Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I Hope We Make It!!!

Ok so things feel like they're all falling apart around here! We leave on Saturday to go to Canada and pick up our Missionary Son! Yea!

We are working on getting the 2 yr old well, and he's doing better. So what happens???? 17 yr old DD and 12 yr old DS wake up w/sore throats and don't want to get out of bed. I have to take the 14 yr old DD to an Ortho appt at 8:00 AM and I'm sitting in the Dr's office when I get a call from 19 yr old DS and he says that the 12 yr old has been bitten on the finger by our dog when he was feeding them. Come home! Well, I can't DD is back in the chair getting worked on. So 45 minutes later she's done and, we race home to find a big ugly purple gash in the son's middle finger. I get on the phone and make the Dr's appt to go have it checked. Appointment is for 10:30. I'm TIRED and it's only 9:40 AM!!!

I put Illene's quilt on the machine last week and I haven't been able to get down there and do any quilting on it yet!! I doubt any quilting will get done til we get home from Canada! Thankfully I have understanding customers! They're the BEST!

Happy Quilting! Lauri

Friday, January 25, 2008

First Quilt Group Meeting

OK, so it didn't over as big as I was hoping, but the 4 of us that were there had a good time. We just talked quilting and ideas for future meetings and things to do w/the group. Which I hope will grow with time. Maybe the weather had something to do with it. It was kind of snowing and very cold. But that didn't stop 80 something year old Meryl from showing up!!! She's made lots of quilts! She's made one for each of her 23 grandkids and 18 great grandkids. That's a LOT!! But she's even made many more than that.

I came down this morning and this is what the kitchen table looked like. Remnants of last nights fun! Well, I had fun. We're going to have our next meeting on February 21st. Everyone has an assignment to bring someone new and we'll have doubled our attendance!! I brought up some of the magazines and quilt books I have downstairs for perusal. I figure why not share. I have TONS!!! One of the friends showed her Grandmother's Flower Garden she's working on, and I had to get out mine and show her how I've been doing it. I think I've converted her.
Happy QUilTinG - Lauri!

Thursday, January 24, 2008


So back to the Drs today and the boy has 2 ear infections! I asked the Dr for Omnicef, so that I only have to give it to him once a day! Who can remember 3 times a day for 10 days?!?! Not me that's for sure.

Tonight I'm having a quilt meeting at my home, I'm pooped, but excited that we're finally getting our local quilt group going again.

Happy Quilting! Lauri

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Verdict

Well, the boy has viral pneumonia. DH and I took him to the after hours on Monday and it took 2 hours to get the verdict. They x-rayed his lungs, and he was such a trooper and was a good boy holding still for the pictures.

SO, we've just been hanging out together ALL DAY long for the past couple of days. Taking Ibuprofen and Tylenol and Mucinex. Keeping the fever down and the coughs at bay.

He took a good nap on Tuesday and I actually finished Christine's Stars.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Sick Baby

Well, Not much it going to get done around here. The babe is SICK!! He's running a temp and can't stop coughing. He coughed all night, so neither of us got much sleep and he's hasn't let me out of his sight all day.

My Plans were to finish the Star Quilt for Christine, but so far that's not happening and I wanted to get the next customer quilt on today.

We have a 5:45 Dr's appt and hopefully they'll be able to give us something for the cough. It's definitely NOT been a fun day!

Hope your day is better than ours! Lauri

Friday, January 18, 2008

to Eat or NOT to Eat!

So yes, I am on the January get back on the Health Kick! I've been trying to do my daily exercise and get back on the NO SUGAR!! Yes, I've done it before and I totally know that it's the thing for me. It's like my BIGGEST weakness. My father has Type II Diabetes and I know I'm on the path to the big D also, if I don't get myself under control. I just need to lose 10 - 15 pounds to be at the right digits for me. I've tried to keep myself under control for the last couple years (since the babers was born) and actually before that also. However, this Christmas season was a killer. The babe and I were sick for like 3 weeks before Christmas and I think all my resolve when down the drain, or was blown out in all the tissues I used. But when Christmas came, I didn't care about my eating habits and just let myself eat whatever I wanted and now my bathroom scale is telling the tale.

So I picked up a book (I'm a sucker for self help/especially weight loss books) at WalMart the other day. "YOU; Staying Young" by Drs Oz and Roizen. Since DH and I have had a baby in our 40s we've seriously realized that we've got to work on staying healthy so we can be there when Jr turns 20! So he won't be pushing us in our wheelchair when he graduates from college! I really like this book and it is easy to comprehend and gives specific things to do to stay healthy and vital.

I took the test at realage.com and YEA. They said w/all my factors that I'm 37.7. That's about 6 years younger than my chronilogical age! Even though I'm some poundage over, I am in pretty good health and have good habits. So to keep it up I'm cutting out sugar (See Lara's Eatopia and get off sugar) and getting started on the recommended vitamin supplements.

So here's a NQR topic. How many books/magazines do you have sitting on your nightstand or on the floor by your bed waiting to be read? I'm afraid to count how many quilt magazines and books, not to mention self help. I totally don't have time for novels right now. But I do love a good novel. I just don't want to do anything else but read once I start one. My life won't tolerate that right now! Taking the picture of the book on my nightstand is what prompted this line of thinking. I had to clear away stuff so it would look decent!! YIKES!

Good luck to you all in your goals! Lauri

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Music, Seams, Family

Bummer this is a day late for Lara's Talk about Tuesday. Oh Well.

So I was reading Seams to An End and Karen mentioned music. Probably not the same music subject I'm going to post about, but it made me think that I've been quilting to music the last couple of days and Loving it!!! I found this cool site Pandora Radio! You can type in an artist or a song that you like and it will find others like it, and you can create your own station. I currently have a Classic Station, a Disco Station (yes I was raised in the 70s!) and a New Age station. These may all be diametrically opposed genres, but Oh Well. I'm loving it! Check it out and let me know what you think.

So the Lemoyne Star quilt is almost done. See how removing the bulk in the seams has allowed me to stitch in the center of the star without problems. It's amazing how every block that has a bulky center always seems to need the stitching to come from the center. And if you intentionally avoid the center, it seems to poke up even more!
So, I've posted about my Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt I've been piecing by hand. Well, we took down the Christmas Tree (yes it's fake) on Saturday. FINALLY! and the 2.5 year old was helping w/the vacuuming. Yes, he's going to be OC like his Dad. We've decided it's a good thing! OK, so back to the quilting. Well, he's detached the vacuum head and just walking around w/the nozzle, and all of a sudden I hear, "uh oh". Guess what? He vacuumed up the block I was working on. Yep, it was almost finished! SWOOSH!!! Right off the table needle, pin and all GONE! My DH offered to go get it out of the central vac canister in the garage and I said "don't bother." Then I'd have to figure out how to get it clean w/o it getting all distorted. I figure it's easier to just get started on the next block!
This is the little table DH/Santa gave me for Christmas to sit next to my comfy chair and hold my quilty stuff for me. Wasn't that nice of him! Especially since we agreed NOT to get each other anything for Christmas, because our trip to Canada is going to be our Christmas! Yes, That's coming up soon. We leave in less than 3 weeks to pick up our missionary son in Canada!! YEA!!!

Happy Quilting! Lauri

Monday, January 14, 2008

Twisted Seams VS. Bulky Intersections

So, learning how to press your block the tried and true method is to press all seams to the side, thus providing strength to the seam by not pressing it open as in sewing clothing. This also provides hand quilters the perfect seam to stitch in the ditch. A twisted seam is a BIG no-no and aggravation to the hand quilter.

Being a Machine quilter and actually dis-liking stitch-in-the-ditch and avoiding it like the plague, what I have found to be a huge hindrance to the machine quilter is bulky seams. What happens to me, is I'm quilting along and the hopping foot of my machine comes to the bulky intersection and can't go over it, thus it bounces off and creates a lump in my wonderful feather. Which no longer looks wonderful cuz of the bump. Or how about cruising along with a pantograph and BAM you run into a bulky intersection and now your cute pattern has a lump in it. A bulky intersection is the kind of seam you find at the center of a pinwheel or a lemoyne star. When there are 8 fabrics converging at the center of the block, and 8 seams, which means 16 layers of fabric. AAAHHHH! press that to the side and it makes for a huge pile of fabric.

So what are the solutions? Well, I learned a techinique from my friend Niquie where you can loosen some of the threads on the seams which are crossed by the final stitching and open up the intersection and press it, this really helps to eliminate the bulk in a four-patch type seam intersection.

But what are other options?

And especially for those flying geese points?

Leave your comments and let me know what you think about twisted seams vs. bulky intersections. Happy Quilting! Lauri

PS Thanks to my Cousin Chris for her quilt, in all the examples.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Winter Wonderland!

This blog was supposed to be up yesterday, because the snow fell on Wednesday. But Thursday was too busy, so here it is on Friday. Oh well! I took these pictures Early Thursday morning. I took them through our family room window. I left the flash off, so I wouldn't get a reflection in the window, but I guess the pink spot is the infrared sensor. Oh Well, It's still a pretty picture and if I would have taken a couple hours, I guess I could have figured out how to fix it. But I don't have a couple hours, so here it is w/the pink spot!

It was a crazy day on Wednesday. It took DH an hour to get the girls to High School, and DS made it to College and home despite the fact that they closed the Highway just as he was heading home. He made it through the back routes and we're glad everyone made it to and from their destinations safely on Wednesday. I stayed home and quilted and then used the snowblower on the driveway while the 2.5 year old took a nap. I managed a path to the garage and then DH took over the rest of the driveway and the dreaded digging out the mailbox after the plows go by!

I finally got the "family gift" quilt off the machine!! YEA! Here it is being trimmed so I can bind it and get it sent off. Unlike most of you quilters out there. I sew my binding on both ways by machine. I figure if it's machine pieced and machine quilted, I might as well sew the binding on both ways by machine. In my thinking it will withstand use better. I like to use Superior bottom line thread that matches and you almost can't even see it. A machine quilter that has MANY years of experience taught me her techinique and I think it works fabulous. Maybe I'll post some pics as I do it, so I can show you how I do mine. I also ran across the pics I took of loading this quilt on the machine. Maybe I'll post that tomorrow. Happy Quilting!!!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


OK just for Lara and her Talk about Tuesday! She noticed my organizing bags hanging on one of my peg boards and YES I do use them! I'm trying to be original in my uses for them, but I don't think I really have been. Once a month I co-lead a quilting group called Going to Pieces at a LQS (local quilt store for non-quilters). and I like to take my projects along. SO, putting them in an organizing bag is the most awesome way to transport them. Then I work at them when at the LQS and pack them back up and bring them home and hang them on the peg board until I can work on them again. And her new bags have pockets in the front so you can slide in a card that tells you what's in the bag!!! Yea!

Another cool way we use them is. . . . the 2 1/2 year old got a bunch of plastic animals for Christmas and he just LOVES them. To keep them from getting strewn all over the house, l've designated a organizing bag for them. He loves to throw them in the bag and zip it up. He can then drag them all over the house and not be dropping them here and there as he goes. It's totally GREAT!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Ready to Quilt!!!

Well, the machine got moved, but it took a bunch of effort to get the rest of the stuff out of the MIL apartment. Yes, I got the fabric moved out of the cabinets. I don’t think I have as big a stash as I first thought. But it’s enough to try and figure out where it’s going to go. I ended up using the cabinet the computer was in to hold un-quilted tops and put up some shelving in the back corner behind the machine which luckily holds most of the fabric. I’m also using the pegboard again!!! I put this up a couple years ago when the machine was in this situation before, but it’s been pretty much unused since I moved the machine. I’ve been tempted to take it down, but I didn’t!!! Now I’m so glad.
All the UFOs and fabric collections are put in plastic bins and labeled. It really helps to have labels on, so I don’t have to dig through the bins to figure out what’s in there. I just use address labels. I love Mary Engelbreit things so I found a cute flower on her website and put it on my labels to make them look cute.
I also have to work around the exercise equipment, but it works out pretty well. The treadmill is right next to the design wall, which kind or works well because I don’t have to stand on a stool to reach to the top of the wall so I can get a big quilt on there.
I’ve finally gotten the “family” quilt back on the machine! I put it back on after I finished the jacket, but never got any quilting done on it because I had to take it off to get the studio moved. Now that everything is mostly in it’s place I can finally get quilting again!!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!!!

Does anyone else have big plans to get TONS of stuff done during the holiday break???? I think to myself. . . . the 2 year old will have lots of siblings to play w/even dad will be home to play with. I should be able to finish the quilt on the LA, get the last border on the baby quilt for my great neice, and maybe even start something else fun!!! BUT NO!!!! Nothing but PLayInG, and eating way too much food, etc. . . gets done!!!

But we've had fun. Christmas Eve morning we went up in the mountains about 15-20 minutes away and went sledding. For some awesome sledding pictures go look at Amanda's Blog. She's gotta teach me how to do the slideshow thing.
In the afternoon we dipped pretzels. Oh my Goodness they were yummy. We ended up giving out the majority as gifts, but we ate our share. Most of the kiddos just bite off the carmel chocolate end and throw away the rest of the pretzel. They think it's just a handle to help them eat the good stuff.
And Then!!! You won't believe what we did on New Year's Eve Day. With a son coming home from his mission, my 19 yo son convinced us that it would be a good idea for mom to move her Long Arm machine out of the MIL apartment in our basement. So, he and big brother could move down there in February. So yesterday, w/the help of kids and hubby we moved my LongArm back into the other room of the basement!!! YIKES. I was pooped. I can't believe I even stayed up til midnight after all that work. But it's done. (Well, I still have to move my fabric stash out of the cabinets in the kitchen area. That shouldn't take long!!?!?! HA! LOL) But the big heavy stuff is moved and fits reasonably well in the new space.
Before and After Pictures. Starting w/the MIL apartment.

Here's Wishing Everyone a HaPpy NeW YeaR!!!! Luv Lauri!