Blended Breakfast

I picked up a new little blender about a week ago and finally got  a chance to try it out today.   I wanted a new one  – mostly to make smoothies.  I have one of those Magic Bullets (as seen on TV) and hate it – it definitely never chopped and mixed as quickly as their infomercials showed and couldn’t handle ice and the containers are too small if you really want to mix a smoothie- no room for stuff to move around.   Perhaps I got a lemon – but most annoying was the sound – it was very loud and very annoying and sounded like the motor would burn up at any second.  That one is outtahere —  the Living Solutions is quieter and much easier to use.  Plus it has two really large plastic containers that have drink lids or storage lids for them.  It turns ice to snow – love it.  Don’t know how long it will last but it  was truly a bargain at Walgreens since it was on sale and it’s  inexpensive to start with.

I would have liked to have tested it out by making a big ole chocolate malt in it 🙂  but I made this instead.

20140330_2 Frozen peaches, frozen banana, raspberries, skim milk, a bit of fat free cool whip. I was amazed how well the skim milk whipped up – it’s nice and thick and creamy – thick enough to float a raspberry on top.  Quite delicious and low in points– win win situation and if I had just drank it out of the blender glass – one glass to wash (but I wanted to see if when I poured it out everything was actually blended) so dumped it into another glass.

I’ve spent most of the afternoon organizing yarn, yarn containers, and Space Bag-ing some clothes to pack away in the back of the closet.  Now I’m just going through the odds and ends – projects in progress that all got dumped in a basket and are all tangled – straightening all that out.   But moving all that yarn about has me thinking — I would make this with that yarn and that with this yarn …. no do NOT start another project.  Work on one of those already in progress! 🙂

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A bit of knitting progress

Yesterday I finally got to back to working on my sister’s summer top.

20140330_3 Neck edge and armhole trim added so now I just need to seam the side seams and do the usual finish work (block then bury ends).

Also worked a bit on my Cardipalooza and  I’m on the final bit of one front – working my way up along the neckline decreases.

Today I may finish cleaning up a bit of the bits and bob in the sewing room (most of it is yarny stuff that got moved out of the living room).  Now that there’s more room for under bed storage – I can move some of the yarn storage out of the sewing room closet and under the bed.   And I’m on the hunt for a specific hank of yarn I bought that’s someone where in one of those yarn containers so I need to go through them anyway to find it.

I’ve also got a couple quilt tops set aside, backing fabric washed for one yesterday and backing in the washer now for another, that I’d like to get layered soon. And there’s a quilt binding to sew down.  All kinds of fun stuff to work on.

Other fun stuff

I told you there was a package of fun stuff that arrived yesterday and showed some of it but here’s some other goodies that were in there.  I was perusing EQuilter for some ideas for fabric for one of the Komen fundraiser quilts I need to get going on in the not too distant future.   I usually use some of the fund raiser fabrics for at least one item but none of them were speaking to me.  But I found this panel which I thought was so cute and since the fundraiser auction is at a women’s golf outing, I usually try to do at least one quilted thing that is “girly”.

20140329_4  I’ll be cutting them apart and using them for something.  I need to check out the stash to see what fabrics I might put with them.

I was searching “panel prints” and saw this one – I love bird print fabrics the more realistic looking ones.

This the colors are so pretty on and I love that it’s printed to look continuous.  Now I could be lazy and say those are white window sashing panes and leave them as is but I think I may cut them apart and put a different fabric in as window sashing.   It will make a nice little wallhanging – since it’s a smaller panel than most.  I got two of them – I can envision one finished to look like a window but then expanded around so it looks like part of a room — curtains, a clock  or picture on a wall next to it, perhaps a chair or stool below — it has great possibilities.

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And I’m also in need of a couple of baby quilts.  More panels – you just can’t beat the vibrant colors on them and they are a great way to practice free motion quilting.  The baby quilts I make I hope will be used and washed and thrown on the floor.  I’ve discovered that friends I make quilts for are more likely to use ones that are made from a panel than if I’ve totally hand appliqued one — they save those put away somewhere and they never get loved and cuddled.  It’s up to them of course  if they decide to keep them as a “keepsake” but seriously  – it’s just fabric – use it!  So that’s why on some quilts, depending on who they are going to, I start with a panel and maybe add blocks to it or borders or maybe not (and I just can’t resist some of those panels!).  They are great to have around when a last-minute donation quilt is needed.

But this particular one reminds me why I also dislike panels…

pIt looks like that bird’s is flying so fast it’s bowing out the left side of the quilt.  I tossed in the washer thinking maybe it just got pulled out of shape when it was wound on the bolt but just a few minutes ago when I put it in the dryer – it looked like it may be a bit better but I think the printing is wrong.  I will be very disappointed if that’s the case.  The colors in the photos on this blog post are actually more vibrant than they show but sun was streaming in the window right next to this design wall.  The artwork is so cute on this one but I think it may remain seriously out of whack.

20140329_2  This one – same designer / fabric manufacturer – is better – just the top corners look a bit stretched and that should probably work itself out in the wash.  However when I just put this one in the dryer  (as long as I’m whining about panels why not just list all my peeves about them) why don’t they allow – oh goodness – live on the edge, an inch more of fabric between the panels. LOL  I could see this one was cut on those little dotted lines they print between panels but why is there such a pittance of fabric between them – you can maybe see on this one there’s probably not even half an inch of white fabric around the “frame” of the image.  When I was putting it in the dryer — it has raveled along the edges so it has raveled into that frame area.  That’s very annoying.  So maybe when I go looking at panels again I’ll remember why I get annoyed with them or remember to only buy them if I can see them in person to see if things look straight, etc.    I should also go find the ones hidden in the stash since I know there are some others in there I could play with.

20140329_5 One last one I got – Mr. McGregor’s garden – the graphics and colors once again grabbed me.  I can see this as a quilt with veggies appliqued all around the outside and a big rabbit applique in the center with these square blocks around it.

 

Now to get busy and see what I can get up to today.  A few errands to run and then maybe some sewing time.

 

 

On the Needles Friday – March 28, 2014

20140328_4  I’m moving along on my Cardipalooza / Wollmeise KAL sweater.  Back is done and I may block it this weekend so it will be ready to go when I get to the stitching together part.  Here’s the right front – moving right along.  I had to snap the photo fast because it’s got a mind of its own at the moment (the sweater – not the camera) and the edges kept wanting to curl under.

I need to do some figuring and figure out how many more rows before the armhole shaping starts.  I ‘m going to make the lace pattern closest to the side seam end shortly and the one that runs along the very front will go up to the neckline but I have a sneaking suspicion that I’m going to end up with the top of the flower  ending in a not choice location.  But it will be what it will be because I’m not ripping back.

So my plan for this evening — just to sit and knit.  I did way too much spring cleaning Sat thru Tuesday so I think I just might not do any this weekend.

My sister’s sweater will hopefully get finished off this weekend.  Just the finishing touches of neck edge and armhole edge are left to do.

 

I did get a box of fun stuff today (which is not the same as a “Box of Fun”)   – fabric instead of yarn from Equilter.

I found some fabric to make another “knitting on the bus project bag” — a smaller than the one I recently finished for the loopy challenge — sock take along size maybe.

Anyway it’s based on a children’s book and I couldn’t pass it up since it’s about riding the bus — well actually the Pigeon wants to DRIVE the bus.

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The tan one says “I have dreams you know!” (about wanting to drive those buses) and the other has other sayings from the book – my favorite is “C’mon! Just once around the block!”. LOL   And since I previously bought yarn and the color name  of it was “Can I drive the bus” well I definitely needed a bag to go with that yarn right?

I have a friend who works for a company that insures buses so I got extra to make her a little wall hanging or something out of it for her office. 🙂

There were other fabric goodies in that bag too but I’m most excited about the fabric I got to make bedroom curtains – even prettier in person and goes perfectly with the new bedspread.

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The camera flash is really washing out the bedspread.  It is muted tones but darker than it appears.  The mottled fabric, which I bought to make a throw pillow or two for the bed, has all the colors in it that the bedspread does but darker shades.   The curtains will be the strips, which have some gold glint in them.  Can’t wait to get those sewn up.

Purple is coming!!!!

What the heck does that mean????

Well, it means the Spring issue of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, Volume 9 cover has been revealed and the header color is purple this time.

QMMS-140044-cover_200    And why do I think that’s so exciting, despite the obvious that it’s a great magazine, packed with 100 new and fun quilt blocks????  Because…….

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And you must know what a new issue of 100 Blocks means…….

Vol9-blog-tour-coming-socialmedia

 

 

Yes!  There’s a blog tour coming.  And that means there will be all kinds of giveaway goodies on the Quiltmaker Quilty Pleasures blog that week in addition to links to all the blogs on the blog tour so you will want to check it out.  I’ve got a couple of gift certificates to MyEQBoutique tossed into the Quilty Pleasures Blog giveaway prize packages (or I will have since I forgot to mail them off today).    And since I was lucky once again and got a spot on the blog tour, that means there will be a couple of issues of the magazine given away during my day of the blog tour and who knows what over giveaway goodies I might find.  Soooooo…….

joinforblogtour9_200        

The new bed

20140325_1 The new bed risers I ordered arrived in the nick of time.  I was just unboxing them as I got the call from the delivery guys that they would be here in less than 10 minutes (10 minutes before their appointed 2 hr delivery window started).  So I quickly put them in place, they whisked in the new bed and got rid of the old.  Then I walked up to the bed and though I knew it would be high, I didn’t think about the fact that I had the frame feet screwed up as high as they would go so that without risers I could just get two storage tubs of yarn under the bed.  But this was just a bit higher than I wanted. LOL

So I pulled the box spring and mattress back off, lowered all the feet dropping the bed by about 3″ and it’s still high but I don’t need a step stool to get on it.

Then the wrestling match was on with the mattress pad. I don’t have the bed far enough away from the wall that I can walk down the far side of it so hop on top and try to get the mattress pad – which is a tight fit – in place and not slide off when I try to slide one of the other corners on.  Third try was a charm!

Second round of the wrestling match.  Have you ever tried putting a bed skirt in place and then sliding the mattress back on top.  Actually I tucked the ruffle along the front side and bottom under the box spring to hold it and managed to not slide it along when I put the mattress back.  Whew!  I got my workout for today.  The plain pillowcases – the writing on them doesn’t show up in the photo but they were the $2.99 set I found and one says “I’d rather” and the other “stay in bed”. 😉

 

So here it is, all put together.  Now to get the two yarn tubs back under the bed and see what else I can stick under there – like the sweaters I space bag vacuumed yesterday.  Now I just need new pillows and to put something up on the walls which have been blank ever since they repainted the walls – more than a year go.  I also bought fabric for curtains to go over the binds in here too.  A sewing project for another day – new curtains for the bedroom, the sewing room and a new fabric shower curtain.

20140325_4I ran a quick errand to the grocery store after the bed was delivered – it’s only about 25 degrees and the sun makes it look nice out but once again, that wind proved to be very chilly.  But a few groceries and bus tickets and I’m set for the rest of the week.

The rest of the day was spent sorting and tossing and tidying in the sewing room.  Mostly it was paper related and not fabric related — box of old bills, tax papers which have been sorted so I can run them through the shredder.  The on to the box of patterns – most of them were my designs that were old drafts, etc. that I didn’t need to keep.  Way too much paper clutter so I’ve gotten rid of a lot.

But I have declared cleaning over for today!  Time to relax!  I’ve got my spring cleaning about half done — not to wait until it finally actually feels like spring (since there was fresh snow on the ground this morning but just a dusting).

I did get the front of my sister’s top finished last night.  Just need to decide if I want to assemble it the way the pattern says (sew one shoulder seam and then pick up all the neck stitches and do the neck trim)  I’m not sure I want a seam in one side at the neck trim (where you join the other shoulder) so may sew both shoulders and then do the trim.  But first I need to wind a new ball of yarn for my sweater so I can cast on the fronts – I think I’m going to knit both of them at the same time since I’m just winging how I add the lace pattern – that way they’ll both end up the same.

Whew! I’m tired! and hungry! Hope I picked up something good at the grocery store for dinner.

Being off work can be really exhausting!

It’s 10:00 p.m. and I decided to call it quits for tonight in the sewing room.  I’ll be glad to go back to work where I can mostly sit at my desk and work rather than toting things from one space to another (tho I may not recognize my desk when I go back since I was able to get lots of things done that had to be pushed aside for ages and I actually found the desk top and could see most of it when I left last Friday  – so I started my spring cleaning at the office last week).

20140324_3so here’s one clean area  – or at least much cleaner than it was.   I’ve been busy putting fabrics back on shelves and then refolding  and petting some of them that were in various baskets and piles.  In the bottom of some of those baskets I discovered projects I’d totally forgotten about which are nearly done but then got set aside to move on to something else…..yes “Squirrel syndrome!” LOL  But I’ve sorted and bundled together and rearranged and have this mystery pile of scraps – cut in squares and rectangles….. leftovers from a project or do I need them to finish something I haven’t found yet???  Hmm… I dumped them all in a box for the time being.  I also found the border for a quilt so think the quilt top must be in the closet.  Then there are the various applique pieces to the snow globe quilt – the first design I ever did for Hoffman CA Fabrics and was so excited that Keepsake Quilting had it kitted for sale in their catalog. ;-).  I’m thinking I need to really finish that wall hanging for this Christmas – it’s been lingering long enough!

 

And of course I did something dumb – moved the fabric shelf fully loaded even tho I knew the reviews of the wheels on them said they might break if you don’t unload it before moving.  Heck I was not going to do that, and had less than a foot to move it when I think I accidentally knocked the brake on for that wheel and  broke one of them.  Put a little castor under it  to level it off for now and one day when I feel like unloading it, or moving it, I may deal with that but for now it’s fine.

Still more to sort through but it looks so much better in there and I can see most of the floor and my table.  Tomorrow I’ll have to tackle the window blind — remember the one I accidentally had knocked down when the bottom of it was frozen to the inside of the window sill — yep it’s still sitting in the corner and I have the fabric up over the window but I need to see if I can fix it or if the blind is destined for the dumpster.  I think the dumpster may get it.  I think I’ll just take the fabric I currently have thrown over the tension rod in the window and make some tab topped curtains for that window.

I couldn’t even tell you how many loads I had in the washer and dryer today.  A load or two of sweaters I was washing up to pack away, and then several  loads that had a quilt in them – I have several  I made years ago that aren’t big enough for any bed that are the ones left in the living room for when it’s chilly watching tv  and one “fills in” the dent in the middle of my ottoman where the foam has given out.  I’ll be glad when I get a new ottoman that isn’t shaped like a hammock.  Anyway, several of those quilts got washed and put away.  Whew! I think I’ll go see if my great in the oven is done and go put my feet up and knit.  Yes, vacation can be tiring!

I’m goin’ in!!

20140324_2  If you don’t hear from me again, look for me buried somewhere under the rubble in this room!!

Actually, most of it is a quick fix.  I was in there for about 15 minutes (before deciding I was hungry and needed a snack and soda) and the red tub and other tub on the floor are put back where they belong, the fabric on the floor behind the vacuum cleaner is all back on the shelves and all the stuff on the floor in front of the design wall is put away (and yes, that missing mystery quilt block was found on the floor and is back where it belongs.)  I need to clear a path along that design wall because I want to switch that fabric rack on the right with the short shelves behind that red tub (where my tv goes).  If I get those switched and the big tv out of my bedroom into the sewing room, that’s half the battle (well at least a third of the battle).  I’ve got my garbage bag in hand….. break over….I’m going back in……

Design Wall Monday

eaveborderRemember this quilt? – I was working on it – well a long time ago.  I still have a huge stack of these hand dyed fabric applique leaf blocks (and sadly this quilt still doesn’t have those two side sashings attached to it yet – it’s been hanging out on the design wall for months like this).

But at the time I was working on it, I got lots of requests for the pattern, the leaf pattern, the sashing instructions – heck you just wanted it all.  And hmmm… I didn’t give it to you (stubborn aren’t I) LOL  But many times that’s because there are plans for a particular design.  That is the case with this one.  Have you noticed the design on the button for my designs done for Hoffman CA Fabrics?  It looks suspiciously like a larger version of this design. 🙂  The pattern is not up on their website yet but should be coming soon.

Mystery quilt is also still up on the design wall and the other wall has BOM blocks for two projects.  Guess I need to tackle cleaning the sewing room next so maybe by the weekend I can get in there to sew! 😉

Monday Morning Messes

Well at least one  mess is greatly improved – the bedroom is pretty much done.

20140324_4There’s still some extra “stuff” – couple little accent lamps and the bag I started for donation to move and I moved the flat screen from my sewing room into the bedroom and need to take the old (nonflat screen, analog tv) into the sewing room.  My ancient VCR only hooks up to the old tv and I’ll be able to watch the old VCRs which contain some of my favorite movies while I sew.

Cleaned out most of the closet (not all – I’ll delve into the deep recesses when I’m actually able to pack away more winter clothes) but did vacuum suck two space bags full of the heaviest sweaters – I’m done wearing those whether Mother Nature agrees with me or not!

Linens are on shelves in bookcase and finished quilts and wall hangings stacked on shelves and some getting washed.   Now I just need to figure out what wall hangings to put up on the walls.  I think there’s one needed above the chair

and this space above the nightstand needs a pop of color.  And I decided last night to check out Amazon for bed risers and found the same kind as I had  bought one set of.  Ordered two more sets and they’ll arrive tomorrow, free shipping, and with my Amazon points added in cost me less than the one set I bought on clearance.

20140324_5So no having to wait until I get to the right short of store to look for more and try to find some the same height.

And one of yesterday’s purchases did double duty.  The new bedspread I bought came in one of those nice heavy zip plastic bags – with a handle on it even – I love those bags for storing sweaters, quilts, and yes…… they work great for yarn.

20140324_6This one was just the right size for all the yarn I had gotten a couple months ago for the striped sweater I want to make.  So all in one place where I’ll remember what I bought it for.

Stuck my head out the door earlier and it’s not too bad out side at all – at least down under the hill by my door it’s not windy – 30 degrees and sunny – a marked improvement over yesterday.  I decided it was time to take down the icicle lights and pine garland over my door. 🙂  It didn’t take long but it was actually warm enough in my flannel shirt.  Not a bad morning’s work.