Wednesday, February 28, 2007

another QOR quilt

This little gem is going to a special member of QOR (Quilts On Review). Hopefully, she won't read this until after she gets it. :-) The blocks were made by members of the group then assembled into a top by Angie. She then sent it to me to quilt and send to a deserving member of the group. It's not so big that it was hard to manage under my sewing machine. I've gotten so spoiled to quilting block by block that when I work on a larger quilt, it takes some getting used to again. I must admit, I like the way it turned out even if I did use a simple circle within a circle quilt motif.

Update on Dad...He's doing much better. I'm almost afraid to say anything. His blood sugar numbers are staying stable and his heart rate was up a bit this afternoon. He even went to cardiac rehab today and enjoyed it.

Back to quilting...I've started another DWR (Double Wedding Ring). It's going to be my challenge for the Amarillo retreat. Last year we all ended up with about 220 five inch squares of all different fabrics. We're to make a project to bring back to this year's retreat. Once I get the rings on the background (I'm using the QuiltSmart method), I'll post a picture. I've made several tablerunners and have been wanting to work on a larger quilt with this method.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Time flies.. hearts warm

Wow, can't believe it's been nearly a week since I last posted! Ok, since my last post on Tuesday, I've had Dad in the hospital for a few days. On Wednesday afternoon, my son and I took him in because we couldn't get his blood sugar back up. By the time they checked it in the ER it was 38! Thank goodness we didn't wait any longer. After two days, things were somewhat back to normal and I got him home on Friday afternoon. Then it was time to re-do the meds box and get him settled. I thought I'd do some blog reading while sitting at the hospital with him those two days, but the server apparently wouldn't let me into any of the pages, mine included. So, my reading is way behind as well.

Then, this past weekend finds my oldest son moving in, temporarily, with my dad and youngest son. I'm glad we have room for him there and I think he'll play a big part in helping out with Dad. Joe has been having some issues in OKC and needed to come home for a respite.

I did take time out yesterday to work on some comfort blocks for a couple of girls in QOR - one for her mother's passing and the other for her dad's. We usually all make a "hug" block to send to the person in honor of the deceased. I remember when all of my "hugs" started arriving right after Mom died. It's heartwarming.

I also finished two more Midget blocks.
Don't look too closely or you'll see where I was shy just a bit of the sky fabric at the top of the airplane block. I misjudged the size of blue fabric I needed, but I think I'll be able to catch it in the 1/4" seam. Since I won't be taking Dad in for rehab today - waiting to hear back from the doc because I'm worried about his low heart rate, now! - I plan on doing a little quilting on another comfort/thank you quilt that's been sitting here, waiting patiently.

I have to admit, I've been a little out of sorts the last few days. I finally admitted to my husband last night that I think I may be a bit depressed and that is not like me at all. But, I have had no desire to really get into my sewing room and I have all but abandoned the gym. So, I'm pulling myself out of it right now and will do some sewing and plan on hitting the weights and treadmill tonight as soon as Judy gets off work.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Elephant heads

This is the "hanger" that I have hanging in my sewing room. It was given to me by a client many years ago during the time when I was collecting elephants. I had it hanging at the beauty shop for a long time to keep my haircutting capes handy. The little blue and yellow wallhanging on the first trunk started out to be a name tag that never got used as such.

The Lubbock trip went fairly well. Dad has now been diagnosed with congestive heart failure, but hopefully, will be treated with meds and he'll feel better soon. We talked to a man who is about 4 or 5 years from when he had his bypass and I think he was able to let Dad know that it is going to take time, a lot of time, in fact, before he really feels "normal". He talked about having good days and not so good days. I think it really helped Dad to hear him talk about it. Hmmm...that makes me think I need to find him a support group!

I'm off to clean house. Cleaning girls come in tomorrow and I have to be to work early. Probably no sewing tonight except maybe to finish Midget block 18.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Sunday doin's

What a great Valentine Secret Pal I had this year! Here's the top, finished, made with the kit and pattern she provided in my surprise box. I'll quilt it, with hearts, I think, and add the red binding and my Valentine quilt will be ready for next year.

Judy and I went shopping at Hancock's on Sunday afternoon and I found several quilting magazines I had not seen. In one, I found a pattern for this "Grab Bag". Just a cute little thing that makes up really fast. I think I've found some Christmas gifties!

The wallhanging behind the purse is one that was made for me by Sherry, my secret pal at Christmas, I think. And, the funny looking little thing hanging next to it is my video camera for my 'puter. You can't see what they're hanging on...I should take a picture of these elephant heads. It's their trunks that these things are dangling from. I'll post a picture of the heads later.

I'm off to get ready for a day trip to Lubbock with Dad. Please keep us in your prayers. We're hoping for good reports from the doc. Dad's feeling better now that his blood pressure is not so low and some of the extra fluid has been coming off.

Have a great day!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Another tote bag

I decided I needed to make a tote bag for a friend for her birthday. Since it was Saturday afternoon, I knew I wanted to get it done and in the mail so she will get it by Monday. Guess what? No mail delivery on Monday! I forgot until Jim reminded me on our way to the P.O. Oh well, it's in the mail and she'll get it on Tuesday. This quilted fabric is part of some I found at Hancock's close out sale. I ran to get it this afternoon as soon as I got off work, came home and started working on it about 3 o'clock. This pattern is so easy, and I've done so many of them, that I was able to get it done in just under an hour and a half. I also got some Red Hat pre-quilted fabric that I think I'm going to make into a tote for myself. It's time for a new one.

Last night, I made the center of the 9 patch table topper kit that my Valentine Secret Pal sent me. I decided to sew the two borders together in order to miter the corners at the same time. I had planned on doing that tonight, but we spent more time at Dad's than normal and then Judy and I went to the gym. So, I'll work on it tomorrow. It's a very simple pattern with some great "girlfriend" fabric and will be my Valentine wallhanging for next year.

I'm more than a little worried about Dad but am trying to keep positive thoughts about his situation. Since they tell us his heart sounds fine and so do his lungs and his blood sugar seems stable, we don't know why he seems to be having so much trouble breathing. His oxygen levels are nearly normal but he is just so weak that he is tired out just walking from his chair in the living room to the kitchen. He's on oxygen 24 hours now. We have a follow-up app't in Lubbock on Monday. Maybe they can shed some light on this. Judy and I noticed that his condition began to worsen right after he heard about his brother's death. Depression, maybe? Maybe he needs a bigger dose of his antidepressant? We'll find out. In the meantime, I'd like to ask for an extra prayer for him. Thanks.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

New mystery begun!

Thanks to Kate on QOR, we have begun a new mystery quilt. I chose these three colors and I am showing them both in color and black and white in order to see if I have enough contrast. I think I do! We needed three fabrics in light, medium and dark colors. Since I'm working on the stashbusting idea, I decided to work with what I have. I may have to use another dark fabric for one more 2" strip, but I think I have enough of the rest. The third picture shows steps one and two completed. I'm ready for the next step, Kate! I can't remember if we'll be getting a new step each week or every other week. Either way, I'm ready.

This mystery is by Debbie Caffrey and is titled "Lakeside Dream Mystery". I decided to do it in Christmas fabrics to get a head start for this year.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Time out for Sundae Pie

Sundae Pie

9" x 13" dish, spray with Pam. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

First Layer
1 stick butter (cold)
1 C. flour
1 C. chopped pecans

Mix well and press into bottom of dish...cook 20 min. at 350. Cool
A food processor makes the first layer easier to mix.

Second Layer
8 oz. cream cheese (room temp)
1 C. powdered sugar
1 C. Cool Whip

Mix well and spread over cooled crust

Third Layer
1 small instant vanilla pudding
1 small instant chocolate pudding
3 C. milk

Mix well and pour over 2nd layer. Chill well and add 4th layer before serving.

Fourth Layer
Top with Cool Whip and grated chocolate bar and/or chopped nuts.

This recipe was given to me by one of my clients at work. Thanks, Laverne! It is so easy to make and will cause rave reviews. I get special requests for this dessert when we have potlucks at work.

I haven't turned my sewing machine on today. I worked until 2 p.m. then ran to the grocery store. Well, I didn't run because the roads were pretty slick. By the time I got home, the snow was coming down pretty steadily. By the time Jim got home around 4:30, I realized I'd forgotten the cream cheese! So, he drove me over to the local convenience store.

I've made the first layer of the Sundae Pie and let it cool. It's time to make the other layers so I can get back into the sewing room to get some labels put on finished quilts.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Just a little picture to show a candle mat I made last year. And, this is in response to May Britt's challenge to show the hearts around our house. The crocheted lace around the hearts was made and sent to me by a member of QOR. Thanks, Robbin! This little mat covers a table at work. I'll have to take a picture of it..anyway, it's an elephant table that Mom gave me when I first had my own shop. That's been well over 20 years ago. I'm trying to make a candle mat for each month to display on that table because that's about the size it needs. In this picture, it's on the coffee table in my den.

It snowed last night so I'd better get going in case I have to take it slow. My first customer cancelled, so I don't have to rush too much.

Have a loving day!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Siggie blocks finished

What an amazing array of design possiblities with this block! I hope to have these signed and packaged for mailing before the end of the week. I can't wait to receive my blocks from all over.

This is all I've had time to do today. My next project is to quilt another comfort quilt. I've enjoyed showing off the heart quilt and the cowboy quilt at work today. I think I've encouraged several of my friends to start their own quilt-as-you-go quilts.

Dad seems to be doing ok after his low blood sugar episodes this weekend. In fact, we've now got it back up over 200! lol Oh well, it'll come back down. I think he went a little crazy with food trying to get it back up from the 61 he registered on Sunday night.

It's snowing again. That's probably not newsworthy to those of you on the East coast. Hopefully, we'll not see the amounts that ya'll have. Stay warm!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Testing a link

I tried to put a link to the Purse I made for Brittany in yesterday's post, but I didn't do it right the first time and then I ran out of time to work with it. So, this afternoon I've gone into Linda's blog to see if I could figure this out. Looks like I did! Thanks again for your help.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Another Sunday blog

One more time to show you what I did tonight. I remembered that I wanted to do something for my granddaughter for Valentine's Day so I thought I'd make her a little
purse. She has always loved purses. It has two little pockets on the inside and the third picture shows a revised version when I realized that the strap would have the purse dragging the floor when worn on a 7 year old's shoulder. lol That's the first thing my husband and sister commented on. So, I folded the strap back on itself on one side and tacked it down. I thought it left a cute little loop. I was going to do it on the other side but it would've made the strap too short then.

Off to take DH's work shirts out of the dryer.

To border...or not?

The heart quilt is put together. Now, Jim, loving critic that he is, thinks it's too small and needs at least a 6" border. It's already about 60" x 72". I think it looks fine as it is. Mostly 'cause I want to bind it today and get it done to mail by tomorrow.

Yup, I think I'll bind it and send it off tomorrow. If I could find the perfect pink and red fabric for borders, I might consider it. Maybe I'll run by Hancock's today.

I hope you can see the quilting in the blocks on the back of the quilt. I love it when a simple design makes a nice little impact

Time to get dressed and run Dad to the after-hours clinic.

Re-visiting an applique project

Last year I started working on this BOM. Wait, it might've been the year before. Anyway, I did most of the blocks while sitting in the waiting room while Dad had his hyperbaric oxygen treatments. Which, by the way, helped to save his toe. But, I digress...These blocks started as a project at our LQS and there are several of us that have been working on them. I think there are at least two girls that have theirs finished or almost finished. I carry the next block in my bag everywhere I go just in case I have time to work on it. Needless to say, I haven't found that time in a while. Even while in the waiting rooms after Dad's heart attack I couldn't find the desire to work on it for very long. But, I certainly hope to continue working on them, slowly but surely.

There are twelve blocks, total, and the borders even have some applique. My good friend, Sheryl, made all the transparencies for me so I have no excuse. I love doing needle-turn and this project has certainly proved colorful enough to keep me from getting bored. I just get lazy to cut out the pieces.

I thought I'd show you these squares since others in the blogring have posted some of their applique and it got me thinking about these.

I've been working on the heart quilt and have only two more rows to attach before I bind it. I hope to mail it out tomorrow, Monday, right after show and tell at my quilt group meeting.

Busy day at work yesterday. Am certainly looking forward to Leota coming back. Dad is having a little problem with his breathing..I'm going to take him into Urgent Care this afternoon to see if maybe his pneumonia has made a comeback. The sooner they get him back on antibiotics, the better.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Cat bag

One more little project to break up the long hours of quilting my blocks. lol This little tote is made with my favorite pattern since I love the six pockets the handle creates on the outside. I've made so many of them in the past year or two that I think I could make one without reading the instructions. This took me all night tonight since I had to quilt the cat fabric first. I'd hoped to find pre-quilted fabric (saves a LOT of time) but the stores I hit today didn't have what I was looking for.

When I got home from work today, I finished quilting the alternate blocks in the heart quilt. Next step is to put them together. I should've started that instead of making the bag, but I needed a quick gift.

The phone rang all evening. First, my sister called to say she was on her way to the hospital with one of our friends. They've been there over an hour now and still have not been seen. Apparently, there has been a bad car accident and the ER is jumping. Sure hope they see her soon. She, (our friend) is having severe back pain and is throwing up.

Then, my brother called to let me know that an uncle of ours, my dad's brother, passed away this evening. He had been terminal for some time but it's always hard when it finally happens. I had to let Dad know and everyone was concerned about him being by himself when he heard the news. He was by himself when I called him, but he is doing alright. A sister-in-law of his went by to visit with him and make sure he was ok. Then, Robert got home so I'm not worried about him. We'd been talking about it for several weeks.

So, I guess I'll stay up until I hear how our friend is doing. I'll be busy tomorrow and am disappointed to find out that my massage has been cancelled. The massage therapist e-mailed to let me know that she'd been sick all week. Must be something going around...

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Too many irons..

and I don't mean Rowentas! lol I have been working on a quilt-as-you-go to put the February (heart) lotto blocks together. I was getting it ready for one of the ladies in QOR, but a generous person in FL beat me to it and sent her a quilt she had ready to go. Not a problem..there is another well-deserving person on the list.

I've also been trying to decide on some quick gifty items. After making a few potholders that just didn't come out the way I wanted them to, I decided to make these quick eyeglass cases. Easy to do and it seems that I always need one so I hope the recipients feel the same way.

I don't know why I've been feeling so scattered lately. Maybe because I have too many projects going? The patchwork back is on the back of the small Cow-oh-boy that I've not finished quilting. I got sidetracked making birthday blocks and working on the heart quilt. Not to mention the potholders and eyeglass cases. lol

Oh, I've also been getting my Valentine Secret Pal items together. Maybe the fact that Hancock's is closing has me so disturbed. :-) I woke up at 4:45 this morning and couldn't go back to sleep. So, I got up at 5 a.m. and tidied up a little before the cleaning ladies came. I had to be to work at 8:30 which is very early for me.

Leota came in for a haircut today. She looks great but is still not feeling 100%. Hopefully, she'll be ready to come to work next Tuesday.

I could just go lay down and sleep! Guess I'd better get in the kitchen and start dinner. Maybe I'll wake up before we go work out at 7.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Super Bowl Sale Sunday!

Here's a picture of the Janome machine my sister bought, on sale, at Hancock's today. The sign said "20% off" and then she had a 10% coupon on top of that. Not a bad deal. Now we just need to find a walking foot to fit it. She decided that if she is going to put another quilt together, she needs a newer, more modern, machine than she has. I'm so proud of her for working on her quilt and teaching online.

I've been watching a program tonight about Oprah. I didn't know she'd had a baby when she was 14! Jim said, "I knew that". Sure he And, that she was a promiscuous teenager? All that was news to me. Interesting interview...

Well, we actually had a little Super Bowl party at Dad's this afternoon. Rob made cheese dip and he and April made guacamole. Then, Judy and I made tacos and an apple cobbler. After we ate our fill, Judy and I left to go play with her new machine. I showed her how to sandwich her blocks and quilt them with a simple, straight line, in the ditch stitch. That's her lesson for this week. Next week, we'll start sewing the quilted blocks together. It's exciting to help a new quilter. I really would like to start a beginning quilt class.

After we got the new machine working, we took off for the gym. We worked out for about 45 minutes. Then she drove me home and I worked on the cowboy quilt for a while. Jim is off again tomorrow so we'll stay up late tonight. I'm not sure I want to sew this late, so I think I'll go read some blogs.

Midget block 16

Word to the wise..if you are going to make this little block, have lots of time! I needed it, anyway. I've been working on this little block for over 2 hours. I think I ripped out more than I sewed. These little midget blocks are fun to do, but the paper-pieced ones are making me crazy! The blocks are supposed to finish at 4.5" so the raw size is 5", right? Well, the rotary cut and pieced blocks finish exactly that size but the paper-pieced blocks are all about 1/4" off. I make sure I leave that 1/4" around the outside but it's still not big enough. Anyone else doing these little blocks?

I've also been working on a comfort quilt with the heart blocks sent in for the block lottery for QOR. I'm quilting each block individually with a simple flower motif in the center. I keep thinking that I need to fill more space with quilting around the flower, but then that will defeat my purpose which is to get it done quickly. I think that once I put the sashing on they'll be fine. I'd like to get this one done in the next few days, but I think I need to wait on more blocks that are coming in, now that I think about it. I'll post a picture once I get it all put together. I'll be using fabric for the back and sashing that was given to me by one of my clients just this past week. How serendipitous was that!?

I've been hearing lots of talk about Super Bowl parties but I don't think there will be one at the Goff's. Oh, Jim will watch the game, but I think Judy and I will go workout then go to Hancock's and probably fix a little something for dinner. Nothing special for the game, I guess.

Speaking of Hancock's...we are hearing that they are going to close their doors in the next few months here in Clovis! I am so disappointed. Especially since Ben Franklin's is about to shut it down, too. That will leave us with Hobby Lobby and two local fabric stores that don't really carry a big variety. Oh, don't get me wrong. I love that the local stores are here and I try to get there as often as I can, but it's nice to have a variety to choose from. I suppose I'll be doing more shopping online..:-( Not my favorite thing to do especially when shopping for fabric.

Sunday is getting away from me today. I keep thinking I will get up early and go pick Dad up and go to church. But do I do it? No, I slept in until 9 a.m. this morning! That's unusual for me. In fact, I don't really like to do that, but I have been exceptionally tired this week since it's been busier than usual at the shop. Not complaining there, either, Lord! lol Thank you!

Off to get this Super Bowl Sunday underway..

Friday, February 02, 2007

More birthday blocks


These are for Lee and the block on the left is called "Friendly Hand" and the one on the right, "Spinner". Easy blocks to make but I think have great visual impact. The "Friendly Hand" block is really a "Monkey Wrench" pattern or "Snail's Trail". Both of these are from the Quilter's Cache site as were the ones in the last post. I'm done with February blocks so now I'll start working on the siggies and get a couple more comfort quilts finished.

It's snowing again and very cold. I've already had one cancellation via e-mail but another client called to see if she can come in today since she missed on Wednesday. So, she'll take the cancellation. I hope to get around to other blogs this weekend to visit and comment. I hit and miss a few each day, but want to see 'em all!
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Thursday, February 01, 2007

....and more blocks

Finally got around last night to making Sherry's blocks for her birthday. I still need one more set for another birthday girl. Maybe this weekend.. Sherry's fabric is the bright, or darker, pink you see. The first block is called "Wagon Tracks" and the second one is a paper pieced block called "Plenty of Stars".

The block on the bottom is another "railroad" pattern block - I think it's called "4-patch Ladder" and has been sent to be in a comfort quilt.

I would love to stay and chat, but I really need to finish getting ready for work. Cold outside!