Thursday, January 31, 2008

Bodacious, Bold & Black

WOW, am I LOVING putting the quilting on my black block of the month quilt. I'm using a Verigated King Tut thread. This is the first King Tut spool that I haven't had problems with. HOWEVER, it's because I put Sewers Aide on the spool last night so that it would be ready to quilt with today. I did have some problems with quilting on the batik stripes. What a nightmare. Makes me glad that I'm doing something else for the blocks. I ended up having to spray the quilt down with silicone spray each time I rolled the quilt. That was the only way I could avoid skipped stitches. I was going slower to begin with because I wanted nice small stitches but when I got to the batik, I had to go even slower to avoid the skips.



I have the whole top stippled. I had some different ideas on how to do the quilting in the blocks. I think now that the black is all stippled I'm going to go back and stipple the black fabric that is inside each of the blocks. I think it will make the bright pieces really pop. If anything, I'll do a little stitching in the ditch with Monofiliment.

You know the best part? I don't have any thread from the front peeking through to the back!!

The bad part? I have a bum bearing in my carriage. It's kind of funny because I was planning on picking up the upgraded no-flex carriage within the next month. So I'll just keep fighting with it for now!!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Misc Stuff

I actually made it through the entire day at work sitting on my bad bum. Wooo hoo. I dropped a quilt off at my Mom's; she's going to bind it.

The only thing quilty that I got done was loading my Black block of the month quilt onto the frame. I'll start to quilt it tomorrow.

Mom, Mike & I went out to dinner. We took Mike's truck and it was a riot and a half to watch my mom get into it since it doesn't have running boards on. I really wish I would have had the forethought to to pull out my digital camera and take a movie of the hilarity that ensued.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Stand in the place where you live....

Oh wait, that's the start to an R.E.M. song....

Well, I lasted only a half day today at work. My bum hurt BAD with all that sitting. Hopefully tomorrow will go better. I came home and laid down on the couch. It's never good when I lay on the couch because that just spells instant nap time. Especially if there is a quilt over me and even moreso if my flannel quilt is over me. Yeah...I got home around 1 and I woke up around 3:20. Pretty good nap if I do say so myself!

The weather here is pretty crappy. It started out at 40 degrees this morning and now it's 3 degrees. But there's also 50 mile per hour winds and with windchill that comes to about -19. That's like a 60 degree difference in what, 12 hours? It rained earlier and the ice was getting bad so Maureen, Sherry, Mom and I didn't go to Batik club. We'll stop in and get our fabric over the weekend during the Fiber Crawl.

I sat at my sewing machine for a little while this evening. I finished assembling a quilt top and put the borders on it. I got it on the frame and it was so nice to be able to STAND and quilt. I'll probably put another quilt on tomorrow night, and I have a fleece blanket for Holly that I want to practice Dwirling on.

I used So Fine thread on the top and Bottom Line on the bottom. That was my first time using So Fine and it's a really, really nice thread. I only had breakage a few times and it was always in the same fabric. Maureen...that red fabric in your blue/red & white block. OMG, MARK THAT FABRIC and never use it in a quilt that will be free motioned EVER again and I want to know what it is so that I never buy any for myself!!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Tree Skirt

The only sitting I did today was to put the binding on my tree skirt. It ought to be interesting going to work tomorrow...I mean how long am I going to be able go sit before I get crabby from being in pain? But, I'll give it a shot. Mike's offered to drive me to work and pick me up if need be. We're supposed to have some nasty weather tomorrow.

Ok, so back to my tree skirt. My friend KSH told me that I should try her method of "Bias Light." She cuts binding from the length instead of the width when she has curves other than scallops. It worked REALLY well. The only place it's not completely flat is in the very center and that could just be because I was having a hard time manipulating the center to begin with. However, the center will be up around the tree anyway so no one will ever notice that. I'm sure by the time I get a few tree skirts under my belt I'll be a bit better at the center.

It feels good to have another thing marked off my list!

9 Degree Tree Skirt

I can't believe the end of January is almost here. I still have quite a few things on my Finish it Up list. I believe I'm going to keep Finishing it Up while starting in on my February goals. I'm going to keep with the not starting of anything new until that list is done or until I just can't take it anymore!

While I was sleeping

While I was napping yesterday, Mike was copying a few of my quilting shows from the DVR box to a DVD. I woke up to find this adorable DVD sitting on top of my laptop. He's getting pretty smart with his label making!!

Quilting Shows DVD

I mean, he actually went into my photo files and added one of my pictures to the sticker!! I'm way impressed. The super cute thing that he doesn't realize is that one of the episodes on the DVD is a Quilt In A Day, the quilt that he used for my label is from Quilt in a Day!!

Alas, I stayed home from work today to nurse my bum and everything is cleared off the DVR. Darn Writers Strike!!! I'm watching the Price is Right...I think it's one of Mike's favorite shows but for me it's a bit of a nightmare.

I'm on my final season of Little House on the Prairie. In fact, I think I'm down to only having 2 episodes out of 9 seasons to go. I'm kind of sad, I've been working my way through these for the past 2-3 years. I swear there's other episodes that I've yet to see. Hrmph.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

It's not broken, it's just a bad Bum


We did decide to go to the Walk in clinic. I wanted to make sure that nothing was broken. Mainly because I wanted to know if I'd be hurting anything when I sat different ways. Now that I know all is well I don't have to worry about making it worse. The radiologist wasn't in so they'll get back to me in a day or two but the MD didn't see anything wrong. He's more concerned about my joint but so far all looks well and I was sent on my way with heavy duty ibuprofen.

I think I'll hang out for a while on the couch and then I have a quilt top that I'd like to put together. If that doesn't go well then I'll throw my black block of the month on the frame.

I was told the pain and swelling aren't at their peak yet. It will continue to get worse in the next day or two.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

I Broke my Bum

Talk about craziness!! I woke up this morning to get ready for BOM and got a call from my cousin Tracey. My Uncle Bob had been in a car accident was fine but awaiting an MRI on his hip. As I left the house I slipped and fell walking to the garage. Our downstairs neighbor was in the parking spot tightening up his trailer so he could put his snowmobile on. He said My head just missed the corner of his trailer by about 2 inches. We went to Bits & Pieces for Block of the Month and my pain began to grow.

I came home finally and this is what I little dog...mocking me by sitting on a pillow. These throw pillows by the way spend 99% of their time on the floor because she thinks they're HER'S. We actually keep 2 bed pillows on the couch because those she'll leave alone unless she's nestled into them sleeping.

Princess Holly

That's it, that's all the attention span I have!! I've been writing this post for about 15 hours now.

It's 2am

No, I'm not singing the Ana Nalick song but gee, I do really love that song!! Really though, it IS 2AM.

I think it was around 8:30PM that I finally infiltrated the sewing studio. I quickly sewed up Mike's Green Bay Packer Fleece Pants. I think he likes them, but I'm not so sure. Then Holly was looking dejected so I made her a new bandanna.


Then I was set to work on my Miranda Day Bag that will live at Frank's as a sample for my class. Ok, I had a good portion of my bag done before I sat down and I think I worked on it for the past 4-5 hours. I'm reallllllly getting nervous on how to accomplish this whole bag in two 2-1/2 hour sessions. It's not that it's a hard bag; it's just a time consuming bag.

But, it's done and I'll force you all to look at the pictures! For the most part I'm making this exact same bag for Maureen for Christmas. Ok, late Christmas. I have the cover done and then I can start working on the rest; I cut out the balance of the pieces as I made my class sample. I'm hoping I can have it done for Tuesday when I see her for Batik Club and Pie.

Daisy Miranda - Front & Cinched Daisy Miranda - Back & Cinched
Daisy Miranda Inside - CinchedDaisy Miranda Open

Daisy Miranda FrontDaisy Miranda - Back

I must really be losing it because I just had the urge to turn on a CD that I haven't listened to in forever but when I listen to it, it's OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER. Yeah, it's the soundtrack for a cartoon....the Point! by Harry Nilsson. I doubt anyone has seen it besides My mom, dad and I. My dad forced us to watch it years ago when we got our first VCR. The man just about crawled out of his skin when he saw the video store had it. Honestly, he must have been on something when he saw it for the first time. It's seriously about a group of characters that have points on their heads because "everything has a point." But the songs are catchy so here I am listening and singing along. Oh shit, now that I googled it to put an image here, the Wikipedia thing actually says the writer was on Acid. Wow, that reallllly explains a lot. MOM, WHY DID THE TWO OF YOU THINK THIS WAS GOOD VIEWING FOR A KID????? No wonder I'm so frigging warped. At least I can say the only thing I've ever smoked is a few cigars in memory of Grandpa.

Yeah, I'm getting punchy. Did I mention I need to be up by like 7:30 to go to Block of the Month? I seriously bet I'll need a nap tomorrow afternoon. it's 3AM and I'm still HYPER AND WIDE AWAKE. I also just realized that I didn't finish binding those other 5 Project Linus Quilts. Carp!! (Yes, I said Carp~that's for you Diane! I hope you feel better soon!!) I leave you with this adorable picture:


It's so tough to be a Holly you know.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Random Acts of Kindness - It's the little things

Two and a half years ago I developed a blood clot in my arm after a trip to the ER when I had a horrific migraine; they screwed up putting in my IV. I ended up having to be on blood thinners and had to have my blood tested during that 6 month period anywhere from 1-3 times a week. I'm not good at being stuck with needles, I used to pass out. That is until Rochelle started drawing my blood. She put me at ease. We developed quite the rapport during those 6 months. For the longest time, it was easier to talk about her calling her my "Blood Sucker" or "Vampiress" because then Mike, my Mom and friends all knew who I was talking about. Nearing the end I made her a pair of earrings that I thought she'd love because I wanted her to know she made a difference in my crappy situation. Whenever I go back for lab work, I request her.

Mike just went in to get some lab work done. We had never been in there together but she knew my husband's name was Mike. Sure enough, she put two and two together and made the connection that this was my husband. She just sent him home with a bag of "treats" for me. How fun is that?

I know, you're all thinking what kind of treats could the Vampiress possibly send? Well, I sort of got hooked on those Grandma's Oatmeal Raisin I'm pretty sure that's what will be in my little goodie bag!! When they were running low she'd even stash some to the side for me.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Did you know yesterday was National Pie Day and we missed it? Julie heard about it on her way home from the shop last night and emailed me about it. Pie...we always do Patched Works and Pie, that's just the way it works.

Mom, Maureen, Sherry...I just don't know how I'll go on in life having missed Pie day. We better get to have some on the 29th. We can have a fork "toast" and sigh in utter happiness while eating our pie.

Anyone find it ironic that there's a CAKE store next to the Patched Works and we go somewhere else for PIE??


An email exchange between Mike and his buddy Barry...

From: Mike
Sent: Wednesday, January 23, 2008
To: Barry
Subject: Lucy Is on her last leg.

The clutch is shot, there is an electrical short from the hood flying up
yesterday that now makes her undriveable at night. This very well could be
the last week of Lucy…..If I take her to Al’s to rest, I am sure you would want
to come along…. Mike

From: Barry
Sent: Wednesday, January 23, 2008
To: Mike
Subject: RE: Lucy


I actually started tearing up when I read this. Please wait for me to get back from Hong Kong before you decide to do anything. This sucks!!! We had some good times with that truck!


Honestly? Would we have this same type of conversation over a Sewing Machine???? Again, I'm laughing picturing these two driving off into the sunset in Lucy, "Thelma and Louise style." (cue's Sanford and Son theme song)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

There's been an adoption....

There's a new leading lady in Mike's life. "She" doesn't have a name yet but at least the theme to Sanford and Son is now out of my head.

We went to see Pat McInerney at Boucher Chevrolet in Waukesha. We've bought a few cars from him in the past; Mike's in 1995, my Mom and I each got our cars in 2000. Mike's Dad has bought quite a few cars from him plus many leases for the company he works at. It's just nice because it's no muss, no fuss, no wheeling and dealing. You go in, tell them what you're after, they send you on a test drive or two, run numbers a few different ways, you choose and you drive out with a truck.

Pat is of a rare breed of car salesmen. I think he's so successful because he's so up front; cut and dry. He remembers EVERYTHING about his buyers. Mike told him his truck was dead and he immediately said, "You bought that S-10 when you worked at Elliot's in '95." Ok, WHO remembers stuff like that just off the cuff?? It's not like we drove in with the S-10, we had my car. He asked how mine was running, he asked how my Mom's was running.

Now, when my Mom bought hers, it was just her and I at the dealership one night. He met me only a month before but he knew I was engaged to Mike, he knew Mike's family. At that point my Mom told him what she was thinking of buying. He pulled some keys, and we drove off the lot for an extended test drive that lasted 3-4 days. Besides taking her name, didn't take a copy of her license or anything. That just doesn't happen in this day and age!!

So we go to test drive trucks. First we're in a Silverado that we both agree is out of our budget so we take it for a short spin as to not get too attached. Then we take out a Colorado. Sigh, comparably...the Colorado was just a truck. But, Mike agreed that it was more in our budget and he'd live with the Colorado. We go inside to run numbers and it turns out there were more cash back bonus' and dealer incentives on the Silverado and it became CHEAPER than the Colorado. Now, watching my husband out of the corner of my eye he's becoming more and more giddy as Pat's running numbers. Giddy like a school girl, giddy. I mention that I'm too short to get into said truck and the numbers are re-run with running boards. LOL, I'm TOO SHORT!! This sucker is TALL. On the test drive I put one leg up, one hand on the "oh shit bar," throw my other arm over to Mike and he pulled me in.

We go to fill out our paper work and of course the form has things on it like: How long have you been at your current employer, how long have you lived at your residence, income, how much in housing expenses per month? We had more trouble trying to come up with these numbers. We were laughing so hard. Mike's out with his calculator on his cell phone, I'm writing. We couldn't even decide how long we've been married. It all seems to revolve around Holly. She's how old? Ok, we've lived in the apartment for 6 months when we got her. So that would be? Employment...huh...I started there 6 months before we were married. So that would be? Mike's like, we were married in 1999. I'm like, no we were married in 2001. The consensus...we've been married too long. Can't exactly write "too long" down for how long I've been at my current employer now can I? Income...well, what do you make per hour...I dunno. Came up with an "ish" and multiplied. Heck, I just know what's on my pay check and that's after taxes and health insurance because that in our world is the important number. Housing expenses...that was a laugh too. I write out 12 checks each time we sign our lease. I enter them and all their dates into Quicken and we just grab a check at the beginning of each month and drop it off. I'm not the dropper off...I don't know. Another "ish." Employer phone number. Huh, honestly a head scratcher. I know my direct line, I rattle off our 800 numbers a hundred times per day but our regular number...I couldn't get past the area code and three digit exchange. Yeah, ended up writing down the 800 number and calling it good. Honestly, anywhere we go, Mike and I become a comedy act.

The dealerships have to run a "terrorist report" to make sure you're not a terrorist. All I wanted to know was what do they do when you come up as a terrorist? Their answer? We can't sell you a car. Ok, I GET THAT. I want to know, how you come back and tell said terrorist that you can't sell them a car without endangering your life?? Mike decides that they're going to walk into a J.D. Byrider not a Chevy Dealership. Ok, that works for me.

The ink is dry, the financial statements signed and we're waiting for them to put the plates on. I'm watching Mike and he's about to crawl out of his skin. Mike's comment, "Oh my God, I just went from a little boy truck to a MAN truck." Giddy laughter ensues.

So Lucy, let's not forget about Lucy. Mike decided the trade in just wasn't going to be worth very much so we'd take the tax deduction instead and donate her somewhere. She's currently in my Mom's extra parking space looking decrepit, old and well...small.

Had it not been -8 over night, I almost think Mike would have wanted to spend the night in his new truck. As we went in, he turned around and just stared at his new Dark Blue Metallic Silverado for a few moments, pinching himself to make sure she was real.

Sigh, a boy and his truck. Er, uh, Man and his truck.....

Lucy Part 2

Co-worker this morning: You're here, you mustn't have killed him.
J:Nah, he's bummed enough.

Fast forward. I get an email from Mike with info about a truck. Huh, thought we were waiting until April. But, this truck is sooooo NOT safe so really yeah ok, time for a new truck. Email back my questions. Mention that he should just call our dealer guy to see what he can offer. We do have a GM card that we've been accumulating GM dollars on.

I call Mike...
J:Soooo, would a dealer even take it on a trade in or do we have to dispose of it ourselves.
M:I think we'd have to take it to a Junk Yard.
(I dissolve into fits of laughter)
M:It's not funny you know.
(Still Laughing)
J:Yes, it so is.

Time passes, emails are exchanged. Dealer says to come in tonight and to bring the truck, that they'll give him something for it.
J:You have no tail lights.
M:No, we'll just go in your car.
J:We could take both, I could drive behind you and be your tail lights.
M:No, we'll just go in your car.
J:You know that light bulb you just got me with the batteries? (The closet type) Why don't we get another one and two red bulbs...instant tail lights.
(I dissolve into fits of laughter and can't stop...Sanford and Son's theme song playing in my head)
M:Barry's going to be devastated.
J:WHAT? Why?
(dissolve into MORE laughter)
M:You're NOT FUNNY. I really don't like you right now.
J:But it is funny, it's not like you're putting down a dog, it's just a truck.
M:I've had that truck longer than I've been with you.
J:I suppose, it's like if my sewing machine died.
Mike: No, it's not like that at all.
J:It's dead. It's funny.

Co-worker:Did you see the picture I sent Mike?
J:Yes, that is too funny. (Picture of truck that looks like it's from the Beverly Hillbillies with R.I.P. on top.)

Mike's comeback:T0o much time on your hands today?

Yeah, I'm just not sure why he's not thinking this is funny. I thought my tail light idea was pretty ingenious. Needless to say we're going car shopping tonight.

Stay tuned to find out what Lucy's fate will be.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Pooooooooooor Lucy

So I'm sitting at work and around 4:15 the phone rings and on caller id Mike's number pops up. I'm figuring Mike wants to know what I want for dinner and that's just not how the conversation went...

Mike:(Sounding frantic)I went to put brake fluid in the clutch.
Jen:What? Brake fluid in the clutch?
M:I didn't have any so I ran into work to see if anyone else had any. The hood came off the truck.
J: Huh? What part of the car are you talking about? Hood, brake, clutch?
M:I was driving on Moorland and the hood flew up.
J:Why are you putting brake fluid in the clutch?
M:It takes brake fluid. (Growing ever so impatient)
J:(what he's saying is sinking in) What do you mean the hood flew up?
M:When I ran into work I put the hood down so the lock wouldn't catch for when I came back out to put the brake fluid in. No one had any, I drove away.
J:I still don't understand why you're putting brake fluid in the clutch.
M:The clutch was soft.
J:But it's brake fluid... (Why he didn't start yelling at me I don't know)
J:Are you ok?
J: What do you mean off? Off Off?? Can you get it back on?
M:Yeah but it ripped off, hardware and everything, only on by a little bit.
M:I'm going to try to make it home.

Shaking my head...I know where this is going. It's a 1995 with a bazillion miles on it and an original clutch; etc. Thinking $hit, we haven't even gotten our W2's to get our taxes done yet to know what we're getting back.

Hop onto Chevy's website because Hubby is a Devout Chevy Man. Choke at the prices I see and wonder where the heck the inexpensive S-10's have gone. I mean, the Colorado STARTS at $17K and you know that's bottom of the barrel. Play with the payment calculator, freak out a bit. Drive home. Don't see dead truck on the side of the road anywhere. Walk in the house and say I've got to sign us up for AAA.

M:Why? What else can happen? Did you see the big dent?
J: Well I need it either way for when I drive to Ohio for Jill's retreat.
M:A new hood would probably cost about $100 at a junk yard, who knows how they'd put it on, a new clutch is about $1500.
J:Yeah, I've already gathered that you need a new truck. What happened to the S-10's?
M:It's the Colorado now.
J:Did you see the prices?!?!?
M:Well, I can bungie the hood down for now.
J:What are you going to attach it to? It's rusty.

So we discuss and decide he's going to try to limp along until April but if we need to do it now, we'll do it now.

Mike goes out to get us dinner at Hawg City. To get there he has to go through the Apartment Complex and all the speed bumps. I tell him to take my car.

M: Do you really trust me to drive your car?
J:Well it's better than you driving the truck.
M:But I need to know if I Can drive the truck and I'd rather test it at 20mph.

Comes back.

M:I have no tail lights, I have break lights, I don't have windshield wipers and I don't have dash lights.
J: (Severe Sarcasm)Well, we could get you a book light to clip onto the steering wheel...then you could see how fast you're going.
M:I'm so not liking you right now.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Talk about being productive

I LOVE the pretty snow that we're getting. It warmed up just enough not to hurt my lungs. It was falling ever so pretty. Snow is relaxing to watch. It's not great that it's so cold, but I'd take that to summer allergies any day! Brushing off my car was pretty funny...the snow flew off the car as if it was fake glittery snow. The roads weren't too bad. It only took me an additional 5 minutes to get home. I mean, it's snow, we live in Wisconsin. It's not like we're not going to have snow. Might as well enjoy looking at it.

I worked on my Sunflower Dresden Plate quilt. I still needed to do the rest of the quilting on the sunflower petals and centers. The quilting isn't what I had in my head, but I still really like the way it turned out. It looks really cool from the back. As soon as it was done I made my binding and got that put on.

Sunflower Dresden Plate Quilt

Sunflower Dresden Plate - Close up

Sunflower Dresden Plate Back

Next up, I put the binding on the cute little Valentine's Day wall hanging that I made. I know, this is probably the one thing I did let myself start but at least it's done and out of the way already. I spent next to no time on it. It's already hanging on the door.

Valentine's Day Wallhanging

Then I was trying to figure out how much binding I needed for the tree skirt. Math is NOT my strong point. In fact, I didn't understand fractions until I started quilting. I'd try, and try and try. I'd stay after school for help. My dad and I would sit at the kitchen table each night and I just didn't get it. Basics I can do...but Geometry...Advanced Algebra....not so much. The only way I got through Algebra II was pretty much cheating my way through. Yes Mom, $13 a day and I cheated at Algebra just to pass. So I say to Mike, "Do you think there's some kind of equation that if I know how far across a circle is, I can find out how much binding I need to go around it?" He starts rattling off something about Pie Squared (yes I know it's a little symbol but I'm not seeing that on my keyboard). I don't know, if you're not talking about Triple Berry Pie or Lemon Meringue, I'm just not interested in your Pie yadda yadda. Any who, he's all, "Don't you remember pie?"

Me: Isn't it 3.17 or something?
Mike: You've got two numbers right.
Me: 3.11?
Mike: Still two numbers right.
Me: 3.12345678910?
Mike: The first two and then Bret Farve's Number.

OK, YOU KNOW WHAT? MAKING FUN OF THE FACT THAT I DON'T GET MATH IS PRETTY PISSY. So fine, moving right along 3.14 squared, blah blah blah. More Blah's all to tell me it's 3.14 x the diameter. Sigh. Just tell me THAT instead of making me guess what pie is. In the end I was sooo frustrated and well, Mad. I don't think he quite gets how frustrated I get with Math and how quickly I get frustrated.

So now I decide I need 6 strips cut at a 45 degree angle. Yeah, made the mistake of folding it in half like I do to cut strips. I've got a strip that has 4 different angles to it. At least I figured out how to do geometric shapes!! Is there an easy way to cut this? And DON'T say the continuous tube method. I have no problem cutting and sewing together....I just can't make it work for some reason.

Somehow I think that project will be moved to the bottom of the list instead of being finished up!! Or, I'll just cheat and go buy biased tape!!

This ruler is Genius!!

~~~~Insert Teletype Sounds Here~~~~

I just opened up the Checker Newsletter and they had a posting about this ruler by Creative Grids. It's genius!! It's a 5 inch ruler with markings at 5 inch increments. Perfect for cutting your stash into 2-1/2 inch Jelly Roll strips or Charm Squares. Ok, THIS I could possibly do. That's sayin' something since we all know I'm ready to toss my scraps to the curb.

Sure, I could just use my regular rulers and do this task but I got to say the not thinking part is pretty appealing. If you read Checker's post it talks about having a stash cutting THAT could be fun. They also talk about organizing your that got me thinking...cutting different colorways with friends so that everyone could start with their own color theme for a quilt.

Or, someone could just come out with a 5" square so that after I cut my 5" strips the charm square cutting becomes a non-thinkier. Charm Squares...that's something I can manage. With all the charm patterns out these days! Ohhhhh. Or even those awesome Criss Cross Coasters!

Sooo...I hope one of my local haunts decides to carry these because I've gotta have one!!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Herky Jerky

I just gave a whole new meaning to the technique of Herky Jerky quilting and that is so NOT the technique I was trying to accomplish!

I stippled the whole dresden plate quilt and then I decided I'd roll the quilt back so I could free motion in the petals and the centers. LOL. OMG, I'm NOT good at the whole fine detail type quilting! I don't think I'll ever be able to follow a quilting pattern, that is FOR SURE.




Don't get me wrong, it looks good enough for a first shot at it. It's a quilt for me, not anyone else. I'll just imagine petals waving in the breeze. Or, like my Mom always says, "You wouldn't see it if it was on the back of a galloping horse." Gosh, it's too bad I live in the city!!

I have 4 more rows of Dresden Plates to do, so hopefully tomorrow it will come off the frame and then I can bind that quilt and a few other things and I'll have a few more things I can mark off my list.

I made some great progress on Finishing it Up even though I didn't get to cross anything off.

  • My 2007 BOM quilt, I bought the backing. I just need to run a seam across half of it and get the black batting. Then it's ready to quilt. I have my thread all ready to go.
  • The Sunflower Dresden Plate quilt is in the home stretch with it's quilting. Then it will just need bindng put on.
  • The tree skirt just needs binding.

That's three more things that I should be able to cross off shortly. There's 10 days left; I bet there's quite a bit more I can accomplish. I'm itching to start something new.

So now I've quilted three things on my frame since Mike and I put the adjusting legs with leveling mounts on my frame. Even at the lowest setting it was about a 4-1/2" difference. It was nice to see things at a higher level, less bending of my neck. I think for the next quilt I will try one notch higher just to see what that's like.

Can I just say that I'm happy to see this weekend end? Between all the drama, some odd family stuff and the Packers Loss....I'm exhausted! Yes, I actually watched the game while I quilted. With the sound off so I wouldn't freak out the pooch. I think I missed every play where we scored except one.

The Big Tan Monster

I've just unleashed the big tan monster....the 30 Yard bolt of Hobbs 80/20 batting that I got from my Dad and Lynda for my birthday. I had hoped to keep it in its bag because it would stay dog hair free but...once it was out of the box I noticed how dirty and nasty the bag itself was.

Since my Mom, Dad & Lynda are all curious how many quilts I can get out of this bolt, I'm going to keep a list of how much I use for each project just to get an idea of how fast or how slowly I go through this bolt.

Tree Skirt

I finally got up the guts to quilt my tree skirt. I did end up floating the batting and top. It was much easier than I anticipated but I don't think it's a method quite for me! It definitely worked for the round tree skirt so I'll use it again when the time comes to make more skirts.

I just did my usual overall stipple. I didn't feel like digging through my batting pieces so I just used some low loft poly that I had on a roll. I got quite a few thread breaks before I was smart enough to put a little Sewers Aide on my needle. After that it was smooth sailing. (Let's not point out that it's not completely round...k?)

Tree Skirt - Quilted

Upclose of tree skirt quilting

Now of course I have to get over my fear of Bias Binding! I've not made any since my mom and I took a class on the Continuous Bias Binding a year and a half ago. That making it in a tube thing is so not for me. It doesn't help that I got the flu real bad the next day so I'm sure that was why my attention span was shot. I think I'm just going to cut it on the 45 (it is the 45 degree mark that you use right?) and then sew my strips together.

But first...I'm going to put my sunflower dresden plate quilt on the frame. I've been putting this one off for a year and a half just because I didn't feel that my quilting was going to be good enough for it. Now, I'm ready to stipple it. Just need to go clean out my machine, wind a few bobbins, load it on and I'll be ready to roll.

Sunflower Dresden Plate

Baby it's Cooooooold Out Side

Wooooowwww, it's 4 degrees with 10 to 15 mph winds. It sounds like the winds are much stronger than that though because I just heard our screen door whip open. I checked online and they say we have -20 to -30 degree windchill.

I took Holly out last night and was out there for maybe 2 minutes breathing through my glove and the fleece on my jacket. When I came in my lungs were just burning. Of course my Asthma flared up and now I'm coughing like a banchee. I'll be staying indoors today playing in my sewing room.

The fabric that spoke to me that a few of you have fallen in love with is called Kashmir II by Sentimental Studios and Moda.

Flowers for Kashmier

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Our own Little Shop Hop

Despite the cold today was an awesome day. My Mom, Maureen and I started at the Olive Garden for lunch. Good old Soup, Salad & Bread Sticks. YUM!!

We headed over to the Quilted Basket; a store I'd never been to. It was a nice store; but not at all what I expected after hearing about it all these years. Since none of us were after anything our big purchases were brushes for our machines. We each got a combo brush on one side, bottle brush type gizmo on the other side.

Fancy Schmantzy Lint Brush

Stopped at Bigsby's because they were having a sale. I picked up two pieces of fabric that I saw the last time I was in there. They match my Pansy fabric. The funny thing is that I printed out a picture of that fabric so that I could take it along with me today. I had everything BUT that piece of paper so I had to wing it. It should work though because I believe it's from the same family as the other fabrics that I purchased last year. So the two purple pieces are what I purchased today to go with the fabrics below it.

Purple for Pansy

Blues, Greens & Purple to go with the Pansy fabric I've had for a few months.

Hightailed it over to Patched Works to see Julie. I had a pattern and a bundle of fabric "speak" to me. Of course Maureen and my Mom making fun of me didn't help things and it ended up coming home with me along with my black backing fabric for my 2nd Friday BOM quilt and the white on white that I'm going to use for my Ocean Waves quilt.

White on White for Ocean Waves

Flowers for Kashmier

We were onward ever onward to Bits & Pieces. I bought a cute Valentines Day panel that I quilted for my door. It just needs binding and it's all set. I couldn't resist picking up a red fabric that I just fell in love with (Gale, that one is your fault!!) and a brown piece from the Flirtations line that I'd like to work into a Miranda.



Valentine door hanging

Last quilty stop was Jo-Ann's. Mike finally agreed that I could make a pair of fleece pants for him. I picked up some Packers fleece and I'll get those sewn up tomorrow mornng.


Oh yeah, my Mom coerced me into taking her Grocery shopping. Luckily it was quick and painless.