Sunday, February 28, 2010

Matt Update

I'll make this short. Matt and his family got to meet the president of the United States and Matt received his purple heart today. Sorry that's all the new info I have. I think the honor should be the presidents since our brave men and women put themselves in harms way to protect him and the rest of us. Too bad it wasn't a president I have any respect for, but I respect the office.

Thanks to all who have sent blocks to me. I received a block from Joan and a nice note for Matt too. Here it is:
Matt's blocks 007
I have been sewing blocks today and have around 10 more finished. I will sew a little longer and then probably watch the US v Canada hockey game.

I thought you might like the view out my kitchen window. This morning the one closest to the window fell and it was so loud! The icicles in the ivy look so cool.
Icicles outside my window
I hope you are all having a nice weekend.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Matt's Blocks

I am so excited! I got my first blocks in the mail (or in person) today for Matt's quilt. The first ones I received were 10 from Pauline(PTM)! Then the mail came and I got 2 from Jeanne. Thanks gals! Now Jeanne, if you are reading this, you forgot a note for Matt with your blocks. Can you email me something so I can include it? Jeanne and I actually met IRL one summer and she is a real sweetheart. You all know that PTM is amazing, so enough said!
From PaulineFrom Jeanne
To my great surprise I received a block from another person, Balinda. Come to find out this is the first string block she has ever made. Great job, Balinda!! It's a beauty. She even wrote her note on the back of the block so Matt would have her words forever. Now I took a photo so he would at least know what she said!
From BalindaBack of Balindas block
I can't thank you all enough. I need something like 60 total blocks for what I am going to make. I have made 6 so far and with what I have received so far we are off to a good start. Keep em' coming gals!!

I had a minute to shop yesterday and bought this from my friend Cori's online quilt shop. (Be sure to go and visit her, especially if you are in the Jelly Roll quilt-a-long as she has some of the BEST prices on the web and she is a sweetheart too!!) I digress, here is one of the things I bought. A jelly roll of Verna. Isn't it gorgeous? I also bought some fabric for gifts that I didn't take pictures of since they are for gifts, DUH!! You wouldn't want me to spoil it for them now would you??
Verna Jelly Roll
I had the day off today to go to a meeting with our financial planner, BAH!! I HATE these things.
BUT...that left the rest of the day to play, YEAH!! So I made DH take me to Sam's club, that was good. I can get the most amazing green beans there, even at this time of year. Then I called PTM and asked her go come out and play. It was snowing like crazy and PTM does NOT play in the snow, so I went and picked her up and we got into lots of trouble at JAF!! They have these wonderful project boxes in 2 sizes and the big one is usually almost $30 but it was on clearance today for $10!!So I just *had* to get 2. They has sparkly green or red, so I got 2 green. The small one, normally $17 was on sale for $7, so I may get some of these for Christmas gifts. I also got another 10% off so that was great, right? Then I drove our sorry butts to the gym where we proceeded to sweat like an oldie for an hour. I took her home after that and came home too.

Tomorrow is weigh in at the gym followed by 2 hours of torture working out with Body Vive followed by an hour of ABS work. WHEW!! Wish me luck! I hope you all have a productive Saturday too.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

500th Post Give Away!!!

Yep, can you believe it? I have done 500 posts (actually this is 502, LOL). I was talking with PTM last night trying to decide what to give away. What should it be? Something amazing, right? You all wouldn't mind something amazing now would you?? When guess what? PTM offered me something I just could not pass on. Now you might want to sit down to hear this one. Many of you do not know PTM as she does not have a blog. She is one of my bestest friends and she is meticulous about her work. METICULOUS, I tell you. Makes my work look like a third grader did it. Fortunately she is a wonderful teacher and I have learned a LOT from her. All this being said she offered to donate for my give away an entire set of the embroidered blocks (NOT the patterns) from the "Rabbits Prefer Embroidery" pattern. She has them all done and her hand work is stunning! Here is what the pattern looks like (photo from Bunny Hill's website)
I will share the next 2 blocks of this that I have done but hers are much better than mine! Here is block 4 and 5, done by me.
RPE Block 4RPE Blcok 5
So if you want a chance to win these fabulous blocks (all 13 of them) then leave me a comment and tell me why you would like to win and what you will do with them if you do win. I will draw the winner on Monday.

On to news about Matt. I received a text from my son this am and he had received it from Chris, Matt's brother and here is what it said:
"Hey, just letting you know Matt is ok. He's got some scabs on his face and his arm is in a bandage cast deal and his vision is blurry but he's ok".
Now these words came from the brother and I will talk with his mom once they are back home, but this sounds like good news!

I thought I would share the 4 blocks I made last night for Matt's quilt. I put them both ways so you could see the fabric more closely.
Matt's blocks 004Matt's blocks 005
Once again, let me say that I appreciate all of you that have volunteered to donate a block(s). I am looking forward to seeing them all!

Now don't forget to let me know if you are playing along in the Jelly roll quilt-a-long and leave a comment for a chance to win here too!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Thanks for the help!

I just want to take a minute to thank all of the wonderful quilters that have volunteered to make a block or blocks for Matt's quilt. I am thrilled that I will have some assistance and he will be touched to realize how many others, that he has never met, care enough to do something for him! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

I did not mention this previously but that last post was my 500th post!!! I would like to do a give away. I don't want you to do anything special but I would like you to leave me a comment to be entered into the drawing for this giveaway. I need to decide what I want to give away now don't I? I will give it some thought and get back to you on that, because there will need to be some photos now too, right? So you will have to wait a day or 2 for me to decide. Anticipation is good right?

Now on to the weight loss for the week last week. I lost 3.2 pounds last week, bringing my grand total to 15 pounds over the last 6 weeks. Slow but steady!!

As you may have noticed, I joined a quilt-a-long! Yep, I sure did. I put the button on my side bar so if you want to join in you can too! You just need to leave a comment and play along. One pieced block a month. C'mon, get megged!! Maybe a good giveaway present would be a Jelly Roll so you can play along with me? Hmmmm...I will consider it!


Here is the latest about Matt that him mom posted of FB:

I am happy to Report that Cpl Koetting Matthew R. USMC, has Both feet planted in the soil of THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!!!!!!!! He will be at the Bethesda Naval Hospital, MD. Will update with address etc, asap.We will be arriving there tmw at 12p. Health, rapidly recovering!!! Thank you all. BIG HUGS.

Apparently he walked off the plane on his own accord too. He is one tough marine!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Bad things happen in groups

I have a very dear friend that has a son in the US Marine Corps. He has been in Afghanistan fighting. He was right on top of an IED when it exploded. Read about the incident here., I believe this talks about what happened. Matt is alive, but injured. He was thrown into a canal where one of his Marine buddies found him and got him to help. He had multiple shrapnel in one eye, the shrapnel is now removed but the eye is swollen shut. He has multiple open wounds on one arm and his elbow is smashed. They are cold packing his arm and won't even begin to address the elbow until the wounds are more healed. He is in a lot of pain. According to his mom, being away from his "guys" is more painful for him than his injuries. I spoke with her last night. They have flown Matt to Germany and she has been able to speak with him. Not sure when but he will be on his way to the Naval hospital in Bethesda soon and the military will fly my friend and her family to Bethesda to see him.

I've known Matt for a long time. I taught him in religious education class, that's in fact, where we first met. His younger brother is my DS's BEST friend, in fact he ate dinner here last night. They played football from second grade to freshman year, and lacrosse from 5th grade until their senior year. Matt's sister was on the swim team with my DD2.

Matt is a person that is bigger than life. He has struggled to find his niche in life. I think he found what he was looking for in the Marines. His personality is a good match for that program. He is the kind of kid you think of as "Superman". While talking to his mom last night we both have always felt that nothing bad would happen to him, not to Matt. It feels kind of surreal, actually.

Thankfully he is alive. With the help of the doctors and the grace of God he will heal.

Today I am asking you all to remember the brave men and women that serve in our military to keep this country safe and free. We all go about our lives and often take for granted the freedom we have and the relative security we live in (at least for the moment). Our military men and women are working hard to keep things this way.

We are at war. You are going about your life and only small things have changed but we are at war. We are working to preserve our way of life. There is a group of people out there that are making it their main mission in life to kill the infidel. This is you and me. If you don't think so take a minute and think of people like Matt.

Give your family a BIG hug and kiss today, and say a special prayer for Matt and his family.

I am thinking of making a RWB quilt for Matt. Any suggestions on a pattern? Anyone got a QOV quilt that is fabulous? I need to be able to make it up fairly quickly. Maybe strings? I'll have to think about it. I'll keep you posted on his progress.


I have decided to make this quilt (Pattern by Mary Johnson) If anyone wants to contribute blocks please let me know. String quilts are so easy and quick to make. Just let me know and I will send you my snail mail address (unless you know me IRL and then you can drop them off or I can come and get them) Thanks!

Found out Matt went into surgery to repair some of the wounds and work on the elbow. If you want to send me a block or two for the quilt, I need you to do a couple of things
1-Download the directions from the link above. I will ask you for the half dark red, half dark blue blocks. I am cutting some right now and finding it difficult to find red in my stash with out a lot of white! I have some but not a lot. If you have any red patriotic fabric or blue use that. I made my muslin base 10.5" as I have found this makes the trimming easier for me later. You can send them untrimmed.
2-Please send me a note to include with the quilt for Matt. I will put all our names on the label too so unless you don't want to be recognized please include these things for me. I think he would be touched to know how many other people appreciate what he has done for us all.
3-Please email me and I will give you my address. I am trying to get this done asap so if you are sending something it would make it easier for me if you send it within the week. I realize this is a quick turn around time but I would like to send it to him with his parents when he gets back to the states.

Again, thanks for any and all that wish to help!

Friday, February 19, 2010

More Chubby Chicks

I kind of chuckled when I read what I put as the title of this post. I mean the quilt not me and my friends!!

One of the CL's stitched the binding on and PTM hand turned it. I wanted to show you because I love how the polka dots look on this. You can see that I wrote directly on the back of the quilt for the label. This will be going to St. Patrick's Catholic Church for their raffle. I hope I can purchase some tickets. I left it with our priest tonight so he can deliver it to the other parish. Fly away little chickies!!
CC bindinngCC back with label
This is a quilt made from blocks given to the church group by a man named Jack. His mother passed away and he donated all her quilting supplies to us, including many partially finished quilts, some quilt tops and blocks. These were orphan so one of the CL's put it together. I gave it to the pastoral associate for a woman undergoing extensive chemo in our parish. I hope she is comforted by this.
JM sampler 2
I have a lot of stuff going on in my own life right now and am praying it all turns out well. My dad needs to have some testing done and at this time I am asking you to keep him in your prayers. I hope and pray it will all turn out OK. Thanks for your prayers. His next test is March 17th. I am feeling very stressed by this since I am the only one in the family to take care of him and both of my sisters (both are handicapped). Work is super busy at the moment too and going to the gym every day is a challenge but I am doing it. I am finding, to my surprise that I feel so much better when I do. I have not missed a day since beginning except for Sundays because they are not open!

Have a great weekend. Two hours of work out tomorrow morning and weigh in at the gym too. Wish me luck!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Weight Loss Check In

Ok, it is Tuesday already and I have not updated you about the progress of my weight loss. I weighed in at WW and lost 2 more pounds this week (by their scale). Then, yesterday, they measured me and compared my new measurements with the ones from when I began. I lost a total of 7.5" overall. Funny thing is that I lost 2 inches from my right thigh and 1.5 inches from my left thigh! I guess I am a little lopsided!!! LOL. Oh, I almost forgot, while I was doing the circuit tonight with PTM, a lady I knew from Curves started talking with us. Apparently she is a hand quilter. I have a really OLD project that needs to be finished and she volunteered to take it and finish it for me!!! I am going to let her do it too. I offered to pay her or piece something for her but she was not having it. I am going to pack it up in my car and hope I see her tomorrow!! She was one of the only reasons I kept going to Curves, as she worked there and was so nice to me.

Not much on the quilting front. I didn't do anything last night and tonight was a meeting at the church. I have trimmed up the string blocks I had from Saturday. I got a few more tonight. The progress on those is coming right along! Grace took the rest of the background and center strips home and some others are still out. I hope we may have them all back by next week. That means the quilt could be assembled and maybe to LTW by the end of the month!!

Quilting with the Canton Area Quilt Guild is tomorrow night and I am looking forward to going and working on my RPE redwork blocks.

Sorry no pictures tonight!! Maybe tomorrow. I hope you are all making great progress on your own quilts.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentines Day!

How did you spend your Valentines Day? Mine? It was a quiet but productive day. I got up and started sewing more of the blue and green blocks. I got all my blocks done!! YEAH!!! Then I had to look for the border fabric. I really wanted to use the bubbles that I had used last time but I bought it a long time ago. *sigh*. So I went about my business. Hallie was helping me by laying on my newest Kaffe Fassett fabric.
Hallie 001
DH made us some breakfast, 2 eggs and homemade hashbrowns, YUM. Then he had to leave until Tuesday. I ran over to PTM's house and borrowed her 9.5" ruler as I seem to have misplaced mine to trim the string blocks we worked on on Saturday. So that is done. Then laundry and dinner and more LOST with DD1.

Judy L was asking on her blog if we like our stash. I really didn't give it much thought until today. When I was in the basement doing the laundry, I decided to look through the stash and see if I, by some stroke of luck, had any of the turquoise bubble fabric I really wanted to use. And guess what?
Bubbles border
So I went on about the rest of my evening as a very happy camper!! Happy Valentine's Day to you all.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Super Saturday

Today was a good day. I got up and went to the gym, an hour of body vive and an hour of abs work. WHEW!! Oh and the weigh in (down 3.4 lbs). Now if I go by the scale in my own home I have lost 14 pounds so far in the month. Not too shabby huh? Then home to shower, grab a quick bite and off the quilting at the church with the CL's. We are making a string quilt for the Relay for Life group at the church so I brought my machine and planned on working for a few hours. I can't seem to find my 9.5" ruler at the moment so I will have to borrow one and trim up the blocks. More on that later.

I was surprised but there were many CL's there today and several of us actually sewed blocks. It was a fun afternoon. Charlotte brought donuts and Pilar brought ice cream cake and I didn't have ANY!!! That was so difficult, but I was good.

I haven't posted about this but I got the Chubby Chicks quilt back from LTW and it came out soooo cute! Here it is untrimmed and no binding either. I make red with dime sized white polka dots on it for the binding. It should be cute!
St. Pat's Chick quilt
I took some close ups of the quilting for you to see. Notice the wing on the chick?
chick close up with border
More of the quilting.
corner detail
On top of that on Wednesday night I got some more of the Rabbits Prefer Embroidery finished. This one, and this one.
RPE Block 2BRPE Block 3
And do you remember that I told you I won a giveaway? This is what I won. A yard of fabric from Amy Schimler and she even sent an adorable post card.
My "Prize"
DH was gone for the last 3 days and came home today. He is making a steak and I have potatoes and green beans cooking. He leaves for another 3 days tomorrow, so this is our Valentine's celebration. No gifts, I told him, the transmission is enough!! LOL Plus the clock light that I failed to mention. I appreciate that much more anyway!
So that catches you all up on what's new here. Hope you all have a great Valentine's Day tomorrow and get to spend it with your sweetie, or at least some sweets!!

***Great BIG Smooches ***

Monday, February 08, 2010

Witchy Woo and Hallie Too has arrived!!!

OMG, OMG, OMG!!! I was having a really, really bad day today. I had to take my car in for a new transmission ($3000) YIKES!!! Now if that was not bad enough, and I know this is a small thing, but I needed a new light for the clock in the car. You'll love this, the bulb is $3 and the labor to put the bulb in? $45!!! Hubby told me he will do it but you have to take the entire dashboard down to get to the light. In what lifetime do you think this would really happen? I really miss being able to see the clock in the dark. *SIGH*

Then I had a really really busy day at work today. I got in around 8 and looked up and it was noon already and the entire rest of the week should be just like that. In some ways good but totally non stop for the entire week. Wow, I'm not looking forward to that, but bring it on.

Then I had to weigh in at WW and was dreading that. I did NOT have a very good weekend as far as restraint with food was concerned (gross understatement). But, I still lost. Not much (0.6) but that's ok!! So hmmm this day is looking up.

Then it happened, I finally got to open the mail and guess what? The wonderful, fantastic, talented Faith sent me a fantastic gift. It just made my day! Awhile ago she had pained a quilt and then hand quilted and embelished it. She used photos of one of my cats, Hallie (Halloween, Hallie for short) as part of the quilt. It is entitled, Witchy Woo and Hallie the Cat and it is fantastic. So, without further ado I will share this fabulous creation with all of you.
Witchie Woo and Hallie 001
Now for the close ups. Isn't she gorgeous? Just look at the details of that quilt will ya?
Witchie Woo and Hallie 002
Oh Faith, I don't know how you were able to part with her but I am just thrilled she can live with me. I put her up right away.
Witchie Woo and Hallie 004
Her face is so amazing. I love all the detail in this quilt.
It is uncanny how much this actually looks like Hal too.
Witchie Woo and Hallie 003
Here is a not so great photo of her for you to compare. Uncanny! Guess who is sitting on my lap as I write this at the moment too? PURR, PURR!!
If you haven't visited Faith pop on over to her blog and say HI, she is a sweet and talented woman and makes a fantastic friend!!

Thank you Faith, from the bottom of my heart. I am so touched that you thought enough of me to share such a precious gift. I will treasure it forever! XOXO

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Lazy Day Sunday

Yep, just look at these 2 big ol' goof balls!

Aiden and Mosen
I got up to do go to church and when I came back there they were. Like that is their chair or something. SHEESH!! I let them stay though and did some cleaning. Then I decided that it was time to sew. I decided it was time to work on the water quilt. I may, in fact, actually have enough fabrics cut to make 2 of these, thus solving my dilemma of who this quilt needs to go to. I really want to give it to DD2 and I think it would make a nice grad present for my niece (also a swimmer). She is not graduating until next June though so her quilt could be something different. Just trying to use up what I have already cut though. So, if there is enough, then there will be 2. The blocks are kind of mindless sewing anyway. A split 9 patch really. I have finished 16 so far, see? I love working with these colors. Very soothing. I am also "reading" via my iPod, to Voyager by Diana Gabaldon, which I am enjoying immensely!! If I do 2 of them I may have to get some additional border fabric but maybe not will have to check the stash first of course!!
Blocks in progress

As kind of an interesting aside, the message at mass today really hit home. Part of it spoke of having a "wicked mouth in a group of people with wicked mouths". That made me think better of what I said before. Mass went on to say that only through the grace of God will I be worthy. So I have asked for His grace and feel like if He can extend this to me so should others. It doesn't really matter though as long as he will. I have had a more peaceful day than I have had in a long time. I needed to hear that message today. How fortuitous that I had to pick up the deviled egg containers from the church for the deviled eggs we are making for the funeral lunch tomorrow and decided to go to mass at the same time, right? I never question how He moves in my life, I just try to pay attention and be open to His presence.

Yes, I am not perfect, but I am learning to follow where He leads me.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Sunny Saturday!

The sun is shining (rare for MI) and the birds are chirping, and 2 hours of torture exercise is done. I am all showered and ready to begin my day at noon o'clock! Oh what the heck, why not blog to begin the day off right? For your viewing pleasure I present my first totallly finished quilt of 2010?

My Dragon Lone Star for DD1 for Christmas (yes she had it, but it was not bound at that time)

Dragon LS 01
LTW did a great job on the quilting. There is another Chinese dragon inside each of the dragon diamonds but it is terribly difficult to see since the print is so busy.
Center of Dragon LS
I think I showed some of the quilting once before but I don't think I showed the quilting on the inside corner, so here ya go.
Dragon LS up close
Somewhat less impressive is the pieced back. In hind sight I should have used all purple instead of the busy fabric so the quilting would have shown up better, but at the time my thought was to use up all that dragon fabric so I would not have to use it in anything else (plus I didn't have any more of the purple!)
Back of Dragon LS
I am pretty sure DH and I will go out shopping for goodies for the Superbowl tomorrow and I need food for the week too. I weighed in at the Weight Loss Challenge and was down, but the official weigh in is at WW on Monday. I was kind of excited when I weighed naked yesterday morning because I was so close to breaking a BIG number. Not so today, but I am holding out hope that Monday will be successful, LOL

Friday, February 05, 2010


Noelle is having a giveaway of one of her fabulous hand stitched houses. You really should go to her blog and have a look around. The houses are adorable!

Happy News!!

I've decided to focus on the things that make me happy. Why? Well I found out this week that someone I know from work, who is not much older than me, had a bad stroke. It made me think about my own life and the good and not so good things going on there. Life is too short! I don't mean this in a selfish way either. I want to be a happy person and I really am the happiest when I am helping others, and when I am creating and learning new things and trying new things, spending time with my DH and my children. So I am vowing to do more of that and less of the things that seem to stress me out. I am walking down a bold new path. There are still some things I want to be able to do in my own life and I am going to focus on those things.

Now for some fun news. We all like give aways, right? Well I won one over at Red Fish Circle! This is the blog of Amy Schimler, a wonderful fabric designer and artist. She has done the On a Whim series, Forest Friends. I had to tell her which of her On a Whim 2 prints I liked the best and why, so I told her the owls on white. You know I have a thing for owls, right? I will be receiving a yard of that fabric from her!! Isn't that exciting??

You should stop by her blog she is an amazing designer and seems like a really nice person too.

I have some photos to share later. I have the day off to take DD1 to an appointment for a minor medical procedure. I went to the gym this am so that is done, WHEW!! The pictures are from the dragon lone star I told you about, so will share either today or tomorrow.

One moire thing, I am getting close to having 500 posts, can your believe that? I can't! I will plan some sort of give away for that momentous event so stay tuned!! It will be my way of celebrating the wonderful friendships I have made, the encouragement you have all given to me and the support. It is difficult to believe that there are folks out there that actually read what I have to say *and* comment. It still amazes me. So a BIG thank you to all of you and I will think about what to give away. Have a great day and celebrate your life!!

Thursday, February 04, 2010


I just wanted to apologize to anyone that might have read my last blog post and got upset. I just needed to vent. If anyone took offense I am sorry. I certainly did not mean to offend anyone, but this is my blog and I should be able to express my feelings as I might need to.


Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Weight Loss Progress

I have some good news...I lost another 2.6 pounds according to the WW scales. Yeah me!!! I also went to the gym and did the treadmill for 30 minutes and then did Pilates for an hour. I never feel bad in Pilates but boy was I sore this morning!! When I weighed myself on my scale at home this morning it says I lost another pound, but I am posting the weight loss from the WW scale so that one will have to count next week.

I have been asking my friends for any of their Kaffe Fassett scraps. I need 2.5 x 5" pieces, so if any of you are feeling generous, send some KF lovin' my way would ya? I have a project in mind but just need some additional scraps. One of my friends gave me this fantastic pile yesterday.

Kaffe scraps
Pretty cool huh? Now never fear, if you see some you have too and you are sayin to yourself, "Darn it, she already has that one", I can always use more! Really, it's true!! I need a lot of scraps.

Also, I have told ya'all that I am having trouble sleeping, right? NO?? Well, I am and it really sucks! I am lucky if I get 4-5 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night. YAWN, JK... Anyway, I discovered a magic little helper that is natural. Melatonin! I take one about 1-2hours before bed and like magic I fall asleep and stay asleep. When I remember, dang it, now I need to work on that. Where was I going with this? Ah yes, so Sunday night I forgot to take it so I was tossing and turning so I just got up. I decided to work on my embroidery (to try to catch up to PTM). Here is what I got done.
RPE Block 2
I just have a bit more of the basket, the arm and the ground and this one will be done! Course, I went to bed around 2am and was up at 6am for work. The weird thing about this no sleep thing is that I really don't feel tired all day. You would think will all this exercising I would sleep better but alas it is not helping!

Tonight I go back to the POKE-N-STAB group (the church ladies, CL's for short). Part of me is looking forward to it and part of me is not. After the month long break I realize I don't miss it as much as I thought I would. Now I need to pray about this and see if God is calling me in another direction. All signs are pointing that way. Do you believe thing happen for a reason? I do and so far several things have been pointing me away from that group. We will be going over their surveys tonight and we will see how that goes. I have some prior comittments as far as quilts promised that need to be completed so I am there at least until the summer.

Thanks for stopping by and peeking in at my life!!