Monday, October 31, 2011

Design Wall Monday

Once again I pulled the fabrics from the paper bags to use in the 2nd block of the Fat Quarter Star  Quilt-along.

Actually I drew out four colors but realized I only needed three and the background fabric. The pattern called for a light colored fabric so I put the darker green back in the bag.

After I completed the block and set it next to the first block, I realized that I must have put two pieces of the same fabric in the bag. So now both block 1 and block 2 have the same light green floral fabric. That's okay because I am going to have to use each fabric in two or more blocks anyway.

That's it for today. Stop by Judy L's for more Design Wall Monday goodies.

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I Really Wasn't Gone That Long ...

But it seemed like I was away from home for a long time.

We left for the local park on Thursday evening. Of course, I had to watch two of my favorite shows before I could go, so I didn't get there until after 10 p.m.  We were not able to get any TV stations so I listened to the end of the World Series game on the radio. Sure would have been a good one to see on TV.

After school on Friday, I had to go back home to get my nebulizer. I knew I would be very uncomfortable if I had to go without it all weekend. I also decided to get my sewing machine and the poinsettia applique blocks that I already had cut out and ready to stitch.

I made it to camp a few minutes after six. Had a quick snack of 1/2 a bagel with strawberry cream cheese and a small container of fruit yogurt. Went for a short leisurely walk around the park. I heard someone call my name and discovered that Larry's sister and husband were there also. Too funny.

Then I set up my sewing table and put the World Series game on to see if the Cardinals would pull it off.

My setup. When Larry is not there (and sometimes when he is), I  spread out to sew. He was not there Friday night so I had the whole place to myself. I tuned in the ballgame and sewed away. Until my eyes grew heavy. Then I put things away and just sat down to listen. I dozed off and on at least three or four times before the ballgame was over.

I slept in on Saturday morning--if you call 7:30 sleeping in. I felt like I had been in bed for a long, long time but it was still dark outside. I finally looked at the clock and it was a few minutes after 7. So I got up and took my medicine and laid back down for 30  minutes or so. My morning ritual when camping is to grab a cup of coffee and slowly walk around the park. It is always interesting to see who are the early birds.

After Larry got in from work, he helped me set up my machine outside.

I sewed for a few hours until early afternoon brought a very cool breeze off the lake. I covered the machine and went inside to read for a few hours.

I was able to finish the book I was reading, Breaking Dawn--the final book in the Twilight series. I had already read it a couple of years ago and was surprised at how much I had forgotten about the book. The next movie comes out on Nov. 19.

We arrived home a little before 3 p.m. Craig text and asked when dad would be able to pick up a bed frame they purchased. So we decided to go ahead and do it today. Becca fixed fajitas for us. She is a wonderful cook.

We got back home around 6:45 and I was able to finish block number 2 in the Fat Quarter Star Quilt-along. Check back Monday morning to see it.

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Block One Completed

I finally got to the sewing room around 7:30. The fabric I chose for the Fat Quarter Star Quilt-along was sitting there waiting for me. I looked at it for about 5 seconds and thought, "No, I'm not going to fret over this. I am going to put it all in a bag and draw if out."

Sad state of affairs when you can't even find two brown paper bags to use. Too much plastic being used, I guess. Actually, I try to use recyclable bags.

I drew two fabrics from each bag and this is what I ended up with.

Wasn't sure I was crazy about the combination, but I was determined not to put them back in.

This looks like a simple block to piece. And for many, it probably was. But not for me. The small star block inside gave me fits. It was those flying geese in there.

My mom every once in awhile makes a comment that she wants to learn to make flying geese. I looked at her like she was crazy because she made a flying geese quilt for one of my siblings. And I told he she already knew how--after all she made a whole quilt. She told me, "Yeah, but they didn't turn out right." I thought they were fine. But then again, I don't inspect her sewing. But, now I know what she is talking about.

So, I have decided that when I grow up--you know, when I become a true seamstress--I think I'll make an entire quilt from this block. Really, I have been sewing for 40 years. I made all of my clothes all through high school. Blue jeans included. 

So how, can one little block give me so many problems?

And now, the finished block . . .

I am really pleased with the block. I think the fabric blends together okay. The fabric in the background is just so I didn't use my ugly cutting mat as the background.

I am anxious to get started on block 2, but that may not happen until next week. We may be going to the nearby park for the weekend. But then again, I will probably just take my machine with me.

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting!

Yippee -- One more project

As I was sitting too long, reading too many blogs, I came across this

and, of course, I had to see what it was all about.

Well it pulled me in. I only needed 16 fat quarters and some yardage for the background. Well, I looked around to see what I had that I could use and came up with 16 different blues--not all fat quarters, mostly scraps.

Then after I saw the first three blocks, I decided that maybe I needed a second color line for contract. So i went through my scraps again and came up with these fabrics.

I think I will use these. Not sure they will all blend, but we will see. There are a couple I may or may not use. But, that's okay.

Then I found this white on white fabric to use for the background. Is there enough? I don't have a clue. I didn't unfold it. But if it isn't, I'll just mix in some other white on white fabric I have.

I think the last quilt I actually made not knowing what it was going to look like was Bonnie Hunter's Orange Crush Mystery Quilt.

And I just love how it turned out. So I have an added project to keep me busy.

Kelsey is probably shaking her head about now. lol  But just think, Kelsey, it is so fun to already have a quilt started when a new friend comes along and needs something to soothe and comfort them. Of course, we all know quilts mean love and caring. 

By the time I got these fabrics picked out, it was 9:30 so I didn't start on the blocks. Maybe I'll get around to that this evening. As much trouble I have making decisions, I should just put the fabric in two different bags based on the color and then draw them out as I need them. Hmm sounds like an idea I might try.

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Did you know . . .

there is a vaccine to help prevent shingles?

When I went for my yearly checkup, blood work, etc. -- the same time I found out I was anemic -- my pcp strongly suggested I get the Shingles Vaccine. He said it was now recommended for anyone over 50. He also said that with all of the tests and procedures I've had in the last year, my body's immune system was probably down.

The nurse told me to be sure that I ask the pharmacy if they give the shots also. The shingles vacine is a live virus. It ships to the pharmacy frozen and must stay frozen until ready to use. So I went to a different pharmacy because my usual one did not give shots. They could not tell me what the price was but told me they would call when it came in. They never called and I forgot and forgot and forgot (since the end of July).

Well,  I called a couple of times to see if it was in, but was told the girl giving the shot was not in but would be the next day. I was told they would call me. Finally, today I received the call. So after school I went to get the vaccine. I am very thankful that my insurance covered the complete cost of the vaccine. (Normally around $200.) But, if you develop shingles--you will have to pay for a doctor's visit and a prescription. And be in a lot of pain.  The pharmacist told me not to be around newborns or people with cancer for a few days or I could give them Chicken Pox.

Fast forward to tonight sitting on the couch and being lazy. I was reading blogs and came across this post by Patti  writing about contracting shingles at the age of 70. After I looked a second time I notice she was also from Arkansas

My husband had a case of shingles last year and a friend of mine developed shingles this past month. They both said it is very painful.

I guess the whole purpose of this post is to make people aware of the vaccine that is out there to help ward off shingles. I think one of the causes of shingles is stress.  Most of us who are still working outside the home feel stress at times in our careers. We also stress over our family problems, our children, finances and a number of other issues. 

So if you are over 50, I urge you, as Patti did in her post, to ask your physician about the shingles vaccine.

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Things Fall into Place

This is the first Friday night in a long time that I remembered the Friday Night Sew In. I had planned to quilt some more on the "Tree Time" quilt but I got my flu shot today and my arm was sore. So I didn't want to pull around on quilts and make it worse.

I started sewing around 10:30 last night.  After about 2 hours I had just about completed the applique on the "Jewels of Autumn" wall hanging, when it suddenly dawned on me that I didn't know what I was going to use for the back.

So I looked around and found nothing that I thought would tie in with the front. (I only have a small shelf of fabric yardage but I can usually find something for wall hangings.)  So I decided I would have to wait to complete it until I could get some fabric and sat down to finish the applique.

Suddenly I remembered that I had some of the checkered fabric left and I might be able to use it.  The checkered fabric was actually a piece of a panel that a friend had given me. I added black fabric to the top and bottom of it.

See the little strip of dogs at the top. It was what I had to cut off in order to get to the checkered fabric that I used on the front. I started to throw it in the trash. Now I'm glad I didn't. I just appliqued it over the black in a spot I thought it would look good. I really like the way it turned out.

Well, I'm off to quilt it now. Larry is working and the house is quiet. The day is to use however I want (Really, most of them are). Maybe by this evening I will have it completed.

Hmmm. what to use as binding?

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Traveling . . .

wears me out. I spent the day (Wednesday) traveling over two hours to a doctor's appointment. We left home at 7 a.m. and had driven about halfway when my phone rang. It was the doctor's office asking if I was already on my way. I told her yes and she said my doctor was held up at the children's hospital that is his primary hospital.

So we went ahead and drove to the hospital and went to check in. She called my doctor back and he said he would see me at the other hospital because he was sitting in on a 7 hour surgery. So we traveled down the road a couple of miles to the other hospital.

The good news is that he had just returned from a conference and may have an idea of what my breathing and throat problems are caused by. Yippee. It means more surgery so he can do some biopsies of the esophagus tissue. So far, he has been focusing on my trachea. So there is hope and I may have a diagnosis besides Acid Reflux shortly.

We got home around 3 p.m. and I went to meet my teacher group at 5 for our monthly dinner. I returned home at 7 and parked myself on the couch reading blogs and watching the world series. My eyes are heavy as they often are when my allergies are bothering me and I am tired. So I think I'll just chill and go with the flow.

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Jewels of Autumn Update

I was a little bit slow getting around last night. I worked late at school trying to get ready for next week. My plan is to do a part of my lesson planning each afternoon from now on so that on Fridays I have very little to complete and hopefully leave by 4 p.m.  The funny thing is the majority of the teachers leave by 3:15 each day. Not sure how they do it. Oh well.

So after a late supper and an hour spent on the computer, I finally got to work on the current wall hanging. I was able to get all pieces cut out and placed. I haven't pinned yet because I like to step away for a little bit and then come back to see if I want to rearrange.

So this is what it looks like now . . .

Oops! Where did the pumpkin stem go? I may change the pumpkin blooms to more of a yellow fabric. I am now happy with the fabrics used for the falling leaves. We'll see what this evening brings.

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fall Wall Hanging & Design Wall Monday

Goodness, I can't believe it has been since the 12th that I made my last post.  I've been kind of "piddlin'" around and not quilting on the "Tree Time".

I have a small knot on my pinkie on my right hand. This summer, I told my doctor NOT to tell me it was arthritis. But, he didn't listen to me. He said it probably was the start of it. It hasn't ever really bothered me for long periods. It may hurt when I bump it or something. But when I got home Thursday evening, it was bothering me. So I decided to let it rest by not quilting for a few days. But as of now, it is still bothering me. I don't like that. I keep thinking hoping it will just go away.

Since I am taking a break from quilting, I decided to start a new project. Yeah, Yeah, I know.

It will be a fairly quick wall hanging. It is called Jewels of Autumn. The pattern was only 18" by 32" and I wanted it larger so I adjusted the pattern.  But I'm not sure if it is the angle the picture was taken at, but the border almost seems to overpower the black. So I'll step by this evening and decide if I need to take an inch or so off of the borders.  I also need more contrast between the pumpkin blossoms and the leaves. I'm also not satisfied how I made the pumpkin blossoms so I may need to rework them.

I'm linking with Judy L for Design Wall Monday.

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Decisions Made -- Or Not!

I finally completed the quilting on all of the tree blocks. That forced me to sit down and make a decision on how to quilt to pieced blocks. Someone suggested leaves and/or stones.

I didn't have an template for leaves and didn't like my free hand drawings. So I decided on a feather wreath design template. But, I couldn't see the tracing marks. The blue fabric pen wouldn't show up on the blue fabric and the white fabric pen didn't show up on the blue either.

So I decided to try free handing a feather wreath with pebbles all around it. I am not completely satisfied with my first feather wreath but I will not frog it. I have made the decision that this quilt will be a learning quilt. lol

I haven't quilted inside the wreath yet. It will be a close together cross hatch or pebbles.

I stopped after this first block so that I could take a break from it and decide tomorrow night if I like it enough to quilt all of the blocks like that or if I want to do something different on each block.  Not that I have any clue as to how I would quilt each block differently. lol

Monday, October 10, 2011

"Tree Time" and Design Wall Monday

Progress has been slow on the quilting of "Tree Time". I did complete all of the meandering on the white border blocks, but got bored with the straight line quilting on the blue and black blocks. I have only completed one side of these.

I have over half of the "tree" blocks quilted. I am using the "Icicle Lights" filler pattern. It is one of Leah Day's designs from "The Free Motion Quilting Project."  I check her website every couple of days to see what new ideas she has posted. When I saw this one I knew I would use it on one of my quilts. I have adjusted it to fit the needs of my quilt.

I still haven't decided how I am going to quilt the pieced blocks. Any suggestions?

Head over to Judy's Patchwork Times. I keep getting ideas for new quilts and projects.

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

A Trip Down Memory Lane

This is the church I grew up attending. I actually lived about 1/2 a mile down the road from it. As I was contemplating writing this post, the title My Home Church came to mind. Then I realized that I guess it's not my home church because it is not the parish I belong to now. But then I decided that it is where I feel most comfortable and it will always be my home church.

Along with this church is a boy's boarding school for high school students. Area boys also attend as day students. This is where Craig attended high school. I can remember how hard it was dropping him off the first few months. But then, over time, he grew to love it (I think).

I spent the majority of the day there last weekend because this is the church where Craig and Becca were married.  I spent the all day there today and will be back there tomorrow morning because I am attending a retreat there.

When I enter the garden where this shrine is (an acre or larger) an inner peace falls over me. It happens every time--no matter how often I am there. The garden has a big gazebo that holds two big swings and a couple of fish ponds with outdoor chairs and benches placed strategically throughout.  The students are not allowed in this area. It is reserved for the priests and brothers of the Abbey and guests.


This is the bell tower. I can't tell you how tall it is but my dad probably could. He worked on laying the rock on this church and worked on the bell tower.  My mom tells the story of having to come and get him for a family emergency and it seemed like it took him forever to get down. I just think of how awesome it is that my dad helped to build this landmark. (I guess I didn't get my fear of heights from him.)

Of course, when I was growing up, we didn't have air conditioning. So we slept with our windows open during the summer. We did have an attic fan to pull cool in in on us. But the thing I miss the most from growing up is hearing the church bells toll. The bells ring on the hour and each quarter hour. We were used to them so they didn't keep us awake, but were a comfort if we woke up in the middle of the night.

I can remember one night, I woke up because I could hear the fire alarm going off. (The Abbey also had the only area fire truck.) I got up and went outside to see what was going on. My mom heard me go out the door and got up to see what I was doing. Part of the abbey was on fire so I stood there and watched the flames until I couldn't see them anymore. But I remember my mom fussing at me for going outside . . . she said someone could get me. I never even considered this because it was a small town, we lived a half a mile off the highway, and it was a safe place.

Great memories and a relaxing day.

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting!


Friday, October 7, 2011

It takes time . . .

I forgot just how long it can take to custom quilt a quilt.

I must say I have never quilted a quilt in this order before. Usually I stitch in the ditch first (if I need to do so.) Then I quilt the blocks and then move on to the borders.

After I stitched in the ditch on this quilt, I had no idea what I wanted to quilt in the blocks so I started with the borders. I showed you the wide pieced border on my last post. (I must admit though that I only quilted the pieced borders on one side though. I wanted to see what it would look like. Then, of course, I wanted to figure out how to do the inside borders.

And . . . that is what I accomplished last night. I didn't get very far at all--only the wide blue and two narrow white borders on each side of it.

I am surprised that it took me a couple of hours to do these 3 borders. But, I did try to watch Vampire Diaries and Grey's Anatomy while I was quilting. So I would have to stop frequently because the TV is directly to the right of me when I am using the Janome 1600DB.

So tonight, I guess I'll complete the other three sides of the pieced borders--or take the night off.

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Puffy Borders Anyone?

Have you ever had a WIP that you picked back up to finish and think . . .

"What in the world was I doing when I made that?"

That was my thought tonight as I sat down this evening to do some more quilting on the Tree Time quilt. My intentions were to start quilting the pieced blocks but my mind went blank on what to quilt in them. So I decided to attack the borders.

Now this is the second quilt I have used this border on and I had forgotten how puffy the white pieces in the borders were. I was planning to do some straight line quilting in that area, like I did in the blue and black pieces. But I ended up with a puckered mess. So I took it back out. Thank goodness I decided that after only doing one block.

The only other thing I could think of doing that would fill in the puffiness instead of making pleats was meandering. So that is what I did. I'm not crazy about it but hopefully as I quilt in the border strips, everything will blend in and it will grow on me.

If you look closely, you will see the blue border is puffy also. Therefore the statement, "What in the world was I doing when I made that?"

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting.

Work In Progress Wednesday

Thanks Ester for hosting  WOW.

After I finished the Double Wedding Ring Quilt, the new challenge was to decide which WIP to pick up and complete.

I decided on the Tree Time Quilt.

This was a block of the month created by Molly.  I spent a few hours Monday evening finishing the stitch in the ditch. Now to figure out how to quilt the rest of it.

You're probably wondering if I always leave my quilts laying around wadded up while I am working on them. Unfortunately, the answer is yes. This is just how it looked when I pulled it off of the machine after I did my last stitch in the ditch lines.

Have a wonderful day.

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Rehearsal Dinner

The closest I have come to being over stressed about the wedding was on Friday, the day of the rehearsal dinner. I had it all planned out and I had a lot of wonderful help. Our church hall kitchen is very small and the oven only had one rack. So after decorating, I went back home and fixed everything in my kitchen. I was due to meet my help back at the hall at 4:00 p.m. I was about 10 minutes late but my sister-in-law and niece waited patiently for me to get there. And everything went great. I just had about 30 minutes of craziness.

Two of my sisters and my mom came to help decorate and peel potatoes. 

Decorations were kept very simple. Each of the tables looked like this.

 The wedding attendants. 

Becca's paternal grandmother and godparents.

Craig's Paternal Grandmother and (Step) Grandfather.

Craig's Maternal Grandparents

In the back ground you can see the bride's parents (between the heads of the two in the foreground.) Speaking of which, the young man in the blue striped shirt is Becca's twin. He is like family also.

The menu included grilled chicken (thanks to Larry), German potato casserole, baked beans, and a side salad. The German potato recipe can be found here and I recommend it to everyone. It was fabulous. Instead of standing in the kitchen and frying bacon, I used a package of real bacon pieces that I purchased from Sams. For the baked beans I used the following recipe.

Easy Baked Beans

1 lb hamburger meat browned
1 pkg bacon, cooked and chopped
1 small onion, diced
2 cans pork and beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can butter beans
1 cup ketchup
1 cup brown sugar
2 T vinegar

Combine all ingredients and bake at 375 for 1 hr.

I actually put all of the ingreadients in a cooker and let them cook all afternoon. So the recipe does work well in a crockpot.  When I make this recipe again for my family, I think I will add some cubed potatoes and have a meal. They would be great served over cornbread or even rice. Delicious!!!!!

The big hit of the evening was the iced coffee I served with the cake. The cake I made was a buttermilk brownie with icing---topped with a dollop of whipped topping and a cherry. Wonderful and fattening. The iced coffee recipe was from the Pioneer Woman and I also recommend it. I like hot coffee in the morning but next summer I will definitely mix up some of this to keep in my refrigerator.

If you have a big gathering and want to try it, this is what I did. I made the coffee mix the day before like she recommended. The evening of the rehearsal dinner. We poured equal parts of the coffee and milk in a punch bowl. We put glasses of ice on the table with flavored syrups and sugar. The guests then fixed it as they like it.

It was a great evening. But, you know how it is, it all ends too quickly.

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Design Wall Monday -- Double Wedding Ring Quilt

There is absolutely nothing on my design wall right now. I finished the double wedding ring on Thursday evening and gave it to my daughter-in-law Friday night at the rehearsal dinner. I haven't decided what I am going to start finish next.

You can see more photos of the completed quilt here.

To do list:

Quilt the "Tree Time" quilt

Complete the "Eagle's Wings" top

Finish the "Poinsettia Quilt" blocks

 Quilt the "Snowflake Quilt"

Make more of these blocks

Oh, and I have another star quilt top in browns that is pieced but needs a border to be ready to sandwich and quilt. I can't find a picture of it right now.

But I guess my next project needs to be a baby quilt for my nephew's new baby boy. This is the first child born on my side of the family in 4 or 5 years.

Stop by Judy's for Design Wall Monday.

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Double Wedding Ring Quilt Given to Bride

And here it is completely finished . . .

Lots more quilting than I planned to do but it was needed to keep the borders from being too wavy and the area around the applique too fluffy.

And given to the bride at the rehearsal dinner on Friday night.

And Craig checking it out.

And the happy couple. 

When I was making a label for the quilt, I text Kelsey to help me come up with a name for the quilt. She was NO help. lol So I decided on "Becca's Wedding Quilt". Original, huh?

After I finished embroidering the main label, I made another label to tell the story of the quilt.  Then I decided that I would also have Kelsey and Larry write Becca a message.

And then I decided that she also needed a message from Craig also.  So now, Becca's Wedding Quilt has a label in each corner and one in the center from her husband.

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting!


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