Saturday, June 30, 2012

I am human

I've had a rough couple of days and I'm sure it has something to do with the combination of prednisone and emotions of my mother in law not doing well.  There's a lot of baggage there and today we are going to her house to start packing things up and trying to figure out how to get things to her that she wants and needs.  Her health is getting worse and she is supposed to start Chemo on Tuesday but the doctor said she can't start chemo if she can't be up and walking around.  From what my sister in law writes, she is getting weaker, not stronger.

If you could say a prayer for strength for her as well as for me, I'd appreciate it.

I'm really feeling human today.

Friday, June 29, 2012

another boy quilt

I'm working through the pile of boy quilt tops that Carla gave me about a month ago.  It feels good to finally be able to get to them and get them ready for binding.  My binding buddy Rhoda had surgery on her hand today to remove a cyst that was keeping her from quilting and sewing and cooking and cleaning.  She wasn't bothered too much to have to stop cleaning, but she loves to cook and quilt and sew.  I hope she recovers quickly so she can get back to what she loves.  I'm making quite the pile for her.  I think I might have to call in some reinforcements to help with binding while she recovers!


are so cute on this quilt.  I quilted butterflies on the bug print.  I'm loving all of these quilts lately!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Giant Lizard

  I love where I live.  I never know what I'm going to find when I go in my backyard.  Tonight I went out and saw this really big lizard.  It is really long and fat.  Must be finding lots of bugs to eat.  It just sat there while my dogs stepped over it again and again.  I had to yell at them to get out of the way so I could take a picture.

21 already?

this one has baseballs, perfect for a summer boy quilt

another place for quilts in Colorado

Bonnie Hunter now has a place listed with a call for quilts. Looks like lots of quilters are stepping up wanting to help out.

Blog Hop coming soon-Red White and Blue

Oh, good thing I checked because I thought my day was July 6 and it is really July 11.  Boy would I have had egg on my face :)

Check out this list of hoppers and see there are over100 blogs to check out.  Hope you aren't too tired by my day, July 11.  I have to pick out a great block from my new book I just ordered 501 Rotary cut quilt blocks.  I'm looking forward to getting it in the mail any day and trying out a new block.  I love pushing myself to try new things and sharing them here with you all.  I'm also looking forward to seeing what everyone else comes up with on the hop.  There's no way I will be able to try out everyone's block, but how much fun would that be to make one of each block and make lots and lots of quilts.

It's just like the magazine that comes out 100 quilt blocks, but the best part is the blog hop is free and there will be lots of giveaways.  I haven't decided what to give away just yet, but you know there will be something.  Who doesn't like receiving a little gift in the mail.  Makes checking the mail a little nicer.  Getting bills all the time is no fun.

Around my house we get bills and advertisements for colleges.  My daughter #2 is having to decide where she wants to apply and someone got her name from some place.  Probably from taking the SAT's but her name got on a list and she gets mail almost every day begging her to go to a different college.  She has a big bucket in her room full of brochures.  I'm sure we could make a great project out of all of them one day.

Better get some more exercise in...I think I will need it for all the hopping I'm about to do!

one third of the way to goal

footballs and ABC's.  A boy will surely like this quilt.  That makes 20 quilts toward my goal of 60.


Ready for July 4th.  I love the quick Strippie quilts from
If you haven't tried one, you are really missing out on a great, easy, simple quilt pattern.  I quilted this one left handed so give my right shoulder a break.

setting goals and fighting my body

When I set goals, they are just that, goals that I hope to be able to accomplish before a day, week or season is over.  If I can't get things done, the world doesn't come to an end and usually there is nobody around to call me a loser.  That's a good thing because often I set my goals really high and then something in life comes along and I can't meet them.

Like this morning, I decided that I would really like to get 10 quilts done.  I have sooooooo many quilts waiting patiently for their turn to be quilted and with feeling so good yesterday (yay, I think the prednisone is helping) I have high hopes for today as well.

But, wouldn't you know that last night while working in the front garden with my husband I think I did something to my shoulder.  We are removing some rose bushes that are just giant weed patches and have been digging them out a little at a time. Trouble is, Thursday is trash day and we needed to get the green dumpsters filled last night.  That's always a big push to do a little more, work a little harder and push my body a little further than I probably should.

We also had a loveseat that my son and I had been chopping up that was half way chopped.  It had a HUGE paper wasp nest in it that I attacked a couple weeks ago.  Problem is, if you leave the thing alone for a day, they come back and man, these guys build fast.  We should tap into their work ethic and get them to build houses for us.  So, last night I attacked the couch again and sure enough, about 50 more wasps came back again.  We finally got the thing all chopped up and into the trash.  I'm sure the wasps will be back making a new home in the eaves somewhere soon.  Good thing we have an excellent exterminator service.  I just call them and they are out the same day spraying to get them out of the roof.  Well worth the money spent.

Ok, off to work on my goals for the day.  Quilting, exercising, icing my shoulder and cleaning up some more.  Why is there always cleaning on the list of things to do?

quilts for Colorado and Utah

I received an email yesterday asking if I could promise the quilts we were making would not end up going home with the Red Cross workers or other people who weren't affected by the fires in Colorado and Utah.  Here's my response to that letter.  I thought I would share it here on my blog because people often think I'm crazy for making and giving away my quilts.  Most of the people who get them are low income and could easily sell them.  I have no control over what happens to a quilt once it leaves my hands, but pray that it brings the comfort it was made for.

I totally understand the need for caution and cannot promise anything about where the quilts will end up, but it makes me really sad to read that another Binky Leader has been hurt like this. Last year with the Tsunami relief efforts, I was accused of trying to keep the quilts for myself. Yeah, what was I going to do with 1144 quilts in my house? I couldn't even walk through my house because of all of the quilts!

I have had a bad experience in the past with quilts going home with hospital workers, but I can't control everything. I just know that when there is a massive need out there, I need to send quilty hugs to bring hope and comfort to hurting kids. That's why I'm an area coordinator. I do my research and check out the organization or individual I'm going to send to and pray that the quilts will end up where they need to be. Then, I send them and don't worry. I can't control everything.

So, my advice to all chapter coordinators in this effort is to use your best judgement. If you don't have the postage money, please don't feel like you need to send quilts. There are so many local needs that I would never want to take away from those kids.
My chapter really loves to get on board with these large, worldwide projects and crank out the quilts. This one is going to be a quick one for us, and we will only be sending a couple of boxes of quilts for now. Not sure how long the fires will be going or how big the need will be so I don't want to make any long term goals for this, but wanted to put the need out in case anyone else wanted to help. I just hate sitting and watching the news and feeling helpless. I just found out today that some friends of friends lost their house. They will be getting personal quilts from me and I KNOW those will be going to people who need hugs.

Do what you all do best today, comfort kids, be they local or those in Utah and Colorado. I'm so proud to be a small part of this great organization. Thanks Susan for your constant encouragement and support!
 Marilyn Lewis Vacaville Binky Patrol

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

my friend Rebecca came over to play

I feel like a kid back in elementary school today.  I had a play date with a quilting friend!  It was so much fun.  She came over and learned how to use the quilting machine.  I made her practice on one of the donation quilts first and then she went to town on her own quilt.  She did a great job.  Then, we sorted backing fabrics for about 30 quilt tops.  Looks like I will have my work cut out for me.  She is going to come over again and again and help me with quilting up these tops I have.  I counted 43 tops that have backings, plus a whole bucket we matched, plus another bucket I found that were already matched.  I had a goal of 60 quilts in 60 days, but at that rate I will never catch up.  She also took home about 40 quilt kits to sew together into tops. She is very ambitious.  She is in college and says she would like to major in charity crafting :)  She takes after me.  She says maybe she will be a teacher so she can have summers off to do charity work.  I like it!

Phone call

So, I said today was going to be a great day no matter what.  Well, I just got off the phone with the car repair shop.  My car is burning oil.  Bummer. He says it will cost $5-6 thousand dollars for a new engine.  Probably because I didn't get oil changes on time.  Really?  Who knew oil changes were that important.  I thought they were optional, like changing your underwear, or going to the dentist.  Ugh.  OH, well, I guess I will just be carrying around some oil in my car and learning where to put it every week. At least until we can figure out what to do about my poor car.  It only has about 80,000 miles on it.  It's a Toyota Sienna.  That thing burns through tires really fast too.  I get the 60,000 mile tires and have had to buy like 3 sets of tires already too.  They say that vans just do that.  Well, they shouldn't sell them as 60,000 mile tires then.  They should say, these tires will only last a little while, so don't pay a lot of money for them.  I'm sure they would sell great :)

At least I don't have a headache yet!  And I have a friend coming over to learn to use my quilting machine in a little bit.  That will make me happy. I have to get a quilt off the frame first and eat lunch...

Quilts for Colorado, please help out if you can

This was the quick response I got from the Colorado Firehouse Quilters.  I hope you can join me in helping the many displaced Colorado fire victims.  Do you have one finished quilt sitting around that could comfort a child?  Please send it quickly so it reaches Colorado by next Friday.  Thanks so much!  I love how quilters come together when a disaster strikes.

Hi Marilyn
Thanks so much for your concern of our fire victims. Marci Baker is making/collecting quilts for the children displaced by the fires.
Here's the email she sent out below.
Thanks again
Dusty Darrah

Click here to view online

What a difference a day can make!  After sending out the newsletter last week, we headed home for the weekend.  Saturdaymorning, we woke up and noticed a small, thin spiral of smoke in the Foothills.  Little did we know that the fire would spread so quickly and affect so many.  Over 100 homes have burned and the quilting community in Fort Collins is pulling together to help however we can.  For those who would like to help out, The Sewing Circle is calling for new/unused quilts and quilt tops that will be quilted up to give to as many as possible.  If you have a completely finished quilt that you would like to donate, please send it to The Sewing Circle (2948 Council Tree Avenue, #107,  Fort Collins, CO 80525, 1-970-672-2147) by 07/06/12.  If you have an unfinished quilt you would like to donate, please have it to The Sewing Circle by 06/22/12 so that they may have time to finish it.  The Sewing Circle will be hosting two sessions on 07/06/12 for anyone who would like to come in and help finish these quilts.
We are taking one day next week from our normal routine to sew up as many tops as we can from some pre-cut kits that we have on hand.  When I feel so helpless watching the smoke clouds, the flames, and the ash fall, and realize what the people who have been evacuated have to go through, and what the firefighters and volunteers feeding them are doing, it feels good to be able to put my hands to fabric and create something that is both useful and it let's them know I was thinking of them.  As quilters, we do this to offer support.  Many recipients are surprised and amazed that anyone would do that for a stranger.  The joy of giving, especially when it is sometimes the hardest, will be worth every minute spent.  (I was thinking I should not be taking time away from the book I am working on, but the least I can do is give one day, when they have "given" everything.)
So look through your quilts, your stash, and see what you might be able to put together.  Before you send them, let them know they are coming so they know to watch for them.

still searching

I contacted this organization today to see if they are accepting quilts for the Colorado fire victims.  If you hear of anyone out there accepting quilts, please let me know.

I'll be sending a box to Julie in Utah on Friday and have my Binky Patrol group working on sending more quilts, but I know there is a need in Colorado.  So many have lost homes and been evacuated.  The temps are over 100 degrees, but a quilt isn't about warmth.  It is about showing others you care enough to take some time out of your day to say a prayer and make a tangible hug that can be spread across the miles.  I will never meet 99.9% of the people who receive my quilts, but I know they are getting a hug from me when they wrap the quilt around them.  I love the feeling of a finished quilt.

today's going to be a great day

 to wake up without a headache!  Woo Hoo.  What a great feeling finally.  I was able to do 6 whole minutes on the elliptical without dying too :)  And I got both of these done before 10am.  I've matched backing fabrics to about 15 more quilts and am ready for the rest of the day.  I have high hopes that today will be a great matter what else happens today.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


one foot in front of another and I'm 1/4 of the way to my goal.

I took my car in to the shop today and decided to walk at least part way home.  I had my daughter pick me up and almost made it all the way home before she got to me.  I walked 5 miles this morning hoping it would help with my migraine.  It didn't, but I didn't die.  Now, that's a miracle in itself.  All of that work on the elliptical has helped.  I'm up to 6 minutes straight on that thing.  I have no idea how my daughter can go a whole hour on it without keeling over.

One day I will get there.

I'm on day 2 of the prednisone and I'm not sure if it is helping or not.  I have more pressure in my head and when I sit still, my head hurts more.  So, I just keep busy.  I'm working on two quilts for a fundraiser for a girl who has cancer.  She is the friend of the daughter of a the wife of the assistant pastor's wife.  Got that?  They are doing a surprise fundraiser for her.  She has had cancer since 6th grade and is going into 9th grade this year.  I'm making one quilt that they will raffle off and the other as a gift for her.  I laid out the first quilt and need to get the second one cut out.  Good thing I have quilting to keep me busy.  I don't know what people who don't have hobbies/obsessions/insanities to keep their minds busy do when they are in pain.  I guess just sit around and feel sorry for themselves.


this one is quilted with the fern ziggle from the Pajama Quilter.  I love her DVD's and workbook.  She has such easy patterns and designs that even a beginning quilter can use.

Just keep quilting!

Have you taken Prednisone?

This is a big quilt and it has some issues, but I'm glad to have it out of the waiting to be done stack and into the needing binding stack.  It is made with lots of different types of fabrics, from twill to poly to tshirt to chenile to cotton.  With all of those different weights and feels of fabrics, each one has a different stretch to it, so the person who made it just put tucks in when they couldn't get seams to match.  Not a problem right?  Well, when I was quilting it, my foot got stuck twice.  Not my foot, but my poor Janome foot.  Each time I tried to go over one of those tucks, the foot went under the fabric and then sewed over the tuck and the foot got stuck.  So, I had to cut the foot out, leaving a hole in the quilt.  If you look closely, you will see 4 hears appliqued onto the quilt.  Two of them covered holes that were already in the quilt top and two are from the holes I had to make to get the foot unstuck.

It's a little wonky too.  It kept wanting to stretch on me as I quilted it and it is the biggest quilt my machine will make.  I didn't measure it, but it is a twin size and will be nice and warm for someone.  It reminds me of quilts long ago where they used up the fabrics they had and none of this fancy stuff.  It would not win any awards, but I love it more than some of the quilts I see in quilt shows.  It is a practical quilt and will be sent to Utah this Friday if I can get the binding done.

I will be putting binding on a few of these quilts because I've overloaded my binding Buddy Rhoda with about 20 quilts last week.  She already had a stack of quilts to work on and has a whole list of quilts that she is making.  She is the queen of applique and makes the prettiest quilts without a pattern.  She just finds a picture on the internet and prints it out really big, cuts that out and makes the quilt.  They are gorgeous!  I'll have to share a couple of her quilts here.  She is a self taught quilter too, like many of my Binky Patrol friends.

It seems like the 'real quilters' are too busy spending 2 weeks on a baby quilt to help out with charity quilting.  Those of us who don't really know what we are doing and are just playing at quilting and not following the rules are cranking out charity quilts fast because we aren't worried about what the quilt police will say.  Yeah, they have some tucks and warpy borders, but we don't enter our quilts in shows.  We use them :)

Quilts for Utah :)

The quilts are actually going to Utah, not Colorado like in the previous post, but they will be going to help out people who have lost everything in the fires there.  With so many fires burning right now, I'm having a hard time keeping track.  If you hear of someone collecting for Colorado, would you please let me know?  I'd love to send some there too since my parents and sister's family live in that area.

Let's shower Julie with tons of quilts to help out or neighbors.  Utah is even closer to California and this could be in my backyard...literally!  This fire reminds me I need to get out there and pull some weeds.  If there was a fire, there would be a lot of fuel right in my backyard.  Yikes!

Monday, June 25, 2012

A call for quilts for Colorado

check out this blog post and read about how you can help the people who have lost everything in the Colorado fires.

I will start pulling out the bigger quilt tops and getting those done and start a box.  I think I can get a few done this week and in the mail by Friday.

Can you help too?  My parents and sister's family live in Colorado and can smell the smoke in the air.

eleven and twelve

 so frustrated with my migraine yesterday but what can I do?  My dr appointment isn't until next Monday, but I think I am going to try and get in to see my regular doctor today.  I did spend quite a bit of time on the couch, feeling sorry for myself, but that didn't help, so quilting was in order.  I got the sewing room cleaned and shocked the kids.  My little guy even spent some time dancing on the newly cleaned floor :)  I wish I had gotten some pictures of that!  Maybe I should sign him up for dance lessons since he has a new love.

This first quilt is about 48 inches square and made from some interesting fabrics.  I love when a quilter uses what they have.  Some are poly and some thicker, denim type cottons and it reminds me of a quilt of long ago where they used what they had and made due.  None of this running to the quilt shop and spending $12 a yard for the fancy stuff.
This second quilt is really gorgeous.  It is batiks which are some of my favorites and the picture really doesn't do justice to the quilt.  I used red thread and it blends in perfectly with the quilt so you know the color is off in the picture.  I love the pattern of the quilt, just simple 3 inch strips sewn together in a log cabin pattern for the center blocks and then round and round the outside for the border with a wider final border.  Simple, perfect for showing off the fabrics.  The deep red has fish in it.  Just love this quilt!

I'm up to 12 quilts and have way more than 48 days of summer vacation left.  I like it because I have no idea what the rest of the summer will hold.  It's nice to be ahead of schedule.  I probably have 200 quilt tops here and would love to work through all of them.

I got a phone call yesterday and need to go pick up more fabric someone donated for Binky Patrol.  Always keeping busy :)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

eight, nine, ten

 today's migraine is a killer.  I can't wait until next Monday when I get to see the neurologist and hope he has some remedy, cure, new medicine to try.  I'm so frustrated.  My dad told me that his grandfather hung himself because his headaches were so bad.  Back in his day, they didn't have migraine medicine and I can totally understand the feeling of wanting to end it all.  But, I would choose a different route.  I might quilt myself to death instead.  I have to do something to keep my mind busy and off the pain or I will go insane.  Laying on the couch is only good for so long.  My friend Carla offered to take me wine tasting and I would go, except that I don't like wine.  Now if it was chocolate tasting, I would be there in a second.  Why don't they have chocolate tasting tours?

my helper

Well, if I could wake my helper before noon, maybe we could get something done around here :)

What's up with teenage boys?  Do they really need to sleep 14 hours a day?  That just means they will grow 2 feet in 3 months.  He certainly eats enough for that.  Luckily for me, he has a girlfriend and her parents love him.  They take him out to dinner about once a week, or invite him over to eat.  I think they get great joy out of watching him eat and place bets on how much he can consume.  I offer to pay their grocery bill, but so far they haven't taken me up on the offer.  Once their house goes into foreclosure because they have spent all of their money on food, they may change their minds.

Man, I love this kid!

This quilt was made by my mom when my son was 2.  You can see it has gotten a lot of use in the last 13 years.  It is threadbare and the backing is almost completely gone. He says it is his favorite quilt because it forms to his body when he sleeps.  The new quilts are a little stiff still and don't move with him when he rolls over.  Poor guy has to sleep on the couch because his oldest sister is home from college.  One more week big guy and then she will be going off to China to teach English.

Don't Blink!

cleaning the sewing room

How long does it take you to clean your sewing room?  In actual time it takes about 30 minutes.  But those 30 minutes are spread over about 6 months.  Why does it take 6 months to do a 30 minute job?

I think part of my problem is there are just too many decisions when cleaning the sewing room.  I have so many partially started projects and each one needs a decision.  Should I continue this project, or dump it and break it apart?  Why did it stall?  Did I get distracted by something better?  What is too hard, boring, not the right fabrics?

Where do I put things?  Everything has a place right?  WRONG!  Everything doesn't have a home and when I go to put something away, I have to make a home for it.  If I knew where something went, putting it away would be easy, but since I have to make a decision about where to put something and that usually involves moving three other things, it is much easier to just leave the first thing on the floor.

And then how long will things stay neat and tidy?  30 minutes, 3 days, 3 weeks? What's the point in cleaning up when I'm just going to make a mess again?  When I clean, I usually just move things from one room to another and don't actually organize them.  Like I said, most of my things don't actually have a home, they are just on vacation for a while.  I am hoping to use them up before they have to find a permanent place to live.  That rarely happens because I get a phone call that someone has dropped off yet another box of fabric.  I need to sleep less to keep up with the amount of stuff that comes into my house.

This summer's goal is to make a plan.  Things come in and things go out.  There has to be a balance between the two.  If more things come in than go out, I will never get organized around here.  So, I either need to work harder, faster or smarter.

Two of my kids are still in high school and have both told me they want to work for Binky Patrol and help with the quilts.  I've got to teach them how to quilt the quilts so I can get them out faster so I can keep up with the fabric that is incoming.  That's working smarter.  Getting more people involved!  I'm loving this plan. Let's see if it will work.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

the wedding

The wedding of my pseudo-daughter yesterday was beautiful.  It has been over 100 for almost a week and then yesterday didn't get over 72 and started to rain.  I was hoping it was an indoor wedding, but when we showed up, sure enough it was outside.  But the weather was just perfect with a light breeze, little bits of clouds going by and cool enough to be comfortable.
 My little buy brought his video game to play because he thought he was going to be so bored.  He had a great time!
He got to dance with the bride...and almost everyone else who wouldn't run away from him!  He loves to dance!  Who would have guessed?
 Hey, I wanted to dance with my mom!  Dad wouldn't let me cut in :)
 It was nice to have everyone dressed up and spending time together as a family.  This won't happen too often as this one goes off to college in a year (if she can pick a major and decide on a college!) and the oldest goes to grad school after going to China this summer.  She leaves in a week.
 I taught Jenny when she was 14 and a freshman in high school.  Ryan was in the same grade and they were first girlfriend/boyfriends.  They went their separate ways for a long time and found their way back to each other about 3 years ago.  I know they are going to be so happy together.

Friday, June 22, 2012

number 7 and number 700

Yep, that's right, this is the 700th quilt I've quilted since getting my Janome 1600DB P.  I doubt it was meant to be such a work horse, but I can tell you that it is still working like new, actually better than new.  If you go way back to the beginning of my blog and read all about when I got the machine, you will see that I had a lot of troubles.  The throat plate had a burr on it and the thread kept catching.  I tried everything I could think of and was almost ready to send the machine back because I was so frustrated.  I finally got a new throat plate and solved the thread breaking troubles.  Boy have I been happy with my machine ever since.  I've broken 3 or 4 feet on it (yes, metal quilting feet!) and even pierced a plastic foot without breaking the needle.  I've sewn through my finger once--keep your eyes on your work, this thing is fast!

I clean my machine after just about every quilt I make.  I either use a small paint brush or q-tip to grab the lint that builds up.  It seems to depend more on the thread I use than anything else as to how much lint builds up.  I would think it would be more the batting or material, but that doesn't seem to make a difference.  Who knew thread would have so much lint in it?  I also oil my machine after every 3rd or 4th quilt.  Just a drop or two into the two little holes on top and it seems to do the trick.

Changing needles is another story.  When I first got my machine everyone said you have to change your needle after every quilt.  Well, that would be a lot of needles, so I bought 100 needles.  They sent me the wrong ones, but they fit my regular Kenmore machine, so they let me keep those and sent me another 100.  I probably still have 85.  Yeah, I don't change needles very often.  Maybe every 50 quilts or so.  I can hear when the needle needs changing because it makes a popping sound.  After owning the machine this long, you get to know the sound it is supposed to make and can tell when it isn't working quite right.

In the beginning, I used to get frustrated when the tension was off, or when the thread broke all the time, but now, I understand the likes and dislikes of my machine and know what to try to get it working again.

My Janome has served me well and I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a new machine.  It isn't fancy, or big, or super expensive, but it has served me well for the quilting needs I have.

number 6

This little cutie has pink elephants.  Perfect for a baby girl.

Wedding quilt finished

Wedding is at 6pm.  Quilt is finished. So excited!

Jelly Roll Racing quilts?

What's your opinion on the Jelly Roll Race quilts?  I love the idea of sewing a bunch of random strips together and then sew, sew, sew until you have a quilt top.  But, I cannot see myself spending $40 on a jelly roll to do this.  I also only love about half the jelly roll quilts I've seen.  The other half are 'ugly'. Can you say that about a quilt?  Or is that blasphemy?

Well, check out this link and take a look at these pictures.  Someone (or a couple of someones) got the great idea to put little black squares in between the strips.  Brilliant!  It just makes the strips pop.  To me, it looks like Morse code.  I have a whole bunch of leftover binding strips that are overflowing my 2 1/2 inch strip basket and I've been wanting to do something with them.  They have now found their purpose in life.  Time to cut some 2 1/2 inch squares and get busy.

Of course, I still have that wedding quilt to bind today.  Ugh.  No migraine today please.  I can feel it coming on already :(  Yesterday's was a doozie!  The wedding is at 6pm.  I don't want to miss it.  I will be so sad.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Blog for my mother in law

My husband's sister started this blog for my mother in law and the treatment she will be receiving.  Thought I'd post here in case anyone wants to keep updated on her progress.  You do have to give personal information in order to see the blog :(

4 and 5

Two small ones, but these have been waiting a long time.  I had to put borders on each of them before quilting.  The first one gave me troubles with the quilting.  I did the Baptist fans on it and every time I went from left to right, the thread kept breaking.  Right to left was no problem.  Sometimes my quilting machine does that to me.  So, after the third row, I finally decided it would be easier if I just gave in and stopped fighting the machine.  I only did right to left quilting on the last few rows and got done quickly.  The second quilt called for some quilted butterflies to go with the theme of the fabric and of course those came from the Pajama Quilter's video.  I love her work!  Google her name and you will find her DVD's and workbooks.  They are both worth it.  I hope she is coming out with a new DVD soon.  I'm ready to try some new things.

Just needs binding

 Please ignore the pile of clothes on the back of the couch that needs to be put away :)  I had to show the back of the quilt.  Since this quilt is so huge, I had to piece the back and thought it would be fun to use up lots of different blacks, whites and greys in the back.  It isn't trimmed yet, so will look a bit different when finished.
Here's the front, all quilted up.  Just needs binding to be called done.  It is going to be a monster to bind because it is so heavy! I may need to move my sewing machine to the kitchen table so I have enough room to move the quilt around.  But that would mean cleaning off the kitchen table first.  Ugh, decisions, decisions...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Ooh, look!

Carla's working on my quilt :)  So excited to see it on her machine, getting stitched.  She has a robotic quilting machine that will quilt while she does other things.  One day I will too.  I was talking to hubby yesterday about it and he didn't say no.  At least not foot stomping no.  We just have three more kids to put through college first.  The youngest graduates in 2022.  Yikes that seems like a long time away, but my oldest was born yesterday and she is going to grad school in a month, so I had better not blink!  Time has a way of bending and warping on me.

numbers 2 and 3

Here they are, 2 and 3.  I know there will be days when I can't get to the quilting machine, so I want to get ahead and I have pink thread on the machine today, so the pink tops are getting my attention.  Plus, these already have backings matched.  It makes things go so much quicker.  Would you believe they are still using up the scrap batting from that pile?  Crazy huh?

number 1

number one quilt is quilted.  This was pieced by my friend Tisha and I love the little lady bugs on the white print fabric.  So cute for a little girl who needs a hug!

60 days, 60 quilts

I have 60 days of summer vacation left and it seems like the time is ticking away much too quickly!  I haven't really accomplished much (at least for my standards) due to things beyond my control and it is time to start setting some goals for myself.  This morning is my little guy's last day of school.  I have to pick him up in about 2 hours and then his summer break starts.  He will have 60 days of vacation and lots of things are planned for fun.  He will have some tennis lessons which means lots of running around.  I'm sure there will be some swimming and relaxing playing video games as well.  That's his favorite thing to do!

I started cleaning his room this morning figuring what a great way to start off the summer, with a clean room and hope to get that finished up today as well.  Time to get out clothes that are too small and make room for new things.

On the quilting front, I'd like to quilt one thing a day and work on some of my quilting skills.  I seem to get stuck in a rut and keep doing the same things over and over again.  Part of the reason for that is speed and part is comfort and part is because of the limits on my machine.  It is a Janome 1600DB P which means it has a 9 inch throat which gives me about 6 inches of quilting space.  Perfect for my needs, but oh, to dream :)  Wouldn't it be nice to have a 26 inch throat space to move around and be able to make big feathers or larger patterns.  But there are still things I could do with my machine that I just am too lazy to try or don't make the time to do.  It is so easy to do a loop and meander on a quilt and call it done.

The other thing that needs finishing (is it ever done?) is cleaning and organizing the sewing rooms.  Yes, I have now officially taken over a second room with my fabric, mangle (giant iron machine) and cutting table.  It is nice to have the extra room, but now I have two messy rooms instead of just one. 

I have so many projects started that need to be prioritized and given a deadline to either finish or given away.  When I sit down and want to work on something I have to dig through so much stuff to find something that it takes the fun out of sewing these days.  I need a system for putting away so that finding things becomes easier.  I'm not sure I will ever be as organized as so many of you are, but I surely can do better.

I'm working on color coordinating my fabrics and seeing that I have a lot of one color and not much of another which tells me I need to work on getting some of the colors out.  I'll be pairing up backings for my 60 quilts today and organizing that so they are ready to be thrown on the machine.  That should help the fabric shelves.

I'd also like to make a quilt for me by the end of the summer.  After all of these quilts, I've yet to make one and keep it for myself.  I think it is about time :)

I have a few more quilts to make for other people, but no deadlines to be met in the immediate future, at least that I can remember right now.

Off to organize...  Happy Summer!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

off to be quilted

While I do love every aspect of quilting, I have to say my favorite part today was dropping this monster off at my friend Carla's house to be quilted.  I calculated that with borders it came out to 99x118 but when Carla measured it was only 96.  Must be my seam allowances being a bit too big.  Oh, well, it will be what it will be when finished.  I'm sure it will stretch a little bit when she quilts it up.  Just putting the backing fabric together was a royal pain because it had to be so huge!

I do love making baby quilts and already am itching to get back in the sewing room and start the next project.  But first I had better clean up the mess I made from this one.  I have a terrible habit of not quite finishing something before starting the next thing and that is why everything is always a mess.

My little guy has his last day of school tomorrow and then I'm FREE!  Carla told me about a quilt show in Reno and now I'm going to look into seeing if it is possible to sneak away for the day on Thursday.

dealing with stuff

What a not fun way to spend summer break :(

Dealing with the news of stage 4 cancer isn't the way I planned on spending my summer vacation.  I don't think it is the way anyone wants to spend any time.  Sunday we said our Goodbyes to my husband's mom at the hospital.  We were hoping she would be released and be able to visit her at her house, but that happened yesterday night.  My little guy is still in school until tomorrow and by then she will be on a plane to Tennessee to live with her daughter.

They would only let 3 people in the room at a time so we only got about 5 minutes to chat and spent a long time in the hospital waiting room downstairs.  We had a nice visit with my husband's brother who we haven't seen for a long time either. 

There are lots of issues that need to be worked through in a complicated family relationship.

And then there is this quilt.  I've been working away at it steadily and it needs to be finished by Friday when the wedding is.  I'm hoping to have the top done today and over to Carla's.  I have no place at my house big enough to lay it out so I took it to my classroom today hoping to lay it out on the tables.  Well, they have torn my classroom apart so I just used the floor.  After moving the blocks several times, this was the final arrangement.  It is now pinned together and ready to sew.  It will have a border around it and be checked off the list later today if things go as planned.

I also stopped in to check on my schedule for next year.  Not exactly as I would like, but I never seem to get what I want.  I'm sure it will be just what I need though.  Things always work out for the best.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

two more favorites

Here's my husband and oldest daughter at the birthday dinner.  Somehow my older son missed out on the picture taking.  Happy birthday dear.

Must be summer

The apricot tree is loaded this year and I just had to pick a few, eventhough they aren't quite ripe yet.  The birds will surely let me know when they are ripe because they will eat them all!  If I pick them just a bit early, I may get a few this year.  Last year I waited too long and when I went out to check, every single apricot had at least half of it eaten away.  These will sit on the counter a couple of days and will be oh, so yummy!  I can't wait :)

more blocks

I'm still chugging away at the wedding quilt and I believe I'm up to 15 blocks now.  Each one is different and it is going to be fun putting this all together.  I think I'm going to need 36 blocks, but I'm not sure how big of a border I'm going to add, or if I want to put a inside border and then another row of blocks.  I'm just going to keep making blocks and then find a place big enough to lay this thing out.  I wish I had EQ to be able to lay the thing out in and see the different arrangements before I did all of the sewing, but Oh, Well, one day...

Happy Birthday

My husband celebrated his birthday and we took him out to his favorite restaurant, IHOP.  Here I am with two of our crazy kids, enjoying the dinner :)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Butt kicking

11 years ago I switched from teaching first grade to teaching high school.  I was scared to death!  I had a student way back then who became almost a daughter to our family.  She was on my husband's tennis team and was quite the spaz.  She had boy troubles and always came to us for advice.  I'm not sure how good of advice we gave her, because she had about a dozen boyfriends in the last 11 years.  Well, next Friday she is getting married to her very first boyfriend ever.  They are such a cute couple. 

This is the beginning of their wedding quilt.  Two blocks down, how many more to go?  It is going to be king size.  I have no idea how big that is, but I do know it is going to be a big one!  Good thing I have a good friend, Carla who is going to quilt it for me :)

I needed a butt kicking to get started on this quilt today.  I have the worst migraine and with all of the stuff going on with my mother in law, don't really feel much like doing anything.  So, I put on my best butt kicking boots and decided that I had to at least cut the pieces.  Then, with that out of the way, I might as well make one block.  Once the first block was done, I had to see what another block looked like.  I hope to have a few extra blocks leftover because I love black/red and white quilts and I'm feeling like I really need a quilt for myself right about now.  I love all of the fabrics I picked out for this quilt so wouldn't mind having one just like this.