Thursday, January 31, 2008

School was cancelled yesterday for the kids – wind chills reached 38 below zero at the airport. And think about it…there are no trees at an airport to break the wind---pretty brutal. To make it a totally perfect day--- I locked my keys in my car….But my boss gave me a lift home, and I got the spares…

I dealt with the day because I got mail earlier in the week. I’ve made a new friend—Crazy for Primitive Gardens and Quilts. She had posted that she had fallen in love with a quilt—twice and accidentally doubled up on the pattern.
We’re working on our Primitive Garden Project together so I asked her to let me buy the saltbox pattern from her because I had longed for it for a couple of years. I’d set up “baby” goals and by the end of the summer we’d both have a new quilt. If I couldn’t buy it, I wanted her to tell me another quilt pattern she’d like and I’d get it for her. Well, she gave me not only the pattern---but a trio of other patterns.
It’s amazing how our taste is so similar and we both live in “Snow Country” and have teenage daughters. She even threw in the red charm squares that I already have plans for. And She didn’t forget the chocolate. That can fix almost anything. If it weren’t for quilting, I never would have met her.

The coffee pot was a gift from my Mom a few years ago, and the Snowman was a Sunday school project for my class. He’s made from a tube sock filled with rice.

Stay Warm – The weekend is not far away….

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I drove home at the leading edge of a blizzard.
Slow and steady is the only way. And inevitably -- I have this CD in the player. It seems to be what gets me through January. Maybe I’m just into torturing myself, but every song is about some place warm. And if the song is not about a warm place, it’s about that ‘cold place’ and ‘where I’d really long to be….’ Just a look inside – what makes me tick……
My purchases from the quilt shop this weekend--- Batting and Backing and a pinking rotary cutter.
The pinking blade is different..I loved the waves.

This weekend it took an hour an a half, but I started a BOM stitchery free from Capricorn quilts.
I chose DMC 501 Green to work with and I stitching it onto muslin. I try not to, but I compare mine and the stitches are “wobbly”, but the reason I started the project was to get better at the stitching. I’m not even disappointed. I’ll keep trying.
It was 37 degrees at 1:00 pm. My friend and I decided to get our walk in, because temps are suppose to plummet and the winds be at 50 mph tomorrow. We got a mile from the Hangar and it started to snow. No wind, just huge snowflakes. It got harder and harder as we trudged back. All of the sudden—I couldn’t help it—I’m sticking my tongue out trying to catch snowflakes. My friend laughed, “ I was going to do that, I just thought you’d think I was ridiculous…” As adults, when it’s starts snowing, we find ourselves retreating inside to our houses. It’s kind of nice getting caught in a snowfall, with no choice but to walk in it….just like you were a kid…..
Until Tomorrow---

Monday, January 28, 2008

I can make through Monday because I had an outstanding weekend. Tons – of sewing ---literally. I have photos for all week. We knocked out the housework. It was snowing—what else is new?!?!? But I made a phone call to a quilt shop 50 miles north and they said it was Clear and sunny. So I made a decision and decided to hit the road. The main highways were clear and the snowflakes were the size of quarters. The trees had a fresh “flocking” so it was a beautiful drive.

I remember as a kid, my folks in Louisiana would hang the Christmas tree from the clothesline with clothespins and spray canned snow all over the tree. We thought it was beautiful. Well, we get the real thing up here.

Back to the shopping trip. I ventured to Country Gardens and Quilts in Ishpeming. It was a small shop, but they were so nice. They help me pick out a wide backing and batting for my quilt. I’ve never have used wide backing fabric—what a treat… no seams. I’ll share a photo tomorrow.

But—here’s the finished quilt.
Hopefully, some time this week; I can get it loaded on my grace frame. In the photo, there are extra threads, and it needs another pressing, but I was so thrill, I grabbed Ransom and the Camera and took off into the snow. The snow didn’t hurt the quilt. It’s so cold and dry, that it brushes off like baby powder.

Don is working late all week, which will give me more free time, but time will probably get used up on keeping up the housework. He’s a big help, and when he works late, I try to pick up the slack.

Tons of sewing time
Encouragement from Don to make the trip
Warmer temps—today will be the first day I haven’t worn long underwear and stockings under my clothes in a week.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Eight days – I can’t believe it’s been that long since I last posted. I wanted to post a quilt picture --- but this is it….
Working full time – I sew, but many times it’s on the fly, a couple of seams here and there. This is the scrap basket that fabric scraps get tossed in. Chelsey and I are working at getting organized and the basket is now empty and a few pieces every night get iron and measured up and cut into even strips for a scrap quilt dream that I have. I look at the basket and think—‘ My Grandma could easily get two quilts out of that…’ We’ll keep you posted.

Enough fabric talk – the rest is about Life this week. Today is the first day in over a week that the temperatures will reach double digits. A friend and I have been walking 2miles everyday at lunch. There were two days when I wimped out and didn’t go. But there were 2 days at 5 degrees that we bundled up and made it the distance. Working in an airplane hangar you must dress for the weather, I’ve been wearing my husbands ‘Under Armor’ long underwear a couple pairs of socks and sweaters. And I dare anyone to say I’ve put on weight--- it’s simply survival….

When I thought I couldn't take the cold any more I trudged out to the mailbox and found this - Juliann sent me magazines she had finished with. It made my day. What a great idea -- I hope others do this or take them to hospitals or even senior citizens centers. Thanks again....

Ransom and I hit the trails 3 days this week. As cold as it is, just to see him dance at the opportunity, it’s worth it. The snow is piled about two feet high along the road’s edge, so I’ve been walking without Don because there’ just not room on our road. Ransom – he runs through the woods… and sleeps real good at night.

Chelsey got her grades – 2 A’s, 2 B’s and 1 C in the class she cut (Let’s not relive it, check previous posts!!!). I was thrilled. One more semester and she’ll graduate. I had a Sunday School teacher’s meeting Tuesday night—which I bailed on. I deliberately did not go. We’ve been going through a lot with Chelsey lately--- not bad stuff… but I guess I have forgotten what it’s like to almost be 18 and having all the pressures of “What am I going to do with the rest of my life?!?!” I just needed to be home for supper with her. They were recruiting people for a Teacher’s workshop on Saturday and with working full time, parenting and housework, I am not up for it. I called the director and told the truth and they understood. I told them not to give up on me, and in a few months I may be able to attend all the workshops they want me to, but right now life is about priorities and I have choices to make. Living in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, kids are often pressured to go ‘Downstate to college a minimum of 6 hours away or they’re not really going to college’. Lots of pressure, but there are several really good universities close to home in the U.P. Chelsey is just not ready to be so far from home--- and I’m OK with that. She’s going to be a great adult one day--- if I can just get her there….

I’ve played with fabric every night this week--- wish I had more to share--- I’ll do better next week. Stay warm, do something fun this weekend.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Chelsey worked last night, so I stayed up and quilted. I’m up to 48 blocks completed on my red/green project. I’ve been kind of calling it the Blessings quilt, because it started out with the Yuletide Blessings fabrics. I’m shooting for 72 blocks to make it queen size. So maybe I can work on it again tonight.

It’s snowing; we’re expecting 5 to 8 inches by evening. It’s beautiful, I’m just nervous about driving in it. But with life in the U.P. you have to just get out in it--- because the snow isn’t going anywhere for a while.

Today’s photo is a late Christmas gift from a friend.
An Internet friend—three year’s ago I would have been mortified at the thought… and my father probably would still be mortified if I discussed it with him. But these gifts came from someone I’ve never met…and I think she knows me pretty well.

She made the purse herself—she knows I love old keys—Look at the fabric, and the inside is the reverse. The talent some people have impresses me so much.

She recognizes life would not be the same without Sharpie markers. And when life is at it's worst music from when I was a teenager seems to fix it.... Whenever she sends a surprise, she always throws something in for my kids Sunday school class—she sent rubber stamps this time. I told her that life is better with dark chocolate and she found a candy bar I’d never seen before (notice all I have left is the wrapper). The scarf even has an old key on it.

We can’t get DMC floss at our Wal-Mart anymore and I whined about it to her and she became my personal shopper and sent the floss complete with a bow.

I had Christmas all over again when I opened the box.

I better bundle up for work.

1. Thursday – the day before Friday
2. Our Pellet stove warming the basement
3. People in Hodgenville Ky

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Here’s a photo from Sunday--- 5 inches of fresh new snow. We got Eric back to school for the next semester and Chelsey is facing finals beginning today.

Over the weekend I made 16 more blocks on my red and green quilt. So I have 32 completed with 32 more cut out. Last night, Chelsey had night class and Don got called back into the office, so I stitched all of the four patches together.
I’m thinking about a couple of small borders, but we’ll have to look at it after all 64 block are together.

The Packers are a game away from the Super Bowl so life is good at our house.

1. Eric’s Safe travel home
2. Quilters checking on me after not posting in a week.
3. The hum of my sewing machine- I never take it for granted.

Monday, January 07, 2008

I stole away minutes for sewing. The weekend was great: Housework is wrapped up. Laundry is manageable, and there are groceries in the house. We had lunch with friends on Sunday and scattered in some football and a couple of naps in-between. I was in the middle of the dilemma of ‘not wanting to miss a thing’ – time with the kids, time with Don and time with the “sorta Labrador” dog, Ransom.
So I just puttered around in my sewing room fifteen minutes at a time. After a while, the minutes add up and you have completed blocks. I’m not finished yet, but couldn’t wait to get some blocks seamed together. I’ve about decided to make this queen size so that I can put it in my bedroom. I love the fact that it is red and green—and at least when I look at it, Christmas never enters my mind. Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas, but the season lasts such a short time.

It warmed up to 41 degrees this weekend. Nice--- because it cleans up the parking lots and driveways. It always amazes me how warm 41 feels in January and yet how cold it feels in October. We’re gaining almost a minute a day in sunlight. We are up to almost nine hours of daylight a day.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Fabric became quilt blocks last night…well, early this morning.
I cut the pieces out last night. I just cut a few, as the project is still in the experimental stages yet. I fell in love with Carole’s block @ Quilting Adventures. I couldn’t get it out of my mind. So I’m playing around with these fabrics. Hopefully, I’ll make real progress this weekend. Last night, by the time I made the commitment to cut the fabric, I was exhausted from the day --- so I got ready early this morning and stitched a couple of seams.
If I could sew every morning before the day began, the world would definitely be a better place for me…

It’s warming up here—to the middle 30’s, and the winds are dying down, so I’m hoping to get out some this weekend. Don and I are making a conscience effort to clean out drawers and closets and get a little less sentimental about our junk and de-clutter the place.

My Sunday school kids are taking bagels and adding peanut butter and birdseed for our craft this week.

You have no idea… well you probably do… how much fun I had putting these squares together this morning…I think I can deal with the rest of the day now.

1. Family not killing me when I’m in a bad mood.
2. Tacos last night
3. Snow crunching this morning as I walked on it.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Frightfully cold wind chills today but I'm home now where it's warm. I'm staring at fabric that I'm about to put the scissors to. Factoring in time, it's always a healthy commitment for me to plunge into a quilt. But hopefully I'll have some patchwork pictures tomorrow.

The pictures I will show mark a new beginning... it was a gift from my mother, a scarlet amaryllis. I planted it on January 1st. I hope I have enough of a 'green thumb' for it to grow.

The next couple of pictures show that will I haven't been sewing I have been playing with fabric. I got my sewing cabinet loaded.

I am short one box, but I think you'll get the idea. The bottom two shelves out of view hold old magazines and quilt books. I still have bits and pieces to add to the room, but I'm real proud of the work.

I just know the new year is going to be filled with good things---- sometimes you just have a feeling....