Sunday, September 30, 2012

UFO Sunday-Christmas Tree Bargello

I'm really trying to work on my UFOs this fall; I had 7 flimsies sitting in my closet just waiting to be finished. All of them are completely pieced and just need quilting and binding. I finished one last week and can't show pictures of the whole thing yet, but here's a peek at my pebbling. I'm pretty proud for my first attempt!

Here's the one I pulled out for this week; it's a bargello Christmas tree that I made in a class when we first moved to Indiana. Four years ago. Oh well. I'd really like to have it done in time to hang up for Christmas this year (it's a large wall hanging).

I'm not entirely sure how to quilt it, especially since I'm still very much feeling my way into free motion quilting. I've been practicing, and I'm not afraid to try something new, but I'm still not sure what to do.

Possibly tree bark on the trunk? 

Occasional round ornaments on the tree, with different free motion patterns filling each one? 
Stars in the sky? 
Trace the holly in the borders? 

Suggestions are most dearly welcomed! 

UFO Sundays on the Free Motion Quilting Project

Friday, September 21, 2012

N'stagram Friday

Oh happy Friday. Work has gone from homicidal crazy busy to ridiculously slow. I'm having a hard time making that transition, as I do every year. Especially because this is the time of year we do housekeeping things for our files and it sometimes makes me want to scream. 

On that note, here are three N'stagram pictures from the N-boy: 

New bike-rescued from Grandpa's garage. It's all steel and quite festive.

Catcat. Looking thoughtful. 

We saw this sign on the way to pick apples last weekend. Pretty sure the N-boy would have pulled over and stopped the car to get a picture if we hadn't been at a stoplight. 

life rearranged

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Birthday weekend.

It was a busy weekend at our house; the N-boy had a birthday on Saturday and then the parentals stopped by for a short visit on their way back to Nebraska after visiting my grandpa in Ohio.

The N-boy decided he didn't want anything super crazy for his birthday this year, so instead we spent the day doing fun things together. First up was a trip to Garwood Orchards to pick apples! 

We went with Fujis, since they're good for both eating and baking. 

It should be noted that for once we showed GREAT restraint with the picking of the apples. We've gone apple picking several times now, and we (well maybe just I) have a tendency to get super excited about the actual picking process, but forget that we need to actually use all of the apples we pick. 

Not even a full 1/2 bushel! 

Birthday apple cider was also acquired.

On the way back home we were both a little hungry and stopped in downtown LaPorte to try and find something to eat. We turned a corner and walked right into this:

This slightly random fair went on for blocks and included food, vendor tents, classic cars and a cute little train that drove up and down the street for the kiddos. I did attempt to convince the N-boy that the fair was a celebration in honor of his birth. He didn't seem to fall for that. 

But he did accept a birthday bratwurst.  

I crashed on the couch with the cats when we arrived back at the house, getting a couple of hours of rest and reading in before the parents arrived and took us out to dinner. It was a good day, and I think overall a great birthday weekend for the N-boy!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Festive for Friday-N'stagram #2

It's been a busy week. I've had work events three nights this week and although we're no longer working at a break neck speed in the office, we've still been much busier than I expected. So blogging fail. Oh well. Next week is a new week.

But thank goodness today is Friday. 

Here are three pictures the N-boy took this week for happy N'stagram day!

The N-boy and CatCat.

Friday the cat.


life rearranged

Monday, September 10, 2012

Football season.

This weekend marked the first actual home game of the year (the first game was technically the game in Dublin, but that doesn't count). They open the tunnel that the players run through into the stadium on Friday afternoons, and one of my coworkers had never seen it. So towards the end of lunch we headed over to walk through it. I was worried it would be super crowded (campus is CRAZY on game weekends), but it was early enough in the day that it wasn't too bad yet.

The team won the game which is even better, as it means people will be in a good mood at work all week!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Festive for Friday-N'stagram

Three photos brought to you by the letter "N." 

Balloon glow.

Watermelon love.

Baby and her bottle.

life rearranged

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Hexagons everywhere.

I'm finally starting to feel better after the stomach flu of death earlier this week. Work was a little rough on Wednesday, but after forcing down some more ramen and cherry coke I really started to turn around. I even managed to eat two pieces of pizza at a work event Wednesday evening before coming home and promptly collapsing on the couch. 

Luckily I have the perfect project for sitting on the couch. I didn't have the energy to sit at my machine and quilt for an hour for National Sewing Month, but I did have the energy to hand baste some hexagons. These are for a new project idea I've been working on for Prairie Sewn Companion for fall and winter craft shows.

Do you have go to projects for when you're low on energy? 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Ugh. It was a tough day yesterday. I spent most Monday night throwing up and then when I woke up the N-boy was sick too. Fail.  Needless to stay we both stayed home from work and slept most off an on all day. I started feeling better around lunchtime, but still wasn't feeling super. Soup and ginger ale for the win.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

National Sewing Month

So apparently it's National Sewing Month. 

I'll be honest, I didn't actually know that there WAS a national sewing month until I read about it on Bonnie Hunter's blog. Bonnie is using this month to get to work on some of her languishing hand sewing projects. Oddly enough, I haven't had any problems working on hand sewing hexagons lately, but I HAVE had the continuing problem of flimsies withering away in my studio, stitched together but in want of quilting (and binding, although binding is one of my favorite parts so I never seem to have trouble with that final step). 

A big part of my problem is that I get overly anxious about the quilting being perfect, and since my free motion machine quilting skills are somewhat lacking, I am terrified of messing up a top that I've worked so hard on. I've taken the quilting classes, I get the theory, I just need the practice and the self acceptance that these aren't show quilts. No one but me (and maybe the Momcat) is going to look closely at the stitching and know if something isn't perfect. It's silly to have projects (and presents for people!) pining away upstairs when they could be out bring quilty joy to the world.

So while the N-boy hunkered down with Minecraft, I headed upstairs to my studio and dusted off my sewing machine. First step-warm up and practice. I already have pre-assembled quilting practice kits ready to go thanks to the Momcat. I know I need lots more practice, but I was pretty goal oriented today so I just did one practice piece.

Then, I put in the first project I want to finish; it's a secret project for someone so I don't want to show much of it. Not too shabby. Not perfect (or even close!), but I'm happy with it. 

Up close and personal with the quilting.

And of course no sewing session is complete without assistance from the helper cats. These pictures make them look cute and innocent. Not shown are the MULTIPLE times that I had to forcibly remove each cat from the quilt, in the machine, while I was sewing. Fail, cats, fail. 



I can only machine quilt for about an hour at a time before my wrist and arm start bugging me (tendonitis), but since Bonnie's challenge is for one hour a day that works for me! Now if I can just keep this up I might actually get this quilt finished! And then move onto the next one! 

What can I do to keep my momentum going??

Monday, September 3, 2012

(long) Weekend Recap.

Wow. What a crazy-busy-festive long weekend we had. I kept forgetting that today was a holiday, and kept being pleasantly surprised when I remembered that I didn't have to get up and go to work this morning! Here are a few of the adventures the N-boy and I got up to this weekend! 


The N-boy decided that carrying a 22 pound watermelon home from the Farmer's Market was a good idea. 

A very hot and humid run outside. 

Bike ride to the library.

Brother in law, Sister in law in law and cutest baby on the planet arrive. 

Baby demands FroYo.

We break open the Maker's Mark that I hand dipped in Kentucky last fall. 


Marshall County Blueberry Festival. 

Lemon Shake Up.

Happy baby.

Balloon glow.


Morning baby time before they headed home.

Unpictured from today: buying cat litter, doing laundry and collapsing on the couch to catch up on the interwebs.

Hope everyone is having a festive labor day! 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Salads and smoothies.

Yesterday the N-boy and I were both feeling rather blah about any of our potential at-home dinner options, but we didn't feel like going out either. We ended up combining a trip to the grocery store for groceries with a trip to the grocery store salad bar.

             Not particularly pretty, but tasty.    

We ate our salads while watching an episode of Firefly (we tend to work our way through the whole glorious season at least once a year). After salads the N-boy went into the kitchen and whipped up a couple of smoothies. 

These had: 
  • bananas (exciting grocery store discovery: we found bananas that were very ripe packaged together and very reduced in price. Since we were looking for bananas ONLY for use in smoothies so they were going into the freezer right away, this was great. 2.43 pounds of bananas for 70 cents!)
  • chocolate chips 
  • ice
  • coconut milk
  • oats
  • shredded coconut

Again, not pretty but tasty! 

After dinner the N-boy went up to work on his dissertation chapter on cholera and I watched Empire Records on Netflix and worked on a new sewing project.  A low key Friday night, but also a relaxing start to a three day weekend!