Sunday, June 30, 2013

Do you Feedly?

So some people are singing the praises of Feedly, one of the new blog readers and I figured I'd check it out.  It is a pretty cool new reading tool and I figured I'd add the button to my blog in case anyone wants to follow me there.  Well, I've spent the last 45 minutes trying to figure out how to add it to my blog.  Seriously, this can't be so hard.  I followed the directions and searched the help site and did everything they said to do and it doesn't seem to be working.  It takes me to the feedly site, but just shows a blank page.  At least it isn't giving me the error message I'm getting when I click on many other people's buttons on their blogs :)  There isn't a chat button on the Feedly web page which would be nice so someone could walk me through how to fix this so I may just end up giving up on the whole thing.  I did figure out how to read all of the blogs I like there and will give it a try, but if I can't figure out how to get the button to work on my blog, I'm really sorry.  I'll ask my son to take a look when he wakes up.  Why do people out there have to make changes so us old folks have to learn new computer things?  I was happy with the way blogland was :)


Jan 75.78
Feb 54.13
March 82.85
April 40.9
May 39.6
June 27.36

That's a total for the year of 320.62 miles

Wow, it just keeps getting less and less.  This month I had some medical issues that slowed me down.  I'm hoping they are over with and I can get back at it again.  I walked this morning and I can tell my body isn't 100% yet, but the scale in the bathroom is telling me I had better get moving no matter what.  It keeps going the wrong direction and if I don't do something about it, I will not be a happy camper when school starts up again.  I'm already self conscious about going out in public and am waiting for the first person to ask me when the baby is due!  I wish I hadn't stayed on those migraine medications as long as I did.  I should have read the side effects and when I saw that the first one was WEIGHT GAIN, I should have asked for something else.  I've gained just over 40 pounds this year and that makes everything just a bit harder to get done.  Easy come, easy go right?  Let's hope so!  Now that I'm off the medication that made me gain all the weight, I hope it comes off as easily as it went on.  With a little work, it should.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

a scorcher here in Nor Cal

 Another Hot one here in Northern California.  Hope it was cooler where you were.  The car temp said 112, but I'm sure that wasn't quite correct. said it got to 106.  I'm sure glad we have air conditioning.  I'm still working through the stack of quilt tops and the long roll of backing fabric I have loaded on the machine.  I can probably get another 6-8 quilts off that backing before having to sew more together.  Sure makes for quick work to just pin and go when the backing fabric is already loaded.  After this round is done, I'm going to quilt up some bigger ones for the Quilts for Calgary campaign.  Next weekend I will be taking my daughter down to UCLA for her orientation week and picking up my oldest for a week's visit.  She is flying out from Austin, TX and will be spending some time at home and some time in Yosemite for a Buck Scholarship retreat. They have those once every two years as a way to keep the scholars in contact and let them know what everyone is up to.  They treat them really well.  I wish I could go :)

Tumbler quilt

I just love these tumbler quilts. They always look great and are super quick to sew up.  They are especially easy to make with the Accuquilt Studio fabric cutter.  So glad I have one.

Friday, June 28, 2013

A little quilting in the heat

 We have a nice heat wave going here in Northern California.  Got a little quilting done today.  Then, the electricity went out for 4 hours.  Bummer :(

Quilts for Calgary, shipping in the USA

This is from the Quilting for Calgary Facebook group:

We are most greatful to Westfreight Systems in Houston for their kindness and generosity. Westfreight will be bringing US donations to us once a week hence eliminating the customs concerns and expense for our US friends in getting their donaitons to us. Please send your donations to:

Westfreight Systems 
16855 Crosby Freeway
Houston, Texas, 77049 
Ph. 281-456-7332 

Attention: Kathy or Randy

So, if you wanted to help out with the efforts to send quilts for the flood victims in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, but have wondered about the postage, here's a great way to help out and save on postage. I'm excited that now I can send some finished quilts and not just quilt tops. I can afford to send finished quilts to Houston and not have to worry about paying the postage to Canada. Sometimes it pays to be patient. Not that I had a choice. I've been so sick that when I sew for any length of time I have to take a nap. I'm hoping that since I've come off the propranolol, my energy will come back soon and I will be able to get back to work. I have so much to accomplish this summer and time is ticking away. I'm glad for the time to rest, but am ready to get working again.

If you can't make a whole quilt, maybe you have time to make a quilt block. Check out this blog post for directions and where to send them.

Kaiser is quick

So after my doctor called yesterday, I went in and got the xrays taken.  No pre approval, no waiting, just show up, get them taken and wait a few hours to have them read by the experts.  This morning my doctor who is on vacation emailed me to let me know the new xrays were clear.  Maybe I should make my doctor a quilt :)

My son has his ear doctor appointment today too.  The doctor isn't sure what is going on with his hearing loss.  The CT scan came back not showing anything.  He thinks it has something to do with the third bone in the ear.  Then, he looked in his ear again and saw the scar tissue from when he had tubes in his ear when he was 2.  He thinks it might be part of the cause for the hearing loss.  He wants my son to see a specialist in Oakland and to possible have surgery to remove the scar tissue and take a look at the little bone to see if it is too loose or or too attached so it doesn't move enough to transfer the sound.  He also said that the nerve isn't working correctly.  He also suggested that he might need a hearing aide, which of course our insurance doesn't cover and costs anywhere from $2K up.  Yikes!  Sometime in the next week we should hear back from the specialist.

We might just do a wait and see if the hearing gets worse and have him retested in 6 months.  If things don't get worse we may not do anything.  He seems to be hearing well enough to be able to get straight A's.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

If it isn't one thing...

I swear, there is always something going on around here concerning someone's health.  Today I took my son in for another hearing test.  He goes in tomorrow to talk to the head/neck specialist to find out what is wrong with his hearing.  While we were out, I got a phone call from my doctor saying they found something on my chest xray.  He said it was a prominent hilar shadow.  Yeah, I had to look that up.  Sometimes I think they like to use big words because they had to learn them in medical school and they figure they had to pay lots of money to learn those big words so they might as well use them.  Plus, it leaves us feeling just a little stupid.  There are several things that could cause one of those shadow thingies (I didn't go to medical school).  Cancer, Tuberculosis, fungal infection, sarcoidosis (another one I had to look up) which means diseased cells, or it could be nothing.  I just love how advanced medicine is these days.  Hey, you have something but it could be nothing. Let's scare you for no reason at all.  Isn't this fun?  Oh, and here's the bill for a zillion dollars just for the fun of it.  There, now don't you feel all better?  My husband thinks it has to be something because my doctor called me on his day off.  Surely he wouldn't have called if he didn't think it was anything.  We will see what the second set of xrays shows.

Do you remember Cabbage Patch Kids?

My friend posted a picture on Facebook a couple days ago of a kid wearing a cabbage patch wig.  She said she wanted to find the hat.  I offered to make it for her.  Little did I realize just how addicting these hats were to make!  The first one took me about 2 hours to make because the pattern was a bit confusing, but after taking the time to figure things out, the next ones took me only an hour each.  I just finished my 4th one and can't see me stopping any time in the near future.  I don't know what my friend is going to do with 4 hats and I don't know what I'm going to do with any future hats, but they are really cute.  Maybe I should make them in different sizes.  Maybe I'm just crazy.

Yesterday I think I had a bit of a stomach bug and just sat on the couch most of the day.  Today I have to take my son to the dr. for another hearing test and tomorrow we go to the head/neck specialist to find out the results of his CT scan and hearing tests to find out what they can do about his hearing loss.  It's always something around here.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

I got rejected

I'm so bummed.  The lady called back to say that because of my migraines and all the medicines I'm on, I can't donate now.  They are putting me on a 'no donate' status for a year and if after a year I come up again and my migraines are under control and my medicines aren't being switched around so much, I might be able to donate later.  I'm sad.  I hope that some of you who are healthy will go out and register and I hope that one of you will be a match one day.  I can't believe that after 20 years I was finally called into action only to be turned down.  Stupid migraines.  I hate you even more.  Now you not only affect my life, but the life of someone I will never meet.  Ugh.

Be The Match

Way back in 1993, I signed up to be a bone marrow donor.  This morning I got an email saying I was a potential match for a 49 year old man.  How cool is that?  The lady called me this afternoon and asked a bunch of questions and I may not be able to donate because of all of the migraine medicines I'm on, but here's hoping that I will be able to help save someone's life.  I'm still in the first stage and if my migraines don't get in the way, will have to give a cheek swab and if that matches will have to either donate bone marrow or stem cells via a 4-8 hour blood donation.  She said I could bring a friend along to keep me company.  Who wants to come and sit with me for 8 hours?  I was going to ask if I could bring a sewing machine and sit and sew while donating blood.  I wonder if they could hook the blood sucker to my left leg so I could sit up and sew instead of to my arm.  I bet I would be the first person to ever try and do that while donating.  I also bet if they let people quilt while donating blood, they would get more blood donors!

Monday, June 24, 2013

A Puzzle

 I quilted up these two little guys today.  The first is another of the super size 9 patches.  I should really count how many there are left.  In the beginning of the summer I had 2 boxes of them and now there is only one box left.  I should have them done in no time.  That makes me happy.  The second quilt is one that was too small when I finished it a couple years ago.  I had originally intended to give it to my son's first grade teacher.  He just finished 3rd grade.  I wasn't happy with it at the time because it came out much smaller than I had hoped. It took a long time to make too because you had to really watch where you sewed all the pieces.  I had my 3 kids who were home help me sew it together.  They kept handing me pieces to sew together.  It has sat for 2 years.  I put a second border on it and now it is a better size and it is quilted and ready to be bound and ready for a child to love.  My son's first grade teacher has a son who is autistic.  The symbol for autism is the puzzle piece.  She has a tattoo of a puzzle piece on her ankle.  Maybe one day I will make another puzzle quilt but with a different pattern.
 And finally this quilt top.  This was the quilt my son was working on when we sewed yesterday.  I finished it up today and will quilt it up for one of the returning wounded coming through Travis AFB.

I don't really feel like I accomplished much today.  I spent a lot of time on the couch resting.  This silly head cold has me really tired from not doing much.  I did also go for two walks today.  One short, 1.3 mile one and one longer 3.2 mile one. Both made me really tired.  I'm trying to lose the weight I gained while on the prednisone.  Oh, and the doctor is changing my medicines again.  The propranolol/topomax combination makes me really overheated when I exercise and also the propranolol makes my ankles swell up so he's taking me off that one and increasing the topomax.  I like that one because I lost 30 pounds the first time I was on it :)

Sunday, June 23, 2013

two more quilts

 Couple more quilts quilted tonight in between coughing fits.

another stripie quilt

I now have the cough of death and have spent most of the day on the couch resting.  But I did find time to make cookie bars and sew with my little guy and quilt this little guy too.  What have you been up to today?  The weather here is so weird.  It rained a bit today and is supposed to rain a lot tomorrow and Tuesday.  By the weekend it is supposed to be 100 F.  Another good excuse to stay inside and quilt.

He wants to learn to sew

 How could you resist a face like this when he asks to learn to sew?  He was so excited!  Of course, he had to open the machine and figure out how it worked.  He wanted to watch the machine as it sewed and figure out how the thread moved through all the parts and asked lots of questions.  He even cleaned it for me saying, 'mom, you haven't  cleaned this in a long time have you?'  Looks like I have a new sewing partner now.  I like it!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Quilting for Calgary

I hadn't even heard about the floods in Alberta, Canada until yesterday when my friend, Deb, the Traveling Quilter sent me a note on Facebook asking if I was planning on sending quilts.  Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced from their homes and many of those homes are under water now. 

Yesterday on the national news, they did a 30 second story on the flooding.  Yep, that's it.  30 seconds about something that is affecting hundreds of thousands of people.  We aren't talking about a 3rd world country here.  We are talking about America's Hat, our neighbor to the north and a huge city, Calgary.  It amazes me how the focus of the news is on the name of a celebrity's baby and not on a real event.  Crazy.

But, enough about the craziness of the media, on to how you can help.  There is a Facebook page called Quilting for Calgary, hosted by they same group of people who stepped up in Canada to help out with the quilts for Japan.  They are now asking for help for the people of their own country. 

I know that shipping is very expensive, but they are asking for even quilt tops and they will do the quilting, provide the batting and backing and finish off the quilts for donation.  Deb and I plan to get together in mid July and send a box of quilt tops.  I always have quilt tops ready to go and hope to make a couple of special ones to include.

How about you?  Can you make a quilt top and send it?  From the Facebook page:

For anyone wanting to donate quilts to those affected in the Calgary and Canmore area by the recent flooding please send your donations to:

"Quilting for Calgary"
38 Rockbluff Close NW,
Calgary, AB T3G 5B1

Please be aware it will be several days before your donations can be distributed as many of our roads are still closed and we are being asked by officials to stay home.

Many of our evacuees are still in the process of being moved/shuffled to other facilities as officials learn where needs can best be met so we are still in a state of flux. Donations will be distributed as soon as possible.

Thank you so much for your kindness and generosity.

Friday, June 21, 2013

That looks better

Just got my new glasses and I can see again!  Everything was getting so small and hard to read.  My arms were getting shorter and shorter and I had to hold things way out there.  This getting old stuff is no fun!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Joyce Dalton's memory quilt

My friend Joyce passed away on Sept 5, 2011 and today I finally finished her memory quilt.  I was given some of her clothing at the very end of last summer and with all the migraines I had this school year, I wasn't able to work on the quilt until summer started this year.  People often ask me how long it takes to make a quilt  This one took me about 10 months and 3 hours.  Or from start of cutting to finish of binding, 3 hours total work time.

Turning 20

These quilts come together so quickly.  Another project I found unfinished while cleaning the sewing room.  One more quilt top to be added to the 'to be quilted' pile.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Diagonal stripe quilt

Check out this Diagonal Stripe Quilt

Definitely on my to do list!  Not a pattern listed, but promised soon.  I think I can figure it out, maybe you can too.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Field Day

Today was Field Day at my son's school  They have about 20 different stations from parachute to duck, duck, Dunk to tug of war to squirt each other in the eye.  The goal is to tire them out so they sleep well before the last day of school.  Mission accomplished!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Mindless sewing

I'm still working on cleaning the sewing room and finding half finished projects.  I'm creating a new rule.  When I have leftover pieces from a quilt, I"m going to make 12 inch blocks because I have no idea how all of these pieces were supposed to go together!  There are tiny triangles and tiny squares and medium size triangles and squares and after sewing them together I realized that the medium triangles and squares were supposed to be square in a squares.  Oh, well, they are now random 12 inch blocks that will go into a big ol' scrappy quilt like the one above.  I LOVE the super scrappy quilts.  I love looking at all the different fabrics and remembering the different quilts they came from.  To me, that is what a quilt is supposed to be.  I think I was born in the wrong generation, but I don't think I could have lived without air conditioning and internet.  I can't even remember what it was like without internet and instant access to everything happening in your friends' lives.  For example, friends of mine from church are host families for twin boys whose mom is in drug rehab.  Today they found out the mom wants my friends to adopt her twins.  The mom realized that she just can't take care of the boys and that they are best off with stable families.  My friends are super excited.  One of my friends has already adopted two beautiful children and the other family has 6 kids of their own.  Without the internet I wouldn't be able to celebrate with them.

I made quite a few of these blocks.  Just random leftovers from a comfort quilt.

Have you checked out Bloglovin?

Ok, so Bloglovin is the new Pinterest for me.  I could spend HOURS on there checking out new blogs and learning new things.  I think I'm addicted.  I love the way it is set up, where you can see what's on the blog posts and decide if you want to click on the link after reading a couple of sentences.  I love that it can read your mind and make suggestions for you (which is a little creepy cuz you know they have to be searching your computer browser history or something to figure out what you like) but I've found a lot of new blogs that I'm not sure how I've missed before.  My husband thinks I'm crazy for spending so much time reading about quilting when I have so much fabric and should really BE quilting.  But, hey, I need some inspiration.

I'm cleaning my sewing room in what may be a strange way.  I'm picking a bucket of 'stuff' and sorting and sewing my way through it.  I found a bunch of 12 inch blocks and bits and pieces to make more 12 inch blocks and am going to put them all together to make some quilt tops.  I sat and sewed for a couple hours yesterday and emptied out a Ziploc bag of random pieces.  I did the same thing today and have quite a few blocks that need to be organized into something beautiful. 

I woke up again today feeling weird and BAM, super mega migraine hit me like a MAC truck.  Tried going for a walk and taking some Maxalt and it got a little better, but I think the random sewing of blocks helped the most.  Oh, and the eating a whole bowl of fresh peas from the fruit stand.  I love summer and fresh fruits and vegetables. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013


Follow">">Follow my blog with Bloglovin

don't click on this link (it doesn't take you where you want to go) click on the button on the right at the top

I have no idea what I'm doing, but supposedly you have to claim your blog on Bloglovin, so here goes :)

Saturday, June 15, 2013

This is a great story

This is a great story about why quilts matter.  Take a minute to read it and then go make a quilt :)

This should have been so easy

Ever have one of those 'everything that can go wrong will' kind of days?  Well, today was it for this poor little quilt.  It is from my book challenge and I had cut out the pieces maybe a month ago.  Decided that since hubby and kids are at the movies, I would sew it together.  Simple squares and sashing right?  WRONG!  I forgot that I had already precut the smaller sashing pieces, so am happily sewing all the blocks to the long strips, sewed more than I needed, cut them and then find the precut strips.  Have to unsew some of the sides because I've got sashing on more sides than I need since there aren't any corner pieces and some how end up with one extra block.  I'm having to sew all of the cut sashing strips back together and the whole thing takes about twice as long as it should to sew together.  But, at least it is done.  The colors in the picture are terrible so I will be sure to take a picture with the real camera when it is done quilting.  But that won't happen today.  Everyone should be home soon and we will have peanut butter cupcakes and open presents. 

I baked cookies for the returning wounded this morning in addition to the cupcakes.  For the cupcakes, I just added a cup of peanut butter to a white cake mix.  I have no idea if it turned out good or not.  They smell like peanut butter so I'm hoping they taste good.  My husband had some peanut butter cupcakes from a bakery at work and he said they were the best thing he ever ate.  Let's see if I even came close :)  If not, I have chocolate chip and sugar cookies as a back up.

Friday, June 14, 2013

3 quilts in a day?

So I finished the blocks on the string quilt this morning and finished putting that together, then ironed and trimmed the UCLA quilt and put that top together for my daughter.  It needs borders and then will be ready for quilting and then I made myself cut into the clothes from my friend who passed away was it almost 2 years ago?  I got them at the end of last summer and didn't feel like working on them during the year.  Making memory quilts is emotionally draining and with all the migraines I've had I just didn't have the energy to deal with the emotions.  So, today, since I didn't feel well, I figured I'd deal with my issues and at least get started.  Once I started cutting, there were only 6 pieces of clothes and it didn't take too long to get everything cut.  I couldn't decide on a pattern so let the fabrics tell me what to do.  I cut 6 1/2 inch squares and 3 1/2 inch squares, as many as I could cut out of each dress and skirt.  I remember my friend as wearing some of the craziest pants, but her daughter gave me these beautiful colored dresses and skirts.  Those were her memories of her mother.  I wanted to make two quilts, but there just isn't enough fabric for that so I'm doing what I can and hoping to get the rest of the top at least pinned tonight and sewn in the morning.  Tomorrow is hubby's birthday so not much sewing perhaps, unless he lets me stay home from the movies.  I'm not much of a movie fan and the kids want to take him to see the new Superman movie.  Aren't they all the same?  I'm sure I've seen at least one of them and part of the TV series. 

So, you can say I've done a lot of sewing today.  I think that is what summer is all about.  I can't wait for my little guy to be finished with school so I can have a day where I don't even have to leave the house.  Just think what I can get done then :)

Better go pin that quilt before the dogs walk on it and mess it up.

I love string quilts

My daughter says they are 'homey' if that's a word :)  I just love the look and heaviness of them and the ability to take nothing and make it into something useful.  I've been working on this for the past couple of days and I love just sitting and sewing mindlessly.  This one will be quilted and given to a returning wounded soldier coming through Travis AFB on his/her way home.  My first project of the summer.

This morning I woke up feeling a bit 'off' and now have the aura of a migraine.  Bummer.  I was doing so good.  I think I will drink some of the Valerian Root Tea.  It seemed to help last time.  Of course, more sewing to relax the mind.

I'm going to start working on the memory quilt for my teacher friend who died last year.  Her daughter has two kids and I plan to make two small quilts so they can have a keepsake of their grandma.  Each quilt shouldn't take very long to make.  The hardest part is deciding on the pattern. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

from yesterday

 three quick quilts.  I used some prequilted stuff for the backing and batting and am working through both tops and donated stuff, trying to clean out the sewing room.  It's slow going, but at least it's going.

more about the dinner

This is my first plate, I had 4!  This was the fanciest food I've ever eaten.  There were stuffed mushrooms, cucumbers with crème cheese and salmon, dried pears with crème cheese and nuts, lots of different cheeses with crackers, tri tip roast, fancy dill dip with lots of veggies, fresh fruit, chocolate covered strawberries, cake, crème puffs.  I ate and ate.  The scale this morning reminds me that it's probably a good thing I'm not super rich and can't afford to eat like this all the time.  So glad my daughter worked hard and earned that scholarship.  I'm going to have to learn to cook like this :)  Yummy!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Scholarship dinner

Wow, I'm going to miss my daughter when she goes off to college!  We just had the BEST scholarship dinner tonight!  She got the Travis Credit Union scholarship and they had the BEST food!  We are talking RICH people food, like stuffed mushrooms and stuffed cucumbers with cream cheese and salmon and chocolate covered strawberries and creme puffs and cake and tri tip roast and I ate and ate until I thought I was going to explode!  They sure treated her well.  They even gave all of the parents a rose to thank us for all we did to get the kids to where they are.  What was really cool was Assemblyman Jim Frazier was there and he told my daughter that if she ever needed a letter of recommendation or if she wanted to job shadow him, to contact him.  She will be sending him an email tomorrow!  It's all about the networking and making connections.  She isn't sure what she wants to do, but I told her that just maybe she could do something like this and go to fancy meals :)  I would never want to do their job.  I made sure to thank him for passing the State budget (eventhough I don't agree with everything in it).  I can't imagine having to do that job.  But then, he said he could never do my job either.  9th and 10th grade science teacher.  Some days I'm surprised I make it out alive!

a busy day planned

Off to the eye doctor this morning, my son has a friend coming over to play after school, my older son has robotics this afternoon and my daughter has a scholarship dinner tonight.  Could I plan a couple more things for today?  Maybe :)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

more quick stripie quilts

 just throwing them on the frame and quilting them up.  And cleaning my house.  I have no idea how it gets so messy, but it really doesn't take that long to tidy up.  Working in the kitchen and living room.  Piles of stuff everywhere and minutes here and there to sort and purge. My mama would be proud of how clean my kitchen sink is and how often I've been doing my dishes :)  Such a silly thing, but I really hate doing the dishes and cleaning up after cooking.  I love to cook, hate to clean.  This is the summer of changing attitudes.  Cleaning really isn't all that bad.  Finding homes for all the stuff, that's a problem, so getting rid of things I no longer need or use is the name of the game.  My daughter is really helping, she loves to throw things out and give things away!  OF course, she didn't spend the money on it so she doesn't cringe when she realizes just how much waste went into a purchase.  But it makes me think twice before buying something just because it is on sale.

no matter how you feel