Thursday, December 5, 2013

November...Gone with the Wind

Well, don't know what happened to November.  Already the 5th day of December. Wow.  Where did last month, this year go? 

Just taking a few minutes to update this blog.  I have been busy sewing, sewing sewing.  Have a lot to get done in the next 20 days. 

I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving.  It was just my husband and me for Thanksgiving this year.  One daughter worked on Thanksgiving, the other is in another state and only had Thanksgiving off, so was not able to come home.   So the two of us ate dinner at Cracker Barrel.  They were packed, and had to sit us at the checker table, in front of the roaring fireplace. Half of us was roasting and the other half was freezing. It was a unique experience, but a good one.  We had all the traditional Thanksgiving day foods.   Turkey, ham, stuffing, cranberries, sweet potato casserole, biscuits and pumpkin pie.  Oh, and my new favorite... GREENS.   I had never had greens my entire life until someone brought them into work for a pitch in. I am addicted to them.  I want to make some for myself, but keep putting it off because I'm afraid they won't taste like the ones brought to work.  Maybe I'll put that on my to do list for January.  I'll let you know when I venture into the kitchen and make some.  mm mm

We did venture out on Thanksgiving night to do some Christmas shopping, and of course the store we went to didn't even have the item in stock! We could have stayed home and watched a movie.  We headed out again bright and early on Black Friday, went to two stores and our shopping is done!  Now, just need to wrap.  Wonder how long it will take me to do that. 
Decorations at my in-laws home 2012

I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas now, in case I don't get back here until January when things will slow down.


Happy Reading !
Ann

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Dimishing List

The other day when I posted, I went back to my post New Year New List and discovered I had done several of the things I had put on my list.  Boy did that make me feel great!  I crossed off each one and listed the approximate date I completed those items.  I will need to remember to keep up on that list and am already thinking about what I want to accomplish next year.  

In the meantime, I'm enjoying making my Christmas presents.  Still working on one thing, almost completed though.  I certainly can't wait to post  the result, but that will have to wait until after Christmas, don't want to spoil the surprise.   

I hope everyone that reads this blog is enjoying it.  I have been lax at posting on a regular basis, but I do what I can.  I have realized I will never be as good as some bloggers out there, who have such dedication and passion that they have actually turned their blogging into a career.  They amaze me.  

Well, I'm off to sew some more before heading to work.  


Happy Reading !
Ann

Monday, October 28, 2013

Disaster prompts sewing....

We had a disaster in our kitchen two weeks ago.  The garbage disposal sprung a leak.  It had been leaking for awhile without us knowing it.  

When I was at work,  my husband dumped a 8 quart pot of dirty water into the sink,  he noticed a puddle of water on the floor half way out into the kitchen. He said the disposal was spraying water all over under the cabinet.  He pulled everything out from under the sink and had to throw out several things because they had mold on them (how we knew it was leaking for awhile).  I have my plastic storage bags and foil under there and we ended up throwing those all out because they had gotten all wet.  Thank you for the huge bill at Walmart to replace them.   

When I got home that night, I finished cleaning things up.  Put the clean dishes from the dishwasher away, put all the dirty dishes into a laundry basket, and cleaned the counter top off.  The next day the maintenance man came over and replaced the disposal.  The one nice thing about living in an apartment. 

In the process of cleaning the counter top off, I noticed a cob web (no I'm not decorating for Halloween) on the top of my Health Master blender.  In the process of putting things away, I dusted the blender off and decided to make the cover for it that I had planned back in January.   So I took about half hour out of my cleaning to make the cover.  I had made a cover for my ice cream maker last year, which is shown below. 

Kitchen towels and ribbon.
Health Master
Health Master Cover




















Ice Cream Maker
Ice Cream Cover


So in this process of making the cover for the Health Master, I realized we are getting closer to Christmas and the first part of my present was still sitting on the cutting board.  So the last few nights I've been working at getting this done.  Almost there.  Just have to do the quilting part and it will be finished, then onto the next part of the gift.  Can't wait to post these items.

Sew off to sew!

Happy Reading !
Ann




Monday, October 21, 2013

Been awhile ...

Well the last two months have been busy.  My work schedule was change for about 6 weeks (3 in September and 3 in October), making it hard to get things done.  I normally go in at 11 am, giving me lots of time in the morning to do housework, cook, exercise, walk the dogs,  blog, and sew.  However when 3 days of the week going in at 8:30 am, the other two days I felt like I was playing catch up.

I was Employee of the Quarter for our 2nd quarter at work.  Totally took me by surprise.  There were 5 of us that received this honor.  One day last week, we were taken out to lunch then we had the rest of the day off.  Can't beat that!

I came home and did some chores around the house then set out to complete that cover for the ugly black foam that my husband purchased to convert our coffee table into a footstool. I was surprised at how little time it took to make it, and kicked myself for not getting it done earlier. Here are the results:


Before
After

To jazz up the table, my husband added some cast iron decorative pieces to both ends and sides of the table.  

So, now my plan is to work on some Christmas presents and have them ready for Christmas 2013 and not 2014.  


Happy Reading !
Ann

Friday, August 30, 2013

Happy Birthday to Me!

Yesterday was my birthday.  It was not a milestone birthday, and not very eventful.  I did enjoy my day though doing some shopping and planting.  

I have a large umbrella plant that has out grown its pot.  My daughter bought it for me when I had my gall bladder out a few years ago.  It has grown about three feet taller since then, and I was afraid it was getting top heavy for the pot it was in.   

My Hubby bought me a big black pot and a new stand, with four wheels, to put it on.  The one I have has only three wheels, which makes it easier to tip.  Before I had a chance to replant it, he found a cool blue pot, which was on clearance.  He found a second smaller one also on clearance and bought them both, with instructions for me to go get another plant for my birthday.  

So after doing some shopping at Joanne Fabrics and Hobby Lobby...got to feed that sewing need.  I stopped at Lowe's and found a jade plant.  I came home and did some planting.  

My umbrella tree in the small pot.  The big black pot and new rollers are behind it.

This is the blue and black pots.  Even though the black pot is bigger it is going back. 

The smaller blue pot which is sitting on the counter between the kitchen and living room.  This color is more the true color of both pots.

New jade plant.

Getting ready to begin the replanting.

Umbrella tree in its new pot and stand.

The jade plant.  The pot is pretty big, so I filled the bottom with stones and the pot the jade came in is upside down in the blue pot.  I might go get another plant to add to this huge pot for such a small plant.  


 When Hubby came home, he was surprised I had replanted the umbrella tree by myself. He did not want to risk breaking any of the branches doing it himself and wanted me to help.  I only lost one leaf set doing it myself.  

We then went to dinner at Cracker Barrel where I had my favorite meal: Lemon Pepper trout, Turnip greens, cheese grits, and a sweet potato.  Oh, and a biscuit with butter and apple butter, mm mm.  We walked around the store and Hubby found a top for me marked down sixty percent!

So today I am going to Home Depot to return the black pot, and when I get home I will be starting on the next project, making a cover for that ugly black foam. 

Happy Reading !
Ann

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

What's Next?

After the two table runners, I'm really getting into the sewing mood of making things this year for Christmas rather than buying things. I have a ton of material to use to do it too.  

However, last year we purchased a large foam piece for our coffee table to convert it to a foot stool. We also bought the material and Hubby has asked that I get to sewing on that before I do anything else. Not a very fun project, but it will be done and I can mark that off my list of projects to finish.  

The coffee table, with the ugly black foam piece.

The upholstery material we purchased to make the cover.

Another view of the material.  

Watch for an update on this project.  

Happy Reading !
Ann

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Fall Print Project

Sew... I mentioned I had a great sister-in-law who loves to entertain with great holiday family get-togethers.  To help her decorate her home I made her a Christmas table runner.  But wait, there's more.  I also made her a Fall table runner, so she can also decorate for that Thanksgiving dinner she no doubt will be having again this year.  Needless to say, she was quite pleased with this one as well.  

I used the same pattern I used for my daughter's project.  Here are the details:  
Fall prints I posted earlier.
5 1/2 inch squares ready to go.

The squares all sewn together.  This is crossways on our queen size bed. The table runner measured 90 inches.  


Adding the backing.  The batting went down first, the backing fabric face up, then the top is laid face down on the backing fabric. All three layers stitched together along all the outside and inside corners, leaving one section opened so it can be turned right side out.
Right side out, and pressed.  Looks pretty good just the way it is.  I used my new machine to do some of the fancy stitches along each seam and around the edge. 

Maple leaf stitch on all the seams.

This mess happened when I was putting the maple leaves on.  I had about three rows left. I had to cut it out using a seam ripper, then pull each little thread out of the material.  There was still a huge wad of thread still stuck in the machine, so I had to take the plate off to remove it.  While doing so, I noticed the needle had broke.  No mind, I needed to replace it anyway, with all that stitching it started to sound dull.  When I tried to remove the little part that is screwed into the machine, it slipped out of my hand and fell into the machine.  I couldn't see where it went either.  I turned my machine upside down hoping it would fall out, no the bobbin holder fell out.  However the piece of the needle was magnetically stuck to the the machine where the bobbin holder sits.  Whew, safely removed it from the machine.  Put everything back and started to sew, only to have the same thing happen in again and in the same spot!!!! Again, I did the steps of removing the mess, only this time I didn't lose a partial needle.  I moved onto another row and finished that section last with no more problems. Third times a charm.
Small leaf around the outside edges of the table runner. 

The finished product.  My cutting table is 66 inches long, so the table runner hung over both ends. 


And my initials.



Happy Reading !
Ann


Monday, August 26, 2013

Christmas Print Project

Because I have such a wonderful sister-in-law who opens her home for get-togethers with her family for just about every holiday and has graciously invited us as well,  I decided to do something special for her and  make her a holiday table runner.   With the help again from one of Jenny Doan's tutorial I made this table runner.  My sister-in-law was very happy with it. 
The Christmas prints I posted earlier.
Cut and ready to piece.

My first ever dresden plate.  The center was larger than I wanted, but I needed it to cover all the raw inside edges.
Three dresden plates for the center and two half plates for the end. This is on our coffee table that measures 62 inches long. My sister-in-law's table measures 84 inches, so this will fit nicely in the center.


I used my new machine to attach the dresden plate to the panel using one of its many decorative stitches.  Hubby thought it looked like I hand stitched it.  Mission accomplished!

I used the snowflake stitch to do some of the quilting between the sections, then randomly in the center circle and the outsides of the dresden plate. 

Another view of the stitch I used to attach the plate to the square.

Of course, I have to add my initials.


Almost complete, all that is left is the binding. I rounded the corners to make putting the binding on easier, still working at getting corners done correctly. 

Completed table runner.  It is not perfect but I think I still did a pretty good job for a beginner.  

Happy Reading !
Ann

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sewing Area

Sew.... back on November 7, 2012, I posted my sewing area, which was not really a workable area, and kind of messy. We rearranged the room, so the computer stuff is on one side of the room, and my sewing is on the other.   We put the dog crate, which is huge for two little dogs, between the rolling rack and the cutting table.  Both ends of the cutting table fold down, and there are doors/drawers on either side. When the table is opened it is 66 inches long. With one side of the table folded down and pushed against the wall, I couldn't get to the doors/drawers because of the dog crate and a bookcase. When I needed to get some fabric off the rack, I needed to move the dog crate, which was not an easy feat in such a small room.   

Sew...I finished one of my projects, which was 90 inches long, I had to pull the cutting table out and open the other end, so I could see a good portion of the project. Now the table was really in the middle of the room, but I discovered that I could slide the dog crate underneath the back end of the table.  I can now access both sides of the cutting table, the crate is no longer in front of the material, and if I need more room on the table, I just have to open the front of the table.   Sew Cool! 


Before:  Cutting table, pushed against the wall by the closet.  I wasn't able to use it much due to the stuff stacked on top.  Most of my material was crammed in the doors on either side, which were not accessible.  My sewing table sat next to it.  We move my writing desk to that corner. 
Before:  Sewing supplies under and beside the sewing table. Not a very inviting space and not workable.
After:  the table sits in front of the window, plenty of light for daytime sewing and for evening sewing, Hubby bought me a new flexible light.   The material rack fit perfectly in the corner next to the table.  If I need more floor space, I can fold the table up and slide out of the way. 

 
After:  My rack for my material and sewing supplies.  I sorted the material that was crammed in the cutting table by color into the bins.  I chose these flip top totes, so I can keep the material clean and dust free, and don't have to worry about misplacing a lid.  The top shelf serves as extra storage for paper goods and dog supplies.  The space between the rack and the cutting table (lower right corner) is where the dog crate sat for months.  And yes I have three sewing machines.  
After: The cutting table opened to the fullest - 66 inches long.  The dog crate sits partially under the back portion of the table, I think the the dogs like it, gives them a 'cave' to sleep in.  When I don't need the full length of the table, I can now fold the front down, and still access the doors where I have larger pieces of fabric, more sewing supplies,  and my sewing books.  

Jimmy's favorite thing is to hide under the furniture.  I usually keep a smaller crate under the rack to prevent this, but it is set up in the living room right now from a previous trip.  Looks like I need to put it away.  

Happy Reading !
Ann

Monday, August 19, 2013

Sew excited!

I finished the Christmas print project tonight.  Ready to complete the Fall print project.  I can't post pictures until next week sometime.  Don't want to spoil the surprise.   So keep watching for updates.  

I have plenty of ideas floating through my head for other projects, but need to keep focused on what I already have going.   

Hope you are having a great day.  

Happy Reading !
Ann

Thursday, August 1, 2013

House warming

In the month of July we found ourselves moving our daughter again.  We have moved her almost every year since 2006, when we hauled her stuff across 3 states for her to go to college in Missouri.  Of course, for the next 3 years, we moved her home, then back to college, then home again, and so on.   

In 2010, she moved to Florida for an internship and planned on staying there. So when she got her apartment, we hauled all her things down there. What a trip that was. Two years later she moved back to Missouri, another exhausting trip. 
Moving our daughter to Florida in 2011


This year, we only had to move her across town and away from the college crowds.  Though this move was tiring, it was not as bad as traveling thousands of miles from one state to another, and then having to unload everything.  

I made her a table runner for a housewarming gift for her new apartment.  She still would like to move back to Florida (that will come one day, I'm sure of it), so she wanted something that had a beach look to it.  I stood in fabric stores taking pictures of fabrics, sending them to her in a text message, and she would text back 'no',  she finally picked these fabrics:

Blues and greens for the ocean, tans for the beach.  The batik (2nd from right) looked like seaweed to us.
With the help of Jenny Doan's tutorial from the  Missouri Star Quilt Company  I made this for my daughter (see below).  I choose to put the tans mostly on one side to resemble the beach, and tried to keep most of the darker blues and greens toward the other side, to give it the dark blue of the ocean look.  I used one of the decorative stitches (a wavy stitch) to do the quilting, instead of doing the stitch in the ditch. My daughter was pleased with the results. 


Zig Zag Table Runner

One of the fabrics she rejected was blue with clouds and seagulls on it.  I could not find anything to go with the fabrics on the front in my stash, and the pieces I had of this material fit perfectly for the back.  So despite her not wanting it on her table runner, Mom won out.



I have also decided to 'sign' all my projects with the little dogs and my initials that my new machine makes.

I am currently working on two projects right now. I can't tell who they are for or what I am making, but here is the fabric I am using.  


Fall and Christmas Prints
 

Happy Reading !
Ann