Wednesday, December 30, 2015

African Blues is being worked on!

Whew!  African Blues is finally under the needle but it was a chore.  First of all I had to sandwich and baste it on two card tables (which I had to go and claim back from my neighbor who never returned them from her summer garage sale).  It was too big for it but that was as close as I could get to be able to do it.  It took me FAR too long to sandwich it.  It just would not line up right and first one side was too short then the other side.  First the top was off side and the back was short.  Then the back hung over and the top was too short on one side.  Yeah, perhaps it wasn't the best day to start this.

But finally I got it put together and now it is underneath the needle.

I turned it over , holding my breath while I did so, to see how it looked.  I had mixed feelings when I did so.  I haven't finished  quilting it but I do have the vertical lines in and that when I noticed a couple of problems.  One is that when it is done I will probably have some areas where it might be a little puffier or not "quite right".  I will live with that.  Yep, that's when you know you're ready to give the project away.  You mentally start to distance yourself from it.  This one has pissed me off enough (but I enjoyed doing it) that I can let it go.

The second thing I noticed is that it will pick up all the lint around the place!  I will have to heavily defuzz it.  It is all cotton but it really acts a bit more like a flannel.

Look at all the fuzz flakes (new quilting term)!

I'm done quilting it for today.  Tomorrow  is another day and then I'll figure out how I want to finish quilting it.  

Of course it won't be finished quilting until I run to the store tomorrow and get more thread.  Yes, that is another thing that happened.  Ran out of bobbin thread.  It's black.  Really!  How did I run out of black thread!   LOL.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Surviving the Holidays...or at least the first part of it

I hope everybody is surviving the holidays!  It's been a good one for me, if you discount that the post that holds up my computer monitor decided to break and my computer fell over on top of my keyboard.  Nothing broken though).  For me that means relaxing a bit and chatting with one of my best friends A LOT (all over the phone...hehehe).

I thought I'd take a moment out to talk about what I finished working on, what I might work on in January and please forgive me if I have posted some of this already.  So sit down in a comfortable chair and here goes.

Shall I talk about food first of all? I decided to freeze up some meals so I wouldn't have to cook as much during this break.  That means I did a crock pot full of Beef and Cabbage soup as well as a crock pot full of Pork and Hominy Chili.  I also made a Bacon and Potato Casserole.  For Christmas Day I made a Cornish Hen and scalloped potatoes and had some Lindt chocolate for dessert.  Today I made Russian Tea Cakes.  Now I'm all cooked out for a bit but that's ok.  It leaves more time for crafting and naps.

Here are some pix.

Cabbage and Beef Soup

Russian Tea Cakes (half the recipe, the other half gets baked tomorrow)

Bacon and potato casserole

Pork and Hominy Chili

Cornish Hen and Scalloped potatoes

Not bad huh?

That left me time to start to organize my crafting stuff, alternating with crafting and napping.  Cleaning can wait until after I go back to work (except for dishes).

At work Theresa, a co-worker and the one I helped do the t-shirt quilt before, asked me to help her make a Christmas gag gift.  I said ok but wasn't too sure since we had less than one lunch hour to do it.  Can you tell what this is suppose to be?

I don't blame you if you can't.  I wouldn't have known and I was the person who was helping to make it!  The white batting is actually the pattern.  I took my material and pinking shears to work to cut down on sewing.  I just did a running stitch by hand around the batting.  AND....this is the result.

Theresa was to put a snap on the Horse blanket.  So here is the story.  A family member has this horse which by now has only 3 legs.  This horse goes EVERYWHERE with them and is always showing up in family pictures and vacations, etc.  So she thought it would be cute to make a horse blanket/saddle for it.  The problem is that the family member seldom lets this horse out of his sight.  She finally managed to sneak the horse into the bathroom one day and took string in with her.  We had two pieces of string to determine if our blanket would fit.  One for the circumference of the horse and an even shorter piece of string to show how far we had to taper it to fit underneath.  I think we did pretty good all things considering.  There was a brown blanket that we made for it also.  LOL.  Theresa said that everybody had a good laugh over it.

I managed to get the test blocks done and mailed off and today I received the email saying that they loved how they turned out.  :)  YAY ME!  I'll show you the blocks once it is published in The Quilt Pattern Magazine.  I think it is scheduled for July or August?

Then I didn't finish making Lyndon's quilt/wall hanging but I did show it to him and he liked it.  He has to come back to the office on January 4th so I hope to have it ready for him by then.

Here is a decent picture of it.  The material hanging over the side will be the backing material.

Did you get a quilty present for Christmas?  My friend Janine crocheted me an infinity scarf.  I was wearing it around all Christmas Day since it felt nice and soft against my face.   :)

It was even long enough I could wrap it around the top of my head.  Sooner or later we will get snow and that will be handy.  Notice it is in NIU's colors of red and black!

I also managed to get to work on my cross stitch saying.

I think it is coming along nicely.

I'm not sure if I will finish stitching it now or put it away until July when I can tell my brain it's Christmas in July and time to start to finish Christmas projects.  We'll see.

January is right around the corner and I have some projects already lined up for that.  There is a three month Stitch a long in one of my Facebook stitching groups.  We are to stitch anything that has wings.  I might do The "B" Flower Fairy from the DMC Collection (By Cicely Mary Barker).  I am also getting ready to work on a Theresa Wenztler Golden Dragon complicated cross stitch which I totally know will NOT be finished in three months.  That's why I thought the small B Flower Fairy.  I could put it, perhaps, in one of my embroidery hoops and hang it on the wall.  We'll see.

How is everybody?  I hope you are having a wonderful time no matter where you are or what you are doing.  I'll catch up with you in the next post.  :)

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas around the corner - Are you ready?

Is anybody ever ready for Christmas?  I am about as ready as I can get.  Christmas Day is usually my day to be by myself and just laze around.  Of course I still have to make it through the last day at work.  It's not too bad but my mind is already thinking of stuff that I want to do after work.  First up with be a visit with my sister in law.  I want to show her what I'm making for the retirement gift for my boss.  Lyndon will be back on January 4 to turn in his keys and stuff so I can give it to him then.

I finished up my text blocks but can't show you until around July when they are in publication.

I think that tonight, if I stay awake for any length of time, I might pull out some cross stitch and just veg.  Doesn't that sound nice?  Just relax.

I hope everybody has a wonderful holiday and be safe.

I'll probably write another post before the new year starts until then try to keep your sanity during the holiday rushes.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

African Blues is coming along

Ready for an update?  The wall hanging/lap quilt that I'm making for my boss is coming along.  I think one more vertical strip and then the borders.  I was delayed for a bit since I needed a different foot for the sewing machine.  I don't think I'll finish it in time for to give it to him before break but I can always mail it to him or have him come back some time.  There is a small possibility that I can get it finish by the 23rd (last day at work) but we'll see.

Here is what it looks like so far.

Right now it is about 30" wide and around 44" long.  I am calling it African Blues since the blue print fabric all came from Ghana.  It is different fabric that he brought back to me on his yearly trips there.  Well most of the blue fabric anyway.  I still have plenty of other fabric to figure out what to make with.  :)

I also have been working on three block that I am testing.  They are due on December 25th and I shouldn't have a problem with that.  I have stitched down two out of the three blocks but need to do the little fiddly stuff.  You know what I mean.  Draw in a nose in one place, whiskers on something in another place, etc.  But that's all I can say right now.  

I am on schedule but, like so many other crafters, don't have a lot of down time.  Must keep going during the holiday season.  :)

Hang in there and have a great day/night.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Brrr. It's cold inside!

That is today's theme.  It's cold inside!  That is because I sit at work with no heat going through the radiators.  They had to drain the steam vents so yesterday and today is no heat.  Now today it is suppose to be around 42 outside but I can assure you that it is colder inside.  Our pastime this morning is wondering why we came to work.  Don't talk to us about dedication when we do things like this!  I have my sweatshirt on and a double crocheted afghan over my legs.  LOL.  I am glad that I leave it at work for cases when the wind comes through the windows.  The heat is suppose to start back up around noon so we'll see.

I did manage to get one seam sewn before coming to work.  Somewhat pathetic report but it is still progress and progress, I might add, BEFORE caffeine.  I am also testing three blocks for The Quilt Pattern Magazine.  Can'ts how you them yet (have to wait until around July) but I am making progress on them.  They are cute.

That's about it for now.  I'll write more and have a picture perhaps when I thaw out a bit.

Stay warm and safe everybody!