Monday, December 29, 2008

What a Christmas!

Christmas has finally come and gone. I hope yours has been exactly what you wanted.

The kids have thoroughly enjoyed their Wii. We got it hooked up by 7am Christmas morning and never turned it off until 6pm...Then Shawn and Tasha came over a bit later and we turned it back on for a few more hours. Shameless I know, but at least we are getting some exercise out of it. Dami's little heart has been about to beat out of his chest. He is much more competitive than I realized. He cannot stand for anyone to beat him at ANYTHING, so he has discovered how to really rack up the points in everything he plays.

Brianna has discovered a love for tennis. She is so cute. She doesn't realize that the program will make sure your Mii (avatar) will always be in the right place, all you have to do is hit the ball at the right time. She keeps charging the tv screen. She has hit the screen on more than one instance, and has left a scratch on it!

Alyssa has received more dolls than any one little girl should have...and loves them all!

All in all, I have to say it was a great Christmas for our family. We are all relatively healthy, (Alyssa is feeling much better more breathing treatments!) and we spent most of the time together as a family.

I'm looking forward to a healthy and happy 2009. Now, I've just got to get my resolutions, my business plans and my home school plans ready for the new year!


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What is best for the child...

As a parent, you have to do a lot of things that aren't pleasant. Some of them are because you know it is the right thing to do, some of it is because it is the best thing to do and some things simply because you have to do what is best for the child.

This is one of those types. It was something that was best for the child but not best for Grandma! Alyssa has a bout with pneumonia. She hasn't run a fever at all, but has had a bad cough that just kept getting worse, and would not eat anything. Then she started having a raspy rattle every time she would breath. The doctor prescribed breathing treatments with a nebulizer. You know, those machines that your Grandma had to use to keep breathing.

I knew she wasn't going to like it, had already been warned by her mom. So, I thought we would try to make a game out of it. Pretended to put the mask on and giggle then take it away. Turned the machine on so the noise wasn't scaring her (she hates noises)...everything was fine, until I tried to put the mask on her. The fight was on!

She is only 16 months old, but she is already stronger than Grandma! Holding her arms down, trying to hold the mask on her and trying to keep her head still...I really got a workout. I'm not sure who cried more, her or me. I was really having my doubts as to whether or not she was getting any benefit from it, but now as she is exhaustedly sleeping, there is no raspy noises at all. In fact, if I did not see her chest rise and fall, I would not even know she was breathing!

This makes me think back to all the things I've had to do as a mom...things I never would have thought I could do, but managed. Simply because I knew it had to be done for a sick child. Things I can now turn over to mom or dad...because Grandma should be the one the kids run to when bad things happen...not the one that is making the bad things happen!


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Where has 2008 gone?

As 2008 is beginning to wind down (although Christmas hasn't even made its appearance yet), I've been thinking about what changes I want to make for 2009.

My 'business' hasn't gotten off the ground yet, but I really want to perfect my techniques and learn new techniques. That way once it takes off I'll be ready.

I am refining my business plan to include when I want to start taking in customer quilts and when I want to upgrade my equipment. I really want to take at least one class this year. I am hoping to get to one major quilt event through out the year.

As I refine and modify this plan I will be posting it here. We all know that once something is posted on the Internet, it is there forever. In a way, this time next year I can be either convicted or acquitted by my own words. Kinda scare-y isn't it!

I am one of those people that has to have everything written down for it to be real. Anytime I plan, I ALWAYS have to write it down in order for it to come true. I am a list maker and calendar keeper. I HAVE to not only write it down, but I have to break it down onto the calendar for it to come to fruition.

So, with the year ending down, I will be around with paper, calendar, pen and pencil in hand to work on my shiny new year. So by the time January rolls around, I should have a very messy calendar and lots and lots of paper to put into a readable and doable plan for the new year.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Where's the pictures???

I just went back through all my posts and realized, I have NO pictures least none to speak of. I really need a camera for Christmas!

Here's hoping Santa reads my blog and brings me a camera!

Santa, are you there?


Sunday, December 14, 2008

What a week!

Amanda finished quilting her quilt last week. I'm hoping for a picture soon to add here. She promised she would give me one so I could say something like 'here is the picture of my oldest daughter's first quilt' (maybe a wee bit jealous that her younger sister got her picture on the blog first...)

In the past week, we've bought a tree, gotten it decorated, and attempted to get the rest of the house decorated. I've made 13 baskets for the goodies for all the teachers and therapists, but somehow I managed to miscount and still need to make one more....also had to add two more stockings to the line up as my dad and step mom are going to be able to come up for Christmas after all!

It is strange, it only took a couple of hours to make these two, when I put in over 30 hours on the 10... not sure why these went so much faster, but they are now added to the mix. (now I just have to get all the stocking stuffers ready for all them!

I also finished a QOV this week. I will definitely NOT have a picture of that here. I did a feather meander sort of thingy. I'm not 100% happy with the result, but everyone else seems to think it looks great. It really upsets me that I still cannot get what is in my mind to translate to the quilt. At least I didn't change midstream to a completely different pattern, which is what usually happens. I work on a pattern or fill that I want to use and once I turn on the machine, it becomes a completely different pattern or fill.

We took the kids to do their Christmas shopping this afternoon. It was really cute watching them try to think if things to get for the family members with their limited budget! They actually came up with some good ideas, and a few I'm not so sure about! (Brianna wanted to get Michael some play money since he doesn't have a job and isn't actually looking very hard for one!)

Well, it is almost Taco time! Rex always gets Tacos after Church services on Sunday night. I stayed home with the kids tonight and he should be here with the Tacos in just a few minutes. We have Alyssa still this evening, her Momma is sick and hopefully she is using this time as a much needed rest for her.

Taco! Taco! Taco!


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Back among the connected!

I'm finally back online! Thursday morning, I turned on the laptop and saw an ominous error message. Basically I was told that there was no bootable hard drive. I bought one of those Wal Mart specials last November, for about $250, and it didn't come with disks for recovery.

At the time I didn't think anything of it...but looking back, I should have at least backed up everything!

We tried all day Turkey Day trying to get it to boot. Korey (my resident computer person) tried all his magic, but nothing worked. Saturday morning, we took it to the computer ER, paid $50 for them to confirm, the hard drive was dead!

Seems Damien thought he would get up early and play some computer games. He couldn't get it to work, and somehow the laptop was dropped on the floor.

Sunday we went to the PX and looked at computers (and Santa, but they didn't have very many toys this year???). Rex bought a $779 Toshiba. I guess he is tired of all the cheap computers I buy! So far it is a dream computer. The keyboard is larger than my old Acer, and the mouse pad is not such a pain to deal with. The problem is trying to get all my passwords back up and running. So far I have a couple of websites I STILL can't get back into, and all my bookmarked pages are practically impossible to get to! (including this one very neat site to use for Homeschooling during the Christmas holidays. It has a great place to email Santa. The letters the kids write to Santa, as well as his answers, are sent to the parents first and THEN sent to the kids.)

Also did a great deal of Black Friday Shopping, but I will save that for another post later!

Happy Quilting!


Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I know the calendar says it is already Thanksgiving, but somehow it doesn't seem like stress!

Seriously, for almost 27 out of the last 31 years, we have had the large family Thanksgiving at our house. This year we are having Thanksgiving at my daughter in laws house, and Christmas at my daughters house. All the stress of getting the house clean and decorated, shopping for and then cooking the food, then cleaning up afterwards...not there! I'm not really sure how I feel about that. On the one hand it is really nice to not have all the stress; but I have discovered I think I am really missing the stress???? I know I am pretty weird!

Usually I have a list of what needs to be done and when. I am usually glued to my list. I am barking out orders and my house has wonderful smells of cornbread, sage and lemons. I am usually making a last minute shopping list of those items I either forgot about or am purposely waiting for the last minute to get. The kids even get lists of what they are supposed to do. One would be in charge of making sure the table is set, one would be in charge of making sure all the serving dishes have little slips of paper telling what is supposed to go in there.

How I miss that! I am making a shopping run in a bit. I need to get the fresh fixings for my herb butter to put on the turkey before he goes into the oven tomorrow. See, my job is to roast the turkey. That's it, just the turkey. Sure he is the star of the show, but only a small part of the actual preparations. (and even though I will admit to being a bit of a control freak, that is not what this is about...just in case my hubby reads this!)

I think what I am really missing is the tradition of the stress! Not the stress itself. I thrive on traditions. In a way I grew up coveting Catholics. Their religion is filled with traditions. Not so much mine! Growing up, the only traditions we really had, had nothing to do with the holidays! Every Friday night we (kids) got to choose what we had for dinner. It was always either pizza or hamburgers. Not the fast food kind. The get it at the grocery store and make it from scratch kind. Every Friday was grocery day. We would bring the groceries in from the car and put it all away for Mom. Our reward was to choose what we wanted to eat. Of course I had to cook it, but it was really fun to have that power! Of course I will never forget those 16 oz Pepsis. That was the only time we were allowed sodas. Ah the memories!

I know Tasha will be making a perfect Thanksgiving dinner. She always does. Sometimes I think she was Martha Stewart in a past life! She loves to entertain and she is really great at it. And it will be great to relax and not have anything to worry about. But one tradition will be missing...I ALWAYS burn something! My husband is joking he is going to burn some marshmallows to put on the table...

Here is hoping you and yours have a happy and joyous Thanksgiving. Please remember all the wonderful things you have to be thankful for and all the wonderful people you have to be thankful for. And most importantly, don't forget who to give the thanks to!


Sunday, November 23, 2008


The following is a post by someone I only know via online forums, but feel I know her personally. I followed her story for the past year. When she told us of her husband's cancer, and how the doctors thought he had beat it, then when he started his last round of chemo after the doctors discovered it was back with a vengeance.

As he fought the battle and, even though he was loosing the battle, he never gave up on his determination that he was going to go to a better place.

The following post was posted by Patty Jo on the APQS forum on Thursday afternoon at 3:15:

"Hello all - I first of all want to thank all of you for your prayers, good thoughts and the support in so many ways over the past months. I wanted to let you know that Bill went home to be with the Lord this morning at 4:30 AM. He was not in pain and was totally at peace and without fear in going to see his Lord. I have a friend here with me and she will stay here until our daughter can get here tomorrow morning. His services will be Saturday, the 29th of November at 1 PM. If anyone wants more particulars, I would be glad to send them to you. Thank you again for your prayers. When he walked into heaven, his body was made perfect and without any cancer to contend with anymore. Still leaning on Him, "

Since I first read that post I have been thinking about those words... how he was totally at peace and without fear as he left this earth. It made me wonder if I would feel that way when my time comes. I want to. I really want to feel completely at peace and looking forward to going to heaven, but I'm not sure that I'll be that calm.

On Sunday mornings we have been discussing providence. I understand that the final act of providence is death. I understand that the final act of life is death. I understand that death is more of a transition than an actual end, and is the beginning of something even better. But still, I wonder. I can only hope that I can face that transition with as much grace and calm as Bill did in his final moments.

Patty Jo, you and your wonderful husband have been an inspiration to me in ways I cannot put into words.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Window Experience

I'm hoping my younger two do not have the chance to read my blog before, Brianna, Damien, if you are reading this ...STOP RIGHT NOW!!!

There, now with that business taken care of; I have to tell you what Santa is bringing them..a Wii!

I have ordered it online at lest two times before, and something happened both times. So, I finally got through to the AAFES website and ordered again, and it looks like this time it is actually going to come before Christmas! Although I did have a scare this afternoon. I was reading emails and one popped up from AAFES saying that the status of our order had changed! In the two short minutes it took me to log on and find out what was going on I started panicking! But they were just letting me know it was being shipped this week after all... our original ship date had changed to mid December...and I was getting worried it wouldn't make it in time for Christmas (I'm cheap and did not want to pay for super fast shipping!)

Yesterday, Damien nonchalantly asked me where Dad was. I told him he would be home soon and he said he would wait until Dad got home and walked away. Now, I know Dami. I knew something was up. I tried to pull it out of him, but like any good little seven year old he insisted Dad could take care of the problem and I didn't need to 'worry' about it.

With that information, I decided to check out his bedroom (which he had uncharacteristically closed the door to!) There in all its glory was his window....not in the window opening, just laying on his floor! {Now, I have to admit that we lived in this house for a full two years before I discovered that the windows were the 'tilt' know you can tilt them inwards to wash them, so I can understand how scared this little guy was!} He has developed a habit of opening up his window, which has no screens on and is a floor to ceiling window. He sneaks out when he knows he isn't supposed to . (did I mention he is 7?) He discovered the little clips at the top of the window that let them tilt, and got scared. Somehow he managed to drop the window and it came completely off the track and he put it in the floor.

While it wasn't terribly cold outside, it was very breezy and a bit chilly. His room got quite a bit of an airing out! I let him think he had broken the house until Dad got home and we put it back together. Hopefully this has scared him enough that he won't try it again...but with him I won't count on it. As much as we hate to, we are going to fix his windows where they can't be opened. The chance of being stuck by a fire is a lot less than the chance of him leaving through the window again!

Well, I'm still listening to Christmas music and still driving my family crazy! I have a couple more quilty things to get finished before Christmas so I better take advantage of the fact that the kids are out playing and get some of it done!


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells!

Can you tell I'm ready for Christmas? I can hardly wait for Christmas to get here, I'm worse than a kid at this time of year! This time of year really makes me miss my step mom, Frances. Doubtful that any who reads this blog will know her, but she and I shared a big obsession...Christmas! It is from her that I learned it was OK to start planning Christmas on Dec 26.

And while I'm not near as anal about things as she was, I do admit I have some of her tendencies where Christmas is concerned. (and I will leave that to your imaginations, since both my daughter and daughter in law read my blog!)

I finished the Christmas stockings Sunday afternoon, and a Birthday table cloth quilt for Logan on Monday, so I feel like I need another Christmas project! I found a great pattern for a Christmas Tree Napkin. The trick to it is in the thread you use on the serger to create the Christmas Tree-like decorations and folding it so it looks like a Christmas Tree...of course I don't have a serger, so I'm not sure how this is going to turn out...but I might tackle this and modify it a bit to see what I can get. I think it would be cute for the kids to use during Christmas time.

I am SO tempted to get the Christmas countdown on my computer, but I'm afraid everyone will really start to kid me then...they already think I'm a bit strange since we have broken out the Christmas movies for Movie night for the kids. It isn't even Thanksgiving yet!

This year we are going to start a new tradition. Each day we are going to do something festive and Christmasy. sort of our own 25 days of Christmas. I'm starting a list and couldn't believe that I am having so much trouble finding 25 things to do with them! One of the daily things will be they get to visit a Christmas website to play after they finish their schoolwork. I've been busily finding and approving the various websites for the past few weeks. It is not as easy as I had thought to find good websites. I want something that has appropriate content and enough fun stuff to do to keep them occupied for at least 10 minutes. There are several that have some good content, but no games or other fun stuff to keep them busy. And I've found a couple that have some fun stuff to do, but the content is less than what I'm happy with...too many ads and too easy to leave that site for something less than desirable.

We are already working on our letters to Santa. I'm making them write them out in proper form, and later we will send them via email to Santa. Brianna said it was too much trouble writing regular letters, and no wonder people only send e-mails now!

She could be right!


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Merry Christmas...almost!

Well Christmas is definitely coming soon! I've been driving my family absolutely crazy playing Christmas music (loudly) for the past week or so. Last night the kids had their first movie night with some of the old Christmas movies. I've spent the entire day working on the stockings for our family Christmas gathering at Amanda and Korey's house.

Those stockings are going to get me in the end! So far, I have invested over 30 hours into their construction, quilting and the piecing. I'm only making 10, so I really didn't expect it to take me this long. I'm about half way through the construction stage, then I have to find a way to put everyone's name on the cuff. I had originally thought about having he cuffs embroidered, but now I don't know.

I originally had visions of making some to sell at the Crepe Myrtle Festival next June, but I really doubt anyone would pay what I have invested just in time, much less in fabric. I really like the way they are turning out, but I'm not so sure I will ever do this again! At this point, I'm hoping my family will appreciate all the time that has gone into this little project of mine!

I made some table runners and I was able to knock them out in about two hours, not including the binding. So I doubt I'll be selling many of them either.

Currently only the quilts are remaining cost effective, but not many of them will sell at the craft festival. Most people will want a quilt that has their specific colors or a specific pattern. Making them without a buyer in mind is kinda dicey. I was hoping to have them to showcase my work and then take orders for exactly what the customer wanted. I had really thought the majority of my sales that day would be from the smaller quilted items. Now I'm not so sure. I'm beginning to think I will not be able to justify the booth charge, much less the materials for what I've already purchased.

I have a few other Christmas projects that I want to get finished in the next week or so, but have had to put everything on hold for a while. I RAN OUT OF BATTING!!! I can't believe it. I thought I had enough to finish up all the projects I have started, but I see I was wrong, very wrong!

I'm also making a Birthday quilt for Logan (like the one I made for my Grand daughter Alyssa, except in blue) and need to get it quilted so I can have it ready before his first birthday. Darlene's baby shower is next Saturday, and at least her baby quilt is finished, but am still working on a matching pillow for it.

With all the stuff I still have to do it is a wonder I am still on this computer instead of working on them! I guess this week I am using my computer as my excuse to get things done! ( Sorry Amanda!)


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Ramblings on Piecing

I have come to the conclusion that I am a terrible piecer! And I am OK with that!

My daughter, Amanda is a fantastically accurate piecer. She is and always has been a perfectionist in everything she does. (maybe a bit of OCD as well, but in a good way!) The quilt she is making for Christmas has EVERY seam match up PERFECTLY! Each and every 4-patch has a perfect intersection.

I have found that MY quilts rarely have perfect intersections, and somehow I'm OK with that notion. I've always heard that once you start machine quilting,you become a better piecer, but I have found the opposite to be true for me. I've actually gotten worse in my piecing since I've been longarming! My quilts are less square and my borders are more 'friendly' than ever.

But, yet I don't have any problems quilting them...makes me wonder. Am I destined to be the quilter that people use when their piecing is quite a bit less than perfect? Or is my quilting also mediocre and no one notices how bad it really is...maybe like not having something to compare it to?

As I finished piecing two quilts last night while watching the election results (one was actually started while watching the results and finished in the same hour) I wondered is the quilting going to be up to snuff? I've discovered that I am pleased with my quilting if I can complete a quilt without too many thread issues, but is my quilting any better on those quilts than on the ones that I have multiple thread issues?

As I enter another phase of my quilting, I will be paying very close attention to that thought. I really hope to have some actual customer quilts by the middle of next year. Between now and then I need to re-evaluate my skills and mindset.

I guess I have always thought of my quilts as things to keep my family warm as opposed to pieces of art. While I know others think of them as pieces of art I also know those people are not the ones that will be asking me to complete their masterpieces. I guess I will be more of a utilitarian quilter. That's IT! I've found my niche! I will become the UQ extraordinaire!

Monday, November 3, 2008


Halloween has come and gone without too much incident! The kids were a bit upset...they had gotten into the candy (two gigantic bags from Sam's!) and I told them as punishment they couldn't go out trick or treating... but those who know me know I am an old softie at times, so they did get to go around the neighborhood with Dad.

We didn't have too many little trickers out. Maybe less than 50. It was a little strange. Usually we have hundreds. I'm not sure if it was the economy keeping the kids home or the fact that it was Friday night and lots of churches had parties going on and lots of parents had parties going on.

We took a short trip to the north Georgia Mountains on Saturday to look at the leaves. They were spectacular! I didn't get any pictures (much to my husband's dismay) but you will just have to trust me! At one point a huge wild turkey flew in front of the car! We barely missed it. Was in SUCH a hurry to get to the other side of the highway, and yes, that sparked about a half hour of jokes about why did the TURKEY cross the road. And Damien couldn't resign himself to the fact that it wasn't a cooked turkey!

Now, I'm back to getting all the Christmas stuff made and quilted. Brianna wants to make some of her gifts this year, and we have seen a couple of patterns that make quick and easy gifts. At this point I'm not 100% sure we will have TIME to get them all done in time for Christmas...we'll see!

I've started decorating for Thanksgiving, but have a couple more boxes of stuff that I can't get to, so I will have to wait until my hubby has some time to get them for me...he doesn't understand why we have to decorate if we aren't having the family Thanksgiving dinner at our house...MEN!!

Well, I have to apologize...I went to get the camera to put in a picture of the kids and realized Rex took it to work with him today...after all it IS his camera and I did have all weekend to get my pictures off!


Sunday, October 26, 2008

All's quiet on the Home Front!

This past week has been kind of quiet. Almost strangely quiet! No quilting is getting done, no sewing is getting done. Nothing.

Part of the reason is my lovely daughter (Amanda) has decided she wants to make a quilt for her guestroom bed for Christmas. She is hosting our family get-together this year and wants to have it finished by Dec 20.

Now, you have to know that she has never sewed much of anything before. Earlier this year she and I made a Roman shade for her living room French door, but we both have to admit, I did much more of the work than I had intended to do!

She decided to go for it and called me about three times while she was shopping for the fabric, even sent me a picture of some of the fabric she was thinking of purchasing.

I have been over to her house twice now to help her with the mechanics of piecing the quilt. And, yes, I am making her do all the work! I showed her how to cut the strips and then turned it over to her. I showed her how to press the sewn together strips and then turned it over to her. I showed her how to cut the sewn together strips apart with the rotary cutter and then turned it over to her, and yes, you guessed it I showed her how to sew together the basic 4-patch block and turned it over to her to sew them together.

She is using a very basic pattern that we kind of made up as we went along. A basic 4 patch with alternating fussy cut patches of either a Santa or Snowman print. She is using a Christmas Tree stripe as a sashing between rows. I think it will be kind of cute when finished.

I know I could have made it much faster, but I really want her to feel the excitement of watching your hand work become an actual quilt. I can honestly say it has worked! She has been bitten by the quilting bug! She has done all the fussy cutting without me being there and has sent me another picture of the 'quilt' with the 4-patch and fussy cut patches laid out together with the sashing in between.

So, why am I using Amanda as my excuse to not get any of my own quilting done for the holidays? Well, it seems like a reasonable excuse to me! Seriously, my quilting/sewing time is severely limited, and each time I have planned on getting something done, someone has needed me to be something else for them, something like wife or mother or teacher or grandma!

Don't get me wrong, I am NOT complaining. I find it very exciting that Amanda is getting interested in quilting, and I love being needed by my family. I just feel I need to justify not having anything new to post on here!

Keep Quilting!


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What a Weekend!

I am so glad this past weekend is finally over and things are back to normal!

On Friday I did not have Alyssa, so we got the kids a new movie and I went up to the studio to quilt. I finished Kaylin Marie Alley's quilt (my nephew's soon to be born daughter) and started to work on some of the Christmas stockings. I finished one and the quilting looked good from the front, but the back looked like a bird nest.

OK, so back to the machine to de-thread the bobbin area (what a mess!) and work on the tension a bit. I put a practice sandwich (two pieces of fabric and some batting in between) on to see if the stitch was right and poof! The machine locked up! After spending a few minutes trying to get every last piece of thread out, I decided to turn off the lights and go back downstairs.

Saturday I spent about 4 hours trying to get the bobbin area cleaned. I thought if I was able to get all the last bits and pieces of thread out it would work again...or at least that is what I hoped! I used canned air, WD40 and sewing machine oil. Nothing was working. I finally soaked everything down in oil and tried to go online to see if there was any help for me.

I was able to get in touch with a few online 'friends' who basically had good news for me and thought I was on the right track. But still I was one scared little girl. (maybe not so little) Sunday, after church, we went to Walmart and bought a small pair of tweezers to help in getting out the small bits of fuzz that was still where it didn't belong, but I wasn't having any luck.

Monday morning, I called KenQuilt, and after a brief discussion, discovered all I had to do was to manhandle my machine to get it working again. They told me where would be the best place to use a screwdriver for leverage to get it moving and how to best go about it. Rex was out at the range, so I decided I would have him work on it when he got back around lunch.

Because I can never leave anything alone once my mind is set to do something, I decided to make sure every oiling spot on my machine was oiled...with 3 times the amount that would normally be used. I got my small screwdriver I use on my machine and actually got it to budge ...just a bit. That was enough to keep me going , so I found the largest screwdriver we had in the house and went to work.

It only took me a few tries to get it moving. The right leverage in the right place made all the difference in the world! I let it run a few minutes to get the oil everyplace it should I just have to clean up all the oily mess!

What a weekend!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


It has been a while since I have much has happened!

First, I finished my second QOV quilt. It turned out a lot better than I thought it would. It was specifically for the Navy, so I used a 'wave-y thing' for the majority of it and did pebbles (or IS for Navy after all!) on the solid blue background. I was really surprised at how much control I had gained by the time I finished the quilt. I guess the old adage of 'practice, practice, practice' is REALLY true after all!

I'm still working on the Christmas stockings for my family, and they are really turning out better than I thought they would. And I made a table runner for Tasha in fall colors and it is so much better than I thought it would be! I am really proud of they way it looks! Now I have to get some more brown to finish up some to sell...

We did get the wood floors finished and now we are working on the tile for the kitchen. Shawn moved all the appliances out and tiled the main portion of the kitchen a week or so ago. Now that that part is put back together I have to say i LOVE the way it looks! Now he is working on the breakfast room and then he will finish up the laundry room. Right now it looks like we might have enough tile left to do the kids bathroom, but that will probably wait until after the holidays. It is really looking great, and I am starting to love my house again!

Alyssa is getting cuter every day. Her little personality is getting stronger and stronger. She has already shown that she is not going to be a weak person and has her own definite ideas about how things should be! One of those things is her walking...or lack there of. She turned 13 months a week ago and she still would not walk. It wasn't that she could not it was that she would not! I think she knew that everyone was a little anxious because of the surgeries and the casting, so she chose to keep us in suspense. Whenever you try to stand her up, she would just buckle her legs up and smile. She definitely was cruising around the furniture, and she could stand up in the middle of the floor whenever she wanted. It wasn't a matter of balance or ability, it was a matter of not wanting to.

Well, last night she decided to put us out of our misery and walked! Momma got a video of it and will be posting it to her blog. When she does, I'll add a link to it here!

Damien had his seventh birthday last week... while we know that was a momentous event, there was a time that we could not even dream of him having another birthday, we really didn't have a big celebration. Just a family dinner at his favorite Chinese restaurant, came back to our house for cake and ice cream and a few gifts.

The weather is finally starting to feel like fall around here, at least for the next week. We are going today to look for the kids' Halloween costumes and to pick out pumpkins. They are really excited!

I promise to try and post not so many tidbits and more often!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11

I couldn't let today go by without at least saying something about September 11. This date brings back so many bad memories of the actual events of the day unfolding. From watching it on the tv in the conference room, to being let go home at lunch time because we were in a high rise building that was on a 'list' in Atlanta that might be a target.

I remember we took turns to go into the conference room to watch the tv. The picture quality was bad, but there was no mistaking what I saw. I saw one of the towers crash down to the ground.

I remember the lack of traffic as I made my way home. It was almost like I was in a different reality. No matter what time of day I had never seen the interstates so devoid of traffic.

I remember feeling the patriotic pride that came upon us in the following weeks. Finding a US flag in any stores anywhere was practically impossible.

I wonder, as we look back on that terrible anniversary, what happened to that patriotism? It seems that bashing the US is in vogue lately. We are polarized along party lines...our candidate is best and the other one is going to rip apart the nation.

On this anniversary I hope that everyone stops and thinks, not only about the people and events that changed forever on that day, but about what happened to US since then.


Saturday, August 30, 2008

Old Houses vs. New Houses

Houses are built to reflect the way people live in them at the time they were built.

Not a very important statement in itself but think of some of the changes over the last 50 years. Fifty years ago, almost no one had central air conditioning. Some stores had it, they even advertised it on the front door! "Come in! Air Conditioning Inside!". Some newer church buildings had it, I really believe that is why our attendance on Sunday night was the same as Sunday morning! But very few houses had it. I remember when our neighbor bought a window unit...all the kids in the neighborhood lined up to visit the new room!

But then, they were built differently too. Houses had windows on all sides, great for getting that summer breeze inside no matter which direction it came from. The west and east sides of houses usually had large porches to keep the hot sun from super heating those breezes. Some houses had transoms to let the hot air escape to the ceiling and then on to the outside. My grandmother's house was built around a large central hall with doors on each end. You opened up those doors during the summer and got a great wind tunnel effect! Our favorite place to play.

There were large trees all around the house to keep cool outside (which is where we spent a LOT of time growing up) and some houses even had sleeping porches for those unbearable nights!

I now live in a house that is only 5 years old, in a newer subdivision built about 5 or 6 years ago. Practically all the trees were cut down and scrawny 'specimen' trees were planted in the front yard. No front porch to speak of, only a small covered area to get out of the rain when you unlock the door. We have a covered back deck, but it is so small the kids only use it to eat their Popsicles and then scoot back inside.The front of our house has only two windows! TWO WINDOWS!!! And they don't have screens on them (HOA rules!) so they are useless for breezes. Both sides of our house have only one small window each...unless you count the window in the bathroom that doesn't open. How useless is that? So all our windows are on the back of the house. This wouldn't normally be a problem because we back up to what once was a wooded area (new subdivision now going in...don't get me started!), but the sun seems to shine in those windows constantly!

Why does all this rate a blog entry you ask? Because my air conditioning went out on the main floor! Yes, we still have cool air in the quilt studio and in the basement apartment, but since my son moved back home this week, the apartment is kind of occupied. We have opened all the windows we can, used every small fan we could find, and turned on all the ceiling fans, and the temperature in here at 10:45 this morning is a stifling 95. You say it isn't that hot outside? How can that be? I think I slept during that part of science, but I think it has something to do with how wonderfully our house is insulated... meaning it is GREAT at keeping in the heat...

Some time around noon the Air Conditioning guru will pay us a visit, tell us what is wrong, how much it will cost to fix it (like we have an option!) and how long we have to wait for the parts to come in...remember this is a holiday weekend!

While I am waiting, I'll guzzle a gallon of sweet tea (no sipping in this heat!) and try to figure out how I can convince my family I NEED to be quilting!

Stay cool!


Saturday, August 23, 2008

So, how's YOUR week been?

So, how's YOUR week been?

Last Saturday, August 16, was our 31st anniversary! Since money has been tight these last few months, we were just going to stay at home and maybe have a nice dinner some where. Not our usual anniversary trip that we have been doing for the past 10 or 15 years.

Thursday night, hubby calls and tells me he is taking me on a trip and to decide where I wanted to go and get a reservation...he had arranged for Amanda and Korey to babysit the younger ones. Woo where to go?

Keeping in mind our very limited budget and the price of gas, it had to be only a few hours away. Trying all the normal spots we go to I couldn't find anything under $100 a night at the short notice. I had just about decided to just stay at home and go somewhere close around here on Saturday

I lucked out and got a room for $60 at Chattanooga...since we've never been there (only passed through) we thought we would give it a try. We had a GREAT time and found a lot of things we might like to go back for!

I have been busy getting ready for Alyssa's birthday this weekend...well not getting ready for it. Mommy is doing all that...all I have to do is show up!! I have two quilts to get finished. I used her old baby blankets and made a quilt for a 'big girl bed' (sometimes known as a double bed) and used a bit to make a quilt for her baby dolls.

I had a problem coming up with a design for the quilt. Mommy didn't have a specific pattern in mind and just kept telling me to do what I wanted. All I knew for sure is that I wanted to finish it in time for her birthday, but had no ideas. I ended up trying to do a scrappy patch. Nothing special and too light for my tastes. Somehow I ended up with too many of the same fabrics too close together and didn't notice it until it was already on the frame and too later to do anything about it.

(I now have decided to make a quilt out of her outgrown clothes and using either the Paper Doll pattern or a Sunbonnet Sue pattern)

I measured and measured and measured. After I pinned to the frame and started quilting, I didn't like the quilting and ripped it out and started over... well, I'm not happy with the quilting! And when I got to the end I discovered I was short about 6 inches of backing fabric. Went back to get some more fabric only to discover they were out (imagine that !) so I had to go with a different fabric that was on the front of the quilt. When I finally finished and took the quilt off the frame...I FOUND MY MISSING 6 INCHES!!!

Can you say I cried???

Anyway, I attached the binding yesterday (not an easy task with Alyssa running around underfoot!) and after a final wash, have discovered about 10 places where the binding is coming off! So I'll be reattaching the binding before we go to her party this afternoon.

Damien broke his big toe on his left foot on Aug 1, and it has not healed right. So the ortho surgeon put him in a cast up to his knee to give his toe a chance to heal. Hopefully we won't need surgery...but in the meantime he is using the cast as a weapon! Very dangerous to be around him when he is mad!

Well, that gives you an idea of how my week has been, and now I'm off to finish Alyssa's quilt. If I ever get it finished I'll post some pics!


Friday, August 8, 2008

Busy Busy Busy!!!

Busy, Busy, Busy!

That is the best way to describe how things have been around here these past few weeks. I've been working on getting some quilts ready for the Crepe Myrtle festival next June. So far I have pieced a baby quilt and a twin sized quilt. They are both in the Around the World pattern. It is one of my all time favorite patterns. It is the one that Grandma Fletcher always made. I've managed to tweak it a bit to be able to piece multiple ones at the same time. I can usually do about three in one day.

I've also been working on getting Alyssa's birthday quilt finished. It is a quilt for her big girl bed. I'm making a full sized quilt out of her receiving blankets. I also made a small doll blankie as well. I've quilted the doll blankie, but I am having problems with the full sized quilt. I couldn't come up with any ideas for the piecing. I didn't have enough 'yardage' for anything but a scrappy quilt, but still had problems coming up with a pattern. I ended up just doing scrappy 5 inch squares. It is ok, but nothing special. I now realize I could have made a Sunbonnet Sue and it would have been spectacular!

Next time!

I'm also making some stockings for the entire family. We will use these at Amanda's house for our family Christmas Dinner. I want to be able to embroider everyone's names on them so we can use them as place cards...we'll see.

Sunday night, Shawn and Tasha helped Rex finish up the living room floor. I now have the entry way tiled, the hallway and living room finished in the beautiful hardwood floor. We only have the dining room to go in the hardwood and we have tile for the kitchen/breakfast room. But that will have to wait a while! I'm tired of living in a construction zone and I know the kids are tired of helping out!

Alyssa got her cast off on Tuesday! Her tendons are still really tight, and we have to work on stretching it out. Now if we can just convince her to walk! Oh well, I'm sure it will happen when she is ready! Of course she is climbing now. Yesterday she pushed the little yellow chair up to the sofa an climbed up to the seat area and then proceeded to try and climb on the table behind the sofa. She wasn't so happy with Grandma when I stopped her and moved the chair!

Last Thursday Damien decided to break his big toe instead of going to sleep. Hopefully it is not too serious, but we are going to a specialist next Monday just to make sure. It is a clean break, with virtually no swelling and only a little bruising. He has his two toes taped together 'buddy' style and so far hasn't slowed him down much at all.

Well, this is not all that has been going on, but I don't want to bore anyone too bad! Hopefully I can get some pictures of the quilt tops so I can add something of the 'picture-ly' nature soon. I'm getting tired of all this typing and not many pictures!


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Alyssa's Birthday Quilt

Last night I finished a birthday 'tablecloth' for my soon to be one year old granddaughter. I had no intention of quilting it last night, just finish up the piecing and appliqué and maybe load it. After I checked my tension, I decided to quilt a bit. Was planning on just going until I get my first thread break...unfortunately (or is that fortunately?) my thread never broke! My tension was great; machine moved smoothly...thirty minutes later, it was ready for binding!

I wasn't extremely happy about the quality of MY quilting, but it didn't look too bad... If I compare it to things I've seen here it is very amateurish, but I can see that I am improving. I was very limited in what I could actually quilt as my DIL doesn't like heavy quilting, so I basically just did a lot of meandering, a few swirls and an attempt at stitch in the ditch...

It really frustrated me that the stitches and tension were so perfect! I was really thinking I was going to be ripping out what I was doing! But my DIL loved it and started crying. I used fabrics from Alyssa’s receiving blankets, her bedding, and some fabrics I had used for her Mom and Dad’s anniversary quilt!

I’m positing a picture, not to show my great quilting, but to show that I am improving, ever so slightly and to show that I’m not giving up at quilting!

The pattern is from an old Quick Quilts magazine, and I used King Tut Cotton Candy… I’ll be trying feathers on my next quilt!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Waiting by the phone...

Well, we are in the middle of VBS. This is Alyssa's first VBS, so I guess I was a little anxious as to how she would do. Also, Damien is completely 'off' meds during the time of VBS, so I was a little more anxious as to how he would do. So far, it looks like I was worried for nothing on both counts!

Alyssa LOVES going to Bible class, and Damien is doing much better than expected. (even after getting candy in class last night!)

Today, Alyssa is off to Eggelston Children's Hospital having a test run on a lump in her neck. The doctors aren't completely sure if it is a lymph node or a cyst. They are thinking it is just a cyst, and the ultra sound today will tell them the timing of the surgery and the type of surgery she will need. I know I should be using this time to quilt, sew and probably clean house...but I am sitting here on the 'puter waiting for them to call me with what the doctor said. I really wanted to go with them, but figured that would just make me a hovering grandmother and mother in law, so decided against it. I know the procedure only started about 30 seconds ago, but I wish they would hurry and finish and get me the results!

Michael (child #2 who will be 26 tomorrow), had to have 6 lymph nodes removed when he was about 12. One of them was the size of a golf ball, and was a little worse than the doctors wanted to see... he has a lymph type cancer in the muscle of his eye, so they were more than just a bit concerned, but so far there has not been a re-occurrence of it.

I know, I know, I'm a worry wart when it comes to my kids. we just came off the roller coaster of my son in law's bout with Hodgkin's Lymphoma ( all of his post chemo scans have come out great!) and I just can't seem to let my guard down!

Well, Brianna has just finished cleaning her room and wants me to come vacuum it (I only vacuum their rooms once ever two weeks - they do it other than that) so I need to go. still waiting by the phone for the test results!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Alyssa's First Kiss?

It is hard to believe that Alyssa is almost a year old! It seems like only yesterday that she was born. She is growing up so fast!

On Thursday, Damien had a doctor's appointment in Athens, so Grandpa stayed home watching the girls while I took Damien to Athens. From what I hear, she had Grandpa wrapped around her finger about ten times around! All he would say is that she is a mess!

We are in the middle of the great attempt to break her from the bottle. Meaning, she is only getting a few bottles in a day and she is drinking out of the cup more and more. She prefers the bottle to the cup! I've always called her my baby, and if you ask her who she is she will pat herself and say "Baby". So this week I have been telling her she is a Big Girl. I asked her if she could say Big Girl, and she promptly said "Big Girl", so then I patted her and said Big Girl, to which she replied, "Big....Baby"! Now, every time I call her Big Girl, she giggles and says "Baby"

This morning, when I picked her up for Sunday School, proud Mommy and Daddy told me she had said "I love you " for the first time yesterday! (of course, no matter how hard I tried, I could not get her to tell me I love you!)

During Sunday School class this morning, she had her first kiss! She and Quick (a much 'older' boy who had his first birthday today) climbed over to each other and planted a big one on each other! While I'm sure it was totally adorable and cute, I'm afraid at 10 and a half months she is much too young for that!

Grandma is really enjoying this being a grandmother thing. It is even better than I thought it would be! Hopefully I can get some pictures posted soon!

Eleven Months and Counting!

Well, I have eleven months to go until the Crepe Myrtle Festival!

I've started my quilts, and actually got two tops almost finished. I've made a crib size and a twin size in a Trip Around the World pattern. They both need some borders on to complete the top and are in browns and golds. So far I LOVE them. I made them both last Friday. I had to wait until after Alyssa went home to get them completely finished, as Alyssa thought I should hold her all day!

Normally she will play in the floor with her toys and only need me occasionally to make sure I'm still around. So I usually sit and watch TV, surf the web, or maybe try to get some writing done. But Oh No, not Friday! Once she realized i had something to actually do, she wanted to be held. She was very clingy. Which is OK. I love to sit and hold her, so no real problem.

I had taken Brianna's sewing machine down to the classroom and brought all my paraphernalia down with me. Only took 4 trips! So, after she went home, I lugged all the stuff up to the living room to finish it up...somehow it took 6 trips back up...

I only spent about two hours to finish up the both of them, so it wasn't too bad. I need to get some more fabric and try and make another two this month to feel like I am on track. Eleven months is not that long when you stop and think about it!

Friday, July 4, 2008

What Duck?

Have you ever heard an 8 year old say something that makes no sense, only to discover she was right?

Wednesday we made a trip to the grocery store to pick up a few items. as usual, the kids were putting items in our 'pantry' (actually a couple of closets from Home Depot in the garage to hold the overflow of groceries). I usually put the items that need to go in by the garage door, and they put it away for me. For some reason, Damien wasn't interested in helping so Brianna was putting everything away by herself. We (me, my husband and oldest son, Shawn) were in the living room talking. All of a sudden, we heard a scream and Brianna was running back from the garage into the kitchen.

She was yelling something about a duck flew over her head! Now, we have an attached garage that is full of junk, but I don't remember having a duck in there! She insisted she saw a duck, so she finally convinced her father to go look. He spent a couple of minutes looking, but saw nothing. He came back in laughing that she probably heard the freezer kick on and her imagination got the best of her.

She then proceeded to put the remaining grocery items on top of the freezer, not wanting to venture to the pantry. Suddenly, she screamed again! This time, Damien was intrigued and he decided to go investigate. Sure enough, there was a duck beside the freezer! Evidently our neighbors duck came to visit while my husband was cutting the grass the day before and got stranded when he closed the door!

So, Brianna, Damien, and Daddy took the feathered stow away home. He had somehow managed to get under their fence and made his escape. They had searched for him (Beakie) but thought he had just decided to find a new home.

Now, Beakie is safe at home after his adventure and doesn't seem to be planning anymore least for a while!

Moral of the story, always believe your eight year old, no matter how crazy it sounds!


Friday, June 13, 2008

Entry Way Completed!

Yesterday, Shawn completed the grouting of the entryway. Today, we finished cleaning off the tile. We have taken the sign off the front door and have unlocked the door. We have an entry way again! and it looks fantastic. Shawn did such a good job, I can hardly wait for him to start on the hardwood floors. I'll post pictures tomorrow.

I've also started another baby quilt. This is for Dr G..Damien's doctor. She is expecting a boy, but is doing the nursery in mint green. So, I have done another rail fence in shades of mint and one of yellow. It was very quick piecing. Joanne's is having a sale this weekend, so I will go get the batting and backing this weekend and hopefully get the quilting finished by Monday morning.

She starts her maternity leave soon, so I want to make sure I get it done before our next visit in two weeks. It actually looks pretty good. I'm ordering the thread this evening, so I guess it won't be done this weekend... but hopefully as soon as I can.

We gave Ms Pat her comfort quilt this past Sunday morning. She loved it! I'll post pictures tomorrow...


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Living in a Construction Zone

We have now completed our first week of construction on our upstairs main living. Last Monday afternoon me and the kids started removing the carpet from the main hallway. My back would not let me do a lot, but giving Damien the hammer and telling him to take out the tack strips was fantastic! We might have to hire him out to a deconstruction team!

Then it took almost 4 days to get the 'hardwood' out of the entry way. The builder had glued it down! It was so thin and flimsy it ripped to shreds when we tried to pry it out! It was a mess that kept on coming. We finally took a shovel to it to get the wood out and a scraper to get the glue off the floor. Yesterday (last night really) Shawn finished laying the tile in the foyer. He will be back on Friday to grout it and then we can start on the real hardwood floor.

I didn't expect it to be such a mess. We have the basement apartment to live in so it is not really that much of an inconvenience... but since we spend most of the day downstairs, I don't get to clean much upstairs, and it is really piling up. Most of the flooring is plywood sub floor...and still has drywall dust from construction! I sweep it once a day and it is still so dusty it is setting off my allergies!

Once we start on the tile in the kitchen it will start to get inconvenient. I have a kitchen downstairs, but getting everything I need out of the main kitchen to the downstairs is going to be rough. I really need to stock the downstairs kitchen better! (but then again, the dishwasher is upstairs, sooo....)

So far the tile is looking great! Shawn has done a great job and it looks very professional. I can hardly wait to see the kitchen done.

So, until I get my floors finished I am 'roughing it'. At least for me this is roughing it!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Sad Day for our Family

This is a sad post. Yesterday afternoon, the younger brother of my middle son's best friend, drowned in a tragic swimming accident. Eric was only 20 years old, and just beginning to live his adult life. The saddest part is, my husband (a police officer) had the grim task of notifying his mother. This is the second child she has lost, and both times my husband had to be the one for the family to lean on. While it is his job (and he does it well) it really hits him hard when it is someone he knows, especially a young person. When her daughter died, my husband was the officer that answered the call.

Today, almost 24 hours after the accident, we are still waiting on the 'dive team' to recover the body. This seems to be almost inconceivable to me...

Michael and Josh have been friends since the fifth grade. They are now room mates. Josh survived a tour in Iraq. Now, he comes home and looses his little brother. Somehow it doesn't seem fair to me. But I know God has His own plan.

Sending prayers to the family and wishing for prayers from you for this family.


Monday, May 26, 2008

Damien's High Adventure

Yes, it was a mother's worst nightmare! Seeing her child in a dangerous situation and not being able to do anything except cry!

Yesterday afternoon, we had about 10 minutes before we were to leave for Sunday night services at church. The kids wanted to go outside and play, so we told them not to get dirty and just for a few minutes...

At 5:30, I called to the kids to come in, and we could not find Damien! I could hear him answering me and calling to me, but could not see him. He kept telling me he was in the tree, but I didn't see him...until I looked up...way up! He was over 30 feet in the air!!!

I sent his sister in to get Dad and told Damien to stay very still. Damien's response was that he could see everything up there...and there was a building that wasn't a house and wanted to know what it was. To punctuate his question, he pointed behind him to make sure I knew where the building was. Doing so, he let go of the trunk.

Earlier in the day we had went to the new Kroger in Loganville. We were having a baby shower at church after services for John and Susan and needed to take some finger foods. While there, a 'nice' lady gave the kids each a helium filled balloon. Damien had taken his outside and it had flown the coop. He decided to climb the tree, because it was the biggest thing in the backyard, to get his balloon. Unfortunately, the balloon blew around in the wind, so he couldn't get it...but as he said, God had the balloon and He would give it back to Damien.

Rex called our son Shawn to come over and see if he could climb up and help Damien down, but the branches and leaves were too thick, he could only get up about 10 feet. While Shawn was climbing up, the top of the tree swayed a bit and Damien got a little scared for the first time (didn't last very long) so Rex decided to call the fire department. While he told them no lights and sirens, they did indeed turn on the sirens, so Damien was able to hear them as they arrived.

Once the Fire department arrived and started setting up, I was able to breathe for the first time, and managed to think to get the camera and snap a couple of pictures. Strangely, Damien said the scariest time was coming down the ladder. He was afraid he would fall through the rungs of the ladder.

My sincere thanks to that brave young man that rescued Damien!

I think I will now call Damien's doctor and suggest that instead of changing Damien's meds for a fifth time in one month, that maybe it is time for ME to have some drugs for my nerves!!!

Have a great Memorial Day!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Alyssa's Big Day

Alyssa had her surgery yesterday. Scottish Rite Hospital is a great Children's Hospital and part of the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. It is the hospital that Damien went to for his rehab. That hospital will always have a special place in our hearts. The hospital did not disappoint us with Alyssa's Big Day.

The staff was professional and kept us informed every step of the way. They were prompt, caring and understanding. Alyssa's Doctor, Dr Stephanie Martin, was very pleased with the outcome of the surgery. Her toes are pink and warm, and the foot is perfectly flat. Everything we could have hoped for.

Unfortunately, an eight month old is incapable of telling us where it hurts. She has been in a great deal of pain. The pain meds were not doing their job, so she was kept heavily sedated. She did not have a very restful night, and is still getting pain meds every three hours. Unfortunately, she likes being held in a way that does not account for the fact that her foot should be elevated. It is very difficult to console a crying baby if you do not hold and coddle them in the way they like, so it was very difficult for both Mom and baby!

I took the time while waiting to finish burying knots and clipping tails on the QOV quilt I am working on. I have finally gotten that ready to ship off.

We are hoping that Alyssa will be able to come home today, but if not, by tomorrow. It all depends on when the pain is under control. Thanks for all the prayers and good thoughts for her.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Busy Week!

This past week has been a very busy week, and the one coming up isn't going to be any less busy!

Damien had another doctor's appointment, where we are playing around with his medication again. Since Tuesday, we have made two more changes. Hopefully, this will lead us towards less meltdowns and more cooperative days!

I finished piecing the hand print quilt for Ms. Pat, and what a pain it was! I had forgotten how much I hate to do applique! I tried to use Brianna's machine, since it has all those nice embroidery stitches built in, and hated every second of it! It makes a noise that reminds me of metal grating on metal. It is almost like the arm is too low, but checking with the manufacturer, it is right. These machines just are noisy! The stitch was OK, but I was committed to finish all the hand prints with that stitch, and didn't particularly like the stitch after one hand... and the amount of thread it took!!!! I was using King Tut in both the top and the bobbin. I had to refill the bobbin after only 2/3 of each hand! I was going to use the same thread for the quilting, but now I realize I might better order another cone!

I got my first QOV!!! I can't begin to explain how excited I am about that! It scared me to death! I know I am in over my head, but I will never learn until I try! I am treating it like a customer quilt, and it is so stressful! The batting I had was too small, so I had to go to Joann's to get another bat, and used my 40% off coupon. I looked at it for ever before I decided what to do with it! I originally thought I'd do a panto, but after seeing the quilt I decided it would be better with a bit more of a custom look. I worked a couple of hours on Friday night and Rex even came up to the studio to look at the progress. He was slightly impressed with the quilting, so that made me feel a bit better! I haven't had a chance to get back to it because of the Mother's Day weekend.

We celebrated Mother's Day on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday we drove around looking at houses, because that is what I LOVE to do. Shawn brought Alyssa over to make a handprint for her Mommy for her first Mother's Day. And yes, Tasha cried. It was rally cute!

On Sunday, Shawn and Tasha took me out to eat lunch after church, of course sweet Alyssa slept most of the meal, only waking up after we had finished eating to play with her aunt and uncle. I gave Tasha my gift to her, one of the Willow Works carvings, at least I think that is what they are called. Tasha gave me my first one a few years ago, and I have gotten hooked on them, so I got one for her first Mother's Day.

We came home to plant the two bushes we bought two weeks ago by my downstairs apartment door. We then spent the rest of the afternoon trying to get the apartment set up for our classroom. This also involved getting it baby proofed as well, so it was a very busy day!

After evening services, Amanda and Korey took me out to dinner at Chilis. It was a great evening, I wish we could do it more often, maybe with all 5 kids...

This Friday Alyssa has the surgery on her foot. I am not looking forward to having my baby in pain, but I know it is necessary. I am going to try and be brave...

Alyssa is spending the day with her mom today, so I am working some more on the downstairs apartment. That bathroom was worse than I thought! I've got lots of ideas for decorating, but first things proofing!

Back to work!


Monday, May 5, 2008

Where is the quilt pictures?

I know what you are saying, how can this blog be about quilts when I don't have any pictures of quilts!!!!????!!!

Until and unless the Mother's Day Fairy brings me a new camera, I will have to vie for time on my husband's camera. Since I haven't figured out a way to be able to view and download my pictures without seeing his, this may be a problem. (he is a police officer and I really don't want to see the pictures he takes of crime scenes....)

I have just finished a new quilt, as well as been working on more feathers! They are almost to the point where I wouldn't mind having people see them. But I promise you won't see any pictures of that here! I re-used the same three yards of fabric, using different colors of thread. I don't think there is an inch of fabric that isn't covered in thread!

I have finished the quilt for John and Susan's baby shower on the 25th. It is really funny, I wanted to have something different for the quilting. It was a rail fence with lots of lines, so I wanted curves. I practiced a wave type pattern until I really liked it and loaded the blue quilt. Somehow the pattern changed with the very first pass and it became a much simpler wave. None of the curly cues I had worked on, almost a 'C'. I really like the way it turned out, but not sure how it evolved to this!

I did discover that if I sit in my office chair and kinda glide along the floor as I quilt, I have better control on my quilting. Actually the difference is that I can SEE what I am quilting! I also don't get headaches from looking over my glasses! If I ever get to upgrade to a different machine with bells and whistles, I will definitely have to get one that has an adjustable frame. I know that my frame is not at the best height for me...maybe I can get my son or son in law to look at it to see what we can do to raise it some!

My newest project is a hand print quilt for Ms. Pat. Ms. Pat is my daughter's Sunday School teacher. She is undergoing some rough chemo treatments right now, and they still don't have a good diagnosis on her. She is looking at a lot of uncertainty and pain, and takes it all with a smile. She almost ignores her own pain, and concerns herself with others' pain and misfortune. If you ever ask her how she feels, she is always 'fine'.

All the kids in her class have given me their hand prints and I will applique them on to a quilt so she can wrap herself in their love. I can't wait to get it finished, and hope to have it ready next Sunday.

I also have signed up for QOV. I've been contacted by my partner, but I won't be seeing the quilt until around the 14th. No problem, I will be working on Ms. Pat's quilt until then.

I promise to post pictures of the kids giving her the quilt!!!!

Keep on quilting!


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Another week...

Another week has passed, and things are getting back to normal.

I've been working on John and Susan's baby quilt. While it is not what I had wanted quality wise, it is pretty! I'll get the blue flannel for the backing on Thursday and start the quilting. I'm hoping to finish the binding by Saturday night. I want to have it wrapped before Alyssa goes for her surgery.

On Sunday, I'm going to have all the kids in Ms. Pat's class draw their hand prints on paper. I'm going to use these to make a quilt for Ms. Pat. I'm hoping to get it finished the weekend after Alyssa's surgery so the kids can give it to her at our monthly fellowship meal. She has been through a lot lately, with her chemo treatments and the uncertainty of exactly what is wrong and how the doctors are planning on treating her. I want to do something special for her. She is always smiling and always says she is fine! After the accident, she was a rock for me, and I want to do a little something for her.

On Friday night we had our first quilting class. I discovered I am not in the same league as anyone that was there...kinda made me feel inadequate! Diane is going to teach Brianna how to applique. I don't think I can have the patience to teach her something like that, and I think having someone else other than Mom teach her will be a good thing. She is looking forward to getting her own supplies, and we are making a sewing kit out of a plastic ice cream container. She is really excited!

Now, things are back to normal...or at least what has passed for normal these past three years. Getting back to quilting has been great therapy for me! I only wish I had more to do...I have two quilts scheduled right now, and then I'm back to nothing!

Well the chicken is just about ready, so I'll go for now. I promise, much more upbeat postings from now on...


Monday, April 21, 2008

Memories of Memaw part 2

Following is a picture of my son, husband and our granddaughter, Alyssa. Mom never got to meet her new Great Grand Daughter, but I know she is looking down at her daily.

Also a picture of Shawn and his lovely wife Tasha! Don't they make a pretty family!

Here is also a picture of my two youngest kids, they are the two that were involved in the car accident with her. This is a picture of our February trip to Disney.

Next to that is a picture of Shawn and Michael with Memaw. The little one in the blue and yellow shirt is the daddy of my granddaughter!

And here is a picture of my daughter Amanda trying on her wedding dress, and then a picture of her and her new husband Korey.

Something else that Memaw missed out on, but again, I know she is looking out for us everyday. If I believed in guardian angels, I would know that my mom is our family's guardian angel. Was it her looking out for Korey during his cancer treatments? Did she help him get through the chemo treatments, and helped him go through with the wedding only days after his last chemo? Was it her looking out for baby Alyssa during her first foot surgery? Will she be looking out for her during her next surgery?

I miss my mom as much today as I did that horrible day three years ago. The only thing that makes it bearable is knowing I will see her again some day.

So, in celebration of my mother's life, I will plant a rose bush in her honor tomorrow. We will give roses to the special people in our lives tomorrow, and we will visit her grave site where, after a short prayer, we will leave some new flowers.

Remember to tell your loved ones how much you love them...everyday. You never know when it will be the lat time you get to say it to them in this life!