Monday, February 13, 2017

Well, That Didn't Go As Planned

Hello, hello, hello.  I'm finishing up a long weekend so I thought I'd check in and tell you all about my wild weekend... 
First things first, I finished my fan flower block.  It's so pretty!  Next is carnations and I settled on pink/ violet.  Looking forward to it but it is very detailed.  It may take me awhile.  Morning Glory Designs has since posted a new block, Fleur de Lis  and it's gorgeous.  That will be after the carnation!  And, I think the Peony will finish it off.  Very exciting.  
 On Saturday night, I stayed up WAY too late watching the end of one of my favorite series, Republic of Doyle.  It's a great show & the end made me a little emotional.  So, I decide to watch something else before I try to sleep.  I chose Hemlock Grove.  In the first episode, a teen girl is disemboweled.  Nice.  I go to sleep around 1am in Bethany's room so I don't wake Rich who has to leave for work REALLY early.  At 4am, there is scratching and banging on the bedroom door.  Someone desperately wants in.  Certain one of my children is in need of my help, I jump out of bed.  I proceed to trip on a million different things on my way to the door.  Yelling, "Hold on, I'm coming.  Hold on!"   My baby needs me.  Alas, it was just Fred the dog.  Son of a B...  Get a handle on it Heather, you should have known it was Fred.  I then decide to use the restroom.  Mostly, because I had almost peed myself in my haste to save a life. As I'm seated, trying to calm my nerves and getting my blood pressure back to normal, the toilet tank starts running  FOR NO REASON AT ALL!  I almost fainted.   OMG!  No more scary shows before bed.  And, Fred ended up in the kennel the next night.  So, that happened.

Despite my near death experience,  Sunday went pretty smoothly and  I finally started quilting my Pucker Up Buttercup quilt.  I was really happy with the lemon wedges!  I used Wonderfil 100 wt cotton thread that Donna D had given me last year some time.  It is wonderful!  My machine loved it.  Not skipped stitches, no broken threads.

 Now, I have to change thread so I decide to save it for another day.  Go back on Monday to finish the other blocks.  Using Aurifil 50 wt and I can't stitch more than 2 minutes at a time before it's skipping stitches and thread is breaking.  I change needles, clean out machine, thread and rethread the machine.  Nothing works.  I go buy a different type of needle, it doesn't work.  Then, I make a practice sandwich to see how that goes.  Everything is perfect.  I finally decide it's the spray I used to baste the quilt.  I still don't know why it worked with one thread and not the other.  Left with little choice, I threw it in the wash to see if I can get some of the sticky out.  I'm really hoping that works and that enough of it is quilted already that it won't fall apart in the wash.  I'm a little afraid to check.
 So, time to move on from that disaster & work on En Provence.  I got 11 of the 16 main blocks finished and decide I'd better download the finishing instructions before Bonnie takes them off the blog. Too late.  As I'm trying to figure out if I can put it together myself, I couldn't  figure out where the block starts and stops in the finished quilt.  Where were her 4 white 3" blocks.  And, why don't I have that much yellow in my pieces?  So, this is what my block looks like.
 
 And, this is what they're supposed to look like.   Son of a B!  Now I have to rip out 44 white 3" squares from the 11 assembled blocks and insert the yellow.  How did I get that wrong?!  I tried to convince myself that the quilt would look fine without all the yellow but I can't.  Heavy sigh.
Okay, time to take a break from that.  I know, I'll  prepare the bags of walnut shells that I plan to sell .  I spent about an hour or so of spilling crushed walnut shell on the carpet, designing and redesigning the labels.  I finally decide I'm happy with what I've got only to run out of ink and labels.  Son of a B.  Not to mention the labels don't want to stay on the bag.
Then, to top off my day, I managed to wake Rich up.  He was trying to get some sleep before a 16 hour night shift.  Damn.  I'd be super salty if it were me that got woken up.  Do I dare try to bake a cake or should I just call it a day?  I'm almost afraid to see what I do at work tomorrow.  Fun things on the horizon, though.  Guild meeting tomorrow night, Wednesday I'm taking Sandy Kane's Tatting class, Thursday is court but it's time for another Mascoutah retreat next weekend.  Hopefully, I'll have my crap together by then.  In the mean time, Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Dreary February

Hello Fine Friends,
I hope all is well with you.  Things are trucking along on this end.  I'm surviving Grand Jury Duty.  It's emotionally exhausting to realize how many aweful things happen in your county on a regular basis.  I'm looking forward to the end of April when I can crawl back into my tunnel & pretend I live in Fairytale Land.  But, until then, there's butter and sugar.  And, thread and fabric.

Typically, I dislike February.  It's dreary.  It's the month my mom died some 10 years ago.  And, both my parents shared a birthday of Feb 23.  Just a whole lot of reminders of what is lost.  But, I try to keep as busy as possible so I don't fall down that rabbit hole.

Rich got impatient with me to repaint my little mini-fridge.  This was gifted to me by some lovely ladies that were done with it.  I'm so happy they thought of me before sending it to Goodwill.  On a random weekend, Rich set up a space for me to paint & told me I was getting started on it.  Normally, I'd be put out that he was telling me what to do but this time it worked in my favor.  I really LOVE my 50's pink fridge!

 Then, since we were painting, I convinced Bethany to paint a closet door in chalkboard paint.  Then, I traced an embroidery pattern onto it for the motif at the top.  The paint looks pretty good at a distance but up close it's pretty bad.  I really should have bought new brushes & made sure the paint wasn't chunky before I started but then I was too far in to stop.  Bethany is using the door for motivation & a "to do" list.
 I finished the breast cancer t-shirt quilt.  I thought I was going to make it bigger but since I had already quoted a price, I talked with the owner & she wanted to keep it small.  I really like it either way   & I loved working with pink!  I didn't know it at the time I bought the bolt but that batik was the perfect shade for the job.  I was able to keep the year on most of the blocks and the ones that I didn't, I embroidered the year so Denise will always know which one is which.

 I quilted it with wavy horizontal lines.
 All the bits are made on my En Provence quilt.  These are the main 16" (?)blocks.  I've still got several more to go but I can only stand to make about 4 at a time & then I get bored.  I will finish, though!  I keep seeing others' that are finished and it's a beautiful quilt!
 
 I did get another Art Neauveax block done.  I briefly called it Deco Gardens, like the designer, but a friend in TAS reminded me that Neauveax was the apppropriate period.  It was nice to realize I was on the right track.  So, back to trying to remember how to spell Neauveax all the time...  Isn't the daffodil so sweet?  When, I bought the pattern, apparently I was the first to purchase something with her new market software & she offered me a free pattern if I reviewed the purchasing process.  Nice, right?  She got a glowing review, by the way.  An honest one at that.  Morning Glory Designs.
 I got to 70 Granny Squares and decided to put them together.  I was hoping it would be enough but  Im told no.  It's currently a TV size and needs to be a "napping" size, according to Ethan.
I did get caught up on the BOM with my guild.  It's going to be a Quilt of Valor when I'm done.  I was just considering how difficult it might be to work with that panel in the middle.  There's going to be some strangely sized filler blocks everywhere.  2 more to go.
This one is called Crazy Ann.  Which I've always cracked up at because my mom's name was Anne.  That crazy Anne! Hehehe
 And, bear claw.
 This is Myrtle the Turtle.  She was made as part of the Under the Sea special exhibit our guild is doing at the quilt show this year.  She's the companion of the Mermaid I did earlier.
And, that brings us up to date!  Hope you are all surrounded by love this dreary February.  Happy Stitches!