Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Busy-ness Thwarted

Saturday my day was to be spent baking cookies with other little chores and some quilting done while each batch was baking. With my cookie dough all mixed, I went for the chocolate chips....only to find I didn't have any. Huh. I was sure I had some, but no, I was remembering from the week before. I covered the bowl with plastic wrap and we picked some up Sunday after church. Baking cookies became my Sunday job, after my dinner roast had finished cooking.

Also on Sunday, my husband went out and pulled the last of the produce from our garden. Our 13 year old is very into gardening and project type things, so the garden was his pet project with lots of help and advice from his Dad.

Yesterday, I had planned to spend a fair amount of time quilting while the laundry was washing, then drying. I ran out to pick up a friend who needed a ride and came home to hear "Mom, something is smoking." It was my washing machine!! My 22 year old faithful friend had frozen up and is gone.

I took out the load and hand wrung out as much of the water as I could and put it in the dryer. I had other laundry to do so I hauled a couple of loads up to the tub, put in laundry soap and hand agitated it, then rinsed it and hand-wrung it for it's turn in the dryer.

This left my whole body aching, especially my hands, and finally by evening I was able to sit a bit and quilt. I didn't get anywhere near the 3 hours I try for, but I did have good fellowship with my 15 year old as we sat and played on the computer, listening to ringtones.

Today, I'm watching a friend's children for a good part of the day. Tonight our kids will carve up some of the pumpkins and we'll roast the seeds. I hope to squeeze in some quilting, too, I'm on block 11 of 25 on my brother-in-law's quilt and am feeling quite confident that I can finish it by Thanksgiving.

Tomorrow will be much of the same. The same friend's children will be here so she can participate in Halloween parties at school. Our 7 year old will Trick or Treat for a little while, but then has Awanas, our two oldest are leaders in that. Our 13 year old will have a friend here to walk with him when he takes Lucas out and Ruthie and I will hold down the fort and hand out candy.

I'll leave you with a picture of Ruthie, who insisted that she had to have her jacket on. For the first time in quite a while I was able to get a picture of her smiling with her beautiful eyes opened. Her smile lights my heart every time I see it.

I'm off, to corral little ones and hopefully squeeze in a stitch or two. Happy Quilting!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Little Bits

I don't have much to say today, but still wanted to touch base. Here is Miss Ruthie, modeling her Halloween dress. It's hard for me to believe that the end of October is just around the corner. Ruthie has also discovered my electronic piano and enjoys "playing and singing." My babysitting job earlier in the week ended up being canceled, but I was able to squeeze batting into my grocery list, so on Thursday I got my batting and basted my brother-in-law's quilt. It has 25 blocks on it and 2 borders, I'm on the 4th block. I hope to have this one done by Thanksigiving so they can be mailed at the beginning of December.

With my stack of already knitted dishcloths and my Humbug Bags all just 4 seams away from completion, I've got a huge jump on my gift making for Christmas. The thought of being able to quilt on whatever I want for the month of December has me nearly giddy, usually my December is spent in a frenzy of quilting and baking and planning and rearranging my schedule to fit in everything I'd like to get finished.

I will leave you with a glimpse of my brother-in-law's quilt. The next time you see it, it will be finished!

Today will be spent baking cookies (I bake a triple batch of chocolate chip cookies every 10 days or so) and quilting. As usual, my older kids are out and about and will be gone for most of the day. My husband is working until dinner time or so, then will need to go to bed early because of an early job tomorrow. This all combined should leave me a nice "putzing day", going between baking, quilting and playing on the computer (when the littles aren't needing me.)

It's a chilly fall day here, I have soup in the crockpot and am ready to get busy! Happy quilting!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I don't have much to show for my day yesterday. I finished up a dishcloth and knitted another. I pulled out my applique, made one more block and started another. What I'm wanting to do is get my brother in law's quilt going, but I don't have batting and don't have cash to pick any up.

I am babysitting today, however, so if that will cover batting I may make a run out and get it. I always feel out of whack when there isn't a quilt in my frame ready for me.

This is the block I finished yesterday. There will be 31 more like it, in different fabrics. This is number 20, so I'm getting there now. It will alternate with a plain block with triangles sewn in the corner. On that block will be quilted a feathered ring. This is the top that I plan to go into my frame when my brother in law's quilt is finished, so I'd better get going!

Another work in progress is an all applique project. The background is blue and all the applique is white. I have several of these blocks done. They will alternate with flower applique blocks, also all in white. An appliqued border will finish it off. This is a longer term project as it's more tedious. I'm getting more anxious to work on it after leaving it sit for a while, this might be a good post holiday project.

So that's about it today. I'm feeling disjointed and I'm not sure why, I'm hoping that as I get moving here I'll be able to settle into something and get a lot done. Right now it feels like a day where not much will be accomplished.

I wish you happy quilting and I hope the same for me!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Couldn't Wait Until Morning

Well...I guess I could...but I would be more pressed for time. My husband is already in bed as is Ruthie, our older kids are all occupied and I have some rare time to just do what I want for a couple of hours before bedtime.

Since I'll have a busy morning, I figured it would be easier to post now, so here I am.

I quilted a lot this weekend. When I realized that I had the inner part of my sister-in-law's quilt nearly finished, I just could stop until it the whole quilt was done. Here are the two blocks and an overall view of the quilt. I'm surprised at how the white marking lines show up on the border as I can hardly see them looking at it....weird! I finished the quilting last night and got the binding sewn onto the front, today I hand sewed the binding to the back.

Next up is the quilt for my brother-in-law. The last time that we had their names, I made them a king-sized quilt for their bed, this time around they each get a lap quilt. The top is already finished, and I marked the alternating block today. Tomorrow or the next day I'll mark the borders. I should be able to pick up the batting on Thursday and then I will likely baste it that day, also, because I'm anxious to get it into the frame.

I'm knitting a dishcloth now, since I don't feel much like marking. When my kids are done with the big TV, I might move downstairs and either knit some more or do a bit of applique and put a movie on. I don't know if I'll make it to the end, but at least I'll get a little quiet time all by my lonesome...a rarity these days.

Ruthie wore her Halloween dress today. She was quite happy to be wearing it. It was a beautiful fall day here, on the warm side and sunny so we took a walk around the block...twice actually. Ruthie walked the whole time, it's six tenths of a mile to go around twice...quite a lot of steps for those little legs! After our walk she took a little rest on her little sofabed, joined by her dolly (Ruthie isn't sleeping, I just can rarely get a picture with her beautiful eyes open, especially when she's smiling!)

So there was my weekend in a nutshell, though I'm going to try to extend it by a couple more hours. I'm a night owl, so I love the chance to stay up late. My husband works two jobs and one way for us to stay connected is for me to go to bed when he does...on the occasional day that he's really tired and goes to bed early, I take advantage and stay up late!

Saturday, October 20, 2007


I spent too much time distracted yesterday and not enough actually working on sewing related things. I hope to rectify that today, but with blogging, and other online activities, sometimes it's hard for me to pull myself away from the computer! My 'dream' is to have a laptop which can be in my sewing area...and DSL or cable internet for quicker connections so I can both sew and putz on the internet at the same time...maybe someday!

I did get a few things done, though. I finished up a dishcloth, spent some time quilting and I added this little black skirt to a shirt I bought for Ruthie. She doesn't 'get' Halloween yet, so I hadn't planned to dress her up, this shirt was perfect. It says "who needs a costume when you are already a Princess." She didn't have a black skirt or pair of pants, though, so I added this little pleated skirt at the bottom to make a dress of it. She really wanted to wear it, but I knew she wouldn't want to take it off (she LOVES clothes) and I didn't want to risk her getting food on it before she got to wear it out.

This will be a pretty quiet weekend here, our older kids are out all day and probably evening. On Sunday they are usually all out and about after church, too. I hope to get a lot done this weekend.

I've already done a bit of quilting. Unless I missed something, I should be able to get the frame quilt off for border marking, then it will go into a hoop as that works easiest for quilting the borders.

I'll also be pulling out the next quilt for the frame (the only other big thing I have to make for Christmas) to begin marking it.

Now with the next quilt getting ready for the frame, I realized the top that I planned to quilt after the Christmas quilting is completed is still not finished. Out will come my applique basket so the remaining blocks can be worked on here and there. I'm on the 20th block out of 32, so it's definitely doable...if I can tear myself away from the computer. I SHOULD be able to spend more time in my sewing room than I do, but this computer (and connection with so many interesting people) draws me nearly as much as my sewing does.

So off I go, I'm determined this quilt will be off the frame and marked today. What happens beyond that I don't know. I make plans for each day, but often I switch them out, depending on my mood and what else comes up during the day.

Happy quilting!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Renewed Excitement

I love my Tuesday night quilting bee. It's an offshoot from the guild I used to belong to and quit when Lucas (7) was born. I happened to run into one of the members in JoAnn's one day, just after Ruthie was born and she told me about their retreat and urged me to come...and also told me about the Tuesday night bee.

Well, I couldn't leave Ruthie when she was tiny, but as soon as I felt comfortable leaving her for a few hours, I became part of the Tuesday Night Quilting Bee. It's so hard for me to get out of the house, though! Every month I wonder if it wouldn't just be easier to stay home and sew as I'm rushing around, packing my quilting, eating my dinner, making sure the kids are all accounted for so I can run out of the door at ten to six.

But once I'm out...I sit for 3 glorious hours with my quilting and my friends, chatting and sewing the evening away.

Last night, as I packed up to come back home, I laid out the frame quilt (I took it off and put it in a hoop so I could work on it during the bee) and realized the quilting is nearly finished. I actually took a second look, sure that I missed a few blocks and hadn't noticed, but no...there is one block and some sashing left before the border.

So today, I have renewed interest in the frame quilt. My plan is to finish a dishcloth each day before I start to quilt (at least for now) and I can hardly wait to get to the quilting today knowing that I can have the center done and be working on the border in short order.

In the next few days, I'll also get out the next quilt and decide on the quilting designs and mark that so it's ready for the frame as soon as I can get some batting.

After 30+ dishcloths, the quilting bug is biting me again and I'm glad for that. I also want to finish the blocks for one of the applique projects because that is the quilt I'd like in the frame once the Christmas quilts are done.

I have a few chores that need to be done today, mostly some picking up in our bedroom which tends to be a dropoff spot and cleaning my kitchen well after baking all day yesterday. The quilt is calling me and I plan to answer that call today. With some concentrated effort, I might even be able to take it off and mark the border.

And to the right is Ruthie in her new little hiding place, she likes to sit on the footrest that I have under my frame, it's her own little fort.

So I'd better get to it! The chores are about done now, it took forever to get this pic to upload today. I try to do the biggest jobs in the morning so afternoons/evenings can be spent alternating between sewing and smaller chores, while running my kids around when need be and visiting with them.

Happy Quilting!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Miscellaneous Chatter

I had a productive, enjoyable weekend!

I'm still knitting dishcloths like crazy, but am now feeling the quilting bug again so hope to spend some time on the frame quilt. With it being mid-October, I'm thinking of Christmas and how I was hoping to have the 2 quilts I need done for Christmas both finished by Thanksgiving, which is now only 5 1/2 weeks away. WEEKS. Yikes. After so much knitting, my quilting callous is gone, so I have to build it back up again. Tonight there are two playoff games on TV, so I plan to quilt during those and hopefully will be able to settle in and make some good progress.

I had a friend stop by Saturday with something for Ruthie. They were cleaning out their daughters' room and their youngest is now too big for this. Since it was in nearly perfect condition they thought Ruthie needed a piece of furniture her size. It's a little foam couch that folds out into a bed. She opened it and laid down, closed it and sat and played with it and on it all evening, at bedtime she climbed in and went to sleep. The Winnie the Pooh cover zips on and it's like a sleeping bag on top.

Our kids were coming and going all weekend, which is typical these days, I was happy to put up my feet and knit :)

So I'm off, to do more knitting and some hand quilting. I've made a good sized dent in my housework and laundry for the day, so I'm looking forward to a relaxing afternoon and evening ahead.

Happy quilting!

Friday, October 12, 2007

I've Been Busy!

I don't usually go a week between posts, but I've been really busy!

Monday our kids' youth group had a pumpkin launching competition and it was an all day affair. I was there for the afternoon, cooking dinner for the lot of them and a wonderful time was had by all. My sons were the grand prize winners, having made a giant (16 feet tall, then mounted on a pickup truck) sling shot that shot a pumpkin over 300 feet.

I've been on a dishcloth knitting jag! I bought a couple of balls of yarn to try it out and was hooked, so bought more at the store last Thursday. I'm almost through it all, and this is the result. I bought a cone and still am working on that, I think I can get a couple more cloths out of it.

I bought more yesterday, another cone and 4 more balls so I'm still on a roll. I love using these and may make some to use for washcloths in the shower, too. Those scrubbies that are so popular are too abrasive for me, these should be good as they have enough to them to exfoliate a bit but are softer than those plastic ones.

I'm heading to a friend's house this afternoon for a visit and some sewing. I'll be bringing my knitting again as it's so easily portable and now that I have the pattern down I can talk and knit at the same time.

The frame quilt is coming along, most of the blocks are quilted and most of the sashing, too. I still don't know what to quilt in the border, but will have to decide soon as I'm almost there! I have one more quilt to quilt by Christmas, so it's time to get that one out and mark it so it's ready for basting next week.

I guess that's it for now, hopefully as the holidays descend upon us I'll have more to say. Holiday time finds me very busy with baking, menu planning, list organizing and shopping. I LOVE IT!

Have a great day!

Friday, October 5, 2007

What is it about....

new supplies!

I can't keep my hands off of them. Usually when I'm buying quilting fabric, I have something in mind for it and I can hardly wait to get started once I get home. There are times when I'm in the midst of a project and need to wait, but it really helps spur that old project on to have a new one...with newly bought fabric...waiting in the wings.

Yesterday I bought more yarn for dishcloths. After making a few and using them, I just love them for doing dishes (and may make some for washcloths, too.) They seem to have enough abrasiveness for light scrubbing, yet feel soft and wonderful in my hand. Something about those colorful bits of knitted thread makes the job more enjoyable, too.

I have a quilt on the frame that I'm going gangbusters on, but could I quilt yesterday? Of course not! That yarn was calling my name. The result was 3 new dishcloths. I knitted 2 1/2 of them before doing some quilting, then finished the one that was half finished after quilting for a while.

I've been trying to upload pictures of the finished dishcloths, but there seem to be a problem with loading pictures at present so those will have to wait for another day. I just got back from lunch with a friend (and attempted loading the pictures one more time) and now I'm hoping to do some quilting....and maybe some knitting....perhaps some applique? Hopefully the indecisiveness doesn't mean that none of them will get worked on!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Just Checking In

It's been a while, I just haven't had very much to say! For anyone who knows me, I'm sure that's very hard to believe!

I mostly write about quilting because the other aspects of my life are rather mundane overall. While they keep me busy and content, I don't know that they make for very exciting reading.

When writing to family or friends about the doings in our home, I list off everyone's comings and goings (and there are many with a husband with 2 jobs, a 20 year old and 3 teenagers in addition to my two younger kids) and finish with "I'm the glue that holds it all together."

It's exactly what I'd hoped to be doing those many years ago when we started planning for a family.

I love my "boring" life. The less I have to leave the house, the better. The more I'm home, the cleaner and more organized my home is, the more quilting I'm getting done, the more on top of things I feel. I go out one evening a month for a quilting bee, one Friday a month to visit a friend, an occasional day out to Bren's house, and an occasional lunch out.

I'm now also thinking of Christmas and what gifts I will be making. The two biggest projects are lap quilts this year, one is on the frame and has quite a bit of progress on it. I took both from my stash of tops this year so as soon as this one is finished, the next can go on the frame. The main part of my work should be done by Thanksgiving at the very latest, leaving me the month of December for other small gifts. I think this is the most organized I've ever been!

So I guess that's it, I'm just rambling now. These next couple of days should be rather easy as I did a lot of cleaning and laundry yesterday. We have post-season baseball fever in our house so tomorrow will be spend largely quilting in front of the television watching the THREE playoff games that will be broadcast.

Today I hope to spend a serious amount of time quilting, too. It's one of those gloomy, foggy, damp days and, aside from watching a friend's children for a couple of hours, my day is wide open. I expect a peaceful day and wish one for you as well!