Monday, June 20, 2022

a mostly lost week and the horse quilt

This has not been a good sewing week.

Or a good week most of the days...

Monday I did accomplish a layout for the Positivity blocks.

I got rows labelled and the blocks picked up and no further sewing done.  I didn't go to my guild's sew-in.  I don't even remember what I did, but it was day one of the hubby's vacation, so I'm sure we did something together.  At least lunch, right?!

Tuesday I had to work.  Bleh, but it's okay.  I do like my job and my coworkers are mostly cool, and our customers are generally good people.  It just cuts into my sewing time.

Wednesday morning I woke up with a scratchy throat.  It had been blazing hot Tuesday and never really cooled down overnight, so the air conditioner was getting its first big workout of the year.  I figured it was just dry, funky air.

I was wrong.

After doing my usual cleaning chores and a trip to the insurance people to review our policy (which, thankfully, didn't even happen due to an unforeseen scheduling conflict on their part), I didn't even care if I ate lunch, I was so tired.  My throat was not terribly painful, but annoying enough.  (Sore throats are probably the WORST symptom of illness in my book!)

So I slept a lot of the rest of Wednesday.

Thursday dawned cooler, but my throat was still sore.  I was still exhausted with even little chores.  I slept a lot of Thursday too.

Friday I was scheduled to work.  6am Friday my alarm went off and I went "nope!" and called the boss to let them know what was happening.  I would not be there.  I went back to bed.

A few hours later, I woke up feeling like I had enough energy to throw in a load of laundry and then I went back to bed.  Well, reading, but nothing strenuous.  With naps.

When the load was done, I switched it into the dryer and started another load and figured I'd better take one of the at-home COVID tests I have.  If I'm missing work with something that has symptoms typical for the dreaded plague, I'd better have a test to either let me go back when I'm feeling better, or direct how long I'm out.

Pretty clearly a negative.

My sister-in-law, who barely finished high school and is a classroom aide at an elementary school, offered the advice that these tests are often wrong and you have to take them at the right time.  I'm pretty sure my bachelor of science degree in microbiology, my medical techology certification and more than 20 years doing lab work in those fields makes me more qualified than 99% of the people I know to do this test RIGHT.

(Just in case, though, being a real scientist, I read the directions and asked the CDC for guidance on when taking the test was the appropriate time.)

(Also, I did not throat-punch my sister-in-law.  That would have ruined father's day for most of the family.)

Anyways, I have some other bug that migrated into my sinuses on Saturday, so I decided I was okay enough to attend my youngest niece on my side's graduation open house and present this quilt!

She didn't seem as surprised as I expected, so maybe they've found my blog?  Whatever the case, she loved it and everyone was properly impressed.  I confessed to a large number of swear words being part of the construction, but it was worth it.  (But no, I will not be making another one any time soon, thankyouverymuch.)

Size: 60x60"
Pieced and quilted by me!

I'm excited to finally have this quilt gifted.  And true to form, I was sewing the label on the morning of the party.  Not that it was a big chore, but I knew I'd do something like that to myself.  (I might not have, had I not gotten sick, but we'll never know now!)

After the party, we took my dad out to dinner for Father's Day and gave him his (pathetic, but he wouldn't tell me anything to buy him and got mad when I tried to get him a new lawn mower, so he got a gift card to Barnes and Noble) gift.  We had a good time, even if our service was subpar.  (We've had this guy before and he was good, so I guess maybe he was off his game that night?)

Sunday I felt even more human, though a cough had replaced the runny, stuffy nose of Saturday.  We celebrated with the hubby's family, grilling meats and playing yard games.  I got a sunburn in the shade (of course I did!), but we had a fun time there, too.  My father-in-law just got a used UTV (think cross between a golf cart and a 4-wheeler), so all the kids (old and young) were taking turns riding and driving around the big yard on it.

And that brings us back to Monday.  Today.

I'm feeling more like myself.  The cough isn't bad and the congestion is minimal.

So I'm trying to catch up.  I basically lost five days.

I've already gotten groceries and have a batch of snickerdoodles in the oven - about half the dough now baked as I type - and will soon get back into the sewing room to finish the stuff I started last Monday and never got back to.

Not many photos, sorry.  Maybe this week will go better?

Happy quilting!

Monday, June 13, 2022

just more blocks

Again, just sewing blocks and cat hammocks.  The hammocks aren't anything new and the fabrics generally aren't very exciting, so I just sew those as a warm-up and move on.

I finished the blocks for the Positivity Quilt Along on Friday, but haven't moved any further on getting that top sewn together.  This weekend was a little too crazy for that
Today maybe?

Let's see the final five sets of blocks!

The quilt along has plenty of time to join and participate - I'm way ahead of the game.  So if you're interested, definitely click the link above and see what it's all about.  This block is super easy and fast and fun and the quilts are going to a great group.

I also got a few more Seeing Stars blocks completed.

This puts me at 14 blocks.  I think there are 24, but I could be wrong.  Maybe there are only 20?  Whatever the case, it seems the bin is never going to be empty of star parts.

Just keep sewing!

While I have been sewing, the kitties have been outside a lot, in their safe little enclosure (that the chipmunks have apparently finally learned is NOT a safe space!), but sometimes they come up to check on me.

Freddie, who never photographs well, likes to lay upside down behind my chair.  Okay, lets be real.  He likes to lay upside down wherever he chooses to flop, but when he is in the sewing room, it is a little closer to a chair on wheels than I think is wise.  But for this photo, he rolled over and glared at me.  Seems right.

Toby also does not like to pose cute for photos.  He always moves when he senses the camera, thinking his less-than-adorable poses will stop me.  The used to, but I've gotten wise to his shenanigans.  Here he is demonstrating that, unlike human men, he can multi-task.  He is having a bath, making sure the catnip fishy is under control and, of course, supervising my sewing.  (I'm not sure what he would do in the event that my sewing became less productive, but it sure seems like he is checking on me!)

So though there are blocks to share, not much else is new.  This morning has been a mess.  I tried to return pop bottles as part of my grocery shopping trip, only to find the bottle return room is closed for repairs.  So I took them to another store, planning to stop for some pumpkin puree made for kitties at a local pet store which wasn't so much out of the way now, only to find the pet store didn't open for another 25 minutes.  It was close to home, but sheesh!

Good thing the cookies I baked for work turned out okay.  (I tried one just to be sure - nothing like a chocolate cookie with peanut butter chips for a power breakfast!)

My guild sewing day is today and I'm debating going.  Lots of factors to consider, but I did get up and get dressed for leaving the house already, so maybe since I'm already wearing pants?


Happy quilting!

PS The hubby has the next two weeks off.  I think he believes I sit on the couch, staring at the walls, when he is not here.  I do not.  There are chores.  And so many things.  So I might go bananas soon.  He is off fishing right now, which is a blessing.  Please, Mother Nature, give us good fishing weather!  (I love him, but I have figured out my own routines in the past four years of working only part-time, and I do not want to spend every waking minute wandering around Menard's with him, okay?!)

Monday, June 6, 2022


Lots of sewing this week!

Lots of hammocks, but also lots of blocks!

I started on the Positivity Quilt Along blocks last week and got eight made.  This week I got four more sets of eight made!  This puts me at the halfway point.

The yellow is not all the same - the other colors are.

I started cutting the fabric that represents the yellow blocks and realized I wasn't going to even get three out of that, so back to the stash.  The other two fabrics only gave one each, but that's okay.  Using up the stash is not a bad thing!

(I just wish my camera would take better photos of the blocks.  They all look off and washed out.  Except the yellow parts photo.  That one looks pretty true.)

I also worked on the Seeing Stars blocks.  As much as I hate this color combo, I'm pushing through, forcing myself to do one block a day before I get to start on funner stuff.

Four more done.  I think I have about 9 to go.  Maybe 8?  Whatever.  They take forever and the colors, again, look wrong here.  But proof that they're sewn together, right?

While I was sewing and the boys were outside (with access to come back in as they please, but they don't because there are SO MANY things to watch out there!), Gabby ventured out of my bedroom and down to my sewing room!

She checked out everything and even played on the floor with a catnip fish for a bit.  She stayed maybe a half hour and then went back to her window seat in the bedroom.  We usually keep the door shut - to keep Toby out, not to keep her in - but when the boys are outside a lot, we can leave it open and Toby doesn't hunt her as much.  (He is busy hunting other chipmunks...they caught another since last week's photo.)

Lastly, at our last guild meeting, a challenge was thrown out.  With a little searching on Pinterest for ideas, I actually turned up the original challenge from Sarah's Confessions of a Fabric Addict blog from way back in 2012.  So I've linked to that instead of explaining.  (I was looking for ideas, but got more than I bargained for!)

I went to her linky for challenge participants (a few posts later than the original post) and found this block from Alison at Little Bunny Quilts and decided to give the challenge a shot.

The challenge was to use scraps, so I made no effort to make more than one block.  I just decided I wanted to participate.  The guild is kinda falling apart for lack of participation in a lot of things, and even show-and-tell is pathetic some weeks.  Maybe this will help?

(I wish I had flipped the pink positions, but I was struggling to make my brain think this through - it's a disappearing 9-patch.)

I'm off shortly to go cut fabrics to make pillowcases - another guild project - so I gotta make this short and sweet!

Happy quilting!

Monday, May 30, 2022

h2h donation, a week off and a new project

First up, the one bigger quilt I made for a Project Quilting challenge earlier this year, will be heading out for the Hands 2 Help challenge shortly.

Which one was that?

The pattern is called Star'd and more info is in the first link above.

I had hopes that the brown/orange blocks would grow up to become another quilt to send along with this one (or to another group - size matters here), but I stalled out on that one.  It's just not making me happy, so I set it aside in favor of the GIANT pile of fabrics for cat hammocks.

I will get back to it.

In fact, I have plans to do so soon.

But that is all because I started another project.  To be fair, this is a quilt along and has a deadline.  Check out Preeti's Positivity Quilt Along for all the details.

Yesterday I raided the stash and made a few blocks.  The background will be the grey throughout - I think...

And because I was struggling to wrap my brain around how many blocks the pieces I cut would make, I ended up with eight, not four!

It takes 80 blocks, so this is a tiny dent, but it felt good to sew a quilt block.

She gives you instructions in one of the posts within that link and it's super easy.  not even really any points to match, though I did try to make sure where seams do butt up against each other to do my best.  Helps keep things square and all!

I'll be working on these and the brown blocks alternately.  Sort of.

But I missed a week of blogging.


Here's a tiny clue...

See that spike?

That's where the rotary cutter slipped off the ruler and went across the side/end of my left index finger.

I was in my pajamas, just about to wrap it up for the morning and go shower and have lunch, enjoying a Saturday off work and home alone (hubby was fishing).  I put pressure on it, dressed myself, got the cats in from their outside playland and drove myself to the urgent care.

Oh, and I called the hubby to tell him where I was going and request him to meet me there.

They weren't busy and we decided gluing was a better option than stitching, and in no time, I was headed home.  It hurt a lot that day, but other than if you whack it just wrong, has not hurt at all since.

I am on the lookout for a cut-proof glove, but have been cautiously continuing to cut and sew, after a few days hiatus.  (I'm always careful, but after 25 years, I guess it was just time for the initiation?)

Thankfully I had a helper cat to get me through that first bit.  Reading a book alone would have been shameful.

I also had a little bonus time on Monday...

We were once again in the "triangle of doom" (which this time is more diamond-shaped) with a tiny power outage.  After having been out at work on Friday for about 3 hours, I groaned when it flickered out again at home on Monday.  But this doesn't even reach the mile up the road to where I work from home (we're about dead center here) and it only lasted a little more than an hour.  

Being home in a power outage means you grab a book and start thinking about where flashlights are in case it lasts past dark.  At work in a power outage is much more interesting.  We stay open.  Farmers are much more resilient folks and expect their favorite store to be so as well.  We did not disappoint, and in fact had a pretty good time.  It was kinda like camping mixed with a garage sale.

I also decided to put in a small garden this year.  I'm nearly out of canned tomatoes, and that is a hassle to find somewhere to purchase quality fruits in bulk, so I decided to grow my own.  It's a small area, which I hope will help me with the whole weed issue.

Six tomatoes (five for canning, one for eating), a row of beans, a hill of cucumbers and a few kohlrabi.  I have more space, but decided to plant what I know we will eat and not get too carried away.  If this goes well, I'll make it bigger next year.

I opted for the soaker hose to make watering simpler, and when I went out this morning with some landscaping staples to get that hose better under control, saw a bunny in there already.  Thankfully they don't like tomato plants, but we plan to get a fence around it soon.

After garden tidying, I came in and sat down to type, and the hubby (home today for the holiday) heard growling.  Freddie brought me a prize.

We ran him back outside...

First chipmunk of 2022.

But, my love, that is an OUTSIDE TOY.

(Clearly he is back outside now and you can maybe see the reflection, as this photos was taken through the window.  He and Toby are playing now.  They can come back in when they're done - and leave the dead thing outside.  We'll get in there later and get the dead thing out.  And I'll treat them for worms if needed.  I would much rather let their lives be enriched with natural hunting.)

Time to go sew!

Happy quilting!