Saturday, October 31, 2015

Hello, Halloween … Goodbye, Daylight Savings Time

Happy HalloweenI don’t get into Halloween the way some do, so there’s no Halloween d├ęcor here at Chez Nana.  In fact, other than Christmas, I don’t do much decorating for the seasons or holidays.  I’d rather enjoy the things I already have out, many of which have sentimental value to me.

We didn’t have any trick or treaters last night.  Sad smile  But it was just as well because I have to confess that I was in bed not long after 7:00.  Surprised smile  I know … I normally go to bed early, but 7:00?  I’ll confess that I’ve not been feeling well for the last couple of weeks, and yesterday was the worst.  Thankfully between a really good night’s sleep and the start of a treatment plan prescribed by my doctor, I’m feeling better today.  Not at all close to 100%, but certainly better than I did yesterday.  DH even remarked this morning that he could see that I was feeling better.  Hopefully I’ve turned the corner and will be improving each day.  Right now, I’m cautiously optimistic that I’ll be able to attend retreat next week.  I mean, all meals are provided, so all I have to do is sit, sew and sleep.  Which is probably about all I would do here at home.  ha!  DH, bless his heart, has offered to drive the hour up to Pere Marquette to help me haul all my stuff out of my van to the sewing room.  Red heart  

I erred yesterday when I reported that I was ready to start working on block #6.  The photo I took was before I quilted block #6, but I had since moved the hoop to get ready to start on block #7.  Obviously my “puniness” affected my brain.  Open-mouthed smile  I did get most of the 7th block quilted yesterday.  Like I said, yesterday was a very bad day, so I didn’t make as much progress as I would have liked, but some progress is better than no progress, right?  Winking smile IMG_0254Had I been feeling better, I should have quilted the entire block and even perhaps a little of block #8.  Oh well … like I said, some progress is better than no progress.  Maybe today will be a more productive day.

Turn clocks backI’m already discouraged at how early it’s getting dark … and it’s only going to be worse tomorrow!  I know we’ll get an extra hour’s sleep tonight, but ugh – I’m not looking forward to it getting dark before dinner.  Sad smile  But I guess that will be inevitable even if we weren’t changing from DST what with the shorter days.  <sigh>
I hope that whatever you have planned for today includes a little something that brings you joy ... have a great day!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Quilty Update


Yesterday evening, I moved the hoop to block #6.  I’m not sure why the close-up is so washed out … the picture of the whole quilt is definitely more accurate.



All I managed to do, after moving the hoop, was to mark the first sashing for block #6.  Getting that block quilted (and maybe a start on #7?) is on today’s agenda.  One benefit to making a fairly scrappy quilt is that when I share what’s in my hoop, it doesn’t look exactly like what I shared the last time.  ha!


I hope that whatever you have planned for today includes a little something that brings you joy ... have a great day!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge



I can’t remember the last time I joined in on the Hodgepodge fun.  Way too long, I’m sure.  If you’d like to join in the fun, too, just click on the button above.


1. Are you comfortable with silence? If you're home alone, do you like silence or do you need regular background noise? Do you seek out times and places to be silent? What's your favorite place to find silence/be silent?

Silence doesn’t bother me.  Perhaps because I’m very much the introvert (or as I prefer to say, I’m quite comfortable with my own company – ha!), I don’t need a lot of conversation.  That’s not to say that I don’t have some background noise from time to time.  Winking smile 

2. October 28th is National Chocolate Day. Can't let that go by without a mention now, can we? Will you celebrate? How? Let's say you can have one of the following right this very minute... a cup of hot chocolate, a strawberry dipped in chocolate, a bowl of plain chocolate ice cream, or a slice of chocolate pie...what's your pleasure?

I may be the only one to answer this way, but I can generally take or leave chocolate.  I’m not a huge fan, but I don’t dislike chocolate either.  I will say that I prefer my chocolate with something else where it plays an accompanying role rather than the star of the show (as in a candy bar).  Of the choices above, I’d choose the strawberry dipped in chocolate.

3. How do you feel about blue jeans? Favorite thing in the world to wear or nope, don't own a single pair? How often do you wear blue jeans in a typical week? Do you own a blue jean jacket?

I Red heart Red heart Red heart blue jeans!  In fact, I can’t remember the last time I wore something other than blue jeans (when wearing long pants).  So, in a typical week, I wear jeans 7 days.  Winking smile  I don’t own a blue jean jacket … in fact, I don’t recall ever owning one, and I’m not sure why. 

4. Are you superstitious? If so, in what way?

No, not really.  I don’t believe in good luck or bad luck nor do I believe that we can determine an outcome by performing some kind of ritual.  I believe in a God who has a plan, and while He’s not a puppeteer controlling our strings, I believe that nothing is done outside of His sovereign control … that He works out or allows everything in keeping with His divine plan

5. If you had to come up with a costume using only things you have on hand right now, what could you come up with?

I’m not very creative so someone else might be able to come up with a fabulous costume using whatever I happen to have around the house.  I do have a hockey jersey in my closet so maybe I could pass for a hockey player?

6. What scares you a little? What do you do when you feel scared?

Heights scare me more than a little.  I’m petrified of heights.  I won’t even do ladders without a goodly amount of fear and trembling. 

7. Perhaps today will be the day I ______________________________.

Hmmmmm … I’m drawing a blank on this one.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I took advantage of my “free” day yesterday and made good progress on my Labor Day Stars.  I am a little more than halfway done on block #4 (out of 18).  I’m not sure that I’ll get this done before the end of November (what with swim meets, a quilt retreat, and going out of town for Thanksgiving), but surely early December?   IMG_0243Again, the colors are washed out here.  Sad smile


I hope that whatever you have planned for today includes a little something that brings you joy ... have a great day!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Keeping busy

I’ve finished up two hoopsfull of quilting on my Labor Day Stars.  IMG_0235The colors are a little washed out here, but I think you’ll get the idea of how I’m going to be quilting this.  I’m hoping that the quilting in the stars will give them a sense of movement.  This is my first attempt of stitching in (near?) the ditch, and I will confess that it might well be my last.  It’s a pain to stitch through the 5 layers (top, seam allowances, batting and backing).  Edited to add:  I thought that if I stitched right next to the seam, my stitches wouldn't get lost (considering that I'm using a very low-loft batting).  I'm considering unstitching those previous two blocks and restitching *in* the ditch.  I’ve ordered stencils for the setting triangles and the border. 

In between the two hoopsfull of quilting, we cheered our Ts on at another swim meet … this meet was a 3-day meet, but thankfully because it’s now being held at a larger complex, the days weren’t as long as they could have been.  The Ts did well, even though they faced some serious competition at this meet.
Whew!  I uploaded the video properly.  But unless I open the video, it's really hard to see what's going on.  That's T#2 in the far lane who was neck-and-neck with the swimmer in the lane next to her ... T#2 held on to finish 1st in her heat on her 100 fly.   

I also cut a few more tumblers since I mentioned here that I was hoping for a little larger finished quilt.  Not to mention that I’m wondering if I’ve chosen enough projects to keep me busy for 3 days at retreat.  I am sure that I have … but there’s just a little niggling doubt in my mind.  Typical … if I don’t have enough to worry about, I’ll just make something up.  <sigh>

There’s nothing on the schedule for today, and after a long busy weekend with not nearly enough sleep, I’m rather looking forward to a day where I can take things a little easier. 

It doesn’t seem possible that the time change will be this weekend.  I don’t know about you, but I’m not looking forward to the change.  I admit that it will be nice to see the sun rise earlier in the morning, but I’m so not looking forward it being dark by dinner time!  Disappointed smile

I hope that whatever you have planned for today includes a little something that brings you joy ... have a great day!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

I Couldn’t Wait …

… to show you all this:IMG_0224Not only is the top finished, but it’s sandwiched with the batting and the backing and is ready to quilt!  Woo hoo!  I think we all know what I’ll be doing today!  Winking smile

But that’s not all I did yesterday.  I also cut out at least 225 tumblers for retreat. IMG_0232Other than the neutral, all the fabric came from my stash.  I cut mostly by colors, since that’s the way I pulled the fabrics … so I will want to take a little time before I leave for retreat to mix the tumblers so I’ll have the colors evenly distributed.  I have no idea how big I want my quilt to finish … right now, I’m guessing that I have enough for a small wall hanging – 37.5”x37.5”.  I’m thinking that I’d like to make it a little bigger, so I left my Accuquilt Go out so I can cut more fabrics.  We’ll see whether I get the tumbler top completed at retreat since I also have my signature blocks, my pineapple blocks, and my Martha Washington’s Flower Garden to work on. 

I hope that whatever you have planned for today includes a little something that brings you joy ... have a great day!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

A Little of This and a Little of That


I did have a restful Monday … just what I needed.  I got my Labor Day Stars blocks together.  IMG_0211

But Tuesday was another fairly busy day – although I did get to spend some time in the sewing room.  I have all four sides of the inner border sewn on and two of the four sides of the outer border are on.  I had hoped to get the final two sides on so I could take a picture, but you all will have to wait to see the top with the borders.  Winking smile


Today looks to be like another busy day, but I’m hoping to have enough time to get into the sewing room to get on the last of the outer border.  I need to get the batting out and spread out so the wrinkles will loosen up and to cut the backing to fit.  I’d like to have it sandwiched together by the week’s end, but we’ll have to see … I may have to make another trip out to my dad’s tomorrow, and there’s another swim meet this weekend (Friday – Sunday).  Even after I get it sandwiched, I may not have much time to do any quilting, as next week I’ll need to be working on my guild’s newsletter and to be cutting fabric for my retreat.


There’s still an awful lot of green in this neck of the woods, but there is some fall color popping up here and there … including our back yard. IMG_0217You’re just going to have to trust me that it’s a more vivid red in real life.  Eye rolling smile


And this is what Lois and I were treated to as we started out on our walk this morningIMG_4215Do you see the second rainbow to the left of the first rainbow?  This is the first time I can recall ever having seen a rainbow (let alone a double rainbow) when it didn’t rain. 


That last bit of border isn’t going to sew itself on … I’d best get to it.  I hope that whatever you have planned for today includes a little something that brings you joy ... have a great day!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Sloooow Sunday Stitching


It’s definitely going to be a slow Sunday here at Chez Nana … we got home by around 9:00 last night, and we were both whooped.  Exhausted.  Worn out.  Tired … with a capital T.  We didn’t unpack the overnight bag … we didn’t even get everything out of the van last night!  So today will be a lazy day … unpacking , a birthday party for a certainly 6 y.o. and some slow Sunday stitching. 


The reason we’re so pooped here is that it was one long, busy weekend.  We hit the road Friday morning toward Homestead Hearth.  It was a delightful day for a road trip … cool but not cold and barely a cloud in the sky.  I was hoping to be able to see some fall color in the hills of Central Missouri, but alas, the only color we saw was at a *huge* tree farm along the interstate.  IMG_4168And since we were zooming by at 70mph, it’s not much of a picture.  Eye rolling smile


But I did see plenty of color once I crossed the threshold into Homestead Hearth!  How I wish I could take a picture to share with those of you who haven’t been … if you love reproduction fabrics, you’d absolutely love Homestead Hearth.  I strengthened my resolve and bought just what I set out to buy … a few fat quarters (on the right), some background fabric (the neutral in the center) …all for my upcoming tumbler quilt -- and some wide backing (the dark brown on the right) … for my Labor Day Stars.  IMG_0177


After we finished up at Homestead Hearth, we headed to Washington, MO (where the swim meet was held).  We grabbed lunch, checked into our hotel, and then headed over to the YMCA. 


It was a fairly small meet, but the Ts and their teammates came ready to swim hard and leave it all in the pool.  T#1 finished first in all of his events, and T#3 finished in the top 3 of all of his events (first in all but 2 events), and T#2 dropped significant amounts of time in all of her events.  The boys were the high-point winners, and T#2 came within 4 points of being the high-point winner (and then only because the ultimate winner swam in one more event than T#2).  IMG_0208And their team won the meet.IMG_4185No, this isn’t the entire team … these are the only diehards who stuck around long enough to see the high point winners and the winning teams receive their trophies.  Winking smile


Yes, I’m the grandma who sits on the pool deck and shouts encouragement (yes, shouts … T#2 relayed that she could hear me cheering for her while she was swimming).  But between their events, I spent time with my needle and thread … and stitched.  IMG_4172


Slow Sunday Stitching

I’m anxious to get back to work on my Labor Day Stars, but today it’s going to be a Slow Sunday … and a Slow Sunday Stitching kind of day … my Labor Day Stars will wait until tomorrow. 


I hope that whatever you have planned for today includes a little something that brings you joy ... have a great day!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Friday’s Frivolousness

Is “frivolousness” a word?  If not, I think it should be … not that it matters as I’m using it and that’s all there is to it.  ha!

I think autumn is going to take a break … right into winter, with a low of 34 forecast for tomorrow night.  34!  Surprised smile  Hopefully fall will return next week … I am NOT ready for winter-like weather (ok, I’m never ready for cold weather, but certainly not in October!). 

After the seemingly endless Kiss quilt, I didn’t expect to be making such good time on my Labor Day Stars, but it’s coming together fairly quickly.  I’m halfway through piecing the blocks together.  After I get them all together, all I have to do is add a couple of borders, and I’ll be ready to start quilting.  Which means that I’m going to need some backing fabric.  Do you know how hard it is to find Civil War wide backings online?  IMG_0175
I’ve learned, yet again, what an important role photography plays in quiltmaking.  See that setting triangle up there in the upper right hand corner?  That should be a corner triangle, not a setting triangle.  <sigh>  There will be some unstitching in my future.  ha!  Forgive the rumpled appearance … I had only a few minutes before my Ts were to arrive, and I wanted to get a quick photo, so I didn’t have time to smooth out the top all nice and neat.  But it all lays nice and flat, trust me.  Winking smile  Believe it or not, in my 30+ years of quiltmaking, this is the first quilt I’ve made with the blocks set on point.  Not because I didn’t like the look, but because I found the whole calculating how big to make the setting triangles just too intimidating.  This is my first quilt made from a pattern, so I didn’t have to do any calculating.  I’m pleased with how well my setting triangles are fitting, in spite of my less-than-perfectly-accurate cutting and piecing.  And now that Deb over at VT Quilter has shared with me Bonnie Hunter’s setting triangle calculator, I am going to make more quilts set on point for sure! 

We’ve got a busy but absolutely wonderful day ahead of us.  In a little more than an hour, DH and I will head out.  Our first stop will be Homestead Hearth.  In addition to browsing and general stash enhancement, I am shopping for a neutral for my tumbler quilt and for the afore-mentioned wide backing fabric for my Labor Day Stars.  After we finish up at Homestead Hearth, we’ll be heading to where this weekend’s swim meet will be held.  We got the last hotel room in town – with “just” a queen-sized bed.  It ought to be interesting to see just how much sleep we get tonight, after being used to sleeping in a king-sized bed.  I love my hubby, but I like to have plenty of “wide open space” when I sleep.  Winking smile  Speaking of that busy day … I need to get moving to get ready … I don’t want to have to cut my visit to Homestead Hearth short because we’ve run out of time.  ha!

I hope that whatever you have planned for today includes a little something that brings you joy ... have a great day!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

We’re in Mourning Here ;-)


Ok, I’m kidding (I hope you got that, what with the winking emoticon and all), but I have to say that we’re terribly disappointed.  Not only did our Cardinals, after a tremendous regular season, get eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, but they were eliminated by their archrival Cubs.  Ack!  Good thing the Blues are playing … let’s go, Blues! 


I didn’t get in any sewing on Monday.  Since DD was out of town on her birthday (back in September), we all got together Monday to celebrate her birthday.  We spent the morning at Edison’s where we played the arcade games and laser tag … followed by lunch at Fire n Smoke.  Fun was had by all.  I spent the afternoon at DD’s finishing up the DIY Barbie house accessories … T#4 turns 6 tomorrow and all she wants for her birthday are Barbies and stuff for her Barbies.  I had just enough time to get to guild meeting that evening.  Needless to say, I was pretty exhausted by the time I got home at 10:00 (past my usual bedtime for sure! – ha!).


Yesterday, I made up for the lack of quilty productivity by getting into the sewing room good and early and finished up the remaining 9 Labor Day Stars blocks … all 18 are done.  IMG_0162

Here they are, laid out in no particular order.  Because I decided to put my own creative twist on this quilt failed to follow the pattern instructions properly, I have 4 fabrics in each block, instead of having just 2.  I finished up mid-afternoon, just in time for the baseball game.  My legs were (and still are) fairly achey from Monday, so I decided to pass on cutting out the pieces I need for the setting triangles and sashing/cornerstones and stitch on my Martha Washington’s Flower Garden instead.  Today’s assignment will be to cut setting triangles and sashing and start. 


I also need to go through my stash to determine what colors I’m short on so I’ll know what to shop for when I head to Homestead Hearth on Friday.  I had been short on greens, but I’d made a conscious effort to pick up more when shopping so I need to see if I now have enough … ditto just about any color aside from blues and reds – ha!  My 3-1/2 day retreat is coming up in 2-1/2 weeks, and it’s time to start thinking about what I want to work on.  I want to have everything cut and ready to go, so I need to be planning ahead.  I have already decided that I’ll take my Labor Day Stars along to finish it up.  I’m thinking that I’ll work on tumblers, too (the project for which I’ll be fabric shopping on Friday).  And I’ll take along my 14” foundation paper pieced pineapple quilt (it’s long since been designated as my retreat project).  IMG_3307

I’ll likely take my MWFG along, too, if I need a break from machine sewing. 


We’re starting to see some fall color here in SW Illinois … not too much yet here at Chez Nana.  Our dogwood is turning color … love the bright red berries.  And one of our maples is starting to give us a sneak peek.  I took a picture this morning, but it’s a little too early – both in the day (I suspect that when the sun is up all the way, the sunshine will make the red leaves even more vivid) and in the season (there are just a few leaves that have already turned). 


I hope that whatever you have planned for today includes a little something that brings you joy ... have a great day!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Slow Sunday Stitching



Slow Sunday Stitching


Yesterday I debated my options for what to work on next … and I decided to go with the Labor Day Stars.  It turns out that I had a lot more of the components ready to go, so it seemed like a no brainer.  I finished stitching up the last of the components and trimmed them down.  I even got a bit of a start on putting those components together into blocks.  IMG_4145


My time in the sewing room came to a screeching halt at 4:30, when I settled in my recliner to watch Game Two of the NLDS … it didn’t take long before I’d wished I had just stayed in the sewing room.  Sad smile  My Blues didn’t fare much better later on that evening.  But it wasn’t all bad news … I did get some connector hexies attached to my MWFG blocks.  IMG_4149


I plan to spend much of today in a similar manner (albeit sans the sporting events).  I’d like to get some of the Labor Day Stars blocks completed, followed by a late afternoon/evening spent stitching on more connector hexies.  Winking smile



DSIL and T#1 came over yesterday afternoon to get a couple of things we’ve been storing in our basement for them.  On our way back into the house, I spied this:  IMG_4147

That guy is a big one … those are good sized river rocks in the landscaping below, if that will give you an idea of the scale.  When it became obvious that the Cardinals weren’t going to pull off a miracle, DH and I decided to get out for a short walk around the neighborhood.  I was startled to see that praying mantis still hanging around our front door.  I just went out front to check to see if he’s still here … and yes, he is.  IMG_4151




I hope that whatever you have planned for today includes a little something that brings you joy ... have a great day!