Thursday, October 30, 2014

My son's job

My son works at the Western Railway Museum.  They recently finished up their Pumpkin Patch month.  This is their big money making month for the nonprofit organization.  They get more people come through the museum during this month than during the rest of the year.  He loves his job helping people but mostly working with the older volunteers.  They remind him of his grandfather who is a train lover.  I wish my dad lived closer and could come visit the museum.  He would get a kick out of riding the old trains and could make some improvements to their model train set.

This is my son and his girlfriend's brother enjoying a ride on the hay truck to the pumpkin patch.

Looks like we are going to have a rainy Halloween so I think we will just head to the store and buy some candy this year.  My little one can't pick out a costume anyways.  First he wanted to be wheat and then a slice of bread.  I have no idea where this kid gets his crazy ideas.  But I think I'll keep him. :)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Saying Thanks

 There are lots of ways to say Thanks.  Making quilts for our military veterans is one way I enjoy saying Thanks for service.  These quilts will be giving away in March to members of the service who have seen battle.  I'm happy to play my part in doing the quilting.  Some people made the blocks, others put the blocks together, I did the quilting and others will put the binding on them.
Everyone is doing just a little bit to wrap a big hug around those who have given so much.  Do you want to help?  There are lots of ways you can help.  Do you have some fabric you are never going to use?  Find a local quilt guild and donate it.  Or, take an hour or two and make a few blocks.  These blocks are 12 1/2 inch unfinished and you can see that you can make them any design.  You can talk to your quilt guild about starting a block of the month where everyone makes just one block and then someone joins them all together.  Think of how many quilts you could have at the end of the year.  If every quilt guild started doing this, think of how many Veterans we could cover!

Don't know where to send finished blocks or a finished quilt?  Alycia is always collecting blocks and quilts and is constantly giving quilts to Veterans.  She is my inspiration, even though I've never met her in person.

Dinosaur quilts

A friend at work asked me to make a couple of dinosaur quilts for her nephews.  It's only taken me about 4 months to get started on them.  I have the second one about half way done.  I think I will put a larger border on before quilting to make it almost bed size.  They are just pillow panels with some 3 1/2 inch strips added around and around.  They really didn't take long to make, but for some reason, it took a long time to get started on them.  I have no idea why some quilts get done finished quickly and some take a long time to get started on.  I have a baby quilt I made this summer and it's sat for a couple months waiting to have the binding put on.  The baby will still fit in it for quite some time, but I don't feel rushed to finish it up.  Maybe now that's I've put it in writing, I will get it done this week.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Not even what I planned to do today-Elephant quilt

 So I purchased the AccuCut Elephant Die about 6 months ago and never even opened it.  I had no intentions of starting a quilt like this today, but for whatever reason, got the crazy idea to do some embroidery.  I ordered an embroidery design for the Accuquilt Go elephant die and figured they were the same size.  WRONG.  The AccuCut die is slightly bigger.  Well, I had already cut out a bunch of elephants, so what was I going to do, but learn to applique!
 I have no idea why I was so scared of applique.  It takes less than 5 minutes to stitch around the edge of the shapes and is super easy.
 Since I was going to stitch them down with the embroidery machine, I didn't put any fusible onto the back of the fabric.  You just put a couple dabs of glue on and they stay in place no problem at all.
 I plan to add some fabric to the corners of these pieces and make them 12 inches finished.  This will be a really cute quilt when I'm all done.  I have no idea what got into me today, but I just decided I wanted to do something fun and this is what happened.
 If you have an embroidery machine and want to order the design for yourself, here's the link
 There are a lot of other designs for the Accuquilt dies and other things too.  It took longer to stitch out the embroidery designs than to make the applique blocks.  I just felt like playing around with my embroidery machine and my quilting machine was stitching away in the background too.
 Hate to see what the electric bill will be next month :)
 I might send this quilt to my daughter at UCLA because she loves elephants.  She has three quilts already, but she laughs and says you can never have too many quilts.  She makes fun of her friends who don't have any quilts.  She says she doesn't understand people who don't have quilts.
 I think I raised her right.
 I also ordered the dog and cat embroidery design and I actually have those dies for the Go! cutter.  But it would be nice to actually finish one quilt before starting another one.
 I know there are people out there who only buy the fabric they need for one quilt, cut it, sew it and finish the quilt.  Then, if they have leftover fabric, they give it to me.  They don't have a stash of fabric.  They use the fabric store as their stash.  How weird is that/  what if you want to make a quilt when the fabric store is closed?  Or, what if you change your mind in the middle of a project?  Or, what if you are supposed to be working on one project and the desire to make an elephant quilt hits you out of the blue?
 I bet they have clean houses though.  And lots of room in their cars to drive their friends around.
 But I bet they don't have spontaneous elephant quilts half way done either.  Or 487 other spontaneous unfinished projects.

on a Quilt of Valor roll

I guess this is the Quilt of Valor weekend.  My numbers of quilts are down this month and so I'm trying to do something about that.  My husband says I worry about things at work too much and so I'm forgetting everything about school and stress and just focusing on making quilts for others and managing to get a lot done.  It sure feels good and the stress is just melting away.  That's the way it needs to be.  Leave the work stress at work and come home to make quilts!  With my former student Alyssa coming to help me most of the grading gets done at school and what doesn't get done, can be finished pretty quickly right before grades need to be turned in, so why do I need to worry and fret so much?  You'd think at my age I'd have learned a thing or two about having fun.

I love how all of these different blocks come together to make such a great quilt.  I really do need to spend more time quilting.  It makes me oh, so happy.  I'm so glad I was able to fix my machine yesterday.

I have quite a few quilts I need to make for other people as well.  I better get started on two t shirt quilts for a lady at work.  She asked me to make them for her sons for Christmas.  So far, I've brought the bags of shirts home and they are still in my car.  They aren't going to get finished that way.  I have another t shirt quilt for a lady who runs the blood drive at our school every year.  I've been collecting shirts for that for a couple of years.  I keep thinking I need one more shirt, but I think I have enough now.  I should count and see just how many I have and just make it.  If I get more, I can always make another one.  They are really funny shirts.

And there is this crochet afghan I've been working on since the beginning of the year.  It's funny how long something takes when you never work on it.

More Quilts of Valor

Now that my machine is 'fixed' I'm back in business and not wasting time getting these Quilts of Valor quilted.  I have a total of 8 waiting to get done.
The ladies who wanted to put the binding on are hoping to get them all finished before the holidays hit.  I work backwards.  I do most of my work during the holidays.  One day I will be retired and have all the time in the world to quilt.

I just found out that Carla and the lady who is in charge of these Quilts of Valor are off having a great time at a Quilt Retreat, while I am home slaving away :)  One day I will sign up for a quilt retreat too and see what all the fun is about.  Until then, I will have to retreat into my messy sewing room and dig my way out.  I just brought home a whole car load of fabric and I need to sort through it.  I tell you, I get a phone call a couple times a month from someone cleaning out and donating fabric.  I need to work quicker.  But, I justify collecting for now, thinking that in the not so distant future, I will be retired (maybe 15 years from now) and have 10 hours a day to sew, sew, sew!  Hopefully my health holds up and my quilting machines do too.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Future Son in Law

My daughter's boyfriend is studying to be a lawyer.  Well, he is working for a law firm and has taken his LSAT's a couple times.  Recently he got a really good score on them so I sent him an Edible Arrangement to congratulate him.  He will be going to Law School in the fall of next year.  He said it was a nice dessert for after lunch :)  He's so cute :)

Can't keep this quilter down

Well, after stewing over the trouble with the broken power cord, I kept going back to the problem and have it fixed!  Carla isn't home this weekend and offered to have her husband come over and look at the problem.  I hate bothering people, when surely I can solve a simple problem like electrical wiring on a very expensive computer myself right?

My daddy didn't raise a dummy.  So, I just started wiggling and pulling on things and managed to break off another wire and drop it on the floor.  Great, now the problem was even worse!  Found the small wire, but it actually made it easier to fix, because now that it was off the main part of the machine, I could stick it into the hole that it had come out of on the cord.  You would think I would unplug things so I don't get electrocuted, but, hey I live dangerously around here.  I thought I had it turned off, but when I managed to get the cord plugged back into the box, the thing turned back on and I was back in business.  A lot of lime green duct tape to make sure nothing moved and I'm back in business!

Should hold up for another thousand quilts or so.  I'll just try to be more careful pulling on the cord when I get to the edge of the quilt.  You would think with how expensive this thing is, they would make the connection a little more sturdy.

quilts for Weed delivered

 Here's my friend Betty with the second batch of quilts our Binky Patrol group made. She delivered them this week and you can see how happy the ladies are.  Her car was stuffed full!  I love the sign they made.  We Love Weed!
These will be handed out to families who lost everything in the recent fires there.  So happy we can help out.

Sad news is my quilting machine is broken.  The power cord broke off the robot part of the machine and I'm not sure how to fix it.  I put a help call into my friend Carla and will also see if my son who works on robots can take a look at it when he gets home from work.  I'm feeling very sad today.  It's day 5 of a migraine and it was raining this morning so no morning walk.  I have to go out and get some groceries and do the weekly chores and can't distract myself with quilting.  Good thing I have a second quilting machine, plus a fabric cutter or two and several sewing machines to keep me busy.  I guess I can find something to do today.  Ok pity party over!  Get to work!  These quilts won't make themselves.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Quilt of Valor and new migraine treatment
Here's a link to an article about a new migraine treatment my doctor is letting me try.  I read about it on Facebook.  It's for eye drops used to treat glaucoma.  They are beta blockers and reduce blood pressure in the eye/brain which helps some migraine sufferers and work quickly once you get the migraine because you put the drops into the eye where the migraine is (behind the eye) and it goes right to the problem and BAM, blood vessels shrink, problem solved.  The ophthalmologists found it by accident when some of their patients noticed their migraines got better after using the eye drops for their other issues.  My doctor says it can't hurt so why not try it out.  Too bad I didn't have it yesterday when I had a doozy of a migraine!  I ordered it online to be shipped to me in the mail.  Just didn't figure I would get to the pharmacy within the week and I've been having fewer migraines during the week.  Of course yesterday had a lot of stress at school.
I did get this really nice Quilt of Valor quilted a couple days ago.  I had planned to get a couple done this weekend.  The ladies who are doing the binding want to get them done before the holidays are here and I'm just not doing my part.  I think I have 8 to get done.  Slow and steady gets them done.  Not even loading them on the frame really isn't working.  I seem to do better when I have more migraines.  Funny how that works.  Yesterday I got another one loaded and almost finished when I was feeling horrible.  I find distracting myself helps me feel better.  Just sitting around on the couch and I'm wanting to die.