Monday, March 28, 2011

Bigger is NOT always better

And such was the case of the new wheelie chair.  Oh it was big.  But when I sat on it, it was like little Edith Ann of Laugh In days.  My feed didn't touch the floor.  What good is a wheelie chair if you can't push it around??  After using it one afternoon, and having to use my tippy toes to stay on the chair, I had serious leg cramps through the night.  So I called OfficeMax customer service to see if I could return the chair to our local store.  "Oh sure" the gentleman replied.  "Just print out your email confirmation and return it to the local store for a full refund."  I was ecstatic.  Sunday morning, Rod borrowed a truck from the girls and returned the chair to the local OfficeMax store.  They refused to take the chair since they don't stock that chair in their store.  We could leave it for pick-up, but wouldn't get our money until the chair is received in the warehouse.  Rod left the chair, got the return numbers, and no money!  So the $370.00 I paid for the chair is still in the hands of OfficeMax.  Rod left and refused to buy anything else there.  He went to Costco and bought me a wonderful chair for $79.00.  And now, I can sew again.

But I made good use of the down time by watching videos on YouTube on free motion quilting.  I know that, like most acquired talents, it takes a lot of practice.  On one of these free motion quilting videos shows how the video-grapher uses a "basting wall" to baste her quilts.  We have a little room which mostly serves to hold junk, and there is one wall that is pretty much empty.  Rod decided he could make such a basting wall, and so on Saturday am we took off for Joann to buy basting spray.  The video-grapher recommends 505 basting spray, but Joann didn't carry that brand.  I bought another, and the push pins to pin the quilt onto the wall.  Once we were home again, Rod and I cleaned out that room pretty much, and used some leftover ceiling tiles to begin the wall.  Rod bought a sheet of plywood so that the basting wall wouldn't be permanent, and after screwing the plywood to the wall, began stapling the ceiling tiles to it.  And now, I have a basting wall.  Tonight I hope to iron my brown bag quilt, and get it marked for quilting.  And tomorrow I plan to piece the backing and begin basting.  I've never marked a quilt before, and so will search out some YouTube videos on quilt marking.  I'll keep you posted on my progress.  Hope you have a great week.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Wow, That was Fast!!

After trying to use a folding chair at the sewing machine, I knew that I needed something better.  So, Hubby went to Walmart and bought a nice "little" chair for $20.  He figured it would be a temporary replacement, and wanted me to order a better one.  I have to admit that I was a little apprehensive about putting my plus-size bottom on the "little"  $20.00 chair, but had to give it a try.  I was back on my feet in just seconds, afraid to be on that chair after the other one broke.  So, on Wednesday morning, I began searching the internet for my new chair.  I finally decided to order from OfficeMax.  (They are a member of, and so I get a rebate) and placed the order.  In the product description, it said that the chair would ship in "3-5days".  I could live with that since I'm a pretty patient person.  Wednesday night I got an email saying that my chair had shipped, and it was delivered yesterday afternoon.  The box was huge, and I told the delivery person to just leave it on the porch.  The product description had said that some assembly was required.  How huge must the chair be???  When Rod got home, he opened the box and lifted the chair, completely assembled, out of that box.

Here's the new chair.  It looks like a throne, just perfect for a Queen Bee.  But do you see all those levers?  There was no instruction booklet with the chair, and now I'm afraid to touch any of those levers.  What if one is an ejection lever???  And how will I know which one???  As Yul Brenner said in The King and I, "Tis a puzzlement".  Wish me luck.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Brown Baggin' It - Ready to Sandwich

Not such a good photo, but the quilt top is finished.  Now it needs a good pressing and is ready to sandwich.  I've been debating about adding a solid outer purple border, but think I'll just leave it the way it is and use the purple as a binding.  I've been looking at videos of free motion quilting on YouTube, and hope that since this quilt is for me, I can try out some new things.  Have a good day, Toodles!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Great Saturday Night

Last night Mary and Jimmy were in invited to a political dinner.  He's an officer in his local union, and they occasionally receive these invitations.  Many times it's a boring evening, to be sure; but it's free food and an evening out on someone else's nickel. Last night, the food wasn't even good.  But they had a nice time with friends.  

Our Saturday night was much better than theirs.  Krissy and Bubby stayed with Pappy and I.  Krissy had requested hot dogs on the grill for dinner.  And for snack, one of Pappy's famous milkshakes.  ABC Family provided the evening's entertainment.  They are having a Harry Potter weekend.  Krissy is reading one of the Harry Potter books, but had never seen any of the movies.  She got so involved in the movies that she didn't hear when you talked to her.  According to Krissy, the only good thing about commercials is that you "get a chance to go pee".  Bubby fell asleep on the floor about 9:30, but Krissy stayed awake until her mom and dad got home.  The movie wasn't over until 11, and Kris wouldn't leave until she saw the end.  All in all, it was a great Saturday night.  Toodles!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Another Friday

And today I've been taking stock of what I accomplished this past week.  I posted photos of the farm quilt that I got put together for the Saddle Up.

 I wanted to do the Henrietta Whiskers quilt for Kristina (her dad calls her Squirrel).  This quilt is sponsored by Bunny Hill Designs as one of their free patterns. Each month they post the new block on the 5th of the month.  This block is Block #1, and I'm so glad to have it finished.  Piecing has never been my strong suit, but I'm finding out that a 1/4" foot, and a hot iron can make all the difference in the world.  The fabrics that I used for Henrietta are hand dyed fabrics by Cherry Hill Fabrics.  Their fabrics are so beautiful, many times resembling suede.

This is Block #2. This is Henrietta's friend Sophie.  I still need to embroider her eye, and a necklace of buttons will be added after the quilt if finished.  I love the scrappy blocks, I can use my favorite fabrics and make the quilt "mine".  I guess kits are available, but when I have such a large stash, why would I buy other fabrics.

Block #3 is available now, and I've downloaded it.  It is Henrietta pulling a wagon on acorns.  Hoping to get it finished over the weekend.

I used my Accuquilt GO cutter to cut the parallelograms for this star.  I'm going to add white for the corner squares and the triangles, and am planning to sash it with black/white paisley fabric.  I ordered the GO dies over a week ago and still don't have them.  When I checked last night, they said my order was "processing".  This morning I will can and cancel that order.  I can cut the 5" squares myself, and I'm so angry that my order has taken so long and still isn't shipped.

I'm very pleased that I accomplished so much, eliminating Facebook games has made a big difference in my life.  I'm accomplishing so much in those hours that I was "gaming".  Have a good weekend.  Toodles!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Say Hello to my New Best Friend.

Oh, Yeah!!  This is my new best friend.  I love to get salad in a restaurant, on a salad bar, but never at home.  Never could understand why.  Then Daughter Kristin suggested that I try a salad spinner.  And I'm eating salad again at home.  It's absolutely amazing.  The dry lettuce and other salad makings hold the dressings better, and they keep for days in a plastic container in the fridge.  Daughter Pam loves the salad spinner - I think my salad ingredients are most definitely dizzy when Pam's cooking. She loves to pull that string. I told her that she needs to alternate arms so that her upper arms remain the same equal size.  Kristin believes that if you pull the string in a certain way, you can work upper arms and your abs.  But seriously, it does make a big difference.  Last night all the kids came for dinner.  And Mary made steak salads.  In case you don't know, here in the Pittsburgh area, steak salad is a big thing.  All your favorite veggies are in there, hard boiled egg, cheese, many times ham, your steak, and especially French fries.  I like to add dried fruit, sunflower seeds, and bacon bits.  Add your favorite dressing, and you have a meal in a bowl.  And mmmm it's so good.

On Monday, Jake decided to gnaw on Grammy's finger, and lo and behold, there was a tooth on the bottom.  And Monday was his 4 month birthday.  Then last night, he bit my finger again, and there's a little tooth coming through on the top.  Kristin said that "the book" said he shouldn't cut teeth until 6 or 7 months.  But I guess Jake hasn't read the book.   Off to the sewing room.  Toodles!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Taa Daa!!!

I was a busy Lindabee this morning.  I put the farm quilt together.  This is made from the blocks that I did with the applique embroidery. I had wanted to do a churn dash quilt since it's one of my favorite patterns.  Since these blocks are 15" blocks,  I didn't need to add any sashings.  I really love how it turned out.

I wasn't getting the kids today, so this was supposed to be an "accomplish a lot" sewing day.   I finished putting this quilt together and started to iron fabrics for a couple of blocks, when suddenly I found myself  lying flat on my back on the floor.  I had no idea how I ended up there.  I looked over and there was my "wheelie" chair broken in two.  The weld that holds the seat to the pipe had broken and thrown me onto the floor.  I'm normally not a person who cusses a lot, but I let the "f-bomb" fly at that chair (along with a few other choice words).  And then I realized that, like the old lady on the commercial, I had fallen and couldn't get up.  Not having her medical alerting device, I reached the phone, and called daughter Pam (who works from home).  Pam was here in minutes, but we had no idea how I would get up.  Normal people could simply have gotten onto their knees and then stood up.  But, my knees are so bad that I can't even kneel in church.  So, we called for SIL Jimmy, who is strong as a horse.  When he walked in, I was sitting spread eagle on the floor.  "What are you doing down there", he asked.  I replied, "I thought I could see the TV better from here, but I was wrong."   In minutes, he had put his arms under mine and lifted me to a standing position.  Hmmm, was I OK?  I was awake, always a good thing.  I could walk, I could laugh at myself, and nothing felt broken.  I was OK.  Now, three hours later, I have a slight headache and I'm about to return to the sewing room.  And then maybe I'll burn that *#$@@*& chair just to show it who is boss.  Toodles!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Spring Forward????

Can not understand why they say "Spring Forward".  Most of the people manage to crawl slowly forward.  And it keeps happening earlier and earlier.  I had completely forgotten that we were supposed to turn the clocks on Saturday.  Imagine my surprise when I left the bathroom at 3:45am and arrived in the living room at 4:45am.  I mean sometimes I'm slow, but let's be realistic -- an hour to go 12 feet.  And we have a "monster clock" (as SIL Jimmy calls it) in the living room.  It's a radio controlled clock, and is supposed to change all on it's own.  But my clock doesn't like this whole time changing thing either.  I can't tell you how many times yesterday, I looked at the clock and the hands were just going around and around.  But I will admit that I love the fact that it stays light later in the evening.  My dad used to say that he would rise but that he wouldn't shine.  I guess I'll go forward, I just won't spring.  Have a good day.  Toodles!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Oh, NO

Remember my post about the best laid plans. . . . well, I was a little too optimistic.  I started to put all the churn dash blocks together.  I had enough of the HST's cut and pieced.  So far, so good.  But then I started to put the strips together.  Not very much farm fabric left.  Did what I had.  Then I started to put all the blocks together, and lo and behold, there weren't enough strips for all the blocks.  But there was no more farm fabric.  So, I have ordered more farm fabric, and that quilt is now on hold.

Move on to the next quilt.  I had wanted to do some sort of star block with all my different bandana fabrics.  I figured I could use my AccuQuilt GO cutter to make it a little faster.  Found a block that I liked, but no directions included.  I knew it used the parallelogram, but wasn't sure of what other dies I needed to make the star.  This morning I cut the parallelograms, and laid them out and then measured to see what pieces I needed.  From what I measured, I need a triangle, (which I have the die for) and a 5" square.  I don't have the die for the 5" square.  I'm going to the Lancaster show next Friday and I know that Accuquilt will be there.  After all, I bought the cutter there last year.  So, a 5" square die is on my shopping list..  And that quilt is on hold.

Now I need to decide which quilt to do next.  Hopefully one that won't be put on hold.  Toodles!

Monday, March 7, 2011

I Love It When a Plan Comes Together. . .

To quote Hannibal from the A-Team.  I had such great plans for the applique embroidery quilt, and so many times great plans fall by the wayside.  However, not this time.  Although the 4-1/2" blocks looked way too "tight" for a  12" churn dash block, I used the 7/8 rule, and did 15" blocks instead.  And they are perfect.  The 5-1/2" center block looks in exactly the right proportion.

Over the weekend, I finished the applique blocks using the fabric glue stick, and they turned out really good.  I have all 12 squared to 5-1/2".  I also got the HST's cut and sewn, ready to press and square.  And the strips pieces are sewn, ready to press and then cut to length.

I also finished the last block for the brown bag quilt.  They are all pressed, and ready to square up to 12-1/2".  I picked out the fabrics for sashing and borders, so hopefully I can get them cut this week.  All in all, I think it was a very productive weekend.  Hope you accomplished all that you wanted.  Toodles!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Think I've Figured it Out

Some of my best ideas come when I'm sleeping.  I had told you that some of the fabrics were pulling out of the satin stitching on some of the appliques.  Another problem I was having was that the fabric was "loose and bunching".  Here on the tractor, you can see loose fabric.  Wasn't quite sure what to do about it.  Some people had suggested using fusible webbing under the fabrics.  But that involved keeping a warm iron at my side when embroidering.  I have enough trouble keeping track of my tools, and a hot iron would not be a good idea.  But then someone mentioned they hold their stabilizer to the fabric with washable glue.  So, I queried, why wouldn't that work with the applique fabrics.

And if you look here on the top of the sheep, you can see where some of the fabrics pulled out of the satin stitching.

So, when the machine is stitching the applique, it stitches an outline to show where the fabric is supposed to go.  At this point, I used my fabric glue stick and applied it to the inside of the stitching line before placing the fabric and smoothing it down.  Then the machine sews another line to hold the fabric in place.  So far, so good.  I did this with each fabric and then moved onto the next step.

And, voila, as you can see from this photo of the turkey, no fabric bunching, no fabric pulling out of the stitching.  And I'm a happy camper.  Now, I will redo the ones that I'm not happy with.  Good thing I ordered a lot of background fabric.  Have a good weekend.  Toodles!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I'm Getting There...

Slowly but surely.  As they say, "slow and steady wins the race".  I'm not so sure about that right now.  I've said before how much I love to hand piece my blocks.  And that's why I decided to do a sampler quilt with hand pieced blocks for the brown bag swap that I'm working on.  It's most definitely slow, and I'm working steadily, but for sure I'm not winning any races.  I finally finished block #11 and am starting to pin block #12 - the last one.  Two of the blocks gave me fits!!  The Celtic Sunrise block went to the trash after my frustration level had hit it's limit.  The other - Bird of Paradise - was easily fixed, and is finished.  And the last block, which is called Double Spinwheels, should be fun.  I have always loved pinwheels, and even as recently as last year, bought pinwheels to put in my garden boxes.  So, saving this block for last was a good thing . . . I think.  I'll let you know in a few days.

I'm still working on my applique embroidery.  I have 6 of the 12 blocks done for the farm quilt.  I'm hoping to finish those blocks this week, so that over the weekend I can get the sewing machine out and finish some sewing projects.  This week I have been drinking my coffee as soon as Rod brings it in, and then I'm up and dressed.  I feel like I'm accomplishing something.  I do believe that the fact that the sun has been shining a bit more and that the birds are beginning to sing has something to do with my mental improvement.  I hate the way the winter drags on, but I know in my heart that I wouldn't be happy living anywhere but here.  I love the changing of the seasons, just when you get tired of one. . .  poof - another shows up.  And, my blood sugars have been more in line, a fact that I'm sure ties into my mental improvement.  I'm just not sure which one is responsible for the other -- but I'll take it without question.  Hope you spring is on it's way.  Toodles!