Monday, February 18, 2019

Daily Notes- February 18


French Hens.   I tried to collect fabrics that had a French feeling--not actually made in France.  The Hens were fun to shop for.  Looking for fabrics that evoked the look and texture of feathers.  And of course, shopping for dotted fabric for the eyes.  All different.


Here's the full quilt.  Sixty inches square.  Perhaps I should have placed the red basket in the center? I haven't ever seen the quilt this way--as a photograph.  Which leads me to think taking a wide view photo and looking at it can make you question some decisions made. before you sew the whole thing together.  The spot that is un-quilted is on the right side of the blue basket in the top row. I made the baskets at home--my Dad's sewing machine wasn't working correctly when I visited but I did cut them out and appliquéd the handles to the top triangles while I was with him.  If I was visiting now I might have been able to fix the machine--but more likely I would have hand sewn the baskets together.  That would have been nice to do while we watched tv and talked.

My Dad had his very own sewing machine (my mother had one also).  He altered his clothing and made himself a very nice bathrobe when he could not find a warm enough one in the stores. He also baked bread and canned pickles and made sauerkraut in large crocks in the basement before he got too old and frail.  My brother told me the sauerkraut of our childhood was so good because it came from big crocks under the basement stairs. I have no memory of it. How could I have missed that??

I have another pot of Vegan Lentil Stew on the stove--all the chopping of vegetables is my favorite part of cooking.  Our daughter arrived yesterday after work--anticipating Lentil Stew to take home for breakfasts this week.  She left with a small container of baked beans instead (and very pleased about that) and the final jar of the chicken broth with ginger and turmeric and the promise of Lentil Stew making today.  I chopped up two pounds or more of potatoes, an entire bunch of celery and four very large carrots. 

Cross Fit people enjoy hot soup for breakfast.  Turns out long distance runners do also.

Daughter spent the unhappy part of her day at the Chocolate Factory waiting on customers.  She's not a "people person" and then was asked if she'd like to help dip strawberries in chocolate.  Yes!!! I think chocolate covered strawberries are just about the worst idea anyone EVER had.  Every Hallmark Valentine movie had them.

Some people are front of the house (me and G) and some are back of the house (daughter and son).

Well, the stew is nearly done and G and Riley are back for the walk where Riley got a run for the money with a small mutt chasing him--so we are thinking he'll be sound asleep in a few minutes.  We're going to the grocery and library and then home again.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Daily Notes- February 17th


From the Magic Cardboard Box.   I didn't make this appliqué.  It traveled here in the box.  I did cut all those half square triangles.  Those are my fabrics.  I recognize them like I would my children. The triangles are for another UFO which I did not pull out of the box for a picture.  I am out of touch with picture taking.  Deleting most.  Usually the light is bad.

I have a finished, quilted appliqué and patchwork project to show you.  It's from the 6 weeks when I went to live with my father so he could leave the care unit and be home.

He nearly died of pneumonia.  Was in Intensive Care for weeks.  Was in the hospital for more weeks and then moved to the care unit.  They told him he couldn't go home to live alone.  I called him there each day at lunchtime.  Encouraged him to sit up at first.  Later to swing his legs over the side of his bed and sit up.  Later to stand next to the bed. And then two steps and back to bed.  Five steps.  To the doorway and stand and look.  Out into the Hall.  Down the Hall.  I told him when he walked to the end of the hall I would come live with him until he was well.  He did. I did.

Each evening, while he watched Becker on tv- I would work on one of the chicken heads.  When each was finished I would hand it to my father and he would run his fingers over the pieces marveling at how no sewing showed.  He was well enough to drive and cook when I left.  If he ate his healthy meals, he could have ice cream.  Or cheesecake.  Or both.  It was all low-fat but he didn't know that.

I will try and get a good photo while G and Riley are out walking.  On the floor.  Flat.  And without a dog trying to sit down on it.  In good light.  All it needs is binding and well, the friend that machine quilted it missed a spot.  I have to figure that out.  I mentioned it and she ran off weeping.  I never mentioned it again.

The quilt itself has been stored in the Magic Attic since the day my friend ran off crying.  She left her home and husband a few months later.  No one has seen her since but  I did get an email years later--she said she was happy.  Things not related to my quilt but perhaps the last straw, as they say.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Daily Notes- February 16th


It wasn't the Magic Attic this time.  Found this green in that Civil War box.  It reads as the same green.  As long as I mix the blocks up in the placement--it'll look like it was meant to be.  I can even remove a few leaves from a finished block and exchange them for the new green.  In the second  block I stitched the flowers so they touch the stems.  In the first block--done, possibly, twenty years ago, the flowers float about half an inch from the stems.  I may have to change that as well.  It would be delightful if the pattern was with the squares--but it is not.  I will have to make a pattern.

Both of the Baltimore Books had this pattern for the Peony block.  One in a very nice finished quilt and the other book had the pattern I had traced to make the pieces.  So I traced the full pattern on freezer paper (a roll was stored in the bedroom closet) so I can tape it to one of the sunny windows and then put the background fabric on top and get the pieces into the right places.

The darker red fabric is no longer in the closet so I found a "look alike" for that as well.  I won't be removing any flowers and exchanging them.  The hand dyed rose color is the same fabric.  I found that yesterday in the Attic while on a second and third hunt for the green.  The Attic isn't forthcoming on early visits.  One must actually hunt, dig and then repeat and repeat.

I am going to look through my Baltimore Appliqué books to see if the pattern for this is in one of the books.  Then I can trace it.  This doesn't look like a commercial patten.  But I could be mistaken. And I will need freezer paper for the pieces.  Attic?  Again?  My knee is really bothering me--so I think I am done with trips to the Attic.  It's going down the steps that hurts.

I found a ridiculously Modern blue print and auditioned it with the Civil War Storm At Sea Diamond for a week now.  It's on the cutting table and I look as I walk past........I just might sew one up.  A batik.  I don't know why I like it so much but I do.  And that "loud" red fabric plays well with it.  Traditional quilters will protest.  Get over it.

G is gone for the day. The Annual Visit To The Home Show to buy "things that do not work and no one wanted".  He'll also stop in at Trader Joes to get Riley some dog treats.  Riley and I will worry until he finds his way back home.  We hope.   G is back home and he and Riley went for their walk. It's now 4:33 and in an hour it will be full dark outside.

Our neighbor with the healing broken wrist is going to Disney World.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Daily Notes--February 15th


Actually, it's raining here in Maine.   Around 36 degrees.  Trying to decide if it wants to stay rain or turn to sleet.  The Man and The Dog went out for their walk--both look exhausted.

This picture is from years ago when we measured snowfall in feet.  Not inches.  Global Warming.  We can witness it here in Maine.  Dry wells, little rain, low snowfall.  Drought.  And Maine is thin sandy soil on top of rock.  The victim of long ago erosion--our soil lives in New Jersey. I learned that fact in Master Gardener School.

I am balancing between going out to a store to find green fabric and just making do with something already here in the house.  Not a match.

I have a newly started pot of chicken soup on the stove for G.  He has a scarf wrapped around his neck.  He is cold.  I had to coax Riley to eat his breakfast and then his lunch just minutes ago (1:30)--I do this by standing at the sink washing dishes with the water running.  He knows where I am.  Eats.  Today I washed my tea cup for the entire 10 to 15 minutes it took him to eat (he was looking up to check on me). Putting in the Time.  Then I scooped leftover tuna salad onto planks of raw, cold carrot and celery.  That was lunch.

Putting in the Time is something you learn to do when you have problem children.

Finished reading Harbison's Driving With The Top Down.  Usually her books aren't this hard to read. Three women.  Road Trip.  Truth.  Tears.  I'm glad I didn't find this author until this Winter.  I have two more books on the table--not this author.  Two others.  Since it's really too dark for any Magic Attic trip or for hand sewing, I think I will read another book.  Wait for the soup to cook.

My calendar has nothing penciled in for the next two full weeks.  Nothing.  Nowhere to be.  I was looking for a Valentine card for my husband--in the big chest of drawers filled with cards, gift bags, tissue and ribbon.  I found calendars from 2002 and 2003.  Every square filled.  Meetings, appointments, comings and goings, work hours at the library.  Every square filled.  And now weeks of blank squares that will not be filled in--except to write-it's raining today.

I have to admit.  Reading the filled in blanks on those calendars exhausted me.