Envelope Project

Friday, July 31, 2009

A Pressing Matter

Since I have a problem with taking the time to figure out which way seams should be pressed so that when they are sewn together they face opposite directions, I opted to press all my seams open on this quilt. I think in the end it made the entire process go faster and it was less frustrating.

I have finished piecing the blue quilt. I'm in the process of deciding whether or not to applique some items on the quilt. It looks lovely as it is and I think once the quilting on the longarm is finished, it will turn out to be a lovely quilt. But, I keep thinking that I might like to try something different with this quilt and make it "pop" some more. We'll see. If I get a design drawn that I like, I will probably go for the applique.

This morning I ran 3 miles at 7 a.m. The temperature was 82 degrees with 88% humidity and a 92 degree heat index. It was a little uncomfortable by the end. I just finished reading an article about running in high humidity. Oops. Luckily B brought me water at the 2 mile mark. I will run again on Sunday. Hopefully my knees will continue to hold up and one day I will run like the wind!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Blue, Blue, My World is Blue

This is my new creation. I designed this quilt on Friday and started cutting and piecing on Saturday and Sunday. I really like the way the blues fell out. It seems soothing to me and I'm sure that my brother and sister-in-law will be pleased with the finished product. I'm going to applique a design in the four corners and possibly the middle of the quilt. Once it's longarmed, it should be gorgeous!

I finished trimming up the latest brown quilt. (There were three in a row for those of you who lost count!) Now we just need to sew some binding and spend a couple hours hand stitching it down. I find that part of the process to be rather soothing. I didn't think I'd like it, but I'm finding that finishing the quilts makes me almost as happy as designing and making the quilts. Oh, the simple joys!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Opened and Closed

Yesterday was the opening day of registration for the Houston 2010 Marathon and Half Marathon. As you know, my brother and I were both able to sign up around 6:30 p.m. yesterday. This morning when I logged onto the computer, the Half Marathon was closed. All 11,000 runners were signed up and unless you wanted to sign up as a "Hero" (which means paying an additional $350 to a charity) you are out of luck for the 2010 Half Marathon. It's like the MS150 all over again. Last year registration opened at 10 a.m. and by 5 p.m. it was full . . . 13,000 riders committed to the ride. B and I did not sign up last year as my heart wasn't in it. Then when my Austin friends came to town for the bike ride I was totally disappointed we hadn't signed up. So we're going to ride again in 2010. Am I too old for this stuff???!!!

B and I went to the gym at 7:45 this morning and did 35 minutes on the elliptical machine. We did the one with the incline and the arms that moved. I tried doing the stationary one, but for the life of me I could not figure out how to get my left leg to go. It was dead weight and I couldn't get it to move. I finally put both feet on the left pedal to get it moving. I'm going to have to improve on that! Anyway, the calf feels pretty good right now and I'm all set to run tomorrow morning. Yay! Exercising is good and I feel motivated. That being said, I could use a nap!!!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Big Day

Today was the opening day for registration for the Houston 2010 Marathon and Half Marathon. The race will be limited to 22,000 runners evenly divided between the Marathon and Half Marathon. At 2 p.m. there were already over 13,000 runners signed up. Yikes. I have not been able to run for the past two weeks, but I was undetered in my determination to sign up for this race. I contacted by brother, J, in Kansas and yes, he was ready to go. So we sat at our respective computers and filled in the requisite information and then on the count of three we hit enter. And we waited. Both came back with errors, so we corrected those and hit enter again. This time it came back that too many people were trying at the same time. New strategy. My brother hit the "register" button first followed by me. After a couple moments of anticipation his came back with a confirmation number. Mine followed shortly thereafter and my confirmation number was exactly 100 greater than his. I guess we'll see when we get our bib numbers if we were registered consecutively. We both signed up to run the same time so that we could start the race together. I hope I don't let him down by running too slowly. It was all very exciting and I can't wait to start chonicling my running journey with the countdown to January 17, 2010. It'll be here before we know it.

After nine months of no spin classes, I went today at noon and did the hour class. This teacher was not as enjoyable as the teacher in the class I went to for an entire year. Her music was much better, albeit louder. I didn't care for this guy's music at all. I need something with words that I know so I can sing along in my head. Oh, well. I ended up with a good sweat and felt really good afterwards. I'm envisioning a new wardrobe in a smaller size so let's see if that works out!!!

I designed a new quilt pattern this morning and tomorrow I will start the process of picking out the fabrics and cutting some fabric. I think that I will do some applique on this quilt so that will be my new process in this quilting journey. The quilt will be going to a different brother and hopefully I'll complete it in time for my annual trek home for the holidays. If all goes well, it will be totally pieced by Sunday evening.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

It's a Dog's World

Allergies are annoying. I've been plagued with them my entire life and I have used more Puffs than a person should ever have to use. But what's worse than my allergies are my dog's allergies. The poor guy has eaten himself raw in some places. We're careful about feeding him food with preservatives so we're not sure what's the cause of his allergies. Maybe he's like me and things are in the air that just don't agree with him. Yesterday we finally got him some relief and took him to the Vet to get a steroid shot. I'm not big on injecting him with steroids, but it's only his third shot in his 11 years so I think he's okay. He felt relief immediately and I kept apologizing to him for him hurting so badly. It was painful to watch so I know it was painful for him. Today he is eating again and is a bit more spry. His eyes are clearing up and he has a spring in his step again. Poor guy.

Today was an exciting day. At lunch time I went through my International Quilt Festival catalog and made a wish list of the classes I'd like to take. When all was said and done the total was $740. Whoa!! I had to back off a little and narrow that list down. I ended up signing up for four classes (way less than $740!) and I won't know for about four weeks whether I got in to any of them. I hope I didn't wait too long to register. I'm totally excited about going now. My reference number is 22000+ so I'm not sure if that means 22,000 plus people have already registered or not. Hope not! I don't think I'll have much of a shot at getting any classes if 22,000 people have already signed up. Live and learn.

The calf muscle is almost healed. At least that's what I keep telling myself. I discovered this morning that the directions for the "Icy/Hot" that I was using say not to use more than four days. Therefore I wasn't able to slather on the stuff this morning and get my big fix of that delightful wintergreen smell. Aah!!! My day just wasn't the same!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Big Girl Panties

Yesterday I had to chuckle. I was reading my longarm digest and the thread was about one of the longarmers and her potential new customer that just wasn't going to become a reality. The longarmer didn't want to turn the new business away, but she knew that if she accepted the assignment it would be bad news from the get-go. One of the other longarmers wrote in and said "Put on your big girl panties and deal with it".... Made me laugh.

Fortunately I don't deal with customers (although sometimes I think it would be nice to have the extra income!) so I don't have much confrontation to do in my quilting world. I have a bit in my tax world, but that's another story and now I know it's going to take my big girl panties to deal with it!!

I finished my quilt yesterday evening and took it off the longarm machine. I now have to trim it up and bind it and then add it to the pile! It turned out really nice and I like the way I pieced the back together. B likes Side B better than side A!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Every Little Thing

My calf muscle is still aching and I'm still limping. Now that I'm committed to running a half marathon with my brother my leg starts acting up. Great! In the meantime, I am doing the Wii EA Active Sports 30 day challenge. I have to uncheck all of the running exercises, but then I supplement them with tennis drills and boxing. I hope my arms get nice and toned! I hope that I will be able to run this weekend. I'm getting a little antsy.

The quilt is almost finished. Hopefully I will finish it tonight and take it off the longarm machine. It's turning out nicely considering that I haven't put a quilt on the machine in awhile now. The stitching on the back is perfect. It's an art form getting the tension right, but I'm not going to fret over it too much. Life's too short. I'm ready to start working on a colorful quilt now. Too much brown recently.

The International Quilt Festival catalog came last week and I am marking pages and getting ready to sign up for classes. I'm so lucky that I live in Houston. If I had to travel here every year to see the show, I would probably stress over the trip and not enjoy it as much. It's so much easier that I live here and can go to the show every day.

Well, it's off to do my Wii challenge and then get the longarm fired up. Happy Quilting!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Run Like the Wind

So today is July 4th and I did another 5k this morning. I thought I would have a good race this morning as I did a mind meld with my dog! He told me to think of him and run faster!!! That didn't happen. It was another hot one, but at least there was shade for most of the route. I posted yet another horrible time, but hey, I'll get there. I'm not deterred. My brother, J, called me this morning because he remembered I had a run and so he went out running at the same time. He's a much better runner than me, but we've made a plan to train for the Houston 1/2 marathon that will be run in January 2010. Please God let me learn how to run and survive 13+ miles!!! I CAN do it!!!

Yesterday I spent part of the day sewing and working on the scrap pieces. I think it's going to end up being part of my backing for the last quilt I pieced. I haven't taken any pictures yet, but I'll post some soon. It's a pretty quilt, but it's another brown (fall color) quilt and I'm ready to do something in color now. I think I'll work with blues on my next quilt. Just looking at blue, how could one not be happy?!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Cool as a Cucumber

So today's high was only 99 degrees. Yippee! It was like a cold front blew into town! I made the mistake of going out to lunch and walking a good distance to the cafe. By the time I made it back to the office I'm sure I was smelling rather ripe and it took me a couple hours to cool down and get the clothes back to a non-wet condition! There's a reason I take my lunch most days. Lesson learned.

Tomorrow is my last day of work for this week. I spent the entire day working on a very frustrating tax return. Luckily by the end of the day I had figured out the problems and until the next change is made, it's working fine.

No sewing tonight. I did listen to a couple podcasts today and here is my suggestion to those few quilters who podcast. I'm not sure why I like listening to quilting podcasts so this could just be my problem, but I wish that the personal stuff was edited out and that the podcasters stayed on topic. I usually like the ones where there is an actual interview, but sometimes those, too, seem to go awry. And please, please leave the political comments out. Just my opinion (which should only matter to me) so don't take offense.