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.