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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Retreat Prep

I've been busy this weekend getting ready for retreat. Melissa is flying in Wednesday night and we head out Thursday morning. We are going to go to a couple of shops in Indiana and then go to the retreat. The show time for retreat is 1:30 so we have time to do a little shopping before hand. I am going to take a couple of projects that are gifts for some people who read the blog so you won't see the pictures until I've given the gift. I am taking several things though because you never know what you want to work on once you are there. Clarinda and I went to JoAnn's yesterday to pick up a few things for the trip. We had 25% off our entire purchase so we had to spend that yesterday. I thought of a few more things I need this morning so I am going to run out there when they open. I had an interview for a job in Sacramento this week. They contacted all of my references and from what I hear they are really interested in me. I am trying not to get too excited because anything can happen and I may not get the offer. I really hope it goes through though. I finished the wedding bed runner this week and gave it and the pillows to JoAnn. She really loved it. It was the colors of her bedroom and she had been looking for a bed runner and hadn't found one she liked, so it all turned out well! Here are the final pictures of that project. Here is a picture of Marley trying to sleep, she is so cute!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Winter? Spring? Summer?

Some months I just don't know where the time goes! The weather has just been super crazy this month. We had snow, we've had thunderstorms, windstorms, 80 degrees one day 40 degrees the next. It has been a truly odd month of weather. I hope it decides what it wants to do very soon. I am hoping it doesn't get too hot too soon, in order to save money on base they have decided they aren't going to turn the air conditioners on until June! I think they must of forgot how hot and humid it is in Ohio prior to June. Maybe I will take my furlough days the last two weeks of May! We still don't know for sure that we are going to get furloughed, it has been cut from 21 to 14 and my boss said the AF is hoping to find the money to keep everybody working. I hope so. Well, Clarinda and I have been having our weekend quilting parties every weekend since my last post. We seem to get a lot more accomplished when we do our projects at the same time. She has been coming over Friday nights but couldn't make it tonight. She usually doesn't come Sundays because she likes to spend time with her family and grandkids but she has been here a few Sundays and will return this weekend. We have retreat coming up 2-5 May so we have to start getting ready. I am sure we will work on it this weekend and next. Melissa is flying back from New Mexico to attend and I am really excited to see her again, I miss her so much! I am thinking I will take the seascape project and another project that is a gift for someone. Not sure if I will take anything else but I probably will just in case I don't want to work on the planned projects. Here are some of the latest pictures of my projects. The biggest one is the bed runner and wedding pillows. I will have it complete this weekend and give it to JoAnn on Monday. I'll be so glad to finally have it done! I am just going to leave all the photos clumped together because the formatting always seems to get messed up. I have all of the wedding pillows done, they turned out really good and she is going to love them. These are the pillowcases I made for Jaclyn for her birthday. I also got her a new sewing machine because hers was broken. A picture of yours truly! These are my new glasses and I liked my hair that day, LOL. This is the little tiger I made for Jack. Next picture is some really pretty material that I fell in love with at the fabric shop, I just had to get it, not sure what I am doing with it but I loved it. The flowers is an embroidery design that I got with my monthly subscription the picture on the left is the entire project and the picture on the right is the first block that I made. Last few pics is the bed runner laid out and then with the border added. All right, that's my update for now. I'll post my final bed runner pictures this weekend.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

April Morning

I am up early today. I keep waking up at 3 or 4 in the morning, usually I can go back to sleep but today I am having some acid reflux so I got up to take medicine and am sitting up. I figured it was a good time to post on my blog. I have to get ready for work in about an hour. I think I will leave a little early this morning and stop and get some bagels to take to work. The Airmen are always looking for food, LOL. I would be too if I had to eat in the chow hall everyday. Since our Amish country trip, Clarinda and I have been getting together on the weekends to sew. She has come over Friday after work and we have stayed up sewing into the next day on a couple of occasions. We both made some of the stuffed animals for Easter. She made some for her dad, stepmom, daughter-in-laws, and grandchildren. I made a tiger (like a bengal tiger) for Jack and a blue bunny for his girlfriend Aubrey. Seems weird to say Jack has a girlfriend, this seems to be the first serious one. I also made Jack another Bengals pillowcase. We didn't really celebrate Easter, just gave Jack his and Aubrey's gifts and had steak for dinner. We are supposed to go out to dinner with Jack and her tonight, I think to Olive Garden. So, other than the Easter things, I spent some time making a door hanger for our front door. I am taking a couple ideas and putting in to this project. I have seen patterns for putting quilts on stretched painters canvas. To make this door hanger I used one of the patterns from my Anita Goodesign "Home Tweet Home." It has really cute bird houses to embroider. I picked one I like and got it going on the machine, it was fun to watch it take shape. It had a bit of applique to eat so I had to put down a piece of fabric for the birdhouse and sign and the machine sewed around the piece with a taking stitch and I would then trim the material up to the tacking stitch and then the machine would add the thicker boarder around each piece of material. Once I had the embroidery done, I put it on top of a stretched painters canvas that I had stapled a piece of material to. That is as far as I got but I am going to probably put another piece of material behind the embroidered piece to make it stand out a little more. The idea was to make a quilt from the embroidered piece and to put loops in all four corners that would attach to buttons sewn on to the canvas (I saw this in another pattern and thought it was a cute idea). However, I think I like just attaching the embroidered piece to the canvas and embellishing with the buttons (lord knows I have plenty of buttons!). I will then just change out the canvas for each season or holiday with another canvas. I thought this way I can have the canvas backgrounds to match the embroidery otherwise the background would always be the same and would need to be neutral. Here are some pictures of the embroidery machine in action and how the project looks at the moment. This is the beginning of the project. A lot of the stitching went in to the pole and the flowers. You can see the design on the screen of my machine, it tells me which step the design is on and counts down the stitches left to be stitched. It is really pretty awesome! Here you can see that I added the material for the house, roof and sign. The machine has sewn around each shape and I have cut off the excess fabric. Here the machine is making the thicker stitches around the applique pieces. Here the machine is making the chain loops that holds the birdhouse to the pole. Here is the completed design in the frame. Here is the design resting on top of the stretched canvas frame, It definitely needs an extra background. I am really happy with it and can't wait to get it hung on the door. We had quite a little hen party here last Saturday, Clarinda, Dr Ann and I had a sewing party. Dave had to work so we figured what the heck. We were supposed to sew most of the day but you know how things go when Clarinda and I get together and we just had to run to one quilt shop that lead to two shops that lead to eating dinner out that lead to going to Waynesille. We finally got home around 6, not much sooner than Dave did! LOL. But we had a good time and Dr. Ann hadn't been to any of the local quilt shops so she enjoyed it. Dr. Ann worked on a baby quilt she has been working on for some time now. She has most of the top complete now and will hopefully finish up next time we get together. I owe her a strip with the birth date embroidered on it. I already did one with the name. All right, time for me to get ready for work, of course I am ready to go back to bed now! LOL.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Amish Country Shop Hop

Clarinda and I went to the Amish Country Shop Hop, it was actually called a mini-shop hop and cuisine. We went to 5 shops and each shop gave us a recipe and each shop had also made the same quilt pattern but in different colors. It was kind of like a mystery quilt because we did not know what the quilt look liked but you could buy the different kits at each shop. So, we did the shops and then met at one of the churches for a reveal of the mystery quilt and also a tasting of all the recipes we had received. It was really quite fun except some of the shops were small and crowded. The pattern ended up being a star, I think some would call it an Ohio Star but don't quote me on that. I only really liked one of the color patterns but I doubt if I would ever make it. Here are the different colors, let me know which one you like and I will let you know which one I like!! Tell me which number you like in the order of how the pictures are shown - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. I didn't take many pictures of the shops just because they were so crowded. I did take a picture in the big warehouse that we go to when we are there. It was not part of the shop hop but they have great deals on fabric. It is called Zinck's. I also picked up a few projects along the way. My favorite by far is the safari themed baby blanket. I am going to make it and put it away for any grandkids I might have one day. :) I didn't get this material at the shop hop, I got it at a shop on the way to the shop hop, because we have to hit all the shops on the way too otherwise why go?? I also picked up a few materials to make into pillowcases. I also did not get these at the shop hop shops. So, you probably think I go to Amish country just to do quilt shopping right? Wrong! I mostly go for the food. I bought more food this time than fabric...can you believe it?? I of course picked up 2 dozen fried fruit pies, a delicious German Chocolate Pie which I took to work today and heard from more than one person that it was the best pie they ever ate (I agree with this whole-heartedly), I got two summer sausages (regular and jalapeno with cheese) Jack got the Jalapeno one and he said it was awesome, I also got cheese curds and a block of cheddar, I also got a jar of bread and butter pickles. I only wish it were not 3 hours away! Oh, I also had a piece of peanut butter cup pie from the Amish restaurant, it was very rich and I couldn't eat it all but it was delicious. I can't remember if I showed you all the final animals and the bag I made for them. I hear they were a big hit at the silent auction although I did not get the final price they went for I heard they went to a grandma who is about to have a grandbaby so very glad to hear that. I might make some more sets and take them to a consignment shop that is here in Beavercreek. The license on the pattern allows you to make 50 items for sale without having to get permission. So here are the final animals. I picked up a few gifts too but some I can't show here because they are going to people who look at this blog and what's the fun of getting a gift if you already saw it?? I got this super cute barn with animals. All the animals have their names on them and make a corresponding noise when they are squeezed. I got this for Rachel to send to her step-daughter Heather who had a baby a few months ago. We went back to one of the shops after the church meeting and I got this super soft minkee to make me a throw. It is real simple to make and I'll probably sew it up this weekend. This is my new T-shirt, I love it!! I forgot to get Rachel one though so I am in the dog house! I also got some more of the wonderful soap that Rachel and I discovered on our visit. I got some soap that her friend wanted and I bought a few of the ones I liked. I am in love with the ginger peach so I got the lotion too. It is actually a lotion that I can stand the smell of and doesn't give me a headache. Last thing! I got some homespun and waffle towels to do some embroidery on. Clarinda has a cool program that puts recipes on towels and I want to try that on these to have them available for gifts. All right that is it! Overall we had a great time, stayed in the awesome Berlin Grande Hotel! I am ready to go again!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sunday Wrap Up

Well, it has been a pretty good weekend. We had nice weather yesterday until mid-afternoon then it turned cold and it has been very cold today. Clarinda and I went to Creative Fires and Hancock Fabrics yesterday and then she came over and we worked on our projects. She finished cutting her chenille dinosaur blanket and worked some on the owl blanket she is making. I broke in my embroidery machine. I decided to make these stuffed animals that I got on an embroidery disk from Clarinda. I made the blue bunny first and it took me most of the night to get that done because I couldn't get my machine working properly. Finally looked under the embroidery unit and I hadn't taken out a plastic thing that was holding the arm from moving. Once I got that removed things went well. The machine has been going just about non-stop today and I know have 8 animals complete. I was actually going to just make a couple and put them in the boy's and girl's Easter basket that I am making for the silent auction at work this week but once I started making them they seemed to be a bit babyish and not really in the age range for which I made the baskets so, now the plan is to do 10 -12 animals and make a bag for them with something like "Baby's stuffed animals" embroidered on it, probably with a drawstring. The other thing I did this weekend is get the boy and girl Easter baskets put together. I made a Cars pillowcase for the boy's and a sparkly butterfly pillowcase for the girl's. They have standard Easter stuff in them, candy, coloring books, crayons, stuffed animal, bubbles, etc. I am really happy with them. Here is a picture of everything. I didn't really do anything for JoAnn's gift. I did write out how many blocks I need to cut to make the bed runner. Since there is not a bed runner in the book, I have to figure out how to make it cut down from the queen size quilt. Pretty sure I have a game plan now and I just need to cut the blocks and get it all together. I am going to have to make 9 ruffles because there will be 9 blocks like you see in the middle of the pillows (but without pictures), and then 9 solid blocks, then two borders. It will end up being about 75" x 25". I'll get to work on it as soon as I get the Easter baskets and animals done. On Friday, Clarinda and I are going up to Amish country for a shop hop up there. It is about 3 hours away and we are going to stop at some shops on the way up. We are going to spend the night Friday in Berlin, OH and then do the shop hop on Saturday. We are really excited about going. Dave and I went to a movie today. We saw Burt Wonderstone,it was not that great, I thought it would be a lot funnier. I haven't been good at picking out movies to see lately. Yesterday I went to show the rental house and the lady forgot to show up so we rescheduled for today and she really liked it and was going to recommend it to her friends in Germany so I am hoping to hear from them some time this week to get the paperwork rolling. It will be nice to have that all settled in advance to our tenants leaving in June. Okay, that's all the news for the weekend. Got a super busy week ahead but at least I have Friday off...Yippee!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Lazy Saturday Morning

It has been a lazy morning here so far but I have to get going in a few minutes to meet a potential renter at the Crab Tree house. We had wanted to sell the house this year but the market still isn't good and now with my furlough coming up in April - May time frame we just can't afford to carry the mortgage. So, the person I am meeting today is a friend of the family who is stationed in Germany and will be coming here around the time we will have the house ready to move in. Hopefully, I will have good news that they want it by the end of the weekend. Dave got a job delivering parts with O'Rielly auto parts, he is very happy about it. It is part time so it will still give him time to work on his projects. He is getting ready to build some bumpers for a fellow Jeeper and he is still selling the parts he gets from the junkyard. I am currently working on a couple of Easter baskets that will go into a silent auction for work. I am making a boy and girl basket so they are pink and blue. I picked up the baskets at JoAnn's for half off, they had all their Easter stuff half off so I got most things there. They also had some $1 coloring books so I got a few of those too. I am making a pillow case for each basket, I have a Cars one for the boy and a butterfly one for the girl basket. I am also going to try to make some stuffed animals that I have an embroidery disk for, I just need to pick up some plush fabric today. Here is a picture of the baskets. I've made some good progress on the pillows for JoAnn. I have all three tops done and just need to make the backs which I don't think will take too long once I sit down and do it. I will get them done this weekend I just want to get the baskets done first. Here are some pictures of the pillow tops. I got a nice big container for my embroidery threads. It was hard to keep them all contained in the smaller box I had. I am getting quite a few now. Whenever they are on sale at JoAnn's I pick up a few more. I also made Jack a Bengals pillow case which I forgot to take a picture of but I am going to make him another so I got the orange material yesterday and I had the Bengals material left from the first material, so this one will be the opposite of the one I already made, orange body and Bengals topper. I also picked up this Family Guy no sew throw for Mark's girlfriend Jackie. They love that show and she likes making these blankets so I got it for her. All right I have to go get ready to show the house. I'll try to post more tomorrow on any progress I have made this weekend. Clarinda is supposed to come over today and sew but we are also going to Creative Fires quilt shop because today is National Quilt Day!!!