Monday, February 28, 2011

Goals - Week 9

Goals from Week 8:
- Sew 6 baby bibs --  Done!
- Sew 4 hours needlepoint "Starry Night" --  Done! Will post a picture soon.
- Load eBay "Tumbler" quilt onto frame --  Done.  I even started quilting it, but only have one row done.
- Pick out panto for "Shine on Bayou Cane" --  :-(  Didn't even look this week.

I think the biggest goal I have right now is actually to sell our house.  We've been trying to sell for 2 years now and while at the beginning we were over-priced (with a bad real estate agent to boot), we have a very competitive price at this point but people are just afraid to do anything.  We had two showings on Sunday.  One was a couple who are relocating to this area, but need to sell their house before they would even entertain buying one here.  The second showing was very promising.  The wife had been to the house earlier in the week and loved it, so we had a 2nd showing for them with the husband being present.

The verdict at this point is that they may put in an offer tomorrow.  What it is...we don't know...will they actually do it....another question mark.  We've been here before where we've been told an offer is imminent, but nothing came in.  We're trying not to get our hopes up, but we really want this to work so we can start building.

So goals for this upcoming week:

Goals for Week 9:
- Finish quilting "Tumbler" quilt --
- Sew "Starry Night" needlepoint --
- Wash and prep backing for "Shine on Bayou Cane" --
- Finish quilting "Purple Squared" --

Here's a snapshot of the partial quilting on "Purple Squared".  The white on the quilt is Miracle Chalk that I haven't removed yet.  The beauty of Miracle Chalk is that you don't have to wash it out.  Just a steam iron and the chalk disappears.  Love the stuff! ;-)

Partial Quilting Done

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Stashbusting 2011 - Week 9

I fell off the bandwagon a little bit this week.  I had to buy fabric for a quilt top.  Earlier this week I signed up for my first ever quilting class at a local quilt shop.  I've been quilting for 4 years, but have never taken a class (just self-taught).  I figured it would be good to take a class at some point and this one seemed to fit in my schedule really well.  Here's the fabrics that I bought:


You'll have to wait to see what the top looks like though. ;-)  It does have some things that I haven't tried yet (like curved piecing), so I'm hoping that I'll learn some things from this class.

I did end up  using some stash this week though making some baby bibs.  I used about 2/3rds of a yard to make 6 bibs.  My MIL is taking them to a local co-op that sells people's hand-made items and I'm going to see if any of them sell.  My co-worker who has a 2.5 year old said that they were better than the "cheap" things carried in stores and that the ones in the stores cost $6.  Each bib cost me about $2, so the material cost is pretty cheap.  I'm hoping these will sell and help fund future fabric purchases. ;-)

1st Set of Baby Bibs

Flannel Side of Baby Bib

Cotton Side of Baby Bib

So overall, I'm still in the red.  Hopefully my numbers will start to improve at some point! ;-)

Added This Week:       10.4 yards
Added Year to Date:    24.9 yards
Used This Week:         0.67 yards
Used Year to Date:      8.23 yards
Net Year to Date:        16.65 yards

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Quilting Class

I've finally done it....I've signed up for a quilting class.  Despite quilting for 4 years now, I've never actually taken a class on quilting.  A LQS (local quilt shop) is having a Beginning Quilt Making class starting March 6th and running on Sundays for 2 hours for a total of 6 weeks.  A few things drew me to the class:

1.  The quilt shop is a total of 5-10 minutes from our house...very convenient and they just expanded. ;-)

2.  I thought I might meet some new quilters in the area who are also relatively new to quilting.

3.  There are some techniques that they'll be doing that I haven't done yet.  By the look of the quilt they plan to make as a sampler, there's some log cabin blocks, applique, and I think some piecing of fabric with curves, which I haven't tried to do yet.  They'll also show how to put a hanging sleeve on the quilt, which I haven't done.

4.  Aside from techniques I haven't done yet, they're going to go through some of the basics of cutting, pressing, getting that perfect 1/4" seam, etc.  While I think I'm pretty good at that stuff, I think it would be useful to actually have someone show me how to do it and see if I'm doing something incorrectly.

Now that I've signed up for the course, I'm both excited and a little nervous.  I'm a bit of a loner and don't gravitate toward "group" settings.  I'm sure the people there will be very nice and friendly (almost all quilters are), but there's a little bit of a worry that I won't "connect" with anyone there.  I'm probably over-thinking this, but I really hope that I'll enjoy the class and meet some people.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

House Choices

If you've read my blog over the past few months, you'll know that last summer Rich and I bought a piece of land about 10 miles from our current house location.  We spent most of the summer/fall clearing trees and prepping the land for building a house.  We're still trying to sell our current house, but we're slowing making some of the choices of what to put inside our home.

The biggest items we've looked at so far are the kitchen cabinets and the fireplace.  We've picked out the style of the cabinets, but we just need to narrow down on the color of the wood.  The front of the cabinets will be a cherry wood because we love the grain of the wood.  We're debating between two medium brown colors where one is more of a brown and the other has more yellow tones in it.  Either way...they will look nice.

The other item we've looked at is the fireplace.  Below is the picture from the manufacturer's website.  The fireplace can be used with either the doors closed (as shown in the picture) or you can open the doors and there's a decorative wire grill that fits into the opening.  The fireplace is incredible to see in person.  The kind of "cool" thing about the fireplace is that with the doors closed it is one of the most efficient fireplaces available.  It burns so hotly that it burns not only the wood, but also all the gases and ash that gets near the top of the fireplace.  That's why in the picture you see the orange flames much higher in the fireplace than normal fireplaces.

We saw the fireplace in action at the local dealer and its wonderful.  Very warm and easy to use and the flames are absolutely spectacular.

Now we just have to get the current house to sell so that we can move forward with building the new house.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Goals - Week 8

Last week I didn't post any goals, nor did I update goals from the previous week...mainly because I was sick as a dog last week.  Thankfully I'm doing better now.

Rich came home from work last week and had talked with one of his co-workers who's wife started her own business.  They suggested that if I wanted to try to start a business to make baby things that are easy and quick to make and that people always buy.  The easiest things are burp cloths and bibs.  My mother-in-law makes kids things and sells them at a local co-op, so I'm now making some bibs and I'm going to see if they sell.  I figure if I can make something like that to get a business started, then I can graduate to other things on top of the easy bibs.

Goals from Week 6/7:
- Purchase backing material for "Shine on Bayou Cane" --  Completed
- Sew 4 hours needlepoint "Starry Night" -- Definitely completed
- Load eBay "Tumbler" quilt onto frame -- Didn't touch
- Pick out panto for "Shine on Bayou Cane" -- Didn't touch

Goals for Week 8:
- Sew 6 baby bibs --
- Sew 4 hours needlepoint "Starry Night" --
- Load eBay "Tumbler" quilt onto frame --
- Pick out panto for "Shine on Bayou Cane" --

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Stashbusting 2011 - Week 8

I didn't do a whole lot of sewing this week because I was very sick.  I was home from work for 4 days this week with a really nasty cold.

However, I started feeling better on Friday and by Saturday I was able to get some sewing done.  Mostly I did some quilting on a quilt, but I did make a 4.5" square cube out of some flannel scraps.  I wanted to see how it would look and I'm considering making a bunch of different sized cubes for kids to play with.  I also managed to cut out fabric for 4 baby bibs.  I don't have any pictures right now, but I may have some later today.

I also ended up buying some fabric this week.  I needed backing material for Shine on Bayou Cane, so I needed to buy 2.5 yards of material.

Here's the numbers:

Added This Week:       2.5 yards
Added Year to Date:    14.5 yards
Used This Week:         0.75 yards
Used Year to Date:      7.90 yards
Net Year to Date:        6.60 yards

How did everyone else do?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Stashbusting 2011 - Week 7

This was a quiet week on the quilting front.  I've been fighting a cold the past few days which makes me not want to do anything.  I have spent some time working on my needlepoint since that's pretty easy and low-effort.  Here's a picture from this afternoon:

Stash report:
Added This Week:       0 yards
Added Year to Date:    12 yards
Used This Week:         0 yards
Used Year to Date:      7.15 yards
Net Year to Date:        4.85 yards

Thursday, February 10, 2011


We were able to have the garage door people come out to the house on Wednesday to take a look at the garage.  Rich said it took the guy a whole of 10 minutes to fix the garage door and it works like a charm now.  The only reason the guy thought that the door would have come down would be because the little "eyes" were set really low to the ground.  So if you're shorter than a cat, don't walk under our door closing or it won't see you. ;-)

The good news is that its fixed and it didn't take much to get it fixed, just a lot of hassle on Rich's part with having to call them and setup the appointment.

We plan on having Rich's car fixed sometime in the next few weeks.  The only reason we don't know exactly when is because the turbo engine on the car has been acting up.  Instead of smooth acceleration, it kind of jumps and as Rich puts it "the engine can't get out of its own way".  The first time we took it to the garage, they couldn't duplicate the problem so they sent us home.  It started doing it more and more often, so we took the car back.

The good news is...the could duplicate the problem.  The bad news is that they have no idea what's causing it.  They've called corporate Subaru to see if they know what it could be or how to diagnose it.  Thankfully, the car is still under warranty.  Plus, because we paid extra for the service warranty, they give us a loaner car to use throughout the time they have the car.  A few weeks ago we were thinking that it was a waste of money for the service package, but now we're definitely glad we bought it.  Ultimately, the car is under warranty so they need to fix it...or at least do something about it.  Its frustrating right now because we're making payments on a car that we aren't able to drive because its broken.  Also, at some point, probably about a 1-1.5 weeks from now, if the car isn't fixed we'll have to have a "no-so-nice" conversation with them regarding the car.  If they can't fix it in under 2 weeks, then there's something really serious wrong with the car and its not worth the $25k we paid for it.

On the quilty front, tonight I find out if the sewing center has fixed my sewing machine.  Its been skipping stitches with the BSR foot, but they haven't been able to duplicate it.  They claim that they haven't had anyone with these problems on the 440QE, just on the 830.  When I talked to corporate Bernina though, they say the problem is common to the BSR foot and not just to the 830 model.  So I'm going to have to try to convince the sewing center to put the stronger spring on my machine anyway and check one of the clearances that the corporate tech told me about.

Other news.....

I've been feeling like I have a cold for about the past 3 or 4 months.  While at first I thought it was just a cold, at this point, I'm sick and tired of it hanging around.  I've also had a lot of problems with fatigue over the past few months.  I'm typically the type of person that when I get home from work, I don't think twice about going around doing things or doing sewing in the evenings.  The past few months, I've been lucky if I get dinner on the table before I fall asleep at night.  I've been completely exhausted.

So I went to the doctor's yesterday.  He thinks I may have a little bit of strep throat and a minor sinus infection.  He also thinks that I may have developed indoor allergies (dust, etc) and that may be causing me to not feel well.  However, he didn't like the fact that I was so fatigued.  Even with the minor infections and possible allergies, I shouldn't be this tired all the time.  So this morning I had to go and have a bunch of blood drawn (2 big tubes, 2 medium tubes and 2 small tubes -- a lot for someone who doesn't like needles).  He's testing for thyroid problems, diabetes, kidney problems, lupus, celiak's and mono.  Its basically to hopefully rule out a bunch of things by some relatively simple blood tests.

A large part of me is hoping everything comes back negative, but a small part says that if those all come back negative...what's making me so tired.  If its not something physically wrong (like mono or thyroid), then it could very well be that I'm working too hard (at least that's what the doctor said).  He sees lots of people from my place of work and he says that we all have similar problems: over-stressed and over-worked....and bad insurance.  I just hope we figure out what it is so that I can move on and not be so exhausted all the time.

It will probably be a week before I find out, but in the meantime I'm back on allergy meds and I'm on antibiotics to take care of the sinus infection and possible strep.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Last Week....

Last week was a pretty eventful week for us in Upstate NY.  Right at the beginning of the week, we got smacked with two storms right on top of each other.  The first storm high on Tuesday morning and dumped about 6" of new snow during the day.  This wasn't a huge amount of snow, but for some reason the towns decided that it wasn't worth plowing, so the roads were an absolute disaster.

The second storm started early Wednesday morning (about 3am) and proceeded to dump another 5" of snow.  It was supposed to be more, but the change-over to wintry mix and sleet happened earlier than the forecasters thought.  So we ended up with less snow, but with a coating of junk on top of the snow.  By Thursday, everything was cleaned up.

Unfortunately, Thursday was eventful for us anyway.  With the additional snow (and lots of snow in the mountains), Rich decided to take Thursday off from work and go snowboarding.  I was getting ready to come into work when he went to leave the house.  About 2 minutes after he left the house, I heard a big bang in the garage.  I couldn't imagine what had happened!

I pulled on a bathrobe and walked into the garage to find him getting back out of the car with this scared look on his face.  Somehow, as he was pulling out of the garage, the automatic door decided to close...ON HIS CAR which is only 15 months old!

Rich had opened the door, walked to the end of the driveway to see if it needed to be shoveled, walked back in and started the car.  As he pulled out, for some reason, the door decided to close and it didn't respond to the pressure of something underneath it.  So the garage door dented the roof of the car, scraped it up a bunch and broke off the antennae.  The door also came off the track at the bottom panel and the bottom panel was bent inward by about 3" at the bottom.

It was quite a shock and has been just a pain in the butt since then.  We got a quote from the car dealer that it will be about $1000 to fix the car (expensive, but not awful).  We're still waiting for the garage door people to come out to tell us how much that will cost.

The biggest problem at this point is the door.  With good intentions, my father-in-law came up on Thursday to see if he could bend the door back in and fix it.  Unfortunately, when he bent it back in, he had to take off one of the pulleys that keeps the door on track and in doing so, the chain that helps support the weight and keep the door balanced came off.  With the chain off, the door is completely unbalanced and only Rich can open and close the door.  I don't have the strength to open/close it with it being unbalanced and unsupported on one end.  Its just a mess at this point.

Part of the reason of having a house is having a garage where you don't have to park your car outside and scrape it every morning.  Plus, if we get the snow they're expecting us to get over the next day or so, I'll have to shovel out my car.  Argh!

Anyway - enough of my ranting.  Hopefully the forecasters will be wrong and we won't get much snow. ;-)

Goals - Week 6

Sadly, last week as a pretty poor week in terms of completing goals.  About the only things I did was sewed on Starry Night and had my mother-in-law take my sewing machine to be serviced.

Goals from Week 5:
- Sew 4 16-patch blocks --  Didn't touch
- Purchase backing material for "Shine on Bayou Cane" --  Didn't touch
- Sew 4 hours of needlepoint on "Starry Night" --  Completed
- Load eBay "Tumbler" quilt onto frame and play -- Didn't touch
- Take Bernice (the Bernina sewing machine) to the sewing center to be cleaned/fixed --   Completed

It just seemed a bit of a hectic week last week and I was exhausted all week...which I'll post more about later.

Goals for Week 6:
- Purchase backing material for "Shine on Bayou Cane" --
- Sew 4 hours needlepoint "Starry Night" --
- Load eBay "Tumbler" quilt onto frame --
- Pick out panto for "Shine on Bayou Cane" --

Hopefully I'll get a few things done this week.  Soon, I plan on trying to add an exercise goal to the list.  I really do need to exercise more, but I've had a really hard time getting myself motivated to exercise.  After putting in 9-10 hour days at work, I'm left exhausted and the last thing I want to do is exercise, but I should do it.  I'm thinking if I can't make myself go to the gym, maybe I can at least get myself to do something (like jump rope) at home for 15 minutes.  At least its better than nothing...right?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Stashbusting 2011 - Week 6

We're already done with January and into February now.  This past week hasn't been nearly as productive as I had wanted, but with copious amounts of snow and work (and being sick) I didn't get a lot of quilting in.  However, I did prepare a backing for the eBay quilt, so that counts as stash. ;-)

Here's pictures of the quilt again:


Stash report:
Added This Week:       0 yards
Added Year to Date:    12 yards
Used This Week:         2.5 yards
Used Year to Date:      7.15 yards
Net Year to Date:        4.85 yards

I've been REALLY good so far this year.  Especially this weekend.  The local quilt shop is having a big super bowl sale and even though I stopped at the store to drop my machine off for servicing, I didn't buy anything...mainly because I knew I'd have to report it here. ;-)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

How Long Do you Wait...?

So how long do you wait when you're at work and the power is down?

I only have "power" right now because I'm working off my laptop battery.  The internet connection is still live here, but the battery will only last so long.

We've been without power for about 25 minutes now, so its starting to get a little cool in here.  With it only being about 15F out, it will get cold in here pretty quickly!

I'm real tempted to pull the "college" rule...10 minutes and the professor hasn't shown you leave.