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.