Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Quilting & bed woes....

Well it's been awhile since I blogged - the last time I tried to leave a post it was so slow I gave it up and then I got very busy with work and too many other things to mention. I finished the fall raffle quilt for my quilt group - we have a retreat every fall and we auction off a quilt to make money. Our theme this time was "Falling Leaves" so I made this quilt out of many different leaf fabrics. It started out as a different pattern that wasn't working out too well so it evolved into a simple Flying Geese pattern. I had someone do the quilting on it and although you can 't see it up close it's really lovely with a pattern of maple leaves all over it in a varigated golden thread. Hopefully it makes a few hundred dollars for our quilt group. I also have been working on a table runner for our little silent auction which is pictured here - it's not finished quite yet, it still has to be quilted and the binding edge put on. I like this tablerunner pattern and I also cut out another one out of all apple-themed fabrics. My quilting goes in spurts it seems.

Tonite I got back to working on my Wild Roses sampler by CHS. I finished the last row of rose bushes - yeah!!! That's 21 rose bushes in total - after the first 4 or 5 you have the pattern memorized and don't need to refer very often to the pattern. After a while I just kind of did my own color choosing as I pleased. I still have the lower-case alphabet to stitch at the bottom and add my name and I'll be done!

We got a new mattress about a week ago and it's been a rough week for me. I have a bulging disc in my back and was having trouble with our old mattress which was causing me to have to sleep in the guest room at times where we had a newer mattress. I decided to get a Tempur-pedic hoping it would help my back pain. It felt fine in the store (of course) but the first few nights I felt like I was being tortured! It feels like you are sleeping on a brick. I guess it takes some time to break it in. I have a couple of friends who have them and love them. By midweek I was pretty depressed as these mattresses are very expensive. We can exchange it for something else after 30 days so I will see how it feels by then. After day 3 I put one of those foam egg-crate pads on it and that has helped. But I have had a lot of back and leg pain this week and having to take my pain pills. That makes me pretty grouchy. Hopefully I'll start to feel better soon, they say sometimes it takes awhile to get used to a new bed.

I got the special paper mache boxes I ordered from Hobby Lobby online. This is for the Blackbird Designs "Secret Garden". I had to buy a set of 3 in graduated sizes to get the correct one but they weren't too expensive and they were shipped very promptly. They're actually very sturdy and well-made. "Secret Garden" is my next stitching project. I'm using a piece of off-white Lugana and some Needle Necessities from my stash - yes it's true I am actually using some things I already have and didn't buy new. I had 3 or 4 skeins of this blue Needle Necessities to make something else then changed my mind so this is a good opportunity to use some of it up. I also bought all the supplies to antique the box that the stitching will be mounted on. Next week of course is Labor Day with a 3-day weekend for me and the following weekend I go to my quilting retreat. I can't wait - we always have a lot of fun on these weekends and it will be COOLER there. We get very excited if it rains as we live in the desert here in Phoenix. Rain is a big deal around here.

Here are a few pictures of things I plan to work on soon - I love this Reindeer quilt and I have a bunch of towels I want to do fusible applique on for gifts. These are all patterns from the Nancy Halvorson "Art to Heart" books which I really like.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Making Plans

Well I decided the other day that this weekend I would go through my stash and dig out things that need finishing work and also small quick projects I can do. I've had the Cricket Collection carrots stitched for like 2 years now and never finished them into ornaments. I also have some more of the Shepherds Bush 2003 monthlies to stretch and mount. I'm doing those myself as I can't afford to have them all done professionally. I plan to get one frame with turnbuttons on the back so I can change out the stitched piece each month. Rather pitiful that I only have like 5 of the months done so far! I also want to make my Blackbird Designs "Winter Delivery" into an ornament style hanger. I have a lot of other small things like some miniature pictures, a Trail Creek ornament, some small Bent Creek patterns and things of that nature. I think I just can't face my BAP's right now so need some finishes that don't take forever.

I organized a happy hour after work tomorrow for a good friend of mine that I have worked with for 10 years - she's retiring and moving to Texas. Over the past few years most of my work friends have scattered to the four winds due to people retiring, quitting, and getting reorganized into other areas of the company. We all started there together about 10 years ago when they did a major hiring to form a new division. I work for a large company that shall remain nameless, but we always seem to be in turmoil of one kind or another. The one thing that keeps you going at work is the cameraderie you share with your coworkers, so it's a shame when they take that away from you. Although I work in Information Technology I have advanced to the point where basically I feel like an email jockey. Not to mention the rest of my time is spent in online meetings with people all over the place. It's a strange way to make a living that's for sure. Our company is probably going to announce some layoffs this fall again, this will be the 4th or 5th time I've been through layoffs in the ten years I've worked there. After a while it doesn't even phase you anymore.

Well, enough about work. Tomorrow is Friday and then the glorious weekend with more time to stitch! I'm heading to my LNS on Saturday morning to pick up the JCS anniversary ornament book that I had reserved, the village market freebies that came out (my LNS has them on a CD), and hopefully my BBD Flea Market Find pattern I've been waiting for. There are also a few odds and ends I need but trying to get out of there without a major bill this time. I'm very fortunate in that my LNS is Attic Needlework which is a fabulous shop!! I never seem to get out of there in less than 2 hours because there is so much to look at and dream of stitching.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Quaker Garden finished!

I finally finished this on Sunday night. I was one of the stragglers but glad I made it - thanks Karen for organizing this SAL! Here is my finished piece on Lakeside Linen's Vintage Pear with Gloriana Luminescence silk threads.

There's a moratorium on framing at my house for awhile since DH and I recently purchased some artwork for the house. Framing my Quaker Garden is going to have to wait a few months but that's okay, I'm glad to have finished something and now moving back to my Wild Roses by CHS.

We were chatting on one of the Legacy forums about what is on our wish lists. Here are a few of the top items I'm waiting to purchase - several of them are not new. I keep a running list and just keeping doing a lot more adding it seems that subtracting!

Midsummer Night Designs - Memorial Sampler (I want to stitch this in memory of our dog that died a couple of years ago. We read this poem when we scattered his ashes.)
Examplar Dames – True Wisdom
Ronnie Rowe – Williamsburg 1776 - If you've never seen her designs they look like ink drawings, they are gorgeous when worked on small counts
Shepherds Bush - America the Beautiful
Moira Blackburn - Keep Me sampler
Theron Traditions - Needles & Pins sampler. I love the verse on this one. :)

"Needles and Pins, Needles and Pins,
When a woman marries
Her troubles begin".