Thursday, January 31, 2008

New month New start...looking ahead

Let me start off by saying I am a very goal oriented individual. I love to strive for things that are set in front of me be they by myself or by others. One example...where I work we have an incentive program where there are 10 pins you can earn. Your goal is to earn them all.....well, by golly I am gonna do my darndest to get them all!! (I have all but 2 by the way *grin*) And its not as if I did not accomplish anything in January, but I think everyone loves a frest start, so I look at the begining of each month as another month to start with a (relatively) clean slate. So that being said I have been thinking about what I am hoping to accomplish in the next month. As far as my quilty goals I have several.

1. Finish my block of the month -- all I have to do is quilt the outer border, bind and put a tag on it. I may add more quilting, but I'm not sure.

2. Finish the baby quilt -- I got that basted today and started quilting. I love baby quilts because they are soooo much faster to do than my usual size.

3. Finish the top of Amy's quilt -- I've had this waaaayyy longer than I intended. I need to get the top done, and get it finished so I can be back in Amy's hands!

4. Keep up with my swaps -- Don't want to end up not being able to swap for a while. Swapping one of the big reasons I joined my first internet group, I love swapping :cD

5. Finish my ugly fat quarter challenge quilt -- its wallhanging size. I'd elaborate more, but its design is to be kept secret until the voting on one of my groups. I PROMISE I will share a picture as soon as I can.

6. Continue to use up my stash, and to buy as little as possible (at least for right now).

Kind of a big list for me, but I'm gonna do my best to reach as many of these goals as I can :)

Speaking of using up your stash, what is everyone doing Superbowl Sunday? I was looking through blogs and came across this. Now I have to work this Sunday, but usually we're VERY slow businesswise so I am anticipating a short day. If it does happen, I think I may join along. I don't think I'll be making the big version. Actually I was thinking of making a throw that I will probably donate to a silent auction for the school City used to work for. And I just happen to have lots of strips already cut from organizing my stash. Now not that I need to start something new, but I love the thought of being part of a group doing something even if it is via the internet. The directions for the Scrappy Bargello are over at Quiltville. (LOVE that site!!) I can't wait to see how they turn out :cD

Now as for other goals, I am really aiming for a fall marathon, so I am going to write out the base training program to get in shape for it. So as far as that goes I am aiming for running (at least 4, but preferably) 5 days a week. And to start doing my favorite floorwork program again. I have some tapes of it, and it is still on one of the stations we get. Just gotta make myself get up and do it.

Well, I am off today so I am going to go get some quilting done, yea!! Hope everyone continues to look ahead, think positive, and to reach the goals you set for yourself. Warm country wishes!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Plans? What plans?

Let me start off by sharing a picture of the quilt I am doing for a friend of mine. This is the one that was supposed to be basted this past weekend. Unfortunatly, it didn't get basted. As a matter of fact I didn't sew but six little blocks for my ugly fat quarter challenge. We went to mom and dad mouse's for the weekend, and I had all these ideas and plans on what I wanted to do, and, well, it didn't go quite as planned. But hey, its ok we had a great weekend anyway. We arrived on Saturday late afternoon, and made a quick trip to Jo-Anns were I picked up batting for the quilt you see, backing for the baby quilt, and some amber beads for a bracelette I wanted to make. We got home just in time for the home made lasagne to come out of the oven, and proceded to eat more than we should (a trend that would continue all weekend :cD ) After dinner the mouselings had fun playing while we visited and I did get the bracelette done.

Sunday went by way too fast. We went out for a breakfast buffet (yummy) then went over to visit a home and garden store (have to walk off some of those calories, right?) where we found some new dining room chairs which we were in serious need of. After we headed back to the house mama mouse and I went to the one quilt shop we actually made it to. Neither of us had been there before. The shop was called Always in Stitches, and it was a really nice little shop. Very friendly staff, nice selection, and on top of that they also have a jewelery making section. Talk about a store just for me!! I didn't buy any fabric, but I did end up buying some beads and findings. Also found a great little enamel charm that is a log cabin block. I'm putting it up till I can find more, different charms to make a quilting charm bracelette. Monday was mouseling #1's birthday so he pretty much decided the course of the morning. We had a good breakfast then took him shopping and had lots of fun. City and I got away for a lunch on our own, then before we knew it, it was time to head home. Time goes so fast. I'm just glad we were able to go down for the long weekend. Well, its back to the daily grind for me, hopefully I'll find some more time for quilting the rest of the week. Warm country wishes!!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Hey, what do ya know? I found some motivation!

Just a quick little post here today. I am enjoying the first day of my mini vacation. I got out the puppy quilt and finished up the top. I'm pretty pleased with it :) hopefully mom and dad to be will be too. I am going to try to get out today to buy the backing for it so I can baste it at Mama mouse's. She's got LOTS of open floor space :cD I also finally got started on my ugly fat quarter challenge. I've got 3 blocks done, I've got 6 more to go plus the border. Well, I'm off to see what else I can get into ;cD Warm country wishes!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Where did the week go!?!?!

Oh my goodness! It's Wednesday already?!? Where did my week go? I've always thought the study of how the mind perceives time would be an interesting study. I remember when I was little and in school the days seemed endless. We were in school for what seemed like forever, but even when we got home there was plenty of time to go outside and play or ride your bike. A week seemed soooo long and a year could feel like forever. Now that I'm older it seems like there are never enough hours in the day. The hours fly by. What seemed like such a long time when I was little has passed in the blink of an eye. The years 'feel' shorter. Oh how I would love to have that feeling of such long days again!! Time to fit in all that I would like to do. I guess when you're a 'grown-up' the closest you get to those kinds of days are your days off. Which, I am happy to say, I have 5 of those in a row on the horizon!! We are going to take a trip down to see Mama and Papa mouse. Mama has her own sewing room so I am hoping to take my machine and sew sew sew. She also live is a larger city where there are about 10 quilt shops so I think we may do our own little shop hop. Fun fun!! :cD I have been making time for quilting where I can, and I'm sorry I don't have some pictures to share, but I will make sure I get plenty durring my little 'vacation'. I've made progress on my BOM, I am up to 15 of 20 blocks outline quilted. I would have done more, but I ran out of quilting thread :( so I have to run to the store and get some more. I should buy a few spools, but never seem to. You would think I would learn my lesson, but..... I only have one more row of 9-patches to add to the puppy quilt and the top will be done. I need to buy flannel for the back then I am just going to do some simple quilting, then off it goes to the expecting mom and dad. I have tons of other things I need to get done, and I am thankful that I'll have time to work on them. Right now they are jumbled together in my head so I am going to make a list so I can make sure I work on all the things I need/want to. I have a quilt a co-worker of mine started a long time ago that she brought to me and asked me to bring up to queen sized (just my sized quilt, just check out my Default Setting? post ) that I NEED to work on, I have an ugly fat quarter project I need to get done before the end of next month, and I also have some swaps I need to work on, not to mention the baby quilt and BOM/other ufos I'd like to get done. Sometimes I don't think I know how to be anything but busy!! :cD Well, I'm off to get some things done, hope everyone finds some 'extra' time today, warm country wishes!!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Saturday beautiful Saturday

Oh how I love Saturdays!! Every other week city mouse takes the mouselings for the morning and lets me have a big chunk of the day to myself. AAaaaahhhh....peace and quiet! So I slept in a little bit, got up made a big pot of coffee and just enjoyed my day. I started working on the baby quilt. It has gone sooo fast! I only have to add sashing to the left hand side and the bottom half is pretty much done! It is a Billie Lauder pattern. The person I am making it for said they would like black/white/red for the baby quilt I am making for them. I hope they like the pattern I chose. I still have to add 3 rows of 9-patches to the top and that's it. Quick quick!! (I won't mention all the frog stitching I did because I was in a hurry. I might have actually gotten it done if I had just slowed down a bit, but....oh well, water under the

After I got some work in on the doggie quilt I made a quick trip to the local Jo-Anns. Picked up a few things for one of the ladies I am in a group with, batting (yeah 50% off!), and some muslin out of the remnant bin for foundation squares for my string quilt. Not too bad. I really tried to not buy too much I didn't need, and although the fat quarters were as tempting as jars full of candy (and only .99 to boot), I resisted and didn't buy any :cD I also got another small project done. I recently bought a composition book that has gridded pages in it so I can sketch out quilt designs, and, well I couldn't just leave it as is, so I made another journal cover for it.

I got a nice 4 mile run in after that. Unfortunatly I had to run on the treadmill because it is WAY too cold here right now. But I just put the radio on to my favorite station and just enjoyed being able to run without worring about what a mouseling may be getting in to. How nice!! When the family finally arrived home City had set it up for someone to watch the little ones and we got to go out to dinner, just the two of us. We just went to a little family owned restaurant, but I have to say they are usually my favorites. Such a warm, friendly atmosphere, and good food. I had a big bread bowl filled to overflowing with stuffed pepper soup. Yummy! Then we spent some quality time with the mouselings. And now here I am winding down from the day. It is so nice when a day just flows and you can just enjoy the time. No housework, no cooking, just time to relax, have fun, and enjoy being with family. Those days don't come very often, but I've learned to really enjoy them when they do, I know it may be a while til I get another. Tomorrow its back to the regular grind, but today I am oh so thankful for such a wonderful day. Here's hoping that we can all find other days like this soon, and enjoy them to the fullest!! Warm country wishes :cD

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Default setting?

Well, here it is in progress. I think I once heard a quilt designer say her brain's quilt size programming default was set on 'queen sized' and I tend to think my is too. I tend to make bigger quilts. I like them to be used, and nothing says 'warm and cozy' to me more than a house whose beds are layered in beautiful handmade quilts. This one will probably end up on my bed, even city mouse likes it. I about fainted when ,as I'm basting it, he comes in the room and says 'Wow! That's really beautiful. I can see that one on the bed.' So I have my machine humming away today. I would love to have this one done by the end of the month. Don't know if it will happen, but I know I've made lots of progress on it, so I'm a happy mouse.

I am also going to start working on some baby quilts soon. Actually I went out and bought some fabrics yesterday. I have 4 co-workers due one right after the other, the first one being due in April. Now, not that I HAVE to make quilts for everyone, but I really do love having such a unique gift for them that they can actually be involved in if they wish. And I can't tell you how many of them have been used on the wall as focal points in decorating the baby's room, that makes me feel good. So I was talking with dad of baby number one and they would like a black/white/red quilt. Fabrics are bought, pattern chosen, now to get working on it :cD

Also happy to report that I'm healthy enough to start training again. That cold/flu thing really kicked my butt for a while there. Finally got a good workout in yesterday...a run/bike/run brick. Not as much as I would like to be doing, but I think my base fitness is good enough that I could probably be in shape for a spring half marathon so I'm excited!!

Well, I have the day off from work today, so I am off to get some work and plenty of play in today. Warm counrty wishes!

Monday, January 14, 2008

UFO sightings...Monday update

I can't believe its another Monday. The weather is getting back to normal in this part of the country. Got a nice dusting of snow making for great quilting weather. So I took advantage of it to get some work done :cD One of my on-line groups has a quilt along group we call 'the finish line' where you choose one day a week and devote it totally to working on your UFOs. Since I don't usually work on Mondays, today is my day. I started off by getting my BOM basted. I pin basted it, and WOW I did NOT realize how many pins it was gonna take! I really didn't have as many as I would have liked to have really basted it well, but I think I got the job done for at least the center. I spent some time quilting it and got most of what I like to call the 'grid quilting' done. I figure once I get the grid quilting done I'll focus on each block. So far so good with the quilting. Only one tiny tuck that I'm sure I could correct if I want to (which, being the perfectionist I can be, I probably will). I would love to say I got lots done, but all that basting made my carpal tunnel flare, so after about 2 hours of working on it, I moved on to another project. Project number 2 was blocks for a string quilt. I love these kinds of quilts. This will be the third one I've made. The first was made for a raffle, the second is on my bed, but only has a 6" drop, so I am making this one to be sizeably bigger. I am enamored with the frugality of these blocks, and the memories that can be found in each one. Every time I look at the blocks I remember where the fabrics came from. Mmmmmm...warm, fuzzy thoughts :c) I have such a hard time parting with some of my favorites that I am happy when I see every last scrap being used for a project. Speaking of which, I found a way to keep some of those littlest scraps around. It may not be a new idea, but its one I've never seen before. I saw in another blog (which I'm sorry to say I don't remember the name of) where the author kept even the little 'dog ears' that she snipped off in jars separated by color. I started thinking about how could I keep fabrics out where I could see them on a daily basis? Then I started thinking about all the empty spools I seem to have around. Hmmmm...... so I found a couple peices of fabric I couldn't part with, but really weren't a 'useable size' and made these...

Ok, I know the picture isn't the greatest, but I think you get the idea. I was thinking about making a fabric bowl, and keeping them out on display in my sewing area. Now to dig out those little scraps I couldn't part with ;)
So far I have only bought 1/2 yard of fabric for a swap, and have used exclusivly from my stash for the other swaps I have joined. It feels good to be using up some of that 'someday' fabric! So there it is in a nutshell. Pretty good day overall. Unfortunatly its back to the regular grind tomorrow, so I am off to relax and enjoy the rest of my evening off . Warm country wishes!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Just an update...

Can't say I've done a whole lot the last day or two, I've been down with a stomach flu or something...I hate being sick :( I did make a little progress on a few quilts, though. I got out to buy backing for my BOM 2006, now to get it basted. Hope to do that this weekend. Also got to work on my double irish chain. I am doing it totally scrappy. Wanted to share a pic of that. I'm not too sure about the block that is in the center of the top row. I'm afraid the center may be a bit dark. Guess I'll make that decision later. Also made some progress on my mocha lover's quilt. I hate to say this, but I may have to replace a block or two. I hate to say that because I got the blocks for this top from a swap. I know most everyone in the groups I'm in does the best job that they are able to, but I have 2 blocks that have problems with not leaving me enough fabric for the seam allowance. Maybe I can make them work, guess that's another wait and see. Well, its time for me to go get the house ready for the weekend. Hate to have house work left over on the 2 days we actually get to spend as a family, so this little mouse is gonna go get busy. Warm country wishes :cD
country mouse

Monday, January 7, 2008

Sooooo....what do you think about?

One of the things I like about having a blog is that I can ramble on about things that those in my house don't understand or don't think about and hopefully strike a chord with someone out there who is interested. With that being said I was sewing today and started thinking about all sorts of things. I'm sure we all do this. Think about what we have to do, how our day has gone, maybe about the person you are making a quilt for, family or old friends. But how about those odd thoughts that just kinda pop up? Case in point, while I was sewing today, winding yet another bobbin, I looked down at my spools of thread to see one that had 1000 yards on it. It got me thinking, how much thread do I use in peicing my quilt tops? I know I've used through many a spool of thread. Now, I used to be in the marching band way back in HS, so I am familiar with the 100 yard football field. I started thinking I know I'll use that whole spool at some point, and wow that is equal to 50 trips down and back on the football field! Thats a lot of walking. Then I started to wonder how many spools it would take to span the marathon distance? How would that much thread look like if it were just pulled off the spool and piled on the floor? Hmmmmmm.....I know, only the kind of thoughts a quilter would have. But it is interesting to think that thread that could cover that kind of distance can be used to make something the size of a bed quilt. That's a lot of thread in a relatively small space. Something to think about, huh ;)

Wanted to share a couple of pictures. The first is of a journal cover I made. It was in one of my quilting magazines, and I thought it was a cool way to cover just a plain old composition book that I wanted to use as a journal. I think I am going to be making more of these. They were quite easy, and I just love an extra opportunity to touch fabric everyday :cD

The other is of what I was working on today (OK, the main project anyway). I finally got the borders on my 2006 BOM. This is just a pic of the corner, but the pic I had of it on the bed did not show the borders so I decided to share this one instead. It feels really good to have this one ready to baste and start quilting. I am waiting for the sale going on next week at Jo-Ann's to get my backing and batting for this one so I am going to pull another UFO out and get to working. Well, I am off to go play with my scaps. I may also get a little more sewing done on my Mocha lovers top. Gotta udwind from the stress from work and I wasn't even there today. There was an altercation that I had to go in and fill out a paper about. I wasn't directly involved, but I was a witness and they wanted as many points of view as they can get to help make decisions. UGH! I hate getting involved in things like that, but I understand why they do it. So I am off to play some more, hope you all find some quilty time too. Warm country wishes :cD
country mouse

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Feeling more like 'home'

My blog is really starting to feel like 'mine'. I finally figured out how to post some more things to my blog. I have a scripture tag I found a Christian Women Online Magazine. And I found the Fabric Diet badge on a blog while I was surfing (Hanne's Quilt Corner). She was kind enough to put it on her site to share with anyone that is looking to use their stash. Thank you Hanne! That is another one of my goals this use up some of what I've bought in the past. You know, all those "I'll use them someday" fabrics? Well I've decided that 'someday' will be this year. I'm still playing, I'm having so much fun learning all this new stuff! :cD

I did get out to run today. Maybe not all that far, but it felt good to be out in the fresh air. We have a nice park nearby, but there are still days I miss running on the country back roads where I grew up. But I feel good that I got out, even if it was in a cold drizzle.

I have the evening free to sew. Yeeehaaaw! I am going to try to get a batch of rosebud blocks done tonight, then I am going to get some work done on my scrapy double irish chain. I think I have enough 2 1/2" squares to make about a million blocks for it. I keep going through my scrap piles and cutting. It feels good to watch the scraps baskets shrink. Although I sometimes think scraps multiply on their own cause there are days I swear I end up with more than I started with and I haven't cut any new fabrics. Ahhh well, I'm sure I'll find a use for them. My motto is 'The scrappier the better' when it comes to my quilts. Well, I'm off to get some sewing done. Warm country wishes,
country mouse :cD

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Yippee!! A day off!!

I love a day off! I feel like I can get so much done, especially if I get up early like I did today. I have been able to work on 5, yes 5 quilts today plus complete a little side project, and the day isn't over yet!! I wanted to share a picture of what will hopefully be my first finish of 2008. It is a block of the month I did in 2006 and I think its about time to 'get-r-done'. I have the border fabrics picked out and cut. I just have to get them attatched and I can get on to quilting. Wooohooo! Oh, and I got some house cleaning done, but hey, who really wants to hear about that ;)

I have also been playing around a little bit trying to figure out how to personalize and customize my blog a little bit more. I am not the most computer literate, but I'm getting there. Guess my brother won't be able to buy me that "I'm road-kill on the information super-high way" bumper sticker after all. :cD I am still figuring stuff out, but having lots of fun.

Well, I'm off to get a few more things done. I like to keep myself one busy little mouse. Warm country wishes :)

country mouse

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

And away we go....

Well, I've decided to take the leap and start a blog. I've enjoyed reading others and thought 'what the heck, I'll give it a go'. :D You may be wondering about my blog title. A little about myself. My name is JaDee and I grew up in a rural area near Amish country. I love the country life. Home cooked meals, running in the fresh air, hand made items (especially quilts which is what I will probably write about most in my ramblings), you name it. Well, I got married to a 'city mouse' if you will that whisked me away to the city to live. So here I am a counrty mouse in the city ;)

Among my personal goals for 2008 are to finish up a lot of quilts I have started in the last couple years. I belong to a few on-line groups and have lots of blocks from swaps that are calling my name. "Turn us into quilts. We want to be used and loved and admired." they say to me, so I have made up my mind to answer their call. I am also going to be training for my first full marathon since having my kids. So it will be an interesting journey, and I'm glad to have my little spot on the web to share it all!