Cooking, Sewing, Working, Traveling, Gardening and Pondering

Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential.

~Winston Churchill~

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sewing Machines

When we bought our house, I bought a new (used) sewing machine. It's a Bernina Virtuoso 150 QE. It's been wonderful. As long as I use Gutermann thread. If I try to use Cloaks & Clark - well then it becomes a fiasco of thread everywhere. It's as if the tension is wrong when it's really right.

I've tested this theory out by sewing with Gutermann all purpose thread, then with Cloaks and Clark - on the same fabric, same tension...truly different results

I'm almost ready to toss all the Cloaks and Clark thread I own and replace it with Gutermann just so I don't have to have that mess on the back of my fabric and in machine...uber dusty.

Am I dreaming this up or has anyone else had this type of machine thread love triangle?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Traveling and Crafting

Originally uploaded by amysgreatadventure
I travel some for work - sometimes a lot. After 7 years of working for the same company, I have found ways to entertain myself when traveling.

Long flights and loads of hours in airports or hotel rooms has driving me to needlepoint and cross stitching.

I've been working on the stitching, "Women Are Angels, When someone breaks our wings, we continue to fly. On a broomstick, we're flexible like that."

So this is how far I've come on this project while flying.

I may finish it by the end of the year...The linen is a pale butter cream yellow and the thread is charcoal hand died floss.

I may frame it for my sister if she is super lucky for christmas.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Rudy the Reindeer

Originally uploaded by amysgreatadventure
So I made Rudy yesterday as part of the Christmas in July event. I ordered the pattern from Banberry Place in San Antonio and sewed in up in about 3 hours total.

The instructions were great and easy to follow - I was so happy for this as I have had a hard time sewing little things in the past - see the red pig post.

I learned from this pattern to sew the pieces together before you cut them out of the fabric. Makes a huge difference. I also learned that stuffing holes really should be at least an inch and that the wooden skewer is key.

I think that I may make a few more Rudy's as stocking stuffers or present toppers for Christmas.

I am so happy with how he turned out!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Living it

There are just days that are better than others. There are days that just can not be put into comparison of a normal day and then there are days that just don't make the cut. Yesterday was the oddest day. I had a fabulous walk with the dogs. But then it hit me. This cloud of gray and exhaustion. Was so incredibly weird. The hubs was like what is wrong you just don't seem to be "here". I could only define it as being exhausted. Which didn't make much sense to me as I'd kind of slept ok that night.

But then today came around. What a great day. Lots of sunshine and feeling of eyes wide open. I've had a super long power walk with the dogs, finished up laundry, straightened the house, sanded down the stool I've been refinishing, painted the magazine storage boxes and moved uber cactus. I slept great.

Could sleep really be the key to all of this? I do believe sleep quality greatly impacts my mood and energy levels. Now how to regulate that, I'd be happy with somewhere in between the two days if every day was the same, but this back and forth is just ridiculous.

OK - so I'm going to go make some sort of apple something to make the house smell wonderful.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Just because I'm feeling sorry for myself today

I figured I'd post on my TMJ issues. Should be a good follow up to the shoulder issues! For years, I've have TMJ. For the last 2 years I've been going to a oral facial pain management clinic. I've had botox and steroid injections in my jaw several times, I wear a mouth guard every night. I have ear aches, jaw locking and popping, vertigo and migraines.

Recently, I had a consult with an oral surgeon to see if there is anything that can be done to surgically repair my jaw damage. After waiting 2 weeks for the MRI results, it seems I have to do the leg work on getting this to the surgeon and setting up all the follow ups.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Week of Fun and Games

Originally uploaded by amysgreatadventure
So on Tuesday I had a follow appointment with the doctor on my recent shoulder issue. Apparently, the MRI should all kinds of issues - bursas and tears - rotator cuff tears... Dr. McDreamy gave me three steroid shots in and around the joint and referral to and Orthopedic for surgery. I have some fun to look forward to.

Meanwhile, I was able to work on the two quilts from the weekend.

This quilt got a new binding...well mostly, I'll hand finish it tomorrow night.

The Moda Halloween quilt got more free motion quilting. It really takes some practice to get the hang of it right. By the time I finish the strip of free motion, I hope I have some sort of process for this. The outside bands will be quilted with straight lines.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Saturday's Sewing

Originally uploaded by amysgreatadventure
I tried making a quilt on Saturday. It came outgreat except I sucked it on the binding. So I'm going to cheat. I'm going to rebind it over the bad binding. I got some red fabric yesterday to cut into binding to go over the narrow red binding and do it the right way this time.

I took a quilting class last year and never made another quilt (or finished the class quilt either). I am so bad.

I have this little square, that I kept from the class, showing the steps of binding. I dug it out of a drawer and did some trial runs on some pot holders. I am now confident I can get it done right - the second time.

I then decided to finally sew up this Moda Halloween Jelly roll. I attempting to do free motion quilting on it. Free motion quilting harder than I thought, but all the blogs say free motion takes practice and this quilt will be my practice. I will bind it in this cute brown with orange polka dot fabric.

I'm learning to quilt by practicing - trying to get all the kinks worked out before I assemble the dryer sheet quilt so I don't ruin all that hard work.

Friday, September 10, 2010

AIW Swap Arrival!

I'm savoring the surprise for moment.

This is so what I would do:)

Sighs of Happiness

Jenn Sue you are so amazing. I love the apron! It will be my "company's coming' apron. I truly love it. Just perfect.

The audio book of AIW -you have no idea how much time I spend on the world famous 405 - this will be fully enjoyed.

The oven mitt, pot holder and towel will be well used in my kitchen.

Where do I start on the Alaska Tea Cup? It's so incredible - love it.

The pattern will come in handy too - christmas is right around the corner you know?

Same with the adorable teacup fabric you sent!

Thank you so much and I know you have been so incredibly busy with your daughter's wedding and packing up to move. I truly appreciate all your time and effort to make my apron and the tuckin's so special.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

National Tie One On Day

This is an apron from last years FAS Garden Apron Swap I made for my partner :)

After reading over at Karen's blog about the number of Saturday's until Christmas and had a minor heartache that there are only 14 - I decided I'd plan something for the National Tie one On Day. Not sure how they correlate, but they do in my crazy mind (hence the "crazy Amy" moniker.

National Tie One On Day is November 24, 2010.

My Plan - I have 1 apron cut out for my bff, I have fabric bought for my husband's cousins, and then I'll do one more for my neighbor who is so adorable - and then I'll do a typical swap box of goodies and surprise them. Don't worry, they never read my blog. I don't even think they know it exists.

So the question is - what will you do to celebrate NTOOD?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

PW says I need to Post like I water my plants

As you can see by my blog list, I follow and love to read Pioneer Woman. Today she posted about blogging. Was great to see some guidance on how to do this "better". I'm not the most regular poster, but I am trying to fit it into my daily routine more and more.

I try to type well and have decent grammar - more out of homage to my mom the Grammar patrol queen - than because I hate reading blogs with bad grammar. I don't want my readers to have to translate what I've written into the English language.

So if I blogged like I water my plants...then I'd have sprinklers that would write each night at 10:45 pm for me :).

No, I think she meant house plants. They're on a every 2 week cycle - it's just not that hot here and if I water them more they turn yellow and squishy.

But I promise I'll blog more and diversify and not repeat and attempt to be more interesting.

Now if only I'd remember to charge my camera and have it on the ready so I can add some pictures.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Dryer Sheet Quilt

Originally uploaded by amysgreatadventure
I posted about this a while back. Said I was gonna try it. Today, I invested my time. I've made 60 of the dryer squares. I'm using only my scraps - didn't know I had so many until I started this.

Now my scrape pile has been substantially reduced. I want to get around 80 dryer sheets put together and I'll be scraping by to get them.

Did I mention I'm not a quilter? But I'm going to give this my best try. All I have is the instructions from

the picture is a stack of sewn sheets about to be cut to 6 x 8.5 so I can start sewing the blocks together.

Not sure how it will end up. No idea on how I"ll quilt it either...

Friday, September 3, 2010

Panic at the Disco - I mean Vet

I almost had a nervous break down today. My baby, Dott the Wonder Dachshund had a biopsy at the vet. She has 2 tumors that have "sprung" up rather quickly. Our vet is great, but she really freaked me out when she checked out Dott. All worried, and didn't say much just kind of broodish and highly concerned. I had to wait for the biopsy. I had tears of worry. This is my baby, she's my best friend (or one of). She sleeps against my hip each night. She's in my lap when I'm stitching away. Her head rest on my feet when I'm at the sewing machine.

She is very important to me. Some people may find this silly, but she gives me such joy and happiness with her little kisses and tail wags.

So for now one of the tumors is a wait and see if it goes away on it's own. If it doesn't then she'll have both removed and hopefully put this all behind us.

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