Sunday, September 29, 2013

Time Flies.....When You're Having Fun?

I guess it's been fun. I was shocked to log in and see how long it's been. I feel like I've spent most of that time putting out small fires, but overall things have been going well. I have my Christmas projects pretty well planned out and have started working in earnest.

The weather is finally more Fall-like. It's warm today but the nights cool down and warm now isn't at all like summer warm in this part of the country.

With the addition of 3 family members in the last 3 years, the longest we go without a birthday to celebrate is about 8 weeks (we actually have 2 that are only a day apart as well.) Tomorrow is the family birthday dinner for my husband, so I spent my day working on these.

These are my version of tiramisu. Yellow cake (these were made in a mini loaf pan) cut into layers, cut side of cake brushed with brewed coffee with coffee flavored icing. So, so good! Dinner will be orange chicken with rice and football with be on the TV for some male bonding time while dinner is being made.

Usually, dinner is around 2:00, and by 5-6:00 the married kids leave so they have the evening to get ready for their busy week. My husband and boys often have Sunday evening committments of varying lengths so I'll have a bit of quiet to get the mess cleaned up and to work on my grocery list or a project.

Ruthie continues to do well, her speech is steadily improving and she's beginning to recognize some words and write little chicken scratches that are looking more and more like letters. She's putting words to her feelings and can pretty reliably tell us what she wants.

She definitely has her own sense of style, LOL.

I'm knitting for her for Christmas, making a matching skirt and scarf, possibly hat and mittens to match, too. If this set goes well, I may make another in a different color, she loves clothes and is especially fond of accessories.

My next few months will be full of Christmas preparations....knitting and sewing for gifts as well as making my lists for gift shopping, dinner menus, cookie supplies, and other holiday odds and ends. I love this time of year, but also look forward to the downtime when it's all over. This year, I'll have to get to work on a quilt for a nephew who is marrying in the spring.

I plan to take a break from that during the Olympics in February, when I plan to park in front of the TV for as much of those 18 days as possible with a project that I've been wanting to work on for a  while.

Until next time,
Happy Quilting!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Planning for Christmas and wedding recap

I've started working on my list for Christmas and, as usual, it's huge. Along with adding 3 family members in the last few years, I've also ramped up how many gifts I'm making for my immediate family.

We rotate among my husband's family and this year have his younger brother and his family tto buy gifts for. The last couple of years I've been doing "goodie boxes" which include various things I think the family might enjoy. I plan to make a shawl for my sister-in-law and socks for their girls. Whether or not other homemade gifts will be included will depend on time.

The early part of the year was spent getting ready for the Memorial Weekend wedding of our oldest son. The shower was at the end of March to accomodate the bridesmaids who were more easily able to make it because of spring break. While I started their quilt last fall, only a few of the blocks were appliqued before Christmas. Once the holidays were over, I ramped up working on it and, somehow, made it by the end of March deadline. I did some figuring and 600 hours of work went into this quilt.


Here is a closer picture of four of the blocks.

With the shower over and the wedding quilt finished, next up was table toppers for the reception tables. I made 5 and the bride's mom, who is also one of my best friends, made 5 also. Here are two of mine.


And how they looked at the reception.

With summer winding down, we're thinking of the new school year. Ruthie is recognizing some words, so soon I'll be taping and pinning word cards to everything possible in the house. Her language has made another leap and she's using more words, making longer sentences and expressing feelings in ways she hasn't  been able to before.

She will now tell us when she's "tidered" (tired), hungry, sad, etc. The other day she pointed at a tiny little tear on her face and declared herself sad and shortly after "no' sad nymore" (not sad anymore.)

She can get out the screen door (and back in if it doesn't quite latch when it closes) and, after going in and out several times, she asked me to come see...she had set up a picnic for her and her dolly.

Our days are full and happy. I'm excited about a multitude of projects and am often thinking about which I might need to put off until next year for lack of time.

Next time, a few of the shawls that I've made. Until then...
Happy Quilting!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Mostly About Ruthie

Ruthie continues to progress slowly but surely. She's still very tiny...we have to remind ourselves to  treat her more like her age and less like a much younger child.

Early in the summer, she declared she needed a bike. We looked at them while at the store and she found one she liked. I was working on a quilting job that would pay for it, so she had to wait. I also needed to make sure this wasn't a passing fancy.

She talked of little else for a couple of days and then every few days thereafter. One day we had this exchange:

Ruthie: I want to come!
Me: Come where?
Ruthie: To da store.
Me: You want to go to the store with me?
Ruthie: YES!
Me: Why are we going to the store?
Ruthie: To buy dat BIKE!

She saved her allowance and I quilted and, this week, we were able to buy her bike.

Her first attempt was disappointing for her, she was on it for less than a minute and couldn't get the hang of pedaling forward. She went crying to her room and I was afraid that she would be too upset to try again.

I was wrong. A few more attempts later in the day had her riding two doors down and back, me walking along side and guiding the handlebars, her (mostly) pedaling forward with a lot of encouragement and occasionally with me pushing her feet the right direction.

The next day she rode all the way around our block, with very few mis-pedals but me still mostly guiding the handlebars to keep her going straight.

Yesterday, she went all the way around the block with very little help, even speeding up a few times so that I had to walk briskly to keep up with her.

I never thought she'd be riding this well in only 2 days, and she is SO proud!

We're finding that Ruthie responds really well to the computer. She has figured out how to navigate through games, is learning letters, numbers, and colors and is identifying more and more words.

My sister-in-law is a retired speech therapist and spent 30 years coordinating special education programs. When she was in for the wedding in May, she had her iPad with her that had a series of apps developed for kids like Ruthie.

She won't often "perform" for people, but was too intrigued by the iPad not to try it when offered. She loved it and with loads of educational apps to choose from and work our way through, this will likely be a bulk of her school program in the coming years. The pay from my current quilting job is going in Ruthie's iPad fund and we're hoping to be able to get it by years end at the latest.

I've been spending nearly as much time knitting as quilting these days. My favorite things are socks and shawls and I have quite a collection of both. Here is my sock drawer, I almost always have a pair going on the needles. They are easy to bring along and easy enough to work while chatting, but interesting enough to not get boring.

My first craft was knitting, so it's been good to get back to this. I used to make a lot of my sweaters and am hoping to get back to that. I'll have to figure out how to make all different sizes to fit my growing family, homemade sweaters will make great Christmas gifts if I can get them sized correctly!

Most days I quilt/sew during the day and knit in the evening and today will be no exception. Once this client quilt is done, I have a cover up quilt that is more than half finished and will be next in the hoop....that is, if I don't have a wedding color top made and ready by then. More on those next time!

Happy Quilting!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Current Projects

I'm not as good at multi-tasking as I used to be. The good part of that is I see projects finished more quickly because I only work on one or two at a time for the most part. I've been quilting in the daytime and knitting in the evening.

My current quilting project is a "work quilt"... I was referred by another woman I quilt for regularly and this is now the second quilt that I've been working on for this client. She has several tops made by her mother, they were all made in the 40s and in need of some repair. She's been doing the repairs and bringing them to me for quilting.

Weddings have been a big part of our thought process the last few years. I posted about Rebekah's wedding in August of 2010. Last year, Rachel got married and she and her husband live in Atlanta where he's attending Georgia Tech, pursuing a Master's in Mechanical Engineering.
Rebekah did Rachel's hair, along with all the bridesmaids, Ruthie, and Marshall's Mom that day. She worked from 9:30am until pictures started at 3:00.
Ruthie loves getting dressed up and fussed over, she could hardly wait to put on her dress.

And now it's time for me to get back to work. I have a couple more hours of quilting today, this evening I'll knit. One great thing about scheduling my time this way is I'm developing a nice quilting callous without ripping my finger to shreds!

Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Believe it or not.....

I'm back.

I've been kicking around trying to get this going again and decided that I have the time and would really enjoy a record of what I have going on around here.

I could write for days and days, so much has happened since my last posting. TWO of my children have gotten married since then, one last summer and one Memorial Day weekend.

We now number 11, from left to right Jonathan, Rachel, her husband Marshall, Kayla, Joshua, my husband, Mike, me, Rebekah's husband Brian, Ruthie, Rebekah, and Lucas.

My tendency is to write so much that I put off updating because it takes so long each time, I'm attempting to turn over a new blogging leaf and write shorter posts more often with updates incorporated along with the daily activities, we'll see how that goes!

With 3 of the kids out of the house and Jonathan working full time, involved in church activities, and going to the local college I have a lot more time than I used to. I quilt during the day and have rekindled my love for knitting and most evenings put down the quilting between and pick up the knitting needles.

No post is complete without a Ruthie picture and the next will show some of what I've been working on.

Or two.

Happy Quilting!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Shopping Spree

My Christmas gift from my family was a weekend trip to Mall of America, all expenses paid, including some spending money. It was set for the 23rd-25th of March so I'd have time to save up some additional spending money and also for the fun of anticipation.

A few weeks ago, I was told the trip would actually run through the 26th, that they were hoping to do a third night but wanted to wait until they knew for sure.

The trip included my 3 daughters and we left early Friday morning. We arrived at the mall about 2:00 in the afternoon and shopped until they closed. We were back again when they opened Saturday morning and stayed until it was time to meet up with some internet friends for pizza. We went back to the hotel (they pricelined for the hotel and got a great deal at the Hilton...oh my, it was SO nice) and put up our poor, weary feet.

Sunday morning we hit Kohl's before the mall, then back to the mall until about 5:30, when we were out of energy, out of money, and had found everything we'd hoped to find and more.

Here is my weekend in pictures.

Me and my girls at the Mall

Ruthie in our shared bed at the Hilton

2 of the dresses I bought

My best bargain, a $200 winter coat for $25

2 more dresses

Camisoles in 4 neutrals and 2 pretty colors

Ruthie's dress for Rachel's wedding

Ruthie had a little sample spoon we'd gotten at the mall and declared (several times) she needed ice cream for her spoon. Rebekah went to the lobby and they had little pints. Ruthie was thrilled!

More dresses (these are my favorites)

Shoes for the wedding and shoes for fun. Can you guess which is which??

One of my favorite purchases, my dress for the wedding

My outfit for Rachel's bridal shower this weekend

In addition to the clothing and shoes, I bought a sticky lint roller...which works well and the lint really does wash off just like they show on TV!

Another favorite purchase was a Kindle. I've been wanting one since they first came out and am thrilled to have one now.

Ruthie was a trooper for the entire trip, the 6 hour car ride was no big deal for her. She walked the entire first day. The second she mostly rode (we had a stroller with us), we figured out later her little feet probably hurt! 

All in all, the trip could not have gone any better. A lot of shopping, wonderful down time in the hotel, a meet up with friends, and much laughter.

And now, the focus is the wedding. I'm working on their quilt, this weekend is the bridal shower, and we're making final lists for guests, food, and decorations for the big day. 

This is the life!

Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Imagine my surprise....

when a little birdie told me it had been a month since my last post! I'm still not sure I'd believe it if the date wasn't on it, I would have guessed 2 weeks...tops!

But, a month it was and a busy one at that.

My focus right now is finishing a quilting job, I have a self imposed deadline of March 20th. The friend for whom I'm quilting is not in a hurry, but I'll be taking a 4 day, 3 night trip with my 3 daughters to Mall of America and payment for the quilt will add a nice little sum to my spending money!

13 of 20 blocks are now quilted, a beautiful feathered border finished it off

Also in the mix is knitting...and a fair amount of it at that. I've been knitting socks and shawls. The first shawl was ok, I didn't really like the yarn and it didn't fit or hang like I'd imagined so I'm giving it another go. I have two on needles right now and a pair of socks that is almost finished. Waiting in the wings is 3 more skeins of yarn for socks.

Shawl number one didn't come out quite as I'd imagined

Quilting is never put aside for more than a day or so, Rachel's wedding quilt isn't nearly as far along as it should be so as soon as this quilting job is done, hers become the focus until it's finished. Joshua and Kayla got engaged on Saturday, so right on the heels of Rachel's quilt is another wedding quilt.

Add to that my plan to make new Christmas stockings for the entire family (11 in all with the "inlaw kids,") with handmade socks and hats in them, and my year is pretty well planned out in the project deparment.

I had really hoped to spend a lot of this year finishing old projects, and piecing a couple of new designs, but those will have to wait until next year, which should be decidedly quieter. One can hope, anyway!

She loves having her wet hair wrapped in a towel like the big girls!

Ruthie continues to do well and seems rather unaffected by all the hoopla around here. She keeps herself busy with her little toys (she loves any little figures that are 1"-2" high and is becoming very good at pretend play...something we weren't sure she'd really do,) her movies, and chattering with everyone. She's recognizing some letters, and her speech becomes more understandable and her sentence structure better with each passing week.

Ruthie often takes up half my sewing table with her toys and food,
though generally she's not actually ON it!

One of these days I'll get my act together and get posts out as often as I plan to! In the meantime, I'll be quilting and knitting my poor fingers to the bone!
Happy Quilting!