Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My Mundane Monday...

Shew!  I've been parked in the quilting room for two solid days.  I think I needed that.  The past two weeks have been kinda busy and hectic with some stress thrown in. It's nice to have some down time.

Put a couple borders on these two wallhangings- measuring about 38" each.  Tried to keep it simple- my kind of borders.  (I snagged a picture off one of my fellow quilt bloggers for the inspiration for the one with the leaf border- when I finished it and wanted to give the original quilter credit- I couldn't find the blog.  I feel so bad about that!  She posted her wallhanging sometime in October, I think.  It was orange- no doubt that got my attention- sound familiar to anyone?  If I'm plagiarizing your work, feel free to give me a shout-out!  They say imitation is the sincerest for of flattery, right?)

Got this checkerboard border on before bed.  Got me kinda riled up.  If you don't quilt, you can just skip down to the next paragraph 'cause this is gonna get ugly.  I've noticed a trend with quilt patterns, lately.  When it's time to put on borders, there's this gaping black hole in the instructions and it goes something like this:  "Measure across the middle of the quilt and cut the borders to fit.  Sew on borders."  This is my cue to start growling.  I bought a pattern so that I don't have to do the measuring- that's your job as the quilt designer.  You don't think so?  OK, that might work for a solid border.  Now it's time for the pieced border.  The length of the border necessitates the size of the quilt be of the same length.  There's no room for some vague measurement here.  Yeah, I could get out my calculator and figure in the size of each sub-unit in the border, subtracting the seam allowances and come up with the exact measurement that the side of the quilt center needs to be in order for the border to fit... but I DON"T WANT TO!!  That's why I bought a pattern!  Honestly, I can't figure out why a pattern would apply this method when it's time to add a border-  laziness, sloppiness or a lack of calculators in their sewing room.  You can see that I do have a calculator and I do know how to use one.  I'm just irritated that I had to.  There was a third border in the pattern for this quilt- but at this point, I was stubbornly holding my breath- out of sheer orneriness, stamping my foot and refusing to budge one more inch.

Proof positive that fleece jackets and sewing rooms are not compatible!  Well, I've never aspired to be a fashion plate, so I'll continue to collect threads.  After three days of constant high winds and rain, I needed a little extra warmth.  But look!  Something new in the weather!

I think it's finally sinking in...winter is here.  And I like it. 

John doing his grandfather impersonation- fixing things and wearing my reading glasses!  He wasn't too happy about my taking his picture, but it was just soooo Grandfather!

While doing a little decorating, I beaned myself on the head with a hammer.  I set my hammer down on the top to the highest rung on the ladder- climbed down to survey my handiwork, promptly forgot about the precarious position of said hammer and moved the ladder... kerthump!  I saw brown.  Why?  I have no idea- there were no stars or fireworks.  Just brown- along with a lot of echoing, 'cause I must not have a brain to have done something that stupid.  I guess the kids heard the crash of the hammer landing on the floor and the consequent groaning.  Rushing to investigate, John commented on the fact that there's a reason for the caution about placing items on the top of the ladder- printed right there on the ladder!  In two languages.  Split my noggin' open pretty good.  Figure I had it coming.  Left a couple goose-eggs, a crashing headache- no pun intended, and a very small puddle of blood, but all seems to be fine, today. 

Got some fun things planned for my evening to compensate for the scab growing on my head.  Just some more sewing, but it makes my heart go pitty-pat.  Have fun and if you plan to use a ladder for your holiday decorating- do be careful.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Told ya I could do it!

And it's only 12:30.  That big queen size Hawaiian one was a real wrestling match- might need some lineament on my shoulders, but I prevailed as champion.  The other two were a breeze.  I guess I was in the mood- too bad I don't have more to bind, 'cause it feels mighty good to have these done. Well, I do have one- bias binding and by hand... think that can wait for another day.
Joe- the handy man.  Fixed my leaky fridge, cleaned out the garage and the cellar and installed a sump pump.  Nothing like an older brother to "motivate" the younger ones

Laurie- aka the Pied Piper

Daniel- always a joy to have at home- even tried some Black Friday shopping out of love for his Dad- don't think that will be happening again is his lifetime
loved ones...

Had all of the children under our roof sometime during the past couple of weeks.  Not simultaneously, but that's OK- hoping to catch them all at the dinner table late next month.

Gonna get three quilts bound, today.  Oh yes I am!  Our nephew and niece called Thanksgiving day with the very happy news that they are expecting a baby in July. I was playing around with quilting a baby quilt- my Dad tweaked the quilting machine during his visit. Figure the new baby should get that quilt.  Just an everyday kind of one. The other two are seasonal and it would be awfully nice to finish those out for this season instead of next year's.  So I'm off! 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Feelin' the stripes...

I'm looking forward to working with these stripes.  Lots of hot pink, acid green and bright turquoise. (If "You'll know a leopard by it's spots"  will you "...know a tiger by it's stripes?"  And isn't that saying you'll know someone by how he looks instead of by how he acts and isn't that unfair to said leopard or tiger? But I suppose it's an easy way to differentiate between a leopard and a tiger... Anyway...) There's a pattern in that calender Will got me that would work great with these.  Mix 'em with some hand-dyeds and maybe throw in a couple polka dots.  yeah, that'll work.


"Labyrinth"  Calico Carriage Quilt Designs by Debbie Maddy

Gotta an issue with this quilt.  Like the design.  I just used fabrics from my stash.  Now, you know I'm not the biggest fan of borders- but don't you think this is all a bit much?  There are "only" three borders on the sides- (the ones on the outside edge) two small and one wide.  I'm OK with that.  But you'll notice that the top and bottom have an additional two borders... the center is square so they needed to make it rectangle shaped... I'm just not convinced that it needs to be 20" longer than it is wide.  It finishes out at 90"x110."  Doesn't that seem too long?  What think ye?  I'm pondering the idea of removing about half of the brown upper and lower border... do you think that would look too cheesy?  That's a lot of stripes... If I had it to do over- and I will make this pattern again- I'll just change the size of the three outer borders at the top and bottom of the quilt- keeping it more simple.  The pattern didn't have a picture of the queen size quilt or else I would have said, "I don't think so." 

And considering how much I just love and adore putting on borders I'm so looking forward to working on changing these. sigh

Thursday, November 24, 2011

For The Beauty Of The Earth

For the beauty of the earth,
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies,
Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our grateful hymn of praise.

For the beauty of each hour
Of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale, and tree and flower,
Sun and moon and stars of light,
Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our grateful hymn of praise.

For the joy of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth, and friends above,
Pleasures pure and undefiled,
Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our grateful hymn of praise.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Bekah's brights

Eva's softer colors
Ready?  Get set... GO!!

Gift-giving coming up and I'm trying to do more sewing, this year.  Times are... well, they are blessed, indeed, but not a lot left over for frivolous frivolity.  

Isn't that little bag pattern adorable?  (Nellie's Needle, The Maggie Bag) I found it a while back, but hadn't made the time to sew them up.  I picked out fabrics from the stash and I think that they suit the girls perfectly.  They're gonna love them, I know! The black and bright kitty print has Bekah's name all over it, while the softer colors are more Eva's style.  The pattern looks simple- no snaps or zippers or anything.  And I think my serger will come in handy.  The only problem is finding time to sew when they aren't underfoot.  A challenge to be sure. Might have to lock the quilting room door and post a sign about some top-secret machinations goin' on.

It's the day before Thanksgiving and I still haven't made up the menu.  I have a nebulous idea of what we'll be having, but I need to pound out a list.  The kids all fix one dish, each, and I've made some pies- 4 pumpkin and 1 apple.  Grandmother made a fresh apple cake.  There's a turkey thawing.  Toast in a bowl for dressing.  Eva already made the cranberry salad. Paul's called dibs for making the green beans.  (And to set the record straight, no- absolutely no- green bean casserole in my house.  Seems like a perfectly  awful waste of a green bean- cream of mushroom soup?  Really? blech!)  Grandfather brought the creamed corn and he also made enough chex mix and caramel popcorn to feed us for days. (I had chex mix for breakfast- figured it was made out of cereal, after all.)  Mashed potatoes, gravy- I make good gravy, squash casserole and rolls... that should do it.  All very traditional.  No need to mess with tradition- it's only once a year.  Now see?  You helped me with the list.  I'm well within the parameters of having a successful day of cooking.        

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Jacob(18y) had a good day in the woods. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Yellow was her favorite color
775th post...

How about that? 

My sweet William's mother slipped off the corruptable for the incorruptable, today.  Death can be a long, slow, sticky ordeal.  But she's free now.  Free to be the vivacious person she was in years' past.  She was a godly woman.  A devoted daughter, faithful wife, loving mother, doting grandmother, steadfast friend, a talented artist and zealous servant of Christ.  Will and I sat vigil these past two days and, as with most men, it was difficult for him to sit... with nothing to be done. He read Phillippians and the gospel of John to her- she always loved it when he would read to her.  He sang to her.  He reassured her that it was alright, telling her often that he loved her, and that he was right there with her.  How difficult to watch the man you love loose something so precious to him. He wept over her... and yet, while he felt such loss, he would smile and state loudly- as only he can- how wonderful she must be feeling at this very moment. Now, on to all the stupid little details that need attending to.  Finally, something for him to do.  His sister is flying in tonight and I'm sure she will work out all the artistic nuances and leave him to the practical.  And maybe some sleep.         

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Middle border to piece yet

Now that's what I'm talkin' about!

Felt real good to spend the morning sewing.  Been awhile.  Too long, really.  And yes, I've other things I should be doing- who doesn't?  But I'm feelin' pretty good about not starting anything new but working on something that had already been stashed away for quite some time.  All I did was sew the blocks together and cut some strips for an inner border.  A modest accomplishment. Sometimes you need a morning like that. The sun was even shining for me. So I did my little bit, left a note for myself and boxed it back up.  Might have to reward myself with starting something new... ya never know.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Abe's color-coded my pins- I feel guilty if I don't put them back in the proper place.
 Changin' Tunes...

Seeing how this is the month of special thanksgiving, I've decided to suspend my whining.  Never fear, I'm keeping a list for future reference.  But in the spirit of the season, I'd like to spend some time being thankful.  A thankful heart is a happy heart and I've got plenty to be thankful for.  Mind you, this week's thanksgivings might could double as a whine... old habits die hard and all that. 

My house is scattered with the evidence of my very creative children.  Every nook and cranny spills over with their imaginative activities.  They make me smile and it's nice to see that they aren't being stagnant little lumps of mashed couch potatoes.  And I won't say it, but you can see where this might have it's drawbacks.  I won't say it, no I won't.  But a picture paints a thousand words so let the evidence speak for itself.  
Eva's adorable homemade doll- on top of a quilt I'm gonna get to, next.

Joe's metal sculpture- I can't find the right way to display it... so it sits on Grandma's hutch..

One of John's mysterious inventions- in the cd collection.

One of Jacob's knives- tucked in with my wall quilts.
Bekah's collage- how cool is that?  On my design wall.

John's efforts in making notebook covers- scattered over his sewing desk.

Eva's artwork- on my quilting room desk.

A collection of Abe's paper airplanes- in the walkway.

But blessings all the same and I am very thankful for the frequent reminders of these people who are so very precious to me.  I'd enjoy hearing about one of your "everyday" blessings.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Donna Dewberry meets a windowpane.  Mom, I think you could do that.
 My Mundane Monday...

Been having a good time all around.  I'm sure there must have been some less than pleasant moments... I just can't think what they were right now.  No problem with that! 

Spent Monday with Sandy- and Janet.  Janet fixed us breakfast.  I can't remember the last time I sat down to a breakfast that someone else cooked.  How cool was that? Everything tastes better when someone else cooks!  Sandy and I trimmed the two quilts that I quilted up for clients.  It's amazing how much easier that chore is with an extra set of hands.  We then decided to get into a completely pointless project.  A smallish wallhanging.  Just 'cause we liked the pattern.  Or, rather, we liked the picture of the pattern.  There was no pattern.  But it was all just HST and a few squares so how hard could it be?  Sandy was being a pill and insisted that I pick out the fabric- from her stash.  She has an extensive stash and quantity of fabric wasn't the issue.  I just seemed to be blocked.  I dithered and finally settled on two colorways.  I got mine pieced and decided that, meh, it left me cold.  Sandy then had a good laugh 'cause she knew that the set I had chosen to sew was more suited to her tastes- and I had just sewn hers for her.  The other set was mysteriously less sewn.  Could that have been part of the plan?  So we switched and I'm playing with getting mine together.  I don't know what I was thinking- pink?  Really?  I have two pieces of pink in my stash and I'm purt' near sure they came from Sandy- who does a whole lot of pink. This is the one that was supposed to be hers but became mine after I sewed hers... well, yeah, it's confusing.  Suffice to say, I got one I like and she got one she likes.  But I am missing four yellow blocks...

Well, the second time sewing the same pattern did come a little easier...
  Got my hair revamped, today.  Must be a drastic change as the kids keep staring and John(15y) has threatened to tie me up and interrogate me as to the location of his mother.  I didn't know he cared.  Just for fun, I keep giving him the sneaky evil eye.  I couldn't really afford it, but then I remembered that I had some money in my wallet for an emergency.  Emergencies are subjective.  And by shopping at the thrift store, I even had enough money left over to buy some new, cheery, clothes.  Who says you have to wear dull colors just because it's winter?  And honestly, where is winter?  I do believe it got into the mid 70's today.  Bizarre weather for this time of year.  So between the new hair and new clothes... maybe the kids are right and I'm a secret agent infiltrating their home.  I just don't see the point in that...

They don't make 'em like that anymore... Paul in his element
 I'm sure there's more mundane news, but it's all a blur.  Not a bad thing, I'm thinkin'. Have a great week! ~nines                

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Friday Favorites....

Just snagging a minute in between kitchen time.  Company for lunch, dinner and another lunch- all in two days.  Love it, but the ole dogs are barkin'- time to sit- but only for a minute!  Yes, I'm feeling 100% better, so thanks for asking.

The Pilot Frixion pen. This is my favorite pick for the week.  I'm confident that it'll be one of your favorites, too.  If you sew or quilt, this little product must find it's place into your box of tools.  I love mine!!  This pen isn't advertized as a sewing notion- but a pen that's erasable with the little rubber tip at the end.  Apparently, it creates friction on the paper and erases the pen.  But what is friction?  You're so smart!  Yep, it's heat.  Draw all you want on fabric and just glide over it with your iron.  Completely disappears.  And I mean completely.  No trace, no shadow, no nothin'!!  way cool.


You don't have to press and scrub with the iron, either. Think about it, if a little friction from a rubber tip makes it dissappear, just how amazing an iron would work.  (I haven't tried it but I can almost gaurantee that the clothes dryer would work, as well.) Can you imagine the applications?  Quilting lines, embroidery lines, applique tracing, placement marks, any marks on fabric that you don't want to be permanant. 

Wanna know another reason I love mine?  You can pick up a package of three- in different colors- for just about $5 at Target. (red, blue, black) They come in other colors, also- different set.  But what a great deal.  You might think that it doesn't take much to make me happy, but these little pens pack a lotta bang for the buck.

Friday, November 04, 2011

No Whining Wednesday...

Just in case you haven't figured that out.  I caught some kind of bug and I haven't been feelin' so hot.  And whining about that would be redundant, eh?

artwork by Bekah  "the weeping princess." 

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

 My Mundane Monday...

I'm a little late on this post.  I tend to write in the late morning as I'm really not a morning person.  Mind you, I still get up and move around like I'm actually doing something.  But the tasks tend to be the mindless ones.  Laundry, string piecing, picking up the house, getting a head start on dinner.  But yesterday, I was busy later on in the day and didn't have time to blog.  So this morning I'll attempt to type and think at the same time.  No doubt it's a dubious business. 

Busy doing what?  I finished painting my living room. I love my 10' ceilings, but painting them... wow, what a bother!  Even with the extension pole on the roller, it's heads up and arms over head.  The cutting-in requires a 100 times up and down a tall ladder.  There are two beams across the ceiling so that makes for a lot of cutting-in.  It got to the point where it became a "you get the idea" kind of paint job.  The girls helped me cut-in the wall paint along the lower parts of the wall while, again, I was up and down the ladder on the upper parts.  With a total of 8 windows and doors in that one room...yick. But I'm done.  I'll need to get the furniture back in and then have some fun playing with new things on the wall.  (Wish I could eliminate the deer heads.  But the guys insist and I'm outnumbered.  I don't mind them too much and you do eventually get used to them, but they sure can collect dust.) I took the little ones out for the yearly candy gathering and walked about three miles through two of the nearest communities.  So worth it as I snagged two homemade caramel popcorn balls from that man on Main St.  It's a tradition, but he only made 200 this year instead of his usual 300.  The best treat ever.  All this to say, that between the ladder climbing, the above-the-head paint rolling and the three miles hiking... the discomfort is equally distributed on both the lower and upper parts of my body.

kinda yellowy green with a pale blue ceiling.
    A friend set Abe up with a bow and arrows just his size.  That is one happy camper.  He's out there as often as his sore fingers will allow and he's become quite good.  The guys have shot their deer dummy to smithereens.

the headless wonder
The weather has been brisk and gorgeous.  Sunny days and no wind to make it too uncomfortable.  The smell of woodsmoke and drying leaves in the air. I love this time of year.  My refusal to turn on the heat before Thanksgiving has the kids wearing their hoodies all day, but it'll thicken our blood and get us prepared for the winter's cold.  That's my theory.  Do your kids make faces out of their veggie soup and crackers?  I put some pasta in it (not my favorite) in an effort to get Paul to eat some- made the face-making even more fun.
Lunch time with the "little ones"


Pulled out my 301 and had forgotten how much I loved it.  Such a great sewing machine.  I love my others, but this is my absolute favorite.  If you ever have a chance to pick up one, you won't regret it.  Powerful, fast and accurate. Last week, Will got me a quilt calendar for the coming year- he's been sick by the way.  (That's why I've been able to paint all day and sew some late in the evenings.  He's rather like Hezekiah when he's sick- face to the wall and all that.) The calendar has 12 patterns by Debby Kratovil- one to go with each month's picture.  I've already started January's.  I had some bright batik FQs and thought they would make someone a cheery quilt. I'll need to buy some border fabric.

Singer 301

hmm... I'm not sure if it's bright enough...
   That's the majority of going-ons in this neck of the woods. Hope to be talking at ya in a couple days! ~nines