Oct 26, 2016

Meeting day

Yesterday was my quilt meeting(s) day with Belles leading off.  I've got the Halloween quilts up right now so could not hang my recent completions up on the design wall to get pictures.  The meeting spot would work just fine!

You have seen this one--the guild Charming Boxes quilt. The guild members did about 20 some blocks at the spring retreat.  I completed the top, Wendell quilted it and Margarita completed the binding for me with a promise to help with our donation quilts IF I ever get them quilted!!!

This is the Prairie Sticks I completed earlier this summer.  Jennifer quilted it for me along with the No Bake Jolly Bar from the same fabric line.  I plan on sending this one on to one of my great-grand nieces once it is shown at the next guild meeting.  I would have done so LAST month but I had just had that tooth extraction and couldn't drive, etc.

And finally my version of the Good Karma challenge quilt for the recent fall retreat.  The pattern is a take off of Stacey Day's Rubix which came in a mailer from AQS.  She used a controlled palette and I do like that better BUT I had to use each piece of fabric in the charm pack along with some of the aqua stitch yardage.  Those of you who know me will also know how much I tweak patterns.  I did not want to have 4 little squares of the same fabric meeting.  I changed the piecing methods to be framed squares with sashing around them.  Looks the same, sorta, in the end but did NOT go together as Ms. Day's did.  I call mine "Rubix Redux"

I had to laugh at the retreat though as my friend Linda N. came up to me to say how much she loved the gray background I chose. No one else had used it for the challenge but she had used gray in one of her own quilts recently.  I told her that was as much to contrast with the white pieces in the pack but I do happen to like gray.  I mentioned that my mom would probably hate that part as we lived in parsonages that had gray wall paper.  Linda, a pastor's wife (now widowed like me and maybe even a PK too), that I had just hit on the reason she didn't care for white backgrounds.   Everything white at her parsonages!  LOL

Margarita was my tablemate at the retreat and this Twisted Sister was the 2nd of her two projects.  I got her started with one block, and understanding that partial seaming was no big thing, and she was off and running with most all the blocks done by end of retreat.  Last Tuesday they arranged the blocks at the evening group and the top completed in the interim week.  This will be a birthday gift for a family member.  She just wanted to be sure that she had enough backing before passing this on to Jennifer at our guild meeting.

Brenda also had a "show and tell" piece.  I believe she said that this had been a block of the month project from the defunct Heart to Heart Quilt Shop in Trussville (AL).  The binding is in progress.

Lois had brought 5 quilts to pin and I think she said she had 5 more at home!  Bev had a cute baby top to pin as well so she got first dibs at the table.  We had plenty of hands on deck for pinning though with Marilyn, Jane and her guest Valerie who wanted to learn how we did this.  Margarita was getting caught up with her Ashville House Block of the Month stuff with just a little guidance from me.  I love how confident she is becoming at reading patterns and cutting!  Brenda came along a bit later to help.  I probably only got a few stitches in my ancient embroidery project but I don't care.  Some days friendship, fellowship, going where needed and just visiting is the order of the day.

We were having a potluck lunch and she needed to borrow the church's oven to make her yummy contribution.   I don't know if this has a name but you de-crust and flatten white bread with a rolling pin, spread it with softened cream cheese, roll it up, dip it in melted butter and then roll in cinnamon sugar and then bake.  She said she had done this with her grandkids on Sunday and it was a big hit!  Well, it was a big hit with the quilters too!  We also had some yummy butternut squash soup that Lois had made and I've got to get that recipe.  Bev found one that might be similar on her i-pad so just need to ask for the link.  Ham or turkey and cheese sandwiches, blueberry salad as well as mac and cheese rounded out the meal along with some good Bojangles tea.

I had to leave a bit earlier than I would have liked after lunch to meet the bookmobile but also to rest up between meetings.  Donna is working with a couple of the girls on a sampler quilt to teach them various techniques.  Recently we had found a block on Quilter's Cache called Sarah's Choice that had a pinwheel at center and then flying geese for the star points.  She didn't necessarily want to follow the printed directions but then there all kinds of ways to do flying geese. As it turns out, Donna's preferred method is the No Waste 4 at once version but I still ran home to get my Eleanor Burns book and rulers for the girls to use, just in case.  They were going to do them slightly over-sized and trimmed down.

Another of the girls was prepping her stuff for the Fidget Quilt class we are doing to do at Guild on Friday afternoon.  I still need to get in the sewing room and pull some stuff for this like buttons, zippers, rickrack, ribbon, beads and the like sometime between now and then.  My friend Bev and fellow Belle is going to teach us how to do this for Alzheimer's patients.  This one was one she did for an autistic young boy but you get the idea.  I should have kept some of those jeans jumpers for the fabric or see what I can scrounge up at the thrift store for corduroy/textural fabric.

I tried to leave last night once but Aline's husband had just arrived with a couple pizzas for us.  LOL I felt like I had been eating all day after that potluck but it is hard to say "no" to pepperoni.  All and all, a good quilty kind of day--and I love it!

Charlie and I spent a good bit of the extended weekend together.  Turns out repairs to his van were going to be more than it listed on Blue Book.  The 2017's are coming in though so there were some deals to be made. He wanted me to go look nd weigh in on Thursday and had brought his 3 year old granddaughter along with him.  Abby saw Gramps about to leave and he couldn't leave her home.  She loved Skyler but Oscar not so much even though she has a large dog and even 3 puppies at her house.  I kept Abby entertained (and vice versa) though she wore me out chasing her around one of the cars at the dealership.  They had a truck bed loaded with candy and cookies right by the salesman's desk so some of that might have been sugar overload.  I heard she crashed and burned once she got home!

Friday I drove off to his place as we were off to Bennett Farms Pumpkin Patch for the twin granddaughter's (almost 7) school field trip.  Michelle was going to go with us but had not gotten much sleep as Abby kept her awake a good bit of the night.  We needed to run by the credit union, the insurance place and the dealership plus he had plans to visit with our friend Paul.  I had meal prep to do anyway as I was making Shrimp Pad Thai for our evening meal.

Saturday we went for a drive and thought the kids might want to go as well.  Zeke his 8 (almost 9) yr old grandson had an overnight guest so we didn't.  The kids were all about to watch "Turbo" in 3D.   I had one twin on one leg and one twin on the other as the movie started.  Emma apparently got all settled in as she asked her mama why I had to leave just because Gramps was ready to go.  Michelle said she's his girlfriend and he likes her and started making "kissy faces".  I said "no, He LOVES me"  in a sing-song voice like people do.  Emma looked at me and said "you like him too" We had planned to watch the Bama-Texas A & M game back at my place anyway rather than interrupt their TV viewing.  He even did some of the "honey do" jobs around here and I was free to putter in the kitchen a bit.

Sunday found us trooping through Walmart for groceries etc like an old married couple or something and going for a drive.  Some roads I have been on, some I have not.  He had hoped to introduce me to some long time friends of his but they were not home.  I think he is still missing some phone numbers after his phone accidentally got burnt up while clearing brush this summer.  I guess I meet his brother and sister-in-law a week from Sunday at a local restaurant.  That's set up.

I am truly enjoying our time together.  He does taekwondo with the kids after school during the week so I tend to see him more come the weekend but we keep in touch. Couplehood--gotta love it!  I am oh, so happy, thanks to him in my life.

Okay, I got up with plans to clean the bathroom and maybe mop the kitchen floor today but of course, none of that has happened yet.  I did get a load of wash done but it needs switched over.  I'm dressed, Oscar was walked.  Best get crackin' here as I expect to see my honey this evening!

Oct 19, 2016

What a month so far!

I am going to address this item first and then get to the "real" life part of this post.  I have had several requests recently about a pattern/tutorial for how I do my t-shirt quilts with the shadows added.  It does add a little unusual twist to my version as opposed to the more typical ones you encounter.   I suspect that it is making the rounds on Pinterest???  I could try to email you but you are coming back as "no reply blogger".  One person DID supply her email addy.

There is no real pattern.  My sewing plans always vary with the motif size, once cut and interfaced.  I DO describe my process for centering them in columns and there is a post about that found HERE in "My sort of tutorial for a t-shirt quilt".   I always use my EQ software to, in effect, custom size each and every shirt/shirt section.  The sashing width stays static but the background sizes are cut to whatever the largest block in that column measures with at least an inch on two sides.   That may not mean a whole lot unless you go back and read the post---and even then it may not be totally clear to you.  Drop the shadows down about an inch or two on the right and indent it the same amount on the bottom and fill in the rest with background.  Want it narrower or look mitered do a 45 degree angled seam like you when joining binding strips---I've seen patterns like that too.

I hope that answered your questions!

Yeah, yeah, yeah I know I have not updated for a few weeks but someone has been keeping me a little busy.   I am thankful for that as I've not been this happy in some time. Charlie feels the same way. I've got someone to laugh with, be silly with and it is so fun!  While we may not have been looking for someone--I sure wasn't-- we were both right there and I guess he needed the nudge from Paul to at least consider it.  Once he said "okay, give me her phone number" the ball started rolling though I am finding this out after the fact, LOL.  The best things can happen if can open your heart to the possibilities!

Charlie had wanted a picture of me but I have come to hate having that done as I sort of how forgot how to pose for the camera and smile on command.  He had snapped one on his phone but I was dancing around the living room telling him he couldn't hit a moving target.  Finally I said if his daughter-in-law could take one of us and manage to capture the kinda sappy way we have been looking at each other, smiling and enjoying each other's company I would go along with it.  This was one of my favorites from earlier this month and I think Michelle DID get it right.  She had sent Jeff, Charlie's youngest son in to get a joke book to aid in the "getting me to smile part" but we did just fine on our own.  Sheesh, when she posted them on Facebook, we got comments from family and long time friends like "is Gramps getting married??" and "what's going on?  Are you in need of a maid of honor?"  LOL--slow down y'all!

Unbeknownst to me, my neighbor snapped this one of us heading down the lane walking Oscar and thought we might want it.

I could go on and on about this relationship but I'll spare you most of that gushing and detail I go into my blogging.  Some of those tender moments are private, after all!  He is so good to me and good FOR me.  He took me to my tooth extraction and still felt like kissing me with a long packing string hanging out my mouth. I don't even remember getting in the car to come home. He stocked the fridge with soft foods, tucked me into bed to keep me from toppling over and kept dealing with the ice bags.  He helped me through a family crisis that has spanned about 10 days (more on that in a minute). He's has nursed me through a recent bout of an upper respiratory event, never a pretty event.  I lost my voice and sound a bit like Minnie Mouse and ought to own stock in Kleenex.  He is living dangerously as he still wants to kiss me but is dosing us both with vitamin C and Cold-Eze.   He is enjoying my cooking and I'm having fun having some to cook for.  He's taking me around to meet his other son and siblings-I've got two more local ones to go.   We've been off to Boo at the Zoo with his cutie pie grandkids, up and back to Vanderbilt Hospital on Monday for my family situation and later this week the grand's school event and weekend plans to look forward to.   Suffice to say, we are doing well and I am thoroughly enjoying this.  Isn't happy much better than mourning what we both have lost with our spouses passing?


Okay moving on-----time is sort of blending together here but on Friday evening the 7th we got a call from my mom telling me that my brother Steve has a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm.  There is about a 1% chance of recovery from this and he had already delayed treatment.  Not good.  Thankfully, there was an alert vascular surgeon on hand once 911 was called, the repair was performed.  Charlie offered to take me up to TN right then but my sister-in-law asked me to be the contact person for my side of our large family so she would not have to deal with all the phone calls, texts and emails. I still felt like I should go as I am the one who lives the closest but that is still about 4-4 1/2 hours away.  Sunday evening comes--they moved Steve out of ICU to the floor, not a step down unit and an hour later he had a heart attack, actually his 2nd as it turns out.  Back to ICU.  He's got blockages but if it were to take more than stents to correct, he needs to airlift to Vanderbilt.  Jan insisted he be transferred to deal with any heart issues.  The next Friday, the 14th, he has a triple bypass.  By this past Sunday he is moved to step down and he's walking.

Regardless of what Jan said about staying put things had stabilized, we went up on Monday. She needed the support at that point and I needed to see with my own eyes that Steve was okay.  I remember only too well what it was like to be the one sitting in the waiting room all alone and far away from any family and friends when DJ had heart surgery.  She is overwhelmed with his going home too soon, Steve's a bit wild eyed from the meds and all.  I firmly believe there is a bit of mental disturbance with open heart too.  Charlie and I both thought Steve looked more relaxed and enjoying a little company and Jan was less stressed out by the time we were ready to go.

While on one hand discharge home is a good thing, he IS supposed to go home today whether she is quite ready or not.  He's a big guy and she's a petite girl and she has some justifiable concerns.  The hospital deemed he didn't need home care and she gave them an earful.  I wouldn't be messing with a half Italian-half German woman when she popped the vascular surgeon on the back of the head for transferring out of ICU pre-heart attack and putting him at risk like that.  I'll go back up there if she needs me.  My niece who is a nurse offered to go as well.


I was up at the fall retreat in Attalla during all this stuff going on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday though I left early as that was surgery day.  Gail, the one who is the event coordinator had made sure that me and another person who needed wi-fi access what we needed to maintain internet access or I could not have gone.  Margarita was my table mate.  I helped her with bordering a "Frozen" panel that will be a gift for a grandchild and then helped her get started on her Twisted Sister block in red, white, blacks.  We had started some of this at the Tuesday evening group so she had the cutting done but needed help with the first block.  I think she had 18 of the 25 she needed done by the time I left Friday.  Last night we were laying out the blocks to start her rows.

The challenge quilts on the pews.  Mine is the one with the gray background.  I'll have to have Charlie hold it up for me to get a picture of it opened up.  It is a take off of Stacey Day's Rubix quilt but she used a controlled palette.  The pattern had come as mail insert from AQS but there is a downloadable pdf file if you goggle it.  I had to use all the prints in the charm pack.  Also I did not want 4 little squares where the blocks meet and re-drew it with a large square and pieced elements around it.  My blocks were pre-sashed and minus cornerstones so it all floats.  I'm calling it "Rubix Redux" because it might bear some nodding acquaintance with the original but is NOT the same.

Here are some of the other challenge entries. 19 of us participated.  One even used my Charming Boxes tutorial! (2nd picture down)

The fall blocks from last year---Aline won them and this is the resultant quilt.  Don't know who won the pot this year as I left early.

I worked on my version of "Framed" from Simply Retro using the Dixie line from Moda's Cluck, Cluck Sew at the retreat.  Boring sewing but still enough of  distraction with the family situation.  On day two I decided I wanted the block to be larger by another row.  I had already bumped it up a row longer from 35 to 42 but now it will be 49 blocks square.  Anyway that meant a bit more cutting and sewing on Friday morning so I sort of ended up needing to add just one more strip to a lightly increased pile of blocks--much how it looked at the end of Thursday! 

These are a few of the goodies/door prizes from the retreat--well, minus the Alabama t-shirt that came with the sewing machine cover that Lois won.  She didn't want the shirt but I did providing it will fit me, LOL.  I won the Time to Sew Clock which I need to put up yet.  The black and white print was at my sewing place along with grouping of fat quarters that  have a vintage vibe.  I pulled the two to the left of it in the fat quarter draw---one is definitely a Bonnie and Camille piece and the other a 30's repro.  Amanda made the cricut decal for our cars---I got 73 out of 79 on a music trivia quiz so got to pick in the first group.  I don't know who made the cute pincushion and the little zip bag but they are coordinating prints.  Freda painted the little ornament and also our large button name badge.  Gail used those for the prize drawings--come up when your color is called. ( I was orange, LOL.)  She also did the embroidery for our retreat shirts that said "hanging with my buds" and showed shirts hanging on the line with Quilt in gorgeous multi-colored threads. Mine is in the laundry or I would get a picture of it.  These were hung all around the room like a clothesline with our names above it.  We replaced them with our QOV donation blocks and wore them for a group picture.  


I doubt that I am going to get much more sewing done until Bama Belles day next week.  At home I am still sort of set up to quilt rather than so but I think I'm putting all that up for the time being. This house looks like a wreck! For 5 days I was not supposed to do anything strenuous with the tooth extraction or risk losing the clot and dry socket, then the retreat, then lots of time with my Sweetie.  I plan to get busy dealing with it today since right now I won't see him till Friday!  The laundry was caught up on Sunday but that is always an never-ending job.  Need to walk first.  Walk Oscar too--he's waiting and I'm not dressed yet.  Since I was hanging the Halloween quilts last night, I accidentally bent the heck out of the hanging rod and will need to replace it if the thing is going up.  (I was attempting to mount a wall hanging over one of the beds, the level fell on it back behind the bed, came out bent.)  But the list of things I forgot at the store last night was already growing.  I had borrowed the Belles Big Board for the retreat and will probably ran it back tomorrow as it takes up a big chunk of the car's interior. Besides I will need a couple of items from the better stocked grocery store down that way (Publix) to make Shrimp Pad Thai for us on Friday anyway. Combine errands when you can! 

Best get cracking here--------thanks for stopping by.  Also thanks to all the prayer warriors who stepped up when I asked for prayers for Steve, Jan and their girls on facebook.