Sep 17, 2015

Creeping up on Fall

 Does it seem possible that this could be the 17th of September already?  Month is half over and the next thing you know it will be officially Fall.  The computer tells me that the Autumnal Equinox is in one week. September 23rd.  We have been flirting with the idea of Fall a bit with a few recent nights down in the 50's.  Believe it or not, but I put a cotton blanket on the bed and even pulled the quilt up by morning!  Part of that was because the over head fan was on but still!  I was enjoying the huddling up under the quilt and not having to hit the deck quite so early to go walk my laps.

Now however, my new indoor/outdoor thermometer says it is 86 out.  My weather app on the phone says it is 82.  Who knows?  The old one was stuck in centigrade mode on the receiver outside but my BC pal Norma said to just double it and add 30 degrees and roughly that is Fahrenheit.  I'll take her word on that one!  All I can tell you is that I had to use a chart like everyone else in the old nurse days when we were forced to use a Centigrade electronic thermometer with those disposable sheaths.  37.0 was 98.6 and 39.0 C meant someone had a fever of 102!!

Well, even with brand new batteries in it the receiver in the living room was stalled on straight lines.  I could go outside and do the conversion thing but why?  I even took it apart thinking maybe it too had a battery but no.  All that happened is the buttons on the back fell out.  I priced them on the next trip to the store and I'm back in business.  At least the new unit is larger, heavier and less likely to hit the deck like the last one we had for umpteen years.

So the critters are obviously sun bathing a bit.  Skyler got first dibs as well, it IS his house and Oscar was the "Johnny Come Lately" as he had been up on the couch napping next to me.

 Skyler is sort of back to tracking the sun in the house though he is still not using his perch in the back of the house.  I was able to shut off the a/c a few days ago and he spent hours up on the bedroom perch in front of the opened window.   Mornings would still find him him on the "top rack" on Oscar's padded top crate.

I caught him stetching in this one.  Cats are hard to get to hold still and take a picture!  Oscar is too for that matter, as he is always wanting to nose in and see what you are doing.

Oscar is being a good boy since the new gate went up.  However, twice now when I have been in the kitchen the little booger has apparently been trying to get the gate open with that nose.  I can hear it clanging a bit but the bungee cord will only allow it to budge an inch or so, not enough for him to squeeze through.  He really watches as I go in and out or if I open the cat door for Skyler watching to be sure that he doesn't come running while I'm doing it.  Skyler jumps over it with ease but sometimes I am standing there and he's giving me the password "MEOW".

It has been a little busier week for me since I last posted.  I did the town Heritage Day as I planned.  Jane, Aline and I went to our friend's home for the visitation the same day.  Sunday afternoon we went to see the matinee performance of "Anything Goes" as we planned.  What fun there!  Pure escape-- quite entertaining.

Tuesday afternoon I attempted to sew.  I may have told you this but some of my quilting friends and some of their friends have been going to a church near here to sew on Tuesday afternoons.  Aline and Jane had invited me and I just pulled something off the shelf to sew some strip sets for a "Twin Sisters" donation quilt.  I first found the technique in one of the Eleanor Burns books---Still Stripping After 25 Years I think??  Kind of neat in that you get a two block deal about the strip set, positive coloration and a negative one.  Lois has made a lot of these with 2 1/2 inch scrappy strips and the blocks finish smallish at 5 inches maybe?   I had kitted up some brightly colored  3 1/2 inch strips and the two blocks I had done in the kit finished at 8 inches.  Bigger blocks, bigger quilt or less blocks to hit the target range though they WILL be sashed.  The technique leaves you with bias edges on the outside of the blocks if you use the book or follow the sort of tutorial on THIS POST from Vrooman Quilts.

However, sewing did not go so well.  First, even though I had brought my Jem accessories I had gone off without my quarter inch foot.  I don't live far from where we were sewing so I ran home to get it off the New Home that is set up on the sewing table.  BUT the Jem was not sewing well and had big time tension issues.  I sewed a total of two half WOF strips in effect and had to re-sew them.  I kept stitching moving up and down the tension dial and never did get a nice balanced stitch.  Get the bobbin thread right and the top looked awful and the top would get passable and then the bobbin threads were looping.  Aline said her Jem was at about 5 but no good on mine.  I came home after about an hour and half of frustration.  I have other machines, of course and the New Home is similar to the Jem.  Normally it rides in my car with the strip plugs, thread stand so I could sew anywhere I go away from home.  I even have a bag packed up that I can just grab with the thread catcher, sewing tools and machine needles.  Grab a tote and I'm ready.  One assumes the machine will cooperate though.  Color me sad.

Soon I have got to make a 12 inch red/white/blue Quilt of Valor block and a 6 inch fall (not Halloween) block for that retreat.  The organizer wants them by the first JOY meeting on October 1st.  To that end I did spend some time looking at possible fall things in my quilt software.  That looking led to renaming an entire file folder of downloaded projects to a uniform naming system (all over the map!)  so I could find things a bit easier, plus name them something besides "2015_09" and what the project might be.  If you spot, "2015_09 Fall Frolic" then it is possible to see your theme a tad easier than just opening the file, the old way.  I printed off something I think might work and it might be a bit different than what the others might use.

The QOV though??  The plan is that eventually they will be able to be combined in one or more quilts and then donated.  I bet most people will do some sort of star. I still need to track down something I had seen on craftsy or etsy that I had thought might be a possibility--and is most definitely NOT a star.  Not that I have anything against stars, I do like them but I like other blocks better.  We are already being limited by the color choices and theme does lend itself to stars, patriotic things.  I'm going to see what BlockBase has that might work.  Maybe this weekend I can squeeze in some sewing time.

The rest of the time it is has been housework, laundry, errands, walking (up to 2.48 and 2.8 miles now) and still reading.  I just got done reading an e-loan Joanne Fluke book and got recipes from the library book Fluke book I had checked out  entered in my quilting software.  The e-books I can do a screen snap shot.  Amazingly, I found Blackberry Pie Murder online at any-read dot net.  (there may be something you are looking for there so pop on over.)  This helped in getting the recipes over to the software or at least a bit less typing when it came to the directions part though I had to do a lot of editing with the spacing on the website.  I found it was easier to just enter and type the ingredients part using the library book for reference rather than copy/paste the whole deal.  Mastercook is good in that you only have to type a few letters and you can usually pull it from the menu and then it is just the amount and a letter or two for the measurement  like "te--teaspoon"  " ta--tablespoon" and c for cup.   That kept me busy for a couple of afternoons!  I finally got my on hold request for Carrot Cake Murder so reading that one now.  I think once I do the 4 listed Christmas themed ones (i'm next in line there) I will have read the entire Hannah Swensen series of Fluke books with Wedding Cake Murder due out in early 2016.  Which books next or back to the M.Z. Kelly Hollywood Alphabet mysteries??

I think one more walk is in order for Mr. Oscar since it is now about 6:30 pm and then I'll consider what I can scare up for dinner.  THX for stopping by----


  1. As for reading if you haven't read the eight books by Anne George, they are very good. Anne Purser also has some good books, they have days of the week in the titles and numbers. Also the Tea shop mysteries are good. I can't remember who writes those. I love to read but do not want anything dirty or gory. Hope you find something to read along with your sewing mojo.

  2. Tension issues are so annoying. One trick I always try is: unthread the machine completely - even take out the bobbin - and put thread it all again - don't forget to put the bobbin back in. Sometimes it is just that the thread didn't catch just right in one of the tensioners.
    I am so glad you enjoyed "Anything Goes" We are having a blast performing it.

  3. I've not heard of the book series you mentioned and will have to look into them. There is nothing worse then tension issues, but I agree with Gene so many times it;s the thread and sometimes it's the needle.

  4. Good luck with your machine. Gene has a good solution. Sometimes if that doesn't work I change the needle and do it all again. Gem just wanted all of your attention. Have a great quilty week!


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