Saturday, January 29, 2011

EQ7 this morning

This morning I woke up around 4:30!! My brain was already trying to plan my day!! I made myself go back to sleep, telling my alarm (my brain) that I would like to be up by 6am so that I could see what Fons and Porter show was on PBS. I woke up at 6:14am, got out of bed, put my slippers and house coat (robe) on and began my walk to the family room. Stopped at the front door to see if it was still snowing and how much we got....hmmm....can't tell it is still too dark....continued my journey to the kitchen, feeling my way to make sure I did not walk into any walls...I've done that before....sets your day off to a not so good start when you walk into a wall that has been there forever! LOL
Poured my cup of coffee and sat down to watch the show. Bummer...I've seen this one...ok, I will finish watching it. My mind ventured into EQ7...I need to go design these quilts I have in my head! Maybe I will do it in a minute, let's see what Sewing with Nancy is about today: sewing with elastics... Ah, nope...lets go play with EQ7....
I sat down, booted up the computer, got EQ7 up and running...and designed two quilts this morning....I finished the first one called Spinning 4-patches, saved my work and went on the next quilt. Well at least I thought I was working on my second one....I went to color in the quilt block and my computer froze up. EQ7 shut down....I was not a happy quilter! What?! NO! My Work is gone!! Yep, the second block/quilt I had just worked on was gone!!! Back to square 1...
So, I did...I started all over and actually changed a few measurements and I have a really nice looking quilt.
Ok...I will show them later though....

Now for a funny story..kind of funny. Yesterday I wanted to visit all the local quilt shops so that I could pass out my longarm quilting brochures and cards. I called a few shops to make sure it was ok. First shop I called was kind of snotty to me. The owner told me right off the bat that they push a longarmer that has 2 machines, only charges a penny per inch and has a two week turn around time. I thought, "well dang....I shop at as many quilt shops as I can because I want to support all of them. Each one has their specialty of fabrics and such that they offer." Same with longarm quilters....we all have our own "specialty" that we can offer. Do you only shop at one grocery store? Or do you shop where ever you can get what you need at the price you need?
Now this quilt shop is over 30minutes away from my home...and I drive a big is an F250 (It is one of those big trucks that will shine its headlights in your rearview mirror and there ain't a thing I can do about it! sorry) this truck takes diesel...has anyone other my family priced diesel lately???? Last fill up was $3.37 a gallon...times that by a 30 gallon much does it cost me? and I only get 15 miles to the gallon...ok, enough about math...I arrived at the first store, Maybelena's in her store!! Walked in and there was the most perfect fabric for my latest must come home with me! So it did (giggle)...I gave Brenda my brochure and this point in time...I only had a handfull of business cards!!! I left my cards sitting on my cutting table!! UGH!
Funny part: I had changed my mind about driving out to the quilt shop that was so glad I did not go cuz that would have looked absolutely ridiculous on my part for not having my business cards with me!! Lord have mercy!! LOL
Lesson learned: check and double check your supply list and what you should have on hand with you...your memory is not as good as it used to be!
That is enough rambling for the day...chow!

Friday, January 28, 2011

The mind of a quilter...her sewing studio

WARNING!! You are about to view my favorite room in the house, but IT IS NOT CLEAN! I'm warning you now, if you love your rooms to be neat and tidy do not view!! This is NOT for the faint at heart!! LOL Ok, here goes....I'm going to show you what my sewing room looks like when my creativity begins to flow....
Here is my ironing station...notice the fabric hanging off of it...I have a new project I'm working on....
 This is my cutting board tables....somewhere there is a table surface!! I know there is somewhere buried below all that clutter...Can you guess how many different quilt projects I have on this table? I'm not even going to dare show you what is under those two tables...LOL....
This bag of strips was hanging on a chair, I decided I needed to show the "innerds" of the bag so I poured them out on the table...strips at 1 1/2" wide...hmmmm 
 This is the table beside my sewing machine...what a mess!! There is a small ironing surface buried, notice the clover iron in the left corner...a cutting board (small one)....and strips, piles of strips..all 1 1/2inches wide...what is going on with these strips of fabric....
oh! this is my plastic bin that I store on top of my cutting table. I throw all the tiny pieces of fabric that I can no longer use into this is full, someone needs to get on the ball and empty it!

 This is a picture of the quilt I made yesterday. I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about it...
Oh yes, there is more of a mess....look at my sewing machine!!
 And this is a basket of scraps that sits behind me at my sewing machine....I need to organize it....nah, I have more fun piecing.....
This Mildred the Moose. Carolyn from the Village Quilt Shoppe designed her....Well, now that I have allowed the world to see my sewing room, I feel as if I need to go clean it up....well, maybe later!! I'm tired today...I would rather sit and sew strip sets for my next pattern....

Monday, January 24, 2011

A new perspective on things

My plans for this past weekend did not pan out like I thought they would. Let me tell you what happened...
Saturday morning, we had a come and work on your own craft day at church. I was so excited about this!! We did not have as many show up as we were hoping but that is ok. We had wonderful fellowship and food!! oh my goodness! Anyway, we are working on projects and just chatting away when one of our member's husband (who had been working on the furnace back in the nursery comes rushing up to where we were) and says to his wife "get a trash can we have a leak!" Doris and Robin go flying back there, I go back there and oh my goodness!!! The water was pouring from the nursery ceiling!! We all go into action grabbing all the wooden furniture, books, blankets...everything we could get out of the rooms as fast as our little soaking wet feet would allow us to on a slippery floor!!! They get the water turned to focus on the mess.
I called my husband to bring up the shop vac. Susan called her husband to see if he could come help. I called a Larry, I knew he was the one that could tell me where there were more mops and thing we knew we had a slew of people, the deacons actually came up to help and assess the damage. There was no church on Sunday morning, but a group of helpers gathered yesterday and the we are back in working order now! 
Needless to say we, the crafting ladies, gathered our things and the crafting day was is tiring work moving wet things and pushing water to a drain.....
Yesterday, which was Sunday, I had planned on sewing all day. Not what happened....I finished the quilt on the longarm machine and brought up to the quilt shop. Handed it over to Carol so he could hang it up. I'm teaching it in February.
My husband announced, I know this was inspired after he watched hoarders on tv the previous night, that we were cleaning the basement....giggle...that means I am cleaning my sewing room!! And that means I'm touching fabric...giggle....the laugh was on me! LOL My sewing room did not take as long as I was hoping and we soon moved up stairs and began working on the main level of the house.
Actually, what happened was I, because I was cleaning my sewing room, I discovered that there were 3 finished quilt that needed to be hung up in the house!!!
And here they are:

Asian quilt 2010

French Toile Galactic Explosion finally hanging in dining room!!

Mystery Quilt 2008 placed in hallway
 Now I have these wonderful quilts hanging up!! I'm so thrilled!! We swept floors, vaccuumed, dusted and had poor man's steak and potatoes for dinner! Finished the evening off by watching two movies! First was Despicable Me, and Downton Abby!!
I plan on continueing my cleaning spree by dusting family room, cleaning this nasty computer room (office) and finally washing all the throw rugs!! I've been avoiding that task (throw rugs) forever, and I have no clue why!!!

Quilting: I'm going to put up on of my easy patterns in the next few days. I have the strips cut. So, if you are interested in seeing this easy pattern, shoot me an email and give me your thoughts on it or better yet, make one and send me pics!

Happy quilting...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Lord closes doors

You know, no matter how much I want to do something, if the Lord does not want me to do it HE will let me know by closing the doors!! Even if I try to open them back up, He will close them even harder! OK, I get the message now! LOL 

New Year, New Focus!

The new focus: getting life back in order!
We moved back to Michigan almost 4 years ago. When we moved I never planned on getting as busy as I allowed myself to get these past 2+ years. Now, as of this morning, we are going back to our old time. Our boys and each other are the most important!  Outside activities have taken over our family time. We still have young men that need our attention and we need to pay attention to each other....and the house could use some serious clean up!! Oh my goodness! I can't stand the dust and the piles any more!
I have a couple of friends who say my house is it is not! It is a mess and I need to work on it! I need to allow myself time to get back into my old routine of cleaning. I had it down so well!!!
I need to focus on homeschooling, we still have two boys left to graduate! WOOHOO!! 4 years and I retire!!
I need to focus on my quilts! I truly believe that if I can keep my house clean, keep all distractions that are outside the home at arms length then the quilting world will get organized with the home life....
Quilting: Dawn and I want to have a charity division of the quilting. Teddy Bears and Quilts. But this will come in time, not right now. Focus on what is most important. Get the home life in order and your relationship with the Lord and everything will fall into place...actually the relationship with the Lord needs to come first then family life will fall right into place. is time to go work on what I said I needed to do....Later everyone!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Interesting conversation...

Last night my husband and I were chatting right before both of us fell off into sleepy land. We were discussing the importance of family. Extended family. The family that most people, generations ago were close to. You had all your family gatherings with know holidays, birthdays, recitals, plays, choir performances, etc...
Grandparents, Uncles, Aunts, Neices, Nephews, Cousins!! Everyone was around! That was generations ago. Most families today don't have that closeness any more.
Think back to when our great grandparents imigrated to this great country. Think back to how everyone helped each I making any sense? Today, most families don't have this closeness...we don't have the same "togetherness". Families are so split up across the country.
Some grandparents choose to move away from the northern cold states to head to warmer climates ( I don't blame them! I can't stand the cold either). But what happens is the grandparents don't develop the relationship with their grandchildren and then they wonder why their grandchildren don't try to visit them or write letters...communication...well, honestly, you broke the lines of communication when you moved away...far away.
I think too, that grandparents forget just how busy life is when you have children still at home. It is not as easy for parents to pack up the family and travel several hundred maybe even over a thousand miles to visit grandma and grandpa. We are still raising our children, we are not retired we are still working.
I wish families were closer together. Joe and I have been alone since the beginning. Shortly after we married we left beautiful South Carolina, for Joe's job, and moved to Michigan. Joe has family here, but it is not mom and dad, sisters and brothers family. It is aunts, uncles, cousins...but Joe had been gone from this area for over 15 years....when you have been gone that long...things change. The family traditions which used to include everyone are not the same because people move, people change...people change things to suit them. No hard feelings at all, just stating the obvious. Speaking of moving....lord have mercy! We moved out of Michigan, to IL (just outside of MO), then on to Mississippi... and now we are back in Michigan...talking about full circle!
People get used to you not being around and they change accordingly. Is this bad? Absolutely not, you must adapt and move forward.
Moving forward: can we bring family back? Can we begin a new tradition with our own children and promise to stay with them so that we can help them when they reach adulthood, parenthood? Watch those beautiful grandbabies? I truly don't have the mindset of raising my kids and then moving away. I love my kids! I want them around. I don't even say, "I can't wait for them to move out, because I don't want them too"! LOL I hope they live close by so we can have wonderful family gatherings...I just promise not to be the mother-in-law that is so nosey and controling that my daughter-in-laws hate me. Ok, enough said....I'm gonna go enjoy my day....I think I just figured out how to make a pine burr block! Ha! Yep, that came way out of left field didn't it?!
Happy day everyone!!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Yesterday's progress....

Oh my goodness!! Dawn and I made great progress. Dawn is my favoritest (if that is a word) quilting buddy! We have been friends for over 10 years now.  Yesterday, Dawn and her husband came over around 10:30am and stayed till almost 9pm.

Block A

cool colors for block B

this is my chain piecing separator!
 Dawn brought over her computer to help write my quilting patterns.  She is also my tester! Interestingly enough she learned just how important, and so did I that 1/4inch seam is and how different everyone's sewing machines are. Took her a while, due to the fact that she had been garment sewing, to find where her 1/4inch seam was. We made an executive decision during this process yesterday...have that seam permanently marked .
We managed to get 20 blocks together and Dawn made notes for the pattern. Today I have to send her pictures, my yardage and piecing instructions.
Happy sewing!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

More pattern writing today and hopefully...

More pattern writing today and hopefully we will have hot water also. My husband found a great deal at Lowe's last night. There were two 50 gallong hot water heaters that were in the "scratch and dent" area and the employee offered us to them for less than what they were marked! We got a sweet deal on them! I had to bring my truck up to meet my hubby, he drives an explorer...I drive the F250...big ol' truck you know! After we purchased the heaters, we drove home and then headed out to dinner...all the kids were gone! All four boys, gone!
We were just going to go to a local Coney Island, but plans changed just a bit. Instead he took me to the local Salvation Army store. You see, I had seen an antique Singer Treadle sewing machine (made in 1906) with a wooden puzzle box inside one of the drawers. The puzzle box had tons of accessories inside! It is the coolest thing I had seen in a long time!  As soon as we walk into the store I head straight back to the furniture section to see if the machine had sold. It was still there!! You won't believe though what I saw! Someone who had no idea what they were doing had destroyed the front drawer!! Broken the belt, taken the one screwdriver (looks almost like an ice pick) and well, I was so upset over this! I wanted that machine! Not now, someone ruined it. I can't believe how they busted up the front drawer. I was soooo bummed.
After my disappointment we did find a couple of shirts for me, and then we went to eat at the local chinese food restaurant that was located in the same strip mall....
No pictures for today, hopefully by the end of today I can load some of pics that I have been taking for my quilt pattern...maybe give y'all a sneak preview!
Later y'all

Friday, January 7, 2011

Writing out my quilt pattern

I have spent the majority of the day designing my quilt in a new color wave. The first one I made was in denim blue, green and tans. The second one was black, tan, cream, white and today's is in vibrant blue!! lime green and whites! I'm loving it!
I've been taking pictures as I go along, making sure I've done the math correctly, by remaking the quilt. I really hope quilters like what I've created!! I'm gonna teach the quilt at the local quilt shop in Feb. I think I need to contact a few other quilt shops to see if I can sell my pattern there too! 
I've completed the 128 four patches, 64 center squares, and now I'm working on the next unit of block A. This quilt has two blocks. I'm also going to redesign the border!! I'm getting brave, I tell ya!
This morning though, I spent my time deciding if I should do some longarm work or not. I really wanted to, and I had the desire to, but my legs kept telling me to sit down! We did not sleep enough last night...our boys did not go to bed at a decent time so that kept my husband up and everytime he got out of bed to see what the boys were up to it woke me up...sigh...go to bed boys and honey, please learn to sleep through some things...LOL....
K, gotta go cut more fabric!

Quilt guild meeting last night

Last night I attended, for the first time, the Oakland County Quilt Guild in Rochester. They had a special guest speaker: Edyta Sitar!! At first I was thinking that I would not go to the guild meeting because of the temperature outside...brrrrrrrr, snowing, the distance and driving to an unfamiliar area at night. But I told myself, you are a big girl and you can handle this task!! I am so glad I did!! I loved it! Edyta's quilts were beautiful and inspiring.  I'm not totally a fan of the coloring on her quilts, but that is ok, I was focusing on the "piecing".
I loved seeing the show and tell of the other quilters also. I will comment though, I've noticed a lot of longarm quilters have computerized machines....I have a gammill but there is not computer...only a stitch regulator....all my designs come from head and go to my hands to the machine. I just sat quietly and looked at the beautiful work....and thought....I can "maybe" draw that? lol...and maybe not! LoL....Needless to say, I'm gonna go play with a whole cloth today. 
oh on a different note: we have no hot water joy joy....

And thanks to everyone's compliments on my French Braid Blue ice!! The pattern for the braids comes directly from the French Braid book, but the rest came from my head!! LOL....I will say that I am using the EZ rulers more and more in my designs. I love these rulers/templates!

Take care everyone and drop me note!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2011 is here!

Well, I will begin with saying I did not make any New Year's resolutions...nope, not a one! lol I'm going to continue what I began last year and that is to attempt to not start new quilting projects...but I've already blown that one out of the water by viewing several tutorials on youtube! (I'm one of those people that will say, "I can do that, I don't need any help") I'm kind of an over achiever! I just can't help myself though, I want to learn new things...not reading and learning- I like to look at pictures or videos...I need the visual! Then I'm off and running. I find it very difficult to learn when someone is teaching and they don't let me "touch" or "do the task" myself. Let me at it! Actually, all my senses need to be "engaged" in order for me to remember and learn...sometimes that is a problem. I do try to be very polite and patient when someone is instructing. Honestly, I've passed that on to my sons too...with homeschooling my boys I know them very well and they too need to do the "task" themselves...very hands on poor husband tries so hard to teach me things but he won't let me do the task...he just keeps showing me! I get so discouraged cause he won't let me touch and are done now...
Blue Ice finished January 3, 2011

close up of Blue Ice January 3, 2011 on to more important things. I finished my French Braid quilt (2nd one in 4 months) I'm naming this one Blue Ice. I love it!  I will admit that I had some issues with the border. I made several mistakes and had to rip stitches out often!! I was beginning to think I would never get these borders on. I made the first one and attached it just fine, the second border...when I pieced it, I had the 4-patches going in the wrong direction. I wanted the white to run down the quilt like the sashing...I took that border with me to church on Sunday and rip stitches out durning Sunday school...they did not seem to mind one bit.  I also needed to make the top and bottom border pieces smaller. I thought I had worked the math out but I was off so my 4 patches don't line up correctly. That is ok, I'm not entering this into any show!! It is going in my foyer!! Now just to figure out the backing..... I have enough scraps left to piece the binding so that will look very nice!
Oh I must add that I had to piece together my side dark blue triangles. I was using scraps to make those because there was no more fabric!! My favorite quilt shop had sole ALL of that fabric and I could not find it anywhere online. On a good note I was frugal...but we all know what happens when quilters walk into a quilt shop...we must leave with something in our hands!! LOL...yes, I did purchase some fabric...then I went back and purchased more!!
Time to get moving, lots to do lots to do....