Tuesday, December 30, 2008

finally back at it ...

whew ...... the last of my Christmas company has left and now the rest of my days off until the 5th will be spent cleaning, sorting, organizing and sewing.
We had a great Christmas and enjoyed lots of family time. At some time or another all my brothers and sisters and their families were all together and that means a house full but I love every minute of all the craziness. I am blessed with a large family and wouldn't know what to do without them. Below is a picture of my parents with most of their grandkids and their two great grandkids. There were four grandkids not in the picture.
The kids had fun opening their gifts Christmas morning with me and spent Christmas Eve with their dad and his family. I'm learning how to share these special times.

Here is the string quilt all complete! I did the binding on the morning of the 27th and gave it to my brother. Didn't the quilting turn out so nice!!
I had to work this morning but got off early and did a little shopping for have toos and now I have to get myself into gear and get some stuff done here at home. I'll take some pictures of my organizing stuff when I have it all in place. Slowly but surely I will get it all into place.
I still need to find a way to keep up with how much fabric I use for 2009. I use alot of scraps and pieces so I will just have to guess I suppose. I don't want to buy anything fabric wise in 2009. That is my plan and I hope to stick to it. I also plan on posting my goals for 2009 and finding ways to get them all into place too.
I have found that I am so blessed to have my large crazy family to be with and share the holidays. I am so thankful for the time I have with them and the memories we share and make too. I am so thankful for my job, I am reminded yesterday how wonderful it is to have a job. I helped a friend of mine sort through items to give away and keep as she prepares to move from her house. She has been outta work since February and has lost her house. I know I am so blessed to still have my house, all the things inside it, my wonderful family, my car and my job. May 2009 be the year of good positive changes for us all.
until next time.

Monday, December 22, 2008

BowTie quilt is done!!!

I got this in the mail today and couldn't wait to get the binding on it to show it off. Don't ya just love a scrappy quilt? Tirane did a wonderful job on the quilting as usual. (thanks a bunch!)
So I lack two quilts for Christmas gifts now. One is at Tirane's being quilted and the other one is in the works see other post for today. I am behind but they will still enjoy them.
I have had and still have strep and a head cold. I was feeling better but tonight I am all used up. I think I might have over-did-it today with the shopping, baking, cleaning and sewing but it had to be done. Now off I go to watch some TV and wait for my company to come in .. they are due in any minute. They called this morning and told me they were coming and it is a lovely surprise.
thoughts and blessings ... so thankful for feeling better this morning so I could get what I have done. So thankful for a wonderful boss who allowed me ot stay home today. So blessed to have the large wonderful family that I do who are always a welcome in my home. Christmas Day is at my house! I love having people over.
until next time ...

last quilt for Christmas gift

Here is the last of the quilts I need to complete for Christmas gifts for my brothers and sisters. I need to enlarge it a bit - it is now just 44 inches square. I plan on adding to it to make it larger but have no clue how to do so. I am putting out a plea for input please.
Other news ... I feel so much better today. I am almost 100% and am so glad. My boss called and I don't have to work today so I plan on doing some extra cleaning today, to find a new stove (I know good time for it to go out -huh?) and sewing on this quilt. Tonight if I have my new stove we will bake some Christmas cookies and watching Christmas movies. The kids are still sleeping so I have gotten several things done already this morning. I like having this extra day off to catch up.
Update ... I got my new STOVE - I have been baking up a storm too ... one batch of sugar cookies are cooling waiting to be decorated, one batch of Hello Dollies are cooling, and one Chocolate birthday cake is in the frig waiting for little man's birthday tomorrow and he has no idea I made it. We finished up the the kids' dirty santa shopping. Got to get those wrapped up and under the tree. I didn't sew on the quilt above but I did get the binding done on the BowTie quilt I got in the mail today from Tirane! WOOHOO!!! I love it. Now to calm it down and watch some TV or a movie with the kiddos while we wait on our company to arrive.
{Thanks Babs for the input. Tirane also sent me ideas. I just haven't had the time to work on it and she is coming in tonight so I had to put it away so it will still be a surprise. I'll pull it out again after she leaves Christmas Eve.}
until next time ...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Scrappy String Quilt

Another one is complete!! I finished piecing the backing for this one before work this morning and it is in the mail to Tirane to be quilted! This is my scrappy string quilt made from 6.5 inch blocks pieced on a foundation block. I love it and hope one of my brothers and sisters will too as it will be a gift for one of them.

I have one more to piece and then three to bind by Christmas - ish. I am running late with these a bit I know but .... remember me saying I felt like I was getting sick ... well ... I did get sick. In fact me and the kiddos all had strep throat and they have gotten better faster than me. Mine seems to be hangin on for dear life. I am sick of being sick and taking all the medicine I have to to feel okay to work. I have just a couple days left at work before we are off for the Christmas holidays so I am trying not to miss work. I did miss last Friday though .. that was the major start of this stuff and the day we all went to the doctor. I am so looking forward to being off and having some down time and catch up time. I have lots I want to do while I am off and I need some rest.
I have some Christmas shopping done but nowhere near all of it done. I will finish the rest of that up and wrap the presents this weekend while the kiddos are with their dad. I haven't baked one thing which is not like me. Christmas is my holiday and I love it and look forward to it every year but this year I have not felt up to it. With lossing me dear friend and my mother in-law both in November and all the stuff with my ex and me being sick this last week I have not done much in the way of getting ready for Christmas. I haven't even called my family to plan the meal for Christmas day. I tell ya ... time gets away from ya quickly. So lots to do this weekend and lots to plan too. I think I need to start a reminder list to myself so I can remember what all I need to do and buy and who to call and such.
The kids had their Awana Christmas party last night at the skating rink and they had a blast. It was such fun for them. I failed to bring my camera so no pictures of that to share. I need to try and remember to bring my camera to outting like that more often. I miss so many photo ops!
Here are some of the kiddos attempts at the Christmas card picture ... the first one is how they are part of the time and the others are how they are the rest .. don't want to mislead anyone into thinking I have two little angels here ... I think all and all they turned out nicely and I got copies and put them in the Christmas cards that I finally mailed yesterday.

thoughts and blessing ... I am learning how to let it be and let it go and it is not easy to say the least. I am trying to learn to turn things over to God and let him handle my troubles and struggles. Haven't mastered either of these things yet but I am working on it.
I am so thankful that the kids are feeling so much better. With us all sick we were all cranky and life was not fun for us this week. I am so thankful that the temps are rising around here and it is not so cold ... means less gas to heat the house .. which saves me money. I am so blessed to have wonderful parents ... they are simple folks and have a giving heart even though they have less than most. My mother called me at work on Monday and told me to come and get a bag of pecans they had to share with me. I go over yesterday (as I have been sick and didn't want to give it to them) and there was a half of a brown grocery bag full of lovely pecans. Now to get them shelled and into the freezer for baking. YEAH!! Another money saver. I am so blessed to have my dear friends who listen to my struggles and offer their advice and never give up on me even when I want to give up on myself.
didn't mean to write so much ... guess I am making up for the days I was sick and not able to post.
until next time ....

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

BowTie Quilt is in the mail

today I have the blahs ... I feel bad like I am coming down with something. I can't get sick! I don't have the time to get sick. (have you seen that commerical where the lady is in the Drs office where she is told she has the flu and she looks through her date book and finally says that she doesn't have time for the flu right now - too funny)
I took some time last night and added those final small borders on the BowTie quilt and got it all packaged up to mail out to
to be quilted. I still have two more to complete plus this one by Christmas. Better find more time to sew. I swear .... next year I am only working on my UFOs, BOBs and things I want to make for myself. (does that sound greedy of me?)
The strips and strings are still sitting on my sewing table waiting to be used up. That pile seems to be taunting me as I walk past it ... saying ... aren't ya gonna sit and sew awhile?? ;o) Hope to fit in some time tonight after church to sew with those. We will see though.
I am so thankful for my job, so many are being laid off, let go or places closing altogether around here it is really sad. I am so thankful for the rain that came last night, it cleaned the air and everything is so fresh again. I am so thankful that I have the funds to buy the kids a nice Christmas this year.
until next time ....

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas is coming

and I am no where near ready. It is just a day over two weeks and I have lots still to do and to buy. Where does the time go?? I have bought a few gifts over the last two weeks and have to wrap those. Little man's B-day is the 23rd so I need to buy and plan for that day too. So much to do ... so little to time.
Gonna have to start finding extra time to work on the quilty items each night. I have three quilts to complete - hope I can get them all done if not I am not going to worry about it they will just be late Christmas gifts. I will just have to prioritize in order to get what I can done with the time I have left. So .... that might mean no extra time cleaning the house .... sewing comes first right??
Here is it early December and we are having thunderstorms and temps in the 60s. Go figure! Last week it was in the teens at night and 40s for the highs. No wonder we have all had colds around here.
until next time ...

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Quiltathon - Day 2

even with getting a late start on this with some Christmas shopping time thrown in ... I have made some progress today. This is day two of the QUILTATHON
I got the backing pieced for the BowTie quilt. Pl;ease ignore the strings that are still showing the the picture. I wanted to get this picture taken to share with ya'll.
I got this kitty box bedding made. Our kitty Smokey is an outside cat and he needed some new bedding for the winter. I stuff this with the trimmings I keep from cutting squares from my fabric. When I get enough I make a new one for him. It's not fancy but it's comfy for him.
I am going to play with these strips and strings and make some more string blocks to hopefully finish another UFO for a Christmas gift. I'll update when I can with how many I get done.
last photo and entry for this quiltathon ... almost time for bed and the kids are now home. Here are fifteen string blocks to add to my collection. Lots more to make to finish the UFO but at least I made some more progress on it. Can't tell I even used any of the strips and strings from the pile. Plan on leaving those out and work on them each day until I get this one done.

until next time ....

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Quiltathon now in progress!!!!

here we go .... this is where I will be posting and updating my progress during the quiltathon ... I'll post photos along the way too. QUILTATHON

5:27AM First cup of coffeee is in my hand and I am off ....

6:50AM half of cup of coffee later ... this one is done!!! I used up some of the extra pieces of a FQ someone sent for a Secret Santa swap -- this is the second project I made the lady. Hope she likes it. Have one more idea to finish her fabric bits.

8:30AM taking a break and got myself dressed now that the sun is finally up. Been sewing away on my BowTie quilt. Making some serious progress and hope to have this one done by lunch. Gonna go grab some breakfast and get back to my machine.

1:28PM taking a break and fixing myself some lunch. Got several more blocks made and added to the BowTie quilt. Now for the borders. Gonna check the net and get back at it.

6:39PM After several detours I am back on track and have made some more progress on my BowTie quilt. I have the first border attached and the outter borders pieced. I am going to eat some supper and get that done and work on those two blocks I owe swapper before tackling the backing.

7:55PM BowTie top is now done!!! I am so happy!!! Now to get a backing pieced so I can get this off to Tirane on Monday. (man I should've re-ironed this before I took the picture)

9:32PM the two Birthday blocks are done - one wanted purple and cream and the other Fall colors and cream (doesn't the green plaid remind you of a flannel shirt?) now onto cutting squares for that backing.

11:02PM Last post of the night - I am beat! I got the 90 - 10.5 inch squares all cut and pressed. They are waiting for me to sew them together in the morning. Amazing with all those I cut you can't tell I took anything from my stash. Wonder if it restocks itself for us? :o)

Thoughts and blessing for the day ... I am so thankful for Judy who thought up the quiltathon - very motivating idea! I am so thankful for this day of sewing and the progress I have been able to make with my UFOs, my swap blocks and the non-quilty things I did like the yardwork and the housework. I am so thankful for the nicer weather we had today - the sunshine was a welcome sight and the slightly warmer temps allowed me to work in the yard like I needed to without freezing my tail off :o)
until then ...

Friday, December 5, 2008

getting inspired

I don't know if it is that the end of the year is coming and I am wanting to get things in order to start off fresh for the New Year or what. I have a getting organized bug in me that I am going to let thrive and do it's thing.
I so want to be able to sort all my stash and scraps so I can just go in and sew instead of having to hunt for what to use. I have lots of ideas and have put some into place already. Like I use shoe boxes to store my BOBs and larger UFOs now - I label the front of each box so I can see at a glance what is inside each box. These are stored on top of my stash cabinet. I want to work on/ finish one BOB or UFO before starting another project. If while sorting through my BOBs and UFOs I find one I will never put together then it will be swapped or given away. No sense in holding onto it forever if someone else will complete it.

I store my cut squares in this little drawer unit. I need to label the drawers though so I can glance and see what size is in which drawer. I want to cut my scraps into squares and strips instead of storing them in these tubs until I need some for a project like in the second picture.

I have my books and printed patterns on this shelf. (not alot I know but they are all I have) I have the printed patterns in the two blue binders. I will try not to print another pattern without trying one from those I have already printed first.

I would love to have all my fabrics pressed and folded and put into basket like I have done here in this cabinet but I haven't had the time to do so yet. I will be doing this a bit at a time. Right now some fabric is being stored in the bottom of my closet in file boxes. I lucked up and found a lady moving and bought these boxes of fabric for $12 each!! They are packed full. See why I need to join the no-buy challenge? I know my stash is nothing compared to some I have seen but it is enough for me.

Do you have favorite organizing tips that you can share with me on how to get a control on my chaos of a stash? {I looked up that word in the dictionary and it totally fits -- chaos --- a: a state of utter confusion b: a confused mass or mixture}

Today's thoughts and blessings ....
I am so blessed to have my job that helps me pay my bills - for some have no jobs at all. I am so blessed to be able to be with my kids and watch them growing up so fast. I am so blessed for the hugs/kisses that I get from my kids and the "goodnight Mom - I love you" I hear each night before we drift off to sleep. It makes me feel so warm inside and makes my heart grow two sizes (just like that of the Grinch). I am so blessed to have the stash I have even in it's state of chaos. I am so blessed to have the knowledge to make the quilts I do and share that gift with others in the form of quilts.
until next time ....

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Quiltathon this weekend

I missed the last quiltathon at PATCHWORK TIMES but I am joining this last one of 2008. I have lots to sew before Christmas and need that push to do so. I will post my before and after pictures later on. I hope to complete two quilt tops and backings this weekend. Planning Major sewing time with little else squeezed in there.

I have three main goals and two are rather large but I hope I can do them all ...
1. Bow Tie Quilt - need more blocks and get this top completed - piece backing
2 String Quilt - need more blocks and get this top together - piece backing
3. Make two Birthday blocks for a swap I am in to complete that one for the year

Monday, December 1, 2008

stash bustin 2009 challenge

I am still thinking of joining the stash bustin challenge on PATCHWORK TIMES STASH BUSTIN CHALLENGE site along with the others that have joined I want to reduce my stash and not buy unless it is necessary. I don't have a problem using from my stash as I did that this year. I won't have the major goals the other quilters will as I don't have that large of stash at least I don't think so anyways :o)

My goals would be ...
  • to REDUCE my scrap bins in half - I think I have four now
  • to USE UP those 2.5 inch strips I have cut
  • to COMPLETE half of the UFOs/ BOBs I have on hand - I think I have 10-15 that come to mind
  • to NOT buy unless it is absolutely necessary to complete a project
  • to CONTINUE to piece the backings of my quilts to use up those uglies and what was I thinking fabrics
  • to NOT print another pattern from the internet without using at least two that I have already printed. I have binders of patterns that I have not even made yet.
  • to SORT through and organize my stash so I can find what I need
  • to NOT join a swap that requires me to buy fabric
  • to ONLY join swaps that help me complete a UFO/BOB or allows me to use from my stash. {I love to swap and don't want to give that up just yet :o) }
  • to COMPLETE one UFOs/BOBs before starting a new project (kinda like a reward system)

I hope this is what they had in mind for us to post to join that challenge. If not someone let me know and I will change that pronto!