Monday, September 29, 2008

Weekend Tops

I love cheater cloth. The Christmas snowmen took me all of about 15 minutes to put borders on. It's the cutest fabric though. It had to go home with me when I saw it at the store.

This is my attempt at a disappearing 9 patch. I think I must have misread something in the instructions. Oh well, turned out cute none the less.

Close up of the funny dogs on the material. The material says things like Fleas Navidad and Happy Howlidays. Again, too cute not to take home.

Then today I went to the mailbox and was greeted by a package. Below is the strips that I got from my swap partner Amber from Swap-bot. I can't wait to get busy and make something. Thanks Amber!!!

Well, I'm probably done posting for the week since I've managed to post 3 times today.

Have a great week!!!

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Apple Picking

No Quilty Content!!!

Grace went apple picking this weekend with Grandma and Grandpa. The pictures are too cute not to share.

What a Weekend!

I can't believe how busy our weekend was. I can't say I'm glad it's Monday, but at least we haven't tried to pack as much into the week.

The weather here in Kansas City was ABSOLUTELY beautiful this weekend. I wish that fall, winter and spring could be as nice as it was this weekend.

Friday night, Grace had a sleep over at Grandma and Grandpa's house. Honey and I, along with a friend, went to see Jim Gaffigan at the Midland Theatre. Oh My Gosh, what a funny show. There were parts that the boys laughed so hard I was sure they were going to wet their pants. The best part is no profanity. Not that I don't let the occasional word slip out, but it's nice not to have to hear it forced down your throat for 2 hours. Okay, I guess I'm showing my age.

Saturday I went to the Paola Kansas Drag & Brag Quilt Show, without my quilt show side kick. I managed, but it wasn't the same, not having to tell someone not to touch the quilts. What a treat! The quilts were great this year. My favorite is below. It's cross stitch, but from far away all I could think was boy that fabric is really cool. Hand quilted too.
I put more pictures from the show here, if you would like to take a look.

Saturday night we had family over to watch the Nebraska football game. Lots of eating and talking. At points, lots of yelling and it wasn't good yelling.

Sunday was sewing day with the girls. I got 2 quilt tops finished and my 4 Halloween place mats sewn together. Did I take I will try to get a few tonight. It was great to be able to visit and sew. I'm hoping to keep the sewing days with the girls going.
Last but not least, I took Grace and her friend to the barn to check out the latest installment of baby chicks. The girls have no fear, so they just went right into the chicken coop and started picking up babies. It was very fun to watch how excited the "city" girls got with the animals.

Have a great week!!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

And the Winner Is...

Karen of Merry Little Quilter. I had my husband help me pick the winner.

Karen send me an email when you get a chance with your snail mail address.

I think fall is in the air. Warm during the day and cool in the evening. The trees are starting to change colors. Seems early this year for some reason. I know we are at the end of September, but there are just way too many leaves on the ground already.

Have a great day!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Stinkin' Needle

It was the needle on the quilting machine causing me all my issues with skipped stitches. I decided to take a few minutes last night and go down to "the cave" to see if I could figure out what was going on. I rethreaded the machine again and switched to a different bobbin first. Stitches were still skipping. I leaned down and watched the hook and it appeared to be grabbing the thread the way it was supposed to so I decided to rule out hook issues. I figured what the heck, take the new needle out AGAIN and put it back in making sure the needle was in correctly. Turned the machine back on and TA-DA, no skipped stitches.

I really wish that the machines could talk. Mine would probably call me names to make up for all the name call I do in fits of frustration. If mine would talk, maybe it would have been so kind as too tell me the needle just didn't feel right. WAAAYYY too many things to check on those crazy machines.

Tonight I will be using my newly found MOJO and working on my quilt top. That is after I go to guild and turn in a couple quilts for the quilt show in October.

Have a great sewing day!!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Good Intentions & Giveaway

My intentions today were good, but the sewing mojo just wasn't with me for some reason. I loaded a top on the frame today. I'm using a feather panto which is really cool, but takes a lot of thread. The bobbin ran out after the first pass. That's when the troubles began. I changed the bobbin out and now I see skipped stitches.

I thought maybe I needed to change the needle because I could see the batting pulling through to the back, so I put a new needle in. After an hour of messing around, I've decided to call it a night. Frustrating! Frustrating! Frustrating!

I did get the jacket that I'm bound and determined to finish taken apart yesterday. I pulled out the strips that had the YUCKY applique on them. I'm going to use the embroidery machine to put something in that place instead.

I think I'm going to have a little give away. This weekend I wanted to do some machine embroidery that wasn't bag related. I remembered that I have some fun redwork patterns, so I made some snowmen. Leave me a comment and I will pull the lucky winner of the blocks on Wednesday (24th). Since my mind is mush today, I can't remember how many blocks I counted 12 I think.

Have a great week!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ahh-ha Moment

I had an AHH-HA moment last night. In an effort to figure out what to work on next, I pulled out all the projects that I have listed on my Finn's Challenge list. Two of the projects really jumped out at me because they are SOOOO old. (2000 & 2001 - can you believe they both have lived in a shoe box for 6 and 7 years. SCARY)

Twisted Ribbon - I pulled out all the fabric out of the first box along with the pattern and started to read. Triangles, triangles and more triangles. I think it said I would have 300 1/2 square triangles 2" finished by the time I was ready to start making the blocks. AHH-HA - I'm triangle challenged, so that's why I've been putting that project off. I think another reason for the brush off has been that I couldn't seem to figure out how I came up with the fabric I did and then how I was supposed to cut it into all those little pieces. Since nothing had been cut and started for this project, I ever so gently put all the fabric on the shelf with my other fabric and the pattern back in the pattern box. I will add another project in this one's place.

Snowman Jacket - This was a late add to my list. Again, took all the stuff out of the box and looked at the pieces. AHH-HA, applique. I don't applique. I even tried to do machine applique and it looks PITIFUL. I'm my own worst critic, but really it's not pretty. For this project, I'm not giving up. I'm going to step back and revise the applique piece. My idea is to find some sort of panel or strip and use that in place of the applique snowmen. Since Christmas is just around the corner, I shouldn't have any problems finding snowmen or snowflakes. This project will stay on the list and will still be on the bottom.

Lady Liberty Goes to Hawaii (New York Beauty) - This was a class that I started in 2001. My AHH-HA moment for this is the fabric. I had someone else help me pick fabric. Truthfully, that someone picked all the fabric and I was happy to take it to the cash register and pay for it. The only input I added was the focus fabric. I realized that isn't the best way to start a project. Since I love paper piecing and love New York Beauty quilts, I'm going to work on this project next. It might take me until December 31st to get it done, but I will sew on. Note to self - take a more active role in the fabric selections when signing up for a class.

So here is my revised challenge list:
  1. Horse Quilt - completely finished and ready for Christmas
  2. Lone Star - finish the top and then figure out what to do with it
  3. New York Beauty - finish the top
  4. Star Block of Month - finish the quilt top
  5. Twisted Ribbon Quilt - start and finish the top (Not even going to start this project)
  6. Christmas Star - finish the top (completed 9/13/2008)
  7. Funky Purse - finish the crazy thing so I can use it.
  8. Snowman Jacket - completely finished and ready to wear.
  9. Patriotic small quilt – Shop hop buy from 1999
Last night I did get to sew a little. I put the Disappearing 9 patch together. Since I'm so incredibly unorganized I can't find the fabric for the borders. There will be some more searching tonight.

Thank you for letting me share my AHH-HA moment. Back to sewing.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Why Oh Why??

So last night I sat down at the sewing machine. After a long day at work, I really did need about 20 minutes of sewing time to unwind and "just chill." I picked up the Christmas top to sew the 3 blocks back in. I checked and double checked and all appeared good. I put the borders back on and pressed.

Guess what???? You got it. I sewed the blocks wrong AGAIN. This time only one of the blocks is in wrong instead of two. I'm truly challenged. I'm done. I'm not taking it apart again.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Monday Monday Monday

Tonight is the second night of dance lessons. I'm glad that Grace is still excited. Mom, did you pack the bag? Do you have my ballet shoes? Are the tippy tap shoes in the bag too? What about the tights? Check, Check, Check, Check!!! I'm the mom, don't worry it's under control. I hope I didn't forget anything.....

The one good thing about the lessons is that I get to sit for 45 minutes and hand sew. Last week I got the binding 2/3 done on a baby quilt while waiting. I'm hoping that I can be as productive tonight.

Have you ever heard of I read about it on someones blog and decided to check it out. I signed up for a 2 1/2" strip swap. Well, today I officially stuck my strips in the mail. I can't wait to see what shows up in my mail box. I did the swap thing once before and wasn't so sure I'd do it again. I decided to give it the college try and do it again. Since this is strips and not blocks, I figure I don't have much to lose. I'll be sure to post pictures.

My hope for tonight is to get the Christmas quilt top back into one piece. I also found the pictures and tutorial for the disappearing 9 patch. Hopefully I can get those blocks on the design wall to sew together tomorrow.

Have a great Monday!!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Christmas UFO #1

Well, I'm going to call it a finish, but I just realized I'm going to have to take it apart and do some fixing. I truly am triangle challenged. The right side isn't correct. The blocks are facing the wrong direction. UGH. This is the first of my UFOs for Finn's challenge.

EDIT: I have the top taken apart and all the pieces have been ironed. I will work on it tomorrow when I'm feeling more brainy. In the mean time, I did put together 4 place mats out of Halloween fabric. I also assembled and cut the blocks for a disappearing 9 patch. I thought I should quit though before the possibility of messing anything else up hit.

Have a great week!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Day to Remember

September 11th, 2001 - A day that I will ALWAYS remember. Remember what I was doing shortly after the first plane hit the Tower, where I was and what I did through out the day. It's my "day that will live in infamy."

Since 2001, I have tried to do something charitable on the 11th. This year was no different. Today I gathered with a group of people and made blankets for the soldiers that are currently serving. The 100 blankets we finished were donated to the local Soldiers Angels group. We made fleece blankets, knotted the ends and then sewed a label on each one. Since I got to sew labels, the fun part for me was watching the labels be created. There was a group of kids that worked REALLY hard at being creative.
The Labelers Creating

Hannah - She's 8

Finished Blanket

Have a great night!!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Picture courtesy of Melissa's website
The word for last night was WOW. That's all I could keep saying - WOW. I went to the Melissa Etheridge concert at the newly revamped Midland Theatre. Melissa's tour ended on the 1st of September, but she was asked to open the Midland after it's overhaul. She played for 3 hours to the hometown crowd. It was INCREDIBLE. I liken it to going to a Bruce Springsteen concert. The songs were incredible, Melissa's voice was incredible, the venue was incredible, the band was incredible. Incredible, incredible, incredible. Believe me, it takes a lot to move me at a concert, but I was moved.

The songs off the new album "Awakening" are awesome. Lots and lots of meaning to them if you really sit and listen to the words. I loved the fact that Melissa told a story and then sang the song that related to the story. It was fun to hear her take on the songs that I had already formed my own image or opinion on. I think one of the songs that hit me the most was "The Kingdom of Heaven."

The crowd - WOW. What a night for people watching. I don't think my husband can quite appreciate my level of people watching. We were talking in the car on the way home and I was relating things I saw. He finally asked if we are both at the same concert. What can I say, I like to people watch. Alcohol definitely played into some of the stupid behavior I saw. There were 3 girls in front of us that couldn't have seen much of the concert. One was either falling up the stairs on her way for another beer or one was falling down the stairs. The other was slumped over for a good portion of the show and then finally left by herself. There was an older lady (who is going to hate life today) that couldn't even walk out due to the amount she had consumed. I heard her daughter asking if she had consumed any whiskey. HMMMM, she can't walk, she's slurring and just all around stupid, don't you think that might be a good indicator of a whiskey induced stupor. I'm all about having a good time, but HOLY COW!

Again, the word for the night was WOW!!!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Update to Friday's Rant

Just a quick Monday morning update to my Friday rant. Pulled in the parking lot this morning here at work and low and behold....johnny on the spots. 4 of them to be exact. The only thing that ran through my mind was, I'm going home. I came in to find that we have water and bathrooms, so I'm good to stay for the day.

I'm hoping to get to some fun sewing this week, but I'm starting to wonder where I might squeeze it in. Dance lessons start tonight. I made sure to pack all the needed clothing for that outing and a hand sewing project for me to work on. Tomorrow night is the Melissa Ethridge concert here in Kansas City. I can hardly wait. And Saturday is the circus. Definitely an eventful week.

Hope you have a great week.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Friday Rant

I'm about to rant, you can either read on or run now. I'll understand.

I work for an unnamed Telecommunication company. How is it that the managers that work there are the worst at communicating??????????

Today we had a water leak in front of the building. Gallons and gallons of water bubbling up from the parking lot and running down the parking aisles to the sewer. Everyone was walking around most of the morning asking if it's OK to drink the water, will there be water to flush the stools in the bathroom - typical crazy office conversation. The big manager finally walks around at about 11 and tells us all that they "might" be sending us home to work the rest of the day. Several of us asked what "might" meant and we got the typical parental response of we'll just have to see how things play out and then play it by ear. OH BROTHER. At that point I decided that I needed to use the bathroom, which unknown to any of us had been closed. Not just our floor, but all 10 floors. That was the decision maker for me - I'm going home. No bathroom - that just makes me need it that much more.

I understand lost productivity and the cost related to it. I also understand making a decision to shut down an office with at least 1000 workers. Give me a break though - bathrooms are important. When the building maintenance people explained it was bathrooms or fire sprinklers and they picked sprinklers, well it's time to head out.

Maintenance had closed the building much earlier, but our managers chose not to tell anyone that.

So, I'm done ranting. I'm an adult and I'm working from home where my bathroom is working.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

New Quilt Sampler

The new Quilt Sampler magazine is out. One of the featured stores is Harper's, which is just up the street from the office. A popular hang out for me and my sewing buddies from the office. The quilts in the issue are awesome. I have looked at the magazine about 17 times now since I picked it up on Sunday. I'm ready to start cutting. The red and white quilt on the cover is gorgeous. Makes me want to rush out and buy as much Toille as I can.
It's rainy and dreary, as well as chilly. The remnants of Gustav are still here drenching us. Everything is greening up though. We had to put our light coats on this morning. I think fall might actually be on it's way.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Whole Lot of Nothing

Tonight I spent the night pondering, crazy pondering. What would I do if I won the lottery? Buy fabric of course. Maybe a new fancy long arm machine. Definitely some traveling to various quilting venues. I would also enlist the help of a cleaning lady. That leads me to my second ponder - how can 3 people make a house look like such a huge pig sty. OK, it's not as bad as it sounds. A good vacuuming and dusting brought everything back to neat. I just don't get how when we are all gone during the day how the house can become such a giant mess. Does someone come in and party all day while we're gone? If they do, wouldn't it be polite for them to pick up after before leaving??? The bonus of picking up tonight - I don't have to do it tomorrow or even over the weekend.

No sewing for me tonight. I will hit it again tomorrow, since all my cleaning is now done for the week. Because I've been working on bags, I don't have anything current to share. I thought I's share some quilt tops that I did in 2006 and 2007.

This quilt has since been quilted and given to my friend Melissa. This was a birthday, Christmas, birthday, Christmas gift (took me a while to get it done). I decided after this one that I'm very triangle challenged. Every time I worked on it I had to have someone help me lay out the blocks. If I didn't have help, I was infamous for sewing them incorrectly and then having to rip and cuss. Not a pretty site. I found the pattern in the American Patchwork & Quilting (BH&G). I used a variety of reds (which don't show very well in the picture).

This tops was just for fun. I love the dragon fabric. The picture makes it look black, but it's really purple. This is one of the 28 quilt tops that needs quilted. I will get to it eventually.

I think this next quilt went to a friend of my husband or someone I work with. I can't remember. I love the dog fabric. This top was fun because it doesn't have the normal mitered corners that you find in Attic Window patterns. The pattern has you cheat and make a 1/2 square triangle. I like cheating.

Well, I think Grace and I are off to bed. Great night for sleeping because it's cool and the rain is coming down gently. Have a great night!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Challenge List

I did a little bit of inventory this weekend to see what I can finish as part of Finn's Challenge.

Here goes:

  1. Horse Quilt - completely finished and ready for Christmas
  2. Lone Star - finish the top and then figure out what to do with it
  3. New York Beauty - finish the top
  4. Star Block of Month - finish the quilt top
  5. Ribbon Quilt - start and finish the top
  6. Christmas Star - finish the top
  7. Funky Purse - finish the crazy thing so I can use it.
  8. Snowman Jacket - completely finished and ready to wear.

***Edit**** Adding #8 so that I will have a new fun jacket to wear this winter. It will force me to work on machine applique, which I avoid like the plague for some reason.

As I've mentioned before, I have quite a tops that are already finished that need to be quilt. I'm going to unofficially say that I'm going to get at least 10 of them quilted.

Pretty lofty goals, but I think I should be able to accomplish the top 7. Any thing else that I might get done will be wonderful.

Have a great week.