Sunday, November 2, 2014

Houseworks Holiday Plan - Week 10 - Cooking Spaces Week></a><br />
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It's Week 10!  I've completely abandoned my schedule for the last couple of weeks. It's been busy at work and busy at home - which adds up to a house desperately in need of a deep cleaning, dogs who need grooming, bills that need paying, and a sewing machine with a layer of dust.

Weeks 8 and 9 received some nominal attention yesterday, so now it's time to forgive and forget. Moving forward: this week is supposed to be a deep clean of the kitchen and cooking spaces. We are a little ahead on this since we purged the pantry and cabinets back on Week 4 (when we were supposed to be cleaning the master bedroom, which is still not pretty).

We definitely need to do the safety check; the smoke detectors were recently replaced, but now is a good time to stock up on cold & flu supplies. No one wants to have to make a midnight run to the drug store when one of us is sick!

We don't host Thanksgiving, but I am perusing recipes for what to bring to each house. I'm also using Punchbowl to send the invitation to my MiL's.

I haven't checked in with you in awhile, so let me know how it's going, what one thing you've done better than last year, or what challenges you are facing.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

#TBT - Throwback Thursday - Happy Birthday Nana!

Quiltin Jenny

It's Throwback Thursday here at Quiltin' Jenny, and I hope you'll link up and share your own creative adventures from your pre-blogging days.

Today's post is very late and not a project. It's a nod to the woman who most influenced my interest in sewing, my Nana.

Nana was my maternal grandmother. Nana would have turned 100 years old tomorrow, on Halloween. She was born at home in a little house in Glasco, New York, the oldest of thirteen brothers and sisters. She married my grandfather - a younger man! - in 1939 when she was 25 years old, practically an old maid in those days. Their marriage lasted 66 years until she had to say goodbye to him in 2005.

She was a first generation Italian-American who worked in a sweat shop making women's clothes for most of her life. Nana sewed on a Singer sewing machine that went so fast it scared me, but which never sewed quite fast enough for her. She was used to the speed and power of a commercial machine.

Because of her skill and experience, there was no more particular judge of the quality of commercial garments. I remember her looking at the inside seam of a dress and shaking her head at the way a pattern didn't line up perfectly or how poorly a garment was finished. Although she never turned this critical eye on my work, I was always nervous when showing her something I made.

She made many things for me in my life: doll clothes, a red plaid poncho (it was the '70s!), a yellow bathrobe that Grace once wore for the 100th day of school (she was supposed to dress up like a 100 year old lady), and so much more.

Nana was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother; she was a seamstress and an excellent cook; she always had her hair done and wouldn't dare wear a skirt without a slip. She was feminine and modest, but also honest and direct. I'll never forget the time I heard her use the F word.

But mostly I hear her voice in my head when I'm working, urging me to do my best and even rip out a seam or two that could be better. I'm proud to carry on the legacy of needle and thread, and to pass it along to my own daughter.

I am so thankful that I had her in my life long enough to have known her as an adult, and for my children to remember her.

Happy 100th birthday, Nana! I miss you so much!

Do you have an old mature holiday craft to share with us this week?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Houseworks Holiday Plan - Week 7></a><br />
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It's Week 7!

How did you do last week with your wardrobe? After the quilt show closed Sunday night, I spent the rest of the week catching up and didn't make much progress with my extra stuff, but now I'm ready to get back to it.

This week we're focusing on the master bathroom and the linen closets. I don't keep many extra linens around, but I do know that my guest bath towels are about ready to be replaced. I'll also be keeping an eye out for a new dining room table cloth. The one I have isn't that bad yet, but I'm to the point where I'll replace it if I find a bargain.

My master bath is due for a deep cleaning. Once again, our room is the one that gets put off until last. It will be nice to have drawers and cabinets clean and organized.

I'm trying to get my shopping done for the California side of the family. They are the only ones whose gifts I mail every year, and shipping early saves a lot of money and stress!

What have you checked off your list that makes you happiest so far? What is nagging you to still be done?

Friday, October 10, 2014

FAL Q4 Goals - Just a Formality

Finish Along 2014

I'm linking up my list for Q4 of the Finish Along, but at this point I accept that it's only a formality.

The only item on my list will be the Spider Web quilt (again!), and I know there's virtually no chance I'll get it done by December 31. That's because I have a super secret project that HAS TO be done by Christmas. That project can't go on my list because I haven't even found fabric I'm happy with.

So here's the picture of my lonely UFO, which will still be a UFO in 2015.


Thursday, October 9, 2014

#TBT - Throwback Thursday - Home Sweet Home

Quiltin Jenny

It's Throwback Thursday here at Quiltin' Jenny, and I hope you'll link up and share your own creative adventures from your pre-blogging days.

Today's project is another quilt my mom made. This one was for a guild challenge a few years ago, and the requirement was that it have a home on it somewhere. Mom decided to let Gracie draw different types of homes, and then applique blocks from the drawings.

These turned out so cute! One was a birdhouse.

One was a dog house, featuring a beagle in memory of our sweet Divot.

One was a tree house.

One was a teepee. This quilt is not very big, but holds so many memories of Gracie and Mom's crafty escapades. Mom gave it to Grace, and I'm sure she will treasure it even more when she is older.

I'm sure you have an undocumented quilt in your house that needs its own blog post, so link up!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Houseworks Holiday Plan - Week 6 - Wardrobe Week></a><br />
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It's Week 6! Time to make sure everyone's clothes are ready for parties, pictures, and other special events.

Once again, this is one of those times when scaling back pays off. We don't get really dressed up for any of the holidays, and I don't do a family photo. We are making sure My Middle Child (MMC) has nice threads for the Homecoming Dance next weekend, so he'll be set if we have some unexpected fancy party. We decluttered closets when they cleaned their rooms right before school started, but I will go through the coat closet and give my laundry room a good scrubbing.

The Pit Boss and I have been brainstorming some gift ideas for the kids; as always, we're totally stumped for our parents. It's the annual struggle. They mean so much to us that it's hard to express. Everything we come up with seems so insufficient.

As for work gift swaps, we don't do too much, but my closest coworker and I have come up with a couple of ideas that we may do together for a few of our favorites.

I'm hoping that once the quilt show is over today I can focus on these tasks again. How are you doing with the plan?

Friday, October 3, 2014

Fitness Friday - Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

It's Fitness Friday over at OzzyPip Quilts.

I'm trying to keep this in perspective. I look at my stats over the last week, and am disappointed that I haven't hit 10,000 steps any day this week.

But then I look back over the last four months since my surgery, and I can see that I am making progress.  It's a little two steps forward, one step back, but it's still progress.

Things I learned this week:

  • The One Direction concert didn't count for enough steps to account for how tired I was.
  • The day after the concert I was hopeless.
  • I may be in tenth place among my friends, but I'm still ahead of The Pit Boss and Grace!

How is your fitness journey going?

FAL Q3 Wrap Up - Batting .500

Finish Along 2014

It's time to check in and see how the third quarter of our Finish Along is going. I finished one of two projects on my summer list.

My Spider Web quilt has hardly been touched, but the Star Surround quilt is all done and dropped off for the quilt show!

This little heart motif is my own design, and I'm feeling really pleased with myself that it fills this strange little space just how I wanted. 

I'm really happy with the way this came out. Of course, the quilting isn't perfect when I look at it close up, but after washing and drying it I love the texture of the white spaces.

I am still wondering if the other areas should have been quilted more densely. See how the green fabric looks a little baggy? It's not as obvious face on, and I'm not sure what I'd do there. Any thoughts?

I'm also linking up with TGIFF!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

#TBT - Throwback Thursday - Take it From Here

Quiltin Jenny

It's Throwback Thursday here at Quiltin' Jenny, and I hope you'll link up and share your own creative adventures from your pre-blogging days.

Today I have no project to share. Today I'm recovering from the concert last night and barely functioning. I thought I auto-posted, but no.

That doesn't mean you shouldn't be able to link up, though, so I'm going to let you take it from here.

I'll be over here just resting my eyes for a moment and trying to regain my hearing.

Do you have an old mature holiday craft to share with us this week?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

WiP Wednesday - Quilt Show Prep

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

I'm linking up with WiP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced.

On Monday I dropped off all four quilts for the show and breathed a sigh of relief. Now I am prepping for my demonstration on Sunday.

When I signed up to take a slot, I didn't have any idea what I'd be doing. Suddenly at the last meeting, people wanted details. I ran through a few possibilities, dismissing each as being hard to teach on a "rolling" basis as people walk by or because they would require too much stuff.

I was listening to...someone? about the Fall Fabric Postcard Swap that Sandi is hosting over at Quilt Cabana Corner, and I realized that would be a perfect thing to demonstrate. I can have several postcards and ATCs in the various stages for people to see, and I can work on one or two from start to finish. Hopefully by the end I will have the postcard for my swap finished, plus a spare or two. Two birds, one stone and all that.

I have been cutting and fusing and prepping my materials, and I've gathered some of those that I've received over the years as examples. I may even put together a kit or two and do a drawing at the end of my shift.

If you had advice about making fabric postcards, what would it be? I'll be sure to share it with anyone who comes by.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Menu Plan Monday - Hell in a Handbasket

It's Menu Plan Monday and this week jumps to a whole new level of crazy. We have two cross country meets, a day off for each kid (but not the same day, of course!), an orthodontist appointment, two lacrosse practices plus a game, THE QUILT SHOW and...oh, to the One Direction concert.

How did I get myself into this? The Pioneer Woman said it so much better than me.
  • Sunday - leftovers from MMC's awesome birthday dinner
  • Monday - Baked Pasta with Sausage and Spinach from the freezer, mixed green salad.
  • Tuesday - Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches (that we didn't get to again last week!)
  • Wednesday - dinner at the concert
  • Thursday - leftover buffet
  • Friday -  quilt show preview party dinner
  • Saturday - oh, who knows at this point?
What's on your menu?

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Houseworks Holiday Plan - Week 5 - Be Our Guest></a><br />
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It's Week 5!

How was week 4? It was pretty much a wash here. Grace spent the entire week trying to make up for the days she had been out sick, and I spent about an hour each night being the math teacher. (It paid off: she got a 97 on the test Thursday!) The level of stress put on these kids in 8th grade is just ridiculous.

Anyway, that meant I didn't get any extra cleaning or quilting done, and yesterday I used every spare minute to finish the binding on my star surround quilt and putting labels and sleeves on the other entries. 

This week is all about welcoming guests. Again, I just did a deep clean of the guest room a month or so ago for our Independence Day company, so it shouldn't take much to spruce up. We don't have too many guests, so it's really just to be prepared for the unexpected.

I do pull out some fall quilts and decorations, but keep those to a minimum.  Luckily the list for this week is not too long since next weekend is the quilt show and I know I won't be getting much extra done.

Next week I'll get back on track. I promise! How's it going at your house?

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Overheard - Like Family

Thursday night at dinner, I was telling my family about a VIP guest who would be coming into my building on Friday. I was debating what to wear to work since Fridays are normally casual; I didn't want to be too casual, but I also didn't want to be horribly overdressed.

The Pit Boss asked if we had been given any guidelines, and I told him that we had only received an email which asked us to give the VIP "a warm welcome." We assumed that was a euphemism for, "We know it's Friday, but please don't come to work in your pajamas."

To which my boy said, "Maybe that would be the perfect warm welcome. 'Come on in! Wear your pajamas. Have some cocoa.' Like that."

I don't think my boss would go for it, but I like the way that boy's mind works.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

#TBT - Throwback Thursday - Noah's Nine Patch

Quiltin Jenny

It's Throwback Thursday here at Quiltin' Jenny, and I hope you'll link up and share your own creative adventures from your pre-blogging days.

Today's project is a little bit of a cheat because it's a quilt I didn't make.

Remember when I told you the story about my first quilt and how Mom and I made them together? Well, this is the quilt Mom made for My Middle Child (MMC) while I was making that one.

Our nursery was all done in a Noah's Ark theme, but back then there wasn't a lot of ready made decor. We found this fabric - I can't remember where - and fell in love.  The back is my favorite!

Mom hand quilted it, just as I did mine. These pictures don't quite show how beautiful the quilt was in it's prime, since they were just taken this week. The quilt itself, just like MMC, is eighteen tomorrow.

Where does the time go? Happy birthday to my beautiful boy. We love you so much!

Do you have an old mature holiday craft to share with us this week?

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