Monday, November 30, 2009

Design Wall, etc.

What a great weekend we had. Friday was spent sewing and this is one of the things I got done.

Since nothing else I have been working on can be blogged about, I decided we needed a new Christmas decoration. I found this tutorial on a blog last week, I feel so badly that I can’t find where I found it , and with a few changes, this is what I have made. I am going to decorate it with tiny gold/brass bells and it will hang on our front door for the month of Dec. While I was sewing, DH was trying to make up to me for not helping move furniture prior to Thanksgiving, as I had asked. I came in at lunch and found the front room all moved and cleaned. There is still a lot to do but it is started and I am very happy.

Saturday we spent the morning at the beach.

It was sunny, warm, and the beach we go to is very family friendly so we were able to see families enjoying each other while we reminisced about what all we used to do when our children were little. It is so nice to be able to look back and smile while looking at the present and smiling. I so enjoy the quieter life we now lead but loved the hustle and bustle of life with four children, when I was younger. After that interlude, we went to Red Lobster for Snow Crab Legs. It is one of my all time favorite meals and DH enjoys watching me crack those shells (rather than him…lol).

A short stop and Joanne’s and Barnes and Nobel and we were on our way back home. Thanks to in car phones, I was able to talk with my children and my mother so it was a very complete day.

Sunday found me back at work in the studio. I am hand sewing the binding on one of my gift quilts, completed a BOM for Dec., arranged the bells for my tree (see above) and got one of the rag quilts on the frame for some spot quilting. Oh, and I got one quilt label embroidered and ready to sew on. I did get two more labels designed but they have not been embroidered yet.

And now it is off to get more done. We usually decorate on the first Saturday of December so I have a few days to get that stuff out and find a new place for the tree. I love having my house decorated and even the job of putting it up (taking it down, not so much).

Have a great week and see ya later.

Edit: The directions for the Christmas tree can be found at

Thursday, November 26, 2009

We had a Happy Thanksgiving

My Thanksgiving started yesterday when I pulled the turkey out of the refrigerator and started the dinner making process. And today, as we neared the end of the cooking/preparation process, here came our daughter to consume the holiday feast.

I did get a little help. Here you see DH having cut the cranberry sauce and SIL slicing the turkey.

Look how good this all looks.

And this is what two full people look like.

And now we sit, football running, unable to move.

I had thought I would be able to get some quilting done this evening but that does not seem to be happening. So I will show you what I completed yesterday.

The front will show up on this blog after Christmas. I still need to make the label and then bind it but I am very pleased with how it has turned out.

Tomorrow I plan to quilt two rag quilts and complete labels for three finished quilts. Then, on Saturday, I plan to do nothing: it will be my birthday. I have always thought that it was the best holiday of each year.

Have a great weekend everybody!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Productivity and Inspiration

Sore throat, chills, a little cough: oops, I think I am sick. Well, it came on Friday night and was pretty full blown when I got home from shopping on Saturday. I was in bed by 3 and was happy that there was football on the TV for DH: I like to be left alone when I am sick. My theory is that food should be pushed under the door and no one should bother me until I am well.

Despite this little setback, I have been really productive. I have a Dresden Plate on the quilt frame and about half done. When not working in there I have completed two flannel rag quilts and two fleece throws. On my design wall (check out Judy's blog on Monday) I have the three Christmas socks I have embroidered for my granddaughter and her little family.

I didn’t do the snowflakes (Walmart did) but I did personalize them.

Behind the socks is another set of swap blocks I picked up Saturday. They are Autumn inspired and will probably reside on the UFO shelf for a few months, until inspiration comes.

And speaking of inspiration, look at what I did.

These are my creations from my first fused glass class. We got to play with bits and pieces of scrap glass and this is what I came out with. I had lots of fun and will really enjoy wearing these, my own creations. But even glass will never take the place of quilting, just provide for a change every once in a while.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Fun Week So Far

This past Tuesday was my twins birthday, they are now 41 years old. Each of their spouses decided to do something special for their special day. My DIL arranged a camping trip, in the cold mountains of MD. Please visit her blog to see their trip: Ponce.

My SIL arranged a surprise birthday party for my daughter. She was to be at the hospital for her clinical rotation, nurses’ training, so he got permission to bring cake and stuff around lunch time and she got to celebrate with her classmates, and us.

The class has been studying for their state board exam so a party seemed just the thing, don’t you think?

And here is SIL and DH getting the table ready for cake, etc. Isn’t it nice to see the men working?

I embroidered two t-shirts for DD, each with a nurse, of sorts, on the front.

Please excuse the face in the first shot. This daughter used to stand in front of a mirror, practicing her “faces,” nothing dramatic about her. Of ourse her father is a drama teacher.

Anyway, she graduates one month from her birthday and we couldn’t be prouder of her.

No pictures from the studio this time. I am working on three Christmas gifts and although I don’t think the people they are going to read my blog, I can’t be sure so they will be shown at the end of December. I will tell you that I also took a “fused glass” class last Tuesday night. I can’t show what I did because I had to leave it there to cool overnight and the class was 90 miles away. I am hoping to be able to go get them this weekend.

Today I have three hours to sew and then I have to get ready to teach my WW class. Tomorrow I will be sewing for about three hours and then I am going with DH to see a play. It seems it is getting harder and harder to get quality and quantity time in my studio. What ever happened to that quiet retirement life I envisioned?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Getting it together

Finally, a sense of accomplishment. I quilted my first quilt on the new quilt frame and even have the binding machine sewed on.

I had this top, called Flight School, completed at the end of November last year but I didn’t have time to quilt it prior to the holidays so it hung behind our Christmas village, as it was. But this year it will be a finished quilt. I quilted it with Floriani silver metallic thread and it quilted great. And I must say that having a quilt frame that is sturdy and level makes a big difference: so much more control.

Also this week my car was fixed and I was able to pick it up today. The guys did a great job and now it looks just like it did before the “big red truck” crunched it. It is nice to have the baby back.

Today I uncovered all of the top of the cutting table and cut fabric for backing and batting for a gift quilt (it will be my first time to machine quilt flannel), and cut all the strips for a flannel rag quilt. I also designed a second rag quilt and got all the fabric ready for cutting. I uncovered the embroidery machine and embroidered a gift shirt and I also bought 3 Christmas stockings to get ready to embroider names on: they will be an early Christmas gift for DGD and family.

After almost two weeks of pain from a pulled back muscle, it is really nice to be able to put in some real time doing what I love to do: I am so grateful. And, right now I have a whole weekend with no plans: I see sewing/quilting time on my agenda. Yea!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Still reorganizing and Design Wall Monday

Every day during this past week I have been working. I have moved everything in the studio, at least twice and frequently four times or more. The new quilt frame, the HQ Studio Frame, arrived late Wednesday, in three large boxes (40#, 75#, and 90#).

The UPS man brought them up on the deck but I had to slide, yes, slide, them into the studio. I did make sure I had the box that said it held the assembly instructions ready to be opened but decided I would wait until the next day.

Thursday I opened all the boxes and laid out all the parts and pieces.

I then left the room and allowed myself to do a little sewing. The sewing room in still upside down but I have cleared out sewing space so I don’t get too far behind and for a little relaxation.

Pressing area

Cutting area

Sewing area

On my new design, Monday update for Judy wall (not yet covered in flannel) is the newest comfort quilt I am doing. I bought these charm packs several months ago and they just seem perfect for some boy or girl. There are really three panels but I overlapped because I have other misc. things on the wall, too, so I ran out of usable space (story of my current life).

Friday DH and I went to the Greater Gulf Coast Art’s Festival in Pensacola. Oh, it was wonderful, again. I have been going for several years and find the work of the many juried artists very inspiring. I forgot to take my camera but lots of the artists don’t want pictures taken anyway. The day was beautiful, the art was great, and all the people were happy and friendly.

But, back at home Saturday was “build a quilt frame” day. We got all the major parts done and Sunday morning I finished the take-up poles and other misc. pieces. I have to say that DH was an excellent worker, good humored and stuck with it, even when there were football games going on elsewhere. I hope to get a quilt on the frame today and see how it works but I still need to so some leg leveling first.

On the car front, we took it to the shop this morning. My DD and SIL borrowed a car from his father so I will not be stranded in the country. However, looking at the weather map, I may just stay home while Ida passes by. LOL

One last thing, while bringing me the borrowed car tonight, my DD hit a deer (with her car). She sent me a picture of the car to put on the blog, as she wants people’s sympathy, too, however, I seem to have deleted it so it will have to wait for another day.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

My Life is in Shambles

I am in the middle of the studio fruit basket upset. All three rooms are a real mess (more than usual).

I do have the floor in the middle of the quilting room pretty much empty, ready for the boxes that are to arrive tomorrow. Without knowing how wide this new quilt frame is, it has been difficult to decide what can stay, but I think I have it almost ready. Just need to vacuum the floor. The other two rooms will get done later this week, or next. Did I share that I pulled a muscle in my back last Friday? That has really slowed me down.

And, well, there is one other thing that has slowed me down. Yesterday I decided to take myself out for a hamburger lunch: I had been working really hard and deserved a treat. So I walked out to the car and found this.

It seems that my DH backed his big red pickup into my little innocent silver sports car.

I tried calling him but he never checked his phone so when he got home he started to say “what did you do?” but I quickly cut him off and told him that I was never in the car and that he had done it. He says he had no idea but since there is silver paint on his bumper, we know that’s what happened. Anyway, he took it to the insurance company today and it can be repaired locally but not until next week and then they will have the car for at least three days. I must say that I was sick right after I found it and have not wanted to drive it, all messed up. Think I could put a sign on it saying that “DH did it”?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Whirlwind Weekend

Our quilt show was small, short and sweet. That little house was completely covered with quilts and except for a short time of rain on Saturday afternoon, the weather was cool and nice. I am working on a slideshow on to highlight our quilts and will get it up as soon as Blogger and I work it out. lol I tried to get pictures of them all but offer my apologies to my guild members if I missed some.

I worked the quilt show Friday and Sunday afternoon. Friday and Sunday mornings were spent moving sewing and quilting stuff. My studio is a three room mobile office and I am switching the two end rooms (sewing room and quilting room). I have ordered a new frame for my HQ16 so I am clearing out one whole room to accommodate the larger table. Meanwhile, I am setting up the new sewing room to accommodate four different sewing machines and a new design wall and I am using two 8’ tables to do this. But to make this work I have moved chests of drawers, big tables, machines, book cases, fabric and a very large thread storage case along with a lot of other stuff. I think I have touched everything at least twice. And tomorrow and Tuesday I have to get it mostly done because the new frame has been shipped and is supposed to arrive Wednesday.

Saturday was a mandatory Weight Watcher’s Leader’s meeting. It was fun and kind of like a coach’s pregame pep talk. We were introduced to some of the new things planned for 2010 and given some ideas for meeting topics.

With all this running around, guess what I have been doing for relaxation. I sew, of course. I have been working on a BOM, Eleanor Burns double wedding ring block. I can’t say it is going quickly since 10 – 15 min of sewing doesn’t move things along quickly. But I had one machine still set up until this afternoon and made myself a very small pressing place so I could have small moments of sanity. And on that happy note, I close to get back to work.