Tuesday, August 24, 2010

If the Hat Fits

If the Hat Fits, A Buggy Barn Quilt is finished.
 I still have to quilt it, but I need to piece backing fabric and complete the wool applique. I am going to machine quilt it myself. I have a good friend that whipped this same quilt up and carted it to the long arm quilter. I’ve seen it—the quilter did a beautiful job. Honestly, I’m completely envious, but I’m battling. There were pumpkins, acorns, leaves, bats…. The free hand motion work was just perfect. I’m not whining—please don’t think that. I think the real reason I’m posting about it is to show others out there I have “those” moments just like everyone else. I want THAT quilting--- my machine quilting is pretty much the meandering stitch. I do one heck of a meandering stitch, but that’s about it. I’m kicking around stars and a little meandering and maybe some Moons stitched with echoes. The witches are going to have their dresses with details stitched either scallops or stars or even just squiggly lines. The brooms will have zigzags on them. I’m going to give it a shot. I can tell you all the song and dances about “Making it my own”, still truthfully I can’t justify the bucks for such a short seasonal quilt. It’s not even about the funds---the designs are worth every dollar But hey- I’m not throwing in the towel--- I’ll let you know how it comes out.

The days are getting shorter.
 I saw this butterfly---has to be a movie star butterfly because he loved getting his picture taken.

Gospel Group last night
Coffee with friends
The Ironing board is empty---All caught up.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Five Witches on a Swing

Five witches sewn together....I really like how the project is turning out.  I wasn't a fan on the fabrics in the kit, But sewn together they really mesh well together.  I need three more for the quilt, and I think I'm going to create three additional ones for a table runner. The colors really fit my home.  I have a friend that put the same project together and the greens were brighter---but these fit my home perfectly.

I went to Green Bay yesterday with Chelsey.  She had a doctor's appointment.   We did the mother -daughter thing as a last hoorah before school starts.  I don't think I've laughed so much in a long time. Good memories to hold onto for a while. We picked up Chinese takeout to go and ate the eggrolls on the drive home.

Zinnas planted from seeds in my garden.  They always remind me of my Mom.  She always planted them when I was a kid--- and still does.....During the summer we always had cut flowers for the kitchen table.

Friends---I actually have time to make some....
Pups for comfort in a thunderstorm
Vanilla Ice Cream--- With Chocolate swirls-Swirls are the best.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Witch Legs.....

Eight Pair of Stocking feet paired with ankle boots have been created. I've got the blocks all cut out.  Now we start piecing them back together.  The quilt is from the book in the picture--- Frightfully Crazy by Buggy Barn Quilts.

It was 53 degrees when I got up this morning on it's way to 73 degrees...It's not Fall yet, but reality is setting in that it's on its way. You'll find spots of leaves in the trees starting to turn.
We can't blame it on lack of rain, or frost, lack of warm temps....it's just that time....

Here's Pumpkin Progress:

I feel just like the Farmer in the Dell.....

A cup of coffee and a good book are calling my name....
We'll chat later....

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Learning About Myself…..

Here’s the project I’ve been studying. After this post, I’m heading down to my sewing corner and dive into it. I want to make something fun. The temps have dropped twenty degrees. It kind of feels like fall.

Friday I went to the grocery store at about 4:30 pm. Probably not a good idea. Checking out my purchases, every line had 3 or 4 buggys ahead of me. As my turn approached, the lady in front of me would put one item at a time on the moving belt until the cashier scanned it. She would pause for a coupon and move to the next item. She had no less than thirty items. Normally I would have huffed, mumbled under my breath and been angry. This time I just told myself, “ It’s OK--- you have tomorrow.”.

Saturday morning I called the vet. Ransom has been getting stiff at night and in the mornings, I wanted to get him in. They were booked, but said I could come in as a walk in. Chelsey was home and I wasn’t sure I could cope if something was REALLY wrong with the dog on my own, so I went in. I wait 2 hours, saw the vet, received arthritis medication and went home. Here’s what I didn’t do…. Throw a fit because of the wait. Yell, because no one explained “walk in” meant an hour and a half wait for a 15 minute appointment. There was no slamming of magazines, or eyeball rolling either. I was grateful for getting Ransom fixed, I had tomorrow for other things.

My daughter borrowed my Jeep--- fluky coincidence but the window doesn’t work now--- tomorrow, I’m getting it repaired. But I didn’t yell at her, I didn’t throw my purse down. So what if it takes the morning away….I have the afternoon….. and tomorrow.

I miss my paycheck incredibly, but I’m realizing, along with that paycheck came several major character flaws. I’m looking for another job. But not having one is not life threatening either. The neat thing about “tomorrows” and second chances is that you get to do it better the second time around.

I know I will…..

Friday, August 13, 2010


OK--- it’s not as bad as it looks…. Or maybe it’s as awesome as it seems… I always say life is a perspective. Yesterday’s doctor’s appointment and Primitive Gatherings Experience were outstanding. Needless to say the Coke bottle money has vanished (along with egg money, lottery money, laundry money and any other kind of stash money I squeak out). But it was worth it. They only thing I paid full price for was the frame. I purchased it so that Don would have a pattern for other frames in the future….a very worthy investment.

The backing for Eric’s quilt was 20% off. I toyed with some REALLY cheap pieces, but I’m telling Eric it’s his heirloom and I didn’t think 10 bucks one way or the other was going to make a difference. This quilt really means a lot to me. Now, if I haven’t found a job in six months, I might regret my decision, but right now it stands.

The 3 strand floss balls are Valdani--- I purchased at fifty cents each. The fat quarters, I think were a buck. The quilt book is the only Lisa Bongean’s one I didn’t have and while I’ll probably never make the quilt it has some great appliqué patterns for all sorts of things---$5 bucks. I want to collect all of her books because she’s probably the closest thing to a quilt celebrity I’ll ever meet. The ruler was clearance at $4.50---Flying geese are one of my favorite quilt blocks and I’m taking steps to make them perfect. The pattern was a $4.00 fate purchase because I’ve ached over Libby’s quilt ever since she made it.

Now the warehouse sale was a little aggressive. There were some pretty passionate quilters. We got there fifteen minutes after the sale started. But the staff and the other customers were really friendly. There were no fist fights over wool, but there were plenty of “Excuse me”s in the aisle as quilters were staking their claims on the great values. As my friend and I contemplated our purchases--- at any point I could ask the opinion of the total stranger next to me and with confidence that quilter would assure me of my purchase and tell me why.

I’d love a “do over” just to people watch. Oh we had fun.

P.S. Clean bill of health, I’m out to ride my bicycle for the first time all summer…..

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Drum Roll Please......

I grabbed the camera and the quilt the minute there was plenty of day light to take a photo.We’re supposed to get rain all day. Full of thread pieces and in need of a good ironing, I still couldn’t be more pleased. It’s Scrappy Stars, a Miss Rosie’s quilt pattern.

I used up about 15 years of Thimbleberries red and black fabrics. At one time we had a small quilt shop in town that specialized in those fabrics. Back in the early 90’s there wasn’t a lot of quality colors to pick from. We’re covered in gray and white outside so much of the year that I was a real fan. I still needed more fabric so there are some Kansas Trouble pieces as well.

This wasn’t a tough quilt, it’s just real labor intensive. I pressed the seams open, at the advice of a couple of friends. Hopefully it will make it easier to quilt. I’m heading to Appleton tomorrow to get backing material. By the time I got to the outer red border I forgot about the pattern instructions, just sewed the scraps together and went with it.

Confession----- My grandmother did it…. My Mom did it…. Now add me to the list…. I sewed my pinkie finger. Yep--- we’ll spare you the gaudy pictures, but the needle went right through. Thank goodness my machine has the auto-up feature on the needle, so I wasn’t just suspended in pain. In true quilter form, I immediately protected the fabric from any dripping blood--- a bad omen for the quilt----then in true “Melanie-fashion” the tears poured. But the bone wasn’t hurt, the fingernail wasn’t touched. It just went clean through to the other side in the fatty part of my finger. I’ll live and the tetanus vaccine is up to date. I feel pretty stupid, so I guess I’m glad I was alone when it happened.

Chelsey came home over the weekend. We raided the garden for vegetables for her to take back. We loaded all leftovers in the fridge too. She cut flowers from the garden and I lost a vase in the process. No big deal.

On the docket for the day--- a sewing room cleaning session and letters to my Sunday School kids.


The sound of crickets in the evening


Emails of Encouragement

Thursday, August 05, 2010

120 Blocks

Lazy days of summer… I have more free time than I’m use to. But I’m staying busy. Being a list maker, I have to account for my day. I never want a day wasted. My Garden Shoes:

Yesterday I pulled a project out of my quilt cabinet. Resurrecting it from last year, I’m completing it for Eric. I have 120 blocks completely finished. While the blocks separately don’t give a picture, placed together you get an idea where the Miss Rosie’s Scrappy Stars Quilt is growing to. It has not one but two pieced borders after the blocks are placed together.

I think about why it got placed in the back of the cabinet. I got it cut out and the half square triangles made. But there’s many steps and things needed to be kept in order at a time when my life seemed to really be in disarray.

Hope fully next post you’ll see the progress. I have a chance to go to a quilt shop next week, but on a tight budget now---- I can really justify backings on sale.

Post over…. The remaining lines are reminders to myself that I’m not Wasting my time even though there is not a dollar figure associated with the minutes of my day. Sounds stupid, but when you’ve worked outside the home for years your mind can play tricks on you.

1. I’m studying on autism. There a child at church that We don’t want to fall through the cracks. I’ve never had the time to do the research to reach out a special needs kid and now I do.

2. Friends with surgery recovery….I’ve had a chance to visit weekly and have never really invested in relationships until now.

3. When you have the time to economize you really can.

4. With all the fresh produce coming in----I have the time and energy to cook and enjoy it like never before.

5. Focus on my bible---Reminds me of the good things.

6. Next week I can get back to exercising.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

My Garden Blocks

Checking in. I’ve been playing in the garden. We had plenty of rainy days so the humidity is up. The Black Eyed Susan’s are blooming everywhere. Tomatoes, Cucumbers, and beans are being picked every day. What is it about peeling cucumbers, getting out the salt shaker and eating a cucumber like a banana that just makes summer great???

A friend and I have been sewing together. Yep…… never got to do that when I worked 7-4 everyday.

 We’re working through the My Garden BOM designed by Heart to Hand. It’s wool applique on cotton fabric. She purchased a Valdani thread kit. I opted for using my DMC floss.
 On the small details it gives me more freedom to use thinner threads. It’s a lot of fun to have someone to compare with and bounce ideas with.
 Until now, I’ve pretty much been a quilt “Loner”.

I had a couple extra blocks left over from a quilt I made for Chelsey. A friend of mine is the mother of 3 really active boys.

 I went and visited her last week for lunch. Boys love their Mom---and she thrives on being a good Mom. She was just having a tough day, so I decided every girl needs some pink in her life… so I stitched up a journal for her. Bottom line cost---33 cents of ribbon.

I’ve had a couple of panic attacks over the job thing, but Don says don’t worry about it and I love being at home… it’s just different.


Fabric Scraps

Vegetable Soup

Corn off the Cob:)