Archive for July, 2008

I knew this was coming

Chesty has to have surgery on his knee tomorrow. With ten weeks of restricted activity and a significant cost it’s a good thing I love him so much! They were going to keep him this afternoon but Keith has been out of town and gets home tonight. He’ll want to cuddle some with Chesty before his surgery so I brought him home and we’ll take him back at 7AM tomorrow.

Working on top # 3

I’m in the process of quilting my aunt’s top and thought I’d share a photo. The pantograph is Lush Leaves from Willow Leaf Studio. I’m still fighting with the vibration on my machine but made ANOTHER adjustment to the front wheels after the first row of this quilt and it’s definitely better – almost back to normal I think – I may tinker with it some more after this quilt is done.

All the laundry is done, my sewing room is back to normal, and I’m even getting 3 quilts washed and dried that were completed before my travels this past month.

Since I got a late start, I’m going to stop and get my exercise in – a walk to the grocery store to pick up something for dinner – and then work later tonight. Good thing Keith is out of town.

Weight-loss Wednesday

I’ve had several emails and comments that others are also on Weight Watchers or trying to lose weight. Since Pam suggested we support and encourage each other, I thought I’d try to use Mr. Linky like JudyL does for our Stashbusting reports but it messed up my template and I deleted it.

I think I’ll go the low tech way and add links in my sidebar to anyone who wants to join in. Email me your blog address if you want to play along.

I’ll start today with my goal which is very modest – I want to lose 10 pounds so I don’t have to buy all new pants in a larger size. I’ll try to accomplish this by doing the following:

  1. Joining WW online and using the Flex Plan
  2. Trying to exercise – walk or bike – 30 minutes to 1 hour a minimum of 5 days per week
  3. Drink 64 oz of water each day
  4. Update the results here on my blog on a weekly basis.

Now, I have to get to work on my Aunt Nancy’s top if I want to meet my other goal of 10 tops quilted by August 31.


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Back on track

Since I already had this small HeartStrings top from St. Mary’s Peace by Piece Quilters downstairs ready to load, I started with it this morning. Quilting flowers from the Pajama Quilter DVD made quick work of it AND the backing was large enough to add another small top too. You can click on the photos to see a larger view.
This HeartStrings top was pieced by Deb in Arizona and I thought the Bubbles pantograph added a touch of whimsy to these cats. Both of these tops were small BUT they still count toward my goal of quilting 10 tops before the end of August. Tomorrow, I’ll load and start quilting one of my Aunt’s tops.
I also managed to do a 45 minute walk – to Target and back where I purchased a scale to replace the one broken during our move AND two of these water bottles. I signed up with Weight Watchers online and one of my challenges is drinking enough water. I can put one Crystal Light on-the-go packet in these and I’ll need to empty both of them each day.

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Time for setting goals

My company is gone and I’ve got no travel planned until the end of August so it’s time to set some quilting and personal goals.

  1. Laundry – I’ve got tons of towels and sheets to wash
  2. Convert my sewing room back from a guest room
  3. Re-join Weight Watchers (the online version only)
  4. Walk or bike 30 minutes – 1 hour daily
  5. Put backing on 2 postcards and finish the edges
  6. Quilt a minimum of 10 tops between now and the end of August (more would be great)
  7. Piecing and binding to be done as I can fit them in but quilting will my main focus through August.

It was windy standing on the Stone Arch Bridge so this isn’t a great photo but the reason I didn’t share it earlier this week was due more to my chubbiness. Between seeing Ann who has lost the weight she’d gained over the last several years and reaching the point that I need to either lose some weight or buy all new pants, I’ve decided it’s time to lose weight(again).

I also wanted to thank all of you who have written to ask how Chesty is doing. He’s still limping so we have an appointment for a surgical consult at the University Vet Hospital on Thursday morning.

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Postcards

More work on postcards today. Our theme for our August postcard exchange is Heat so here’s my almost finished postcard. I still have to put the back on and stitch the edges but I’m happy with the results. Ann also finished another postcard with ribbon embroidery and beading but I didn’t get a photo. My inspiration – the book Points of View – Landscape Quilts to Stitch and Embellish.

The Mississippi River

Moving to Minneapolis, one thing that excited me was actually seeing the Mississippi River for the first time. Mom also looked forward to seeing it on her visit so this afternoon we walked out on the Stone Arch Bridge and stood in the middle of the river (well, actually above the river). An unexpected bonus was watching a large group of kayaks go through the dam at St. Anthony Falls.

We also worked on postcards today. I chose a pattern and fused mine for our August family exchange. Ann worked on beading her sunflower center – this is her first attempt at ribbon embroidery.
Mom finished up her poinsettias and has started beading her centers too. This is also her first attempt at ribbon embroidery. In fact, Mom prefers machine work and said that she didn’t think she’d be able to do this when we started. As usual she managed to do a very nice job.

We went to Mass at the Basilica of Saint Mary’s and finished off the night with a spectacular fireworks display which we watched from our balcony.

Mall of America and Postcards

I’m not much for shopping but I had fun anyway – the girls and I went to the Mall of America this afternoon. I’ve been there 3 times in the year and a half we’ve been here and each time was was to take visitors.

Now Ann and Mom are trying some ribbon embroidery on postcards and Sarah is beading. Postcards make the perfect project for trying new techniques. The glass of wine in the middle of the photo – that’s mine!



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UGH!

Chesty’s limping again even with very restricted activity. I’m going to see how he does tomorrow but it looks like we’re going to have to have a surgical consult.

When was the last time this blog saw some quilting content?? I think I had TOO much travel this past month. and I’m going nuts waiting to get back to work but I refuse to *wish* away my time with Mom, Ann, and Sarah who arrived today. It’s so wonderful to have them visiting me.


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Housework

I’m just stopping in to say how much I hate housework! Cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping – I hate it all and unfortunately that’s how I’m spending my days BUT it will be worth it because I’m getting ready for a visit from my Mom, sister, and niece tomorrow. They’re traveling from Maryland and Virginia to visit me here in Minneapolis and I can’t wait!

Because whatever arrhythmia I’m having is acting up, I’m having to take frequent breaks and am spending that time sorting through the 820 photos I took on the Alaska trip. That’s not as impressive as it sounds because I typically take 2-5 photos of any one scene trying to get the perfect photograph so I have LOTS of sorting to do.

I mentioned that we traveled not only with our sons and DIL but Keith’s brother’s family. We have such a great time with them and miss living close by. They’re in Florida and while 9 of our 19 years of marriage were spent living in South Florida near them, we moved away for the second time 6 years ago.

Keith and Craig
From left to right – William, Mary, Samantha, Andrew, and Craig
And yes for anyone who might have picked up on it – we have TWO Mary Johnson’s in the family!

Mail

I won a drawing on Beth’s blog and look what arrived today! Fabric, note cards, buttons, and isn’t that the cutest lunch box? Thanks Beth!

I also received my July card from our family Postcard exchange that we started a few months ago. We just make one per month and Deb tells us who we send it to. There are 7 of us participating and we’re having lots of fun but I’ve fallen behind on my Journal Project and need to start making those again too. This month’s card came from my cousin Heather in PA, don’t you love it??

Here’s another family photo from our trip. In Skagway, we did a 6-7 mile hike before going into town for lunch. I also mentioned buying a kit while I was there and you can see it here – I haven’t decided if I’ll use the pattern included or make up one myself.

I had several comments about how much Adam and Keith looked alike after posting the last photo and had to go back and look at it myself. Surprisingly, they really do look alike in that photo. I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned it here on my blog but Keith got a package deal when he married me 19 years ago – the boys were 5 & 6 years old then.


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A couple photos

Anyone who’s been on a cruise knows I’m sure that they take lots of photos and post them for sale. For the most part we didn’t participate in the group photos but we did get one as we came on board the ship and one of my sons at dinner one night.

Left to Right – Chris, Becky (my DIL), Mary, Adam, & Keith
Chris & Adam

Chesty’s home

And he’s not too pleased with me. After an enthusiastic greeting, he’s sitting with me but ignoring me at the same time.

He’s got another few days on the anti-inflammatory medication, another week on crate rest and then we’ll see how he does. If the lameness returns (he was walking OK today) after that, we have to make an appointment for him to be evaluated by the surgeon. Keep your fingers crossed for him.

Today is catch up day – mail, email, laundry, and cleaning so I won’t get any closer to my sewing machine today other than packing up my table and rearranging the sewing room for company that comes on Thursday. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday will be really busy so I don’t expect to get any sewing done this week.

My Sunday progress and stashbusting report consists entirely of the purchase of one kit while I was in Alaska which contains a *glacier* pattern and lots of blues. I’m leaning toward designing my own quilt rather than using the pattern but we’ll see. No fabric used, no progress made.


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We’re home

I’m so happy to be home – 10 days is a LONG time to be away. Tomorrow we’ll rush down and pick up Chesty but for tonight I’m relaxing in my chair on the laptop catching up on email.

I haven’t had more than a few days with my sons at a time in the last couple years so it was a real pleasure to be with them over the 10 days we visited Vancouver and Alaska.We have mixed feelings about cruising but we loved spending this time with family (both our sons and DIL and Keith’s brother’s family) and a cruise turned out to be an excellent choice – we had plenty of time together but also *space* when we wanted quiet time alone.

I took HUNDREDS of photos but I thought I’d share a few taken the day we were at Hubbard Glacier – the absolute highlight of the trip other than the time spent with family.

We watched and listened in awe as multiple pieces of the glacier broke off into Disenchantment Bay.
Keith tried to take a couple photos of me but the deck above created shadows across half my face – he snapped this one as I joked that I needed to hang over the railing to get my entire face in the sunlight.

You will NOT believe this

Chesty injured his knee last night and I was panicking because he was supposed to go to the kennel today and they don’t take sick or injured dogs (and I wouldn’t want him there injured anyway!)

I was also concerned because he’d injured his other knee a couple years ago and had surgery on it. So first thing this morning we took him to the University of MN Vet ER and had him seen. Yes, he’d injured his knee but the ligament wasn’t torn completely and the vet recommended trying medical treatment first – crate rest for 2 weeks and anti-inflammatory medications.

I thought I was going to have to find an animal hospital that would board him or let Keith go on the cruise without me (have I mentioned we’re taking my sons and DIL and meeting his brother & family too so it’s not just US to consider)

Luckily, we’re going to be able to medically board Chesty this one time at the University and the ER Vet will manage his care while we’re gone. Of course, it’s going to cost us $800 and that’s if he doesn’t require any additional treatment or surgery but it’s worth it for my peace of mind.

On a side note, I did see the Cardiologist on Monday and they’re going to do further testing the Monday I get back from vacation. I’m beginning to wonder if this vacation is jinxed!


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Not much quilting going on

Keith and I had both read somewhere along the way that you could have drinks overlooking the Mississippi river at the Guthrie Theater so we decided to meet there yesterday after Keith finished work. The views were pretty but all the bars/restaurants were closed – I guess they only open when a performance is scheduled.

We were both surprised how far along the rebuilding of the I35 bridge has come.

For my family postcard exchange, I needed a patriotic card for July. I couldn’t sleep so I got up early and made it this morning. One more thing checked off my to do list before leaving for our cruise on Thursday.


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Sunday Progress report

Not much to report as far as progress goes – one HeartStrings top quilted this week before heading to Virginia, I helped Mom make a donation top while I was there, and today – I finally unpacked the last boxes in my sewing room and spent some time organizing the closet in there.

I did purchase 9 and 1/2 yards of fabric to make a version of this quilt – a set of fat quarters and some yardage of 4 other fabrics.

I’m not setting any goals for this week – I’ll be busy getting ready for our trip to Vancouver and the Alaskan cruise and we leave Thursday morning. So anything I get done will be a bonus.


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I love blogging!

How fun is this? Tanya was emailing me today from Japan, sitting outside with her laptop and I was reading my email outside at the same time. So she sent me a photo of her having her coffee and I just had to send one back of me sitting outside drinking my wine. Morning for her, evening for me but both of us enjoying the outdoors and our connection to other quilters via the internet.

I’ve met so many wonderful people through blogging!


Fabric

For those who wanted to know who designed the fabric I bought the other day, they’re from a Moda line called Maypole by April Cornell but the polka dot is by Mary Engelbreit and I don’t know who designed the cream fabric I chose.
I’ll be making the same quilt as Vicki but she’s using the fabric line shown the photo.
I was also asked whether I’d be posting an instruction sheet for the Fish Quilt, the answer is yes but it will be a while. We’re leaving on Thursday for 10 days and I have a lot to do before then.

Home again

After flying in from Virginia this morning, Keith and I had a wonderful day. We had dinner downtown at one of our favorite pubs…hot dogs in honor of the holiday and walked along the river enjoying the Red White & Boom event put on by the city of Minneapolis. Finally, we watched the fireworks from our balcony. I didn’t get many decent photos but I like this one.

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Walking
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