Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Another UFO bites the dust.....(and a few rants)....

Well things are still chugging along here. I have been fighting a case of bronchitis for over a month which caused me to have to reschedule my shoulder surgery to the middle of April. I'm on my second round of antibiotics and finally starting to feel better.

On the good side, I finished up another quilting UFO. This is a scrappy strip quilt which I made for DH's car - he likes to keep one in the back which serves a multitude of purposes. It was fun to do and I like it. I have been trying to finish off at least one UFO per month and this was #3 so I'm on schedule so far. (That's the husband's feet peeking out at the bottom - I made him hold it up).

I also finished off the last of the Shepherd's Bush (2003!) monthlies, so I can wipe out 2 UFO's on my list. This week I picked up Brenda Keyes' "Plymouth Sampler" and did a bit of stitching on that but I haven't gotten very far.

The husband and I have busy doing some work on the yard. We had 3 ficus trees die off the winter before last because we had a bad frost here in the southwest where a lot of trees are not frost-tolerant. We had them taken out last fall and then built a raised area in our yard. We planted 3 new trees (frost tolerant ones!) and I have a place to plant flowers which is nice. Here is corner of the yard in 'before' state showing the dead trees, and now the 'after'.

It sure looks a lot better! We also are putting artifical "pet turf" in the area on the side of our house that are dogs use. We had real grass there first that wouldn't grow (not enough sun), then we tried 2 different kinds of rock. So this is our 4th incarnation of the area and I think the doggies will be very pleased to have something grass-like again. Supposedly this turf is pet-friendly, very durable and drains well. (Maybe your'e wondering why our dogs aren't using this nice patch of grass in the picture? Well that's in our backyard and our dogs can't go out there when we're not home because we have an unfenced pool. Even though they both swim great, we don't need the worry about an accident or having wet dogs tromping through the house all day!)

I decided I'm going to sound off on a few of my stitching pet peeves today. These are not huge issues in my life, just little annoyances. Maybe these bother some of you as well, or it could be that I'm the only one! I'm not going to name any names because this is not meant to bash anyone, I love stitching and the designers. I have no creative sense myself so I'm amazed at the things they come up with. But....sometimes I just get a little bit peeved......
  • Certain designers need to move on a bit. When they have a successful theme run of designs, they seem to keep it going too long. Am I the only one who notices this? For example, they'll have Spring Tree, Winter Tree, Summer Tree, Autumn Tree, Valentine Tree, Christmas Tree, Blue Tree, Red Tree, Teacher Tree, Nurse Tree, ad infinitum. Know what I mean??
  • I'm not real fond of patterns you have to buy in pieces. In the quilting world, this became popular several years ago - once one designer tried it, everybody else started doing it. You would often have to buy one block pattern per month, so that you ended up frequently spending upwards of $100 to just get the pattern. Now of course it's a free world and they can market their work any way they like, but I really don't want to spend that much on some of these projects, let alone the cost of supplies and framing. After all, I can buy a book from some designers for $25 or $30 and get several great designs in it!
  • I wish patterns would list the alternative thread choices like Homespun Elegance does. Of course it's up to me to check it out myself I suppose, but I've had a lot of patterns where they used an overdyed floss for like 6 stitches! Great if you have it already but not really worth buying just for that. I know that this generates sales of thread which is good but it would be nice to have the alternatives listed for you.

Thanks for stopping by - can't believe more than a month has gone by since I blogged. I don't know how some of you have time to keep yours up so often!


  1. I do agree with you for the designers. For me, the worst is when one does a new style, everybody do the same style (annoying ... ) but when you say something on a bulletin board, people reply that it's hard to design and so on ...

    I love your new back yard (it reminds my year in Santa Fe, NM - I miss those colors ... )

  2. Sorry you have been so sick with bronchitis. It must have been hard to delay the surgery, because I know how we mentally get ourselves up for it.

    LOVE LOVE your scrappy quilt. Can I ask which pattern it was from? I have a couple of drawers of scraps that need a nice home like this.

    And I agree with your pet peeves, especially the need for a specialty fibre that is only used for a few stitches. But I am a sucker for monthly clubs, I'm ashamed to say.

  3. Oh my - what a stunning quilt!

  4. Your garden looks great. I'm envious! ;)

    I hope you're feeling fully recovered from your bronchitis!

  5. The quilt and the yard are a real treat for my color-starved eyes! Spring is appearing very slowly in northern Illinois.

    And so glad you're feeling better and back to your old self.

  6. Oh I love your backyard! I am going to show my DH the pictures I need to do something in mine. The trees are gorgeous.

    I agree with all your pet peeves, especially the overkill on the successes.

  7. Jeanne - I'm lad to hear your on the mend. For a sick woman, you do wonderful quilting an landscaping! Congrats on all the accomplishments.

    I'm definitely with you on the patterns in parts thing. I usually want to wait for several parts before I commit to a pattern just to see what the thing will really look like. And even once I commit there's the remembering to get all the parts as they show up and remembering which parts I've gotten.

    And I too would like alternate colors listed for everything... even if it's only DMCs. Sure, I could work it out, but first I have to pull all the overdyes, then try and match them. lol that's probably why I don't bother--- I change threads at random. Now that you've made me think about it, I must say one of my biggest pet peeves is designers who (like you said) call for overdyes for 3, 4, 10 stitches. I mean really! It can't be necessary. Sheesh.

  8. That scrappy quilt is AWESOME!! I would love to make something like that...if I quilted. :) I kinda like the Autumn tree, Spring Tree, etc. thing sometimes...I guess it depends on the pattern. Although I do agree with ya fully on the monthly thing.

    Your backyard looks great!


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