Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Happy BIrthday to me!!! :-)

Hi, all!!

We had a really nice weekend... let me tell you about it!

Saturday we had four of us sewing at our house.... okay, one was hand sewing, two were cutting, and one was knitting. But we worked along and talked and had a great time! I got all cut and prepped for Girls' Night Out next week so I can sew, sew, sew; Carol got a bunch of squares cut for a charity quilt she's making; Wendy got the binding sewn on two charity quilts, and Mom got a fair bit of knitting done. I also trimmed the edges of a quilt that Wendy quilted for me on her longarm and got the binding cut. Later I got it pieced and washed and now I just have to press and sew. Like that's some small task. ;-) I gave Wendy the rose quilt to quilt up, so she's got that beast at her house now. ;-)

Sunday we left to head north to Silver Reef Casino, Hotel, and Spa. And I used all three! :-) On the way up, we stopped for an early lunch, then at an outlet mall to do some shopping. We got to the hotel right at check in time. Are we good or what? We checked in, got settled, and then headed to the casino to check out the slots (table games are too rich for our blood - we're penny slot people). Later I got an manicure and pedicure (paid for with birthday money with some left over), and then we grabbed some really good pizza from the pizzeria at the casino. Monday we had a great continental breakfast that was included in our room rate, and then gambled a little more before we headed back south. On the way home, we stopped at a different outlet mall and two casinos (one of which was feeding people free hot dogs - LUNCHTIME!). Three casinos in a day. Yes, we're nuts. I had enough points accumulated at one casino to collect a $22 comp, so that was nice. Birthday cash! ;-) Sure, I gave some of it back to the casino playing the slots, but it wasn't really my money in the first place. I still left there with more than I went in with, so I can't complain.

Once we got home, we found out that the neighbors had organized an impromptu block party and invited us to have some "leftovers." We had met some of our neighbors but not others, so it was nice to put names with faces (at least for a few seconds until we forgot their names or what house they live in). ;-) And we had a free dinner and good company. Can't beat that!

Tonight Bill is taking me to dinner at my favorite local [Mexican] restaurant, and I assume giving me presents. :-D He's not good at secrets, so I know what two of them are (and there are probably only two). Poor Bill. One of these years he'll be able to surprise me. :-) But then, he surprised me BIG TIME last year on my birthday with the Wii, so he can coast on that for a at least a couple years. ;-) The only drawback of the day today (besides having to be at work) is that I have to go work out tonight. *sigh* I wonder if the machines will be extra nice to me since it's my birthday. I'm guessing not, but we can hope. I'm just glad that this isn't a weigh week after the way I ate this weekend. *blush* I definitely need to get back on that wagon tomorrow. Birthday over, back to sensible eating! ;-)

Well, that's all the news I have for now. I hope you all had a great weekend (and long weekend for those in the US)!! Enjoy your week!

Blessings,
Kristin

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Backing done!!!

Hi, all!

I just had to report that I got the backing done for the rose quilt, so I can hand that off to Wendy for longarm quilting when I see her Saturday. YAY!

I also have to share that God is so much better to me than I deserve. This whole backing thing was nothing short of miraculous. I bought a 10-yard bolt that ended up being 9 yards and 28 inches (before washing). It's a directional with a 12" repeat that I was hoping to match up, but once I measured the quilt, I knew I wasn't going to have 12" extra to play around with. Oh, well. Would have been nice. So anyway, I'm sweating at this point that I even have enough because I need three lengths of 114"... After washing, I had about 345" (three lengths of 115"). YAY! I measured about 4 times before I cut anything because I knew I didn't have oops room, and I got my three lengths. Now to sew them together. WOULD YOU BELIEVE I was able to match up the pattern by only moving the fabric TWO INCHES????? There are two seams, in the backing, and one of them you almost can't tell there's a seam there - the other one is a little more obvious, but it keeps the horizontal pattern across the width adequately. God is SO good!!! I couldn't have done that myself if I'd had 12 yards to play around with, and God did it with inches to spare. So that's my story of thankfulness. I love how God even cares about the little things. In the grand scheme of the universe and mankind, who cares if my pattern lined up? But deep down, I did, and God is gracious. Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow.

Today at work we have a going-away lunch and a retirement party with cake, so it'll be an interesting eating day. Light breakfast, light dinner (if any), and working out tomorrow. ;-) Tonight we have to get the house company-ready as my parents are coming up Friday to spend Friday and Saturday nights, and a couple friends are coming over Saturday for a sew day. Bill's the cleaning king, and I'm the de-clutter queen. Actually, I throw stuff in the closet until people leave. ;-)

Sunday morning we're going to brunch, do some outlet shopping, and then heading to Silver Reef Casino and Hotel for an overnight stay that counts as my birthday trip (manicure and pedicure scheduled - YAY!). We'll be coming home Monday with all the other nuts, so hopefully the traffic won't be too bad. We're making a few shopping stops on the way home, too, so maybe that will help us out traffic-wise. It's only a couple hours away anyway (freeway speed) so we shouldn't get too caught up in traffic. I hope. :-)

And, last but not least, I did mention my birthday. On Tuesday, I will bid adieu to my Thrilling Thirties and enter my Fabulous Forties. :-) I'm not particularly hung up on my age, but there's always that "how old am I?" thing when I enter a new decade. I'll probably forget how old I am for the first 3 months. :-p

That's all for today... for you American readers, have a safe and wonderful Memorial Day weekend, and don't forget about those who gave their lives for the many freedoms we so often take for granted.

Blessings,
Kristin

Monday, May 18, 2009

Trip Report

Hi, all!


We had a beautiful drive to Portland... we saw 4 mountains during the trip, and the weather could not have been better! And we got to buy fabric! Here's what I remember that I ended up with:
5 yards - borders and binding for Dutchman's Puzzle quilt.
3.5 yards - fabric for wall hanging. I found a nice sunflower design that I think will work well.
6 yards - marbles for Grandmother's Puzzle quilt to coordinate with the border and backing fabric I found on sale last week that I had to buy the whole bolt of.
8 yards - backing fabric for something - hopefully Dutchman's Puzzle quilt, but I'll have to piece something else with it. Bargain of the day - $2.50/yd!
I stuck to my list, so that's a good thing! :-) The backing wasn't on the paper list, but it was on the mental list. No impulse purchases, not even the panda fabric! I think my Mom thinks I'm not feeling well. ;-)

Last night I got the last of the borders put on my rose quilt, so as soon as I determine if I have enough backing fabric, I can hand that off to get longarm quilted. I plan on measuring that tonight and washing it if there's enough. If there's not? Off to the fabric store. I can't remember how much I bought, but I don't think I knew that this quilt was going to be as long as it ended up being. We shall see.

Next project on the list will be prepping for my next Girls' Night Out (June 4) and if I get that done, then I'll start on the wall hanging. It's going to be one 20" block plus borders, and I know exactly where it's going to go (and that's about all the width that's there). I have to finish Kelli's block, too, and I need to bring that to the top of the pile to work on for when I see her again. I also need a color thread I don't have. Oh, I'd better make a list. ;-)

Yesterday Bill and I went to pick up our partial-season tickets for the Everett Aquasox baseball team (minor league). Their season doesn't start until late June, but we have our tickets! YAY! Can't wait! We also are starting to make our plans for our trip to Minnesota in August. Summer is coming! We had the top down on the convertible and I got a funky sunburn. I usually remember sunscreen on my face, but rarely anywhere else. Dummy.

This weekend I realized that I'm outgrowing my clothes... they're all stretching in the wash or something. :-p All of my scooters (shorts with a wrap part that looks like a skirt) are too big, so I'll have to wear belts when I can and hope I find more that fit. Shorts ride up on me (I know, TMI) so it's either the scooters or capri pants, and one of those pairs are too big I learned this morning. So that means my hips are smaller this summer than they were last summer. That's good news, I guess, except that I have to buy new pants / shorts / whatever that I can only wear one season. I hope I find a good sale. The capri pants I'm wearing right now I wore in the summer of 2007, and they're a smidge big. Hopefully I can find a few basic pieces that I can wear with several tops. I'm going shopping tomorrow after work - wish me luck! I hate clothes shopping, and I hate paying anything near retail for clothes, so that's not a successful combination most of the time.

Thanks for stopping by!!

Blessings,
Kristin

Friday, May 15, 2009

ROAD TRIP!!

Hi, all!!

Just had to tell you that we're going on a road trip tomorrow. I'm so excited! We're headed to Portland, Oregon (about 2-1/2 hours drive) to Fabric Depot! I think that will help get me my fabric shopping fix! I have my list all ready and a fabric I'm trying to find coordinates for, and I'm even buying batting for a friend. Mom will probably bring the haul up next weekend in her car because we're driving the Miata to their house... gorgeous weekend = top down, baby! Can only fit so much into the Miata trunk, you know. ;-) Mom offered to drive her car to Portland, so that was a nice bonus (her car gets better mileage than my sedan anyway and has fewer miles).

Sunday I will get my tickets in hand for the minor league baseball season here... I have a 10-game package for our short-season Mariners affiliate. SWEET seats, too. I've had them for several years. I'm in row two - row one is the home dugout. Good times! I can't wait for the season to start. There's nothing like live baseball, and it's even better when you can actually SEE what's going on because you're so close (without paying $500 per game). I want to buy tickets for the home opener, too, but I have to wait another couple weeks before they go on sale.

Last night I got the bottom border on the rose quilt, and most of the top pillow row. I want to have another strip of pink up there to connect with the other borders, but I can't do that until I sew on the sides to find out how much I have left over to piece up. The pillow row didn't turn out as well as I had hoped, but I don't see myself tearing it out. I don't have any better ideas, so there you go. It is what it is, and it's staying that way. Unless I get a weekend epiphany or something. ;-) Goodness knows I've torn apart half the blocks in that quilt... if I get a really good idea, I'm not above tearing out some more. But so far, no grand ideas. The only other idea I've had is incorporating another row, but that would involve tearing the whole thing apart, and that's where I draw the line! :-p I'll rip out the pillow row, but I'm not invading the quilt itself. The inner border is on, it's DONE!

Well, that's all the news for now. Just wanted to share about the road trip because I'm really excited. (Did I mention that I was excited?) I was looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow since it's been a while since I haven't had to set the alarm for anything, but the itch I had to buy fabric for a couple projects has outweighed the need for a down day. Maybe May 30th will be our down day. And hey, I don't think we'll be getting up at 5am, so that's a bonus, right? ;-)

Blessings!
Kristin

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Measure Twice, Cuss Once

Okay, it wasn't really the measuring that was the problem... it was the math. Or something. Either way, I'm short on my main border fabric and there's no where on the planet that has more. Sooooooo..... I spent last night thinking up creative solutions. Do I make squares in the corners? If so, solid or pieced? I didn't really like how either one was playing out in my head. Make the border half as wide? Not unless I REALLY have to. I decided that I'm going to try making a "pillow row" up near the top and have no border (or a very narrow pieced one with my leftovers). The vagabond row will be where the pillows are and no one is really going to look at the top border to notice that it's not as wide as the others. And I'm not going to be hanging it or showing it, and the next picture you see of it, it will be on a bed and not on the floor, so you won't know either (except that I just told you). I looked and I have enough blocks and setting triangles left over... I'm not sure that the row will sit right in the middle of the pillows when the quilt covers it, but we're giving it a try and see what happens. It's better than a 4" border all the way around - I know I won't be happy with that. I'll have to piece the binding, and that's going to be an adventure since I can't make a diagonal seam work. I have another project to bind and I haven't wanted to mess with the piecing since I failed so miserably at retreat, so I'm procrastinating. Any excuse to procrastinate.

Speaking of retreat, Mom and I are going to a quilt retreat in September. She doesn't quilt, but she does sew, so I don't think anyone will throw her out or anything. She's really looking forward to it, and so am I. We'll see how much she likes it once she lays down on the twin bed (she has a king size at home). But it's only two nights - she'll make it just fine, I'm sure.

I went for my weight and measure yesterday, and I've lost 17 pounds in 11 weeks. My BMI and body fat % were improved, too, so that's good news. Now I just have to keep doing what I'm doing and I'll be thin in no time. HA! More like a couple years. I'm trying to be patient. Another 2-3 months and I will hopefully be under 200 pounds. Still a ways to go before I hit my ideal weight (whatever my body decides that is), but I'm making progress. At least that's what I keep telling myself so I don't get impatient or gorge on chocolate.

So I guess that's all the news for now. Thanks for stopping by! :-)

Blessings,
Kristin

Monday, May 4, 2009

Retreat Report

Hi, All!


Well, I’m back from retreat! I had a good and productive time, and I’m disappointed that I have things going on for the next 8 days and nights so I can’t finish the little bit of some of the projects that I couldn’t complete at retreat. Sorry about the picture quality (cell phone camera)... but you’ll get the idea.


FINISHED: A quilt that my friend Kelli and I were passing back and forth (mine). I gave this one straight to someone to quilt so it would be DONE and be a nice lap quilt for naps in the living room.







AS DONE AS IT GETS FOR NOW: Edging 9 yards of eyelet lace for dust ruffles in the spare bedroom. The other edge will get hemmed once I’ve cut the fabric for the dust ruffle. Whenever that’s going to be.


I REALLY THOUGHT I PACKED THAT: My rose quilt is done except for the borders. I brought the pink border fabric, but the blue border fabric was nowhere to be found in my stuff. I have to look around for that.





THE BEST LAID PLANS: A quilt block that Kelli and I were passing back and forth (hers). One more thing I need to do to it but Mom has the tool I need. Can’t talk any more about it here since she is one of my 5 readers. ;-)


I HATE PIECING BINDING: I quilted the Christmas table runner that I finished at a Girls’ Night Out a couple months ago. I was going to fold the backing over to the front and sew to bind it, but as I was trimming the batting (which I should have done before I quilted, but I wasn’t that smart), I cut the would-be binding. So I tried to piece binding and I couldn’t get it to come out right, and I can only rip so many times because it was on the bias. I was totally frustrated and didn’t get a picture. Sorry.

The company and the food were good, I was productive, and here’s a picture of my retreat space.





Are you jealous? ;-)


This Thursday is Girls’ Night Out so I’ll be working on my Dutchman’s Puzzle flying geese again, since I can do that in a small space (and that’s all we’ll have). I’m kind of wishing that I had the room to play with the rose quilt borders, but even when there were only a few of us there, there really wasn’t the room for that. So, that will have to wait for another time (probably May 16 at the earliest, looking at my schedule).


Sunday on the way home from retreat I stopped at a craft / fabric store, and managed to avoid purchasing yards and yards of the fabric I saw that was so darn cool! I’ve found it online in another colorway that I like even better, but I have no idea what I would do with it (so no idea how much I would need), so I guess that’s that. Nothing purple in the house, so no purple quilts for me. And it’s not as if I don’t have other sets of fabrics that I couldn’t live without that I need to do something with. I need ideas. Actually what I really need is to finish other things I’ve already started. *sigh* But I did manage to use the coupon that we were given at retreat on some jewelry making tools - heaven forbid I should waste a coupon. So I now have a jump ring maker and flush cutters for cutting said jump rings, and a do-hickey that twists wire. I’ll have to try them out one of these days. I’m on a mission to complete a project I started that I have to keep buying supplies for because I underestimate the length of the links.... or maybe I should just chain it up and call it good. I guess I can always try the chain instead of more jump rings and make sure I hate it before I buy another $14 in jump rings.


I guess that’s it for now... hope you all had a great weekend and have a great week ahead (and hopefully less busy than mine)!


Blessings,

Kristin