Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Day At Home

I had a great day today! I got to stay home for almost the whole day! I headed to the church to help get things set up for tomorrow morning - The Christmas Program! Needed to make sure the handbell tables were set up before all the chairs were put out. 

I came home and made 48 cupcakes for Birthday Party for Jesus following the program tomorrow. Then I got started on various projects. The first was hanging this print. 
I got it at the bazaar a couple of weeks ago. My daughter told me I could only buy it if I promised to tidy up the grandkids' bedroom. I did that a couple of days ago. I sorted through all the toys and books and as you can see, I even have one empty cubby!
It was so great to be in the sewing room again. I quilted the butterfly quilt I put together at quilt retreat in October and got the binding ready for hand sewing. I also transfered name patches from an old pair of hubby's coveralls to a new pair and ironed several pieces of fabric that I had pre-washed. I am hoping to do more in the sewing room over then next week or so but we will see what actually happens. There are still holiday preparations that need to be taken care of. I should probably put up the tree since the grandkids will be here after Christmas.

I forgot to take a picture of the 9 owl hats before I sent them so I asked my niece, Sarah, to send a picture when she got them and here they are.  
I have the first of the next three all done and all the parts ready for the other two. 

Our son and 'grand-dog' arrived home today for the holidays so things should get interesting. I am trying to talk him into helping me get photos scanned onto a computer. I told him it could be his Christmas present to me but he wasn't sure I was worth that much!

Monday, December 10, 2012

9 Owls Flying

I am so excited! I got the 9 owl hats in the mail this morning! So happy to have them done. I even have three more ready for eyes, beak, etc. Meanwhile, I haven't gotten a whole lot else done! 

I have started working on the business computer work and I have done some cleaning around the house. Today I cleaned up the grandkid's room. It is ready for Christmas company. A few items went up in the attic and while up there I looked through some old frames I have and found some surprises. One might even be a Christmas present. Unfortunately I didn't find a frame for a cute old picture I got at the bazaar. Guess I have to go shopping! 

Tomorrow is work and then a haircut, some shopping and dinner with niece, Katie. I will also be getting my completed blocks for the round robin. Should be a good day!

I hope to do a little work in the sewing room soon on a couple of Christmas gifts. I really want to get busy with some quilting! It has been a while since I did anything at all! 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

A month!?!?!

I am a little surprised that it has been a month since my last post but only a little! It has been a bit busy around here with things other than quilting!

My daughter and grandkids were here for Veteran's Day weekend and my granddaughter stayed with us for the following week. She was such a good girl and went to work with me each day. On Friday we drove across the state to meet her mom and brother for dinner before she headed home with them and I went to my sister's for our Quilt Block Exchange Reveal. All of the quilt blocks sets turned out so well!

So the deal was that we sent along the star points and backgrounds and then everyone made the stars with a 6.5" center of their choice. You may notice that there is one that has a bonus block (someone wasn't happy with their first block) and several are missing a couple of blocks (they just didn't make it all the way around but will be finished soon). You might also notice that there is a little mistake in one block (it was fixed within an hour of the end of the reveal).

Katie's - Neutrals

 Lynn's - Christmas
 Donna - Fish
 Lynn B's - Black & White with Lime
 Martha - Batiks
 Sarah's - Aspens and Sunlight
 Marty - Fall
 Judy - Floral
 Mine - Black & White with Brights
 Karla - Summer
 Teena - Fun Cat Print
Jill - Batik Outdoorsy
Aren't they great? All but three of us were able to meet at Karla's new home for the reveal. While there we decided that we will do another border round robin so by the end of January I need to come up with my center square and theme. I am going to look through some of my orphan blocks and see if there is something that will work.

Last week was a busy one at work. Our church hosted the Community Thanksgiving Eve Worship Service which is a joint effort of 4 churches. It went so well but did add to the stress level of a short week at work! 

We had a fairly low key Thanksgiving. Our son was home for the week from school and niece Katie came over for the weekend. 

Katie, daughter Rebecca and I took part in the Holiday Bazaar at our church and did fairly well. Better than any previous bazaar I have been a part of. I wish I had had more owl hats on hand as the 8 I had on hand sold pretty quickly. I did finish one more during the bazaar which also sold and I got orders for 2 more! I also sold a quilt and a pair of mittens. Since then I have spent my spare time getting the two hats done that were ordered over the weekend and I am now working on the 9th of 9 hats for another niece. I hope to have those all done over the weekend so I can get them in the mail and start working on a stockpile of more hats!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

2 Finished Tops

Yes, the two tops are done! Here is one of them hanging up. 
I only bothered to get a picture of one since they are basically the same. It is very rainy out so taking a picture outside is just not an option so it isn't a great picture but it will have to do.

In my last post I said I was working on the last of the 120 blocks for the border but the more I thought about it the more I was thinking I didn't have the right number of blocks. I finished the last 48 and realized I needed 8 more of that type of block - no wonder I had about 8 strips of each size left over!!! I got all the blocks finished by last night and today I was determined to get the borders put together and attached!

I had the blocks made into rows when it was time for lunch. Today I made dinner for lunch so I am done cooking for the day! After lunch I spent a little time on the computer and discovered that Bonnie Hunter, over at Quiltville, had her quilt cam on so I brought the laptop into the sewing room and listened to her as I worked on attaching the border strips. 

So now those two tops can be set aside until I am ready to quilt them. One of them will likely be for the Bluegrass Festival stage next August and the other will be to sell or for a gift. 

Next project is quilting the butterfly quilt and getting that sent off to North Dakota!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Retreat Report

Had a great time at quilt retreat this past weekend. I had a total of three quilt tops cut out and had a few other projects I could work on. Everything was packed in the car and I headed across the state. Luckily, the weather was beautiful for the drive. 

One of our church's former members moved to Idaho to be closer to her niece and is in a skilled nursing facility. I didn't realize that she was so close to where I go to my quilt retreats but when I did I decided that I needed to stop in and see her. She was so happy to see someone from home and I was so glad I drove those extra miles to see her.

Spent the first night at my sister's new house and then in the morning we headed to the camp. Once my sewing station was set up I got started on my first project, a baby quilt for my cousin's new granddaughter. It is the same pattern I used for my niece's new baby girl that was born last December.
I finished the top before heading to bed the first night. Our devotion theme for the weekend was God's Butterfly Effect so my quilt top had a place of honor on the podium in front of the fireplace.

The next morning I pulled out all the strips and squares that I cut for the other two quilt tops. I decided I would work on both tops at the same time. I got both centers done by bedtime the second night.
I started on the borders on Saturday morning and worked hard at it but just didn't finish the 120 blocks needed so I packed them up and will get the last few strips on the last blocks this week maybe and get the borders on so I can share the finished tops with all of you. 

Another project I need to work on is mittens for the grandkids. My grandson asked for a new pair of mittens a couple of weeks ago and of course I said yes. He wants green and black. I have the crocheting done so they just need to be sewn up. I am also making a yellow and green pair for the granddaughter. I have the first one crochet and should have the second one done tonight and then I can get both pairs sewn up.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Two Quilt Tops

are cut out and in a bin ready to head to the quilt retreat.
I have started cutting out a baby quilt also and should have that ready by tomorrow evening. That will give me Tuesday to pull together all the other stuff I need for the retreat. Hubby has cleaned and oiled and tested three of my machines so I should be set!

This weekend I also got the quilt for Nadine basted and quilted and I have the binding ready for the hand sewing. I will probably get that done before the retreat so I can get it washed so I can see how the quilting turned out. I think it should be pretty good. Still can't show pictures of that one but I think it will be worth the wait!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Planning, Preparing and Partying

It is now about 3 1/2 months since I started working again and I am still loving it! Before I made the decision to go back to work I thought it would be a struggle to get up each morning and head off to work but the reality is that if you love your job it isn't a struggle. I'm not saying it isn't hard to get out of bed in the mornings but I don't dread work. The getting out of bed part just means I need more sleep! 

For about a year now I have been part of the 'band' at church. I don't play an instrument, I am one of the singers. This past Sunday, along with singing at worship in the morning, we led the singing at our Community Blessing of the Animals. I had Princess Lucy in her pouch on my chest and she was very well behaved. There were lots of dogs and cats but also 2 llamas, a goat and a cockatoo. Here you can see the cockatoo as part of the children's message.
After the blessing we had a party at our house. A bonus was spending time with my niece, Sarah and her significant other, Josh, who came up for the party on Saturday and spent the night. They also helped with getting things made and set out since I had the Blessing of the Animals right before the party. 

Luckily the house wasn't too much of a mess and the yard was pretty good. We made a number of tasty treats and made sure there were plenty of beverages and then guests also brought treats. It was an awesome spread! 

The reason for the party was a final goodbye to my good friend, Karen, and her family. Karen, Louie and their two youngest children left for Japan on Wednesday. Their two older kids are in college and so will be staying here. The party was also a chance for people to get the tour of our daughter's little house on wheels and my garden shed. 

As far as I could tell, the party was a total success!

I have spent some time in my sewing room. I made the following two blocks for the Flickr Quilt Block Exchange. I have received one of my blocks in the mail so far but haven't gotten a picture yet.
I have the top for the quilt exchange done and have a back for it so I am hoping to get it basted this weekend and maybe even get it quilted. Next week I am heading to the fall quilt retreat so I am working on getting some things together to work on. I hope to have everything cut for three tops and then I have at least one quilt that needs a border. I also got a box and a bag of t-shirts to prepare for a quilt this week so that will probably come with. 

Well, its time to get in the shower and head off to work. Have a great day!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Great Adventure

Last weekend, my husband and I embarked on an adventure with our grandkids. Our daughter had a field trip for school and our son-in-law works the weekends so I said sure, we would take care of them. We decided to make it an adventure so I looked into what was going on around there and found out about some hot air balloons that were going to be in Spokane Valley and we booked a room. Not just in any hotel, but a hotel with a pool! 

We drove across the state on Thursday and got to have dinner with our niece in her apartment and then spent the night at our son's  apartment. On Friday we headed to our daughter's house and I got to pick up Miss Clara from her bus after preschool and then after we got the car packed we picked up Sir Layden at his school and headed to Spokane. 

We got checked into the hotel and headed for dinner followed by some fun in the pool. The kids were so good and went to sleep so nicely. Only problem, I was awake at 11:30 because we forgot to make sure the air-conditioner was on! The kids were up with the birds so we got moving pretty early. The kids were pretty impressed by the breakfast buffet at the hotel and we went off on the next part of the adventure. We saw 2 hot air balloons as we drove along. The kids didn't know where we were going but when we stopped and my sister came out of the front door of her new house Layden nearly knocked her down!

We got a tour of the new house but the only thing the kids were interested in was the toy storage closet under the stairs! We pulled out the duplos and train tracks first and then the cars. They had a great time!
Then it was time for lunch. Karla gave the kids each a rag and they cleaned off the picnic table and put up the umbrella. 
As soon as lunch was over we needed to pull out marbleworks. That was a huge hit! We built and tore down and built and tore down, etc. 
We also took a walk to the playground and went out for ice cream cones.
Following pizza dinner we got in the car for the next part of the adventure. The plan was to go to the Balloon Glow. What is that line about the blest laid plans? We got to see one of the balloons lit up just briefly before they took it down because the wind had picked up. Plan B - buy a movie and some microwave popcorn and head back to the hotel. I think the kids were just as happy with Plan B!
After another breakfast at the awesome breakfast buffet we did some shopping. First some clothes
and the some toys. You would think it would have been a long ride home but they chatted away about the contents of the boxes on their laps!
As soon as the car was unpacked the construction of Hogwarts Castle began!
It was only about 1/3 complete before bed - Legos have gotten way more involved than they were when I was last involved with them.

It was an amazing weekend and what I've listed here is only part of what we did. We were so exhausted. There is a reason we had kids when we were young! Now that we have had a bit more restful weekend I think we are back to normal, whatever that may be.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Machine Overload!

We have been doing some re-evaluating around our house. Deciding what to keep and what to get rid of either by giving it away or selling it. My husband especially has been purging out in his shop. He has collected a lot of sewing machines over the last few years and needs to thin that collection out. I also have a few machines I am ready to get rid of. Here are pictures of some of them. Here is a Singer hand crank model

Here is another old Singer with very fancy decals
This is one I got at an antique store and my daughter used it when she was in college.

This is one of two treadle machines I have. This one has the prettiest cabinet but I like the look of the other machine so this one is going to go.
Here are some of the others that are going. All of our machines are at least 50 years old.

And finally, I am selling my Featherweight. 
I bought it because so many people rave about theirs and how much they love Featherweights but I just wasn't that taken with it. It is a nice machine but I have others that I like more and I just don't have space to store so many.

All of these machines are for sale, along with others and some cabinets that at least some of the machines will fit in. If you or anyone you know is interested in one or more of them, let me know.

Three Weeks!

I have been finding it hard to sit down and write something worthy of posting on this blog. I wasn't getting much done in the sewing room because of work and recuperation so no pictures or news! Things were happening though. I am enjoying working again as a church secretary and, as of Tuesday, I no longer have the bookkeeping portion of the job to do. I will still be doing some training but I don't have to do the work!

My sister was here for Labor Day weekend for a meeting but, as always, she was multi-tasking! We celebrated her oldest daughter's birthday (that is my niece, Katie), canned a picking of my green beans, picked blackberries, did the hand-sewing of the binding on a wedding quilt, helped me shop for some new clothes for work and went to the wedding of Katie's former roommate. I got to tag along to the wedding (isn't that what little sisters do?). They had a photo booth at the reception to get pictures of the guests for the guest book. We got to keep one strip and here is the best of the 4. That's me on the left and my sister on the right.
People say we look alike but I don't see it so much. The wedding and reception/dinner were at the Weyerhaeuser Mansion in Tacoma, WA. It was a beautiful old building. Here is a picture of the ceiling in the room where the dinner was held. Wouldn't that be a beautiful appliqued quilt?
Once I was finally done with my antibiotics I really started feeling good again. I am now getting used to going to work everyday and I think because I have less free time I am getting better at using it wisely. I still have almost a week before I can get back to my usual activities and I am sure it will take some time to be able to do the work outside that I used to!

I realized that the quilt exchange my friends and I do each year (here and here) was coming up very soon and I hadn't even come up with a plan for the one I am doing for Nadine. I started searching on the web for some ideas for my project and found some pictures of one on Flickr that I thought would be great. There was no information about the pattern but I was able to draw it out and got started cutting and sewing. I got most of it together but there were no pictures of the corners of the quilt so I am waiting for the person who originally posted the pictures to post a shot of the corners. She has said she would. Once I have that picture I should be able to get the last 16 blocks done and then get it quilted and finished. Hopefully in plenty of time for the reveal!

One of my best friends is moving to Japan for 3-5 years because her husband is being transferred there for his job. She is in the middle of sorting through the house they have lived in for 15 years with their 4 children! She found some fabric that was her mother's (she lost her mom 14 years ago) and she gave it to me. I have trimmed them all to 5.5" squares and sewn them together. I need to add some borders so it will be a nice sized lap quilt and get it quilted so I can present it to them as a going-away gift.

Another friend of mine has a granddaughter getting married in a couple of weeks and she made a quilt for her and asked me to quilt it. In the last couple of days after work I got it basted and quilted so I can deliver it to her today with plenty of time left for her to get the binding done.

Well, that gets us caught up for now. I keep thinking I will be better about blogging but part of my problem is that I need to have my computer updated as I just don't have room on it for all my photos. Hopefully I can get that done in the next couple of weeks and then I should be better about posting, especially as I get back into the sewing room and accomplish something!