Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Random Posting

Old quilt that I am re-creating

I am a bit off blogging schedule this week, as I have nothing new on the design wall. I have no new Farmer's Wife blocks done. I have been focused on finishing my aunt's tree quilt, see old quilt above. I have three more blocks to do. I am not looking forward to joining the blocks because they are diamonds. I think I need tons of starch to prevent any stretching! If it goes well I am making another quilt similar to this for a wedding gift. I like the quilt but on point diamonds make me feel a bit uneasy....

I continue to diet and exercise with very small success then I randomly gain a couple of pounds. So I don't feel like I get any where. I need to really ratchet back on my diet. I have added yoga in two days a week for something different in addition to my 3 trips to the gym a week for weight lifting and cardio. I have to remember the high cholesterol to keep me motivated and some new pants in a smaller size. :)

I have spent tons of time working on patterns and quilt designs. It is really hard to do. Much harder than I expected. I guess I quilt with a basic pattern in mind then I do more improvising than I gave myself credit for. I have to start thinking about every step that needs to be in a pattern and directions.

I think that I need to focus more time on this project if I am going to get the book proposal done this year. Two samples from patterns in the book proposal have to be made also. I hope to have it all ready by November. Oh, and did I say I long armed a baby quilt over the weekend? Pictures to follow.

Lots of details. I am up for it. Now where's my coffee?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Simple Living

This weekend is the time to sort through several things. It is the annual winter reivew of things that may be unnecessary to keep any more. I need to go through my clothes and my front porch storage area. If I haven't needed it in 6 months it is going!

I think that keeping only items I use and need is part of living simply. I won't buy duplicates of items because I can't find them, due to clutter and I can pitch or donate things that are still in good shape.

Excessive items make things feel complicated around here. I am also paring down on display/decor items. Less clutter and more focus. It makes cleaning faster and finding things much easier.

I am all about things being simple.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Happiness Project

Saying good bye to non-healthy food
Pic from display at Henry Ford Museum
Part of the happiness project is continuing to pursue health and caring for oneself. This is an update on my diet and exercise program. One cannot be happy if you don't take care of your basic needs.

I belong to a gym and go three times a week. I do weight training and cardio. I have had lighter workouts over the past month due to illness but I only missed 2 workouts. I am trying to get back to where I was slowly. For example, I usually walk 2 miles on the treadmill and currently I can only do 1.8 in the same time. I have had to lighten my weights due to illness and strain. So I will keep trying to get it back to where it was before the holidays. It is amazing how getting winter colds take it out of you!!

I have returned to a weight loss trend. I am still 10 pounds heavier that where I was last year but today I am motivated to continue to lose weight. I had my cholesterol checked among other things. Ugh, it is as bad as ever with elevated triglycerides. OK, enough messing around with eating pizza and cheese. Not good food for a person trying to lose weight either! So far, doctor just wants me to focus on weight loss and healthy eating. I concur.

So here is to eating healthy today and in the right amounts!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tiny Tuesday

I made these blocks over the past week. I have been trying to decide if I really want to make a queen sized quilt from the Farmer's Wife book and I have all the blocks from the Civil War Diary quilt that make a queen.

Don't misunderstand me, I am making all the blocks in the book. I just need to decide how big I want the quilts(s) to be.
I am not sure I really need another queen. I am thinking about making a full sized quilt. It would be less money to finish. I would have three quilts instead of two. Hmmm, this is an interesting thought. I have to get one done if I am going to enter it in the local quilt show in October!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Design Wall Monday

It has been a weekend of finishing things. I bound the "Happy Campers" with a blue. It was in my stash and it was perfect. A nice surprise because I really didn't want to buy more fabric right now.

The second quilt was a kit and I would never have picked a stripe for the binding. I think that it really looks very good. It is great to use kits sometimes to get a different perspective on color, fabric pattern and how to construct things differently than I am would. Learn something new all the time!!

Wrestling is winding down. NFL football is winding down. Travel is slowed due to the weather. Kids haven't been to school since last Tuesday and none today due to a thunderstorm and the rain is freezing. I am still going to work, but I feel that it is the season for tons of quilting.
The beard hat is finished. I think he likes it. I just need to make twenty more to get it perfectly finished.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Simple Living

Simple comforts:
sitting under a quilt drinking coffee on a cold and blustery morning
the car started and is warming up
I do have clean clothes to wear
no school due to snow makes a leisurely am getting ready
the first wash and style of a new hair cut this morning will be fun! I am not sure I can make it look like the stylist did!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Happiness Project

Happiness project update today. I have been enjoying the simple things every day.  I have been knitting and quilting. I have enjoyed spending time just talking and watching TV with my family. I have made simple meals to share with them. We have had a great week doing those things that I like best. It is a time to have quiet time with the family in the middle of winter.

I am finishing my January goals of getting a more put together look this am. I hope to get my hair cut if the weather allows. I have had to reschedule this once due to my having the flu and I can't wait to try something new with a new stylist.

I haven't bought new clothes yet but I am going to when I get a chance. I have worked on better use of accessories and using makeup. I have been attending to detail more to get a  "look." I can do that with quilts but it is hard for me to do it for myself!

Hopefully updated hair pic to be posted soon!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tiny Tuesday

Farmer's Wife Blocks. They are 6 inches. I have to place a handle on the basket ( I am still toying with the idea of using larger size ric rac for the handles on all the basket blocks). I had trouble getting the papers to lie flat for the picture :)

I did get tons of quilting done yesterday because of the MLK holiday. I finished quilting my happy campers quilt yesterday. I added binding to two quilts. I sewed two blocks.

What are you working on? Let me know in your comments.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Design Wall Monday

It is nice to have the day off and it is a day that will be spent quilting with a little bit of house chores thrown in there. I haven't had much quilting going on around here since the holidays with the flu, vacation and sports. I hope to get tons done today. OK, in reality, I hope to get anything done. This infection has kicked my butt and I have done very little the past week.
This is what I am working on:

Happy Campers
I wrote a tutorial for this here. My plan is to finish quilting it with little curls and get it off the frame.

And I will share about the Farmer's Wife paper pieced blocks tomorrow, hope to see you again!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Saturday's Update

I have been a bit under the weather for a couple of weeks and I finally went to the doctor. Another respiratory infection and another antibiotic. I am feeling better already so I need to get moving to accomplish something on my three day weekend. OK, if I can get off the couch and sew a bit, knit a bit and clean a bit I will be very happy.

This bag of scraps is going out today for Cherie. I had so much fun going through my fabrics. It was nostalgic yet I am happy to let these little pieces of fabrics find a new home. I sure hope that there are some fabrics that she loves as much as I do and did when I bought them.

Happy Saturday everyone!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tiny Tuesday


End of day

Evening Star

Farmer's Puzzle

I have 38 blocks completed for the Farmers Wife quilt and they are 6 inch blocks. I am still thinking about how to do basket handles because in the next group of blocks is another basket. I am going to try to fuse a handle and blanket stitch it with my machine. I am starting to get quite a collection of little blocks, they look great!

Gold medal!

listening to words of wisdom.

Many hours are spent at tournaments this time of year. It has been a very good year. It is always the "thrill of victory and the agony of defeat" as the Wide World of Sports used to say. My husband wrestled the coach in High School, isn't that funny!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Design Wall Monday

I have sewn many blocks over the past week. I will showcase the Farmer's Wife blocks tomorrow on Tiny Tuesday, so I hope you will come back then and see how I am doing.

Progress on my Aunt's quilt
attempt one at a variation block not loving it -from scraps
Currently, I have been working on a variation of a tree quilt I am making for my Aunt. I haven't achieved success but I am getting closer to a block pattern that is use able. I don't know about you but I won't do a block that EQ works out to be 4 3/8 of an inch or 2 1/8... I trying to find more realistic measurement that make a block that is square!!

I have a quilt of my own on the long arm frame and it will be done this week, feels good to have a "no pressure" quilt of my own design. I have several more to quilt during the post holiday slow down in the long arm business. The bad news means more binding to do, I still do them by hand because I like the results best. Do they have any finger yoga out there? I better get those joints loosened up and ready to go.

By the way the second attempt at the beard head hat that I am knitting for my son is going much better.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Simple Living

“We buy things we don't need with money we don't have to impress people we don't like.” Dave Ramsey

I have been thinking about materialism lately and I listen to Dave Ramsey's radio show often. This quote really speaks to me. I guess all of the shopping over the holidays brings it to the forefront. I do not pursue acquiring and collecting material things any more. I used to collect things like depression era glass, teddy bears and porcelain dolls. Then I had everything in the collection. Then I ran out of space to hold all of it. I still have these collections for the sentimental value and I get a few items out at a time for display.

The last major purchases needed,  we chose to buy "lightly used" or at the scratch and dent or on a really big sale. I never pay full price, ever. We live in a small house that we can maintain. It is well under what "they" said we could afford. I try to buy only what is needed at the time. We don't have tons of clothes or shoes or stuff. Most things in our home is lightly used when acquired.

That being said I am facing putting away the gifts under the tree. I am going to get rid of things that are not needed any more to make room for the new items. One of my rules is to limit the space it takes to house items and when the space is full a serious evaluation of what is there must be completed.

All that said, I get asked about my fabric and yarn stash. I do have one. It is mostly things gifted to me or scraps left from other projects. I limit it to one tote and a basket of what I am working on right now. I purge it annually and that needs to happen by the end of February. I am purchasing everything on sale and only buy what I need at the moment I need it.

That makes things Simple and low stress. 

Have a happy simple day.

Simple living tip: I get free samples of beauty supplies often in the mail, from my Mary Kay lady etc. I save these up and do a "makeover day" and use up all the samples for a special spa day for myself, and it didn't cost any money.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Happiness Project

Christmas Day 2011

Morrison Tartan
I am facing a serious case of the "after Christmas letdown." Not blues or sadness. Just the normal letdown that occurs after big events, holidays and family gatherings are over. Now I am feeling like I need to change everything up. I would gut the house and do a complete remodel if I thought it would help, but it wouldn't!

The happiness project is rolling on. This month I am refocusing on weight loss. I am employing strategies that I haven't used before. I am counting calories, putting a picture of me up in my sight of how I look now and how I looked 50 pounds heavier. I am trying to stop snacking after supper, the bane of my existence.

Part of my restless feeling is that I need to finish something. I am going to load a quilt on the frame in the next week. I need to get some hip 40 something clothes because I feel/look like a frump. I absolutely hate my hair. I haven't had it cut in 6 months or more. I need to find a stylist. I am going to accomplish all of these things this months. Sound easy, wrong. I am not good a shopping for fashionable clothes and the hair thing is something I have been dwelling on for months but haven't done anything about. Time to do something.

Back to work after my vacation. I am trying to bust out of the rut. What do you do to shake things up in the middle of winter?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Tiny Tuesday with epic fail

Vicki wearing Beard Hat attempt one
epic fail!

Let's start out with what I would call epic fail. The above beard hat is the first knitting project in a while. I had tons of problems reading the pattern, made stitches wrong and it turned out more Assyrian style beard versus pirate styled. I am making another one for my son and it is going much better so far.

The block is an epic fail. I had reversed the darks and lights in one of the "feet". I fixed it but after much work and much frustration, it isn't remotely square and it is a bit small. I am not working on it any more. It may or may not make the audition for the quilt. :)

This block however, went together very well. It is called Ducks and ducklings in the Farmer's Wife book. It is just what I needed! It is square and the right size.

Back to work today after a week of stay cation. Hmmm, should be interesting because we have had a winter storm the past two days so road travel will be slick for some people. Our drive is cleared and ready to go but the kids are off school just the bonus every school kids could dream of an extra day of Christmas vacation. I am so jealous!!

You can read about my New Year's Resolution's in my previous blog post.

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year's Resolutions

Backyard Christmas Day 2011

I have been thinking about this post for several days spurred on by the retrospectives on Tv and the internet. I thought about blogging daily. Unreasonable and what would be the purpose?

I thought about increasing my sewing time, practicing music, exercising and cleaning time. I don't think that is really a resolution just a time management issue.

I thought about what is occupying my mind more than anything else and I have decided that there are really only three things I am working on for the year. However, they are really big things that will take tons of commitment to do.

1. weight loss of 50 pounds-I gained a few at the end of last year and need to get back on track
2. Finishing the quilts I have top made for-stop starting so many new ones!!
3. finishing the patterns I am working on and submit the book proposal that I have dreamt up.

Christmas Day complete with table cloth!
The last one is in the beginning stages and will probably take me more than one year but I am hoping to have it finished by the end of summer. I have been procrastinating a bit on all three resolutions for at least 6 months now and I need to focus on them daily to complete them. I joined the Special K plan to help me in the weight loss goals. I have several tops completed and 3 in progress that all need to be finished by the end of the year. I am buying batting and backing fabrics one at a time when on sale. I have enough to finished 3 tops currently.

Resolutions in writing. It makes it "official."