Craziness

4 12 2013

So many times in the last few weeks I’ve wanted to post, but craziness steps in.  Craziness?  you ask.  Yes.  It seems that everything comes at once, sometimes.  My website was launched, and I’ve been busy promoting it with business cards, displaying my quilts at a craft bazaar, and using Facebook to get the word out.  Of course, I’ve also got myself busy with too many projects at once, and I can hear Lucy van Pelt saying, “It’s your own fault, Tracey Lynn!”  Haha.  It is.  But I just can’t help it!!!! Let me explain.  When Pieces by Polly offers a quilt-along, I just HAVE to do it.  Her patterns are quick, simple and so original.  I think the next step will be to sew the rows… 20131204-111843.jpg And then when I was asked to participate in Bonnie Hunter’s mystery quilt with the ladies at the guild, I just had to say yes, because I’ve never done a mystery quilt before, and it’ll be more fun to do it with others, right?  Here’s my stash for that…

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And if I’m going to sell t-shirt quilts, it’d be wise of me to always have one in the works – if I don’t have an order to work on, I should work on one for our family to have more examples to show (I literally have 5 stacks of tees for different quilts), or I should work on one to sell outright (I’ve collected Kentucky Wildcat tees from thrift stores to make a fan quilt to sell).

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I’m behind on the Craftsy 2013 BOM,

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and I bought fabric to make a table runner for a friend, which I haven’t started yet. IMG_0949I haven’t finished the pattern I was making for an EPP bag – my little town has two stores that sells zippers, and both were out of stock of the color zipper I needed.  So the project got set aside and I’ve yet to finished it…except for buying those zippers when they came in 😉

I need about a week of full days to quilt to get current, but that’s where it gets crazy…. It IS the holiday season, so there has been cooking and decorating and extra family time…(no shopping yet).  To make it all crazier, there’s a ton of underlying stress in our house….

Though I have not had a job outside this home in more than 20 years (other than volunteer work), I now have to get a job.  We sacrificed financially while I homeschooled our children and I have stayed home since I stopped doing that three years ago (well I did go to school long enough to get an AS), but now, I can’t stay home any longer.  We are sinking.

My son’s friend was diagnosed with Leukemia in September and has undergone a transplant and been in a coma since.  I cannot get her off my mind.  I am thinking about her and praying for her, my son, and her family constantly. I haven’t even met her, but my son has spoken of her almost daily for over a year…I feel like I know her, and my heart is just breaking for him. Reading her brother’s blog just makes me cry. Every time there’s a new post I think maybe it’s the one saying she’s awake.

And I cry entirely too much.  That makes it hard to do anything.  Not sure what’s going on there, but maybe some PTSD from my mom’s stroke this past spring.  Maybe winter is affecting me – but I AM taking my D3 and using my daylight bulbs.  I don’t know.  I am super-stressed about having to get a job, too. Maybe it’ll help today to just have gotten some of that in type.  Now I’m going to turn on K-Love and quilt.  Therapy.





My Quilt Website Is Up!

14 11 2013

It’s been in the works for a while, but I finally published my website!  I’ve made some t-shirt quilts for my family, and have  had such a positive response that I decided to make them for others, and have a job I love in the process 🙂

Go check it out!  And there’s still time to have one made for Christmas!  And it’s never to early to think about graduation gifts for May, so let me help you give a truly meaningful gift!

www.quiltedtees.com

Now I’m off to work on a new quilt from Pieces by Polly.  Her Nativity in the Trees quilt along has just begun, so join us for the fun!  

 





Quilting Heaven

17 10 2013

Wow! I didn’t realize that I haven’t posted since my last QBSA squishy was mailed! I have been busy, busy in quilt heaven 🙂 In other words, I’ve been very productive, and enjoyed my work!

I have finished three quilt tops, almost got my t-shirt quilt website ready to publish, have made two blocks to swap, and finally got the rest of the supplies I need to make a sample for pics to write my first pattern, which will be for a bag that I designed as my EPP bag, shown at the bottom of this post!  I’ll also be selling the bag I use to write the pattern, so keep an eye open for that.  If you don’t do EPP, it would also make a great cosmetic bag!

So here’s a look at the quilt tops finished this month:

From Amy Gibson's Secret Garden workshop on Craftsy

From Amy Gibson’s Secret Garden workshop on Craftsy

This is my daughter’s Girl Scout t-shirt quilt, which she is anxious for me to finish. I’ll quilt it this month, hopefully, and provide some colorful pictures for my website 😉

I love how couching her name in the center square turned out!
I’m also donating a t-shirt quilt to a high school senior trip fund for a cousin, which will help the senior class raise money for the trip with a raffle for the quilt, which is made of the school’s shirts.  That should be a successful fundraiser for them and provide some advertising for me!   And, of course, it will also provide some more colorful pictures for my website!  This is just a sneak preview:

Today, I set all this aside to make the blocks for my swap partners, which I will post about separately to make it easy for them to find.

I’ve got just a bit of time to work on a creative backing for that school quilt before it’s time to cook dinner!





Busy Busy

27 09 2013

I’ve been so busy I haven’t blogged about lots o’ stuff!

My grandma’s 80th birthday celebration was a blast!  I got to see all the Aunts and Uncles on my mama’s side, Grandma and Grandpa, and some cousins that I rarely get to see – along with their adorable kids, which is special, since mine are about grown!  My daughter got to travel to the party with me, but hubby and son both had to work, so it was a girls’ trip with my Aunt.  We snapped this photo of four generations:  my daughter, myself, mom, and grandma.  Absolutely priceless.

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In other news…

I managed to finish two charity quilts in my mess of a studio by clearing a path to the machine and putting blinders on so I could enjoy a bit of quilting!

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And my quilt studio almost has a cleared floor now, as all but a few things have yet to find a place. I don’t have near enough storage, so until I can get some more furniture or plastic organizers, a bit of stack and pile will have to do.

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I’ve had such a response to my EPP bag, that I’m working on a pattern to sell, and of course, that means I am making another, so that I can put lots of pics in the pattern. I’ll sell the bag, too, I hope! That possibility is exciting!

And it’s time to start on two t-shirt quilts, which will provide one for my daughter, one to raise money for my niece’s senior trip, as it will be raffled off, and the pics of these quilts will allow me to get my website for t-shirt quilts published – finally!

Lots in the works! Busy, busy…and loving it!





Quilt Studio

18 09 2013

When we bought our house ten years ago, we needed a room to dedicate to homeschooling. Not that homeschooling didn’t occur all over the house, yard, and everywhere we went, but we wanted a space for all those books (we used a literature approach), a computer, somewhere that ongoing projects could be accessed easily, and a quiet, comfy place to read. We choose to turn the bedroom at the top of the stairs into a loft by simply not having a doorframe and having only half a wall that overlooked the stairwell

It was perfect.

When I reached the end of my homeschool days, the room was still a quiet place to read, a guest room ( the comfy couch and/or an air mattress), and a sewing space, since I moved in a folding table for my sewing machine to live on.

And then it occurred to me that I could turn this room into a quilt studio!

So I’ve moved the wall of bookshelves downstairs, packed away the books for young children, gave away a ton of stuff, and painted.

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Starts and Finishes

31 08 2013

It’s been a week of starts and finishes in my little quilting loft. That’s always a good week! And I learned something new, which adds more points to the mix 😉
I participated in the Hexies by Halves Quilt Along over at Pieces by Polly (link on the sidebar) and finished my Christmas Quilt, complete with candy cane stripe binding to match the table toppers I finished earlier:

front

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back

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We love it! I haven’t washed it yet, so I can’t wait to see it all wrinkly and cuddly!

I got a better picture putting it on the dining table ;)

I got a better picture putting it on the dining table 😉

End table topper

I also finished a bag for my EPP. It was a challenge, to put it lightly, but I did learn a lot. I’m one of those who just dives into the unknown. It’s stitching. What’s the worse that can happen? Anyhoo, after three weeks of struggling with fabric I don’t know the name of (but it doesn’t ravel and doesn’t slide under the machine nicely) and fighting with that clear plastic stuff – ’cause I want to see what pieces I’m reaching for, and stitching and unstitching a zipper for the back pocket (had never done one of those), and racking my brain and looking at lots of blogs and pictures for design elements, since I was designing as I worked….it is all done! And I do LOVE it!

The front. See my little needle book attached?

The front. See my little needle book attached?

And the best part is how it organizes my EPP…

And my needle book flips conveniently to the inside for easy access.  I know - I'm brilliant ;)

And my needle book flips conveniently to the inside for easy access. I know – I’m brilliant 😉

So that’s two finishes this week! And today, I started my Secret Garden quilt from Amy Gibson‘s workshop on Craftsy.

What did I learn? The local quilt guild meeting was this week, and I learned how to make a fabric bowl/basket with cotton clothesline, strips of fabric, and my machine. I can’t wait to make one. Or ten. I think I’ll start with a Christmas one from the scraps of Christmas fabric left from all those recent Christmas projects 🙂 Maybe I’ll put my first tutorial here for that…anyone interested?





Lots of stitchy excitement!

29 07 2013

It’s been an exciting week in my quilting world 🙂 My quilt guild has open stitching sessions on Fridays, and that’s when it started. I have not been able to go regularly since I joined in late February, and so I’m just now learning names to go with faces, and getting a sense of what types of projects some of the other ladies are likely to be working on. Usually, I take my little hexie bag along, and work on those, unless I have a quilt to bind, because I don’t really want to pack my sewing machine up and miss out on most of the conversation while I whir along! So I made a flower for my garden, and chatted with others who share my passion. It was fun.

I brought home some fabric the guild provides for making charity projects, and have a pillowcase, two neonatal incubator sheets, and two simple quilts now in the queue for August! I just have to find backing for the quilts, get batting, make sure I have thread in the right colors, and get to stitching! I am so glad the guild does monthly charity drops and gets fabric donations!

Other projects in the works are a Christmas coffee table runner to match a small table topper already completed,

a fall dining table hot mat (we like to dine family style, with all the dishes on the table to pass around),

and a Christmas quilt for our couch, which I’m making through the Pieces by Polly Quilt-Along.

I have also received the August block request from my partner for the Block Swap Adventure, and I’m very excited to choose the fabrics, make the block and send it around the globe to Australia to be included in a quilt someone will cherish. How cool is that? I’m anxious to see the results of my own block request, too: any star pattern in colors from Van Gogh’s “Starry Night”. I plan to request this block every month until I have enough for a quilt (haven’t decided on a size, yet) and I want to embroider each block with a notation of where it came from. I hope I have submissions from all over the world!

So much stitching to indulge myself in!





Global Warming? Yeah, right!

16 06 2009

We could use some of that “Global Warming” the crazies are talking about 🙂  This is the lousiest excuse for June in Kentucky that I have ever experienced!  It is NOT even hot…what’s up with that?  Pool parties are being rescheduled because it isn’t warm enough to swim…IN JUNE!!!

It’s very frustrating to one who has been pining for summer to get here!  We’re going to have to move south if this is any indication of what a “warming planet” does!  Frankly, I don’t think those guys have a clue about what the planet is doing. 

Subject change.

We’ve been FINALLY “officially” finished with school for four days now, and it still just doesn’t feel like summer break.  I’m not just referring to the weather (that isn’t helping, of course), but to my state of mind.  I guess I’ve been in fast-forward for so long…and there are just still lots of things that I have to do that feel like work, I guess.  The Girl Scout troop that is disbanding will be running through the summer, and I’ve been busy tying up those loose ends.  We’ve got four girls working on their Bronze Award Project, and a big trip planned for the end of next month, and a pool party to try to squeeze in (if we have a warm enough day without rain).  I’ve also been cleaning out closets, cabinets, drawers and bookshelves for a long overdue yard sale.  We spent most of last Saturday cleaning out the garage for that, too.  I’ll be glad when that is over and the big piles of stuff that are all over the house and in the garage are gone, and a bit of cash in hand takes its place.  I’m just having trouble mustering up that last measure of motivation needed to prepare for the sale this weekend…cleaning out some more spaces, making the kids clean out their spaces, picking up some boxes to display things like books in, organizing the sale stuff, putting an ad in the paper, picking up some signs…

<sigh>  Some sunshine would help.  I know it would.  I could use sitting in it on the patio as a reward for myself after getting some of this done.  (I know, I could use the lack of sunshine as good time to do these things while not having to feel like I’m missing out on the sunshine while I work – but that’s just not the way my brain works!)

I also acquired a new computer last week, and I’ve got all the file moving to complete, iTunes to organize, and upgraded software to get used to.  Where did that ability to “go up a folder” by clicking that little up arrow disappear to??  I have to use the back arrow!  Either they are wrong in thinking that’s an improvement, or I’m missing the better way they expect me to do it somehow…





Cleanin’ the Plate

19 05 2009

I’ll bet you think this post is about food – but it isn’t!  This post is about cleanin’ another kind of plate all together…the proverbial plate that we carry around laden with all our duties and responsibilities (real or imaginary).  It is good for our plates to be full.  Plates that are full, but not overflowing, keep us active, involved in the lives of others and keep us working and growing.  However, there comes a time when the plate must be cleaned, and it’s hard to clean a plate that is full – we usually do that after we eat from it, and then it is ready to be filled once again.  The plate of responsibility is no different from the dinner plate in that it requires a good regular cleaning – not quite so often, but regularly nonetheless. 

I have not cleaned my plate of weighty to-do’s in a very, very long time, and it has begun to reek!  I am losing my ability to enjoy life because of the stink generated by all the stuff on the plate; so I’ve made a promise to myself to begin again with a new plate, and  allow God to guide the filling spatula this time, rather than self- wrought guilt, guilt so graciously piled on by well-meaning lunch ladies, perceived obligation or simply band-wagon decisions that add a spoonful here and a spoonful there until I simply cannot digest it all.  When the school year begins, I shall have nothing on my plate but homeschooling, which is God’s entree for me, and I will stop there, taking dessert only if I have room and it is a heavenly portion offered by the Lord himself!

It feels very freeing to have made this decision, and although I’m having a difficult time finishing up the last few bites before the plate gets scoured, it will get finished and the plate will be clean for once!  There are just a few more tidbits to digest and I’ll be done!

I remember having to sit at the table as a child until I finished every last bite, and some things took a long, long time sittin’…like salmon…ugh!  and meatloaf (funny that I’ve found ONE recipe that I like, now), and green beans…I like those, too, now, by the way.   I don’t know why I never could just start stuffing it down, gagging, but getting it over with.  Everything tasted so much worse stone cold!  I should’ve just shoveled it in and spent the evening playing rather than staring at the plate, actually making it taste worse in the end.  But I didn’t.  I sat there.  And sat there.  And would finally have to yield to mom’s mandate – and eat it

I guess I didn’t learn a thing from those experiences that I transferred to the responsibility plate.  I’ve taken on more and more, and although looking at it certainly brought on the same sort of nauseous feeling, I just stared at it and sat there, unwilling to do what it takes to clean the plate.  I may not be gagging, but I’ve certainly had the feeling that I need air!  I guess I didn’t want to disappoint people; I didn’t want to accept that I couldn’t do as much as some (without losing my mind or being miserable).  I rationalized that others were doing even more.  Ridiculous, I know.  That is why I have decided to embrace my limits, and keep to them.

Well I guess this post ended up discussing food just a bit…

If your plate is dirty, maybe it’s time to clean it 😉





Spring Break Happenings

1 04 2009

I finally got to begin exercising again today, and boy does it feel great.  I had purchased My Fitness Coach for the Wii a couple of weeks ago, after reading some great reviews, but had pain in the area of my surgery from just doing the fitness test, so I had to wait awhile longer.  It’s been very frustrating recovering, because evidently when the Dr says it’ll take “a couple of weeks” to recover, he means that after a couple of weeks you won’t be needing pain pills for the pain you have just sitting on the couch – not that you won’t hurt when you get up off the couch and do something.  Surgery sucks.

Anyway, I have worked in the yard and not hurt, resumed all regular activity without pain, and even did a whole lot of painting over the course of 2 days without anything but some soreness not related to surgery, so I can finally begin to work my butt off again…literally 😀

I did my first workout with Maya today, for half an hour, and it was really the perfect amount, intensity and everything.  It was a good workout – but not too hard or too easy.  I’m going to walk or hike every day as well, and watch my body get back to normal!  Hubby is on board with me, and we are both motivated and excited to get back in shape (he isn’t as out of shape as I am).

It’s Spring Break around here and my dd and I spent the first 3 1/2 days of it with two of my aunts, uncle, and grandma up in Ohio.  The plan was just to hang out and visit, but that changed when a bunch of women congregated in a newly constructed home with white walls in which one aunt was unsure where to begin decorating.  We had a blast, but we did work hard!  We painted the kitchen, dining nook, living room and half bath, and shopped for curtains, rods, dish towels, cloths, heat mitts, and general decor.  It turned out beautiful!  We sat up until around 1 am every night and were up before 8 every day.  Some work was left for my aunt and uncle to do, but we certainly managed to get the bulk of it done.  We filled our bellies with wonderful home-cooked meals and laughed until we cried.  It was great!

One aunt and I tried to find a blue diamond letterbox, but it was a puzzler to which I just didn’t have the time or energy to devote brainpower to once the painting was underway…but I’ll try again on the next visit 🙂

I’m back home and still have a few days left of break, in which I’ll hammer out a fitness routine, do some scrapbooking, begin mailings for the postcard exchange I’ve gotten involved in and finish planting in the garden and do the spring flowerbed/yard maintenance. 

I do love being able.