Postage Sheet Final Post

This fall we have had gobs of rain.  As promised, with a break in the weather, a photo op happened.  This quilt was made from vintage sheets.  The pink fabric was yardage I picked up at the thrift store.  This is a very pastel quilt and turned out soft on the eyes.  This was quilted in the Forget Me Not pattern, true symbolism for those around me who will receive it.  One day I will not be here anymore.  I expect this quilt will last longer than I, hence the pattern I chose the forget me not.  I named this Postage Sheet because it is in the postage stamp design and the vintage sheets used in its making.

The back I used a linen sheet that goes from white to floral which was perfect for this pastel quilt.  At the same estate sale that I purchased the vintage sheet back, they also had matching pillow cases.  When it is upon the bed, it will be a matched set.  Nothing in my house matches as my style is a bit eclectic, but there is a first for everything.

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Math is not my strong suit, it is a suit that frustrates me sometimes.  So instead of doing math with measuring I just set some squares on point and floated that in two corners.  It turned out ok, even without math!postagesheet3

And the back….postagesheet4

And a close up of the florals on the back.postagesheet5

Not a stitch has been sewn this week.  My anxiety is high awaiting my quilting machine.  I just do not want to get in the middle of a project (which I am already) only to delve deeply in my quilting machine learning curve.  I am ready to master yet another quilt task, and just do not want to piece.

I have been enjoying knitting this past week.  I managed to find some round looms at the thrift store for only $3 for the set.  I snagged those up as well as some rake looms which I probably did not need.  I may pass these onto my mother, and if she does not want them, ask her to find a home for them.

My first hat….and now I wish I would have doubled the hat knotting it on each end tucking one into the other.  Ah well, I do like the odd yarn that I chose as it hides my stitches were are pretty imperfect.  I see some mittens to match in my looms near future.

beannie

I also made a scrubby for the kitchen as yarn is was on sale this week.

I managed to make a cranberry pie for the first time in my life.  The recipe I used was from the TV show Andy Griffin.  Those of you who frequent pinterest have probably seen the recipe cards created by Aunt Bea.  The recipe I used was from Otis Campbell.  You may remember him as the town drunk.  Friendly fellow on the grain alcohol made in someone’s still.  This pie had 1/2 c of brandy in it.  I just happened to have some nice brandy that was not getting drank and used it in the pie and then carried this pie to work to feed my coworkers as they are great guinea pigs and give great thumbs up or thumbs down.  I was told it was delicious.  Be looking for the recipe that I tweaked on my other blog the cookbook project.wordpress.com this weekend.  I have an adaptation if you do not care to use booze.

Well, next week it will be Thanksgiving, my my my.  The time has just flown by.  This year is gearing up to come to a close soon.  Have you met all your goals this year?  I have not entirely.  But some goals made is better than none.

I am looking forward to family and cooking, and time to decompress for the important things in life.  After that is all done, I am really looking forward to kicking up my feet and slowing down to my own pace with no time crunches, just time to pass as it does all too quickly.

Happy Trails!  And thank you for reading my blog!

Fire!!!!!

When the word fire comes to mind, do you think of camping?  a fireplace?  Cooking?  The word fire is used everyday for things that are ordinary, and no big deal.   If I were to place a noun in front of the fire, it would describe the situation completely.

HOUSE FIRE!

orange fire hydrant
Photo by Victor Zissou on Pexels.com

When one hears that they immediately think of structure fire and indeed that is what this post is about today.  How many of you have lived near something a structure that is on fire?   How many of you have had a structure fire of your own?

I have lived in this house for 24 years.  I am uncertain as to the year but when my son was just a baby, the grocery store at the end of the block burnt completely down.  I recall for whatever reason that day being up early right after the sun rose.  I kept hearing gunshots which even though we are in town the river bottom is less than a couple of miles away (on just right morning the sound would carry) and so it is not unusually to hear the popping of a gun in the distance.  I completely dismissed the noise for an ordinary Saturday morning noise for dove hunting or whatever was in season.

I woke up smelling smoke.  Sometimes burning of brush smells our town up a bit.  I searched the house to make sure it was not my house, and then I passed the kitchen window.  There was smoke coming down the alley like a fog rolling in between my big poplar tree (now it rests in peace) and the neighbors fence line.  The dogs, the cats, had no alarm bells on and I am really surprised I was not alerted by them.  So I slipped on my husbands work boots, and traveled west towards the end of the block to see if I could see what was on fire.  And the snap, crackle, pop which I mistook for gunfire got louder and louder.  By the time I was halfway there, the fire trucks and their sirens parked down my street and started running hoses hooking them up to substandard water pressure hydrants.  The grocery store burned to the ground and was a total loss.  They fought that blaze all morning and due to many factors, it just became a controlled burn.  All the accelerants in the store, it would have been impossible to put it out.  That is now an empty slab with a parking lot out front.

The noise that I heard in that fire were the aerosol cans exploding, as well as all the canned goods pressure cooking until release.  That structure was a nice brick store, you would not think that it could burn like that, but again with all the accelerants, it did with no problem.

I felt terrible.  We owed the owners around $100.  The mom and pop grocery store would let you keep a tab if you were on hard times.  My husband used to work there as a butcher and had an accident with his thumb, and so was unable to work.  I only made minimum wage, so a couple weeks worth of groceries were charged.  That being kept on paper before the computers taking business by storm, was lost.  An immediate out of business for all of the family.  All the IOUs and promises gone with it.

Fast forward to last year.  A house burned at the other end of my block.  Immediately when I heard the popping noise like gunfire I knew something was on fire, it is a sound you never forget.  I went out to find the neighbors standing, waiting for the fire dept as the house was totally engulfed in flames.  Me being halfway on the block, I could feel the heat of the fire, radiating all the way to my position facing eastward.  The house giving off warmth one more time.  I could smell all the carcinogens burning, which now that I think about it, it was probably the asphalt shingles burning/melting.

The house was a total loss and burned to the ground.  The fire dept did a really good job of keeping the other structures safe.  Unfortunately because the shed was too close to the house and property line, the house directly west did get smoke damage, but the lady that lived there had passed away so it was empty.

This house that burned was owned by a property slum lord.  Although he fixes up houses and then rents them out, he uses people who are not licensed.  The fire was caused by faulty wiring.  Renters had been in that house less than a month and lost all their belongings in the fire, they escaped with only their lives.

Fast forward to November 4th, 2018.  I am in the kitchen putting veggies on to steam as we are having meatloaf, homemade scalloped potatoes..  I am in there tending to the food and it was a bout 5:00.  I kept hearing that all familiar noise of popping like a gun.  It sounded very far away and I dismissed it.  I sat on the couch and was knitting this.

loom1

loom2

My daughter wants a humongous sock, like a sleeping bag.  When I started this afghan, I had one side that was open to make a  nice flat blanket.  After scouring the internet for jumbo sized knitting socks, nothing really came up and since I had already started, a sock was not going to be the result.  But then I learned you can fold your work back on itself and catch the stitches.  I had just turned this up to make the cuff after doing an experiment of popcorn stitches which I really like.

After rounding the loom once, I heard the popping noise of fire and this time it sounded much closer,, or from a different location than when I was in the kitchen.  I had just sat down for the second time on the couch after tending to our meal in the kitchen, and this time I heard glass break.  The glass was close by.  I got up because the neighborhood was deathly silent, unusual not to hear children playing, no dogs barking, nothing.

When I looked out my front door, the house straight across the street was on fire!  The flames/heat had broken out the kitchen window and were actually coming out the window.  The rush of adrenaline of keeping the family safe, oye!  I grabbed my camera to call 911, ok so I was a little panicked.  I then grabbed for my phone and for the first time in my life dialed 911.  Gave the address and the details, told who owned the house, told them the inhabitants had just moved out on the 30th.  And within minutes the fire dept was here.  By the time they had arrived, I no longer saw flames.  Whatever caught fire was only smoldering at this point.  I suspect the popping nosies I heard were cleaners /chemicals exploding, as the owners crew had been in there Wed and Thurs doing whatever it is they do.

I hear the fire dept power ram the kitchen door open (another sound I will never forget).  I saw them turn on a high velocity fan to move the smoke for better visibility..  Hoses were being ran, the police officer came over and took my brief statement.  And we watched as the 74 year old home let its smoke out.  We watched as other neighbors (nearly an hour later came to life and stepped outside shocked to see the fire trucks and hoses)  Living in Texas, I never looked this guesstimate up, but I believe the Cowboy game was on and therefore that was why the neighborhood was so quiet.

No one was injured, just the house now in a sadder state of affairs than before.    By 6:30 the fire dept was packing up and heading out.  A small fire, with much smoke damage.  It is odd to not see any life in that house.  It is odd to get my car started in the morning and the blackened soot on the windows blackening out the houses life.  Everyone who has ever lived in this rent house since I have been living here, has always left the overhead kitchen sink light on, you get used to that.

Both of these houses that burned were owned by the same person.  He does not have insurance.  I wonder if this was arson?  I wonder if it was something faulty?  I wonder if it was ammonia and bleach too close together?  I am very concerned as the house to the direct east of me, he completed gutted, added onto and then remodeled, took about 3 years.  The attic in the old house used to consist of gable vents at each end.  When he remodeled, those went away.  No whirly turbines on the roof, no attic vents whatsoever.  I have always wondered when the house will burn as it gets hot in Texas.

Tempuratures in barns with hay can reach over 100 degrees, not sure in a hot attic but one that is not vented would be hotter than a hot car as a house cannot move to cool down.  If the right conditions exist, chemical reactions can happen.  A fire can start.  My job now, to keep my family safe is to have a candid talk with the city and to get them to prevent another fire.

The owner of the burnt house, came by on Monday while I was at work and thanked me for calling.  He also wanted to set up a time to talk to me about the fire, wanted to ask if I had seen or heard anything.  He said he would come back by between 5 and 5:30 that day.  I rushed home because I wanted to tell him about the house he revamped next door.  I want to prevent another fire.  I wanted to have a very candid conversation with him.  I was stood up, never showed.

Dawn has just arrived and I hear the booms in the distance.  I think these are actual gunshot booms.  I am going to step outside now, and make sure all is right.

Have a great weekend!

 

Geese In Everlasting Trees

Boy, Howdy Monday!

A productive weekend, the weekend lasting one extra day.  Breathing in, exhaustion gone, stitching a mile a minute.  It is amazing how much more you can get accomplished by adding one more day to your weekend routine.

Sometimes I surprise myself.  I just started the flying geese top on Friday evening.  And voilá, a quilt top finished, regardless if it small for a doll.

honkin wonky geese
from this to….
geeseflimsy
this!  By placing a neutral strip in between the rows of geese it created another pattern, Tree Everlasting!  Whoa!

So I completed my strips of flying geese, as wonky as they are (the doll will not care and neither will the children).  I have severely diminished my baggies of HST scraps.

geesequilted
Whoa, and I even got it quilted!

Binding will happen sometime this week.  I really wanted to quilt this with the fabric I purchased a whole bolt of at the thrift store.  The bolt did not say what kind of fabric it was.  I ironed it, it appears to be cotton.  Thicker than regular weave.  I think it is a jersey knit.  So this miniature version of a quilt was a rehearsal for the king size quilt I will be doing in the future with this same backing.  The quilting had issues on the back so I may rethink that for the human size quilt.

geeseback

What else have I got going?  Well, I had this package of cotton clothesline.  It kept getting touched and moved from one spot to the next.  I touched it again this weekend and decided, this is the last time I will be touching packaged stuff, taking up valuable real estate.  Time to get stitching.

So I have been romancing the notion of looming socks.  I do not own the right kind of loom and have been window shopping on the internet for this process.  During my virtual shopping, I came across a yarn bowl.  They are wooden and expensive around $20.  I understand their purpose, and I also understand it is not a necessity.  But what if I make one!  So I did.  I did not make it very big, and turns out this is perfect for my tatting yarns.

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What makes a yarn bowl, a bowl strictly for yarn?  A catch.  A place that you hook the yarn through.  The ball of yarn will unwind, never leaving your lap or table, or getting tangled up because it fell to far.

And I had extra clothesline left over.  I envisioned a purse.  Will probably finish this off with fabric later.  In the mean time, it is a perfect holder for all my yarn!  And the loom too!

geeseyarnbowlgeeseyarnbowl2

These bowls are very quick and easy to make.  Select the widest zig-zag on your machine and get colorful with the thread.  A great way to free up your bobbins!

And wait….there is still more!  A while back, a co-workers quilting Grandmother gifted me a gob of fabric.  I have used this fabric, made many quilts with pieces here and there. I donated the rest.  While going through the pieces I did find some poly cotton that just would not make the cut in any of my quilts.  It got tossed aside.  Again, I am tired of touching, moving, and shuffling, again and again.  So, last night I tore them into 2 inch strips for a rag rug.  It is well on it’s way.

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My stitching in the toothbrush rug is getting very symmetrical.  The pastel purple had some kind of staining on the fabric.  Stain and all, hidden within the fibers of the rug perfectly.  Also, there is some very dated 80s check in red and tan.  When I ripped this fabric there was so much sizing in it that it automatically curved the sides of each tear.  This stuff is stitching up nicely too, glad this is going into a rug.  The selvage said VIP on it which was probably from Cloth World or some other old big box fabric chain.  I will probably be adding to this as I find more pieces that are questionable about cotton content.geeseall

This picture sums up the weekend nicely.  Look at all that work and all the work to come.  Imagining things made with yarn.  Any of you sock makers know if you can use #3 or #10 tatting thread for socks?

Today will be a few household duties and relaxation, Boy Howdy Monday!

Thanks for subscribing and reading my blog!

Ketchup

So I am playing with words, but this post is a catch up from my previous post which had no new photos to share.  I am back up and running smoothly, clearer and crisper than ever before.

So here is the baby booties quilt, completed scrappy binding and all.

babybooties
I see the neighbor’s pup peeking around the edge of the quilt, such a quiet, loving dog.

Here is some close up quilting.  I must say that quilting these boots was just as fun as the fabric selection.  When you look at a pair of cowboy boots, there are firebirds and ornate designs in the stitchings of the leather.

bbootiequilting
This fabric cries of cowboy boot.  Perfectly placed, fussy cut fabric and then stitched over imperfectly, but fun none-the-less.

And below is the back of the gray and black boot in the lower left corner.  I had to show you the backing I chose.  More boots for the babe.

bootiebacking
Another fun design!

Today I took the quilt to work to give to the expectant mother.  She loved it.  Her mother proudly displayed it all day.  I heard so many people say how neat it was and how artistic.  One person said I should quit my day job.  Another asked how much I charged, and the Mother said nothing, and they were like “WHAT?”

I usually silently give the quilt to an empty seat and send them an email with washing instructions.  It is the humble thing to do (I would be horrified if they did not like it and can express that in alone time without me being there).  I usually get a call, or they come visit me and thank me.   Some parents snap photos of the youngins’ on the quilt and give me that photo.  I do not work for free, I do this for the smiles.  Occasionally, I get a hug too.

Each one of these quilts I make is an extension of myself, kind of a baby of sorts.  And so, I gift part of myself not for the parents, but totally for the baby.  A brand new baby quilt for a brand new baby.  Most parents could care less about a quilt.  Children however like to latch onto objects when they are young, and for the first few years of their growing selves, part of me will get to be there, even though I am not physically there.

The great thing about sewing quilts for expectant parents, you get to enjoy a small project.  Another checked off from the bucket list.  In no time you have a quilt, this one was started at the end of July and I leisurely worked on it, and voila, ’tis complete!

Now I am onto the other baby quilt with a sporty theme of HSTs.  I should be able to do a post about that work in progress this weekend.

Oh and I mustn’t forget the double knit, knitted pot holder LOL.

dkpotholder

I also uploaded my pizza wedges post on my other blog the cookbookproject.  Click here for that recipe.

Happy Hump day readers!  It’s all downhill until the weekend!  Thank you for reading my blog!

Weekly Jump

apple fruit healthy food
Photo by Bruno Scramgnon on Pexels.com

A long time ago, before usb flash drives, flash media was called a jump drive.  For those of you who are not technical, bear with me, I promise to be brief.  My set up for my Memory Craft 9000 uses 20 year old jump drive technology.  The size of the card is gianormous compared to todays flash drives.  My memory craft is a work horse and makes fmq possible for me, saving me thousands of dollars in custom quilting fees.

If any of you have a camera (not phone related) chances are it has a removeable media card.  I am fortunate enough to have a computer with a smart card reader.  I remove the memory device from the camera, insert it into the Mac, and voila, instant photos loaded to computer memory.

The mac is relatively new and under warranty, which apple so graciously repaired.  Because I do not have the mac I have no way to upload/edit photos for my blog.  What can I say?  We all know the world turns without technology.  So today’s post is named for the begining era of storage drives, which is the technology I am lacking today.

My weekly jump would be showing a knitted potholder

loompotholder
This is last weeks photo

made with tshirt yarn (I can now say I knit, even if it is using a pin loom).

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not a new pic

The baby booties  has been quilted, binding sewn and finished with some hand stitching.  And I found another use for my cast iron wedge pan and would have showcased some pizza wedges.  The weekly jump will just have to wait.

On another note, I have made up my mind that in the coming months I am purchasing a 20 inch longarm and frame.  While at shows, I play with many and have narrowed it down to 2.  One of which will be at a quilt show I am attending next month.  I am excited, but a little un-nerved, it means I will be back in debt again.  I am not going to add any software/electronics to it, as I see that as a future upgrade.  Right now the amount of tops I have to get done is piling up.  My memory craft does great, but I can only move the width of my hand in each motion, which takes weeks to complete.  I am hoping to put others to work while I am at work, using the pantographs that will come with the machine, and therefore put a tad of money into savings for the upgrade package.  So this is probably fantasy about others working, but I have seen many men take interest in the hobby once a fine large machine shows up (I can just hear Tim the tool man Taylor from the TV sitcom Home Improvement giving his awe, ho, o).

So readers, I will have a post next week with picture goodness.  And thank you for reading my blog!

Quilt Show Pictures

As promised, quilters eye candy uploaded for you.  Which one do you like the best?  There were so many beautiful quilts.  This is just a sampling.  I did not take pictures of every quilt, but I took pictures of quilts with shiny silver metallic fabric, Asian satin fabrics, applique, piecing, embroidered, fabric painted with thread and with paint, and the list goes on.  Hopefully this group of quilts will appeal to you as well.  There were show stoppers, ones when you gaze upon them, it make you say OOOooooooooo, and Aaaahhhhhhhh.

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Some of these photos were at weird angles.  There were so many people, and surprisingly I saw many people I knew.  I made the comment to one of the people I know, they needed to add cattleguard fence to move the cattle, lol.  Then she agreed with a MOOooove!  LOL!  So about the weird angles, I was there to photograph quilts, not people.  The flow of the people was weird this year too.  It almost seemed like the way it was laid out created hot spots outside the tri-quilt cubicle (not sure what to call this).  And there were many people with scooters, which take up a bigger footprint.  Lots of ladies were toting luggage trollys behind them.  And of couse, you had those who would stop in the middle of traffic to talk.  The amount of people got me out of there quicker,.  This one does not like crowds.  My impatience builds.  The urge too flee becomes too great.  I wonder why that is?

One day I will get my nerve up and submit a quilt.  I suppose the only thing stopping me is fear.  Fear of what?  The dreaded quilt police!

During my outing I was also able to use my paint swatches to find fabrics for the Bonnie Hunter Mystery quilt.  She has dropped hints, so I am going with neutrals, sky blues, cheddar, yellow, and black.  I am convinced this is what she will be using, if not that is what I will be using.

quiltshowhaul

The quilt activity here on the home front has not made much progress.  The Baby Booties quilt, is now about 75% quilted and I aim to complete that and move onto binding this weekend.

I frequent the thrift stores trying to find______________________fill in the blank.  A few months back I found a skein of jersey knit yarn.  It was only a dollar.  My intention was to make a rug with it, but the rug would not have been very big, so I held onto it for the right project.  I knew the right project would present itself.

Fast forward to Wed.  I found a rectangular small pin loom at the same thrift store for a dollar.  I watched a few youtube videos, and am now knitting a pot holder from the jersey knit.  I think it is funny and a play on words, I am saying this is a knit squared square.  I do not know how to make text to the 2nd power.  So knit, that is double knitted= squared square.  Whoa!

Here is that little project.  Frugal and utilitarian, right up my alley!

loompotholder

And nice and heavy for good protection.  Flexible enough to bend.  I did not find anyone on youtube knitting with double knit jersey.  It is extremely dense and heavy.

Well this concludes a snippet of my week, I wonder what adventure next week holds?  I bet a finish/ reveal…..stay tunned.  And thanks for reading my blog!