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Saturday, December 30, 2006

Some catching up

On the eve of the last day of the year, I finally found some time to take some photos and do a little catching up. This post is photo-intensive, making up for not writing much lately. :)

First is my pincushion - I made several of these for Christmas gifts this year before having my surgery, and unfortunately I didn't take any photos before giving them away. I made mine from the same fabric I used in my roman shade in the kitchen - just love that Monet-inspired print. The pattern is from Whip Up, and it is really easy to do. I love the way they look, and they don't require a lot of fabric or time.

My new pincushion, which doubles as a cat toy when it doesn't have pins in it

Next is a cross stitching update, finally! I've been doing a little bit of stitching here and there, but didn't think I had enough progress to take a new photo or scan - well, I do now, and there are three updates to share: Autumn Maiden, Jingle Bells Xmas Tree Farm, and Arabian Woman.

Autumn Maiden
Jingle Bells Xmas Tree Farm, working on section 5
Arabian Woman

Wanting to work on something a little different, I picked up Teresa Wentzler's Dragon Ride and have been working on it the past couple of days while we watch Alias, season one again. I think the majority of the over-one was finished the last time I worked on it, so I've been concentrating on the dragon's neck. I should be able to share a picture in a day or two.

Crochet: Well, I started another doily called Snowflake, with some white/silver crochet thread. I put it down when I realized that I was going to either have to find some additional crochet thread to finish it, or if I couldn't, relegate it to the UFO bin. Fortunately, I found some matching thread at Joann's today (yay!), so I plan to get back on that soon. :) No picture yet, though. Probably won't have one until it is done and blocked, but it's pretty so far!

Quilting: a few updates here... I've gotten two rows (of 8) done on the Double Wedding Ring quilt, and I've started working on the third. It is slow going, but enjoyable. I think I might be able to move my sewing machine back into its table soon, which will make it easier to work on piecing projects. I'm starting to sit a little more, still sore, but every day it's a little better. So here is the latest progress:

Double Wedding Ring quilt progress

I started another quilting project, the block-of-the-month quilt, Afternoon Tea. My plan was to start in January, but those fabulous fabrics just kept enticing me, so I broke down and pieced the first block already. I still plan to do one block a month (and there will actually be two or three versions of them in order to make the entire quilt), so I'm going to try to hold off doing block two until January (thank goodness it's almost here for that, right?). :D


One of my Christmas presents from C was another quilting shopping spree, and that's what we did today. We went to Joann's first and got a couple of things I wanted there (including new backing fabric for his Blankie #2). Then we went to Quilter's Attic in Goodlettsville and walked around admiring their shop models. We picked up some new fabric (surprise!) and a couple of books, and I've got quite a few new ideas just waiting to be developed.

Some new fabrics, including some sale fabrics
A few more of those chocolate and pink fabrics, yummy
The BIG splurge - a collection of 36 fat quarters in Moda's Cinnamon Stars Collection

The last photo was my big splurge. I saw them made into a quilt, and wanted to make them into a quilt myself also, so we also got the book that had the pattern in it. Quilt shops can make good sales when they have those little bundles pre-made up.

We also got a shop vac from my mom and dad, so I spent some time yesterday (it was gorgeous weather) vacuuming out the cars, which really needed the attention. We're also waiting on my brother to deliver our other big gift - he made us this huge cat tree! It's got all sorts of little cubbyholes and levels, and I'm anxious to see what the kitties think about it.

All of our gifts to everyone else were received very well. Of course, the kids all loved their toys and games, and Teresa and Allison were awed by their quilts. And my brother loved the quilted pillow I made for him (that matches his quilt). He's also happy that he can have his quilt back now (I think Teresa kinda took it over last year, ha ha!). It has been a wonderful holiday season, for certain, and even with the health struggles I've been through this year, 2006 has been a great year. I think 2007 looks to be even better, and I wish everyone peace, love, and happiness.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Quilt rebinding project

When not playing video games lately, here is the quilt rebinding project I've been working on. I finished the quilt for C in January 1998. It has been his much loved "blankie" ever since. Used constantly (and I do mean constantly), it had come to need some serious attention, before it completely disintegrated. I'm still working on attaching the binding to the back, but it's close to being finished, yay!

Old binding - front of quilt view
Quilt with original binding, top view
Old binding - back of quilt view
Quilt with original binding, backing view
Removing the old binding, carefully
Removing the old binding, carefully
Sewing on the new binding to the top
Sewing on the new binding to the quilt top
New binding, top
Quilt top with new binding
New binding, attaching to quilt backing view
Attaching the new binding to the back (final step!)

I haven't been doing any other stitching lately! I have become obsessed with Zelda: Twilight Princess... But the good news on the stitching front is that I'm going to the Stitchin Post Christmas party Thursday evening to visit with friends I haven't seen in forever (I quit going to Sit n Stitch when I couldn't really sit, over a year ago). I haven't kept up with blogs or boards recently either, but I've started glancing at a few today, and I can feel the desire to cross-stitch starting to return.

And where has December gone? Christmas is nearly here - I finally buckled down and wrapped gifts yesterday (it was slow going, so it took all afternoon, but it is done!). Wow, 2006 is nearly a memory, and what a memory it is. And since I probably won't post again until after the 25th, I'd like to take this opportunity to wish everyone Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Peace on Earth!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Another post-op update

I had my second followup with my orthopaedic physician Thursday afternoon, and he took x-rays to compare with the original. Funny to see that much gone! :)

I am doing very well, better than expected. I'm walking daily on the treadmill now (up to 15 minutes at a time), stretching, etc., and I have just started sitting upright on hard surfaces and with my molded plastic seat in the car. Not yet sitting on the couch, but I know that I will get there, much sooner than later!

In fact, today, I sat on the bleachers through a good friend's college graduation, which was nearly 2 hours. Then I rode in the front seat of the car for nearly an hour, then sat and ate lunch at Captain D's (nearly another hour). I ended up laying down in the back seat for most of the ride home, but tonight I'm not feeling too bad (I'm not in any pain as I type this tonight).

I am off the pain medication, occasionally taking tylenol if I have little twinges. It's mostly just sore right now, the muscles a little tight around the incision area. My doctor thinks I'm doing fantastic, the surgical wound healed perfectly, and he thinks that I may be close to 100% about 12 weeks post-op. I'm so psyched by the progress so far.

I start working half days from home this coming week, then 3/4 days, then full time. Once I've worked a week or two from home full time, I expect to return to the office. I truly believe the surgery was the best thing I could have done.

As for what I've been doing this week, mostly it's been just trying to increase my stamina, exercise and stretch more, stand and sit more. I'm working on a 're-binding CC's blankie' project. Currently, I'm taking the binding off his quilt - it is totally ragged, and I don't want to just slap a new binding overtop the old (it is a VERY loved quilt). It takes nearly as long to remove the binding as it did to put it on the first time. I also started another doily, but may need to get more thread to finish it (surprise, surprise, how many times have I done that already?). I've also started playing some new video games - I got the GameCube version of the new Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (no, I haven't bought a Wii), and the Nintendo DS's Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin. Both are great fun so far, and no, I haven't finished the other Zelda and Castlevania games yet, but I AM going to get back to them. :)

It doesn't seem at all that I've been off work for 4 weeks - wow, the time just flew by. At least now, it looks like I will be able to enjoy Christmas with our families, and I'm really looking forward to it!! I feel so very fortunate that I'm recovering so quickly, and I have the greatest family, friends, and co-workers!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

It's an ornament!

Front of ornament
back of ornament

Yippee, I've finally finished-finished something! :) I didn't want it to be too puffy, so I didn't overstuff it. I really like the way it turned out, and I'm looking forward to adding it to our tree next year.

Another milestone today for me - I went grocery shopping this morning with C. It's a less-than-5-minute drive to the grocery store from our house, so I "sat" on my left side in the front seat of the car while he drove (up on the ischial bone). I made it all the way through without any pain or fatigue, so I really feel like I've accomplished something. I've been walking just 5 minutes a day on my treadmill, and I'll be upping that to 10 minutes now. I also stood at my sewing machine a bit yesterday and worked on the double wedding ring quilt. Definitely don't want to overdo it, but I also want to do it just enough.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

'Tis the Season

Tis the Season, by Stacey Tippin for Dinky Dyes Designs

And yes, definitely 'tis. This morning, it is snowing here in Nashville! No accumulation is really expected, and it's just a dusting on the surfaces, but it is snowing, and it's really pretty to look at (since I have to be home and not out driving in it). I haven't made the cross stitch piece into an ornament yet, but that's the plan. The hat is done with Wisper thread, so it's a little fuzzy, which just adds more dimension to the piece. I love the muted colors too.

Okay, back to resting for me! :) Oh, and Ann, I posted a comment to the last post, but just in case you haven't seen it, it's lissylaine [at] yahoo [dot] com

Monday, December 04, 2006

Learning what don't overdo it means now

Don't overdo it
(1) Even when you feel great, it doesn't mean you are able to walk for twenty minutes on the treadmill, even at a slow speed, and even though the music has you thinking, "just one more song".
Friday was great, I walked 2 miles per hour for 10 minutes - a very slow pace for a very short time. And I felt fine afterwards. So I walked again on Saturday. But this time, I walked for 20 minutes, and even though I was still feeling fine right afterwards, it caught up with me a bit later, and I realized what a dummy I'd been in pushing it that far. So I didn't walk at all yesterday, and I probably won't walk again today (on the treadmill), to make sure I don't overdo it any more or again. And when I do begin walking again, it will be for 10 minutes each day for a period of time before increasing to 15 minutes (20 - what WAS I thinking?). I wanted so bad to be Superwoman. :)

Thank you all for the positive thoughts and comments. I really don't believe I've set my recovery back. It's just hard to judge my limits now, and trying to err on the side of caution rather than what I normally do is unusual for me. :) But C has gone back to work this week, so it's even more imperative that I rein my enthusiasm in, because I'm the only one to do it during the day now.

I started a new cross-stitch project (a little one), and I have the border complete. It's another one of Stacey Tippin's designs for Dinky Dyes, called Tis the Season. I figured that was appropriate. ;-)

Tis the Season, in progress

Now I'm off to the couch to watch some tv and rest.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Stitches are gone!

I'm happy to report that my first follow-up with my orthopedic physician here in Nashville went well, and my stitches have been removed. Last week was spent mostly lying down, on one side or the other, but this week I've been able to stand up for longer stretches of time (and want to - my hips are sore!). I believe I'm off the pain medication now too - I only took one yesterday, and I haven't taken any today. I still won't try sitting for at least another week or two, but I am really optimistic about my full recovery. I go back for a second follow-up and an x-ray in about two weeks. The doctor expects to release me to activities at that time, though we'll see about the whole driving thing, which requires the ability to sit. I've still got all of my cushions, and plan to take it slowly.

Meanwhile, since I've been down a lot, I've been working on my grandmother's flower garden quilt. It's slow going (all by hand), but it does develop a rhythm that's easy to work while watching television. Here are the most recent additions:

Two hexagon flowers in progress
Upper left corner of my GFG quilt

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just a really quick note to let you all know I am back home, safe and sound, and recovering from my surgery. Everything went well, according to my doctor, and I had a really sharp point on my coccyx which was most likely the cause of all of my pain. That is now gone, and he shaved down a small part of my sacrum to help prevent bone spurs (or something like that). So far, I seem to be healing well, and I have to say that the staff of the Presbyterian Orthopaedic Hospital in Charlotte are the BEST! And speaking of the best, their BairPaws system is just the most wonderful thing in the world for keeping you comfortable before and after surgery.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Thanksgiving! And I want to thank everyone for your prayers and good thoughts for me during my surgery and recovery. I am truly blessed to have such a wonderful family and group of friends, and I am very thankful for each and every one of you.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Probably my last update before surgery

I'm having the surgery early next week, so this will likely be the last update I make before then, and I do have some progress to share on Mother's Arms.

Mother's Arms progress as of November 15, 2006

I worked on MA for over a week before I decided it was time to move on. I'm thinking of working on Arabian Woman next.

I'll post again as soon as I can. I hope everyone has a wonderful rest of the week and weekend. Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Weekend!

This week has been all work, work, work, and very little play. I do have just a little progress on the double wedding ring quilt top that I can share. Slow and deliberate is the manner in which I must work on it, otherwise it won't go together properly.

Double Wedding Ring circles progress

The top row's circles are almost complete. There will be 7 horizontal by 8 vertical.

In cross-stitching news, I had a sudden desire to work on something different than what is in my current rotation. This has happened before, and I know a lot of times, I start a new project when it does. Well, not this time! I pulled out one of my other WIPs and decided to spend a little time on it (Mother's Arms). I'll probably work on it until I'm ready to move on (no stitching goal), and then I might work on one of my other non-rotation WIPs until I feel like getting back into the groove of it.

Oh, and here are my birthday quarter-yards package. The books/patterns that I got are Super Simple Squares by Lynda Milligan and Nancy Smith, Afternoon Tea (Fat Quarter Block of the Month, which is what I plan to use my quarter-yards package with) by Judy Flanagan, So Many Squares by LaBenne Publications, and Grandma's Sampler by Glad Creations, Inc. I hope to start the Afternoon Tea sampler block quilt in January and do it like the block-of-the-month ones I've seen out. Happy, happy weekend all!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Autumn Maiden and the Countdown Begins...

It really helps to take progress scans or photos, because just when you think you haven't made much progress at all, you can compare your current picture to the last one and find that you've actually gotten quite a bit done! Such was the case with Autumn Maiden when I scanned it in this afternoon. I was thinking that exact thing, and lo and behold, I've gotten much more done than I had thought.

Maidens of the Seasons II, Autumn Maiden progress
(compare the two mini-pics below)
progress as of nowprogress back on September 11, 2006

I've been working like a madwoman at work, getting everything ready for my extended absence, and of course, I am paying for it physically. I'm not getting in much stitching lately (compared to, say, a year ago), and I've been seeing my chiropractor a bit more over the past couple of weeks. It's that whole 'I'll rest when I'm dead' mentality. Actually, I plan on REALLY resting with my recovery, but I know I shouldn't wear myself down before surgery. Just a little over two weeks to go now...

C gave me my birthday present early this year - he went with me this morning to Quilter's Attic in Goodlettsville and gave me a little shopping spree - three new quilt patterns, a new fat quarters quilt book, and a (surprise!) package of fat quarters (the colors of which remind me of Neopolitan ice cream, yummy). He actually went with me into the store and even made suggestions for purchases. And he carried everything around for me while we shopped. I'm such a lucky girl. :) Okay, I'm going to go play with my stash now. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

My great big happy dance

Allison's Jewel Box quilt is bound! The quilting is beautiful, and I look forward to seeing her reaction at Christmas. It took quite a while to get it done with all my shoulder problems this past couple of weeks, but it is worth it. I was originally going to just use the purple/gold middle fabric for backing this quilt, but had only bought enough (5 yards) for a full-size quilt. I bought more of the orange/yellow fabric, but it was still not quite enough, so I sewed 3 panels of the fabrics together (orange/yellow on the outside, purple/gold in the middle). They are both flannels that I prewashed, and they feel nice and snuggly warm and soft.

Quilting, top corner with binding
Quilting, back middle panel
Quilting, back outer panel
Back of quilt (three panels)

Monday, October 23, 2006

A little happy dance

No, not the quilt just yet, though I do have three sides bound now. I decided to finish up my travel project on Sunday, partly because I'd gotten to the point on it where I needed to concentrate, and partly because it was so close to being finished. I proudly present Tropical Daydream ornament, by Teresa Wentzler, with numerous substitutions by me so I could use what I had on hand without purchasing anything else.

Tropical Daydream finished

In other news, we have a surgery date now (November 20), and I am looking forward to my journey back to wellness.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Binding getting close

I've completed about 75% of attaching the binding - it's completely sewn to the front of the quilt, and I've hand-stitched two sides to the back. I've still probably got about 4-6 hours to go to complete it. I haven't stitched on anything else lately.

I'm just so glad it's Friday, and I'm going to try to relax as much as I can this weekend. Work is very busy right now, as I knew it would be when we finally got to dig into the reality of our current project (as opposed to just working on the planning phase). I'm trying to get as much as I can get done before the surgery, as I just don't have any idea how long I'll be out of commission. I'm hoping it won't be too long, but I definitely won't try to rush the healing process.

I'm sure this isn't helping my neck any, but I've been playing more Resident Evil 4 on my GameCube the past few days too. I know I'm getting close to finishing the game, but I'm not sure how much longer it will take - it's getting REALLY hard. :)

Okay, I'm off to bed - have a wonderful weekend everyone!!!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

It's been awhile...

and I apologize for the lack of updates. Last Thursday I started having some major shoulder and neck problems again (friends and family attribute most of it to stress, and they could be right). I've been to the chiropractor a couple of times, and in the middle of that I went back to see the surgeon for a follow-up on my tailbone. Suffice it to say that there has not been as much stitching as I would like lately. It looks like I will be having surgery before the end of the year, but I don't know the date yet (insurance pre-certification, doctor's schedules, etc.). I expect for their office to be calling me to schedule it within the next couple of weeks, but I don't know exactly when. I will certainly post an update when I know something more.

The highlight of my week was being emailed by my longarm quilter and then called by the quilt shop to let me know that Allison's quilt was ready! I picked it up Friday afternoon, and now all I need to do is bind it and sign it, and it will be another Christmas present ready to go. Which is a really good thing because I don't know the timing of the surgery, so I'd like to knock everything out of the way that I can before then.

So, no pictures today - I've worked on a couple of things for very small progress, but I really hope to share a picture of the completed quilt soon! Thanks to everyone who's hanging in there with me. :)

Monday, October 09, 2006

Fantasy Sampler

Here is the latest - I worked on the lower left corner a bit more this go-round.

Fantasy Sampler, October 2006

Tonight I'm looking forward to finishing up Battlestar Galactica (we watched half of the premiere yesterday). I haven't decided which project I'll be working on yet. Homecoming on Saturday was really nice - I saw a few more classmates than I usually do, lunch was good, and drinks and conversation after the ceremonies were even better. I even saw the older sister one of my best friends from elementary school, which prompted me to email her again. I've been so bad about email lately...

I thought that work might be a little busy this week, but I had no idea it would be crazy busy. And it's only Monday. Here's hoping it just doesn't get crazier as the week goes on. Isn't that always the way when one of the team members is on vacation? :)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Travel project

I've finally got a couple of minutes to post an update. Here is the progress I've made on Tropical Daydream, the little [freebie from Teresa Wentzler] travel project I started in Reno.

Tropical Daydream progress

I've made a few alterations, some out of necessity, others just on a whim, to the colors used in the design.

Work has really been ratcheting up, and I don't see it slowing down much for some time to come. I'll have all my regular updates to do, plus we're currently working on converting the entire web site(s) to table-less layouts with CSS. The design process is nearly complete, and we're currently testing, about to jump into the actual conversions full force.

So, I've been coming home a little more mentally (and physically) drained than usual. I actually have worked just a little on Fantasy Sampler, but not enough yet for another progress picture. I've also been working on some little Christmas gifts, but I can't really share those yet. We'll just say, I saw something really cute (IMHO), and had to make it for a couple of friends and family members. I really want to make one for me too. :) I'm planning to stitch some more on FS tonight while we watch... you just don't want to know how many shows we have backed up on the Tivo. I have thoroughly embraced that technology. I don't know how we would have recorded everything with just the VCRs while I was in Reno - my husband lets me do all the fun techno stuff (like programming VCRs and setting up Season Passes). ;-) We'll just say it would have involved a WHOLE lot more work on his part.

I'm looking forward to this weekend! My high school, which closed the year I was to graduate, still has an alumni association and we still have a Homecoming 'reunion' every year. Alumni get back together (and some of the classes have actual reunions at the same time) on the old school campus, and we have a picnic lunch and other activities. I haven't made it every year, but I've enjoyed the times when I could. I expect to see a few more familiar faces this year because this is the 20-year reunion of the class which graduated just ahead of me, and I had quite a few friends in that class. Which, of course, means that my 20-year reunion would be next year, yikes! No matter how often I say that, it surprises me.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Back from Reno

Yep, I'm back, and I'm already wishing I'd taken Monday off. My flight touched down at about 12:30 a.m. Saturday, and I pretty much crashed when I got home. I don't remember much where Saturday went, it just flew by. Today is basically the same - I've at least unpacked and started laundry. C is at the Cowboys @ Titans game today, so we're recording the race for later.

The conference in Reno was fun but draining. My tailbone is definitely not happy with all the sitting, but I'm glad I went. I sat with different people at every meal, so I got to learn about several different areas of the country.

I got a tiny bit of stitching accomplished, but mostly in my 'down' time I played videogames or vegged out to tv. My body, of course, was on Central time, so it was very weird to be going to bed around 7:30 or 8:00 (Pacific, two hours behind), waking up at 5:30, having breakfast at 9 or 9:30, etc. I hope to have my energy back by Tuesday. The good news is that my sewing machine is ready for pickup, so I'm going to try to pick it up Monday after work.

I hope that everyone has had a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Unicorn Mystique

Here is the latest on Unicorn Mystique. I worked on the cliff in the lower left section.

Unicorn Mystique progress

I will be out of town for the next few days, so I don't know if I'll get any stitching done whatsoever (though I'll take a project with me in case I have some down time and energy to work on it). I'm headed to Reno, Nevada for the National Association of Government Webmasters conference, and I'm quite excited to go (well, except for the whole plane ride - my fourth cortizone shot didn't help at all, just like the third, so I have a followup with the surgeon in Charlotte, NC scheduled in a few weeks). Since I became part of a team of web developers a couple of years ago in a consolidation effort, I have really enjoyed having the opportunity to work with people who do the same thing that I do (I was the only one at my department before consolidation, though we did have someone developing web applications - totally different job). To have the chance to go to a conference and meet even more people who do the same thing I do is just incredible and would have been unimaginable a couple of years ago. The opportunity might not come again, so I decided I would deal with whatever pain I had to (during the flight out there and back - several hours each way) in order to meet these folk and learn some new things.

So, I'm almost packed, and I'm trying to decide what to do tonight. It's Game Night for the guys, so I might kick back and play a little more Resident Evil. The Double Wedding Ring quilt may demand some attention, though, so we'll see. I ended up doing both over the weekend. I can juggle several hobbies well if I ignore housework! :)

Friday, September 22, 2006

I'm still here!

Though evidence may point to the contrary... I haven't been completely slacking, though I might go play some videogames this evening (Resident Evil 4, Zelda: The Wind Waker, Luigi's Mansion, who knows? :) )... or maybe I'll work on a quilt - I haven't decided yet.

Speaking of quilts, I finally dropped off Allison's Jewel Box at the quilter's today, and they said that quilts dropped off by October 1 were guaranteed for Christmas, so we should be good to go for that one (yay me). I have started working in earnest on the Double Wedding Ring and have a couple of new pictures to share - the pieces are in an order that make sense to me, and I have some more melons pieced.

Double Wedding Ring quilt, pieces on the wall
Double Wedding Ring quilt, pieces on my cutting table

I got just a little more wing work done on Aurora this round, and I've worked on the Xmas Tree Farm just because it's so pretty and I wanted to.

Aurora's progress this round
Xmas Tree Farm progress

I'm very grateful that my mother keeps an extra sewing machine or two around. This week I had to take my beloved Elna Carina to the shop for a checkup and tuneup (squeaking noises scare me), and Mom graciously allowed me to borrow her Pfaff Creative. I had never used a Pfaff before (and she has a Bernina as her primary machine - my niece has used the Pfaff over the past year for making blue jeans purses and such - what a wonderful Grammy she has). It has one feature I wish my Elna did - a 'needle-down' setting. I'm sure it has many other nice features, I just miss the familiarity I have with my machine. But it is so nice not to have to stop sewing for the week or two that mine is in the shop.

Anyway, have a fantastic weekend everyone, and Happy 39th Anniversary Mom and Dad!!!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Autumn Maiden progress and Black Swan SAL weekend

Here is my progress on Autumn Maiden - love how the purple beads look - very cool. I'm not ecstatic about the way her hands look, but I didn't feel like trying to change them this time. They'll do alright, I think.

Autumn Maiden progress

And I don't think I shared my latest Grandmother's Flower Garden flower.

Red kids flower

It's that time again - the Black Swan Designs SAL weekend - so Aurora gets to come out for some more attention. I have also worked a little on the Double Wedding Ring quilt - cutting out some of the pieces. I still have quite a bit to cut out, and I'd like to get the pieces arranged before continuing with more piecing. I've also been working on the Xmas Tree Farm again - I've almost finished section 2. Lots of work going on, so more pictures to come. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Just some pictures

I have been playing more video games this past week, and haven't really gotten much done on any of my quilts or cross stitch projects. I don't think I shared my Xmas Tree Farm section one completed, so it's first. Then I thought I would share a few pictures of kitties - no new ones of Rudy or Candy, but here are recent Smokey, Stilts (no longer the scrawny interstate-rescue girl), and Midnight (finally!) pictures.





Midnight isn't really ours, but he stops by every week or so for some attention and a meal - he's very social. I should have a new Autumn Maiden picture to post in a day or two. Thank you so much for all the great comments about my quilt! Now to get to work on the Double Wedding Ring and another quilt, one for C's Mom. If only I can put down the video game controller for a couple of hours...

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Worth the extra effort

Allison's Jewel Box quilt top pieced

Absolutely worth it. I think it would have looked unfinished without the "piano key" border. Now to piece the backing and save up a little bit o' money so I can take it to have it quilted. I am really proud of this one. It measures in at 92 x 108 inches. Oh, and I had to take it outside to photograph, because it wouldn't fit on my bed. ;)

Friday, September 01, 2006

Back and forth

Quilting:

On again, off again, back and forth - my mind has been spinning in a never ending circle about Allison's quilt. Borders, then no borders, then smaller borders, then no borders again, and now I've decided that I'm going to do the borders again. I know, I know, make up your mind! [grin] Obviously this is something that has been bugging me, even before I "finished" the quilt top. I was afraid that the quilt would just be too big with the original borders. It is now going to be closer to king-sized rather than queen (and my original-original plan was to make the kids each a full-sized quilt). Oh well, she should be able to use it for a long time, and she shouldn't out-grow this one, so plans can be modified, right? Now I just need to purchase a king-size package of batting (fortunately I planned ahead and have plenty of backing fabric, which I haven't yet cut and pieced together), and get to work on those borders! :)

Cross Stitch:

I have been working some more on the Xmas Tree Farm, so I have a new progress picture to share. Even in the top section, there are a ton of details!

Section one progress

I love how it looks on this fabric, and have been really enjoying stitching it. I think as soon as I finish section one, I'll move it into the rotation.

And speaking of rotations (and in keeping with the title of this post), I have been waffling about Gothic Castle. This seems to happen every time I stitch on it. After the orange 14-count aida debacle, I decided to go bigger, and so started it a second time on 11-count ivory aida. I still like the design, but I no longer like it that big, and I no longer really enjoy stitching on it. When it has come up in my rotation the last couple of times, I have conveniently found other things to distract me, so that I get little, if any, progress on it. Oh, and I have also made it over to the upper right corner, and I have just slightly more than an inch of fabric beyond that. Apparently, I didn't measure properly when either cutting or starting (a bad habit of mine that I think I've since broken). So I think the time has come to put it away, at the very least out of my current rotation.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

CATS Nashville stash

I just have to share - we had a great time Friday at the CATS Nashville shopping mart, in the Stitchers' Lounge, and at dinner. It was wonderful to meet up with friends I haven't seen in a year.

I put my paws on nearly everything before I decided on what I wanted to buy. I managed to find the perfect Dinky-Dyes perle cotton to sub in the Tropical Daydreams design (for the Caron Watercolours it calls for) - #77 Blue Mountains. It looks perfect beside the blue/purple silk I'll be using in the border. Funny, that's a dinky dyes too. #77 is the middle one here. Not so much green - just a hint of it.

I also picked up another "oops" bag from them, and there are more luscious silks and a few cottons in it. Definitely worth the money spent.


And then I decided I had to have Victoria Sampler's Jingle Bells Christmas Tree Farm. The kit didn't have fabric, so I bopped over to Picture This Plus and after pulling out quite a few different fabrics and poring over them, we decided that the Mercedes Cashel linen would be the best choice. With my free needle from The Silver Needle, I was ready to stitch!


We're back from Bristol now, and Kenny and Mikey both managed to stay out of trouble and on the lead lap, finishing 13th and 16th, respectively (NASCAR Nextel Cup Racing for those who aren't familiar). I'm looking forward to a couple more days of vacation to watch some movies, relax, and stitch on the new acquisition. Oh, and if I can manage it, a picture of Allison's quilt top finished - I've decided it's big enough (86 by 98 inches!), and doesn't need borders...

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Aurora progress


Finally, here is my Aurora progress from the SAL weekend. Very colorful!

Yesterday I spent some time in my craft room, working on Allison's quilt, and I plan on working some more on it today. I would love to get the top pieced, but I don't know if I'll get all the way through or not - there are still borders to be pieced after everything else, and I don't even have the fabrics cut for those yet. But I do think that I'm on track for getting it finished in time for Christmas.

Tomorrow is CATS Nashville, and I'm definitely going! I'm skipping the AQS Quilt Expo this year (it started yesterday). I'd rather be working on the quilts I've got in progress now rather than being tempted by new fabric and patterns... maybe next year. I don't figure I'll miss much. But I'm really looking forward to getting together again with 'net friends at the needlework show tomorrow.

Wow, how time flies - it was a year ago that I started having the major shoulder scapula problems, and then a few weeks after that the tailbone problems. My shoulder is doing much better, as long as I keep up with my exercises and stretches. It has been a week since my third cortisone shot for coccydynia, and I didn't notice any improvement this time, sigh. I was really hopeful after the second one, so I'm quite disappointed now. Looks like I'll be keeping my follow-up appointment in Charlotte in a few weeks.

And can I just say that I'm disappointed (well, that's a nice way to say what I'm really feeling) about Sci-Fi Channel's decision to cancel Stargate SG-1?! It's Farscape all over again for me. Hey, congratulations on your 200th show and becoming the longest-running US Sci-Fi series, oh, and by the way, you're all fired after this season. Bitterly disappointed. I shouldn't be surprised, but I am.