Tuesday, February 23, 2016

plugging away...slowly...

It seems I sew like mad for a while and then don't.  I'm sure most of you know how that goes.

I got all my rows together for the Retro quilt...

...and started sewing them together and then stopped...

Last weekend was my guild's sewing weekend, so after working there on Saturday (more on that in a minute), I decided I had to finish this top before I could start anything else AT HOME.  So Sunday I sewed those dreaded long seams again...

And a top was born!

The zig-zag edges are to be trimmed, but I think I'll wait until after I quilt it.  Or not.  I haven't decided yet.  But it's a top!  And it's amusing to me how all those fabrics fade from their brightness when you see the whole top together.  The pattern says it's 50x80".  Okay.

And look!  A flat quilt hanging on my clothesline!  How often do you see that?  Considering we had 50mph winds just two days before, I'd say this is a win!

So that wind storm...it led to a power outage.  We had a Generac generator put in about a year ago.  Because of the ice storm that knocked our power out for 4+ days the winter before.  Our wiring in the house is wackadoodle (yay old farm houses!) and while the installers were able to wire our furnace (yay heat!) and our pump (yay water!) and our fridge (strangely on it's own breaker - yay cold food!), the lights and outlets were spotty.  With this storm, we found the three outlets (and no lights) that worked and were able to run an extension cord so the hubby could watch TV while I went to the library (downtown rarely loses power) and sewed.  And a hot shower in a dark bathroom beats no water every single time.

The power was out for about 16 hours - and most people I know never lost it - so we were VERY thankful for our generator that runs automatically and uses the natural gas line already coming to our house for our furnace.  It was pricey, but worth it.  But, a word to the wise.  If you get one of these lovely, unmovable pieces of equipment installed...do NOT put it right below your bedroom window.  They're kinda noisy.  And hard to sleep through.  Yep.  That's where mine is.  But at least it drowned out the noise of the crazy windstorm!  (Silver linings, folks.)

So while the hubby played video games via generator, I sewed at the (quiet) library.  (Well, quiet aside from me and my crazy friends...)  I worked on Micheal's quilt.  I took a pile of wrinkly, but washed, fabric and ironed and cut and sewed.

The superhero fabric and black I'm using are these (which I think you've seen before):

I love the scribbles in the black.  I think they fit the comic book theme perfectly.

And I forgot to take photos of the colored fabrics (of course), but you can at least see the yellow here in my all-the-pieces-cut photo I snapped before sewing.

Cutting seemed to take forever, but I think part of the problem is there was no music.  At home, I've got tunes plugged into my ears and I don't think about the time.  I was also hungry and waiting for lunch...mmm...local deli with 4"-tall sandwiches on homemade bread...drool...

By the time I headed home, I had the blocks partially sewn.  I would have stayed longer and sewed, but I was at a good stopping point and everyone else was packing up to go.

This is how they'll be sewn together.  Pardon the edge of my sewing machine in there - I took the photo at home and had set them there as I pressed.

I might have gotten more done at the sew-in, but I had a slight sewing emergency.  The bulb in my machine burned out.  I have never had this happen before!  So I took apart the machine enough to get the bulb out and off the the local quilt shop I went.  My bulb has a skinny screw-in part.  She had fat screw-in bulbs.  So I had to drive somewhere.  Sigh.  Maybe Wal-Mart has one?  It's where I got my machine and they have started carrying fabric and such again.  Nope.  Not a bulb in the craft area to be seen.  One that might fit was found in the light bulb section, so I bought it.  (And resisted temptation of all the chocolate I walked past.)  Then I stopped at the local hardware store on the way back to the library.  They have an AMAZING selection of light bulbs.  More than Wal-Mart (but not nearly the volume of everyday-type bulbs) even.  They had a bulb that is skinnier, but otherwise the same.  And it fits and works.  Yay for sewing with light!  (I might have tried without the light on, but I was sewing black and I sorta dropped the bulb and broke it a little so I couldn't put it back in...)

(I also purchased a cheap paintbrush and cleaned out all the lint that had accumulated in the lightbulb area.  Based on what I cleaned out, I should probably do that more often...)

The craziest part of the whole adventure is that I am a young woman (okay, okay, maybe not that young any more, but I'm not OLD either) and I walked into a hardware store.  Alone.  A place known to be frequented by older men and generally staffed by older, helpful men.  And not one person offered me help.  (The Emo kid at the checkout was a treat, though...*eyeroll*)  Maybe I'm losing my touch?  No worries.  My dad taught me my way around a hardware store and I've even taught the hubby a thing or two!

In my last post I teased with the (hopefully) final fabric choices for the Bonnie Hunter (not so much a) Mystery Quilt.  I did take a photo this time.

This is next up!  I still have hand-sewing to do...those elephants need their fringe and the next of the Merry Merry Snowmen is waiting for applique, but we'll see what wins...

I also have another recipe to share.  My company has a lab out in Wisconsin.  They do the same stuff (mostly) that we do (we do a bit more, but we've been doing it longer).  Last week, the gal who started out as a tech doing what I do, but is transitioning into a lead tech/management role with their increase in volume, was out to observe the stuff they don't yet do.  (Everybody following this?)  She likes peanut butter.  She mentioned this in a phone-meeting after hearing about the Buckeye brownies I shared a few posts ago.  (Yes, we have squirrels at our meetings.  One time an actual photo of a squirrel got a seat at the table.)  So I made a peanut butter cheesecake.  Because why not?  I mean, peanut butter cookies are the obvious choice, but most of you reading this know me better than that.  No photos, but it was AMAZING.  And one note - the recipe says not to use chocolate chips for the ganache.  I did.  Store-brand chips, even.  Turned out just fine.  And cost WAY less than fancier baking bars.  (Not that I mind paying for good ingredients when I need to - real vanilla is a must at my house - I just don't care to pay for stuff if I don't have to.)  I wish I had another piece right now.

So I think that's all I have to share.  I should try to blog more often so my posts don't get so long, but, well, life.  You know?  (And sometimes I just don't do that much...)

Happy quilting!


Just Another Quilter said...

We also have a Generac generator. It sits under MJJR's window. Our power would often go out. The power company finally did some work on the poles and we have more reliable service now.

Ruth said...

I love your triangle quilt! And I love your posts - very interesting, with little side trips of your life. We have a small generator but it's in our 5th wheel, so not really handy if the power goes off. It has gone off once or twice since we moved here, but only for a couple hours. I really don't like having an all electric house again, but that's what they build now. If it goes out very long, we could take our trailer out and stay in it a while - if we haven't sold it yet. It's not on the market now, but we're thinking about selling it. We also have a camp stove in our shed that I could use to cook on if it goes out. Or we could go to our son/DIL's house. They heat part of their house with wood and have a grill. Your super hero quilt will be a big hit, I'm sure.

---"Love" said...

Like Ruth, I too love your triangle quilt! I keep thinking I have it figured out, and then I see it a different way. Anyway, it is great! The gray fabric looks great with the Hero fabric too, but I really like your Mystery quilt fabrics. After reading about all you've accomplished, I should be inspired to get busy myself, but I'm just feeling lazier each day it seems. (I think it's called "creeping old age"!) I have two small projects that have been lying out on the cutting board, but I've not touched them in two weeks! ....Again, maybe tomorrow! ---"Love"

a good yarn said...

Oh Katie, I love your posts! So much going on what with you juggling projects and all. I'm trying to imagine my local library letting us sew there. Fat chance! The triangle quilt has turned out amazing and the superhero quilt looks like it will too. You have such a good eye for balancing colour and pattern. My dad would scarf down peanut butter cheesecake. I might treat him to some but weekend. It's too hot and humid here for much activity. Summer was late this year, more's the pity.