6.25.16


Guess which meeting
this bottle of wine goes to?
This round of quilt guilds is as full of parties as the November/December meetings are. Last night, Pieceful Mountain Quilt Guild met early and went to a quilt show just up the street, then walked back to a special dinner meeting of salads and desserts. I try not to eat desserts, but Mrs. Wazoo's bar cookies let me ignore that. I took two home and enjoyed them so much.

Next week is Misty Mountain Quilt Guild's June Memorial Meeting. The spread will be sumptuous, since EVERYone is expected to bring something, and this guild is filled with southern cooks, church ladies, and military wives who ALL have a best dish. We will have a program that remembers the beginning of our group, and memorializes friends and family who have died in the past year.

Then, at Southern Appalachian Modern Quilt Guild, we are having Christmas in July. We are to bring a $20 gift, wrapped uniquely. I have to remember to bring tea, sweeteners, and lemons. 

I spent all Friday morning researching how to wrap a bottle of wine uniquely. I printed out a couple of patterns for wine carriers, but then I realized FUROSHIKI was the answer. After  a few youtube.com videos, I was ready to come up with a combo of techniques. Instead of the light weight Furoshiki fabric, I cut two pieces of quilters cotton, about 24" square and put wrong sides together to begin my wrapping. I tucked in raw edges wherever I could. 

This is the only Christmas fabric I had on hand, and since I am not buying anymore fabric, I had to cut it and free it to go live somewhere else. These are vintage pieces, 20 years older than the wine.




6.23.16

I am not a supplement taker. I know plenty of people that eat whole piles of pills every day mixing minerals, vitamins, and other who knows what. So much so, that I'm sure they have to skip meals because there is not room in their stomachs for food with all those food replacements and enhancers. 

But, I DO take Calm. I take it every night. It can range in price from about $12 to $24 a month. I used to get about three to four hours of sleep a night before coming fully awake and finding it difficult to go back to sleep. Now, mostly I sleep five hours and after waking, I can fall back asleep with minimal effort and sleep two more hours.

I can't easily find it locally--at least, I haven't asked my groc store pharmacy yet if they will order it in. I did pay DOUBLE the usual price at a teeny health food market inside a chiropractor's office (not my chiro) When I got home, I found my bag had my Calm, the organic lentils and organic black beans I purchased, and several religious tracts.  I decided to find a different source, so AMAZON to the rescue.


Except, I could not find exactly what I wanted at what I was willing to pay. I ended up with this, instead.

I'm not sure what the benefits are to having the mgs of the calcium BALANCE the mgs of magnesium, but it seems to work the same as far as my sleep pattern goes. With the other version, I get 80% of my MDR of magnesium, but only 20% of my calcium. I will have to go back to inputting my meals at Sparkpeople.com because they calculate all that and much much more at the bottom of the nutrition tracker page.

6.23.16

I am not a supplement taker. I know plenty of people that eat whole piles of pills every day mixing minerals, vitamins, and other who knows what. So much so, that I'm sure they have to skip meals because there is not room in their stomachs for food with all those food replacements and enhancers. 

But, I DO take Calm. I take it every night. It can range in price from about $12 to $24 a month. I used to get about three to four hours of sleep a night before coming fully awake and finding it difficult to go back to sleep. Now, mostly I sleep five hours and after waking, I can fall back asleep with minimal effort and sleep two more hours.

I can't easily find it locally--at least, I haven't asked my groc store pharmacy yet if they will order it in. I did pay DOUBLE the usual price at a teeny health food market inside a chiropractor's office (not my chiro) When I got home, I found my bag had my Calm, the organic lentils and organic black beans I purchased, and several religious tracts.  I decided to find a different source, so AMAZON to the rescue.


Except, I could not find exactly what I wanted at what I was willing to pay. I ended up with this, instead.

I'm not sure what the benefits are to having the mgs of the calcium BALANCE the mgs of magnesium, but it seems to work the same as far as my sleep pattern goes. With the other version, I get 80% of my MDR of magnesium, but only 20% of my calcium. I will have to go back to inputting my meals at Sparkpeople.com because they calculate all that and much much more at the bottom of the nutrition tracker page.

6.21.16

TEA TIME TUESDAY
I tried a new flavor for some iced "tea".  I like caffeine-free beverages after noon, and this looked like it might be good. So far, I've made it twice and can't seem to get a nice strong flavor. First, I tried it with four teabags in a half gallon, then six the second time. Next time, I'm using the remaining 10 bags.






I think it would be more flavorful if I added sugar, but that is not the point of drinking this. The point is to drink more fluids that DO NOT contain sugar. It's okay, but it's no Tazo Iced Passion.









I've been doing other things, besides making and drinking iced tea. 

I am working on a quilt top for the PULSE project, through Southern Appalachian Modern Quilt Guild. 

The Modern Quilt Guild of Orlando is spearheading the project. 

Those dark things on the left side blocks are safety pins. I use them to help me keep the rows in the right order. At this point, I've only sewn the top two rows together but you can get a pretty good idea of how its going to look.

I also made a pillow case that is long enough for my queen sized pillow. I've had the fabric for a couple of months, now, so it was time.

6.19.16

Here's the Monday Mantra a day early. I know I haven't been as regular with these as I might. I'm not presenting an excuse.



Splendid Sampler block #36 is called Inchy Hexagon Club, designed by Jane Davidson.  

Let me just start off by saying I NEVER thought I would do hexies this small. In fact, I have been entertaining the idea of doing them LARGE, like the size of a dinner plate. These took two and a half hours to prepare and 20 minutes to sew together each flower.

ALSO, let me say, this is a 6" block and the hexies are NOT one inch, but half inch. Hexies are measured along one of the six straight sides. 

There are women who do QUARTER INCH hexi quilts. 

NOT on my bucket list.

Splendid Sampler block #37, Dashing by Chocolate, is designed by Laura Flynn of Cotton Patch Quilt Shop, which is in University Park, FL. I can't imagine there is a quilt shop in Florida that I have not yet visited. The website gives you no idea where this is except an exit number off of I-75. I'm going to guess it is near U of F.

Temecula's Circa 2016 this week is called Old Maid's Puzzle. I think it is reminiscent of last week's baskets, but it is much easier to figure the assembly.

6.12.16

Our weather has been mild and lovely. I have had the windows open a number of times since the rainstorms passed. Its so nice to hear the birds in the morning.



Spent some time thinking about quilts. Surprised, aren't you? 
A woman I know from several of my quilt groups gave me a quilt her mother had made--AN APPLIQUE' QUILT! It is so charming and looks nice on my guest room bed. 



made some comfort blocks this past weekend--blocks for a quilt to be given to someone experiencing a life-changing event. In other words, something horrible that isn't breast cancer.


I'm working on FIVE secret applique' projects, but they are only secret from a few people here and there. QuiltyFriend has seen them all and says my applique' is improving. Always nice to hear. I will share pictures when they become less secret. One of them is the pineapples from a year ago. I just need to piece the blocks together, then quilt it. Don't know why I'm dragging my feet so. I think its because I get tempted by the start of something new.



Anyway, here is Splendid Sampler block #34, designed by  Amy Gibson. It is called Lemonade Block.

Yes, I cheated and didn't sew the curved pieces on the machine. They were such tiny squares, I just applique'd them.









Here is block #35, called The Wishful Garden.  It is designed by Kristyne Czepuryk.
You should click on one of the links above, because Kristyne designed her block with a boatload of embroidery. WISHFUL GARDEN, to me, means, "I wish I felt like doing all that embroidery, but I didn't, so I found a convenient striped fabric."

Here is the latest Circa 2016 from Temecula Quilt Company. It is called Baskets.

Ridiculously difficult to assemble. The directions are something like "Cut pieces these sizes, make it look like the picture." 

Aw, c'mon. You know I exaggerate. I DID have a difficult time trying to figure out where the pieces went, though.

6.9.16


Pink is NOT my favorite color, except when it is. Glad I planted Glads.

6.8.16

Oops, thought I saw kudzu on my street. There probably is some but this is not it. These leaves are shiny and it reminds me of the air-potato vines from Florida.











Pueraria montana
Kudzu has a flower, did you know that? And it makes a grapey tasting jelly. Who knew?

Still, I am NOT inspired to have some in my yard.

6.7.16

Remember my dejunkification? I got up to week 13 back in January. Well, I'm going to take up that task again. At least, that is my plan. AwaySon has tickets to come help with the basement, and also visit! There are a lot of tools and musical instruments that need new homes. There are collections of music that need to be sorted and dispatched to whatever target is to be their final destination. There are boxes of books that need to be re-gifted.
Stole this from a site that wants to teach me how to STORE my stuff. NOPE.

I have books on the main floors that I can part with. My plan is to go to each room and select my few most favorite things and fit them in one box to keep. Great plan, huh? Books I thought would be hard to part with, but I have a good idea of which reference books are worth keeping. Plus, LIBRARY. Who needs books when there is the library?




6.5.16


FINALLY we got some rain. Lucky for me, my three Knock-Out Rose bushes were planted about an hour before it began in earnest. We have had rain off and on and it has been wonderful.







A couple of my amaryllis have come up and I succumbed (sucame?) to the call of the annuals and bought some petunias. They were inexpensive and I was hoping they would last a week but they have done better than that. I think I got my money's worth. 

Petunias always remind me of when I lived with my grandmother and students at my elementary school were allowed to order a petunia for Mother's Day. We were told to bring in a dime and the Friday before Mother's Day, we would have our little plant. I wanted one very much because I was sure it would help my mother get well. I remember hopping off the bus and crossing the road to the house with the petunia behind my back in case my mother should watch from an upstairs window. I was so excited to have this little gift. When I got to the house, I was told I could not disturb my mother because she was sleeping. I don't remember if I every gave her the petunia or not.

Keeping up with Circa 2016. This is called Little Tree.
I think it is an odd little block. I put the blue one together a couple of times.





Block #33 of the Splendid Sampler was designed by Pat Sloan.  She called it Selvage Saver, but I did mine from fabric strips. It looks like it is waiting for a nice little applique'.

6.3.16


QuiltyFriend's hydrangea bush. 
She is called Mother because she has given up so many branches to start new plants here and there in our neighborhood. 

Isn't she lovely?

She is mother to three of my own hydrangeas.




I took these photos early one morning on a visit. 

The afternoons around here promise and promise rain but late in the day, ALL the hydrangeas are drooping. 

I keep hearing the thunder, but not much comes of it.

I am up to date with Splendid Sampler. Block #32 is called The Constant Needle and was designed by Laurie Simpson. Here is my version. I really enjoy applique.






6.1.16

Yesterday was Tea Time Tuesday, and I didn't even show you the most recent addition to my tea box.

I am trying this tea out. It tastes good, doesn't seem to need sugar, but I'm not exactly sure if it lives up to its claims.

Only the top one has caffeine, so that suits me quite well. You drink the Lean in the morning, the Lost at night and the Burning after any meal.

It's interesting and the cost was a little lower than I expected.





I also have more of an old favorite, Decaf Ginger Peach.  I now wish I bought the travel tin, as well. This is a nice little tea to have hot when flying and all the stewards have is black.









Finally finished Splendid block #31, Blossoming, designed by Jennifer Reynolds. Even though I chose to do mine in all one color, it took some time. Of all the thousands of people doing the Sampler, I believe I will be number 23 or 24 to submit my Blossoming block. I am proud of that.

5.30.16

MONDAY MANTRA
Keep on perseverin'
Have finished some blocks.

MINE
Gypsy block from the Free Block Saturday at Quilt Shop on Main. The sample in the directions was gray scale, so I was not sure where the green should go, or the gold or the print. 







OOPS. As originally designed.

I made the specified numbers of shapes from the specified colors, then arranged them the way I liked them. I really like the way it came out.





I also finished my Second Saturday Sampler block from the quilt Amish with a Twist, that I am doing at Bless My Stitches Quilt Shop. This was my favorite so far on the scale of how easy it was. Or maybe I am getting better with the seam matching. I think I only used the seam ripper once.




Southern Appalachian Modern Quilt Guild block of the month was a study in half square triangles. We played with some manipulatives made in colored foam sheets and had contests for tangram type puzzles. 

This guild has WONDERFul programs and great leadership. They are involved on the national level and, basically, this type of guild is what I have been hoping to find. 
I like the emphasis on the education of the guild member. I love my other guilds but their interpretation of education is educating the community and charity work for the community. That is not what I pay my fee for. I've done my time educating the community.
Temecula's Circa 2016 block this week was Fox and Geese. My blocks really are square, just not flat at the time of taking the pictures. One of my geese was flying the wrong way in the blue square, so I had to take it apart and straighten it out. I guess the last press didn't take.

Splendid Sampler Block #29 is Scrappy Happy Heart, by Christa Watson. It was fun to do. I was able to use some pieces I had relegated to the scrap-for-dog beds pile. I felt thrifty.

Splendid Sampler block #30 by Amy Ellis, is called Simple Surprises. It was enjoyable.

Those of us involved in the Splendid Sampler got a letter from founder Pat Sloan the other day, where she told us, " The little Secret I want to share is that most of us ... yes... MOST of us are not making each block as it it comes out.
Life happens, you miss a few ... and then 'That Feeling' occurs. That one of 'feeling behind'. If you have been here more than 10 minutes you know this is a JOURNEY and not a Race, which is a huge relief right?
The next day, the block that showed up had INTENSE embroidery on it. I think she realized we all needed a peptalk. I started my block #31, but it will not be ready by the end of this post.





5.24.16

For my OregonBrother:

It's a NEW DAY!!!!!!
Wild strawberry, growing wherever it chooses.

There is a bird's nest in my fuchsia plant
because it looked like home to a pair of
wrens. There are three eggs at last count.

5.23.16

You know you are old when one of your former students is a headliner at an AARP event...

5.22.16

It has been a very weird, slow, week for me. Last weekend, I helped at the home of friends, clearing away and making new spaces from old. It was a bittersweet task. There were lots of memories, lots of tears, lots of laughter. This is the third time in less than two years I have lost someone and this task has been mine to do. 

The week went on to be slow and reflective, motivation-less. I couldn't puzzle it out. There were things I wanted to do, things I needed to do, but I couldn't get going. Then I realized I was grieving the loss of my longest-time best friend. Shouldn't I recognize grief by now?

Enough of that; I went back to the routines that helped me before. I made lists of three things to accomplish, allowed myself to be pleased if I could accomplish one. I'm getting more done and feeling more settled.

I didn't do much else last week, but I tried very hard to stay up to date with Splendid and Temecula:

Splendid Sampler block #27 was designed by Pat Sloan and is called Sewing Machine. I like the finished block, but this is where I got slowed down the most this week. Part of our work in making new space was clearing out a sewing room and this bock had me going back and revisiting those moments from the weekend. 

Splendid Sampler block #28 is by Charise Randall and is called Stitching Fashion. Mine is modified to retro-fit the dress to the 19th century, since I am using Civil War reproduction fabrics. Also, I didn't think I could handle that much foundation paper-piecing, so I appliquéd. Appliqué allows me the chance to zen in front of the television, needle in hand.

Temecula Circa 2016 for May 13, the designer called Rail Fence. I put mine together in a slightly different way; more like the Rail Fence I am familiar with. Hitler has ruined a lot of quilt blocks for me. I can't stand to see one that looks like it has a swastika pattern, even though the pre-Hitler swastikas are still present in Hindu and Buddhist art.



Temecula  Circa 2016 for May 20, doesn't have a name. I would call it 28 pieces = a 3 inch block. Twice.

I can tell I'm not up to speed yet. One block has too much contrast, the other, not enough. Oh well. I am still sticking to using only batik scraps. 

 have also made some headway on the 120 half-square triangles that are due any day now. 
Step 1 cut squares
Step 2 mark lighter squares
Step 3 sew on marked lines
Step 4 set seams
Step 5 cut and press




I am only a few minutes away from cut and press but I will leave that for next week. I think it is time to clean house! And if the nice weather holds, I will wash off the deck. Again.