Saturday, December 31, 2011

Day 2 (again) and 3

Working or not I have to get up at 5:30 every morning to feed Obba and give him his insulin shot. On the weekends I normally go back to bed (I'm not a morning person), sometimes I can sleep more, sometimes I just toss and turn. The last two morning have been the latter. When that occurs by 9:00 p.m. I can barely keep my eyes open and by 10:00 p.m. I'm snoring.

Nancy did come over to sew but its been awhile since we've seen / talked to each other that we spent most of the morning gabbing...then we went out to lunch. Finally we started sewing.

I was doing pretty good with the first quilt on the frame until I ran out of thread on the spool about a third of the way into the quilt. I must not have threaded the machine right as I started having tension problems and getting big loops on the back...
Unquilting time. I've wanted to practice turning a quilt or loading a partially quilted top back to the frame I just hadn't planned on practicing this soon. Nancy thought (I was nuts for removing the quilting) this would be a good task to do watching a movie, I agreed (with both thoughts).

So I loaded another quilt.
I quilted random swirls in it. Then last night I loaded another quilt.

Large meandering. I finished it about 10 p.m. Wrote my post and headed straight to bed. I think I was asleep by 10:10.

Today has been busy but not as productive. I had breakfast with Karen. Like Nancy, I haven't seen / talked to Karen in a while and we had lots to catch up on. Ran a few errands (does walking around Target and lifting 40 lbs of kitty litter in and out of a cart count as a workout session?) and have been doing some picking up and cleaning tonight as I got a call that a cousin I haven't seen in a while is stopping by tomorrow on her way to visit her daughter.

So much for my 5 x 5 goals... you didn't really think I'd make it did you? Yes? Aren't you sweet. Just so you know, I am the princess of over planning and setting unrealistic goals. I do feel pretty good about how much I have gotten done in the last three days as I am also the queen of procrastination.

I hope you all have a fun New Year's Eve and a healthy and happy 2012 spent with lots of great friends, family and of course quilts.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Day 2

I'm pooped and headed for bed.

2 1/3 quilts off the frame. I'll explain and show pictures tomorrow.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Day 1

I got two big clean up projects done around the house...

...cleaned my stove top, tile and grout in the kitchen (I hate white tile and grout - I have both in the kitchen), then I cleaned the large garage bay (I split my three car garage into a two car garage and storage room years ago). I had my handyman over to help mount the shelf unit to the garage wall, clean my gutters and to replace my front door handle. I got everything off the garage floor and gave it a thorough sweep. I decided cleaning it also counted toward a workout session.

Do you have an old over the door shoe holder? The kind with pockets. They make great storage for garden gloves and small tools. I hung one next to the shelves and promptly filled it. I think I could / should throw out some of my really old garden gloves.

I also put away all my Christmas decorations...okay, I confess, I just dumped everything in the spare bedroom. Cleaning that room is my next house project.

The sewing room is picked up and I have a quilt loaded on the frame. Nancy is coming over to sew tomorrow, I'm know she will inspire me to get lot of quilting done.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

5 x 5

I have the next five days off work, my goals:

5 quilts on and off the quilt frame

5 hours of other quilt related sewing

5 clean up projects around the house

5 workout sessions

5 ???

Hmmm, 5 errands to run? lose 5 pounds (ha, in my dreams)? call 5 friends I haven't talked to lately? fix 5 new recipes? I know what I'm not going to do and that is waste 5 days doing nothing.

I had a little retail therapy this evening...

For Christmas Jayme gave me a gift certificate to my LQS and Nancy gave me a jelly roll, when I got home tonight I had an email that my LQS was having an inventory reduction sale... everything 40% off... it didn't take me long to get back in my car. Fabric for two pillowcases (I'll have to take a better picture of the dragon fabric - it is too cool), border and binding fabric to go with the jelly roll, and a kit with pattern to make a cute little clutch. What could be better than a gift certificate and a great sale together.

Friday, December 23, 2011

May all the holidays you celebrate be merry and safe.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Nobody's Home

AnnieO knocked on my blog door a few days ago and I figured I'd better answer before she starts banging on it and yelling at me.

I haven't blogged lately cause I got nothin' quilting, no cute cat pictures, no flowers from the garden pictures, nothin'.

I am swamped at work so I've been working some extra hours, and its Christmas time (Bah Humbug) so I should be shopping cause I've barely made a dent in my list, but once I get home I just want to pretend I'm a potato. What makes it worse is I leave in the morning and it's dark and when I leave work it's dark, it feels like the day is over before I ever make it home.

Okay, that whine party needs to end.

I'm not making any gifts this year. Ha, I haven't touched a sewing machine (other than to move it) for over a month. I did a major clean up of my sewing room a week ago and rearranged a few things (does dumping a bunch of stuff to into another room count as cleaning up?). I've had time to sew but I have chosen not to, not procrastinated until the time was gone, but actually chosen not to sew.

Hmmm...that almost sounds like another whine party.

I have been going to bed early and reading. I've found a new author I like: Charlaine Harris. I've read all of her Shakespeare series and have started the Sookie Stackhouse series. I'm almost done with the first book in the series:

Easy quick read, suspenseful enough but not so bad that I can't read it before turning out the light at night, and just a touch risque.

Annie, is it okay that I've answered the door in my pajamas and haven't brushed my teeth yet? I promise I'll take a shower and put on some makeup the next time you visit.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

I didn't go to Jarrods...

I did go to Joann's...sigh, everything was on sale at 50% off and I had an additional 25% off coupon. Makes you wonder how much they mark it up to begin with doesn't it.

I had 17 people here for Thanksgiving dinner. More cousins than I could count and a few extras. It was LOUD.

Made me wonder how this group was able to sleep (I see you peeking Renee). Must of been all the mash potatoes they ate.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I'm still here...

...but not doing much sewing. I did finish this a few weeks ago. Got backing fabric this past weekend.
Jayme finished up her quilt (green) and I finished up my aunt Roberta's (blue). The back for both is a green flannel with turtles.

All three are "practice" quilts and will be donated locally. Now I just need to get them loaded on the monster. Scary monster.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Lucky Me

Annie over at Annie's Quilt Orts recently had a giveaway to celebrate having 100 followers. She decided to pick a 13th name for a second winner - guess who was Lucky 13. Whoo Hoo!

I follow Tonya's blog also and have followed along as she was writing her book and creating some of the quilts in the book. I have really wanted this book.

So do you think I should make this quilt first...

Or should I start simple with this little quilt...

Oh I'm going to have fun with this book. Thank you Annie!!

I finished the panel. This is the back: tension looks good, stitches look even (I am SO glad I got the stitch regulator), and it doesn't look like I quilted rows (which I was really worried about).

The hardest part was the last 4 inches of the quilt.

I'm pleased with the results, but I still need to take more baby steps.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


The Pacific International Quilt Show is BIG. Over 500 quilts from local, nationwide and international quilters, and over 160 vendors. The imagination and creativity of quilters astounds me every time. Below are a few of my favorites.

I love dragonflies.

This iris quilt was very large.

Wouldn't you love to see this mosaic in your entryway. This was also a very large quilt.

This was one of my show favorites. Very dramatic colors and design, I really liked the mix of traditional with contemporary. My picture doesn't show it very well but there is a bird quilted in each of the fly geese and throughout the quilt.

What I thought was fantastic is the large bird is created with thread, no piecing or applique.

And then it's back to've loaded a panel that looks like a pieced quilt on to the beast.
I want to do in the ditch, some curves, a few different fillers in the blocks, maybe pebbles in the border (ha! like I could do all that on my first quilt on the beast) - getting back to reality again, I am going to meander from edge to edge. I have two of these panels, if I do okay on this one maybe I'll get a bit more adventurous with the next. I have to remind myself that baby steps are good.

I'll post more quilts from the show later this week.

Friday, October 14, 2011

I'm So Excited

I've decided practicing frame and machine quilting on muslin is BORING.

Last Saturday I had my aunt Roberta and Jayme sewing blocks while I ironed and cut (I don't think my aunt has used a sewing machine in 40+ years). I've been piecing backs, making binding and adding borders this past week - I've actually done a little bit of sewing every day this week. I'm excited about quilting again. I now have two panels ready to quilt and three small donation quilts that just need their final borders added.

And I'm really looking forward to putting each quilt/panel on the frame to quilt.

But not this weekend. This weekend I'm going the Pacific International Quilt Show in Santa Clara, CA. I'm so excited. Nancy, Dawn and Stacey are going with me. Stephanie is meeting us there. The girls are gonna have fun! I'll have lots of pictures when I get back.

Have to show pics of the boys...Obba and Fred are my official quilt testers...

Obba testing the softness of one of the donation quilts. Soooo soft flannel charm squares from Moda in nice guy-like tweeds, plaids and herringbone prints. I like petting this flannel as much as I like petting Obba (don't tell him that).

Fred inspecting Nancy's layout of her Kaffe snowball quilt on my design floor, he moved a few around for her.

Sigh, it's so nice living with two handsome helpful guys.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Misc. Stuff

Are praying mantis good bugs or bad bugs? I was working in the yard this morning an found these guys.

One was in the lantana, the other was in a pot with some not to green daisies. I might have to Google them after this post.

My hen and chick is blooming:

This is the first time it has bloomed.

I got the half square blocks for the first quadrant of my friendship triangles quilt squared up and laid out.

I think it is going to take me a while to sew this together.

My latest civil war blocks are done. Both really easy.

I like Ohio Stars.

And last but not least...the monster lives!

Now I need to learn how to tame the beast. Lessons learned so far:

1. Don't roll the quilt up too high or you get gaps in the quilting.

2. You are delusional if you think you don't need to practice A LOT.

3. You need to breathe every once in a while...holding your breath is not good.

I'm sure there will be more lessons to learn before I get to my first quilt.

Monday, September 12, 2011


Talk about customer service! I talked to a technical support person at the Grace Company on Wednesday morning, by Friday afternoon a new Sure Stitch Regulator was delivered. Wow. They tested it on site to ensure it works with my Juki 2000....does it work? Don't know. I'm not as fast or efficient as they are. Installing the first regulator was a pain in the keister. I'm not looking forward to taking it off and installing the new one.

Two new civil war blocks... one was exceptional easy and the other was exceptional difficult. Can you guess which was which?

Difficult Easy

I started out using Barbara Brackman's pattern and templates for the Confederate Rose block. I should have tweaked this one like I have a few of the other blocks, it would have been simpler to just make a square in a square in square block with cheater corners. Having said that, it is one of my favorite finished blocks.

On a side note: I got called in for jury duty today. It was a civil case, someone ran a red light that caused an accident. A passenger in one of the cars sued both drivers. I didn't get picked but it was interesting to watch the jury selection process.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Sew Eventful Weekend

Lots of sewing did and did not occur at my house this weekend.

On Saturday Dawn, Stacey and Nancy came over to sew. They were my motivation to get everything attached, plugged and pinned...

Nada, nothing...literally. I could get it working with the presser foot, but not the regulator. So disappointing. We tried everything, Googled everything, and no luck. So very disappointing. Does anyone in blogland have a Sure Stitch Regulator hooked up to a Juki 2000? Any suggestions?

To add to it all Fred peed on Stacey's sewing machine carrier and an ex-boyfriend was in the area and decided he wanted to visit even though I told him I had a house full of women sewing and it wasn't the best time. (I talk to him about once year and haven't seen him in 11 years.) His comment once he got here..."I didn't realize you were so into this stuff." Really?

I was so distracted I didn't take any pictures on Saturday. Stacey worked on friendship star blocks, Dawn worked with templates to make a complicated sunflower block and Nancy worked on making very colorful snowball blocks with Kaffe fabrics.

Yesterday was more relaxing. Nancy came back over and we watch p.s. I love you with Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler. Now if Gerard Butler had stopped by on Saturday I would have kicked all those women out the door so fast they wouldn't have seen the boot coming. Good movie. A 5 Kleenex rating.

Nancy finished putting together the rows for this Just Can't Cut It (more Kaffe).

The picture doesn't do the quilt justice. It is SO bright and cheerful.

I've mention the charm packet challenge Nancy and I have's where she is.

And this is where I am...

Hmmmm... doesn't look quite right does it.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Caught Up

Whoopee!!! I am finally caught up with my civil war blocks. I even got this week's block done.

I may Y triangles but I don't do Y seams or curves. So I adapted two blocks.

The Indian Puzzle block ends up a little blah (different fabric choices may have helped), but the Carolina Lily looks just as good as the original.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I Y Triangles

I have a few friends that will run away from a pattern with half square triangles...not me. I'm in the process of making this quilt with the charm squares Nancy gave me.

This quilt has a LOT of half square triangles. Kinda scary. But not for me. I'm using this method from Mary's blog Marin & Colusa.

How easy is four lines. Cut four times and get eight half square triangles.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Busy Saturday

My neighbor, Michele, does several missionary trips a year, lately she has focused on Haiti. She has worked at several orphanages and the stories she tells about the conditions at some of the orphanages would break your heart.

She will be going back in October. To help raise funds for her airplane fares she has garage sales. Friends, church members and neighbors donate items to the sale. I helped her set up yesterday (starting at 6:30 a.m.) and worked the sale until about 11:30. Look at all the people! It was like this from 7:00 a.m until after 2:00 p.m.

Do you have this problem? Every time I make my bed I end up with a large lump...

Such a silly girl.

Friday, August 5, 2011

I know, I know...

(This post is for Annie O who was looking high and low and around corners for me. Hi Annie!)

I've been a really bad blogger. I'd like to say I've been on vacation this past month but I'd be lying. I'm not allowed to lie. I have been lurking and leaving a few comments...does that count as blogging?

I did have a nice visit with my Mom. And got a little bit of sewing done.

Unfortunately I haven't done much since, so I'm very behind on my civil war blocks (again).

We took a quick trip to the coast and visited a place called Trees of Mystery. Interesting place. They had a sky trail gondola that took us up to the top of a mountain. Lots of pretty views.

I even got a decent scenic picture, that doesn't happen very often.

I've done a little bit of sewing since I got back...a very little bit.

Jazmine, a co-worker's daughter, made the above Brain Game. I thought it was very clever, I also think she has a future as a quilt designer.

I made this little quilt using her design and gave it to her. It was fun to make and she really liked it.

I've also been re-arranging furniture and assembling this monster.

I made the fabric leaders last weekend. I still have to finish installing the stitch regulator. I'm procrastinating because this thing scares the daylights out of me. Don't ask me why, I wouldn't be able to say.

Okay, that's it, now you know why I haven't blogged, not much going on around here.

Friday, July 1, 2011


I'm getting ready to go to my Mom's for a week and want to take a project or two...or three. I finished quilting and putting the binding on this table topper last weekend. It still needs the binding hand sewn.

I cut out my civil war blocks and made little pouches out of the instructions to hold the pieces and parts. They are all ready to sew together.

My Featherweight is already packed in the car. Should I bring another project?

Don't worry my Mom's Mother's Day gift is already packed also.

See ya in week. Have a safe and fun July 4th.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Second Project Done

(This post is for my cousin Jan. Hi Jan! She reminded me I hadn't posted in a while.)

My second project is done...okay, I confess it has been done for a few weeks. My mom's Mother's Day gift, a table runner and six place mats. I had enough scraps left over to make a little table topper and coasters.

I'm still spending time in the yards (I am becoming an expert at sprinkler systems and drip lines), so I haven't had much time to sew lately. But I have had time to get together with friends. Last weekend Karen, Stephanie and got together for lunch and little bit of quilt shopping. Karen and I found out there was outdoor quilt show in Winters, so we stopped there for a bit also. It was a very fun day.

I have wonderful friends also. Look what Karen made me:

Isn't it sweet? If you can't read the center it says: May your sorrows be patched and your joys be quilted. Love it. Karen said finishing this with it's little bitty stitches drove her to the eye doctor's, Eek. Thank you Karen! I think it was worth the eye strain.

Stephanie participated in a block of the month last year and made this quilt:

She didn't care for it, too scrappy for her. Too scrappy? Is there such a thing? Stephanie gave me the quilt top, I'll quilt it, she said she'd put the binding on. I love it! Especially the variety of colors, so rich looking. Thank you, Stephanie!!

Yup, wonderful friends.