Monday, July 20, 2009

A Finish and a Finish Finish

Hi y'all!

Well, it's been another busy week and then some, but here - at way too long last -is Mr. Abbott! Sorry about the pic - I don't know what my problem was, but I just couldn't seem to get a very good shot.

My little darling Leah wanted to get in on the photography action... she looooves posing for the camera. She just couldn't understand why I had the camera out but wasn't taking pictures of her. So, here she is givin' the camera (and Mr. Abbott) some love:

And here is Mr. Abbott & the Mrs... together at last!

I've got the framing supplies for the Abbott family on order from Joann's and they should be in this week.

This weekend I finally framed the piece I made for my friend Amy - I had been hesitating because I was afraid of irrevocably messing it up. But with Vonna's tutorial, it was super easy! Believe me - if I can do it, you can do it!! I do admit, though, that I had to re-pin once. It was my own fault for thinking I could just eyeball it. Lesson learned!!

It turned out pretty well, I think. I don't know what the crease looking thing in the top middle is - it must be a reflection because I promise, there is no crease in it.

So, I went to Joann's on Saturday and picked up the frame above (side note - this was a very oddly sized piece, and I was shocked to find a ready made frame w/ a mat that would fit it reasonably well), along with ordering the framing supplies for the Abbotts, and for my Sampler I finished earlier this year. I have to say... it wasn't cheap! Yikes! Probably because I did buy glass to go in the frames (so far, I'm a glass girl - that may change, though). The lady that helped me said I saved about $100 total by just getting the supplies for all 3 pieces. Oof. That's a chunk o' change. So, thank you, Vonna, for your wonderful instructions! I'll post pics when they're all done.

A quick update on my MIL before I go - she is doing a bit better. She moved to a nursing home from the hospital a few weeks ago, and is more physically mobile, and has been pretty sharp mentally as well. My hubby saw her today and said she was really loopy, but we're thinking that is just the pain meds. So, right now it's a waiting game -waiting for her to be healthy enough to have the surgery again to attempt (again) to repair the intestinal ulcer.

I've had quite a shock medically speaking this past week as well. I went to my OB/Gyn last week with a laundry list of complaints. Well, while he was doing the exam portion, he caused me considerable pain (I'm no wuss, either folks) so, given my list of symptoms (the biggest one [to me] being extreme exhaustion ALL the time - the likes of which I haven't experienced since I was pregnant with Leah - So bad I have caught myself nodding off in my office in mid afternoon, and have been afraid several times that I was going to fall asleep at the wheel on the way home - especially disturbing once I've got Leah in the car) he decided to do a sonogram right then. Turns out the exam hurt because I've got a bunch of cysts on my right ovary. So, given my other symptoms, he made a "probable" diagnosis of PCOS (poly-cystic ovary syndrome). I was shocked. He also ordered a bunch of blood work, and those results should be back tomorrow to confirm (or not) his diagnosis. I'll also be going to see a reproductive endocrinologist, and having a sleep study done. I don't have the more "visible" symptoms of PCOS, but as I read more and more, I think he might be right. I'll just have to wait and see, right? One thing I have decided as I've researched this disorder - the human body is such a miracle, isn't it? A delicate balance of hormones, and triggers... it's a miracle anyone's body works the way it "should".

So anyway, blah blah blah. It'll be interesting to see what this week holds! :)

I have so enjoyed reading you lady's posts! It is wonderfully inspiring to watch the progress of what you all are working on - it spurs me on to work on my own projects, and is so lovely to share this interest with you all! Thanks so much for your comments - they are especially special to me because I know how busy you all are, and how little time you have in your full lives. So, thank you!

Have a fantastic week!!!! ~Robin

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

My What a Difference a Couple Weeks Makes...

Wuzzup my homeys???

From your posts it seems you are all enjoying the summer, and doing well. I am so glad! As for me... I feel I have finally rejoined the land of the living. :)

About a week and a half ago a good friend of mine (Arin) and her husband (Tim) took Leah for a full 24 hours (they had a blast - went to the zoo, went out to eat, watched a movie, went to the playground... if I were smarter I would've sent some of the great pics Tim took to my home email so that I could've included one here - ah well). While she was with them, I met my dad & step mom for lunch, then headed to Target for a bookcase for Leah's room (with bins, of course), came home, read about 1/2 a book, built the bookcase, cleaned up Leah's room and stashed all the toys in the bins, then busted hump cleaning up the house.

The house cleaning project has continued (I just took a truckload of baby stuff that we will never need again to Salvation Army - ahhh... sweet sweet clutter busting!!!), but I finally feel I am on top of it, and it hasn't slipped further down the slippery slope to chaos. The place certainly ain't pristine, but it is about as clean as anyone working full time with a 4yo (and, yes, I'll admit it - hobbies I choose over housework any chance I get!) who can't afford a maid is going to get it. So, it's all good.

But, my household woes are not why you come here, so let's get to the good stuff, shall we??

I have made a tiny bit of progress on Mr. Abbott in the last couple of weeks (see pics below). I've only stitched a couple times, but am going to be making a real push to get him done. Joann's is having a framing sale through the 18th, so I want to get him done NLT then. At which point I'll take Mr. & Mrs. Abbott, and the Border Study I finished in January (February?) over there, get them framed and ready to put on the walls. Anyway, without further ado, here is Mr. Abbott:

I've also been bitten by the quilting bug again recently. This is 100% the fault of two really great books I've found which show patterns that use those addictive little fabric packs known as jelly rolls, charm packs, and layer cakes. Oh.... this is a sweeeet addiction! I don't know about you, but I loooove fabric... but quilting fabric is so stinkin' expensive to buy by the yard, it's hard for me to suck it up to buy it that way. Plus, the time it takes to acurately cut those large pieces of fabric so I can actually use them?? Yeh... not so much. So, these pre-coordinated bundles are a financial and time saving dream come true!! And oh my.... soooo beautiful!!! I've added several packs to my (still pretty much non-existent) stash recently, and one of these great books has a pattern in it that I'm going to try.

I am a seriously newbie quilter, and as much as I want to eventually create amazing works of art in quilt form, I recognize that it will take some time to get there. So, hopefully these simpler patterns will help me bone up on my piecing skills, and on my hand quilting skills as well. I have only made one quilt, and it was about as simple as it gets:

This is the quilt I made for Leah for Christmas '08. Yes, it is just stripes, and yes, I agonized over the cutting, and the piecing, LOL! I even had to frog and re-piece one of the stripes. It's 48" x 48", and was machine pieced, and hand quilted with straight lines 1" apart throughout. For a first quilt, I was pretty happy with the way it turned out, and Leah was so excited when she opened it that it made every moment of quilty angst totally worth it.

Anyway, back to the current project, and the great books. The name of the book I'll be using for this quilt is Layer Cakes, Jelly Rolls, and Charm Quilts by Pam & Nicky Lintott. They also have another book called Jelly Roll Quilts which I also bought and which has a ton of quilts that I absolutely love. Now, you experienced quilters out there (Deb, you da bomb!!!) would probably flip through these books and find the quilts way too elementary for your skillz, but let me tell you, they are right up my alley! :) Here is the pattern I'm going to tackle:

I'm going to use more vivid fabrics with it (the stars will still be off white, though) that came in a layer cake. Here they are, cutting complete (well, except for the fabric for the stars - for that, I'll have to cut a dreaded yard o' fabric - duh dah duuummm!!!):

These are the most beautiful fabrics I've ever worked with. Sooo soft, with a really gorgeous, subtle sheen to them (not the high shine of the older chintzes).

So, the plan is - finish up Mr. Abbott, and work (sloooowly) on getting this quilt pieced. I am deciding btwn. a few different stitchy projects to pick up once the Abbotts are complete. I'm debating between John Foster (pic'ed here in an earlier post), Garden Cat (by the now defunct Birds of a Feather), and Thou Shalt Not Nag (can't remember designer). It's a toss up at this point! :)

Thanks again for your wonderful comments - you ladies were a HUGE source of encouragement after my last post, and I can't tell you how much I appreciated it!!! Really - you all are the best! I feel like we could all get together for coffee (and dessert and stitching of course) and sit together for hours with no lags in conversation or awkwardness. So, thanks again!

Until next time - happy stitching (ugh, I really need to find another "tag line")!!