December 29, 2008

Ever Have A Day Like This?

Have you ever had a day where things seem to take way longer then they should to complete? How about when you finally felt like you were making progress you ended up stopping in your tracks because of a big goof? I have been working on this wall hanging off and on for quite a while. This story behind this wall hanging is a post in itself and I won't go into detail about it here. I was machine quilting a little while ago and look what happened!

I had just repositioned the quilt under the machine and thought it sounded different as I was sewing. I thought I had better stop and check it out. Yikes! This is a first for me - sewing a quilting template to the back of a quilt! For non quilting readers this is a heavy piece of plastic that has slits cut through it so a quilting design can be marked on a quilt prior to quilting. After I found my new design addition I decided it was time for a blogging break before I took the stitching out and started over. Quilting through a stencil is a first for me, and I hope a last!

In my last post I mentioned that my Father had open heart surgery. He is doing well now and is home recovering. The weather cooperated enough to allow my Hubby and I to travel down to see my Father. It was a snowy, icy drive, but we made it safe and sound. My Father was able to go home the day after we arrived and we were able to help my Mother settle him in at home to start the recovery process. Thanks to all who prayed for my Father. We so appreciate it! One thing that helped pass the time in the car and while sitting at the hospital was the scarf that I am knitting. I have about two thirds of it finished. I am using a Debbie Mumm yarn that I bought at Joann's. I like the way the colors flow into each other, but I do not enjoy using the yarn. The best way to describe the problem is that there seems to be a center core and the outside part kinks up. It comes off the skein kinked and that makes it difficult to work with. It will also kink while working with it. I doubt very much if I ever buy any more of this type of yarn again. I have found it easier to work with the yarn after I rolled it into a ball (as I was able to work some of the kinks out of it while winding). I will be taking one skein back to the store because I ran across three knots put in the yarn by the manufacturer. After the third large knot I quit winding and decided that I would be taking it back to the store. I don't want a knot in the middle of the piece and the color sections were completely off by the new yarn tied to the old. Ugh! I am glad I bought extra yarn as I was able to put out a fourth skein to work with, but I will be taking any of the unused yarn back as I don't want to make anything else with it. I stopped at Hobby Lobby on the way back home Saturday and bought some yarn to make a pair of socks with...I hope it is easier to work with!

I guess I should go and "unstitch" my machine quilting now and put the quilting stencil in a safe place before I begin quilting again!

December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I know this is a little early, but I would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year a little early! Just when I think life is returning to "normal" I find that circumstances have changed. I enjoyed my week with Stephanie last week. We had a lot of fun decorating cookies, trimming the Christmas tree, going to see the movie Bolt and shopping for Christmas presents. We had planned on our family getting together this past Saturday to celebrate Christmas but that didn't happen. My Father had heart surgery this past Tuesday so all of our plans changed quickly. He is doing well tonight, and we hope that he will be able to go home from the hospital tomorrow. It was very difficult not being able to be with my parents during the past week. The surgery happened so quickly and the weather didn't cooperate to allow me to make the trip down to where my Father was. I will be going down to my parents house soon, so I must say once again if you don't see posts from me for the next week or so you will know that I am fine, I am just helping with my Father's care. I know many of you believe in God's healing powers and his care for us. Please say a prayer or two for a speedy recovery for my Father. Thanks!

#4 Challenge

Paula has tagged me with the #4 Challenge. Here are the rules:*Go to the fourth photo file on your computer
*Choose the fourth picture in that file
*post it and explain
*tag four people to do the same

Here is my photo:

This is a photo of a couple of tote bags I made this past Spring. The darker one in the background is one I use all the time and is made with Civil War reproduction fabrics. The pastel one in the front is the gift I gave my Mother for Mother's Day. I posted about them here. This was a fun challenge. Let's see, I am going to follow Paula's example and pick four people who commented on my last post. I am tagging the first four. So...Jane, Bren, Rose Marie and Myra consider yourself tagged for the #4 Challenge! Can't wait to see your photo!

December 12, 2008

Where Have I Been?

Well, after an unexpected break from blogging I am back. I have missed reading the blogs I follow let alone posting on my own. Life just got a little, no make it a lot crazy at times. I came down with some type of a 24 hour stomach virus a day before we left to spend four days with family for Thanksgiving. By the time we left I was feeling better, but it had been difficult to get ready for the trip. I did get some quilting done on "The Monster" because that is all I felt like doing. Here is the latest photo of "The Monster" aka "The Monster In The Living Room". Even though this quilt in progress isn't in the middle of the living room I still consider it to be "The Monster". I have a repair to make on this quilt before I can consider it smooth sailing. I will share about that another day! All I can say is Ugh!!!!!

Life has seemed to be at a run or at least a jog ever since we got back from visiting with family. I laid down my quilting needle to pick up the knitting needles after what I have figured to be at least a twenty two year hiatus. I knitted a baby sweater set for my nephew and just never picked up the knitting needles again. Can't say for sure why, but that is what happened. I have had the desire to knit a pair of socks for a while. I have no clue where that desire came from, but it did. Dear sweet Hubby said, "Don't you even think about learning how to knit socks until the Monster is out of the living room." I thought that was a reasonable request. Well, the Monster has been out for a while now and the desire to knit socks has not gone away. I decided that I had better brush up on my knitting skills again before I even attempted knitting socks. I am surprised at how much I remember, and what I didn't or wasn't sure of I found tutorials online that answered my questions. I decided to knit some dish cloths and give a few away for Christmas presents. Yeah, right! The knitting has been going fine but there hasn't been time to do much knitting! I have finished two dish cloths and am working on number three. I was hoping to have at least six finished and now I am not so sure this will happen. If it doesn't, it won't be the end of the world, but oh I would like it to happen! By the way - can anyone recommend a great sock pattern/book that I can be on the look out for?

This past week I have been working on getting my house ready for the holidays. Yikes! I have never enjoyed cleaning, and I probably never will. Of course it is great when the house is tip top shape, but to be really honest that doesn't happen too often. I would rather be quilting or doing other things then cleaning any day! The Christmas tree is up, the garland on, but no ornaments to speak of. Why? Because I have a special helper when it comes to decorating my tree, and I have been saving this event for next week. Why put off decorating the tree? My special helper will be coming here to stay with us for a week while her parents are off celebrating their 25th Anniversary. Yes, I will be the "Mom In Charge" of a 15 year old teenager for a week! I am looking forward to having Stephanie here. I am sure we will have many adventures and share in lots of laughter. She is very special to me, and I am looking forward to her visit! We sure have a long list of places that she has to be, but there are down times too that we will fill with shopping, cookie baking, present wrapping, playing computer games, oh the list could go on and on. I will do my very best to not let it be such a long time again between posts, but if that happens I know you will understand why!