Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Heartbroken - I'll be absent for a while.

We've had a tough couple of months here, with 911, hospital, nursing home and finally husband returned home after all that during the holidays.  No Christmas checks were written, somehow Thanksgiving and Christmas came and went without me noticing.  DH was so ill, slightly recovered for a time, but his illness won out and yesterday January 21, he died here at home.  

I'll write more another time.  

Monday, January 20, 2020

Small projects, basket strings quilts, health issues

Sue made this little quilt (above) and asked me to send it to the collection point, Hugs and Stitches.   I looked at it and LOVED it immediately only to hear that it was ME who started it long ago and then in my fit of cleaning out UFOs, she picked it up and finished it!  Yeahhhh, that's what friends are for!  Sue has been a fresh, excited, participating addition to our quilting community.   We are heartbroken to see her move but understand that moving near family is of primary importance.

Below is a silly kids quilt for same donation as the above quilt, made from a box of scraps from Joan (NC).  Mostly, I was playing and still don't have the right balance or ????  We continue to learn, don't we?   

I saw Bonnie Hunter's Basket Weave Strings  (free pattern on her blog,,) and made #6 quilt from "that box of scraps"given to me by Pat's Creative Stitchery, our LQS.  Carol liked the idea and made the center quilt, and then Sue (named above) made the one on the right!

 We showed all 3 at one time at January Guild for Show and Tell.  That's me on left of above photo.  For whatever reason, we each set the blocks on point.  I sewed my blocks to paper, but don't remember what method the others used.  The suggestion was to alternate lights and darks on each block, but all the blocks are interesting, and the BEST at using scraps.

My blog title includes says "health issues".  Half of November and most of December were punctuated by my husband's health issues.  There were no holidays for us.  Between 911, Ambulance, hospital and nursing home care, he's finally back home.  Months ago, Ms. Victoria of made a blog post suggesting "take more photos of your loved ones" .  I'm thankful I had followed her advice, as it originally appeared DH may not get back home.   The crisis was averted for now, medical procedures administered and he's home.  Positive factors are that the hospital and nursing home are both within blocks of my home, and helpful friends and neighbors stepped in during frantic running back and forth during those terrible weeks.  Negative factors were icy and snowy weather, snowblowing, power outages that meant that garage door didn't open, phone and cell service nil for brief times, and no computer, all adding to mayhem and fears.
More learning to absorb.  👎👎

My suggestion:  When faced with medical crisis, if possible take a friend to take notes, to help listen or suggest, correct what one remembers, and mostly, to hold your hand.  At one point, having heard what sounded like the worst possible news, I went kinda bonkers, and I believe the hospital was considering calling for Security -- for usually-perfectly-proper me! 

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Dear Santa: Please give me more time ...

Today I finished with rearrangement of my Cat's Cradle blocks.  I did this because I don't have a design wall and several times I had to pick up the blocks, then lay them down again, then pick up, etc.  Finally decided I liked this setting better.  Note what happens at upper right corner - on purpose but kinda interesting as well.  It's the same unit, just rearranged.  They still need some re-arrangement for balance.  And I have to admit, the special ruler is responsible for perfectly sized units.  I have a LOT of units left over but I'm trying to avoid a queen sized quilt!  We'll see how that ends up.  These finish at 9.5 in.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Playing with Cats Cradle Ruler

(Edited 2 days later to correct info regarding 2 different sizes of rulers.)
I needed "something" to play with, and bought the Cats Cradle Ruler, the smaller size.    Previous to using this ruler, my Cats Cradle blocks went together slowly and perfectly fine, but yes, the ruler speeds up production and guarantees accuracy.   The finished size units go up to 4 inches.  (There is another ruler for larger size blocks and it's also a different shape - it's triangular. ) The cut sizes needed on my square ruler are printed right on the ruler, and it also came with a printed set of paper instructions - you don't need a book but it's nice to have.  This block finished with sashings was made with units that finished 3 inches.  hmmmm looking like a lot of work for small unit sizes.

Cutting and sewing one unit at a time is ridiculously time consuming and after making 2-3 units, one at a time, it was apparent I needed to come up with strip piecing and cutting.  Notice below, the finished 3 inch, and the larger 4 inch which I decided would go a little faster.
I seldom use a book for instructions but DO love the graphics and finished quilts in books.  This particular book includes instructions for this smaller Cats Cradle ruler.   I usually glance at the photos and then take off on my own, never studying the instructions.   Be sure you recognize that the other ruler designed for larger blocks (triangular) probably requires a different book if you are following instructions.   One other thing, this Cat's Cradle block used to be called something else to our Moms and Grandmas, possibly Shaded something or other.
This is the book I bought and have started on a quilt inspired by the cover photo.  I'm using scraps, in  multiples of 4 at a time, with some effort towards balance, mostly in red, white and blues.
I wish all of you Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Humility Quilting

Pretty cute fabrics, right?  I decided to make a favorite pattern for a young girl, a Kaleidoscope.  Easy, peasy, except ... I had forgotten the rules, suggestions of values, and just zoned in on these cute fabrics ... Normally, the circles that should appear when values are correctly chosen, and the circles appear automatically.  hmmmm, not this time.

No circles?  "No problem, the fabrics will carry it thru" was what I heard me saying to myself.. 

Then, during the night, SOMEONE !!! moved some of these rows around, and now I have similar fabrics together.  Perhaps it was one of the garden gnomes that I move into the house when cold weather arrives?  Ya think??? 
Only AFTER it  was basted was when I noticed rows in the wrong places.  I was having difficulty  seeing the "plan" and discovered one of the pale yellows was also in the wrong configuration.  Ya think I'm going to redo it all???  NOT!!!  So, in my wise decision-making process,  I decided to do ruler work in those wedges to accentuate the invisible circles, only to discover that was another WRONG decision.  It was impossible to decide which line I was on because of the maze of colors wadded up under the needle.  So, in a fit of anger distress,  out  came my seam ripper, and  I removed that ruler-work-stitching, one stitch at a time. 

 I have made over 200 quilts and have never run into this example of  repeated poor planning.  And I've even made 3 or 4 Kaleidoscope Quilts before, each one perfectly wonderful.  Apparently my brain stopped working. 
Quilting on the blocks was innies and outies, waaaay more quilting that is needed - another wrong choice. Apparently, this was my lesson on remembering to be HUMBLE.  But it's still pretty, and bright, and as long as the recipient is not a child of a quilter, it will make a perfectly nice PINK quilt.  The blocks are about 7 in.  The fabrics are still very pretty. 

Sunday, October 27, 2019


Crud - in an effort to delete spam comments from a middle East country, I hit a wrong button and deleted all the comments on that page - probably back 3 months.  I appreciate all the real comments so please don't think this was a planned error.  8-((  As far as I know, there was no "undo". 

I checked the origin of the spam, and tried to translate it only to read something about air conditioning repairs.  Who knew?