Sunday, December 26, 2010

End of the Christmas stay-cation

Snow fell on Stars in Georgia (making fun of license plates which say "stars fell on Alabama").
I am probably the only quilter alive over the age of 50 who had not made a "rag" quilt.
Not any more!  I just finished one.
Here is the back story:  Mother was cleaning stuff out and came across a big box of flannel squares she'd cut to make a rag quilt, but then she lost interest (who knows how long ago), so she set the box aside for me.  I brought it home last summer and also set it aside.
Yesterday I got it out and started sorting.  Some squares were in pairs with batting between, so I began stitching those first.
The directions were for 9 inch blocks with smaller 4-patch groups alternating.  Well, that wasn't going to work, since I had 8 inch squares to start with.  Maybe she'd been working from a different pattern?
She had the soft sides of the flannel layered together, so I reversed that to put the soft side out. Marked a big old X to stitch on (note the sandpaper under the fabric helps it stay put to mark on).
I kept it simple and went with the 8 inch blocks with 5 1/2 inch batting between and 1 inch joining seams.
You make a LOT of squares.  My rag quilt is 9 blocks across by 11 down.  I think that is a nice 1 person throw size, so that is 99 x 2 squares!
These are the rows laid out. I resorted to marking the rows with a Sharpie so I wouldn't get them out of order.
This is the BACK side once they are all stitched together and stitched 1 inch in all the way around.
I still have to do all the clipping and then take it to a laundromat to wash.  I have listened to quilters talk about the shedding this quilt will do, so I know not to clip seams indoors or to wash (initially) in my own washer.
Here are the unclipped seams.  The instructions said to stitch them open.  I don't really know why.
Neither does Kitten.
Nor this silly guy (son #2)

Nor does son #1
We missed you #3.  Hope to see #3 soon.
MIL update: She was out of the hospital and back at her sister's house yesterday afternoon. Evidently these "things" happen, and they had happened to her before. She'll see a doctor in town sometime this week.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Xmas misc

Merry Christmas to All!
Eron (son #1) came over and helped me learn how to use the rapid-shooting on my new camera.
Here is what a 6' 3" guy doing capoeira in my front hallway looks like:

A mid-air shot just before his feet hit the ground.
Fun!  I didn't try it.
I finished Adam's quilt this morning.
I love it so much I may have to buy it back from him.  Or rent it for a couple of years.
And Eron caught me on my own camera.  Dang, I should have smiled.
Oh, on a sad note, MIL is in the hospital (rectal prolapse), so hubby had to run over to Kennesaw to be with her.  I made him take his medications, shaving kit and a big blanket in case he gets caught over there.  We are expecting snow in Atlanta so he may not be able to get back home and she could be there a while. 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

the aftermath

I love getting flowers to decorate when company is coming. (I found the doily at Goodwill for $2.00.)

I am writing this in a calm state of mind (Cesar Millan would be proud). My pups are quiet; my Kitten on the mend.  MIL is on her way to her sister's house after having dinner with my husband and his ex and their children. 

The visit went just fine. I kept meals simple (and here at home though there were NO problems).  Last night we had chicken cordon bleu, twice baked potatoes, broccoli and cauliflower and salad.  I unwrapped the frozen chicken and potatoes, stuck them on aluminum foil on a cookie sheet and into the oven for 45 minutes they went.  I went back to quilting "Nests" and made this boo-boo:
I un-sewed it and used a lint brush to pick up all the little white bits left from pulling out the errant threads.
It worked really well.
On Tuesday I got back the report from my annual physical.  Cholesterol is up, triglycerides are up, sodium up, and so is calcium.  The doctor recommends better diet and increased exercise, so this morning I got up extra early to feed the livestock (3 dogs and Kitten), and, as I left at 7, I told my husband be sure to close the "water closet" door when he locks the dogs up in the master bathroom (so they don't bother his 92 year old mother).  Our oldest dog, Scooter, has an unfortunate habit of going in the water closet and then turning around and closing the door on himself thereby getting trapped.  I rescued him three times Tuesday, while the door installer was here, until I started remembering to close it before I put them in there.  It is traumatic for Scooter because the first time it happened, over a year ago, the lid was up and he was all wet when we found him. His panicked bark is enough to get "mommy" running to help him, but this morning I was at the swimming pool getting some much needed exercise and I depended on hubby to take care of things until I got back.

Here is what I found on the back of the water closet door when I got back:
Bloody scratch marks!  All over the door, blood on the tiles and in the grout, even on the toilet bowl! I was steamed. I hadn't been told my baby had gotten locked in, and to see that he must have been in there quite a while;  it just made me mad. I examined Scooter and could only find one damaged claw, so I think, physically at least, he is okay. 

But things are calm now.  I have the house to myself while they are at dinner. The quilting is all done on "Nests". I used about 10 bobbins of thread, and look at all the safety pins I took out!
Now I can work on binding (Kitten permitting).
Is one leg up like being given "the finger?"
Or is this the evil eye?

Cat Gets Stuck in Window

This is NOT my Kitten (though it looks just like her from what we can see)!
This is a disturbing video, but thank God, there is a hero at the end of it.
Poor, poor puss!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My Vacation 2010

Kitten has been resting while I have been cleaning.
My PSA for the holidays:  Clean under and behind your dryer.  We don't want to start any fires.
And since my MIL was coming to stay for a couple of nights, we decided to make repairs to the front door.
This is before.  First you have to replace rotted wood.
Nasty. The door is taking three days to install.
I had made other plans for my stay-cation, but MIL's visit took me (hubby knew but didn't disclose until the last minute) by surprise. He (hubby) thought it would not be a big deal since he would take us out for all meals.  OH HELL NO.  I reminded him that his mother is rumored to be incontinent, and that's why, after 12 years of NO visits to us, we are able to have her this year instead of her going to other family members homes.  I don't think dining out would be very enjoyable with me worried about cleaning up after her in a public place, and then having to deal with her not believing she has a problem and her being embarrassed.
I managed to stock the house with groceries and clean the important rooms. 
Kitten found a patch of sun on the kitchen table.
And managed to spy a bird on the feeder outside the kitchen window.
We found out Kitten has a UTI, so along with all the other things we spent half a day at the vet's office.
Remind me to make travel arrangements for next year's holidays.
Staying home is wearing me out.
 I'd like to get some sun on my legs.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Looking like Christmas

I finally got a tree up.  I decided it looks just fine without adornment. Plus I got all snuffley and went to bed early.  I slept 12 hours, got up and finished reading All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy. I'd read The Road, so  a co-worker recommended Horses, and I have to say I agree it is superior.
So, the book done, off to the sewing room.
There is a whole of stitching to do.
Gotta love my dollar store gardening gloves with the fingers cut off!
Merry stitching!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

First Nikon photos

My husband has a hard time buying me gifts, so I help him out. I have been wanting a really boss camera since I was about 15, so, when hubby was on the verge of committing to buying me a Nikon 3100, but only if I shopped for it with him, I took matters into my own hands.  I went into  Atlanta (thank you Garmin), to Showcase Camera, and purchased myself a Nikon 7000.  It was a pretty embarrassing experience.  I seemed to be the only non-professional photographer in the place.  The questions unnerved me: "What photo processing system do you use?"  And the advice: "You can use two SD cards to control quality." What? Yep, overbought a little, but I am so worth it (the Koala sewing cabinet will have to wait).
This is my first photo. I was sitting in my bedroom reading the quick-start brochure, and this was handy. 
Rocky was close too.
And Kitten, of course.
The next day I ventured to the sewing room.
I think I am going to have fun with this "little" toy.
I have already signed up for a class at the Showcase school; I have a feeling I may be spending a good bit of time there in the new year, so now I am a little paranoid that my computer is going to give out.  I replaced the monitor two weeks ago, and I HATED the new monitor's "stretched out" pictures, but I found a way to get the display squared up.

On a wholly random note; I used to practice Eagle Combat Jujitsu under Gary Brown and the Midori Yama Budokai system.  It was a million years ago (1994).  I am the blonde brown-belt female next to the guy in the red gi.  Our instructor, Gary Brown, is in the blue.

I am gonna go put up my Christmas tree.
Peace and good photos to all!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday musings

"Look! My eye matches your shirt!" Said Kitten as she watched the birds outside the kitchen window.  
 I cleaned up the sewing room and pinned my latest works on the wall where I could enjoy them as I sew.
I am going to tackle the quilting on "Nests" next.  I would love to give this to a certain son, but I doubt I will have it bound by Christmas 2010.
I'll just jump in with my walking foot and see what happens. I am a little afraid, since this was one of the first tops I pieced two years ago.  It is kinda wonky. I have learned a lot about piecing since then.
I added a cheerful little tree to my sewing room window. 
 This son (below), not the one referred to above, had a birthday this week. Twenty-six years ago he was born in Orange Park, Florida.  Now he is trying to grow a handle-bar mustache.  I am not sure what type of quilt I will end up making for him someday.  This son will appreciate recycled clothing in his, so maybe something with shirts from Goodwill (or the ones left behind in the closet-taking up fabric storage room)?
He came by my work, and we went on a little walk down the halls of the school.  We went by the cosmetology department, but they were through giving haircuts for the quarter, so he couldn't get trimmed up. He needed to borrow my car because, while his car was in Gainesville, GA; his keys were in downtown Atlanta. Then, when he brought my car back, he nearly left with MY keys in his coat pocket.

Oh, oh, I just had a pretty great idea for a quilt for him.  I just need to collect Che Guevara t-shirts until I have enough to make an "El Che" t-shirt quilt.  Thanks for helping me think of it!