Friday, January 25, 2013

I'm Alive

It's been hectic in my house this past week or so. My husband and I are having a shop built on the back 1/2 of our property plus we're attempting to take down a 7' tall block fence. I wish it were a small fence but it wraps around our inner yard and is, I'm guessing, 70+ ft long.

At this very moment I have a pinched nerve in my left shoulder area that doesn't allow me to rest my chin on my chest. I've been fighting this thing for 3 days now and am almost to the point of going to the Dr. just so I don't have to deal with the pain anymore.

My husband ripped his hand open at Home Depot earlier while trying to pick up nails for the framer. Last night he woke up screaming in pain because his leg was cramping. This isn't uncommon when he overuses his leg. After all he's only got one.

I took a bath earlier this evening and all it did was irritate me because the jets in our tub don't reach my shoulder even when I'm fully submerged. I either want to rip that tub out or replace it with a better one.

I have photos I'm going to share when the shop is further along but, for now, you'll just have to live with knowing that I'm in pain and I'm not sure if I can lift my butt out of this chair to go to bed. I know, sad.

I also did not realize that today was Friday. I've been thinking, all day, that's it's still Thursday. Oh I'm so lost!!

Monday, January 21, 2013

My First Quilt

Last week I was working on my first baby quilt. Well, to be honest, my first quilt period. I was so scared to start it because I was afraid that I was going to screw it up. I practiced stippling, since that's what I was doing on the quilt, on several pieces of fabric and a couple pieces of paper. 

Prior to this quilt the only thing I'd made on a sewing machine was this sewing machine organizer.

The only thing I'd ever done in relation to quilting was watched videos on YouTube (mostly from the Missouri Star Quilt Company) and kept a close eye on the Free Motion Quilting Project with Leah Day. Over many days of watching videos and playing with mini quilt sandwiches I figured it was time to jump in. I put the sandwich under the needle and just started quilting. I couldn't be happier with the results. 

(I have one piece of advice for anyone wanting to quilt on their regular sewing machine. Make sure you get yourself (or build yourself) a table that allows your machine to sit at bed height. I fought with this blanket for hours because I didn't have one.)
The next step was binding. I didn't take photos of this but it was a lot easier than I thought it would be. I had an issue with sewing the pieces properly but after watching THIS video, buying THIS tool, and fighting with my bobbin, everything came out perfect. So, without further ado, here's the finished blanket. 

I've already given the blanket to my neighbor and, oddly enough, it matches everything she's already purchased for the baby. She had no idea I was making the blanket and I had no idea what she was buying for her baby. I can't believe everything matches so perfectly.

I can't wait to start another quilt. I just have to have someone to make it for.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Friday Favorites

I don't have any external links this week but I do have a couple videos that I'm loving.

This first one made me laugh so hard. I found this channel on YouTube quite a while ago and I've watched every video they put up.

This next video is here because I saw the movie a couple weeks ago and I can't get it out of my head. I bought the CD online (for $3 through a website I've used for years) and have been listening to it everyday.

This last clip is so freakin' adorable. It seems like it's going to be quite boring at first but wait until the little girl joins in. You MUST watch it.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

How Do Prefer Comment Responses?

There's a lot of debate of comment responses from a blog owner. I get an email every time someone leaves a comment on my blog. I'm sure there are quite a few bloggers that have their comments set up that way. I've heard it's far more personal to email someone after they've commented as opposed to commenting back on the blog itself. I know I rarely go back to find if someone has responded to my comment.

So what is your preferred method of comment responding? Do you email your blog followers when the comment?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My First Stipple

I'm attempting to make a baby quilt for my neighbor. She's due in May and I have absolutely no experience with quilting. I've been watching hundreds of videos online, especially those made my Leah Day, and I finally got the courage up to try out the $30 darning foot that I purchased a couple weeks ago. I have to say, I didn't do such a bad job on my mini quilt sandwich.

This fabric was purchased for the sole purpose of practicing my quilting techniques. I only made 2 or 3 booboo's over the whole piece and, if I were doing this on a real quilt, wouldn't have an issue picking out the stitches and trying again. So I know the thread is white and almost hard to see on this piece of fabric BUT I hope you can see it.

Do you see the booboo toward the bottom, in the center. I could fix that if this were a real quilt but I took it as a lesson.
Here's the whole piece overall.

There are sections that look too similar but, again, this is a practice piece. 
Something that really helped me was drawing it first. I know that sounds strange but building muscle memory is really going to help when you put the fabric under the needle. I've been doing this for quite a while just building up the courage to put two pieces of fabric together and stitch it.

All in all I'm so happy with how well I did. I have stitch length issues but that's completely my fault. I haven't gotten down syncing the movement of the quilt with the rhythm of the needle. I'm sure that comes with time though.

You may also notice that my blog is under a little bit of a remodel. I was happy with the header and my designs overall but I just wanted something different. I feel like I can be more expressive in what I want to accomplish with this blog.

Monday, January 14, 2013

I Will Build It

I have a tiny sewing room. I've been working on plans to build myself a cutting table, sewing table, shelving, and whatever else can fit in this 12' by 11' room. It's not easy. Thankfully I have a handy husband who's help I've demanded (which he didn't mind) when it comes time to build this stuff.

Why am I building myself these items? When I bought my sewing machine I thought it wouldn't be anything to, later on, buy a sewing table and cutting table. Well if you call a sewing table only large enough to hold your sewing machine nothing than I guess I'm overreacting.

This Gidget 2 is the cheapest sewing table (found for $103 at the cheapest) I can find that has a lift system so that I can lower my machine to flatbed height for quilting.

How freakin' small is that thing?

I plan to take up most of the wall space in this room to create a sewing space that I can truly work with. I've been looking up ideas all weekend and know that I can create something amazing without having to purchase something that doesn't work for me. I'll have to do a "before and after" photo with this project.

Also, the wind has been blowing like crazy all weekend and our temp is currently 16 degrees. It's insane.

What did you do this weekend?

Friday, January 11, 2013

Friday Favorites

This week has been a very busy week in my house. I guess, in some aspects, I totally forgot about my Friday favorites. I haven't saved any links this week even though I've been all over the web.

I'm making a baby blanket for my neighbor and my mother and I are making an apron. Neither of those are very hard projects but being a novice on the sewing machine it's taking a little bit longer. It didn't help that I got a bad batch of fabric either.

So for this week my Friday favorites are being put on hold. Thanks for understanding yo!!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Things More Important Than My Life

I wrote this post because the other day I encountered each and every one of these scenarios in a 30 minute drive from my home, to a nearby town, and back. Why, in the title, do I say they're more important than my life as opposed to being more important than the "offenders" life? I don't know if it's my luck but I always get stuck next to these people while driving and it's really starting to bother me. If they want to kill themselves or cause harm to those in their vehicle that's not my problem. I start to have a problem when what they're doing effects me and the folks in my vehicle.

So, apparently I didn't get the memo that told people there were things that they should do, while driving, that were more important than my life.

#1 - Your phone call. Please if someone calls you to chat about something as important as what you're wearing to your next gathering feel free to drive down the road with one hand on the wheel, your brain in other places, and swerve into my lane willy nilly. I mean if you pick up the phone and find out someone is dead, and you decide to talk while crying and trying to figure out what you're doing next, it might bring them back right? That's far more important than my life.

#2 - The text message from your BFF asking if you and Jimmy are dating. There is no way that I, driving next to you, care if you swerve into my lane, causing me to slam on my brakes, because that text message came through and you just couldn't ignore it. There's no need to pull over just continue to look down at your phone, or drive with your knee, until that text conversation is over. That's far more important than my life.

#3 - That giant messy burger you just couldn't spare 5 minutes to sit down and eat. If there are things falling in your lap make sure you look at them and pick them up as slowly as you possibly can. Pay no attention to anyone else on the road while you hand your back seat passengers french fries either. It's so much more important that you get to where you're going as quickly, and dangerously, as possible than spending a couple minutes at a safe table inside the restaurant. That's far more important than my life.

#4 - Page #45. Your book has to be read right now or something might change right? I mean there is no way you can wait until you get hope to crack that spine. Hold the book up against the steering wheel and, when you get a spare second, look up at the road. Those white lines they draw are simply suggested areas to stay within. Your enjoyment and knowledge that he kisses her, is far more important than my life.

#5 - Your passenger. When you're talking to someone you must look them in the eyes. It doesn't matter that you're behind the wheel of a 2000+ lb machine that requires some attention to keep it where it needs to be. It's more important than my life that your passenger knows you're paying attention to them.

#6 - Your iPhone, iPod, iPad, iWhatever digital device you just got as a gift. You have to test the thing out. It's better to do it behind the wheel than in the safety of your own home. Don't let those people honking at you distract you from what you're looking up on Safari, or Chrome, or IE. That's more important than my life.

It doesn't concern you that driving distracted is as dangerous, if not more dangerous, than drinking and driving. If you haven't been in an accident yet then there's no reason to worry about the other folks on the road with you.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Friday Favorites

With Christmas, and New Years, just behind us I don't have much to share with you on this fabulous Friday.

This is so hilarious since it truly pertains to most dogs I know. It's the dog paradox.

Here's 50 things you may not have known about The Simpsons.

Next Christmas I plan on making some zippered pouches, as gifts, for the ladies in my family. I found two (1, 2) tutorials that seem really helpful.

I don't have any videos to share with you this week. I haven't been online since last year. I scheduled a couple posts for this year so that I wouldn't have to be.

Happy Friday everyone!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Since today is the first of the year I'm stealing a survey, about firsts, from Alycia @ The Curious Pug who stole it from someone else.

First thing you do when you wake up?
I try to find my iPod. I listen to music while sleeping because my husband snores really loudly. Not only that my dogs sleep in my room and they snore just as loud as my husband.

First thing you reach for when you open the refrigerator?
That depends on the day. Most days it's the milk for my cereal. Other days I won't get into the fridge until around lunch time.

First thing you do when you go to the gym?
Gym? This question is a joke right?

First thing you do when you get home from work?
I don't have a job so I can't accurately answer that question. I'm sure it would come in somewhere around "check my email and my blog and play around on the inter-web until I get bored".

First Car?
A 1998 Ford Escort SE. I thought I was the shiznit in this car. (This isn't my car) My little brother currently owns the car so it's still in my family.

First Accident?
Growing up my family lived right down the road from where my mother worked at a retirement home. I was coming home from work and wanted to drop the car off for her because it was raining. I figured I'd walk home so she didn't have to. There was a small open lot across the road, which is a 2 lane highway through a town of 500 people, that my mother was told she could park in. I looked both ways, like a good girl, and began to pull across the road to park. I made it all the way across and every inch of the car was outside the white line on the other side when I felt something hit my bumper. I jumped out the car to see what it was and a large truck, pulling a trailer, had swerved out of the white line and hit me. I was freaking out. The horrible part was that I was blamed for the accident. The officer said I was making an illegal u-turn when, in all actuality, I wasn't. I explained, and showed him, that I was clearly all the way off the road and that the truck swerved OFF THE ROAD to hit me. Stupid cop.

First thing you wanted to be when you grew up?
An international corporate lawyer. I knew when I was 8. 

First choice beverage?
Venit whole milk iced Chai from Starbucks. After that it's Diet Dr. Pepper.

First choice breakfast?
Either cream of wheat or oatmeal. I love them both!!

First choice dessert?
You cannot make me choose, I won't do it.

First song that comes to mind?
This song didn't make it onto my iPod this past season and I'm not sure why but I was super disappointed. This is my absolute favorite version of this song though.

First major purchase?
See that care up there? That's it.

First job?
I was a courtesy clerk (or bagger) at a local grocery store. I worked there for less than a year.

First time you flew on a plane?
2007. My first flight was on our vacation to NYC. We flew from Vegas to New Jersey, where our hotel was, on a red eye. WORST. FLIGHT. EVER!