Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Why was this kept a secret from me??

I am slowly getting back to myself, but thought I should still take it easy tonight. So, I decided to cut out the little pieces for the applique on the Trees of Life quilt top. Well, it was still early so I decided to try a little bit of sewing them down. Okay..I am now in love with applique!! I haven't finished this spot of applique, but here is a pic of what I have gotten done so far:

This is soooo much fun! I can't wait to see what other projects I can add applique touches to. Learning something new was on my list of things to do this year and I am so glad I went outside my box and tried it. I now have a new favorite!

You might also notice that I kept the lighter side pieces on this top. I kept going back and forth on changing them out to make them the same as the inside background fabric. I finally decided the lighter color might make a nicer background for the applique. Also, I still have the fabric cut out for another top like this, so if I don't like the way this ends up, I will make the next one with all the same background fabric.

Thanks to everyone for their love, prayers and good wishes for Patrick and I. He is completely back to normal, on a higher dose of meds for the seizures and I am slowly but surely getting back to normal..well, normal for me! lol

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Did you miss me?

Let me tell you about my weekend. It is the reason I haven't slept in weeks, have a twitch in my left eye and have accomplished no sewing in the past week. It started with getting up at 5:30 Saturday morning for a fundraiser at our local animal shelter. I am the volunteer coordinator the Target I work at. From 7 to 9 am, the kids and I handed out water to the runners in the 5k run for the shelter. Then back home. Hub left at 10:30 for what he thought was an ordinary golf game. Nopers! It was an excuse to get him out of the house so the kids and I could get the house ready for his surprise 50th birthday party! We have been planning this for a month and we had 80 people arriving at 3:30. We worked magic, thanks to many friends and he was totally surprised. Most folks left by 12:30 am, but we had a few who stayed until 3 am when I finally told them the party was over and I drove them home. In bed by 4:15 am and back up at 8 am to get ready for the wedding shower I was having for my niece here at the house at 1:30. Got other party goodies all cleaned up and new party set up on time and we had a great time. Got all that cleaned up by 6 pm. By this point, I was the walking dead ( even before the weekend, I hadn't been sleeping. Between stressing over both party details, my RA was acting up and my joints were killing me..just a tad stressed) and the joints were still screaming at me. With everything cleaned up, I took a pain pill and laid down on the couch with my Patrick to settle in with the family and watch some movies and do nothing for awhile. Few minutes later and Patrick was hitting me repeatedly. Turn around to ask him what he was up to and he was in a full fledged seizure. By 10 pm he was back to himself but sick to his stomach. Since he has CP, he can't even turn over on his side by himself if he starts vomiting, so I had to stay up all Sunday night to keep an eye on him and clean him up when he got sick. By 1 am, he was no longer sick and sleeping, but I stayed up to keep an eye on him.
He was fine and dandy Monday morning and off to school he went. I worked 9-7 then slept from 8 pm to 7 am. I think I am finally getting back to normal now.
All in all, other than the seizure, it was a FABULOUS weekend! I can't believe we pulled off the surprise party and hub got to see soooo many old friends. I am not good at keeping things from him and I swear..this is the last time I will ever do anything like this again..but he is soooooo worth it.
Anwho, that's where I have been and what I have been up to. With any luck, I will get some sewing in this week and I promised myself a sew in this weekend. I need it..funny how sewing is like therapy. I need it to relax a bit!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Quilters block??

Is there such a thing as quilters block like writers block?? I WANT to sew...I NEED to sew...and I can't. I got the backing pieced for my niece's quilt tonight but when I went to my daughter's room to sandwich it (the only room that has enough clear floor space), she was already in bed. So..on to something else. I could rip out those side pieces on the Trees of Life top that I don't like..nope..can't get into it..I can piece the Pinwheel Party blocks that I still need to make..nope...that's not it. Okay...let's get remotivated here. I find and watch a tutorial on! Want to applique..nope..not now. Alrighty...let's look through some quilt books and blogs to get motivated..nope, not cutting it. Sigh..I give up.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Quiet night

Quiet night here. I am a tad stressed so my rheumatoid arthritis has been acting up which has led me to take some of my pain killers. They do dull the pain a bit, but they also have the lovely side effects of 1) not letting me sleep and 2) they make me ITCH! Yes, I am allergic to something in some of them. Some pain pills are worse than others for the itch for me, so I have a nice little assortment here. You know I must REALLY be hurting for me to take a pill knowing I will be scratching my skin off for the next 24 hours. Anywho, tonight I am tired from not sleeping the past couple of nights. I worked 9-7 today, made dinner, we watched House (yes, we are all House addicts in this house! lol) and now I am off to bed. I did decide to take the outer triangles off the Trees of Life and replace them with the background fabric..if I can find more of that, that is! Wish me luck on that and hope to have some sewing news tomorrow!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Finally back to sewing

I finally got back into the sewing room tonight. We just had our downstairs bathroom ( our main bathroom), totally gutted and redone. I have to say, the guys did a great job. They got it done in 9 days (well, my vanity isn't in, but that isn't their fault..still waiting on it to come in). Now, that might not sound so hot, but you have to understand my house is no ordinary house. The structure is from the late 1800's. Half of it was a stable, the other half was an apple drying house. It is made out of poured concrete and has every huge rock in the area imbedded in it. My walls are all 1 1/2 to 2 feet thick. Hub's grandparents converted into a house back in the 40's. EVERYTHING that gets done to it takes twice the normal time and energy. So, these guys get huge kudos from me for doing it so fast...and so wonderfully. Anywho, the reason I brought this up is that you know what happens when you work on your house...dust....TONS of dust...especially when they have to cut into concrete walls. I have done nothing but dust the past few days, and I think I finally got it under control. I have also had a ton of canning to do and I am hosting a wedding shower for my niece here at my house this Sunday. So, little time to play!!
Tonight, though, I did get most of the Trees of Life wallhanging top done. Now I have to applique some designs on it. This terrifies me! I do NOT applique. That was one of my goals for the new year, though. I don't know how to applique and I really love this wallhanging so I hope I don't mess it up. That's the beauty of the internet, though. I am sure I can find some nice tutorials out there to help me out. In the meantime, feel free to leave me any and all tips or sites that will help me out with this...PLEASE!
Here is a pic of the wallhanging without applique:

Before I get to the applique, I have one project that I have to do. Way back in April, I posted about 2 quilt tops that my sister in gave me that she found when she was cleaning out her father in laws house after he passed away. They were made by his second wife. She did a beautiful job hand piecing them. She told me to finish them and I could keep them or gift them out. I just decided on something better...I am going to quilt the white top and give it to my niece at her shower...from her Grandpa and Grandma. She is a sentimental girl and this is going to mean the world to her. So, that is my next project. Will post pics!!

Hmmm...the fabric that is on the outside of this top has more print and texture in real life than it shows here. I am not sure I like the distinction between the two background prints, though. The applique might help that, but I am not sure. Maybe I should remove the outside fabric and replace it with the one from the tree blocks so they are all the same. What do you think?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Oh...a Sunshine Award!

Mary Lou, over at Cheaper Than Therapy, sent me a note today letting me know that she is passing along this Sunshine Award to me! This is a fun little award introducing our readers to some of our favorite blogs to network between the blogs and to say thanks to those blogs we read often! How fun is that??

Now, the hard part...which 12 blogs to link to and to pass this award on to??

1) Granny's Place
2)In Stitches with Bonnie
3) Making Scrap Quilts from Stash
4)Quilting Mom's Blog
5) Shell Creations
6) The Quilting Cat
7) The Queen Bee's Buzz
8) Ramblings of a New Quilter Who Has an Aversion to Following Patterns...and Rules!
9) A Patchwork Garden
10) Concerning Zarina

I hope you will love visiting my friends over at these blogs..I know I do! Thanks so much, Mary Lou, for passing this along to me!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Accuquilt Go is here!

Boy, are they fast! I received an email from Carolyn at Accuquilt saying they were going to mail out my Go by the end of the week, and they must have done it right away because it was here waiting for me when I got home from work today! Now, let me tell you, I am a skeptic. There is ALWAYS a catch..right? I figured I did win this amazing product..and 3 dies..but, as I did research on the Go, I knew I would have to buy the cutting mats that are required for the dies. Not exactly cheap, but hey..small price for all the free stuff I was getting. So, here is picture #1..the box:

Pretty..isn't it??

Okay..back into the shipping box and here are my dies:

I chose the 7 inch Drunkard's Path, the half square- 3" finished triangle and 5" square. Wait..what is that??!! They INCLUDED the cutting mats with them!! Just when I thought this win couldn't get any better, it DID! the pretty Go box now!!

WOW...a free die comes with it!!! Be still my heart...this die has a 4 1/2" square, a 2 1/2" square and a 2 inch finished hst!!!! For those of you that have followed my blog, you know that I am an hst addict and this is my fave size. I can see this die getting TONS of use!

Ohh..look at the cool bag the Go comes in:

Looks even cooler OUT of the bag!

They say it weighs around 15 pounds, but I have to tell you, it didn't feel that heavy to me. Must be the great carrying handle. Let's open it up to check this baby out.

I really didn't know what to expect when I won the Go. I don't know anyone who has one, and hadn't done much research on them until I won it. I have to say that so far I am impressed. The machine itself is more substantial than I expected ( don't ask me why, but I think I expected it to be flimsy), yet it is not cumbersome at all. For someone who has Rheumatoid Arthritis, it was easy to pick up and not too heavy. It doesn't seem to have a million parts that are ready to break at any moment. The customer service has been terrific with the fast mailing and making sure I would have everything I needed, including the mats. I know I put a lot of pictures on here and am voicing a lot of little things, but if are like me, you might not know much about this product and thought you might be interested in getting to know a Go a little better. I will continue to post about it and my experiences with it. As I go along, feel free to ask any questions! Tomorrow I will post about my first experiences using the Go.

In the meantime, thanks again Ryan for having the wonderful blog giveaway that gave me this amazing gift!! Of course, BIG thanks go Carolyn over at Accuquilt!!!!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

We are off and running

Got some housework done and decided it was time to settle in and start my Christmas sewing. I have decided to make a Christmas tree skirt. I have always wanted one. We have always just used a plain white sheet under the tree and I am tired of that look. Here is the pattern I decided on..also from the Thimbleberries Guide for Weekend Quilters:

Here are the fabrics I chose:

Now, I am off to get this all put together. Will update as I go along!

First star made:

Also got Patrick fed, more laundry thrown in, and tomatoes picked. Another update soon!! we have the 4 corner stars:

So far this pattern couldn't be any easier! Now, let's just hope I still like it when I have it complete! lol

First set of borders made:

Okay..we are done piecing the top! I did have to stop and run to the store to get some odds and ends for dinner. We are heading over to my sister in laws for supper and I am making squash and apple casserole to bring. This is one of my family's favorites. I will take a picture and post the recipe when it is all done cooking...or when we get home. It tastes like apple pie, so fakes the kids out and I get them to eat squash! lol is the pic of the tree skirt top:

It almost seems a shame to cut it for the skirt! lol Not sure when I will quilt it and cut it to make it into the skirt..maybe next month or some other night when it just feels right. So glad to have gotten this far today. Thanks for all the companionship, ladies! It really motivated me!! Ohh..and in case you are wondering, it measures in at 54 inches square.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Getting ready for tomorrow

Tomorrow is the Christmas quilt along day. I know exactly what it is I am going to be working on and I can't wait to get started! I do have to fit some housecleaning in, though, so will be reporting in sporadically on my project and progress. Want to sew along with us and get ready for the holiday? Just click on the Christmas quilt along button on the left and join in!!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Warm, cozy hand quilting

Tonight is chilly! YAY!! I am probably the only person in western NY who LOVES the fall and winter here. They are the seasons of yummy comfort foods, snuggly quilts, warm sweaters, crisp air and apples....sigh..I could go on and on. So, I made a big dish of lasagne for dinner and decided I was going to do some handquilting. Finally cool enough to enjoy having a quilt all over you while working on it! I pulled out my Giant New York Sunflower quilt and made some progress on that. I decided that for the center of the sunflower to use the same color thread. I really didn't want a big distraction there and the quilting is simple..just outlining. So, on the front you see nothing of what I have gotten done:

The center really isn't that awful's wrinkly because it was all folded up. I haven't quilted the very center yet..going to do that in some type of design but haven't figured out what yet.

On the back, though, you see this:

Still working on getting my stitches regulated, but it doesn't matter too much. This quilt is staying here with me and whether they stitches are good or not isn't a huge concern. This is a learning process quilt and I am just going to enjoy practicing my hand stitching.

I also made another tree:

These really go together pretty quickly and it is such fun seeing how they come out!

Oh...btw..the lasagne was AMAZING!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Leaves are coming out on my trees trees for my Trees of Life quilt by Edyta Sitar, that is. Last night I sewed all the hst's (that would be a total of 188 for 2 of these wallhangings) and then even though it was getting late, I couldn't wait to put at least 1 tree together.

First, here is a pic of my hst's. Didn't I train them well? They all piled nicely on their own as I was sewing them! That never happens to me, so I took a pic:

Then, after I got them all cut, pressed and de-dog earred, I put some together into the first block. Here it is:

I'm thinking I really am going to like this. What do you think?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Wow..when I win..I win BIG!

Believe it or not, I won this:

Yup! An Accuquilt Go and 3 dies were the grand prize over at I'm Just a Guy Who Quilts. I entered late...just a few hours to spare, only to find out over 1600 entries had already been made. Well, nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? Boy..did I gain! Thanks so much, Ryan, for this wonderful giveaway on your blog. I can't wait to start playing with it!! Btw..I think you are now my hub's best friend. Let's see...$349 for the Go...about $150 for the dies I just saved hub about $500 in Christmas presents!!! lolol

Gumballs, tomatoes and green beans..oh my!

It has been awhile since I posted and that is because I just didn't have anything to report! I hadn't stepped into the sewing room at all in over a week..not since I completed the snowball top. I did finally manage to get in there on Saturday and quilted that snowball top up. I have named this one Gumballs as that is what they remind me of with the bright colors. This one is being gifted to a friend of mine who just had knee replacement surgery. She is an upbeat, friendly lady and this quilt fits her to a tee. Here it is..the binding is only halfway sewn on but will finish that tonight.

After that, I really wanted to make something with some beautiful new autumn fabrics that I had just picked up. So, I started going through some of my books and found this:

This was in the Thimbleberries Guide for Weekend Quilters. I changed it up with my autumnal fabrics and this is what I got:

We also went to the state fair yesterday and had a great time. Last night I canned 6 more pints of diced tomatoes and I am canning a couple quarts of green beans now. Tomorrow I have workmen coming to tear out and remodel my main bathroom, so that means I have to get busy and get a lot of cleaning and organizing done today! With any luck, tonight I will get a chance to quilt my autumn table topper. I swear, everything just seems to be so much better in the world if I can spend even a few minutes sewing!!

Will make more updates later. Hope everyone is enjoying their holiday weekend!!