Saturday, July 15, 2017

And Here it is July...



Knock knock...anybody still there???  Sorry it's been so long since my last post but...well...you know...LIFE!!!   I've been sewing my little heart out, but basically couldn't post anything because they've all be gifts!

The first of these items has been gifted today to my daughter who is due with a girl mid-August.  Today is her baby shower, which I couldn't attend, but I mailed her the items.  Hopefully, by the time I get this post done, she will have opened the gifts and I won't be ruining the surprise by posting on here.

She said she is planning a "Native American" themed nursery, so I saw pictures of this quilt pattern online and fell in love with it!  HOWEVER...it is paper-pieced and I had NEVER done paper-piecing before!!!  I watched a video online (isn't the internet GREAT???) and then dove right in!  This was made ENTIRELY from stash.  The pattern is called "My Tribe" and is in the book Intentional Piecing by Amy Friend.  I quilted it on my Tin Lizzie18 sit-down long-arm machine...


The original pattern didn't have the flying geese blocks at the top and the bottom, but I wanted the quilt slightly larger than the pattern.  I used my Accuquilt GO flying geese die to make a row to add to the top and bottom.  





The backing was pieced out of some yardage in my stash...



I decided to hand-write the label instead of machine embroidering it this time.  The name was left blank because they haven't settled on the final name, yet.  This way they can write the name in when the baby is named.  



As is also my tradition for new grandbabies...I made 3 double-sided flannel receiving blankets and crocheted around the edges...




I make matching double-sided burp cloths out of the leftover flannel...



Loretta

Monday, April 24, 2017

April Updates...



Betcha thought I had dropped off the face of the earth!!!  No such luck for you all!  

I've been busy with my "shoulder to the wheel" and "my nose to grindstone".  However, I've found it difficult to work in that position!

I begin my new position at work on May 8th.  This has been in the works since January, but I was just waiting for the powers-that-be to move me into the position.  I will be leaving "bedside nursing" and going over to the Patient Evaluation Center at the same hospital I've worked at now for 19 months.  The "PEC" is the dept. that contacts patients before procedures to make sure that all labs, tests, etc., are done, and if they aren't, we have some clinics where the patient can come in and be seen and get them done.  It is the job of PEC to make sure that there are no gaps that would cause the procedure to be delayed or cancelled when they come into the hospital for their procedure.

My career started out with 11 years in ICU/CCU and then 23 years in PACU (Surgery Recovery Room).  I have loved my PACU years, but my knee and back just can't take that kind of nursing anymore.  I loved PACU nursing because, in most cases, I could "fix" my patients problems.  They would come to me anxious, sleepy, in pain, and sometimes nauseated.  In most cases, I could "fix" those problems and then send the patient on their way.  I liked the "short-term" relationship, rather than the "long-term" relationship that we had with patients in ICU/CCU...sometimes they were there for months!  And I liked that I could see a difference in the patient from the time I got them to the time, 1-3 hours later, when they left you.  Job satisfaction!

But my doctors have been telling me for the last 5 years or so that I need to get into a job where I'm not on my feet on the cement floors all the time, and where I'm not lifting/pulling up patients, or pushing beds.  (Cement floors are horrible for arthritis.)

I think my long-term experience in PACU will help me prepare and educate patients for what to expect of their experience.


Now...onto the quilting updates....

The Tuxedo quilt is in the hand-quilting frame and I've started working on it.  In fact, I've already turned the quilt in the frame once already!  I can reach about 10-12" into the quilt from the edge of the frame, so that means that I'm already that far into the quilt.  Well...actually, I'm almost finished with the second 10-12" and will soon be turning once more!!





I've also started on a quilt that will be a gift...so I can't actually show it to you...but I can show you bits and pieces!


Once the quilt is gifted, I'll be able to show you real pics!


Loretta

Monday, March 27, 2017

It's a "Flimsy"...



I've been working on the "Tuxedo Quilt" since January and it is finally a top...or "flimsy", as quilters call it!  Tomorrow I am going to go buy a stencil for the border, and then after marking it, I'll be loading it into my frame so I can start with the hand-quilting.  I went ahead and loaded the backing into the frame today.



The "black" fabric looks solid from a distance, but this is what it looks like up close...


The white is a tone-on-tone with a swirl design in it, too.

This is the backing fabric I chose...fancy but whimsical...


I'm planning on entering this quilt in next year's quilt show in April!  :)   It measures 97" x 107" and is a variation of the "Hunter's Star" pattern.  It was designed with EQ7 and cut out completely on my Accuquilt using the Hunter's Star die.


Loretta

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Please Help if You Are Able...

No funny quotes or snips today...only seriousness and a heavy heart as sadness grips Andy's and my heart this week.  

Last Friday a good friend had a massive heart attack and is in a coma on life support.  Ron is Andy's best friend and was the Best Man at our wedding.  Ron is the person that got Andy to move to California...which is where he and I met, so I guess you could say Ron is the reason Andy & I met!  (Andy & Ron were childhood friends from Maine.)


Andy (left) and Ronnie (right) at our wedding


Ronnie holding 4 month old Erin


Our children call him "Uncle Ronnie" and his wife "Aunt Paulette", even though there is no direct familial connection.  Actually...when the kids were first beginning to talk, they called him "Uncle Macaroni"...because "Ronnie" sounded like "macaroni" to them.  LOL


But that was a long time ago.  Now he on life support with a VERY poor prognosis.

Andy left this morning to go to see him at the hospital in Virginia.  

The reason I'm posting this is because a GoFundMe page has been set up for Ron's family to help with medical expenses and possible/probable upcoming funeral expenses.  

ANY amount...no matter how large or how small...that you feel led to donate will be appreciated.  Five dollars might be a small amount by itself, but joined with others, will make a huge impact.  

Here's the link:  https://www.gofundme.com/fundraiser-for-ron-campbells-needs

I'm asking for your help...not for us, but for his family.  (BTW, you won't see our donation listed on the site because Andy took our check down to Paulette today when he went to the hospital...so I'm not asking you to do anything that we haven't already done ourselves.)






Thank you all in advance!

Loretta

Sunday, March 5, 2017

January 2017...



Wow!  It's been WAY TOOOOOO LONG since my last blog post.  So I'm going to do a review of January in this post.  

Our daughter turned 30 in January, so we traveled to Tennessee to celebrate it with her.   

We got to spend a little time with our grandchildren, Sera and Clark.


Just a boy and his grandpa...



I don't know if I had mentioned it in a previous post, but our daughter is pregnant with her third child...due in August!!!   I have picked out the quilt I'm going to make based on her nursery theme.  HOWEVER...it is a paper-pieced pattern...and I don't know how to paper-piece...so I guess I've gotta learn over the next few weeks!  

When we travel to visit our children we take Ginger with us.  She loves to take trips with us and goes wild when we pull out the suitcases to start packing.  It's almost impossible to keep her OUT of the car at that point!  We throw her bed on the back seat  and she jumps right in and settles down.



On the quilting front, I started the black and white quilt that I call "Tuxedo"...but I'll post on that in the next post.  For now I'd like to tell you about some great customer service I received from Fiskars.  Several years ago I purchased one of their rotating mats for squaring up quilt blocks.  Over time it developed deep groves and lost its "self-healing" quality.  Someone on one of the Facebook quilting groups was talking about Fiskars lifetime warranty and that they had replaced a rotary cutter of hers.  

Since my mat was basically unusable anymore because of the deep groves that trapped the rotary blade when I would try to use it, I decided to go to their website and fill out a warranty for and email it to them...with pictures.

You can see the groves in the mat here...




Within 3 days they got back to me saying they had received my claim.  About 2 days later, I got an email saying my replacement mat was being mailed out and I received it about a week later!!!  How's that for customer service?  LOVE IT!!!



Loretta





Sunday, January 15, 2017

Ooooops...I Did It Again...

Quote for the Day:
"Blessed are the children of the piecemakers for they shall inherit the quilts"
~author unknown


I have two finishes to share today...but one of them was completely finished in December and should have been listed in the last post as a 2016 finish.  

This one...what I call "Shades of Brown"...
When I got my new Tin Lizzie sit-down machine in December, I wanted to take it for a test run but didn't have a quilt sandwiched and ready to go.  Besides, I really didn't want to use a "real quilt" for the test run.  Fortunately, I had this quilt sandwich in my stash...something that was in a tote of fabric I purchased one time.  It's not my colors and it really wasn't pieced very accurately, so I don't know why I didn't just pitch it...but I'm glad I didn't.

I pulled it out and just did some outline quilting and meandering on it to get the feel of my new machine...






It turned out pretty well because I was able to "quilt out" the inaccuracies and able to make it lay flat.  It's just a throw size, so I decided that I will send it off to Quilts For Kids (quiltsforkids.org).  It will make a nice quilt for a boy and hopefully help him feel loved.

The second quilt was A-L-M-O-S-T completed in 2016...I had to finish up about 1.5 hours of machine binding on Jan. 1, 2017.  So "technically" it is a 2017 finish.  It was the second quilt I completed on the Tin Lizzie!

My grandson, Clark, turns three this June and I have a tradition of making the grandkids a "big bed" (twin) quilt for their third birthday.  Clark is all about Superman and Batman...but more about Superman...so I made him a Superman quilt.  I designed it myself using EQ7, so if anyone who uses EQ7 is interested in the pattern, I can send you the file.


Close-up of the quilting...


The Superman fabric that is the center of the star blocks and the border...


I like to use up the left-over fabrics to piece the back because I'm really trying to clean out my stash.  By the time I've made a quilt, I've tired of the fabric...so this way I get to use it up and move it out!!!

BUT...I had let Batman make a showing on the quilt, too...he's on the back...


Close-up of the quilting on the back...



I don't have a good camera, so it's hard to get a good picture of the label...


I do have plenty of Superman fabric leftover, so I think I'll make another quick quilt using it and send it to Quilts for Kids, too.  You know...to get rid of the fabric!  

Loretta

Thursday, January 5, 2017

2016 (Quilt) Year in Review...

Quote for the Day:
"Make this year so amazing that last year gets jealous!"
~author unknown


Thought I'd do a "year in review" about the quilts I've made/finished in 2016...mainly to refresh my own memory!  I know that I should have done this post before the 5th of January...but...well...you know...whatever...

It looks like my first completion was the quilt I made for my sister, Bev..."Cottage Blossoms"


My sister is so adorable that I'm going to post two pictures of her quilt so you can see her with it, too!  😊


The second completion was the "Ugly Quilt"...this was a quilt top that was in a bag of quilt tops that was given to me by a friend...I think they had been made by her mom who had passed away.  Anyway, this one had soooooooooooooo many issues (stains, not laying flat, wide seam allowances, raveling fabric, etc., etc., etc.) that I was going to toss it...actually had it hovering over the trash can...when I decided to sandwich it and use it for "practice" while I took online free-motion quilting classes.  It is now a good utility quilt...something to take to the park, game, camping, etc.  It is warm and has been quilted to within an inch of its life...so feel free to abuse it!  LOL


Completion #3...Alex's 3 year birthday quilt..." 'I Spy'/Bug Jar Quilt"...


#4...I finished hand-quilting the "Cottage Rose Baskets" quilt....my first time doing big-stitch quilting...


Probably the one I am most proud of because not only did I design it using EQ7, it was the one that I was most adventurous with and most satisfied with when it came to the free-motion quilting... Completion #5:  "Christmas Stars" made for my son and daughter-in-law...


And last, but not least was Completion #6...."Oh Christmas Tree".  This quilt was actually started about 3 years ago, but I didn't work on the hand-quilting very often, so it was languishing on the UFO list.  I decided to pop it into my hand-quilting frame and had it done in no time... just in time to be hung on the wall.  It was our one and only Christmas tree this year...


This year I have pieced quilt blocks for other projects that I am currently working on, made quilt blocks for our WV Quilt of Valor group, and even ALMOST completed a quilt (I finished up the second half of the binding on January 1st...so unfortunately, it doesn't "count" for 2017!)...but the six listed here are the COMPLETIONS for 2016.

Loretta