longarm quilting · machine quilting · NASCAR · quilt top · quilting · quilts

Waaaa!! It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to!

Ok, yesterday it was Kay, today it’s me 😦 .  I’m doing the dreaded “f” word.  Yep, frogging.  It was supposed to be a quickie, easy peasy little money maker.  42″ wallhanging with Leaf Pile panto.  How hard can that be?  Well, apparently pretty difficult.  My customer requested a variegated with colors in the fabrics.  I have a cone of Signature Autumn, and the colors in it are PERFECT.  But, it’s a Tex 50.  I’m not experienced with this thread, so I filled  a bobbin with Tex 40 Signature in Camel.  I thought I had the tension set pretty good…did some practice stitches first and tweaked it, took off stitching.  First problem was a thread break.  Fixed that, then noticed that the pokies on top are pretty bad.  Looks great on the back.  I’m frogging the whole first row.  Thank goodness it’s only 42″ and not 102″.  So, I’m sure it’s a tension balance thing, and I went back to my practice sandwich, and have it looking good on top there, but then I look at the bottom, and the pokies have moved down there.  GRRRR…maybe I just need to give up and use a pretty Rainbow I have that will work with this top, also.  I also tried filling a bobbin with the variegated, and try to match the bobbin color with what was coming off the top at the same time, but that didn’t work and I had worse pokies.  Is it possible to run variegated in top and bottom without ANY pokies?  I hate pokies.  

Right now, I’m leaving it alone for awhile, to watch the NASCAR race and work on piecing my borders for Carrie & John’s quilt.  I got the entire center pieced together yesterday and am quite happy with it.  Wonder if I will see Diane on TV today? 

This is the center of the quilt, before I got the last row added.


And, on another bright note, I now have the starry log cabin block countdown under twenty!

applique · daily life · family · NASCAR · quilting


At the start of the day yesterday, I had a fairly long ponytail.  No more! I got a fun, new haircut yesterday afternoon.  I’m really bad about getting a new cut, color, etc., then not going back for six months or more.  I’m not good at the “maintenance” part.  Hard to find that “pamper me” time.  In fact, I needed my roots redone yesterday, but didn’t want to take time for that, so I will just have salt & pepper roots for a little while.  I’m kinda curious to see just how much more gray is up there now, anyhow.


I did jump in and get started on the applique yesterday.  So far, so good.  Not perfect, but looking good.  I’ll post pics when I get it finished. Have a great weekend! I hope my friend Diane has the best birthday ever, and that Jr. wins while she is there watching!

For those just now reading this, if it doesn’t make sense with some of the replies, I edited it to remove some content.  Had an unusual “visitor”,  so I removed a pic that was here earlier.  No, Poodle, I’m not referring to you…LOL.  Anyway, probably me just being overly cautious…

applique · quilt top · quilting · quilts

Need Some Applique Advice

Ok, applique gurus…I would love some input from you.  I am to the applique stage on my cousin’s log cabin.  Right now, I think my plan is to do fusible with satin stitch on the edges.  Or would you recommend a different method?  This quilt, though I’m sure it will be well cared for, will be used.  It is intended for their bed.  This is the applique pattern I am to use.  It is their cattle brand.

brand.JPG It will go here, in the pieced center of the log cabin quilt, barn raising layout.

lccenter.JPG Another question is that I do not have the right color of embroidery thread.  The applique will be done in the darkest of the browns I am using in the logs.  I do, however, have the right color in Signature cotton machine quilting thread.  Any reason not to use it for the satin stitching?  Do I need to wait til I can get the right color of brown embroidery thread?

Thanks for any help! I really want to get this right the first try!

butterflies · caterpillars · longarm quilting · machine quilting · quilt top · quilting · quilts · sewing

Making Progress!

My starry log cabin countdown is now under 30!  Woohoo! I have all the blocks for my cousin’s quilt completed.  Now to sew the middle section together and figure out the applique. I’m worried about that part and will be glad to get it done (successfully) and behind me.  Then to put it all together and quilt! Oh!  I also got my UFO finished for the MQR challenge.  I’ve already picked out the one for October. 

In caterpillar news, my parsley finally started growing really well and I now have some big fat cats on it!  They are so cute. I hope they live to find their wings and become beautiful butterflies!

daily life · longarm quilting · machine quilting · quilt top · quilting · quilts

Busy as a Bee

I feel like I’m neglecting my blog lately, but I have been so BUSY!  I took in three customer tops this week, plus I’m still working on my cousin’s quilt, my starry log cabin, and I’m trying to finish a UFO for the September UFO challenge.  In between that, I’m putting in eight hours a day at my day job, going to my son’s fall golf tournaments, cleaning house, working on my minor remodeling projects, cooking dinners, doing laundry, taking care of the pets….hmmm…you get the picture… :-). So, if I’m a little quieter than usual, you know why!  I’m working on a cute lap quilt for the local guild president.  It’s made from adorable fabrics and it’s the sample for a retreat they are having the first weekend in October.  I’m doing  a cute, fun, freehand overall on it with Rainbows thread.  Here’s a little peek.


Christianity · daily life · family · home improvement · longarm quilting · machine quilting · quilt top · quilting · quilts · remodeling · sewing · spiritual life

Weekend Report – Long

I think the funk has lifted!  Let’s see, where to start…first, for those of you that asked, the bathroom painting was a technique I saw on Debbie Travis’ Painted House.  I mixed three colors, a light creamy color, a darker color, kinda like a frothy hot chocolate, and white, with glaze.  Then you take your paint brush, dip in one and paint a swatch, then dip in the next one and paint a swatch, overlapping and mixing to your heart’s desire.  Super easy and it looks great! I think getting that painting done helped lift my spirits.  I felt like a big weight was lifted.  I guess Carla’s and Teresa’s advice was right.  Do something for yourself.  Even though it was work, it was for ME.  Making my home a more enjoyable, pleasant place to be, and the feeling of a job well done. I think I’ve been spending so much time working on projects for others, that I was neglecting myself.  I’ve learned that taking care of yourself is not a selfish thing.  You have to take care of yourself in order to be able to care for others, or to be able to have something left to give to others.  Does that make sense? I hope it is coming out the way I mean it to sound.

I have had a pretty productive weekend…I did my log cabin blocks to stay on schedule.  And if you look at the countdown, you will see that I am now under forty to go!  YEA!! I also added the first round of the last dark logs on my cousin’s blocks.  I did housework and laundry, as usual.  I worked on the binding of a UFO that’s been hanging around for about 2 yrs.  I know that I can’t finish my starry log cabin by the end of the month, but I want to participate in the UFO challenge on MQR, started by Lynn.  I also basted two baby quilts for a customer, who wants to embroider and quilt them herself, but hates basting. 

I also decided, since I had leftover joint compound and some Kilz laying around, to give our entryway a face lift.  I am texturing over ugly wallpaper, and painting the paneling.  I think it’s gonna look great when I get it finished.  I ran out of joint compound, so didn’t get to finish the texturizing.  I also still need to do one more coat of Kilz on the south wall.  My DH has been away on a fishing trip, and has yet to see any of my accomplishments.  He will be home tomorrow.  I can’t wait for him to see!

Now I have a little treat for you.  A good friend of mine emailed me something he had written. He knows how I love quilting, and thought I would enjoy reading it.  I think it’s wonderful, and he told me to feel free to share it here on my blog, if I thought my quilting friends would like it, too.  I think you will.  Enjoy!

                                      “The Quilt”               

 When my now grown son was 4, the outlying bands of Hurricane Gilmer blew through our Texas coastal town. My wife left the day before to visit her inland and safe mother. Our youngest son was still some two years away.    

            My little boy was afraid and had a good right to be. The darkness outside screamed with a monstrous howl. The rain beat the doors like a persistent assailant. The lighting flashed like the strobe lights of my college memory.  

               Daryk bolted into the living room and up on my lap crying. He was cold, scared and not happy about it. I held on to him and said to him what fathers had said for ages, “It’s only the wind.”               

  Not convinced, he cried even more. I did not bother to tell him that he was right. But its paternal discretion not to share the dry but uncomforting details of hurricane cycles. I reached for the nearest blanket to warm him while I would make the vain attempt of rocking him to sleep.  

              It was not until it surrounded him that I realized just which blanket came to our aid. It was the “Grandmother’s quilt”.               

 Ida Vee was her Christian name but I doubt that she would have answered to it. Everyone called her “Coats”. Oddly, she adopted her husband’s surname but held on to her own family nick name. Nick names marked that generation. She was, after all, the sister of “Dutch”, the mother of “Sis” and the mother- in – law of “Boots”. I still call Sis and Boots Mom and Dad. And, I called her Grandma.    

            The title Grandma was not enough. She was more, another mom. At about at the then age of my storm tormented son, my own mother left the home to pursue her career. Grandma moved to our home town and picked up a few of the maternal duties. She was there when early as I can remember. Her ever present laughter and quick wit resounded through that little clapboard house near my school. The smell of the cookies followed faithfully. Every elementary school day ended well in the home, the joy and the safety of Grandma’s little house.         

       My chief crime was sneaking into her “sewing room”. She sewed clothes and entire outfits for customers. The room was filled with sewing material, machines, and, my weapon of choice, the chalk dust marker. I would cloud the room with the chalky dust of mischief until the indicting words; “David Thomas!” broke through the fog.          

      The quilt frame dominated the room. I knew very little of the art at the time. She spent many hours and effort. I say art because, even then, I knew how great a talent this must take. Every week or so a new one would start. Her friends gathered round the frame to assist. They would gossip. I never understood the “quilt talk” but I could tell how wonderfully funny she was.  I can still see her sewing the quilt. I can still hear them laughing.  

               Near my thirtieth birthday, she asked, “What can I do for you?”

I wanted a quilt.        

        She dutifully began the task; but, only completed half of it. On a day in December, she died in the full confidence in her Lord and Savior.             

   Almost a year later, her last gift covered my son and me that night.           

     Her last gift had one last lesson. Jerry Seinfeld said that “Life is a random sequence of unrelated events signifying nothing.” It’s one of those statements that ring true.  Life can look scattered, pointless and disconnected:  One experience here, a thought over there, tragedy out of the blue.It rings true but it cannot be believed.  We cannot live in meaningless chaos: to only “drone on” seeking the instructive “how” and controlled by the tyrannical “when”. Long lost is the “why”.And then that voice calls out to you: “You live, you die, you know not why”. Still you turn away because you know that voice. It is the voice of the Liar and he will lead you only to the desert of despair.In that night and in that quilt, the Truth was sewn.  My grandmother’s quilt included parts of dresses, shirts, blankets and even curtains. These “scraps”, as she called them, were long separated from their first intended purpose. Scraps often left you guessing: “I wonder what this used to be”.Scraps are scattered, pointless and disconnected; until, they fall into the hands of the Quilter. Out of chaos, Grandmother created a design. Scraps of long lost dresses transformed into a strokes of artful color. That which was thrown apart is sewed together. That which was useless is now purposeful. That which was random is now meaningful.  And this all by the work of her precious hands.The random moments, the scattered thoughts and the lost intentions: the scraps of our lives. What if we surrendered them to God, a Quilter?  Isn’t what He does?To us it can all seem random, unconnected and meaningless. But in His Hands, He creates designs. Within His Will flows a pattern engulfing all our experiences, our thoughts and our relationships. Engulfing and gathering them all into His Hands.Then, by the thread of His Love, we are sewn together like a Quilt. We have purpose. We have meaning. We are even…beautiful. 

                Although the storm reigned outside, in our little home there was peace, there was purpose and there was Grandmother…. and her quilt.

               By David Scott, 2007

daily life · home improvement · remodeling

I Accomplished Something Today!

I finally painted my bathroom!!!  I suppose now is where I should confess to you that I started this bathroom project somewhere around three years ago.  It started by taking down wallpaper that didn’t want to come down.  I got stalled out on that.  Somewhere in the process I had surgery.  That stalled it out some more.  I finally got all the texturing done, bought new hardware, towel rack, toilet paper holder, etc., and stalled out again.  I think the new fixtures have been in my closet about a year or so now.  But today, something got into me, and I finished the painting!  YEA!!!  Now, my DH can install the new stuff!  Here is a peek at how I painted it.  I am gonna be SO SORE tomorrow!



Just Checking In

I haven’t fallen of the Earth…it was just an incredibly hectic week.  I didn’t even get my log cabin blocks done during the week, but I caught them up this weekend.  I also got a little work done on my cousin’s quilt, along with laundry, housework, and doing some straightening in my closet.  I went to my endocrinologist appt. on Wednesday.  I had a followup ultrasound on the nodule in my thyroid, and I don’t have to have a needle biopsy this year.  Yahoo!  There were no significant changes in size, so we wait a year, do another ultrasound and go from there.  He also did some bloodwork, which all came back normal.  I told him I’m tired all the time.  I have to go back to Amarillo this Wednesday for the annual mammogram and more blood test that my gyno ordered, when I had my checkup with him.  I’m not supposed to eat or drink after midnight for these, so I will want to get there early and get them over with…lol.  My shoulder is driving my crazy, along with my right hand & wrist again.  I’m trying to stay off the computer a little more…not always so successful with that.