Saturday, March 28, 2020

Finding some sanity

  I try to avoid the fear and panic from the pandemic.  I limit the articles I read and such.  Yet, still that swirling vortex of calamity creeps in the cracks of my mind.  I realized that the normal routine of life has changed, been altered by circumstances I can not control in the least. 


  So beyond the usual household chores and meals....Sir Old Man is home more, so I cook more....I need to create something routine and daily.   I have been sewing about an hour a day usually, and this week I came upon an idea that has some meaning to me.  Before I got sick in 2016, we were making a circle block a day, which I turned into my therapy quilt.  Actually I made two because I could not handle the large size of just one.
  My idea was to make a small block each day as a means of self expression and work out any frustrations I was feeling.  I had a bin with a few string blocks already made.  Perfect beginning.




  Small string blocks using up floral strings and bits!  Simple and easy on the hands for me to do.  By making 4 or 5 day, which doesn't take long, I have a nice stack of these now.  My block size is 4'' and most of the fabrics are florals and tonals with a few other prints thrown in. 









    I looked thru saved images on Pinterest for layout ideas and decided this one depicts the state of our new normal.
    Everything seems out of focus, and not quite centered.  Life is smooth and then takes a quick turn.  New demands, adjustments.  Altered priorities.  I am sewing any insanity and frustration of the day into small blocks.  When they get put together and tamed, sanity will return!
  Or at least that is what I am telling myself.

  I have the Blended 4 patch under the needle for the weekend......sew on!

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

More of---- life is different

   I said our world was different last week, and this week I experienced it.  My consult evaluation with the rheumatologist was this week.  The office had confirmed the appointment and I had planned to go.  By Monday, I was hesitating.....so when the office wanted to switch to a phone appointment, I agreed.  Then early Tuesday morning, they switched to a video appointment.  That meant setting up the old laptop with a camera capability, which had never been used.  (My desk top  does not have one.)   It took a bit of fritzing about but we got there. 
  It was a bit strange having a doctor examine your hands and wrists via internet and discuss options.  But this may be the future for a while.  It was decided that any medications were not an option for me.  The meds offered are too toxic and would probably only worsen my other problems.  So, much as I expected.  I will learn to live with this rarer form of osteoarthritis. 

   So some limited sewing since last week. 
   I worked on the wall hanging and got it quilted.  I am searching the stash  for binding, but not liking what I find.  I will dive deeper and see if I can do better. 
   Stay safe and sew on.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

National Quilting Day/Weekend


  

I decided to celebrate virtually.....the pollen count has soared in this area with warmer temps....so not hanging quilts outside.  Instead I am just showing a few of my favorites.  Enjoy your weekend ......sew on!


 The World is a Garden.....of course it is!













         











  Charming Bricks wall hanging.







Plume Crazy....given to a friend for comfort.



  Mountain Reflections.

Happy stitching!

Friday, March 20, 2020

Week one, week two

  Week one:  I am usually at home, so little change there for me.   Unfortunately, we ventured out just before the panic grew and got the second shingle shot.   Yep, it did me in!  I was down for three days with fever and chills and aches.   Day 2, I thought I would not survive but by day 3, I knew I would.  Gained some strength and drank lots of fluids and soup.

  Week Two: Some small sewing done,  and some pinning to prepare for quilting. The world and country and state are in full panic mode.  I fear our world is forever changed.  I have read the articles, used discernment and found a small ray of hope.  The researcher who had some divine inspiration to skip the vaccine and develop antibodies for treatment is awesome!  This treatment could mean a shorter bout of this virus.  Otherwise it could mean dealing with this thing for over a year.

   So for today, I hope to get a project under the needle and not give in to panic.  I did see the pattern floating around for making masks.....that brings me to tears.   Right now, I can not deal with it.
   Instead I chose to be thankful that I can be calm, to be grateful that God is in control, and  I am grateful my family is safe.   

 Sew on..... 

Monday, March 9, 2020

Successful weekend equals 2 tops!

  I got out and enjoyed some sun over our nice weekend.  Yet, I still managed to finish up those rows and join the sections of the blended 4 patch. 

  I had just enough fabric to add a 3'' border around the whole thing to give it a firm finish.  It now looks complete to me. 








  Confession to make......my final layout and sewing arrangement did not exactly match the screenshot on the post for the recipe.    My four patches are rotated in the outer round, but it works anyway!  I sure wasn't going to do any un-sewing. 
   If you are making this one, twist and turn those units until they land the way you like them. 






 

  Since the weather pressure was being kindly to me, Sunday afternoon was another sewing stint.  This time to add a border to a watercolor that I had added some applique to.    Those turquoise flowers enticed me to find a little bit of turquoise that I used as an accent flange around the center.  It's a folded 1'' strip and just barely noticeable.  Yet it makes any turquoise in the center just pop.  The outer strip of the border is a batik that has a touch of blue-ish spots in it.  I actually had to piece portions together to have enough.  Now it needs a good pressing before getting pinned for quilting. 
 
   I caught part of Angela Walters You Tube video session at lunch today.  She sure is down to earth and so inspirational.    You can always see the lesson on her channel.    She answered questions while doing heavy quilting on a pre-printed panel.  I learned a lot in the past from her and her feathers videos are great :)

   Seems the covid-19 has reared its head nearby here in South Carolina.  And the news has the world in a panic.  Best advice is to let common sense prevail.  After years of working in the laboratory and taking classes from CDC, I know the virus will mutate and our bodies will learn to fight off this new pathogen/antigen.  Antibodies develop over time and exposure, not because we get in a panic....not because we over buy mask, and toilet paper or hand santitizer.    This week began with a time change---nope, I did not forget it---- and has a super moon, and ends on Friday the 13th.  Now throw in the virus panic.   Help!   I am better and smarter than superstitions .....I will survive because I sew. 
Happy stitching. 

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Recipe for the blended 4 patch

   I have been sewing a row or two at a time on the blended 4 patch.  I have two sections done....2 opposing corners, and the center band is in the works. 
    I have trouble calling it a blooming 4 patch as it does not explode like the 9 patch does.  This version is a little quieter :)  For those who asked how I was putting this together, here is my formula or recipe.

    This is a mock up done in EQ7.     I used 4 colors for this layout with the center color also as the outer color.  The basic technique is the same no matter how many fabrics you use.  There is one round of squares in the fabric, then a round of 4 patch units in the fabric from the previous round and the fabric of the next round.  So the 4 patch units are the bridge to blend the 2 fabrics.  Clear as mud?     


   I worked with 2'' strips because I have tons of them.  If you are using 2 1/2'' or etc. strips you need to do the math for sizes of large squares to cut.  The large squares need to equal the size of the 4 patch units.

Working from the center out, these are the rounds of units needed.

Fabric A---center.  This layout begins with 2 large squares.
A/B --------6 of the 4 patch units
B------------10  large squares
B/C--------- 14 of the 4 patch units
C ----------- 18 large squares
C/D--------- 22 of the 4 patch units
D----------- 26 large squares
D/A-------- 30 of the 4 patch units
A---------- 30 setting triangles plus 4 corner triangles.  *

*  I cut the setting triangles from a 3'' strip of fabric to avoid the bias on the edges.  The finishing corner triangles were cut from squares.  

Note:  For some of the large squares I did a cheat technique.  Because I was working with 2'' strips, I sewed 2 rectangles of 2'' by 3 1/2'' together to form squares if I did not have yardage to cut the wider width.  

I found that I got about 10 sub-cuts for the 4 patch units from each WOF strip.
From the wider 3 1/2'' strip I got about 11 each of the large squares.  Again....all this depends on your strip size that you are using.  

The layout...unfortunately...is on point.  So you sew those dang rows on the diagonal.  A tip from a comment by Left Handed Quilter helped a lot as I was sewing the rows.  I am sharing it, as maybe it will help others.  
Those dang diagonals keep me on my toes, too! Sometimes I sew (oversized) setting triangles to all of the end blocks first. I do one "side" at a time - with them all oriented the same way - and then put them back on the wall. When I'm done - I take them down - one row at a time - stacked in order - to sew. It works for me - LOL - ;))
This would be great in batiks or tonal prints.  Don't be biased by my florals! 

The size illustrated above is ending up 34'' by 38'' I think.  I do plan on a small border as I want a wall quilt over the sofa.  Fabric requirements for this size...
About 3/4 yard of each of the 4 fabrics. 

I have counted and recounted squares and numbers until I am a bit loopy.  I can't guarantee no mistakes,  but if one is found, let me know so I can stand corrected. 

Now I am off to sew the last two rows together.  Hoping the weekend to get the sections joined.  Happy stitching. 

Friday, February 28, 2020

Those dang diagonals

  That 4 patch experiment is on the wall ...sort of.  I made a first stab at sewing a few rows together.  Those dang diagonals are enough to make me crazy.  It does require my  strict attention to keep things oriented correctly.
  I am taking the block units off the wall--stacked in order---and direct to the machine. 

  You can see I over sized the setting triangles.  I would rather trim to size when all rows are together.

  I had several emails asking for a pattern.....I will put together a brief pattern with details about what I did for this.  Give me a few days.

  Now for the health update.  The evaluation went better than expected.  The results not so much.  Right now it is a ruling out  of things rather than firm diagnosis.  But the initial results indicate erosive osteoarthritis in the hands......rare inflammatory condition with little treatment except OTC for pain.  This is a whammy I did not expect and am not even trying to react because it will only make me cry.  Instead I am returning to the sewing room.  I will be back in a day or two.
Happy stitching. 
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