Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Here's a Finish!

Yes, I worked on the casserole carrier yesterday, and got it done!  It's large enough to carry a 13 by 9 pan and it's entirely insulated to keep things hot/cold.  

On the inside, there's a pocket made out of the black dotted fabric.  You slide the pan between the carrier and the pocket and then fold the flaps over to keep everything snug.  In the black pocket, there's another pocket that doesn't show, but I figure it's to use for the serving utensils that we all forget to bring to these pot lucks.  

Anyway, it's done and I'm satisfied with it.  Now to make up a quick potholder and copy my favorite casserole recipe and the gift will be completely finished.

I made a stop at the local big box store to see if I could find key rings to use for the Key Chain Mini Purses that I want to make as gifts for the guild members. Remember,  I need to make about 40 of them before next Tuesday night.  That's 7 days if you count today. Can I do it?  I'll let you know as I make progress on them.  

Today I have an appointment with Occupational Therapy. I'm still struggling with my left wrist tendonitis, or De Guervain's Syndrome.  You may recall that last May I had a marathon knitting session one day, working on cardigan doll sweaters, and when I woke up the next morning, OMG!  I nearly screamed with pain in my wrist!  I tried to avoid using it and especially twisting the wrist but when it hadn't gotten any better by August, I saw the doc. She gave me a splint to immobilize the thumb and thus prevent the pain in the wrist, and I've worn that for over 3 months now with minimal improvement. So, today I go to OT to see if they can fix it. If not, it's off to the hand surgeon and we all know what surgeons usually want to do, right?  Wish me luck with this, please. I'm tired of wearing this splint!

Today's agenda, after I return home, is to make up the potholder to go with the casserole carrier and then get started on the key chain purses.  Oh yeah. I'm out of clean socks so I guess I'll have to do some laundry as well.  What an exciting life I live!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

I think I'm going to recover from the super busy holiday weekend!  For awhile, I had my doubts, but yesterday was halfway back to normal and I have high hopes that today becomes "mostly normal." By that, I mean a little housework, a few errands, of course, blog reading, and then sewing!

Yesterday, I spent an hour or sew at the machine before Don asked me to help put up the Xmas lights which took up the balance of the afternoon.  They look pretty nice, but it's not sewing, is it? Today, I may get around to putting up red ribbon bows on each of the porch pillars and hanging the wreaths by the door and garage, and that's it. Sweet and simple.

In the sewing room yesterday, I repaired two tops my daughter left for me to do. I told her asking me to sew repairs is like asking Michelangelo to paint your bathroom!  Anyway, I did those things and then I cut out and made the T shirt top to go with the Twirly skirt and sweater outfit, shown below. Now I have to make the yellow polka dot dress and I'll be done with doll clothes for awhile, I think.

I also trimmed the embroidery for the 2 needle cases that I'm making and put them away until I have time to finish them off. No work on the casserole carrier but that will be tackled today or tomorrow.

Another project I thought I'd begin--soon!-- is to make 35 of these little key chain coin purses that were created by Sharon Vrooman. I've been racking my brain to figure out something to make for the Guild members to give at the holiday party and these look fairly easy and fast.  I'll have to pick up the D rings and ribbon when I'm out running errands today. I like that they have no zippers!  

Here's the link to the tutorial if you're interested in making some yourself.  Key Chain Mini Purse Tutorial  If any of you want to place bets on whether I get them all finished, all I can say is, "No wagering, please."  But I know you'll do as you please anyway.   ;-)

So, I have a full day staring me in the face, and only half the day left to get things done so I'd better get a move on. Oh, yes. An update on my difficulty with Blogspot and getting my dashboard. I found a forum and discovered that the old dashboard apparently is gone. All I can do is click on the Reading List found to the lower left of the page and get my blogs there.  Not as convenient as before, but I guess change is inevitable. Especially in Tech Land where the motto seems to be, "If we can change things we will. Just because we can."

Monday, November 28, 2016

Trouble in River City!

Oh, Oh!  Well, the trouble's actually in Menomonie, not River City, although the Red Cedar River does run through my town, so maybe we should just go with River City. Whatever.  It's actually trouble with  For some reason, when I clicked on the Blogger icon on my Google "desktop" or whatever it's called, all I can bring up is a listing of my posts.  I used to get my dashboard, but I've not been able to find that no matter what I do.  Is it just me or are others having the same trouble?  I know not many of my readers bother to leave comments, but if you're having trouble pulling up your dashboard, please let me know and if you know what I should to do fix this, PLEASE, PLEASE let me know.  Thanks so much.

Now that that issue is off my chest, how was your Thanksgiving?  Mine was pretty darn wonderful.  We had a houseful of family from Wed afternoon until Sunday am, with other family coming and going throughout the weekend.  Nearly all the turkey is gone, and leftovers are non-existent.  We played a new game, "Stinky Pig," that the little boys loved!  All I'll say about it is the reason the pig is stinky is one that little boys go into belly laughs when it happens!  And if the pig gets stinky while you're holding it, you get a "token."  Nuff said about that!  Went to see the Trolls movie.  Yeah, the boys liked it, the adults, not so much.  Did lots of visiting and it was all good. Yesterday, when the house was empty again, Don and I just sat in the living room and kind of stared at each other for awhile before we began putting the house back in order.

The Warm Company Warm And White Cotton Batting 90"x40yds

On principal, I normally don't do any shopping on Thanksgiving weekend, but I did make a trip to the nearby Joanne's yesterday afternoon to score a great deal on a roll of batting. Less than 50% off!  So sweet.  So that should keep me quilting for awhile, don't you think?

I'm beginning to make "new year's resolutions" already. Why wait until January, right?  I've decided that between now and when we leave for Alabama in late January, I want to work almost exclusively on quilting up some of the finished tops I have hanging in my closet.  I hope need to quilt up the king sized log cabin that I'm making for my son, Dan, and his wife, Erin.  I'ts been hanging for a year now, so it's time.  And I'd like to get one other one finished up before we go. Then I can work on new projects without feeling too guilty.

But first, I have to make a casserole carrier to take to the Guild holiday party as the gift exchange. And then I have to finish the doll clothes I promised to make for a friend.  And then I need to get going on a commission wall quilt that I've put off for awhile and would like to have done before the holidays.  So, on and on and on.

I'm also still debating whether or not to do the Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt this year:

Quiltville's Quips & Snips

I've done a few of her mysteries and have never been disappointed. I'm a bit concerned about using so much purple in this one and if I do it, I'll swap the purple for dark blues.  But, I don't know. I still haven't finished putting on the border of last year's Allietare which turned out just beautifully, but do I need another unfinished project bugging me?  Do I?  I'll let you know what I decide, okay?

Today, I have to do a little housework and then it's all day in the sewing room. Got to get that casserole carrier done!  See you.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

T's are cossed and I's are dotted.

I hope my Thanksgiving turkey doesn't turn out like Chevy Chase's did in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation!

I think I have just about everything ready for Thanksgiving Day:
     Stuffing made and turkey stuffed--check!
     Turkey cleaned and in the oven--check!
     Bathrooms cleaned--check!
     Spare beds made up--almost check (there's one to go)!
     Food purchased for the big day--not yet checked. That's next on my list. A quick trip to the store                to get the fresh things I didn't want to buy last week when I did my big shopping.

Yes, I think after my shower and the trip to the store, I'll be ready and anxious for the weekend instead of dreading all the preparation that's needed.  By that statement, I mean house cleaning!
Those of you who've read this blog for awhile know that cleaning house is my most hated task--after gutting chickens and cleaning out septic tanks, I guess.  And since I'd neglected things so long this fall, I really had to go at it big time. And it's done--well, as good as it's going to get. After all, my guests are my children and they've seen the house during their growing up years and it was often a lot worse than it is today!

I imagine some of you are wondering if I really have the turkey stuffed and in the oven. Yes, I do. My hairdresser gave me this tip a couple of years ago and I've done it every year.  I roast the turkey the day ahead of time--when I actually have time, and no pressure to get it done at a certain time.  It'll come out of the oven around 3 this afternoon and I'll scoop the stuffing into a casserole dish and refrigerate it overnight.  While the turkey's cooling, I'll make gravy and refrigerate that as well. Tomorrow, the fat will have congealed on the top and will be easy to take off.  When the turkey's cooled enough, I'll carve it and put the meat back into the roasting pan, pour in a box or so of chicken or turkey broth, cover and chill it overnight.  Tomorrow, I'll make the pies, cook potatoes and vegetables --sweet potatoes in the crockpot!-- and an hour or so before dinner, I'll slide the chilled turkey and dressing back into the oven and it's ready to serve--whenever!  The bonus of doing the turkey this way is there is no ugly carcass sitting on my kitchen counter which opens onto the dining room.

Yesterday I managed to find a little time to sew after I'd cleaned up the sewing room.  I trimmed up the Snow Happens embroidery and found this fabric which happens to be the "Snow Happens" line! I had no idea it was a coordinate for the embroidery and I have enough for the backing.  I'll work on that after the weekend.

I also decided to begin working on a couple of doll outfits a friend wants me to make and I finished the twirly skirt shown here. I'd already had the sweater done--it just needs it's buttons sewn on--and I'll make a T shirt to go with.  My friend's granddaughter loves yellow, so I have yellow polkadot fabric cut out to make into a dress as well.  

And I had to make up a new embroidery project and I decided to make the needle case shown on the cover of the latest Gail Pan book that I have.  I decided to make two of them and last night I finished the embroidery on one.  I don't know what I'll do with the second one, but I'll be ready when I need a little gift.

The case opens up to a pocket on the left side and some felted wool for the needles on the right side, like pages in a book.  I think I'll like having this to keep track of my needles.

And I had to include a Thanksgiving Day cartoon since I won't be posting tomorrow, and maybe not for the weekend.  So, I hope none of you find this too racy for your taste, but I think it's funny!  Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Grumble, grumble

Today, I'm in a grumbling mood, and I'll tell you why.  After all the work that I and my team put into creating the first Menomonie Quilt Festival, the people at the domestic abuse agency that we raise funds for aren't sure they want us to do this again. WTH!  We did all the work, and are willing to do it again.  It didn't cost them anything and they didn't lift a finger to help us, so I don't know why they're having concerns about doing it again. Well, actually, yes I do know why.  I think there's a bit of a power struggle and maybe concern that the Festival will someday overshadow the original Quilt Tour event.  If that's what's going on, it would be best if they put that aside because I'm not competing with anyone on this project.  It's all about raising money for a terrific cause!  Time to focus on the bottom line which is raising money for the program, and not worry about who's nose is out of joint.

I'm really upset about all of this and I'm going to do my best to put it out of my mind and move on with my day.  They want to have a meeting with me, so I'll just wait until someone contacts me to set it up. In the meantime, I have a little housework to do and I have to finish getting the sewing room ready for the boys coming tomorrow.

Yesterday was a kind of wasted day, sewing wise.  After my hair appointment and running errands, Don and I went to a friend's house to visit and pick up our share of a pig they'd had butchered.  Most of the meat will go home with my son and his family when they leave on Sunday.  But we'll save some for ourselves as well. :)  I got the word about the Festival just before the meeting last night and I was in a foul mood all evening.  However, I did manage to finish the stitching on the Snow Happens piece.  I've decided that I'll make it into a table runner and add a sleeve in case anyone wants to hang it up.  Then into the shop it goes.  If I make a second one, it'll be a pillow cover for my friend.

That's it for now.  Cleaning, etc., is calling me.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Snow Happens!

Well, not here in West Central WI--yet.  No snow to be seen so far, although a few miles north of us, here was a dusting on the ground and more snow accumulation as one traveled north---which I didn't do.  I'm hunkered down here in Menomonie and plan to stay this way for awhile.

Yesterday was a bit more productive than the days before.  All I have left to do in the guest room is to run the vacuum and it's ready for my son  and DIL on Wednesday.  I have yet to finish the sewing room where the 2 boys will share the sleeper sofa, and the other 2 guests will have to make do on air mattresses in the basement.  They've done that before and survived so I hope they'll do it again.

After the Guild finance meeting which took 2 hours yesterday afternoon instead of 1, I typed up and emailed to notes to all the committee chairs and officers who weren't there.  At the meeting, the treasurer informed us that the guild has realized $875 from our sales at the Quilt Tour fundraiser, and the rest--$1740--will be donated to the domestic abuse program. We've never been able to donate that much, and it makes my heart very warm to think about it.  We worked over a year making items to sell and it was so worth it.

Other than that, I spent the rest of the day generally putzing around the house.  For the first time in many weeks, I actually cooked a decent meal for Don and I and then settled down with my embroidery, Snow Happens.  This is what it looks like at this point:

I'd hoped to get the embroidery finished last night, but I was distracted by Ross Poldark and spent more time watching the show than stitching. Sigh! You can see that I only have the last snowman's head and arm to finish and then I really have to decide how to finish it up. Since I got no suggestions from any readers, I'm thinking I'll go with the table runner idea--and put it up for sale in my Etsy shop.  And I may make a second one into a pillow as a gift for my friend who has snowmen on display in her house throughout the winter. I think she'd like it.  

Today will be busy with a haircut and errands to run, and then a meeting in the evening. It's the wrap up of the Quilt Tour so we'll see if they made their goal of $10,000 this year.  Hope so! I also want to spend more time in the sewing room getting it cleaned up more and ready for the boys to occupy over Thanksgiving weekend. That means putting away all sharp objects!  And if there's time, I'll get started on making this casserole carrier that is needed for the gift exchange at the guild holiday party.  

I have some fabric with watermelon slices, oranges, strawberries, etc on it in reds, orange, and greens on a yellow background with a coordinating fabric for lining and red for the handles.  I think it'll look good.  

So, busy day looking at me and I'd better get on it.  

Sunday, November 20, 2016

It's time for a clean up!

Yesterday, as I posted, was a lay back day for both Don and me.  All I did was clear out the clutter in the guest room, and hope to get it finished today.  We'll see.  This morning, I had to take things  back downstairs to my sewing room and I spent an hour or two in there, again trying to clear up the clutter. This summer I was busy spending time with Lily during the 6 weeks she spent with us, and after she left in mid-August, I began working on items for the Country Store and never took time to put things away. Add into the mix, a 4 day retreat in late October and I hadn't put those things away either.  What a mess!  I'd show you pics of the room, but who wants to look at that!

I also worked on my Snowman Blue-work embroidery last night and I think I'll be able to finish it tonight. Then I have to decide how I want to finish it off--table runner, wall hanging, or rectangular pillow.  Here's the picture:
and I'd appreciate any and all suggestions.  Please help me decide what to do with this piece,.

Today, I'll continue working on both the guest room and the sewing room and I think I'll get most of it done before dinner. However, I have a meeting here at 2 but that shouldn't take more than an hour, I hope. After dinner, its embroidery along with Masterpiece Theater--my favorite evening of the week!

That's my blog post for today.  Not much to write home about but I'm trying to focus on positive things, and beginning the clean up of both rooms is very positive!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Week 1 post Festival

Somehow, another week has sped past without me even reading my blogs much less writing any! I've been starting my day with quilt blogs for I-don't-know-how-many years, and I've been so caught up in activities that there's been no time.

This post will be very short on pics and I just want to give you an idea what this week's been like in my life.  I thought that once the Festival was over, my life would settle back into it's usual slow routine. Ha!  If only!  Last week was so busy, I can't even remember what I did 6 days ago, so I'll consult my trusty digital calendar to remind me.

Monday began with a trip to my dentist, about 1 hour's drive from here. I know I should find a dentist here in town, but I like the one I have so much, I doubt I'd find another half as good and half as nice. So I make the drive twice a year and I'll continue to do so until I can no longer drive, I think.  As usual, my teeth are holding up pretty well and I don't need any additional dental work other than the 6 month cleaning.  Whew!

After the dental appt, I headed down to Eau Claire to pick up a few things I needed from Joanne's, Target, and Office Max.  I live 25 miles from Eau Claire and when I go there, I try to get everything in one trip and not have to go back for a month or more.  On the way there, I called the neighborhood garage and was able to schedule an oil change later in the day, so that took up the afternoon.

As soon as dinner was over, I headed out to the monthly "Hand Stitching Group" sponsored by my guild. Some of the guild members were expressing concerns last year that the group was growing too large for us to get to know each other.  I thought if we offered an opportunity to come together in a small group setting, that would help. We met every month at my house last year, and the ones who said they wanted to socialize more never attended!  Go figure! Anyway, another person has offered to host this year and I'm so glad I attended.  Again it was a small group but we got to know each other a little bit better and also got some hand sewing done. I'm currently working on a blue-work embroidery piece designed by Bird Brain Designs,  shown here:

Picture of Snow Happens! Table Runner - Hand Embroidery

Tuesday evening, I fixed dinner for the Festival team and we had a wrap-up meeting. I was very stressed about this meeting since I had to tell them that, despite all the work that went into the project, that we made no money off it. The entire thing was to raise money for the domestic abuse program, and when I added and subtracted all the figures, I came out with about $20 in the hole.  So essentially, we broke even.  I was so relieved that not only were they not upset by this news, they immediately moved on to talking about plans to do it again in 2 years!  They have enough faith in this vision that they want to try again!  Needless to say, I feel very awed by their faith that we can turn this into a money making project despite how things went this year.  So, at that point, I felt much less stressed out and finally had a very restful night's sleep afterward.

Wednesday was a fun day for me, but again, on the go.  I'd made plans to visit with my friends in Duluth for the day, so I was up at before the crack of dawn and got there an hour earlier than I'd expected.  Well, I happened to know there was a quilt shop nearby so I spent a half hour or so there and found some really delightful Christmas fabrics. The ones below are from a line called "Silent Christmas" from a Danish company called Stof Fabric and I love the Scandinavian designs.

The fabric above is so nice as it is that I may simply use it as a panel for the center of a table runner or I may cut it into some design using the coordinating brown snowflake fabric shown below.  

The red-white-pale gray fabric I'll cut as borders for the center regardless if I piece the center or not. In fact, I bought enough fabric to make two or 3 table runners so I may try different things with each center.

Below are 2 more fabrics from Empress Mills called "When I Met Santa's Reindeer" that I just fell in love with.  I'll fussy cut the red fabric and use the gray snowflake fabric for star points or square in a square points. Again, for a table runner or two.  I love the little girls feeding the reindeer and wonder if they're the Sami people who live in the far north of Scandinavia.  At any rate, I've never seen these fabrics before, so they had to come home with me.

And just before I left the store, I spotted this neutral fabric depicting downhill skiers. Well, that had to come home too, to join the other novelty neutrals I collect. The skiers will feel right at home with the mermaids and lobsters that I got in Maine, and the Roy Rogers print that I got somewhere I don't remember now.  They're a happy bunch of neutrals and they always play well together in a scrappy quilt.

After my wonderful shopping trip, I had a great visit with my friends including a loooong lunch, and then made the 3 hour trip back home.  That evening I had to pack up the car with leftovers from the country store sale and have that ready for a trip to the place where I used to work, about 40 miles from here.  They were sponsoring an employee's craft fair on Thursday and I was invited.  I was able to sell quite a few things, adding up to about $250 more for the domestic abuse program and the guild

When I returned home, I unloaded the car and prepared for a meeting of a local social concerns group here in town. I want to be more active with this group and now that the Festival is finished I have the time.  It was a great meeting with very motivated people and I ended up on a committee!  (What am I thinking?????)  Anyway, the committee met yesterday afternoon at my house and we put together a pretty good outline of what we want to accomplish.  A good start.  The day--and week--ended by going out to dinner with Don to a new English themed restaurant in town and downing an Irish-brewed Guinness and some very tasty British food.  While we were dining, someone sat down at the piano near us and began playing.  It was a nice addition to the atmosphere. We'll definitely return to this restaurant, especially when they put out the full menu in a couple of weeks.

Today is a take-it-easy day.  A pot of chili for supper that I'm going to make up as soon as I'm done here. A little cleaning in preparation for a houseful of guests next weekend, and then probably a good movie on Netflix. I think I've earned it.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Seven days of absence

I've been gone for the past 7 days and spending my time with the first ever Menomonie Quilt Festival!  And now it's finished--and I feel like I'm finished too!  Oh, My! I never expected this to be so much work, even with a team of fabulous volunteers who organized and coordinated each of the events. There just are a lot of last minute details that I had to take care of--that I never expected.

In a nutshell, it went off like clockwork!  We began on the 10th with two classes--Make your own Barn Quilt,
Bjork's1 (1)_opt_opt

and Beginning Sewing--that lasted all day. I stopped by twice that day--once to greet the students and to make sure the instructors had everything they needed (they didn't) and at the end of the day to pick up the things I'd supplied earlier and to find out how it all went.

The next day, we had a half day class and again I checked to see that all went well--and it did.  After that, I coordinated presentation of 9 Quilts of Valor that were presented by the quiltmakers to the veterans on the stage of the beautiful Mabel Tainter Theater here in downtown Menomonie.  Needless to say, it was a very moving ceremony for both the veterans and the quilters. (The piano had been moved off the stage for us. LOL)


When that was finished, we set up the stage for a talk by Laurie Aaron Hird, creator of The Farmer's Wife series of sampler quilts and her recently released The Bible Story Sampler Quilt.  

My Photo

Laurie and her family live in the extreme SW corner of Wisconsin and she made the journey to Menomonie to share her delightful talk with us. She read some of the letters written by farm women during the depression era and pointed out how contented they seemed with their lives even though they had very little in the way of material things.  I feel inspired to emulate their attitude. 

I bought her book, the Farmer's Wife Pony Club Winners Sampler Quilt

which includes letters from children who won ponies as their prize for selling subscriptions to the magazine.  Since my 12 year old granddaughter, Lily, is currently crazy about horses, I think the Pony Club quilt is the right thing for her. Can't wait to begin stitching it!

Was the day finished yet?  Not by a long shot!  After Laurie finished, I hopped on the bus to take a 2 hour tour of barn quilts in the county. This is a new venture to promote rural tourism in the area and I found it to be exactly what I needed after such a hectic day. The barn quilts are just delightful, popping up where you least expect them.  The one pictured at the top of this post was one we got to visit on our tour.  

The last "event" of the day was to go to the church and help set up the Country Store that we've been working on for over a year--planning and making items to sell.  Believe me, when it was all set up and finished it looked amazing!  The shelves and tables were overflowing with all the things we'd made.  Yesterday was the sale day and we had customers in the shop all day!  I don't know how much volume we sold but I was told we raised nearly $2000!  We'll split that 50/50 between our guild and the domestic abuse agency that we fund raise for.

So, now my spare room is again filled with crafts that were leftover from the sale. I'll be going through them and deciding what I'll be taking with me to another sale on Thursday. After that, I'm done with this craft business. I want these things out of the house before Thanksgiving as I have a houseful of folks arriving for the weekend and I need that room.  Wish me luck on that, okay?

So, my week was filled with activity and that was a great thing in many ways, not the least of which was it took my mind off the election.  Not going to get into politics here other than to say that I think our country is on the cusp of a radical change and I'm not sure what the change will look like as it happens.  And that has me on edge.  But each day brings its demands of things to do and I'll do them and try not to think about politics too much. I think it's important to be a well informed citizen and to be active in democracy and I'll continue to be that person, but I refuse to be overwhelmed by politics.
That said, I'm going to get on with my day!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Quilts of Valor are done!

Yes, I finished the last QOV last night--actually very early this morning!--and it's in the clothes dryer as I speak type. Whoo Hoo! I'm so glad that job is done--my fingers are very sore from all that hand stitching, believe me!  

Yesterday, I took my QOV to the family of the deceased veteran for whom it was intended, and gave it to his widow. She was visibly moved and I hope she will be comforted by having it.  

Before I did that, I was in the sewing room finishing the 4 pin cushions I'd embroidered.  I like how they turned out and hope they sell at the country store. Yikes!  That's less than a week away!  I also finished the last of the wine totes but didn't take a picture of it. I've made a total of 4 totes for sale and the first one which was my sample and isn't good enough to sell.

I used crushed walnut shells for the stuffing and had intended to fill them completely but that didn't work. I couldn't get enough in the cushion to fill it to the top. So, enter Plan B! Gail Pan, in her embroidery book, suggests putting a layer of fiberfill on top of the walnut shells. I didn't  have fiberfill, but I have some polyester quilt batting that I used. I cut a rectangle and used a pencil to stuff it in and it worked beautifully.  It also kept the walnut shells from spilling out as I hand stitched the opening. From now on, Plan B has been promoted to Plan A when it comes to filling pin cushions! 

When I got up this morning, the third thing I did (the first being in the bathroom, and the second was to put on the coffee :o)   ) was to put the 3 QOVs that I'd finished over the past 3 days, in the washer. Just now I went to the laundry room and saw this!  Perfect timing!


Now all three are in the dryer and will soon be ready to be folded to await the ceremony on Friday.  

Do you know what this is?  In the picture below?  It's the 2 Color Catchers that I threw in the wash with the QOVs.  They came out only a pale pink, so I know the colors in the quilts are reasonably colorfast and won't bleed.  If you don't know about Color Catchers, I'll tell you. If you do know, skip this and go do something more productive than reading an old woman's ramblings.  Ha Ha. 

So. Color Catchers are found in the laundry section of your store, near the dryer sheets. They're in the same kind of box as the dryer sheets as well. Since I don't pre-wash my fabrics and since I usually use a wide variety of fabrics in my scrappy quilts, I never know when I'm done with a quilt if the dyes are colorfast.  So, I wash the quilt and add a Color Catcher sheet to the wash. Any dyes that bleed are caught up in the sheet and don't damage the quilt. I usually use only 1 sheet but today since I had 3 lap size quilts in the washer, all red-white-blue, I used 2.  The only time I've had poor results was with a quilt that had an intense turquoise/teal batik in it and that bled a little into the surrounding fabrics. Not too much though, so if I hadn't used the Color Catcher, the damage would have been very bad, I'm sure.  Note:  I have no commercial connection with Color Catcher--I just like the product.

Today, 3 of my co-workers for the country store are coming over and we'll spend several hours pricing all the items we've collected for the store and make up signage that we need.  Before then, I'll begin sewing the holiday doll dresses and coats that I want to have done for the store.  Busy, busy, busy!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Another finish

All I have to say today is that I finished another Quilt of Valor last night.  It's the second of the ones made by my guild while we were on retreat last month.  So far I've pieced 1 QOV, partially pieced 2 more, and bound 4 so far with one more waiting for the final stitching of the binding.  Trust me when I say I'll be happy to have these finished, washed and ready to go to their new homes!  At least I didn't have to do the quilting on any of them, thank goodness!

This afternoon, I have to take the QOV that I actually pieced all by myself to the family of the veteran who was slated to receive it this coming Thursday. He was a veteran of the Vietnam war and passed away a few days ago. The family want to display it at the memorial service this afternoon so I'll present it to them.  I feel so sad that the veteran himself never got to wrap himself in it's comforting folds.

Other than meeting with his family, I'll be in the sewing room all day. I never got to work on the other things I want to get done for the store, so today is it!  I want to finish up the embroidered pin cushions and the last wine tote and then I have to move on to making a few more holiday dresses for the 18" dolls. and a few parkas and "fur" coats for them.

I'll post pics tomorrow of what I get done today.

Friday, November 4, 2016

QOV finish!

My days are simply filled with things I'm doing in relation to the quilt festival and if I were to write about them every day, you would be more bored than you probably already are. Hence, my posts will be short until after the festival when I hope to resume a more leisurely pace in the sewing room.

I was informed a couple of days ago that we'd been given another QOV that needed binding and also needed a veteran to receive it. Well, the Veterans Service Office had another person ready and waiting, so I need to get a label and stitch the binding on. Yesterday, I made bindings for two QOV and machine stitched them on.  Last night, instead of embroidery, I hand stitched the binding and label on one of the 2 quilts we made at guild retreat in October.  Here it is:

Just a simple plain block alternating with a framed block, all different fabrics.  There was enough excess backing fabric that I used it for the binding as well.

I'll begin hand stitching the second one tonight, and get it done at least to the point where the label has to be stitched on.

Today, I'll be taking care of the business end of the Festival--emails, bank deposits, running errands, etc. We're having an easy pizza supper tonight so I don't have to spend time cooking.  So I hope to get back into the sewing room and get some work done on the wine totes and doll clothes. We'll see.

Breaking News!  Just got called from the quilter that the second retreat QOV was ready to be picked up, so I know what I'll be doing this afternoon--getting that binding on! The rest will have to wait until that's done.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Nothing New Here, Folks.

Image result for image of nothing new here

Same old, same old.  Yesterday was spent working on wine totes--got 2 finished and a third one cut out, to make a total of 5 to put up for sale.  Hope they do sell cuz, what am I going to do with 5 wine totes?  I don't carry wine bottles around, I open them up and drink!  

I also spent some time preparing for the guild meeting.  I'm enjoying being president this year, but it's more work than I imagined it would be.  And I'm always very tired out when I get home.  But someone has to do it and it's only for a year so what the heck!

After I got home, I worked on my little embroideries and only have a dozen or so French Knots to do and then all 4 will be finished and ready to stitch into pin cushions.  The long arm quilter brought one of the Quilts of Valor to the meeting last night, so today, I get to make bindings and begin the stitching on it so it's finished in time. I have another QOV quilt ready for binding that I was just told about the other day, and then the second one that was made at retreat last week will come in soon from the quilter, I hope, and will need to be bound as well.  In between, I'll be working on making doll coats and party dresses.  Whew!  I'll be so glad when this is all over and done!   Maybe I need to open a bottle of wine to help me manage it all!  Just kidding.  I never drink when I'm sewing--I wait until the rotary cutter is put away and the sewing machine has been turned off.  Then I'll take a sip or two.
Cork, Bowls, Wine, Glass Of Wine, Cover, Abstract

Or three.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

A finish!

Did you survive the Halloween festivities?  Trick and Treating was from 5:30 to 7:30 last night and I went down to the sewing room around 5:00 and left Don to cope with the hoards of kids ringing the doorbell. He came down around 6:15 and said he was done. All the candy had been handed out--in less than an hour!  He said they came in groups--up to 10 at a time!  And he had a great time with all the kids, and I had a great time with my mug rugs!

Here they are, all finished.  We'll be selling them and the cocoa set (I'll add 3 more packets of cocoa--one for each mug) as a set.  What do you think?  I'm very pleased with how they turned out. Especially since I had all the fabrics needed already in the house--no need to go shopping!  As you can probably see, I did give in and sewed a button on each snowman's scarf.  I know what I said about the buttons yesterday, but I didn't want to cut circles of fabric and applique them on. Besides, everyone should be able to figure out where to set their mug so it doesn't land on the button, right? The mug rugs finish at about 7 1/2 inches, so should be plenty of room to avoid setting the mug on the button.  Besides, I think the buttons add a nice touch!

Yesterday was really quite a waste as far as getting things accomplished.  When I went out to get groceries, I decided to make a detour to the local GoodWill store.  I've been looking for a used crock pot that I can designate for soap making--and I found it there!  For $7 ($6.99 actually) I got it, and I think it works!  I'll give it a try one of these days and see for myself.  I'm really so anxious to make more soap, but I think I'll have to hold off on that until after the quilt festival.  Then, watch out!

After scoring with the crock pot, I took another detour to the paved walking/biking trail just outside of town, and walked the length of it and back, about 1 1/4 miles.  That may not seem like a long distance, but for me it was challenging. Remember, I've done very little walking for months since I've been sitting at my sewing machine.  It felt very good to accomplish that, and surprisingly, my legs and knees felt okay afterward.

Then I got the groceries and headed home.  After putting them away, I sat down to have a little lunch and to read some in my book.  I can't believe it but after eating, I continued reading and woke up an hour later!  I NEVER take naps!  But I guess I needed one yesterday!  So all of this to explain the lack of progress in making things for the store.

Last night, after all the Trick and Treaters has gobbled up the candy, I came up stairs to have some dinner and a little TV.  I worked on the third of the 4 pincushion embroideries and finished it before it was time for bed. And here it is.  I chose to use a golden colored thread for the bird instead of the red shown in the book because I have some golden colored fabric that I want to use for the body of the pin cushion.

Tonight I'll begin the last of the embroideries, but today, I want to make up the wine totes and get that crossed off my list. Let's hope I don't "read" for an hour like I did yesterday. LOL