Thursday, July 31, 2014

Another One Bites the Dust!

This is why I don't blog!  I don't do anything except visit my chickens and sew quilts!

I had a pile of blocks leftover from my Hello Sunshine! quilt - I guess I was thinking I would sew a king sized quilt - and actually sewed a queen size.  I was looking at them the day before yesterday trying to figure out what I was going to do with all those leftover blocks.  I counted them and figured I had enough to make another lap quilt with a few alterations.  So.. I started sewing them together and this is what I finished with at the end of the day:

Not bad for a 'leftover' quilt, is it?  I kinda like it!  A lot!

Remember those 'jelly roll' quilts?  Sharon made one with another jelly roll she had.  She brought it over to show me and she said she hates it right now, but I showed her some batik to bind it with and I think it is going to be gorgeous!  Can't wait to show you this finished product!  Here it is now:

What am I working on next?  Well, several quilts, but the one I am really trying to focus on is a Quilt of Valor (or two) to donate.  Here are the beginnings - all donated fabrics:

But first, the garden calls...

I am fire roasting tomatoes this morning for sauces; spaghetti, lasagne and tomato sauce:


And after that, I get to go pick up Hello Sunshine! from the quilter!  

ASK me if I am excited!  

I dare ya!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Tah DAH!

Remember that jelly roll quilt I showed you in the last post?  I finished it!  From beginning to end it is all me;  I did the piecing, the quilting, the binding and it is FINISHED!  


Ok, my hands do not work well - we all know that - my left one in particular.  So here is my quilting; it might be jerky and uneven, but it is fine with me - I did it and I love it.  AND it is my first ever!  I will get better, right?

While I was doing the first one my friend, Sharon, was watching while working on a quilt herself - not a jelly roll quilt... and I think she enjoyed seeing mine come together.  When Sharon got home she dug through her pile of quilting loot and came back a few days later with a fabulous JELLY ROLL.  We decided we would do our jelly roll quilts at the same time. They are super cool and easy to make and take no thought at all!  I LOVE how they come out so RANDOM.  

Here is my finished second top - still gotta quilt it, but I have the top finished: 

And here is Sharon's very first one - and I assure you, not her last:

Aren't they terrific??  

If you ever wanted to start a quilt, HERE is the place to start.  You can co a lap quilt in a day!  You will love the results - I promise!  It is nothing like the old boring thing of sewing clothes.  

Quilts take your breath away.  Your first breath goes when you touch the fabric.  Another breath or two or three as you cut the fabric.  You loose another one or two as you are sewing the fabric.  You gasp when you see the finished quilt top.  Then you get it quilted and you nearly hyperventilate from excitement!  Finally, after your binding is on, you put it on your bed, cuddle under it and sigh.  

You sigh because it is yours.  

And you sigh because you are already thinking of the next one you will make.

Make.  A.  Quilt.

It will make you smile.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Quick, Easy and Fun!

My daughter-in-law, Cheyenne, gave me two "jelly rolls" for my quilt making a couple of years ago for Christmas.  Yesterday, I didn't feel like working on the quilt I had going, so I decided to pull out the jelly rolls.  There wasn't enough in one to make a quilt, so I decided to combine the two and make a lap quilt.  

I had seen this video a while back about taking the pieces of fabric and sewing them end to end.  So I started this lap quilt doing that.  When I finished the end to ends, I sewed the two ends side by side and kept repeating this process until I was finished.  This part of the quilt top, with me lolly gagging, visiting with Steve, snoozing and sewing took me about 3 hours total!  The best part about it - it was not a planned quilt, so I had no preconceived idea what it was going to look like! 

I still need to add the border and quilt it - or maybe I will just 'tie' it.  It will make a wonderful lap quilt for my living room.  It was an easy, fun quilt to work on - gonna have to do this again 'cause I love it!  It reminds me of quilts granny Daisy made.  She used a lot of random pieces of fabric and made us awesome quilts.  I still treasure them to this day.  I have worn those out - so this one will take the place of a Granny Daisy quilt.

Thank you, Cheyenne for providing the 'jelly rolls'.  Your gonna love this one when you come to visit!  

Confused as to how it was made?  

Watch THIS!

Hey, Cheyenne, I am super excited about your visit!  Can we sew a quilt together?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

My Middle Young Chickens are Laying Eggs!

Wanna see how fun they are?

Yes, they are 'rubber' eggs the first few times they lay.
Soon they will be perfect teeny hard shelled eggs.  
Then they become bigger little hard shelled eggs.  
Next they become small hard shelled eggs.  
And finally, the eggs are normal size.
Or extra large eggs.

Usually this all happens within a week.  

These will be normal sized 'large' eggs.
They will be hard shelled.
Each chicken will lay nearly every day.

Now you know why there is a saying "madder than a wet hen!"

Any woman having a kid every day would be 'madder than a wet hen'.

I am a wealth of useless information.  

I got it from my son.  ;-)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Even as a Child...

I was lucky.  Yes, I had a rough childhood, but I did have people in it that cared.  One of those people was my Aunt Janie, my Uncle Danny's wife.  Uncle Danny was daddy's brother and Aunt Janie was his first wife. 

Aunt Janie always sent the most wonderful gifts for birthdays and holidays.  I don't think I ever thought I was worthy enough to get them, but I sure did love them.  She sent a tambourine, a little lime green German grandfather clock, stuffed animals and purses.  We don't have any of that stuff left anymore, but I sure wish I did.  Unfortunately, things that meant the world to me were used as punishment and discarded when I didn't meet expectations.  It broke my heart to see them disappear, but it happened.  The memories are still there though - they couldn't be taken.

Here is a picture of me on the left and my little sister, Liz, on the right.  Liz is holding a yellow cat Aunt Janie made for her: 

It was those gifts and many other things that made her so special.

I don't remember how old I was when I went to their place in New Mexico, but I was in 7th grade.  Aunt Janie took it upon herself to teach me how to sew during that summer.  I had never had anyone actually devote time to teaching me anything - after all, I was supposed to KNOW how to do things!  I think she had taken home economics in college - but I am not sure what gave me that idea.  However, she started at the beginning of sewing by teaching me the very basics; reading patterns, what the tools were, how to embroidery, how to use the sewing machine and then we started on straight stitches.  It was also Aunt Janie who taught me how to rip my not-so-straight stitches out! 

That summer I sewed a throw pillow, a dress, several pairs of jeans (remember 1976 was the bicentennial?  It was just a couple of years away - there was plenty of patriotic material.  I chose a bright flag type fabric for my jeans - and she let me!).  I sewed some blouses and some jammers.  Oh my gosh, did I love the art of sewing!  I learned so much that summer!

One of the things Aunt Janie was a stickler about was doing the job properly.  I learned how to sew a zipper in by doing it over and over until it was correct.  At some point she told me that the back of a garment should look just as pretty as the front of a garment.  I never understood why, but betcha by golly it was done correctly - and it passed front and back inspections - or I went back to the 'drawing board'; seam ripper in hand.

As I sew these quilts, in the back of my head, Aunt Janie still talks to me. She guides my sewing steps just as sure as she was standing there behind me.  I still do things exactly as she taught me; I still check my stitches for being straight and I still make sure the back of the garments look just as pretty as the front:

Uncle Danny and her had divorced years ago.  They lived so far away from us and we seldom saw them prior to their divorce.  But long before they divorced, for whatever reason, dad took my siblings and I out there and left me when he came home.  Thank God for that summer.  Sadly, I was never taught us to write thank you notes so she never got one for all her hard work of teaching me how to sew and her continuous dedication of sending gifts. 

I never felt comfortable contacting Aunt Janie.  I am not sure why... my upbringing always let me believe I was not worthy of being remembered so maybe that was the reason... and I always felt funny that I had not called her in all these years - so why should I call 'now'?  I did ask about her every time I saw their children.  Heck, I even asked my Uncle Danny (who stayed friends with her until the end) how she was doing.  I tried to keep up with her, but I never could 'make' myself contact her.  Aunt Janie passed away 4 years ago.  I was devastated - even though I never saw or heard from her  - or contacted her myself.

I think of her often and I wish I had made the decision to call her and tell her how much she meant to me and my life.  Because of her and Uncle Danny, I felt 'worthy'; they gave me hope, I looked forward to occasionally seeing them and I looked up to them.  Their love flowed through to us.  They were the few parts of my life that gave me solid ground.

So, my dear Aunt Janie? 

I have no idea where I got this picture, but I am glad I do have it - it is a treasured part of my photo collection; lovingly placed under My photos/genealogy/family name/aunts and uncles.  I can easily find you and 'remember' your loving smile.

This is for you.  I hope you can see my perfect "Hello Sunshine!" quilt and its perfect backing.  It is because of you that I sew - and it is because of you that I feel so darned accomplished when I finish a project.

I loved you and yes, I miss you, even though I lost touch with you.  

You were one special lady.

You believed in me.  

Thank you!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Remember Our Flower Garden?

I thought I would show you how it is progressing... 

We sure do love it!  What do you think?  

I rarely hear from anyone... but I would love to.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Hello Sunshine... again.

I did exactly as I said I was going to do yesterday - I worked all stinking day until my Hello Sunshine! quilt top was finished.  Here is the 'finished' product:

I will take it in to the quilter next week.  

It is amazing to me how a quilt takes so many turns from beginning to end.  When you start with a piece of fabric you love and want to quilt, you 'audition' other fabric to go with it.  As you start cutting and sewing, some of those fabrics you have bought, don't 'work' with it, so you buy better matches - more fabric.

As you get closer to the finished product it is time to buy borders.  When you put your partially finished quilt top out and start auditioning borders, what you think you would have picked doesn't even get considered.  Instead, you pick a totally different color, pattern or design - another twist to the equation. 

As you sew and work with your fabric - a quilt takes on a 'life' of its own.  You begin to be 'friends' with it.  You enjoy seeing the life you are giving it.  It 'talks' to you. You feel a connection to it.

You finally settle on a border - or borders - and off it goes to the quilter.  When it comes back, it has truly has a different feel - completely different than when it left.  Not a touchy feel, but a visual 'feel'.  It is tucked, and puckered and lusciously dimpled.  I know it sounds crazy, but it is true - it has its own 'life'.

Then you audition the bindings you thought would go on it - again, a different turn often takes place.  What you thought was the perfect binding, pre-selected before going to the quilters might not be so perfect with tucks and puckers.

On Hello Sunshine! Will my binding be blue? Or red?

Which color do you like?

On another note, Steve and I went to the Dr last night - for me of course.  My 5pm appointment lasted 2 hours.

I do indeed have systematic lupus.
I still have Idiopathic CD4+ Lymphocytopenia
and I do have Sarcoidosis.

The Sulfa drug last August apparently caused a 'lupus flare' which causes my awful joint/muscle pain and the pain in my left hand and arm.

I am triple fatigued - all of the above diagnosis have symptoms which include extreme fatigue.  
There is nothing they can do for the debilitating fatigue.

I am getting a CAT scan for my sinus' Monday.
I am getting an EMG for nerve damage to my hand soon.
And I am getting more blood work taken - he said they need to check my levels every 3 months and NIH in Bethesda agrees.

Thank God I have a husband that is onboard with me 100% and encouraging me with every step and obstacle.

Big changes will be coming on our lives.  We have some big decisions to make. We have some major obstacles to overcome.  Yeah, the big major obstacle is my health.


Can someone toss me a lifeline?

A healthy one, please?    ;-)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Throw Back Thursday

Did not get "Hello Sunshine!" done yesterday, I went shopping with a friend at a fabric store!  I am going to work on it today.  Instead of blogging, I want to get right to work, so here is a throw back Thursday picture to share:

 Disney World 2000

Our son Jeremy on left, a Disney princess... not sure who..., our daughter Stephenie and Jennifer, our niece. 

I miss those days.  

Kids days
Vacation days
Fun days
Being young again

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Hello Sunshine!

I have been working on a quilt I call "Hello Sunshine!" for a few months... more like a year, but that is a few months, right?

I LOVE the colors I am working with.  Soon I will have to get out of my "bright and beautiful" themes and start working outside of my comfort zone, but for now, 'bright and beautiful' is my happy place.

Here is "Hello Sunshine!" 

I even made cornerstones for it.  If you look real close, you can see them.  The seams matched perfectly - and for me that was no easy feat.

Here is a closer look at the colors in "Hello Sunshine!"

I know, not ironed, but I have tossed this baby aside so many times from aggravation that I gave up on keeping it gorgeous.  I had sooo many goofs in making this blanket!  I am so new to quilting that I didn't know many of the 'rules' and I probably broke them all making this quilt.

First of all, I didn't know your seams have to be EXACTLY 1/4".  So a little off here and a little off there doesn't matter... right?

Secondly, I don't know how I did it, but my squares did not end up being 6.5"x6.5".  It couldn't have been my 'little off here and little off there', could it?  

*tossed it aside*

So I trimmed them down to 6"x6".  No big deal right?  

Not until you realize all of your white strips between blocks were cut to 6.5"x2.5".  

*tossed it aside*

All of those had to be trimmed back to 6".  Once I did that, I was back on track!

I sewed my squares this way, flipped that way, sewed this way and looked.  I missed that this one was supposed to be that way, so I had three that way instead of one this way, one that way and one this way.  If you don't get it, you are not a quilter, but believe me, it was wrong.  

*tossed it aside*  - every stinking time I made that mistake!

I finally got that puppy done except the border.  I sewed the blue border on first.  All went well.

It must have taken me a month to think through (remember, my thinking is affected by my ICL) how to sew the corner stones on.  Finally figured that out and I sewed the entire white border on, laid it out and realized it was wavy on the sides.  Something wasn't right.  Those dang pieces were too long apparently.  

*tossed it aside*

Finally got up the nerve to rip the seams out and remeasured.  It was then that I realized I must have measured the outside of the quilt (you are supposed to measure the centers and work the outside border into or out to the center measurements).  I trimmed it and sewed it back on. 

After working so long and hard on the quilt, excitedly I put it on the bed to take a gander at how wonderful it was going to look.  

Imagine my surprise when

It was TOO SMALL!!

*SLUNG it aside!*

So yesterday, I finally pulled the sucker out again, got my quilting friends advice, put it all in thought, went shopping, ran it through some more quilting friends and decided this is what I am going to add to the *next* border:

I looks kinda busy, but I think it will be ok.  We shall see.  And yes, I am going to add more cornerstones.

Guess what I am NOT TOSSING aside today?

"Hello Sunshine!"

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Quilts for Fun

Our quilt group in Tulsa makes quilts for wheel chair bound patients.  Usually, they save it all for an all night quilt retreat and make as many as possible.  Michele, our leader, saves scraps and we sew them together that night.  

I can't stay at an all night retreat, but I stayed as long as I could and sewed.  Obviously, I didn't finish them, but I brought my quilts home and finished them.  A friend bound one for me - I have so much pain and numbness in my left hand I can't control small stitching, and my right hand isn't much better.  I tried to bind two, but it was such a shabby job, I just let Claudia do the last one.  You can tell which I did, believe me.  Shabby job.

Anyhoo, here are the three I took to Michele last week:

I promised Michele that I would do one a month.  I bet I have enough scraps around here that I can do that easily!  They are really quick and fun to make.  Most of the fabric you see here was donated.  The only one that wasn't entirely donated fabric was the lavender one.  I bought some of that fabric.  Amazingly, I thought I would hate the strawberry quilt, but I don't!  I think they all three came out pretty stinkin' cute, don't you think?

Quilting is so relaxing to me... and now I have found something to do with my scraps.  

Still looking for that money tree.  Have you seen it?  I want to buy more fabric!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Seriously, Girls?

Daddy built you a total of 8 nesting boxes and we have 20 additional acres here - but the only place to lay an egg is where Susie is?  Yes, I know, Clara has been hogging her box on the left for a week.  I even moved Clara for you... you know she was in 'your' favorite box and all.  Clara is nesting on an empty box even, because me - mommy - keeps taking her eggs.  I don't want any more roosters and we have found out with a hatch comes more than 50% roosters.  So Clara is not allowed to hatch any eggs... and she has been moved - demoted - to a box no one likes.

But you three hens, MUST have Susie's box to lay your eggs.  You growl, whine, holler, cackle, grabble... you stomp, cry, fight for first dibs and yap for hours because Miss Susie is using the ONLY BOX you want to lay your eggs in!  Miss Susie is USING the box because she made it to it first!  Let her lay her egg in peace!

I had to try to film you - granted, you didn't put on the show you do for me, but we can still see you pacing and chattering...

Poor Susie.  Talk about stressful!

Even Clyde and Belle have had enough!

They are glaring at the chicken coop. Can't you see they are tired of your bickering as well?

You are noisy.

You are on my last nerve.

You have to be exhausted.

*I* am exhausted listening to your bickering.


It is that simple.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Fishin' With Family

A couple of weeks ago, we went to Eufaula Lake and went fishing with the family.  Rod and mother met us at Uncle Weldon's for the weekend.  We went out in the boat, and though I couldn't fish, everyone else fished and caught fish!  That weekend was really bad for me - it was all I could do to walk - throwing a rod was not an option.  However, it was nice to go out in the boat and enjoy the scenery.  I even picked up my camera a few times!

Here are Uncle Weldon and Rod, chatting as we are heading out onto the lake:

Aunt Sandra is deeply engrossed in fishing - something she takes as seriously as Uncle Weldon.  In fact, Aunt Sandra won a Salmon fishing contest in Alaska recently!  She won another trip BACK to Alaska.  She went back for the winners trip the next year and won again!  

She didn't want to go back to prove she could do it three times in a row - but I think that is the coolest story!

When I first met Steve's mom, she HATED dogs.  She hated them so bad I thought she would never even touch one.  She really had an aversion to dogs... cats... all critters in fact. 

Guess what?  Her and Rod have a dog and she treats that dog better than she does most people!  Lol... she LOVES Ellis.  His really name is L.S.  because they called him Little Shi*.  When the vet asked his name, they consented to Ellis.  Lol... and then he became a Big Shi* anyway... and we all know what BS stands for!

Here is mother and her precious Ellis:

Yeah, he is their baby!  I just cannot quit humoring myself with the fact THEY HAVE A DOG!!

Here is a close-up pic of His Royal Highness Ellis... I think I like the name "LS" better  ;-)

And finally, the most special guy I know... my hubby.

Being on the lake was nice.  I wish I could enjoy it as much as I used to.  Going anywhere takes huge amounts of energy from me.  I just like hanging out at home these days... but the lake and family was nice.

I will keep looking for those 'spoons' - I know they are around here somewhere.  I have WAY too much life to live to be short of spoons this soon! 

July 10th is my next Dr appointment - I am holding my breath he can get me on the road to feeling better.  He said he cannot 'fix' me, but he can give me a shot at feeling better.  That is all I can hope for...

...and more spoons.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

What in the World was I Thinking?

So everyone that knows me knows I love junking... garage sales, estate sales, junk stores... any place that has 'old' stuff.

Last week I went to an estate sale and they were selling at 50% off.  I came across some wonderful sewing machines; 1 for $30 and one for $40.  Take a look at them:

Machine 1 is an antique 'red eye' Singer, made in the 1920's.  $30:

Complete with cabinet: 

And serial number:

Machine #2 is a Singer, don't know anything about it except it sews like a charm and was $40.  

It was the original one I fell in love with:

Complete with 'new' old cabinet:

Love everything about this machine.  The sound of the motor with it running, the way it feels to sew on it and the look.

Originally, I thought I could put this machine in the red eye cabinet.  That is why I bought the other - loved its cabinet and the regular Singer machine.

What was I thinking?  The other is a treadle machine!

It. Won't. Work.

Now my questions:

Why did I buy them?  

Why did I love them so much?

What the heck am I going to do with them?

What the heck was I thinking? 

I am sure I wasn't.

Anyone want two machines?  I will sell them for what I bought them for.

But they sure are purty.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

If You Haven't Figured It Out...

Someone removed my background on my blog.  It was not me that didn't pay Photobucket - it was the yoho I got that background from.  Sooo, I have been using Google backgrounds and I am not impressed.  

Dealing with it. 

Moving on... I made a baby quilt for an 'adopted' nephew, Keith, and his wife, Michelle, last week.  Keith was Carey and Jennifer's cousin.  We love Keith and are so proud of who he has become despite the crummy circumstances of his family.  I won't go into details, but he had a very difficult upbringing and is doing great despite everything he has been through.  This is just more proof that you can succeed in life no matter where you came from!

Here is the quilt I made for little Bristol, their daughter.  It is called a 'rag quit' and is very easy to make: 

I also made some burp cloths - super simple!  I took 3 pieces of flannel, cut them to shape, sewed an inch around the edge of the entire three then clipped the edges.  Once all were made, I tossed them in the washer and washed them.

Wha-la!  They are done!

Thanks so much to my friend, Sharon, for sharing this little trick with me!

Here is the final gift:

I love sewing.  I missed it for so long.  I am so glad I have found it again.  I am even happier that I found quilting.  

Now if I just found a 'money tree' to help me buy an unlimited supply of fabric... lol...

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