Tuesday, May 5, 2015


Finally... Have you ever felt this way?  You've waited for so long for a situation to change... Or you have been counting down for a special day to arrive...

Or you FINALLY finish a quilt that you seem to have been working on for a long time...

This is what happened yesterday!  I finally finished the quilting on the queen-sized quilt that I have been working on for what seems like forever...

When in reality it has really only been since March.

Once it was done I tossed it on our couch with the intention of working on taking care the "tails" on the back of the quilt.  

I hadn't been feeling well in the morning.  I did a visit with the Dr., peed in a cup and picked up a Rx to remedy the problem... 

It was a rainy, wet afternoon and the couch just seemed to call to me.  All I have to say is that Shelby and I discovered that the quilt sleeps quite well. No, Shelby wasn't ON the couch.  Since the quilt is 108" square there was ample extra to hang over onto the floor.  But yes, she agreed... it slept well.

And now that I have had several doses of antibiotics I feel much better!  So, I am off to my sewing room.

Happy Sewing!

BTW... I can't reveal the whole quilt yet. Watch for it, though!

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Monday, April 27, 2015

Keep it clean~

We ran into a former colleague and her husband a few weeks ago... at a rest-stop.  While we spent a few minutes catching up she asked if Dave could possibly clean and "tune-up" her sewing machine.

She stated that she had the owner's manual that showed where to oil it and then added that she is not very mechanically inclined... We gave her a business card and moved on down the road.

Yesterday her husband dropped off the machine and Dave promptly brought it to me telling me "you know more about sewing machines than I do.  Besides I don't think that you want me to take your special  vacuum attachments out to MY shop.  I'll help you if you need help."

I removed screws... I used my special hose attachments and brushes... and I removed more screws... and then a screw fell down inside the machine... below the bobbin area!  Agh!

I turned the machine over, take out one more screw and find the "lost" screw... and an astronomical amount of dust and lint!

The lint was packed in so badly in the bobbin area! 

And below, this was just a portion of what I found below the bobbin!

Now, granted, the machine was made in 1999... so one could expect to find some lint, but I don't think this machine has EVER been cleaned and oiled!  I also understand that not everyone uses a machine on a daily basis like me... but your machine could last SO much longer and sew smoother seams and stitching by just taking a little time to clean it!

I know that over the years I have learned to properly care for my machine.  I love my Babylock!  I love that it has a larger "throat" area making it ideal for quilting.  I love the built-in "walking foot".  But I do miss the simplicity of the mechanics.  I guess I can't have everything...

No machine deserves to be neglected so badly!  So, if you have a sewing machine, go!  Go right now and show it some love!  Clean an oil the sweet thing.  It deserves to be kept clean.  Trust me.  It will run much quieter and smoother and that in turn makes you less frustrated and a happy person.

Happy Sewing!

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Friday, April 17, 2015

My life... By the Numbers

I have a significant birthday approaching and I was curious... just how long have I been on this spinning ball in the universe called the earth?

As of April 18th...

I have been alive for 50 years... and celebrated 51 Easter Sunday's.  Since I interrupted my Mom & Dad's Easter dinner and Easter has already passed this year, yes, it is 51. :)

Fifty years...                  600 months
                                    18,262 days
                                    438,288 hours
                                    26,297,280 minutes
                                    1,577,836,800 seconds

I lived in La Junta, CO  for 20 years, 3 months and 23 days

I have been married for 29 years, 8 months, 8 days

I lived in IL for 9 years, 4 months, 14 days

I have lived in Trinidad, CO  for 20 years, 3 months, 18 days

I have been a mom for 27 years, 5 months, 3 days

I am reminded that it is not the number of breaths that you take... It is the moments that take away your breath.

A few significant moments that I will never, ever forget...

My high school graduation...

The Freshmen-Sophomore mixer at TSJC where I first met Dave...

The day Dave and I made vows to love each other... in sickness & health, for rich or for poor, 'til death do we part...

The moment we found out we were pregnant!  

The moment we learned that the baby miscarried...

The moment we learned, again, that we were pregnant!

The arrival of our first-born child...

The moment we learned that we would welcome another baby!

Arriving at the hospital to deliver baby #2 and hearing the nurse run down the hall after examining me, yelling "Margaret!  We're going to have a baby!" (The Dr. was across town at the other hospital and they were concerned that I would deliver before she could arrive)... the Dr. did make it, btw...

The day Dave received a job notice for an opening in the Gunsmithing department at Trinidad State Junior College...  His interview day... The day he received a job offer...

The day we closed on a house that we had never actually seen...  Yes, we may be a bit crazy!

The day I moved our oldest daughter into her dorm room for the first time...

The day we became "empty-nesters"...

Seeing our oldest daughter walk up the sidewalk in her wedding dress...

Watching the birth of our first grand-child...

I can't wait to see what the future hold for me!

Be blessed!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

In God We Trust...

A few weeks ago I was asked to create a wall-hanging for a very special lady... She has a love for the Lord and her country.  It seemed natural that I would some how incorporate red/white/blue, eagles and a cross.

The result?  "In God We Trust"

I included the Cross to represent Christ and the sacrifice that He gave for us... 

Friendship stars...  and the Ohio Friendship Star...

   to represent the friendships that have been formed and continue to grow over the years (and miles) through the Walk to Emmaus weekends... 

The Steps to the Altar block...
  reminding us that we must take the steps daily to die to self and live for Christ...

Pieces of my heart...
  as a reminder that God takes all the broken pieces of our hearts and lives and places them together making something whole and beautiful...

The soaring eagle fabric -  "those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. ~ Isaiah 40:31

And, finally,  the "wind sock" block...
  representing the movement of the Holy Spirit throughout our lives...

As the finishing touch, the quilting is a free-motion loops and meandering that is representative of our walk through life... Like the 40 years that Moses and his people wandered in the desert.

DeColores, Sue!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Am I Crazy?

In just a few weeks I will be spending time in a waiting room at a hospital. My mom is scheduled to have a double knee replacement in May.  As she schedules the various appointments that are required before surgery I have been trying to come up with an idea for some blocks to hand-stitch...  Something with "not too small" pieces...

I do have something in mind...

And then I think... "Would it be completely crazy to take my "back-up" Brother machine along and set up a station in the waiting room?"  I mean, I'm going to be there for several hours while she is in surgery...  Hours!.... And I think "Just the sound of the machine will help to drown out some of my worried thoughts"... And "I could be so much more productive..." 

So, Am I crazy?  Be honest...

And then I see this...

So... **hangs head** I realize that, yes, I may just be crazy.  

I'll be in my sewing room counting and cutting pieces for my hand stitched project to work on while in the waiting room.

Happy Slow Stitching!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Paper Piecing... in a T-shirt Quilt

My latest project has been a special gift for the grand-daughter of a friend.  She will soon be graduating from the University of Dallas and will then be commissioned into the Air Force.

Her Gramma took the time to shop the internet for a few shirts featuring the University and the Air Force.  The outcome? 

Since Sarah will be graduating and going into the Air Force, the idea was to have the UD in the center of the quilt and the AF quilts on the outer portions, representing her future in the AF. Here is the quilt top ready for borders...

There were a few vacant spots that needed to be filled... the largest on each side.  I offered a few options - 1) including a few more AF shirts that I had in my inventory. 2) A personal message/photo. 3) The sunbursts (a sort of play on the contrails from the jets)  As you can see from the picture, we chose the radiating sunburst.  A good choice, I believe!

I paper pieced the sunburst blocks.  The thing I like about paper piecing is the precision that you can get with them. The thing that I dislike about paper piecing?

The tedious task of removing the paper!  

I have found that using the back side of my seam ripper works well and quickly. I simply ran it along the stitching line while holding the top on my leg.  Using a shorter stitch length when piecing helps as well.  By doing so the "perforations" of the paper are closer and makes the removal of the paper easier.

This was the first time that I have incorporated blank portions of the t-shirts in a quilt and I am quite pleased with the outcome.  I will be delivering the finished quilt to Gramma & Grampa this weekend.  They are excited to see it.  I am excited to see their reaction and look forward to hearing about Sarah's reaction to the gift.

Thanks for the opportunity to celebrate Sarah's future!  
And many thanks to Sarah for her willingness to protect our nation!

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Friday, March 20, 2015

Feeling Stuck... just for awhile.

My last post was about feeling victorious and successful as I completed the bitty blocks.

I also hinted that I was beginning a project for the Addicted to Scraps group through Quiltmaker.  All those blue and brown scraps were slated for a quilt, that in my initial idea was only going to be throw sized.

I have changed direction with the layout and plan to make a queen-sized quilt for us!  It is looking lovely!  Again, you will just have to trust me because I cannot reveal a picture at this time. But I really, really want to!

This quilt requires a total of 108 blocks. I started with gumption! I should have approached it as a marathon, not a sprint.  It seemed that after daaaaays of cutting and sewing I still have 40 blocks to complete.  Ugh... However, I think I have reached a steady pace and a plan for cutting and piecing the blocks.  I have broken down the layout and will approach the whole thing in sections. 

Yesterday I completed 20... The day before? 12. Today I hope to get 20 blocks done... well, at least 8 more... the cutting takes a looooong time!

One thing that I can say?  This project is certainly a scrap buster!  I am running low on brown "scraps", but thanks to a couple of kind and generous quilters in the group who have offered to pass on their brown scraps I know that I will make it. (Quilters have to be among the most caring and sharing people I know!  Even when it comes to sharing some of the most coveted things a quilter can have... fabric!)

But none the less, while I was indeed running low on browns, I pulled out some of the larger pieces of fabric (some fat quarters and 1/2 yard cuts) that I had from a collection that I inherited.  Success!

Now all I have to do is more cutting... :( cutting of the whites/lights... just 240 pieces and I can sit and sew... and sew and sew and sew... to my little heart's content.

I definitely see the "light" at the end of the tunnel!  Whoohoo!

For now I will take a break from piecing blocks and "piece" another scrub top for my daughter and get back at it on Monday morning.

Happy Spring!