I sat down and made a stack of masks a while back. The brown camouflage and red ones were at my son’s request along with any that have ear loops. I did a set with ties for myself or with the elastic long enough and situated so that it goes around my head. The ear loops style irritates the skin behind my ears, especially with wearing glasses. I gave away a couple and have more prepped for sewing but haven’t gotten around to it. We have enough of a stash for daily wear for a week, and we don’t leave the house much.
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I like small, portable handwork. It’s something I can take with me or just a bit to get my hands busy while I’m watching TV or a movie. I have a couple crewel pieces that I’ve actually finished and few more in various sates of completeness, but even that was needing a bit too much attention. In every issue of Today’s Quilter there was a few pages on English Paper Piecing (EPP). I didn’t really know anything about it so kind of skimmed until a few months ago when it had a hexie pattern in it. (Once I tried the other kind of paper piecing and really didn’t like it. That’s a story for another day.)
I love the hexie shape. There is just something about it that speaks to me. So I actually read the article that time and a light bulb went on. Oh! I didn’t start on anything right away. Still too much RL chaos, but I did order some hexie templates. Those came in and went up on the peg board as I ruminated over what fabric I might like to use. I have a set of bee and honeycomb themed fabric I was considering, but it never quite got there.
One day in late March I was rifling through my scrap fabric and came across the pieces left from my Candy Pop quilt. Just the thought of the bright mostly geometric prints in small hexagon shapes gave me a thrill. Fortunately for my, IT had to remote in and work on my computer. So while I waited, I started experimenting with the templates and the fabric. I would snip of piece of a scrap just large enough to turn under the 1/4″ seam allowance for a 1″ (length of one side) hexie and baste it into place. Since then I’ve been randomly making these hexies. I haven’t joined any of them yet as no one single idea has made itself The One but I am having fun.
I probably have about 50 hexies done of the 100 templates. In looking at my stack of scraps that I’ve also supplemented with a fat quarter here and there, I knew I didn’t have have enough. The idea of cutting more by hand was beyond unappealing, and I had not yet stirred myself to ordering more. Then I remembered the Cricut. Pulling up the design space and reading through the how to sections as a refresher resulted in a sheet of 1″ hexies to cut.
I pulled the machine out this morning and looked at what I had: a couple of blades and three different cutting mats. All I needed was lightweight 12×12 cardstock. A trip out to the store solved that. Of course, it had been long enough since I last used the Cricut that I had to review the instructions on how to use it. It took a little bit to get it all set up and connected (I had not previously used it with this computer) but we had success. I have an additional 30 templates from the test run.
The top center is one of the purchased templates. The bottom left is one of the cut templates.
I am well pleased with how it worked. Next step is to redo the project so the nearly the whole sheet is used to see how many templates that nets me.
Post title is courtesy of my munchkin who really has had the worst summer ever. We got through summer school without any problem during June. Then July arrived, and the start of medical issues that are still ongoing.
It has been trying and exhausting for both of us with two hospital stays and many clinic visits. He is under excellent care however we still do not have answers regarding cause and continue to treat the symptoms.
His biggest disappointment was the cancelling of the trip to Legoland. Honestly, I was very much also looking forward to it. Instead we spent a that time at the hospital and clinic.
Mom came up the Saturday after the first hospital stay and has been here since. I have desperately needed the extra support. We are not sure when she will be leaving, and dad has called her more in the time she’s been here than in my entire life.
The closest we have gotten to crafting, artwork or stitching is looking at magazines and carrying around a sketch book and pens and pencils. We’ve barely managed to keep the food bearing plants watered. Fortunately we live in a high humidity area where nightly mists / fog / rain is common. The summer vegetables have not done well, but the tomatoes carry on at least.
It will likely be some time before any more posts happen as my focus has understandably been elsewhere.
Mom came up for her annual visit early in the month and stayed for a whole week this time, Sunday to Sunday. We did some shopping and pampering of her (chiropractic visit, massage at the spa, hair cut, pedicure). By then it was only Tuesday!
Then we did an in-house shopping day – she went fabric shopping in my stash. At some point in the last year I had picked up a fat quarter pack that just had mom written all over it. Pinks, yellows, and greens with floral motifs are her thing. She wanted to make a quilt like one of the ones I have of two-inch strips. It would need a border, backing and binding, perhaps sashing. I knew I had the perfect fabric for both backing and border. Pulled those out and there was certainly enough of both. I didn’t think I had the right green for the binding then realized I did. It had been one of the options for the Candy Pop quilt. Over Wednesday and Thursday, there was plotting, planning, cutting and sewing. She loves using my old Featherweight. It does make the most beautiful straight stitch.
Friday was the start of MPQG’s annual Quilt Show. So many beautiful quilts and creativity. Some of my favorites are pictured here in the slide show.
Saturday is a kitty care day for Leo and I at AFRP. Mom came down with us for our two hour shift to play with the kitties. As the town’s Good Ole Days festival was in full swing, we left early in attempt to fin parking. Luck was with us that day, and a spot opened very near to where we needed to be. Between playing and loving on the kitties, mom visited the rescue’s supporting thrift shop next door and found some goodies. I went by to check on her and talk with Deb there. On my way out, I told Deb that if the Necci was still there the next day, I would take it home.
With new fabric and seeing all those quilts, mom was determined to get hers done. She kept going into the wee hours but finally had to call it a night. The only thing left was the binding. I handed her the thread and folded up the nearly done quilt then tucked it into a pillowcase to keep it clean. She packed it to take it home to finish.
We got her to the airport the next day despite crazy traffic, especially for a Sunday and got back in time to spend an hour at Good Ole Days before it closed until next year. Leo ran into a friend and they went on some ides together. Then we were both wiped out.
Oh, and the Necci was still there and did come home with me.
I have only been able to see if the motor ran, but have not spent any more time than that. The whirlwind was not yet over. Work kept me bsy the next four days on top of needing to pack. We were driving down to LA on Friday as my daughter was getting married on Saturday. Necessary work things were done Friday morning, then we all loaded into the car and headed south. My timing was awful as we hit rush hour traffic in Santa Barbara, Venture and Thousand Oaks/ Agoura. We grabbed dinner at Tommy’s and headed up to the folks. Unpacking the fancy clothes revealed a missing shirt that required a last minute dash to the mall before the shops closed. Saturday was the wedding and reception.
Welcome to the family, Jon. You’re in trouble now!
The following week saw another business trip and physical evidence of over doing plus allergies. But I’ve recovered mostly and hoping things slow down just a little. The most creative I’ve been able to manage is coloring in a coloring book.
Oh, and I almost forgot. Mom did finish the quilt! On Friday before we arrived! I think it turned out lovely!
Two more pillows were completed and delivered to my client. One was a small print of random color splashes (sure, there is a word for it, but it eludes me at the moment). The other was a hound dog / beagle that was challenging to to the nature of the needlepoint stitching not having a solid background. For this one I ended up lining a cut of white cotton sheeting with fusible interfacing then doing a reverse applique to give both body and a regular rectangular shape. From there I stitched random quilting lines to set off the border from the main picture. It turned out fairly well I think. My client certainly seemed happy with it.
The mystery quilt was packed up and shipped off in November, not directly to its intended recipient but to a nearby family member who was in on the surprise. Jane had agreed to properly wrap it and deliver to Beth for Christmas. Since it has been received, I can share full pictures.
This is my own design. I looked long and hard for fabric that had sheep that was not meant for a nursery and finally found just what I wanted on eQuilter.com. I ended up sourcing all the cuts from them that I needed, and as I tend to do, overbought slightly, but that meant oopsies weren’t causing stress. The batting is Warm & Natural Cotton batting. This I buy off the bolt when I have those 50% off coupons from Joann’s and get several yards of the largest width available. The woolly sheep shapes are all appliqued onto the black and red checkered background (one is actually reversed applique). The quilting was all done by hand using variegated perle cotton in sizes 16, 12 and 8 and selections of red/black or white/black cuts. The size 16 is a Presencia Finca thread and the 12 and 8 are Valdani – all sourced from Needle in a Haystack.
And somewhere in my many files there’s a photo of the matching pillow. I will add it to the port when I finally come across it.
(Five minutes later) I found the pillow pic!
Maybe not officially for a few days, but due to all the rains we have had this rainy season, the pollen count is off the charts. That translates into much Claritin, Zyrtec and Allegra usage. And we are due for more rain next week.
Along with allergies has come the extra need to get stuff cleaned up fueled by a couple of necessary reorganizing and straightening of certain areas like the garage. A house heater repair had to be done which mean moving the stuff out away from the mechanical unit in the garage. That turned into, let’s finally break down all those empty boxes. The garage looks considerably better even with the extra work stuff I just had to store out there.
A deep scrub of the kitchen occurred as well and we are slowly making our way through the rest of the house as there are not a lot of available hours to do it in.
Those hours are limited due to another spring time activity – baseball. Last year in an unprecedented fit of enthusiasm, munchkin decided he wanted to play baseball. He likes it, a lot. So we played fall ball too. And now we are in the Pony League’s spring season once again. His in the Mustang division now where all the teams have names that align with pro teams. He is on the Giants (very popular hear near the bay for some reason [wink, wink] ). I’ve also managed to get wrangled into being an assistant to the coaches which means I’m there every practice and every game. Opening weekend was last Saturday with ceremonies in the morning followed by a double header that afternoon. The silver lining is that our team has no more double headers this season. We had a game Thursday, practice Friday and another game today. This is how it will go through the end of May / end of the school year. Considering how much of my time has been sucked up by baseball, I can only imagine how much worse it is for the head coach as well as one of the assistants who is also league president.
This will mean my creative time is considerably less. I will have to focus to get that baby quilt done. Fortunately, I am pretty close to the end with two rows to put together, and three including those to attach, then just the binding.
In all this I’m trying to get the vegetable and herb garden going again. I have corn sprouting in the kitchen along with a garlic plant and a couple blue potatoes. After a trip to the hardware store this morning, I’ve added thyme and basil.
Lil man also helped set up the DIY vermicomposting bin. The base stuff is all there though more worms do need to be added. I haven’t searched for a local source yet, but that’s next.
Tomorrow a much needed pedicure is on the agenda and a visit to the massage therapist on Thursday. All that craziness above is in addition to the day job that pays the bills. I’m going to need both of those visits so very much.
Wishing you a Happy Spring and a Blessed Equinox.
Today seems to have been sort of catch up on things day. Normal household stuff got done then diverted elsewhere. Upon getting the laundry folded, I found a couple pairs of munchkin’s pants that need patching. That got done. Amazingly I had some orange fabric that perfectly matched the orange pants. That is excessively rare for the non denim stuff, not that he wears denim anymore. Started refusing to wear jeans at all a little over a year ago. It isn’t a hill to die on.
After that was a trip to Beverly’s to either get a second rotary cutter or new blade(s) for the old one. This happened since the blades I ordered online had a different center than the cutter I have. As the new blades are nearly $9 for a single blade and a second cutter was $17, I opted for the cutter since I have a 10-pack of thise blades. Storage boxes were on sale and I picke up a couple to try to organize the mess that is my floss and beads. Well, the floss is definitely worse off.
A couple more stops before we came home, and I was suddenly motivated to finish that over-the-sink shelf for the kitchen that I started last year. The boards were cut and varnished, but I hadn’t bothered to assemble them yet. I finally did that, and I’m very pleased with how it turned out. I’ve some knick knacks on it for now. I plan to pull out my seeds and see if I can’t get a herb and/or salad garden going there.
Yes, this is procrastinating of a sort. The Dragon Fruit quilt is at a bit of an impasse as I vacillate between putting the blocks together then quilting or using a quilt-as you-go method. Also, with dull rotary blades, the inner border pieces were not coming along very quickly.