Tuesday, December 29, 2009

My sewing area

My very first post to my blog was about organzing my stash and scraps. For 20+ years, this fabric has moved all around the country with me in big garbage bags. When kiddos #4-6 came along, I had to stop all my sewing/crafting as I didn't have any time. It has only been the past few years that I have been able to pick it all back up. Anytime I wanted to do a project, though, I would have to go buy more fabric because it was too daunting to go through those bags of wrinkly, odd shaped fabric.
Then I discovered Bonnie Hunter and her scrapsaver system over at Quiltville. I just loved this idea and took off with it. I washed all those fabrics and scraps and then organized and cut them up into the desired sizes.
I started off with this:

Now I have this!

What a difference, huh??

Here are my fat quarters separated by lights and darks, then the bigger yardages also done by lights and darks.

On this side are the bins of precut pieces and strips.

Here is a peek inside one of the bins. Most size strips are separated by lights and darks, but on the sizes I don't have as many, they share the same bin, I just keep them neatly piled up.

Here is a pic of my sewing area:

On the wall next to me when I sew, I keep these two blocks:

They are the same exact pattern, just with different number of fabrics used and different placement. I love that!!
Last but not least, no sewing room of mine would be complete without a cat or two to keep an eye on my progress. Here is Buddy making sure the flimsies stay safe!

I just love being able to sit and sew whenever ready. I was shocked to see how much usable material and scraps I had in those bags that I would never have used if I didn't invest the time into getting them organized. Big undertaking, but so worth it!!!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Love this table topper!

I am not sure if you know it, but I am by day a pharmacy technician at Target. Yes, I am a drug dealer. Or, more accurately, a pill counter. Anywho, tomorrow is one of my pharmacists birthday, so I made her this table topper:

Here is a darker shot that shows the quilting a bit:

I really hope she likes it. I made it completely from stash, including piecing the batting together as I didn't want to cut into one of my big rolls. First time I have done that! I cut out enough pieces to make two of them, so in the next few days I will complete the second one. Hmmmm...I just jight have to keep the second one. I really like that way it turned out. It's kind of funny, because looking back at the quilts that I have made over the past year, you would never know I really am a traditionalist when it comes to quilts. I really love the old patterns. Yet, most of my projects for this past year don't really have that look to it. Guess that is my favorite part of doing mystery quilts. They cause me to try patterns I probably wouldn't have done if I knew what the pattern was from the start, but I end up loving them! It's good to expand your horizons!
I didn't get the pics done of my fabric organization yet, but will soon...hopefully tomorrow!
Good night and happy stitching!

Last Day of Christmas vacation for me

Here is Christmas Lights all done:

Now I am off to make a tablerunner for a friend as a birthday gift. Hopefully it will go together quickly for me.
I do have exciting(well to me) news! My fabric and scraps are now all playing nicely with each other and are all organized!! When I am up there, I will take pics for you to see. It isn't a very impressive stash compared to some I have seen, but I like it! Like it even better now that everything is folded, cut into predesignated sizes and ready to rumble! I really hadn't been in the sewing mood over the holiday (who would be when they have the most amazing family all around to spend time with!!), but I did use small amounts of time to get in there and finish this project up. I swear, I think I could never sew again if I was able to just go in and touch and feel and play with my fabric!
Well, I will check in later, hopefully with lots of pics!!

Frugal tip of the day: Use that water you boiled your potatos in to water your plants. Why just toss it down the drain?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The finale

Well, Christmas Lights is all quilted!!! Yes, yes...loud fanfare is allowed!! It went sooo much faster than I expected. Kinda worries me. Hmmm..maybe I am not doing this free motion stuff right. It looks good. Stitches are still irregular, but better than the last time. Doesn't seem to have too much distance between stitches. Well, I'm not going to second guess it. It is done, it looks good and I am happy! I even got the binding all cut and ready to go. I was going to start putting that on tonight, but I think I am going to just call it a night and quit while I am ahead. Another quilt almost ready to move off the to do list to the completed list. Oh...guess what?!! This is the second quilt done since I made the promise to myself to not start another top until I got 2 quilted!!!
Wooohoooo!! I am FREE!! Oh, wait. This getting stuff completed feels purdy doggone good. Hmmm..maybe I will sandwich and quilt another top before I start another one. Who woulda thunk? Had you told me a few weeks ago that I would not JUMP at the chance to start another top, I woulda laughed. lol...such dilemmas!! Stay tuned for the next exciting episode!!

A little quilting

I know I should be kicking my sewing and projects into high gear, especially if I want to end the year with a few more quilts done, but I just haven't been able to get into it. I have actually spent a few nights reading, something I haven't done in a long time (Thanks, Marie..your new book was GREAT!!), watching Gilmore Girls with Hannah, watching Christmas shows with the whole family, and just relaxing. I did fit one night (after 4 nights of needles breaking, tension being messed up, and ripping out TONS of quilting) quilting my Christmas Lights quilt. I am going to work on it again tonight and will, hopefully, end up with it being at least 2/3 done. Then, just one more evening of quilting it, one of binding and I will actually have my Christmas quilt done before Christmas! Here is a pic of it while being quilted:

I really love the way it turned out. A) it was a mystery so you just never know (even tho Bonnie Hunter is generally pretty reliable with great quilts, I know some were not happy with this one) and B) other than the red, it was made completely from stash, including the back which I had to piece together.
I am still practicing my free motion quilting, so I am just doing a large meander on it with the occasional free formed star.

I have a long, LONG way to go before I could be considered good at free motion quilting, but I am starting to enjoy it and relax with it.
Here's to hoping you are all enjoying and relaxing this holiday season!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Spring already?

Next to where I park my car in the garage is a shelving system that contains all my gardening items. When we cleaned up the yard late fall for the impending winter and snow, my son put a bunch of my flower pots on the shelf. When I got home from work today, look what was waiting for me:

A brave little johnny jump up was waving at me! I swear it was even smiling. I didn't have the heart to tell him that it was Dec 15th..that 4 inches of snow was falling even as he popped out to party with me. Sigh..I hope he comes back in the spring, but if not, I hope he knows he made my day.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Two more things...

Duh..I was so excited to get my gift, I forgot to mention that I also finished one of my Mystery #11 tops.

I will get a better picture later when I have my trusty quilt holders home to help me. I really like the way this one turned out. I don't think I am going to add borders to it. It is already really big (can't remember the dimensions) and I think a nice dark binding will do the trick.
My other big thing I forgot to mention is that I am meeting up with Shellie, a pal from both the Tran-Quilt-ity yahoo group and a fellow block swapper in Marie Bostwick's "A Quilted Christmas" swap. I hosted that, and I got to meet Shellie for the first time last weekend when she delivered her blocks to me. This weekend, I get to pass all the blocks back to Shellie. I will post pics of the blocks later. It was amazing how tuned in to each other we all were..the blocks fit together PERFECTLY!!

A Christmas surprise!

My drinking/quilting buddy, Pam, surprised me with my Christmas gift this morning. Look at this wonderful table runner she made me!!

Now, if you are like me, you ARE the one who makes gifts for everyone, but since everyone knows you quilt and sew, no one EVER makes you anything. But..she DID and I am so tickled I can't even tell you. You might also remember me mentioning that she is also the one who thought I was punishing her when I signed us up for a quilt class last Christmas as her gift. The teacher did NOT teach to new quilters, though it was called a beginning class. Poor Pam thought she was out of her league. I kept reassuring her it was the teacher and not her. Now, a year later and she has 4 finished quilts and at least 3 table runners to her credit!! Ah...aren't best friends the GREATEST?????

Saturday, December 5, 2009

What a Pickle!

One of my new friends from Marie Bostwick's Quilted Christmas block swap, Dorothy, sent me an email saying instead of sending an extra block or fat quarter, she ordered me a little gift. Well, I got it today and look what I got!!

It is a pickle ornament signed by Mark Lipinski of Pickle Road Studios! My favorite part is this:

I know it is hard to read. He signed it with "Quilt Naked"! LOL...what a concept...does he know I just cut my fingertip off with the rotary cutter?? Haha...the visuals I am getting of what else could get snipped.....
Thank you, Dorothy!! This just made my day!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Meet my family

I am busy quilting away, but have no pictures to show yet, so I thought I would take this time to introduce you to my family...at least my kids. This picture was taken August 2008 at my daughter's wedding. It is getting harder and harder to find time for us all to be together! I hate this growing up business. I am going to make sure we get another pic of everyone in a few weeks when we get together at Christmas. Pics of the hub and I will be added shortly! So, here is my amazing crew:

First on the left is Joe. He is 16 and one of the funniest people you will ever meet. Joe should be a politician. I think he could probably talk just about anybody into anything. I think he would collect older people if he could. He just thinks they (this group probably includes me) are the cutest things ever and he always has an ear to listen to their stories.
Next is Hannah. She's 15. Always on the high honor roll and is in track now. Yup..she is a headturner. She is my sunshine child..always upbeat and can laugh at the world..and herself.
In the wheelchair is Patrick. He is 17. He's a real ladies man and his brothers would love to know his secret..girls go crazy for him. Maybe it is because he calls them all Honey. lol. Patrick's official diagnosis is periventricular leukomalacia. Boils down to spastic quad cerebral palsy, seizure disorder and he is legally blind. He is also the best kiss blower, happiest guy and my hero.
Next is Dan. He is 21. He is currently in Massachusetts in the Job Corp studying auto mechanics. He has the biggest heart of anyone I know. Mention something you like and he'll remember it and get it for you first chance he gets.
Tom is next. He's my oldest at 28. He works at a nursing home as a CNA and is getting ready to go back to school for his RN. He is another one with a big heart. He always puts others first..even at his own expense. Hm...he and Joe must have inherited the "loves older people" gene from their mother.
Greg is next and is my newest son as he was the one who married my daughter. He is a CPA with Ernst and Young and stole not only my daughter's heart, but all of ours. Anyone who can put up with this crew is a keeper!
Jess is the amazingly beautiful bride. She is 25. She got her Masters degree in education and now manages an Auto Zone. Yup..that's right. While looking for a teaching position she got a job as a driver for AZone and worked her way up. She LOVES her job and the men who come in there just love having this gorgeous little thing come out and help them on their cars.
Well, that's my kids in a nutshell. I have no idea why God blessed me with the 6 most amazing kids ever born, but I am thankful daily that He did.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Relief mixed with a sense of accomplishment

Well, the Loopy Over You top is completely done!! Wow, what a sense of relief. It seemed to take forever to quilt, but that mostly was due to finger tip amputation. Funny how you take those little tips for granted until one is gone! This was the very first quilt that I free motioned quilt. Now THAT was scary. I am thrilled that I finally tackled that new challenge and while I definitely have a long way to go before I could say I am good at it, at least I have started. Hannah loves it...that is all that matters!
Here is a little sample of the free motion quilting. Obviously a simple meander pattern.
To go with the Loopy name, I quilted loops in the border:

Now, off to pin my Christmas Lights quilt top. Promised myself I would get 2 tops quilted before I started another quilt top and I am chomping at the bit to start another one! Not sure which one, just any one! lol The tutorial for this quilt is underway for those that have been waiting!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thimbleberries Safe Haven top done

Yay! I got this top all done today and boy, do I LOVE it!! It is big...88x96. I'm not sure how I am going to be able to quilt this one, but I will worry about it later lol. I found 11 of these blocks at my little craft bits and pieces store here and bought them all for 19.00. I think. I'm old, so I might be wrong, but I am pretty positive this is how much. Anywho, after searching and searching to find out what quilt pattern this was, then to find fabric that would blend and then find the directions, this is the final outcome. I like to think whomever started this would like how it turned out. What do you think?

Friday, November 20, 2009


Hmm...why do we do procrastinate? One thing on my list of things to get done has been quilting my Loopy Over You quilt top. Know why it isn't done yet? All because I needed to sew the label on the back and couldn't quilt that section until it was done. Every day I would say..that is it...I am going to finish quilting that top. Then I would remember the label would need to go on and I wouldn't want to take the time to do that, so I would start up another project. Well, guess what? It took me all of 20 minutes today to put that label on. 20 measly minutes. Why on earth did I keep putting that off? Why did it seem so daunting when it was only a teensy tiny wrinkle of time? Hmm...good lesson learned. I am going to look at my projects and any that I haven't worked on because of some dopey reason I am just going to do!

Frugal tip: All my teensy bits of scraps that I would throw out automatically go in a pillow case and that is laid down into a shallow box near my computer. My cats snuggle up on that (they don't seem to mind when it is only 1/2 full). When it is full, I will sew up the end and start a new one. Happy cats, happy me and one less group of items for me to throw out!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fun Christmas block

I am doing another block swap with a Christmas theme now. I was having a hard time deciding what to do ( who wouldn't with all the amazing Christmas fabrics and blocks out there!!) when I found this little cutie. Instant decision!! This was it for me. Isn't it wonderful??

I can see this little block in a lot of things other than just a quilt. Maybe a nice table runner with some stars on either side. If you like this block, you can find it here at Quiltaholics. Let me know if you use this block and what you did with it. I can always use new ideas!!

Frugal tip: Reuse and repurpose! My daughter brought me down a bag of old clothes to get rid of. When I went through them to make sure there wasn't any ripped things (I planned on donating these), I got all kinds of ideas. First...out came the jeans to make braided rugs, cotton shirts to get cut up for quilts, and tee shirts for rag rugs. Here is a tutorial for those at Crazy Mom Quilts. I now have 3 bins in my laundry room for everyone to sort their castoffs into for future projects! I love being thrifty and creative!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Beautiful Swap Blocks

I just participated in a block swap with a great group of ladies over on the yahoo group, Tran-quilt-ity. It is a wonderful list and we have a good time sharing and encouraging over there. This swap was a "My Favorite" swap. It could be your favorite color, your favorite block, fabric, etc. What a decision!! This is what just came to me in the mail:

Aren't these wonderful???? I can't wait to get them altogether in a quilt top. Yet, wait I must. I still have that wonderful promise I made to myself not to add any more tops until I get some quilted. Damn me and my word!!
Anyway, not only did I get these beautiful blocks, but in the envelope was this little surprise:

Hmm...are you asking, "What could this be??" Are you intrigued, curiosity piqued?? Me, too..me, too!! It's one thing to have a surprise that you expected..like the blocks...but an extra unplanned for goodie?? Sooo..I opened it and found this:
These are the pieces and directions to make not 1, not 2, but 24 butterfly appliques all precut and ready to go, sent by a dear new friend, Cheryl!! Poor, poor Cheryl. I know she didnt do this for only me. I can only imagine how her fingers hurt after cutting all these pieces!! Cheryl, if you are reading this..know that this meant the WORLD to me. I can't wait to make something fabulous with them and it will be named for you. Thank you, my friend!!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

A few warm fuzzies

I have had a busy week and little time for sitting and sewing. The weekend is looking even busier than that. My dad just came up today from Kentucky to visit me. I love having him here. We get far too little time together and I plan on spending every moment enjoying it. Tomorrow night we are heading up to Oswego to visit my daughter and son in law and let them show off their new house to Papa. We are going up there for dinner...which I get to bring up there! lol Good to still be needed. I doubt I will get much sewing in, but I'll see what I can squeak in.
In the meantime, here are some warm fuzzies I've been working on. I now have one sock done. I'm not sure I like this pattern, but it did work up fast and easy..always a plus!! It's mate is already started and hopefully I will soon have a pair.

Here are some dishcloths I started up while sitting on the beach this summer in Myrtle Beach. Yes, I was the only woman in a bathing suit sitting on the beach KNITTING! I can't just sit..have to be doing something useful! Funny thing is, one of my online pals, Jill, just started a knitting class and these are the exact ones she learned to make!! They are fun, aren't they, Jill?? What good taste we have!

And here are a few more I finished up. They aren't blocked yet, but you get the idea. This was a fun pattern, too. One I could definitely make more of.

I have a bag filled with knitting supplies that usually sits in my car so whenever I have a few minutes....lunch at work, waiting for kids, sitting on a beach on vacation, etc, I can just stitch away. Just like in quilting, nothing better than the click click of knitting needles or the stitch stitching of my sewing machine on cold western New York nights!! Hope everyone has a warm, wonderful weekend!!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Possibilities for mystery #11 top

Well, I got all the blocks made for the Mysteries for Relay mystery #11 done! Now for deciding how I want to lay them out. Both of the tops I am making measure out to 72x84 WITHOUT borders! It was really hard for me to find a space to lay them out. I moved some stuff out of my kitchen and am using the floor in there. Unfortunately, it is hard to really get the picture of it when I am right on top of it when it is laying on the floor. So, I thought I would put the pictures on here where I can get a better perspective...and of course your opinion!! Marge gave us several alternate ideas for laying out our blocks besides the original, and I love them all. Here is quilt top #1 in the original layout:

What do you think? I will have to move some blocks around for better color placement, but I wanted to decide if this is the layout I wanted to go with. It is definitely different for me. I tend to go with pretty traditional things. I'm thinking I like it. Off to lay it out another way and will post that when I am done. BTW, if you click on the pic, you can see it better.
Here is another variation:

Alright..here is the last variation:

I think I know which one I am leaning towards...but how about you? Which one do you like the best?

and the race is on!

Well, as usual, I have BIG plans for getting so much accomplished this weekend. We all know how that goes. I am the eternal optimist, though, so we will see what actually happens!!
My hub and kids are off to our new store to get it painted up so it will be ready January 1st to move from our present location. That means Patrick and I will have the whole day to ourselves. First on my list to get done is the new Mysteries for Relay mystery # 11 quilt. That started Thursday and the final clue was posted last night. I have no idea what that is as I am only halfway through step 3 and that is step 7! Once again, I am making 2 twin sizes...one to keep and one to donate. That is a total of 84 12 1/2 blocks I am working on..WHEW!! I also have 20+ swap blocks to make, a Thimbleberries quilt top to finish up and the usual household stuff. Wow..time to get going..say a prayer for meeeeeee!!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

4 great prizes up for grabs!!

Wow..Carin over at Conceived without Regard for Reason or Reality, just hit her 4 year blogging anniversary! To celebrate, she is hosting a fabulous give away. Check it out! I can't imagine blogging for that log. Heck..it has been over a week since I even blogged at all! Sigh..she set the bar high!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Marie Bostwick is sponsoring a block swap!

This is so exciting!! Marie Bostwick, author of A Single Thread, A Thread of Truth and other books, is hosting a Christmas swap block! 23 lucky quilters will be picked to participate in this swap and Marie will be cheering them on through posts and other surprises! What a generous lady to give her time to this while still writing these books us loyal readers love to read!! If you are interested in joining the swap, just click on her link on the left side of my blog and go to her quilting forum. You'll see where to sign up for your chance to participate. Have fun and good luck!!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Scrappy Mountain Majesties borders on

I had the center of this quilt done awhile ago and it has taken me this long to choose and attach the borders. It is the biggest one I have made so far. I think it ended up at 88x93. Now I can cross completing it off my list and will add it to the needs to be quilted list. Off to the next project on the list!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

No jellyroll diets for us!

Especially if we win this one at the giveaway at the Blueberry Buckle quilt Studio. A yummy Moda "Objects of Desire" jelly roll is up for grabs. Hurry and sign up!!

Christmas Lights

My friend and drinking buddy (and now quilting buddy), Pam, and I both made Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt, Christmas Lights. Mine now has its borders on so I thought I would share both of the quilts with you. We both used what we had on hand for the middle but both had to buy a bit for the borders. Didn't they turn out great??

This one is Pam's. You would never know she didn't start quilting until this past January, would you?? She now has 4 quilts finished!!

This one is mine. I can't wait to finish it up and have it out for Christmas!
Lots of plans for this weekend. Got the grocery shopping done for the month, got the chicken feed, and cleaned out the coop. Now for all the regular housework and cooking for the month. I also have one quilt top I need to get the borders on, a quilt swap blocks to get done, one block, sashing and borders for another quilt and one more swaps blocks to start. Whew..guess I better get off here and get to work! Hope everyone's weekend is just what they want it to be..whether productive or restful!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Shh..this is one of those rare one footed quilt tops! Don't make too much noise or you might scare it off! lol
Well, I haven't gotten the borders on yet, as you can see, but here is my Christmas Lights quilt top. I really have to start taking pics during the day when there is more light. As soon as I do get the borders on, I will take a better pic of the finished project. I am really please with this one. I know there were some folks who didn't like the layout all that well in this mystery, but I think with my color choices, it worked out well. So far I am 3 for 3 on loving the mysteries that I have done. Boy...am I lucky or what??!!
I am rapidly accruing too many tops, though. With this one, I will have 5 tops that need to be quilted. Well, 2 of those need borders, also. Plus the Loopy over You that is half quilted. My finger is finally up to quilting, I think, so that is it. You heard it here. NO MORE QUILT TOPS UNTIL I QUILT AT LEAST 2 OF THESE TOPS!! Sorry for yelling, but I need for you to hear me and to hold me accountable. Sigh..this is going to be soooooooo hard. I have so many more I want to start on. Hmm...maybe if I already have a top started I could finish it....or if I at least have the fabric cut out....or if I own the fabric..or know what fabric I want to get for it.......

It's raining fat quarters!

Or at least it will seem that way if you win this amazing give away over at Pumpkin Patch Primitives!! I don't know that last time I saw that many fat quarters offered up. Check it out and good luck!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Very cool give away!

Kelly over at I Have a Notion, is having a fabulous give away this week. She is offering a signed book by Edyta Sitar! It is called, Friendship Triangles, and isn't even out on the market yet! Swing by her website to check it out and shop to your hearts content!
I really haven't done much sewing this past week. Kind of in a blah mood and I am not sure why. This is my favorite time of the year and usually have all kinds of energy.
We did go out for dinner with some new friends this weekend and I did get the center of my Christmas Lights quilt top done. With any luck, I will get the borders on tonight and have pics to show you tomorrow. Happy Monday, all!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Second mystery #10 top done..woohooooo!!

Alright. I did it. Not only did I get the border of the first Mystery #10 top done, I also got the SECOND mystery #10 top done!! On this one, I used a dark blue paisley as my background color instead of light as the directions called for. I just thought I would shake things up a bit. What do you think?

Sigh, again you can't really see the colors. There is dark blue border around the edge, but it blends in with the floor. Now to decide which one to keep and which one to donate. Marge, once again, thank you for the fun of this mystery! I can't wait for the next one! BTW...both of these quilts are the same pattern. Just making the one a dark background really changed the look, didn't it?

Mystery for Relay mystery #10 top completely done!

Well, top #1 is done. I wish you could see the colors better. I really have to figure out how to use my digital camera instead of using my cell phone. The borders are a pale yellow tiny print and the pinwheels are dark green print and muslin. I really love how this one turned out. The size ended up being 51 x 60. Now to finish the second top! or..the Christmas Lights mystery top...or...About the only thing I can't finish quite yet, is the Loopy Over You top. The finger just isn't up to quilting yet. Happy stitching and more updates later!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Photo hog

One of my favorite things visiting blogs, is seeing folks pets in the pictures. In our household we have 2 dogs: Luke-6 yrs chow/? mix and Delilah- 4 mos Schipperke. We also have 3 quilting helper cats: Buddy- 9 yrs grey tiger, Halley-2 yrs tiger and her son Ricky-1 yr. We also have 6 chickens otherwise known as "my girls". I'll share pics of these guys from time to time, but for now, here is a picture of Buddy, our photo hog. He apparently can tell when I am using my cell phone to talk or to take pics because he has to get right in my face when I am trying to take pics. See??

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Mystery for Relay mystery #10 top

Yay! I got the center of one of my mystery quilts done (I think) and I love the way it turned out! Thanks, Marge, for this mystery!! I say I think I am done with it because when I add the 4 in borders, it will end up being only 55 x 63. I guess that would be a lap quilt size. I am not sure if I want to make it twin size or keep it as is. Probably as is, since I have so many other projects to finish. I can't wait to finish the second one up now. Remember that one? That is the one I sewed a good portion of it wrong when I was drugged up on pain killers. I did get it ripped out, but now to sew it together. I am really pleased because I used only from my stash for these two. Feels good to not spend, yet create something wonderful! Hope everyone else is who is doing this mystery is as happy with it and their color choices as I am!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Where did the weekend go?

Let's see...I got the 2 mystery quilts almost completed. I did find I sewed one section wrong on one of the quilts. No more sewing while drugged for me! I did get that part ripped out, but not put back yet. The first quilt I got all laid out and decided I needed 10 more blocks. So, hopefully I will finish those this week.
I haven't been able to do any quilting with the bad finger, so the Loopy Over You quilt top is still waiting to be finished.
I also had ALL 6 of my kids and my son in law here for dinner tonight. Woohooo! That doesn't happen enough for me!
I also did my cooking for the month today. Yes, you heard me...I shop and cook once a month. I HATE cooking. Unfortunately, my family refuses to graze, so I have to cook. One of the best frugal things I do is grocery shop once a month. The fewer times you walk in the store, the fewer impulse items you buy. I make a month worth of menus then stick strictly to the list. I do have to run in on weekends to buy more fresh fruit and milk, but that is it. Cooking the one time saves me time, also. Now, I just pull something out of the freezer when I get up and heat it when I get home. I LOVE this! Here's what I made and froze today:
2 lasagnes
2 meat sauce for spaghetti
2 shepherds pies
2 creamy noodles and beef
2 chicken pot pies
3 red chilis
3 white chilis
2 turkey meatball soups
split pea soup

Yes, I know that is not 30 dinners, but we also have home made pizza night every Thursday night, Wednesday is club sandwich night. Using this system, I spend about $450 a month for ALL our food, cleaning supplies, etc for the 5 of us at home and the usual drop ins.
Well, back to work tomorrow and hopefully more sewing tomorrow!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Thanks to Evie's Tool Emporium!

Since I couldn't do much sewing this past weekend because of my finger, I spent a few hours on Sunday checking out the first annual Fall Business Women Online Expo. Dee, at Runako Designs,(check out her gorgeous designs) started this, and she did wonderfully! On her blog, she had a list of participating sites. We got to visit the sites and most hosted a sale or give away. Over at Evie's Tool Emporium, Michelle hosted a give away and I won! After looking at all the cool tools she has there, I had decided that I wanted the 6 1/2 in scissors. What quilter ever has too many scissors?
If you have time, go to Runako Designs and visit the vendors still listed on her page. You won't be disappointed!!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

A funny..

When going through the pics in my phone to find that tree pic, I found this one in there. Forgot all about it, but it makes me crack up every time I see it, so I thought I would share. This is my son, Joe, holding one of our chickens. Joe is always taking oddball shots of things and I never know just what I might find as a screensaver. Hope it makes you smile, too! Now, back to sewing part 3!

Slowly but surely

I am slowly but surely getting the steps done for the Mysteries for Relay quilts I am working on. Here are pics of blocks 1 and 2:

On this second one, I decided to mix it up a bit and used a dark for my background instead of a light. I haven't peeked ahead, so I hope it works!
Autumn is definitely here. That and winter are probably my favorite seasons. Up here in western New York, you don't hear many folks say they love winter and the snow, but I sure do! Makes homes seem so warm and cozy. Besides..who doesn't love newly knitted warm socks?? I will post pics of the socks I am working on tomorrow. For now, here is a little taste of autumn:

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Never ever get distracted while using your rotary cutter!!

Sigh..my intent was to follow all day long with the Mysteries for Relay myster quilt. I plan on making two twin size quilts along with the clues, but knew I would have to catch up since I just signed on last night. I was cutting the fabric this morning while watching the Gilmore Girls with my daughter. BIG MISTAKE. Never ever use a rotary cutter while distracted!!!! I managed to cut off the entire end of my finger from the middle of the nail down. A few hours at urgent care, 5 stitches and a 10 % chance of it reattaching and I am home. I am a diehard, tho. Soon as the painkillers kick in..I am persevering!! Will follow up with reports on where I am with the quilt and with the really disgusting looking, painful finger

Friday, September 25, 2009

Starting a new mystery quilt tomorrow

Tomorrow morning I am starting a new mystery quilt. For a $10 donation to Mysteries for Relay (the money goes to fight cancer) I get to participate in 2 mysteries designed by Marge Gordon. From what I understand, her mysteries are always wonderful! Why not join me for a fun mystery quilt AND to help fight cancer??!! If you are interested, click on the button on the left and make your donation. They mysteries are only $5 each, but since you have to make a minimum donation of
$10 on the site, Marge will allow you to participate in 2 mysteries!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Wow! 2 new quilt patterns and a give away!

Check out Green Fairy Quilts to see the great 2 new quilt patterns! There is also a Fabulous give away on there. Winner is picked on Thursday night, so be quick!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Tackling something new and scared to death!

Alright..in just a few minutes, I am going to tackle my first attempt at free motion quilting and I am scared to death! I've been practicing away on a scrap sammich, but the thought of starting on a real quilt is nerve wracking!! I'm sure it'll be fine..sheesh..even if I do it horribly, what's the worst that can happen? I'm going to be doing it to Hannah's Loopy Over You top and I know she won't know the difference (or care)if it's not how it is supposed to be. I can remember feeling like this when I did Tom's sampler quilt in March..that was the first time I machine quilted at all! Alright...enough procrastinating. Say a prayer for me...and the quilt! lol

Friday, September 18, 2009

Turning over a New Leaf

Have you ever looked at yourself and wondered how it got so out of control? It seems like almost every area of my life I have let backslide. The house is a mess and unorganized, checkbook isn't balanced, lots of UFO's, etc. I have let friendships falter, I'm yelling at my kids too often, spending too little time with the hub and worse of all, I have't stayed very close to God. How does all this happen? When does it all sneak in and why does it take so long to notice??
I don't even know if the answers to those questions matter to me right now. What IS important is that I regain control. I am a chronic list maker, and boy, is my list going to be a long one! First is to get right with God. Nothing else in my life will go right if I don't have that put to rights. Besides, without His blessing and help, there is no way I can tackle the rest!
I am going to start going from room to room, top to bottom and scrub everything, get rid of lots and keep it up until this big old house is DONE!
A big part of our lives here is trying to live more simply and with less. I want to be known as "the cheapskates"..those that do everything possible as frugally and as "green" as possible.
So, now this blog is going to chronicle these efforts as well as my quilting. I will post frugal tips that we are using, progress reports on the cleaning and organizing,etc. I hope you don't mind! Also, I would love to hear any comments or tips that you use!!
I did get the Loopy over You quilt pinned today (Patrick is sick so I had to leave work and bring him home from school...poor poop)so will have finished pics to post soon as well as the directions. Sorry for the long post, but I felt posting all this would help me to be accountable to myself to get these issues under control.
Happy stitching!

Today's accomplishment: pinned Loopy over You quilt top

Frugal tip: Stay home! No temptations to spend at all if I am home! It also has me spending time where I should be spending it then...at home with my family!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Border #2 and done!

Woohooo! Yup..I am much happier with the plain borders. I am a sucker for a dark narrow border and then a second border. Never noticed that until now. I guess I like how the darker inner border frames the center. Anywho..here is the pic. Obviously I didn't get it written down yet, but I PROMISE to have that on here this week!If you click on the pic, you can get a little closer view of it.

Hannah is the happy recipient of this quilt..soon as I get it quilted that is! She picked out the blue fabric ages ago for me to use in her quilt. She really, really loves it!