A Quilting Reset

So, I had a conversation with “Special K” (significant other, life partner, manfriend, whatever you call him) about my general attitude. I just don’t feel myself. “I don’t even go in my sewing room anymore”, I said. His response, “Maybe that is the problem”. GENIUS!. Honestly have not found my balance since Kevin was in the hospital. I find myself spending more time with him, instead of going off by myself and doing my thing. Likely a mistake.

So, how does one reset? They go to a quilting retreat. Yep, our local guild is going on a retreat, organized by my partner in crime (Lynn) and I. Leaving this afternoon and coming back on Sunday. Hoping this put me back in the habit. I think it will.

So what have I done? Not much. I did make a few dog bandanas (picture). It was something quick and easy.

Snibble modeling on the left. Ruger modeling on the right. Two of my favorite Puppers!

So, we had an ice storm. The trees were beautiful. It actually stayed for a couple days. I am hoping the retreat helps me fix things. I threw a bunch of projects in a bag and off I go. Fingers crossed.

Maybe some crazy retreat photos to come!

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

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

What the Heck am I doing?

Good question. I sometimes wonder what I am doing. I quilted, on my domestic, my scrabble dog wall hanging. I needed something to do that would take me a bit of uninterupted time. Sometimes when I have a lot on my mind (or just anxiety in general), I want to work on something that requires my undivided attention. This has been basted and staring at me for quite a few weeks. I figured it would take me 1-1.5 hours after I got set up to complete the quilting. I was not far off the mark.

I did find, that since I don’t really quilt much on my domestic machine, except straight line, that I now suck at free motion quilting on it. It is possible that it is because iut requires strenght (shoulders, I think) that I don’t have and may never have. I used my dog boine ruler. Not sure why they are called rulers, they don’t actually measure anything. I did take a photo of one of the better-looking areas (LOL).

Anxiety, who me?

Haha. Crazy anxiety. That’s me. I am a worrier by nature., I think I got that from my mother. She was a worrier. So anxiety is just an added bonus.

What causes me to be insane? Well, last week on Wednesday, I woke up unable to walk. Awesome. The absolute most severe pain I have ever felt, everytime I put my right leg down. Words can not describe this pain. Thinking my post (artificail knee) had finally come loose after 25 years, I had my daughter drive me to the ER. Nope, knee not loose. Not much we can help you with, go to your ortho. Six weeks wait. Try someone local. Eww, not what I usually want to do, living outside the city. The local doctors in the rural world have always scared me. But, they agreed to see me that day. I was pleasantly surprised. Young Doc, who told me that my pain was likely coming from my hip (even though it did not hurt). Told me the answer was to shoot up the aggravated knee with medication and then come back on Friday and have the same thing done to my hip. It worked! However, now, I can add hip arthritits and all the goodies that come with that to my crappy resume. I also now keep crutches by the door of the bedroom in case it happens again. This is one of the many reasons I am half crazy. What lovely thing will I wake up with tomorrow? If this is getting old, I have a strong understanding of why people fight it.

Fun Coming!

Fun is needed. Going on a mini-retreat in Amish country in Ohio, with my quilting partner in crime Lynn and maybe one other person (hopefully Sharon comes because she seems like she would be fun). We are staying at a historic hotel. Not only is it a retreat center, but they have ghost hunts. LOL. It is has Victorian Era Decor and past presidents have stayed there (Grover Cleveland). Hotel Millersburg is in the heart of Ohio Amish Country (AKA lots of quilt shops). Photos to come….

So, I am collecting up my projects that I will work on and looking forward to the great escape.

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

and then there is more…..

This is the cutest darn thing…… but I think anything with dogs is cute. I am sure you know, I am a crazy dog lady. I love my puppies. My daughter and I were at the quilt store and I saw the “scrabble” panel. I bought it. These are all my dogs including the ones that are waiting for me over the rainbow bridge. The ones not here with me have a little gold halo over the first letter of their name. I frequently dream about my dogs not here. In my dreams we are sitting around the table talking. My Koko is apologizing to Clover for making fun of her for only having three legs. Darby is apologizing for knocking bread off the counter and eating it. They always tell me I am the best Mom.

Now I need to quilt and find a place to hang it.

I enjoyed the three day weekend. It was not long enough. I finished piecing another table runner. I made about a dozen pillow cases for the Guild’s charity.

I finally got my sourdough starter ready to make bread.

It tastes delicious. Came out as planned.

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