Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!!!

still working on red and blue... I just have to quilt a few more rows then put the binding on.

I have lived in rosevine since i moved to texas. Rosevine has 3 churches (Pentecostal, Baptist and Church of Christ) and there used to be a little store down at the corner ran by Donald. Well, when the oil came to town Donald owns about 1000 acres and they got 5000 at least an acre for an oil lease... they closed the store! I think i would too. I hate that its closed. I used to run down there if i needed smokes or a stick of butter. If you went there in the morning there were a group of old men sitting on the bench out front. They say women gossip but let me tell you this group of men just sit there and gossip! (lol... donald's wife called the bench the old peckerwood bench) But, since closing, these poor men have had to drive 15 miles to hemphill for their morning coffee and gossip. In the store family members have tried a BBQ place and a gift shop, they didn't last long.

Well we drove by the other morning and the open sign was on. One of donalds kin folks got pizza the other night and we asked what they put in there now. This cracks me up, one of Donald's brothers has put in a tv and coffee pot... and its a little club house for the boys! lol. They can come in and drink coffee, gossip, watch the weather! Hes not selling anything... its just a little club house!

I  hope everyone has a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! We had a busy night at Zippys, but its time to crack the bubbly and toast to a good year.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The work goes on!

Reading other blogs right now has been so inspiring. Lots of christmas presents and christmas projects!

I am still working on quilts. Before christmas i finished the back to the denim quilt im giving Travis...

I really like how this one turned out. Its 12 in squares (cut in half) from 16 different plaid shirts. The teal shirt with alot of white... that was one of his mothers favorite shirts. I thought Travis might really appreciate this.

The quilt i made for Dallas that Ralph has claimed as HIS is quilting SO beautifully!!

I cannot wait to finish it and snuggle up in it!

Monday, December 26, 2011

hope yall had a merry Christmas!

It was kinda relaxed this year and were not used to that. Ralph has 6 kids, so christmas used to be rather chaotic! But they are grown now with families of their own, and this is the first year we have felt the effects.,

We did the Christmas eve party at their Paw Paw's house. Then christmas day everyone did their own thing... ralph and I stayed in bed all day and watched sappy christmas movies. lol we did start our roast too late, so it wasn't done at supper time and we found a restaurant open and went out to eat!!

 Jess was in Alaska, Dallas didn't come home from Mobile with her family and Coleman had to work Christmas day down in Galvaston so he didn't come up with his wife. Travis' baby was in the hospital for 4 days leading up to christmas with bronchitis and they admitted his wife Christmas eve... how horrible is that??? but the whole family got to come home Christmas day.

We drove to Bucks house and delivered the quilts for their family. I had 1 for each member of the family so it was fun delivering them! (although she is much further along with the next one than we all thought so i need to make a baby quilt by February 20th!)

When brigette got home from the hospital i gave her her quilt. I didn't get a picture of it!!!! The weather has been horrible here rain and more rain (which we desperately need so im not complaining) but its horrible for picture taking!

Caty spent Christmas at her inlaws so she came up tonight to get hers from the store.... I did get a picture of it... i told her when it was sunny i was going to come over and take a better one! Honestly i snapped this while on the phone taking an order for a pizza... lol... we were super busy and they were standing there waiting for me to take the picture!

Ralph and I decided now that they are grown we need to start a new tradition with the grandbabies but were not sure what yet... i didn't like not seeing them on Christmas, I do like allowing the kids time to spend with their inlaws... but we need to do something with just us, the kids and the grandbabies.

So, i finished 13 of the 23 quilts i wanted to make this year. I have flimsies and backing for Travis, Jonathan, Jess, Dallas, Landon and Trevor... i just ran out of money for quilt batting! Im going to finish them over the next few weeks and deliver them. I have a ways to go on Adrianna, Lea, Faith and Harley... they will be done some time this spring and im going to go ahead and give them to them when im done.

Oh...since dallas didn't come up for christmas, i didn't rush to finish quilting hers, BUT im not going to see her till spring break... ralph and i REALLY need another quilt on our bed so i am going to finish this one for us, and make her something else. is that horrible?

But... heres the deal... what can i make everyone next year?? I really want to stick with at least one homemade gift!

I know i rambled.. i have missed posting and cant wait to fix my computer!!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

wow! its been a while!

Ok between my computer screen being broken and the fact that we left our camera in a friends car, so it took a trip across Texas... i haven't had anything to post! But... as if karma... i finished a quilt here at zippys today, AND the camera finally arrived in the mail.... so i have another FINISH! woo hooo...

lol... so the photos aren't the greatest, my battery died while taking them... but darn it its been so long i want to post anyways!

this one is for Bridgette. She is Travis' other half and momma to one of the recent grand babies. I started this one in January, inspired by a box of scraps someone gave me... they were so small most of the squares i got from it were 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 but i spent 2 weeks cutting squares out of it!

 I used the 2 1/2 squares for this one, the yellow background is a sheet.

It is kinda flannelish, but not.. its just soft. The blue border is another sheet and the back is made from 2 vintage sheets i had. I just L-O-V-E this one!!

So... another one bites the dust... (I'm an 80's girl)

I have finished: Ralph, Trinity, Destiny, Alyssa, Tristin, Sharon, Bridgette, Waylon, Wesley, Chris, Coleman and Buck... I have finished 12 of the 23! I am seriously doubting that i will get the next 11 ALL done, but here is where I'm at:

Caty: just finished borders and back this morning, will start quilting tomorrow.

Jess: i am half finished with his back, should have it done by Friday and can quilt it over the weekend (its an easy one)

Trevor and Landon: borders... i just have to sew the borders on and then i can quilt them both. They are twins so it shouldn't take but a day or so to finish them

If i could finish all of these by Sunday... i may just make it!!

Jonathan: i have an easy peasy plan for his back, the denim part is finished.

Travis: another easy peasy back and i still have to sew the denim together for him.

Faith and Harley: I have pieces of both sewn together, shouldn't take much to finish and quilt them

Adrianna and Dallas: both are HST's and i have all of the HST's sewn into squares... shouldn't be that much work!!!

Lea: have an idea now of what I'm making but I'm going to have to buy fabric to do it and money is tight, hopefully next week i can swing it. It will only take a few hours to make if i can get the fabric!!!

Friday, November 4, 2011

More Friday Finishes!

Can you you believe I was in Houston this week and i did NOT go to the International Quilt Festival!! I was so bummed, we just didn't have time. We live 3 hours from Houston, we had to go pick up restaurant equipment down there and we were leaving early enough that i could have went and looked around 3 hours or so.. but the life of owning a restaurant, my sales person didn't get my cheese on the truck and i had to run  to Lufkin to get it or we would have been without cheese all day! You just cant make pizzas without cheese! So... there went the quilt show. I am going next year... I'm taking time off work, staying a night or two and I'm going!

But its "Finish It Friday" So... i have 1 finish to post. (and an almost!)

If your new to my blog, I am making quilts for everyone in my boyfriends family for Christmas. One for him, 4 sons, 2 daughters, 2 son-in-laws, 3 daughter-in-laws, 6 grand-daughters and 5 grand-sons.

For the sons and son-in-laws I am making denim throws with different backs. I am really using this to explore a more modern quilt side of me and I'm really enjoying it. For me its coming out with more solids and large geometric patterns (ok, i admit... I'm doing large geometric patterns so that i can finish them quicker as well) I really like how both of these turned out.

First is Son-in-law Chris and I'm calling it "Connections" I had planned on connecting the rows of snowballs as well but it just wasn't looking how i had it planned in my head so i just pieced them together.

Chris is kinda a complicated deep type person and i think the colors in this really go with that. I also think he is one of the guys who is secure enough with his masculinity that i could include some florals in it (trust me, some of the younger ones commented that the baby quilt for Tristan had a floral in it!) Chris is married to Dallas and he has been in the Coast Guard for i think about 15 years. He is looking at retirement soon! They just moved from Albuquerque NM to Mobile AL and they are closer now so hopefully we will see more of them!

The grey was a sheet i bought at a yard sale and i love how it looks with the deep reds that were in one of those "i don't quilt anymore" boxes. I had several fat quarters to use.

Almost finished one is for son Coleman. I'm calling this one "Quatro Cajas" and i should have pictures of it next Friday.

So on the denim, i have 2 finished, one I'm quilting, two I have the denim part done and the last is still a pile of denim squares.

I also pieced the back to Bridgette's queen sized postage stamp quilt. I had some problems with this one because i am running out of large chunks of fabric to work with. I should have this one finished next week too.

The other two I'm working on is Trevor and Landon with the flying geese border. I have decided i do NOT like flying geese borders! way too much cutting, sewing, cutting, ironing, sewing, cutting, ironing, sewing... and more sewing! I think i have enough for one of them to have flying geese...

Ive decided the other one will have triangles, kinda a broken dishes thing going on... SOOOO much easier!

Hopefully i will have a couple more finishes for next week!!

For now... I'm going home! I didn't get to post this until after we closed because we had such a busy Friday night! I worked so hard, i feel like my shoulder is going to fall out of its socket!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Fall Bloggers Quilt Festival

I was just wondering if i missed the fall Bloggers' Quilt Festival.. guess what... i didn't! woo hoo. If you want to see some beautiful quilts go over to Amy's Creative Side and check it out.. its page after page of inspiration! I am also adding this to "Finish It Up Friday!" Wow.. finally a finish in time for that too!

This time I'm entering the quilt that i made for Wesley. He is my grand baby and I am his Mimi. Wesley started school this year and he is about to move into a new house with his own big boy bed and I hope this quilt ends up on it! Wesley is actually my boyfriend's (Ralph) son's (Buck) girlfriend's (Sharon) child from a previous relationship... but like I said, he is my grand baby and i am his Mimi. Wesley is both a holy terror and a sweetheart rolled into one child. Hes smart as a whip when it comes to the computer and computer games. He started pre-k this year and is doing well (well other than that holy terror part, he had to learn not to give other children bloody lips)

This is him almost 2 years ago helping me make another quilt. His Dad, mom and baby brother lived with us at the time. I just realized, we need to take more pictures of our grand babies, we have tons of pictures of the babies.. but not the older kids!

The inspiration for the quilts is Ralph's closet. He wears cotton plaid shirts. ALL the time. (He looks rather good in them, at least I think so!) He has short sleeve for summer and long sleeve for winter. Anyways, the shirts are colorful and bright and cheery and well, what should I make all of these grand kids but a quilt from Paw Paw's shirts! On this one I kept the pattern simple, I guess its kinda a split rail with a fat rail in the middle. I'm calling it the plaid puzzle quilt.

The plaids are from Ralph's closet he gave up a few of the ones that had stains on them and there are a few from goodwill as well. (probably bought 5 at $1.00 each) The white is a sheet i bought at goodwill for $1.50.  The green border is an alligator skin looking print that my sister gave me a whole bunch of yardage of. I used it here and in his baby brothers matching quilt. I had a hard time choosing a binding on this one. I auditioned reds, blues, yellows and greens and this red gingham kept screaming at me to pick it. I was reserved about it because it seemed a little "christmasy" or bright. But once it was finished, it is the perfect binding for this little boys quilt.

For the back I think the polka dots came from the clearance rack at hobby lobby and the yellow was in one of those "I don't quilt anymore" boxes that someone gave me.

Ok, so there aren't any close up of the quilting, it is simple squares, I followed seams on both sides of the squares. I love the texture it gave it.

I made his brother a baby blanket with the same plaid puzzle. I'm making his cousins Landon and Trevor plaid X's.

This one really did go together quickly and easily and I think the results are cute!

On a side note... see that puddle in the picture of the back (behind the quilt) it RAINED here last night! That's almost as big a deal as the quilt! That was the first good soaking rain we have had in at least 10 months! If you look at the sky it looks like rain but I don't think it dropped any today. It went from balmy and breezy here to cold and wet overnight and fall is definitely here... I'm praying for a very WET fall and winter. Our 3 acre pond is now about 100 ft across.

And I had to include a post of this little fella. He really liked Wesley's quilt too when I was outside taking pictures. (and yes, thanks to him i need to rewash it.) This is Tupelo. He was abandoned by his momma and I bottle fed him for a while, then got him on solid food. He is a sweetie but very very poor mannered! His name is Tupelo because i felt guilty calling him Tupe, which was short for Tupid Puppy which is what Ralph started calling him when he was a baby. my poor dogs, we also have a dog named fat gal which is short for "hairy legged fat gal".

Thursday, October 20, 2011

bad news but im still in denial so its ok... lol

Wow another Wednesday...(which i missed and its now Thursday) I'm getting more stressed about finishing Christmas presents each week! (for those who are new I'm making 23 quilts and I've finished 8!) I think i finally have Ralph convinced that i cant come into work at 8 am everyday when i don't need to be here until 10 and those 2 hours, oh i love those two extra hours of MY day, not my work day but MY day. (and the housework is getting done again... that is what really convinced him lol)

I finished the binding on "Orange it Great" yesterday and washed it... hmmm... i used fusible batting and I'm not very happy, after 2 washings the "glue" stains (see the dark spots on the teal) are still on the back of the quilt. I'm really thinking I'm going to have to remake the back, re quilt it and re bind it... so... the fusible batting... (i did use a cheap brand from hobby lobby rather than the brand recommended and reading reviews i haven't seen where the heirloom has caused this problem)... i think it ruined my quilt... so although i loved quilting with it, I'm not gonna go with that again! I think the walking foot is the next thing i will try to get rid of the puckers. Writing this i realize I'm still in denial that i may have to remake the back to this quilt! Lol... we will see if i cant wash it again!

I called it "Orange it Great" because i am the biggest nerd on the planet. Since i was a child my favorite knock knock joke has been:

Knock Knock
Whose There
Banana Who

Knock Knock
Whose there
Banana Who

Knock Knock
Whose There
Orange Who
Orange you glad i didn't say banana?


This was supposed to be my Wednesday WIP post... but i didn't get to finish it yesterday. Things are kinda stressful at work. Another restaurant has opened and were taking the hit this week but unfortunately the bills don't know that this hit is temporary and they wont wait! lol. Yes... another restaurant in this small town. There are about 6000 people in the county, we opened 3 years ago and there were 4 other restaurants in town. We are in an oil and gas boom, they are drilling everywhere and i would say at the height of it a year ago it doubled the population... BUT... its dropped off a whole bunch,  but that hasn't stopped other eating places from opening. We are now at about 18 different places to eat. Every time one opens we take a hit for about 2 weeks... everyone has to try it after all. Eventually our customers come back because we make GOOD consistent pizza and who doesn't love that. We ate breakfast at the new place and if they don't improve their food, I'm really not concerned about losing our customers to them!


We do know that to survive on just local business, with this much competition, we need two restaurants at least, so we are putting together equipment for the next one. I have become an online auction addict but so far i have gotten our ovens for 500 (10,000 ovens!!) and a prep table for 300 (3000 prep table!!!) So were getting what we need and hopefully after the 1st of the year i will be busy opening that!

opps that was a total sidetrack...

I have been working on "Connections"
this is for Ralph's son-in-law Chris. I love the snowballs and the connectors between them. I didn't like the connection between the rows and i have taken that out. I think I've decided to just sew the rows together, snowball to snowball. It will just be these three rows of snowballs going down one side, the rest will be the dark gray which i love. The other side is denim like "orange it great." The red fabrics were in the last "here someone gave this fabric to me and i don't sew anymore" bag of stuff someone gave me. The grey solid is a sheet i bought at a yard sale.

I also managed to quilt Wesley over the weekend (didn't use fusible batting, used some i found while cleaning out my fabric closet!)

Ill show the whole thing when i finish hopefully over the weekend!

I finally finished piecing the X's for this one and i have also been working on more flying geese. I know.. its a pile of fabric... but I'm running out of places to put things!!!

 like i said, its getting closer to Christmas and I'm getting a tad stressed. The remaking bucks is going to really upset me once I'm no longer in denial! lol.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Irene has a new owner

Irene found her owner, I gave her to a local homeless woman.

The student council is selling pizza tickets as a fund raiser. The ticket gives the person a large pizza and 12 wings. We split the amount with them so that they can take their trip at the end of the year. We don't make money off of this, but what we do get mostly covers the cost of the food.

Tonight someone redeemed the wing portion of the ticket, she got a pizza earlier in the week. She was really late picking them up and when she got here, she said he had to walk because she couldn't get a ride. I was about to run to the grocery store so i offered her a ride home.

The trip home was eyeopening. She was a woman about my age and she lives in a van. It doesn't run so she doesn't have heat. Shes waiting for disability, but for now she makes a little money cleaning houses and she gets food stamps. She wasn't drunk or high, she was a very polite, christian woman who just cant get a job and has to live in a van. She had the fundraiser ticket because her pastor gave it to her.

I dropped her off and when i went to back out of the dead end street she "lives" on, i turned around and there was Irene in a laundry basket still waiting for me to mail her... I stopped, called her back and gave the quilt to her. I told her i made it and she needed it more than where i was sending it to and i wanted her to have it.

I am counting my blessings at the same time. I hadn't sent Irene yet because honestly, i haven't had money for the postage. Money is tight, really really tight for us right now, we are trying to open another store, just paid off a huge tax bill. Its been really depressing to not be able to do what i want when i want, like buy quilt batting to finish the quilts, or go to the movies. In the long run, it will be worth it because we will get thru this and we will have accomplished the goals but sometimes the struggle is tough.

But at least i have a roof over my head, i always have food to eat and a place to cook it, i have people who love me who if a van was my only option, they would take me in and help me out. Doing without right now isn't so bad after all.

Irene found a home, even if the home is a van.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

WIP Wedensday - Orange it great!

update: I am using this same post for the Thrifty Thursday linky party at Quilted Cupcake! Im excited about Thrifty Thursdays because well, everything i do is from recycled fabric! This quilt im working on is entirely upcycled or recycled. The orange flying geese are from cotton shirts (and i think one skirt) that i didn't pay more than a dollar for, the teal is a sheet bought at a yard sale, the denim on the front is from blue jeans. Even the binding im putting on is a repurposed sheet!

Thrifty Thursday @ Quilted Cupcake

I'm working on this one still!!!

I'm very happy with it, but i have ran into a few snags!

I started binding it yesterday with orange polka dots and well, the further i went the more i hated it. It was too... pretty and happy for who I'm giving it to. Bucks a hard working Line Man and hes just not a orange polka dot kinda guy. Last night i took it off and i found a dark orange solid that i have sewn on and I'm working on the hand stitching now.

The other snag... dog vomit... the dog was in my lap while i was sewing on the binding.. she looked so cute curled up in the quilt and then ewwwwww! I did some quick hand washing of that part but I'm having a hard time enjoying the binding part of it now and i cant wait to get it in the washer!!

I haven't had alot of time this week and i feel like I've kinda slowed down. I had the morning off today but had to run to town (that's 2 hrs of driving instead of quilting...grr) I don't get any more time off till the weekend. Hopefully tomorrow morning before work i can make some progress on something else!!

Ohhh... just have to post a cute little picture of the two youngest grand babies. (Tristan and Ally) They are 2 months apart and are already growing like weeds. Ally always has that serious look on her face and they both have great heads of hair! Caty brings Ally by the store alot so im spending alot of time with my little Ally Cat!

How much cuteness is in that picture??

Oh, i also ran into Harley's other Grandmother today. Harley is the oldest grand child and even though she doesn't live but 20 miles from us we rarely see her. I asked Mildred what colors she had in her bedroom and what size bed and she said lavender and twin! woo hoo! i was planning on making my striped stars with lavender sashing for her!! that will work!

Im joining with Freshly Pieced Work In Progress Wednesday... be sure to follow this link and find other great projects!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

free motion quilting practice!

First let me say even though i didn't have alot of time over the weekend, i did accomplish something. The first denim quilt is quilted and i brought it to work today to finish the binding! I should have it done for tomorrow. Thank you for the suggestion of the fusible batting. All i could find was one at hobby lobby that was 100% poly and it wasn't heirloom, which works OK for the denim quilts (id prefer something with a little more loft and a cotton blend for the rest of what i have to do so i will shop online for those) but... it worked like a charm and i didn't have ANY puckers! woo hoo! even going over denim seams.. which is amazing.

But... yesterday i found Fluffy Sheep Quilting (i love the name) and she is hosting "Free Motion Fridays" which can best be described as a "learn along." Each week she posts a video with a different free motion quilting exercise and then at the end of the week you can link up and show your practice work! I'm joining in, i do believe that FMQ is what i want to do and i can get better so I'm practicing.

Anyways, here is my very first attempt at FMQ:

don't laugh, lol i was excited that there weren't any puckers! I did seem to jump at least once in every line, but i did see where i got better as i went along! Now... knowing the difference with straight lines between a small piece and a whole quilt... i do believe that ALOT more practice in needed!

here is the back:

Yes i know its "Free Motion Friday" but this is last weeks project, i will have another one for this Friday.

I did learn from the videos that she posted that if i had a table to my right, it may help my pucker problem too, so today i moved Ralph's moms sewing machine to my right while working on the top to a denim quilt and OMG how much easier is that!! we will see on the next quilting project how much that helps!

Finally, my next back for a denim quilt....

how cool is that going to be???

Friday, October 7, 2011

Christmas Countdown Progress Report

11 more weeks to go.
First Celebrate the finishes...

Finished pile: 7 (Ralph, Trini, Desi, Tristan, Ally, Waylon and Sharon)

Yep, I finished another one! This is Sharon's “Shabby Stripe” quilt.

This is the first one I haven't wanted to give away... hmm could I make her something else. Nope, no time, I'm just going to have to make one of these for myself!

I wasn't quite sure of the backing, but it works. It doesn't seem to "match" to me (but Ralph hasn't said what were you thinking? yet... so it must be ok!)

The pictures aren't the best, i got it back from the laundry at dusk but i wanted to take pictures!

Now the work to do:

In the flimsy done, backing ready... need to quilt stage: 2 (Bridgette and Wesley)

In the it just needs borders and backing stage: 4 (Landon, Travis, Buck and Caty)

In the its cut out and I'm piecing it stage: 3 (Jonathan, Adrianna, Dallas and Trevor)

In the its cut out, just need to piece it stage: 3 (Chris, Coleman and Jess)

In the I'm cutting and sewing as i go along stage: 2 ( Faith and Harley)

In the I still have no clue what I'm going to make for her stage: 1 (Lea)

My routine this week has been to cut or hand sew binding until Ralph gets up, then sew on the machine until its time for work. Sometimes the machine wakes him, sometimes it doesn't... i like him to sleep as long as he can because hes grumpy enough without enough sleep! lol. We also worked the schedule so that were not working 6-10 hour days but we each get 3 days where we only work 5 (still work 10 the other 3!) The two afternoons Ive had off so far this week I finished Sharon and the donation quilt, so having more than just Sunday (which half of them we will be out of town) i have a few afternoons too.
One morning we previewed the backings I had picked and found that most of them weren't big enough. So then it was auditioning fabrics on our bed with him in it until I found pieces I could put together for the backs. Ralph is actually much better at color than I am, so his input was greatly appreciated. But I now have backings big enough for Bridgette, Wesley, Caty, Landon and Trevor.

My goals for the week are:
finish the backing to the first denim, pin it and quilt it

buy the batting for Wesley's plaid puzzle and quilt it

buy the batting for Bridgette's postage stamp and pin it

finish piecing the 3rd denim top and one more denim backing

finish piecing the 2nd kisses from paw paw and make more of the flying geese for the border

make a piece of the border i want to put on Caty's and make sure it looks how i want

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The name - just life

My name for my blog is "Just Life" but in real life I am Tamara. Since owning several online businesses, i realized that hiding my identity was really not all that possible... so i also use my real name alot.

I used to blog about my life ALOT on myspace... ALL the time. I started because my cousins blogged and we would just read each others blogs and keep up with each other. Then my best friend got sick with cancer and it just got too hard to do. Life was REALLY depressing most of the time and you can only blog about that so much. So i took a little blog break for about 6 months while i watched her give it all she had, and then some, but in the end we all lost the battle.

In that time, most of the people i knew moved fom myspace to facebook (which doesn't have a blog). So, when i was ready to start again, i started "just life" and it was just going to be about my life, like my myspace one. Really the myspace blog in addition to my family had become pretty big. Alot of them were people who listened to the radio show that we did, and it was a bit of a marketing tool for that, even though it was just me rambling about my day.

What happened though is my life was different now. I now owned a restaurant, was in a relationship, life had gotten too busy for our radio show... well i just didn't seem to have the gumption to blog..... soooo.....

When i started quilting again a year ago, i did want to document my quilting progress so i turned it into my "quilt blog" and even though the name doesn't really fit quilting, it is really me... everything is "just life"... stuff happenes... and i just tend to go with the flow.

Im participating in as sweet as cinnamon's whats your name. If you want to read how others came up with their names or participate check out her blog at: As Sweet As Cinnamon

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Irene is finished!!

I decided one of those “life is perfect” moments is hand sewing the binding on a quilt. It was early morning, kinda chilly so I had it over me as I stitched along. Fat girl (one of my big hairy dogs) even curled up at my feet and I stuck my toes under her. It was pure contentment!! It is so exciting to finish, and the hand sewing part is so much more intimate than the whirling of the sewing machine. It is my time to love it and say goodbye, goodbye to the process of making it, and in this case goodbye to something I have poured a lot of work and passion into!

She is going to the laundry tomorrow and I will mail her off over the weekend. She is made entirely from scraps either given to me or from my current projects. The white is from white sheets (a lot of them scraps as well) and the backing is a teal sheet.

If you are interested in mailing a quilt to the over 1500 families that lost their homes in the Texas Wildfires you may send them to:

Valli & Kim Quilt Shop
Attn: Wildfire Quilts
700 West Highway 290
 Dripping Springs, TX 78620

If you have questions, please email me at moderndayquilts

They will be collecting them until the end of the month. They ask that it be at least 45X60 and especially want twin quilts.

There is also another store collecting 12 1/2” blocks and I plan to make a couple of those as well. There is actually a giveaway with this one and you can read about it at this link: Gerline's Quilt Shoppe

I also finished quilting Sharon and sewed the binding on the front, over the next couple mornings I will finish that up. I started sewing together the third denim quilt today as well.

Oh... I finally broke into that orange stash. I was completely bored with the 10 1/2” in squares for the backing of the denim and im going to do some different things with them. I decided they were an opportunity for me to play with color which im not very good at (I make scrap quilts because I dont have to match anything! Lol) So... one of the backs will be the remainder of the teal sheet with a row of flying geese at the top and bottom.

Its funny when I bought this set of sheets at a yard sale, I looked at it and said, well... I really don't like this color but its a lot of fabric and I dont have any... I am actually loving it now that Ive used it on Irene and this!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Imperfection is better than Unfinished

Machine quilting is enough to make a preachers wife cuss. No I'm not a preachers wife, but I did cuss a whole bunch has been a battle with perfectionism! I was trying to quilt Sharon's pastel stripes. I repined it, ripped it out, repined it, ripped it out.... ughhhhhh! Its all puckery!

I finally just did it the best I could and “Imperfection is better than Unfinished” became my mantra for the day. What does one think about while making a quilt with puckers??? (when they aren't cussing)

This quilt has more puckers than a room full of babies sucking lemons.....

This quilt has more puckers than a nursing home on grand kids day.....

This quilt has more puckers than a politician running for office.....

This quilt has more puckers than a big girls wedding dress....

and finally This quilt has more puckers than the proctologist's waiting room!

That lead to thoughts of the bucking song (something we used to play on our radio show) so I had to find it and listen to it.

I still love it, puckin puckers and all. It is still very pretty. I ran out of thread so I have to finish it later This week.  this one was constipating the whole process, I had set it aside because it was frustrating me... but, it was using my safety pins and I couldn't pin the next one. I got it far enough along that I could pull the pins and move on to something else... until I buy thread. So... hopefully this week I can post a finish!

this is Irene. (with my two helpers Dee Dee and Sammie, Dee Dee the black and white is blind, Sammie is mute... they make quite a pair and they insisted on helping!) I started to make her for Irene victims but I never found anyone collecting quilts to send it to. BUT I did find a quilt store collecting quilts for the fire victims in Texas, so I pinned it, quilted it, and I will bind it in the next couple days and it is ready to send. Again, imperfection is better than unfinished applied, all I had was dark blue quilting thread... I think it would have looked better with white, but... dark blue is what I had, so I quilted it.... I looks better than I thought t would. (lol... again its pretty puckery too) why would I have preferred white, because with the dark blue you can see how crooked my lines are, but I've decided that were just going to call them organic.... It really is a pretty little scrap quilt. I backed it with a green sheet I had. I think it would make a nice boy quilt for them. Ralph helped me take the pins out of it and several times said “your really going to give this one away? I really like this one.”

I also have the tops for 2 of the 6 denim quilts finished and the pieces sewn into strips for a third one. I have been trying to figure out what to back them with and I've decided 10” squares from my scraps sewn together would work on all 6 of them. I need to find really thin batting, it needs something to cushion the hard seams, but it will be too big with puffy batting.

I also have a whole bunch of geese cut out for the paw paw kisses, and made a little progress on piecing the 2nd one. Finally a picture of my first flying geese!

I did learn things this weekend.
  • If my thread is breaking all the time, its because the needle although it doesn't look bent, is bent.

  • More pins and ironing would have helped a lot on the puckers (although Irene was ironed and had a ton of pins and I still ended up with puckers... just not as many) I am also going to try the spray glue on one, I will see if I like that better.

  • I really don't like machine quilting. I don't have the money to send them to someone else and I'm going to have to quilt them somehow. I enjoy making them, creating them and I love the finished product. I am just going to have to push trough the quilting part. I do better on smaller quilts and after those baby quilts I was feeling pretty confident, this weekend totally smashed that! I'm going to keep trying to improve, I love free motion quilting, and I would love to get good enough at straight lines that I can try that... so maybe there is hope. But I think after these Christmas presents are done, I'm going to try my hand at hand quilting, it may take longer... but I think I will enjoy the process more!

Overall it was a productive weekend. I made a lot of progress on Sharon, I almost finished the donation quilt and expect I can finish both of them during the week. By the end of the week I will have 3 more in the flimsy finished and ready for quilting. I need batting, thread and sewing machine needles to continue to make progress on Christmas!! Until then I'm going to cut squares for the backings of the denim and the rest of the pieces I need for flying geese.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Christmas Countdown

Well, i started writing this post on Wednesday and here it is Friday.... and still no post! akkk!!!
My sewing room is coming together nicely. I can say ironing is not such a bad thing anymore now that i just have to swivel my chair around and there is the iron! (i will confess, i rarely ironed anything while piecing before... i just hated it!) I still need the 2 chest of drawers that will hold most of my fabric, i think we will be getting that this weekend.

I realized it is time to really get serious on these Christmas presents and i need to quit messing with organization and scrap projects... they are really procrastination projects and i cant procrastinate any more!!! I only have 12 weekends till Christmas and a ton of quilts to finish!!! holy cow!!! I am truly sorry that i just counted those and informed yall on the fact that there are so few weeks left... i know when someone does that to me i wanna smack them, i prefer to live in clueless bliss most of the time... but i am determined to finish all of these quilts by Christmas.

So from now on Fridays will be my Christmas Countdown Progress report:

First celebrate the accomplishments:

In the finished pile: 6 (Ralph, Tristan, Ally, Waylon, Trini and Desi)

Done Pile (not pictured are Tristan and Ally's since i gave them to them already. The denim on the bottom, is not going to be a gift after all, i don't like how it turned out)
 Now the work to do:

In the I'm quilting stage: 1 (Sharon)

In the flimsy done, backing ready... need to quilt stage: 3 (Bridgette, Buck and Wesley)

In the it just needs borders and backing stage: 2 (Landon and Caty)

In the its cut out and I'm piecing it stage: 4 (Travis, Adrianna, Dallas and Trevor)

In the its cut out, just need to piece it stage: 4 (Jonathan, Chris, Coleman and Jess)

In the I'm cutting and sewing as i go along stage: 2 ( Faith and Harley)

In the I still have no clue what I'm going to make for her stage: 1 (Lea)

I have been working on the denim and since it requires a needle change, I'm gonna continue to work on those for a while. I finished one flimsy, although the denim is heavy... its really not very flimsy!! I almost finished a 2nd yesterday and this morning i counted my squares and i have exactly enough to finish the other 4. I am really in love with the denim ones. If i could i would use this as wall paper or curtains... or something... i am just a denim kinda girl i guess.

OHHHH.... i made my first flying geese!!! I'm going to use these as a border for Landon and Trevor's "kisses from Paw Paw" quilts!

dang it though... i took the pictures without the memory card in the camera and now i cant get the pics of my pretty little flying geese

There... my first Christmas Countdown Progress Report....

hope yall have a wonderful weekend, I don't have to go anywhere or do anything so mine will be spent in my sewing studio! My goal is to have all the denim flimsys finished for the 6 guys, quilt Sharon, and finish the flying geese for at least one of the kisses from pawpaw's!

Friday, September 23, 2011

its begining to look like home....

I got my table from storage, i have missed my old friend. I already have it cluttered though... lol. the stacks to the right are the piles of scraps sorted by color, i moved them off of the iron surface behind my sewing machine.

I ironed all that i put together yesterday. I have 200+ of the 2 1/2 in hst's for the ocean waves!!

my piles of scraps sorted by color... I went by myself to the storage unit and I got the table in the truck with pure determination. that thing is heavy! The dressers are a little more delicate and i didn't want to do them by myself. But.. once i get the two dressers in the room, the scraps will have a home. I grabbed a bunch of boxes though and i found two unfinished quilt tops that ralphs mother had made! I will have pics of those on a nicer day!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

sewing to reduce stress

I think i mentioned these past two weeks were going to be stressful, well they were, it is... phew but the stress is almost over.

I realized, i do sew to reduce stress! I took apart my sewing room because any day now were going to go get my table... its been driving me crazy that i couldn't work on any projects so today i brought my sewing machine to the dining room table and grabbed my 2 1/2 and 1 1/2 bins and started sewing. I couldn't work on any of the things i SHOULD be working on... so i just sewed....

this mornings creations.

upper corner: Half square triangles from 2 1/2 squares for the ocean waves... loong way to go on this one.

below that: hmmm... not really sure, i am going to call them fugly for now because its 4 patches out of some really ugly late 80's early 90's fabric that was given to me. Do i think i can make something retro out of it... i dunno... gonna do something. I think im going to put them with snowballs with something bright and fun since they are so drab...but then again... there are alot of blacks and darks in there, i could stay dark and make it a "guy" quilt... for now they are my fugly squares

the blue and red 10 pieces and 4 pieces: they are actually sashing, but i haven't decided whats going to go between them, probably stars of some sort from red and blue and yellow.

the little stacks above the stripes: 3 pieces and 4 pieces of 1 1/2" squares for my lovely little windows quilt

the stripe blocks: centers to stars, i know they are different sizes, not sure how im going to do that yet but dont you love the little 16 patch on the top right and the bordered square on the bottom right!

I also put together a denim clutch, which i didn't like and i wont take a picture of... its crooked! I am putting it to good use though, it now has all those computer cords that i have to carry around with my laptop in it.

Hmmm.. just realized what ive done is created a whole bunch of ironing! I hate ironing!!! my ironing space is also piled with fabric till i get my table and dressers in my room, darn... cant iron! lol the messy sewing space is what i should have taken pictures of.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The love of my life

Authentic Worn Texas Horseshoe $6.00
Yep if there was one image that represented him, a horseshoe would be it. He has been a certified farrier for over 25 years. (he puts horseshoes on horses) He went to school for it, taught it for a while and made a living (even supported 6 children) doing it. He only works part time horseshoeing now, I dont think he will ever give it up, he loves it too much. I sometimes go and help by holding the horse for him and it is amazing to watch him work. He has that way with horses that made the term "horse whisperer" a household name.  It isn't easy work, it kills his back... but he keeps on and works hard even in the 100 degree heat or the freezing cold. He has loyal customers who are dreading the day he retires, they have counted on him for so long.

Ralph with grandbaby Waylon

Lately with the quilting we have been talking about "hobbies." I keep telling him he needs to get one because he really doesn't, we are both workaholics and that is what he does other than sleep. I could tell it bothered him that i had found something other than work to think about and do... a "well, what DO i want to do with my free time" thing.

Today, I think we figured it out. He is a blacksmith and i asked if he could make things out of the horseshoes and he said not without a forge. That lead to, he doesn't WANT to make things out of horseshoes (we have plenty of horseshoe art in our house that has been given to him as gifts and making it doesn't interest him) which lead to what would you make if you had a forge. He lit up like a kid at christmas and said KNIVES!

OK.... im not a big knife person other than i do insist on a good sharp chefs knife here at the store and at home... but... he has always liked pocket knives and of course were from texas, so bowie knives. Today he showed me some of the hand forged knives that hes been looking at and he wants to make. I have to say, they are really beautiful works of art. Today, all day, he has sat here and watched videos, searched for other knife makers, looked for the equipment and supplies he would need, figured out he wants to BUILD a forge this time... i really think he has found something he wants to do! im so happy for him because seriously if we both keep working as hard as we do, we will both have heart attacks in the next 5 years!

so... we both have hobbies!! yeah!!

Now about that horseshoe for sale....

I have been looking at Etsy. I of course am looking for a way to support my quilt habit... lol. But i wandered around the vintage section and im AMAZED at what junk sells for!!! I could raid our well house and make a killing and plan on doing it, but also my latest obsession is garage sales, and i plan on looking for stuff there.

That horseshoe picture, people are selling used horseshoes for 6 bucks on ebay and etsy! do you realize we THROW THEM AWAY! We have more horseshoes than we know what to do with!! (ok, recently we started taking them to the metal recycler) If i can sell them for 6 bucks... i have thrown away a fortune! I really have studied this one i took pictures of today, see how the ends of it are curved in, i even know what horse that one came off of because of the shape of it! lol.

So.. if you want to buy a horseshoe... for good luck... let me know!!!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

a give away!

I am in love with these fabrics! They are michael miller. I know i use mostly recycled fabrics, but oh these i could find a place for!

Samelia's Mum is giving them away on her blog... be sure to go visit her!

Friday, September 16, 2011

I inspired someone!

A few months ago my ex-sister-in-law visited. That one was hard to introduce.. uhh this is my ex sister in law, her husband and her step daughter, my niece. We have a strange family, we stay friends with our siblings ex's, my sisters still talk to my ex even though i haven't in 6 years! We figure they were family once and just cuz my brother didn't like her anymore, doesn't mean i don't have to. Now in this case my brother has passed so he didn't get mad that i invited her to come and visit me in Texas!

Anyways, she was always crafty and i of course showed her my work while she was here.  About 3 weeks later i saw she had been to Jo Ann's and then the other day she posted this and tagged me in it! Its beautiful!

Amy's Trip Around the World

I would like to think i inspired her to quilt again... lol.

In my family we always had the tradition that we made each other Christmas ornaments each year, Amy made beautiful ornaments the funny thing is the one that i like the most from her are these exact colors!

My progress since Wednesday... none. I took apart my sewing room. I have had furniture in storage since i moved into the ranch. At the time i moved in two of Ralph's children lived there with their spouses and we had 8 in a 2 bedroom house. One couple moved out immediately, the other hung on for a year and since he moved out we haven't had the time to get my stuff from storage. This weekend were going to and i have a dining room table that i plan on putting in my room. I have been using 2 round tables that we have for our next restaurant and well, it was a pain, i need a big rectangular table, i couldn't lay stuff out on them cuz the middles sagged. I cant wait till Sunday! I have missed my table, it needs to be refinished, but honestly i love it just the way it is. It was an old science lab table, sturdy as heck and i took the laminate off leaving glue and old paint, i think a perfect patina. lol Ralph just thinks its ugly, but then again, hes not the one who will have to do the work to refinish it!

I also have two dressers that will probably go in the room for fabric storage. I really need that because I'm running out of places to stack it!

For my living room an old china cabinet that i plan on displaying some of my quilts in. That might inspire me to do something with my living room! The couch and love seat we had we gave to the kids to take with them because it was pretty worn, we had planned on replacing it but now theres no room because we bought stuff for our next restaurant and i needed someplace to store it! lol someday i will have a normal house that doesn't have 42 chairs stacked in its living room. If i would just clean out the room that used to be the garage, i could store the restaurant stuff in there... i don't know, maybe bringing back some of my furniture will inspire me to make it a living room again. It just seems were never home and the bedroom, kitchen, sewing room and office are where we spend all of our time anyway!

Its Friday, I'm gearing up for a busy day of slinging pizza. Hope yall have a wonderful weekend, I will post pics of my improved room when i get it finished Sunday!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

WIP Wednesday

Im participating in the WIP Wednesday! I love wednesday because there is always so much eye candy over at freshly pieced!!! I like seeing the process!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

I had alot of time to play in my studio this past weekend. I went on a denim kick. Sorry about the pics today, i was in a hurry... life has been so busy lately!

I made this bag ...

Recycled Jeans Bag
its from legs of old jeans and the inside is a vintage sheet i picked up the other day. Its ok, but its not big enough to be a big bag and not small enough to be a purse type bag... im going to work on the design of that and maybe make a few of these for christmas presents. this one i am using for my laptop, wish i would have padded it but... i will have to make a laptop sleeve now, wont i!

Well, making the bag, gave me an idea... i triple stitched the bag and the seams were so nice and flat afterwards... i thought hmmm.... I have 800 6 in squares cut out for 6 denim rag quilts, i have made one but you know what, those rag quilts are a pain in the patootie. so... i started sewing them together like this....

Denim Quilt

Im staggering the bricks and double seaming them to reduce the bulk... im really digging it and i think i will make 6 like this instead! I had planned on making a texas star on the back of the rag quilts and i have enough red, white and blue fabric, i can just piece it! These will be for the hampton sons and son in laws (travis, jess, buck, coleman, chris and jonathan)

Speaking of Jess, Ralph's oldest son, he has been diagnosed with spinal cancer. We dont know anything else other than that. So please keep him in your prayers, he is only 34 years old. He lives in Alaska and I think he will be coming home to live with us through this.

But back to WIP's... I worked on the other Kisses from Paw Paw Quilt for landon or trevor. I have one flimsy done, im putting together the other...

Hugs from Paw Paw Quilt

I figured out on the first one, i could put these 6 pieces together and do it two rows at a time instead of one.... so its ready, i just need to start making the rows.

Here is a better pic of the one i have finished:

Hugs from Paw Paw Quilt

Landon is 5 and Trevor is 4. Landon started pre-K this year and yesterday as we were leaving for work in the afternoon the school bus dropped him off... I cried... he looked so grown up!!! Travis' family lives on the ranch in the spot where ralph raised his 6 kids, we live in the ranch house that his mom and dad built in the late 60's. Its nice having them so close by!

Other than that, my pile of flimsies is growing. I did start quilting sharons pastel stripe saturday... but ohhh i have a puppy in some trouble, he chewed the batting from between the layers on one side while i was taking a break. Fixing that of course has overwhelmed me and im not sure what to do! I have a hole that is 6X12" I cut a piece of batting to fill the hole but im not sure if i should sew the two pieces of batting together or just quilt it making sure they stay together... any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

You can see all of my on the WIP tab above...

The only one that made any other progress was Adrianna's HST Diamonds. I started putting rows together yesterday morning and should have more of it done by next wednesday!

hope yall have a beautiful wednesday... cant wait till the weekend so i can sew some more. This is a busy week for me with alot of stress and bills due... ugh... i cant wait to escape to my projects.