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!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

It's Me Again!

I've had a string of busy weeks, today I'll be cooking for a family birthday dinner tomorrow. I'm making a fajita bar, which will have 3 kinds of meat with sauteed mushrooms and onions, peppers, beer battered onion rings, 2 side salads, and dessert. I'll do as much as possible today to minimize time in the kitchen tomorrow and maximize time with the family!

No day is complete without some needlework, though, and even on my busiest days I can usually find a few minutes somewhere. My current project is a quilting job and I hope to be on the borders later today in spite of all the time I'll need in the kitchen. One more simple block after the one in the hoop and I'll be on the borders, there are three.

Knitting is here to stay and I'm really happy about that. While quilting has been my obssession for the last 20 years, and still is to a large extent, the ease of making quick gifts has brought knitting back out of hiding. This is the color of the next pair of socks I'll have on my needles.

This picture was taken the evening of Ruthie's birthday dinner day back in November, she's sporting new jammies, a new hat and shoes and posing with her new dolly.

My cooking day is well under way, the roast chicken is about to come out of the oven, pasta salad is made, meat is sliced and ready for cooking, and the vegetables are cut and ready to cook as well. All that is left is to make the cake, which will go in the oven when the chicken comes out. I didn't expect to be so far along at noon, and am looking forward to spending the rest of my day quilting and sprucing up the house.

Happy Quilting!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I'm Back....

and hopefully can keep up with plan B.

I got myself in a rut with this blog, not updating for too long then having so much to say that it took forever to do.

So I'll be trying to do short little updates every 2-3 days in hopes of keeping up...and keeping motivated.

Today's post would fit better on a blog called "Knitting Chatter." For the first time in many years, I didn't quilt a thing for Christmas. I did sew a few bags, but other than those, I knitted.

I started knitting at 10 years old, making mostly purses/bags for a long time. Whenever I had new yarn on the needles, my Dad would ask me what I was making, knowing full well it was a's all I knew how to make! I didn't follow patterns in those days, but made bags of all sizes, long handled and short, until I felt ready to learn to read a pattern.

From there, I went on to blankets and sweaters and that launched me into all sorts of needlework. Once I picked up a quilting needle, though, most of those other things went by the wayside.

For the first time in many years, I didn't do any quilting. I did do a bit of sewing, making several of these bags in different fabrics, a few for myself and some for gifts. They have a really long handle, which can be knotted up to be shorter or worn cross body. They are small, big enough to hold a few essentials needed close at hand.

I was inspired to pick up knitting needles by some online friends, starting with a couple of easy cowl scarves. Rachel loves unusual accessories and I'd heard a lot of talk of fingerless gloves so searched for patterns. This is a really simple one, I made a few pair for gifts and a pair for myself.

I also tried my hand at some more involved patterns, I love these and Rachel does, too. Several other pairs of wristwarmers also got knitted for gifts and my foray back into knitting had my mind racing. In the past, everything I made was big, these smaller things are quick and fun to knit and had me looking for more.

I have various pairs of knitting needles around, but hardly any double pointed ones. I made do with what I had, but talk of sock making, along with other projects, had me searching for sets of them. I found this online and Mike bought it for me for Christmas, it has 14 sets of various sizes of double pointed needles, which really open up the possibilities.

With leftover yarn from a wristwarmer and scarf set, I made these little socks for Ruthie. I was hooked.

I bought sock yarn and made this pair for me. They are slightly too big, so I may save them for my son's girlfriend for Christmas next year.

I found an easy hat pattern, Lucas was in need of one, so I asked him what colors he wanted. Ruthie was NOT happy when that hat wasn't for her, so she got one out of leftover fingerless glove yarn.

Currently on my needles is another pair for me, this one is made from baby yarn and the first one is made.  It fits perfectly so sock number two is well under way. I've been buying skeins of yarn here and there for various things and will probably be doing nearly as much knitting as quilting for a while. More about that in later posts!

 No post is complete without a Ruthie picture. She got that Santa hat from a nice woman at church who knows she loves hats. She tried it on her new birthday dolly as soon as she got it home.

 There is so much more going on here, but that will wait for another day. Though this post was all about knitting, I have a quilt I'm hoping to finish by next Tuesday so I'd better get to it!

Happy Quilting...and other pastimes!