Thursday, December 31, 2009


*Slamming the door* Good riddance 2009.

DH swears I'm psychic since I just "know" things before they happen. I usually know it first and then when I tell him, he'll sense it too. This time both of our sensors went off at the same time. They've been buzzing for about 2 mos now non-stop about him not having a job for much longer and now the sensor says the job is ending SOON.

DH did have an interview last Tuesday. I went with him and read my book in the lobby. While I was reading, I kept thinking, "The job isn't here. If he has it, it's not here. But this is where their office is so that doesn't make sense." Confused, I kept reading until he was done. I kept feeling like he had the job, but it wasn't here.

He started talking about the interview on the way to the car and talked about the job location. I blurted out that it wasn't here. His jaw dropped and he said, "How did you know that?"

I just said it was my "psychic powers" and laughed.

He then said the job was located somewhere else and we kept talking about the interview.

The scary part is we both "feel" it's right, but have no proof. If he gets it, the training part starts on Feb 15. That's SOON. They said they'd call within a week or so.

Just keep us in your prayers. If it's not this job, that's okay. I just know SOON is coming very soon.

At the same time it's given us a great sense of peace knowing that he won't be working at the prison and this unknown job will work out for our family. That part I do know.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Who Done It? A Rotary Blade Mystery

I discovered that my 45mm blade was extremely dull while trying to cut strips yesterday. Now I KNOW I didn't do this. I'm rough on blades, but it didn't go from fairly sharp to not cutting fabric at all in one day. Someone has been using it and there will be a swift and unjust punishment coming to that person.

DH usually is the culprit. He loves my rotary cutter for cutting down inserts for DVDs or music CDs. He knows where it is but he's been sleeping. That leaves one of 3 kids. The thought of my kids using a rotary cutter unsupervised makes me sick. These things are not for kids. One slip and your fingers are gone.

Well, no one has come to me with blood gushing out and there isn't any on the table so I can't check hands for evidence. That resorts to lining them all up for interrogation until someone confesses.

Surprisingly, no interrogation needed. My son immediately claims that he did it. He has these little finger skateboards called Tech Decks and he'd used my cutter to put better griptape on them. Griptape is like thick sandpaper with sticky backing that is on the front of your skateboard. He'd cut the tape up to fit it to the boards. That would dull the blade in no time.

I'm just grateful he didn't slice his hands open. He now owes me a blade and he spent the afternoon cleaning.

Please keep your cutters out of reach of kids. My son is 13 going on "I know it all" which makes it even harder for him to realize that it's not safe without me being there. Yeah, I panic, but I've seen what these cutters can do. I don't even like DH using them and he's 41.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Bills, Bills, And Attila The Bun

I finished up 200 nine patches today! Woo Hoo!

Next time I decide to take the plumber's advice to get the tub caulked, I'LL strip off the old cauking and let him do the rest. He charged me 2 hours of work at 60 dollars an hour. Dang. Wish I could charge 60 bucks an hour. He did a great job. I just didn't know it would come at a premium price. I would have done it myself, but he was already undoing my previous job from a couple of years ago and it wasn't that great.

I feel like telling him that he'll get paid sometime next year since I still have car tags to pay for with this upcoming check. Get in line behind the 300 dollar car tags since NE charges your car as property tax. December is a money sucking month at this house. Think I can get the car tag date changed to another month?

Attila has chewed through my cell phone charger and seems to think nipping everyone is the highlight of her day. DH and the kids are really frustrated with her because of it. I keep telling everyone that she doesn't really like to be held. Just put her down and let her come to you. She's only been here a week and is getting used to things. She isn't biting. Just nippy. She isn't a cat or dog. She's a rabbit. If DH wanted something that would sit in your lap and let you pet it, he should have gotten a cat or a dog.

I figure she might end up being mine despite DH wanting her. She's really a sweetheart. She does flips in the air and loves running in circles around her cardboard box. She runs through the box and pops her head out through the 4 open sides. I haven't figured out any favorite toys yet. I just sit on the floor and let her check me out at her leisure. I get nipped too and have a couple of bruises to prove it.

All things considered she's doing extremely well. She's curious as can be and really loves people. She just doesn't like being held.

I secretly call her Attila when she's being a sweet pain. Her name is really Lacey.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Is BACK!

Well, I think celebrating Festivus helped. I feel MUCH better.

Thanks to a blizzard I've had DH home since Wednesday. Normally he'd be working Christmas Eve and today. It's been really nice having an unexepected break. The roads were closed today due to high winds and blowing snow from yesterday and today. There are 3-4 feet drifts all around my house. I had to dig myself out of a 4 foot drift to get to the garbage cans.

I helped DH dig out the driveway to go to a friend's house for an unexpected Christmas dinner. We had a wonderful time talking, a food fight, and watching "District 9".

The kids loved their presents and thought having a small Christmas with a few gifts was the best way to celebrate. My son has been down in the basement with his skateboard attempting tricks and my daughters have loved their new "hoodies".

I got an unexpected gift from DH's aunt and uncle as well. A beautiful applique kit from Nancy Chong!

I have never done one of her patterns but have always wanted too. Even the border is appliqued. You don't cut out the pieces either. You cut-away as you go. I have her DVD on hand applique and it's worth every penny. I can't wait to get started. The question now becomes to hand applique or not to hand applique?

And as a silly gift, DH got me a Webkinz Llama. Her name is Dolly. Go ahead and snicker. My daughter has her uploaded onto her account and will enjoy playing online.

Move over Festivus Pole. Christmas is back.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Festivus For The Rest Of Us

According to Wikipedia I'm a day late but as of right now I'm celebrating Festivus. This year has sucked and DH's rabbit will probably die as she ate some yarn yesterday. I'd LOVE to air my grievances but they truly don't belong here and that pole needs to be swung at some much hated people in my life.

If you are having a wonderful Christmas, enjoy it. I'm happy for you. For those of us that are having a crappy one there's Festivus for the rest of us.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Dovo Scissors

Ohh...Kelly Jackson over at I Have A Notion has Dovo scissors for sale. *Wipes the homerdrool off the computer *

I lost my pair several years ago and have mourned them since then. I just haven't been able to convince myself to pay so much for a pair of scissors. Mostly because I'm terrified of losing them like I did the last pair. I also don't remember what size I had or what they looked like as I've seen several kinds. Mine had a satin finish. That's all I remember and I can't look at a pair in person. Ordering them online scares me. The pair she has now look absolutely beautiful and I'm so tempted but if I lose them I'll throw up for days.

I only have a zillion pairs of scissors. Mostly the crappy Ginghers that should be melted down for scrap metal because they dull so fast and have no durability. I love my KAI scissors but I have never gotten over the loss of my Dovo pair.

Santa...maybe I do want a pair..or two of Dovo scissors. Gulp...but that's SO much money. But Santa was willing to spend 50 for that light. Maybe he's willing to do a bit more for the scissors.

Why is it I can easily spoil DH by taking him to get a rabbit yet can't justify spending money on a pair of scissors for myself? Speaking of rabbits, "Trouble" seems to be settling in well except for the nipping. She's not really biting, but will nibble on your arm just enough for you to go "ouch!" She's not terrified of the kids and is happy to do some simple exploring. She loves boxes and sticking her head in and out of them. She hasn't peed on anything yet either.

Still no name for "Trouble" though. Nothing seems right.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Two Couch Potatoes

Meet Trouble, DH's Christmas Easter rabbit. Too bad she doesn't lay Cadbury Eggs. I can't call her Stew since she's not an outside rabbit and DH hasn't given her a name yet. If she tries to eat my sewing machine cords, she'll be a fried rabbit. I'll need to rabbit proof the cords ASAP so that doesn't happen. Need to rabbit proof the house as well.

So far she's been pretty good but that could easily change. She hasn't peed on anyone. She hasn't figured out that the TV stand is hollow underneath nor has she disovered that her back legs are really powerful for kicking people in the stomach. She hasn't jumped off DH's lap in terror taking off into unknown hiding spots that I didn't know existed.

She's pretty laid back for being here for part of the afternoon. She's been watching TV with DH while checking out the toys in his lap. She loves her cage and has made herself at home in it. Hopefully we can get her litterbox trained making it easy to give her some more room around the house.

Now I have TWO couch potatoes and one very, very excited DH.

Any ideas for a name for Trouble?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Nine-Patches And Skateboards

I finally laid out some of my 9-patches on my white fabric to see what it looked like:

From Quilted with Love

Keep in mind these are 2 inch 9-patch squares as it's hard to tell from the picture. They will be 1.5 inch finished ones. The pattern has them set on point like the picture. They chose a different print for the center, but I haven't found one yet. I thought about embroidering a small motif to make a pattern and quilt the center cream blocks once I got the top done.

I'm at 150 blocks right now and slowly working up there.

DH also said he'd get me the fabric roll on the "Dear Santa" post. I really wanted fat quarters of them, but apparently they only come that way even from the company. It doesn't list the individual fabric colors or if it's a special fabric line either to make up a yardage package for DH to order.

I have all my kids taken care of for Christmas. My son has his skateboard now. He and the shop custom built one yesterday. He doesn't get it until Christmas and can't show his friends like he thought he was going too. Sorry, it's a Christmas present. I just needed him to pick it out. This is his first "real" board.

I probably drove the kid nuts asking all kinds of questions. As a quilter, I understand quality and needing the right equipment to do something. I just wanted to make sure my son was getting something he wanted and would work for his needs and not just because it looked cool. They kid was really great and explained everything. He's worked with parents before..LOL.

It helped to see shoes/clothes and accessories in person and not online. They do have a purpose and not always just to look cool.

I couldn't resist. I tried it out after the kids were gone last night. I played with it in the hallway since I know my balance is really bad. I tried a few tricks and realized that it was a really nice board. He will love it.

Questions On The Bendable LED Light

I was at my LQS getting some more purple fat quarters for my quilt today when saw that she had a package of one of those bendable lights that you put on your machine. I picked it up and asked if she had tried it and she said she had one on her machine. Most of you know I'm a skeptic and 50 bucks is a HUGE price tag for such a little light.

She took me over, turned on the machine and light and showed me out it worked. Okay, it's truly bendable and you just put it on the machine. You just plug it in and it works. The light is bright. OH yeah..that light is so bright it's blinding. I lost vision for a few seconds as my eyes adjusted to it.

Now it's down to two things. The light and the price. Is the light so bright it's going to drive me nuts, leave shadows all over making it even harder to do work despite my adjusting it? And I still think 50 bucks is way too much. It's not like I can open it up, try it out, go ehhh..and bring it back for a refund.

If you have one could you answer me these? Is it that blinding when you use it? Does it leave shadows? Are you constantly adjusting it? Is it worth 50 bucks? Oh..wait. Will it the adhesive ruin your machine?

Allbrands does sell it for 30 bucks and even with shipping it's cheaper.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Wow. Never thought I'd see the day when NE would have a 3.5 earthquake and having the epicenter a couple of miles up the road.

I was talking to DH in the bathroom while he was getting ready for work when the entire room started rumbling really funny for a few seconds and pretty good too. Truthfully; I was too shocked to really figure out what was going on. I thought my water pipes in the basement had burst and ran downstairs to check. I have the plumber coming over tomorrow or Friday as I do have a leak. I had visions of the leak suddenly blowing causing my house to shake.

Then it hit me. It was an earthquake. My neighbor called up frantic wanting to know if my house had just shaken and I told her yes.

I checked the USGS website and it did have a 3.5 on the map. Wow.

Everything is fine. Maybe my post to Santa was read and he was letting me know I wasn't done confessing my quilting sins to get a present from the Fat Quarter Shop.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Thinking About School

Now I remember why I haven't finished college.

It's overpriced, leaves you with indebted for life and still leaves you underexperienced for a job. "I'm sorry, Mrs. Frerichs. We want 4-6 years of experience with that degree only to pay you 10 bucks an hour."

Why do I bring this up? I was going through the International Quilt Study Center & Museum's website and thought it would be cool to do some seminars or something like that. I had actually downloaded some podcast and a video earlier and loved them and was trying to to find the page again. I found myself drooling at some of the classes being offered. The catch? You have to be far more educated than I am at the moment.

Why not look into going back to school? You aren't stupid. You did high school and college at the same time your senior year of high school. You took hard classes and still did good. You got a B out of an architecture course that started out with 50 and by the end was down to 12 of us. Not bad for being 17. You took 2 courses of Arabic and an English course as well. You even held down jobs while doing this. failed Basic Algebra but only because your TA couldn't speak any English. Your Geography TA couldn't either do much better. You got a A on your Basic Engineering Drawing class though.

I go online to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln site and find myself overwhelmed with useless crap. All I want is the basic information and I shouldn't have dig for it on the first page. Finally find it and sort of get all the fees but it doesn't tell me anything else. I'm sure I'm supposed to talk with an Advisor who will eventually screw up my courses and "plan my future". Nor did I find much about what is offered online. Guess I need to wait until it's closer to summer? Maybe online classes are a joke and same with all of this education crap.

Okay. I admit it. I'm petrified of school. 13 years ago my entire life crashed in front of me when I was diagnosed with epilepsy and a few months later with bipolar and I'm still picking up the pieces. I was manic during high school/college and that's how I pulled a lot of that off. I didn't need sleep for days. I could do 3 jobs, go to school and do all the homework. I was high on manic episodes. I'd crash, but never long enough for it to matter.

Now the bipolar does matter and that's the scary part. Medications help but dull everything. My memory is awful because of it. The same flaws that boosted me years ago can easily send my spiraling downward into the ground and ruin everything. Manic episodes now are not good and neither is the depression. The thought of wasting money because I suddenly spiraled out of control and crashed into the ground is terribly frightening.

At the same time, it's so frustrating having a great mind and feeling like you don't really get to use it. I know I can't do school full-time. I'm not even sure part-time without causing some bipolar issues to rear it's ugly head.

And I don't do "revenue creation" courses.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Outrageous Christmas Presents

I had a wonderful talk with my brother-in-law yesterday on Facebook. Sometimes I think that's the only way some of us are able to communicate with our busy lives. We got talking about Christmas presents and what we wanted. He brought up something I hadn't thought of. Usually we are so busy thinking of everyone else we forget about ourselves and what we want. So, we started talking about what we price limits. Soon we were laughing about our outrageous wants and I felt SO much better about Christmas.

He wanted a giant TV with all the trimmings and a video game console with all the games. A fence for their horse of a German Shepherd. Furniture. Stuff for my sister. Apparently, guys don't need much.

My list was longer and far more elaborate. It's a girl thing, you know.

*A longarm machine with the room to put it in.

*New furniture that DH and I picked out. Mine is from in-laws and is at least 15 years old.

*New carpet. With 3 young kids it's a mess.

*A Mini..British Racing Green imported from UK. Okay..US one will work. Yeah, it's Semi-Truck bait, but DH's mom used to rally race them and I've always wanted one.

*Money for one of those super retreats for quilting with the professionals.

*A St. Bernard. I had one as a kid and he was so sweet.

*My thousand dollar laptop with Blu-ray player.

*A cutting table that is adjustable for my height.

*One of those KitchenAid mixers. I do cook/bake occasionally.

*A pet rabbit for DH. He LOVES rabbits. There is a wild one that lives under our deck that he's claimed. I feel kind of bad for Stew as he's running out of rose leaves to eat. Can you feed rabbit food to wild rabbits when it snows and food is harder to find? Once the snow melts, he should be okay for food.

*Boots. I LOVE boots but they are so expensive. A brown leather pair would do nicely.

*Horse riding lessons. I've been on a horse once. I was 10 and it was a Clydesdale.

*Going to England for Christmas to visit DH's uncle. That would be the best Christmas present ever. Forget about the above things if this could be possible. Or have him come here. (Just make sure to have him bring the Mini or I come back with one.)

*A year's supply of English candy shipped from England. If it's already in the US it's stale. I should email DH's uncle and ask for a small package.

Once I get the kids taken care of on Wednesday, I'll see what's leftover for DH and I. My BIL is right, it's okay to think of ourselves too.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Making Shortbread And 9-Patches

Oh yeah..I can bake! I made my first ever batch of shortbread cookies today courtesy of a recipe I found on another quilter's site called Esther's Blog. Her recipe seemed simple enough that I figured I couldn't possibly screw it up.

I came out with far less than it looked like on her pictures though. When I did the oven conversion it came close to 350 and went with that. It took a lot longer to bake so I know I screwed up something. I probably made them too thick. My family inhaled them regardless and they had the texture/taste of shortbread and that's all that counts.

She has some fabulous quilts that I've drooled over as well.

I have done 12o 9-patches now! 1320 left to do! I'm wondering if I should add green fabric with the purple fabric. It would also help use up my stash. I worry about being sick of purple in a few more weeks.

It also hit me that my dad turned 60 today. I can't believe my dad is old. I know 60 isn't old, old, but still. I love him so much.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

It's Snowing!!!

I used my desperation for wanting to go into debt for Disney Steelbooks yesterday to make these:

From Quilted with Love
Not all of them were done yesterday. The top 6 were done last week. But I got 40 done. Okay 30 need to be trimmed, but they are sewn up.

I cut out more strips to be sewn today since I won't be going anywhere anytime soon:

From Quilted with Love

From Quilted with Love

DH is NOT going to work tonight as blizzard conditions are supposed to set in with high winds and there is talk of the highways closing down.

If you are having nasty weather or going to get this storm, PLEASE be safe. Just stay home and use this as an excuse to quilt away. Stock up on supplies (not quilt ones) so you won't be stuck either.

Monday, December 07, 2009

How Do You Make Your Bed?

I can't whine to much now since we got SNOW!!!!

I happen to like snow and after being cranky for a couple of days it was nice gift from above. We might even get more!!

DH decided he wanted our Christmas quilt on the bed and got it out. I came in later and discovered this:
From Quilted with Love
It's soo funny I can't undo it especially since I know how hard he tried to put it on. It's between queen and king size and a pain to put on a bed as it's also heavy. He probably got frustrated and just dumped it on that way after a few minutes.

I made this quilt years ago when the pattern first came out. It's my favorite Christmas quilt and I loved putting it together.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Getting Through The Christmas Phases

During church today I realized another reason why I hate this time of the year. All the demands of cookie and gift exchanges, white elephant parties and places I don't want to go or be at. Once I get over the "envies" then I hit the "Say No" phase of Christmas.

It hit me after church that my family's income has decreased by 80 dollars every month now thanks to that water bill hike. I can't do all of these things. A 5.00 gift exchange is equal to almost 2 gallons of milk. 5.00 is gas to make it to work. Showing up to church or other activities is extra gas I don't have. And to be at these activities is just a reminder that I can't meet those demands right now.

I think once I get over the "Say No" phase, I'll start enjoying Christmas more. My son really wants a skateboard for Christmas. I'm hoping with the next paycheck we can do this. If we can't, it just means saving up with another paycheck and he'll get it after Christmas.

We are doing good. It just means things are that much tighter and it takes more planning. I probably shouldn't have bought garland and bows for the front porch but everything was 50% off and when I did the numbers, it would work. That's as fancy as our decorations will go this year.

I started thinking about getting a seasonal part-time job today. I've done retail before. It's not hard. Just demanding. The only problem is that most places want the evening shifts which means you don't get out until late and DH needs the car to go to work. If the store closes at 9 pm, it's after 11 before you get out. Maybe later. My kids would kill each other all by themselves as well. I'll keep thinking about it.

I feel better venting. I do enjoy Christmas. This year is just going to be rough.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Decorating For Christmas..In Farm Town

It's nearly 2am and I should be in bed. Except I can't sleep. What have I been doing? Sigh. If I can't have a fancy Christmas in real life, might as well do it in Farm Town. I've been at this for hours and not even close to being finished. I had to take out my formal English garden one piece/flower at a time to redo my entire farm. Stupid addicting game. Unlike quilting, I have no decoration sense and I find it intensely frustrating.

Some good news is that DH found out the State of Nebraska is not laying off in the corrections dept. Since they aren't hiring either, he's thinking they really won't want to fire people because of some crazy mandatory rules. I won't even go there.

I put up our small fiber optic Christmas tree and put garland around the front porch with bows on the ends. My MIL made an advent calendar for DH when he was little and 35 years later it's still being used. It's a little worn out, but it only gets used one month a year and then carefully wrapped up again.
The only thing I hate about Christmas is that I have to get over the "envies". It takes a few days to a week and then generally I do good. The "envies" is seeing everyone with beautiful trees in their picture windows glowing merrily along and wishing I could strangle ours with the fiber optic strands. Or seeing the fancy decorations in the stores and wishing my house was even remotely big enough to have them and that I could afford what I liked. My house IS really small.

This year I've wanted a real Christmas tree and have had to fight back the "envies" especially hard. DH can't stand the smell of pine candles so I can't even get a "high" off of that.

I'll be okay in a few days to the end of the week. And it's not the bitter/angry kind of envy, just frustrating kind.

This was my purchase today:

From Quilted with Love

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Stash Busting

I decided to speed up the 9-patch process now that I have things figured out. I also needed to move faster since I counted out 47 patches and I need about 1440. At the rate I'm going, it will be an A.D. (After Death) project.

I cut out 1 inch strips out of the rest of my 1 yard fabric and cut enough strips out of several purple fabrics to keep my going. If I did the same fabric until I ran out of it, I'd die of boredom. It's just helped to do a little of each color at a time. I'll also pick up different purples as I go along. Right now I'm using my stash.

From Quilted with Love
I think I've killed my 60 mm rotary blade and put a small nick in it just from all the cutting. There is NOTHING worse than a nick in a rotary blade. Especially as the stupid things cost a fortune. I'll make it work since I can't drive up to Lincoln or Omaha to get one. And ordering them isn't worth the shipping.

Oh well, I'll get one on the next paycheck. I have a son that needs shoes and some clothes. He wants a skateboard for Christmas and my daughter has a birthday this weekend. There are more important needs right now with this paycheck.

With the utility company doubling their bill a couple of months ago, it's really hurt us financially. That's why I ran out of money before I could get my meds. The 8-9 bucks for a rotary blade would almost pay the 10 bucks for the lamictal. I bought a 45 mm today and will use that until it dies.

It just sucks that one bill can drag down your finances. It's not like it's a credit card bill that you were stupid enough to do to yourself. What happens when these utility companies charge so high, that no one can pay their bills and they get everything turned off? Run crying to the government for a bailout and still charge a fortune to us?

I'm ranting..sorry. Just frustrated after paying bills.

Maybe if I do some more "stripping", DH will get me a blade. He's never going to live that one down. LOL. He still turns red when I tease him.

Ham And Bean Soup

My house smells incredible. And it's not because I did my yearly cleaning. I did that last week.

I have been dying for ham and bean soup like my grandmother made when I was a kid for almost a week now. I didn't even know what it was made with except it had kidney beans and some bits of ham. My grandmother passed away last year and my mother had no clue what I was talking about.

I LOVE the internet. I spent some time flipping through pages and found what I figured was the recipe. Ham hocks and kidney beans done in the crock pot. What are ham hocks and do I really want to know?? I didn't. Pig ankles. My grandma used pig ankles?? No way.

So I headed to Wal-mart and such a thing exists. Dirt cheap too. Picked up some kidney beans in a bag, finished up grocery shopping and headed home. That night I soaked the beans in water with a small amount of vinegar in a pan on the stove. Then I put the hocks in the crock pot, filled water up about an inch over them, turned it on low and went to bed. Some recipes said to cook on low for 24 hours. Err..okay.

This morning I checked the crockpot and it smelled wonderful but there wasn't any meat, just lots of fat. What happened to the meat? I went back to the internet and realized some recipes had hocks and others had shanks. What are shanks?? Something else I don't want to know about? If I understand it right, shanks are the legs from the knee to the ankle.

Woo Hoo! I'm learning pig anatomy.

I stopped by the Time Warner place to pay my bill and asked Kay about this soup. She and several others insisted that hocks instead of shanks were the only way to go as the fat added much more flavor. They also said that next time go to the local store in town to get them and not at a major supermarket.

I still wanted some more meat and went to another store to see if they had shanks. They had some fully cooked ones so I bought a package and dumped them in the pot. A few hours later I checked and the hocks and shanks had fallen off the bones and could easily be shredded up. It tastes like heaven.

Who knew pig ankles and part of the legs of a pig could make such an incredible soup?

Forget the fancy ham. It tastes like salt. This stuff is divine.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Don't Overdose Yourself

Sigh. Don't overdose yourself by 200mg for two days. It's not worth it.

I went back and read the bottle and realized that I'd taken two 15o mg tablets both morning and night equalling 600mg. I'm only supposed to have 400mg a day.

Despite all of this, I did get these done:
I made strip sets like these:
From Quilted with Love
I had cut up the dark purple strip set, but you get the idea.

I subcut the white/purple/white into 1 inch sections and the purple/white/purple into 1.5 inch sections. Then I drew a 1 inch line across the white fabric of the 1.5 inch sets.

Why do this? It gives a measuring line for your ruler to sit while you cut out a 2 inch block.

From Quilted with Love
My side pieces are already set at 2 inches, but my top and bottom pieces are not. They have to be trimmed down. Without those drawn lines, you won't know where to put your ruler and you will stare at it for 5 minutes trying to work it out.

The only problem I'm having now is that the seams are bulky in the center throwing off the ruler when you cut as there's no outer edge for the ruler to offset it.

Monday, November 30, 2009

High On Drugs

I know this rule. I really do, but when you are high on a drug, your stupidity level rises as well.

Do not use a rotary cutter while your judgement is impaired.

Thankfully; I just knicked my finger and I've had enough judgement to stop for today. It's just a small cut, but even the small ones hurt and bleed.

I ran out of generic lamictal Saturday morning and only having 4 dollars in the bank until Wednesday used my emergency stash of real lamictal. I figured the pharmacy would give me some a few days early today; which they did. They gave me my prescription and said to pay on Wedesday.

Now before anyone panics, this month just didn't work out very well. I always plan my medication and we always make it with money. Some unplanned expenses came up, we came up short and somehow I miscalculated the days even with a 30 day pill box.

As I've discovered, there is a HUGE difference between generic and regular lamictal. I've been high since Saturday night as there is more of this drug in the regular version. The room keeps spinning and I'm incredibly loopy, increasing my stupidity. However; DH has heard some incredibly funny things that I've never told him before and won't mention here. He's been laughing all weekend while helping me around the house. I've just babbled on and on about everything in that drugged sing-song voice and glassy-eyed look.

I'll be fine in a couple of days once my body adjusts to the higher drug level and evens out again with the generic. Until then, no sewing and no cutting.

I must be doing a little better since this post actually makes sense. La-La..La..Look at the pretty fabric..weee, the room is spinning

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.

Let's see..what am I thankful for...

1. I remembered to thaw out the turkey in the fridge on Sunday.
2. I didn't burn the turkey.
3. I didn't set the kitchen on fire.
4. I remembered to turn on the oven.
5. I made today pajama day since no one is coming over.
6. My son helped me make dinner.
7. My DH helped get the turkey in and out of the oven.
8. My family ate what I made.
9. No one is coming over..but sort of miss that.
10. Cartoon Network so I can spend the day laughing at Looney Tune and Tom And Jerry cartoons.

On a more serious note, I'm grateful that...

1. My husband still has a job.
2. I've been seizure free for at least 6 mos.
3. That Brian woke DH up when he fell asleep while driving home from work the other day. I'm SO grateful they carpool so that they can keep each other awake on the way home.
4. I have a wonderful family.
5. I have such great blogging friends.
6. I'm learning to be more frugal and not cheap. There is a difference; and I'm mostly cheap.
7. I'm debt free. Screw credit cards. It's cash only at my house. I'd tell the bank off, but you can't stuff your money in the mattress and every nook and cranny like my grandfather did.
8. There is so much technology available. There are so many talented people who work hard.
9. My parents are still alive to drive me crazy.
10. I was able to do the necessary home improvements this year.

And..I'm still sort of sane...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Perfect Nine-Patches!

Moved up another light bulb slot today.

I'm not a fan of strip piecing as I can never get straight seams, but doing this one inch block at a time is going to take forever. I cut the lengths of the strips in half so I didn't have 42 inches to mess with. I sewed 1 inch purple and white strips and sewed them. I sewed 1 inch white strips and two 1.5 inch purple strips and started making nine patches.

I can't tell you what a difference that made. It was so much easier to feed through the machine and when I checked the seams, they were perfect.

From Quilted with Love

I subcut the white/purple/white into 1 inch strips and cut the purple/white/purple into 1.5 inch strips. I sewed them together and realized I didn't know how to cut a rectangle into a 2 inch square. LOL. Sigh. It took me a minute or two and made the cuts.

Then I got smart and drew a pencil line on the 1 inch white fabric instead of fiddling with the ruler lines and fabric creases. In no time I had several nine patches made. These are all my 2 inch nine-patches.

From Quilted with Love
Now that I have a system going, I should be able to make more than seven of these babies in 2 days.

I can't tell you again how much I love my Topaz and Sapphire for piecing. I've hated doing strip piecing for years because my Janome 6600 couldn't piece right. I'm a Viking girl now. Having the right machine for you makes a world of difference in your quilting.

The Light Bulb Move

THANK YOU so much for all of your help!

I did some searching via the web and found some more information on doing miniature piecing. Everyone agrees on paper piecing. Sigh. I'm not about to paper piece 9-patches. But, I do need 1,440 of these babies. The thought of having to take out paper made me shudder and drop that idea.

Pam, I do have the 1/4 stitch setting for my Topaz. The Topaz/Sapphire are the same machine with the Topaz having the embroidery. I have two 1/4 inch feet. I have one that's clear and one that is metal. I think the clear one doesn't let you move the needle. The metal one has a wider space and I use it most of the time.

West Michigan Quilter, I love applique for the same reasons.

As I was doing some thinking, I remembered taking a class from a lady that showed us how to do small blocks. You cheat by making some pieces bigger than others and then trim them down. In this case, make the 4 corner pieces bigger and trim the block to 2 inches.

Feeling quite pleased for remembering that, I make one.
I thought my first attempt was going great until I went to trim it. Sigh. The white pieces are still off.
From Quilted with Love
So. I'm only half a genius. I figure I've at least moved up a few bulbs in the box for getting closer in accuracy which boosts my deflated ego.

A couple of people mentioned to move the needle over so I figured that was the next trick. I moved the needle over to the 2.0 position and started again.

Woo Hoo! It's 2 inches! It is 2 inches right?

From Quilted with Love
Only a zillion left to go. I'll get a method of madness figured out and keep working until my brain explodes in boredom.

I figure I made a new spot for myself in the light bulb box today.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Help Me With My Piecing Skills

Behold, the power switch went on and there was light, and the Topaz sewed. And the I, the quilter, was pleased. Then I went to square the block, and the wrath of fury was unleashed.

I have not had my Topaz on for months. I've just stared at it, thought about trying to sew and walked past it. I've had no desire to use it. I've felt guilty. DH bought it for me and I figured he might think I was ungrateful but he's said not to worry about it. He knows I love it and that bipolar depression is the cause.

I'm surprised my rotary cutter didn't squeak when I started using it.

Directions for this quilt say 1 inch squares. I cut up a 1 inch strip of purple, cut it into squares. I do the same with the white fabric. I sew carefully, press, and...

From Quilted with Love
Oh yeah. That's a 2 inch perfect block. NOT. After 7 years, I still can't get perfect blocks. I don't care what size you give me, it ain't happening. I gave up a long time ago and just shove the blocks together and pretend they are perfect. I just MAKE them fit. Kinda like how I put my favorite jeans on.

Now granted, 1 inch squares are harder to work with and I know it. But I get really tired of this. The only way I can do this perfectly is pencil draw the lines on EACH piece. 15,000+ pieces, I don't think so. I really don't want this to be an A.D. project.

Please, if any of you can truly piece, HELP ME. I'm begging you. This was a test block to see how it came out, but I'll never finish this quilt if I can't get these blocks to work.

I'm using a Creative Grids ruler as the yellow outlines on the Omnigrid ones drive me insane.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Crazy Coupon Lady And Organizing 1 Inch Squares

I am turning into a coupon queen.

You know who I'm referring too. The crazy lady with a handful of coupons who takes forever in front of you. She has a coupon for everything and argues with the cashier that she did indeed buy that can of cat food for her dear Snookums even though you know she didn't.

I never thought I'd be using coupons but as I've learned from purchasing Blu-rays over the past month with them, you can save some major money. I've even started printing out online coupons. With the store "money" promo going on at my local grocery store and the coupons I've printed out, I pretty much got my Thanksgiving dinner for free.

Yep. Buying Blu-rays has made me a coupon queen. Wow. So, if you see some crazy lady with a bag full of fabric and a handful of Blu-rays in your grocery store handing over coupons, that's me.

Now... am I crazy enough to cut out about 15,000+ one inch squares for the quilt I want to make?

I've been debating that since the JoAnn Fabric stripping party. I pulled out all my purple fabric and bought a yard of Kona Snow fabric to see how well I could pull this off. I haven't touched my sewing machine in (GASP) at least 4-5 mos as the bipolar depression has been so bad, so this may be a good sign.

Directions say I could strip (DH's eyes light up) this or cut individual squares and sew. My biggest concern is storage and organization without going completely mad. The last thing I need are thousands of white and purple squares scattered all over the house.

If anyone has done a quilt with a zillion pieces, let me know the best way to organize this.

Friday, November 13, 2009

My Daughter Got Arrested This Morning

She was pulled out of school in the middle of weight lifting and told she needed to come to the office. The officer was there, told her what had happened and took her out to the waiting car.

My DH has decided that he's had enough of the kids leaving their rooms a mess before school. He'll come from from work in the morning and everything is a wreck. He told the kids that he would go to the school, pull them out, and take them back home to finish the job if he found their rooms a mess.

My daughter left this morning around 6:30 am and didn't make her bed. She goes early to the school gym to lift weights and was gone. DH shows up around 7am and sees that her bed isn't made. Without changing out of his uniform, he heads over to the school to get her and brings her home. She made her bed and went back to school.

When she came home after school, she told me that a teacher had asked if she was okay. When my daughter asked why, the teacher said she saw her being talked to by a police officer and was being walked out of the door with him.

My daughter said the man in the uniform was her dad and it was okay.

I told her she should have said, "That was my dad. I got arrested for not making my bed". She burst out laughing.

I got the background lines and circle drawn out for the background of the Dahlia. I took some freezer paper and pressed it to the back of the fabric so I could trace a 16.5 inch square. I drew lines on the diagonal and in the middle for alignments.

I traced out the template on freezer paper, cut out the circle and pressed the outside edges to match the marked lines. Then I traced the inside circle for the applique work.

I've pinned where the diagonal lines and the petals meet and need to do some more detailed pinning/basting or this won't lie flat.

I've got some of it hand appliqued and it looks okay. I'm still worried about it having ripples and not lying flat when it's done.

I'm quitting for now though. my head hurts from all the marking, basting and pinning.

Nebraska State Government Helps Finish Dahlia Top

Which is about the only useful thing they've done today.

Nothing like being a little mad at your state government to get you furiously stitching away to finish your Dahlia quilt. I'll feel a little better if I vent. Pictures of the quilt are just past the venting, so scroll down if you don't care.

Let's see the proposal for where DH works:

1. No pay raise for next year and dock your pay to last year's taking out the pay raise you got.
2. Furlow you 5 days. Ohh..that's going to go over well where DH works..will explain later.
3. No holiday pay for any holidays or getting them off.
4. Giving you so many personal days instead of sick time or vacation time.
5. Something about overtime but don't remember what.
6. And some other BS I don't remember. DH works in a state prison which is a 24 hour facility. Here's where the furlow thing is really going to NOT save Nebraska any money. If you have to make each worker take 5 days off, it means you have to have someone else take that person's place. That means someone works overtime. Overtime=time and half. Since prisons have a lot of people working..that's a lot of overtime. I don't think the state can get around it because that's a federal law, but maybe they can.

If they can get away with it and you aren't going to get paid time and half and you are told you must stay, most of the guys I know will just say, "too bad" and go home. The state is on a hiring freeze. Go ahead and fire them. Since you can't hire anyone, you are just going to short staff yourself and be left with a bunch of unsupervised inmates. Have fun as they will sue for not having all their "rights" as inmates. These guys are pros at this, so be prepared for a huge lawsuit.

No holiday pay=no one will show up. Cool. I get to see hubby home for holidays.

I told DH to go ahead and call in sick for the next 6 weeks if they are going to take away sick time. He's only got years of it. Take a vacation as well and use it all up. It will be gone if this passes.

Don't know if the state realizes this, but if anyone is close to retirement and this passes, those people will retire and want their money. Fork it over.

Yeah...this proposal is going to work big time. Same with the health care BS. And I bet the next industry to fail are the health insurance companies. I'm surprised they aren't whining about this federal health care program.

I'm done whining and here's my top:

From Quilted with Love
Here's the back:

From Quilted with Love

I just need to applique it to the blue fabric now. I have no desire to sew this the traditional way.

I don't feel any better, but at least I've made some progress. Maybe I should get out a few WIPs, UFO's and A.D. (After Death) quilts to work on.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Can You Find DH's Favorite Book?

I was figuring out where to put my new book on my bookshelf and realized how badly it looked. Books sticking out and the odd shaped ones stuffed in to fit. I looked at the book I had purchased and thought about where it should go. Sigh. Time to reorganize.

My OCD kicked in and I went around collecting books. No one leaves books around while looking for ideas or relearning a technique right? I found four and added them to the collection pile. Now to organizing those books.

Quietly talking to myself I go over the options:

A. By Alphabetical Order

B. Stuff them where they fit

C. By Height

D. By Subject (that's subjective if you think about it)

E. By Author

F. In Chronological Order

Wait..that's DH's way of doing his movies. He's corrupting me. I have a horrible vision of me spending two hours looking through the books by the date they came out.

All have pros/cons and I know I'm making it harder than it is. The book case isn't very deep so the wider books have to sit in the middle where the doors open. The books don't fit all the way across the shelf and DH and I share it so the books don't fall over.

Decision made. A litle of everything BUT option F.

*All the books with the stapled spines are together.
*The long books are at the beginning.
*The Viking Books are together.
*The wide books are scattered throughout so the doors shut right.
*Everything else is stuffed in.

The finished result:

From Quilted with Love
Did you find DH's favorite book from the JoAnn Fabrics trip yesterday?

If you found "Still Stripping After 25 Years" by Eleanor Burns there in the center, you are right. I've had that book since it first came out. You know, it's funny he's never noticed that book considering the shelves above and below are his. Oh..and the CD-ROM sets next to my books.

Maybe I should point it out to him and see how he reacts. By the way, DH doesn't go to strip clubs or do anything like that, which is what made it even funnier yesterday.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Strippers At JoAnn Fabrics????

After scoring big savings at Best Buy with price matching to their website, in-store ad and 18 dollars worth of coupons, I walked out with Up and Monster's Inc. for a total of 20 bucks.

Then DH took me over to JoAnn Fabrics. I forgot what DH is like in a fabric store. Get ready for some laughs while I die of embarrasment.

They had books for 40% off and I started looking through titles. DH, trying to be helpful starts pulling out books for me.

DH: "Do you have this one?"

Me: "Yes" or "No, but I don't want it" is the usual answer.

Then, while I was looking through a book, there was a shocked question of: "Does this lady really STRIP?!?!?" as he picked up Eleanor Burns' "Still Stripping After 25 Years". Suspiciously he asks, "There isn't something funny going on with quilters is there?"

He looks almost hopeful.

I don't have a chance to explain before he pulls out another book.

DH: "Hey..she's a stripper too!"

I'm desperately hoping no one is hearing this conversation as I'm choking back on laughter and shock.

Now he's furiously looking through titles and finds one about having stripping parties with your friends. Gleefully he pulls it out and asks, "Do you have like bare naked quilt tops or something with these parties?"

DH: "You know. They shouldn't have these books in JoAnn's. It's just wrong."

At this point, I was grateful I found a book I wanted and dragged him out to the checkout stand.

Sigh. Then he starts pushing the Christmas CD collection button to hear the songs while we are in line. "Stop pushing the button! No one wants to hear that", I tell him.

"But it's Frank Sinatra. Everyone loves Frank", he protests as the music blares loudly.

Finally we get to the register and pay. I dragged him out as fast as I could.'s the book I bought:

From Quilted with Love
Each quilt is made of really small blocks. That should be a challenge. Although nothing is more challenging than taking DH to a quilt store. I also explained what "stripping" was to quilters. He was most disappointed.

On a side note:

While in JoAnn's there was an old man about 65-70 with a huge armful of yarn behind us. I jokingly asked if he was the official holder for his wife. He very quietly said that it was his. He had cut his hand and the physical therapist had suggested crocheting to gain back the usage of his fingers. He said he'd never done this before and was planning on making lots of blankets for his future grandchildren.

I never thought of crocheting as a form of physical therapy. I hope he gets the usage of his hand back.

The Dryer..Does It Hate You Like It Hates Me?

**Thought I'd share this coupon with you if you are planning to purchase "Up" today. It's a 10 dollar manufacturer's coupon good for the Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy combo pack. I highlighted the DVD part so those of you that have DVD players don't think you can't have it. It's good for any retail store. Taking mine and my 8 dollar "Monster's, Inc" coupon in for a sweet deal.

The reason I'm up so late? The dryer. There's a reason I don't do laundry. The dryer. It hates me. It knows when I'm using it and purposely refuses to work. purrs for DH every time. He can have laundry done in a few hours. For me, it's piece of junk.

Repair man came today and fixed a belt and some roller thingies so DH was behind on laundry. I figured I'd be a sweet wife and do today's laundry for him after he went to work this evening. Almost 4 hours later, the SAME load still isn't dry. NOT kidding. I put it in for 70 minutes and it was still wet. Put it in for another 7o min and came back. Still wet so I took out the jeans. Came back 70 minutes later and everything is still wet. YES, I turned on the dryer. Put it on for another 70 min. Sort of dry so I gave up. Things are still damp but I don't care anymore.

I still have a load in the wash. DH can put them in the dryer tomorrow. It will purr for him and be dry the first time. Piece of crap dryer.

Now that I've thought about it, the only thing I can think of is that the repair guy may have turned off the gas to fix the dryer and forgot to turn it back on. That would explain why the dryer didn't feel hot and the clothes were still damp after hours of having the dryer on.

So much for trying to be the perfect housewife tonight. Well, at least I'll make DH's day with the 10 dollar Disney coupon. He wasn't expecting that one.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Choosing The Path Of Least Resistance

No. This isn't a physics or electricity post. You won't fail.

I had a friend ask about how I chose to piece my Dahlia quilt and why I didn't just go around in a circle or add the center part as I was going along.

It's easy. Choose the path of least resistance.

When doing a pattern that you've designed, take the time to figure out the best way to piece it. If it's a purchased pattern, read through the directions thoroughly. It's one of the few times I actually read directions.

When I went over the taped outline drawing to find the easiest way to do this quilt I realized that it was full of inset seams:

From Quilted with Love
Every "X" is an insest seam. If you take a look where each line meets, it's an inset seam. To go around in a circle by fabric color would take forever and the seams would drive me crazy. I know that because I just now picked out my background color and have to do this 16 times around the edge.

No wonder people don't do this quilt. It's mindnumbing to think about all those seams. And I couldn't find a book.

So I thought about it some more and realized that I could do it this way:

From Quilted with Love
If I pieced them in a row, like it's circled above, it eliminated all the inset seams and then I could easily do 16 rows, match the seams and sew them up.

I also knew I needed templates. When I printed out the templates, I realized the lines were too thick and they wouldn't line up right. It was easier to trace the entire above circled selection, cut them out individually and number them. Thank you Sally Collins for your wonderful DVD on precision piecing or I'd never have figured out the template part. I used double stick tape on the back of each template so they wouldn't slide.

Sally Collins is a piecing genius and her DVD is worth every penny.

The center part:

If I had added the center piece with the each row (a), I'd be stuck with all these loose ends. And have problems going down the seams (b and arrow) with inset seams and meeting in the center.

* I also hadn't figured out my center fabric color.

From Quilted with Love

I also remembered that you can't just sew to the center piece by piece all the way around as it's a spiral. Remember the spiral staircases and that they wind up in a circle all the way to the top? The same thing happens. You have to do sew those pieces in two half sections and meet in the center.

***A lot of this information has been learned by trial and mostly error. Trying different kinds of quilts is a great way to learn. I have a huge stash of books and I pester a lot of authors via email when I have questions. So many of these ladies LOVE to help and no one has told me to go away.

QuiltUniversity has been a valuable resource and I have two 2-inch binders full of classes over the past 3-4 years.

Please don't think I suddenly just figure things out. You all are a wealth of knowledge too. Sometimes I think "DUH" *hand pressed to forehead* why didn't I think of that? when I read someone's post.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Background Fabric For Dahlia Quilt

Today has been busy as I spent the morning in Omaha. Not quilt shopping but Blu-ray shopping.

Yesterday was spent doing some quilt shopping though. I really haven't been in a quilt store in a long time. I bought the fat quarters for this project but it wasn't really fun. I knew this may not end well either since I wanted a background for my dahlia and may not find the right color.

The problem I find with color isn't always the color, it's that most fabrics have a medium value to it. Line up several bolts of different colored fabric the next time you walk into a store, step back 10 feet and see if they all seem to be the same in intensity. The pink will look just the same as the blue as it does the green and it all looks muddy.

I put up my dahlia next to several fabrics and nothing works. I knew that because I had light petals, I needed a dark background so they would stand out. However; the middle is dark and I didn't want to lose that either. Again, everything ranges in "medium". I finally pull out a dark blue/green Fossil Fern and decided I liked it.

My camera had a hard time picking up the true color of the fabric and added a grain to the picture, but you get the idea. Right now I'm piecing the outside edge to make it a circle. I've got two done.

From Quilted with Love
Hopefully; I pulled this off for a background color.


I picked up my Steelbook DVD edition of GI Joe at Suncoast Video:

From Blu-Ray Photos

And if you loved the old Disney Zorro TV show this is an absolute must have DVD set:
From Blu-Ray Photos

Monday, November 02, 2009

Dalhia Center, Crocheting and Tinkerbell

My inlaws were over last weekend and my FIL's wife taught my 12-year-old daughter to crochet. She's working on a scarf. Here it is:

From Quilted with Love

I know how to crochet. I just don't like counting and my daughter is learning that as well. She's taken this scarf apart 3 times because of it. Knitting is the same way. If you can't count, don't bother learning these skills.

I've got two more seams to finish on my Dahlia quilt but it's close enough to show you what it looks like:
From Quilted with Love

After I get those seams done, I need to find a suitable background, finish the Dalhia to get a circle and add the rest of the bacground. Had I figured out the background fabric, I would have had the background already sewn into the Dahlia.

On the movie side:

Tomorrow GI Joe comes out and will pick that up either tomorrow or Wednesday. If you live near a FYE or a Suncoast Video, you can get a Steelbook edition of it on DVD. Steelbooks are metal cases and way cool. I'm picking up the Steelbook and DH is getting the Blu-ray. You know you are pathetic when you "double dip" movies meaning you buy them more than once.

Disney has put out a limited edition of the Zorro TV show on DVD and those have been shipped out as well. They should get here Wednesday.

If you REALLY need a giggle, I was reading through some Blu-ray forums and I couldn't believe all the guys (hundreds) who were buying Tinkerbell And The Lost Treasure on Blu-ray and they don't even have little girls. Disney has a 10 dollar off coupon and these guys were so excited and happily printing off the coupon! I was rolling in laughter reading the thread.

Blu-ray forums are 99.99% male dominated and it's fascinating to read how men truly think about movies, especially ones you wouldn't think they'd fight over. Feeling depressed? Read through a few posts.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Aligning Center Dahlia Pieces

I decided I was determined to get those pieces to meet up. I took out two pieces of the center so I had 8 pieces on each side. I aligned up the center in a swirl, pinned the two halves together and started sewing down the middle. When I got the center, I carefully went through the middle of each section and then came out the other side and finished the seam. It's not perfect, but I figure if it doesn't look great, I can sew in a beautiful pink or blue button that would set off the center.

I still need to sew the other half of the center to the dahlia petals, but the center is pieced. I have the outside to work on and then figure out the background.

I'm crawling back into bed now. This has wiped me out and it took me about 20-30 minutes to do this. I may see a doc tomorrow about being sick. Thankfully; I don't have a sinus infection but this isn't getting any better.

From Quilted with Love

Monday, October 26, 2009

Center Complications

You'll have to forgive me. I'm still fighting off a cold from the after affects of the flu. Go figure. I get the flu and do pretty good. It gives me a cold and I'm miserable. If this turns into a sinus infection I'll really be nasty.

I'm still figuring out the dahlia center and know the center is going to be a mess. I forgot that you need to "halve" the section in two and sew down the middle for an even seam. However; sixteen pieces meeting perfectly in the center isn't aligning well.

I'm going to have to email a couple of quilting experts to see if there's a way to work this out. If this isn't going to work, I thought about making the center one piece, adding the seam allowance and carefully working my way around the center. Then I worry about the probability of stretched biases.

I'll figure it out. Eventually. Or cheat and fuse something for the center with some applique work. It's 2009. Cheating is allowed now.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Center Of My Dahlia

Feeling TONS better. I've been working on this most of the evening:

From Quilted with Love

So far the middle is good. I've been taking my time and trying very hard not to stretch the seams. I found if I did it in sets of two, I didn't stretch it as much. Any more than two at a time made for awkward attempts at inset seams. I've got 9 done right now. I haven't sewn up the entire dahlia so I don't get stuck in the middle.

I am loving the pink center. The flash makes it much lighter than it is. I wasn't sure at first, but it really sets off the inner colors. I still need one more outer color and a background to finish up. I'd like a green so I have leaves.

My hand piecing is still really bad. It's so awkward. Even after all this work I really struggle. I've also realized I haven't pulled the thread tight enough through the pieces. I may have to go back and touch up a few spots. I've reinforced the set-in seams though.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Getting Center Done On Dahlia Quilt

I had to edit my post...sigh. It's not in the cards to have that movie.

On the quilting side I've been working on the center of my Dahlia Quilt:

From Quilted with Love
I have no clue how 16 centers are going to meet in the center nicely. This has all been inset seams as well. It's not hard, it just means being careful and trying not to stretch the bias. I'm not sure this is going to work very well. Even if you fold the seams all to one side in a pinwheel fashion, it won't lay flat.

I had tried making a tutorial movie to make one of these, but my daughter has shaky hands and I'm sicker than I thought. I think we all have H1N1. My kids has been out of school all week. The school has just been extremely grateful that I've kept my kids home instead of sending them anyway. Half of the school kids are out sick right now.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Getting My Dahlia Quilt Sewn Up

I haven't disappeared. I'm just terrible at hand piecing and I've been watching too many movies like Gremlins, Wizard of Oz, and The Dark Crystal. I have a stack of movies still needing to be watched and Tuesday is new release day for Snow White.. Oops..this my quilting blog..LOL.
I've gotten this much hand pieced. My points meet, but they have small holes. I may have to take my sewing machine and do a quick stitch over them for stabilization. Even stitches are not my forte.

I still haven't figured out a center and background. When I get closer to finishing the circle, I'll try out some more fabrics. I haven't pressed anything because it's all on the bias. I've tried not to fiddle with it too much for the same reason.

DH asked what I wanted for my birthday today, but he said I couldn't have a kitty. I told him I'll figure out something in the next few days and get back to him. Probably background fabric for this quilt.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Five More Rows To Go

Been working some more on the Dahlia quilt. Hard to believe I only have 5 more rows to go. I might get all of them done tomorrow. Then I can work on the center and the background.

Depression is getting better. I've gotten this much done. I know I keep saying that, but every day makes a difference. Working on my blu-ray blog has helped some too. DH just laughs at that one. Not mean laughing..just silly laughing.

From Quilted with Love

Monday, September 21, 2009

More Sections Done On My Dahlia Quilt

I have an updated picture of my Dahlia quilt.

From Quilted with Love
I haven't figured out a background fabric yet. I figure I'll get the rows done, see how it looks and go from there.

Totally off topic, but I had to post this.

I finally found a copy of "Casablanca" on blu-ray. Long story short, it was to be a new release, but no one has it out. Finally found it at Barnes And Noble and snatched it up since I don't know when it will come to stores. I've never seen the movie before so it was a new experience. Why post it here? Cause you have to see how beautiful the transfer is. Just like quilting, if the colors aren't right, you can't appreciate the picture. I'm no expert, but I thought it looked great. No flash and no touch ups from my camera:

From Blu-Ray Photos

From Blu-Ray Photos
I love my blu-rays..

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Working Out The Fabric Details

Started working on my Dahlia quilt some more. I traced around the templates for each fabric and hand pieced them together.

I don't know about you, but hand piecing with batik fabric is murder. I despise it. Then I remembered I have Thread Heaven. That REALLY helped and I was able to get the rest of the row done.

I started off with white thread and realized that it was visible. I switched to a brown thread and it disappeared . Especially as my hand piecing is awful. It started getting better as I got toward the last piece.

This was a test section. I think the darkest pink needs to be last. Or the light pink needs to be in the middle. What do you think?

I got brave and started a blu-ray blog. It's just my ramblings on movies and nothing terribly technical. I'll leave that to experts. It's called A Girl's Point Of Blu

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Fabric Choices For The Dahlia Quilt

I started picking out fabric for my dahlia quilt. It's been SO much harder than I thought it would be. I know what I's just finding the fabric. I went through my stash and went "blah". I went to the store and found two magenta colors that I fell in love with. That changed the entire color scheme.

I got out my handy dandy "3-in-1 Color Tool" and looked up Magenta. Hmmm. Complimentary is green. I pull open my drawer. I don't have "Green" I have spring green. I have yellow green. I have blue green. Remember.. I have all my fabric labeled with their color. Nope. Nothing. How can you have a whole drawer full of greens and not have a true "green"?? Sigh.

Plan B. Try some of the "other" options. Analogous. Not enough fabric or it just looks "off". Split Complimentary. Dang. Need that green. It's not that the greens I had didn't work..they just needed something else inbetween.

Yeah. I know. I'm anal. I'm left with triadic. I pull out some turquoise.. wow. That doesn't look too bad. Yellow..don't have true yellow..but this sorta works. Okay. I got a plan now.

After two trips to the fabric store I have this plan:

From Quilted with Love
It needs some more tweaking. I need to take out a green..just couldn't decide which one and add something else to the back. You can see the actual size of the Dahlia in the background. I did make templates. The question is... How accurate are they?

Depression has been really bad. This is the most I've done in two days and I'm not sure I'll get any farther for now.

However; I have been watching movies. When depressed, pop a blu-ray movie in and stare away. What have I watched:

1. Leon. Here in the USA it's called "The Professional". Hubby has the French blu-ray so he could have the international version.
2. The Last Starfighter. Cheesy..but it does look pretty good in High Def
3. Big. Watched the extended edition.
4. Les Visiteurs. French comedy with English subtitles about a knight that comes to 1993 after a wizard sends him there by accident.
5. Hotel For Dogs. Actually pretty good
6. Fanboys. Liked this one.
7. All Pirates of the Caribbean movies

Only 700+ movies to go before I get through the entire collection...

Friday, August 28, 2009

Giant Dahlia Block

I got to puppy sit Daisy/Libby (the English Pointer mix..something) today for an hour or so. My friend said she was chasing her kittens and getting in the way and I offered to take her and her daughter. LOL LOL Talk about fun. Finally wiped her out and she crashed on my couch for 20 minutes or so. My depression just lifted and I've been feeling tons better since then.

I got playing with EQ6 and got my "EQ6 Pieced Drawing" book by Patti R. Anderson and drew out a Giant Dahlia quilt. Fabulous, fabulous book. All of the EQ books are great. Get them. Patti is also one of the best teachers. Take a class from her.

This is one of my final versions. I LOVE indigo blue but the colors are really hard to find. I think this is way too strong in the indigo department but my EQ6 palette isn't the greatest. I don't have indigo in my stash so I'll have to play with what I have. At least I have the block drawn out and can print out templates.

I also think it needs more petals. The design was drawn for a 12x12 inch block. I'd have to play with the circle size and partitions. I wanted something small so I could use my scraps. I'll use a bigger size block. Maybe a 15x15. The templates for this have to be a bear to deal with. I don't have any template plastic and I'm not sure paper ones would hold up. Maybe I should do a cheater one..LOL. Gotta love fusible webbing and maybe add black bias tape over the seams.

It's SO nice to be back in action for quilting. I've been dragging for months. Maybe I'm coming out of my cave. Even if it's just for a short break.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Few Of My Favorite Quilts

It's actually really hard to pick favorite quilts but I thought I'd show some of my favorite ones that I have made.

This on has so many triangles in it I thought I'd never get it done. I tried to make the border but it didn't fit. It was just easier to bind it. The only thing I hate is how I quilted it.
From Quilted with Love

This one is paper pieced, my first time doing it. I hate paper piecing and avoid it when I can. The pieced border is my own design as the one given was too much of a pain. My aunt and uncle own this quilt.
From Quilted with Love
This is the cheater cathederal windows quilt that I made for my daughter. Everyone was so kind to send tons of blue fabric for it. I did a blanket stitch around each piece. Wow..that was a lot of work.
From Quilted with Love

This is an original design from EQ6. It's machine appliqued and I never want to see circles again.
From Quilted with Love

This is my Lone Star quilt. The last thing I expected were all the ribbons. My aunt and uncle now have the quilt.
From Quilted with Love

Another original design for a bargello quilt. I did this the hard way. I guess the easy way is to make a tube and rotary cut different widths. I did each one by hand as I worked through the quilt.
From Quilted with Love

My "Touching Stars" quilt turned out fabulous. I LOVE this quilt.
From Blogger Pictures