Friday, December 31, 2010

Pretty Sure Life Will Offer Challenges

I have been thinking about my goals for 2011.  The possibilities are endless, but I also know there are going to be some serious changes around here, so I am going to limit myself.  My husband is retiring from the Navy after 30 years, and I see it as moving on to more adventures.  However, it will be different than just moving to another location and new position with the Navy.

Possible goals: 
  • Exercise more than my foot on the sewing machine pedal - EVERY DAY!
  • Change my hair style.
  • Make at least one wedding quilt for family member.
  • Finish at least 8 UFOs.
  • Continue to work on Quilts of Valor and other Heart Strings quilts. 
  • Continue working toward simplifying and downsizing. which includes stash busting and organizing all our photos
I don't make resolutions, but I will decide on the real goal focuses in the next couple weeks.  Tonight I am just reflecting.

Happy New Year's to all of you!

Love a Challenge

 I love a challenge but do not consider myself to be competitive with anyone but myself.  This maze is something that we received for Christmas.  I have not made it through even one challenge yet, but I love the frustration and concentration required.  I decided that being frustrated with this helps me stay more focused. Found a video of it on the Internet, but it did not help me figure out how to get past my point of frustration.  Hopefully tonight I will make it just a little further.  What are you doing for New Year's Eve?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

May the peace and joy of this Christmas season help all of us know just how much we are loved.  God sent his son to all of us.  Rejoice and be glad!

We are celebrating Christmas with the kids and grandkids.  As we drove down, I finished the binding on this lap size quilt that will probably end up as a wall quilt next year, but felt it was more than appropriate to post it on this holy day.

It is another of the UFOs I had listed this fall. The center is a Nancy Halverson panel.  The border is also made up with her fabrics.  I used stitch-in-the-ditch to quilt it.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Lots of Snow and a Little Ice ...Amazing to See

 I live in the Minneapolis area, where we have received  over 28 inches of snow this month.  There is a lot of snow in my yard but this ice is very unique.  At one point the lamps were covered with snow, but we have seen some melting even though the temps have been mostly below freezing.  Look carefully at all of the photos.  The ice is in no way connected to the lamp, post or ribbon.  It is all balanced on the two icicles.  Nature is marvelous!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

21 Down and 27 to Go

I feel like I rally accomplished something this afternoon.  21 blocks done and only 27 more to go.  Then I can add the back and bind this Quilt of Valor before the New Year.  Don't you love the center strip of stars?

The Christmas Spirit

Just read about a couple of blogs and how the giving of quilts had inspired the writers' Christmas spirit.  I agree that the giving of quilts always makes me feel like I have helped others, especially when I give to those that truly need and appreciate the simple things in life.
At the moment, I am working on one Quilt of Valor and a few binding projects.  I would hate to spend a day without fabric, but I am also finishing up my year commitment of reading and studying the whole Bible (footnotes and all) , so it is getting a little more time each day than usual because I still have 127 pages left.

In the Christmas spirit, I offer this prayer from one of my favorite daily devotional websites:

God of peace, thank You for sending the Prince of Peace to bring hope and promise to the world. Amen.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Memories of Christmas Gone By

 Figured that I could share these photos without giving away anything more than some smiles.  My darlings are now in their 30s but still as sweet as ever.

 Merry Christmas to all of my readers!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Faster than a speeding bullet............BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Some days I do not think I move very fast or efficiently, but on other days so much is accomplished.  So exciting when it works out so smoothly.
  • I had an order for 8 shoulder warmers and discovered that it was more labor intensive than it seemed when I made the first one, but I still managed to get then mailed out in a timely fashion with some assistance of my friendly worker bee family.  Priority mail online is a blessing beyond imagination at times!  (No, I do not work for the post office or know anyone else that does.)
    The worker bees removing stabilier
    and threads  from the throws.
  • Added to that, I embroidered 15 throws to help a number of great-grandchildren remember their very special great-grandma.  Started them yesterday our 3:30 and mailed them back today at 12:30.  Once again, my friendly worker bee family came to my assistance by clipping threads and re-rolling the throws.  (Did not know you could mail things in plastic totes when you use UPS.)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Projects Completed

 The first project was completed last week and is another Quilt of Valor made by a member of my guild, and then quilted and bound by me.  It has been delivered to the group who will be presenting all the quilts in January.

The second quilt was complete to a point last week.  It needs to have one more star showing the date of my husband's actual retirement after 30 years of Naval service.  (Don't want to jinx it.)  It is going to hang in one of his offices to remind him of this milestone which is set for 2011. 

The third project completed has been in progress for 30+ years.  Actually, I had to complete only three this year (I was behind!) There are stockings for our orginal little family, my FIL, our DIL, our SIL, and our 5 grandchildren.  If we are blessed with any other grandchildren, they will have to have different red fabric because they don't make this stuff any more.  We might also need to have a larger mantle or a stocking tree to hold all the stockings. 

SHHHH!!!  The final project is not a quilt that I made, but one that I quilted and bound.  It is a secret because it is my granddaughter's Christmas present.    The label reads "A few of Zoe's favorite things because she is one of my favorite things.  Love, Mama  2010"

Christmas Came Early

Kevin brought home my Christmas gift.  It was easier to give it to me now than to hid it.  I am the very proud and delighted recipient of a brand-new Bernina 440 QE.  I plan to name her and learn to make beautiful music with her.  Oh, maybe I should say make beautiful quilts with her.  Guess I have been a very good girl this year!!!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Impressive Collection of Quilts of Valor

In preparation for a workshop for returning service members, the support team has been collecting Quilts of Valor, which will be distributed during the weekend.  My guild is helping with this, and my husband has been transporting our donations from Minnesota to Illinois a couple at a time.  Since I traveled by truck  with him this week, we were able to bring all the ones that are currently finished.  He showed me the collection this afternoon.  There have been a lot of busy, caring quilters working on these quilts.  Makes me feel so proud this combined effort to show how much we care and appreciate the service and sacrifices made by these veterans!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Quilting, Sewing, and Shoveling

The snow blower is up and winterized, so I used it to clear most of the 7 inches of light snow in the driveway and on the walk.  It was so much easier and quicker that the last time when I did the 7 inches of very heavy, wet snow with a shovel.  When we moved back up here from the south, I was just as excited about the snow as my husband, but I have been the one shoveling it, so am thinking it might lose a little of its charm come Feb.  Seems a little amazing that Kevin is on the road every time we get a really gorgeous, deep snow.

Oh well the snow is in its place so now I am going back to quilting.  I want to have at least three quilts ready for hand-binding by the time we head out on our next adventure, so I need to put the smaller projects aside for the rest of the weekend.  Hard part to that is that I am enjoying the small projects just as much.

A week ago, I mentioned that I was experimenting on a shoulder warmer for my sister who does playground duty every day.  She is in love with it.  She said besides making her warm, it makes her feel so calm and relaxed.  As a matter of fact, she said she fantasized about it all day at work (part time job) and could hardly wait to get home to use it again.  I have orders from other staff that do outdoor duty for about 12 of these, so I guess that they will make great gifts for lots of people.  One guy wants to do a special order and pick out the fabric based on the pjs he is giving his significant other for Christmas. (Sweet!)  I have worked on minor adjustments and am just about ready to offer my pattern or the actual warmer to others.  Those that have tried it think I should have it copyrighted whether I sell the shoulder warmers or share the pattern, so I am going back to my former post and marking it such.  If you use my idea, please give me credit for the design.  Next winter, I am going to market them at a few winter craft fairs.