Sunday, September 26, 2010

War Eagle and the Lost Weekend

My design wall has not changed much. Sunday morning I was able to do a little sewing. I got the last two D9P blocks sewn and all 6 sewn together.

Then I got ready to cut the light beige/yellow for an inner border

But decided to go to the house for something and wound up taking a 4 hour nap.

Why, you may ask, would I need a nap? Well, let me tell you about what my week has been like since my last post.

Last Wednesday I spent almost all day prepping for the two new Weight Watcher’s meetings and then Thursday I drove 364 miles and met with almost 50 really nice women. It was a 12 hour day but lots of fun. On Friday I spent the morning doing the paperwork for the two Thursday classes and then I was off to my Friday class. In the afternoon I completed the last of the paperwork, made my bank deposits and crashed.

But on Saturday I was up, bright eyed and bushy tailed and for a day of football. Auburn is my school and DH gotten us tickets so off we went.

This is a most wonderful place, Priester’s Pecans. They do the most wonderful things with pecans and also sell lots of great gift items. We even were able to do a little Christmas shopping while we were there. After picking up some coffee and snacks we were on our way again.

We got to Auburn several hours prior to the game. The first thing we did was to pick up our tickets and then, because it was such a beautiful, sunny, day, we each bought new hat/visors to keep the sun out of our eyes. Look at the beautiful sky over the stadium.

Here I am, all dressed in my Auburn finery, ready for an evening of football. (Sorry, Ange)

Now, look at the stadium at this angle.

Our seats were up on the top tier. We climbed round and round and round until we made it to the top.

And then this was our view.

Just before kick-off the sun began to set and this was our view.

The team comes on the field with a bang

And the game was on.

I won’t bore you with my other football pictures but I will say that Auburn won and we left the stadium very happy.

We got home around 2 am and went immediately to bed. I got up Sunday, did a little sewing (see beginning of this post) and then found myself in bed for a very long nap (too old for these full days and late nights).

So the plan is to sew Mon – Wed with just a little time out for dishes and laundry. Maybe I will have a new design wall next Monday, I hope.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Call Me Crazy

Tomorrow I start a new venture. I am already leading a really great Weight Watcher’s group on Friday afternoons. And tomorrow I will drive 120+ miles to start leading a new group and then drive another 40+ miles to take over an ongoing group. And when that one is done I will, I hope, go to the beach for a breather before heading home. Please now look at my profile which clearly says I love being retired. Even my mother thinks I am crazy, and has said so. However, I am looking forward to meeting new people and helping them work toward their goals.

Now, this is going to cut into my sewing time and that is the part I am not so happy about. I

am going to have to be much more organized. To that end I worked this week on this

This is going to be a baby comfort quilt. An abuse home has requested baby quilts from our guild and I was recently given a lot of this bear fabric. I am, again, doing a Disappearing 9 Patch, my go to pattern.

The blocks finish at 16” so I may only have to make two more and then border it with a 5” border or maybe a 2” inner border and a 3” outer border.

I also got some work done on my Christmas projects and even got part of it done. And, since it’s still September I am impressed at how far ahead of the gift game I am. Let’s see if I can keep it up.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Same old, same old

OK, so my design wall looks pretty much like it did last week. Of course, I have the excuse that I didn’t get my machine back until mid-week. AND, I was gone all day Friday and Sunday, AND, when the machine came back I worked on Christmas gifts which I can’t show. I’m getting pretty good at this excuse thing, huh?

However, we did decide that we will be going to MD for Christmas. Yes, I am still concerned about weather but I am really excited to spend Christmas with two of my favorite people. What was really nice was that my sister wrote and suggested we spend Christmas with them. And earlier another DIL invited us to be with them, but they are in CO which I didn’t think was any better than being in MD. But isn’t it nice to be wanted all over the country?

This week, besides Christmas stuff, I hope to cut out a comfort quilt for the guild charity (fabric sitting on cutting table) and a flannel log cabin (fabric in basket on pressing table). I have a UFO I really need to pull into the mix but I think three projects at a time is just right for me. And besides, I really need to finish the one on the wall first and it wasn’t even counted in my “three projects.” Oh, my!

The snowmen on the wall are all appliqued down and soon I will be taking them into the house to do the hand embroidery. I’m not as nervous about that as I was earlier this year when I worked on the Lace and Baskets quilt, it seemed to come back to me pretty well.

Be sure to check out Judy’s blog to see what lots of others are doing. And, have a great week.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Look what came home yesterday!

After a very depressing phone call on Tuesday, I didn’t expect to see it for quite some time. My very nice repairman told me “oh, we are not doing well, at all.” With much trepidation I asked “why.” Well, he said that he and the main repair person at Brother had decided that one of the problems I was having was that there was thread still wound around the wheel, deep inside the machine. He also said that he cannot just take the wheel off because it is part of the “drive shaft” and if he takes that out I would have to have a new drive shaft (about $400). So he is doing what I did back in June 2009: please go see before you read any further.

I knew I had not gotten it all out but I had taken out all I could reach. He said that he works on it in between other jobs, about an hour at a time is all he can stand, and I just need to be patient.

And then yesterday morning he called and said it was ready. When I went to get it he started describing how he got the thread out and it was exactly what I did back in June 2009 except that he had sharper and thinner tools to work with. The procedure is “cut threads, pull threads out, sometimes one at a time.” It is a very tiring procedure and here is what all he got out of her.

Anyway, she is home and we spent several very productive hours working on our Christmas projects.

Prior to that I had to make a block for the guild swap and I had to make it on a machine I have never tried to do a quarter inch seam.

I did a pretty good job anyway and it came out measuring 12 ½”. How about that!

And yesterday I also got some of the sashing cut for my Christmas project.

Although it doesn’t show very well, this 100% cotton fabric has a metallic finish so it really does look like gold. I spent a great deal of time looking for it (fabric shopping, what a shame) because I had thread just the shade/color I wanted and nothing else would do. I was so excited when I found this.

And to top off yesterday’s good news, DH invited me out to lunch and then later DD invited me out to dinner. One can’t do better than that.

I think I have a pretty good life (and family).

And, speaking of family, earlier this week DS#3 called to invite us to his and DDIL's house for Christmas. Now, normally I would love to be with them at this special holiday season. However, many years ago we were on our way to the DC area to be with my folks for Christmas when we hit ice on bridges in Atlanta. We watched the car in front of us do 360s and then we "crept" across (on more than one bridge). After snow on the way back I vowed I would never go north again in the winter.

Then many years passed and DS#3 invited us to spend Christmas at a timeshare in Virginia, just south of DC. I told him of my concerns and he assured me the weather was going to be fine. And we have a beautiful drive up there but when we woke the next morning everything was covered in a very thick layer of ICE. It stayed all the time we were there and was with us for half of the slippery drive home. Needless to say, I was not happy to be out of the deep south.

When the same DS#3 called for this invitation I reminded him of all of this history and he assured me that because they had experienced such a bad winter last year (driven out of their house becuase of no heat/electricity after a BIG snowstorm) this year would be much warmer and that it never snows before February (a big fat lie, by the way).

So, I am confronted with a dilemma. I really want to go to MD to spend Christmas with my son and his wife. I really do not want to go north at Christmas. What's a mother to do?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Designing, No Sewing

Without my trusty sewing machine I was reduced to designing. My design wall this week shows most of my redesigned swap blocks.

I really want to use this quilt as a table topper so after going fabric shopping for sashing, I decided to not sash the blocks. I am, however, using the fabric as the first, smaller border and probably will use it as the background to the 24” Dresden plate that will be going in the center (I love making Dresden plates). Be sure to drop by Judy’s blog to see what others are creating.

Prior to completing the above layout I finished prepping two snowman blocks for the Bunny Hill BOM.

I hadn’t looked at them for quite a while but now that so many are all together I am really liking them. I have no idea how they will be set but since there are three more blocks and three more months, I don’t have to think about that, yet. So with my regular sewing machine still in hospital I will begin doing the machine applique (different machine).

I also began kitting another new gift quilt. I found some fabric I have been looking for for almost two years so am very excited about making a really cute throw. I have found one fabric to go in this little quilt but that’s all so far. I will be taking pictures of the process but it will be a little while before I can show them.

One last picture. This was the little visitor we had in the backyard this weekend.

What you can see is Mr. Bunny checking to see if Abby, the fiercely barking doxie, could get out and get him.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Still No Machine

Of course the repairman only has been back from his 4 day vacation for 2 days and I’m sure mine is not the only machine he has to work on. However, I am about to get the shakes.

I did clean.

Look at the clean cutting table. While it was empty I turned the cutting mat. I have been using the one end for 4 ½ years and I really have needed to turn it. Now I have a very nice and smooth cutting space.

And even when I put all the tools on the end I still have a very large area to cut on.

And look at the chair and pressing table.

I can work at the table and then when I get tired I have a place to rest. Of course I always cleared enough of the chair to sit down, even when it was covered with fabric. ;-)

Of course I had to mess it up a bit.

I pulled out several pieces of flannel to see if I have enough to make a flannel log cabin. I think I do so I packed all this into a laundry basket and it is sitting in my laundry room, waiting for me to prewash it. Some of this fabric I have had for more than 5 years but just couldn’t come up with a plan. Now I think a log cabin will be great.

I did begin the “thinking” process for these pieces.

These are leather sample pieces that a friend gave me. I can see a leather and flannel throw for the cowboy front room and maybe a couple of purses. I have never worked with leather but I sure am going to give it a go. I don’t think I will get to it until after Christmas but it should be a really fun change of pace.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Design Stool Monday

As I sat down to write this I felt like I was sounding like a student who has every excuse in the book why she didn’t have her homework ready. There has been very little sewing going on here. But I have an excuse/reason. See this blank space:

This is where my Babylock BLQP usually sits: the sight of that empty space is sad. She is my workhorse machine but in the middle of a seam she quit having any tension creating big loopies on the back of the piece I was sewing. I tried several fixes and each worked for about 12” and then off we went again. So my baby went off to see the doctor. It was probably time for her to have her annual checkup anyway so I didn’t feel too bad, except of course that all regular sewing came to a halt.

But I have something for the DWM post. I am calling it my design stool because this is the block I have prepped for the guild swap this month.

At my guild we make a block a month and then one of us gets to win all the blocks. I have made two really nice quilts from blocks I won so I try to enter every month.

And now, the real reason there has been little sewing. This is what I see as I enter the studio each day.

It’s hard to believe there is a large recliner right there in the middle, isn’t it.

To the left is my cutting table.

And to the right is my pressing table.

So, this Labor Day Weekend I am laboring in my studio, trying to find the surfaces so I can get back to work. I tend to jump from project to project and to just push the leftovers aside in my zeal to start something new. Well, I had run out of room to push and needed to set aside cleaning time. I have made some progress but will wait to show pictures when I have more completed. I can tell you that I have filled my strip bins so I will be getting back to making strip blocks.

Be sure to drop by Judy’s blog to see what others are actually getting done.