Wednesday, June 27, 2007

First let me say that this is just a jumble of specific theme. I have no excuses for not posting anything other than I feel like I have nothing interesting to post. I am still feeling lost without my camera...but that will be over soon. We pick my daughter and husband up at the airport Friday night.

I had company from Tennessee brother and his wife. And she was my best friend before they were married. Such a nice visit. I wished it could have been longer. Sometimes I still long to live in Tennessee, yet I just don't want to live that far away from our children. So here we sit.

I have been slowly but surely making a few 9-patches every day. I am still undecided about what I am going to do with them. I will have to play around on Quilt Pro and see what I like. I have always thought I would do just a simple 9-patch quilt sometime, set on point, alternated with a plain square of fabric but maybe start out with one kind of fabric in the center and vary it as I work out.
I just wanted to share something--this is my collection of batiks in 2005! When I get my camera back I will try to spread out the collection I have now...I keep adding a half yard here and a half yard there. it still isn't a huge collection compared to some but I think I have a good start. I just have trouble using them for anything. They are just too beautiful.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Someone on one of the quilt forums reminded me I needed to make one (thanks Kim:-)...and with the story behind this it does need one. This is not the greatest picture....I really need to make a place to hang quilts to take their picture. Just cannot come up with where that is going to be.

How do people decide what to make next in quilting...every time I finish something I have the most horrible time deciding what I want to start on next. I always think I am just going to go start cutting but the choices are so great that it is hard to do.

However, I did start cutting 2 1/2 inch squares tonight...out of some of my not so loved anymore stash. A lot of those are Joann Fabric materials, though some are not. Right now I am cutting a lot of blues and browns...more browns than anything.

My DH came up with the idea that I wanted to go to Arthur, IL today...and I never refuse that trip. (Arthur is an Amish community.) I go to two places over there: Miller's Dry Goods and Stitch and Sew. Miller's Dry Goods is out in the country which makes for a pleasant drive. They have all kinds of fabric including polyester from ages ago. They do not have electricity so I tend to get kind of frustrated looking at the just cannot see with the gas lighting. They also have a lot of stuff the dime stores used to carry.

Stitch and Sew is my favorite shop over is not huge, but has a pretty good selection. I did come home with some fabrics that could be classified as lights--I have the hardest time picking out lights. My stash is 90% medium to dark. I added yellow to the last two quilt tops I have worked on, no make that three--it is the only thing that kept them from being one big boring mess. If I ever get my desk fixed for my Juki, I will probably machine quilt them next.

Monday, June 18, 2007

I'm doing a happy dance here tonight--for more reasons than one. I went to the library today and joy of joys, there were unabridged audio versions of James Herriot's books! I am assuming they have them all, but all that was currently there was All Things Bright and Beautiful and All Things Wise and Wonderful. I have wished for unabridged versions of them for so long. I have probably read all these books at least 5 times, and I know I will read again. Why do I continue to re-read when there are so many others that I have never read? Does anyone else do this?

And tonight I finished my as yet unnamed quilt...too late to take pictures. I will try to take some tomorrow with my husband's point and shoot. Mistakes abound in this quilt...but I am still happy to have it done.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The past two days have been rather hectic for me. Friday about noon the surgeon's office called and ask if my husband could come in about 1:50 instead of tomorrow. We jumped at the chance to get that over with. He is still on restrictions of no lifting or straining, but he does start therapy next week. After a couple sessions, he can begin to drive again.

Then, we celebrated Father's Day both Friday night and yesterday we have just sat around and relaxed. Friday evening our youngest daughter, Sarah and her husband came. We cooked steaks on the grill, had a salad and baked potato. I fixed two jello/cool whip desserts:

1 small box of either strawberry or lime jello in at least 2 quart bowl

Add 2/3 c. boiling water and stir at least 2 minutes till it is well dissolved.

Next add 2 c. ice cubes and stir till the jello starts to set. Remove the remainder of the ice cubes.

Use 8 to 12 oz of cool whip and blend together real well with wire whip.

Pour this into a graham pie crust and refrigerate!

This is one simple, quick refreshing dessert.

Yesterday we went to our other daughter's house in the evening. I had to run all over to find pork spareribs for this. I ended up having to run to Terre Haute to Kroger's. Came home and my husband put them on to boil. I fixed our late breakfast/early lunch. Then watched the ribs, and made baked beans and made a dip for the vegetables my husband cut up.

I boil the ribs until they are tender, then coat them in barbecue sauce and cook on the grill a few minutes. After I got them on the grill, I washed our car while my husband tended the ribs. By the time I got that done, it was time to take a shower head down to our daughter's house...they fixed hamburgers on the grill, and her MIL made a dessert.

My daughter and her husband were leaving for an Alaskan cruise today--and she took my camera with her! I feel naked without it...I can use my husband's point and shoot but I cannot get close-ups with it. At least not the quality that I can with my digital SLR.

I did start on the binding on my string quilt--still trying to think of a name that says it all. Not having much luck. A friend on the Quilts Your Way forum suggested Little Shop of Horrors and that fits it the best so far. There is not much good that can be said about the quality of this quilt, other than it will soon be finished. And it is colorful. It has pieces from material some of my dresses were made when I wash in school.

I am doing the binding totally by machine. I trimmed the quilt, and sewed the binding on the first time from the back. I am turning the other to the front and using one of the fancy stitches on the Viking to sew it down. I am doing the binding in sections and not mitering the corners--I think mitering the corners are easy--this is the first time I have every sewed a binding on in sections. So it is kind of scary to me.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

My DH and I spent yesterday at the hospital with my friend who was having a heart catherization. She didn't find out anything new--she done knew that she had a slightly leaky valve. It can be taken care of with medicine and should not get any worse. We were both very weary when we got home. I did not sew a stitch yesterday.

Today has been a different story. I did all the quilting I am going to do on my string quilt. Here are a couple pictures of it, but I suggest you click HERE which will take you to my pictures at on the album titled 'String quilt 1970's-2007.' It will show close-ups of some of the quilting.

I tried different things in my quilting since this quilt was a mess to begin with. I am definitely of the better finished than perfect persuasion. I cannot wait to have a quilt top/quilt sandwich that is sewn and basted half-way right. I really like the look of all the quilting. I definitely need all the practice I can get, but I will take more time with a quilt top that I have done right to begin with.

I don't know where to begin to tell about this quilt top. I did the string piecing part when I was in high school...I can tell because two or three of the fabrics used are from my freshman year. I used magazine pages folded in half lengthwise and cut off the corners. That was the base I sewed to. I apparently did not do such a good job of getting them all the same size. My mom set them together and I think she gave up on them and just did anyway to get them sewn together. This was planned as an everyday quilt from the very beginning...and it will keep us warm. So all is not in vain.

The third picture is a piece of fabric that I just love. And I think I have seen similiar to it maybe in Hancocks of Paducah catalog...I would dearly love to have some yardage of it. It is the only piece in the quilt I think. My BIL's mother died either when I was still in elementary school or right after I started high school and she had several dresses cut out and ready to sew. This was from one of those.

Monday, June 11, 2007

This is one of my Asiatic lilies--I took about four pictures of it and one of a hosta bloom today and that is all I took. The lily just bloomed today--my others have been bloomed so long they look bedraggled almost. I need to add other flowers to my yard because after these I don't have anything else to bloom!

I had plumbing problems to take care of this morn...managed to do them myself. If it had been anything serious we would have had to call on friends. My husband is not supposed to lift over 10 lb. since his surgery, and nothing strenuous at all.

I watered our little garden this evening--the cucumbers looked like they would die if they did not get a drink. So I gave everything water. I will try to take new pictures of it till you will see what I mean when I say little. There are little tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers. But I noticed one of the cucumbers is deformed...I am assuming it didn't get pollinated good! Don't know if that is the reason for cucumbers, but if apples don't get pollinated good, they either don't grow at all, or only one side will grow.

Around here there is concern because bee hives are disappearing and they don't know why. We have heard of the bee mites, but this is something different.

I only did a very little quilting today. If I could get to go down for a couple of hours, I could get a lot done. I am anxious to get this finished till I can start something new, or else work on another ufo!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The first two squirrels are children of Mama Squirrel who is pictured in the last three photos. Mama Squirrel came here in the spring of 2006 and I kept talking to her till she started eating from my hand. She had two litters last year in our old maple tree--2 babies in the first and 3 babies in the fall litter.

This spring she had 3 babies again--now that they are out and about I very, very seldom see all three babies at the same time but see two of them together quite often. And it is almost rarer to see Mama and the three babies together, but I do every now and then. She won't let me actually pet her, but she will reach for my hand and pull it to her. And sometimes stands with her front paws in my hand.
The babies seem to know my voice, I suppose from me talking to Mama all the time she was pregnant with them. And one took a piece of apple from me one time, and it will come almost to me but chickens out. But the other two will only let me come to about a yard away from them and that is about it.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

This is the UFO that I have begun to work on...this is the hand quilting I first did in 1978. It doesn't look too bad, does it?

I am leaving the hand quilting, but am going to try to finish the quilting by machine. The back really isn't too bad, but this picture does not do justice to the quilting on the would have to be seen to be believed. I will also do quilting in the muslin squares...but something different.

BTW, is handquilting one word or two words? I have read it a million times but right now I could not tell you which is correct if my life depended on it.

Friday, June 8, 2007

My husband's surgery went well and was over with quickly. He did have to spend last night at the hospital...I went down this morn around 7:30. The doctor did not come in till 10:00, but we were out the door shortly after that. He feels fairly good, just took his first medicine for discomfort. He did not take any at all in the hospital. He has to take it easy for a little bit: cannot lift over 10 lbs, no long car rides, no straining, etc.

We are both extremely happy to have it over with. When he coughs, he no longer has pain down his arm, and even though he took the medicine tonight, it was not for the same old pain. This pain has to do with the surgery itself.

I have been quilting a little bit every day on my old UFO--I think when it is finished I will name it Pleats and Tucks--it is just awful. And it isn't the back either. I don't know if I just did it horrible or what...but it is one holy mess. I do try a few different designs when quilting but it is mostly meandering. I think if I had a full sized quilt pin basted the way it should be it might not be too horrible to quilt. At least I am not to the point of never wanting to try it again. I am actually sort of looking forward to trying one that is layered right.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

This is my new Gracie Handbag...I needed either a tote bag in addition to my purse, or a bigger purse for the time at the hospital tomorrow. I went to Walmart and the Dollar General store and no luck finding a tote. So came home and made this. It has all the stuff from my purse in it already plus room for a book to read and a notepad to write on.
Now I have to go wash dishes till I can have a clean kitchen when I come home. Then will try to think about what all I do want to take with me. I did get a new Dell word puzzle book. And I have a paperback I picked up somewhere. I don't know that I will have time to read...I think at least one of our daughters is going to be there. So we will probably talk.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Nothing to post today--just did household chores. Went to step-grandsons' baseball games tonight. We didn't get home till 10:30. The 7-yr. old's team was their championship game. They have not lost a game the entire season. The 9-yr. old's team lost--again. I don't think they have won a single game this season. It is a blast to watch the kids play. I have not explored this sight--I cannot say for sure what it is about. But it has beautiful pictures of clouds. I have only just begun to look at them. There are some really amazing shots. So this is my photography contribution for this post.

I did get into my old cedar chest and got out a quilt sandwich. It is the honest truth--it has been a sandwich since 1978. And the top itself is older than that. I did it when I was still in high school. It is straight-pin basted. I hand quilted just a tiny portion of it when I first sandwiched it, and have not touched it since.

So I got it out, took it down to the basement to my Juki. I loaded two or three bobbins and threaded the machine with what I think I am going to use to quilt it. But we had to leave to go to the ball game before I could actually attempt any quilting. The top is a string top--and sure is nothing fancy. So I am thinking I might as well machine quilt it and get it to the point of being usable.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Large hosta

These are pictures of my favorite is huge. Its leaves are huge! Look at the picture of my hand compared to a leaf. It is loaded with blooms. I think next year I might actually separate it, but it is hard to mess with perfection. I don't think it is quite as big as it was last year, but I think it has more blooms.

Another day spent on medical related visits. Last Thursday we spent the day in Terre Haute getting an MRI. My husband required one. His neck/upper back area has really been causing him grief. Pain had started extending down his arm, to the tips of his fingers. Thursday was a most of the day thing simply because they wanted an x-ray of his eyes before they would do the MRI. We had to go to a completely different address for the x-ray, and had to wait about an hour besides. Then back to Indiana MRI where we had to wait again because we had lost our place in line.

Today we went to see a surgeon. A spur has developed around the disc in C6 that is pressing on the nerve. The doctor did not push surgery, just said my husband would have to decide when it was limiting his life, and when he was having too much pain. That time has already arrived. He will have surgery this Thursday.

We have been kind of upset and worried the entire weekend after our chiropractor talked to Roger. I do think he managed to get my husband to really listen to what the doctor says about when he can do things...then after meeting this doctor and talking to him we are both relieved and feel that this is the thing to do.

He will be off work for at least a couple weeks and possibly then go back to work at something considered light duty. And he should be about back to normal in 6 months. So that is something he feels like he can live with.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Today has done been a busy day for me. I am so lucky to not have to work. I got dressed and took our dog, Shelby for a walk this morn. We live one block from a railroad which has a road beside it. I take her down there when I take her for a walk...sometimes we go every day, but lately I haven't been taking her at all. I decided today I would try to get back in the habit of taking her. As a reward to myself I took my camera. And this picture of what around here is called honeysuckle is one of the pictures I took. Can't you just smell it! I was half a block away and the fragrance made me close my eyes and breathe in ever so deeply.I took some other pictures of wild is amazing when you look closely at them just how pretty they are. Other than flowers, I often see rabbits down there. Usually there are deer tracks, and I have actually seen one on occasion. Otherwise, about all to be seen are robins with maybe a hawk flying over head.

After getting home from there, it was off to Walmart to pick up a few things, by the grocery store, and by the post office for stamps. Then home to hang out a load of clothes I left in the washer. Hanging out clothes is a chore that I love!

I hope today to either start a new sewing project or to get some work done on an old one. If I am going to do either, I best get busy.