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Showing posts from 2007

Christmas Break

The kids are on Christmas break and we've had a busy week. We spent part of last week at my brother's house, then back to home, then to our house in Reeds Spring for the weekend, then back home for Christmas. Now we're back at my brother's house for New Years and to do some work on my mother's apartment.

I am replacing her kitchen floor, installing wood trim and painting doors. Along with that, I'll be installing a new kitchen cabinet so she'll have more storage room. It's time consuming but satisfying work. Mom needs her apartment arranged better since she isn't as mobile as she once once. I'll be working on that, too. Luckily I have several days left to complete everything.

Waiting for Snow

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The weather reports for our area are predicting up to 8 inches of snow. The girls are looking forward to getting out and playing in it. The trees still have a lot of ice on them around here, so we may get some more damage. The tree trimmmers are working hard to clean up the broken branches, but they have a lot of work ahead of them.
I just finished up 5 quilts of Lorraine's. She has 5 Christmas wallhangings that I shipped back to her today. Three of them are the same center panel with different borders on them. I worked around the electrical outages but was able to get them done as scheduled! I forgot to take photos of the last one I quilted. It had 2 snow people on it and was soooo cute! I could kick myself for forgetting to take pictures of it.

Here Comes the Sun!

Well, at least we're getting a glimpse of it now and then. The ice is just now starting to melt and the temperatures are up to 35* Whoopee!

I drove to the fabric store yesterday which was the first time I've been out of the house since Saturday. I didn't realize how much damage the ice storm had done to the town. Trees are down all along the street we live on. Branches are piled up in peoples yards. Ameren UE has sent a trailer and parked it in the mall parking lot. All the repair trucks go there to load up on equipment and supplies. There must have been 40 repair trucks in the parking lot yesterday afternoon.

Today, I'm hearing chainsaws so I'm guessing trees are getting trimmed and broken branches are getting cut up to get ready to be put into the dump. There is still a lot of ice on our trees right now, but I'm anxious for it to melt completely so I can see how much damage has been done. Our pine tree is bent over pretty badly right now, but it doesn&#…

Ice Storm!

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We just made it through an ice storm this weekend with more coming today and tomorrow. I snapped a few photos of the ice during the storm yesterday.
We were without power for over 8 hours. Luckily we still had water and we have a gas-burning fireplace so we were able to keep warm. School is out for today so the girls are happy to have electricity again! So is mom!! I don't have to work as hard to keep them entertained :D
I'm working today to get caught up with laundry and to get some quilting done so as not to fall very far behind. If we get as much ice today as we did yesterday, we'll probably be without electricity for quite a while again.

Here is a close-up view of a pinetree branch off our back deck. You may be able to get the idea of how much ice we got. I think we got about 3/4 of an inch.



It's Finished!

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Here is a photo of the quilt Hannah made for her friend. It's all quilted and bound now and waiting to be wrapped for Christmas. I'm so proud of Hannah for making this quilt.
The weather has slowed me down on getting Christmas shopping done. We had snow, sleet and rain today. It hasn't accumulated much, but the roads are slick from the freezing temperatures.I'm busy working on customer quilts, hoping to get them done in the next week or 2. A few of them are due before Christmas so I'm working on them first. 2 down, 3 more to go!Paul finished adding more lighting to the basement so I have lots of light to quilt by now. It's much more pleasant to quilt in a well-lit room. Now to get the drywall up, the walls painted and a TV and DVD player hooked up :DI'm working on making a list of websites that carry mystery quilt instructions and another that has free quilt blocks. I'm also working on getting self-educated on quilt care and restoration. I've know …

Hannah's Turn!

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This week it was Hannah's turn at the quilting machine. She loves to use it but it is hard to bump me off in order for her to get in some quilting time-ha!



Hannah is making a quilt for a friend for Christmas. This is an oriental fabric center with 2 borders around it. Hannah started out designing the quilt around the center oriental fabric. She chose 2 contrasting colors for the borders. I helped her cut out the fabric and she stitched the first border on - I finished it up with the outer border.



Now the quilt is on the machine and Hannah has quilted the outer border after I basted the quilt for her on the machine. We needed a way to stabilize the quilt in order for her to quilt the borders first without getting a lot of excess fabric in the center of the quilt. My way to do this is to baste it on the quilting machine. If I have a quilt with blocks, I quilt around the blocks in order to stabilize the quilt. When I have a quilt with a large center such as a panel, I baste horizontal…

Stitching & Quilting Away

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I've been keeping busy this week getting quilts done before deadline. I have 4 ready to deliver this weekend.
In all my spare time ;) I've been working on a layout for a Snail Trail quilt. I chose the design and directions from the web. I laid out all the pieces on the floor in our bedroom and took several photos of it to help me remember exactly where each piece goes. Since every block is different, I would never remember how to piece it correctly without some kind of guide.
This is a scrap quilt using up some of my stash. It amazes me that every project that I make to "use up my stash" hardly makes a dent in the stash! I am finding however, that I have less "useable pieces" in my stash now. Time to go shopping :D
I am down to 2 basic colors of fabric - blues and greens. I really need to purchase more neutrals, yellows, purples, oranges, reds, etc.

In my basement studio, there are a couple of pieces of plywood nailed up on the outside wall. I plan to cover tha…

Nature Walks

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We went to the Runge Nature Center again today and here is what Sarah caught! This frog is on display inside the nature center for the kids to play on.



We took a short walk around on the nature trails again today. I think we were a few days too late to get the fall colors at their peak, but here is a photo of one large oak tree that still had some pretty leaves on it. The weather has been very nice here. It's getting down into the 30's at night, but up into the 60's during the day. Perfect weather for nature hikes.











We even saw a box turtle in the woods today. Sighting turtles is always a big hit with the girls!

Here is another photo of nature we saw today. This little - uh, big guy - is actually living on a plant in our yard at the side of the house. He has been there for several weeks. Sarah checks on him every couple of days to make certain he is still there. In this photo, he seems to be enjoying his dinner!



Weekend at the Cabin

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My brother invited us to his cabin in the woods this weekend. We spent Friday night and Saturday there. The fall colors are so pretty there. We aren't getting many pretty colors here in Jefferson City. I guess it was just too dry this summer. It rained all Friday evening and through the night, but Saturday was sunny and cool. We spent all morning walking the property and enjoying the fall colors. I took plenty of photos to get ideas for landscape quilts :D I just love digital cameras where you can take as many photos as will fit in your memory card. That's a lot! And you can immediately delete those that don't turn out the way you like and then retake the photo until you get it right.

Mystery Solved!

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I spent all my spare time working on this mystery quilt the last few days of last week. I just had to see what it would look like. So, first here is a photo of the fabrics I chose for the quilt. The pieces are all cut out and labeled. The first 3 sets of pieces are the white fabric, then there is the black, the focus fabrick, the medium light, then the medium dark.






Here is the completed quilt! I still don't have a place to photograph quilts in a verticle setting, so I had to lay the quilt on my bed to take this photo. One of these days I'll get a photo wall set up and will be able to take better photos of quilts.



If you ever get the chance to do a mystery quilt, try it! I think it will be more fun that you ever imagined.

Mystery!

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What will it be? I started the mystery quilt yesterday. I cut out all the patches and started sewing. Today I'm working on Step 3. I have one of the sets of blocks done and am working on the 2nd set. This is so much fun! It's fun to see how the pieces go together and make a block.


This is a photo of the first block.





The mystery quilt I'm working on is from The World Wide Quilting Page http://www.quilt.com/ It's the Summer Mystery Quilt. It has 4 steps to it and uses 5 fabrics - a focus fabric, a dark, a light background, a medium dark and a medium light. I chose fall colors instead of summery fabrics. I have white for the background, black for the dark, a dark orange for the medium dark and a lighter orange for the medium light. The focus fabric is a piece of commercial hand-dyed fabric left over from another project. Infact all of these fabrics are pieces from my stash. The 2 orange fabrics are pieces I hand-dyed myself. The others are commercial fabrics.

Hopefully I'…

Finished

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The sampler quilt is finished! Yea! I'm so happy! The feather blocks were completed yesterday and today it took just 2 1/2 hours to complete the pieced blocks. This a such a pretty quilt. It's going to be hard to send it back to the customer-ha!



Now on to a new quilt. I'll put another quilt on the machine tomorrow and see what ideas crop up in my head.



I've been helping Hannah make a quilt for a friend of hers in Reeds Spring. This is an oriental quilt with dragons. Have I mentioned this before? It sounds familiar-hmmmm! Hannah gets tired of stitching the borders on the sewing machine and likes to take loooonnnngggg breaks between each border. This may take awhile to complete ;) She is fast when it comes to quilting on the longarm, though :D



Last fall I took up crocheting again. I learned to crochet when I was in elementary school and have crocheted afghans off and on over the years. Last year I made scarves, hats and mittens for the girls. Paul bought me some yarn for Ch…

Autumn

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Autumn is slowing coming to central Missouri. Usually by now all the trees have lost their leaves, but this year most of the trees still have green leaves on them.

We went to the nature center again today to go for a hike. I remembered to bring along my camera this time. Some of the trees are changing, but most are still green.

I was fascinated by the huge trees there. I couldn't get the entire tree in one photo and still get the detailed shots that I wanted. So most of my photos of the large trees are taken in 3-4 shots. I think they will make good subjects for future quilts :D Hannah tells me that I turn everything into a quilt - ha! What can I say, it's an occupational hazard :D

Speaking of quilts - the customer quilt I'm working on is coming along nicely. I took a long time deciding what to quilt into the alternate blocks. The customer wanted feathers, but I couldn't come up with anything that looked right. Paul had bought me a new quilting book for my birthday and it…

Sunrise Photo

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It's working :D Here is one of the photos I took of the sunrise this morning. You can see the heavy rain clouds at the top and the sun changing the color of the lower clouds. This photo was taken just a few seconds after the one above.

Sunrise

This morning was rainy, but the sunrise was beautiful. I had to take a couple of photos to share. It always amazes me how quickly the colors change in a sunrise. A promise of a new day.

Shortly after I took this photo, the skies opened up and it poured. This view overlooks the Missouri River although you can't see the river due to the bluffs. In the evenings sometimes, we can see the mist rising from the river over the bluffs. Soooo pretty!

The trees are slowly starting to change colors here. I'll have to get out and take some photos soon.

The quilt I'm working on is going well. I'm almost finished with the borders and will quilt the alternate blocks next, then the pieced blocks. I'm using an Amish curling feather in the borders and another feather motif in the alternate blocks with some straightline ruler quilting in the pieced blocks.

As of now, we are planning a trip to Reeds Spring the weekend of November 17th and 185h. Paul's parents are celebrating …

Lazy Day

We didn't do much today. Hannah had the day off school, so we decided to go visit the nature center. The MO Conservation Department has it's headquarters here in Jefferson City along with a nature center. The center is about 5 miles from our house. We spent some time inside the building looking at their exhibits of Missouri wildlife. The most impressive to me was the stuffed mountain lion. Sarah and Hannah liked the snakes-ha!

After looking inside the building, we took a walk along the nature trails. We had planned on a 1 mile walk, but it was too short for the girls once we got started. I think we covered every trail they have. We also climbed up the fire observation tower they have on display. We'll be making frequent visits to walk the trails. Next time I'll try to remember to bring my camera.

After the nature center visit, we decided to drive around the rural areas here. We are right on the edge of a very large farm so we don't have to drive far to fi…

Finished!

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The quilt is done! I don't have a place to hang quilts to take photos yet, so here is a photo of it on our bed.
Here is a closer view showing some of the detail of the quilting in the basket blocks and the alternate blocks.
Here is a close up of an alternate block.

Tomorrow I'll be starting a new quilt project.

I Can't Believe I Did That!

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Do you ever get that nagging feeling that something just isn't quite right? You look and ponder and worry and still can't figure out what is wrong, so you just go on working on a project. What else can you do since you don't know for certain there REALLY is something wrong.

I've been looking at my new quilt - over and over and over again - trying to figure out what is wrong with it. It just didn't look right, but no matter how much I stewed over it, I couldn't find anything wrong with it. So I kept working. I finished the blocks, stitched them together, added the borders, marked the quilting lines, loaded it on the quilting machine, quilted it, bound it, and tossed it in the washer to wash out the blue pen marks. As of this minute it is in the dryer on low to damp dry it.

I have to say that the quilting went remarkably fast and easy. That's just one more sign that something wasn't quite right, but I attributed it to the fact that I had 8 weeks away from t…

Chicago Trip

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We just got back home yesterday evening from a quick trip to Chicago, IL. We left Jefferson City on Wednesday and arrived home Friday. We had to go to the Royal Thai Embassy to finalized Sarah's adoption in Thailand. That appointment lasted all of 20 minutes, but it was nice to connect with some of the Thai people again. Sarah remembered how to wai. That's the Thai greeting of "Sawadee Ka".




View of Lake Michigan from the Shedd's Aquarium.












The rest of the afternoon Thursday, we spent at the Shedd Aquarium on Lake Michigan. You get really beautiful views of the Chicago skyline as well as Lake Michigan from the aquarium. Like most large cities, though, the smog obscured the view somewhat.












This is a photo of the girls outside the Soldier Field Ball Park.











This is a photo of Sears Tower to the right.


This is a photo of the girls in front of the Soldier Field Monument.


More Quilt Photos

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Here are a couple more photos of the "Swans Around the Baskets" quilt. This weekend I completed the alternate blocks (white blocks) and today I'm working on the basket blocks. I didn't get as much quilting done today as I wanted. Oh, well, maybe tomorrow I'll get the quilt finished.
Paul and I worked on building a doghouse this weekend. Those of you who have been to our house before may have noticed that we had a very large doghouse for our outdoor dogs. That's because they liked to get into the house together. We couldn't move that doghouse with us so we built another one. This one is a double doggy too :D Paul ran out of time to complete the roof before the rain started so he quickly screwed down a piece of plywood flat on the top of the house. He'll make a real roof later.











Here is a photo of what I found in the doghouse this afternoon :D It may end up being a playhouse instead of a doghouse!

Work In Progress

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Here are two photos of the quilt I'm currently working on. It's a basket quilt made out of 1930's reproduction fabrics. The quilting designs I am using are my own designs. I've used "Kissing Swans" in the alternate blocks on-point, and in a straight setting in the pink border. I've also used parts of the Kissing Swans in the setting triangles. I'll do some ruler work in the basket blocks.
The pink borders are all complete. I've been working about 2 hours a day on this quilt, so things are going slowly. Tomorrow I'll work on the blue border (I don't know what I'll put in it just yet) and then work on the alternate blocks and finally the basket blocks.

I'm using Fairfield Hi-Loft poly batting for this quilt. I had originally planned to trapunto this quilt and therefore the poly batting for the trapunto. At the last minute I decided I didn't want to go to all the work trapunto requires and yet I didn't want to waste the batting.…
Paul and I finally got the quilting machine put back together last week and I'm ready to get started quilting :D I hope to have the additional lighting put in this week so I can see better. The room is pretty dark as it is.

My business license should be here in a week or 2 and then I'll be ready for business. In the meantime, I'm going to try to get caught up on a few of my own quilts. I have a basket quilt made with 30's reproduction fabrics and a couple of art quilts to finish. I'll post photos of them once I get them quilted.

We should be making a trip down to Reeds Spring in about 2 or 3 weeks. I'll try to make some contacts once I know for certain when we'll be down, and I can pick up quilts at that time.

Hannah has joined a watercolor club at school and is enjoying learning new ways to paint. The club prints the artwork into cards, postcards and posters for the kids to sell so they can pay for the art supplies they use.

Sarah is continuing to homes…

Back to Routine

We had a great weekend with family visiting and a BBQ on Monday. Our old BBQ pit didn't make the move so we bought a new one that took Paul and I almost 2 hours to put together. I'm not certain that my "helping" was really helping speed things up-ha!

The girls had fun spending time with their cousins. They found that this new house has lots of places to hide when you're playing hide-and-seek.

I also spent most of Friday and Saturday sewing up new curtains. Hannah wanted curtains that matched the theme of her bedroom, so we bought pirate themed fabric and I stitched up a valance for her. She didn't want full curtains so the valance worked out great. I also stitched up a valance for the window over my kitchen sink and for Caleb's room. He had a pink ruffled valance in that room - a bit too girly, so I bought a green hand-dyed look fabric and made curtains out of that.

There is a Jo-Ann's store 2 miles from the house :D So nice to be able to drive ju…

Changes

I have decided to name my quilting business "Sunrise Quilt Studio". The sunrises we view from our deck are so pretty and I need a name that I can continue to use if we move again. This one seems to fit the bill in that respect. Now I have to file all the paperwork required by law to get this done.

Paul and Hannah are in Reeds Spring this weekend to pack up some of the items we left behind and bring them back here to Jefferson City. Paul and his brother Dave, took our old refrigerator back down to the Reeds Spring home and we'll be selling it with the house. We had a showing of the house on Friday, but so far we haven't heard anything back from the realtor. We have 5 weeks left on the contract with this realtor and we're hoping the house will be sold before the contract is up.

Hannah is making friends at her new school so things are going better for her now. She says that this new school is a lot different from her old school and it is taking a bit of adjustin…

Adjusting

We are almost completely unpacked. I still have to unpack some books and organize things. The wiring for the computer doesn't work in the familyroom where we want to put the computer, so for now we have it on the counter in the kitchen! Paul is going to do some re-wiring of telephone line so we can get the computer back on it's desk and then I can get the family room organized.

Hannah doesn't like school here as much as in Reeds Spring. She's willing to give it a try, but the first 2 days of school were mostly reviewing work for the coming year and classroom rules. She's bored! Hopefully it will get better as time goes on.

Sarah is doing well with her homeschool work. She's catching on to reading a lot better this year than last and she's really enjoying our science studies about mammals.

Once we get completely unpacked, I'll be doing some painting in the house. The bathrooms could all use fresh paint especially the 1/2 bath that has a sand-textured p…

New Beginnings!

We are getting settled into our new home. The past 2 weeks have been hectic with packing up the old house and trying to unpack the new one. Even though we had movers doing the work of packing and moving, it was tiring! So many decisions to make and questions to answer; keeping an eye on everything and trying to have some sense of normalcy for the kids. We are doing all the unpacking ourselves and are up to our knees in boxes and packing materials.

We spent 2 nights in hotels between the closing on the new house loan and moving in since there was a 3 day delay between the closing and the moving date. Even the kids got tired of eating out and eating convenience foods!

The neighborhood we are living in is very quiet. We have several hundred acres of vacant land behind us that helps with the quietness. Our lot is 1/2 acre and part of it is fenced so the dogs are happy to be near the house and to have plenty of space to romp - although it has been too hot to do much more than lay on t…