Thursday, May 31, 2012

I really did it now

I wore myself out today. Maybe I will sleep tonight. I got up and cleaned and boy did I clean. Vacuumed the ceiling the walls the carpet the furniture and then I scrub all the carpets in the living and dining rooms. Moved furniture from one spot to another. Carried all the dining room chairs to the kitchen so my husband could wash them off. All the little tables and the lamps were washed. Then the kitchen floor was washed on hands and knees. I still have the china closet the TV stand and a coffee table to wash and then the room is done other than windows and drapes.

I am tired just typing this. We have a fireplace and my husband smokes so I use the Carpet Shampoo for pets. It neutralizes all the odors in the carpets.
I own my own shampooer and it really dries the carpets out pretty fast. In a couple days I need to do the master bedroom and bath. Then I have three bedrooms one of which is the sewing room and it will have to be the last because I am still sorting.

Feels good to have it done, but my behind is dragging. We thought we were smart and bought large pieces of furniture and I will never do that again. My back and hips are screaming. Where is the Icy Hot and the pain meds. Chris

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

My Efforts and my Goals

My Effort over the weekend went out the door. I cleaned up a few things and then I quit. Today we have to get the yards mowed so after the day is done outside and it is cooler now maybe I can get something done in the sewing room.

My goals well they are a long list. If I get them done fine if not then it is ok. I make myself crazy over gettng things done and some days are just that. Not attainable.

My step Grandson came yesterday and he walked in, mind you he is 5 years old and Not around us a lot, he walked over to me and gave me the nicest hug and didn't let go. Floored me beyond belief. Up till now he has been standoffish and I had to tease him into a hug and kiss.

I guess he is getting older and he found out this grandma doesn't bite. LOL Grandma's like the hugs and kisses when they are given freely. Chris

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

Today the coleslaw is made the chicken breasts are marinating and the macaroni salad is chillin. Few dishes to do and then on to the grill after while. Sounds like a lot, but it just three of us.

Today is a day to reflect all those that sacrificed for us living and dead. Many had horrible lives after war and others were not really effected.

I am 60 years old and I don't remember a time when the USA wasn't in some kind of war or police action in my life time. Men and women that are that convicted to defend their country and all it stands for need remembering on this day. Chris

Sunday, May 27, 2012

I'm Back Again

I got to thinking about the year that has gone by so far and I realized it is almost half over with. So I mentioned in an email to a friend and she said she was going to have to get going on Christmas.

I looked and as of today there are 211 days left until Christmas. Yes you can shoot me. I really don't think the kids are getting quilts this year for Christmas. Maybe the adults will. Have to think this through because my son's dog likes to eat the quilts.

I know this didn't make your day. Sorry But reality is current. Chris

Couldn't take it any longer

I got the printer moved. Cleaned and all hooked up. It is right at the end of the counter top I have the computer on. The cabinet is the right height to have it sit right there. I moved a stack of drawers to another shelf and cleaned them off also. Then on to another pile of scraps. I was naughty I started cutting and sewing them. Not much more cleaning got done after I started sewing.

These are 2 1/2 inch squares sewn in a nine patch and then made into a disappearing 9 patch block.

I have made 12 of them since noon. Jeff was watching the Indy 500 and I didn't care to watch it. So now I have to start supper in a little while and then maybe more sewing tonight. NASCAR is on tonight. Haven't watched the chic flick yet, but listen to a lot of music.

Why I started sewing I don't know but a lot more scraps got used up. Later Chris

Well I don't know how much more is getting done today

I got up and could hardly get out of bed. Moving furniture and hauling things in and out of the sewing room. Today will be the office chair that I can slide around on to sort piles.

As much as I do outside you would think I would be in some kind of shape. Boy that is a joke. Didn't help that the humidity when I got up this morning was over 76%. It is suppose to get to 96*F today with high humidity and windy besides. Perfect weather for a migraine.

Today a two drawer file cabinet gets moved and the printer. I am letting some pain meds take over before I tackle that job.

Holiday weekend and we are staying home. I do need to go to Wally World later and get a couple things, but I have laundry going and today I want to watch "The Help".

I think I have to much "Stuff". How do we accumulate all this stuff. I really need to start in a corner and fight my way out. I am dusting ans cleaning as I go. I need new curtains in the room and I need to wash the window and the ceiling fan is horrible.

I want you to know I use to clean houses and commercial buildings and yet mine is horrible. The last two years with Jeff so ill I let things go and now that I need to get it done where do I start.

Yesterday my neighbor came over with her 2 1/2 year old granddaughter and she walked in the back door. She has never been here before and she said this is another grammies house. We got a kick out of that. What kids say sometimes and the impressions hey get when they go someplace strange.

Ok I am sitting here and see a pile I need to tackle. Stay cool today. Chris

Saturday, May 26, 2012


Look at the wires. We had to run another telephone wire under the house and up through the floor to a jack. I was getting pushed to hurry up and I forgot one of the connections for the WiFi. After an argument it got into the right place and I was right he wasn't. Here is the new home for the computer. It needed a hole drilled in the corner for all the wires. So that got done and the move was on.

This is what the other side of the room looks like now. I will work on it the rest of the weekend. The big ironing board will go down and the little table by the machine will be put away also. More floor space then. I have two tubs to combine or cut up and get rid of one of them.

I have placed one sewing machine to bed for now and the other one will go as I get to the counter.

This counter was in a hospital for a nurses station. I worked at the hospital and it didn't sell at an auction and was going into the dumpster and I recovered it. It made the trip to my house and got cut down to fit this room. It is all Formica and really solid. I still have the printer to move, but I can do that tomorrow.

The slide out tray for the key board came off the other computer table and was screwed to the bottom of this counter top. As you can see he is under the counter and has his back brace on. He did way to much today and is crabby. He crawled half way under the house to make the phone wire connection.

I think the stacking drawers are going someplace else and the printer will be there. Much better place than where it was.

Nothing ventured nothing gained if you don't try to make things better. Now I can watch a chic flick. Yippppeee! Chris

What was I thinking

Today I think I am going to clean in the sewing room and move my computer in there. Maybe I am crazy because it is suppose to be really hot and humid. Yes the A/C is on but it will be the lugging and moving of things that gets to you. I have wanted to do this but my husband hasn't been well enough to help. He maybe isn't well enough now. We will see when he gets up.

I still can get the cleaning done if he isn't up to the wiring part. I will take some before and after pictures. I really need to get into the closet and start there first, but do to him wanting to help it would take to long to get to the stage of filling the closet back and being ready for him to work in the area he needs to work in.

His strength goes fairly quickly with certain projects. I guess deal with him first and the rest will follow. Then if he wants to nap he can.

I currently have three sewing machines sitting out and I can only use one at a time. So I think the featherweight and the Pfaff are going to bed for awhile. I have a PC and all the trappings to put in there. Printer and WIFI unit all take up space so I need to pare down what is out and needs to be put away.

I don't know about the rest of you but I have had my sewing space in a closet in a basement on an enclosed porch and in the kitchen, bedrooms and also in the dining room. Now that I have a sewing room I really need to use the room wisely. My quilting has a tendency to spill out into the rest of the house. Shame on me. The dining room table is bigger to spread things out on and the chair where I sit has loose threads all over it. Everytime I walk out of the sewing room dog ears follow on my socks or my slippers and the carpet has confetti all over it.

I looked for my thimble one day now this is my favorite one. I have several of them and I couldn't find it. After several searches and frustration I dug through the garbage pail and nothing. I went to the fridge to get some ice and found it in the freezer. I had gotten water and ice earlier and I took it off and layed in on the ledge so it didn't fall in the ice tray. I laughed at myself for quite a while over that incident.

I walked into the living room last night and the light was just right and under the edge of my chair was a shiney piece. I looked and here it was a pin. That wouldn't feel to good in the foot. I really need to do better with my tools. I have scissors here and there and yet I never can finds a pair when I need them.

I hope you all have a good laugh over my stupid stuff. Chris

Friday, May 25, 2012

Old is New Again

Many years ago I found three chairs along side of the street and someone had thrown them out. A dog had chewed one and the other had a broken piece. I salvaged one out of the mess and used it for a computer chair because it was lower. The glue joints were getting weak and I thought I could paint it black and use it outside for a flower pot holder. It got painted flat black and then the dark olive green paint was dry brushed over the black. Well it wasn't quite right so the edges got sanded down to the bare wood. Then the raw wood was to light. So a coat of a med walnut stain was washed over it. Now to two coats of varnish and it is going to go in the sewing room.

It was re glued and the strength is back in the chair. I am going to move the computer into the sewing room and make more room in my bedroom. I have trouble sleeping and the computer is a distraction for me when I should be sleeping. I turn the screen off all the time, but I know if I get up I can find something to look at.

My computer table is pressed wood chips and it is not in great shape so I am placing it on a much more solid surface being in there. This way I can play some movies in the computer my husband doesn't like to see. You know Chic Flicks.

He looked for the cable wire and the TV can go in there too. I have to rearrange it tomorrow for the move. It is suppose to be so hot I will not be outside. This is the right time to do it. We have to move the TV cable a little and a phone line needs to be moved, but we have all the necessary parts to do it. Cleaning will be the big thing. I think I need a rummage sale. No I don't want to go to all that trouble. To much work. I will donate. Chris

Wha I have been doing

Holiday plans and nothing going on here but a little hand work. We don't get on the road during the holidays because we just don't take the chance anymore. I guess we grew up and feel it isn't a place for use to be on the road. This has been started for awhile and I lost interest. My sewing room was warm the other day so I got this out to work on. It is for a table topper. I have two more blocks to accent the center one. There is a lot of bulk with all the overlapping pieces. To quilt it I may have to cut away on the back. This needs several leaves and centers for flowers yet. I don't think I will ever make this block again. It is difficult to get the right look. It will be ok for what I am using it for, but not a regular quilt block. I like the reds and greens look from times gone by.

Hope everyone has a nice and safe holiday. It is suppose to be hot and humid here and storms will spin off of the storm fronts as they approach. Mowing is on hold with no rain and hot weather. Maybe in the next few days I can get my carpets scrubbed. Chris

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Up in the middle of the night

Ever have one of those nights that things are just not as they should be. I am not sick and nothing really wrong. I sleep for a couple hours and then I am awake. The sad thing is I get on the computer which is a no-no. It makes me wake up more and then I don't want to go back to sleep.

My mind is on overload looking at quilt blogs. The achievements many of these quilters have made is so mind boggling to me. My days are not that organized and I really feel inadequate in my little quilting endeavors.

My Mind is made up to get some things finished and some better organized so I can accomplish more in a shorter period of time.

My son went for a job interview and if he gets the job he will be moving. Maybe that is why I am awake. He will be moving 2 hours away and I shouldn't get the cart before the horse. He is in the finalist group and hopefully he hears soon as to what he would be facing.

It is a job in the field he is in now and he would be getting a foot in the door of a larger fire department. I want the advancement for him and it is selfish reasons I want him to still be close. I think I will accept it but this was the news of the day.

Ok I am getting sleepy so I guess I will get back to bed and see if I can get a couple more hours before I have to start my day. Chris

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Do you think I need to clean

No wonder I don't want to sew. If you stand at the door and look in there you would be certain it is a mess and who would want to go in there. I had been sorting and trimming scraps and yet I am only part way through. I need a kick in the back side and get something done. I have a pile of this and a pile of that. I have tubs sitting all over with sizes of scraps cut inside. I think after we get the yards mowed today I will get in there and get some of this wrapped up so I can breath when I walk in there and not feel overwhelmed.

Today and the next few days I need some distractions. My son is going back to court over his kids and also he has a job interview out of town. The out of town is the key word. I want him to get the job, but he is my mainstay and I need backup support at times. He won't be available for me to contact and get help. He will be 2 hours away and not 45 minutes. Another hurdle I will have to encounter if it happens.

My husband has been doing ok, but his health is changing and I have to be somewhat prepared over what is going on. Next year I am not going to do yards other than my own. I am sure at the rate things are changing here he will not be able to help. Some days reality just smacks you in the face and it is an eye opener.

Not sure what I will do when I get my cleaning done, but I need to do some shopping to get some fabric and yet I hate leaving for to long. Have a Great Day Chris

Monday, May 21, 2012

Monday Tip

Freezer paper. Yes it is to wrap food to be frozen, but it has many other uses.

One of the well talked about and used method is to press it on to make applique shapes. Many have given tutorials about how they use this product and yet there are other uses for the stuff.

It is a dull paper with plastic fused to the back side. I use it to cover my ironing board to keep fusible extras from sticking to the iron board cover. I cut a sheet the size I need and iron it down to make a clean surface to cover the board cover and it can be peeled up and keep my fusibles from ruining my new ironing board cover. Also another tip is to use it in your tracing of the shapes without a light box is to take a sheet of the freezer paper and on the covers of the freezer paper touch and iron in several places to the pages of your quilt book. It will peel up and not ruin the pages of your book, but it will hold it in place.

If you need a stiffer edge to press starched shapes over a shaped edge use two layers together. Shiny side to a dull side and the edge can be used over and over again. The most I have layered is three layers and cut out my shape to make it stiff enough to reuse several times.

Be careful you use the paper going in the same direction. The paper will shrink in width when heated. Use a permanent marker to draw shapes to it doesn't rub off on your fabric. Pencil will rub off and water soluble pens will become permanent when heated so use the right tools.

Off to look at my stash and see where it takes me. Chris


Ok how many times have you seen this block? Just like many other blocks there are so many ways to make it. Squares HST's are the norm for assembly. But are there rectangles and other geometric shapes? How they are laid out makes a difference too.

I have several block pattern books with multiple versions of the same blocks shown. A simple block can be made many ways and each looks different. Look outside the box for a different look.

This is the basis for the The Carpenters Star or the Carpenter Wheel. Many different parts of the country will give a different name to the same block. Research into the blocks is fun because you can find so many variations and yet the elements are the same. Change is good, but watch for copyrighted blocks. Some of the older ones never had a copyright.

Use your imagination and have fun with it. Chris

Saturday, May 19, 2012

What we don't do for our Grandkids

I picked my two kids last Friday night and I got told Derek had a science project he needed his Grandpa. This was a science project of using potatoes to power a light bulb. We checked on the Internet and it isn't successful because it creates voltage, but not amperage.
Last night we were sitting in the house and Jeff said get the camera. A baby robin was sitting on the Eagle yard ornament wings.

It let me get about 2 foot from it to take a picture. The adult Robins just set there and didn't interfere. We are out in the yard so much they don't seem to be bothered with us.

We planted marigolds yesterday and the rabbits don't like them. The hostas I had planted the rabbits were eating off the tender leaves. Then I turned around and the Maiden Hair Iris is in bloom.

They are small and delicate. The burst of color is nice for a few days and then you just have the leaves for the rest of the summer.

Here is the garden as it is growing the pepper plants are doing good. Around the edge is beets they are so good pickled for this winter.

In the back is the potatoes and to the left is the green beans. some off those were not coming up so we planted a few more seeds to fill in. They haven't come up yet. We also have butternut squash and cucumbers planted. They are just popping through.

The tomato cages are getting a hardy batch of plants growing. New leaves are forming each day. These are the tomatoes he started from seed in the house. So are the peppers.

Here is the proof all is going well. The first tomato blossom has opened. See it in the center of the picture. They will be tomatoes before we know it. Yummmm

I haven't sewn a stitch in over a week. I need to get in there and hem some pants for my son this morning. The birthday party is today and the potatoes for the potato salad are cooking and the eggs are boiling.
I am making an Oreo cookie pie and deviled eggs potato salad and raw veggie and dip and hamburgers on the grill. I said if that wasn't enough McDonald's was down the road. LOL Chris

This one turned 13 years old last Monday

Tomorrow we are having a Birthday Party for this little one. She is 13 years old now and quite a young lady. As you can see from the picture she was inquisitive when she was little and still is.

Daddy is a firefighter and she was at a Water fight with her parents. She couldn't figure out where the water was coming from. They were draining hoses and she had to find out. The long blond hair was always in her face. She wears it pulled back now.

This child was always trying to compete with her older brothers and now she controls her younger brother.

She is the only Granddaughter and she knows it. She is funny and yet she can be very sarcastic when she needs to be.

She loves her Mom and Dad and her brothers. She is a very giving kid. Love you Taylor Jean. Happy Birthday. Chris

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Got a text this morning

My day started early. I got a text from my son at 4:52am. He is a fireman and he was out at a fire all night long. It was on the news this morning. A five alarm fire with twelve different departments responding to the fire. It was a rural fire so no fire hydrants available. The water was trucked in. 6 hours of smelling smoke and fighting a fire is very exhausting. No injuries. It was a 50 until storage unit and 45 of the 50 units were destroyed.

Last week I got an early morning fire that he had been out on a fatal fire. Those are the calls he has to talk to Mom.

Firefighters and EMS and Paramedics have a heart as big as the World and they are the most sensitive people on the face of the Earth. Yes it is a job, but the passion to help others is the underlying emotion they all face. They are funny sometimes because they act rough and grough, but they are marshmallows on the inside.

If you know a firefighter give them a hug. They deserve one. They lay their lives on the line to save another life and yet they are the less appreciated profession out there. People think they lay around the fire stations all day and do nothing. They are like a Dr. because they have to keep up with the latest education on fighting fires and saving lives. Sometimes it is not just a victims life it can be the fellow firefighter or their own.

In being at seminars with my son I have met firefighters that are my age and they are the most respectful men I have ever met.

The families they have are stressed more than you know. I have gotten a couple phone calls to meet the ambulance at the hospital for my son. Many times I find out about the fires after it is all over.

Hold onto the loved ones precious to you beacuse you never know when something will happen. Chris

Monday, May 14, 2012

Monday Tip

Wisdom of the Soul is the only tip I have for the day. Have a great day. Click on the picture and it will increase in size. Off to sew. Chris

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day

Remember your first Mother's day? Mine was 35 years ago. I was 25 years old and a single Mother, but I made due with the love I had with my son. Now 35 years later I still make due with the love I have for my son and grandchildren.
Many times you are left after the kids leave the nest to fend for themselves and you need to deal with the changes life sends your way.

My Mother still faces the emptiness of not having her children close by. Once the bond is there it is always there. The tears and frustrations of being a Mother are worth it when you see how well your kids succeed and also your grandkids.

Have a great day and remember that love is never ending. Chris

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Today I have had it. The SPAM is awful. I got 152 emails all about medicines if you know what I mean. I turned back on the word verifications because of all the nasty SPAM. I am sorry for the inconvenience. I hope you understand.

The other thing is the infections and viruses are going up on my malware and adware. So I truly don't want to pass anything on and don't want to recieve anything.

I think the sites I get on that have all the Adsense on the sides really increase you chances of trouble. If I do encounter a site with all this I run a manual scan of the Malware software I have in my computer and you would be surprised at what you find. I don't add all the add-ons a person can have because I don't want o offend anyone. Chris

No pictures just wishes

I am not sure where this week has gone. We worked outside so much in the last couple weeks. In between rains we got the garden planted and the weeds pulled in several flowerbeds. Today and Tomorrow we are just going to sit back and let the World go by.

Tomorrow is Mother's Day and I hope all you mothers are happy and praised for the work and I mean hard work it is to be a mother. My mother is still living and I plan on spending part of the day with her.

The day is gray here and the temps are warm. Hopefully I can get into the sewing room for some Me time.

Please all of you enjoy your special holiday to celebrate Mother's Day. Chris

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Squares and Triangles

Quilting with an attitude. Have you ever read this book? Mary Ellen Hopkins has broken down all the quilting blocks in to a simple principal. Squares and Triangles are the basis for all quilt blocks that are pieced. If you find this book it is a great reference book to have a handle on the parts of quilting that is daunting to many quilters. Some feel designing a quilt block needs some one else to do it for you. Or you used a computer program to come up with a block. Our fore sisters did it with paper and pencil. The way Mary Ellen breaks it down it is a simple process.

This copy I have is my Mother's and yes I have looked at it before, but I wanted a certain pattern and she gave me this book and said figure it out. This book has no dimensions listed. So no pattern is provided. That is part of the ah-ha thing about this quilt book. You can make it any size you want and still have the look you want. If you want a 6 inch block or a 24inch block you have the skills to make it.

My Mother was told when she bought it that it was a classic reference book into the skills of quilting.

I just checked Amazon and they have some new and used books available.Some well established quit shops maybe have it available also. I recommend this as a great source of inspiration to quilters.

Mary Ellen's theory is everything in a pieced block can be broken down into squares and triangles. Look at your blocks and place a mental grid over the blocks and see if you can figure it out. Have Fun Chris

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

My thoughts today

I thought long and hard before I made my confession yesterday. I think my opening up about being a frustrated person was my first step to being healthy. No not a twelve step program, but one to say I am human and I need to rethink my life style.

Today up early again. Very frustrated with this. I am going to make use of my time today and get some cutting done in the sewing room. I turn the radio on and just work with a pile of scraps until the trimming is complete.

The birds are singing the awakening of a new day outside and I need to address the days schedule and see how far I can get with the issues at hand.

The sad thing about all this is that I know what I am doing and I know how to fix it. Now to get it done.

I have been on a quest of late to find shirtings. I have looked online and nothing that suits me is available. I guess this next week or so we are going to go to the quilt shops and see what we can find. I have so many period fabrics and the shirtings would work well with. We have to travel quite a distance to get to quilt shops and yet when we go there isn't always the things available you want. Every quilt shop has it's own style and my style and theirs isn't always the same.

I have been reading several blogs of quilters whom have large stashes. They seem to have quilting sources either close to them or a favorite website to order from. I guess I need to be more attentive to where they purchase their fabrics from. Plan to look some online today again.

We have weed pulling to do outside today and some squash seeds to get planted. So far everything we have planted is coming up or doing well. Now off to the sewing room to see if I can get anything accomplished in there today. Chris

Monday, May 7, 2012

Right or wrong here I go with a confession

This may end my blogging. I know no one wants to hear everyone else's problems, but I have no network of listeners other than you. Sorry if I drag you down, but I need to voice my frustrations.

As you have read I am a caregiver of my husband who has several things wrong with him. Parkinson's disease is the main issue. Dementia goes hand in hand with this disease and the person I married is changing again. We went through a spell of being lost while driving. We remedied that with he drives no more. I was working and he would call and say I don't know where I am. Scary and yet he was on the right road just didn't recognize it. This happened about 10 years ago and since then he lets me drive and gave up his license.

Now the physical part is showing up with not being able to swallow food and almost two years of constantly hooked to a machine to pump liquid food in his stomach. He can swallow now, but there are days he doesn't want to eat. The meds he is on is an appetite suppressant and he doesn't feel hungry. Wish I could say the same thing. I am obese and it is from stress eating. Working on that also.

Now the change we are going through a spell now where he is obsessed with getting things done right now. It is part of the Dementia again. Then he doesn't want to stop to eat. From the time he gets up until he goes to bed he is on the go. He takes breaks and some days just can't go anymore. He gets light headed and dizzy and it is low blood sugar, but we don't stop. His mood switches rapidly.

Ok enough about him. It has taken some of my life away from me because I am so afraid to leave and he will get into a situation where he collapses. I use to take my Mother to go shopping at quilt shops, but we haven't been in months. I can't burden her with all the stress so I keep it to myself many times. Yes we have kids, but they are working and have their own problems. Some more than others.

I have tried not always well to stay upbeat and yet it is overtaking me and the feeling of suffocation is overwhelming at the moment. Every time there is something emotional on TV I cry. I wake up in a lot of pain from being overweight and the effort to take it off is set back on the back burner. I have read enough and have thought this through enough that I know I need to do something for me. Yes ME! But the truth is this is going to be the hardest thing I have ever done.

My husband and I have been together for 25 years and we have never and I mean never gone on a vacation together or slept in beds other than our own. Not that I didn't want to, but the effects of the Parkinson's was somewhat evident when I married him that many years ago. He is a home body and to go someplace is a hard thing for him to do.

I use to travel some and I use to go places by myself before husband and kids. Now I am afraid of what I will come home to. He looks good to look at him, but his actions are becoming more strange. Parkinson's is a disease that reacts differently on different people. The shaking is common, but the mental part of it is different.

My relax time has been to get up in the morning and sew. But one of the issues with weight loss is the sleep factor. I sleep on the average 5-7 hours a night and it is up and down. I can sit up for over an hour and then go back to bed and not sleep for another hour. Part of it is not knowing what the next day will bring and part of it is the arthritis I am feeling. Being over weight is no fun. I was eating to hide my lack of ability to handle the stress. I have lost about 12 pounds and it goes up and down, but the want to eat more is killing me. My comfort zone was to eat. Now I don't have that and it is hard to find something to replace the negative feelings I have.

You weren't ready for all this were you. But how many more of us are facing similar things. Maybe not as stressful as mine, but we all experience things that cause stress. Paying bills, facing the doctor, dealing with aging parents, kids and grandkids. Now who can deal with this all themselves. Yes I have faith and yes I do question my faith and try and be a better person. Then when I think I get a handle on something a new dilemma shows it's ugly head.

I made a vow to myself that with weight an issue in my family I wouldn't allow this to happen to me. Well guess what I wasn't strong enough to overcome the demons.

Now my thoughts are that I have been hiding and I need to come out of the closet. I need help, but the help I get will have to come from outside my immediate surroundings. I need to get into the sewing room more and also find something that makes me escape from my dungeon of stress. I know that isn't going to happen easily and yet I have to convince myself I can find a little corner of comfort and relaxation that doesn't include food. Walking would be a good thing but the arthritis is so bad it is not a fun time.

My goal is to loose some more weight and then maybe the joints won't scream so loudly at me when I make the exercise effort. I plan on not boring you with every pound I loose, but I maybe will be more absent at times. I need new clothes and I refuse to buy a size larger than what I am wearing. As I said this is a confession and don't feel sorry for me. I have done this to myself.

No the health issues of my husband are not my fault but the abuse of myself is my problem. Plus if any one else is going through something like this take care of yourself. Depression and blame are a big factor that only a caregiver can understand. Take a bubble bath, take a walk, do some sewing, clean a dresser drawer don't let things get in your way and ruin your life along with the stress you feel. I was warned to not let my health go and look at me now. Shame on me. Chris

Monday tip

Trying to clean up some of the scraps my granddaughter shoved into tubs. Doing it a tub at a time. Some is garment fabric that got mixed in. The trimming and disposing of the to small pieces made me get more motivated to get organized. I am cutting and squaring up pieces and placing them in the tubs to be used at a future date.

This is 2.5 inch squares. Good size to handle and yet they can be used in a lot of blocks. Anything large enough to be cut into this size square is getting placed all in the same tub.

This is 1.5 inch strips. I have a medium to dark tub and a light tub of this size strips. Good for Log Cabins, Courthouse steps and also for small piecing. They are at random lengths but all 1.5 inch in width. Tip is to get more organized and use up the mess as a starting point for a scrappy quilt.

I have emptied three of these tubs of late in quilt blocks and re cutting for the storage tubs according to size. I have 2 inch, 2.5 inch, 1.5 strips, 1.25 strips, 1 inch and 1.75 inch strips. I have 1.5 squares, 2 inch sq's and 2.5 inch squares.

I also have a tub of sewn HST not trimmed. They can be used as I need them and trimmed to the size I need at the time. Several quilts on my bucket list use different sized blocks. Elements of these blocks can be used from this collection of strips and squares.

I need to get myself back in there and use my time wisely. It is raining here and no outside work can happen today. We have had over an inch of rain since late last night. We are still behind on moisture for this area, but we had such a mild winter.

Going to cut and slice today see where I get with all this. Chris

Sunday, May 6, 2012

When is Enough Enough

I have followed some wonderful blogs of late and I still am inspired by the skills and the knowledge of these bloggers and their craft. I really envy many in the fact that I wish I had half the skills they have. I guess I will admit I have some skills but some days only enough to get me into more trouble. My biggest fear after all the work I put into a quilt will I like it when done.
I try and learn from my mistakes and yet I hear of these fantastic quilters that they have to rip out and say well that didn't work out as well as I had hope. The icing that is on the cake is when your fears are overcome and the outcome is better than you first thought. When is enough enough? Sounds funny, but my thought on the subject is this. Enough is when you are happy with the outcome.
I love to see all the machine and hand quilting that goes into a finished quilt. I admire the hours and hours of work that is accomplished. I am aware of these hours because I am a quilter. A lay person has no idea how long it takes to make a top let alone quilt it. As you well know it takes longer than a couple hours to make a quilt.

One of the things I try and figure out is the type of usage a quilt is going to have. Bed quilt, Wall hanging or a piece of art work that will never get used. Most of my quilts will get used and wear out at some point.

The bed size quilts should have a fair amount of drape. They will have to cover the bed and be a nice soft drape or feel to them. So many times the batting and the amount of quilting play a big role in the overall feel of a quilt. I read were several quilters will use two batts. And the outcome is beautiful, but is this right for your application.

Back to the drape and the batting. Is the closeness off the stitching enough to capture the right amount of quilting needed for the purpose you have intended the quilt for. Stippling and outline stitching can hold a quilt together, but does it give the overall effect you want for your quilts. I love feathers and yet can we over do the amount of feathers that are used on a quilt. I know this is a statement of a quilters taste in the finished product. Glad to say we don't all feel the need to copy each other in the density of the quilting and the type of quilting we do.

Skills are another factor. I use to think only LA quilters had the skills. Well am I so wrong on this front. Hand quilters are far superior of quilters because they have the skills in their little hands and fingers. Rocking the needle in and out of the sandwich quilt is a skill that many of use admire. The other skill they have is patience. The time element is great and yet we complain about it taking so much time to finish a quilt. As my husband says all good things take time.

Machine quilters are the most inventive. They had to learn to wrestle with a quilt even with a treadle machine. They learned it would go faster than a hand quilter, but it wasn't always easier. Then came the skills of making the quilt look like an artist had drawn lines and we followed them. Up and down sideways and back. The skills were life like and pretty, but did it work? Yes it held the quilt together and looked pleasing to look at. It wasn't just straight stitching it was floral and scroll work that only a hand quilter could accomplish. The machine quilted moved on to the next level and made a new and inviting thing to do. With machine quilting we could get more than one quilt done in a year as hand piecing and hand quilting maybe would only allow us to do.

Then the skills of the LA quilter has taken us to the highest level so far. We see quilt shows just for LA quilters. We see two quilters getting awards. The piecer and the LA quilter taking home prizes for the collaboration on a master piece. Is there a height or level we will achieve and have to reinvent our craft? Who knows. We can now print our own fabrics we can fuse out applique shapes, we can envision the quilt on the computer before we tackle the chore of cutting also add the fabrics to make it look like the finished quilt before we start. What happened to the pins and scissors and newspaper templates?

I don't think there is ever enough that a quilter can do to make this industry come to it's end. Is there enough. We still look eagerly to the net to see if there is a new technique and new skills we need to accomplish to make our sewing time less stressful and that way we can produce more innovative skills than ever before. Who would have ever though an embroidery machine could do fancy machine quilting for you. Set it up and walk away until the area is quilted.

Is some of the joy of taking your time and working through the process being taken away because we don't do it all by hand. Or our life styles pushing us to use updated skills to make the pretty things all women and men want in their lives. Is enough enough? I think not. We have only brushed the tip of the iceberg and we will invent and climb the highest mountain to achieve the best skills we can. Is there an end. NO! Because we are redoing things are Mother's and Grandmother's did before us, but in a new method and time. Now off to invent and do your own things. Chris

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Got busy this morning

I decided this had been sewn together for about three years so I grabbed it and quilted this for a table topper. We have a trunk coffee table and it gets lots of use. I try and keep something on it to protect the wood from all the use. As you can see it is the central location for papers, medicines and remotes. My husband eats there and it is used for the kids when they come also.

Here are the latest birdhouses he has made. He had some requests and now no one to buy after he gets them made. The one on the left is a squirrel feeder. It looks like an outhouse.

This is just hanging on a hook on the inside wall of my living room . It is a wall hanger and a birdhouse attached. It swivels to what ever direction you want it to face.

I am off to do more laundry and get the table topper I took off clean and put away. These were scrap blocks from a quilt that was made about 7 years ago for a 13 year old. I used them up and now it is a useful item and not laying in a pile in the sewing room. Chris

Friday, May 4, 2012

Recovery day

Yesterday was a day to beat all days. We got up and decided to get the tomatoes and peppers planted. In and out of the house garden shed and the garage and three hours later we had our tomatoes and the neighbors done.
The neighbor went out to mow his yard and his mower wouldn't stay running so he borrowed our rider and got his mowed. Then my husband decided to mow our yard and another neighbor stopped him to tell him he had mower troubles and could he bring his down. He wasn't finished mowing all the yards. So he stopped and fixed the man's mower. Then he jumped on ours and finished the last yard. We had storms coming in shortly and I wanted the man off the rider and in the house. At 6:30pm we ate a quick supper and he got cleaned up. Then it is hurry up and wait for the storm. It was tracking our way and it was showing tornadic tendencies so we were concerned about going to bed and have a huge storm hit us. At 10:30pm the lightening and thunder hit. We got some wind and lots of rain. No damage, but we had just planted the plants and after all the work we were worried they were to tender to withstand the winds. We had tied them to stakes and they seemed to have weathered the storm fine. The rain perked them up and they look fine today.
Needless to say my husband got up and now is asleep on the couch this morning. He did way to much for his condition yesterday and he will pay for it the next several days. MEN!!!!!
I have laundry started and the dishwasher is loaded and running. I should run the vacuum, but he is asleep. Maybe I will get some prep work done on my applique project. I also have sandwiching to do to get the quilt going I ripped apart. So many things to do and I feel like just sitting and looking at magazines. Time will tell. Recovery will happen but not sure how soon. Chris

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


I turned off the computer so didn't have the use of my printer/scanner. So went to the old method of copying my pattern piecing. Tracing is the method. We had a storm front go through and decided while it was storming I could trace off patterns and not have anything electrical on. I got my cheap tools out. Yes I am cheap. I wish I could afford better tools, but I still would look to save money. I used a mechanical pencil and as you know they have lead that smudges when you need to erase blunders.

I am sorry I can't give credit to the quilter whose blog I read about using a white eraser to remove pencil lines. This quilter said to look at Dollar Stores for a good buy for these erasers. Well soon after that I went to a new dollar store and found a whole pack of them for a $1. I should have bought some more. Maybe will go back and see if they have anymore.

They work without smudging the paper. The suggestion was a great one and I want to pass it on. If you are the original messenger thank you for the idea of looking at the dollar store. This would be a good eraser for Children also. It is a nice size to handle and yet it does a wonderful job.

The next tool I use is Contractors paper or Architect paper.
I buy it in rolls and cut the pieces off the size I want. It was $25 a roll, but I have gotten so many more uses out of it over buying in the pads. Also the length issue is covered. If you have a big area to trace I can unroll the paper and cut the length of my choice off of it. I save any small pieces for small tracings also. I then save my master tracing and use for positioning of applique pieces.
The other thing is the paper is thin and can be stored within the confines of the book cover. I use a paper clip to secure to the cover and I have them available when ever I want to reuse this pattern.

As you can see it it transparent and works well for tracing. Also you can use it to position applique pieces on your blocks because you can see it. When you fold it it is thin and you can store it really flat. This was bought at a paper store, but the big box office supply store carry it now. I also found it in printer paper size so it can be used in your printers without having to trim the paper to fit the printer. This is 24 inches in width and about 50 feet in length. The good thing is you don't have a lot of printer paper sized pieces taped together to get a design traced on.

So when you are in the dollar stores and the office supply stores look and see what is available for your needs. I read a post on a blog where the placement guide for applique was traced onto acetate or clear acrylic with dry marker. This way you can reuse the acetate sheet over and over again. This really makes sense. It amazes me the thinking outside the box that quilters use to meet their needs.

Put your thinking caps on and look around for the best use of supplies and products that can save you money and work for more than one purpose.

I read so many blogs and I have these DAH! moments when I think why didn't I think of that. I admire those who come up with a solution to their needs and no cost is outlaid for expensive tools. Look at your tools and see if you have all that you need. Chris

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Confessions of a bad quilter

I really am a bad quilter. I just can't get motivated. I tried to get some hand work ready as I stated I would and I failed. Well not totally. I ran out of time. My Mom had and eye appointment yesterday and I wanted to have some hand work when I went with her. I didn't get the work to the point of hand work. This is going to be a table runner. It is more spring and summer looking. It has applique and piecing both in the finished table runner. My camera didn't like the glossy pages in the book.

I bought this book a while back on sale at Connecting Threads. I like the period flowers in the applique and also the piecing is simple and very retro looking.

This is a good book by Cynthia Tomaszewski. I have admired her patterns in the older Quilter Newsletters. She uses the 30's-50's look and yet uses the newer fabrics to make the look come alive.

Today we have a small window of clear weather to get the yards done. We are to get rain the rest of the week. So this will be put on hold a little longer to get the work done outside. I hope the weather holds off a couple hours to get the jump on this grass. Otherwise we will have such a long mess to clean up after it dries out next week. We also need to get tomato plants outside they have grown so much, some are waist high in the house. We have blossoms starting on one of them. Not to us that we need to not plant seeds so early next year. Chris