Showing posts with label UFO challenge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label UFO challenge. Show all posts

Monday, January 2, 2012


I wish I could say I was getting in touch with my Scots/Irish/English heritage with a title like that, but of course, in eastern KY, being "kilt" has an entirely different meaning!

I allowed myself yesterday, January 1st, to continue my completely self-absorbed devil-may-care descent into hog-heaven.  For those of you who don't know, hog heaven is that blissful place where you do what you want, when you want, for as long as you want....

My hog heaven?  Movies (Lord of the Rings trilogy!!), Facebook, Words with Friends, gallons of ice-cold Pepsi, cheddar jalapeno crunchy Cheetos and these seasonal favorites:  Snyder's of Hanover's White Chocolate covered Pretzel Dips.....Bliss in a salty/sweet combo that melts in your mouth.  Yummy goodness that is highly addictive! Sigh.

And today, of course, the New Year really began for all us self-improvement, get the heck-outta-hog-heaven individuals.

So off to Step Aerobics this morning.  My first foray there in over 3 months, and I haven't been regular since back when Jeff came home from Afghanistan in May!!  So, yeah!  Might be time.

Surprisingly, I've only gained about 5 lbs (and 3 or more of that has been holiday eating!!  But I'm sure it had nothing to do with the pretzels!!!! :-D)

Working through the routine today was difficult.  Manageable, but difficult! :-)  I had too much pride to go back down a level on the step, or to use less than the 8 lb weights I was using when I was a regular worker-outer.  So, tonight, as soreness settles in, I am well and truly kilt!!!

 I'm sure my dilemma would seem less serious if I could drink an ice-cold Pepsi, but I'm off those, too -- AGAIN.  It's only about the 103rd time I've quit them.  But I really mean it this time!! LOL 

Otherwise, it's been a good second day of the new year.  I started my "Boxer Rebellion" quilt with Sam's boxers! :-D  What a hoot!! The "Dizzy Geese" pattern is one I've wanted to do for a long time, and Sam's plaids (kinda makes you think of kilts, too, huh!? :-D) are gonna be just perfect!

I've got this and another quilt top to finish in time for classes I'm teaching in a couple of weeks!!  My "Contrary Wife in Kansas" quilt uses two traditional blocks, and I'm waffling over the fabrics I wanna use.  Need to have both these quilt tops done by January 18th!

This deadline is why I've not "joined up" with Judy's UFO Challenge for 2012!  I will get there! It's just gonna be February.  So, no time for wallowing in Hog Heaven! No time to be well and truly kilt!

Paul wrote to the Philippians,
 "Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body." (Philippians 3:17-21 NIV)
"...their god is their stomach...
our citizenship is in heaven..."

I'm pretty sure Paul didn't mean Hog Heaven.
Here's hoping that step aerobics, better eating habits and the Lord Jesus Christ will "transform our lowly bodies!"


Friday, May 6, 2011

Advance or Retreat!?

My household has taken a dramatic turn!

I've gone from just me and the boys -- easy living, really.  There's the running, but we mostly foraged for food and went to our corners of the house:  Sam with his drums, Will with his video games, and I in my sewing room!!  So from me and the boys to me and the boys and the husband (home on Sunday)and the college age daughter (home on Wednesday) all home at the same time!!

Yesterday morning I was struck the by the CROWD!!
In my little sewing room, first one boy then the other came in.  Then Emily, then Jeff....FIVE people in my sewing room. Asking me stuff.  Needing or wanting my attention. All talking at the same time.  Wanting to be fed!!

Calgon take me away!!!!

Advance or retreat?  Too late.  I already retreated BEFORE they came! LOL  I spent Thursday, Friday and Saturday at a retreat center in Central KY far out in the country.  I live in the country! This was even further out in the country. And it was lovely!  The gals were such fun. Games, giveaways, stories, projects, food -- all the good stuff!

I mostly worked on one UFO -- my Thimbleberries Hometown Christmas -- and a new project, Spools, from Edyta Sitar's book, Friendship Strips and Scraps.
Autumn took some great photos of the different projects and quilts at the retreat and you can see them here.  I took photos while I was there, but hers were so much better than mine. So pop over and take a look!!
I came home from retreat on Saturday and picked Jeff up on Sunday.  Then Wednesday, we packed up Emily's dorm room at Asbury and headed south. 

It really is good to have the whole family under one roof again for the first time in over a year!

It will take a while to get back into our routine.  Jeff will return to his "real" job in a few weeks; he's an Agriculture Extension Agent for a local county through the University of KY Cooperative Extension Service.  He'll take some much needed R & R time at home, though. :-D  My sewing time may get curtailed a little! :-D

Emily is spending her summer home with the family, too.   In previous years she did summer missions work with a camp in Lafollette, TN, but this year the luxury of our family being together is one she's going to take advantage of.  Jeff says there is work enough here at home to keep her busy if she doesn't find a summer job locally.

So advance it is!
Into renovated routines.  Into postponed projects (UFO #9 - the Circuit Rider and another recently  "discovered" (that's what I get for cleaning out the closet! :-D)  UFO, Star Sprinkles from Adkinson Designs).

Into the haven of home!

I am so very, very, blessed!

Psalm 13: 5-6
But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing to the LORD,
for he has been good to me.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Things to Remember...

Is it my age?
I'm getting so forgetful!! A few really nice things happened to me this past week that I forgot about...!
I'm straightening up the living room, and what do I find?  Some beautiful mail!

Thelma at Cupcakes 'n Daisies sent this beautiful mug rug and lovely encouraging letter AND post-it notes!! How did she know I love, love, love post-it notes!?! :-D  I even have post-it note fabric in my All about Me quilt!! Very cool, Thelma! and thank you so much.  She sent the gift to me for finishing Eventide, a Miss Rosie pattern quilt-along she hosted.  It was such fun to do -- and she's giving me a gift!?! Awesome!

I also got my fabric from Diane in the Hands-2-Help Challenge over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict!  The quilts we make from this challenge will go to orphans in Romania.
I'm seeing pinwheels or something equally light-hearted and playful with this bright fabric! Fun, fun, fun!  
Joanne over at Thread Head is hosting two weeks of practicing your free-motion quilting! I've not officially joined (I'm so intimidated!), but I practiced and managed to passably quilt one of my UFO's for this month.  Pick Up Sticks is a Jo Morton quilt, and I used my walking foot to quilt in the ditch between the "sticks" then free-motioned the feathers on the border.  The back doesn't look as good as the front (I should have used a better matching thread to camouflage my mistakes!! LOL), but it's not too bad as one of my first efforts on my home sewing machine.

 Finally, I got this in the mail yesterday:
The Mary Mannakee Quilt block-of-the-month from Common Threads.  I have NO recollection of ordering this BOM! LOL None!! But I love it -- and it's red and green and so pretty!!!!  So, whether I remember it or not, I'm NOT sending it back!! LOL  It goes on the list. Or I may break over and start it...

If I don't forget!!

Psalm 103
 1 Praise the LORD, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

On this Easter Sunday, I dare not forget His benefits -- the most important being that He conquered death, hell and the grave!! -- and that He did this for you and me!!

Praise the Lord!

P.S.!!  I almost forgot -- the Traveling Stash!!! chose number 37 from the entries:  Jen W who said, "Would love to explore this box!!!  I've got MANY things to add to it also - just never want to GIVE away good sewing supplies...I always want them to go to a good home where they'll be used. Awesome idea!!!"  An email is winging it's way to Jen!! Thanks to everyone who commented!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Give Away: Traveling Stash!! and some finishes (Yippee!!)

Yesterday, I got it in the mail; opened it up and spread all the wonders inside out on the table around the box:

Patterns and fabric and quilted blocks and panels and lace and pin cushions.....

I won the box from Anne at Write Here, and this box has been making the rounds in blogworld!!!

Here's how Anne told it:

"So far, the box originated at the next stop was then on to next it traveled to and then to Kelly at Kelly split the growing stash into two boxes, and box #1 came to me. Yippee! Box #2 headed to" So from Kelly to Anne to me -- and now to you!

I like how Anne says, "Yippee!" My kinda gal, for sure!!! :-D

I pulled a few goodies out of the box.
And put a few goodies INTO the box (but you'll have to win it to see what!!)  But just to give you a little hint, here are 20 things I put inside:
 So if you wanna be the recipient of this marvelous traveling stash, you need only to comment, and I'll randomly draw a winner and send the stash to you.

You take what you want from it, put some more stuff in and send it on its way!!

Fun, huh!!! I love it!!

It was a great mail day for me.  Besides the stash, I got some "Pie Crust" muslin of Primitive Gatherings' Primitive Muslins line by Moda.  Yummy aged muslin that's not too dark.  It's creamy and light and has some agey character colored into it.  I got some patterns from Mary at Quilt Hollow  (Thank you so much, Mary! I love them!!). Wonderful stuff to use some of my Jo Morton stash! :-D

And I've been productive this week!
I have 46% of my Farmer's Wife done! Yippee! :-D (Can you tell I'm a homeschooling mom who's been teaching perccents!?)  51 of the 111 blocks are complete:

And today, I finished February's quilt top UFO #10 Moon and Stars Whimsy.  The last of the appliques went on the border and it's ready to be happen sometime between now and Christmas since Son #1 (Kid #2) has claimed it for his own. :-D

I love finishing things and accomplishing something with my hands! :-)

I read this and it makes me feel wonderfully blessed:

Psalm 90:14-17

14 Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, for as many years as we have seen trouble.
16 May your deeds be shown to your servants,
your splendor to their children.
17 May the favor[a] of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us—
yes, establish the work of our hands.

In some translations, the word "favor" in verse 17 is translated as "beauty." May the beauty of the Lord God rest upon us and establish the work of our hands!!


P.S.  Don't forget to leave a comment to win the Traveling Stash!! I'll close the drawing on Saturday, April 23rd at midnight (Eastern Standard :-D), and announce the winner on Easter Sunday! 

Friday, April 1, 2011


I've declared EVERY year since I started quilting to be the "Year of the Finish!" -- aspiring to complete things, perhaps even that quilt masterpiece we all dream of doing.

Because of Judy's UFO Challenge, I've actually make a plan and I'm following through, and there are some lovely things happening!

My UFO (#1) for this month was Stars Around the Garden, a Bits 'n Pieces Block of the Month that I ended up "tweaking" a little.  It's now finished (well, the top, anyway! :-P) and ready for quilting! Yippee!

It seems success breeds success... might this actually be a finish year!?! :-D  Just maybe!!!!

I finished quilting -- on my little Nolting Hobby Quilter, no less! -- my Thimbleberries Take 5 quilt.  It was on my 2nd UFO list (the list of quilting/binding finishes I hoped to accomplish) for the month of January!!  One more finish!!

I (duh) forgot to set aside binding fabric, so I found some of the blue-with-dots  "Circle of Love" Thimbleberries line on ebay, and when it arrives, this baby will be DONE!

I'm still in the simple meandering stage of my learning curve with the mid-arm....but it's definitely progress! 

 The Pièce de Résistance (probably for the whole year and beyond!), though, has to be my Log Cabins and Fans...

This UFO quilt top that I completed in January has been phenomenally quilted by Mary at Quilt Hollow.

I'm just totally in awe.  Who knew!?!?  I just don't think of my quilts being anything beyond ordinary, but what Mary has done with my Log Cabins and fans:

It feels so good to see finishes for a change.
And then to see what looks to be a masterpiece (thank you, Mary!)....

There's a verse in Proverbs that echos what I feel about these finishes, the Log Cabin in particular:

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life."  (Proverbs 13:12 NKJV)  Verse 19 goes on to say, "A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul, but fools detest turning from evil."

Longing fulfilled.
A tree of life.
Sweet to the Soul.

Oh, my yes!! 


Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Let's face it.
I'm a quilting meddler.
I'm one of those pattern changers who cannot leave well enough alone!
If it's square, I make it oblong.  If's it's fusible, I make it needle-turn.  If it's in pastels, I force it into my pallete of brown, green, gold and red.  (Blue is for cool people: I think I'm a "warm" person. :-P)

All that changing is working well for me so far this week, though! :-D

First is my UFO (Judy's UFO Challenge) for the month of March.  #1 for me was Stars Around the Garden, a block of the month from Bits 'n Pieces.  I've had the 14 pieced blocks done for a while, but could NOT seem to get "into" the applique center medallion.  What to do, what to do.....? 

I rummaged around, found some pinwheel blocks I'd planned to use with another quilt that I meddled with (the one Mary at Quilt Hollow is quilting now!! Isn't she just a fabulous quilter!?!), and thought, "Hmmmm......" 

So I had enough pinwheels for most of the center, and just had a 10 1/2" x 21" space to fill....what can I put in there? OH! Why not Bear Paw blocks!!!!

Here's the result, a finished top for the UFO Challenge! The lighter brighter colors intended for the flowers sorta make my pieced center glow. I don't mind a bit! :-)  It's DONE! (well, the top is! :-D and now I can get back to February's and see if I can get caught up! :-D)

I've also been working on Eventide (the quilt-along with Thelma at Cupcakes 'n Daisies).

Yeah, I'm thinking of changing it up a little, too.  It's very nearly square.  I just prefer oblong quilts.  Probably because beds are oblong.  I don't have any square beds in the house.  I probably don't have any square walls either! LOL (That's a little carpentry humor...very little! :-P)

Here's my progress so far on Eventide.  I have some more quarter-square triangles and Ohio Star blocks pieced....gonna play around and see if I want to make changes to it.

I've got some other projects to complete.....
My "Brown Bag Quilt Challenge" quilt has an April 1st deadline.

My other UFO for March is my Mountain Laurel Sampler (I've got about 2/3rds of it hand quilted; here's one of the blocks)....NOT gonna get that one done this month. 

I've been watching Teresa at Fabric Therapy as she hand quilts her All Around the Town quilt.  I love how she has made the quilt her own with her whimsical additions to the pattern. 

I think it's interesting that what we do as quilters is so very similar to what God does with us.  There is a very clear pattern that He has designed for us; we are to be like Jesus!

Yet He never intended that we should be only clones of His Master Design.  One of my favorite passages, 1 John 3:2 (NIV), says,
Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.
I don't always know exactly how my quilts are gonna turn out.  But my hope is that they will be like the design, yet uniquely mine.  I rejoice that, as I follow and emulate Jesus, I am still free to be who God made me to be! His design; my colors and personality and size!  I will not be Him, but I will be like Him.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Chicks, Blocks and Stacks

It's been a productive week for me!!  Since Jeff left on Wednesday, I've been burning the midnight oil -- partly to exhaust myself because, just as I've gotten accustomed to having a bed-fellow again, he's gone and I have to figure out how to keep myself warm!
:-) Sigh....

I tied into a several-day project of re-organizing my sewing room.

It was SUCH a mess!! So all the furniture went out, all the fabric went out, all the projects -- finished and unfinished! -- went out, and the cleaning and sorting began.

I didn't realize how much fabric I have....!! I got it all sorted by color, and stacked to the ceiling in the closet.  Before I'd kept lines or types separated, but this is much better.  I can see at a glance what I have.

Um....I think I can lay off the background fabrics for a while.  I think I don't need to buy any fabric until the next millennium!!

I organized my projects, too.  I bought hang-up shelves for my closet rod, and stacked boxed-up projects into them so I can pull them out easily.  Before they were stacked willy-nilly on the closet floor and I could never find something without pulling out a million things! UGH!  How can I complete Judy's UFO Challenge if I can't find the UFO!? So that's much better!

I kept my peg racks on the wall for blocks to hang on.  They're pretty!! :-)  and they are a good reminder that those projects need attention.

I had to drop everything on Sunday, though, with a phone call from the post office.  Did I wanna come up and get my baby chicks!?  I wasn't expecting them 'til Monday, but okay. Yeah. :-)  They are the cutest little things!  My friend and fellow quilter Tracy and her family piggy-backed the order with us, so they came Monday to pick up their baker's dozen.  Nothing bonds people like quilting and chickens! LOL 

With all this going on, I managed to actually sew!!! I'd curtailed my sewing time while Jeff was home, so it was heaven to sew nearly the whole day today.  I worked on Eventide (a Miss Rosie's Quilt Co. pattern), Thelma's sew-along at Cupcakes n' Daisies.  I've also been working on the mystery quilt I'm leading at my club (a tease, since I can't show it to you!), and I've got 25 blocks finished on the Farmer's Wife.  I'll be doing a dozen or so more blocks for the FW this week in preparation for our monthly class. 

And while doing all these, I've also been "leaders and enders"-ing on Cathedral Stars, the class I missed with Bonnie Hunter.  She's's like getting a bonus quilt while you work on another one!!!  I have my little basket of "twosies" -- 2 - 2" squares, a light and a medium/dark -- stacked up and ready to feed into the machine between chain sewing other units.  Fun, fun, fun!!

And all in an orderly room that doesn't smother me anymore!

Paul wrote "For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how orderly you are and how firm your faith in Christ is." (Colossians 2:5 NIV)

Thank the Lord that my faith in Christ is much firmer than my ability to keep my sewing room orderly!!  :-D 

Friday, February 11, 2011

Do Nothin's

I've got a serious case of the do-nothin's!

Do you ever get them? It's not the blues exactly. It's not that I'm all that tired or frustrated or mad or lazy.  I just don't feel like doing ANYthing!!  Do you ever get afflicted with the malady?  Maybe it's hormonal....It does seem to come around with some regularity. Yuck.

I've had them for two or three days now.  I sit at the computer and read...following along with tears (like Teresa's mishap with her All Around Town quilt top) and with triumphs (like Thelma's Quilter's Tale) and wondering at the creativity and beauty of other people's projects!  I wanna do something fabulous like that!

I'm not lacking inspiration or things to do!  I have the UFO Challenge quilt #10. It's called Moon and Star Whimsey from the book Relax and Quilt. 

I have only to add some moons and stars to the borders and it will be ready to quilt for Sam.  I've done almost all the machine applique, and it shouldn't take too much time to get the remainder finished.

If I will get started!

Sam has a UK Wildcats print picked out for the backing.  This is one he's wanted for a while.  You can tell by the wrinkles and fold lines that it's been in the closet for too long.

I have the mystery quilt that I'm leading for the Mountain Laurel Quilters...Pieces cut, next steps planned.  If you wanna follow along, I've added a page above with the fabric requirements and February's directions.  Each month the next step will be added until we finish the quilt in October! I LOVE the fabrics I've selected.  But I'm not in the mood today.  Sigh.

I found a pattern to use with my Brown Bag Quilt fabrics...

It's called Granny's Jam Lap Quilt from Laps from Fats by Ellen Replogle.  I think it will work beautifully with the variety of fabrics I was sent and the coordinating prints I've added from my own stash.

I just don't wanna sew today.
Or do the bills. 
Or do my taxes.
Or do my laundry.
Or load the dishwasher.
Or take the boys anywhere.

I wanna sit and think or dream or leaf through magazines and blogs.  I wanna play Spider Solitaire and eat the Turtles in the lovely pink and brown box that Emily bought me for Valentine's Day (not promising for this week's weight loss...)

I was reading in Ecclesiastes today.  "To everything there is a season..."  So true! Today is NOT my season for productivity! :-)  The Psalmist writes, "Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you."  (Psalm 116:7)

So today is a mental health day. A day of rest.  A day to remember how good I've got it!  Lord willing, tomorrow and all the days that follow will have sufficient work and inspiration to keep me busy. I'll be sewing again shortly....I get a little crazy if I go too long without touching my fabrics, making something.

Who knows! With a little soul rest, I might even tackle the taxes!! 
.... Um...No.  Let's not go so far as all that, OK!?