Sunday, July 31, 2011

Final Day for Giveaway and saving energy

Today is the final day for the quilt kit giveaway. You just have until midnight to sign up. I will pick a winner in the morning, when I get up :)

I gave the finished quilt to my friend at church today and totally forgot about putting a card in the tote bag. Oops. Oh, well, everyone knows me as the quilt lady from church, so I know the new mom will know who the present is from, and I saved another tree!

Speaking of saving trees, maybe it is all the talk of the economy and raising the debt ceiling, or maybe it is spending so much on the bathroom re-do (which still isn't done by the way!) but I have been freaking out just a little bit on our PG&E bills. I was at the dentist will my little guy the other day and overheard the ladies talking about thier bills. One lady was saying that she just got a $90 bill last month. Another lady said hers was $120. They said that those were pretty low bills, but they thought they would be lower because we have had some really cool temperatures for the summer months. True, our summer has been really cool. We have maybe had 5 days over 100 all summer long. But, our bill is over $400 almost every month every month of the year.

What's running and sucking all of the power? I am starting to do some research in the hopes of saving a little money (to spend on fabric or a robotic quilting machine!)

Here's an article on how appliances still use power, even when off.
I found this article on how much each appliance uses, based on the values for 8 cents/KW hour. Now to figure out how much we pay per hour for a kilowatt :) I bet it is a lot more than 8 cents!

Off to do some more research. I feel like the energy czar at my school. Turn off that light, shut down that computer! Ugh, I wish my shoulder felt better so I could quilt :)

Friday, July 29, 2011

Batik Boutique

Here's a website with some really great products made by people who are working their way out of poverty. Take a peek and see if there are any gifts you would like to get yourself or a friend.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder

Or so the saying goes...

Let's just see if that saying is true for my quilting. Since I am going to take your advice and stay away from quilting for awhile and give my shoulder some time to heal, I am giving crocheting a go again. I learned to crochet when I was 12. A LONG time ago. I love to crochet, almost as much as I love to quilt. I stopped crocheting when I picked up quilting because you can finish a quilt much faster than you can finish a crochet afghan. But, I do have a lot of yarn stashed in the garage that needs to be used up, so, unless this hurts my shoulder too, I will be working on some baby things. These are a few of the hats I have been working on that will be headed to the NICU at the local hospital. I used to make a whole bunch of baby hats and booties for the hospital and it is fun to make them again. I love to knit too, so maybe I will pick that up again. Must keep the hands busy doing something. I hate just sitting there and watching TV and I feel like I have accomplished something after a couple of hours if I have something to show for my lazy times.

The pattern is similar to this one, but not exactly. I did it from memory, from making so many of these baby hats over the years. But this is a good one to start with, if you need a quick project to make for a friend. My hats come out smaller, because they are for preemie babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Paying the Piper

So, it is definately the quilting that is bothering my shoulder. I quilted two quilts yesterday and this morning my shoulder is killing me. :(

But, I think it is worth it. At least in the short term. I'm going to do a little google searching and find out how long tendonitis takes to heal. That's what my husband thinks my shoulder trouble is. He had tendonitis in his elbow from playing tennis and it took about 6 months to heal. He had to give up playing tennis tournaments and can only play for short amounts of time now that he is 'older'. I hope that doesn't happen to me. I hope I didn't do some serious damage with all of the quilting I did for the Japan project. I know I put in some long hours on that project. Again, totally worth it, but sad that I can't crank them out like I used to. Ugh.

This quilt is for a friend of a friend at church who had surgery last week for lung cancer. The real kind, not the fake kind that the doctors make up to make you go away when your shoulder hurts. She is home and doing well, but I thought she could use a hug. I love the colors in this quilt and hope she likes them too. I'm going to pop it in the mail today.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

made the tote bag :)

Decided to make the tote bag. Took a whole 10 minutes from start to finish, cutting the fabric, sewing and all! Quilt is wrapped and ready to give on Sunday.

That was easy!

Finished the baby quilt

I was invited to a baby shower for a friend at church's daughter last weekend. I couldn't go, but wanted to make a gift. Here it is finished :) Now I need to decide on whether to wrap it or just put it in a tote bag. You see I've been making a zillion and one tote bags from the thick fabric that has been donated. A tote bag saves me time and money on wrapping paper and could be useful to the new mother, but is that tacky? Does it say, hey, I'm too lazy to run to the store and buy you some pretty wrapping paper, come home, find the scissors and tape and spend 20 minutes trying to make your present look nice? Instead, I spent 10 minutes making this reusable tote for you and put your present inside. Would you rather have a tote, or wrapping paper that gets thrown away? I know my answer, but tell me what you think.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


This is what it looks like out my daughter's bedroom window. There is an industrial park about 2 miles from my house, across the street from the high school I work at. There is a Clorox plant, Ball (the company that makes the canning jars), a wine bottle making plant, Doritos, and this company, which manufactures plastic which is on fire. Not the best planning if you ask me! Who puts a high school right across the street from all of these places that make things that when they burn can give you cancer? I had no idea this was on fire, right outside my house, until a friend texted me and asked if I could see the fire from my house.

I'm going to try and call to find out if we should evacuate because the smoke is coming our way :(

Ugh, this article on clutter is so me!

I'm an entropy expert and this article is soooo me!

Still want to send quilts to Japan?

Yesterday I sent another 15 quilts to Japan. I am still working through the quilt tops that were sent to me for the Quilts for Japan project that I wasn't able to finish in time for the Free Shipping from Fed Ex. I was a little worried that I would have to get a second job to pay for the quilts to get there, or maybe have to rent a plane and take them myself.

Well, I boxed up 15 quilts in a pretty big box and took them to the post office. The guy I'm sending them to is a Major for the US Marines (hoo-rah) and so I could send the box Military Mail. Yay!

The box weighed 21 pounds and only cost me $12.89 to ship. Wow! Now I wish my daughter was in the military because I have to ship out some stuff to her in college and it will probaby cost me about $60, just to go to Ohio. I sent this big box all the way to Japan for so cheap!

If you would still like to help the Children of Japan and send them a warm hug from the United Stated, you can use this address too. The more quilts you send at one time, the cheaper it is to send. I sent mine the cheapest way possible, parcel post, and it will probably take about a week to get there. If you include your email address, Maxx will email you when the box arrives.

Maj. Maxx Godsey
PSC 78 Box 412
APO AP 96326

When you get to the post office, you will need to fill out the large customs form with all of your information on it and what is in the box. You can just make up a value for the quilts. They aren't charged customs on the packages so it doesn't matter what you put, but mark gift :)

There were over one million people who lost homes in Japan and they are still working to clean up after the disaster. I know that I never hear anything on the news about Japan because we go from one crisis to another. So, if you still have the children of Japan on your hearts and still feel the need to help them, know that they aren't forgotten and that there are still lots of people helping. You quilts will be welcomed with open arms and given to kids who still need BIG hugs!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Baby Tumbler Quilt Kit Give-Away!

I needed a baby shower gift in a Jiffy and also wanted to try out my new 3 1/2 inch tumbler die I got off ebay for the Studio cutter so when I combined the two, this is what I got. Took me about 2 hours to put it together, now I just need to quilt and bind and wrap around the cute little baby!

Well, when I cut out the pieces, of course, I ended up with waaaaay too many. So, here's the giveaway.

You have the chance to win everything you need to complete a quilt top just like this. Enough 3 1/2 inch tumbler blocks, the 1 1/2 inch inner border and 3 1/2 inch outer border. The finished quilt top measures about 37x40 inches and is the perfect size to cuddle that cute little baby that is coming into your life. What? No baby you know of? How about donating to your favorite local charity.

So, how do you win?

First, head over to my friend Carla's blog. Take a look at what she has been up to. If you are a reader of North Hills Quilter, you know I talk about Carla a lot! She is my partner in crime and we get each other in trouble a lot :) You can see that she quilts for hire at the top of her blog. She has a robotic quilting machine that can do some amazing things! She just programs it and tells it what to do and she can go take a nap, read a book, eat some bon-bons and put her feet up. When the machine gets to the end of the row, it sits quietly and waits for her to come back and roll the quilt and do the next row. If you are looking for someone to do some machine quilting for you, Carla does a great job and her rates are really reasonable. She also has a really fast turn around time!

Then, come back here and tell me about one of the quilts you liked from her blog. Just leave a comment with your favorite quilt from Carla's blog in the comment and you are entered for a chance to win the quilt kit for the Baby Tumbler quilt.

One comment per person please to keep things fair. International people are ok this time because the package will be small enough not to break the bank :)

I will pick a winner on July 31, which also happens to be the day that the Accuquilt Facebook contest ends! what a coincidence :) Good Luck!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Please help me Bust My Stash!

Head on over to Accuquilt's Facebook page here and you will find my picture to vote for in the Accuquilt Bust My Stash contest. The winner gets and Accuquilt Go! Package which includes the Go! cutter and a whole bunch of dies. You all know that I already have the cutter and the dies and I won a cutter for my mom. I want to win this to give to my friend Carla because you know how much we are working for the kids! If she has a Go! cutter, we can work twice as fast and get twice as many quilts done in half the time.

I'd really appreciate the vote from you :) Thanks friends!

Friday, July 22, 2011

16 years ago today...

I went into labor. Didn't have my baby for another 36 hours, so tomorrow she turns 16 :) Worst of my 4 labors :) Having a movie, dinner and sleepover with a few friends. Hope these guys finish at least one of these bathrooms soon!

quick peek

Here's the upstairs-has a tub.

Here's the downstairs, just a shower.

Bathroom progress

Today there are three guys working on both bathrooms. After yesterday I thought, hey, I could be a construction worker! But, today, there is no way I could do this job.

The upstairs bathroom is what promped the phone call that got everything started. This little bit of tile.

Look what was behind the wall. Yuck!

All of this mold was behind the wall upstairs and downstairs too! Incredible what happens when you don't do things correctly. These guys sure are working hard. They are almost done with the downstairs shower install and have just put the upstairs parts upstairs. I keep peeking my head in the room to see what is going on but try to stay out of their way.

They promised to get the downstairs shower working today before they leave. I sure hope so because my daughter turns 16 tomorrow and is having a sleepover this weekend! :)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Pulled muscle or Lung Cancer?

I went to Kaiser again today and saw the orthopedic specialist. Her suggestion was that my sore shoulder was either a strained muscle or possibly lung cancer. What? Where did that come from? So she sent me for an Xray of my lung. She said she would only call me if there was something wrong. I asked if she would at least email me if everything was ok. She said nope, just a phone call if she saw something in the xray. So, I guess if I don't hear anything, I will live to make another quilt. She said she was pretty sure it was a strained muscle and that I would get better eventually. Did I ever mention that I think I picked the wrong profession? How do you like my new dress? I'm thinking of getting them in every color. And why is it so puffy around the middle? Next time I'm not wearing it over my pants! And yes, the xray tech made sure to point out that I put it on backwards. I didn't realize there was a front side. He was pretty funny. I guess you get a little crazy sitting in a dark room all day.

Demo day 1

So, the guys came this morning and started the demo on the bathroom. I left to take my daughter to a tennis lesson and by the time I came back they were almost done. This is what they got done today, in just about 2 hours. They had to cut out the drywall because water had leaked in and mold had grown in there. At least there was no dry rot in the wood.

Tomorrow they will be back with the shower install and move onto the upstairs bathroom. Yay! Just wish I had some knowledge of how to do some of this work myself. Seems simple enough, but trust me, I have tried to do things like this and they never turn out the way you see them on TV. Better leave some things to the professionals.

Bathroom renovations

When we bought this house about 7 1/2 years ago, we walked in, looked at the backyard and said, we will take it. We didn't see the leaking ceiling, the mushrooms growing out of the walls or the problems with the bathrooms. Even if we did, we still probably would have bought the house. You see, the backyard was big enough for a tennis court. My husband is the tennis coach for the local high school and my daughters both play tennis. My little guy is now starting tennis and LOVES it! So, having a tennis court in your backyard was a dream for my husband. At the time, our old neighbors were driving me insane. They would come into my yard and cut down my trees and rose bushes and think nothing of it. I called the police on them several times and they talked to them, but nothing was really done because we didn't want to spend the money to hire a lawyer and sue them. So, we decided the best thing to do was move. When we found this house, we knew it was the right thing to do. We love the location. We are right next to a HUGE open field (that the city is now planning on developing into 260 new homes and a huge park with a lake and shopping area--yeah right, when the economy turns around!) and we have great neighbors that are quiet for the most part. There are some grouchy neighbors across the street that greeted me with-growing vegetables in your front yard isn't conducive to the neighborhood! as I look and see the huge weed patch that is their front yard. But other than that, we love where we live. Except that this house was probably built in a day by blind contractors. The roof leaks and we have had two roofers out about 8 times and they can't seem to fix it. I don't understand how you can't fix a leaky roof, but they blame it on the pidgeon poop. They say that when the pidgeons poop, it piles up and causes the rain to run backwards and under the tiles and into the house. So, make it so that doesn't happen! But, what do I know about roofs.

And when they put the bathrooms together, they just glued the tiles onto the drywall. Glue plus tile plus water equals leaks. The master bath had to be redone when we moved in. The water would drain into the garage when you took a shower. The guys that the realtor hired to fix the problem did a rush job and now it has to be done again. They didn't really fix the problem, just put a bandaid on the leak and now we get to re-do it all over again.

The tiles on the other two bathrooms are now starting to fall off and we had a guy out yesterday to give us an estimate and he starts work today. He will me demo-ing the downstairs bathroom (aka-quilt storage area) that hasn't been used in 3 years and it should be working again by Monday or Tuesday. My son is so excited! Then onto the upstairs bathroom. We will most likely wait until next summer to work on the master bathroom because this is EXPENSIVE! Wow, although I would never want to work that hard, sometimes I wonder if I got into the wrong profession :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Did I scare it away?

So, my appointment with the orthopedic specialist on Thursday and now my shoulder doesn't hurt. What's up with that? Does my shoulder know that I have the appointment? Is it laying low so I look like a fool? I was crying on Sunday and today...nothing?

SO, call me an idiot, but I decided that since I am healed, I would quilt 3 quilts to reach 100 for the summer :)

This way I am either going to blow the shoulder out for the appointment, or get half way to my goal. Either way, I achieved something today. Hubby doesn't like the idea very much.

On another front...Carla, Rhoda and I went to a Quilts of Valor meeting tonight at my local quilt shop. Out of the 8 people that were there, three of them were named Judy. What's the chance of that? Several of the ladies were working on quilts and we went just to see what was going on. Carla took home one of the quilt tops to quilt and we all agreed to make some more quilts before the next meeting. We all learned that there are several groups working with the wounded soldiers here at Travis Air Force Base. I'm going to talk to my friend, Kelli and see if she will try to coordinate and get the groups together.

I'm hoping my shoulder is healed so I can get back to quilting. It was nice to be around people who are working towards a common goal again. And it felt good to touch fabric :)

Famous again :)

I got a mention in the newspaper and didn't even realize it until today :) My daughter, Emily, and I make quilts for veterans and donate them locally. I was sending them to Alycia for her quilts of Valor program, but then found that because we have a hospital where many of the returning wounded come through from the war in Iraq and Afganistan, I could drop them off at a friend's house, I could save the postage money and use it to buy more batting, I could make more quilts. Who doesn't want to make more quilts?

Kinda cool to get a mention in the paper for my secret project.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Bag lady

I've been making bags this summer. Lots and lots of bags. With the fabric that isn't fit for making quilts, but is heavy and sturdy, I've been turing it into tote bags for carrying the quilts or kits or binding back and forth to my quilting friends. These are just some of the bags that are here at the house. The top two were made today. Do I have a pattern? Nope. After making a zillion of these, I just cut the bag fabric as big as possible. You make it out of a rectangle. The biggest bags are about 36 inches wide. Yep, nice and big. These are for carrying quilts, so they need to be big and wide and deep. Then, I cut the handles about 5 inches wide and as long as possible. If they are really long, they get sewed down the whole length of the bag. If they are shorter, they only get sewn to the top of the bag. See, no pattern. Each bag is different. Some bags have details on them, like the stitching along the sides to make them more squarish. Some don't. Some have matching handles because I had enough fabric, some don't. These are practical bags, not bags that will win any prizes in a show :) Each bag takes about 15 minutes to make and will be used over and over again and can be thrown in the washer. Now to fill them up with quilt kits or binding or finished quilts! They look so lonely sitting here empty :)

getting an appointment with an orthopedic specialist

My shoulder has been bothering me more lately so I emailed my doctor yesterday and he got right back to me this morning saying he was going to refer me to a specialist. That is one thing I like about Kaiser. They are quick at moving you along to the next person if you ask. I'm just hoping that it isn't something serious that requires surgery. I just can't wait to get back to quilting again! Here I have all of this time off and can't do what I love so much. I sure am learning patience this summer.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Anybody need Free Diapers? Hurry

Free diaper samples from Target. Just fill out the form and answer some questions and they will send you a free sample of Huggies diapers. I'm sure you have a friend who could use some free diapers. Even if you use cloth diapers (Carla) you can use these for those overnight times or when you are on vacation or at a friend's house :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

One of our students

Makes me sad to open the paper and find that one of the students from my high school has passed away. Megan was not one of my students, but I did know her and had her brother. She had a brain tumor. She had just graduated in June. She didn't let anyone know she was ill. And I just find out now she loved to sew!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Goals and Am I weird?

So, my goals aren't going very well. 4 quilts a day isn't very big, but when I'm dealing with a torn muscle in my shoulder moving my arm hurts and I haven't been able to keep up with things lately. I'm having to rethink things around here.

One of those things is my goal setting. I'm realzing that I'm not reaching a lot of the goals I'm setting and I'm looking at a lot of my goals and wondering about my motives at setting these goals in the first place.

Why am I killing myself (ok, maybe not killing myself, but really physically hurting myself) to get 200 quilts done this summer? Because I want to get these quilts into the hands of kids who need hugs. I really want to comfort other people and sometimes that means pushing aside my own needs. I find that I get really frustrated when I can't quilt and have to take time off to just sit. Ugh.

Another one of my goals is to get more followers. Why? Certainly not because I want to be more popular or because I think I have such important things to say. I want more followers because I was told that if I had a bigger following, my blog would be chosen to give away some Accuquilt products. Why do I want to do that? Because I LOVE all of the Accuquilt products! They really do make quilting more fun. The Accuquilt Go! is portable, quick and accurate at cutting fabric. There are so many shapes and although I haven't actually tried any of the applique, one of these days I"m going to force myself to sit down and applique something. Maybe one of these days soon! I really, really love my studio cutter. Almost every day this summer I have cut something out with it. Although I had visions of the Studio cutter making short work of my fabric stash (which hasn't happened yet) it really has helped me make quilt kits so quickly. If I could purchase one of these Studio cutters for every quilt guild in the country, I would. If you belong to a quilt guild, you should really suggest that they invest in an Accuquilt Studio. Yes, they are expensive! Each die will cost about $100, unless you can find them on ebay (but don't outbid me please!) But, if you make as many quilts as I do, you will find they are worth the cost. How much is your time worth? Mine is worth $60 an hour. $1 a minute. Yep. That's what I decided. So, if I can save a few dollars on each quilt I make, it is so worth it to me to spend a few dollars on a new die every once in a while. And, how much is fun worth? I don't drink and I don't gamble and I don't go to the movies often so this is what I do for fun :)

So, can you help me get closer to giving away an Accuquilt product? Just follow me (click on the follow button)

I feel like I have been blessed with so much. I have a great husband who puts up with my hobby addictions. I can never do something part way. I used to have birds. I didn't just have one or two, no I had hundreds of birds in my living room. My screen name many places is mlewisbirdbrain :) Then, I had guinea pigs. Not just one or two, but at the most about 50 guinea pigs in my living room! Then it was crocheting. Not just one or two projects going at once, but thousands of skeins of yarn! You see a pattern here. My hobbies take over the whole house and my dear husband puts up with each one. Then, I have four wonderful children who also put up with their mother's obsessions. Sometimes they even help out!

To whom much is given, much is expected...

So, am I weird?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

another quilt in Japan

These are at another Church in Japan, ready to be handed out. Did you make them?

Thursday, July 7, 2011


So, I went to the doctor today about my sore shoulder and he says I tore some muscles in there. Muscles I can't pronounce. He even pulled out his anatomy book to show me that they exist and that I need to be more careful. I told him it was from bowling, but we all know it was from quilting. I just couldn't tell him that I've been quilting so much lately that I hurt myself again. He is going to have me locked up for good! The last time I told him I hurt myself quilting, he called the men in the white suits, but they didn't get there fast enough to put me away, so I knew I had to come up with a better story. I really did probably hurt myself bowling and then didn't let it heal all the way before hurting it more quilting.

He says that a muscle tear takes 4-6 weeks to heal. Seriously? He also says that if I am doing something and it hurts that I should stop. Really? My doctor must think I am crazy. I may need to lower my expectations for the summer and take things easy for a while to give myself some time to rest and recover. I'm going to try lefthanded quilting a little and taking it easy and get my kids to help with things like vacuuming and driving (yay for my almost 16 year old) so I don't have to use the shoulder as much. A couple of weeks more and I should be as good as new. Now, just to keep from hurting myself again. The doctor also said to stretch before exercising. If only he knew, I don't exercise. Maybe I should stretch before quilting!

A winner!

Congratulations Rebecca. You are the lucky winner of the Stretched Stars kit and I will be sending it out to you as soon as I hear back from you and get your address.

Thanks everyone for entering and stay tuned. I will keep sorting fabric and cutting it up and will have another giveaway before the summer is over.

I see the doctor this afternoon and wouldn't you know, my shoulder is feeling better this morning? Isn't that the way things go?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Lefthanded quilting

So, even after giving my shoulder a whole day of quilting rest, it is still killing me. I made a doctor appointment for tomorrow. I decided that while I waited for the appointment, I would see if I could quilt lefthanded. What could it hurt?

You know, I'm pretty good lefthanded! I got my 4 quilts done today using only my left hand to guide the quilting machine. Watch out world, now that I can quilt with both my left and right hand, I can get twice as much done. If only I had two machines, I could work them both at the same time :) Ha!

The advice nurse thinks I may have torn a muscle or stretched some ligaments. I hurt it bowling about 3 weeks ago, but that was in the front and now it hurts in the back. This doctor must think I am a giant spaz. I swear that since switching to Kaiser I have been into see this guy about every month for some new problem. Before switching I only went to the doctor to have a baby! Seriously :) I need to get my records transferred over so my new doctor doesn't think I am crazy.

I blinked...

and he turned 14~

We went to IHOP this morning for our traditional birthday breakfast :)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy July 4th!-giveaway

Got the quilting accomplished today and had some fun with my mangle this morning. I got through an entire bucket of fabric scraps in about 20 minutes. I promise to make a video of the wonders of the mangle to show you just what it can do! I think everyone needs one of these fancy, old fashioned ironing machines. Thanks Carla for introducing me to this machine. I have no idea how I lived without this iron!

And now, for the moment some of you have been waiting for :) I still haven't taken a picture, because I'm not finished cutting the fabrics out, but they will be patriotic fabrics to make a red, white and blue version of this quilt, the Stretched Stars quilt. It will be bigger than this one, because I'm cutting the squares 6 1/2 inches and the triangles 6 1/2 inch finished using my Accuquilt Studio cutter. The squares will be white and the points on the stars will be either blues or reds. A great way to celebrate your favorite 4th of July Holiday, or Labor Day or Memorial Day, or to give to your local Veteran's home or Quilts of Valor.

The contest is open to US residents only, sorry, can't afford international postage :(

Here's the rules: You must be a follower (I'm trying to get more followers so Accuquilt will allow me to give away a Baby Go or a Go! fabric cutter) and leave one comment per person. You are welcome to post on your blog if you want, but not necessary.

Contest ends July 6th at midnight. I will pick a winner on July 7th when I wake up and notify the winner by email and on the blog. If you are no reply and I can't get ahold of you, I will pick a different winner, so make sure I can get ahold of you.

Good luck!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Today's goal met

But, hubby says to stop quilting today because I'm complaining that my shoulder hurts. I say it is from all of the driving I have been doing lately, but he says it is from all of the quilting. He is probably right, but I hate it when he is right. So, instead of trying to get more quilts done, I'm trying to match up quilts and backing fabrics. Since I don't have places to put the matched pairs, I'm putting them in a box. I've pulled out all of the quilt tops and there is a huge mess on the floor of the quilting room. No pictures :) I've pulled out a bunch of fabric that is big enough for backing without having to be matched and pieced together and do you realize just how hard it is to match the two together? You would think with over 100 tops and more backings than that, things would go together easily. But, when you are color challenged, things can be difficult! I had my daughter helping me yesterday, but hubby was playing an online video game with all of the kids today so I was on my own. I think I did ok, I'm sure she will jump in as I start pulling these out and question some of my choices :)

I matched about 40 quilts and you cannot tell from the pile. I have now sorted the tops by color categories and plan to bring a pile to my friend Carla's to pick out some more backing fabrics before she heads to Sister's in Oregon on Wednesday. She offered to kidnap me and take me along. When I mentioned it to my family, a discussion started as to who would starve to death before I came home in 5 days. It was very funny to hear how the kids thought they could survive on Top Ramen and what they would do when that ran out. While the thought of a retreat is interesting, I think I had better stay here and clean up my mess! It might take me 5 days to get to the front door.

and finally, here is a picture of one of the tops I quilted today. Isn't this one really cool? Once finished, it will head to Japan, along with a few others that arrived in time, but just didn't get finished in time to go with the big shipment.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

I caught up!

I didn't think I would make it, but I quilted 10 quilts today and got caught up for the week :) No more getting so far behind. Just 4 quilts a day. MUST STAY FOCUSED. No more migraines, and I think the plan should work.

My doctor changed my medicines again and suggested I try aerobic exercises when I actually have a migraine. Ha! I doubt he has ever had a migraine because just the thought of exercising with a migraine makes my head hurt. Plus, I don't like to sweat. Ick, yuck, no thanks.

Off to start trimming this big pile of quilts so I can get them to my binding beast or at least get them off the kitchen table!

So here's the plan

I have two of these clothes hangers for my quilt tops. Not all of the quilt tops I have will fit on these :) I'm not complaining, just saying that I have a lot of tops to work through and this is why I am trying to get so many done this summer. I'm hoping to play catch up before more come in. Most people go on vacation during the summer and I have time off to get lots of quilting time in. Then, when I'm back in school and my top makers have time to sit at home and get busy again, they can load me up with more quilt tops again.

I took one of the clothes racks and made these little cards, one for each day of the week. Since my goal is 4 quilts a day, I figured I would put 4 quilt tops and backings in each little slot and then I would know if I reached my goal for the day or not. If I can do more than the day's quilts, I can just pull from another day. By the end of the week, the rack will be empty and I can always find more quilt tops in the piles and stacks of tops that are around in the sewing room. Each week I will have my daughter help me pull backing fabric to match the quilts and of course some of these will need the backings made to size. Lots of these quilts are bigger than one width of fabric so it will take some time to get the backing ready for quilting.

But, I think with a system in place, I will be better prepared each day for the quilting that needs to be done and feel a little less stressed. I can see the progress each week as the quilts disappear from the rack. I will replace them at the end of the week--each Saturday--with new quilts and since I have two racks, if I have time during the week to match quilts with backing fabric, I can always match and hang on the second rack without interfering with the first rack and messing up the progress and the visual impact it makes as the quilts disappear.

I'm pretty excited to watch this happen. The way the sewing room is now, things aren't disappearing! I keep bringing fabric in from the garage and the mess is just getting bigger and bigger! I'm trying to cut it up and sort it, but fabric is like rabbits--it breeds in the dark! :)

Hope you come back and watch the progress of the disappearing quilts and stay tuned for the quilt kit giveaway on Monday!

not keeping up

I'm just not keeping up with my goal of quilting 4 quilts a day. I really want to get 200 quilts done this summer and I have to get back in the groove if I want to get these tops done before school starts. I know to some this seems like a big task, but it really can be done. It only takes about 15 minutes to quilt a small top for me, but it is just one of the many things on my to do list each day.

Yesterday I finished fixing my mangle :) Carla's husband has been helping me. I had to rewire the electrical parts and I had no idea what I was doing. I went to the local hardware store and they built me a new electrical plug. You see, this thing is from the 1950's and the old plug had the insulation coming out. It still worked, but I figured it was just a matter of time before it shorted and burned my house down. Plus, when I drug it into the house, I ran it over and cut through the electrical cord. Probably the best thing I ever did because that forced me to replace the cord. Unless I am forced to do something, it takes me forever to fix something. Like my leaky faucet in the kitchen. Needs to be done, but hasn't happened yet this summer. Next on my to do list. I just know it is going to be a pain in the neck. Seriously. Not something I want to tackle.

So, the mangle is working and now I can iron fabric so easily. It is fun! Crazy huh?

So, I iron and then cut it into little pieces, which means the fabric needs to be sewn back together. Which takes away from quilting time. Not that I'm sewing fabric back together just yet. First you have to make kits. Kits with patterns. Patterns that have to be searched out on the computer and printed out. And then stuck into baggies, along with the cut out fabric. Do you see where I'm going here? I'm making lots of UFO's. Unfinished Projects. Why? I have ten thousand of these already, but it is so much fun to make these. And then I will find friend (unsuspecting victims) to sew them together for me :)

And speaking of victims, I'm going to have a giveaway on Monday, July 4 for one of these quilt kits. It will be a patriotic kit to celebrate our country's birthday. It will be Stretched Stars and in Red, White and Blue and I will send it to one lucky Winner! It could be you :) It will have all of the fabrics and a pattern and all you will need to do is sew, sew, sew and you can keep the quilt top, or send it to your favorite Quilts of Valor program for them to finish up and give to a Soldier to say THANKS for serving our country.

So, come back on Monday to see a picture (because I haven't cut it out yet) and enter the giveaway.

Ok, enough procrastinating. I'm 10 quilts behind so I have to go quilt!