Tuesday, June 29, 2010


I actually climbed up on the extension ladder tonight and cleaned out one whole rain gutter. No, we are not expecting rain anytime soon. In fact it was 98 degrees today. Not when I climbed up to the roof. I have a deathly fear of heights so this was quite the accomplishment for me. I just tried not to look down. My arms feel pretty weak right now from holding on so tightly.

There were two dead baby pidgeons and about 40 pounds of pidgeon poop in that one gutter. There are lots more gutters to go. But, not tonight. Tonight, I'm celebrating my small victory. Babysteps here.

Slave or master?

I'm beginning to feel like I'm a slave to my fabric. I've been working in the sewing room these last 3 days and feel like the fabric has taken over my life. It is calling to me every waking minute. I'm trying to organize it and corral it into a useable stash instead of it taking over everywhere in the house. Yesterday I brought in 3 buckets of fabric from the garage and gave away two buckets of non-quilting fabric. I also gave away 2 buckets of quilting patterns that were given to me a couple years ago. I looked through them and figured that since I hadn't used them in the last 2 years and I have access to the internet and all of its wonderful free patterns, the chances of me getting into those two buckets of patterns was very slim. Why not pass those patterns along to someone who would use them?

Today I brought in another bucket of fabric and have sorted through it. The big pieces are on the shelf, ready to be used as backings and the smaller pieces are in a bucket that I'm working on cutting into 6 1/2 inch squares. I'm sorting those squares into 63 squares for quilt tops. I had a whole bucket of kits made up and I think I added about 10 more kits to that bucket today. I'm still hoping to pass those kits along to be sewn into tops soon.

I think I will get one more bucket of fabric into the house today, but I can't let the fabric rule my life. I have other things I need to be working on around here, like the kitchen. I have cupboards that have things in them that haven't been used in years. I'm trying to clean out the dead weight and make room for the things I use on a daily basis. I'm making progress, but it is slow.

I also bought a 16 foot extension ladder. Did you know that it will fit inside of a minivan? I wasn't sure and asked the 'expert loader' at Home Depot and he guessed it would fit. Sure enough, when you fold down the seats, the ladder fits inside. I can now get up to the eaves of the roof to clean out the pidgeon poop from the rain gutters. I've been wanting (needing) to do that for 5 years.

oh, the joys of home ownership!

Off to sort more fabric, finish up a few more crochet squares to fill the box I'm shipping out tomorrow and clean something. Hey, I might even do some laundry. What an exciting life I lead!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Busy Sunday

Today I got up and decided I was going to work in the sewing room. No pictures to share, but I worked most of the day, taking breaks and getting distracted by found treasures. At the end of the day I have 39 quilt kits put together for others to sew together for me and 20 quilt kits for me to work on. Most of them were at least partly done already and needed one more fabric cut to make the quilt kit complete, but some of the kits were started from scratch as I looked for fabrics to finish off a kit. My daughter helped a lot, pulling fabric and saying, 'this goes together'. I have no sense of color and usually put horrible colors together so that really helped a lot.

I felt like I cut 1,000 yards of fabric, but it was probably closer to 100. That's still a lot of fabric for one day's cutting.

Most of the kits are stripie quilts from maryquilts.com. I have to say those are some of my favorite quilts to quilt. They are really quick to sew too. They take me about an hour to sew together. If you need a quick gift, they would be a favorite choice. I also finished up some buttonberry stashbuster quilts that needed a few pieces to make them a complete kit. I also found some patriotic stashbuster quilts that needed a piece or two and they are ready to sew. I need to get in the sewing room and start working on some of these kits, but it is hard when I have about 40 quilt tops waiting to be quilted.

I am hoping that tomorrow I can pass along some of these quilt kits so my busy bees can get to work putting them together for me.

I'm excited to get some of this fabric out of here. I'm making room for the fabric that is waiting patiently in the shed and garage. I think tomorrow I will bring in a couple of buckets and see what has been hiding out there. I don't think I will run out of fabric anytime soon.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Goodbye Kindergarten!

My baby has passed Kindergarten and moved on. I can't believe he is getting that old. Congratulations little man. I'm very proud of you.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Fingers crossed...it is working again

I'm not exactly sure how, but the quilting machine seems to be working again. I had it in the repair shop twice and after the first time it was working worse than before. The guy at the shop said there were only three things they could adjust. The timing, the needle height and the distance the bobbin is away from the motor. He adjusted the timing so knew that was right and moved the needle up all the way. He said it was down really far. When I took it back he put it back to where it was before. But the second time I brought it home, it was still skipping stitches and breaking almost as much as before I took it in the first time. I can't tell you how frustrating that is.

I took the needle plate out and sanded the hole again. After playing with it for about an hour, I found out that the thread broke when I moved the machine away from me to the left every time, especially when I moved in a diagonal straight line. So I figured it had to have a burr on the needle plate somewhere. But, that didn't seem to fix the trouble. So, I sanded the path of the thread using the finest sandpaper they sell for sanding cars. That didn't seem to help.
I kept sewing and breaking thread and sewing and breaking and then it just stopped breaking. Don't ask me why. My husband says maybe the machine just needed to warm up. It took 6 quilts to warm up?
Well, I'm not going to question it, but I am going to keep watching and checking to see if there are troubles again. It sure does feel good to be able to put a quilt on and pull it off 15 minutes later instead of 2 hours later and 43 thread breaks later!

I have so many quilt tops waiting to be quilted and out of here into the hands of kids who need them. I have plans for this summer and now that things seem to be working again, I can get busy.
My little guy's last day of kindergarten is tomorrow. Hooray. Summer vacation is almost here! My days are pretty busy today and tomorrow, but after that things should pick up in the sewing room.

Here are the quilts I've been working on while trying to fix the machine. I hope to be posting more now that things are working better.

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Romans 5:3-5

I did a little rejoicing in my suffering these past couple of weeks :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Frustrating machine

My quilting machine is giving me fits again. I've tried changing the needle, rethreading, sanding the needle hole, changing the thread, bobbin and every other suggestion that has been given to me. The thread just either skips stitches or breaks about every 12 inches. I thought I had the problem figured out because I had the bobbin in backwards. Who knew there was a wrong way to put in a bobbin? Well, I hadn't used the machine in a while so just put it in the way I thought it always went in and then went back and read the instruction manual and realized it is supposed to go in clockwise. That helped for one whole quilt. But then it started up again. I thought maybe I just had a bad bobbin, so tried several others and nothing seemed to help.

The machine is in the shop now getting a full work over. Hope he can figure out what the trouble is. Maybe the timing is off??? I'm hoping after a week of vacation the machine will be ready for work this summer. I know I am ready!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Baby shower gift

I lost my camera card reader and can't tell a story without a picture. Plus, with the end of the year madness it has just been a zoo around here. These are the gifts I made for my friend at work who is having a baby this summer. She is having a little boy so I made her two receiving blankets out of some flannel I got about 5 years ago and a quilt. I have been working more now that school is out and now that I have a new card reader and also bought an 8MB card for my camera today I will be posting more often!
I'm back