Summer, where the heck did it go?

Wow, I can’t believe August is drawing to a close.  I’m not sure where the summer went, or for that matter, where the year has gone.  Seems 2014 has been a blur.  I just wanted to post a quick update on what I’ve been working on (or not, lol) before I wake up and it’s fall around here.

IMG_4029Most of our summer has been spent under construction.  We added a sunroom and a two tier deck.  It took about 8 weeks longer than intended, but we’re pretty in love with the finished product.  Needless to say, the cats have claimed the room as their own.

IMG_3952 I also finished quilting the quilt I’ve been working on for my porch.  It’s the Scout pattern by Cluck Cluck Sew.  I quilted it in the hoop with Scarlett (my Bernina 830 LE) using the master hooper and the jumbo hoop.  It took 36 hoopings over the course of about 2 weeks.  Please pardon the cat, as usual.  I used the quilting ovals pattern from Meringue Designs.  I’ve wanted to do this for some time.  I fought some tension issues, but overall I love the effect of the ovals.  The binding is sewn down to the front, now I just need to do the hand binding.  Hopefully some of that this weekend and then a good wash and she’ll be ready to snuggle.

IMG_4039Mom and I are back in the groove with our Farmer’s Wife blocks.  These are the 4 I finished this weekend.  I have one more to go and then we’ll move on to September blocks.

IMG_4059 IMG_4056 IMG_4054 IMG_4045It’s been a stressful few weeks and I have really enjoyed being able to come home at night and relax in front of the fire pit on the deck (it’s propane so no fuss, no mess) with a glass of wine and chill.

IMG_4003And while relaxing with said glass of wine, I just “might” have been doing some fabric shopping which resulted in these two yummy bundles of Cotton + Steel from Crimson Tate 🙂  Just sayin’….

IMG_4077You’re also well aware of my tendency to hoard all things Bonnie & Camille 🙂  So needless to say, Miss Kate already has a place in my sewing room with some of the flannel fat eighths on the way as well, lol.  Isn’t she pretty?

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Well, I’m afraid that may be all the fabric goodness you can stand 🙂   More pics soon once I get the porch quilt bound.  I’m calling her “Chasing My Tail” and will tell you the full story once she’s complete.  Happy quilting friends!

Vacation Accomplishments

Wow!  I have enjoyed having a week off so much that I told my staff I’ve decided I should take the summer off.  Needless to say, they’re not in favor of that and it might make paying the bills a bit difficult, but oh boy….this was a much-needed retreat from a CRAZY five months.  I really can’t believe we’re at the end of May.  I have NO idea where the last 5 months have gone (wait….yes I do, I was traveling like a crazy woman and working my butt off, lol).

So, without further delay, here is just a little peek at what I did this week.  First, I started every morning (after the chores were done of course) with a cup of coffee on the front porch with this smiling boy who turned 14 (!!!!!) back on the 10th!  How he got to be 14, don’t ask…seems he was just a goofy pup not too long ago.  Every day we have with him is a blessing.  Lots of limping these days and we’re in early renal failure, but he’s happy and I keep him pain-free.  He still likes to walk to the barn every morning and night (but then he prefers to ride back in the gator, lol).

IMG_3556Mom came out last weekend for a “photo shoot” with Aunt Joann’s quilt.  Special memories here that will last a lifetime!

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We finalized plans for the addition of a sunroom and deck on the back of the house!  I have been wanting to do this forever, but we didn’t want to finance it, so this has been a 5 years of savings and lot’s of speaking gigs kind of project.  Construction should start in the next 2 weeks.

Thompson over view 4 Thompson over view 2Lot’s of stuff happening on the sewing front and that was truly the most awesome part of vacation…just being able to sew and relax with the windows open, the birds chirping, and the horses munching.  Heaven!

First I got caught up on our Farmer’s Wife blocks.  I am sad to say that these were February’s blocks…we had to put everything on hold when my travel schedule got out of control and mom had to have thumb surgery.  We’re back on track and I have picked out our 5 June blocks.  With the addition of February’s blocks, we have 65 out of 111 complete.  That means we only have 46 more blocks to go!  Amazing.

IMG_3592I finally had a chance to put all of the ones I have made up on the wall together last night, so here they are.  I really have NO idea how these are all going to tie together in one quilt lol, but I said I was only going to use stash fabric and I have stayed true to that.  I love how when I look at the blocks I can see what was going on at the time in my life and remember special times associated with certain fabrics.

IMG_3593Now, you might have noticed that this is actually hanging ON the WALL.  The other big project of the week was to clear out my sewing room/office.  It has been SO cramped for so long that it just makes me edgy going in there.  First I got rid of Bubba’s big over stuffed chair that was taking up an entire wall.  With his legs, he hasn’t been able to get up on it for over 4 months and when he does, he can’t get down on his own without falling.  It was an accident waiting to happen…so out it went.  Then I got rid of an old kitty condo that was taking up space under the window.  The cats are always on my sewing table or desk, NEVER on their designated space, lol.  So, with that space opened up, I turned an old table that my mom made years ago into a much-needed cutting table.  I added some 5 inch risers and voila!

IMG_3566You can see my Grandma Foster’s old treadle machine there now 🙂  It was crammed into a corner and covered with books.  Moosie likes it too.

IMG_3573Now, as you can see above, the appearance of the self-cleaning litter box beneath the new cutting table AND the lovely brown risers do not add to the ambiance I was trying to create.  Home dec is totally outside of my comfort zone, but with Mom’s encouragement, I bit the bullet and decided to make a skirt for the table.  I fell in love with the Moda Mochi dot linen fabric.  Mom tried to teach me how to make ruffles by  pulling on two threads….after several frustrating tries, I went and purchased a ruffler foot, lol.  This is why god invented technology right??????  Seriously…this thing is a dream!  Here is the finished skirt.  Looks MUCH better than the litter box and risers 🙂

IMG_3585The ruffler foot and I got on famously!  Talk about super simple.  It had 3 settings:  ruffles every 12 stitches, every 6 stitches, or every stitch.  I did every 12 because I wanted looser ruffles.  Now, the new hemmer foot and I, well that is a different story.  We are still not on speaking terms.  I had enough of the mochi dot left over to make a fun little pillow to sit on the chair by Grandma’s machine…I mean Moosie’s chair.

IMG_3586IMG_3588Fun!  I still want to paint the room too, but there are some other things I need to clear out (aka “purge”) before I tackle that.  However, I had such fun with the ruffler that I might consider making curtains when the time comes, lol.

Up next on the cutting table?  Well, I am working on the Scout quilt by Allison Harris at Cluck Cluck Sew.  My awesome friend Courtney from The French Seam (she’s also my neighbor at work, lol) gave me the pattern AND the fabric.  Seriously, how lucky am I to work next door to this lady????  If you’re in Indy, you should totally check her shop out…AMAZING fabrics!  I “heart” her 🙂  All of the strip sets are cut and sewn together (thank you for your help Moosie), so today we cut and piece the blocks together and hopefully get the top stitched.

IMG_3547So, it’s been a fabulous vacation and I still have 3 days left!  Cheers!  Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone!

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Life, Weather, and Very Little Sewing!

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This has been the view from my window each morning since early January.  While I will agree that it is beautiful, these are the temperatures we have been dealing with….

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I never worried about the cold, or winter for that matter.  I have a four wheel drive, and even though I live in the country, I can get where I need to go most days.  These bitter temperatures have been brutal, just brutal.  Tank heaters can’t keep up with the water when it gets that cold…I worry about the barn cats (who according to my husband have a pretty cushy life with their insulated shelters, hay, and food).  I worry…it’s what I do.  But, the outlook for this week is pleasant…in the 40’s by Thursday so I will hold onto that thought.  This weather makes me feel like this:

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It’s been a tough winter to be an almost 14 year old Golden boy with bad legs.  But he’s my man and he’s been trudging along with a few wipe outs here and there 😉  Unfortunately, I’ve had very little sewing time since Christmas.  The clinic has been incredibly busy (weird I know…derm in the winter, but we don’t seem to have much of a season anymore which is a good thing and means I can pay my staff lol).  I’ve been traveling all over the place speaking and we just made a decision to open a new satellite in northern Indiana.  I have a bunch of publication deadlines coming up and hanging over my head.  I was driving home the other day and thought, “self, you are an awesome dermatologist, a good speaker, and a good business person…but you kind of suck at taking care of yourself and your family”.  Ah well, there’s always room for improvement right?

Soooooo….here’s what I have managed to get done since the end of December.  Mostly it’s been little scattered 30-60 minutes here and there working on my Farmer’s Wife blocks.  Mom has been fighting hand/thumb issues and is finishing up a project for a quilt show in March, so my lack of sewing time hasn’t slowed us down too much.  These are my December blocks:

ImageBlock 94:  Tall Pine TreesImageImage

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I have 3 out of my 5 January blocks completed (yes, I know…it’s February).  AND…I have declared today a “no work” day for me, so planning on some mental health sewing 🙂

In other fun news, there’s a new layer cake quilt QAL taking place over at Material Girl Quilts.  Yes, I know I have just been lamenting about my lack of time but this looks super fun to me. You should go check it out.  Even if I can’t keep up with the deadlines, I’m still going to quilt along as I can.  I’ve chosen my layer cake (the new April Showers from Bonnie & Camille) and now I just need to decide on layout 1 or layout 2 🙂  I’m looking forward to the QAL!  You should check out Amanda’s blog if you haven’t already…she has lots of fun stuff going on over there.

Layer Cake Sampler QAL button2

That’s it for me crew!  I just haven’t posted in awhile and wanted you to know I haven’t dropped off the face of the earth 🙂  Have a great weekend!!!

Farmer’s Wife Update – November blocks

I couldn’t sleep last night.  I managed to really tweak my back wrangling a painful patient on Thursday night so I’ve been enjoying some pain killers and muscle relaxants the last 24 hours.  Apparently I’d had enough sleep as of 2 a.m. this morning lol.  So, I finished up my November blocks for the Farmer’s Wife Quilt mom and I are making.  We had to take a little hiatus in September and October because mom had surgery on her thumb (new joint) and I was traveling all over the place for speaking engagements.  I’m happy that we’re back on track because I really, really miss her.  When we’re both working on our blocks and texting each other back and forth, somehow that makes her seem closer.

So, here are my November blocks.  Mine are on the left, Mom’s are on the right.  She’s still working on hers (because she sleeps like a normal person), so I’ll update when she sends me her remaining few 🙂

Block 9 – Box

Mine

                   Mine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Block 16 – Calico

Mine

                   Mine

Mom's

                  Mom’s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Block 48 – Homeward Bound

Mine

                   Mine

Mom's

                  Mom’s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Block 66 – Periwinkle

The border fabric on this one is from a piece of Liberty of London fabric.  Every so often, Mom and I buy each other a piece of fabric (one for each of us) that we incorporate into our individual FW quilts 🙂

Mine

                  Mine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Block 71 – Puss in the Corner

Mine

                        Mine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hoping for some more sewing this weekend!  Here are the blocks from August before we had to stop for a bit.

Block 61 – Northern Lights

Mine

                 Mine

Mom's

                   Mom’s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Block 49 – Honeycomb

Mine

                    Mine

Mom's

                     Mom’s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Block 46 – Hill and Valley

Mine

                   Mine

Mom's

                       Mom’s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Block 35 – Flower Basket

 

Mine

                   Mine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Block 30 – End of Day

Mine

                      Mine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Both months all together.

August BlocksNovember Blocks

 

 

Q2 FAL aka Q1 FAL complete :)

dsc_02732b4OOPS!   So, I never managed to get my act together for the Q2 FAL with Leanne at She Can Quilt and get my goal post up.  I know I don’t get to join in to win the prizes, but I did want to share that I have officially finished everything that was on my Q1 FAL list, lol….oops 🙂

Here was the original post:

1.  Montana quilt – Done!!!!!!!!IMG_01472.  Farmer’s Wife Blocks – complete for April, May, and oops…NOT June yet.

April 2013 FW blocks

April 2013 FW blocks

May Farmer's Wife Blocks

May Farmer’s Wife Blocks

Be sure to check out everyone else’s Q2 FAL accomplishments (especially the one’s that really did have their act together and got their post done on time, LOL, over at Leanne’s blog.  Q3 – watch out!dsc_02732b4

Farmer’s Wife – May blocks

I was running a bit behind with the May blocks due to all the golden drama at our house, but I managed to complete them before the middle of June (that still counts right???? )  🙂

Here they are:

May FW blocksIndividually they are #96 – TulipTulip#91 – Strawberry BasketStrawberry basket#74 – RibbonsRibbons#23 – Country  FarmCountry Farm

#1 – Attic WindowsAttic Window

So, now I just need to get started on the June blocks since it’s now June 17th…eek 🙂  Here are pics of Mom’s blocks as well!

Attic Window:

Mom's

Mom’s

Country Farm: IMG_1986Ribbons:IMG_1988Strawberry Basket: IMG_1985and Tulip is missing.  That’s it for the May blocks.  June blocks coming soon 🙂

Done With April!

I’ve been absent.  April was a blur, a complete and utter blur.  Dad was in the hospital, I had my annual veterinary dermatology conference, got sick, fought it for a week, then it turned into pneumonia and for the first time in my entire life I missed a full week of work.  To say I’m over it…well, that might just be an understatement 🙂  I am finally starting to feel better, but my energy is low and I’m left with this wheezing cough.  My albuterol inhaler is my new BFF.  It became even more difficult now that my old golden boy is having some real issues.  We’re not sure if it’s orthopedic or neurologic, or a combination of the two, but I know hard decisions are ahead and I’m dreading the day.  Why can’t they live as long as we do?  So frustrating, especially as a veterinarian when you feel you should at least be able to fix your own…  We spent some time in the grass just enjoying the sun yesterday.  Moments like these are precious.

Bubba Jr - May 2013

Bubba Jr – May 2013

So, let’s play a little catch up.  Here’s what I managed to accomplish this last month.  Not a lot, but still progress 🙂  I finished my April Farmer’s Wife blocks.  I actually beat Mom this month, lol.  I think she still has one to finish.

April 2013 FW blocks

April 2013 FW blocks

In other news, the Montana quilt (LONG on my list of WIPs) is finally pieced…IMG_1843Pinned (thank you Moose for all the help…)IMG_1855And ready to quilt 🙂IMG_1856I have high hopes for getting some quilting done today.  At least the stitch in the ditch part to secure some seams, that is if I can get the cats off of it long enough.  This beast is 74×100.  It’s the biggest one I’ve ever tried to quilt at home and the first quilt I’ve ever pin basted versus spray basted.  We’ll see how it goes.  I anticipate getting irritated with having to continually stop and unpin.  I know it’s going to take a while to quilt though and trying to maneuver it for spray basting was going to be a bear.

Here’s wishing everyone a peaceful week!

Q1 FAL Report

Time to face the music and link up with my Q1 Finish-A-Long report over at She Can Quilt with Leanne.

she can quilt

It’s fun watching all the links come up and seeing what everyone accomplished!  Here we go:

1.  First up – the Montana QuiltRapidsI’m just going to show you this picture, because getting the borders on and finishing the quilt was a big, fat FAIL in Q1.  The quilt top is sitting right where I left it.  I did look at it a few times…does that count??   However, I am not giving up and she’s going to roll over into the Q2 goals.  I’m going to delude myself and say it was fate and that I’m going to finish the quilt the same time of year as when I started it after our Montana trip last year (and I have a patch of land with oil under it if you buy that one 🙂 ).

2.  Goal 2 – Finish 15 more Farmer’s Wife blocks with Mom – DONE!!!  We are trucking right along and have completed a total of 25 blocks so far!  Such fun 🙂  Here they are:

Jan 2013 FW blocks

Jan 2013 FW blocks

Feb 2013 FW blocks

Feb 2013 FW blocks

March 2013 FW Blocks

March 2013 FW Blocks

3.  Last but not least – I signed up to participate in my first ever blog hop show casing a new Amy Bradley pattern.  DONE!   I managed to meet the deadline, participate, and thoroughly enjoyed meeting a bunch of new quilters that came to visit my site along with discovering several new bloggers to follow!  IMG_1577MEShe hangs in my poor, mess of a sewing room/office right now.  She makes me smile 🙂

So, that’s it for me…what’s the saying?  Two out of three ain’t bad?  LOL.  Here’s to finishing the Montana quilt in Q2!!!

Let the Sun Shine!

It was a wonderful week here!  It started out with 8 inches of snow between Sunday night and Monday (which brought lots of cursing from me) but on Wednesday, I headed down to see the parents in Florida for Dad’s birthday.  Gorgeous there!!!!  This is what greeted me 🙂  Mom is so ingenious with decorating…everything is always beautiful and perfect.  IMG_1734This is chalkboard paint on the back of their door…how cool is that?  Definitely something I want to do.  Thursday Mom and I had mani/pedi’s and then we all steamed crab for dinner.  It was such a relaxing day.  I may have come back completely spoiled.  Dad cooked breakfast for me every day…sigh!  It was heaven!  Note the polish on the nails?  The husband might not recognize me, lol.IMG_1736

Friday was Dad’s birthday and he was 70…again 🙂 Apparently we stop counting at 70 and just celebrate that one over and over.  We headed to Tarpon Springs where they have this awesome little sponge dock with silly touristy type shops.  They have this one really cool soap shop though called Lori’s (of course it’s cool right?) where they make goats milk soap and olive oil soap.   The goats milk soaps come with little sponges or loofahs set into the soap and they smell soooooo good!  After that, we had dinner at a greek restaurant, Hella’s.IMG_1749Aren’t they just the cutest?  We had this really sweet waitress named Peggy and she brought Dad a chocolate eclair with a candle in it 🙂  Of course there was singing and drinking as well!IMG_1751And then, for the grand finale….on Saturday, Mom and I traveled to Rainbow’s End Quilt Shoppe to meet Katie of Katie’s Quilting Corner.  What a treat!  I felt like I knew her already from texting, emailing, and following her podcast from the beginning, but she’s even more lovely in person than she seems to be on her podcast.  IMG_1755In case you’re confused, from left to right:  Katie, me, and Mom 🙂  We had a lot of fun shopping and then went to brunch at a little restaurant in Dunedin.  I wish I had been visiting longer because I really would have loved to have met the Corgi crew and had more time to chat.  Next time hopefully!

IMG_1759We all did a little damage, but somehow I managed to buy the most…the one person who doesn’t live there.  How does that happen?  LOL.  Here are some of the fat quarters I picked up.  I also found this über fun print called “Face Woof”.  Yes, I know…I’m a geek and what will I ever do with it?  But how could I not???IMG_1760I’ve also been in love with the grey/green prints from Simply Color by V & Co. for Moda for a while, so I figured a little pack should come home with me.   They look like a standard Florida souvenir don’t you think?IMG_1761So, I didn’t get any sewing done this week, but I did manage to get a picture of all of Mom’s Farmer’s Wife blocks.  I forgot mine 😦  I was so looking forward to laying both of ours out together side by side.  We’ve done 25 so far!  IMG_1738

That’s it for my week!  Not much sewing, but such a wonderful week with friends and family.  Now I’m back in Indiana and ready for spring.  Hope you all had a great week!

Throw Me A Bone!

Dear Mother Nature, REALLY???????  C’mon!  This is what we woke up to this morning.  There’s about 2.5 inches on the ground with predictions ranging now from 6-10″ by the end of the day.  I feel like I’m in the movie Groundhog Day.  I swear if I saw that little rat right now, we’d have an intervention!IMG_1725

I can honestly remember a time when I liked the snow and the cold weather.  Being cozied up inside a warm house, watching the snow fall…it all seemed very peaceful.  Now that I have these outdoor critters, I worry a lot more about cold temperatures.  IMG_1378

Don’t even get me started about the little cat that hangs out on our porch.  She has a gourmet diva cat house to snuggle in surrounded by big bales of hay (yes…our porch looks like red neck central right now), but I still lose sleep over her while my other kitties are snuggled away warm in their inside beds.  I know I can’t take them all in, and honestly, four cats inside is plenty…especially when they all start sneezing.  Speaking of the feline plague, everyone is better here…except Simon.  Poor Simey….he’s the one that I thought had the toughest immune system, but he’s hanging onto it the longest.  Poor little guy…might be his age, I’m not sure.  Regardless, he’s still happy to sneeze in your face, but at least he’s eating and not looking as pathethic.IMG_1696On the quilting front, I’m afraid I don’t have a ton to report this week.  I did get all of my March Farmer’s Wife blocks finished.  Hard to believe I am actually ahead of Mom right now…that may be the first time since we’ve started this that I’m in the lead 🙂  However, it’s only because she’s hard at work on sewing new curtains for dad’s boat, lol.  I’m headed down to Florida to celebrate Dad’s birthday this week.  Can’t wait to see their bright, smiling faces (note to the weather man – please, some sun?????  I don’t care if it’s 80 degrees, but above 30 and sunny would make Lori very happy!)

Mom & Dad

Mom & Dad

Aren’t they adorable????  Mom just bought a new sewing machine ( a Juki) and I can’t wait to see it and learn all about it!  I’m not very familiar with Juki’s but the reviews look good.  I think it’s the F600?  I’m going to try and get some pics of our FW blocks laid out together which I think will be super cool.  Oh!  And I’m really hoping to road trip and meet Katie while I’m there.  I wish I was going to be there long enough to meet the Corgi’s but this is going to be a quick trip for Dad’s birthday.

So, here are my blocks for March for the Farmer’s Wife quilt.  I’m branching out from the usual Moda Etching’s line (can you tell I am desperate for spring from my color choices?)  LOL.  Sorry for the poor lighting.  It was late, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it 🙂

March 2013 FW Blocks

March 2013 FW Blocks

This one is kind of fun.  Mom and I bought have a fat eighth of this fabric with various quilt blocks listed and we agreed to each incorporate it into our quilt.  This is the way I chose to do that since this block had such a nice open area for fussy cutting.IMG_1685Farmer’s puzzle might be my favorite though 🙂IMG_1718So, that’s it for me for this week.  I’d like to think that I’ll get some sewing done today while it’s icky and gross outside, but I have a ton of stuff to do to get ready to leave and go see the parents 🙂  Here’s hoping wherever you are this weekend is warm and sunny!