Thursday, June 27, 2013

tidying up

I pulled out a bunch of fabric to work with the other day that wasn't my normal pallet. It is bright and happy and colorful, very kid like.... I have been adding and taking away from it and this pile has become my "reward" for finishing some ufo's! I have a basket with the most recent (so no not even ALL of them) that i want to finish before I can cut into this pretty pile. I am actually going to make 2 very scrappy quilts from it. . 

First was this disappearing 9 patch. I finished it off as a twin quilt. I have not liked most of the disappearing 9 patch quilts I have seen but this allowed me to play with blue and red, my go to colors. I started it on one of my creative days, i wanted to see what would happen "if"... and then i had half a quilt finished. I liked the little satellites it created so its named "Space Race"

This quilt honestly is one that makes me want to try to free motion quilt some more.... I really wish I could have highlighted the satellites in the quilting but I just wasn't brave enough to "practice" on this quilt. So I think I had better spend some time each week practicing till Im brave enough to FMQ on an actual quilt!!

Then the striped monster. I started it to be a queen quilt for Ralph and I but I pulled some squares out to make my first "for sale" item. A small baby quilt out of blue, tan and yellow square but I ripped the backing while quilting it and it didn't end up for sale... it ended up being Tristan's favorite quilt that he uses daily at our house. OH, and i used some squares to make the squishy blocks that the grand kids love.... So I still had a gazillion more squares to cut to make our quilt and I just wasn't as in love with the idea... I made this instead, a baby quilt that i will put in the shop. Just have to quilt it yet. (LOL funny how the pieces to this quilt keep being my test for should I start making stuff and selling it. It took everyone 6 months to convince me that i should! Ralph is still mad I haven't put the squishy blocks in the store but honestly the grand kids keep stealing them and I haven't had a set to put in there!)

Here are some of the other things i have finished recently....

some napkins...

a table runner....

A table topper....

This is kinda cool... a bathmat for our bathroom! I quilted it on an old towel!

So I had talked about goals in my last post and YES I have met them! woo hoo...

my goals for the coming week:

I have two vintage sheet quilts to finish, a twister quilt and a string quilt. Add borders to two other quilts... buy some batting and finish some more.

Now on the family stuff...

Caty is reuniting with her baby's father. This is a good thing, they have been together for 8 years and I think they do love each other... I told her if she thinks she can work it out and she thinks they will be happy to fight for the relationship to work. I know this is what Lydia her other mother (my husbands previous wife) would have said. Honestly.. what do i think? I asked if she was happy with him? I just want her to be happy. But what do I know...  when it comes to marriage and love... my generation (im 45) is really screwed up. We grew up with the fantasy of happily ever after, our parents didn't divorce but our older siblings, cousins and counterparts... well they decided that the ever after part rarely included happy and we watched divorce happen, for me it was like a horror film. I went to their weddings as a child and by the time i was dating they were all divorced. Hmmm wasn't the best advertisement for committing to a serious relationship! Add to that all of the "you cant have everything" movies of the early 80's where we were taught we had to choose career or love and well, all that marriage stuff seemed like the raw end of the deal. So.. yes, i was 44 before I got married. (between you and me I think i picked a winner... it just took me a while to find him!!)

Things with Travis and Bridgette have settled down and Travis has sobered up and stopped doing drugs. That has been a miracle to watch and I am so proud of him. He has faltered some but he is winning the battle.  Bridgette is still in the nursing home and is still not doing well. I've decided that Child Protective Services is a joke. The other day we needed a phone number to something and we stopped to get it from the  investigator. We were told he wasn't in but his truck was clearly in the parking lot. We waited 20 min for his supervisor to get us the number. The receptionist even put up a sign saying to wait, there was no receptionist on duty, so we were in this waiting room and not a soul around. We left without the number, I had 2 two year olds in the truck who were cranky! when they realized we left the investigator called and said "uhh, i know you saw my truck in the parking lot and she told you i wasn't here. I just wanted you to know i didn't know you were out there and I didn't tell her to lie to you" What ever, CPS is a joke. On a bright side, they did have Landon the 6 yr old this weekend and it was nice seeing him. I miss Landon.

But all the changes means the house is getting empty again. Its quieting down, Im getting more sewing time, ralph is getting bored again and not sure what to do (im hoping he catches the "make stuff and sell it" dream again) But were not going to say any of that too loudly because Buck, one of his other sons is between jobs and staying with another family member. We dont want them moving back in.... that would be 2 adults and 3 children!

Uhhh... i wrote this the other day... here is more updates. Bridgette in in the hospital with an infection... and buck isn't just unemployed he either is doing or has been doing drugs! Not sure where this one is going yet or if we will end up with more grand babies... but dang... didn't he learn something watching his brother go thru that!!

forgot to mention im linking up with Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts for the first time!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Modern Mini Challenge Quilt

Normally I don't get lucky ... but today was my lucky day. I started reading my blogs and there were all these beautiful entries to the Modern Mini Challenge Quilts and today i just happened to finish this little cutie and I thought... I'm going to enter it! How lucky is that!

I made this block a couple years ago. It was intended for a twin size quilt for one of my granddaughters. I think I got through 3 blocks and they sat in my UFO pile for a while, then i moved them to the orphan bin. A few weeks ago I had "Play Day at the Orphanage" and I made some of my orphan blocks into table toppers and table runners. This little gem is one of my favorites.
The original block was from 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 scrap bins of striped fabrics. I quilted it with straight lines close together which I am stuck on for these table toppers and runners.

The striped fabric was from shirts I bought at a yard sale. I had made an entire queen quilt from for my daughter-in-law. The white is upcycled vintage muslin sheet. Binding was from my stash and the backing was a piece from a yard sale.

I will be placing this one for sale on my etsy store.

Be sure to go to Ellison Lane and look at the other beautiful pieces of work. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Goal Setting

Amazing when you set goals what happens. I used to be a sales person and it worked the same way there... ok, so i didn't always reach the goals but i did come alot closer than i would have without them!! lol... i really hated being a sales person by the way!!!

The goals I had set:

Finish piecing liberty! It is pieced and it is georgeous. I was going to buy the fabric for the borders but i folded this peice that was upcycled (used to be the living room curtains) and i thought... darn it this is perfect for the border!!  I still have to put that on but i really cant wait to start quilting this one... and yes im still debating hand quilting.

next goal was to finish one of the table toppers or table runners that i started. It took a while because i started and ripped out the quilting... but here we have it. I really need to get over this "matchstick" quilting kick im on because it takes a huge amount of thread and time. But isn't it beautiful... i do love it.

The blocks were left over hst's from a quilt i have pieced but not quilted yet... hmmm maybe a goal should be to finish that!!!

The next goal was to quilt and bind the cowhand quilt....

cowhand is quilted.... binding in process, should be done tomorrow. This is the cowhand quilt because the shirts are just shirts cowhands would wear. I was going to sell this one but I decided to put a scrappy binding on it and use it as our beach blanket because i didn't have one. Now I just need to make a bag from the plaid shirts and i will be all set for summer!

Put new listings on etsy... I said 6 and i put 6, renewed 2 and put a reserve listing for a quilt!! woo hoo i did it!

Goals until we meet again... hmmmm

1. finish another table topper or table runner that is started. Next it is a small striped shirt table topper that is almost finished.

2. put the borders on Liberty... i really dont want to stall on this one because i can't wait to put it on my bed!

3.  make another small table topper or runner and finish it for the store.

4. put 6 more listings on etsy!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

summer vacation

Through the stress I really haven't paid much attention to my etsy store and I hadn't been selling much. Strangely though sales come in groups and I made three sales in 2 days last week. Ive been trying to figure out what sells best between the patterns,

 the fabric

 and the handmade items 

but everytime i think one is the leader i sell some of the other two to make it neck in neck... so as of right now i have sold the exact same number of handmade items, patterns and fabric. Now because i did sell one baby quilt the hand made items have grossed more income, followed by the sheets then the patterns. What that tells me is i need to make more things and put more things ive made for sale. 

My goals from last Monday: 

1. finish piecing the top to Liberty (done)
2. quilt and bind cowhand quilt (Ive made the sandwich and plan to quilt it tonight - should be done by monday)
3. finish one of the table runners or table mats ive started. I pinned and started quilting one but hate the quilting ive done so im tearing it out... i may not finish this one)
4. put 6 new listings on etsy... hmmm so far a total fail on that one too.

lets see what i can get done by monday!

but its not wonder with the whirlwind week we have had concerning the children!

We finally had a CPS meeting with the concerned grandparents and Ralph's son. His wife was too sick to attend. I have mixed emotions. I felt the need to defend Ralph's son because i do feel like everyone was pointing the finger at him saying you messed up. Yes, mess up he did but I know in his heart he was trying, he just lost the battle because he was  trying to juggle chainsaws. He had a sick wife, two kids, a dangerous job... he took a step off in the wrong direction and it took him down a rabbit hole. I dont know if he will ever find his way back out but I do see he is trying. Two steps forward one step back. It was agreed among everyone there that until Travis met his goal of no longer doing drugs, to keep the kids safe they would live with us. Everyone agreed that the two boys should stay together. (the grandmother that im about to talk about was at that meeting and agreed to the same thing)

So... let me talk about the older child for a second. He is not Ralph's sons child, he was 3 when he met his mom and they got together... so for half his life Ralph's son has been this boys father because his real father has broken into the local drug store for drugs, has gotten out of jail for that and is now incarcerated somewhere else for who knows what. I think the child has seen his biological father 3 times in his life. Now his grandmother, the woman who raised the jailbird has played a role in the childs life. While we were keeping him we were letting him spend weekends with her. My feelings were that his mom was ill and we are not sure what will be the outcome for him. He is going through a rough time and he needs all the loving supportive people in his life he can get... she seemed to be one. 

In the last month, we did have to ask her to quit feeding the boy so much sugar because twice he came home throwing  up pure sugar. I also had to ask her to quit giving him medication that wasn't prescribed because she believed him to be sick. I took him to the doctor he did not have asthma he had a touch of seasonal allergies but she was giving him breathing treatments that were straight steroids and he didn't sleep for 2 days after spending time with her. (so she is a bit batty i think... and with the self medicating, no wonder she raised a brood of drug addicts!!!)

The other night while he was visiting her, she called and she claims she has "custody" of him and wasn't going to give him back. no one has been served anything so she may just be batty or she may have a lawyer that drew something up that she thinks is custody papers... who knows. We are letting him stay there till legally we can do something about it. what i do know is that she has taken him from us, from his brother, from the man he knows as his father and from his mother who isn't dead yet... what she has done was nothing but selfish and was done to meet her own needs.

Ralph's son has hired a lawyer and honestly since she did this before the childs mother died... i think he has a shot at getting Ralph and I custody of him. I honestly dont know what would be best for him. With this grandmother his aunt would be his babysitter and she has the same problems as Ralph's son. The other aunt is a prostitute i have been told. (i think she HAS been one... HAS or IS im not sure of her role model ability) I honestly didn't expect to keep him forever because we are not blood and there hasn't been an adoption... but i did picture a much smoother transition, one where we and his little brother still had a place in his life.