Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Today we pick up our One-Eyed Cat

Buster gets to come home from the vet's today. I'm a little worried about his care, but I know we will get through this all right. After the surgery the vet said that it looks like it was a puncture, not an impact. The eye was horribly abcessed, and there is not bone damage. So that is a good thing. I am working on finishing up my painting today and putting the house in order to help him get around better when he gets home. I am also making him up a bed on the floor just in case he doesn't feel like jumping up in his chair.

I did do a little sewing yesterday just to keep my sanity! I made some cute checkbook covers out of a lakehouse Print with sewing notions on it. I love how they came out. I'm going to make some more with different pocket colors, and hope to sell them at the open house at the quilt shop next week.

I suppose I'd better get busy and get to painting. Actually taping is the first job, the trip is what I'm working on at the moment. Almost finished, and am I ever glad - painting seems to take a lot out of me!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

A Sad Day

I let my Buster Kitty out Friday morning with his sister. I was a little concerned because he hadn't come home by Friday night, but he does spend the night out occasionally. When he hadn't shown by Saturday night I was definitely worried. We called and called, husband and daughter walked the area looking for him, but we never saw any sign of him. My husband saw a cat he thought might be Buster, though.

Sunday afternoon my daughter came in saying Buster is under the car and his eye looks really bad. We went out to see, and poor Buster's face was a mess. His right eye was protruding, and his nose and mouth were bloody. I called the vet, and we got Buster to come in the house - he walked just fine, he was slow, though. We settled him into the crate and I went to meet the vet at the hospital. When she saw him she said she was very sure that he had been hit by a car.

She said his palate wasn't damaged, but his eye does not look functional. So he is staying overnight at the vets and will have surgery in the morning to remove his eye. I am so sad that he is hurt. We wonder what his life will be like, but we can't bear to put him down either. He will definitely have to be an indoor cat now, and he probably won't be that happy about it, but it is for his own good.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Wallpaper is not fun..

to scrape off your walls. When we bought this house 13 years ago it had hideous wallpaper in several rooms. The first room I tackled was the upstairs room with bright pink, yellow, orange, and lime green parasol ladies. We kindly refer to it still as the ugliest wallpaper known to man. It was put up with about three buckets of wallpaper paste, so I spent days and days scrubbing the paste off. Then I spent a day painting it a nice clean white and stenciling ivy around the top. It was lovely, but it totally killed my ambition of dealing with the wallpaper in the front room. Fortunately for me, my husband covered the walls of this room with his music collection and other goodies, so it was a good excuse not to have to do anything about the ugliness of it. Well, now that he has officially gained his own room to have his stuff in, this room is empty and needs to be spruced up before we refurnish it. This week has been filled with buckets of water, scrapers and deciding on paint colors. I have to fill some holes this morning, and hopefully this afternoon I will transform the first room people see when they come into my house into a thing of beauty. I hope! Before and after pictures will happen next week.

Needless to say, not a lot of quilting happened this week, but I did get borders on two of my tops, prepared the backs, and best of all made the binding! I discovered last week what a lovely thing it is to do the binding when you finish the top, instead of waiting until you finish the quilting. When I finish quilting a quilt I am always bummed out because I have to get the binding made before I can finish. If you do the binding before you do the quilting it makes it great, all you have to do is trim the edges of the top and sew it on. I highly recommend doing it this way! Plus that it makes me plan ahead. Often I don't even think about the binding until after I quilt, then I am scrambling for the right fabric. This way you have to actually pick it out and have it on hand so you are less likely to have to "make do" on the binding, which is the frame for your quilt. Not really the time to use whatever you can find.

This is the quilt I put borders on yesterday. Unfortunately I cannot remember the name of the pattern I used. I made it for a shop sample, so I don't have the patten anymore, and the shop isn't carrying it (which is why I got the sample back). Hopefully I can remember so I can give credit to the designer when it is quilted. The pattern didn't include the border, but I really think it needed the border to frame it. I got a nice blue green color to put on the back. I am thinking about quilting it with a pastel variegated thread I have, but I'm not too sure what I am going to quilt on it yet. Still in the thinking mode!

This is the sunrise I saw last week. It was absolutely spectacular! What followed it up was an equally spectacular rainstorm - so I guess there is truth to the saying, Red sky at morning, sailors take warning. This beauty makes me think of the Glory of God - as awesome as the beauty of this sunrise is, it is nothing compared to the beauty of our Creator! And with that thought I will exit and start working on the transformation of my now unwallpapered room.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

I spent way too much money today!

At the fabric stores - buying backs for the quilt tops I want to get quilted! I will be busy this week getting quilts basted and quilting. I am excited to get started, but of course have some other things to do before I can get started on that project.

One of my ongoing projects is Jockey Silks. We have a thoroughbred race horse, and I would like to make our silks. I cannot find any kind of a pattern to make them anywhere. I have no clue as to what size they should be, or I would simply alter a regular shirt pattern. If anyone reading this has any ideas, please let me know. This is something I am really enthusiastic about doing, but really have no clue how to get started. I know my sewing skills are up to par, but I am not really good at making my own patterns so I am stumped at this point.

I also have a quilt that needs to be hand quilted that I need to baste and get going on. I should have had this done months ago, so I really need to get on it - I am not to sure why I have procrastinated so badly on this project, but I need to get over whatever is holding me back and get to work.

I suppose it's more fun to start a new project than finish an old one!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Volleyball gives you a flatter bottom.

Especially if you are a spectator! I spent the last two days at my daughter's volleyball tournament, and I am pretty sure mine is flatter - those hard benches are the worst on a person's backside. But I'm glad to be able to spend the time with her, I know that before I know it she will be grown and gone.

I spent the afternoon working on a sample that I am writing a pattern for. It is going to be called Grandma's Baskets. I think it is lovely, and it is a very versatile pattern - with just the right fabrics it can be used for any season. The first quilt I made would be lovely for spring with blue, green and yellow. The one I worked on tonight is a fall piece with browns and beiges. I just have to re-write the instructions, then finish and photograph my sample and it will be ready to go! I am really excited, and have been thinking of some other designs. I need to figure out more about how to market my patterns, but I am excited about the idea of being able to share my ideas with other quilters.

I am devoting my quiting time this week to finishing up the shop samples that are hanging around my sewing room. Plus I need to continue working on the t-shirt quilt and get that out of my hair. I am getting tired of the guilt they produce every time I see these projects, and every time I have to move them somewhere else. Time to finish them off and get them out of my hair. I almost have the t-shirts all fused to the interfacing, so the trimming and sewing should go quickly.

This is what I made this week, just for the fun of it. It was inspired by a walk this week - such a lovely day with a clear blue sky and beautiful fall colors! It is also for sale, I think I may make a few others reflecting the different weather that I experience in my walking times.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Another One Bites the Dust

I am very happy to say that I completed the Sampler Quilt I was working on last week, and it is now for sale in my Etsy shop. As usual, I had a couple of down days after getting it done, though I was really excited to finish it. I'm not sure exactly what is up with the let down after completing a project. I have another and another lined up afterwards, so it's not like I will never get to make another one! I am very happy with how this quilt came out - it was a pleasure I cannot describe to bring those forgotten pieces to life and come up with something beautiful and functional. Not to mention that this is one of the cuddliest quilts I have ever finished. Something about that old fabric makes it so nice to the touch. Or maybe it's just the fact that it was basted for a couple of years but not yet quilted making the batting relax? At any rate it's a wonderful quilt to touch and snuggle.
The current project is finishing up the gift quilt for my friend. We are supposed to put the borders on it, get the back finished and baste it this afternoon. I will be doing the quilting on it over the next couple of days and binding it. Then we will present it to them on Sunday. It's a little scary taking on this project with such a short time frame, but God willing it will all come together. I am just going to do a large stipple on it, which I should be able to do in 4 - 6 hours of quilting. The binding will be my usual machine work on both sides, so that will be done in an hour or two. Oh, we can get the binding cut, pieced and pressed today also. I need to let the other ladies do as much of the labor as they can, because the finishing looks like it will be all me!
Time to get busy and do my house cleaning, take a shower and get ready for the rest of my day - it'll be a busy one for sure!
P.S The third appraisal went well, we signed our loan, and hopefully the new windows will be in by the end of the month!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Time to Relax!

I am really ready for the week-end! After going through a whole week of getting up at 6:00 to get the girl ready for volleyball, three days of Ladies Retreat, then another whole week of 6:00 a.m., I am ready for a day to sleep in. I may even sleep until (gasp!) 8:00. Who knows? Not to mention that I worked all day today at the quilt shop. All I have to do tomorrow is hem a skirt. After that the day is mine. I had an idea for a little art quilt while walking yesterday, so I am eager to try that out.

Yesterday was quilting day - on Thursday afternoon I get together with a group of friends to sew and chat. We are working on a quilt to give to a friend of ours who is leaving. We actually only had the idea a couple of weeks ago, so we haven't had a lot of time to work on it. We decided to do a simple 9-patch set on point with sashing and cornerstones. The back has signature blocks so that more people can participate in the project since we didn't have enough time for a group sewing project. We actually got the top together yesterday. It took five of us - two sewers, an organizer (and ripper!), an ironer, and a fetcher! It was fun, and the top is very pretty - nice and cheerful. I think it's fun to work on a project like this, just quick sewing with very little thinking. We are planning to get the top and backing together on tuesday, then I will have a couple of days to get it quilted and bound, and it will be presented next weekend! I do love a challenge, and I will try to be graceful and not gripe about it next week when I want to do something else, but have to finish the quilt!

This is the quilt I finished last week. It has a story - but then again, don't they all! A man came down to the quilt shop, interested in having a nautical quilt made. After speaking to him, I told him that I would come up with a design, then we could discuss it the next week. I got so excited about my design, that I decided to go ahead and make the quilt, and if he wanted it that would be great, and if not I could hopefully sell it or use it as a gift. I talked to the man, and he decided that what he really wanted is for me to sew a cover onto his down blanket.

At this point I decided that I was going to try to get out of this job because it was definitely not going as I had planned, but I got talked into seeing it through. In the end it was a bit of a pain, but the look on this man's face when he saw what I had done was entirely worth it! He was grinning ear to ear at his recovered duvet with lighthouses on it and the matching pillow shams - it made me glad to be able to make his day! And now I have a lovely nautical quilt for sale in my Etsy shop! I'm sure it will end up in the right home for it also.

Happy week-end everyone - get some rest!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Quilting, Stress, and Denial!

This past month has been quite stressful, and as a result, though I have been quilting, I have not had the emotional reserves to write about it! All I want to say about the stress is that if you ever want to get a loan that has anything to do with your home check with me. If we are not getting one, you should be ok! Of course the summer we decide to refinance the old homestead so we can fix it up a bit is the summer that the housing bubble bursts and all the finance companies decide to go under! We had our third, yes third, appraisal this week. We have had two loans not work out for various reasons, and if this one is a problem I am calling it quits. We'll just have to put the new windows in and paint later. I am tired of dealing with loan people, tired of sending in just one more document, and really tired of underwriters.

Now that that is out of the way on the the great quilting stuff! My Hawaiian Star quilt won Best of Show at the Sand 'N Sea Quilt Show, and a blue ribbon at the fair! I have finished quilting two queen sized quilts, and have caught up on a lot of other sewing projects. I am currently obsessed with the idea of buying a Grace Pinnacle Quilting Frame. I booted the twin bed out of my sewing room, and it is officially now only a sewing room!!! (And I have room for the frame when I can get it.)

I have a ton of samples that came back from the quilt shop, but I can only quilt so much at a time, I am currently working on a Sampler Quilt that I finished from someone else's stash. Yes indeed, I am a Foster Quilter. Or maybe you would call it a Rescue Quilter. I take these poor unloved and abused projects into my home and make them into lovable quilts before adopting them out to deserving families. Hey, that could make a cute article if I would make the time to write it up! Another future project, among the many that I currently don't have time for. Yes I am in total denial about how much I can really get done in a day, and am driving myself into the ground. But I did get a walk in today, and am going to go relax and catch up on my quilting magazines tonight. I have three unread magazines! And I am the type that reads them as soon as they go throught the front door usually. I just want to get all these quilts done so I can get on to the next project, and there are not enough hours in the day for me to get it all done!

At least I feel like I am making progress, and I'm inspired and have plenty to do. I suppose that's better than spending hours playing Solitaire instead of getting anything done. Time to get off the computer and clean up the kitchen, then check out those magazines!