Thursday, August 30, 2007

stash busting continues...

well, i am definitely making progress on busting my stash. i have been tackling it little by little (15 mins at a time, right K?;0)!) slowly i am uncovering a virtual treasure trove of fabric that i didn't know i had. you read about the hidden fabric phenomenon but don't realize the impact of the sneaky stash until it is revealed after hours of folding.....i see those fat quarters in my sleep...ha, ha, zzzzzzz...............

the good news is that things are going very well!
what you are seeing is my fabric hidey-hole in my sewing room closet. very cheap shelves from wally world (about $8). the blue bin represents my former, very poorly executed, fabric organizational system that is now being fazed out. it really consisted of me throwing my fabric in the bin, only to forget later that it existed. huh, wonder if that would work with all the junk food in my kitchen? honey, why are there twinkies in my snow boots? but just look at those neat fabric folds! thanks to the wonderful book creating your perfect quilting space i now have tweaked the perfect fabric folding system for me!
to get neat and even yardage folds (anything over 1 yd.), i begin by folding the fabric selvage to selvage. then, i place an 8.5" X 24" ruler across the width and being wrapping the fabric around the ruler (so i will have a fold on one end of the ruler and the selvages at the other)
after rolling the entire yardage (i usually seem to end up with a partial fold at the end to tuck in the wonky cut edge), i pull the ruler out half way and fold the entire roll in half. the result is a neat and even block of fabric about 9"x 11".
no matter how long your yardage is, the piles will stack nicely.....ah......lovely.

oh yeah, i almost forgot....on the top of my selves you see my newest joy......

i have been looking high and low for an inexpensive and easy way to organize my works in progress. well, i have priced boxes and bags, none of which allowed me to stack neatly, nor see what was inside. low and behold, today at our local lowe's store i found just what i was looking for in the closet shelving area......

how cool are these guys! there were only about $9 each, and i brought home 4. this way, i can make myself empty a box...er, finish a quilt....before i am allowed to begin another project! they stack flat when they are empty (empty, yeah...that's gonna happen....LOL) and have a nifty window in the front through which my quilts can call to me ...hey, you have a minute or two, give me a few stitches, won't you???....

so far these 4 boxes contain my grandmother's turtle quilt (still trying to envision the right way to border it out), my puzzle quilt pieces, jasmine paper pieces, and my Biblical quilt block of the month blocks and pieces waiting to be pieced.
finding these guys was the Father's way of blessing me today. it was a really rough day yesterday for me and i was really clinging to the hem of His robes. after a long and emotionally stressful day i found out about my test results. the good news is that i did get a clean blood work report from the doc, the bad news is that my ultrasound showed some wonky spots on my thyroid, which the doc is calling the possible beginning of a goiter. well, i am not calling it that! she wants to see me in another 3 months and "discuss putting you on thyroid medication". UH NO I DON'T THINK SO! you are talking to the world's largest anti-medication gal, largely due to the fact that my body reacts normally to nothing, making medication a guessing game i don't like to play.
don't get me wrong here, i did thank God that there was nothing major already there, and i did recognize that it was a good thing, but it didn't come back completely clean so i did have a little pity party for myself, asking the Lord, "you mean that this is something else i hafta stand in faith for? why couldn't it just be clean and this be the end of it!?" don't worry, i didn't stay there long, not my nature. instead, the Lord reminded me of all of my blessings, and that these situations help develop my faith and my trust in Him.
so.....i am praying and believing. but that isn't all because i know that we must put action with our faith, so i am also going back on my weight watchers (4 days now inside my 21 points and down 2 pounds, thankyousoverymuch), and as soon as the gym reopens i will be there 3 days a week!
keep me accountable gals, pester me, ask me, make me tell you!
i know that if walk into that office missing about 10 pounds, she will not push the meds and i will feel much better!
well, God is good! He is on the throne. and He is victorious over all the situations in my life!
i promise that i will post more details about the quilt show later this weekend! thanks for the patience as i have been dealing with blogger issues.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

quilt show news

originally began monday, august 27th.......
well, i had to go back to work yesterday (and turn in a late assignment for my class) and then had a meeting until 9 pm, so after some sleepin in this morning and spending a make-up day with my little guy i am finally getting somewhat back to normal.
funny how vacations can seem almost exhausting when you return home....;0)
anyway, i arrived at tammy's house in tenn., picked her up and we travelled the final two hours together. it seemed that circumstances were set in motion to try and pop our excitement from the get go, from being sent to an uncleaned room (it will take 30 minutes ma'am), to having another couple walk into our room as we were unpacking (we moved you to another room without telling you ma'am, then gave someone else your room), yet onward we pressed! i mean, come on, with the anticipation of your first AQS quilting convention dangling in front of you, you can smile and forgive A LOT!

i think it will take a few posts to share all, but i want to show you some of the amazing quilts we saw at this year's show. first, my favorite and the favorite of the judges....
amazing....kitty in the corner blocks with a kitty standing over them in the corner.

i have to say that while walking through the displays, i was amazed at the creative and imaginative concepts behind these pieces, not to mention the sheer skill and dedication to the art.
there were a lot of pictorial quilts this year....it seems to be the "in thing", i was captivated....

ok. this is one of my absolute favorites from the category "a few of my favorite things", ironically enough....
if you look closely at these blocks, you will see a few standard quilter's favorites. look closely and see if you can find the iron, the rotary cutter, the kitty sitting pretty, the beautiful antique sewing machine, and the scissors. how creative and lovely, huh?
but there were some more traditionally-styled quilts, i will get some of those up later this week, 'cause blogger doesn't want to load any more pics right now......
my shelves are up in my sewing room and the stash is almost completely weeded and sorted, stacked and shelved. i hope to post pictures soon.

so sorry

ok, many of you out there have let me know that you aren't able to comment....truth be known i am not sure why. i have not restricted my comments, so perhaps blogger is having issues. anywho, try again if you will for i have attempted to reset my comment allowances to permit you to leave me your feedback.
thanks, m.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

a weekend of firsts

i am sooooo excited! tomorrow morning at about 6 am i will be setting off, on my own, headed to my first gal-vacation ever! for the first time i will be travelling to Tennessee by myself and there i will meet up with my cousin and spend the weekend at a quilt show/convention in Nashville!
my first solo vaca
my first quilt convention
today dd and i prepped the car ~ wash, vacuum, oil change ~ and i got the house ready to leave to my dh, laundry and cleaning, packing and mapping.
i also got started on something that i have been wanting to do for awhile

i began to fold and organize my fabric stash. it took awhile to get started, but once i did i realized that it is instantly gratifying and the result is beautiful. it also saves a lot of space! so now i am ready to go and enjoy....

let's see, camera....money....clothes....map....ready! can i leave now?!?

Monday, August 20, 2007

one red crayon

well it was only a matter of time before my dd discovered and began using his pockets! this discovery was made late one night last week when my dh came into the bedroom and announced that the laundry just pulled from the dryer appeared to have the chicken pox. sure enough, our little guy had decided to place one of those free crayons that we got while eating at a local restaurant in his pocket for safe keeping, and i, loading the washer late at night, had neglected to check his shorts.
but i do love the internet! i went online the next day and sure enough found some very helpful information about solving the spotty problem.
i spot treated the really bad spots first, then i soaked the whole lot for about an hour in warm water with 1 1/2 cups of oxyclean and 2 full caps of cold water tide detergent. i washed the lot and about 95% of the clothes came out clean...another wash and all is well!
to clean out my dryer, i scrubbed the spots with colgate toothpaste and a toothbrush! perfecto!
now i must say that i check pockets religiously....rocks, erasers, crayons, used band aids, etc.......what a little pack rat my dd has become ;0)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

keeping hands from being idle

i learned quite awhile ago that it is imperative for me to have something to do while waiting for a doctor's appointment...this allows me to purposefully ignore the clock and thereby not dwell on how much time i sit....

well, my recent check up at my doctors office granted me a solid 1 and a half hours of waiting....that's the bad news, the good news is that it was just enough time to finish
my mini turtle table runner!

i am so very pleased with the final product, and i simply adore the scalloped edging. this was my first time designing my own project with my EQ, and also a first for attempting a scalloped edge. thanks to a few tips from "sewing with nancy" on pbs i armed myself with a scalloped edging tool ordered from connecting threads, got to work, and am so very pleased!

as you can see, it fits perfectly on a refinished antique piece that we call "the thing" (cause we aren't sure what it is exactly) and provides a place for a few of my favorite dd pics, my emerson creek candle holder, and a sunflower from my garden. having finished this and placed it in it's made-for-this-very-spot place has given me a much needed boost, and i smile and think of grandma each time i see it......

why the needed boost? well, my doc's visit ended in a referral to a diagnostic center to have an ultrasound done on my neck and my thyroid. doc is concerned, so i get tested. i really had no issues or concerns - kinda my nature not to really worry for worrying sake- until the technician called the second technician in because she wasn't sure about what she was seeing....hello, what? excuse me, remember me the one lying here practically upside down with goo all over her neck? care to expound on the confusion here folks??? nope, course not....

so now i await a phone call from the pathologist, what i am believing will be a "you're fine, don't know why you were here" phone call. i have my mom, dad, and dh praying and believing with me that everything is functioning as the good Lord intended...on Christ the solid rock i stand!

anywho, i love my new mini table runner, cute, cute, cute!....and see many scalloped edges in my future...

Thursday, August 09, 2007

the sunflower king

well, here he is in all his splendor, the king of the sunflowers! every morning he says hi to his sunflowers, and to the various visitors that frequently flutter and buzz from one to the next. with the record heat we have had lately (100 degrees folks!) they are the only thing that is truly thriving in the heat...perhaps the green thumb is genetic!

the new title bar includes some images from these golden beauties as well!
i am currently re-enrolled for the fall semester and am getting back up on that MEd horse, and our church is preparing for one of our big three community outreach projects, a Back to School Bash, where we give away school supplies, have free food and entertainment, and share the hope of Jesus Christ with the families in our community. this means that blogging may be taking a back seat until after next weekend.
blessings to all....

Monday, August 06, 2007

a little at a time

well, the sunflowers are finally blooming and i am surprised at how quickly they can grant me a smile as i pass them at the beginning and end of my day. with a few recent changes to our household, i have to admit that i have deepened a few more frown lines on my face where laugh lines should be prevalent.

dh is now fully back-in-season...football season. generally this means predawn to 11 or 12 midnight daily, and this year seems to be a little tougher to bounce into. i miss him. dd misses him. and the phone just isn't quite the same, ya know. but i am thankful that he still gets to lie beside me at night - even if i am unaware of his arrival and departure.

we also got hit pretty hard financially this past few months. but, thanks to some great guidance from Crown financial ministries, and some prayerful decision making, we have reestablished our family budget, not only getting back in the green, but also freeing up about $150+ per month to put towards debt by making some small changes:
-transferring a credit card debt to a 0% balance - saved interest
-closing out our land line, we use our cells more anyway - saved $60
-each of us has a set amount of cash in our pockets each pay period that is ours for lunch at work, or for a treat if we want it, but we cannot use the check card and when the cash is gone, it is gone - saved us unknown amounts of nickel and dimeing ourselves to pieces.

so, the tough stuff is being tackled a little at a time. God is on our side. everythings gonna be fine!

on a good note, i got to spend a great week with my nephew and niece, they even came to the preschool with me...boy did i get spoiled to being able to pop in and hug them whenever i wanted. something that i have not been able to do as they have lived 6-8 hours away for most, if not all, of their lives. and i must say, they are such sweet kids! i am so excited that they will now only be 2 1/2 hours away!


also on a good note, my mini turtle table runner is almost complete. i was able to use only grandma's scraps, and only have the scalloped-edged binding left. yippee!!!