Saturday, March 29, 2008

YEA!! We did it!!

This morning was the 5k I had been talking about . I didn't get to bed til 2 am (I've said it before and I'll say it again, gotta love the food service industry) but I had made a promise and darn it I was going to keep it! I set my loudest alarm clock and off to bed I went. I have to say 7:30 came very early for me this morning. I crawled out of bed, got myself ready, and was out the door by 8:00. I had to get there early because I had to register for the race yet. I got there and got signed in and started keeping an eye out for my friends who were on their way. After we met up and everyone got signed in, it was just a matter of waiting for the start of our race. Both my friends were nervous as well as excited because it was their first race. I was the 'veteran' because I've run several races (from 2 miles to the marathon distance) and I was excited to get to run with them. They were worried that they would hold me back, but I was there to have fun and run with my friends so I told them I wasn't worried about that. Its so much fun to run with people running their first race :cD After an awesome rendition of the Star Spangled Banner we were on our way. It went surprisingly fast! We got through the first mile quite easily, then in the second it got a bit tougher, but we kept chugging along. The third mile was the roughest, quite a bit was uphill. We all stayed together and kept each other going. Just when we thought the uphill would never end we finally got to the downhill part and the end was in sight. We finished in 32:28, not too shabby! My friends did awesome, I am so proud of them!! After that we headed to the food tables (the biggest reason I run ;D ) and loaded up before I had to head on my way. Soooo much fun! I don't know why I don't sign up for more, but I do know we've all decided that we are definitely running another race together in July if not sooner :cD The picture above is the race shirt that was in the goodie bag along with a water bottle from one of the sponsors and 2 tickets to an Akron Aeros game (local minor league baseball team) I'm looking forward to taking the kids to a game. It will be the first sporting event they've attended. Should be cool. I forgot to take my camera to the race, but one of my friends remembered hers so if she forwards me a copy of the picture of us I'll be sure to share.

Also wanted to share a picture of one of the things that is a definite sign spring is on the way. The other day I heard a familiar 'hooooee-hoooo' outside on our porch. It was a pair of mourning doves. For what ever reason we have had a mating pair build a nest on one of the pillars of our porch for the last several years. Now I haven't seen them since I snapped this picture, hopefully I didn't scare them away with my picture taking. I don't think I did though because I have heard them since. Guess we'll just wait and see :cD

I'm off to enjoy the rest of my day. Hope to get some quilty fun in, hope you do too!! Warm country wishes.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Playing catch-up

Boy I can't believe its been almost a week since my last post. Unfortunately, I can't say I've been accomplishing much. I've been dealing with a lot of pain and fatigue issues lately, really slows down the creative process let me tell ya. :( I have been trying to get done what I can when I can. I barely touched my machine last week so this week I am trying to catch up a bit with my swaps and getting some projects done. I have been able to get some quilting done on Jessica's quilt, and I got the two baby quilts basted. Also been working on the Cathedral windows quilt. I don't know how big I'm going to make it yet. Honestly I am just going to buy the foundation fabric as I can afford and when I can't find anymore I'll call it big enough. OK that may not be entirely true if I keep buying as long as I can find it those windows could cover the whole world *lol* so I will stop before that :cD One fun thing... two of the swaps I'm involved in are 'no-sew' so I've gotten two fun packages in the mail lately. The first one was to welcome spring, look at all the fun goodies that came my way!

I would love to share what is in the second, but honestly, I don't even know yet. It is for one of my on-line group's anniversary and they are having an on-line party when we will open them. Yes, I'm being a good girl and I haven't opened mine. (I almost typed "touched" there, but yes I've touched it, and shaken it, and sniffed it, I am a curious soul after all ;) ) I can share one thing I put in the package for my swap mate. Hope she likes it.

Spring break has been nice although not to 'springy' its actually still kind of chilly, but we were able to get out to a playground today. DS will be going to work with City tomorrow so DD and I are going to have a girls day out. It's also my day off so it will be nice to spend time just us girls and not have the pressure of trying to fit everything in before we have to pick up DS from school or go into work. Not sure what all we'll do. I'm thinking maybe lunch out, some window shopping maybe a stop by Jo-Anns to pick up some fabric and a craft we can do together, and a stop by the park. I'm sure we'll enjoy our 'girl's day out' no matter what we end up doing :cD

Well, I'm off to play a little more 'catch up' warm country wishes!!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

flying by the seat of my pants

Happy Thursday everyone. I don't have to work today, so I really should be making progress on one of those UFOs on the left there, but, well...... the urge just overtook me and I hand to go to the second-hand store and pick up stuff to make this:

I just love that scarf/tie/thing! Love the colors, love the pattern, I just couldn't leave it at the store. Then on a trip to the dollar store I found some beads that go with it perfectly so I'm going to do something with them too. I had gotten the pattern from a swap and have wanted to try to make one so today was the day. Now as to the 'flying by the seat of my pants' thing. I have always been a creative soul and when I start something I just go to it. So I wanted to make one of these bags, but I wanted it lined. There was no instructions on lining it (that I could find, anyway, I just glanced at the directions and away I went) so I just winged it. No pattern, no measuring, just an idea some fabric and a pair of scissors. After some cutting and sewing and a bit of hand sewing here is what I have....

Its lined and has 4 pockets to the inside, but its not quite done yet. I am also trying to figure out a way to add a closure to it. Zipper? Velcro? Snaps? Still thinking about that one. But now I definitely have a bag big enough to hold some stuff, and I love all those outside pockets for holding stuff too.

I wanted to let everyone know about Phyl's giveaway. She is celebrating her 200th post by giving away one of her handbags. She does such great work! Actually, seeing hers is what made me want to give one a try :cD Please go on over and visit her at Scrappy n Happy in Ohio. Just click on the ladybug on the left to get to her blog.

Well the mouselings are home for spring break. Its kind of weird for Easter to come so early. It should be a fun week. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and we can get out to the park and such. I'm off for now to try to get some work in on something quilty warm country wishes!!!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy happy Monday

What a great start to the week. Its a bit chilly, but the sun is shining, the snow is almost gone (well, except for the monster sized piles that will linger for at least another week or so in the shopping center parting lots) and its a day off for me. Yippee!!

I spent some time cleaning out my sewing area yesterday, and found a few more UFOs to add to my list on the left there. I never cease to be amazed at what I find when I clean out closets and such. I know when I put stuff away I think to myself "This will be a great place to store this. I know I'll remember I put this here." Then, almost without fail, I forget what I put where. It's almost like getting presents when I find them. Although to be honest some of the 'presents' I find this way are kind of like that awful pair of socks someone gets for you. I look at them and think "Was I out of my mind or what?" lol Aaaahhh well, its all a learning process. I tend to be pretty fearless when I work on a project. Just picking out fabrics I like that I think will work together. Choosing patterns and designing as I go along. Sometimes they turn out well, other times...well.......:cS Its OK though, its all fun so its all good.

Today is my day to devote solely to UFOs so I am quilting away on Jessica's quilt. Also hope to get some work in on a few others. Also gonna try to get out and get a run in today. I really haven't been running like I would like to be, but there is a group from work wanting to do a 5k in a couple weeks and I told them I would love to be part of the group. So I better start getting my rear out the door to go run :cD

We'll probably spend the evening in, but to all of those who will be going out for St. Patrick's Day, hope you have a wonderful evening. Have fun, be safe.
Warm county wishes!!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Well, I finally bit the bullet

Happy National Quilting Day!! Unfortunately I didn't get to sew as much as I wanted to. I would have loved to have stitched the day away, but City wanted to go looking for cars so that took up part of the day. I can only complain so much though because the car is actually going to be for me :cD and I definitely want to be involved in the process! Not exactly sure when we will actually purchase the car, but it is on the agenda for sure, and that's pretty exciting. I did get to work on my newest project a little bit though, and I am hoping to get more done here yet tonight after the mouselings are in bed. There are times I'm glad that I am quite the night-owl ;)

So, about that Cathedral Windows quilt...... I have always wanted a completely hand made quilt. No machine stitching at all. Zip, zero, zilch. Well although I know it isn't technically a "quilt" I've decided I'm going to do my Cathedral Windows quilt entirely by hand. Why? Well, I started stitching one using the tutorial from Hyena in Petticoats (the picture above) where she machine stitches the base squares together, but after trying to do the stitching of the window part the way she did, it just wasn't working for me. So I looked up a more traditional style of doing the windows and decided to just blind stitch them down. The instructions I found said to hand tack the center of each square to make stitching the windows easier. Which it was, but then when I was going to join the rows together, I came to realize I would have to take those tack stitches out, then re-tack. I started thinking 'wow, that seems like a lot of unnecessary sewing to get the look that I want' and started looking at the more traditional directions and decided to go ahead and bite the bullet and do it all by hand. I know it will take longer, but I do so love hand sewing, and I know I will feel so accomplished in the end so I started over and the picture below is where I stand right now with my second attempt. I will still do something with the first attempt, I'm just not sure what that will be. DD really likes it so maybe I will make it into a doll quilt for one of her babies :)

Everything went well at the speech meet. It was quite a big day for DS. I was so worried that he might get nervous and not be able to recite his verse, but when it came time he got right up and in a nice loud voice recited Psalm 1. I was so proud! I don't know if I could have recited it as well as he did. He ended up receiving a red ribbon for his performance. One very cool thing about was that all the kids that participated got a ribbon based on their performance. Blue for superior, red for excellent, white for good. So no one was left out. Very very cool :cD

Finally I am happy to report that most of that big snowfall has melted away, but not before we got out and had a little fun. We don't get out and play in the snow nearly as much as I would like to, but two days after all that fell it warmed up a bit and it became perfect snow for building snowmen, or snow bunnies. And although we had lots of fun, I'll be more than happy if we don't see another snow fall til next winter :cD

Warm country wishes!!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I've been a bad girl

OK, I know I said I wasn't going to start any new projects, but I just couldn't help myself! After seeing Jacquie's Cathedral windows I just had to start one. It is just in the beginning stages so I don't have any pictures just yet. I also wanted to have a hand stitching project to work on tomorrow. DS is going to be competing in a speech meet, and I know I'll have some extra time. We are all excited that he was chosen to go. He will be reciting Psalm 1, and I know that somewhere between the opening ceremony, his speech, and the awards ceremony there will be some free time. His teacher said there will be movies for the kids to watch during 'down time' and now I'll have something to do too. I'll make sure to let you know how it all goes :cD

There is also a silent auction fund raiser at the school that City used to teach at tomorrow. I've donated this quilt to help out. Hopefully it will help to raise some good money.

Now I have to admit this isn't a particularly special quilt. It is made from blocks from 3 different swaps I participated in in the past. I just stitched them together so I could turn some of those blocks from swapping into a quilt, machine quilted it and there it was. And I know I could never possibly use all the quilts I make so I know I will gift out or donate a fair number of them. But there is always a bittersweetness to seeing a quilt leave. I can't tell you quite why. Maybe because of all the work that goes into making them. I know how much effort I put into creating each one. Then for me I guess there is this little worry that someone won't like it or that it will end up being used for pet bedding (which isn't bad if that is the quilt's intended purpose, I've seen dog and cat quilts, but they are specifically made for the animals) or for covering something in the garage, or just plain unappreciated after all that work went into it. Maybe that sounds silly. Maybe its just me, I don't know. At least at an event like this people will be bidding on it so the one that gets it will really want it, so that makes me feel better. City found out who bought the one last year, and he told me that she was thrilled to be the winning bidder. The woman who won it had always wanted to take up quilting, and had tried on occasion, but never completed one. So she was really happy to have one in her home. That made me feel really good. I'll be interested to hear how it all goes. Unfortunately I have to work tomorrow night so I can't be there to watch the bidding. I'm sure I'll get a full report from City, though, so I will let you all know how that goes too.

I am soooo totally looking forward to Saturday. Not only is it my day off, but it is National Quiting Day, so I will be doing lots of sewing (or at least trying to! lol). One of my groups is having an on-line party so that should be lots of fun. Hopefully everyone can spend at least a little time having some quilty fun that day.

I'm off to turn in early tonight. Well, early for me anyway. Got a big day tomorrow! Warm country wishes :cD

P.S. Don't forget to stop by Old Red Barn Co. for the quilt giveaway celebrating Dana's 200th post. She has pictures of the quilt and it is gorgeous. Good luck to everyone!!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Time for some fun

While I was surfing around blogland I came upon Ellen's blog and decided to take part in the Pay it Forward Exchange.

"It’s the Pay It Forward Exchange. It’s based on the concept of the movie “Pay it Forward” where acts or deeds of kindness are done without expecting something in return, just passing it on, with hope that the recipients of the acts of kindness are passed on.
So here’s how it works:I will make and send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment to this post on my blog requesting to join this Pay It Forward exchange. Since this should be fun let's give a reasonable amount of time for the handmade item to be made and then sent to the recipients - how about 2 months? I will email each person for their mailing addresses and send a handmade gift and maybe some extra goodies.
What YOU have to do in return, then, is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog to 3 different people. Unfortunately this is only possible for those of who have a blog. So come on.....and see who wants to pay it forward. :)"

I think I've finally got my ducks in a row and should able to get the goodies completed in 2 months, but just in case I do want to put the disclaimer on here that it may take a little longer, but I promise the first three who sign up will receive a goodie in their mailbox :cD

Soooooo.....who wants to 'pay it forward'? :cD

Monday, March 10, 2008

Lots to share

What a weekend. I think the official snowfall was about 15 inches. It was hard to tell because of all the blowing and drifting, but it was a heck of a lot of snow to be sure!! We stayed busy inside
and I was able to get the April showers quilt done. Wooohoooo finish number four of the year! Now that it's done it will eventually make its way to my mom and dad's to be used on the guest bed that my daughter uses when we go to visit. Now I have to get moving on a quilt for the bed my son uses ;cD I was also able to get the top finished for B's baby quilt. I feel like I've been walking around in a fog for a while with all I've had on my plate. I'm sure you all know the feeling, the 'spinning your wheels and feeling like you're getting nowhere' feeling? So to finally see a couple things getting done has made me feel so much better.

Also spent time looking around blog land and found some cool stuff going on. Thanks to Jacquie's blog I found out about a quilt give away at Old Red Barn Co. She is giving away a quilt and it is gorgeous, so go on over and check it out!! (Tell her Country Mouse sent ya ;D ) I also found a contest over at Blueberry Lane Designs. She is asking people to show pictures of their most used pincushion, then they will be doing a drawing for a book of pincushion patterns. Now, I have to admit I am really hoping to win that one because I am a pincushion junkie. Here is a picture of my 2 most used. They are both ones I've made. The one on the left is made from an old (well washed) tuna can, and the one on the right I made out of a tiny basket I found at the dollar store. The second picture is of my growing pincushion collection. I think my favorite so far is the rocking chair. I found it at a second hand store and almost passed it up. Looking back I can't believe I almost left it there. Its got places for pins, of course, as well as spools of thread, my thimble, and a place to put my scissors on the back. And I got it for, get this, 40 cents!!!

One more giveaway to let you know about over at Sew Me Something Good. She is celebrating the arrival of spring, and all you have to do is post and let her know what your favorite thing about spring is. She is collecting entries up until noon on Friday so make sure you go visit soon. So much going on, and so much fun!! I'm off to sew and surf (and do the other stuff I do on Mondays) and generally enjoy the day off. Hope you all have a wonderful day. Warm country wishes!!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Blizzard = quilting weather

Need a reason to stay inside and quilt?

And its still coming down!!! I'm planning on staying in, making some slow cooker chicken and dumplings, getting a run in on the treadmill, and sewing the day away :cD

Friday, March 7, 2008

Do you believe some things are ment to be?

Here is a picture of Amy's quilt, well one side at least. Its quite big and I am having a really tough time fitting it all in one picture. I will make sure to get a picture of the whole top before I give it back to her. The story behind the quilt.....Amy is a co-worker of mine. She came to me one day and asked me if I would be willing to finish a quilt she started when her daughter was just a baby (I believe her daughter is a teenager now). "Sure" I said. So she brought me the quilt she had started, the center you see here, and told me that I had creative freedom to do whatever I wanted to to finish it. Her only request was that it was a certain size. So after seeing the top I started thinking of ideas. I was going to do a leaf and vine applique down the sides, but was a little hesitant because I wasn't sure if her DH would like it. I was also afraid it would take attention off the center, and I want to keep it there because that is HER work and it will be her quilt in the end. Then I started to see the disappearing 9-patch all over the internet and thought "Maybe those would be nice", so a-sewing I went. I still had ideas of adding applique but decided not to after all. So I put the inner border on, didn't measure; I sewed the disappearing 9-patches together, didn't measure. "uh-oh" I started thinking. Well, I layed it out and guess what? The disappearing 9-patches fit perfectly!! That gets to the some things just meant to be thing. I couldn't believe it. Needless to say I was very happy and relieved that everything fit. Now I have borders on the right and left hand side and I am debating on adding something to the top and bottom. Maybe some simple squares sewn together. I guess I just don't want to take away from the center too much. I know she put a lot of work into it and I want people to focus on it first.

Also wanted to update you on the ugly fat quarter challenge. The votes are in and I received the award in the category of 'funniest'. There were 8 entries total and there were some great quilts so I am thrilled to have been one of the entries that won. In non-quilty awards news I also received employee of the month for the month of February at the restaurant that I work at. I've been with the company for almost 8 1/2 years and this is the 5th time I've received the award, but I am still excited to get it. I really do enjoy my job, and appreciate the recognition. Makes me feel good :cD
I can't believe its another Friday already!! I have tomorrow off so I am hoping to be able to get the binding finished on the April Showers quilt. They are calling for quite a bit of snow over the weekend (I am watching it start to cover the ground now) so its perfect quilting weather. I'm off to get to the post office and Jo-Anns before it gets too bad around here. Hope you all find time to pursue your passion this weekend! Warm country wishes!!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Where to start, where to start?

Wow its been a busy couple of days. Let me start off with a couple pictures of my neck of the woods. We recently experienced an ice storm here. Despite all the troubles it caused, I think it made everything just beautiful. Maybe I'm just weird, but I loved to just look at the trees for the last couple of days :cD All the beauty made me want to get my camera out. Also got my mind rambling on non quilty things, and since I love to talk, be it verbally or via a key board, I decided to start a second blog where I will be posting pictures and my thoughts on things. You can visit my other blog here.

On to quilty news. I had some great surprises early this week. First is I won a manic monday giveaway from the Quilting Pirate, then I was accepted by the other blog ring I applied to. I also put a neo-counter on my blog so I can get an idea where my visitors are from. It is sooo cool to see all the different places, especially the different countries!! I have been able to get some sewing done too. I am totally excited to report that the hand quilting on the April Showers quilt is done, and the binding is on. Now I just have to hand stitch it to the back. Also been working on swaps. I am hostessing one in one of my groups where we are swapping Ohio Stars so we can make the Random Ohio Stars quilt on the Quiltville web site. I have 4 done, have to get 4 more done for the swap. I am trying to use up some of my scraps so not all the sets will be the same for everyone.

I have also been hand tying the Tennessee quilt and hope to get that finished tonight and the binding on it too. I am working on Amy's quilt today. I have one border done, and the second almost there. I finally feel like I am making some progress on things. I have set the goal for myself that I will get at least 2 more UFOs (beyond the April Showers quilt and Tennessee quilt) before I even attempt to start something new. Don't know if it will happen, but heck, I'm gonna try :cD I also got to visit my favorite LQS today. I love it there. There is something special about going into a shop where the owner welcomes you by name when you walk in the door. Picked up some pretty fat quarters for a swap to celebrate one of my on-line groups anniversary. Busy, busy, busy. And now I'm off to continue the trend ;D I don't have to work today so I am going to continue to work away on those lovely piles of fabric that are longing to be finished quilts. Warm country wishes!!

Monday, March 3, 2008

TGIF??? TGIM!!!!

Oh I am so glad its Monday!! Had to work all weekend, and although it wasn't really all that bad (I had great crews to work with all weekend) it was very tiring! I have the day off today, so I am spending some serious time with my sewing machine. Well, after I get everything else in order anyway. I'm also going to try to get outside. After all that cold and snow we actually have some sunshine and (slightly) warmer weather. The snow is starting to melt a bit, and there was a nice warmth to the air when I drove the mouselings to school this morning. I'm hoping this is the beginning of a trend, but I refuse to check the weather forecast! I'm going to enjoy today!!

Also wanted to share the picture of the ugly fat quarter challenge project I came up with. The pictures of the projects are being posted on the group that had the challenge today, so I finally feel comfortable posting it here. It is my own design. I call it Crazy happy scrappy kitties. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. You can see the 'ugly' fabric in all the crazy patch blocks, as well as the ball in the bottom border, the butterfly nearest the kitty in the top border as well as the mouse in the bottom kitty's mouth. I had a ton of fun designing the kitty appliques, and finding a way to use the fabric we were sent. I can hardly wait to see what everyone else came up with. There will be voting for prizes in the group that had the challenge, so I will let you know how that goes. I still have a little left that I think I will incorporate into the string quilt I'm working on. They are also talking about a ugly challenge #2, so I'm going to get out the trusty graph paper, and start sketching some rough ideas, but have no real idea of what I'll do till the fabric shows up. Never hurts to start preparing though. Besides, I love the design process. I love to sketch and doodle and color. Sometimes I wish I would have pursued art as a career, took four years of it in high school and loved every minute of it!! Guess I could always go back to school sometime, right? :cD Well, I'm off to get some more done. Hope everyone has a great day!!