5+ miles and a finish

I actually got two runs in this week…a short one on Thursday and nice 5+ miles today. The weather on Thursday was so beautiful I just HAD to get out there! It was overcast with a pretty good breeze…what a difference from all the heat & humidity these past months. I wish I had gotten out the door earlier so I could’ve run a little further.

8.27.15

My running buddies are starting to amp up their training for a Half they’ve signed up for in late October. I won’t be running it with them because I’ll be on a Caribbean island celebrating my 30th wedding anniversary – yeah, I guess that’s a pretty good reason!

Their plan had them putting in 7 miles today – no way I could go that far, especially with my haphazard running over the last several weeks, but I went with them and was pleased that I went more than 5 miles…almost 6!

The weather was a little warmer and the humidity had creeped back a little bit but the route was mostly shady so it really wasn’t a factor. I went back to my 2/2 run/walk intervals knowing I was going to at least do 5 miles and I didn’t want to over do it. My pace was a little off but I’m still happy with it.

8.29.15

After getting home, stretching and getting cleaning up, DH and I went to lunch. There’s a local restaurant that serves breakfast on the weekends until 2pm so we went there and I had a nice breakfast lunch of eggs, bacon, fruit and english muffin…YUM!

I retreated for a short nap and then went into my sewing room. I finished up the ‘urgent’ baby blanket for Anya by putting on the label. An update from my earlier post about the spots that showed up when I used fusible batting: I washed the blanket last night in cold water and the spots all disappeared—YAY!!!

Finished blanket

back

If you zoom in on the label in the second picture, you’ll notice it’s washed out! I was horrified to see this when I got it out of the dryer and I stewed all night about how I was going to fix it. After my run today I ripped that label off, printed a new one and sewed it on.

laundered with new label

This is so much better…but I fear it will wash out again once it goes through the laundry…eeks. I’ve used this same method on all my other quilts and those labels did not wash out…not sure why this one did :-(   I can only hope this second attempt will be OK.

I’ll be working on the Patchwork Pumpkin table runner for the rest of the evening, hoping to both projects in the mail on Monday.

ttfn…

Honored Liebster Award Nominee!

I’m honored and flattered that Never A Dull Bling would nominate me for the Liebster Award!! I started following her blog because it appears we run for the same reason – BLING – although, I will also run for beer! Please go check out her blog!!

wpid-liebster-award

First, I’ll post the rules, then answer the questions given to me, then post the bloggers I’m nominating, and then my questions I’d like for them to answer.

Rules for the Liebster Award:

Once you are nominated,

  • Make a post thanking and linking the person who nominated you.
  • Include the Liebster Award sticker in the post too.
  • Nominate 5 -10 other bloggers who you feel are worthy of this award. Let them know they have been nominated by commenting on one of their posts. You can also nominate the person who nominated you.
  • Ensure all of these bloggers have less than 200 followers.
  • Answer the eleven questions asked to you by the person who nominated you, and make eleven questions of your own for your nominees or you may use the same questions.
  • Lastly, COPY these rules in the post.

Here are the questions given to me:

  1.  How, why, and when did you start blogging?  I started blogging in Dec 2010 mainly to keep track of my journey to find a creative outlet. As I entered my ‘mid-years’ I found I was craving something creative and if you go WAY back in my blogs you’ll see I tried many things! I also picked up running in an effort to maintain my health so I added that to my blog.
  2.  Have you ever had a truly life-changing experience?  Nothing traumatic, thank goodness!
  3.  If you could meet one famous person alive today, who would it be?  I didn’t think this question would be that hard to answer but I find I’ve saved it for last. Several names have popped into my head for different reasons, making it hard to choose but I finally landed on Morgan Freeman. He seems so intelligent and interesting…and who doesn’t just love his voice!
  4. What is one thing on your bucket list you absolutely have to do?  Visit the Grand Canyon. I’ve wanted to go there since childhood…not sure what’s stopping me!
  5.  Describe a beautiful place that you’ve been.  Aruba. Their tag line “One Happy Island” is so true. We’ve been there more than 12 times in the past 20 years. The weather is always great, low humidity and a soft breeze. The water is that beautiful blue you can see through and the people are so friendly but they won’t intrude or bother you.
  6.  What makes you happy?  Playing with my dog, Sammie, makes me happy. I call her the ‘Love of my life’ which really ticks off my husband – but he’s just as smitten with her.
  7.  What irritates you?  Selfish people who think their needs/wants are the only ones that matter.
  8.  Which song will always cheer you up?  Back In Love Again by LTD  (I think I’m telling my age) I just can’t sit still when I hear this song!
  9.  Can you play any musical instruments?  Not really, I took a few piano and guitar lessons (as part of my creative journey) but I never mastered either one.
  10.  What does your ideal day consist of? Sitting on the beach in Aruba sipping a tropical cocktail
  11.  What is one thing you really like about yourself? My ability to be a problem-solver. I’m a logical thinker and can usually break issues down to get at the root of the problem and then find a solution – without getting overly emotional.

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Here are the blogs I’m nominating…you’ll notice they’re all ‘quilting’ related – my newest obsession! (All the other running blogs I follow didn’t qualify because they have more than 200 followers.)

3and3quarters

From My Carolina Home

Quilts By Laurel

Living In Color

Hobbies Up To Here

Here are the questions for the bloggers I nominated:

  1.  How, why, and when did you start blogging?  
  2.  What’s the nicest thing someone has done for you?  
  3.  If you could meet one famous person alive today, who would it be?  
  4.  What is one thing on your bucket list you absolutely have to do?  
  5.  Describe a beautiful place that you’ve been.  
  6.  What makes you happy?  
  7.  What irritates you?  
  8.  Which song will always cheer you up?  
  9.  Can you play any musical instruments?  
  10.  What does your ideal day consist of?
  11.  What is one thing you really like about yourself?

That’s it, I can’t wait to see your responses!

All sewing…no running

I wish I could blame my lack of running on the weather…but the last week has not been as hot and the only thing keeping me from getting out the door is my own brain…grrr! I even skipped the 10K I was supposed to run last weekend {{{so embarrassed to admit that}}}. I’ve been chastising myself for the last couple of days and I hope this ‘no running phase’ passes really soon.

I’ve been keeping myself distracted by sewing a lot. I got a call from a friend last weekend and she asked if I could whip up a baby blanket for one of her neighbors…they had a baby girl a few months ago and she completely zoned out about asking me to make the quilt so she wanted to know if I could do it pretty quickly. Well sure, I’m always up for a challenge!

I pulled some appropriate fat quarters from my stash and got to work following a pattern I saw on Pinterest. I even had a few yards of pink polka dot fabric I could use for the back so I was all set. Oh and she wanted the baby’s name on the quilt top too – Anya – so I appliqued that in the center block.The top came along pretty fast but then I got stumped on a border, which meant I needed to make a run to Hobby Lobby for more fabric ;-)

IMG_2734

Once the top was done I decided to use some fusible batting I had in my stash…this is my first time with it so I read the directions very carefully and ironed it all out last night. To my horror, I started seeing little dots showing up on my quilt top!! At first I thought there might be something on my iron but it was clean as a whistle…then I realized it was the fusible substance sticking to the back side of the fabric. Since this is my first time using this, I have no idea if this is ‘normal’ and will come out in the wash – or if I should be concerned! I’ve posted a question on a quilting forum I follow…hopefully I’ll get an answer soon (or I’ll start crying!!).

If anyone has experience with this I’d appreciate your words of wisdom!!

IMG_2736 IMG_2737

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I’ve also finished all four Genny and Ruth blocks I started last week…I LOVE how they look together!! I have the perfect baby animal fabric for the back and can’t wait to put it all together – but that will have to wait until I finish the blanket for Anya.

All 4 done

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Another project in the works is the Patchwork Pumpkin table runner for my friend in California. I have 3 pumpkins done waiting to be quilted. I should finish the 4th one today or tomorrow and then I can get started quilting and putting it together. I’d like to have this in the mail to her by Sept 1…fingers crossed!!!

ttfn…

Genny & Ruth blanket

In my last post I mentioned I had made a block for a fabric & thread giveaway; I’m not sure if the official name of this block is “Genny & Ruth” but that’s what it’s called on the site where I downloaded it…that’s good enough for me.

I liked it so much I’ve decided to make three more for a baby blanket. The only problem: I only had fat quarters of the colors I used in the first block and they wouldn’t make 3 more blocks so I made one more block tonight using matching colors (these are 20 1/2″ squares unfinished):

two blocks done

And, since I have more fat quarters in this bundle I’m going to make the other two blocks in a reverse color scheme – dark on the inside migrating to light on the outside. I’m hoping this will give a ‘mirror-like’ effect once they’re side by side. I’ve already cut the pieces for block 3 and have them lined up for sewing:

3 lined up

and block 4 is almost done being cut…I just need to finish cutting the tan pieces for the corners and HST:

4 almost cut

I checked my stash and I think I’ve found the perfect backing fabric for this top…I’ll know for sure once I have all the blocks completed and can lay them out…more to come on that.

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I didn’t work on the pumpkins tonight but I did get two done last night. I think I can get two more done tomorrow night and then I can start the applique and quilting process.

two pumpkins

That’s about all for now…G’night!

Lots to share

I’ve been planning a lot of sewing over the last couple of days and my project queue is growing!

I’ve started another Patchwork Pumpkin table runner, this one is already sold to a friend in CA. I put the patchwork squares together tonight and will start cutting out the pumpkins tomorrow. I’m hoping to have this one completed by the end of the week…that’s do-able,I think ;-)

IMG_2703closeup

I entered a drawing for fabric and thread being hosted by Robert Kaufman on Instagram. The requirements were to make a specific patterned block using either Kona fabrics or Essex Linen. Since I had a FQ bundle of Kona solids I pulled that out and made the block last night. It measures 20×20! Now that I’ve made that big block I think I’ll make 3 more to match and call it a baby blanket.

Kona RhodaRuth entryclose up

I joined another quilt along…this one is being hosted by “SewFreshQuilts” and it’s this adorable and aptly named “Dog Gone Cute” quilt. Thankfully it doesn’t start until Sept 1st so I have some time to prepare…whew!

doggonecute quilt mock up

Lastly, back in early July I finished the quilt tops for Grandson #1 and Grandson #2. A friend of a friend recently purchased a Long Arm quilting machine and she offered me a break to quilt both blankets…so I took her up on it. I just got the quilts back tonight and they look FANTASTIC! I haven’t taken any pictures yet and I still need to trim and put the binding on so I’ll have plenty of pictures in a few days…yay!!

That’s about all for now…G’night!

5 miles and a sewing finish

Although I haven’t been running with any regularity, my running buddies got me out yesterday for a 5 mile run. Now mind you, we’re signed up for a 10K next weekend (!) so it’s necessary to get in a bit more distance…but the most I’ve run for the last two months is 4 miles. I wasn’t sure how my legs & stamina would hold up but I was going to give it a shot.

We decided to go to Riverwalk in Rock Hill to run the path along the river – I really should’ve stopped to take a few pictures during the run but I never think of that until I’m writing about it here :-s  Anyway, we got started about 8:15 am and there was plenty of shade so it didn’t feel too awful…but I could tell the humidity was already starting to creep up.

I had my Garmin with me and just as we were getting ready to start I got the dreaded “battery low” beeps! Oh no!! Well, at least I had my phone and the C25K app (which I usually only use for interval cues) so I connected it to GPS and we were on our way. I started the Garmin too knowing full well it would die before we finished…and sure enough it stopped at 1.81 miles. I loaded the C25K for 3:2 run:walk intervals and all was well until I hit about 3.8 miles…I took an extended walk break and then picked back up to finish the rest of the distance on cue.

Overall, I did pretty well but I’m feeling a bit ‘creaky’ today – I plan to get out at least once this week before the 10K next weekend…yeah, that’s my plan ;-)

8.15.15 FB c25k

I’ve also been sewing on another Pumpkin table runner and I finished that off today. Since taking the owner’s class about my new sewing machine I feel much more confident changing the settings, stitches and presser feet. I whizzed through appliqueing on the last two pumpkins and did FMQ (free-motion quilt) on the background. I joined the finished blocks together using strips and put the final touch on with the binding.

I really like this table runner too…it’s a slight variation from the first but still pretty much the same:

side by side
Side by side with the first table runner

#2

close up
close up
The back side
The back side – the fabric is actually a darker shade than in this picture, I guess the flash was too close

Well, it’s back to the sewing room to clean up the space so we can break down the bed and get ready to put in my new cutting/crafting table – squeeee!. I finally decided to buy a couple of bookcases (from Walmart) and a table top (from IKEA) to make a DIY table…it’s supposed to look like this (found on Pinterest):

table

We’re going to break the bed down but it will have to stay in the room because we don’t have anywhere else to put it. I’ve decided to put the mattress and box spring up against the wall with the tall side up and use the back of it for a ‘design wall’. Ha…we’ll see if that plan works out!

ttfn…

Friday Finish

Technically, I finished late last night so I’m gonna take liberties and call it a Friday Finish.

I’ve had a baby blanket topper sitting around since March; I even pieced the back and had them all rolled up together waiting for the inspiration/motivation to finish it. I went to the ‘Owner’s class’ at the sewing machine store yesterday and learned a ton about using my new machine…it’s really cool what it can do! I also got some inspiration from some of the quilts hanging there and the lovely lady who was my instructor. She’s an extremely experienced sewer/quilter and she showed me how to use some of the decorative stitches as the quilting stitches which made me want to run home and try it…hence I pulled out the quilt top from March.

For some reason I’m just not in love with this blanket…I like the fabrics on their own but I think it’s the layout that just makes me think ‘eh’. And the galaxy fabric on the back is really, really cool…I even tried to find more of it back in March so I could cover the whole back but no luck (I found it in the remnants bin at Hobby Lobby). I think the other reason I’m not in love is because of the drastic difference between the top & back…BUT…it’s done now and I can move on!

top

back

closeup quilting

label

I did few different things on this quilt:

  1. The batting is polyester…jury is still out whether I’ll use it again. I really like the loft and it doesn’t add any additional weight to the blanket. What I don’t like is the feel…it just feels kind of ‘cheap’.
  2. I used a decorative stitch to quilt the top…it’s not anything intricate, just a wavy line, but I like that I didn’t have to move the quilt around…just run it through the machine. It also makes the quilt look almost commercial…jury is out on using that stitch again.
  3. I used the alphabet stitches on my new machine to make the label…and you guessed it, jury is out on that too. Obviously I didn’t do a stellar job on lining everything up so that may factor into it.

Linking up with:

Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts

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Heading out today on a mission: I’m going to IKEA to buy a table topper to use with some bookcases I ordered to make an official cutting table! I found the idea online and have FINALLY talked my husband into helping me do it – yay!  While I’m out I plan to swing by Mary Jo’s and pick up more backing fabric for the pumpkin table runners…I’ll buy extra this time :-/

ttfn…