Saturday, December 23, 2017

moving on, not in

We won't be moving in to the new house by Christmas.

It wasn't for lack of trying,
I assure you.

Between life
and work
and illness,
there is just plain too much left to do.

We do have water in the house now,
not just to it.
And we even have a working toilet!!

We also have a functioning tub
and an almost functioning shower,
and should have a fully plumbed sink
complete with faucet by Sunday afternoon.

We have a water heater!

We have carpet upstairs,
and luxury vinyl plank flooring in 2 bathrooms.

as soon as the carpet installers left,
Josiah had the bag of bolts for putting together his
new to him loft bed that we purchased in the summer.

There are only 3 receptacles that still need to be wired
and all lights (that have been purchased) are installed.

The upstairs closets have custom shelving and rods

built by yours truly and the 3 youngest (but mostly Josiah),
though Tyler stepped in to help on one shelving unit
after somebody had a fit and mini-breakdown
(over what, exactly, I can no longer recall)
and quit temporarily.

We have a railing upstairs at the balcony
(but we still need to build the stair rails.)

obv. this was before install....

Kitchen cabinets are partly installed,
and we have all of our appliances
thanks to Black Friday sales.

We even have ice in the freezers.
Made automatically!
The kids are pretty excited about not having to 
crack and refill ice cube trays.

Little by little,
we're getting there.
We just aren't there yet.

We'll camp in it on Christmas Eve,
so the kids' dream of waking up in the new house
on Christmas morning
can still be a reality
even if we aren't actually living in it yet.
And we'll keep plugging away
until one day,
it'll be done enough
that we can move in.

when I saw this tree a month ago, I wanted it for the girls'room; I knew they
would love it! But funds are tight, as we pour everything into the house,
so spending $80 on trees for my kids' rooms (need one for boys, too...)
 wasn't really an option. Still, I thought about those trees a lot,
and really wanted to surprise the kids with them.
Yesterday, while at Walmart, grabbing a few things that I wasn't able to find
the night before, at a different WM, they announced over the loud-speaker that
all display trees were 75% off. I hightailed it back to the garden center, thankful.

Friday, December 22, 2017

a quilt for Corban K

This is my final 
sewing-machine-earner of the year.

It will be a young man's main Christmas gift,
so I'm thankful that I managed to squeeze in a finish
in the nick of time
(hee hee - Nick of time.
Saint Nick.....
oh - never mind.)

I've never been shy about my feelings
when it comes to making t-shirt quilts.

They are 
 not anywhere 
on my list of favorite things to make.

when that is how God chooses to provide me
with an opportunity
to earn money for another sewing machine,
I will gratefully cut up and stabilize the darn shirts
and make them into a quilt,
honored that folks see fit to trust me with their treasures.

I gave my client a generous
 'single moms are super heroes' discount,
because goodness
those gals have my sincere admiration!

I worked really hard to keep the materials cost
as low as possible,
but they still added up to $97.
Even so,
 I earned *almost* enough for 1 1/2 machines

When I add that to the money I had left 
I'll be able to give 2 😊

Instead of using interfacing,
after deconstructing the t-shirts,
I stabilized them with undiluted liquid starch
after doing a quick search to see if there was any reason 
that shouldn't be done.

After some    ummm    experimentation,
I arrived at a method 
which was ever so much less time consuming

I'm very pleased with the results of starch vs interfacing,
though in the future I would 
either triple-starch the thin super soft Old Navy shirts,
or go ahead and actually interface them 
instead of starching,
because they did want to move a bit still.

I spent hours trying to come up with the perfect quilting plan,
I knew I'd found it.
I added treble clefs 
and an occasional music note
to make it even more perfect.

After a bit of practice,
first with pencil and paper
and then the machine,
I loaded my machine (both needle and bobbin)
with Bottom Line #622
and started my workout quilting.

This quilt
was an absolute beast.
(before I had to take off the 2 1/2 inch outer border
(which I did after quilting)
due to some bad jujumagumbo,
it measured 88 x 110)

Because it was so heavy
(6.8 lbs after trimming!)
I couldn't make large movements at all
and had to quilt it twice as densely as I'd planned.

I bound it with this great stripe
which I thought finished things off really nicely.

I sewed it onto the back first, 
then pressed and glue-basted
and stitched it down to the front
by machine.

Thanks, Jessica, for partnering with me
to help change and save lives 💗
and trusting me with your boy's memories.

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts

Friday, December 8, 2017

popping in

just popping in to say
we are alive,
and ever so busy
living under the delusion
that if we work reaaaally hard
we might move in 
to the new house
by Christmas.
(and simultaneously finish 3 major quilting projects,
(2 of them commissioned)
and start and finish a 4th)

It could happen.