Monday, January 31, 2011


Yep - got into the sewing room -

on the table, on the desk, on the floor - what a mess!  Picked up where I left off yesterday afternoon.  A couple hours into it, I really just wanted to open a drawer and throw stuff in!  But I persevered and got 'er done.
Even straightened up the book shelf of fabric.  And before anyone asks what's on top of the filing cabinet - it's a fax/copier.  It's an older one, but it was free and works great.  The corner you can't see, is my office area but there was no room for the fax/copy machine there so it lives on top of the filing cabinet and the filing cabinet is not used for office stuff - it's filled with fabric :-)    So where was I???? Oh, yeah,  while I was straightening things up, DH comes in and sits down (there's another chair at the office desk that you can't see) and tells me he's going to get rid of "that thing".  When I ask what thing, he mentions the shelf.  So he goes on to tell me he thinks he'll just do a whole wall of built ins!!! Oh, dear, do I really think this will happen - ummm not really, but I do like that he at least thought of it :-)  But I do go on to tell him that I wouldn't mind going to the Habitat Store and seeing what they have in kitchen cabinet type stuff and maybe retro-fitting it to the sewing room.  That covered table is a JoAnn's craft table that fold up.  I have only half of it folded and I made a cover to go over it because it 'houses' a few more boxes of stuff - all my embroidery stabilizer is under there, a small box of patriotic themed fabric, and a couple of  other miscellaneous items that I don't use often.
And here's the other Mug Rug I made for the swap:
I was thinking of Ricky Timm's convergence, but these are so small you don't get the true effect.  I do like it, though.  I hope my swap recipient does, too.
So it's back into the sewing room tomorrow and finish up the one raffle quilt and move on to the next one. 


Sunday, January 30, 2011

what did I do?!

So I make a second mug rug.  It's okay, not as artistic as I'd like, but... well, as I said before, the creativity just isn't there right now :-(     Go into the sewing room - nope, no creativity, so let's see what I have in the FQ bin...... Oh, my, I have some FQ's in another drawer, so pull it out - yep, quite few in here.  Oh.... What's in this drawer?  Well, gee maybe a few more FQ's .....And before you know it, the file cabinet is empty of it's contents and it's all over my sewing room.   DH reminds me we have dinner to go to - Oh crap!  So now my sewing room looks like a tornado went through it and I have a quilt to finish and another to get on the frame....and I will not sew in a tornado strewn room - guess what's on my agenda for tomorrow?!  Guess I needed to get some new organzation done anyway :-)


Friday, January 28, 2011


The TL is working - again!  Added beefier O rings to the north/south encoder.. I wonder how often these O rings 'wear out'?  Maybe I ought to go stock up rather than use all of DH's!
So the raffle quilt is on the frame:
I thought about doing an all-over feather design on it, but this is going to be raffled at a 'biker' bar so thinking no frou-frou type quilting.  Because I have never done a pantograph (nor do I own any designs) and I have never done a stencil (nor do I own any stencils) I'm left to my own imagination.  Well imagination is out the window.  So I'm doing the gray border in a vine and leaves and the center blocks I'm just doing simple free motion meander.  I'm using a varigated white to black embroidery thread that keeps breaking (imagine that!)  So, I'm taking a break and will get some regular cotton quilting thread at the expo tomorrow and will finish Sunday morning.  I will stitch in the ditch around the fussy cut centers and on either side of the black border.  I'm thinking I will use a black binding????
I tried working on another mug rug, just not happy with what I'm coming up with.  It seems my creativity has decided to hibernate for the winter!  Maybe I'll get some ideas at the expo..... I need something to get me going.  Sometimes I have more ideas roaming around in my brain that I simply couldn't begin to do them all, then all of a sudden the door slams - oh, no, not a slow creeping close, it SLAMs shut!  Ah, well, guess it happens to everyone, sure wish it wouldn't be happening now (well, ever really!)
Hope you're all having better creative juices flowing than I do.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Okay, so I got the east/west encoder working on the TL, now the north/south is acting up!  And to mess with that one, I have to take the machine off the carriage.  I will have to wait until DH can help me with that - just too awkward to do it alone.  So, back to quilting in manual mode.  I did manage to quilt my DGD's quilt.  Not as smooth and flowing as I'd like, but it's done and at a year old, don't think she'll mind!  Tomorrow will be stitching out the label and getting the binding on.  Still have two quilts I really want to get done by the end of the month - because of no stitch regulator, they'll be pretty simple meander type quilting so will go fast.  And.....I received 7 more quilt tops from a QFC member to get quilted.  So, I'm set for quilting for a bit and I will do some block piecing in between quilting.


Monday, January 24, 2011

Quilt show

Really enjoyed the Tucson Quilt Show.  They had quite a few art quilts, which I always find unique and shows alot of artistic talent:
This is the artist of this quilt.  A lot of dimension and the back ground is actually quilt blocks that she didn't use in other quilts.  Once she added all the thread painting and the twisted cord, etc... You almost don't notice the background.  The center is black velvet and she's 'padded' around it to actually raise the top off the center.  I found it really interesting.

I thought this was cute and loved what it said "A Smile is a Curve that can set things Straight"!!

Look at this quilting!!!  I hope I can quilt like that someday. 

But today, this was my artistic endeavor:

A little mug rug!  Didn't realize that I actually cut my embroidered square a bit too short.  Showed up after I added the binding - ah, well, I think everyone will still know what it says :-).
I also got my granddaughter's quilt on the frame - will get some work on it done tomorrow. 

'Til next time - stay warm, stay safe, be happy.


Friday, January 21, 2011

fixed it!

I was really bummed over the rear encoder on the TL not working.  So took it apart, replaced the washers that 'roll' on the bars and yeeha!!! it works now.  I guess I now have no excuse not to get my pile of quilts quilted......
These are the three quilts that I did quilt using manual mode:

Actually, the one on the right, I did a stitch over seams and used my domestic machine.
The one on the left is just simple free motion stitching.  And here's a close up of the purple quilt:
Not too bad - it took me a bit to get my rhythm
And this is the other raffle quilt I'll be donating:

The blue looking is actually more of an aqua.  Even the embroidery looks almost florescent and it is an aqua as well:
I wish the little birds showed up better - they're really cute.  The designs are from Embroidery DK.
So.... I think I've got all the quilts constructed that I need to for this month - now just to get them quilted!
But tomorrow I'm going to the Tucson Quilt Show, so maybe next week I'll do a bit of quilting.  Nope, not working on quilting on Sunday - Football's winding down and I have to watch the games!  Yes, I do enjoy watching football....
Til later - stay warm, stay safe and smile a lot :-)

Katie who's off her rants

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A rant

Okay, you may want to skip this blog today, I'm on a rant.
I'm 5'3" tall and weigh about 220 lbs.  Yes, I know I'm overweight.  Yes I know I don't get enough exercise.  Yes I know I 'need' to do something about it.  But do I want to hear it several times on every news cast everyday - NO!  I am so sick and tired of seeing the ads on just about every site on the internet, every news cast, every TV show's commercials about how to lose weight.  How to look better.  And they wonder why there are so many depressed people in America!?  Hello....... No matter where you look or where you go someone, something is telling you that you're not good enough.  You need to lose weight, you need to gain weight, you need to have your laugh lines 'erased', gee what about having a face lift so you don't 'show' your age.  Give me a freakin' break!  I am not perfect, never claimed to be.  But I don't need to be reminded constantly that I could 'improve' my health by losing weight, eating healthier, exercising more.  Like I told my doctor "I'm fat, not stupid".  I don't like to have a doctor talk 'down' to me because of my size.  I don't like having a doctor tell me that the reason I have this or that is because I'm fat.  I know a lot, and I seriously mean ALOT, of slim and trim people who have much worst health issues than I do and many younger than myself (I'm 57).  Let me take Dr. Phil as an example.  I used to watch his show on a regular basis then one day it hit me - On one day he'd be addressing obesity and how awful it was and how psychologically damaging it was and offer to send his 'guest' to a 'fat farm'. By the end of the week he'd have a person on suffering from anorexia or bulimia.  And gee, we wonder why people have problems with accepting themselves??? We've got a nation of people telling them they aren't good enough!
Okay, so maybe someone reading this (if you've gotten this far) is thinking I'm lazy and I'm being critical of those who bust their buns at the gym.  Well, you're wrong!  I live in a very small community and there isn't a gym.  There was about 20 years ago and I did go to the gym on a regular basis.  And lazy - no I'm not.  I'm busy, but it's a sedinary busy and I do understand that.  When there's only two of you, you don't have much to clean on a daily basis and once my housework is done (yes, my house is very presentable) I enjoy sewing, it brings me joy.  Okay, so why don't I go take a walk?  Because quite frankly - I don't want to.  I like to walk, but I don't like to walk alone.  My friends are all employed and the last thing they want to do after working all day it go walking - can't say I blame them.  I totally respect and admire those people who work out at the gym, who watch everything they eat.  Why can't they feel the same way about me?  Does my size make me a different person?  I haven't been fat my whole life - far from it.  And I think I'm still as caring today as I was 20 years ago when I weighed 140 lbs.
Okay, I'll shut up now.  But if you're a slim and trim person reading this please remember the cover doesn't always indicate what's inside the book.  And if your a 'fluffy' person, love yourself for who you are and pity those who think the cover needs work.

Katie who's going to go sit on her butt and sew

a new day

Do you think/contemplate when you sew?  I do.  Yesterday was a day for the ole brain to really be  'out there'.  I started with the bullying post and the brain went from there - good thing I'm not an activist, I'd have no time for anything else :-)  But on the plus side I did manage to get something accomplished.  I finished the second raffle quilt top and completely finished two more QFC quilts.  Now my stack of quilt tops to be quilted are at 6 - umm maybe 7??? So I will concentrate on the ones I have thread and backing for.  I miss not having my stitch regulator working.  I need to have DH help me take the Tin Lizzy off the carriage and look at the rear encoder as that's the one not working.  I'll see if it's an easy fix before I order new encoders.  I did manage to quilt a couple quilts without the regulator and I was happy with the results but for at least one of the quilts 'on hold' I want to do feathers and I don't think I'm good enough doing feathers to do them without the regulator.  Ah, such is life......
Up way too early this A.M. (4:30) and DH will sleep at least until 7:30am so I have lots of time on the computer - probably too much :-)  I 've been thinking (yep, do alot of that) about making my 'retirement' like a job.  You know, get up at a certain time, do the 'get ready' routine and plan my day and stick to it.  I've discovered that the more time I have, the more time I waste.  Sort of like money, the more you have, the more dumb ways you find to spend it.  No, I won't go there - I'd be writing a book and this post is already a rambling - must be the early start and the coffee :-)  So with that, I'm off to read more blogs and see what I can find that will just get me into more trouble :-)


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

a thought - not quilt related

As I watched the news this morning, there is more about 'cyber bullying' and bullying in general.  I hear about what can be done to stop the bullying, what should the consequences be, etc.....  My opinion is that most targets (victims) of bullying are those with low self esteem, maybe some physical or mental challenges.  In the journey to stop the bullying, I would sure like to see programs in place to help those with low self esteem.  There are all sorts of after school programs that are geared to make a student a better athlete, a better debater, a better foreign language student - so why not a program to help a student to simply be able to feel better about themselves.  A program to give a student the tools to defend themselves against bullying. 
I wish I could say I have the answers, but I don't.  As parents I think we look at our children through rose colored glasses.  But I would hope that educators would be able to see if a child in their class was withdrawn or looking solemn.  Maybe an indicator that the child would benefit with a talk to a counselor.  Who really knows all the answers?  But I do believe it's very sad when someone, whether a child or an adult, has to try and belittle another person to make themselves look good or to feel superior.  How sad that that 'bully', deep down, actually also lacks self esteem.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

no sew days

No sewing for me the past couple days.  Monday I dug into my storage shed.  Emptied it completely, pulled out the shelves.  Swept out the cobwebs, even mopped up the concrete floor.  Then I purged!  My dear SIL passed away over a year ago and her husband (My DH's brother) gave me about 8 huge storage bins of fabric.  I initially went through everything, pulled out all the cotton, washed it up and put it into my stash.  I knew there was alot of polyester that I'd never use, but simply couldn't bring myself to get rid of it.  I was finally able to go through it again, pull out fabric that I thought I'd use and donated the rest to the community thrift store.  My DH took almost a truck load of fabric, clothing and misc.  to the thrift store and they were happy to get it.  My storage shed is now organized and I can actually see what I have stored!
Today was simply a cleaning day (must be the warmer temps).  So with clean house and the laundry done, I will have no reason to ignore my sewing room tomorrow.  I have one more quilt top to assemble and then I will have to get some actual quilting done (even if I don't have the stitch regulator working).
Hopefully, next time I blog, I will be able to share some pictures :-)


Sunday, January 16, 2011

special day

My 7 yr. old DGS calls me on Monday, "Grandma, will you come get me?"  Oh, Oh, what's up? Is he going to run away from home?  "Well, sure, Ethan.  I'll come get you.  What's going on?"  Then comes the explanation: "I want to make Tiffani (his baby sister) a blanket and I have my design all drawn out.  So will you pick me up Sunday and help me make my sister a blanket for her birthday?"  Whew.... he's not running away from home but wants to sew with Grandma. 
So today I go get him (they live about 20 miles) and sure enough he has his 'design'.  He hits the sewing room with the vigor of a quilter with a new quilt magazine!  He knows exactly what colors he wants and even faced with all the fabrics in my stash, he sticks to his idea.  We measure out and he makes his decisions.  He does 95% of the sewing.  He was excited about being able to use the iron (bet that changes when it comes to ironing his shirts) and I even had him put on a 'glutz' glove and helped him with using the rotary cutter.  Here is his finished 'blanket':
He designed the purple door to open and even knew which direction he wanted it to open.  It's not clear, but above the door is a gold crown and he used a red pen to write his sister's name on it.  Above the crown we embroidered "Princess Tiffani's Castle".   
I think he did a great job and I have at least one grandchild that enjoys sewing with Grandma!

Katie who had a great Sunday!!

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Finally got back to the TL today to try and figure out what was going on - it's the rear encoder which controls the left to right stitches.  It was causing the 'drag' because it's just not working.  Guess I'll be ordering new encoders from TL on Monday!  But on a positive note, I did manage to quilt two small quilts using 'manual' mode.  I used to quilt using my domestic machine so just needed to get the speed of the machine coordinated with MY speed :-)  I wasn't able to do any feathers like I'd wanted, but it's okay, what I did do worked just as well.  I've still got to get the binding on the quilts, then I'll post some pictures.
Yesterday was an outside day for me.  I love my ATV!  Seriously, if someone told me I had to give up either my ATV or my sewing machine, I'd have to really think long and hard.  It was a bit cool but not cold, and the sun was gorgeous. 
Where I live, it's almost always this clear. 
You simply couldn't give me city life - I love where I live. 

Now I'm off to the sewing room to get the binding on the two quilts I quilted this morning.  Then I think I'll play in my scrap basket and make up some string blocks - just do some 'doodle' sewing :-)


Thursday, January 13, 2011


Got a quilt on the frame.  Worked out a design to quilt the quilt.  Started said design.  Machine is NOT cooperating.  It is acting almost like it's hanging up on something.  I've checked wires, I've check encoders, I don't know what else to check.  I unplugged everything as I've heard that helps reset the computer for the stitch regulator.  Tomorrow I will change the needle and start again.  For as much as these machines cost, and having had it for only a little over a year, I don't expect to have these types of issues.
I was telling my DH just the other day that if I'd seen one of the 'sit down' mid arm/long arm machines, I think I would have gone with one of those over what I've got.  I'd even thought about selling my current machine, but with all the 'advancements' with these machines, I'd not get even half of what I'd paid for it - so I'll hope that tomorrow is a better day!


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I know I can do this!

I am not an idiot - or at least I never thought I was.  I am working on a raffle quilt.  The designs are embroidered, the fabric has been chosen and I'm ready to go.  But I'm still looking for the right block pattern.  I've decided I'd like to do that tube quilt block.  Easy, will go quickly - once I figure the strip measurements!  I have cut and sewn and measured and done it again.  I've played with the numbers and thought I finally had the right combination - Nope!!! Back to the drawing board.  It's my own darn fault, I trimmed the embroidered squares to 9" - what was I thinking????  Now I have to come up with a quilt block that will finish 8½" finished.  Now if I had a brain, I might consider working it out in EQ -but that would just be too easy! 
Okay, I'm off to figure this out - did I also tell you I'm stubborn?!


Sunday, January 9, 2011

so a bit accomplished

I did not make these quilts.  These were made by Mickey M. from Quilters for Comfort and quilted by me.  Mickey is so creative and does beautiful work - a pleasure to quilt them.   These quilts (along with a few more I have to finish) will go to Bay Area Crisis Nursery in CA.

This is for my granddaughters 1st birthday on Jan 29.  Her nursery is done in pink, light brown and touches of taupe.  Sort of 'Victorian' looking and I thought these carousel horses fit that look.  I was going to put a solid border around it, but I really like the border fabric that was part of the pillow panels and decided to use it instead.
I have designs embroidered and the fabric picked out for the second raffle quilt I need to do - now to pick out (or create) a block pattern.
Hope everyone is having a good Sunday,


Saturday, January 8, 2011

started out good

The day started out pretty well.  Figured I'd probably get my DGD's quilt top finished today.  Then I got a call from my DD in Ohio asking if I'd had the TV on.  Then she went on to tell me about the shooting of one of our AZ congresswomen, Gabriel Giffords.  So I spent the better part of the day watching the story unfold on TV.  It is so sad whenever something like this happens, but a 9 year old girl fell victim to the shooting.  My thoughts and prayers are with all the families of the victims but my heart breaks for that innocent little girl.  The story continues to unfold and it will probably be days before much of the details are clear.  I guess being aware of our surroundings are more important than ever in these times.


Friday, January 7, 2011

remember these?

Do you remember these?  Do you know what it is?  You may be too young.  This is my grandmother's laundry sprinkling bottle.  An old Clorox bottle with a sprinkler top.  I remember my grandmother sprinkling the clothes, rolling them up and spending a day ironing. 
The subject of these bottles came up on one of the Yahoo groups I belong to and I just had to pull out Grandma's bottle and take a picture. 
I did have a productive day.  Finished 3 quilts for QFC and started work on my DGD's first birthday quilt.  While I worked on it, I also had the embroidery machine going stitching out designs for the second raffle quilt I've promised.  I sure hope the fabric I've chosen turns out as nice as what I'm seeing in my head :-)
Hopefully, I'll have some pictures tomorrow.  Til then - be happy, be healthy and most of all be yourself!


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Pretty sewing rooms

I love to look at pictures of sewing rooms.  I'm always looking for ideas.  I will be the first to admit that I truly have too much fabric and I know I don't have as large a stash as some.  I also know that I have more room than some.  I have taken our 3 bedroom house and turned it into a 1 bedroom house.  I had one room set up as a sewing room.  I have an old heavy metal military style desk that I had my larger Babylock on and beside it I had a 6' folding table that held one of my other machines.  I could sew and machine embroider at the same time.  Fast forward - I got a Juki on a Grace frame quilting set up.  Had it set up on one side of the room and sewing desk on the other side - had to fold up the 6' table.  Fast forward again - Loved the Juki but wanted more quilting space so bought the Tin Lizzy 18 LS.  So now I had to take another room which had previously been my office.  I have condensed my office and put my sewing/embroidery machines in that room.  I have one of those cutting tables from JoAnns, a book shelf unit and miscellaneous other storage.  The other room is the 'quilting' room.  Under the frame I have several totes of fabric.  I have a shelf that runs completely around the top of that room.  I also have an older machine in a cabinet in the quilting room.  Okay, so how does this fit into "Pretty sewing rooms"?  I would love to a nice organized room.  A room where all the 'furniture' matched.  A room where all the storage containers were pretty and labeled.  I would love to have this room and be able to keep it looking nice.  When I see the pictures of the pretty sewing rooms, I often wonder how creative the people who own them really are????  Am I just a messy creative person???  I do like to have all my 'tools' close at hand.  Oh well, I guess it's a nice dream anyway.  I suppose if I took the time to really organize, dispose of items I don't really use (yes I do have some of those), paint my 'furniture', put slip covers on my chairs, maybe even use some pretty wallpaper to cover some boxes, I might be able to get a 'prettier' room.  But I know that once I go into start organizing, I'd come across a piece of fabric that I'd forgot about.  I'd have to pull it out, search for fabric to go with it, start pulling books and patterns to find just the right one and by the time I got that all done it'd look like a tornado had gone through the room.......Okay, I think I've talked myself out of the pretty sewing room.

Katie who likes the dream, though

Monday, January 3, 2011

A busy month

Quilters for Comfort (QFC) has started up again for 2011.  We're off to a good start.  One of our members actually completed 17 tops and has sent me 6 of them to quilt.  So, I have those 6 to quilt and 3 more to make.  For those who have been following me, you know that I'm making quilts for a raffle that will benefit Honor Flight.  I have one of those tops almost completed and will be ready for quilting by tomorrow afternoon.  Then I have another one to make for that same cause and I have some ideas rolling around in my head.  I also have my DGD's first B-day quilt to make.  The designs are stitched out and all the fabric is together.  I just need to decide on a design.  I know once I get started it will go together quickly.
Today was fabric shopping day.  I didn't go to a fabric store.  I went to Savers, a thrift store.  I love going in there and looking for their 50% off items.  I always go through the sheets.  I usually find cotton sheets that haven't been used or very lightly used.  I've found several 100% cotton duvet covers.  There is so much fabric in those!!! I found several men's shirts that are 100% cotton that I couldn't pass up - and the buttons are just a plus!  I think I came home with 8 sheets, 1 duvet cover and 4 men's shirts and I spent about $40.  I may be set for a few months - but I know I'll visit my favorite thrift store at least once a month and if I find some bargains - I'll have to add to my 'stash' :-)


Sunday, January 2, 2011

your personal information

The following has been going around on Facebook.  I went to the site, and sure enough there was all my information.  I don't mind someone finding information on a site where I entered that information, but for a site to accumulate information from other places and post about me without my approval just really infuriates me! And.... Sites that I do enter information about myself, I have my privacy set for "friends only"  So it makes me wonder if some of these 'social networks' are 'selling' information to keep their sites viable???????
There's a site called that's a new online USA phone book w/personal information: everything from pics you've posted on FB or web, your approx credit score, home photo & value, income, age. Go remove yourself by searching for yourself on their site to find the URL of your page, then go to the bottom of the page and click on the Privacy button to remove yourself. Re-post so your FB friends are aware!

Katie who wonders how many other places have my info!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Do you ever wonder????

As I sit here on this first day of the New Year, my mind begins to wander and I'm thinking of the 'custom made' gifts I gave this year at Christmas.  I think about starting to make some items and put away for Christmas 2011.  Then I wonder, do those little mug rugs, tissue holders, small zippered bag, etc.... ever get used?  Do the things that I find cute and useful appeal to the recipient?  Do you ever wonder the same thing?  Does it really matter to you?  I know a gift is given in the spirit of love and whatever the recipient does with it is up to them.  But..... if I spend time, whether much time or little time, I'd like to think that the 'custom made' item was appreciated and not thought of as useless.  Sometimes I wonder.....