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

Met My Monday Goals

Quilting goals that is.  I’m lucky to get any quilting done on Mondays, but I’m trying hard to made good progess on the current customer jobs I have.  During my lunch break from my day job, I managed to get the binding sewn to the front of the commissioned quilt I’m making.  Now the handstitching can begin while I’m watching TV tonight.  Right after work, I finished up a row on the customer top I’m quilting.  It’s the 60 yr. old top I have previously posted.  If, and that’s a big if, I can finish up a row a day, between my lunch break and right after work, I can have this one done by the weekend.  Unless, I decide it needs some frogging once I get it off the machine.  This weekend, I crosshatched the 48 painted flower blocks.  I wasn’t thinking about the fact that the blocks don’t all match up perfectly, and they range in size from 8.5 to 9 inches on the sides.  Soooo,  I’m not sure crosshatching was the right choice, and it’s not perfect, but I’m hoping once it’s off the machine, it will look ok.  If you hear screaming, it’s probably me thinking about frogging 48 blocks of crosshatching.  What a nightmare that would be.  Here’s some peeks at what I have so far.

The customer had drawn flowers in the yellow blocks with pencil, and intended to hand quilt this.  I’m using a fabric eraser to lighten the marks as much as I can, then I’m trying to quilt over them as closely as I can, adding some embellishments of my own.

Here’s a shot of the back:


Can you see what I’m worried about in the last pic?  Maybe I won’t have to frog ALL of it…maybe I can just make a few rows a bit better.  Live and learn…

butterflies · caterpillars · gardening · Mark Lipinski · quilting · stash busting

Sunday Reporting

With the traveling this past week, there’s not much quilting progress to report.  However, I made some purchases while in Midland, but NOT fabric.  I went to Hobby Lobby in search of some applique supplies recommended by Sharon Schamber.  I bought some Liquid Stitch and some basting glue.  I also bought some Sulky medium weight water soluble stabilizer, for a freeform scarf project I saw on Fons & Porter.  Who knows when I will have time to play with it, but at least I have some stuff…lol.  I also went to Barnes & Noble and picked up the latest edition of Quilter’s Home.  Mark’s Quiltzilla article is hysterical! I also bought a mag I hadn’t seen before, Quilting Arts.  And I found a copy of The Persian Pickle Club.  I’ve already read it and enjoyed every minute. 

We had a freeze warning last night, and I had a little grape tomato plant that already had some blooms and two tiny tomatoes on it.  I carefully put some batting scraps over it and around it to protect it, and when I uncovered it this morning, I discovered that in the process of trying to protect it, I knocked off the little stem with the ‘maters.  Waaaa! And it only got to 34 last night…shoulda left it alone. 

Now, I’m hoping someone can solve a mystery for me.  I have this plant in the front yard.  It was here when we moved in…can anyone tell me what it is? It blooms early every spring.

Before I left town last Sunday, I was in my yard filling my bird feeders, and almost stepped on this in the grass. Thank goodness I saw it!

My first Swallowtail Butterfly of the year.  Apparently, it had recently come out of it’s chrysalis, and was trying to dry out it’s wings.  I helped it get to higher ground.  I’m glad I already have some parsley coming up, and I have planted some dill seeds already, just so they can lay their eggs on it, and I will have more caterpillars this year.  If you have found my blog, by searching for what kind of caterpillars are eating your dill or your parsley, they are Swallowtail butterflies.  Please spare a bit of your garden for them.  Give them a chance to find their wings.

It won’t be long, and I bet I have pics of it’s offspring munching happily in my garden.  Have a great day!

daily life · quilting

Search Engine Terms

Ok, I know that several of us like to see the search engine terms in our stats page, that have led people to our blogs.  Lots of quilt related searches, I get lots looking for the caterpillars that are on dill, since I post about them.  Often, there are some very amusing things in there.  Today, I have one that really gave me a chuckle…thought I’d share it:

“My dog died now I have chest pain”

Ok, so it’s funny and not funny at the same time.  I mean, I’m sorry their dog died and I hope the chest pain wasn’t serious.

I get a lot of hits from people looking for shoulder pain info, and that one I understand, since I gripe about my shoulder so often.  However, today I am NOT griping about it.  I actually have some good news on that subject.  If you’ve read my blog for long, you know I’ve been suffering with pain in my shoulder blade area, that has at times led to muscle spasms so bad that I could hardly move, even being painful to breathe.  I’ve been seeing my chiropractor for almost 2 yrs.  My doc had done an MRI on my shoulder, which didn’t show anything, nor do xrays.  I have all this popping going on in there, also, and it feels like things are “out of place”.  I could move my shoulder blade up and down, and it was like it was bouncing over another bone.  Well, I’ve been thinking that maybe it’s actually coming from my ribs, and not my shoulder.  After my adjustment two weeks ago, I had some improvement.  It felt pretty good for about a week.  So this week, I saw my massage therapist (who I’ve only been going to for about 2 months) right before I saw my chiro.  They are in the same office.  Actually, my massage therapist is married to my chiro’s brother, so they are in the same family, too.  But I digress.  Anyway, she really worked on the muscles around and under my shoulder blade, before I went to get adjusted.  My chiro did the usual adjusting, then sat me up and was feeling around my shoulder blade with his thumb and fingers, and he hit the spot that I felt had been giving me so much trouble lately.  He was really feeling around it and I said “that’s it…that’s where it seems to be coming from”, and he said “yes, THAT rib, right THERE”.  Then he tried an adjustment we hadn’t done before, where I had to put my hands behind my head with my fingers laced, lean back, and he somehow pulled me from behind.  And “POP!” Deep inside my chest.  He said, “I got it!”  I was like…hey….I think you did!  Anyway, I’m sore, but I have felt better for the last three days, than in FOREVER!  He said he hopes it lasts at least a week…lol.  (he says I’m “stucturally unstable”)  He also said he thinks the massage therapy is helping, as that was the farthest he’s ever been able to get his thumb up underneath that shoulder blade.  I told him I had started to think maybe it was a rib and not my shoulder, after all.  He said that the rib being out there aggravates the subscapularis muscle, which sucks the shoulder blade down and up against the rib cage, so everytime I move it, my arm or shoulder, it aggravates all that more, eventually getting the whole shoulder involved.  I’m going to start some light weight lifting, to try to strengthen the muscles more, so that maybe they will hold things in place better.  Will it last?  I don’t know yet.  But right now, my chiro and my massage therapist are two of my favorite people!


I’m Home

We got home late last night, and tired doesn’t even come close to describing how I feel this morning.  And I have to get it together and go to work.  My son and his friend did not do well.  It’s frustrating, when you know they CAN do it, but they just seem to fall apart when it counts.  And you can see the disappointment in their body language when it starts going wrong.  He didn’t play that badly, but his putting was just not there.  He didn’t have any penalty strokes, and he was hitting his tee shots and his irons really well, but he just didn’t have his putter with him.  I did do some fun shopping thefirst day, but I’ll get to that later this week.  Right now I have to summon up some energy to get myself together, and that just feels like a monumental task in itself right now.

daily life · longarm quilting · machine quilting · quilting · quilts

Saturday Sunshine

The sun is shining this morning, the frogging is behind me and quilting has once again commenced.  And ya know, sometimes things do happen for a reason.  I decided not to use the variegated Lava on this quilt at all, and use black Signature cotton, and I’m liking it better anyway.  It is a better choice for this particular quilt. My husband is sweeping the floor right now.   One less thing yuck thing I have to do today.  I’m not the greatest housekeeper in the world to start with, and let my life get really busy, like it’s been lately, and the housework gets farther behind.  When I have to prioritize, it usually gets moved down farther on the list.  I can only do so much with the spare time I have…it used to really bother me.  I felt I was failing…not having everything in top shape all the time, but I’ve come to accept that I can’t do it ALL, ALL the time, so do the things that make me happiest or that matter the most, at that particular moment.  The rest will still be there when I can get to it.  And eventually, I’ll get to it. In the meantime, people will have to understand.

I went to the 20th birthday celebration of the local quilt guild last night.  It was a nice evening.  I need to join again.  I belonged for one year, almost 10 yrs ago, but life was busy then, too.  My son was much younger and involved in evening activities such as boy scouts, and Activity Center sports, that all conflicted with me making the meetings.  So, I’ll give it some thought…maybe I can fit that “spoon” back in now.  There was a delightful guest speaker, Jean Dean, from Midland, TX.  I enjoyed her.  One thing she did was give a book review on The Persian Pickle Club, by Sandra Dallas.  I want to read the book…I think I’d like it. 

Tomorrow I leave for Midland, TX, myself.  That’s where my son will be playing golf in the regional tournament.  So, I better finish up with my coffee and get back to busy!

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

Thursday Thumping

Kay does Thursday Thumpers. I have one today.  Frogging.  Yup, I’m frogging a whole row of stitching…a 91″ row of a panto by Dave Hudson that has cowboy boots & hats.  I had thread troubles.  Looked great on top, but apparently my machine does not like Lava thread in the bobbin, as it looked like it puked little blobs of it out intermittently on the back of the quilt.  Damn!  I hate frogging…hate, hate, hate it.  It’s on the commissioned quilt I’m making.  It will be ok, I just really hate frogging, THUMP, THUMP!

Now then, enough of that unpleasantness.  Congratulations are in order for my friend Ronda!! She won Best of Show at MQX! And Best Machine Quilting/Stand Up! Way to go, Ronda…I am so happy for you.  Her quilt is called Essence, and it is amazing. 

And here is a little treat for you, before I go back to frogging.  This is the quilt I have up in line next.  It’s the 60 yr. old top that my customer brought me this week.  I was hoping I would get to quilt it for her.  The only thing I’m worried about are the pencil marks.  She said to just ignore them and quilt it however I want, and if she can’t get them out she will just live with them.  I did order a fabric eraser, to see if I can at least lighten them some.  Anyway, here are some pics.

daily life · family · longarm quilting · love of my life · machine quilting · quilt top · quilting · quilts

Ick! Wind! And other things…

Oh JOY! The wind is supposed to be really bad today, gusting up to 50 mph.   Y’all know I hate that, if you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time.  It  is supposed to be that way tomorrow, too.  That prolly ‘splains why my head hurt all day yesterday and my sinuses feel swollen and stuffy today.  My head seems to be very sensitive to weather changes.

Onto other things…Happy birthday to my DH today! Love ya babe!

Remember the printed panel quilt I quilted with the Cutie Patootie panto? And when my customer came to pick it up she brought a top with her that is 60 yrs. old? I posted about it here, https://allenquilts.wordpress.com/2008/03/18/tuesday-tidbits-2/.  Well, she called last night, and she does want me to quilt it.  She said she decided not to remove the pencil marks, so I will try to quilt over them as best I can, and she said if they don’t come out, she will live with them.  I’m excited about working on it for her…it’s really pretty, and I hope I do it justice.  I didn’t get to finish the one I have on the machine yesterday, as my head was really throbbing by the time I got off work.  And tonight, there will be birthday festivities for DH.  I will be sad to take this one back to it’s owner.  I LOVE this quilt.  It is sooooo pretty.  It’s a  Fons and Porter Stars & Stripes Sampler.  My customer did a beautiful job on it, and I really love the fabrics she used.  In fact, I like hers so much, I ordered the booklet from Fons & Porter last night, so maybe, someday, when I have time (LOL), I can make my own.  Since I was ordering, I also ordered Marianne Fons’ Fine Feathers book, as I have read so many great reviews of it. 

Time to get up from here and get ready for work! Have a great day!

longarm quilting · machine quilting · quilting · quilts · stash busting

Sunday Report

I have actual progress to report this week for stash busting! I did not buy any more fabric.  I finally completed the Wild Onion jacket.  It is now listed in my Quilting Projects 2008 page, under 2008 Finishes.  So that officially moved 8.5 yds from my stash.  I also finished the center portion of the lighter 9P & Stripe quilt, and am almost finished with the center of the other one.  Sooooo, to help my stash busting totals not look quite so bad, I went ahead and gave myself credit for using that yardage.  🙂  I’m still in the negative, though.  I’m currently -41.75 yards in the hole.

Other quilting accomplishments this week:  I finished piecing the top of the commissioned log cabin quilt I’m making.  It is the next quilt in line to go on the machine.  I finished quilting Betty’s Garden Twist, and am almost done with another customer top.  It’s an 80X100 Stars & Loops panto.  So woohoo! Go me!  I got a lot done this week…except working out.  But hey…I only have so many “spoons” to go around!  But, I do need to find time to get those exercise sessions back in…I think they help me feel better, in addition to helping those pesky pounds come off.  I forgot to weigh-in this morning, but I did weigh midweek, and I was holding steady at 143.  So no progress, but no falling backwards. 

I have a really hectic week at work this next week.  Wish I was at MQX!  To those that are…Have fun!  Buy some fabric for me…hehehehe!

longarm quilting · machine quilting · quilting · quilts

Finished One Today! (if you leave comments, please read the edit on this post)

(Edited to add this note: I noticed that a couple of the comments I received were not showing up under the post.  Where were they?  I found them posted underneath different pictures.  Apparently, with this new gallery option, if you click on a pic, a comment box comes up, too.  If you comment there, your comment will be attached underneath the pic, and not the main post.  So, if you have left me a comment, and you aren’t seeing it under the post, you might have left it under a picture. )

This is the Garden Twist I started working on last month, for my friend Betty.  Betty made this a few years ago, and her mother hand-quilted it, in the ditch, for her.  She wanted me to see if I could add some more quilting to it, with my longarm.  It went really well, except for the borders.  I couldn’t quilt them without puckers, unless she removed the binding, which she opted to do.  So, I got it reloaded and finished up today.  It turned out pretty good, I think, considering there was quite a bit of fullness here and there, that really had nowhere to go.  She is very happy with it, so I am, too!