Thursday, March 31, 2011

Poor Doenja

First my long arm and now my dog. I took my Rottweiller, Doenja,
to the vet today because she appeared to be restless and was panting more than usual. The vet agreed that she appeared uncomfortable so he took her back to do several tests - blood, urine and xrays. He came out to the waiting room and told me that she was very sick with her chest and abdomen filled with fluid. He sent us off, STAT, to the referral/specialist hospital where she has had more xrays, ultrasounds and had the fluid drained. She is now in the ICU with chest tubes. They expect her to be there for at least the next several days while they figure out what's wrong with her.

And here I hesitated taking her to the vet for fear that I was overreacting. I guess it's a good thing we know our pets so well.

We are missing her and hoping she comes home healthy soon.
And yes, she is a long haired Rottweiler.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Poor Olga

I love my APQS Millenium long arm. Her name is Olga after my dear grandmother. Nana was an incredible seamstress and made EVERY SINGLE STITCH of clothing and coats she owned, except her undergarments. She didn't make quilts but I know, if she were still alive, she would be so happy to see my love of sewing and quilting.

Olga has been struggling lately and then suddenly she gave up the fight. I spoke with the support tech at APQS but they felt she needed a visit to their shop for some tender loving care. So the empty box they sent me to ship her in finally arrived (Olga arrived 10 years ago in a large wooden crate - no longer the choice of shipping) and I had to take her apart and send her away. :(
I sure hope she is feeling better when she comes home.

Blue strips swapped

I am the hostess for the "washed" swaps over at the Quiltville Swap Yahoo group. We also have "unwashed" swappers and they insist it is only their fabric that they don't wash. teehee

I finished swapping out the most recent swap of 2 1/2" blue strips. Participants should be receiving them today or tomorrow. This is my stack of goodies.
I'll be saving these strips for whenever Judy picks blue as the monochromatic swap of the month.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Design Wall Monday - 3/28/11

Better late than never? This was on my design wall two weeks ago.
I have made no progress on it or any other project for that matter. But it is my UFO Challenge project for March and I really was hoping to have it completed to the top stage by now. In the comments two weeks ago most people liked the gray but some had other suggestions. So I played with them on Photoshop. Doing it this way saved me from ordering Kona Cotton in colors I don't have and it saved my knees from crawling around on the floor. I came up with the following options.
Dark Gray

Carpet Gray
So, what'cha think? Any favorites? I am hoping to finally have time to work on this. I only have a few days till the end of the month to finish this in time for the UFO Challenge.

Check out other design walls at Patchwork Times.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Stash Report - week #13 - 3/27/11

I have numbers in the negatives again. :(  I bought 6 yards of black Kona Cotton on sale online - just to have. I know, it's a no,no to buy just to have but I must have Kona black available cuz I never know when I may need it. It's a definite staple.

I also bought 5 more yards of pretty florals for more sundresses/rompers. :)

Life has been too busy for any sewing and the LA is still "sick" so no quilting either.

Stash Report
Used the past 2 weeks: 0 yards
Used year to date: 25 yards

Added the past 2 weeks: 11 yards

Added year to date: 32

Net used in 2011: -7 yards

Check out other stash reports at Patchwork Times

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Year of the PIGS - 3/26/11

So this week Jill asked, " Is there anything that you can do for or change in your sewing area to encourage your creativity? Something that you saw on someone else's post that you think would work for you? Inspiration that you got from somewhere else?"

I think my creativity is hampered by 2 things: my lack of a design wall and my hesitancy to install EQ. I just haven't thought I have the space for a design wall but this week I saw Judy D's design wall set up and I knew it was the answer for my sewing room. She hung a curtain rod over a set of cabinets. She can take the pole down and slip it through a sleeve sewn into a flannel table cloth. I can easily do that with my cabinets.
Problem solved. Well, solved once I get around to actually doing it. :)

The EQ issue is procrastination and fear that my already slow computer doesn't need another excuse to be even slower. I've had the program for years - probably long ago obsolete and updated. But I have seen so many people being so successful with it that I really need to "Just Do It".

So those are my creativity hangups. What are yours? Check out others' at Ramblings of a Fabric and Yarn Obsessor.

Quilters With Heart

Yesterday was another lovely day of sewing with friends. Here this week were Joyce, Jeanne, Debbie and Amy. We worked on finishing up several projects that have been sitting in "the bin" for quite a while.

I made a backing for the puzzle quilt.
Amy finished piecing one of the double four patches. Debbie worked on another one which still needs a second border. Of course, now that it is photographed, I see two blocks that twisted. Oh well.
I finished piecing the Block Wall and made it's backing. It still needs a border.
Jeanne made and stuffed lots of dog and cat beds. And Joyce was the organizer and overseer extraordinaire.

Friday, March 25, 2011

It's been a while

I've been a baaaaad blogger but for a good reason. Tim, Nicole and Paige came up for a wonderful 10 day visit.
I now believe what everyone has always said about grandchildren being so much better than having children. I was either holding her or staring at her. Although I helped with the cranky hours, I just felt none of the stress that the parents did - of course it certainly helps that I always got a good night's sleep. :)

The best news for them is that Tim finally got the job with the Secret Service. It was a very long process but he starts in June so they will be moving to DC. Much closer to CT than FL has been. WooHoo!! I took them down to VA to look at apartments and then they flew home from there. I had a five hour drive back to CT so I knew I would need to stop someplace for a break. Joanns in West Deptford, NJ seemed like the perfect place to stop. ;) I picked up some more patterns to make Paige sundresses and one piece bloomers. Of course, I had to buy fabric for those things too. Well, I did, that's my story and I'm sticking with it.

So these are planned, so far:
Hmmmm, I'd better get started.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Design Wall Monday - 3/14/11

It's time for me to be thinking about UFO #1. I thought I was on easy street when Judy L picked #1 for this month because that project, Christmas Pineapple Blossom, is a finished top.

Just need to pop it on the LA, get it quilted and then bound. Unfortunately, Olga the LA, is very sickly right now and won't be back from the hospital in Iowa till mid Aprilish. So I swapped around some UFOs and now have a project that is in the top assembly stage. So my Crayon Box is now on my design floor. These are just slapped down. The final placements need more work plus it is a total of 50 blocks so I am thinking 6x8 placement for around 60"x80".
The question I need help with is what color to sash it with. I'm kind of liking the gray carpet. Any suggestions?

Go to Judy's blog for lots more design wall/floor eye candy.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Stash Report - week #11 - 3/13/11

It's been a relatively quiet week in the sewing room. I am almost finished with the tote bag for the brown challenge. It will get counted when it is finished.

I did buy 2 yards of fabric for little sundresses for dgd, Paige. I've debated whether these count or not. But they are 100% cotton and if I don't make the dresses, the fabric will get added to the stash. So, it gets counted.

Stash Report
Used this week: 0 yards
Used year to date: 25 yards

Added this week: 2 yards

Added year to date: 21

Net used in 2011: 4 yards

I need to finish some projects. LOL

Go over to Patchwork Times to see other stash reports.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

It's fun to win

Yesterday I received a package in the mail and this was in it.
Woohoo. A great ArtBin won over at Jill's blog for participating in the Year of the PIGS. Thanks Jill. I have plans to keep my current WIP in it.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Quilters With Heart

We had a great day today of fellowship, show and tell, chocolate, oh yeah, and sewing.

First for the show and tell. Susan finished her BOM star quilt. OMGoodness, this quilt is absolutely gorgeous. No picture could do it justice. Bravo, Susan!

With Olga, the long arm, on sick leave, we all focused on binding.
Debbie, Susan and Jeanne were binding stitchers
Joyce was a binding maker
Do you notice how my being the photographer keeps me out of the pictures? hehe

Most of us took home a quilt to finish up the stitching at home but this Quilt of Valor is finished.

For various reasons, I won't be able to stitch with the group for several weeks. Have fun at Joyce's house, ladies.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Year of the PIGS - 3/9/11

Jill, over at Ramblings of a Fabric andYarn Obsessor, has asked these questions about our sewing space, "Do you have a separate room all to yourself? Are you a little (or a lot) messy or Princess of Tidy? Are there things that you find a hindrance to your sewing mojo like no place to put an iron but on the other side of the room from your machine or a lack of storage of tools that just create more clutter to trip over? Share your frustrations and maybe we can supply a suggestion or two.

About 15 years ago my wonderful husband had a room finished for me in the unfinished part of our basement. I think it was for my 40th birthday. It was my best present ever! I feel so lucky to have a designated space for my hobbying (blogger is saying that isn't a proper word but I'm leaving it as is). Before that I had things stashed in every closet and under every bed and I could never find anything when I needed it. Plus I was working at the kitchen table which, with four growing boys in the house, needed to be cleaned up every night so we could eat dinner. So, now I have my own space. I say that I have an organized mess. My organizational systems stay very neat and organized but my work spaces can get very, very cluttered with projects and project remnants.

I love that I have this space. I have crammed a myriad of organizational products in there to allow me to best store and access all of my great stuff.  First and foremost, I was gifted a full set of kitchen cabinets that a girl friend was replacing. WOW, what a windfall! I bought a new countertop and have more than a full wall of upper and lower cabinets and a workspace to sit at and do my cutting.

I had one remaining lower cabinet which had a counter top (ugly but didn't matter). I covered it with that reflective batting stuff and ticking to make a nice big ironing surface - well, it is when I keep it clear of $%*#(@^. Right now it is relatively clear.

The room is surrounded by bookcases for, well, books, 

storage units for bins of fabric by color,

a very large closet for fabric yardage,

shoe organizers for fqs, nickels and strings,
fat quarters
2 1/2" strips
and lots of drawers and boxes for UFOs.
Tops waiting for quilting
OK, if you are still reading you can see I have squeezed a lot of great stuff into my dungeon. Yup, I call it my dungeon. Which hints at the problem. It is in the basement and has no windows. My dream sewing space would be in one of those big rooms over a double garage. But in this particular house, I am happy to have the room that I have. I just have a hard time getting excited about going down there. It's away from everything and everyone. I wouldn't ever complain because I feel so lucky to have it. And once I'm down there I am fine, but I often waste the day procrastinating about going down there.

Go HERE to read about others' sewing spaces.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Not surprised

No one guessed how ds, Brian, totaled his girlfriend's car. Texting seemed to be the number one thought and I know our younger population is at a much greater risk since cell phones have been added to the mix. I don't know if he texts and drives but that's not how it happened.

They had just left Yellowstone National Park.
It was pitch dark, rainy, and a car coming at them had it's brights on when they slammed into a....
They were going 50mph in a 70 zone and Brian said he never saw the buffalo and thought they had hit a wall. Thankfully, the buffalo died immediately and didn't suffer. And thank God, the kids were relatively OK.

For those of you, like me, that need a little perspective on the size of a buffalo next to a car.
When you live in Connecticut, the thought of hitting a buffalo is pretty far fetched. LOL