It was so nice to have Mark come visit for Thanksgiving. We didn’t do much more then relax, eat and visit with people but sometimes that’s what life calls for. I did get a great pic of Mark chilling with Merlin and the Thanksgiving table covered with BBQ. Shannon and Robert did most of the work this year and I am not complaining. It was salmon, chicken, pork, tenderloin and ribs all on the new smoker.
I don’t come here to write as often as I’d like and I miss updating my sexy sister of what was going on in Florida. But in the spirit of blogs, I think I will keep updating as something exciting happens. Or in my life, more like something vaguely exciting.
After years of trying different ideas and spending money on idea after idea, my backyard is still a work in progress. I will admit the friend that wanted to paint my desk missed all the inside edges but at least it has a water coating on it. After that, I decided it was much nicer to have the grills where I could step outside and cook so I rearranged. The grills are now right outside the kitchen door and the smoking area has been moved across the yard. It is still a work in progress. Soon as we have time we’ll be adding a railing around half the deck so the bench and plants can’t slide off the edge.
With the hot tub gone, I now have an area for a fire pit and some chillin chairs under the pergola. Client gifted me an amazon card for Christmas so new chairs it is. Still have to pressure wash the pavers but I have the lounge chairs in the back and a fire pit area in the front also. Other than some plants eventually, I think I’ve run out of yard ideas.
Here are pictures of the grill deck, smoking area, lounge chairs and front seating area.
Once more I am going to try and go one year without buying any unnecessary fabric. I will be limiting myself to backing or 1 small piece that will be used to finish something else. Yes I know what you’re saying. Didn’t she say this before? Yes and so far I have never succeeded. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try again, or again and again.
However, I have discovered a way that I might get fabric and keep my no buy. There is an Etsy shop I buy fabric from on a regular basis and I got to talking to them about ways to boost sales. They carry a lot of one designer line and I suggested they offer kits for patterns when the new books come out. This week after posting my new quilt on that designers Facebook page and getting over 900 comments, I contacted her about a new fabric to make a teaching video. She mentioned she had never seen a stack n whack like I made and was going to ask the lady that makes her samples to do one. Apparently the lady told her no because they were too difficult. I thought that was crazy so I offered to make her one.
She insisted she pay for my work so we decided to trade in fabric. If I make her a sample she will pay me with enough fabric to make one as well. Sounds like a game plan and I get fabric without buying it. Can’t wait till she decides what fabric she wants me to use first.
I finally got time to sit and bind one of my tops. Luckily I think I only have 2 more left to finish and they are waiting for a friend to baste them. I feel like I’ve become addicted to making stack n whack quilts. I know they are simple but I love seeing what they turn out to be. Funny my sister used to tell me I had a form of ADHD. She said they thrill for me was seeing what it turned out to be and then I’m ready to move on. I think she was right. I get the blocks done, know what it will look like, then force myself to finish them. But I always do even if I don’t like them. Fabric is too expensive, especially after all the Covid crap.
This one really turned out to be one of my favorites. I ordered the fabric and when it came I was a little disappointed as I thought it should have been more vibrant but it worked well. I tried 3 different backgrounds and nothing thrilled me. I kept telling my sister I couldn’t decide because sometimes I thought it would be better black, sometimes I thought it’s be better brown but never found the right brown. She found me this black with bronze swirl and WOW. It was simply perfect.
It’s made using Philip Jacobs agate in green colorway and QT bronze swirl fabric. I love it with the new sofa. No one will ever comment my rooms need more color. I hate being blah.
I’m not sure a few of them can technically be considered students anymore as they have become excellent quilters.
Pam is working on her hexagon quilt which is coming out amazing. Marilyn is currently going crazy as she’s had family staying for a month and hasn’t been able to use her sewing room. Luckily she is back at it this week. Tonia is busting them out like crazy. She’s made a couple of Christmas tree skirts she sold and just finished 3 star wars panels she has sold as well.
Claudia, Marie and Angela our my newest quilters. Marie and Angela have finished their first quilt and I just finished quilting 3 tops for Claudia. Some day I may have enough time to sew something of my own. I have a new 81 year old beginner quilter named Ann. She has wanted to learn so with Mark’s ok, I gifted her my sister Jill’s babylock sewing machine. It was a joy to see how much she liked it and I know Jilly would love knowing we created another quilter with it.
Here are some pictures of Pam’s, Tonia’s and Angela’s. Once the others are finished I’ll share pictures.
I love the decks on the back of the house so much better than opening the door and stepping onto dirt because no grass will grow. So with the help of my son in law (more like he did it and I helped) we pulled out the old deck and replaced it. Once the pressure treatment on the wood is dry, we’ll add a few coats of waterproofing. Next up will be to pressure wash all the pavers, stain the older grill deck and possibly paint it. Heck maybe even paint the outside furniture. Then we’ll set up our Blackstone cooking and fire pit area with seating.
I realized it was time to do some updating at the homestead. Eventually I may do some remodeling but for now it’s just furniture and rearranging. I bought a new living set then moved the chaise from the guest room to the living room. I have a friend staying in the guest room for probably quite a while, so we tried to make it more comfortable for everyone. We got her a really nice sewing table and set her up a sewing area in her room. This way we also have a dining room to use again. I thought with all that has gone on, plans have changed and I will likely be living here for quite some time so might as well bring it up to date. Figured I better leave the printer. With all this Covid crap I never know when we might have to work from home again and that’s my temp office when we do.
Here is the new living room furniture and the dining room has a new cabinet and the chairs are back. I was going to paint the 2 rooms this month but decided they can wait till after the holidays. Next up change the vertical blinds for curtains. I have hated those blinds since I bought the house. I think I will paint the living room coral.
I have no words to express how I feel these past few days. I lost one of the most important people in my life last week, my amazing, talented and extremely, loving sister Jill. I have been so busy since then that I haven’t had to process that I won’t see her or talk to her again. That she won’t be making so many people smile simply be calling them muffin or cupcake. I don’t think she ever met someone that they didn’t immediately like her.
Now that things have slowed down, I feel lost. I asked Jill about something once and she said sometimes all we can do is endure. It is the perfect word I am looking for to describe things at this point. I don’t feel like I’m living, I feel like I simply endure each day.
I will miss my usual text that came every couple of days saying “love you beautiful sister”. She was the one person when she said I love you, I knew she really did and she loved me for who and what I am without expecting me to change or even attempt to be perfect. She made me want to be a better person so she’d be proud to say that’s my sister.
I do smile when I wonder how special Jesus feels each time she calls him muffin. I love and miss you Jillybean.
If you follow my blog and are a prayer warrior, please add my sweet sister Jill and her hubby Mark to your prayer list. They both have Covid pneumonia and while Mark is getting better, Jill needs some heavy duty prayers. We are hoping she is well enough to come home soon where she can get some personalized care and some family love.
About 15 years ago a friend invited me to learn quilting with a group of ladies at our church, Landmark Baptist. They were all making theirs by hand. I finished about half of it and decided that just wasn’t for me. A few months later I attended a quilt show just as something to do on a Saturday. While I was there I saw a mariner’s compass quilt and a lone star quilt. At the time I remember thinking, if I could make something like that I would quilt.
I decided to see if I could teach myself to quilt with a sewing machine. This was way before online videos and classes. I ran across an online community board of quilters and met a lady in Kansas. She helped me via emails and I began quilting. She even encouraged me to learn to quilt them myself rather than tie them.
Since them I have tried to pass along her knowledge and teach other people to quilt. The first person I ever taught was my mom. 15+ years later I am still quilting, still teaching and finally made that mariners compass. I even found a pattern that incorporated that compass into my favorite bargello style quilts.
I had decided to keep this but a new student in my class is starting a series of eye surgeries this week and fell in love with it. I realized it will bring her a lot more joy than it will me. While I love making quilts, to me they are just fabric. I can make another. I am bound to do that lone star before the year is over.