Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Well, I thought I had come up with the perfect Halloween costume until I got home from work and started putting it together. Mike thought it was the stupidest costume ever. Since I was "Running with Scissors," he wanted to know if that was my Indian name. You know, ala Dances with Wolves and Stands with a Fist; etc. Sigh. So maybe it was just funny to me and no one else will own up and tell me.

I didn't get a picture of me or my mom in our costumes. Mom was a tomato pin cushion. She wore a red sweatshirt, lots of safety pins with threads hanging off and a red head band with a green bow tied on top to be tomato leaves. Here's the sign that I created for my costume.

So my idea with the sign was that I was a Runner (running with scissors) so it's supposed to be my marathon participant number. I was going to throw on my MACC Fund Ride number but I wasn't sure where I put it. I thought it turned out cute. I scammed the Bottom Line logo off the Superior Threads site to make them the "Marathon Sponsor." My number came from the fact that there's 1420 yards of thread on a spool of Bottom Line Thread. If I would have had a pink spool of Bottom Line thread I would have used a picture of that instead. I hung my number on my breast cancer laynard that I had received when I did the Breast Cancer Walk earlier this year. I also wore my T-Shirt from the walk and we can't forget my Pink Crocs. I carried Michelle's gold Jumbo Scissors. I think the scissors were the biggest hit, no one could believe they were real sissors!

Off to the Patched Works mom and I went for Caren's Completer Club. Mom and I finally learned to join the ends of binding without folding one edge under the other. Finally the nice diagonal seam that I've been hoping for! I'm pretty sure I'll be able to remember how it was done and do it again and again.

Julie the owner of Patched Works had the best costume that I think I've ever seen. She was a sock monkey in honor of the Moda Sock Monkey Fabric Line.

Julie's Mom, Teri was in a giant Moda Pillow case with a tiara. The Queen of Pillow Cases! How awesome is that? Oh, and ladies, I think I've decided for our Quilt Retreat we all should don Tiara's!!

I got the bindings put on both of Eli's Baby Quilts. Now they just need labels and they can be dropped off and love

The best part of the evening was that my mom's friend Karen stopped by to say hello. She knew where we were going to be because of my blog. She brought along her signature quilt. When she was going through Chemo everyone made a block and signed it. Mom and I had yet to see the quilt put together. It's georgeous! Sue did a fantastic job putting the top together and Chris's quilting was great. It was sooooo good to see Karen. =)

An Odd but Interesting Read

I don't know why or how but I've become addicted to reading the Post Secret blog. I subscribed to it and I think it's only a once a week on Sunday type thing.

Basically people mail in postcards anonomously with their secret and this guy publishes them into a book. I'm finding the secrets that people mail in with to be completely facinating.

Only one has made me mad to read so far and it was something to the effect of, "Everyone who knew me before 9/11 thinks I'm dead."

Ohhhh, A Quilty Halloween Story

I just saw this story in my Quiltbus newsletter. It's a Halloween Story.

Play along and come back to comment on the question listed at the bottom & be HONEST!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Another Quilt Quilted!!

I got Eli's second quilt quilted tonight. I got it loaded quicker than last night but I still had problems. There has just GOT to be an easier way. Maybe another order of doing things. I also had problems with the thread with the way it was coming off of my spool. In the end I removed a piece of bracket from my carriage and it works much better. Of course now the carriage is loose so I'll have to come up with another option to hold it together on top.

Perhaps a dowel? Threaded Rod?

Without further ado, here's Eli's Carpenter's Wheel.

Tomorrow night Mom and I have a completer class at the Patched Works and I'm so unprepared. I'd like to learn how to join the ends of binding without folding them under. I have these two baby quilts but I don't even have the binding strips together yet. We'll see what I can accomplish in the 45 minutes that I'm home tomorrow after work before I have to leave for class. If all else fails, I know my mom has 4 Project Linus quilts that the bindings are half on to practice with. I think I'll take my last step of my Yellow Brick Road quilt so I can at least get some cutting in. That's my next focus. I'd like to have that quilt done and quilted so I can give it on Saturday.

Monday, October 29, 2007

A Very Quilty Day

Wow, did I get a lot accomplished today! Mike went golfing and then out to watch the Packer Game so I pretty much had the whole day to myself.

I did some work on my Yellow Brick Road quilts...GIGGLE, I guess it's another trio! I have one step left to do and then all of the blocks are complete. I'll put the first quilt together and the rest I'll leave for another time. They'll be great practice for on my frame. If things go as planned; which they NEVER do, I should be able to give Kassidy her quilt this next Saturday at her Birthday Party. Then again; I can get it done, I'll just be sleep deprived!

I finished up my leaders; they took a lot more time than I anticipated especially since I had done all that overcast stitching the night before. I didn't end up using the zippers. I can always make new leaders with zippers at another time. Michelle thinks I can shorten them by removing the top pieces so that's something that I'll check out. The canvas was cheap enough; I can always make another set. When it came time to put the leaders on the frame, I found that my tubing wasn't long enough. Who knows. It either shrank or pieces of it got cut off while it was a demo unit. I'll save the shorter pieces and cut them to fit for if I ever shrink the frame back down to twin sized. Off to Ace Hardware we went to get more tubing. While we were waiting to have it cut I noticed that they had the puzzle piece rubber flooring mats on sale for $11.99. Included is 6, 2'X2' sections. I'll put them out and see how they work out under the frame. I need to get the vibration off of the floor so that I don't piss off my neighbors below me.

My mom came over to sew tonight so I quickly moved my sewing table in to the sewing studio for her. Wow, there's not as much room in that room as I had hoped! We will definitely be moving the computer out of there. So this week I'll work on clearing off and out that desk in preparation of moving it. Mom mentioned how we should have given the room a coat of paint first. Sigh; there's just too much going on to think about painting and now it's too late because I'm NOT taking that frame back apart.

I put one of the baby quilts off the frame and was having a horrible time with the tension. The way the carriage is set up I currently can only use one of my thread guides, not both. I chose the wrong one at first. Once I had it through the other one it was pretty much smooth sailing....UNTIL I hit the Minkie. It's funny, I had the same problem that I KNEW I would have with it. Skipped stitches. I had the same problem when I was sewing with Micro-Fleece. So, I ripped it out and decided to just quilt around the minkie parts knowing that it was going to look pretty ridiculous. I swore, and I swore and I swore some more. My friend Ruth's ears should have been ringing because I was swearing about her love for textured fabrics since this is for her baby Eli. I will never ever, not in a million years sew with this stuff ever again.

Notice how goofy it looks with the stippling and then none through the Minkie.

The back just looks plain wierd without those areas quilted. Oh's DONE. Ok, not done; it does still need binding!

Oh, and I need to add, the light that Michelle gave me to attach to my frame is 100% better than spectacular!! I don't even think I need additional overhead lighting. It's perfect!!

It's 2:18am and I'm still up

It's a good thing I don't have to work tomorrow!!

Mike wants to run downtown to the Casino at 3AM so that he can get his free ticket to get stuff autotographed by one of the ex-Green Bay Packers. I'd tell you who but I guess I didn't pay attention. I thought it was Antonio Freeman but I'm probably wrong. Anyway, you can start getting these tickets at 3am so since we're off of work tomorrow Mike wants to go since he's going there tomorrow night to watch Monday Night Football.

I've now overcast 4 long edges of the 6 on my leaders, I'm TIRED. I just want to go to bed. My muscle relaxers are already kicking in but where is Mike? Sacked out on the couch with our fabulous beast Holly. Sigh. Why am *I* the one who's up here? I think I few more minutes and I'll wake him up so he can fend for himself for the duration.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

It's Here!! My Frame is Here!!

As we speak my Frame is set up in my Sewing Studio. The room is really coming along. I toook what I think is my last batch of stuff to the storage locker. Mike has some stuff hanging around but I asked him if he can go through it before my Quilt Retreat in two weeks. I still haven't decided if the computer will leave the room or not. I think for the next few weeks it will just stay put until I decide for sure. Once Mike goes through his stuff I can move some more of my stuff in here. In the mean time though, my frame is set up.

I did run into a snafu with my zippers. Mine are 100" long sleeping bag zippers. I assumed they would work since I thought my frame went up to 102". Well...I guess it's overall length is 102" because the rods are actually 98". Now, what do I do with my zippers? I'm thinking of just making my first set of leaders without zippers so that I can have some to use. Currently I only have the short ones that will work for baby quilts. I do have two baby quilts that need to be quilted but if I'm hoping to get a twin sized quilt quilted this week I'm going to be in trouble and quick. My canvas wasn't that expensive. I think I paid about $12 for three yards so I might as well make the first set of leaders without zippers and then the next time canvas is 50% off and once I figure out what I'm doing I can get another batch of canvas. It'll probably work out best in the long run because I'm a little scared I'm going to screw these leaders up anyway.

We just got back from seeing Saw VI in the theater. OMG, that was a little too much to see on the big screen. Hands were over my eyes quite a bit and those who know me well know I can usually watch all kind of blood, guts and gore because it's just a movie. Yikes. My dad would have been calling me a sissy. My mom would have been saying, "Ken, leave that poor girl alone."

Yes, I grew up watching horror movies. Our main level of our house you could walk completely in a circle through it. We'd be done watching a horror movie and my dad would send me upstairs to look for something. He'd run in the other direction and beat me up the stairs. How he did it, I'll never know. He'd hide under my bed or in my closet so that when I went after whatever it is he sent me for he could jump out at me and scare the living crap out of me. Yeahhhh and now we all wonder why I'm so jumpy.

Fat Quarter Frenzy

Mom and I went to Fat Quarter Frenzy today at Patched Works. It's a sale that's run about once every quarter year. If you have their special coupon book you get them for $1. So it was time as always to stock up. Of course, I need another fat quarter like I need a hole in my head but they're always good for something and at $1 you can't go wrong.

We also signed up for a completer class on Wednesday night. I'm going to quick throw the bindings on a bunch of Linus Quilts so that I can learn how to join binding the proper way because I just can't figure it out from reading a book.

Since Wednesday is Halloween we're supposed to come to class in costume. Anyone got any good sewing ideas for a costume? So far all I can come up with is "Runs With Scissors." See, I have Michelle's HUGE GOLD SCISSORS that she's lent me for my ribbon cutting ceremony that we're going to have during the quilt retreat for my new sewing studio. So I'm thinking, if I were to wear work out clothes, pin a number on me (It could be like a 500 Yard Fat Quarter Frenzy Dash or something - maybe I could attach a spool of 500 yard thread to me) and go with the scissors and every time I pretend to run I open and close the scissors. Cute or lame? I'd go as a "Stripper" but I'm sure Julie will be pulling out her strip skirt!!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

What does one do on their anniversary?

Well, if you're Mike and I the day pretty much just goes on like any other day. I worked on the spare room for a bit, Mike golfed in the morning. I just didn't have the energy to do much of anything so I watched some TV and took a nap. We were going to go out for dinner but you know, every time I go out for a nice dinner I end up getting sick so it's just not all that appealing to me. Mike ended up going and getting us some nice steaks to grill. I think it turned out a lot better than us going out. We watched two movies. Wild Hogs which was pretty funny but not enough to own and Saw III. I grew up on blood, guts, gore, horror, screaming run up the stairs to get away from the killer type movies but wow, this series STILL manages to shock me. It's probably a good flick just in my deranged little world. The Saw series is pretty creative and actually has me covering my eyes instead of laughing insanely all through it.

I got some special "stuff" in the mail for our Quilt Retreat in two weekends. I ordered it off of e-bay and I'm shocked that it arrived in TWO days. And here I was afraid it wouldn't arrive in time! Hee hee hee, my retreat ladies will now be wondering just what the heck I ordered.

6th Wedding Anniversary

I can't believe that we've been married for 6 years!

You probably expected a "serious" picture huh?

How and why am I up on a jungle gym and what's with the sunglasses?

Ok, ok, I'll answer. We went to a park to have pictures taken. My cousins Tracey & Erin were the last to arrive at the park and it turned out later that where we went and where I told them were two different park areas. Shrug; how was I supposed to know! I walked up a ramp on the jungle gym so that I could watch for them.

The sunglasses...well we had this "thing" this goofy dance that we did to the Blues Brothers in the movie. So we decided that the song we'd enter into our reception with would be a Blues Brothers song. I was playing around on e-bay one day and found you could buy Blues Brothers sunglasses so I bought them for the entire bridal party. And, since we're nerds, we all wore them and had fun with them.

We share a wedding anniversary with my Grandma & Grandpa Ricciardi (My Mom's parents), they were married 65 years earlier.

There's a lot of serious memories from that day but it's the funny ones that really stand out. We had a Catholic Ceremony so we did the whole dedication to Mary business. Mike and I get over in front of the Mary statue and he starts digging at his tux. I ask him what he's doing, he replies, "I can't find my fucking button." I reply with, "OOOOHHHHHHHH, you said Fuck in front of Mary." We both dissolved into hysterical laughter. Only, from behind everyone thought we were sobbing. We get back over to the priest and I don't remember what's going on at this point; vows maybe? Mike and I are both laughing. I'd calm down, I'd look at my cousin Jean, and I'd dissolve into laughter again. I'd look over to the deacon and he'd start me laughing again. This went on for the whole rest of the ceremony.

Our reception was held at a hotel. Mike and I drove my car. He pulled in front of the hotel in the "unload your luggage" area. I go to get out of the car and I get stuck. Mike gets out of the car to help me out, we start talking to someone and our car stays right there with the windows open, unlocked, the whole bit for the next 6 hours. We go towards the end of the night to take our pretend, "We're leaving the reception" pictures and our photographer says, "ohhh, we can't even take these pictures here because some idiot has left their car here." I look, Mike stops dead, we look at the photographer and tell him it's ok, to just shoot the pictures. That's when he realized it was our car. DUH!! Can you imagine how many hotel guests were swearing at our car the entire night?

Thank you SOOOO much Moneik & Michelle for the Anniversary cards!!

Tune in next week for Tales from the Honeymoon from Hell...

Friday, October 26, 2007

A day off of work

Mike and I have today and Monday off of work. We spent some time working on my sewing studio. Mike ran to the Vet to get Holly some meds. Every fall she starts licking the fur off of her paws until they are hairless and bright red. So, we figured it was time to get her onto her meds until the first frost. He picked us up some nice steaks to grill.

After dinner we went to Block Buster to rent a few movies for the weekend. Tonight we watched "Knocked Up." I've got to own this movie. It was soooo hilarious. We laughed through the whole thing.

We stopped at Cold Stone Creamery for Ice Cream. They're very big on keeping things separate if you have allergies. I got a fresh container of ice cream pulled out for me, as well as a new container of raspberries. They use special spatulas and a separate mixing bowl. I was quite impressed.

I worked some more on the Yellow Brick Road quilt. It's going to be done in a fat quarter pack that I picked up earlier this year. It's a Spring set from Sandy Gervias and Moda. There's enough fat quarters in the set to make a twin sized quilt and two lap sized quilts so I'm working on all the blocks and then I'll just assemble the tops as I need them.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Canvas for Leaders

After work today I decided to run to Hancocks Fabrics to see what kind of canvas they had for my leaders. I found a really cute pink with daisys that was 50% off.

I wasn't sure if the canvas was going to be ok or not so I called my mom and had her run over to take a look with me. Next thing I knew she was buying fabric to re-do her kitchen chairs. I was shocked! She's been looking for over a year now.

We then headed over to BW-3's for dinner and Mike met us over there. I thought that's what I wanted and then my wings were so hot that they burned the inside of my mouth. Yeah, not what I wanted at all.

I worked on my sewing studio and then I started to cut out a Yellow Brick Road quilt for a Big Kid Quilt for my cousin Keri's daughter Kassidy. She's going to be 2 and she's already in her big girl bed. Her little sister will be born later this month. We're going to her birthday party next week so it would be nice if I could have it done in time for the party. If not, then I'll make sure I have it done when I go visit her baby sister and deliver her baby quilts.

I bought my Zippers!!

I've put off buying my Zippers for the zippered leaders that I want to create for my Little Gracie II frame because I wasn't sure which ones to buy. Today I found that Jo-Ann's actually had 3 sleeping bag zippers in stock at 100" each. I nabbed them right on the spot. Since I didn't want to mess around with someone else buying them I ended up buying 1 with a 50% off coupon, 1 with a 40% off coupon and 1 with my 10% off ASG membership card. They retail at $15.99 each. I was a little disturbed though because Joann's website showed them being on sale. Oh well, it was still cheaper getting them this way than having them shipped to me. For around $30 I've got my zippers.

Now I can go back with another 50% off coupon and buy my canvas. I'm still trying to decide if I should go with Duck Cloth which feels as heavy as the leaders Michelle has from Hinterberg or if I should go with regular canvas. And if I'm going the canvas route do I want plain or something pretty? I did find a nice Pink and Lime green plaid which would work well for lining things up...IF I can get it cut completely spot on. And that's a big IF!! Or, I could go with colored Duck Cloth but the bummer is they didn't have it in pink. So I guess I'll probably end up with boring off white when all is said and done.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Sewing Studio Procrastination

Boy, am I good at procrastinating. I don't know why I keep putting this room off. I WANT to get it done. I WANT to bring my frame home and I WANT to get sewing!

So, in all my procrastination I decided to work on a project that I've been wanting to do for a long time but now finally had a good way of accomplishing. Google has what they call, Google Docs & Spreadsheets. You can take a Word Document or an Excel Spreadsheet and upload them online or you can even start from scratch through their website. You can set up who can edit the sheet and who can all view the sheet.

The project that I worked on was creating a database of all the quilt books and patterns that I have. I got through the books, still need to do the individual patterns. I'm hoping that my Mom will add hers so that we know what each other has. If I decide to lend something out, I can put who has it and when they borrowed it.

We tried to do this years ago with a group of quilting friends but there just wasn't a good way to maintain it at the time. This on the other hand is perfect.

Light-weight Janome Sewing Machine

My Mom and I were tooling around Target the other night when we happened upon this sewing machine. I have a Janome Jem 609 that is VERY similar to this; actually without Hello Kitty and the color blue it would be the same shell. Mine is about 7 years old now. Sure, there are a lot of upgraded Janome Jem models such as the Gold & Platinum but for someone who just wants an extra light weight machine for the occasional class it's not a bad machine for $99. I used mine as my main machine for about 5 years and really put it though the paces. I was hard on it and it's still going strong. Anyway, it's just an idea if someone is looking to pick up a light weight machine on the cheap.

Of course, we immediately thought of my Aunt Kitty and it didn't even dawn on me at first that the machine was Hello Kitty. My mom put the two and two together and I started laughing uncontrollably saying how perfect it was and that she'll HAVE TO HAVE IT!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Book Shelf

I think I've gone as far as I can go at this point with my book shelf. There's another smaller one in my sewing studio that has "regular" books on it. I think tomorrow I will re-organize and dive into that one. I'm hoping that one can stay where it is; not that it gets in the way of the quilt frame.

I ran out to Target and bought two pink wooden boxes that are perfect to hold the bagged patterns and the envelope patterns. I like how they look so I think I'll pick up a third since one more will fit on that shelf. They have chalk board fronts so that I can write what is in them. On the second shelf I have my shorter books related to quilting and sewing as well as my 7 book Harry Potter collection. The third shelf has my Quilting books on it. The 4th shelf has a fabric bin for Quilting Magazines and one for thinner Quilting books. I have binders sitting on each side with patterns in them. The 5th shelf has two scrapbooks, our wedding album, some photography books, recipe books and in the pink cloth bin is all of the narrower cook books so that I can store them deeper on the shelf without them flopping over every five minutes. On the very top I have my Xyron machine and my container of rubberstamps.


I'm working on my bookshelf.

I always felt guilty about the amount of quilt books I had until I started putting my books on the bookshelf.

Can someone explain to me why in the hell I have almost 50 cookbooks and probably have cracked open maybe 5? Mike's the pickiest eater in the entire world. I have to stick to basics with him which is why I don't cook much for the two of us. It's a waste of time. Now, if Mike could get interested in looking through cookbooks and picking things out that interested him then maybe, just maybe these cookbooks could be worthwhile. I do enjoy cooking. But I mostly cook for large group type things like Thanksgiving. But that's a post for another time.

Do these cookbooks just multiply? Were they breeding while they were in the closet?

At least I look through all my quilt books on a regular basis!!

The top shelf in this picture is quilt books, the bottom is recipe books
and there's MORE recipe books in the kitchen.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Sewing Studio To-Do List

  • Move in book case & fill it
  • Swap out TV Stands & add DVD/VHS player from the bedroom
  • Pack up remaining VHS Tapes, organize media shelf
  • Empty and remove Bench
  • Track down a Radio with programmable stations w/ CD Player
  • Move Computer to living room
  • Clear out old computer desk & move large desk out
  • Move in Iris Carts
  • Move in Sewing Machine Table
  • Move in narrow side table.
  • Disassemble Quilt Frame at Mom’s & reassemble in sewing studio
  • Decide if small book shelf stays or moves into living room.
  • Decide if Lighting is something Mike and I can handle or get Dad involved only he doesn’t know it yet.
  • Make Cre8tive Quilter banner for above Closet Doors
  • Make different curtains with Quilt Blocks on them. (Swap curtains with bedroom in the mean time – they would go better in there)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Super Busy Sunday!

Started out a little later this morning. I woke up around 8 but then didn't hear any noises upstairs so I didn't think Michelle and Louie were up yet so I flipped through some quilt books for about a half hour. Then I realized I smelled coffee so I figured the HAD to be up. Yeah, not only were they up but they were both showered! I quick jumped in the shower myself and we headed out to breakfast. On the way we noticed a purse in the middle of the highway so Louie pulled over to pick it up. It looked like it was a purse of a teenage girl. So they called her phone number and left a message and then dropped it off at the Police Station so she could pick it up. We had breakfast and then headed back to start quilting.

Our quilting didn't start off on a good note. I think the whole set up hated me this morning!! Michelle and I worked on it for about an hour and a half. Ok, when I say we, I really mean Michelle worked on it and I looked at it wishing there was something I could do. But you know, when it's not your machine you just don't feel all that comfortable changing stuff around. Actually, I wouldn't have known what to do anyway! We did decide to use some Signature thread for the top instead of my other spool of Star brand because of the horrible time we had the day before. Eventually though everything worked out and once I started quilting I just went to town. On that big 102 x 102 quilt I used 5 bobbins full of Bottom Line. I love that stuff!!

While I was quilting Michelle was kind enough to hand sew the binding onto my Bargello. She pointed out that if I do want to enter it anywhere I'll get extra points for it being hand sewn. If I would have set out to hand sew it, I'd be working on that for the next 8 years! I can't thank her enough for doing that for me. It was a big job, that's for sure!

Oh, and I can't help but mention that Michelle was going to send me home with a cutting table for my sewing room. It didn't fit in my trunk. Talk about embarrassing...those of you who know me, know what I all have in my trunk! I probably have about 15 project linus quilts that need binding, about 5 bags of batting and then some miscellaneous stuff that ended up in there. Yeah, we had it all out on their driveway so we could give it a shot. Oh well, they'll bring it up when they come in November. AND the best part of that is that this BIG ASS DESK that we have can go into the storage locker. I was going to keep it in the room just because it is so darn sturdy and use it for cutting but it's really low so it wouldn't have been the best thing for my back. This is going to be perfect. Michelle also sent me home with a clippy light that I can clip onto the Machine Carriage on my Gracie frame. She ROCKS! We don't call her Thrift Store Junkie for nothing!

Once my Turning Twenty Again Quilt was off the frame, I sewed the binding onto it by machine while Michelle finished up the binding on the Bargello. Then we took some final pictures and I was on the road by 4:45 and pulled into my garage around 8pm. It was a really nice and easy ride home too. Mom came over to see my quilts and I'm going to throw the bed quilt on the bed tonight. I can't wait to sleep under it. I still have to cut some threads and things and I'm sure it will come off the bed a few times yet so I can take it for show and tell a few places but it's done and that's all that matters. I couldn't be any happier with both of them. AND, the best part? I just noticed that I'm down to 9 works in progress in my webshots album. That's do-able. One can be finished no problem, 2 baby quilts can be quilted and really the rest of the stuff; when it gets done, it gets done!
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Here's the two quilts that I finished and a slideshow of everything that Michelle snapped a picture of!

2007 - October trip to Michelle’s

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Super Busy Saturday!

Are you ready for this? I sure crammed a lot into one day!!

I got up around 6am which is a complete feat for me because I am NOT a morning person. I ironed the binding for my Bargello and my Turning Twenty Again quilts. Hopped in the shower and packed my clothing and toiletries. Pulled out my Singer 2010 sewing machine to take along because Michelle wanted to have a go at cleaning it up and fixing it if she could. Called mom to ask to borrow her box of feet because I couldn't find mine and noticed I had a walking foot on it. Looked at my stack of stuff that I needed to take and realized there was no good option for a bag so I snagged one of the Rubbermaid Tubs that we just bought to pack things up for storage and threw both of my quilts, their backings, my sewing notions, backpack with clothes and bag with Misc. stuff into it.

Realized that my Bargello was longer than I originally thought it was and had the "oh shit" moment of knowing it was so early in the morning and I didn't have the correct batting for it. Ran to Walmart and then met mom at 8:30 for breakfast at McDonalds. Walmart by the way has phased out their supply of batting and now only has bags of polyester and 45" wide Warm and Natural on a bolt.

By 9am, Mom and I were at Bits & Pieces for our block of the month. I cannot wait to make this block; it's VERY cool. I've never seen this block before. I actually didn't make a single purchase at Bits & Pieces. I would have picked up a few more pink and black fat quarters but I couldn't remember which ones I have. I think I need to print out the picture of them and keep it in my purse so that I don't have any duplicates. I think I need 10 more for my quilt.

By 10am, Mom and I were at Frank's Sewing Center for the Gracie Quilt Frame class. Learned a few new tips and was able to get the batting that I needed for the Bargello. Thank God!! I also picked up some different threads for my two quilts that I was going to be quilting because the threads that I had originally picked out weren't going to work the way that I wanted them to. I thought I could use Aurifil for the top and Bottom line in the bobbin but Wendy said that wasn't a good combination. So I ended up with a Star Brand. Then I noticed that they had another spool of the fall variegated that I picked up the week before so I nabbed that. I was sweating it earlier in the week because I couldn't get another one so I had picked up a really pretty Star Brand fall variegated thread so now I had to decide which to use.

By 11:30 I was on the road. I hit the gas station to top off my tank and got onto the freeway at 11:45. I had a really nice and easy drive to Iowa. To keep my hands on the wheel and not playing with my MP3 player I opted to bring along a Harry Potter book on CD. I've read them all tons of times so I just pulled out book 6 to listen to. I made really good time and was at Michelle & Louie's by about 3. They hadn't gotten home yet from running their errands so I just sat on their porch and made a few yo-yo's until they got there.

By about 5 we had my Bargello quilt loaded and decided we liked the coloring in the Star Brand thread over the Sulky thread. Yes, the colors are great but holy cow was there the lint! OMG! I've used it for piecing with no problems but at high speeds it's awfully linty.

By 6 we were scrambling to get out the door and to Obie's for dinner so that we could beat the Saturday Night church crowd...and let me tell you, we JUST beat them!

Michelle took a look at my Singer 2010 and gave it a good cleaning and found what my problem is. Now at least I'll have an extra machine at the house. This way if my machine is on the frame and I want to sew something quick I'll be able to. I also have a little Janome Jem but its stitch quality never was anything like my good old Singer so this will be great. Plus if I have any visitors in my sewing room they won't necessarily have to bring their machine. Michelle will now and forever be known as "The Sewing Machine Whisperer." =)

By 10pm we were cutting my Bargello off of the frame and breaking it down so that we could set it up outside in the garage at the larger size for my Turning Twenty Again Quilt.

By this point Michelle and I were both so exhausted that we really screwed up loading the quilt. It was as if we had both lost our minds. Plus, there was this ONE Asian beetle (orange lady bug looking thing) that kept landing on my quilt when we were trying to roll it. I thought for sure we'd end up rolling him up in it!

Bed time!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Haunted Hill

My Halloween Wallhanging has been bound. I really love the way it turned out. I'm going to see if it will fit on my wall at work; otherwise I'll have to hang it at home.

I'm beat. I'm going to go to bed now so that I can get up early and pack for my trip to Iowa tomorrow!

Because I can

On the 27th Mike and I will be married for 6 years. Today he brought my wedding dress home from his parents house. It's going to live out its days in my mom's cedar chest...if it fits. I think it's a lot poofier than my mom and I remember. It's also got a built in crinoline so...yeah. Boy, I forgot how heavy it was. Of course, I had to put it on. The arms are a little tight; if it wouldn't be for that I could have pulled up the zipper. Now I'm sitting here wearing my veil. BECAUSE I CAN. Mike's already given me the, "Aren't you the one with a really bad neck and back? Should you really have that on your head?" Yeah, I hate to say it but he's right. How in the heck did I wear it all day?

Regardless, my mom is coming for dinner. I plan to greet her at the door with it on.

And of course, why not dress up the dog while I'm playing?

Here we have the "Runaway Bride," Julia Roberts she's not!!

Stupid Monofiliment Thread

I finally decided to attack my Halloween Wall hanging before Halloween comes and goes. I had the intricate parts cut out; only needed to cut out the moon and iron it all down. It's just way too intricate to be appliqueing around. Last year I did a really in depth Halloween Wall hanging and it took forever. I love it, but man did it take the time. I wanted something quick & dirty yet cool at the same time. So I decided to stipple over the entire top. Between that and the heat and bond I should be all set. I had monofilliment in the top and bobbin because I didn't want to have to worry about peekaboo's. And really, I can't even say it's the monofilliments's user error. I was stippling along nicely when I ran out of bobbin thread. I refilled the bobbin and started stippling again...never checking to see how I was doing on the back. Crap. I did 3/4ths of it with my tension down at ZERO. I always manage to knock the tension knob with the grippies on my quilting gloves and don't notice it. I sat and ripped it all out and just finished re-stippling it. I like the way it looks despite all the extra holes. So much for quick and dirty! Oh's done and it DOES look cool.

The picture is a bit blurry. I had to take it with Mike's camera because my batteries are deader than door nails. I'll have to pick some up before I leave for Iowa tomorrow.

The pattern is called Haunted Hill and I bought the pattern and fabric kit through Keepsake Quilting.

Tomorrow night I'll put the binding on and I'll create the binding for my bargello and Turning Twenty Again quilts. I ran to Joann's tonight with my mom to get some unbleached muslin to put on the back of the Turning Twenty Again quilt. Tomorrow I'll run to Patched Works after work to get a backing for the Bargello. I want something nice...that's a first for me because I'm all about using muslin!! Hopefully I'll get packed up before I go to bed so that right after my Gracie class I can hit the road to Iowa.

Ok, it's late. I'm off to bed.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Shopping for Fabric - How much yardage do I need?

The first time I used this particular tip that I'm about to share with you I thought my Mom was going to fall over from laughing at me. Not only did it work, it made the ladies at the cutting table quite happy.

You're shopping for fabric for a particular quilt. You need many different colors with many different yardages. You don't know what you want your borders or bindings to be yet so you're leaving these quick calculations until you hit the cutting table where you go back and forth on how much you should have them cut. This typically results in purchasing way too much fabric. At the dollar amount we're paying these days per yard, that's not really realistic. Sure, there's some fabrics you don't mind having in your stash but at the same time; not everything needs to be hanging around in your stash.

What I've started doing instead of just toting the pattern with me is taking blank address labels before my trip and writing on them the amount of yardage and the color. Or if I'm really oraganized I'll type them into a Word document and print them up. I can then stick my label onto the fabric and when I get up to the cutting counter there's no confusion on how much is needed from each bolt. My labels then stay right on the fabric so that when I go to make that particular project I know how much is there and what it's for.

I found this extremely helpful when pulling fabrics for an Art To Heart Reindeer Quilt. I had intended to make it right away. This was last winter and I still haven't gotten to it yet. I needed 3 different reds, 3 different greens, 3 different blues, browns, etc. My labels are still attached and when I finally do get the time to work on my quilt I won't have to wonder what colors were chosen for which parts.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Bargello has been Bordered!!

I just decided to go with straight on borders. I think they look just fine. I'm going to be binding it in the same fabric as the outer border. I'm so happy with how it came out. I simply cannot wait to quilt it this weekend.

I also forgot to show a picture of the coasters that my mom made for me. I have a sewing set of four and 3 Halloween coasters. Thanks Mom!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Bargello Borders

This quilt is driving me nuts!! Somewhere along the line I got it in my head that the borders need to be mitered. But that's making me put off putting the borders on the quilt. Can I just put them on normally?

Somewhere along the line I also got it into my head that I had to have a decorative border. So stippling in the middle, then a narrow border (what the heck am I supposed to do with that?) and then leaves in the outer border. Can't I just do an all over stipple across the entire quilt including borders?

Please help before I drive myself insane.

Getting to Know Each Other

Here are the Fours.....

Job's I've Had:
1. Customer Service/Inside Sales
2. Barrista at Gloria Jeans (Before they were even called Barrista's!!)
3. Waitress @ Pizza Hut (My most hated job EVER)
4. Engraver at Things Remembered

Movies I (do) Could Watch Over & Over
1. Gone in 60 Seconds
2. Goonies
3. Gone with the Wind
4. Remember the Titans

TV Shows I Watch:
1. Gray's Anatomy
2. Brothers & Sisters
3. Little House on the Prairie
4. Desparate Housewives

Places I've Lived:
1. Bay View, WI
2. West Allis, WI
3. Yeah, that's really it. Born into one house, moved into an apartment.

Favorite Foods:
1. Steak
2. Spinach Spaghetti Pie
3. Mike's Hamburgers
4. Broasted Chicken

Favorite Colors:
1. Pink
2. Blue
3. Purple
4. Blue-Green

Places I'd Love to Be Now:
1. Sewing Studio
2. Sedona
3. A cruise as long as there was no ship involved (Yeah, there's a story there can't you tell?)
4. With Mike on our Bikes

Names I like but would not use for my children (Ummm, I'm not a kid person so I've NEVER given it any thought)

I'm supposed to tag 4 people. But who hasn't been tagged yet? Hmmmmm. can answer in comment form, Nancy-Rose, Nancy & Vera

Monday, October 15, 2007

Turning Twenty Again

This quilt started out as being a 30th birthday present to myself. I figured I could use 30 fat quarters for 30 blocks. In the end I had to add 6 blocks to make it the size that I wanted. So it's more like a "Someday I'll be 36" quilt. What can I say, I'm a nerd! In case you're wondering, I folded it into 1/4ths for this picture. It was too large to get a good picture in the house.

I had this quilt together earlier this year but at 35 blocks. I had it set 5 x 7 but that was way too long so it's been sitting with a row ripped off of it for the last 6 months or so. I finally made the 36th block tonight, sewed the last row on so it's now 6 x 6 and put the border on. I anticipated being able to use 2 different borders but by the time I started calculating that didn't happen. The blocks put the quilt at 96" x 96". I can only go up to 102" on Michelle's Hinterberg frame. For a moment there I thought I had 6 inches per side and was debating on how big to make each of my two borders. Then it dawned on me, I had 6 inches total that I could add. I ended up cutting each border so that it finishes at 3". We threw it on the bed and it's a great size. Now I just need to get my batting and backing cut and I'll be ready to roll for my trip to Iowa on Saturday afternoon. I'm spending the night.

I'm also hoping to get the borders on my Bargello this week. I know it's pushing it to do two quilts but if I don't quilt that bargello soon I soon won't have the guts to do it. I could wait and do it on my frame once my extra set of legs arrives but since I am hoping I can enter it in some quilt show of some kind I'd feel more comfortable quilting it on Michelle's since she has the stitch regulator and I don't. I know, excuses, excuses!! But there's other quilts that I can practice on once my frame is home and up and running. I don't want the bargello to turn into a practice...I love it far too much. Yet, the longer I wait, the more terrified I'll get to quilt it. So, it must be done now.

Baby Quilts for Eli

I finally finished the tops to the two baby quilts I'm making for Eli. Now I just need to quilt them but that is going to have to wait until I get borders on my Bargello and Turning Twenty Again quilts. I plan on taking those two this weekend when I go to visit Michelle & Louie in Iowa. I'm still really not liking the Yellow Brick Road with the Minkee. I'm hoping I have different feelings about it once it's quilted. We'll have to see!! The Carpenters wheel I just love. I'll still need to decide if I'm binding it in green or blue.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Nothing, Nada, Zilch, Zip

That's what I accomplished today. I didn't even read my email. I literally read a book and watched TV all day long. Took a few naps too. First it started out that I was snuggling with Holly because she wasn't feeling thing I knew it was time for bed. I could tell it really annoyed Mike, but tell me; when was the last time I did this? Maybe a year ago? It was a good day for it, it looked cold out (not sure if it was) and it rained all day. Pretty gloomy out.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Sensational Saturday

Well, as I sit here at the computer I am frightened at my surroundings. Our spare room currently looks like a bomb went off. We're in the process of emptying it out to turn it into a sewing studio. Mike made one trip to the storage locker on his own today, and tonight we made one together. We've already got the truck loaded for a trip tomorrow. So far we have a desk in there and rubbermaid tubs full of stuff we've been storing over the years. Our spare room has been primarily used for storage the entire time that we've lived here and our computer desk. It sounds like we've been moving a lot of stuff but I guess that depends on which one of us you ask. Mike thinks we've moved tons, me; looking at it all stacked in the unit, not so much stuff!

I've managed to re-locate my scrapbooks to the shelf in the closet. I used to be a very avid scrapbooker but that's fallen by the wayside over the past few years. For the first time ever I looked at my large quantity of finished scrapbooks and thought, where the hell am I ever going to store all these damn things for a lifetime??? Ok, it's great that my pictures are in books but man, is this practical?

My stash, scraps and other fabric stuff has now been moved into the closet that was just vacated by other tubs moving to the storage unit. The rest of the room...well, we've got a LOT of ends to tie up. I'm beat and I still want to do some sewing tonight. I'd like to get my carpenters wheel baby quilt finished and borders on the Yellow Brick Road so that I can quilt both of them tomorrow. I also need to work on my Turning Twenty Again and Bargello quilts tomorrow. Both need borders...and I think the Bargello also needs mitered corners.

It just dawned on me, I have an empty wall in my soon to be sewing studio that I can put a quilt rack on!!

Anyway, when I got up this morning I worked in the spare room for a bit, caught up on my email and blogging and then ran over to my Mom's to quick finish up the purse I was Making for Michelle's Birthday. I fully intended to get that purse done last night but I was so gosh darn tired. As I was putting it together Michelle called to say they were close. I sent my Mom outside to watch for them while I zipped around the outside of the purse so I could turn it. I completely forgot to take a picture of it so hopefully Michelle will take one and send it to me so I can post it. In the purse I put a charm pack and two spools of bottom line thread. One burgundy and one dark green. BUT, when we got home tonight I noticed the burgundy was on my mom's table so either I left one spool out or threw my white spool in by accident! Oh well, we'll get that straightened out when I go down there next weekend!!

I also included a Quilt Pink magazine (Which I highly recommend despite it's $12 price - it's much more than just a magazine, there are great stories and such of survivors and different quilt pink activities. There are also many great patterns inside; two of which I've been toying about buying the patterns for and now don't have to!)

Two of the patterns inside that I've been looking to try are:

I couldn't resist, I picked up the fabric today for the above quilt...

This is French Country (I think that's what it's called), I've admired this quilt since Vera posted the picture on her blog of a customer's quilt. I think I may use some of my Spring Sandy Gervias fabrics for it.

Michelle, her husband Louie and 9 of their friends came up to visit my mom and I and to go to our quilt shops. We took them to lunch at Hawg City which is our favorite local eatery. Then it was on to Bits & Pieces and Patched Works. I think between the three places our group of 13 did quite a bit of damage!! Since I knew the Patched Works had a class going on until 2pm, we decided to hit Bits & Pieces first to give Julie and the Quilty Ladies a chance to catch their breath. I think we spent about 2-1/2 hours at the Patched Works. By the end quite a few of us were camped out on their floor flipping through quilting books.

Here's a picture of our group and Julie in front of the Patched Works.

I made a few necessary purchases today and an unexpected one or two...

I have a charm pack that goes with the above panel. I'll use it for a baby quilt.

Threads to quilt my Bargello and Turning Twenty Again Quilt

All in all, it was a sensational time but boy, am I beat! There's so much more that I could say but I just can't! I'm exhausted!!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Wendy Rieves BOM

Tonight was our first session in our new block of the month with Wendy Rieves. This time it's going to be in off white, green, medium and dark blues and purple. I can't wait to get the first block made so that I can show you all. I was extra excited because my friend Gale, Aunt Kitty and Cousin Jean also joined.

Jean gave me the cutest little gift that I'm planning on hanging in my new sewing stuido. I like the word studio!!

My mom, aunt Kitty, Sherri and I went out for dinner afterwards. We even got sung to by a mariachi band.

I went back to mom's fully intending to make a purse for my friend Michelle and well, I fell asleep! Hopefully I can get it done quick enough in the morning before she gets here!!!!
I had all these dreams for what I thought was going to be my sewing room. It turns out my hubby and I have two totally different views. What made me think I could have an entire room he asked? Bummersville.

I guess he just figured we were removing just enough stuff so that the frame could be set up. I saw us removing just a bit more and moving the computer out into the area where my sewing stuff currently resides. I'm dreaming of bookshelves and less clutter throughout the apartment and he's dreaming of well, I have no freaking idea. I just want to use our space better. Talk about being on two separate pages. Yes, what I want to do requires purchasing a few things...bookshelf, media shelf, swapping things out for other things that will work better in our space but I guess not so much.

I asked the other day how we were going to finagle a cable line to the other end of the living room for the computer and instead of asking me what I was talking about Mike just must have thought I was crazy and left it alone.

I'm seriously bummed...I was really hoping for less crap throughout the apartment. A place for everything to go.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Yeah! I'm an Auntie again!!

My dear friend Ruth has given me "Auntie Status" to her boys. Her first son Aidan was born in May of 2006 and on Tuesday night she gave birth to Elijah Joseph. Eli for short. Ok, the "for short" part cracks me up. When Ruth had Aidan it was the search for the name that couldn't be shortened...nick names were something she didn't like. My, how things have changed!!!

He's soooo cute and was born on Tuesday night! Such a cuddly little guy. Teeny Tiny compared to his brother. 7 pounds, 13 ounces versus the 10, almost 11 pounds that Aidan was.

We had a great visit, I stayed over an hour and really didn't intend to stay that long. They get to leave the hospital tomorrow morning.

Then I had an emergency call from my Grandma. Her TV kept turning on and off, on and off. Turns out her power button on the remote was jammed inside the remote...luckily it was an easy fix.

I didn't get "home" from work until 9:30pm. =( Another nothing crafty night.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Wedding RIng - By Emilie Richards

Well, my un-cre8tivity slump is giving me time to read. I borrowed this book from Maureen and I just loved it. I started reading it at lunch time and was finished by the time I went to bed. Definitely a good read, I highly recommend it to my Quilting Friends.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Talk about feeling un-cre8tive

I should have been able to finish those baby quilt tops last night without any problems. I just couldn't get motivated. I sat at that machine and everything. I just couldn't do it. I think part of the problem is that my sewing area looks like a bomb went off. Part of me wants to straighten it out, the other part of me says, WHY? when I'll be moving into the other room shortly.

I couldn't get started on that so I thought maybe a different project was in order. I tried pulling together all the things I needed to make some name tags for my quilting buddies to wear at our Block of the Month meeting on Friday. I just couldn't settle in on my choices. First of all, I don't know what color I want MY name tag to be. Second of all, I can't decide how I want to put them together.

The internet wasn't even amusing to me. I tried to watch an episode of The Quilt Show and you know what? I just CAN'T watch that on the computer. I HATE it. I don't have the attention span for it.

Annoyed with myself, I went to bed!

Monday, October 8, 2007

So, I had a melt down

Yep, you heard it here. I had a complete and total melt down. I was sewing along at my mom’s trying to get a baby quilt done so I can get it on the frame and Ding and Dong (Holly & Murphy) just kept getting in the way of me laying it out. Now, I know they do this…why would I think otherwise? Normally it’s cute, tonight; not so much. They kept laying right on top of the part I’d need to be working on. I know, this was just a bid for attention but man oh man it sent me just out of control. I packed up my stuff in about 5 minutes and went home telling Holly I was leaving her there because she pissed me off.

I know this wasn’t rational but I was at my breaking point. I feel like I’m always sewing on the go. Don’t get me wrong, I love sewing with my mom. I don’t mind going to her house one bit because then both dogs can hang out together but there are days man, there are days when I’m just tired of packing up and unpacking. Once in a while I just want to sew at home in the comforts of my set up.

I just feel like lately I’m NEVER home and I finally WANT to be home. I want to spend time with Mike even if we’re just occupying the same space and doing two totally different things. I want to have the option from time to time to have someone to MY house to sew instead of ME packing up and going. It would be so nice to be able to sew a bit, change the laundry, sew a bit, fold the laundry, etc.

I want more than anything to be home so I can start going through the boxes that need to go into storage so that I can put together my sewing room. Which is a joke in itself because right now my sewing space is extending into 3 different areas of the apartment. That’s probably why Mike agreed to the sewing room because I’m sure he’s tired of my sewing area behind the couch, my rotary mat being on the kitchen table and the ironing board being up in the living room. He’s probably hoping for some kind of containment to my stuff and I really can’t blame him.

I sure hope he visits me in my sewing room. Maybe I should move the massage chair in there so that he HAS to visit.

As for Holly, I went back to my mom’s about an hour later to get her. I was wrong to leave her. I feel like an awful doggie mom. I AM an awful doggie mom. It’s a good thing she has a short memory. Mike on the other hand does not and I’m sure I’ll be reminded of this every day for the rest of my life.

Split Rail Fence Yardage Cheat Sheet

For an easy to read or print file, click HERE.

I suppose I should clarify a bit. There's a lot of us that use the split rail fence pattern for baby quilts and charity quilts. It's always a struggle when you're standing in the store trying to figure out how much fabric you need to buy.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Wow, What a Productive Day!!

Today I went to an all day sewing workday at Frank’s Sewing Center. We got there around 1 and left around 6:30. It was supposed to be to finish our Block of the Month but since my top is pretty much finished I opted to take other things to work on.

I finished the top of my Bargello. I picked fabrics for the borders that I already have. Wendy helped me pick out thread. We’ve decided that I should do an all over stipple. Perhaps I’ll try to do a leaf design just in the outer border. I’m so happy with it. For this quilt, I think I’m going to splurge and put a nice backing fabric on it. Most likely this will be a quilt that I’m going to try to enter in some quilt show or maybe even State Fair next year so it might as well have nice backing. I LOVE this quilt. I can’t tell you how much I love it. Well, I suppose you know because it’s all I’ve been blabbing about for a month or more now. The fabrics in the lower lefthand corner are the narrow border and the larger, outer border. Both are fabrics from within the quilt.

I also got the binding put on my ABC quilt. I’m going to give it to my Cousin Keri’s daughter Kassidy.

Afterwards I went to my mom’s to sew. I put together a Yellow Brick Road baby quilt for Ruth’s baby that will be born next week Monday. Talk about waiting until the last minute! I’m making her two baby quilts because I made two for her son Aidan also. Ruth loves texture so I decided to throw some Minke in. NEVER, NEVER again. It started shrinking from the moment I cut it and started sewing it. The blocks are supposed to be 9-1/2 inches and I ended up having to cut them all down to 9 inches. Then I had to turn all of the blocks so that no minke would be touching the borders. I hate to see what happens to this sucker the first time it gets washed. I can’t believe how quick the YBR went together for a baby quilt. Literally about an hour even with the nasty Minke. I’m going to use the same flannel that I bought for the backing as a border. I have 2 fat quarters left that I’ll use for the binding. I’m going to stipple the quilt with a blue variegated thread. Hopefully that will help to tame the Minke. Seriously folks, never again will that garbage come home with me.

The second quilt that I’m making for her is the Carpenter’s Wheel from the “Sew One and You’re Done” book. I’m doing that in blue, green and off white. I started cutting it. I should be able to get that top done within the next day or two and then have both quilts quilted by the end of the week…just in time for her to deliver.

I also need to get name tags made for my quilting friends this week for our first block of the month for the new session this coming friday. Yikes, I better get on that!