Quilty stuff, Monday stuff, Thanksgiving stuff and pancreas stuff! Whew!! That's a lot for one old head!
I'm just "a bit" under the weather again, laying pretty low and quiet here in my new nest. The surgeon had laid out his perspective on the future of my pancreas, after the bout with the pancreatitis last summer. Having removed my gall bladder, his opinion didn't change. Apparently I can(and will) continue to experience "episodes" in which it reminds me that all is NOT well, and I should correct my behavior! A few days of that, and I'm ready to cry UNCLE.
I've been trying to have some sewing time each day. Sitting at the machine doesn't do much for what is happening under my left ribs however. Progress is slow.
But...I have been thinking about making another Railroad Crossing, as pictured above. Next time I do, I'm going to do the "tracks", which is what connects squares, as a 'string' project with varying widths instead of just the usual 1.5" pieces. Maybe even giving Bonnie's paper piecing a trying making them.
Hoping to have a some new pictures of the work in progress by tomorrow. And then to see if I can muster some energy for Thanksgiving company.
I'm pretty sure it's not just me that finds Monday a challenge. Always seems if there is sticky wicket to be had, it going to be on a Monday. This Monday is C.O.L.D. here in my part of the Midwest. Altho it was about 7 degrees above this a.m., the wind took us down into the minus 11 degree range! Brrrr! Good day to stay inside and sew.
I have mastered the picture part of my new computer. It's a bit more complicated than using Windows XP, but I'm getting the hang of it.
Spoiler Alert here: These are NOT exciting quilt pictures, and most likely there won't be any really awesome or exciting quilt pictures from me. I'm a scrappy traditional quilt maker, and have never been good at the complicated or fancy stuff. I'm fine if you just want to skip over to other blogs that show those quilts. I like them too, but they aren't my reality.
These days I'm thrilled to be able to press, cut scraps into simple shapes, and get them sewn together. Good enough for the grandkids is where it's at. They, as with babies, aren't likely to judge.
The first picture is the top that resulted from orphan bits. I'm not fond of square quilts, but that's the number I had to work with. It's about 50" and will be donated. The 2nd top is one I've made completely since moving in here in May. I made up 63 of the double 9 patch blocks, thinking I'd do a snuggle size. When I got them joined up, I changed my mind, made more and with borders, will fit a grandchild's bed.
With the new computer, I can tune in to Quiltville's Quilt Cam. Bonnie has become my new sewing companion. The computer is in my sewing room, since that's where the extra phone jack is, and it works great to have her sewing on my computer screen, right next to my machine, LOL! It definitely helps the "alone" aspect. She's having quilt-cam tonight, if you are a follower. See you then!
After many hours and many failed attempts, lets see if I can do this. I finally got a photo download program installed, updated my stuff to the newer Google Share(or whatever it is) and got the camera to download into the computer. If this works, I can begin showing you what I've been working on! Fingers crossed...here goes!
Meet a couple of my younger grandkids, Hailey is 6 and Zander is 7. They live pretty far away and I don't get to see much of them, but pictures help! At least I can see how tall they are getting.
So...the move to my new community, home and life, yikes! That's a lot to change all at one time. But that's how it unfolded. DD#1 found a small town house in a community not to far from where she lives. We had hoped for something in her town, but rentals are few and far between. For some I have too much income, and others, not enough.
But a place was found, available May 1st, all one level with attached garage, and forced air furnace heat(no more baseboard electric for me!). She made the deposit, and the lease was sent for me to sign, sight unseen except for pictures. That was late February. May 1st came waaaay too fast, partly because I have sooo much stuff, and partly my health and physical lack of strength.
Well, long story short is that the move happened, with DD taking charge and making things happen. By 6 P.M. on May 1st, me, myself and I, plus 70+ years of accumulations and 30 years after moving to the community where I had been, sat down to supper in an almost completely new life.
I think it was like falling into the rabbit hole and ending up in Wonderland...very, very strange. I did not know a single person living in this town of 3,000...kinda scary. And what was hard is that so many of the people are younger, very upwardly mobile, deeply into career, children, home, etc and have little time to spare. And very little room or interest in meeting newcomers. Luckily I've had years of practice at being alone, and filling my time with things. Not how I'd like it, but reality none the less.
DD stops by often, every few days or so, to help me with things, and just to visit. Oldest DS has made it here for one visit, back in May, haven't see DS#2(daddy to the kids above), and have had one visit from DD#2 and DS#3. Such is life. I'm not able to have a pet here and I've come to accept that. I've grown accustomed to what I have and it being "what it is". I talk on the phone to several friends and have found a church to attend. I begun using the local library and that helps. So that gets me to "HERE", being able to be back on Blogger and post to my blog....I have a NEW Dell computer!!! Only took 12 years, LOL!!
I'm adjusting slowly to Windows 8.1, learning to use what it has and search for what I don't understand. Right now I can post pictures that I've been sent via e-mail, or ones I had stored in Picasa Web albums.
I finally managed to get the camera charged, took pictures, and to plug the camera into a UBS port. What I don't have is a picture program that will then put them somewhere that I can access. I think I probably have to download or install a picture program, and am checking on that. So, please, be patient with me, I'm slow! All this tech stuff takes awhile.
I'm back on my blog, digging through my scraps, and like Bonnie's T-shirt last evening, "holy Scrap"! I have A LOT!
The current situation is that: The Dell computer I've used since I bought it new in 2002, is toast. It had lost its ability to handle large or large picture files, and would sit and spin on "download" forever! Eventually I'd just exit whatever I was trying to load. That included almost all games, Facebook, and sadly, my favorite blogs who post LARGE size pictures. So why did it take me most of 2 years to get back here??? Well, on a side note***several life changing events. I moved from my home of 7 years in the Valley to a smaller, less convenient, much cheaper rental in what we call "The Ditch". While it put me closer to my dear friend Jean, it was a HUGE adjustment for me. Reduced pretty much everything due to a change in my pension status. Long story short, I grew used to it, accepted it, I guess. By the end of 2013 I had saved up enough for a new computer so I could "do things" again. Enter I-Pad, exit I-Pad, just didn't do what I needed.
And then the real "fun" began, several long months of illness, with all sorts of body functions not functioning correctly. Finally peaked in late June of '13 and was diagnosed as Acute Pancreatitis. Complicated by pneumonia and congested heart failure. Had my first ambulance ride, and a very LONG stay in the hospital. Then home to try and get well enough for gall bladder surgery. That took several more months and another ambulance ride, and more hospital time. Finally in Oct. the gall bladder came out. Recovery was very slow, and I had lost about 50 pounds in weight.
The place I was renting was very cold and drafty and very expensive to heat. The kids decided about Thanksgiving time that Mom needed to be closer to someone. That lucky child is DD#1 whom you see in the above picture. She's been my rock as well as my soft place to land when I fall. Thank God for great children! The search began and since moving between December and spring is extremely crazy in WI, I didn't move until the 1st of May. There is more to this story, aka, The Scoop, but that's enough for today!
I am managing to move myself forward. It's been a very long week plus since I posted last, sorry about that. I'll try harder! The picture above is an old picture, but those are the blocks that FINALLY became a useable top! It seemed like such a good idea at the time( does that sound familiar?) to add the rounds of strips from random widths. Well, turns out NOT so much! Sizing them down to the same is one thing, but how about those that really only need about a half inch(or less) added?? Ya! I ended up taking some rounds off completely and adding a larger one so that I could cut them down to match up. Finally, it's together as a top and joining several others that are headed for donation.
I've finished up one or two(or more) others, but have already forgotten which ones they were. My main focus now is to get the last of those Orange Crush blocks done and together. And I'm debating whether or not to do Bonnie's new mystery quilt the end of Nov. It would be NICE if I could actually bring one all the way to completion!
No snow as yet in my part of WI and I feel for those of you that have already been dealing with it. Hang in there!
There have been many, many changes in my life since I posted last in January. Many of them difficult, some extremely difficult and some that hold promise for some future brightness. The tale of the past year plus is long...way too long, in fact.
In March of 2014, my journey with Ebony, the travelin' cat, came to an end. It was one of the hardest decisions and actions of my life, but it was what was best for her. Even 7 months later, I miss turning around to find that little black face right at my elbow. For all her stand-offishness, she liked to be close to where ever I was. I miss her instant purr when I reached out to stroke her back or head. The list goes on, but enough of that.
I am in a completely new location now. I have left the valley where I have spent the past 30 years and now live in a larger community. I do not know a single soul living here. The kids decided I needed to be closer to them, and I appreciate that. They don't realize however, that everything that is familiar is now missing from my days. I am starting over to establish some sort of familiar routine to each day.
I have been sewing, which is good. Still working on those confounded UFO's of mine. Presently the challenge is Bonnie's 2008 mystery, Orange Crush, LOL. Yes, and it's NOT the oldest one, LOL.
I will try to get back in the routine of sharing things with you here, in Blogland.
And maybe I finally got a picture to load from the iPad!?
The help I'm hoping for is a size that chemo quilts are/should be? A close friend of my daughters was just diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer. She's only 46 and I'm still in shock at the news! I have some tops on hangers that might be the size needed. They will start chemo immediately to hopefully shrink the rumors somewhat before they do surgery.
Thanks for your help,hugs for all my Blogger friends 'VBS'
I wasn't quite as ready to hit the ground running as I had thought I was. Very quiet New Year's Eve here, In the afternoon I attended a party at the Nursing Home, to welcome the year with the residents. Live music and sparkling apple juice, it was fun! They have live music quite often, this time an elderly man with a fairly good voice and a guitar.
Not much happening in the sewing department and I will change that today. Played catch-up most of yesterday, making a batch of chili for this extreme weather we are having and paying the January bills. I chose a picture to post, today, and although it shows up as if it's posting, when I begin composing, it's not there..any suggestions?
Another pre-used picture...still working on how to get pictures into the iPod and then use them. Like the squirrel, I'm back to snapping some pictures to share!
Sewing has taken a rear seat this past week,but I have my mo-Jo back and I'm raring to make some quilts! Ebony is doing well, she's 12 yrs now but had a goog checkup with her vet this past week. Shee seems to have adjusted to our new residence.
For any of you guys thinking of getting an iPad, I suggest trying to find the option of time to use it with the ability to return it if it's not as expected. For me, it's a BIG financial piece,especially after the hospital, surgery, etc, of this past summer and fall.
I got this one from QVC with a free trial until Jan. 31st of 2014. If I'm satisfied,I'll keep it, if not it goes back with free shipping. I'm keeping on open mind and hope it will do most of what I need.
Sometimes, it's so far down, everything looks like up. I'm not "down" in the spirit sense...but so far from the "starting line" I can't even see it from here. It's that old saying, "the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak", or something like that.
Needless to say, no sewing has happened as yet. Friend Betsy has done her best to stir me into action, but, no luck.
The days are growing longer, new snow is being delivered with regularity, followed by equally rapid thaw and melt. We are an icy mess after last weekends blizzard. This week we warmed up to the 30's, drip, drip, drip. Another storm is arriving tomorrow, led by rain and then freezing rain! Just what we want and need...not!!
Today I worked my way through the dishes, cleaned the bathroom, had a late breakfast with friend Jean, and then sorted and purged stuff from multiple boxes. Sorted by 'pitch, donate or keep'. The Keep stuff has been distributed to its destinations. The pitch stuff is in the trash, and the donate is bagged up to pass along.
We have a little "Thrift and Gift" shop a couple of doors down from my front door, doing business out of the old TV and Cable store. As odd as that sounds in a tiny village of just over 700, its doing a very good business. Her prices are very reasonable, all the thrift stuff is donated to her for selling, and the Gifts part includes a jewelery line by a local gal, Leanin' Tree greeting cards and the helium type balloons for parties. You can find anything from a wine glass to an ironing board there.
A couple of weeks ago Jean scored a brand new, with tags, never used bright red electric Wok! For $3.50!! It is super convenient to be able to donate anything you wish to upcycle . It's a wonderful service to the community as a whole, especially in this economy.Another plus is that this new shop has a donation bin for food shelf items, and the food bank(which is also quite new in my village, is about 3 doors down from Thrift and Gift.
Sorry about no pictures, Blogger isn't loving me today *VBS* Be back soon or sooner, hopefully!
but I'm going to give it another go! Finally I can access blogger, altho not every day, and I got a picture to upload!
I did follow through with my intention of 01/04 and choose the HA quilt top and the Happy Frogs as my "jumping in again" projects. And I even got backings picked out and partly made...and then I wandered off.
None of many Christmas pillowcases got made for the grandkids. I had other stuff for them, as well, but do like to give them a new flannel pillowcase every year or so. This was an "or so" year, since I missed last year. And I've got a whole new stack of Christmas flannels in fun kid prints to have used. So I'm going to make them anyway and see if I can get them shipped out before the cold and snow vanishes. Wish me luck, or join me...I'd love the company *VBS*
Well...apparently we begin WITHOUT pictures this morning! Several attempts and no results...thanks Blogger!
Guess that gives me more time to THINK about what quilt top comes first, AFTER I do a 'search and re-claim' mission in my sewing room. Did I mention that 3 or 4 months worth of stuff has been piled in there? Boxes to sort, stacks of stuff to put away, and then the just general "ditch" items prior to our Christmas gathering, LOL.
Yes, it will take some time I think. I am pretty sure that I can clear a path to the sewing machine itself in short order, 15 minutes max! BUT the rest will take more time and effort.
I'm thinking about a backing for the Orphan block top, 2 or 3 posts before this one. The one with the big HA letters in it...that one should be fun! OR maybe the Happy Frogs , for a 'not quite so well right now' grandson, who's 5. I think that might tickle him *VBS*
Some goal setting is also in order, so here goes...I'm thinking I can get two UFOs finished up and out of here in January. One of the afore mentioned, and probably an older flimsey. I have some "things" that need mailing to blogging friends, and I'm hoping I can get that done also.
A few more boxes unpacked and a bit more clutter out of here.
Now I'll tell you one more thing you don't know about me, LOL....I absolutely LOVE molasses cookies, big soft ones with a sprinkle of sugar on the top...an oldie but goodie! I'll be back with pictures I hope.
P.S. The camera batteries are charging!
It's been "a long, long road, a-winding to the land of my dreams"...yes indeed, I've been almost totally missing, haven't I? But like a bad penny, I keep popping back up when you least expect it.
I'm happy to be done with 2012, but not for any particular reason. I suppose it was mostly a year of 'adjustments' for me, and of coming to a place of acceptance and comfort in a new reality. I did alot of sewing during the early months of '12, but less and less as the year went on. I informed friend Betsy this morning that only managed to accomplish ONE bound quilt for the entire year. I have many sets of blocks completed and ready to join up. And several new tops on hangers...but it ended there.
Time to get on to the final steps and get those quilts to some people who can and will enjoy using them. I'm going to try and stage a "comeback" right here in my little corner of WI! And in the words of my favorite Star Trek captain, "Make it so"! Please feel free to join me :- )
and lay them straight! I've buttoned my shoes, closed the door, made the frogs happy and I'm movin' on...
This conglomeration of "stuff", arrived at my house in the form of a bag of 2" strips, mostly Aunt Gracies knock-offs, and a left over pile of blue/white 2.5" checks. I think there were roughly 30 of the squares. Of very little consequence when paired with another color and turned into 4 patches. So I put on my thinking cap...
and now there are 30 10.5" blocks. This should be what can only be called "an interesting" quilt! I didn't square up the little centers..many tilt one way or another. I didn't stay consistant with the first strip going out, but drew from the bag of 2" donated strips, my own 2.5" and also from 3.5". Let me say it does get very interesting to arrive at a chosen block size, LOL.
And here's the prize for you if you know all the words to the rhyme that began this post...just kidding. What I'd like to know is "If I laid the 5 fabrics used in this block on you sewing machine, would they "work" together for you?" Each of the 4 blocks below have 5 printed fabrics in them.
they may read as a solid, but few solids were used to create this top. The ugly brownish background is my kitchen carpeting..oh yes, joy of joys, good old low nape brown industrial type carpet in the kitchen! And for the record, I really, really like block #4 *VBS*
well, I certainly hope so! The 12 little frog orphans have found a new purpose and a new place to belong. I'm very pleased with how well the 12 frog blocks worked with the scrappy 16 patches. And when I found the green with green dots in my stash, I knew it was my border fabric! The top is now 46" X 46" and will be donated at that size. I'm still debating if I want to finish it into a quilt, or send it as a top. One thing I'm positive about, however, is I have ONE more empty container in my sewing room...yippee!
Having gotten the Frog top together, I moved on to the next container, which has been housing these scrappy fence rail blocks. So far I've gotten 6 rows joined to each other, and have several more to go.
While thrifting last week, with Jean, I came across a sale on VHS tapes at my favorite thift store. They had them 5/$1 and since I have a VCR in my sewing room, I've hung onto my videos. I was thrilled to find "Ghostbusters", that crazy long ago movie with Bill Murray. Also found "Sarah, Plain and Tall" as well as "The Christmas Story". They all work find, and I'm ticked pink about that. The "Shrek 2" had more tracking problems than I care to watch, so I pitched that one. "The Jungle Book" was also a good tape, and I've been watching them as I sew. At my age, and here in rural WI, doesn't take the newest or best to make me happy *VBS*
This top, pieced during the 2011 Rainbow Scraps Challenge, has waited for me to get around to it. It still hasn't gotten it's final pressing, and I've not decided on borders or not borders. I'll re-measure it for sure, and may include it with other tops I am donating. Not being a fan of pink makes my decision easier. Have a lovely weekend all!