Aug 26, 2016

Some progress

Just warning you--this post may seem a little more scattered than usual. I was awake till 0530 and only got about 3 hours of sleep. I expect that at some point today I will crash and have to head to bed, whether Oscar is on board with that or not. I hope that this post will make some semblance of sense.

Part of the "not sleeping part, for last night anyway, was playing with some blocks you'll see a bit lower down in the post.  Too wound up! I started placing them at 2300 or so and was still playing at 0100.  Basically, I ignored the woozy headed feeling I get when I am over-tired. By the time I got there, I was overheated, felt sick to my stomach and headachy.  UGH!  Here's hoping for a better night.

I found out earlier in the week that the quilts for the Veteran's facility in Lebanon (TN) that my sister-in-law was organizing was not happening, after all.  The costs of renovation were prohibitive and the project was scuttled.  I put the patriotic fabric up for now.  Lois has most of a QOV already done.  I don't think this is a total wasted effort as what is to keep us from making some to take over to the Col. Robert L. Howard Veteran's Home like the Friendship Quilters group did when I was involved with them?  The Quilts of Valor program has a lot of rules and you know I feel about that!!  Worthwhile cause but needlessly restrictive, IMHO.

I have been focused on piecing or getting organized TO piece the last few days.

First off, I DID get the blocks organized for the Belles Sew-in Day blocks.  Monday I had cut the setting triangles that two of them required as I mentioned in my last post.  I laid them out on these trays that Valera had donated to the group with the sashing bits if that pile of blocks needed them.  I miscalculated and will need to make 3 more blocks but that is not a problem.

Easy to store the trays until I am ready to work on them.  Those overly tight headbands work great for huge rubber bands.  Maybe it will stretch them enough that I can use them for their intended purposes without giving me a horrid headache!

 We were a small group on Tuesday.  Lois had a lovely log cabin quilt to pin and Jane helped her with that.  Brenda was binding on a Christmas quilt as it is entered in the upcoming Lick Skillet Quilt Show.   I'll get a picture of it at the show but Bev told me this morning that the pattern for "Tree Farm" is free online.  It had been featured on the Moda Bake Shop site and there is a link in the post for the pdf file.  Jelly Roll friendly.  

Bev was binding too and I should have been, LOL but Margarita needed some help with her Ashville House Block of the Months.  She had to cut out 4 Courthouse Steps Log Cabin blocks and the fabrics were in neutrals with no clear lights or darks.  The pieces provided in the kit did not give a whole lot of room for error in cutting in the width anyway.    We put our heads together to unravel the pattern and I got her started with it.  Since Lois had a birthday coming up, we told her to pick where she wanted to go for lunch.  I was home earlier than usual since two of the gals had other obligations.

A few hours later and I was off to the evening group---and a little binding DID get done.  I am beginning to give up hope that I will get it finished up in time for guild Show and Tell but you never know!   I wanted to show you how well Stacy is doing with her Chevron Quilt.  The week before we had worked out what she needed to do to get it a bit bigger--ended up just needing 1 extra block per row and one more row.  She had cut out all the needed setting triangles and was ready to start adding those.   Proud of her efforts!  I only provided the guidance and she ran with it.

Here is a closeup of the focus print.

Wednesday afternoon the critters let me go sew and this top got finished up.  Woohoo!  Thursday I prepped the backing fabric after digging around in my stash.  The binding choices was a bit more tricky but I think a weird colored Jinny Beyer tone and tone will work.  If not, I'll go back to my other (darker brown) choice.  I also prepped the batting from the leftover bits in the closet.

The other slight detour in plans was influenced by this little box.  I am subscribed to the monthly Sew Sampler box from Fat Quarter Shop.  It is about $30 per month with shipping but they pack it with all kinds of cool stuff.  This month it was a neat tin, a binding ruler, a Corey Yoder Sundrop Jolly Bar (which was on my wishlist!!!), that cool bobbin holder, quilt hangers and the little booklet of 20 Jolly Bar patterns.  Wowie, do they keep topping themselves each month.  Oh and that little recipe card thing is a block pattern in 3 sizes.  This is one in in the series, each box has had one.

The detour?  Well, I was going to use the Brighten Up Jolly Bar to do the Garden Gate quilt and had in fact, sewn the stack of white charms to the whole pile.  Now I had the REAL Jolly Bar in my sampler box.  After considering this, I sat down and unsewed them.   These two were sorta, kind keeping me company while I did this at the kitchen table.

 I'll get one Brighten Up Jolly Bar and do the original pattern called "Step it Up" included in it but that meant they needed to be trimmed down to 9 1/2 inches.  No biggie.  I got the backgrounds cut out as well so that is all kitted up till the order comes and some minor cutting will ensue.  I went back in the sewing room around 2000 and had the blocks done and pressed in about an hour.

Here's the initial layout---it didn't stay that way!

I've fiddled, flopped, swapped and this was one of the incarnations.  I've sewed them up but not entirely like this!

And I thought I was done--the rows are done--but you can't flip the strips end to end as there are 13, not 14.  Look at the 3rd column and you see why!  I put it back the way it was.  Tomorrow, I'll put the sashing/borders on the columns.  It does not call for a top and bottom border and I'm debating on whether it needs them or not.  What do you think?   

I doubt I am going back in the sewing room anymore today.  Both of the critters came in there to get me this afternoon as it was.  First, Skyler was lounging around on the pressing surface and not wanting me to pin the row when I was supposed to petting and playing with him.  Then Oscar came strolling in and acting all lovey so I would walk him.  I was just about done, one more short seam, when he appeared.

I'm tired!  I passed on a last minute invitation to go to a local football game because of that but have a birthday party to go tomorrow and will see our friend then.  Oscar is making indications it is time again to stretch our legs.  Mine feel like lead weights but I'll go and then I'm hogging the couch, Boys!

And sew it goes------

Aug 22, 2016

Checking in

August is progressing--not entirely sure what I have been doing but the days go by. Ready or not!

Let's see---I picked up the Charming Boxes quilt from Wendell and Valerie Thursday morning but have not put the binding on yet. I haven't done anything more to the binding I am supposed to be hand finishing either but that's understandable as it is never my first choice of things to do, LOL. I sewed on Friday afternoon in spite of Skyler wanting to help me/keep me company parked right next to the machine. Then it took all day on Saturday to get the blocks pressed--that Garden Gate idea I had with the white charms and the fun Jolly Bar in the last post. Actually I had planned to sew the other half of the Layer Cake Lattice "arms" on a project I had set aside while I was chaining bits through the machine.  I had forgotten that I had already DONE that so the blocks were finished but needed pressed also.  I swapped out the quilt I had hanging for the vinyl tablecloth and put these up on the design wall.

The fabric was a Silk Road from Benartex layer cake I had picked out as part of my Christmas money spend-down from DJ one year.  Pattern is available from Fat Quarter Shop  and the link will take you their jolly jabber blog which includes links to their you tube video and the pdf file.   There is one more row but I don't have enough room to pin it up.  I really should move the hooks up another foot or so but that is NOT an easy proposition by myself especially since the level is not long enough and the things have to be at least 50 some inches apart.  I know what order the blocks go in so row 7 is in the project box.  That'll work!

So far I have resisted the impulse to move these around much since I fiddled around with this for over an hour Saturday evening.   I'm living with the result before I actually fire up the machine.  Yeah, really what happened is I have not been able to get back in there to sew them.  The pile finished up with 10 of the zigzag print, 9 of the paisley one, 6 of the ones that look like ribbons and 3 each of two different florals.  I struggle with the limitations of the same colors in different prints even though layer cakes are convenient.   Kind of a fall vibe going on though.

The other day I was asked what we might have planned for the Belles meeting that is coming up.  LOL, I never plan much of anything for the others as I never know who all is coming.  As individuals, we usually bring some hand work if you don't want to haul our machines in.  I could go either way as I always have a machine in the car so pick a project.  There is almost always a quilt or two to pin, though sometimes not.  Generally unless we are having sew day and a potluck,  it is your day so do what you want!  However, I replied that I would like to go through the blocks from the LAST sew day and group those into the 4 quilts I know we have in the stack.  I am referring to those 4 patch pinwheels I showed you in THIS POST from late July.  I am figuring on 2 quilts in a sashed and stoned horizontal set and 2 on point. One of those will have sashing, the other not.

At the JOY meeting earlier this month Jane had brought some yardage rolled on the bolt that she had picked up at Jackie C's estate sale last fall that she was donating to the cause for setting triangles, backing, whatever for the quilts.  I still had the muslin bolt she had bought for us at home for the sashing, more blocks, the next sew day, whatever.  I cut this afternoon--sashing for 3 of them, setting triangles for the two quilts that need it.  The cornerstones will be scrappy on 3 of them and those are already cut.  Then other one will look more planned so I cut them.  Borders are cut for the two on point.  Backing is cut for all four of them.  A little of the binding for one of them that was leftover from one of the Ribbon Candy bindings I had prepped.  I ordered a 1/2 yard of it just to be sure there is enough and some yardage that I hope will go with the 2nd "bolt".  THX so much, Jane.  There is a little left over of the Lotus piece but not much! Now to decide which blocks go in which quilt.   I'll haul my No Bake Jolly Bar quilt with me as well and who knows?  I might finish up the side I started two weeks ago!   Stranger things have happened.

What have I been doing?  Washing something, seems like.  Dishes, laundry, me---even the dog got a bath and all his bedding.  Either washing or doing something with the floors.  Always sweeping!  Or walking me or walking me and the dog.   I still need to hang the new blind in the bedroom but the battery got changed in the bathroom clock.  I still need to unload the dishwasher from yesterday.  That was DJ's job and I tend to procrastinate that one till I have stuff piled in the sink.  I had some computer problems with the tablet on Friday so did my geek thing.   I did a little bit of binge cooking, minor though, and a yummy batch of Shrimp and Tofu Pad Thai.  I had told Paul I planned to make some and did he think he wanted any.  He had sampled it the last time I made it and liked it while Miss Kathryn didn't really care for it.  "Yes, that's good stuff" but I know he'll need some extra chile paste with it and packed up some condiment containers for him. His friend Charlie was over when I delivered it and he sampled it as well.

I started reading Higher than Yonder Mountain that Susan had lent me but have not really had much time to read in the evenings for some reason.  Some days I can barely read the paper!  I've also been listening to a lot of you tube videos chromecast to the TV--mostly Peter Hollens, Evynne Hollens, Home Free, some Pentatonix, Phil Coulter, Secret Garden (Brian Kennedy's version of "You Raise Me Up", the first public performance of the song  is one Dad played for me on CD when I was back with Tracey Campbell-Nation performing some backup vocals was one I stumbled on---loved it!).  Then I was back on a Celtic binge with Paddy Reilly and the Dubliners, more of Brian Kennedy (good version of Fields of Athenry!)  and my beloved Celtic Thunder lads but Phil Coulter is a bit of an extension of that!  Dad, you might want to hear the version of "Grace" by Jim McCann as he explains the story behind the song on Coulter's "Timeless Tranquility" -Grace Gifford and Joseph Plunkett and the Easter Rising of 1916.  Hear what the lyrics are anyway to the lovely tune though the Paddy Reilly version is more tuneful but minus the explanation.  The "Inspector Lewis" finale on Masterpiece is about all I have watched on TV other than the videos and that is more listening that actual viewing.

Yesterday I got a phone call, after a few earlier attempts from a pal in Florida.  Muriel is a friend from the aCozyQuilt Bee list days in the 90's.   We had met in person when she and some other friends came from various places for a sew-in at my friend Joy's house--back in the early Wrap Them in Love days.  After reading some of my blog posts, she had messaged me on Facebook about calling and could she have my number.  Sure!  I was fixing a late lunch when she called the first time.  She said go ahead and eat and she would try later.  Then I missed the 2nd attempt when I could not get to the phone in another room quickly enough but we finally got to chat!  Good to catch up a bit.

I was out walking Oscar when my neighbor Glynda flagged me down.  She and Robert are still dealing with estate matters for her SIL Linda/Robert's sister and going through boxes.  She was working on some china, crystal and dishes yesterday and found a Linda mug and handed it to me.  They are making some progress and things are being dealt with.   They pointed out a Singer sewing machine that had probably belonged to Robert's mom since Linda did not sew.  It came home with me for the price I offered contingent on whether it actually would sew/run.  It is a Singer Merritt model escapes me at the moment but I think it is from 92 from what I read in the manual I downloaded.  I got it cleaned up and cleaned out as best I could--no dust cover.  The pictures are too fuzzy to be much help with threading and such but I think I have it figured out with the possible exception of the tension knob which keeps falling off.  I'll be talking to Wendell about that part when he comes to do the belt for the treadle.  Nice mechanical machine with a pretty stitch once I got things figured out.   No, I don't need another machine but there are some new sewers at the Tuesday group who might. ( I had given away my Kenmore to one of them not long ago to one of them.)  There is also a machine in a cabinet back in the storage space behind some other furniture, not quite unearthed yet.  I told Robert to be on the lookout for the machine accessories which could be with the other machine.  There was only the one foot on the machine and no built in storage bin like most machines have.   I guess I did sew yesterday after all but just on scrap pieces to test the machine, not on any exisiting project.  Not sure where to set up for a 1/4 inch though you can change the needle position to obtain one--right, left and center position.

I've not been sleeping well again and I hope that trend will end soon.  I'm tired!  I'm tired anyway from the prolonged heat but 4 hours is not enough.  I do not like being awake till 2 and 3 in the morning and have the day start at 6:30 or 7.  I'm also stiff and sore for some reason on my backside, maybe from walking??  Shoulders down to my rear end--feels like I got hit by a truck.  I keep plugging on the laps.

This past Friday some of the Public Work dudes started knocking down what was left of the foundation of the old Senior Center house.   The fire department had used the building itself for a training burn like they often do but it had remained with yellow crime scene tape around it for several weeks after that till this week.  By Saturday morning the crew had it all cleared off and bulldozed flat.  Today, they must have spread grass seed and straw.  The town is preparing for Heritage Days on the 2nd Saturday in September so they may need the space to set up vendors or parking.  The crews were doing other prep work today, installing another water source in the area they had used for the food court last year.

Okay, I've got to check the dryer.  Yep, I washed my walking clothes up this load and trust me, they needed it badly!  Tired of sweating.  One of these days it will be cooler than 76 when I get up.  Has to!  Thanks for stopping by------

Aug 17, 2016

Another week

Another week, the month is half over and I'm just tired.  I have a feeling that a good bit of the fatigue factor is the continued hot and often sticky weather.  Yeah, it is August in the South and this is to be expected but it takes the starch right out of you!

There was some thunder and lightning going on late last night shortly after I had gone to bed.  Oscar was whining in his crate and I was bound and determined he was not getting out of there.  Maybe I should have to just soothe him somehow but I can't start reversing the message he has been getting about that.  He has been doing much better about that lately.  Anyway, between the storm (only got 1/4 inch of rain so sound and fury mostly) and such, I slept for a couple of hours, woke at 3 and stayed awake till 5 or so.  Went back to sleep and next thing I knew it was 9:30.  YIKES!

I had laid off all last week from walking and trying to get in the swing of thing this week.  To be honest, I really didn't feel like going after 10:30 am but did it anyway.  Fortunately there was some shade in the park and a little bit of a breeze, not too muggy.   Breakfast was at 1130, lunch at 3 and who knows about supper at this rate?   Here it is 6 p.m. already!  Oscar thinks we should go walk but we just did that at 4.  I was hoping to hold him off till about 7 but that high pitched whine may force the issue.

Robert mowed again on Monday and just like last time, the camellia bush was covered in grass clippings.  I raked it up and thought I was clean up the worst of the piles in the front yard.  I was only out there for an hour and got three heaping wheelbarrows full of grass.  Yesterday I raked up another swath alongside the road--approx 75 feet by 6 ft. and another load of grass to dump in the kudzu.   Amazingly, I only got one fire ant bite and a little sunburned where my walking shirt did not cover the back of my neck and shoulders.  This raking is totally out of character for me though. I am not an outside girl.  I can appreciate that there IS an outside but everything I like to do is inside.  Nor am I likely to want to do the whole yard anyway.  The lot is an acre and all of it didn't look that horrid.  I'm thinking it is where the concentric rounds of mowing come together and that's why the stuff mounds up.  Sound right?

Customer Service from Electric Quilt emailed me back in response to my note about not being able to install EQ6 on the way to EQ 7 installation.  Turns out my EQ7 Upgrade did not need to have 5 or 6 installed after all.  I could remove those and/or not install 6 as the disc would install the full featured program I needed.  I did not know that!  What I needed was the EQ6 license number and password information in order to proceed and an internet connection.  It DID mess me up on my authorization/validation thing though as you are only allowed the software to be installed on two computers at a time.  I did not think to deactivate the notebook when I re-set it over the weekend.  However,  that was quickly resolved with a call to EQ.  I recognized that I was talking to Penny McMorris who I remember from her early days on TV.  EQ has been around for 25 years now!  I've been using it since version 4 and 98 when I got my first computer.  I was then able to do the two subsequent upgrades from the website as well as download the free monthly fabric files and the monthly project they post.

I have been drawing in EQ a good bit recently.  Donna called and needed me to print off the foundation pattern for a Fall Leaf she wanted to make for the upcoming retreat.  This one was called "Not Your Mother's Maple Leaf"   on the Generations Quilt Patterns site.  She couldn't print apparently but needed the sheets.  I couldn't see where the link was TO print it off so I found the block in BlockBase #1740 attributed to Aunt Martha publications but this one had an appliqued stem.  A little tweaking and I could print off what she needed to complete the block.

Another drawing project was finishing up what I started last week.  I had resized Camille Roskelley's Framed design from Simply Retro to possibly use it with charm packs at the center.  Okay, that would work but now I wanted the book version to be non-square!  I wanted a printout and a better idea of how big the quilt would be once finished.  Done and done.

Lastly, I had gotten a Brighten Up!Jolly Bar ( half a layer cake in essence 5 x 10) from the Fat Quarter Shop.  The fabric designed by Me and My Sister is so bright and fun I could not pass it up for a great-grand quilt or donation quilt.  These always come with a free pattern.  The link will show you the one included with the Brighten up for a "Step It Up Quilt".  I like it but I like the one that comes with the Garden Gate Quilt kit better!  I recognize this as being just a larger version of the Missouri Star Zipper Quilt Tutorial on youtube.  However,  it is older than that as something quite similar (in the finished product anyway) is in M'liss Rae Hawley's Fat Quarter Quilts and called "Broken Bricks" published by Martingale in '99.   Garden Gate just puts them in columns with sashing or borders and possibly treats them as blocks.  That's how I would piece it anyway.   Judy Martin had one similar on her free Block of the Month August 2003, maybe a bit more elongated.

Anyway I've got it drawn up for my "road map".  Early this afternoon I cut out the 5 inch squares and sashing yardage I will need to make my version.  I AM going to sew tomorrow even if this was not on my radar at this time last week.  I want to play with some fun fabric and sewing something that will not require a lot of thinking or planning.  I don't want to work on something I "hafta" do, just something I want to do for a couple days.  There is a difference!  I spot mopped a bit so the kitchen floor is okay for now. While I was cutting and had the white background fabric out, I cut out one QOV block for the fall retreat from bits off the end of the 5 inch strips mostly and bagged it up.  The other bright blue is for binding on the Framed I cut out last week.

 Sewing.  No vacuuming, no laundry as I did that already--yesterday.  I spot mopped a bit so the kitchen floor is okay for now.  No meetings, only one outside appointment other than walking.  Grocery run can even wait another day or two, I think.

Tuesday evening I took my notebook with me thinking I would finish drawing up the Framed project and left my quilt I am supposed to be binding out in the car "just in case".  As it turned out bringing the computer was a good plan.  Stacy is working on her chevron quilt and needed a little guidance.  There was some question about the layout (the blocks are on point).  Do you start with one or two blocks and how many more blocks or rows/ripples did she need to get to the size quilt she was aiming for?  I couldn't print off the diagram but I could email her a pdf file to help with the layout, widening it if she wanted to go that route.  We also talked about cutting the quarter square setting triangles and why you do it that way instead of half square triangles. The pattern printout that I had given her a few weeks ago  from my files Happy Zombie Super Zig gave us the size to cut them though hers were slightly smaller chunks.  Can always trim it down once the top is complete!  Margarita had not been feeling well last week at Belles and brought me a couple of goodies for my bday---peach preserves and more of her delicious bread and butter pickles!  Guess I'm still celebrating a week later.

Wendell called me yesterday with a question about the two quilt tops I had given him to long arm as comfort quilts back in June.  His notes had gotten cold.  You may recall that this was the Charming Boxes block I had taught the girls at the spring retreat and then I took the resultant blocks, made more for a donation top.   He was getting ready to load the quilt yesterday and had a question about the D9P I had finished up for Aline.   Jane had invited me to breakfast with the radio club tomorrow as Wendell and Valerie (his wife) will be there.  I told him if the quilt was done I could pick it up then.  Since they had been out of pocket for a good bit of June and July, I told him that the treadle could wait till later in the month or into next month even so he could get caught up a bit.  This all means I will have another one to bind but it is all prepped and ready to go on anyway.

Guess that is about it for this installment.  Oscar keeps whining and I am not at all sure what the problem is.  He goes out and wants in.  He whines by the door but doesn't want out.  I don't know if he just wants some attention, doesn't feel good or what,  Did the same thing last night.  SIGH.  Maybe he knows more storms are coming?  Who knows?  I'll see if some one on one will get him to quit.

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.

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.