Monday, October 26, 2015

New Socks!!!

I always start out with good intentions, but I guess I just do not always find the words, or have anything to say worth sharing. But this time I have something to tell about. I finished 2 quilt tops. One is for a friend, and the other one is from an exchange. They are going to the long arm quilter, and I will post finished pictures of them when I get them back.

In the mean time let me show you my latest finish from this weekend. They are called Bird Walk Socks, and you can find the free pattern on They look very complicated, but the pattern is easy to remember. It is just a 12 row repeat, and very easy to fall into the motion. The pattern is also very nicely written with much explanation, and easy to follow. The yarn is Regia sock yarn, and I purchased it in Florida on one of my visits to my daughter. I always have to buy yarn and fabric on vacation to remember it by.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Return from Quilt Retreat

Of course I have not made any progress in knitting. All my focus was on quilting this week as I was at a Quilt Retreat in the Ohio Amish Country the past 5 days. I had such a great time, and it was just what I needed to rejuvenate, and get my creativity back. I also made some new friends, which I am very happy about. You can never have too many friends just too bad that they are not living close by, and our main communication source will be via Internet. But the good thing is, we made plans to see each other again in a few months. I am already looking forward to it.

If you look back 2 weeks you will see the before pictures of my Retreat Projects. Below you see that I finally caught up with Pat Sloan's Vacation Time BOM she is hosting on her Blog. I am looking forward to next months direction on how to put it all together. The picture is a little dark, and I do not know why, because I did use a flash. However, I used Batiks and for the background fabric I stuck with white on white, because I think it makes the Batiks really shine. Besides, for a Vacation Time quilt I thought bright would be quite appropriate.

I also finished my purse. You saw the supplies all cut up in a Zip Lock bag, and that is where they have been for about 2 years. I toted it around with me from Retreat to Retreat, but then always found something that interested me more, and so it just never was finished. But this retreat I made it my first priority before I could get side tracked again. I think it turned out nice.

I do not have a picture of the Block Exchange blocks yet. Although I worked on it, I did not have time to complete it. So I will post pictures when I get it completed, however that might be a little while.

Now my little Holiday is over, and I have to return to work. I am not really looking forward to it, because it sucks the life out of me and kills my creative streak. But I have started the Leadership program at work, and hope that a position will open up soon. Currently I can not bid into another job, because I will be stuck for 12 months there until I can bid out. Right now I just want to be available and ready to bid into a job when it becomes available, and not miss an opportunity should it present itself. So, nose to the grind stone, and dream of better days.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

This weeks Happening

Today we went to the1st Birthday Party for my Great-Niece, Riley. She is just so adorable and cute. We had a great time. It was also good to see some of the family again. We seem to only get together for special occasions, and that is not very often. But alas, we are all busy people, so it makes it difficult to sync up every ones schedule.

We have a thunder storm moving in now, so I thought I take some pictures of my most beautiful flowers I have left this summer. I think though that the storm will really help to cool down these scorching temperatures some, and hopefully bring in a slow and steady rain.

I am still knitting on the second sock of my Bird Walk. I also started this Cardigan. This picture is from Interweave Knits Fall 2015. This issue has so many cool patterns, I hope to make a few of them.

This weekend I have to finish packing up my sewing room and my clothes for Quilt Retreat. Wednesday morning I am headed to the Amish Country for 5 wonderful days with my friends. I am really excited to spend that time with them.

At work there is some serious change looming. Starting October 1st, we are switching to a new Diagnosis code. This change is exciting and scary. Exciting, because it is more accurate than the current one, and scary, because it is important for billing purposes to have the exact diagnosis code or the claim will be denied, which results in not getting payment from the Insurance Company. Also I have been accepted in the Leadership program, and start training on Tuesday. This is bringing change with it too. It might bring some changes to my current job, or hopefully even a promotion in the future with a hefty raise. At least this is what I am hoping for and signed up for.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Feeling Inspired!!!

I am feeling very inspired to create. I attribute this feeling to two things that happened to me. First off, I checked my Calendar and realized I have 10 days until I am going to Quilt Retreat, and the thought of spending a long weekend quilting, talking, and creating with my friends just sparks creativity in me. It also motivates me to create. The second thing is, I talked to my very good friend, Carolyn. It seems it does not matter what we talk about, but time spent talking with her always gets me into the creative mood. In this last case we just caught up on our families and each other job happenings.  But for some reason, this made me think up some things I want to knit and quilt.

This time  around I thought I would take some pre-retreat pictures.

Above you see the first sock of my current knitting project. The patter is called Bird walk and you  can find the pattern on I bought the yarn on one of my recent trips to Jacksonville, Florida, when I visited my daughter. The coloration just reminds me on the different shades of the ocean when you stand at the end of the Pier and see for a vast distance. I started on the second sock this morning, and hopefully will get that done this week.

This is one of my projects I will take to retreat. I had this purse cut out and ready to go for quite a while. But I am determined that it will be the first project I will work in this retreat. I need a new purse, and this has nice fall colors, just in time for the changing season.

This project is a Block of the Months by Pat Sloan. It is called Vacation Time and the pattern is available on her blog. I am a little bit behind, but that is quite alright, I have the pattern instructions saved on my lab top, and will be able to catch up on this at retreat. I think this might be my second project, because I am not sure when the block exchange will be, and that might make the exchange my last project.

These are my exchange blocks for the fall exchange we agreed on last year. There are 12 of us participating. So I came up with a design to assemble the top in, and that would be on-point. I cut out the other fabric that I will need for this quilt, and hope that I will be able to get it all pieced together on that long weekend. The finished quilt will be a Queen sized quilt, and I will have to ask Carolyn to quilt it for me, because my frame will not be large enough for it. I really have to learn a quilt as you go method. But not on this project, but it is a future goal.

Now of course I still have to plan on what clothing to pack, and what kind of food I would like to make for retreat. But I have until Friday to figure that out, that is when it is my grocery shopping day and I have to be decided on what groceries I need to buy. Next week I will keep checking on the weather in Berlin, OH, and see what kind of clothing I need to pack for my trip. Knowing the Ohio Amish Country, layers will be my best friend.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Some News!!!

I have not been blogging for a long time. I just feel I am too busy or too tired to blog after spending all day on the Computer at work. But lets be honest. We make time for things that are important to us. I just need to make blogging a priority again in my life, because I really enjoy it. I have a lot to say, although it might be meaningless to every one but myself. That being said, I guess we best dive right in.

I have news on the Career. I have been accepted into the Leadership program offered  by my Employer. This will qualify me to move up the Career Ladder after completion should I so desire, and of course, if a position is available. I am really looking forward to learning something new, meeting new people, and networking some.

On the Healthy Living, I have been walking more. I mean a lot more. I usually got about 5000 steps in daily, now I am walking an average of 10000 steps daily. You may wonder, how did all this come about? Well, my hospital system has adopted the Walk with a Doc program. A doctor from our system has started to get together a group of people every Saturday morning for an one hour walk around town. I went in hopes to meet new like minded people. I did not expect every one to be in top form.  I went there, and I was the fat one. Secretly I was hoping that maybe someone bigger than me would be there, and I could just attach myself to them, and walk at a slower pace. But no, I was the one. Once the realization hit, I wondered how this happened. So for the first half hour of the walk I was mentally beating myself up for letting myself get there. But then my inner warrior came out, and I decided that this is it, and I am getting serious about doing something about that. So I am consistently walking every day at lunch break, and then again on the treadmill at home. My goal is 10000 steps daily, because that is the recommended step count for leading an active life. I have not lost weight, and a lot of that has to do with me not having adjusted my diet yet, but nonetheless, I feel better for it.

Off course all the walking does not leave much time for sitting at the sewing machine, but I still finished a quilt last month. It is a Quilt in a Day pattern, and took be about 2 years to sew. Then my wonderful friend, Carolyn, machine quilted it for me. I just love the wonderful job she did on it.

Now knitting comes a little easier, but that is the nature of the beast. Knitting is just more portable, and easier to take to the porch swing on a nice Summer evening. So for the past few weeks, when I had time I worked on my Vest. I used Berrocco yarn and a DROPS pattern.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Pillow Cases for Charity

These are the Pillow Cases I made for this years Quilt Retreat. Every year we collect Pillow Cases for a charity at the Quilt Retreat, this year I decided to be part of it, and this is my contribution.

This year I will take my blue and white swap blocks with me and get the top sewn. I will also take my Beach themed quilt with me. I have a purse cut out that I hope to complete. I will also take my jelly rolls with me and see if I will be able to start on the radiant star quilt this time around. If not that is OK, at least I will have some projects I have completed and progressed on. I don't plan on buying any fabric this year, but if something jumps out at me, of course I will give it a home. But I really need to use the fabric I have here at the house. There is no point in having this beautiful fabric lay in totes rather than on beds and sofas.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Time to really get cracking

My living room is almost done with the whole organizing and clutter removal. I have one little drawer left. You would think it is not that difficult to take care of it, but it has some things in it, I am not quite sure what to do with. Do I keep them and actually use them? Do I keep them just to have them? Do I get them out of my house? It is not easy to make these decisions with some items.
Once I get that done, which will be in the course of this week, I will attack my Guest Bedroom. Since my daughter moved out a year ago I started using the closet for storage,  but not things that are actually needed, just things I had no idea what to do with it. So I will empty the closet, get rid of the clutter, because none of the stuff in there has been used in the past year. Then install a closet shelving system, and store my quilts, blankets, and sheets in there. Also use the hanging part for my scrubs for work. That will automatically free up my closet in the basement for the winter coats.

I have been making some changes lately in my eating, and have managed to not gain weight. I have not lost any either, but at least I stayed the same. What I do now is, that I pack my lunch for work, it saves money and calories. It is hard sometimes to say no to take out, but I feel more energized with it. Now with the weather getting better I will be spending more time working outside, and also walking the dogs. They did not like me dragging them through the cold snow, but now they get excited about our walks again. Keeping this routine up regularly all four of us should be able to drop a few pounds, my three fur babies and I.

I am getting excited to plan out what I will plant this year as Vegetable and Flowers. I have not quite decided on things yet, but those seed catalogs and pinterest are not making any easier for me. But now since the last bit of snow is gone, the clean up is starting. On the nice days when the rain let off I am working on getting the yard cleaned up and ready for the spring again. So I wear my stylish rubber boots, and out in to the wet and muddy yard I go. But it is just so nice to be able to be outside again.

Knitting and Crochet:
I am working on 2 projects at this time. I am knitting a yellow lace cardigan for myself to wear on those cooler summer evenings and mornings. I am also crocheting a pink lace cardigan which I am very excited about. It will also be a nice little cover up for the cooler times of summer.
Now to prove that I have not been completely lazy for the past 2.5 months, I have actually something to show. These socks I knitted in January. I used Knit Picks Palette yarn. One ball makes one pair of short socks in my size.

During the last big snow storm in the beginning of March I crochet this winter set. So come next winter I am well covered.

In February I escaped for one week to my daughters house in Florida, and bought some awesome beach themed fabric. Currently I am working on that quilt. It is slow progress, because it has a lot of HST. I decided to make them over sized and then trim them to size so my quilt will be as accurate as possible. That is of course the hold up. I make them in batches, as to not get overwhelmed.

This is the Hunter Star I made during retreats the last few times. It is a nice lab quilt, and I am very excited to have it done. The finished blocks are 6inch square. Now I am excited about next Quilt Retreat, because Sue and Susan who introduced me to the amazing Rapid Fire Hunter Star Ruler will be there, and there is no telling what they will introduce this time around.

This is a cat themed quilt I made for my daughter in Florida, and took to her in February. She is a cat lady in the making. She just loves being with her beautiful cat, and gets great joy from that precious animal when she gets home after a long day at work. She was very excited to have this cat themed quilt.

Well this is it for now. I hope tell more again next time, and hopefully not take such a long time to blog again. See you all soon.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!!!

Today is a New Year, and we are turning over a new leaf. A new year is always full of hope and dreams, and opportunities. I will refrain from making resolutions I know I will not be able to hold for more than 3 days. But I like to pick a theme for my new year.


I have been struggling with keeping a healthy balance between work, home, family, and me. I think it all comes down to not being organized enough to effectively manage my time. So I will organize my priorities, organize my time, organize my home more, and I will see if it helps me to have more balance. Clutter, no matter in what form it comes, is keeping me off balance. I figured out, if I let go of some clutter in different areas of my life, I can have more balance.

Today I will relax, and spend some time deciding what I can let go of, and start taking steps to a more organized life. Off course this is not a quick process, but will require time, and an attitude adjustment.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Cold Feet in FL

My daughter was complaining to me in November that her feet are getting cold. She lives in Florida now, and was surprised how cold it will get there after dark in the winter months. So I started this pair of socks for her. I just wish I would have gotten them finished 6 hours earlier, so she could have taken them with her instead of me sending them now. But I was sidetracked by other things, and just did not meet my own deadline.
I wish I saved the yarn band for this yarn. I bought it back in February at the "Unwind A Bit" Yarn Store in Chillicothe, OH. I am not in that area very often, but must make a point of stopping by there every time I am in the area. I love their Berrocco selection. I also always find a very yummy sock yarn. At my last visit in November I found some nice Alpaca sock yarn which I gave to my daughter who is learning to knit her own socks now.

The New Year Comes With New Plans

I have not been very diligent in posting my achievements. I am sorry, I did not even take a picture of the Baby Quilt for my Nephew's Baby. Well, but they really loved the quilt.

So here are some plans I have for the New Year, because 2014 was a "fly by the seat of my pants" kind of year. I don't like being disorganized and feeling like I am chasing my own tail all the time. So for 2015 Organization is my key word.

1. The whole work and home thing needs to be balanced. So I will get more organized with keeping up with my home, and not do these power cleaning sessions every weekend. One important step toward that is, to de-clutter my home. I looked carefully at my home the last few weeks, and saw that I have too much stuff I really don't love that much. So getting things out of the way will make it easier to keep everything clean and neat even after a long day at work.

2. I will get more organized with a healthy and balanced life style. I will make time to plan my menu and if need be cook ahead. A lot of times with the long work days we grab quick take out food. I would like that to be an occasional thing, not the norm. Nobody can feel good and energetic on take-out food. I will also make regular time for exercise. I already worked on this during the month of December, and can make time to go to my exercise room, and take some time to myself. I found out that I have my most creative thoughts while exercising. It is amazing how great ideas come to my mind once the blood flow is established.

3. I will make time to relax with some yarn and fabric. I just don't make time to sit and knit or quilt, because I feel guilty about all the other things that need done. A lot of times I get side tracked on Facebook too. So I will make the time and just relax with some "Fiber Therapy", renew  my spirit, and maybe get a project or two done.

4. I will also communicate more effectively on the Computer. Just getting caught up reading Facebook messages is not communication. So I will use my Computer time to communicate, not to waste time. After all, it is not very relaxing to read FB. But it is very relaxing and educational to read articles, or instructions on how-to do new knitting or quilting technique.

5. I will meet the deadlines on my CEUs (Continuing Education Units) for my re-certification. I get a CEU opportunity every 2 months and this year I will use all of them. Due to being so disorganized in 2014, I did not use them all, and feel quite guilty about it. So I will further myself professionally in 2015 by keeping up with the educational part.

Now I don't think my goals are too lofty or unattainable. I think with a little planning and discipline I should get a good handle on my issues. I will however keep up with my progress on here. This will keep me accountable, and perhaps someone has some hints or tips on how to improve on things.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

A new quilt is in the making

I started a new project this week. It is a baby quilt for our Nephew and his lovely wife's baby. The little girl is supposed to be born in September 2014. Considering the speed I quilt, I better get moving, or the baby is going to be 5years old before she will get the quilt.

I am using the pattern "Center Square" by Karen Renaud. I found it in the Big Book of Baby Quilts. I wished I could have found the exact colors and fabrics as in the original pattern. But it was not in the Cards. But I do like my alternative that I found very much.

So far so good I am making good progress on the project. I decided instead of having marathon quilting sessions, I will just sit down for half and hour to an hour, and then go do something else. My biggest hindrance to quilting on a regular basis is, that I don't think I have enough time to sit down and sew a little. I need to get that in to my brain that it is OK to just sew for 15 or 20 minutes. I will make more progress on my projects in that short period of time than I make if I don't sit down to sew at all. But for some reason I have it in my brain that I have to be able to sit there for the next 3 hours in order to even consider getting started. Now that might be true if I was sewing at the dinner table and have to drag every thing out first. But I don't have to do that. I have a sewing area that is already set up and ready to go. I guess it is just a matter of letting go of perfectionism, and learning to enjoy the small increments of time to myself.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Log Cabin in Day!

Well, not quite. It is just the name of the pattern by Eleanor Burns. My day was 3 years long. But I am glad to have something new to post. It was a long time. But working full time and having a family is really getting in the way of my knitting and quilting time. Well, not really. We make time for what is important to us, and my family and work are quite important to me. But no matter, my quilt is done. I could not get a pic of the whole quilt, because it is so huge I have no surface to lay it out on.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

I am keeping busy

I finally pinned my Log Cabin quilt yesterday evening. It is about 108x108 inches. I set the blocks into a star design. Now the only problem I have is, that I have no idea how to quilt it. I am planning on quilting it on my domestic machine, and already know, it will be a bear to wrestle through. I thought concentric stars would look great, but I am running in to the problem that the stars get distorted as they get smaller and larger. I thought about free motion quilting, but my quilt frame with the machine is too small for this quilt. I think free motioning a large quilt like this on my sewing table will not turn out great. My batting has to be quilted between 2-4 inches apart. I am trying to figure out some kind of straight stitching, because I think that would work the best. I will have to do some more thinking on that.

My sweater I am knitting has not been touched since I posted last. But I am planning on changing that today. I have so many knitting podcasts to catch up on. So I thought I could knit a few hours today, relax, and catch up. A cold front has moved in to our area again, and that makes of course perfect knitting weather. Also, I would like to get this sweater finished so I can wear it before it gets too warm for it. If I can get the body finished today, which is about 5 more inches, I think that would be great.

This brings me to a new endeavor I am starting. Like everyone else, I am trying to lose weight. I figure if I lose weight, and become skinny, my sweaters will knit up so much faster. I am not following a certain diet plan, because that just made me fail every time in the past. The "you are not allowed to eat this" approach is making me want the "forbidden" food even more. I tried a lot of diet plans, lost weight on them, but could not stick to them. Until I think, now it finally clicked. Not a diet, but a different lifestyle. So I have decided to do the "French Girls don't get fat" approach. I am controlling my portions, make good choices, and move more. I chose walking and strength training. I really enjoy Leslie Sansone's Walk away the pounds franchise. I have enough DVDs to keep it interesting and mixed up. On days I don't want to do her workouts, I have a Treadmill, exercise bike,  weight machine, rowing machine, Swiss ball, and assorted weights and stretch bands. So quite a home gym that I will use more now. I started on Friday with 195.1 lbs. and am down to 194.3 lbs. I know it is better to start weighing weekly, but I find it more motivating for me to weigh daily. This way I can make corrections when I see a gain or stand still, and I will catch it before it becomes too big. Now I know people say, "What about fluctuations?" Yes, that is mostly water you take on from eating too much sodium. But my theory is, if I see that fluctuation, I can counter act it by drinking more water, and flushing my system out. I will keep you updated how that is working out for me. But for my first week, I need to have special strength. I work in a doctor's office, and get take out lunch a lot from visiting drug reps. It is all very nice and good, but eating out gets old, and is nothing special anymore. My plan for this week is to bring my lunch from home. It is more calorie controlled that way. I just need  to be strong, and say "no thank you" when the menu comes around to me. I think it will be tough the first few weeks, but once I get control over my eating habits, I can start to take part of these lunches once a week, and make it something special again, rather than the norm.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Back to basics

I originally started this blog in order to have a sounding board for anything that moves me, and makes me tick. For some reason I just started posting about my crafts, but really not much about me or my life. I want to change this, and get back to the basics. I want a little of everything. After all, I am more than a crafter, and you really do not get to know me, until you know more aspects about me.

I have not been posting in a while, because I got busy and sidetracked, and really had not much to post about. But that is only because I have not given it much thought.

On the crafting line of things. My knitting is progressing nicely, and I will post some pictures here of my finished projects.  Currently I am knitting on a Cardigan, in one piece, with steeking. I thought it might be time to start learning that technique, and get over my fear of cutting in to my knitting. I will keep you updated on that.

My quilting is very slow, and even at a stand still right now. I don't know if I can blame the lack of time, or just not having the quilting mojo right now, because things in my quilt room are not going exactly the way I want them to. Murphy's Law has been hitting me left and right in this regard, and I am afraid to work on anything, because lately it is not working out well for me. Not to mention that I just have a hard time to make time for quilting, other than on retreat.

The lack of time brings me to my family. I am a little out of my comfort zone right now. My oldest daughter wants to move out, and all the way to Florida. Off course I have mixed feelings about these plans. I am excited for her, because I remember gaining my independence, and it was a very scary and exciting time for me. But I am also worried for her, because after all, she is my baby, and she is moving far away, and I can not be there to rescue her all the time. Naturally I want the best for my daughter. I want her to stay close to home. But I also know, she is 20 years old, ready to spread her wings, and she needs to soar. Not to mention she has to move away to a college with a good Psychology program in order to complete her degree. So you see how I am torn with my feelings about her plans. It is just difficult for me to accept the fact, she is a grown, young woman now, and  makes her own decisions. So I try to have a cheerful attitude, and try to support her as much as I can. After all, I done the best I can in raising her, she is a wonderful young woman, she needs to make her own way, and needs my support and prayers.

On the work front life is getting a bit busier too. My job responsibilities have multiplied. My co-workers are giving me the cold shoulder, and try to punish me for what they think is a great reward. I am a Certified Medical Assistant in a Family Practice. I am sorry I can not go into too much detail about my work, but I am sure everyone understands about confidentiality. Any way, my boss asked me to take on some more responsibility in addition to what I do on a daily basis in  order to improve the patients experience in our office. This means working a lot closer with the doctor, and my co-workers say they are OK with it, but their actions speak volumes to the contrary. So my days are a little more stressful. Not so much from the work load, because I have a pretty good system going, and very rarely stay late. Most of the time I am done with my work early and get to leave early. So needless to say, it was a no-brainer to accept the responsibility and trust my doctor is placing on me, and make this career move, and secure my position in the office by being more needed, due to the work I do. So now my co-workers, who used to be  good team players, are now giving me the cold shoulder.  This is not a reward by any stretch of the imagination, because I am working non-stop now, and have to plan my trips to the water cooler or bathroom very carefully, as to not get doctor behind schedule to see patients. But for some reason my co-workers see it as a reward. So I just have to weather out the storm, and hope the dust clouds will settle soon enough, and they will become the wonderful co-worker they used to be.

Friday, November 29, 2013

2 more Challenge finishes

I finished these placemats quite a few weeks ago. I just kind of forgot to post about them.

This is my finish for today. It was a mystery quilt the first year I went to quilt retreat. That has been quite a few years ago. I did a meandering all over quilting on it. Just simple and fast. I thought the pattern speaks for itself, and does not need much enhancement. The quilt is lap sized.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

I kind of forgot to post

This sweater was forgotten in a closet for a very long time. I call it "Holly Sweater", because the color of the yarn is called Holly. This is one of my own designs.

These Mittens are a very quick knit. I found the pattern on Ravelry, and it took me 2 weekends to knit. They are called "Give A Hoot". If you look closely you can see the Owl on the back of the Mitten.

This Afghan took me exactly 1 year, but that is only because I had it laying in my sewing room for a few months. I bought this Pattern from Herrschner's, and really like it. As you can see, it is a descent size, and spans my Queen-sized bed. I love snuggling with it on my sofa in the evenings after a tough day at work.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

I see PUPPIES!!!!

I finally have my daughter's quilt finished. It was high time too. The edges needed bound so badly, because they were unravelling. It feels so great to have a finished project again, but then it is also sad that it is finished.
Oh well, on to the next project, which ever that may be.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Let it Snow!!!

Perhaps not quite yet, since Autumn is just starting.

I finished my first Project of my challenge. One down and only 7 more to go. This project did not go quite as smoothly as I hoped. While finishing it, my sewing machine gave up it's ghost. Naturally I tried my hardest to finish this with the smallest of delays by getting the sewing machine I have been eyeballing for quite some time. So my new purchase is quite justified with the finish of this long overdue table runner. I am so pleased to have started of my challenge at a good pace.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Time for an update and a challenge!!!

I am way overdue for posting again. I am not trying to make excuses, but I just have the hardest time to find a rhythm in my live that will work and balance out work, family, home responsibilities, and my fun time.
I was at Quilt Retreat last weekend. My it already feels so long ago. I guess it was a very long week at work. But anyway, my friend Carolyn and I came up with a grand idea. We thought we should challenge each other to get some of our UFOs finished. Needless to say out plan went viral in no time. The challenge is to post pictures of projects we want to finish until April 2014 for our next retreat. But the kicker is, we are supposed to use fabric from our stash to do so, but if not possible, we may buy small amounts of fabric to finish a project. It has to really be justified. If we start new projects, they have to be started from our stash.
We are hoping to get a few projects finished, get some room in our sewing rooms by using what we already have, and to have some fun along the way.
So here are my projects I plan on finishing in various stages.
This is my "Deer Quilt" which I sewed last April retreat for my husband. Of course this man, who sponsors and supports my fabric habit deserves a quilt. So my goal is to get it quilted and bound, so my husband can actually use it.

Above is my "It's a Star" quilt top. It is queen-sized quilt top sewn in Eleanor Burns' construction method for Log Cabin quilts. I started it a few years ago, and it just hibernated for a while, and now it is in the holding pattern to be quilted and finished of. I think it will look really great on my bed.

This little bright beauty is a Mystery quilt we made at retreat a few years back. It is only lab-sized, or even smaller than that. It would make a great table topper too. My goal of course is to quilt and finish it, and finally get it out of my UFO pile.

This "Let it snow" table runner was a total surprise to me. I completely forgot about it. I made it a few years ago from a magazine pattern, stuck it into my to-do pile and forgot it. I made this from stash, and hope that it will be my first project to be finished, so I can enjoy it this winter season on my coffee table.

Above you see an orphan, on purpose. I abandoned it because one of the blocks I sewed wrong, and I am not fixing it. I do kind of like the look of the block anyway. This was a BOM we did on the Ohio Quilter yahoo group a few years ago.  It is twin sized, and the perfect size to snuggle with for nap time. The colors are just warm fall colors, and I really love the fabrics I used. I guess just frustration with my inability to follow a pattern properly made me put it on ice. Not anymore!!! Goal for it is, to quilt and finish it before April.

Above you see the start of Eleanor Burns' "Twisted Star" quilt. I am sewing the Queen-sized  version of it. My goal is to have the top assembled by April. I am not going to be too ambitious with that. I have to remember that my day job takes up a little of my sewing time.

Above you see the beginnings of a Hunter Star quilt. I have no idea how big it will get. I started it at the last retreat because some friends showed me a new method of sewing the pattern, I fell in love with it, and now I am making a quilt with 6inch blocks. So I have to see how big I like to grow it. It might become lab-sized or it might grow into a Queen. Who knows!!! But we will find out by April, hopefully

This little project should be easy and quick to finish. These are Autumn Place mats I started at retreat. I did not cut enough fabric for them, this is why I could not finish them. No they have become part of my challenge, and I hope these will be the second project that will make it on to them finished list. So that I may enjoy them this Autumn on my Dinner table.

Now this is my little confessional from my quilting room. I am not even starting on knitting on here. Those would be my bonus projects.

I am not going to make promises to update my blog on certain days, because that will not work out for me. But I will keep you all posted on my progress in the challenge, and on other things that are going on in my life.

Monday, May 27, 2013

I am still kicking, and quilting

I am back!!! Yes, it seemed like I have been disappearing from the face of the world, but I am still around. I just find it very difficult to fall into a good routine with my work. I have been in this job now for 6 months, and still I am struggeling to find a routine that works for me. But I am sure, eventually I will get the hang of it. I work 4 days a week, a lot of days more than 10 hours, and I drive 1 hour each way. So including lunch break I am gone from home about 13 hours most work days. Needless to say, I don't feel like doing anything on those days, and can just muster up enough strength to get the basics done, so my house will not turn into a health hazard. LOL
But I am trying hard to get in quilting, knitting, or crochet time on my weekends. Some weekends I even get something finished.
This is the Mini Bow Tucks Tote, and I made it for my Mother-in-law for Mother's Day. She was happy to get it, because she wanted to make herself one. So I lend my pattern to her, and she said it was a little more complicated than she would have liked it to be. So I thought it would be a great gift idea to make her one.

I also have another finish this month. I am so excited to finally get something done, and making progress with all these projects. But don't get me wrong, it is very difficult not to start a new project. But I know, I need to be more diciplined and get actually something finished.
This is the Buckeye Beauty that I made for my daughters High School Graduation. It is only one year late, as she just finished up her Freshman year in College. But she loves it anyway. She could not have been more excited if I would have handed her a pot of gold. 

I have of course a few other projects in the works. I am piecing the Twisted Star Quilt by Eleanor Burns. I must say, I love her patterns, but this is the last time that I follow her instructions. The next one of her patterns, I will read over the instructions, and see if I can figure out an easier way of making the quilt. She always has a lot of unnecessary extra steps in it, and it is just very labor intensive.
I also started to baste my Puppy Quilt for my other daughter, so I can quilt it. I am planing on straight quilting it, and then quilt some  motives into the Puppy blocks, so that my batting will hold together.
After that I still have my Log Cabin Quilt, a few pillow cases for every quilt, my Churn Dash quilt that needs finished piecing, my Eye Candy that wants hand quilted,  and many more in the plans.  Currently I am looking through my patterns for something to use my batiks with. Then in September I am going on another Quilt Retreat, and we will be having a mystery quilt. Of course I am looking forward to receiving the first step of the instructions, so I can pull my fabric for it.

Well, now I am all motiviated to get my breakfast in, get a few things taken care of around the house, and then go back into my sewing room on this cloudy, chilly day today, and relax before I have to get back to work again tomorrow.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Puppy Quilt has it's border on

My Puppy Quilt for my daughter is ready to be layered. I sewed the border on this morning, and now I have to figure out where I want to layer it. On the carpet or on the table. I am leaning more toward the table. I might have to get myself some of those table cloth clips so I can stretch the backing across my table. That way I will be more comfortable than crawling on the floor, and I can pin baste my quilt in sections. I am just worried that if I layer on the carpet, that I will have puckers in the back after quilting.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy National Quilt Day!!!!

I hope you all have a Happy National Quilt Day. I know, some of you are now making a face and say, "But it is St. Patrick's Day today!!!" Yes, it happen to be the same day. But since I have not a drop of Irish in me, not even Guinness, I am not qualified to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. But I am a quilter through and through, pure bred. Therefore, that is the holiday I chose to celebrate today. BTW, I don't celebrate Cinco De Mayo, Ramadan, and Hanukkah either, because I just don't fit the bill. But I am very excited about the Holidays I do get to celebrate, because I am part of the group they are for.

This is my daughter's graduation quilt. Graduation from High-School that is. She is about to finish her freshman year of college. I know, I am a little behind times. But I also know she will love it just the same. Today I finally quilted it, and put the binding on. I still have to fold the binding to the back and hand stitch it down, but that will be for my weeknight, after work, hand work times. I am very excited that I have it done this far, and my daughter will be sleeping below it in foreseeable future. I will also make a pillow case to go with the quilt for her.

Right now I will take a little break from quilting, and then perhaps work on another UFO for my other daughter. Said quilt needs to have the last border sewn on, and layered for quilting. I don't want to stress myself out too much, so I will keep my goals low, and for now I will just do some work around the house, and maybe take a little nap. Then I will see where I go from there.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Ruffle Scarf

OK, I finally made one of these scarfs. Really the only thing holding me back was the technique. But a gentlemen who was in the waiting room of out office made one for his girl-friend the other day, and was so kind to show me how. I just could not resist making one for me too. Besides, some of my friends were making these too, and I just love how they look.

I used Red Heart Sashay, and it took me only last night to crochet it. It was a fun and fast project. I love these instant gratifications. Let's hope I don't ruin it when I wash it the first time. The label instructs to hand wash in cold water, and dry flat.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Acute Case of Staritis

Once again I contracted an acute case of startitis. I just could not help myself. I saw this BOM on, and since I like traditional blocks, I decided to join in. It is a crossover of a mystery quilt and a sampler, since there is no picture of the finished quilt. I just know that it has 12 blocks, but no idea what these blocks might be. I decided to make it from my stash, and use my country colors for this quilt. At first I thought about making 2 blocks for every month, and enlarging it to a queen sized quilt, since that is the size of all my beds in the house, but then thought better about it. Not every quilt has to fit my bed. It is OK to have a quilt just the right size for the sofa, or a nap.
This is January's block and is a Monkey Wrench. The colors do not show up properly in my computer, because the dark is not black, but a nice, rich, dark brown. This block went together very quickly, and was easy to sew. The finished size is 12 inch square.
This really gave me back some of my quilting mojo, and I am looking forward to next month's block. I really need to get going in cleaning my quilting room, so I can put this quilt into the frame that I would like to finish this month. Maybe I will get started on that tonight, or maybe next weekend. I don't want to feel like I am rushed, that is much too close to work, rather than pleasure. But for now it is just good to be back to sewing again.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Feeling very unmotivated today

Today is just one of those days that I would gladly spend laying around like a beached whale. I see the work around the house that needs done, and get it done a little at a time. Just my heart is not in it today. I should go out to the grocery store, but I am not even motivated to write a shopping list, or a menu for the week, so I would have an inkling on what to buy.

I also should exercise every day, but that does not happen. I started weight watchers online again. After having been diagnosed last month with hypercholesterolemia, and pre-diabetes I know I need to watch my diet, and incorporate frequent exercise. So I am hoping that weight watchers online is helping me to learn not to eat like a teenager anymore, and adapt a more healthy lifestyle. The prospect of heart disease and strokes just scares me a bit. I also hope, that once I am getting myself to exercise more frequently, that I will have more energy, and not be tired as can be by 8pm.

I also spend some time this morning to clean out my blog list. There were quite a few blogs that have moved to new locations, or were abandoned for quite some time. So I removed them from my list. I know myself how easy it is to get away from blogging. I am guilty of not keeping up all the time too. I am hoping to get to blog more too. It seems to be doing wonders for my emotional well-being. I guess a diary can do the same, but unless someone invades my privacy, nobody would know what I am about. Besides, there is something to be said about the interaction blogging brings with it.

On the weather in my area, it is very cold and blustery. Snow is still on the  ground, but thankfully not on the roads. Perhaps that contributes to my laziness. I am having a sweater in the works for nice cold days, but no motivation to pick it up and knit on it. I guess once I get all my work done today, (really only laundry left) I will find a good movie to watch, and get some knitting done. I will let you know how it all goes.

I hope you all are staying warm, and have the opportunity to have some fun with your favorite activities.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!!!

Have a New Year, and may it be filled with health, happiness, prosperity, and all the things you want to have.

I am not making resolutions today. I know how it goes, I want to lose weight, and after about a week I end up gaining. I want to quilt or knit more, but end up doing nothing of the sort. So this year I am not making to many plans. Mostly because I can not stick to them anyway. But I will hope that I will finally fall into a routine to juggle my work and home responsibilities, so I will find more time for the things I love to do, like quilting and knitting.

My monthly UFO to finish will be the Buckeye Beauty quilt I made for my daughter who is in college. So I am planning on getting that top quilted, the quilt bound, and hopefully 2 pillow cases sewn. The quilt is a queen sized top, in red, black, and white.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

I have met my goal!!!

I have met my goal of finishing my Patriotic Quilt this month. After losing my dog, it was quite therapeutic to work on this quilt. Especially when I look outside at the snow, I get reminded how much Fluffy loved to play in it. I wish he could have lived long enough to see just one more of these winter scenes. But then, one more will never be enough.

Back to quilting. This quilt was for almost 2 years in the making. It is hand quilted, and since I lose interest very quickly, I think almost 2 years was really fast for me. Every time I hand quilt a project, I swear to myself that I will do this never again. I don't understand why I keep getting these ideas of having to hand quilt.

I sewed the binding on by machine, turned it, and top stitched it by machine too. I don't quite like the result, and most likely with my future projects will return to hand sewing the binding down on the back with a blind stitch. At least now I can say I tried it, and don't like it. I am all for fast and easy, but perhaps some things just need to be taken slow. I guess a quilt is one of those things.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Fluffy, August 1998 to December 2012

On 12-26-2012 we had to say good-bye to our Fluffy forever. We have had over 14 wonderful years together. He was a wonderful play-mate for my children, a great watch-dog for me, and a loyal companion to my husband. I will never forget what a good Dog Fluffy was, and he will be greatly missed. We just had no choice to put him to sleep. Fluffy was suffering from Diabetes, and was Insulin dependent for over 2 years. But finally his illness caught up to him, and he suffered multiple strokes. So our wonderful vet decided that there is no more we can do for him, but do him the kindness to end his suffering.
Fluffy was always a good dog. He would greet you with a "Hello", or his version of it. He would watch over the kids in the yard, and block their way when they went to far away from the house. He used to sit and watch the woods for predators while we all enjoyed our yard. He loved taking walks in the woods with my husband, his favorite thing was to chase deer. Fluffy would sit with me for however long I wanted him, and keep me company. He was always patient with everyone, including his little dog brothers and sisters.We never had to clean up after Fluffy, because he always did his business in the woods. He was just a wonderful dog all around.
Fluffy is very missed by all of us, but we also understand that we would have been very selfish by keeping him around in his suffering. I like to think that he is in heaven now, enjoying youth and good health, and is at his favorite activity, chasing the deer around heaven.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

I am wishing you all a Merry Christmas. May your Holiday be filled with love and peace. May all your favorite people be able to spend time with  you.

I have a finish!!! Not the one I planned on, but hey, it is a finish. This sofa pillow has been going on for 2 years now. 2 years ago some friends and I had a Christmas Card Exchange where we included a 5" piece of fabric. I decided to make a Sofa Pillow out of them. The pillow looks the same on both sides, and is made completely by hand.
When I first gotten the fabrics I thought that all this variety would never work together. But then I thought of my friends whom have sent these to me, and about how different we all are, but yet, we are quite a cool group of Quilters. So I put all these fabrics together in a pillow, and I think  it looks great, and the fabrics really work out well. Just like my friends, we are so different from our point of views, likes and dislikes, walks of life, and believe systems, and yet we work great together. Now every time I see my pillow, I will think about how people as different as we are, can come together and become such a tight knit group as we are.