Friday, December 14, 2007

Snow anyone?

This was the scene off and on all day with a little sunshine sprinkled in so we could enjoy the sparkling snow. At times it was a veritable blizzard, and then just as quickly it would completely stop, melt, only to start the process all over again.
I finally finished completing the move into the new bathroom which meant going through everything in the old bathroom and doing a major cleaning and moving of stuff. It amazes me how things just keep accumulating, the sheer volume of it all. After the holidays Dale will start on the old bathroom, which will get a jacuzzi tub along with a total remodel. A room at a time and our little house will be all new.

I finally got a little bit of decorating done. Made some fabric Christmas trees for the entry. It wasn't my best sewing job, but quick, and at least I have a bit of decorating done. I saw this adorable owl pennant, and followed the link to the directions. I'm tempted to make these tomorrow, when really I should be working on my younger daughter's quilt.
The clouds, of course have moved off, leaving us with a cold, clear night. But hopefully that means a nice sunny day tomorrow with good solar gain.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Winter Wonderland

Well, the day dawned dark and drizzly, but the moisture turned to snow off and on all day yesterday. Surprisingly the 8 ft. baseboard heater and the little fan heater are enough to keep the sewing room comfortable even on cloudy days. It will likely be next year before we have gas out there.

I've been busy, cleaning up my sewing room which desperately needed it. I've bound a few more quilts and also put together a black and white quilt from the blocks I won at least year's retreat. I'm pleased with the results, and I also tried out the new pantograph I got at the NM Longarm meeting Dec. 1st. I got it from Dave Hudson, the "Pattern Man."

Having done a few pantographs, I know what I like and what is easier for me now. I don't like a lot of sharp points, finding those much easier to execute from the front of the machine. I got my "winnings" from ebay, a box of threads, mostly polyester which the machine seems to like, although I've also had good luck with Signature cotton.

The sun is shining at the moment, but there is a dark bank of clouds to the south. I hope they don't come this way. I need the sunshine, which is why I live in the southwest. Hope you all have sunshine in your day.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Soup weather

The wind blew all night, and continued through the morning until just a bit ago, and now we're finally getting a little bit of precipitation driving against the windows by the wind. Definitely makes me want to cook and have soup. I love my pressure cooker. I don't think I'd be able to cook dried beans without it. The first time I tried, we were living in Colorado at 5,000 ft. elevation and though I cooked the beans all day, they were still hard by afternoon. That's when I got a pressure cooker and have never looked back. I still don't soak my beans overnight, preferring to zap them with just enough water to cover in the microwave for 10 minutes, before cooking.

I had a productive day Thursday, but not nearly as productive yesterday. I've got the black & white blocks I won at the AZ retreat last year made into a top, and loaded on the long-arm for today's task. It will be another donation quilt for an older child.

I thought the challenge to post every day in November was great, but I knew I wouldn't be able to participate. But I'm challenging myself to be more than just an occasional poster.

My regular visit to the post office yielded a box of fabric from that I didn't order! I tried to contact them, but I'll have to wait until Monday. Either someone sent me a gift, or somehow they pulled my name out of the ether because I've never ordered from them and don't have an account. A mystery to solve.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Christmas countdown

Honestly I just don't know how the days get away from me so fast. And now I have physical therapy to contend with in my day. Calling it therapy is a misnomer. I'm sure the results, which seem elusive to me at the moment, will be therapeutic, but at present it would be more aptly titled physical torture! Compound it with sleeping poorly, and my days really get away from me.

I did manage to finish a quilt, which just needs a label now. I find labelling difficult, not in the execution, but naming a quilt, and adding all the information about it. I don't think that any of my quilts will be the subject heirloom scrutiny as they are functional and meant to be used and loved to pieces, so the labelling seems rather superfluous to me. (And I just can't give up the double "L" on words like cancel, label, travel when adding ING.) I'm not posting a better picture in case the recipient is wandering around my blog. Not likely, but if I were to assume that, for sure she'd see it. I've started on the other daughter's quilt, and I think I can get it done in time. I took my inspiration for it from this Denise Schmidt design. I just persued that site a little more and found out she even has workshops! Dream on!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Giving thanks

It was a wonderfully productive holiday weekend. My friend Pat, who beat me to the punch and posted pictures of all we accomplished, came out for Thanksgiving. I have since decided it is the most perfect weekend to really be productive. I had some of the cooking tasks already done, and Thursday morning I put the turkey in. It roasted and filled the house with aromas while also providing much needed heat. Our unseasonably warm weather had come to an end.

My sewing room is a 12X24 ft. room attached to a detached garage. An 8 ft. baseboard heater is usually sufficient to get going until the south facing slider door starts the solar gain process. Unfortunately winter decided to descend upon us with gray skies and much cooler temperatures. My electrician husband split one of the outlets so that we could borrow the garage circuit to plug in another electric (fan)heater, and after we got going enough to generate some body heat it was enough. In the future that room will have a gas heater that used to be in the house, but we're trying to get more of the house done before running the gas out there, and some of the "stuff" that's out there needs to move back into the house to create space for the gas heater.

To say we were productive is an understatement. Thanks to Pat's already finished blocks, we were able to put together 11 quilts. There is only 1 left to finish quilting, and one that Pat is putting in her quilt bank is just a top since it's easier for her to store it that way. I feel privileged to hand off these quilts to my daughter's pediatric endocrinologist to give to newly diagnosed juvenile diabetics. Just a bit of thanks for the wonderful care we have received since we've been going to her. Lindsay, at 22, is past the pediatric doctor stage, but Dr. K. wants to keep her at least until she's graduated from college, and we're all cool with that. This picture is from this summer when we gave her the first of the kitty quilts! Pat is a prolific piecer and fortunately she is my generous friend.
After we ate our big meal, we were able to just sew and sew the whole weekend and graze on all the leftovers. I did make a Minnesota style wild rice soup with some of the leftover turkey, but other than that we just heated the leftovers. Luckily we all like and eat leftovers. There was not much cooking done after Thursday, and we weren't standing in check-out lines or otherwise fighting the crowds of holiday shoppers. I think I'd like to make this a tradition.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Albuquerque Friday

It's going to be a long day away from home. I'm due for my two-week post-op check. Won't they be surprised that I don't have any sutures for them to take out. Since reading that 8-10 days was the norm I decided to take them out myself, and sure glad I didn't have them poking and pulling for any longer.

I didn't post yesterday, but did have a somewhat productive day in my sewing room. I'm working on a piece to cover foam insulation that we use at night to put in our bedroom window. It was a necessity when we had the old single pane windows, but we find it helps keep the house temperature more stable if we still use it. Maybe tomorrow I'll have made enough progress on it to post a picture.

The weather continues to shift towards winter and more normal temps rather than the unseasonable warm temps we'd been having.

And a picture because a post seems so sparse without a photo. We stopped at a beautifully desert landscaped rest area after a camping trip in the Gila Wilderness area. There were so many bunnies hiding and moving around the cacti. I don't know how they do it.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Slow progress

Well, I knew recovery wasn't linear and only in an up(beat) direction. So I have a day of progress, and a couple of days of stagnating. I'm glad I didn't create a traffic jam for all the people beating a path to my blog for the PIF challenge. ;-)

For lack of anything better to post about, I'll include a picture of all the postcards I got from the Dia de los Muertos postcard swap that I hosted on It was a lot of fun, and it's great to get such a variety of creativity. I can also post the cards I made for the swap now that it's over. There was much discussion about postage rates, and I mailed all of mine for the postcard rate, which the postmistress of our little post office thinks falls within the guidelines.

It was windy with a cold wind blowing from the east all day today. Still our days are warm and sunny and we haven't used the heat except for a few days when it got down to 15. I think winter will eventually catch up to us. I hope by then to be more productive...Christmas is just around the corner.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Pay it Forward Challenge

I was lucky enough to be in on Sophie's Pay it Forward Challenge, and so here I am posting my own.

I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I don’t know what that gift will be yet–though my intention is to make something for you that you will know to be useful or believe to be beautiful–and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.

I love making things, and I think they will probably all be different since I keep wanting to try different techniques. I know my blog doesn't exactly have a huge (ha!) readership, and so I'm sending out a notice to certain people (that I would love to make something for)to let them know that I've posted this.

Well, this makes two posts in two days. I wonder if I can keep this up for the rest of the month! I should strive for it, since I don't seem to very productive in anything else.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Another month...

The days just seem to pass, one after the other. I love reading so many blogs and feel like I know some of these people, and envy their easy, frequent writing styles. I have to push myself to add another blog post. I thought about joining NaBloPoMo, but I really didn't think I'd pull it off. I think the only time I blogged regularly was when I was participating, along with other quilters on the forum in The Artist's Way exercises. That kicked off the blog, and then I just let it fall by the wayside.

So now I'm recovering from arthroscopy of my knee, and have all this rather unproductive time, but still have to push myself to blog. I guess having two close friends that I email daily leaves little else that I feel the need to write about.

Our house remodel and renovation is coming along, with little participation from me. My husband, who I've recently started calling, the keeper, since it was pointed out to me that he was "a keeper," is the one who makes the changes happen. He is nearing the completion of an added three-quarter bath to our little abode. He works day after day, and the changes keep accumulating, all I have to do is feed him! I need to follow his example more, and plow along and make progress with my quilting. I've committed to make the girls a quilt each for Christmas. One is ready to be quilted on the long-arm, and the other hasn't been started, still an ever changing vision that comes and goes from my head! And my mind is a bit addled with pain medication!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Where do the days go?

Went away this past weekend to a quilting retreat near Payson, AZ. Had a wonderful, productive time. Got a quilt top together for older daughter and it's ready to load on the long-arm. (Along with a couple of others that have been waiting.)

Now that it's been delivered, I can post a picture of the birthday gift, a pencil case, I made Pat.

This along with a pincushion was rather hastily made before the retreat from this book, Last Minute Patchwork & Quilted Gifts. It's a beautifully photographed book, and I hope to take on more projects from it. Of course, now I see the Purl Bee has put together fabrics to make the pencil case, while I struggled to find appropriate pieces from my stash.

Fall has taken hold around here with a hard freeze while I was gone. I'm so glad to have jars and jars of canned peaches, peachsauce, and apricot jam. The days are warm and sunny and the nights cool, just right for sleeping under the covers, instead of kicking them all off.

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Peaches are done!

What a bounty! I never expected that we'd get this many peaches! Thankfully a friend told us to thin the fruit on the tree, and the remaining fruit matured to a nicer size. They are beautiful white fleshed peaches, and the canning work begins!

I finished my second Priority Alzheimer's project quilt, got them both registered and they are on their way. It was a fun project. Working with smaller than bed sized quilts is always rewarding as it's much easier to finish.

Now to start thinking about my next project, a friend's quilt to do on the long-arm. I'm still mulling over what design I want to do on it. Okay, back to work in my heavenly peach smelling kitchen.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Inspiration Monday

Well, after a dry spell, I got out in my sewing/sunroom early and made this scary sock stuffie. Several years ago I made sock monkeys and a sock elephant for my daughters. Today I came across these wonderful creatures and decided the pair of socks I scavenged from hubby's uncle had seen the inside of a drawer long enough. This one has a home, if she wants it, with my daughter's friend to whom I promised a sock monkey if she quit smoking. Don't know that she has quit, but her birthday is coming up.

Got to the post office and mailed off a couple of quilts. I'm also putting more touches on the second Alzheimer's project quilt. Hope to get that done soon so I can concentrate on another quilt on the long-arm. I still have a box of apples that need handling, and peaches keep dropping off our tree. They aren't quite ripe, but tasty with a sprinkling of sugar.

I'm going to try cooking them into something, perhaps a peachy orange sauce for our fish dinner tonight. The peaches have survived lots of wind without coming down, but now that they are heavier we're getting a lot more of them blowing off.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

A WIP and a finished piece

I've been working on a small piece (9X12) for Ami Simms Priority: Alzheimer's Quilts project and finally finished it. I'd had the little jellyfish hanging on my bulletin board for a couple of years since I participated in a postcard swap on I had intended to make a postcard out of it, but the swap ended and I hadn't yet found inspiration. I needed a little more background to make it a 9X12 size and so pieced some fabric to give a watery look. It's so nice now to quilt backgrounds on the bottoms of what's left when I finish a quilt on the long-arm.

My other piece is still a work in progress and I hope to get it finished in the next couple of days. I'm terrible at naming things and hope that someone will be able to help come up with something.

Nobody in my family or that I know personally has been struck with Alzheimer's but I do understand the burden of taking care of a sick and/or aging family member, having spent eight months in MN caring for my mother-in-law.
I better get back to my "work" before I lose the momentum.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Girl Trip to Colorado

Well, if I waited a few more days I could make it an even four months since I last posted anything to this long forgotten blog! I can't believe it's been that long. The summer is getting away from me.

So, my BFF Rosie and I are on a girl trip to Colorado, staying with Jackie at her new digs with a wonderful view of Colorado Springs and Pikes Peak in particular. The weather has been beautiful, and there is never a dull moment watching the clouds and light playing over the mountains. The photo credit belongs to Rosie. While I have my camera with me, I haven't taken many pictures. Hers is always at the ready.
The days have been filled with lots of thrift store shopping, good food, and today I spent some time (and money) at a fabric store.
The last few months have been busy. Besides nursing a bum knee, I've gotten my long-arm machine and am just getting into it. We also got broadband access at home, so maybe I'll be better about updating this blog, though I won't make any promises.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Postcard swap

These are all the great cards I got in the postcard swap for Earth Day on with the exception of the one bottom right. That was the first butterfly I tried for my card--my sewing machine was seriously misbehaving and didn't want to do the zig-zag stitching around the card.

The spring bird migration is well underway. I need to sit patiently with my new camera and try to get some better photos. This one of the Bullock's oriole was a quick one through a dirty window, but even so, it's beautiful bird.

I'm now working on the Turtle Day postcards. I still can't settle on just one idea, and make them all the same.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Earth Day

Here are the Earth Day postcards I made for a swap on I kept trying different ideas, never settling on one I wanted to mass produce--although five postcards to make is hardly a mass production.

Spring is finally arriving here, which is always a busy time.

Friday, April 06, 2007

I seem to only post about once a month. Oh well! This is my "granddolly," as dubbed by my friend. My older daughter made this doll when she was a teenager and then gave it to me for a my birthday when she went through the typical teenage difficulties, along with a note apologizing for her behavior. I came across the doll when unpacking other dolls in my collection and decided that I had cared for her long enough, and gave her back to my daughter for Christmas. In the many years in between I have started quilting, and my daughter told me, the doll needed a quilt. The chair came from my mother-in-law's home which we went through last summer after she passed away. (Each of my daughters got a rocker.) So last weekend we went to visit my daughter and I gave granddolly a new outfit, a quilt, and puppy for my daughter's birthday. My friend Pat gave me a box of 1.5 inch squares--there are I'm sure, hundreds in the box--and I quickly decided I didn't want to make a whole quilt out of the squares, and so that's how the puppy came into being. I tried handquilting this little quilt, but my hands weren't cooperating with that.

Since I'm not likely to change my ways any time soon. I'll be back in about a month!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

As Month's Go By

Can't believe it's almost a month again since I've blogged. I spend my early mornings on the computer, but with dialup, a lot of it is spent waiting for pages to fill in. With spring entering the scene, there is so much to do and so much more I want to do that blogging is usually an afterthought. We've had beautiful weather the past week, and this was the treat in the sky last night. Not actually the sunset, which was rather lackluster, but a cloud formation to the northeast which was being wonderfully lit.

I bought a new camera, long overdue, and so I've slowly been learning to use it. I'm sure it will take me a long time, if ever, to make use of all the features it has. For the time being it is mostly being used on AUTO, letting the camera make all the decisions. Got a new metal, industrial type shelf for my sewing room as well, and so everything is momentarily in worse disarray as I rearrange everything. Never ceases to amaze me that in order to get organized it usually entails a much bigger mess, but I'm hoping to be done by Monday. Today laundry must play into my day as the basket is overflowing, and soon we'll run out of socks and such! Happy St. Patick's Day!

Monday, February 19, 2007

People Fish

I I got this sarong (rayon) from a friend that was living in Hawaii at the time. Because of the lines in the design I thought it would make the perfect piece to practice machine quilting. I backed it with flannel and machine quilted the lines in the design. I didn't want to border it with anything so I made the edges wavy and rounded the corners. It is my lap quilt, but I'm not using it much since the cat thinks any time I sit in the chair with a blanket I'm there solely for her comfort! It's nice to get something else finished.

I've also finished the child's quilt top I started about two years ago! Tomorrow I'll get the batting down from the garage rafters, and get it ready for quilting. Pretty soon I'll have caught up with all the UFOs I intend to finish, and I can think about starting new things. There are some UFOs that you just know you're never going to be in the mood to finish.
Posted by Picasa

Practical sewing

A lot of quilters I know feel it's beneath them to mend clothes or sew other than quilting. I have no such qualms. I started sewing making my own clothes, and I like to make practical things for my home and family. My husband needed some gaiters for his newfound hobby of snowshoeing. I made them like the gaiters I had had for downhill skiing. Well, they didn't stay over his boots, and so I had to add the lower part which also has elastic that goes under his boot, but isn't fastened in this picture. They were a big success and he didn't get any snow down his boots and come home with wet feet like he did on his first trek. Luckily I had some rip stop nylon that I had bought to make a kite with. (The kite had long been on the back burner after seeing some wonderful kites in Galveston on the Texas Gulf Coast.)

That got me sewing again after a rather long, dry, sewing spell while getting settled into a new home. After I came home from a quilting retreat in Arizona, I've been fired up, and have lots of completed things and have made quite a bit of progress on some long standing projects. It feels good to be inspired again.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, January 19, 2007

Pillows R us

Guess I'm stuck on making pillow covers. This one was more of a necessity as the previous cover wore through. It was a salvaged "crinoline lady." I worked out in my sun(less)room as long as I could. With only one baseboard heater it wasn't getting very warm in there. The snow is starting to come down a little harder, and looks like a light dusting of powdered sugar.

The trouble with all this winter weather is that it is so conducive to baking, and then sitting back with a warm drink, enjoying the fruits of one's labor, which is where I'm off to right now.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 14, 2007

My morning didn't start out right. I have my routine. I wake up early, turn on my computer, feed the cat, go back to the computer and get online. We have dialup (GROAN!) and so while the computer is getting online, I make coffee, so that by the time it's online my coffee is brewing and I can get on with reading emails, etc. So I'm into answering my email and think, surely the coffee is done by now, but NO, it hadn't even started. I thought I had forgotten to turn it on, but to my dismay, it just isn't working. Fortunately my husband had gone back to drinking a newer, milder, decaffeinated coffee so I didn't have to brave the dark, wind, and pelting corn snow to get the spare coffeemaker out of the camper. I hope this isn't a taste of things to come throughout the day.

I finally did finish one of my UFOs. I decided I had to do something with this burlap bag that a friend had come across in his landscaping work and saved for me. It's a little wonky, but finishing it lets me move on to something else. I started it in the spring of 2005, and then lost interest in it. I have also found a lot more UFOs that I had forgotten about. It's not good when they hide out for too long, and one's tastes change. Fortunately they aren't as personal as the burlap piece which would have been hard to donate and let someone else finish. I need to round them up and offer them up for adoption.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, January 06, 2007

After a long, dry sewing spell, I ended 2006 with some things made. Finished a couple of pillow covers for the loveseat in my new sewing space, a sunny 12X24-foot room off our newly built garage. It's been a long process of gathering up everything craft related and moving it out there. I have waaaayyy too much stuff, and managed to weed out things that I know I'll never use.

After another, albeit briefer, snowstorm, we have sunshine. I had intended on taking a knitting class to learn to knit socks, but given our trend for snow this winter, I decided to wait for better weather. I avoid driving in snow as much as possible. I consider it a service to other drivers that are more capable of navigating the white stuff. We got an inch and a half, and our previous dumping hadn't melted yet.

I'm going to spend the day in my room after some needed housecleaning.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year

Wow, hard to believe it's been almost a year since I posted. It was an eventful year for sure. We sold our little motel and retired! Got to see our names up on the big screen during the credits of Pixar's Cars.

My mother-in-law passed away this summer, which after many years of fighting myelodysplasia was not unexpected, but gave me yet another reminder to really live the moment.

The current moment in our neck of the woods is snow covered. But since we are retired and don't have to drive to work, have plenty of food, it's not a problem. I finally broke my sewing dry spell and made some pillow covers for a loveseat in my new sewing room, a large room which is part of the garage we built. I hope to make good use of that room in this new year.