Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Gray day

Started out two days ago with freezing rain. Then yesterday was 62*F and all melted. Today huge amount of rain. Rained all night and half this morning. Changed over to snow, Then the sun came out for about 20 minutes and all is melted. Now the wind is picking up and the temps are falling. More snow on the way this afternoon. Quite the weather day. During the freezing rain we had lightening and thunder also.

Starting with a catch in my throat. I have been away from the house several days lately and maybe a touch of something. The mold is in the air because of the super wet ground. So it may just be allergies.

Today I am staying in and hope to get somethings done. Did some laundry and got something out for supper. Will place that in the oven after while. Now I feel like a nap.

 I have done some more hand piecing with EPP's but not anything is going on real fast. In the next couple days things will change. My son has surgery on his knee on Friday and his kids need picking up for a visit. So Grandma will have them over night. Also the neighbor needs to get to the Dr. to have her cast hopefully taken off. Then I will be freed up some more. It has gone fairly well. She has gotten a lot of strength back and can do a lot for herself.

Trying to look at gardening magazines to get some ideas for veggies for our garden. I may make it larger this year with the price of groceries. A head of iceberg lettuce was $1.99 the other day. Can't do that at my house. Also gasoline went up 30 cents in one day here. What is up with that? Staying home and planning. Chris 

Monday, January 28, 2013

WOW I did some sewing yesterday

Other than some new towels and some tweaking the bathroom is done. The shower curtain is just there to frame around the liner and shower stall.
This was some fabric my Mother had bought for a quilt and then never used it. It had a busier companion fabric, but I chose this one to make the panels and valance for this shower. If I make anything to full to cover the liner it gets to dark at night to take a shower because all there is in the area is a sky light and at night it is just to dark.

We had freezing rain yesterday and it is 45*F this morning so all the ice is melted off. Which is fine by me. Now we just have fog which is another issue, bu no ice with it which I hate to drive in fog with ice. White knuckle driving for me is a thing of the past I avoid it at all cost anymore.

It is suppose to get to 50*F today so I want to open a couple windows and get the air moving in around the house. Fresh air is something I appreciate.

Well stay dry and hopefully no one has freezing rain today. Chris

Sunday, January 27, 2013


Maybe not maybe yes. I am not sure I want to do this. Overnight my hands hurt so bad I thought I would never pick up a needle again. We are to get freezing rain today and it is about 50 miles to the west right now. The weather radar shows it over us at the moment but the air is so dry it isn't making it to the ground. Maybe a good thing.

I talked about Judi from Green Fairy Quilts blog and how she is using a schedule to keep up with her chores and her business. I have thought about all this and it seems good for her, but my days are so helter skelter I don't think I can comply to a schedule anymore.  
I slept fitfully last night and today it will catch up to me and I am sure I will be down for a nap. I did get all the things purchase yesterday so I don't have to go out for a couple days in case we get all this bad weather they are alarming us with.

The rain can come and if we loose electricity if I have hand work I can sit by a window and sew. Yes I said didn't know if I would do any more of this, but I do have some applique to work on also.

The neighbors are complaining about no sunlight. Well I will make my own with bright colored scraps. Stay warm. Chris

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Scraps Scraps Scraps

Yes I am nuts and yes I am having fun. These are the same shapes and sizes as the POTC EPP's I have been working with. Some of the scraps I pick up are not enough to do much of anything else with so I am cutting pieces to make this totally scrap look. Figure do two at once right. LOL
Here is the progress for the 4th row of 6. Need to find some larger scraps to cut the number of shapes out of to make the blocks.  
Never got to Joann's for backing fabrics. Tomorrow we are to get freezing rain so that will not be a good travel day. I guess if it is put off another day I can get more done here. Still working on the details of the freshly painted bathroom. My days haven't been myself, but it is just a struggle some days to get my goals accomplished.

This next week is going to be hectic also. Well the end of the week specifically. My son has to have knee surgery and the neighbor has appointments. Then the normal everyday stuff like dishes, laundry, cleaning and meal cooking. LOL

When I signed up to be a girl many moons ago I didn't see the fine print of all this woman stuff as an adult. Did you notice it when you signed up??.... Chris

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Yesterday was shopping day

I pay my bills and shop one day of the month. Only to have to go back and purchase milk or bread or something small the rest of the month. I wears me out to do this but then I don't have to go out when wet or cold or burning heat is upon us.

Today I need to do the neighbor's shopping. She has one more week of a non-walking cast hopefully and then my running days for her are over with. Her shopping list is a lot smaller than mine.

I would love to start a new quilt, but I am holding myself back until I finish something. It has been difficult, but I think I am going today for backing fabric for a pieced top I have. Need to measure to be sure how much I need and then off to look for backing.

I am having issues with my bobbin winder on my main machine. I think I wore it out. LOL So I am in the market for a Side Winder to get my bobbins wound. My bobbins are generic so nothing special needs to be purchased. Sad part about it is the 50% off coupon I have for Joann's can't be used on something like that. Oh well. The machine itself sews fine and I just need to have bobbins.

I have been making a shower curtain for my newly painted bathroom. Maybe I can get it done today also. Have to have a couple hours to sew to get it done.

I was reading a blog the other day about setting aside time to sew. Mind you this person owns a longarm business and a mail order business and has three small children.  Her name is Judi Madsen with If you get a chance to read her blog wear a bib for drool. She does such a beautiful job quilting and she has her act together in my estimation.

Budgeting your time isn't always easy especially if you want to be productive. At times it is easy for me and other times I just fall flat in the production process. I do need to find some time to get some things done before it is time to be outside again.

Speaking about outside we bought garden seeds and soon will be starting plants in the house again for the garden. Seems so cold out to think about gardening.

Well my day needs to get started and I need to be on the run for a couple hours. Hopefully I can find the time today to visit the sewing room. Hopefully everyone's day is productive. Chris

Monday, January 21, 2013

My crazy husband and his thoughts

What a change a color can make. This is where it stand this morning. He did all the trim work two coats yesterday. It is a smaller bathroom than the other one, but it takes longer because no room to move.
My husband's birthday is today. The old man turns 63 today. He said he was done painting in the bathroom and was going to leave it this way. HAHAHA! NOT....
The rest is rolling the sections around the strips and the mirror. It shouldn't take him to long to do.

We woke to -19 windchill this morning and it is to drop the rest of the day. Thank goodness the kids don't have school today. We had a dusting of snow and the wind is picking it and swirling it around.
Did had sewing and got some laundry done yesterday. Plan on using the oven to keep the kitchen warm today. Stay warm Chris 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Tip day

I woke up really early and all I could think about was tips. Then I went back to sleep so I am up again and I need to see if I can remember any of them.

Turn the frown on your face upside down and enjoy your day.

Make the most out of a bad situation and laugh as much as you can.

Take a pile of scraps and make a pile of quilt blocks. Waste not want not.

Can you see where this is going? I have been sitting on my duff and doing some sewing, but not much. I need to get back in the sewing room and get more done. My plan is to finish one of the tops I have sewn sitting around into a finished quilt by the end of February.

Painting is on going and I need a new shower curtain made. So today I think I am going to dust off the machine and see where it takes me. It is way to cold out to go out and be out shopping or going for a walk.
I think a corned beef will go in the oven later this afternoon and make a decent dinner and then we can have sandwiches out of the rest of it.

Have you looked at the calendar? This month is almost over with. Is it me or is the year going to fly by like last year did? At this rate I will never get anywhere with the sewing if I don't start.

Pickup a pile of scraps and have fun. Chris 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Painting cooking and skiing

My husband is starting on my bathroom and he is cussing all the while he is doing it. Patching the ceiling which was never sealed and it was a mess.
We had a bad winter and the snow blew into the exhaust fan and melted into the house several years ago. As you can see it left a stain and also left the texture on the ceiling peeling. He fixed all that and painted it to match the rest of the ceiling. 
I tried something different for supper. I sauteed a split chicken boneless and skinless in olive oil. I added carrots green pepper and onions. All in the same skillet.
I added this seasoning to the chicken as I turned it. Gave it a nice flavor.
After it was slightly browned and the veggies were tender I placed the chicken on a baking pie plate and added mozzarella cheese to both chicken pieces and then spooned the veggies over the top. I place it in the broiler of the toaster oven until the cheese melted.That is what we had for supper tonight, It was good and tastey and tender.
The boys from Rockford went skiing in Colorado this week. This was part of their Christmas gift from Dad.  
Sounds like they are having fun. I took the neighbor out of her house to get her hair done and get a cast on her foot changed today. She said she felt more human getting out of the house. Then the neighbor on the other side called and her vinyl siding on her garage was blowing off in the wind. No sewing Today. Chris

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Issues in my head

As you can see I have thread. Not as much as others, but a noticeable amount.This isn't all of it I have some spools in boxes with hand work also. 

Issue: Are we snobs or are we practical? 
I have been reading other blogs which I admire all the work and effort others are placing in their craft, but can you make a choice for me? 
I have limited resources for purchasing threads and supplies in my area. I have limited funds and yet I know others that love their quilting also have similar problems. I still make the best of what I have. I don't own a longarm or a $6000 sewing machine not that it isn't in my dreams. I own four machines some old and some cheap.

I guess my issue is why run something into the ground just because you have the means to buy the newest and the most expensive items out there. I love the fact that others have the ability to buy the best. I am practical and my nature is to survive with the least amount spent. Maybe I am at fault. I was raised by a Mother who had gone through the depression as a child and she never wanted us to deal with the problems, but she used her common sense to provide decently for us.

I read a post by a blogger I do not follow and she was so negative about the type of thread others used. The negativity was aimed at the thread I use, Not at me directly. She complained about lint she complained about the lower cost played into the quality of it. It was beneath her abilities to use such inferior products.

I have also read articles by hand and machine quilters that promote using cotton threads with cotton fabrics. Then they use polyester battings to quilt with or use polyester threads to machine quilt with and hand quilt with. Do they really hear what they are saying? The polyester threads were "suppose to" break the threads of the cotton fabrics and create holes. So why use poly threads to quilt with and why use poly battings.
The fact the seams should be pressed to one side or opened which should it be?

I know there are not any "Quilt Police". Where has all this snobbery come from? Is it because we want to be perfect or is it because we want to out do the next person? I decided about a year ago I would never have a prized quilt if I didn't enter any competition so what I use in the process of making it would be for me to know and you to find out attitude.

If a quilt I make survives 100 years then let them analyze it and see what I used. I saw a saying the other day that said " Who will care in 10 years from now?"   How true will this be? Do you plan on making an heirloom piece then buy the best you can. If you plan on trying to use your stash and supplies before you die then use what you have.

Point made is use the best you can afford and be proud of your choices. Don't let a snobby review of a product keep you from using something. Make your own choices and be proud of your abilities to the best of your talents. I am stepping down now! LOL Chris ps. If you own a longarm I am so happy for you. If you own a $6000 machine I envy you. If you can buy expensive thread I am glad you have the mean to do it. I am not being judgemental, I just wish others wouldn't be. Chris

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Growing up

Here are my two Grandkids. They are growing up way to fast.
Taylor is almost 14 years old and Derek is almost 12. Where has the time gone.
I was there when they were both born and it seems like yesterday. The fight like cats and dogs but are lost if the other one isn't there. They have been through a lot together and depend on each other. Grandma and Grandpa love you.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Well did some sewing

Not the best of pictures. I don't have a good spot to lay something out with a neutral background for picture taking.  This is 10inch blocks when stitched and this is 18 blocks 6X3 right now. Need 36 blocks for the center of the quilt so half done.
I have been using scraps and a piece of mottled tea stained muslin. for the connecting light colored borders. It really look sold fashion to me and yet it is brighter colors than a quilt from the era it would have been made in. It is called POTC or Points of the Cross quilt block. Inklingo has a down loadable templates to print out for this or you can buy the reusable template forms for the English paper piecing. I chose to make my own templates from printer paper and cut out all the templates and hand stitch them together. This is my TV watching project and to go sewing.  Chris

I am here believe it or not

Nothing to report on, but I have been keeping up with two households and trying to do some hand sewing.
I am going to strip beds today and try and get three washed and remade between my house and the neighbors. All this extra stuff is wearing me out. Awful to get set in your ways and not be able to get everything done.

We want to get the smaller bathroom started and not sure why it hasn't happened, but it will get done soon I am sure.

I have been reading a lot online all your lovely blogs and your posts keep me wanting to get something done. I have had a hard time this Winter making myself sew. I guess we all get in a funk at times.

The weather is so cold out I think that doesn't help and gray days are a norm around here. At least it is staying light outside a little longer each day.

We bought garden vegetable seeds at the lumberyard the other day. That will be the next thing we will start. We start our own plants in the house for planting the garden when it is warm enough. Which reminds me I need to look online for a certain kind of pepper seeds not available everywhere. They are a red pepper seeds that is called Tennessee Cheddar peppers. They are red and pimento type pepper but really sweet. They are delicious in casserole dishes and over the moon in salads. I can clean one and just eat it fresh.

I am going for another cup of coffee and going to try and get something done. Almost have another row sewn together on my EPP quilt. Maybe today I can get some pictures of the three rows sewn together. Chris

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Phew uploading pictures takes forever. Not use to this

I just spent two hours off and on trying to get this process done. Before Christmas I was embarrassed by the condition of my recliner. I had this piece of tapestry given to me so I make a cushion cover to cover the frayed edges on my recliner seat. We got it stapled to the base of the frame and it is in all one piece again. No it doesn't match, but blends. LOL
This is the next project. We are going to paint in this bathroom and we are using the color from the other bathroom. A Terra Cotta color so I need a new shower curtain and I went to my fabric and some that I can use to make a curtain with the vinyl liner.  
Here is the two prints I will use to make the new curtain. Not something I would use in a quilt, but it was given to me by my Mother. Good fabric, but not my type. It will work for a usable curtain. 
I have had a lot of time to sit and yet I am not getting anything done. Need to get up and be productive. We have had so many gray days and I am sure it has effected me.
This is the third row of 6 done but a few connecting sections. Maybe tonight while watching TV I can get it onto the other two rows that are sewn together.
I really have had trouble with uploading pictures. Wanda shared a posting from another blogger which helps, but I guess I get confused. This old head of mine doesn't like change when something works. Changes are hard at my age to digest.

I have to keep a copy of the instructions by my computer to refer to. Off to shovel a half inch of snow off the drive. Take care and stay warm. Chris

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Thinking Dangerous right?

Almost 31 years ago I managed a fashion fabric store in Peoria, Illinois. This is one of three I had worked in selling fabric over the course of 18 years. I was called by the local TV station to do an interview on air of the interest in sewing that was going on at the time.

The town had about 6 fabric stores and the surrounding towns had a couple of quilt shops. Not something that was that popular at the time.  Then the name of calico was what they called cotton fabric for quilting. Back then the variety was mostly solids and small viney prints in either crayon colors or pastels.

We had a group that did quilting mostly by hand that would visit the store as a group and they had jewelers eye pieces to count the threads in the fabric to see if it was worthy of having it cut for them. I was fascinated that people were that vain over the types of fabrics they would purchase. I never saw any finished items they made. They wanted the fabric to be torn and not cut and then if it was printed off grain they wouldn't accept it. I guess I am fussy about this also.

In this TV interview the reporter asked if sewing interest was on the rise. We had a large amount of avid sewers in the store that were repeat customers. Most was around garment sewing and some deco sewing, Quilting was considered a grandma project at the time.

I have looked at several profiles of quilters in the blog and so many are in their 20's and 30's. I am pleased to see that the art of creative sewing is alive and well. More people make craft or quilts as their main interest. The garment sewer doesn't surface as much. With clothing so cheap in the big box stores and the lives of many families are so busy sewing is not a priority.

If you get a chance to observe with out stalking a potential customer in a quilt shop or your local fabric store see what they steer themselves towards. Color, texture and quality is the first to emerge. Price and the amount they need all play into the next phase of their purchase. Everyones' taste in design and color and quality are different.

One thing I like is plaids. Others like florals and some like mottles or jewel textures. This is how the same pattern can look so much different with every ones tastes being so different. Chris  

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Nothing on TV and nothing going on in the sewing room

I guess I am stuck in a rut. All reruns on the TV shows we normally watch. Next week they will start up again.
The weather has been decent for this time of year and we are to get half an inch of rain on thursday.
Maybe in the next couple days I can find my mood to get something done. I have run for a couple weeks now and I need some me time.
My next door neighbor just called and she lost her house keys. Good thing I have an extra one. She thinks she pulled her gloves out and the key fell out. I always place my house key on my car key ring.
Well my neighbor hood is not dull. I think I am going to go to bed shortly and watch Chicago Fire. I don't think I told you the fireman that came up with the story line for that program is from Chicago and is a very close friend of my son's. He calls me Ma when he sees me. He is writing show story lines already for next year. The temperament of some of the firemen is a copy of his temperament. He was in the second show of this season as a walk on.
Just thought I would check in. Chris

Monday, January 7, 2013

New storage in the bedroom

This is and antique cabinet that was set out for the garbage many many years ago. It was in an auto shop of the school where I worked.It had ten coats of paint on it and we stripped 20 years ago and we used it for a TV cabinet. We loaned it to my son and he sent it back. We stripped it again and added an antique mirror to the top and it is now a display and clothing armoire.  
It will now go where this one was in the master bedroom. This was only able to sit in two places in the room because it was so big. We have a four poster bed to match it and two night stands. We think we have it sold. 
This other cabinet can be used for quilts clothing or what ever we chose after we don't need it in the bedroom. It is smaller and we can arrange the room better now.   
Jeff has worked on the old cabinet for three weeks getting it stripped and redone. Glad it is in the house and we can not worry about trying move it in the snow which is almost all gone now.
Finally figured out how to add photos. We have been so busy with the neighbor I hadn't noticed blogger had change. Thanks Wanda for the help. Chris

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Snowed some

Not a lot going on. Have a beef roast in the oven on 250*F and I am about ready to take a nap. Was up a lot last night.

I probably will be banded from emailing a fellow quilter. We have been going back and forth over quilting blogs and techniques. Valerie from has an interest in furthering her abilities in machine quilting and also looking into long arm machines. We have compared the work of several LA quilters and some of the methods they go through to mark and quilt these customer tops.

I don't have the LA machine, but I am interesting in learning more all the time because some of the skills can be used with domestic machine quilting.

If you get a chance check out her blog and see what she is doing.  Still hand piecing my EPP and still trying to get some scraps used up.

Been on the road to the hospital and doing my own thing also. We brought a refinished antique cabinet in the house and I need to get pictures taken to show you what Jeff has been working on the last three weeks.

Stay warm Chris

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Tragic start to the New Year

Jan 1 2013 started out fine and the middle of the afternoon turned ugly. This first picture is out my back door. The fire behind is a house that a single man lived in. My son called and asked if we were alright. He is a fireman and heard the call go out over the twincom radio. He said it was out here. About that time an explosion happened the windows were blown out of this house. As you can see which is just seconds after the explosion it was engulfed.
The owner was pulled out of the without shoes or a shirt let alone a coat. He is fine. He lost everything. The house behind them or to the right lost all the siding on the house and it melted the car bumper and front quarter panel. They were on the scene for 4 hours and 6 fire departments were hauling water. We live on a well and as many will know not the best water pressure. So water had to be hauled to a slurry tank to be pumped onto the fire.
The gentleman was lucky he wasn't hurt.

Then today I got a call from my neighbor who has been sick that she needed help. I went to her house used my key because she couldn't walk. She got up last night to get something to drink and fell on her kitchen floor around 10pm and crawled into her bedroom and went to bed. I called the ambulance and they took her to the hospital and she was admitted with a broken ankle and bleeding internally which made her really week. She has to have several test tomorrow to determine where the bleeding is and she is recieving 2 units of blood. She has no family here and she is all alone. So it has been a couple wild days here at my house. I would like normal someday soon.

Spending part of the day tomorrow running to the hospital and also to pay her bills and mine too. I am so tired and stressed out so I am off to bed early tonight. Chris

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013 New Year

We have new paint and color for the New Year. The next picture is true to the color. This one is muted. You can see the cabinets he took down and added more finish to them. He made these for this bathroom.
As I said this is more the real color of the room. It is a terra cotta color. It makes the room look so much warmer than the tan it was. This is another cabinet he made for next to the vanity.
More color with the EPP I am doing. I have worked on it slowly of late. When I get done with this row and attach it it will be half done. This is a use up the scrap quilt and something to do while watching TV at night.  
See this image. This is a strange sight in my neck of the woods. It is sunlight streaming in the window. It has been so dark and gray for weeks on end.
The laundry is started the showers taken and the dishes all cleaned up for this morning. Maybe I should do something creative today. I do need to make a good supper for tonight. We ate light last night and then today a decent meal and less snacking will go on.

We still have a couple details to do in the master bath to be finished. I need to scrub the carpet and then it will be officially done. At some point the carpet will be ripped out and some form of tile will be replaced in there. All takes money though.

Hope everyone had a nice New Years and all is well in your households. Chris