….Ahhh CHOOO and Needle Too!

The flu.  It came for an early visit this year.  I felt a tickle in my throat for about a week.  Taking liquid vitamins kept it at bay.  Then the weekend came.  I neglected my normal vitamin ritual.  And by Saturday evening, I knew I was going to be coming down with the funk.  Saturday afternoon it was practicly non-existant.  Then BAM Sunday morning, full blown.

My week in review has not committed to hardly any sewing.  Got a few blocks done Saturday and will show those this weekend.

Saturday I got a call from Dad asking if I could come down and help Mom.  The tone of his voice was one for worry, so I asked what he needed.  He needed my help in removing a machine needle from Mom’s finger.  YIKES!  I knew this day would come but I seriously thought I would be the one to zig instead of zag.

It was all the way through sticking equally from the top of her fingernail, as well as equal in length protruding from the bottom of her index finger pad.  I was shocked that the needle did not break.  I am sooooo glad it did not.  Those of you that use the titanium needles, those will flex like the dickens, and will really eat up your fingers.  I am thankful mom was just using a plain ordinary sewing machine needle.

Setting in the plan of action.  Dad was in no condition to remove it.  He was rather nervous and worried.  So I asked if he had a pair of dikes.  We finally found a pair that was not beveled.  Then he found a large pair of pliers.  All in the junk drawer in the kitchen, all awaiting their next job.

I asked if there was peroxide.  No, none.  My parents offered up beta dine, which will work, but really wanted the peroxide for after the fact.  I sent Dad to the store to get some.  He had just openned the back door to depart, I looked at Mom’s finger.  The natural way to take out the needle is the same way it went in.  Never try to remove the needle from the eye/scarf end.  This end is smaller, tapered, and the right end to come out.  Doused moms finger with idodine.  So I grabbed her hand, steadily cut the eye/scarf off not exactly flush with the finger pad with a pair of dikes, and then took the larger end that usually screws into the machine, and pulled with the pliers.  There is far more meat on this end to grab.

Imagine stitching cloth with a needle and thread.  When the needle travels through the fabric there is friction you can feel, pushing or pulling you know the feel.  Pulling a needle out of meaty, human tissue/skin, there is more resistance, but it is smooth as there are no fibers.

The needle was so sharp that very little damage was left in it’s wake.  After I Pulled out the needle, I also had to pull out the thread as it did not break either.  All the while I had left the children to fend for themselves outside as I was unsure how they would respond to this “gory” situation.

I later showed my oldest daughter, because it was a photo and not real, I think she was more accepting of it.  Not sure how this would have been handled in real time.  Children are sensitive sometimes and you just never know.  Shoot, some adults are pretty skweemish at the thought let alone the sight!

The children and I came back home, and I sent my eldest back down with our peroxide, but Mom turned it down.  Dad had not yet made it back from the store.  But there was some coming on it’s way.

The things we do for a loved ones.  Ten years ago, I could have never handled a situation like this.  I have matured, I did not get upset, the adrenaline did not run.  I do not think it even ran for Mom, as she was also calm, cool, and collected.  I don’t think I can say the same for Dad or maybe it was something else with Dad.  I could not figure this out.  He used to be a paramedic, but certainly never worked on loved ones.

Ladies, for those of you who use an embroidery machine, if the fabric is not perfect, wrinkled, curled, or whatever……PLEASE pause the machine.  It is for your own safety.  Not only can you damange the best set of tools you own (your hands), but you can also damage your expensive machine.

So the needle surgery happened.  And so did the flu.  I am on the down hill slide.  My coughing is still rather violent at times, but I am better.  But the round will continue as all of the family is coming down with it.  I will have my hands full as things were neglected while I was sick, and now that everyone else is getting sick, I will certainly be multi tasking with chores and their wellness.

No sewing to show off that I accomplished on this post, but stay tuned for the weekend edition LOL.  But, I did read today the Bonnie Hunter’s Mystery Quilt Colors were announced.  Pleased as punch and this year it is called FROLIC.  I have to buy very little fabric, hooray!

Neutrals this time are going in this direction:

neutrals

Dark blue has turned into this:

dkblue

Light blues are just that!

lightblue

Rasberry is going lighter and more pastel-ish and I have since pulled more pink:

pink

Green is going this route:

green

Sky blue is going turquoise:

turquoise

And my swatches:

paint chips

And now to share, something my Mom made for me, and I must say, I LOVE IT!  Perfectly Logo”ed.  Outstanding embroidery work, but she put her own spin on it and came up with this.  If I am not mistaken, this is an “In the hoop design” that she added to.  A zippered pouch!  And it is already put to use!!!  And it has left me speechless!  Thanks MOM!

singersinger2

Simple, elegant, and says the right thing for me to cherrish and use for years.  I must say I may have a commisioned one made with my machine name as well as the serial number.  🙂

The weekend is almost here, and while I recooperate fully, I intend to enjoy what life gives me, or throws at me.  You never know when your skills will be needed for something unconventional.

Stay tunned for the weekend edition and thanks for reading my blog!

Life’s Little LumberJacks

A LumberJack is a person who cuts down trees for a living, and takes them to the sawmill or lumber mill.  Trees are the lungs for the greater good of mother nature, cleansing the air, so then we can breathe.  A wonderful part of the ecology of the world, and quite frankly taken for granted.

Every time I watch a television show that remodels houses, I see perfectly good lumber going to the dump.  I hate it, such a waste.  I suppose it creates jobs for all those lumberjacks and it also creates money in the economy for the store that sells it, and again for the economy where the builder sells the final product.  Paying for lumber three times is why it is so high.

I urge those of you to think about that the next time you touch a piece of wood, no matter how small or insignifigant, that small piece no longer creates the oxygen we breathe, and is no longer in the “economy”, but at the same time can help preserve the forests and their ecology.

Last year in my work commute, I kept seeing these small branches about 10 inches in length with leaves still on them all laying about underneath trees that stretch a good 7 miles.  And in that post, I told you about the twig girdler.  This bug is like a little lumberjack slowly using it jaws to saw all the way around a branch causing it to fall.  The life cycle of this, the eggs are laid on the branch that falls below.  And if you fail to pick up the branches for next year, those eggs will become adults, making their lumberjack way in thining out your branches.  I noticed they are back, but even worse this year.  A harmless looking bug that makes a change in the forest taking away from the oxygen we breath, and the economy times three for the lumber industry.

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Nature certainly is a neat thing.  I see this bug and think of the cottonwood beetle that also eats wood which I have seen many time around my home in the 25 years I have resided here with them.

cottonwoodborer1

I could go on and on about natures most interesting, mysterious things.  I really don’t want to Bug you with this, but thought it was Punny, LOL.  Not quilt related but certainly educational.  I suppose I should move onto more quilty stuff.

I am still quilting away with the Stars Upon Thars quilt.  I have purchased a longer ruler.  The row that once took me 3 hours now only takes me about 1 1/2 hours.  Time is precious and the $30 I paid for the ruler was well worth it.

stars and thars 1

I have three rows to quilt, and perhaps will get to work on it Saturday morning.  But will probably not finish this until the following weekend.  Too much going on.

I have managed to do oodles of these and have a count now of 43.  May start tearing off the back paper and placing them on some muslin to start my rows.

And Another score at the thrift store.  I found some aluminized quilted cotton fabric, just in time to recover my ironing board.  I have a piece that is not large enough but probably twice as wide, so I can seam it, and hopefully this cover will last longer than the last one.

The thrift store also had with-the-grain rolls of strips.  These used to be popular for crocheting rugs and making crochet baskets.  Not sure if I will rug this, or if it will become a quilt.  It is the right color for a little boy.  I know no one who is expecting so it will store nicely in the stash until the times arrives.

thrifty

I am working as hard as I can to get something new going on the blog, but I sure like to finish what I start.  Perhaps there will be some binding action happen this upcoming week.

I look forward to the details to get released for the Bonnie Hunter’s mystery quilt.  My fabrics have really dwindled in the making of so many large quilts this past year, so if I do decide to do this quilt, I will probably have to go fabric collecting again.  I look forward to the shopping aspect of it this year as it will ad freshness to my old stash.  Lots of my fabrics were given to me and pieces are 30 years old,, and dated.  I am doing my best to use those up.

My mom has the quilt she is making for me almost completed!  She will be finish the binding this week.  I look forward to showing you her hand quilting on this beauty (a king size extra long quilt to tuck under the pillows on the bed).  Be looking for that post soon.  And thank you for reading my blog!

 

Cognac and Chicken Wire

A few weeks back, using graph paper I drew out a panto graph for the quilting machine to be used at a later time when the right thing came along, chicken wire.

chicken wire pantograph

So it stored safely waiting…..

And in my pursuit of happiness to the pocketbook, while at the thrift store, I found this for a buck.  A tea towel, with interesting color, perfect for the kitchen, but also perfectly priced for $1 (brand new never used).

cognac

chicken wire

So I married the chicken wire idea to the cognac sophistication LOL.  I countryfied it!  The chicken wire was tricky to figure out, but this was the perfect thing for a test run.  Making squiggles on the perpendicular spots allowed me to travel up then down on that leg of the chicken wire.  This worked well and will be ideal for any jelly roll race quilts I gift away.  Quick too!  Not sure how I will finish the edge to this.  And yes, I will probably hang it up and use it as a towel LOL.

My urge to sew and quilt was high this week.  Although at a rough start, alergies kicking my but making me feel like I needed to puke.  That passed, and the need to stitch hit.

Should I get out an UFO and work it?  Nope.  In my brainstorming session, my scrap bin keeps getting fuller and fuller.  So my thoughts were to start a new string quilt project.  Most string quilts all look the same.  I have already done one of those.  I wanted to do something different.

My first idea was to sew my strings together and then subcut them into hexagons.  This still may happen in my future, but not just yet.  I came across a McCall’s video using foundation paper piecing.  I could do this, but refuse to buy the pattern.

So I got out my safety compass and drew some arches and some lines.  Easy!

safety compass work

And then using this, sewed some random strings onto it.

string

I have quite a few already stitched.  We will see how many I can consume for this new quilt idea.  I figure I will have strings left unsewn.  For now this makes me very happy, a memory with every piece.  Some are from the first quilts I made.  The green in the center was made into a memory quilt from my grandpa’s shirts.  I made his shirts into Jars to “Preserve” them.  I have just a tad bit of this scrap of green left.  The largest piece on the left was just a scrap that was given away at the Sulphur Springs Quilt Show 2019.

My orginal idea was to make these into circle blooms for a flower and then chennile the raw edges.  But I have played with the layout options.  Perhaps I will end up doing all of this layout and do a row string quilt.

And then I really REALLY had the urge to quilt, so for two solid evenings this week, I have worked on the Stars Upon Thars quilt.

stars and thars 1

Been brainstorming on this for quilting ideas since it became a top.  Grid filler, grid on point over the 81 patches.  Feathers for the stars.  I am liking the look.  Fancy and utilitarian, old fashioned looking.

stars and thars 2

Running ruler work when your ruler is about 5 inches long, makes for the grid taking a long time..  I need to get a bigger ruler.  Not sure what size, but more than what I have.  And less than 13 inches which is too big.  Perhaps a 10 incher is in my future.

I was able to get one row complete and made all the feathers on the next row.  Will need to grid next.  I purchased a full bolt of muslin just for this.  Just a plain ole muslin backing.  And I will probably proceed to make this color backing for several quilts as it is nice a neutral.

You see where my stitchy future is taking me…..where is it taking you?  May life keep you in stitches (the laughy kind).  And thanks for reading my blog!

 

Ta-Dun’s!

wedding ring topwedding ring top1

I still lack two rows of sewing which I finished at 11 PM.  So it is technically done, but knew darkness would prevent me from taking a picture so I snapped pics when the sun was low.

And boy howdy, I freed up some time today to get this little puppy quilted all the way!  I started out doodling, and my doodling progressed into uniformity with a pattern.  I was so pleased with what I came up with I did the remainder of the center grid in that pattern.  I love my little 4-in-1 ruler.  It is magic!

quiltedquilted2

The back of the quilt is a marriage of lilac (a corner of it peeking through the photo below) and this fuscia!  Whoa, I love how the lilac thread pops, electrifying the back too.  Very pleased with my playtime.  The more I practice with rulers, the more I like the results.quiltedback

I did half of this quilt today, most of it not starting and stopping as I learned how to travel with this pattern, which sped things up considerable.  Ruler work is slow.  For those of you who are longarmers, do you leave your needle up or needle down to use your rulers.  I am finding that needle down is slowing me down.  No one has ever said if they do needle up or needle down.  I guess it is preference anyway.

Two done’s, TA-Dun’s!!!  I am tickled pink, and ready for my next quilting adventure.  Since the Quiltville Mystery will be starting in a month and a half, I may just work on quilting, or just on UFOs.  I will figure this out and get back to ya.  Thanks for stopping in and readig my blog!

 

And on the clothes line…..

Well, we went from running the ac full blast to turning on the heater in just a day!  In Texas we have Summmmmmmer, and HOTum, then a very brief winter, followed by a even briefer spring.  HOTum lasted a good while and will probably be back before October is over.

And my dryer went out again!  My dryer is now two years old, and both times the same part has decided to burn through like a fuse.  The heating element.  First time we had the warranty guy come fix it, no charge, this time instead of waiting for more than a week, we just ordered the part and will install it ourselves.  And yes it is still under warranty.  After looking how the element is made, the reason it has broken in the same spot twice, it was poorly engineered.  And yes, I know how to debunk poor engineering, as this is what I do for a living.  You see, the element consists of coils that run in parallel with one another.  Because the engineer decided on a horizontal mount, that last two coils get all the heat from the bottom coils.  And then it finally bursts the coil.  It is called coefficient thermal expansion.  The part does not cost alot.  And it looks like this:

71GtByxQJ3L._SL1500_ (1)

When you feel the coils located at the bottom of the circuit, they are smooth, and then as your eyes travel to the top of the element, you can tell the sheet metal got hot as there is heat discoloration and the coils themselves feel grimey on the surface.  Too much heat.  Damned engineers.  So when this devices gets to hot it burns through like a light bulb element.  Same concept, as the metal degrades, it burns up.

So, laundry has been hanging on the line.  I marvel at how quickly a load can dry.  Within a matter of three loads of washing, I am taking towels back inside.  Mother natures dryer is great, unless it rains!

So this morning a photo op happened at the clothes line.  I pinned up my rows of wedding rings.  It looks like this will be a quilt top before the end of the day.  A speckling of turquoise, pink, brown, green, and purple blocks placed randomly, this is where I over think the layout of things.  Takes me a while as this is the true commitment of quilt.  The marriage of color in just he right spots.

Good thing I was to this point in the making, as my wooden clothes dryer which is used much for quilting projects that are starched and cut strips, had to get used for drying clothes the day it did rain.

Earlier this week, I made Poor Man’s Stew, and a reinvented version of cornbread.

waffles

Yes this is actually cornbread!  Looks like a waffle, tastes like cornbread.  Please visit my other blog, the cookbookproject.wordpress.com for those recipes.

My goals for last week, NOT MET.  I tried I really did.  Took two videos by myself, one of which I used a ribbon as a lanyard with the camera around my neck.  Because of boobage/the ole mamories, the footage taken was of the ceiling and you could see strands of my hair in fly away mode.  So I then tried just placing on the belly bar.  But this was not ariel enough, so you got to hear it and see movement, but nothing really educational about quilting.  And I worked a couple of evening of atleast 2 hours each, and am still not done with that!  Ruler work is slow, but the good news is, I am getting faster with the motion of it.  Practice will get me more fluid in my movements and help me speed it along.  Gosh I hope to be done with that quilt.  It has been 5 weeks on the longarm.  Before it was too hot, and now it has cooled off so much that it might be right on the cusp of being too cold.  Fair weather days will need to be utilized for quilting as I have so many tops and one more almost complete.feedsacks

This week I stopped into the thrift store.  And it was a big score!  I got these authentic vintage feed sacks!!!! And was only charged 75 cents!  Slowly I am coming across this fabric and have a few pieces that will one day be a quilt.  I have eiffel towers, and pink background with large blue flowers (this was my Grandma’s).  I also have large dk blue flowers on white with green leaves.  That print is not very attractive and is common while shopping at quilty vendors at shows.  But these two pieces are gorgeous!  And if you do a tad of math are probably about 75 years old!  It cost me a penny a year for the price of two LOL!

In the past week, with the changes in the local Treadle On Gathering Academy moving to Texarkana, I have decided to donate my TOGA quilt made from the blocks swapped in 2018.  It will be placed on the table for the silent auction to raise funds for the new venue to secure the monies needed to keep this going.  I have so many quilts, and I may just have to buy it back and keep it, but have offered this up.  So you TOGA members, bring your money, I have a dollar figure in mind and am hoping to bring this back home with me.  I challenge you to out bid me.  🙂

togadone3

Goals for the upcoming week:

  • Finish quilting the Kaffe Fasset Quilt
  • periwinkles 2
  • Finish the wedding ring block assembly
  • on the clothes line
  • Fix the dryer
  • Dry clothes on the clothes line too!

That first goal is the make it or break it.  I hope to be done with that one this week!

Well, that is a wrap!  Thanks for reading my blog!

 

Rings and Worms

10 pink wedding ring blocks

pinks2

10 green wedding ring blocks

greens3

7 brown wedding ring blocks

10 turquoise wedding ring blocks

blue wedding ring

and…….the new color is (drum roll please), PURPLE.

 

Purple, when I was young, was my favorite color.  Now that I am grown up, purple is not my thing!  I assume since I was a naieve girl this was some sort of brainwashing as very little in my accumulations through the years involves the color purple.  I did make a mystery quilt which had purple, I purchased very little and had very little left over.  It is not a color I gravitate too.  So I ended up going to the quilt shop and purchasing some neutrals and some purples.  I also raided my Mom’s stash.  Thanks for the Batiks Mom!

I have broken into charm packs big time in the making of this quilt.  I have stolen several pieces from several different packs.  For those of you holding onto those with intent of sewing and never sewing anything out of them, I hear ya.  I used to be like that.  There are a few packs I refuse to do this too.  But, I have learned that scrappyness has a price LOL.  My sale priced charm packs of yesteryear were only a few dollars, but the scrappy quilt effect is priceless.  So my 5 inch square stash suffers a bit.

I am not certain how many purple blocks I will make.  I have pressed and cut all my fabrics and they are finally back in their proper storage.  I can take down the clothes drying rack that I use to starch, iron, and store for cutting my quilts in process.

So imagine these blocks as a quilt.

This project has went rather smoothly and quickly.  I am using what I have learned with following Bonnie Hunter.  Yesterday at the begining of the day I only had three turquoise blocks.  Today I have 10.  Seven blocks happened in 24 hours.  Forty one pieces in each block.  What I love about this scrappy methodology, you can add new fabric at anytime during the making.  A new neutral, no problem, a new color pink, not a problem.

For me scrappy takes the mundane out of piecing as well.  Two color quilts are gorgeous, but I would find that extremely boring to sew.  I will probably never go down that road.  Never is a long time so we shall see.

Onto the worm part of my post.  I have cats, they are for the most part outdoors.  There are two cats that are allowed in when they have babies.  Those cats are very well tempured cats.

Currently no cats are allowed inside.  They have Ringworm.  Ringworm is not really a worm.  It is bacteria/fungus that grows on the hair shaft, growing and causing inflamation on the skin.  Inflamation causes itch, itch causes hair loss.  So I have a pretty big problem.  In time, it will present itself what I should do, to help the cats overcome this.  Summer is almost over, but it was back in the mid 90s this weekend, so I am hopeful once it cools off, that their problem may improve.

If it were up to me, all but two would go to the pound.  But the childrens hearts are fully vested in those critters, and tears flow if the thought of them not being around anymore.  The old rock and hard place scenario.  For their safety, it may be the pound.  Time will tell me what I need to do, it whispers.  Sometimes I listen, and sometimes I choose not to listen.

This weekend is almost over, another blur of two days.  Laundry is almost caught up.  Supper is cooked and in the bellies, a couple of baths tonight, and then ahhhhhhhh.  Feet up and perahps a bit of TV, TV has become a bit of luxury.  There is really nothing on anymore, but when you find something to watch, it is a true treasure.  Enjoy your time, it spends quick!  And thank you for taking the time to read my blog!

 

7 Down

weddingringlayout

Goals from the previous week:

  • Sew 10 or more blue blocks,  7 done a few more to go

blue wedding ring

  • Video quilting of the periwinkles, did not happen.  Camera lanyard has been jerry-rigged!

periwinkle

Progress this week, with a family member deciding to run fever in the evenings when I am home after work, made my productivity stink!  But it was worth the hugs and kisses with lap time to boot.  Teething at her age should not bother her so, but it does.

Goals for the upcoming week:

  • Finish turquoise blocks
  • Advance to the next color block.  I have chosen purple/lavender hues.  Just a sprinkling.
  • Finish quilting the periwinkles.  This has been loaded on the longarm for a month now.  Tsk, Tsk, Tsk,
  • Start quilting Stars and Thars

on my couch

A matter of factly, no fluff post.  Sorry for this technical difficulty, words just don’t want to happen right now.  A speechless blog post, food for thought.  Thanks for stopping by!