Normalcy…

A sigh of relief, things seem to be back to normal for us in Texas. I would like to thank all of you for worrying about our situation. I have come out rather unscathed, but far too many things we take for granted, vanished for a few days. Boil orders are subsiding. WE MADE IT!

Work is back to normal, driving is back to normal, laundry….back to normal, cooking back to normal. But I must say we have not bought groceries in 3 weeks. Mother Hubbards cupboards are BARE. This weekend will be normal too as it will be off to the grocery store for menu replenishment.

After the snow melted and Monday and Tuesday high being in the upper 70s, my daffodils did NOT freeze and will bloom soon. I could not believe my eyes to see those wonderful stems popped up about 6 inches after the great melt! Life’s little surprises. Looking forward to signs of spring.

I managed to stop into the quilt shop on the way home. I had a gift certificate to spend. I proved to myself that my sewing mojo is completely gone. I picked up fabric and looked at it and nothing appealed to me. I did get thread as I was completely out. I will be good now for several months once the mojo returns.

It was so very nice early this week, and I did not make it to quilt. I presumed it would be just a tad chilly in the garage as the residual from the winter weather would linger in the closed up heat sink of concrete called the garage.

No quilty offering again this week. Sorry. But progress has been made on the lavender doily. Another round is complete, and yet another starts. I am really liking this pattern as it is very repetitive and easy to just do without getting too fouled up. I highly recommend if you are a tatter and can make joins, this pattern is for you. Nothing complex about it. You can find the pattern here.

Round 4 above complete, round 5 is the same as the center medallion.

This took quite a bit of ironing to get it to set straight. Round 4 was squirrelly! My new steam iron came in handy. This helped it behave for those next wonderful rosettes. This will be surrounded by 8 more of these. This is what I am working towards. It still have one more round after this one. Another repeat of the clover and chains previously done. Joining in a different place is all.

I worried about those long chains not looking right, but I think after I get the rosettes all on, it will straighten those critters out!

I managed to stop by an estate sale today. Not much there. You could tell the man that did reside there, had lost his wife long ago. Not much fru-fru stuff in the estate. Lots of mens hats and nice furniture. I did find a ziploc bag with a few tatted pieces in it, so I snatched that for a whole buck. I discovered once I got home there were 3 small tea-cup doilies inside. One of these had been used in an arts and crafts steampunk something. It had a hunk cut out of it. I know it was canibalized for another craft because the tatted doily still was stiffened with starch.

Waiting for my mojo to return. If it does, you will be the second ones to know. Family will obviously see it first hand here at the house pre-post LOL.

TTFN….ta-ta for now! And thanks for reading my blog!

Surviving Sno-vid 2021

Things are crazy in Texas. We survive the cold, some without heat, some without electricity, now the water is in crisis. Almost all small towns in our county are under boil advisories. Because there was no electricity, the pumps were not able to pump. Small towns or rural areas, no water or very very low water pressure. Due to dripping faucets the water ran out! What was in the lines depleted. Wells, and reserves are now being used. It takes a bit to refill miles and miles of pipe.

In all my life I have not seen the break down of multiple infrastructures at the same time. Water, gas, electricity, groceries. (The shelves are empty at Walmart because the trucks could not run, even the mail did not run for 3 days). Some of us are under advisory to consume as little water as possible.

I went to work today, people were told NOT to report to work. There is not enough water pressure to run the toilets and wash the hands. THAT can get UGLY pretty fast in a covid era time. Time will tell what happens next week. I do not see this in a remedy within a weekend.

The good news, it was a thaw of 37 degrees today. So much of the roads are now clear. Tonight it will dip back down in the teens and refreeze. The weekend is supposed to be above freezing for 48 hours so this is good for some aspects.

I learned one of my supervisors everything froze at his house. Because the electricity went out, the pumps would not pump the natural gas, and he froze up. All of this will be covered under insurance, but I did NOT know that natural gas can error. I am so thankful I had power and gas during the coldest days of my Texas stay.

Snow and cold created more havoc than covid. I am so glad that family and friends do not have covid right now. That would be even more desperate. Those I do not know that have it right now, have mercy I can only imagine that struggle. Stuff like this really puts things into perspective and makes you think of what is ultimately important.

Work decided to pay everyone without use of our vacation. So hourly and salary non exempts get paid for the week. That is wonderful news and very gracious of my employer. My plant alone has 5500 employees, there are additional plants in Texas affecting over 8000 people. Today work also set up a give away line for water. All you had to do is show up and you would have water worthy of drinking. And it is in need!

I will certainly have something to tell my grandchildren. Lived through Snow-vid 2021!

And on the crafty side of things~~~

I have yet to sew anything quilty. Sorry to disappoint, but that mojo is flatlined right now.

I did get out the embroidery machine and stitch an initial on the hankie. And no it’s not perfect and it will go to my oldest daughter one day. I will explain to her, as much as I want it to be perfect, I am human and therefore imperfect. The embroidery is lovely just not set centered in the corner. My fault, I do not use the machine enough to know the in’s and out’s and so when you are not in practice, you err. A finish on a small scale is a wonderful feeling as imperfect as it is!

Wow the knots in my tatting really show up. You tatters don’t look to closely, I have learned something in the past week with my tatting. More about that in a minute.

And it turned out I did have blue thread. This is 12 weight gutterman. And since I updated my drop in bobbin case, it fixed the embroidery tension and it is reversible!

I did not like round 3 of the doily. the chains were so long. In tatting when you have a chain, there is really nothing locking your stitches and you can slide them with ease. This can become a problem when they are this long. I found if I cinched them too much it would cause my previous stitches to go ontop of the neighboring stitch making a very non smooth visual. So on the hankie above, I found I cinched my rings too tight causing a bump out of part of the stitch in the hitch (this will only make sense to fellow tatters). Because this lavendar thread glides so easily and because the chains were so long, I discovered this. I kept thinking it was me not holding the stitch tight enough. So much of the hankie is probably too tight. I need to loosen up!

And now I am onto round 4. It does the easy ring clover leaf combo above then reverses into more large chains and clover leaf. There are parts of this that you do not reverse work and it gets confusing. Thank goodness I have the diagram to help me.

I am enjoying this immensely! And would entertain the idea of doing this with size 20 thread. I am currently using 10 and it is becoming quite large. I will be working on this over the weekend.

The weekend will consist of no bathing, no laundry, and limited washing of dishes. Not sure how I will pull off the washing of dishes. Perhaps some boiled snow?

That’s all Folks, thanks for reading my blog. Please subscribe!

Snowmaggedon Texas Round 2 Ding Ding Ding

If snow storm was on one side and Texas on the other, and some one ding-ed the bell, it would be like a boxing match, one fighting to do havoc to the people, the people side fighting for life. I think the people lost round one, still alive but beat up and cold. We are certainly NOT ready for round two! In all likely hood the power outage rolling blackouts will continue. After reading much about this, basically the electric company does not want to pay the inflated rate for natural gas right now, to power the whole grid. To conserve and to keep from a shut down they roll the power grid supplying some with intermitten, and some with none at all. I hate corporate america. This is a prime example of how stupid things have become. Pay the inflated rate, take a loss to your 401K stock and your bonus. This is a risk of being in business. Let there be light, let there be heat!

So far no black out in this house, but we did have a pipe freeze. It was the drain on the washing machine, what?, Yup, bizarre.

I know there are power outages in the area according to the outage maps. My son has been without power since Monday morning. He found warmth elsewhere for the past few days. I can only imagine those in need who have no where to go, that is rather scary.

You know this year has had many odd/bad things. I have the song in my head by the eagles, the Sad Cafe. There is a line in that song, “I don’t know why fortune smiles on some, and lets the rest go free”. Not much smiling going on for many (I think it is a subliminal message because of the mask mandate and not being able to see our compadres smile!)

In the meantime, I have been tatting and have finished round two to concur with snowmaggedon round 2 LOL. I love this lavender thread! It closes rings so smoothly! And the color is beautiful to gaze upon too.

Next round started. I thought when reading the pattern and looking at the diagram, the next round of chains and clover leafs, the chains were long. As you lengthen a chain it has a natural curve of all the hitches on the side naturally bend into a curve. This pattern, the doily pictures, the chains are straight. I can only assume this was blocked, and now I know why, they are quite squirrelly and unruly. I will proceed and maybe this will work itself out to the point of wacking it off and starting round 3 over again.

And last month a blog that I follow showed great use of wool scraps. I thought about sending these scraps to that blogger. But I have been collecting these wool scraps for about 5 years and decided I need to put them to use. A newness. Some refreshment. I assume I will need more wool, but can work with what I have for now. A completely new project with a completely different direction.

Wool washed, cut, and now becoming a rug.

After cutting, the above went into the trash. And oh boy these sure do shed. I had to dust all the crumbs off with my brush, and that did not work. My mat had to get a bath, it had sheep all over it LOL!

This now resides on my cutting table. My inspiration for this start was The Last Homely House on youtube. I love watching Kate. She does lovely tutorials and has such an eclectic way of life. I thought I have all these materials and she is showing me the basics, so why not. I do not have a proddy frame. But would love one. These woolen bits were too hard to press in with the recommended clothespin modified. I had to find my polyester fiber fill pusher dowel to make this work.

I have cut my strips 3/4 inch wide. And then 3 inches long. I have since started making a slit at the midpoint so when you stab it through the hessian, you know when to stop, and less bulk stays at the back. My colors include green, gray, camel, purple, fuschia, red, and a blue plaid. Do I reallly know what I am doing? Nope. But it is something to do, that costs me nothing. Everything is handy. And I cannot leave the house, too much dang snow and no end in sight of melting!

Canada, you left your door open, please close it. We thank you.

Love,

Signed the people of Texas

🙂

Thanks for stopping in and reading my blog!

Tatted Edge Hanky

With all the inclement weather, I have tatted quite a bit. I discovered last week during the ice storm that I would need more thread, but how much more. I thought it might be close, so I ordered another ball and it arrived Saturday.

This is where I was last week. I knew approximately how far my shuttle tats just because of repetition of this square. And just as I thought I would be short. Glad I ordered. I had those worry about thread lot. I could care less if it is an exact match or not, I just made an elegant snot rag. I will not turn my nose up at batch/lot dye, LOL!

Today I emptied my last shuttle of the ball of thread and this is how far I had left to go.

About 4 inches….

I loaded another shuttle of the new ball and proceeded to tat. I still had thread left on my shuttle so, it was not quite one shuttle from having enough. This is the story of my life, a day late and a dollar short.

I really want to make a doily, so I pushed through, snuggled on the couch with a quilt, and made those knots. The tatted edge is DONE! If feels good to finish this, to finish anything is a wonderful feeling.

Wouldn’t this edging be beautiful down the front of a blouse?

The pro’s and con’s of this pattern. This is probably too dark a color to use for this size hanky. The edge is large, so it kind of dominates. Probably will not do this pattern again because it uses a gob of thread and time. The pro’s, NO CHAINS, only ONE shuttle, no getting lost for reversing work. The pattern itself is lovely and very rhythmic. It probably needs to be on something larger like a pillow case edge, or even an ornamentation of the pillow case sleeve. I will be making another hanky. I have purchased an HandyHands edging book and will be looking to it for the future of the next hanky. I will definitely choose a lighter color thread. The thread above is going into the pocket of someone who loves purple. I also want to embroider her initials on it and I know I have no matching thread for that. (This may be a visit to Mom’s to view her thread stash)

We are in Texas and snowed in! And as much energy is used in the summer months we rarely have rolling blackouts. Today on social media, lots of people talking of this. Even my son is affected, as is work. At home learning school is having a snow day because no one has reliable electricity. And here I thought I had seen the death of the snow day. Glad it will still exist for the future children. Every child deserves the exhilaration of a snow day! Odd they can keep up demand in the hot but not in the cold. Money is the name of this game and if they produce more energy that is used, it will be lost. If they do not provide enough, they have to pick and choose who gets electrified. I am certain these situations are also determined by dollars as well. I wonder who gets to make this call? An electric company referee…..

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

So far, we have not lost power. My house is heated with a gas space heater, the cookstove is gas, the hot water heater is gas, so we will not be cold or hungry. The children might be a little bored without their electronic devices if the umps says no electricity for us. I recall about 20 years ago a snow storm that downed so many trees, that the electric utility took a week to power our town. We played lots of dominos and cards by candelight. The refridgerated items went into the cooler and went on the back porch into the elements which were very cold. No loss for us except for a smaller electric bill. I also recall a coworker complaining as her omaha steaks went bad in the fridge. Not sure why she did not cook them, or put them outside. I recall telling her that is what we did, and I think she realized she did NOT think. Lots of people do not think any more. This makes me a bit sad.

I will say this, my house is cold. The cracks at the front and back door, I had to shut rugs in and quilts in the stop some of the draft. So cold on the window panes on the inside of the house there is ice formed from the condensation and cold of the glass. Drafty, but we are warm. Thank goodness I am a quilter. It has provided much warmth.

Our dryer went out again. This time the part did not burn through, the line wire that feeds electricity to the insulator and then to the heating element, melted the solder and popped the crimped wire out. We must have had quite a bit of buck in the lines. Or the brass terminal was so dirty that it was creating a gob of current, which finds the path of least resistance. I hope that dryer does not burn the house down. This is the 3rd repair and our unit is around 3 years old. Could it be the antiquated wiring in the house? Certainly. Could it be the transformer outside causing fluctuation of greater than 130 V. Yup. Dryer will NOT run if we are NOT home.

Now, onto a more comprehensive tatting project, the doily.

The second round of this doily I cut it off and did not like how it was behaving and have restarted and surpassed this point. I will post again after round two is complete.

TTFN, ta-ta for now, and thanks for reading my blog. Please subscribe!

Now serving leftovers!

Gosh, if I do any sewing lately, I make the biggest mess! Scraps are created and not managed right away, *tsk tsk*. Looks like my table has some catching up to do in the scrap managment dept. (The head of scraps probably needs to be fired they are laying everywhere!). Instead of firing myself LOL, I have opted to do some tidying up. Holy cow, I needed to do this a long time ago.

All scraps from making this are placed on a paper plate. Looking a bit ScrapHappy!

Paper plate you ask? Well, I am stitching the above, on this WIP, which is the 365 Quilt Block Challenge by Katherine Kerr that is put out there free to those who want to take the plunge. I took the plunge more than a year ago. There are days that go by and no stitching happens, life gets in the way. Each day I print out the pattern for the block, using my alphabitties select my fabrics, then cut the pieces according to the daily BOM. I can place the instructions on the paper plate along with the pieces that I cut, that are just ready to sew when I can.

So there is a stack of unused paper plates next to my sewing table. I decided when I was tidying up, to place all the little tid bits of fabric on that plate to trim after cleaning of my area.

Serving up leftovers! Above became tamed shown below!

Due to some of the pieces in the 365 challenge quilt being as small as 3/4 of an inch, I was hanging onto a gob of small pieces. (On a side note the 365 quilt takes almost 20 yards of fabric, it is all in the seam allowance!) I purged those as well as the trimmings after making 2 1/2, 2, and 1 1/2 inch squares which are easier to store, and can make a quick project. How do I store? My butter bins LOL! It works for me…

I will have to find another container for the 1 1/2 inchers, no room in that one. I have bins and bins of 2 inch blocks, after trimming down I find the leftovers in my scraps tend to be this size.

You are probably wondering what one makes with squares like this? Last month in about a 2 week period, I made this:

This was all from scraps! Glad to use them up. But they seem to multiply!

I had two red squares sewn to match the size of the brown ones in the above quilt. I sewed those together not knowing what direction I would go with this quilt. I opted for neutrals. So I thought I would make a potholder from those red ones, but decided to put them aside until the need would arise for them.

It presented itself in the last week. DebbyBrownQuilts.com in the teachable free patterns, gave the mittens pattern, and I could not resist! So I managed to pull some scraps laying on my table, (Yes I had enough to finish this on my table…), and ta-da, is now ta-done!

I fudged the pattern quite a bit because I did not have scraps the right size for the thumbs. This would make a cute placemat or wall hanging for the winter months.

In this past month, I have sewn many blocks below, and also worked some overtime at work. Overtime really cramps my style in the quilty dept. It has not been as productive as I like.

The large 12 inch blocks in the flower pots directly above will be the cornerstone blocks for the 365 quilt block challenge quilt, the others will go into a dark border that will finish at 6 inches. Some of those blocks will be 2 wide in that border. Yeah, that is how small those pieces are.

I have a whole stack of papers waiting to be cut out and sewn for the remainder I have left on the quilt. I am still several months out. But as you sew these rounds on, it energizes the quilty soul. And you sew some more.

I am linking up with Kate from https://talltalesfromchiconia.wordpress.com/ For Scrap Happy! Thank you Kate for making this possible. Here is a list of others participating in scrap happy posts. Click the links to see their version of scrap happy

Kate, Gun, Eva, Sue, Lynn, Lynda, Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan, Moira, Sandra, Chris, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Jon, Hayley, Dawn, Gwen, Bekki, Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin, Vera, Nanette, Ann, Dawn2 and Noreen.

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SnowMeggedon is Coming

Here in Texas, it is unusual to get inches of snow, plural, more than one inch. The state of Texas is a large state, with millions of miles of roads and a very small budget for purchase of sand and salt. So the 4-6 inches we are expecting where I live will shut us down for days. The northern readers of my blog will laugh at this. It is ridiculous as up north this is nothing. Usually the only way interstates are shut down is when snowfall happens so fast and thick that snowplows cannot keep up demand and/or there are blizzard like conditions of very little visibilty and drifting upon the roads.

It has been years since we have seen an accumulation, let alone very cold. I am glad when this happens as it kills the mosquitos and fleas and other undesirable insects. It is a nice reset for the upcoming months of spring.

Because Texas has warmer temperatures, this can affect trees greatly. We all know that sap is in the trunk of trees and flows when the temperature is not freezing outside. Because many Texas trees are green year round, this snow and ice expected can also interrupt electricity, the trees cannot take the extra weight of snow, and it bends their boughs. And then the freeze happens, and greenwood is no longer green and snaps the largest of branches like it was a twig. The last time this happened was about 7 or 8 years ago. The house was as quiet as it could ever be, and you would hear a thump or a crash and wonder where the large limb fell in the neighborhood. It does make a distinct noise, one that you cannot forget. It tops the healthiest of trees, and falls the widow maker branches, or creates new ones. I have removed all the trees in my yard. That does not mean the neighbors tree will or will not fall. I hope not, but mother nature is quite an unpredictable lass.

This week has been pretty weird. My quilting mojo is practically flatlined. I have picked up my tatting shuttles and have worked on the hanky (ordered thread, coming in the next few days).

I have just made up my mind to take the plunge and make a doily. Here it is all finished. I used my old Rowenta to press it with the wool mat. Pressed it good and flat.

And I kept thinking I would love to have something beautiful to work on a little larger than the one above. After much looking around on the internet I found this pattern. Seems simple enough, very do-able. This is the lavender version and is practice. Imperfect yes in size 20 cebelia thread. I started this out on size 30, and have figured out, I need to make this with bigger thread until I understand the pattern and feel confident I can manage the smaller thread size.

I have had much frustration with this, and have taken out closed rings, and snipped off chains. And in error tried to hide my tails and made mess of this, but when it gets done it will be useable and pretty enough. I will continue with this during SnowMeggedon 2021. And maybe the quilting mojo will come back soon!

Be looking for a post summary of last months worth of quilt stitching for ScrapHappy, and a very themed post that goes along with the snow coming.

Thanks for reading my blog! If you like what you see please share on social media and subscribe.

TTFN, ta-ta for now!

Hanky Panky

Doing some hanky panky here, but it is not what you think!

I have been working on a future post of scrappy what nots. Look for that post in the coming days. In the meantime we have had a weather event! So this has caused me to stay at home, yay! Hence I am doing the hanky panky, literally.

One would think I would be in the quilty mood. Nope, this 365 has really wore me down. So I have picked up the tatting shuttles and am working toward a finished hankie.

Early in the week I came across a free link for a PDF full of free patterns for tatting. I downloaded, printed, punched and brad foldered these pages. I have just made up my mind I will make a doily. Click here for the book freebie. This click will take you to somethingunderthebed.com, two links to click after that for page sets named Albee.

It amazes me that these pictures were taken back in the 30s and you can count the knots with clarity! This pattern I would not totally agree with 2 shuttles. You can work this with one shuttle loaded and the ball, except for the very center. I aim to finish this today.

Mine looks a different shape. Even though I followed the directions, I am thinking either the directions are wrong, or my translation does not compute LOL. I certainly like the colors I chose for this small critter. It looks like you can make the matching coasters for this. Wouldn’t it be cute with a teapot and teacups with this underneath? That is what I think of when I look at this.

I want to try my hands at a huge doily. It will probably take me years. But gosh tatting is so beautiful to gaze upon. A local shop now carries cebelia thread. I always thought I liked Lizbeth, it tats beautifully and has a lovely sheen. As compared to crochet thread there is really no comparison. But then I tried cebelia. It looks like crochet thread, but it has never broke or twisted on me. Lizbeth likes to twist, that is it’s only flaw. Cebelia is so smooth, when closing rings, all I can say is the word smooth, not bumpy like Lizbeth. Cebelia is a more fuzzy thread, I can only assume it is not mercerized??

Bad weather days in, tatting shuttles out, knotting happens! Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog!

Meager

Ah, the weekend is finally here! My body gets to rest. My mind will keep going….

Time is flying by! Gosh, where did January go? For me it went to work! Due to overtime, my blog post is on the meager side this week.

A few quilt blocks happened. And after taking the photo I see the one corner needs to be ripped. It will be minimal ripping because this is probably 3 inches total to rip. There is enough contrast with this block, if I left it as is, it would bug me.

I decided to take a picture of the large 4 corner blocks with togetherness for my 365 quilt block challenge quilt. Imagine a whole quilt between them, LOL!

I managed to stop in the antique store one night for just a few minutes. Saw a basket of doilys and had to dig through it. There were some beautiful pieces in there. I was specifically looking for a tatted doily, and found one! Looks like it is cro-tat. I purchased for a mere $2. I wonder how many years ago it was made? Sad that all that work would only fetch 2. I took the doily to work to view through a magnifier so I could count stitches. It looks to be of size 40, not absolutely sure. I will try to write a pattern and play with this sometime in the future.

And because I have been too tired to sew, I have picked up my tatting shuttles again. Working on hankie #2. I am about halfway. Last night I worked on it for a short bit and messed up by joining the wrong thing. That was my minds way of telling me I was done for the night. (Sorry no updated photo. Just imagine this about 6 inches longer across the top and the corner rounded and about as long as the left side shown below.

In my youtube feed a tatted heart (free pattern) presented itself, so I tatted a quick red heart.

Last weekend while at mom’s, she was using the floor as a design wall, so I snapped a photo of her WIP. I love her pink embroidered hearts! The gnomes are adorable! And I especially like the candy hearts!

And Thursday at work I had a lovely surprise! A coworkers wife was thinking of me and gave me a nice bag of fabric! Here is just a sampling, and most of them are cotton!

My 2007 Rowenta Iron still works, but is acting odd. When you unplug, about 10 minutes later there is something internal that makes a “da-oing” noise. I suspect it is in the process of retirement, so I am currently window shopping irons on Amazon. Those of you who have a good iron, I would love to know the pros and cons, and of course the brand you have had the most luck with. I have narrowed my choice to three irons. But, purchasing an iron is an investment. I do not want to throw good money down the drain. My Rowenta has done very good considering it has been cracked for 10 years from several tumbles off the ironing board.

Well, that’s all the meager I could afford, LOL!

Have a Happy Valentines Day!

And thank you for reading my blog!