My feet are on fire!

Well, of course not literally…but I did manage to make 7k steps every day for the week so I’m feeling pretty good about that.  This week I will shoot for the same goal and maybe next week I can bump it up to 8k.  Baby steps…baby steps.

Which is how my quilting is coming along as well….baby steps.  My indigo is soaked and laundered and needs to be pressed.  Then I have to do math since this print is directional as well.  I did add the first border but I’ll save pictures until the second one is added.  I’ve also made some serious progress on my star block of the month.  The pie pieces are almost assembled and then I can get the block together.  One more good session in my sewing room and I should be able to knock that out and get things prepped for the second border.    It’s taken a while, but at last I have progress for this month and I should be able to get my UFO completed although I most likely will not be able to get much, if any, other sewing projects done. I wonder which UFO I will pull together next?  At this point, even I’m not sure.

At this point I feel as though I should make a confession.  Hello, my name if Opal and I am a quilter that has not been to Paducah for Quilt Week.  Whew, I feel much better now.  I’m sure some of you have been or maybe even go yearly.  I saw that for 2017 they are also having a Fall Quilt Week. Isn’t that exciting?  I hope it goes well so that they offer it again.  Well, really the most exciting part of all this is that the Monkeys are thinking that it is time for us to descend on Paducah!  So, if you have been and/or are regular goers to Quilt Week I would love to hear any tips you may have for when you go!  I definitely would like to visit Hancock’s of Paducah.  <sigh>  I think that will be some happy fabric dreaming for me.

In the meantime, I need to get some of those UFO’s taken care of so I can shop with abandon.  After all, if I can get completely caught up on my UFO’s, well, then I’ll just need to get some more projects, won’t I?  Plus I will have a whole year to save to that makes it budget friendly as well (because I have enough UFO’s to keep me busy so I don’t really need to go shopping, unless I need something for a UFO.).  I’m so excited!

Seriously though, if you have any tips with regards to Paducah please feel free to share them in the comments!

I suppose that is really all that I’ve been working on.  I started an afghan for my husband because I was on a crocheting roll and he had picked out some yarn eons ago and I thought while I was in the mood I should get to work on it.  Now, it feels like I may have a bit of tendonitis in my elbow…at least as best as I can figure without going to the Dr. (don’t yell at me Hazel). So, I’ve been icing it today and will do some real resting of it this week.  I thought it was because of the yoga I was trying.  No, I’m not trying to find excuses. Really.  Part of the yoga DVD I was doing had a bit of floor work including planking and downward dog.  The reason that I started doing yoga (and all this stepping) is so I can lose some weight.  Like say, more than 30 lbs.  I thought that maybe I was straining myself with the floor exercises because of my extra fluff.  So, I stopped.  I do miss it though and was hoping in a week or two with some rest it would be back to normal.  Not so much.

So, I racked my brain a bit and realized that I went through this when Small Blonde was of a certain age and weight….where he still liked to be carried but his weight was making it a bit prohibitive for me to be able to do it well.  Little Red is reaching the same point and I really only have one good arm.  The other one is all scarred up from my trip through a plate-glass window.  The arm is good, but he’s squirmy and then he rubs up against the scar and it just doesn’t feel good.  So, that leaves me one arm to constantly carry, wrestle, and subdue this small human that we call Tiny Grizzly.  In my mind that means it was inevitable that I would have another bout of this when this small boy reached similar weight.  For the record he is 35 lbs and has no regard for his personal safety when the thrashing tantrums take over.  Thankfully he can now climb in and out of his car seat so that makes things a little easier when he is amenable to such things.

At any rate, rather than jumping into going to the Dr.  where I’m sure that I would be prescribed some anti-inflammatory, I thought I would just try some home remedies first (don’t worry Hazel, if it does persist I’ll head to the Dr.  I promise.).

Well, that was certainly a whole lot about me!  I suppose I should close with some quilting!  Here is a long arm quilter that I admire.  You can find her blog here.  Her name is Judi Madsen and even her blog and online store have a great name – Green Fairy Quilts.   Anyway, she has some amazing pictures and I visit her blog when I am in need of inspiration.  Maybe you will find some there, too.  She does some amazing things and I wish I had half of her vision.

As for me, I think I’ll head to Hancock’s of Paducah’s website and do some happy dreaming.

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Well, not much progress….

Okay, maybe just a little.  But not as much as I would like…

However, I did finish the second baby afghan although I did not get it mailed off like I had originally planned.  I do plan on it for this week.  I did take a better picture just so I could share.  So here it is in all it’s glory although I didn’t get it hanging quite straight….  At least I did get something done!

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I did go spend some time in my sewing room although I hoped to actually get some sewing done.  Instead, I put some things away and unearthed another UFO that I would like to add to my list of UFO’s competed this year.  There is one small difficulty, this quilt is like eating an elephant and I think that each month I’ll just have to take small bites.  Why you ask?  Well, it’s an appliqué quilt and I am not so fast at that.  For this particular quilt I did a block of the month through the mail from Storyquilts.com.  The pattern is by Helene Knott.  Unfortunately, I don’t really have anything for you to click.  I headed out to Story Quilts and see that they are now closed.  Helene Knott’s website was a little confusing to me, it is more of a blog and I was expecting a site where I could purchase patterns.  However, she does have pictures so you can see her latest and greatest patterns!  If you google her name you can see some of her patterns.  The ones I like are the Garden Patch Cats and her Bloomin’ Dogs.  I don’t have much in either series but you can google them and see some of her patterns.  They look like a lot of fun.

Anyway, the one that I am working on is called Temple Guardians.  You can see the full quilt here.  I’m not terribly far but I’m hoping that I will learn to improve my appliqué skills.  Each month the pattern came with an installment of a story (but I won’t spoil that for you).  The Temple Guardians are Siamese cat.  They came with blue fabric for the eyes.  However, I had a cat at the time who was a tortoiseshell and had the build of a Siamese and whose eyes were green.  So, I changed them out with the thought that these cats would always make me think of her and because I can never leave anything well enough alone.

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As you can see, the eyes didn’t go so well.  And I’m not sure that I really like the fabric I first chose so I have gone through my stash to see if I could find something that I like better and I found two.  I think I like the top one better, but I need to sleep on it a little bit more.  Maybe I’ll make a decision as I get the second block finished.  Either way, those eyes are coming off and I’ll see about doing a better job on the next set.

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Here is the second block.  There is supposed to be a bit of pink tongue curling out, but I’m not sure that I will add that and I  don’t think that I will be missing that part.  I do need to appliqué the head and make my final decision on the eyes.  I could do half of the blocks with one and half of the blocks with the other, but I think I would like it better if they were all the same.  Anyway, here is the block.

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Oh!  I did get my indigo fabric soaked.  Since the shop owner suggested that I soak it, I was surprised to find that there wasn’t any dye leaching out.  So, now that the main body of the top is pressed and the inner border is pressed I suppose that I really should get that inner border cut and sewn on. I got a little stumped because it is a directional print and I don’t want to make a mistake in my math before I start cutting.  Next is to double-check my math and get that fabric cut!  That should set me well on my way to getting this UFO complete.  Of course my outside border is also a directional print so I’ll just have to make sure my math is good for that round as well.

Hopefully, you are doing well on  your endeavors.  I’ve been doing okay on keeping with my 7k step goal.  Since it was a bit of a struggle this week, I think I’ll stay on 7k for this week as well.  Hopefully I can bump up to 8k next week and inch myself even closer to that 10k step goal.  Wish me luck!

 

Working Those Revolutions.

Yep, I’m still at it – or trying to just like I’m sure we all are.  Some days I am just better at it than others.  I’ve been working harder to make the step counter I wear something more than just something on my wrist.  Last week I was making it to 7k steps.  Not to far from that ever elusive 10k.  This week I hope to repeat that as it was a bit of a struggle some days.  You know how it goes…but hey, every morning I get a chance to try again.

I did finish one of the 4 baby afghans and I am an evenings worth of work away from finishing the second.  The other 2 are still in the planning stages so it looks like this week I will make it back to my sewing room and I can see about getting further with my UFO challenge.

Oh, before I forget, here are a couple of pictures of the afghans.  I completely forgot to take a picture of the one when it was actually completed.  I had taken a picture trying to decide which yarn to work for the border so that is what I have to share.  I decided to go with the white.  I’m sure you would have chosen the same.

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As for the second one, why yes, they are Ohio State fans!  At least that is where I had gotten my inspiration.  Originally I was going to do something with some camouflaged colored yarn I picked up and then pull out solids from the colors of that.  The more I worked on it the more I just didn’t like it.  I might not have had the exact right colors or maybe the yarn didn’t feel right, I’m not sure.  I just know that the more I worked on it the more I hated it and the less I wanted to work on it. Do you have any projects like that?  I think I will be uncovering some as I go through my UFO’s….maybe now enough time has passed that I can finish them (whichever ones they are, although that may be influencing which projects I pick to work on).  Of course, then I was left feeling guilty that I wasn’t getting that baby gift done and then inspiration hit – they posted some family photos that were taken with all of them in Ohio State garb.  I didn’t even have to think twice about it and picked up some colors the next day and made a decision to go with a ripple pattern so I could get it done fairly quickly.  I’m pretty tickled about being almost done and it should be out in the mail before the end of this week.  Maybe even as early as tomorrow!

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Lastly, I still have some indigo fabric that needs soaking.  I think I’ll try to get that started this evening as well…after all I don’t have to do a whole lot there….then I can get it through the dryer and maybe I can even entertain cutting it tomorrow as well.  Here is that fabric.  The heavily gilded one is my inside border and lastly, here is the quilt that they will be surrounding.  You may remember my rabbit panel.  Hazel and Sandra Dee also loved the panel so much that Hazel found it online and ordered it.  At the last retreat they brokered a deal so that Sandra Dee ended up with it.  While shopping at retreat Sandra Dee even picked out fabrics and a pattern and started getting some blocks done.  I’ll admit, she has some awesome choices and her quilt is going to turn out to be very sophisticated in appearance.  I’m excited to see it done.  I’m sure she is too.

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I guess that is a little progress.  Hopefully when we meet next I’ll have those borders on the rabbit quilt.  I know that you can see in the picture that some of my edges are not lining up quite right.  Believe me, I do know.  However, I did start this quilt quite a few years ago and skills have improved since then.  I’m glad that is almost finished and no, I won’t be taking anything out to fix it.  Sometimes I think we need to let them stand.  my earlier quilts show a progression in my skills and I think that is something to be proud of.  With this quilt I had to redraft the blocks to fit the size of the rabbits as the center square so it really was a learning process from start to finish. Especially since some of the pieces had to be cut by the dreaded 3/8″,7/8″, 1/8″.

Happy quilting and if you are still keeping up with your revolutions I hope this week brings you much success!

I survived Spring Break!

Seriously, I think parents should be handed a t-shirt with that on it before they leave the hospital.  They should also get one that says, “I survived Summer Vacation”.

Obviously spring break is now over and today is the first day back to school and I am certainly glad to be back to that.  I’m sure it will take the boys a couple of days to get back in the swing of things, but that’s okay.  It’s back to earlier bedtimes and that means Mama gets some quiet time in the evening to recuperate or recharge.  The boys aren’t really that bad, they just feed off of each other and make going anywhere in public virtually impossible.

One of our days off my husband took the day off and we bundled up the boys and headed to a small Amish-influenced small town.  They have a bulk Amish grocery store where I wanted to shop and stock up my spice cabinet and because I also got the bug to make my own spice mixes.  Yep, Pinterest strikes again.  That and we go through taco seasoning like water.  If nothing else I know everyone will always eat tacos with vigor and be happy about it.  So, rather than using up packets of seasoning mix, I thought it might be in our healthier interest to make our own that’s lower in sodium and other stuff put in it to give it a longer shelf life/prevent caking.  I found a few, went with the one that sounded the most interesting and viola!  It doesn’t even have salt in it.  It smells wonderful and I believe that we will be giving it a test this evening. (For the record I also made Italian Seasoning, Fajita, Cajun, Ranch, and season salt).  Why season salt?  Well, the stuff I had gotten (because I mistakenly thought that all season salt was equal) has sugar as the second ingredient on the label.  Not my thing and now I have my own.  Although my dear husband’s comment was that I should cut back on the salt as it’s too salty….hmm.  Dear, it’s called seasoned SALT for a reason.  Use it as a salt not a seasoning mix….

Anyway, we managed to survive the trip through the store (although at one point I was sure we would be asked to leave because of the wailing when someone didn’t want to ride in the cart after not listening for the millionth time) and we headed further in to town so we could stop at the bakery (Yum!) and get some lunch.  We even stopped at a couple of quilt shops.  While fun, this was a little to my detriment because I found some fabric that I liked and then created a whole project around it.  Because as you know I already have enough projects that I haven’t finished….

I did buy fat quarters and a pattern – and I’m not sure why I was drawn to the fabric.  It is by Moda and called Black Tie Affair and was designed by Basic Grey.  You can see it all here.  If you are not familiar with Basic Grey, they do a lot of scrapbooking papers and they use similar designs from their papers for the fabric.  So, I’ll have to put it to the side for now until I get through some more of my UFO’s so I can justify digging in to it.  But for now, well, I will just have to wait.

In the mean time I still have to decide which UFO I am going to finish for this month, but I think I am zeroing in on it.  I have a quilt top finished that needs borders and I purchased the fabric for those borders while I was at retreat.  However, the outside border is an indigo fabric so the shop owner suggested that I soak it to make sure the dye doesn’t run.  However, that should be an easy one to finish.  Plus the next star for the block of the month has come out and I need to make time to work on that.  So far the newest one is my favorite although I can’t wait to see how the rest of them are going to look.  Don’t worry, I’ll share pictures.  For now though, I have the second baby afghan to finish for the shower this weekend.  I suppose I better get back to work.