Friday, September 29, 2017

Month's end and Piper's Place quilt

From simple string blocks.....sewn but not quilted.  The 12 leftover blocks were a perfect size quilt at 30'' by 40'' for Piper's  Place quilt.  She's a Therapy/service dog.....a place quilt lets her know where she should be.

   I used all the turquoise strips I had for the binding to finish this one off. 
   Miss Piper, wearing the pink collar, has staked her claim to the string one.   Nick on the upper left is trying to nudge his way onto it too, I see.   Word is, she thinks the size is perfect....can I make another?  Lol, maybe.

  No Physical therapy this week for me evaluation either.  I spent one  day at the doctor, and getting x-rays.  A swollen and very painful knee event brought everything to a limping along halt.   I tried an anti-inflammatory medicine for 3 days....but the stomach reaction has put a stop to that.  I just don't stomach--lol---any meds well.   I am taking ibuprofen instead.  A knee brace is ordered.....ugh.  Some arthritic changes were noted but most likely the pain is from an inflamed bursa  and accumulated fluid.  With ice on the knee and staying down for a couple of days, going out when required in the wheelchair to reduce walking for now......a gentle slide back.  Hard to take, but it is what it is.

    September only had the string quilt finish.....and the floral mountain blocks top, along with a few soup bowl cozies.  Not my best month for completions. 

    October.....I want to get this top quilted.  At this point plans are to keep it simple with no border.  Size is 48'' by 56'' as it is. 

  I want to consider a floral strip pieced project.  I have an older tutorial in three parts that you can find here.   This tutorial uses 16 fabrics and makes blocks that end up at 6'' finished.   I want to "grow" the palette to 25 fabrics and  make 7''  finished blocks......and  introduce some variety into the value layout....lots of things to think about. 

  I ran across a quilt that was described as a Blooming Nine patch pattern, but used 4 patch units instead of 9 patch.  Since I am preferring smaller size projects  now just because of the easier handling, this sounded like one I might like to try.  So I am putting this into the Future Ideas list. 

  Cooler temps today.....I think I felt a little crispness in the air!  Looking forward to a cooler weekend as Fall does make an appearance.
Happy stitching.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Is it Fall?

     The calendar says it is fall!  Time to switch out the wall hanging and such.  I remade the door wreath and added a large bow.   Now, we wait for the temperatures to join in and cool off.

   Good news is  my brother got word his power was back on.  He headed home on Thursday....bad news there was water damage in the apartment, and the AC went out.   No idea how long repairs will take when his turn comes.  Until then.....???     How quickly the storm damage and  residents with damages fade from our view and news.  And then another disaster happens.  

 Finally I am back in the sewing room for a little stitching time.    I am webbing the top together of the floral scrappy mountain blocks.  The first 3 columns are together....and I am taking a short break.

Image may contain: textThis week is Pernicious Anemia Awareness week.....believe me I am aware :)
   It's been an up and down week or so for me .....a couple of good sessions at PT followed by a bad couple of days and then a poor session on Thursday.  I have an evaluation on next Tuesday.  If I don't have enough improvement, I will not be continuing.  That is the way the health care system is need the therapy  but your  measured numbers don't  show enough improvement and you are gone.   It is kind of funny in a sad way.  I try each day, but the body often does not cooperate.
    But then I never did fit into anyone's box.  Besides I would rather be quilting!  Happy stitching.

Friday, September 15, 2017

It takes Heart

  Hearts have always been a favorite motif for me.  When I was able to do crazy quilting many years ago, I made lots of hearts, and gave them as gifts, and such.    I even have a crazy quilted quilt with the heart motif.     The top was given to me from the quilt guild when I was President.  I actually finished off the embroidery, and added the crazy quilted border.  Then 1 batted it and hand quilted in the open areas.

  And then there is the strip pieced water color heart.  This was the first strip pieced one I did.

   It's  an on-going thing for me to translate the heart motif to whatever technique I am doing.  I do lots of heart motif quilting and the feather shape comes from the same curve as the heart top.

   All of this leads up to making a few token scrappy, leftover hearts.  I first heard about making small hearts, sewing them and sowing them from Barbara, Smitty and Sadie's mom, at Catpatches blog.    She was making a few to hide and sow along her travels this fall.  Then I began to see some reported "found hearts" on FB.

 Here is the story about ifoundaquiltedheart  with details and such.    I just used a few chunks of fabric, some scraps, a bit of ribbon.  Very simple, raw edged shape, and not too perfect :)

  I had  designed the hang tag  but not printed it when the power went out.   So this morning was a good time to get the tags printed and tag the hearts.  I want to sow a couple when I go to therapy .
   The hearts I have made may not be posted on the website or on FB, but  I enjoyed playing around with them.  In this crazy, hectic, fast-paced world  with so much happening and going on, it is nice to do something simple and maybe brighten someone's day.   It takes Heart.💗
Happy stitching.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

No power/no sewing/inconvenient!

    I was just beginning a post on Monday, when we lost power.  Ugh!   A tree took out a power line.   We were prepared for it, but being prepared physically is not the same as mentally being able to get through it.

     First, my brother arrived Saturday afternoon from Naples.  That is right, Naples.  Destroyed and devastated.  He will be here a couple of weeks....of course, I might have to hog tie him to keep him from going back.  His apartment survived he heard, while others in his area were flattened or blown out.  The worse news he has gotten was from the Sheriff's Office report that the electric grid has to be rebuilt (no power), there is no safe water and all must be boiled even to bathe, and no gas for residents.  The report suggests residents stay put, stay out of the area for a few weeks until some semblance of order is restored.
  Thank you all for prayers for him.

  No power for 36 hours is a minor inconvenience I know when I put it in perspective to what others are facing.   It made me think about the life style we have with all the communications, and equipment to make out life easier.  No sewing....I don't have a crank machine.   I needed to press a few power for an iron.  The wind was  blowing/howling all day Monday, and through the night....that meant little sleep, and I was cranky Tuesday.

Vintage Pyrex Percolator, Glass Coffee Pot, Flameware Coffee Pot 7754B
   Luckily I held onto an old Pyrex coffee pot that makes wonderful coffee on the gas grill!   So I could put on a brave face.  The gas generator (for the freezer and refrigerator) was so loud and noisy, I was glad to escape to Physical Therapy for a session......lots of stretching as the low barometric pressure produces more intense muscle and nerve pain.  
  A salad for dinner along with a grilled sandwich and it was almost dark and time for bed.......8 pm!  Lol....candles and  a lantern do not produce enough light to read by no matter what history says.    We think we are tough now a days, but I have news for us......we are really spoiled.
   And then the morning comes.....relief the power has been restored by those wonderful power company workers.  A hot shower and a brighter day......communication and news.  I do have a lot to be thankful for.
Happy stitching.  

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Small things

  I know it has been 2 weeks since I posted.......a long 2 weeks.

   First the PT.   I had an evaluation done because the doctor was fearful of muscle atrophy.  So off I go......the eval was good.  No atrophy just a bit of slip in the balance systems.  We can attribute that to the increase in pain which has increased from the feet to above the knees.  So obviously I tend to compensate by altering gait which messes up my balance.   And back to twice weekly therapy sessions.....tough, very tough.  Right now I am very, very sore, but doing my homework exercises anyway.

   The attitude:
  Insight: I choose to be a freaking warrior, not a victim.  For today I will fight to maintain myself, to accomplish one thing.  There are days I cry, complain, and get angry.  Days I can't hold the rotary cutter, or  seem to accomplish anything.  But the days I can sew a seam, fold/pet/enjoy my fabric.....those are the days I remember.  It takes a lot of focus.

    I was asked by a friend if I knew how to make bowl cozies.  Nope, but I could find out.   So Sir Old Man hauled me to the quilt shop for some Wrap and Zap batting, Pinterest provided a tutorial, and the stash provided the fabric.    So I have a stack of large squares cut and the batting.....I am only using one layer of it instead of two.   (Note:  If I used regular cotton batt with no scrim, I would use 2 layers for extra body. )   I figure they will make good Christmas gifts, and if I start now, I can get some made.


     I found 12 string blocks in the closet.  These are 10'' blocks, so just a small quilt, about 30'' by 40''....exactly what Piper needs as a "in place" quilt that Mom can carry easily in a tote.  So anyway, the blocks are joined and pressed, and backing found.  My task this week is to get it pinned and hopefully quilted.

  The storm:  Three or four days ago, Irma was  projected to affect us.....200 miles inland from the coast!    My biggest fear was the power outage that would be sure to come along with wind damage.  Since we are out on the edge of the county, at the end of the maintenance line,  practically forgotten, when we lose power it might be days for it to be restored.  So check the food stash/refill the water bottle stash/get the camp stove out/get propane/get gas for the generator/ check the gutters for debris/move furniture inside/ and so on.  All done, and today we will pick up some fresh fruit and produce just in case.
  The new forecast is mainly rain, about 6'' for us, with gusty winds, not damaging winds.  That is great!

  The last 48 hours has been very stressful due to family in Florida.  My brother is in Naples......earlier in the week they were on the safer/softer side of the storm.  Now, it looks like a direct hit there.  He has gone from taking Remy and staying in Tampa to ride it out, to staying in Naples in a secured house of friends, to leaving out alone at 2 am this morning.   So you can be sure I did not sleep one night, and was awake until 2 am  when he sent a message.  I have cried, been upset, and cried some more.    He believes a direct hit will takeout his apartment building, put 6' of water in his office a few blocks away, and be weeks to month before power will be back on.  
  I also checked in with friends, and my dearly loved cousins......they are prepared as can be.  Luckily they are inland but still on the western side of the state.  
   This is a time of strength and staying focused.  So I will concentrate on small things that I can do.    Many thanks, and hugs to so many of you who have been checking in on me.  I am a warrior and  no little pain or big old mean storm will keep me down for long.
Keep stitching for me.
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