Friday, April 4, 2014

So Bummed!

After a few days of beautiful, sunny, warm weather, we have been pushed back into gloomy, rainy days.  The view outside my window resembles this photo.  And now they say we might see a few snowflakes tomorrow morning.  What's up with this!!  I realize that "April Showers bring Mayflowers", but I don't recall anything about April Snow!  Ok, I'm done whining.

The weather isn't the only thing that has me bummed this morning.  I've been working on some baby quilts for what seems like forever.  Last week I put the tops together for the farm quilt, the Noah's Ark quilt, and the Bumblebear Quilt.  It all went very smoothly.  This week, I started to put the Sock Monkey quilt together, and only had 8 blocks when I should have had 9.  I was so certain that I had done 9, so I started looking.  I looked in the living room where I sew - no block.  Then I bravely entered the sewing room (right now it's still Enter at Your Own Risk), but there was no block where the others had been.  So now, before I can finish the quilt, I have to make another block.  I don't want to have to switch the machine that's in the living room now, so tomorrow morning I plan on cleaning up the sewing room enough to get into the embroidery machine and start the needed block.  Who knows, I may even work on the mess while the machine sews.  This missing block has me so bummed, that I don't want to work on anything right now.

Somehow I hurt my back the other day, and it hurts to walk or stand.  I really believe that back pain is the worst.  I don't have Jake this morning, so I think I will read the three magazines that I got this week.  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Looking Back. . . and Ahead

Do you blog?  If you do, do you ever go back and read some of your old posts?  That's what I did today.  It's funny how time repeats itself.  Right now I'm putting off contemplating how to clean and reorganize my sewing room.  As I looked back through my old posts, I found one from August of 2011 where I was doing exactly the same thing. I did clean it once, and now it needs done again.  I contacted my local Good Will and they will gladly accept any quilting magazines or fabrics that I want to donate.  That was good to know.

I found the posts that I made when my Mom passed away.  I reread them and it made me miss her all the more.

Today I'm doing some much neglected paperwork.  I hate paperwork, but at times it needs to be done.

This weekend I need to finish those baby quilts that I started what seems like ages ago.  A few weeks ago one of Mary's friends got a big surprise when she discovered that she was pregnant.  She is thrilled, and since she has two boys, we're hoping for a girl.  So, one of the quilts will be put aside for her.

I'm so looking forward to the warmer temperatures that are being predicted.  The pond is still frozen over. Since we've not had such a cold winter since the pond was built, I'm concerned about my fish.  I looked at the seed catalogs last week, and placed our seed order over the weekend.  We have decided to try sprouting our own plants this year.  We haven't done that since the girls were little, but there were some new items that I wanted to try, like a lemon cucumber (it's shaped and colored like a cucumber and is said to have a milder cucumber flavor).  We are going to try pole beans this year, and a quick growing bush lima bean.

Hope you have a great weekend.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Big Slacker!!

When it comes to blogging lately, I am definitely a big slacker.  I guess I just haven't had much to say, or maybe my mind has been on other things.
 I took a break from the baby quilts that I was working on and started the Delightful Stars quilt.  I am hand piecing the blocks, and it's not easy since I'm using batik fabrics.  Because of the wax resist used in the making of batiks, it's a little more difficult to push the needle through the fabric.  I am currently working on Block 6, and am behind by two lessons.  Pictured above are the first four blocks. The next lesson is on paper piecing.  I'm very apprehensive about this lesson as I've never done any paper piecing.  I understand that I will have to use the sewing machine for this part of the quilt, and hope to start the paper piecing over the weekend.

I had quite a scare last week when my blood sugar spiked at 399.  I walked around the house and pushed fluids, and then started to rethink my life.  What I was doing was clearly not working, and so I need to find an alternative.  I downloaded a new book for my Kindle.  I'm less than halfway through the book and I've already learned more then I ever did from my doctor or the classes that I took.  I've changed my eating habits drastically, and added Plexus Slim to my daily regimen.  My blood sugar numbers are down to nearly normal, and I've lost 5 pounds.  I haven't been using the Victoza because it causes problems with my gall bladder. The Plexus Slim is a natural supplement which does basically what the Victoza did.  Because I feel that my health is most important right now, I have allowed many other things to fall by the wayside.  

I'm trying to decide what to do about my Etsy store.  I have to admit that it's been a huge disappointment.  I don't have the sales that I wanted to have, and have tried most everything that Etsy has suggested to boost my sales.  In the next month or two, I will make the decision as to close or not to close.  But right now, I'm concentrating on my health and praying for guidance.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Woman at Work!

This past week I was busy embroidering blocks for baby quilts.  One of our neighbors had a baby two weeks ago, and I finished the blocks for that quilt.  I also did blocks for a baby Winnie the Pooh quilt, a Noah's Ark quilt, and a Bumble-Bear quilt.  I had already finished the blocks for a sleepy-time Sock Monkey quilt.  On Saturday, I cleaned up my table and Rod took the embroidery machine back to its little nook.  All the fabric that I had ordered for sashing has arrived, and today I will begin cutting the sashings for all the quilts.

Saturday night we had a sleepover with the two older grandkids, Krissy and Bubby.  We watched two of the Star Wars episodes, and then watched Annie.  This coming weekend, our high school will be performing Annie and Krissy is in the orphan chorus.  She had never seen the movie, and as we watched it, she told us which parts were being done in the play.  Rod and I have tickets for the Sunday matinee, which will be the final performance.  I'm excited about seeing it.

The weatherman had threatened predicted a serious snowfall for this past weekend.  Fortunately for us, he was wrong once again, and we probably ended up with only about 2 inches.  With temperatures rising in the middle of the week, the snow should melt enough that Rod can get my scooter out of the basement and into the car.  Keeping my fingers crossed!  Have a great week.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Finally Loving This Machine . . . Finally

This week, I've been working with my embroidery machine.  In the past, our relationship has been a little rocky.  It seems I have a difficult time adjusting the tension to the proper spot, and my designs have white edges around each section.  When I contacted the shop from whom I bought the machine, they told me it could be my bobbin thread.  So, I bought pre-wound bobbins with bobbin thread that were made for my machine.  It helped, but still the design looked a little off.  In the past, I had always put the spool of thread onto the machine in a horizontal position secured with a "thingy" (for lack of a better word).  I'm not sure why, but on Monday when I threaded the machine, I put my thread on a vertical post with one of the "thingies" turned upside down so that it resembled a tray.  My spool fits into the tray and the thread seems to come off the spool more evenly.  And my designs look amazing.

I started to work on some blocks for baby quilts, and they were looking good.  One of our neighbors delivered her baby a few works prematurely, and I needed to get started on little Hunter's quilt.  The have a farm just up the road from us, and a farm quilt was so perfect for him. I had bought these designs from one of my favorite sites, and figured they would be so cute for a baby. I loved this set.   I have four more blocks to finish and can begin to cut the sashing.  I am just so amazed at the amount of texture this machine can add to the stitching.  I just sit here and watch it do it's thing.

The machine was working so well that I decided to do some baby bibs for Etsy.  These are six of the bibs I did.  Today I have a day off.  It's gloomy and raining outside, but I'm toasty and warm inside.  And I will continue to work on quilt blocks.  Have a great weekend.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Deja Vu. . . All Over Again

That's what I'm experiencing right now.  Once again I have let my sewing room become a "dump".  Before the holidays, while cleaning up for the holidays, and after the holidays, I took things that really should have been put away and just "dumped" them into the sewing room.  When I open the door, I just want to close it and run walk away.  I keep telling myself and all those around me that I need to start cleaning it up.  But it's one of the rooms in our house that sits above the part of the basement that is all exposed, and it's the coldest room in the house.  That's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it.  The bottom line, however, is that I just have no idea where to start.  The table is piled high with fabric, the sideboard is piled with fabric.  There are boxes of fabric sitting on top of other boxes of fabric, and they are sitting on top of still more boxes of fabric.  The shelves are pretty much stuffed, and I have no idea where to put it.  I have been pinning ideas that I think would be a big help in the organization, but I don't know how to fit it into my little room.  I read one article in which the writer said that anything that didn't fit on her shelves, was out of there.  That's a great idea, but I a tight-wad and hate to throw anything away.  Yet, I know that there are some pieces of fabric in there that I will never use.  I'm thinking that perhaps I should begin with those large pieces that I haven't used in at least two years.  If I rid the shelves of those pieces, it just might open up some spaces for the fabrics in boxes.  I have an entire large shelf that is nothing but quilt magazines - magazines that I haven't looked at since I put them there 4 years ago.  And, I think that they are out of there!!

There are some novelty fleece yardages that I bought to make hats for the family - I even bought the patterns.  Now, the patterns are too small for the kids, and I realize now that I should have used that fleece and made some scarves to put into the Etsy store.  But I think my timing is a little off, hopefully winter is drawing to an end.

So, what would you do?  Where would you start?  And how can I train myself to work a season ahead?  I'm thinking that I need a plan, a schedule.  Perhaps working 4 hours at a time in the sewing room would give me a sense of accomplishment, without feeling like I'm caged in.  Maybe I could set up one day each week when I work on personal projects for myself.  Is it possible that I need to get a notebook and start jotting down my ideas and my questions, and maybe then a solution will present itself.  But for the time being, I'm just running in circles and it's deja vu. (all over again!)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A New Project For Me

The winter blahs have set in.  I am so tired of snow and cold temperatures that I could spit - of course it would freeze immediately, so I won't.
So when I saw these fabrics to be used in a BOM quilt on, I thought it was just what I needed.  I didn't care for batiks in the beginning, but I have really grown to love them.  Without researching what the quilt would be like, I ordered the kit.  The quilt, however, is a grouping of blocks and stripes and just doesn't appeal to me.  But the fabrics were ordered, and I couldn't do anything about it.  I figured that another project for which I could use these fabrics would present itself.  I love hand piecing.  It is so relaxing for me, and the first quilting class I took was a sampler quilt that was hand pieced.  (I've made 5 so far)  Generally, I cut my pieces with the rotary cutter, mark the 1/4" line on each piece and then hand piece the block.  I find that my points are much more accurate with the hand piecing.

And, such a project did present itself.  When I saw this in a Facebook post, I knew that it was just what I was looking for.  Michele Foster has presented it in two colorways - with a black background as shown above, or with a white background.  I need to decide which way I want to make mine.  I'm leaning toward the black since I have never done a quilt with a black background.  And I think the batiks will look incredible on the black.  If you want more information or want to quilt along, grab the button on the left side of this blog.