Saturday, March 28, 2009

Next project - Dutchman's Puzzle

Hi, all!
I just wanted to show you the quilt that inspired the next quilt I'm going to start. I'll probably do the borders a bit differently, but I have a little while to think about that. I'm not a huge flying geese fan, but I really liked the scrappy look of this. According to the program, it's a friendship quilt by Deb Taylor that she did with a friend, swapping blocks over the years. I like how she used the border print for the sashing squares to tie it all together... so I'll have to decide on a border print before I sash the blocks (yeah, like I have to worry about that in the next six months).



Today after lunch I think I'm going to either work on the rose quilt (unsewing) or do the last two scrapbook pages for the layouts of our engagement pictures. Or maybe I'll do nothing. ;-) A nap sounds pretty good for a rainy Saturday afternoon. :-)

Blessings,
Kristin

Friday, March 27, 2009

It's FRIDAY! :-)

Hi, all!!

Last night I went out and bought background / sashing / border fabric for the new project I'm starting (my first time buying an entire uncut bolt of fabric!). I should have sufficient stuff in my stash for the scrappy part... even then there are some FQs I just can't cut into right now! How bad am I? I may have to dig deeper later as I'll need 96 squares, but I've got a good start washed up and pressed and ready to cut. I have scraps from my rose quilt that might work, and leftovers from my round robin quilt that I might not use in coordinating pillows and such, so there are definitely "backup" fabrics before I start cutting into stash yardage. I cut off 3 yards of the background to wash and play with, so I have stuff to keep myself busy for a while. I might not even have to take my machine to Girls Night Out - I'll be cutting and cutting and cutting! Though I probably will get some prep cutting and a couple Flying Geese made up this weekend to get into the rhythm and get the 3-yard piece into a more managable size. I have instructions and a spcial ruler that helps me make flying geese (Eleanor Burns), but I also found a method online that my friend Kelli was taught that is a no-waste method so I'd use less fabric. That method also makes any size, where the rulers I have limit me to four sizes (though one of them will work just fine and I'll use that size regarless of the method I choose). I'm going to try that no-waste method and see if I think I can do that 96 times. ;-) Oh, and that 96 number isn't counting an outer border of geese, either, so there are actually more than just in the blocks. But at least the blocks aren't going to be on point and it's scrappy, so I'm not going to be tearing apart blocks to make them go in the right place like I have been (and continue to do) with the rose quilt.

I've also decided that I'm going to sign up for a quilt retreat for the end of April, so I'm looking forward to that dedicated time and ability to spread out a little more (i.e., use the floor) and I should be able to finish my rose quilt there. :-) I'm also thinking I might be able to get a bedskirt or two made (or started) as well. I've had the fabric for that forever. I usually take more than I know I'll work on in case I get brain dead or bored, so I might throw in another UFO for good measure. Goodness knows I have a few. :-p

I was thinking this week (as I was sitting at a park and ride waiting to get Bill off the bus) that I need to have a handwork project to carry with me in the car. I tend to string errands and appointments together, and often end up waiting for the next activity without a planned activity to take up the time. Something that's small and uncomplicated and portable. A crochet project would be ideal, but what? Hmmmm..... I need to figure this out by Tuesday as I have two doctor appointments and of course I couldn't schedule them back-to-back. What to do, what to do....? Maybe I could start working on my sweater to match the sleeveless top that I have yet to post a picture of, but I think that it will require too much concentration since there's a slanted shell stitch in the sweater that wasn't in the top. Maybe I could start another sleeveless top - that was just straight DC and I'd only have to pay attention to measuring rather than stitching. I was going to try to conquer the boucle and make SOMETHING out of it, but I haven't thought of anything yet. One thought was a shawl made of granny squares, but I haven't tried that yet. I think something that I can work in the open spaces is going to be my only hope for crocheting with that stuff. Maybe I'll try that this weekend and see if I get anywhere. It's supposed to rain all weekend and we have no other plans besides church, so it'll be a good craft weekend.

I think that's all the news I have... thanks for reading along as I think out loud. :-)

Enjoy your weekend!!!

Blessings,
Kristin

Monday, March 23, 2009

Stuck Again. :-(

Hi, all!
We had a good family weekend... took in a quilt show on Saturday and saw a scrappy Dutchman's Puzzle quilt that inspired me. It would be a good project for Girls Night Out since my rose quilt needs to be spread out while I attack and divide and try to conquer. More on that in a bit. But the weekend with my parents was nice - brunch, quilt show, card playing, and two Skype calls with my brother (one of them with my 9-month-old niece as well). Mom is shopping for a webcam now, The same woman who didn't want to even think about a "video conference" with my brother when he brought it up was so impressed and excited that she wants a webcam. :-) That was my first time using Skype, so it's nice to know it works. My camera software doesn't have fun effects, though, so it's pretty much all business. Oh, well - we can't have everything. ;-)

So during "quiet time" I tried to make some headway on my rose quilt. I don't know how or why, but I have one block that the pieces just WILL NOT go together and make the size block I need! Completely obstinate! I tore apart a bunch more stuff (actually the same block at least twice plus some others for the right color components) and I really didn't get anywhere at all. :-( That was disappointment number one.

Then after Mom adn David left Sunday, I put away all the rubber stamps I've had out for weeks without labels. The labels I made didn't work, but at least the stamps are sorted and put away by category (for the most part) and now I just need to figure out what to do with the stamps that I don't think I want to keep. I'll find a box around the house somewhere (I just might have to take it away from a kitty cat I know).

After I got that done, I took another stab at the pirate quilt. I had started some cutting that I didn't know what it was for, so I started playing with that and heading in the direction I thought I had been going, and then I realized that if that was the direction I was going, the measurements are going to be off. Ugh. Disappointment number two. Now I'm either going to have to just get in a mood where I don't care what it looks like, give up, or figure out a way to use what I have and have it not look stupid. I'm just feeling really uncreative and I'm again at one of those moods where I'm ready to throw all my craft stuff out the window and write it off as a loss. :-p

I wish I had something more happy and upbeat to report... maybe next time. :-) I guess I'm just in a mood because all around things are disappointing and saddening me, and I need to just put my head on straight and get a better attitude. Easier said than done.

Blessings,
Kristin

Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday update

Hi, all!

I've been playing on (fluff)friends on Facebook more than anything else lately, and I managed to earn a couple decor items through the racing part of the application. Let me rephrase that. I managed to earn a couple COVETED items (shells - they look like turtle shells). I had to challenge for 1000 races and had to earn 1500 race points within 30 days. The latter is easy - it's the former that's harder because it only lets you race 20 times an hour. But it gave me a good excuse to play with my new laptop. ;-) There are four more shells to earn, and none of them easy. we're up to 15000 points now for two of them, and a third one is only 1000 points, but you can only win a MAXIMUM of 35% of your challenges. In other words, you have to lose a lot of races. The one I don't think I'll ever earn requires you to have a certain number of points (1000 maybe) but you have to win a minimum of 90% of my challenges. I don't think I'm going to end up with that one anytime soon. I'm already winding down my winning percentage in preparation for the 35% max by racing people a lot faster than I am... and I still beat them sometimes! It's not fair! LOL! I can't win when I want to win, I can't lose when I want to lose. Such is life. When I'm not (fluff)ing, I'm enjoying catching up with friends (old and new) on Facebook. There are a lot of applications and such to distract you from "real" updates, but it's nice to see my friends posting what's new in a sentence or two.

I had my weigh and measure at Curves this week - I've lost 7 pounds for the month. I've also lost a little in inches here and there, and my BMI has improved. Kudos to Bill for shoving vegetables down my throat and to me for not eating an entire box of Girl Scout cookies in one sitting. ;-) My workouts have been up and down, but it's nice to see them doing something. But I still look and feel overweight. I guess that's to be expected when one has 70+ more pounds to lose. ;-) My clothes haven't really started fitting differently yet except for pants (which have been low riders for months now). I found a couple pairs that should get me through a few more pounds and might even be wearable if I ever find my waist again (but maybe not).

This weekend my parents are coming up for the weekend and we're heading tomorrow to a local quilt show where my friend Wendy has a quilt displayed. It was a great show when we went last year, and I'm sure it will be nothing less this year. Crud, I have to remember to charge my camera. ;-) Another thing we're hoping to do is Skype with my brother and his family on my new laptop :-) and his new webcam. He's not a computer whiz, so we'll see how he makes out. It shouldn't be too hard on him - I'm not a computer whiz, either, and I figured out how to install the webcam I bought to use with my old computer. So he should do fine. :-)

Oh, and I did get the fabric washed and have the love quilt block started. It's a 16-patch and I just have to put all the pieces together (after I cut all the dog-ears of my half-square triangles). I was going to do that this week, but I ended up going to the gym TWTh instead of MWF, so my week was all thrown off. I'm also still not at the point where I feel like I have more energy. The workouts wear me out, and on off-days I don't feel much better, either. But I have a week or so before I have to have the block done, so that shouldn't be a problem.

I think those are the highlights... Have a great weekend!

Blessings,
Kristin

Monday, March 16, 2009

Did I tell you I got a new laptop? ;-)

Hi, all!

I have a couple things to share, so hopefully it’s worth the post. ;-)


I FINALLY used my USB turntable and software to copy a couple records onto my iTunes Saturday, so that was cool. While I was babysitting that, I decided it would be a good thing to go ahead and unsew some of my blocks so I can get my rose quilt a little further along. So while I was ripping the records onto my computer (I have to stay close because I have to tell it where the track breaks are), I was ripping some stitches. I then realized I got some other blocks in the wrong places, so I have more work to do than I thought.


I got parts of two rows taken apart (only what I needed to) and I have to take two rows off sections I've already sewn together to get two more blocks out. Then I have to take those blocks apart (okay, 4 out of 6, I think) to get the coordinate colors right for their new locations, and then I can go back to the business of assembly. Before all that, though, I have a block I have to make for a group love quilt we're making for someone in one of my online groups. I finally got the fabric washed this weekend, so I have one less excuse to procrastinate. Oh, and I picked out the block pattern, too, do there are two fewer reasons. The only excuse now is time to do it, and I don't have anything going on Tuesday or Thursday nights this week, so there you go. All I have to do is take my new laptop downstairs with me so I don't feel like I'm going into withdrawals.


My stepfather asked me yesterday if I have everything loaded on my laptop that I want. HA! I do have a few games loaded on it, though, so that's a start. One of these days I'm going to go through a lot of my games and software CDs and just load and load and load. I’m looking forward to being able to use some of the programs that I couldn’t use on my old laptop. I need to take a class on Photoshop, though, I think... I can't figure out anything on that, and I'm not even trying to do advanced things! It'll be easier on a faster machine, but if I don't know where I'm going, it doesn't matter how quickly I can get there.


Sunday I got together with my little scrapbooking group and made 4 pages of engagement pictures. I want to do a couple more pages of those, so I’ll have to find some time to do that. Next month I’ll be scrapping Bill’s niece’s wedding pictures, thanks to Bill’s family to the rescue for sending me some pictures and a CD so I have some pictures since my 400+ pictures didn’t turn out. Ugh. Anyway, this monthly scrapbooking should hopefully get me in practice to do our wedding pictures. I started wading through to figure out which ones I want prints of - talk about tough choices! I’m dumping the ones I like into a separate folder and then I’ll go through those and weed out if I need to. I’m just not sure how many pictures I want to / should scrap. I also don’t know if I’m going to want to have the same layout for all the pictures or if I want to vary it. Oh, the decisions and the drama! LOL! I really do need to scrapbook more, though... along with all of my other hobbies. ;-)


I’ve done 12 workouts now (13th today) and I get weighed and measured this week, so we’ll see if there’s any good news from that. I weighed myself on a day a couple weeks ago that I felt particularly thin ;-) and I had lost a few pounds, but I’m almost feeling like I’m gaining it back. I haven’t been eating any extra, but I just feel fatter. :-p


Our beautiful sunshine of late last week has turned to rain, to snow, and back to rain again. Let’s hope that this sixth week after Groundhog Day means that the snow is GONE! I hear it was warmer in Minnesota last week than it was in Seattle. Just not fair. :-p


I guess that’s it for now! Hope all is well in your worlds!


Blessings,

Kristin

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Lotta Nuthin'

Hi, all!


The big excitement of the day... my new laptop is on its way to me! YAY! Not a top-of-the-line by any means, but a heck of a lot better than the one I have! Now I just have to find some time to stay home and play with it and get things loaded and surf at something faster than the speed of slug.


Nothing much is new... just going to work, working out, and going home with a little social life thrown in here and there. I’ve been working out 3 times a week and this is my 4th week, so next week I get measured and weighed to see how I did over the last month. I know the machines have been kicking my butt and I’ve only eaten 10 Girl Scout cookies in the last 4 weeks, but is that enough? :-D We shall see. I’ve cheated here and there on food, but not nearly as much as I would have expected, You can’t put me on a diet where I get denied junk entirely, or I’ll never stick with it and the binge is right around the corner. I don’t look like a supermodel yet, though, so I must not be done. ;-)


I’ve been really sleepy since the time change and my brain isn’t working as it should, so that’s all I can think to share right now. Hope you all are doing well - I’m way behind in my blog reads... nothing personal!


Blessings,

Kristin

Friday, March 6, 2009

NO MO' SNOW!

Hi, all!

We have that four-letter-word in our forecast again. Don't get me wrong - snow is lovely - but I don't live in Minnesota for a reason. No one here (myself included) knows how to drive in snow, it always falls when I have plans, and I'm just ready for the spring, even if it means rain (and it does). Okay, done complaining. I don't mind the snow as much as most people - I just needed a catchy title more than anything else.

I've had nine workouts now, and I'm still alive. I've lost about four pounds, but I expect that to plateau soon as my body gets used to working out and used to eating baby carrots instead of pretzels at lunch. The cookie jar doesn't even know who I am anymore. I'm expecting any day to go into a huge regression and just start to binge, but I haven't quite hit that phase yet. ;-)

I had a sew day with a couple friends last weekend and got some work done on my rose quilt... enough to see that I must not have laid out my blocks as well as I thought since I've got two rows that are two blocks short. DOH! And, of course, I have no more of the fabric that I need and no way to get it, so I have to rob Peter to pay Paul as it were, which means ripping apart two rows from the nice triangles I sewed last weekend. I also have to rip a block out of two rows that I haven't sewn to anything yet. I know what I'm going to replace them with, but I don't have those put together yet. So that's a project for some night that I'm not working out or that I'm not knocked flat on my backside from working out. I missed my Girls' Night Out last night because I was out every night this week and ran errands and had doctor appointments all day Wednesday instead of going to work. It was nice to get so much done, but it sure made for a long day! of the 16 hours I was awake on Wednesday, I was home for about 3 of them (and not all at the same stretch).

That's the news from here. Pretty exciting, huh?

Blessings,
Kristin