Sunday, June 13, 2021

Making Every Day Count

Being a widow - The title of this post, that phrase, command, order, suggestion to "Make every day count"  has kept me moving forward.   Those were my husband's words.  He was pretty good at being productive.  He also said  "One step at a time", and "Slow, Steady  Positive Progress".   Listening to his good advice has been a good connection with him.   He was a Manager and knew how to get things accomplished.  I'm trying to follow his suggestions and hardly procrastinating any more.   I've been in this new life as a widow for almost a year and half - don't like it much.  My solution has been to take on projects, update my home, clear out stuff, just stay busy, gotta stay busy, don't think too much, don't want silence, keep TV on 24/7, keep my body moving, clear out junk, throw away stuff, don't let anyone know I might fall apart at any time. But, in time, perhaps I might just manage.  Others do it, I can do it as well.  Now, that's my job.  I think my Robert is proud of me.

Home improvements were needed.  I've finished with the living room and FINALLY have a beautiful new "design floor".  To dress up the room, provide sparkle, and to "keep a light in the window" (in case my man returns)  I added this leaded glass table lamp.

Yesterday, I finished this kaleidoscope project.  Blocks finish at 6 in.  You've seen it previously.  Still needs a label.  Its about 70 x 80.

All quilted -- I was very choosy with my scrappy fabric values and believe they work successfully.  My plans for hand quilting went out the window.  Here is the quilting design in the border wedges.

And to continue to "STAY BUSY ELAINE SO YOU DON'T THINK TOO MUCH" I decided to begin  yet another sewing project, a quarter log cabin, on point.  I'm loving it!!!  I'm planning about 56 blocks.    

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Projects and more

Still here - just busy with projects, perseverance and a little procrastination.  I'm yakking a lot today!

This kaleidoscope was supposed to be a hand-quilted project, a calming, introspective, thoughtful time of my life.  Nope - wasn't happening.  Problems with manicured hands and long nails,  trying out a Grace stand-up quilting frame, no-fitting or lost thimbles, out-of-practice me, 10 thumbs getting in the way, running out of time, all happened, and this morning after another 2 hours of hand quilting and being unhappy with the result, I am changing my mind and will machine quilt it -- not sure of how,  but I find it quite soft and pretty, with an amazing border, and the circles show up well, due to choice of values. It's a good size (about 70" x 85") and I want it D-O-N-E.

Below is a recent QOV presentation to a well-deserved Navy veteran.  His wife was just beaming with pride.  I donated the top, it was machine quilted by another and friend Tina did the binding.  It turned out beautiful.  Note the similar pattern to above kaleidoscope above, using a 45 degree wedge ruler.  

Below is a recent All Day Sew event and I (on left) brought a much loved string quilt for Show and Tell, made mostly of REAL 30s prints.   I DID hand quilt this one years ago.  Janice had come to visit our group.  Take note of the design because ...

Below  (Rocky Road to Kansas or Virginia Bound) is recently made from mostly scrap blue, purple, greens, turquoise, reds  that came from my discards scrap basket.  I DID have to add more lights to the final collection of scraps.  There are several more rows to assemble, (4 x 5).  Inspiration was Bonnie Hunter of - from one of her many delicious quilt books.  I absolutely LOVE the strings in the diamonds - this is where a person can add "glow" and I used a few turquoise and pinks that makes it SING!  It has more "bright and bold" in person.

It is laid out on my ta-da-da-da-da- daaaahhhh - NEW carpet/Design Floor!  This carpet /living room improvement project has been on hold for 2 months due to various delays, but the end result was worth the wait.  Wallpaper down, walls repaired and painted, drapes gone and wood blinds installed and a lot of corners cleared out!   Another project almost completed - I just have to move all the chatskees back into the curio/china cabinets.  

Laughing at myself - written several days ago.

I had spent hours basting a quilt, the Kaleidoscope, in prep. for hand quilting.  Just doing the basting is a humongous chore in itself, moving the heavy table inside, wiping it down, setting up, layering.  I gobbled down a handful of granola before attacking the job, not even bothering to put it in a dish.  Got that unpleasant basting job done, gathered all my hand quilting tools, set up a little work table, used a big hoop I still like, found several thimbles, even tried the expensive $22 thimble, tried them all, but they all were falling off, rolling away, or lost in the pile of quilt in my lap.   I am no longer thrilled with attractive long nails that Senior-hood has afforded me - they are causing finger fumbling!  This job has now become tedious, not relaxing which was the goal.   I spent another hour taping my finger, losing the thimbles as they rolled to the floor, or under the chair and finally found ONE thimble that worked the best, but then it also fell off and rolled ... somewhere.  Moved furniture, shook out the quilt top, checked pockets, shoes, under the chair cushion, but eventually gave up with impatience.   In frustration and impatience, I set that quilt top away for now ...  hours later I felt some of that granola that I had spilled down the front of my-shirt and was feeling itchy and  uncomfortable - dug around in my underwear ...  I found the granola crumbles ... also found the thimble.    

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Monkey Wrench, and Carpet Order

These blocks were made a while back - I made the scrappy WELCOME  banner from crumb leftovers, but finally the blocks are together and that kewl sashing is DONE!  A border is in the making.  Right now, this is 51 in. x 63 in.  No plans for recipient yet.  This 9 in. block is simple because the points are snowballed in the 3 1/2 in. square corner units.  Do you call it a Shoo Fly or a Monkey Wrench?  

New Carpet:  I ordered carpet from the local neighborly supplier for my living room, AKA my Design Floor.  Due to our remote location, we don't expect weekly or even monthly carpet delivery so I was prepared to wait.  I called to check on a timeframe and  was told  "it has been held up due to the ship that got stuck in the Suez Canal. "  How bizarre can things get?   It's almost funny but when you think about it, but hundreds of huge ships were backed up going in both directions.  Other businesses are suffering the same issue.  We tend to think everything is available all the time, don't we?  and forget about the source of ordinary products.  Guess I will revisit the carpet shop and go thru that tedious selection process again.  

Thursday, April 08, 2021

Learning Every Day, and Interesting Fabric

 I learned something new - With repeated difficulty getting a new blade on this seldom-used rotary cutter I discovered the little black washer has a squarish center going in one direction and roundish going the other way - ya gotta pay attention.  OK, now it will work - I thought.  

It was still so awkward - then  I discovered the cutter can be used left or right handed and I had the blade loaded on the left handed side!  Who knew?    

My current project is a sampler, making 2 of each sister block, but separated, with one colorway on one side, the other colorway on the other.  Book is called "Sister Sampler Quilts".  A friend and I decided to do something together, in town, to feel a bit more socialable after being cooped up.

I already had a pretty FQ bundle of something - had never opened it, said Free Spirit on the ribbon, so I grabbed that to make blocks, not prepared for some of the fabric included in the bundle.  Ya jes' can't use some of these fabrics for any ole project.  This piece was the right overall color but look when I opened it up.  Is this not amazing?  

Happy Spring Everyone!


Tuesday, March 23, 2021

A second "Crumby" tote bag


I'm still trying to find the perfect inserted bottom - perhaps another trip to Hobby Lobby or Home Depot.   I did purchase  a "Yard Sale" sign on a stick, for one dollar, for and that was good enuf for 2 totes bottoms, but still could use something more sturdy.  The tote is squared off nicely and will hold a lot of something.  There is little planning to the pieced panel.  I just kept moving bits around until it looked kinda balanced.  This one had the panel, batting, backing and a lining.  The quilting is casual  straight-line sewing with a walking foot.  

It's fun to try new things!  

Saturday, March 20, 2021

National Quilting Day, 2021

 In honor of this special day, I put a few quilts outside for viewing by passer by traffic.  Days like this, I wish a had a long, high fence in my yard to show off and honor our quilting passion.  I just grabbed a few from the top of a stack.   Have a great day! 

The above  much-loved 16 Patches and Pinwheels has been a favorite designs, ala  So clever, so easy if you get the light/darks in the right places.  I've made this design at least 6 times, most of them for kids quilts.  This is a queen size, now needing a little repair, sorta like the old gate, that also needs a little repair. 

(Our snow is gone in many flat places, but huge piles still exist.)