Monday, July 30, 2012

Random Pics

Still unpacking....  But the end is in sight!  The sewing room is the final frontier and then I can start hanging quilts and pictures.  I had ordered an organizer for my Accuquilt dies several weeks ago.  Alas, it is made only for the small dies.  I have a stack of BIG dies.  What to do?

I bought an expandable thing-a-ma-jig a few weeks back at Ikea.  PERFECTION, if I do say so!  The big dies fit beautifully.  I love to be organized - don't you?

I'm so glad to be baking again!  Today's choice was Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies.  Very yummy!  And the whole wheat flour makes them a bit more guilt-free.

I have been wanting an orchid for some time now.  I'm not sure why I've never owned one, but now I do.  It's not fancy-smancy - just from the local grocery store.  And I love it!

And lazy Mickey.  He doesn't have much body fat and gets chilly in the house.  He asks out frequently to bask in the sun.  Of course, with the 100 degree temps we been tolerating he's ready to come back inside rather quickly!

Tomorrow morning I'm going to ATTACK the boxes left to unpack.  ATTACK, I say!  It won't be long before I'm back at my regular sewing routine.

Are you Making Do?  Let me know and I'll add you to the list on the sidebar.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Quilting Economics

I saw this image on Facebook this weekend.  Oh, how true it is!  I have bought fabric for ALL these reasons, which is why my stash is now so huge.  So glad I've started MAKING DO!  

While watching the Olympics, I've been couching.  Not on a couch though.  In a recliner.  Looking through my magnifying lamp.  The movers (packers) took the cord out and wrapped it separately from the lamp.  For weeks, I didn't know where the cord was, but it turned up in the "Parts Department," a box of miscellaneous parts and pieces from all over the house.  Glad to have my lamp back in action!  It is a great help for handwork.

Friday, July 27, 2012


I'm rather proud of myself.  With my somewhat limited computer abilities I managed to make a blog button!  It's over there on the right.  See it?

Yesterday I started my Making Do challenge.  Yup, that was July 26.  I'm not going to buy fabric for 6 months.  My exceptions are as follows:

1.  Large cuts of fabric for quilt backings (if needed) - I'm going to try to make do without.
2.  Batting, as needed
3.  An occasional new book or Accuquilt die.
4.  Sewing machine repair, new needles, etc.

Want to join in?  Grab the button!  Make the challenge your own!  Set your own time limit.  Set your own rules.  Maybe you just want to make one quilt with your stash?  Or maybe you just want to go for a month without buying fabric?  Whatever - you set the challenge so it will work for you.

Please let me know if you're joining!  I'll provide a link-up so everyone can follow your progress!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Making Do

Making do.  It's what our grandmothers did.  It's what our great grandmothers did.  It's time I did it, too.  The more boxes I unpack, the more fabric I realize I own!  Did it multiply while in storage???

It's not that I can't afford to buy more.  It's that I already have plenty!  More than plenty!

The last time I went for a year without buying fabric, some told me I should continue to shop to stimulate the economy.  I'm all for supporting local quilt shops and on-line shops when I need something, but I don't NEED anything.

So today I'm starting my MAKE DO CHALLENGE.  I will not buy fabric for 6 months.  I may extend that to one year - we'll see as I go along.  The exceptions:

1.  Large cuts of fabric for quilt backings (if needed) - I'm going to try to make do without.
2.  Batting, as needed
3.  An occasional new book or Accuquilt die.
4.  Sewing machine repair, new needles, etc.

My plan is to make a ton of quilts in the next year.  Now that our move is over and we're almost settled into a new routine, I'm ready to get to quilting!!!!

Are you game?  Want to join me?  You can set your on personal rules and exceptions and timeframe.  I will create a button for you if you're interested.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Ready to Embellish

I finished the appliqué on the second block today - it's the one on the right.  I think the embellishment will have to wait until tomorrow though.  I spent most of the day unpacking boxes and carrying load after load after load after load of miscellany upstairs.  Done.

We are all but done unpacking the main level of the house.  Whew.  Tomorrow I'll be working on boxes upstairs, home to two bedrooms and my sewing room.  We haven't hung any pictures or quilts yet - can't wait to get to that point!

Dad is still in the hospital.  He was supposed to be released today, but wasn't.  Maybe tomorrow.  His blood sugar is high so they are giving him insulin.  But they give him pancakes for breakfast and pie for lunch.  Hmmm....  I hope he gets to return to the nursing home tomorrow - I know my mother is exhausted.

Big announcement coming here tomorrow!

Last night's sunset.....

Monday, July 23, 2012

Raskog in Action!

Hubby kindly put together all my Ikea purchases yesterday.  Here's one of my new Raskog carts in action beside my chair.  Click the picture to see better - it doesn't show up so well against the dark floor. Three levels of handy sewing stuff!  On wheels!  I love it!  I can roll it into hiding in a closet when I go to bed.  I'm thinking of lots more uses for these wonderful carts:  in the kitchen for plants, on the patio for snacks, etc.  I really love this Raskog.  Daughter 2 tried unsuccessfully to order a turquoise on online.  That means another trip to Ikea before long - not a bad thing!

We decided to lunch at Ikea while we were there.  Swedish meatballs all around!  They were good, too!  The daughters split a yummy piece of chocolate cake for dessert.  Have I mentioned I love Ikea?

I woke up with a summer cold today.   :(  Could be worse.  Slowed me down a bit, but that's okay.  I still got a few things done in the house, but we might have take-out for dinner.

Father update:  He's still in the hospital and probably will be for a day or two longer.  He can now swallow a bite or two of pureed food or pudding per meal.  They were working on solid food with him this afternoon with a bit of success.  The pneumonia is improving.  I decided not to go for now.  Just as well since I would want to pass this cold to them.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Haven't Slowed Down....

Time crept slowly by while I was in Birmingham (alone) trying to sell our house and finish the hexie book.  Now that we are getting settled in our new Auburn home, time is FLYING BY!  We're still working away at unpacking boxes - the end is near, I hope!  This weekend has been productive on that front.  At the end of each day I try to stitch on my Sue Spargo if I'm not too tired (which seems to happen often!)

I've begun to do a bit of cooking and baking again.  This was the start of 3 loaves of zucchini bread.  I also made a yummy peach cobbler.

I officially joined the Cotton Boll Quilt Guild here in Auburn.  Someone shared this GORGEOUS t-shirt quilt.  Her son played on the national championship team at Auburn a couple of years ago (and now plays for the Tennessee Titans).  I know this picture doesn't do the quilt justice, but she had embroidered (by machine) all the games and scores around the border of the quilt.  Now his teammates all want one of these, so she has ordered a Gammill long arm machine with Statler Stitcher so she can oblige!

I sat with the infamous Flavin Glover.  During the meeting she hand quilted on one of her beautiful log cabin masterpieces.  She was leaving this weekend to teach at Long Beach.  Such a lovely woman!

I also met some really nice women, one of whom invited me to go to Columbus to an awesome quilt store in the near future.  Can't wait!

Yesterday the daughters and I made a trip to the Atlanta Ikea.  We loaded up my SUV with lots of goodies.  I bought two of the carts above - is that not the cutest thing ever?  I plan to use one in my sewing room for keeping tools handy.  The other I'll have near the chair in the great room where I sit to hand stitch - handy place for scissors, thread, and other supplies.  When company comes, I can roll it into a closet if need be.  This cart comes in gray and a beautiful pale aqua.  Mine are both gray - they were sold out of the aqua.  Daughter 2 is ordering an aqua one to use in her study area in the condo.  I have a feeling sweet kitty Luna might take up residence on one level. :)

In family news, my father is in the hospital in Augusta.  He has Aspiration Pneumonia caused by difficulty in swallowing.  He can't swallow anything, not even liquids.  Because of his age (88) and the fact that this was not caused by a stroke or disease, it's rather serious.  A therapist is working with him to try to improve the swallowing, but because of his advanced dementia I know he has trouble following directions.  It has always been his wish to not have a feeding tube for any reason, so that will not be an option.  I'm waiting to hear an update this morning to see if I need to drive over there.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Had to Touch Fabric....

No, the unpacking is not done.  Far from it!  But I couldn't stand it anymore.  I had to touch fabric.  So I grabbed some fabric, pressed it, and cut it with my Accuquilt into triangles.  Then I played on my design wall.

I only spent 10 minutes doing this, but I got the itch out of my system.  I'm working on my second Sue Spargo BOM in the evenings.  Maybe I'll share a photo of that tomorrow.
This was a momentous occasion that I had to share.  The city of Auburn picked up a LOAD of empty boxes here today.  You can't imagine how glad we were to see these go.  We had dragged them out of the garage last week for pick up, only to have to drag them back in when the truck didn't make it that day.  Last night hubby moved them back out to the street AGAIN.  Yay, they're gone now!  I went out and profusely thanked the guy.  His truck was filled to overflowing and he had to go back to headquarters to get another truck to finish his rounds.

I had my first haircut here today.  I really like it and it was $23 cheaper than where I went in Birmingham.  :)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Best Salsa You'll Ever Make

I'm still not sewing yet, but at least I'm getting back in the swing of cooking.  I found this recipe and tweaked it a bit to make it mine.  OH, it is SO good, and I'll definitely be making it often this summer.

Fresh Salsa:

1 large tomato, chopped
1 avocado, chopped
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice

Easy peasy.  It's best to make it a couple of hours early and let it chill.

We had this on grilled chicken tacos, with some baked tortilla chips on the side.  YUMMO!

The foot is doing better.  It's still swollen, but feeling better.  Hard to wear shoes, but I have one pair of sandals that work well so I'm living in them.

The unpacking.....continues......  Slow and steady wins the race, huh?  Hubby spent most of the weekend working in the garage while I worked on the sewing room (big surprise!)  I hope to be sewing SOON!

Does anyone else out there watch Barter Kings?  I'm a bit obsessed with this show.  These guys make a living from bartering stuff on Craiglist.  Each week they trade "up" - for example they might trade a $200 laptop for a $500 generator.  Then they trade the $500 generator for a $1500 motorcycle.  And so on and so forth until the end of the show they have something amazing like a motorhome.

So this weekend I put my barter britches on and got on Craigslist.  We have this hulking big exercise machine filling up space in the new garage.  I tried to sell it on Craigslist before we moved with no luck.  It needed to be GONE.  So I cruised the Barter listings until I found something I might want.  BINGO!  Serger.  I don't have a serger.  It's not something I'd use often, but it would be nice to have when I need it.  I zapped off an e-mail.

Not only did I get a bite, but the serger owner came to our house Saturday and hauled away the exercise machine - we didn't even have to break our backs to deliver it.  So that's the story of how I got a (free) Brother Serger this weekend.

Friday, July 13, 2012

ER Visit

After a lovely birthday on Wednesday, I got up yesterday ready to mark things off my long list.  I started in the sewing room (of course).  Before I set up my sewing machine, I decided to adjust the height of a shelf in the closet so I could fit my ruler organizer there.

KABOOM!  Another shelf fell on my foot.  Not a pretty site.  There I was standing in my sewing room closet with a gushing foot.  I knew I need something to compress, wrap, wipe, etc.  I was surrounded by drawers of my favorite modern fabrics:  Kaffe Fasset, Malka D., batiks, Kona cotton solids.  NO WAY!  I wasn't NOT going to sacrifice my pretties!

I found a scrap of a lesser loved fabric and used that to staunch the flow.  Then I happen on a men's tie (you know I collect those for sewing, too!) and tied it tightly around said foot.  I called Daughter 2 (sorry for getting you out of bed!) - she came over and took me to the ER.  After an almost THREE hour wait I was told I could get by without stitches and that no bones were broken.  Yay!  They fixed me up with some steri-strips.

Needless to say, the sewing machine was never set up and NOTHING was marked off my list.

Today is a new day!  I'm going to attack my list (limping) and try to accomplish something.  Some Birmingham friends may be coming to visit later today - more reason to get some things done.  Love me a visit from friends!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Finished Block!

It's been a long time since I had a finish to share.  Okay, so it's just one block, but still.....

I got the second block-of-the-month kit out and it requires a bit of machine sewing for the background.  I have my sewing machine table set up but I haven't set up my machine in it yet.  So that will be my goal for tomorrow.  It will only take 5 minutes to sew the background pieces together and then I can move on to the hand sewing on it.

Unpacking continues.  I have hit a plateau and slowed down a good bit.  But everything we need to live day to day is unpacked.  I'm trying to do a few boxes a day until the rest is done.  My sewing room is coming along.  I have several boxes to go there.

Do you know what today is?

And it's also my birthday!  Hubby and I are going out to eat tonight.  Can't wait!  After dinner it will be home again for TV and hexies - ready to start a new hexie project!

Have a great day!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

My New Sewing Room

My goal had been to start on the sewing room today, but I was able to start Thursday!  I have the major pieces in place and I think this is going to work well for me.  In the picture above you can see two of the three windows across on side of the room.  My design wall is across the back wall (right side of photo).  You can see my primary sewing table set up with the chair behind it.  On the far left of the photo you can see a glimpse of my cutting table.

On the wall opposite the windows, from left to right are my tall blue cabinet (pushed at garage sale and spray painted), the HQ Sixteen table (we've since set up the machine in the table), a plastic table with the Accuquilt Studio Cutter on top, and then my ironing table.

I want to make this an attractive, UNCLUTTERED work room.  There will be very little stored in this room.  I have a nice big closet attached to put lots of stuff.  Plus I'm taking over the other available closet space on this floor.  House guests beware:  good luck finding a place to put your clothes!

Here's the hallway outside the sewing room, lined with boxes.  So many of them are labeled "fabric."  Then when I open them they might have only batting, or pillow forms, or something totally different.  So funny how the movers on the Birmingham end packed everything.  But I haven't found anything broken - yay!

I see a lot of boxes like this:  sewing room, small plastic containers, miscellaneous.  Every box is a surprise!  One thing I've learned in the process is that I have more fabric than even I knew!  Oh my!

You may or may not remember how I started this blog.  I gave myself a year long challenge to not buy any new fabric.  And I did it, with the exception of spending a little birthday money on a few fat quarters.  I really didn't think I ever do the same challenge again.  But I'm thinking I may need to.

What do you think?  Is anyone out there willing to join in?  It could be anything you make it - a three month no-buy, or maybe 6 months.  I need to decide how long mine own challenge will be and what official start date I'll choose.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Meet the Neighbors

Meet my new neighbors.  I took this photo from my dining room.  They were making use of the sidewalks in the area, taking a nice morning constitutional.  We haven't been formally introduced, but I hope to see them often.

We have met a couple of set of human neighbors, too.  One couple brought us some delish blueberry scones.  Everyone we've met is extremely nice.
Let me introduce you to the newest member of our extended family.  Daughter 2 adopted a kitten.  She seems to love quilts, so she's okay in my book!  She lives in the condo.  No, the doxies haven't met her.   Not sure if they like her or not.  I have never been a cat person, but I think it's because I haven't had experience with cats.  But this is one sweet kitty!  She's definitely changing my mind about cats!
 Here's a better shot of her cute "split" face.  Daughter 2 named her Luna (moon in Latin) because of her face and also for Luna Lovegood in Harry Potter.

And since this post is already animal heavy, why don't I just go all the way!  Our sweet Mickey Blue Eyes is in the Lee County Humane Society's Pet Calendar Photo Contest.  If you are so inclined, please  go here to vote for him.  He's photo number 56.  It costs $1 per vote, but all proceeds go to the humane society (where Luna was adopted).

We are making progress on unpacking here.  The number of boxes is steadily decreasing.  I only have one or two boxes left for the kitchen.  I've make a good start on the sewing room.  I'll share pictures of that tomorrow.

Our oven/cooktop is not working, but someone is coming Tuesday to look at that.  So I still can't do my regular cooking.  I'm planning a crockpot meal this weekend; we're getting tired of eating out.  But we have discovered some pretty yummy restaurants around here.  Tonight we had Marco's Pizza for the second time in a week.  Hibachi Grill last night.  Oh, and there's a cute frozen custard place just around the corner.  We're not going hungry.........

Nite, y'all!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


The movers showed up with our stuff Monday.  It wasn't the easiest day though.  We weren't too happy with the movers.  They rushed through everything and weren't very careful.  We ended up with a good ding on our piano.  We'll have to file a claim to get it fixed.  They were supposed to hang our clothes in our closet and to unpack anything that we requested.  But they didn't.  By that time we were just ready to get rid of them, so we didn't push it.

The good news is that now we can take our time to unpack and get organized!  Yay!

The two photos above show my sewing room.  Lots to do here, but it will be fun to put everything away.  Look how high they piled the boxes.  They are more than 8 feet high!  I'd need a ladder to get to the top few.  Hubby went up there today and lowered the stacks so I'll be able to get to them all.  Thanks, Sweetie!

As I worked in the kitchen my pile of crumpled paper grew!  Hubby took care of this, too.

Tonight we enjoyed a pizza on the patio.  Yum!  Maybe I'll be ready to cook again soon.  I hope to finish the kitchen tomorrow.  And maybe work more in our bedroom.  I hope to get to the sewing room this weekend..... :)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

New House and Bullion Loops

YAY!  YAY!  YAY!  We're now officially living in the new house in Auburn.  Our Birmingham house closing was on Wednesday and we closed on the new house on Friday - how's that for God's perfect timing!!!!

Above is a quick pic I took Friday afternoon when we got here.  As I may have mentioned, the house was staged for home tours and we couldn't resist buying some of the staging furniture.  It's in a jumbled mess now, but I'll share more pics as we put things together.  The front door can be seen in the back.  The kitchen is to the left - see the refrigerator?  The dining room is to the right, but not visible.

Here's the fireplace with the required doggy sleeping in front of it.  That's Prince.  This entire moving process has exhausted him!

Here's an Instagram of both pups in their "bed."  I threw this heap of bedding in the floor and they have taken to it.

The moving truck will be here Monday morning with all our stuff.  The first priority I have for unpacking will be the kitchen.  Next up - the sewing room!  Can wait to have my studio unpacked!

Saturday we had people working here all day.  The satellite TV folks were here.  The Internet/Phone folks were here.  And we had some Tech guys here, too.  This house has some special features which required these Tech guys to come hook some stuff up.  They'll be back today to finish up and give us a lesson on how to control things.  (Never thought I'd live in a house where I couldn't figure out how to turn on lights!)  We'll learn all that today, though hubby has been figuring a lot out by trial and error.

Anyway, we now have Internet service (BIG YAY!), TV's are all working (we brought our TV's with us so the Tech guys could do their magic with them), we have phone service (though I don't know our number!)  We brought a mattress set from the condo so we do have a bed.

We feel very blessed to own this home.

I was hoping to get two of these Sue Spargo BOM's done while at the condo - didn't accomplish that, but I'm almost finished with one.  I learned to do Bullion stitches (around the orange circles) and Bullion Loops (around the pink flower center).

This week will be super busy, directing the movers and then unpacking, so I'll be lucky to have time to finish this.