Monday, October 31, 2016

last week

This past week was a whirlwind of busy.

You already know about Monday.

Tyler was gone on a business trip to Dallas
Tuesday through Friday.

I forgot to communicate one (very) major thing to the siding people
which resulted in a waste of $50 
(and extra work for us!)
and it just makes me sick every time I think of it.

Wednesday was our 242 group's annual Bost community cookout
which is always fun,
but leaves me rather exhausted.

started of with a bang.
We had a small crisis with registering for classses for next semester,
which wouldn't have been a huge deal,
except that
1) Brandon was also going out of town
and 2) the one person at UAFS who could rectify the situation
was off work!

everything was taken care of by noon
and I was able to follow Brandon's instructions and get him registered,
and most importantly,
there was still room in all of the classes he needed.

Right after getting that all settled,
I met with another cabinet guy.

I don't know that we'll use him though;
I fear he'll be too pricey.

As mentioned,
Brandon went out of town,
also to Dallas,
with a small team of children's ministry workers.

That left me with TKD duty
so we decided to go to the library also.

They assured me that I didn't need to stay there,
so I was going to go grocery shopping,
but at the last minute,
after dropping them off,
I went to the main library
and got a book for myself.
And then I went to a nearby park and read until dark.

We picked up pizza after TaeKwonDO
and soda
(What the heck?!)
and I let the kids stay up late to watch a movie.
And I read some more.
And went to bed at midnight,
having read the whole book.
(but I didn't get to sleep until 2,
since Lily joined me in bed
and was sniffling, and tossing and turning
(and sleeping sideways. grr)

I set out to make another swoon block for Jordan's quilt,
which I managed by the skin of my teeth.
I had so much contractor-ing to do, though,
between all the phone calls, texts, and trips outside,
it took me over 2 hours just to get the fabric cut!

Daddy got home around 6
when I was finishing up boys' haircuts,
but Brandon didn't get home until almost 11.

I honestly have no recollection of the evening.

and then we got started on the house 
as soon as we took a short nap after lunch.
(I actually slept - which is practically unheard of)

We worked past dark,
then I came in to fix dinner while Brandon and Tyler kept working.

We had to get everything done that needed doing before insulation goes in,
so we had few more framing fixes and additions,
a little bit of wall plumbing 
and some electric jobs
plus we needed to completely empty the house and garage.

Tyler and I went back out after dinner
and worked 'til 11.
We kept adding little things to the list,
to the point that I was quite certain we couldn't get it all finished
 if we went to church.

So Sunday,
Brandon took the kids to church,
and after coffee,
we got back to work.

Tyler and I worked out there until 11, 
only stopping for lunch, which the kids fixed,
and another short nap
(I slept again! That tells you how very tired I am)
and dinner
(Bran picked up pizza - there was no time to cook)

Brandon came out to help when he could,
and the kids spent several hours over the weekend on pick-up duty
(the siding guys were especially messy!)

It was a long, hard weekend
but we got everything done!

Just in time;
the insulation guys got here  while it was still dark this morning.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

movin' on up

Yesterday was TaeKwanDo testing.
Everyone passed!!

in January,
Brandon will have a regular mid-term test (#2 of 7)
Jeremiah and Josiah will be testing for their 2nd Degree Black belt
Lily will be testing for her Black belt
and Lexi will be midterming for the red/black
she earned yesterday.

That makes five(!) board-breakers!!
I don't know it this momma can take it.

Congratulations, Guys!!
I'm so proud of your dedication and determination
and plain hard work.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

siding and the back porch

Siding is finally going on the house this week!!

Which meant that I had to get the back porch ceiling
(not to be confused with the front porch ceiling!)

I foolishly went out there late Thursday morning
thinking I could prime,
run to 2 grocery stores
put said groceries away
and paint
all before Tyler came home.


The first coat of primer took  over 4 1/2 hours.

The second coat only took 3,
as did the 2 coats of paint.

what I thought would take a day
took 4.

But it looks pretty fabulous if I do say so myself.

And the siding guys are making fantastic progress :-)

(also - the electric company came yesterday - we now have power out to the house!!)

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


My niece will be graduating with a Master's degree
next May.

I pretty much promised her a quilt
for the momentous occasion.
and I have been so eager to get started on it.

Now that I have finished all of my other sewing obligations,
I can do just that :-)

By 'get started' 
you understand 
that I mean with the actual sewing,
because I have already invested quite a few hours
and doing the maths
(oh, the maths!!)
and, of course, 
procuring fabrics.

when I did my fabric pull,
I thought maybe I'd gone a smidge overboard 
in the acquisition department,
but after making my first block,
I decided to change up my design a little,
and now I'm thinking I may need a few more.

Time will tell...

This one will be pretty epic
so I've broken it down into 'bite-sized' pieces
with (hopefully) easily attainable weekly goals.

I estimate it will take me 23 weeks,
so by starting now,
I can take 2 weeks off for Christmas
and be finished with it by the time birthday season starts in April,
a full 3 weeks before Jordan graduates :-)

You know what's really crazy??

We'll (Lord willing) be living in the new house
by the time I have a quilt top!!

this would be a whole lot easier if I'd pick fabrics with an all-over, non-linear design!!

Friday, October 14, 2016

quilt show 2

It was quilt show time in Fort Smith again
and I've been looking forward to going for days.

My friend who is a member of the guild that puts on the show,
asked if I wanted to enter a quilt this year.
But it was only 2 days before the deadline,
and all of the quilts in house are  um  used,
so they aren't exactly 'show worthy',
so I told her no.

I would like to enter some time, though

Maybe in 2018.

It could happen...

Really liked the quilting on this one!!

The girls wanted to go with me,
and seeing that they are both quilters, 
I couldn't very well go alone, could I?

so.much. handwork - this was 1 of 10 embroidered blocks

The lady at the registration table practically insulted them
when I asked if they got to vote for 'viewer's choice' too;
she said they weren't really big enough to know anything.

(I asked Lexi what she felt/thought when the lady said that,
and she said, "I thought 'that lady doesn't read my mom's blog!'"
Lily said she thought, "Seriously?!")

I know it's silly,
but it certainly didn't get our time at the quilt show off to a nice start.
I felt like just taking my girls and going back home.
Way to encourage the next generation, Lady!

fabulous quilting on this one!

It wasn't long after that though,
 that we saw the gal that owns the Sewing Machine Center.

 I wasn't even going to say 'hi',
because I figured outside of the shop,
she wouldn't know me from Eve,
but as soon as she saw me, she smiled really big 
and said a friendly hello.
And then told the girls 
(my girls who know nothing. grr)
that they had panels for making doll clothes for $1

Such a small thing,
but I felt better afterwards,
and so did the girls.

It's nice to be validated...

We wound methodically through the quilts,
so we wouldn't miss any.
Sometimes one of the girls would point out one across the aisle,
and I'd say "We aren't looking there yet." 
And then,
darn it if they didn't have to use the line on me!

this was a fun one

We met a super sweet gal 
whose mom owns Lonesome Pine Quilts in Elkins.
She was super encouraging to the girls about their sewing,
and even gave them each a sew-er's bracelet.

That just made our day!!
(I didn't want to be the only sewist in the family without a bracelet,
so I bought one two, too :-)

I would've liked to have gone back
 and spent some more time looking at a few of the quilts,
but we were on a pretty tight time schedule.

There's always next time...

this quilt is not really my style,
but I actually picked it as my 'viewer's choice'
(and so did Lexi - she found a ballot on the floor, and I let her fill it in. ha!)

Besides the fact that this quilt begged to be touched, this is why I found the quilt so enjoyable.
The bird has so much personality! Here, I believe she is thanking the squirrel for the hat, 

Look at her bonnet!

spitting watermelon seeds while wearing a newspaper hat!! so cute!

Monday, October 10, 2016

wild kaleidoscope

was my first project,
and used the full-size block version of the pattern.

When I tell you that I am FPP challenged,
I'm not sure you realize quite how bad the situation is.

I sewed so many fabrics wrong on this,
one would think I was in a sitcom!

I sat down at my machine,
after *just* telling a friend that I'd had to seam rip
 2 out of the 8 seams I'd sewn,
and darn it if I didn't mess up my 9th seam too!!

And on it went...

I sat at my machine laughing at myself,
 really - I'm hilariously pathetic when it comes to FPP.

I'm telling you - it's just all backwards for me.

I applied the binding to the back, then sewed it down on the front. By machine. With sparkly thread. Who am I??!

Tyler and Brandon asked what was wrong with the pattern
that I was having such troubles,
and I said, "Nothing!
It's a great pattern, 
Very clever.
And everything fits together just right,
I just have a major mental block when it comes to foundation paper piecing!"

And ya'll thought I was joking....

I eventually managed to get all of my components sewn,
and then sewn together into a block
(never mind that I sewed them together wrong.
I decided I very much liked it that way ;-)

I added a border
and turned my block into a 16 inch pillow cover
to go along with the quilt

thank again for the opportunity to test your awesome pattern.
I'm sorry I'm a blight in the world of FPP

Sunday, October 9, 2016

on the wild side

 My sister had some very specific ideas in mind for her quilt.

leaving me very little room to misinterpret her wishes.
(which is always a concern with a custom quilt)

(But then, isn't that what big sisters do - make life easy for ya?? ;-)

The good thing about that,
was the entire time I was working on this quilt,
I knew she would love it!

I did have one brief moment
where I wondered, 
"It's been a few years,
what if her tastes have changed,
and this is not the quilt she'd want anymore??"

But then I remembered,
this is Terri we're talking about.

This is exactly the quilt she'd still want.

Coming back from celebrating our anniversary
we stopped at a fabric shop.

The shelves were not at all full,
and after a quick glance,
I told Tyler there was no way I'd find animal print fabrics there.

But he spotted them;
(spotted - heehee)

a whole section of animal prints,
(which probably made up 5% of their entire inventory)

I bought 1/3 yard cuts of all the ones that were decent
(for some reason, animal print quilting cottons are notoriously pixel-y
and I just really can't stand that)

The remaining needed fabrics were purchased 
a few months ago at my L(ish)QS - Cozy Quilts & Things.

I wanted Terri's quilt to be bigger than her inspiration quilt,
so instead of two strips of each fabric,
I cut three.

And as you can see, 
I went with twelve fabrics 
instead of the nine the pattern called for.

I was going to use thirteen,
but my final fabric wasn't technically an animal print.
I thought it would would go okay anyways,
but it turned out not to play nicely with the others,
so got relegated to the back.

Like last time,
 I cut the zigs 3 1/2 inches wide,
and the zags 2 1/2.

The strip-piecing and sub-cutting was straightforward,
but joining the blocks on the diagonal taxed my brain,
and I had to concentrate embarrassingly hard
when I sewed the rows.

Sewing the rows together
didn't hurt my brain as much :-)

The quilt top ended up being bigger than I expected
(the finished quilt, after washing, is 64 1/2 x 77)
so I needed to add some width to the voile I'd purchased
(which was already 6 inches narrower than I expected)

I used Cotton & Steel's teal Xs
because - hello - metallic Xs were a perfect companion
- even though it doesn't always look like it in the pictures -
the C&S teal is an exact match for the aqua-y teal in Sunday Clippings.

I wanted a list of quotes and/or verses that Terri liked,
so I enlisted the (stealth) help of my sister-in-law.

All Marin managed to get out of her was,
"I really like Psalm 46:10"

At first, I was like
I wanted at least three...

But then I looked up Psalm 46:10
and realized it could totally stand alone.

And it was sort of perfect for putting on a quilt :-)
(even if I couldn't get a decent picture of it...)

you might remember.

I was reminding myself how very much I loved my sister that day

Once basted,
I had a little trouble
settling on how to quilt the zigs
so I decided I'd hand-quilt the zags
while I figured it out.

I bugged consulted with Carole
and thought
and googled
and searched pinterest
and doodled
until finally I decided on feathers.

Which meant learning something new.

That's one of the things that inspires me about my sister 
- she totally embraces learning new things -
so it was fitting that I should learn how to quilt feathers
for her.

Jeremiah found a perfectly-sized piece of plexi-glass
out by the shop,
and I laid it across one row of the quilt
and practiced.

I drew feathers
and wiped them off
and drew some more
until I felt confident enough to start practicing with thread.

When I was reasonably comfortable with my practicing,

I started on the quilt
in the middle - using tan serger thread
(it was the only thing I had that matched...)

When the four rows that got that thread were quilted,
I moved onto the black Sliver.

We had some fights, that thread and I
and I had to pull out the seam ripper,
but in the end, I won.

Based on my bobbin usage,
after quilting four rows with it,
I determined that I wouldn't have enough of the black metallic thread
to quilt the six rows I'd planned.

I was concerned that the black 
might be over-powering on the half-white zebra prints,
so I quilted those two rows
with a shimmery,
though not metallic,
white 60 wt polyester thread.

After that, all that was left was the two rows 
that needed to be quilted with gold Sulky Sliver.

Each row of feathers averaged a ridiculous 1 3/4 hours,
so the machine quilting took a little over 21 hours
(I am amazed (amazed!) at the fabulous quilting that Renee
 can do in that amount of time. Or less...) 

(In my defense - I did a good bit of fighting with tension.
which I seem to do a lot...)

 After I finished the quilting,
I decided that the fabric I'd purchase for the binding
wasn't right after all,
so I spent about an hour and a half on Etsy,
until I found just the right one.

the gal shipped it out immediately
and it arrived in plenty of time 
for me to get the binding made,
sewn onto the front,
and glue-basted
a few days before our day-trip last week.

I finished it on the 3rd,
a full week before her 50th birthday :-)

Happy Birthday, Ter!!
I love you so so much
and am so glad you are my (little) big sis!!
(thanks for doing all the planning and designing for me ;-)

and thanks, Love
 for joining my workout program helping me with pictures.

linking up with hat knitter, AmandaJean