Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Boot Fettish

One day last week I was straightening up part of the garage and cleaning the floor. I lined up my husbands boot and shoes and although the picture isn't real clear there are 10 pairs of boot and shoes here and a few pair up on the shelf on the other side of the garage. I think he has me beat in footwear.

Friday, March 23, 2012

When Life Hand You Crap..............

Oh, I think it is supposed to be "When life hands you SCRAPS, make a quilt. Oh well!.. Life has been a bit stressfull the last couple of weeks with some family problems. Everything is going to work out. I decided that I needed to do some easy, mindless sewing. I had a zip-loc bag of pieced 4 patches sitting on my sewing table. The blocks started out at 2 inches. I pulled the 4 patches, found some additional fabric for sashings and began sewing. I ended up making these two baby quilts and am really happy with the way they turned out and I truly enjoyed and appreciated the therapy. These quilts will go to the Baby Basket here in our county. It is an organization that accepts new and gently used items for families in need.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Another Completed UFO

I finished this quilt about a month ago. It is a Spider Web quilt that I started several years ago in a class with Gyleen Fitzgerald at Thunder Bay Resort here in Hillman. It isn't a pattern that I would have picked but Gyleen had some great short cuts that helped to make the quilt a fun project. As a side note there were a couple of nurses in the class and they thought the spider webs resembled hazardous waste signs.
Today was sewing day at Sandy D's Quilt Shop. We had a small group today but still had a good time. I spent the majority of the time drawing, cutting and fusing the bumble bees onto some Honey Bee blocks. This morning before I went to the shop I got half of the machine quilting done on a baby quilt. I should go outside and finish cleaning up the last flower bed but the temperature right now is 87 degrees and I think I will wait till it cools down. Besides that half quilted baby quilt is calling my name.

Monday, March 19, 2012

A Very Busy Weekend

The weather has been absolutely beautiful here in Hillman with temperatures in the high 70's. Friday night I attended the Mock Rock Concert at the High School. I have to admit that I must be getting older, or maybe it is just that I am not into rock music. I didn't recognize most of the songs or the artists but I do give a lot of credit to the kids for performing on the stage to a packed house. Saturday morning I spent 3 hours with our 2 year old grandsons Gavin and Grady. We spent about 1 1/2 hours on the golf cart touring the town. Every time I stopped they would say "Moe". After their Dad picked them up I headed to the Nursing Home to attend the St. Patrick's Day party with my Grandma. We were given the choice of green milk shakes or green beer (non-alcohol, of course). So Grandma and I enjoyed green milk shakes and 2 games of Bingo. It was a cover all and the winner of each game received $2.50. My Grandma didn't quite get the total concept of the game but we still had fun. After the party I came home and changed clothes and my husband and I headed to the Community Center for the 37th Annual Firemen's Ball. The meal (prepared by the firefighters) was great and so was the country music band. Over 160 door prizes were handed out and there were a couple of raffle items too. The band played till mid-night and then it was time for clean up. We got home a little after 1 a.m. so that wasn't too bad. I got up for Church on Sunday morning, stopped to check on my parents after Church, then came home and made brunch. Shortly afer we finished with brunch we headed to Mio (about a 45 minute drive) to attend our grandson Cameryn's basketball tournament. His team won their first game and since the second team did not show up they forfeited and Cam's team won the trophy. It was pretty exciting. My evening consisted of a warm bath, a little reading, a little hand quilting and and early bed time. I have a feeling tonight's evening may be a repeat.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Another Completed UFO

This sampler quilt was a Block of the Month we did at Guild in 2010, about time I got it done, eh? The picture doesn't really do the quilt much justice. I used my much loved 1930's reproduction fabrics. I wasn't real thrilled with the quilt. Maybe if I hadn't put the red in the middle I might have liked it better. But of course, it has grown on me. I tried to machine quilt it using an all over stippling and it just wasn't working out. Then I remembered I have lots of large stencils so I decided to use one of those and hand quilt my quilt. Well, with all of the variety of color in the quilt it didn't matter what color thread I used none of the stitching was showing up. And if I was going to hand quilt I wanted my stitching to show up. So I decided to machine quilt doing a cross hatch using my walking foot and the little foot that attaches to it to mark the lines. Someone told me it wouldn't work so of course that made me want to try it even more. I am really happy with the end results, it was easier than I thought and actually kind of fun. I will definitely use that method of quilting again.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Couple of Completed Projects

Here are pictures of a couple of projects I finished awhile ago. The little troll dolls quilt is a panel that I have had for years. When I found it this winter it just made me happy and I knew I wanted to get it quilted. It has brought back some great memories of my younger days. I hand quilted it and at this point I don't know what I will do with it. The embroidery quilt was a block of the month that I worked on last year. All of the little raggedy Ann centers are hand embroidered. I love the 1930's reproduction fabrics that were included in the kits.

Life has thrown our family a couple of curve balls in the last few days. So many times I wonder why God gives us challenges in our lives and I know that in the end it does make us stronger. I have no committments today and tomorrow and I really enjoy that. A huge part of me would love to lock myself in my sewing room and not come out for a very long time, but I know that can't happen. This morning I washed several of the windows in our house (the ones I don't need to use a ladder). I am taking a little lunch break right now then I think I will go in and wash the kitchen walls and then perhaps sweep the garage floor and maybe if I still have any steam left will clean out my car. Along with getting some spring cleaning done my ulterior motive is to be so exhausted tonight that I will crash when it is bed time.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Weather Update

The winter storm hit us very hard last Wednesday night. Just yesterday and last night we lost all of the snow that was hanging in the trees due to high winds and warmer temps. That wet, heavy snow caused lots of problems for lots of folks here in northern Michigan. Many, many people were without electricity and some still are. The reports on the radio are that some may not have electricy until Friday. On the up side the temperatures have gone up and are predicted to be in the 50's today. I saw on the news the other night some electrical line workers here from Indianana strapping on snow shoes to go to find downed power lines. Fortunately we didn't lose our electricity. My heart goes out to those who did lose electricity and as a fire fighters wife I know first hand of the stress this kind of thing puts on line worker spouses and families.

On the upside today is the day we have our small group sewing at our "LQS". I baked a pan of date bars to share this morning and right now I have some granola in the oven - a new recipe from my sister. I had better go and get my sewing supplies packed for a fun day of sewing. Enjoy your day!

Monday, March 5, 2012

It's A Girl

Our newphew Josh and his wife Jill are expecting their first baby next month - and it's a girl. I attended the baby shower last weekend. I made 3 receiving blankets for the baby. I made some for our girls a couple of years ago and they said they really liked the size (I used 3/4 of a yard of soft flannel). I also made some burp clothes and really wished I would have had them when my kids were babies. I made a diaper/wipes carrying case and plan to make more of them. Thanks to JoEllen for sharing the pattern with me. While shopping at Hobby Lobby a couple of weeks ago I found this pink camo yarn and I knew it would be perfect to make an afghan for the baby. Jill said the colors were perfect as that was the colors they were using in the nursery. And I love the idea of giving the baby a book instead of spending money on a card.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Quilter's Heaven

Today felt like Quilter's Heaven. I was able to spend most of my day in my sewing room sewing. Seems like most of the time there is laundry to do or other housekeepping activities that interfere with my day, but not today. Well, I did make breakfast and dinner and I took a little break to do some snow shoveling but other than that it was just me and my sewing machines. As you can see I had a beautiful view out my window, the snow is still hanging in the trees.

The UFO that I worked on was something that I had started probably a year or so ago at open sewing at Guild. The pattern was called Red Hot Stars, designed by Sharon Sebrow and was in a 2005 Quick Quilts magazine. Since I used blue fabrics I was thinking about calling the quilt Winter Blues but I don't mean it in a negative way. I started this quilt on our featherweight so I wanted to continue sewing on the featherweight. The pattern called for hand appliquing the stars onto the quilt. Although I like to do hand work I decided to machine stitch the stars down. At first I tried to do a button hole stitch on my Viking but it just wasn't working for me. So I put the walking foot on the Viking and did what I would call a top stitch applique. It was kind of fun going back and forth between machines. I plan to machine quilt this one some day, just don't know when yet. Now I am off to do some hand quilting for the evening. My husbands teases me that I have a rough life and I guess that I would have to agree with him!

March Snow Storm

This time the weather forecasters were correct. We got the major snow storm that was predicted. Yesterday just before the snow started to fall I went outside and shoveled off our back deck. I just went out and shoveled it again and measured 9 inches of snow in a 26 hour period. The snow was very wet and very heavy. A couple of times it even stuck to the shovel when I tried to throw it off the deck. All of the trees are still covered with snow and it is very pretty. We have been very fortunate and have not lost our electricity but I know that some of my family members and friends have been without electricity all day. The temperatures are starting to drop now so I hope everyone get their electricity back on soon.

With the heavy snow we had a very large branch break on one of our trees along with a few other smaller branches. I always hate to see this happen. On a good note I spent most of the day sewing and I loved it. I have a couple of pictures to post and will try to do that after dinner.

Friday, March 2, 2012

A Crazy Winter Here In Northern Michgian

The weather has been very crazy here this winter. We had very little snow all winter long. On Wednesday, February 29 we were hit with a major snow storm. We didn't measure here but I heard any where from 6 - 8 inches of snow, and it was a very wet and heavy snow. And it is predicted that another storm will be coming in later this afternoon with predictions of 8 - 11 inches. I say BRING IT ON!!! Of course for the most part I don't have to go out in it.

I always have fantasies of spending the winter inside in my comfy clothes playing with my sewing machine and my fabric. I haven't been able to do as much of that this winter as I would have liked. As soon as the Christmas holiday was over the absentee ballots arrived for the February 28th primary election here in Michigan. As Township Clerk I am the election administrator for Hillman Township. I have a list of permanent absent voters and I automatically send them applications for absent voter ballots before every election. I do not work full time in my office but once the applications go out I try to go to the office every day and keep up on mailing out ballots, especially those that need to be sent out of state. And then there is all of the work of getting all of the election equipment set up, tested and ready to roll. On Tuesday I worked as a precinct inspector (I can't do that when my name is on the ballot) and it was a 16 1/2 hour day. And of course I didn't sleep well the night before. So I welcomed the Feb. 29th storm with open arms. I was able to sleep in, stay home, d0 a little sewing, a little reading and also take a nap. Yesterday I went into the office for an hour or so, enjoyed lunch with a friend and then spent time in my sewing room. I had made up 42 Honey Bee blocks and have been machine appliquing the little wings in the corners. I ran out of the black fabric just before dinner. I had hoped to go to Alpena tomorrow morning for our grandson's 8:00 a.m. basketball game, then see about getting some more black fabric but now will have to wait and see what this storm brings. I have a couple of errands to run this morning, then I think I will come home and machine quilt a little table topper I made during a Guild workshop last fall.