Friday, August 29, 2014

I've Succumbed to Peer Pressure Once Again

My mom used to ask if all your friends jumped off a bridge would you?  Um no, but at times there are challenges that you just want to jump in and join.  It started at 13 Spools and has been making the rounds.   Hey if Molli Sparkles does it, and the Pug mom it must be cool.

1.  I have more fabric than I could use in three lifetimes.  Along with that fabric are a ton of UFOs. 

2 .  I own more patterns than I will use in a lifetime.  I have a pend-a-flex file box which is stuffed past capacity with patterns which are at least alphabetized.

3.  I hate labels and have lamented, complained,  and groused about the term "modern" quilter in my blog several times.  I remember many years ago when an elderly lady I knew gave me a magazine with modern quilts.  The magazine was from 1978. I fell in love with quilting and wanted to learn to quilt.  The quilt was called Solar Flare and it was a quilt made up of solid concentric circles.  The colors were reds, oranges, and yellow, all solids. The only quilting was SID. That was in 1982.  I don't want to be pigeonholed. 

4.  I cut my fabric backwards.  I notice the tutorials have you cut from the left to the right.  I cut right to left.

5.  I dislike most modern sewing machines.  With all the electronics, knee lift, needle up, needle down-- after working in the computer manufacturing business for years it is something that will go wrong, and will cost a fortune to fix when it does.  Additionally most people are fanatics about their machines and I have seen people get down right rude when someone makes a disparaging remark about a certain manufacturer. 

6.  I cannot do quilt math.  After over a decade of working in the banking industry, running a rewards program you would think I could do simple quilt math.  Nope not a chance.  Most of the time I kind of fly by the seat of my pants.  Rough guesstimate but larger and then trim down.

7.  I am not a fan of precuts or using just one fabric line for a quilt.  While there are fabric lines I love, I like to usually mish mash it up.  Making charity quilts I will use charm packs, or jelly rolls but most of the time I like to throw in a bit of this, a little bit of that, and  batiks too!  GASP!

8.  I pin while I piece.  Gasp! And have been known to break a few needles doing it.

9.  I have never made a Turning 20 or Yellow Brick Road quilt.  I have read the instructions, and even cut one out, but the directions for putting it together totally flummox me.  Hence the reason it is sitting as a UFO in a project box. 

10.  I don't prewash and have never had any problems with color run even though I stress about it. If I prewash then I would have to iron and I hate ironing.  Yes I said iron, not press. 
I know, I know,  my ironing board is a hot mess.  I have some more of that fun pinwheel fabric to use once again to cover when  I have a bit of free time. 

Do you have any quilty secrets? 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Its a Coastal Thing

I mentioned Wednesday I was up and running early and the local Staples opens at 8 am.  I not only needed to get  ink for my printer I needed to get feed for "The Girls".  They are hefty ladies.

For reference see them compared to their waterer?   It is holds 8 gallons of water!

No Miss Prissy here.
The local feed store does not open until 9am!  Really?!?  When I was growing up on the west coast I think the feed store opened at 7am- 8 am at the latest.  Hey guys we are burnin' daylight here!  Now the major chain does open up at 8, but I try to support the local economy-- but there are times they make it mighty hard, especially when you have a busy day.

Thursday up early again!

I am getting ready to can.  Needs to be done and the weather is supposed to be getting cooler so it won't be quite so uncomfortable in the house.  The local farm stand....hours 9 am.  By the time I drive there, wait in line, and get home it is after 10!

OK enough grousing.  I bought some zucchini 2 for $1.50 so that I can shred and put up for making zucchini bread during the winter.

They will go with the 6 or 7 smaller ones  I found in the garden Sunday when I was weeding.

A bushel of green beans to snap.

As well as a box of tomatoes to make spaghetti sauce.  No Romas, but next year I will be ready with sauce tomatoes.  I am going to grow my own from seed!

There are some things I will never get used to living in Michigan.  Car dealerships are usually only open Monday through Friday, and  most close by 5pm.  Just in the last couple of years they are staying open later, with a few hours on Saturday.  If you need to buy a car you practically need to take a day off of work to do it.  Everything seems to open later and have shorter hours! 

Oh well I have stuff to do and I am burnin daylight!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I Will Run For You

I knew I would be a bit busy today but nothing like it ended up being.  For some reason I woke up early and could not go back to sleep.  I got up had a couple cups of coffee, read a few blogs and headed out the door. 

The closest office store is Staples. Did you know that they open at 8:00 am?  I needed 3 different ink cartridges.  I love my printer, but there are times....I needed the ink to print the pictures for my entries in the guild quilt show.  While there I picked up a couple of packages of these.

I just love Frixion pens for marking quilting lines, and I read a blog recently where they used the black to trace their embroidery patterns and I have a couple of patterns that I have purchased recently.  So it is nice to have the tools necessary when I am ready to start. 

I got home, printed my pictures, and finished filling out my forms, and got them in the mail. 

I then had to run to the library because I had a book in that I requested.

I wanted to read it and see if there was anything that I possibly wanted to make before I spend money for a book which I possibly would not want.  Have you every borrowed a quilt book from the library? 

I will admit it I am a computer baby.  I love to pay bills online, I am not one for automatic bill pay, you never know when something will happen and it makes me crazy.  Dh has a bill that they do not have a site to pay, you have to either write a check and mail it, set up bill pay through your bank (not may favorite since I have to pay a fee), or take cash and pay there.  I ran to pay the bill, and on my way stopped at Harbor Freight.

I picked up a package of tweezers.
 I needed them to help access threads that wrap into my machine. 

I also purchased a pick set.
To use for the same thing, and t help clean up some of the old machines.  I really could have used them the other day when DH gave me the feed dogs from my Singer 15-91.

That's a lot of gunk to come out of one feed dog set. 

Of course while I was in town I stopped at the LQS, and bought a couple stash enhancements.  I needed a bright red, and I am always on the look out for a bright cheery yellow!

I got home and the youngest daughter called.  She needed a computer, hers was broken the night before. I needed a PEX crimping tool she had so I headed to her house.  She had recently talked about going back to school online, but with the computer being broken, that is out. I know she is feeling frustrated and she needed a bit of a pick me up.  So I stopped on my way and bought her a Venti Mocha Frappacino-- chocolate, coffee, and whipped topping make everything better.  She applied for some jobs she saw online, and I visited with the two youngest boys, and stitched.

I finished L, and laugh is what we did.  Why is it when you are feeling down being around your family can make it so much better? 

I borrowed the movie Frozen from the kids, and got home in time to start dinner right before DH got home from working overtime.  Nothing like a Disney movie with your Prince Charming to end a wonderful day.  

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Clock Watching

Monday was the start of a new week and I was feeling quite a bit of pressure.  I had some coffee, read a few blogs and started working on my quilting.  I had to take the ancient aunt to the dentist at noon and even though it is only about 15 miles away they are working on the road so I knew we would have to leave at least by 11:30am, cause I have sat in traffic for 15-20 minutes and been late a couple of times in the past couple of months. 

When you are watching the clock you don't get a whole lot accomplished.  I would sew, check the time on my phone, I would actually gauge to check when a chapter in my book I was listening to would finish.  DH walked into the house on his way back to work from picking up parts, looked at me and asked why aren't you ready to take the Ancient Aunt to the dentist?  I jumped up grabbed my clothes and changed, grabbed my Kindle, and a bottle of water and out the door I went, and he headed back to work.

Got to their door to have the Ancient Aunt meet me and tell me why are you here so early.?  My appointment isn't until 1pm.  Argh!  I walked back home, turned on my computer to see the e-mail that the quilt did not have to be completed in the pictures, but done by the show in October.  Ate a bite and did a bit of slow stitching. 

The pattern is Redwork Wisdom which I purchased from Storyquilt.  I started this project many years ago and kind of lost track of it, but I decided I would love to finish the embroidery this year. 

DH got home after work and asked me to come and visit with him in the barn while he worked on the homicidal lawnmower.  I grabbed a ziploc sandwich bag, my needle threader, floss, scissors and my piece and headed out the door.  It was nice to sit and chat with him while he worked at fixing the mower and I finished my piece!
I really need to remember to remove my hoop when I am not working the project.  I forgot how relaxing just sitting and doing something simple and how much I got accomplished in just a short time.  I decided that I would sit in the morning, no television, music or books.  Read a blog or two, and do a bit of embroidery or cross stitch.  Much better than beginning the day at a mad wobble. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

I Just Need A Reprieve

Ever notice that if you have a deadline everyone has something you suddenly "Have-To-Do", something goes wrong, or things just get out of control?

The garden wasn't too bad, but the last couple of weeks with mild warm days and rain overnight has become overran with weeds.  The lawn is now green and needs to be mowed every couple of days, and the veggies have been actually rotting on the vine I just cannot keep up.  This is my out of control. 

Saturday I shared about helping mow the field, and I pulled some weeds.  Sunday DH and I attacked this half of the garden pulling all the weeds.

Just that small section produced a wagon load full of weeds.  My wagon hooks onto the lawn tractor, thank goodness and it is about 3 feet wide by 5 feet long and has sides which are about 3 feet high.  The wagon was heaped about 2 foot higher than the sides.  It only took DH and I about 1 hour to pull all the weeds in this portion of the garden.

 I have been picking up the hickory nuts, and noticed that the widow next door has a lane of them going toward the back of her property.  I think I will be going on a foraging excursion every couple of days so that I can beat the squirrels.
The giant pumpkin needed to be picked before the voles and squirrels discovered it and tucked in. 

I had a bunch of zucchini which were hiding in the tall weeds, and even the chickens are sick of tomatoes. 

My Have to Dos are checking on the Ancient ones a couple of times a day.  Making sure they are eating, running to the grocery store for them, sitting in on the physical therapist and visiting nurse and taking them to appointments.  Today was a dentist appointment. Tomorrow is a doctors appointment. 

The something that just goes wrong?  Well there were two things actually.  Both were mechanical, and both I was basically told it is operator error.  Now I don't know about you but telling me it is operator error at times makes me feel like I am an imbecile. 

Mechanical problem one.  Remember this fancy lawnmower?  The one that has went back to the dealer several times?

Tuesday while I was mowing, going around trees, telephone poles, guide wires, it would start to "buck" which is the best description that I could give to DH.  After 2 hours of fighting it I put it away, and the next day my back, neck and shoulders were killing me.  When I tried to show DH he told me it was operator error.  I just said OK, and walked away.  (Hey it is illegal to run over them with the mower right?)  That would be assault.  I have mowed for a couple of years with that mower and never had a problem before.  All of a sudden I can't work it right?  Come on.

Saturday DH got to experience the bucking action.  And hit a tree.   And tore up the lawn at the widow's house next door. And almost turned it over into the ditch line.  Yep DH was down at the dealer this morning to get a new hydrostat so that he can replace it when he gets back from work.

Mechanical problem 2.  My fancy, expensive (to me) sewing machine was dropping stitches, breaking threads, bird nesting.  You name it, it was doing it.  I had managed to sew about 2 passes on my quilt for the quilt show when it started doing it.   DH cleaned it out for me, I switched needles, did practice FMQ quilting.  I pulled out the manual, read different things online, watched videos.  Basically they were all pointing to operator error. I actually had DH get another older machine ready for me, he removed the feed dogs and was going to help me move it into the dining room to butt against the dining room table to create a huge surface to quilt on. 

Today I quilted on it for a couple of hours and only had the thread break once.  When it did I realized that it is coming unseated up at the spool pin as it is coming off, which is causing the breakage.  I just have to slow down a bit and watch as it feeds to make sure it does not get too much slack.

I was calculating how much time it was taking me to get this done. I spent about 1/2 an hour this morning marking the the quilt about 1/2 way and had sewn about 1/4 of it.  I was getting a big panicky because I have to have my entry form, with a color picture turned in by the 1st of September and that is a holiday! 

I decided to take a wee break and check my e-mail and there was one from the guild.  The quilt must be finished by the time of the quilt show but the entry form and picture the quilt does not have to be completed.  (queue the angels singing)  there was my ray of sunshine!  The panic subsided immensely.  I printed out entry forms, and filled out two.  With some help from DH I will get some pictures and in the mail my entries will go.  Since I am allowed 3 entries not including the challenge quilt.  I am thinking of entering my Tropical Tubix.
Just needs a label and a hanging sleeve.

I am also considering finishing up this oldie.
Ginger Rose is all sandwiched and just needs quilting. 

It is so nice to feel like I am going to be able to breathe again.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Birds, and the Bees and Butterflies

Can you believe that it is almost the end of summer?  Where did it go?  We never really had many "hot" days, and there is definitely a bit of a nip in the air some mornings lately.  I have even seen a few leaves starting to turn!  Dh has been working so much overtime I decided that I could help a bit more around the farm so I learned to drive the big tractor!

Oh she's an old girl.  But she can pull a brush hog which is what you use to mow fields which are not being cultivated. 

We had about 4 acres of this.   A mixture of clover, and queen anne's lace.
I knew it as wild carrot growing up but mine looked different it had a purple looking flower in the middle, than what is growing here. 
 Ours is very white and I love the flowers before they open up.

 I spent a couple of hours mowing, while DH mowed the widow's next door, and the Ancient Ones front, side, and back yard.    Looking at the lot and the back yard around the play structure I am most definitely going to have to mow in the next couple of days. 

DH asked why did you leave a swathe in the field?  I told him that is my birds, bee, and butterfly habitat.  The bazillion bees and butterflies in that small area I left will help fertilize my flowers, our vegetables and berries.  It also provides an area for the birds to forage for insects while I was mowing the purple martins were dive bombing the tractor eating the bugs and mosquitoes rising from the grass. 

See my corn?  Most of my stalks have 3-5 ears of corn on them.  I can't wait to see what they turn out like they are the glass gem corn which is heirloom corn and is actually a popcorn. 

I am going to get a 2nd harvest of raspberries and these are much larger than the first picking. 
I found these little weeds in my garden.  They have pods which look like little green lanterns and when they open up this is what they look like.  Anyone know what they are?

I have been working on quilting my quilt, but again I am having some challenges with my machine.  Sheesh anytime I have a deadline it acts up. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Plugging Along

Have you ever had one of those days where you just can't get your act together to sew?  I had a couple.  I mentioned in my previous post that I was trying to make a backing and I just could not get the math right.  Not only did i have a challenge with math but with piecing too.

I was working on the Aurifil Block of the Month.  I love the pattern but it just won't go together right.
I even double checked my measurements.

It is a hot mess.  I am actually taking it apart once again.

I got my backing ready for my quilt.

All pinned and ready to quilt.
DH brought me home some treasures.
These two old ladders I think we will sand a bit, varnish, and put up for sale as quilt ladders.  Love the hardware. 
My lettuce and romaine are looking mighty yummy.  Think it is time to harvest it.  I see some salads in our future. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Family Ties

Since the "flood" I use the term loosely since it was mostly sewer back ups, due to lots of rain in a really short amount of time.  DH has been working a lot of overtime.  The city DH works for is sending out their Department of Public Works crews to pick up the garbage that people have had to remove from their basements when they flooded.  Furniture, appliance, boxes, drywall, paneling, flooring, water heaters, and furnaces.

Sunday we were invited to "birthday dinner".  We call her the Bling Lady.  Kathleen is 92 years young, and her birthday is this month as well as DH, and a BIL just to name a few. Kathleen's nephew wanted to go out to dinner for her birthday at one of her favorite restaurants.  It was a lovely place on the Detroit River.
Both DH and Kathleen received creme brulee' for dessert.  DH has never had it, but he was a sweetie and shared it with me. Afterwards we accompanied Kathleen to her house so DH to look at her A/C units he installed earlier this summer for her.  Kathleen and her husband never had children and she somehow became the holder of the family photo albums.  We chatted about family while DH and her nephew were talking man stuff.  I was explaining that I have these really cute (DH says they are disturbed looking) bird pitchers that my grandmother had in her house when I was growing up and I just love them, it reminds me of home.  Kathleen said she had some things of her mother's and she did not use them anymore and she would love for me to have them.

One is a cream pitcher and the other is a sour cream holder.  I think they look super cute on top of the Hoosier.  What was really interesting is her maiden name is not really common, but I went to school with a family with the same last name in Oregon.  I think I may see if I can interest her into giving me some of her family history so that I can record it. 

I had a work meeting today, when I got home I tried to help DH by mowing before the storms came in.  I am getting faster.  I actually finished the majority of the lawn in less than 2 hours today!

I have been working on my challenge quilt.  I have the background completed.
The center portion will have an applique' portion, but I was thrilled to get this much completed.

I also managed to find enough Warm and White Batting to piece together for a quilt!
Looks like I have a ghost sitting at my table.
I have been working on making my pieced backing.  Have you ever had a day when you can't do math no matter what?  I had a couple of days like that, but this morning it all seemed so simple.

One more section to piece and I can sandwich the quilt and start the quilting.  Nothing like waiting until the last minute to finish a project.  The quilt has to be finished by September 1 so that I can enter it into the guild quilt show in October.  I always seem to wait until the last minute to get things done!  I must think I work well under pressure. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Morning Rituals

What are your morning rituals?  DH gets up, starts a pot of coffee, gets dressed and turns on the television.  Me I am more of a sit and read, or sit and stitch, and sip a cup of coffee.

Lately my morning ritual has included a visit by this little guy/gal.
Sorry not a great pictures it was taken through the screen.  He/she sits outside every morning on the top of the shepherds hook that holds the humming bird feeder.  Sometimes it will actually come over to the screen when the window is open and tap at it, like he is trying to get your attention. If the feeder has feed which is too old it will sit there and kind of chitter at me.   I think there are actually two.  One which is kind of bottle green, and one which is just a dull brown/gray color.  Both sit on the holder, but only one actually will come to the screen and chat. 

I sewed a bit after a bunch of house cleaning. 

But then I finished my most recent library book and I was on the hunt for the next book I was going to read.  Um yeah....lets just say it took me a couple of hours because I had to update my book list, then find a book I wanted to read.  So many choices. 

I only have 2 1/2 more rows to finish the background then I will work on the applique part. 

I received pictures of Cayden's first birthday at my mother's house.  I instantly had an idea and started playing with the pictures.

The first few slides do not have any sound....which is on purpose, the the final section does so make sure you have your sound on.