Sunday, March 25, 2012

What a weekend!

Weekends are supposed to be for "me" time, for stress relieving, for recovering from a week at work.  This weekend has certainly been none of those. 

I have been working on getting the tension set correctly on my Sunshine16.  

Saturday morning, I went to the grocery store.  Then I suggested a fun trip to Naylor's hardware and gardening supplies and a stop off for lunch.  We had poboys at City Cafe and then cruised the aisles of baby plants.  We came home with 8 tomato plants, fertilizer, and seeds for straight neck yellow squash, speckled butter beans, and silver queen corn.  I do love to watch things grow.  It was too wet to till the garden, so maybe tomorrow.

After we got home, I got a call from Mom about 3:00pm.  She was practically crying.  Something was wrong and she was really in pain.  I dropped everything and rushed over.  I can't believe it took me 35 minutes to get there in all the traffic.  We went to the hospital thinking maybe it was another kidney stone.  She had one several years ago and it was bad.  They did a urine test and sent her for a CT.  In the end it was diagnosed as severe gastroenteritis and she was sent home with a prescription for bentyl which is supposed to help with abdominal cramping.  We got home about 8:30 or 9:00.  The night was uneventful and this morning she was having minor cramps.  She's been taking the bentyl today and is on her way back to being herself.  I mowed the grass while I was there and hung out until after lunch when we went to Piccadilly. 

Then I came home because DBF was asking when I was coming home.  I am here.  I finished the laundry and now he's ignoring me while he works on posting stuff on eBay.  I'm surprised he even noticed I was gone.  Oh well, I ought to be used to it by now.

Mom was very thankful that I was able to come.  She apologized for keeping me from doing my own things.

I don't know if I ever do my own things anymore.

And now the weekend is practically over and it's time for work again.  I used to love work, the challenge, the helping people, etc., but it's not the adventure it used to be.  The latest political shit from our illustrious governor has me totally stressed out.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Well, here goes:
Keeping up with all these online challenges as well as the current guild challenges and swaps along with work and other goings on in my life presents a real challenge. I won't say that I'm a failure, because it's not about succeeding or failing. It's about learning, and growing, and being challenged and inspired. If I ever find some time to work on something, the creativity is just going to explode out of me (hehehe).

Failure to launch (still at the gate watching):
  • I joined the Free Motion Quilting Project and although I follow her blog every day, I have yet to practice the first one.
  • I've collected all of the instructions (3 now) for the guild mystery quilt, but I've yet to actually pick out my fabric. It's due in September, so I'd better get on the ball, or that train will pass me by.
In progress, but barely moving:
  • I also joined the Free Motion Quilting Challenge at Insights from SewCalGal and I have followed each of the entries.  I actually did practice some of the feathers and although I need lots more practice on the shapes of my feathers, the tutorial did make it easier than I though it would be.
  • I have posted twice to the Design Wall Monday pages at Patchwork Times, but those were the only times I have actually had something to post.
  • I follow Works in Progress Wednesday on Freshly Pieced, and I actually posted once or twice.
  • I am in charge of the guild's paint chip challenge, so I more or less have to participate in that one. Mom helped me pick out a couple of sets of possible fabrics from my stash to match my paint chips. That one is due in August, so I'd better get going. I think I'm going to make a simple baby quilt. Maybe I can get that done.
  • I have untold numbers of UFOs in the closet awaiting quilting
Moving Along:
  • I am participating in the guild's Quilt in a Box swap. I've made blocks from four different boxes since I got the first box at the last meeting, so I'm on a roll. It's nice to know I'm ahead of the curve on something.
  • I got my Bonnie Hunter Pineapple Blossom quilt spray basted and started on the quilting
Yeah!  Completion!
  • I cleaned up my sewing room and got things organized and put away.  It's hard to accomplish any kind of sewing when you can't get anywhere near the sewing machine.
  • I was able to attend an Antique Fishing Tackle and Lure Show in Houston with DBF and bring my sewing machine along.  Two birds, one stone...... They were so impressed, they took a picture of me and my sewing machine and we are posted on their website right next to all the fishing lures (picture #15).
  • The NewFO Challenge is what actually inspired me to work on my Mariner's Compass Star that I will be donating to the AAQI via our Guild AAQI Challenge.  I actually completed the whole thing - sewn, sandwiched, quilted, labeled and bound.  I even have the paperwork filled out.  Go Girl!
  • I completed the guild's first lotto blocks (wonky houses from Bonnie Hunter) and then I forgot them at home.  I ended up mailing them to the winner. 
  • I finished the repairs on a quilt top for a friend and now it's ready to be quilted.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Time Change

The time changed this weekend.  It is hard for me to reconcile the Spring change.

It's been a day of reflection and resolution.

A weekend of reflection

I attended the funeral of high scool friend's father.  It sent me on a trip down memory lane.  I visited my old home while I was in town.  When I got home, I pulled out the high school yearbooks from both my high schools and looked all through them.  I remember the faces of lots of people, but not really all that much about them.  I have some general feelings and thoughts, but not much really clear and definite memories.  I really do have very few vivid memories of back then.  I really must have blocked out most things from back then.

Friday, March 9, 2012

A Trip Down Memory Lane

I'm in Houston.  I came with Claude to an Antique Lure Collector show and trade thing.  I brought my sewing machine with me and some projects to work on.

As soon as we got to town, I saw on Facebook where an old friend from high school's father had died and his funeral was today.  I couldn't believe it.  What are the chances I would be here on this very day?  I just had to go.  I didn't come prepared.  I had only planned to sit in the room and sew.  At a time like this, it's not about what you are wearing, so jeans or no jeans, I went to the funeral.  It was so nice to see Rick and his beautiful loving family. 

I couldn't stay long.  Just being there and seeing him dredged up some strong emotions, about him and about my past and about other funerals I have attended.  After I left, I felt guilty for running away.  But then again, when it comes to Rick, that's what I have always done.

When I left there, I drove through the old neighborhood to see where we lived back then.  It's been 35 years since I've seen the old house and yet, it looks the same.  The rest of the neighborhood has grown up so much that I almost wouldn't have recognized it. 

What a trip down memory lane.  I thought back to those times and it is funny how little I really remember about them.  It was a really tough time for me and I think I have probably blocked out a lot of it, but not the good bits, like Rick. 

Lots of reflecting.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Design Wall Monday

It's been so long since I had something to show for Design Wall Monday.  It feels good to finally have accomplished something.   This is my Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative quilt.  Our guild is having a challenge and we are hoping to send 500 small quilts to them for auction.

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Yesterday was wasted.  I slept in too late and lost all my energy.  I spent most of the day sitting around doing nothing.  I decided late in the day to make homemade chicken and dumplings.  I ended up in bed at 9:45 trying to get myself back on track.  Maybe the day was not really wasted.  Maybe it was just the type of day I needed.
This morning, I was up at 7:00 and my energy had returned.  Thank Goodness!

I finished two of my Quilt in a Box Blocks.  They were each very different fabrics and the two blocks look really different even though they are really the same block.  The values are placed differently in one and it makes it appear a bit different than the other.  Can't show you those because they are secret until the reveal at the end.

I also finished up my AAQI quilt. I quilted it.  What an experience!  I found matching threads and I did most of it free motion and some with the regular foot.  I was really nervous, but it came out nice. I put the back and label on and bound it.  Then I put on a ring to hang it with. I'm proud of it.  I almost don't want to turn it in.  I may just have to think about bidding on it myself.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

I suck at this

Well, it's official.  I suck at this. I had all of these great intentions at the beginning of the year and it seems that I have followed through with very few of them.

I joined the Quilt Along on The Free Motion Quilting Project and although I follow her blog every day and have kept up with each entry, I have yet to attempt to do the work.  I joined the Free Motion Quilting Challenge at Insights from SewCalGal and although I follow her blog daily and have kept up with the assignments, I have yet to actually do the work.  I had every intention of posting on Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times, but I can't seem to do anything but follow everybody else's posts.  I was able to post once or twice, but let's face it, I haven't had anything on my wall to actually post.  I also follow Works in Progress Wednesday on Freshly Pieced.  I was gonna do the NewFO Challenge as well.  That's actually what inspired me to work on my Mariner's Compass Star a while back.  In all cases, I keep up with daily reads on each of over 20 blogs, but can't seem to follow through and do the work.

My life has been so hectic lately.  I hate when I get so scheduled and over-committed that I start to feel totally buried and claustrophobic.  That's what it's been like lately.  I have had to go out of town several weeks in a row.  I show up at meetings and forget to bring half of what I was supposed to.  I create lists and never seem to be able to cross anything off or else I lost the list before I even get started.  Every time I start to go into my sewing room, I either get overwhelmed by the disaster of the room or I guilt myself into postponing what I want to do in order to do some cleaning around the house. 
I have done the same thing with my quilt guild.  There are all kinds of new swaps and challenges this year and I want to get involved in all of them. 
  • We had our first lotto blocks based on Bonnie Hunter's Wonky House blocks. I completed mine 2 days after they were assigned, but when it was due, I forgot it at home.
  • The new mystery quilt has posted 3 installments already and I have yet to find fabric to make mine out of. It's due in September, so I'd better start soon, before I lose all the instructions.
  • I am in charge of the paint chip challenge, so I more or less have to participate in that one. Mom came over last weekend to help me find some fabrics in my stash to match my paint chips. That one is due in August, so I'd better get going. I think I'm going to make a simple baby quilt. Maybe I can get that done.
  • We also have a Quilt in a Box swap going on. We had to pick our fabric and put it in a box. Then we pick a secret block to make. We each swap boxes all around and make our block out of each person's fabric as we go along. The organizer keeps the completed blocks so they stay a secret. At the end, we are given our blocks from all of the participants and they are made from fabric we chose. We also have an opportunity at the end to have a setting challenge. Mom also helped me find some fabric in my stash for this one. In essence, it becomes a sampler with blocks made by all different people. I'm not sure I like samplers. I've never made one before. We'll see how it comes out.
  • We also have an Alzheimer's Art Quilt Inititive (AAQI) Challenge. It's due at the first of April. I have had Carol Doak's Mariner's Compass Stars book for a couple years now and have never made a single thing from it even though I love everything in there. So anyway, I made a block from it and it came out gorgeous, if I say so myself. I need to tear off the paper and quilt it and back it and put the hangers on and fill out the paperwork, and all before the next meeting.
I really need to do something to get out of this wild crazy rut I'm stuck in.  Last night when I got home from work, I stopped off at the store for laundry detergent, got the laundry going and then went into my sewing room.  I had to reorganize the items on the shelves in the closet to make more room and to more efficiently fit everything in there.  I was able to move some piles from the sewing table into the closet.  I freed up some table space and was able to actually do some sewing.  I'd never be able to accomplish all these challenges and swaps if I did not have access to my machine, so this had to be the first step.  Wow!  I actually accomplished something.

I've been out of town 3 weekends in a row and this is my only free weekend before I go out of town again this weekend.  DBF wants to attend an Antique Fishing Lure Show and Sale in Houston next weekend and wants me to go.  I agreed although all I really want to do is stay home alone so I can accomplish something.  I'm trying to develop a list of what all I can bring project-wise to work on while I'm there in the hotel. 

Maybe a forced retreat is exactly what I need.  Alone in a hotel room with nothing to do but work on my projects.  I just have to make sure I bring everything I need to be able to accomplish them. I also have the option of driving around and visiting quilt shops in the area, of which there are many.  That would be nice, but let's face it, my stash is plenty full and I really don't NEED any fabric, although I can always find some to buy.  I think I'll probably try to avoid the quilt shops, at least at first.  The other possibility is a trip to IKEA, and that one I will probably do.  I could spend hours in there.  Maybe this trip will be more stress-relieving than I expect after all.

I'd love to get a lot done.  If and when I do, I'll post pictures.