And Just like that…it’s nearly Christmas

Good thing I finished those placemats.

They came out OK. It does make my dining room look festive. My Santa chair covers also help. The stuffed dogs? Well, Raising Cains chickens sells them every year. I recently got 2 new ones (Charlie Brown and Snoopy). Proceeds go to help dogs. My daughter thought they needed to be in the photo. They are always yellow labs in a costume. Super-Cute.

The placemats came out ok. After I made a couple, I was unhappy with my thread choice. It was a pretty red/green twist. It just looks dark to me. Fortunately, my lines are pretty straight so it does not look that bad. I wish I had used thread that matched the background fabric. Next time.

So, I sent my Plaid Challenge Quilt to my brother-in-law. He had a rough year, so I thought it might make him happy and he does have to live with my sister. LOL. They sent me this picture last night of it over thier love seat.

I do love it when I see one of my quilts in use or displayed.

Everyone at my house is not feeling well. Not horrible illness, just enough to annoy you. Makes it difficult to get things done for the holidays. We have been avoiding everyone because it certainly could be the “Rona”. My daughter and I lost smell and taste. I am about 10 days in so on the back side. It just felt like a crappy head cold.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

Merry Christmas

Happy New Year

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner…..

Last night my quilt guild, The Marysville Crazy Quilters had their Holiday party. It was also judging for “The Plaid Challenge”.

Great fun and food was had by all!

I placed third in the plaid challenge.

I won $25.00. WooHoo!

How will I spend my riches? I think that I will buy a Creative Grids Ruler with it. I only have 2 and find them very useful. That way I can look at that ruler and remember why I have it. LOL. I am such a dork.

I really do enjoy a creative challenge. Here is some really ugly fabric that does not go together. Go make something with it.

The rules were that you had to have some of every fabric in your quilt. It could be any size of a quilted item.

So, from left to right in the photo the quilts were numbered. I am number 7 (Carpenter star). Number 5 won 1st (looks like a planet in the middle) and #3 was Second (Tumbling blocks).

I think I do have plans to gift this quilt to someone. I know someone who could use a little happy and might appreciate it!

To me, it looks like a “dude” quilt. Not feminine at all. I need to wash it first. I once had a problem with black fabric that had been stored a long time and this was from my stash. I have no idea how old the black was. Better safe than sorry.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

OMG, it’s December?

Where does time go? While sometimes it seems to be crawling, and then it is December.

I finished something (s)

So, I made this quilt for my Aunt. She is the only relative I have left and I think she will be turning 95. It is scraps, but to me, it felt like all my past projects going into something for her. It went together quickly and looks not too bad. I quilted with my heart ruler and meandering swirls. I hope to get it to her soon. It seems unlikely before Christmas, but hopefully soon after. She lives in Michigan, so only about a 3-hour drive for me.

I put pink and white flowered minky on the back so it would be soft. While I like the softness of minky for some quilts, I don’t find it easy to work with and it is messy. I have done it on my domestic machine and it was super hard to move around. My shoulders hurt for days. So, this one I pout on the long arm. It came out OK, I just had to be super careful with stretching. It is also very difficult to see if your tension is correct with Minky on the back. Now that it is complete, I think the tension could have been better, but it will have to do. I try to keep a notebook of all the things I learn along the way as well as how many bobbins are used and stitched. It helps me plan for the next quilt a little better.

So, I also finished all my Santa Chairs. I have a full set now. Makes me happy every time I look over at them.

Thank you to my daughter who always begrudgingly holds up my quilts for photos.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

Santa Chairs!

So many many moons ago, I bought Holiday chair covers. They were made out of very thin felt-like material. I used them nearly every year. Well, they are finally worn out, so I made a pattern and started making new ones. I chose fleece. I am hoping that will stop fingers from going through them every time a chair was moved. I actually saved/used the pom poms from the old ones. For some odd reason, they make me happy. Only problem I have is tht I did not but enough of the red fleece to make six, so hoping that I can match it fairly closely. I will be able to wash these if needed. The other could not be washed. They would have never made it through the washing machine.

If you can, I suggest trying this….

While I was at my mini-retreat, my Friend Lynn introduced me to these OLFA ENDURANCE blades. I am usually a skeptic, especially about blades. Wow, do these make a difference. She had one in her rotary cutter and when I used it, I was not even aware that I was cutting anything. There was no resistance and it was completely silent. The best thing for me or anyone with arthritis or anything in their hands. They can be pricey, but I have seen them on sale. Lynn had been using hers for a while and it was still as sharp as ever. My package is clearly empty because I bought one and it is wonderful!

Dog Beds for Hospets

There is a local group in my area called Hospets. They support Seniors with Pets. They help them with appointments etc so that they don’t have to choose between their pet and something else. I donated 5 dog beds to them to pass out as they see fit. I will continue to donate dog beds to them. They were very grateful. My daughter and I are also sponsoring a senior for the holidays. They submit wish lists for themselves and their pet and you help them out with items from their list. Our person is local to us and has a pet bird.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

A little bit of work….

So, I managed to get the quilt for my Aunt on the long arm. I am about 2/3rds finished. I have to do a bit and walk away and come back to it. Too much standing kills me. I am getting there. Before, I just could not do it. Now I can do some. I’ll take it. I am using my heart ruler and curly q’s. Initially when I started, It would not sew. Screwed around for an hour did some research and figured out I put my new needle in backwards. Duh.

Quilt Police – So, I saw this photo on Facebook and had a good laugh. I am super critical of myself, always. The quilt police would have a hay day with binding like that. Given the true purpose of this quilt, that should never matter. It was made to keep someone warm and I am sure it did a fabulous job at it.

I follow a lot of groups on Facebook and Instagram, mostly for the pictures of quilts. I am sometimes shocked and appalled at things people say to fellow quilters. “Never ever by fabric at JoAnne’s or Wal-Mart. It is horrible quality”. There are quilters out there that can not afford to buy $12-$15 per yard fabric. Our ancestors, including my grandmother, used old coats, clothes, and feed sacks. Quilts were very often made out of repurposed items.

I was once told that the Kona that JoAnn’s was not the same Kona sold at quilt shops. Honestly, not true. I have bought some at both. Each raveled equally as bad. They felt the same. I do not believe the thread count was different. So, yep I used my 60% off Coupon to buy a large piece of Kona at JoAnn’s over the weekend.

I have also purchased Michael Miller fabrics at Wal-Mart. You just have to look.

Someone is wearing a quilt – I did not watch the met gala, but did see photos of this person wearing a quilt. Thought it was amusing. Turns out that this quilt was actually made by someone’s mother. The photo on the right is of it on a bed at their home. It wound up at a thrift shop and was purchased by a designer to make this…..whatever it is called.

The designer did end up contacting the lady who’s mother made the quilt once it came to light. She just wanted everyone to know that her mother made the quilt that this gentleman wore (rapper I think…can’t remember his name).

So, you never know where a quilt that you make might end up! Who would have thought the red carpet……

Senior Moment – Literally. No, not me (although I have plenty). My daughter is a senior this year., Hard to believe. We had Senior Photo’s taken recently. I cried the night before so I would not do it during the photo shoot. Our Photographer took 350 Photos. Crazy. Pretty sure I had one pose when I was a Senior and that was it. I do like the one with the waterfall, but I have not seen them all yet. That looks like my girl the most.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

Seriously…September is over?

You have got to be kidding. September is over this week? Where is time going? I think there is a black hole and all my time is being sucked into it.

I did get some stuff done. The pictured quilt top I have made for my Aunt. I plan to go and visit her this year. She is 94 (I think). She was always one of my favorite people. She is the only living relative (among the aunts and uncles) that I have left. I remember all the trophies for golf she had in her living room as a kid. They also had a pool table and a bar downstairs where we would often play. She was the oldest of my grandparents children. My Dad was the “middle child” Maybe that is why he understood me so well. While this is a scrappy quilt, as I made it I remembered all the other quilts and projects these fabrics were a part of. I think I will put minky on the back so it is nice and soft for her.

I did get other things done. I bound a couple of of table toppers. I also finished up that binding last night on my “Plaid Challenge quilt” for a competition for my guild. I wont show it yet. The contest is the first week of December. Everyone that wanted to participate had to provide a yard of plaid fabric and $$$. I don’t remember how much money. The money will be divided between the top three quilts, I believe. Figuring out what to do with a bunch of weird plaid fabrics was challenging.

On the Neck Surgery recovery…. Still have issues. I may always have issues. Have managed to lose about 30 pounds. I’ll take it. I can walk over 1/2 mile, but some days I can’t do that at all. Need to figure out how to live with changes. Ugh.

Need to get my Aunt’s quilt pin basted.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

I swear, I really do make stuff….

I do not know why I am finding it so hard to write a blog post. I really do have the best intentions, but somehow it never gets done. I have made things….I did, I really did.

This quilt is the TRIAD Puzzle Quilt. What does that mean? Triad is my daughters school and their colors are red and black (she claimed this one early). “Puzzle”? When Nanette send me tis bunch of blocks. I had no instructions and just figured out how to put them together. Certainly not what it was intended to look like, but it works.

This was also the quilt that sat on my long arm for nearly a year as I recovered (sort of) from my neck surgery. It is an accomplishment that I finished it and got it off the long arm.

As you can see my daughter immediately put it to use. It has a lot of crazy quilting on it. Messages to her…..practice stuff etc… All that matters is that she loves it.

The Recovery

So, I am still recovering and feel like I may be doing it the rest of my life. I have taken my walks from the neighborhood to the walking path. The town that I live in has a very nice/beautiful walking/riding path. I ran out of mailboxes (and sidewalk) on my side of the street and did not like crossing the street. I am just too slow and it is a main road. So, I am not counting mailboxes any longer, but distance. Some days I can get to .64 miles. SO, just over 1/2 mile. Other days, I am lucky to walk 100 yards. I do not understand the rhyme or reason why some days I can do it and other days I feel so weak that I am holding on walking around my own house. To me this is the really frustrating part. I have gone for well over a week without being able to walk very far. When this happens I do try an increase my steps within the house, but sometimes even that is a stretch.

I have been spending time with my daughter. Last week she had her wisdom teeth out. If she knew I even had this photo she would be annoyed. It was last Wednesday. She is better but still can’t open up her mouth well. You would think I have silence, but I do not.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

Not sure what to think

It seems that I can manage small pieces fairly well. Of course, still not good enough for me. I just want things to go back the way there were about a year ago.

So, this is the second able runner that I made from a scrap pack from my local quilt shop. I bought it for $12.99 and I think I have 2 more table runners from the same pack. I think it was actually a manufacturers sample. Some of them had pinked edges and they were all a pretty standard odd size. Regardless, I like it. It is a little busy looking, but tolerable, I think.

I do like this pattern it is called Jumping Jack. Very simple and easy. I will have to wait to quilt this until I open my black batting. Hopefully soon. I have a quilt I need to get ready for the long arm that requires black batting. Currently, I find using my long arm, very stressful. Since I can’t quite do things the way I want to I become frustrated and don’t want to do it at all. I know, wrong attitude.

I also made this one. I have hung on to a yard of this blue fabric for forever. For some reason I found it beautiful and did not want to use it. Finally did. It was super easy to do and great for using only two colors.

Gluten Sensitivity?

I am learning things every day. At some point I became sensitive to gluten (or so I thought). If I ate it, My heart rate increased to about 130+ for an hour or longer. This made me totally feel like crap. I was not overly thrilled with gluten free bread. It had a weird feel (gritty or something) in my mouth. So, I was unhappy. I constantly wondered why food would be taken from a fat girl. First you take my ability to do a whole lot of anything and then take food away form a fat girl? Come on. If things were not crappy enough. At first we thought it was sugar that was causing the problem. It would be much easier for me to avoid sugar. But no, it was everything I loved.

What I found out after some research was that it may not be gluten, but modern day wheat. So, I researched and found that many people with gluten sensitivity can eat heritage wheat. Heritage wheat? Wheat that was grown a long time ago. Not hybrid to yield more or sprayed with chemicals. I found a company that grows and mills this type of wheat. Sunrise Flour Mill makes just this wheat. I bought a bag. Super expensive $20 plus shipping for 5lbs. I made a loaf of bread and just like magic, I could eat it without the increased heart rate. It was like magic to me. I sat at the table eating bread, dipping it in olive oil in true fat girl style (I can laugh at myself). I have since ordered more and it gets less expensive if you buy bigger bags. his past Friday, we made pizza crust and our own homemade pizzas. It was delicious.

My mother was from Germany. These are one of our favorite things. We called them pretzel blobs, mostly because I think it annoyed my mother. They were (past tense) delicious.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

Another one on point

Now I have something else to complain about. I don’t like to bind pieces that are not square or rectangular. I just don’t know how to do it right. Yep, always something to complain about.

I think I got the on point part straight and did not put exact pieces next to each other. But, I realized that I did not really know how to bind things that were not square or rectangular. I was not sure how to deal with the angled corners. I did it, and it lays flat, but I don’t really like how they look. Always something to complain about.

I did straight line quilting. At this point I have learned that you pick an angle that does not correspond with any seams. That way if you are a little off, no one will see it.

Personal Progress

So, I am really not getting very far. I had an entire week where I felt to weak to walk. Ugh. I finally figured out that I need to walk in the morning. That is the only real shot I have at doing it. I feel like when I wake up in the morning, I have gas i n the tank, however that gas runs out quickly. When it is out I am done for the day. I have zero strength and can not walk far. I even struggle inside my own house.

I have managed to get to the 7th house though. I am not happy about it. It is oddly painful to walk. My neck, shoulders and arms hurt a lot. I have been going on my walks by myself. That way no one but me hears the lovely words that come out of my mouth as I walk. Once I get to that 8th mailbox I will then need to cross the street because the sidewalk ends.

What Else?

We have been going on college visits with my daughter. Two down and one to go. I go to the information session and then Kevin goes on the walking tour with her. Makes me sad that I can not, but glad that he does it. I have a hard time imagining her going off to school and leaving me. But as a “Smother Mother” I am sure she will be glad to get away. Well, I hope not. I have very fond memories of college, and I want that for her also.

My Moka

AKA Moka Monster

AKA Dork

AKA Dorkasaurus

AKA Mokachino

She is a very spoiled girl. She also has epilepsy. She looks forward to her medication every morning and night, since they are stuffed in treats. We refer to her as the “Master Puppy” because she sleeps with Mom and Dad in the master bedroom.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

Stupid is as stupid does…..(me)

Please laugh along with me.

So, I have never done anything on point.

I chose this pattern and used a charm pack that I had.

I dont know where I got this charm pack, but there were many of the same within. So, I thought to myself, I will just make sure that I don’t put them right next to each other.

I carefully assembled the rows. Never once did I think about looking at it as it would lay on the table. NOOOO, I looked at it on point.

Needless to say, you get this dumb looking table runner with lots of the same next to each other. OMG, Duh. Seriously, look at it on the diagonal. Perfect. Bahahahahaha.

Live and learn as the saying goes.

I did not mind doing something on point. just was in the wrong frame of mind when I did it.

I got it now.

And for your viewing pleasure. Our 8.9lb. security guard. Well, actually my daughter’s security guard, Ruger. He truly is larger than life.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting