Friday, January 13, 2017

Quilts of 2016

It's been my habit to do at least about 12 quilts a year.  This year seems slim, however, there are five more I can't show yet.  Three from one pattern, and a couple more.  Those three new quilt patterns will be out in magazines this spring.  Here are the others I did in 2016.

First up, a baby version of Edinburgh Square.
 Another Edinburgh Square for our church Threads of Love ministry.
 Sassy Sister was selected as the cover quilt of Fons and Porter's Quilting Quickly magazine, September/October 2016
 Dandelions was published in McCall's Quilting July/August 2016
 Another Edinburgh Square charity quilt.
 Made this sweet animal quilt for my new grandson.  Oops, forgot the pattern!
 Checkered Past was selected as the cover quilt for Fons and Porter's Easy Quilts, Fall 2016.

How about you?  Would love to see your finishes!  Email me and we'll chat quilting!

2016 - How did you do?

Been thinking about my 2017 goals.  Below are my 2016 goals from last year's blog post. Ok, so how did I do?

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Lots of folks really love the Christmas holidays.  Me, I love New Years Day. I love the thoughts of a new beginning, new goals, new adventures. I've been thinking about my 2016 goals.  So far, this is what I have:
  • Create 3-4 new quilt designs (this includes submitting them to magazines) Check! I submitted 7 new designs and 1 block design and all were accepted!
  • Finish the scrappy wonky star bed quilt (a big goal, been working on it for a few years and can never get the motivation to finish, which is unlike me; the blocks are small and take about 30 minutes each)  Nope, still don't have that motivation. :(
  • Make a widow a Remembrance quilt  No, but am glad I didn't have any friends lose their husband this year. 
  • Crochet some slippers or another crochet project No, didn't do this either.
  • Run 500 miles; 3x/week, a few 5ks, a 15k, and one half marathon (this is cutting back from last year; this year I want to focus on maintaining my health, not necessarily any new running goals; included in this is to maintain my weight and my current "no running injuries" status) Yes!  Got in my 500 miles, several 5ks, a 10k, a 15k, and a half marathon.  Also, no running injuries and have maintained my weight.
  • Read the bible through YES!  I've done this several years in a row now and it has become a habit, a good habit!
  • Read at least 3 book club books and attend at least 3 book club meetings  Did terrible on this one.  Not sure I read even one book club book this year nor attended one meeting
  • Vacation with the husband Yep. We went to Jackson Hole, WY in the spring.
  • Visit the kids in Edinburgh at least once Yes sir. Traveled over there in June to go to the Highlands with them. Beautiful country. Then again in September when my little grandson was born.
  • Do an outside project (not sure what - possibly re-paint the faux tile on the screened porch; maybe do a square foot garden; maybe even do a boat garage add on)  Check. I made the screened porch privacy fences but my best project of the year was our farmhouse style king size bed I built while the hubby was gone on his annual fishing trip.
I tend to have all to-do type goals but I do want to also have some of another type...
  • Live intentionally These are harder to judge. I tend to have a plan, always. So maybe living intentional wasn't a good goal for me.
  • Be kinder I hope I was.
  • Try to put myself in others' shoes Again, hard to judge but I honestly did try.
  • Age gracefully I think I did this. I don't fret too bad about my wrinkles, gray hair, and my middle aged middle, but running and staying healthy helps me in this area.
Well, a good evaluation is important, don't you think?  I am just glad that I don't have to meet certain criteria, and perform to be loved and valued by my heavenly father. Jesus took care of that for this sinner. However, I do want to strive to be a better me, learn more, do more - those goals come pretty easy for me.  Being an introvert, the ones I struggle most with are doing more for others, helping them, listening more, being more compassionate.

So how about you?  Here it is already January 13th.  What are your goals for 2017?

Monday, December 5, 2016

Finally back into some quilting

Got a little project going on that was the motivation I needed to get back into quilting.  Check out the blog tab of my website, www.rachelmhayes.com for more!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

New PR

It was tough, but I finished and got a new personal record.  I'm not fast by any stretch of the imagination but at almost 58 years old, I am just happy to be able to do it.  2:36:29 today which beat my best half marathon time by about a minute and a half.  I am really proud of my brother.  He walked his first 5k after losing 77 pounds since spring.



Friday, November 18, 2016

Ready to Run

I don't really feel ready to run.  I've been training for a half marathon and the big day is tomorrow.  I always dread it, but at the same time get excited, and am ALWAYS glad I did it afterwards.

Wish me luck!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Yay for New Projects

Got a lot done of my next project.  If you'd like to read more, go to the website at rachelmhayes.com and click on the Blog tab.


Saturday, October 15, 2016

Fall Saturday Musings

In case you are interested, I did a little chatting about the Village Quilters biennial quilt show on my website blog - purchased a beautiful piece there. Check it out on the blog tab of rachelmhayes.com

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Busy Fall Weekend

Long post, be warned.  I am loving this cooler weather.  I had a long run on my schedule for my half marathon training.  Did it Friday.  Felt awesome.
So very thankful I can do this, albeit slowly.  Then today I decided to tackle another woodworking project -- privacy screens.  Our screened porch is in full view of our neighbors back yard and he is always out there piddling around.  I looked on Pinterest trying to find something I could make.  I saw lots of screens but none exactly like what I had in mind, so I designed them myself.  It is a very simple design.
I angled the corners and made a picture frame.  Then nailed lattice slats on the back side.  Got to use my Kreg jig!

I put a coat of Kilz2 primer on it and the plan is to paint them white with outdoor paint.  My nail gun kept giving me trouble or I would have had all of them put together this evening.
Not sure what is wrong with it.  I'd take the battery off and open it up and most times it would work for one more nail, then stop again.  Argh.
I did get two ready for the final paint and hung them.  I used screw in hook and eyes to hang them from the existing porch railing.
I think they are going to give us a little more privacy but also add a nice touch to the porch.  I had hoped to get some homemade bread made today but that didn't happen.  My mom gave me some over ripe bananas so I made a couple of loaves of banana walnut bread.
Yum.  Hope to pull up some dead plants tomorrow after church.  Fall weather is so nice.  Maybe by Monday I might get back to my big Irish Chain quilt.

UPDATE ON PRIVACY SCREENS:

Finished the screens all but the last coat of paint.  I bought some outdoor spray paint for that final step.  Painting them with a brush was a pain.


Busy Fall Weekend

Long post, be warned.  I am loving this cooler weather.  I had a long run on my schedule for my half marathon training.  Did it Friday.  Felt awesome.
So very thankful I can do this, albeit slowly.  Then today I decided to tackle another woodworking project -- privacy screens.  Our screened porch is in full view of our neighbors back yard and he is always out there piddling around.  I looked on Pinterest trying to find something I could make.  I saw lots of screens but none exactly like what I had in mind, so I designed them myself.  It is a very simple design.
I angled the corners and made a picture frame.  Then nailed lattice slats on the back side.  Got to use my Kreg jig!

I put a coat of Kilz2 primer on it and the plan is to paint them white with outdoor paint.  My nail gun kept giving me trouble or I would have had all of them put together this evening.
Not sure what is wrong with it.  I'd take the battery off and open it up and most times it would work for one more nail, then stop again.  Argh.
I did get two ready for the final paint and hung them.  I used screw in hook and eyes to hang them from the existing porch railing.
I think they are going to give us a little more privacy but also add a nice touch to the porch.  I had hoped to get some homemade bread made today but that didn't happen.  My mom gave me some over ripe bananas so I made a couple of loaves of banana walnut bread.
Yum.  Hope to pull up some dead plants tomorrow after church.  Fall weather is so nice.  Maybe by Monday I might get back to my big Irish Chain quilt.

Product Review

I know Yeti products are all the rage.  I am sure they are excellent quality, but from what I've heard they are also pricey.  If you are thrifty like me, here is an excellent product for keeping cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot, just like the Yeti.
This is the 30 ounce Ozark Trail cup from Walmart for $9.74.  I put ice in it at 5:30 am the other day, went to work, left it in the car for about 11 hours, then back home.  The next morning, there was still a little chunk of ice in it and the water was COLD.  So, there ya go! They also have the 20 ounce for $7.74.  Thinking of getting one of those for my coffee this winter.

Monday, September 5, 2016

My New Little Love

He is here.......all 7 lb 13 oz of beautiful little boy!  Cannot wait to hold this little fella.
His mom is a super hero in my opinion.  They do things quite different in Scotland.  She had him at 3:47pm and was in a taxi headed back to their flat at 9:45pm.  She will have a midwife come check on her and the baby for a few days.  Of course he has rocked Big Sister's world. 
I'm at the airport as I type, waiting on my flights to head over the ocean to see these two. I am so very blessed.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Summer Supper, cooking, and paddling

My husband always says that if a meal is colorful it is usually healthy.  We had veggies tonight and it was all so good.  A friend gave us some divine okra.  I'd never heard of it.  It is 2-3 times the size of regular okra and it was so good!


I fried it like regular okra and it pretty much fell apart but it was very delicious.  Friday, I did a little cooking......
     

One of our favorite meals is a homemade chicken pot pie.  I use the Pillsbury piecrust in rolls, but everything else is homemade.

Recipe:
Cook cut up chicken tenders or breasts (2-3 breasts) with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and a little Italian seasoning. Layer in a pie crust over one rolled out crust.

Cut up 2-3 potatoes, 2-3 stalks of celery, a few carrots, and a handful of frozen peas. Put in a microwave dish with some cut up Rosemary, several pats of butter, salt and pepper. Microwave for 10 minutes.

In a saucepan heat about a 1/2 cup of chicken broth with a tablespoon of flour, 1/2 stick of butter.  Stir well to blend and add 1/2 cup heavy cream.

Spoon cooked veggies over the chicken, pour the mixture over all (may need to add a little more broth if it seems too thick), cover with a second rolled crust.  Use a knife to cut out three little leaves of the leftover dough (I always do this). Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.

You can add other vegetables too, like onions, mushrooms, or whatever you have. As you can see I load mine up with lots of veggies.  We will get to have leftovers tomorrow after church. Yum.

Also did a little paddle boarding today.  So hot.  After doing a long run on Friday night (although inside to avoid the head and humidity), and paddling a little over an hour today, I was zonked.


I have one friend about my age that paddles.  She and her husband just bought a lakeside home so we paddled there.  It was great to go to a new place.  Mostly likely that was my last time to paddle for the season. I am working this week and will be leaving next week to welcome my new little grandson into the world - another Scotland trip.  My longest yet -- 3 weeks!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

1/4" Seams

Go to my website and read why accurate 1/4" seams will make you a faster piecer. Got a new project going.



Going to be a low volume Irish Chain, at least that is the plan.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

New Project


I am still not sure about the fabric for our bed quilt so I started a new baby quilt today.  I submitted a block to Quiltmaker several months ago.  Yesterday, I received the email saying my block would be in Volume 14 which goes on sale November 16th.  When I submitted the block, I also submitted a quilt design made from the block.
 So, today I was motivated to start that quilt.  It will be a bright baby quilt. Actually it was intended to be for my new grandson, until I found the Forest Friends pattern. 

I submitted a 12" block as requested, but Quiltmaker also suggested designing a pattern than uses the block - maybe use the block in a little different way.  So I did that.  I enlarged the submittal block and put it as a big focal point in the center, 24" square.  Then I adapted the block a bit and made several to surround the big center. I added a border with a touch of the same block. It is a fun, fast, and easy quilt.
 If you like to chain piece, then you'll like this quilt.  It is very repetitive. And if you are chain piecing, you can make good use of this little tool. Its a stand up thread cutter.  I bought it from Amazon.  It does seem to speed up the process and if you've been following me a while, you know I like fast.
So that is my quilting tip of the day!  I 'd like to have this one done by next weekend. I think it is possible.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Hot and Humid Summertime

No sewing being done here lately but I am thinking about another project.  Actually two. I made a new design and am waiting/thinking about what fabric I need for it.  The second project is going to be another king size quilt.  The quilt I made for our new king bed has been accepted by McCall's.  Yippee! The down side is, I had to mail it off and probably won't get it back for 6-9 months.  Boo. So, I'll just make another.



Thinking of making a double Irish chain using a pale yellow for the centers and then a multitude of scraps for the blocks.  Yellow is the hubby's favorite color.  I showed him a few patterns and he liked it best.  The plan is to make a couple of test blocks first.

I was able to run in the horrendous heat and humidity yesterday morning, then rewarded myself by getting the paddle board out. Visited the new TVA (Ash Spill) Lakeshore park.  It is super nice with lots of walking trails, a boat launch, and two canoe launches, plus a couple of walking bridges


After the ash spill (6 years ago?) everyone thought this part of our county would never be the same.  It is better in my opinion.

Stay cool!