Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Living Life

"When playing music (instrumental), you should listen to everyone but yourself...and I find that is a good way to live life as well."

Hm: an interesting quote to think about as you go through your day.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Orca Bay - Step 1

Thank you Michael Buble'
Thank you Bonnie Hunter
Thank you Green Bay Packers

All of you helped me have a most, most wonderful day!

I was beboppin' with my iron right off this morning with Buble' blaring in the background. I'm sure I was quite the sight with my tush a wigglin' to "I just haven't met you yet..." and all those other jazzy tunes. I was hoping to have all the units sewn by noon when the Pack played so I could cut off the dogears in front of the TV, but.... it just wasn't meant to be. No biggy! I just tuned into the game on the radio and kept sewing (sadly, I needed to turn off the Buble' though!) Come to find out, the game wasn't aired on local channels anyway. So it worked out just fine.

Trimming all of those hourglass units left my garbage looking like the outcome of an evening of confetti. What a fun looking garbage can!

And remember how I mentioned that I was trimming off the ends of the strips with my EZAngle ruler before cutting with the Companion Ruler?

I ended up sewing 20 "bonus" pinwheels from those ends.

**heavenly sigh**
I've missed this.

A day ahead of quilting, quilting, quilting.

Digging through last year's snow suits, success! The girls are now set to enjoy the first snow of the year.

And **I'M** off to do some quilting......Michael Buble playing in the background. Yeah....today will be a good day :)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Orca Bay action

I spent a good hour auditioning fabrics for Bonnie's Orca Bay Mystery; tried some blues, tried some browns....in the end, I kept coming back to the greens, purples and oranges. I veered away from Bonnie's "sunset" theme and I'm playing around with a name, but that will come at a later date. I only have a few purples shown here, but there is another short stack that will add a bit more of a variety. Yeah....these are still speaking to me; I'm extremely excited to see how these colors will work out.

And as Bonnie wrote in her directions: cut, sew, cut, sew, cut, sew, (and some pressing inbetween)... my morning and early afternoon was eaten up. More than half of the pairs have been cut and sewn; no pressing yet. I had a nice pattern established; starch/press/stack two full strip sets of neutrals/purples... then cut with the EZ Angle* and Companion rulers, and then taken to the machine to be sewn up right away. So, every 10-15 minutes, another 20-22 pairs were added to organized piles.
* the EZ Angle was used to cut off the end pieces of the strips before using the Companion ruler. I figure why waste the small triangles from the ends?!?!!? I've sewn those little buggars up as well and have set them aside (in the upper left corner of the picture)

The first snow of the season is hitting today. And the weather was deteriorating fairly quickly, so we hit the road to get a few groceries and to pick up the Harry Potter movie. I'm looking forward to watching it again and for Cassie to see it, however a commercial was just shown that Tinker Bell is coming on shortly, and they all seemed pretty enthused about watching THAT...so..... we'll see.

A reflective morning

After school on Thursday (and 6 hours of Parent-Teacher conferences), I was all set to just kick back in front of my machine with my day off yesterday and sew, sew, sew on Bonnie's new mystery.

It's annoyingly amazing how life's events can alter a mood at the snap of a fingers. :/

I was in a slump yesterday; just some pent up negative energy that wouldn't go away. It didn't help that I couldn't convince myself to just head downstairs and try some quilting therapy; nope! I wasn't having ANY of it. I mean....even BONNIE could get me out of this slump :\ Not good.

So I moped...
I went through the motions with the girls and some friends they had over...
I allowed myself to just.....blehhhhh around; I couldn't shake it.

This morning, I'm feeling better. Reading Bonnie's post of tips is the first positive of the day, so I'm stating it off better than yesterday already. I haven't chosen my fabrics yet, so reading how she defined her focal vs. accent colors will help me when I pull fabrics shortly.

Cassie spent the night at a friend's house. The other two are eating bagels with nutella in front of Phineas & Ferb. Paul is gone for a week of deer hunting. Ideal for a whole lot of quilting to commence, right?

So, my plan (goal?) for the day. Sew for as long and as much as I can. Shop later for milk and Harry Potter Part 7 #2 (the necessities, right?). And then watch the movie with the girls later tonight.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Awesome helpers with Bear Paw

Quilting with helpers SUUUURE makes for more progress!

Caitlyn joined me by 7:15 this morning (since she decided to wake up at 5:30 with a sore throat :|). With our little assembly line going, the HSTs had their dogears trimmed at the same time as they were pieced into twosies for the Bear Paw edges.

Shortly after 8:00, Candace joined us and wanted to help too. So, I grabbed my stacks of Blue/Neutral HSTs for Jamestown Landing that hadn't had their dogears trimmed and let her have at 'em.

I'd LOVE to say that all 25 blocks for Bear Paw were completed, but not quite. Each corner unit measures 9" finished, with a 1" sash. So....19" blocks, set 5-by-5, will make for a big quilt. :0)

This will simply have to wait until my next quilting moment.

I have NOT set fabrics aside for Bonnie's mystery (YET!), but I have FULLLLL intentions of joining in! We have the day off of school on Friday; Cassie will be with a friend, and I've invited playdates over for Caitlyn and Candace each, so I am hoping to get some good quilting time in on Friday once Bonnie posts the first clue.

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Bear Paw beginnings

Ahhhhh.........a full day with the rotary cutter and sewing machine FINALLY! The Bear Paw fabrics that were purchased two weeks ago were pressed first off, and then almost two hours of cutting commenced before I finally sat at the machine to piece 400 HSTs.

I have completed 11 full blocks (44 "corner" units), but haven't cut any sashing yet. The sashing will be a butterscotch/gold fabric with some dark brown highlights.

The pattern itself is simply simple (um.....is that redundant?) BUT, the real labor will come from the size. It'll be the largest quilt I've made to date, a full KING 120"x120" (or SLIGHTLY smaller so that it will fit on my quilting frame).

After dinner, the girls and I sat at the kitchen table, coloring. Our school collects boxtops, Cambell's labels, and a few other "fundraising" labels, milk tops, ink cartridges, etc... On Friday, all the girls came home with a informational packet that included some boxtop organizational sheets.

After some coloring, cutting, and gluing, 55 boxtop labels will be making their way to school on Monday, in addition to some of the other collection items.

And now, we are all sitting watching Harry Potter #7 - Part #1. This afternoon, Cassie finished reading the chapter where the first movie ends, and she's been pleading and pleading to watch the movie :0) I haven't gone out to purchase Part #2 yet, and I have the restraint and control not to run out like a crazed Harry Potter fan to pick one up. Since Cass has started the 7th book and all the previews have been out for the DVD release, Paul has been asking questions again...."Does Harry die? Does Dumbledore come back?".... I just smile and say "Read the book." Cassie and I had some fun teasing Paul too....by having her repeat after me "I promise....not to tell Dad....what happens in the book."

Cassie came home so excited yesterday after school. She used her AR (Accelerated Reader) points to buy ALMOST the complete HP set. She now has books 1-5. Book #1 is on loan to a friend. So tonight, Caitlyn (2nd grade!) grabbed book number 2 and read the first two pages before we started the movie. We'll see how long she stays motivated on THAT book.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Halloween came-n-went; State Vball with Cassie

Yup---Halloween came and went. Zoooooooooooom! And despite having good intentions of updating the blog every day last week.......

Welll.....Friday came along just tooooooo fast!

And by the time Friday rolled around, we were on the road traveling to Gma's house to pitstop before heading to State Volleyball Saturday morning in Green Bay.

Not everyone understand the choice of traveling 5 hours one way to watch volleyball for less than 4 hours, and then......travel 5 hours back home.

BUT....the memories created will never go away.

There weren't any teams playing that we knew....but it was simply a way to enjoy some time together, and {{hopefully}} be inspired for her volleyball years ahead.

THANKS for meeting up with us, Sister Jenny! Sadly, Cassie ended up getting sick Saturday night, so the rest of her weekend was NOT as enjoyable.

This picture was taken on Halloween evening. It was a GLORIOUS autumn Wisconsin evening! 50's.

The time change almost caught me off guard tonight. I finished my run (at school) just after the sun had set, FORGETTING that the sun will set before 5:00 now.....so, I don't think I'll be seeing too many more of these pictures at home until next Spring.

SO yeah.......trying to get back to some running. Thinking about signing up for a gym membership since our insurance offers an incentive program for reimbursement of partial membership fees. Actually, it was to the gym where I ran tonight from school (~1.25 miles one way). The owner was pleasant; toggling between talking with me and instructing a small fitness class (which I'm also thinking of signing up for; 3xweek). I used to be a member of this gym YEARS ago before the management had changed. The new owner has REALLLLLy done a nice job with updating it and it's purdy dang schnazzy now!

As for quilting......

**insert super big sad face**

I was hoping to spend some time with the machine yesterday, but.....I spent NINE HOURS at my kitchen table grading papers, tests and prepping for the week ahead. IN-SANE! I was quite thankful for the "extra" hour.