Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Little progress on the spool blocks


  I finally decided I had enough spool blocks.  I am beginning to join the rows.  I did the arrange and re-arrange thing on the design wall, got tired of it, and just began to sew.  When it is so scrappy, you can spend a decade moving things around to make it perfect.  Not happening here..... I just need to see some progress here.


    And the leader and ender project continues.   For every 2 blocks I made of the spools, I put together one of the Easy/Breezy blocks.  I have a stack of them already.   So they will continue to be my L/E while I am putting together the hourglass blocks.  

    A few of the hourglass blocks from this week.  Again I am working very scrappy because I am using whatever I find  in my bin.  I will plan my placement a little bit with this in time to get some nice dark pinwheels to appear in the block on point.   
  FYI....I am beginning with 5'' squares sewn on diagonal.  The hourglass block shown here are 4'' unfinished.  

    We took a day trip to NC for apples and stopped for lunch.  Actually, it was the first time to eat out in 7 months!  What a treat!  The fall colors were appearing.    This year of 2020 has altered my perspective of so much.  It was nice to be somewhere other than here for a few hours.   
  Days have warmed back up for the next week, night are cool.  I keep checking on the large hickory tree out front.  It has the most glorious golden yellow when our leaves hit the peak.  Otherwise, life is much the same.  
Happy stitching.                                                         

Friday, October 9, 2020

And I found another

   Did you read the post at Cluck Cluck Sew?  Click here for the post and her great tutorial and pattern for an Hourglass project.     I loved the idea to make a set of hour glass blocks each day.  Keep it easy, make it fun.  It reminded me of the Quilty 365 Circles project from a few years ago, which I really enjoyed making.  So I thought I could add it to the list of on-going projects.  

  And then I discovered these large HST units!  A large stack already begun for a similar pattern.   They will be easy enough to turn into hourglass blocks.  

   All of the units, pattern sheets, and a stack of paired squares ready to sew went into another bin.   It seems you can never have enough of those bins.   I need to decide or figure out how I want to proceed, which pattern to go on with.  The choice is between   the Scrappy Pinwheel idea or the hourglass a day idea.  

   I will figure out which by the time the spool blocks are finished up.  

To up-date the vision eye problem .  I tried to reply to all who commented, but in case I missed you.  The doctor did several scans, and such on both eyes.  What I thought was the "good eye" now is showing damage to the retina from the lack of B-12 from 4 years ago.  The optic nerve appears stable with no damage, but a small cataract is growing.  So that leaves me in a wait and see mode.  I return in 4 months.    In the meantime, I am adjusting and finding ways to compensate for the blurry and often triple vision aspect of it all.  

  It takes intense concentration to do most things, like read a recipe.  For dinner last night I made a new recipe and glanced at the time and temp.  I saw "200 minutes at 3500 degrees".......a tilt of the head and a second look corrected that.  So it is what it is.....please bear with me when I rant.  Otherwise, life is good.  Happy stitching.    

Monday, October 5, 2020

Catching Up

 Fall arrived while I've been quiet.   Sir Old Man finished painting the shed and it looks really nice.    I spent one day digging out fall wall hangings and table runners.....and washing those that came down.   I changed out the mini to this pineapple, which is a favorite of mine.  I like the variation in textures from the quilting too.  

    I posted about the problem with my hands and wrists which slowed me down.  The season change and a few clear days with no rain etc. helped that.  So I managed to sew a little bit for a few days.  Some spool blocks and the leader and ender, Easy breezy.  I even ordered some storage boxes/bins for projects.  

   They were from Amazon, and a bit bigger than I thought.  At just over 3'' high they are more than enough for the spool blocks.  Then I started stacking the leader ender blocks and.....

  Ok, I need the depth!   And I then filled one up with string blocks than were in a shoe box and rumpled.  So they got ironed and given a new bin.  
  I thought I was making headway, until I woke up one morning about 2 weeks ago with a very red, and swollen  left eye.  My good eye, not marred by the lack of B-12.  So off to the doctor.  He says it was a ruptured vessel between the tissue layers.  Could be from trauma or spontaneous.  Give it a few days to improve.   
   So tomorrow I return for another exam and check.  The redness is gone, but the vision is worse.  For example, we went out over the weekend to view the full moon and Mars.  I told Sir Old Man that I saw three dots, or Mars.  Which one is the real one?  Yep, I see triple images at certain angles.  I sure hope the doctor gives me a better explanation or I am searching for a new ophthalmologist. 

  So I have been quiet here, reading posts and keeping up as best I can.  Sewing time is limited to prevent  eye strain, neck strain , and general irritation.  I did begin joining the spool blocks into sets of 4 and seeing how they looked on the design wall.  

   Does anyone think blogger complaint department ever read our feed back?  Do they ever read any posts to see how they look?  This thing is so awful to use.  Just ranting about the useless new features that make writing a post difficult.  Another example of fixing what isn't broken.

   Our mornings have been quite cool and crisp.  Time to go pick up some apples from the farm, and a good time for a road trip to view the leaves.  Maybe next week.  Happy stitching.  

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

New addition

My small gallery


   I have a small gallery in the office where I display all types of artwork, from cards, to sketches, to photos.  

  And the mail bought a new addition yesterday.  Gene has been sharing his experimenting with watercolor painting recently.  He wasn't happy with one of his first attempts.....but I was!  I loved it.  So this wonderful artist sent me his practice piece to have and enjoy!  

 I have to search for another small easel for displaying it.  So, thanks, Gene, I am so pleased to have it.  

  This is new Blogger post....isn't it awful to control?    

Have a great stitching day anyway!

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Making spool blocks

  After such a nice holiday weekend here, at least weather wise, I went back to the sewing room today for a while.  The humidity returned and the temps went up again.  We did enjoy about 4 days of cooler temps and Sir Old Man was motivated to begin painting the garden shed....under my supervision of course.  That part he wasn't crazy about, but he is such a good sport that he did not complain. 

   I had a nice stack of spool blocks to press and trim.  Once I worked thru the pile I ended up with 67 finished blocks!
  To review the summer project:   Now, they are only 5'' at this point.  I have a mix of light spools and dark background, and dark spools on a light background.  Very scrappy and pulled from my 2'' strip collections.  Florals, tonals,  batiks, and  mixed patterns..... I am using a big span of styles.

   So today, I am wondering if I need to begin working them into 4-unit blocks.  LOL....already I see ones I need to flip.  So I know I need to work the small blocks into larger ones.
  This layout is 4 dark background blocks together on the upper left.  Next and to the right  would be a large block of 4 with light backgrounds.
  The bottom group on the right got turned around wrong....very wrong.  That's okay, nothing is joined yet. 

   I have looked at lots of layouts with spool blocks.  And I like this spinning spools version the best.  My second question is whether I just mix them up and let things fall where they may.  I am fearful of doing that for the whole top as it will be confusing and not have any focus at all.  I may toss a few hodge-podge blocks into a little more planned version. 

 Between the spools, I am using the Easy-breezy leader and ender from Bonnie Hunter.  I have about 20 of these done....these 8 blocks were pressed.  This layout has all the dark going to the upper left for a diagonal layout. 

   But what if.....I switch a few directions and form a chain.  I think it will be oblivious which I will pick.  I love chain effects.    But this is a long term project and lots more patches to sew.

   And that is it  from the sewing room. 
Sending prayers to those facing fires on the west coast, and holding our breathe that the 5 storms forming stay far away from land.  2020 is still making people notice it!
Happy stitching. 


Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Mixed bag

  I am continuing to pinning or quilting for now due to the pain in wrist and hands.  When the grip is weak, it is better to just do random piecing.  So I have a small mixed bag of blocks for projects to share.

  The Easy Breezy leader and ender project from Bonnie Hunter has a few blocks completed.  The small tray on the left has a good stack of sorted paired parts for blocks.I am clipping the finished ones into stacks of 10,,,,so 11 done so far.

  Bricks and Stepping Stones is a pattern also from Bonnie under the Free patterns here.  This is really an unfinished leader and ender project from years back.
  I am using floral 2'' squares for the small four patch units.  Then these are set in the corner of more solid / tonal fabrics.
Bonnie's original pattern is set a bit differently into long rectangle blocks.  This is just another variation.

    What I am really trying to piece....5'' spool blocks....and the leader and ender units go in between sections of this one.   A few blocks / triangles got a bit wonky, but they can just join the fray.    I have about 30 of these  to date.

   I have a written list of sizes for cutting the different parts for all three of these different blocks.   So obviously the same fabric will appear in spots in each of them probably.
  From one 2'' fabric strip  I might cut a 5'' strip and 4 squares for the spool block, and also 3 1/2'' pieces for the Easy Breezy block.
  Then I can sit and sort and put together fabrics I like for latter piecing.

   On the home front.....I got out of the house over the weekend when we ran a few errands.  A quick stop at Big Lots with masks--ugh--for a new small electric chopper.  I found the 3 cup size which is a bit bigger than the one that died.  I should be able to use this for chopping leftover roast for enchiladas!  Good thing :)
   Not so good to see was the massive amount of construction and changes taking place around here. They clear cut land and trees to put up homes and apartments, then will eventually plant pencil twigs to replace the old growth.  Sigh.   Then we saw another couple of acres cleared for a new grocery store.  Fine, if they keep the shelves stocked.  I guess it is the growing population moving here that is keeping our shelves slightly bare.
  And lastly.....bad storm a few days ago, and I remember hearing an extremely loud crack and flash.  This morning Sir Old Man spotted the tallest pine in the back leaning, dying, and split at the base.  Lightning hit.  He is calling Lupe to take care of it.  Oh, and the earthquake.  LOL....yes, there was an earthquake of 5.1 in NC yesterday morning.  It was felt here, but no damage seen here.  More shaking on Monday morning, very light.  I am thankful for that. 
  Off to do some therapy sewing.  Happy stitching.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Out of Focus

    If you are like me, you are tired of being home,  confined, masked,  feeling bored and abandoned, and so on.  Everything is just "off", mixed up and out of focus.    And that is just what this quilted wall hanging is!
  It's not lovely, it is just sort of out of focus.   It will serve as a reminder to the future about this year.

  I made stacks of small string pieced blocks....about 4'' in size. Half dark to half light, or close to it maybe.  Lol.
 I sewed until I got tired of making them.  That took about 2 months.  Surely this will be over by summer.

  I started piecing them together.  I mean I wanted it finished and done, by the time all was right in the world.   Row by row...... June came and things were getting worse.  Rows joined and stitched into a top.  Then it was hot and July.  The world was hotter and the virus spread even faster.  Surely next month would be better.
  Well, August arrived, I finally gave in and quilted this thing.  Quilted with swirling loops in an all over pattern.   Things are not much better.  Little improvement to note.  Just out of focus.
  Out of Focus wall hanging.....about 30'' by 40'', string blocks in offset barn raising pattern.

     This year has been slow fast time for me.   Long slow days, but the weeks/months have flown by.  It's Monday, and then mid-week, and the weekend comes again.  Repeat....over and again. 
   I have a hard time believing it is August already.  Even more distressed that this ugly monster is still playing havoc in our lives, to say nothing about the other stuff going on. 
    I have several piecing things going on, like the latest leader and ender, a few spool blocks, and some 4 patch units.  They are more random rather than productive.  They suit my pensive mood for now.   The faux madras design is on the design wall waiting to be pinned.  The backing arrived this week.  It can wait a little while one is going anywhere. 

  2020 was to be a year of perfect vision.....and here I am Out of Focus.
Happy stitching.
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