MidSummers Night Dream (formerly Star Struck Batik Mystery)

Midsummers Night Dream Quilt

MidSummers Night Dream completed tonight. The pattern started as Susan Claire’s Star Struck Mystery but I changed the Angels to Fairies. When asking for titles from the group at the Halloween party, they decided on Midsummers Night Dream since we have Fairies, Love and Green for the Forest.

October Wipocalypse – State of the Stats list

So coming into October I was supposed to be working on Teresa Wentzler’s Fall Carousel Horse.

Well, that didn’t happen. Maybe I was ponied out after working on the Summer border and those grape leaves just weren’t calling for love. However, there were quite a few other accomplishments in October. For some reason when I kept looking at the number of items on the WIP and to be Finished Spreadsheet, having the total over 60 bugged me — maybe not enough to keep me from starting anything new but at least with the first new start, I also finished it so it didn’t get on the list…

Things Haven’t Been the Same…

Then there was the machine applique class at a local fabric shop…

BOO! – applique quilt wall hanging

Then there was the Seuss Safari quilt that got blogged about earlier.

And the Joy Tree that got finished as a pillow with my first self-made piping.

And binding of the Lavender Waves quilt —

Lavender Waves for Liz – piecing finished 2004, quilt finished 10/29/12

And here is the back —

And now my list is under 60 items but in order to keep it under 60 and still be able to start Stars for a New Millennium – I need to finish at least one more project. Will it be the Binding on my Batik Mystery Fairy Quilt or will it be the stitching and making into a pillow of Town of Halloween.

Town of Halloween from JCS 2012 Halloween Issue

Right now Town of Halloween is winning because I want to put it away with the Halloween decorations when I take them down this weekend.

So up next month is making quilt blocks for the Christmas quilt that I started back in 2005… I think I’m almost half way through the 56 blocks but the goal is to get them all completed and sized ready to sew together when I work on it next year.

Seuss Safari is done

Completed Seuss Safari

And Seuss Safari is complete. Just in time for it to be packed and leave Wednesday. I had it professionally quilted.

Detail of the pattern as shown on the back.

The quilter used a geometric pattern of circles.

Is there a correlation? Or just a coincidence? A PPACA rant.

Effective August 1, 2012 insurance companies and self-funded employers are required to provide Birth Control without any copays.  If your plan was in place on August 1, 2012 then the change will take effect on the date of plan renewal.  My plan renews on 1/1/2013.

That means that I needed to buy my own pills for the last two months of the year.  See I’ve chosen to participate in a plan that used to give me opportunities to negotiate with doctors for the best rates and shop around.  But ever since PPACA (commonly called Obamacare) went into effect, I’ve been having trouble negotiating additional discounts with medical providers.  It seems that PPACA put teeth in a bill that was passed under the Clinton administration.  My doctor could go to jail if she gives me a discount greater than the one that she gave to the insurance company.  She used to be able to give a cash discount for paying at time of service but now, she could be fined or face jail time if the government found out that she used different fee schedules other than the ones she has contracts with companies to charge.  So, no more cash discounts.

So back to buying my birth control pills for the last time.  Usually I buy three months worth of pills for $60 ($20 per month for a 4 week supply).  Well since there is only 2 months left in the year, I only needed 2 months of pills.  After all, in January there is no more co-pay and my employer will be paying the full cost of my pills.  So the cost of two months should be $40, right?  Nope, there was a price increase in August (hmm, seeing a trend here);  I was charged $75 for two months of pills.  That’s an 87.5% increase in cost.

This leads me back to the first rule of Economics I was taught in college – what you subsidize you get more of.  Through government regulation, employers are being forced to subsidize birth control pills but no one thought to cap the cost or the profits that the drug companies can collect.  So why should I care?  After all come January, I’m not going to be paying for the increased cost, my employer is going to pay it (I’m not going to explain ERISA self-funding vs Insurance premiums here).

But if my employer has increased cost in the healthcare plan then there is less cashflow for things like training, salaries, bonuses and new employees.  After all, nothing is really free, there is a cost somewhere.

So, final point – has Obamacare (PPACA) helped me?  Not really and the more I look at it, I don’t see how it will help anyone with a small business and I can see medical costs running at an even higher rate of inflation than they were before.  I keep coming back to the thought that the problem wasn’t access to medical insurance (someone else to pay the bills) the problem was costs that were skyrocketing out of control because market forces were not in play.  After all, the only place where medical costs were not out of control was cosmetic surgery – it was an area where there was competition and people shopped around.

It’s a little hard to shop for a heart surgeon in the middle of a heart attack which is why I shopped around first.  If my high cholesterol causes the heart attack which I know is coming, I want to go to St. Marks instead of any IHC facility or the University of Utah.  I’ve studied the St. Mark’s results and their fees and that’s where the best balance occurs.   Too bad more people don’t think ahead like that.


Learned a new technique and finished off an ornament

So when I started to make my Joy Tree ornament, it quickly became apparent that it was too big for a standard ornament.  I decided to make something else with the pattern and since I hadn’t ever done a throw pillow with mitered corners and piping…Image

I didn’t find any pre-made piping that worked so I went looking for instructions on how to make and attach piping.  I found lots of instructions but the ones that I liked best were from Sew Mama Sew.   I did just what she said and I’m happy with the results and it’s one more item off my WIPocalypse list of projects to complete.  And I have a new Christmas throw pillow for the couches.

Quilt top done – need opinions on the backing fabric

So that quilt top I’ve been trying to finish since September – it’s done.   I thought I had it finished last week but then I tried it on the boy and it didn’t cover his head when tucked around his feet so we had to add an additional border.  Now the decision – this is his bedding in the Philippines so we aren’t putting any batting in but what do we use for the backing?

The choices are

1. Minkee – kind of thick but really soft.  It will make the quilt weigh 5 pounds.

2. Flannel – Still soft and doesn’t weigh as much as the minkee but will have at least 3 seams to make it large enough.

3. A 250 count Egyptian cotton queen sheet – not soft but no seams.

I’m leaning toward the cotton sheet, because it would make it really easy to wash and dry and I wouldn’t have to worry about anything unravelling.

Oh, you probably want to see it – huh?

Very Productive Weekend (without pictures to prove it)…

For those that don’t know, I’m a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the first weekend of October (and again in April) the church leaders speak to the general membership of the church in a series of five meetings known as general conference.

When I was growing up, I would ride my bike to my grandmother’s house and I would watch conference with her.  In the morning we would listen while cleaning the house and in the afternoon, we would work on crafts.  She taught me to cross-stitch, quilt, crochet, macrame, and attempted and gave up on teaching me knitting during Saturday afternoon conference sessions.  So along with listening to the messages from the prophet and apostles, I work on craft projects during conference weekend.

I should add that one of the meetings – Saturday night is for the men only.  It’s not like it’s secret, the talks are available for download but businesses around Salt Lake City cater to women that night.  I went with my mom and my sister to Gardner Village’s Witches Night Out.

But back to being productive – I finished Joined at the Hip Hanging on a Star Boo!

This is the model from the designer’s website http://www.joinedatthehip.com

I forgot to take a picture before I dropped it off at the long arm quilter’s for finishing.

I also finished my Sego Lily EGA Jacob’s Ladder project – I’ll get a picture posted soon.

After finishing those, I went back to work on C’s quilt.  He leaves on his LDS mission to the Philippines, Iloilo on Halloween.  I thought I had it finished and then I realized that he can’t wrap it around himself and it won’t cover his toes when up around his neck.  So I made a Columbus Day fabric run.

Yes, now that I work for a bank I get Columbus day as a holiday.  So today was also part of the weekend.   Since I was home from work and found a new long arm quilter last week, I made arrangements to drop off the Boo! quilt I finished Saturday, my Fairy Batik mystery quilt top, and the Lavender Waves quilt I made for L years and years ago.  The best part – having all three tops done including buying the batting from her will be less than $100.

Then this evening – I cut the strips for doing the piping for the pillow I’m making out of a stitched piece which was too big to turn into an ornament.  Dropped a line to follow up on a lead for Needlepoint finishing and put in 30 minutes stitching on Town of Halloween.

My Project list is down to 60 items and could be under that by the end of this month.

September Wipocalypse

So we are close to the end of the year and the goal for this month was 20 hours of stitching on Summer Carousel Horse.  I didn’t reach 20 hours but I did get 10 finished.
Teresa Wentzler Summer Carousel Horse

It doesn’t look like a lot got done but before I started this round there was no tail there and none of the roses down the side existed.

And other things did get finished.

Things haven't been the same

I picked this up as an impulse buy when I went in to check on the status of my order of Splendor 808 for Stars for the New Millennium.  It was a quick stitch – Under three hours and that includes converting from DMC to Anchor.

I also got all the blocks finished and put into rows for C’s Safari Quilt.

I have no choice but to finish this one in October since he leaves on the 31st and he wants to take it with him.  I’m thinking that I’ll get it finished during the next Netflix disk I get.

I also had two new starts.  Yes, the WIPocalypse was supposed to be a year of finishes with no new starts but, well when the EGA chapter that you pay dues to has a project….

You sort of end up working on it. All the stitching is finished. Now I just need to do the finishing part of it.

And Halloween hit and I thought Town of Halloween would be a quick stitch and so far this is what 3 hours looks like.

So for next month, I have Fall Carousel horse up on the stand and we’ll see how far it goes since the goal was finish the first quarter of the entire piece. I really want to get Town of Halloween finished and made into a pillow so Jack and Sally can sit next to it.

Here’s hoping for much stitching time between getting C ready to leave, the project approval process at work and life in general.