Aug 14, 2016

Checking in

Okay, it has been a bit longer than usual posting. I've been a busy girl!  I'm making me tired even thinking about it, LOL.  Some of you comment that I wear you out just reading about it but I'm beat living it this time!

See how well my plants are doing!  The aloe vera plant used to be pot bound in about a 3 cup pot in the kitchen window.  I finally re-potted it but the organic potting soil stunk so bad I could not stand it sitting on the kitchen table. Outside it went but I think it is loving the bright afternoon sun and the shade of the mornings. Same with the Wandering Jew.  It was three little scraggly stems, one of which had broken off and I had just stuck back in the dirt hoping it would take root.  Don't ask me where these will go over winter as Skyler will not leave plants alone and there is not a great spot for light like they are getting now.

The other thing that seems to be really growing is the whatever kind of grass I have and the bushes.  It all seems to love the heat, humidity and sunlight.  I think Robert could mow every 4-5 days lately.  He mowed on Monday and did part of my side yard yesterday.  He also trimmed up all the bushes and I got out with the rake to help him get the clippings up.  I notice today that I should go rake up around the camellia bush again.  The periphery is covered with grass clippings up about 6-8 inches again.   Tomorrow, for sure.

Anyway, when I last posted: Jane, Margarita and I were ready to do the guild program on the 4th on Dimensional Bow-ties.  When I got to the meeting, I showed my pal Bev how to do the dimensional block and she whipped up 2 of them, doing the 2nd one with little guidance from me.   Jane was passing squares and threaded needles out to everyone, Margarita had prepped the packets with pins prior to the meeting.  I had worked on the handouts, passing those out for reference or take home instructions.  She walked folks through the procedure and then the three of us circulated through the group while the ladies made up the blocks.  Bev helped the ladies that were seated in the row where I had been sitting.  The blocks were turned in for a donation quilt.  I did a small demo on the more traditional 4 patch, knot pieced in version after the group was done with the method they stitched up.

Last Friday and Saturday (5th and 6th) seemed to revolve around the treadle machine.  Paul (my neighbor's son or brother depending on which neighbor I am talking about, LOL) came by to get the treadle cabinet from my utility shed.  My mom had stripped it at some point, it needed to be refinished and he had offered to do the job for me.  By Saturday he had a better idea of what would be needed to complete the task.  He was not going to charge me for labor but I told him I would pay for the supplies and off to Lowe's we went.  Because he had found the bottom had to be re-built with layers of veneer, that was top of the list but we needed stain, brushes, glue etc as well.  We also had to run down to Home Depot when Lowe's did not have veneer in stock after all.

For several days we had consultations about it.  He called me to come over and provide the extra pair of hands while he heated and we molded the layers of veneer.  Ordinarily on flat surface you can use a household iron but this area is curved to accommodate swinging the machine head down into the cabinet.  There are three layers and we went through two bottles of contact cement.  I had to go for a glue run in order for us to finish up.  He also had to cut out the area where the leather belt goes through through each layer while I applied resistance to the opposite side.   The next day he wanted me to weigh in on the stain we had picked out.  This is red mahogany.   He had hoped to not have to use polyurethane on it but the project did not work out that way.  The wood was dry and some spots were not taking stain as well as he would have liked.

Fast forward to this past Friday (the 12th).  I had to stop for more supplies in Jacksonville on my way back from my birthday lunch out  on Wednesday (more on that later).  He thought it would be ready sometime Thursday.  I knew it wouldn't hurt for it to sit another day and dry so we agreed to meet on Friday to bring it home.  He would need help carrying it out of his workshop and get it in the truck.  I grabbed some towels to put down on the truck bed.  I had put the base together earlier in the week and swapped out the position of the two couches to make room for it in the living room.  We hauled the wrought iron sections out to the truck bed and he attached the sections.  Then into position here in the spot I had made for it and adding the machine part to the cabinet.   Isn't it lovely?

Our guild president works on old machines and I had talked to Wendell about working on it before I even brought it back from Illinois.  I know it will need a new belt and whatever it needs to clean, oil and spiff it up before I can pedal power it.   The manual found in one of the drawers seems to indicate that this might be a Singer Model 66 which according to the Treadleon site was introduced in 1902 and discontinued in 1960.  Whether or not this is a "Red Eye", I don't know.  Hoping Wendell will know more when he sees it.

Saturday (the 6th) there was a big churchwide yard sale and bake sale at Catholic church in Jacksonville where Margarita and a couple of the other Belles attend.  Margarita is on the bake sale committee with two friends.  I knew she was bringing canned goods and hoped to get more of her good bread and butter pickles and so forth.  I went too late for those so it is a good thing I went home with her leftover jar at our last potluck!  I got some Spicy Blueberry sauce, her Lemon Cream Pound Cake to go with it as well as her apple pie filling and some corn relish.  Some cookies came back with me too, LOL.  What can I say?  Margarita is a good saleswoman!  I didn't even yard shop but this was a nice setup.  Most everything was inside out of the heat in the fellowship hall.  I'll go again and check out Oktoberfest when they have it.

Tuesday (the 9th) was Bama Belles quilting day.  For various reasons there were only 4 of us there.  Brenda and I both had binding to do and I DID actually get part of one of the short sides mostly done.  I had to laugh though when Lois asked who was ready to help her pin her two tops.  I said that it is well known how much I do not like doing binding so I was in.  Actually Jane, Brenda and I all headed over to set up the table and help Lois out.  I haven't touched my quilt since then either.   My birthday was the next day so the girls took me to lunch at Olive Garden.  We shared a slice of Lemon Cream Cake--too bad they were out of the Chocolate Lasagna and Chocolate Mousse Cake.   Brenda was going to treat me, she said. but the waitress let us have it for free even though technically I was one day early and came out with 4 more forks.

I was home early and started moving that furniture around in the living room, vacuuming, cleaning baseboards and having to go on a store run for a couple more of those swivel type plug in that won't mash the lamp cords and start a fire.  I went to three stores before I found them and then I got all they had in stock so I could use them in the two bedrooms too.  By evening I stopped by the evening group down the road from me, mostly to say "hello" and see what the girls were up to.

Wednesday (the 10th) was my actual birthday.  I found this graphic on Facebook this morning and I believe it is all true!  Every bit of it.  I figured that the day as going to be fairly quiet as I had celebrated the day before with some of my pals.   I decided to be lazy and indulgent though.  If I wanted Moose Tracks ice cream for breakfast, I was going to but I had to get dressed first.  Otherwise, I might have entertained the idea of it being a Pajama Day, at least for awhile.  I rarely eat ice cream and that was good!  Later I decided I was going to go to Cecil's in Jacksonville for a burger.  I have heard for years that they have the best burgers and The Rocket, the best BBQ.  Paul had already given me his list on the phone of what I was supposed to pick up at the hardware store.  I got that stuff, dropped it off on the way home.  Other than a few phone calls and spending some time at the neighbors on a surprisingly pleasant for August evening, it was a fairly day.

The Belles had given me a birthday card with spending money in it at the JOY meeting, only I didn't know that till I got home.  I was busy helping out Jane and Margarita and visiting with Bev and a few people in the group so when Lois handed me a card I just assumed it was from JOY.  Wasn't my birthday yet either.  Surprise!  As it turned out I had a $20 store credit from Fat Quarter Shop.  The Dixie fabric from Cluck Cluck Sew was on my wishlist, a layer cake though, not a fat quarter bundle.   FQS had this graphic on their Facebook feed and I pointed out to the girls that this was what I was getting so they could see the pretty colors.

I had also had this book by Lori Holt on my wishlist for some time!   With the girl's generosity I was able to order it as well.   You can read all about it at Lori's site Bee in my Bonnet.  There are a lot of other projects in the book besides the neat cover sampler.  I've not really had a chance to do much more than flip through it.  It is sitting on my coffee table waiting for me.

I had been reading a Kindle book Susan of patchwork reflections had let me borrow from her.  A biography by Deany Brady and Harriet Chessman called An Appalachian Childhood and set in Susan's backyard practically.   The link above will take you to Susan's review of the book.  There is a sequel to it entitled Higher Than Yonder Mountain as well but in paperback.  Susan is mailing it to me to read.  Even though this is a true story, I read the first book thinking "I want to know what happens next!" just as I would in a mystery book series.  You can read Susan's review of the 2nd book HERE.  Susan has a gift for writing herself, IMHO.

The neighbors and I were on baby watch this week as their first grandchild/great-grandchild was due to come any minute!  I share my birthday with Glynda's cousin who is like her sister and Miss Kathryn's best friend Miss Esther so I wondered if the grandson would come on THAT day.  Nope, it was Thursday instead.  All in good time!  Robert could not keep the smile off his face Friday morning when he showed me some pictures on his phone as Oscar and I walked by the house.

Speaking of babies, here is a picture of MY family's newest grandchild/great-grandchild/my great-niece.   Lily is loving on her baby sister Emily.  What cuties!  There is another grandbaby on the way, a little boy, late this month.  Fun times!

I've not been sewing but I have been planning!  Now that I see the patriotic fabric charm packs I ordered, I may have changed my mind about what I want to do for the 2nd quilt for the Lebanon Community (Veteran's) Home I told you about in the last post.   Because there are quite a few duplicates, I could do a Charming Boxes planned scrappy, I think.  I still want to do the Circle of Squares but have not cut it out yet.  I DO need to do a 12 inch QOV block for the Fall Retreat we will be going to with the JOY group/Heritage Quilters in Attalla and try it out the smaller version for that but I want BIG blocks for the twin beds at Community Home.

I drew up the "Framed Quilt" designed by Camille Roskelly in her book Simply Retro in EQ so it could use charm square rather than layer cakes.   I could do that if I wanted with any collection I want to---Patriotic stuff even.  I was fiddling a couple other files as well on a couple other ideas but not quite ready to share that plan yet (challenge quilt)!

SOOO  Thursday-Friday when not messing with the sewing machine cabinet,  I cut out three quilts.

 I did a cut and paste job in my print out for Framed (Kindle book--had to screen capture to get an image to print--wish I had gotten the real book instead as I love several quilts in that book!)  I cut up the whole layer cake of my birthday Dixie fabric--42 blocks instead of 25 for a rectangular quilt rather than a square one.  If I am short bits for the sashing, I had gotten a fat eighth bundle of the fabric in the July Sew Sampler box from Fat Quarter Shop that I can cut into rather than use it for the little table runner pattern that came in the goodie box.  My kitted up "Framed" is there in the foreground.  As I stack cut in piles of 4, I still need to sort out the shorter sections that complete the plus signs but I can do that in front of the TV tonight when "Inspector Lewis" is on.

Behind it is another Layer Cake Lattice that I cut out from the Riley Blake Summer Songs 2 that I picked up last month at the Heart of Dixie Quilt Show in Trussville.   These come with just 21 fabrics, like a half a layer cake but I realized that most of these are directional prints.  I could correct what I didn't like about the first one I have started if I just rotated the 2nd bundle horizontally and then made my cuts.  Unless I totally messed up with the "sideways, upside down, backwards" the blocks should be all on the straight of grain or nearly so when the side bits are sewn on.   Again, I need to sort out the smaller like pieces since I stack cut.

The other box is ssssssh, my Good Karma challenge quilt.  What you see on top is NOT what is in there but this one is sorted out!  I've got enough fabric leftover for another quilt---or two probably depending on what I want to do!   See me in late October for the reveal.  I've got to start sewing--and soon! It has to be all done--quilted, bound all of that--or I don't participate.

I've been just plain busy in between that.  Errands, laundry, cleaning.  Add cleaning out the freezer (can't find something I thought was in there).  I am still trying to clear some food items out of there or at the very least, remind myself what is available in there.  I shifted some things into the house from the chest freezer.  I still need to hang a different blind in my bedroom---it is on the list.   The ladder is still in my bedroom.  I tossed the other old blinds that were up in the shed rafters, knowing I will never use them again.  Not sure why DJ saved them but they are gone now.  Looking down at the floors I will soon have a date with the mop and vacuum--or should!  Oscar could stand a bath too.  Always something.

In addition I was getting fatal exception (or whatever) messages on my HP notebook.  It would absolutely not install any updates and was about driving me around the bend.  I finally re-set it which kept my files but not my installed apps.  That took a good bit of Friday evening-Saturday morning to try to get it back where I had it minus a few files.  I found I was not able to install EQ 6 upgrade edition.  EQ5 yes, and EQ6 builds on that.  I can't put in EQ7 until I get 6 in.  Waiting to hear from tech support early this week about that.

I told Paul I would buy him dinner as a "thank you" for doing the machine cabinet for me since he was not charging me for labor.  He collected last evening.  The gang of us who gather at his house for Alabama football games all went:  Paul and his lady friend Carolyn, Miss Kathryn (his mom), the mutual friend Miss Esther and his pal and former co-worker Charlie were off in Charlie's van to Cracker Barrel last evening.   Won't be long till the first game of the season--Sept. 3rd.

This should be a fairly quiet week with no outside appointments, save one minor thing.  Oh, I've got a list of things to do but I seriously hope I can find my way into the sewing room.

Ready for a few critter pictures?

Skyler is acting like I put this here just for him.  The past two nights he has slept on the floor next to it.  

I had shifted the fan to the opposite end of the entertainment center so you can walk past the couch at the hallway end.  Not easy to do by myself but I managed to move it about 6 inches to the east so the fan would clear the door but now I don't know where to leave my shoes!  Skyler is over-seeing Oscar on the coffee table.

Oscar guarding the out anyone or anything that ventures onto the driveway.  Ask the mailman or the UPS driver!  He'll bark at passing cars or the neighbor across the lane and her dogs too.

........and hoping I'll follow him out to the kitchen.  I think he wanted to go walk and I was not ready when I took this.  He is whining like he wants to go now and frankly, after sitting here this long pecking at the keyboard I think we both need to GO.

Till next time---I did not proof this so apologize for clarity issues or typos.  I'll edit later if I have to.  THX for stopping by.


  1. LOL, and now I am tired. heheee. I keep forgetting Bama Belles, I added it to my calendar for next time (I hope I got the right day.) Let me know what will be going on, please, so I can come prepared.

  2. Whew! - Busy girl! - I'm tired, too! Beautiful machine - pretty fabric - cute pictures of the girls and critters - ;))

  3. Happy belated birthday! The sewing machine cabinet is beautiful. You make me feel like I am standing still! Whew! Love those fur baby pictures!


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