Jun 29, 2015

Monday, Monday

I have been a busy girl today!  But obviously Oscar and Skyler have been anything but, LOL.

This was the view this morning as I ate my oatmeal.  His blanket is clean so earlier he was completely covered up with just his snout sticking out.  Such a cutie!

I woke early to temps of 59 and got my laps in early.  Oscar and I had already did a lap in the lane too.  I wore him out already.

Meanwhile,  that  little booger Skyler climbed up on Oscar's play spot/pad on the couch.  I know why he might do this as it was freshly laundered and Sky loves clean laundry.   Kind of reminds me a video I was looking at yesterday of dogs reacting to the cat stealing their beds on you tube.  I half expected Oscar to come in and grab a corner of his fleecy covered pad with his teeth and drag Skyler off getting a paw thumping on his nose for his troubles!  But no, see picture above.  Sky pulled that again when Oscar went out for a bit while I ran out for some groceries.

So breakfast.  Load and unload the dishwasher.  Shower going with the blow dried, flat ironed straighter look and then had to head into town to one of the local hospitals for my annual mammogram.   Arrive a half hour ahead, they said.  It takes about 15 minutes to get there.  I will say they didn't take long to get me through there once the paperwork was complete.  Next week I am off to the OTHER hospital for another test---oh goodie!

While I was in town I ran by the auto dealership that has GMC cars as our Pontiac G6 has three recall items tended to.  One I have been waiting for them to take care of for a year.   Parts were apparently scarce and I was on a waiting list.  Recently when I got yet another card reminding that I had not done the work to date, I saw there were two more things added to the list.  Their not calling me in for the first thing was partially my fault as I kept forgetting to give them my updated phone number.  The other part, I think I got lost in the cracks or the prior management team dropped the ball.    They are "under new manangement", the signs proclaimed, and the guy I talked to was most helpful.  The work is scheduled-- they'll have the car all day--for next week.  They will run me home and pick me back up if needed and I believe I will use that service rather than pester the neighbors at least for the a.m. run.

I grabbed lunch while I was out and came home to check emails and such, returned a call to my mom and then ran out for groceries after Oscar and I walked in the lane.  Once home the groceries were put up and then I got busy in the kitchen:

  • prepped raw veggies for the tray I keep on hand
  • set up two plates of Asian chopped salad, one for tonight's meal and one for tomorrow.  I had made some dressing similar to the Wendy's old Mandarin Chicken Salad a few days ago.
  • made a half sized batch of Health nut spread for bagels, grated carrots being one of the main ingredients
  • while I had the grater out, dealt with some zukes my neighbor had brought over--enough for zucchini bread as the recipe I like from all recipe Mom's Zucchini Bread uses 2 cups.  It is now in the freezer though as it is not a good idea to bake when it is 80's, 90's out and sky high humidity.  Not today so much but boy howdy, last week was horrid.
  • She had given me some yellow squash too so I sliced that up with some carrots to stir fry but that plan came to a screeching halt when I discovered that all the yellow onions I had on hand, like a whole unopened bag of them, had gone bad.  Time was when every evening meal I fixed almost took an onion.  Now I barely cook, thanks to the summer heat.  I'll get one tomorrow
  • Put some eggs on to hard boil for a quick protein source.  
  • I had considered making some tuna mac salad like my mom's but there is no room for a bowl in the fridge.  Having learned to cook for a family of 8 and helping mom, I always make too much but I could always share with the neighbors.  Maybe later in the week.
  • And, now I am enjoying an iced coffee.  Senior priced coffee from Jack's that I had chilled, reduced fat milk and sugar free hazelnut syrup from Torani.  Yummo!  DJ always raved about Jack's decaf Royal Cup and even though we had coffee at home, he would split a cup with me though I like coffee better iced.  Not a connoisseur, by any means.  I do love coffee ice cream though and that is sorta what this reminds me of.
I think now I am going to veg out here on the couch and wait for Major Crimes to come on later on TNT.  Finish this post and have supper too.  Of course, I will walk Oscar one more time but that will hopefully happen once the sun gets a bit more below the tree line.  He doesn't always let me do that.  In fact, he is barking at something out in the front yard.

What else?  Saturday afternoon Jane and Hugh invited me to come to Hugh's ham radio operators field day as they were having a cookout.  They were set up so three operators could be using the equipment, rotating in and out.  Buddy helped me make a contact with someone in North Texas before we ate, telling me when to give the club's identifier W3K "whiskey 3 kilo" .  They were having the event in the city park where I walk 6 days out of 7 and some were staying overnight.  The club president and her husband had their camper set up and Eddie, the guy sitting across from me at supper said he had a hammock.  He was eyeing the side poles of the pavilion.  I asked "you mean when I come in to walk tomorrow some of you will be on the radios?" Actually I saw him the next morning eating some breakfast, hammock empty.  We waved, LOL.

Word came over Facebook that DJ's grandson Josh and his long time girlfriend Lauren are now engaged.  Both graduated from SIU-Edwardsvile this spring.  Josh has more school ahead though as he is going on for his masters.  Meanwhile his parents just recently celebrated their 25th anniversary and are going to realize a long held dream and move down to the Fort Myers, FL area this week.  So many things DJ is missing out on.  I'm happy for all of them and I know how proud he would be of his family.

I got stung by something on the right side of my head.  Saturday after he mowed, Robert had asked me if I had any weed killer on hand to spray around the chain link fence, hopefully to avoid weed whacking so near it.  I did but the pump did not seem to be working so I asked him if he could take a look at it and see if he could get it to work.  He did and even sprayed the area himself and gave the thing back to me to put up.  As we were standing on the carport that whatever bug it was swooped into my hair and got sort of tangled up in hair and my hair clip.  Stinging and burning ensued immediately and even tagged my thumb a bit trying to get it out of there and off of me.   I'm guessing a wasp since they are always trying to build a nest in the carport but it sort of felt round and firm like one of those bees I see out there.  Between the fire ant bite on my big toe and the wasp bite from cutting volunteers out of the gardenia is it any wonder I prefer staying IN the house??   Basically I was done for the day---the pain pills and Benadryl combo made me drowsy and icing my head for 20 minutes each hour for a couple hours meant forget about sewing with Norma and Cher. Thankfully today it is just a little tender right where the bite is/was.

On Saturday I did get some sewing done though--those pillowcases.  The fabric for this was stuff I had gotten in Pigeon Forge as possibles for Lily's quilt.  It is from a 5-1 yard packet of coordinated fabrics sold to make a twin sized quilt.  This is Vintage Vibe by Faye Burgos for Marcus Brothers.   The green does not show up too well in this photo.   I always have to watch a you-tube video to review how to make these as the written directions I have just confuses me.   I like the one from Vanessa from Crafty Gemini.   It still took me longer to get it done than it should have as I am a presser from way back.  One thing I did to try to keep the accent band together was glue baste and heat set.  This one came out really well with that!

The 2nd one took about 35 minutes and that is the purported time the handout said you whip one up.  The body of the pillowcase was a coordinate to the gray paisley above.  The aqua was leftover from Lily's quilt and I think from Hobby Lobby.  The cuff was a piece in my stash from who knows who.   I'm a thread or two off on the accent piece but not too noticeable.  You know how critical we are of our own work!

And I'm giving this one away.  I made this one sometime back from a kit from a quilt shop that I got somewhere.  In a sew-in bag, I think.  It has never been used so the cute fabrics will surely work for one of the girls at Big Oak Ranch.  The accent piece on this is off by a good 3/8 of an inch.  That's why I was experimenting to with good old Elmer to see if I could get a better outcome.

As far as the D4P Norma was having a hard time remembering on her first few blocks so I told her I was sticking a note right in my cutting area to remind me, LOL.  I only got as far as seaming three of the blocks to squeeze out three more 6 1/2 inch squares from leftover from a previous blue project and I have 2/3rds of one block done and a couple halves of the giant 4 patches.  I had to get my pjs on and lay down.

I moved the sewing table back into the sewing room though.  I banged the heck out of my right knee trying to climb over the dog gate in such cramped quarters in the kitchen doorway.  Also Skyler would not get out from under the table and then Oscar would try to climb under their as well---a little crowded under the feet, thanks to the critters.  Mostly though it was sort of a pain to have to run back and forth over the dog gate to press and keep my thread eating kitty at bay.  I'll try to squeeze in an hour or two tomorrow afternoon once the sun goes to the front of the house and Oscar won't bake in the back yard.   Maybe I'll have a block or two to share next post.

And so it goes---

Jun 25, 2015

Ready to sew?

 Well, I did it.  I thought about it since the idea came to me last evening as I posted.  I had often said that if it was just me, I wouldn't need a living room.  I just need a big enough space to sew and store my sewing stuff.  I'm not quite ready to ditch the couch or loveseat for one comfortable chair, LOL.

But I could move my portable sewing table up into the living room.  Doesn't look good but who cares?  Maybe, just maybe, I can get a pillowcase or two done by next week and get started on the D4P with my friends.

I vacuumed first as you know there will be strings on the carpet.  Oscar barks at it and is in protector mode when it is running, lunging at it.  Skyler knows it is a kitty eating machine and leaves the room.

Skyler was immediately crawling up on the chair and now he is seated under the table.  Uh, I CAN see you under there, you know!   Since I'm at the kitchen table, Oscar is in his bed rather than hanging on the couch with his toys.  These two!

I pulled one of the bins from the closet last night that has some of the five yard bundle kit fabric I got at Mtn. Quiltfest last year.  Some I had used on Lily's Chevron quilt.  (need to get that back prepped and quilted as she is coming up on her first birthday before long!)  Anyway, I am pretty sure I can come up with a pillowcase or two from there.  Just need to head in to cut.

Oh, I couldn't get to sleep again last night and about 1245 I bailed. Once more, I started going through my notebooks looking for my copy of Donna Poster's Texas Trellis to go with my other hexagon-half hexie book.  I laid hands on it, in a notebook that I did NOT go through before apparently as I was just sure it only contained one particular pattern collection.  Woohoo!  I had even tried to re-order it a month ago but so far she has neither sent it or got the money from paypal.  I can cancel the order.

That led to a little minor reorganization though. With the sewing table out of the way I could get at the sleeves behind it a bit better.   I have/had one 3 inch binder that rings would not close tightly enough and it was difficult to turn the sleeves and things were attached by the top and middle rings but not the bottom one.  After struggling with it yet again last night, I decided to pick up a replacement at Dollar General before I came home from walking.  They didn't have 3 inch ones so I got 2- 2 inch ones  I loaded one of them up really full as I emptied out two smaller ones into it.  I still needed some shelf space.  I emptied out two open fabric storage containers that were a bit of a space hog.  It crammed into two 20 qt. snap lid containers that I like and had picked up last week.  I'd need them eventually as I organize by project, no doubt.  Mission accomplished.  The things that side track me!

I've got some ground beef thawed out that needs to be cooked up so I'm off to fix a little lunch.  Stay cool!

Jun 24, 2015

Dog Day Afternoon

Look at these two live wires, LOL.  As I start to write this post it is 91 degrees at 6:15 pm and the heat indices factoring in humidity, it feels like 99 degrees.  Blamed hot!   Oscar had insisted on going out around 4 and was panting like crazy on our return from the stroll on the lane.  He flopped on the kitchen floor right in front of his bed for awhile.  This is the current view.

Skyler has abandoned both of his window perches AND the kitchen chair I could not keep him off of for days on end.  If the front door is open, he sits there or near my shoes by the entertainment center.  The other main spot is the foot of the master bed and specifically, on a quilt I have folded there. ( My antique bowtie that I sometimes use on my bed in the summer.)  I like it because it is light weight and the sunny yellow background.  Not sure why Skyler is so attached to it all the sudden.   Next week it will be something different!

My Bama Belles group met yesterday.  I left a little early and because of the heat, let Oscar loose in the kitchen while I was away.  He would not get up, eat or go out before I left which was a little odd.  I figured he needed access to his food and water and I'd clean up any puddles but he was a good boy!

 Usually Bev and I arrive first as we are the ones with the key and keep each other company but she was out of town.  Shawnee and Linda arrived shortly after I did and hit the pinning table pinning a top towards Shawnee's "quilt a month" goal.  Jane, Lois and Beverly came along later.  Beverly is working on a quilt with some of her mother's hankies that will be passed on to family members.  Jane was helping at the pinning table and Lois had a pretty log cabin quilt arranged in my favorite medallion set.  I was cutting!

I got all the blue 6 1/2 inch squares cut before I left.  I messed up on my counting method at some point and over-cut BUT I have enough if I decide to make an 9 x 10 set instead of 9 x 9.  The quilt below "Cheese and Crackers" measures 92 x 99 and fits the master bed well but minus a pillow tuck.  An extra row might be good.

Later in the evening after I got Oscar in bed I went into the sewing room and cut my way through the whites and creams.  There were less to play with than the blues--10 fabrics and a bit of a leftover fat quarter that yielded about 7 squares.  A couple pieces were just half yards so a little short for cutting 18 from each one.   I have enough even if I do go with the extra row.

Norma, Cher and I plan to sew this weekend and since we are doing a Disappearing 4 patch, we had talked about cutting ahead of time and maybe even starting on the huge four patches.  I'm thinking that I might drag my little sewing table into the living room as I hate sewing at the kitchen table.  It is just too blamed hot for me to have Oscar stay outside while I sew.  Just a temporary measure.   Move the couch down towards the fireplace wall and move the lamp and it might work.   And I might actually get some sewing done.

The only thing I've sewn since the Monday sew-in on the 15th is sew a casing in an old outfit and insert new elastic--and I did THAT yesterday morning before I fed the critters and left for quilting.   Here is said outfit with shorts that match the kitty top.  Back in 2001 or so.  DJ was teasing me about something or another,  he thought it was funny anyway though I'm smiling too.  I said the outfit was old but I can wear it again!

I also need to whip up a pillowcase or two for a guild project.  Jane asked me to go with her next Wednesday to deliver them when small group meets.  I've got one on the shelf they can have as it has never been used with cute fabric, it being a quilt shop kit.  I am trying to think of what yardage I have enough of for the body of a standard pillow case that would be appropriate for girls.  I might be cutting again in about 30-45 minutes,  Oscar's in about 8 pm.

And sew it goes-----stay cool!

Jun 22, 2015

Birmingham Quiltfest 2015, part 4

Yep, still have some more pictures!

The miniatures were right when you entered.

I know nothing though I seem to recall that there was a tie-in with Jinny Beyer.  It was well received as it got a blue ribbon in its category.  Maybe in the wall quilt pieced category??

This might have been the one that was a Block of the Month that took 10 years.  Cute Holiday quilt. No idea about the designer or pattern name though it has a folk art flavor of Joined at the Hip, Country Threads and such.

Very pretty Feathered Star awarded a third place ribbon maybe in Miniatures.  It doesn't match up on the 2015 Winners list, I don't think.

I've seen this one on a quilting catalog but so much better done up here.   Couldn't get up close enough to get the name card.  Might be Slumber Party by Susan Ramey Cleveland.

This might be a Buggy Barn pattern maybe??   I think it might be "Which Came First?" by Susan Ramey Cleveland and was part of their crayon challenge.

The center of this reminds me of a free pattern on piece by number for Circle of Geese but the maker took this several steps further.  Neat quilt.

And I guess that's it for now.  Oscar is whining and I think wants to go walk, not go to the backyard.  I've tried that and he appears to be going to the front.  Of course, it is hotter than blue blazes but tomorrow and Wednesday are supposed to be worse.  I've not been sweating for an hour or more so I guess I better go with him.  Anything but listen to the whimpering, right?

BHM Quiltfest 2015, part 3

More of the quilts that captured my eye but have not managed to propel me into the sewing room----yet!

"Harlequin Fantasy" by Gail Dunn, Honorable Mention, Bed Pieced Duet

"Merry Christmas" by Jeanne Welsh  Honorable Mention in Wall Applique Duet 

This was a gorgeous quilt "Butterflies Are Free" and a second place ribbon for Jeannine Till Brown in Bed Applique Duet"

 This was one of the quilts in the Japanese Sister Cities exchange.  Birmingham sent them quilts for their show and the Hitachi, Japan quilters returned the favor.

Tempus Fugit (Time Flies) by Dr. Peggy Rhodes.  This was part of a Crayon Challenge---pull out three crayons without looking and have to use them in a piece.  Honorable Mention in Wall Pieced Solo.  She has written a book and taught at Friendship Quilters on Hexagons.  I missed it though.

Rapid Fire Hunter's Star by Ella Thomas.  (The guild opportunity quilt also used this patterns in blues, greens and teals.  Gorgeous!  Obviously it did not come home to live with me or you would have heard about that on Saturday!)

"Mosaic Patchwork" by Deanna Rae Turner.  Honorable Mention, Bed Pieced Solo.  I was talking to the maker a bit as she was white gloving near there.  I asked her if she had any quilts in the show.  She nodded.  I took my pictures and THEN she told me this lovely quilts was hers and how it came to be.

Another of the Exchange quilts.  Apparently two identical quilts were made and each city has one to display in a place of honor.

This is just a fun and dimensional quilt. " Bags Gone Wild" by Sylvia Gauthier

Awarded 3rd Place in the Group category   "Ladies of the Guild"  Lisa Allen

Now on to part 4.

BHM Quiltfest, part 2

Round 2 for the Birmingham biennial show

African Bars designed and made by Judy Cloe garnered a first place ribbon in the Original Art category

This tree wall hanging was made by friend Loretta.

Striking with the black background!  "I'll Fly Away"  Jeannine Till Brown   Bed Pieced Duet

"Casting Shadow" by Gerry Moody   Bed Pieced Duet

"Little Pink Houses" by Susan Ramey Cleveland  2nd Place Ribbon "Wall Applique Duet"

I love 30's fabrics!  Too fuzzy to read probably  Called "Square Dance" and is a pattern from Kim Brackett called "Feed Sacks"  in Scrap Basket Surprises.  I have the book so only took a portion of the quilt.

This quilt was given the NQA Award of Merit by the judge of the show.  Called "A-MAZE-ING" by its maker Susan Reeves.

I liked the on point set and the stars in the sashing but have no other information.  Sorry about that.

BHM Quiltfest 2015, part 1

I have tried to take a picture of the quilt and the notecard on them though I don't know if you will be able to read them without a magnifying glass. The show booklet gives just the basket information-- Category Number, Name, who pieced it and who quilted it. The "fun" comments, who designed it or pattern source or what led them to make the quilt was applied to the quilt. By "fun" I mean the woman who made a quilt for her first granddaughter in early 2000's but sadly was still waiting for the receipient. That might mean that she has only grandsons or no grands yet. Another that tickled me was "I started (fill in the blank) Block of the Month and it took 10 years" or words to that effect. Who hasn't done something like that? Another was a comment about the color scheme---quilt was crimson red and white AKA University of Alabama colors---she was an Auburn fan and the quilt was called "Color Blind". That one might be in the 2nd (or 3rd) batch as I don't know how many Blogspot will let me post.

I may not be able to remember the pattern source or read the cards either but I'll do my best to give credit to the maker and the pattern source.  The fact that they are "backwards" in the computer folder to how I took them is a little confusing!  LOL.

A Cozy Quilt Pattern called Milky Way by Lura Campbell.  Strip pieced, she said

Celtic Soltice--one of those Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilts with a billion pieces.  I think a mystery quilt. The maker Stephanie Newman said it was a BH pattern.

Carol Dye, the maker of "Zippers" had two quilts made in this pattern, the other with a chocolate brown background.  This was a light gray.  Source not given but I think maybe M'liss Rae Hawley has it in one of the fat quarter books OR Missouri Star Quilt Company see HERE

Here's that "Color Blind" quilt I mentioned by Lorrie Thomas

There were three Farmers Wife Sampler quilts hung together.  One picture was far too fuzzy to share.  That and my camera battery died so I had to use the phone camera to take some of these.  This had a lot of polka dots and bright fabrics in it.  Honorable Mention ribbon for Lorrie Thomas.

Another FWS but I didn't get the card picture taken and can't figure it out from the show book.  Sorry about that.

This one is called "Martha's Joy" by Gail Dunn.  1st place ribbon for Bed Pieced Duet.  Features some fantastic cross stitch squares

This one followed Bonnie Hunter's example of using men's shirts for the fabrics.  Lorrie Thomas "Blue Heaven"