Sunday, March 31, 2019

This and that...

The kids were here yesterday...oldest daughter came early so we could sew or pin-baste a quilt sandwich.  We chose to sew blocks together:  she did the pinning and ironing, and I did the sewing.

It still needs borders.  She has got to find the fabric for that.  Neither her phone or mine will capture the true colors of this quilt top.  It has more blue to it than shows.  It was a fun day.  Later in the day Sarah and Lorelei came...Roger's birthday is today so we had his birthday meal yesterday when we could be together...minus Lorelei's dad...he had to work.  Older daughter fixed steaks on the grill, as well as zucchini and onions and mushrooms chopped up.  And she bought a cheese cake.  It was all so good...and then my Sarah cleaned up the kitchen before she it was like a birthday present for me, too!
This and the fabric below I bought at The Sewing Botique in Hoopeston, is north of Danville a few miles.

I first thought daughter would love the above, then I got afraid that she wouldn't.   If I had had a pattern that I liked for a top that I knew would fit, I would have loved it for that and would have got enough.  But I don't, so I didn' I only got a half-yard of it.  It went home with older daughter.  She LOVED it.  Can you see why?

However I did not make out too badly...she brought me the above 6 inch strips of batiks...they are cut the width of the fabric which is 42-43 inches.  When she texted me about the 6 inch strips, that was the first time encountering that size cuts.  And she also bought me a bunch of 2 1/2 inch batik strips...they, too, are cut the width of the fabric.  They are shown below.  Click each photo to expand the view.

In case you don't quilt,  this is something fabric companies do, and also some quilt shops will make their own sets of pre-cuts.  Pre-cuts come in 10 inch squares, often called a Layer Cake in that size.   A Charm Pack is 5-inch squares.  Mini-charm is 2 1/2 inch squares.  And the 2 1/2 inch strips of the width of fabric is called a jelly roll.  And they are rolled up.  Rachel had opened  mine when she got them to send pics to me.  Usually each precut pack has 40-42 pieces of fabric, and almost always have repeats.  But sometimes they come in like half a jelly roll, also think the Layer Cakes sometimes come with only 20 pieces of fabric, but I have only seen the Jelly Rolls come in half the number.

Oh, I about forgot there are 1 1/2 inch strips in some fabrics, but not as often.  And I think there are one or two other precuts that I have never seen and that are not all that common.

Also there are Fat Quarter bundles...they are pieces of fabric 18 x 21 inches.  The number of fabrics in a FQ bundle varies.

Usually pre-cuts  are a line of fabric, maybe by a certain designer, and it will come in different color ways.  It is an easy way of having a wide variety of fabrics without trying to go through and pick out things that go together.  Plus it is quicker than standing and waiting to get them cut.

I know this is boring to some of you, but some will find it informative maybe.

That is about it for this post....I hope you have a good day tomorrow.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Do you see what I see

The past couple of days have been great eagle days...not for great photos as the following photos will show.

Can you see it...

Click to expand the view to see better.

If you cannot is an eagle on its nest.  And that nest is not 10 minutes from here.  I just could hardly believe my eyes.  It is a good distance across a field.  I was so excited to find it and could barely wait to get home and see if an eagle was on it. 

Day before yesterday we went by the swamp area that is about 20-25 miles from here.  It is one of my favorite places to visit.  It is where we saw our first eagle of the day.

It is a juvenile Bald Eagle.    We went on from there,  and just up the road and across the field we seen the following...

I have messed with these photos to try to get them presentable, but they are still not the greatest.  He was way across another field.

From there we went on to Danville, Illinois and on to the Heron Viewing Park...there we saw 3 eagles in flight but no photos. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

From Georgia

A few years ago we traveled through Georgia...we were not there to visit, but we did detour off the interstate and went down some local roads, both going and coming.  I had always wanted to see cotton growing since I love cotton cloth....for everything.  The above is one of a few blossoms we saw.

This is not the greatest of pics...but still, imagine the backbreaking work it would be to pick this field by hand.

So there you have it...the beginning of all my quilts.....

I have seriously wanted a few cotton seeds to see if I could grow it here.  I know I would have to start them in the house under a grow light because our season is not long enough.  Still I would like to try it someday.
Lorelei went home yesterday...nothing much happened while she was here...we did paint a shirt but I did not take a good photo of it.   She was wishing we could go to the creek, but it is flooded too much to go.  I am hoping that we get to go at some point this year because she enjoys it so much....

 These were taken 2 or 3 years ago....She will probably be like her mom, or grandma, and still enjoy doing this when she is an old lady!


Friday, March 22, 2019

Gobble, gobble

We saw the local flock of turkeys on the way home yesterday.  They are about directly west of where we live, maybe a mile.  They are out in this cornfield right past the last house at the edge of town.  The most we had seen till yesterday were nine turkeys.

But yesterday there was at least 13, maybe more.  They were busy looking for food and not paying any attention to us...I am not sure if we were even 75 ft from them.

I was trying to make noise to get there attention...I finally found a noise that would draw a little bit of attention.  I could get 3 or 4 to puff out their feathers and fan their tails.

I have better pics over HERE on my other blog...but cannot resist adding two or three or four more here.

We have Lorelei for the next 3 we are set to have a good weekend.  It has been a while since she was here for the weekend.  I cannot tell you how strange it is when she is not here.   

I hop you all have a nice weekend...

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Not much happening...

I have had all those half square triangles on the design wall for ages...

(I would love to someday make a quilt like this...only I would use bigger half square triangles)

These were bonus half square triangles left from my daughters quilt top we finished in January of 2018.  Before my accident!  I finally sewed them into blocks today. 
I might as well say it...I played with these blocks some more.

I wish I had used any color but gray to do those in the middle of the quilt.  I would say I was using what I had on hand.  But I have about any color you would want on hand!  I am thinking strongly of using this layout...if I do, I will name it Eye of the Hurricane!  LOL

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Showing the process

I thought I would take a few pics of the process I have used to make the diagonal string blocks I have been showing.  Keep in mind that there are other ways to achieve the blocks...this is just the process I chose this time.

I start out with a foundation paper the size I want my blocks to be.  Next I chose a strip or string of fabric that will at the least cover the paper from corner to corner, put it on right side up.  I always tend to start somewhere near the center but you don't have to.  Wherever you start, make sure that your strip of fabric covers the paper, even when opened out.

Take the next strip and place it against the first strip right sides together.  The thing about starting with the fabric covering center...from then on as long as your fabric is long enough at the line of stitching, it will be long enough when the fabric is opened up for the next line of stitching.

I almost always use an iron and press the fabric open...

Just continue adding additional strips of fabric...

The purpose is to use whatever strip of fabric you come picky matching....just a way to use little strips of leftover fabric that you couldn't use for much else.

Keep adding strips till the foundation paper is covered.  One thing I do that not everyone is does is that last little corner piece that is added....I try to make sure to cut it till the bias is in the seam and the corner edges are with the grain.  I don't know why I bother...all the rest of the edges will be bias.

I always turn over and use a ruler and rotary cutter to trim the blocks to size.

Before rotary cutters and rulers, one used scissors and trimmed to the size of the foundation paper.

Isn't it magic how it looks so neat with just four cuts.

And one last photo of the paper starting to be torn off.   I have used phone book pages, but with them you have to worry about the newsprint transferring  to your fabric.  Supposedly, after so many years it is cured and won't transfer.  Well, on these blocks I used some that was as old as 'that magic number' and while it did not transfer to the fabric, it did rub off on my machine bed.  I switched to the paper above for the most part.  It is blank newsprint paper...I bought it from Amazon.  I have used printer paper, but it is hard to tear off, even with the shorter stitch length I use in making these blocks.

I hope this was good enough to explain the process to those interested.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Sewing machine lighting...

I have had my Brother 1500 ??? for a bit over a year.  The lighting on it is horrible.

The lighting looks better in the photo than in real life. I suppose it looks brighter because I took it early in the day, and had no light on and the curtains were not open. When you walk in on in in normal daylight hours and look, you cannot tell if it is on or off.  It was on the other day and Roger walked in.  I was not sitting at it, so I asked him if he thought it was on or off.  He looked and said, 'Well, it's off.'  It was on!  Of course you can tell at night, when you turn the other lights off.

Now Look!  I went ahead and got a strip of LED lighting that makes all the difference in the world.  I had bought a strip for my Juki years even though there are several that were cheaper than these, I went ahead and got the same ones because I knew they worked and worked well.

I have not done much today.   A bit of housework....and spent some time tearing off the foundation papers of more of my string blocks.  And of course spent time rearranging them on the design wall.  I didn't take a pic of the latest arrangement. 

We are currently re-watching the Endeavour series....hopefully before too long our PBS will show the latest in that is one of our favorites.

I hope you all have a good weekend!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Blowing in the wind...

Since I don't have anything new to post, I thought I would post a few picks of my favorite log cabin quilt.

I just like the way it looks blowing in the wind.

It is made with all Civil War Reproduction fabrics.

And here it is finished a few months later...

Monday, March 11, 2019

No new blocks, but new arrangements...

You guys are going to be sick of this before it is over...though I will try not to post any more pics of them for a while.  With the string blocks being on the diagonal...alternating which way they tilt gives me the feeling of pinwheels.  Roger does not see them at all...I am still not crazy about it but think I do like it better than the other way.

Then there is this.  I wish I had more blocks to show this way:

Had my last visit with chiropractor, unless I think I need it.  Hoping I can get by without it.

Have a good rest of the week!

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Progress, or not...

I am doing this and I just am not crazy about it.  I am not crazy about the string blocks by themself, either.  I don't know why.  It is getting the scraps used.  So trying to make myself go ahead and make more.   I have even thought about making two more of the crumb centered blocks and using the rest of the string blocks and seeing how big it would be that way.  No matter what I do, it is not going to be a beautiful quilt.  I will probably like it once it is made and washed and has that crinkled, cottony feeling.

I don't know why I just cannot settle down and get this made.  Or else put the blocks away and forget about it.

Part of it may be that my scraps are such a mess.  I need time and a method to organize them.   Maybe it would be easier then.  
We are supposed to have sunshine tomorrow...and Thursday temps are supposed to be in the 60's!  Let's pray they are right because I can sure use both sunshine and warmer days.

I don't have much to say because all these same old thoughts go round and round in my head...
A little video from a few years ago...

I hope you are having a good evening.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Just because

This photo in no way does the poem below justice, but I couldn't not include a snow photo.  Though this appears to be B&W, it was a color photo I scanned in.  Taken in the winter  of 1978-79.

The poem below is one of my all time favorites...if not THE favorite.  I happened to pick up a book of poetry in a bookstore and just happened to find this poem...I had never heard of Robert W. Service, never heard of this poem.  I felt like I had been there, and wanted to go back again.  I can never pick out a favorite verse...though I do know the first one sure is NOT it...LOL  Not that it is bad.  But they all paint such a vivid pictures...I hope some of you enjoy it.

The Spell of the Yukon 

by Robert W. Service
I wanted the gold, and I sought it,
    I scrabbled and mucked like a slave.
   Was it famine or scurvy — I fought it;
    I hurled my youth into a grave.
   I wanted the gold, and I got it —
    Came out with a fortune last fall, —
   Yet somehow life's not what I thought it,
    And somehow the gold isn't all.

   No!  There's the land.  (Have you seen it?)
    It's the cussedest land that I know,
   From the big, dizzy mountains that screen it
    To the deep, deathlike valleys below.
   Some say God was tired when He made it;
    Some say it's a fine land to shun;
   Maybe; but there's some as would trade it
    For no land on earth — and I'm one.

   You come to get rich (damned good reason);
    You feel like an exile at first;
   You hate it like hell for a season,
    And then you are worse than the worst.
   It grips you like some kinds of sinning;
    It twists you from foe to a friend;
   It seems it's been since the beginning;
    It seems it will be to the end.

   I've stood in some mighty-mouthed hollow
    That's plumb-full of hush to the brim;
   I've watched the big, husky sun wallow
    In crimson and gold, and grow dim,
   Till the moon set the pearly peaks gleaming,
    And the stars tumbled out, neck and crop;
   And I've thought that I surely was dreaming,
    With the peace o' the world piled on top.

   The summer — no sweeter was ever;
    The sunshiny woods all athrill;
   The grayling aleap in the river,
    The bighorn asleep on the hill.
   The strong life that never knows harness;
    The wilds where the caribou call;
   The freshness, the freedom, the farness —
    O God! how I'm stuck on it all.

   The winter! the brightness that blinds you,
    The white land locked tight as a drum,
   The cold fear that follows and finds you,
    The silence that bludgeons you dumb.
   The snows that are older than history,
    The woods where the weird shadows slant;
   The stillness, the  moonlight, the mystery,
    I've bade 'em good-by — but I can't.

   There's a land where the mountains are nameless,
    And the rivers all run God knows where;
   There are lives that are erring and aimless,
    And deaths that just hang by a hair;
   There are hardships that nobody reckons;
    There are valleys unpeopled and still;
   There's a land — oh, it beckons and beckons,
    And I want to go back — and I will.

   They're making my money diminish;
    I'm sick of the taste of champagne.
   Thank God! when I'm skinned to a finish
    I'll pike to the Yukon again.
   I'll fight — and you bet it's no sham-fight;
    It's hell! — but I've been there before;
   And it's better than this by a damsite —
    So me for the Yukon once more.

   There's gold, and it's haunting and haunting;
    It's luring me on as of old;
   Yet it isn't the gold that I'm wanting
    So much as just finding the gold.
   It's the great, big, broad land 'way up yonder,
    It's the forests where silence has lease;
   It's the beauty that thrills me with wonder,
    It's the stillness that fills me with peace.


Thursday, March 7, 2019

Just a quick post...

See the blocks with the strips of fabric going diagonally across...this winter I have sat and sewed two or three of them at a time till I have a whole stack of them. The other little blocks that have the same fabric around the center crumb block...I have made them the past few days. I will make one or two, then maybe not make another for two or three days.  I think I am going to continue to make them and this will be how I place the blocks.  Just something to do that does not require a lot of thinking right now.
It has snowed all afternoon...and still snowing.  I didn't think it was even going to cover the ground but it is now white and the roads and sidewalks looks slick.    And we are supposed to have snow showers tomorrow.  So we shall see.

Maybe I will get to spend some time sewing tomorrow.  More than just a minute. 

That's about all there is to say...hope you have a good evening/night.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019


I am reading this again...Sod and Stubble by John Ise.   I don't know how many times I have read it.  My BFF and brother read it, and I tried to remember it and could not remember any of the characters...I had got another character from Giants in the Earth and the line 'Tish-ah, Tish-ah said the grass' in my mind a few days before my sister asked me something about this book.  That is when I realized I could not remember any details.

From Amazon this which is from their son who wrote the book:
 "A few years ago, as I listened one night to my mother telling incidents of her life pioneering in the semi-arid region of Western Kansas, it occurred to me that the picture of that early time was worth drawing and preserving for the future, and that, if this were ever to be done, it must be done soon, before all of the old settlers were gone. This book is the result—an effort to picture that life truly and realistically. It is the story of an energetic and capable girl, the child of German immigrant parents, who at the age of seventeen married a young German farmer, and moved to a homestead on the wind-swept plains of Kansas, where she reared eleven of her twelve children, and remembering regretfully her own half-day in school, sent nine of them through college. It is a story of grim and tenacious devotion in the face of hardships and disappointments, devotion that never flagged until the long, hard task of near a lifetime was done."—John Ise (from the preface)

Due to a question, I went to Findagrave to Look up Henry and Rosa Ise....

if you will click on the link it takes you to Henry's page and from it you can find the pages for Rosa and their children.  Henry lived to the age of 59 and Rosa lived to the ripe old age of 91.

It sure made me feel crazy not to remember any of it...though reading it for the umpteenth time, it is like meeting an old friend.  I seriously have read this book probably four or 5 times....I have it both in paperback and kindle.  There are a handful of books that I wanted both versions, and this is one of them.

It has snowed all day.  A fine snow that did not amount to anything.  But it is bitter cold....or feels that way when the wind hits.  It goes right through and chills you to the bone. 

I made noodles today...and plan to make some chicken and noodles tomorrow if all goes as planned.  

I sewed a few little lines late this evening...but no pics.  I did not think to take any.

Hope you have a good rest of the week...

Sunday, March 3, 2019

The usual

As is usual for me, when I cannot decide what to work on, or when I don't feel my normal self, I always can sew a few crumb blocks.  Of all the fabrics in these, less than half are scraps from my projects or my daughter projects.  The others are scraps that I buy at a local quilt shop just to add variety to mine.

I know that is crazy...what is even crazier is that some of them are so pretty and such a nice size that I have a hard time cutting them.  I don't mind using strips and strings of fabric...but when it is a bigger than 3 o 4 inches, I tend to avoid cutting them...I think there will come something I want to use them for.  And actually have a couple things in mind...

These little blocks are different sizes...mostly between 3½ to 4½ inches...and are not necessarily square.  My current plans are this:  they are going to be surrounded with strips of fabric.  and then trimmed to 6½ inch squares.  I am thinking I will use the same fabric throughout, but if not through out, then at least the same fabric around each little crumb block.  But I have been known to change my mind.

Another crazy thought is I keep looking at the weave-it looms, but I need one like I need another hole in my head.  I do not need any more hobbies.  I have not started another puzzle, but am very tempted to.


My hip is feeling a LOT better...I go tomorrow for another adjustment and am thinking it might be the last.  I am still taking ibuprofen on a regular basis.   But it feels wonderful to be able to walk pretty much normal.

I hope you have had a good weekend and that your week ahead is a good one.