Monday, November 22, 2010

Before i post the pictures

Let me just say this about it:

It is made entirely from a box of scraps given to me. The person who gave me the scraps makes lap quilts for the VA hospital in houston. So... i made one for her out of them. It was kind of a challenge, i decided to make one entirely out of the box that she gave, binding and all.

It is the first quilt i have finished in 25 years!!! I have started a bunch but never finished them!!

It is the first thing i have machine pieced in about 10 years!!

It is the first item i have ever machine quilted!

It is the first quilt i have made where i made the binding and didn't buy it!!

lol... so needless to say it isn't perfect!!!

I will post pictures later today when i have the camera... im just tickled i finished something and i cant wait to take it to her and give it to her! Im calling it "giving thanks" since its going to the veterans and since i finished so close to thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

a whole box of scraps!

I was at the quilt store in lufkin yesterday. I was talking about the scrap quilts ive been working on and the woman working there gave me a big ole box of scraps! there are several little tiny pieces that i loved loved loved which im putting into the little square quilt im making.

People give her scraps because she makes lap quilts for the American Legion... so im going to make a couple out of them. I started a string quilt today... thats harder than it looks. I really wish i had a camera to take some pics... gonna have to see what i can do to expidite getting a battery!!

I washed bucks quilt for a 2nd time. I am finding holes where i either snipped to close to the seam or the seam ripped. I am going to do the rest with a zig zag stitch. Ive been able to fix all of the holes so far... i hope i dont find too many more!

I am having trouble deciding what is going to go on the back of the big plaid quilt i made for ralph and i. I have some of it pieced but i was planning on a large peice but i dont have alot of large peices! I am going to figure that out tomorrow.

today i work a double.. i have been in soup mode. I made really yummy cream of mushroom yesterday and today ralph and i are making 15 bean soup to sell at the store. Soon it will be time for gumbo! Dont know what else we will make, we like to have a couple choices but i keep selling out of one before i get a 2nd one made!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

what ive been up to....

I still dont have pictures... but i have completed alot of the little square quilt... i think im going to name it 6543 or something like that... there will be 6500 squares plus when i finish it! Im going to name it that so i can remember how many dang little squares i sewed together BY HAND!

I have finished one of the denim scrap quilts... well, ive sewed it together, im in the process of clipping all the seams so i can wash it... that is a project that i work on while ralph and i are watching tv... I have been putting this off because it was just too hot to sit under it while i did it... after last night that will not be a problem, it was in the 30's... normally the season  change is more gradual.

But... since im not going to finish 6543 in time for christmas... i started another quilt yesterday. Im taking the plaid shirts i have been collecting and cutting 10 1/2 in squares... im just going to sew these together, by machine, back it with a sheet... and give it to ralph for christmas. This is really going to be a quick utility quilt out of necessity. i have no idea why... but we have a queen sized bed and 90 percent of our bedding is for a full size bed... it barley covers the top of the bed and when you get our bodies underneath... it never fails... my butt ends up exposed and cold! so we WILL have a new quilt that covers the bed and THEN some by christmas (actually i have the day off and i hope to get most of it done tomorrow)

so... what happened??? well, the cord on my laptop caught fire and its 90 buck to replace that, ralphs harddrive went out on his laptop... both at the same time. We also had a desktop at home with satellite internet but... ralph got mad that his sons girlfriend spent all of her time on the Internet and decided not keep it because it just irritated him so much... At the same time things at the restaurant heated up... we almost doubled in business and we had a period where we couldn't get enough employees to stick so ralph and i were doing 12 hour shifts everyday! We just didn't have time to deal with the computers and decided to go 3 months cold turkey without any internet! We actually went thru alot less withdrawl than i expected.

We finally got some good employees and were not working as much and we decided we needed internet for business reasons and i finally fixed this computer. lol how much time will we have on it i dont know... were about to open a 2nd restaurant in a few weeks! lol.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A long vacation

Sorry i have taken such a long vacation!!! Our computers both broke and my only time online has been at the library... cant post pictures here!

I have finally sent one to the shop... it should be back soon and so will I.

Meanwhile i have finished one of the denim quilts, only 5 more to go!!!

and the little squares are now 54"X54" (entirely hand pieced!! I cant wait to post a picture!!)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

a quickie

life has been busy.. ive been having internet withdrawls!!

here is where the little squares have take me...

unfortunately... ive been making alot more of these the past few days!!

hope yall have a wonderful 4th of July!!!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

ideas dancing in my head

i was having a wonderful morning... all kinds of ideas dancing in my head with my scrappy 1 inch squares.... then i had to go to work.. finally at 10 pm last night i was able to stitch up some little square goodness... it was a long work day.

I fired someone yesterday. I think i enjoyed it too much. The guy didn't work his monday night shift because suposedly his sister was going to the hospital, then yesterday morning 15 min AFTER his shift started he called buck to see if he would work the shift because he didn't have anything to wear. I had to work the shift since neither buck or ralph are good on the prep table... and ralph was left alone with lunch rush for 45 min which could have been disasterous. (it wasn't... he handled it and i was quite proud of him for that) I have worked food service enough to know that if someone is calling in that often... then they dont want to be there and the customers know it. So last night he called and ralph was hemming and hawing around firing him and i said give me the phone. I said "look this isn't working out" he said "ok" and there... done... that little chapter of unhappiness is gone gone gone. I have been unhappy with his attitude for a while now and him being there was this little dark cloud... and that cloud is gone today. there are more storm clouds to deal with in life... but that ONE is gone! Its not that i didn't LIKE him... i do... I just didn't LIKE him working for me anymore!

so... i was dealing with the phone bill yesterday... it went up ALOT these last two months and i was trying to figure out why... i think the guy that i just fired switched our phone carrier on one of the phone lines, and possibly was charging the store phone bill for some service he was getting... AND several nights made 130 min phone calls to his old hometown (so i paid him for 2 hours to talk on the phone several times)... ok.. maybe i dont like him anymore... i now have to sort that out!!!

but back to my little squares of goodness.... i sewed 4 of the 4 patches together and though... ohhh how pretty!!! so i have a 16 patch of 1 inch scraps now... (dang i left the camera at the store... i cant take a picture) I am thinking either the pattern i found yesterday or i might just do something with the larger number of squares with sashing.. checkerboarded with something thats not so busy... i like all of the ideas in my head but i think i need to actually sew some things up to decide what i love... so i dont know where its going right now. We did have a little bit of money to splurge with yesterday and i asked ralph which he thought i should use with them.. off white or white... he said off white... since its his christmas present... i bought some kona "natural" and i plan on  using that with it.

I also bought some muslin... i need to do a wedding ring quilt for coleman since he just got married... and ive been loving the string quilts i have seen and have some ideas with that.... but there i go i have too many projects started, none being finished and i said i wasn't going to do that!!

it will probably be next week before i can get the sewing machine out of the shop... i cant wait. I will finish the two twin quilts as soon as i get that back!

My sister is sending me some scraps that she got from aunt gerri... i did decide i need more scraps for the little squares... so cool.. more scraps. ok.. was i demanding? i just sent her a list of what i still needed for all of my projects, in case she had some of what i needed!!! lol.. hopefully i will get a package from becki of lots of scraps!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

changing my mind

ok.. it appears part of my process is changing my mind!!! Which... i guess matches the rest of my life so I dont know why that surprises me.

My little 4 patch squares... i was planning on making a 9 patch block out of them with nuetrals.. then checkerboarding that. BUT... i found these tutorials... Stashbuster Block 2 and Stashbuster Block and i think i love the strips of 1 1/2 inch squares as much as i love the 4 patch blocks... so ive got that running thru my head and i think im going to do something with it.

I love her colors with the white... my first thought is i would use cream. BUT... thats because im afraid of white. I dont know what my fear of white is... i LOVE the look of it... but i am seriously afraid of it. Maybe its because i have always avoided white clothing too..  i love crisp white clothes but in 5 minutes ive got a spot on me! The other reason i think cream for mine is she has such vivid colors and mine are more muted... just seems to be what i have in my stash. I will have to ask ralph and see my squares against the two.... but yes... my 4 patch squares will be combined with strips somehow and instead of printed nuetrals... im going with a solid or solids.... i need to play with graph paper again.

an another quilting blogging question... i would love to put a pic of her block with a link to the tutorial but i dont know the etiquette on that... so i just posted the links. Is it proper to email and ask her if i can post the pic with the link?? I would think so.... I just hate to have to clicky clicky the links to see something someone referenced.

Ralph and I worked yesterday morning... I stayed at the store during the break and stayed open. My plan was for it to be slow so that i could make a batch of sub buns and work on getting the sound equipment right. We were too busy for that! that was good cuz last week was super slow! We did our first show on last night and i think our listeners liked it. We did a test run sunday and the mic levels were all wrong. I figured out that problem for last night but we still have a crackle that i cant figure out... im going to work on that thursday. But... the music quality is better and they didn't seem to mind the trade off!

Today i seriously have to work on bookwork for the store... im a month behind!!! Im going to have to do a sams run... then work from 5-10 so i dont think i will have alot of sewing time. I wish I had the money to get my sewing machine out of the shop... but its going to have to wait till later in the week. With the slow week last week, i just dont have it!

hope yall have a wonderful day.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

not very inspired

my blogs last week dont seem very "inspired" but they did match my mood... i was really tired last week!

before i get into this... how do i make it so when i comment on someone elses blog post they can contact me... something about an email setting... ive looked and have no idea how to fix it!!! anyone have any idea?

my picture for the day... my little 4 patches... im still in love...

I have no idea how many ive made... and the picture is a little blurry, i was fighting to keep sammy cat off of them while i got the picture. But im still enjoying making these... i can whip up a bunch in no time!

I have my stack for the week of hand piecing... but im looking forward to getting my machine back this week!!! I have so many other things i want to get started on.

My sister emailed me and asked me if i would help her put up a website for her to sell her quilts!! I had no idea she was quilting enough to sell them! I am thrilled to help and will share a link when we get it up. I told her she should blog... lol... i am a blog addict. But i guess my cousins john and johnny are going to a "handmade" fair and selling things they are making (im assuming woodworking) and she has been sending quilts with them and selling them! I am going to have to join in on the family business... i will have to ship what i make to michigan... but how cool is that! Becki is calling her quilts "inspired by angels" because her inspiration is my mom, my aunt and my grandma... all quilters who have passed away.

My mom taught me to quilt. Both of my sisters make things... becki has made me alot of pretty things and sandy tends to make things for her home. lol.. sandy doesn't seem that crafty... so it is always odd to me when i see stuff she makes... but i think that the influence we had growing up (mom made our clothes, quilts, you name it) is stronger than her seeming lack of patience and interest! Becki doesn't surprise me... she has always created things! I didn't have my mom as long as they did, she passed away when i was 14 so i dont know if my stuff is really inspired by her, and my grandma i know she sewed and quilted but during my lifetime she owned a store and didn't sew that much (i think my aunt had more influence over my quilting that anyone) but i do know that i do it to feel a connection to them. I do it because the sounds and textures and finished products take me back to a time when my mom was a part of my life and i hope that the three of them are sitting up in heaven smiling down on me as i create things... like they did.

ok.. now that im all sappy... every once in a while there is a moment that just touches your heart...

Ralph and grandbaby Waylon yesterday... how sweet is that?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

survived another long day

Ralph and I worked 12 hours yesterday and we survived it. I made the schedule for next week, i didn't schedule us for any 12 hour shifts! We each only get one day off (and i think we will close the 4th... so we will get that off too) I did it for several reasons. First... we need a break from 3 12 hour days, 2nd... the kids are doing a crappy job up there and it shows. I have had to give away food the last two shifts where people complained that their food was burnt. One brought the pizza in and im really disappointed that they served that. so... two people have complained, how many haven't and just wont be back? this is a small town and i cant afford to lose customers!! So there are only 2 shifts without one of us being in the store this next week. Third.. since we are covering as many shifts as possible we aren't working together... and i think we need that break! But it will break up a routine i have and i hate breaking up my routines!

My hand piecing that i set out to do this week is done! Even a mess of little 4 patches. I work until 3 today... tonight im going to be stocking the box again! i will post some more pictures tomorrow... i may even have two rows combined by then... im so excited!

This morning i have to go up to the store early, they are going to help me set up the radio show and we should be back on air by monday night! Ralph is out horseshoeing, but it should be the last customer he has till the next round which starts in 4 weeks. Its working out that he has 2 horrific weeks where he works himself to death... then 4 off. Im printing him flyers today to try to get about 5 more customers, that means he will have three horrific weeks and 3 off but financially we would be in much better shape!

oh oh oh... good news. Bucks employer wants him back... long story why he got fired, but they are trying to get him back and he will be making 16 per hour again and they will be able to afford getting their house moved here and move out! i was really excited but it may have to wait 90 days before he can get back on the crew. Buck better do what he can to get the job back because that kind of pay doesn't happen often in east texas! The employer realized what a work horse they got rid of... buck is a hard worker!

Friday, June 25, 2010

A useful tutorial

In the past i used bias tape to bind my quilts. (this was back in the 80's) I have seen so many quilts now with fabric binding that ive loved... i just had no idea how to do it. But... i found this tutorial on making bias binding... i was so excited. I cant wait to make the binding for the quilts im making the twins!! (i get my sewing machine back late next week... woo hoo... i cant wait!)

Thank you traceyjayquilts for the continuous bias binding tutorial!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

life stuff

we now have a wireless router in the house! woo hoo! sharon and I figured it out yesterday, we had bought the router in december but it wouldn't work with our system. Ive been so busy i haven't tried to figure it out, sharon yesterday found where they had a fix for it and we got it installed and im now sitting in bed on my laptop blogging and ralph can use his computer... sharing was tough!

We also found a new home for our radio show. We are going to do it on it is a new station, one of the creators of it was a listener to our show... she is so excited that we will be bringing our audience to them she is beside herself! We may have it running in time to do the show tomorrow, if not then definately on monday. It has all but the phone feature but they are working on adding that. There will actually be customer service here (there was NONE where we were doing it) Im excited. Our show is Monday and Thursday from 7-9 Central time (6-8 Eastern) and w play cowboy and western music... it is alot of fun, there is a chatroom for folks listening where they can interact with each other and we have built a "backporch family" I love doing the show. We had to decide if we wanted to do our own station where we could sell advertising or if we just wanted to keep doing a show... we chose the make no money option because we are both too busy to sell advertising!

Today i spent some time looking at Wow... people are actually selling their handcrafted goods! Im skeptical... could i really make money sewing stuff??? lol... im going to think about that one for a while... seems i need to get a sewing machine that works before i get too excited! The other thing i love is that recycled products and green products seem popular and i love those things!! Hmmm food for thought.

today is a long day so very little sewing. I did get some housework done this morning... serously though there are 4 adults in this house. Ralph and i work long hours at the restaurant and he horseshoes.... buck works 19 hours a week at the store and sharon doesn't have a job... you would think that they would have plenty of time to clean up after themselves... ahh but that would be a rant.. im just waiting for them to move out... there has been talk of that again lately and im getting hopeful again. I love them to death but it would be so nice if ralph and i had the house to ourselves!

So... picture of the day.... here is a "cowboyed up" shot of ralph and i when we were at the Acadamy of Western Artists Award show last year.

and another of us with some of our backporch listeners when we won the Western Music Association's Radio Station of the year award.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

no sew day

Ok... my house is severely neglected because ive been sewing every minute i have available... so today im determined to clean and not sew... lol... we will see how that goes. I am almost thru my piecing that i prepared for the whole week and its only tuesday... so i guess i got alot done yesterday!

the sewing machine just left the house... ralph is finally taking it to the shop in Many... i hope they can fix it fast because i have so many projects i want to work on! I have been reading tutorials... im telling you thats dangerous! I now want to make a whole bunch of stuff i dont have the fabric for which means im going to have to buy fabric... its just dangerous.

lol... ok my method of making stuff is i read a bunch of tutorials to get an idea of how to do it and then i make it how i want... going to make ralphs laptop a denim bag lined with mattress ticking. I think he will like that right now he is using a carry on case as a laptop bag! I didn't find a tutorial exactly how i wanted it but i did get some good ideas and have a plan in my head.

cloth napkins and curtains for the kitchen. I used to have a bunch of them but overtime they have worn out. I love using cloth napkins with meals! I am so excited about making different napkins for different seasons... oh and the color of my background on my blog is the color we are painting the kitchen... cant you just see some of these beautiful fabrics out there with these colors in it as napkins and curtains for my kitchen... (im giddy with the thought)

my favorite pair of pajama bottoms have a hole in them! I plan on using them for a pattern for a couple more pair of them. They are just cotton pj bottoms but i love them and wear them all the time! Living with sharon and buck... i cant run around in skimpy nighties! lol. I also plan on finding a capri pants pattern... in the summer thats all i wear to work and i need about 4 more pair!

the possibilities are endless and i feel like i have awoke a sleeping giant... it feels so good to be creating and making things again. I cant tell you the joy it brings me!

Ralph and people around me dont understand this "new found" obsession (its new to them... not to me... but it has been almost two decades since i have made things) I feel like i have come home... all the ideas and projects swimming in my head, the feel of fabric... the sound of scissors slicing thru ti...  i cant wait to hear the whirl of the sewing machine. Watching a lifeless piece of fabric become something... im just too excited. Hopefully yall reading this get that... because its hard to explain to someone who hasn't been there and done that... it all just makes me giddy!

Monday, June 21, 2010

mellow monday morning

Lets see... what did i accomplish this weekend?

I finished cutting up the denim that i bought. I need 192 more 6" squares and i will be done cutting squares for the rag quilts!!! (thats about 10 more pair of jeans)

In my stack of hand sewing for the week:

the row of 6X9 blocks. I cut the last 4 blocks i needed and added them to the row already.

I have 2 more spools cut and ready. I will need 2 more once they are finished

I have cut and assembled one of the friendship star blocks... which i am loving much more than the other star i had... it is less fussy, more whimsical (I only need 7 more!)

I have also prepared the 4 patch checkerboard peices... i only have about half cut so im only combining light and dark right now.

As quickly as im getting thru the pile... i think i will be able to combine my first two rows together this week... the 6X9 block to the row of hearts. Im looking forward to that... it will feel like im finally making some progress!!

ralph and I had a nice day together yesterday. He got his fathers day phone calls... he has 6 kids so he spent alot of time on the phone which he actually hates... but at least all 6 kids remembered! We went out to dinner the two of us in center, which was relaxing then we worked last night. Last year we did a cookout at the beach, im glad we didn't this year... it hit 103 yesterday!!!

I didn't get to call my dad. His girlfriend has changed their number again and i dont have it. She does this every once in a while when she is mad at my sister. But... my dad has dementia and doesnt know who I am anymore anyways. I think im going to buy him the 50 western movies pack from sams today and send it to him with a late card. Ralph and I bought one for us and it has been great watching all the old westerns. It was how i spent lazy weekend days as a kid, sleeping on the couch while watching an old western movie with my dad. I think he would enjoy it. It doesn't look like i will be able to make my summer trip up to michigan to see him so I am shooting for a thanksgiving trip.

My plan today is to weed eat around the house. The lawnmower guy will be here the 25th and the lawn is above my knees now! good thing i live in the country... i would be having a conniption if i had city neighbors (i would also have a heck of alot smaller yard and would have bought a push mower to mow it by now!) Its 8 am and 77 out there right now... I want to get it done before it gets hot!

hope yall have a wonderful mellow monday!!

Saturday, June 19, 2010


Ralphs closet doesn't have doors on it... another unfinished remodeling project we will get to someday... but at night as im going to sleep... im looking at the wonderfully colored plaid shirts that he wears everyday... reds, greens, blues, yellows... i love them! I want to make a quilt out of them... and he is now afraid im going to start raiding his closet. I was trying to get a picture of them the other day... but he was being a goof so just for him being a goof... heres a hilarious shot of him in his dramatic pose where he is protecting the content of his closet from me while wearing one of the wonderful shirts im talking about.

anyways... i cant cut up all his shirts... because he looks good in them! (there are two that do need to be retired that i plan on stealing but shhh dont tell him) But my other find at the yardsale yesterday and i only spent 50 cents on all of it! The blue and yellow one is actually a homemade curtain valance... but its in that pretty plaid that im looking for!

Im in the finding fabric stage on this project... lol... i cant start them until after i finish all of the christmas presents i have started now!!!

Today i have been attempting to cut up the jeans i found... Sammy is insisting on helping though... i think im going to go watch a movie with ralph, work on some of my little squares and then come back to the cutting process.

Ralph went horseshoeing today, it had been a long time since i went with him but since Buck didn't get up to go with him, i did. We had a good morning, the work went quick and we went out to breakfast... then to hemphill where the hardware store was having an anniversary sale... FREE 5 gallon buckets and if you have horses... you know how great that is!! We each got a bucket and bought some stuff that we needed at 20% off.

the cool thing is we picked out a color of paint for the kitchen. There is alot of history of picking out paint in this house and he has refused to even look at paint, so today i made a deal "one minute, we will look and if we dont find anything we like we will walk away" I was looking in the greens and he pulled out this pretty robin egg blue/teal color and said i want this... i loved it... so yep... were going to paint our kitchen that color!

i hope yall have a great weekend! Its my day off and im going to relax some before i get to work on the radio station thing.

Friday, June 18, 2010

I Scored!!!

I knew there was a yard sale on my way to work today, so left out a little early.... and i scored!!!

5 pair of bluejeans for the rag quilts... only 50 cents! woo hooo!!! Sammie Cat approves of this find too!

I spend 50 cents on some other things... but i will blog about that tomorrow... have to include my whole plan and inspiration!


My hearts are finished! woo hoo i made myself finish the last one before i could blog! lol. Its dark in here today so i will take a picture tomorrow. I did do a few more 4 patch squares last night... it was too dark to do the applique so i had to work on something while we watched a movie.

On the radio show front... we have to change platforms. We have been using a format that is designed for talk radio and now that we are playing mostly music... we have to change. I have known it was coming for a while... but they finally asked us to move yesterday. So... we dont have a show till i find a new home this weekend. Ralph and I are having one of those deep discussions about it. Right now it would be really easy to just walk away. there are things we dont like about doing the show, but we both know in our hearts that we would miss it way too much. So we are doing the "what we like/dont like" about doing the show so that we can do something that we both enjoy.

That has lead to the whole conversation of peace and joy in our lives. Ralph and i both view ourselves as entertainers. In the western music world there are dj's that see their role as promoting western music, or preserving history... we dont see that as one of our goals. We do the show purely to entertain. We happen to love western music... so that is what we like to entertain with... but the show is so much more than spinning tunes. The banter between them, the jokes and the interaction with the audience is our version of entertaining. Our shows this last month or two, they haven't been as entertaining as we would like. My theory on this is we have been streached so thin, have been stressed out so much... its hard to bring others joy when we arent feeling it ourselves.

We talked about what brings us peace. For me that is why i started quilting again right now. It brings peace to my heart, there is the joy of finding and touching the fabric and it doesn't matter how stressed out my day was, i can come home, pick up some fabric and let all of that go away.

For ralph it used to be the radio show. A little over a year ago his wife died of cancer, through that battle, there were two hours twice a week, that ralph could put that behind him and not be that man about to lose someone he loved. Me too... it really was therapy. Somehow the show turned into WORK for him though since. He hasn't been enjoying the work part of it and it shows... so... what ever we do... it cant be WORK (well unless we start selling advertising on the show and then a little work would be ok... but for it to be so much work with no pay... its just not fun!) But... the peace and joy conversation did sink into ralph and i think he will be looking for what brings him joy. Its been a hard couple months and he needs to find it again.

Anyways... the whole point is... im not going to get much quilting done this weekend because im going to be creating an online radio station. We are going to decide what we want, how were going to get there and im going to make it happen. Who knows what we will end up with... i just know we would both miss it too much if we didn't keep doing it. It is still 2 hours twice a week that we aren't stressed out, broke pizza joint owners!

OK... the sun came back out... heres a picture for ya!
My pretty little row of hearts... boy im glad that is done!

OK, one more picture. This is my two sisters and I in West Virginia in April. The first one is Becki, she is the oldest and it is her birthday today!!! The next is Sandy.... then me. We had so much fun that day exploring and playing and remembering our childhood. But... i hope becki has a wonderful birthday!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

my new helper

we also live with wesley. He is sharons son... he was helping yesterday as i laid out what i have finished so far to take a look. Wow... i have alot to do yet! It seems like i have done more than that! lol.

Wesley is a good kid when its just him and I. He is sweet, interactive, affectionate and talkative. When his mom is around you would never know it. Most times when i say something to him when shes here, his response is to hit me. He doesn't show affection, his speech is worse (he has a speech problem) and he turns into a monster child. It makes living with them a challenge. ugh... i could go on and on here and it would turn into a rant so im not going to.

Ralph is off horseshoeing again. He has a really busy week this week with the horseshoeing. He hasn't worked as much as normal at the store because of it so Im working the lunch shift today to make up for some of that. Its normally my day off. This afternoon i should get some uniterrupted quilting time and im determined to finish the hearts today. I have 3 more to do!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

black coffee

Ive had to drink my coffee black this morning because im out of creamer and there is not even any milk in the house... i really dont like my coffee black, but the alternative is no coffee and that is even less acceptable.

Sammie cat was helping me again this morning... ive decided he feels the same about applique as i do. I love how it looks, i love the finished product and i included quite a bit on the faith/harley quilts because i think it suits little girls... im just ambivalent about doing it! Its not the most exciting thing there is.

Having said that... its holding up my progress on the faith/harley quilt so I am determined to finish the row of hearts this week. I finished one this morning leaving 4 more to do.

I am going to have to work on my photo taking skills... the colors in this are not the best.

I had to make a deal with myself... i can go back to the little squares that im loving as soon as i finish the hearts!

During my break yesterday i was reading quilting blogs. I have really enjoyed this... it is keeping me motivated and inspired as im making progress on my work. But... poor little waylon was just screaming in the next room (he is about 6 weeks old) I finally had to go see what the problem was, momma was giving him his medicine for thrush and it did not make him a happy camper. When she finished i picked him up and he settled down, so i brought him out to the computer with me... he enjoyed the quilting blogs too, there were lots of pretty colors for him to look at. I had the camera and this was the best shot i could get of myself holding the little fella. He is a little cutie and im loving having a baby in the house. (im loving the grandmother status too... i get to love him and coo at him and think aww how cute... but i dont have to get up at 3 am and feed him or change his diapers!)

Yesterday we did a catering job for the Chamber of Commerce Meeting. We did a 6 foot sub! I cannot believe i forgot to take a picture for ralph. We had come up with the idea together but he couldn't be there since he was horseshoeing. But the sub went over well and hopefully we reminded the business community that we have great lunch food. Our lunch crowd has become mainly oil and gas people in town and i dont see alot of locals. I did end up working from about 9-2 during the day and then from 5-10:30 last night. Last night was really slow and caty and i got alot of cleaning jobs done... but then a half an hour before we closed it made up for the slow night... we got BUSY... i was happy but i hate when it happens right before we close.

We dont have alot of catering experience... i definately learned some lessons yesterday for the next time. I did have too much food but i will learn what i need as i do more of the jobs. I would rather have too much than run out!

the oil and gas business is still booming in san augustine. Its been amazing. We drove the back roads home the other night and you can see 6 rigs when you go home that way, going home the highway last night i saw one that must have just went up in the last couple days. We of course love that they are getting closer to our house and cant wait till they put one on our property! (sorry if your an environmentalist... but if you owned 100 acres and stood to make a quarter of what they bring out of the ground... you would be excited too) But for now the increase in business at the store has been great. Right now we normally slow down but were not, it keeps growing and i would say that the oil workers are now about 40 percent of our business. they are predicting that the drilling will go on for at least another 6 years and are saying that eventually there will be a well every 40 acres in east texas. I say bring it on... i like the business and the economy in this little town has never been this good!

ok... back to hearts... i might be able to finish one more this morning!!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

pretty little things

another relaxing day yesterday... finished the top or bottom row of the faith quilt (picture later)

but... im loving these pretty little things... they take no time to stitch up while laying in bed and ive made a few more than this... but aren't they just adorable.

i figure just 659 more of them and i will have enough! lol.

but my list of stuff to buy...

6 denim quilts
about 20 more pair of jeans
10 yrds red flannel
10 yds blue flannel
3 more yards of white flannel

the 4 patch
neutrals... i will never get enough neutrals for it!!

backing for the twin quilts. I had a sheet i was going to use but its not big enough and i dont like the color... so im on the lookout for large peices of fabric or sheets that will work.

faith and harley
backing again... i want to be more creative than ive been before... but im going to need some big peices of fabric... gonna have to find a good sale somewhere for these!

i have to save up some more fun money to get this stuff!

Monday, June 14, 2010

love and hate

i love this block!! i told you those little squares were calling!!

Ive decided to keep making the little 4 patches and keep cutting 2 1/2 in nuetral squares (and 6 1/2 inch) Its going to be about 2700 1 1/2 inch squares or 675 little 4 patches.. to make a queen... but... i love love love it.

I hate this block:

The quilt for harley and faith is whimsical and this star isn't whimsical enough and for some reason i HATED hand peicing it, all of those points on the star were just annoying. I will use them somewhere else, but not this quilt. Im going to use the friendship star block instead...

but lots of cutting and marking this weekend. I have a whole stack of little 4 patches, all my hearts are ready for applique and another row of 3 1/2 inch squares for the top or bottom of the quilt. I have more spools cut, a few of the friendship stars... i almost have all of one of them cut and ready to sew!! oh... the butterfly row... i have been trying to draw the butterfly and im not happy with my results! lol... i need them yet.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Giving Thanks

its Sunday again... i haven't been to church in a while and im not sure i will today... but i do feel the need to give thanks.

-last nights dinner. I was planning on getting burgers somewhere but when i asked ralph what he wanted he jokingly said steak and baked potatoes. while helping to feed the horses i eyed the beautiful grill we have, but never use. I had to light it because who knew if the kids had broken it or not! But it worked... so instead of getting burgers i went to the grocery store, bought two beautiful ribeyes... and came home and cooked a wonderful supper instead of a dried up hambuger and soggy fries from a gas station restaurant! (the steaks cost less than the burgers would have!) We feasted on one of the best steaks i have had in ages, baked potatoes, salad, and strawberrys over buscuits for dessert... mmmmm.... it was nice to enjoy a good supper (that wasn't zippys) with him!

-positive thinking. Ralph has been in a funk where everything was negative...yesterday he was out of it and was a positive thinker again. I know the negativity was because he was tired, we are still dealing with paying off some bills and that gets overwhelming... but yesterday he saw a light at the end of the tunnel and was able to see a bright and happy future again. He is the biggest dreamer i know... i feel as if my world is upside down when he is negative. So im thankful he is over the funk.

-My home. I plan on being a domestic diva today... it really needs the attention! So instead of whining about being the only one to clean around here... im going to be thankful for the roof over my head to clean, thankful for a beautiful remodeled kitchen.. and the potential for the rest of the house... the knowledge that we will once we have paid off this big bill be able to finish some of the projects that were started, to be able to paint and fix some things. (we are also waiting for the kids to move out to do it.... but it will get done)

-the rain... we got alot of rain last week and the pastures needed it. The horses have lush green grass again, not crunchy grass. I have to remind myself of this when i look out at the jungle of my backyard... i MUST call to get the lawnmower fixed on MONDAY! Caty's boyfriend Jonathan was going to mow it this weekend for us with their lawnmower... BUT travis borrowed their mower on friday and broke theirs TOO! Poor caty couldn't say no to her brother... but she knew what was going to happen... and sure enough. I felt bad for her. But... that tall grass in the back yard means the horses have tall grass in the pasture. (side note: Travis doesn't mean to break everything he touches, i know that... but his OCD makes him careless with other peoples things. ive decided hes breaking the mowers because he is obsessed with expanding his lawn into the overgrown pasture... meaning hes using riding mowers to do a job he needs a bush hog for. regardless... hes never borrowing our mower again!)

-air conditioning! Its in the 90's out there now and i am so thankful for air conditioning. I have lived in big old houses since moving to texas and window units or the huge thing i had in my last house was no match for poor insulation, high ceilings ect. For 4 years i didn't have ac in my bedroom... although the design of the house made it bearable... it was still a little warmish some nights. This little ranch house we have a window unit in our bedroom and a big one in the main part of the house... and im freezing most of the time!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Reading quilting blogs

Ive spent a couple hours now browsing quilting blogs! I woke up way too early... but i have loved browsing and seeing what other people are working on.

1. Im inspired by hexagons. There were alot of those and just pretty little things.... that is now on my list of "someday" quilts.

2. modern quilts are beautiful... but i dont think i will make many of them. I love their simplicity and the colors... but what i am drawn to make and the fabrics i enjoy feel more vintage.

3. pieced backs... now i do believe that i will do some pieced backs and thru that will experiment with bigger chunks with a modern feel. I dont know what i will back the harley faith quilts with... but i saw some things that inspired me. I love that a pieced back will make them reversable.

4. Wow... some of these ladies can pop out quilts like its nothing!!! lol... maybe i could if i wasn't hand piecing them and had a sewing machine... but then again, something about it all seems so mechanical... the quilts i have made have been more like slow romances... i dont want to have summer flings with them! This will be interesting to see how i feel as i go along and actually start finishing and making more!

5. the diversity in the quilt world is amazing... not just the diversity in the quilts themselves but in the people. It was kinda nice that i feel like im part of a bigger community.

just my thoughts after browsing the quilting community.

yesterday was a really long day but i survived it. We didn't end up going to Kerry's show. Honestly it was money. To get the kids to work for us costs 80 dollars in payroll and we are working on keeping that as low as possible right now... had i planned, we could have switched shifts with them, but i didn't.

In the morning before work i got some more blocks ready for piecing. I had the cut pieces, but i like drawing the 1/4 in on them... which is probably why my hand pieced stuff is so much neater than my sewing machine stuff... I have to work to develop my machine work some... its messy. But i will be working on stars this week...

I said the small squares were calling me... i confess, i got a stack of them ready for piecing too. I dont know what the pattern ive decided on is called... i know i dont want a whole quilt of little squares so im doing a 4 patch with the squares (which will be 2 inches) and then a 9 patch with neutrals with them... to kinda make a irish chain... it may actually be an irish chain im not sure. But this is now officially "colemans wedding present" which is really ralphs christmas present... im going to try to keep it a secret... which im not very good at doing!

But... there is a whole bunch of sewing on my nightstand now... ill take more pics as i finish it. Im thinking i can have one of the girls quilts pieced by the end of june if i keep up this pace.

Ralph is not too enthused about the quilting, but he did admit that he is looking forward to seeing how i finish one... lol... he knows me and knows that i tend to not finish things... so im determined to show him my determination by finishing one! so this weekend im going to finish one of the twin quilts. i have to figure out how to hand bind one... ive never done that! and im not sure what fabric to use for the binding... but ill pick something.

well its off the internet for me... i usually use the computer until ralph gets up and then give it to him... lol.. i need a wireless router, right now we just have one computer online.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Western Music

Ralph and I do a radio show twice a week online that plays western music... it is my other love. It has been fun and last year we won the Western Music Association's Radio Station of the year award! You can see more and listen at

Thursday night is radio show night and last nights was great. We had one of the artists sitting in with us. He is Kerry Grombacher out of New Orleans. He will be performing tonight in Hemphill, so he came a day early to be on the backporch! It of course was a late night, after the show he gave ralph and I a private concert of some of his new stuff... i loved his new stuff! He is a good songwriter that makes you think. His sound is very folky too and i love the folky stuff.

I forgot that his show was tonight and i scheduled ralph and i to work! opps. Hopefully we can get two of the kids to cover us so we can go!

today will be a busy one regardless. I have to run to sams before the morning shift (meaning i have to leave out by 7 am) then work from 10-2. If i dont have time before two i will have to hang out and make wings and meatballs... then either go to the show tonight or work from 5-10.

but... the song working for the weekend... yep... thats what i will be doing today... im working for sat, sun and mon where i can make alot of progress on the faith quilt and tie off the first twin quilt.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

changed my mind

since this is becoming my quilting journal... i just wanted to "jot" this down really quick. I am changing my mind about what im doing for christmas presents.

the goal is to make all of ralphs kids and grand kids a quilt over the next two years.

there are 6 kids, 6 spouses or boyfriends/girlfriends, 7 biological grand children, 2 step grand children and i believe jess' girlfriend has 3 more that we haven't met yet, but they are moving back from alaska in the fall and we will get to know them. so that is 24 quilts that i want to make.

the plan for this year was to do the sons/son in laws, and the 9 grandchildren we know (step and bio) BUT... im changing my mind.... im adding one person (ralph) and im only going to do the GIRL grand children this year... that is 5 grand kids (i think jess gf has 2 girls so i may end up making 2 more this fall)

SO... this is what im making:

5 grand girl quilts (maybe 7)
6 denim rag throws
1 quilt for ralph

OH... and colemen went and got married at the JP!!! its amazing one of the hampton kids got married!! I do want to make them a quilt for their "wedding" next spring where they will do the whole vows in front of family and friends. so that is on my list... i of course want to do a double wedding ring.

Now for ralph... im in love with the scrap 1 1/2 in squares that i have been cutting out of scraps. I dont want to do the whole quilt with those tiny things but im thinking an alternating 4 patch with 2 1/2 inch off white... i think it will look good in our bedroom... lol... get where im going with this... i want one of MY quilts so im making ralph one for christmas! lol. BUT i can hear those little bitty squares calling me... and i have to start them and do something with them!!!

jess' girls... harley and faith (sisters) the quilts im hand piecing right now
the twins... i have a simple 9 patch that i have already made 2 of, just need to be finished
lea (the twins older sister) she is getting a very simple one that ive drawn up.. it will take a weekend once i get my sewing machine back.

there... that is what im gonna do!!

my day off

we survived the two 12 hr days in a row. Those are killer. I do have to go to the restaurant and make meatballs this morning, but that shouldn't take long. So... today a day off where i can hand piece, tomorrow another 12 hour day and then sat-mon off again. What seems to be working on the hand piecing is on the weekend i am cutting and organizing a stack of work that i can do during the week. I put these on the night stand and work a bit in the morning and a bit at night... my stack from last weekend is almost gone, i finished a heart last night and i have two more which i should finish today.... tomorrow one more spool waiting.

Life has just been a little crazy and its wearing on ralph and i, he has been a bear to get along with... but so have i. What we need right now is to laugh, we haven't found life too funny lately and that is the one thing that holds us together.... we laugh... im not sure how to give us some time together where we just relax and can see the humor in things again... to forget the stress and problems... hopefully this weekend i can find it because i dont think i can take another week like this one.

its getting daylight and hes got to horseshoe today... im going to take him some coffee in bed... his horseshoeing is paying our bills right now, so when he horseshoes he is my hero.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

more progress and the sketch

The hand piecing is going really fast! I'm amazed. I spend a little bit each night before bed on it. lol ralph likes it because he thinks i'm paying attention to him.

But here is my sketch of what im doing... its kinda a sampler in rows and really girly. The two girls im making them for are both girly girls!

One problem i always have is width... i thought i was doing the right size for a twin quilt... but it is almost as wide as the full size quilts my aunt made me! So... its going to be a big twin with lots of overhang... lol... i actually like that but didn't mean to do it.

Since ive never followed a pattern and i am spatially challenged... i make weird sized quilts! lol.

Im not sure if im going to do the pieced lettering at the top for their names or applique... probably pieced since im treating this as a "sampler" quilt and ive never done that before. Bt i am having fun and seeing progress and thats what i like about quilting.

but... here is what ive done so far. The two stars i did on the machine before it died... the big block row i need a few more blocks and im waiting to see what other fabrics end up in this quilt before i cut them. the flowers i just have to sew the "stem" between the flowers but there are 4 of them done. The first row of small squares is done, that is for the top or bottom... the "spools" im going to work more on them this week... they take more time and thought, so dont think i will work on them the days i work... i will mess up and i know it!

I finally got the fabric i ordered from Z and S fabric. I ordered it two weekends ago and normally they are pretty quick on shipping... this time it took forever! but... here is what i got for 25 dollars. The neutrals i plan to use in the faith/harley quilts, there is a yard of each of them. Most of the others are remnants and i will use some of them in the quilt im working on. the red fabric is cool, the lines are gold metallic. I plan to use that on Leas quilt... i will have to show you a sketch of that sometime.. but the fabric is perfect for that. I really love the big daisy fabric... i wish there was more of that!

I have decided that sammie not only likes to help me quilt, but he is also a camera ham... i had to keep moving him out of the way to get these pictures... so i finally took one of him and he was happy. Ive only "had" sammie as a pet since december. hes an odd one... has no voice so he meows but nothing comes out. I am much more of a dog person than a cat... but sammie is growing on me, especially since he seems to like quilting as much as i do.

Yesterday and today we work our 12 hour days (then one on friday) so... not alot of time this morning. I hope all of you have a great day!

Monday, June 7, 2010

What impatience will do

Im impatient... ive started hand stitching the faith and harley quilts. (since i dont have a sewing machine) I have pics finally... but the camera ran out of battery juice before i got the pic of the sketch... but here is what ive hand pieced so far....

I actually enjoy hand piecing... lol... i laid in bed all day yesterday sewing... it was nice.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

internet withdrawl!!!

the internet at home hasn't worked for 2 days. We have worked 12 hour days and to get them to do anything takes several minutes on the phone... i just haven't had the time! Ralph found me this morning sitting and staring at the computer... i had no idea what to do to wake up... no facebook, no quilting blogs!! We went out to breakfast instead.

Right now im at zippys.. lol... i think we will hang out here for a while after our shift so we can both get our fix.

Flylady friends... i haven't been doing my routines, i got off track with the change in schedule so im determined this weekend to spend some time figuring out how to make routines happen again. the other thing that threw me off is ralph keeping the kitchen clean!!! i love it but it messed with my routines. For those of you who are just reading this... im a fan of it has really allowed me to organize myself in getting housework done... it makes it less overwhelming.

Quilting... the sewing machine still hasn't made it to the shop. Im tempted to see if my mothers still works! Hopefully this week i can get that into lufkin. Ralph said he would take it to many but he just hasn't been.... so im going to take matters in my own hands.

but... i have been cutting fabric for the faith and harley quilts... i have almost cut everything i need for both of them. lol still no pics, im going to have to do that tonight and post them tomorrow.

Mostly i have been working at zippys. We have been so busy, breaking sales records all week long! how cool is that! Yesterday we did an order for the graduation night lock up (a program in texas that has a all night party for the graduates... there is food and great door prizes like televisions!!) We made 40 large pizzas and 400 hot wings!!! It made for a crazy day yesterday, first making sure we had all the food stuff we needed and then getting boxes. I went to lufkin to get them and sams didn't have any!!! we had to drive from lufkin to shreveport louisiana and back to san augustine. We left at about 2 in the afternoon for lufkin and got back with the boxes at 9 pm, just as they were begining to start making the large order! 7 hours for a simple 2 hour box run!!! ugh. lol the good thing is we had to get buck and jay to cover our shifts, so we only worked from 9-11 pm last night... i did like that. But... it took 2 hours to make 40 lg pizzas.

the other fun thing... the chamber of commerce asked us to cater their next meeting. Ralph and i decided to do a 10 foot sub for that. She said we could make what ever we wanted, pizza, pasta or subs... so i think this will be a fun way to present the subs to them (and hopefully remind them of a great lunch choice!!) We will also include chips and a salad... but i think the long sub will be a hit, normally the caterers dont pay much attention to presentation so were going to do it right! Its gonna be fun putting it together!

Its time for ralph and i to go home... gonna go read my quilting blogs... say something funny on facebook and head home!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

whats a girll gotta do

darn, still no camera at home! maybe during the break today i can post some pictures.

but whats a girl gotta do to get some time to quilt? My day didn't go as planned yesterday and i didn't get any time to work on my quilts. Which made me very grumpy. Even the morning was interrupted.. normally i have from about 5 am till 8 am where everyone is asleep. today and tomorrow are long days at work, so i had to put it all away last night... maybe thursday i will get some time.

I do feel like i made alot of progress this weekend on a few things.
  • I have more denim cut (4 more pair to cut that i will finish this morning)
  • i have at least half of the fabric cut for faith and harley (and i had finished putting my idea on paper for these over the weekend)
  • I went thru 4 boxes of stuff and although it doesn't look it because its scattered around the house... i am closer to organizing my quilting closet. lol... i will have to take a before and after shot of that! i have alot more fabric than i thought i did! lol.
  • I found the backing i had for the first quilt for the twins. I can lay it out and start the tying process next weekend, hand stitch the binding and voila.. i will have finished one!
  • i bought 3 1/2 yards of white flannel in remnent bins!! hobby lobby had 2 bundles yesterday!!! I should only need 2 more yards to have all the white squares. (still need blue and red... the back of the denim rag quilts will be a texas flag.)
  • found two tops that ralphs mother had made but never quilted. lol.. they are ugly and im sure thats why she never finished them. I never knew his mother, but i do plan on finishing them and keeping them. Too bad we dont have any of the pretty ones she made left!
im gonna get busy. hope yall have a good couple days.

Monday, May 31, 2010

long and wonderful day

wow when your not working at a busy pizza restaurant time goes by really really slow! it was wonderful. I spent the day yesterday cutting pieces for faith and harleys quilts. At some point ralph said he was hungry so we decided to venture out to get something to eat. we have NO groceries... i really need to go grocery shopping. On the way i noticed it was only 2 in the afternoon... I thought it was about 6!

but it was a nice time. We went to the Fishermans something or other... we call it the log cabin over in Many LA. We decided to go on into Many to get some stuff from walmarts. I did look in the remnent bin and found a few things i needed for these quilts... so i bought them. Including white flannel! I was driving home and just felt content... i love my life and i love my sweetie.

i forgot the camera again, so after i go up to the store to deal with the food order. i will come back and post some pics of my sketches to this blog post!!

Im up to 805 of the 1152 squares i need for the denim. I was able to use 3 of the 4 pair i had set aside to try on again. Bridgette gave me 5 pair of their jeans yesterday so I will cut them up this morning and see where im at!

It was supposed to be our day off, but they called from the store and were out of cheese. I had expected that what i didn't expect was the grocery store to be sold out of cheese! I had to run to center 20 miles away and get some. It was about 7 pm when we got to the store and ugh... the ac had froze up and the kids (one of them i KNOW knows better) just left it running so it was at least 120 degrees in there! It was a mess, they hadn't done their opening jobs at all... ralph and i were both just angry. We sent them both home and finished their shift. I have a feeling we will be doing that alot here in the next couple shifts... doing a stop by visit to see if they are doing their jobs, if not either stand there till the do, or just send them home and finish the shift ourselves. They have gotten a big case of the lazys and we are both sick of it. When we got home last night Buck (ralphs son) and Jay (one of the employees) were here and ralph just let them have it about the lazy thing... i really am fed up with it... ralph is really discusted with it.

Up to this point he has let me deal with the employees. For a year it has worked, they have had fun, they have done their jobs... But the family dynamics (ralphs kids hate me because i am the evil step mother) along with going down to just 3 staff who dont work many hours... their attitudes suck, they dont listen to me. I ask them to do things and its not done, they just aren't doing their jobs. So last night we decided ralph is dealing with the employees. He can be a jerk. Two of them are his kids, the other is here enough at our house he should be one of his kids... if they are going to act like irresponsible kids, then im going to let their dad treat them like that.

My plan for the day... it is my day off again even though i have to go to the store about 10 to deal with the food order and then go to sams later to get some stuff.... but here is what i hope to accomplish:

  • cut up the jeans bridgette gave me
  • cut more for faith and harleys quilt
  • since the sewing machine is out of commission, im going to start hand piecing what i can on faith and harleys quilt. (applique flowers today!)

hope all of you have a good Memorial Day. God bless the men and women who have fought to keep us safe and to make this country what it is.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

it was like christmas

I realized I have considered myself a quilter for almost two decades now even though i hadn't completed a quilt in that time! But... it has always been in my heart.

I put a bunch of stuff in storage when i moved in with ralph in december. At the time two of his adult children, their significant others and a 3 yr old was living here in this 2 bedroom house... so there wasn't alot of room! I also had a fridge, washer, dryer and stove that i knew the kids would need as they moved out, so i put it all in storage. Shortly after i moved in Caty and Jonathan found a place and took the appliances... it also made more room here so i dont need it anymore and its time to clean it out and move it home.

Yesterday i made a trip and brought home some of my boxes. woo hoo... they are full of my quilting stuff... im going to organize them in the closet i have dedicated for my quilting.

As i go thru the boxes of stuff, im finding UFO's. I have the two quilts that i started when i was in the process of applying to be a foster parent. (those are the quilts im going to give to the twins) One is a completed top, the other the blocks are made, i was in the process of putting them together. I have a teddy bear applique baby quilt that i started when i was pregnant (i had a miscarriage and lost the baby) Almost all the blocks are appliqued, i just need to peice it together and quilt it! I may finish that and give it to waylon the new grandbaby. I have a blue and white thing... im not sure what im going to do with that. The fabrics are not the best quality.

i am also finding fabric. Fabric i forgot i had and i am so excited!!! I found a whole box of denim that i have been saving determined one day to make a denim quilt. I spent the morning cutting the squares for the quilts im working on. I found the shirts of my brothers. When he passed away i kept them planning on making his daughter a quilt out of them.... so that is a project im still going to have on the back burner and hopefully i will do in 2011. I actually have two other boxes of clothing that i planned on using for quilts. I think im going to start cutting them up and putting them into bins of precut sizes... gotta decide what sizes to cut. I really do like the idea of recycling clothing for quilts.

I now have 788 of the 1152 denim squares needed!!! Bridgette still hasn't given me the jeans she said she had, i may bug her today for those. I also found 4 pair of my jeans that i put away because they were outdated... i need jeans now so if they do fit im going to keep them and not cut them. If they dont (i was a tad skinnier then) then i will cut them up too.

I have to work today from 11-3, I then have the rest of the day, sunday and monday off! I would like to start sewing something but my sewing machine still hasn't made it to the shop. I had planned to tie the quilts for the twins... i have what i need to start on the finished one so if i get time i may do that. I love tied quilts. My mother finished all of hers that way and it is just "homey" to me. So... maybe i will get one put together by the end of the week end!

So... today i made progress!

OH... yesterday i figured out what im making for leah... when i get the camera back from ralph i will take a picture of my drawing... i had fun coloring. I also came up with a design for harley and faith that i like... will have to take a picture of that too.

Friday, May 28, 2010

looking for something more positive

today i went on facebook and i felt assaulted... everyone was so negative and well, i am just not in the mood for it. I have alot of friends who listen to the show and wow they are political and conservative and seems like all they do is complain about something.

So i spent more time finding and following quilting blogs. It seems most dont post everyday BUT they are much more positive and i think that i would prefer my morning wake up time seeing that.... plus they have such nice pictures of what they created! Its inspiring!

I am determined to make it to the storage unit this morning to find the scale i need for work (and my other motive is to see what sewing and quilting stuff ended up there when i moved in december) So... i need to cook breakfast and get out of here because today is another long day at work. 10-10!!

I hope my new fabric comes in today!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

online quilt stores

I have spent alot of time lately looking at online quilt stores. Since i am a poor quilter, im looking for sites with good clearance bins!!!

I have been using their sale sections are great and im getting great fabric for under 4.00! I also like that you can get smaller cuts from them... most sites have a 1 yard min.

Its amazing how few fabric sites have fabric for under 4.00 per yard!!! It looks like most fabric is now in the 9.00 per yard price... wowsers... when did fabric get so expensive. No wonder people have stopped sewing, with these prices its not cheaper to make your own clothing!

I also spent some time looking on ebay... ebay is not a deal!

I would say that i have about 10 yrds in my stash. I dont want to be one of those people with 700 yrds in my stash, but honestly... i do see a need for about 50 or so... am i right? It is nice to be able to start sewing and to not have to buy what i need... at this rate on the flannel it will be august before i have all of it i need for the 6 quilts i am working on with it.

im waiting for a purchase from z and s today... i ordered a few off white tonals that i need for the faith and harley quilts from the clearance catagory. I think i ordered 6 1/2 yrds of fabric for 23.00. (half of it is the off white... the other half were things im adding to the stash)

i have decided that my limit is 4.50 per yard... if i cant get it for less than that i dont have to have it.

I will post about the other sites i found when im on my computer, thats where i saved them. One has a 2 lb of scraps deal with it catagorized i want to buy the civil war bunch and the 30's repoduction bunch! lol... i need more money.

So... to further my goal and feed my addiction... this morning i spent time in google ad sense. Where i am getting my money for quilting right now is the ad deposits in paypal from the radio show (and my change jar for hobby lobby)... if i can get our old site up and google ads on it again, i was making about 30 per month from that! a girls gotta pay for her fabric addiction somehow!

As far as stores in my area. There is a quilt store in hemphill but i haven't been in a couple years to it. I need to go check and see if she has a bargin bin. There are some stores in other small towns around here but i never go anywhere anymore! I have hobby lobby in lufkin and if they are having a sale, its a good deal (but i have to watch for quality there) There are not jo ann fabrics anymore in this area. My last trip to houston i went to one and got about a yard of remnants for about 2.00 (it was 1/2 off remnent and the fabric was 50 percent off!! i felt like i struck gold) But.. i get to houston maybe 4 times a year... i wish it were closer.

I have to run to lufkin today and ralph is going to many. There are sewing machine repair shops in both.... i am determined to get my machine dropped off at one of them! Buck decided to fix a pair of pants on my machine, he screwed up the tension on it somehow and its not working. i was pretty upset... i wouldn't just sit down at a machine of his and pretend to know how to use it! i hope it doesn't cost too much to get it fixed.. but im at a standstill on the faith and harley quilts without it!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

a little something everyday

yesterday i got the white flannel i bought cut up. a yard makes 42 squares... i am going to need 7 more yards to complete all 6 quilts... I have to go back to lufkin on thursday so im hoping to have enough change to knock out 2 more yards then.

I also spent time organizing the denim scraps i have. I am making a braided denim rug with what is left over... so i cut the strips i had saved into 2 1/2 in strips and got rid of the scraps that were too small. Here is the rug project now that its organized:

that was a big tada yesterday though... all of my scraps are now tamed and under control! (in addition to slinging pizza for 12 hours yesterday!! yeah me!)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

my weekend is over

Its back to the grindstone for me today. Ralph and i work 2 long days in a row 11-2 and then 5-10. I might get some cutting done today... but thats about all the time i will have. I really need to fix my sewing machine... im at a stand still without it.

I did have to go to Sam's yesterday for pizza boxes so went across the highway to hobby lobby and bought some white flannel for the denim scrappy quilts. I can only afford a couple yards at a time... im probably going to need a few more but i will probably have to go back to sams thursday.

Over the weekend i cut up the last of the denim i had on hand... im going to have to find more. lol.. my dogs had fun. They enjoy the scrap pile. This is Duchess, Dookie and Zippy. I think i had 6 pr to cut up so it took a while. I did more reading on "building a stash" over the weekend. Ive decided that from now on i cut up my jean stash as i get it. The next project im making after these quilts is a denim braided rug... so 2 1/2 inch strips. Actually some of the jeans dallas gave me the girls are too skinny for a 6 inch square so i have a few pairs now that need to be "stripped" already... but i did like the idea of keeping some of my stash already cut and ready to go.

Here is what i have cut:

denim: 642 of the 1152 needed (im over half way there now! woo hoo!)
blue: 100 of the 432 needed
red: 12 of the 360 needed
white: 2 yards to cut this morning.

This is what 642 6" denim squares looks like. (I think sammie cat makes a nice model for them... maybe he is as proud as i am since he tried to help so much! lol and i feel like a true quilting blogger... every quilting blog i read this weekend they had pictures of their cats!)

yes that is ralph in the background still eating breakfast. He had made an egg pie and i think he ate half a 10" skillet of it! it was rather yummy.

but i hope yall have a wonderful day!!!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

where to begin

I really believe that i have time in my life to quilt now... i dont know if i actually have the time but i feel like i do! lol.

It is something i have always loved but due to lack of space, money and time... something i rarely did. But... i have determined... space, money and time be darned... im gonna actually DO what i want to do and that is make beautiful quilts.

Last night and this morning i spent hours (i really think about 5 hours) looking thru quilting blogs. Wow... there are some creative and talented women out there. How the heck do they get such precise blocks... im so impressed. My blocks dont look like that!!! lol. There are also women who spend way more than i can at the moment on fabric! lol.

But in looking thru blogs and reading hints on building a fabric stash... where im at in my process. I have made some decisions. I am definitely a scrap quilter. I see beauty in those peices put together that aren't a part of a fabric collection. I mean those collections are beautiful but both my current financial situation... i cant afford 130.00 of fabric for one quilt from a collection. So i am going to continue to build my stash of discount remnants and clearance fabric... so that i can create beautiful quilts!!

Oh but there is also a great blog from a woman in Tasmania who makes such beautiful quilts combining embroidery and quilting... i think that is something that im going to have to do. I am also attracted to applique quilts... hmmm.. never made one but now im going to have to try!

after my hours of looking for inspiration in both "organizing a small quilting area" and ideas about future quilts, (there is nothing more motivating to finish a project than looking for the next project you want to work on) I spent some time organizing my fabrics and current projects.

The denim scrap quilts: I now have 92 squares for each quilt (im making 6 of them for the sons and son in laws) I need 100 more squares. Today i have about 8 pair of jeans to cut up... but im going to need more so its time to bug more people for old jeans... or look for them at yardsales. I have 100 blue flannel squares and only 14 red. (im making the back a texas flag) so i also need to think about buying more flannel to finish them. With the budget... i have to buy a yard or two at a time... so I will start hitting hobby lobby with my change (that is my quilting budget... the change i manage to collect) on my trips to lufkin for restaurant stuff! but... the dogs had gotten into my piles of squares, so i reorganized them and moved them to a higher shelf!!

Faith and Harley: Im making them matching quilts from scraps. I ordered a bunch of tone on tone fabric for that yesterday. I have enough for about 15 blocks cut out. After i cut the denim i have i may try getting the sewing machine working again and work on blocks for this.

My stash: I "folded" all of my fabric stash so far. Not counting the tone on tone fabrics i have i have one tote (its one size bigger than a shoe box) of stash! I am going to be using most of these fabrics in the harley and faith quilts.

One other started project is my quilt. A few winters ago i hand peiced 16 blocks from a sampler book. I need to think about putting that together... but it is now in a shoebox with the background fabric... the dogs had that drug out and all over the floor too!

here are some pictures of the blocks for that:

Saturday, May 22, 2010

WE do have a new grandbaby... his name is waylon wade!! he is a cutie! He was born May 3rd.

On the way home from the funeral ralph and i designed "operation take control" we decided we were going to take control of everything in our lives... it just felt like everything was spinning out of control and we were going in the hole financially. So... we returned... fired half the staff, closed the restaurant during our very slow hours... we took control of the house by getting the 20 somethings pictured above to start cleaning up after themselves... we prepared our taxes for last year and dealt with some other financial things... its been a good month!

It also meant take control of our home... we felt like the 20 somethings (pictured above) that live here had taken over and it wasnt our home anymore... so were taking control of that as well. they are doing much better, doing their dishes... ect. It was driving us crazy though.

But... today is really the first day ive had where i wasn't hurting REALLY bad from all the hours and a pulled muscle that ive had off in almost a month!!! so... what did i do. I spent the last 4 hours on the internet reading quilting blogs. OH MY... there are ladies out there who have huge and i mean HUGE fabric stashes... i was drooling. The funny thing is they are part of a group determined to reduce the amount of fabric they have.... here i am trying to build a stash... and they have too much! lol I totally know how it happens. Buying fabric is addictive. I just love it...

ok i did buy 6 1/2 yards of fabric today online for my stash... but in my defense i plan to use over half of it in the quilts that im making for harley and faith. It was all in the reduced bin and they were having 20 percent off... the 20 percent off paid for the shipping so it all cost 3.84 per yard and its quality quilt fabric! I will have to take a picture when it gets in.

Now... when the kids move out i plan on making their room a guestroom/quilting room. actually... the garage is eventually going to be my quilting room but until then... i was going to use their room. But... since it appears that isn't going to be happening anytime soon. Tomorrow I am gong ot work on organizing the office/quilting room. I need to organize the quilts i have started and the fabric stash i have.

oh yeah... Dallas sent 5 pair of jeans from Albaquerque for my denim quilts... so i have more fabric to cut up there. Im going to work on that tomorrow now that the table is clear. Oh yeah... before the trip to west virginia we had a reciept fest where we sorted 5 boxes of paper from the last 2 years that we needed for our taxes. I got it ALL put away and filed or tossed... but that had the table occupied for a week or two.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

my grandmother

Its been a week since ive posted. Last Wednesday my grandmother passed away. She would have been 97 on May 2nd (or is it the 3rd... i could never keep it straight one was my mothers bday the others hers) This news was more upsetting to me than i expected. I really didn't talk to nanny all that much recently, i am just not good at talking on the phone to people. But i loved her dearly and she is so much a part of who i am that i feel like ive lost a part of me!

We left thursday evening for the funeral, drove late, then finished the drive on friday. We didn't make it for the visitation friday night but i was there for the funeral saturday. it was heartbreaking. I know all my cousins feel the same as me. She was an incredible woman who played a big role in our lives. She was just Nanny... and that was a pretty neat person.

After the funeral we went to those places that i probably wont see again for a long time. We went to the McGraw farm where i spent alot of time as a kid, we saw the sandstone falls... they are so pretty and we went up to sandstone where my mother and grandmother grew up.

Saturday night my cousins and I met at dairy queen and we laughed and joked around and enjoyed each others company. I haven't seen some of them for a decade!

Sunday we drove all day, monday we got to zippys at about 3 pm... where we found out that we had to work that night! let me tell you at 10:30 as we were leaving ralph and i were both dead tired.

yesterday morning i was at the store at 7 am to do a large order for the school and worked till 4. then had to drive to lufkin to get stuff for the store... by 10 pm i was in bed and told ralph... im going to be sick for the next 12 hours! I have caught a miserable cold on the way... the drive home and this crazy work stuff since has been murder!

so i have 3 more hours to be sick! lol.

My grandmother (mom's mom) was a neat lady. Most of my life she owned a store where she sold groceries, beer, bait, souvenirs, plants, you name it. It was a neat old country store that my family visited 3 times a year. She lived above the store. I think i get my workaholicness from nanny. She never left her store, opening it at 5 am and closing at midnight or later. She was there even though she had numerous employees (most of whom were my cousins) who were capable of running it and my uncle as a manager. But from the center of her universe, from behind that counter... she oversaw us grandkids growing up. I guess for me, through all the years, as a kid, as that teenager who didn't have a mother and who was getting in trouble, to being in college and finding myself... nanny always knew what was going on in my life... she was always there with some story or advice that would help put my world into perspective.

I know although she didn't always approve of my life or choices, she always loved me. I guess before she died, i really didn't think about that much... i just took that love for granted because it was never an overt thing... now that shes gone, i can see it. I can feel it, i can look back and see a woman who showed love in a very simple way, by always being there, by being a constant in my life a place i could always return to.

I am going to miss my grandmother. I know she lived a full life and at 96 she was ready to go... but i wasn't ready to lose that piece of me.