Archive for July, 2008

Embroidered Pillowcases

I finished these today. I made the pillowcases and left one side open so it was easier to embroider. After the embroidery was finished, I could finish the bottom and one side with french seams. Even the seam for the border fabric and accent fabric is hidden.

I have another set in process but the border is taking quite a while to stitch out.

Hang on to your hats, dear readers, as 4-H fair starts on Saturday and the county fair items need delivered & checked in by Sunday evening.

I’ll post when I can!!

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Lots of pillows!!!

Aquamarine Ambience pillows

Above: This is block 2 from the table runner pattern in the book.
Below: This is block 9 from the quilt but I only did the center designs.

This pillow is just quilted with a design from an embroidery card. I rotated it and quilted it 4 times.

A close up.
I got the trim for $0.50/yard when I was with K last week!

These applique pillows are done in the embroidery hoop. Quite fun! I love the extra detail stitching and variety of stitches used around the flowers.

I have one New York Beauty pillow top to go yet.

Plus a host of other projects…. all for the fair. I move my stuff in next Sunday! Yikes!!!

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This week.


It continues…

So today in the morning is lots of cleaning and then quilting/embroidery/dear friends over in the afternoon for chat!! Yippee!! https://i0.wp.com/img246.imageshack.us/img246/8399/thumbsup4kk.gif

However…. who was it that said that she was sleeping so well? (notice the past tense…)

Forget it.

I really think it has been too much excitement this week… well and lots of activity on top of it!

So anyway… today… if you call it today yet?… I awakened at 4:30 A.M.!!

And failed to return to sleep.

So at 5:30, I got up. Figured I’d get some jobs done and then maybe take a mid-morning nap. (However, as I write I feel like I’ll go all day and consider crashing another day or another week.)

I swept the kitchen, and hallway, and laundry room. (that should shock you first!)

(I think my mom just fainted….)

Then I cut a batch of soap and decided (thankfully) that the second batch needs another day to rest with all this humidity.

Started a load of laundry that included the kitchen table cloth so cleared that, too.

Cleaned the bathroom.

Sat down at the computer…
read blogs I’m subscribed to on igoogle — love that!!

Found Mickey’s blog…. (you need to ask for an invite 🙂 )

MY LAND – I GOT LOST!! Too much fun!!


All of a sudden I realized… I’M HUNGRY!! Like so hungry I could throw up.

I hurry to the kitchen, pop in some cheese cubes so I can make breakfast (sounded yucky but worked), and continued. Wow. (I make Phil’s breakfast while I make mine. But he doesn’t like it that the only time he has ever seen this blog is when I said what I made him for breakfast so I really didn’t say that today.)

Ok, now I’ve had my over-medium egg & am working on my hot cocoa. I’ve switched laundry.

Next a shower.
Then a batch of MSM cream needs made – PRONTO!!

At this rate, I may get sewing done this morning too!

Must tell you… Yesterday following a treat of a lunch with dear-not-seen-enough-friend, Phil’s worker/friend’s daughter was here and HELPED me picked beans AND snap them!! Yippeee!! I made us stop when we each had one overflowing big bowl. She could have worked all day. More than 2 rows to go. And I think I’m going to sew. Ha!

Yep. I am! Maybe tomorrow is a better day for beans. Right? https://i0.wp.com/img221.imageshack.us/img221/2259/biggrinzy0.gif

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My fat quarters that I used paintsticks on at the Monday Mickey Depre workshop have dried. Tonight I ironed them to set the paint.

Here are the results!

1. White fat quarter. We divided our FQ into 12 sections with painters tape. Mickey taught us 4 ways to use paintsticks and then we tried each way in 3 boxes using various paints and templates underneath.

I’m thinking I could use these on fabric postcards for a base.

2. Black fat quarter. After our tutoring work on the white piece we were free to choose whichever method of application we wanted to decorate our black piece.

3. Pink hand dye. Part of our kit fee also included our choice of a fat quarter from Mickey’s selection!

Yummy!! Her dh dyes her fabrics! Imagine that!!

I was surprised at how much I liked the metallic paints even tho I don’t normally choose glitz.

The workshop was so informative! It was great to try her paints and learn the methods before investing in the paints.

However, being near Blick’s on Wednesday with my discount-card-carrying-dd was enough to get me started.

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K’s Marvelous Monday!

Part of K’s job this summer as an RA for the high school students is to plan programs for 5 evenings during this 5 week time the students are there.

She has taken those interested to a great bookstore for fashion magazines, a noodle restaurant, and the new ones to the grocery.

She had 20 students show up for the trip to the grocery so that was super attendance! (One got lost after much reassurance to K that she did know how to get back! Hmpf!! She got home safely anyway.)

Well, her planned program for this Monday was to visit the Thrift Store. She planned it for a Monday because it is Half-Price Day on Mondays. She made the extra effort to put a big poster in the lobby for them to see on their way to class in the morning. She put little messages on the doors of her floor of girls.

She waited to see who would show up.

Thirty kids came!!

She was soooo excited! https://i0.wp.com/img99.exs.cx/img99/8577/yupi3ti.gif

There were even several guys and most of the time it is a struggle to get the few guys on a program.

She divided them (with clear instructions) on the subway and then sent them back in 3 groups. No one got lost!! All but 3 bought something and some were wondering about their suitcase to go home.

K even found a very cute denim jacket. (She says I can’t embroider on it! http://www.countingcows.de/Baeh!.gif)

Finally Wednesday was a slightly-calmer day for her so I took the train in for a visit. All. by. myself!

We had a great lunch at Weber Grill (love lunch prices, too!) and then rode the subway to the neighborhood of fabric stores. We hit Fishman’s and Vogue. Painful! https://i0.wp.com/i66.photobucket.com/albums/h276/DianneOnly/wink3.gif

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Magnificent Monday!

Wow! Monday was full & fun! Phil told me Sunday night that he had a friend coming to help with jobs on Monday so there would be one more for lunch. No problem… but at least find the table for 4 places!

My goal was to finish the second Aquamarine Ambience pillow (so I could take 2 finished pillows to quilt guild) by 11, get myself ready for guild, start lunch at 11:30, and leave for quilt guild by 12:20 or so. I first had to pack things for quilt guild before sewing commenced!

I’m in the secret sister program so wrapped her gift,
gifts for show & tell and nametag winners,
newsletter into my binder,
nickel square exchange cut and packaged
… which gave me the reminder… we had a nickel square challenge to make a pot holder from any of our light blue, light green, and dark green blocks!


Here I am the one who wants to do challenges and I totally hadn’t done a thing.

So I ran up to the computer and printed out a 6″ paper piece block from Carol Doak’s Foundation Factory. Wonderful!! I chose fabrics and sat to sew at 10:00. I pieced it, added borders (we could add one other fabric so I used my “other” for borders and binding), and quilted it in the ditch. Added binding and sewed down the binding by machine. Done by 11:05. However, I had argued in my head that I didn’t HAVE to leave by 12:20 since it was a non-sewing workshop and I didn’t have to haul or set up my machine.

Dinner was served, all the men fed & happy, so I headed out.

The workshop was FABULOUS!! Mickey Depre from near Chicago came and presented her 3 hour workshop using paintsticks. It was so good to learn and try under her guidance and using her paints & supplies. It was just great!

We did sample windows of various techniques on a white FQ. Then used any of those techniques on our black FQ and then on a hand dyed FQ that we could pick from Mickey’s assortment! Yummy!!

My samples are still drying and in the matter of time… I’ll take their pictures another time.

We have a potluck supper at 5:30 and had a small crowd, probably because of July.

We had time in between for visiting and it was great to get to know Mickey better. What a delight!!

a pile of Mickey’s quilts

Mickey was the program for our meeting as well. So fun, easy to listen to, and very informative and willing to share her tips. I bought her book, Garden Whimsy Applique, and had it autographed! I’ve already bought her special backing she uses for applique.
After the program, we had the business meeting.

I am in charge of the show & tell and nametag drawings and have someone else draw the names. I have the gifts and do the announcing. I won for show & tell!! Yippee!! I like the gifts for this month anyway! (A preprinted panel with sewing notions in a blue theme and 2 coordinating fat quarters.)

The one in charge of nickel squares came to talk about the challenge. She had a pile of about 7 or 8 hot pads. Mine was on the bottom. Sure enough, as she went from top to bottom… I WON!!

I received a small book, Quilter’s Pocket Reference. It is a treasure trove of measurements.

I finally got home about 9:30. Excited and ready for bed! A great day!!
Keturah had also had a good day but that will have to be in another post….

From show & tell:

LaDonna’s Bargello

Bunny’s Monkeys

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Update with FM reversal

I feel good!! I have slept well for a good 10 nights and just feel so much better!! It has been 2 yrs and 8 months on the guaifenesin protocol.

I’m thrilled with my progress.

I’m hoping this good streak lasts a long time before I have to cycle out more junk.

And just for fun… Someone will get a laugh over this local billboard. Well, either a laugh or a groan!

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Aquamarine Ambience Pillows

But first….

I continued working on Dear Jane blocks over last weekend. This is the center of one block. I then hand appliqued an octagon border in the background fabric. These center tan blocks are 3/8″ square. https://i0.wp.com/www.comicguide.net/images/smilies/wow2.gif

On Saturday at Galena I sat in on an Embroidery Software Class and learned a few tips. However, when I was ready to apply some of that Monday evening, I learned they were working on the Designer Level of the Bernina Software and I have the next step down, the Editor Plus. So some of those tricks weren’t even available to me. Bummer.

I had already purchased dark olive drab chintz and ivory-something-special for pillows for the living room. Total for 2 pillows = $4.35! Nice deal! https://i0.wp.com/img246.imageshack.us/img246/8399/thumbsup4kk.gif

So instead of the project they were doing at the class, I went to the book Aquamarine Ambience (it is Australian based) which is my goal once I’ve done these test pillows for practice. I chose 2 blocks and went to work on Tuesday working with the software to get them set for my project.

Cutting and setting in the circles on Wednesday took a bit of time but look perfect with the tips and tools provided! Yahoo!! https://i0.wp.com/www.comicguide.net/images/smilies/klatsch.gif

The first block has special stitches stacked around where the circles join.

On Thursday afternoon I stitched out my first block. After hooping just before lunch, I was ready to stitch once I had lunch cleaned up. It took around 2 hours to stitch out in between some trips upstairs to help JP with his 4-H project for the week. I’m quite happy with my block!

Late this afternoon I finally headed back to my sewing room and worked on my second block. I keep searching for little projects to do while the machine is stitching.
https://i0.wp.com/www.countingcows.de/tjaja.gif I’ve done a lot of hand applique on my Dear Jane blocks.

This evening I have all the backs and ruffle strips or edge strips cut out and ready. I have the center and 2 of the 4 side embroideries stitched on this second pillow. However, one thread has run out https://i0.wp.com/img117.exs.cx/img117/5601/n1qshok.gif so the rest of the embroidery will have to wait until Monday when I can get more thread.

My plan is to do the quilting on the first one tomorrow afternoon and work on getting that pillow finished. I also found fabric to make JP new p.j.s so I may need to take a break and make those for him.

I can hardly wait to get my house & family stuff done so I can get back to this! Saturday a.m. is clean the bathroom and then JP has his final 2 hrs of driving with his instructor! Yippee!! Then I can get back to work.

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Sunday afternoon we had a picnic at Kent & Julie’s.

It was thank you time for the 1st Impressions team. We are substitute greeters and provided a super drummenator for the worship time!

Jake & JP getting the drumset out & set up. It wasn’t steady so Jake pulled out the duct tape!!

I am not a big fan of picnics on my FM/HG eating plan. I ended up being able to have….
a burger (after I spoke with the grill master and requested one without the seasoning he was adding which had sugar as the 2nd ingredient!)
3 cheese cubes.

However, because this was minimal picnic… only finger foods were planned so no utensils. I really need to pack a fork in my pocket! So I ate my burger with my fingers. Ew. (I know I should just pack my own but I was not interested in ANOTHER chicken salad while everyone asks why I brought my own.)

During lunch, JP informed us the electronic drum set that had been brought from the church’s storage room was NOT working! Groan…

JP is not a fan of electronic sets but that is what transports easily and hooks easily to the sound system.

After eating, Ken continued working on it and sure enough here came sound from my drummer!! Yahoo!!
Of course, I shouted from my chair and everyone thought it odd since they didn’t know that my son was thinking he was there for no good reason.

It was cool and windy but I was oh.so.happy to just sit in the sunshine. It was hitting my back. Ahh…. However some sunshine reached to my arms and tops of my ankles. I found that out when I got home. Yowsers!!

Monday I was sore.
Tuesday I was sore but it was getting more tolerable.
Tuesday afternoon I noticed my ankles were swollen. Oopsie! I iced them most of the evening with my feet up on the recliner. I finished a lot of hand applique on some Dear Jane blocks.
Today… all is much better. Still reddish but fading as usual.

The band was on the pool deck!

While we were picnicing, K was busy! On Saturday she moved OUT the 3 week students. On Sunday they had to check all those rooms and then move IN the 2 week students. (Some students stayed for all 5 weeks. K had 3 remain on her floor.)

This new batch is a totally different personality and not as social with each other as the first batch.

K took whomever wanted to attend to the grocery Monday night. I don’t know how that went. She was swamped with office hours, exhaustion from these moving days, grocery trip, and on call duty for the beginning of the week. Wednesday meant a day off (sort of) and a trip to the beach!

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Farm Report

Today was actually dry & sunny… noteworthy for a year like this. For the month of July, we have had over 4″ of rain. From Monday, July 7 – Friday, July 11 we had 3 1/2″ of rain.

The corn seems to have JUMPED this month so at least the rain is being put to good use in our area.
again that we have fields of crop and we aren’t flooded.

And now for some farm education….

It seems my 25 years of being married to a fabulous farmer, both in crops and conservation of our soils and in livestock as well…. not enough has rubbed off on me!

I think we have had a bit of oats every year but only have grown wheat for the last few years.

It amazed me that Phil could tell what grain was in whichever field as we were going by at 55 mph.

But he knew.

I tried to guess. But it was only a guess.
I was right…. probably about 50% of the time…

…seeing that my choices were usually wheat or oats.

On our way down the last stretch of 2-lane highway to Camp Coachman, we had this discussion again as we passed a lot of wheat fields. He always knows what it is in that field! How?

He said that wheat has a tighter head and oats is more open.

So when we returned home a few days later, dh took the opportunity to further my farm education.

Here are his teaching examples:

Wheat is on the left (golden) and oats are on the right (green).

I was blown away! I never knew! How silly!!!

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