Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sewing, and On Line Puzzles

Cameron's Cowboy quilt

I think I've been decompressing since school let out on Friday noon. Open House went well, with 8 live baby chicks by Friday night. No pictures of the little guys, though, I seemed to forget my camera in all the work of the week! Overtime was put in for the last 2 weeks and some on a Saturday. Friends & a certain Grandma of a student this year helped with setting displays out during the day. My sweet Larry helped me in the classroom Wednesday night until 7:15 pm, and that made it so I could go home at 1pm (we had 1/2 day on Thursday of Open House), rest and come back to greet parents and students of this year and previous ones, plus upcoming students.
It's a really fun night, I look forward to it ~ after all the preparation is over!

So, one deadline was this quilt for Ginny's grandson Cameron, whose birthday happened to be on, you guessed it, that busy Friday, 4/22.

Really, I was doing fine meeting all the required dates ~I know why they call 'em d.e.a.d.l.i.n.e.s. ~ until the infamous neckpain of week one of April, and the next weekend 4/16 held sewing machine troubles of HUGE proportions ~ I'm telling you, there was crying and gnashing of teeth that Saturday!!!! ~ so, I was literally sewing each night until I brought this finished quilt to Ginny on Friday morning. Yea! I did it!

finished quilt and pillowcase!

But, here is the rant of said Saturday, I can speak of it and laugh only now (but stay out of the warpath that day, lol). I need more bobbins for my Grandquilter, and I cannot go just anywhere to purchase said bobbins. I had tried on 3 occasions to get some at the local Pfaff dealer, somewhat disappointed in their service. Oh, well, I thought, I'll go online, and I ordered through ebay the size needed for what was said to be Pfaff Grandquilter bobbins. Don't you know they were a great price? They came within the week of ordering, too. You do see where I'm going with this, I did NOT have the proper bobbins, but took me all day (yes, from 11am to 8pm) to trace the top breaking thread back to the bobbin trouble.
  • I oiled and re-oiled.
  • I cleaned the machine out again.
  • I changed the needle 3 times
  • (who knows, maybe the 2 needles from the first box were a bad batch?).
  • I re-threaded again and again,
  • including changing the thread 4 times.
I took breaks from sewing in between my over the top frustrations, too.
  • I cooked a pan of yummy from scratch cheese enchiladas
  • I made a great broccoli salad
  • (cutting everything up in iddy-biddy pieces, frustration spurred work, lol)
  • I laid down for 20 minutes.

At 8:15 pm, (yes peoples, I EARNED my name pokey) when that stupid top thread had broken more times than I can count ~ seriously, as much as 4 times in an 8 inch square ~ and I turned the quilt on one more agonizing turn, and saw...

  • a 2 inch pleat sewn into the back, two passes of the machine back
  • (which translates into about 12 inches of ripping that now must be done)
  • boo.hoo.
Lydia came home about that time and was worried about my crying (everyone was gone that day, another reason I was giving in to the tears, I guess) and she said my sewing pauses were apparently NOT long enough to stem the frustration (made me smile), and we started tracing the problem back to... those new bobbins. I needed to talk to another seamstress to figure it out. She also told me it's "buyer beware" on ebay, (I'm so trusting), and how she had bought Swarovski crystals that were everything but the real deal.

When I got up on Sunday morning, Larry teased me and said, "What do you know, the sun came up again. It's a new day." I thanked God for the new day, the new beginning and my loving family. I started ripping out that afternoon after church.

I think the fussy cut horse squares were one of the best parts of this quilt!

Now, I'm working on Ginny's quilt for grandson Weston, her firstborn gs.

Truthfully, this was her first pieced top, but we were meeting the birthday deadlines, and Weston's quilt was waiting for the early May date.

On Ginny's projects, she has been doing the sewing of the tops, and I bring in the completions with the backing, quilting and binding.

I love the blue variegated thread showing up on the solid squares!

We make a pillowcase to match. She pays me, though, and I get to quilt as desired.

I'm quilting this one in scrolls, and the directions I'm following are from Wendy's blog post here. Wendy's projects are beautiful, and she encourages and inspires many of us!

King Tut from Superior Threads.

And the puzzles I mentioned? I've always enjoyed a good puzzle, and Sue of Featherstone Quiltworks posts her own puzzles through Jigzone. Sue takes some of the prettiest photos of wildlife, mostly birds, you've ever seen. The puzzles are addicting....

So, the Easter break is on day three now, I'm quilting an new design, and doing puzzles. Tomorrow we're joining our friends Beth and Jerry for a few days in Big Bear before it's time to go back to school on Monday. I talked a lot today, sorry for the rant. What are you doing? I hope it is creative, and refreshing to your soul.

Psalm 9:1 "I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will show forth all Thy marvelous works."
Here is another treasure from Virginia, well, really from Japan.
My family lived there when I was a kid, Daddy was stationed in
Japan and served in Vietnam for 4 years.
Daddy bought 2 of these 9 foot by 6' tall screens,
and Happy and I each have one now.
Mine is beautiful in our dining room.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Olivia, and April ~

What does April hold? Let's see, report cards, SAT's,

Grandma LOVES it, hope her DIL does, too....

Open House projects, plants from seeds, Parent Teacher conferences. . .

Easter break that hasn't happened yet, I'm s-o-o looking forward!)
Baby chicks in the incubator, model lighthouses. . .
Student books to bind, Jog-a-thon. . .

2 quilts done and one waiting for the frame,
stiff neck issues that have me in the dr's office;...
I'm sitting here wanting to post but it may not happen until this weekend,

no, wait, that other quilt is supposed to be done this weekend.
I'm not the only one that gets this way I'm sure.
I'm avoiding that"overwhelmed" label.

Truthfully, I'm mostly on top of things but then a minor health issue kinda waylays a person. I don't like to complain about health, I know lots of us are trying to grow older gracefully without all the grumbling, huh?

It just goes to show you, little Roseanne, Roseanna Dana, It's always something — if it ain’t one thing, it’s another."
Gilda Radner

Picture taken at school, on the tables with the kid's SAT booklets!

Oh, and I did 1, count 'em, one square for the Block Lotto.

Okay, there it is in a nutshell, sending out my love and the most recent photos. Hugs to all!


"The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise Him."
Psalm 128:7