Monday, February 28, 2011

Design wall Monday

Here are a few more blocks. I have officially reached the half way mark in the Civil War Diary quilt. It feels like a big milestone!

Thursday, February 24, 2011


This has been an interesting week. I have only two little blocks to show for it so far. Why, because the second block has 65 pieces!!! I had to count them to figure out why it was taking me soooo long to do.

The long arm is up and running. We had to replace a part on the frame and now it runs smoother than ever with the new track! I am so pleased with my latest sampler quilt. I have been practicing several new stitches and feel my confidence growing each new quilt.

I have been practicing my violin more and my body doesn't rebel. It has been a long while,  since my thyroidectomy, to be able to play without discomfort. Love to play the Celtic trad music! I have also been brushing up on music theory for my student. It has been a while and is pushing my memory banks. Any good free websites out there?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I have been thinking about how to help others more. I feel that there are so many ways I do help day to day. There may be ways I can help others more through volunteering or making charity quilts. It has been brought to my attention, through personal observation and study, at how many humans are so inherently focused on self that we just don't think about others.

I mean even in the little things that people say. One is belief I have heard recently is that the earth was created for "you." Hmmm, really? I don't think so. I believe the earth was created because the creator wanted humans to be reminded of His greatness. It was created not by the motivation that it was for ME but for the creator ultimately.

Or all of the times people are so caught up what is going on in their lives that they don't even see opportunities available. They say silly things that are thoughtless and hurtful. A recent interaction I had was at the gym. The person hasn't seen me or my husband in a long time. DH has done very well and lost 100 pounds. I have lost 50. The person said, "I see that your husband has finally got you to come to the gym because your here working out today." I felt as if I needed to justify why I am still overweight to him. And in reality I have been working out a year or two longer than DH.

So my goals this year are to be more observant in helping others. I have been reading the happiness project and it has some good advice. An area that is addressed in the past week was taking criticism more constructively. So the above conversation at the gym I was taking as a criticism. I had to reposition it in my mind the thoughtlessness. Another area for happiness is to become more spiritually focused. I have been studying the Bible more and doing more praying. Now to be more active.

The next piece of advice was to de-clutter your home as it adds to overall stress. I am doing that one drawer and shelf at a time. I plan to post monthly my room by room progress. March first is nearly here!

I am also working on balancing my work with exercise, eating right and pursuing creative endeavors. I am also giving my self permission to take time for myself to do "play." I feel that is the hardest. I am motivated by productivity, schedules and projects.

Ideas for volunteering out there? Quilt opportunities?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Design Wall Monday

Here are more 6 inch Civil War Diary Quilt blocks. I am really moving along on these, but I haven't hit the halfway mark yet. I did bind 2 quilts this week!

It has been a wonderful week for me. My 25th anniversary celebration lasted a week. We went on a date and you could read about it here on my husband's blog. He is a wonderful man and I know how blessed I am to  have him as my husband. :) I have a long weekend to relax, reflect and remain focused on my goals for this year. I will blog about that more in a future post.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Our silver anniversary was yesterday and I recieved some wonderful  gifts. I have such a wonderful husband-flowers, chocolate truffles and a lovely necklace. He delivered it to the office. I was shocked and had a wonderful day. We will go out Saturday for a dinner out of town. The joke is that when we attend sporting events if I eat something it "counts" as a date. :) I like those date but dinner at a resturant will be lovely.

A lovely day of celebration of this milestone!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Friendship Triangles!

At last this top is finished! I had trouble with the mitered corners but I sought professional help at Delphine's Quilt Shop.Delphine showed me how to. The little triangles came from an exchange at the shop last summer! Love it, it is 60 inches square. The pattern is from Laundry Basket Quilts.

Here is a close up of my corner that turned out perfectly! I am so proud.

Yesterday, my son was sick. Had tons of sewing and organizing planned. Well, with the ice, school was canceled. I took the whole day off work to take him to the doctor and get to the pharmacy. We lost power for the afternoon. Driving through town without stoplights is not easy!! It is amazing how the whole world grinds to a stop without power. Businesses closed. We couldn't find much to do around the house. We read books, talked, and I did hand sew a quilt binding. 

 Just as it was getting very cold, the power came on. I did get the next Civil War Diary quilt block finished and the corners for the triangle quilt as above. I didn't get the organizing done because the closet needed some light. There is always today, right?

Congratulations to me, it is our 25th anniversary. I am so happy today.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Design Wall Monday

Here is the Friendship Triangles Medallion Quilt. It has taken me all week to put the borders on each side. Notice the weird corners, well that is because they are supposed to be mitered. I tried one and it didn't work out. I was very frustrated because it looked so easy in the book with the pattern in it. I have NEVER mitered a border and wanted it to look like the pattern for once!!

So I will try again and if I have to I may need to get professional help, lol, from the local quilt shop. The dark fabric laying in the front is what I am going to bind it with. See what everyone is doing on Patchwork Times.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Originally uploaded by vhollowayus
I went to a soap making demo yesterday and this is the type of soap the instructors made. A old fashioned lye recipe using plant only based products. It was made in a crock pot with tons of ingredients! They also gave us the recipes for making cheap laundry soap and dishwasher soap. I bought stuff at the grocery for laundry soap, I will let you know how it works.

It smells (not always in a good way) during the cooking phase but I may want to make soap myself. I was looking at the ingredients and was surprised and how much cost it was!!

I need to do more research, any one else make soap? Where do you buy your supplies?

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Originally uploaded by vhollowayus
What a week for learning. I have taken away something new during each activity I have participated in. As wrestling draws close to the end of the season, I have learned quite a bit about this sport. I have witnessed the power of teamwork, rising above what you think your limits are, discipline and developing respect for others. I hope to apply this to my life as well. The influence on others just keeps rippling out like a drop falling into a pool of water. Here are a few more little items I have been made aware of this week:

I have learned about compassion, forgiveness and patience through all the people I have come in contact with.
I have learned that quilting lets me focus on the creative side of my brain while forcing me to disciple myself to one project and pattern at a time.

I have learned to laugh at my mistakes and move forward with a new knowledge of what to do next time.
I have learned that long arm quilting is something that I can do and it looked great!

I have learned that what is we are harboring on the inside will find it's way out one way or another so finding a positive way to express is best!

What have you learned this week?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Design Wall Monday

Here is my latest quilt top. Feet and all :). I am actually using the pattern from Edyta Star. Really, a pattern. Borders and all!!

These 2.5 inch squares are the friendship triangles that I received in an exchange with my local quilt shop. I played around with layouts, you can see here, and I read the book Mom bought. I decided to go with the pattern on the cover of the book. Who know so many batiks and traditional fabrics would go together so nicely! I had my doubts I must confess.

I have quilted two quilts on the long arm and the results are here.

See other designs at Patchwork Times.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Here are two quilts that I have finished. I was practicing stitches on the long arm. I am placing the white quilt on my bed for a fresh new look for spring quilted with a modern echoing flower, provided I have this bound by then! The star quilt is a twin sized quilt with wonky feathers quilted in it. More pictures are at Finished Stitches.

This is the first weekend that I haven't had to be anywhere in months. It has been a nice quiet weekend. I have watched the Top Gear marathon. I love that show but the BBC version is the only one for me.

I have lost a couple of pounds and I hope to break a 10 pound barrier that I have been stalled out on for a month or more, the holidays and eating out during wrestling made it a challenge. I have lost 52 pounds and the doctor said I could stop my blood pressure meds. So far, my bp is fine. Yea!! Exercising and eating healthy pays off!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Here is the before and after pics of the problem areas in my home office. It is a multifunctional room with too much stuff. It is home to our music instruments, books, computer and files. I have organized the walk in closet to find the evidence of mice in old papers. I took out 6 bags of old papers, magazines and obsolete items. I have tossed old files but I need to organize the files yet. I packed up the VHS movies to make room for up to date discs and blue rays.

The biggest changes in the room is the desk. I purchased several inexpensive, stackable baskets to house the items that used to be in a drawer in an old-fashioned desk. I found homes for many items in the closet. I put all the electronic cords in a gallon sized zip lock bag.

I am going through the mail and have a new filing system set up. We will see if the family likes the changes.

I dusted all surfaces, vacuumed the walls and ceiling. I moved some totes of books to storage on the enclosed porch. I must say I feel very good about the work done here.

Next up, the bathroom and linen closet. More clutter to go and tons of cleaning. The walls need to be washed this month. Small space but big amounts of work. Maybe I can get DH to paint it this spring.....

I have a small, 100 year old house with 10 zones that need to be worked on. The 11th zone is the basement and crawl space (storage). That may be a 2012 project. So glad the DH already cleaned up the garage last fall!!!