Sunday, January 25, 2015

Eggcitement and Choices

I grew up around chickens so I know the sounds they make.  When they are just clucking around, when they are afraid and when they have laid an egg.  DH and I were preparing to go to lunch and he made a comment that they were making a lot of noise.  I told him that is not noise that is their sound they make after they lay an egg. 
No this is not one of mine.  My girls are pretty girls!  They are Buff Orpingtons.  Now most chickens produce an egg every 25 hours.  Which means that you should get an egg every other day.  Somehow we end up with an average of about 12 eggs a day from 16 chickens.  Shhh!  Don't ask don't tell.  What makes them such good layers?  May be the Pella window that gives them an outside view, the solar heater, or the new radiator the DH put in their pen to keep them toasty.  The fact they get fresh veggies and fruits on almost a daily basis, as well as some bread.  I don't know but they sure love DH.  They run up to get a pet on the back from him.

These are two of the eggs which we got today.  The girls layed 13 eggs yesterday and 14 eggs today.  DH gathers eggs every day. 

I am sure one of the girls is going to need one of those donuts to sit on after laying this one.  The egg on the right is almost an extra large it weighs in at almost 2 1/4 ounces.  
The egg on the left bottomed out our scale.
Yep that is over 3 ounces.  So we found the regular food scale.

Yep you can see that egg is almost 3 1/4 ounces!  It is huge!

While I blog, I am not much of a joiner.  It is hard for me to join a group, so the fact that I joined the quilt guild last year was quite the stretch.  Most of their quilts are traditional and mine are a bit "out there" when it comes to design choices and colors.  They have a group called "The Bag Ladies".  The premise is that you choose a block and several fabrics, enough that the bag of fabrics can be passed to 9 different ladies.  Every month you make your chosen block from their fabrics, and then pass it on to the next quilter, and whomever has your bag makes their chosen block from your fabrics. 

My dilemma?  I have to choose a 9 inch finished block and I cannot choose.  Part of the problem is that it is hard to find a 9 inch finished block.  What I would love is a Jacob's Ladder block.  Something which is low stress and easy for me to make each month?  What would be your choice? 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

A Week of Goodbyes

Where ever did this week go?!?!  I know I am always lamenting about how fast they seem to fly by.  I posted on Monday, January 19 and here it is Saturday, January 24, 2015.  While I don't feel like I get a whole lot accomplished life seems to rush by before you know it.  It was a week full of good byes a few tears, but small signs of change.

Tuesday morning, I had a message on my cell phone from DH which said---  Grand Am gone. 
He sent it to me while I was at work so I did not see it until I was heading home.  I just sent him a text which said, "Huh?"  Thinking that since it was kind of icy and icky that morning, and the snow was falling that maybe a Grand Am had wrecked in our front yard.  We seem to have several people wreck every winter and end up in our yard.   

DH called me back said something to the effect of darn auto correct and I could instantly tell something was wrong.  DH's grandmother had passed away early that morning at the age of 93, due to complications from a combination of diabetes, and kidney failure.  She has been failing for about 6 months so, and we knew that when they put her in hospice two weeks ago it would not be long. 

DH spent a lot of time with his grand parents growing up.  He actually has an uncle who is only a year or two older than him, and they grew up more like brothers.  Gpa and Gma had a home on Swan Creek just a couple of hundred yards from Lake Erie and DH has fond memories of riding motorcycles, building go carts, swimming, boating, snowmobiling on the creek, ice skating. He loves to tell the story about year the lake and creek rose so high that the water was battering at the old basement door trying to get into the house. DH went to spend time at the rest home with is mom, two aunts and sister to wait for the funeral home to come and pick Grandma up, he tries to be and tough and gruff, but he is a big softy at heart.  Gma had been at that home since it had opened, and almost everyone who worked there stopped by to express their sorrow at her passing. 

Grandma said she was not going to have a service, she just wanted to be cremated because if they didn't want to come see her alive they sure as heck weren't going to come and mourn over her after she passed.  I guess I can appreciate the sentiment.  So we have been kind of just going through the motions for the week.  DH has been on bereavement leave, and to top it off has had a pretty nasty cold. 

Finn update!  Finn got his cast.

Yes he broke his tibia.  Actually he probably broke it a couple of weeks ago when he took a dive off of his brothers' bunk bed steps which he is not supposed to be up on anyway. The children's hospital saw that the bone was already starting to heal and so it had been fractured and he refractured it Sunday night.  Says a lot about the difference between a regular hospital and a children's hospital.  Poor little guy had been hobbling around on a broken leg for over 2 weeks.  Finn is sporting this royal blue cast for a couple of weeks, they told him he could walk on it, but he probably won't want to because it is pretty heavy, and it goes up to mid -thigh.  Later on Finn will get a new cast that is shorter.

Since DH was home, I insisted that he had to do something to keep busy.  I was hoping he would work on his antique tractors which he loves so much, but also meant he was tasked with bringing the family room floor up even with the kitchen floor.  We moved furniture, essentially rearranging the front room, dining room, family room/great room, and the sun room.  Part of the floor was done and my quilter was brought into the main house from the sun room/ mud room.  That was a task in itself.  DH build this for me, and it is solid, and heavy.  I can't wait to get the room cleaned up a bit so I can use it.  I have lots of quilts waiting to be quilted 

I needed a change of scenery and so we moved all of our furniture into the freshly painted dining room, and the dining room table, and china cabinet will be moved into the the great room.  It is nice having a smaller more intimate area to watch TV, and I am closer to my sewing room, so I can sneak off for a bit here and there while DH is watching TV. 

I wrote last week that I have visited Joann's Fabric on Saturday and had made some purchases.
I think I am going to try the spool idea for the 2014 Aurifil quilt blocks.  The red kind of reminds me of the grunge fabric line , and the white was very sweet looking with the little doily looking motifs.  I also bought a couple of yards of blue for my We Support you blog hop piece.

Makes you wonder what I have been doing.  Lots of slow stitching. 
I have 1 1/2 more pieces to finish the embroidery then I can put it all together.  I may have my project done before my day to post!  Which will definitely be a first! Shhh!  I should not say anything to jinx it. 

I also did a bit to help the economy.  Pink Castle Fabrics was having a sale.  I don't know why I even looked I was just curious and I found this cute blogger bundle called Cool Flower Power, and just could not resist how sweet the fabrics were.  I still want to make a swoon quilt and I may just about have enough floral and solids to match to make the quilt. 
I also saw this bright yellow polka dot which had to come and live at my house too! 
Finally I said good bye to a friend at work, and one of the children on my route.  The friend at work, he was hired before me, but didn't get his license until after me by just a few days but he had seniority and a route long before I got one.  I was surprised that he actually took this job it was about 30 miles from his home (he lives nearer to the youngest daughter) and that area is always hiring bus drivers.  Anyway since the holiday break, the kids have been a wee bit rambunctious- kind of like starting all over again from the beginning of the school year, the roads have been bad, some more than others and he decided to leave.  Friday was his last day.  The young lady on my route, I was sad to see leave also.  This young one lost her father over the Christmas holiday.  He had an aneurysm, which brought on a fatal heart attack after spending several weeks in the hospital with pneumonia.  He was only 38 years of age.  They could not afford their modest home anymore and had to move in with her grandparents. 

I wish I had a picture but I can't take one when I am on my bus route, but my sign of hope was that I started to see trees budding up.  A small promise of spring being on its way. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Three Day Weekends

Today is the birthday of my great grandmother who helped my mother raise me.  I don't have any pictures of her that I can find.  She was born in 1896, the youngest of 13 children.  Her next closest sibling was 13 years older than her, a brother named Winifred. 

The past week was busy.  I have been taking extra jobs whenever available.  Friday was a meeting after the morning runs, then I needed to have a meeting with the operations manager, then the afternoon runs.  When I returned I said I would help get my bus and another ready for a charter trip over the weekend.  Everyone who was taking a bus was supposed to bring it up to help get them ready.  Let's just say that no one came to help, and by the time I got all 5 buses prepared it was almost 9pm. 

Saturday DH started mixing up the primer to prime the ceiling.  Something did not seem right.  We discovered we bought enamel/oil based primer, instead of the regular latex primer.   I cut into the corners and DH did the rolling or the ceiling so it was all primed after we had removed the popcorn texture and fixed some problems with the ceiling.  After we were finished we cleaned up and were out the door.  Feed store, Joann's to pick up some fabric and ribbon, to Toys R Us to find a toy for Finn for his birthday, and to the home improvement store for a new angled brush to cut in the ceiling paint, and finish painting the wall.  Let's just say not much sewing was accomplished and the house smelled horrendous because of the oil based primer, and it was too cold to open up the windows to air the house out.  Oh and DH and I are too old to go to Toys R Us without a minor in tow!  It was overwhelming so we actually ended up leaving and going to a different store because there was too much that we actually felt like we had sensory overload. 

Sunday morning I had a charter at 5 am.  I was home by 9 am which was nice.  DH had already finished painting the ceiling so it was my turn to paint the final wall in the dining room.  I cut in along the moulding around the windows and floor and the ceiling.  He rolled.  We are a great team. 

There is still wainscoting to do, but we decided that we would at least move the family room furniture into the dining room since it is a bit warmer, especially during the winter.

Sunday afternoon was Finn's birthday party.  Yes we did find a gift for him, which he absolutely adored.  Not long after we left his house my daughter called that Finn had fallen.  Now about 2 weeks ago he had tumbled off of the bunk beds and sprained his ankle.  He wouldn't walk for over a week, and he was still limping. 

The youngest daughter took him to emergency and poor little guy!  He broke his leg.
Here is a picture of his splint and grippy socks.
Finn hanging out with his baby, sportin his new Spiderman pjs.   He is not a fan of the splint, and he doesn't go to get a cast until Thursday. 

Monday-  We do not have flooring in the family room, so we are going to move everything out and at least get OSB down so that the levels match, and we will then move the dining room table, and my quilting machine in here so that I can use it easier than when it is in the sun room.

While we were busy moving furniture from one end of the house to another I did manage to get a bit of stitching accomplished.

Hand stitching some trim.

A bit of embroidery and learning how to use the couching stitch on my sewing machine.  I was surprised at how much I accomplished in just a couple of hours.  My only problem was that I lost my Roxanne's glue baste, and Joann's didn't have any.  I keep hearing how if you use a bottle with a fine tip and some Elmer's school glue it works the same way, so I purchased it. 

Let's just say that I created quite a mess trying to fill this bottle and use it.  Ugh!

How was your weekend?  Did it seem crazy busy too? 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Slow Sewing

Slow sewing.  No not hand piecing, or anything of the sort.  I hate squaring up, especially where there are a bunch of small piddly pieces.  My slow sewing is that I finished another set of quilt blocks! 

I decided I needed a break from my blog hop project, and from cutting the 100's of diamond type trapezoids for the Grand Illusion so I decided to do the December 2014 Aurifil block of the month.

I will say for all of the cutting, and trimming and squaring up I did, this block did not turn out wonderful.  Sigh*  But I did finish all of the blocks. This one block ended up taking me at least 3 hours with all of the cutting, trimming, sewing, squaring, trimming down, and trying to get it all to match.  I am not a fan of set in seams either. 
Aurifil posted a finishing technique which was making the blocks into spools, setting them on point with a lovely center motif, but I am not too sure if I am loving it. You can see their interpretation here.   I think I may leave it and stew on it a while.  DH says maybe use white to make the spool and red for the rest.  That way I can stick with my red and white theme.  I could add blue but that defeats the purpose of me working so hard to keep with the 2 color quilt.

As to the Grand Illusion I have one block from step 2 done. 
It actually came out to the correct size even.  Only 99 more to go.  I worked on cutting out the parts today for a while.  Maybe tomorrow I will get more accomplished. 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

We Support You Blog Hop is Coming

The lovely Madame Samm from Sew We Quilt has came up with a new challenge.  Take a gorgeous pattern, make it our own to support those we know who have had, or have breast cancer.  Make a comfort quilt, wall hanging, something.  I better get crackin since I am up on the first day.  Below is the schedule for all the beautiful, and inspiring creations.  

We Support You Blog Hop Full Schedule

Jan 29th 

Jan 30th 

Feb 2nd 

Feb 3rd 

Feb 4th 

Feb 5th  

Feb 6th  

Feb 9th 

Feb 10th  

Feb 11th  

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Perfect Circles

I needed to make some circles. 

The pattern called for 7 1/2 inches.  That seemed a bit big to me.  So I started trying to find something to make a circle with.  For some reason I do not own a compass anymore. 

I started with a Solo cup.  But as you can see it is only about 5 inches and it doesn't look very round.

Then I though how about a paper dessert plate.
It is 7 inches but the problem is that the edge is rolled so it may not always end up so circular.

The inside of a painter's tape roll is only 3 inches.  Way too small. 

I had some circles which I had made to help mark a quilt.
This one is 4 inches.  Too small.
I thought this one was too small too.  Also since it was a paper circle I wasn't too sure if I wanted to use it because it is tough to trace around a paper circle without it getting a bit lopsided. 

I finally settled on this saucer from my dishes.   A little smaller than 6 1/2 inches.  Nice hard edge.  So I started to trace some circles.  And made this.

I finished it off with one of the sweet buttons that I got from Dawn in my care package that I received yesterday.  I am pretty pleased with how it turned out.  

I am thinking this is the best size and I will be making plenty more. 

Friday, January 9, 2015

Use It Up

I purchased this fabric earlier this year to use as a backing for the Lazy Sunday Mystery Quilt that I had completed.  I actually purchased a wide backing so I did not have to piece it.

It is the yellow dotty fabric.

Lazy Sunday Mystery backing.

 I used portions of it to piece the backing for the Quilty Barns at Midway Farm backing.
The band on a Magic Pillowcase.

I started to use it on a step in the Bonnie Hunter Grand Illusion mystery but then decided that I wanted to have a fabric as a constant so decided to choose a yellow and took the scrappy yellows out.

 I will admit that it will be showing up in some squares for the daughter's yellow brick road that I am working on. 
There are still scraps left which are too small for the yellow brick road, but they will be cut into my scrap system, and making appearance in other items.