Thursday, October 31, 2013

Thursday This & That

It's the last day of October.  I don't like Halloween and it's celebrations. I find no joy in answering "Trick or Treat" to see if it's little kids in cute fairy costumes outside my door, or far-too-big kids hiding behind evil depictions to get "free" candy that cost me a fortune. 

In the past, I have acquiesced to Marty and let Nick go trick-or-treating a number of times so he hasn't missed out on any childhood rites of passage.  Tonight though, Nick & I will hide out in our respective rooms to keep busy and leave all the downstairs and outside lights off.  Marty has his usual Thursday night out with the guys and they'll be meeting up at a Starbucks. 

October 31st is also the day that, in 1987, my then S.O. passed away from cancer.  It was the day before his 40th birthday. Hard to believe that ordeal was 26 years ago.  The Lord made big changes in my life at that time and has equally provided blessings and trials since. 

Oh, and before I forget, Marty came through his surgery fine, though almost had to spend an extra night in the hospital.  He isn't experiencing as much pain as he expected, he always fears the worst, so is doing pretty well. 

Nick has his piano lesson today after school, then after that we need to stop at a store for a few items.  I haven't figured out what to fix for dinner, so maybe something will strike me while I'm at the store.  Since I made a soup for lunch, I might just feed Marty leftovers from last night, and Nick can have his imitation crab sandwich and I'll punt, popcorn sounds good fixed with melted butter and grated Parmesan cheese.  Yum.

I'll spend the evening working on October's NewFO or think about what I can put on my November Get It Done list.  Did I miss October's, guess I'd better go check.

Yesterday on my return home from taking Nick to school, I came upon an accident that had happened no more than 5 or 10 ten minutes prior.  A young man riding a small bicycle rode against the red light as a city utility truck was coming through from the left on a green light and was struck and killed.  Very tragic, yet as tragic as it is, it's one of those pet peeves of mine, that of bicyclists who have no regard whatsoever for the rules of the road.  Now his life is gone, his family will be grieving his loss (if they find out who he is - not carrying i.d.), the driver who hit him must now live with that, even though he was not in the wrong.  And countless other drivers, like me, who had to see the bicycle still stuck under the truck, and his lifeless body on the pavement as it had not yet been covered.  I am fully of the mindset these days, that bicyclists need to undergo training, testing and licensing before being allowed on the streets and roadways and that infractions by them should be ticketed and fined the same as other vehicle infractions.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Misc. Monday Happenings

  • Marty has another surgery today, with check-in time at 11:30 this morning.  This one requires an overnight stay.  He's concerned about the after-surgery pain and results.  This is nothing life-threatening, but could give him days or weeks of discomfort.  Please pray all goes well.
  • Marty also still needs to be looking for work, even if it's at a much lower pay rate than what he was earning or even out of state, or out of the area.  
  • Our financial adviser thinks we'll be "ok" at retirement.  But that's still a few years away, so it's a life-style change until that job comes in.
  • Local news station says we're going to be slammed by rain and snow (snow @ 5,000 feet).  The reality: cloudy, with a 10% - 40% chance of rain through today. When I hear the dramatic "slammed" by weather, I think things like hurricanes, not a spit of rain.  Well, I have my views of the media anyway, but I'll leave that for a soapbox offering some other time.
  •  I won't be able to meet with my quilt student again this week.  She has a home-school activity on our usual meet-up day, and not knowing what time Marty gets released from the hospital tomorrow, I couldn't reschedule for then.
  • I'm way behind on housework, Nick asked for clean jeans yesterday...I still forgot to do them...oops!
  • Nick needs to learn to do the laundry....and many other things.
  • So does Marty.
  • My daughter has a birthday coming'd that happen?  Doesn't seem that long ago.
  • Last night's dinner was a Hamburger Helper Macaroni and Cheese in which I substituted sliced hot dogs in lieu of the burger and only half the amount at that.  Marty voiced that it was great.  Would be nice if he acknowledged my "from scratch" cooking that way.  I am a good cook and others have acknowledged that over the years.  Guess I'll just take it with a grain of salt, which is how I found the be...too salty.

Design Wall Monday - October 28, 2013

The worst part about this time of year is that it rolls by way too fast.  We're already back at Monday, which seems like it was just here!

a single 9-patch
On my design wall this Monday, as a follow-up to my post on the 25th (Friday) are a few blocks now assembled. I've just randomly scattered them onto the design wall, even overlapping for now.  They will finish at 4.5" so there will be a whole bunch more...and how will they be laid out and assembled?  Well, that will be shown toward the end of the week for the October NewFO link up at Cat Patches. 
a smattering of 9-patches on the design wall
I don't know about you and yours, but my scrap bins are really beginning to look skimpy.  They are certainly devoid of neutrals.  At some point I'll have to dig into fat quarters and yardage to get enough for a couple of additional projects I'm prepping for and then when those run out, I may have to beg for funds to buy more ;)
a closer look at some of the 9-patches
One problem with continuously working with just your existing scrap bins is that you see the same fabrics over and over and over, and I'm tiring of some of them.  I may have to see what I have in my stash for a few future quilts of 'new' fabrics to mix this scrap pile up a bit. 

As is the norm on Mondays, I'm linking up to Judy's Patchwork Times.  I saw some new stuff in the thumbnails there, so will now have to go see what you all are doing.

Friday, October 25, 2013

What Can It Be?

It's not the latest mystery by Bonnie Hunter, but I'll leave it as a mysery mystery to my viewers:

Can I find 5 for a matched set?

5-piece sets

More 5-piece sets

Needing lots and lots of 2" squares.  Some of these are bigger and will get cut down, or put back in the bin and I'll grab larger pieces...I need sets of 5, 99 to be exact.  Oh yes, I will say it is another happy scrappy!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Grandma Goes to Ireland

Today I took care of one final bit on Grandmother's Scrap Bag before tucking it onto the UFO shelf in order to get ready to start my October NewFO...yeah, late as usual.  The binding is a pieced binding from the same 23 fat quarters that went into the quilt top, so I sewed those together, trimmed the little triangles after sewing an extra seam to get little bonus triangle-squares from them, pressed the binding seams open, and rolled it up and stuffed it into the box.  I use gift boxes like you'd use for shirts or robes at Christmas or birthdays to store my UFOs in, and place a sticky note at the end with the i.d. # and name.  Yep, there are some areas of my life that are neat, tidy and under control.  That's not to be said about a whole lot of other areas, especially now.  But that's all for another day, or not.

On another new exciting note, Bonnie Hunter released her fabric requirements for this year's mystery quilt.  She'll be releasing the first installment on 11/29...over a month away!  Chomping at the bit here, and hoping I can round up enough of the fabrics in the color-way she's chosen - won't be able to buy any new ones!  Since it starts so late in November, I may use that as my December NewFO even though I'm beginning to gather the fabrics now.  If you're at all curious, love scrappy quilts and want to make a dent in your scrap bins, and you're not already one of Bonnie's followers who already are in the know, go check out the details at Quiltville.  Last year, I took part in her Easy Street Mystery Quilt and enjoyed it.  It was my first mystery follow-along with her and I used different colors as I didn't have her selections in my stash.  It turned out great...though it's still one of those UFOs!  Here's one of my progress shots from back then.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Design Wall Monday

Have you seen all the projects on design walls posted over at Judy's Patchwork Times?  If not, you'd better head over there.  There's a whole bunch of fun stuff in those linked up posts :)

Right on target, at 11:00 p.m. PDT last night, I sewed the last stitches on the borders of Grandma's Scrap Bag.

I don't know what I was thinking.  Actually I do, I was thinking 5 1/2" cuts for the borders, which is what the pattern calls for.  Hah! Want to know what I cut the very first one at?  5 1/4"!!  Now why on earth did I do that?  I don't know, I don't know. And when you cut 5 1/4", you can't add that 1/4" back on, especially when you've set aside just the amount of fabric for the borders!  So what did I do?  I cut them all at 5 1/4"  - seriously, 1/4" is not going to make a difference on this quilt.  No problemo. 

All sewn and pressed, ready for borders

Borders have been added.

Close up for border.
And even though it came out ok, that old reminder rings loudly in my ears "Measure twice, cut once" and always be attentive.

I look at this flimsy and it makes my heart light.  It's a happy quilt, refreshingly crisp and cheery.

Friday, October 18, 2013


Oh I just couldn't resist this one that a friend shared on social media:

Though I don't celebrate or even care much for anything doing with Halloween, I suppose this fits that season.  Can you just imagine the look on the maid's face when she first sees this.  I know, awful right?

Friday & Looking For the Joy

Once again, time escapes me.  How does that happen?  I've read others' blogs but haven't made an entry myself.  So, let's see, what's been going on since Monday?
  • Marty is still without work.  He had at least one phone interview yesterday, from a large city in the northwest which wouldn't by my first choice, but hey, you go where you gotta go and it would put us closer to family.
  • Marty has to have another surgery, this time on the 28th and it's an overnight stay at the hospital.  Nothing life-threatening, but it sure would have been better to have taken care of the issue years ago rather than waiting until now when he needs to be looking for work.  It is what it is.
  • Our next appointment with the financial advisor is this next Thursday.  I'm not liking that all the info gathering rests on my shoulders.  My way of tracking, categorizing, is not the same as the advisor's and he wants it his way.  Such joy.  In the meantime, Marty consults with his buddies and ignores discussing this process with me, sigh!
  • Housework.  Yep, good old laundry, cooking, grocery shopping, sweeping floors, scooping cat litter, dirty dishes, paying bills, you name it, it's mine to do.  Hark! Is that the trash truck I hear? Yep, and nope, the trash didn't get set out.
Is there room for me?
Alright, already, I suppose that's enough of what's negative, is my disgruntlement showing?  Onward and Upward:
  • I had a lovely, all too brief, time with my quilting student Renee (note that I've changed her name from Spice now that I know her middle name) on Wednesday.  We took the summer off and resumed meeting just a few weeks ago though she hadn't made much progress on anything until this past week.  It's hard with three young kiddos.  This week, she sewed the binding onto her second quilt, the one for her son, and has about 1/3 left to hand-stitch down.  She also worked on the accidental 3rd quilt, also for her son.  I don't remember if wrote about that.  She was making a pieced backing for the #2 quilt, but it ended up such that she would be cutting off too much of what she wanted to keep on the back when trimming for the binding, so ended up with plan B, making a new backing for #2 and turning the pieced backing into #3, which works really well since there are bunk beds in his room and now he'll have co-ordinated quilts :).  She's also been very busy on her now #4 quilt, one for her #2 child and eldest daughter.  She's stayed up till the wee hours of the morning as she wants it to be a surprise for the child even though the child knows she'll be getting one also, and helped pick out the fabrics.  She wants to have it done for her by Christmas.
  • I've made good progress on Grandma's Scrap Bag and am sewing the rows together.  I should be able to have it to the flimsy stage this weekend, and be in good position to get started on an October NewFO, and I think I know what I want to do.
  • The last two nights' sleep have been better than any others this week.  
  • A wayward nephew is home from a five year stay at a government institution.  Please pray for him.
Now I lay me down to sleep...
Mom, I'm just guarding your rows, making sure no one steals them.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Design Wall Monday

I hope no one's getting tired of Grandma's Scrap Bag yet.  I knew I would like it, but I think I like how it looks even better as I progress through each step towards completion.

I'm at the same point I was yesterday after spending only 6/10ths of an hour working on it.  I do have a new picture though of just part of the rows that are done.  I have nine rows complete.  They are pinned to the design wall identifying each row with an orange sticky note.  Orange is not my favorite color.  Maybe that's why Autumn is not my favorite season.  As for seasons, Autumn falls at 3 of 4 with Summer being the least favorite.  Perhaps if I lived elsewhere, my favorites could change, but here, Spring is my favorite with Winter in solid second place. Don't you love rabbit trails? Back to the quilt, I'm really looking forward to getting the top done, even if it then remains on the UFO shelf.  I'm thinking 2014 will be a year to process the UFO's, in the meantime, I'm creating UFOs and loving it.

And though there is a fair amount of orange in this quilt, it blends in nicely with all the other colors so I don't mind it too much.  I really like the crispness of how this quilt looks with its bright white background and all the cheery repros. 
I think I'll spend some more time on it yet this afternoon, or this evening.  Dinner will be easy, I'm just making hotdogs.  I usually saute some onion as neither Marty or I like the raw onion much these days.  And I have a can of Bush's barbecue beans so will have them too.  I resisted grabbing a bag of chips while at the store this morning...that's a good thing...I have little control when there's an open bag in the house.

Cumberland Mountain went home to its intended recipient, my friend Lois, yesterday.  She was very pleased and enjoyed pointing out the fabrics that she had at one time made clothing and other items from.  As I may have said before, she was decluttering a number of years seven!....and brought me all her fabric remnants/scraps of which some was still decent yardage pieces.  I tested for cotton and most were, and those are the ones I used in the quilt adding only a handful from my own stash for some color pop & variety and then purchasing the fabric for the borders, binding and backing.  She was very happy, and we had a nice couple of hours to just sit back and chat awhile.  She's a faithful friend.

I'm just one more busy quilter, adding my show-and-tell efforts to Judy's link-ups at Patchwork Times.  Thanks for dropping in.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Stash Report Sunday Week 41, 2013

My trend of no fabric movement in or out continues, and I'm trying to remain accountable by posting.  Linking to Patchwork Times.

Used This Week: 0 yards 
Used Year to Date: 10.25 yards  
Added This Week: 0 yards  
Added Year to Date: 46.375 yards  
Net Used for 2013: -36.125 yards

I have continued working on Grandma's Scrap Bag this week and currently have the blocks from 9 of 15 rows sewn together into rows and they are pinned to the design wall.  I did a couple of the rows this morning after church but for some reason, don't feel like sewing today, maybe I will again later.  
We're almost at mid-month already.  Sure would love for this time-thing to slow down some.  I need to decide on a new project for the November NewFO at Cat Patches.  Report time will be here before I know it.  I really need to get a quilt or two to the point of hand-sewing the would help me keep my legs warm now that it's more chilly in the house because of much lower night time temps.  I'd much rather have these temps than the summer ones!

Yesterday I celebrated, along with hundreds of others, the home-going of my friend Panda's husband.  The memorial was wonderfully done telling of the man her husband was and giving glory to the Lord.  When he left his earthly body, he was on the golf course during free time while on their fellowship group's annual retreat.  His departure was quick.  Something perhaps we should all take notice of, in that our lives on this earth are but a mere breath compared to eternity, and we may not have a final breath in which to ask the Lord to be the Lord of our lives, thankfully he was a believer, and also, as he was so relatively young (just 67) that we never know our day or hour, and should strive all the more to hold our relationships with others as precious in all ways.


Friday, October 11, 2013

Oh For The Love of Scrappiness!

There's one thing I don't like about scrappy quilts! Yes, there really is.  Oh, alright, the problem is not with the scrappy quilts.  It's with my obsessive compulsiveness to have order.  I can't put that one there, it's right next to the same color, no, and that one's next to the same fabric, and no, there are too many of this color in this quarter, or this row, get the picture.  Do you struggle with that in scrappy quilts too?  That need to compulsively control what goes where?  And isn't part of the fun of scrappy to just have whatever land wherever?

Well, I have Grandma's Scrap Bag (GSB) now pinned to the design wall.  Did I say pinned, yes I did.  That's what I did last night....I found a way to nail the styro-foam-like base of my design wall to the wall without it pulling off the nails.  

When Marty redid this room, he replaced drywall.  When replacing drywall, there's this gridded tacky 'tape' that covers the seams.  The roll of this stuff was still in the hallway on a cruddy shelf unit that was used for all the tools and odds and ends he used.  The grids are close enough that a nail with a head on it won't pull through, and so I took that stuff, tacky enough to stay put but not so tacky to not be able to pull it off and reposition - a bit like a sticky note - and placed it on both sides of the styro-insulation sheet, then nailed it to the wall.  It works perfectly! Which makes me very happy :) You can see parts of the grid tape, it's that yellow piece on either side about half way down.  My wall is from four pieces of styro-insulation, actually two, but to get them home, we had to cut them in half to put them in the Highlander or they'd have been blowing around town for days had we attempted to tie them to the roof rack.
Here's a shot of the pieces as currently pinned.  And you know what?  I don't think I'll move anything around.  I'll just take them off row by row from top to bottom (as it's turned sideways on the wall), and number the rows.  The small image lets my eyes see things better and it doesn't seem that there's any real imbalance anywhere.  Even on the wall up close, it seems pretty good.

And do you remember wayyy back when, in April, when I finished Cumberland Mountain, the quilt for my friend Lois.  And the only quilt I've finished all year.  Well, just today (embarrassingly), I finally got the label on it and laundered it so that it can really be given to her as soon as I can arrange a time to meet with her.  It's folded lengthwise to fit over a pants hanger just to make sure it's completely dry before folding up and putting into a presentation box.  It feels really good to finally get that part done; it's been a weight on my shoulders since I finished the quilt.

Tomorrow, 11:00 PDT is the memorial service for my friend Panda's husband.  There'll be a reception afterward, and I'm sure it'll be a well-attended service.  Panda herself was very involved in our women's ministries for many years and her husband was a CPA so I'm sure had many friends and clients who wish to pay their last respects.  They were also active in their fellowship group.  We celebrate his home-going, knowing he is there rejoicing and worshiping the Lord, yet those who remain and knew him well, loved him well, are feeling the pain of their own loss of this man.  I had only met him casually a couple of times, so am not directly feeling the loss of him, but I am feeling the pain of knowing my friend is now without her spouse and best friend, one whom she had every reason to believe would be around much longer, yet at the same time knowing that God has numbered, counted our days for each of us before we were ever knit together in the womb (ref. Psalm 139). 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Wondering About Something

Judy, over at Patchwork Times has a post today about friends inviting them to dinner, at their own house, and that got me to thinking.  

It brings up an interesting point to question.  And I ask it primarily from my own perspective based on my own experiences over the years.  I remember when I was young, that people would go out for a drive and just pop in to visit friends or relatives.  And then when I was out on my own, I used to do the same with my friends.  Granted, back then, while we did have telephones, we might call to see if folks would be home, but not always.  Folks didn't have to wait for an engraved RSVP'd invitation to come for a visit.  Life seemed more hospitable.

Here's my question: Whatever happened in society, that we no longer have drop-in guests?  Has society changed or have I?  Is my view of the past skewed?  I was thinking it was just that my hubs & I have become somewhat reclusive, but when I look around, it seems more the norm now, that people don't drop in without that specific invitation.  Is that true do you think, or is it just in my little world?  Have things like social media and cell phones made it such that dropping in for a visit is no longer 'normal'?  I'm sure it has had at least some affect on it.  Or, maybe it's just in this suburban environment in which I live, or my own nature as I've grown older.

What do you think?  What is it like in your area, amongst your family and friends?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Moving Right Along

Awoke this morning to an expected 'storm'.  Out here we call them storms, but I laugh because it amounts to just being overcast with scattered showers.  It's enough to get the pavement wet.  Which will be just enough to catch many foolish drivers off-guard...with long periods between any moisture at all our roads get quite slippery with just a touch of moisture so drivers tend to either over compensate and drive like they're on ice, or utterly disregard the conditions and spin out, either way, driving can be frustrating, but I've determined I will not let it bother me today.  I'm going to enjoy this wee bit of rain, and the wonderful cooler temperatures along with it.  This is the view through my Sanctuary window this morning:
zoomed in to show the raindrops on the window
Yesterday again, I was able to continue working on Grandma's Scrap Bag.  And then this happened...guess it's time to change spools......
becomes a cat toy, briefly and then they lose interest

After putting on a new spool and threading the machine, I sewed the last strip onto each of four strips sets and didn't notice until I went to press them that this happened...ugh, why?  I re-threaded the machine, pulled the bobbin out and checked it and put it back in, and tried again after of course, removing all the bad seams.  All is well now :)
boo! hiss!

"Why yes Mom, I DID take your nice warm seat when you got up to press those strip sets!"  Thank you Flame for keeping my seat warm for me, now SCOOT!!
And the end result of the strips sets after pressing and sub-cutting into 3.5" (x 8") sets.

And showing on the almost-design-wall how the strip sets will fit in among the blocks with a "post" block set in as well.

Oh dear, is the sun trying to peak through all ready?  Excuse me while I adjust the blinds so that I can see the computer screen, brb....ok, that's better.  Wow, the reflection of the sun off the clouds is really bright, but there's still plenty of cloud cover, and some of it looks pretty black, so hopefully more rain will come.

Last night we celebrated Nick's 15th birthday.  We went to Red Lobster...birthday's are special occasions and there isn't another now until my own at the end of July, so we didn't worry too much about 'splurging' by eating out in a nice restaurant.  We have held off on his gift though as it seems everything on his list is very spendy...our only child has been the recipient to perhaps a higher standard than most, of our past blessed financial position.  That must change until Marty gets re-employed, and may change indefinitely.

Marty's really bummed of late again, to the point of nearly giving up on looking for a job, after just two months of looking!  That's a side of his personality that causes me great concern at times.  Not that he's a danger to himself, but just that he gives up and doesn't put in the effort.  We've not experienced this in this same arena before, but have in other areas, and it is very hard on me, because I then have to be the strong one and not add further to his dejection, which then puts that much more weight on my own shoulders.  He left after our dinner last night to go to the mountains with one of his friends for a little photography, so hopefully that'll help his mood, and his friend can be of encouragement to him.

Today I head to my quilt student's for our weekly meeting which resumed just two weeks ago after taking the summer off.  She's putting a binding on her quilt, and I remember the last time she did, I'd found a new tutorial on connecting the final ends that was so easy and wouldn't you know, my old brain has already forgotten how and where it was I found it, and I thought I'd kept the directions, but can't find them.  I think I'll check here on the blog and see if I wrote about before, and/or if I private messaged her on the social network. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Design Wall Monday

My day is a typical Monday with taking Nick to school, then a stop at Trader Joe's to get some fresh produce, bread and pastas and some housework, meals and whatever pops up.  

The skies are pretty as there are some clouds, and the winds of the last few days have subsided.  Our forecast includes a 30-40% chance of rain for Wed & Thurs...I'll believe it when I see it as it often doesn't materialize.  Lip balm is still my best friend, and an absolute must in these dry conditions.

I worked in nearly 4 1/2 hours of sewing time yesterday and have all 42 of the basic blocks done for Grandma's Scrap Bag.  I haven't yet put the actual design wall up, so again I'm taping these blocks to the wall where the design wall material will be (thankfully no longer in the dining room), so technically they are on the design wall.  Next comes the pieced sashing blocks/strips which I'll do some work on today as I'm planning on shirking some of my household chores.  I'm still feeling really saddened for my friend Panda because of her loss.  We chatted briefly through a chatline, and she's 'ok' and has her family with her and they're taking care of all the arrangements.  I pray for her frequently throughout the day.
Ready to press.
Blocks in process, 2/3rds of a 9-patch block being pressed.
"I'm keeping my eyes on you." says Raven.
A selection of the 42 blocks taped to design wall.
If you're here by way of Judy's Patchwork Times, you don't need the reminder to head over there to see what others are working on, but if not, it's always enjoyable to view the work of others' hands, so go see.  

Let your loved ones know how much you love them, every opportunity you have.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

A Friend's Loss

I learned with great sadness this morning while at church, that my friend Panda's husband unexpectedly died of a heart attack yesterday/last night. My heart breaks for her.

I met my friend, Panda, at church through the Missionary Quilts meetings and over the years, especially the last few, we've grown a lot closer and have enjoyed numerous outings to quilt shows and fabric stores and just spending time together talking over lunch.  She's the one that talked me into the paper-pieced "O Christmas Tree" class that I went to last March.  

Panda's only a couple years older than I, and her husband maybe a couple years older than she, so maybe at most mid-60's.  He had just retired this year, and they recently sold their home to downsize, and have been in escrow on a home about 8 minutes from mine, with their move scheduled for Nov. 5.  I don't know how this will affect that.  It's probably not important, for me, to even think about it, as most needed right now, is prayer for her and for her family.  He was her best friend and life partner and father to their children, grand-father to their grand-kids.  I'm sure she's feeling quite numb, and overwhelmed at present.  She was looking forward to a new path with the move, and that path will now have even more changes.  She loves the Lord, as did her husband, so she knows they will one day be re-united, and her faith will serve her well as the Lord takes her through the days ahead.

Stash Report Sunday Week 40, 2013

Once again, there is no change to my stash report.  Yes, I've pulled and cut fabric and begun sewing, but my custom has been to not count it as out until it's become a finished quilt.  I'm seriously considering changing that when the new year arrives, to counting it when I finish the top, and then count the backing & binding separately when I finish a quilt.  I'm a great starter, but a not-so-great finisher. 

And with keeping an eye on the old pocketbook, there have been no incoming fabrics either.

Used This Week: 0 yards 
Used Year to Date: 10.25 yards  
Added This Week: 0 yards  
Added Year to Date: 46.375 yards  
Net Used for 2013: -36.125 yards

I suppose I'd have to finish at least 2 or 3 good-sized quilts to 'break even' for the year by the time 12/31 arrives.  We shall see.  Now that I have my machine set into the SewEzi table, it should be easier for me to practice some free-motion quilting, which is presently the biggest drawback from me finishing any quilts.

Linking up with Judy's Patchwork Times Stash Reports.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Oh What a Day!

Before I get to today's story I have to share the fun stuff.  I spent several hours last night actually SEWING!  You read that right. I sewed!  Seems like it's been weeks, and I suppose it has been.  On Grandmother's Scrap Basket, the first sewing is making uneven 9-patch blocks.  I finished one block, and have all the rows sewn to make the remaining 41 blocks.  After these there will be a pieced sashing which will include a small block of what is referred to as square in a square in the pattern but I'm not sure it's the same as the Square-In-A-Square pattern that's been around for awhile.  Sorry, I'm not going to take the time to find out, if you want to know, you have to either follow my future progress or Google it.  The SIAS in this pattern is a square of any one of the scrappy fabrics with a corner added of the background fabric attached to each side, making the scrappy square turn to on pointe; is that confusing?  Yeah, ok, you'll have to wait on photo for that too until I get that far, lol.  In the meantime, here's a photo of the one block that's done, it measures 8" square.
First block, Grandmother's Scrap Basket
And most exciting, my machine is set up IN the quilt room for the first time in years.  And it's on my SewEzi table and I'm loving it :)  It's a challenge getting things all worked out and placed with the limitations I still have.  I have noticed my chair is most uncomfortable - it is old and the padding is utterly compressed - so I may have to add some folded blankets or towels to cushion it a little more.  I'm sure this chair contributes to some of my lower back problems.
"Sew" nice to have my sewing machine in my Sanctuary :)

I happened to look out my Sanctuary window in time to notice that there are changes occurring to the leaves of our Modesto Ash tree.  This tree is massive and I'm afraid it may be reaching the geriatric stages of it's 'normal' life, but it had a very full set of leaves this year.  And they're just starting to change color, do you see that faint hint of yellowing on those outer leaves?  Just a hint, and it showed better when the sun was still higher, but I didn't get the shot off soon enough.  We're definitely feeling fall changes, though we're still getting 80+ temps and we're scheduled (Who schedules these things?) for some strong winds and a temperature warm-up, but I think it's only brief.  I'm enjoying the much cooler evenings and nights.
50+ year old Modesto Ash
So those are the really good things.  Next comes the not quite as good, but it all worked out thing.  We know God is in control, and He provided again today.  Why things happen the way they do, I don't always know, but I DO know that we need to go through trials to recognize that we have a loving Father who wants us to know that He is there even when we think we can do all things without Him, or largely by our own efforts.

I've been planning to go to Costco for quite awhile, but with Marty out of work, I wanted to hold off, along with using up much of the older items in our freezer and pantry.  Today was the day to replenish those things.  Most all meat was finally used up with the exception of a couple pounds of fish and a few pounds of pork loin, we were about out of toilet tissue, paper towels, nose tissues, and el cheapo paper plates, so off to Costco I went with list in hand.  OK, well actually, going to Costco is a bit more of an ordeal as I plan my trips there infrequently, usually only once a month, it's been about three, because it's all the way on the other side of town, about 13 miles, and they don't open until 10:00 (I hate that part, btw!). So I drop Nick off at school by 7:45 (school is only 2 miles from Costco) and since I got up late and didn't even have time to shower, let alone get my much needed coffee, the first place I headed to was the closest Starbucks.  Mind you, I needed to kill 2 hours and 15 minutes as well.  Otherwise, I came prepared, with a book to read (Master Your Money by Ron Blue), assigned reading by our financial dude for our meeting tomorrow....all of the first eight chapters, and I had my always-with-me crossword puzzles.

I then got to the Costco parking lot, which is near empty aside from early employees' vehicles so I get my choice :) of parking spots, however, Costco is built on a bit of a hill, and for some reason, that exact point isn't conducive to my favorite radio station.  If I'd parked in the lane between all the parking spaces it was fine, but as soon as I pulled into a spot, another station would bounce in and I'd get cross-talk from both stations...grrr.  I decided to forget the radio and pulled out a favorite CD by Bronn Journey, beautiful harp music.  After about 45 minutes of sitting, reading, and listening, I was hungry, and I was starting to see stars, so I decided I'd head over to Jack-In-The-Box and grab some breakfast.  I started the car.  No, wait, I didn't start the car.  The car would not start, what?  I tried again, no! It would not start.  No warning, no bbbrrrrpppp, no whirrr, no nothing.  Am I not in park? I'd turned the lights off, it can't be the battery, I was only playing the radio/CD.  OK, well then, I'll turn the radio off, roll the windows up - yep both were still working, and I walked to JIB, grabbed a breakfast sandwich, walked back, tried again, nope, it would not start, and wouldn't even give me the familiar warning that a dead or dying battery gives, well poo-poo. 

MARTY!!!! Help!!!! Damsel in distress!!! I was so glad he was home, and that my phone had enough power though it wasn't fully charged, oh, and by the way.. he needed to get out of the house and out of his depressive funk from no leads this week, and a 'sorry Charley' from the potential job 46 miles away :(  I digress.  He brings me help by way of battery cables and his running vehicle, it took about 20-25 minutes for him to get there, and it still wasn't time for Costco to open, hehe!  While I was waiting for him, I was thinking to myself, that maybe, just maybe he'd be open to taking my car to get the battery remedied and I'd keep his car and do my shopping.  Yes, he was open to that but needed to go home first and find the paperwork from the battery purchase which was only 2.5 years ago...yes, I keep a log book in my car :) so I knew. 

I did my shopping.  Oh boy, did I do my shopping.  It all fit in one cart, and as I'm checking out, I told the 'box boy' it was his mission to get everything back in without needing a second cart! He did, barely.  I loaded my supplies into the car.  It dawned on me, I have never driven Marty's car.  Remember back around the first of the year when he wrecked the Camry, and replaced it with a 4Runner?  Well, I had never driven it, and was almost afraid too.  One does what one must do.  

I couldn't find the seat mover-forward thingy!  My Highlander has an electric button on the side that does that, not the 4Runner, it's a bar at the front of the seat, underneath, that has to manually be pulled up while you scoot the seat forward.  Check.  My, I'm hot (hehe, it was only 69 out, but felt like 80), how do I turn on the air?  Is that it? no, ok this? um, oh, there it is.  Reverse, and yes, it is an automatic, but it's a 4-wheel drive automatic, where's the D for Drive?  nope, ain't there, is it the 4D?  wow, this vehicle is certainly different than my Highlander, even if it IS made by Toyota.  So is 4WD the same as 4D and should I be driving with the shifter in 3 or 1 or what?  I don't know, why didn't I think to call Marty again and ask.  Oh well, I drove home in 4D.  

Home...unpacked...freezer stuff in freezer...fresh meats in fridge awaiting return of my energy to break them down into smaller packages before putting into the freezer.  Whew, I'm bushed from all this excitement!  But wait, Marty hasn't taken care of the battery issue on the Highlander yet, but did back into the driveway, smart man, in case he had to jump start it again when I got back.  He'd found the paperwork....36 month 100% covered warranty.  WHOO HOOO!!! A new battery at no cost!  Praise God!  Thank You, thank You, thank You!  He took the Highlander to go get the new battery and I took the 4Runner again, to get Nick from school and get him to his piano lesson, all good there. Oh, wait! There's that question about 4D that I forgot to ask Marty about again.  As I'm rolling out of the driveway I remember, but he's already gone, and he didn't answer his phone when I called, so oh well.  But then I start thinking, well, my first husband had a 4WD vehicle, and you had to get out and unlock the hubs, and then monkey with this separate gear shift, and what if I'm actually driving this in 4WD and not D and am I damaging something and while all this is racing around in my brain, I look down at the dash board lights and see that only the 4 is lit up and not the D, hmmmm.  When next stopped, I looked at the the covering where the shifter is, and hmmm again, it seems there's space right next to where the shifter currently is, so I moved the shifter there, oh wow, the 4 light goes off and the D light comes on and the car still goes forward.  I guess automatic 4WD's are different than other 4WDs. No hubs, no separate gear shift, no idiot wife damaging her husband's car.  I'm so glad!  And when I told Marty, he just chuckled.

And since Marty had taken care of my needs, I noticed his tank was down to a 1/4 tank and knew he'd be going off to his guy-meeting tonight so Nick and I stopped at the gas station to fill the tank.  Hmmmm, how do you open the gas tank.  Seriously!!! No really, seriously? Where IS it?! Is it hiding under the special floormats Marty bought?  No, can't be that, is it in the center column, no, not there either.  I noticed earlier that the manual was in the center console, so pulled it out, looked up the fuel lever (yes, under fuel, not gas) and discovered it's a little lever-type thing below the steering wheel - odd, yes, very odd placement.  I also figured out how to set the radio station on his car while I was discovering all these oddities.  I'll keep my Highlander, and I'm one very thankful woman tonight.  Thankful God has blessed us with this time, in spite of it's uncertainty, because Marty was home and able to come to my aid.  Yes, I could have called AAA, but I'd have had to wait likely an hour or more, and then would have driven straight home instead of getting my much need shopping done.  Thankful that though it happened at all, that it was before the warranty on the battery ran out and not after.  Thankful that our financial position is such that I could still re-stock, at least this month, this quarter.  Thankful that there was some levity in discovering all the odd placements of things in the 4Runner, thankful we have it at all.

And I suppose that's enough for today, my fingertips are actually feeling numb from typing and I need to go grab my dinner, I wasn't hungry yet when Marty & Nick ate.

Blessings abound, but please pray for a job for Marty.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

September NewFO

I'm late, I'm late, for a very important date.  Actually, I was very late in getting my September NewFO started, like so late that I only had four hours to work on it before it was October!  But, start it I did, and I have most of the cutting done.  I'm linking up to Cat Patches where you'll also find what others started in September...some of whom are over-achievers and have already finished theirs! :)
My selection of FQs for the project, with the pattern shown.
My background & borders selection.
Bundled after cutting.   42 strips from that back bundled set have been removed and further cut and re-bundled.
The pattern is Grandma's Scrap Bag by Carrie Nelson for Miss Rosie's Quilt Co.  It's a scrappy (duh) quilt made from 1930's repros, which I've been collecting for eons awaiting just the right pattern.  I had purchased this pattern a number of years ago, and decided it would be the perfect one to get started on.  While it's easy enough, it took me a few times of reading parts of the instructions to really comprehend what was being said...maybe I should be worrying about my comprehension skills these days!

My 1930's repro collection is still good-sized, but this does use up 23 FQs.  

Why did I bundle the pieces with paper?  OK, well if you did ask this, here's why.  Since I started this so late...8:00 p.m. on 9/30...I figured it'll be going straight to the UFO shelf for a time as I'll need to get started on an October UFO...and I don't want to wait until the last minute.  This way, the components are cut, counted, bundled and labeled, and the instruction sheet is marked.  The only additional cutting that will be needed prior to sewing is with that smaller bundle of 3" white background squares.  They get cut into half-square triangles and I didn't want that bias edge to be exposed, plus it's a whole lot harder to bundle a triangle than it is a square or rectangle.  The borders will have to be cut too, but that of course will wait upon the center being finished.  I'm anxious to sew again, so it may NOT go right on the shelf...we'll see, and I'll keep you posted.

And now, why did I wait until the last minute?  Between "home" stuff with Marty's 24/7 presence & his surgery last Thursday, chores, financial evaluations, Nick's dental appointment, restarting my meetings with my Padawan (quilt student), a few bouts of depression and self-pity and finally getting back into the quilt room, of which the latter just took more time and effort than I thought it would.  The room is 'workable', and I'm trying to make it as efficient as I can while I'm 'forced' to do without the much needed cabinets and's challenging, and I'm already thinking of re-arranging a few of the present things as I think it will be best to have the sewing machine set up on the SewEzi table all the time, so that I can use the desk area both for cutting and for my genealogy paperwork.  I'll keep you posted on that process too.

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