Monday, November 23, 2015

A Blogging Hiatus

I need to let you all know that I'm going to be taking an extended blogging hiatus.  I'm going to be busy with a major health issue, and as a result, all my time and energy will be devoted to getting through this battle.  I covet your thoughts and prayers.

Thanks for understanding, my friends!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Back in Focus



The last several days, I’ve felt “out of focus”.  I tried to sit and read or to sit and quilt, but I just couldn’t seem to focus.  Thankfully today I’m feeling back in focus and got in several hours of quilting on my Labor Day Stars.  I finished up block #17 and even got a good start on #18 (the final pieced block).  IMG_0334Ahhhh, it felt so good to get back to my needle and thread. 


The weekend was another busy one … another swim meet.  This was a fun meet because in addition to the standard events, they incorporated some fun events as well.  Here is T#2 participating in the Pumpkin Push Relay, where each swimmer had to push a pumpkin down the lane.  IMG_0322

T#1 and his best friend participated in the Push-Pull event, where the swimmers swam as one … the rear swimmer (who serves as the legs) holds on to the ankles of the front swimmer (who serves as the arms).  At the end of the first lap, the swimmers switch positions.  You can barely see T#1 behind his friend here.  IMG_0309

T#3 participated in the Pumpkin Push, but I didn’t get a picture of him … but here he is getting ready to step up onto the block for an event.  IMG_0291

There’s another meet this weekend, and I’m really looking forward to seeing them swim. 


There’s a fun little meme going around Facebook where our most-used words are collected.  My words

I had to laugh at some of those words, like fbi?  Of course, I see plenty of references to the beach and to quilting.  I love that my most-used word is <3 (the Facebook shortcut for Red heart). 


I hope that whatever you have planned for today includes a little something that brings you joy ... have a great day!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Getting Caught Up

It’s been a little while since I’ve checked in.  I wish I could say that I’ve been busy doing something fun and exciting, but alas … I’ve still been dealing with the “puniness” I mentioned a couple of weeks ago.  I’ve had some bloodwork and a procedure that have ruled out any lower digestive problems, we still haven't achieved a resolution to my "puniness" ... so we’re working on the next step toward resolution.  I’m bound and determined to get back to feeling better.  Winking smile 

Unfortunately I haven’t done as much quilting as I’d like in the last few days because I was too busy “prepping” for my procedure.  Hopefully now that it’s behind me, I’ll feel like spending some more time with my needle and thread.  And if I’m not up for hand quilting, I’ve got a quilt top or four that I can be working on.  Winking smile

Here’s where I left off on my Labor Day Stars … I’m on block #16.  IMG_4230

My hubby picked up some OTC meds for me this afternoon, and this is what I saw when I opened the package.  IMG_4231There’s enough room in here for TWO bottles.  Surprised smile

I hope that whatever you have planned for today includes a little something that brings you joy ... have a great day!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Slow Stitching Weekend

It’s been a slow stitching week here at Chez Nana, and it looks like it’s going to be a slow stitching weekend, as well.  Since I do love to hand quilt, I’m not complaining.   

I finished up block #12 yesterday and am almost done with block #13.  There are 18 blocks in my Labor Day Stars quilt, so it won’t be too long before I’ll be able to start quilting on the setting triangles.  Here’s a photo I took early yesterday morning as I was quilting sashings on block #13.  IMG_0270While I’ve been quilting, I have been listening to audiobooks.  I “read” John Grisham’s latest book … not a fan of that one (nor of his previous new release either).  I’m trying to get through Camel Club by David Baldacci … it’s ok, but it really isn’t grabbing me.  I’m waiting on some new releases by some other authors who I’ve enjoyed … their works are what a former co-worker would call “potato chips for the mind” which make them perfect for “reading” while quilting.  Because I’m in a bit of a reading lull, I decided to get caught up on NICS.  I watched, live, a small handful of last season’s episodes but let the subsequent episodes “pile up” on our DVR.  I’m down to the last 2 episodes from last season and then all of this season’s episodes.  I wonder if I’ll get caught up this weekend?  

Earlier this week, I ordered some fabrics from Homestead Hearth … online rather than making the trip to their brick and mortar store.  For my next EPP project, I’d like to make a Patchwork of the Crosses.  I’ve collected the papers and am now collecting some fabrics that would be suitable for fussy cutting.  I don’t trust my fussy cutting skills (who am I kidding … I have no fussy cutting skills! ha!), so I’m going to start with stripes.  I picked up some striped fabrics (also half price) when we stopped at Hancock’s of Paducah on our way to Hilton Head in September, and when I saw that Homestead Hearth had some half price, I had to add to my collection.  The fabrics came yesterday … it’s amazing how a squishy package in the mail can brighten one’s day.  Winking smile  IMG_0272Since I want to finish my already-in-progress EPP projects (my Martha Washington’s Flower Garden and my bow tie quilt), it’s liable to be a while before I start cutting into these fabrics … but at least I’ll be prepared (I had no striped or border fabrics in my stash) … and by buying when on sale, I won’t have wreaked havoc on my fabric acquisition budget.  Winking smile

I saw these on Facebook this morning and couldn’t resist sharing them … hope they make you giggle a little like they did me.

I hope that whatever you have planned for today includes a little something that brings you joy ... have a great day!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge

For the second week in a row, I’m able to participate in the Hodgepodge.  It’s such a fun little meme, and it allows us to learn a little more about each other.  You’re certainly welcome to join in the fun, if you’d like … just click on the button above.

1. Besides Thanksgiving, something you're looking forward to on your November calendar?
DH and I are talking about possibly heading to Hilton Head after Thanksgiving … we’ll be celebrating with DD and her extended family in Chattanooga at her sister-in-law’s.  Chattanooga is just 6 hours from Hilton Head, so we’d be a little more than halfway there.

2.  If I gave you a thank you card right now who would you send it to and why?
If I could, I'd like to send a thank-you card to each one of my readers.  I appreciate your taking the time to stop by  ...  I appreciate your comments, your motivation, your insights, your encouragement, your friendship. 

3. Of the breads listed, which one's your favorite...bagel, cinnamon, sourdough, garlic, banana, biscuit, pita, Naan, or plain old fashioned white bread?
My favorite bread, especially for sandwiches, is focaccia, but since it’s not listed, I’ll say cinnamon.  But ONLY if the breadmaker included more cinnamon … most seem to have gotten awfully chintzy on their cinnamon.  Sad smile

4. What's something you have in abundance? Is that a good thing?
Fabric is the first thing that comes to my mind.  And since I’m a quilter and use my fabric to make quilts, I’d say that’s a good thing.

5. November 5th is National Love Your Red Hair Day. Are there any redheads in your family? Who's your favorite redhead?
There are redheads in my extended family … a cousin has red hair and my maternal grandfather had red hair.  I can see a hint of red in DD’s hair, and T#2 is a strawberry blond.  Either one of those two would certainly be my favorite redhead.

6.  The travel website Busbud recently calculated the most Instagrammed spot in every state. Go here to see what made the list where you live. Are you happy with your state's #1? If not what do you think should be the most photographed spot in your state? Have you snapped a photo there? If you live outside the USA answer as it relates to your state, city or province.
I guess I can’t quarrel with Wrigley Field as the #1 Instagrammed spot in my state.  Still … there’s so much more to Illinois than Chicago, people!  (Aside from crooked politicians and financial ruin – ha!) 

7. I'm going to try to have something related to gratitude in this spot each week during the month of November. Here's this week's question-
What's something you've learned about yourself this year that you're grateful for?

I’ve thought a lot about this lately, and I just don’t have an answer for this.  Not that I’m not grateful … but I cannot think of something that I’ve learned about myself this past year.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

It’s been foggy here every morning for the last 4-5 days … not so heavy that it would keep one from getting out and about if necessary.  But since it’s been warming up to around 70, I’m not complaining. 

I’ve been making progress on my Labor Day Stars.  I’m about halfway done with the SITD (stitch in the ditch) around the stars on block #11.  IMG_0268I hope that whatever you have planned for today includes a little something that brings you joy ... have a great day!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Hello, Halloween … Goodbye, Daylight Savings Time

Happy HalloweenI don’t get into Halloween the way some do, so there’s no Halloween d├ęcor here at Chez Nana.  In fact, other than Christmas, I don’t do much decorating for the seasons or holidays.  I’d rather enjoy the things I already have out, many of which have sentimental value to me.

We didn’t have any trick or treaters last night.  Sad smile  But it was just as well because I have to confess that I was in bed not long after 7:00.  Surprised smile  I know … I normally go to bed early, but 7:00?  I’ll confess that I’ve not been feeling well for the last couple of weeks, and yesterday was the worst.  Thankfully between a really good night’s sleep and the start of a treatment plan prescribed by my doctor, I’m feeling better today.  Not at all close to 100%, but certainly better than I did yesterday.  DH even remarked this morning that he could see that I was feeling better.  Hopefully I’ve turned the corner and will be improving each day.  Right now, I’m cautiously optimistic that I’ll be able to attend retreat next week.  I mean, all meals are provided, so all I have to do is sit, sew and sleep.  Which is probably about all I would do here at home.  ha!  DH, bless his heart, has offered to drive the hour up to Pere Marquette to help me haul all my stuff out of my van to the sewing room.  Red heart  

I erred yesterday when I reported that I was ready to start working on block #6.  The photo I took was before I quilted block #6, but I had since moved the hoop to get ready to start on block #7.  Obviously my “puniness” affected my brain.  Open-mouthed smile  I did get most of the 7th block quilted yesterday.  Like I said, yesterday was a very bad day, so I didn’t make as much progress as I would have liked, but some progress is better than no progress, right?  Winking smile IMG_0254Had I been feeling better, I should have quilted the entire block and even perhaps a little of block #8.  Oh well … like I said, some progress is better than no progress.  Maybe today will be a more productive day.

Turn clocks backI’m already discouraged at how early it’s getting dark … and it’s only going to be worse tomorrow!  I know we’ll get an extra hour’s sleep tonight, but ugh – I’m not looking forward to it getting dark before dinner.  Sad smile  But I guess that will be inevitable even if we weren’t changing from DST what with the shorter days.  <sigh>
I hope that whatever you have planned for today includes a little something that brings you joy ... have a great day!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Quilty Update


Yesterday evening, I moved the hoop to block #6.  I’m not sure why the close-up is so washed out … the picture of the whole quilt is definitely more accurate.



All I managed to do, after moving the hoop, was to mark the first sashing for block #6.  Getting that block quilted (and maybe a start on #7?) is on today’s agenda.  One benefit to making a fairly scrappy quilt is that when I share what’s in my hoop, it doesn’t look exactly like what I shared the last time.  ha!


I hope that whatever you have planned for today includes a little something that brings you joy ... have a great day!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge



I can’t remember the last time I joined in on the Hodgepodge fun.  Way too long, I’m sure.  If you’d like to join in the fun, too, just click on the button above.


1. Are you comfortable with silence? If you're home alone, do you like silence or do you need regular background noise? Do you seek out times and places to be silent? What's your favorite place to find silence/be silent?

Silence doesn’t bother me.  Perhaps because I’m very much the introvert (or as I prefer to say, I’m quite comfortable with my own company – ha!), I don’t need a lot of conversation.  That’s not to say that I don’t have some background noise from time to time.  Winking smile 

2. October 28th is National Chocolate Day. Can't let that go by without a mention now, can we? Will you celebrate? How? Let's say you can have one of the following right this very minute... a cup of hot chocolate, a strawberry dipped in chocolate, a bowl of plain chocolate ice cream, or a slice of chocolate pie...what's your pleasure?

I may be the only one to answer this way, but I can generally take or leave chocolate.  I’m not a huge fan, but I don’t dislike chocolate either.  I will say that I prefer my chocolate with something else where it plays an accompanying role rather than the star of the show (as in a candy bar).  Of the choices above, I’d choose the strawberry dipped in chocolate.

3. How do you feel about blue jeans? Favorite thing in the world to wear or nope, don't own a single pair? How often do you wear blue jeans in a typical week? Do you own a blue jean jacket?

I Red heart Red heart Red heart blue jeans!  In fact, I can’t remember the last time I wore something other than blue jeans (when wearing long pants).  So, in a typical week, I wear jeans 7 days.  Winking smile  I don’t own a blue jean jacket … in fact, I don’t recall ever owning one, and I’m not sure why. 

4. Are you superstitious? If so, in what way?

No, not really.  I don’t believe in good luck or bad luck nor do I believe that we can determine an outcome by performing some kind of ritual.  I believe in a God who has a plan, and while He’s not a puppeteer controlling our strings, I believe that nothing is done outside of His sovereign control … that He works out or allows everything in keeping with His divine plan

5. If you had to come up with a costume using only things you have on hand right now, what could you come up with?

I’m not very creative so someone else might be able to come up with a fabulous costume using whatever I happen to have around the house.  I do have a hockey jersey in my closet so maybe I could pass for a hockey player?

6. What scares you a little? What do you do when you feel scared?

Heights scare me more than a little.  I’m petrified of heights.  I won’t even do ladders without a goodly amount of fear and trembling. 

7. Perhaps today will be the day I ______________________________.

Hmmmmm … I’m drawing a blank on this one.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I took advantage of my “free” day yesterday and made good progress on my Labor Day Stars.  I am a little more than halfway done on block #4 (out of 18).  I’m not sure that I’ll get this done before the end of November (what with swim meets, a quilt retreat, and going out of town for Thanksgiving), but surely early December?   IMG_0243Again, the colors are washed out here.  Sad smile


I hope that whatever you have planned for today includes a little something that brings you joy ... have a great day!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Keeping busy

I’ve finished up two hoopsfull of quilting on my Labor Day Stars.  IMG_0235The colors are a little washed out here, but I think you’ll get the idea of how I’m going to be quilting this.  I’m hoping that the quilting in the stars will give them a sense of movement.  This is my first attempt of stitching in (near?) the ditch, and I will confess that it might well be my last.  It’s a pain to stitch through the 5 layers (top, seam allowances, batting and backing).  Edited to add:  I thought that if I stitched right next to the seam, my stitches wouldn't get lost (considering that I'm using a very low-loft batting).  I'm considering unstitching those previous two blocks and restitching *in* the ditch.  I’ve ordered stencils for the setting triangles and the border. 

In between the two hoopsfull of quilting, we cheered our Ts on at another swim meet … this meet was a 3-day meet, but thankfully because it’s now being held at a larger complex, the days weren’t as long as they could have been.  The Ts did well, even though they faced some serious competition at this meet.
Whew!  I uploaded the video properly.  But unless I open the video, it's really hard to see what's going on.  That's T#2 in the far lane who was neck-and-neck with the swimmer in the lane next to her ... T#2 held on to finish 1st in her heat on her 100 fly.   

I also cut a few more tumblers since I mentioned here that I was hoping for a little larger finished quilt.  Not to mention that I’m wondering if I’ve chosen enough projects to keep me busy for 3 days at retreat.  I am sure that I have … but there’s just a little niggling doubt in my mind.  Typical … if I don’t have enough to worry about, I’ll just make something up.  <sigh>

There’s nothing on the schedule for today, and after a long busy weekend with not nearly enough sleep, I’m rather looking forward to a day where I can take things a little easier. 

It doesn’t seem possible that the time change will be this weekend.  I don’t know about you, but I’m not looking forward to the change.  I admit that it will be nice to see the sun rise earlier in the morning, but I’m so not looking forward it being dark by dinner time!  Disappointed smile

I hope that whatever you have planned for today includes a little something that brings you joy ... have a great day!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

I Couldn’t Wait …

… to show you all this:IMG_0224Not only is the top finished, but it’s sandwiched with the batting and the backing and is ready to quilt!  Woo hoo!  I think we all know what I’ll be doing today!  Winking smile

But that’s not all I did yesterday.  I also cut out at least 225 tumblers for retreat. IMG_0232Other than the neutral, all the fabric came from my stash.  I cut mostly by colors, since that’s the way I pulled the fabrics … so I will want to take a little time before I leave for retreat to mix the tumblers so I’ll have the colors evenly distributed.  I have no idea how big I want my quilt to finish … right now, I’m guessing that I have enough for a small wall hanging – 37.5”x37.5”.  I’m thinking that I’d like to make it a little bigger, so I left my Accuquilt Go out so I can cut more fabrics.  We’ll see whether I get the tumbler top completed at retreat since I also have my signature blocks, my pineapple blocks, and my Martha Washington’s Flower Garden to work on. 

I hope that whatever you have planned for today includes a little something that brings you joy ... have a great day!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

A Little of This and a Little of That


I did have a restful Monday … just what I needed.  I got my Labor Day Stars blocks together.  IMG_0211

But Tuesday was another fairly busy day – although I did get to spend some time in the sewing room.  I have all four sides of the inner border sewn on and two of the four sides of the outer border are on.  I had hoped to get the final two sides on so I could take a picture, but you all will have to wait to see the top with the borders.  Winking smile


Today looks to be like another busy day, but I’m hoping to have enough time to get into the sewing room to get on the last of the outer border.  I need to get the batting out and spread out so the wrinkles will loosen up and to cut the backing to fit.  I’d like to have it sandwiched together by the week’s end, but we’ll have to see … I may have to make another trip out to my dad’s tomorrow, and there’s another swim meet this weekend (Friday – Sunday).  Even after I get it sandwiched, I may not have much time to do any quilting, as next week I’ll need to be working on my guild’s newsletter and to be cutting fabric for my retreat.


There’s still an awful lot of green in this neck of the woods, but there is some fall color popping up here and there … including our back yard. IMG_0217You’re just going to have to trust me that it’s a more vivid red in real life.  Eye rolling smile


And this is what Lois and I were treated to as we started out on our walk this morningIMG_4215Do you see the second rainbow to the left of the first rainbow?  This is the first time I can recall ever having seen a rainbow (let alone a double rainbow) when it didn’t rain. 


That last bit of border isn’t going to sew itself on … I’d best get to it.  I hope that whatever you have planned for today includes a little something that brings you joy ... have a great day!