Tuesday, November 30, 2021

No TV or internet....

This is the second time Comcast has had a  multi-state outage and they don't expect to have it fixed until 11 p.m. so my monthly recap post may be delayed 

Still reorganizing............

You know what it is like, you  move one thing and then you have to move a bunch of other things.  I'm almost done...one more day.

I'm taking leftover strips from the Gridlock quilt to make some small table protectors.  The finished size will be 8.5" x 11".  I haven't decided if the center should be a square or a rectangle in a rectangular shape.

I brought the last of the tomatoes in from the garage.  I picked all of the larger size green ones on Oct. 30th before the freeze.  I read somewhere that you can just pull the plants out and hang them upside down in the garage and the tomatoes will ripen.  I just broke off 2 branches of them and set them in a box in the heated garage and by golly they ripened.  These are about the size of a ping pong ball and I threw away many plants just loaded with ones this size.


Monday, November 29, 2021

Moving things from place to place.........

I'm not sure I made any progress on reorganization of my cutting dies but it took up many hours yesterday.  I didn't sew anything but took a little time to pet fabric.

My red cactus is blooming away.  It looks like many more buds will open but the tiniest ones will probably dry up and fall off.  The angel has been watching over my cacti for several years since a friend gave it to me.

It was another cold day yesterday so the only time I was outside was to walk to the end of the driveway for my newspapers.  November is going to end without any measurable snowfall.  By Thursday we are supposed to be up to the mid 50s again so maybe that will be the last day for cleanup of my pots.

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Portrait time...........

The seams are all sewn, the pressing is done, time for a portrait.

I posted this on my Instagram feed too and it looks a lot brighter there, the difference between a real camera and a phone camera.  I think the colors are truer in this photo.  This one ended up 68" x 92".  It will shrink up a little with quilting.

(Reminder: this quilt was inspired by the Gridlock quilt in Kaffe Fassett's book Glorious Patchwork and again in the book Kaffe Quilts Again.  Both of them in the books were made by Liza Prior Lucy).

I had a couple crazy pieced blocks started a few months ago so I added a few more strips and then trimmed them.  The fabrics are all Marcia Derse designs.

I had just one edge trimmed when I took this photo.

Here they both are after trimming.  I have lots of small scraps and haven't decided what I'll do with them yet.

I have a bud and a bloom on the white cactus.  It was in a bigger pot when I bought it about 5 years ago and the center part died during the summer. I have found in most cases that the ones that are in larger pots are usually several separate pieces instead of a large plant and this one has 4 pieces left in the pot.  That is why it doesn't all bloom at the same time.


Saturday, November 27, 2021

Last Gridlock seams sewn, but.............

 The last 3 seams have been sewn but I just couldn't get motivated to press that huge top.  Maybe today........  So I prepared a collage of the other quilts I have made over the years with Marcia Derse fabrics.  The blue and white zig zag baby quilt isn't included so there are actually 8 and when I finish the Gridlock top there will be 9.  I sold 2 of the tops and gifted one of the finished quilts.  I still own three of the finished ones in the collage, one top is waiting to be quilted.

I was searching for something on my blog yesterday and happened to land on my yearly recap from last year.  Here is what I wrote on there about New Year's resolutions:

Maybe instead of resolutions we just need wishes or hopes.  That won't make you feel like a failure if it doesn't happen.

A few words that seem important now:

Spontaneous--doing things with great joy in the spur of the moment.

No guilt goes along with that--make things just for the fun of it. The orphan block box will undoubtedly get fuller and that is OK with me - more fun down the road.

I think I have stayed with the spontaneous part pretty well this year.  I just made blocks for the fun of it when I was between projects or just plain didn't have any focus on what I should be doing.  And.....I don't feel guilty about just making pieces and parts and sample blocks with no end project in mind.

Friday, November 26, 2021

3 more seams..................

 It's not very straight on the wall but you can get the idea, just 3 more long seams to sew.  When I get it done and pressed I'll put it up on the design walls in the basement where I have my extra lighting and get a good photo.

I'm glad I got my yard work mostly done on Wednesday.  It was cold and windy yesterday and night time temperatures dropping into the teens.  I guess I should get my winter coat out of the garment bag in the basement.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Yard work and prep work.............

I got in a good session of yard work yesterday afternoon.  I raked more leaves onto the lawn and chopped them with the mower.  I emptied 5 pots but still have a couple more to do.

Last night I cut a few more squares to have 17 for the last row of border on the Gridlock quilt.  I think this assortment will work but I can always cut a couple different ones if I need them.  I also fixed the 36 patch block that I wasn't happy with.  Now the serious sewing begins.

I'm still knitting dishcloths while I watch the evening news.  This one started out with 2 small portions left from previous balls of yarn and then I added another yarn that went well with them.  

Happy Thanksgiving to my US friends!!


Wednesday, November 24, 2021

My day yesterday...........

I started out yesterday sending a remote pacemaker reading to the dr. office.  I had an errand downtown next and then I baked a double batch of Kringlas.  I have posted the recipe previously and this is the recipe with buttermilk in it.  I gave my granddaughter suggestions of what I would bake and she chose this one.

Her second choice was frosted creams so I baked them too.  This box full is going into my freezer.  It is a large recipe so there is enough for all of us.

This is the view from my sewing chair.  I have used almost every inch of the double design wall side to side so there wasn't room to put the last row of border on the right edge.  I didn't sew any more, they are just loose on the design wall.  I also have pieces on top of one of the 36 patch blocks covering up the row I'm going to take out.

Today is supposed to be up the 50s again so I hope to get outside and mow over some more leaves.  Chopped leaves are a great nutrient for the grass.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Sets of 3 squares...........

I decided one row of squares around the quilt top was enough.  I am starting to sew them in sets of 3 squares to match up with the quilt blocks.  The top 3 sets on both sides are sewn.  The rest of the squares are just loose on the wall.  I can move the sets of 3 around to new places as I finish designing if I see something I'm not happy with.  I might get this top sewn together this week.  I have some baking to do today to send with family to my granddaughter's house 6 hours away. 

Monday, November 22, 2021

Border audition..............


The original Gridlock quilt had a one row border of squares all around it.  I thought maybe a 2 row border would work and would increase the quilt to twin size.  I don't have all of the different colors cut yet for the border but wanted to see whether one row or 2 looks best.  I think maybe the one row is better.  I need to plan this border before I start sewing the quilt top together because 3 border squares are the size of one Gridlock block so they will be sewn in groups of 3 and added on that way in rows instead a long strip made of squares being added last.

I decided to get a pink poinsettia this year.  I'm not sure if I've ever had a pink one before.  I just buy one $5 plant at the big box place and try to keep it alive until January.

It was over 50 degrees yesterday so I mowed to chop the leaves in the backyard.  I hope there will be another warm day to mow again because there are a lot more leaves to rake off the flower beds.  I leave a light covering to create compost.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Planning ahead..............

My son bought me a red Amaryllis at the hardware store on his way to my house last week.  I opened it last night and found it already growing, tipped to one side to fit in the box.

It even has a second bud starting.  It is awfully pale from being hidden from the light and it will green up quickly now that it is out and planted.

My Amaryllis bulb from last year is in its time out (resting) period now under a box for darkness.  I think I will need to leave it there until the second week of December.  I meant to bring it inside sooner but kept forgetting.

I moved 2 blocks on the Gridlock quilt and cut more squares that will be used as the border around the quilt.  I will start at the bottom edge of the design wall because I can't reach above the top of the blocks that are on it.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Decision time..........

I made the last three blocks for the Marcia Derse fabric Gridlock quilt top.  Now I have to make the decision whether I am going to add a narrow strip into any of the 4.5" strips in the blocks.  The bottom strip on all 4 of the blocks on the left side is a full 4.5" strip with no narrow strips breaking it up.  There are 7 more blocks like that scattered through the other 4 columns.  I moved several of the 36 patch blocks to new positions.  I'm happy with all but the middle block in the second horizontal row.  I don't hate the block but might consider changing a couple strips in it.

I found a new setting on my camera that I think works better for high contrast areas in my quilts.  I changed it from auto to Program and then went into the menu and turned on the Contrast feature from OFF to Auto.  I'm using a Canon Powershot SX150.  The camera before this one was purchased in 2008.  I'm guessing this one was probably purchased between 2012 and 2014. 

Friday, November 19, 2021


When I went out to disconnect my hose and bring in the hose and cart I noticed how pretty the hardy Geranium is in my new front gardens.

I'm hoping my new compact Burning Bushes will turn color completely before they lose their leaves.  They are just starting to turn.  It was about 32 degrees yesterday and very windy so the oak tree in the backyard has lost most of its leaves now.

I filled my birdfeeders and was watching all of the birds coming to eat and then all of a sudden they were gone.  Look what landed in a tree 20 feet from the feeders.

With the wind blowing so hard the hawk had ruffled feathers at times.  It eventually left and the squirrels and a few birds came back.

I did laundry yesterday and looked through my Marcia Derse fabrics but I didn't get anything cut for the Gridlock quilt.


Thursday, November 18, 2021

3 blocks to go............

I sewed 2 more 36 patch blocks and the green block in the top left corner.  Then I added a strip into the bottom right block.  I moved a couple blocks to new positions.  After I finish all of the blocks I will take the remainder of the 4.5" strips and cut the 4.5" squares that go around the perimeter.  I just have to decide if it will be one row or 2 rows so I know how many to cut.

My backyard is a beautiful gold.  The maple tree has lost about half of its leaves so the ground is gold too.  The tree will probably be bare in a couple days.


Wednesday, November 17, 2021

A finish!................

The binding is finished!  It shouldn't have taken so long but it isn't my favorite thing to do.  This batik colorwash is 39" square.  Closeup photos of the binding are in previous posts this month.

The backing has many colors and a few of them show in this photo.  This one is ditch quilted in both directions with Invisifil thread.

The green block in the top left corner is just pieces.  I'm trying to decide if it is ready to sew.  One more 36 patch block is sewn and 2 more are partially designed.  So...I didn't follow my plan for the last block with center square to be light in value.  I decided that it needed one more green block.  As I finished the hand sewing on the binding I did a lot of staring at the blocks on the wall.  After all it is my last chance to make this quilt spectacular.  A few of the blocks might get a narrow strip sewn into the 4.5" strips to break up the solid look and to possibly lighten the value of the block.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Gridlock blocks 27 and 28..............

Gridlock block number 27.  It took me awhile to find a center square for this block.

Gridlock block 28.  I really intended to make the last three blocks in lighter colors so I hope I will be able to do a good layout with the blocks I have made.  I have one more block like this to make so it will be lighter colors.

Here are the 28 out of 35 blocks needed for the quilt.  There are 3 new 36 patch blocks here too so I sewed 5 blocks yesterday.  The final layout will be determined when I get all of the blocks made.  If I have to make a couple new blocks to make it all work that is OK.

My neighbor/family friend came over yesterday and cut down a bunch of small trees for me.  In this southwest corner there was one tree that fell over into the big tree in the photo.  Then there were 5 more small trees in this corner that were removed too.  This is the shady corner where I have a lot of Hostas planted and it will still be shaded by several big trees near it.  He hauled away all of the branches too, a good job done before winter.  

My son came over too and fixed some of the lights in the basement, put new bulbs in my garage door opener and hung my new smoke & carbon monoxide detector.  I bought a new battery for my doorbell and I installed that myself.  A lot of things taken care of in one day. 

Thanks for all of the belated birthday greetings yesterday!

Monday, November 15, 2021

Thank you!............

This was the view out my dining room window yesterday afternoon.  

Thank you everyone for the happy birthday wishes yesterday.  I was going to answer all of them but then decided a group thank you would have to do.

My granddaughter brought me lunch from one of my favorite places and a friend brought me a decadent dessert last evening.

I didn't sew a stitch.  I gave my daughter-in-law 2 of my cactus plants so I'm down to 12 plants of the Thanksgiving (pointed ends) variety, 2 spring or Easter cactus and one pot of Christmas Cactus (rounded ends) that has 5 pieces in it.  A friend in CO sent me the starts and I planted them all together.  I have buds on several plants now and one might be blooming by next week.  I repotted my champagne color cactus which broke into 3 pieces and one of them has buds already.  I potted 2 others that were small pieces left from larger plants in a pot together.  One is pale pink and the other is red.  I used a combination of compost from a friend, Miracle Gro potting soil and Perlite so I hope that encourages growth.

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Slow progress............

 I'm starting off today with the same photo I showed yesterday and next is the inspiration quilt so you can see the look I am working toward.

This quilt was made by Liza Pryor Lucy and is in the 1997 Glorious Patchwork.  This caught my eye when I first bought this book but I never made it because it looked like I would have to use solid color fabric to reproduce it.  Then over the years I accumulated the Marcia Derse lines which are perfect for it.  I am making mine one row longer and I'm contemplating using 2 rows of the squares around the perimeter.

I found two more blues to work into the project.  I sewed some more rows of 6 squares for the 36 patch blocks but didn't get the blocks sewn.

While I'm staring at the design wall contemplating my next move I work on the hand sewing on the binding of the colorwash quilted earlier this month.  I have 3 sides done now.

Happy Birthday to me!  81, can you believe it??

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Slowly.....a few more blocks..........

I made a few more blocks and turned the blocks sideways on the design wall.  This is the view from my sewing machine cabinet.

I turned the photo 90 degrees and cropped it to show it how it will look.  I need to add one more row at the top, 3 more blocks with a square center and 7 (and a part) more 36 patch blocks to go.  The bottom three 36 patch blocks aren't sewn together yet.

I'm wondering if my 36 patch blocks are too colorful.  

This is the next fabric to cut for a block.

A little snow on the leaves a couple times yesterday was the extent of the accumulation.  More expected.......  

Friday, November 12, 2021

Auditioning blocks...........

I audition my blocks by cutting a 4.5" strip of the 2 fabrics that will be top and bottom and then cut them at 12.5".  Next I lay narrow strips across them until I find one I like and then cut the wide strip at a random spot and sew in the narrow strip. Then it is trimmed to 4.5" wide.  The strip that I trim off might be used in another block.  These directions are not in the books, they are how I work.  I might find 3-4 strips I can sew together to be at least 4.5" wide too.  All auditioning is done on my cutting mat.

All of these narrow strips are just laying on top of the 4.5" wide strips.  I haven't made the final decisions yet.

Snow is predicted for this afternoon and some areas will get "raining snow" according to one weather forecaster.  Some people may get none.  I don't know whether to be excited or depressed.


Thursday, November 11, 2021

36 patches sewn............

My goal yesterday was to get most of the 36 patches sewn.  The 2 on the right aren't sewn yet because I'm not happy with them.  I can't continue the designing until I turn the quilt blocks sideways and finish it with the length of the quilt horizontal on the design wall.  Since almost all of the 36 blocks were just strips of 6 squares it wouldn't have been easy to turn them.  I will be adding 2 more rows of blocks for a finished length around 92".

I looked out my kitchen window and realized the Redbud tree in front of my Maple tree has lost most of its leaves so now I can see all of the beautiful color.

The pretty Viburnum bush is outside the same window.

I walked over to my neighbor's yard to take a picture of the pretty tree from the other side.  It always waits until the first freeze to turn color.  Now the leaves will probably drop rather quickly.


Wednesday, November 10, 2021

2 more blocks................

This is one of my favorite blocks so far.  Yellow is my favorite color so that might have something to do with it.

I only have the smallest little bit of the purple dotted fabric.  I'm glad there was enough to use in a block.

I made more pieces for the 36 patch blocks as well as the 2 new blocks.  I'm running out of space on this design wall. I can just build the next 2 rows of blocks on the left side (where I have plenty of room) and turn all of the blocks sideways.  I need to make some decisions on the 36 patch blocks and get them sewn together first.