Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I'm baaaacccckkkk!!!!!!!

OMG, it has been a *really long time* since I updated this blog.

It appears that this summer, I went into a huge quilting funk. I finished class in early May and promptly had to have 2 teeth fixed. They were next to each other, upper back. The all the way back one had to get a gold crown and the one next to it needed a root canal and a crown. $2500 and 5 appointments later, my mouth is all better, but there went my summer. Granted, it was an area of my mouth that I have neglected for 10 years, so the fact that one tooth could be saved and neither needed to be pulled is nothing short of a minor miracle. So that killed a lot of my spirit this summer.

I got through that crisis, and then it was the last week in July, which started the Great Travel Period of Ted. He was essentially gone for 2 weeks straight, which meant it was me and DD against the world. Now, I knew this was going to happen, so we had a great time, but still, it’s all about her at that time and not about me sewing.

The second week of August (right when the Olympics opened) was our family vacation to southern California. This was 7 days of pure enjoyment and relaxation (plus 2 very frustrating days of travel). No sewing got done that week, but the rest alone was fantastic. When we arrived home, I started school 2 days later and DD started the day after me.

The past month has been all about getting into the swing of things. Getting used to being in class 2 nights a week. Getting used to second grade. Getting used to being Market Day mom and Brownie troop co-leader. It’s just been a month of getting organized.

But I have started to sew. If you look over to the right, that’s the list for the rest of this year. I’m starting to work on it. But first I had to clean up my sewing area. This took some thought and insight before I could work on it. I decided that part of the problem was that too many projects were out and making me stressed. So using the list to the list as my guide, everything else went away into a closet. And in that process, I made the closet a better place. Having a cleaner sewing area has helped immensely.

And then Cher sends me a “you’re the queen!” notice. Aw dang.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Sunday's baby steps

Well, for the first time what seems like forever, I stepped into the family room to sew. After the ironing board disaster, I went and bought a cheap cover at Target. Well, the soda got into the bottom casing of the iron which is open because the cord winds into there. So now the new cover has soda spots on it. Whatever.

I cut 10 2” strips of cream and then picked out the blues to go with and got a few things sewn together.

I would hope to sew tonight, but I have part 3 of the root canal, so I will be sedated come this afternoon and that will carry me through until the morning. Tomorrow night we have swimming so maybe I can get down there to sew later on.

Ted figured out why I’ve been so tired. Work for me has really picked up and I have not had that happen in a very long time. So now I need to adapt. It’s good to at least have a reason as to why it is happening!

I’ve already listed my sewing goals, but now a mini-goal is to get the wedding quilt done before I leave for California in August.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Death of the Ironing Board Cover

Well, yesterday turned out to be a double-bust for sewing. I had to go back home to Chicagoland for my annual appointment with my OB and then I stayed for dinner at my sister’s. by the time I got home, I was toast and everyone else was toast. I had gotten up at 5 yesterday morning to make sure I worked enough yesterday before leaving before the doctor’s. thus leading to the extreme tiredness.

Then late last night, Ted reported that a soft drink from a fast food place had exploded on the ironing board. I had left my drink from Sunday’s lunch on the ironing board and the cup gave way and it leaked all over my very scorched ironing board cover. So I just rolled it up and tossed it out. Ted thought for sure the world had ended and it leaked through the pad, etc.

So now I can’t sew until I get a new pad. I’m scheduled for a Target run Friday night, so I guess things will wait until then. Or maybe I’ll just a use for a few days. But tonight contains swimming lessons for both me and DD, and then we need to pick up our farmer produce, so there went tonight!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Second Mini-Challenge

Second Mini-Challenge

My second mini-challenge will run from now until 08/07/08, which is when we leave for vacation. The theme of this challenge is Next Steps. I need to get through the next steps of each of these quilts to feel like something is happening.

1. OC – top done
2. CC – top done
3. Batik Lover’s quilt – top done and sandwiched. I had to withdraw this one from my quilt show earlier this year because it wouldn’t come together. Now that I have gone through and cut from every milk crate, I have put all batik scraps I could find in one spot to finish off the piano key border. Also, one of the blocks in the swap was horribly made, so I will remake that one so the top looks proper.
4. Red Fence Rail – I started this one in the early 1990’s when Ted and I were dating. I have since hosted a log cabin round robin to make a log cabin red back so that this one will be reversible. The goal is to finish both tops.
5. King Center – I have made a 50” center for a scrap quilt for our bed. (We have one on the bed now, but in winter, we need more.) The goal is to sandwich and quilt this center.
6. Super Secret King Center – This is for an online friend. I need to make the 50” center, sandwich it and quilt it. The goal is to run the construction of my King center and her King center concurrently.
7. Xmas Sampler – A few years ago, I did 2 blocks of the month from 2 different stores. I made one block in Christmas fabrics of each block so that I would have 24 blocks done and then I need to make one more, set them all on point, etc. The first goal is to finish the blocks. I am more than halfway done. The second goal would be to finish the top.

Meanwhile, the following remains undone from my first mini-challenge:

Lasagna #2
Brownies Quilt
Baby Boy Quilt
P&P wedding gift
Joyful quilt

This makes 12 projects to work on in the next 7+ weeks. Plus there are a few small things I would like to do. I need some coasters for work that are thematic. I would like to make a few more dresser mats like the little red mat, which is really just making a glorified placemat. I would like to make 2 bags for swimming class, so that after we come home from swimming, the bag and all of its contents can just be dumped into the washer. Plus I need to complete 18 chiclets blocks per quarter. And I did actually make enough pinwheels to make 2 P&P, so to finish off that second one would be a nice bonus.

I am going on a 4 day retreat July 31 – Aug 3. My goal is to take all of my Christmas fabrics (a Rubbermaid tote), buy some WOW or something and make a Blue Ridge Beauty. That’s all I plan on bringing to that retreat.

My last goal of the year will be to finish these items. I will be in class at the point this challenge starts, so no thought is a good thing. God help me if Bonnie does another challenge.
It was a long weekend with DD. Ted was gone for 4 days are returned very late (11:30pm) last night, so I am plumb worn out. Not a stitch of sewing got done, but I did get through my kitchen and my second floor for cleaning.

I hope to sew every night this week.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

weekend preview

I made an executive decision about my exam and I paid $75 and moved it to October. I am greatly relieved. This was the main source of stress for the famous first 10 days of June, so now that this has been handled, the rest of life is falling into place.

Ted has been feeling better. It seems that after he hurt his ankle, the Percocet they gave him produced a ton of massive side effects which were all detrimental. So he needed another 10 days to recover from the Percocet. Now that he is well, he leaves on yet another business trip tomorrow morning. So he will be gone from early Thursday until late Sunday.

Now that I have no exam, my goal is to enjoy DD and get some stuff done. What gets done, gets done. No more, no less. Tomorrow we plan on going swimming after work/daycare and then going to La Bamba for burritos as big as our heads. Friday night I will make low key, just because that is my style. Maybe homemade milkshakes. Saturday, we plan to make homemade spinach fettuccine. Sunday we plan on going to church. Otherwise we will hang loose.

So how does all of this relate to quilting? I am nearly done with my mini-challenge. I wanted to finish 8 things and I think I will finish 4. Since this is my hobby, I will not beat myself up over this. This is actually pretty good, considering all that went on, including my root canal stuff.

So I hope to work on the 16 patches for the P&P. I also hope to finish lasagna #2. I see that the resolution to the OC has been posted by Bonnie and so of course now I am spurred to continue. I also have the next mini-challenge planned, even before this one is done. I’m such a nut.

Monday, June 02, 2008


I did manage a bit of quilting time on Sunday. I sewed some 2” WOC strips to colors for making the 16 patch blocks for the P&P quilt. Not a lot, but it was some time. I will be grateful if I get about 15 minutes per day until the exam is over, but I will strive for that 15 minutes.

Friday, May 30, 2008

a finish in the chaos

I did finish the binding on the first lasagna quilt. So...

UFO #3 - lasanga quilt

Stress has not abated, so I am taking some time to think through how to cope for the next 2 weeks.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Restful Wednesday

Well, I did not get a lot done last night. I was just at wit’s end, so Ted recommended that I just take the night off and relax. So I watched Recount that I had tivo’d and continued to hand stitch the binding down on the first lasagna quilt. I only sewed for half of the movie, so I’m not done, but it was a restful evening.

Hopefully I can plod through and get some stuff done. This insurance exam looming over my head is making me nutso.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

exhaustion update

It has been nearly 10 days since I posted. It’s been a hard 10 days.

Ted ended up in the ER last Monday and again yesterday on 2 unrelated items. The only benefit is that we have paid all of our deductibles, so it should all be covered 100%. For many days, I was Mom’s Taxi, running Ted and DD everywhere they needed to be.

DD also threw up one day last week, and that was a hard day. I felt bad for her.

We were to entertain family last Saturday, but cancelled that. We saw them in Chicago on Monday anyway. I did have part 2 of the root canal done as well.

I spent the weekend sewing as much as I could. UFO #3 is the lasagna quilt and I am hand stitching the binding down, so that one will be done soon. I did another bobbin of FMQ on the Jackson quilt. My crowning achievement was finishing 7 dozen pinwheels blocks, spinning in opposite directions (that would be 14 dozen total) for the P&P quilt I am making as a wedding gift.

I have no idea when I will get any time to sew in the next 4 weeks and I am not making that up. My main goal is to continue on this mini-challenge and before Q2 is done, I will report in to Cher how I’ve done. I do have an insurance examination for work on the 10th, and that is eating into my quilting time.

If I get any sewing time, my thoughts are to do a bit on the second lasagna quilt (step 1 is to sandwich and then a bobbin a night), a bobbin a night on the Jackson quilt, and then on to the 16-patches for the P&P quilt. The first 2 items take about an hour total, so we shall see how this goes.

If I end up with a stack of quilts next to my bed that only need the hand stitching of the binding down, that will be a huge achievement.

So hang in there, all. I’m exhausted.

Monday, May 19, 2008


Well, Friday night I relaxed and slept after running 10 errands, making dinner and collapsing.

Saturday I was in Chicago.

Sunday I was in Chicago.

I have done no sewing. And I’m exhausted. Ted’s in Ohio and also in the ER (now resting at the hotel).

Stay tuned.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Week 19 report and Week 20 goals

Last night, I had illusions of grandeur of sewing a storm. Not exactly.

I did watch last week’s and this’ week’s Grey’s Anatomy, so that’s nice. While I did not sew a stitch, I did continue cutting. I started cutting my yellow milk crate. I also cut some WOC strips so I can start cutting blades for the pinwheel blocks for the P&P quilt. I did cut 24 pinwheels of blades and I’m still not done with blue. Such is life.

So week 19 did not have a UFO finish, and while I am bummed by that, I have to remind myself that this mini-challenge is not meant to frustrate me. I had hoped to have a quilt to bind while at my sister’s, but that did not happen. So I will bring my GFG bag with me and hope to get a flower worked on. That would still be progress, just on a different goal.

So Week 20 has the following goals:

Cut yellow milk crate
Finish first lasagna quilt to the hand sewing portion of binding
Brownie top all done
Sandwich other lasagna top
Sandwich baby boy quilt top
Cut into pink and brown milk crate
Sew all cut pinwheels
1 bobbin FMQ on the Jackson quilt

That would have me doing something on all 6 remaining UFOs in this challenge.

Tonight’s goals:
Finish cutting the yellow milk crate.
Cut all pinwheels blades out from all of the 3.5” strips I’ve cut. This would be blue, orange and yellow blades.
Square up Brownie blocks, so they are ready for their next logs.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

nothing new

I didn't sew last night, but I did fold 4 loads of laundry and converted DD's closet from winter to summer. That was enough, I assure you.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Sleep, Precious Sleep

Well, I forgot about a library function last night, so I got DD after work, headed to McD’s for dinner and then to the library. We watched “The Hollywood Librarian”, which is a must-see if you love libraries.

Then when we got home, Ted and I ate our dinner, which was ribs. And then I fell promptly asleep at 8:30 and slept all the way through. I did get up at 1:30 for an Aleve and the headache medicine and went right back down.

So no quilting, but I am well rested for sure!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Milk Crate Success!

Another day with the teeth. Actually, after being pregnant so many times, I stopped being a belly sleeper and had to become a side sleeper. The problem is that I am lying on the bad teeth. I’m achy and I have 10 days to go. Wish me luck. I didn’t get an appointment this week, so at least I get more sewing time!

I forgot I had a church meeting last night, but they are very prompt that they are only an hour long. So before the meeting I did some cutting and after the meeting I cut for hours. While I got nothing else on my list done, I did finish cutting up the blue and orange milk crate. My God, that took FOREVER.

Tonight there are no errands, but there is laundry and folding. So after those things are done, I hope to do 2 bobbins on a lasagna quilt, which will finish its quilting. I also hope to sandwich the other lasagna quilt, as I did wash the backing last night. I hope to cut 10 yardage pieces of yellow (the next milk crate) and finish framing the Brownies squares. I think that’s plenty for the evening.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Sunday update

Despite major dental work that was started on Friday, it was a pretty good weekend for quilting. I did it all on Sunday instead, which is a great Mother’s Day in my opinion. I needed an emergency root canal on one tooth and potentially on its neighbor. The process is started, but it will take 4 appointments to accomplish the mission. Plus I need to be seriously sedated to get through each appointment because I am a chicken. Thankfully, the dentist gets this.

Meanwhile, Sheri did receive her quilt and it made her day, as she has been having a less than ideal set of days. I’m glad that hit the mark.

So on to Sunday. The weather here in central IL was downright nasty. We were checking the TV at 3 am for tornado warnings, it was so bad. So we stayed in, as the advisory was for wind and you weren’t to drive unless you had to. Since I am functioning on temporary crowns right now, eating out wasn’t really high on my list, so we had lots of scrambled eggs and noodles.

I did sandwich a lasagna quilt and quilted a third of it with my very bad FMQ scribbles. I did try some more FMQ on another quilt, but stopped after the top thread broke twice. Then it was on to the quarterly quilting homework of chiclets blocks. Now I love the chiclets pattern, but all of those HSTs can be annoying. Since working on Patches & Pinwheels and the OC, I am now using my easy angle for those HSTs and it’s going much faster. I also found my WOW pile, hidden in the basement under some toys (I wonder who that could be?). So now no more chiclets blocks until July.

Then I started on the Brownies quilt, ironing off all the extra crayon wax and trimming the blocks down to the actual colored surfaces, as the girls did not fill up the whole block in most cases. Then it was framing the blocks log cabin style in 2.5” strips. I then started cutting into my blue and orange milk crate and I started with the scrap bag and not the yardage. The scrap bags take forever, so I didn’t get very far.

And then I watched 3 hours of Survivor and I had Amanda and Parvati in my pool, so I have won some cash! Yay!

Week 18 report and Week 19 goals

UFO #2 – Sheri’s quilt

Goals for Week 19:
Progress, progress, progress
Each night:
Sandwich a quilt – there are 3
Quilt for one bobbin or one hour, whichever is shorter
Finish Brownies top
Attach binding to one quilt
Continue cutting blue and orange milk crate
Start cutting the yellow milk crate

There is not a lot of piecing this upcoming week, but I have a lot of weekends in the car for the next few weeks, so I am trying to quilts quilted and bindings attached for whipping down in the car or while visiting with families. 6 of the UFOs in this mini challenge were already pieced, so quilting is what needs to be done, so let’s just get to it.

I will lose one night due to dental work, so we shall see how this all goes.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

It's Mailed!

Not much happened yesterday, but in many ways the little bit that did was A-OK.

I FINALLY got the label on Sheri’s quilt last night, while DD flitted about in the backyard, running from neighbor to neighbor playing with all the little girls. (It’s high time she made some friends!)

And then today, I got the quilt over to the FedEx-Kinko’s and mailed it out. It should arrive either tomorrow or Thursday, which is perfect, because Sheri’s birthday is Thursday. She will be 54.

The quilt is all cow fabric and hearts fabric. On the one day I call in sick in October 2006, Sheri leaves work ill and is diagnosed with congestive heart failure. She already had leaky valves and within the year before she fell it, she had lost 75 pounds and looked terrific. If she had not lost all the weight, the congestive heart failure would have killed her.

Anyway, Sheri needed some valve replacements. They told her they were going to use cow valves. She asked for one cow valve and one pig valve so she could “Moo & Oink.” It’s a Chicago reference: Trust me, it’s worth clicking on the link.

The doctors did decline, and when they got inside Sheri, she only needed one valve and they were able to repair the other. Meanwhile, Sheri’s mother was not exactly sympathetic; her mother is one that has to be in the spotlight. So Sheri nearly dying and having open heart surgery (!) was not considered a big deal and her mother has no idea why Sheri is so damned whiny.

Needless to say, Sheri needed a quilt. It got lost in the move, but it’s on its way, better late than never. The Cow Quilt, pattern, Yellow Brick Road, symbolizing the road to recovery.

I did take pictures, but I have no idea how that part works. Stay tuned.

Monday, May 05, 2008

UFO #2 is done

Let’s see, how was the weekend for quilting?

I finished the binding on Sheri’s quilt and made the label using Printed Treasures. Tonight I will sew the label on, pack it in a box and mail it on its way!

So UFO #2 – Sheri’s quilt.

I worked on stupid Chiclets blocks and ran out of WOW. I ran to the Treadle and fixed that issue. Only other offense: 2 packs of charm squares. I buy 2 at a time for nickel quilt patterns.

I had been given a roll of 54” fabric that if it washes up OK, would be suitable for charity backs. I cut off a hunk, washed it, dried it and it appears not to have shrunken down to a handkerchief. I need to iron it and measure to it check for shrinkage. Overall though, this was a success.

UFO #3 - I’m not sure where I’m going with this. I have 3 quilts all about the same size that need to be sandwiched, and then the quilting can commence. I need to work on the Brownies quilt as well. I may sandwich one using the washed back and have it at the ready to quilt.

I need to cut the milk crate and do all of that processing, but the finance final looms on Thursday.

I did, however, find my car sticker!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Week 17 ends and 18 begins

Just a quick update. I tried to sew more binding down last night after class (while watching Survivor on tivo) and the new medication I’m on put me right to sleep. Well, so much for that!

Goal is to work on that tonight and over the weekend and get it to the Kinko’s by Monday for shipment. We should be good to go.

Week 17 finish:

Little Red Mat - 1/8

Week 18 goals:

Finish Sheri’s quilt
Process blue and orange milk crate (please note that this involves several things, as noted before)
Brownies quilt – progress
Start OC step 2
Start OC step 3
Kit step 1b for Kim
Kit step 2a for Kim
Kit step 2b for Kim

Thursday, May 01, 2008

At my work, we have 3 hours of ‘give’ in our schedules per week. As long as we make up the 3 hours, we can take it whenever. So since I need to be at work on Friday afternoon, I took my choicetime yesterday afternoon.

I did get the binding on Sheri’s quilt and even started to stitch it down before class. Then after class I came home and got even more done. A whole long side is whipped down.

So tonight I have find my car sticker, but then I will continue to stitch that binding down. There is actual hope that I will make it to mail it on Saturday! Yay!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I remembered!

I gotta do the Brownie quilt for my DD's troop.

That makes 8!

a finish!

I just realized I haven’t posted an update since issuing myself the mini-challenge.

I did indeed complete UFO #1 – the little red mat. It is all done and actually on display (albeit in the wrong month – it’s for February) on the little dresser. YAY! I used my large stipple stencil and FMQ’d it. There are some HUGE toe-catching stitches on it, but I have to start somewhere.

I also quilted all of Sheri’s quilt, which is a twin. I then unpinned it and snipped all the threads last night, which took me well over an hour (so of course I watched 2 tivo’d things). It needs to be trimmed and bound. I do have class tonight, and a doctor’s appointment right after work, so I may or may not get this done. If I could get it trimmed and the binding attached before class, then I can leave it next to my bed at night and work on it as I wind down each night. I want to get his one in the mail on Saturday because her birthday is on the 8th.

Monday night did leave me exhausted. I took a nap when I got home, watched some TV and then ended up going to bed. I do not know how I ended up this tired, but I went with it.

So week 17 showed the little red amt as a finish and week 18 should show Sheri’s quilt as a finish. Other items in consideration are the Hunter quilt, 2 lasagna quilts and the Jackson quilt. That’s 4 more things. That leaves one left to figure out.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Weekend update

Well, it was a pretty productive sewing weekend! Since I cancelled the evil dentist appointment, I had a free bonus weekend. No homework, no dental pain. Well technically I had homework, but I did it all Friday night so it would be out of the way.

I did plan my herb garden in little window boxes that hang over my deck. Of course, tonight is going to be like 30, so I need to bring them in tonight.

On to quilting. I worked toward my mini-goal and actually finished the red mat. Of course, it doesn’t have a label yet; I’m waiting until I have enough finished to warrant using a whole sheet of Printed Treasures. I’m loving Nann’s idea of using a label size from Avery and making the labels that way. So one finish down, and 7 to go.

I also finished the purple pinwheels, which made 25 pinwheels, which is 100 HSTs, which is 200 triangles cut with that EZ angle. I can vouch for the EZ angle. Again, these are for the P&P I’m making for a wedding gift in June.

Nothing else was outstanding from the last milk crate, so I could cross that off the list.

I did quilt Sheri’s quilt in full. Now I need to take out the safety pins, trim the threads, square it up and attach the binding so I can hand whip it down this week. This needs to be in the mail on Saturday.

I hauled some serious butt on the GFG as well. My goal was organization, which was to be to get one flower completely pinned to the hexagons and figure out from the existing partially constructed flowers what I could work on. My goal is one flower per month and 2 hours on the existing mess, so that slowly I can get some stuff done. Once I get 7 flowers all done, I will join them together. I have 3 flowers done.

So during the evening last night, I watched some Star Wars on Spike with DD, and sewed 3 hexes and folded 10 items and did that for 2 hours. All the folding got done and 18 hexes got done, so it was rather productive.

I have an entire laundry basket full of paperwork to go through, so no doubt that will be tonight’s goal. From a sewing point of view, I’m aiming to de-pin and thread trim Sheri’s quilt, do more hexes and find the backing I want to use up for the Brownies quilt. I need to measure it and then lay out the girls’ blocks and see what comes to me.

So what’s left:
Brownies quilt all done
Sheri’s quilt all done
1 bag for work quilts
18 Chiclets blocks

Friday, April 25, 2008


I have a family wedding in 8 weeks. I’ve been doing extra cutting for a Patches & Pinwheels (yet another Bonnie quilt) and even assembling the pinwheels as I go. I’ve figured out that a P&P would be a perfect wedding quilt for this couple, as they are White Sox fans and pinwheels figure prominently on the exploding scoreboard.

So I’ve decided that I will finish (not start!!!) 7 UFO’s between now and then. They may be UFO’s or they may be WHIMM’s, but the goal is getting 7 started things done. So 7 UFO’s and the wedding quilt = 8 quilts.

OK, then 8 UFO’s between now and then.

Week 16's a bust, so on to Week 17

OK, it was a quilting week off. I rested this week and took a test this week, so those were some necessary and meaningful uses of my time in my opinion. However, I am getting cranky and need to sew, so I will get at it today after work. I’m done today at 1:15 and although I have homework for my group project due tonight, I can sew and do homework in the same room and just switch off.

As usual, my quilting list for week 17 is far longer than will actually get done, but I gotta dream big!

Week 17
Brownies quilt all done
Sheri’s quilt all done
Purple pinwheels
Finish anything else from last milk crate
GFG organization
Mycala’s gift
Red dresser mat
1 bag for work quilts
18 Chiclets blocks

Please note this really doesn’t include any OC stuff. I have been doing OC stuff and cutting more and more milk crates up, but not getting through some of the items on the list. They’ve been carried forward over and over. So it’s time to work on some of that. Catching up on OC will not be hard.

Plus I have 2 birthdays coming up and I need to handle those things, as they are timely.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Well, it’s not exactly been a quilty week so far. I have a strong feeling that nothing will get done in a quilting vein at all this week and I’m not going to beat myself up over it!

On other fronts, I have a test in one class tomorrow night and the dishwasher installation is Friday afternoon, so those are 2 things I must prepare for.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Week 16 goals

For Week 16:

Brownies quilt
Mycala’s gift
Process blue and orange milk crate
25 4 patches OC
24 step 1 CC
24 step 2 CC
Sew up 3.5” P&P strips
Sew up 2” P&P strips into 2’s (need 4’s)
Finish red dresser mat
6 Chiclets blocks
Sheri quilt – progress
Prep 1 GFG block
OC step 2 blocks – up to 100 if possible

It’s going to be hard to get stuff done, but I continue to aim big.

Back to work – it’s crazy-busy.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Sunday report

It was also a pretty productive Sunday as well. I got through the red pinwheels and cut our all the HSTs for the purple pinwheels. 20 step 1 CC blocks also got done. That leaves me pretty far on the weekly list. We’ll see how much I get done during the week. I also got the heart block done for Sonya, so I need to pop that in the mail.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

A great Saturday

Yesterday’s quilting went pretty well. I got as far as I could on my OC. Since I want to be scrappy, I have to wait for other milk crates to be done. So 75 4 patches are done and 75 2 patches are done.

All the 2” P&P are sewn.

20 step 1 blocks are done for the CC.

I started the 20 step 2 blocks for CC and the red pinwheels for P&P. Everything is in the process of assembly, but my back gave out at like 8:30, so I went ahead and stopped for the evening.

My SIL and I mis-communicated about the date for her son’s communion. It was Saturday and I had emailed her to confirm it was Sunday and she did indeed confirm it was Sunday. So now that we’ve missed it, I’m home all today too. So after I go count cash at church all morning, I can come home and sew.

Today’s goals include Sonya’s heart block, finishing the 20 step 2 blocks, finishing the red pinwheels and cutting the purple HSTs for the purple pinwheels. Next goals would be prepping the GFG hexes and the 6 Chiclets blocks.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Successful Friday

What a good kickoff to Week 15.

I came home at like 3:30, and started cutting the next milk crate, which is full of reds and purples. It took 1 hour to cut up the crate and another 1 each for the scrap bags, for a total of like 3 hours of cutting. That was hard on the back.

However, I had a lot to show for it, which is great. My 2.5” strip bag is 100% full, so it will be time to start another bag. I didn’t even cut any of these – I just took them out of the scrap bags. I already sewed all the 2” strips together for the P&P, but I did not worry about making any strip sets of 4 strips or any sub cutting. The 3.5” strips are half done. I sub cut all the red strips with the WOC strips with my EZ angle. Those are for the P&P pinwheels.

Today’s goals are prepping the GFG hexes for tomorrow’s road trip, sewing all of the pinwheels together, 20 step 1 and step 2 CC blocks and some 4 patches for the OC. OMG, I will be sewing all day. The weather’s due to be crappy, so that’s OK, but I do need to do some housework and homework too.

Well, off I go! Oh, and we bought a dishwasher last night too.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Week 14 Wrap Up

No quilting last night, but the presentation for class went well and I was able to come home, watch Survivor and then hit my marketing homework. That took some serious time, but now I can quilt with freedom today. I get off work at 2:30 or so, so I can go home and sew for a while (after starting laundry). A list mom from one of my yahoo groups is seriously ill, so I need to make a block and send that through.

Here’s how week 14 shook out:
Done - Go through green ziploc, take out 2.5 strips and process
Done - Kim’s GC packet – 150 2 patches (she needs small steps)
Done - Sew 150 2 patches for OC
Done - Sew up 3.5” P&P strips
Done - Sew up 2” P&P strips into 2’s (need 4’s)
Done - Sew up CC 2” strips – all steps will be involved!
In progress - Finish red dresser mat
Not started - 6 Chiclets blocks
Not started - Sheri quilt – progress

Not too shabby, despite plumbing problems and classes, which included a presentation.

Week 15 goals

Time for some Week 15 goals:

Process red and purple milk crate
Cut another WOC for lights for the 3 Bonnie quilts I’m cutting for
OC 2 patches and then some 4 patches – quantity dependant on what I can get out of the milk crate
Sew up 3.5” P&P strips
Sew up 2” P&P strips into 2’s (need 4’s) – join a few to the greens already done
Sew up CC 2” strips – working on steps 1 and 2, which will make the ring block, which is step 6
Finish red dresser mat
6 Chiclets blocks
Sheri quilt – progress
Heart block for Sonya
Prep 1 GFG block
Sew all colored hexes for GFG

These are some seriously aggressive goals, considering that Sunday I have to count cash at church (8am until noon) and then hop in the car to Chicago for a family thing at 2. If I get all the GFG stuff prepped, I could actually get that whole thing done in the car going back and forth. We shall see.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A little bit here, a little bit there

While waiting for my group work partner to come over to finish our presentation, I did a little quilting. I made a little bag to hold a wall hanging when it’s all rolled up for storage and I continued work on the little red mat. I was able to pick out fabrics to finish it from my stash, added borders and got it sandwiched. It’s basically the size of a large placemat.

I’m thinking of practicing my stippling on it. I bought a large stipple template a few months ago and the pounce with chalk, so I may whip all that out to try it out. My free motion quilting is awful, but hey, you gotta start somewhere.

Tonight class was moved up from 8-10 to 6-8. We also have to give the aforementioned presentation, which is not fun, but it won’t be too bad and it will be over. The only other obligation for this class will be the final. However when I get home, I need to do group work for my other class that must be submitted by midnight. I have no idea if I will get to sew at all.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Plumbing Problems

Those 2 words strike terror in the heart. DD astutely caught the drip into the basement and Ted undid the dishwasher and found the leaky value. So now I await the plumber’s phone call so I can leave work and head home.

On a related note, we are trying to plan a large vacation and I have extensive dental work planned and now this. The Lord provides; the Discover Card people raised our limit by $2000 last week. While I don’t like to use credit, I am OK with it for these types of things. I have a hard time planning for the vacation without having all the money in hand right now to pay for all the pieces.

And on top of this all, I got either a migraine or a sinus headache last night. No sewing got done, but nothing else was urgent, so I was a slug and was OK with it.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


Well, no quilting got done yesterday, but I went to a Tupperware party. I bought the cupcake transporter thingy.

Goal for tonight is to clean up my house. It’s in pretty good shape, so it should be a quick tidy. Laundry, folding and then some sewing.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Successful Sunday

What a great Sunday! More fantastic sewing got done.

I did go through the green Ziploc of scraps and half the bag was 2.5" strips, 2" strips or bindings. So I put all of those things in their home, leaving just the scraps.

I also handled all the 3.5" strips that I cut for the Patches and Pinwheels (P&P). I ran out of cut lights, so the remaining green strips were put into a newly created 3.5" strips Ziploc. Overall, I made 11 A pinwheels and 12 B pinwheels (they spin different ways) in green. That’s like nearly 100 HSTs.

I did also sew the 2" strips together greens and lights for P&P.

I unsewed the bad row on the little red mat and resewed it. So now it’s a teeny topper that needs some borders, etc.

Kim’s kit is ready, except for instructions.

Tomorrow’s goal will be to get Kim’s pack ready for mailing, and the 6 Chiclets. Bonus would be to start to finish the Sheri quilt. I do have a Tupperware party to attend.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Saturday night news flash

A quick Saturday night update:

I did get the 150 2 patches done for my OC. I also sewed as much as I could on the CC with the milk crate strips I had cut. I netted 16 step 1 blocks and 16 step 2 blocks, plus more pieces for variety later on. I also cut 70 of the 150 dark squares needed for Kim’s GC 150 2 patches. So I got a lot done.

Tomorrow’s goal is the green Ziploc and its processing, finishing Kim’s kit so I can mail it to her and maybe the 3.5” strips for the Patches and Pinwheels. Those are all EZ angle units, so lots of cutting and sewing into HSTs and then into pinwheels.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Week 14 and Crushing

I started cutting in earnest last night after my class. I am cutting for 3 quilts, because, well, I am nutso. But you all knew that! All 3 are Bonnie quilts: Patches and Pinwheels, OC and GC, and CC.

I have all my small yardage stash in milk crates by color under my sewing table. I pulled out a crate and got to work. I did greens and a few reds. I only picked really dark values. I cut a 3.5, a 1.5 and 3 2 inchers. One 2 incher went into the GC pile, and another into the OC pile. The 3 other strips all went into their own piles for the other quilts. I then went into the green scrap Ziploc (those really tiny pieces) and busted some stash there too. The only modification I’m making to this milk crate cutting system is to remove all 2.5 strip pieces from the Ziplocs and handle them. I had started cutting for a Boxy Stars, so I can just continue with that.

I also cut up some COC for the P&P and the CC and added them to their respective strip piles. And I did find some solid white, so I cut that up for the OC for now. The whole process only netted 3 strings, which is nice.

I’m so glad someone mentioned cutting the WOF strips in half! I get more variety, but more importantly, stuff is just way less wonky. I cut the white strips in half and started sewing some greens to them for my 4 patches. I didn’t get very far, being tired, but I did cut for an hour.

So this week’s sewing goals (it’s week 14) are:
Go through green ziploc, take out 2.5 strips and process
6 Chiclets blocks
Kim’s GC packet – 150 2 patches (she needs small steps)
Sew 150 2 patches for OC
Sew up 3.5” P&P strips
Sew up 2” P&P strips into 2’s (need 4’s)
Sew up CC 2” strips – all steps will be involved!
Finish red dresser mat
Sheri quilt - progress

It’s a lot to do, but with the sewing area clean, it makes it far more enjoyable to be down there. I will be sewing hard and doing homework hard, as best as I can tell.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Does this count?

I cleaned up my sewing space last night. The cutting board, the machine, the ironing board and all the little places I leave stuff all over the room are all now tidy. I realized I was avoiding sewing and even going into the basement (my sewing room is in our fully finished basement, which is also our family room) because of the mess.

So I stopped worrying about cutting up scraps and just cleaned everything up. Some of it was not so elegant (shove pieces-parts of projects into a really big banker’s box so that least the nuttiness is together), but all the surfaces are clean and dusted. I can start anew.

I am also very excited to read that it will be a full 2 weeks before another clue is posted. I’m nowhere near ready to start sewing, plus I need to cut Kim’s out at the same time. Plus I have 2 tests and one presentation in the next 3 weeks from today, so I pace myself. Grad school continues to kick my butt, but there are only 6 more weeks and then 14 glorious weeks of summertime.

But at least I can set foot in my sewing area again!

Friday, March 28, 2008


OMG are we all just over the top with the craving of the CRUSH? I cannot wait for this new mystery! I’ve decided on some color schemes and some sewing methodologies. Here are my ramblings.

I’ve been attempting to cut scraps for a while now, but grad school is getting in the way. I have been cutting for the CC, the OC and Boxy Stars (I like Bonnie quilts – can’t you tell?!?!?). I am definitely using a bright pink batik for the main color (the red) in the CC, so I can’t make a Strawberry Crush. I’m liking the idea of a Orange Crush, as Nancy Mac in IL has reminded us all that U of I’s student cheering section is the Orange Crush (it’s also the name of the Palumbo company after the trouble settled, for those of you in Chicago who know that the Earth Moves with Palumbo). I was planning to send mystery packs to my sister Kim for CC, but I’m thinking she needs a Grape Crush, as she is a huge purple person. So…

My CC colors are scrappy, light creams and pink batik.
My OC colors are orange, purple, red and blue for the accent (just like Bonnie, but purple for black). White will be my light. (Can’t be a dreamsicle with cream….)
Kim’s OC colors should be purple, red, green and yellow for the accent. White will be her light.

I have not had time to shop the stash. Ted is traveling next week, so I am trying to get as much homework done as possible while he’s around to attend to DD, so that when he’s gone, DD and I can hang out. I will be sewing (more like cutting) and she will be doing whatever 7 year olds do!

I hope to shop the stash tonight. I am fairly certain that any orange that I may have it not a lot and not to my liking. I mean, I like it, but it’s from Becky, and I don’t love it, in the OMG I must buy that love it sense. I hope I have enough purple. So overall, I’m thinking of some Moda marbles for the purple and the orange. The rest should be scraps.

So bring on April 1!

Monday, March 24, 2008

sleeping bag

I did get a LOT of response to my sleeping bag request. Here are my thoughts:

The prevailing size was 7 feet by 7 feet, folded over like a taco. That seems simple enough to make. If they are 12” squares, then it would be 49 squares. I may just make a quilt for both sides to bust more stash and try some new techniques. (Like I need a new project…)

One website I found had some really cool handles. It ties it up like a duffle and then also gives the cross handle to allow you to carry it. Now that sounds like a plan.

Now on to materials. I’m thinking Thinsulate for the batting. Or Thinsulate with Warm and Natural to get some loft. Please have suggested flannel for the squares (or at least the lining that touches your body), but I don’t have any in my stash. I will need a really big zipper. I know you can do them without the zip, but I would prefer the zip. seems to have a lot of good stuff.

So now it’s a matter of getting to it. The first overnight thing we have is this coming weekend and it’s for about 16 hours (whatever) and we are in cabins or bunkhouses or something because she is only a Brownie. We’ll see how that goes. She’s already decided we should put the ugly quilt down as a mattress and then sleep on top of that. Sounds like a plan.

low key weekend

Quilting this weekend was nearly non-existent. I did get all the scraps in the living and the kitchen sorted through and piled up on a cutting mat on the kitchen table, ready to be cut. Does that count?

It really just has come down to class being in the way. I had class Wed and Thurs night, so those 2 days were shot. Friday I did go into the basement and cut up some more scraps and make sense of more of my cutting table, but it’s never enough!

Saturday was spent cleaning house. Ugh, a nasty task, but someone has to do it, along with homework. Yesterday was also spent cleaning and doing homework, but I did spend like 45 minutes making hourglass blocks from a baggie of HSTs that I found. My goal is a table topper for a really smaller dresser that we have (14” x 20” for the top).

Tonight is the ISU game in the NIT and then tomorrow I can hopefully continue on the sewing path.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Scraps take FOREVER to cut up!

I did go into my basement yesterday and spent 15 minutes cleaning up. Now, DH had recently gone through and reconfigured the basement and it looks very nice, EXCEPT for my pit of a sewing area. So all kinds of crap got piled up on my cutting table, including all of the paperwork my DH brings home from work but doesn’t know what to do with. ARGH!

So I cleaned up the edge of my cutting table, throwing away selvedges and putting scraps in a pile on my ironing board. After 15 minutes of that, I started to cut up the scraps on the ironing board, using a really small cutting board and ruler. I cut some 1.5 squares and 1.5 x 3.5 bricks for CC, and some appropriate things for Boxy Stars and some 2.5 squares for that box (eventual goal: cathedral windows quilt) and some 2” strips for the new mystery.

I cut for like 30 minutes and I only got through half of my teeny pile. Man!

I hope to continue chipping away at it. I didn’t get to make foundations for string blocks nor prep my machine area, nor did I work on Sheri’s quilt. But I did get a lot done on my group work for class, so that has to count for something.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Nothing Much

No quilting last night - too tired. I conked out at 9pm.

I have a group meeting right after work today, so that will get lots of homework accomplished. I do have some marketing homework to do as well.

But most importantly, tonight I hope to go downstairs and spend 15 minutes picking up, 15 minutes cutting, and preparing to make string blocks (cut foundations, get area set up, load scrap thread into bobbins, etc.).

The other goal is to prep the Sheri quilt for quilting. I hope to hit that tonight as well.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Week 10 wrap-up / National Quilting Day update

OK, I’m a few days late, but what can I say? We had a busy weekend up in greater Chicagoland, so this is the first time I’ve been able to post.

I did finish my Bargello Bowl quilt. It turned out to be 58 x 70 and it was just darling. I made it for the fundraiser organized by my co-worker. Their goal was $10k and they raised $20k, so it was a huge success! And that was my National Quilting Day.

No other sewing to speak of.

Week 11 goals:
10 string blocks
3 bags for the quilts at work.

It’s not much, but I need to get some serious study time in as well.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

No update yesterday; I give you 3 little words – blind puking migraine. I spent the entire day in fetal position in a dark room. It was really bad. So bad that my husband asked me 4 times if I was pregnant. Now that’s bad.

I did finish the bargello top and also got the whole thing sandwiches Tuesday night. I tried a new method of sandwiching; I put the top on the batting, trimmed the batting down to a reasonable amount all around and then added the backing to the sandwich. This seemed to work much better, as I already knew the top was smooth and fit the batting. So then the only goal when I turned the sandwich over was to cover all the batting with backing and smooth it out. Don’t ask me why, but it worked.

So last night’s goal was to quilt the thing. I only plan on doing diagonal lines every other square, but I only got 5 lines sewn before I had to go back and lie down. It was truly horrible. I hope to quilt like mad tonight and get the binding on, and then if I am certain I can finish up Friday night, I will email my co-worker tomorrow and ask her where I can drop off the donation item Saturday morning. It turned out really cute. It is truly a pattern that is as easy as Bonnie says and it’s one you can do during the work week if you’re diligent. So I’ll definitely be cutting some 2.5 strips too, if I ever get to cutting!

OK, back to work…

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Bargello Progress - Monday Night

Well, last night I made progress on the bargello, but did not make it all the way to where I wanted to be. I did get both uphill panels done and one of the downhill panels. The downhill one required some serious unpicking, so then I quit. I thought I did pretty damned good, despite having a church meeting thrown in there last night.

So tonight’s goal becomes the last downhill panel, assembly of the top, including borders and sandwiching the quilt. I would like to quilt it tomorrow night and then just have the binding to do on Thursday. If I’m really industrious tonight, I may start the quilting process. I’m thinking of just doing simple diagonal lines every other strip and extending it through the borders. I’m marketing this one as a TV time quilt for the auction. Here’s hoping I make it.

I really like this pattern; it grew on me over time. I think I will cut some 2.5 strips and start keeping them handy. I would like to make one where the color placement of the strips is all the same and then I’d like to just make one that’s huge but all random all over. So maybe I’ll add that to the cutting list, which of course, I should start executing!

Monday, March 10, 2008

bargello progress...

Well the quilt show was a success, despite the new location. More on that in another post when I actually have PICTURES!!!!

Anyway, Bonnie just revealed the start of what to cut for the April mystery. Now it seems stupid to start the April mystery while I’m not even really going on the CC mystery, but hey. So I have revised my cutting goals:

100 – 1.5 squares
100 – 1.5 x 3.5 strips
50 sets – 2.5 squares and 2.5 x 4.5 bricks (2.5 x 7)
50 sets – 2.5 x 4.5 bricks and 2.5 x 6.5 bricks (2.5 x 11)
2 inch strips
3.5 strips

On other fronts, I went down to my sewing room last night at like 9 and started to sew on the bargello. If I want to give it to my co-worker for the fundraiser, I need to give it to her Friday morning and time’s a-wasting, so I got the other 3 strip sets done. So now I have all 4 strip sets done. Tonight’s goal is to make the 2 uphill and the 2 downhill panels, all around having to go to a church meeting and also around handling some other stuff.

Then tomorrow I can finish the top and make the sandwich. Wednesday I can quilt it simply and Thursday I can bind it. If I can do this, it will make my day!

Friday, March 07, 2008

Scraps scraps

What to cut? I just don’t know.

Let’s see, we need 3.5 x 1.5 for CC as well as a ton of 1.5 squares. No more than 100 of each color.

Then I really should have on hand some quilts to give away. I have a girl one ready and the boy one is a flimsy, so that’s covered. I think a few lap ones and a few full ones would be good.

I like the idea of a Sudoku quilt and I know my MIL would like a quilt from me, but I’m pretty sure my scraps will not yield me 9 squares per fabric in the size I need. So there went that idea. I also really like the bargello, but I would love to do them where the strips are the same in each panel. Alas, that will be a stash cutting item, not a scrap one.

I really like Bonnie’s Boxy Stars, so maybe I should just cut a bunch of 2.5 strips. Since the rectangles are really pretty small (2.5 square and 2.5 x 4.5 rectangle), I think I could get a fair amount of them out of the scrap bag.

So let’s try that.

100 – 1.5 squares
100 – 1.5 x 3.5 bricks
100 pairs of 2.5 squares and 2.5 x 4.5 bricks

Week 10 goals

After spending like 15 minutes typing up my new goals and my Week 10 aspirations directly into the blogger window, when I tried to post, the computer ate it. So now I am back to my tried and true method of writing everything into a Word doc and then copying and pasting into the blogger window. Dang!

Anyway, as I am pretty much mentally (from getting ready for this quilt show) and physically (from the influenza) exhausted, I decided to rethink my approach for getting things done. I’m reaching the point that the weekly to-do list is too stressful and thus nothing is getting done. I also feel that I need to clean out my studio area and only leave one project out at a time, less I get distracted. And then Stashbusters has been discussing some rotation methods on how people get stuff done.

So I percolated all of that for a while, and I’ve decided that I will just start at the top of the QBW list over to the right and work on one item each week and then move on. The first item that needs to be done are some bags for quilts at work. Right now I have them rollup and sitting on my desk, but I’d like them with some sort of protective sleeve on there. Those will be a nice easy finish.

I have decided to put away the Batik Lover’s quilt for the remainder of this school term. I just need a break. It’s a lot of tedious pieces and one of the blocks that was swapped is frankly just wrong compared to what it should have been, so I will redo that one. I just need a break from that quilt.

So I think I will do an item on the list, and then do 10 string blocks. The only real ‘deadline’ that I have is to complete a Bargello Bowl for a fundraiser at work. So this weekend I might clean for 15, sew a panel, clean for 15, cut tubes, etc. The room needs to be tidied and I want to finish this quilt, so this very well may work out just fine.

So that is the new strategy I think. Let’s see how that goes for a while. I really need some finishes and I really need no deadlines.

I did have to dump out my entire blue scrap bag onto my cutting table (for various and sundry reasons). I didn’t repack it; I left it there, figuring I would do some serious cutting of the scraps. I need to cut in earnest for the Carolina Crossroads quilt and I need to think of some other shapes that I need and what quilts I would like in my inventory to just have on hand. Hmmm….

Week 9 wrap up report

Well, it's the end of week 9 and I sewed this week up to driving into work. Our quilt show is this weekend and my quilt is still not done. I have about a yard to whipstitch down and then I need to cut off the bottom and bind that quickly. Then it's off in the car to head north.

We will hang the entire show tonight. I'm doing my 2 volunteer hours tonight, as I have to drop off anyway. The influenza still is around, in the form of fatigue. I did get a hotel room for tonight so I don't even attempt the really long drive home. I did schedule breakfast with a girlfriend for Saturday morning and then I'll drive home.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

I did decide to not complete the Batik Lover’s quilt for the show this weekend. I felt bad, but I told them in advance, and my friends have already covered me on it. It pays to be in the bee that is currently in charge/in power in the guild.

The crayon quilt needs about 4.5 hours more work and I need to leave for Crest Hill at like 4 tomorrow, so there’s a lot of quilting to be done. I’m not really thrilled with how the quilt turned out, but oh well. But I should make it and it will be OK.

The Dad quilt is already done, but not prepped for the show. That’s another hour of my life.

So home I go to sew before class.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Week 9 Goals and Ramblings

I’ve taken Leap Day off to get my tetanus shot for grad school and also to take DD for her annual physical, so the rest of the time I hope to quilt like a nut! I really need to in order to make the quilt show, which is a week from tomorrow!

Week 9 Goals:

Crayon quilt done (except for handsewing on back)
Batik Lover’s done (except for extra quilting DH wants)

Friday goal:

All crayons done. 4 are quilted and 5 are not there yet. I need to get the other 4 quilted, cut all crayons to the same size, attach binding to the bottom of each crayon and to the tips of each crayon. I then need to hand sew down these binding pieces. Then I need to add binding down the side of each crayon as single fold binding. Then I need to sew the crayons together, using that long binding. And then hand sew those bindings down (which will most likely happen after the show).

Other stuff:

The Batik Lover’s quilt needs to have the top pieced (halfway done), sandwiched and quilted. I want to see from DH what he wants and do about half of it before adding the binding. I can have it half quilted to his desire in order to hang it in the show.

So overall, my main weekend goal is to have everything together and need handwork. Anything else is gravy. As it is, this is gonna be hard.

Week 8 Report

Goals for this week:
All crayons quilted.
All crayons cut.
Batik Lover’s sandwiched.

After that, I really need to think about which way to go next.

And what I got done…

Orange crayon and black crayon. Not enough, but better than nothing.

My week ended this morning, as my week always begins when my work week ends, and I’ve taken tomorrow off. May I get a lot done tomorrow. DD wants to stay home with me instead of going to daycare, which is fine IF she understands that I have to put the pedal to the metal and get ‘r done.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Tuesday night

Well, I did finish the quilting on the orange crayon. I also did about 1/3 of the quilting on the black crayon. Not enough for my liking, but better than none.

I did take Friday off, but of course, I'm done being queen on Friday at 6am. Go figure!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I don't wanna be queen

I am currently queen and will be until 6am Friday. Of course, I took off Friday to finish my 2 quilts for the show, so I will miss the queen thing by like 12 hours. How is that for my karma in life right about now?!?!?

I didn’t quilt last night, but I did work on my paper and I am also in receipt of 219 boxes of Girl Scout cookies. Oy.

Monday, February 25, 2008

week 8

Um, yeah, I’m a bit behind. It’s now week 8 in my quilting universe. In the last 4 weeks, I’ve been taking 2 insurance exams for work, 2 exams for grad school, handling my DD’s 7th birthday and having influenza. So, not a lot of sewing going on.

However, the quilt show is in less than 2 weeks. I have got to get me rear in gear to get the 2 quilts I am hanging done. So I did actually quilt some this weekend – I worked on crayons.

So as of right now:

Brown – sandwiched
Red – piecing
Orange – quilting
Yellow – done
Green – sandwiched
Blue – piecing
Purple – done
Black – sandwiched

As for the Batik Lover’s, the top and bottom piano key borders are done and the side are half-pieced. The 2 bottom rows are pieced together.

Goals for this week:
All crayons quilted.
All crayons cut.
Batik Lover’s sandwiched.

After that, I really need to think about which way to go next.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Well, I have good news and bad news.

The good news is that I quilted for about 25 minutes yesterday. I did complete the purple braid quilting. I also started to finish the orange braid quilting, but the bobbin ran out and the bobbin winder is 2 floors below this machine. I did not sew on the black or red braids, nor did I unpick anything.

Tonight I have one test. The goal would be to finish the orange braid, sew 10 on black and red and unpick the brown braid. Slowly but surely, I will get there.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

an actual quilty update

The flu and my hands are not getting along. If this is what arthritis feels like, y’all can have it! My hands ache something fierce non-stop.

I did take some time on Sunday at sew on the purple crayon. Each crayon has 3 steps: the braid, the sandwiching and the quilting (on each braid). The yellow crayon is all done. The orange one still needs some quilting, as I ran out of thread and have since bought more. The purple crayon needed to be quilted, and as of right now is ¾ of the way done.

The other 5 crayons suffer from the fatal design flaw and all need to be fixed, rebraided (can we all say ‘y-seams’?) and then have steps 2 and 3 done. My goal this weekend, and it’s been weeks since I had any quilting goals, is to get this stupid crayon quilt done. I work only until 1 on Friday, so that gives me Friday night. Saturday we need to go to Chicago, but I should be able to get something done that night. Sunday is DD’s kid party, but that is not at my house, so I am hoping that I can get more done Sunday night.

Mini-goal: finish purple crayon and orange crayon tonight. Sew 10 strips on the black braid and on the red braid. Unpick brown braid.

Let’s see how this goes. Recovering from this flu is like recovering from mono.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


Now I know why I've been in a funk. I have influenza! I did have the shot and I have a mild case, but still, it saps your energy.

I postponed DD's birthday party for today until March 1. Currently Ted is taking her to the mall and we will head out for an early supper at Chili's. I am just exhausted. I try to study for 15 minutes and do light housework for 15 minutes. I did that for 5 hours yesterday and then I picked up the living room of toys during the news hour at 5. By 7:30 last night I was in bed and promptly slept 12 hours.

So now it is all about pacing. I need to get through these tests this upcoming week, so that is my number 1 concern. I did allow myself to start on the bargello when last I sewed and I did get one panel sewn together, so now it needs pressing and cutting and all of that. The pain in my hands is unbelievable from the flu, so I may just progress on anything that doesn't require precision cutting. I can get pretty far I think.

So it's all about pacing and regaining strength. I think I can make all of my deadlines if I just take one bite at a time.

Friday, February 08, 2008

hiding out...and thinking too much

I’m been laying low. Sorry about that. It’s been all about school and tests and it really won’t let up until about Feb 29.

I have not been able to sew. Last weekend I took the time to sew some Valentine’s postcards that were on a panel from last year. That was fun and fast. So that busted an infinitesimal amount of stash and nearly a whole spool of deep red thread. It was nice to do something new.

My sewing funk comes from the idea that I absolutely must finish 1 table runner and 2 quilts for the quilt show in a month. Yes, I know, people work better under a deadline and I am no exception, but since I’ve decided to get UFOs done, starting with those, I’ve been in a funk. And I’ve had to stop myself from full-blown launching into the New Year’s Sudoku quilt challenge, Carolina Crossroads in full force, SITP and the Bargello bowl. 4 items that would have turned into UFOs because another 4 cool ideas would have come along to start. At least I know the source of my madness.

Another question that is coming up in my mind is if I make all these quilts, then where to they all go? Yes I can give them away, but I like these patterns and frankly would like to keep them. But for what? Where? Why? This is moving me deeper into the funk.

Meanwhile I have the family DD birthday party on the 16th (have to clean), 3 exams in 2 days on the 20th and 21st, and then the kid party on the 24th (at the place, not at my house). And Ted is traveling for 5 of those 16 days. My stress is stressed just thinking of everything that needs to be done.

So in order to cope, I have to get a lot of studying done, but besides that, I’ve decided that I will work to certain defined points on the 2 quilts, try to accomplish the table runner, do one or two bobbins’ worth of FMQ on an older UFO (a Bonnie My Blue Heaven) and I can start the bargello. I actually cut an entire 2 gallon Ziploc of 2.5 strips when I was doing the cutting for the Dad quilt. I cut a 5” WOF piece, cut 2 nickels for the bin, 1 nickel for a disappearing 9-patch (a UFO, sadly), pieces for the Dad quilt (a Bonnie Backroads to OK) and then took the rest and cut it lengthwise into 2.5” strips and said hey here we go. I know that there are over 128 different fabs in that bag.

My thought process involved a girl here at work. I have had the pleasure of working with her because I took on a task for the time being at the request of management. She is trying to get pregnant and is having a medical hard time. Since I have had all the troubles I have had, I can relate. So I went by her cube today for some work related thing and she has a sign posted for a benefit (needing silent auction items!!!) for a little boy that is ill. Her DH is a cop and one of the parents of this little boy is a cop or a firefighter or some other civil servant. So I figured I would donate the bargello to the silent auction and the My Blue Heaven to the boy. This way I get to work on new stuff, it doesn’t become another UFO, an old UFO gets finished and put to good use, I and the 3 things I need to get done for the show will see some progress.

How I will manage quilting, cleaning and studying is something I haven’t figured out yet. Work hard, play hard I guess.

Sunday, February 03, 2008


I just made my first postcards! I had a Sandy Gervais panel from last year (the valentine fabs) and it had 6 postcards on it. Well, I just got those made up and they are all addressed and ready to go to the post office. That was so easy!

I also finished my Easter egg coasters this morning. The 2 big table topper eggs are also done, so that is a huge thing off my list.

We did go out yesterday and buy the back for the batik lover's quilt. The top has half the rows done and half of the piano key border done. I'd sew today, but no, I have to volunteer for soccer registration (why on the Superbowl?!?!?) and then head to a party. So no more sewing for me.

Saturday, February 02, 2008


It was a great snow day. I haven't had one as an adult ever, so we had lots of fun. I put 2 rows together of my batik lover's quilt and did 2 sides of the piano key border. I did study 2 chapters for school. We shovelled snow while DD played in it and then I made blondies with cinnamon chips. Yummy! And had hot cocoa! Penny, the whole area was just shut down, so your niece was no doubt at home. They don't exactly plow well. At least my prof let us out early on Thursday night by half an hour.

Today we need to run to Morton to get the back for the batik lover's quilt. It's for DH and so he has to pick the back. I'm hanging this quilt in a show in March, so I need to shake a leg on it. It is turning out beautiful. DH just loves batiks, and it was a guild swap last year for the blocks, so it seemed like a perfect fit. Of course, there's nothing like waiting until the last minute to get it done!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

While I didn't quilt last night, I did do homework. Does that count? :-)

Monday, January 28, 2008

Carolina Crossroads - cutting has commenced!

I actually dipped my big toe in the water! As I was cutting all of my piano keys from 1.5” strips, I saved everything that was greater than a square and less than the smallest key I needed, which was 3.5”. So I have some 9 patch squares going! I’m so excited!

I also found a lovely pink batik that I may use as the focus fabric. I want to see how much of it I have. I remember I bought whatever was on the bolt. Here’s hoping it’s a lot, like 3+ yards.

I want to make the quilt longer, so I need to make one more ring row and one more star row. That means I will have to make 9 extra blocks total. So I spent some time on that math as well.

weekend update

Thursday – I PASSED MY TEST! However, I had class, so nothing really happened that evening except me lying around and vegging before class. I had earned it!

Friday – DAY OFF! First I went through and finished the other 9 Chiclets blocks that are homework here for Q1. That was a huge pain in the butt off my mind. Then I went in search of my St. Pat’s stuff and it has disappeared. Well dang! The point was to find it and make a silent auction item from it, as the show is a week before St. Pat’s.

So I dropped back 10 and punted. I found my unused Easter fabrics and decided on making a huge striped egg for a table topper. So I cut strips, prepped a back with batting, and I was off to the races. By the end of the evening, I had the whole thing sewn. It was 18 inches wide and the WOF, so I was hoping to get 2 eggs out of it. I got 2 eggs and 11 little eggs for coasters, so when I determine the yards from stash, I will just use 18 inches and the WOF. There was very little waste.

Saturday – We started the morning with no power, so that was an adventure. I did a lot of housework type stuff and errand type stuff, so no so much sewing. I did start cutting the piano keys for the batik quilt.

The batik quilt was a pattern from a magazine called the Puzzler and our guild called it the batik lover’s quilt. Each person was to make 12 of one square and we were to swap. Included in our swap bag were to be some extra strips for the piano key border to provide unity and continuity throughout the quilt. So I started pressing, measuring, sorting and cutting those out. (By the time I was done, I only had to supplement from stash for 5% of the keys, which isn’t bad.)

Sunday – I cut out 2 large Easter eggs and 11 small ones. I sewed the binding on the 2 big and one of the small and the one small did not turn out well. I may have to postcard finish those. I did get one of the bindings stitched down on the big one and it won’t lay 100% completely flat. I need to iron it and see if that helps.

I also finished cutting the piano key border for my batik quilt and started sewing it together. I got 52 of the 260 keys done and they are attached into 4 sections, making me about 20% of the way done. Whoever said that with scrap quilts, when you’re done cutting, you’re halfway done wasn’t kidding!

Week 5 goals

Goals for Week 5:
Pictures into guild for show
Crayons quilted:
Table Runners for Quilt show
St. Pat’s
January Table Runner
Batik Lover’s quilt
Carolina Crossroads
100th day of school quilt

Week 4

Goals for Week 4:
Pictures into guild for show
Crayons quilted:
Table Runners for Quilt show
St. Pat’s
January Table Runner
Carolina Crossroads
100th day of school quilt

What I got done:

I passed my test! Since I passed, I took Friday off, so my quilty weekend started Thursday night.

Stashbusting efforts:

No buying and no sewing, so net effect of a big fat zero.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


The test is tomorrow, so all I'm doing is going nuts trying to study. So no sewing but no stash acquisition either!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Week 3

Goals for Week 3:
Pictures into guild for show
Crayons quilted:
Table Runners for Quilt show
January Table Runner
Carolina Crossroads
100th day of school quilt

What I got done:

Friday – 9 chiclets blocks. Goal is 6 per month to finish and this gets me all of January and half of February.

Saturday – too busy to sew.

Sunday – too busy and too tired to sew.

Monday – did nothing – church meeting.

Tuesday – did nothing.

Wednesday – nothing due to class.

Thursday – nothing due to class

Stashbusting efforts:

Well, I didn’t add to the stash, which is always a good sign! LOL. I did work on a really annoying UFO, so that is like double points in my book. My stress level over this insurance exam is off the roof and I will be much better next Thursday afternoon when it’s over. I did indeed take next Friday off as a reward to myself. Sometimes you just need to do it.

It was just as well I did not start the table runner projects for the quilt show, as the other person making identical items had some design issues. Now that we have it all hammered out, I should be good to go.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

CC Revealed!!!!

Well, I got Bonnie’s all important special notice last night and WOW is all I can say! What else can you say??!? Thank you, Bonnie comes to mind.

It is a fantastic quilt. It is also predominately a blue quilt. So I’m glad to see how it turned out so I can work on my color placement. The only other thing I plan on doing is adding another row to the bottom so it’s a tad larger (and busts more stash).

Now that class has started, now I can start on this quilt. Next weekend during the Stashbusters retreat weekend, I plan on getting going. We shall see. This weekend is already tied up with a little kid sleepover for 2 nights, studying for class and studying most importantly for my insurance exam.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Oh. Dear. God.

No quilting last night on my last night of freedom for the next 6 years of my life (I start grad school tonight).

And no studying for the exam today. Eek.

But I did get assigned to a very cool project today and it is the BOMB. I am very excited.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Waffler

Now I’m rethinking my colors for the CC. Should I do all scrappy for blue, whatever neutral lights I have for the cream and pink for the red? Hmm…

The pros are that I would be able to go through my Ziploc bags of scraps (sorted by color) and get rid of a lot of stuff and process whatever else is in there and really get a handle on the little stuff. Another pro is although I want to try a pink and brown quilt, I’m not sure I want one that’s 80 x 80. A third benefit (although implied) is that the entire thing could most definitely come from stash.

The cons are that I am waffling and I don’t get a pink and brown quilt right now.

I so cannot wait for this insurance exam to be over. It’s next Thursday the 24th and I am taking the 25th as a mental health day. I plan to quilt all weekend long. DH is in total support of this. I think the only getting out we may do is to quilt shops to drop off fliers for the quilt show, so everything will be quilting related. I so need this weekend.

So back to CC. If you’re reading this, let me know your thoughts.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Weekend Update

Overall, it was not a hugely productive sewing weekend, but since I am less than 2 weeks away from an insurance exam, this is not surprising.

Friday night required some quilting. DD had been sick all day and frankly she was nothing more than a huge pain in the butt. So after a fun adventure at ISU trying to get an ID, I got home and she was asleep taking a nap. So Ted and watched some tivo (Numbers) and after she woke up, I started to sew.

Now I have to make an appreciation table runner for the quilt show co-chair and then I have decided to make 2 more table runners as well for the quilt show silent auction. I figured I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to PP the appreciation table runner (God, how I hate paper piecing!), so I figured I would start my homework on the chiclets.

Somehow, some way before we moved, I made something like 50+ 16-patches for a series of chiclets quilts. Well, the pattern then requires the 16-patches to be framed with a background fabric and some HSTs. Well, making over 400 scrappy HSTs can get a bit tedious! So the project got stuffed into some Ziplocs and shoved in a box and moved.

Fast forward to the move. I took a look at this and decided I had invested too much and that the process was tedious but not hateful and technically the blocks looked good, so I should continue. I decided that I would complete 6 blocks a month until they were all done. So each time I did 6 blocks, I would take a fat eighth and some WOW and make some HSTs using the grid method. Then I would pull out of the existing HST bag and pull enough for 24 HSTs, press, square and sew.

I did indeed do 6 in October and 12 in November during my retreat. I completed 9 on Friday night while watching Gladiator on TNT. It’s not exactly a movie where you need to hear every word and stay riveted to the screen, so it made for good mindless sewing. I got the 9 done and called it an evening. I hope to do the other 9 this coming weekend and then I am done with chiclets for the first quarter of this year.

I have decided that the chiclets will become the TV room/Family room quilt for the couch. So the blocks now have a home, which is good. This will be completely from stash, which is also good. I’m a fan of free quilts.

Saturday involved the MBA orientation, studying a lot and managing DH and DD after they returned from an adventurous trip to Bensenville for a funeral. Let’s just say syrup ended up all over the minivan.

Sunday involved a prolonged morning at church, some football and some studying. No quilting.

It turned out that I couldn’t start on my appreciation table runner at all anyway because the person making the other one wanted to mail me another block and her PP template so that we would be consistent. So it worked out just as well. I want to make the other 2 runners from the scraps of the first, so I just have to wait it out.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Week 3 Goals

Goals for Week 3:
Pictures into guild for show
Crayons quilted:
Table Runners for Quilt show
January Table Runner
Carolina Crossroads
100th day of school quilt

Week 2

Goals for Week 2:
Pictures into guild for show
Crayons quilted:

What I got done:

Friday - I do not even remember. I did go to the doctor and get some antibiotics, so I bet I slept the rest of the day.

Saturday – Went up to Crest Hill and met up with my bee and did some quilt show stuff. DD sewed 2 rows of her 100th Day of School quilt.

Sunday – Worked on the black crayon. Sandwiched the orange crayon. Finished the last 4 broken dishes blocks made from waste triangles from my snowman/snowball quilt. I plan to use these blocks for the January table runner.

Monday – Finished yellow crayon. Started orange crayon.

Tuesday – No sewing, but I did make some headway in my very cluttered house, so that helped out from a mental health point of view.

Wednesday – all of the orange crayon until I ran out of thread. Boo.

Thursday – I fell asleep over my insurance books.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

CC - Step 6 revealed

Let's just say, based on Step 6 being revealed, that I think I want to swap where the pink and brown will be in my blocks and where the purple and green will be in Kim's blocks. I want a predominately pink and cream quilt and I want Kim to have a predominately purple and cream quilt, so we shall see what else happens with this quilt.

No, I haven't started cutting. Life got way to crazy over New Year's and being sick did not help. Add to that the fact that the quilt show is in 2 months and my 2 quilts aren't ready and you can see what's going on in my life. But I am SO itching to start this quilt!

Maybe this weekend. It will be my Spring 08 quilt. I start grad school next week, so if I can do one full projects plus UFOs each term, I will be pleased as punch. I study a lot and sew a lot. I was already doing my MBA when we moved, (so I have to start over) so I have practice on how to balance school, work and quilting.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Sidewinder Review

Here’s my review on the SideWinder, the latest hot gadget in quilting.

First a bit of background. I have an older Kenmore that I used as my DSM for a long time, only recently replacing it with the Janome Gem last spring. The Kenmore had only 3 issues with it. It’s heavy, I can’t free motion on it (no doubt operator error, but whatever) and the bobbin winder is broken. Now I really don’t feel like spending a ton of money to repair this feature.

Fast forward to Thanksgiving time, when I brought my Janome in for service. I then was sewing on the Kenmore (named Ed, as I really did get it from a gay guy named Ed), and I had no way to wind bobbins (I was using the Janome, you see…). So I had to get a Side Winder.

The pros: It winds bobbins and you don’t have to unthread your machine. It threads them for more than one bobbin type. It is plug in and battery operated. It is small. And it’s way cheaper than fixing Ed.

The cons: It doesn’t have a stop button. Why do you need one? Well, if your spool runs out, the bobbin keeps going, though nothing is happening. It only stops if the bobbin is full. So in order to stop it, I have to pull the plug (from the unit to the power cord – not out of the wall). What do you do if you’re on battery? It only winds the bobbins about 2/3 full.

So how do I feel about owning it? Good, for Ed the Kenmore. But don’t be fooled by illusions of grandeur.

Week 2

Goals for Week 2:
Pictures into guild for show
Crayons quilted:

I'm now at the point where I need to focus on Quilt Show duties first and foremost. Right now, I want to get 2 crayons a week quilted so that the whole quilt can be done by the end of January. The other things are 2 table runners for the silent auction and a table runner for one of the 2 that chaired the show.

I am still working on some other things as rewards for completing the "have-to's."

Then there are some admin duties I need to focus on. Oy!

Week 1

Goals for Week 1:
Pictures into guild for show
CC – Kim – clue 1
CC – Me – clue 1
Anything else I want!!!

What I got done:

Friday – Christmas party with my bee. Very fun!!!

Saturday – After getting home in the afternoon and taking a nap, I got the purple crayon fixed and sandwiched for quilting. I also sewed 50 pieces on the black crayon.

Sunday – Despite feeling all congested, I did get the yellow crayon fixed and sandwiched for quilting. I also got the upstairs quilting station set up.

Monday – Up in Chicago with sick MIL – don’t ask.

Tuesday – After all the craziness, I did manage to quilt half of the yellow crayon. It went far faster than I expected, so it should be a far more manageable project to complete than what I thought.

I did not get to go to the Treadle to get browns for my CC, nor could I cut Kim’s CC. Such is life. We’ll get there.

Wednesday – Despite being exhausted (I think the kids gave me something), I did sit for 10 minutes and quilted a fourth of the other side of the yellow crayon. Not much, but if that what it takes….I’m taking it.

Thursday – nothing.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

If that what it takes....

I only got in 10 minutes yesterday, so I did a fourth of the other side of the yellow crayon. Right now, if that is all that can be done, I will take it.

DH is still up with his mom. DD and I are holding down the fort, in this zero degree nonsense. I like cold and I live in Illinois, but even I will admit this is cold. However, I am still not wearing a winter coat. That would be admitting defeat!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Several Days of Catch-Up

Friday – Christmas party with my bee. Very fun!!!

Saturday – After getting home in the afternoon and taking a nap, I got the purple crayon fixed and sandwiched for quilting. I also sewed 50 pieces on the black crayon.

Sunday – Despite feeling all congested, I did get the yellow crayon fixed and sandwiched for quilting. I also got the upstairs quilting station set up.

Monday – Up in Chicago with sick MIL – don’t ask.

Tuesday – After all the craziness, I did manage to quilt half of the yellow crayon. It went far faster than I expected, so it should be a far more manageable project to complete than what I thought.

I did not get to go to the Treadle to get browns for my CC, nor could I cut Kim’s CC. Such is life. We’ll get there.