Saturday, December 13, 2014

Holiday Emotions

The holidays are SO full of ups and downs for me. My Mom worked her butt off during the holidays to decorate and bake and make Christmas time so magical; both for myself and my two younger sisters and later for her grandchildren. During the holiday season I will often mutter to myself, "I miss you Mom." or "Thanks Mom."

Yesterday I was thinking about Dad. He passed away 18 years ago on December 12th. He was gruff and tough but he loved his daughters VERY much! I remember going Christmas shopping for him. When we did holiday shopping, it was along Main Street, before malls took over towns and killed most downtown areas. One of the stops we three girls would make was the old Coast To Coast Hardware store. We would get shells for Dad's hunting rifle. Sometimes we would find other 'manly' presents for Dad there too.

This year has been especially painful because I lost my dog on Monday. Ziva was my walking partner and stood beside me, loyal and protective till the end. She was only five and I still hurt about the whole mess. She is in a better place now though and with time, I will heal too.

With all the ups and downs, I had a huge boost to the up side when a box arrived on the same day I had to put Ziva down. What timing! It was bitter sweet but it was such a wonderful box that I just have to share.

Quiltmaker's Blog had a drawing for a 100 Blocks Mug and special issue magazine. I didn't realize that it also came with a "Fat Quarter" pattern book for 12 quilts, an applique (which I LOVE) pattern for a Christmas quilt, a four pack of AMB neutral fat quarters and a nine pack of Timeless Treasures fat quarter fabrics!!! WOW what a surprise!
It didn't take away the pain, but it did bring a smile to my face. I will 'play' with it all this week as I use my studio for 'therapy' sessions.

It might seem crass that I talk about getting the prize in the same posting as the talk about the losses in life. It just goes to show that there are always ups and downs in life. I try to put positive spins on negative things. I don't want to wallow in pity. That gets me nowhere. Truth be told, our other two little rat terriers are thrilled to be able to play again or to be petted without worrying that the big dog was going to eat them alive for getting attention. We didn't realize the stress we were living under with Ziva, had gotten to be so acute. It is bitter and it is sweet. It was a good five years. RIP Ziva, say hi to Tucker, Nina, Rusty, and Brandy!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Let the Holidaze Begin!

The Thanksgiving feast had lots of opportunities for creativity!

On the design wall I have My Tweets starting to come together.
I am still nervous about quilting this beauty. For now I am just sashing it and making the top ready for adding borders that also need to have appliqué work done.

I have a BUNCH of stuff for sale! An apron for $3:
All these Christmas items are culled from my holiday boxes:

Click on the photos to see them better and to see their prices.




If you are interested in any of them, just let me know! I will work with you on the shipping. I also have some odd items for sale, such as my Jillian Michaels' set of four books for $15:

Or how about a quilt themed piggy bank?

The holidays also bring lots of packages to my front door. The post office has been a bit harsh with some of them. This package came ripped open on the side, exposing my fabric purchase!!!
Thank goodness the fabric seems to have survived, intact and without damage!
That is the latest from these parts. I am very busy trying to squeeze in sewing time to make a few gifts for people for the holidays. I have a love/hate relationship with how freaking fast Christmas Day will arrive here!!!!

Happy Sewing!!!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

My Annual Dilemma

Alright fellow quilters, I have my annual dilemma of what to do about my sewing machine situation. I sold my Singer 99K. I have two other machines that I can use for straight stitching...one is a Juki98e and one is an older New Home 270 (Janome). Both sew fast and strong. I have one Featherweight that I use just to keep her running smooth. She's a collectible machine that I was gifted with and is not for sale.

The machine that needs replacing is my Pfaff Quiltstyle 2042. I was gifted it, for Christmas one year, about 14 years ago. I have used it a LOT. It is starting to give me little issues as it is wearing out a tad. The bobbin winder isn't as good as it used to be and some of the electronic buttons are not working anymore. There is a repair on the foot pedal cord where one of the puppies we fostered years ago, chewed through it.


My dilemma is that the ONLY Pfaff dealer in the area is one that I do not want to deal with. I won't trash talk here; you'll just have to trust me, I have my reasons and they are valid. I have not found another dealership in this state. 

So do I ship my machine to someone to maybe fix or try to find some place that will take it in trade? I would hate to try to sell it myself. Of course I could not do so, without telling what is wrong with it.

It's value now is probably $300-$500. To replace it I would need a machine that would cost about $2000. I need one machine that has fancy stitches. I've been considering a Janome 6600 or 7700. (at least I think those were the ones I was considering) lol

What do you all think?

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Out and About

I hope everyone has had a wonderful long weekend! I finally uploaded a few photos to share. First up is my dog Ziva, sitting on a rock.
Next is this neat old house we saw in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
I would love to have the money to adopt an old place like this and bring it back to life!
You just don't see this type of work in modern homes!
Of course I could be wrong it this might be an old church. The above photo could have been a bell tower. All those windows though, make me think it was just a big mansion or maybe a boarding house?

Here is my son getting one of only two awards for "Distinguished Honor Roll" for the first quarter of 8th grade:

From Thursday, we had a meat, cheese, and cracker turkey for snacking on! We saw this idea online somewhere and Max did a wonderful interpretation of the pattern for us.
Here is a shot of the whole table full of pre-feast goodies. We have this around noon and then the big regular turkey meal after five pm.

The day after Thanksgiving was Tom's 14th birthday.
How can he be that old already!!! We said in ten years he'd be 24 and possibly out of college. I would be 70. YIKES!!! hahahaha

Happy Sewing y'all!!!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Just Playing Around

I worked on the December block for guild. The tree and trunk are batiks. The background fabric is a fat quarter that I have had forever and had never found a use for...till now!
The white and blue of the tree were just little scraps I had tucked away in the scrap bins. I had just barely enough of the white to do those three parts. I had just a tiny bit more of the blue and will be able to use that in the flying geese part that goes with this. I was even able to fussy cut the snowflake on the top of the tree!

Today I went to JoAnn's to look for a piece of fabric that I could use to refashion a flannel shirt with. I found it! It is a pretty purple-like lace and I bought 3/4's of a yard on sale for 30% off. I bought a small zipper to make a zippered pouch and found this:
They are called BonBons and are made by the Lion Company. Each mini skein of yarn is about two inches big. These had sparkly yarn mixed in. I thought I could use it for embellishing some mittens I hope to make, as well as fabric art projects. I'd never seen them before.

With sales and coupons and my brand new NQA membership card that also gives me a discount, I spent about ten bucks total. I was very pleased!

That's it for today. I need to find my friend Sandy's email and tell her about this yarn. She was looking for embellishing materials.

Happy Sewing!!!