Wednesday, March 29, 2017

UFO #24 and/ or 41

  You may remember this quilt, from early February, when it was just hanging on the design wall.  It was UFO #24 for this year.                       (As a reminder: My online guild is doing a UFO challenge, where one member calls two numbers at the beginning of each month and your only job is to to least take them out and look at them to assess if it's something you even care to finish.)   
I finished the top, without borders, in February.  The numbers for March were 4 and 41.  As I didn't have a 41, I decided to keep working on this one.  I got the borders on, found backing fabric and got ready to turn the top into a quilt.
Have I ever said how lucky I feel that I have a queen-sized dining room?  (as well as expert assistance, as you can see above)

I did a faux pantograph design, which could have been more dense in some places, but it got the job done.

And, as it turned out, quilting more densely would have resulted in a bit of a problem. I used the rest of this to hand sew the binding.

So it's quilted and bound, and labeled.  It will probably be donated somewhere along the line, unless I need a gift for someone before I decide I have a big enough pile to make the trip to the place I took them last time. 


The label is made for a donation to the breast cancer care place I went last time in memory of my dear friend Jennie.

I  also finished the placemats I pieced at retreat.  They'll be part of a raffle basket for the fur ball.  I'm looking for ideas for what else to put in the basket.  They had a ton of wine baskets last year.  I was thinking dinner fixin's, maybe.  Suggestions welcome!

As of yesterday, the rules have changed in the US regarding protecting our climate.  Some of the regulations will need to be re-written, so may not have an immediate impact.  We can't wait and see what they do.  Now, more than ever, it's important to make your voice heard.  Call or email your representatives/ senators often.  Then use the only thing that really matters to those in power- your money!  Choose the more climate friendly choice for your energy supply, buy cars with higher fuel economy, or a hybrid, use less energy wherever you can.  The responses I always get from contact with "my" congressman say "the government must ensure that any federal legislation truly improves our environment, while balancing the needs of our economic sector".   So we have to show them protecting the planet and a good economy can coexist.  

I am grateful for:
Comfort food
Play time with my grand babies
Birds singing in the morning
Some of my crocuses survived the late winter onslaught
Small progress on the UFO list

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

After the challenge

Between storms and power outages and having to work at work, it has been a while again since I've posted.  Every year I say I will get 52 posts up, and then life gets in the way.

Every year I enter the guild challenge- most years I make two pieces to enter.  But then I get them back and wonder what to do with them?  I certainly don't need another tote bag, or have a reason to hang a big fish quilt in my house.    (I know I've mentioned this before)  Here is what I did with one of my most recent entries.


 This piece was called "Name the Bar".  I had fun making it, but saw things I should have done differently immediately after I finished it- don't we always?  More than that, I had absolutely  no use for it in my home- nor did I think anyone I knew would.  Ar ound the same time, I had been searching through all the places I had parts of my interchangeable knitting needles stored/ stashed.  It was frustrating and wasted my time.  So I did a search for a way to store them neatly, and found this.

 So almost as soon as I got it back from the display last Saturday, I started deconstructing it by removing the flaps and half of the binding. 
Here are some of the needles laid out so I could measure and figure what exactly my needle case should look like.
 And here is the finished product- look how neatly things are arranged (and there's room for more!)

This is what it looks like all folded up nice and small- easy to store!

These are the leftovers.  I was going to make it bigger, then changed my mind so the quilted pieces are kind of small.  I may just toss them.  Seems a waste, but it has served one purpose and is now serving another- unless someone needs coasters???

I have been saving my yarn bits for a few years and placing them out int he suet feeder for the birds.  I find them in use when I try to get the house sparrows out of the swallow houses.  I like to think the babies get a nice soft bed from the scraps I leave.  But recently I read a warning that they can harm the babies by strangling them, or being wrapped around their legs and injuring them.  I take everything I read with a bit of skepticism anymore (sadly), so I searched a bit and found posts on both sides of this.  I am  still not sure if its a good idea of a bad one.  So I have decided to still ofer them, but make sure everything is cut into approximately 1 inch pieces, and not place anything fine, like sewing thread, out.  It seems a reasonable compromise. 
Compromise- an idea that needs to be promoted more and more these days. sigh

I am grateful for:
Having someone to call for help when I need it.
Being prepared for emergencies
Good sewing time
Leftovers in the freezer
Brightening someone's day

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

An Oma weekend

I didn't do any sewing last weekend, and I don't care at all.  Here's what I did instead! 

Kiara has been wrestling with the youth league, and they had a tournament.  Anyone who has ever been to a wrestling tournament knows it is a LONG day. So I brought Jonathan down with me to spend some time with mom while I watched big sister wrestle. 

Ra-ra's head gear looks good on me!

In this match, She got her arm twisted under her and had to stop for a minute to be sure she could continue.

 She did, and won!

Unfortunately, by the time her next match came around, it had stiffened up and she lost.  But she took third place in her group, so got a trophy!

Jonathan got restless, so we went back home. He "opted out" of nap time, so we got to play a bit before mom got home.

The next day, Kiara came over for some playtime.  We took it easy since her arm was still tender. Her stuffed animals all enjoyed our adventures in living room land!  I guess I'm a "bad" gramma, since I played instead of taking pictures with her.  (I am not serious here in case you wonder)

 I'll sew next week- if the kids don't need me.  :-)

In case I haven't said this enough- be informed.  Stay informed.  Read multiple news sources, even those you disagree with.  And then do something with the information.  Many of us want to pretend this isn't happening.  We are tired of the stress, the anger, the fear.  But we can't ignore it!  It won't go away. Too much is at stake.  A man named John Pavlovitz said it very well in this post.  Here's a little bit of it. 
In our social media profiles and our daily conversations, we have to make space for difficult, uncomfortable, unpleasant things. We have to have wade into the messy, mundane, and not-fun realities about our political process and face the gravity of these moments together.
In fact, we need to wrestle with these difficult things now, in order to craft a future for our children where they have less difficult things; so that they can inherit a safer, kinder, cleaner, more diverse, more loving planet.
We need to be willing to be burdened beyond our current capacity for empathy and activism, so that we leave them something worth inheriting: a life filled with puppies and babies.
Read the rest, then tell me it's time to relax.  If you can.

I am grateful for:
Jonathan calls me Oma now!
Being silly with a little girl.
Sleeping in under cozy quilts when it's very cold outside.
Getting that great playlist off my old phone at long last!
The people on the front lines.

Monday, March 6, 2017

I had a good time at retreat!

 This is my home away from home for four days at the Museum Quilt Guild's annual retreat at the Asbury retreat center on Silver Lake Feb 23 - 25.  I took this picture before I started working- that's why it's clean.  :-)

I love sitting by the window so I can gaze out at the lake now and then.

My first project was blocks for the collection we made to give one of the girls who recently got married.  I guess I'm not very good at wonky.

Then I got out the Folded Leaf Topper I had packed and taken to the retreat in PA last September!  It's a fun and easy project, so I'll be making more.  Place your order early.  :-)

In cleaning up some projects last year, I made these placemats with the leftovers from a baby sized quilt.  I got there and realized I had forgotten binding fabric, but the backing was big enough to wrap around to the front!  (And they're finished!!!)

A couple of the girls said having a mate under their machine made it vibrate less on the light weight tables we use.  So I used the scraps from Melanie's blocks to make one.  No pockets on mine since I know  I'd get caught on them and pull the whole thing off the table at some point.
 Kathi had been doing walking foot quilting, using a wavy stitch the machine I brought doesn't have.  I used the blind hem stitch, which I kind of like!

We took a nice walk on Friday when it was 70 degrees!  The ice melted off the lake by the end of the day.

This is my UFO #24- part of a seasonal series.  I brought all the fabrics I needed, but not the threads.  Fortunately I had to run home ( a 15 minute drive for me)to feed my girlies (cats), so I grabbed what I needed and got this finished!!

Just for fun, I threw the supplies for another "curious creature" in the bin at the last minute.  The pom pom eyes were in my embellishment bin.

 Sunday morning brought winter back to us for the last day.

The seagulls on the lake didn't seem to mind once the sun came out.

 My last project is another set of placemats.  Someone gave me the fabric- samples they won at some quilting event. I will donate them to the "Furball" later this year to help raise money for the shelter.

I'm already looking forward to next year's retreat!!!

I made a donation to the NRDC last week on the day the news broke funding is being slashed for the EPA.  I can't begin to say how devastating it will be if the progress made in the past 30 - 40 years stops here.  Choose an organization you think is worthy and let them know you want to help them fight this madness.

I am grateful for:
A few days of non-stop sewing.
My hubby doesn't mind me enjoying this little slice of heaven every year.
Not having to cook for several days!
Great memories made.
Crossing something off the UFO list!