Jan 28, 2016

Checking in

Belles met earlier in the week so I have some pics to share. Actually, I found out when I was trying to update my quilt documents recently that it helped to have a copy on my blog just in case I had to download them. Tedious scrolling through a whole year's worth of posts maybe but there's the documentation anyway.

All but one of these are one's that Lois finished up recently though she said she had 3 more at home and pinned two other tops. Jane arrived right on time to help while I was taking pictures. I got smart this time and took my notebook that has the bulk of my files on it with me. This way I could log the quilt in, number it, refold it for fitting on the closet shelf and then go back to add the corresponding image. Now that I don't have to rely on just a desktop, my paperwork for Ellen got a bit easier.

I do need help in coming up with the name/designer for three of these quilts. When I was hanging them, Lois and I wondered if it was the Bali Sea Star that had stumped us once before. It is not though. I pulled my copy of Kim Brackett's two books from my home library and paged through and it was not in either one. I think they both used 2 1/2 inch strips though. Maybe one of you will recognize it?? I HAVE seen it before but the name was escaping us.  I like how they form nine patches where the blocks meet, whatever it is.

NOT Bali Sea Star 1

We were not entirely sure about this one either but I like it the simplicity of the blocks.  I think you can see that there is a band of 4 strips going vertically with two long strips below it.  The blocks rotate alternately.  Lois kept the strips in the same family group.  I called it Autumnal Strips or something like that for the paperwork.  Lois leaves that part up to me, LOL.

Isn't this a sweet girlie Disappearing 9 patch?

NOT Bali Sea Star 2
This one looks more like a "blended" quilt so the other pinwheel like parts are not quite so apparent.  The background fabric is low contrast so you notice the rosy pinks more.  I think Lois said she used  jelly roll for it.

Bev is the best bargain shopper and found this pre-quilted fabric on ebay,  It is reversible and just needed to be bound and labeled.  Perfect for a little one to drag around and cuddle up with.

This one I called 16 patches with Stars in the sashing

NOT Bali Sea Star 3

Traditional Log Cabin in a Barn Raising set
(typically you see more rounds but you have to have more blocks for that)

In a recent post I shared a picture of Lois' Arkansas Snowflake quilt  brought me the template and papers from Missouri Star that she no longer wanted.  They call it "Periwinkle" and the template is called the Wacky Web Template as it can also be used to make Scrappy Spider web blocks.  I've got the mini one on the wreath on my sewing room door, designed by Natalie Dawn for Missouri Star.  I still think it is Arkansas Snowflake or Kite quilt as Periwinkle in the Brackman numbering system is a whole 'nother block.  I could show you if you don't believe me, LOL.  Ah but you can call a quilt block anything you want really!

Armed with that information I tracked down the you tube video showing Jenny using the stuff to make the block.    Basically the template is put on the 5 inch square or charm and the excess fabric trimmed away.  Then she used the glue-type stick to place the cut piece on the papers which will help stabilize the rectangles you cut (6 1/2 x 5--8 of them for one block).  They are most definitely on the bias grain.  

However, there was an update to the video as it as quilters were concerned about chopping off their points.  You need to angle it slightly as shown in these two screen shots I got from the video

and then your 1/4 inch seam on from the edge of the background rectangle.   I am now better informed and think I'll use a Mama's cotton layer cake I have stashed away, cut those into quarters instead of getting 4 charm packs.   I associate this pattern with 30's vintage anyway.

We have couple of warmer days coming up so Oscar may log a bit of outdoor time so I can go play in the sewing room a bit.  Today he was out quite a bit but I had paperwork and a to-do list to tackle.  A few things have been crossed off.  More added.  I really need to sweep, dust, straighten things up as it is just plain messy in here!  Oscar attacks the vaccum cleaner so it is best to let him outside and hurry up and do it.  Doesn't matter if it is running or not, he barks at it quite loudly.

Anyway, I would bring him in and he would want right back out.  At one point I know why--  the neighborhood calico was in the back yard with him!!  I had run a quick errand up the road from here and upon my return, I was going to bring him back in with me.  He did NOT meet me at the fence (which is unusual) so I went looking for him.  Well, he was doing his darnedest to get the cat who was seated on the side tray of the gas grill.  She has claws and would have probably given him the worst of the deal but that didn't deter Oscar.  Skyler was sitting atop the carrier in the house watching the whole deal and then tried to peek out the door to see if he could see her better.

I've been trying all week to get some Sausage Lentil Stew made but probably sub out diced ham.  I wanted to make it this last weekend but was missing a few of the ingredients.  That, and some Quick Cheese Bread from an old J.C. Penney Associate Cookbook.  It calls for 2 pkg. of Bix Mix which I am fairly sure is a Martha White product.  I've been to 4 different grocery store chains and no one has it and trust me, there are plenty of other Martha White products on the shelf.  I had made a note in the book that 2 packages measured out to about 2 1/2 cups of the biscuit mix so will probsbly sub some bisquick instead.  I've got it on my "to-do" list.  Tomorrow, I think.

Last night Jane, Aline, Ada and I went to Top of the River for supper.   Each January for their anniversary they run the "Riverboat Special" of fried catfish filets at the price it was 10 yrs. previously or that is what I recall.  DJ and I would often go there for our anniversary, it being in late January.  I told him I was a cheap date and we always brought leftovers home rather than splitting the meal.  Some do that and just order another baked potato or another side dish.   I appreciated the company and the meal treat.  Oscar got a bit of the cornbread but I had the other half of the meal for lunch, just like we always did.

Guess that's about it for this installment.  THX for stopping by----

Jan 21, 2016

Checking in

Another week plus has gone flying by.  Not sure what I have gotten accomplished if anything.  As my sister-in-law asked me recently "if you are not sewing, what do you do all day?  No offense".  I get up and the next thing I know it is 9 pm and I am getting into my pj's is all I know.

One thing:  I have discovered the Word Chums app and have enjoyed beating the tar out of chumbot Floppy playing way too much but working my brain,  Puzzles are supposed to be good for that.  My sister introduced my parents and I to Jumbline 2 when we were both back at Christmas time.  I don't know if I need to thank her or not, LOL.  I often have 3 letter combinations of letters running through my head unbidden.  are/ear/era for example.  Now I add words that use X or Q to the nonsense floating through my mind--  "aqua" "exit" "axis" "quip" and quiz if you get stuck with the Z too--- and the list goes on.

It has been a mostly cold and dampish week.  I know, I know--it is January and what do I expect?  I expect not to feel so cold but I am developing some delayed empathy for my poor DJ and climbing under that wool throw that normally just makes me itch but he and Skyler with cuddle under or on.  By golly, he was right! It IS chilly back in that corner where his recliner sat next to the fireplace.  LOL, I actually thought about baking something just to heat the kitchen/living room a bit and warm up!  I've lost a bunch of my insulation too and I never spent a whole lot of time in the living room but back in the sewing room without vaulted ceilings and things like irons, lights and desktop putting out some heat.

Actually I have the note that DJ had written the summer and winter thermostat settings on.  It was on his dresser and I tacked it on my bulletin board.   He said 72, 71 for winter and summer 79 with 80 crossed out.  I pitched a fit about that one and he dropped it a degree.  BUT, he turned the a/c off at 10 pm and it went back on once it hit 79 or his wife started complaining too much.  We never agreed about this tactic.  Now, I dispense with that--set the winter thermo at 67 or 68 and summer, 77 and leave it on.  I've been tracking the utility expenses just to see if it was more expensive to do the a/c like a "normal" person.  My gas (heating) bill has been running about $300 cheaper or about 30 bucks/month on average.  The power (cooling) was about 70 bucks high and only $5/month on average higher.  Interesting!

 I've been forcing myself to get out to walk but it has not been much fun.  Muscles don't like to exercise much, or mine don't anyway. Stiff and slower.  The other day I actually drug out my thermal "long johnny-o's" as DJ and I just to call them and piled on an undershirt, a regular long sleeved t-shirt and then a thermal shirt over that and STILL my Dickie hoodie (sweatshirt with a thermal lining).  It took till my 6th lap of 8 to actually get warmed up to sweating.  Look like the Michelin man too, LOL.

Tonight we are in for the possibilities of thunderstorms and some parts of the states flash floods in the north and tornadic activity in the south.  Then Friday there is a winter weather advisory with possible 1/4 inch to 1 inch of snow or rain, sleet, ice before that.  You know the South does not have salt trucks or snow plows like is the norm for other parts of the country.   Ice worries me more than snowfall.  We'll see!  I am as prepared as I am going to be and really don't have to go anywhere.  Hope the power stays on.

I've mostly been trying to update the computer(s) and get a pile of various paper pushing details dealt with the last two days.  Both Windows products were about to drive me around the bend yesterday.  Opening a folder to get at a quilt pattern was met with repeated "not responding." Admittedly, that folder is mega gigabytes and I would finally get it opened only to meet with the same response on the sub-folder.  Whatever was running in the background yesterday must not be an issue today.  Thanks for that!  I kept having to run back and forth from the desktop set up to the kitchen where I was using the HP notebook.  Oscar eyes me going through the gate and I swear he is plotting to make a dash up the hall.  I accidentally left it open behind me the other day and he was hiding under the bed awhile.  A few days later he followed Skyler up the hall while I was indisposed and in my rush, didn't get it pulled closed but he turned around promptly when I hollered at him.

 Looks like a little angel, doesn't he?

I had hoped to get the quilts turned in last week numbered and refolded for holding in the storage closet.  They need to be numbered on the labeled and entered in the document.  I already have the names and the picture number part done.  The computer sure wasn't going to let me get the document yesterday.  Also I would have to put Skyler out of the room as he would want to sit on the quilt or run in the closet in search of strings to chew,  I have a couple completed top and some backing yardage in there too.  Trust me, he HAS sampled it.  I have to leave the door open and use a step stool.  I could get it done a lot quicker without kitty help.

Sky was doing something cute on the pass through.  I tried to get a picture but he, of course, moved.  Still a cutie patootie.

I did get the design wall set up re-hung moving the rod down from the elevated position for the quilt that was hanging there.   It is not easy trying to hang a rod evenly without someone holding the other end.  I had the level out but it is about 2 foot short of the length of the rod I need to hang the flannel sided vinyl table cloth.  One of these days it may get used for its intended purpose.  Here are the two quilts that I needed to take pics of at home.

Aline's bear wholecloth quilt

This was Donna's challenge quilt piece.   We had been given a bunch of Debbie Mumm fabric of several different types and colorways.  Donna chose the patriotic stripe.   She used a quilt Bev had made that looked like a gift and had a large appliqued flower where the "ribbon" meets, patterned after something she spotted on Pinterest, I think.  The star choice was perfect!

The sewing that was done this week was to sew labels on these two quilts.  Neither of the critters was cooperating but then I probably should not have tried to do the job seated on the couch.  Off to the kitchen and nosy critters with me!

On a more personal note, we are coming up on what would be our 17th wedding anniversary next week.  On the 1st of February I will be marking two years since he left this Earth.  I know it will be a hard time emotionally.  It is NOT that I am planning on being saddened by this or crying.  That just happens and sometimes, it comes out of the blue. Most of the time, I'm okay but sometimes, you are blindsided and other times, it is the occasion or a little memory of our time together. Or it could be a story he told me.

Yesterday on Facebook my daughter-in-law tagged me as her uncle had sent her this picture.  It is one taken of the country grade school DJ went to.  DJ is 3rd from the right in the first row, bowl haircut and all.  Other names were mentioned in the post---friends and neighbors he spoke about, reminding me of stories I had heard over the years.  How the Joseph girls taught him how to do butterfly kisses and hunted golf balls at the nearby course.  Getting in trouble for letting Ronnie ride his bike or ride on the back of his bike.  Ray the guy who posted it told me another story about their friendship.  Don't know if this worked or not!

 "He was visiting one day and it was getting late, so my mom told him he probably should be getting home so his mom wouldn't worry. He told her he would tell mama that the devil pershed (pushed) him into the ditch"

I was blessed to get a call today from a friend of his.  Sandy and I had a good visit.  She knew him from the late teens-early 20's age.  I had the version about double that and on.  We each had out own insight into the man he was (the cute guy with the crew cut and pink/white Crown Vic) and would become, the man I loved for 34-35 years.  If you don't see a post next week, you will know why and I'm struggling or not fit company.

Jan 12, 2016

Meeting day

Today was the first meeting day after a month's layoff for the holiday season.  I saw most of the girls this past week on JOY Quilt Guild day but our little group has a much more hands on approach and the informality on a non-guild.  Read: lots more talking going on!

Lois had told me last week that she was almost finished with her stack of pinned quilts, binding done and everything!  How many did I think I could fit in the storage closet?  I said 10 for now but she has 7 more completed at home.  The girls pinned 4 more and Jane suggested that it would make an excellent comfort quilt for a gentleman for JOY group obligations.  I even found a masculine appearing fabric in the closet that she could sub out and save the more kid friendly print for another Wrap 'Em.

So ready for a mini quilt show?  I have pictures to take of two more that were turned in recently (and one I seemed to have missed for the quilt documentation) but I have to take a wall quilt down and re-set the location of the hooks in the master bedroom first.   Currently, I've got it up way too high for the temporary design wall position and quilt photography since my Kitty City quilt is hanging there now.  I'll share those with you next post.

Traditional Log Cabin in the Barn Raising set

This one is X blocks using a BasiX template for 2 1/2 inch strips.  The pattern that accompanies the ruler show it as a planned version but you gotta love Lois' use of scraps to make this one.  I have the template as well but have not tried it.  You need 3 colored strips sewn in strip sets and then the template for cutting the angles.  Pretty slick!  HERE is a video that explains it better. 

Arrowhead from Anita Grossman Solomon which appeared in Quiltmaker Magazine Nov./Dec '10 BUT you can download the pattern from this link  http://www.quiltmaker.com/patterns/details.html?idx=12909.   I would give the direct link for the pdf file but it would open from here and NOT their website.  Just go download it there if you want it, LOL.

Lemoyne Star using the Deb Tucker Rapid Fire method shown in THIS VIDEO

Arkansas Snowflake but a variation of the traditional pattern.  Lois said this used some papers and some sort of ruler but she will not make another one but did not mention the source.  This Baycreek Quilting template may be it and may not too.  I may give it a whirl though with her leftovers.

Disappearing Pinwheel Friendship Star #3 from Missouri Star Quilt Company though Lois gets the BLOCK magazine the shop puts out too.

An old favorite--4 in 9 patch Zigzag from Quilter's World magazine October 2009

Good 'ol Disappearing Nine Patch but I don't see groups of 4 sections.  Maybe in other quilts?

Skinny Star block.  I don't know the pattern source.  This was has a neat pink ground frog fabric on the back of the quilt.

"Maddie Bea's Quilt" from Phyllis Anderson's Diamond Quilts using Sweet and Sassy rhombus templates from Creative Grids.

I took my embroidery but didn't touch it.  I had a book to look at and a pattern to look through that one of the girls needed some help with.  Then pictures to take, helped a bit with pinning.  I elected not to haul my sewing machine with me.  We talked about having a sewing day in late February and get those 2 1/2 inch strips a whirl again.  Lots of good ideas for those anyway.

The JOY Guild is doing a version of the Emily's Wedding Quilt from Fons and Porter comprised of alternating 54-40 Fight and Shoo Fly blocks.  There is a digital pattern for the actual quilt but also a free download for another version with an appliqued border HERE and called "Aunt Gracie's Garden".  Aline wants to do hers with a larger block--12 instead of 9 inch.  I had printed her out the download since she cannot print and lent her my tri-recs rulers.  Of course it can be bumped up to 12 inch blocks--3 x 3 grid and components finish at 4 inches instead of 3.  On our recent trip to the quilt shop, she had gotten a layer cake and jelly roll of Moda "Dogwood" line which is quite pretty  (see below) and would like to use it for her blocks supplementing from her stash or another quilt shop run.   I'm not doing it though I think it is a gorgeous quilt!

The program at guild the other day was on good 'ol disappearing nine patch.  The president said he was challenging us to make a version of disappearing block as a comfort quilt--they don't have to be quilted, can just be a top but due by June.  That statement sort of morphed into making a disappearing 9 patch.  Figures that is it my LEAST favorite version of the disappearing blocks.  I said I would do Disappearing 4 patch or anything but, rebel that I am, or not participate.  Seriously, do you think anyone would turn down a donated comfort top?  A completed top is better than NO top, right?   Got to get me to the sewing machine first.  New Year's Project is in Limbo Land.

It has turned quite cold and a few days there the wind and humidity factored in.  Miserable for walking but I did it anyway even yesterday when I didn't have much time to do so.  I had a followup doctor's appointment at 1030, the referral to the endocrinologist re: my thyroid blood tests, scan and ultrasound in late November/early December.  I didn't get out of the office until 12 and then had to repeat some of the lab tests, grab lunch, walk for about 45 minutes, walk the dog--by then it was close to 2.   (Return again in two weeks and review the test results/clinical picture.  I feel fine.)

Then Monday evening I was supposed to go with Miss Kathryn to her son's home to watch the Alabama/Clemson National Championship game.  When I returned her missed phone call, she said we were going to Olive Garden at 3 for an early supper and then to Paul's.  I'm not at all hungry since I had lunch at 1230-ish but whatever, LOL.  Poor Oscar!  Out of the crateafter 4 hours for about 45 minutes and then back in there from about  3 to 9:15.  I asked for someone to run me home at half time or it would have been even worse.  As it was, I had to get to bed and he still was not out long.  (Bama won--woohoo--their 16th National Championship.  Roll Tide!)  Too wound up and didn't get to sleep till after 1 a.m.

Today quilt meeting and Oscar was back in the crate again after barely getting out.  He can't be outside in that wind and cold but I can't trust him to be loose in the house either.   Trust me, I was getting the sad brown eyes routine this morning.  Big time!  Skyler was only worried about getting his treat bite though now he is trying to get on my lap and the chromebook is in his way now.  He stomps all over the keyboard if you let him!

Think I'll get a bite to eat and then let the "boys" have my lap or cozy up on the couch, watch TV and/or read by almost due library book.   THX for stopping by-----

Jan 5, 2016

Tuesday check-in

I got Oscar a new little dog bed for the couch yesterday morning. Plainly he did not get what was going on----

He thought you sat outside.  What?  You mean you don't?!  This a smaller version of the one out in his dog house so I thought he would know what to do.  It's pillow-y.

Then he thought you chew on it like he does his stuffed frog.  I couldn't take it back as I cut the "don't remove tag" and hang tag off alfready.  Maybe Skyler would want it in the back part of the house?

I put it on the floor and he started hauling it back with him to the couch---again like his frog

Eventually he figured out that he was supposed to sit in it at least accompanied by Mr. Froggie and the tug of war sock.  By afternoon, he was napping in there and Skyler had dibs on the laundry basket and some sweaters fresh from the dryer.

By nightfall, he had it all figured out.   Now he has a towel to hid under on top of him.  Snug as a bug.  He is back in there now as I start this post.

We are back to more seasonable weather.  There is a good supply of sunshine but it has been fairly breezy and then some outright wind gusts.  I thought I was suitably dressed when I walked late morning yesterday but that idea only lasted about 3/4 of the way through the first lap---cold heading north!  Not sure where we topped out at for a high but there was frost and 28 degrees overnight.  It looks like a repeat of yesterday so far.  I'm going to wait till about 11 and go do my laps.  Oscar is not itching to go do "walkies" and did not mess around doing his business first thing.

Sunday afternoon we had a little warm up and Oscar indicated he needed out.  About 20 minutes later I went to call him back in and couldn't spot him initially.  He was in full hound dog sniffing mode all around the kitchen tip out and at one point was pawing at a finishing board---which was loose and hanging down, nail intact!!  Anything could and probably did crawl up in there though I see no evidence in the house---yet.  I went over to talk to Robert to see if he could repair it for me for pay.  I needed some trim board applied as well to finish off the job.  We had talked about that last summer and even measured off the sections but it didn't get done.  The two jobs sort of dovetail.   He said he would be over mid morning Monday and would pick up the needed boards, caulk, etc at Lowe's.  Later that afternoon he asked if I had any house paint to prepare the boards before mounting.  I did, thanks to DJ, and sent it back with him.   Yesterday he jacked up the board, secured it and applied the trim board. Then he brought the mower back to cut the back yard weed patch.  It doesn't take much to have Oscar belly high in vegetation.  LOL, he kept going around the house a few rounds so that whacked down the wild onion, dandelion shoots and the dry nettle.  Some of that stuff pulls up easily and I have done so around the stepping stones on the side of the house near the gate and the fencing several times.  Not sure what it is but it is everywhere!

Saturday I went to the Ashville House Quilt Shop with Jane and Aline.  They are participating in the 2nd session of the BOM 2016.  Other of our quilting friends go to the morning session.  I think they said there are 80 participants so they do have to divide up in groups the workroom will hold.  They had 25% off pre-cuts and I picked up a couple jelly rolls of Moda Bella Solid Parchment color that should go nicely with the Block Party fabric and one of the quilts in Strip Your Stash.  I love her Pixie Stix quilt though they are calling it "Rangoon"  in Quilty magazine Jan/Feb 2013 and it is sold as a digital pattern on shopfonsandporter.   I don't want a dark background though and I think the parchment will work.   The Block Party color plate is in the previous post.

I DID get a iittle sewing done on New Year's Day though it did not go well.  I mis-cut and really just had a simple math error/not looking at the directions closely enough problem.  I was just going to try one block that day but I've cut 6 strips of background 6 1/2 inches instead of 4 1/2.  I can re-cut but still won't be able to get the needed 2 1/2 inch squares from the cut.  Oh well.  Rusty quilting skills!!    Same thing sort of happened with the print bits.  Some of the fabric I had extra bits, another I just had to sub out a different strip.

This is Square Dance from Gudrun Erla's book Strip Your Stash, the book cover quilt where she shows them tilted.  The blocks finish 14 inches as I have it laid out so 6 blocks with 4 inch sashing and borders would be right in target range for a Wrap Them in Love donation quilt.  Some of this is pieced but I just need to join the block components.

Oscar was being as good as gold napping in the living room while I slipped away into the sewing room for a bit.  Skyler, on the other hand, was not.  He would not get away from the iron but then he is always hopping up on the cutting/pressing table.  He would not get away from the rotary cutter when I was trying to correct my cutting errors on more fabric.  He would not get off my chair when I got up.  He stopped short of jumping up on the sewing table but was about it.  I gave up.  Obviously, my boy wanted some attention and thought since I was away from that dog, he might be my sole focus.  Can't blame a boy for trying!

One of the Belles brought us these trays as that is how she stores her blocks and projects in progress.  I think they are from dialysis packs??  Her husband is an MD and can get them for her.  Works well as you stick another on top and I've got a hair band to hold the two together.  Keeps the stuff in place and the cat out of it----in theory.   Good for transporting as I think I'm taking my machine to the Tuesday afternoon group near here.

New Year's Eve/New Year's Day passed fairly quietly.  I ended up not watching the DVD's I had set aside but listening to music instead.  Mostly Celtic Thunder.   Sunday was all things "Downton Abbey"  I put the set on PBS about 2 pm and kept it there, LOL.  They were repeating a couple of the New Year's Eve programming.   Of course, we also had the neighborhood fireworks which didn't make Oscar any too happy.   I'm not all that crazy about it either.   At least they didn't keep it up till after 1:30 like they did on 4th of July.

BUT my family received some very good news on New Year's Day!  I saw this picture on Facebook.  My first reaction was " Wait!  That looks like home".  My sister had not had a chance to call me yet and my parents had been sworn to secrecy since it was not a "done deal" till it was.  Might have been yesterday instead of Friday, etc.   Anyway--- Wyatt was finally released from NICU and is home with his mama and daddy, Amber and Greg.  Praise Be to God for his blessings to this little one! 176 days since he was born, at 24 wks gestation and 20 oz. in weight.  Micro-preemie.  He is now a bit over 12 lbs and I think 10 weeks past his original due date of late October.  The doctors and staff felt he could continue his development at home.  THX to all of you who have kept him in your thoughts and prayers.  There are still some challenges but he has come so far already.

Trying to think if there is anything else I was going to say.  Maybe not, LOL.  Guess I better track down my walking shoes and get a handle on what it is really like outside.  Walk Oscar is a start.  THX for stopping by and hope you have a good day in whatever you chose to do--------