Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Quilting, reading and other stuff

First up Quilting.
I thought I'd show you my set up for sewing rows without messing up the order of the blocks.
Beginning on the back left.
 The clipboard holds the design.
Each fabric has a number and that number is entered on the design sheet in it's proper place.
I use the pick highlighter to mark off the rows I've finished.
The sheet leaning against the clipboard has samples of each fabric beside it's number (also the number of squares I cut in this color.)
Then there are the five piles of squares waiting for me to lay them out.
To the very far right are strips cut for binding.
 (Forgot to do that for Kolby's Trip! Had to buy fabric.)
In the front are the square sets for the next blocks.
Three are already sewn together.
Just above the first set is a sticky with an arrow on it.
That tells me which way to press the seams so that they "lock" when they are sewn.
That's really important because even though I PIN like a fool they can shift and I want all of those four corners to meet perfectly~ I don't always get perfection but it has to be close.
Also shown are the oh so necessary tools of the craft.
Scissors, seam ripper, thread.  Other tools not shown-sewing machine, OTT light, and iron.
Using all that I get this!

Only seven more strips to attach before heading onto the next row.
See the orange sicky note?
Another reminder of how that row's seams need to be pressed in order to lock.
Tonight this row will be finished, tomorrow it will be on to the next.
I still have to unsew sometimes~ not nearly as much as on Kolby's.
Last night I attached the group I'd finished and found I'd left two strips out!
 Had to fix that.

Most of you have likely noticed that I read a great deal.
That's probably an understatement!
I finished this one a couple of days ago.
It's about the Mann Gulch fire.
 I wrote a bit about it August 27, 2016 (in spite of my best efforts I can't seem to link to that post.)
The Mann Gulch fire was  the greatest single loss of life in Smokejumper history-13.
It's a hard book to read.
Well, the subject makes it hard.
The writing is exquisite.
Which is totally explained by the fact that the author taught English at the University of Chicago.
Romance poets and Shakespeare to be exact-guess that rubs off on you.
You might recognize the author-Norman MacLean.
He also wrote A River Runs Through It And Other Stories.
Yes, the one the movie was made from.
I've added it to my reading list.

This fire year has been so horrible.
It seems it will never end.
I learn quite a bit about fire behavior from this book.
Things they didn't know at the time of the Mann Gulch fire.
Scary stuff forest fires.

Other things on my "To Do" list-some of which I actually do!
Prepping the trim and walls in my bedroom for paint.
 (a project made more complicated by the fact that the previous owners painted over a wall-paper border. Thank goodness it was only a border!)
Walking most days.
Stretching most days.
Practicing Piano and Guitar.
I'll never be truly capable on either but I am happy with my progress and I love doing it.
Practicing taking pictures.
Much harder on manuel but even if it takes multiple attempts I'm still trying.
Again, I may never be truly capable.

I've even done some cooking.
And managed to keep the kitchen fairly orderly along the way.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Fall and finish!

Fall came!
It won't last just yet but. . .
I'm enjoying hot tea with honey 
and oatmeal.
Maybe even soup, who knows.
I'm even wearing a sweater.
I love FALL! 

And in other news~
"H" is finished!
I am so glad!
It looks okay and will keep me warm
BUT. . .
I'm not really very happy with it.
I will not let flaws keep me from a finish though!

Today, I have some paint prep work to do.
One more doll outfit for Nora to sew.
(To anyone thinking of sewing American Girl doll clothes just let me say this~
it's like sewing an outfit for the 8yo girl in miniature! Painful!)
Then I can mail that off for her birthday on Friday.
Will also make the backing and batt for Kolby's Trip
to sandwich tomorrow!

I'm on a roll!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Quilting Catch-up

After last week this one has been blissfully quiet!
I have reworked my daily chores to where most all are on Mondays.
Leaving me more time for 
Which was the goal of the upheaval!

So the photo above is the beginning of Brayden's Trip.
I love the colors!
(Hint-my favorite color-blue!)
It looks blurry in the photo but when I looked at the strip again it really looks like that!

The other quilting catch up?
The "H" quilt.
Which now only needs binding!
Thank goodness.
It's the biggest quilt I've done on Bella the Bernina and I think I would have been okay if I hadn't decided to stitch in the ditch and then about 3/4" outside that "H".
Much twisting, and turning of a whole lot of fabric.
Add in the fact that the calendar may say it's October and time for the cool but the thermostat has said nearly 90F and thus the air conditioning has come on, makes holding all of that on your lap kinda HOT! 
Anyway, I should get a completed quilt photo on here soon.

I need to finish the doll clothes I have cut out and get them in the mail to Miss Nora as her birthday is on the 14th, so that's next.
I continue to make blocks for Brayden's quilt.
Cut fabric for Ethan's.
And Sandwich Kolby's quilt.

Still stretching, doing some exercises I learned in Physical Therapy and walking.
Practicing both the piano and guitar as well.
I'm managing to stay busy!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Crazy week!

This is a crazy week for me!
I mostly stay at home, especially in the evenings, working on projects and reading.
This week has only two evenings free!


First, on Sunday I watched this guy play soccer!
Such intensity.
Then he and I went to a Sporting Kansas City game-that's professional soccer!
Sporting KC wins a lot of games and won the game on Sunday against the LA Galaxy 2-1.
It was loud.
It was hot.
It was a bit boring what with all that ball passing going on!
I try and take each boy to something just for them-this was for Kolby.
I tell them that we will stay as long as they want and leave when they are ready.
These are long games-45 minute halves-and about 20 minutes before the end of the second half he said he was ready to go.
We went.
He's 8, I figured we'd leave early.
Parking, while free is across the road at the race track but they provide a free shuttle back and forth.
Leaving early meant we didn't have to wait for a shuttle!

Tuesday, Rob, Tanya and I went to the Kansas City Symphony after dinner.
The first time I'd been in the symphony hall at the Performing arts center and it is just as nice as the ballet hall.
An intimate setting for a performance of contemporary composers which we all enjoyed!
So much so that we're doing it again in 2018.

Today, I had my usual Wednesday volunteer day at the National Frontier Trails Center
followed by errands in Independence.
Joann's, Barnes and Noble and Costco.
Quinn was very glad to see me!

Tomorrow night I have photography class.
My homework is already done and printed!

Friday night Brayden and I are going to one of the final Royals games (baseball) of this season.
Unfortunately, there is no chance of us winning the pennant this time!
Last time he and I went they won the American League West-it was exciting.

In between all of that I've been quilting "H" -really do not like this quilt! 
And sewing on Brayden's Trip.


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Busy Bee here!

I'm taking a photography class at the Community College (Continuing Education)!
Expect more photos!
I have a nice (although older) Canon digital camera-think 35 mm style without film-which I've been using like a point and shoot!
While the photos are nice I decided I wanted to learn how to really use the camera.
The first class was all about light, ISO, Shutter speed and F stops-aperture. 
For the first time someone explained all that in a way I could understand.
Homework is 24 printed photos experimenting with light only.
I think I have 5 photos for each one I will have printed!
I consider my living room to be SO LIGHT-it took 5 attempts to even SEE anything in the photos!
I'm learning a lot but it will be an ongoing thing.

Besides Photos I have been sewing!
Doll clothes for Miss Nora's birthday next month.


Finished the top for Kolby's Trip Around the World!
That has to have batting and backing made and
Has to wait for

The "H" quilt to be out from under the needle!
(I don't have enough safety pins to sandwich it yet!-thought I had a million but this is a biggish quilt!)

I hope to have  "H" quilted by the first of next week.
Brayden's first Trip blocks are laid out-should get started on them tonight.

Added to that Quinn and I have been walking and I've been stretching and exercising, I'd like to say everyday but am happy with 5 out of 7!

I'm also back at the piano every day.

With my regular housework and the fact that the computer is now in the upstairs office I just haven't been blogging.
Now that I'm taking photos I'll try and do better!

Friday, September 1, 2017

Another Finish

Or mostly finished anyway!
This is my new dedicated office space.
My massive desk above-just great for spreading out the research.

Looking out from the desk-this old TV cabinet (ok not that old from the 1990's)
holds my printer and office supplies.

Also from behind the desk looking towards the hall and the closet.
The previous owners painted the doors to match the walls-ugh.
I haven't decided if I'll them using the cream on the walls or return them to white.
They also painted all the outlets (6) and switches (2) to match the walls-you really aren't supposed to do that!  They will be getting changed out.  I already have the replacements.
You'll notice the closet door is without a knob.
For some unknown and idiotic reason that door had a KEYED lock on it!
Somehow, in all the trips to bring seasonal boxes to that lovely walk in closet the inside lock got twisted and then I shut the door.
Yep, locked, no key.
After checking the internet and trying all the suggestions there I finally took the last-all else has failed  suggestion and used a hammer on it.
Replacing it will be simple I just have to go buy one.

I don't know any longer what to be the most upset about.
The way my country is falling apart,
The situation in Texas in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey,
or the fact that Montana is burning.

My heart hurts for the people of Texas-even the thought of losing everything is terrifying. Cleanup is beginning but it seems we didn't really learn anything from Katrina.

Montana is one of my favorite places on earth.
40 new fires began over the weekend.
Many of the places I visited last year now have serious, on-going fires with the associated smoke, highway closings and evacuations.
People have lost homes, livestock, fences, everything.
Glacier National Park lost a historic chalet,
The smoke is so bad you can't see the mountains.
Evacuations are everywhere.
The governor has called out the National Guard.
So far as I know ALL of these fires have been started by lightening.
It will take some serious snowfall to put them all out.

So Texas and Montana-two examples of the effect climate change has on the land.
But, wait, it doesn't exist!
To which I say Bullsh*t!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Finally Finished!

The studio that is!
The Room is an "L" shape and I'm standing at the corner looking towards the Exercise end.
When it's too cold, too hot or too allergy ridden I tote my bike (Annie) down the stars and put her in a trainer.  It's boring but works.  There's also a rowing machine and a TV.  Enough rug on the floor to do my stretches and exercises learned from therapy as well as a small tv to do exercise videos with.
I haven't used it lately, must get back to that!

Quinn's enjoying the rugs in the toy area!
She also likes to play down here as there's quite a bit of open space.
Most of all she loves that it is cooler down there.

Looking the other way is the doll house and all the stuff I've accumulated for finishing it off.
Boy, that yellow is really bright!
I need to get a book on making windows and doors next.
You can also see Grace the treadle machine, the design wall and my rocker-currently the only place to sit that isn't in front of a sewing machine!

Then looking back towards the door you can see the other leg of the "L"
This area is dedicated to sewing!
I know I could fix an ironing area closer to the machines but I need the steps and sitting too long isn't healthy. 
 The small blue tote on the floor holds fabric pieces to cut into strips.

These two IKEA cabinets hold all but two small boxes of my fabric.
The one on the right has fat quarters and panels in it organized by color and strips I've cut from leftover pieces.  Much easier to store that way and easier to use.
The cabinet on the left has larger pieces of fabric and serves as my cutting area.
That's Brayden's Trip being cut. (Only two more colors!)

The two electric machines I use.
Jaley the Janome is used for piecing those quarter inch seams.
Bella the Bernina is for doll clothes and other non-quilting sewing and for quilting.
(Still need to try that stitch regulator out!)

Each 4 foot table has a small cabinet next to it that holds the flotsam and jetsome of sewing.
There is a small antique sewing table between the two-currently holding the board I use for the next block but I expect to set Jaley off on it so I can cross-stitch there.
Above the table is a piece of muslin covered insulation board to hold stuff-there's currently A block for Kolby's trip on it and I use it to hold the doll clothes pattern pieces once they've been ironed.
Both machines have Ott lights next to them-I love those things!

Eventually, I may decide to do something to the floor but for now I think I'll just collect some more cheap pieces of carpeting!