Monday, March 7, 2011

Happy Birthday Addison!

It's hard to believe that 3 years ago today I was holding my first grandchild!  Where has the time gone?  It was such an incredible time in our life.  To finally meet this beautiful baby girl was a joy like no other.  She was perfect.  I couldn't get enough of her!

I was still working during Addie's first year and was lucky enough to change my hours in order to watch her one day a week.  To say we bonded is an understatement.  Addie is ATTACHED to me.  Of course, I will never complain about that.  I love her that much back!

When Addie finally started talking, I immediately became Nana.  She was becoming such a big girl with a big personality.  She is our little princess and I love her with all my heart!

Addie is still the ONLY granddaughter in our family!  Her brother Blake joined us and she will have a new boy cousin this summer.  So I guess the boys are winning right now and Addie will just have to settle for being our little princess.

Happy 3rd Birthday Addie!   You are the love of my life!!!!!!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Da Blizzard and Da Quilt

I have been around for the Blizzard of 67, the Blizzard of 99 and now the Blizzard of 2011!!!  Wow, what a storm!  And it's so ironic in thinking back that in 67 I was in Junior High and playing in the storm myself.  In 99 my children were playing in the snow and now in 2011 my GRANDCHILDREN are playing in the snow!  Crazy huh??  And although it's hard to really measure it in inches, the only thing I can say is that it was a shitload!  Reports say anywhere from 12-24" depending on your area.  Even at the lowest, it's still alot of snow. 

I have to admit that I love storms and how they force people to actually stay home and slow down.  Of course the aftermath is not fun with the clean-up but while it's happening, it's kind of a cozy and fun feeling.  This is from someone who does not have to leave the house.  My sister is a floor supervisor for Labor and Delivery at our local hospital and her shift was this morning.  She actually had to go to work yesterday and sleep over so that she would be there.  The hospital goes on emergency mode since that is one profession that you MUST get there.  So I guess I feel thankful that I don't have to be anywhere.

So what do I do during a blizzard? I sew!  Our power went off for about 5 minutes last night and I immediately panicked.  Oh no, what would I do without my sewing machine?  But it came back on and I was able to sew all evening.  I really got alot done on this beautiful quilt out of Bonnie Hunter's new book.  It's called Tomalo Trail and it is such a fun project using up scraps. 

Here is a picture of two rows done out of six!  I am really loving it!

 Of course, it starts out as alot of 1 1/2" strips that have to be cut and sewn together to make 9-patches.  I have a ton of strips that were already cut for a different project.

After they are sewn together in strips of dark/light/dark and light/dark/light, they then get cut apart into 1 1/2" strips and then sewn back together to make the 9-patches.

I need 210 of these babies to finish this quilt.  It then gets a piano key border which is MORE 1 1/2" strips sewn together.

I'm thinking we have one more day of staying in so I'm hoping to get a couple more rows done!  Thank you Blizzard 2011.  You were a big help!!!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The year of finishing...and starting!

One of my New Year's resolutions was to FINISH many of my projects sitting in boxes in various stages of completion.  The first on that list was my Farmer's Wife Quilt, which I already posted about.  Now just because I made this resolution to finish, doesn't mean that I can't start something new! 

Enter the Dream Catchers Baby Blanket by Susan B. Anderson, which was published on the Spud and Chloe Blog that Susan writes.   I have had my eye on this afghan for quite some time because I thought it was a great portable project to take along.  The blocks are all knitted separately and then sewn together.  It sort of combined my love of knitting AND quilting! 

Here is a picture of the pattern that I downloaded.  Did I mention that this was a FREE pattern?  If you check out both Susan B. Anderson and Spud and Chloe, you will find some fabulous free patterns, as well as some you can purchase!  Susan writes her patterns in such an easy to follow way.  I re-discovered my love of knitting by making baby hats out of her book called Itty Bitty Hats.  She has gone on to write several other books and has a new one that is available for pre-order.  You can't go wrong with her stuff!

 I wish I was using Spud and Chloe yarn on this afghan because I know I would have liked it better and if I do another one, it will be out of Spud!!!  But until then, I think this is turning out very pretty.  I love the different patterns for each block.  The yarn was very inexpensive.  It's a non-pilling worsted by Deborah Norville that I got at Joann Fabrics.  It has a nice feel to it for the price.

I'm not thrilled about having to sew the blocks together but Susan has made a fabulous tutorial on how she sewed them together.  That will certainly help.  I made these 5 blocks in just a couple days off and on so they go really quickly.  They each measure about 6" each. 

So do you think I will finish this before I start a new project?  I'm thinking not!  I've got a sewing machine calling my name from upstairs!  I think I may need to visit her!  And besides, I started this with the intention of it being something I can do while sitting and watching TV.   It has a great home next to my Lazy Boy!

Friday, January 21, 2011

One BIG reason to get organized!

I did something last night...something REALLY big!  I couldn't believe I actually did it and when I woke up this morning I thought that maybe I dreamt it.  But's real!  I'm the new President of my quilting guild!

I do have somewhat of a long history with this guild.  It started out many years ago when my youngest son was a year old.  My next door neighbor and good friend Sandy and I decided to take a quilting class at our local quilt shop.  From that moment we were both hooked!  Within a few years we decided to visit Pride of the Prairie Quilt Guild in Plainfield and immediately became members.  We attended meetings, workshops, quilt shows and events for many, many years as our kids were growing up.  We even held office several times. 

But then in 2002 I decided to work on my degree at DePaul and substituted guild meetings and activities for homework.  After receiving my degree I was offered a marketing job at my company and got totally wrapped up in my new job, which at times required travel both in and out of the country.  In 2009 my working world was pulled out from under me when my position was eliminated.  In hindsight it was the BEST thing that could have happened to me.  I was missing many things I truly enjoyed and also had a granddaughter and a new grandson on the way that I wanted to be able to spend time with. 

These past two years have been fabulous.  I have been able to do things that for quite some time I hadn't been able to do.  I look outside on this below zero day and am glad that I don't have to leave the house.  I have rekindled old friendships.  I have been able to spend lots of time doing things with my family.  I have begun quilting again.  I pulled out my old knitting needles and started knitting again.  I have met some amazing friends through my online knitting community, and I am able to serve as an officer in a guild that has been good to me for many years!

Here's to a successful term!  I know it will be great.....but WHAT WAS I THINKING!!!  :-)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Addie's "In Threes" Cardigan

I am a HUGE fan of Ravelry and love going online and looking at all the different patterns that you can either purchase or get for free.  There are literally thousands of choices for anything you would ever want to knit or crochet.  One pattern that I fell in love with was a pattern written by a woman expecting her third girl...hence the name of her sweater "In Threes:  A Baby Cardigan."  This is the second one I have made.  Addie wore a red one for Christmas.  It is the easiest knit ever.  I did this in just a couple days and it turned out adorable.  I covered my own buttons with a cute pink, blue and white check fabric.  I may still add a crocheted flower to it but haven't crocheted it yet.  It is the prettiest bubble gum pink color and will look adorable with a pair of jeans.  I may even make her a little ruffled skirt to go with it.   

Here is a close-up of the little checked buttons!  I love how they look on it.

The back hangs very nicely with the yoked top.  I wouldn't mind one in an adult size.  Unfortunately it would take much longer than a couple days to do!!!!

Now that it's done and blocked I need to go on Ravelry and pick my next project!!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

On and Off the Long Arm!

One of my New Years Resolutions was to FINISH some of the projects that I started last year (and before)!!  One in particular that was worthy of finishing was my Farmer's Wife Quilt.  As I said in my previous post, I did not want a king size quilt so I only did half of the 100+ blocks that were in the book.  They were way too much work and way too beautiful to leave in a plastic storage bin on my sewing room shelf.   So my goal was to get the top finished and get it on my long arm machine before I lost interest in it!

Here she is all ready to quilt!!!

Once you get it quilted, it has to be trimmed down to size.  I actually got a little nervous while quilting this because I didn't think I allowed for enough batting.  But once I got to the end, I was okay!  Whew!

Here she is in a prominent place on my railing.  I'm still trying to figure out where I can actually hang it in my house because it's way too pretty to use!!!  And folding it on a chair doesn't do it justice because of all the different blocks in the quilt!  I am so proud of this quilt!!!

So, until I figure out which unfinished project I want to work on next, I decided to start Addie another sweater!  This is something I can do while sitting and watching TV and don't have to be in my sewing room to do it.  This is a pattern I purchased off of Ravelry called "In Threes."  It was designed by a woman expecting her third girl.  It is a super easy knit.  I already made one for Addie in red to wear at Christmas so I thought it would be fun to make her a pretty pink one for spring.  I may even make her a dress or a little ruffled skirt to wear with it.  I'm thinking a cute little crocheted flower would be nice as well as some fabric covered buttons in a fabric to match the dress or skirt I make to go with it!

Okay, wasn't I supposed to be finishing projects instead of starting more?  That's the fun of crafting!!!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

What did you do on this snowy day?

No, no, I'm not that fast of a sewer.  The blocks were done (except for 6) but it took me an entire day (and I mean ENTIRE day) to put the top together.  The pattern is called "Farmer's Wife" and it was a monthly class I took at my local quilt shop.  We met once a month and the assignment was to have 10 blocks made for the next class.  The book has 110 block patterns in it.  By doing 10 a month, you would have a complete quilt done at the end of the year.  I didn't want a king size quilt nor did I want to make that many blocks so I opted for the Lap Size, which is perfect.  I only had to do 50 blocks but that was plenty.  The blocks are 6 1/2" so it makes for some difficult piecing.  There was no room for sloppy piecing in this quilt.  And those that were less than perfect fought me when I tried to match them up to a lattice.  But overall, I was very happy with the end result.  If you are in for a challenge, I would suggest you buy this book and give it a whirl!  Or better yet, you can use my book because I won't be making another one soon!!!