Saturday, June 24, 2017

Making Progress

I feel like have made a bit of progress the past couple of weeks.

 The pool is up and running--between Samantha and I we managed to get the pool apart, with a little man muscle from her SO---he helped get the old liner out, and the new in, but between her and I we managed to get it from start of take down to completely reassembled and filling within less than 5 hours.  We were laughing and giggling especially considering how much Jeff had struggled to put it together last year.  I even managed to figure out the filter and pump.  I am learning what chemicals to put in and when also. 

The small pond that we were working on in the side yard was completed.  I need to put a mosquito dunk in it to prevent the lovely little blood suckers, and also probably some sort of algaecide to keep it from turning too green.  All of the rocks were reclaimed from throughout the property.  I do need a few more big rocks and some more small river rocks, but it is so very relaxing listening to the fountain.

I still have a berry patch to clean up, and lots of weeding to do again, as well as a rain barrel to set up to prevent the storm drain from washing out our pool footing, but a little bit each day. 

It has been too hot for Lucy to be in and out into the sun room, and as anyone who has ever owned a cat knows, that a cat feels like you should hold the door open interminably for them while they decide if they want to be in or out.  I took some of the cut off discards from Jeff's t-shirts and made her a small pillow so she could be on top of this small set of plastic drawers to look outside.

I made some economy blocks to do another one of Jeff's t-shirts. 

I then started to make churn dashes.

For another shirt.
I tried doing a rail fence, but doing small ones seems to be a challenge for me. When it was all said and done I thought it looked quite wonky.  But I refuse to take it apart one more time!

I have another idea for my next shirt, but before starting on that I thought I should get the guild friendship block done.

I also settled down enough to try to work on my quilting machine.  I figured out how to set the tension depending on the needle and thread that I am using. 

I finished up quilting this table topper.  I think the pattern is called Rock Candy, I made it from a bunch of 2 1/2 inch strips, and a yellow fairy frost so I could test out the side kick ruler before I started a bigger project.    I even have my binding made, so I just need to sew it on. 

I have bought a few things.  I got a sweet package from Donna's Lavender Nest.  I love the yellow daisies on the green plaid and had ordered a fat quarter previous, so ordered some more.  It works great in Jeff's t-shirt quilt.  I always receive a couple of charm squares which are always too cute. 

I also saw this super cute kit, and had to have it.  Love the flag, and the snowman.  Especially when we have days that it is 90 degrees by 10 am.  I know, soon I will be complaining about how cold it is.  But right now, it reminds me that winter is coming and these sweltering days will be gone soon.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Anti String Piecing

I have so much to do, and there are times I just kind of stall. Or I forget what I am doing. 

The friendship block of the month for guild was a string star.  Let's just say maybe I should have foundation pieced instead of just building on the white and black.

I was supposed to add blues and purples.  I don't have a lot of purple in my stash so it was tough.  I will also say that I took this block apart probably 50 times trying to get everything right.  Obviously string piecing is not my forte.

The bag lady block was a wee bit easier.

Ghastlies fabric.  Isn't it fun! 

I did another t-shirt for Jeff's t-shirt quilt.
I had bought some charm squares years ago, and discovered they were not 5 inch squares, they were 4 inch squares.  They came in handy for this.  While this is not a John Deere shirt, it is a shirt that Jeff had when he belonged to the 2 cylinder club.  It was a group that restored antique John Deere Tractors, it was something he absolutely loved. 

Of course I had some fabric acquisitions that arrived.  Darn Memorial Day sales!

Some greens, and yellows for my Saw Toothed Square block, and some text fabric. 
And some more chicken fabric.

Then I took a short jaunt to Pink Castle Fabrics to pick up an order of Blueberry Park which is low volume.

Then I looked through their sale bins and found some more treasures.

I love text prints, and I just adored the red flowered fabric, but they only had 3 fat eighths. 

I spent a lot of time cutting squares and strips Saturday, and tumblers. 

I worked on the pool this weekend.  I can't quite figure out the filter, and pump and how it all works together.  I have looked up different schematics.  Tomorrow Lucy goes to the vet, then afterwards I will hit the pool store again.  Hopefully I can get this beast going soon, before the summer is over. 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Unaccompanied Minor

My ex- husband tagged me on Facebook with this cartoon a few days ago.

I told him, in my defense, I am essentially an unaccompanied minor, wandering around by myself.  Don't be judgey. 

I like that we are on friendly terms.  Even after all these years we still give each other a bad time. 

Holiday sales are my kryptonite.   

I have an inkling to make a Chicken Quilt.  Using Chicken fabrics. 

I also picked up some red fabrics. 

One day I had to go to Maumee, Ohio to a store called The Quilt Foundry.  I decided I needed these greens for my t-shirt quilt, and then I saw these cute fat quarters. 

It was also skinny bolt sale day.  I bought the purple for $5.99 per yard, it is a little under 2 yards.  I thought it would make a good backing for a table topper I made a while back. 

I also just had to go to Joann's because I needed sequins pins to make the pine cone for guild.  I always look at their white on whites to see if there is anything that would make a nice addition to my stash.

I don't know if you can see it but there are arrows on it.  No the dark spot is not a stain, Lucy hair. 

Remember my tiny friendship stars? 

I used it for a border for one of Jeff's shirts.  This was a thermal shirt, but he wore it a lot of the time during the winter, so I had to include it.

I used this cute little green and yellow flower print around the John Deere Logo from a shirt sleeve.

Here are the shirts I have done so far.
I think the rest of the shirts will go together much easier than the cross stitch, and thermal.  Need to choose the next shirt and figure out another border.  9 patch, 4 patch, maybe a twist of some sort. 

Things are getting done around the house.  The daughter's SO tilled the garden so I got my tomatoes and peppers planted.  He weed whipped the pumpkin hill, so the boys planted some pumpkins, I also managed to finally get my flowers planted, and some of weeding done.

My poppy plants are full of buds.  I think all the rain has done weird stuff to the petals.  I have a flowering almond that is always full of leaves and blooms, this year, it looks like a pile of sticks.  :(

My flower garden is also full of columbine. 
I couldn't get over this chubby bumble bee. 

Last year Jeff brought home a 5 gallon bucket full of Lily of the Valley, someone had thrown it into the garbage pit at work, I threw them into the dirt by the garage.  I had a bunch of them actually come up and bloom this year.

The flowers make me smile.  Such a sweet memory of my sweet husband.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Moving Forward Slowly

I am starting to adjust to being a "single" person.  I have lots to keep me busy, but there are times I just don't have the energy.

I have done a bit of sewing.  I have been making 3 inch friendship stars.  I needed to make 20.

I finally finished them, and they are all pressed.  I need to get them sewn together to border one of Jeff's shirts for the t-shirt quilt.

Have you seen Kris's Colfax County quilt?  Check it out here!  It is gorgeous.  Of course I think I need to make one but I want to do it in reds.  So I ordered the pattern.

Then I chose some fabrics.
Lots of gorgeous reds.  Lots of HST.  I think it will be very therapeutic for me, HST are sew, press, trim.

The Quilt guild for our Christmas Charity Christmas Tree we are making fabric folded pine cones.  I received a ziploc bag with an egg shaped Styrofoam form, and a bunch of squares.  I was told to find a tutorial online.  The problem I had was that all of the tutorials I have found they use 2 inch squares.  Big difference between doing 2 inch squares and using 1 1/2 inch squares. 

I decided to press the squares first.  Then I started. 
I had to take it apart about 4 times. 

This is what it turned out like.  I have many places where the sequins pins show no matter what.  I still need to add a hanging ribbon. 

I have been working on this post for a couple of days.  The last two days have been much more productive.  I have had a few peaceful days and it helps so much to stay focused and get things accomplished.

Friday, May 12, 2017


Isn't it amazing how quickly life changes.  You are on a path, and suddenly something happens and that path is blocked or ends, and there is a fork in that road, and you have to choose the next path.   I am beginning to look at life as a series of journeys.  Once again my path has changed and a new journey begins. 

It is with a heavy heart that I must say that the aunt passed away peacefully in her sleep Wednesday morning.  I had brought her home the Friday before with the help of Hospice.  She was on a 2 hour medication schedule, so I would set my phone timer, and every 2 hours I would get up ( I slept in a recliner next to her hospital bed), give her a dose of medication, many times I would wake up every hour and I would swab her mouth to keep it moist, even though she had quit drinking.  I am grateful for the opportunity to grant her final wish, which was to die in the home she was born in.  The aunt passed just before her 4 am medication dose, with me by her side.  I know she passed knowing she was very loved, and cared for.  


Jeff was not much of a gift giver, he actually became anxious trying come up with a gift, even though I truly appreciated anything he ever gave me whether it was something from the garbage pit at work, a dozen roses, or a gift he came up with on his own and made me. He used to joke about the beginning of the year being a triple threat to his manhood.  Our anniversary, followed by Valentine's Day, then my Birthday.   On our anniversary this year he was very upset.  He had an idea of what he wanted to purchase, but when he started looking he could not locate the item.  

A couple of days after our anniversary he told me, that he wanted to buy a lawn spinner for me, since he knew I loved some artsy ones that I had seen at the local feed store.   The feed store had told him they would be in soon, so when they came in I needed to go purchase the one I wanted he told me.  

A couple of days after Jeff died, I had to go into the local feed store to get some chicken feed, and all of the lawn ornaments, and spinners were up.  I grabbed my phone. and was ready to text Jeff when I realized he was gone and would never receive my text.  I left the feed store, holding it together until my chicken feed was loaded and sobbed on my drive home.  My most recent trip to the feed store I decided that I would go ahead and purchase the spinner I wanted.

I have a Singer 301A long bed that I love to sew on almost as much as I love sewing on my featherweight.  The problem is that it did not have a base and made me kind of crazy.  I had seen a custom base on Facebook, and the man had an Etsy shop.  I had looked at them many times, but didn't see one that really struck my fancy until just a couple of days before my birthday.  I showed Jeff and he told me buy it, and Happy Birthday my love.  

I had been so busy the past few weeks that I didn't realize that it had arrived.  I looked at the shipping receipt today, and saw that it had been delivered on April 20.  I started looking and realized that I had a box that I thought was a new locking mechanism that I had to order for Jeff's work tool box because I could not locate the keys.  It was not the mechanism, it was my sewing machine base. 

To say that tears flowed upon opening it, would be an understatement.  I will say that this photo does not do it justice, but I just wanted to share it. 

I had lots of errands today.  One of them was to order a funeral spray, and a couple of small arrangements for the cemetery, since  I am having an small internment ceremony Friday, May 19, 2017.  The Ancient Uncle, Ancient Aunt and their son will be finally laid to rest in their cemetery plots that they have owned for years.  At the little local florist, I saw a wonderful garden marker and had to purchase it.  I think it is a great expression of Jeff's life.  I have this in my side garden where I will finish up a fountain, place a bench for a place to sit to meditate and pray.

After running to the local greenhouse, I had a package waiting for me.  Thank you so much for the lovely book Nancy of Pug Mom Quilts.  

I am finishing up a couple of books currently, but I am thinking that this will bring a smile to my heart. 

 I have been doing a little sewing. 
A pile of 1 1/2 inch HST to be trimmed up.
The few I have trimmed, and a few of my tumblers which I have been doing as leader and enders. 

Finally the great unveil.  I showed a pile of boxes a few days ago on my blog.  Well this is what I bought.

This is a sit down machine.  I have it put together, but I haven't played much with it.  Maybe in the next couple of days between doing some gardening, and other little home improvements.  It came with a stitch regulator, a bobbin winder, and another sewing machine, a small HQ 210.  It is a nice little machine, with some nice little bells and whistles that I don't have on my antique machines.  It may be my "travel" machine since I have gotten brave and signed up to take a class at a local quilt shop. 

My new journey is a bit daunting.  I have almost always had a spouse, or kids to care for, a job, or the ancient ones.  Now the only one I truly have to care for is Lucy, the Ancient Ones cat, and myself.   

Here you can see her helping me with my computer and blog reading.  It is strange knowing I have no real responsibilities anymore, no days filled with laundry, cooking, dishes.  No days trying to figure out when I can chisel out some time for sewing, or even to get a shower.  No trying to figure out what to have for dinner, that everyone will eat. 

The Road Not Taken

Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

50 Shades of Gray

First of all get your mind out of the gutter.  I am not referencing the book.  I have been trying to find a gray to go with my fabrics for my ocean waves quilt.  I have bought so many different colors of gray.  

Nothing is quite right.
OK maybe it isn't 50 but there are 6.

The other day I was working on Jeff's t-shirt quilt and this happened when I was putting fusible web on the back.

I put another layer on the block, but look what it did to my iron.
I cleaned it off, but the temperature just didn't seem right.  I didn't want to keep fighting it so I decided maybe it was time to get a new one.  My old Roweta is over 10 years old, and it doesn't leak, but the cord won't reel in anymore.  I cleaned it the best I could but I was struggling to get it to work right. Maybe it was time to get a new one.

Yep I splurged and bought an Oliso.  I finally tried it today.  It is going to get some getting used to though.

I found some more fabric for Jeff's quilt.
I love text fabrics and I bought the two light ones from a line called Literary.  But the greens!  Oh my!

Tractors, and rows of crops.

Eggs.  To honor Jeff's love of his chickens.

The aunt is home in the care of hospice.  It is only a matter of days, lots of work, but I have some free time but can't really concentrate much so I am working on mindless sewing.  So I drug out my tumblers and started sewing them together. 

Also gave me a chance to try out my new iron.

I had been saving some money to buy myself a gift.  I found a great sale. 

I will show more later.  Any ideas about gray?  I have a couple Bella solids, Essex Linen, Kona, Centennial, and AMB.