Friday, April 30, 2010

As Kevin would say, I have have been a busy little lady!

       Once I got crack-a-lacking after swimming yesterday, I was very productive.  I practiced quilting by using some older fabric to make 5 dog beds for Last Hope.  I cut more strips for the Quilts of Valor/HeartStrings Quilt Project, vacuumed all the nooks and crannies in my studio, wound bobbins, and then got to work on completing a friend's projects: the last 2 of 3 table toppers are waiting for the hand stitching of the binding, the pillow with the paper-pieced top is also done and waiting for the final seam to be hand stitched.  I even found time to make the long forgotten tuna casserole that my husband likes.
       Before swimming today, I made 10 more red/white/blue HeartStrings blocks, did two loads of rugs and towels, and started trimming down the r/w/b blocks.  Once I was back home I had to do some paper chores, but that only took an hour - bill paying seems less involved than it was 5 years ago!
       Once all the household tasks were completed, there was time to lay out the finished r/w/b blocks for another Quilt of Valor/HeartStrings quilt.  Once I have a little time to think about where I really want the blocks, I will stitch them together and plan to quilt and bind it on Monday, so that it can be part of a show and tell activity at the nursing home.
         With all this said and done, I am back to more fun fabric frolics. The rest of the afternoon will be spent bagging kits for making 10 blocks at a time.  Based on the cutting I have done, there should be enough for 5 or 6 more r/w/b quilts, several brights. 2 flowered, and several kid friendly quilts.  The ones that are not finished on the 15th will simply be work on during the remainder of the year.  It is going to be an ongoing project, but this first workday needs to be successful to draw more of the guild members in. 

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Best Laid Plans of Mice and................

Have you ever been so focused on tasks that you block out the rest of the world?  I do it sometimes when I have a great book, but I always thought I was more aware of my surroundings when I am quilting. 
Monday through Friday I get up, shower, and put on my swimsuit, so that I will have NO excuses for missing my water exercise class.  Then I clean up around the house and hit the studio for my first couple of hours of sewing.  I generally set a timer to give me a heads up on time, but I either forgot or was in the laundry room when it went off.  For the better part of 4 months, this routine has been working great, but yesterday, I was so focused on the quilting tasks I had set for myself that I actually forgot to go to the pool.  My friend called at 9:45 and that was what made me remember.  Of course the class was over.  I am going to take some teasing today!  The good news is that I got so much done that even I am impressed with my efforts.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


I would like to say that I have quilted lots of tops or at least pieced them, but life got in the way.  I did finish all the blocks for this HeartStrings Quilt and played a little with an idea for another Quilt of Valor block.    I have also cut more than my fair-share of foundation blocks and strings, but it is all for a good cause.  Yes, Alexis, my studio is looking better, but I have been so involved with the cutting that I have a good deal more to do to get it back into normal shape. 

Beyond the quilting aspect of my life, I worked several days, had my normal Monday date with my husband, did water aerobics Monday-Friday, watched Avatar, took my first software lesson on EQ6, and did loads of laundry.  My life is not huge, but I love it.

I do have a movie review for another movie,  The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.  If you have not seen it, watch it with a box of tissues.  It is about the son of a Nazi officer and a Jewish boy of the same age.  How do we allow things like this to take place?  It was out of my comfort zone, but something that really opened my eyes, yet again.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thursday Report

        Thought I would be done cutting strips for HeartStrings by the end of the day on Monday, but the fabric seems to be multiplying!  My space is getting cleaner and things have been more or less reorganized, but the cutting table has seen hours of action.  I did take some time off to work on my ever expanding "life quilt" and will take more off through the weekend because I will be working each day, but I am going to try very hard to be done with the cutting in the next day or two.  The color sorting, bagging and final staging for the HeartStrings work day will continue, but I will have a clean studio to do it.
     My toe is still too big for my regular shoes, but I have been able to go to the pool and do part of the water exercises, so I am feeling positive about the recovery - just wish it would heal overnight.  With all the tape that has been on the toes, I am now hairless.  I do not recommend this type of hair removal!  My skin has a shiny red glow where it is not bruise-purple.  Such a thing of beauty!!!
       I have used EQ6 for a couple of years, but only fumbled my way through it. (I was more of an abuser rather than an expert.)  Therefore, my friend and I have decided to work through all the lessons and several chapters during the next few months so that we can claim that we are beginning experts.  Yesterday was a great deal of fun as we moved our way thorough the first lesson. I thought I already knew most of this lesson, but I picked up quite a bit of information that will make everything a little quicker that my former trial and error method.  My friend has a new HP computer so we had a few added things to consider, but I used my "antique" laptop and probably had just as many little glitches to consider.  Learning this software with a friend has made it much more enjoyable, but has also kept me honest about doing each and every part.   
      What time I have in my studio today will be spend cutting, cutting, and doing more cutting.  Don't you wish you were here to play?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Embarrassing, But True

My studio is the biggest mess it has ever been, and I am actually too embarrassed to let anyone in,so there will be no photos, either.  I am going to spend a good chunk of the day cutting strips for the HeartStrings quilts we will be working on in May (want to vaccumm only one time today).  Then I am going to do a complete deep cleaning.  I can work with a little fabric clutter but this is my version of out of control.  Guess that when I finally came downstairs after breaking my big toe and started doing some sewing I must have lost control of how many projects to have out at one time. Then I added the fabric for the HeartStrings project and......... Tomorrow will be another day and there will be some completed tops to show by Tuesday of next week.  (Kevin calls this positive thinking, but I am thinking more like positive dreaming!)  I will update you on the progress later in the week.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Heartstrings Blocks

I finally have had a chance to sew.  Being away from the machine for a week was tough, but the toe is beginning to heal and the steps downstairs to my studio are a problem any more. Yesterday, I made 30 blocks for the Heartstrings Quilt Project and cut yards of strips for more.  I have taken charge of doing some Heartstrings  projects on my own and with a group from my guild.  We are going to be doing several different activities that will use these and other blocks in different colors.  We will be making blocks, piecing the tops, tying and/or quilting the quilts, binding the quilts and then giving them to local individuals or groups in need.  What a great way to use up stash and also create warm cheerful quilts for others.    We are also making red/white/blue Quilts of Valor using this style of block.  After we finish these, I will share the outcome. We will be working on them through May. After that, I will probably continue to accept blocks from the group and make more quilts for the Heartstrings Quilt Porject.

**Even when you use some "ugly" fabrics for strings/strips the overall effect when the blocks are combined is something totally different.   If you are interested in donating fabric to this ongoing project, you can contact or send me an email.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


            As it always seems to go, I feel like I am making progress in all areas of my life and them WHAM!  This time I broke my left big toe.  Never have a simple cold or a bruise!  I tend to go for something more unique each time, but it never happens when I am involved in some risky and dramatic adventure, either.  This time I went to have a pedicure (something I rarely do, but love).  I stepped into the foot tub while climbing into the chair.  My foot flew forward and crash with a magnificent slam into the front of the tub.  I wanted to believe it was just a stubbed toe, so I continued with the pedicure and just asked the lady to be gentle with that toe.  My feet look great!
          Back to the toe part--When I took my foot out of the tub for her to finish up (I don't get them polished! Besides that, what goes with 5 shades of intense purple and blue?), it was a glorious deep purple with a number of tints and deep blues, which would have looked great in a quilt, but the pain was another issue.  I paid and walked 5 car lengths to my car.  I was sweating and nausea beyond belief.  On a scale of 1 to 10, it was a 12+.  I was right by the place where I get my hair cut, and decided that I would go in and do that because I felt too nausea to drive.  It was a good day to get it colored, as well, so 2 hours later I finished and drove home.  Showed it to the husband who pointed out that the doctor's office had closed about 2 minutes before.  We made a trip to urgent care where the doctor said, "I am pretty certain it is broken, but lets do an x-ray."   Most of you know there is very little to be done for a broken toe, except to stay off it and try not to use the stairs.  I also did not go to water exercise classes because of the steps and ladders. Mine is taped and I have a surgical boot to help prevent bending it.  GRRRRRR!
       I have avoided the stairs for a number of days, but that also means I have not been in my studio, at the computer, or in front of the TV for a week.  I read 2 mysteries and a couple of books about the Amish.  I made lots of yo-yos for more yo-yo monkeys, took a few naps, and even managed to work at the quilt shop several days (no steps and easy pace), but I really missed being in my studio and sitting watching a movie with my husband while I bound a quilt.
        Yesterday, I made my way carefully down the stairs and sorted strips and strings for some future quilting projects.  I cleaned up some other fabric thought piles, as well.  I read my emails and even responded to a couple, but that was enough to start up the throbbing again.  Today I am actually going to sew for an hour before going to work.  Hopefully, tomorrow I will be back in the pool and almost back to my normal routine.
       If you are not a klutz, you probably do not understand, but I try to take all of this in stride.  I have come to expect an occasional setback, but it does not mean I like them.  I do feel that I have a weird way of dealing with pain, though.  Who else do you know that would have continued with the pedicure or had a haircut before dealing with something like a broken bone? 

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Blessed Easter to All

Kevin and I are having a quiet Easter weekend.  In honor of Easter and what it means to us when we talked about good works, I asked Kevin to help me cut strips for various charity quilts.  We spend last night cutting and made some great progress on strips and foundations.  Today I am going to use some of the peacefulness of the day to finish up a HeartStrings rail fence quilt top, cut more strips, and just reflect on how we have been blessed.

Wishing you all the blessings of Easter!