Friday, June 30, 2017

I'm here

Just a bit bogged down in clearing out mom's belongings. I can't wait until I don't have to make this trip anymore. However, the work involved in this task makes me want to spend more time decluttering my own home. I surely don't want to leave the task to my sons. So it's just another thing to try to balance into my day.

Nevertheless, my hand quilting continues, and I got some work done on the patriotic project I hope to finish this weekend.

After I finish stitching these blue units together, i have to make 16 more 3" string blocks in the neutrals and assemble my wallhanging of Dawn's Early Light.

In other news, I decided it's time to get my health and weight back under control. I'm over on Sparkpeople as Joknits, if anyone wants to join me. They were quicker to the web than weight watchers, they are free to join, and their mobile app is pretty good, although I have trouble getting the barcode part of the app working well on my current phone. I like the way you can customize your tracker to track micronutrients as well as carbs, fats, and protein, and of course, total calories. It interfaces well with my fitbit too.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Hand Quilting

Although I have another hand quilting project that is stalled out in the closet of the forgotten UFOs, I decided that I just couldn't machine quilt the COTDN tabletopper. So this weekend, I managed to get the center section just about finished.

I have seen people hand quilt without a hoop, so I tried it on one of the triangles. Result:  The fabric didn't lay flat. So I am back to using a hoop, rocker stitch, very small between needle. The downside of that is that I have no quilting callus on my under-finger, so I need to stitch a little each day to toughen it up. Proud to say, I haven't bled on the backing with all the poking into that sore finger.

Much to do this week, with a looming trip to a graduation upstate.

The fawns are out and about in our woods and the youngest bucks are proudly sporting stubby little antlers. As we move into July, our walks will slow down, because the wild raspberries are coming into season. They are so tender that I can't bring them home without bruising them to a pulp, so they are food for the trail.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Rainy Day Stitchin

Today is kind of a blah day. Spent the morning trying to put away everything I've brought home from cleaning out mom's house so far, and managed to get that done. After a late lunch, I got out my accuquilt and cut some strips (of the correct width) to work on the blue HSTs for Dawn's Early Light. For the last few hours, I've been stitching COTDN. I think I will actually finish piecing it today.
Ever onward!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

I have the chucklin blues now

Full disclosure:  I have a master's degree in engineering, which required hours and hours of really brutal higher mathematics. I hope they don't rescind my diplomas because I can't do basic arithmetic anymore.

Thankfully, I was only intending to crank out a test block of the blue/neutral HSTs.  I did cut about twenty or thirty of them matter, there will be other ways to use them.

So, I started hacking away at 1.5" strips without giving it much thought. I need to make a triangular unit of HSTs and extra blue triangles, mate it to a string pieced triangle and attach it to a 6" finished block that is a four patch layout of 2 red friendship stars+2string pieced squares.

So take a look at what I did:

I made a mini!

I guess I need to start hacking 2.5" strips this afternoon. Sheesh, I amaze myself sometimes.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Mission Accomplished

Have I finished something? Well, no.

But  I sort of met the goals I set out for myself at the end of yesterday's post.  Just had to reduce some of them to a lick and a promise approach.

Sewing machine cleaned, oiled, gears greased.  Sewing station not perfect, but clean enough to move on to the next step.

With the advent of hot hot weather, I have been trying to only use my little travel iron, and use it sparingly. I batch things up for one big pressing event. Have to be energy efficient in an un-airconditioned sewing room. It gets some passive cooling from a window unit in an adjacent area.

Cutting station: all reds put away and there is room enough to work on the blue and neutral HSTs.

I got about twenty of them sewed before dinner.

Ready tomorrow to make a test unit to make sure my seam allowance is precise.

After dinner, I decided to take some handwork (COTDN) into the worktable in our bedroom, because that AC had been cranking away all afternoon. Again, energy conservation.  Since we were only downstairs at mealtimes, we didn't turn an AC on at all, but kept some fans working all day. 

Tomorrow is bee day, and the semi-annual birthday luncheon.  Anyone with a milestone birthday (60, 70, 80) in the first six months of the year will be showered with FQs.  And since I'll turn 60 in a few weeks, I'll be coming home with some. 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

And the chuckles continue!

I need to rebuild my quilting stamina, I guess.

As I was in the final stages of assembling the friendship stars, I must have discovered ten more wonky stars that needed to be frogged and restitched. I don't know how I didn't notice them as I pressed and stacked them last night. One even slipped through into the joinup with the string pieced blocks.

Today's big oops was this. I thought I made enough string blocks for the red friendship stars. I only made half as many as I needed. Oh well.  I at least got them joined up into the large four patch layout. As usual, I needlessly worried that some of my reds were too dark, or two pink, or too orangey-red. But I think it is coming out fine.
Oops!  I think I see three of these that need to be picked apart and sewn correctly so that there are little triangles in the center where the  string blocks meet. Three blocks were pieced so that the stripes run end on. I believe that's wrong.  I hope it's wrong, otherwise, I have a lot more blocks to fix!  But I am getting so good at frogging this week.

Tomorrow's goals are:

Clean up the mess from the red blocks: sewing table, cutting table, ironing board and floor.
Clean and oil the trusty 301.
Start cutting the blue triangle sets and begin string piecing.

I would rather move on to the blues before piecing the rest of the 3.5" string blocks.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

I just have to laugh

Thought I had half my red friendship stars done, but one of them is a bit rebellious:

No naps this week, and I am starting to catch up on some overdue chores around the homestead. We also wore ourselves out on a workday at mom's house, to clear things out so we can list the house.  It's a bit overwhelming and I have to resist the instinct to bring too many things home. I just remember what Marie Kondo said, and I give it thanks for the joy it gave mom, or all of us, and try to donate what I can.  My own house has too many closets and too much stuff. And cleaning out mom's closets are a real lesson that those hard to reach shelves really need to be purged regularly.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Approaching green

Well, as of this week, I am no longer napping during the day.
I am walking more, quilting more, stressing less.
I finally went to the garden center and bought some flowers.  Next week, I hope to weed and mulch. 
This is all good news.

I have a lot of hand piecing left to do on COTDN, but am making progress.

I started Dawn's Early Light and am mired down in tiny half square triangles. Slow and steady on this effort. Need to strip cut some more recent red yardage to increase the variety. 

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Getting back on my feet

I'm back, but I did not expect to feel this tired after the deathbed vigil and funeral. It's a perfect storm of grief, allergies, a headcold and the list of things that need to be done related to Mom's estate, as well as the list of things that haven't gotten done around the house for the past year.

Naps are good. Naps are allowed. Naps are necessary these days. I think that mourning requires an approach similar to the Red, Yellow, Green  framework that this young mom uses to cope with depression.

For me:

Red days: Exercise, prayer, rest, feed the family are the only essentials.Anything else earns me feel-good bonus points.
Yellow days: All of the above, plus the top three things that need to be done.
Green days: full throttle, no naps, get out for errands.

On any of these days, stitch as much as possible, because that's the only way to mend this hole in my life, and recover from those final heart-wrenching days before Mom passed. Loop through loop or stitch through cloth, by hand, by machine, it doesn't matter.  It's ok to start a new project and not feel guilty. It's ok not to be a slave to my UFO tracker.

So what am I working on? Finishing the hand stitching on COTDN, and starting Dawn's Early Light.
String piecing is good mindless fun, isn't it?

Tried to make myself a little planner for making this into a wallhanging sized project.