Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Pinterest Challenge

I caught the Pinterest bug.  Learning to use it to my advantage, as opposed to daydreaming my time away, is still a work in progress.  Talk about inspiration overload.  Wow. 

But, wait. There's more. QuiltersWarehouse is having a Pinterest promotion WITH PRIZES!

Here's what you do:
  • Follow QuiltersWarehouse on Pinterest (a good idea anyway!)
  • Start a board and name it "Pinning My Next Quilt Pattern Project"
  • Add pins.  Include a pattern, fabric, and tools....anything that you would use for your project.
  • Include at least one pattern from QuiltersWarehouse.com
  • Email QuiltersWarehouse to let them know you are participating
  • Enjoy
All the rules and more info are at Pinning My Next Quilt Pattern Project.

Although I did make a board, I'm not eligible for prizes :(
because I work part time for QuiltersWarehouse :)

Friday, July 6, 2012

Skipping. And Not The Fun Kind.

Quilting on my GMQ Pro frame is usually a source of pleasure.  Several hours a week are spent enjoying that particular pleasure.  However, every now and then I run into this problem. 
The thread skips. Repeatedly. Eventually the upper thread breaks.  The fabric this time has some a shimmer to it, I'm guessing from metallic threads.  I had no trouble sewing on it when piecing the quilt on my piecing machine.  But when quilting with the frame machine, this  happens.  But I've had it happen with other quilts. Quilts that people have sent to me.  I've suspected that it was their fabric but couldn't figure out what was different about it.  One or two of them were "glittery" so I get it.  But with most, I couldn't tell what was different about the fabric
 I didn't have time to play around with this one, so I removed the quilting stitches, took it off the frame and replaced the borders.  Thankfully, that's the only place I used the shimmery fabric.  Back on the frame and it quilted like a dream. 


In the past I've tried changing the needle, changing the thread, adjusting the tension, and I even tried adjusting the tension of the quilt itself - making sure it wasn't stretched too tightly on the frame.  No difference.  Very frustrating.

Anyone else have this problem? 

Any suggestions?

I tagged this post with 'solutions' as I'm hoping someone has one!
 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Vegetarian? Me? I don't think so!


I came to this union as a non-cook.  I started our married life with two meals.  One was Shake-n-Bake chicken, corn, and Stove Top Stuffing.  I can't remember what the other one was... probably take-out... or I switched out the stuffing for instant mashed potatoes.  I gradually learned to add other meals.  Very gradually.  The basics.  Spaghetti, roast beef, pork chops.  And I added green beans to the vegetable list.  Very sad menus. 

When we had kids I tried to feed healthy foods.  Whole wheat bread, fruits, nuts, a few more vegetables. And an attempt was made to eliminate sugar. It didn't stick.  I'd try it every now and then as the kids got older.  Lead balloon.   Back to meat, starch, and a vegetable in relatively equal portions.  Okay, a little light on the vegetables, heavy on the meat for Scott, heavy on the starch for me. Sigh. I am pleasantly suprised, though, that some of the knowledge about healthy foods has stuck with my kids now that they are grown.

At some point, usually at Scott's request, we started again to improve our diet in different ways.  It wouldn't usually last long.  Sometimes only a week. Sometimes a month or two. But we always end up going back to not so healthy foods.  By now I'd learned to make more than the meat, starch, and veggie plate... Pasta Primavera, Lasagna, Beef Stroganoff, etc... yum, but not especially healthy.

This winter we watch Forks Over Knives.  It got us thinking.  Then we watched Vegucated.  And Scott did some research on diets that are helpful for MSers.  In February he said he wanted to stop eating meat.   While it didn't mean I had to, since I was fixing meals for him, it was easier to just eat what he was eating.  I never was real big on meat anyway.  Not opposed to it, but remember, heavy on the starch.  Both documentaries got me thinking that I'd like to be eating more unprocessed food.  We cut out the meat and most starches and we've been trying lots of new vegetables... more green ones, and different squashes. Most we like; one or two might be an acquired taste.


Now it's July and we're still eating vegetables, fruits, whole grain bread (but not so much of it 'cause there are no meat sandwiches), nuts, seeds, and occassionally fish. 

And I'm loving it.  Who would've thought?!  I'll still order meat occassionally when we go out.  More often chicken.  So I'm not a vegetarian, but close. Scott sticks to it more that I do... he's only had chicken once and a burger once.  And he has quit dairy.  That I can't do. No how. No way.  


Here I am set for a few meals. Hiding under all that lettuce (iceberg and romaine) and the tomatoes are carrots, celery, and peppers (orange, red and yellow).
Fill a large dinner plate then add dressing, apples, cheese, and sunflowers seeds and it's ready.  Yum.  Lunch and dinner for the next two days.

Vegetarian?  Me? Close to it!

Oh, and I'm losing weight :)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

My Clothes Horse

.........is a horse!


Left in the corner for when the grandkids come to visit, this rocking horse was a handy place to drop my jeans at night.  I had to chuckle when I realized the horse had become my clothes horse.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Winning Is Time Consuming

I swear I'm going to win the battle of the garden this year.  I told that to my neighbor when he saw me out there digging in.  He said "it takes work".  Oh, I know that.  And I don't have a problem with the work.  It's just so time consuming. Translation:   more yard work = less sewing.  All together now... AWWWWWW

Last year I think I started too late.  The weeds got a huge head start and I was chasing after them all summer.  The flowers got a late start and just couldn't compete with the weeds.

This year... WINNING! 


 Lots, lots, lots of flowers planted.  These impatiens should spread and fill this area with color.  Can't wait!

These fill a huge section all by themselves with no work from me.  I just can't figure out how to keep them blooming all summer the way they are supposed to.  I followed the gardening advice I found.  Didn't work last year.  We'll see what happens this year.

There are still weeds scattered here and there that have to be eliminated, but they are separated and can't gang up on me.
I need to find out what to do with all the green that's left over after the daffodils and other bulbs are finished blooming.  In the meantime, more impatiens.  And isn't my froggie cute?!  Thanks, Parisi family!

Next I have to tackle this honeysuckle and these bushes. 
 And clear out this area so you can actually see the flowers.
So I haven't won yet.  But I'm putting in the time and I WILL!

Next year I'll tackle the lawn.  And by that I mean the dandelions.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Mini Quilts For Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative

Miniature quilts are a fun break from making larger quilts.  Near instant gratification!  And they are soooo cute! 

So when I heard about The Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative I joined their Quilt-A-Month group.  It's a commitment to make and donate one mini quilt, or to purchase at one, per month for six months. Any guesses as to which I'll do?

Spring Trio was donated for February...



For March, After The Rain...




Fun. 

Done.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sew Blue or Possibilites

Project Quilting Season 3 has begun!

The first challenge:  Architectual Elements

Our inspiration needed to come from architecture, it had to be a quilt (i.e. three layers), and it had to be constructed completely in the challenge week.  Other than that we were pretty much given free rein.  There were no limits on size or methods or material. 

Here's my inspiration:
I'm a contast new home window shopper.... always searching for the next best home. I love looking at the floorplans and drawings available on new home sites, imagining what could be added, detracted, or moved around to suit me and what I percieve as the ideal living conditions. It's only a drawing so it holds infinite possibilities for the end product!

My quilt is a whole cloth, small quilt with a plain white base and only blue stitching. To me, it feels full of promise and is calming to view. I'm re-doing my sewing room and this will hang on the wall after I paint..... this may have helped me decide on the color blue for the walls :)
 


New for this season of Project Quilting:
  • no judging (this was one of my favorite parts - I was never a judges' favorite but I found their critiques to be extremely helpful and inspiring)
  • no voting for viewers' favorite
  • ANYONE that enters has several chances to win a prize.... and the prizes are pretty good!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Sewing Room Blues

After a flurry of quiltmaking, I took some time to clean up my sewing room. 



It's definitely neater than it was, and a little more organized but I think some major changes are in order. 

My poor ironing board with the sock to cover the rusty foot needs a paint re-do, or a pretty sock at the very least. I guess I could buy a new ironing board, but that just seems wasteful.

For a few months my sewing table was our 54" square dining room table.  Going back to this sewing machine table now feels like I have my machine balanced on a wobbly stool.... no fun!  I need a large sturdy table that sits a little higher. 

Inspiration struck.  Those orange-ish dressers are going to be pushed back-to-back, the lower one will be raised, and a sheet of mdf will be "installed" over the top.  That will make a giant workspace with room for my machine AND a cutting board will room left over (hopefully).  All of it will be a comfortable working height.  Some bright white paint on the dressers will be an improvement, along with new (fun looking, colorful) drawer pulls.  If the dressers aren't touching, but have a foot or so in between the backs, there'll be storage space betweern them.  Win/Win

I've already purchased the white paint and lined up the emptied drawers on a drop cloth.  I can't wait to use my new table!

And I think it's time to finally paint the walls. 

If only I could decide on a color.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Too Many New Projects?


No.

Just enough!

I've been making Christmas quilts.  Lots of them.  And nothing but. They are finished. Christmas is past. Time to start something new.  Since I can't decide what I want to do most, I'm just going to go ahead and start a bunch!

A couple years ago I made this miniature quilt (12" x 12") from some scrap 1" HST. 

I love it still. This same design should make a lovely lap sized quilt.  Lovely enough to make two of them.  One with these pinks and greens....

 And another with these fabrics...



Figuring out which way to press is my biggest problem.  HST always mix me up a little (sometimes a lot).

These pinks and greens will be pinwheels and four squares...

Pinwheels and four squares for these, too.....



The Periwinkle Lane blocks are getting borders and each one will be finished as it's own little quilt for the laundry room wall.



This top is heading for the quilt frame.  I just can't figure out what to use for binding.  It's from a charm pack and I don't have any of the fabric.  Maybe I'll drag it to town to find something to match.  Or use white?  Have you ever used white for binding?



And I went shopping today with some Christmas money. FUN! I'm not sure what I'll do with these but they sure look good stacked up with my stash.  The black and red and yellow print is a bit wild, but it kept calling.... I had no choice but to get it.

Add a couple of commissioned projects, a stripey-strippy quilt to quilt for a "first-timer", and another gorgeous blue/green quilt by another special first-time quilter, and I have just enough projects to keep me busy, and happy. 
:)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Kindle FIRE - Love It!

Scott gave me a very early, over the top, extravagant birthday gift.  Not that I'm complaining!  My Kindle Fire arrived last week and I loved it from the beginning.


And look, it even has my name on it! 

Scott has a keyboard Kindle which I borrowed a few times.  I liked his a lot but sharing a Kindle is a bit difficult, so after reading a few books on it, I stopped.  Using it a few times gave me a reference point.... and a bit of Kindle envy.

Here's a few random thoughts and impressions of the Kindle Fire:

The Fire is heavier.  It's the same size (or the littlest smidgen wider).  It's thicker by maybe half.   But this is all relative.... I think it's pretty light.

It's "glossier" so it collects dust and fingerprints that show more readily.  However, the "glossy" is pretty. 



The really cool looking carousel type scrolling of all media on the home screen is very touchy.  It's hard to stop on the item you want. (I have since found that tapping an item as it scrolls by will stop the scrolling on that item.) I find it easier to go to the category and then choose.  Each category (books, video, music, apps, etc) is set up like a book shelf.  Touch the one you want and it opens. 



I love turning it on.... the start up pictures vary, but each is interesting to look at......old typewriter keys, collections of fountain pens, printer's type sets, and more.



Amazon prime members can watch free live streaming movies and tv shows.  The selection is so-so, but the quality is excellent. (I have since discovered that the selection of free is much larger than I thought - gotta hit the right buttons),   And, of course, there is a much larger collection of pay-per-view movies and tv shows.



There are lots of apps on it already.  And you can shop for more. 
I shop in the free column.

The Kindle Fire is full color so I guess that means it's different technology than a regular Kindle.  That means a backlit screen for books, which in turn means books can be read in low light.... or no light :)   The regular Kindle is great in regular light, and doesn't get a glare in sunlight making it easy to read outdoors, at the beach, wherever. But it doesn't work in low light. I haven't read the Kindle Fire in bright sunlight, but I'm guessing all that gloss is going to create a good amount of glare. We'll see.

I have found the page turning quicker than on the regular Kindle. And easier. You don't have to look to be sure you press the correct button (forward or back); just touch the screen and swipe a bit for the direction you want. Doesn't matter if you swipe a bit or a lot, quick or slow, it just turns one page.


Okay.  Enough for now.  I have some reading to do. :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Triplets!

I know does frequently have twin fawns, but I never saw this before!

Another Crop of Quilts













And now it's on to Christmas quilts.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Happy 2nd Birthday Dexter!!!

Big Brother Cooper was pretty excited about your arrival.



A little styling help from Cooper.

You were kind enough to give Lynzee directions.

You've been a fun loving guy from the start!

Party on, dude!

Love you bunches Dexter!

Happy Birthday!