Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Unsuccessul Stash Shopping

I really wanted to shop my stash for a little quilt I need to make.  I braved the sewing closet and took out tub after tub trying to find just the right fabric.  Nothing worked, nothing gave me that "ah, that's it!" feeling.  So off to the fabric store I go.  It took a while for me to find the right combination of fabrics that pleased me but I finally found them. 

It's just for a very simple small quilt, alternating squares with a narrow and wide border.  The circles and confetti are the squares, followed by the green narrow border, dark blue wide border, and then the same green will the be binding.  The circles will also be the backing.  At least I can shop my batting and thread stash! 


Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service.  Please remember those who have given their lives for our freedoms.

Memorial Day weekend will now be another remembrance for our family...my husband's retirement from the Army.  His retirement ceremony was Thursday.  His parents and our son were able to be here which made it even more special.  It was a beautiful ceremony, a happy, yet bittersweet day.

Eight soldiers and one civilian had their ceremonies together.  Here is a picture of my husband, stepped up from the line, as his biography and list of accomplishments were read.

Standing while his award was read.

Our little family.

Thank you, Tony, for your years of dedicated service to our country! 


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Baby Girl Project

As most of you know from a past post, I was having a bit ( actually bunches) of trouble quilting a baby quilt.  Y'all gave me wonderful advice but I ended up putting it away due to taking my machine to the shop and the flooding possibility.  I decided that I don't think I like making baby quilts because I never get the quilt completed before the baby isn't much of a baby anymore.   The particular baby I was trying to make the quilt for was the first grandchild of a dear friend of mine and LaDonna's. I was apprehensive about making  her a quilt in the first place because her new aunt is a quilter.  She sends out all of her quilt tops to be professionally quilted.  I KNEW that I could not compare with that.  I have a big enough complex without setting myself  up with that! After I stewed for a while, I came up with the idea of an initial wall / door hanging.  This is what I came up with.......

  I mailed it to the new grandparents as they were getting their chance to spoil the new baby  this weekend.  The baby girl is  over 4 months old now. ( See what I mean!)  I hope that it makes it and everyone likes it.

All for now!!!


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Checking In

Well, I've caught up with  most of my emails and thought I'd take care of a bit of business before I shared photos....First of all, I know that I sent a thank you, Cathy, by way of snail mail but I wanted to show LaDonna the pictures.  Thank you so much for the little sewing  bag! I admired LaDonna's and would have been thrilled to get a copy of  the pattern but I so appreciate the fact that you made it for me!  It was so cheering to get such a "happy" in the mail.  Like LaDonna, I could not wait to fill it up and use it.  I think about you and your thoughtfulness every time I do handwork!


Now on to  the next....I don't know who Sunshine Serenade is, but she certainly brightened another day.  I received a pretty pink bubble envelope in the mail about a week or so ago.  It was post marked St. George, UT and the return address was Susie Sunshine,   #1 Flood Street,   Ray O'Sunshine,  America xoxox.  Well, I opened it up thinking it was from one of our wonderful followers.  After I saw it, I called LaDonna and asked her about the post mark and return address.  She looked and looked but decided that it wasn't from any of you (or was it?) and  I couldn't show LaDonna the picture because of my internet. So here it is..... 

This was on the back ,which was so cute by the way.

And this was the front.  Talk about a ray of sunshine coming into my flooded world!....

So whoever you are...thank you so much.  I loved it and it is a ray of sunshine!!


Monday, May 23, 2011

Ta-Da! I'm baaaack!!!

Wow, I've missed y'all!!  Talk about withdrawal!!!   It ended up being over two weeks without my outside communication (gasp)....and I really missed it.  However, I did get a few things accomplished in the sewing room. I hope to start showing them off ( yes I am actually pleased with them....can you believe that?!) in a couple of days.  Now we get to....have to.....go car shopping for my daughter now that we have the time and the insurance money.

Thanks to all of you for all of your good thoughts and prayers.  We made it fine with all of the water and now I have internet.  My daughter made it through finals and got an update on her grades...2 B's and 2 A's.  She has semester GPA of  3.5.  Whew, are we ever thankful of that!  She missed a communication from one of her instructors ( due to lack of internet) and got a very low grade in his class.  Thankfully he changed her grade after he got her response to his question.  We are so thankful for that!

I will eventually get though all of my emails....at some point.  I have enjoyed getting things accomplished in the sewing department lately so hopefully I can continue to do that, at least until my daughter starts her summer schedule. Until later then.....


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ready for Delivery!

Figgy Pudding is in the history books!  Well, that's an exaggeration (duh), but fun to say!  (I just picture pudding all over the pages!  I know, you don't have to say it...I can see you shaking your heads and groaning)  I finished the quilting yesterday, put the binding on last night, and labeled it today.  She'll pick it up Saturday. 

I normally try to avoid stripes on the back of my quilts, but I had no choice with this one.  This was what she could find with enough yardage for the back.  I must say, I am pleased with how it turned out.  When I baste the layers together, I normally start in the center and work my way out. But this one I started the basting from the side, lining it up and working my way across, checking all along the way to make sure it stayed straight. It turned out pretty darn straight.  I matched the stripes and design so you really can't see where the seam is, and I matched the hanging sleeve as well. 

My sewing machine is going to the shop Saturday.  First time I've cussed at my favorite machine!  Sews just fine, thankfully, so I was able to finish the quilt, but something's going on with the presser foot sensor.  We'll see what the repairman says because, naturally, on my quilt sample for him to sew on, it didn't do it.  Traitor.  Why do cars and sewing machines do that?!! 

Diana is still without internet!  She's been told maybe by tomorrow.  I sure do hope so! I miss seeing those babies!  And her, too, of course!


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Note to Self

When experiencing the shakes from a drop in blood sugar, do not quilt.  A whole new meaning to wobbly.


Monday, May 16, 2011

More on Figgy Pudding

It's been busy around here.  Friday, the backing fabric for the Figgy Pudding Quilt came in.  Eeek!  Stripes!  I don't particularly like stripes on the backing because if I'm off, it really shows!  But she had no choice for this one...it was the only fabric she could find from the line left in the right amount!  I matched the stripes and did my best to line up the top with the back.  And I must say, I'm not too far off!  Just a wee bit, but not enough to worry about!  (hey, that's progress for me!)  Got the quilt sandwich done Friday also.  I think of all the steps in making a quilt, I dislike that part the most. 

Saturday, I didn't do any sewing.  My husband and I spent the day together and went out for supper to celebrate his last day at the office!  I meant to take my camera but forgot.  I had a grilled portobello mushroom sandwich with sautéed spinach, cucumber and a roasted red pepper mayo on toasted sourdough and huge fries.  The sandwich, though messy (juices running all over my hands!), was absolutely delicious!  Tony had blackened fish tacos on corn tortillas with shredded cabbage, onions and cilantro topped with a green chile cream sauce and a nopalito salad.  His was delicious too!  And not messy because the only way to eat this fish taco is with a fork!  The nopalito salad was very good, crunchy, a little vinegary, extremely addictive!  Next time we go, though, I think we'll share a meal!  There was so much food!  But we each nearly cleaned our plates!  We dined outside on the picnic tables under the shade of the trees.  For once, it was a beautiful, not too hot day here in South Texas!

Sunday afternoon I did the stitch-in-the-ditch sewing of the courthouse blocks and started on the outlining of the trees.  Finished that today (Monday) and started the free motion part of the quilt. 
I gathered all kinds of things for marking my circles: a film canister, (really need to get that developed! I found it in a drawer; who knows how old it is!), a prescription bottle cap, a votive candle holder (I use both ends!), a lid of something I don't remember what, and a brie cheese container!  Got a good start on the free motion; this is the easy part!

 I've about reached my stopping point for today, going to chill on the couch with the puppies and Tony.  I plan on finishing the quilt this week.  Wish me luck!


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Revisiting Figgy Pudding

First of all, Diana and family are back home!  Everything is fine at their house, except no internet yet.  So though we can't Skype, the phone is working fine!

A couple of years ago, I made this sample for the shop:

(It's a bit wrinkly from being folded.) It is from the Basic Grey fabric line called Figgy Pudding. The pattern is a Moda pattern designed for the fabric. The Christmas trees are made using a folded technique which makes them 3 dimensional.

After cutting out all the blocks, a lot of scraps were left over. So I turned my scraps into a pieced back.

Around the trees, I quilted using one of the decorative stitches on my sewing machine that looks like a snowflake. I freemotioned continuous line snowflakes to fill the spaces between the trees and on the border. I stitched in the ditch for the Courthouse Blocks. The thread is a Sulky embroidery thread.

The dimensional Christmas tree is a fun technique to do, but it wastes a lot of fabric. I challenged myself to do something with the leftovers from the trees without cutting up the pieces. This is what I came up with. The binding is also from all the scraps from the quilt.

So why am I showing this to you now?  I have been commissioned to make the Figgy Pudding quilt.  She bought the kit a couple of years ago and started cutting it out, but due to life getting in the way (we can all relate to that!), she put it back in her sewing room.  She hasn't been able to get back to it and now the time for it to be done has come.  She's an excellent quilter, but has too much going on in her life right now to get it done in time for their family reunion on June 11th.  She had promised it for one of the raffle items.  I can't let her disappoint her family!  She had a few pieces cut out and labeled and Friday I cut out and labeled all the rest.

Saturday afternoon after we got back from the flea market, I made the courthouse blocks.

Sunday and Monday I made the little trees and trunks.

Also on Monday, I made the big trees and trunks and sewed the blocks together.

Today I sewed the blocks into their vertical rows and added the borders.  Since I've done it before, it went really fast.  It's done!

I don't have to piece the back for her quilt, so that will save some time.   The thread I ordered for quilting (Aurifil!) arrived yesterday.  (I'm loving having the thread chart! Perfect match!)  I'm just waiting on the fabric for the backing.  It took a bit to find enough fabric, the line is a couple of years old now, but she found it!  She's ordered it, should be here soon.  Then the quilting will begin!


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

I saw this at the flea market this weekend and couldn't resist taking a picture of it!

Happy Mother's Day!


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Diana and My Weekend

Diana and family, including Matilda the Cat, are now safe and sound at our parents' house!  Thank you for your thoughts, prayers, emails, and comments!  And more good news from the somewhat local tv station...

"River levels are slowly falling.  Flood stage is 32 feet, and Saturday the river is at 47.5. That's 15 feet above flood stage.  River levels are starting to fall, indicating an earlier than predicted crest.  According to the County Sheriff's Office, there are no major concerns with the levee system there either.  The Corps say they will continue to monitor the site."  Sunday it is expected to be 47.7 feet which is below the 50 feet levee level.  So if it goes as expected, Diana's house and town should be safe.  There may be some minor flooding due to seepage but they shouldn't have the catastrophic flooding that was forecasted earlier.  I pray it is so!

Diana has been so calm throughout all this.  I think I've been more worried than she has!  Tony and I were talking about it and he reminded me that we have been through blizzards (wow, it's really snowing!), ice storms (listen to those trees breaking!), tornados (look over there, there's another one!), tropical storms (the wind sure is blowing and it's actually raining!) and we remained calm through those.  But it's different when it's my loved ones and I'm so far away!  He just laughed at me.  I'm sure you understand!  I can breathe a sigh of relief and thank God for His protection!

Since there was nothing I could do for Diana, (except pray, which I did!), Tony and I went to a huge flea market today.  We haven't been in a long time so it was good to walk around and see what all they had.  I had my eye out for a couple of tins to keep my quilting safety pins in, some hankies, and maybe an old quilt to add to my collection, and I was successful!  I got exactly what I went for!

What I liked about this quilt top (all hand stitched by the way!), what made me smile, was the multitude of fabrics and the combinations of them and the sashing.  The sashing is not a typical sashing fabric!  I started collecting quilt tops several years ago thinking that I would complete them into actual quilts.  I felt like I was rescuing them...I had to save them!  Over time, my collection grew and so to ease the pressure of unfinished quilts, I decided I was just collecting quilt tops! They are a source of pleasure to me, seeing the old fabrics and the combination of fabrics and design.  Sometimes they are not what you would consider pretty, but to me they are all charming!  Maybe someday, I'll take pictures of all of them and show you.


Friday, May 6, 2011

Ahhhh, you quilters are the best!!

I can not express my thanks and appreciation for all of the prayers and good thoughts directed toward my family and me. I am overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and concern.  Thank you so very much.

I wanted to give you an update before I unplug and pack the computer. As of today we are still okay but are planning on leaving tomorrow.  Sink holes are beginning to appear in the roads on the north side of town, meaning that one of the major roads out of town has been shut down, seep water is starting to pool in certain parts of town, but the levy is holding.  The flood gate downtown has been reinforced and sandbagged.  The usual flood stage is at 32 feet...this morning the river was at 47.6.  The crest is to be 49.5 on Sunday.  There are National Guardsmen everywhere and town is virtually a ghost town. There are beginning to be reports of looting in certain parts town.  Mandatory evacuation is at 50 feet...the height of the flood gates. Out where we live, we are fine. We are taking what we can, the rest is up on top of other furniture and tables.  The other things are in God's hands. 

Please keep us in your thought and prayers...especially my daughter.  She has finals next Tuesday and Thursday and she has been a little preoccupied with other things.

Love to you all and many heartfelt thanks!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

An Update

While I have been in my own little world, Diana has been dealing with rain and flooding.  They are packing things up and preparing for evacuation.  Every business in their town is closed, schools are closed, and she is overwhelmed with the preparations on top of taking care of the family.  They are keeping close watch on the rising water with plans to get out while they can.  Can you imagine deciding what to pack up and what to leave behind?!  Please keep them and all the people affected by the flooding in your prayers. 


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Just a Quick Note...

I want to thank Betty Lou over at Sugarland Quilts for mentioning us in her blog.  She's sharing pictures of her quilts and, lucky for us, blogs that she follows in alphabetical order!  

It may not look like it to you, but my closet really is in better shape, ready for the movers. Going through it refreshed my memory....I've got some good stuff in there!

I finished cleaning up my sewing room and am now sorting through my magazines.  I love quilting magazines!  And I have subscribed to several magazines for a loooonnnngggg time!  But they have taken over!  I have been letting my subscriptions go, not renewing them.   Once I got over the phobia of, gasp, tearing them apart (you know, they are kind of like books and you just don't do that!) I realized I could keep the parts I like and have much more space on my shelves.  It just takes time to do it.  So that's what I've been working on here lately.  My sewing machine is still in the shop.  And evidently, Diana's machine felt jealous of the extra attention mine is getting, because now her machine is in the shop!  Not much sewing going on!

Because a picture of a closet is boring, here's a picture of Maggie and Fergus doing what they do best!  They are such couch puppies!

Thanks for stopping by!

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