Friday, January 30, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
This afternoon at 2 we had an appointment to go look at a house. We've talked about buying one off and on for a couple years but didn't think we had the credit or could afford to and we're happy with our apartment, so it never was a big deal. Last week a guy Tony works with now says to him that he bought a house and flipped it, and it just got put on the market. It's about a mile and a half closer to where Tony works (not a big deal, we're only 3). Tony looked at it when they got off work the other day, but wanted me to see it.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Today's block was an hour glass or a Quarter Square Triangle (QST) and flying geese are along the same lines, so I figure it counts.
I can sympathize with her though. I am having one of those days where breathing is almost too overwhelming. When I'm tense I clean but when I am depressed I just kind of shut down. I have had to force myself to do everything today, even speaking was an effort. I feel like SUCH a whiner and in my head a voice is telling me to suck it up and be glad I'm not an army wife. And I am, and thankful! My husband's job is fairly safe. But this third shift was already hard and this week they've been making him work 12 hour shifts, 6:30pm-6:30am. I am basically alone all the time with the kids and it's starting to wear on all of us. Again, I am such a whiner. And on the other hand, if they actually let him keep the overtime it will be such a blessing.
I have hand-selected all the fabrics for it, meaning I haven't left it up to fate and swaps. Typically I have bought fabric an FQ or 1/4yd cut at a time because though I want specific fabrics, I also want it scrappy. I'm using all shades of red for the darks and whites and creams for the lights. I've bought a bunch of "love" or heart fabrics but not specifically Valentine's ones. I even found a cream with wedding vows on it!!
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
I don't conform very well. I have authority issues. Right now my biggest issue is with these calender people. Today's block was a square with a goofy, and not in a good way, penguin. What the heck am I gonna do with an appliqued penguin? Have you ever SEEN a penguin in real life? They're disgusting. I need two more 12.5" purple and batik stars, so this is what I came up with--it's called Texas Star. The greeny batik might have been a little over the top but the recipient will like it.
I've decided to set all these blocks together and give the finished quilt as a gift to someone. I want to make flying geese to go as a border across the top and bottom to make the quilt rectangular instead of square. Hopefully I'll get that last block I need made tomorrow and maybe even start on my flying geese! Though I don't want to overload myself, my kitchen still needs to be cleaned.
Monday, January 26, 2009
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Hopefully, Lord willing, I'll be back to my regular scheduled programming soon!
Friday, January 23, 2009
I got a pic of my Sheep on Safari quilt, with it's purple and black pieced backing. And Mom helped me take a picture of the arm of my shrug! I love, love how it's turning out. I brought up another skien of red yarn incase I got inspired to knit on it some more. I also have a second slipper (the mate to the one I made the other day) in the works and with me, incase I get really inspired. However, I am tired and hurting all over and don't feel good and just want to veg. So I think I'm going to get out of the computer and sit here on the couch with Mom, sipping a mountain dew (by myself, Mom can get her own.) Have a good night everyone!
Thursday, January 22, 2009
I would love to have pictures to show y'all. I have lots to show pics of today. Alas, my camera batteries which have been threatening to die for about a week finally gave out tonight. Still, I've been able to take and post at least one pic every day this week so I won't complain.
I finished my Sheep on Safari miniature quilt. I posted about it last month, but todayI finally got it quilted and bound!
I also made my block for the day which was called the "Lovely Lola Block". It's basically a 4 patch set in a square with corners. That's clear as mud, eh? Having just finished all the S.P. books by Janet Evanovich I wished it was the lovely LULA block, LoL! I think I might have to design a few quilt blocks and make myself a Bumbling Bounty Hunter quilt. Hmm..must think on that and keep you posted.
I've also made progress on my lucsious red knit shrug. I have almost a whole sleeve finished, needing just a few more rows. It took one skien of my yarn, which is great as I still have 5 more. But, was it one of the 68yd skiens or the 111yd skien? LOL! Should'a labeled the suckers so I could keep track.
Hopefully I'll get some batteries tomorrow!
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Monday, January 19, 2009
I really, really liked doing the foundation piecing! It was a lot of fun! I had to stop about every 3 strips and iron it flat so I made sure not to get puckers or bumps but other than that it was sooo easy. I had started to try to make a chinese coins pattern before, jew sewing strips together and after the 3rd or 4th strip I was bored and fed up with it. I think if I foundation pieced one I could finally do it! It's weird, 'cause it's not much different than just sewing strips together. I do love chinese coins and would love to make one someday in a lap or baby quilt size.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Quilting is a lot like Christianity.
Okay, maybe that's a broad statement so please, let me explain.For example I am currently in a miniature quilt swap. This swap is also a challenge. The original challenge was to make a quilt representing your swap partner's favorite season. This year the host has raised the stakes: make a monochromatic quilt in your swap partner's color of choice, representing their favorite season. I got summer and green. Seems easy enough right? Nope, I am scared to death! I have been quilting for many years! I have helped teach quilting, participated in countless swaps and challenges but this one is way outside my comfort zone.
Today as I stand at my ironing board ironing little pieces, the first and easiest component of the larger image in my head I thought to myself, why did I take this on? The reason was simple, to learn and to grow in my craft. You never learn to do anything different or better if you never try something new and often times scary.
This train of thought led me to Christianity. Most times we are comfortable in our relationship with Christ, coasting through our lives and our Walk inside our comfort zone. When he Lord sends challenges our way, our first thought is nope, I'm not ready for that. We continue on our way missing out on an opportunity for growth because it's scary or makes us nervous. There's an old saying that the Will of God won't send you where the Will of God will not protect you. This is so true, even though from the middle of the situation it often looks like we're alone wih our troubles with no way out.
Imagine it like your child learning to walk. They stand holding onto the couch. They get a little more brave and begin to walk around, not letting go. Then you hold their hands and they walk around the room. Then finally you hold your hands out to them and make them take that first step on their own. It seems like there are a million miles between the couch they are holding onto and your outstretched hands but in reality it's only a couple baby steps. Once they are safely in your arms, it's not scary anymore.
It's the same way with the Lord, everything He asks us to do is a new beginning. A baby step.
It's the same with my quilting. Every once in a while I have to try something new. I have to take that first uncomfortable baby step. And the great thing is, if I mess up it's alright! It's not the end of the world, and I can try again! Puckers quilt out, slightly different sized blocks pin together. There is grace in the mistakes because I am willing to try something new.
And so it is with the Lord. His grace is sufficient for you, His mercy is new every day. That means EVERY day we get another chance to try again, to do better. We get grace and forgiveness for the mistakes we made yesterday if we ask.
In what way is the Lord asking you to grow this week? Is it to have faith to pay your tithe? Is it to be more patient with your kids? Is it to be understanding when your husband comes home from work and is grouchy? Or is it something bigger? Whatever it is, give it a try. Even if you mess it up, try again. His hands are inches away, waiting to catch you when you fall. And remember, in the overall scheme of things, the puckers quilt out.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
We went to church tonight so tomorrow I can take it easy and work on some sewing with no problem, hopefully. I have a bad headache tonight--partly due to the muscles in my back all being knotted up and partly because my hubby played at Mom's today, burning everything he could think up in a metal barrel so he stinks of burnt. He's off to the shower while I make the very gormet meal of lunch meat and potato chip sandwiches, then we're going to veg and watch Step Brothers. See you tomorrow!
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Today's block seriously was a 3" (pieced, not finished in a quilt!) square in a square. Petite. Boring. I made mine bigger. It's an odd size, 6 3/4" square, but I'm planning on using it in one of my quilted bags so it won't matter at all. I will just add strips or squares to it until it's the size I need for the side of the bag. I took a 5" charm of a beautiful charcoal handdyed and 2 4" charms of a red on black batik that Sarah sent me. Slice the 4" squares diagonally down the middle and there you have all the coponents to the block. Mom, in rivalry for my making a block yesterday, said she one-upped me by making hers a normal size and with the square in the middle being a nine patch. :-p Whatever. LoL!
I also gave in to temptation and began work on my luscious red knitted shrug. I got 5 whole rows knit. And I'm good for right now. Tomorrow I will work on that a little more, and cook a little more. Today I am enjoying being lazy and lying about the house in my pajamas. Gotta be comfy to watch the NEW EPISODE of BONES AND CSI--where Grissom leaves! Can you tell I'm excited?? Can you tell I'm kinda bummed? I admit, I cried when Sarah left. I'm not even an emotional person but I was pregnant and that makes it okay, LOL!!!
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Mom brought some wool to spin while we're "sitting" around (that is how we watch movies, always doing something) and when I suddenly remembered about my block for the day she said I was making her look bad. I told her she was spinning sock weight yarn and I'm making her look bad? LOL! I thumbed through a quilt magazine laying around, Quiltmaker's All Time Favorites, and picked a block at random. I settled on a Dutchman's Puzzle because all I needed was 2 7.5" squares and 8 4" squares. Easy, peasy. I went with the purple and batik theme again, though why I've settled on that I don't know. I love batiks but I'm not a big purple person. Again, the block IS SQUARE, I'm not sure what's up with the pic being wonky.
Jeremiah has been being such a good boy the last few days. Thankfully Tony can sleep though anything, so he doesn't have to be too quiet but he has been trying. Playing quietly with his sister. I got some knitting done today and a LOT of laundry washed and actually PUT UP, a rare accomplishment. We made a quick walmart run for diapers and then Tony and the kids had another nap while I finished a knitting project.
Today was much better for me, thanks to people like my friend Jenn who always has some kind of encouraging word or scripture, or simply an "I've been there, it gets better." Adjustment is always hard, especially when your routine of 3 years changes drastically but we are working on it! This weekend might be a toughy, Tony will be off and what sleeping pattern do we follow? LOL! We shall see! Hopefully he will get our bed frame done!! *Crossing fingers* I will try to get pics of it as it is so you all can see what he's come up with. It will be so great when it's finished, I can't believe what a good job he's done.
Well now my babies are fussing, Mom and Dad are still here and we're watching Talledega Nights now. Have a good night!!
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
So I finished the Bob quilt. Those of you who read the Janet Evanovich books about Stephanie Plum know what I mean. For those who don't, I'll explain. In the books Stephanie has this huge, stupid, furniture eating dog (it's supposed to be a golden retriever but is bigger) named Bob. She also has an orange and brown, 70s Partridge Family wreck of a bathroom. So when I laid out this orange, yellow and brown puppy quilt I was speechless. I called my Mom and said I made a horrid Bob quilt. She instantly knew what I meant. I've been working on it for a couple days but I finally got the chance tonight before Tony left for work to set the top together and add the final outter borders. I'll quilt it and it will be given to the lady I told you about who had the majorly preemie baby. Every baby should have a quilt. The quilt IS square, no matter how it looks!
I'm a little ashamed of myself. I have been doing better, much better, with my block a day than with reading my Bible every day. I don't know why that is always the first thing to go when I am stressed or when my time is being used in ways I don't intend it to be. When I spend time in the Word everyday I am less stressed, more patient and peaceful. I must make an effort to get some alone time with my Bible. I've talked about this before, and I did for about a week. Every day I managed about 20 minutes and it was great! Then Tony had 2 weeks ago and we ran everywhere and my good Bible habbits went out the window. I am not using him as an excuse, I have been a Christian for too many years now to "forget" so easily. I did manage to get about 4 minutes tonight and the scripture I ran across was perfect:
Seek the Lord and HIs strength; seek His face evermore!
Remember the marvelous works which He has done. Psalm 105:4-5a
Such a good scripture for me right now! We are only 3 days into Tony's new shift and already I am feeling like a single parent. I need a break so badly already. I am not resentful, I am so greatful that he still has a good job when so many don't. It just seems like though I am home all day, and up with the kids most of the day, I'm not getting much done. My time is basically spent trying to keep the kids quiet so he can sleep. I did manage to get the house cleaned up tonight too so at least it will look nice when he comes home from work tomorrow morning. I have the kids ready for bed but apparently neither are sleepy. Bedtime is late around here because for the whole of their lives Tony has gotten off at about 11 and doesn't want to get up super early. Hannah already fell asleep once but wakes every time I lay her down. Don't know what her deal is lately but I could just run away. LoL! So I am kind of having a hard time but I'm doing my best to put up a good front. I am venting here, I'm sorry, but I don't want to say these kinds of things to Tony because he is already feeling badly. He has been saying stuff like he's no use anymore except to go to work, how he's no help, etc. I knew this transition would be hard on him physically but he didn't think so, he figured he'd sleep a little bit when he got home and be good. I am trying to make things as easy for him as I can, and keep up the house the best I can so that he doesn't worry about stuff here on top of everything at work. If you get a minute, say a prayer for my hubby for strength and peace! I'm sure he can use it! : )
Tomorrow the block is the putrid tea cup block so I will come up with something else. I made another block last night that I can't share with you either, and might again tomorrow but I promise to come up with something you can see, LoL!
Monday, January 12, 2009
Today's block was a simple ol' nine-patch. I modified it too. I needed to make a couple 12.5" blocks for a healing quilt, and since a nine patch that size looks HUGE I added a border all around my nine patch with squares in the corners. Tony said it would make an ugly quilt, LOL! I told him it's a phenomenon lately with me and ugly-ish quilts (though they end up turning out fine). He said at least all the ones I make for us are pretty, haha! Then he said he was joking and it will look nice. All the blocks for the healing quilt are supposed to be light green, light blue and lavender. I went a little dark on the purple in the nine patch but I am so not a pastel person, I just can't help it!
We're still getting used to this 3rd shift thing. Eating and sleeping; it's what we do best. Hannah had a check up this morning, 9months. She weighs 19 1/2 pounds and is 29" long. Chubby little thing. She was in size 12 months at 6 months. Jeremiah did that and though he has stayed 90% on the growth chart he thinned out once he started walking, er, running. Hannah is already cruising around, walking holding on to everything. Everything goes in her mouth. She's a terror. She spent some time this evening beating on the fish tank and yelling at them. I think I might have to feed them and turn their light off early tonight, just to give them a break, LoL!
Des, signing off to go clean up the kitchen and make another quilt block! :-D
Sunday, January 11, 2009
So here are the pics and this is my block for today.
I've made a double 4 patch, but if you were making a whole quilt top out of these you would assemble lots of blocks into rows.
I haven't gotten a lot done today. I did finish my second sock this morning and I've been wearing them all day. I even napped in them which is a first for me because my feet get hot while I sleep so I can't sleep in socks--you know how comfortable they must be! I have some little differences I want to make on the next pair, but now that I've made them I know what I can change. Pretty good for not having a pattern!Tonight is my husband's first night on 3rd shift. It's strange, he is getting ready for work as I type. It was nice to all have a nap as a family though. We did that today so he could get some rest before having to be up all night. Nap time is my favorite time of day. No TV, no computer, no phone. Just me and my babies. We go lay in my bed, all snuggled up together and I sing them a couple lullabyes then we sleep for a little while. I don't know how much this is gonna change now that Tony will probably need a little nap in the afternoon too but I'm sure like today he will just pile in the bed with the rest of us, LoL!
Now that I've finished my other sock I began Tony's second slipper sock. Back at Christmas I ended up wtih 3 men's size XL camo slipper socks. 2, a pair, went to the gift exchange at his grandparents and the 3rd is lying around the house so I've decided to make it a mate, for my mate. Knitting with dk weight yarn after knitting with sock yarn feels SO weird! It's like knitting with yarn the size of drinking straws! I have a hat I need to finish from some bulky handspun and I can't imagine how strange that will feel.
That's all the news that is news. Off to bathe the baby! Sorry about the mess up on the size of the fabric squares.
Quilting is like any other art. There is no "right" or "wrong" way to do it. Start with something small, pot holders, lap quilt. Just like when a baby learns to crawl and drags itself around on it's elbows instead of running a marathon, a new quilter is better off with a small project they are likely to finish than attempting a queen sized quilt and getting discouraged 1/8th of the way though. Discouragement leads to dispair which leads to UFOs (UnFinished Objects).
While there are lots of helpful tools like rotary cutters, acrylic rules and self-healing cutting matts (I can't live without mine!), until you know whether you are going to continue quilting or not it's best to start with inexpensive equiptment. Cut a cereal box into squares for templates. DON'T go to a local quilt shop (LQS) and buy $11 a yard fabric! Though some quilters would disagree with me, it doesn't make sense to spend that much money on a first project. If you have a JoAnn Fabrics near you, right now they have FQs for .99 cents. Or use fabric you have lying around--just make sure it's 100% cotton and not too thin!
Just for the sake of this, I'm going to explain how to make a basica 4-patch block offset by "plain" squares.
Buy 2 FQs of a semi-solid print/color (stripes, spots, flowers just make sure it's a fairly small scale print so it doesn't clash with your bigger setting squares.)
Buy 2 FQs (Fat Quarters, a piece of fabric 18"x22" roughly) of a light or white.
Buy 2 FQs of a fabric that coordinates with your semi-solid but is a larger print (these are for your bigger setting squares)
When you get home, open and iron your FQs. You can prewash them if you want--if they are dark or bright colors they might bleed on your lights. Just toss them in a load of wash and iron them when they are dry.
Take your cereal box, dismantle and using a ruler draw a 3" square and a 5 1/2" square on the plain cardboard side of the box. Cut these out. These are now your templates.
Use the 3" square template to draw 3" squares on the WRONG side (the back) of the semi-solid and the light/white fabrics. Use the 5 1/2" square template to draw squares on the back/wrong side of the larger print.
Unlike sewing where you use a 3/4" seam allowance, for quilting you are going to use 1/4". Take a semi-solid square and a light/white square and lay them right sides together. Sew your 1/4" seam down one edge. Open and press the seam toward the darker fabric (helps hide seams). I will make a couple of these later and post pics of this process. Now repeat so you have two of these 2 patch units. Place them right sides together with the light of one touching the dark of the other and sew 1/4" seam down one long edge. Your piece will look like this:
You now have a 4 patch! Make up as many of these as you can with the rest of your 3" squares. You're then going to lay your quilt out alternating these with a plain 5" suqare. Sew the blocks together with your 1/4" seam allowance. Press.
TADA you have a quilt top!!
I'll explain pinning and quilting later, my daughter just learned how to take all our movies out of the shelves! I'll post pictures of this process later, because I learn better by seeing the steps as they happen and you might too!
Friday, January 9, 2009
Mostly yarn, some just weird. Take a peak!
Thursday, January 8, 2009
1. Started your own blog
And now my own: