Where did July go?

Just thought I would pop in and say hello!  Where DID July go?  I don’t know about you but 31 days buzzed by in record time!  We had the grandkids for a week over the 4th of July and enjoyed the holiday together! We got out “finally” to see fireworks at a local park and celebrate all together.  There was a lot of ooohing and aawing…and ice cream eating happening!

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The youngest held on up to the grand finale!  So much fun~!!~

There was some porch sitting – but only on the cooler days!

Morning on the porch

and pool time with all the grandkids and some quiet time too in the pool.

Pool Time

Hubby and I took a long weekend to go to the Chrysler Nationals in Carlisle PA where he won 2 prizes for his truck!  His “celebrity pick” was a great honor~!!!

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The first place for his category was nice, but that “celebrity pick” was icing on the cake!  Lots more photo’s of cool cars in my album here – Chrysler Nationals at Carlisle  .

We met a US Navy man at our lodging at Carlisle Barracks with a pretty nice car and had lots of conversation.  He headed back home to his duty station on the day after the show finished. His route took him right past our house. He and my hubby had exchanged contact information and when he texted my hubby that his car broke down; we realised he was just 10 minutes away.

Hubby had all the tools; and they spent a couple of hours chasing parts to do the repair.  We knew that if they couldn’t get it fixed, then we would put it on the car trailer and tow him home to Norfolk.

His beautiful Dodge Charger was something to see on the hoist in our garage! I have to report I was of no help other than feeding them both supper! 

on our hoist
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Oh; and for making sure they had plenty of approach shoring to back off the lift without dragging something on the ground.

7 hours later the repairs were done and he was on his way home to Virginia.

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We have been out a couple of times to listen to music at the local state park and enjoy the company of our other grand daughter and her parents.

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There have been a few bike rides, but less than usual due to the heat and humidity.

Raindeer going for a ride

 

Two granddaughters spent a week with us, and we had lots of activity — Magic shows at the library with the granddaughters with a fellow that had some great entertainment.

best magic ever

A trip to the Delaware State Fair with 3 granddaughters & one daughter.  Yes, that is me at the “welcome” sign!

Fun at the State Fair

We enjoyed looking at the animals –

Speckled Goat

and interesting vehicles on display too.

Natural Resources Police Vehicles on display

and to see the button crafts made by kids on display –

Button crafts Delaware State Fair

(I was inspired!)

A favorite activity was the “touch a truck” where the kids could climb up and inside various vehicles; like tractors and ambulances and even a police vehicle!

Harrington Police

We did lots of walking and eating and walking and then there were the rides for the big girls!  They had “wrist bands” and could ride as long as they wanted!  Three hours later they were running on “low battery” and we went home!  Perfect timing to get home, cool off in the pool before dinner.

After the girls went home, Grandpa asked for help with some yard work.  UGH…..  He had me working hard one afternoon loading the trimming from things he cut into his garden trailer.  It was fine until I saw this snake skin in one of the limbs we were cutting.   EWWWW…..

Snake in the tree branches

After the worst of the trimming was done I escaped to my sewing room for a few days.

It took me 2 quilt bees and a couple days at home to finally finish all the blocks and  assembly of the king size “Scrap Dance Minuet” . (Pattern by Carole – From My Carolina Home )   This was a mystery quilt we started in January or February; and the final instructions were given in mid June.

King size Scrap Dance Minuet

I’m going to let it hang on the wall for a while; and decide about borders and ironing and such.

I cleared some space and did a little repair work on this bike seat. It goes on the frame at the back of my daughter’s bike to haul the youngest granddaughter.  The stitching had come out on the seat belt guide on the right side. She had gotten a replacement from the manufacturer, but I decided to do the repair.  I actually had the seat so I could make a carry bag for the back of it. In the picture below you see the straps (orange) and elastic for the carry bag.  Once I got the carry bag made, I took the binding off the red nylon seat cover and tacked down the seat belt guides.  I put a little stiff pellon stabilizer under neath to give the stitches some durability.

attachment points

Not sure if you can see the guide hanging loose on the right side. That is due to the stitching on seat belt guide pulling loose.

Repair complete

Both guides reinforced with stabilizer under neath the nylon seat cover.  Had to reassemble the interior of the seat and put the binding back on.  Stitching on the nylon is tricky as it wants to slip and slide and fray.  I did some “stay stitching” before I reassembled it.  It is definitely an improvement.

A promised project finally made!  My daughter I ride with asked if I could make a tote bag for the back of the baby seat.  It could not be “sewn” or clipped on the nylon; as it wasn’t strong enough to support the weight of the bag. I decided on adding a “band” like you see in the photo above that wraps around the inside of the seatback and goes “under” the shoulder straps. I was glad to have her “extra seat” here to help me think through the process.  I can’t wait to see this “on the bike”.  I may have to adjust the elastic band you see in the top picture.  This bag slips on the back of the bike seat with that band in the first photo.

Bike bag attached to the seat

I added snaps at the top so she could close it and keep the “stuff” from bouncing out.  The odd shape is due to the place it goes on the back of the baby seat and in front of the fender.  I might have to shorten it and make it even with the bottom of the seat.

Bag opening

I made the bag out of  “outdoor fabric” leftover from a project I made a few years ago. It is fully lined with the same fabric and should do the job.

Another month gone by with 5 more placemats made by the lovely ladies at the assisted living. I think they have enjoyed making them.    The stack is growing.  I am off to sew with them later today.

Hoping the rest of the summer is as busy and fun!  Enjoy !

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Quilt as you go placemats and holiday sewing

It’s been a “few” weeks since I posted. Summer is a busy time.  I continue to volunteer  once a week with the ladies at the assisted living facility  and they are gradually completing placemats.  They are using the “quilt as you go” method to piece the placemat tops.  One lady did two placemats in last weeks session; while another has worked on her’s for two weeks.  It’s not a race; but I don’t want them to grow bored with the project.  These placemats will be donated at Serendipity Quilt Shop for their “Meals on Wheels” campaign.

Ready to trim

I bring them home after they finish stitching and do the trimming; top stitching and binding.

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Some of the stitching is a little shaky so I figured top stitching the seams helps them to “hold together” and be a little more durable. I chose some of the pretty variegated Superior thread and fun machine stitches.

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It is fun to help them along and see the pieces they have chosen from my 3 boxes of strips that I have been taking.  I keep cutting and adding to the strip boxes during the week to get more variety!

Close up of 3 placemats

Sometimes the strips end up on a bit of a wonky angle like the center one in this picture; other times they are intentionally put on the diagonal. When they do that, I know their creativity is showing!

So far 8 of the 10 I had planned are completed.  I asked the activities director if she would consider a “field trip” to the quilt shop this month so the ladies can “drop off their donation” to the Meals on Wheels placemat drive.  Waiting on an answer!

8 placemats finished

This afternoon is time to go again and show off their work to them; and hopefully get the last two ready to trim.  I made sure to do “my bit” right away last week when we got home from volunteering.  Again thank goodness for my hubby and his willingness to go and help with machines etc..  (I might leave him home today as the grandkids are coming over “from across the bridge” for the holiday week and are arriving mid day. )

Speaking of grandkids and holiday week…..I can’t believe it is July already!!  We made plans with my daughter and her family to come for the holiday week. Hard to find a week where they can get away from all the activities a young family has scheduled. This is the perfect week!  I came up with a “plan” for the celebration on the 4th of July involving fireworks and a park and a car show, so something for everyone, I hope, to enjoy.

On Saturday while I was scrolling through my email; I saw a cute project on the Bernina newsletter, “We All Sew” ” page.  The pattern is called Star Bean Bag Toss and is intended to “go outside” to play, take along to a picnic etc.

I thought it would be perfect for the coming holiday and had to “get busy” to get it made.  I got the background cut out and stitched together on Saturday and some of the stars cut out.

10 points

30 points

After dinner on Sunday I finished making the rest of the elements and layered them up to attach to the background.  Some fast raw edge applique stitching with Superior threads Red-white-blue variegated thread  (Yes, I know the points aren’t’ perfect…but its done….before the holiday!)  I decided to skip the whole binding thing and do a turn, so I put the three layers together, sewed around the outside edge, and turned it right side out. I stitched completely around the edge 1/4″ away to close the opening and give it a finished edge.   I quilted it using a wavy stitch on my machine and echoed around the stars. 

Stars and lots of points

It needs a good press before we play; and I need to get busy to make the bean bags.  I think I will get the grandkids involved with that tomorrow!

This was a fun fast project.  Hubby will tell you that I disappeared into the sewing room around 7 last night and did not reappear until 1:30 am….hey….I was having FUN!!!

I’ve done a little other sewing too on my Scrap Dance Minuet project.  The “final step” was revealed the 2nd Friday in June.  I’ve been “assembling units” so I can make the blocks.  (Pattern info on From My Carolina Home  )

Blocks for Scrap Dance Minuete

I’ve had 2 quilt bees in June and got some of the blocks made during both bees.  I think I have about 20 made now, just haven’t put them all back up on the wall for a photo.  I have 56 to make so am about 1/3 of the way there!

In between this sewing has been lots of bike riding and pool time. My “Strava fitness app” indicated that I rode my bike for a little over 8 hours and 63 miles in June!  WOW….won’t bore you with the maps but just know that I am getting a lot of use out of my bicycle; and enjoying the company of my husband along the rides.  We have gone to listen to “music at the pond” and bands on the rooftop and are planning for a car show in July.  I am also working out details for  my next cruise coming up at the end of August.  I guess that is why the blog has been so quiet!

Do you have any fun plans for the holiday?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saddles, Dances, Donuts and more

Ok; so my last post (Back in the Saddle Again) alluded to me being “cleared to ride” my bike and get back to normal life.  Well… I had a lovely 7 mile ride that same day,  with my daughter and granddaughter, until  this happpened….

Road Rash Bruised Ego ride

….my big EGO crashed and fell and bloodied my knee.  Nothing like being 63 years old sitting on the ground, under the bike and embarrassing yourself.  My faith in humanity is restored when 2 drivers parked their car and came running over to the trail edge where I sat on the ground, trying to collect my dignity, and breath. My daughter is so wise to carry a first aid kit.  We cleaned my leg up; slapped an available band-aid on part of it; and picked up the bike.

I was able to walk and so I got back up on the bike and road the last 3 miles back to the trail head parking.  Then, when I tried to get off the bike, I realized I could not put any weight on my left leg and my daughter insisted I go get an x-ray.

Since the local hospital was 2 blocks away, I drove over to the ER; used the valet to park the car; and got “wheeled” into the hospital by the valet.  Good grief….a skinned knee…Well, after several hours, and x-rays; and clean up; I drove myself home. (The best part of the journey was the valet who brought the SUV right up to the door and helped me hoist my EGO back into the driver’s seat!  (That man got a tip!!!)

The good news is nothing was broken; although I could not put any weight on the leg until the following day. The abrasion went from just below the knee cap down about 8″.  The black & blue; a week later; extends around the entire knee; front and back; up the thigh a few inches and down to my ankle.  The darn abrasion doesn’t want to heal; and I have to keep “dressing it” and wrapping with an ace bandage.  So…..I have been on hold for the last week from riding.  BIG SAD FACE.   Maybe tomorrow I can ride……in the driveway and around our property…..we shall see.

The incident kept me “out of the sewing room” for a few days too; because it was just TOO much to hike to the garage and climb the stairs.  Now; by Friday, I was more able; and I got out to “play”!  The Scrap Dance Minuet clue came out on Friday; so I managed the stairs.  Over the course of a couple of days I got all my sewing done for Step # 4.

Step 4 Scrap Dance Minuet

I have a few “extra geese” because I might have made a dozen “spares”.  I also made a few more 9 patches in prettier spring floral prints. I have some that are a little too “fall like” to suit me at this point.  I am doing a king size…..I do this to myself….I started with the throw size but have SO many scraps I just kept making 4 patches and flying geese. I started this while my finger was recovering from surgery and rotary cutting was a challenge.  I just worked on the cutting a “little at a time”.   I could probably make a few more king size; but I would have to switch to off white for the background.

Now I wait for the 2nd Friday in June for Step # 5.  Are you sewing along on the Scrap Dance Minuet Mystery?  It is not too late to start, especially if you have lots of scraps hanging around needing to be used!  Try the table topper size or a throw size if you want to sew along. Click on the link about to get the directions.  I’m going to guess that the pattern directions will come off of the blog post after the final reveal, and be available later for purchase; so if you like what you see; get it now.

Sunday our Senior quilt was presented to the graduate at church.

Senior quilt on the rail

The piping on the edge of the binding really shows !  I love doing Susie’s Magic Binding Technique!  If you don’t want to hand finish binding, I highly recommend this method.  I use it on everything!

On Tuesday I went with 2 friends to the Embroidery Club and we made an “in the hoop” pin cushion.  The pattern came from Embroidery Garden   and was fairly easy to follow.  It always helps that our Embroidery Club leader, ANNA, has great tips for keeping the project moving. This pattern suggests either felt or fleece.  I made the blue one at the club; and came home and made the white one at home. I used stabilized quilters cotton for the top of the white one; and think it would have been better with felt. I used the colors I had at home in my “box of felt”.  I might need to replenish my supplies !

Donut pin cushion

This “in the hoop” pattern did require the use of a regular sewing machine after the embroidery was finished; the donut turned right side out. You had to stitch “around the center” to make the donut hole.  You then cut out the hole and ended up with a nice “ring shape”.  We stuffed with poly-fill and whip stitched by hand the small opening along the edge.  I found that the eraser end of a pencil helped get the filling in around that center.  The white cotton top donut has a little fussing on the edges and the fabric tended to wrinkle while I was stuffing and pushing the filling around. I don’t think I would try it with cotton again. Felt doesn’t fray and just looks a bit nicer. The finished donut is about 3.5″ across and 1″ high approx.

These would be fun if you had a child with a “play kitchen” and they needed some more “play food”.  My box of felt squares hearkens back to Felt Food for a 2 year old when I made a lot of play food for the grands in 2013.  Some of those felt food items are still floating around.  At least one carrot made it’s way back to me during a grandchild visit; and the cats are enjoying batting it around!  I can see; revisiting that blog post that my early efforts in making play food could be greatly improved with the use of the embroidery machine!  The ones in that post were all done with a regular sewing machine and visiting lots of other blogs to get patterns and ideas.

What are you working on this week??  Have you made play food for kids?  What are your favorite embroidery machine design sources?

 

Catching up on the Scrap Dance Minuet Mystery Quilt

I have had some time in the last week to get all caught up on the Scrap Dance Minuet Mystery Quilt.  If you are interested in the pattern or details about the mystery, visit the link above and check out the From My Carolina Home blog.  

I am dancing toward a king size quilt, so I had LOTS of flying geese to make.  I used the method in the pattern for construction of more than 200 geese.  The whites of the ‘wings’ are scrappy, but I worked hard to make sure I had “matching” wings as I was doing the construction.

Flying Geese for the Scrap Dance Minuet

I used the Studio 180 (Deb Tucker) “Wing Clipper” tool to do all the trimming.  In fact, that Wing Clipper has made the rounds of the members of the Queen Bee’s who are also working on the mystery.  I am handing it off to the “next” QB member today at the Ocean Waves Quilt Guild meeting.  It is a VERY handy tool for trimming the geese.  I don’t think Pam or Nancy L had quite as many to trim as they were pretty quick.  I know Sharon is working on the same size as me and she will be trimming for a few days!  The rotating cutting mat was helpful too when trimming.  I filled a container with the slivers I trimmed off and vacuumed up a lot of those tiny bits yesterday!  Funny how some bits will fly off the cutting table!

After all my trimming of the FG was done, I opened my container to put them in with the 4 patches from March.  I decided to sort the 4 patches by color. That was harder to do because they were SO scrappy.  I keep looking at the two stacks with the “darker” greens/browns and can’t decide about them.  I may take another look later and remove them and in exchange make some more with more “spring like” colors.  Scraps are abundant at my house, so replacing them if they are not pleasing won’t be a problem.  I can always incorporate the “darker” greens/browns into something else.

Lots of 4 patches for the mystery quilt

The next “Step” in the Scrap Dance Minuet Mystery Quilt come out the 2nd Friday in May; so I am caught up and ready to dance again!

I wanted to share with you the completion of the quilt the Queen Bee’s did for the Carolina Hurricane Quilt project –

Queen Bees Carolina Hurricane Quilt

The quilt blocks were constructed by the members of the Queen Bees and quilted by member Sharon.  Marta made the nice label.  I have had it sitting; binding made for 2  months, waiting for an opportunity to get the binding on. That happened this past week, and it is now “ready to ship”.

The photo below shows the entire quilt “pre binding”.  (Gosh, that was February….red face) Between surgery on my hand, recovery, travel, and the quilt show….it just languished in the sewing room.  Post quilt show, I was able to completely clear my big table which left me space to lay the quilt out, and get the binding pinned on.

My husband laughed when he saw how many times I moved between my sewing machine and the big ironing board and the big table.  I don’t know how others do it, but I like to spread a quilt out and work down a side with my pins/red clips when turning the binding over for stitching. Because I use “Susie’s Magic Binding” method, everything is done on the sewing machine. The only hand work for me was stitching 2 edges of the label.  The other edges of the label are under the edge of the binding.

Queen Bees Carolina Hurricane Quilt

12″ blocks  – 72×96

If you would like more information on the Carolina Hurricane Quilt project; visit From My Carolina Home

The need is still great and perhaps you can help in one of the many ways suggested at the above link.

That’s it for today! Guild meeting in 2 hours and I have to finish up sandwiches for our Spring Luncheon today!

Are you working on the Scrap Dance Minuet mystery?  What is your favorite way to trim flying geese??

Emerging from the haze

I’ve been in a big slump since surgery on my finger last Thursday.  The long finger had joint fusion surgery (also called “arthrodesis”).  (((NOT A ROTARY CUTTER INCIDENT)))

I am hoping to shake off the anesthesia haze and get back to having fun!

On Friday, the day after surgery, I ventured out in a haze to the garage where a few guild members worked very hard on 2nd Time Around fabric prep while I looked on and cheered them on and answered questions.  I was able to work through an entire box of “bundles”, counting pieces and getting them tagged and priced.  In my post anesthesia haze I honestly had trouble with losing count, and devised a little “paper marker” for groups of 10’s.  That worked and I was able to stop recounting, and move the bundles into the box!

On Saturday one of my bee buddies came by for a visit and a cup of tea. Pam brought me 3 containers of wonderful homemade soups.  That boosted me up too.  Afterwards I wandered across the street to say hello to another guild member who had a cardio cath a few days earlier. I saw that she had her daughter and great grandson for a visit so did not stay but a minute. Since the weather was decent and I was “already across the road” I took advantage of her development’s quiet streets and had a nice long walk.  By going up and down each street in the neighborhood I was able to get a mile walk in before heading home.

On Monday my friend Nancy B. (also my co chair for 2nd Time Around) came over and she worked on organizing a bunch of the donations while I fiddled with some of the kits and got them priced up.  Nancy is a great sorter, and cleared out a bunch of donations that will be moved along to the thrift shop.  She has a good eye for things that won’t sell at the guild meeting and might do better elsewhere.    Our stack of boxes ready for the April quilt show is growing quickly with beautiful fabrics to sell.

I also had a visit from my “other friend” Nancy L, who delivered a wonderful ziti casserole on Monday afternoon.  My hubby was pleased that he wouldn’t have to figure out dinner!  We had gone to the supermarket on Sunday afternoon, and neither of us could even think of what we wanted to eat, so I grabbed a couple of “lean cuisine” style frozen meals and more fresh fruit.  Gosh I am enjoying the ziti, and the big pan has lasted us several days.  I have managed to make a b.l.t. sandwich once, so kitchen skills are coming.

Tuesday I had a mid day appointment with the physical therapist. The surgeon had sent an order for a different splint. That visit was quite something. I didn’t realize she was going to completely remove the bandage and do wound care as well as making a customized splint.  The area on my finger where the incisions were made is quite spectacular looking…..no photos as it was pretty unsettling if you aren’t used to seeing that sort of thing.  Of course, I am curious by nature so I had to inspect the surgeons fine sewing!!  My #1 complaint about the splint the surgeon put on is it did not protect the end of the finger and I had banged that end about once a day. There are stitches there where a screw was placed in my finger and it shrieks with pain if you bang it.   I banged it about 20 minutes before leaving for the therapist, so I was at a 12 on a scale of 1-10.  She offered to make a splint that would protect the end, and that made me very happy!  She did a lot of measuring and checking range of motion and swelling and assigned me home work for the next 2 days.  Thankfully, just the end joint is now immobilized, and I can bend at the knuckle.  Gone is the huge dressing and wrap, but I still have to keep it dry for another week and a half.  Apparently when I   go twice a week to see the therapist, she will remove the bandaging and clean and redress it.  I can feel that the swelling has gone down, and my new splint is much smaller.  No more banging the end of the finger on stuff which is a huge improvement!

smaller splint day 6

The new splint  has a velcro closure and I can actually tighten it if needed.  My hand looks terrible with bruising down to the middle of the back of the hand, below the purple marker.  At least I can use the wet wipes and clean the orange goo off the rest of my hands and nails.  (At this point I still have to put it in a plastic bag when I shower.  This is MUCH easier though.  ) I go back in the morning for another round and hope she sees it has improved.

After the visit to the therapist, hubby and I had a nice 1 1/2 mile walk and that really got my lungs cleared out and my brain fuzz and haze cleared up.  Of course, I was invigorated by the walk and exhausted at the end.  Seems that napping is still the daily priority.

Hubby spent the day working in the garage and I hung out in the house. I really have been in a haze. We had a “snow storm” planned for the day, but it fizzled out and drizzled freezing rain for hours. When it finally stopped this evening, I was ready to get up and get moving!   After he left for the train club tonight, I put on my shoes and went out to the sewing room.  I didn’t have any plan but I was sick of hanging out in the house.

I took my cutting instructions out with me for the new From My Carolina Home mystery quilt.  Nancy B. had given me some of the pieces already cut, and I got out my basket of 2.5″ squares and pulled a bunch more out.  I reached into the scrap basket and pulled a bunch more bits of fabric out and tried my hand at the rotary cutter.  Guess what?  I CAN CUT!  I use a FISKARS loop cutter, and I was able to hold it and cut my pieces.  Because my splint is a hard molded plastic, I had no concerns about hurting my long finger, and it didn’t interfere with using the rotary cutter.  Now, I don’t think i will be doing much cutting for a while, but I was pleased with getting all the pieces cut for the throw size project!  I added to what Nancy B. had cut for me, and got the neutrals cut as well.

Cutting for new quilt

I am now officially “playing along” with the new Scrap Dance Minuet Mystery Quilt

It is not too late to join in.  February instructions at the above link are all cutting.  Very easy…even in my situation.  Next set of instructions comes on the 2nd Friday of March, so still plenty of time to break out the scraps.  Getting out there and just playing around a bit in my sewing room has helped me perk up.  Now I am wondering if I can do any sewing?  I have some binding made and a few placemats left to bind!

Feeling better for having done something fun!  The haze is blowing away. Now if the weather improves, maybe I can sneak out for another walk!!!  My hubby said the anesthesia haze and the pain haze are helping me to rest but honestly….I would much rather go play!  It takes me days to get that stuff out of my system. Tomorrow is a full week, and since I am not taking anything stronger than Ibuprofen, you can’t blame the drugs!  Sewing will help!!  So will more exercise!  I also have some much loved “grandma time” scheduled for tomorrow, and that has to help!  Everyday is an improvement and for that I am thankful.

Are you playing along and doing the Scrap Dance ?  How do you get out of a wintertime slump?