Thursday, July 23, 2015

Thankful Thursday...07/23/15

I was sad to see Quilty Thankful Thursday be discontinued, and when I was told I thought I would still try and do Thankful Thursday a couple times a month.  My plan had been to do a post the next week, but to be honest I wasn't in a thankful state of mind.  I lost my buddy pal that week and was really just pissed off at the world in general.  The next week, I was swamped and let the craziness of everyday life keep me from showing my thankfulness. But not any more, today I'm going to list some things I'm thankful about even if it kills me.

1. Sweet People. When I posted about losing Tucker, I had lots of family, friends and even strangers reach out to me and offer their prayers, thoughts and love. And I am so very thankful for each and every one of those notes. I can't put into words how special each and every note, call, and text was to me. I may not have responded to each of them, because I just couldn't get the words out, but thank you all so very much.

2. The Internet. I know it can be a wild and crazy place, but it is also so full of great information. Anytime I want to know how to do something I simply google it. I've found wonderful quilting videos, great recipes and even some odd info that really turns out to be helpful. Like...we were having a problem with flies. And I went out and searched ways to get rid of them. I have used fly traps in the past but they are pretty gross, and it was before we had Hollywood, and I'm not sure he would leave them alone. Then I came across an article, that talked about all the normal stuff, don't leave food out, etc., but it also mentioned that flies don't like the smell of lemongrass. So I bought some lemongrass oil and a diffuser and put it in the kitchen. It has been so great. In fact I bought a second diffuser...ok three more. Not all for lemongrass, we don't have that bad of a problem.  I turn them on in the morning, and our problem is down at least 95%. We still have an occasional one, but nothing like the 10-15 we were seeing each day. And they are dive bombing flies. So if you want to learn about something search the internet...just be careful and don't trust everything you read. And if you have a fly problem lemongrass really does help.

3. Bee Blocks. I've received almost all of my blocks for my turn as queen of the Bee Hive Swarm Johanna. They are so perfect that I can't wait to finish the quilt. I have enjoyed making my blocks each month, but I will admit receiving is pretty darn cool. And I get to be queen of Stash Bee hive 9 next month.  I just can't wait.

4. Great sales. I have to admit I think Sharla and I have gone a little nuts buying fabrics lately and we've definitely have to close the pocketbooks, but not before getting a few good deals.  The one I think I'm the happiest about is the jelly rolls I got on sale. I ended up getting 4 and they are all Christmas prints. My nephew and his finance as for a tree skirt last year on Christmas day. I'm going to do the Joyful Jelly Roll Tree Skirt by Fat Quarter Shop. I bought the Jingle line by Kate Spain to use for it.  I also go Joyeux Noel because Sharla liked that line and two of Evergreen by Basic Grey. If the tree skirt is easy (and probably even if it isn't), I'm going to see if my niece wants one as well as my sister-in-law.  If they don't like the Joyeux Noel or Evergreen fabrics then we'll make Christmas quilts for us to use.

5. Little Things. Over the last couple of weeks there have been a lot of little things happen that just make me happy. I ran to the farmer's market Saturday morning, and when I got home Sharla had emptied and loaded the dishwasher. At Starbucks the drive thru line was long and slow, but when we got to the window the girl gave us our frappuncinos for free. The road over the dam has opened back up and so the morning traffic has been reduced. I found 32 cents in the driveway (score for my piggy bank).  I went to the grocery store and actually remembered three things not on my list, which saved a return trip. July is almost over and we've not hit 100 degrees yet (but it may happen today). Each of these things has made me happy, and I'm thankful they occurred.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Piggy Bank Challenge 2015-2016

Ok it is time to start saving again for the Piggy Bank Challenge 2015-2016 or the 3rd annual, which ever way you want to list it.  If you read last week Sharla and I were able to save over $450 together last year. A pretty awesome feat if I do say so myself. So we are signing up for the challenge again this year. But we are making a little change. While we love McGee and DiNozzo, they are difficult to use. Dumping a change purse full of coins is time consuming through their little slots and they are tight and don't want to give the money back to us. Sharla ended up tearing a bill trying to get it out of McGee.

So we are switching to boxes. I changed at the end of last year, and it was so much easier to just dump my change into my box on my desk.  If they get full before the year is up, we will empty them into a zip lock bag.  Here are the boxes we are using, I just got them at JoAnns. Sharla's is the burgundy/green and mine is the purple/green.

Now for what we're going to buy with the money we save, that is easy.....FABRIC!!!! We are pretty set with our supplies, so that leaves the thing we are really love and that is fabric. We will look at lines that are available next year when we count the money.

I will say that we were successful because we didn't use our change. Whenever we got it, it went into a coin purse and we dumped that weekly.  It was a big change of habit for me, because I always used my change to pay. But holding it back really adds up quicker than even I realized.  We did toss in dollars on occasion. I think we will try to throw more paper money in this year to see if we can break $500 next year. Also it doesn't that Sharla and I are competitive, so we would often count what we dumped and lord it over the other if we more. I know we can be silly, but competition does help.

Now if you want to join the challenge, get a bank or box and start pinching those pennies and also link up with Val @ Val's Quilting Studio, which I will be doing today.

Val's Quilting Studio

Saturday, July 11, 2015

2015 Finish Along: Quarter 3 Goals

Last quarter I really sucked at my goals. I wanted to do so much, but life just got in the way. I like making lists because it helps me keep on track, but what I found last quarter, is that although I made the list here, I didn't write it down anywhere to see in my sewing room.  So this month I'm going to make a list that I can tape to my fabric cabinet as a reminder.

1. Sharla's Machine Cover.  This is small and should be easily accomplished and I'm making it number one, so that I can get a sense of accomplishment to spur me on to bigger and better things.

2. My Purple Quilt. I had planned on finishing this one to donate to Hands2Help, but didn't get it done. I still want it done, and I will either use it or save it to donate at a future time.

3. Memory Quilts. I have to get on these, because one I just want them done, but two the people they are for would really like them I'm sure.  One is done and quilted, the second is partially pieced, and the patches are made for 3 and 4.  My goal this quarter is to get the second one completed and the third one pieced. But if I can get all four done, I would be really really happy. I'm happy they have moved on from this stage.

4. Table Runner. This is another one that should be a fast finish.  Sharla completed the top, and I just need to get it quilted and bound.

5. Gypsy Queen Mystery Quilt. I'm testing the instructions for a mystery quilt.  I will be done with the top in August, so I would like to get it quilted this quarter. I'm working right along with the instructions, and I've really been having fun making each section. I can't show you the pieces I've made so far, but I can show you the fabrics I picked.

6. Sharla's Box Trot. I really want to get this one done because I bought wool batting for it and I want to see how it quilts but also how warm it is.  I want to do a quilt for my bed and this one will tell me if I want to use wool batting or not.

7-10. I have Sharla's Flirt Quilt, Sharla's Norway Quilt, My Class One Quilt and Sharla's Class One Quilt. I'm grouping them all together here since I don't have photos of them.  But the tops are complete on them so I would like to get them done.

And yes I realize this is basically the same list as last quarter, but they all still need to be done. I have several more things I'm going to add here, but I'm not sure they will make it to the completed quilt stage in this quarter.  I still want them on my radar, and if things work out and I do get them all the way to completed all the better.

11. Cross Quilt. I am about 75% done with the blocks, so with a little effort I should be able to complete the blocks and hopefully get the top done.  If I complete the top, I'm definitely moving it up the list to quilt because it will be big enough for my bed.

12. Bee Hive Quilt. I was the queen of the Bee Hive Swarm Johanna last month so blocks have been coming in from my mates. I want the quilt to be a little larger than just what I will receive, so I need to make some more blocks. I would like to get at least 20 blocks done this quarter.  The blocks aren't hard, so that is totally doable if I will precut the pieces. I don't think I will be able to get the top pieced this quarter, but if I get enough blocks done then it can go on next quarter's list.

13. Stash Bee Quilt. I'm not the queen of Hive 9 until August, but I need to get my tutorial written. I've already prepared one block, but I would like to have several examples done.  It is another one that I want to make larger, so the more samples I make the fewer I have to make later.

14. Mystery Quilts. I am participating in two mystery QALs. My goal for this quarter is to stay on top of the steps. Midnight Mystery by Meadow Mist Designs gives instructions on the first Thursday of each month. Turning Twenty's BOM mystery givens instructions on the 1st and 3rd Monday of each month.  Both should be easy to keep up with as long as I keep myself on track.

15. Bee Blocks. I've been very good about getting my blocks out on time each month and I want to continue to do so. Both bee's I'm currently in have been lots of fun and great learning experiences. It has been fun doing different blocks in color combos that I might not have picked for myself. I've had some that I want to do for myself and others that I don't, but that is what is cool. I learn without having to make a whole quilt.

As always I've made a long list for myself. but I believe I have a better chance of getting it done if I put it on a list. I've already typed up the list to go on to my fabric cabinet. It's not fancy, but it will be a constant reminder to me of what I need to do. Today I'm linking up with On The Windy Side.

2015 Finish-Along