Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June Wrap

June has seemed fly by, even faster than normal. 

I only read 3 books this month, it was tough getting enough time to do a whole lot of anything.

On the upside!  With my new lifestyle change I have lost 15 1/2 lbs so far, and have my blood sugar most of the time within the normal range.  There are days when it is off, and I do have a splurge day occasionally but most of the time I stick pretty closely to my plan.  I do need to get more exercise in, but I am doing much more than I did previously and it helps too.

My goals for June were a bit strenuous.

1.  Farmer's Wife.  I need to get the top finished before July so it is off the design wall and safe from Finn.

I haven't done a whole lot to it.  The wet, and humid weather actually made my blocks fall off of my design wall.   I am going to pull it off and stack it into my sewing room while Finn is living here.

2.  Quilting I would like to get this quilt finished, and off the quilter. I have some charity quilts to quilt.
I haven't had a whole lot of time to work on this.  I figure a couple of hours and it may be done.  I really need to get it finished so the quilter can be taken out of the living room and put away in the Barn while the kids are living here. 

3.  Aurifil Block of the month.  Yet another quilt that I am doing sashing, and setting blocks.
I finished the top.  I like the red I used, it was from JAF and kind of had a Moda Grunge type of look. 

4.  Grand Illusion I hope to get some more blocks sewn together.

I finished this top too!

5.  Slow stitching-

a.  Cross stitch I would love to get the owl done so I can get to work on some of the others I need to do.

It is finished.  I do need to do the name, but that won't take long.  I actually started on the next one and it is going to be much different than any I have ever done. 

b.  Redword Words of Wisdom I would love to finish all of the stitching.  That would be the letters W, X, Y, Z and redoing the name block.

Have all of them finished, and I am working on trimming down the blocks.  I am not too sure if I want to stick with the pattern, which is kind of an attic window in two different colors of red, or I want to do my own design. 

I also started my next embroidery project which are a bunch of barns.  
I have 2 drawn out, and started the 3rd, but my overhead bulb died.  A new arrive today. 

 6.  Handwork I worked out the pattern for my grandmother's flower garden quilt, I need 36 flowers total, and ordered a couple of fabrics for constants.

I need to get a bunch of hexies cut out.  I was getting a wee bit low.  I have a bunch cut, but really need to cut more, but I am running low on mylar templates and it is too late to order some now. 

I also need to get more parts cut out for my tiny yoyo quilt I am going to make.

I got some pieces cut out. 

7.  I would also like to work on the Farm Girl Vintage quilt blocks.

I got two finished.  I am having a challenge with the next block, I am just not loving the fabrics I chose. I am so far behind with this QAL that it is not a huge deal how far I am behind. 

8.  Swoon Quilt I would like to get all of the parts cut out at least.

I did not touch this one, but I did order some more fabric.  Again I was not thrilled with some of my fabric choices so I needed more of course.

9. I need to make my guild challenge quilt after making my "test" piece.

 Nope did not touch it, and I have an itch to make a large quilt using my idea, so of course I needed to order some fabric for that.  

Throw in there that I also made a baby quilt, and quilted it for my new niece to give to my SIL and brother while I am visiting.

Not a terrible month overall.  I have some finishes, and reached some of my goals, so overall I am pretty happy with my accomplishments. 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Blame It On the Rain

Do you ever have one of those days that really makes you wonder why you even got out of bed?  Or my favorite saying some days it just isn't worth chewing through the tethers.  I am going to blame it on the rain.

I have been a bit bummed about my garden.  As you all know, my DH is a great guy and he can build the most fantastic things.  A green thumb he does not possess: you can read about my gardening exploits here. (There are several different versions of this story over the years.)  I have been trying to grow hollyhocks.  One year, soil sterilizer-  killed everything.  Next year tried from seeds--none came up and we had a ton of rain.  Last year I had some growing, while cleaning the gutters a ginormous pile of soggy, stinky leaves were dropped on my plants which were just starting to get a little height by DH.  This year I was so excited that they were actually starting to get a couple of buds, and BAM the torrential rains began.  See not his fault.  I took some string and wrapped them up to get them to stay upright, earlier they were all laying sprawled out all over the lawn. UGH!

Also my anise hyssop took a hit.
Looks like we have more headed this way too.
To top it all off, my car broke down today.  I went to watch the grand kids, Tete the older boy's grandmother came to take them for the day.  So it was just The Finn and I, and he is easy peasy to do errands with. We ran to JAF, then to another store to look for Birthday gifts.  When we came out, my car would not start.  I have a boost box in my car so that I could jump it.  Still did not work.  Called DH.  He came, tried the boost box still did not work.  We took Finn home, went and got a new starter, and DH tried to repair it in the store parking lot, but could not get the starter out of the vehicle with the way that the engine is mounted.  I could not find anyone willing to tow my vehicle home, according to the companies it was too far (32 miles).  So we had to go borrow a truck from DH work, grab our big flat bed trailer, drive back to where the car was broke down, winch it onto the flat bed trailer, hurry back home so that we could unload my car, and  DH return the work truck before those ugly clouds in the picture above let loose.  When it was all said and done, the car is in the barn, so at least DH can work on it, and we were not drenched in any torrential downpours.  That was actually 8 hours of my day, and a good 6 hours for DH.  We both feel like we have been beaten up we are so tired. 

No sewing, but we have been working a wee bit on the house getting things ready for later this week.  We are leaving on vacation, the kids are moving in so they can have more room to run, play, and our house is bigger, and has better A/C.  I thought it was time to change up the quilt hanging in our "living room" for the upcoming holidays too. 
The flag quilt I saw on an episode of Simply Quilts many years ago.  The directions were sketchy at best, and I kind of just faked it.  The other quilt is a Schnibbles quilt named Lincoln that I had to make, because I was dying to use Old Glory Gatherings fabric. I think that I need to get more of those curtain clamps to distribute the weight better for the quilts. 

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Friday the boys and I had an outing.  We went to Lake Erie to have a picnic.  We were tired of being cooped up in the house.   As you can see it was overcast and windy. 
Finn found a snake. 
It was laying between the rocks which form the edge of the lake. We can't decide if it is a fox snake, or a Massasagua Rattlesnake.   It was very big. We quickly left that picnic table and wander on a path through the nearby swampy area. 

It is hard to see but almost every large tuft of grass had a purple martin on it, which was really cool.

Do you remember that rhyme from when you were little? Being from Oregon I remember that song very well.  It rains there a lot, but I am convinced that Michigan can get so much more water in one day than falls in weeks in Oregon. It started raining Saturday morning at about 4am, add some high winds. 

This is my garden where I had a small row of sunflowers planted. See all the blow down leaves?  I wanted to weed my flower beds, because I had weeds which were significant, but as you can see it was totally out of the question.

I did do some sewing though.
This is my 2014 Aurifil BOM.  The top is all finished. Now for quilting eventually.

I also got the quilting completed on the baby quilt, and the binding sewn on. I will work on getting it stitched down in the very near future.

Sunday morning I heard the rain stop. I hurried out because they were saying it was going to rain off and on all day again.  I dead headed my roses, and started pulling weeds.  The sun came out and DH came out, and he cleaned gutters and I pulled weeds out of the flower beds. DH swears that I probably pulled a couple of hundred pounds of weeds. They were big!
Was your weekend dryer than ours?

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Classic Reading and A Wee Bit of Sewing

I love to read, and listen to books, especially a good mystery.

When I was a teen I read Agatha Christie.  Lately I was wondering when the mystery genre began.  I decided to learn more about it.  So I checked Wikipedia.  According to the article, the genre did not begin until about 200 years ago.  Edgar Allen Poe, and Voltaire were some of the earliest, as well as Wilkie Collins.

I have read Poe, many years ago, never read Voltaire, but I had never heard of Wilkie Collins.  I decided to check it out, and read The Woman In White

It is interesting when you consider this is one of the first books which was considered a mystery.  The style of writing was very different, compared to many other books which I have read, being that it was a story which was woven from many different character's narratives taking up where one left off. I love reading some of the classics because it teaches a bit of history, but also a great portrait of how different  morals, and thinking.  There is another Wilkie Collins mystery called The Moonstone which I am looking forward to reading soon.

Moving on, we are still getting a lot of rain almost daily. Coming from Oregon you would think that it is not a big thing, but in Oregon you do not get 1-2 inches a day!  Which means I don't get a whole lot of outside time being that we are pretty wet.  But all that time is paying off.

I finished a couple of blocks from the Vintage Farm Girl, I am not even going to say I am doing the QAL I am so far behind.

Butter churn

Baking Day
I started to cut out the next block which is Canning Season, but I am not loving my fabrics I chose.

 I finished the cross stitch except for the name for the SIL Christmas stocking.  I need to go and find the floss color that I use to stitch names. 
I also started to work on my next embroidery piece now that I am done with the blocks for my redwork Words of Wisdom blocks.  It is a set of barns with quilt blocks on them.  I am using a varigated Valdani, and am loving the way it is looking.  I was looking at a lightbox on Massdrop and Dh asked me what I needed it for.  I explained, and he asked why can't you use the overhead projector I saved form the garbage pit?

I am lazy and just use a cheapo mechanical pencil and it works pretty well.  I decided to try to get one traced a night.  Then the machine can get put away.

I am off to do housework, namely dish washing.  I usually get home around 8 pm or so. Last night I got home to the road being blocked (which for many isn't a huge deal but I had to backtrack up the freeway 3 miles and then take about a 15 mile detour to get home.  Oh the joys of country living!)  because someone had messed up the natural gas line, which meant no one had gas, which for me, means no cooking, and no hot water.  I got home early tonight still no gas.  I heated a canner full of water on the turkey deep fryer outside so I had hot water to do dishes with at least.  Oh it would be nice to have a shower too.  Grrr.  Supposedly they are sending a tech out tonight.  Um that was about 4 1/2 hours ago, it is closing on a quarter after nine and still no one in site. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

One Lovely Blog Award

Nancy over at Pug mom Quilts! nominated me for the One Lovely Blog Award.  How very cool, but also a bit intimidating.  I had to think on it for a few days, since I do not always have time to blog with my freaky schedule. Then there are times I get distracted and/or very focused and put things off.  By the way Nancy always has great projects going on, and I it is so inspiring when she posts about her sewing posses she hangs with.  I am green with envy about all her fun sewing friends. 

Anyhow part of the One Lovely Blog Award is that you are supposed to provide 7 facts about yourself.

1.  Between DH and I- we have 5 daughters and eleven grandchildren 7 girls and 4 boys.  Only six of the grandchildren live near us.  (Shh don't tell anyone but I have only made quilts for 4 of the grand kids and 2 of those were lap quilts)

2. I will tell on myself when I do something really super creatively dumb.  I figure if I cannot be a good example, I can at least be a horrible warning. Here is my most recent escapade! Should I or Shouldn't I?

3.  Growing up I lived on a small farm with chickens, cows, geese, horse and a garden.  I hated it!  I swore that I would never live on a farm, never have chickens, never have a garden, never can.  I had to eat those words a few years ago when I met the love of my life.  We live on a farm.  The first year we put in a garden, the second year I learned to can, the 3rd year we started raising chickens.  Do you see a pattern here?  I will say I love my life, even with the chickens, garden and all that goes with it.
4.  I have a thing for vintage/antique sewing machines.  There have been 3 or 4 purchased, but most of them have been found by DH. This is my newest acquisition.  Yep she was a freebie. 
5.  I am married to the most amazing husband ever.  He can fix almost anything, and he is a great person to find stuff and make it over to suit a different purpose. I kept telling him I wanted a quilting machine, and frame.  DH made me one, and we retrofitted a machine to fit on it.
6. My great grandmother taught me how to hand sew, my mother taught me a bit, but most of my sewing I learned by trial and error when my girls were little. Sewing dresses, shorts, and moving into quilting once they were older, but my first quilt I started making was handwork, I still have the blocks all hand sewn, but not put together.  No one in my family quilted until many years after I started.  Now my sister and mother quilt too.  

7. I am Native American, from a group of tribes in Northern California. I have been the holdout in the family regarding getting my tribal paperwork turned in.   Long story about providing the original copy of my birth certificate.   I will be taking care of that imminently. 

Finally part of the fun and games is that you are supposed to award 10 other bloggers.  Unfortunately I do not read 10 other bloggers on a regular basis, and the few I read have already been given the award.  I am going to nominate Dawn at Sew You Quilt 2.  She blogs regularly, and I love her pics of her kitties, and gardens. 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Making Some Progress

I had four days to do whatever I wanted.  I think I took advantage of it to the fullest.

Finished my name block for my redwork Words of Wisdom quilt.  I think I will get my blocks pressed and trimmed down a little at a time.  I don't have the fabric to make the sashing.  It calls for two different reds and the blocks look like attic window blocks. I may need to actually walk into a quilt shop to look for fabrics. 
I finished putting the borders on the Grand Illusion quilt.  Sorry for the pics we are still getting a lot of rain.  Another quilt that needs to be quilted.
I finished my block for the brown bagger quilt group through quilt guild.

I also got most of the quilting done for the baby quilt, started prepping blocks for my next embroidery project, and started putting together the 2014 Aurifil quilt blocks. 

Friday night we had Father's Day dinner at the youngest daughter's house with her SO parents, and my ex husband and his wife.  Saturday DH worked, and Sunday we had dinner at a local restaurant with the oldest daughter, son in law, and two grand daughters.  

I only have a few more days before the end of the month.  I really  need to get some more things going, but I have long days watching kids, so not much gets done during the week, but I must this week!  July is coming on fast. 

Friday, June 19, 2015

Quilter's OCD

Not often am I extremely particular regarding my quilts.  I may lose a point here and there, stretch a block to get it to work.  But when I posted my first picture of the my Grand Illusion I noticed my inside 4 patch units were going every which way.

Dh said he thought it looked wonderful and didn't even notice until I pointed it out to him. The more I looked at it the more it bothered me.  So this week I actually unpicked the seams and turned those 4 patches.
DH laughed and said that he didn't know I was so OCD.  I didn't either but I am glad I took the time to do it.

I finished the letter "Z" for my words of wisdom red work quilt.
The Made by, and started on my name block.

I also made a little label for the baby quilt I am making for my niece.
I had a couple of free days because my ex-husband is visiting the Detroit area for the first time to see the grandsons and daughter.  I intended to do some weeding of the flowerbeds and garden, but the daily rain has created muddy, mucky beds so darn, guess I am just going to have to sew.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

School Is Almost Over

Wow I forgot what it was like to have little ones in school, and how hectic the weeks are.  I don't get much time to be on the computer, I do manage to get much more sewing in, but then there are days which are much more demanding, and I don't have a lot of time to do what I want to do.    Throw in the youngest going out of town to her girlfriend's wedding in Maine, and leaving the two oldest boys and the dog and life gets much more interesting. er
Meet Fergus or as I like to call him at times FergAss cause he does things on occasions that irritate me to no end.  But overall he is a big lover and always wants to be with the family. 

I finished the letter X for the Words of Wisdom redwork.

I also finished the letter Y one day since the littlest was being very needy and wanted to lay on my lap almost all day.
I put the last couple of rows of blocks together for the Grand Illusion quilt with the sashing and cornerstones.  I matched points, and seems where they would matching, pinning as I went.  I had a helper that would take the pins out after I was finished sewing.  He also helped me measure so we could get ready for borders.
Sorry for the inside picture but we have had a couple of nights with lots of rain so it is too wet outside.  Also you see my center four patch blocks are not all going the same way.  I decided to change up the blacks and make sure they were different so blocks got spun this way and that.   

I also finished the top for the quilt I am making for my niece who is due to arrive in August.  I am trying to piece a backing so that I can get the quilting done on this one in the next couple of weeks.  I also need to get a label created so it can be sewn as part of the back. 

Not a bad week overall.