Sunday, November 30, 2014

November projects

I don’t know how I managed this, but today is EXACTLY one month since my last blog post;  I’ve been keeping myself pretty busy during this past month, too!

In the first part of November we had a snowfall of 7”-10”, leaving a bunch of ice on the streets and sidewalks and an inversion that caused some VERY cold weather!

PW_hatI pulled out the hat I’d started making my husband last winter and sewed up the side seam, finally completing the project.  Nothing like a sudden weather change to prompt finishing UFOs!

starParticipants in my online vintage sewing machine group decided to make a quilt for a friend of the group who was recently diagnosed with cancer and  I made this 54/40 or Fight block.  It’s one of my favorites!  The participants in the group are far and wide and most of us haven’t met in person.  However, we got a lot of satisfaction making this quilt and it turned out great so we’re going to continue this group.

20141116_182900I’ve also been working diligently on a quilt for a special veteran.  This vet is a new friend of my mom’s so I thought I’d take some blocks that I had left over from the first American Hero Quilts I made to make this second quilt.  I figured I’d get it finished in time for Christmas.

Well, I got an email from my mom in early November telling me that my brother, who lives in New Hampshire, was bringing his 15 year old son to visit my mom, who lives in Montana.  He’s a Montana State University alumni and my mom is a University of  Montana alumni and they planned on attending the cross-state rivalry Cat-Griz football game.  Of course that changed all my plans!

Try as I might, I didn’t get the quilt finished in time for the trip so I’m putting the borders on it and piecing the back this weekend.  It’ll have to be a Christmas gift instead, especially if I decide that it’s not long enough; he’s a tall guy!

I already know how I want to quilt the interior and which thread I’ll use, so now I need to figure out how to do the borders.  I’m pretty pleased with how this one is turning out!

I’d better get moving if I want to get any sewing done today.  I’ll post an update on the last customer quilt I did for this year next time.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Cute Baby Quilt!

20141021_165635This is the latest customer quilt I finished.  Isn’t it cute?!?!

This is Thalia’s first quilt.  Well, she helped on a bunch of them with her mother-in-law on all the previous family quilts, but unfortunately, her mother in law has passed away, and now she’s expecting another grand child….THIS week!

If you zoom in on the picture you can see bicycles in the dark fabric.  She wanted to create a pathway for them so I quilted some close, wavy lines in that area, with wider wavy lines in the squares.

We chose Warm and Safe batting with King Tut Heather thread on the top, which matched perfectly.

I did the binding by machine because it’s going to get washed … a LOT!

Thalia was so thrilled to complete the quilt, and I was thrilled for her.  We’ll be sitting down, creating more of them together, soon!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Slide Show Quilt

DSCF8211

This is a customer’s quilt that I recently completed called Slide Show by Atkinson Designs.  It was made for my customer’s son’s wedding.

Once I completed the quilting she had a week to spare to get the binding on before she was heading to the wedding.  I haven’t heard if that got completed before she left; you know how stressful and busy the week before a wedding can be!

If you’re old enough to remember actual film that was loaded into a camera then you’ll understand the reference for Slide Show’s design.  This is NOT a Microsoft PowerPoint reference!

For those who only vaguely remember, here’s a reminder:  the film was advanced on a roller that had pegs on either side.  The 2” squares located around the large square depict the holes at the edge of the film that went over those pegs.

DSCF8228I used a King Tut variegated thread in both the top an bobbin with this overall meander design.  The back was also all black so the variegated thread was a great choice there.

I think my customer did a great job.  The use of batiks against black is always stunning and I love the geometric design.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

I Got My Paint Chips!

20141012_072820Are you going to do Bonnie Hunter’s annual mystery quilt?

The name of the mystery is called Grand Illusion.  Bonnie released the color palette information earlier this week and paint chips are flying off the shelf!  Bonnie started using the color chips last year to give people a better idea of the colors she’s using in her quilts, and I think it’s a great idea.

Don’t know what a mystery quilt is?  That’s when you make a quilt without knowing what the design is before you start.  Drives me crazy!  However, all of Bonnie’s quilts are amazing so it’s another way to challenge myself.  I’ve followed along with her mysteries for the past 4 years but never have completed one.  Maybe this will be the year!

The first clue to the mystery will be released on Friday, November 28th, 2014.  You don’t need to be a member of the Yahoo Group to follow the clues, but you will get an email notification that way and  it can be fun to see everyone’s progress.  Otherwise, just check the website every week.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Wandering Spiral Block

DSCF8447Last weekend was the Boise Basin Quilters annual quilt show.  I went on Saturday with a fellow Innova owner and long arm quilter, Linda V. and we had a great time.  I entered Odd Girl Out in the Exhibition Only category and had lots of compliments.  It was a super busy day and the quilts were great.  I even purchased a couple of tools I’d seen earlier this summer.  You’ll be hearing about those over the next few months as I get those projects started.

20140928_153902On Sunday I took the Wandering Spirals class from ReNae Merrill.  Of course, I had to get a photo in front of the class sample!  If you look closely you’ll see “shadow” blocks in the quilting.  That would be the outline of the quilt blocks on the other side.  Yep, it’s a reversible quilt!  Unfortunately I neglected to get a photo of the other side.

ReNae developed this block specifically for our guild and debuted the pattern at our show.  She specializes in a unique paper piecing technique.  I’ve done very little paper piecing but found it easy to follow and really enjoyed the class, learned a lot and made a new friend, Vicki.

Notice that in the photo my shoes don’t match.  That’s because I can’t sew with my shoe on so I was wearing the felted slipper that I made earlier this year.

Vicki and I 20141003_214033didn’t finish our blocks during the class so we got together last night and worked on the block for about an hour.  After dinner I completed mine.

Nxt up: print the additional foundations and get them assembled (this block requires 4 foundation pieces), cut the fabric, and find time to piece the rest of the blocks!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Unintended Break

I’ve been unintentionally absent from my blog since the end of July.  Boy, does it feel like a lot longer than that!  I’m renewing my efforts to re-establish some habits I enjoy, working out and blogging among them.  I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to drop off the face of the planet!

It wasn’t a planned break.  It started out that I finished up my customer quilts and had a little bit of time off.  As it turned out, I haven’t quilted for a customer since July, at the latest, and that’s when my last blog post was.  I’ve been busy, though, and really needed the break.

hot-pink-white-sm I’ve really been enjoying the time off and actually finished one of my own quilts!  Do you remember this hot pink and white quilt from Sept 2011?  I’ve called her Odd Girl Out because of the one block that is different, created in a unique way at the very end of the process because I started this quilt without a plan and ended up improvising on the last block of the quilt.

I ended up not using any of the border ideas I’d plotted out and posted back in 2011.  Instead, I used a Kaffe Fassett fabric that turned out to be the EXACT same colors as the interior strips!  That just NEVER happens!  I had quite a dilemma choosing the fabrics because I found quite a few strong contenders.  I think I spent an entire afternoon in the quilt store taking photographs, comparing, and trying to decide.

DSCF8196I only chose the back about a month ago.  I got a wide back fabric from Craft Warehouse, a local chain here in Boise.  I don’t remember the name of the fabric line itself, but it’s a nice quality fabric.  I really like the light gray on the back, it gives it a nice, fresh feel.  I used Hobbs Tuscany 100% washable wool for the batting and I like the texture and how light the quilt feels.  I’m still experimenting to find my absolute favorite wool batting, but in general I really like wool.DSCF8193

I outlined the flowers in the border with Permacore  to give a very textured surface; that took about 4 hours alone!  I sewed a wavy line down the middle of each strip and a freehand circular motif in the sashing with the So Fine and the SID work..  Superior Omni thread was used on the back.  I finished it with a dark purple binding and think it’s the perfect finishing touch.  I even got to try out my new vintage Kenmore walking foot while sewing on the borders.

DSCF8210I’m entering it into the local quilt show which will run from September 27-28th at the Expo Idaho fairgrounds in Boise.  Because I had some tension issues in the border area it’s an exhibition only quilt, but I’m thrilled that I’ve actually finished one of my own!

During this time off I also rearranged my quilting studio to accommodate space for another quilter so now I have room to have a friend over to sew!  During that upheaval I located all of my UFO’s and I’ve committed to working on those projects to finally get them completed.

Well, that’s all the news I should share for now.  I always have a long post when I haven’t shared for awhile!  I hope you’re all happy, healthy, and enjoying your crafting adventures.

Happy Quilting!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

How Much Do You Love YOUR Iron?

DSCF8152I made a blue and orange quilt for a customer, which she picked up this week.  I’ll post more about it later this week.  It turned out quite lovely, I must say!

Because this is a customer quilt I’d planned to hand sew the binding; you may have heard me say in the past that I absolutely detest hand sewing so you’ll understand when I tell you I wasn’t looking forward to the task.  A quilter friend of mine hates adding borders so I traded her hand sewing my binding for adding her borders.  All in all not a bad trade, but I’m glad it’s now finished so I can take a break and work on my own projects.  I think I’m even going to be able to enter a quilt into the BBQ Quilt Show in September!  I haven’t made a quilt of my own for about 3 years, so this is quite exciting!

As I was finishing up the borders on my friend’s quilt yesterday, my iron turned itself off.   That’s the nature of the automatic shut-off so no biggie, right?  I jiggled and nothing happened.  Then I moved the cord around and the light slowly, and dimly, came back on, then the iron started working again perfectly.  Then it shut off again.  More jiggling with no results.  More cord moving with results.  I remembered that the cord near the base had felt pretty warm, even hot, earlier, too.  Uh oh!  I have a fire hazard on my hands!

20140726_135639I’ve had my iron, a Shark Professional model GI490, for about 7 years and I love it!  You can see that the finish on the handle is even starting to wear off.  How am I ever going to replace it?  I’ve seen all of the online requests asking for recommendations for an iron which I’ve blissfully ignored. 

I knew, of course, that because of the amount of time since the manufacture of my unit that I wouldn’t be able to purchase the same model again so I started my search on ConsumerReports.com. The reviews I found on the next model after it are terrible!  I was shocked and truly disappointed.  Eventually, though, I narrowed down my choices and went shopping.  Nothing beats an in-person inspection.  And you know what I came home with?  Another Shark! 

20140726_184354The Shark Ultimate Professional model GI505 is the next model up from the model with the bad reviews.  It looks and feels very similar to my old model so I suspect I’m going to really like it, all except the size of the top button that selects the temperature.  That’s the main button in the use of this iron so maybe I’ll get used to it and the size won’t bother me.

20140726_184429None of the other irons felt quite right, probably because I’ve used the same iron for over 7 years and have truly enjoyed it.  ConsumerReports.com has this model highly rated, although there are no reviews on it yet, but time will tell.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Updating the Quilt Cave

20140706_122702Yesterday I was finally able to start the project I'd planned for the 4th of July weekend, which was rearranging and decluttering the quilting studio.

I'm embarrassed to show how bad it's gotten, but I'm proud of my progress.  I’d love to put recessed shelving in between the studs on this wall.  It’s a load bearing wall so I can’t just knock it down!

20140706_165011I love my cutting station!  But I needed to get this out of the way in order to move the green cabinet from the corner to the long wall.

Now, I’ve removed that white table underneath and I really like how open it is.  I have a bunch of stuff that might have to go back there, but I’m hoping no.

One of my goals is to create another workstation for when I have friends over.  I put my smallest Singer cabinet in that space, the one that holds the 401.  I have plans to refinish the cabinet that holds the Anker RZ to put into that space but it won’t fit right now when the top gets opened up so I will work on that for another time.

Here’s a link to my online album, showing my progress.  There’s more to come!

https://plus.google.com/photos/100048539382016509935/albums/6033321651017292881?authkey=COmfxaP5sKOXlQE

Sunday, July 6, 2014

June was a busy month!

What have I been up to?  There’s so much to tell!  While you haven’t been hearing from me I took lots of pictures and thinking “that would make a great post!”…and then not posting it.

20140603_191616All of the expensive things seem to have happened at the end of June.  We got our house painted and then both DH and I had dental work.  Of course, about that time is when his vehicle needed over $1500 worth of car repairs.  Oh boy.

As for the fun stuff, the first quilt you haven’t seen was absolutely darling.  I got a couple of photos of it while it was on the frame, but forgot to get photos of the entire quilt.  How does THAT happen?

20140608_173021I met a new friend, Maryon, at a Quilters’ Schoolhouse quilting class put on by Boise Basin Quilters and we made an awesome string quilt for donation.  We had a heck of a time deciding on which border to add, and we eventually chose the dark green one.

20140608_141012I was contacted by a new quilter, Katie, to quilt her first quilt.  She thought she was picking an easy project, and she did a GREAT job, but I told her that was NOT an easy project!  Do you see all those straight lines she had to keep in place?  And that color arrangement?

We picked a blue and yellow variegated thread, which looked 20140616_210130awesome, but I hadn’t realized that it was a size 17.  Why would I have something different in my thread stash?  Let me just say that size 17 is about the size of a rope, when it comes to thread, and I ended up picking out an entire bobbin’s worth of quilting.  That took about 4 hours.  I ordered some King Tut thread from Superior and it turned out beautifully!

20140704_103940I also finished the spinning project I started while I was at Mom’s house over Memorial Day weekend.  It sure turned out differently than what I expected.  I’m really proud of myself because I actually finished a project!  Not only that, the yarn is balanced, which means it’s not twisting back on itself when it’s hanging on the hanger.  And this is only my third spinning project!  I’ve been asked “what are you going to make with this?” and the answer is “I have no idea.”  I just picked it because it was pretty. 

One aspect of finishing a yarn is to set it by soaking it in hot water.  This means the twist in the fiber won’t come out and the wool “blooms”.  It’s pretty cool!  I checked on mine this morning and it’s still a little damp where the cotton yarn is holding it together so I’ll be hanging it outside today.  Boise has been close to 100 degrees lately, that should do it.

Day1_TDF2014And yesterday, I started Tour de Fleece 2014!  This is my first TdF, and I’m using Gritty Knits LeGrand Boucle merino, which arrived yesterday afternoon.  In case you’re unfamiliar with Tour de Fleece, it is an online spinning event that mirrors the Tour de France, including rest days.  They spin, we spin.  A real spinning-themed spin-along.

My goal is to spin at least 15 minutes a day.  Since I’m on vacation over the 4th of July weekend, and we were watching a movie, I spun for about an hour and a half yesterday!

I’m having trouble making a consistent single because I’d used my jumbo flyer to spin the singles on my previous project (I won’t do that again!) and have changed back to the traditional flyer, but after about an hour of spinning my normal technique is starting to come back to me.

20140705_180255This isn’t a colorway I’d normally pick. The red/orange is on either end of the braid and the brown/yellow is in the middle. I decided to alternate the strips of color in my spinning, we’ll see what happens!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Catching Up

Life has been just TOO busy!

Wait, I always say that, don’t I?  Yeah, but I usually post at least once a month and this time it’s almost two months!  People are going to think I dropped off the planet!

I was taking an online programming class, but it was just too much to handle that along with everything else so I gave myself permission to drop the class and move on.  Now THAT is a huge step for me because “quit” is a four letter word!  But I wasn’t getting anything else done, either, and I really wanted to start participating in other events.

20140531_second_skeinAnd I’m glad I did, because I finished plying my second skein of yarn!

I purchased a jumbo flyer and it worked out great.  I loved having that extra large bobbin because I didn’t have to tie off the yarn ends in the middle of a skein.  I’m hoping my regular size yarn winder will be sufficient when it comes time to actually make something with this skein.  It feels wonderful!  So squishy and soft, but I have no idea what to make out of it!

20140524_142433For Memorial Day weekend (US), I took a trip to Montana to visit my mom and I took my wheel along, too.  With the amount of visiting we do, I figured I could setup my wheel and I’d get a TON of spinning in.  Well, I started, anyway!  Mom helped me pick  a BFL / Silk combination, one of two roving options I brought along.  This one isn’t going so well, it’s like I’m not spinning tightly enough and the single strand is pulling apart.  I posted on Ravelry and someone suggested that the jumbo flyer isn’t rotating as fast as the regular sized flyer so I either need to speed up or change 20140526_105547back to the other flyer.  I’m going to try increasing my speed first, that seems to be a little less hassle.

While I was in Montana I did several odd jobs around the house for Mom, including installing a lattice fence into a trellis and fixing a door knob.  But it wasn’t all work and no play!  We ate lots of ice cream, attended a backyard barbeque and we petted the cats a LOT!

20140524_150932We even saw a vintage sewing machine used in a store’s window display and we had to go in to talk to them about it.

I looked up the serial number for them, it was a Singer 66 from 1947.  I found out they have a whole basement full of old sewing machines left by the former owner.  I was itching to go down to see them, but I didn’t ask because it was almost closing time.  I told them how they could find the serial number on the ISMACS website so they could find out more about them later.

I’ve got quilt pictures and new vintage sewing machines to share, too, but this post is long enough for one day.  Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Quilting & Programming

MelbaChristmasQuiltI’ve been pretty busy lately, but then, that’s nothing new!

I finally got over the crud that was going around, which, of course, started right when I began teaching my software training classes at work.  Thankfully I didn’t get the version that kept coming back 2 or 3 times  like some of my co-workers.  I give credit to my holistic medical approaches which included extensive use of the nasal rinse bottle and using almost an entire bottle of doTERRA’s OnGuard essential oil blend!

However, before I got sick I was able to finish a quilt for one of my fellow guild members, Melba.  She made it as a Christmas quilt for her corner_quilting_flannel_backgranddaughter with the idea she could take it to college with her in the fall.  It’s going to be nice and snuggly with the flannel backing she picked.

I did an overall meander in the middle and a custom design in the border, adding SID (stitch-in-the-ditch on each side of the inner border.  It always amazes me how long SID takes!  I  used Superior’s King Tut on the front and Superior’s Omni on the back.  Melba provided the Quilter’s Dream cotton batting.

I signed up for a Python programming class on Coursera.com and of course it started the week I got sick and I missed the announcement that it started, so I’ve been busy trying to catch up on the homework.

If you’re unfamiliar with that site, you simply MUST go check it out!  They offer free online college level courses from all over the world!  I’m not going for the certificate track, which has a minimal charge, but I may do something like that in the future.

So today I’m loading another customer quilt.  Maybe I’ll get some homework done, too!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

It’s the Switch!

DIY oil pan matDo you ever make to-do lists for the day?  I’m all about them, especially for the weekend.

Today, though, even though I hadn't planned to, I spent a fair amount of time removing the old oil pan drip mat from the Featherweight I purchased online at the end of October 2013.

The reason?  I called my OSMG, Jerry, because I had a couple of sewing machines to hand off to him.  He’s done so much for me, he’s the first person I thought of when I started clearing out machines from their hiding places. Smile  Jerry offered to look at the Featherweight again and I’d removed the pan from the machine to try to get the smell out of it.   I wanted to have it ready for when he picked it up, so I spent the time to get it ready.20140330_105400

I replaced the original drip pan mat by tracing the outline of the pan, then refining the pattern so that a single piece of black felt, which I stuck in place with Elmer's school glue, fit perfectly.  If I have to do it again it won't take so long!

The problem with the Featherweight?  I cleaned it up, and purchased a foot controller, but when the pedal is pressed nothing happens.  A couple hours after Jerry picked it up, he called to say he’s narrowed the problem down to the switch!  He’s found a replacement and I’m hoping it’ll be working by next weekend!

Woo hoo!!  I can’t wait!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Busy Weekend!


20140316_120311Until I looked at the photos I took from the projects I worked on I didn't quite realize how much sewing I got done...yay me!
 
I made:
  1. Nine QOV blocks for Kevin the Quilter's QOV block drive.   Check it out if you haven't seen what he's up to!
  2. Pass the Bag Bento blocks
  3. Loaded a customer quilt
  4. Mailed off a care package to a friend
  5. Watched some of my Craftsy short rows knitting video
20140316_192145I even walked the dog twice and did all the laundry!
 
Now, I just need to make one more QOV block and I can send that package off to Kevin and be entered into his drawing twice.
 
Oh, and I caught up on email just a bit and saw the email from the Curious Quilter that she's having a March PSQ charm swap...so, I need to get cutting!
 
Now it's back to work.  What have you been up to?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

QOV Block Drive!

If you are looking for a quick, fun, and easy project in which to participate, check out the block drive that Kevin The Quilter is having!



For every 5 blocks you make he'll enter you into a drawing for a $100 gift card to the Missouri Star Quilt Company, too!  Can't beat that!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Aren’t Computers Fun?

KoalaI'm finally getting my computer set back up again, but it’s going slowly.  More slowly than usual!

I got the hard drive late last week but the installation of Windows went wonky and I couldn't get it to reinstall until I used a Linux distro to repartition the hard drive....4 times!  Yeah, that's right, 4 times!

That's because I haven't used the partioning tools in Linux before and it took me awhile before I actually looked up the directions.  I usually don’t read the directions first, that’s for wimps! Winking smile

What’s really amazing is realizing how much software I rely on for everyday tasks.  For instance, I need to scan a photo.  I will have to install the photo editing software as well as the printer/scanner software.

I’ve already installed 2 additional browsers so now I have IE, Chrome and Firefox.  The reason I have more than one is so I can test my website in the major Windows browsers, and I’ve learned to separate tasks into specific browsers at home, just like I do at work.

I’m so thankful I had a good backup of my data before the old hard drive went bad.  So…when’s the last time YOU backed up?

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Don’t Buy Progressive Insurance

I finally got by car back, but boy, am I unhappy with Progressive Insurance.  To put it politely.

I don’t normally bad mouth products or companies, I simply vote with my wallet.  This time, though, I’m not the actual customer, since it wasn’t my policy that the claim was being made against, and I am so angry, frustrated, and simply dumbfounded at the arrogance and attitude I’ve experienced over the past twenty, yes, twenty, days that it’s taken for me to get my car back.

The Progressive insurance adjuster never once initiated a conversation with me.  No status updates, no going over the estimate, no contact about when my car might be finished.  All of my conversations happened with the auto body shop.  I’d asked for original Toyota parts, but  I never got a chance to decide if I wanted to pay the difference for them vs. the after market parts.

To top it off, well, I’m just being unreasonable to ask that the corresponding tire on the affected axle be replaced, so that the tread and mileage match, keeping my car in warranty and preventing any possible damage to the transmission, tie rods, or any other affected parts.  There’s almost 33,000 miles on this 65,000 mile tire.

No matter that I don’t have a factory paint job, and I now don’t have a clean Car Fax report,  I’d be “ahead” if they replaced the other tire.  All because there isn’t a written recommendation by Toyota on how and when the tires should be replaced in pairs.  Which is an industry standard practice.  Oh, but that’s just the tire and car dealers wanting to sell more product.

I’m unhappy about that Toyota couldn’t bother to write this into the manual, and a letter to them will ensue.  Maybe I can save someone else this hassle if they decide to update their policy.  I called Toyota and got their call center where they only suggested I talk to the dealer, who had already been contacted, and whom Progressive ignored, because they contacted a dealer, not MY dealer, who gave them conflicting advice from my dealer.

And the Progressive supervisor came back with, “well, I checked into this further and your adjuster gave you 100% coverage on your damaged tire.  But, in Idaho, we only have to cover the depreciated value of any wearing part, which tires are, so we didn’t have to cover that tire completely”.

He proceeded to go through the calculation for the remaining tread on both tires vs. the amount they paid to put a new replacement tire on the car and said AS A CUSTOMER COURTESY they aren’t going to change the amount they would reimburse for the new tire because I’ve clearly come out with more money than I should have.  Because, you know, I can drive the car with half a tire.

So, I paid to have that tire replaced myself, because that’s the responsible thing to do.

Unlike Progressive Insurance.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Pass The Bag

Bento-darkYou’d think I’d learn, right?

I don’t need another project and I certainly don’t need another commitment (does anyone?)  So what did I do?  I signed up to participate in a Pass The Bag project with my small group from work!

It just looked so simple and like so much fun!  We narrowed down our choices between a Disappearing Nine Patch and a Bento Box pattern.  Both are really easy to make, and the base blocks are great blocks for new quilters, and we have a new quilter in our midst.  What better way to get started?

Have you seen either one of these patterns?  The Disappearing Nine patch uses a nine patch and the Bento Box uses a center square surrounded by 2 additional strips.  The Bento-lightBento Block is typically made in pairs, with each block using the colors in the reverse areas of the other block.  For instance the dark center is surrounded by light, followed by the dark color on the outside.  The light color is used in the center on the next block, surrounded by dark, followed by light again.  Both blocks are then made by cutting the block into quarters and swapping two corners with the corners of another block.

I created a Bento Box board and a Disappearing Nine Patch board on Pinterest with examples that I really like, check them out if my description isn’t making sense!

DSCF7855You know how the makeover shows all promote blue and green as spa-like and calming?  Well, I decided to go with teal blue and green, inspiration from the calm colors in the ocean we saw during our trip.  I’m planning to make it into a king sized quilt, so DH and I had to agree on colors.  The photos of my blocks don’t quite reflect their true colors, so I’ll post additional blocks as I make them and hopefully I’ll have a better representation.

I’ve gotten the blocks made for the first bag and purchased fabric for the additional blocks I’ll need to make this quilt bigger.  Let’s get this party started!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

I Need a Break!

My work life has been extremely challenging lately, and of course that stress spreads to everything else.  It’s been so bad I haven’t even wanted to sew or knit, and I’ve been so tired I haven’t been able to get up in the morning to work out before work.  Now, that’s stress!

20140208_163832So, just as I was thinking that I was turning the corner, getting everything under control….. a teenager with a new learner's permit hit my new-to-me car in the parking lot while I was inside the local yarn shop.  No injuries to either the driver or her mother, who was visibly shaken and who came and found me in the shop to make sure I got all of their insurance information.

So now the car that needs to be fixed and insurance needs to be dealt with.

And I only just made the first car payment....

Monday, January 27, 2014

Where Did January Go?

DSCF7690I’ve always had a special relationship with January.  Not only is January the beginning of the new year, when almost everyone is making New Year’s resolutions, it’s my birthday month.

This year we went on a 5 day cruise to the Eastern Caribbean to celebrate!  We had two ports of call, Progreso, Yucatan and Cozumel, Mexico.DSCF7752

We got to see the Mayan ruins at Dzibilchalt├║n, white sandy beaches at Cozumel, watched an early DSCF7833morning sunrise from the deck of the ship, danced The Macarena on the catamaran DSCF7897back from the beach, watched the Seahawks beat New Orleans amidst a whole ship full of New Orleans Saints fans (that was exciting!), walked through the City Park in New Orleans, and ate way too much food!

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We had a wonderful time and without being at home, where I have too many tasks and projects to work on, it gave me time to think.

I’ve always been a little reflective around my birthday.  Rather than making New Year’s resolutions, I start thinking of what I’ve done in the past year that I like, and what do I want to do differently, so I can grow as a person.  That doesn’t sound much different than most people’s motivation for making New Year’s resolutions, but for me it’s the birthday and not the time of year.  I’ll never truly know, since I can’t change my birthday!

 

  1. Work on becoming more mindful
  2. Take better care of my health
  3. Take more family time
  4. Take one weekend a month for “me” time!
    That means sewing on personal projects as well as knitting and spinning.
  5. De-clutter!!
    This goes without saying, but all the stuff I’ve accumulated needs to be evaluated for its value in adding, or taking away, from the joy it brings to my life.  Too much stuff clutters up my brain!

Now that I’m back home, and back to reality, I need to deal with my computer crash, my messy sewing room, desk and dining room table.  It’s also a time to spend with friends and be mindful of how I spend my time.

It’s going to be a great year!

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