Friday, January 30, 2015

I Hit the Jackpot!


Yesterday, I decided to take it easy another day … and spent the day in my recliner, quilting away on T#3’s quilt.  Mid-afternoon, I got a call from a friend from our old church, asking if I wanted to take a couple of quilt tops off her hands.  Did I?  Well, of course I did!


I love anything with stars, and this Lone Star variation is no exception.  Unfortunately, as you can see, it doesn’t lay flat, and the white fabric is awfully thin.  I’m hoping that I’ll be able to tame it with a good pressing. 



Isn’t this Flying Dutchman just a happy quilt.  While the white fabric isn’t LQS quality, it does seem to be a little better than the white in the Lone Star top, and it does lay nice and flat. 


The Lone Star was machine pieced, while the Flying Dutchman was hand pieced.  They’re both about the same size … I didn’t measure them when I had them laid out, but I think they’ll both finish as lap-sized. 


I’ll probably start with the Flying Dutchman … when I can get to it.  I’m in the middle of quilting T#3’s quilt, and I’ve got several other projects started.  But when I finish those other projects up, I’ll have a couple of quilts ready for quilting. 



I am about done with block #7 of T#3’s quilt. 


This when I moved the hoop to quilt block #6 … if you click on it, you can enlarge it and perhaps see a little of the quilting in the center. 



I was able to stay up later than usual last night … not that it made a bit of difference … I was up at 2:45 this morning.  Surprised smile  In the past, I couldn’t fall asleep at night if I’d taken an afternoon nap (unless I was sick) … I’m wondering if that would be the case now with my whacked-up sleep cycle.  Today might be the day to give it a try.  Ha!



The Ts are swimming again tomorrow … it’s a one-day meet over in St. Charles (about an hour from here).  Warm-ups start at 12:00 (unusual!, especially for a one-day meet), so DH and I will plan an outing before.  We’ll drop off my sewing machine for its annual tune-up and grab lunch somewhere. 



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

Thursday, January 29, 2015

This and That on a Thursday

Things have quieted back down here at Chez Nana … which meant that I was able to spend plenty of time spent with needle and thread yesterday.  I thought about taking a picture to share my progress on T#3’s quilt, but it’s really not going to look a whole lot different than what I shared a couple of days ago:
I will report that I’m just about done with my 4th block … out of 63.  And of course, there are borders to be quilted as well.  It took me just over 5 weeks to quilt T#1’s quilt (same size, same quilting “design”) … we’ll see if I’m able to match that on this quilt.  Winking smile  No big deal … I enjoy hand quilting, so however long it takes, it won’t be time wasted in my books.

I’m stuck in another early-morning-get-up cycle.  I reported on Tuesday that I got up at 3:30 … I slept in Wednesday – all the way to 4:00 … and it was 3:30 again this morning.  What’s up with that?  There’s a hockey game on TV tonight … maybe I can make myself stay awake to watch at least part of it so I’ll be able to sleep until my usual 5:00-5:30 tomorrow.  Confused smile  You’d think that getting up early would mean that I’d get a jumpstart on my day, but it doesn’t … I’m not sure why.  I don’t blatantly waste time when I get up earlier … I have my online time like normal – reading/commenting on blogs, reading/answering emails, checking in on Facebook (family, friends, quilting groups) and I have my quiet time … the same things I do when I sleep in until my usual get-up time.  I’m not sure why I am not “up and at ‘em” sooner if I’m up an hour or more earlier. 

I took a day off from the Y yesterday … when I walked Monday evening and Tuesday morning, I went at a faster pace than Lois and I do when walking together … and I noticed midway through my walk Tuesday morning, that the abdominal pain intensified.  The day off really didn’t help the pain as much as I was hoping it would (although it did give my aching legs a bit of a break) … I guess it’ll be time to head back to the doctor if it continues through the weekend.  <sigh>  The day off was enough to get me out of the mood to exercise … I’m really going to have to kick my own behind to get myself up and to the Y this morning.

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

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

It’s In the Hoop!


I was bound and determined to be able to take some quilting stitches on T#3’s quilt yesterday … and it happened.  I had to sew on the outer border and then it was time for basting. 


I would have rather had a full-on shot of the entire quilt, but DH was running errands … this was the best I could do by myself.  Winking smile  I was able to get a few stitches in before dinner and am looking forward to getting in a few more today. 




My walking partner Lois twisted her leg early last week and has taken time off from walking to allow her leg to heal.  I didn’t walk last week … it was too easy to just skip it and head into the sewing room.  But I can’t afford to repeat that this week … between my osteopenia and my aging metabolism, I really need to walk.  DH normally goes to the Y to work out in the afternoons … I asked him if he would be willing to go in the morning instead this week.  I need someone to motivate me and to hold me accountable.  Thankfully he was agreeable to that … and suggested we go after dinner last night since neither one of us had gotten any exercise yet.  I was thankful for his suggestion, even though exercising that late really wiped me out.  I was ready for bed by 7:00 but forced myself to stay up another hour.  An early bedtime = an early “get-up” … as in 3:30 this morning!  Surprised smile 



I finished up my third audiobook yesterday morning and am a fair ways through audiobook #4.  Between listening while sewing, quilting and walking, it doesn’t take long to get a book “read”.  I’ve discovered that narration can be purchased, often for a nominal fee, for many Kindle books at, making them an audiobook for much less than purchasing the audiobook version … since I already own several Kindle books, I’m wondering if the narration could be purchased for any of those ebooks? 



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

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Things Are Looking a Little Froggy Here

When I left the sewing room yesterday, I was all set to rejoice that I had all 63 blocks together ready for borders. I laid the top out in my design floor ... and there it was, staring me in the face.
No, I'm not making another spiral log cabin quilt.  Ha!  I had sewn the last row on upside down. :-(

Back to the sewing room I went. I unstitched that last down, rotated it and sewed it back together. And just as I was ready to start cutting binding, I saw it.
See it up there in the upper right hand corner?  I can't believe that I didn't see it when I laid out the top earlier ... I guess that bottom row was too glaring a mistake.  I decided that I was done in the sewing room ... time to pull out my Hexies and get in a little slow stitching.

Today I'll get back into the sewing room, rip out and restitch that offending block in the upper right hand corner and then tackle the borders.  I'd like to get both on, but we'll see ... I'm pretty confident that I can get the inner border on.  And I'll get back to my hexies ... I'm getting close to the end on my MWFG ... I'd like to get started on putting those blocks together, to see it take shape.  I've only been working on this since September, 2013.  I'd say it's time to make these blocks into a quilt, wouldn't you?  ;-)

I finished up my second audiobook yesterday and "checked out" a third one ... book one in a long series.  I can guarantee you right now that there will be books in that series that won't be available as audiobooks.  There appears to be no rhyme nor reason to what books are available as audiobooks and what ones are not.  I'm LOVING listening to audiobooks while I sew ... I wish I'd known about this years ago.  I was an avid reader, so I guess it makes sense that I'd be an avid listener.  Ha!

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

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Is It Really Saturday?


I guess I’m all turned about after 6-7 days of busy-ness last weekend and earlier this week … as it surely doesn’t feel like Saturday to me. 



I’ve been making up for “lost time” in the sewing room.  I’ve got all 63 blocks pieced and am now sewing them into rows.  I’ve finished 5 of the 9 rows … after I finish #9, it’ll be time to sew those rows together.  I hope I can take a picture then … I won’t be done with the top as I’ll be adding borders … but it’ll be nice to have an idea of how the finished quilt will look. 



I’ve been working on my Martha Washington’s Flower Garden blocks after dinner.  I have hexies cut out for the current block and 2 more … then it’ll be time to start piecing the blocks together.  I will still need to make partial blocks, but I’ll have a better idea of how many to make once I have the full blocks together.  This is where a design wall would be a nice thing to have … although will EPP’d blocks stick to a design wall, I wonder?  IMG_1130-001Once again, my photography skills leave a little to be desired (I even made sure that I took the picture near a south-facing window – there was no direct sunlight, but it should have been bright enough for more accurate photographs, or so I thought) … that inner ring is a more chocolate brown than it appears. 



I found this on Pinterest this morning … this is definitely my story, and I’m sticking to it!  Winking smilequilts-vs-clean-house


The sun is finally back … there’s just something about seeing the sun shining that makes my heart smile.  Having 6-foot windows in a house with an open floor plan means there aren’t very many walls (for hanging quilts and pictures or placing furniture), but it does mean that there’s plenty of sun shining in. Sun



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

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Catching Up … Again

It seems like all I do any more is catch up …  here and in real life.  Winking smile

Monday, DH and I took our road trip.  I loved the quilt shop!  There were so many fabrics … sensory overload.  I’m going to need to go back again … maybe I’ll be better able to take it all in.  I did my best not to go overboard and come home with half the shop (ha!) … I found a square ruler that is the perfect size for squaring up the log cabin blocks I’m making for T#3 … I had a 6” square ruler and an 18” square ruler (why??? I think I must have thought that an 18" square ruler would be a “one-size-fits-all” solution to square rulers but truthfully, it’s just too big – too unwieldy).  And of course, I bought fabric.IMG_1106That evening, I decided to organize my fabric “collection” before putting away my new fabric.  Late last summer, I finally decided to take over the closet in the bedroom where I sew … we had shelves installed and purchased small tubs for my fabrics.  I chose to sort by color and just tossed my fabrics into the appropriate tub.  Of course, if I tried to find something, I had to dump out the fabric, root through it, and then toss it all back into the tub.  Not very efficient or effective.  I knew that I needed to organize my fabric in those tubs, but I wanted to stitch instead of organize.  I finally bit the bullet and organized … much better now.  But in going through my fabrics, I discovered that I’ve purchased 3 pieces of the same fabric over the last year or so.  See the third fabric from the bottom up … the neutral with a striped design?  I now have 3 pieces of that fabric … thankfully, they’re all in different shades of neutral … the piece I bought Monday is the lightest of the 3 … I had already purchased a more medium shade and a darker shade.  Hey, at least I’m consistent on what catches my eye, right?  ha!

The last 2 days, I’ve been watching the Ts.  Red heart  I was there from early morning until time for swim practice after dinner … a couple of long and exhausting days.  While I’m looking forward to a couple of quiet days at home, where I can spend plenty of time reacquainting myself with T#3’s quilt blocks, I’m sure missing those Ts of mine. 

I’ve been sneezing and sniffling the last couple of days … T#4 has a full-blown cold, and I’m suspecting that she may have decided to share with her Nana.  Surprised smile  I guess I shouldn’t complain … if I’ve made it almost all the way to the end of January without a cold, I shouldn’t complain.  Winking smile

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

Monday, January 19, 2015

Catching Up


While it’s “only” been 3 days since I blogged last, it sure feels like it’s been a lot longer than that … probably because it’s been a very busy 3 days.


Friday DH and I had planned to go up to the swim meet early so we could stop in a small town outside Springfield … on the same block are a quilt shop and a coin shop.  I’ll give you 3 guesses who’s going to visit the quilt shop and who’ll visit the coin chop.  Ha!  But DD got a phone call that someone dear to her had recently been diagnosed with cancer so she wanted to go be with her that morning … instead of visiting a quilt shop, I got to spend my morning with the Ts.  Red heart  No complaints here. 


The Ts had a fantastic meet … they dropped times and placed well.  The facility was spectacular … a decent amount of seating near the pool with no blocked sight lines, a huge crash room with a scoreboard and a video board, and not too far from hotels and restaurants.  Best meet venue ever.  A good crash room is vital to the meet experience as there are significant amounts of time spent in the crash room (and if the crash room is small, Nana and Papa have to stay out on the pool deck between events … and let me tell you, even the folding stadium seats get mighty uncomfortable after a few hours … and there are some long days at these meets … because T#1 qualified for finals, we were at the pool for over 13 hours Saturday).  And of course equally important to a good meet experience is a well-packed bag.  Ha!IMG_2850IMG_2851IMG_2855I love this picture … T#2 and her friend were sitting in the same chair, FaceTiming each other.  Silly girls!  Winking smile


And as you can see, there was still snow on the ground … just an hour and a half to the north … we haven’t had snow on the ground since Thanksgiving. 


IMG_2853Nana has to bring a well-packed back as well, although my bag wasn’t as well packed as it should have been … I forgot my hand cream.  Surprised smile


When the 2014-15 YMCA swim season started last fall, DD and DSIL moved the kiddos to a new team, and that was one of the best moves … the coaches spend time working on improving techniques as well as building strength and endurance, and they actually care about the swimmers.  The parents are determined to build a TEAM … several families and the coaches had dinner together Sunday after the meet.  I’m here to tell you that it just warms this Nana’s heart.  IMG_2867 Here’s Coach Joel dancing with T#4.  Red heart  He’ll also join in one of the many card games underway or play toss. 


On the way home, DH and I had a little drama.  About 10 minutes into our trip, DH happened to check the gas gauge and saw it sitting on empty.  He was shocked because he had filled up the van on the way to the pool that morning … and we didn’t do any other driving prior to heading for home.  We assumed gauge malfunction, but thankfully DH decided to pull off at the next exit and fill up … just in case.  We expected to just top off the tank, but to our surprise, it took almost 17 gallons to fill up that tank!  Surprised smile  DH saw no evidence of a leak at the gas station, nor did he see any this morning after the van sat in the garage overnight.  The only thing we can think is that someone stole our gas?  Seriously?  I mean, who does that?  Especially with gas under $2/gallon now. 


As I’ve mentioned last month, I got a summons for jury service this week.  Because of the holiday, my first day would have been tomorrow, but thankfully, I’m not required to report tomorrow.  A couple of years ago, our county changed the reporting system. After 4:30pm the day before, potential jurors can check online or by phone to see if they’re going to have to report the following day.  What a change from the days of reporting and sitting and sitting and sitting while waiting to see if we have been chosen to serve.  Because of the holiday, the information was available after 4:30 Friday.  Sure made my weekend a lot more enjoyable knowing that I didn’t have to report Tuesday morning.  I’ll still have to check tomorrow evening to see if I have to report Wednesday morning … and Wednesday and Thursday evenings as well, unless they release me at some point.  I’m certainly hoping for a release … and sooner rather than later.  I’ve been called 6-7 times and have served on 3 juries.  Time for someone else to do their civic duty.  Winking smile


Since DH and I didn’t get to stop on the way to the meet, we’re thinking that we’ll take advantage of the delightful day today and head up this morning.  DH is always up for a road trip … and of course, I’m always up for visiting a new quilt shop.  Some of the gals at the guild meeting last Monday said that they’ve been to this shop and it’s worth the drive.  Not to mention that this shop offers weekend retreats several times a year … with one coming up this weekend.  I’d sure like to participate … if they’ll accept a last-minute registration (what with jury duty, it’s entirely possible that I might not know until as late as Thursday afternoon if I’ll be available Friday).  Plus they have another retreat coming up in March … I definitely want to sign up for that one. 


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

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Audiobooks and Sewing


I’m SO frustrated right now.  After reading that several of you all are reading audibooks, I decided to give it a try.  After all, I used to be an avid reader, but now that I’ve rediscovered my passion for quilting, I’ve found that there’s not enough time left for reading.  I thought audibooks would be a perfect solution … I could “read” while sewing or quilting.  I even ordered a set of bluetooth earbuds so I won’t have to worry about wires. 


I just spent over an hour and a half trying to find an audiobook to “check out” from my library.  While you might not be surprised to hear that, given the size of our small library in our small town (pop. 7400+), but our library is a member of a large regional library system covering much of Illinois with over 500 member libraries.


So when I’m searching for an audiobook, I’m not searching my small library … I’m searching all 500+ libraries.  I searched for audiobooks from authors I enjoy … with very limited success … of course, the few audiobooks I found were books I’d already read.  I expanded my search to some authors who were recommended by friends.  I found a few more books, but most were in series … and of course, the first book in these series were already “checked out”.  I finally found a book … an older book by John Grisham. 


But my “problems” didn’t end there.  It took me another 30 minutes to figure out how to find the book (the app for ordering books from the library system didn’t come with very many instructions, and their help section was devoted to how to use the app, not what to do once an audiobook has been chosen).  Annoyed  But with a fair amount of perseverance, I’ve got the book read to listen to while I spend the day in the sewing room.  Whew!


Do those of you who listen to audiobooks “checked out” from your library have trouble finding books by authors you enjoy?



Speaking of sewing room, I’ve completed 20 of the 63 blocks for T#3’s quilt. 


And as soon as I get the last 2 “white” logs sewn on, I’ll have another 16 blocks finished.  I’m hoping to make some good progress on another 20 or so blocks today, especially since I’m not sure when I’ll be able to get back to my sewing room … we’ll be out of town for a swim meet Friday through Sunday, Monday I’ve got an appointment, and Tuesday I begin my jury duty assignment.  I need to make “sewing hay” while the “sun’s shining”.  ha!



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