Monday, January 30, 2012


Today was my weigh-in day, and I'm so excited that I would do a cartwheel if I could.  My weight is down another 2.8 pounds, for a total of 8.5 pounds in the last six weeks.  Check out my other blog to see what I'm attempting to help me with my numbers and my portion control.  My next area of concentration is forcing myself to move more.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Projects on Hold

All my other projects are on hold right now because I have something very important to make.  The Outreach
Group at Mary's church has agreed to do a spaghetti dinner to benefit little Becky.  She has to have chemo for the next 12 months, and medical insurance will only pay for one prosthetic eye every 5 years.  We all know that a 4 year old is going to grow very quickly, and this seems so unfair.  Mary and my niece Becky (little Becky's her namesake) have discussed making some gift baskets to raffle at the dinner, and I have decided to make a quilt to raffle.  The dinner is the first Thursday in March, so I should have plenty of time to put something simple together.  Since our area is definitely Steeler Nation, I'm going to cut 6-1/2" squares of Steeler fabric and gold fabric with my AccuQuilt GO cutter, and just put them together alternatively.  I have Steeler fleece to put on the back, and can just do a diagonal quilting.  Hopefully this will raise some good money to help them out.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


No, No, don't get the wrong idea.  I love sewing, but hate quilting.  I love finding patterns, choosing colors and fabrics,and piecing tops.  But I hate the quilting part.  If I were rich, I'd pay to have all my tops quilted professionally. For me, quilting seems to take forever.  Remember when I said I felt the need to finish something.  The very next day I finished the Farmer's Market top and pinned it on the fleece, ready for quilting.  I don't know if I do too much quilting or if I'm just slow, but it's still not finished.  The quilting is finished and all I have to do is the binding.  But when I have the kids during the day, I don't like to go into the sewing room and leave them in the living room.  And there's way too much stuff for Jake to get into in the sewing room - believe me. Usually I have Tuesdays to sew, but yesterday with Rod home to get the car inspected and Kris and the kids here most of the day (she had a bad migraine), I got nothing done.   So now my next chance to sew is Saturday.  Do you do all your own quilting?  Any tips?  I'm trying to come up with a plan to put money aside each pay into a "quilting fund".  Any ideas?

We got some really bad news yesterday.  My niece learned yesterday that the cancer has spread to little Becky's blood, and she will need to undergo chemotherapy.  She starts her first round today, and Friday is her 4th birthday.  Please continue to pray for Becky and her mom.

Friday, January 20, 2012

What a Great Idea!

My friend Nancy has just moved into a new sewing room, and today posted photos of that room.  My favorite part of Nancy's new room is her dry erase board.  Nancy has her word of the year on the board and then has listed the projects she is working on.  I think I may need to get a board like this.  Maybe not so big, but I think it may help me.  If you recall, my word of the year was organize.  I had such great intentions, but they seem to have fallen by the wayside.  I'm thinking that if I listed small organizational projects on my board, then I could do one at a time and cross them off or erase them.  By dividing my overwhelming mess into small projects, it might encourage me to take just an hour at a time and accomplish something, instead of sitting there with my head in my hands wondering where to start.  Small steps=large leaps.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Block One

It's time to start thinking about quilts for the Saddle Up again.  I make the quilts about 42" x 54", and usually back them with fleece.  If you would like to donate a quilt for this purpose, it would be accepted gladly.  The money raised with the quilt raffle benefits St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, a great cause.  This is one of the quilts I did for last year's Saddle Up.  It was a star made with bandana fabrics.

I wanted something to hand piece, and thought I would do the Dresdan Plate Club as a hand project.  It didn't work out, it just didn't lay right.  So I decided to do a sampler quilt using western fabrics and use it for the Saddle Up.  I have just finished the first block - Pinwheel.   I finished it up this morning, before I headed to the sewing room to cut another block.  I like to get most of my patterns from Quilter's Cache.  If you have never checked out this site, you might want to give it a look.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Wednesday Whine Fest on Tuesday

Bear with me while a whine a little.  I have this ringing in my ears - I used to laugh at my mom when she said she heard crickets all the time.  But the joke's on me because now I hear locusts.  They say it can be caused by too much aspirin, etc., and since I take 4 Aleve each day for my knees, I decided to cut back.  I was a little afraid of how much the pain would increase, but so far, so good.  Pain is no worse, but locusts are still there.  This has been the worst winter I've ever had for sickness.  Seems like I have a cold or sore throat constantly.  I'm blaming it on the lousy weather.  Today the high is 52 degrees, tomorrow 28 degrees.  Today - rain, tomorrow - snow.  Jeez, it's no wonder I can't kick this nasty cold.

The last couple of weeks, I've been feeling a little out of sorts.  I can't seem to put my finger on it. Maybe it's just a form of cabin fever.  I have the kids at some point during each day Monday through Friday.  Some days it's only 4 hours, other days it's 10 hours.  So, on the weekends, I just want to stay home with Roddy.  Every Friday I think I will get a lot accomplished, but usually I end up doing nothing but reading and playing games.  Rod tells me I shouldn't feel guilty, but some weekends I do. The house is so cluttered with things we hate to throw away but are tired of looking at.  This past weekend, we joked that we should buy a new house, move out what we want to keep, and leave the rest for the buyer.   No, we're not buying a new house, but it was a thought. The sewing room isn't looking any better than it did.  Once I'm back there I don't want to clean, I just want to sew. OK whining has come to an end.!!

Saturday morning I woke up feeling the need to "finish" something.  I have so many projects started and don't seem to finish anything.  So, Sunday morning, I put the last two border sections on my Farmer's Market Quilt, got it pinned onto the fleece, and cut and sewed the binding.  This morning, I began quilting.  This photo is only part of the quilt, but you can see that I put the blocks together with assorted bumblebee fabrics.  (You do find bees at the market).  So far I have quilted all the bee fabrics with a black/grey/white variegated thread in a loopy free motion to resemble the bee trails.  I've quilted circles in the tomatoes, cherries, and the apple, some of which aren't pictured.  Now I'm ready to start the backgrounds, and haven't decided what to do.  I'm thinking I will put on the walking foot and just do some straight stitching in the backgrounds.  Just an all over stippling would be faster, and then I could straight quilt the borders.  Mmmm, back to the sewing room.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Getting Started

This morning I began cutting the blades for my Dresden Plates.  As many of you know, I love to hand piece and I've decided to hand piece the plates. It gives me something more constructive than playing games on Facebook to do during the day when the TV only displays kids programming.  This morning, I cut some of the blades, and marked the 1/4" seam allowances on those.  They are in a plastic school box along with my thread, scissors and pincushion.  And so, I'm set to get started.  I love these little plastic school boxes and use them for so many things.  I buy them in August or September when they are on sale for 99cents  or less.  And the lids are so many different colors.  I have one with all my "tools" in, marking pencils, pens, tape measures and my little wooden stick iron.  In another is all my rick rack; another holds the moisture beads for neck coolers.  In still another are all my fabric markers.  Most recently, I started to use one for the pieces that I cut for baby doll clothes.  The pieces are so little, and this keeps them all in one place and totally under control.  It's just too bad I didn't keep the pattern pieces in one or I wouldn't still be looking for the strap for Tinkerbell's dress.  It's supposed to be a cold, windy, snowy weekend. Steeler football has come to an end, so I should accomplish a lot this weekend.  Stay warm.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Oh, No - A Speed Bump

You think that you're moving right along and then, ooof, a speed bump. I started cutting the strips for the Plate Club, and discovered that I have no blue dots. I know, it's unbelievable. I thought I had a lot of dots, but as it turns out, I don't have as many as I thought. I have some fabrics that are ovals and I think they will work. I have also used some that are little flowers and look like dots, but nothing in blue. I promised myself that I wouldn't but any new fabrics for this quilt, but . . . Hmmm.  These are the fabrics I've cut so far.  The black on the far right is a floral, but I like it.  The green two strips to the left is also a floral, but it's a 30's repro and I think it looks OK.  The brown is also a floral, the orange on the left is swirls, and the last black on the left is triangles and I'm not sure about it.  The hearts look pretty good, I think.  But I really think I need some blues.  Maybe I can find something on sale really cheap since I've already gone over my quilting budget for the month.  See you later, I'm going hunting.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

It's a Sunny Morning

Sunshine always gives me a little boost to do what needs to be done.  I don't have the kids today since it's Kris's day off, so I'm heading to the sewing room to start cutting blades for my Scrappy Plate Club.  Only problem is that I'm not sure which fabric I'm going to use.  I have lots of 30's repro, could use them.  But then I also have lots of veggie and fruit fabrics.  I think they would make a beautiful quilt.  I also have a lot of Disney fabrics, and I have been thinking that if I use them, I could call the quilt "Chef Mickey's".  It's one of our favorite places to eat while in Walt Disney World, and you get it . . .  plate, eat, Chef Mickey.  Well, maybe it is a stretch, but I know right where all the Disney fabrics are and can just reach under the table and pull them out.  Okay, here I go and I hope the light bulb comes on while I'm walking from here to there.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Update on Becky

This is Little Becky, the family calls her "Boo Boo".  She will be 4 at the end of this month, and was diagnosed last week with retinablastoma, a form of cancer.  Unfortunately, her pediatrician has been telling her mom for about six weeks now that it was either allergies or an eye infection.  Her mom was smart enough to realize it was something more serious, and took her to a specialist.  This morning Becky and her mom and dad met with an oncologist at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and a biopsy was done.  Surgery has been scheduled for Wednesday to remove Becky's left eye.  After some time for healing, she will be fitted for a prosthetic eye, and begin chemo treatments.  Some of this could have been prevented if her pediatrician had taken a little more precaution with her problems.  My heart breaks for this little girl and her parents.  I keep thinking about the fact that Izzy is just a few months older, and what this would have done to our family.  We are an amazing support network for our family members.  Unfortunately, my niece has already lost her mom, her dad, and her older sister.  Thankfully, she has her older brother and his wife.  She is also blessed to have my sister-in-law Kathy, who is one of the kindest and biggest-hearted people I know.  Kathy pretty much stepped into the role of  Monie's mom when my sister-in-law passed away.  And Kathy's daughters have become like sisters to Monie.  Please pray for Becky and her parents as they face this tragedy and all the uncertainty the future holds.  We all know that prayers can accomplish so much.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

I Could Sure Use Some Advice

If it sounds like I'm rambling, please forgive.  I've been rolling fabric to put into the baskets I bought.  I have come across some fabric that I bought years ago for $1/yd.  at an outlet store.  It is clear that they are not 100% cotton, and are very heavily treated with fabric sizing.  If I've not used them, should I keep them?  I found some fabrics that daughter Kris bought for me almost 9 years ago.  If I've not used them, should I keep them?  And if I don't keep them, what do I do with them?  I have quilting magazines in magazine holders that take up one entire shelf.  I've not touched them in the last four years, only to move them.  Do I keep these magazines?  There are so many free patterns, free BOM's, and clubs available online.  And I have so many kits that I haven't even started yet.  Am I taking up precious space with magazine that I don't use?  And if I get ride of them, what do I do with them?  I'm just so tired of looking for things that I can't find because of all the stuff I never use.  I have blocks that one of my grandmothers and an aunt made.  I've not done anything with them.  Do I keep them?  And what about all the scraps that I think I might use someday?  I have a problem with throwing things away because I'm afraid that I might need them someday.  Does that make me a hoarder?  Am I going to end up on that TV show?  Please tell me what you would do.

Saturday, January 7, 2012


Today is a really good day!!!  I went grocery shopping this morning and spent a ton of money, but came home with many good, healthy items.  And I am feeling really happy because I lost 4.8 pounds in the last three weeks. Sticking to my healthy eating plan has become easier.  I am most definitely going down the sugar free road, and because I feel so great, the road is happy yellow.  I did step off the path the other night when I had a few cookies dunked in milk (my biggest weakness in the whole wide road).  But it was sort of like Dorothy ending up in the poppy field -- however, mine was just a short break, and then I was right back on the road again.  If I could dance, I would be doing a happy dance.  But since I can't dance, I'll just give a big WAHOOO!!!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Scrappy Plate Club

I've always loved the Dresden Plate block.  And while surfing through my favorite blogs, came upon this free Dresden plate club being offered by Bunny Hill Designs. Click on the button on the left to see the post and her blocks.  Aren't they beautiful?   I also love dots, but I don't think I have enough different dots to do the blocks.  Then I'm thinking how pretty a Christmas plate would be, or maybe a farmer's market plate.  I could call it "Eat your veggies".  Oh the possibilities.  Going to dream up some new combinations.  

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Finally a Spark

Yesterday I finally found a spark - something finally lit a fire under my. . .  well you know.  I began putting fabric away.  The baskets I ordered from Walmart arrived on Friday, I know,  something that arrived early.  I had asked someone who I know stores fabric in baskets how she folds her fabric.  She replied, "who folds, it's just a waste of time."  So yesterday, I started to roll my fabrics to go into the baskets.  All the purples fit into one basket, and I thought all the green had, also.  Then I found another pile of greens, so that will have to be stuffed put in somewhere.  I decided to put all my solids into one basket.  Usually they are just mixed in and seem to get lost in the shuffle.  But it's a start, and now that I see how nice the baskets look on my shelves, I can't wait to get it finished.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

It's a Whole New Year

And I'm hoping to start a whole new life.  I'm planning to embark on a journey - one that will change my life forever.  I have tried nearly every diet around, beginning with Richard Simmons and ending with the Glycemic Index Diet.  And I've not really lost any weight, but rather continued to gain.  So, I'm breaking it off with dieting.  Yep, going cold turkey.  Mmmm turkey.  It all started with an article from Diabetic Living Magazine.  I think I've read it at least 8 times, and it makes more sense every time. The article advises to concentrate on healthy eating to maintain healthy blood sugar levels, and says that weight loss will follow. So, even though I've had a full week off from babysitting, I've done no sewing.  I've been making plans for my new life.  I've been researching recipes, easy healthy lunches, and yummy yet healthy snacks.  I guess it's been like packing for the trip.  

For the last 10 days of 2011, I was on a very strong antibiotic which took my sugar levels to an unhealthy high.  They are coming down slowly, and that's my main focus now.  I need to concentrate on healthy eating so that my blood sugar numbers will return to a healthy level.  So, I'm going to make a contract with myself, and document my journey into good health.  I've always been a list maker, and I think that writing it down in sort of a journal will force me to look at life and how I'm living it.  I need to find my motivation, and have decided to hang a small mirror in my sewing room with a sign that identifies the person looking back as "My Motivation."  It has to be me -- not anyone else.  And it can't be weight loss, it has to be getting my health back.  Forcing myself to move more will be the most difficult part, since basically I'm a sitter.  But, it's a new year, and time to find a new me.  Would you like to travel with me?  I could sure use the company.

Welcome to 2012 and all the promise you hold for me.