Thursday, February 9, 2017

just not sure

Just not sure I will keep this blog account much longer.  I obviously have posted very little for, actually, a few years now.  I find that my passion for quilting is just not there anymore.  I've thought maybe it was because I've become too steeped in the charity participation.  My group also is not as active as it used to be and I think there are several reasons for that and the first being the fact that mailing costs are so high and most of our donations are being sent out (not overseas, but to other states.  This group has members all over the U.S. and donate accordingly).
If I have a specific project, I get in and get it done but for the most part I have to force myself into the sewing room.  Once I get in there, I find I sew maybe an hour and I'm wanting to be done.  
I decided I needed to finish up some projects.  Most were tops just needing to be quilted.  I am really having a time even getting that done!
Anyway, enough of my woes.  I sure wish I could find my passion for sewing and quilting again.  I loved it while I had it....

Katie

Monday, January 2, 2017

2017

Yipeeee , 2017 is here.  I can only hope that it is an improvement over 2016 - 'nough said...
Christmas was chaotic as I knew it would be.  But unfortunately it did not chase my doldrums away.  Loved having my sister and her husband here.  It was a very pleasant visit.  We had a houseful for Christmas but I was so busy in the kitchen, I can't say I really got to enjoy visiting with the friends and family that were here.. I did tell my hubby that I couldn't see doing it again without help.  My sister was amazing but she's not here all the time...  So I am ready to turn Christmas over to the younger members of the family or maybe even run off somewhere for Christmas instead ... Yep, I know.. here it is, over, and I'm still being Bah Humbug...  
Arizona has had some cold, dreary, overcast days and I think it's getting to me - I really want my sun shine back!
Anyway, hope everyone had a nice Christmas and a nice start to the New Year.

Katie

Monday, December 19, 2016

life in a nut shell

if you're looking for pictures, you've come to the wrong place today...
It's been over 2 months since I posted anything....  Been busy with quite a few different things.
My favorite brother-in-law passed suddenly on October 28.  Sure took the wind out of our sails.  I went down to where he lived (3 hrs from us) to help his daughter go through the house trying to find any papers she needed as she's his only heir. ( His wife passed 6 years ago...) Anyway, had to come home as I was scheduled for a MRI that I felt I really needed to get done. Was heading out the door when my phone rang and it was my sister informing me that we had lost my brother on Nov. 1st.  Again, very sudden.  As hard as this hit me, I am so very thankful that these men I loved so much did not suffer from long, drawn out illnesses.
As for my MRI, I've been given a diagnosis of arthritis and stenosis in my back.  The doctor tried a couple injections in my back which helped for about 4 days - guess this is something I will simply have to learn to live with.
In between all this, I've been doing a little Christmas sewing.  Not near on the scale I usually do, but quite frankly, my heart simply isn't in it.  My sister and her new (1 year) husband are coming for Christmas and I am excited to see them.  If it wasn't for them, there wouldn't be one decoration up.  I will have a house full on Christmas and I'm ready for the chaos of it all.  I'm sure it will take me out of my doldrums ....
So with this all said, I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas (or whatever seasonal holiday you celebrate).  May God bless you with good health and happiness...

Katie

Thursday, October 13, 2016

today I noticed ....

I don't read blogs every day and anyone who follows me know I certainly don't write / post every day or even every week for that matter.  I post when I feel like there is something I want to share..
So this morning I decided to take the time to read some blogs and I noticed something.  Every blog I read (and I started from the top of the list and worked down through it) was from what I consider 'professionals'.  People who blog to help promote their own products or businesses.  And, hey, that's great!  I've learned quite a bit from these bloggers and kudos to them for doing what it takes to make their endeavors a success.  But at the same time I'm saddened to see that the average crafter / hobbyist / sewist doesn't feel they're important enough to post - which takes me back to myself...  I guess I don't post often because I don't feel people are really interested in the day to day endeavors of the 'regular' gal... Ah well, at least one thing I know - If you take a minute (or two) to read my posts, look at my pictures, etc... you won't have to wait for all the ads to load as I don't have any.  You won't spend any money from reading my posts because I'm not endorsing any manufacturer.  I'm just a regular gal doing what I love and I will occasionally share with you what it is....

Katie

Friday, September 16, 2016

Not often

It's not often that I will 'quilt for profit'.  I don't have the ability to use pantographs unless I move the handles from the front of my machine to the back, which is more trouble than it's worth (in my opinion).  I would never mark on another person's quilt in fear of the mark not coming out.  My stitch regulator hasn't worked on my machine in a whole lot of years and I gave up trying to get it (and keep it) fixed.  For my own purposes, freehand is good.  I do have some simple shape templates that my hubby cut out of plexiglass for me, but they aren't exact and perfect, and I'm not bothered by the fact that my personal timing isn't always in sync with the machine so the occasional long stitch doesn't bother me..  So that said... I had a lady approach me about quilting a quilt for her.  I had to let her know that I'm not a professional long arm quilter.  That I don't do fancy and my frame isn't set up to do king.  She told me she didn't want fancy and anything I did was fine.  She just wanted the quilt done.  Well, alrighty then, guess I can do this for her.  Then she brought me this beautiful quilt and it was wider than what I'm able to complete on my frame.  But... I could get the body of the quilt if she wanted to do just some straight stitching in her outer border.  She was okay with that.  So as intimidated as I was by this beautiful quilt, I set out to do the best I could and overall, I'm happy with it.  If it had been my quilt, I would have probably turned it in sections and done a piano key stitch on the borders, but I've done that before on a large quilt of my own and sometimes it gets a little wonky.. The lady was happy with the results and then informed me I didn't charge enough - well, I guess if there's a next time, I will charge more (I don't have a problem with that!):


This lady designs all her own stuff.  These applique roses are one piece of fabric and all the detail she put in with satin stitching - I was very impressed with her work!
So, I've worked on this and worked on Sew Fest quilts.  I have 4 completed, 2 waiting for their binding and one more to quilt and finish - seeing the light :-)  Just in time to start work on some Christmas stuff!  Have some simple things I will be sewing up.  I will sew up a few pair of pajama pants and embroider some T's to match.  I would love to knit a couple of long shrugs / sleeved capes - but I know me, I would never get them finished in time ...  So maybe just some fingerless gloves...
Hope all is well with you...

Katie

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Plugging along

I am just plugging along these day.  Getting quilts quilted that I brought back from Sew Fest.  I did bring home some kids' quilts that were then sent on to TN to a children's hospital there.  I was gifted some polyester high loft batting and decided to use it in these quilts as I think most kids like 'fluffy':
These quilt tops were made by Mickey M. from embroidery designs that were donated.  Unfortunately I don't know who donated them as I would love to give credit as the designs are very well done.


The pictures make the quilts look a little puckered when, in fact, they really aren't.  I had not used a high loft batting in quite a while, but I'm thinking there are more quilts in my future that I will be using it in.
I've already started my Christmas knitting.  I love to knit when I have football games on (Yes, I do love football!) so hopefully I will manage to get some slipper socks and leg warmers (granddaughter is in ballet) done.  Not to mention the sewing I will do...
Not much else going on... the g-kids are back in school and so is my daughter-in-law, so at least once a week I pick up the g-kids.  Sort of missed it during the summer...  My 10 year old grandson is playing football so that means Saturday at the ball field.  Love to watch the kids play, too ;-)

Hope all are doing well.. I am looking forward to more fall type weather.  We're still a little warm here in AZ but when it starts to cool off, it will be glorious...

Katie

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Another successful Sew Fest

Finally rested up after a week in Texas for Sew Fest.  Was gone 11 days and I was happy to see my bed!  Now to get my ambition back and start on the quilts that are needing quilted!
Here are some of the tops that got completed:  NOTE:  I believe there were 59 quilt tops completed by 9 ladies in 6 days.  This is a very small sampling and these were made by others...
These blocks were part of a "sampler challenge" - use the same fabrics and make at least 5 different patterns, but make 2 of each of pattern selected.  Love how this turned out!

If I remember correctly, this is a modified version of the "Crossroads" quilt that appeared in the Blocks magazine from Missouri Star Quilt Company.

Simple half square triangles and they made a stunning quilt.

Strips and embroidered squares - easy, yet beautiful

what you can do with limited log cabin blocks..

This picture does not do this quilt justice.  This quilt is so bright and cheerful.

What you can do when you don't have quite enough for a full quilt - combine them!

Not a full set of designs (we like to use 10) so focus fabric comes though...

Isn't this lovely?!  I like the planned scrappiness of it.

What to do when you only have a couple blocks of each..  

It's hard to explain Sew Fest.... members who are not able to attend will send in 'filler (quilt) blocks', embroidered designs, fabric for sashings and borders.  Then those attending will also add to that mix and then it's all laid out on a table by colors, embroidered design sets, etc...  Then the attendees will take from the table and start assembling quilts.  Sometimes quilts are cut and pieced at Sew Fest from fabric that was sent.  The artistry that evolves amazes me every year.  I learn so much from the ladies who come.  We share tips and techniques, not to mention the 'tools' used for our craft.
Every year we try to come up with a theme for a gift exchange.  This year the theme was "Pamper ME".  The idea was to come up with something that the recipient would use just for them.  Surprisingly, the ladies said it was really a difficult theme.  They thought of lotions and potions but then the fragrances one might like another might not.  This was my gift to the recipient:
Love this fabric!  This is a book bag.

Inside I put a covered note pad, a tea wallet filled with a variety of teas, a zippered pouch filled with Jelly Bellies, one of those color books for grown ups with color pencils and made a journal using scrapbooking papers.

My idea was to sit quietly, enjoy a cup of tea and write in a journal or color a page in the color book.  Something to ease the mind and relax the soul...  I may have to make another one for me!

I received a lovely FQ of sparkly blue fabric wrapped around the Eucalyptus & Mint scent from Bath & Body Works line of Stress relief in the body wash and and lotion.  Very nice....

Hope you enjoyed the photos and maybe got a few ideas of layouts and maybe some projects for a gift exchange ;-)  
Until next time,

Katie