Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Out of Necessity

First I want to thank everyone for their well wishes and prayers regarding the youngest daughter's vehicle.  I am very fortunate to be married to a double master mechanic.  In a matter of just a few hours we found parts at a local wrecking yard, he got some other parts which he felt should be new from a  friend's auto parts store.  So what would have cost the kids about $700 to fix, DH fixed for about $100.  I cannot begin to tell you how truly blessed we are as a family. 

I think as everyone knows I am a bus driver for the local school district.  I have a plastic credit card type card which is my time card. 

Monday when I got home, DH was calling me.  He forgot to put wood in the boiler and he needed the VIN off of the daughter's mini van.  So being the adorable wife I am, I went out to the wood burner, loaded it with wood.  Then wandered out to the daughter's van sitting by the barn and sent the VIN to DH via text message on my cell phone.  I then checked the girls to make sure they had food, and water, pulled some weeds for 15 minutes in the cold!  YUCK.  Proceeded to do some housework, and finally had some time to sew.  I looked up and realized I was late for my afternoon shift by about 5 minutes.  So I grabbed my bag, a bottle of water, and ran out the door.  Only to realize as I was getting into the car my badge was missing!  I ran back into the house, it wasn't in the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, sewing room, or any of the other rooms that I was in that day. Between runs I asked DH to look for my time card in the chicken coop, the barn by the daughter's van and the woodshed when he got home.  He found it out by the barn. 

So I figured it was time to make a pocket for my safety vest to put my time card in. 
Some heavy weight plastic and double fold bias tape. 
OK Do not look to close it got a bit wonky near the end, but hey it works and no more lost time card!  I know utility sewing not very exciting.  But what is very cool, my scanner will pick up my card with no problem at all. 

 I did dig out my Christmas fabrics to start to make a scrappy Christmas stocking for the guild Christmas charity.  There were scraps from a charm swap which I participated in a few years ago.
And I have been helping the economy by making fabric acquisitions.

The hounds tooth is a Hoffman Batik which matches the Bali pop I am using to make my basket weave quilt.  It was less than $6.00 per yard so I have a backing!  Then some batiks for my BOM that I am working on.  I love Today's Quilting-- many times when I order I get some samples of charm squares. (This is not a paid endorsement, I just like the online shop).  They are also very prompt in mailing, which is a big plus to me. 

Enough procrastination I need to finish my stocking and maybe I can work on something else.  Tonight DH is picking up his mamma and they are going to the apple orchard to pick up our order of Mutsu apples.  Then they are swinging by the house, picking me up and we are going out to dinner.  I think that plan thrilled the MIL.  Tomorrow I have a CPR which will be about 4 hours between my morning and afternoon runs.  So that day will be shot, and Friday I have a field trip, after my morning run.  I am driving across the state to pick up the 5th graders who have been at outdoor school/camping all week. 


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Weekend Goings On

I survived the weekend!  I am at the age where I am have learned that life has its ups and downs and you just kind of roll with the punches.  Sometimes it gets a little overwhelming but say a prayer and move on.  I started with a pretty nasty cold which kind of knocked me off my feet which got pretty bad on Wednesday. 

Friday with construction and it almost took me an extra 30 minutes to finish my afternoon grade school route!  I got back to the yard, went to the office to grab my charter trip instructions and there was so much going on that I did not have everything I needed.  I made the executive decisions and sent the mechanic out to get my bus ready, fueled, grabbed the keys and finally got home after 6 pm.  When your days start at 4:30 am, even with a break in the middle for about 4 hours- working for another 4 hours throws everything off.

Saturday morning I was up and out of the house extra early.  I was not too sure what my charter was but I was picking people up at a high school about 45 minutes south of where I live.  Then I went to another high school about 45 minutes north of me and picked up another group of kids.  What were they doing?  The kids were cleaning up different blight areas in and around Detroit.

The Detroit Train station.  This was once a beautiful building, but has not been used for years.  The kids had their pictures taken as a group.

I then took a group to Belle Isle.  At one time this was a happening place.  The Carillion, some also call it the Peace Tower.

The Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory.  There were so many other old buildings which are fabulous and people are working diligently in restoring these marvelous old buildings. There was once a zoo, aquarium, a casino, a yacht club, horse stables, and this is where the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix race is run every year. 

While they were working I was stitching.  I finished the outline and started on the inner stitching for the letter 'N'.

By the time they were finished and I got them all delivered back to their original departure points and I cleaned and fueled the bus again it was after 6 pm.  Another long day!

DH told me when I got home that the youngest daughter was having car problems and we were going to have to look at her car sometime Sunday.  Our original plans were that we were all going to the apple orchard, but DH assured me we could do it after he looked at the car. 

Sunday morning began with a desperate call from the youngest, in tears.  Her car died along the side of the road as she was off to pick up the two oldest boys from their father's house.  DH loaded up the truck with tools, stopped and filled up the truck and ran to a friends and grabbed our big trailer.  The drive shaft broke and fell out of her car.  Well it isn't a car it is a mini van, a big, old, mini van!  Between the youngest, DH and I we winched it up onto the trailer and brought it back to our house.  Good new?  DH can fix it.  Bad news?  It may take a couple of days to get all the parts, even though we went to the local junk yard and pulled parts off of some old wrecked mini vans, because of course we could not find the exact year of her vehicle.

The kids had a fun time running around the farm, picking berries, loading up on eggs, and picking corn.
It is actually called glass gem corn.  It is an heirloom corn and is actually a popcorn. 
 The only real sewing things I have done are utility sewing, fixing pants, hems, but here are fabric acquisitions.  I have some ideas to make the oldest grandson a quilt, since he was talking about he wanted bedding he saw with skulls.
I saw this panel which I think would be perfect.  I also picked up some black on black fabric with a filigree with skulls too. 

I am kind of excited about starting something new. 

I also got some sunprints from Allison Glass on sale!
One is eggplant, then the black on black, and the other is clementine. 

I really need to get a ton of things going.  I have a stocking to make for a charity which is due the first part of November which means I need to dig out my Christmas fabrics.  I know I have a bunch of 5 inch charms that I can use, I have a ton of quilting to do not including the 3 charity quilts, among other things. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Pondering the Economy Block

When is an economy block not an economy block?  When it is switched up a bit and made into a snail's trail.

One of the groups I belong to does a block of the month (actually it is a bit more than one block per month).  One of the first blocks was a Snail's Trail.  We are making 12 inch blocks.  I made this one.
I was just not loving this.  So I thought I would change it up.  If you break the block down it is essentially an economy block.  I started looking on the web for some hints on making an economy block and sizes.  I need to end up with a 12 inch block finished and I wanted it to not be bland.

So I started playing and started with this to break up some colors.
And progressed to this.
I like how it turned out but still not exactly what I was looking for.  Oh well it can come apart one more time at least a bit to see if I can figure out something different.

I did get a bit of fabric reinforcements.  I decided I needed to enhance my polka dots.  White dots on red, red dots on white and white dots on yellow which make me smile.

Do you ever have things that just don't turn out how you visioned them initially?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

October This n' That

I don't know if you feel this way, but it seems summer was way too short, and autumn is on fast forward.  I planned on doing some of this over the weekend.

Instead we did this.

DH is certified to use all of this equipment, meaning he takes the classes and uses the necessary safety equipment, and borrows it from the city when needed.  This big huge dead tree is on the back of the property of the widow next door.  It is an oak, it isn't rotting, and it isn't a home for any wildlife, but it is mighty close to the McMansion which is right across the property line.   Close enough that if it fell it would have taken out their house, their car port, and all of their vehicles.   All of these limbs came off, and will be cut into more manageable sizes and the main trunk will be brought down by us later this week, using a tractor, a really big chainsaw that DH calls the widow maker and lots of wedges, and chains.  The trunk of this tree at the base is probably about 4-5 feet across.  That was Friday night! 

The youngest daughter came Saturday  so she could earn some cash by helping DH split wood from our wood lot, and stack it into the woodshed.  All three big racks are full now.  I was going to help but when we walked out to the woodshed something was just not right.  Yep the blower on the woodburner had quit working.  So I was sent off with this beast....

To find a replacement.  I started at a big hardware store which is a chain in the upper Midwest which usually has a bit of everything, at least more than the big national chains- we will call it the big "M".  The problem is that the nearest one to us is in Toledo, Ohio. So I got to do an impromptu road trip.   The big "M" did not have one I was told after spending over 1 hour looking for someone to help me, but I was directed to an appliance parts store a few miles down the road.

 I stood in a line waiting for help for another 30 minutes at the appliance parts store only to be told nope they don't carry those, maybe I should try the fireplace/wood burner shop down the road a wee bit further.

At the fireplace store I waited for almost 1 hour because there was a couple who were looking at wood stoves and asking the differences on every stove in the showroom.  How much were each and every one and do you have a brochure? Can't the glass on the front be cleaned? These are so dirty don't they make one that is cleaner?  How come this one is shiny and this one isn't? Do I have to pay more if I want it shiny?  As you can imagine I was just kind of rolling my eyes.  Yep they walked out of the store with a handful of literature and didn't buy a thing.  According to the poor guy who had just spent oodles of time helping them, they didn't have the blower motor either, but he could order me one and I would have to pick it up sometime next week.  I opted for a no on that one.  What he did have that I needed though was 1 inch roping which is the seal for wood stoves and wood burners which goes around the door to keep it sealed airtight. 

By the time I got home it was after 1pm.  Between the youngest daughter, DH and I,  we managed to get almost all of the large logs near the woodshed split, and stacked, and even took quite a few logs out of the back woodlot.  That was Saturday.  No sewing, now I can't say I wasn't tempted to go and find this store down in Ohio that I have been hearing good things about and I wanted to check it out, but I did not yield to the temptation and kept on task.

Sunday-  DH says the yards need to be mowed, we need to move some of the wood from the tree that we started to cut down, and a solar heater needs to be installed on the chicken house.  I need time to do laundry, and clean a little.

DH went off to move wood from the tree from Friday.  My first order of business was to remove the sleeve off of my Quilty Barns quilt.  I had to put one on for the show, only to find that they use pants hangers across the bars to display the quilts.  Mission accomplished and it is now hanging in the dining room.

I can't even begin to tell you how thrilled I am to have this one finished and displayed.  The quilting is not perfect by any sense of the word, but I am in love with it, and the youngest was hinting that she was pretty enamored with it too. 

I then would work a bit, sew a bit, work a bit more. 

I fixed a pair of jeans for DH that he had torn the belt loop off.  It was funny because the other day the youngest daughter was complaining that her SO constantly is asking her to fix his pants because he tears his belt loops off all the time too. 
I finished the September Aurifil block of the month.

And here are 9 of the blocks!
I will say I love the two color scheme and it is coming together nicely. 

I also got another block finished for the quilt group that I belong to.  This is a BOM that we are doing. 
This is Annie's Choice from Quilter's Cache. 

I am also thoroughly enjoying reading everyone's comments on Facebook about Bonnie Hunter's new mystery quilt which is going to start on Friday, November 28, 2014.  It is called Grand Illusion.  Bonnie announced the color scheme already.  Green, turquoise, pink and golden yellow, blacks and neutrals....her design is based upon the Grand Hotel at Mackinac Island.  I have never been there, but the colors are so lovely. 

I love scrappy quilts and I saved last years pattern called Celtic Solstice to make someday.  Do you like scrappy quilts?  Are you going to join in the winter mystery this year?  Have you made any of Bonnie's mystery quilts in the past?  I have made 2 and thoroughly love how they turn out. 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Blood Moons and Lunatics

Did you see the blood moon or the lunar eclipse on Wednesday?  Let me tell you, there is a reason why they use the term lunatic, cause I am positive that things seem to get crazier when the moon is full.

Here are some examples.
Tuesday morning I am getting ready to leave for work at 5:40 am.  I go to pull out of my driveway and almost get hit!  By a car driving about 70 miles an hour!  With no lights on.

I drive a school bus and I am getting ready to pull into the school parking lot to discharge the high school and junior high.  I let two other buses turn in front of me so we can all be close to being on time.  The person behind me is laying on the horn like their hair is on fire.  Pulling up to the school come to find out it is one of the school secretaries.

That same morning I pull into the bus only drive to let deliver one of the grade schools, a lady in a Camaro pulls around me, jumps out of her car, leaves the door open and goes into the school so I cannot pull up to let the kids out.  The next grade school (yes I am fortunate enough to deliver kids to two different schools) I have a lady in an SUV do the same thing in that bus only drive.

No this is not my picture, but this is what I did see Wednesday morning while on my high school bus route.

Another cool thing I have been noticing are the large number of Turkey Vultures also known as Turkey Buzzards around.  The Ancient Uncles lone chicken has disappeared and I am sure she was probably prey recently to one of them.  Did you know that a group of Turkey Vultures is called a Wake?

Again not my picture but this morning driving my route I saw a tree with them which looked much like this.  It was kind of chilling really.

Speaking of birds.  The girls are finally producing!  Yeah!  We got two eggs so far.
They are about the size of a medium egg.  Which isn't bad for their first eggs.  Some chickens their first egg is about the size of a robin egg. 

I did a wee bit of retail therapy the other day.  I had to have the red/yellow colorway of Oh Clementine.
It is so bright and happy! 

I am ready for the crazy to settle down?  Anything crazy going on in your life?

Friday, October 10, 2014

A Celebration of Quilts Part 4

While I was editing pictures I realized I had a lot of pictures, but I still did not get pictures of all of the quilts! 

Our guild has some programs which run month to month.  One of them is what they call the Bag Lady quilts.  If I understand the premise correctly.  Nine different people sign up to participate.  Each person chooses a block.  That is their block they are gong to make for the year.  The ladies choose their fabrics and put them into a brown bag.  The bags are passed from quilter to quilter, and that quilter makes their block from the fabrics in the bag.  These were all bag lady quilts.

 The colors in this one remind me of a sock monkey. 

 And there is always an over achiever.  :D

Another program the guild has is a friendship block of the month.  A block is chose and a focal fabric is provided.  The participants are instructed to add a solid or something of a certain color family and construct the block.  At the guild meeting the blocks are turned in and everyone who turns in a block gets a ticket.  Depending on how many blocks are turned in they average about 39 per month so there are 3 winners which get 13 blocks each.  Both of these quilts were made by people who won the blocks for a specific month. 

We also have some quilts who love to make small quilts. 

These two Rock Candy mini quilts were made during a class which was taught a couple of months ago.
They were made with a charm pack and a yard of solids.  From what I understand you can actually make two of these from one charm pack. 

I am proud to belong to a guild with such a wonderfully talented group of quilters and look forward to making new friendships and learning how to improve my skills. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

A Celebration of Quilts Part 3

I know I am a wee bit slow in getting these cropped and edited.

There were a few  flannel and wool quilts.  Looking for my pictures I realize I did not get a picture of the flannel quilt.  Ugh!  It did not really grab me at first, but when I got closer and saw that it was a flannel which was a whole different twist.  I did think this wool one was pretty though.

There was some applique'.

Some embroidery. 

These are part of the challenge quilts. 

And mine.
This was based upon a picture we took of an American Lotus blossom.

There were also some past challenge quilts
This one was fun the challenge was to match the colors in the button.  Sorry the picture is not great.
Wow it is getting late and I still have a bunch more pictures.  Come back and see the rest hopefully tomorrow.