Monday, July 25, 2011

No title today...

There has been no fun going on around here lately. There has been stifling heat and humidity although we have been better off than the central states. I haven't walked the dogs more than run out and run back in due to almost constant thunder (it causes Little Girl's bladder to close up tighter than a drum!) and lightening. We are in the season of the year of almost daily rain in the afternoons. I really don't like getting rained on, I guess it all stems from being told by my Papa I would melt if I got rained on. At least one person in my life thought I was sweet as sugar. Anyway with the afternoon rain I have to plan my activities around them or nothing gets done. So what do you think has happened? Nothing! I am not a good planner.

I have gone in the sewing room a couple of times but it needs cleaning so bad I usually turn and come right back out. I have not felt much like bending and moving stacks and putting away and the such. My F/A is giving me fits for the past week or so. Too much stiffness and pain.

Luckily I have less stiffness and pain in my hands (just my thumbs) so I have been learning to bead a new stitch. I am doing an odd count tubular peyote stitch.

This was going to be a large bangle bracelet. I have never done anything like this and have been using beads I have had for a long time. Once I got this far I discovered I could never finish it. See the large clear beads at the top of the ridge? I will run out of those beads in about two more rounds. I have no idea where I bought them or even what size they are. So I decided I will make it as far as it goes and then put it on my shelf. I love the way it looks. I like it so much I know I will make another one, but make sure I have enough beads to complete a full bracelet. I know at least two young ladies who would love to wear a wild bracelet like that.

Last night, I was really feeling bad, Ray was watching TV and I didn't want to go to bed. I put all of my beading stuff on a cookie sheet and sat in the living room with Ray and the pups.

It worked perfectly! See that wooden thing at the top left of the picture? That is a really pretty wooden thread and needle keeper Ray bought me in Wyoming. I have to be careful with it, as it has a very powerful magnet in it and it has already done a number on my iPod.  I was able to reset it and it is fine, but lesson learned!
I think I will go get in the pool and try to work some of the stiffness out. I am tired of feeling bad so I must get pro-active!


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I can't believe it!

Do you remember when I was working on the group project where I made a small portion? Well Tommy entered it into the International Quilt Festival. She got the acceptance letter! Yes it is going to be in Houston! How cool is that? Now I KNOW I'm going to Houston!
In case you don't know, my portion is bottom row, third from the right. Not much color...beige and red.

I found out tonight my dad is being sent to a therapy center. I really don't know all the details but he has been in the hospital for 4 days for a severe UTI. Now I find out he is being sent to a place that he will NOT do well in. He can NOT stand to be separated from my mom. Right now they are keeping him pretty well drugged so they can keep him in the bed at the hospital. How much will they drug him to keep him this new place? It just doesn't feel good.


Nothing new

Still not much going on. Dealing with a two day headache, two separate days of joint pain and tons of laundry has caused me to not get much accomplished.

I volunteered to help the LQS with making samples. It has taken me three days to make two pillowcases. Now that is slow! I am really glad I didn't get the other samples I considered as they were much more involved. The fabrics are really cute. I can see me buying some for sleep pants for my sons.

I thought I would share one of the beautiful sunsets from our recent trip to Colorado.  I'm not very good with a camera, but God sure is good with the sunsets.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I just don't understand

I learned to piece a quilt not too long after my youngest son was born. I learned all by myself, in the living room with a Georgia Bonesteel book in my lap. I picked the fabrics by looking at her pictures. The fabrics were ugly, although at the time I didn't think so, and they were not very good quality (read cheese cloth). 
I'm am a visual learner. I don't do written instructions well, but I really wanted to know how to make a quilt so I stuck with it. I would call Granny on the phone and ask her questions. I asked Ray to read the instructions and see if I was doing it right. I made twelve 12" blocks, hand pieced. Then because not all of the blocks came out exactly 12" I had to put a small sash around each one to make them all the same size.
After about a month of seeing me struggle and fret, then smile and giggle over my accomplishments my husband asked if there was anyone besides his Granny who lived 8 hours away who could teach me. Now mind you, I had a very premature baby on my hands who needed 24 hour a day meds and oxygen and 3 doctor's appointments a week an hour from our house and two older children ages 5 and 8. Saying all of that to say, money was TIGHT.
I told him that one day while driving home from a doctor's appointment I noticed a sign advertising quilt classes. So after discussing it and assuring me we could afford it I signed up. I remember thinking $60 was OUTRAGEOUS! It was either 8 or 10 weeks of classes two hours a week. We learned block reading, template making, hand piecing, applique, basting, quilting and binding. The whole shebang. Beside all of that we learned about tools, fabric, color choices and anything else you could think of. I also learned "quilt shop etiquette", as in how to not put my foot in my mouth about buying fabric at another place and talking about it in the shop. Needless to say the quilt shop owner was very patient and kind.
Once we finished the class we knew everything we needed to know to make a quilt. We were not experts in anything, but we would get better.

Time travel twenty years later and I am sitting here confused. As a lot of quilters, I am on a few "lists" that talk about quilting. Some of these lists are about particular types of quilting and some are about hand work, some are about particular books or patterns. This week one of the lists I am on is all in a dither about the book not having instructions about block construction. Really? Didn't they open the book and look through it before they purchased it? Why are you fussing and whining because you purchased a book that you don't know how to use?  If you want to make this quilt, figure it out. Don't wait to be spoon fed.
I guess what I am saying is what I told my children when they would ask me how to do something they were too lazy to troubleshoot. Engage your own brain, instead of mine. Look at it, think about it, try something, if it doesn't work try something else.

I guess I should step down from my soap box. I have more to say, but it comes out mean so I keep deleting it.
If you don't hate me by now maybe I will see you next time.


Monday, July 11, 2011

Coming out of the funk

I hope the "funk" is about over. Ray and I attribute it to too much travel and not enough rest. I have been unfocused and tired and until last night  haven't even ventured down the hall to my sewing room. After a couple of days of aches and pains and headaches I am finally feeling human again.

The most fun I have had is playing with my sweet puppies, who both turn one year old this month. Boo turned one on the 5th and Little Girl will on the 23rd.
Can this be comfortable? Her bum on his shoulder and her shoulder holding all her weight, which is a LOT!

While travelling I bought a beading magazine. Do not ask me why, because I don't know. Something sparkly caught my eye I guess. So when I got home I pulled out my beads from when the kids were young and doing arts and crafts. I had forgotten how much I liked playing with beads. I have made a few bracelets and a ring which looks goofy and is too big, but it was fun. I also discovered that going to a bead store is just as dangerous as going to the quilt shop. The purchase is the same $ amount but you come out with a tiny bag you can slip into your purse.
This one needs help

Lots of fun to make

first in a long time, FUN
needs help!

Ray is off on another trip this week so I went into the sewing room and sat and stared for a long time. I finally said to myself. "Self you have to just do it" so I did. I grabbed some strips and made a couple of log cabin blocks. Nothing fancy, nothing hard, just dipping my toes; getting reacquainted. Feeling my way around. It felt good. The blocks came out square and the correct size which is always a good thing.

Maybe I will make a few more today, since these turned out so nice. But first my youngest want to go grab a pizza, YUM!


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

what to do?

I am at a complete stand still. I don't know what to do. This always happens after a lot of travel. I go in my sewing room and look at everything. I look through projects I had been working on before leaving, trying to remember where I was, but put them aside.
I look though my stack of UFO bins trying to get interested, but close them back up. I dig out magazines trying to spark an interest...nothing. I look through my hundreds of patterns, put them back. I start to clean up thinking that usually gets me interested in something I touch, not this time.
I hate this feeling. I feel overwhelmed, underwhelmed and disconnected.
Overwhelmed by the amount of stuff I have.
Underwhelmed by the projects that had me on fire just a few short weeks ago.
Disconnected because I have not ventured out to make quilting friends even after living here for almost three years. What is my problem?  Really I know what my problem is there. I have always been afraid of putting myself out there. If I have a friend to go with I am pretty much OK, but when I am alone I am the biggest scaredy cat!

So here I sit...what to do?


Friday, July 1, 2011

Home, laundry and rules

We got home late last night. I was so glad to finally sleep in my own bed! I like travelling, but I love coming home.
Today is busy with laundry, vaccuming, unpacking, playing with the pups and trying to stay out of the sewing room. I have to make strict rules about the sewing room when I get home from a trip or I will drop the suitcases in the doorway and head straight in there. There will be no clean clothes, no food and very upset dogs.
I must go to the grocery store today. The only food left is milk and a half box of cereal.

While travelling this year, my attention was directed to beads. Do not ask me why, I don't know. I guess the sparkle or something like that. I bought a couple of beading magazines and saw all of the fun stuff that was being made. I used to bead on a loom years ago so I have beads and several tools. I still like bead weaving on and off loom better than just beading one bead after another. Maybe I will just pull out my loom and see what I can come up with.
I visited a couple of bead shops but bought very little. Fortunaltly there has been no head over heels falling for sparkly things like for fabric. Ray is relieved. He did ask me if I was starting a new addiction or if I was mildly interested. He was worried what room the beads would take up in the already stuffed quilt house. I assured him it was a mild interest, but he did need to take me to the sporting goods store. I'm not sure what he was thinking when I bought the new Berkley Fireline. He started looking at new rods and reels. He told me he needed heavier line than the 6# test I bought. I just shook my head.  Poor man, when will he learn?

Ok, I am off to the grocery store.
More later,