Saturday, March 9, 2013

BARD library books

Right now, before leaving for Florida, I am learning how to get books from the BARD program of the federal government.  I have a device like a tape recorder that plays books they can send me for free through the mail in the blue plastic boxes. Each box opens and has what looks like a cassette tape in it, but is really a  memory chip, I think. I push it in the front of the machine, and it reads to me.  
Or I can download books from the internet through a flash drive which I then plug in on the side. The flash drive will hold up to 20 books in 2 gig they say..

I signed up for this service last summer but didn't really need to use it at that point.  Now I'm doing the internet version of book transfer so that I will have lots of "reading" available while we are away from home for three weeks.

I have a biography of Benjamin Franklin, the history [not novel] about Mrs. Lincoln and her dressmaker, several romances, and the latest edition of Sports Illustrated.  This was a fun discovery because I have had to stop reading magazines; their print is too small!

I also bought a magnifying glass with a light that is enabling me to look up a number in the phone book or enough of the mail so I know if it is addressed to me or Charlie..

And as you see, I have enlarged the font size on the blog post.

So..... I'm finding ways to adjust.

Now I am going to see if I can start knitting a pair of TUBE socks, which would avoid the tricky heel section, during which I would always have to carefully watch my tiny printed directions.  Maybe with larger needles and yarn I can keep knitting!  I'll see.



Association for the Blind and Visually impaired
Charlie's calm help
Cortisone injection in right knee for trip 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Quilting progress, maybe the last

Dianne was here in the afternoon to finish sewing down the binding on this quilt for Jose' on my machine, where the trouble had started.  She got all my mistakes corrected and completed the other two and a half sides.  What a friend!

It was washed and dried just before they arrived for supper.  I was so involved and concentrated on expressing my thoughts in handing it over to him that I forgot all about taking photos.  I hope to get one of Jose' with the quilt another day.

By the time we were playing a game of "Ninety-Nine"
after eating, he loosened up, making little jokes, and we can see that he will be fun to have around.  And he understands a lot more English than he can express.

Now the Stash Report:

I turned three neonatal quilts over to fellow quilting bee members for them to bind and then turn in next month.

First, the Thousand Pyramids.
Second, the Many Trips. Around the World (with a map of the U,S, on the back).

Third, the Ragged Bulls' Eyes.

So I'm counting the fronts and backs of those three quilts as yardage I used out of my stash.

And I am also counting the fabric in the front, back, and binding of the "Carnival" jellyroll race quilt I finished and am keeping for myself.

Those all added up to over 16 yards out of stash since the last report.  So this week the total used for the year is  42.5 yards, and the total purchased stays at  14.25 yards, so

Hoo-ray, hoo-rah!
With my actual sewing and quilting being curtailed, the next move is going to be removing fabric by donation.  That will not start until we return from Florida at the beginning of April, but will be good news for Margaret's Hope Chest.



All the fabric I have fondled and enjoyed
Still one treatment for WMD that we haven't tried
So many friends willing to help me out 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Jose' has landed!

Peter and Lynne's foster son has arrived in Grand Rapids -- just this afternoon.  Here they are at his arrival.  We were there to say "Hola!"and then they were off to caseworker's office and then home. Jose' is a refugee teen from Honduras.

They will come over to have hamburgers tomorrow for supper with Abuela Sara and Abuelo Charlie.  I want to give him his quilt then, so the push is on to get that binding finished.  I'm having trouble with it but Dianne is on her way to the rescue.



Sequestration [air traffic controllers] didn't stop his flight
Snow storm in Chicago didn't stop his flight 
He's  OUT of the Houston Detention Center after six months

Monday, March 4, 2013

Jelly Roll Race

I finished my "Jelly Roll Race" quilt, which we worked on at a retreat a year ago.  Since I am going to keep this for my TV-watching quilt, I thought I could do the binding myself,  No quilt police here to look for "bad binding", especially since I'm the very one who can't see where the errors are!

I choose the orange striped fabric for the binding partly because it was a strong contrast to the next fabrics [easier to SEE while applying].

I learned a new method.  Make WIDE binding, apply it to the front, then fold to the back and sew close to the edge.  This will give you an extra line of "quilting" on the front.  Well, I thought the instruction to cut the binding 4.5" before folding must be wrong, and I didn't have that much fabric anyway, so I tried 2.75"  Maybe you can see that didn't put my line of stitching very far from the front binding edge.
However, it did mean I caught the edge all the way around.  And that was good for me!


I went to the eye doctor after only two weeks because I felt my eyes were deteriorating so quickly.  He didi all the tests again and reported that the INTERIOR of my eyes is "way" better even though I can't tell that.  Wait another two weeks, he says.

Meanwhile we prepare for our trip to Florida for some of Spring Training [baseball fiend in DH].  I am checking on Books on Tape for my entertainment.

Jose' is now scheduled to arrive tomorrow!  Need to get the binding on HIS quilt.


My helpers in the Grand Rapids Women's Chorus
Great music in Cinncinnati with Muse
Exercise class + massage!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Making Browniues

Over the weekend I was wishing for some kind of sweet to eat, and there was none in the house.  Charlie was away, and I couldn't drive out to get anything.  Then I remembered some boxes of brownie mix.  Oh, YES!
Found the eggs.  Turned the box of mix around, to check the other ingredients, and couldn't read any of the instructions.... DANG!  I even knew that there were little pictures up above the instructions showing the needed ingredients, but I couldn't make them out either.  Forget it.  No brownies for me on Friday.

Saturday evening Kim came over to go to the symphony with me, and do the driving.  Ha-ha!  I got her to read the ingredients to me as I wrote them down in LARGE letters with a really black marker.
Ready to go the next day!

Sunday, got out the eggs to warm to room temp, got out the oil, got out the chocolate chips and pecans.
Time to turn on the oven. . . . can'r read the starting temperature!  [Red numerals against black box on the oven controls.]  Can't remember if it always starts at 325 or 350 degrees.  DANG!  No brownies for me.

Charlie came home by supper time, and read me the oven starting tempe [350] and I finally made the brownies.  A three day project.

But now I have brownies.  And I really appreciate them!



People who will drive me
People who will read to me
Anticipation builds flavor

Friday, February 22, 2013

Binding Failure

I hope you can see in this photo that I have failed to catch the edge of the binding with the machine stitching.  Sometimes Yes, sometimes No.
I sew the binding to the back side of the quilt and then fold it over to the front.  Because of my failing eyesight I decided to use a WIDE stitch, blanket stitch, to catch the fold down on the front.  I hold my left index finger to the left of my pressure foot, and let my right forefinger run lightly along on the fold of the binding.  I THINK I am being careful and judging the space between the two.  I only sew about two inches before I reset everything,  but this was the result.At least three misses on each side of a small quilt.

Another proof that my eyes are getting worse.  Luckily last night was our SpoolSpinners Bee meeting.  I took this quilt and two others that need the binding applied and explained my difficulty to mu friends there.  Immediately volunteers offered to get the work done before our March Guild meeting when the baby quilts will be collected.  Quilters are the best!

Now I need to figure out how/what I can continue to do in the sewing room.  I have one last border to add and quillt on Jose's quilt.  I WAS going to make granddaughter Sami a graduation quilt this year.  And of course I have a large stash of fabrics and UFOs.


Today I will try some one thing and see how it goes.  I'll have to adjust my techniques.



Apple Store employees taught  me how to enlarge things on my computer screen
Liz brought over corn chowder
Survived first night of three without Charlie's help

P.S. Forgive the typos please.  Fon't think I caught them all.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Stash Report - Feb. 18

Part of the stash

FABRIC USAGE                  OUT                  IN        

This Week:                      -12.33 yar         +  3.75

Year to Date:                   -23,43 yards      -+14.25

Net Yards for 2013:         - 9.18 yards

I finished the Carolina Crossroads quilt for  Jose, which used over 12 yards of fabric,  That quilt has a LOT of seams, which add a half inch each.  Photo in a day or two,
I should have a good report next week also because I have received back four quilts from Catherine, my lang-arm quilter.  Just need to trim and bin. those.

I am also keeping count of how much money I am spending on quilting this year, following Nann's example,  I am already just over $500, which surprises me,  That's a reason for keeping track.  My big expenses have been a retreat and two  wool batts,

Jose is supposed to arrived tomorrow!  We plan to go to the airport for a short greeting, and then Peter and Lynne will bring him over for dupper on Wednesday.He has asked for scrambled eggs and refried beans for his first dinner, so we are thinking that hamburgers might be good for the second.



Recliner chair when I can't sleep in bed
Crispy bacon
Sunshine again today

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Borders for Jose's quilt & Bad eyes

I am indeed working on the Carolina Crossroads quilt that is one of my February goals.  I have added one of the side borders, and am almost done with the second.  Since the center was already quilted, I am using the Quilt-Aa-You-Go method  for adding the borders.  With the quilt I found quite a number of mini-blocks which are being used in the borders.

This quilt is now intended for the refugee foster son coming to Peter and Lynee later this month, we hope. Peter says the second bedroom at their place is the coldest room in the house, so another quilt will be a help in keeping a boy from Honduras warm here in the North.

Yesterday I bought a cheap men's watch so I could read the time, and then had my every-four-weeks trip to the eye doctor for wet macular degeneration treatment.  I have been feeling a greater loss of vision in the last two weeks, and sure enough the docotr says I am not really benefiting from the injections any more.  So we are trying a different substance which he normally does not prefer but wants to give it a try in this case.  We'll see if this is more successful in another four weeks.

Meanwhile I am having trouble stitching in the ditch when the two fabrics are of similar tone, can't thread the machine, the letters on the computer keyboard are hard to distinguish [I really should have learned how to type without looking!], and I am on the second largest font size on my Kindle--reading with difficulty.  I am wondering what I will do with my time when I can't sew and can't read.  This condition does not improve, they only hope to hold it from getting worse.

I don't often think about my age, which is 70.  I have been unusually healthy up to last two years when arthritis began stopping some activities.  I have had a slow recovery from  my knee replacement for the past year.    Now I need to imagine blindness coming sooner rsather than later or never.  Hmm.  Time to count my blessings again.



Can still sing with the GRWC and in the shower
Classical music on Blue Lake radio
Crispy waffles with maple syrop
Feel of hot water in the shower
Smell of onions frying

Monday, February 11, 2013

Design Wall Monday

Green item is leftovers from my Secret Sister quilt last December.  I found it under other things yesterday, and so aas to not lose it again, I flung it up all the flannel wall.

Upper right item is  what will be a center to another neonatal quilt.

Lower is the second neonatal top made from a set of blocks I split into two separate projects.

Today I am working on none of these, but figuring out how to add borders to enlarge my Carolina Crossroads to a large twinbed size for Jose.  It is made from mostly plaids so I am scrounging to find enough more plaid in the stash.  Maybe flannel?



Warm duvet in the winter nights
Tom is staying at Downton Abbey!
Exercise bicycle for winter exercise

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Stash report

Because I finished this quilt during the week I can count the yardage in my stash report.  I have increased my fabric usage for the year all the way to 3.2 yards!.

Weekly stash report                  February 10, 2013

FABRIC USAGE:               OUT                     IN   

This Week:                    -2.6 yards                 +  0.0

Through last Week:       -11.1 yards                +10.5

Year to Date:                -13.7 yards                +10.5

Net Yards for 2013:                       - 3.2 yards



Bi-lingual worship service today
Church dinner for Eight: learned about others
Downton Abbey tonight!