Friday, September 19, 2014

Two Years! Summary

Since my two-year Blogiversary happened the first week in July, and I didn't do anything to celebrate, I thought I should make a list of what I've accomplished in the past two years with my blog and the online quilt community.

--I now have 23 followers. I have no idea how many I have through Bloglovin or other blog readers. Please give me a shout-out comment if you follow through a reader !

--I've had almost 23,000 pageviews! Last month, I had over 1500 pageviews!

--I've posted almost 200 posts!

--I've listed my blog and become a member of Quilting Gallery.com

--I've participated in Craft Bud's 2012 Craft Book Month.

--I started my blog while entering the Salt Lake Modern Quilt Guild's "EZ Dresden Challenge", creating my own quilt block design: "Firefighter Maltese Cross Dresden" using a unique new cutting template called Leaves Galore by Sue Pelland.



--When I contacted Sue Pelland to show her what I created with her template, she invited me to guest post on her blog!

--Since this time last year, several bloggers have contacted me about my Maltese Dresden, so I created my first tutorial !

--I've participated in Happy Quilting Melissa's "Starburst QAL".


--I entered 2 quilts in the Blogger's Quilt Festival with Amy's Creative Side.

--I've entered 2 quilts in my town's local small quilt show, the Peteetneet Quilt Show, (Starburst and To The Rescue) and received my first ribbon of Honorable Mention in Viewer's Choice. (To the Rescue)


--I've participated in several swaps and a Round Robin with Michele from Quilts from My Crayon Box.  Including: two rounds of Kate Spain Charm Swap, "It's a Sister Thing" 2013 swap, and a Valentine's-themed Round Robin.

--I posted a picture of my first "Snowflakes" block from Quiltmaker Magazine on their Facebook page, and Quiltmaker published my picture in the feedback section of the magazine. I've also posted "Diamond Daze" quilt, Diamonds Crossing, and "To the Rescue" quilts, which they have re-posted!



--I participate in Linky parties with GoGoKim.BlogSpot.com (My Go-Go life), Kristy's Paper-Piecing Party on Quiet Play, and with Melissa's A Lovely Year of Finishes (ALYOF) monthly goal parties on blog.SewBittersweetDesigns.com

--Started taking classes on Craftsy.com and I am becoming braver and a more skilled at Free Motion Quilting.

Not to mention following and entering in countless blog hops and giveaways !

All this while working part-time at the hospital and raising two boys, and being pregnant and birthing a third baby at the first of this year!  Whew!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Performing surgery

Today I'm performing surgery....putting the stuffing back in and stitching up the poor alligator.



I feel like Doc McStuffins!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Fire station birthday

Today is my husband's birthday. However, he is on shift at the fire station. Today is day 2 of his 48-hour shift. I knew this was coming, so I planned a surprise. My 5-yr-old wasn't very good about keeping a secret all week, but luckily, hubby didn't figure it out.


Yesterday, I had time to make cake and frosting, and decorated the cake after they went to bed.



Then we finally made it into the car, the boys and I (and a tired, cranky baby), drove 60 miles to my husband's station. When we pulled into the parking lot, I called my hubby's cell and said "delivery". He thought I was home and had gotten the mail. I told him to come outside and see, and he understood pretty quickly, but....."we're not at the station, but we are driving back right now."

He was surprised, but tired, as was his crew. They were very quiet, as that was the first chance they had to sit down all day, and their last.



The boys were so excited, and talked a lot, but were well-behaved. They loved seeing daddy, even the baby...he just wanted to be cuddled by dad. So Wayne carried him around while he showed the boys the engine and the station. The boys actually talked to the crew as they met each one, super-excited about the cake and to show it off.




We didn't stay long, but it was good. After a long drive home and splurging on fast food, it was good to hang out with the boys until bedtime. Even though the baby had some teething pains and couldn't nap.

And I made another cake tonight after the boys were in bed. Just a rectangle this time, with red frosting. Wayne's brothers and mom are coming over tomorrow for BBQ and cake. We usually only have his family for birthdays, and we celebrate whenever we can all get together. It's important to us to be together as a family, and we keep the party small so that S. doesn't get overwhelmed. Even though a bunch of New Yorkers aren't that quiet, it's still fun with the NY boys swapping loud work stories and rough-housing with the kids.

Now I'm off to get a bit of FMQ done and get some sleep.
G-night!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Never Forget 9/11

I'm a day late, I know, but it was just one of those days. I went to work, needy baby, not much sleep.


My brother-in-law, Terry Reilly Jr., gave the keynote address at our city's memorial service. I'm sorry I missed it because I was at work, but my other brother-in-law Jason recorded it on his phone and posted it to Facebook. His address was well done, and it was very appropriate as he admonished us to Never Forget. 


Never Forget the sacrifices of the firefighters, police, Port Authority, and pilots, and all other rescue workers, and all the civilians who lost their lives in the attack of the World Trade Center and Pentagon. Never Forget the additional sickness and death that has occurred and continues to occur, since then, as the rescue workers have developed cancer and other sicknesses and died from their service in the rubble. Never Forget the soldiers who have served and are serving now.


If you remember, my husband is from New York, and his first memory was going to the fire station across the street from his home with his dad, the firefighter. His father and brother were friends with, and trained, several of the firefighters that died in the collapse of the towers. It is a very special and sobering Remembrance Day in our family.


My husband Wayne in blue firefighter, his younger brother Jason in his dispatcher uniform, and brother Terry Jr in his police uniform. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

ALYOF - September Goals

Hello,

How did August just rush by, and the first week of September?

I've made some good progress on machine-quilting the HST quilt. So here is my goal:

Finish machine-quilting this quilt!


Incidentally, have you been following the Moda Love blog tour? This year's pattern is free and it's very similar to the star center of my quilt. It's made out of HST that you can make from three different sizes: a 10" layer cake, 5" charms, and 2 1/2" mini-charms....the pattern includes all three sizes. I love it! You know me and stars!

http://blog.modafabrics.com/2014/09/moda-designer-blog-tour/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=moda-designer-blog-tour

Also, it's my goal to finish the appliqué and put the top together for Vai's quilt (Hawaiian-style appliqué).

And of course, I'm linking up with Sew Bittersweet Designs.

http://blog.sewbittersweetdesigns.com/?p=5048

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Feeling discouraged

Trying to FMQ is tough. Keeping my curves steady and keep from jerking the quilt around is tough. Please don't look too closely at the little jags where I had to pause (in the middle of a long curve) while I move my hands, or wrestle the quilt from getting stuffed up under the tiny machine arm.


And I think that's the problem! I have so little space under the arm, that I can't freely move a quilt enough to complete a pass or a motif or keep a curve smooth. When I attended HMQS last year, and played on a Sweet Sixteen and an APQS George, my stitches looked better and more uniform size, I didn't have jerks and jags as much....and I wasn't working with a stitch regulator!

So as much as I dearly love my little Bernina, I desperately want and need, at least, a sit-down longarm. But we just can't afford the payments right now.

I'm just going to go to bed now, I guess.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

ALYOF August Finish

How did I do this month ?

I finished piecing all the main blocks for Sylvia's Bridal Sampler. All 42 blocks! I've been stashing the finished blocks in my regular Super Satchel box...it keeps them flat, together in one place, and dust-free.



I got the last two triangles of Hawaiian-style appliqué basted and a good start stitching. I didn't get them finished because I had to wait so long for the fabric to arrive. That was out of my control.



I'm hoping to get some machine-quilting done tonight.

Jay starting kindergarten has put a hamper on things. Everyone says "aw, it'll just be you and the baby and restful and quiet". Not. Afternoon kindergarten isn't as easy as I thought. I'm trying to walk Jay to school, so I can start exercising again. (Weight gain and swelling from pregnancy is not fun. And I don't lose any weight while I'm breast feeding.) But taking him to school, then going back for him less than 3 hours later, is not easy. And the baby isn't getting much rest. He'll just get to sleep after nursing and I'll have to put him in the stroller or car seat for school. Then when I get him home, I'll feed him to sleep again and he won't get much sleep before going back. And I'm all hot and sweaty because it's still summer hot outside and it's afternoon. And not much time for me to do anything in between.

It's just the start of the third week of school for S, and the second week for Jay, so hopefully some routine will take shape. And hopefully, baby will get more rest on the day hubby is at home, so I can be with baby if he falls asleep, and hubby can bring Jay home.