Sunday, July 20, 2014

A Long time coming

Wow! Just realized that it's been a couple of months since I wrote on my blog. Guess I've been busy. I've had my work, Eastern Star Meetings, quilt guild meetings, quilt shows and a trip to Oregon for the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show. Yep, I have been busy and out and about seeing the countryside.

I do have a finish to report. I finally, yes, finally, finished a counted cross stitch project that I've had in progress for almost 6 years. It started as a stitch-a-long with Kustom Krafts and I think I'm the last one to finish. Don't know that for sure, but will post on their Yahoo group after I'm done here. It's gorgeous and while it's not yet framed, I thought I would share with you my readers. So, here's a picture of Raja, a Siberian Tiger.
It has taken me a long time to get him finished. I put in over 350 hours in stitching time as he is 18x14 inches in size and every last inch of that is cross stitched. There is no outlining, no half stitches. There is not one piece of white or ivory in this. The white looking part is a very light tan or a very light yellow. I hope to be able to frame him before December, but I'm not counting on it with all the other projects I need to finish.

Not only did I finish this project, I did it while I was on vacation in Oregon. The other thing I did was a quilt top project with my cousin. The project for that day was a jelly roll race. For those not in the quilting world a jelly roll is 40 pieces of fabric, 2 1/2 inches wide, rolled up, usually from a fabric company's line of fabric. Usually a line will have 30-40 different fabrics depending on the manufacturer. Mine is made from strips that were donated into my stash.
The border is from my cousin's stash. I'm not sure yet how I will quilt it, but since I still have to find the backing for it, I reckon I have time to decide.

My friend Jill, who was on vacation with me in Oregon, also made one. Hers was with bright batiks and came out looking way different. Can't share that as I don't have a photo of it.

Well, now that I've shared a couple of things and updated my blog, I'm off to work on the quilt that I sandwiched earlier today. I figure it's time to get another UFO off the list.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Vision Challenges

Yes, you read right - this is about vision challenges. Those who know me, know I've been wearing glasses for nearsightedness for years, eons, if you will. That has changed this month. For the month of April, also my birthday month, I treated myself to having my cataracts removed and lens implants put in. I chose to have distance sight and now I have that. I can see that stuff in the distance, but the challenge now is to work with close things. I have already bought my first pair of "reading glasses" in order to read the numbers on the invoices at work. I suspect I'll have to have another pair to do my handwork with. Haven't tried any of that yet, so will have to wait and see.
The eyes are doing well and so am I. I love the new challenges that come with better eyesight. I have to wear the reading glasses to work on filing a broken fingernail. If I want to read the label on the vitamin bottle, if I want to know how much sodium is in a prepared food, I have to wear the reading glasses. Have a feeling that taking pictures with my digital camera will also change. Am going to a quilt show today and will find out. When I was debating whether to do now or wait, I had lots of folks tell me "piece of cake", "easy surgery, I went out for breakfast after", "what! you're letting someone do surgery on your eyes?", "I had mine done a month ago and things are still blurry".  I'm sure you've all heard similar when you made decisions that others thought were crazy.
I feel it's one of the best decisions I've made and while in years down the road I may still have wear glasses, they won't be near the heavy duty prescription as in years past. If you get told you need to have cataracts removed, go for it. Your vision will thank you.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

More Quilt Finishes

Yes, I did it!  I actually did what I set out to do. I got 9 little wall hanging quilts sandwiched in January and finished them by February 28th. I'm feeling pretty good about that and I'm going to share the quilts in their finished picture groups. All of these are Patch Ability patterns and 8 of them are from the 2013 series. The ninth is just one I really like. So, you've already seen the January, February, and March ones. So we progress onto April, May, and June.
These are from left to right -
April 2013, called April Showers.
May 2013, called Windy Day.
June 2013, called Bloomin' Butterfly.
All were made with various scraps from my "catch all/sewing room". They are small, 6"x22", so they don't take much to do. Some have buttons, some don't.

Next are June 2013 - Beach Balls
July 2013 - Watermelon Time
and
August 2013- Favorite Fall Decor

Yes, I know August is still part of summer, but I didn't give the pattern the name.

And the last three are as much fun as the first six were. Picking the fabrics for these was a challenge in some cases. Didn't want to use just any old combination.

Here we have October 2013 - Stack O' Jack-o-lanterns
November 2013 - Turkey Perch
and the 9th one is called Quilt Like Crazy and it will be hung in my sewing room.

My husband found me a license plate holder for my car that says "I'd rather be Quilting". It seems to fit. I enjoy quilting and you get to enjoy seeing what I've done.

Tomorrow I start quilting another one from my list of UFOs in the hopes of finishing at least one more more by the end of March. So far I've finished 10 since January 1st and I'm going to try and keep going. I have a bunch of tops that I need to find backing for and I have several that I have the backing and need to sandwich and then quilt. I've set a goal to finish more than I start this year and so far I'm sticking to it. But, we're only 2 months into the year, so that could change.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Mystery Quilt Top

Okay, I got the top finished last weekend and then I had to find someone tall to hold it up so I could take a picture. I really like the way it turned out - specially since I just pulled 3 fabrics I thought would go together that happened to have the correct amount of yardage to do so. So here's the top.

I still have to decide what fabric to put on the back. I'm sure I can find something in my stash - but I have a bunch of little wall hanging quilts sandwiched that I need to finish first. Really should not have started a new quilt, but it intrigued me when the directions said the top could be made in a day. Problem was I got started late, decided to preshrink the green and pink, then got involved in the Super Bowl Game.

However, it's now in line for sandwiching and finishing. Course, it's at the bottom of the list, but at least it's in line.

I'm off to work on those wall hangings this afternoon. I've gotten the oil checked in the car, the breakfast dishes done, and put out the recycle bin for pickup tomorrow morning.

Hope your Sunday is going well. Mine has sunshine outside and I'm totally relaxing inside. Till next time!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Super Bowl Sunday

Okay, I admit I watch the Super Bowl for the commercials. Didn't think a lot of them this year. They just did not have the pizazz I expect for the money they paid to run them.

Now I have to wonder where all those Denver Bronco fan friends of mine are. They are mighty quiet tonight. Did they all miss the game and just don't know they lost yet? Are they hiding under their desk, table, bed in shame for pre-bragging? While I have to admit I'm surprised that Seattle Seahawks won, I have to cheer as I am a native Seattle Woman. Yep, I was born there - don't live there anymore. And my team didn't make it into the Super Bowl, so I decided to root for my birth town. Not the best reason, but the only one I could think of.

While watching the game, I participated in a Mystery Quilt that was out on line. Parts only available today. I saved them all and I have the pieces cut to start putting together. Should be able to get the top together this next week if all goes well. Then next week I'll post a picture of the quilt top.

Okay, I'm off to grab some dinner and finish a book.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

A New Year, a new quilt finish

Yes, it's a bit past the New Year's celebration, but I'm going to celebrate anyway! I've been busy working on getting quilting things done at my house. I currently have one finish to share. It's going to the Community Service Wall at my local quilt guild. The fabric kit was donated to the guild and I made it up. Even did the quilting myself. I admit the colors are not me, but they do work well.
In order to take a picture of it, I went outside and hung it on the clothes line. Yes, I should have done the yard work first, but I didn't want to miss the sunlight outside. Each square has a "flower" quilted into it. This picture really does not do it justice, but then most things look better than their picture.
I will do the pattern again some day using different colors. But since I'm trying to finish off my UFO list before starting too many new ones, this will have to wait. I currently have 9 of my small wall hangings sandwiched and ready to quilt. I also have a couple others that are sandwiched and waiting to be quilted. I'm determined to get them done. Don't think I'll get another done this month, but I'm certainly going to try.
I wish I could say the weather is keeping me inside because it's nasty outside, but we've been having the most gorgeous weather for this time of year. The calendar says winter, the weather says spring. I keep hoping for some rain as we need it desperately. Will be back when I finish a couple more. Till then, pray for rain!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Day

Today has been Christmas Day, all day long. It came without decorations, lights or presents. It came without all that fuss, without the hustle & bustle. And I think I like it this way. I had a very nice prime rib dinner with my husband and father-in-law, and 2 friends. I really thought about the reason for this whole holiday season. Yes, the Baby Jesus got gifts from the Wise Men. Perhaps they weren't the most useful to a child, but it was what they offered. In the song, "The Little Drummer Boy", the young boy has no gift, but offers to play his drum for the child, and then proceeds to do his best.

The Grinch thought that by stealing away the trees, the lights, the gifts, and the food that Christmas in Whoville wouldn't come. Yet his heart realized that when it came without all those things, that maybe, just maybe, he couldn't stop it. So maybe, just maybe, it's okay to celebrate without presents, trees, and lights. Maybe like the Grinch, I've developed a taste of I can do Christmas without all the fuss.

Don't get me wrong, I love the songs, the trees, the lights. I even enjoy getting a well thought out gift. But you know what, I didn't get a whole bunch of presents this year. I got only a couple small, well thought out gifts. That means more to me than presents just to make sure everyone on a list got one. So, maybe, just maybe, my heart, like the Grinch's, has grown over the years.

So, Merry Christmas to all and blessings upon you the whole year long.