Sunday, March 5, 2017

Spring....with a chance of sewing

The weather has been spectacular.  Everything has been bursting into bloom.

Some bloom is finished already.  The Bradford Pear trees around the pond have turned green since last week.  We've had a heavy rain and strong winds this week.  Yesterday morning was very chilly, but not as breezy and I caught some nice reflections in the still water.

One of the girls found this photo.  It was taken around 1987.  That's ED with her very long hair on the left, then a friend, MD with all those curls, and the Sailor Son who would have been three or just four.  Hard to believe he was ever that small!  :-)

The Viking was very excited to have a new-to-him pair of boots for running around in our backyard.  Though we are constantly cleaning up, with four dogs it's just easier for us all to wear some kind of "backyard shoes" to keep any messes out of the house.  The paper airplane was given to him by one of the garage owners while we were waiting during my car's oil change.  The Viking was delighted and it was the Toy of the Day.

After everyone had been sick for so long it was nice to get back into the routine of having lunch with Nanny and Papa once a week.  Tuesday is "pizza day" and The Viking does like his pepperoni.  He also likes ketchup on everything.  In this case he was happily dipping his chunks of melon in it.  Ewwwwww!

This is my serger.  The poor thing hasn't seen the light of day for years.  I've carefully carried it from place to place safely stored in it's case and was relieved to find out it is none the worse for it.  A bit of cleaning and oiling and it works perfectly!  First thing I did was make a machine mat with a bag for catching the scraps.

I wanted to try out this pattern and ran to JoAnn's for some inexpensive knit to make a "muslin."  I need to adjust the pattern size as this is too wide across my shoulders.  I also need more serger practice, but it's wearable and I look forward to trying other versions with sleeves.  Very pleased!

While playing around with making the mat and bag for the serger I was trying to quilt the mat with the #4 stitch on the Bernina 720.  Oh. How. Awful.  When you stretched out the stitch to make a nice serpentine pattern it was just terrible.  See the bottom row of stitches.  All wonky and uneven.  I couldn't understand it, as any other Bernina I've used hasn't had this issue.  I checked in with a local dealer and discovered an update for this problem had just been issued!  I zipped up there to pick up the update and sure enough it did the trick.  It even added stitch #1396 to the quilting stitches menu.  So now I can use either #4 or #1396.  Very cool!

So just to prove it works, I dragged out this table runner that's been waiting in the to be quilted pile and did a quick job with some straight line and serpetine quilting and it was quickly done.

Other members of my quilting bee went to Quiltcon East in Savannah last weekend.  They generously brought back a few small goodies for me, not the least of which was this deck of Bonnie Hunter playing cards.  So funny!  Joker Bonnie says, "I said to myself: I need to do something besides sewing today . . . then I laughed and laughed."  I'm laughing right along with you Bonnie!

In 2019 Quiltcon East will be in Nashville and we are already making our plans to go!  In the meantime I have lots of sewing to keep me busy.  I started a short (six month) BOM from Lone Star Mercantile called "Here a Chick, There a Chick" by Bonnie Sullivan.  Raw edge applique on flannel.  Pretty cute.

I also have a biscornu to finish for a guild swap on March 16th.  It is stitching up quickly except for the metallic floss suggested for the dragonflies.  What horrible stuff to work with!  Now I know.   :-)

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


After our distressingly odd day yesterday, I'm happy to say The Viking was feeling much better today.  His fever was lower and though his appetite wasn't what it usually is, he was cheerful and chatty and more like normal.  You can see the dark circles under his eyes.

We stayed home today, odd in itself.  Actually it was the first morning home in weeks.  The Viking was glad of an opportunity to play with the Chuggington trains and I was happy to work around him at sewing machines.

I have so many small projects in various stages of completion stashed in the corners of The Sandbox and it seemed a good idea to start pulling them out and getting them out of the way.  The first one that came to hand was this kit from Connecting Threads for a Ruffle Bag.  In the end, it turns out to be a rather odd looking thing.  Odd to put together too.  Unless I missed it (entirely possible), the pattern doesn't specify what kind of interfacing would be best.  And of course I boobed when cutting it out.  The stripes should be running up and down rather than around the bag, but oh well.  I'm not sure it would make it any less odd than it is now.  ;-)

The pocket on the inside shows the odd choice of kit fabrics.  Grey and white mixed with a cream floral.  Nice fabrics....separately.  Anyway, the bag is roomy and I'm sure it will be plenty serviceable.

Ivy certainly doesn't care one way or the other.  :-)

Monday, February 20, 2017


I've been poked from overseas so need to catch up on my posting.  **waving to MIL**  ;-)

So let's see...
Mom's 88th birthday was at the end of January.  The Sailor Son was able to get away from his training at the Marine base and join us for a birthday dinner.  
As you can see we had a jolly time.

Hugs for Uncle Sailor Son.

And the Statue of Liberty was there too! :-)

We've been on walks on the greenway to see the "new bridge."

  Stardust lost her first tooth and we received Valentine's Day photos
and a portrait with Mr. Squibbles.

The Viking was with me on Valentine's Day and he showed up wearing a "tie shirt."  
All day long he explained to people that he was wearing his tie shirt because he married his mommy for Valentine's Day.  Awwwww.

Swim lessons are progressing.  He actually gets his face wet now!

On this day he arrived at my house declaring he was a cat.  So I made him a tail.  :-)

En Provence is finished!  Well, not quilted yet, but piecing all 
those neutral four patches in the border is done.  Hooray!

 I decided to give the 201-2 some exercise and made new pillowcases for us.  
The Singer cabinet has a knee control rather than a foot pedal. 
I kept forgetting and pressing on the base of the Ottlite instead! 
 It kept me amused.

 I've been keeping up with The Honey Pot Bee blocks
The Star Kisses block.  

The Quilter's Pantry block.  Several jars of dog treats in our house so this one was a no-brainer.  
The second one was just fun.  And I have another fun fabric to make a third.

Molli came up with a wild card block a couple of days ago.  The Sew Royal block.  I was thinking of the Imperial State Crown.  Ermine, purple velvet, mega jewels and crusted with diamonds.  I may go back and add a ball and cross to the point.  It looks a little unfinished.

It's also fun to follow this creative group on Facebook and Instagram.
Everyone's blocks are so different. 

So there they are up on the design wall.

Speaking of the wall, I recovered it with fresh flannel on Saturday.  For some reason even I don't understand, I chose a tiny pink floral print.  It looks a bit like I threw a crib sheet up on the wall!  It's not too bad really and it's clean and fresh until the next time the redecorating urge strikes me.

 Sunday we broke our backs working in the backyard.  This garden was just weeds.  We lay down cardboard boxes I picked up from the back room at Cary Quilting Company, watered it well and added a good layer of mulch.  Hard to see even if you click on the picture,
we also added four more rose bushes.

On a whim, we also planted three blueberry bushes. 
In about three years we may get some goodness to eat.

Also, on Saturday evening Crazy Maisy caught another rabbit in the yard.  Sigh.
In the melee she managed to tear off a toenail.  What a mess!  
Though she was good as gold about the bandage and sock we put on.  Never touched it.

I took her to the vet this morning just to be sure she hadn't done any real damage and it turns out it looked worse than is and will heal just fine.  Hard to know as these things bleed like the dickens.  The poor Viking was droopy when he arrived at my house this morning and by the time we got to the vet's office he was clearly running a fever.  Poor thing, he patiently waited for us on a bench with his blanket and promptly fell asleep on the way home.  So unlike his energetic self.  
Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day for him.

Spring has sprung here.  I'm thinking I need to plant lots more daffodils this fall
as they go so well with the color scheme!  

I noticed the Lenten roses are in bloom too.  Trees are in bloom everywhere and the ones around the pond should be in full bloom by the end of the week.  Spring is almost a month early!

Back to my stitching now.  I need to get this biscornu done asap.