Which border? DECISION MADE !

Yesterday I was in a quandary about how I was going to border my Scrap Dance – Two Step Mystery Quilt.  When I went out to the sewing room mid afternoon, I was still pondering yardage or scrappy.

I decided to stick with the scrappy theme, and make a string border.

I put on my “Bonnie Hunter” thinking cap, grabbed the calculator and a measuring tape and determined an approximate number of inches I needed to get “around” the quilt.  Then I divided that number by 10.5 and pulled 12 pages out of the old telephone book I keep on hand for these kinds of projects.  Anyone familiar with Bonnie Hunter knows that old phone books are valuable tools in the quilting room!  This is a funny post from  Bonnie Hunter and String Blocks and explains the “why’s” of the phone book pages.

Anyway, I digress.  I have boxes of “strings”.  I use Bonnie Hunter’s scrap storage system, and my left over strips go into storage boxes based on their width. I have a box for 1.5″, 2″, 2.5″, 3″ and larger strips.  These are all fairly straight, longer pieces, so perfect for what I wanted.  I think Bonnie’s strings are “random widths” sorted by color in her storage system.  Anyway, I pulled out several boxes so I could get varying widths. Sewing strings is kind of “mindless sewing” in my opinion.  No need for absolute perfection.  The only thing to consider is starting with a FULL bobbin, and reducing the stitch length to much shorter (I went with 1.5). Also, I swap my 1/4″  foot, as it has a blade that catches the edge of the paper and is annoying.

I stitched the 12 pages, pressing between additions of strings, working on about 4 pages at a time.  Once all 12 were stitched, I cut them to size “lengthwise”.  Since the paper was 8 .5 x 10.5, I went with a 4″ strip.  Yes, I had a little waste, but I am ok with that. Once cut to size, I ‘de-papered’ the strips, and started joining them end to end.  After all the pieces were joined I had about 280″ of border to use.  I gave them a good “starch” and press (with my new OLISO PRO that arrived late yesterday…) and then cut them to length for attachment to the side borders first.

String border addition

First border is on and I love it!!  Note that I “stay stitched” around the outside edge after I pressed the border.  I set the stitch length to 3.5″ to keep all those sections from “opening” their seams as I work with the quilt top. (It is best to do this on the wrong (back) side….ask me how I know!)

Anyway……….By midnight I had 3 borders stitched and pressed, and the 4th one pinned on, waiting for me to do the stitching when I gave up for the night.   I got a lot accomplished from late afternoon until MIDNIGHT.  (I forgot to eat dinner………..until midnight….thank goodness from the leftover crockpot roast & carrots. ) Since the hubby was off playing with model railroad trains, I didn’t have any interruptions.

No, I didn’t get the Grandma’s Kitchen block # 6 done.  I was anxious to get the borders on this project!  In fact, I left the pattern sitting on the kitchen counter. There is always today!

Note – the pattern for this quilt pattern is by Carole –  From My Carolina Home

I am working through this project as part of my August OMG (One Monthly Goal)!

 

 

 

One Monthly Goal (OMG) – a place to start

Are you a goal setter?   I am a “list maker” and sometimes I totally ignore the lists in favor of something new.  I call it the “LOOK-something shiny-Syndrome”.  I admit I am easily enticed and easily distracted. It’s after 9 am and I am still in PJ’s while I am distracted reading blogs with my coffee and toast, knowing full well that in 5 -10 minutes I MUST hit the shower before someone comes over at 10!  Oh well, better make this quick!

I was reading through blog posts and saw on Peggy Cooper Quilts her post about meeting her July goal.  She asked if readers were tired of hearing about the project. I replied that I enjoyed the process she used to meet the goal.  Peggy is following along with the One Monthly Goal (OMG) on Elm Street Quilts   .  I think of my lists and projects and decided this might be the perfect PUSH for me to get some projects FINISHED …. I know, what a concept!

So, officially, I am going to use the OMG as my motivation (there are prizes at the end…hahahaha).  (Shiny stuff)

I declare my OMG project for AUGUST to be “assembling the Scrap Dance Two Step ” top.   The blocks have been constructed over the last 6 months, using the pattern developed by Carole on her blog –  From My Carolina Home

Part 5 blocks

Scrap dance two step Part 5

Part 6 blocks

12 Scrap Dance Two Step Blocks - Part 6

 

The final layout came out over a week ago, and I was tied up with the quilt show.  Now, I have some time available for my own sewing and this is going to be the August 2017 goal.  Of course, I intend to have at least the first round of borders indicated in the pattern on by the end of August, so watch for progress notes.

Linking up to the August goal  setting at Elm Street Quilts for the One Monthly Goal (OMG) !  (If you are on a computer, check out their cool button on my sidebar on this blog page)

Are you setting any goals for August?  (My next goal is a shower…….)

 

Trip to Quilt Odyssey Show – Hershey PA and a week of fun

Last Sunday, I made an early start, with 2 friends along for the ride and journeyed up to Hershey PA for the Quilt Odyssey Show.  My purpose in going was to see the Bonnie Hunter quilts on display!  A lot of “Bonnie” Quilts, all in one place, up close where you can study the detail, the fabrics, the piecing, the colors at leisure.  My friend Nancy said to me before that Bonnie’s quilts had “too many little pieces”.  I love working with scraps so seeing how she selects her neutrals (from white to brown paper bag), and putting them to work was inspiring.  Bonnie wrote a blog post about the exhibition here —http://quiltville.blogspot.com/2017/07/while-quilters-away.html

I didn’t take any photo’s of her quilts, as she asked others to  ONLY take for personal use, and you can easily see the photo’s on her blog.  I am familiar with several from the exposition, as I have worked from Bonnie Hunter’s wonderful patterns.

We also got to see the award winning quilt by Bethanne Nemesh – Into the Westward Sun – where Bethanne got a FIRST PLACE Blue Ribbon for Wall Quilt/predominately pieced.  I linked to the page on Bethanne’s website that shows this beautiful quilt. My photo’s don’t do it justice.  I did zoom in on one section of the quilt to show some detail —

Into the Westward Sun (2016) Bethanne Nemesh

I saw this quilt this Spring at the Helping Hands Quilt Guild meeting, in person, and enjoyed the talk that Bethanne gave about her artistic approach to the quilting.

One other quilt, worthy of a photo was this one —

The Greeter by Diane L Campbell

He is called “The Greeter, by Dian L. Campbell.  (I am currently in love with cat quilts).

Really, there were terrific quilts in the show, and many just to breathtaking to do more than study the piecing, the quilting and the overall design.  Of course, what would a quilt show be without shopping?   I did a “little” more shopping for 30’s reproduction fabrics at the.  I needed just a few more, and added 19 more fat quarters to the collection.  I can honestly say, now I have enough!

Monday brought an afternoon class at Helping Hands Quilt Guild, Dover DE with Heather Kojan!  I had taken a class with Heather 3 years ago at Ocean Waves Quilt Guild, and still had a “project” in the box.  So, I signed up and went and loved the opportunity to sew again using her improv methods.  I will include some details and photos in a future blog post (meaning, I haven’t got around to taking any photo’s yet…)

Tuesday was the Queen Bees gathering and we worked on some little Santa ornaments for our Christmas in July project.  For some reason, my brain wasn’t connecting the dots, and I had a challenge getting going.  But now that the bee is finished, I have been slightly productive with the project. (Again, details and photo’s to come in a future blog post…)  (Can you sense 2 more UFO’s???)

Wednesday means the release of another block in the Grandma’s Kitchen Pattern, published by Pat Sloan.  Block 5 was fairly simple.  I spent more time deciding on which fabrics to use I think than sewing!  I was working with the camera to ensure I had the light, dark, and medium contrast, so I used another B&W photo.

Black and white for contrast  block 5

Block 5 of Grandma's Kitchen,  pattern by Pat Sloan

This block went together very easily.  We are up to Block 5, and I am trying to keep a variety happening in the fabrics.

First 5 blocks for the Grandma's Kitchen pattern  by Pat Sloan

Of course, over a week ago there was the release of a mystery quilt final setting, by Carole – From My Carolina Home, and I haven’t touched it yet.   Time will present itself!  Sooner than later.

Meanwhile, I tackled bamboo with the hubby in the yard, along the driveway.  This was step 1 this summer in bamboo containment.  (CURSES to the idiot who planted this stuff 25 years ago…………..) Every year we are fighting the spread.  Of course, the hubby chose the hottest day of the week to get busy…..and when he is willing I dare not say NO!)  I cut the bamboo that was growing in our forsythia and lilacs and  Crape-myrtle .  The only solution we have is to cut it out, and try to abate the regrowth by constant cutting.  It has gotten away from us in the last year.  (My garden looks WAY worse, but just weeds, no bamboo). I might try to do a little work in it in the mornings this week if it is cool enough.

Bamboo battles 2017

Sewing and gardening early in the week were followed by visits from the grandkids along with their parents.  Family photo’s were scheduled this weekend, and we all got dressed up in new outfits and paraded around in a local B&B’s outdoor area and barn while the lovely photographer took hundreds of carefully arranged shots, and some candid ones as well.  We dodged the rain by being flexible with our day, and in the end, it was all terrific. The family looked wonderful in their finery, the children were bribed with ice cream, and all seemed very happy at the end!  The rest of the weekend was ours to play and have fun.  Grandpa had the oldest out in the garage hammering on a “kid’s project from Lowes”, and they put together a corn-hole game set.  The girls came out to the sewing studio and got to play in the scraps that were donated for their entertainment.  They also helped me “sew” a bowl cozy for their mom as a surprise.  They each picked out a fat quarter, I squared the piece up, and cut batting, then they did the quilting, one at a time, and they helped stitch the darts on “their piece”.  I finished up the sewing and they were able to give it to the mommy before they had to head back home this afternoon.   All and all a great weekend!

This stitchinggrandma is headed to the freezer to find the ice cream they left behind, and to put her feet up!  How was your weekend?

Grandma’s Kitchen 1-2-3 and fabric shopping

Since I have “met the deadline” for the Ocean Waves Quilt Guild quilt show next week,  with 2 quilts labeled, sleeved, tagged and bagged, I needed SOMETHING to do for a couple of days, just for me….for FUN….

I decided I would start and catch up with Pat Sloan’s latest sew-along “Grandma’s Kitchen”.  I decided that on Wednesday afternoon, and downloaded the patterns, and started pulling fabrics. I had a plan, a theme, but then I decided I needed more……fabric…….

So; you know how it goes….a Fabric Acquisition Road Trip!  Because you can never have too much fabric!

I decided to use my collection of 30’s reproduction fabrics, which was mostly fat quarters and fat eighths, but not enough variety as recommended in the pattern. The 30’s reproduction fabrics remind me of my Grandma Bessie, and the house dresses she would make, the aprons she would wear, and they just make me smile.  I pulled some “other”  fabrics too that would speak of grandchildren and childhood etc. 

There is a local long arm quilter that is pulling up stakes and moving South and she has advertised a big sale at her home. I made plans last week to stop over and see what she had to offer.  Everything was going for $4/yard; and she was cutting from the bolt in 1 yard increments. She also had some “off cuts” from long arm projects; wide backings I would guess; as well as selling wide backings, fat quarters etc.  All beautiful quilt store quality fabrics. She is trying to lighten the load for the move. She has an internet business and will resume online sales after her move is completed.

So, I kept my eyes open at the sale and found 3 different reproduction prints that I did not have and got 2 yards of each. I picked up a few other things too, including 3 yards of an off white batik with an overprint of gold swirls.    I had such a good time the FIRST time I shopped, I left with $1 in my pocket and a HUGE bag of fabric.  That was Thursday.

A friend of mine went on Friday, and told me the seller was still putting out “new” fabrics, and so we plotted and planned and made a 2nd trip over to shop.  Today, I was in the “market” for MORE 1930’s reproduction fabrics, and green fabrics that would work with the 30’s fabrics. I ended up with 2 more reproduction prints, a fat quarter of green, and a TON of white on white, off white, neutral fabrics of all types.

Between Thursday and today I’ve washed over 30 yards of fabric!  I like to prewash before I start a project. I hung most of the fabrics to dry after they spent a few minutes in the clothes dryer. My effort to keep the energy costs down!

Drying fabric

After the washing and drying; most of the reproduction prints went out to the sewing room.  I spent a good part of yesterday afternoon ironing with spray starch. Went through an entire can if you can imagine that. The 12 or 15 yards I washed today will need ironing as well; but since they are not going into a project immediately, I am going to ruler fold, label with the yardage, and indicate the fabrics are washed. I usually don’t starch stuff that is going to be stored for a long period of time.

Last evening, after the ironing, I cut the fabrics I needed for the first 3 blocks of Grandma’s Kitchen.  Today, after my “2nd” road trip for fabric, I got busy and put the blocks together.

Here is block 1 of 25 – The Kitchen Table –

Block One for Grandma's Kitchen.  Pattern by Pat Sloan

I photographed it in Black & White to see if I hit the mark with the light – medium – darks

Block 1 in black and white.  Really shows the light, medium and dark.

I think it works!

Here is block 2 of 25 – Sticky Buns –

Block 2 Grandma's Kitchen,  pattern by Pat Sloan

Again, I did a black & white, because I thought I might have gone too dark with the medium.

Block 2 in B&W

And finally – block 3 of 25 “Keyholder”

Block 3 Grandma's Kitchen,  pattern by Pat Sloan

Block 3 in black and white

I think I made the light-medium-dark thing work, and will do some photos of the fabrics before I cut the next block just to be certain.

Now, I am caught up and the next block won’t come out until Wednesday – next week.  If you want to participate, check out Pat Sloan’s website for Grandma’s Kitchen Free pattern for more information. There is still plenty of time to get started, especially if you have a nice stash of fabric and don’t “NEED” to shop  (I know “crazy talk”….we need to shop for fabric!)  The pattern is released weekly, starting June 28, and will run through Nov 22.  Pat said in the intro that there will be 25 blocks and the finish project is “large lap sized”.  These three blocks measure up at 12.5″.

Are you doing any sew-alongs?  If you do them, how do you manage to “keep up” ???  I hope to stay on track with this project, as it goes along, but I remind myself it is not a race!  (Told my hubby I was crazy for starting ANOTHER project when I have so many UFO’s…..tomorrow I will tackle the next round of borders on Talkin’ Turkey!)

Wherever you are, enjoy your projects!

 Don’t forget – if you are in the Mid-Atlantic area, plan to visit the Ocean Waves Quilt Guild show – 

“Peach Blossom – Quilts in the Orchard” – July 21 – 22, 2017 at: Cape Henlopen High School, Lewes, DE.

10AM-5PM

Admission:  $8 per day; $14 for 2 day pass

Free Parking  along with,

Judged Quilt Displays, Challenge Quilts, Lectures, Workshops, Demonstrations

Merchant Mart, Raffle Baskets,

Second Time Around Shop,

Food Service on-site, and

Community Service Projects

Door Prizes too!

 

Quilt Show Lectures and Workshops Sign-up

Friday, July 21:

11 AM ♦ Terry Kramzar, Lecture and Trunk Show

1 PM ♦ Laurie Simpson Workshop, “Big Stitch Hand Quilting”.  Class is $50 and limited to 20 participants.

Saturday, July 22:

11 AM ♦ Laurie Simpson, Lecture and trunk show

“Pieced Quilting in Layers”.  1 PM ♦ Terry Kramzar Workshop, Class is $50 and limited to 25 participants.

To reserve a class (space is limited) contact:Ellie Hatch.

Entry fee for the lectures is $5.00 (at the door)

More show info at https://www.oceanwavesquiltguild.org/quilt-show

When you come, be sure to look for me at the Second Time Around booth!

 

Castoff’s turned to treasure

IF you are a regular reader, you will no doubt know that I have spent the last 2 years working with “other people’s castoffs” from their crafting and sewing rooms.

My quilt guild – Ocean Waves Quilt Guild, Lewes Delaware,  has a Second Time Around committee.  I took this committee on with a partner 2 years ago following our last quilt show.

In the course of 2 years, repurposing those “castoffs” has made nearly $6000 for the guild.  People bring things to the meeting they no longer want. I go pick things up from other people, often times filling the car or SUV to the roof.  One lady I know was downsizing from 2 houses into one, and we made 3 trips with 2 vehicles to take the things she no longer had use for.

All those things come home with me, and my helpers sort, press, trim, fold and make the fabrics look “new again”.  We have been given YARDS of fabric, still with the price tag from the original sale, tools, hoops, beads, zippers, scraps etc over these 2 years.

We fix it up, make it look USABLE again, and take it back to the guild meeting to sell back to the members as a fund raiser.  Those sales take place in the hour before the guild meeting starts and we usually fill up 6 or 7 tables full of yardage.  We set the price LOW, so the fabric and notions etc will be a great value to the person wanting to make a purchase.

With the upcoming   Ocean Waves Quilt Guild Quilt Show ; I have been prepping items 2-3 days a week for the last 6 months or more. Sometimes I have as many as 4 helpers doing this prep.  We have FILLED 40 bankers boxes and 10 plastic totes with fabric and other sewing items for the show.

One thing that crossed my mind many months ago was “how to merchandise” some of the items.  I have been collecting wicker baskets from friends, and purchased some small plastic baskets and have “run out” of ways to “display” things.  Two weeks ago, someone on a Facebook group I follow posted a link to a free pattern on the Craftsy . com website for a One Hour Basket.  Turns out, I had downloaded that as a free pattern a while back, and the size was PERFECT for what I needed.

I contacted members of the 2 quilt bees I belong two, and we got busy making those baskets.  I offered the bee members an opportunity to come pick ANY fabric they wanted from the 2nd Time Around stash; and they did.

I think they had fun making these baskets.  They get to take the baskets home after the show.

Check out the photo’s of the great baskets !

Queen Bees baskets

I think they look cute with patterns in them –

Basket full of patterns

I used donated deco fabric for the outside of the bags I made – fat quarters for the inside.

I even used upholstery fabric for 2 bags –

1 hour bag with upholstery fabric

Some baskets were made out of “stash on hand” at home.  Barbara lives near a beach community and did these cute ones with seashells.

One hour basket made by Barbara

Pam arrived at the Queen Bees gathering on Tuesday – ready to go!  She is marking her quilting lines on the In-r-Form before she starts to sew.  Most of us used In-r-Form between the layers of the lining and the outer part of the basket.

Pam marking the quilting lines

She was prepped and ready to work !  I am impressed with her efficiency!

Pams Stack

I thought it would be a good idea to “label” the basket with what the types of patterns-

My helpers sorted LOTS of patterns and gave me a great list to get busy making “labels” for the show.

Vintage clothing patterns

I have more baskets coming in, waiting to be filled when we set up for the show.

Yesterday I did the happy dance that ALL the donated items are prepped, boxed, and ready to sell.  No more “work days”.  Now, I need to get busy with my own sewing!

note- The basket pattern is now on for sale on the Craftsy website….for $1

The Ocean Waves Quilt Guild show will be held in Lewes DE on July 21 & 22 with over 300 quilts on display.  There are vendors and teachers and demos!!  Check out the website for more details! Ocean Waves Quilt Guild Quilt Show

When you come, stop by the Second Time Around Tables and get some great deals!  And say hi!

Make plans to come, bring your friends and share the show info with your friends on Facebook or your blog!

If you use Facebook, help us by sharing the show page ( https://www.facebook.com/Ocean-Waves-Quilt-Guild-presents-Quilts-in-the-Orchard-Quilt-Show-1243973002325463/?ref=br_rs )

Happy stitching!

The Chemistry experiment in the back yard

June is almost over!  I can’t believe how fast it has gone by!  We jumped right into summer after Memorial Day with hot weather!  Air conditioning on, windows closed, pool opened.  Sort of….

I have a funny story about our swimming pool.  We have used a non-chlorine product called Baquacil in our pool since it was installed in 2010.  Hubby had always used that product in an above ground pool prior to the in-ground pool going in.  I had a pool at my previous home and for 16 years, always used Chlorine products.  So, when Hubby & I  got married over 10  years ago, we started discussing the pros and cons of pool systems.  We have been debating the good/bad/ugly of these types of products and the Hubby won the battles of pool products…..for a while.

4 years ago, our local pool store suggested “adding” a product to the water that was a “one-time” thing called Endure – a borax based chemical, that was supposed to “enhance” the other products and keep us from constantly adding chemicals …blah blah blah.  Well….it was a giant fail!  I won’t go into the details, just know that the manufacturer’s product rep and I spent all of July and August on the phone that summer, and our pool was one problem after another.  (This ended my trust of the local pool store too).  From that year forward, we have battled with our pool every summer. The end of that story is that the Endure and the Baquacil were incompatible, and the chemical reactions to each other really were ugly. (And expensive beyond reason!)

Last year, I had “had enough” of the big chemistry set in the back yard.  Swimming pools are supposed to be relaxing, right? My one daughter (the science teacher) and her hubby had converted their chlorine pool to a salt water pool, and the more we discussed it, the more my Hubby began to see the “light of day” or the “cool blue pool”.  Salt is supposed to be easier on your skin, less chemicals etc, the very reason he liked the Baquacil…..but much less expensive to run annually.  Initial start up with the purchase of the equipment not cheap, but ideally, it will “pay for itself” in 2 years.

So, fast forward to June 2017 and we FINALLY made the switch. Equipment was purchased in the spring, plumbing bits and pieces acquired,  electronic controller mounted and wired….and you would think – ready to go….well…not so much.

The “switch” from a chlorine to a salt pool is simple. The “switch” from a Baquacil pool to salt…….like everything else…not so easy.  You see…the premise is…a salt water pool has a “chlorine generator” …. “A salt-chlorine generator uses the simple process of electrolysis in combination with the water to separate the chlorine and sodium molecules and then reintroduces them into the pool as liquid chlorine. ” info from-   https://pinchapenny.com/info/salt-pool-basics

We knew diving in, that it would be complicated. We had prepared last fall by the way we closed the pool.  NO Baquacil in the closing process….ok, I started to trust the pool store again!  We added “non chlorine shock” in the fall; again in January and April, in order to eliminate any residual Baquacil in the water.  But, when we wanted to turn on our salt system, we still had “too much” of the Baquacil in the  pool.  We had 27 PPM of Baquacil sanitizer, and the goal was 0 PPM.  Early in June the “experts” at the local pool store had us use “non chlorine shock” just like we did over the winter and at closing last year.

We did that and were able to reduce to only 21 PPM.  The pool was crystal clear, but, after doing that for 2 weeks we still could not make the switch.  So, another water sample to the “experts” at the pool store.  The “experts”  said we “think” the only way to get it moving quickly was to introduce chlorine into the water. (The alternative was to continue using non-chlorine shock until the Baquacil stabilizer dissipated over the summer).

Chlorine shock would make a chemical bond with the Baquacil.  Oh, they also told me that I should enjoy the reaction.  Trust me, I took photos.  We had a crystal clear blue pool and the first sprinkle of chlorine turned the pool LIME green.  (I was REALLY glad they warned me it would happen the way it did!)

Adding chlorine to Baquacil

This looks terrible

Chemical reaction

Now, this was a bit of  a scary experiment, because I was not convinced we would have a pool this summer!!  However, as I read and read online forums, and knew eventually it would sort itself out. (This was a good read –Tired of Baquacil ) (And this – Pool Spa Forum ).  At one point in the last few weeks Hubby and I were CONVINCED this was going to be our daily routine all summer.

Watching the transition became our daily fun.  Basically, the chlorine acted like little PAC-MAN, eating up the Baquacil.  We spent 3 weeks, putting chlorine (3# at a time) into the pool in the evening.  It would “bloom lime green” ; and by morning, it was crystal clear and blue again.  The little chunks of Baquacil would get swept up by the turtle, and we would empty his bag.  Whatever went through the filter got back washed out every day.  (Sometimes 2 or 3 times a day near the end of the process.)

 Comment – we did determine that the chlorine shock from the pool store was a better investment than the stuff we picked up at Walmart for 1/2 the price.  The pool store product was a much higher percentage of actual chlorine, and it dissolved much better than the stuff at Walmart.  We figured we were “saving money” but it ended up not worth the savings. (So, that said, if you are buying shock at the local pool store, overall you are saving money because you are getting a better bang for your buck!)  I think that using the cheaper product slowed us down some.  Several forums direct you to use straight out of the bottle chlorine bleach from the laundry aisle, but I was not sure I wanted to take that route. I stuck to official pool chemicals.   

Each morning, the water was sparkling blue and swimmable. Each time we added the chlorine, the transition time from lime green to blue shortened.

On Monday, it cleared within a few minutes, and on Tuesday, there was little change in color at all. The last step was to “clean the sand filter” (more chemicals) and I did that overnight on Tuesday.

Wednesday morning, the filter was clean and we were READY!  The Hubby switched out the plumbing parts, installed the “cell”; and plugged in the business ends of things and flipped the switch.  He set the electronic controls, and we were ready to go.

Oh, I forgot….FIRST someone had to put 480 POUNDS of salt in the pool …. Those 40# bags just about wore out my arms.  (Ice on elbow all evening last night for me…..) I loaded them on a little hand cart and pushed it along the edge of the pool and cut the bags open one at a time and let the salt “sprinkle” into the pool like a salt shaker !  It dissolved quickly and if there was a bit of a pile in the pool, our little turtle floating around would “sweep by” and stir it up and help it to dissipate.

As the cell was switched on we had a little clouding initially, but it seemed to clear up quickly.  One bottle of “stabilizer” was added, and hopefully that will be it for us!  Of course, we have to monitor like we always did, keeping the various levels right (PH, Alkalinity, Hardness etc).  I will take a water sample in for an “official” test to make sure we are “RIGHT”, and our test strips are giving results that match up with the pool store.

Overall, it has taken us 25 days to make the switch.  I think I could have shaved a week off had I not bothered with the cheaper product midway in the transition. (I was trying also to avoid the 30 mile round trip to the pool store…..). 

I think it looks pretty good this morning!  Day 1 of the Salt water pool

Salt water startup

Day 1 of the Salt water pool  — Crystal clear, sparkling  and ready to swim.

Note – the turtle (Polaris Turbo Turtle) floats on top, runs off of a Polaris fitting we have on the side of the pool, powered by a  water line return. He skims the bottom and sides of the pool and I empty his little mesh bag every day.  Saves us from vacuuming the pool.  His name is Earl, our pool  butler!  Between Earl, and the salt system, I am hoping for hot sunny days of relaxing in the pool, in a lounger with a book.

How do you plan to spend your summer ?

PS….Hubby needs to spend his doing some serious yard work……right after he gets over his run of bronchitis.  I can dream of those relaxing hours, right after I finish getting my quilts ready for the show and the last of the 2nd Time Around donations priced and boxed up for the show. ….  wait…another shameless promo –

“Peach Blossom – Quilts in the Orchard”

Quilt Show

July 21 – 22, 2017

at: Cape Henlopen High School, Lewes, DE

over 300 quilts; vendors, nationally know speakers and classes….and of course my 7 tables of 2nd Time Around !!

https://www.oceanwavesquiltguild.org/quilt-show

Mystery is close to being solved!

Greetings — I’ve been away from the blog for almost a month!  I disappeared but now I am back!!  A round of bronchitis has kept me low for a few weeks, and I am just getting back into the swing of things.  I was totally out of commission for 2 weeks, not venturing to the garage and up the stairs to the sewing room.  Finally last weekend I had enough energy to make the trek.  Off and on all week I have worked on trimming up flying geese (216 of them), and building “string blocks” for the borders of my Talkin’ Turkey Quilt (Pattern by Bonnie Hunter – String Fling book).  Now, the geese are trimmed, and 108 of them sewn into one of 3 rounds of borders.  The string blocks are made, and cut and sewn back together with the papers removed. Those will make the 2nd border.  I have over 400″ of a string block border made.  They wait patiently for me to get the quilt off the design wall and sew them on. The last border will be another 108 of the geese.  I have them ready to stitch, but I have other priorities currently.

I’m still prepping donated sewing items and fabrics for selling at the Ocean Waves Quilt Guild quilt show in July.  So far we are approaching 40 boxes of fabrics ready to go!  I have such great helpers trimming, pressing folding, pricing!  I was able to work one day this week finally, and will go full force the week after next.  Check out the info for the quilt show here – Ocean Waves Quilt Guild Quilt Show.  Dates – July 21 & 22, 2017, Cape Henlopen High School – Lewes DE.  About 300 quilts and LOTS of vendors!  Come to the beach, and stop by the show! Visit me at the Second Time Around booth where I will have 7 tables of wonderful fabrics & notions, and 2 tables of books and magazines to sell.  Bargains all around at my booth.

Yesterday was….the 3rd Friday of the month!  You KNOW I love the 3rd Friday, because Carole releases the next step in the Scrap Dance Two Step Mystery Quilt.  If you are unfamiliar, check out her blog – From My Carolina Home  . She writes clear, easy to follow instructions, and includes a PDF file you can take to the sewing room with directions and photos.  I didn’t get a chance to sew yesterday (LIFE happens); but I got a chance this afternoon, and after dinner.  I have 12 blocks together for Part 6 of the Scrap Dance Two Step.  Check out this fun group of blocks in Part 6 –

12 Scrap Dance Two Step Blocks - Part 6

PART 6 – JUNE

When you put these blocks from part 6 with the blocks from part 5 below, (which I wrote about LAST month ~ I Love the 3rd Friday……. ), you can really see some scrappy fun. Many of the same fabrics are scattered in Part 5 & Part 6 blocks.  If you read Carole’s instructions for Part 6 you will note that Carole cautioned us that NEXT month we will be cutting more scrap fabric and more background fabrics….so stay tuned!  From my standpoint, all scraps have been used with the exception of the neutrals.  I am struggling to avoid setting these blocks in any type of layout.  I will wait on Carole & July’s instructions.

Scrap dance two step Part 5

Part 5 – May

The solution is becoming more apparent, but it is not solved yet…..maybe in July!

These are BIG blocks, and I am doing the “Twin size”.   Usually I go “BIG” but I have several BIG quilts waiting for borders & quilting, so I decided to sew along with the mystery, but in a size that is less time consuming.  I like getting the steps of the mystery knocked out in a day or two and then I can “get back to other projects”.

Do you enjoy working on a mystery quilt?  Carole’s projects are fun.  If you want to peak at the fabrics other people are using for this mystery – check out the group FLICKR page!  Scrap Dance Mystery Two Step GROUP photo’s .

Happy Stitching!

PS – linking up with OH SCRAP! – Quilting is More fun than housework – check it out!

PPS – did you know that the word SEW is found in the word HOUSEWORK ???