Thursday, July 31, 2008


The sewing for the party is done. All of it. This is what the centerpieces will look like. I thought of putting some kind of bow around the top of the vase, but it just seemed like it would be too cluttered. I got white tablecloths to put underneath but now am wondering if purple would have been better, though purples can be difficult and since there are a variety of purple fabrics that may not have worked that well anyway.

My plan was to send a centerpiece home with each female head of household, so I needed 16 of them. I really didn't want to just give them out in plastic bags, nor did I have the money to go out and buy gift bags for all of them, so I made them. This is the "package" that will go home with each lady at the party, there are a few different florals used for the bags. These went way faster than I expected them to, which was a good thing as I wasn't able to start them until yesterday morning. All but one was finished when I went to bed last night and that one was cut, with handles made.

I finished the album quilt Tuesday night and that was a big relief. There was a short time there I really didn't think it would get finished at all, and I was dreading the thought of having to bring it home to finish it after the party. I'm very pleased with how it came out and look forward to having everyone sign it. I plan to bring some wise words from I Corinthians 13 to fill in any blank spaces. Here is a closeup of the border.

The weekend ahead will be quite busy. We are picking up the tables and chairs from church on Saturday morning and bringing them to my sister's house and setting them up. We'll get back in time to start getting ready and then will head back over to her house for the afternoon and early evening. Our older kids play on the church softball team, they are in the playoffs and have a game at 8:30 Saturday evening. I expect they will be leaving before the party ends, but since it's starting at 2:00, I don't expect it to go much past 8:00. I'm hoping we can get it all torn down and even get to see a bit of the game before heading back home again.

Sunday my husband's family (his mom, his siblings and their families) comes into town and that starts a week of activities ending Saturday with a big reunion of their whole extended family. While we will still have work obligations to fulfill, we will participate in as many of the activities during the week as we are able to.

I'm really looking forward to the week, but also looking forward to next Sunday, when all the craziness is over and I can relax in front of the Olympics with a project of my choice. To that end, I'm already daydreaming about what I want to work on in the spare minutes of the coming week and the (hopefully) abundant minutes of the following couple of weeks. I plan to get a lot of handwork done, but also hope to finish the strip block top. There are only a few pieces left to sew on each block but 288 blocks to sew so still quite a bit of work left on that.

Our oldest daugher, Rebekah, graduated from cosmetology school in June. She's taking her state board test on Monday and will find out that day if she passed. She's been applying for jobs but not really having much luck until this week. She went for an interview and had to bring a model to do a haircut and partial highlights. They said she did a fantastic job and want her to call the day after her test. That job is sounding quite promising on many levels (hours, pay, and benefits are all good) and she's very excited. She did haircuts on Lucas and I the other day and Ruthie had to have one, too. She needed her bangs cut which we usually do quickly with her in one of our laps. Right now her hair is quite long and usually in a ponytail or braid, but come fall I'd like it to be a few inches shorter with layers. We thought this would be good practice to see how well she might sit for that. She was quite pleased with the whole process and had to fluff up her hair just like Mom does when she is finished. I think there will be lots of fun hairdos in her future with a talented sister to take care of them for her!

So that's my very long and rather all over the place update. Here's to seeing you on the other side!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Calculation Mistake

How often have we done this? My mistake was time related this time around. A few days ago I looked at the number of blocks I had left and the target date for finishing this quilt and knew it would be close. I've been quilting like a mad woman this week. How many times have I felt like I'd been quilting for days on end, only to lift up the quilt and find I wasn't nearly as far as I'd hoped to be?

The OPPOSITE happened yesterday. In thinking about the blocks left to be done (10 at the time) at some point I started thinking 10 in a row, not 10 altogether. I lifted the quilt to find that I had one block left to quilt before I could move to the borders. ONE!! That will easily be finished today and I plan to make as big a dent as possible in the small, inner border. The outer border still needs to be marked, but I have a stencil that I love that looks nice and quilts up fairly quickly. My weekend deadline should be easy to meet and I'm feeling far less stressed! About the quilting, anyway!

So I'm happy dancing here, and will be really enjoying my quilting time today knowing I'm days ahead of where I thought I was. Yay!
Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Quick Update

At least it's planned to be quick, LOL.

It's less than two weeks until the big anniversary party. I'm quilting like crazy on the album quilt, hoping to finish it by the end of the weekend, which will leave me next week to clean and organize before family comes the following weekend. From the sound of it, little time will actually be spent at our house, though we could be gathering here for lunch some of the days, so I'm mulling over the "have to do" and the "want to do" lists and prioritizing in my head. I'll be writing everything down over the course of the week so I have a clear plan by the time I'm ready to start.

I'm doing the same with my quilting...coming up with a list of things to work on once the family events are over. While I do want to plan and begin to execute a quilt of blocks like the ones I just finished (though in a variety of colors, not all one color) I'm more interested in finishing up some UFOs. I did a lot of prepwork on projects a few months back and now I'm going to concentrate on them. I'm going to also pick the next hoop quilt since the flower one is nearly finished.

Here are all of the toppers, laid out quilt style in my yard. This inspired me to make more of them, in various colors and with a nice border. I can't believe after making 16 of these blocks I'm ready to make more. I used to be intimidated by applique and it seemed like applique projects took absolutely forever to do. With this project along with a few others in the past couple of years I've gotten over it and find I feel more daunted by piecing projects, in spite of the much speedier results.

This week, while I quilt like a mad woman, my house is suffering. I thought about making a detailed list and combining quilting and cleaning for the next two weeks, but I really want this quilt to be finished. It will be much easier for me to concentrate on the cleaning tasks once the quilt is finished, I do NOT want to come home from this party with work still to do on it.

I'd better get to it. My horribly sore finger won't be happy, but with each pull of the needle I get more excited to get this finished!

Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Time is Getting Away From Me

Wow, I didn't realize how long it had actually been since I posted until Bren and Tyanne inquired as to my whereabouts and wellbeing.

All here is going quite well, actually, I've just been as busy as all get out. Last night, I finished the last of the toppers...YAY! That is a big burden lifted, but I enjoyed them so much that I'm almost sorry to be done. I think that I may make a whole quilt of these blocks, with various colors.

Still to be worked on, though, is the album quilt which doesn't yet have much of the quilting done. I have to spend some serious time in the next couple of weeks or it won't be finished in time. Of course, today is the start of a string of 90 degree days, just in time to have a big quilt in my lap. I'm so thankful for air conditioning! We do try not to run it too often, and I will hold off for as long as possible today, but with so much to do I need my sleep and I don't sleep well at all when it's warm and humid at night.

We are still van-less but hopefully not for much longer. It's been very frustrating, I'm sure more for the young men who are trying to get it running for us than it has been for me. Generally I'm a homebody and not having the car really hasn't stopped me from doing much, but just knowing I can go when I want to again will be very nice!

Since my last post, I've had a birthday. My kids all pitched in and bought me this for my sewing room. I'd been carrying down the 13 inch from our bedroom a few times a week so they bought me this nice 19 inch that resides in my sewing area. It's also within sight of the dining room table, which my family loves during baseball games.

With all the reunion events less than 3 weeks away, and being well on my way to finishing the work for them, I'm beginning to daydream about new projects. I don't think I have to do any big quilts for this Christmas, which means I can pick a couple of projects just for the fun of it. One will be a new window treatment for our bedroom, I think I have it all designed in my head so now I have to work out the specifics. It will be a quilt, strung like a roman shade so it can be raised and lowered, with a cornice covered with a quilted piece. I'm really excited about it and it shouldn't take too long to make.

The other is the quilt of blocks like the toppers. I can't believe that I'm wanting to make more of those! The purple flower quilt is nearly finished with the quilting, just the borders are left, and I'm hoping to make quick work of that once the party work is done, mostly so I can choose another to quilt!

I can't write after so long without a Ruthie picture, she's doing just great. She is talking more and more and is such a little ray of sunshine. Our last year has been pretty rough, but it's hard to stay down for too long with all these smiling faces around us every day.

Now I need to run or I'll not make any progress on anything! The All-Star game is tonight, I plan to park myself in front of it, album quilt in my lap, air conditioning making our lower level nice and cool, hoping to make a nice dent in the quilting that is left.
Happy Quilting!
Sue and Ruthie