What Have I Been Doing?


It would seem that I’ve been really, really busy…given the obvious lack of blogging, but I don’t have much to show for where my time is going.  I have been being much more faithful about squeezing in some time on the Treadclimber, after I get home from work, before I prepare supper, and have lost ten lbs. since the first of the year.  I’m very happy about that, but I’m also where I was when I got stuck last year, and then discouraged.  I’m trying not to do that this year, no matter how slow it is coming off.

The dinner I am cooking tonight might not be conducive to weight loss.  Here it is before going in the oven.  Yum. I like some homemade pizza.

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I have been trying to prepare more of our meals in the evenings.  That eats up a chunk of my free time, along with the workout beforehand. It seems when I add a new activity, something else is sure to fall behind.  Right now, it’s the housework and quilting.  Isn’t is always the housework, though?  Dust…where does it all come from??

I have been doing some reading.  Even though I haven’t taken a single stitch in about a week, I’ve been reading about quilting.  My Quilter’s Home issue came, and my OBW book, for the upcoming class at guild.

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Mark has a pattern for a mini iron & crystal wand keeper, that I really want to try to make.  I’d like to make one larger, also, for my curling iron or flat iron.  There’s also a great scissor review in this issue.

I bought fabric for the OBW quilt.  I mentioned it in my last stash report, but here’s a pic.  I bought it from Knot & Bolts.  I think it will make a cool OBW.

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We aren’t supposed to start any of it til the class.  At the class we are doing the octagon version.  And once I break down and buy some new fabric, for any reason, that seems to be all it takes to get me started.  I will have confessions for this week’s stash report.  I bought another fabric that I thought would make a good OBW, but now that I have it in my possession, the pattern isn’t as large as I thought, so I’m doubtful that it will be successful, but I’m going to try it anyway.  And I’ll try the hexagon version with it.  I hope to work on it before I go to class.  After reading over the book yesterday, I was One Block Wondering in my dreams last night.

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And when I went to checkout, my cart told me I could get XX more yards for the same shipping price. (I’ll not tell how many yards til Sunday!) Well, I had already seen this cutie, and, promptly went back and added those XX yards of it to my cart!

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Love those funky little chickens!

I also read a book that I loved…Same Kind Of Different As Me.  I read it, then read it aloud for my DH.  He loved it, too.  It was a very emotional read, for me.

April will be an even busier month for me.  I have to travel to Austin, with my boss, for a few days, for the Texas Probation Association annual conference.  When I get home, I have some special company coming for the Easter weekend.  The next week, we are off to Lubbock for my son’s district golf tournament, and while we are there, my DH has an appointment with another doctor for his ankle.  Then, depending on how the team does at District, I could possibly be traveling back to Lubbock the next week, for regionals.  I am taking a short break from customer work, til my life slows back down a bit.  I have some quilts in queue, but they aren’t in my possession yet, and I think I will leave it that way til later in May, or possibly June. I haven’t even started the quilting on my 9P & Stripe quilt I have ready.  I have to find my limitations, and learn to work within them, or I might implode.

Sunday Reporting


With the traveling this past week, there’s not much quilting progress to report.  However, I made some purchases while in Midland, but NOT fabric.  I went to Hobby Lobby in search of some applique supplies recommended by Sharon Schamber.  I bought some Liquid Stitch and some basting glue.  I also bought some Sulky medium weight water soluble stabilizer, for a freeform scarf project I saw on Fons & Porter.  Who knows when I will have time to play with it, but at least I have some stuff…lol.  I also went to Barnes & Noble and picked up the latest edition of Quilter’s Home.  Mark’s Quiltzilla article is hysterical! I also bought a mag I hadn’t seen before, Quilting Arts.  And I found a copy of The Persian Pickle Club.  I’ve already read it and enjoyed every minute. 

We had a freeze warning last night, and I had a little grape tomato plant that already had some blooms and two tiny tomatoes on it.  I carefully put some batting scraps over it and around it to protect it, and when I uncovered it this morning, I discovered that in the process of trying to protect it, I knocked off the little stem with the ‘maters.  Waaaa! And it only got to 34 last night…shoulda left it alone. 

Now, I’m hoping someone can solve a mystery for me.  I have this plant in the front yard.  It was here when we moved in…can anyone tell me what it is? It blooms early every spring.

Before I left town last Sunday, I was in my yard filling my bird feeders, and almost stepped on this in the grass. Thank goodness I saw it!

My first Swallowtail Butterfly of the year.  Apparently, it had recently come out of it’s chrysalis, and was trying to dry out it’s wings.  I helped it get to higher ground.  I’m glad I already have some parsley coming up, and I have planted some dill seeds already, just so they can lay their eggs on it, and I will have more caterpillars this year.  If you have found my blog, by searching for what kind of caterpillars are eating your dill or your parsley, they are Swallowtail butterflies.  Please spare a bit of your garden for them.  Give them a chance to find their wings.

It won’t be long, and I bet I have pics of it’s offspring munching happily in my garden.  Have a great day!

Sunday Report


I’m still piecing my 9P & Stripe quilts.  Just the two bottom rows to add.  I am this far along on both of them:

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If I manage to finish these two quilts this year, they will take a lot of yardage from my stash. :-)

I got a call for another commissioned quilt this week.  It will be a graduation gift, so as soon as the fabric for that gets delivered to me, it will become priority one, as it needs to be finished before the end of May.  It won’t be my favorite colors to work on, as it’s for a boy headed to Oklahoma State University, so it’s black & orange.  This one will only be full size, so hopefully it won’t take me too long.  I enjoy doing the commissioned quilts, as usually these are for people, who while they appreciate quilts, don’t have any idea how to make one.  Therefore, when you are finished, and deliver the completed quilt, they are so thrilled.  That’s fun.  I like that.  I will do the standard simple log cabin, so I can get it done in time.  For those wondering, as I usually get some emails asking, for a simple pattern such as log cabin, or rail fence, I charge 7 cents per square inch, for the constuction of the quilt.  That does not include fabric, batting, or thread.  More complicated patterns, or more complicated custom quilting, would increase the price accordingly. 

This is the quilting in progress, of the customer quilt I mentioned yesterday.  The quilt was completely finished, with stitch in the ditch hand quilting.  After machine quilting another quilt for customer, she decided she would like me to try to add some quilting to this one.  I knew it would have some challenges, but except for problems with the borders, I think it’s coming along nicely. 

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I’m concerned about some excess fabric in the back in a few spots, but so far it’s looking pretty good on the back, I think.

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The only big problem I’m having is with the borders.  I may have to just leave them be, as there is too much excess fabric, as you can see on the right side of this pic. 

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Since it is already bound, there is no where for the excess to go.  I already tried to lightly quilt one, and ended up with a big pucker.  So, I will be frogging that when I get done with the rest.  I will probably also leave the sashings alone.  After I get done, I will show it to my customer, and see if she wants to leave them, or remove the binding.  My customer happens to be the friend that brought the pics of mybaby to me week before last.  I think she’s really going to like what I have done, so far.

The weigh-in wasn’t so bad afterall.  I didn’t lose any, but I didn’t gain, either.  So for now, I’m holding steady at 144.  There are still cookies in the house, though!

I read my first issue of Quilter’s Home.  I really enjoyed it, and will be looking forward to the next issue.  No, I’m not just saying that because Mark said nice things about my quilting on that vintage top I posted previously.  ;-)   I really did like it! 

A Heart Full of Gratitude


Wow, what a week! I think I have said “thank you” more times this last three days than I have the last three months.  And I’m going to say it some more.  I have been so touched by all the comments regarding the quilt in my previous post.  Truly, I’m a little overwhelmed.  I was already thrilled with the responses from you, my regular readers, who for whatever reasons keep coming back to visit me here.  Many of you have been with me on different online message boards for longarm quilters since my longarm journey began.  You guys know that I’m that quilter that doubts myself all the time.  I’m used to being the one doing the drooling over someone else’s gorgeous quilting.  You guys have been the best cheerleaders, teachers, and encouragers, and you have no idea how much your friendships mean to me, and how much I enjoy “knowing” you.  I can’t wait to get to meet some of you in person, and give you all a great big hug.  And I have to give credit where credit is due.  You guys are my inspiration.  And those wonderful teachers among you, whose DVD’s and videos I have purchased, and watched over and over, thank you for putting such great teaching products out there.  For the feathers I used on this particular quilt, I have to credit Renae Haddadin, Sharon Schamber, & Sherry Rogers-Harrison, whose book I have.  Also, Jamie Wallen for the inspiration for the feather motif in the very center of the quilt.

Mark Lipinski, you really have no idea how surprised I was when I discovered you had tagged me in your blog.  Or how much I appreciated what you said about my quilting.  I have to thank you for my two biggest blog visitor days EVER! Truly, I felt very honored that you chose to highlight me in your blog.  My husband told me I better quit reading it or I was going to get a migraine from my head swelling :-)  I found your blog right after you started it, I believe with your very first post.  As soon as I read it, I immediately added you to my blogroll, and have been faithfully reading it ever since.  You are one of my regular stops in blog land.  Now I’m gonna have to get a subscription to your mag. :-)   Seriously, thank you.

I had another wonderful surprise this morning, from Carla B.  Check out this awesome cartoon she made! She made a “Pickle Award”.  I think it’s FABULOUS!  What do you think, Mark?  I printed it out and will have to find a spot in my quilting room where I can always enjoy it.

And if all the above were not enough, I was suprised by another act of kindess this week.  When I got to work Thursday morning, I found an envelope of old pictures laying on my desk.  A friend had been by and dropped them off while I was out sick Wednesday afternoon.  At first, I was trying to figure out who these kids were, and why did someone leave pictures of them on my desk?  Then it dawned on me…OMG! That is ME, and MY BABY! Do I look like a boy or what?

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Isn’t he a doll?

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These were taken 16 years ago next month, at my friend’s house.  She found them when cleaning out her cedar chest, and thought I should have them.  There were a few more, but I won’t bore you with all of them.

Check out this super cool baby quilt I had the privilege of quilting for a customer yesterday.  I love the fabrics she used.  What a great nursery this babe is going to have.

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Something new (to me) that I discovered this week, is this yummy fruit.  It’s a pummelo.  I liked it!

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Thanks to my friend Diane, who called me last night to make sure I didn’t miss my favorite NASCAR driver, Bobby Labonte, on Trackside last night. 

I really have been flying high the last couple days, and I think I have more than used up my 15 minutes of blog fame,  so one more time, THANK YOU!!

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