Sunday, February 22, 2009

Weekend was Too Short - This Report is Too Long

I didn't get as much accomplished as I'd have liked this weekend but as I look back, it wasn't too bad. On Friday night, we went to my in-laws' for supper and had a good visit. Our daughter and her husband (A&M) also came. We hadn't been together for a few weeks, and it was great to see them all. She is feeling and looking wonderful - only two more months til Baby arrives! The meal was great: bbq'd country ribs, scalloped potatoes, corn, creamed peas, salad, and strawberries on angel food cake.

Saturday we woke up to snow as predicted, but the amount was a surprise. It was only a dusting whereas the weather forecast had been for a few inches. I woke up in the night and heard it raining, and had to get up and look outside to make sure I was hearing right.

The snow didn't keep us inside, but it was awfully windy and cold. I had planned to work on sewing all day, and did get borders sewn on and binding cut, and backing pieced. I laid it all out in layers and pinned. But then I had to do LOTS of unsewing because the batting was icky. I had chosen a fleece batting, but it was heavy and the backing sort of stuck to it and puckered and stretched seemingly when I did the quilting. So I spent about 3 hrs picking out an hour worth of stitches, used another batting (low-loft), pinned it again and started quilting again.

That wasn't super successful, and I was disappointed that it wasn't turning out as nicely as the "practice" quilt I made for drh the past few weeks. Anyway, when I decided to just quilt one block at a time and not sew down the whole line from top to bottom at once, I had much better results.

I tried some stipple pattern quilting yesterday and wasn't pleased with that either. It may just take more practice. But I had practiced the spirals, so I went with that again. Well, it doesn't have to be different - I guess if I've found something that works and I like the results, I should just stick with that for now.

Saturday night I made chicken tetrazzini with some cooked chicken from the freezer, fresh mushrooms, green onions, milk, flour, seasonings, white wine, linguine noodles. It was pretty yummy and there was enough left to fill a casserole for today's church potluck.

Today we got lots of church volunteering done on one day. This whole month we've been coffee hour hosts, and drh has run the sound system. Today he also sang in choir, and we were "coordinators" for the noon potluck. That was just a matter of setting up two tables for food and getting out plates and silverware, and mixing up more lemonade. I let drh handle all that, as I also led my Sunday school class! Whew. I was supposed to go buy some supplies for the pancake supper for the Fat Tuesday meal, but another lady said she had to go to town anyway.

I worked on the quilt this afternoon, read the paper, took a nap, and ran 4 miles. Finally the wind died down a bit and the sun was shining. For supper we just had snacks since we had a big meal at noon. Spent the evening reading cooking magazines, looking at quilting blogs on the internet and doing laundry.

This will be a busy week - election day on Tuesday, beginning running group starts on Wednesday, going out to eat with friends on Friday, work on Saturday a.m. and relatives coming at noon, baby shower on Sunday. Whew - when will I get the quilt done? I better go work on it a few more minutes before bed. But more importantly, when will I get the bed changed, the bathroom cleaned and shopping done for company dinner? I think I might make turkey/tomato/black olive/provolone sandwiches - bread brushed with olive oil and oregano first, then wrapped in foil and oven-heated. With that, a romaine salad with cannelini beans and homemade herb/oil/vinegar dressing. Must think of what wine to choose...

Oh, I also want to have a bird week here - I need practice with my camera so come back - I don't know when it will be - maybe next week.

The weather this week doesn't look much better than we've been having. I am ready for spring...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Itching to Try

I have a terrible craving to try some freehand quilting in the stippling pattern. I must, I must, and feeling that I will do something about it today and before I finish sewing the rows of the "next project." It might take lots of practice.

Friday, February 13, 2009


Here it is! This is how it will actually be used - leaving my half of the bed with fewer blankets because I get hot at night and drh gets cold. He really likes it, I'm happy to say. He is glad it's big enough to cover his feet, unlike the tan throw now folded over the footboard. Now I can start on my new project! I had to take the quilt to work with me to show my co-workers, and he asked me first thing when I got home where it was. Then I had to take it back again because one lady was sick and absent, and he said, Don't lose it!
I haven't said much about running lately, but I'm still running. The weather and work schedules still seem to interfere with getting back to my old routine, but last week and this have been better, as recorded below:
Feb. 3 - ran 2.5 mi. on treadmill at the gym
Feb. 5 - ran 4.25 mi. w/ run club folks, outside on streets 5:30 p.m., 28 deg. and dark.
Feb. 7 - ran 6.2 mi. run club "fun run" for Boys & Girls Club on walking trail, 8:00 a.m., 48 deg. and sunny and breezy. There were still icy places on the trail where I had to walk.
Feb. 11 - ran 2.5 mi. on treadmill at the gym
Feb 12 - ran 3 mi. w/ run club folks, on trail 5:30 p.m., 42 deg. and still a little light out when we started! It was nice. Celebrated one gal's b'day afterwards.
I have a feeling that the cutback in miles the past couple months did a little good in that my shins are feeling really good right now. And my foot feels better the day after a run than it does two days after. And the increase is good for one thing - my waistline is shrinking back again!
There are two races in March that I won't sign up for yet because we're still debating on when we're getting together with drh's folks for Easter/birthdays celebrations. But when we have a day like today with milder temperatures and sunshine, I can't wait to get out to run more.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tired Day

I'm tired tonight because we had to do a class at work from 6-9 this evening, and I think I must have been tired already because despite a good supper before 6, I am really dragging. But I wanted to make some sort of little gift to send my good mother-in-law for Valentine's Day. I'd been inspired by some really cute items in crafters' blogs. So I kindof filched the idea, but made up my own drawing. I think the drawing was a bit cuter than the finished product, but I hope she likes it. I'll send it in tomorrow's mail along with a card.
One thing I missed was working on the binding of the almost-finished quilt (see below). And sad to say, in the process of cutting out and sewing this little 4 inch guy, the sewing room turned into a real disorganized pit. ??? How does that happen?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Quilting Lessons

I worked on machine quilting the past couple of weekends. Hmmm... I think I am actually improving. I had some success with the spiral free-hand pattern I had in mind for the big dotty blocks, but found the ones closer to the center to be harder. But from a distance they look pretty cool. Then I did the border. All went well until about the last foot of the last side. ICKY blobs of fabric appeared and then there was nowhere else for them to go except into a big pleated lump near the corner. I was quite disappointed, but drh says it's not a big deal. I'm glad he thinks so, since it's his quilt.

Anyway, I have been hand stitching the binding and got that almost half done in one evening. I like it and since I unwittingly started near the lumpy corner, it is already past and I guess I can now ignore it. But I feel I learned a lot and for the most part enjoyed the whole thing. I did talk to a helpful fabric and quilt shop owner who gave me tips and seemingly measuring the borders before stitching them on will help avoid the bubbles at the ends. I will certainly try it next time.

She also gave me hope that I can do what I want with my current sewing machine, instead of upgrading by several hundred dollars.
I'm happty to say that something that turned out well so far is the mitering on the corners on the binding. All in all, it is a successful project and I'm eager to continue on the next one.