Friday, December 31, 2010

last day

Last night I did complete clue 4 of APFOM's Hugs and Kisses. CLue 5 is the the 30 O blocks, which I will start shortly. If I ever get off this couch.

I also kept working on those strings blocks. Now that Bonnie has put up Step 7, I know how things are going to look. I may do a bunch of 600 hst's, then do step 4 a set at a time and make a block as I go. Just may work best.

We're having some weird weather. We are under a complete tornado watch and have already had 2 warnings this afternoon. Despite all of that, I have run out and gone grocery shopping. So we're set, all snug as bugs in rugs.

Thursday, December 30, 2010


Hi! It’s the penultimate day of the year! (I don’t get to use penultimate very often, so let me revel in it a bit.)

Last night was another successfully quilting night. Not so much on other fronts. (Oh well.)

I did finish Clue 3 of the Hugs and Kisses mystery and I made 5 more string blocks for step 3 of RRCB. Slowly but surely I am trudging through.

Tonight I hope to get through Clue 4, which is only 22 flying geese. I’m calling them flying doves, because I am reversing the color schemes, which means that the goose part of the unit is white and the sky is scrappy. That’s how I roll.

My other goal for today is to grocery shop. I’m pretty firmly committed to not going out at all on Friday if possible. I’m pretty certain I don’t want to be the driver, that is for sure.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Year of Simplicity

Ann Voskamp writes from her farm in Canada about faith, farming and life. Ann’s words are amazing. I sit in my cube at work and cry tears of joy reading about how wonderful faith is and how she gropes for it, lost like me (and a lot of others, no doubt). (If there are any readers out there, despite being a city girl from Chicago , I am adapting to those rural ways of central IL, and so I can appreciate Ann’s farming posts.)

Anyway, Ann made 2010 the year of yes. The year of not saying no to her children’s adventures and ideas, not saying no to new adventures of her own. I took this to heart and strove hard to say yes more in the moment, despite term papers and case analyses and presentations. I tried to say yes more even if it meant I stayed home with utter exhaustion, just so that Renee could experience more. My mother said no a lot and I’m not sure why. I try to say yes more.

So Ann has tasked us for the word or theme (or both) for this year. For Ann, it will be the year of here. Being present, being here.

For me, it is the year of simplicity. As I mentioned a few posts ago, I shed many outside obligations on my time. It may be a bit selfish to be so introspective, but I am tired – utterly exhausted, if I permit myself to think about it. I mean, I am TIRED. It has been a while since I have been this tired.

And when I look around my house, which we have lived in for nearly 4 years now, I see improvements that need to be made, pictures to be hung, walls to be painted, clutter to be repurposed. I look at my sewing area and it’s an avalanche of ideas, thoughts, and projects to complete. My mind goes into overdrive. I love to make lists; lists give me strength according to my husband, who probably knows me the best out of anyone on this earth. So I make lists, and then make myself tired just reading them. I need to stop.

So I dedicate this year to the diligent practice of simplicity. No more overextending. No more being away from home 2 or 3 nights per week. No more quilting on a schedule. No more quilting ADD (if you have to ask, never mind) (if you know, can I get an amen?). I commit to volunteering for the Girl Scouts, which is something I can do with my child. I commit to my weight and health. I commit to saying yes. I commit to simplicity.

And that is my 2011. There before the grace of God go I.

12/28 accomplishments

After learning some stressful news yesterday, I decided that sewing was the best thing I could do. There’s nothing I can do about the stressful news; it’s water under the bridge now, so all I focused on was how to alleviate the stress. So I sewed.

While watching the last 2 episodes of the Amazing Race, I sewed 25 more hourglass units for Clue 3, 14 more half-units for Clue 3 and more string blocks for Step 3. (Yes, it’s 2 mysteries at once.) It’s good to have forward progress on both quilts. I’m making the lap size for Hugs and Kisses, so I’m not quite so overwhelmed.

I decided against working on the Second Hand Clothes baby quilt because that would be feeding my quilter’s ADD! I’m going to continue to work on the 2 projects I have going so that I can at least get to the completed top stage. Once one top is done, I will then slot the baby quilt in next. Should the child arrive before I can get to that point, then I will drop everything and sew. But with no school any more and tons of free time, I bet my timing will be fine.

I do still need to get Carolyn’s quilt to the hand binding stage. I will most likely do that on Friday, since I have it off. We need to drive north on Saturday, so I can bind in the car as we drive, but I will most likely rest my back during Friday with some hand binding.

Tonight’s goal if I sew: Finish Clue 3 and more string blocks.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

second hand clothes and other things

A quick update for today. Last night, I went down and sewed while we watched “The Princess Bride.” I started 5 more string blocks for RRCB and kept working on the hourglass blocks (clue 3) for Hugs and Kisses. By the time the movie was over, my back was shot. I’m out of condition!

Tonight may very well be sew-free. I have a huge amount of paperwork to get through and I may just tackle that tonight, doing 15 minutes of paperwork and then 15 minutes of Facebook gaming. Maybe not exactly what FlyLady had in mind, but it works for me.

Then I was talking with a co-worker in another department today and his wife is due with their third in late January. The ‘late January’ part I remembered. The fact that she had the first two children two to three weeks early is something I forgot. While I did not make a quilt for either of the first two babies, I will be making one for this one, which is a girl. My co-worker Karen always gave everyone an afghan for their new babies; Karen’s mother loves to crochet! However, Karen passed away in October after a 2 year battle with lung cancer (no, she was not a smoker, and no, no one knows why she got it). So to pick up where Karen left off, I will make this quilt. But it appears that I really need to start this ASAP.

I plan on making the Second Hand Clothes pattern, but doing it from the picture. (Sorry, not buying the pattern, but if I can determine the pattern from the picture, I haven’t infringed on your copyright.) Nancy, Near Philadelphia has done a baby-sized one already, so I know I’ll need 16 of the pieced blocks and 25 of the solid blocks and then the setting triangles. This very well may be my sewing goal for the rest of this week, with the strip blocks for RRCB as the leaders/enders.

It is very nice to just be able to change plans on a whim. No more ‘I only have 3 weeks until class starts, so what MUST I get done in those 3 weeks?’ That is a wonderful feeling to have.

But man, is my house a mess!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Wrapping Up 2010

Many, many things have happened since last I wrote. Many chapters in my life have come to an end, and I’m not certain of the next chapters that are beginning. It’s an interesting time right now.

I graduated from Illinois State University on December 18 with my MBA. My husband, an assistant professor, handed me my diploma. My daughter watched this event, along with my sister, father and my good friend (and partner in crime) Tracy . It was incredible. It was an achievement. It also marked the end of a chapter in my life. But during this chapter, I worked hard and played hard and made some friends. I started the FNSC (Friday Night Supper Club), which meets on the second Friday of every month. There are 7 of us in total, all women, ranging in age from 25 to 50+. We are all at different stations in life, with different family compositions, opinions and lifestyles. It is good to have friends. It is even better to have friends who like to eat! Amy hosts for January, in her new apartment. It will be fun!

A large project at work came to an end. I actually finished the very last component this morning. It was a project I had expressed interest in almost 2 years ago, to be told I was actually being placed in a leadership role for another project in which I had also expressed interest. Eventually, due to various factors coming into play, including people directly asking for me to be on the team, I made it on to the team for the last 9 months of the project. The project was a resounding success and the last 6 weeks have been handling clean-up. And now it is done.

OK, that is really only 2 big things, but it feels like a lot more. Anyway, I’m kind of floating around a bit rudderless right now, as I really have nothing pressing going on.

I have spent some time working on quilting. And planning some quilting. And resting. And cooking.

For the past few days, I have been working on both Bonnie Hunter’s RRCB and Dorothy Young’s Hugs and Kisses. I had been keeping up to date with RRCB, but when step 3 and those string blocks came, it sent me for a loop. I am not a huge fan of string blocks. But I went ahead and bought some doodle pads at the dollar store. And over this holiday I sat down and started making them.

I thought for sure I didn’t have any neutral strings. I even went so far as to buy some 4” and 2.5” neutral strips for Keepsake Quilting.

Boy was I wrong. I have been going through my various scrap ziploc bags (there must be 15 if there’s one) and I have found enough strings for 15 blocks, and I’m not done going through the bags.

A pleasant breakthrough happened when I figured out a way to do string blocks that doesn’t piss me off. I actually sew a leader/ender in between each one and now my life is so much more sane. I did clue 2 of H&K this way and I’m starting Clue 3. My goal would be to keep on sewing H&K with the RRCB strip blocks as something else to do.

I’ve also printed off part one of Bonnie’s Christmas Lights. I want to use a lot of blue in it and call it “There’s always that one blue house,” referring to the one house in the neighborhood that always has blue lights on it. While blue lights are more popular now, when I was a kid, they were really cheesy. Now I’m the blue light lady, at least in my mind.

So OK, I’ve started a bunch more quilts. What about all of those UFOs?

My goal for 2011 is to complete one crafty thing per week. It could be quilty, it could be sewing, it could be knitting, it could be candle-making. It just needs to be complete and a craft. If I achieve 40 things, I will consider it a success. But I have many things in process and I need many things finished.

I’m also hopefully going back to the idea of the 2-part week. The first part is from Monday until my weekend begins, which is usually Friday afternoon. The second part is Friday afternoon through Sunday. It sounds odd, but I have different expectations of each type of time period.

So to start off, my goals between now and Friday, which I actually have off due to the holiday, are:

Get Carolyn’s quilt to the hand binding stage
Finish blue GFG flower
Hugs and Kisses – as far as possible
RRCB – as far as possible

And yes, I’ve thought about January. I can’t number my UFOs like Judy and go with the random number. I have to know what I’m working on. It’s how I function best.

My goals for finishes in January include:
Carolyn’s quilt
WB quilt
XO blue quilt
GS banner quilt thing
Christmas BRB
Second hand clothes in pink – for a co-worker who is having a girl – not even started

My goals for milestones in January include:
Hugs and Kisses – completed top
BOM – months 1 and 2 complete; month 6 started
D9P – next 20 blocks
D9P – machine quilt one section
RRCB – completed top
Xmas Lights – completed top

Thursday, November 25, 2010


First of all, Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm home alone, since yesterday at noon. My family went to KS without me, as I've been recovering from a fever. They will be home Saturday night. They will unload, put the right people in the right cars for the next leg of the journey and me, Ted and Renee will head north to Brookfield on Saturday night. We have Bears tickets for Sunday.

But even more annoying is that my sister became violently ill overnight and basically Thanksgiving was canceled at her house. I suggested that we have something on Sunday before the game (now since it's a 3.15 game); maybe that will work.

So what have I been doing while I've been home? Some resting, some cleaning, some cooking and some quilting.

I completed:

BOM blocks, months 3 and 4
Roll Roll Cotton Boll step 1
Hemming of a lot of sweatpants!

And that's just what I've done today. I hope to get some more stuff done Friday and Saturday. My only requirement is that I complete a research paper for class that is currently in draft form.

Oh, and as a point of clarification, my BOM is not just one block, it's 7 blocks - 4 in the dark colorway and 3 in the light colorway and then all 7 of those need to be sashed so the points float. It's involved.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

On to November

A few weeks have passed since I’ve posted here – sorry about that. I can say that last night I gave my last presentation of my MBA degree and it is done. I still have work to do in both of my classes, but it is more manageable and hopefully I can work ahead a bit so that I don’t feel quite so overwhelmed at the end.

Anyway, here’s where I am. So, hi!

I hope to sew all of the time now, except for Tuesday the 23rd through Sunday the 28th, due to things like Thanksgiving travels and the Bears game. Even then, I will be doing handwork on the road, so all is not lost.

When last I wrote, I was listing tasks and hoping to achieve 5 of them, one to represent each non-class day. Here’s my new list, and it’s quite long.

Cut GS stocking fabs for another troop
Finish GS banner
Cut and sub cut 30 yards for the 2011 30 yard dash
BOM – Month 1 – fix and finish blocks
BOM – Month 2 – finish blocks
BOM – Month 3 – finish blocks
BOM – Month 4 – finish blocks
Cut stockings
Pink quilt done
Next 20 D9P
Finish WB quilt
GFG – Build T-giving kit
Hem 4 of Renee’s sweatpants
Hem 4 of Renee’s sweatpants

Only 14 things – HA!

OK, here are the things that must be done this weekend without fail: the GS stocking fabrics and hemming 4 of Renee’s sweatpants. Anything and everything else is up to me!

Now that the presentation is over, I really need to take some time to clean my house. My upstairs guest room and my daughter’s bathroom are really just a sight. While normally I can close my eyes to the mess, it’s really bugging me and also I have guests coming for Thanksgiving that need to use those rooms. So I really just need to clean them out. For the bedroom, it’s the clutter. For the bathroom, it’s just dirty (eek).

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Trying to Quilt

Well, on Monday I did finish up the first 20 D9P blocks for my super-king quilt and I did finish the BOM blocks. Then on Tuesday and Wednesday I had class, which meant no sewing happened at all.

However on Wednesday morning we received word that our co-worker had lost her battle with cancer. So this weekend will be consumed with those rituals that go with celebrating her life and guiding ourselves as her co-workers through the grief process. I have no idea how much sewing will get done. I can say that I should sew as a therapeutic exercise.

So I will list my 5 tasks (actually 7 and I try to do 5), in hopes that I get to them:

Finish GS banner
All papers out of GFG and T-giving kit built
Pink quilt done
BOM delivered
Next 20 D9P
Cut Stockings
Finish WB quilt
Mark white border of blue quilt

(OK, that’s really 8.) (That GS one snuck up on me again.)

I do know that I will get up to Peddler’s Way for the BOM because I will do that Saturday morning before the funeral to ensure I get it in.

This was written on Friday afternoon. I have indeed made up it to Peddler's Way for the BOM, and the sun shone as we laid my co-worker to rest (despite a morning of torrential rain). So tonight I will try to do some homework, and some handwork.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Baby Steps

I'm now halfway through my final term of grad school. I cannot believe it and I couldn't be happier. Anyway, since the midterms are over and the workload has been planned, I can start to integrate my quilty pursuits back into my life.

So this weekend I made a super-short list of things to do. I wanted to get the badges on Renee's GS vest, weave in the yarn ends of my two fashion scarves, make my BOM blocks, sew 3 flowers of my GFG together, cut out 10 Christmas stockings in muslin and finish a baby quilt. Everything but the last two did get done.

It's good to be back in the swing of things, but that 10 page paper won't write itself, so I will continue with baby steps for a while more.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Nothing New

At least on the quilting end of things. I'm still working on GFG flowers at lunch, so something quilty is going on.

Yesterday we went to Rader Family Farms and did the whole pumpkin patch - corn maze thing. A wonderful way to spend an Indian summer day.

Today we got ready for winter. I always think that Columbus Day weekend is a great time to make sure the yard is ready for winter, so we emptied out 2 of our tomato plant containers, as well as our 2 flower boxes. Another tomato plant that we overwintered last year is still producing and so is the green pepper plant. The producing tomato plant gave us the tomatoes for our tomato sauce this evening! One of the flower boxes grew basil and there were a few small leaves still in there, so they too went into the sauce.

Ted then went through and dug out 2 inches of crabgrass in our front sidewalk section. Not fun work, but necessary. Now we just need to buy some dirt and some bulbs, both of which are frankly FUN compared to digging out crabgrass, and we will be all set. Since Renee is in Garden Club now, she's all about getting those bulbs planted. So since she's off tomorrow, it's possible they will get that done while I'm at work. I can hope.

So no real crafty type work. I have a midterm on Tuesday night and then I must get ready for the BOM, so that's what I'll work on next. Right now I'm glad when my head is above water. Work's been super-busy and that is A-OK as well; I like to be busy. So tomorrow night, since there's a midterm, Tracy will come over for pot roast and studying. Hopefully we will pull each other through this; we each got A's on the other class' midterm.

Meanwhile, I realized that I have a turkey in my deep freeze, so we're thinking of invited some friends over for a game night and a turkey feast!

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Whatcha Gonna Do About It?

So I started a new quilt. Again. I know, I know.

We have a king sized bed and frankly we are not small people. The quilt that is on the bed now is 7.5 feet by 9 feet. (5 x 6 blocks - with 18" blocks) While we have the 9 feet going across us, it still is not wide enough with two people twisting and turning all night long. We really need a wider quilt.

Meanwhile, I had to look in nickels bin last weekend. My bin is a 6" cube that a gift came in one time. Anyway, it is full of nickels and frankly the stack is about 10" tall. So I knew it was time to pare it down. I have charm packs in there, nickels I had cut, traded nickels, everything.

So last night, as I was cleaning up my space and trying to get organized to complete the Girl Scout quilt started last weekend, I decided to hell with it all and those nickels are going in this quilt and there's no time like the present!

So I am making a Disappearing 9 Patch (D9P) that will be 10.5 blocks across and 10.5 blocks down (yes a half block is possible). That will give us a quilt that is about 140" square - nearly 12 feet. Yes!

So I started making 20 9 patches last night and my goal this weekend is to finish the 20 blocks, cut them up and put each of the 4 pieces in its own baggie. Then I'll keep making sets of 20, putting them in baggies and at some point I will have enough randomness to go ahead and start putting the final blocks together. I will put the top together in 9 pieces and do QAYG. There is no other way for a quilt this size.

My other goals this weekend are to remember to bring another GFG flower kit to work, cut out 10 stockings from muslin, and finish the GS quilt. Anything else will be gravy.

Oh, and homework too.

Friday, October 01, 2010

On Turning 40

What a whirlwind week! There is a very valid reason why I did not update at all this week.

I turned 40 on Wednesday.

Now, before you think I have inserted far too much drama into the big day, I didn’t. It was a big birthday and my family does birthdays big. But it fell on a Wednesday, Ted was at a conference out of town and I had a mid-term. So it was pretty low key.

Except for the part where my sister came down on Sunday to take me shopping. That was a surprise, but a fun one. I’m glad she came on down.

This weekend, I need to get a Girl Scout banner accomplished. I also hope to work a bit on some other projects, but if all I do is clean my sewing area and get the banner done, I will have achieved quite a bit!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Do Over (and over again)

So THIS Friday, I again got off work early. This time it was for the Homecoming Parade for the high school. They just dismiss everyone, so everyone can go. I took Renee and we had a nice time and she got a ton of candy. Please note that the junior high band can march or play but not both at the same time.

So after the parade, we sped up to Washington to the LQS for the BOM. My block was done. I was good to go. I had my birthday coupon and everything! We get there, buy fabrics for a dresser mat, some fun yarns on sale, a Dresden rule and the BOMs. And then we went off to Holland's Mercantile, which is ice cream, old school penny candy and unique toys. And we then drove home.

So I then get online once we get home to start the stalking process for the matching Kansas Troubles fabrics I will need. Except the BOM packets are nowhere to be found. ARGH!

So this morning, after dropping off some supplies at a Girl Scout thing, I went yet again to the LQS and got it all squared away. And this evening, I found 3 fabrics that I needed and found the SKU numbers for the other two. I'm trying to keep my KT supplemental purchased to about $20 per month, so it can wait another month. Plus the shop I like to use for such purchases is out of these old KT fabrics.


Sunday, September 19, 2010


Laura Ingalls Wilder once wrote that ambition is a fine servant but a poor master. I don't care what she wrote; all I know for sure is that my ambition has left the building. I think this is a condition known as senioritis.

My friend Tracy and I have a debate due on Tuesday and pretty much by her sheer will (and lots of adrenaline on both our parts), we will get it done. WE worked on it for the better part of 4 hours already today and no doubt she and I will work on it more this evening. This is my penultimate presentation in grad school.

My sewing ambition went out the window along with my power outage on Friday. I still have not sewn my BOM block. I hope to sew it this week and run up to the shop either on Friday or Saturday. I plan on taking this Friday afternoon off so that I can take DD to the homecoming parade for the high school. They are dismissing the entire district for it, so I figured why not.

All is not lost. Bernina has put out some fun pink yarns for this year's pink month in October. I bought a ball of Chick, which is a bubblegum pink eyelash yarn and I knit a fashion scarf during our roadtrip yesterday. It's longer than I am tall, but it does what I need. So something creative has been accomplished.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Best Laid Plans....

OF course, this has to happen today.

I got off work at 2.45 this afternoon. I planned to come home, sew the BOM block for the month (it's one of those Thangles Buck A Block ones), and drive out to the LQS and do my BOM thing. The LQS closes at 5 and they are 45 minutes away.

I start at 3:30. It will take 15 minutes to sew this thing together.

At 3:35 the power goes out. For 45 minutes.

So there went that idea.....

Monday, July 19, 2010

What I did on the first half of my summer vacation

The following items have happened, thus making this summer nutso.

I got diverticulitis again. This requires 2 antibiotics at once and is incredibly draining. Why quilt when you can sleep? It seriously is as draining as mono. I was advised to take 2 to 3 days off of work. I took 5 hours. I’m stupid. I know.

My sister held a graduation party for a student and we combined Father’s Day with it. While my sister provided the house for the party, 2 other teachers did the food. They so complained about my sister’s tiny, cramped kitchen, they forced our entire family (Dad, Kim, Erick, Jack, me, Ted and Renee) all on the front porch to hide.

My sister had a birthday, I sent an Edible Arrangement and she thoroughly enjoyed it. The next day, she flash-flooded, as did everyone on her block. I was stressed by proxy.

My uncle died. This was a very sad event and it required us to travel and stay overnight and manage many rituals and traditions. This hit many of us very hard, although my uncle was sick and this was not too big of a surprise.

Renee went off to sleep-away camp for a week. I did finish 2 blue quilt tops, each about 50 inches square. To say I’m behind in baby quilt gift giving is an understatement. But getting the quilt tops done is a start. Ted and I also went out for Indian food and to the local microbrewery, all decidedly non-Renee-friendly places.

My dad turned 75, complete with a party, relatives flying in, additional family events, etc. The weirdest moment is when someone asked where my mother was. She’s been dead for 18 years.

We took tons of pictures, had lots of laughs and tears and introduced my aunt and cousin to many great nieces that she has never met.

Lastly, there were bacon pancakes.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Over the past week, there has been some reckoning. I mean a lot of reckoning. Serious deep thoughts. Actually more like serious deep pain which led to some straightforward thoughts.

Last week, I was once again diagnosed with diverticulitis. This is the second time in a year; the last time was last May and it was when my CSA started up for the year with Farmer Henry (read all about Henry at It seems that when I add good, wholesome food back into my diet en masse, my body revolts. So while I take 2 antibiotics at once and suffer from exhaustion and lethargy (yes, I should be home – no, I’m not going to), not to mention pain, I decided to go back to Weight Watchers.

We have a WW at work program and I asked someone to come and take me and he did. I wrote out my huge check and I’m off. The program remains the same in some aspects but more realistic in other aspects. For example, my first goal is only 5%, which I’m here to tell you is no small goal at all for me. I have paid for 12 weeks, so I’m in for quite a while. Here’s hoping that I can commit to it; I know it works when I do it.

Needless to say, all of my best laid plans of action are just toast. I can’t get anything done. So I’ve reset my vision. My tasks for this week are items that do not require physical exertion and/or a lot of time. I can’t do much. I’m deciding to follow my body’s very strong message that I need to change things and get some serious rest. I have to remind myself that one thing at a time will still help me get a lot done.

One thing I’ve been trying to work on is some ‘homeschooling’ plans. No, I’m not getting on the homeschooling bandwagon; my child does just fine in the regular school environment. But there are 3 areas that need some attention. She needs to work on math; lazy is the word that has been used by me and her teacher to describe her knowledge. Christian Formation (religion) is a class that I had from 11:30-12 each day; she does to a public school. So I need to work on that. And no, Sunday School is not an option. At our old church, her Sunday School was Montessori-style and wonderful. Our current church has Sunday School as a more conventional class and that does not fly with her. I can’t blame her either. The last area, and probably the most fun, is her scouting work. She loves scouts and I can use her desire to work on a badge as an incentive to work on the other two.

For the math requirement, I did order the third grade skills book from school, much to her dismay. So I’ve been hemming and hawing about setting up a calendar to get this started. So last night I decided to open up the workbook to take a look, and lo and behold, they already had a calendar. Fantastic! A crisis solved! For scouting, I did go through and pick out 15 badges that seem do-able here in the summer and fall. She needs to complete 6 items for each badge, so there’s plenty of variety. Religion is the last thing. I have a plan that encompasses a year and so I need to see if that will fit. This remains the open item. So overall, I hope to get started next week. When maybe I’ll have energy.

And one day, I will quilt again.

Friday, April 09, 2010

16 hours

I’m really just horrible about updating this blog! Bad Kathleen, bad!

I’m actually still quilting away. Not as fast as I’d like, but still going at it. I wanted to have 10 quilts ready for the craft show; it will be more like 4 or 5. Still, that’s a lot more quilting and finishing than I’ve done in a really long time. It’s also helping me stay sane in a class that is not necessarily known for calm and serenity.

Where am I at? Well, one quilt is done. Another needs the binding attached, a third needs its last prequilted column attached, then binding, the fourth needs part 4 attached and quilted and part three seems to need some love, and then the binding and the fifth one is just a top.

Whew. That’s a lot to get done this weekend. And I have no idea how I will hand bind 4 quilts in one week. I’ve decided I will do the most marketable first and work my way down. I don’t know what else to do!

I have a fair amount of homework this weekend as well, so I’m not sure how it’s all going to get done. I will get as far as I get and that’s that.

Friday, March 19, 2010


Well, it’s been nearly 2 weeks and I still haven’t sewn. I spent spring break being sick! Not very fun, but if I had to be sick, that was the week to do it.

Tomorrow is National Quilting Day. I’ve cleared off my calendar. I’m quilting as much as I can this weekend – caution to the wind! Sadly, I will need to spend 4 hours driving to and from my dealer to get Ruby out of the shop, but since she is a sewing machine, it’s part of the theme.

Here’s my list:

1. Chiclets quilt
2. baby boy LCRR
3. baby girl LCRR
4. m&m’s LCRR
5. Easter egg LCRR
6. courthouse steps LCRR
7. peach LCRR
8. peach LCRR (yes there are two)
9. fence rail blocks
10. the one on the living room floor

Only one is to the hand binding stage (#1). I had hoped to get more done, but it did not happen. So this weekend’s goal is to get 3 to the hand binding stage. I plan to work on #10 and #4 for sure, as they are started and so they would be easiest to finish. #5 was the other one I was thinking of doing.

If I achieve this, then 4 will be ready to hand bind. Off I go!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Relay for Life

I know, I know. I haven’t updated for an age, as Treebeard would say. I know, I know.

I’m on spring break right now. When you’re my age, spring break means 2 weeks to do homework instead of one and also cleaning up and making sense of all those little piles all over the house. Not real glamorous!

I’m on Relay for Life again this year. I have a co-worker within my department who is fighting the cancer battle and she’s actually the team captain (she has more energy with cancer than I do without – sad, but true). Our RFL is huge around here and so we are having a craft fair on April 18. I’ve decided to throw all caution to the wind and clean out some really old UFOs.

At the beginning of the last decade, the 00s, I hosted a lot of log cabin round robins (LCRRs). Each block had 17 logs. Each person started her block with 3 logs, and everyone added 3 logs and the last person added the last two, very long logs. And the blocks would come home, 20 per set. I did a jillion sets, and many of them I used for gifts. Many more were sets I never fell in love with, or by now, I’ve fallen out of love with.

So I spent this past Friday night tearing apart my stash, looking for block sets and backs. I found 10 items that I could finish up for the sale:

1. Chiclets quilt
2. baby boy LCRR
3. baby girl LCRR
4. m&m’s LCRR
5. Easter egg LCRR
6. courthouse steps LCRR
7. peach LCRR
8. peach LCRR (yes there are two)
9. fence rail blocks
10. the one on the living room floor

All of these have their blocks complete. The time consuming piece is done. I plan to do as much quilt as you go on all of these and get these out of my house. If I do, I will have busted something like 75 yards from stash and hopefully they will all sell at Relay for Life.

And they won’t be hanging over my head any more, making me nuts.

And then I can return to my UFO list over there on the right.

So the goal is to get all 10 quilts to the hand stitching stage by April 1. At that point, I will determine if I will machine stitch those bindings down or if I will hand stitch them and kill a lot of tivo. Meanwhile, #1 has its binding already on, #4 has been QAYG started, as has #10 (Why it’s on the living room floor).

Stay tuned.

Friday, February 05, 2010


I like to be busy. There’s really no two ways around it. I can really juggle a lot of things if I really like them and somehow it all works out.

Yes, I do overextend myself, and sometimes I have to extract myself from that predicament. Recently, I had 4 things going on: church committee, Market Day chairperson, grad school and Girl Scout leader. I was officially feeling overwhelmed, and Ted even commented on it. So I was quite relieved when my church commitment ended at year end. Then the nominating committee for the PTA asked me if I wanted to continue as Market Day chair. I talked with Ted about it and he was gentle but clear, it was time for me to be done.

Now I’m down to 2 items: grad school and troop leader. While I am taking 2 classes this term, and always have, this is wearing on me, and this will be the last time I do so. I will go down to 1 class per term until I finish; at least that is the goal as of this writing. So grad school is 15 more months at most. I really can’t stop being a troop leader; as long as my kid is in it, I will be as well. But that’s OK; it is a good investment of my time.

But back to being busy. I have the craziest February on record going on this month. It’s just a lot of things in a short span of time. Lots to do for all aspects of my life, and work is really busy as well.

And I’m thriving under it all.

I am getting so much done. It’s rejuvenating for me. I live off the rush.

So of course, I also want to get a ton of quilting done. Part of me wishes to record no finishes per se in February, just so I can get a whole ton of hand sewing done for spring break, which is when I pretty much watch tivo non-stop for like 10 days. Part of me wants to finish stuff like there’s no tomorrow. Part of me wants to start new projects. That part of me is being ignored (OMG, I have so many UFOs!).

So let’s see where this goes. I made my to-do list in my January wrap-up post, so hopefully I can make a dent in it this weekend as we watch the SuperBowl.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

January Stash Report

Well, it's January 31. Where am I quilting-wise?

Here's the to-do list:
Christmas BRB
Little watermelon quilt
3 squares for denim quilt
4 squares for log cabin
1 row of reversible LCRR blocks together
1 GFG flower

Um, yeah.

This is what got done:
The little watermelon quilt. It used a half yard. I bought nothing new.
I also quilted a top I had lying around and got the binding on.
I also made 2 baby buntings for my DD's American Girl dolls. I haven't taken exact measurements, but I'll say it was a yard total.
So 1.5 yards used - 98.5 to go for the year.
Oh, and I did get that row of reversible LCRR blocks together. Just progress.

February goals:
The Random Number Generator said 11, which is the Advent Calendar
I personally pick 18, which is the blue baby quilt. This needs to get to Guam, STAT.
Binding on the aforementioned top I had lying around (superbowl handwork)
4 denim squares - 3 for February + 1 for January
8 log cabin squares - 4 Feb, 4 Jan
1 row of reversible LCRR blocks together and joined to the existing row
1 GFG flower, attached twice
Christmas BRB quilted and binding attached

What's left from January:
2 denim squares

I know I need to update my sidebar over on the right regarding the 100 Yard Dash from Stash, but MQM 485 is 13 business cases in 15 weeks. No rest for the wicked.

Friday, January 15, 2010

check in

I must be the worst blogger out there, but Bonnie Hunter over at Quiltville is feeling just about as guilty as I am!

Things are going along. I started class again this week – I’m 2/3 of the way done, so 1/3 to go. I’ll get half of that 1/3 done this term, so although it will be crazy, it will be progress towards the finish. So of course that means the homework has started. Lucky me.

Right now, Ted is in Boston attending ALA. Renee and I are two girls on a mission not to spend any money while Ted is gone. This means that our meals and entertainment will need to be free or at home.

Last night, we hosted my friend Tracy for dinner and a dessert tea. Tracy is a single woman who admittedly doesn’t cook. She is also an avid tea drinker. She came and spent about 2 and a half hours with us. It was fun.

Tonight, we plan on running to Target. Renee has gotten taller, so she needs some sweatpants here for the remainder of winter. This does not count toward our ‘free’ weekend; this is just a convenient time to get this done. Renee also received a Target gift card for Christmas, so she can buy herself a toy or something. Then we plan on coming home and doing dinner and a movie. I’m making bean soup in the crockpot and I’ll whip up some mac and cheese for her. The movie selection is Julie & Julia. Renee insists she’ll hate; I’m pretty sure she will enjoy it.

I just reserved the movie at a redbox and man, that was a nice little process. Coolio – I will swing by and pick it up tonight, return it tomorrow morning and it’s a buck. While it’s not quite Netflix, for the busy grad student, it appears to be the way to go.

Tomorrow and Sunday hold equally interesting plans, including more tea parties, some sewing, some quilting, some cleaning, some fudge and some swimming.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Did you know that the Patchwork Penguin blogger is also having her UFO challenge? Her number this month is 4, which for me is the kitchen aid cover. Which I will attempt.

I did unearth the Christmas BRB and part of the already-washed backing. I also finished the mini watermelon quilt – one UFO down and 23 to go! The mini quilt is entitled Watermelon Seed. The big one will be called Watermelon Slice.

Friday, January 01, 2010

It's January

I went to and did the random number generator thing.

This month's UFO is 16! Which if you count down the list on the right, is the BRB.

The Blue Ridge Beauty is a pattern by our own Bonnie Hunter. I did mine in alternating diamonds of red and green for Christmas. The top is done and it just needs to be sandwiched and quilted. I bet that can be accomplished this month.

In order to get all 24 UFOs done, I technically need to pick another one to work on. I'm going to go with 13 - little watermelon quilt. The top is done and it's sandwiched. I even started a bit of quilting on it.

I'm also working on a few other not-listed UFOs, such as the big watermelon quilt, a chiclets quilt and some leaders and enders.

I did read Proverbs 1 today.