Sunday, August 19, 2012

Hello! Any Body Out There?

 I would love to say that I have spent my time over the last six months, diligently cleaning and organizing my dang sewing room.  But, you all KNOW that would be out of character for me!  However, up until July, I did spend time every weekend sorting and tossing, sorting and tossing, sorting and tossing.  Guess what? There is still way too much stuff in my sewing room!! I think my fabric has started to pro-create and multiply.  I haven't bought any fabric in months and I am embarrassed to admit, I probably have more fabric than I will be able to use in my lifetime!!  Of course, if I acknowledge that, then I couldn't ever buy any more fabric.  And that would make me sad.

This week I have managed to take five days to make an 8 Minute Pot holder.  I think I am starting to figure out why my sewing room isn't getting cleaned. Apparently I REALLY am busy as a turtle.
I may work at a turtle's pace, but I do make nice hot pads!

My friend Anne at work,  turned me onto these.  Aren't they cool? My current potholders are ancient and look awful.  I am fantasizing about making a batch of these for myself and another batch for Christmas gifts.  However,  I will have to work at a faster pace than I have this week!!

I also finished this pot holder which I have been puttering with for the last month.  

What's coming up on my calender?  Next is time for the anual quilt retreat of the Quilts From The Bluffs quilt group. The theme for this year, is "UFO's"!!  I am so excited.  I have already picked out my Unfinished projects. Yes! I have some of those!!

I want to complete the Mechanic's Quilt for my son, Mike the Mechanic.  Last year I finished the blocks. This year, the quilt top!!

I've worked on a Disappearing 9 Patch fall/Halloween theme  top for the last two retreats.  Now, I want to sew the backing for it using a cute pre-print and the left over fabric from the quilt front.

Plus,  my friend Anne (mentioned earlier),  gave me her string blocks she had given up on and I want to sew a few more blocks, and combine them together into a top. If I can, I hope to figure out a backing for it, so I can have it quilted. And then,  donate it to my department at work that locates housing for people who are homeless.

I'm thinking of naming this string quilt "Anne & Deb's Grand Plan"

Have sew wonderful weekend!


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Little Evening Crafting

While my house does need more cleaning and decluttering (I know, unbelievable, isn't it?!), I decided to tackle some other activities. 
Tonight I:

I "filed"  some Halloween fabric...okay, folded it!!
Made a pretty button bracelet. I got the idea from Sew Many Ways.
It felt good to do a little crafting!  My bracelet has a few less buttons, than the one in the tutorial, but I still like it. It makes me smile! 

Enjoy your day...and don't forget to do a little crafting or sewing or quilting or what ever makes you smile!


Monday, February 20, 2012

Happy President's Day!

Here in the USA, today is a federal holiday celebrating "President's Day"--a combined holiday which used to be "Washington's Birthday" and "Lincoln's Birthday." In those days, we got TWO Monday's off in short little February. Oh well, I guess that's what they call progress. Since this would be my last "three day holiday" (ie: weekend plus Monday) until April,  I started out with so many  great plans.

Laundry. Lots of laundry. Want to catch  up.

Decluttering.  Want to recycle/toss many items.

Exercise.  Get that community center membership I have been putting off.  Maybe if Clark Gable was at the gym, I would quit procrastinating!!

Sew. Lots of sewing.  I want to sew together my son's disappearing 9 patch blocks.  
What happened?
On the positive side...I did go through my quilt magazine stash.  I went through several stacks and tossed out about 30 magazines (those are ones I had torn out 1 or 2 "keeper" patterns) and have another 25 (more or less) to pass along to others. Don't fear...I probably kept about 50 magazines. But, the stash is getting smaller!! 

I attempted to work on my hexie blocks.  But,  even with my hand brace,  I am still having thumb pain. Grr...So,  I got lost at Pinterest.  If you are interested in looking at some of my boards, I am listed as Cluttered Quilter. I pinned some great vintage quilt designs...some modern designs.  And many, many recipes. 

I hope everyone has a great week...I know I plan to! 


PS: Okay, here are a couple snickers to get you through the week...

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Snowed In

View of my back yard sitting area...a little snowy!

Yep, the meteorologists got it right this time!  We have a beautiful (if you didn't lose power) snow storm!  Thick flakes which stuck to all the trees and bushes.  I have taken advantage of being housebound and puttered around doing this, that and another.  

Thimble decided the best thing to do on a snowy day is find a quilt and take a nap!

I did a couple of loads of laundry. 

I made dinner in the crock pot...a new recipe called "Beer Braised Beef."  The basic recipe was tasty, but unfortunately, the cut of meat I happened to choose turned out fatty and chewy.  If I make it again, I will be more careful about that!! 

And then, I spent time bonding with my sweet sewing machine!  I worked on my string blocks, just like I promised!! 

I sewed three rows of five blocks and separated them with a reproduction print.

Not the greatest photo, but I chose a black repro fabric for the border.  And the best part? This project has come entirely from my stash! Tomorrow?  Baste it and quilt it!!  But, now I am left with the next dilemma. Do I machine or hand quilt it?!!  I think the string blocks would be very difficult to hand quilt, so I am leaning towards machine quilting of some type. 

I had fun sewing in my new little cleaned area.  I had the TV available, so while sewing I watched: 

And then: 

Both perfect movies to sew along with!! 

I also have  case of "startitis" developing.  

I feel in love with the colors in this quilt from  Blue Square Quilting
AND this quilt:
"Roll of Nickels" quilt from Double Nickel Quilts

Roll of Nickels is actually a Disappearing Nine Patch I am thinking of combining these two ideas and making a Roll of Nickels quilt from red/pink fabric and using a gray back ground. And guess what,  I have more than enough stash make one!! 

Well, I am now going to enjoy Elvis in :
And forget about the snow outside!!

Taa-taa for now!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Bring On Winter!!

Ahh, pieceful time on the winter prairie
I live in Nebraska, USA.  Normally,  by February  I would be lamenting "I'm so tired of snow, ice, and cold weather."  Not this year. This year we have had record high temperatures. In January.  50-60 degree days back to back. Unheard of.  But,  finally, we have a major storm headed our way.  Oh boy!!  A reason to stay in and quilt!!

First...planned meals for the next three days...not forgetting Sunday is "Super Bowl Sunday." 

Grocery list made.  

Pre storm, Pre Super Bowl Shopping! 
Next, grocery shopping. Usually not a problem, but as any one who lives where it snows,  the day BEFORE a snow storm is hectic!!  The pioneer mentality sets in. People put on their Laura Ingalls Wilder sun bonnet and think it's  "The Long Winter" and  there is going to be a food shortage.  
Great book! Read it!!

So, with those tasks out of the way,  I am free to play the rest of the weekend!!  Remember these string blocks I made last fall?  They have percolated in my brain long enough and I am going to put them together this weekend...and if all goes well,  quilt them!! There are only 16 four inch blocks, so it will be a mini or doll size quilt. 

Oh, and in my decluttering process, I created a little space to put my sewing machine and SEW!  My sewing room in the basement has been going backwards in the decluttering process, but the more stuff I get rid of, the more space I will have in my sewing room.  

On that topic,  Pat Sloan is doing a series of postings in February over at Quilting Gallery  on  "de-stashing" and decluttering ones sewing room.   Since I always find these kind of postings motivating, I thought I would share the link!   

Enjoy your weekend!!  I'll keep you posted on my progress! 


Monday, January 30, 2012

Deb's Big Plan

As promised, I will share my plan to achieve "disappear" in 2012.  I suspect it would be easier to become a wizard and practice with a wand, but since I am no Harry Potter, I will just have to do it the muggle way.

I recently went to a training on "Stages of Change" and learned some interesting things.  In order to change a behavior, we have to go through specific steps/stages to get to a point of "maintenance."

The stages of change model started with people looking at the behavior of substance abuse, but has come to encompass changes for any behavior. 

Stage 1: Precontemplation.  Well,  I have moved beyond that stage on my goals, but it is essentially "what? I don't got no stinkin' problem with (fill in blank with your own behavior)."  It's that behavior that others may bring up to you, and you think it's not a problem. 

Stage 2: Contemplation:  This was me for the last few weeks...actually longer. Contemplation can last anywhere from hours to days to years! Is this really a problem? Could others be right?  At this point, it is still in the "mental" stages. No action to change the behavior is happening. 

Stage 3:  Determined Preparation: this is the planning stage.  Calling the gym to find out how much it cost to take that exercise class you have been wanting to take. Looking on line for budget ideas.  

Stage 4: ACTION:  This is where I want to be! It's actually taking that exercise class; cooking those low fat recipes; writing out and following that budget.  

Stage 5: Maintenance:  This is when all the hard work of the action phase has become a habit.  When you no longer have to THINK about exercising or throwing out that clutter. In the words of Nike, you "Just Do It." 

Stage 6: Relapse:  Uh-oh.  Been skipping too many exercise classes.  Holding onto too many un-needed items. Eating too many cookies.  Stopping at the fast food restaurants a little too often. At this point,  it's time to start over.  Hopefully, with the work one has already done,  it will be easier to work through the steps again. 

So, with this simmering on the back burner of my brain, I hatched my goals for behaviors I want to change in 2012. 

1)  Lose weight/get healthy!  My plan so far: I have a Visa money card to pay for my annual membership at the community center near me, where I can work out on their gym equipment and walk on their walking track.  I hope to exercise at least 3 times per week for 30 minutes each time.  Health? Cut back on soda/pop and fast food visits.  Increase home made lunches and dinners (this one also overlaps with my financial goals). 

2) Financial Goals:  pay off a credit card which is more than I want it to be.  Learn to live with a budget! 

3)  Declutter:  current goal is to document how much I declutter, to give me a sense of progress.  I want to continue following my version of 365 Less Things and average at least 7 items every week. And by doing so, I will have more room and time do what I REALLY want to do:

These are lofty goals for me, but I think if I continue to plug along one day at a time,  I can be physically and financially healthier and less cluttered by 2013! 

Taa-taa for now! Tomorrow, sewing news!


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Disappearing Deb

Sure seems like it, doesn't it?  It feels like so long since I have posted anything. HOWEVER that does not mean I have been lacking in things to post. It just means my real life keeps interfering with my virtual life. Dang it anyway!! Where does it say kids and husbands have to eat everyday AND have clean socks? Oh well, at my house, they seem to think so!

Well, onward and upward. What pearls of wisdom (gag...cough) have been rattling around in my brain?

Many bloggers, such as Kellie at Charming Chatter  pick a word for their "theme" of the year. It can motivating, introspective, what ever one thinks depicts their life or the direction they want their life to move.  I am a word person. I love words.  I love quotes. So, I found myself mulling this concept over. What word would I choose?  Something motivational? Something inspiring? Naw. Not me. Why would someone like the Cluttered Quilter chose that type of word!  That would make sense!!  No, the word I have chosen for 2012 is:

Yup, Disappear!  Why "disappear"? Because in 2012 I want these things to disappear:

My weight! 

My bills!

and, of course,


My weight? A few years ago, after a bad run in with a medication, I put on about 80+ pound.  From 2009 to last spring, I was doing a really good job of slowly losing it. I lost about 40 lbs of it. Then,  mid 2011,  my activity level slowed down and I have been steadily gaining the weight back. Ugh!  So,  time  to "get to getting" (my favorite Niecy Nash saying!) and take care of my health!  

The financial one is a new one for me this year. In the last three years,  I  have left a job which paid about twice what I make now plus throw in a few months of unemployment and you get some major life style changes! My family and I are learning to live with less. But, I think it is a good lesson for me. I am truly learning how to be frugal. To quote Edison, "necessity is the mother of invention" and necessity has been teaching me how to live the 1930's depression mantra of my mother "use it up, wear it out, make it do."  Sometimes I find it daunting,  (like last week when I had to do some fancy financial work to get enough money to take my Collie, Marshall, to an emergency vet visit.) But mostly, I have been trying to look at it as a challenge to not be so materialistic. 

And being "materialistic" is what has gotten me to my problems with clutter!  I have been faithfully reading  Colleen's posts at 365 Less Things. Her posts have been so helpful with the mental/emotional part of  my decluttering. While I do my own version of it--instead of 1 per day, I try to declutter at least 7 things every weekend. For 2012, I have decluttered 36 items!!  And that's not including the sheets and sheets of paper junk which accumulates every week that have been tossed! 

Goals are good. No doubt about that. However, they are only good if one has a plan to reach those goals. And I have a plan!! 

Since this post is getting really wordy and really lengthy, I will share the plan with you tomorrow! 

Until then, time to get back to decluttering!! 


Tuesday, January 10, 2012


The last few days have felt like Alexander And The Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. 

Last week, after additional problems with my digestive tract, my doctor suggested a colonoscopy.  So, Saturday I work all day so I can make up for missing Monday. I jump into my car to rush off to work, but my engine won't turnover.  My husband, Quail and I work to get it started. No luck. So, when in doubt, call my 22 year old son, the mechanic. (Bit of advice: if you have 1 or more children...encourage at least 1 of them to become a's a worthwhile investment!).  So, Quail & I traded cars and I sped off to work.Later, I find out it took  Quail Jr about 45 seconds to diagnose the problem. I need a new fuel pump.  Fortunately, it is covered by warranty. Whew! 

Sunday is spent: 
Monday is spent: 

Which brings us up to today....Tuesday:   I was hoping to be back to work, but the laxative decided to work for longer than just Sunday and Monday. So, another day at home, near the bathroom. :( For the record, while colonoscopies may be a necessary medical procedures, they are NOT fun!!  

This is my third colonoscopy over the last 20 years...but this time, I had a secret weapon. My new Kindle!! So nice to be able to have something to read while I was in bed between trips to the loo. I went through 2 books of the series I am reading!! 

They are shorter than your basic novel, but entertaining and light reading. The series is about a woman who lives in Freeport, IL and is a private investigator for the paranormal/ghosts. 

 I did get a few items decluttered this weekend: 
1) Three old window valances
2)  two tee shirts
3)  1 book 
 Plus, I threw away, two t-shirts in not-even-good-enough-for-thrift store, and 2 stray holey socks. 

I think I am up to 29 items thrifted or tossed for January 2012!! Woo-hoo!! 

Here's hopin' you have had a better week, then me!!