Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I couldn't ask for a better getaway

I'm at the Thomas Edison Inn in Port Huron.  It is just lovely.  Technically, I am here for work, but I really couldn't ask for a better getaway right now. 

As some of you know, I'm a fisheries technician and I work on the Huron-Erie Corridor (corridor that connects the waters of Lake Huron and Lake Erie) for a restoration initiative.  Today I am shuttling important people around for a celebration and boat ride tour of the corridor and I got to stay here last night (into this morning).

Being close to the water and watching the sunrise from my balcony is bringing me and indescribable amount of comfort and at the same time it is so beautiful I want to weep for it.  I have to leave in about an hour and a half to meet up with the boat crew, but for now I'm basking in the early morning sun.

This afternoon I'm planning on hitting a quilt shop between my shuttle driver duties; River Place Quilt and Sew, north of Algonac.  I'm really excited about it and I'll show you what I take away.  There is a shop here near Port Huron but the hours are not conducive for a visit.  Maybe another time!

My Grandma A passed away this Saturday morning.  It was early and my aunt and I were sitting with her.  It was very difficult and even though she went very peacefully I was terrified and devastated.  I am extremely happy she didn't go alone.  On Sunday my cousin and sister made a photo board for her funeral.  It turned out really well- we had lots of old photos and lots of family photos to choose from.  She was a beautiful lady, even at 90 :)

At my wedding last year (this is my favorite!)

She was one special lady and I'm glad I was able to spend the time I had with her as my grandma.  Richard (DH) still has all of his grandparents and now I'm forcing him to visit more.  He invited his grandpa over this weekend while I was away to play cards and his grandpa said to him "That was fun, I really needed that."  He better keep it up :)  I wish that I was able to see my set more over the past year and a half and I regret not traveling home more often.  I am happy that I made her a priority visit though when I was home. 

Enough with the heavy! I'm off to enjoy my morning and relish the georgeous view.

I hope you all had a lovely weekend!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

My Third Finish

I finished my third quilt yesterday in record time for my usual snails pace.  As you know, just over a month ago my Grandma A had a stroke that put her in the hospital and on a long road for recovery and I wanted to make her a quilt.  Unfortunately, the day before my Grandma was going to be released from rehab she had another stroke which she hasn't been able to recover from.

I was so disappointed and frustrated because I still needed to hand stitch the binding and since it was a surprise she didn't even know about it.  I am very happy with how it came out and I know she would have loved it.  I haven't decided what I'm going to do with it yet.  I may have a photo of us put on fabric and turn it into a label for the backing and hang it in my sewing room.

I will probably make another one like this sometime, but I can't decide if I need a break from quilting or not.  I really need to start again on the MSU quilt for my dad for XMas, but I am just so drained I'm not sure if I have the energy.  My Gma is being sent home from the hospital tomorrow or Tuesday and we will be doing hospice like care until her time comes, so until then you may not see or hear too much from me. 

Hope you all had a lovely weekend!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Oh my goodness, where have I been?!

WOW.  I actually had to read my own blog to know what the last thing was I told you all.  That was interesting.  I have been crazy busy (since when are we not?) with my Grandma A, work, and getting together the latest quilt.  I have been busting my hump on my Gma A's quilt in attempts to get it to her but I'm not sure I will make it in time.  She was scheduled to be released from the rehab facility today (insurance ran out) but was readmitted into the Neuro ICU on Monday morning.  As of yesterday, she was lucid only very rarely.  It nearly killed me to hear it, especially since we just lost my Grandma H a couple of months ago.  I'm going to go up again tomorrow and hopefully it spurs some goodness.  Usually when I see her she gets very excited and does better.  I have no idea why, maybe the brain is sparked to work more?  I don't know, but it sure is a roller coaster.

This weekend I was able to make the quilt back, baste, quilt, and start binding the quilt. I don't have pictures of what it is at this point- but here are some from before I quilted it.

The quilt is about 46" wide and the fabric I picked was about 42" {for the direction I wanted} after selvage so I made a 4" HST block for the back to mirror the diamond in the front and added the 4" red strip.  I really like it.  When I was basting it I stuck a pin through the center of the diamond on the backing so I knew where to center the quilt.  It worked really well and it made me happy that I was clever enough to think of it, which then made me laugh because it isn't revolutionary at all :)

I thought that I had a close up pic of the birds but I can't seem to find it.  The fabric says things like "friends," "faith", "support", "love", "hope", "family", and "courage."  I bought it from creative quilt kits with the rest of the red and pink fabrics because it seems perfect for her situation.  We need her to get better!

In other news, I finally sent my friend her ugly cat coasters.  I sent them out on Saturday so hopefully she has them by now.  I think she may be out doing field work so she may not actually have seen them yet, but I hope she does soon!

I was going to baste and bind them with the cute pink fabric I bought for it but in the rush of things I knew it would never get done.  I just followed a simple coaster tut where you sewed all 3 layers together inside out, flipped them, and sewed again.  Simple, but took me forever!  I stopped in JAF the other day and found MORE ugly cat prints like this.  She may be getting more...

My garden has been severely suffering neglect lately, but I just don't have time for it.  My snapdragons are finally blooming though since the rabbit stopped eating them.  These are ones that I grew myself from seed indoors and I have never seen anything like them.  They grow in multiple colors on one plant!

I also may have broken the lawn mower.  Richard was in TX for training all week and since it has been raining the lawn needed to be mowed.  Well, after I got through the front yard it started smoking.  And smelling funny.  I put it back in the garage hoping it would fix itself and told Richard last night when he got back from the airport.  He didn't seem thrilled, but at least the front was mowed :)

I hope you all have been having a lovely week!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

To Border or Not to Border?

I've finally got my Gma A's quilt top together (like 5 minutes ago) and I am SO HAPPY with it!  The only question now is to border or not to border?  Here it is without the border.


I have dark red fabric that I was going to make a 2" border with, but now I'm not so sure.  What do you think?  I would be using the dark red as the binding...

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

And on the fifth day, there were trees.

Yep.  Sunday was a tree-tastic celebration at my house.  Two weeks ago we went to Lowes to buy a new dishwasher and we left with a dishwasher and 8, 6' arborvitae trees to plant on the lot line where the new neighbors built.  Then they sat on our porch in dishpans of water as I was desperate to keep them alive and it was 100 degrees outside.  I started planting last Wednesday evening when the weather broke (under 85..) and kept going until Sunday.  You really wouldn't think it would take that long but we have solid clay in our yard and a 22" x 18" hole is pretty large when you are digging up that kind of substrate and only have an hour a night to dedicate to it.  When I had three in the ground and went for my fourth, this is what I found:

A lovely sprinkler head that was buried in our yard.  With that I stopped digging because there had to be a water line running to it and I would more than likely break it if I didn't immediately inform Richard.  So on Saturday, DH found the line and started digging a new trench in our yard to move the sprinkler head.

This was just the first trench which located the line.  He is about to start the second trench.  It took him a good 3 hours to dig up our yard and put it back together so I could keep making my tree line. 

  By the end of the day on Saturday we were both wrecked and I still didn't have all of the trees in the yard.  Plus I got a call that Grandma A might have to have brain surgery to stop a bleed and she was back in the ICU.  My mom told me to just stay home until they knew what was going on so on Sunday I planted the rest of the trees and headed to Lansing for the rest of the day. 

Finally, on the fifth day...

Grandma A did another fantastic guilt trick on me again when we were leaving.  She does her cute "will I see you tomorrow?" and I had to say "No, gma, I have to go home and go to work, but I will be back next weekend."  Just about tears my heart out every time.  I have extended my stay twice so I could say "Yes, I will be here."

In crafty news, I'm still working on my miscount disaster for Gma A's quilt since the trees have been eating my life.  AND I'm going to participate in my first fabric swap!  It is of Heather Ross fabric and the one I am sending out is so cute I just want to squeal.  I'm hoping that it will work well in 9" squares, but you never know.  I'll show you when it arrives :)