Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sunday - Time Change

Well, did everyone change their clocks?  We did, but I do believe that for the first time in...ever...I took advantage of the extra hour of sleep, and then some.  Totally missed church.  Hubby needed hair cut, so I tagged along to pick up a few groceries.  We were there too early for the hair cut, so he said he would go back, he just needed to go to Home Depot to pick up some supplies for his building project.  After we got checked out and headed to the truck, he informs me that he isn't go to Home Depot, he is taking a day off.  As worn out as gets with anything lately, I am worried about his health, worried about how on earth he is going to manage to get through the rest of the house remodel jobs we have planned.

I on the other hand did a lot of work yesterday and this morning so am taking the afternoon and evening off.  Well, have to cook something for supper at some point, but other than that, I am just catching up on the computer, doing a little online shopping, and about to settle in with some project to work on.

I finally tackled my bedroom yesterday, took most of the day, but all the clothes are put up and the boxes are mostly gone.  Still have a box of glassware in there, but I am not about to put them in the storage building. Am hoping that after the first of the year when we redo the kitchen that I will have some storage space for them.  They were mom's and I just can't let go of them yet.  At least not until I can find some one that can tell me a little something about them, and if they are worth anything.  Mom called them her "Fostoria" glasses, but just not sure.  I did meet a lady that knows a lot about such things and am hoping to get her to the house one day soon to look them over.  At any rate, it is AMAZING how big my bedroom looks, and is, when all the stuff is gone.  I rearranged a few pieces of furniture and made room to put my mom's sewing machine cabinet in there.  I know have a card table set up to put my laptop on and to write on.  Was looking at buying a small desk, but am thinking I will just use the table a while and see what works and what doesn't before investing any more in furniture.  I have a recliner that is entirely too big for the space, but have to leave it as is until I get my living room arranged the way I want, the recliner may be going in there.  Our old PC is in the bed room, moving things around I am actually able to use it once again.  I hate typing on my laptop, keeping hitting something that moves the cursor all around.  Anyway, I bought a new mouse for my laptop and put the old one back on the PC.  Now have the printer right next to it and can sit down and still reach everything to do scanning.  The PC monitor is much larger as well, easier to see. I also went and uninstalled a whole bunch of stuff that never use to free up some space, loaded my new Quilt Design Wizard on it as well.  I created the drawing and directions of my first quilt yesterday morning.  It was fun and much easier than I had thought.  I know that EQ 7 would be really fun to work with, as you can scan your fabric in to it and see how it would look in a quilt. this point, I can keep playing with the Wizard which was so much cheaper.  Like is cost less than $15 and EQ 7 runs about $180.  I did find a place on line that had it about $30 cheaper, but over a hundred dollars more I am content with what I have, which is much more than I had before.   An internet buddy told me that I would know when it was time to upgrade when I started wanting to do more with the design than I could do with the Wizard.  That I understand.

I also bit the dust and purchased PC Stitch 10.  It was less than $40, and have not bought from that site before so am praying that the transaction goes well.  I had a few bugs happen when trying to order, so am really praying that I didn't order three of them and didn't pay three times.  I also found a much cheaper brand of software, it was only $10, but it's capabilities were not really clear.  The PC Stitch describes being able to scan in a photo or image and turn it in to a chart.  Also has built in colors of all the major floss brands as well.  We will see what happens, I went with the more expensive one because I know people that have it and are using it and it stated that it could be used for beading, crocheting and quilting.

Eventually I am sure I will end up getting some type of software to do my own machine embroidery designs as well, but those programs are very expensive and I am just not ready for that yet.  After all, I did just purchase a new embroidery machine.  Granted it is not one of the top of the line fancy named machines, but for the type of work I do it will work perfectly and I am SOOO totally fine with the cost difference. I will see just how much I can do with what I have, how much I can't do that I wish I could, and then go from there.  I loose my head sometimes and start over supplying my needs for my various crafts.  Most people just do one type of craft, but not me.  Oh no, that would be too easy.  My problem is, so many of my crafts just overlap and run in to each other.

Can you tell I am a cheapskate.  Not an extreme one mind you, but if I can get the same item, same quality, some where for cheaper, than so much the better.  Especially since most of my projects are charity offerings.  How did I get started down this path you ask?  Let me tell you.  I first found that I have a passion for quilting.  A true God given talent and passion for it.  As I grew up, I learned the basics of sewing and crocheting.  I used those abilities from time to time as I became a wife and mom.  My oldest daughter as a toddler had a closet full of clothes, then for the boys too.  Hubby used to laugh at me when he would come home to find that I had been dumpster diving for sewing patterns.  Then, hubby's granny would take pity on me and help me advance my crochet abilities.  I also did a little embroidery from time to time as well.  Except for sewing, it just took me way to long to finish an item to suit me so I didn't stay with it long.  Every time I would get a craft area set up in the house, we either added to the family or moved.  I did ceramics for a while, miss it terribly, but the equipment alone takes up much too much space.  All those molds and a kiln.  When we moved to California, I found a church that had a quilt ministry.  I already knew how to sew, had always wanted to learn, and they had child care while we met. So joined in and found that I loved it.

Oh I jumped in that pond with both feet.  Got online and found some groups to join with, did swaps, round robins, even joined the local quilt guild.  They started me making small quilts, 32 x 32 inches called isolets.  They are used in the neonatal units to buffer the sounds and light for the premature and sick babies.  I met a friend, Cara.  In fact, we met online, noticed we were posting about the same speaker, she lived in the next town over but had joined the quilt guild as well.  Her two children were age wise on either side of my youngest.  We made a personal challenge of it, to see how many isolets we could get finished by the next meeting.  Then, she moved.  I really miss her.  In fact, she got me started in machine embroidery, then when I was kind of stale mated, she showed me the things to go with our machines to take it up a level.  Thanks to Cara I learned about free standing lace.

Then a lady asked me if I knew how to crochet. I told her just the very bare basics.  She wanted me to help make some hats to send to some soldiers.  She gave me a pattern, I bought some black yarn, and made a hat. Helmet liners they called them.  Okay...I bought a lot of black yarn...made 250 of those black buggers. Got tire of black so made a pair of slippers.  The soldier that I made them for said he had a bunk buddy that had really big feet, wondered if I could make him a pair.  So...I did, the guy wore like a size 15 boot.  That lead to some more request, they wanted colorful ones. You guessed it, I made like 200 pairs. Then my soldier (I had adopted this small unit, sent them all kinds of food, fun stuff, personal items) asked if I could maybe make a baby blanket and send it to his wife.  I made the crib size quilt, then decided to add a crocheted hat, sweater and booties along with it.  While waiting on my daughter at school one day, one of the teachers saw the baby set I was working on.  She hired me to make sets for her from time to time for shower gifts. That led to some charity sets that went to the army hospital for babies whose dad's were deployed.  A side track to that venture was rubber stamped announcements to be sent with them.  Then, I still don't quite know how it happened, I got lost in my second passion, crazy quilting.  I just fell in love with the embroidery embellishments that went along with it.
 That led me to do a lot of swapping of hearts.  This is one that I did and kept, but is nothing to compare with the ones that the other ladies were doing.  It was a true learning curve as I learned what embellishment were acceptable for cloth. What typed of products used in other crafts worked in this one.  I even bought a special rolling tote case so that I could pack up all my beads, threads, other decorations and take it all with me on a trip to Las Vegas with my hubby.  He went for work, so I had the whole day to myself in the room to work on this stuff.

You guessed it, I found a way to blend my machine embroidery with the crazy quilt blocks, the little car was done with my machine.
On any given block, you can have beads, sequins, ribbon, buttons, even jewelry pieces.

Then...I got stupid and decided I needed to take a full time job outside the home.  Thinking that I would be able to keep doing my crafts, I would cart the plunder back and forth.  It was about this time that I felt sorry for hubby having to listen to the whir of the sewing and embroidery machines all hours of the night and thought that scrapbooking would be the way to go, much quieter, didn't need as much room.  I was wrong, it is way more spread out.  Then there are all different types.  Scrapbook pages, card making, art journal, and so many techniques.  Stamping, ink embossing, texture embossing, ink, pen, markers, embellishments, on and on. Even went so far as try my hand at being a demonstrator for a home based rubber stamp company.  Yes...I was my biggest customer.

Oh, I could go on and on, but you get the picture.  So, I have been down sizing the supplies so to speak in order to put all my efforts in to only a few crafts.  That being quilting and crocheting.  I have a box of my mom's more special clothes, that have embroidery or cut work on them. Also a sack of my dad's ties. Have been saving odd fabrics for over twenty years and will use them with the clothes to make some crazy quilts.  Small one, lap size, for my brother, and then will maybe divide what is left in to four small throws so that each of my children will get one.  A memory thing, but I intend to work in some old photos of family members as well.  Will probably do this with the computer, photo print on fabric, but there may be some other ways as well.  I just ordered some software that will turn any photo or image into a cross stitch design. Much cheaper than the digitize version for machine embroidery and no learning curve either.

Of course, after doing so much hard work yesterday, and since I am still waiting on my AccuQuilt Go cutter to get here, I did do a bit of shopping.  Oh alright, a lot of shopping.  I am going broke getting updated supplies and new ideas.  Still have a couple of "carts" waiting on me to finish checking out. that I have had a really long break, I need to get back to work so I can spend the evening working on something...anything...just some of the many UFO's I have.  I have a huge stack of paper work and magazines to go through and purge down and then find a home for.

Will post photos of my progress so check back often.  Thanks for stopping in.


  1. I understand the keeping the cost down aspect. I would say you are a very busy lady! I bought PCStitch a few years ago and it has helped me. Looking forward to seeing/hearing of the projects you talked about. The pictures you posted, everything looks great!

  2. I used to have PC Stitch 3 or 4 many years ago. Loved it! One time I scanned in a photo of our dog to make a chart. Then I pulled all the floss colors from my collection and used them to choose fabric. I then cut 1.5" squares of each color and sewed them together following the chart. I love that quilt but you have to stand back a ways to see the dog. I then made charts using photos of three of my grandchildren but haven't done anything with them yet. I've been considering buying PC Stitch again to do my fourth grandchild but think I should sew the other three first.