Sunday, January 19, 2020

Things that make me happy.....

 .... peeking into grandkids' bedrooms and seeing quilts I made for them being put to use.

I hope your 2020 is going well so far! 

Monday, October 28, 2019

Glimpses of Home - A Little Bit of Fall

I've been enjoying Fall.  I love this time of year.

Having a hubby who is retired is great.  He does so many things around the house. Here is a picture of a little bit of Fall decorating done by my Hubby.  I guess the NC State Flag gives away who was involved in it.  Haha

I finished a quilt and took a few pictures that show some fall in the background.

A few sunflowers came back from seed that fell earlier in the summer, and if our first frost holds off a little while longer, there will be blooms.

We have some huge mums!  This picture does not show just how big this one is.

One more quilt picture:

Fall cleaning:  I don't why, but I always get in the mood to do extra cleaning in the fall.  I don't usually do much deep cleaning in the Spring.  But something about Fall makes me start cleaning under things! LOL

We're still having a lot of warm days and the weather has been beautiful most of the time.  I hope your Fall is going well and that you are enjoying life!

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

A Quilt Finish - Kintergarten Art Quilt

I am happy to say I am finished with this quilt, except for a label!  Its different than any quilt I've ever made.  I would describe it as bright, bold, and striking.  It looks like basket weaves.

Here's the original art work.  The quilt looks a lot like it! I should have turned the quilt the other way when taking the picture so it would match, but then it would have dragged on the ground. 

This picture shows the backing fabric.  It was the only fabric I could find that would work and it turned out to be perfect.  It has the same pattern as the front of the quilt, just no purple and red.

Now on to the next grandchild's quilt.  Here's a sneak peek.

I am linking this post to Monday Making at the "Love Laugh Quilt" blog.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Sewing Machine Story - Roger's Sewing Machine

I have a "new to me" sewing machine!  She's a beauty and here is her story.

The machine is inside this beautiful wooden cabinet.

My sister gave it to me.  She bought it at an estate sale, but not just any estate sale.  The person who's estate sale it was sold at was her boyfriend, Roger.  Both Roger and my sister had lost their spouses a while before they met, and had only been dating about a year when he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer.  He only lived about 6 months after that.

It was one of the saddest stories, because they were in love, and had already lost their spouses.  They really enjoyed doing things together before he became ill.  It broke my heart when she told me that the last time she saw him, he was being transported to a different hospital by ambulance and had asked her to watch the ambulance until he was completely out of sight.  She did and he died later that day, before she could get to where he had been transported.

So this sewing machine actually belonged to his first wife, but was included in the estate sale after he died.  My sister went to the estate sale and to quote her, she said, "I could NOT just leave the sewing machine there".   In fact she saw the machine the first day of the sale and could not get the machine out of her mind.  So she ended up going back the next day and bought the machine.  I feel honored that she gave me the machine and love that it has a story.

Another story that my sister shared with me is that Roger had told her that somehow he would let her know he was ok after he died.  Just a few days later she was working in her flower bed and a blue bird perched very near her and just stayed there near her for several minutes.  If you know anything about blue birds or any wild bird, for that matter, they do not come over close to a person and just sit there looking at them.    So my sister firmly believes that the bluebird was a sign from God that Roger was ok.

Roger's Sewing Machine

This sewing machine is a Singer, Model 15-91.  HERE'S a link to the Singer website where I can order all the parts I would ever need.  At the top of the page it says:

  "The SINGER Model 15-91 Was the Top of The Line Machine in The 1940's Decade. It Featured the SINGER Famous Direct Drive Gear Motor. Millions of 15-91 Machines are still in Use Today Throughout The World."

However, when I checked the serial number of my machine on THIS Singer Sewing Machine Serial Number site, it says my machine was made in 1951. 

There are definitely no plastic parts and this machine is bound to be a workhorse!  There is already a box full of attachments and other things, so I hopefully I have everything I need to start sewing.  I also have the original handbook!

Box of attachments, etc., the handbook, and key that locks the cabinet.

I'm looking forward to sewing with Roger's sewing machine and am planning to make a simple mug rug as the first official project that I will make with it.

So I wonder if you have ever had a first hand experience of having a sign from God?  I have had my own and I bet you have too.

Monday, August 5, 2019

The Power of Five Minutes

My black and gray fabrics organized through the power of five minutes.
 The title to this post came to me the other day after my post about list making.  I checked it by searching through Swagbucks and of course I'm not the first person to use that title!   There are also these titles:  The Power of 10 Minutes and The Power of 15 minutes.  So then the title, "Five Minute Miracle" came to me, so I checked that one as well....... Um No.  I didn't want to use that one either.  Oh well, this post is my own take on spending 5 minutes getting things done.

I don't want to come across as wanting you to be constantly hustling and working and striving.  No, not at all.  If anything, this is the lazy way to get work done.  I just know that for me I can do 5 minutes (or 10 or 15 or more) consistently and get things done.

Here are some ideas:

1. I've always loved the idea of spending 15 minutes a day on a certain project or housework job.  I first learned this trick from Emilie Barnes (Author) and then more recently from the Flylady.  (   But, honestly, some days after work, I am just too tired, either physically or mentally, or both, to even spend 15 minutes.  BUT... 5 minutes, that I can usually do.

2.  After spending 5 minutes, I often keep going because I start to feel that great feeling of accomplishment when I see the progress.  Even if I only do 5 minutes, it adds up.

3.  No need for a timer.  I just glance at the time, add 5 minutes to it in my mind, and when I reach that time, I stop.  (Or maybe keep going.  See #2)

4.  The biggest hurdle to working for 5 minutes is to know what you are going to do!  It could take me 5 minutes or more to figure out what I should do, which kind of defeats the purpose.   So I've started keeping a list of 5 minute jobs for certain areas.  Or I try to think ahead to what I can do for 5 minutes in whatever room I am concentrating on at the time.

I am currently organizing and cleaning in my sewing room and this is a list of 5 minute jobs I can do in there.

Organize one drawer or shelf
Trim scraps into usable sizes
Dust one small area
Fill bobbins for quilting or sewing
Put things where they belong for 5 minutes
Quilt for 5 minutes
Chain stitch quilt blocks
Do a quick 5 minute vacuum of the floor.
Throw away some quilt batting scraps
Organize yarn into one container.  (currently in 3 places)

Here is one drawer that I organized in 2 five minute time periods.  I just sorted them into color families and threw away a few pieces.

I use a lot of 2 1/2 inch wide strips and having them organized is a big help when making a scrap quilt.

Before:  Just thrown in the drawer.

After:  A little easier to find what I need.

I came to the conclusion that there are a lot of ugly fabrics in this drawer!  But, placed in the right  color combination in a project, they will be pretty. 

5.  Sometimes the 5 minute slot of time becomes available when we are waiting for other things to happen.  Such as waiting for the microwave to finish, oven timer to go off, or waiting for clothes to de-wrinkle in the dryer, or waiting for someone to finish getting ready to go somewhere, when you are already ready to go.  Or while in the drive through at the bank or restaurant, you can dust the area of the car right in front of you.  Just keep a dusting cloth nearby.   The secret is to be aware of these times and also to have an idea of what you can do without having to figure that out. (see #4)

6.  When you see something that needs to be done, go ahead and write it down on your 5 minutes jobs list because if you are like me, you won't think about it again until that job starts to bug you later on.

7.  You've heard of a backlog, I am sure.  Why not create a FRONT log?  Here is the definition:
  1. Frontlog is typically used as a verb to indicate that you're going to do things sooner than later, even sooner than necessary. That way they are done, and out of the way. Let's frontlog this work because we know we're going to require several iterations before we get it right, so we don't want to wait for the last minute to start.

Create a list of things you can do ahead of time.  Just small things that only take about 5 minutes.   Think ahead to what you have coming up that you can go ahead and be working on.   For example, recently while at Dollar General, I went ahead and bought all the birthday cards I will need for the rest of the year.

8.   At work I have a list of little things I can do as the end of the day is approaching.  The reason for this is that I may be tired, but need to keep working.  There are always some little things I can do that don't take much brain power and will allow me to coast until the work day is over, but not feel like I am a slacker.  It gives me a sense of accomplishment to check off these small things and to make good use of all the time right up until the end of the day.

This idea is good at home too.  Save some easy 5 minute jobs for when you are tired, but want to keep on going.

9.  Delegate some 5 minute jobs.  Most of the time family and friends don't mind helping you out if the job is only going to take them 5 minutes!  And you won't mind asking them since there's not a big time investment involved.

10.   Don't limit yourself to just 5 minutes, if you have the time and energy.  This weekend I am still quilting the "Kindergarten Art Quilt" and I found myself quilting for 20 minutes at the time.  This way I give both myself and the sewing machine a break which helps me to not get burned out on the project.  I'm three fourths of the way through with the quilting!  I hope to be binding it next weekend, since I will be quilting for short periods both before and after work.

Have a great week!

Monday, July 29, 2019

Weekend Sewing - Kid Quilts

I finished pin basting the Kindergarten Art Quilt and began the machine quilting.

I also worked on pulling fabric choices for the next two quilts. One for our 3 year old granddaughter:


And one for our 5 year old grandson:

I bought a few pieces of the fabrics and then pulled matching pieces from my stash.

There's a whole lot of quilt activity going on around here!!!

Monday, July 22, 2019

Today is the Day

I thought I'd share how I am getting more things done lately!

This is a little notebook I found at Dollar General.  Its great for my never ending to do lists.  Every time I think of something, no matter how important or unimportant it is, I jot it down in this book.

When I start a new page, I circle the month and the next seven days underneath it.  I keep marking off and adding on until the page is full and then start a new one by carrying forward the items not finished.  I always have several ongoing things on there, such as working on a certain quilt, working on Christmas gifts, etc.  When one of these on going items is done, its so satisfying to mark it off and NOT carry it forward!

Some time during each work day, I will check my list and decide which things I want to get done that night after work and the next morning before work.   The picture below is an actual example from one day last week.  Sometimes the items only take a minute.  Other times they may be a little more involved.  But they never take too long.

AM and PM notes

Some more examples from recent AM and PM notes:

Spend 5 minutes putting things away in bedroom
Spend 10 minutes organizing and cleaning in sewing room
Get items together for donating to thrift shop
Pin baste quilt 30 minutes
Order birthday gift for Eli
Send Sympathy Card
Send Get Well/Thinking of you card.
Sew binding on pumpkin runner

There is even an item on my to do list with ideas to post about on this blog!  Maybe I can be more regular about posting as a result of the AM and PM sticky notes.

The idea is that the to do list will never get done if I don't break it down into manageable tasks.  No matter how small the jobs are, they really do make a difference.  I have been getting much more done and it makes me feel like I am really accomplishing things.

I do the same thing for Saturdays and Sundays, but I can  accomplish more items since there is usually more time available.  So my AM note may contain things like doing laundry, cleaning, cooking and hopefully I can get more things done that I enjoy, such as quilting and sewing.  

One final tip:  Do you have a hard time remembering to take vitamins or other medications?  Put a reminder sticky note on your bathroom mirror.   Every time I brush my teeth, I see the note and go right straight into the kitchen where my pill organizer is and take the vitamins.

Do you have a tip for getting things done?

Have a great week!

Friday, July 19, 2019

The Quilted Pumpkin Table Runner ......... in July!

What's a girl to do when its July and its awhile until Fall is here?

 Sew some pumpkins!

I already had everything I needed to make this runner.  I have been working on a quilt that has a lot of orange in it, so I was able to pull fabrics from that project and I also found some in my fall fabrics that I store in a plastic tote. A while back I found some orange remnants in the remnant bin at Joann's Fabrics, so that came in handy for this project.   I love going through that bin! 

Its a perfect project for using up some scraps.

I always have scraps of quilt batting left over from other projects and found a piece that was just the right size.

The backing fabric is a calico print that I'm pretty sure is from the 80s or 90s.  I'm not sure, but that small orange flower made it perfect for the backing.

I love the orange dotted fabric I used for the binding and one of the pumpkins on the front.  That fabric came from Walmart and is probably still available.

Here is a link to the pattern.  (click here)

I did not use the printable sheets.  I just did regular fusible applique.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Thoughts from Debbie J.

I thought I'd just leave this tab for a new post on my blog open, and as a thought comes to me, I'll type it up!

1.  I am currently listening to the audio version of "Only Love Today", by Rachel Macy Stafford.  I love this book!!!  It has been life changing for me.  I'm currently on my second time listening to this book.  My only problem with it is that I wish I had it when I still had children at home.  But the things I am learning are just as important for any loved one in your life, whether its your husband, grown children, grandchildren, co-workers, and even yourself.  Listening to the book is so calming and soothing to me.

She has written another book that I haven't read, called "Hands Free Mama", which is probably more well-known.  I may just check that one out too, since I feel it would apply to anyone, even if there are no children in the home.

As I've told you in a previous post, I listen to audio books for free with the Overdrive App on my phone.  This is done through your library.  I usually listen when I'm driving to and from work and other times when I am driving alone.  The sound comes through the radio with the blue tooth on the vehicle.

2.  I gave up Sirius XM Satellite Radio.    I got hooked on it when I had 6 months free with the purchase of my vehicle.  They know how to hook you on their product!  But, did you  know if you call them trying to cancel, they will keep dropping the price until its pretty cheap?  The last time I called to cancel mine, the price started at about $125.00 for 6 months, and the person I was talking to came down to about $40.00 for 6 months.  Just be sure to call BEFORE your current subscription runs out, or you have to pay for the part of the subscription you have used.  They don't send a bill until after the next subscription has started.  I decided to go ahead and cancel mine completely though, since I can listen to books and free radio.... well for free!    But $40.00 for 6 months isn't bad.

3.  When I am trying to eat right, or exercise, it doesn't have to be ALL OR NOTHING!  Even doing the right thing health-wise most of the time, is very good!  I don't have to never have another Diet Coke!  I don't have to never have any real sweets!  Its ok occasionally.  And that way I don't feel deprived so much.    As my husband says in his deep eastern NC Southern drawl,  "You don't have to take a bath in it!"  If I don't get my steps in every single day, its still ok.

4.  Speaking of getting steps in,  I am proud to say I usually do get in the recommended 10,000 steps most days.  I started out feeling like I would never be able to reach that goal, but now its easy for me to do.  I found out that its easy to walk inside.  No more using the weather or not having a good place to walk as an excuse.   Its not as boring as a treadmill to me.  I simply walk  back and forth from one point in my house to the other.  Listening to something on my phone is very helpful to make the time pass.  I also walk on my lunch break inside my office., upstairs where no one is watching.  I love listening to instagram stories of certain people while walking, or an audio book.  (See number 1 above.)  Walking 20 minutes before work, 30 minutes at lunch time at work and 20 minutes or so after work, is usually enough to reach my goal.  The other times of walking in the course of the day also add up.

I was given a Fitbit as a birthday gift in 2018 and rarely take it off now.  I love it.  Even bought my husband one for Christmas and he loves his too.  He loves to get more steps than me...

5.  As far as eating right, I am fine, until I get through eating what should be enough.  That's when I want to just keep eating!  Just one handful of nuts.  Just a couple of cookies.  Just a few chips.  And its so hard to not do this!  I have found that if I will make myself a cup of coffee, (half caff or full caff if its not too late in the day) and I can get past those end of meal cravings.  Or if I can ignore the cravings and get busy doing something else, I can usually get past it.  There's no eating for me after I brush and floss at night, so I've avoided many a late night ice cream snack, by not wanting to brush my teeth again.

Well, no pictures today, just words. 

To be continued......

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Can cleaning be enjoyable?

I'm always in a hurry when it comes to cleaning!  Squeezing in a few minutes here and there and then on Saturday, a couple of hours... and its still not done.

So, I've decided if I have to do it, it may as well be enjoyable!  In this picture I was drinking a cup of coffee and enjoying a candle while cleaning the bedroom which included dusting, decluttering, dust bunny evictions and organizing.

I put on a "clean with me" You Tube video for motivation!  Another option would be to play fast music or what ever kind of music you enjoy.

 Things I have done or read that would help make cleaning more enjoyable:

1.  Use a timer and race against the clock to get a job done.

2.  Listen to an audio book while cleaning.

3.  Do the worst job first thing in the morning, so you won't be dreading it all day.  Then you can enjoy looking at the finished job the rest of the day and be proud of yourself.

4.  Use cleaning products that you enjoy and that make the process easier.  Some products have a great scent.

5.  Wear a pedometer or Fitbit and see how many steps you can get while cleaning.  Cleaning can be a good workout, especially if you are crawling around on the floor cleaning under furniture, etc.

6.  Dedicate some of your cleaning time to prayer for a specific purpose.  If something is laying heavy on your mind, you can pray while you clean.

7.  Do small jobs throughout the week so you don't have to do a marathon cleaning later on.

8.  Clean with somebody.  It could be a family member or a friend.  Have a cleaning party!

9.  Reward yourself when the job is done.  It could be something as simple as just stopping for a cup of coffee or snack every few minutes, or something bigger, like a new outfit when Spring cleaning is done.

10.  This may not be an option for everybody, but the ultimate way to enjoy cleaning, is to hire a professional!  I've never paid anybody to clean my house, but it sure sounds good! 

And just a little bit of cuteness..... Grandbaby on a Quilt!

 How do you feel about cleaning? Can it be enjoyable?

 Have a great day!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

A Quilt Story

I normally would only post pictures of quilts if I was working on a new quilt or had finished one and had pictures of the completed quilt.  But, life happens and sometimes there is a sad quilt story.  Thankfully, this is rare!

Two weeks ago the house my stepdaughter, her husband and three children (ages 2, 4 and 6)  were living in caught fire and they lost almost everything.  The wonderful thing about this tragic event is that they all got out safely without having a hair on their head hurt.  Thanks be to God!  They were renting this house while waiting for a new house to be built.  Thankfully they bought a smoke detector since there was not one there.  The smoke detector woke them from a deep sleep, each parent grabbed a child or two and ran outside.  They put the children in their van.  The fire was spreading so quickly they could not even go back in to get the keys to the van!!!  They only were wearing what ever they were sleeping in.  No shoes.  No coats (and it was a cold night).  I don't have to say any more about how close a call this was!  Sadly, two dogs didn't survive.

We are so thankful that they got out and also for another wonderful thing that came out of this situation.  The family and community have been absolutely amazing!  They were offered a fully furnished house to stay in at no cost.  By the second day after the fire they were living in this generously offered home.   They have been given so many things, including cash and replacement clothes, toys, etc.  They are overwhelmed with the kindness of people they have never even met!  Honestly, they have more clothes than they have ever had.   It will be a long time before everything is replaced.  You don't think about all the "things" we need and use everyday.  The list goes on and on, from driver's licenses to a basic screwdriver.  But they are doing just fine!  In a few months they will be able to move into their new "forever" home.

As we all know, "things" can be replaced!

My stepson-inlaw brought me these quilts that I had made, to see if they could be saved.  I tried very hard, but for most of them, it just wasn't meant to be.  The chemicals in the smoke or soot on them acted as some type of acid which ate holes in the fabric, dissolved quilting threads and quilt batting.  It was also impossible to get the stains out and I'm not sure if the smoke smell could have been removed.

Only one of the quilts is salvageable.  It is the quilt I made back in  early 2011 shown HERE and the name of it is "Farmhouse Magic":  It was stored in a closet that was at the opposite end of the house from where the fire started and only had a couple of small spots on it.  I think it will be just fine.  I aired it out on the clothesline for several hours and then washed and dried it as normal.

THIS sailboat baby quilt that I named "Blue Skies From Now On" was at the daycare, so it was safe! There were three more baby quilts that couldn't even be found.

Here are before and after pictures of the ones I tried to save: 

I already had in my mind (on that never ending quilt dream list) a plan to make each of the children a new twin size quilt.  So I'm going to get on that ASAP.  It takes me a while to make a quilt, but maybe you'll see some progress on that soon.

Have a great day and check those smoke detectors!

Things that make me happy.....

 .... peeking into grandkids' bedrooms and seeing quilts I made for them being put to use. I hope your 2020 is going well so...