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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

"Ready or not here I come."

You may or may not remember counting to ten while your friends sought the most elusive and well disguised places to hide. And they did it while you counted to "10." It didn't make any difference, two or three players or a the time you got to ten they were gone. It was the longest 10 count you've ever experienced...It wasn't that you were counting that slowly...back then it just took what seemed like forever to get to 10. 

I can remember being a half a block away by the time 10 rolled around. Well that was then and this is now. Not only has "10" passed by the wayside but in a few days we will have spent another: 

31,536,00 seconds, 
525,600 minutes, 
8760 hours, 
365 days 
and yes in the time it took to count to ten...another year has passed. Honest, I wasn't counting fast, cross my heart hope to die stick a needle in my eye. If you are going to use a needle please make sure it is a Groz-Beckert FFG point #16 (MR 3.5) Titanium Coated Needle...Superior Threads has them for $27.95 for the 100 count package. 

Hopefully, for you, it was as rewarding, eventful and time well spent like it has been for Elaine and I. We reached what many consider a milestone, our Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary. Elaine gave me a lovely sign to commemorate this special day.

We worked on a lot of quilts. I've gotten my longarming total up to 708 completed as of yesterday, completing 134 so far this year. We've shared in the joy of watching our son and daughter-in-law purchase their first home after a career in the Marine Corps, base housing and some off base housing that actually only skirts on the edge of 'housing.' They did really good, it's a beautiful house. They will make it into a loving and gracious home. 

We also shared in the joy of seeing our granddaughter get her license. 

Believe me when I say I know exactly what my son is going through.

It appears my grandson has my eyes...he got his first pair of glasses. 
He appears to be sporting a little Buddy Holly look. 

He has also ventured in to the field of Martial Arts...sorry for the one that comes up with a "four eyes" comment. Here he is receiving his Certificate and his "yellow" belt. I have a close friend who is one of few who has earned his Ninth Degree Black Belt. Need to get him and Zane together so Zane can gets some pointers. 

We had a very productive year with Quilts of Valor, Sew Days, longarming, fund raising events and numerous awards. Making the awards is naturally the icing on the cake and would not be possible without a long list of people that so unselfishly give of their time and crafting skills. We are grateful to each and everyone of you. Thanks to all from New York, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, and North Carolina that make Not Forgotten QOV so productive and helping us recognize our active service members and veterans with this well deserved and earned award. QOV will always have a place in my heart and as long as I can I will be longarming Quilts of Valor. 

Here are a few of this years awards:

Lots have been rolled off the longarm for family and friends. 

This is a 'rescue' quilt. The back and old batting were removed, all in poor shape. The quilt, all hand sewn was in good shape. New batting and back and a little Baptist Fan and it will last another 50+ years. 

The quilter loves Cardinals and Christmas. I must admit a good combo. 

Yep, it's blue. It was fun to the movement the pattern put into the quilt.

As I recall I didn't have to change thread color.

For a friend of the quilters...can you guess their hobby?

This was unique..almost a whole cloth. Two fabrics sewn into three panels. The picture really didn't do this one justice. Simple but I can assure you the recipient will be thrilled.

I really like longarming and these are two more reasons why.

This was outside my comfort zone. Not to mention it came with some pressure. For those that don't know the longarm is named "Mother Teresa." No not Saint Teresa of Calcutta. Elaine's Mom, Teresa. We lost her just before we purchased the longarm...she was a crafting artist. I remember a Christmas Tree that decorated her house...she had turned a cactus into a beautifully decorated tree. Yes we all laughed...but it has never been forgotten, neither has she. So anyway it only seemed appropriate to name our Innova Mother Teresa. Well, Elaine has been carrying this piece of material her mom gave her around for decades. She hands it to me with a back and says she wants to make it into a lap quilt. "Just do some longarming around the floral prints using matching colors and just leave the leaves as they are." 

HELLO!!! I'm a hand guided, edge to edge pattern longarmer. This is just a little bit too much like, OMG..."free-motion." Well it was either do as I'm told or get real comfortable in the Man Cave for a couple of nights. Yes I can fall asleep in my chair...but I can't sleep in my chair. It really is two different things. Well it turned our pretty good for my first effort. I don't think it will be a steady diet though. I really like my Panto Vision. 

We'll call this "A Soft Breeze." Well I would anyway.

This was a monster...118" X 122" It was only on the rack for two days...but it seemed like an eternity. I had to take the 10' Leaders off and put the 12' Leaders on to load this one. I took them off once I finished. It was the only quilt I had to change leaders for all year. Well that was until a week later when I got a 110"x 118." 

As I recall I put this one on Facebook. I was thirsty the whole time and wanted to go to a ball game.

Yes there were Quilts of Valor...

I could go on...but you get the point. We do a lot of Quilts of Valor. Along with our 50th this year we also did some Quilts of Valor anniversaries. Elaine has been a Volunteer for 10 years and I have been longarming for 5. I've never been one to stay with anyone job or career for long. Oh with the fire department, the California Highway Patrol and Marine Corps enlistment I put in what I would call public service, just shy of 30 years. I've got my fingers crossed I get to longarm QOV's for a good piece of 30. 

We were even able to sneak in a little Christmas.

So from the Longarm Room, which as you can see has had a few changes...

All I can say is...One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi, four Mississippi, five Mississippi, six Mississippi, seven Mississippi, eight Mississippi, nine Mississippi, ten Mississippi, READY OR NOT HERE I COME. I'm 2018 and you're it. 

Quilt till you wilt...we do.