Friday, August 27, 2010

Sew & Tell Friday #15: Patriotic Log Cabin Quilt Top

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Hallelujah! My “quilt of errors” is FINALLY finished!  Well, at least the top is finished … I am so happy to finally get it done.  I’m also happy to report that I used up all my patriotic strips/scraps on this top.  Read about my progress here.

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I really like the border with the delectable mountain blocks.  This was my first time making the block and had to improvise because I didn’t really have a pattern.  The blocks were not so easy to make and are definitely not perfect.

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The top is much bigger than I anticipated, finishing at 85” square.  I’m sure this will nicely cover a queen-size bed. Can you believe I was originally going to make it with 12 blocks?!  This is so big that I had to move the furniture out of the way just to take a picture.

Anyway, making this quilt top was definitely a learning experience.  And, even though there was plenty of frustration, I’m happy with the outcome and am planning to make another one ~ some day ~ but with different fabrics.  Not sure when this top will be quilted, so for now it’s in my “To Be Quilted” pile.


Am linking up to the following.  Please be sure to visit for more great finishes:

 


scrap happy chal

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wednesday Weigh-In … It Happened

Wednesday Weigh In

Well, what I was afraid would happen did happen … my weight/water loss has come to a screeching halt! Not only did I not lose any weight, but I gained 2.5 lbs … boo hoo hoo!  I knew it was too easy to last.

I suppose two 7-hour days of sitting in a car and eating junk food (i.e., McDonalds, In-N-Out Burger, Top Dog, etc.) on my trip to Berkeley did not help.  Although I did take fruit for the road and walked at every opportunity, it just wasn’t enough to keep the pounds off.

That’s okay … I’m still minus 6 lbs. which is an average loss of 2 lbs. per week.  Not to get discouraged by this gain, but it does make me realize I am now going to have to work at losing it.  Let the fun begin!

BTW, did anyone read Losing It! by Valerie Bertinelli.  I read it a few months ago and it was a good read.  I learned more about her life than I ever wanted to know!  Anyway, I must say she does look good …

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

WIP Wednesday & Wednesday Weigh-In

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Karrie Lyne over at Freckled Whimsy is having a Charm Pack Quilt Along.  Yeah, I love to quilt-along!  And I also love the 12 Days of Christmas by Kate Spain for Moda. 

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They’re already on week three, but I just started working on my HSTs so I’ve got some catching up to do.  Here’s one by Kim using the same charm pack:

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I can’t wait to get my Charm Pack quilt finished, but first … DSC01537

… I need to finish my log cabin “quilt of errors”.  I have made some progress, and I’m thinkin’ I’m likin’ it!  Check out that middle block … I think it adds character, don’t you?  I’m thinking I’d like to do something other than just a plain border.  We’re heading to Berkeley again this Friday, so not sure if I’ll have this top done by then … but I’m working on it.


Wednesday Weigh In

On a different note, I’m happy to report that I lost 7.5 lbs this past week!!  Seems unbelievable, but frankly I believe most is water loss due to my blood pressure medication which is also a diuretic.  So let it be!  It's good to see the arrow on the scale go down instead of up, and it's a great motivator.  I'm already feeling better!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Surprised and Honored … My First Award

I received my first blogging award - The Versatile Blogger Award – from Michelle at The Desert Quilter!  Thank you so much … I am honored!  I was totally surprised when I read Michelle’s email this morning; and I was very touched by her recognition.

The award comes with a few easy rules:

  • Thank the person who gave you the award.  (Definitely!)
  • Tell 7 things about yourself.
  • Award 15 other bloggers that you enjoy reading.

7 Things About Me:

  1. I will be married 27 years this December; have three grown children; and 5 grandchildren.
  2. I love to read almost anything, but crime fiction is my favorite.  
  3. I love movies; thrillers and dramas are my favorites.
  4. I hate to cook but love baking.
  5. My favorite subject in school was English (love to write).
  6. My current favorite TV show is The Closer.
  7. I worked for over 20 years as a public service employee; and am a retired Code Enforcement Officer (worked long hours and definitely not overpaid).

15 Bloggers who are receiving the Versatile Blogger Award from me (in no particular order):

  1. Delilah at Love.Laugh.Sew
  2. Diane at Life Scraps
  3. Karen at Sewing Tales
  4. Linda at ScrapMaster
  5. Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts
  6. Nancy-Rose at Life is a Stitch
  7. Tazzie at Tazzie Quilts
  8. Trisha at TLC Stitches

There are so many wonderful bloggers, and it was not an easy task to pick just 15!  The rules are easy but please don’t feel obligated on my part if they seem to be too much work.  I just want to give a cheer and recognition to all quilting bloggers.  I am happy to be part of such a special group in blogland; and thanks to all for sharing your creativity!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Another Busy Week …

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Another busy week and not much quilting done … still working on my #$@ “quilt of errors” log cabin quilt.  I couldn’t stand it so I took apart the center of all 28 units and sewed them correctly.  Time consuming, yes, but it would have taken me longer to make 28 replacement units.

Anyhow, DS#1 is back from his summer session at Berkeley.  None the worse for wear.  He loved his classes but found his math class very challenging.  He hated the dorm, but will have to live with it again in the fall.  He has a one-week break and goes back next weekend for the new school year.

So on the way home from Berkeley, we drove by this vehicle engulfed in flames.  I felt bad for the folks standing by the road, but it seems they were able to save their belongings.  A little excitement on an otherwise boring and uneventful ride.

I took the picture with my new toy ~ a Samsung Vibrant Galaxy Android phone ~ got it in the mail just before we left on our trip to Berkeley:

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I’d had a Razor flip phone for a couple of years and it was beginning to fail.  I really liked my old phone.  No fancy gadgets so it was easy to use and served me well.  I told DH that I needed a new phone, maybe a Smartphone that could alert me when I received messages.  Something fairly easy to use and not very fancy.  Well, Mr. Gadgetman (that’s DH) decides to get me this ultra-new super fancy phone … I don’t care for phones that are smarter than me! 

No sooner had DH set it up for me the darn thing starts yapping.  Someone was calling me and I didn’t even know how to answer it! Anyway, while on the road, I had a chance to play with it a little and am beginning to learn how to use it.  It’ll take me a while to get used to it and appreciate it.  In the meantime, I have three guys who would love to take it off my hands if I decide I don’t want it!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wednesday Weigh-In: Week #1

Wednesday Weigh In

Lost 1.5 lbs this week!!  Woohoo!  Don’t know how that happened cuz I was not a good girl.  I didn’t get out to walk as I’d planned and I didn’t really change my diet by much, but I guess even little changes help.  I cut out the late night snacks and started eating more fish and veggies for dinner.

I’ve never been a physically active person and have struggled with my weight since I was in high school, although I was never *fat*.  Back then, I could lose it just as quickly.  But, you all know, when you hit 30, the metabolism slows down and it takes more activity to lose the weight and not gain it … that’s when most of us tend to get chunky.

For the past 23-25 years, I mostly sat behind a desk for 8-10 hours at work; and when I wasn’t behind the desk, I was behind the wheel.  Half of my work day was spent in a city vehicle.  Then I’d commute 4 hours to and from work every day … more sitting.  Of course, when I got home, what would I do?  Either sit at my computer or sewing machine.  It’s no wonder I put on so much weight!

Quilting is such a wonderful and creative hobby.  It just gives me such a lift and makes me feel happy!   But it’s also very sedentary … I can spend hours (if not days) sitting at my sewing machine.  Good for the heart and soul, but not too good for the body.

Way back in January 2000, I went to my first Road to California Quilt Show.  An announcement came over the loudspeaker from an emotional exhibitor who wanted to pay tribute to Doreen Speckmann.  I had no idea at that time who she was, but I do remember very well what the speaker said.  She pleaded with all of us *quilters* to take care of ourselves and make sure we get plenty of exercise … it’s too easy for us to sit at our sewing machine all day and forget how important exercise is to our health.

Doreen Speckmann passed away suddenly on September 18, 1999 in Ireland, while leading a quilting tour.  I believe she suffered a heart attack or stroke, and collapsed while at a social event on the cruise.  She was only 48 and far too young for something like this to happen.

So with this in mind, I will get off my butt and go take a walk …

Friday, August 6, 2010

No Friday Finish This Week

DSC0153228 Log Cabin Units

It was definitely a busy week, and I didn’t get as much sewing done as I normally do.  I’m still working on the patriotic log cabin quilt that I started this past Sunday … and it’s turning out to be “a quilt of errors”!

I thought this’d be an easy quilt to piece … surely I’d have the top finished by today.  And I think that was my first error … thinking the log cabin block is very easy to sew, I didn’t pay too much attention. 

After completing my first block (below) and posting about my error here, I decided to go forward with more *wonky* units. 

DSC01527 First 16-unit block

I calculated that I needed 44 more log cabin units.  When I finished the last one, I was so happy.  I was looking forward to sewing the blocks together and then into rows.  I could see the light at the end of the tunnel … and then I made a second 16-unit block. 

DSC01533 Second 16-unit block

Hello! What happened?!  The first and second blocks don’t match … third error!  Not only did I sew the log cabin units wrong ~ again ~ but I also did not make enough!  My little pile of 28 remaining log cabin units didn’t seem large enough to make 10 more blocks!  What was I thinking?  Ummm …. 16 x 11 equals 176 units … not 44 … fourth error!

So this is not fun anymore, and I don’t wanna play!  But I will continue, except that I’m making only 9 blocks and that means I need to make 84 more units!  Groan!  It’ll probably take me until next Friday to finish this … unless I just get fed up with it and toss it aside first!  So who knows what I’ll be posting about for my next Friday Finish … until then, have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Wednesday Weigh-In

I’ve decided to join Stephanie over at A Ditchin’ Time Quilts for her weekly Wednesday weigh-in.  My first weigh-in will be next week so I hope to lose at least one itty-bitty pound!

Have been thinking ~ again ~ of losing weight for sometime.  Every week I read how bad excess weight is and how it can lead to all kinds of horrible things, like heart disease, diabetes, stroke, etc.  I know what I need to do … eat right and exercise regularly.  But knowing and doing are two different things. 

Since I got married almost 27 years ago, I have steadily gained over 90 lbs!  Gasp!  It’s the first time I’ve put that in writing.  Three pregnancies; a couple of traumatic events that caused depression, panic attacks and agoraphobia; and a sedentary work- and life-style all lead to my weight gain.  At some point, I gave up and for awhile accepted my being overweight.

Over the past few years, I tried several times to lose weight: joined Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, and even Curves.  At one point I lost 20 lbs. and felt pretty good.  Then I lost interest, gained it all back plus more … and gave up again.  I had one excuse after another.  Then I told myself that “when I retired, I’d have more time to exercise and eat healthier” – no more eating-out with the office gang!  Well, I’ve been retired 1-1/2 years and still overweight.  But I know it’s not healthy and I do want to live for many more years. 

I went to the doctor’s two days ago and was put on blood pressure medication for the first time in my life.  I know my bad cholesterol levels are high and my sugar is high (pre-diabetic).  Not good at all!!  So I have to … I must … lose weight so I can enjoy a healthier and happier future.

Having said all that, today being my *first* day of eating healthy, I totally blew it!  I had my usual coffee with hazelnut Coffee-mate and Eggos.  Then, after a 3-hour visit at the DMV, DS#2 and I had a late lunch at Bob’s Big Boy, where I ordered a hamburger and fries with a chocolate shake … ouch!!  In my defense, I ate only 1/2 the burger and 1/2 the shake.  Dinner will be much healthier:  tilapia fish with vegetables and a small salad.

I do enjoy walking so that will be my exercise because it has always worked for me … so long as it includes an incline.  Lots of those where I live!  So now I’m off for a short walk around the neighborhood and hopefully I will lose that itty-bitty pound for next week!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

WIP Patriotic Log Cabin Quilt

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This little project snuck in before all the other projects on my *to do* list.  I have no idea how that happened!  Well, okay, yes, I do know …

DSC01373After making this quilt for Stacie’s It’s A String  Challenge, I still had quite a few of these leftover:

DSC00887They’d been sitting on my cutting table for over a month, and they kept staring at me.  I kept telling them they had to wait their turn.  I tried hard to ignore them, but they kept bugging me.  I finally decided I had to do something with them or else they would drive me crazy! 

So, I  decided I would do a patriotic log cabin quilt … how hard could that be?  I’d already made one log cabin quilt about 4 years ago:2100252090052745537VSxnkP_fs

So, I looked through my collection of books and magazines for a log cabin pattern, and finally settled on a traditional design.  After making my first unit, I realized I didn’t exactly follow the pattern when sewing the white and print logs.  I didn’t think it was a big deal so long as I was consistent, so I happily sewed 15 more units.

And here’s the *block* with 16 log cabin units; it measures 26-1/2 inches square:DSC01527

Do you notice anything?  Maybe not, but the design is a little wonky … the red squares do not line up and the “steps” of the white logs are not consistent!  NOW I know why the pattern said to sew the logs in a specific order … who would have thought it made any difference?!

Originally, I thought I’d just make this as a small table topper, and make more log cabin units following the pattern.  But the more I looked at this, the more I really liked this *wonky* look.

I think I’ll make 11 more blocks and use a 3 x 4 setting.  I think that should be a good size for a Quilt of Valor quilt.  So I’m off to make more log cabin units …

Here’s wishing you a great Sunday!