Thursday, November 29, 2012

Well I did it

I have been struggling with find some things that I knew where here. The last thing on my list has been found. I had gotten a Supreme Slider for free motion quilting and I had moved furniture a couple times and couldn't find what I wanted. Today I cleaned in my bedroom good because we had put the refinished dresser in my room. I am going through a stack of printed quilt patterns that were in there and I found it. This was the last thing on my list.

Now if I could get the rest of the house organized soon I would feel really good about it. Slowly I have gone through four rooms and pitched and rearranged things so I hope I know where they are at. I now have to go through the main clothes closet and get rid of things I will never wear again.

I have been cleaning since before Thanksgiving so I think I am going in to take a nap. Sounds like a plan to me. Chris

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I am really in a funk

I started looking and this quilt which is on display on the back of my couch is the only finish I have had this year. I think I stated this next year will we the year of finishes.

I have been looking at the online quilt stores looking for back fabrics to try and get free shipping. Well I still have yet to find some things I like so I will start to haunt the fabric and quilt shops here shortly. I had been saving some fabric for a special top I wanted to make and I gave in and used it on something else.

When you buy fabric and have no definite purpose for it other than you like it you kinda have decided it is for what ever is going on at the time.

I asked some questions of a few quilters as to background choices they had made and got some good suggestions for buying quantity. A couple places give you a discount if you buy the whole bolt. Which for me for applique background fabric is a good choice.

I have had this thing the last year of feeling like a shut in. No real reason other than we did so much outside I felt like the money couldn't be used for my projects. Well after the first of the year I have rechecked the budget and I plan on using some of the funds to make some finishes happen.

I really would like to get a stock pile of quilts made so I have some for gifts if I choose to give them. Also I have so many small pieces of batting laying around the mug rugs will be flying out of the machine shortly. Have to get some of this clutter under control.

I hope everyone got their Cyber Monday shopping done. Also Black Friday. I opted to give money this year and it will cause less stress for me. Today the cards are being bought for the kids and the money set in them to for the gifts they will get. Have a Good One. Chris

Monday, November 26, 2012

Been on a mission

To begin with I am so grateful for the help my granddaughter gives me when she picks things up in my sewing room. Makes me feel like I have a neat room again. BUT as much as I love her I have nightmares over trying to find things after she is finished.

She doesn't throw anything away, but I have to go on a search mission to recover what I can't find. I had a list of about 5 things I have been searching for and I found three things lately.

The most expensive thing I really want to find I haven't yet. I bought a Supreme Slider sheet to do free motion quilting with and I still have not found it. I did find black fabric I was looking for and a quilt book that belonged to my Mother. So those things have been returned to the right spots.

I did find some more quilt blocks that were started and left by the way side. I told my Mother yesterday when I saw her that I have to have a year of finishes this coming year. I have some sewing to get some of the tops done, but I cannot let this lay around any longer without finishing the bulk of them.

Famous last words about getting things done and not starting something else. My goal will be to finish as many as I can without a huge expense. Part of it was no backings. We I have acquired a few so they will be done first.

The next goal is to weed out as much of the hand sewing I need to do. I spent part of the summer sitting on my hands and not doing anything. I have to have a basket sitting beside my chair at night to get projects completed. I have applique blocks to finish for another quilt top and they need attention. I have two quilt tops hand pieced but they need applique finished on borders.

What is wrong with me!!!!!!...........                  Chris

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Well I had a warm and fuzzy post earlier I was working on and it disappeared all of a sudden. Never had that happen before. The message was to have a warm and happy Thanksgiving.

I would like to Thank all my followers and visitors to my blog. This has been a journey for me to talk about quilting.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. Chris

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Attempting to do this

This was an award winning quilt made by an unknown person hand pieced and quilted. It was taken at a quilt show and sorry I don't even remember the blog I found it on. I lifted the image and I am sorry but my breath was taken away at the look of the quilt. The quilter did such a beautiful job of piecing and hand quilting this quilt. Kudos to the quilter, sorry I don't know who you are.
This is my attempt to make something similar. I have already made a quilt top using these shapes and EPPing them. This adds another layer to the quilt block. 
I had yardage of this fabric to be able to pull all the blocks together. There are connecting squares and I need to look in my stash to see if I have anything to work for the look I am after. That is down the road. Many hours of piecing and stitching will take place before this happens.

This will be for my own use and I do appreciate the quilter that took the picture to share of this quilt show. I wish now I hadn't looked at this blog during the night when my mind was in a fog. I would be able to share that blog with you and share the joy of see the quilt show through her lenses.

There are many sizes of this EPP block segments. I chose one that I liked the size and I am doing it with scraps so it has to be within the size guidelines of the scraps I have. You could use a larger shape size and achieve the quilt in a faster time. I think the shapes are available online also I think Inklingo has this shape in their library of shapes. If you like hand work this is a fun block to do. Chris

Monday, November 19, 2012

I am going Deaf

The TV is on and never shuts off and yet we walk out of the house to go to the garage and it is left on. The more I say turn it down the louder it gets. I ask him to turn it down and he says huh? He can't hear with it up so high. He controls the remote and yet he asks me if there is anything on TV because he can't remember what night it is and what channel it is on.

Does this all sound familiar? I sit in the mornings in peace and quiet and I just love it. A little sewing in my hand a cup of hot coffee and I am in heaven. Yes I like my music in my own time and at my own loudness.   I think the sound is driving me to not want to watch TV anymore.

I know it sounds petty to complain, but hey I can't hear you. LOL Chris

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Big Elf is at work again

I haven't sewn much other than handwork. And that is coming to a hault because I have paper cuts and also a slice on my cuticle from a freshly sharpened knife. These are small scraps and I have been assembling them to make something in the future. We will see how far I get with it. Each of these blocks has 48 of these shapes in the block. All EPP and sewn together by hand. Then there are 36 of these blocks and a couple large borders. Crazy I know!
The big Elf has been at work in the garage making his birdhouses and some benches.
This one is cool because the wood had such character to it in the grain. So it looks old and weathered before it even sees the outside. Have a Great day. Chris

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Do you listen to the Radio?

I like the radio in the car and in my sewing room while sewing. BUT, this is way to early for me to have Christmas music non stop playing right now. Last night as I drove to get my Granddaughter I turned on the local radio station and that is all I heard. I guess until after Thanksgiving I am not ready for this.

My choice in music is different than the kids. So when they are in the car with me they change it. Then the sing along starts. I know nothing of the new music the kids like because of course Grandma is old fashioned as they say.

The 50's and 60's is a century ago so they think. And yes I am stuck in the oldies. I even like the older Country Western Music from that time.

I live south and west of Chicago. The WGN Radio Station was my Mother's choice back then. Sunday afternoon radio show with Mel Belairs was on. We would go in and have quiet time with a book and lay on our beds and listen to his music and the commentary that went along with it.

I will have to send a this post to my Uncle he will appreciate this. He lived in the Burbs back then.

Radio was something we listened to because there wasn't that much on TV then and also we didn't get a TV until I was 7 years old. Now the kids don't remember a time when they don't have cellphones and computers. Times seemed easier then. No CNN and Fox News in your face 24/7. Now the minute it happens Twitter or Facebook is blown up with the news. Real time is scary. We have the fighting and the unrest visible to everyone. What has this World come to?

Can you tell I am feeling my age today? Well I am, the time has slipped out of my hands this year and yet we did get a lot done. But where did it go? This will scare you 44 more days until 2013. When you were 10 did you imagine there would even be a 2013? Chris   

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I am definitely bad!

See the screensaver I have. It is a different layout of the EPP blocks I made for the green and off white quilt.
Yes as you can see I have made one block so far and started on a couple more. I had been so sick I didn't want to sew and then I jumped in to start house cleaning. I am so beat when I sit down at night I have been doing this little bit of hand sewing.
This looks gold, but the center is a red and the two outer rounds are shades of olive green. This block need another color added to it.
The center is red and the green layer and then a bright gold with a red web design over it makes it look orange. It also needs another layer and not sure what color to add. I wasn't going to start anything else and yet I did. I have some more housecleaning to do and then I can work in my sewing room and get something done.

I did some research today and found a video and have decided on making a purchase after the holidays. I do not have room for a longarm machine and I do not have the money either. So that option is way off the table. I did look into the Handiquilter frame, but again no room.
I found on John Flynn's website the quilting frame I think I will try. The system is affordable and it can be stored easily also. I do not have the cabinetry to support a good place to quilt on. Not my preference but I have to stay within budget and also in my sewing space. My sewing sometimes takes over the house and I do have a husband and he says it doesn't bother him, but I see his face some days when unexpected company comes.

Has anyone ever tried this system or has one I would like some advise if available. Well I can't keep my eyes open had to take a Benadryl, still coughing some. Chris

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Mind overload

Fair amount of cutting and sewing this year, but no finishes. I guess it has been a funny year for me. I turned 60 years old in Feb. but I thought I was handling it well and I guess life has gotten in the way.
I see so many piles of scraps and fabric pieces laying everywhere and my mind is on overload. I think about cutting into it and making more usable pieces and then I get scared with the notion I will never get anything done.  
As you can see I have used a ton of small pieces to make the blocks and the tops I have gotten to.
I really want to get this one done and yet I sit and look at it. Not really depressed just stagnant in my efforts. I have until May of 2013 to get this one done. Shouldn't look at it that way. I should jump on the band wagon and do it Right!!!!!!
This has been the latest passion to work on these blocks, but this week I just quit. I have not even sewn a stitch for about 10 days now. Being sick so long has made me out of the mood.
I love the look of this one and only have 7 more blocks to applique. I cut out some more of the applique shapes from freezer paper last night and that is as far as I got.
Thanksgiving is coming on my heels real fast. I am having between 12 and 15 people. I need to get some cleaning done. Carpets need doing and yet I just keep putting it off. Today I got my Christmas Cards all addressed and stamped ready to put in the mail. So I can put. all of the address book and writing supplies away. Not a big list, but it needed doing.

I plan on cleaning off the kitchen table and get ready to shampoo the area rug out there. Things get track up so fast and I guess I don't spend enough time picking up after us and keeping the dust bunnies at bay.

I hope you all are ready for this busy time of year and your efforts are appreciated. I go through the motions and yet I don't really appreciate the commercial feeling the holidays are anymore. Take time for yourself and sit back and enjoy the season. Chris

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Tip Day

I was listening to a TV show this morning about the high cost of food and how to buy right and store your purchases.

1. Buy butter in the next couple months and take out of the little boxes they come in and store in Freezer bags in your freezer up to a year.

2. Buy flour when on sale and take 5 lb bags and place in a freezer bag and freeze for up to a year, but use it at room temperature after you freeze it.

3. Buy cooking oil when on sale and store excess in the refrigerator to keep it from going rancid. Up to a year on the oil.

4.Many times when the holidays come around nuts are more affordable. They to can be stored in the freezer in an air tight freezer bag for about a year.

5. To make your budget go farther buy small containers of powdered milk and buttermilk powder. They work up the same as fresh milk in recipes. You have to add water for the amount you need. If kept in a dry air tight container they keep indefinitely.

6. Frozen vegetables in air tight freezer bags can keep up to a year in the freezer. So buy when the farmers markets are in session and freeze your purchases.

7. Pasta dried pasta can keep in air tight containers for over a year.

Be frugal and cut down on your costs by buying in bulk and breaking it down into usable amounts. Chris

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Trim work is down and it is all done.
Now I have some furniture to move back in place and clean carpets before Thanksgiving.
This is the spot in front of the front door. Will be a lot easier to clean up this winter. Chris

Not a lot to report

The mood is gray! The sky is gray and I am really getting gray. Nothing is really wrong I have just had a quiet time I am going through.
I think part of it is the transition to the dark fall days. I would like a climate that was nice year round, but there are always draw backs to that.

I haven't sewn a stitch in days and maybe that is my problem. I think today in between doing some cleaning I need to get some stitching done. I am finally starting to feel better and it has taken it's toll on me. Two weeks of coughing is more than enough to say you are whipped.

Thanksgiving is coming up and I need to get prepared for it. So far about 15 are coming. Haven't heard from all of the family yet so time will tell. We are doing the day afterwards so the kids can see all their grandparents. I will make sandwiches and finger food so it isn't two days of stuffing their faces.

We got all the tiling done and the trim work will be placed in place today. I really like it and it makes the room look more finished in my estimation.

Hope everyone is in good health and getting in the mood for holiday festivity. Chris

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tiling Done

Took two days but the tiling is done.
This is an awkward spot the fireplace is on an angle and it needed the tiling also.
We still have to place wood strips around the tile to secure the carpet from kicking up. Not sure if we are going to make our own or buy a finished piece.  
We replaced this section of linoleum in front of the door also. We didn't like the two mixed there.

The job is all complete but for the wood strips. The mortar is drying and will be walkable today. It upgrades the look of the room.

I did no sewing in the last few days. I made 5 trips to the lumberyard for things we were short of. All in all the cost was a little less than $100 to do what we have done so far. We had one tile left over also. So it is being stored in case. Chris

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Random Thoughts

I am awake and the house is quiet. Jeff is still sleeping. Today I need to do something even if it is wrong. I have had this cold almost two weeks now and the lack of accomplishments have gotten to me. I have done the necessary, but to me I feel like I am falling behind.

My computer is in my sewing room and I am appauled at the condition of this room. Things sitting everywhere and nothing in it's place. I have tried to wipe off the keyboard to get rid of germs, but I need to open the window and air out the room. Suppose to get in the 50's today.

I have done a lot of blog lurking of late and I marvel at the accomplishments of some of you quilters out there in blog land. I guess I am not motivated enough to stick with a project from conception to completion. You could say I am a starter not a finisher. Note to self improve on that. LOL

My granddaughter text me the other night and asked how old I was. So I told her and then I asked why she wanted to know. No response. So I called her Dad and asked why the question. They were having a discussion about how old I was and my Grandson was right. He knew Grandma's age. The reason they were saying this was they questioned what I would leave them in my will.

Dean told Taylor I was going to leave her all my scrap quilting fabric. Taylor said she would have an issue with that. We all laughed over her comment. So Dean told me the two kids started and argument over who was going to run a quilting business after I was gone.  The minds that wander with these kids astounds me. What makes them think I will have anything to will to them and then a quilting business.

To me it makes me think they like what I do for them to think about running a quilting business. Only time will tell.

Taylor wants a sewing machine for Christmas so she must be interested enough to want to do more sewing. She plans on taking sewing in 4-H this next year. Not garment sewing but Textiles. She made sure I knew that part of it.

They are at an inpressionable stage in their lives and I have somewhat of a guide in steering them in a direction makes me happy.  Kids learn by example and if I taught them one thing it is to be resourceful. Use what you have to make something worth while. Spending money doesn't always make you happy.

I always thought my Grandparents were wise when I was growing up. They had lived through the Depression and yet they survived. Maybe not how they wanted to but they had roofs over their heads and the necessary things to get along with. They did learn through the Depression to respect their possessions and take care of them because you maybe couldn't replace them down the road. Furniture lasted and clothing was re purposed. My Grandmother would take her old dresses and use the backs of them to make new aprons for herself. The fronts were worn, but the back was intact.

When my Grandmother Nellie moved we were so surprised at what she kept. She lived through loosing everything she had in the Depression and she would save used aluminum foil and plastic bags.  We wouldn't think of doing that now. The value you place on certain items you possess is amazing to me.

Hopefully you can impress a young one in your life so they learn the value of owning things. Chris 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Got a good buy

We went to the lumberyard to get Tung Oil and found these tiles that worked well with the carpet we have. Guess what they were on sale and we get an 11% rebate back on them also. They are 12X12inches. They were marked $.49 each. 
They had enough we can do in front of this door and fireplace and then maybe enough for the front door. They blend with the carpet pretty well.
We debated over the space between the tiles and decided on the bigger space. He got all the tiles glued down and then tomorrow we will grout them.
They will have to have a wood strip placed over the edge of the carpet and the tiles. It really makes a difference in the look of the door now. So for about $50 we updated the room. Chris

Friday, November 2, 2012

I wish things would change

Every one you talk to in my town is sick. They blow and cough day and night. I am still not over this crud.

Today I thought maybe I was turning it around only to get up and feel like crap again. No temp and no aches and pains, just cough and blowing.

I haven't had much interest in doing anything either. I do the minimum house chores and sit in a chair. I have tried to hand sew and it just is such an effort. When you cough this much I think you wear yourself out. Hopefully none of you get it.

Today I think I am going to go outside for a bit after it warms up. Get some fresh air in my lungs and see if this doesn't help.

Houston Quilt Market pictures have been showing up on some of the blogs and I have been sitting and drooling over the work and quality of the quilts many have produced. I think I would like to go to a huge show like that and then I think about the travel and it tells me no.

Have any of you been to a huge show like these? Chris

Thursday, November 1, 2012

I was kinda naughty

I have been looking for this pattern for a long time. It was in a book by Kim Diehl and also sold as instructions for a wall hanging. It is called Country Whig Rose.  
I found it on "The Buggy Barn "website. It was reasonable so I ordered it. Just what I need another pattern and another started project. So far I am being good. It has been here for two days and I haven't done anything with it other than look at it.

I have been working on other things and I don't need another pile of fabric laying around and nothing happening with it. I really think this will be a looker when done. I plan on using the jewel tone fabric on a mottled tea background. But it will be bed sized not a wall hanging.

Let's see how long it will be before I start this one. I also found some ideas on the web about using scraps and I am itching to start it also. It is an EPP project using the same shapes of the green and off white flower quilt.

I have finally started to feel a little more like myself. Still coughing some, but at least the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter. The holidays are approaching and I don't want to be sick and not be able to see the grandkids.

No quilts for Christmas this year. I am not going to make myself nuts over doing that again. The kids have all these electronic games and tools and I just plan on giving them money and they can do with it as they please. Santa is broke this year.

Hope everyone is doing well Chris