Saturday, November 30, 2013

Too Late to Get Caught Up?

Yes, I'm still alive and kicking. ;-) I can't even remember when I last posted so I don't know how far back to go to try to get caught up!  Let's just go over the last week and call it good, ok?

Monday was spent cleaning and tidying in anticipation of our house guests. Everything looked good Tuesday morning when I left to go to DD's ... I had the morning shift with the Ts with just enough time to get home before my dad arrived.  He always likes to go with when we go get my sister from the airport. DD had a bit of trouble getting away from work and we visited for a little while before I headed home ... my dad who is notoriously early (so much so that I'm tempted to start telling him to arrive a good 30 minutes later than the time I need him to arrive ha!) had been at our house for an hour by the time I got home. Thankfully DH's morning appointment didn't run late so he was home to greet and entertain my dad. We had a nice couple of days all together ... the only downside was that my other sister wasn't feeling well enough to come down. 

After we dropped off my sister at the airport early Thanksgiving morning, we headed over to DD's.  DD provided paper placemats for each of us ... having each of us write something on everyone else's placemat, sharing why we were thankful for him/her. It was so touching.
I didn't realize that my picture cut off part of the thankfulness. I will save and treasure this forever. My dad joined us for a light lunch and a visit before he headed back home.  Because I wasn't sure when I'd be done with my family obligations, DD graciously moved our Thanksgiving celebration back to dinner time. So I was able to help with some of the preparations ... and able to enjoy an absolutely delicious feast with my favoritest people. 

I had another early morning shift with the Ts Friday ... a "bonus" day since DD took a shift so one of the university students could go home for the Thanksgiving weekend. As soon as I got home, DH and I grabbed a light lunch and hit the road for a weekend getaway in Paducah - quilters' central!  I got some hexies basted for my hexagon star quilt on the 2+ hour drive down. We got here in time to check in at our hotel and then head to Hancock's of Paducah - the Mother Lode of quilt shops.  
I bought some fabric for some Christmas gifts and for my Martha Washington's Flower Garden.  I amazed myself with how well I controlled myself ... there were so many fabrics that I loved!  

Today we will visit downtown Paducah, including the Quilt Museum - of course. We were in Paducah 3 (?) years ago, so we will probably pass on some of the sights we've seen before, but a visit to Paducah isn't complete without a visit to the Quilt Museum (and Hancock's of course). Then DH would like to drive out to the Land Between the Lakes to see the dam and lakes. He's such a good sport when it comes to visiting the quilting "hot spots", so it's only fair that we see a few things that he'd like to see.  ;-)

We will head back home tomorrow - I've got another "bonus" shift with the Ts Monday morning. I'm so incredibly blessed!  

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Slooooooow Stitching Sunday

I've decided to join in with the rest of the slow stitchers over at Kathy's Quilts. As a hand quilter, my quilting has always been slower, but now that I've discovered English Paper Piecing and hexagons, even my piecing is slow. ;-)  

I haven't accomplished too much exciting this weekend ... some housecleaning in anticipation of family here for a couple of days early next week ... a bigger job than I thought since I've been postponing some of my regular housecleaning ... I justified it by knowing that I would do a thorough cleaning for our guests, but truth be told, I suspect that part of my reasoning was really so I could spend more time working on my hexies ... Ha!  

But it hasn't been all work and no play here at Chez Nana ... I have been able to do some stitching on my hexies. I have 11 blocks completed and am almost done with #12 ... I am stitching the outer row of that block and should be able to make some progress this afternoon on #13.  This photo was taken while I was in the middle of block #12 (is it just me or do these blocks look like they're not all the same size?). 
I will be using a red for the "path" (the "connector", if you will, surrounding all the blocks). But I will wait to sew them on when I determine the layout (although I'm tempted to stitch the red hexies onto one block just so I can see how it will look). I'm not sure how big this quilt will be. My original plan was to make it a wall quilt, but I'm enjoying this too much to stop ... I suspect that I will make it at least a lap sized quilt. The red and cream star flower quilt (blogged about here and here) will probably be a wall quilt (I have just the spot for it), but I can't guarantee that I will stop when I need to on it either. Working with hexies is just plain addicting!  ;-)

I wish I knew why I procrastinated on hand piecing/English paper piecing ... but better late than never. ;-)

Have a blessed Sunday!

Friday, November 22, 2013

A Friday Daybook

I have been busy this week ... and drawing a blank on anything blogworthy.  But then it occurred to me that I could do another Daybook ... always a good choice when life has settled into a blissfully wonderful but possibly boring (to others, not to me!) routine.


Outside my window... 
It's a blustery, overcast day. Dreary even. Certainly looks winterish ... Just in time for the return of winter-like weather. 

I am thankful... 
For the opportunity to spend so much time with my grands ... It's exhausting and sometimes stressful, but I relish these moments!  

In the kitchen... 
There are a few bags of groceries that I need to take to DD's this morning. Thanksgiving is always at her house, but we had a bit of a wrench thrown into the works this year. My sister who lives in Texas is coming up for a couple of days next week, leaving Thursday morning. So we will have our Thanksgiving feast that evening. DD may have to get the turkey started, but I should be there in time to help with most everything else. 

I am wearing...
Navy sweatpants, a gray sweatshirt, a gray hoodie and wool socks.  If you've read this blog often, you'll know that cold and I just do not get along. I've already set the thermostat 4 degrees warmer than we had it when we moved here 5 years ago. I told DH that I was tired of wearing 3-4 layers of really heavy duty clothing just to stay warm inside the house. So we gave up our notion of saving a few dollars on our utility bills in order to be more comfortable. ;-) 

I am going... 
To Paducah, KY the weekend after Thanksgiving. I'd like to see the quilt museum again, and DH would like to see more of Kentucky Lake Dam. I will stop at Hancocks of Paducah for some reds and greens. I want to make some paper pieced pineapple ornaments for Christmas gifts. 

I am reading... 
In the Paths of Righteousness by Cindy Viguie, book #6 in the Psalm 23 mystery series. It took me a little longer to get into it, and while it's still not my favorite, I'm enjoying it. It's nothing heavy or serious, just some light reading for the few times when I have a few moments to spare (since most of my free time, as you all know, is spent quilting or sewing).

I am looking forward to... 
Christmas this year. I always look forward to Christmas, but for some reason, I'm especially looking forward to it this year. 

I am learning.... 
How to manage my time more effectively now that I'm spending my mornings watching the Ts. I'm also learning what are my biggest time wasters so I can still have plenty of time with my needle and thread. ;-)

Around the house... 
I've been postponing a good housecleaning because I'd rather stitch and because I know I will want to do a big cleaning before my family arrives on Tuesday.  

A few plans for the rest of the week... 
The week is almost over, but I will spend late morning/early afternoon at DD's. Then I think I'll get started on the major housecleaning (see "around the house" above) ... I'm hoping to get that done tomorrow morning so I can relax for a couple of days ... How better to relax than with needle and thread. 

A peek into my day...
See above. ;-)

Have a FABULOUS Friday!

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Weekend Wrap-up

It was a busy and fabulous weekend ... I'm not ready for it to be over. ;-)

Friday morning meant heading over to DD's to watch the two littles while the rest of their crew helped DSIL's parents move (a local move from a small apartment to a larger house).  We watched a couple of movies and played ... I took my hexies with me for something to do while the littles napped.  When I got home, DH gave me the mail, including a box full of sewing goodies!  Tina at Slightly Off Quilter hosted a bloggaversary giveaway earlier this month - that I won!  Look at all the loot she sent!  

I've already got plans for the paper pieces and thread and am sure that I can come up with a project for those precut hexies ... and with the pens I no longer have any excuse not to label my quilts. I am still so excited that I won all that cool quilting stuff!

Saturday was a repeat of Friday ... well, except for the box of goodies in the mail. ;-)

Sunday was a kind of lazy day at Chez Nana, although it wasn't drama-free. We had a band of storms move through around lunchtime. We got some rain and major winds (gusts up to 60 mph). The wind blew the rain so hard that we could scarcely see our neighbors' houses, and it moved our deck furniture including our gas grill.  Thankfully DH didn't detect any damage to the house.  We were very fortunate as the front that was responsible for the storms produced tornadoes that touched down In other parts of the state.  After the storm passed through, I put dinner in the crockpot and spent the afternoon stitching my hexies. Each block has 25 hexies, all stitched together by hand, so it goes slowly. I have 10 finished and am putting together the 11th. I'm really enjoying working with these hexies ... I don't know why I resisted English paper piecing for so long.  ;-)   

Have a marvelous Monday!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge

I can't believe I'm actually able to participate in the Hodgepodge this week ... I've missed being a part of it.  Why not click on the button above and join in the fun?

1. Describe a typical Sunday from your childhood.

After my mom took us girls to Sunday School, we would have lunch with one of her friends and her kids.  During the summer, our afternoons would always include the Cardinals broadcast on KMOX - my sister and I would keep score on leftover notebook paper from school.  We always watched the Ed Sullivan show before bedtime. 

2. How comfortable are you with uncertainty? Explain.
Very uncomfortable. I like knowing what's going to happen, when, where, why, and with whom. Yes, I'm a control freak. ;-)  Thankfully I know Who is REALLY in control.

3. What have you accomplished recently that might be described as crafty, as in 'arts and crafts' crafty?  If crafty doesn't work for you, how about handy? Or both?
I suppose some would think of quilting as crafty ... I think of it more along the arts side of "arts and crafts".  I'm not very crafty - no creativity and not much desire either. 

4. Have you ever worked in a 'food place'? What did you take away from the experience?
I was a waitress my first year of college - 60 cents an hour.  I decided right then and there that no matter what, I was going to finish my degree because I vowed that I would never waitress for a living.  And I make sure that DH is a generous tipper.

5. Cold turkeytalk turkeywhat a recent days, which turkey phrase or idiom best applies to you and why? Click on the word turkey if you need to read more about the meaning behind each phrase. 
I'm sure that many who know me well would say I need to choose "what a turkey". ;-)

6. If you could have any one guest join your Thanksgiving dinner table, who would it be?
Instead of adding a guest, how about subtracting one?  Ha!

7. What is one thing you must accomplish today? 
Today?  I need to check to confirm that the auto deduct from our checking to pay our Target red card took place.  Exciting, huh?  ;-)  

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
I had my annual check up Monday afternoon. I discussed my finger ... I was told that because I'd been faithful to rest my finger, I was one of her most compliant patients.  ;-)  She was still confident that the nerve would heal completely and that as long as I pay attention to any pain/discomfort and as long as I don't overdo, I am fine to use my finger.  I may slow down the healing a little, but I will have my life back.  ;-)  I've figured out what seems to exacerbate the nerve, and I do my best to avoid those activities.

Yesterday was DH's birthday.  T#4 gave me the present she made for him and asked me to make sure that he got it.

This is what greeted us out on our deck yesterday morning.  This may not be the earliest snow, but usually if we get any snow this early, it just melts immediately.  So having snow greet us after an overnight snow is certainly unusual.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Weekend Wrap-up

The mini retreat/sew-in on Friday went well - it was awesome to be pampered and surrounded by fellow quilters - at least one of whom was also a hand quilter!  I didn't accomplish all that I set out to, but then my expectations were a little unrealistic, I must say. I tried to participate in the mystery, but my inexperience in making a quilt from a pattern caught up with me - not to mention that using a rotary cutter is not "finger friendly" (a fact I learned the hard way on Wednesday when I cut all the squares for my star flower project).  So I brought home the salvageable fabrics and all the instructions and will try again (with plenty of spare fabric - just in case ha!). I did get a couple more of my pineapple miniatures stitched together, and I did baste several papers for the aforementioned star flower project. 
These will finish at 3" square. 
These are about a third of what I basted on Friday - they will be the 6-pointed star points/flower petals. 

Saturday morning we got most of the dirt moved to our raised beds in back - for our garden.  DH ordered the correct amount of topsoil per the company's calculations but we had quite a lot leftover, so DH ran to the lumberyard to get enough boards to make a 5th box.  Our original plans were to have just enough room - with an extra bed, we will have room for more veggies.  This was taken mid-project with my iPhone and the sun shining right at me, so forgive the less-than-spectacular photo quality.  

Saturday afternoon I got a little piecing done on my Martha Washington's Flower Garden, but I wasn't able to stitch as long as I would have liked ... I think cutting the star flower fabric on Wednesday set back a little the healing of that nerve. :-(  I stopped as soon as the nerve flared up ... I'm learning to try to be content with even short periods of time with my needle and thread. ;-)

I woke up early Sunday morning - 4:00ish early. I stayed In bed for another half hour or so trying to fall back to sleep - to no avail.  I did a little more basting of star flower papers - I decided to do a few hexagons so I could get an idea of what my star flowers would look like. I had hoped to get a picture of the pieces put together, but just as I finished up the last hexagon, I got a phone call - an offer from DD - an offer I couldn't refuse - watching the Ts so she and DSIL could run some errands and have some couple time.  That T-time was a perfect ending to a pretty wonderful weekend!

Have a marvelous Monday!  Be sure to thank a veteran!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Thursday's Thoughts

Hmmmm, once again I missed out on the Wednesday Hodgepodge. :-(  By the time I remembered that it was Tuesday (meaning time to compose my Hodgepodge for publication Wednesday morning), I was too exhausted to even think about blogging, let alone come up with answers to this week's questions. 

I did some more piecing on my Martha Washington's Flower Garden ... I finished up the 4th block and started the 5th ... I'm not sure how many blocks I will use to make this quilt ... I need to count out how many hexies I have basted and get an idea of whether I have enough to make a decent-sized wall quilt. 

I spent Wednesday afternoon cutting fabric for the next hexagon/English paper piecing project in red and cream.
The cream will be the larger background hexagons, the reds will be the 6-pointed stars, and the green (it's a very muted green that almost photographed as brown) will be the smaller hexagon center.  The pattern I'm using was called star flower on the website where I found my inspiration.
(Source: BillieBee's Blog)   
I will begin basting on Friday when I attend the Sew-in hosted by designer Jenice Belling. I've wanted for the longest time, to attend a retreat and to make some real-life quilting friends, so when I saw the flyer for this Sew-in, I signed right up.  Ok, so it's not an actual retreat, but it's a start!  ;-)

The little bit of warmer weather than we'd been enjoying has been pushed out with the rain that came through Tuesday and Wednesday. We definitely needed the rain, but I am not ready to get out the winter coat and electric blanket. :-(  

Have a fantastic Thursday 

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Weekend Wrap-up

It was a busy but wonderful weekend. I was sorry to see it come to an end.

A relaxing Friday was a great start to the weekend.  I spent a few hours stitching up hexagons ... I would have liked to have spent more time with my needle and thread, but I'm still trying to take it easy on that finger until it's fully healed. And it was ok ... by the time I finished up it was almost dinner time ... and time for T#4 to come over for a sleepover at Nana's.  ❤

Saturday morning came quickly as we had to leave by 7:15 for a 2-hour trip up to Jacksonville for another swim meet.  We packed up a lot of books for entrainment - although I think dropping the books into the floor as ahe finished "reading" them and then asking Nana to hand her another one was as entertaining as "reading" them was.  ;-)

It was a long day, but she was a real trooper. 
Her brothers and sister did well at the meet.  By the time the meet ended, it was dinner time, so we stopped for burgers and shakes at Steak n Shake before we headed back home. About halfway home, we were treated to a lovely sunset.

We got home in time to reset our clocks ... and an early bedtime. 

We bookended our weekend with another relaxing day Sunday. I spent a few more hours stitching ... I have 3 blocks completed, and it won't take much to finish up the 4th. 

I have to say that I was NOT ready for it to feel like bedtime by 7:00 Sunday evening - and it's only going to get worse as the days get shorter. :-(  Between the colder weather and the shorter days,  I have to say that I'm not looking forward to winter. 

Have a marvelous Monday!