Monday, April 27, 2009

New Things

I was able to visit Baby G three times already, and Grampa is crazy jealous. But he'll see her again tomorrow. Would you like a peek? Isn't she a perfect doll? I am going to stay with them tomorrow night so new Daddy can maybe get enough sleep to be alert at work on Wednesday.

I had fun on Sunday making some blocks to use in a quilt for my brother and his wife, now married one year. My sister sent me 24 blocks and I am supposed to make 24 more. I am not sure we're working on the same quilt as planned, the way they are turning out. Maybe when I get more made, they will look more like they belong together. I really love them all. What do you think? Here are her blocks:
and here are mine:

(Ignore that white rod at the side or top of the photo - I had them laid out on the quilting frame table.)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Lots of Thanks

Thanks to all of you who have looked at my blog and commented on my quilt for the online Quilt Festival. It's been fun and I'm looking forward to having time to look on all the rest of the links on Amy's blog to see the rest of the beautiful quilts! I've gone through lots, but there are still many to go.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Random List Thingie

Outside my window... grass that is getting greener each day.
I am thinking... it's getting towards bedtime and that is a good thing.
I am thankful... for my new grandbaby and that my daughter is doing well.
From the kitchen... ate lunch out. Ate subsandwiches at the lake after running the beginning runners around the loop. I have a carrot cake mix and cream cheese icing waiting to be made. MMM - I better do it tomorrow.
I am wearing... purple/blue/lime green butterfly print knit pj pants, XL white tshirt with large, gaudy, patriotic, red/white/blue/yellow, flag and eagle combo and race cars or something (think - free at a race), hot pink plush bathrobe, running socks.
I am creating... new space in my life for new baby, quilting, Bible study.
I am going... to be tired out by the end of the weekend.
I am reading... my run club newsletter, the book of Nehemiah, and some old decorating books that I am going to give away.
I am hoping... that I can speak the right words in the next few days.
I am hearing... television -- the Cubs are playing the Reds.
Around the house... a little cluttery, but not too bad right now.
One of my favorite things... watching the news, weather, and a little bit of recorded Antiques Road show before I fall asleep.
A few plans for the rest of the week... hoping to get enough sleep (do you see a theme here?), visit new baby again, go out to eat w/ the other grandparents, have daughter#2 and her husband here for a couple days, run w/ group on Sat. a.m., go to supper at old friends' house on Sat. night, try to do laundry, vacuuming and some errands in between!

New Baby Arrives on Due Date

Grace has been born. April 22, 5:21 a.m. 8 lb. 1 oz. 21 inches long. We will go see her in a bit. Pictures later.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Great Weekend Finishes

I had a great weekend. Friday we ate supper at j&j's, who fixed wonderful hamburgers laced with cheese, onions and spices, and yummy potato salad. Drh and j had spent all day replacing the engine on j's lawn mower, so I was happy to stop on my way home and fulfill a special beverage order. I also picked up a bottle of wine to share with the other j. We did not finish the wine, thank goodness.

Saturday morning I ran a 4-mile race. This is always a fun race, and usually a lucky weather day. It proved to be the case this year - 55 deg. or so, cloudy and a light breeze made it the perfect running weather. I finished 4th in my age group, and this race always gives award 5-deep. So I got a medal! My pace was about the second-best pace I've ever run in a race. Maybe the nice 1.5 mile warm up I ran on a very pretty, flat, packed dirt and asphalt trail helped me run well. After the race, I finished up a plate of food - hot dog, potato salad, and cookies. MMM.
When I got home and showered, I had time for a short little nap, then down to the sewing room I went. Worked on my boss's retirement photo quilt most of the afternoon, then made a homemade pizza for supper. After eating, I read and prepared for my Sunday school class - we're doing a study guide on the book of Nehemiah, and it's very interesting reviewing the principles of leadership, motivation and team work in this scripture. If you want a pronunciation challenge, read Neh. 3!
Sunday after church and lunch, I rolled the quilt for the last time, and had to wind one more bobbin. A king size quilt takes 6 bobbins as recommended, not the 5 I thought I could get away with. I finished quilting it and took it off the frame. Actually, my coworker is going to trim and bind it still, but the quilting is all done. It took about 15 minutes to get it taken off - compare that to the 3 hours spent loading it and you know which process is easier!
Then I put it over our bed for pictures. The back looks especially amazing. You can see gaps in the pattern, but that is where I went around the photo transfers. I am pretty happy with the fluidity of the lines, the even spacing and how it looks marvelous from a distance. Here you can see it folded up to show the ecru back. (The stripes in the lower corner are our regular bedcover.)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Skillet Cookies

Just about the easiest dessert you can make and a little bit fancy. I made my own cookie dough but you can just buy the rolled dough in the refrigerator case at the store.

Chocolate chip cookie dough
Ice cream
Whipped cream or cool-whip topping
Toasted nuts
Chocolate syrup
Maraschino cherries

Bake individual cookie size portions of dough in oven proof bowls or dessert-size plates, or in large ramekins. When the cookies are done, top each with a scoop of ice cream, whipped topping, nuts, chocolate syrup and a cherry. Handle hot dishes carefully to serve. YUMMY warm chocolatey goo-i-ness.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Virtual Quilt Show

If you haven't seen it yet, Amy @ Park City Girl (here) is having an on-line virtual quilt show. What a fun idea! I've enjoyed looking at everyone's quilts. Thanks, Amy.

Here is my entry. I just made this quilt a few weeks ago (story here) and gave it to my daughter #1 for her baby shower. It is for our first grandbaby, Grace, who as of today has not yet arrived, but I am on pins and needles waiting for a call. She is due within a few days - it could be any minute, right? I am getting excited, as you can tell.

I wish my photos turned out better - I will have to look into some ways to improve them, but I've been too busy sewing and working, etc. This was made and quilted on my regular machine, before I got the long arm quilter. I enjoyed making it, and am looking forward to making a similar one and using the quilter.

Fallen But Not Broken

I didn't necessarily want to be that kind of runner, but now I've been informed I am in a new club within the running club - those who have fallen. (Boy, that can bring out the stories.) Wednesday evening while running with the beginning runners, just cruising along chatting, I ran right off the side of the asphalt trail and fell in the rocks. I landed with my full weight on my right elbow and forearm, barely skimming the skin of my knees. My first thought was, My Garmin! as I felt it slamming into the ground shortly after my arm struck. The Garmin was okay, I determined later. I rolled onto my back, observed several alarmed and alarming faces trying to see if I was okay, many hands reaching to help me up, and discerned that my feet, ankles and legs were all pain free and operating. I got up and walked awhile, and my arm was pretty sore. But I did continue running after a few minutes.

When I left the parking garage, I called drh and asked if he would cook porkchops in the George Foreman, and heat up leftover potatoes and peas, since the plan for slicing and stir-frying the pork seemed a little far fetched with a possible injury.

I had favored my right arm all the way home. I did try to open the freezer to get ice packs with my right hand, and found that there is a VERY sore place just below my elbow. THAT HURT! To make a long story short, I slept fine, and with ice and ibuprofen, it's getting better. I can write, type, eat, move around fine - just don't want to lean on that elbow or pull or lift something too hard yet. I expect it will take several days to fully heal.

BUT I am thankful that the soreness doesn't seem like it will keep me from working on the big photo quilt for my boss's retirement on the Jewel this weekend. Yay, for the weekend, and the Jewel!

Sunday, April 12, 2009


This week has been busy. Tuesday was Election Day and we conducted elections for mayor, city council, township officials, and school board members. There were few contested races this time, a small turnout and everything went perfectly during the day. The mayoral race was so close that a recount may be requested. Other than that, the rest of the week has been quiet and getting back to routine.

Wednesday night I had a good run and nice conversation with a gal at the beginning running program. The weather has been cool, but perfect for running. We ran just over 3 miles that night - they are getting up towards the distance required to run the lake loop on May 2.

Thursday I ran at the lake and it was again good weather. I had a great run - surprising because last week I had been really tired and stiff from running two days in a row, I thought. After running, I went to Maundy Thursday service, which was communion and a handwashing service. The name Maundy comes from the same root as "mandate", because Jesus gives a commandment to his followers as they celebrate the Passover meal and share the first communion - to love one another as he has loved them and shown by washing their feet.

Friday night I finished the taxes and a few other little chores, and Saturday accomplished a lot by cleaning up clutter, putting out recycling, laundry, cleaning the bathroom, dusting some rooms, and in the morning, had my co-worker ct help me put our boss' retirement quilt on the frame. That took about 3 hours, longer than I'd expected, but it is big and we had to trim the backing first.

We had a nice Easter today. Drh got up early and went to church to help the men cook breakfast to be served after the sunrise service. I got up when he left, got ready and walked to church. It was cold but nice out. The sunrise service was by the teenagers, who did a reading depicting the various people who "contributed" to the crucifixion by supplying the robe, the crown, the whip, the cross, the stone which sealed the tomb. They contrasted all these items with what Christ has supplied to us. It was moving and thought-provoking.

We went to a&m's for dinner. She had cheesy potatoes and green bean casserole, and m grilled a ham steak. I made cookie dough to take along, and made skillet cookies with ice cream, coolwhip, chocolate sauce and toasted walnuts. A very nice meal to end a nice week. Probably the next time we see them will be when they have the baby, which won't be long now - a few more days, I think.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Short Week, Lots of Happenings

Drh took Monday off anticipating we would pick up the Jewel that day. He had been putting baseboard trim in the sewing room that day, and halfway through the day, he called and said that we really should paint, too. So when I got the call that the machine was in, I left work early, went to buy paint, and met him at the shop. YAY - all the boxes were ready to go. He took them home in the truck, and I stayed and talked to the shop owner, sweet Ms. V, for another 1/2 hour asking questions. It seemed to me that it would be a huge mind-bender to learn how to use it, but she was very assuring.
Monday night we finished painting (I mostly helped by making meatloaf and roasted potatoes while drh painted), so the assembly didn't begin until Tuesday. He took off another day of work to do this! Isn't that nice? (I think today he's finishing up the closet trim, too!) By the time I got home Tuesday, the Jewel was ready to go. Then came about 3 hours of both of us reading directions, installing the cloth leaders, figuring out the laser placement, threading, watching instructional videos, consulting with each other on how to do things, biting nails in trepidation, and finding two pieces of fabric big and expendable enough to be the practice quilt. For batting, I used that crib-size piece I'd ripped out of Baby G's quilt. We loaded it on the frame and it was about 9:30, but I did get to practice and made my way across the first span of the fabric. I was pretty amazed at how easy and quickly it went. Wednesday night I helped with beginning runners again, ate supper (crockpot pork chops with sauerkraut, apples, onions and hard cider - mmmm!), managed to rehang pictures, put away a few more things in the sewing room, and roll up a notch and quilt the next span. Then it was bedtime. Boy, these evenings have been going quickly.

Last night I went running at the lake. Drh came and met us for hamburgers, so there was no dinner cleanup. The last two spans of quilting went very fast. I took the quilt off the frame about 10, went to bed and slept like a rock.
So I can officially declare long-arm, free-motion quilting to be a fun thing to do, and easier than I thought!
My coworkers went to buy some fabric on their lunch hour, so I sent this with them and said they could choose something for the binding. I hope they have fun!