Thursday, September 30, 2010

Low Platelettes

I was not able to give my usual platelette donation yesterday because my count was too low.  First time that has happened to me in the two years I've been donating.  They were able to take a pint of whole blood.  My iron count was very good, can't explain the platelettes though.  It was disappointing to me because I know how badly platelettes are needed.  But on the other hand, whole blood is needed as well, so I guess I should be proud of that. 

I spent the remainder of yesterday working on a T-shirt quilt for a customer who is a runner.  Her shirts are really cute.  I hope to have them all trimmed into the correct size blocks today and then do a layout.  Her layout is going to be different because she has one center shirt as the focal point, and then all of the other shirts are to be arranged in chronological order around the center block and grouped by the kind of run it was.  I have a CAD program to help me with the layout, but I have never been able to get the hang of it.  In my opinion it is not very user friendly.  So I usually end up pulling out the graph paper and doing the layout the old-fashioned way.  The customer wants sashing also, so wish me luck. 

I haven't gotten any farther on the Morning Frost quilt of mine.  Hey, there are only so many hours in a day!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Correction on that pattern; previous posting Morning Frost not Winter Frost

That pattern is called Morning Frost, why I always call it Winter Frost is beyond me.  But I must give credit accurately.  It is from the book Woodroses in Winter by This & That by Sherry K Falls.

I'm off to give blood platelettes today. 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Winter Frost is on the design wall

This one seems to be a long time coming, I've had the blocks and sashing pieces done for some time.  I think because there are so many pieces to the sashing. I was dragging my feet about it.  I put it on the design wall so that I could avoid getting the same fabrics next to each other.  I will spend some time switching things around as I walk past now and then, but at a certain point I say, enough is enough and I start sewing the rows together.   I hope to get the top done by the weekend, but I'm in the midst of preparing T-shirts for a customer that wants a quilt made.  Those can be time consuming but very enjoyable at the same time. 

Winter Frost is from the book Woodroses in Winter by This & That. 

Monday, September 27, 2010

Out with the old, in with the new!

Many of you know that I have been on quest for a healthier lifestyle since oh, about June.  Although I still struggle to keep my weight going in the right direction, down instead of up, I have noticed my clothes are fitting differently.  I've held off with the transition of going to smaller sized clothing because of the expense, (I'm such a miser, I only shop sales and find most of my clothing at or an occasional Denim & Co purchase from QVC).  But you know when you reach a point of embarrasment, and just have to bite the bullet?  Well I reached that.  I have gone down two dress sizes, now that sounds funny, you rarely will ever see me in a dress, but you know what I it was time to clean out the closet after purchasing a minimal amount of new duds.  And here is the result:

Clothing being donated

I ended up with two large plastic tubs ready for donation.  Whew!  My closet looks really good!  You know, sometimes simpler IS better. 

And there's more.  For a while now I have subscribed on and off to a program called e-mealz.  It's a meal plan that you subscribe to for $5 a month.  You can select any type of meal plan that you want, for families, or for just two people.  Then you can choose what type of plan you want, regular, low fat, vegetarian, low carb, weight watcher's point system...and then you can select the grocery list provided with the menu from where you shop, Walmart, Publix, any for us, we do the meal plan for two, point system, from Walmart.  Check it out, it might be for you.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Oh, Oh, not again

I went to zumba this morning, and came home to shower, but realized I had to get to the post office before they closed.  As I was nearing the Post office parking lot to mail a package, my warning lights all came on again in my car.  Remember, just a short time ago the same thing happened?  I pulled into a parking spot, mailed my package and called DH.  He drove my car to the dealer while I drove behind him in his truck.  We were fortunate to make it to the dealer without any problems.  It turns out that on the Prius there is a water pump that cools the big hybrid battery, and that was broken.  It would have been covered under warranty but our warranty ran out 5 months ago.  But the service dept. said they would not charge us as a courtesy...good thing because that may have been part of the problem I had on the 14th.  Bad thing is that they don't have the part in stock, and don't know when it will be available until they talk with someone on Monday....hummmm so no car for a while.  Back to one vehicle until it gets fixed. 

On another subject, I am sick of fabric strings, and decided I would try and make a shaggy rag rug from the strips of fabric.  I'm going to try two methods.  The first method is to take the canvas that is used for latch hooking, cut my strips about 4" long by 1/2" wide, and use the latch hook to pull the fabric through to knot.  The second thing I'm going to try is just sewing 2" or so strips to a base of fabric along the length of fabric strip.  I think if I keep sewing row after row close together it will eventually look like chenille.   Any thoughts?

Friday, September 24, 2010

And a finish!

Finally a finish!  The tablerunner, 4 placemats and a pair of potholders are finished.  I sent them all to my friend in Colorado Springs today.  The tablerunner is my own design, but the placemats are from Cozy Modern Quilts by Kim Schaefer.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

And there may be more...

Yes the halloween tablerunner top is ready to quilt, and that was/is on the list for today.  But I remembered that I had some fat quarters that were halloween related, so I decided to pull them out of my stash this morning.  It seems that from the fabric I bought for the tablerunner, plus the fat quarters I pulled there is quite a pile of halloween fabric that I'd like to use up.  Personally, I am not a big halloween fan, so I really don't want all of this themed fabric to take up room.  I want to use it up!

My thought was to make some placemats to send along with the tablerunner to my friend.  It means delaying the quilting on the tablerunner, assembling 4 placemats and maybe quilting everything all at once.  I know that I won't have the selection of fabric to make 4 exactly matching mats, but I don't think that it matters that they will be mixed up.  I just recently got some new pattern books, and in one of them I found some placemat patterns in the back of the book that would be perfect with these fabric pieces. 

Cozy Modern Quilts by Kim Schaefer
  Yesterday I worked on a customer quilt, and it's okay if I show parts of this one:


 The quilting pattern is from the Giant template pattern Spirals, from Circle Lord and I used a variegated thread with primary colors.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

And next in line...

The Halloween tablerunner!  It will be quilted tomorrow, humm, have to think about how I want it quilted.  Custom and fancy would be nice, but I want it DONE, so maybe something all over...I already have the machine set up for the giant templates from Circle Lord so I may stick with one of those.  I want to send it to my friend well before Halloween so she has some time to use it.  I can tell you that she has probably had Halloween decorations out for a couple of weeks now.  Gotta love her.

Halloween Tablerunner

Yes we have a top! 

Monday, September 20, 2010

Looking for some down time

My day started out with a zumba class.  I'd get so much more out of it, if I could learn the steps/routine.  But I'm the one in the back flailing my arms and legs out of sync.  At least I'm moving and having fun to the music. 

Next I finished a small quilt for our Linus Project.  After lunch I got a customer's quilt on the machine and ready for tomorrow.  Since I had a customer dropping off a T shirt quilt, I got out my T shirt samples and some quilt patterns that would be appropriate. 

In between all of this I did the laundry.  Finally done with that I sat down to work on the Halloween table runner, and made some small steps towards getting the top finished.  There are some new shows on tonight so I can watch TV and work a bit more on the runner. 

Good intentions, but gosh I'm tired.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Thinking Halloween

There is one project, a UFO which I have been wanting to get finished for a long time now.  I have let a few too many distractions get in the way, (okay some distractions were really important) but I think today is the day to get this one underway.   What is it?  A halloween tablerunner for a friend in Colorado Springs, who has no idea I'm even making it for her.

On the right are two pieces of a border print that I somehow acquired, who know when or where...and with it a piece of the black background print with the gold moons and stars.  To the left I have some fabrics that I pulled to try and coordinate.   I'm hung up on the design of the tablerunner, and frankly I'm making it more difficult than it has to be.  I should just keep it simple and get going on it already.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Vanity doors and a rubber hammer?!?

The first thing I tackled today was getting the hardware back on the vanity doors and drawers.  For some reason, after I got the hinges on the doors and then went to put them on the cabinet, the previous screw holes wouldn't line up.  Since there are 4 doors I tried to switch them around to see which one matched up the best.  How hard could it be to just match them up?  No luck, then DH came in to help, and after about 30 minutes got out the rubber hammer, I kid you not.  For some reason the two doors in the center won't fit together anymore.  I think there are gremlins in that bathroom, because I have had nothing but problems with it.  Really how difficult could this be?  But no.....

Bathroom vanity

doors won't line up
 After all that I headed to Zumba this morning to shake out my frustration and hopefully keep my weight going in the right direction.  To reward myself I'd really like to sit and eat a package of cookies, but there is not a cookie to be found in the house, (some smart idea that was, not buying any) but an apple just doesn't hold the same appeal as sweet yummy crunchy-goodness cookies.   So what's a girl to do but have the darn apple and go quilt! 

Yesterday I finished the string quilt top that I'd been working on over Labor Day weekend so I want to get that quilted today.  And yesterday while I had some time I worked on my Strips and Strings lob cabin blocks.  It seems I got carried away because I have more logs to add but my blocks are looking like they will be more than 9.5", so I will have to trim them up or not add as many logs. 

A rubber hammer, can you believe it?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday line-up

I am admittedly missing water aerobics today so that I can focus on getting organized for the weekend.  I have a customer quilt to address today and then I can spend some time on my other goals. 

I am working on some Hearstrings Log Cabin blocks.  Here is a picture of some of them early on, I have since added another round of each light and dark, but didn't get a picture, it was getting late in the day.  I don't know about you, but I just can't sit and watch TV without doing something else.  Whether it's sketching a quilt block layout, ( I do have EQ also) or sewing at the dining room table with a view to the TV, I have to be doing something.

Strips and Strings Log Cabin blocks, Mary Johnson's pattern from 

That one block in the lower right hand corner has a really UGLY fabric, the one with the purple and orange dot!  Achhhh!  But should be fine in the big scheme of things. 

I am still working in the guest bathroom, what a long and drawn out ordeal that has been...and I don't even want to think about painting the guest bedroom, but really how bad could that be?  Just have to paint the walls....hee hee.

The sewing room needs some more attention, I started cleaning it and got side tracked, but I really want to get back in there and tidy up some areas.  It's always such a good feeling to have ample work space and be able to locate everything.  I'm fortunate to have my longarm machine in another room, it allows me some separation between "business" and personal space. 

I'm going to attempt Zumba again tomorrow morning.  This class I'm looking at going to is not at the Y, but at a local roller skating rink, (no we're not doing skating zumba, although I guess you could adapt it for that), it's a large space to accomodate a crowd.  The instructor is named Lisa and if you click here you can find out about her and the class.   

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Catching up on things

The laundry was the first thing to get going this morning.  Then I put a coat of polyurethane on the vanity top.  I did spray it with the Stone spray and I'm pleased enough with it to leave it as it is, it just needs a couple coats of the sealer.  You can see where I have the sink taped off and covered so the spray wouldn't get everywhere. 

Next I headed to the bank, then to the Thrift shop where I found this nice shirt for $3.50 in a size smaller than I'm used to wearing.  Yeah!

From there I went to our local Hancock Fabrics to leave more business cards for my longarm quilting service.  We don't have any quilt shops in our immediate area, they have all closed.

And then the dreaded grocery shopping, why does eating healthy seem to cost so much more? 

Then home to put away groceries and continue with laundry.  I also got in touch with a person from Heartstrings Quilt Project and I am going to be volunteering my time to quilt for them.  Looking forward to that.  In between the remaining loads of laundry I started the center squares to do Mary Johnson's strips & Strings log cabin blocks.  These are another project that I've been wanting to work on.  I got a big bunch of those finished and worked on sewing string blocks together from my sew-in over Labor Day Weekend.  I have some pressing to do this evening on the string blocks and the log cabin centers.  That will be a good project while I'm waiting for Survivor to come on.

Tuesday, what a day

My Tuesday started out at the pool for water aerobics, next I headed to my guild meeting and took with me a stack of 4 quilts which were donated to our Linus project.

In the stack were two string quilts which were large, one quilt made with Bonnie Hunters's pattern Bricks and Stepping-Stones from her website at www. which was done in red, white and blue, perfect for Quilts of Valor, which our guild also contributes to.  The last quilt was the small pink and white D9P that I just finished.  It's always nice to give a stack of quilts away to a good cause, but it tugs on my heart just a bit to part with them, each one has a little of my heart & soul in it. 

I had some great plans for the afternoon, I was going to play and take a break from the routine.  I wanted to go to a local shoe store to purchase a pair of shoes to wear to Zumba.  They are much like the cheerleading shoes, with a circle on the bottom which helps to pivot.  I need all the help I can get, anyway after that I was going to head to a Thrift Shop at a local church just down the street, just felt like perusing.  BUT that didn't happen!

You see, on the way home I started having problems with my Prius.  It's a 2005 and I've never had a problem with it, always is on schedule with maintenance, but to make a long story short I had to have it towed to the dealership.  It turned out to be the small battery and it needed to be replaced.  My car has 2 batteries, a small one and the big one with the hybrid system.  To my amazement, from the time the warning lights came on to the time the car actually locked up was only a couple of miles.  I was trying to head to our dealership, when the car just locked up on me, of course at a red light.  Which turned green...I put my emergency flashers on, but I was on a busy street, only one mile from the dealership, stuck there.  The car wouldn't go in neutral, I couldn't pull the "key" out, it was just locked up.  I called for a tow truck but in the meantime, I got out of the car, and stood off to the side of the road.  Because the cars were coming up fast in my lane, and at the last minute they were seeing my flashers, and then in a panic, trying to get over to the other lane, I was just worried that my car would get hit from behind, and I didn't want to be in it!  Fortunately that didn't happen and the tow truck came promptly.  He towed the car all of a mile, and I sat while the techs figured out what happened (at that point I didn't know what was wrong with the car). And then I'm wondering, how much is THIS going to cost...And then I found out; battery $166.44. labor $95 misc charges and tax, $30 and $18.66 for a grand total of $310.10, oh and don't forget the tow, $45.00.  Being able to get home safe and sound, priceless!!

Needless to say, didn't get to the shoe store and definitely not the thrift shop.  But, my DH and I went out for dinner to Cracker Barrel, and the shoe store was right nearby, so I was able to run in and get my shoes. 

Today I have laundry spilling out of our hamper, and other things to take care of , but I am going to get to the thrift shop for sure. 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Monday afternoon, so sleepy

This monday has me dragging.  3 miles on the treadmill this morning at the Y, then did a customer quilt, and paperwork for my business.  Now it's time to get dinner started, but all I want is a nap.  I took out a pork tenderloin for dinner last night, but sent DH for KFC grilled chicken instead.  So tonight there are no excuses.  Pork tenderloin it is. 

2 Quilts Finished

Good weekend, I was able to get 2 small quilts finished.  The tops had been waiting to get quilted and I just made the time.
Both of the quilts were done with the spiral template from Circle Lord.  These both involved the leader-ender technique from Bonnie Hunter  The lighting is not right, the sun was creating shadows.



Sunday, September 12, 2010

T-Shirt quilt finished!!

I finished the binding on my quilt last night:

And here is the back.

Later today I hope to get 2 small quilts finished on the longarm, but first I am working on the vanity.  I decided to go with another "paint", and see how it works.  If that doesn't work we go to plan C which is a new vanity.  Let's hope we don't have to go to plan C.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Productive Day

It was a busy and productive day.  I painted the doors and drawers from our bathroom vanity.  While that was drying I finished a customer's quilt.  Then I put another coat on the doors and drawers.  I loaded one of my personal quilts that I've been wanting to get finished.  After lunch I got it quilted.  

It's a t-shirt quilt from all of my platelette donations, you know they always give a goodie.  I quilted this with the wave template from Circle Lord, I shifted every other row to get the design.  If you look at the take up roller at the top of the picture you will see a Hershey's Kisses fabric.  This is actually a flat flannel sheet that I found at our local Goodwill.  It was just too cute to pass up.  I thought it would make a good backing.  I have the binding sewn to the front, so while I watch the Penn State, Alabama game I will hand stitch it to the back.  I'll get a picture posted tomorrow

I also spent some time in  my sewing room.  I spent 30 minutes working in there today because I had the time.  I made some good progress.

I was able to clear off quite a bit of space on these 2 tables.  It won't take much to finish those.  I have a couple of other problem areas but I'll share those another day. 

And then there was the bathroom project.  DH put another coat of that Rustoleum coating on the formica countertop, but I am not happy with it, it's splotchy and a mess to work with.  I may have to go with plan B which is Stone Creations, a spray with texture.  Only problem with that is it has a rough finish, not good on a bathroom counter.  But a couple coats of  clear polyurethane might fill in around the texture and make it smoother.  Plan C, a new vanity top.  $$$$Cha Ching!!

Friday, September 10, 2010

My 10 minute challenge

I did the 10 minute challenge this morning and here is what the tables looked like before in my sewing room.

And here is the table nearest to the camera after 10 minutes. 

So a little bit better?  I folded and put away some background neutral fabrics, yellow fabrics, blue fabrics and a bunch of scrap batting.  Another couple of sessions and we might actually see a portion of the table.  Yeah!  Just want to clarify that my longarm is in another room, and that room is somewhat presentable because it's what my customers see.

Got my new glasses, did the grocery shopping and after lunch it's quilting time on the longarm.

Friday line up

Well the Saints vs Vikings game was good but I just couldn't stay up till the end.  When I went to bed the Vikings were ahead, but as I found out this morning the Saints won.  Good for the Saints!  And even though Brett Favre and the Vikings lost, I was glad that Favre didn't get beat up during the game.  After all he is almost 41.

I got my tired bod to the pool this morning and did my thing.  I weighed myself this AM and found that I had gained 2 pounds.  That is the WRONG direction.  So I have to get to the gym a little more often and really watch what I'm eating so that I can get going in the RIGHT direction again.  At 55 it is so tough to lose weight, I keep asking myself why I got this way in the first place, well duh I love to eat!  I was raised in a midwest area, by parents whose traditions all revolved around food.  And not rabbit food, no no, meat, potatoes, gravy, cakes, pies, uh huh, you get the picture. 

So the big discussion on the Heartstrings Project Group at Yahoo is all about cleaning our sewing rooms.  Earlier this year I paid a professional organizer to help me get things right.  And it was all good for a couple of months, and now the room is in a sad state of affairs again.  Oh yes there is a place for everything, but my problem is that I just don't take the time to put things away when I am done using them.  My worst problem is pulling fabric off my neatly stacked shelves and then NOT putting it back when I'm done.  Well it seems I'm not alone as the discussion is growing about cleaning our sewing rooms.  And one smart lady came forward to post a challenge, take 10 minutes each day to clean your sewing room.  Now that may seem like a simple and sensible idea, but the fact that she made it a challenge makes me want to get going and do at least the 10 minutes a day. 

If your sewing room needs a bit of straightening, how about joining us in the challenge.  10 minutes, I'll bet we can get a lot done in that amount of time, and not be overwhelmed. 

Back to the Friday line-up.

  1. 10 min in the sewing room
  2. make a grocery list
  3. Call Walmart to find out why my new glasses aren't in yet.
  4. Shop
  5. load customer quilt on machine
  6. quilt quilt quilt
  7. get supplies ready to finish the bathroom on Saturday, ( I can't stand all of the paint cans, brushes...all over the place, enough is enough).
  8. If I have time I want to work on Mary Johnson's log cabin blocks
  9. Remember that Winter Frost UFO? , well I think it's time to get the blocks up on the design wall.
DH just came home from working nights and expressed an interest in going to Olive Garden tonight for dinner...should I tell him I was just there yesterday?  I don't think so.  Hee hee.

I'm heading to the sewing room right now, how about you? 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A little work and a little play

I didn't want to go to water aerobics but I found myself there anyway, glad I went.  Once I'm there I enjoy my class, but the getting there is really exercise for the brain.

I did a quick customer quilt today with a pattern called Ambrosia;

And for the play part, I met a group of friends at Olive Garden for lunch.  Yum, Soup, Salad and Breadsticks.
And tonight the Saints and Vikings are on TV, I hope Brett Favre does a good job tonight, because I love to watch him play, but you've got to love the Saints.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Donating at Life South today

I'm putting my bathroom vanity project on hold for today.  This morning I am off to Life South to donate platelettes. 

Even thought it's only platelettes I still get tired so this afternoon I am planning to work on the remaining 7 string blocks that I didn't get to yesterday.  I should get those finished so I have another string project ready.  This one is Strips & Strings Log Cabin from Mary Johnson's site.

And yesterday I did this pantograph on a customer's quilt.  It turned out really cute. 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I hope this works....

The bathroom saga latest adventure:

The first coat is on and it looks promising, but OH!  talk about stinky fumes!  And this stuff won't clean up with soap and water, no it cleans up with xylene, some more stinky stuff.  I hope to put another coat on tomorrow morning.  I made a little boo boo and got some sort of debris in the paint which ended up on the surface of the counter, and it's in there for good, so I will have to do a little 600 grit wet sanding to fix that up.  The color I had this stuff tinted is called Haystack, awww, and the color of the walls is warm caramel.  

I have a nice stack of string blocks though, I hope I can get to the remaining 7 this afternoon.

The light was filtering through my window blinds, so it looks like stripes. 

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day weekend summary

It was a busy, and laborious weekend for sure.  The bathroom ceiling is painted, the walls are painted and I have started on the vanity.  The vanity was painted by a previous owner so I'm just freshening up.   I also found a product that I can paint my formica vanity top with.  Okay I'm a little scared about that, but I'm going to tackle that tomorrow. 

I also completed 41 out of 48 string blocks.  I trim these to 9.5".  I can't make string blocks without making crumb blocks too, so I think I got about 5 of those also.

My healthy eating choices kind of went by the wayside this entire weekend, so I need to get to the pool first thing in the morning.  I was so bad! 

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Popcorn textured ceilings

It seems that painting a popcorn textured ceiling was more tricky than I thought.  As I was rolling the paint across the ceiling the popcorn texture was rolling off on the roller.  Great, just great.  It took me most of yesterday making phone calls and reading online about what to do with the mess.  I think I have the problem fixed so I have one more coat to go before I can start on the walls.  It's a bathroom for pete's sake, I thought it would be done by now.

Why is it that home improvements, no matter how simple the idea, can always turn around and bite you in the behind?  Is it just me?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Labor Day Weekend Line-up

Lots going on this weekend;

  1. Finish a customer quilt, not too much to go on it
  2. Prep bathroom for painting and try to get ceiling finished today
  3. Zumba Saturday at 9am
  4. Continue painting bathroom
  5. Working on Heart Strings quilt project sew-in weekend with string blocks, lets see how many blocks I can get done while the paint is drying?
In spite of my quest to lose weight and eat healthy I think I could splurge and have pizza one night for supper.  I'll just make a large salad and have some of that first, and then a slice or two of pizza, beats cooking with everything going on. 

And besides, my DH was rejoicing over the fact that college football starts this weekend, so he will be glued to his chair. 

Have a safe and enjoyable weekend everyone!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Ugly bathroom

When we moved into our house in 2005, after making the move from Colorado Springs, one of the first things I wanted to do was repaint the ugly guest bathroom.  It had been given a sponge painting by the previous owners, and a very bad sponge treatment at that.  Pooey green and silver, yuck.  But this many years later, it still looks like this:
EEWWWW!  I've just about had it, so I picked out new towels and a shower curtain and stopped at my Home Boy Depot and got some trial paint samples.  And so to my DH I'm going to say, "look what we get to do on your day off!".    Do you think he'll be excited?

Heart Strings Quilt Project, cyber Retreat Weekend coming up

My goal for this weekend is to join the gang at Heart Strings for a Labor Day weekend cyber retreat.  I haven't been a member of the group for very long but with all of the strings I have, I thought, why not?  Blocks that are sent to a specified location are shared with other blocks and put together by members.  Because blocks come in from so many places, there is a standard criteria for the blocks so that they can all be used together in a quilt.  If you are curious about this group and the block requirements, click on the Heartstrings Quilt Project.  The actual retreat idea was mentioned on the Heartstrings Yahoo group.  I had my muslin squares and red and blue center strips cut a while back, but I got lost in crumbs last weekend.  When I heard the group was retreating this weekend, it gave me the push I needed to plan the activity for this coming weekend.