Sunday, June 26, 2011

I went downstairs to the basement, dumped out my fabric and amazingly found all the fabric for that bargello quilt.  So..after several days and 6 years later, here it is:

This was actually my first bargello attempt.  I was so overwhelmed towards the end and I had messed up my color scheme that I put it away.  The light purple was supposed to be the dominant color where the "light" blue is now.  Now I love it the way it is.  Cheater me says add a small black border and bind it in black.   Or just bind it in black and have done with it.

To be honest, I have been quilted out for some time.  My machine has pretty much stayed off, I haven't purchased any fabric, read any magazines, gone through blogs or visited stores.  I just overwhelmed myself at the beginning of the year and fighting depression/mania hasn't helped.

What has helped is cycling.  My self-esteem has increased, I'm getting exercise, I may have lost some weight, or at least some inches, and spent more money than I ever dreamed I would on cycling.  It was just going to be a basic bike and ride around. I have hit every bike shop in Lincoln, bought saddles, shoes, helmets, clothing and tools.  If this is a manic fad, at least it's been a fun one.

My Trek Madone 4.7:

I don't know how much she weighs, but I can lift her with one hand.   The green saddle is a test saddle.  If I like it after a week, I can buy one, just not in green.

My Trek Mamba Women's 29er:

A 29er is a mountain bike with 29 inch inch tires.  The only problem with where I live is the lack of mountain bike trails.  The closest you can get is racing down the back alleys of town at 15 mph, hit the one foot drop off at the end, land in the street, and nearly crash into the bushes of the driveway you plowed into after crossing the street.  If you are really lucky, there will be two guys watching the entire show from their lawn chairs.  Anyone want to do it again?

Even DH has gotten into this cycling thing.  I got him this Electra Rat Fink for Father's Day and he adores it.  Every guy wants a chopper bike, even at 42.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

My new Nook came yesterday!  Barnes and Noble came out with their latest generation that is full touch screen with E-ink.  I'm not a big fan of B&N as they are too "stuffy" for my taste but this will truly compete with Amazon's Kindle.'s site is far more user-friendly and so is the Kindle but this is really nice.

DH is the one that loves his Nook and he always buys more interesting books than I do.  I bought mine so I don't have to steal his.

Right now I'm reading "Seal Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy Seal Sniper" by Howard E. Wadson. Just touch the screen and it moves to the next page.  This is so much easier than the older Nook I have.

Yeah.  I know.  Odd choice for a quilter right?  DH and I love these kinds of books and since he's already purchashed them, why buy them on the Kindle?

As far as which one is better, the new Nook or the Kindle, it's hard to say.  I'm just not a B&N person.  If came out with a touch screen Kindle, I'd go for that.  I think it would just depend on your perception of the two stores and who you would want to support.  

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Anyone else on UFO overload?

I keep looking at my projects and think, "This is never going to get finished" or "Do I even WANT to finish it?"

I almost wish I had a way of stacking the projects next to each sewing machine and when I get bored, move to the next machine.  Then I wouldn't have to keep putting stuff away and pulling it out when bored.  I've never been the "number each project, pull out a number and do that quilt" person.

There is this quilt:

I love it, but I don't know how to finish it.  The blocks have been machine embroidered and I haven't figured out how to border it.  I thought about putting  a white border, a blue border, and another white border and bind it in blue.  Way to much of a pain to do.

What I want to do is put a white background embroidered border tbat matches the embroidery.  The designer didn't include any border and I can't think of anything else to do.  I'm not good enough to use software to design an embroidery set and anything plain just looks off.

Here's a close-up of a block:

Once I realized "My Tweets" yellow flowers are see-through and you see the green stems, the thought of taking all the flowers off and adding another layer to make it look better makes me sick.  I overdid it with trying to satin stitch everything and I just want to give up.  I hate fusible webbing because I can't take an unfinished edge and it comes up anyway.  I love applique work, but it hates me.  I spent a fortune on a cutting machine hoping that I could easily cut out fabric and templates and it just sits there because in reality it's just easier to draw it out.  

I have several applique kits in my closet, but I have no desire to fuse the pieces and deal with the edges.  

My roses quilt needs borders, but I don't feel like doing the "gate" border as it won't even come close to fitting as my measurements are off.  The fabric is from JoAnn Fabrics a couple of years ago so I don't know if I could get more for something like a piano key border.

 And another quilt:
I can't find the pattern in my collection and I don't think I have enough fabric to finish it.  This quilt was started about 5-6 years ago.

And of course my stupid log cabin quilt.  Do I give up, make it a wall hanging and go from there?

On the positive side, I discovered that I can turn off the fix function so I don't have that annoying first couple of stitches in place.  What a difference that has made.  I can just put the fabric under my foot and go.  

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The joys of flooding.  It turns out that a section of I-29 has been closed by my town.  If the two bridges that are twenty miles apart get closed, it looks like your only options are St. Joe (if they have a bridge) and I-80.  Wny does this affect me?  It means that my town of 3700 now has freeway traffic going both ways as of today.  It's a mess of semis and cars.  If you are on the Iowa side, you're supposed to take I-35 and some other roads, but it's more convenient to go through my town and up the 20 miles to get back on I-29.  If both bridges are closed that still leaves north/southbound traffic goiong through my town to Omaha and down to St. Joe or even KC for the next few months.  If so, my two stoplight town is going to have to change the lights to last longer as you can only get about 3-5 semis through a light.

The Super 8 twenty miles away has a sign saying, "Riverfront property for sale".  I laughed but at the same time it makes me mad that so many people are losing homes up/down the river.  A friend said that a lot of insurance companies are considering this a man-made flood and aren't covering anything.  If you don't have insurance, you're out of luck.

The semi trucks will have a hard time getting gas since our stations weren't made for such large trucks and the only truck stop I know of will shut down soon.  I don't know where the next truck stop up north to Omaha is.

I don't think I'll have any problems with flooding as I'm on higher ground, but who knows.

I plan on getting some quilting done tomorrow.  Maybe I'll even post and put pics in.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Go figure.  I wake up Saturday morning and I'm fine.  It's all good.  I'm back to "normal" and I look back over the week and wonder who or what took over my body/brain because that was scary.  

Why am I throwing fits over stupid Girl's Camp?  Just buy the crap and it's all good.  I sound pathetic and I apologize for acting that way.  The girls will have a great time and it's not like they need tons of stuff..geesh.

Bawling over a stupid bike.  Okay, that one was truly worth crying over.  My son did save the bike's life and my sanity that day and I'm grateful.  The red bike is getting traded up for a better mountain bike.  She'll be here middle of next week.  It won't make me faster or better, but the 29 inch wheels will help my sanity.

I didn't post this, but I have been screaming at every car that was slower than me last week.  Normally I don't care.  I can pass or if I'm not in a hurry just keep going.  I don't really get road rage.  I'm raging 70+ miles passing people on the highway out of sheer frustration.  If you own a Buick, you were on my radar screen.  I even screamed at a red van, passed it at top speed and realized that it was a friend of mine.  She probably thought I was crazy passing her like I did.

It was so bad that I almost delibrately hit the brakes on a silver Jeep Cherokee just because he or she didn't realize the lane ended and nearly caused a 4 car pile up when they moved behind me and in front of the semi.  There wasn't ANY room for this SUV and the semi truck nearly collided with it.  He was desperately trying slow down and at one point thought he might jackknife.  I tried to speed up, but then the car in front me suddenly stopped to turn into Amigos and I nearly crashed into it.  All I could see was a vision of this semi plowing into the Jeep, the Jeep hitting me, I hit the car in front and the jeep and I are now pancaked with the semi jacknifed in the road.

Once the car turned, I sped up and it was okay.  The Jeep turned at the light as I did and I wanted so badly to just hit the brakes and let him hit me for being such a dumbass.  I managed to keep my cool and went home.

 I have done nothing but rant, rave and rage at everyone and anything all week.  How pathetic is that?

I'm  planning on calling my doc on Monday and seeing about getting some anxiety medication and maybe upping my bipolar meds,  but what got me was the sudden, "I'm fine" on Saturday and that blows my mind.  The only thing I can think of is PMS as I know last week I was ovulating.  Do people with PMS get crazy like this?  I've been lucky over the years to not suffer from PMS very much, but after thinking about it, the past few months I have been pretty moody around the middle of the month and start of my period.

Either that or something with the bipolar issues got set off.  Regardless, it needs fixed ASAP.

This week I'll be much more positive.  Y'all are great for sticking around despite myself.  It's been a Jekyl and Hyde week and I can't physically or emtionally do this twice a month or if my bipolar meds aren't working right.

Friday, June 10, 2011

My brain shut down today.  This week has been more than it can take.  The final straw was my bike.

The other day I had to walk home again UP a hill with the dang bike.  I've been doing this for about 5 weeks and I've been mad that I can't go more than a mile or two and have to come back.  I had grand visions of riding a dirt bike through the back roads for miles at a time at full speed.  I was going to take on the highways with ease and today just made me realize I SUCK.  Don't try and make me feel better, either.  The truth is there.  I have accepted it.

I got my dirt bike out to change the tires out to the original ones.  I got the first tire off and put the old one back on. You can get a tire off/on the rims fairly easy w/o using a tool if you know how (thank you YouTube).  I undid the back tire via a YouTube video and after getting it changed went to put it back on.  I spent 10 minutes trying to get it figured out and finally started sobbing because I couldn't.  I'd pinched my thumb on the chain, my hands were completely black and I was seconds from tossing the entire dirt bike out in the highway to get ran over by a semi truck when my son came upstairs to see why I was crying.

He said, "Mom, I got this.  Go to the kitchen and clean up your hands. It will be okay".

That had my crying even harder.  Through the crying I told him, "I (sniff) want to (sniff) do it (sniff) myself".

"I know Mom, but go clean your hands.  I'll fix it", as he walked me into the kitchen.

He got the tire on, took it for a spin and said he'd fixed it.  "Mom!  Come on, get on your bike!  It's fixed".

I got on and started riding.  I felt a little better and then I realized somehow my son had fixed the shifting.  It didn't clang and make clicking noises going through the gears.  It shifted between gears 1,2,3 with ease.  It always gets caught on gear 2 nearly stopping me in my tracks.  It had been looked at several times by two different shops who said it was me not shifting right.  I went around the block a couple of more times and then it started downpouring so I brought the bike back in.

I still suck, but somehow my teenage son got my bike to shift through gears smoother making for an easier ride and that's more than two bike shops could do with several visits.

I am grateful for a wonderful son.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

DH was very sweet to me and let me vent away all my frustrations.

I don't hate camping.  I hate camping in group settings because everything goes FUBAR.  I can rough it as necessary.  I'm not scared to get my hands dirty nor will I shrink off to get out of work.  After riding a bike for about 5 weeks I can even eat bugs and can almost tell what kind by it's taste.  Dust is another fine delicacy.  Rocks are a little more gritty.

What I wish is that our ward had some kind of camp bucket with all the necessary items like group cookware, soap, towels, cooking utensils and other supplies that will be needed every year.  I hate the begging for stuff I think should be part of what the ward should aready have.  I'll help you out with that goal since it makes the ward more self sufficient.  I feel my 90 bucks should really go for those items and so should the budget for Girl's Camp.

If my ward does this, make sure to buy real utensils.  The dollar potato pealers suck and dull knives are a danger.   Oh, wait, I'm smart enough to bring my own real sharp utensils.  As quilters, we know the value of good tools so I wish ward leaders would have the same idea.  If all else fails, I can use my rotary cutter as a knife.  

I'd like to see the ward have required goal items already available.  I shouldn't have to buy a hatchet, yards of rope or other stuff every year for each of my girls.  Steal some from the Scout cabinet.

I've learned from experience that most leaders give you this, "you're rocking the boat" look when I bring up more organized ideas like this.  The hard part is while I have what I think are great ideas, I don't always have the ability to follow through with things because of being bipolar.  Great ideas, bad follow through is my biggest bipolar weakness.  At some point it all crashes down making you look inept.

I did tell the leaders that I'm not driving.  They already knew I wouldn't.  I just had horrible visions of being told that I should do this as they don't have enough drivers.  Even DH was adament that if I was asked, he'd be the one to tell them NO.

I'm heading back to bed now.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

I got some more blocks done on my log cabin quilt.  I still can't find my "b" bag with a zillion pink pieces.  I really don't want to cut out more, but I may have too.

I have discovered that cyclists (I guess you can't say's derogatory) are some of the most obnoxious  people ever.  It's probably from all the doping they claim they don't do.  I quit going on some of the forums as they aren't worth my time.  

I solved my problem of streets by adding another bike.  I'll keep my red one for the back roads and my new one for the streets:

I wish it came in red, but all the other hybrids came in various shades of gray and had ugly frames.  I can't ride a true street/racing bike so this was perfect for the roads.  If I understand this right, hybrids have a mountain bike frame with street tires.  I thought about customizing it with metallic purple so it's not all black, but I think I'll keep it this way.  Alex, the guy at the bike store, said that lime green would be perfect, but he could order me purple parts.  

DH wants me to get one of these to cruise around town with him since my bikes go too fast.  He likes this pink one from the same company he bought his Townie from.

Errr..does it come in red?

All it needs is a white basket and streamers to set off the entire look.  Oh..and a bell.


Thursday, June 02, 2011

I finally started working again on the log cabin quilt.  Somehow I've lost a bag of pink fabric labeled "b".  If you have to see it, please send it back to me.  I'll have to do another search.

It doesn't look like I've done much, but each block takes forever to make.  My new Ruby machine doesn't have the same stitch as my Topaz which sucks.  You'd think the higher end machine would have more stitch width/length options.  I may have to pull out the Topaz to piece these blocks.

I made it 7 miles on last Sunday on my bike.  New record for me.  I told myself I wasn't walking my bike the last couple of miles and kept plodding along.  I didn't want to walk with clipless shoes and pushing a bike.

After my whining post, I took my bike up to a store in Lincoln.  I bought different tires and added different handles  I don't speak professional bike but they are much better than the ones that came with my bike:

You can see the new tires.  They don't work as well on the gravel roads but I made 31mph down the hill coming home the other day instead of 18 mph.  That was a high making the speed limit.

I've gotten more confident with riding and even looked at a street bike the other day.  I really liked it, but worry about my lack of experience.

I am proud that I haven't found a way to destroy the bike so far.  The Specialized company doesn't need to hire me for beta testing yet.

What I do like is that you can customize your bike.  You can't do that with a sewing machine and that would be cool.  If I don't like how the bobbin case works, you can buy another.  If you hate the take-up lever, get another one that does work.  That would revolutionize the sewing machine world.

I better go find that bag.  I know it's in the last place I put it.