Aug 30, 2011

a start

I reached my short term goals yesterday plus a bit of a start on another project to follow. When I quit last night (time to watch "The Closer" and "Rizzoli and Isles", after all) I had two blocks of first row dealt with. I did the other two this morning first thing. 5 more rows to go. I will have finished another Belles Scrappy Challenge top when I'm done.

I had a little light snafu in the sewing area this morning in that the light bulb in the halogen lamp I use on the left hand side of my machine table seemed to have blown. Well, I use the thing a lot and the original equipment had never been replaced. Nothing lasts forever. I had purchased a couple of replacement bulbs along with the lamp just to be sure that I had one on hand when I needed it.

You would think you should be able to just pop another one, right? The screws holding the lens on were factory tightened so DJ had to help me get it off as we didn't want to crack the glass. I would have felt better about using some sort of holder for the bulb like you do with my sewing machine--rubber thing to hold the bulb so you don't have to directly handle the glass. But it seemed to seat and the light worked, if temporarily. As soon as we put the lens back on, off it went. We tried the other replacement bulb---same thing. Phooey on that I said, I'll get another lamp. I had seen some desk lamps recently at Walmart that might work or I'll go see if Lowe's has another like this one in stock.

I got two desk lamps. As I recall, two of these were equal to what I paid for the halogen one. You see, the swing arm one I use on the right hand side would not stay up no matter how much I tightened the screws near the spring. I had to clamp it to my cone thread holder which worked but looked a little goofy and not very adjustable. That and the lamp shade kept dropping off. Well, naturally the halogen lamp is now working. Threaten it with replacement and it straightened up. Good! ...... I am keeping the back up just in case, LOL. Since the new one has a shorter extension I elected to keep it in the weighted base so it can be moved around on the machine table rather than clamped in like my old one.

While I was out I finally ran the Brother into town to the service place. Yeah, I was going to do that last week but I got busy sewing. The shop is not open on the weekend or Monday either. Hopefully it won't be gone for a couple weeks, not that I don't have others to use in the meantime. I really should be quilting but I don't feel like it---I use my Viking for that and buttonhole applique. Not bad for foundation piecing either since tends to sew a tighter stitch no matter where I set the stitch length. The Singer works fine for what I need it to do at the moment which is a straight stitch, forward and backwards. It has cams for some decorative stitches but I think I missed something in the instructions when I was playing with that in the past. I'll re-visit that or see if Lois can help me figure it out.

When I was doing the strip set piecing for the sashing and cornerstones unit, I also pieced the half four patch units for my next project, Prairie Stroll. I had kitted it up earlier this year and it is one of the many projects in the tower pull out bins next to the sewing table. The colors will not look a thing like this sketch! I am using browns, reds, greens and cream donation fabric mostly. When my mom sees it, she will recognize some of it as "Alice" fabrics. The pattern is from Quiltmaker magazine #81 September-October 01. They show it as a 9 inch block but mine is re-sized to a 6 inch finished block to better use my available fabric. Actually there are TWO blocks which alternate if you look at it closely and isolate the blocks. Yes, every other block is rotated a quarter turn to the right but the short strips are flip flopped too.

Part of the reason for drawing it up in EQ was to play with colors but also to verify what size to cut the strips since I was re-sizing it. Also I have discovered over the years that it is a good idea to leave a picture/directions/ notes in the kit so I would remember what the heck I was doing, LOL. I can't always find the magazine but I can print it off from my EQ files. Ask me (or my mom, LOL) why this step is important.

We have been blessed some with cooler nights lately and less humidity. The day time highs are still up there---high 80's, mid 90's by our thermometer and still no rain on the horizon. DJ was commenting that he was sort of surprised that we were not under a burning ban again. The yard gets more brown by the day and the bushes all have droopy leaves. I think the humidity was creeping back up today though as it just seemed hotter when I was out running my errands. More brow wiping on my part.

And sew it goes------I may have a t-shirt quilt to make for a friend on the horizon so I should buckle down here with this other stuff. Or not, LOL. Hear my husband saying "who give you all these jobs??" Me, that's who.

Short term goal: get a couple more rows of Scrappy Strings together. Half a top would be nice for a day's sewing. More, even better.

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