Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Time!

It's Christmas Time and life is good! It's time for bunny slippers and electronics, as you can tell from Sydnee's cute self:
I have finished my Christmas quilting gifts - 2 quilts this year. My quilting machine is giving me serious grief! (Again!) So frustrating, I barely got the last quilt out of it's jaws, finally complete after approximately 1200 thread breaks! Grrrr. But, now it is sitting meekly in the quilt studio, looking benign, and I may approach it again come January as I still have a few projects to quilt - hopefully I'll forget how mean it is! Was seriously contemplating buying a new machine, but I've spent all my pennies on the Mini Q (AKA new car!), so I daren't.
     Our wonderful Christmas company is here (Jeff & Vanessa) and we are going to have a lovely white Christmas this year, sometimes it is just cold, but it makes it so much better with snow!
Yes, those are little Christmas ornaments on the end of the lights, Mr. Handsome took our extras out there for added Christmas delight.  We will be having a tamale making party tonight combined with a gingerbread house decorating party. Clever me! I froze the leftover gingerbread candy from last year AND I remembered it was down in the freezer! Woo hoo! 
Hope you all are having a wonderful holiday season, filled with the things and people you love!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

My Mamal

     Early this morning, my Mamal went to heaven to be with lots of family members that are already there. She was 92 years old.  I am so glad that I went to see her for her birthday in October. She was a neat lady who went through a lot in this life - good and bad.  While I was growing up in California, she lived in upstate New York, so we didn't see each other a whole lot and it was the days before "Skype" and "FaceTime".  We wrote letters and my mom would wait and call occasionally after 9 p.m. when the rates were lower, of course.  There were visits though, she would come out and we would go to Disneyland and Busch Gardens.  We were always so excited for her to unpack her suitcase, since she would generally have a little something in there for us.
     One year, we flew to New York, then got in the car and drove to West Virginia for a family reunion. Mamal sat in the back with us 3 girls (wide old car, no seat belts) and told us stories the whole way there, we made her tell the turtle story over and over again, we loved it!  When we were at her house, in New York, she baked us our favorite pies and ate our vegetables for us too! She did ask my mom not to give us quite so many though.  She had an old claw footed tub and the only shower she had was in her scary basement.
     When I was married and she would come to California, she would come out to my house to see me and my family and she would do some little thing, like clean my toaster all sparkly! It has never been as clean before or since.
Here is a picture of 5 generations, with her on the right in Arizona a few years back. She came out to live with my Aunt Linda in Arizona for the past few years as she needed more care. Aunt Linda and her wonderful family took great care of her and we are all grateful. Today I am grateful for my family and the love, because even as we are all struggling along doing the best that we can, we all love each other A LOT!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Modern Girl

     We are headed to a family reunion for Thanksgiving this week and I volunteered a quilt top to be 'tied' (I know, perish the thought) and given away during the reunion. So, I need to piece the back (exact size - gack!) and scare up some batting that won't be terribly hard to pull the ties through, which I probably will also need to piece together, etc.
     BUT, the other day, after getting back from visiting a friend who is having her 5th baby as we speak, I decided to whip her up a little quick quilt for her new little guy. I came home and got it done after some head-scratching math, that still was off somehow. I made this from a  12" block pattern in my block book. The block finished 12", so I multiplied the pieces by 300% to make it approximately 36".  It is 39" and I had to do some fancy trimming to get it put together. I know those of you who actually took (and passed) geometry in school are laughing at me right now, but such is my life.
The beauty of it is the back doesn't need to be pieced! So I can get it quilted up quickly. By the way, this is a "Modern Quilt", I know this because at my last quilt retreat, I took a little lecture on modern quilting and one of the things that make quilts "modern" is blowing up a block like this. That said, in the class, we talked about how modern quilting is just a little bit different take on the same (wonderful) old quilting that has been around for centuries.
     So, yesterday, I headed back down to the studio (ostensibly to work on the backing/batting issue for the reunion) and I started a whole new quilt! It's going to be really cute, but I don't quite know how it jumped in front of my other projects that have a deadline…
     While I was downstairs quilting it up, Mr. Handsome was putting up the Christmas lights!!
He is so funny, he only likes to put them up if he can do it differently each year. As you can tell by our house shape, it's kind of hard to get creative, but he manages, last year there were giant X's on our roof. The nice thing about this year is I can see my own Christmas lights looking out my own windows, I don't have to cross the street to see them.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Moving Along

So, I've been working on this quilt for my newest little granddaughter and after some fighting with the tension on my quilting machine, I got it finished today! I did have to vacuum up copious amounts of picked out threads, but it looks great! (Or as great as it gets with my meandering quilting, with a word thrown in here and there). Ready to bind.

I have also been working on this Christmas Quilt for a family member and I had it on the design wall and was vacuuming near it and the vacuum caused a breeze which blew off a couple of blocks and they got SUCKED up in the vacuum! We had just gotten our old vacuum serviced and I can certify it's got the suction restored for sure!

So I fished them out of the bottom, ironed them and starched them and am currently ignoring the slight dirtiness that got on them.  Today I finally finished sewing the rows together:

Super simple pattern, just took 3 sets of charm packs, then I cut white on white fabric into 5 inch squares, then made half square triangles out of them, and sewed them together like so - ta-da - an argyle looking Christmas quilt is coming soon.

I saw this on Facebook the other day and I feel like these could be my New Years' Resolutions (If I ever actually made any)

I would have to add sewing to the list, of course, but other than that, it looks pretty darn good.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Bad Blogger

     Hello - I am writing before I dash off to another quilt retreat (Yay!!!). Headed to Park City tomorrow for 3+ days of quilting and partying and laughing! I am hoping to have lots to show when I get back, I have been remiss about posting, but part of it was not my fault! (I know, excuses, excuses) My computer bit the dust, so I now have a new computer, but it is a MAC, which is new to me, so I definitely have some figuring out to do!  I think I will love it, but there is always that headache producing new phase of figuring and head scratching with a small amount of swearing and crying thrown in.  If you were expecting pictures, you will be sadly disappointed as I have not figured out how to find my pictures on here, but fear not, I WILL figure it out when I get back! I did download all 20,000 of them somewhere on here!
     I am in the full swing of gorgeous Fall around here! Did I mention I LOVE that time change "fall back" thing - whoopee for me, no longer a lay-about lazy person sleeping in until all hours, I am awake at 7 a.m. - (not up, but awake).
     Anyhoo, hoping your Fall is going great! Happy Quilting!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Next Big Project

Okay, here is my next "big" project that I've started - but it's sort of cheating, as it is a Block of the Month, so I just have to pick up my sweet batik fabrics (in blues), and build it little by little each month. (Speaking of which, I pick up my 2nd pack in two days and I haven't done my first pack!!)

Quilt Festival was fabulous! My classes were lots of fun and I learned about designing quilts (I will master EQ 7!), a new paper-piecing method, scrap storage and usage, a little needle-turned applique and I felt like the star in the "Organizing your Quilt Space" class, because the teacher came and took photos of my very own, beautiful, remodeled studio for her slide presentation.  She saved it for last and when she showed it, people actually gave a little gasp, because it is so gorgeous. Lots of people came up and said how pretty it was after class, (I felt so popular). I enjoyed the yummy lunches, my wonderful quilting friends, etc.
Since it was not too far from home, Mr. Handsome came up a couple of times to visit, once with some of the sweet grandbabies for a little swim.
AND, so excited, my car comes tomorrow night!!!!! So, my plan is to get lots of quilting done tomorrow, since I will probably be tooling around all creation after that!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

And the pictures

Here is my eight year old granddaughter's quilt:


Gotta Love Quilting Season!

     I have been a busy girl, spent a wonderful week in Missouri, visiting my daughter and meeting my newest granddaughter, Holland Danielle, she is beautiful, but perhaps a wee bit crabby at times.  Here is the quilt I took for her (gray minky on the back)
     Our oldest wonderful granddaughter was baptized, so I took her a quilt too, I meant it to be a throw, but it seems to have turned out more twin-sized-ish: (For some reason, blogger won't let me post it!!!)
Next time...
     Tomorrow I head out to Quilt Festival!!!! So excited, 4 days of classes, friends, and fun - all revolving around quilting, of course!  My new car still has not made an appearance, so that will be a few more days that I won't need a car, it has been promised for next week, I surely will be appreciating it when it comes, having "done without" for 2 months, if you can believe it (I hardly can).
     Looking forward to learning lots of new quilt techniques, or at least one. I am taking several lecture classes, my favorite, no prep work, just sitting back and enjoying the quiltiness. Hopefully I will be able to get my pictures up when I get back - toodles!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Quilting and Life

     I finally finished my Eye-fooler quilt, after three long years of working on it on and off. I think it looks amazing! BUT, if you look at it up close, there are many, many imperfections - points cut off (my nemesis), corners not quite matching up, etc. 

     That is my life in a nutshell - every day I make mistakes, today for example - it's not even noon and I've already done something I regret. I was riding my bike this morning and a dog (note - I am not a dog lover) came running after me, barking like a fool, I was scared! The owner came out of her house after I'd passed it (riding like a madwoman, wondering, rather desperately if could I out-pedal a medium sized dog) She called the dog back and I was safe, but I meanly yelled back "There is a leash law!". I did not need to do that, she was probably already worried/embarrassed enough about her dog.
That is pretty much how it goes around here!
     BUT, I look at the whole of my life - my amazing, handsome husband who still loves me madly after 32 years of marriage, my wonderful, beautiful children (including the in-law kids), and of course my stupendous grand children that give me joy each day. I have my testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ which gives my life great meaning and I could go on and on, as I'm sure each of you could about your own blessings in your own lives.
     I am learning and getting better at quilting - when I first started, I would be quilting a quilt and notice that some of my seams weren't quite closed, that doesn't happen any more, I guess it's true practice makes perfect (eventually, I hope). My life is like that too, I don't judge myself or others as harshly as I used to when I was younger, I see things more clearly now as my experience and faith grow. I watch the people in my life and my gratitude and amazement are increased as I see the wonder and beauty that is in this world and my experience in it.
     Well, those are my deep thoughts for today, hope you have a great one and if not, as I like to remind myself when those bad days come (as they do for ALL of us), they don't last forever! Happy Quilting!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

More Pictures

I finally have downloaded some pictures from my phone:  Here are the two quilts I made for my niece's twins: (They are much cuter with the twins on them!)


 Here is the nifty little table I got from IKEA (my absolute favorite place for sewing studio furniture!) This is a little secondary (or even tertiary with the flaps up) sewing spot, for when my friends come and sew with me:
 This little beauty is perfect for storing my quilting thread, and it rolls along my machine, holding pins, etc. - very handy - also from IKEA:

Friday, September 6, 2013

The Big 5-0

  So, I have been remiss about blogging (obviously). BUT, I am now officially "retired" - when I say retired, it makes it look like I was at the same job for 30 years instead of 3...  First day off, two calls from the office, second day, 3 calls and an email, third day 1 email - excellent!!!
    Had a FABULOUS birthday yesterday, quilting, yummy lunch, more quilting, volleyball and a nice soak in the jacuzzi.  Visiting with family and friends, all in all a wonderful day! My son, Jeff cracked me up, he left me a message "Happy Birthday Mom, 50, you're half way there" - Hahaha, funny family! 
    Our family was blessed with grandchild #8, Holland Danielle, the 4th baby of Brooke and Ben.  We are going to see her later this month! 
    I only have one picture to post, of the quilt in progress I posted last time, a close up of my favorite block - it's all quilted, bound and given to my sweet neighbor in Hurricane.  I need to get my phone pics uploaded to my computer, then I will have a plethora of photos to share - stay posted.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Dust

     I have a favorite cereal I pretty much eat every morning, "Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds". I buy it at Costco, where it comes in a big box with two bags inside. It is inconvenient to pour from the bags, so I have a nifty Tupperware-type plastic container I dump the bags into and pour into my bowl from there. The problem is, when it's nearly gone, it's just "the dust" at the bottom, which I do not like, I like my flakes nice and big.  So - I just dump in another bag when it gets like that. The problem is, that now that I've done this multiple times  I swear, half the container is now "the dust".  I just want to throw it away, but Mr. Handsome (who, incidentally doesn't eat carbs and hasn't for MONTHS) has forbidden me, saying he will eat it, just save it! Yes, he is sort of a penny pincher in odd ways.  So - I keep wondering, would he even notice? Is it worth an argument? Should I do it on trash day, like I used to toss the kids papers, hoping they wouldn't notice that I did not keep every precious word they'd written?  We'll see...
     My "old car" is officially sold and gone. So we are a one car family for 3 weeks or so, until the "Mini-Quilter" arrives.  That is the same time frame that I should be done working!!!!! And it's also my birthday!!!!  Yay! 
     On the quilting front, I have added a couple more fabulous IKEA pieces to the studio and they are working out great! (I love IKEA). I will post pictures soon, but for now, down to enjoy them! Happy Quilting to you too!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

On the design Wall

So I've been working on this quilt for a year, it was a block of the month at my local quilt shop. I like how it turned out, but it had terrible directions (or I am just a failure as a quilter - a distinct possibility). Each month you chose another fabric to add, so the first block had two fabrics, the second block had three, etc.
I am going to give it to the kind couple who have the condo next to ours in Hurricane and always take our trash cans down, since we are never there on trash day.  So I just need to piece 3 backs now and I can get back into quilting them. Did I mention I hate to piece backs?
On another note - the other day I read in the paper about a study of how the heat makes people more likely to  commit acts of violence and start wars, etc. Ha - I could have told you that, I feel pretty violent when it's super hot - especially day after day after day! Hope you have somewhere nice and cool to quilt and escape!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013


I've quilted 4 more tops with two more in the cupboard to go!  Here is a little "Eye-Spy", nap time quilt for Grandma's house. Beckham already quite likes it. I tried to pick things that the kids would know.  A big thank you to Kathie for giving me all the novelty fabrics! I never would have had the patience to hunt them down and buy little pieces of them!  My friend did an exchange to get her fabrics, I thought that was a good idea too, if you don't have a Kathie.
Here is the first block done for my Snowmen A-ZZZ (A Crabtree Hill pattern, I believe). I am working on blocks B & C at the same time, so I should have two to show soon.  This should be completed for Christmas 2025 (maybe).

Meanwhile, I am counting down the days till I am done with working! I think I gave my notice too early, because I am super impatient and just want to be done! Mr. Handsome ordered up my new car, the one I'm driving is giant, which is quite handy sometimes but gets horrible gas mileage, and it's 10 years old, so it's getting a little raggedy and we're starting to have to put a little $$ into it, never fun.
I was going to get the red one (arrest-me red), but decided to go with the more sedate white one.  So excited, I've wanted a mini for 10 years! They finally came out with a 4 door, all-wheel drive so I can fit some grandbabies in it, pack up my sewing machine, table and projects for quilt retreats and drive in the snow.  Mr. Handsome says we'll call it "The Mini-Quilter"

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Note to Self...

My Quilting Machine is up and running! I was looking at my unfinished projects and realized I had not quilted/finished this little baby for my newest granddaughter, who is nearly 3 months old!

     Got it finished up quickly! I am excited that I will finally have something for "Show and Tell" at quilt group this week!  My big 3 year project "Eye-Fooler" quilt is up next for quilting, I just have to pick up a back for it - 7 + yards - it's a big one!
     I am kind of excited that I have this funky little clothesline on my back patio from when my dryer was having some hiccups earlier this summer - (note - do not squish the vent thing behind the dryer!) Anyway, my quilt colors are MUCH better when photographed outside!! (duh). I don't have to look at my outdated carpet (bleck), I don't get weird shadows, etc. I am keeping this line up forever!
     My "Note to self" is to get my machine serviced more than once every six years! The timing was off, among other things, now it works great. I am excited to get through the stack of tops while enjoying my nice, cool, beautiful basement!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Fall is Coming

     I know we are in the dregs of summer (my least favorite, sweaty, sweaty, season) - But I am looking forward to Fall with a vengeance! I have a quilt retreat in September (the celebrated Birthday Month), plus I will be heading to Missouri to visit my wonderful daughter, Brookie, My Cookie to see my newest granddaughter, who will soon be making an appearance! 
     Followed by a retreat in October AND November (see why I need to quit my job?)  I am super excited about the classes I've signed up for at the Utah Quilt Guild retreat - A class on organizing my sewing space - always a favorite with me.  A class on "designing for dummies" - yes, that's me for sure! A scrappy Bulls Eye quilt and class from a national teacher - Anita Grossman Soloman (I bet she gets tired of writing all those names) with a cool, new (to me) paper-piecing technique. 
     I did get my magical machine into the shop, so hopefully I will be quilting again soon!  I have a few tops that are all ready to go!  I did go back to my quilting bee today after a month's absence and it was so wonderful to see all of my quilting buddies and chat a bit. I also finally finished the first embroidery block from my Block of the Month that started several months ago, so I am feeling a bit accomplished! As soon as I wash off the water soluble printed pattern, I will post a little picture...
     Hope you're having a good day today! My day is much better than yesterday (went to the doctors for my physical - bleck)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


     So, after showing you all my fabulous new studio, I have a confession to make! My quilting machine is broken! I have to get Mr. Handsome to dismantle the machine off of the slide-y thing and take it into the shop.  So, even though my space is gorgeous, not much quilting has actually been done in it's spacious, beautiful-ness.
     My other confession is that I've quit my part time job! I am so excited about this, I can't even tell you! I am working until the end of summer, but that's it! I will now be free to go to quilt retreats without feeling guilty about leaving my boss in the lurch! I can fly mid-week to visit family (I fly standby, so that's a biggie!), I can go to my Grandma's 92 birthday party in the next state, since I won't have to take another few days off work right after a quilt retreat this fall, etc. I am amazed at all of you who work (full or part time) and still have some brains left in your head to blog and do other fun stuff! (Like quilt and raise children to name a couple!) 
     So, I am hoping to be quilting more, blogging more, doing more service in my neighborhood and just being a grandma more - something I enjoy immensely! 
     That's the big news of the day (you were expecting something else?)

Monday, July 8, 2013

At long last, the studio remodel!

So the 3 grandkids are safely back in Missouri and Grandma has her life back! Here are the pics of the fabulous remodel of the quilting studio and my new laundry room!
First - Before pictures:
My studio was very functional, but kind of dark and bleck and NO Storage:
I would need to turn on several switches and plug in random lights to get enough light to work.
The 1970's paneling was cramping my creative mojo! I don't have a before pic of my laundry room, it was just in an unfinished area of the basement.
Early in the demolition:
The hole to the left was Mr. Handsome's great idea to build the storage into the unfinished part of the basement, since the studio is sort of narrow. So we cut 2 cupboards, and one set of open shelves for storage:
Amazingly enough, all of my sewing supplies (except batting) fit inside of these two cupboards!
This one on the left and there is another way down on the other side of the door to the laundry room.
The basic set up is still the same, and I am currently using my E-Z sewing table, debating on whether or not to get a bigger sewing cabinet. I did pick up (thanks, Megan!) a little white cabinet that has taken the place of the rolling plastic drawers to the left of my machine which is helpful.
 You can see I do not want to put any holes in my beautiful new walls, so I am using those sticky hooks for now. (or nothing!). The old IKEA chair is not my first choice, but I seem to have spent all of my pennies, so it will do...
 We closed in the stairs, so they are not such a death-trap, but needed to leave them somewhat open or we could never get furniture up or down again.
And, I got a fabulous Vanishing Design Wall! (I couldn't bear to tack up a $3 table cloth on my new walls)

The new carpet and all of the lights are fantastic! Here is the laundry room:
 Am loving having a counter to fold laundry on! It came in especially handy after I became the mother of 3 for a month! The floor is super uneven, so we just painted it.
We did have a VERY UNFORTUNATE FLOOD, right after completion, which meant we had to REDO the carpet and clear everything out to dry it, etc. But it also got me new carpet and paint in the two bedrooms down there, which are now very lovely!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

It's Been a Long Time!

     I know many of you are waiting for the complete before and after pics of the Quilting Studio Remodel - alas, we had an unfortunate FLOOD - 2 inches of water over the entire basement!  The new carpet was salvageable, but we needed new pad and the carpet reinstalled after running (big) fans on it for a week.   The two bedrooms downstairs where we had decided not to put in new carpet (even though they needed it) because we were too lazy to pull everything out of there after being in flux for weeks with the studio remodel - are now getting beautiful new carpeting.  We pulled all of the furniture out and noticed the baseboard are terrible - like seriously rubber or something - so lovely new baseboards in those rooms too - carpet coming early next week.  After the carpet is in and the furniture back - it's time to cut open my gorgeous new laundry room ceiling to fix the pipe that flooded the basement - argh!  Which means the plumber, drywall guy, painters, etc.  So - I am still sewing upstairs in the middle of the dining room - messy, messy, but what are you going to do?
     I think after all of the work is done down there I am going to move down there - it will all be so new and perfect! Our house is 50 years old, so everything is not so new around here!

     In other news, I got a lovely new kindle!

     My old kindle, which I loved, had been giving me trouble, the little switch-y thing would not move to the left anymore and while messing with it, I put my font up to HUGE - like 6 words to a screen!  I could not make it go any smaller, I could not remove items from the device, etc.  So, after stewing about it for a week or two, I just got on Amazon (after our internet was restored from the flood) and ordered one right up! It came the next day and it is lovely! It is a "paperwhite", touch screen, with a built in light that doesn't strain your eyes, etc.  It's funny, but there is no way I would go back to 'regular books' - I don't mind reading them, but figuring out where to store them, getting new bookshelves, agonizing over the ones to give away because I don't have room, etc. - no thanks!
     On the quilting front, I am nearly finished with my "Eye-Fooler" quilt - 3 years in the making! 2 more rows to sew on, then borders - yippee skippy!

Friday, April 12, 2013


     So the remodeling around here is coming to a fine finish! I told Mr. Handsome if we live through this weekend we will be pretty much home free! The painters have been here for the last couple of days and will be back to finish the basement tomorrow. (They painted upstairs hallway, dining and family rooms as well as touched up all of our white trim).  I am giving my darling daughter-in-law, Tricia, a baby shower tomorrow, so we will be dusting, re-hanging pictures and arranging here tonight and cooking in the morning. I am doing a brunch, since I have a yummy quiche recipe (thanks to Miss Paula Deen) that is pretty easy to make and I thought I would whip up some mini pound cake cupcakes and serve them with whipped cream and strawberries. Well,  I made them last night and no, I did not use those bitty paper wrappers (I did not have any) and of course, they STUCK terribly and were not salvageable. So, onto plan B (Costco cake- a cop out, I know!) Note to self - always use the bitty papers!!!!  I have managed to convince Mr. Handsome to cut up the fruit for the fruit salad, so hopefully everything will go smoothly.  Cross your fingers that the guests will not notice the paint fumes wafting upstairs all morning...
    The dishwasher has been broken for the past week or so, so the repair man came today also, but needed to order a part, so it's still washing dishes by hand (we are going out to dinner).  I did manage to get over to my kids house and do a couple of loads of laundry so my towels didn't mildew before the laundry room is back in operation.  The carpet guy came today to measure, we just need to pick out carpet now (and pay for it!), the electrician has a bit of work to finish and there are a few other small items and we are done!
     Of course, then my work really begins, plenty of dusting and cleaning out of the house and finding new lovely homes for all of my quilting loveliness - so exciting!  So, I should have pictures to post next week, at least of the empty studio and laundry room.  Hope you're are enjoying your quilting or whatever it is that makes you happy!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Old Age (Sorta)

     So, I am writing today to complain about my ridiculous body! 2 weeks ago, I could hardly walk (we're talking riding on those carts at the grocery store!) because of the plantar fasciitis in my left foot that occasionally flares up.  I was limping around, wishing for a handicapped placard so I could park as close as possible to my errands.  Then, last week, my right knee swelled right up for no apparent reason!!! (But my plantar fasciitis went away), then, my knee has been gradually getting better and two days ago my sciatic nerve started giving me fits!  Keeping me up at night, making it hard to sit, there was no comfortable position!  Bleck! The jacuzzi helped some, along with some nifty stretching exercises I saw on YouTube, so I am getting some relief there. My thumb has arthritis in it, so it hurts when I even try to zip up a ziplock baggie - grrr!  And the hot flashes are what are really driving me bonkers! I am so tired of waking up sweating multiple times each night and wanting to divest myself of my clothing several times a day!  It's cool weather here now, but I am dreading summer, when I cannot just zip outside for a breath of fresh air!
     Now, I am not a marathoner, but I am not a total couch potato either! I hit the gym 3-5 days per week, but since my body started seriously falling apart, it's all I can do to take a little mosey around the block with the dog!  I am still 6 months away from the big 5-0!  What's coming in a few more years? Total paralysis? Anyway, that's my rant for the day, and if I have already ranted about it, I have forgotten, my Alzheimer's may have kicked in too...

Monday, March 25, 2013

Finally Some Finished Quilt Pictures

Okay, here are some recent quilty finishes:
This first one I made with "Quilt Smart" which made the fun petals very do-able:

 This simple, cuddly quilt is for my niece, Hannah Banana:
 I have been working on this quilt for 3 years! It is handquilted and it is done! (for the condo)
 Here is a quilt for Doug & Tricia's new baby girl, hope they don't curse my name later, it has soft, white Minkey on the back:
This one was a panel challenge our bee did:
 Here is a bit of the fabric sorting I've been doing for the new studio, these clear bins will be going on the shelves in my new cabinets and pull out like drawers. I have nearly 3 full, but some empties, just in case my fabric grows...

Here is a better picture of my temporary sewing studio:

 Notice the pins up on the windowsill where little hands cannot reach them.

And, still agonizing over colors...

The Dusty Basement

Well, we are soldiering along here in remodel-land:


There is going to be plenty of lights for quilting and I am going to have my very own real laundry room - hooray! I will have lighting over every task - ironing, sewing, quilting, cutting, design-wall and cupboards. The only problem with all of my lovely lights is that there are so many and my house is so old, we have to use low voltage energy lightbulbs (or upgrade our electrical service - not happening).  We are presently tracking drywall dust everywhere and waiting for cabinets.

 I have my little sewing area upstairs, and it works, but is a little frustrating traipsing up and down the stairs looking for random sewing necessities - searching the guestrooms where everything is piled up!  BUT, better than no sewing for weeks! Hope to have more progress soon!

Monday, February 25, 2013


     February has nearly slipped past me!  Good news, the basement/quilt studio remodel has begun!!! I will post pictures as soon as there is something more interesting than holes in the wall and studs to frame in my unfinished laundry room.  When the hole was cut for my built in bookshelves, Mr. Handsome kept muttering about maybe he should just fit a (huge) TV in there, it would be perfect - maybe we should make the shelves removable, so it would be easy to slip one in later. Um... NO!  Shane thinks it would be a great snack bar, he wants me to bring my popcorn machine down and get a cotton candy maker, etc. Um...NO!  But good try, guys!
     I am so excited! My back is a bit sore from moving heavy objects into the two bedrooms down there to get them out of the way for the excitement.  My ironing table is very heavy! I also had to clean out much of the unfinished part of the basement, as that is where the cupboards and bookshelves are going to bump out into.  So, lots of dust already, but it will be totally worth it!!! I am also in love with the fact that I only need to go to the basement a couple of times a week to do laundry, and we don't "live" down there, AND there is an outside entrance, so hopefully this remodel will be much less painful than the kitchen/ bathroom remodels we've already done here.
     I have moved my SewEZ table upstairs and my trusty old Bernina and set up a rather unsightly sewing area up here in the family room.  I have my little portable table top ironing board and a couple of projects to keep me busy while the studio is reborn. Now to keep those cute grandsons from running off with my scissors and pins! I also have 3 quilts to hand sew down the binding on, so there is some more sewing I can do outside of the studio. (I will post pics as soon as they are done).
    I am currently agonizing over paint colors, I had been planning on painting the walls lime green, since it is the basement and there is not much natural light, but I'm kind of tired of it already, so I think I've switched to an aqua blue.  The laundry room - maybe a sunny yellow - but not too bright - ack, I am not good at picking paint colors!  I am really excited that I can get a cute laundry room sign for my new room! I've never had a real laundry room to decorate, yippee skippy!
     I am currently taking a fun interior design class through the community education program and so I feel some pressure to make it "perfect" (deep breaths here).  For the very most part, feeling extremely blessed!!!
     Brooke and Ben have decided not to find out what kind of baby they are having for this number 4 child, so I will have to get creative with a quilt design/color, but it should be a fun challenge. 
     Winter is finally waning and spring is around the corner... Happy Quilting!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Fun, Busy, Cold Month

In January, we left the cold here in Utah:

And headed to much warmer California!

Brooke and her kids came from Missouri. Doug, Tricia & Beckham came, Amanda & Sydnee came, Becca & Brian came too! Jeff lives down there, so we were quite a group! We were warmly welcomed by my great parents and wonderful sisters!

First, we hit Knott's Berry Farm with 4 of the grandkids (we came to California in 'waves', so we were only all there at once for a day or two.)  It was a perfect day, the kids loved it! Camp Snoopy had lots of rides for our little kids to ride.  We ended it by going on "Bigfoot Rapids" and getting soaked to the bone, after going through twice. Stacy didn't get too wet the first go round, but the second time he was drenched! Brooke and I nearly wet our pants laughing when he let go a choice word. 

This was followed by a day at Legoland.  Another great day, but a little chillier. There were 15 of us (2 big SUV's full) We made quite a group and had a wonderful time together. We chose Legoland for Shaun, who LOVES Legos.  We had three babies with us, and at one point they were all napping in their strollers. Thank goodness Heidi came too and helped with the babies and little kids.  Heidi was quite a sport, since that morning, before we left on the hour+ long ride to Carlsbad, Shaun threw up all over the kitchen floor.  We couldn't bear to leave him, so we all headed out. He actually did fine, but I tell you, I am surprised Heidi didn't suddenly remember an appointment or something when that happened!

We took the "big kids" to the beach one day, we rode the ferry to Balboa Island and then went on down to Corona del Mar, where we climbed on the rocks and then let them get their feet wet in the water. Austin & Shuan ended up in the water to their necks, clothes & all!!!  It was a beautiful day at the beach, not too warm, but sunny with no wind. I should have realized they would get all the way in, even though it was January! They had to ride home in their underwear and jackets!

Here is little Sydnee who was just a trooper (and the youngest on the trip), she just had a good time and enjoyed being loved up by everyone. 

On Sunday, we took Austin (who was not throwing up), Amanda and Sydnee to our old stomping grounds in Corona and attended church and saw lots of old, dear friends! We had a great time and even stopped at Tommy's, our favorite Chili Hamburger place. 
On Monday, we dropped Amanda & Sydnee off at one airport, then loaded up Brooke and her kids to take them to LAX. Since they flew on quite the cheap airline, they were charged even to carry on bags, so Brooke had those babies loaded down like Sherpas!
We then headed back to my fabulous parents' and finished doing a little more straightening up.  We had ended up driving, since we generally fly standby, but some flights were canceled, so all the other flights filled up.  We had not driven in 3 years! It was actually pretty fun, we stopped at the condo on the way there and back.  We drove our big car, and we brought home all sorts of things! Like a new pack & play (Shane & Becca), a couch (Jeremy & Amanda), a car seat, various items our Utah kids couldn't fit in their suitcases, and 5 BOXES of lemons to mention a few items!  So, now, here in the cold, we are enjoying fresh squeezed lemonade that tastes like sunshine and reminds us of the wonderful memories we made with our family!!  I have had a great, busy month, but now that I'm finally all caught up at work after being gone for so long, I am back to quilting! Brenda