Uneven Odds

This week, I hesitated posting! I thought to myself, I have hardly sewn. Two nights this week I worked overtime. One evening I mowed. One afternoon I got the car tags renewed (that was an experience!). And I thought my meager picture post, readers/subscribers would be less than enthused. And then I downloaded the photos to edit, and realized, I got a lot sewn! So my thoughts got in the way of evening the odds.

I present to you, this weeks 365 challenge blocks.

As these become more difficult, it is more difficult for me to schedule them into an evening. And I really don’t want to cut one night, and sew another. I may get confused! I mean the flying geese chevrons have 45 pieces! But I have worked on a solution, we will see how this goes in the coming week.

What is my solution? Well, yesterday a youtube channel I follow, called Daisy and Grace, posted a project pocket tutorial. And I had all the materials to make it so. And sew I did, LOL! I did not have the cute ribbon, but I did have fat quarters bundled in the fabric makers logo, so I used that on the first one. I substituted their poly for marine vinyl, and a quick project happened, one in which I can cut out a project, and sew it the next day.

I must say for those of us who do english paper piecing, this is genius!

Here is my first attempt, and pretty lack luster, but has value, and I will use it.

My daughter saw what I was making and wanted one. It was very late in the evening, and said in the morning you can pick your zipper color and then your matching fabric.

Her fabric picker is probably better than mine!

Because I used marine vinyl, I was able to skip the ribbon step, which I wish I would have done on the first one above. Here is hers:

She placed a bunch of hodge podge stuff in hers, but it held quite a bit. And if you have a larger zipper you could certainly make this the larger size with a larger zipper. For mine, I only have 7 inch zippers.

And at work, we have been wearing masks, for about a month. And I was tired of having to do a load of laundry mid-week to wash them, so I made several. Here are a few of those. I used an old tshirt I cut up for the ear straps. They are very comfortable. As long as my eyeglasses rest over the cloth, they do pretty good at not fogging.

I have ordered a gob of Spoonflower fabric with specific work related cloth to make for me and some coworkers. Spoonflower fabric is back logged by about 4 to 6 weeks due to the virus. I know a lot of online fabric shops have been slowed by this, I assume they are staggering shifts and therefore my order may get filled on a Friday night after UPS or whatever shipping service has ran. I also suspect, like at Christmas time that the shippers are extremely overwhelmed right now, which slows it down even more. And perhaps, the slow boat from china is the new norm LOL. Most things are made in China, and I do believe this is another hold up.

I am off to make my beef mix, and then transform that into tacos! One kitten (Firecracker), given away. So many more to go, but they are not yet quite old enough. I aim to be down to one cat, who will get fixed. She is such a sweetie.

For Father’s day, I gave away my On Ringo Lake. They are my Dad’s colors. I did not mean for it to happen that way, and it took me a while, but it was the right thing to do. My house is busting at it seams, and it is one less thing in it. I washed it up for him, and told him to use it. I hope he liked it.

This concludes another chapter in life, called the week. As it winds down, so am I, LOL. Be safe! And thank you for reading my blog!

A New Batch

This week in the quilting dept, seemed to be a week of Deja vu. I would build a block for the 365 quilt block challenge, and then due to operator error, or instruction error, I would have to redo the block. Because I have been a quilter for so long, ripping times are less and less. And then a cluster of events with the seam ripper (or seam reaper LOL) occurs. I fouled up so badly once, I just had to remake the block. I opted for recutting, instead of undoing all those tiny pieces.

It all started with this block.

This grayish block above, turned out rather well, other than, I do not like it. When you are working on the light side of things, it is HARD to come up with light, light, light medium, medium, and so on. So, I do not like the block, but it will work into the quilt just fine. NOT redoing.

Then there was this 9 patch nightmare. I accidentally cut the small squares 1/4 inch too big (dimensions for the squares cut out at 1/16 which I do not have that marking on my ruler, thought I was in one spot, and cut it too big). I achieved block goodness, and went to iron it, and thought it looked a bit chubby. I went to trim, and I would loose my points of the 9 patches by trimming, and it was a significant trim. So I did it all over. It will make nice pot holder. I really like the color scheme of the first one compared to the second, but done is done.

This one turned out fine, but again, making light, and light, and light medium, medium, your color pallet is very limited. Very little red is going into this part of the quilt. I am trying to put neutrals, tans, pinks, and corals. It is working, but I am afraid if I insert too much red in these blocks it will make the quilt very busy. I really want the neutral areas to be calmer than the dark red areas.

And here is the one I chose NOT to redo. In making my cuts, this block went all the way up to the letter “O” on my alphabities. NOT redoing this one. It is a scant smaller in spots. I will fudge this when I sew this in.

Covered corners, mitered corners, a very challenging block. I really like the color scheme on this one.

That sums up my week’s worth of blocks. Not many, but some of these blocks take up my evening. I am ok with that, it occupies the time, and I am not racing.

And here is another batch of kittens! These babies are a few weeks old, they now have their eyes open. I went to check in on them in their box, and giggled how the black and white one was sleeping, isn’t she adorable? Little chubby kittens are soooooooooo cute. I just had to share this batch with you. There are still other kittens outside that I have yet to see. Not sure if they are alive, I suspect they are. Rarely do I see the momma unless it is at the food bowl. Those babies should just be starting to get around.

Well this wraps up my most meager of quilting posts. Due to the heat, it is just hard to juggle things, and keep my temperament. Right now, keeping that is key. I find with all the stuff going on that I snap faster, and probably even run my mouth more than usual. I have grown tired of our new norm. I am ready to look someone in the eye, and know if they are smiling. I did not realize how important it is to see this! The first day I had to wear a mask, I rounded the corner and ran into someone I knew, and smiled at them, and then felt extremely stupid because they could not see my smile, and I could not tell if they were smiling. It ended up being a deadpan stare, instead of a friendly greeting. That is a bummer for me. I really like looking at someone in the teeth LOL.

Butt on couch as the weekend starts, and I aim to be here for a bit! May your butt find your couch too! Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog!

Running Barefoot

As adults, during summer we long ago learned to wear shoes. As children we had too much to do, to worry about protecting our feet. There is nothing more relaxing, after a long day at work, to take off the socks and shoes and let them feel what you are walking on. Whether it is in the carpeting in the house, the cool hardwood floors, the nobby bathroom rug, or the warm concrete on the porch steps, having these sensations feels wonderful.

Do you recall in your youth in summer going barefoot most days? Not caring if the mudd pushed between your toes? Wondering while running through the soft grass your foot would find a stick? Or running on a concrete sidewalk full speed to step on a rock right on your heel? OUCH!!! I recall the pain associated with this last example as almost take your breath away pain. It would take a bit, and as a child you were fully recovered, but reminded with every step you take of your carelessness running barefoot. And then in the coming days you would experience a blood blister on your heal and the pain would slowly fade.

Summer is here, and with sommer comes barefeet. But I am also thinking of todays current events and going bare vs. covered. As an adult, we are wearing masks for various reasons, I for one am only wearing a mask because it is required at work. But my running barefoot has got me thinking. As children we learned our behavior could cause damage or pain, so we slowly started wearing shoes, and usually as adults, there comes a time when the finest grain of sand can cause us much pain when foot meets ground. Perhaps I should start thinking of the wiseness of a learned behavior as a child, and parlez-ing that into the mask thing.

And here our spring was so lovely for such a long time. And it abruptly ended and hot is here to stay. The heat zaps me of energy. And to keep things afloat, I get the chores done, or atempt atleast the have to’s. And then the hobby? I have time, but the energy is kinda zapped.

Not much progress happened this week. I managed to quilt another 1 1/2 passes on this:

I only have 3 more passes and some borders to finish this, but I am still a long way from being close.

And on three different nights this week I made three 365 blocks. These 6 inch blocks have become more time consuming than their 3 inch counter parts. More fabrics are used in each, with way more pieces. So, I don’t think I will ever catch up in time to finish this year. If you missed my last post late last weekend, you missed my post of the sewn center medallion.

Here are the three. I am glad I get to play with lighter fabrics. I really have to think about how to lighten up what will border this. If I use dark reds, I think it will become too busy. So an occassional dark red fabric may find it’s way in, but now I am focusing on grays, tans, pinks, and it has become quite challenging.

This last block is in its natural un-ironed state. I have found for these small pieces, if you prestarch the dickens out of your fabric, finger pressing your seams does make it go quicker, and you still get good points and matched seams. One press of a hot iron onto the woolen mat will make this flat as a pancake. I wish in my “youth” years of quilting I knew about this technique.

Let the weekend commence, and thank you for reading my blog!

365 Quilt Block Challenge Completion!

Those of you who have been following me now for almost half a year, know that I have been working on the 365 Quilt Block Challenge blocks each day, and have fallen behind. But I made a milestone today! I got the center medallion with the 3 inch blocks sewn together! YAY! I looks wonky, but it is perfectly square. Me taking the photo direct on is hard, and it was blowing in the wind on the clothesline. I have enjoyed this journey immensely! It has pushed me as a quilter.

I feel like this has all been worth it now that this part has come together. Us quilters know that sometimes we are a little insecure with our efforts. You have fabrics, you marry them together. You fear the worst, a divorce with the seam ripper or it becoming a UFO. This will proceed! And I am the little engine that could, “I know I can, I know I can!”

I strongly think the fun has just begun! Thanks for swinging by and reading my blog!

Out with One Problem, in With the Next!

I got a call on Wednesday from my Dad offering me cat food and treats. I asked him what happened, and sadly he had to put his cat down. A couple of weeks ago, when I was down in the garage quilting, a massive rain storm came up and dumped quite a bit of rain. It did not let up and I needed to get home. Dad offered me a ride, and I declined. It is only rain, I walk farther at work from my car to my desk and walk in the rain. My house is about one block away. I wait just a bit for it to let up, and step out onto the porch steps. My Dad’s cat is out there, drenched, wanting in the house, which my parents said no she is drenched. I asked Dad if he wanted me to get her to go into the garage. His reply was “Sure.” She would not come. Normally she would just follow you and you could put her up.

So I physically picked her up, and was stunned. I am not sure how much the cat weighted, but in picking up a cat, they are usually bendy and mushy ready to sleek out of your arms in case they want to flight, not fight. Dad’s cat was hard as a brick. It almost felt like a solid mass of concrete, that is how not right the cat felt.

This cat was born on my son’s lap back on May 26th, 2006. We were just getting back into a nasty house, after a horrible divorce. When we left, I knew the cat was pregnant. I had called the neighbor who liked cats and asked him to feed her (because it was a scary divorce) and he said he would. That was the first weekend, I was back into the house, and I had missed that cat so much. She was such a good kitty. My son was sitting in his gaming chair, and she crawled up into his lap, and he asked me what was wrong with her. I took one look at her owly eyes in the brightest part of the day, and new something was wrong. I felt her big belly, she was contracting. I told my son not to move, and by golly a tail was being birthed by this momma cat while it was sitting on his lap.

I am not sure if that cat was comforting my son, or if she sought refuge and needed human love. I carefully moved her off, and said we needed to go, let her do this in peace and quiet. When we came back there were three kitties. There was Pancake (who became known as Dummy), Manson (who was named as such because of the wild look in his eye which reminded me of Charles Manson), and a black kitty (who was the runt).

I have had so many cats in my lifetime and in thinking back do not remember what happened to the black kitten. Pancake became my Dad’s shop door greeter and a real nasty one at that. She would always get up high and take a swat as the customers walked by. If you messed with her, she really could get nasty. My Dad taught her how to be a very junk yard dog kind of cat! LOL.

When Dad retired, the cat came to reside in the garage. My quilting machine came last. And the machine and the cat became room-mates. I always worried about the cat messing with things. In the newer days of my machine, I would do my darndest to make sure she would not mess with the machine by leaving all the bars to roll if she used them to walk on. I kept all step devices away so she could not lazily get on the machine. I could tell when she would visit the machine, my leaders would be hairy. But that is all she done. I knew better than to leave anything drape from the machine and always picked that up.

The day I started quilting SewQuester, was the day it rained so hard and I had to carry her. I had not gotten back down their to quilt in almost two weeks, and now my junk yard dog cat of the garage dome is gone. I am not going to lie, I have been cursing litter and vacuuming up her messes for quite sometime. But now there is no one to guard the garage and the quilts.

Lat night I was able to go and quilt. And I’ll be darned, I relized how much I missed the cat in that one pass. As I was quilting, I found Gecko poop on the quilt. Yeah, she was probably always chasing them, and they probably entertained her. Living in Texas, that is one thing I do know what it looks like. Our shed has it. The sad thing is, when they decide to use the restroom, they are like a cat and use the same spot over and over, making a mess.

I figure glue traps is my answer. I will have to figure out a way to put them like termite caps on the legs of my machine, so when they climb they do not make it.

And so it goes I went from one garage room-mate to another. The squatter room-mate is unwanted more so than the cat. The cat was old and predictable. Geckos are small and spry, and can go anywhere. Quilters in the south, how have you dealt with this problem?

I will just have to be better and get this one off the frame. I was able to make another pass last night, but I have a long ways to go. Custom quilting is time consuming.

I have gotten work accomplished on the 365 quilt block challenge. The easy blocks are over! I can start sewing those together for the next round in the medallion and may do that in the coming week. The 6 inch light blocks are now coming daily. I must say, working in lighter fabrics has been lovely, but there are sooooo many pieces that an evening is consumed by one block. I cut, then I cut some more, then I sew. Then I trim. Some of the pieces of fabric are cut on three times. Lots of HSTs and flying geese. Folded corners, or drawing a line and sewing a scant from the line. I am now missing the little dark blocks as those who have done this in years past said I would.

I am now on May 3rd, which I will start today and try to work a weeks worth in today and another weeks worth in tomorrow.

And yesterday I stopped by the quilt shop and had a blast. They are having very good times as many people have been sewing like the dickens! They have rearranged and added some things. It was glorious to be in a place to shop and have all that variety. I had not been able to go in there since March. It was nice to talk to the ladies too and see they are all doing well.

So today I will get to incorporate some of these fat quarters into the 365! I am excited!

The weather has went from so pleasant for a long time to HOT. Summer is here. It will be hot until October. After less than three days of it, I am ready for OCTOBER! LOL, I guess I am a heat wuss.

………….Another round of weekend laundry is calling my name. Thanks for stopping in and reading my blog, have a great weekend!