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

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

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

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

The struggle is real

I managed to finish something. It is just a baby quilt. My friend Lynn gave me this fabric. It was simple and easy to put together. I quilted this on my domestic, since I am not really able to use my longarm at the moment. I am out of practice, but it is a simple meandering so no big deal. I used a holiday blanket I got for the back. It is super soft, which I love. I did not have a need for this quilt when I made it, so I will just set it aside for the right moment.

The Struggle – So, my most recent visit to the doctor was not a pleasant one. I was told not to expect much more that what I already have. Be grateful I am walking. Most people with your spinal injury never walk again. Ugh. Took that to heart. I am no where near where I was less than a year ago. I can walk about 500 ft. before my legs want to give out. I can stand a few minutes before I need to sit down. I am still attending physical therapy and they claim that my strength has gotten better. I have zero stamina.

This affects my life in every way imaginable. I cant do things with the family that I would like to do. I can’t do the things I would like to do. I do manage to sew, but stick to small pieces because they are easier to manage. Not as heavy to try to push through a domestic machine and well, the long arm…that involves standing and some strength. I waited years to have one. Have not had it long, but cannot currently use it. It is heart breaking to me.

Let’s not mention that I have had continual ear infections, all kinds of stomach problems, and a racing heart since I have had this surgery. Of course, nothing is related to the surgery itself, so they say. Test after test after test, which tells us nothing.

So, my mental happy place is my sewing room. I do force myself to go in there. I do try and work on things. It is not the way it used to be. I am hoping this is not my new normal, but I just don’t know.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

My Quilting Godmother

I hope everyone has a Quilting Godmother. Let me tell you about mine. She is the most wonderful thoughtful person. She sends me so many things. The picture above is only a small portion of what she recently sent me. There were two large boxes stuffed to the gills. I separated the fat quarters into groups and made my own fat quarter packs. There is also a bunch of solids which I already have a project for. There was also a Thanksgiving panel, that I will make for my front door,

What do I love best about my Quilting Godmother?

She is truly a great friend. All the wonderful things aside, I am so happy and grateful to have a friend that passes no judgement on anything. We have great conversations about politics, life. She has been an awesome shoulder to lean on when I needed one. Then there is the fact that she is an awesome quilter. Please visit this wonderful lady’s blog. I have met some awesome people that are quilters!

An Interesting Photo

My cousin sent me this photo few weeks ago. The woman in the front is my grandmother. She has been gone for about 40 years. The man in the back left was my grandfather. I never got the chance to meet him. After my mother came to the US with my Dad, her and my grandmother took turns visiting each other. The first time that my grandfather visited my mother in the US, he died, at our house. I think he came and saw that his daughter was living a good life and that meant he could go. At least that is what I would like to think. The lady in the middle at the back is actually my mother. To her right is her cousin and then my Uncle. Sad, but all of these people are gone. I would guess my mother was 19 or 20, but just a guess. I love these old photo’s.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

I love my Quilting God Mother

A Quilt Challenge and a very sad sad loss

So, lately, I have been a  big whiner about the fabrics in some charity quilts I was making.  However, once they were put together they were not nearly as bad as I thought. On the other hand,  the plaid fabric challenge is killing me. This is a guild sponsored challenge.   Everyone who wanted to participate in the challenge had to bring in 1 yard of plaid fabric and 5 or 10 dollars (can’t remember).  The top three winners will divide the money, everyone gets to vote for their favorites.

You have to use some of every single fabric in your quilt.   That is the only rule.  It can be any size or a runner.  I see only one fabric repeated.  But, holy cow, when you put them together they are a scary bunch of fabrics.  The one-yard was divided up between everyone who was participating.  The result was about a 6×8 inch piece of some of the ugliest fabrics.  It may take a miracle.

I have somewhat of a potential idea of something, but I am scared that I will hate it and then not want to work on it.  thoughts anyone?

I want a do-over on 2020.  Besides the stuff happening in our society.  The saddest thing I can ever recall happened.  My daughter’s best friend called on Thursday afternoon, hysterically screaming.  Once we got her to speak so we could understand, she told us that he just found her little brother hanging in the woods behind her house.  I told her to call 911 and we were on our way.  We flew there.  Beat all the EMS and police.  Haley was checking the house and I took off to the back of the woods.

There I saw beautiful sweet Savannah and her little brother holding up their other brother.  The sheriff drove to the back near the woods, flew out of the car and I pointed to them.  He ran up with his knife and cut him down.  Paramedics arrived and carried him out of the woods and began trying to revive him.  I asked my daughter to please not look.  She says she did not.  We hugged Savannah and her brother as hard as we could, while they worked to revive him.  No one knows how long he had been there.  We got to the house in less than 10 minutes, which is still too long.

They did get his heart started and flew him to Children’s, but he died a few hours later.  My heart is broken for this family.  I love sweet Savannah.  No note, so outward signs, and a 14-year-old boy is gone.  It is unimaginable.

I can not get the picture of Savannah and her little brother holding Gaven up out of my mind.  It won’t leave me.  It is a heartbreaking image that wakes me up multiple times at night.

Please, please hug your children, no one knows what tomorrow brings.

Say a prayer for the family.

Some Important Lessons learned

Hello Fellow Quilters!

Lesson #1 – I hated these fabrics when thy were given to me to make a donation quilt.  I hate them a little lesson now that it is together.  It looked better on the design wall than it did in the picture.  I think this would look better with some different fabric.  I may try it with some of my own at some point. Lesson is,don’t always judge fabrics so harshly, sometimes they will surprise you.

Lesson #2 – If you don’t have a carbon monoxide detector, get one.  We all could have lost 20200531_200223our lives.  Our ancient (20+ years) carbon monoxide detector, went off and would not stop.  Initilly we thought it was nothing, but something said call the fire department and have it checked.  It goes off when the kids unplug it or bump it and it beeps to let you know that it is on battery power.   Well, when the firre department came, they opened the door and shut it immediatly.  They said that they could not go in without oxygen.  They suited up and returned to tell us that they had never seen carbon monoxide this high in any house.  They set up some fans and got us some things we needed out of the houser and we were off to spend the night at the neighbors.  The next day it turned out that the exhaust pipe from our water heater became disconnected and all the Carbon monoxide was going directly into the house.  We had it repaired and the fire department came back did a recheck and we could return home.  Please, if you have propane or natural gas anywhere in yur home, pleaase get one.  If yours is old, please replace it.  It saved us.  We would have all been dead in less than 30 minutes.  Lucky for us it was a nice day and we had been outside, so we had only been in the house for about 10 minutes.  Phew.  I was bit freaked out about the whole thing.  Yikes.

Happy Sewing

Happy Quilting

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