Aug 3, 2016

August comes calling

As usual I am posting in a catch-up position and trying to remember just what I've been doing for over the last week.  A lot of laundry springs to mind with these being the dog days of summer.  Seriously, towels and sweaty clothes means washing about every other day.  I can only imagine how much there would be if there was more than one of me in the household.

I sure have not been sewing since our Sew Day last week until just a few minutes ago.  I've been asked to show how to do a 3-D bowtie block at quilt guild tomorrow so needed to whip some "step by step" examples.    (no, I have not started either of the quilt's hand finishing either.  Too blamed hot to have that any where near me!)   I whacked up the cutaways from my two quilts backing for the traditional souped up 4 patch version but thought maybe the darker colors would show up better in the back row.   I know you can find video on how to do 3-D bowties--I learned how to make them back in 1999, after all.   What I found for a handout for the group was posted as part of the Farmer's Wife 20's Sampler on the Marti Michell conversion charts for doing those blocks.  She gives a bonus block for the dimensional version further down in the post.  I learned using a graphic from Debby Kratovil's site but it is no longer available.  This one will work!

You see the all blue dimensional bow tie above in the picture?   Well, of course, you do!  That is the other part of the program.  Margarita and Jane are showing how to do "3D Fabric Bow Tie Block"  which Margarita learned how to do from the linked video presented by Paw Patch on you-tube.  Margarita had made 60 of these blocks for 3 baby quilts.  She had hoped to show the video as part of the program but our tech savvy president is out of town and that won't be possible.  They planned on having the group make a block at the meeting and turning it in for a comfort quilt.  Jane had cut the fabric and threaded up the needles,  Margarita had the needed pins set up too.

After some discussion, we thought maybe be the group should divide up into half or thirds with Jane, Margarita and I leading them along the way.  BUT first she needed to show US how to do it and we would take care of that last night at evening quilt group.  Actually I got it figured out before I got there and had the block done.  BUT we had Donna, Janice, Aline and Stacy try a block or two.  That way we could see if we could talk them through the process and see what parts were confusing or could be explained better.   That gave us a chance to work on the step by step examples Margarita will use in her display too.  I told her I would write up a step by step handout when I got home and did so while I made another block.  Also Wendy our secretary/FB coordinator could post it for those not at the meeting too.  You want a copy?  Let me know in email.  It will work in connection with the video.

While I took my quilt with me prepared to work on the binding, I didn't do so but I did help Donna with an idea for expanding some backing to get more length and width for the baby quilt she was doing for a friend's pending grandchild.   Mostly just visited with the girls before I went home to fix supper.

Over the weekend I heard from my sister-in-law Jan who lives up in TN.  She is committing to make Quilts of Valor for a 24 bed Veteran's Home that will be opening in her town and needing help from quilting friends to provide twin-sized quilts.  (RWB and gold, 66 x 84 range).  It is Jan's hope that the facility feel more like home with the quilts on the beds.   She was asking for us to commit to making one quilt or participate by helping with backing, batting, quilting or tying.  I told her I would.

Here is part of her note about the project:
Last week I heard the story of a family tragedy and how it had resulted in an amazing project for veterans right here in Lebanon. Here’s Angela Jackson own words.
             "On June 12, 2015, we lost our 22 yr. old son, Cameron, to an accidental drug overdose.
After the shock and grief comes acceptance, but we needed more. We started searching for a way to give back to others. We were asked to consider purchasing the Lebanon Veterans Home located at 310 Cedar St.  After prayerful consideration, my husband, Jeff and I knew this was our way of giving back to the community.

Our dream for the home is to provide a place for Veterans to live in a safe home setting. We will be offering 3 meals a day, laundry service, recreation, health services and job assistance. Our plan is to house 24 men. This has given us new hope for the future, to help those who may be struggling with addiction or other issues many Veterans face in our world. Thank you for your support in our new venture to serve those in need."

After making 5-6 QOV's several years back for the Col. Robert L. Howard Veteran's Home in Pell City, I was not entirely sure just how much RWB fabric I had left.  I know when I was cutting out a Disappearing 4 Patch for the master bedroom, I was really having to dig around for darker blues and had to order some fabric.   Some new and some old--some kits.

The quilt kits from Connecting Threads that could be re-purposed from the original designs.  There are a couple more bins with blues and red but I sorta, kinda have that committed to other projects that are started but maybe something in the one labeled "patriotic" that might work.  I already know what I want to make--Circle of Squares since those blocks are larger and I think will be striking against the white background.   I blogged about that HERE in early June when Lucy told me about the blog and I started playing with it in EQ.  The original block was from toefeather blogspot but I eliminated a line from corner of each block so I could cut a rectangle rather than seam two of the same sized squares in the same print.    Some of these colors will have to go but you get the picture.

In the Windham Fabric free project section---man, you could spend hours on that site!--there is a quilt called Button Up! by Stacy Day that uses a Circle of Squares but also a round applique, fussy cut I think, that is similar.  I've not read the pattern to see if the piecing method is the same but I want probably 15 or 18 inch blocks for my version.    I do like the offset block rows though rather than straight sets shown in her version.

But still, not much production around here.  I was not necessarily in a good place emotionally for a few days having passed 2 1/2 years since DJ's passing on August 1st.  Then too I've been pondering my place in the world.  I go back to Illinois and see my family but it is no longer my home.  In some ways Lexington was never really my home anyway.  We moved right before my senior year in high school, I went one year, started nursing school in Bloomington the following year and only was "home" and weekends one summer after the first year.  Bloomington-Normal would be more likely to feel like home since I was there for most of 27 years but it doesn't. Not anymore.  I felt out of place at the wedding as it was DJ's family, not mine and he wasn't there.  I've been in Alabama for 19 years now but it is where we made our home and a big chunk of me still feels like it is missing.  I have friends but not family here.  My critters, my house and stuff is here but do I really fit in?   Guess I've just been feeling a little lost lately.  I need to make peace with this and let it go.  

Let's move on.  Part of the weekend was spent replicating a lost document.  I have to keep track of my mail order purchases for state income tax purposes since many sites do not collect state tax.  I suppose that self reporting is sort of on the honor system but I cannot lie when I fill out those forms.  The 2016 document disappeared on me---poof! gone who knows where.  I discovered it when I went to update it.  Between saved emails, going back to the sites I use most and the receipts I save to track expenses I was able to come up with the data again but it was a 2 day deal tracking and verifying.  I told myself I was going to print it off at least to have a partial record that I could just re-type if I had to as well.

About the only real cooking I've done was preparing some food ahead.  I found some turkey tenderloins marked down $2.25 a package but due to outdate in a day or two after purchase as well as the lean ground beef I use in dishes and casseroles marked down.  I came home from the store and cooked that all up.  The turkey was cubed up for salads, quesadillas, etc.  The ground beef I cooked with chopped onions and then divided in half.  One half I added chopped celery for Maid Rite Sandwiches and the other half, taco seasoning for various dishes, taco rice bowls and the like.  I also did up a batch of sausage gravy.  Half of all of the output went in the freezer.  It is still too hot to want to turn on the big oven but I do use the toaster oven a bit if I have to.  The poor a/c is barely keeping up as it is without me baking! The thermostat seems to be consistently running about two degrees higher of where it is set during the daylight hours.

This week I've been to the dentist, yesterday evening quilt group, today was pretty much house-mousing it and tomorrow quilt guild.  Saturday Margarita's church is having their annual bake/yard sale and serving breakfast and lunch for a fee AND the annual Friends of the Library Book sale is I want to go.  I got the other curtain hung but I think replacing the blind is going to have to happen at some point.  The dusty pink blinds have got to go as it looks horrid with the ivory drape.  I would love to paint my bedroom a soft lilac, lavender but I hate the thought of moving everything out of there to do it.  I've wanted to do THAT for 19 years, after all.   I still mull moving into the master bedroom too and swapping rooms, LOL.

We have had more rain lately but remain about 6 inches behind the average rainfall totals.  The grass is going crazy and Robert could have mowed about 4 days after he did.  He is good to weed whack and blow the clippings off the drive.  He'll even trim up the bushes once or twice a year but neither of us is into raking up the yard like DJ used to do.  After two mowings Oscar could not get near the camellia bush to pee this morning.  That thing grows really close to the ground and the grass was just piled up all around the periphery of the bush.  I drug out the rake this morning and had a wheelbarrow full in no time at all.  That was the extent of my yard work.  Thankful that he takes care of it for me, for an agreed upon cost.

Oscar is going crazy barking at anything he is spotting out the front door.  Methinks, it is time to wear him "slap out".  I had hoped to wait about an hour but that is not going to happen today.   He is telling me the best way he can that he wants to go.

Guess that's it for now----thanks for stopping by.


  1. I sure understand what you times, I wonder where is home, too. Hugs!!

  2. In the heat I haven't been doing much of anything except the necessary canning. Other than that I have been reading a good bit.


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