"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jer 29:11 (NIV)

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Quilty Finishes for the year

I've managed to finish three more quilts during the month of December and 4 Christmas gifts. Still have one Christmas gift to make, but didn't bring the right stuff with me to make it. The quilts that I finished up are my nieces quilt. I forgot to get a picture of the finished quilt, but to the right you can see a pic of the finished quilt top. I also finished my pineapple quilt and it will be going on my bed once I make it back to Texas next week. And I finished a quilt that is for a friend. It will be going to her this week so I'll post a pic of it later.

Happy New Year to everyone!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Stashbusting in 2009

Back in 2007 I had decided to really focus on finishing UFO's and to work from my stash as much as I could. Being without a FT job made the latter part of that a necessity. So far this yr I've finished up 21 UFOs, have one more ready to bind, and have about 20 more that will be going into next year.

I've also managed to use a hefty amount of fabric from my stash so far with over 500 yds gone. I had approximately 100 yds come back in for about a 400 yd usage so far this yr. That usage came from using it in my quilting and through donations to others. The sad thing is that I'm just now starting to see a small difference in how many totes and boxes of fabrics that I have. So I will be continuing to work down on my stash next yr.

Working to finish up UFO's and using my stash really feels good and I'm looking forward to making a visible difference next year!

Gratitudes -
1. I'm thankful for the 'pallette' that I have in my stash and that I'm still able to quilt even though I don't have a big income at this time.
2. I'm thankful for all that I do have and for the many blessings that God has given me.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Falling Leaves......

Things have been hectic the last few weeks with work and everything else that has been going on for me. The latter included tangling with road debris 2 1/2 wks ago, which by the grace of God, only did relatively minor (tho still expensive) damage to my car. Damage included a broken left front fender liner and damaged left front tire (had an ugly bump in the sidewall - not safe to drive on...). But other than that no damage to the car. It could have been much worse, because the traffic was heavy the night I tangled with the debris, and could so easily have been in a bad car accident. As it was, the car was completely driveable, and the tire did not blow out when I drove to/from Temple Tx to see my parents a couple of weeks ago. Getting it fixed wasn't in my budget........but $700 is way cheaper than buying another car or a hospital bill.

I have finally been able to get some quilting done in the last week. Finished up another UFO. I've added a picture to the right of the finished quilt as it looks hanging in my living room. =) This quilt used the last of the blocks i had from a long ago swap from the Quiltersbee list that I used to be a part of. They were probably 6 or so yrs old. The border print is a directional print that had the perfect colors to go with the leaf blocks. However I didn't think about the directional print when I bought and the fact that the borders had to be cut differently because of it. Result was that I didn't have enough length after cutting the strips I needed for the "alternate blocks" in the setting. So I ended up having to piece the borders in order to have enough fabric for it...... Moral of the story - think about the fabric and how it needs to be cut when buying it!

I've also finished up the top for another quilt. This one started with an old, embroidered tablecloth that my friend Susan gave me several yrs ago when she and her DH Paul were getting ready to retire. I used various smaller pieces of 30's fabrics and scraps to make the three borders. I'm not sure yet where I'll be donating it.......it may be going to Wrap-A-Smile to be used for an auction quilt to raise funds for more surgeries.

My pineapple quilt is back from the quilter and is beautiful. Vicki did a great job. The top for Bekah's quilt is finished. The back is pieced and ready to be pinned to my quilt frame. It will be the next one to be quilted........Lord, willing it will be done before Thanksgiving. =) Pictures will be coming of these projects as they are finished. Altho I'll probably wait on posting Bekah's finished quilt because I want her to be surprised at the final, finished project.

Gratitudes -
1. That the road debris only did minor damage to my car and for safety in traveling afterwards.
2. For my current contract even tho it drives me crazy at times.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Pineapple Quilt is finished!

Woohoo........I'm happy dancing here in TX because I finished the top for my batik pineapple quilt tonite (well actually very early this morning). =) The pic to the right shows the top layed out on my queen sized bed. Finished size is roughly 98" by 108". It will go in the mail tomorrow morning to my friend Vicki after I pick up 108" wide backing fabric for it (I don't feel like trying to piece backing for this critter).......

Next I'm off to finish several other projects that are in progress. Once they are to the finished top stage I'll be able to start on a queen-sized quilt that I have here for Am Heroes and Christmas presents. Not to mention starting to step up my job search since the current contract ends the end of this year and talking with the powers that be at work about the possibility of the contract being extended into next yr.

Gratitudes -
1. I'm thankful for my large stash because it supplied all i needed for this quilt top without having to buy any fabric for it - a blessing in the midst of the continued job search. And am thankful that i won't have to quilt this one!
2. I'm thankful to have the current contract for another 2 1/2 months.
3. I'm thankful for the job possibilities that are being presented to me by various recruiters.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Pineapple Quilt

One of the projects I worked on at the retreat I went to two weeks ago was my batik/black pineapple quilt. I got the top together except for the borders and the tuck panel. I'm in the midst of getting those onto the top now. Meanwhile here is a picture of the top without the borders. There are 49 blocks, all different. When complete there will be more than 8 yds of black Kona, and about 7, maybe 8 yds of batiks in the top. And all fabrics came from my stash. =) The backing will take another 10 yds or so to make as well.

Gratitudes -

1. I owe loads of thanks to Jodi for volunteering to tear off all of the paper for me from this quilt.
2. I'm thankful that I won't be quilting it.

Cross-Stitch UFO's

Over the last few days I've been doing some house-cleaning in the sewing room. I'm making progress and have already gotten rid of two big piles of paper and a sack of stuff ready to go out in the trash. And I've also weeded through the kits I had stashed away and sorted out a big pile that I sent off to be given to female soldiers who are deployed. I can now actually close that tote!

As I have been going through stuff I've also been reminded that I have a number of UFO's that are various cross-stitch pieces. These keep getting stuffed in various places and not worked on, so I've decided that I'm going to pull these out and work on them when I have time so that I actually get them finished up along with all the quilting UFO's that I'm finishing.

For 5 or 6 yrs now I've been tracking what I get accomplished quilt-wise, along with my UFO's and what is going on with them. I've added a new page to my spreadsheet where I track things so that I can track how many cross-stitch kits I have and what is happening with them as well. This way maybe they won't end up "out of sight --- out of mind".

Here are pics of two of the projects I found while working thru things around here. Click on the pics to see larger versions of them. The snails are my design. The were designed from a card I'd seen once upon a time. I haven't got a clue what i'm going to use this in. The B&W Cats are from the "Kats by Kelly" series. Really cute designs that I love. I've got another one somewhere around here.....but can't remember if it is finished or still waiting to be done. Urk............ I'm thinking about how I want to display these pics and without framing a whole bunch of pics.

Gratitudes -
1. I'm thankful to have been able to bless some of the women that are deployed in the Middle East with the kits that I no longer was interested in making.
2. I'm thankful to have the ability and means to work on the various projects that I've started and yet to finish.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Raffle Quilts Finished

Dont'cha know that when I need time to get the raffle quilt tops done for one of the online quilt groups that I'm in, that's of course when work goes crazy. =P This particular group I'm in has an annual get-together, also know as a "Swarm". Thanks to having only working a part-time contract since March and unemployed before that, I wasn't able to attend this year. =( But making these quilt tops was my way of participating. Those that wanted a 'chance' to win the quilt made one or more blocks from fabric that I supplied. There were two focus fabrics this yr - a batik and an oriental print. The pics below show what the two tops turned out looking like.

Both quilts fit the full-size bed that I laid them out on. The first one is the one

with the oriental fabric. The second and third pics are of the one with is made with the batik fabric. Click on the pictures to make them larger.

Gratitudes -
1. Thanks to American Airlines I made it home when I was supposed to after the retreat I went on the first weekend of October.
2. For the cooler weather here in Tx.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Psalm 145:7 - They will celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness. (NIV)

A couple of weeks ago I was reading a blog that I linked to from another blog I had been reading. I don't remember what blog it was now, but I have to admit to being convicted when reading some of the posts by how the gal writing it always ended her posts with things she is grateful for.

With all the frustrations that I've been fighting in trying to get my house here in Tx sold (anyone want to buy a house here?) and in trying to find a FT, and preferably perm, job I all too often find myself complaining or whining about the circumstances I'm in. I forget about all that God has blessed me with and instead focus on the negatives - the opposite of what I should be focused on. It is soooooooooo easy to forget that even in the frustrating circumstances I have found myself in over the last 12+ months I am still far richer than the vast majority of people living in this world today.

So starting today, with each posting that I make to this blog my intent is to list at least two things that I'm grateful for so that my focus will remain on God and what he is doing in my life, instead of all that I can't control.

And my challenge to all that read this - is to consider what in your life you have to be grateful for. Who's up for the challenge?

Gratitudes -
1. Friends who always encourage me to keep my eyes focused on God while in the midst of all the stress and frustrations of daily life.
2. For all the blessings that God has given me.

Retreat is coming..........

The last couple of weeks have been crazier than normal because things at work are getting close to deadlines. And projects are competing for the same resources - myself and the gal I work with. Both of us will be glad when the end of the month arrives and it's back to the normal level of "insanity". Life has been so crazy with work that i haven't even been able to go to the gym like I want to. =(

I've been busy quilting and cross-stitching trying to cope with the stress. And among other things have been able to get several projects either finished or closer to being finished. The biggest one of these is I finished up the last of the blocks for my pineapple quilt yesterday, just in time for the quilt retreat I'm headed too this weekend. Getting the blocks put together and the borders on this quilt is the first project I am taking with me.

Also finished, well until I decide what to do with them at any rate, are these two little cross-stitch pieces. A friend gave me the kit for these last year, so I'm doing good to finish these off so quickly when compared to the umpteen kits that I've had for yrs and not done.

I've got 6 different projects that i'm taking with me this weekend, and i'm looking forward to getting some of them finished up. I'm going to have to work part of the time while I'm there, but that's life when you need the money. I'll just enjoy the time when I'm not working all the more. =) I'll post pics later of the projects that I'm taking to work on.
Gratitudes -
1. As stressful as it can be, I'm thankful for the part-time contract that I am working at this time.
2. For the opportunity to go away this weekend and spend time with quilting friends.

Friday, September 19, 2008

An Award

Earlier this week I was surprised to find that I'd been awarded a Kreativ Blog Award for my blog. I'm honored to receive it. Thanks go to my quilting friend Susan for this honor. If you get a chance, check out her blogs - I love them. =) Almost as good as being with her.
The Rules of the Award are:

1. The winner may put the logo on her blog.

2. Put a link to the person you got the award from.

3. Nominate 5 blogs

4. Put links to the blogs.

5. Leave a message for your nominees.

Took me awhile to decide what blogs I wanted to honor, so I'm just now getting to Steps 3-4 now. I love reading blogs and the ideas that come from them, but it's something that I don't have time for every day........ So here are the ones I've chosen:
Quiltville's Quips & Snips - I love reading Bonnie's blog and seeing the quilts she's making. Her scrap quilts inspire some of the work that I do.
Thoroughbreds and Threads - Diane is someone I've known on various quilt lists for almost 10 yrs. And we don't live that far away from each other in real life - one of these days we gotta get together! I have some of her great work in a round robin from several yrs ago.
msjanquilts - another friend for yrs from a couple of different quilt lists. We've also been in many online swaps. Love to read all that she posts about.
Quiltgranny's Shoe - Another quilting friend whose work in artquilts always challenges me to expand my horizons!
and last, but definately not least -
Daddy's Girl - Bekah is my niece and I love her dearly. And always love to see what she has posted. And hopefully one day soon I'll get the quilt I'm makin for her done.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Quilter's ADD?

I've come to realize that I have a short attention span with my quilting - Is there such a think as Quilter's ADD? I start quilts, and then I'll see another pile of blocks or scraps and I stop working on the first project and I'm off and running on the next one and so it goes and goes...... I do eventually get things done, but I almost always have many things going on at the same time. As a result I've got the center panels for two quilts for American Heroes finished. Haven't a clue what I want to do yet for borders, so they have been set aside so that ideas may germinate..... Pics of the two tops are below. Any suggestions for borders?

I'm making progress on my pineapple quilt and only have 7 more blocks to sew together (the fabric is all prepped. My thanks go to my friends Susan and to Gabriele for making blocks for me. Had designed a tuck panel, but then realized that something happened somewhere along the way when I sewed the strip sets together, phoeey..........so the design for that has morphed and shrunk a wee bit............Such is life. Will post a picture of the blocks and tuck panel when I've got them all done - hopefully by the end of this week. =)
Have finally found a 'background' fabric to use in the borders of Bekah's quilt. And I think that I've got a plan for what to do. I probably won't post another picture of the quilt until after she gets is so that she is surprised by the finished quilt. =)
Finally bought my plane ticket last week for the quilt retreat I'm going to in 2 weeks.....woohoo....I'm soooooooooo looking forward to it. Lots of time to quilt and lots of fun with my friends there in Wisconsin.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


The last few weeks have been stressful to put it mildly due to the project I'm assigned to at the present time. And this week it has been going from bad to rotten to worse yet with regards to the project and how it is going. As was said of Casey when he struck out - there is no joy in Mudville tonite. =P

And on top of that has been the lack of any success with the resumes that have been submitted over the last 11 months. And that is enough to make me really start to doubt myself and wonder if I'm ever going to have a fulltime contract, much less a perm position, ever again. It's very hard to remain positive and upbeat when nothing happens.

As I go through my days though, I try to keep reminding myself that God is the one who is stitching the pieces of my life together according to His master plan. In addition to quilting, I also cross-stitch and occassionally needlepoint as well. And in spite of my best intentions, the back of those pieces are not a think of beauty. Instead they are a mess of knots, thread changes, loose threads, thread tangles, and generally unlovely. But when you turn them over you see how all of the unlovely work of the back becomes lovely when you look at it from the front and you see the finished work.

So too our lives are seen only from the "back side" when we look at them. We see the problems, the things that are ugly in our lives, what we are missing, what is hurtful, and so on. We don't see how everything is working together in our lives to shape us and our lives according to God's plan for us. But God sees our lives as they will be when his will is perfected in us, and there will be a day in our lives when the children of God will see their lives from His perspective. It is then that we (I!) will see our lives for the beautiful picture of God's work in our lives that they are.

And so, it is that I hold fast to one of the bible verses that has most encouraged me -

Jer 29:11 (NIV) "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

And God truly does provide encouragement when it is needed most - yesterday I received a card and book from some very dear friends in Phoenix. The card had notes of encouragement from everyone just when I needed it most. Thank you Lord for good friends!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Pineapple Blocks in Progress

Several years ago I started a pineapple quilt for myself, and then because I didn't like the fabric I chose for that first block just let the quilt lanquish for several years. But this year I've been making a real effort to finish up some of my UFO's and this is one of them that I've pulled out to get finished up. I have an appt to have this quilted the end of October, so I've been working like a mad woman to get the blocks done.

I had figured that I needed 56 blocks total for the quilt, and after laying them out on my bed tonite to take a picture of the blocks completed so far I'm really looking forward to seeing what this will be when finished. All of the blocks will be a different fabric combination and all of the fabrics have come out of my stash - and nope, it hasn't made a dent in the amount of batiks that I have in my stash. There will be 2 inch wide sashing made from the same black kona cotton. And cornerstones cut from the left over batiks used in the blocks. Finally there will be a triple border of the black, a batik, and finally black. The binding will be another batik, also from my stash.
Thanks to everyone who has helped me get this going by making blocks for me!

Peaceful Saturday

This week has been productive quilt-wise for me, partially due to the fact that when things get stressful I quilt – and usually a lot! I’ve finished up a quilted postcard for a monthly swap that I'm in. For the theme this round, everyone picks a "holiday" or "day of" to design a postcard for. For September, I chose September 3rd - Skyscraper Day. As I was doing my postcard, I was thinking of Boston and the view of the skyscrapers in downtown from the Boston Commons. A view that I really miss a lot. This will go in the mail on Monday and will wing it's way to SC.

Today I spent several hours working to straighten up my cutting table so that I could actually see the top of it again and use it. Now what most people don't know is that I have what would normally be a kitchen island for my cutting table in my sewing room. It is 6 feet long by 40 inches wide or there abouts.........and I had managed to cover it almost totally. After all my work I can actually see the top of it......and no, I didn't manage to get it totally cleared off but at least there's a little bit of room now. Still to come is figuring out what projects I'm going to be taking with me to the quilt retreat that I'm going to in October. The only thing I know of at this point is the fabric for two sets of swap blocks and maybe a queen-size quilt for American Heros.

One of the other projects that I worked on today was putting together the center part of a quilt I'm making my niece Bekah. I've still got the borders to go yet but it's getting there. I'm happy with the way it is turning out even though it has driven me crazy at times........... I'm turning over ideas on how to quilt it in my mind, so if you've got ideas let me know in a comment. =)
Next week I'll start working on the CQ block that I've received for the round robin that I'm in. I've got some ideas in my head for what I want to do and am looking forward to working on it. =)
As for my pineapple quilt that is in the works, I've now finished 31 blocks and 2 more finished blocks will be heading my way before long. That means I've only got about 23 more blocks to get made before the end of September. Am trying to get at least one per day made, and aiming for 2 or 3.....now if only I don't get too distracted I can make it.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


You'd think since I've had a website for over 5 yrs now, that it would not have taken me so long to get around to starting a blog. However it was something that I really thought about for a long time for several reasons.

One of the biggest being that I'm still searching for a full-time job as an IT Business Analyst after having lost the last long-term contract that I had 11 months ago. I'm thankful to be working part-time, but really do need to be able to find a full-time job. And because I know that many prospective employers and recruiters are now googling the applicant, I wanted to be careful in doing this.

The other reason being that I just never got around to it. And it's thanks to my niece Bekah and her work in getting this set up that I'm here. =) Thanks also to my friend Susan for her help with it.

Quilt-wise, I've been focused on getting a quilt made for Bekah made (blocks are now completed for it!), and blocks for a paper-pieced pineapple quilt for myself made. I've now got 28 out of 56 blocks finished for it. The remaining blocks have to be finished before the end of September 'cause I want to finish the top at a retreat I'll be attending the first weekend of October. Here's a pic of the first 13 blocks. Will try to get another pic of the completed blocks sometime this week.