Don't Be Shy!

I am glad you stopped by my blog! I'd like to get to know more about you! I enjoy each and every comment left on my blog! If you're new, please introduce yourself! Comments are welcomed!!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

A different kind of "reduction"

I am working hard at reducing my stash. OH, it hasn't been easy but I am trying VERY hard to practice restraint when it comes to buying fabric. There has also been a different type of "reduction" going on seen by my weight tracker at the top of my blog. Here's the story of the OTHER reduction going on in my life!

Last July I was driving home from Chicago when I had a very in depth talk with myself. That happens when one is alone on an 8 hour drive! LOL. Anywho...I was NOT happy with myself and how I had let myself go. I joined a health club, hired a personal trainer and changes. WHY? Because I really didn't make the mental choice to change. I called Metabolic Research here in KS and made an appointment to "rejoin". Here is my picture that day...UGH!!!

You'll notice that I said "rejoin". You see, I had done MR a few years ago, never made my goal weight and quit. This is not a new cycle for me. I have probably lost close to 200 LBS combined over the past 20 years of my life. The problem was that I would work hard to take the weight off and then I would get complacent and start in with my old eating habits and then BAM...30, 40, even 50 LBS came back! (sigh) It has been a viscious cycle in my adult life and I could not break it. I was always on a "diet". GAWD how I DETEST that word...D I E T! GRRRRRRRRRRR

Whatever happened that day while driving back from Chicago is something that I am very grateful for. I have such a different mind set this time that I haven't had before. I FEEL differently about how to eat and drink properly and KEEP myself healthy!

Back when I first joined the health club I did what is called a "Body Age Assessment". The BAA tests flexibility, endurance, strength and body fat and then tells you what age your body is. At the time I was 46yo...the test said I had the body of a 67yo! OMG...that had to be wrong! YIKES...Did that make me lose weight and get into shape? NAH... Did a trip to Hawaii for our 25th last summer make me get into shape and lose weight? NAH...

SOMETHING got me to get back into shape and I am thankful for that. I retook the BAA test about a month ago and am now my age...47!!! The test said if I lost 10 more LBS that I would be in the healthy range for body fat percentage. I have 4.5 more lbs to go for that!

So, you might be asking yourself, "what is different for Laurie this time around"? I can honestly say that the only thing I can put my finger on is mentally I just FEEL differently this time around! I WANT to be healthy and I NEED to be healthy and I WILL be healthy!!! is my after picture that was taken tonight! My DH's jaw dropped when he saw me! He said, "WOW...I like that outfit!" He also told me once that he liked watching me walk to the restroom and back when we go out. YIKES...maybe that was the motivation to get into shape!!! It certainly will help me STAY in shape cuz I want DH to be PROUD of me and ENJOY watching me walk to and from that restroom!!!

If you are struggling with your weight...nothing you try or do will work unless you are MENTALLY prepared to make it a LIFESTYLE CHANGE...DUMP the word DIET from your vocabulary!!!


Monday, January 28, 2008

WOOHOO...Heart blocks are DONE!

My 40 heart applique blocks are FINISHED!!! I just LOVED working on these too! Now I have to find something else to work on for handwork! Here is a pic of the blocks laid out on my design wall. The first one shows fabric that I bought for the border (a coordinate) but it's waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too wide so I think I'll use it for a backing! I have to trim the blocks down and stitch them together...I'm not sure what I'll do for borders yet though...hmmmm...any ideas? Here they are without the border fabric...

And here's a close up of a few of the blocks!

They're not perfect, but I think it did a pretty good job! Don't you???

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Great Weekend and Fire Station Wallhangings

DH and I had an awesome time on the Plaza. We ate well, drank well, talked a lot, and just reconnected with each other. Sometimes couples just have to do that!! The weather was gorgeous and we walked around with sweatshirts as enough warmth! We saw the movie "Juno" and I highly recommend it to you! Funny but a great story that is so relevant to our world today. Here is a pic of DH in front of the "Fountain of Ewes"! LOL

I put the borders on the last 2 fire station wallhangings today and made labels for them. Hopefully they will get quilted some time this week. I hope the firefighters like them and that they brighten up the wall at the stations!

Have a great day everyone!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Weekend Getaway

I don't know if it's been the cold weather coupled with a few family (kids) issues that has me kinda down, but I told DH I needed to get away. I was going to find us a hotel room for Saturday night and DH said, "Only one night? Let's go for 2!" He didn't have to tell me twice! LOL We are just going to go to the Plaza in Kansas City. There are a ton of restaurants, shopping, movies, and just relaxing if that is what we wish to do! We are planning on watching movies tonight and then shopping along with a movie tomorrow. Our dinner tomorrow night will be at Capitol City Grille. I am excited!!!

This picture is of the Plaza all lit up for Christmas. Isn't it gorgeous!!!????

Kansas City is know as the "City ofg Fountains" is one reason why!
And last, a shot of downtown KC at twilight!
See ya Sunday!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Wallhangings for the Fire Stations

Well, I spent about 6 hours in my sewing room today and had a BLAST!!!!! When my son took his fire quilt into the station one time (I made it for his graduation from firefighting academy) the firefighters asked Dan if I could make something for their walls cuz they were pretty bare! Of COURSE I said YES!!!!!
I have 2 tops finished and just have to add the last borders on the other 2.

They are similiar but with different borders on them. I hope they like them!!! Here is the first one:

And here is the second one!

I am tired but it's a GOOD tired! Maybe I'll applique a couple of my hearts...I only have 8 more to go on that project! WOOHOO!!!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

WHEW...a project finished!

WOW...thanks for all the comments on my last post! It's been FOREVER since I've had more than 2-3 posts...ever since I had to leave the stash buster group (which was my fault cuz I didn't post while I was in a quilting/blogging funk). It feels GOOD though to have a few more readers!!! If you visit, please comment cuz it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside! LOL

Tonight DH and I are invited out with a group of his former co-workers/employees for a very nice dinner down on the Plaza in KC. The restaurant is called Plaza III and is very good! Plus, the dinner is paid for by the former company as a reward for one of the employees! WOOHOO!!!

A friend asked if I would quilt this quilt for her...her VERY OWN quilt! I said SURE!!! It is just too cute! Once I saw it I immediately knew that heart quilting was in order! I found a template and went for it. GOSH...I forgot how long it takes to do ruler/template work! But it was worth it cuz this is absolutely adorable!!! Sure hope she likes it!!

I am going to decide what UFO I want to work on next! Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Progress made...

I have been doing a little bit of applique at night while watching TV. I bought the line from Moda called Poetry and it was 41 nickel pieces. What better to do than practice a heart applique quilt! I have all of the red backgrounds done (it's really a deep burgundy with TOT flowers on it) and 4 of the 20 creamy yellow background ones done! It is fun!!! I am planning on alternating the blocks for a pretty lap quilt! I thought about sashing it and trying to make it fit our King bed but that isn't going to happen so I will just enjoy the lap size instead! Isn't it going to be pretty?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

3 new quilts added

I finished the bindings on the 3 donation quilts. They are now showing in my Fire Station Slideshow to the right. This sure has been fun to crank out these little guys!

Tonight I think I'll applique while watching American Idol and the Australian Open Tennis!


Monday, January 14, 2008

WHEW! I'm *T*I*R*E*D*

I did the hand stitching on the binding of 2 quilts. I also appliqued one heart for a quilt I started a couple of years ago or so. My finger tips are sore! Tomorrow I will get the third binding done and then add the 3 quilts to my fire station slideshow. For now, GOODNIGHT!!!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

What a productive weekend I had!!!

CLARIFICATION: the tops were ALREADY MADE...I had to make backs, quilt them, make binding, and attach...all the postcards were made this weekend as well. After reading this it sounds like everything was done from start to finish this weekend and that was misleading...sorry for that!

These quilts will go to the fire station when they need more. The postcard is first and journals the quilt that follows. All 3 of these quilts need the binding hand sewn yet.

Used just a smidge over 3 yard for this quilt...all from STASH!!!

This quilt took 4 yards...all from STASH!!! pattern by Bonnie

This is my first attempt at embellishing a postcard...not bad!

This quilt took 3.5 yards and was all from STASH...I'm counting it for this year even though the top was made in '06 or so! LOL

I made this postcard to journal one of the quilts that was already sent to the fire station. You can see a pic of that quilt in my fire station slideshow on the right sidebar.

SOOOOO...a productive weekend that saw approximately 15.5 yards gone from the stash! Now THAT feels good!!!

(to date: 29 yards used which seems like a lot and I can't tell by looking at my stash...and 17 yards bought all for projects, 7 of those yards are firetrucks for wallhanging for the fire stations to hang on their I'm off to a pretty good start with a net of 12 yards gone! LOL)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Women and body image

My friend was channel surfing and came upon a show called "How to Look Good Naked". It is on the LIFETIME channel if you get it and is an amazing show. As women we are so critical of ourselves. This show takes a person who is overweight and gets them to undress to their underwear. Then they put their picture (from the neck down) on a billboard in Time Square. (GASP) They ask people on the street what they think of that woman. It is amazing what comments they get.

Then they get the person better underwear and clothes. It is such a great transformation because they aren't trying to do an exremem makeover. They are trying to get the person to love themself they way they are.

If you get this channel, look this show up and check it out. It is only 30 minutes and is such an inspiring show.

Wonky Feathers

UGH...I was thinking waaaaaaay too much on the Wonky Feathers by "Pajama Quilter". I'm not sure if you can see these or not...but WHOAH...I had to STOP THINKING...I tried it on this quilt for the first time because it's busy and the backing I chose is busy as well. Plus, it's another donation quilt. I'll show pics of all 3 that I got done today at a later time. Right now I want to get the binding strips prepped for this one and then get cleaned up for date night with the hubby!

The start of my day...

I have 3 tops to quilt for the fire station. The backs are all prepped and one quilt was loaded and away I went on the longarm. All was going well UNTIL I got to the the bottom border...OOPS...didn't QUITE get that seam all the way in.

Not to panic...I fixed it easily enough...

One down and 2 to go. Now for lunch...

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Another fire station top done

Well, the blocks that I finished over the weekend FINALLY got sewn together today and borders applied as well! another top is done. Hopefully I will get it quilted and bound this weekend. I won't add it to my slideshow to to the right until it's finished. Totally from STASH!!!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Goals for 2008...not RESOLUTIONS!!!

I know this is late, but better late than never. I HATE I am making GOALS instead! Here goes nothing:

1. I lost 27 pounds, need to lose about 5 more and I WILL keep them OFF cuz I look and feel MUCH better and more importantly, I am HEALTHIER!
2. I will make quilts for donation to the fire station or other places of need.
3. I will take time to quilt every week.
4. I will make a concerted effort to go to MN and see my dad and in-laws more often. They are in their low 80's and I feel that more effort needs to be made to see them...not just for holidays or birthdays.
5. Spending time with friends will continue to be important to me.
6. Exercise has become somewhat of an addiction for me and I will continue that so that #1 is easier!
7. I will continue to work on being happily married to a fantastic man and a good mom to 4 great kids.
8. Of course, God will continue to be important in my life as always.

I think that's enough. Simple but important to me.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Quilted a bit today...

I was able to quilt a bit today. I had 40+ 4P's left over from the last quilt for the firestation. I wanted to do something different with them so I set them on point with bright fabric strips that I had left from other projects. I got the blocks done and then had to make dinner. Maybe tomorrow I will get them put together in a top. I still have a few left and who knows what I will do with them. No pics today since I had to make dinner and am now relaxing. You'll just have to wait til the top is done!!

We got to 67 degrees today and so I went for a good walk. The past 3 days I have walked outside and take in the fresh air. The trees are starting to bud as well. I also saw pansies that bloomed from plants that weren't uprooted last fall! But tomorrow our high is only supposed to be 42! YIKES!!


Sunday, January 06, 2008

Is tomorrow the start of NORMALCY again?

I sure hope so! Gosh, I do love the hustle and bustle of the holidays but when those days fall on T/W/or TH it messes up my time clock. Wednesdays feel like Monday. But if DH doesn't go back to work til Thursday (which is what he did after Christmas), then Thursday feels like Monday!

I have routines that I follow pretty religiously. I do laundry on Mondays and Thursdays. I also get groceries on Mondays. SO...I missed laundry days a LOT in the past 2 weeks! I did it today so I would have less to do tomorrow and can hopefully quilt (fingers crossed).

I was going to quilt today but ended up transferring pictures from my MAC to the new PC laptop that I bought yesterday. I tried the MAC for 6 months or so and although there are features on there that I LOVE, I just really didn't LOVE the MAC as a whole. I need to sell it now...anyone want a MACbook Pro that operates using Safari and has the large 17" screen? Email me if you or someone you know is interested!

DH woke up and is getting the crud that everyone else has already had. He went to bed at 8 tonight. I am not far behind since I was up til 1:30 am watching my dvr'd shows! I am too old to be up that late!

I hope to sleep in tomorrow, get groceries, quilt, and go for a walk. I feel like thie blog entry is bouncing all over the place...if it is I apologize...I am TIRED! ;oD

Saturday, January 05, 2008

I love Snowmen and this was too funny!!!

Even though all of our snow is melted, our bedroom windows are opened, and the weather was gorgeous today...I still LOVE snowmen! I thought this was too funny!

(click on image to enlarge)

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Another Fire Station quilt FINISHED!

OK...I am loving these small quilts! I make sure it's not wider than the WOF so that I don't have to do a complicated pieced backing! Just big enough to be cuddled by a child!! Here it is! I also have a slide show of the FS quilts under the "about me" section! Just click the arrow in the upper left corner of the slideshow to see it. This was made from the strips that I found while cleaning my stash closet. Once I get the dimensions on it I will use my fabric calculator and figure out how much stash I used on it. This makes 4 quilts now for my son to take to the fire station!


this picture shows a close up of the front folded over on the animal backing

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Reflections on 2007...better late than never

Well, here goes nothing...As far as quilting goes (click on the link to take you to a pic of the item talked about):
1. finished the house quilt
2. made a purse
3. made a quilt top still needs backing/quilting/binding
4. made a scrappy quilt for dh's executive asst. at his former job cuz she was AWESOME!!!
5. tshirt quilt done for DS's high school graduation
6. my sisters and I made a quilt for DS's apartment
7. made my DD's boyfriend a superman quilt for his bday
8. made the fireman quilt for my son's graduation from the firefighting academy
9. made another fireman quilt that my son said to KEEP! LOL still needs to a backing/quilting/binding
10. finished an OLD quilt top for the cleaning gal and another one that I didn't show cuz although the quilt turned out great, it was meant for a project that turned sour
11. started making quilted postcards to catalog my quilts
12. made a flipflop quilt for a friend to give to her SIL for Christmas
13. did a monthly mystery quilt by mail from one of my favorite MN quilt shops. It still needs backing/quilting/binding
14. tried my pineapple ruler and made, well ALMOST made a Christmas quilt out of Holly Jolly fabric. Still needs to be finished/backed/quilted and bound
15. finished my cardinal quilt
16. made superman pillowcases for my DD's boyfriend for Christmas
17. finished my snowman quilt that the top was made in 2005
18. made aprons for my girlfriends (THE BEST FRIENDS EVER) for Christmas gifts and also one for DH's new executive asst. for Christmas but I don't have a pic of it
19. quilted the southwestern quilt from our trip to Sedona but it needs binding yet

I guess that's it on the sewing front. I was in a funk for quite some time this year but I have the FEVER back again!

On the personal side: we did a lot of traveling. DH and I went to Acapulco, Orlando, Hawaii, California, and Chicago. It was a busy but fun year. We celebrated 25 years of wedding bliss in Hawaii and loved it there so much that we bought a timeshare there! Our youngest graduated from high school and firefighting academy and had his wisdom teeth out. Our oldest had a car wreck, got a dui, and moved back home UGH...our DD moved out on her own and bought a dog! And our third child tore his ACL and had to have knee surgery, miss his junior year of soccer and had his wisdom teeth out. I celebrated 9 years of being cancer free as well! DH changed jobs and love it and was also written up on about his running streak. I lost 27 pounds and feel good once again! I VOW TO KEEP IT OFF this time!!!

I can only hope that 2008 is as good as 2007 with the fact that I'd like to be an empty nester by the end of this year! WOOHOO!!!!!

a side note: my friend whose parents were in a car accident is having a double funeral on Friday...her dad passed away today...please keep them in your prayers

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

4th and FINAL post of the day!

I am EXHAUSTED and need to get to bed. But I really WANTED to get the bindings stitched down on the last 2 of 3 quilts so my DS can take them to the fire station with him! Here they are! The pinwheel one was made with leftover blocks from some project (I can't remember what it was). The blue tennis one was made completely from stash and was a Planet Patchwork online mystery in 2005 I believe. The Chinese Coin was all from stash as well..I guess the stash was depleted a bit but you'd never know it by looking at the stash cupboard! *SIGH*
Good night!

Unheard of for me...3rd post of the day

I finished the Chinese Coin quilt but forgot to take a pic with the baptist fan quilting. Oh well...I did manage to make a postcard to record the quilt and did take pics of that.

The word on my friend's dad is that he is now in a coma, on morphine, and they are just waiting for him to pass on. If you are the praying kind, please keep my friend and her family in your prayers.
ps...tell the ones you love...THAT YOU LOVE THEM!!!!!!! Life is too short not to...

Keeping my mind, heart, and hands busy...

I made a chinese coin quilt that Mary has posted on her blog. I want to use this darn stash up and this is my start. I hope to donate A LOT of quilts to the fire station that my son works at. If they haven't a need for them I will donate them to Project Linus or a women's shelter. I am keeping them small so backings don't have to be pieced.

The coins on this were 2.5"x6.5" pieces that I had leftover from another project! I found a BUNCH of strips as well but started with all of the 2.5"x6.5" pieces. I just had to strip a few more to get enough.

I think I'll load this one now and quilt it using that great Baptist Fan template from Circle Lord!!

2008...NOT off to a good start

This is not how I wanted to start the New Year. I woke up with a sore throat and stuffy nose. UGH...All I wanted to do was sleep but the phone rang cuz the oldest couldn't get up to call and say he's too sick to work BUT...he could've called work and told them so that work wouldn't call and wake me up.

OK...enough whining. I was soon put in my place when I opened an email and found out a dear friend's mom was killed instantly in a car accident yesterday afternoon and her dad is just hanging on without life support which was his wish before the accident. They were on a 2 lane road, coming back from a Drs. appointment when "K" had to hit the brakes suddenly due to traffic. Being 81 his reflexes probably aren't what they used to be and the car slid sideways into the oncoming traffic. They were broadsided and "C" died instantly. "K" was life flighted to a major hospital where they soon discovered he was hemorrhaging in the brain and the brain was so swollen that they can't do surgery until that goes down. My friend, "D" got a call from the Dr. while on her way (3 hour trip) to be with her dad. The Doc said you have 10 mins to tell us if we should incubate you dad and put him on life support hoping we can keep him alive in order to do surgery in 10-14 days. "D" said no. Dad wanted no life support machines and a DNR. So, they are waiting for him to die. His odds with surgery were 20% that he'd survive and almost 100% that he'd be a vegetable.

My heart is aching. I feel helpless. All I can do is pray. I think I'll shower and make a quilt for the firestation. Please keep my friend and her family in your prayers. Her sister is probably now at the hospital..she had to fly in from Oregon and couldn't get in until today.

I'll post New Year's resolutions later.