Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Home to Louisiana

Currently I'm back home in Louisiana. My mother had a scheduled surgery late last week with complications developing after surgery and major pain issues. I threw personal items together Saturday morning (along with quilting items), called work to scratch me off the schedule for the week, kissed my hubby, petted Harley (he is 3 years old for those who asked on previous post) gased up the car and off I went. Saturday was an absolutely beautiful day for a drive. I arrived safely in Baton Rouge 7.5 hours later. Being a nurse and having to stay at the hospital as a family member gives me an all new perspective of patient and family life at the hospital. (Those beds...both for family and patients are so uncomfortable). My mother received excellent care though. The nursing and medical staff were great.

My mother is now home and comfortable and for the most part her pain is well controlled. I'm trying to keep her from doing too much. She is 73 but acts like she is 43....always on the move which I'm sure keeps her young feeling. (Right, Mom?)

It's always good to come home. I've not been back home to Louisiana since Christmas. Work and life should not be that busy. I always have such a laid-back feeling when I'm back in La. Maybe I'll get some quilting done, maybe I won't. Have a great Tuesday. Thanks for visiting.

Happy Quilting! Happy Living!

Friday, October 23, 2009

My Dog loves quilts...for a snack

I was working diligently on my current project and failed to notice that my dog Harley was not at my feet as he usually is. This could only mean trouble. Then I remembered I had my quilt top blocks assembled on my living room floor (my current design wall). Then I heard it...that awful ripping and smacking sound of fabric being torn and eaten. I jumped up with fear in my heart and visions of torn and shredded quilts blocks that I had spend so much time and work on scattered all over the living room floor.
And there he layed...with a quilt block between his paws and jaws...pulling and pulling and smacking and smacking as diligently as I had been working. I believe his hopes were to hurry up and finish it off before I found out.
I stood there with hands on hips, dropped jaw and tapping toe...he understood completely as he let the remainder of the quilt block fall from his mouth, rolled onto his back awaiting a stomach rub. I scolded him briefly and remembered I was the one who put the blocks on His living room floor in the first place.
Luckly, the damage was not too bad....just one block with one green piece almost gone as you can see from the complete block. Wasn't too bad to fix....I just didn't have anymore long pieces of the green left and had to use a different fabric. This will be my humility block for this quilt.
Harley knew he had displeased me, then I felt bad. He is such a good natured, blue-eyed animal and likes to please. He gets his feelings hurt easily. Here is a picture of Harley with his hurt feelings.
I let about 15 minutes pass. He recovered quickly when I said "Tootsie Roll?" ....his most favorite treat.
Harley is now happy again, the damaged block fixed and sewn together with all the other blocks that were quickly removed from the floor.
I hope to have the quilt top finished tomorrow. I decided to not lay it aside once the blocks were finished to start Bethany's quilt as I posted previously. It has so many subcuts and steps I was afraid I would have forgotten where I left off.
Happy Quilting! Happy Living!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Current project

This is the quilt that I am working on...at the moment. These are the first blocks I've pieced with Josephine, my new sewing machine. We are working quite well together and she is showing me a lot. Not a single argument yet. This is a strip club pattern called Southern Comfort that is set on-point that I thought was very complicated but is sewing up very easily. My Strip Club gets it's patterns from http://www.cozyquilt.com/ They have some very interesting designs and run about $8 or $9 each. This quilt will be approx. 73 x 73 consisting of 21 blocks. I'm going to piece the blocks then put it aside because my daughter's dorm-mate (a friend from high school) has been begging for a quilt since Brittani took the "Midnight Cactus Flower" quilt back to school with her. Bethany likes browns and oranges. Below are the fabrics I've choosen:

The cream on the end will be the border and setting fabric. This pattern is Blue Lagoon from the book Jelly Roll Quilts and looks fairly simple and quick to do. Simple and quick is a good thing .
I guess I will name Bethany's quilt....just Bethany...simple like I hope the quilt will be.

Hope everyone has a great day. I can really get into this not working thing. I've enjoyed being off this week. I have felt rested and my body has not ached quite as much. At least I only work 3 days a week - 12 hour days. I get 5 weeks off a year and this is the first full week I have taken. Work should not be so busy that I have to wait this long to be off. At least I don't lose my weeks at the end of the year.

Happy Quilting! Happy Living!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

My new Baby Lock is here!

They called me yesterday morning and informed me of it's arrival. I kinda had a feeling it would come...you know how you get those feelings? I even had my bug-man come out early just in case. The bug-man had just left when I got my call from the LQS.

I ran some errands (so I would not have to be disturbed later)...which took about 2 hours then picked up the machine. It weighed 45 pounds! Heavy little thing.

Most of the accessories were on top. I love opening up little packages and there were quite a few filled with all kinda fun stuff I don't know what to do with....but I will learn!

And here is my new baby, all wrapped up and snug just waiting to be played with.

Finally...out of the box after it's long journey from where? Possibly over-seas or cross-country? Wherever it's from, it's glad to have a home.
Here are it's traveling companions. A soft cover case and it's extension table which is waiting patiently, as it poses for this picture, to be attached to it's long separated companion.

Together at last! Safe and sound in a loving home ready to help it's new owner create all kinds of beautiful things. (Distorted somewhat by the camera angle. Table does not come out at you so much).

It offers a telescoping spool pin holder that holds two spools of thread I had forgotten about. Plus it has two other spool pins on the machine itself. Lots of thread holders! It also has an LED dome light to light up the work area..nice feature. Maybe I will not need my lamp anymore.

Things I have learned thus far:
I can fill a bobbin while still sewing without having to unthread the machine....not like my other machine. And get this...it's a purely lazy thing but I love it....it will sew a reverse stitch at the end of stitching and cut the thread at the same time with a push of a button. No more looking for my little scissors or using the thread cutter. Lets see....this is cool...it has multi-directional sewing....like sewing a square patch on a sleeve. Put the sleeve on the free-arm, tap down...it sews and moves the fabric down, tap left...it sews and moves the fabric left, tap up...it sews and moves the fabric up and so on....thought that was pretty neat, especially when Brian just ordered some sleeve patches for his Harley-Davidson jacket...just what I need to test it on. What else have I discovered ....it has a 1/4 inch quilting foot with all these wonderful guide lines on the foot itself...I sewed about 12 inches down my test fabric and it was the most perfect 1/4 inch seam all the way down that I've ever sewn! I've not even begun to get into the decorative stitches and creating and storing stitching patterns. It has lots of other goodies I can't wait to get into deeper.
Okay time to go play some more. Have a great day.
Happy Quilting! Happy Living!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Cleaning and more cleaning

In getting ready for my new baby (lock) I am cleaning, cleaning, cleaning because when my new machine arrives I know all I'm going to want to do is play, play and play. So far I've gotten half-way through my computer room and I have 6 garbage bags worth of shredded paper. The rest of the room is just straightening up books and such. My computer lives on a large old wood teacher's desk with huge drawers that have been stuffed throughout the years. Do you know I had tax returns from 1985...why? I think the rule is to keep tax papers for 5 years. I had a user's manual for a Curtis Mathis VHS recorder....that thing as been gone for years...why do I still have the manual? I did find some cute pictures of my child and some papers she wrote when very young...that was fun to find. Okay, enough of a break. I'm going to finish the computer room tonight, then start on the kitchen tomorrow which should not take too long if I can keep myself focused on the job at hand and not play with any gadgets. Then tomorrow afternoon I plan to start in my bedroom and closet.

Happy Quilting. Happy Living. Happy Cleaning.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Popped Balloon and No Santa?

When I received my phone call this morning from LQS I was all ready to hop into my car, committ no traffic violations and go pick up my new sewing machine. The news was that my machine is on backorder til October 24! Boy...Highs and lows always abound! For a brief moment it was like seeing my very favorite balloon pop and first realizing that Santa is not who you thought he was. Oh well...God knows best. At least I DO have a sewing machine to continue to sew on and..well..maybe this will give me time to straighten up my sewing room and house before the new arrival gets here. I'm taking a home vacation next week (10 days total) and my original plan was to tackle each room in the house with boxes and garbage bags. It would have been hard to carry out my original plan if I had a new toy waiting to be played with.

PoutyHappy Quilting, Happy Living!

Monday, October 12, 2009

New Sewing Machine!!!!

I've been thinking of upgrading for some time now from my little frills (just a little better than no-frills), very inexpensive minimal quilting functions/sewing machine (that still works really, really well). So...today..during our massive rain storms...I went out and did it.

Since my LQS is a Baby Lock dealer I've been looking at the Baby Lock brand. You would all just die if I said I bought the $9,636 Ellissimo. Well...you're lucky... you all can just keep on living. I bought the Espire. I looked at both the Quest Plus and the Espire and knew when I sat down at the Espire and started playing that was the machine I wanted. (Of course it was way more expensive then the Quest). I played and played and when it was time to go...I wavered...said "Thank You, I'll have to think about it". I got into my car, drove about 3/4 miles down the road thinking how much I really wanted the machine and reminding myself that I've been saving for a new one. I turned around in the middle of the road...while being honked at by 2 cars (possibly by the traffice violation I committed) that I did not see because of the rain or because my mind was on buying that machine and went back to the store, walked in and said "I am not going to waver like Brett Farve. Lets do it!"

They said they had just put out the floor model that morning and I could take that one if I wanted or wait until tomorrow morning for the one that would be FedExed. I didn't want to seem too excited so I told the store owner that I did not want her to go through the trouble of reboxing everything up and that I would just wait till the morning...stupid, stupid me. Now instead of playing with my new baby on my only night off this week until Friday, I'm playing on the blogger site. Not that you all don't mean the world to me....but I know you all understand! Check out my new machine at: http://babylock.com/sewing/espire/ and watch the video. I will post pics soon. I'm really so very excited. I can't wait til tomorrow!

Happy Quilting, Happy Living!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Quilt that will never be.

These are from my local quilt guild's Challenge Quilt....."Walk on the Wild Side". Boy what a challenge in making me go wild and crazy and disliking every minute that I spent on it. My challenge was trying to like it! They never made it to be a quilt. We were suppose to use a technique that challenged us or one we had been wanting to try. We had to use three particular fabrics that were pre-picked by the powers that be.

First strike against....I did not like the wedge technique that I chose to use and second strike... I did not like the choice of fabric...just not me. I really, really really tried to like it, but we just never did meld together!

I planned on doing just four blocks since each block was 20 inches with the corners added. I thought of using it as a wall hanging. But then....I don't have any of these colors in my home decor scheme...which made me dislike the blocks even more. Actually I know no-one that has this color scheme. (Family..you are safe). I kept asking myself "What was I going to do with it and why was I wasting my precious quilting time on it?

But...because I don't like to having half-finished blocks lying around and I thought maybe I would grow to love them.... I kept on sewing and sewing and really trying to develop of bond.
Never did develop that bond! I still dislike them as much as when I realized how much I disliked them. The Guild challenge quilts were secretly turned in at our October meeting. Mine never made it since I secretly kept them at home. It will be interesting to see some of the quilts that were made. I will post pics after they are displayed at the November meeting.
But all is not lost. I thought about removing the corners and making round pillows for a teenagers room..(Family....you may not be safe after all). That center circle reminds me of a big button. Maybe with some embellishments they may turn out okay.....as pillows. (Future pillow pics to follow.)
On a non-quilty note... I've been drying herbs in my food dryer...Taragon and Basil this morning. The smell is wonderful and is making me want chicken salad for lunch. The weather here in Georgia has been beautiful after our flooding rains of a couple of weeks ago. Fall has finally arrived by the actions of my 14 year old cats getting frisky and of course the cooler weather. Even my dog's fur seems to have gotten thicker this past week. Life continues on.
Happy quilting and Happy living to all.