Saturday, December 31, 2011

The last few days of the year

I got started on this project and then never took it to the hospital for the time my husband was having the procedure done. The hospital called and said they had a cancellation and we needed to get there in 45 minutes. He was still sleeping and it takes 15 minutes to drive there. But we made it and we were home by 10 am. The procedure went well and the Doctor was please with the progress. Then yesterday I got a phone call and the biopsies came back negative for Cancer. So another bit of good news.
I sat this morning and worked on the applique for about an hour and I still have many more layers to put in the whole project. This is going to be a table topper and it will have two more blocks go with it. Few minutes here and there will get it done.
Doing laundry and going to cook a corned beef brisket for dinner tonight. We like it as a sliced meat for a full dinner and leftovers for sandwiches.
I don't believe min resolutions because I can never keep them. I will make a couple doable goals and then as I progress or regress I will try my best to make them work.
I hope all of you have a Great safe and healthy New Year. I am sure I will be asleep before the ball is dropped. I am a morning person. Happy New Year. Chris

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

This is my method of applique

I use a couple things to make my templates. I use freezer paper and also Templar plastic. This is freezer paper where I trace off the shapes. I layer the freezer paper three thick to make it more stable like the Templar Plastic. It makes a more rigid edge to press against. I layer it plastic or shiny side down on all three layers and press firmly with a very hot iron. The stability of the finished pressing is really firm.

I do use the Templar plastic for smaller pieces. The Templar plastic is more expensive and I use it for circles and leaves. Also when I make a Templar Plastic template I try and mark it with a permanent marker with the info I need. Like the abbreviations of the pattern and then I save them for other projects because they do last a long time.

I then press the shiny side down to the back of the fabric. Leaving plenty of fabric to make the seam allowances around the shape.

Trim the excess of about a 1/4 of an inch away from the edge of the template. Then clip to the edge about two or three threads away from the paper template. Clip into the crevice and then you are ready to work your magic with the iron and the starch.

I use a cheap artist brush with firm bristles and I use a mixture of 1/2 starch and 1/2 water to starch the seam allowances under.

Press the seam allowance to the back and make sure you get a crisp edge. No bumps and lumps. Press it until it is dry. Let it cool and then you can handle it without changing the shape.

The pressing is the reason it works so well.

Turn it over and see if you need to readjust any of the edges. They should all be even and no raw edges visible.

Pull the paper template loose on the back and carefully tug it out of the shape.

The seam allowance is now set and dry and ready to be stitched down onto your applique background.

After you are sure they are completely dry and cool store in a plastic storage bag and you have them ready for on the go hand stitching. I have to sit at the hospital for several hours tomorrow while my husband has a procedure and I want to get this all prepped so I can be distracted while he has this done. I plan on making a table runner with the pieces I am making. Stay tuned it will look like something in a couple days. Chris

Sunday, December 25, 2011

What did you get for Christmas?

I didn't even receive a gift, but I had the joy of watching the kids open their present.

I don't expect anything. Times are tough and they all have families to provide for. We were together and enjoyed the day. I remember being young and the gifts we got weren't real costly, but we had fun opening them and being with family.

We talked about the things that we got that we didn't expect. My Mom said she got a new kitchen faucet one year for Christmas. Not a romantic gift, but it was a needed item and was installed before we had Christmas dinner. It isn't the gift it isn't the amount of money it is the thought that counts. Hope you all had a nice Christmas experience and enjoyed your day. Chris

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Phew that is over with

Quilt one was opened and liked

He was to busy opening other things
Mom had to read some things to him

This one is my little fireman.

Taylor has changed so in the last couple years. She isn't my little girl any longer.

The Spidey quilt was really liked. I made a flannel pillowcase to go with it and he was surprised.

He carried it around for awhile and Dad finally said he wanted to look at it.

The food was good and everyone was full when they left. The quiet is deafening right now. The TV is on, but not anything else. The kids were getting loud and then all is quiet.

My Mom stayed until the truck behind my car left and I took her home. She was glad she came.

I hope everyone has as good a day as we did. Enjoy the excitement. Merry Christmas. Chris

Friday, December 23, 2011

Just a Few More Hours to Go

The cooking has started and the packages are wrapped. The sad part is no snow this year. Oh Well! we can live without the snow. Safer for those on the roads.
The grandkids will be here tomorrow and the wild times will start. The anticipation builds in the car on the way here. The kids get excited and they have a lot of fun together.
We are just giving gifts to the grandkids this year. I think Christmas is for the kids and the adults should be thankful to be together and enjoy the day.
Tomorrow is our Christmas celebration and I hope each and everyone of you have a very Pleasant and Wonderful Christmas. Chris

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Blue and Green

Ok I got on the band wagon and made some quick gifts. My neighbor is having a birthday in a couple weeks and she hasn't been real healthy lately so thought a new mug and rug would cheer her up. These where some strips I had cut for something else and I pieced enough together to make two of them. She uses cobalt blue and lime green in her kitchen.

They are 7.5 inches X 6.75 inches. Nice size for a mug and a snack. I made these in a couple hours this morning and I am sure as I get into them I can cut my time down. They were all scraps and yet they are using up pieces of batting that are to small to use for anything else. Thanks Wanda for the ideas. Chris

Sunday, December 18, 2011

I'm Done, I'm Done

All four of the quilts are completed. I worked really hard today to get it done. Now the wrapping and the house needs a good cleaning.

I never thought I would be working so close to the day. I started early, but then the ways of life got in my way. I guess I should have a better schedule planned and I didn't. I don't think quilting will be part of the Christmas gift list next year. I am burned out for now.
The Grandkids are getting older and they want big ticket items and Grandma can't afford that so I think next year will be a small gift and money to go buy what you want. If it were up to me they would get an apple and a hug and a kiss and they would have to deal with it. I know Bah Humbug. But I do not like the holidays. They are so commercial and costly and it never seems enough because so- and-so could get me this which is better.
We as kids were happy with a few small things and we never questioned our parents or grandparents as to why we didn't spend more. But I don't have control over how the kids are raised in a divorced family situation.

I should qualify the kids are good kids, but the statements do come out and they do hurt. They weren't raised like that when Mom and Dad were together.

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and enjoy your families. Chris

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Machine quilting will be done by 7am tomorrow

No pictures yet, but the machine quilting will be done early. Then the binding. But the little angel/devil that is to receive this will be here tomorrow. So it has to be hidden before he gets here. Father was told to call on his way here so I can hide it.
This has been a trying week for me and I have struggled to get this all done. I have three of them to wash and get markings out of them and then I bought large plastic Christmas bags at the new Dollar Store. They are nice for odd sized items.
The tree isn't up and nothing out for Christmas. No baking and yet I really don't think we need all the sugar in this house.
I plan on pulled pork and salads and baked beans for Christmas Eve dinner. Everyone has a different place to go on Christmas so the lighter the meal the easier on me. It isn't about the meal it is about getting together and celebrating the season. Merry Christmas. Chris

Friday, December 16, 2011

Headache still here but some sewing was done

Here is some of the progress. I still have the cross rows to quilt in this section and then 2/3rds of the center is done. This is part of the sashing between the block rows. I stitched free form around the fire trucks and rescue squads. It needed some stabilizing and this is all I could come up with.

This is the darker block rows. This was a challenge to make this quilt with the fabric being striped. It has been a struggle the last couple days to get this one done.

My headache was wild yesterday with all the high winds and temp dropping. I still have part of it this morning, but I think I might live. I tried laying down yesterday and the phone kept ringing. So not much rest happened. I did sew about 2 1/2 hours and every stitch
helped getting it closer to the end. Chris

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Migraine Day

Hopefully I can sew, but the head pounding isn't fun. I woke up at 12:30am and knew something was wrong. By 4 am it was a full blown migraine. Hope everyone has a great day. Chris

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


This little ripper is only 2 inches long, but it hurt me.

I went and got some ointment and a bandage to cover it for the night so it doesn't get infected. For those of you old enough to remember the diaper pins and how they hurt when you poked yourself with them, it hurts like that. It didn't bleed a lot either. When stuck like that you need to make it bleed so it doesn't get infected. Chris

All ripped out after 6 hours of cursing

I couldn't find the seam ripper I wanted. You know the Granddaughter puts things away and I can't find then. I found a small one and the first few minutes of using it I stabbed myself on my pointer finger and it hurts like a son of a gun.
The gloom of the day didn't help my mood because I had to rip out and it was all my fault it was that way.
I took a nap and then I made some progress. It is all ripped back to correct the problem now and I think I am watching TV tonight and dealing with the sewing tomorrow. It just took 6 hours of sitting and ripping that I could have done some more sewing if I had paid attention in sewing before all this happened.
Oh Gosh I have to find the sheets for my bed and remake it or I will be sleeping on the couch. Bye. Chris


No pictures today. I am ripping out some of what I have already quilted. I got ahead of my self and now I have tucks and puckers and I am not a happy camper.
Thought I could breeze through this one and I did things out of sequence and now the ripping of threads begins. I was so frustrated yesterday I had to walk away from it. After I started on the sewing I thought maybe I shouldn't have done this and sure enough I was right. The gut feeling is always the right one I think.
It is pouring rain and gray so I will turn on all the lights because it is black thread on black fabric another yipppee moment. "What was I thinking????" Chris

Sunday, December 11, 2011

#3 is done but the washing

I just finished the binding on the Spidey quilt. I used a washable kids marker on the border and so it has to be laundered to get that out. I need to get some color guard sheets also for this quilt with the red flannel. As you can see the radiating lines of quilting is to represent the spiders webs as they make the web. The red blocks are quilted with the spiderweb design. Hopefully the five year old will like the quilt.

He has a tendency to get out of bed in the night and crawl in with Mom and Dad. Well this quilt is heavy and maybe he will stay under it and stay in his own bed for a full night.

Now I have to clean my machine and get all the fuzzies out and then on to the last quilt before Christmas Eve. Chris

Friday, December 9, 2011

Deadlines scare me

This one is done. This is almost done.

This one needs sandwiching and quilting.

This is done.

Fourteen days to go and I have a deadline. I need to get focused and I really and not focused at all. The days are withering away and I need to regroup. I will get it done, but I need some motivation. Tomorrow will have to be the day to get a good start on finding the motivation.

I really don't know why the sewing juices have stopped flowing. Normally this time of year I want to get things done because it isn't nice enough to be outside.

I was outside this morning shoveling snow. We had about a half of an inch, but we like to keep the driveway cleared off. My Mom comes and I don't want her to fall. My husband doesn't need to fall either. He has been in the garage and going in and out.

Hopefully the morning will come and I will up to getting something done. Wish me luck. Chris

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Hard to see in the picture

This isn't the greatest of pictures, but I am making a spiderweb design as the quilting in each block. I am using black thread , but the red shows up so intense in the picture. I have it about done. I think by tomorrow I will have some more of it done and maybe I can decide on the borders. I would like to have this one done by the weekend. I have one more to quilt for gifts and then I have a larger quilt for my Mother to get done. She will understand if I don't get it done before Christmas. She will be glad to get it when it is done.
Hope all your sewing projects are going well and everyone finishes in enough time to enjoy the day. Chris

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Another Blah gray day

We might get some snow and we might not. Had flurries last night. My time of working on these quilts is running out. The laundry is started dishes are needing to get done and the rest of the day is devoted to machine quilting this quilt. The in the ditch stitching is about done and then the fun part. I think some spiderwebs will be the quilting design. Not all of it will be spiderwebs, but a few here and there. Maybe on the borders if nothing else. See what the mood is when I get to that part. Hopefully he will like it. Chris

Monday, December 5, 2011

Monday Tip

Yes I am late but not forgotten. Been a mello day here. Gray and cloudy. Nothing wrong just blah.
Tip for the day. Learn something new everyday. I learned today that I don't know everything, but I never said I did.
I was told that my dryer door could be changed so it could be opened more conveniently for me. I have had this dryer for 10 1/2 years and didn't know it has hinges and a handle that can be changed like a refrigerator door can be to open either direction. I have struggled with this door hinged on the wrong side for the whole time I owned it. I guess so you learn something new everyday. Chris

Sunday, December 4, 2011

What is Christmas in Your life?

What do you believe in? Is it Santa, religious beliefs or is it just a commercial time of year to get your money? Everyone has a different feeling about Christmas. I haven't decorated for Christmas yet this year. I feel very much in a slump about the whole season. The money issue has plagued us for several years and we just don't feel we do enough for Christmas. When times are tough you make things to give your friends and family. Whether it be a quilt or a wooden box you find a way to say Happy Holidays. Or should I say Merry Christmas. Hasn't the World made the one time of year sounds so hollow because it isn't politically correct to say Merry Christmas.

If we can't believe in something is it all worth it? Christmas in my book is for the kids and the faith they have in believing. Yes it has become commercial and yes it has started way to early each year, but if we can't believe in something what good is it.

I remember getting up as a child and seeing all the packages under the tree. I know now it was a meager amount, but at the time it was heaven to me. We had to be good and we had to understand that sharing with others was important. Is that a lesson we carried through our lives? I believe we did. So to me Christmas is the lesson of sharing and being true to our beliefs. Maybe they are not someone else's beliefs, but we have something to hold onto for the next generation to work towards.
It isn't the amount of money you spent or the house full of decorations it is the time we spend with family and friends to share and give of ourselves. Sit and hold Grandma's hand and spend time with those that have less than what we do. Give a plate of cookies to your neighbor or shovel a walk for someone. Be kind and share in the Christmas spirit. Say a prayer for all those in the military overseas and to their families that are home alone.

Take the time and decide what Christmas means to you. Time is approaching the big day and are you ready for it? Chris

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Top done and backing pieced all ready

The row quilt is all done except for the quilting. As you can see the fabric is Firemen oriented. This was a stripe and I cut it ll apart to get the quilt to be what it is. I used almost every inch of a almost 3 yard piece in this quilt top. The last borders were sewn on this morning and pressed. I pieced the back and it is ready to be sandwiched. Then I got to thinking the kids are coming this weekend so I have to hide this one until after they leave.

These two kids like to look for Christmas gifts so I am trying to be real secretive this years so they can't find it.

I am going to go to town and pay some bills and then I am going to get the back sewn for the Spidey quilt and sandwich it today. I can work on that one while this set of Grandkids is here.

The batting is laying out to get the compaction creases out of it and then I will be pinning for awhile today. Have to clean my machine and get it all ready for a round of machine quilting. Chris

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Are you Ready?

25 days until Christmas. Yes I know it is fast approaching. I am getting there, but the final stretch is going to be busy.

My neighbor went and shopped yesterday and she got hers all done. Mine needs sewing machine time to get done. I am going today to buy batts and then it will be up to me to get the discipline to get it all done.

I have a few seams on the last top and then I need to get the backs pieced and sandwiching time will begin. The good thing is they will all use the same color of quilting thread. I bought a large spool and I will fill tons of bobbins and I will be off and running to the end.

The wrapping will be harder to accomplish. I need to find some large bags to wrap them in.

We have a new Dollar store that has opened and I think I will hit the place and see what they have available. Hope you are all ready. LOL Chris

Monday, November 28, 2011

Row top almost done

I bought about 3 yards of this fabric three years ago to make valances for my Grandson's bedroom at his dad's. As you can tell it never got made. It was a stripe and had the length of the stripe going the length of the yardage. I cut it all apart and resewed it back together after slicing and dicing the stripes. I added red and black to make it all come together into a quilt top. I still have a couple more borders and then it will be done. I did all this today. My back is screaming and my mind is a blur.
That isn't hard to do anymore. I think I have lost it along the way. LOL

Derek's Dad is a fireman and he is really into all that is about the Fire Service. Derek goes to training sessions my son has as an instructor. Derek sets up the props for training and the other Firemen can't believe he knows so much about fire fighting and he is only 10yrs old. He has gone with his Dad to training and even to a few structure fires and watched from the trucks. He has ridden with the Chicago Fire Station on the SW of Chicago more than once. Unless his course in life changes a lot I think he will be in the Fire Service as soon as he is old enough to join as a volunteer. Public Service and helping others is the name of the game in my Family. Chris

Monday Tip Leftovers

I had tons of leftovers. We have had sandwiches and used several up already. I had lots of sweet corn leftover and ham. I thought why not. Corn Chowder.

We like soup and this was easy. I had about 3 cups of corn that was buttered and in it's cooking juices. I added a small cut up onion and 2 large potatoes peeled and chunked up. I let that simmer until the potatoes were tender.

I then took out some of the ham and diced it up to bite sized pieces. I added some chicken bouillon and salt to taste. I then simmered all together and added some celery salt for more flavor. I would have used celery but used it all in my stuffing.

After letting it simmer for about 15 minutes I added some Wondera flour to thicken slightly. It is a good one pot meal with leftovers and not so filling like we have eaten for several days since Thanksgiving. Two more bowls out of the fridge. I am slowly making more room by downsizing containers and using up leftover. I think the rest of the turkey and ham will be frozen and used later in the month. Hope you enjoy. Chris

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Another top done

This one is done another finish. The Wall Crawler quilt is a Christmas present for the five year old.

Brody is into all the action comic figures so Grandma will please with this one. The blue is used jean legs that I cut and pieced for a border and also for the sashing. The black is just cotton broadcloth. The back will be the Spidey flannel and I think the binding will be black. Hopefully he will stay warm with this one. Chris

Friday, November 25, 2011

Talking over the pie

My Mother and Mother in law. My Mother is 83 and my Mother in law is 96. They talked about cooking for their families and how they remember all the work to get it done. We had a great time. A lot of food and all had fun. The dishes are almost done and the table is cleared off. Grandkids go home tomorrow and the room gets put back to normal again until next month when Christmas comes again.
Hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving. Chris

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Prep and Cleaning day

Not a pretty picture here. Very gray and cold right now. Suppose to be warmer than usual later today. My kitchen table is full of canned goods and also bread for all the things I need to prep for our dinner tomorrow.
I go and get the grndkids tonight so will have them on top of all the prep work. My oven is a normal size so the turkey will be done on the grill. Ham and stuffing in the oven. The rest will be prepared ahead of time or on top of the stove. The fridge space is at a premium. I plan on using my neighbors fridge in her garage if I need to. They are out of town and yes I cleared it with her.
Due to some family issues I am really stressed. Not sure who all will be here and what will transpire. As I said before holiday time is not my favorite time of year. Next year it maybe won't happen at my house. I guess it is time to pass it off to someone else and not have the stress. Hope everyone has a great day. Friends, family and great times together is very important. Happy Thanksgiving Chris

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Spiral cut Honey Ham
Mashed potatoes and turkey gravy
Green Bean Casserole
Dinner rolls
Orange Jello Salad
Cranberry relish
Pumpkin Pie and Whipped cream
Pumpkin Carmel Pecan Pie
Blueberry Pie
Milk and sodas
Hope I have enough LOL

Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday tip

Yes I forgot last week. This week I am not to sure about what I have to give a tip about.
I have had a trying time the last few days and I guess my tip is to be forgiving without being judgemental. Many times things are said and yet they are not meant. Also things can be blow out of proportion. Decisions are made and maybe they are not your choice you can't judge what the other person is dealing with and how they handle things. Tip is be understanding and don't make an opinion out loud to hurt feelings. Chris

Sunday, November 20, 2011

No I am not Ready!!!

I need to do grocery shopping and I hate doing it just before a holiday. I need cranberries, potatoes,celery, onions, radishes, carrots, pie filling, nuts. Bread for stuffing and chicken stock. Did I forget something?? Eggs, Jello, Butter, time to get something done. Can you buy a slot of time for a good price?
I need to make 4 pies, should make dinner rolls, but I think I will buy brown and serve kind. I know not a good thing. I didn't tell you yet I have a turkey and a spiral cut ham already.
I found out yesterday my MIL who is 96 is coming also. Now I really have to clean in the corners. She use the white glove test and I know I don't pass ever, but I think I really have to make an effort.
I am pulling my hair out and sweating all the small things and for what. This isn't my first rodeo. I have cooked for several before this. So we will have 11 people for dinner and I only have one oven. The grill is coming out to do the turkey so I can cook the stuffing and the ham in the house. If you plan on coming by call and bring a bottle. I might need it. Chris

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Are you Ready????

The Turkey is in the freezer the ham is also. The pies need to be made and the stuffing prepared. I love that my family gets together, but the history of Thanksgiving at my house hasn't always been a fun time. Families that are blended are difficult when the holidays come around. This one can't be here at the same time the others can be.
Children don't understand and the parents are to set in their ways to compromise.

I plan on trying to make the best of what is going on. This week I plan on cleaning getting ready for the event. When we live just the two of us we let things slide and get to it when we are up to it. I need to set my sewing aside and try and get a handle on the confusion that will be here on the 25th.

We are trying to get the kids and their kids together and the 25th is the earliest time. No it isn't Thanksgiving, but we will be together the next day.

Hopefully we can all have a good time and the day doesn't matter. I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving and your time with family and friends is pleasant. Chris