Friday, January 1, 2021

Happy New Year 2021

 This past year has been such a strange and awful thing.  Who knew way back in March that we would all be hunkering down at home, cutting out travels, foregoing hugs and generally becoming hermits?  We spent last January in Arizona near Phoenix where I did considerable birding, adding to my life bird list, visiting with family members and friends,  and enjoying the sunshine.  

Burrowing Owls
On our way home we went to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon where I had never been. 

 Then we detoured to Socorro, NM to Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.  

Sandhill Cranes coming in for the night

Thus ended the fun part of the year.  Our drive home from that trip carried us through some nasty stuff in Oklahoma and through lots of rain in Tennessee.  We arrived here at home just in time for an overnight snowfall of several inches.

We had planned to go to Iowa in May for two graduation ceremonies but those trips got cancelled.  Then we were to return in July for our granddaughter's wedding.  That also did not happen, much to our dismay.  The wedding went forward mostly because they could not change dates or cancel without losing much money in deposits to the venue.  Two family gatherings got cancelled, one in May and one in November.  Quilt guild activities were cancelled and have not resumed.  My husband's bridge games were cancelled and have not resumed.  We were supposed to be on our way to Arizona again at the moment but that had to be cancelled also.  We just did not want to take the risk. 

Thankfully, we are resilient people for the most part.  We've spent the year at home mostly, going out for groceries, medical appointments and the walks at the park where we can maintain distance.   I did take one short trip for a quilting retreat but it was only after a whole lot of deliberation.  So far as I know, everyone who attended was fine.  It sure was hard to forego hugs with friends, though. 

I have spent most of my time quilting and reading.  Thankfully those hobbies can consume many hours.  We also enjoy our home and the many birds around us.   My husband caught up on some maintenance chores as well. 

I won't even go into the turmoil concerning the elections and its not over yet.  

I'm truly hoping and praying that 2021 will be a much happier and healthy year for all of us.  I'll leave you with the quilting projects I've worked on this year. 

Finished this one off this year

For the high school graduate

I've also been working on wool applique projects but none are completed as yet.  Anyway, it keeps me busy. 

Y'all take care of yourselves and please stay safe until such time as we can all move freely about our worlds.

Happy New Year, friends

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Merry Christmas

I'm running behind times as usual but let me wish all of you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.  I hope you all are still safe and warm. 

We had a white Christmas here on the hill.  It's not unusual for us to get a bit of snow at some point during the winter but this is the first on Christmas since we've lived up here.  About 3 1/2 inches total.

Our neighbors walked up the hill past our house to see the view over town with the snow and took this picture near the end of our driveway.  

And this was the view from the porch.  Needless to say, with temps no higher than 20 degrees all day and a wind chill in single digits, I went no further  toward the outside.

The birds were really active today.  Lots and lots of them vying for space on the feeders.  They were all flummoxed by the snow blocking their places to light on the railings.  The snow will start melting tomorrow when the temps head up to the 40's and will likely finish off on Sunday.   It's really pretty to see it like this but I'm done with it now.  It can go away.  

I think all of us are looking forward to 2021 and the hope that it will be better than this year has been.  Please stay safe and warm.  We will get through it one of these days. 

Y'all take care

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Covid Woes and Log Cabins

 I am so far behind and downright ashamed of my lack of posting.  I love to read posts of other bloggers and it is just not right to  leave mine languishing. 

I have been pretty much staying at home.  Grocery store runs and doctor appointments but not many of those.  My little sewing group decided to resume our gatherings at the guest house of one of the group.  There's only five of us but with the holidays and increasing covid infection rates, I'm just not comfortable being there any more.  So, I've bowed out until such time as I feel things are safer.

It was my turn to host my siblings' gathering back in mid November and since I'm the youngest of the bunch, we're all getting up in age.  One brother recently had a mild heart attack.  Given that, and the fact that our May gathering was cancelled, I really wanted to go ahead.  We were all set and my husband and I actually drove down to NW Florida in preparation.  Upon arriving and overnight during conversations with my brother, the prevalence of covid in the area became quite obvious.  Even some extended family members had been exposed.  It just became too much for us and after much anguish, on Friday morning I decided to cancel the whole thing.  I made those difficult phone calls to my siblings.  Some were relieved, I think, and others didn't have much to say about it.  At any rate, less than 24 hours after getting there, we got back in the car and headed back home.  Even though I wanted to see my siblings, it just wasn't worth the risk to all of us to go ahead.  I truly hope that we will be able to resume next May.

I have been sewing and reading, as usual.  My most recent finish is my first log cabin style quilt.  These have been around forever and there almost endless ways to arrange the blocks.  Here is the one that inspired me. 

I pulled out fabrics that I liked and started cutting the "logs".  Since I was not cutting many of the same fabric, I actually wound up cutting most of them one at a time so that I could get multiple lengths from the same fabric. 

The old card table comes in really handy with my quilting.  It's a moveable extra space for sorting.  I also used Frog tape to mark the sizes and location numbers.  That's something else that quilters use frequently.   Anyway, there are 546 pieces to make up the blocks.  

Its easy stitching but you do have to pay attention to the order so that the finished design comes through.  And in the middle of this project my machine decided to be temperamental again.  Off to the spa for a good cleaning and examination by the technician who found nothing out of order.  It still was a bit difficult on return, but with some tweaking of threads it returned to good working order. 

And here is the finished top.  The colors do not show well here due to the lousy lighting.  I am pleased.  Now on to the next project, whatever that may turn out to be. 

Y'all stay safe out there.  We are all so tired of the restrictions but its not worth our health to throw caution to the winds now.  

Y'all take care 


Monday, November 2, 2020

Election Day 2020

I am an American.   It is my right, responsibility and privilege to vote, to have my voice heard.

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God,  indivisible and with liberty and justice for all.  

This flag and everything it stands for belong to every American, not to any political party. 

November 3, 2020 is election day.  Vote and have your voice heard too.   

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Tumblers Finish

 I owe all of you an apology right up front.  I have been so remiss in not getting another post up to let you see how this quilt turned out.  I debated long and hard with myself but finally decided to go to my annual quilting retreat with my buddies from all over the southeastern US and even a couple from Ohio.  We've done this for the past ten or eleven years and I haven't missed a one yet.  No hugs were shared (bummer), we practiced social distancing for the most part  but still had a good time.

Anyway, I worked diligently on this quilt while there and was able to get it stitched together.  When I finished the inner part with the tumblers I did something that was totally stupid and I knew better.  I half pressed it and then proceeded to attach borders.  Well, I found out as I was adding the last piece of the outer border that I had screwed up big time. 😬   I didn't say anything to my pals but figured I'd fix the mess when I got home. 

After looking at it a couple of days, I stopped the procrastination and took the borders off the quilt. I dug out the spray starch and ironed the heck out of the center portion.  It got squared up then as best I could.  I started re-attaching the borders, some of which I replaced to make it look better.  Anyway, here is the final result and I must admit that I'm pleased with the outcome.   I had a ton of tumblers left over, probably enough for two or more quilts, but I decided once was enough.  I gave the tumblers to Marj who was going to use them to make a quilt for her girly granddaughter.  Worked for me and assuaged my guilt by keeping those pieces out of my sight!

I'm thinking I may put a flannel backing on it to make it all snuggly.  For now, it has joined a friend hanging in the closet awaiting further action.

Y'all take care and stay safe.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

The Ride Continues, Part 2

 My progress on the tumbler quilt has been slow or non-existent a lot of days but I have made some progress.  Nothing about this is hard but it takes time and perseverance.  

I got the strips cut from all the fabrics.  I don't know how many different fabrics there are.  On most I cut only one strip, a few I cut two and there were a few pieces where I only had partial strips.  Oh well, that's the point to make it scrappy.

Then the fun part started, cutting all those little tumblers.  I do not have a tumbler template and wasn't about to spend over $25 to buy one just for this project.  I wandered around and looked in all nooks and crannies to see what I could find to use.  TA DA!  I found a Dresden plate template/ruler that had never been opened.  I pulled it out, figured the size I wanted my tumblers and used painters' tape to mark the size for easy reference. 

I simply cut in one direction, flip the ruler around and cut the other piece, continuing until the strip is cut.

It was my idea to simply toss the tumblers into a plastic bin and then pull them as they came to sew them.  

One of those ideas that worked better in concept than in execution.   Since I was cutting strips of double fabric there were always two pieces stuck together and also a number of cuts lying together.  So I sat for a while and separated the tumblers into separate piles so that they could be mixed up.  When finished, I added them back to the bin in different orders and then stirred them up. 

I sat down to start the sewing.  Again, the idea works but execution is a little more difficult. 

Yeah, I had to fix that one but it was a learning process.  I continued to sew them together until I had the row about as long as I wanted it, considering that I would be adding borders as well.  

There are 25 different tumblers in that row but it is as wide as I want it for now.  There are probably about 15 more different tumblers that weren't used.  They'll go into the next row.  I'll keep sewing rows of tumblers until it again gets to the size that I want it.  

So, that's where the Ride sits at the moment. 

We are having a glorious fall day today.  Sunshine and mid 60's which is a bit cooler than normal.  This should be October weather. 

Y'all take care

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Come Along for the Ride

 I thought it might be of interest to see how a quilt comes into being.  I saw a quilt lying on wildflowers in a field recently on a blog.  I fell in love with the concept and the idea.  I believe that lady made hexagons like a Grandmother's Flower Garden but I have no interest in paper piecing like that.  My idea was to make a mini tumbler quilt using 30's reproduction fabrics.

The first thing to do, since there is no real pattern for this, is to try to figure out how many tumblers I will need.  I think I've got it right but we'll see. 

We start with scribbles and figures which may or may not be correct but its a starting point. 

Then is the selection of fabrics.  I simply went over to the cabinet and pulled out just about all the 30's reproduction fabrics I have, along with some others for neutrals. 

I'll just cut strips from them and then cut the little tumblers. 

So, that's where we stand at the moment.  I'll do my best to  bring you along as progress is made. 

Y'all take care