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Friday, December 30, 2011

Cutie Patootie!

Can I just say that I got soooo much done last night that I am absolutely ecstatic??!!!  Gave Hubs a badly needed haircut.....loaded and started longarming a customer quilt....and finished binding these two Cutie Patooties!  Oh, and I also kicked some serious tail on the Wii Jeopardy game against the Hubs!

These little cuties didn't take long to quilt....I think they actually took longer to bind than to quilt.  I wanted to hurry and get them quilted because they are going to serve a specific purpose.  I need to set an iron candle holder on the antique treadle in the dining room and don't want to scratch it up, so I'm going to use the hex one of these little toppers.

These were done in a class at the shop where we showed several different flying geese rulers and the advantages/disadvantages of each.  I will probably put Mr. Hex here back on and quilt 1/4" in all the way around the background triangles.  He was stitched in the ditch with no start/stop.  :)  Chalk up 2 more finishes!  Even though they are small, I was able to load them on the longarm.  I used one backing and just floated them both on top.  Super fast and super easy!

It's a cold, windy day here in the Midwest.  Perfect for quilting!  I should finish a customer custom quilt today so that I am able to load the next custom one on to work on tomorrow.  See the smoke burning from my speedy self???  I am working so much there is smoke rolling off my fingers!  Woo hoo!  I love it when I get to quilt this much!  Always puts me in a great mood....especially when I am catching up on customer quilts!

Enjoy yourself today!  Blessings.....

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ta Da! and Goals for Next Year

I finally got the quilt bound that I have been telling you about.  Let me tell you....this has been a UFO for approx 7 years!  It has hung in both shops waiting to be quilted.  I've always had in mind to use this as a topper on my kitchen table, and now I CAN!  :)

I tried to do a close up for you of the back, but it was difficult.
There are little beads in the middles of the flowers, and I have to fix one set...they are a tad loose.  But, other than that, we can mark this one off the list!

So, have you been contemplating your goals for next year?  Notice, I did not say "resolution"??  In my opinion, a resolution is to change something or "resolve" to make something different.  I am not a big resolution person, but I am a huge goal-setter.  Whether it be in my personal, professional, financial matters, I set goals.  I've been thinking about my quilting goals for next year.  Again, I am not at all upset that I didn't finish as many of those UFOs as I set out to.  I know why it didn't happen, and it certainly was not because of lack of effort on my part.  So, my goal for next year.....finish as many UFOs as I did this year.  I was taking a shot in the dark when I set my goal last year.  I had never been unemployed or gotten to spend that much time at home, so how do you judge how much you will accomplish??  I still did a ton of longarming for customers and was more focused on what I was doing, so it wasn't bad that I snuck a few of mine on in between.  That's what I will do again in 2012.  In between customer quilts, I will just sneak a little something in of mine.

My last giveaway winner never claimed her prize, so....I will have another giveaway.  Stay tuned tomorrow for details!


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I snuck one in on you!

First, I just have to tell you about my day at work yesterday.  It is about a 45 minute drive for me one way--that's in my 'moving target' at slightly over the posted speed....ahem. I am driving around to various customers, not making any headway AT ALL because of the holiday, I decide to text my boss.  Chuckling to him that I seem to be the only one working.....and WHY is that you ask???  Because even our drivers weren't working!  I truly WAS the only one working!!!!!  It would seem that there was a MEMO that said something to the effect of from needed!  Say what???  I didn't get the aforementioned memo!  Ugh!  Such a dedicated employee I am...working on my day off!

Fast forward to my getting home.  I was taking what was going to be my last UFO finish off the longarm machine and decided to throw another quickie on, just because I was feeling sorry for myself!  So....I snuck another finish in on you!

I tried to do a close-up of the quilting for you, but that didn't work out so well for me.  Not enough coffee yet.

This was a KT Stash Society project.  I quilted the coolest feather motif in the center, can't tell.  We got kind of burned out on the KT fabrics at the shop-they seemed like the same thing over and over-so we did this one in Jo Morton fabrics.  I LOVE it!  I was even able to scrounge a scrap of batting, so I worked on that batting scrap pile, too!

What's even better???  I still have one more I will get done before the first of the year!  Just a little binding, and she is done done done!!!  Woot Woot!

Hubs is starting US on a diet today.  I'll just warn you ahead of time--if you hear a news article about some crazy lady who felt the need to gnaw off her own would be ME!  Actually, we are doing the "Sacred Heart Diet" that they start heart patients on.  Here is a link, if you are curious.

Well, I'm off to be the dedicated employee....have a blessed day!

Monday, December 26, 2011


Remember these blocks??  Well, I now have 86 of them!  The kids were here Christmas Eve Day, so they could honor commitments elsewhere for Christmas, so my gift to myself was a day in the sewing studio!  I truly enjoyed myself.  Yoga pants, old sweatshirt, fuzzy socks and a never-ending pot of tea.  (Don't tell anyone, but I didn't 'do' my hair OR put on make-up!)  I just sewed....and sewed...and was
A W E S O M E ! ! !

These strips are all gone!  If I want this quilt to fit my bed, I need 196 blocks!  So, I'm not even halfway done.  I need to cut more strips.  I'll try to cut them this week after work, and maybe...just maybe....I can get some more blocks made next weekend.  I do have some longarming to do, so that will have to be a priority, but I will certainly try!

When Hubs saw this arrangements of strips, he actually thought I had cut too many!  ROFL  Little did he know, this just got me to the 86 blocks!  Hopefully, I don't get bored with it and just turn it into a smaller quilt.  I love these blocks!  Julie sent me a pic of a quilt, that I am going to try to do.  I'll lay them out the same way and see if I get the same umph (is that even a word??) from the blocks as the quilt in the pic she sent.  I refuse to let this one become a UFO! 

Remember Kim's challenge?  Well, I have one more quilt that is almost quilted and will need bound this week, and I will have another UFO done.  I will continue next year working on getting them all quilted and bound.  I'm not upset with myself that I didn't get to my goal...I think I will almost be halfway through it, honestly.  I'm just thrilled that I got as many done as I did!

Most of the girls enjoyed the gifties.  One of them said she didn't have a table to put one on...really?  No table....oh well....but I do need to make another one of these.....

Reptile Son's girlfriend really liked it.  She was the one I had in mind when I made it.  Some of you know her from when she worked at the shop.  She wanted it, but one of the step-daughters just painted her dining room in this color and nabbed it right away.  I was glad she found one that she liked.  So, I will just work on training the hubs on the longarm some more, and have him make another this week.  He can bind it while I bind the UFO....hmmm....doesn't really sound like I am the one making it afterall!  LOL

Well, I need to get ready for work.  Have a blessed day!  Don't forget the sale over at the website....


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Working into the wee hours.....

I'm trying to finish up some of the towels, now.  It does look like I will be working into the wee hours.  Some of the kids are coming tonight, so I will have to sneak into the sewing studio and re-start the embroidery machine when necessary.  Whew!  Here's what I have done so far....jump stitches haven't been trimmed and horrible lighting in there....sorry about that!

The colors on the blue and green towels are close, but not necessarily true.  I had to change them a little so you could see the embroidery.  I chose colors to match everyone's powder rooms.  I had the towels before we found out Christmas was going to be a little tight.

Off I go to keep working.  Have a Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

A few more gifties finished.....

Is it just me, or is there absolutely nothing good on television right now?  Everything is re-runs.  I don't watch TV much, but when I do, I would love to curl up with something new!  So, after about a half hour of frustration last night, Hubs put in a Clint Eastwood Movie, Hang Em High, and we were off to our own personal binding marathon.

I know you have already seen the Christmas placemats, but he wanted you to see that he DID get them all bound.  <>

This next one should actually count as a completed UFO.  The green isn't really that dark.  I darkened it so you could see the metallic gold thread a little better.  There are hanging loops on the back.  This one was actually done on the longarm.

The last of the runners done on the embroidery machine.  He is done more in my colors.

Here's a close-up.  He's telling you all Merry Christmas!
I know some of you are wondering why I didn't piece some projects and quilt them.  Let's just say I don't think the step-daughters are really going to like these (I could be wrong), except for their Dad helped make them.  They are into more modern decorating and haven't been exposed to quilts much.

Hubs informed me yesterday that if he could take off an entire YEAR from work, he could have our remodeling done around this house.  Seriously???  An entire year???  I'm thinking a month here, a month there, and he could be done by Spring!  I guess he isn't used to having me beat him over the head with a stick to make him work faster!  He also got this "brilliant" idea that I should make a million different table runners with the embroidery machine to sell.  Um...NO!  I want to enjoy my time in the quilting studio!  If I throw the occasional one on while I am sewing, that's one thing.  But, I'm not going to mass produce anything!  Gotta love him.  He's just a tad worried....

Well, I need to get to work at the "real" job.  Have a blessed day, and don't forget about the SALE over at the website!


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

More gifties all done!

We finished binding two more of the gifties for the girls last night.  Poor hubs will be binding those table mats right up until Friday night!  :)

 This one really isn't my decorating taste.  It is a metallic snowflake background with BLUE Santa!  I have never decorated for Christmas with blue, but I must say--this one was my favorite.
Isn't he just too cute!  I love this embroidery pattern!

This one was my least favorite--until I got it quilted.  I love how it quilted up, and I just love that plaid binding!

We have more binding to do...want to give them a good selection to choose from.  Hopefully, they will like them.  Otherwise, I have a good start on MY decorating for next year!

Hubs made a pork roast with sauerkraut and mashed potatoes for dinner tonight.  It was all ready for me when I got home.  The house smelled like PineSol...yup, have him trained to be a great Trophy Husband...he had been cleaning house and doing laundry!  Oh, if only we could afford for him to stay home all the time!

I confirmed with the two sons (and one significant other) that they will be spending the night Friday night.  Family game night before our Christmas Eve breakfast.  Life is good!

Hope your day is just chock full of blessings!

P.S.  Don't forget the sale over at the website!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cookies! Finishes! AND a SALE!!!!

I finally started the holiday baking last night.  I made approx 10 dozen cookies.  If I tarry on every night this week, I MAY just get it all done!  Have you ever baked with stoneware?  It is my favorite!  The more 'seasoned', the better the finished product.
 Mmmm....the family favorite...Chocolate Chip!

Hubs and nephew's favorite--ginger snaps!  I quote, "No one makes these from scratch anymore!"

Peppermint pinwheels....I have fond memories of making these with the kids.  <>
 Here is Hubs' metal rose.  It will not be staying in this pot, but he is thinking about making some of these to sell, while he has time on his hands.  What do you think?  Do you think he could sell them?  He is going to make other varieties of flowers, too.  I want some Calla Lillies!
Here is one of the home made gifties for the girls.  It is a table runner, quilted with varigated thread.  It is really a little teensy bit darker than it appears in the pic.  The rest are all Christmas-themed.  I did have one of the girls in mind when I made this one--it matches her couch.  I'm thinking about doing it White Elephant-Style.  Have all of the girls draw numbers.  Number one pics first.  Number two pics second--and she can choose to take the one that number took...and so on.  Should I do it that way, or just make it a free for all???

And, last, but not least...due to the circumstances in my last post....I am having a BIG sale over on our website!  I already price everything less than suggested retail price, but I find myself in need of some serious cash!  LOL  So, if you are looking for some great deals...head on over!

Hubs is processing orders, learning to longarm and blacksmithing.  Kind of funny that our tables got turned and I am the one working, and he is the one being a Trophy Hubby!  Just taking it all in stride....

Have a blessed day!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Dynamic Duo is Back!

Back when I first opened my shop, many years ago, Hubs used to work along side me.  I know some of you would cringe if your Hubs infringed on your territory, but we usually had a lot of fun.  He worked quilt shows, cut fat quarters, cut kits, did binding....and confesses to knowing more than any man should about quilting!  Believe it or not, it was less stressful for me when I had him working with me, than when I didn't.  Well, due to circumstances beyond our control, he finds himself with a little more time on his hands, and we find ourselves having a 'homemade' Christmas.  It has been a roller coaster week with emotions running everywhere, but I have pulled myself up by my bootstraps and am moving on.  Having 6 adult children with 3 significant others, we have never spent much on Christmas anyway, but I did have to take back the few things that I had bought.  After my own little pity party, I re-channelled my energies. 

One of my customers told me that one of the best things she ever did for a Christmas get together that she had gone to was to make a basket of everyday goodies.  She didn't wrap anything, just added a few bows, and filled the basket up with everything from First Aid kits to smelly lotions, etc.  I was already going to steal this idea for the kids....but now, it will be their only gifties....and will all be handmade.

So, Hubs and I spent the day yesterday running 2 longarm machines, embroidery machine and my poor little Janome.  I will show you some of what we got done, but I can't wait until you see the rest!  I have to tell you, we had an absolute blast working together again!  He wanted me to show him how to use one of the longarms, so we practiced....

These are table mats.  Hubs quilted 6 of them.  I'm stitching the binding on with the sewing machine and he will whip-stitch the other side of the binding on this week.  These will be rolled and tied and will be one of the gifties in the basket.  Because he used batiks, there will be no right or wrong side!  Sweeeeeet!

I can only show you above and below without showing you what they will be yet.  So far, we have created 3 different ones, with my favorite NOT being in the pics.  I'm going to try to get these two projects longarmed today, perhaps teaching Hubs how to do this.  If he doesn't learn to do the custom quilting of these, he will be doing more training on the embroidery machine.  You know what they say about idle hands!
The three step-daughters have never really been into the whole 'handmade' deal.  My half of the Brady Bunch always has.  Prodigal Son has nabbed more of my quilts than anyone....Reptile Son has a list and needs a couple new quilts (notice I didn't say just one...) and Princess Daughter used to actually craft Christmas gifts with me.  I'll never forget the year we made a million christmas ornaments for her to give to everyone on her basketball team, her teachers, her grandmas....I even snuck one for myself.  :*)

I do have a feeling that after this Christmas, ALL six of our children will have a whole new appreciation for that which is handmade.  The fact that their Dad was the one who actually made their gifties will convert them for sure!  Oh, and don't feel bad for the boys.....they are getting gifties of MOUNTAINS of homemade cookies, peanut brittle and fudge! 

We are more excited about this Christmas than we have been about any Christmas in a long time!  I hope yours is a blessed one, filled with family and friends.  Ours will be....and we are counting our blessings daily!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Around the House

After blog-hopping around and looking at all of your decorating pics, I feel so unworthy!  Here are a few of mine, but interestingly enough, not many of them show the million quilts I have everywhere!  Go figure!

 This is a tablescape on the buffet in the dining room that usually looks cuter than this.  OK, so I can't buy good things to put in the blog like hubs can give them to me.  Let me explain....I'm uploading this pic for the blog.

Hubs:  I've seen that quilt before.  (Referring to the wreath quilt in the pic...)
Me:  Ummmm, yeah, it's hanging in our dining room.
Hubs:  Oh...I knew I had seen it somewhere.
Me:  You know this conversation is going in my blog, right?
Hubs:  You just can't buy this stuff, it just rolls off my brain.  Sorry, honey.

Usually, I put some poly-fill around under Santa and his sleigh, but I don't feel like cleaning it up this year....LOL
 Remember my Santa bringing me wine from last year?
 This is my NEW mantle!  Hubs made it from a pecan tree that fell in the yard during the storm.  He made the brackets in his blacksmith shop and I just LOVE it!  I've been begging for a mantle since we moved into this house, because I needed some place to put those iron stocking hangers!
It looks like our tree has no ornaments on it.  Far from the truth!  There wasn't a branch left to hang the rest of the ornaments we have!  They just don't show up in the pic.  Hubs got the train all set up.  I'm thinking the train and the train tracks will get much bigger as the grandchildren start coming....

This is a very cool hand-painted Nativity Scene from Italy.  Hubs remembers buying it with his Dad when he was 11 years old.  Guess that makes it an antique!  ROFLMAO

Today should consist of baking, longarming and working on those Christmas hostess gifts.  We'll see how it 5 of the migraine!  Ugh!

Friday, December 09, 2011

Breaking my vow....

I've been trying to show you more of what I am doing, rather than customer quilts.  BUT, this one is so cute, I want to make one!  I met this customer when she was part of our Thimbleberries club.  Big stretch from Thimbleberries fabrics to these....whomever she made this for is one lucky duck!  I love these fun fabrics!

I apologize for not posting more this week, but I have had a migraine...this is Day 4.  I try not to take meds, but this one is kicking my rump!  I have so much to do this weekend, that I don't have time to be down with a migraine.  I fear it is going to get worse.  I am off to get my hair done and the smell of all of that hairspray at the salon will probably just do me in!

Later, I will post the gifties I am making for all the kids for Christmas.  I'll tell you the story about it it from a 'work' customer.  I'm also longarming while I keep the embroidery machine going, so this should be fun.  Then, either today or tomorrow, I need to kick it up a notch and have my bake-a-thon in the kitchen.  I tried to recruit elves to help me, but they are all too busy.  So, it is just Momma in the kitchen.

Enjoy your weekend.  Temps here are in the teens, so it is a great weekend to stay inside and bake!  Here come those holiday pounds!!!!!

Sunday, December 04, 2011


After Hubs brought the tree in, Bambino was having a devil of a time figuring out what to wear while we decorate!

I guess it IS kind of obvious he wasn't as thrilled with the Dr. Seuss hat.  He didn't like the bell!

Enjoy your day!

And the winner is.....

Sue, who said "Well I have been following your blog for quite some time. I love the Barn raising, but my suggestion would be streak of lightning. I think that's a variation. Anyway, it looks like a zigzag stitch! LOL  Okay, I think I've followed the rules and would love to be entered in your giveaway!  I really do love those colors you are using for your log cabin. Love Jo Morton."

E-mail me your snail mail addy, Sue, and I'll get your charm pack and pattern out to you tomorrow.

When I got home from the big city yesterday...after my little emergency trip...I came home to hubs installing my mantle.  I was so excited!  When I had the big house in C-ville, I had 4 fireplaces.  I had bought the cutest iron stocking hangers.  I've not had a place at this house to use them and have been begging for a mantle for one of these fireplaces.  All I wanted was a simple log, nothing ornate.  We lost a pecan tree out in the back, so hubs cut it down, made it into a mantle, and now I am a happy girl.  In inspired me to drag out some of the Christmas decorations.  While I made dinner, he ran to get us a Christmas tree.  NO ONE WAS OPEN!  We are talking 6pm.  Really???

So, there are no pics today of Christmas decorating.  Sure, I got a little done....but there are totes and boxes everywhere with things in them and I am surely not going to show you what a mess I have made.  I can't clean it up until I have that dang tree!  I offered to put up the artificial tree, but Hubs isn't having it!  So, longarming this morning....and when he gets home with the tree I shall finish and take a few pics for you.  Don't hold me to a high standard....just boring, mediocre decorating.

And, for those of you asking about the job, well, that was my little emergency yesterday.  I really missed the industry I was in...although I miss having the shop, too.  I absolutely love love love the job, roller coaster ride that it is.  I will never, however, rule out re-opening a shop.  We just need for our lives to settle down, figure out where we are going to live, and then it will happen.  Until then, I will just keep catching up on UFOs, WIPs and PIGs.

Have a blessed Sunday!

Saturday, December 03, 2011

G I V E A W A Y ! ! ! ! !

Don't forget, today is the last day to comment for the giveaway!  I have an emergency trip to the big city this morning...then it's home to longarm and maybe get some sewing in this evening!

Poor hubs is taking longarm quilts in for me this morning!  When I get back, he is installing my new mantle.  Can't wait to decorate it and show it to you!

Have a blessed day!