finale was the surprise 50th birthday quilt for Karla. The blocks were made by various quilters who are either friend or family of Karla's. The only stipulation was that they be rectangular and be blues and neutrals. Katie and I put them together in a pleasing manner and then it was sent to amazing Deb to be quilted. I got it back with a few days to spare to get the binding on.
So now the secrets are out - well, at least some of them......

Sunday, April 1, 2007

A good kind of tired

We've had a busy couple of days. Friday evening Chelsea, Layden and I had a good time at Phyllis' wedding. Layden discovered strawberries and frosting. When we got home we found Larry and Oli out in the 'shop' making plans for Saturday. Stayed up late visiting even though we had to get up to spend Saturday in Seattle.
We checked out the Pike Place Market and had some mini doughnuts and belly strips before heading down to the waterfront. Ye Olde Curiosity Shoppe was a must for Karina, though she wouldn't pose with Sylvester the mummy. Lunch at Ivar's Acres of Clams was delicious - Layden enjoyed watching the seagulls begging for food outside and eating catsup with a little french fry and fish. Then we hiked up to Pioneer Square for the Underground Tour. Interesting but not as good as it was 30 years ago. We then broke into two groups and half went back to the waterfront in the hopes of getting Salt Water Taffy and four of us went to the car and drove over to the Space Needle. Karina just couldn't get enough of the view of the city from 605 feet up. Much has changed since Karla and I went up at the '62 World's Fair.
When we got home I was surprised to find a new rug in my great room. The Olson's gift to Larry and me for our 25th Anniversary, which is today.
This morning we went to church and I played bells for both services. Another surprise from Karla - 25 red carnations for altar flowers and a cake reception between services. Came home and got chicken on the rotisserie for dinner and enjoyed a good visit with George and Norma. They had to head off for a meeting and we watched The Holiday and then it was time for Handbell and Choir practice and now we are all just sort of vegging though some are playing a rousing game of Cranium.
Now a nice chat with Becca and maybe we will watch Happy Feet.