Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year with Prayers for Positive Forces in Your Lives

In a few minutes we will be starting another new year.  I consider myself blessed to have already welcomed 56 new years, but I am hoping and praying to see many more.  I have some private goals for my life this coming year, but I have also shared my goal of not purchasing fabric during 2010, while also whittling down my stash by finishing projects, completing quilts from patterns and fabric already purchased, and making scrap quilts for family and friends, and doing more quilts and quilting those that need to know they are loved and in our prayers.

I am going to keep track of how much time I really do spend quilting and just like Mary I am going to keep track of just what I am accomplishing on a monthly basis.  If I have have the quilting energy of the last few weeks, I should really be able to bring my stash under control and bring quilted comfort to many.  I will also keep you posted on a weekly or monthly basis concering the handquilting of my Christmas quilt.

Wishing everyone the opportunities to make many dreams come true and experience many blessings in the New Year.  Lets make it a positive year!!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Have NOT Cracked a Whip, But .....

Dad used the embroidery machine and made all the snowmensquares.  He also helped to choose all the fabrics for these quilts.  He has really been enjoying all the sewing activities.  I have one other one that just needs to have the binding hand sewn, another one that is full-size with 12-inch stars that have embroidered medallions in the center, and a queen-sized rail fence out of Christmas fabric that needs to be quilted.  Much of this sewing has taken place since Dad arrived on Dec. 17, thus the title.  This is not a sweat shop and he was not forced into participating.  We roped my husband in to squaring up the blocks.  Evenings have been a mixture of sewing, watching movies, and playing dominoes and Chicken-foot (dominoes).  He and my husband even had time off to play golf and bowl on the Wii and to make six of these clocks with reclaimed oak.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Although it continued to snow, my husband was confident that the roads were clear enough for us to make it to Midnight Mass last night.  The whole ambiance of the church was moving.  We listened to some wondrous traditional hymns played by a small ensemble and sung by our own church choir.  Add in the readings, and the traditions of Midnight Mass and there is something very stirring about starting Christmas by remembering and celebrating the birth of a baby sent to save the world.  Hopefully many of us will remember that special feeling and practice the message all year long.

When we got home, Dad was all keyed up, so he and Kevin played 9 holes of golf on the Wii.  Then we were off for a long winter's sleep.  Slept so sounding that we did not hear any prancing and pawing of hoofs or the jingle of any sleigh bells.  How wonderful to be able to spend Christmas with people that I love.  Prayed that the rest of the family and our friends have a great time with those that they love as well.

Snow is deeper and getting even more so, but it is ever so gorgeous, especially since we have no where to travel today.  After a large breakfast of eggs, smokies, and cinnamon rolls, we cleaned up, put the roast in the crockpot, and had a couple of photo ops in front of the tree.  Then we all sat back and opened our gifts.

I hope that everyone received at least one gift that surprised and delighted them.  Since I am giving up buying fabric for a year, I was delighted to receive not one but 2 gift cards for fabric (which means someone else is buying) and a beautiful blue fabric bundle that I have been eying at work for several months.  There is definitely a quilt in all of this!!! 

To all that follow my blog~~~~~ Merry Christmas and blessings for the new year!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

My Christmas Present

I have the most wonderful husband.  He never complains about anything that I do, with the exception of the teasing that my father-in-law and I do to each other.  lol  I have not had a real job since we moved to the cities in July of 2008, but I have been quilting like it is some kind of addiction.  I have also bought more fabric and tools than any non-quilter would ever understand.  Keeping all of this in mind I decided that after 34 years of teasing, I could probably not change that part, so instead I am giving up buying fabric for a year. 
Don't panic for me!  I have a huge stash that has been calling to me all year.  In order to make this truly work, I am still going to put aside $30/ month for those little bits of fabric that might be needed to create the right look in my scrappy quilts, but I am not going to spend anything that I don't feel is an absolute necessity.  (Would be really great to have lots of new quilts and still have the $360 to spend when the year of scrappy is over!!!!) I already have 5 quilts planned with all the needed fabric on hand, and I have my wonderful Christmas BOM quilt to hand quilt.  Along with that, I have Quilts of Valor to finish quilting, comfort quilts from my strip stash, and lots of books to finish, so I am certain that I can do this.  I will keep a running record of how it is going and share it at the end of the year.

Merry Christmas to all and hope you all have "enough" to sustain you through the year.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

We are having fun!

My father-in-law and I have been busy.  Last year I got him started with the embroidery machine.  (I now have 3 sets of snowpeople, 1 set of Santa and the reindeer, an set of the seasons and 1 set of Noah's ark.  Each set has 20 blocks.  I am working quickly to turn them into lap quilts because I know I have more blocks coming.)  While Dad is visiting we decided to teach him some quilting skills.  He has been here 2 1/2 days and we have made one 48x48 lap quilt out of strips that vary in width from 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches.  While I was at work today he made another 23 Christmas fabric blocks which will eventually be a another lap quilt measuring 63x63.  He is having fun and I am having some of my stash used.  It is a win-win situation.   He is doing a great job with the 1/4 seams.  When this is finished we will get on the longarm and quilt both of these.  When he heads home I am going to send a sewing machine and a couple of bags of strips.  He said he would take whatever I send him.  Those quilt blocks will be made into charity quilts and donated to people who need to know that someone cares about them.  I highly recommend sharing with your quilting skills with others.  Makes it twice  as much fun!

Friday, December 11, 2009

After Months of Contemplation and Prayer

I am delighted to tell all of you that I am finally feeling much better and ready to get back into the routine of things.  However, I have also had a lot of time to ponder my next moves and have decided that I am going to be making some real changes in my approach to life, including quilting.  I do not plan to start another blog to track what I am planning, but I do know that I will probably be making comments on my new found thinking over the next few months.
What I want you to know here, is that my quilting journey is taking a little bit of a course correction.   Sure I will still finish my Christmas Quilt and put up brag pictures about quilts that I have made.  I still have the passion and the desire to quilt.  I plan to continue sharing what I learn and learning  more about my craft from others, but I am going to do more of my quilting as a gift for those in need.  Also, I will continue to do quilting for other people's quilts and pay taxes on the money I may earn.  However, the big change in my quilting life is that I am going to give more time to making and giving comfort quilts for those in need of warm hugs.
As always, life is a journey with lots of twists and turns.  Who knows what is around the next corner, but if I am not willing to take the next step, I will never know.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Snowy, Blowy Day -- Love It!!! Hate Pneumonia

These photos were taken at 7:30 AM.  Although the schools near our house are closed, Minneapolis and St. Paul have not put out that kind of announcement.  Guess that means the conditions are ever changing.  South of us and into Iowa and Wisconsin there is even more snow, but around here, I think the blowing is probably the biggest reason for keeping the kids and buses off the road.  Even so, it is gorgeous from my bay window out to the golf course and the backyard is still pristine and drifted.  If I felt better it might even be a cookie baking day, but maybe not.  lol

Kevin commented that he knew I was still feeling pretty lousy because I was actually watching all these Christmas movies on the Hallmark channel.  I do feel miserable with this pneumonia and nasty cough, but the movies are great company and help me pass the time while I have no energy to do other things.

Even so, yesterday, I did a lot of organizing of end of the year paperwork for my quilting business and all my other quilting activities.  I set up a table and my laptop and went to work.  Felt good to actually do some thinking!  There is a little more to do today, and then I am back to finishing my yo-yo monkey and doing some more hand quilting.  For the morning I am just enjoying Christmas music, but I may turn on those "feel good" Christmas movies after lunch.

For today, I will do the hot lemon water and such along with the medicine and see if I can quiet things a little more.  Supposedly I am supposed to be able to go back to work at the quilt shop tomorrow if I have no fever today.  I am going to give my boss the option because the coughing may just be too annoying and because our customers are a little more senior.  Would hate to scare them off.

Monday, December 7, 2009

After 6 days, I went to the doctor...

I might have H1N1, but they do not do the expensive test unless you land in the hospital.  I do have pneumonia.  What did I do to bring myself to this point?  Who knows!  I seem to be more susceptible than many others.  I am just going to spend a few more days resting and recovering.  Thankfully, I still have hand work to do and several books that are calling out to me.  Besides that, the Christmas shopping was done before Thanksgiving, so I am just going to enjoy the Christmas decorations, music and quiet projects.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Make it 3 days

It is unbelievable that I am still down and out.  I still have a low-grade fever, headache, and a super sore throat.  Only improvements are that my warped since of humor is returning and I am not constantly sleeping or thinking about it.  My little Thanksgiving visitors are still feeling poorly and their parents are snotty and have headaches as well.  How did my husband avoid it? 

Tomorrow is another day.  I have had so many fluids that I am floating - might be why I am not sleeping.  lol  I am just going to keep on doing some hand-quilting and finish my last Jason Bourne book.  I am trying to make lemonade out of the lemons!  I am hoping this is my one and only down time this winter. 

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Getting help from a friend....

Earlier this week, I had a friend over to help me learn more about my HQ16.  We spent the whole day talking, sharing, and trying some new things.  We each have something new to try during the week.  I am going to practice doing pantographs and she is going to do some free-motion quilting.  We will meet again next Tuesday and check in on our progress.

I feel that I will be able to do this, but I have been down hard for two days with some virus.  This afternoon I can finally almost hear, but I still have only a little voice. (Poor Kevin had to put up with being totally ignored last night, simply because I could not hear him and my voice was an inaudible whisper.)  I slept yesterday, but today I have dozed only a little and actually put the ornaments on the big tree.  I am pleased with the results and the memories conquered up as I worked. Usually I do all the decorating while listening to Christmas music, but since I could not really hear it, I did not waste the energy.   In between boxes, I had to rest which seemed weird,  I tried to sleep, but instead I did some hand quilting and read a few chapters.

Tomorrow is another day.  I have fabric mounted in the quilt frame, so I will be able to try some of the pantographs before going to work.  I will share some photos after I have a little practice time.

Hope all of you are enjoying the Advent season and are not letting the "Christmas" frenzy get to you.