Friday, March 23, 2012

A Quilt for Tammy ...

Joanne H sent a quilt for me to finish. She made it for Tammy, our mutual friend who has been struggling with cancer in various forms for too many years. They got the tumor on her brain, and then others popped up elsewhere in her body. Tammy's had a wonderful attitude thoughout her ordeal.  Here's the quilt:

Now, tell  me if you know the answer to this question: How does this machine know when I get to the bottom corner of a quilt? More times than not, the bobbin runs out this far from the end:

And it doesn't seem to matter the size of the quilt, the design, or the thread! If it were a matter of any combination of the above-listed elements, I'd say it is a mathematical thing -- a calculation that is WAY beyond my comprehension (may as well be astrophysics as far as I'm concerned). But I think there is something else besides math going on here. There must be a last-square-foot gremlin in charge of ticking people off -- and one who is doing a real fine job of it!

I hope Joanne is happy with the quick turn-around, and that Tammy knows how much we care. If you're the praying sort, please remember Tammy -- she needs all the help she can get.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Unbelievable! DH was able to till the garden today. Unheard of here, in March!

After a meeting of quilt club one night last week, some of us observed how Jupiter and Venus were so bright in the night sky. You could hardly miss it if you glanced up – they were the only lights visible in the sky. By the time I drove home, got out of the car and looked up again (30 minutes later) the sky was jammed with stars. How’d THAT happen so fast? I dunno.

Speaking of happening so fast ... my back yard looks like it needs to be mowed already. And the sheep keep sticking their heads thru the pasture fence, trying to get the "greener on the other side" stuff. DH and I take turns helping them get their heads unstuck. What fools! Is it any wonder we're oft compared to sheep in Scripture?

I finished up Mary C's pile of Quilts For Kids last night -- here's the last six:

(She made eleven of these this year. She is a busy woman, but always finds time to do for others.)

I've been reading an interesting book this week, a little every night before bedtime. Here's a quote I found particularly interesting: "Men who did not know that they were slaves do not know that they have been freed."

The book was first written in 1966 by Milton Mayer: They Thought They Were Free -- it's about Germany after the collapse of Hitler's "Thousand Years Reich." Veddy in-te-rest-ing.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Who's keeping track?

Here in the Northeast, we're having unusually warm weather for March. It seems more like May. That's a problem. I (and many other gardeners, I'm guessing) am suffering a serious case of Spring Fever. I want to get out there and plant something! The Inner Me (who is WAY smarter than the Impulsive Me at the controls today) says it is much too early. "The ground is not warm enough; the seeds will rot; we'll waste the seed and have to replant," says She.

I've already worked out the compromise between the Sensible Me and the Impulsive Me: I'll just plant peas and spinach. And I can put lettuce in the hot bed. They won't mind if things get a bit cold over the next couple of weeks. Then I can start rooting out the grass that is encroaching upon the flower beds. That will get my hands sufficiently dirty.

Question: Who's keeping track of the peepers? "They" say that the peepers have to be frozen three times before it's really Spring. The other night when the dog and I were returning from our walk, I realized the peepers were having full rehearsal -- what a chorus! And I wondered if it was the first time of the season. Did I miss anything? Had they been out the night before? This is a question that occurs to me every year. Is anybody keeping track of the peepers? If only I could remember to do it, I might be able to figure out when it is truly safe to go ahead and plant things. Somebody remind me next year.

Saturday was National Quilting Day. Here's Val with the quilt she worked on last week. It took her two days to finish it up, but the end result was a very nicely done (and very large) quilt. She custom quilted it with a ton of S-I-D and a design she had marked on with chalk. It has a double layer of wool batting --  it quilted like butter, and it will be warm and cozy to sleep under! Nice job, Val!

More quilt, less Val:

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Is this what's it's like?

Another trip to the dentist today. I should have realized right off the bat this morning that things would not be all peaches and cream today. First off, I got up a little late. Not terribly late, just enough to make me worry that if anything else went wrong, I would be late for my appointment. I hate to be late for anything, EVEN an appointment with the dentist. (Although, in my dream world, I would be a lifetime late -- as in: never go!) So with one eye on the clock, I zoomed around and got things in order so I could leave the house for a while. That's no small task around here, considering the number of faces to be fed, buckets of water to slosh to thirsty critters, fires to be tended, and lists to be made for multi-tasking any trip to town.

I wanted to snap a photo of a quilt that was going into the mail en route, but of course the camera battery was dead. It takes hours to recharge it. Plan B: I pulled out the old camera, put fresh batteries in it, hoping against hope that it would come to life. Realize that the only reason I have the newer camera is because the old one quit and refused all of my attempts of resuscitation. Why do I still have it, you ask? Because I have photos trapped inside, and still think SOMEbody is going to be able to get them out of there for me. But I digress.

I threw everything I needed for multi-tasking errands into the car, grabbed a cup of coffee to go, and decided I'd have to hit the post office after the dentist, because as it was I'd barely make it on time.

I thought it was to be a simple visit with Dr. L  -- pop off the temporary crown and replace it with the permanent one. That's how it went last time. I should've known better. When the temp was off and the gal tried the permanent one for fit, I got that same sensation one gets by chewing on aluminum foil with an amalgam filling. If you've EVER done that, you'll know exactly what I mean. It's not the kind of thing one forgets. Ever.

The thing just didn't sit right. So there would be some "adjustment" needed. Read: drilling. And numbing, involving needles. Oh, rats! And shoot! While we're here, why don't we just jam needles all over the place and do some other prep work needed for the next round of torture?!? Says She!

Dr. L (being the wise young man that he is) explained that it is best not to overwhelm me by doing too much in one trip. He left the room to do something else while we waited for my mouth to get numb. While he was out, She suggested we could just numb the top, and do the bottom without numbing it first.

HAH! Not on your life, Crazyhead! Do you know how hard it is to peel me off the ceiling once I fly up there?!? I mulled it over for a bit and said I'd be willing to deal with it, if they had the nerves of steel it would require to keep me there long enough to pull it off. Dr. L said we'd do half today and I could come back next week for the rest. (Oh, please ... may I? I do SO look forward to our little visits.)

So he finished up and got away from me. She suggested I should go over to the sink and wash my face to get the residue of goop from making impressions off. Seems things get a little messy when I'm around. I did as I was told, and when I looked in the mirror, thought it looked like I had just received some collagen injections, and some Botox. If getting those shots is anything like getting Novacaine, I'll die looking like an applehead doll before I'll subject myself to that just to get rid of wrinkles! Bad enough to have to go thru it to have teeth in my head in order to eat!

Oh, and the gal suggested I could just slip out the back door. IF I wanted to. I entertained the thought of parading back through the waiting room just to scare the other patients. But I didn't. I actually like the people at this office -- they're incredibly patient with me.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

New and improved ...

Rose and Dave came to quilt today. It was their first time on the new, bigger machine. The Fusion has a 24-inch throat space, and runs at 2400 stitches per minute. What that means is that quilts get done even faster now than before. They first did this pretty blue and yellow one (for Dave's Mom: lucky gal!).

Even though I got them off to a late start this morning, they had enough time left to stitch elephants on parade on a baby quilt and still get home in time for supper. Gotta love that!

Rose is just tickled at how it turned out.  We had a good day together.

Friday, March 2, 2012

My little buddies ...

What do snowmen and quilting have in common? Not much. Except I got the idea for these by going to a quilting retreat. Aren't they cute?

We each got one of these little snowmen as one of our "gifties" -- they were all made by one of our very talented quilters and her Mom. I thought it was such a cute idea, I just had to make one for each of the grandkids. PaPa's going to spend the weekend with them, so I'll send them along.

They're packets of microwave popcorn, wrapped in freezer paper (or paper towels) and dressed up with little fleece hats and scarves. Tee-hee!

I spent the day running errands. Normally, not my favorite thing to do. But ... my friend and I met up for lunch, then hit the grocery store together. Turned out to be a great day, believe it or not!

Then I went to pick up my new eyeglasses. Tri-focals this time. I am determined to win the battle of struggling to see better.