Sunday, August 30, 2020

The Secret Place--a 2010 Book Club Quilt

Kitchen chair and rug
 Our book club read "Loving Frank," by Nancy Horan in 2010. Horan tells the story of Mamah Borthwick and her love affair with Frank Lloyd Wright. The passage in the book that inspired me to make this project was Mamah as a young girl. She made a secret place amidst the tall grass. She would sneak away to be on her own. She'd have to wait for the grass to grow tall enough for her to hide in it! She took a rug from the kitchen and a chair to her place.When her family had to move, she left a note under the floor boards in her room to alert the next occupant about the secret place.

When I was a kid, I used to build forts all of the time. If I was inside, I'd use blankets and sheets which I draped around the furniture. (My mom was not happy that I'd unfolded the clean sheets and used the clothes pins off the line to make my creations.) If I was outside, I'd use hay bales. For a while, I even had a place in the willow tree where I'd read or pretend the tree was a big pirate ship. I could relate to Mamah's secret place!

To create this piece. I started with the kitchen rug. The fabric that I chose for the kitchen rug was a scrap leftover from a vest I had sewn for my oldest daughter when she was

 about 13. I loved that fabric and she wore the vest often so she liked it too! I thought it was perfect for this project because it sort of had that braided rug look to it. I hand appliquéd it to the background.

I found free clip art on line that I used to make the kitchen chair. This was the first time that I used clip art. I also hand appliquéd it. If I were making this quilt today, I'd probably try to draw the chair. 

For the background, I had a piece of green fabric that had a subtle grass print in the background. When it came time to quilt the piece, I used a light brown-gray thread to outline the print. It was also a 40 weight Floriani polyester thread. I like the sheen this thread has.

I added the butterflies using machine applique to adhere them to the quilt surface. I've had that butterfly fabric for many years. Originally, I planned to make a blouse out of it; but there wasn't enough. I cut a few butterflies of various sizes and used a narrow zig zag stitch to hold the butterfly in place. I used thread that sometimes contrasted with the butterfly for more dimension. I was pleased with how smoothly the Floriani polyester thread stitched around the butterflies. Using a thread that showed was a new choice for me to try and I liked the results.

Detail of machine appliqué
For the border, I pieced a braid. I had wanted to try piecing a braid. I cut some scraps and Martha gave me some blue fabrics because I didn't have enough variety. She was right about my scraps. I fussed over the corners of the border. In the end, I trimmed them to fit. I remember that I liked piecing the braid; but, I haven't pieced one since!

This project was also one of my own designs. I was excited that I was able to bring my idea to a finished project! I'm sharing it now as I'm documenting projects that I finished before I started this blog.

Since this is the last post of the month, I'll share my teaching numbers. I assisted 64 people in earning their Healthcare Provider CPR certification.

Detail of braided border

Regarding Covid:

Worldwide: 25M confirmed; 16.4 recovered; 843K deaths

United States: 6.01M confirmed; 3.16M recovered; 184K deaths

Oregon: 26,293 confirmed; 454 deaths

In Oregon, this week there are still 252 cases reported each day. Our case rate is 43 cases/100,000 people. (This is below the 93 cases/100,000 people national average.) Positive test percentage is 3.8%; nationally the percentage is 5.8%. Some counties of Oregon have rising rates and the governor may require those counties to go back to closing bars and other businesses. Tomorrow, my daughter begins her school year. She will begin the year as 
Finished quilt
she ended it last year--teaching online. She reports that there are so many unanswered questions. I hope that what isn't clear will be clear soon.

Regarding the protesting, it continues. We are now in the 13th week. It also continuous that at some point, the protesting turns violent with items thrown at police and fires started on awnings or in trash dumpsters. No updated figures for the cost of the damage have been released nor has additional information regarding money spent for the police to cover/respond to the protests. 

This past week, pro police groups begun nightly protesting to stop the destruction. Members of the BLM group attacked members of the pro police group using rocks, bats and fists. It was reported that there wasn't enough police on duty to intervene. Last night, the residents of one of the areas that protestors have hit each night, went on camera and stated they wanted to sleep and to stop the destruction. A third group which supports the Trump/Pence ticket held a rally. The rally formed at the Clackamas Town Center and the group drove to downtown Portland. There was a clash with BLM members. One man wearing a patriot prayer hat was shot in the chest. He later died. Details of what happened are unclear. What a mess!

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Licensed to Cut Loose--post 6

Scraps from three quart sized zip lock bags
During the ninth week of working on this project, I auditioned various fabrics for the background. When I was preparing for Susan Carlson's class, I put my scraps in quart size plastic bags by color. I pulled the scraps from the yellow and blue bag to get an idea of what I had to begin the background collage.

Again, most of my scraps are small. Left over triangles and narrow strips made up the majority of the bag contents. There a lot of Martha scraps in this project! I even used some yellow flannel scraps because I was determined to use as many of the the small pieces that I had saved! 

I also have lengths of long selvages in a blue batik. I thought that I could use these in the background somehow. My
Auditioning blue fabrics and the batik selvages
youngest granddaughter suggested that the background be blue because butterflies fly in a blue sky. I liked her thought process! I was unsure if even a light blue fabric would provide enough contrast against the outer dark wing of the butterfly. I tried the blue scraps first. The batik selvages didn't show up enough as they were too close in value to the outer butterfly wing fabric.

When I posed the question of what fabric would be a better contrast, the oldest granddaughter suggested yellow. She thought if I put the sun behind the butterfly, it would be easier to see the butterfly's wings. Of course, she was right! I didn't place many fabrics around the butterfly during the week. I did make progress though!

Progress at the end of the ninth week
My granddaughters' abilities to solve the  dilemma of what color would work best continues to amaze me. I am beginning to feel more confident with choosing fabrics. I am making better progress with using a variety of prints in a similar hue to create more interest.

I did place some blue pieces on the background to give me an idea of where the transition to the blue color might begin. I did agree with the youngest granddaughter that there needed to be blue in the background!

When I started adding the yellow pieces, I thought a few inches of the yellow would be enough. Perhaps, I was also thinking that way because I have so few yellow scraps. I also though that hard edge on the background pieces would work fine.

Shape of the pieces with the scissors used to cut the shapes
After I had a few pieces in place, the hard edges didn't work well with all the gentle curves that I had cut for the pieces in the butterfly. The few inches of yellow background felt too small so I added more pieces to fill a bigger space. I stopped trying to confine the yellow to a certain space. I liked the result of letting it flow. 

In fact, I added pieces until I ran out of pins. Then I glue basted until I had a supply of pins so I could place more fabrics. It has been interesting working through the process for the background. I would place a few fabrics, step back to view the piece, rearrange pieces and repeat that process until I had used up the available pins.

Close up view of a section of the collage
Then, I'd glue baste the inner most pieces to free pins to add more pieces! I've used most of the yellow scraps that were in the quart sized zip lock bag. I scrounged a few from the triangle bags that people have saved for me over the years. Maybe rather than looking for a bunch more yellow fabrics, the message the piece is trying to tell me is to transition to the the blue fabrics! Although, I'm unsure how I will begin that transition!

As I have worked on the background, the outer portion of the top of the butterfly wing has been calling for some embellishment as the fabric in that area feels too stark to my eye. Thanks, Marla for your input and suggestion of white dots or circles. I will come back to that portion of the wing once I have filled in the background!

Progress at the end of week ten

The more that I work on this project, the more I'm liking what I'm seeing. I am amazed at how the yellow background accentuated the colors in the butterfly. 

At the end of the tenth week, I was pleased with the progress that I had made! The base fabric that I'm covering is about 45 inches tall by about 65 inches wide. 

Sunday, August 23, 2020

A Vist From The Granddaughters--First Finish 3rd Quarter FAL

Completed energy bites
Earlier this week, our son-in-law had elective surgery. Our granddaughters got to spend most of the day with us. They haven't been on their own at our house since mid-March or pre-COVID. They found the mailbox and learned the projects for the day. Earlier, they had put in their order for breakfast which was sourdough pancakes, fried bacon and runny eggs!

They weren't in the house five minutes before they had the yoga cards out and were doing yoga moves. We started making snack for the afternoon. We tried a new recipe called energy bites. It had few ingredients (rolled oats, honey, peanut butter, dried cranberries and almonds.) They took turns measuring ingredients. It tasted good; but, it was difficult for the girls and me to make the contents into a ball. Next, we made dessert for lunch. In their opinion, dessert is an important part of a meal. We made Rice Krispie cookies. They took turns stirring the marshmallows. Miss J provided the muscle to pack the cookies into the pan.

Rice Krispie cookies are a favorite of their dad's so we made plans to pack most of the batch for home so that their dad would have a homemade treat from his girls when he came home from his surgery.

Melting marshmallows for cookies
Then we moved on to cooking breakfast. It has been awhile since we've made sourdough pancakes for breakfast; but, it is a favorite menu item as are bacon and runny eggs! Eight year old, Miss K put the pancakes together and ladled the batter into creative shapes on the griddle. She even flipped the pancakes successfully. Once she had cooked several batches, she asked if I'd take over so that she could enjoy "the fruits of her labor!"

Six year old, Miss J cooked the bacon. She effectively managed two frying pans, cooking each piece of bacon to the perfect doneness. She was attentive and turned the bacon when it needed to be turned. She made the best browned bacon I've had for breakfast in a long time! I forgot how much fun they can be in the kitchen!

During most of the activities, we took a few photos for the girls to share with their mom so she would have something to do while she waited for the surgery to be over. After breakfast we took a walk with Miss B, our dog. We visited the lion and as was our practice when we had our weekly visits. They posed at the lion and identified the flowers that that they remembered. We saw a couple squirrels; but no rabbits. Unfortunately, the horses were too far away to feed them apple treats.

Frying bacon

Making pancak

Posing with the lion

After our walk, they played princesses and made a face time call to their Auntie. Notice that with all indoor activities, we wore masks. We are working to keep each other safe from COVID. None of us wants to contract it or share it!

They asked their papa (grandpa) if he could make them hot dogs for lunch and if he would swim with them in the pool. Of course he did both and one better--he gave them each a popsicle after their swim session.

They asked if they could stay for dinner and have Papa's spaghetti, we said it depended on when their dad would be released. Papa took their order for what they wanted in their spaghetti sauce--no onions, no celery, no meat, olives, red pepper, carrots, rosemary, garlic and basil. 

Papa cooked the sauce; but, their mama came too early for them to stay for dinner. There were tears because they were going to miss Papa's spaghetti. Papa sent dinner home with them. (He is a terrific Papa!) Our daughter said that dinner was a hit. We wondered how the spaghetti sauce was so it was good to have feedback! We both said how much we missed having the girls over on a regular basis.

Playing princesses 
Our daughter also said how nice it was to not have to plan dinner because she didn't realize how much energy was involved with the hospital part of the day. Their dad's surgery went well and his recovery is going well.

An activity that we didn't get time to do was make the flounce leggings. They brought a pair of leggings that they liked the fit so I could use it as a sample when I drew off their pattern. This week, I drew their pattern and made the leggings.

If you want to make a pair for your little one, check out this tutorial from Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom's blog. In the tutorial is the link for the free pattern.

Cutting out the leggings
I used stretch thread in the lower loopers of the serger to construct the leggings. It was my first experience to use this thread in active wear. I looked at a You Tube video and read a couple blog posts about how to use it with the best results. I found the information helpful. It took no time at all to sew these leggings. There was a front, a back, inner leg and flounce seam. I stitched the elastic at the waist. I used colored elastic so the elastic can either be worn so it shows or turned in if the wearer chooses not to show the elastic.

It took me a couple hours to make the two pair of leggings. I'm curious to see how they fit the granddaughters! I used one yard of fabric from the stash. I have used a total of 50 and three quarters yards of fabric from my stash this year. This is my first finish for the third quarter. This was goal number 12 on my Finish A Long list

I am sharing this finish on Instagram at #2020falq3finish.

Finished leggings
Regarding COVID:

Worldwide: 23.1M confirmed; 14.8M recovered; 803K deaths

United States: 5.75M confirmed; 2.93M recovered; 179K deaths

Oregon: 24,421 confirmed; 414 deaths

In Oregon, over the past three weeks the percentage of people testing positive for Covid has been 5.4% each week. Interesting that the percentage has remained the same.

Wednesday, Oregon launched its one time $500 emergency check program. One of the eligibility requirements was for those who have not received all the unemployment benefits owed to them. The line outside one of the credit unions distributing payments was more than two blocks long. People were supposed to make appointments; but, their need was too great to wait. From the photos, it didn't look like much social distancing occurred.

Regarding the protests:

We are in the twelfth week. Protests begin peaceful and turn violent. People continue smashing windows and setting fire to buildings. Last week a reporter interviewed a retired Attorney U.S. General for his view on the situation. A news reporter shared that one of the persons arrested on a charge of criminal mischief has served time for a similar offense. Here, criminal mischief is a misdemeanor and the attorney general has stated that those charges won't be prosecuted. It appears that those violent protestors work their chaos just outside of crossing the prosecution line. Meanwhile, business owners and property owners bear the cost of the repairs.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Unity--post 11 Borders Three and Four Quilted


Detail of the pebble border
Since my last post, I quilted pebbles in the second skinny border. Again, I used my thimble to draw the circles. I eyeballed the placement of the circles. It takes time and thread to quilt a border like this. The texture created with this design is wonderful.

Sometimes, I like quilting pebbles because it doesn't require much thought and it allows my brain to think about what I could quilt in the next section of the quilt. When I had finished the border, I took a photo of the finished sections. I sure like the texture that the pebbles create in the skinny borders.

View of the quilted section 

The star border was the next section to quilt. I stitched a large circle in the center of the stars and added doodles. This was the same design that I quilted in the previous border.

I quilted continuous curves in the star legs. In the background, I quilted the doodle that I had quilted in the background of the center pinwheel block. I matched the thread to the fabric so the quilting would add texture and to allow the piecing of the quilt to be the star. It took me about a week to quilt each border.  I have continued to quilt about an hour to two hours each day. 

Quilting components detail in border three
Wearing quilting gloves and placing my fingers on one hand in the inside of the circle template to smooth the fabric improved the circle shape. Lowering the foot pressure to about 9 from 50 on my machine, helped also. The circles are not perfect; but, the shape is better. The seam allowance bulk makes it difficult to hold the template in place while advancing the needle. 

The next border to quilt is the third skinny border. My plan is to again quilt a combination of circles and pebbles. Repetition is good because it provides continuity of the quilting. It also means fewer motifs to quilt!

I am planning to take a little break on this project to stitch a couple pair of flounce leggings for the grandkids. Summer is about over and if they are going to get to wear them this season, I'd better get them completed! Each granddaughter lent me a pair of leggings that they like to wear so I have a sample to compare to a pattern I found through Pinterest.

I haven't had a finish for Finish-A-Long (FAL) in more than a month. I'm not doing well on my goals for the quarter! No worries, I can roll any unfinished projects into the fourth quarter for the year!

I'm linking up with Rebecca at Cheeky Cognoscenti and Longarm Quilting.

View of the project after quilting four borders


Sunday, August 16, 2020

Licensed to Cut Loose--Post 5

Working on the final layout
At the beginning of week seven, I worked with the outer skinny shape of the lower wings first. As per usual, some parts of the section flowed together easily while other parts didn't. The whole project has progressed in this manner.

Once I had the final layout started, I continued with the other side. One side worked great and the other side did not. I moved on to the outer section of the butterfly to let what wasn't working marinate for bit!

From my previous post, I thought that I would continue adding a few red triangles at the top of the butterfly. I tried a variety of red fabrics. I found that my eye didn't notice the red. I think the colors in the lower part of the wing contrasted better to the dark geometric print. I saved the red triangles for either another part of this project or a whole other project!

Lest you think that I cut a piece of fabric for that outer section of the wing, I did not. These are all triangles. I liked the way the pattern changed using small shapes. Although, you need to be nose close to the project to see the pattern change!
Close up of the outer edge of the wing

Each session that I worked on the butterfly, I would also look at the balance of the piece. Sometimes, I deleted a piece. More often, I either added a few pieces or I moved pieces to a different location.

Once I had completed the outer wing, I let it sit for a few days. Each day, I'd place different fabrics in the outer part of the wing. Nothing made me want to change from the black geometric print fabric. I decided I'd leave it as it was!

I took some time to glue baste the pieces in place. I added some of the lime green swimsuit fabric to the upper wing. That was a good add as there is a better balance of overall sparkle in the butterfly.  I haven't glue basted those pieces yet.
View at the end of the seventh week

A couple days later, I trimmed the outer edges of the butterfly. I was surprised at how much the trimming improved the look of the piece!

I'm pondering collaging additional shapes as well as some letters in the background. I've thought about shading the background. When I've placed blue fabrics next to the butterfly, the edge of the wing is lost because I don't have enough contrast. Lighter blue fabrics feel too light to me. Perhaps, I'll have a consult with JoJo and the granddaughters which will undoubtedly help me with the next steps! In the meantime, I can make more quilting progress on Unity. 
Progress at the end of the eighth week

Regarding Covid:
Worldwide: 21.5M confirmed; 13.5M recovered; 772K deaths
U.S.: 5.44M confirmed; 2.74M recovered; 171K deaths
Oregon: 22,613 confirmed; 385 deaths

The hospital where I work, now has thermal imaging cameras that take entrants' temperatures as they walk through the door. This makes getting in much faster. At certain times of the day, there could have been a line. Staff working within six feet of patients and visitors are also required to wear an eye shield. 

Both quilt guilds that I am a member of continue to have meetings using Zoom. Both guilds' membership numbers have decreased dramatically.  I imagine technology and lack of personal social contact are contributing factors.

Yesterday, my niece was married at a brand new outdoor venue in Central Oregon. She and her groom planned for 200 guests. I'm sure it was a wonderful event and that she was a beautiful bride; but, Covid kept me and my family from attending. 

Regarding the protests:
The violence continues every night. We are now in the eleventh week. A couple nights ago, the media reported that the protesting turned into a riot. It was reported that police had to use tear gas as well as other methods to control the situation. Some arrests were made; but, arrests don't seem to be a deterrent.  In Chicago, protestors systematically looted upscale clothing and electronic stores. Seattle is another city that has had prolonged unrest as well.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Licensed to Cut Loose--post 4

Progress at the end of the fifth week
Work has continued on the butterfly which I affectionately call "Buggy." At the end of the fifth week, I had filled most of the top area of the wings with various fabrics. I also worked on the base of the butterfly. While I worked, I kept in mind Miss K's comment that the butterfly has dark colors in it. I pulled brown and dark purple scrap bits and placed them in the lower section. Miss K was right about adding some dark fabrics within the butterfly wings. 

I cut the purple print batik chunk apart that is primarily placed in the lower section of the butterfly. Originally, I had planned to place a few "flowers" of that print in that area. However, I liked the overall effect so I cut more shapes instead! 

In Martha's scraps was a print of circles on a green background. There was a tiny amount of those scraps. You can see the two of the three pieces in the lower part of the photo. However, I wanted to use it because adding more green to that section would mesh better with the purple flowers. I thought about Miss K comment that butterflies are translucent and shimmery. I remembered that I had saved the leftovers from the girls' workout tops

The green stretch fabric has a shimmer. I placed a few small pieces under the brown section and next to the batik flowers. I stepped back to view the pieces. I liked 
Some of the collage with the green fabrics
what I saw. I cut apart some of the dots and added the pieces to that open section. Slowly, I filled in the space.

Next, I moved to filling the lower edge of the butterfly. I had a small amount of red batik triangles that I added to outer edge of the butterfly. These were "trimmings" from making a half square triangle on the corner of a square. I don't even remember what piecing project it was! I placed a few red batik triangles in the outer edge. 

While I liked the design, it felt too clunky when I filled in the spaces with a dark fabric. I auditioned two different dark fabrics instead of one. I tried leaving the spaces and imagining what it would look like if background fabric surrounded the shapes.  

I took a break and tried a different approach with the pieces. I used the same black fabric as was in the outer edge of the butterfly wing. I oriented the
First attempt at the section
pieces differently. I liked the direction it was going.  I cut more triangles of the black geometric print. I ran out of pins so I took some time to glue the pieces.

I liked the addition of the red triangles around the outer edge. I barely found enough red scraps to fill in the available spaces. When I looked at the piece, I thought that if I could find another chunk of the red I would be able to carry it through the top section of the butterfly.

Only the black geometric fabric was yardage. All the other fabrics in this project are small scraps. Many of Martha's scraps are in this project along with scraps that I had saved. I looked in my red bag of scraps that I had taken to the class. I found another couple of triangles a couple tiny scraps of the same fabric! I also uncovered a couple red batik strips that might work.

I cut the diamond shapes of the red batik into two triangles. Originally, I thought the diamond shape would transition well in the lowest and longest section of the wing. I learned the triangle shape was the better looking option. I tried various arrangements over several days. Then, I tried continuing the red triangles along one edge and filling in the spaces with the black geometric fabric. I liked that approach best!

Beginning of the shape that stayed
At the end of the sixth week, I had filled in most of the sections. I made some great progress. What I like about this project is being able to use so many bits! 

The other surprise I found was that this project has grown on me. I am liking what I am creating. Instead of it being an "exercise" to practice the technique, it has become playtime to audition and place the pieces.

Of course, the small bits that I have to work with translate to small pieces. There are thousands of shapes in this top with thousands left to put in place before it is at the finish line! I'm okay with more to go as every project I work on is a journey!

I have found it helpful to take a photo of the piece often and especially before I glue the pieces to look for balance. Because I use Susan Carlson's technique of leaving the edges of the pieces free and trying to place a small amount of clue on the piece, if I want to make a change later, it isn't too difficult. 

When the top is complete, she glues all the edges before layering, basting and quilting the piece. I am planning to do the same. Although, I am a long way from that step!
Progress at the end of the sixth week

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Pen Pal--a non quilt post

Letter and envelopes
I have a pen pal. We have exchanged two letters so far. My pen pal lives about a 20 minute drive from me. We used to get together once a week; however, COVID has nixed get togethers until there is a vaccine. My pen pal is my eight year old granddaughter. Most of the time in this blog, I refer to her as "K."

When I was eight, I wrote to my great-grandmother who lived in Homedale, Idaho. She would answer my letters. I felt special getting my own mail! When I was in college, her daughter, my grandmother, wrote me once a week. I answered once a week. I remember catching up on my letter writing when I did my weekly wash! 

I didn't ask my granddaughter if she wanted to be my pen pal. I did ask what she thought about getting her own mail. She, of course, liked the idea. We chatted about what you would need to do to receive a letter. She was quick to determine you would need to write a reply! My first letter arrived at the end of July. It was simply addressed to "Gran" with my post office box information. My second letter was addressed to "Gran Knott." I appreciate the postal employees getting the letters to me! 

She usually includes a story in her letter. It could be about a vacation memory. She shared what it was like to be in
Apples ready to pick
Disneyland when there was an earthquake--she wrote she thought she peed her pants! It could be about a fun time she had in an on line "camp" she attended. Her letters have been one page long which she wrote on college ruled notebook paper. She has been determined to learn cursive writing. With every letter, she is making progress on that goal. I told her that I didn't write much cursive until I was nine.

We have talked about what it was like to communicate in the olden days before phones, internet and computers. She thinks letter writing is a cool way to communicate even though it takes a long time for an answer. She likes being able to re-read the letters. Her mama tells me that Miss K shares no part of her writing with her mama. She told her mama that her letters were for Gran first! I'm excited that I'm that special! She said that she reads parts of my letters to her sister. . .sometimes!

Picking the Apples
I hope that we can continue to be pen pals for a super long time! I wrote to my grandmother for many years even when she lost the ability to return letters. She had developed alheizmer's disease. In the adult foster home, she used to carry the latest letter. It amazes me what pieces of information the mind continues to hold as important. 

When I was eight, my letters didn't contain much more information than what the weather was like, what we had for dinner and what I was studying in school. I know because when my great grandmother moved from Homedale to Madras, Oregon, my grandma, mother and I went to help her close her home. It was there that I found my letters to her tied with ribbon. . .stacks for every year!

The apple harvest
Miss K's letters contain lots of details. I tell her it is like reading a chapter in a book because she can write a series of paragraphs that develop her topic. Spelling is what the word sounds like unless she thinks the word is interesting from reading in her books and then she writes the word. Sometimes, she writes what it means! Receiving her letters are a bright part of the week. Even, her papa makes sure that I know a pen pal letter arrived!

On another family front, our apple trees that I grafted from my grandmother's tree were ready to harvest. These are dwarf trees so it is easy to pick the apples! A bird initially planted the seed of the first apple tree. My grandmother, who loved to garden, nurtured the plant that she thought was a quince for years. She was excited when the plant bloomed because she knew she would be making quince jelly soon! Imagine her surprise when she had apples instead! 

Applesauce ready to consume next winter
My granddad knew all along that it wasn't a quince tree and told her she had an apple tree growing too close to the house that she needed to replant before it grew into the house. She ignored him. Yes, the tree grew almost into the house! She never moved it!

What is special about this variety of apple is that the tree bark is a reddish brown. The blooms are reddish pink in the spring. The apples are red all the way through. Even the seeds are reddish brown! It makes the best applesauce. People think that we've added food coloring to get the color; but, it is just apples and a little cinnamon that ends up in each jar.

Bob has made the applesauce since he retired. He says that it gives him something to do. He does a great job. The green apples are from the dwarf stock. I had one tree that didn't graft. We've enjoyed the bounty for at least twenty five years! This week he also canned 16 pints of hot peppers.

Now for a Covid update:
Worldwide: 19.7M confirmed cases, 12M recovered, 728K deaths
U.S.: 5.09M confirmed cases, 2.49M recovered; 164K deaths
Oregon: 20,636 confirmed cases, 348 deaths

Parts of the state continue to have an increase in cases so much that the governor may move those counties back to phase one which is pretty much only going out for necessary items. Many restaurants have closed or are closing their doors at month end because they can't make a go of the business when they can only have 25 percent capacity. We had another week of more that 300 cases being confirmed. 

Protesting is now in the tenth week. The violence continues every night. Last night, protestors targeted a police building throwing rocks and in explosive devices. The damage to property continues. This was the first week police officers spoke to the media regarding what it is like during a protest. Media reporting contains a lot of information about what the police do and not so much about the protestors. The link above is a chronological account of one evening. Protestors tell officers how they want to hurt the officers. It is a sad state of affairs. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

July Recap and Santa Ornament--post 1

Santa ornament packaging
Even though, I didn't have one finish to list, I'm calling July a win! Of the seven goals I listed for myself in July, I completed two of them. I organized a fabric shelf in the studio and I started cross stitching the Santa ornaments which is goal number nine on my FAL (Finish A Long) list. I didn't start the flounce leggings for the girls, nor did I quilt the small wall hanging, nor did I start piecing the scrap tie fabrics. 

I didn't finish quilting Unity; but, I am making steady progress on the project. Unless something earth shattering happens and at the rate I'm stitching, it will be a September or October finish. I did manage to place a lot of applique shapes on the butterfly project. I've many more shapes to place before the top is complete. 

Regarding the cross stitch Santa ornaments, this kit was in Martha's stash. The Fred Meyer price on the package was marked clearance at $1.17. Martha had an eagle eye for a bargain! The copyright on the packaging was dated 1994. The kit has been around for awhile!

In my first evening of stitching, I didn't make much progress. The piece of plastic is large enough for all of the ornaments and I wanted
Starting the ornament
to be sure I had positioned the first ornament with enough room for the other ornaments to be stitched!

I do like that the chart is large and it is easier for me to read. I haven't stitched on plastic canvas before. I do like how it holds it shape and I do like it will be a sturdier base for the ornament. I think the girls would like the plastic because it is easier to count!

At the end of the July, I had one ornament mostly finished. I needed to add the backstitching. At the rate, I'm stitching, I won't finish this project either by September; but, I am making progress and enjoying the stitching. In the end, progress
Ready for outline stitching
and fun are what counts!

I am paying attention to what the back of my work looks like. I have thought about cutting a piece of felt to cover the back of the ornaments because it would look more finished. This is a decision that can wait! I plan to gift the ornaments as they would make a nice gift as a set of six!

My August goals are to rolled over from July!
1. Continue to make progress on the Unity quilting.
---I'm setting aside one to hours most days to work on this project. (That is about all the quilting that my body can handle!)
2. Continue to make progress on the applique butterfly project.
--I'm setting aside a minimum of an hour a day to place shapes on this project. I'm also taking a photo at the end of each week to document my progress.
3. Make the flounce leggings for the girls.
4. Stitch a couple Santa ornaments on the plastic canvas. (One ornament is almost finished!)
5. Add hand embroidery to the little flower wall hanging.
6. Start piecing together scraps from the tie project.
7. Thin clothing patterns by one box.
Let's see what I've accomplished at the end of the month!

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Unity--Post 10

Continuing with stitching lines
Determining what motifs to quilt in the next round had me thinking for awhile. I try to use a ruler in a different way or to quilt a motif in several sizes so I can practice a similar design using the same tools. My first thought when looking at the HSTs was to stitch continuous curves. I've stitched continuous curves often over the years and then there was the decision of what to do in the background of the HST. 

When I can't decide what to quilt, I will look at what I have quilted and determine if a motif could be repeated or changed slightly. The word repeated gave me an idea. Thinking a bit more I had a plan. I would stitch lines in the HSTs as I had done in the angled shapes in the center of the quilt. I used a 50 wt cotton thread in a color that blended with the fabrics in the needle and the polyester red thread in the bobbin.

I do like the effect. The bulk of the seams
Circle in the center of square in a square block
caused some of the lines to go askew. For awhile, I ripped and restitched; but, the result usually didn't make much of a difference. Also, any fullness that was in the square skewed the lines. I decided that I would aim for an organic line and leave the lines.

In the center of the square in a square blocks, I wanted to use the Westalee circle template. I wasn't able to use this template in the center block of the quilt because I was unable to hold it in place as I quilted the circle. The center of the square in a square block has no seams to cross so I was able to stitch a circle that was mostly round.

Detail of the shapes around the circle 
Again, I used thread that blended with the quilt fabrics. For this project, the piecing is what I want to highlight so the quilting should compliment the piecing and provide texture. In the large triangles, I stitched half a circle. In the corners, I stitched three quarters of a circle.

I liked the circles; but, they seemed a bit bare so I decided to add some shapes to the outer edge of the circle. It is just a doodle.  I didn't try to make each circle the same either; but, as I worked on the second border, I found a doodle that I sort of repeated. 

I used 50 wt thread in the bobbin and in the needle. Again, I matched the color in the
View of the quilted border
needle; but, used an off white in the bobbin. It took some time; eventually, I finished quilting this border! 

The skinny border is the next section that I will quilt. I plan to quilt circles and pebbles, like I did on the first skinny border. It is going to take me some time! 

I'l be linking this blog to Longarm Quilting on Tuesday. I added her linkey to my blog post so feel free to check it out. I encourage you to check out Cheeky Cognoscenti's blog as she writes interesting posts about a variety of quilting topics. 

In regards to Covid:
Worldwide: 17.9K confirmed; 10.6K recovered; 685K deaths
U.S.: 4.71M confirmed; 2.3M recovered; 157K deaths
Oregon: 18,492 confirmed; 322 deaths
Over all view of completed quilting
Umatilla County had so many new cases that the governor reverted the county's status back to staying at home! Cases in Clackamas County, where I live, continue to rise; but, at a lower rate. Still, we are all being cautious.

School plans are confirmed that distance learning will be in place at least until the end of October. Parents at that point have the choice of hybrid learning or continuing with distance learning. 

A vaccine is in the third stage of trials. It could be available as early as December. My fingers are crossed it will be available and effective then!

Regarding the protesting, it continues into the ninth week. Friday was the first night of media reported "peaceful" protests. The state police replaced the federal marshals in protecting federal property. The media reported that there were still fires started; but, other protestors put out the fires. 

We had a run of hot temperatures--upper 90s and day of 100 degrees! My daughter ordered a wading pool for the grandkids. It was supposed to arrive between July 19 and July 27. It still isn't here. The tracking says it is still on the east coast. A friend of hers had a pool her children had outgrown. Friday, my daughter and Miss J delivered the pool to our house because they don't have space for that size of pool. 
Filling the pool with air

 Daughter A and her dad repaired the one known hole. Miss J  supervised the project. It was a hoot watching Miss J as the electric pump aired the pool. She crept closer to the project. Bob asked if she wanted to air up the pool. Of course she did! She held the electric pump and then she got to hold her finger over the intake spout while her papa removed the pump. Her eyes got bigger with every completed section aired. 

When it came time to fill the pool, it was obvious she wanted in the pool! I asked if she had thought about asking her mama if it would be okay to take her shoes and socks off to wade in the water. Her mama said okay and in a flash, she was wading in the pool. Soon, it became obvious, she was going to get her clothing wet. I asked if she had thought about asking her mama if she could take off her skirt and shirt to keep them dry. Her mama said yes. . .The skirt was down in a flash. . .too quick to stay dry! Mama said, "let's get out of the pool, first."Mama hung the skirt to dry on the fence. 

Miss J loved the water. . .it didn't matter that the water was cold. Miss J bobbed about until her mama said it was time to go home. It was hard; but, she got out without any negative comment. It was movie night at their house and she had some cleaning to do. (Her sister, K, stayed home to have enough time to finish her cleaning chores.) J had told her papa earlier that her sister would have all the cleaning done by the time they returned home and that she would still be able to watch the movie. 
Enjoying the water

Her mama reported that there was vacuuming, toilet scrubbing and dusting which equaled the cleaning her sister did earlier. I still chuckled. I think that her thought process functions well beyond her actual age! 

Today, she and her sister will be coming out to swim in the pool. Their mom and dad are coming too although, this pool isn't large enough for all of them at once! If J's first experience is any indication of the fun factor, I hope that we have a lot of swimming days left in the summer!

I sure have missed swimming in the pool!