Apr 27, 2016

'Round here

The azaleas are done and it appears that the Snowball bushes and irises are out. What I THINK are Confederate Roses are blooming and the magnolia trees nearby are beginning to flower though it seems early for that.  Meanwhile, I'm growing........ clover.   Lots of it but I am not alone with that!  There are also fields of red clover growing wild.  Oh, and kudzu is coming up unfortunately.   It is too hot, too soon but a week from now they say we are back to 40's overnight with rain and storms possibly in between.  We marked 5 years since those devastating EF-2, EF-3, EF-4 and maybe 5's hit the state---bad  4-27-11.

So what is going on 'round here?  Beats me and I'm living it along with the two critters.  My friend Sandy teases me by calling my blog the "Alabama Home Companion" but I suspect she might be right with these tales I spin.   True stories though, not Norwegian bachelor farmer stories.

This is the looks I get when I open the refrigerator door, the two little beggars come running.  I have even managed to get Oscar out from under the bed with that trick!

Of course, Skyler gets right up close and personal and begins yowling even though it was just 10 a.m. at the time and he got feed two or three hours ago, he feels it is time for treat bites AKA a glop of Fancy Feast canned instead of crunchies.

Have a squirt of cream instead--maybe that's what he was after anyway.  You see the untouched crunchies though he didn't have one kernel in there first thing this morning.   (Oscar got a baby carrot for his treat.)

I know they can't tell time but I DO think they hold to a certain schedule maybe in part set by me but they know when it is light and dark, when to follow the sun to the front door instead of laze in the morning sun.  Oscar goes and stands at the carport door when he wants to walk and so forth.  When I do things like eat "lunch" at 10 a.m. no wonder, they get confused.   I grab some water and a breakfast bar before I go do my laps.  That's not breakfast but I don't feel like scrambling eggs, making oatmeal or even eating really before I go trudge around the park for +/- 2 miles.   By 10, 1030 I finally feel like eating but sometimes it will be anything but traditional breakfast food.  What does it really matter?

Today it was the third hamburger patty I fixed Monday evening.  That's what was left in the bag of patties from the freezer so I fixed them all.  Now the story, LOL.  My neighbor Robert had called to see if I had a staple gun he could borrow.  He had a speaker component he wanted to re-cover.  Sure, I said be right over and I grabbed my little case with it and the staples, not knowing what size he wanted.  Miss Kathryn was out as I started back home so I stopped to chat with her. Paul (her son) was out fishing so would not be over to join her for supper.  She said something about maybe going out for a  burger.  I had been thinking the same thing and had in fact, just come back from a bread store run (buns and rye bread).  Well, once I got home I thought "I'll make us some patty melts and join her for supper".  I hate looking at that empty chair of DJ's at the table, come meal time.   I sliced up a couple onions to carmelize and called to say I would be bringing over dinner, don't run out.   LOL.  I had gotten some potato salad to go with the fish so dished up that up and trotted the plates across and up the lane.

Paul had apparently caught enough fish last week to have a fish fry on Saturday afternoon. At 10 pm I found a text from Glynda saying her Mama had fish from Paul and if I wanted some to get with her.  That was sent at around 8 so I thought I missed out.  Sunday Miss Kathryn called and said some of that fish and hush puppies were for me, LOL.  It re-heated nicely.  Last week it was collards, a mix of Hoppin' John with purple hull peas and cornbread.  Think they might get me to like beans and greens yet?

I had gotten that pile of binding strips sewn together on Sunday and put the machine out in the car for Belles day.  As I am known to do, I just dumped the whole pile of it on the pressing table in the sewing room.  I couldn't find Skyler later that night and you guessed it, he was sleeping on that mess of "spaghetti" though I made him get off it.  Some of those quilts will be donation stuff and let's cut down on the cat dander, shall we?

The carpeted surfaces of the house got vacuumed but I still need to mop the kitchen floor.  I swear, it is a losing battle trying to keep things swept up.  Oscar goes out and rolls around in the yard and drags in grass clippings or from getting too close to the bushes to water them when we walk.  I drag in stuff on my shoes from the walking trail or the drive.  Skyler drags grit from the litter box in spite of the matting around it though it does cut down on some of that mess.  SIGH.  And dusting??  I thought that the pollen had lessened but there is still something flying around out there as the car is coated and so are the electronics and TV screen.  Dust the surface and it just lands right back where it was and more air borne!   I've already learned the lesson to not look up at the ceiling fan blades--best to either not look or keep them spinning, LOL.

Yesterday was Belles Day and a fun day with my buds.

Here is what I am working on.  There are 5 more vertical strips to go.  This one is called "Climbing Roses" and uses Bonnie and Camille's "Hello Darling" from Moda in pre-cut Jolly Bars, 2 of them, from the Fat Quarter Shop.  (Actually, I could have gotten a layer cake and cut it in half)  It also calls for two charm packs of white.   Mine will look a whole lot like the picture in the link as I was following the pattern trying to match the fabrics in it.  I layered those together Sunday evening with the PostIt denoting which row and which one needed to be cut back or halved in the case of the charms to get the staggered row effect, rather then randomly cut 4- 5 x 7 1/2

Beverly and Jackie were working on binding.  Jackie took the last stitches on this lovely quilt after lunch.   She said it was a quilt kit called something like Sweet Berry Fondue.  She has a small throw made with leftovers from the kit that she uses in her favorite chair that she calls "Leftover Fondue"  LOL.

Marilyn was sewing and working on Twisted Sister Blocks in teal for ovarian cancer donation.   Margarita was sewing on her Block of the Month for Ashville House.  I guess they get two of them each month.  Jane was doing some un-sewing as she had discovered one of her batiks in a Fiddlesticks top was running dye.  She was going to substitute something else for the offender.  Brenda was marking freezer paper for two lovely applique projects she has in the works.  Two big old sections worth!

Bev needed me to help her with an on point setting.  The blocks were a mystery quilt from Lick Skillet Guild had done called "Hanging Cabins".  Apparently they used a Mystery Quilt from North Parish Quilters as I found it online when I googled it.  Bev said they did not get the page that had instructions needed in step 4 of how to lay it out and she was lost in completing her UFO.  My best hint is that you HAVE to think in terms of diagonal rows not what you see when you look at it head on.  AND, isolate the row so you don't get confused in which direction the setting triangles and corners go.  I take the picture of the quilt--usually something I have generated in EQ or copy a page from my book or magazine--and fold it so all I see is say, the corner of the quilt in that diagonal row.  Then move on to row 2, 3 and so forth.  It should look just like the picture before you move on or fix it.  Bev was on the right track but one end had a couple of misplaced blocks.  We got down on the floor and un-sewed, re-positioned and she pinned the block or setting triangle in place.

She was also missing two sashing component 4 patches.  I showed her how to do 2 at once 4 patches with a charm I cut from her scraps and one of my white ones.  Just for an example as I did not complete the final cut.  This is the method shown in the Nickel Quilt books, Billie Lauder Quick Quilt Tricks and the old Alex Anderson"Simply Quilts" TV series is where I learned it.    You can find a pdf file to print off on Moda Fabrics Sewing Tips page that has a quick sheet for this technique  called "What Can I Do with a 5 inch Charm Square?".  Here is a screen capture of what you are looking for but seriously, go download and print it off for reference!  There is one for layer cakes too.

Speaking of layer cakes (10 inch squares), Margarita had been working on some unique 3D fabric bow tie blocks and had enough for two baby quilts.  Not the usual four patch with the knot sewn in kind I learned to love years ago either.   She said that they had someone demonstrate how to do this at a retreat but it was one of those things where the" notes got cold"?   She had found a video on You Tube that she thought was a bit easier so this is the one she used on her blocks from Paw Patch Quilting.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULjpeUAyGuo

The entire thing is done by hand and the blocks were 7 1/2 inches unfinished.  Margarita was working with a directional print for her bow tie blocks and figured out how to manipulate the fabric at a certain point to have it go the way she needed so half of her blocks went one way and half the other.  She needed some guidance for sashing and cornerstones, like how many strips to cut etc and we had discussed doing pre-sashing on her last quilt.  Way easier when you understand the concept it.  I told her I would draw it up for her in EQ and do some calculations since the evening group would be at the church.  We went over this last evening then and I think she is clear on what she needs to do next.  I had sort of color coded things and marked up the print out, just like I do my own, LOL showing how I arrived at the numbers.  Basically you strip piece the sashing bits and cornerstone and cut in her case 41 of them.  Then they go on the verticals on the block and across the top.  The unpieced ones go on the bottom of the block FIRST.  AND cut one single cornerstone for the very corner of the quilt.  The first quilt will be practice for the 2nd one.

Got you all confused??  Sit down here with me then  and I'll go over it with you.  LOL.

Even though Brenda and Jackie had brought their lunch to Belles, we convinced them to go out to lunch with the gang.  Bev and Beverly's husbands had both come to pick them up for lunch so they left before we decided where to go.   There was the usual "I don't care" stuff and almost as usual. I picked a spot since no one would decide for the group.  We could "I don't care" for hours, LOL and get hungrier by the minute.   McAlister's Deli though Margarita picked ahead for next meeting, LOL  Or I said that was where we would go next time as we drove to McAlister's.

On another tangent, tomorrow would be my dear man's 80th birthday.  I am not entirely sure how I will mark the day other than to thank the Good Lord above for the time we had together and that he came into my life when he did.  I will love DJ till the day I join him again and miss him daily.  I might not have gotten to celebrate those last three birthdays with him but I honor him for the man he was with me and for me.

Now, if you'll excuse me,  the clock says Skyler can have his round two treat bite and Oscar is probably ready for a walk.  Hopefully he will not just stop dead still up near the neighbors in the blazing sun as he has been doing---right in the middle of the lane!  We're up in the high 80's all week and I don't need my neck sunburned.  LOL.   THX for stopping by--------


  1. For snacks, my cat loves Friskies Party Mix. They come in small pouches and are located on the pet food aisle at the grocery store. She is absolutely wild for those treats. She comes running if I even open the cupboard where the treats are stored.

    I kind of worry that they might not be very healthy for her---so I give her exactly 5 of the little nuggets. I only give it to her once a day.

    Thanks for the link to the Moda charts. Those are great!

    1. How we spoil our furry friends, huh? Glad that Moda link will be helpful. I keep meaning to bookmark it and the layer cake one or print them off for my pegboard reference. For now putting on pinterest will work! Have a good day and thanks for stopping by.

  2. so now we know why we had to take all that math in school - for figuring out quilt sashing and on-point layouts and what do to with a charm square !!! you are super smart and obviously make a great teacher, kudos to you for helping all your quilt-mates!

  3. Happy birthday to your dear love. Your love for him is an inspiration.

    1. THX, Lucy. He was my very best friend too which makes the loss even harder sometimes.


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