Postings and ponderings of a quilting and knitting addict!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Top 10 Reasons I Hate “Frogging”

Frogging:  reverse quilting, or ripping out the quilting you just put in (Rippit, rippit, rippit!)  because you made a big “oops”! 

I just spent 3 1/2 hours frogging on a customer quilt. That is 3.5 hours leaning over the machine while picking out stitches, because this quilt is HUGE and I don’t want to take it off to rip stitches and then try to reload it… things will never line up as they should. 

I knew what I was doing might cause problems because it has happened before.  The border on one side was very “full”, plus the seams did not line up straight down on the one side.  I proceeded to do some smoothing to the left side and some tugging to that side until I had everything lined up as it should be.  I quilted… 6 rows.

When I advanced the quilt I noticed that the rows where I had tugged to get the quilt to line up, had several tucks on the lining.  Time to “frog”.  UUGGGGHHH!  Thankfully I was able to remove about 1/4 of 4 different rows and then work the fullness in the lining over.  Next time I will use the side clamps to hold the lining taut while I am tugging and adjusting the quilt top!


10.  It makes me want to kick myself for doing something stupid, again.  I should have known better… this has happened before.

9.  I have a much better use of my time, like for instance, FINISHING the quilt on the machine rather than ripping out.

8.  Oh, my aching back!

7.  Customer quilt = being VERY careful (and therefore SLOW) with ripping.

6.  The pay per hour for frogging sucks!

5.  Now there are needle holes all in the lining fabric.  (I will sprits these with water after the quilt is finished to help the holes close up.)

4.  OH!  My aching BACK!!

3.  I had hoped to be finished with this quilt today… not going to happen.

2.  I have to exercise that “fruit of the Spirit” called PATIENCE.  NO ONE likes to practice that one!

And the #1 reason I hate frogging…   (drum roll, please!)


Ice packs and “Dancing With the Stars” are calling my name.  Hope your afternoon went smoother than mine!  No “sympathy” comments are necessary… but thanks for letting me whine a little.

Tomorrow I WILL finish that huge quilt, and perhaps another one as well.



Thursday, April 19, 2012

The View From Where I Sit


When we got to the lake early this morning fog was rising off the water…. BEAUTIFUL!


It disappeared quickly.


I love the spillway tower.  I have so many wonderful childhood memories of swimming, water skiing, and fishing on this lake!


Water lilies are not quite ready to open yet.103_0466

But they will be ready soon.


DH, getting in just a few more casts before we head out.


I caught 22, and he kept 14.  Of course, one of his was a good bit larger than anything I caught.


We fish in water shoes since we wade out into the water to get on the kayaks.  How do you like my tan?  Yes, it really is a tan and not dirt.  I think perhaps I need to find some time to sit with my feet in the sun without shoes to try and even things out.

The weather was absolutely awesome, with a little bit of wind.  A wonderful day on the water!  And I caught the most!  :)  That always makes for a good day.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Good News / Bad News


I love to carry my sock knitting in this little bag (made by my niece).  It has a long strap and I can just sling it over my shoulder… very handy!  Today I was heading for an appointment (and running late, of course) so I grabbed my purse and knitting bag, slung them over my shoulder and dashed out the door. 

Being distracted at my age can cause all kinds of things to happen!  I noticed that my cell phone was completely dead, so I hopped in the car, closed the door, and plugged my cell phone into the charger.  Then I happened to think, “Where is my knitting bag?”  I thought perhaps I had left it in the house because it was not on the car seat with my purse.  Can you tell I do things on “auto-pilot” sometimes and they don’t even make a mental impression?  I opened the door to go get it and discovered I had the bag on the other shoulder, and because it hangs down so far, I had closed the car door on my bag.


Yes, we have a casualty.  Knitting needles can not win the battle against a car door.  This is not the first time I have done this, and it is a most disturbing (and expensive) mistake.  Thankfully I have an extra set of needles this size.


The good news… I am almost done with sock pair #4  for this year.  Just a little TV time tonight (Hello, Dancing With the Stars) and I will have these finished.

And the pair for next month…. already cast on.  I am going to once again try the 2-socks-at-a-time method and see if I have better luck now that I am more proficient at sock knitting… we shall see.

Perhaps I need to tie a knot in the strap of my bag to shorten it a little?  Maybe that will keep it from doing battle with the car door, again.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Organization Tips – Part 4

Oh boy, do I need THIS lesson!  I have tools and gizmos stashed all over and can never find what I am looking for!

So go check out Teresa’s tips for getting it all together where we can find our wonderful gadgets… it’s a good thing!


Friday, April 13, 2012

About Yesterday…

1.  Yesterday I totally blew off working.103_0446

2.  We went kayaking/fishing in our favorite spot.

3.  I asked DH to remind me to take pictures because I have been forgetting to do that.

4.  The fish were not really active, or so I thought.

5.  The weather was beautiful and so pleasant to be on the lake.

6.  Five hours in a kayak is very doable when the weather is awesome.

7.  It was pretty windy, but we dealt with it.

8.  DH reminded me to take photos before we loaded everything up.

9.  I think he did this because he out-fished me (again).103_0449

10.  He kept 22, and I kept 10.

11.  That’s OK because last trip I out-fished him.

12.  Of course, he did not remind me to take pictures of THAT trip!

13.  Every chance we get to go this spring we will.

14.  Because soon, the weather will be hot and miserable, and 5 hours in a kayak will be a very L-O-N-G day.

15.  Now, back to work today, making up for lost time.

16   .  It was SOOOOO worth it!


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I hate it when he is right…

It’s hard to accept sometimes when he tells me something that I know is true, but I really want to deny that truth.

About 2 weeks ago I purchased a single cantaloupe.  They were on sale two for a price, but I resisted and only bought one because I know 1)cantaloupe is a SUMMER fruit, and my calendar reminds me that summer is still a decent ways off, and 2) I have been down this road before, but obviously NOT learned my lesson.


The choices of fruit were all EXTREMELY green with absolutely NO smell to them.  But I had hope that with a few days of sitting on the kitchen window sill I would have a beautifully ripe, fragrant, sweet cantaloupe to eat.  My mouth watered just thinking about a lusciously ripe melon.

When I got home, DH made this statement, or something to this effect…  “You know you are wasting your money throwing money to the cantaloupe gods this early in the season.  You know it will rot before it ripens.”  But yet I had hope that by now I would be enjoying the summer fruit even though summer is not here.

The melon was placed in a sunny spot on the window sill and I kept a close watch.  It has been about 1 1/2 weeks now, and the dark green melon has only slightly turned tan, and it has absolutely NO melon smell at all.  I flipped it over and…





I hate it when he is right and I have to face the fact that I have    once again denied the characteristics of seasonal fruit!

Perhaps the possums and coons will enjoy my folly… the melon got tossed over the back fence.  I hope you cantaloupe gods are happy now!


Monday, April 9, 2012

More Organization Tips

Teresa has posted part 3 of her organization tips.  This time we are dealing with organizing our UFOs.

Yes, I just happen to have one or two  several of those lying around.  For the most part they are semi-organized, but they are NOT where I can get to them easily should the urge to work on one arise… not that I am really thrilled about completing those 2 Stack ‘N Whack single-bed quilts I started to go in the Airstream, which we no longer own.  I could always give them away…

And before you ask, I have NOT made any progress on organizing the office.  My excuse is Easter festivities.  BUT this very week I do plan on spending some time in there and getting rid of some shtuff!

I’m really in need of the next posting… organizing tools and gadgets.  I wish I knew where all of my wonderful gadgets where, and how to find them quickly when needed!  I hope she solves my dilemma.

Happy quilting!


Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Ugly Truth, and a Cure


I hope each of you enjoy your Easter weekend as we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

And now, on to the topic of this post…

Is your sewing/quilting/fabric storage area neat and tidy?  Can you find what you are looking for in short order? Are you filled with joy (rather than dread) when you walk into your sewing room?   Do you spend way too much time looking for things you know are there, but coming up empty-handed?  (My answers are, no, no, no, and yes.)  I will post no pictures of my room(s) at this point because it is down right EMBARASSING!

I have stumbled across some solutions in a blog by Teresa,  at Fabric Therapy.

Step one: Organizing your stash.

Step two: Taming the scrap piles.

Also coming soon is how to organize your tools.

I must caution you… when you look at this you will think, “I can never do that!”  The good news is, we don’t have to. 

I plan on using her ideas as inspiration and a springboard to organize my stash and sewing things into a system that works for me, using what containers I have on hand right now.  As things progress (and this word means I must set aside TIME to work in there as opposed to just looking  at the mess and sighing loudly) I plan to purchase needed containers to truly organize my stuff. 

I guess I need to take the Flylady.com solution and just dedicate 15 minutes per day to working in my office area.  It is the WORST of the bunch because I have my computer/office, files, fabric storage, book/magazine storage, a sewing machine that I can’t even get to, and then all the “shtuff” (Hi Paula!) that I don’t know where else to put, piled high in there.

I’ve started organizing in the past.  Last fall I started emptying the room (into an adjacent room) so I could “start fresh with an empty space”.  That might work, but only if I could set aside a WEEK to do nothing but work on my organization.  That does not happen in the fall when you are in the machine quilting business!  When it came time to use the wood heater in that room all of those things got stacked back into my office area.

EXCUSES:  We’ve all got them.  Mine are, 1) I’m too busy.  2) I have time to create, but not put things away when done with them. 3) Fun trumps cleaning/organizing ANY time.  Things must change.

So, this spring/summer I will try again.  We will  see how it all falls out, but something must be done.  I think I need a 12-step plan for people that hoard (fabric, sewing/quilting gadgets, and now sock yarn, also).

Step one for me is sorting through and getting rid of some of this “shtuff” that is filling my space.  This includes cast-off furniture we don’t want to get rid of, but have no room for in this house.  Those things will have to be moved or stored somewhere else!  I plan on spending 30 minutes, twice each week working in this area.  I plan on at least once every 2 weeks giving you an update, on progress or lack-of.  That holds me accountable, and I work best with accountability.  Perhaps when I make good progress I will be brave enough to show you before and after pictures… we will see.

But it won’t start today!  I am now heading to the quilting room to get a quilt in the machine, sew the binding on a customer quilt, practice my musical solo for church tomorrow, and do some food preparations for tomorrow’s family Easter celebration.

Have a wonderful Easter weekend because…



Thursday, April 5, 2012

I Shaved My Legs For THIS?

Clearly, according to the pictures, I did NOT shave my legs for this photo op, but I did THINK about doing it and then decided I had better things to do with my time today… like writing this post.

These are my 12 in 12 socks for March.  That means I have set a goal of knitting 12 pairs of socks in 12 months.  They were actually started in December, but since this is my first try at knitting cables progress was very slow in the beginning.103_0437

I know… these are really poor pictures, but have you ever tried to take a picture of your own feet?  It’s not easy!  The yarn is “Shimmer” fingerling from KnitPicks.  I love it!  Soft, easy to knit, no splitting, and then there is the “bling” effect with the sparkly fibers…. great stuff!  Click to zoom in, if you wish.


The pattern, “Cabley Goodness” socks, a freebie from Ravelry.  I chose this pattern because it only has 2 cables, one on each side.  That was a good way to begin, and now I would feel more confident in attempting something with many cables around the sock.   The directions are for “top down” but I started at the toes and worked up.  That allows me to try it on as I go and be sure it will fit.


The color is all wrong in this photo, but you can see the cables better.  The color really is a dark cranberry, not rose.

My knitting methods keep evolving.   I abandoned the traditional heel method for Cat Bordhi’s method of knitting the complete foot/heel, then splitting it open to form the leg of the sock.  I’ve decided I get a much better fit using the traditional method of heel gussets, etc.  (Although I have a very large foot, I also have a very thin heel, which makes fit a challenge.)  I still have some “issues” to work out with this method, but they do fit my heel better.  Just ignore those little “holes” where the heel gusset meets the rest of the sock.  I promise you the second sock did better.


I chose to KEEP Cat’s cast-on method… really neat!  I also still used her bind-off method, a very stretchy bind-off for the top of the cuff.

Pair #3 for this year… CHECK!

Pair #4 is over half-done.  Now, I need to slack off on knitting and get back to quilting.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

It’s Time!

I have threatened to do this in the past, and it just did not work out due to bad weather.  BUT, today’s email from Ami Simms has caused me to make big plans again.  “To do WHAT?”, you might be saying.  Well of course it is time to DYE PANTIES!  You can read all about it HERE.    And here…   http://amisimms.com/april2012.html


As soon as I received the email it made me start thinking again about doing this, and I soon was on-line ordering a procion dye kit.  It should arrive around the middle of next week and then we are good to go!  Now we just need to figure out when we can squeeze in another SIL Quilt Retreat.  I’m ready!

I DON’T plan on hanging ours in a TREE to dry… we will be a little more discreet.  Ours will hang on the front porch, but will hardly be noticeable to those passing by.

WOOHOO!  Now to get a date on the calendar!  Oh… and of course we will get some SEWING done also!

Are you smiling now?  So am I!


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Ah…. Spring!

Yes, today actually feels more like summer with temps in the upper 80s.  BUT, we really have been enjoying our warmer weather.  It is so easy to forget…103_0426

…How wonderful fresh-cut grass smells!  I think DH only cut the yard twice last year due to the drought so I really had forgotten how pleasant that smells.


… How nice it is to have flowers planted by the front steps.  I now have 2 planters filled with impatiens.  That is about the only flowering thing that will grow in the deep shade at the front of the house.


… How much fun it is to go kayaking and fishing!  We kept 37 small bass and probably threw back that many more.  Understand, these are around 10 – 12” long, except for the one big one in the middle that DH caught.  It weighed 2.5 lbs.  But little ones are really the best eating size!


… How lazy a certain dog can be when the weather is hot.  ‘Nuff said!

I hope you are enjoying spring where YOU live, also!

I know… I promised an update on the Farmer’s Wife quilt.  I still just have the 40 blocks I had at the last update.  I have not had time to sew a single block in several weeks, but I am hoping to get a little sewing time this week.  If so, I’ll post some pics. 

Have a blessed week, and I promise to try and post more often.  And thanks for reading, even though I have not been a faithful blogger… I really will try and improve!


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