Monday, December 31, 2012

Getting It Done Jan 2013

Judy over at Patchwork Times has taken the UFO per month concept to a new place.  Let's list 4 things we want to get done.  It could just be a step of a quilt or a finish; it doesn't matter.  It's about accountability to each other.

So here are my 4:

Three of mine deal with Bonnie Hunter Quiltville quilts; the last is a log cabin.  I only desire to get each one to the point where the binding is attached.  I'll do the handwork when I get there.  All 4 enter 2013 as UFOs.

1.  Easy Street.  As I write this, we are awaiting the last step.

2.  Orca Bay, which I call Green Bay.  This one is lying in pieces, in bins and baskets, all over my sewing area.

3.  Old Tobacco Road, which I call The Three Sisters.  I have shrunken this by 25% in piece size and I am only doing 3 rows of crops instead of 5, and it's not as long, etc.  Right now I hope to finish the top tonight.  I have 3+ hours left to do so!

4.  Yellow log cabin.  The top is half assembled.  Ugh.  I just need to finish it off.

Pray for snow days for both school and work!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Days 6, 7 and 8

On the sixth, seventh and eighth days of Shutdown, my true love gave to me.... insane desire to finish this project!  Boxing Day measures 61 * 69 and busted 6.32 yards of fabric.

After finishing the Christmas 2 BOM quilt, I was bound and determined to get rid of my Christmas fabrics.  I mean, I wanted them G O N E.  So I spent the week before Christmas going through all of those scraps and cutting as many 2" strips as a I could (I had a fair amount already cut up from a project from 2011).  On December 23rd I started attaching the strips in a QAYG fashion.  I went as far as I could with the strips I had.  When I ran out of the various random pieces I had, I was done.  The width was determined by the yardage I got for the back, which is a funky pink retro pink and white holiday fabric, which is very complimentary to the pink ornament fabric in the top.  Yesterday I finished the strips and today I did the binding while my DD has a friend over.  Both girls gave it a thumbs-up.

Face it, this is ugly-cute.  I can't bear to part with it.  And yes, there are still scraps left, but I am done for this year.

So far this shutdown, I have busted about 30 yards of fabric and 2 items on my UFO list.  I don't know if I will get any more finishes in this year, but if that's all that happens here on Shutdown, it was not bad.

And to those who have asked about the Christmas 2 BOM quilt and the extra point, Ellen did contact me, confirmed my math and gave me the extra point.

Meanwhile, my DD is conspiring for a sleepover!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Days 4 and 5

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...

..a workday of quilting because it was Christmas Eve.  I worked a lot on my Christmas UFO, plus I started sewing a new quilt that evening.

On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...

...a finish!  This UFO entitled Christmas 2 BOM used up 9.33 yards of fabric and it's 80 inches square.

This quilt of course has a story.  Way back when we still lived in Brookfield, I did 2 different BOMs at 2 different shops.  Each month, I also made the block out of my Christmas stash, which was made up of remnants and deep sales at Joann's, etc.  Of course, one set of blocks finished at 9 and the other at 10.  And to do this setting, I needed the 25th block.  Then we moved and it languished.

I decided this fall that this was it.  It had to be done.  So I drug it out, sashed the blocks to make them all the same size, made the 25th block, set the whole nightmare together and then did the inner border.  I then worked my butt off on that outer pieced border; some of those rectangles are crumb blocks!  

And then I got stumped after Thanksgiving on how to quilt it.  No joke it sat there giving me the stink eye (one person said it was looking at me askance and I said it was looking at me like o.O).  Anyway, I asked my DH what to do and he said (because he values his marriage and my sanity) to just do some diagonal lines.  I fought this thing.  Putting 80 inches on point through the DSM is like 120 inches and that is no small feat!  After it was quilted, my DH did explain that he felt that the quilt could have standed some beautiful quilting in the setting triangles and borders, but he knew I was at my wit's end.  He's a smart guy, that Ted of mine.

Anyway, on Christmas Eve I attached the binding and on Christmas Day I handsewed the binding down while watching a lot of Harry Potter movies.  A Christmas quilt ready on Christmas - a Christmas miracle, according to a friend of mine!


Sunday, December 23, 2012

On the Second Day of Shutdown...

On the second day of shutdown, my true love gave to me....

...a late post.  Sorry about that.  Yesterday was a travel day to and from family.  But in all sincerity, here's Saturday's item:

...A finished St. Pat's quilt!

Years ago I was in a round robin that made the blocks.  I finally made the top, pieced the back and here is the finished quilt.  Please excuse my bedroom; it's the only spot to take a pic of a quilt this big!  St. Pat's is a meaningful day in our family; my oldest nephew was born on St. Pat's.  

This quilt is 72 x 90, and I did it all by myself.  It busted 9.56 yards from stash.

Friday, December 21, 2012

For the First Day of Shutdown....

Welcome to the 12 Days of Shutdown!  I have ambitious goals for these 12 days, which include busting a total of 56.07 yards.  I am a woman on a mission.

Shutdown is when the university my DH works closes down for 7 days during the holiday season.  I mean everything shuts down.  Everything.  My initial goal was to have that entire time off and be home with my family, but this project I am on at work will not permit that.  I will have to work some time here and there, some of it in the office and some of it at home.  But my 12 Days of Shutdown plans are not deterred!

For the first day of shutdown, my true love gave to me….

A finished 30s Barn Raising quilt.  Pattern is by Michelle at and the pattern is at the  This measures 60 inches square and busted 5.42 yards of fabric.  This quilt will go into inventory; it has not yet revealed its owner to me. 

Here’s the story behind this quilt.  A few years ago, my sister asked me about old timey fabrics so that a friend of hers could repair a family quilt.  She and I went on to the Fat Quarter Shop website and looked at styles of fabrics.  My sister Kim determined that her friend needed 30s fabrics for the repairs and that nickels would be fine.  So we ordered 2 packets of Aunt Grace nickels and some 20s nickels as well.  I had them shipped to Kim; Kim gave them to the friend and we both thought that was that.

Fast forward 5 years and Kim comes to my house and hands me her stash.  It was overwhelming her, which means, by stashbuster definitions, it needs to be managed.  She chose to manage it by giving it to me.  It was one garbage bag.  (Comparatively, I have a room or more.)  In there were the nickels, with only 2 used.  I asked Kim about it and she said the friend just gave them back. 

So I chose to make this quilt with these nickels.  The white also came from Kim’s stash.  I only needed to buy the back and the binding.  I don’t have an affinity for 30s fabrics and thus I don’t have any stash of them, so it was a necessary buy.  Nearly every nickel was used; I have a few 2.5” blocks left and those will go into a project that needs a lot of those.

So after the orthodontist today (she’s getting them put on), I hope to continue cutting and preparing for my Boxing Day quilt and some other things.  I left work early yesterday to beat the weather and I made it with 15 minutes to spare before the horribleness set in.  So Renee and I watched a lot of Harry Potter.  She made bead necklaces for a craft fair at school today while I went through an enormous bag of Christmas scraps.  I have plans for the Boxing Day quilt using the scraps, so I was cutting lots of 2 inch strips.  Whatever scraps are left are being put into a littler bag for Christmas crumbs.  I cannot wait to be done with Christmas fabrics!  I cannot believe they have stretched this far; 2 bed sized quilt tops have already been made with them, and Boxing Day will be lap sized and Christmas crumbs will be whatever it turns out to be. 

Sunday, December 09, 2012

4 Weeks Left

I did make more progress this week.  I went ahead and finished the St. Pat's LCRR, which is twin-sized.  I also finished 2 BOM blocks, Step 3 of Easy Street and another 25% of Step 1 of Easy Street.  I also worked on quilting the Christmas 2 BOM some more.

So this week I am out 2 nights in a row and then home for 3.  I am also hosting the Schwitzner Sibling Christmas on 12/16, so I have to food shop, present shop and clean my house.  I have given up on my house; I just need to let it go.  Lon g story there, but I need to let it go.

So the goals for this week are to sew 2 short seams on the yellow LCRR during Downton Abbey tonight, and finish quilting this Christmas quilt.  I would like to attach some yellow rows on the LCRR plus finish the BOM blocks plus do the BOM block due on the 15th plus do some work on my interpretation of Old Tobacco Road.  No idea how this is happening.

All of this will come together during the 12 Days of Shutdown.....

Sunday, December 02, 2012

5 weeks left

Well, I did accomplish quite a lot this past week.

As of last Friday:

1.  The 30s quilt is done done.
2.  Binding was started on the St. Pat's quilt.
3.  A quarter of the quilting was done on the Christmas 2 BOM quilt.

And the weekend:

1. A lot of binding done on the St. Pat's quilt (Downton Abbey!).
2. A BOM block completed and another cut out.
3. Easy Street step 2 done and a quarter of Step 1 done.

Of course I have goals for the week.  I have one night of meetings, and I'd like to slip away for an evening this week and see Lincoln.  So I have a few goals to get through the week.

By Friday night:

1. Finish the St. Pat's binding.
2. Finish the last 3 BOM blocks.
3. Finish Step 1 for Easy Street.
4. Attach the next row on the yellow LCRR.
5. More quilting on the Christmas 2 BOM.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

6 weeks left

I think there are about 6 weeks left in the year.  That's fine by me.  Here's where I'm at and where I'm going.

This weekend, since I had 4 days off in a row, I made it a mini-retreat after Thanksgiving dinner.  I had 3 tops finished and backing and batting at the ready.  I have already sandwiched 2, quilted those 2, trimmed those 2 and I have the binding attached on one.  One more binding to attach.  These are not tiny quilts; one is 60 inches square (the 30s quilt) and the other is 72 by 90 (the St. Pat's quilt).

The third quilt is the Christmas 2 BOM, which has languished most of Renee's lifetime.  The top is done and I have the back, etc, but I haven't sandwiched it yet or anything.  The reason is that I have no idea how I am going to quilt this one.  The other two I had a plan; this one I got nothing.

So tomorrow I hope to attach the second binding and prep binding handwork kits for all of the TVs.  I also hope to at least sandwich the Christmas 2 BOM quilt so that I can see it to get ideas.

I also plan to clean my room tomorrow.  The great bookcase swap outlined a few posts ago got hijacked for a better idea.  So Ted implemented said idea.  And that meant he did stuff in our room.  And now I must clean it.  So they will go see Wreck It Ralph while I clean.  Trust me, this works for all of us.

So of course Bonnie's mystery just started.  I want to do it, but need fabrics.  The LQS is having a sale next weekend, so I will be a bit behind when I start but that's OK.  I also want to make a modified version (3/4 scale, only 3 columns) of Old Tobacco Road and I want to get all 4 sections of my Orca Bay sewn together.

I keep moving forward with my BOMs and I want to complete the project for the one that I will get the last block for next weekend.

I have decided to do some sort of row quilt / lasagna quilt / 1600 jelly roll races quilt with the leftover Christmas fabrics.  I want to be done with these fabrics.  Trust me, I need to be done with these fabrics.

The yellow quilt languishes on.  Just work with me on this.

So my idealistic year end list:

Done done
St. Pat's
Yellow LCRR
Old Tobacco Road
Batik BOM
Christmas 2 BOM

Tops done
Orca Bay
Easy Street
The Dashing Bachelor, a Christmas mystery

So that's like a finish a week.  No big deal.

I also finally bought some dies and mats to use with my Baby Go.  I am keeping all of the scraps from these quilts aside so that I may process them right away.  I know I need 2.5 inch squares for one thing and 2 inch squares for another.  I have a Drunkard's Path die to make turtles.  I have the value die to cut some other stuff up for a charm quilt or something.

So yeah nothing big going on.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Barnyard Bats

Sometimes you gotta make a quilt.  So here is my Barnyard Bats quilt.

I made it this weekend, using the tutorial from Elizabeth at Oh, Fransson!  It was nice to actually start and finish something in a reasonable time frame!  It used .74 yards.

(Please ignore my messy cube and that damned PC that frickin BROKE today.  Don't ask.  When you take Excel away from an accountant, you take your life into your own hands.  Just sayin'.)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Well, hi

Yeah, well, hi.  It's been a bit since I posted.  Here are some updates on various things.

Knitting - I'm back into knitting.  I have several projects started and so now I have a UFO problem there!  I am not making sweaters or buying super-expensive yarn or anything.  I'm making a lot of scarves, shawls, etc.  Right now I have 2 on the needles: a blue wingspan and a mauve simple-shawl.  I want to make sure these 2 get done before I start anything new or head over to a different UFO.

Crochet - Same thing as knitting, but nothing I'm diligently working on.  Once I get the 2 knitting projects done, then I'll reassess all yarn things and get it organized.

Yarn reorganization means that I need to take bookcases out of Renee's room and move them into my room to hold the yarn stuff.  So yeah, I have to clean out the corner the bookcases are to go in, then move them in there and reload them.  And figure out what to do with Renee's stuff until her room is painted and ready for new get the idea.

Quilting - I'm handling this slowly due to all the entertaining we need to do between Election Day and New Year's.  It's like 5 or 6 events.  Anyway, I started the barnyard bats little project on Oh Fransson! and I need to get all caught up on all my BOM blocks.  Stashbusters says to have a Fall Finishing Party and try to get 3 more UFOs done.   I think I will be doing it slightly differently.

I want to finish the yellow LCRR, but it requires a lot of handwork.  So that is slow-going.

I want to finish the Christmas quilt, but that requires a lot of room, which I don't have right now.

I want to finish the barnyard bats and by God I will.

I want to make a jacket out of the $5 BOM I am in.  Since the last block is due to be picked up in the first week of December, that will be a nice project to work in there at year-end.  Work is due to be very busy this year-end so stress relief will be needed.

I want to finish the barn raising quilt by Michelle's Romantic Tangle that I started.

I have no idea how this is all going to get done.  Right now I need to schedule a plumber for my front powder room and so getting ready to have my main floor presentable to people is my number one goal. So far so slow.

But I passed my insurance exam....

Monday, October 08, 2012

In which I deviate....

Normally I write about quilting and crafting here.  Sometimes more frequently than others.  But I am not defined only by my quilting.  (Although if I were, that wouldn't be that bad!)  I have other things gnawing at me.

Right now in my life, for the remainder of this year, I need to clean my house.  Yes, for the holidays, but more importantly, because I feel driven to do so.  You know what I mean.  You just *have* to.

Except I have no energy.  I do not know why.  Well, I know one piece-  I hate to clean.  But I am driven!  I want this done!  For the first time in my life, I am inspired to decorate!

But it requires energy.  And I don't have any.

I have heard some chatter about dietary changes boosting energy.  I am a firm believer in nutrition, although you would not know it to look at me.  My friend says you would know it to eat at my table; I do a lot of from scratch cooking.

So I'm trying to clean and maybe make a change or two.  It all begins with walking away from the Super-Sized Coke....

Saturday, September 29, 2012


What is today, you ask?  Why, it’s the World Wide Day of Play!  So get outside and have some fun!  And yes, it’s that too.  I am now the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything.

(test post to see if blogger and I can be friends after I opened a gmail account....)

Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday check in

So Monday I wrote about my year end plans here for chipping away at that UFO list.  Here’s where I stand.

I got paid yesterday, so there should be a finish.  I have an hour of binding work to do on one quilt and it will be done.  I should finish that this weekend and post it here and make my move me down post and also post for Judy.  Whew.  Lots of posting but it will be a finish. 

My machine is ready!  So I will head up north and get that tomorrow.  Yes, in all of the rain from Hurricane Isaac.  Sadly the rain will be too much too late for this year, but if it sets us up well for next year, then maybe we can recover.  With the machine being done, I plan on sewing up the rows for my yellow LCRR, doing the BOM block that I have to pick up on Sunday and finishing the blocks on the Christmas 2 BOM.  The Christmas 2 BOM has 25 blocks to it.  12 have been finished and 12 more need some sort of coping borders to get them to the right size.  Then I have to do the 25th block myself.  If I can get through all of that this weekend, I will be far on that one.

For mindless piecing and other work, I hope to work on a PIF quilt which is Bonnie’s Weed Whacker.  I have 75% of the strips cut.  I’d like to finish cutting the strips and then start sewing up the pairs. 

The next 2 weeks do not hold a lot of promise for sewing.  I hope to do the hand work for the yellow LCRR rows in that time, as well as the binding on another quilt.  That will get me through another payday....

Monday, August 27, 2012

Fall Plans

And now it's time for the plans themselves.

I started the year with 26 declared UFOs.  I have completed 4 of them (I think).  I need to do at least 8 more to have done one per month; 9 would be better.  That is the first goal.

Seaside Rose jacket
Chiclets table runner
Purple Strings
Watermelon Slice

To Do in 2012
Australia quilt
Red hearts quilt
Yellow LCRR
St. Pat's LCRR
Christmas 2 BOM
Orca Bay
Renee's BOM quilt
Huge Fence Rail

For the record everything I have started this year I have finished except for 4 things: 2 BOMs and 2 PIF quilts.  Not too shabby.  I get the last block for one of the BOMs December 1 so that may not become a UFO.  1 if not 2 of the PIF quilts may get done before year end as well as a leader-ender.  The last BOM starts mid-year and that is just the way life is.

To accomplish this, I need to do 1 UFO per paycheck (I get paid every 2 weeks) and 2 of them better have 2 finishes.  While I am out of pocket for a machine this week, there are some prep things I can do, plus 2 of the above items are in the binding stage, so finishes are forthcoming.


Well, it's almost Labor Day, which is the unofficial start of Fall.  Actually nowadays I think it might be the start of school which indicates the start of Fall, but that was way back on August 22.  But anyway, as the corn continues to turn brown and the beans are beginning that process, it's time to think Fall.

I have been away from quilting for a bit; I just finished 2 sister quilts for my nieces, one of which was migrating up to a big girl bed for the other, who decided to be like her maternal grandmother and make a grand entrance a week late.  After finishing those 2 quilts, which I loved to make, I took a quilty break.  I can only do so much at one time and since it is Fall and Back to School, Girl Scouts is more demanding of my time right now.

But BOMs wait for no one, except the passage of time.  So Friday I was done with work at 12.30 and I came home and sewed one block.  It's one of those Buck a Block ones but this one does not give enough fabric to do 2 blocks per packet; the blocks are more detailed than in past years.

So I sew my one block, run out to the LQS, come back from the LQS (64 miles round trip) and neat the school bus to my home.  We watch Iron Man while I sew up the rest of the BOMs.

I always get 2 of the Buck a Block BOM kits and this time, there isn't enough fabric to make the positive and negative versions of the block in each packet.  So I am making 3 blocks per 2 packets.  The odd numbers months will have 2 lights and 1 dark, which means the even months will be the opposite.  So anyway, I sewed up months 1 and 2 and now have a baggie with all my BOM crap in it in the red sale bag for my LQS.

The other BOM that I am in I did the block way back at the beginning of the month when I got it just to get it out of the way.

All of this was done in preparation for my beloved Janome Jem 760 Ruby to go off to be cleaned.  I had planned to drop her off at the dealer on September 1, as I had to be in Chicagoland anyway.  But Dad needed some surgery and so I had to go up yesterday.  I dropped off Ruby yesterday in the rain and I hope to pick her up on September 1.

So where am I going with this?  Oh heavens, I should get back to that.  I had time to think during all the driving I've done.

I have some Fall plans.  I'm going to put them in another post so I can find them quickly.

Monday, August 06, 2012


It’s been a while. Life has been both exhausting and crazy at the same time.

On a quilty front, things are moving along, albeit slowly. I need to quilt to keep my sanity but things are so busy, I am not getting enough time. So I am carving out the time as I can.

I’ve decided that my goal right now is to get as many things as possible to the hand binding stage. I need to have my machine serviced desperately and I will drop it off on September 1. But I won’t get it back for quite some time, like September 22. That’s OK, as the other aspects of my life will be beyond busy at that point, but I will need stuff to do. So if I have a pile of binding ready to go, that will help.

What was the red strings quilt, which is now just the red hearts quilt, is to this point. The Australia quilt has been there for a few months. I am now starting the process of joining all the yellow LCRR blocks together after FINALLY finishing quilting them all last night during the Olympics. I have 2 more quilts I’d like to get to this point as well. That would make for 5 things that would need to be done and frankly that should be more than enough. 4 are UFOs.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Go! and feet

2 things:

I'm pretty sure the left foot pain I am having is planar faciitis.  I need to make a doctor's appointment to figure out exactly which treatments are wise.  If gym shoes are wise, please, sweet Jesus, let me get a doctor's note.

The other thing is that I was at my LQS today in the sale room.  I start there.  I had forgotten my store tote, which can function as a coupon on regularly priced items, so I was going to limit purchases to sale items, which the bag doesn't work for.  So I'm in there and I find a backing for something and then I am wandering around and I do a double-take.

They had not one, but two, Accuquilt GO! Babies in there for half off.  That's $70, people.  My credit card bill rolls over on Thursday and I have to go out that way on Friday to get Renee from week 4 of camp, so I will be stopping by and grabbing some GO things.

I had decided long ago that I was only going to get a GO if and only if it was under $100.  This fits the bill.  The Baby's dies fit my needs.  The 2.5 strip is there, the nickel is there and the small tumbler is there.  Those were the big desires.  There are others, but those were the big ones.

I'm so giddy with excitement.  I mentioned it to Ted and he was fine with it.  So double yay.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Mid-Season Report

Well, we are at the half-year mark.  Time to reevaluate. 

I have completed 4 UFOs from my list and for many things, if I have started them, I have finished them.  This is not a bad thing.  As for my 100 yard dash from stash, I’m at 23.11 yards, which is fine.

My goals for the year are to complete 19 or 20 UFOs, thus showing that I completed 75% of my list.  That’s not too shabby.  I also want to continue with the idea that I finish what I start in 2012.  For now, that is the 6 Pay It Forward quilts.  Again, not too shabby.  I need to make 3 more things super-quick this month, but again, they have to be done by month-end, so it’s all good.

When I look at what I want to complete in the near future, this is the list:

UFOs (7)
Red strings
Yellow LCRR
St. Pat’s LCRR
PIF-Weed Whacker
Christmas 2 BOM
Black and White BOM
Australia FQs

New Items (3)
United Way jacket
Sophia 1600
Layla 1600

My goal is to get all of these with the binding attached by the start of the Olympics and then I will bind like crazy.  In actuality, I will get 7 of them done and progress on the other 3.  Any progress is still progress.  If I do get the 7 done, that would be 40+ yards from stash and nearly 2,000 inches of binding, not to mention 4 off the UFO list. 

I am also using Wednesdays as Orca Bay Wednesdays, to see if I will ever finish this quilt.  I made some good progress this week.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Happy 4th!!!

Happy 4th!  As we all know, freedom isn't free, so for everyone who is serving or has served, thank you for making it possible for me to sit around, drink coffee and type this post.

I love parades, especially the one on the 4th.  When the 4th falls on a Sunday, Hinsdale and Brookfield have their parades on different days, thus giving me TWO parades!  I'm giddy with excitement!

Alas and alack, B-N does not do a parade for today.  They do parades for Memorial Day and Labor Day, but not for the 4th.  At least we get fireworks.

And the corn is tasseling....

Sunday, July 01, 2012


OK, this isn't a quilty post.  As you know, I do Girl Scouts.  I wasn't a Girl Scout as a child, but I am as an adult.  This weekend, we hosted about 70 girls and 25 adults for the weekend of camping at our local GS campground.  This has been over a year in the planning.  I was in charge of food.  I now know what $1100 in groceries from Sam's Club looks like and I can confirm it fits in my minivan.

First of all, now that I have seen how horrible the weather has been this past weekend between heat, fire, crazy storms and power outages, I am incredibly thankful to God that we are all safe.  We had no first aid issues either.

It was incredibly hot, incredibly humid and incredibly busy!  We dealt with 100 degree heat indices, blazing sun, lightning, thunder, rain and cool fronts.  We ate, drank and played.  Field games were played, cardboard boats were raced in the lake and girls made friends.  (We intentionally mixed the girls up from their troops into color teams to build friendships.) Our wildest expectations were exceeded.  We have had both kids and grown-ups sign up for next year's committee.

And we are so tired.  OMG tired.  Like, I came home and took a nap at noon tired.  I have laundry everywhere, no food in my house and I just don't care.  I took tomorrow and Tuesday off for my weekend.  Thank goodness Wednesday is a holiday!  Then I have to slug through 2 days at work before another weekend.  

Well, I guess here's a quilty note.   I've declared all Wednesday sewing henceforth Orca Bay sewing.  So welcome to Orca Bay Wednesdays!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Sunday, June 10, 2012


I know I've been MIA for a while.  I have not been feeling that great and I do not know why.  Well, I know a few pieces - work, diet, etc.  But today I woke up and wanted to go back to bed for like days.  This is not like me.  My husband took my temp.

We did get Renee off to camp, which seriously took everything I had.  I had a sinus headache, which left with medicine, and then a half hour later a migraine hit due to being outside in the sun and heat handling camp check-in.  I was a bona-fide mess.  We came home and I slept for 2 hours.  Then I made Ted run out and get Chinese for dinner.

I took the rest of the evening off.  I need a slug day or two or ten.  But for tonight, I am resting.

The string hearts quilt will be next up, as I need it for Relay for Life.  The Australia quilt has 2 feet of binding left to do.  I then want to focus on finishing up a few more things.  If I could have a big binding stack for the Olympics, that would be wonderful!

But I also have the homefront to worry about.  This week, I want to clean out Renee's room.  I seriously want everything but the bed out this week.  She has been informed and she is OK with it.

I did pass my insurance exam.  1 down and 6 more to go to get this certification.  The bonus will buy my next sewing machine.  Motivation!!!

Thursday, May 31, 2012


Well, well, well.  Neither 6 nor 12 have been pulled so far this year, so this is a new box to delve into.  What do we have?

Box 6

6a         Bird Crewel – A piece of needlepoint needing some finishing.  Status:  In pieces.
6b         Beau’s – I swapped with Nancy , Near Philadelphia for the Miss Mellie quilt and Ashley’s quilt.  It only makes sense that I bring everything together for a huge quilt called Beau’s quilt.  Status:  Most blocks completed.
6c         Dog Bandannas – I have many bandannas from my dog and a friend’s.  Status:  In pieces.
6d         Black & White BOM – The BOM won’t finish until July, but when it’s done it will be finished in blue and hopefully go to DD.  Status:  Some blocks completed.

The obvious way to go is 6a the Bird Crewel.  I may just do that. 

6b is a ginormous project, so I hope to make some progress on it this month.  I want to lay everything out and see if I can get a pleasing design.  By rights, there are no more blocks to do; we’re down to making the top and quilting the danged thing.  Let’s aim to get the top figured out by June 16 so that I can buy backing when I go to get the last BOM blocks for 6d.

6c would be fun to get done, so let’s see how that one comes together when I take it out.  While I may not finish it this month, this may be one that just sort of stays out and it gets moved forward bit by bit.  No crime in that.

6d is well-timed.  June is the last pick-up of blocks, so I am good to go.  I have been sashing the blocks for finishing as I have been doing BOM blocks.  In April, I sashed months 1 through 4, and in May I did months 5 through 8.  This month, I think the goal will be to finish block 12 and get months 9 through 12 sashed.  Also Renee has to pick her room color by then, so then I can go any buy backing, border fabrics and the like.  She says that she most likely wants both colors in her room.  She picked a lovely blue and a lovely yellow and so she will get a quilt in black, white and the room color.  These 2 quilts need to be done by the time school starts back up, so while they will not finish in June, they have to finish soon.

A few updates on what is out and lying around.

1b         Christmas 2 BOM – This one is out and half the blocks have had their coping borders added.  I really want to just get the top done.  But I will not put it away; I will figure out a back and get it sandwiched and quilted and all of that.  Goal is done by my birthday!

1d         Red Strings – This project has evolved over time.  The 2 packages of die-cut hearts do not go together at all.  I am going through and making a quilt now for my Relay For Life team, so something will be done by June 22! 

2b         Huge Fence Rail – There’s a huge tuck in the front of the quilt (it was quilted backing-side up) and so I am ripping a lot to smooth that out.  Slowly but surely.  My goal is by the end of the summer.  Ripping is a fine car trip project.

2d         Yellow LCRR – This one is in progress.  I am quilting each block and then I will join them, using techniques from Marti Mitchell’s book.  Aiming for July.

4d         St. Pat’s LCRR – The top is done and I am dragging my feet on the pieced back.  And then I will drag my feet with sandwiching.  Goal is July.  This one is my April finish.

5b         Australia FQs – Sitting in the car waiting to have the binding hand-stitched down.  Will be done this weekend I hope!

Post script - Now that I have seen the quilts in the new Bonnie Hunter book, I'm so glad I never used the 33 hearts package!!! I have a new idea!

Monday, May 28, 2012


I am leaving you all in suspense.  I did indeed finish the 16 string blocks quilt.  The binding was completed while driving 3 hours (each way) to a family event.

I need to take a pic of it and submit it to the UFO challenge to move down the list.  I'm #33 right now.  It's also my May finish.

I have lots of thoughts swirling around my mind right now.  I need to attend a sprinkle soon.  That's a baby shower for the second baby.  So I need to figure that out too.  Whee.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday progress

Hey remember that quilt I quilted last Friday?  Well, hey, guess what?  The binding is now attached and now it's ready for the handwork.  

Progress.  Yay!

I've also cut half of the strips needed for the Weed Whacker quilt.  I'm alternating tasks so I can keep working on stuff.  The Weed Whacker is the reward.

I of course have triple-planned the weekend with what I want to get done, but whatever gets done will still be progress.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Garden Progress and a BOM

Today I left work a bit on the early side.  Tomorrow I plan on leaving at noon.  Anyway, back to today.

I got home and relaxed, etc.  At 5 I decided to go make up my Buck a Block BOM blocks.  You get 2 blocks (one positive, one negative) per kit and I buy 2 kits per month.  So I had 4 blocks to make.  I got that done about 6.15 and I also realized I had NO leaders or enders ready and I am now officially dependent on them.  I swore I would never....never mind.

So I went upstairs and started dinner.  I decided at 7 that I would go out and garden and told everyone.  I did go out at 7.  The sun was blocked and the wind was really blowing, but it was not as hot as it could have been.  Renee and I worked on weeding while Ted worked on edging.  After about 15 minutes Renee bailed on us.  I continued to weed out the square foot bed.  The tomatoes were transplanted (not all of my transplants from the week before made it), and the weeds are gone.  I added plant food to the bed and Ted dumped in a 2 cubic foot bag of garden soil in there.  I raked it all up, leveled it out and called it a day.

So right now we have the tomato bed on the south side of the deck, 2 window boxes off the south deck railing which hold lettuce, 1 pot of mesclun lettuce, 1 pot of lemon verbena and basil, 1 pot of thyme and basil, 1 pot of spearmint, and a square foot bed ready to go.

So this weekend, I will see if there are any onion sets at Home Depot and plant my bell peppers and kale and sow some seeds.

I also decided on a quilty note (since this is a retreat weekend) that I am going to allow myself a mini-challenge of starting a new quilt while I work on my UFOs, which are all in a low point for me.  I will start the Weed Whacker quilt by Bonnie Hunter.  This is one of my pay it forward 2012 quilts and I have already set aside the fabrics.  So I guess my MAYDAY call is for my mojo.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Weekend Update

While I did a lot of gardening last week, the weekend proved a bit more balanced.

On Friday night, I got the purple strings quilted.  This was a huge achievement. 

Saturday was a run to the LQS and a break to go see the Avengers movie, which was a lot of campy fun.  I also iworked on months 5 – 8 on the BOM blocks, finishing them all with sashing.  I also dud 5 more yellow LCRR blocks, which take a long time to prep.  Man, a long time.

Anyway, Sunday was my GS meeting, so a lot of time went into that prep.  After we got home, we were under a thunderstorm warning so we went and hid out the in basement.  I went ahead and finished up the BOM blocks, trimmed the Austr quilt, prepped its binding and even attached it.  Wow!  And then I was super-tired and I went to bed.

On the gardening front, the tomato bed looks pretty pathetic.  I have no idea if anything will survive the transplanting.  After last night’s rain, we are in for a week of hot sun, which is arriving according to the farmers a month early.  So now it’s time to water twice a day.  I also still haven’t transplanted the last 3 things, but hopefully this week.

My goals by EOB Thursday:
Trim, prep and attach purple strings binding
BOM blocks
Some yellow LCRR blocks

And now I"m #35 on the list. Slow down, people!

Friday, May 18, 2012

UFO 2c - 16 string blocks

I took those 16 blocks, sliced them in half, put dark purple as the other half, made some HUGE HSTs with them and set 30 of them 5 x 6 for the quilt.  Took at last block and cut the triangles in half again and made those the corners of the borders, which were more of the purple fabric.

Then I sandwiched it and it sat in my living room for 2 weeks.

Tonight I quilted it.  One set of quilting on the diagonal.  Another for the vertical lines and lastly for the horizontal lines.  It took 2 hours and killed 2 spools of purple thread.  (I buy garage sale thread and use it up this way.)

I'm so excited!


A week has elapsed. And what a week.

Sunday we went to the Sox game and of course Renee wiped out. Never a dull moment.

Monday I stayed home for the day and got 2 flower boxes planted with lettuce, 2 large pots planted with herbs and one small pot freshened up, as its contents were spearmint and it regenerated over the winter. I also cleaned up the back deck a bit and did some weeding in the front yard. I made lemonade on this day off, so to speak.

Tuesday, I went to work and then stayed and worked overtime until the migraine took me. I ate chocolate and within 5 minutes I was overcome. Grrr…..

Wednesday, I went to work and then left an hour early to head to a wake. The prior two days were spend convincing my father to go to the wake and coordinating getting him there.

Thursday, I went to work, had lunch with Ted for our 16th (!) anniversary, came home and we promptly gardened. Renee and I weeded out a bit of the square foot garden, and then we set our sights on the tomato bed. That involved removing every plant and weed, adding 2 cubic feet of dirt and food, mixing it all together and replanting the good stuff. We had dumped a lot of tomatoes into this bed last fall and we have about 18 tomato plants, some larger than others. We’ll see what made it through the process. Ted worked on the back bed, which involved figuring out where the retaining wall stones go and getting them level, making it straight, etc. He made great headway, using the leftover stones from the tomato bed. We were out there about an hour. While I finished planting everyone back in the bed, Ted and Renee cleaned up and then he watered everything while I got cleaned up. We rushed to the local ice cream shop for treats to celebrate. We had never been there and it was very good. It is 20 minutes away from our home. There are basically 2 local ice cream stands and we’ve tried the other one and I was unimpressed. I’ve tried like 3 times. This one was a homerun right from the start. Reminds me of Stop ‘n Chat, a memory of my young adulthood.

Today I am once again at work, but it is Friday! Yay!

No I didn’t sew at all, but once the garden is in and everything our there is tidy for the year, it goes into maintenance mode and then I can start sewing again. Tomorrow holds promise, as does Sunday.

So, my goals:

Attach binding to Australia quilt
Quilt all 20 yellow LCRR blocks
Quilt at least half of the purple strings blocks quilt
BOM stuff
Still aiming to have binding attached to 5 quilts by the end of Memorial Day weekend. 3 are doable and the last two may or may not make it.

Monday, May 14, 2012


Yesterday, while Ted and I were taking Grandma Mary to the Sox game, Renee wiped out on her scooter while at Grandma Karen's house.  Karen called us while we were driving back to her house.  

How Renee got injured is immaterial; once the accident happened, everything fell into place and all went fine.  My SIL Kate checked Renee over and determined there were no broken bones.  However, Renee was scraped up like nobody's business.  She is a hot mess.

So we came home and made it through the night.  I cleaned and dressed the wounds as best I could, offered her Advil and slept with my door open just in case she hollered.  After she was tucked in, Ted and I decided to take her to the doctor today.

So I called this morning and to get Renee's actual pediatrician, it would be 11.45.  Fine I said and Ted went off to work.  Renee and I made it to the doctor's, and after waiting a half-hour in the little room, the doctor comes in and basically infers to me that this is a waste of her time.  My child is using a cane, she is limping so badly!  That did get diagnosed as a groin pull.  I had to ask for the note out of gym.  I mean, really.

Clearly this woman has never given birth, because if you have ever given birth, you have great respect for the groin injury!!!  As for all the scrapes and bruises, well, no antibiotic was needed, but I didn't clean them well enough.  Huh?  Kate cleaned them, then I cleaned them.  We could only handle the horrible screams so much.  

Anyway, my rant is that I have health insurance for a reason - to use it.  This doctor doesn't seem to grasp this nor that I am a bereaved parent and thus take my child's injuries more to heart than others. Makes me crazy.  What does she care that this is trivial?  I don't ride a bike and never have and thus have never had this type of injury.  I didn't go to the ER and misuse that system.  I didn't use Urgent Care, as they say to come into the doctor if at all possible.  

I felt it was a fine use of my health insurance.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Changing Gears

I have realized a few things.

I am hosting Christmas this year for at least one gathering.  I split this duty with one of my SILs and this year is my turn.  Then my kid noted that for her entire life, she has travelled on Thanksgiving and she for once would like everyone here.  So back up the entertaining truck by about a month.  (Next up, convincing everyone to come here – ha ha ha.)

Then add in the idea that we moved here 5 years ago this spring.  Grad school is done, elementary school will be done in less than 2 weeks.

And lastly, my kid is off to camp for 7 weeks of the summer.  Like drop off on Sunday-see you on Friday camp.  Like she’s gone during the evenings camp.

All of this has brought me to the thought that it is time for a deep clean.  We never painted or anything when we moved in.  It was freshly painted and carpeted at the time, and so we moved in.  One smart thing we did was put a lot in the garage and it had to earn its way into the house.  But now it is time for a deep clean of everything.  The seasons of life move on and we have a change in our season.  I’m home more and Renee is entering junior high.  The need for play dishes and My Little Ponies and all of that is diminishing.  She loves to create art, lots and lots of art.  Her expressive ways have changed.  It’s time for a junior high room, with bunk beds and posters and creative space.  She is nearly my height, so all of the 42” bookcases can be replaced with regular 6 foot ones (all bedrooms have those loft/cathedral ceilings).  She has started a musical instrument and we need a music space.

You get the idea.

So I have made a schedule of what to clean and when.  It’s all baby steps.  It has to be.  There are also several rooms underway at once in different stages, as I get bored and lose hope easily enough.  But by the time school starts, 3 of our 4 bathrooms will be done (only ours will be left), all 3 bedrooms will be decluttered, 2 of them will be redecorated, with painting if required, etc.  It will be easier with Renee out of the way.  For the record, she has been informed of this, as she will need to live in the guest room while I do her room. 

I’m excited for how it will look when it is done.  I’m also excited about how I will feel when it is done.  Sadly, there are about the same amount of living spaces in the house to do once the ones I’ve targeted are done.  Guess how my fall will be spent? 

So with that I am revising my UFO goal to 12 for the year.  I have 3 done and I missed April.  I have 5 underway right now and I am bound and determined to finish those 5.  I just cannot get it all done, and I am OK with that, as long as some of my goals get done.  A clean house is highly underrated, but definitely a necessity.

So the updates will be about both things now.  I’m so excited for both.

Oh, and I attempt to garden too.  I’m a nut.

PS I've decided I'm going to quilt one of the 5 UFOs underway in sections and join them, plus I got another sandwiched today.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Working Through It

I realized that part of my problem was I had too many things going on sewing-wise.  So I put everything away, took out the box #2 and took out those UFOs.  

The Huge Fence Rails was quilted and now I need to frog 25% of it due to a pucker on the front.  I shall persevere on this one.

The yellow LCRR needs to be put together and have a back made.  Then it's on to sandwiching, quilting and binding. 

The 16 string blocks were my adventure last night.  I slit them in half, added purple triangles to each one, and set them in rows of 5, with 6 rows.  When I went to bed last night, I had 2 sides of the borders on.  

I did keep one UFO out and that was my April item, the big St. Pat's LCRR.  Once the box number for May was announced, and there was another LCRR in there, I decided if I had to sandwich, etc one of them, I might as well get two done.  

I'm trying to balance my housekeeping goals and my quilting goals, plus of course I do work.  So I'm going week by week.  

Monday, April 30, 2012

April month end

April has come to a close and no, I did not finish a UFO.  Boo.  

Judy has pulled the UFO number for May and it is #2.   I have 3 things left in that box and by rights, I should do all 3.  Yep, that's not going to happen, but one of those 3 is underway.  So there is hope.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

In Which Life Interferes....

My life, namely my work life for which I get paid, is now rearing its ugly head.  That's fine; I've had stretches in my life like this before.  However, this time work will not get the better of me.  

I'm now planning in 2 to 3 week stretches.  I wrote the list below at the beginning of last week and I'm still working off of it:

So by May 13th….

Australia quilt done done
24 Chiclets blocks done done
1 column of old Navy shirts done
St. Pat’s quilt done done
Mini St. Pat’s done done
BOMs up to date
Months 1-4 of B&W BOM – blocks sashed
BRB – progress
Xmas BOM – top done without borders

So yeah, it's steps and pieces.  I will not have an April finish in April, but I will persevere.  In prior times like this, I gave everything to work at the great expense of many things, including my hobbies.  Not this time.  I will work and do what they ask, but I will make sure the hobbies get some time too.

So the goal for this weekend, besides finishing many steps for things for work, are:

Australia quilt - trim and attach binding
St. Pat's backing done
BOMs up to date
Months 1-4 of BOM sashed
2 dozen BRB blocks

So off I go.  I'm going to work on the BOM sashing project and then one half-hour of BRB work.  Then I will come back upstairs and work on regular work.  I shall alternate in this fashion for both today and tomorrow.  I fought having work access at home, but since I succumbed, I might as well do the best I can with it.