Monday, June 30, 2008

Take me to warp speed, Scottie!

Yesterday update
Since I didn't get back online last night, here was the GLORIOUS DAY update I had with the girls....

For most of the morning, it was a DORA day----Cassie drew (using a stencil) on the magic screen, while Candace and Caitlyn (with mom's help) put a Dora puzzle together. Caitlyn wasn't quite up to dressing yet----I had forgotten about that when I snapped the pics, BUT she DID need to have her "clogging" shoes on. (That's what I call them---they are about 2 sizes too big for her; hand-me-down from older sister, but she loves them!) ---oh well...

After lunch, and after some weeding in the garden, it was time to saddle up! Each of the girls had their turns up and down the driveway, and then poor Eddie was done. I did feel a bit bad that I didn't saddle up Champion and let Cassie ride him---he's a bit more spunky and likes to have riders. Like I said the other day, Eddie isn't much of a riding horse---which is why he's PERFECT for Candace and Cailtyn; he's verrrrrry calm! Champion has some some spunk, though.

So, yeah----Inever got around to bloggin again last night----and NOPE, did not get downstairs. By the time DH got home (7:00), and we got around to making dinner, I was starting to get pooped. THEN, while viewing the guide on the TV, I saw Nannie McPhee was on--what a wonderful movie. I hadn't seen it, but had always wanted to, so.....another perfect opportunity for quality family time. And yes----(*holding up the 'will never tell a lie' flag*), I cried at the end. I'm a sucker for a happy ending!!!!

By the time we shuffled the girls to bed after the movie (9:00), and vegged some more in front of the TV, bed was calllling out me name. That 1:00am bedtime from the night before (remember...when Candace was WIDE awake and having tea with mom)...well, it finally kicked in.

Today----up bright an early for me on a day when there are no plans; 6:30am. I showered before the girls got up and even got some coffee and a bagel in before they stirred. Oh---and I ripped out the last quilting stitches on the baby blanket that is begging for requilting, so......ho-hum.....what to do now "upstairs" when the girls are bored with playing downstairs.....
Since no one was up YET (7:10), I headed downstairs to peek and dig out an "upstairs" project......
lo-n-behold! Here is yet again a project I had started last fall when inspiration took over control of my mind. I had so many scraps from grandma and wanted to try to burn some of them up (this was PRE-BONNIE!) So, I had come across this "Desert Stars" pattern, and I thought...."Eh----perfect scrap-burner!" first attempt at hand-piecing---here I come! I had a stack already cut out, so for the next hour (inbetween cereal and bagel preparation for the girls), I pieced. It did take awhile to get the hang of how to place my fingers to get a nice running stitch (and not POKE myself!!!!)

However, by 8:00 (when Lazy Town came on---what another wonderful show! I love it!), I snuck downstairs to try to finish the blocks on Cathy's quilt. Oh....I found the name of the block too......"Aunt Sukey's Choice"......So, I think the name of this quilt will be Cathy's Aunt Sukey.
And after that point, I completely lost track of any sense of time. Here and there, throughout the morning, I toggled between sewing up the blocks and keeping the girls happy with snacks, games, and toys. I dunno........All I really remember was that at 12:30-ish, I wrapped up all the blocks and headed up to make lunch.
Upon opening cabinets and the fridge, I realized how slim the pickin's were. We settled on the last can of Chef-Boy-R-Dees (sp?) Ravioli. However, we packed ourselves up directly after lunch and headed to the grocery store :0)
And SHOCKER! Gas jumped! We finally broke the $4.00 barrior! We were holding at 3.97 for sooooo long, but today: 4.09. *sigh*

Amazingly, the girls were EXCELLENT at the store! I even gave in and bought a tub of ice cream!!!
I wasn't sure if I wanted to push my luck, but decided to take a QUICK detour to the local Craft store (I wouldn't call it a Quilt shop----it's kind of like the old Ben Franklin stores.) However, I wanted to see what deals they may have on fabric for a backing for Cathy's quilt. I was being optimistic that I would be quilting by the end of the week, so I wanted to make sure I had all supplies handy. They had some poly-cotton for 2.49/yard in the PERFECT pink/mauve shade. It definitely isn't as great a quality as 100% cotton, but I couldn't beat that price. Specially knowing a needed NINE yards!!!! So, $30.00 later (and ONLY 5 minutes!!!!!!), we were back on the road heading home to unpack groceries, and to dig into the ice cream right away!

Candace fell asleep on the way, so I carried her to the bedroom where she napped until 4:30!!! Wow!
After the older girls had some ice cream, they were ready for some "quite time," too, so Cassie chose Ratatouille (SP?).

Naturally, I took this opportunity to head back downstairs. (This was about 2:30/3:00).

Wellll---finally getting to the title of this post, I don't know HOW I did it but----by 5:30, the top was pieced!!! And perfect timing to get upstairs to make some dinner for me and the girls. (DH was working late-----gotta "make hay when the sun shines.")

This top is H-U-G-E!!! I don't have the measurements, but to give you an idea----the area that the quilt is currently laying on holds easily TWO CC quilts! It requires King size batting, and....9.5 yards backing, for crying out loud!!! I am SOOO glad this pattern explains how to quilt it in sections! I am sooo excited, yet nervous, to take on this task. From this point on, I will REALLLLY be taking my time on the quilting. Kinda "measure THREE times, cut once" mentality. I've read and re-read the quiting in sections material, but it's sitting next to me and will be re-read yet one more time tonight before hitting the hay.

Oh---but don't think my day was over yet.....

When DH rolled in at 8:00, I was "tieing up some loose ends," but decided to shush the girls outside with DH. I STILL can't believe that I shut all the lights off downstairs to go up and "tie up the laces." This is the FIRST time this summer where it was "I feel like running" ran through my mind instead of..."ugh...come can do need to do it....otherwise you aren't going to be ready in August for that Half....." ;0) It was SOOOO GORGEOUS outside!!! No wind; upper 70's; low humidity! I was worried I would be sluffin' a bit since I haven't run since last Monday (BAD ME!), but....WOW! My heart was great....cardio wasn't making it go into much of an overdrive....and for ONCE my legs weren't feeling like they had 300 pound weights on them! About 2.5 miles into the run, I needed to take a quick detour (5 minutes) to a neighbor's house to pick up an Avon catalog (I LOVE their skin-so-soft shower gel!), but then back on the road for another 2.5! I knew I needed to use my "good-feeling-run" wisely, so I turned it into an AI (Aerobic interval) training run;
okay, for those non-runners, you can skip this part---mainly just for my record here :0)
After a mile warm up, I did 4 1:00 AI's, 2 1:30 AI's (neighbor break), 4 more 1-1:30 AI's (except one that was 2:00+---daydreaming about being pulverized by a bear! *giggle*)

Upon arriving back home, I shushed the girls inside. THEY NEEDED BATHS BIGTIME TONIGHT!!! (Dare I say it's been probably 5 days since they last had a bath??? *GULP*) It was already 9:10, but too bad----no plans tomorrow again, so a late bedtime is not a problem. And of COURSE, after bathtime, they needed one last snack before bed---so after a final icecream cone, they finallly were trudging up the stairs at 9:45pm!

So, here I sit---having taken almost an hour to write this post! WHEW!
As always, thanks for tuning in to my small neck of the woods!
Happy sewing!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

DH's definition of "DH"

I was looking over some of the latest posts of my BB's (Blogger buddies), and I've come across DH quite a few times, which reminds me of a comment MY DH had last night.....

He was online, doing some research on John Deere, but when I peeked over his shoulder, I saw he was looking over my blog, reading some of the latest posts.

First, he agreed that "WUSS" was the perfect term to use to describe me the other day when he used me for cheap labor. HA-HA!

Then, *giggle*....this is funny......
.....he said "I think I've figured out what DH is too....."da husband," right?"

*giggle*......of course, MY mind heard "DUH husband"....... ;o)

Just thought I'd share.....

more to come later tonight. Today has been a GLORIOUS day, and only one hour has been devoted to quilting earlier this morning before DH left for work. However, I can presume I'll be spending a few hours downstairs later tonight, once the girls are off to bed, OR when DH will take over keeping an eye on them.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Someone can't sleep.....

besides me....

Yes, that time is correct----guess who is WIDE AWAKE for having napped so late today???? Candace is having a tea-party with mommy right now, and dancing around with a balloon.. Oh dear. See the teapot?

'Tis alright, though. I'm rather wide awake myself; must be that Diet Coke I drank at 9:00. I'll give her until 12:30, but then I'll tie her down if I need to!!!


Stoppin to smell the roses----AND some quilting, too :0)

As Amanda joked in her comment, "do I ever stop to smell the roses?"
Well, today, as stated last night, I had intentions of having some time with the girls today since DH was going to be working.
However, plans changed a bit earlier than expected, because DH decided to just TAKE THE DAY OFF. Wooo-hooooo! We had a relaxing morning, some coffee, cereal, cartoons, and the lot. By 9:00, it was time to get the day started. All three girls headed outside with "Dad," so I took ONE HOUR for myself downstairs finishing up the 4-blocks for Cathy's 60th quilt.

Candace came in from outside around 10:00, so it was time for a mid-morning snack. Yogurt was the snack of choice---that and apple juice. While she was snacking, I snapped a few photos of the Scarecrow wall-hanging that had been resting on the back of the couch. (And yes, now you can see that ugly styrofoam wall I was talking about the other day. The walls obviously haven't been finished yet downstairs).
The satin stitch can now be seen :0) I also did a little quilting; the pumpkins were outlined and some of the shadowed lines were enunciated with stitch lines; the jacket was outlined; and I'm still thinking of adding some REAL buttons to the jacket directly over the painted-on ones.

Post snack, Candace and I headed back outside to see what Dad was up to. He was putzing in the garden; so I grabbed a hoe and started weeding/hoeing the rows of corn. The day was ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL!!! Slight breeze; mid 70's; partly cloudy. For the next hour or so, we worked on the garden, weeding, and even though it's almost July, we decided to plant yet a few more rows of beans, corn, and some peppers.

Lunchtime was at about 12:30, where I fried up some potatoes, and we had some Chicken fingers and pear slices. Afterwards, I can't really recall what all took place. But throughout the rest of the afternoon, I floated between relaxing with the girls inside and "putzing" outside in the garden with DH. I ATTEMPTED to get Candace to relax and try to nap, but HMPF! That didn't quite happen.

By 5:30, it was supper time----brats and hotdogs on the grill. Naturally, Candace was getting a little whiny; so it was NO SURPRISE that after supper, she ZONKED out on our bed. I took that opportunity to head outside with DH once again---this time to clip Champions' (horse) hooves---they were SO LONG! Cassie took THAT opportunity to jump up on Eddie and try to stroll around the meadow bareback with him. However, Eddie is stubborn, and doesn't enjoy riders---he didn't budge much! Once Champion was clipped, though, she climbed up on him and enjoyed about 20 minutes strolling around the pasture. He's such a good horse! (pony).

By 7:00, I was able to have "me" time, and headed (of course) downstairs to work some more on Cathy's quilt. Since all the 4-blocks were completed this morning, it was now time to tackle cutting all the strips into half-triangles and quarter-tris. The magazine that has this pattern also offered a FREE "Triangle Corner Template," but now that I've been using the Easy Angle and Companion rulers via Bonnie's patterns, I set the little "marti-mitchell template" aside. (sorry Marti).

Once the triangles were cut, it was time to start piecing again......
....and piecing is a "piece" of cake with this lovely seam-guide!!!

What was I piecing???? LOTS and LOTS of flying geese!

72 of these...........

Then came 72 of these---which I reallllly only thought I would get pieced, and leave behind the machine in a lovely chain to tackle tomorrow.

But then, BLESS Cassie's heart---she came downstairs around 9:00 (hey---it's Saturday---I'm not so picky on bedtime on Saturdays) and decided to help me cut the chains apart and stack them in piles of 10.

So this second batch of flying-geese went together by 9:40. Yeah....... (Cutting all those dog-ears really can get annoying, though).

To end the evening, I couldn't NOT put together at least ONE complete block. it is....ALMOST little black corner doesn't match up (bottom part of the block), but I'll take it :0) The border around the block (almost not noticable) is the green fabric we (MIL and me) chose to use as the sashing.

Tomorrow's plans??? Don't know. DH IS going to work on some side jobs with a buddy, so it will only be me and girls. I was thinking of having Cass calls some friends to see if they want to come over for "pony rides." :0)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Productive day...

When I headed downstairs, I still wasn't quite sure what I wanted to work on. However, I really DID want to start on "Cathy's 60th" quilt (the quilt that needs to be made by the end of August for the friend of the family. For lack of a better name right now---Cathy's 60th is it! since it's her 60th birthday.)

But, lo-n-behold----I hadn't washed ANY of the fabrics yet. to the machine----and what to do in the meantime???

Putz, of course!

First, I thought I'd add some simple little hangers to the trial block I made. Now I just need to find a nicer hanger than just this little dowel :0)

Then, I really felt inspired when I came across these pieces I had cut out and stored in one of my Grandma's "old" quilt books. The book is downstairs right now, but (going from memory) the block is called Mohawk Trail. I had SO MUCH FUN using the blanket stitch feature on my machine.'s soooooooo easy to do applique with a machine that handles a NICE blanket stitch! For now, the finished block (17.5" unfinished) will sit until I decide what to do with it. I don't know if I'll feel inspired to create an entire quilt of these blocks, or if this block will join in with other orphan blocks for a crazy sampler quilt.

By this time, the fabrics had been moved into the dryer----so more putzing.
DH has asked me to make a quilt for his head-contractor, Scot, for Christmas. Naturally, being a hunter of all sorts, a Camoflauge quilt was requested. I've been slowly adding to my camo stash since about last Christmas, and these are the fabrics I have chosen for him so far. I've also been looking around for different patterns, and I might actually make a "controlled" Chunky Churndash.

Lunch time! DH threw this recipe together a couple of weeks ago, and I wanted something quick, so I made the "mini-bagel-pizza" for lunch. Very simple-----throw half a bagel in the toaster; then layer with pizza sauce, pepperoni and cheese. Put under a lo-broiler for a few minutes, and v'iola! Instant "easy" lunch that the kids love!!!

Post-lunch: A few weeks back, this was a goodie that I won as a give-away. Still waiting for the fabrics to get dry, I figured I'd tackle getting this sandwiched and basted. And of course, even though the dryer timer went off while basting, I couldn't just LEAVE the darn thing laying out on the floor-----it needed INSTANT quilting. So----Not only did I have a day with my lovely Blanket stitch earlier----now I could try my first real SATIN stitch. Ooooooooo------so COOL!!!! I don't have pics yet, but will put them up tomorrow for sure. I just received my Connecting Threads order, where I had ordered some "Fall Virigated" (sp?) thread. PERFECT! But---boy! It sure took a long time to go all the way around the edge of the scarecrow.

So, finally came the time when I needed to take a break from down-stairs. DH was home early due to being "rained out" (even though it wasn't raining by us). So, the girls got their suits on and headed out to the "turtle pool" again; DH headed to the garden, and I WAS going to get some mowing done, but the mower had other things in mind. The belt needed replacing, and we didn't have the correct belt handy to get it going---so....... (now, here comes the whining)----it was TOOO MUGGGGGY for me! I had no ambition of helping in the garden, so, back downstairs I went, fabric from the dryer in tow.

I wasn't downstairs long when "drama" was breaking out upstairs. Ooooo----those girls can drive each other crazy (and ME too!) So, for the next couple of hours, I was upstairs, toggling between preparing supper, refereeing the girls, and ripping out the baby blanket quilting. (Slowly making progress on that---but no big hurry!)

By 8:00, I was able to head back downstairs to finish up the ironing. I even cut out ALMOST all the pieces. Well, all the pieces are cut out, but some of the strips need cutting yet into half-triangles, etc.

At 9:00, I took a quick time-out to shush the girls off to bed. Sorry---bad mommy tonight; no stories. They were all pretty much pooped out anyway, so bedtime wasn't a struggle tonight! Whew......

To wrap up the evening, I needed to get SOME piecing done on Cathy's quilt, so I took the mauve and cream strips, pieced them, and make about half of the required 4-blocks needed.

Oh---and that reminds me! This pattern REALLLY over-estimated the fabrics needed. The picture above showing all the pieces----yeah, well, on the left of that picture is all the excess fabric I have! I can definitely see some pillow shams being created!!!!

Whew----Nice productive day :0) Tomorrow needs to be a family day, though. DH will be working on some of his side-jobs, so it'll just be me and the girls again. However, I need to do something "organized" with them to keep them sane. Baking cookies is on the agenda for sure---not sure if the day will involve an "outing" or not.

OC Wall-hanging quilted

You'd think I'd have all the time in the world to work on quilting (being summer vacation-n-all). But in the last couple of days, I seriously don't know where the time has gone! However, in the hour time slots that I've had here-n-there, I was able to quilt the OC wall-hanging. Thanks to Angela (Soscrappy) and a post from the Quiltville chat, I have found some great quilt motiv sites.
-- Quilts complete
-- Fast-n-Free FREEdownloads

I don't think the quilting style I chose was on either of these sites---to be honest, I can't really remember. But somehow I got the idea of concentric circles which resembles oranges and the letter "O," which seemed to "make sense" for the Orange Crush quilt. With that said, though, I don't think I'll use this same quilting pattern on the Full-size OC quilt. It is NOT easy to make circles. In fact, trying to follow the marked pattern was down-right IMPOSSIBLE. I needed to completly free-hand one inner-circle because I had forgotten to mark it. THAT circle turned out better than most of my marked ones----I didn't have to worry about trying to follow any lines---I just moved my hands in a nice circular motion. V'iola---MUCH EASIER! I'll probably give in and do a simple meander on the Full-quilt, when I finally get around to it.
Back to the wall-hanging----In the border, I used one of the HUNDREDS of decorative stitches that are on my Bernina, and quilted about half an inch in from the seams on all the blue "geese" pieces. You can catch a small glimpse of the border quilting on the close-up shot. This quilt might actually find a home in the spot above the piano in the main area. Either that, or it'll help cover up the ugly styrofoam walls down in my quilting space.

Wednesday afternoon, the muggy humid summer weather FINALLY arrived, so I threw together a make-shift "water-play-area" for the girls. We didn't have much sand in the turtle anyway, so it didn't take too much to clean it up. Placing the little slide from the play-cube into the water was Cassie's idea (even though she's QUITE a bit too big to really enjoy it now)---I'm giving up trying to load her pic--it just doesn't want to load. But here are some pics of the other two. I'm sure you can well imagine Cassie's legs extend beyond the dimensions of the turtle when she comes down the slide....

I haven't been watching ANY news over the past two weeks---I have no idea what is going on in my community or the world, for that matter. Nor do I know what the forecast has in store, but it sure looks gloomy outside--as if it could rain any moment. Very cloudy, and decent temps---68 degrees right now (8:15 am). All the girls are home with me today--yesterday was the last day of the 1st session of summer school for #1 and #2. I think we'll just kick back today, relax, and hopefully they'll let me get downstairs for an hour (or so) to putz. I really don't know what I'm going to work on. I have the OC Full quilt, but I just don't want to tackle that yet. I could always work on some more blocks for my Oklahoma Backroads, ---maybe. OR, I could start cutting material for a NEW PROJECT that needs to be completed by the end of August.
In fact, if any of you have looked at the January 08 Quiltmaker (the one that has Bonnie's Leaders/enders and her Blue Ridge Mountain pattern) , the pattern I am going to be making is the Marti Mitchell design on the cover. My MIL had purchased 4 yards of a beatiful flowered fabric at Walmart a couple of months ago, and our family-friend Oooo'd and Ahhhh'd over the colors! So, we KNEW we needed to use that fabric---we just needed to find the right pattern. While I was cleaning and organizing my stash and magazines a couple of weeks ago, I came across this magazine and knew right away it HAD to be the pattern we use. So, using both my MIL's and my stashes, we put together the other fabrics. We only needed to buy a couple of yards of a mauve and a couple of yards of a light-gold to make it complete.

Yeah....that might be the project of choice today.....something new. (JUST what we always need, right???)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Humbling Day...

*heavy, tired sigh*
Today was a great reminder to me at how HARD physical labor for 5+ hours can be when unaccustomed to it. I typically pride myself for being in good shape, running at least three times a week; however, today put me in my place!

We got a late start because of some trailer/skidsteer difficulties DH was having; so we didn't actually hit the job site until about 10:45 (RIGHT when it was starting to reallllly get warm!) I definitely got the worse end of the deal today. Since I didn't know how to run the skidsteer, I was doning the rake and shovel :0( Within 10 minutes, the sweat was already rolling, and another 10 minutes later, I had a pool collecting at an undisclosed location in my undergarments.
And not much longer after that, the front of my shirt started resembling one of those butterfly inkblots!!!

THANKFULLY I needed to leave by 1:30 to pick up the girls from summer school. *chuckle* I was toast!!! So, after getting them, I headed home, sat down, drank about a gallon of water, put my head down, and napped for about 30 minutes. What a WUSS!

At 3:30, we needed to leave again to pick up Candace from daycare. I was really very much refreshed after a little snooze; after picking up Candace, we came back home, had a quick dinner, and headed to the job site with sand toys in tow.

DH was MORE than surprised to see me!!! At least by now (4:30), the sun's angle was a little less and more clouds were rolling in. So, I grabbed the rake and shovel again and started spreading some CRAPPY topsoil around the yard. Seriously, the homeowner didn't want to pay an arm and a leg for good topsoil (can't say I blame him), BUT this stuff was terrible! CLUMPY, SWAMPLY, MOSSING, and TERRRRRRIBLY difficult to spread!!!! So, he may have saved some on the topsoil, but the labor got boosted a bit because of the extra time we'll need to put into it. We spread as much as we could, but we'll (DH) will need to go back and rerake, hopefully able to break up the clumps once the soil dries out a little.

Anyway.....I headed home around 7:00, with three MESSSSSY girls! At least they kept themselves entertained in the dirt with the toys. We stopped off at McD's for some sundae's, came home and bathed, and now we're relaxing with a Veggie Tales movie before bedtime.

I'm debating if I have enough energy or motivation to head downstairs to quilt the OC wallhanging I basted up last night. I think, rather, I'll keep my biscuits parked in my glider, ripping out the babyquilt, and tuning in to some show (or I'll throw a DVD in the player)

Thanks for tuning in today---I'll think twice when I whine about the MENTALLY taxing days I have at school. There has been more than one time when I've stated "I'd rather have a laborous, 'non-thinking' job anyday!!!" Today was the reminder I needed that each job can have their Pros and Cons.

"Redneck" defined

I left a comment on Amanda's blog, relating her to a redneck for suggesting of making a decorative quilt hanger out of an ordinary wire hanger. I also called myself a "redneck" the other day for using duct tape to protect my finger while sewing. Amanda wrote an email back to me informing me that she indeed did NOT know what a redneck was....

So....with some time on my hands before work starts, I've done a little research. (via Wikipedia---not the best source, but t'was an okay definition this time)

To sum up most of what Wikipedia states: A Northamerican term for white people of Southern or Appalachian rural poor backgrounds — or more loosely, rural poor to working-class people of rural extraction.

Recent Culture
In recent years, the comedic stylings of Jeff Foxworthy, Ron White, Bill Engvall, and Larry the Cable Guy have become popular through "Blue Collar Comedy Tour" and "Blue Collar TV" television show and film. Foxworthy's definition of redneck is "a glorious absence of sophistication and it can be part time or full time, but most people are guilty of it at least from time to time."

United Kingdom
The term Redneck is sometimes used in the UK with the same meaning as in the US, but more commonly used, is the term Pikey, originally used to stereotype travelers but more recently it is used to describe working-class white people from rural areas. The type of people that are considered Pikeys often bear similarities to American Rednecks. "Pikey" is sometimes considered offensive, but many now see it as the title of pride.
In Scotland, the term "teuchter" (pronounced chew-ch-ter with the middle 'ch' sounding as the Scottish word loch) is used, mainly pejoratively, by lowlanders in reference to their highland cousins, who they often view as rural or backwards.

Amy's usage (and many others, I believe)
"A way to poke a little harmless fun at others who use innovative, and inexpensive ways to live their lives."

Perfect example----Redneck Horseshoes, right here!!!!
(Is horseshoes a game played in other countries, too? Or just the US?)

Or even better---this is a CLASSIC! Redneck swimming pool!

The fine print: I hope this has not offended anyone----tis merely meant for some giggles and informative to what the stereotype of "Redneck" is in the eyes of this quiet little quilting blogger.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Lazy Days Tote done

Well, if this counts as one of the five projects to finish by the end of July, mark off item #2. After some guessing and "flubbing" on the directions, it came together rather smoothly. I must say that quilting the front and back were the most fun parts! I'm starting to fall in love with the BSR. I wouldn't need to use it because FMQ with this machine is SOOO easy as compared to my old Brother, but still----I might as well USE the darn thing if I paid for it :0)

I even used the bag right away this afternoon by throwing my wallet and phone in it while picking up the girls from summer school, and treating them to some ice cream.

However, it IS a bit small. It would be great for a "beach outing" bag---throw some sunscreen in, a book or two, maybe some sewing. However, I'm not much of a "purse" person. I'll be gifting this one to the girls; Caitlyn already is excited and was carrying around her bracelets, necklaces, and dolls in it.

I don't think I'll get much done on the quilting front tomorrow. I have been claimed by my husband after being bid to the highest bidder :0) He's "paying" me to be his assistant tomorrow doing some landscaping for one of his client's houses/yards. Since I put in most of our yard, he figured I was "cheap labor." It was either me, or pay one of his subcontractors $20/hour; he figured I was the better deal. Besides, he saved his butt by adding "You're much better looking than Lance, too."

I'm debating on a) going downstairs to baste the OC wall quilt, b) surf for some quilting motivs/patterns, or c)continue ripping out this baby quilt for re-quilting. I often do in my classroom when I randomly choose group test papers for collecting: rolling a die:
1, 2--choice a
3, 4--choice b
5, 6--choice c


TWO! (2): Choice A it is! So, off to downstairs I go.

Email troubles :0( email is not working for some reason or another. I guess I'm going to be putzing with THAT instead of heading downstairs to work on the bag.

UPDATE: (15 minutes later)---Yeah :0P Back up-n-running!!! It's a good thing I have a web-mail option for my account. I logged into the webmail to see if that would take me anywhere. Sure enough---there appeared to be a larger email that was hanging-up my email software. As soon as I deleted some of the newest emails, my software worked like a charm again! (I use the Apple Mail software---I really like it; much quicker than Webmail.)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

You might be a redneck if..... use DUCT TAPE on your finger to protect it while sewing!!!

Do you THINK I could find a thimble this afternoon??? Good golly! I wanted to finish up the binding on the last side of the quilt; and I can officially cross Cassie's 30's off my WIP/UFO list :0) The duct tape took the "edge" off the pain in my forefinger. My skin sure isn't accustomed to working with a needle for so long!

But regardless, the quilt is done. Wooo-hoooo. (And JUST in time for bed tonight!--the last stitch was sewn at 8:20, and by 8:30 all were up to bed....)

The quilt definitely isn't big enough for her queen size bed, but.....*shrug*......she still loved it.

Anyway, I spent some of the weekend downstairs with the new machine. My in-laws came up for the weekend, so I showed my MIL the machine yesterday afternoon and let her "play" for awhile. In the meantime, I organized up some of my scraps (YES----STILL ORGANIZING and cleaning!!! Is there EVER going to be an end?!?!?)

We also went to the LQS to purchase two more fabrics for a quilt that I'll be making for a friend of the family who is celebrating her 60th birthday at the end of August. Naturally, I needed to inform our LQS owner about the new machine :0) She's so great! Also, there was a quilt hanging on display with some kits under it, but no "pattern only" package, but she shared this website with me: Red Rooster (Jill Kemp) ---the pattern I was looking at is: "It's the Berries", and it's downloadable from this site. Trust me---the LAST thing I need right now is a new project, but I'll print it out and keep it in mind. It would be a way to burn up a lot of the "flowery" small prints from my Grandmother.

*chuckle* Having JUST said "the last thing I need is a new project....."
......Today, I did a no-no! I started a new project!!!! Eeee-gats! But it's SUCH a cute bag---and I have NEVER made a project other than a quilt or table-runner, so I was in the mood to try something new. I downloaded it from Lazy Days Bag. I had some bright fabric nicely ironed and folded from my week of organizing, so I was excited to start. I have put about 4 hours into it, and have the front and back pieced (sorry, no pics tonight), and OMG! The pieces are sooooooo small! I hope to wrap that up tomorrow, which should be possible, because I don't have much on the agenda :0)

I didn't run yesterday (BAD ME!), but I did get out this afternoon for a 3-miler (GOOD, but yet BAD me!). It should have been 6 miles, but......I SWEAR the clouds decided to part and disappear as SOON as I started running! The sun was too much, along with the head-wind on the way back. So----I will plan (and hopefully carry out this plan) to run 6 miles tomorrow with Candace after dropping Cass and Caitlyn off at summer school. Hmmm......I wonder what "educational" video I can pack tomorrow that last about 70 minutes??!?!? (and I will NOT feel guilty about it, either.....)

So, after some time outside it was time for baths and relaxing before bedtime. The Emperor's New Groove was playing on Disney, so we watched it and headed to bed by 8:30. The stories of choice were: "Barnyard Animals" for Candace; "The Icky Sticky Fly? Frog?" (something like that) for Caitlyn; and "Don't be a bully" for Cassie. (she and I took turns reading a page at a time.)

And yes...those are popsicles that Candace and Caitlyn are "eating." Is that a bad thing right before bedtime??? *shrug*

Saturday, June 21, 2008

She arrives, and put to work straight away :0)

At precisely 12:02 pm, the lovely UPS man arrived. We were in the midst of eating, but bolted out to the deck right away to watch our buddy hoist the box out of the truck and place in the front entry-way. The way he lifted and carried it made me worry it was QUITE heavy. However, once we finished lunch, and after I snapped this pic, I carried it to the living room, no problems :0)

By 12:35, I was digging in to the box. I only opened the top cover and saw all the books and paperwork, and the excitement was starting to seriously hit me. So much, in fact, that even Caitlyn couldn't resist giggling at mom's excitement :0)

So, for the next 20 minutes (or so), I looked through the paperwork, and more importantly, the user's manual. How FUN!

Finally, at 1:00, I dug into the rest of the box, and set all the pieces out on the floor. So many goodies :0) It was actually quite fun opening the bag of goodies (feet, bobbins, etc) and organizing them into the included Bernina "cabinet" (for lack of a better word.)

Amazingly, I didn't take it downstairs and play until about 2:00. There were a few things that needed to be done first---cleaning up from lunch, etc.

And then, PLAY TIME! For the first 20 minutes or so, I played with many of the stitches. I didn't think of taking a pic of the fabric swatch. there are SO many choices----SO FUN!
So then, looking around the sewing room for something to "try" for real lead me to this block I pieced last year when I was attempting an original creation for "Quest for a Cure."
I didn't care for the workmanship on the block, so it's been lying around since. Perfect opportunity here, though. When I bought the machine last Sunday, I also purchased some verigated (sp?) thread. Again I thought---perfect opportunity here. I choose 2 different quilting decorative stitches to travel along the center seams. I used a scalloped decorative stitch along the edges of the purple pieces; I free-motioned in the pink flowered areas (using the hyped-up Bernina Stitch regulator). It actually IS quite nice and easy to use! I then put on the walking foot, and quilted the corner purples pieces in about .5" inch grids.

Ahhh.....SO nice having a top-quality machine! It will definitely be a "honeymoon" for quite a while!
Then, what to do next? Finish a UFO! I grabbed Cassie's 30's quilt (okay, not ACTUALLY all 30's fabrics, but close enough). I only needed to quilt the piano-key borders, and was done with that in about 45 minutes. I cut up some yellow fabric to use as binding, and sewed it on too. So....her quilt is ALMOST done. I started hand-stitching the binding to the back last night at 10:00 while watching Comedy Central (this is only the second quilt that I've used REAL binding on---otherwise I use the "cheat" method of rolling the back fabric to the front and sewing it down by machine). By 11:30, I had ONLY finished HALF of one side! My goodness----this takes a long time!!!!

What's my favorite aspect of her so far? Ooooo...toughy! I LOVE all the stitch options, hands-down. BUT, I think it's the start/stop button while doing free-motion. I don't have to concentrate on both my hands and foot getting together in sync---I only have to concentrate on my hands when it's running in "cruise-control" mode :0)
Happy Sewing everyone :0)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

For you, Amanda :0)

For those of you who haven't made it to Amanda's blog, this might be the perfect opportunity!

A few weeks back, she had a post dedicated to making marmalade---YUM! In addition to organizing my sewing area, I've been going through ALL my older magazines I won off eBay last year, and I couldn't believe it when I came across this pattern! Naturally, I thought of Amanda immediately! It wouldn't normally be a pattern I would consider, but I've bookmarked it now that it's been made a bit more personal :0)

Amanda, this will be ALL YOURS once I scan it into a PDF file (idea from Angela). This international blogging really IS amazing once you sit for 5 minutes and THINK about what would have taken weeks of communication 15 years ago is now being done at the touch of some technology buttons!

Happy Sewing!