Saturday, March 9, 2013
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
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:
First, the Thousand Pyramids.
So I'm counting the fronts and backs of those three quilts as yardage I used out of my stash.
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
TOTAL LOSS TO THE STASH = 28.25 YARDS.
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
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
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
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  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
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
Thursday, February 14, 2013
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
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
Weekly stash report February 10, 2013
Saturday, February 9, 2013
I've got my plan for Samantha's graduation quilt. I'll use the "Multi-Trips Around the World" method Bonnie Hunter describes, using Sami's favorite color - purple. That will utilize a great variety of purples that are lurking in my stash. I calculate 48 blocks will be required so I have started cutting the 288 strips I will need. So far I have 114.
No more fabric needed
More sun today
Valentines in the mail
Friday, February 8, 2013
Finished off this neonatal that I worked on while on retreat. I found I already had a piece of flannel with numerals in the same bright colors for the backing.
This started as a Multiple Trips Around the World, but the size of the blocks were going to make it too large for the new neonatal guidelines. Therefore I stopped with nine blocks, which meant a change to a bargello setting.
This is my sixth quilt for the collection in March at our Guild.
Still working on the "Leftover Yarn Socks" for Martha. [I showed them to her in St. Louis and she approved the look!] I'm working on the heel of the upper sock in the photo, and the lower sock is just hangin' around for the duration. Then I'll need to do that one's heel. This is the slowest part of the process.
I'm trying to finish another neonatal quilt today, and then I'll work on Carolina Crossroads.
Son Peter and his wife Lynne have gotten a name, Jose, and a few details about a teen refugee boy from Honduras as a foster son. He may arrive in two weeks, so I want to get Carolina Crossroads finished for him. We are all trying to review what little Spanish we have ever learned!
Peter & Lynne's generous hearts
Sunshine on the new snow
Vet has another option for Zeke's vacation
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Today I put my sewing area back together after the retreat. Then I made the binding for this quilt and applied it. So, another finish for this year, and some more fabric removed from the stash. The two neonatals this weeks used up 3.7 yards of fabric.
Hurray! I've used more than I've bought this year! It's not much but it's moving in the right direction.
Ready to do more sewing
Charlie still cooking dinners
Monday, February 4, 2013
1] Organizing ONE bookcase of fabric. I did about half of this bookcase. So one goal for February is to get the other half taken care of. Sometimes I tell myself I also ought to cut all the funny sized pieces into useable sized pieces, but I don't want to add that burden! Just get them folded neatly and into reasonable order.
3] More neonatal finishes. The collection at our Guild is in March when I will be gone to Florida, so I need to do as many finishes as possible in February. I have four tops already made. Therefore my goal is to finish one each week in February.
4] Make a plan for Sami's graduation quilt which is due in May. Known facts: must be purple, must include zebra striped fabric, already purchased.
There, I have goals set. Hope I have some mojo left after retreat to keep working at a good pace.
The first day I COMPLETED this neonatal quilt by adding the borders, pin basting, quilting and then binding.
That was all I accomplished because the loading of the car, the drive north through occasional white-outs, and then the unloading of the car took quite a bit of energy.
Here's the front of qhat I was working on: Carolina Crossroads quilt from a Bonnie Hunter mystery in 2008:
I felt I accomplished quite a bit during my time on retreat, and of course enjoyed the companionship of other quilters.
Next post: how well I did on my goals for January and what goals I can set for February.
Mostly resisted the snack table on retreat
My own bed again
Safe trip again on snowy roads
Thursday, January 31, 2013
We enjoyed the grandkids' concert in St. Louis at Christ Church Cathedral, as well as visiting with the family for three days. Our room at the B & B was huge and had a shower for two in addition to a Jacuzzi tub with waterfall. We used both. Can't remember when we last took a shower together.
Several white-outs of snow on the return drive to Grand Rapids, but we are here safely and have recovered Zeke from the doggie prison, and piles of catalogues from the P.O.
Now to pack for the weekend quilting retreat. leaving tomorrow AM.
Good conversations with family
70 degree weather one day!
Friday, January 25, 2013
These socks for my daughter are not progressing very fast. I have plenty of leftover partial balls from various other sox however, so that's not what's holding me up. Too many free Kindle books that I need to examine!
Meanwhile I fell into temptation and purchased MORE sock yarn from KnitPicks.
Now what am I going to do with that large hank that is not divided into two balls? Guess I'll have to loop it over a chair back and wind away by hand. Or find a friend with a "swifter" --is that what it's called?
Cushy yarn in fun colors
Chorus music running in my head
Thursday, January 24, 2013
These socks go well with khaki pants, so I wear them often. I made them over four years ago, which shows the yarn from Joanne's is lasting well.
It has been unusually cold here for several days, and the wool socks are a real help for cold feet!
We are leaving for St. Louis on Sunday to be present for a choir concert of our granddaughter's school on Tuesday. And when we get home I am leaving the very next morning for a quilting retreat. Therefore I need to be getting the gear ready for both events -- knitting for one car and in St. Louis, and quilting projects for the retreat in the other.
Great to be retired & go places!
Home knit socks for warmth
Blueberries & pineapple
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
2.6 yards of fabric
I finished this one with blue gingham for backing and binding. That seems to soften the brightness a little. I hope some baby boy will grow up to drag it around behind him through toddlerhood.
Our Guild meets tonight, so I will be delivering this with two others I finished this month. Also my Secret Sister of last year used the FQs I provided to make three neonatal quilts and gave them to me at our holiday party, so the Butterworth Neonatal Unit gets SIX quilts added to their store tonight. [They care for about 1,000 babies a year.]
Zero degrees this morning! Really makes for crunchy footsteps, and a dog biting his feet.
"Footcare" trimmed my toenails
Bean and ham soup from Liz for six meals
Some sun with the bitter cold
Sunday, January 20, 2013
I have added one row of mini-blocks all the way around this top to bring it to a 33" square. Now to find a small border.
Our Bee met this week, as usual at a fabric store. Oops! I looked at the sale fabric and purchased 4 yards. Therefore the stash report took a hit.
Friday, January 18, 2013
Another stack of blocks [UFO] out of a box and onto the Design Wall yesterday. Told myself that this does NOT have to be made into a bed-sized quilt, but could find life as another Neonatal quilt. These are 9" finished, so this would be a 36" square, plus a border = 44". That's within the size range they want.
But it doesn't "send" me. Maybe that's why I didn't keep working on it!
Next thought: separate the two blocks.
Each set needs one more block [and a little larger borders eventually]. Still not super satisfied with the look.
So I tried another arrangement:
I like the Jacob's Ladder blocks with one row turned. The zigzag look appeals to me. I constructed one more block, and I'm going to keep that one.
I will have to keep imagining what could go in the middle of the blue stars -- maybe a reverse colored star, or a yellow star?
More work to be done, starting with sewing the Jacob's Ladder blocks together!
Cleaning crew is here
Day with no appointments
Knitting socks book awaits me at the library
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
I've just started, and trying to remember any rules I've had in the past.
I know 2" and 2.5" strips and squares are useable, and I already have containers for those.
Larger sizes are confusing me at the moment.
Save, as is, anything FQ and bigger.
10.5" strips can be made into backings.
But between 9" and 3", I don't know what to do.
At least I do know that I have too much red fabric to use up in any reasonable amount of time. Guess I'd better make a lot of red backings for quilts!
SOME progress being made.
Am recovered from yesterday's eye injections
One small step on tax preparation
Sunday, January 13, 2013
Got these blocks together and then added two narrow borders. I kept squinting at the possible yellow outer border and thinking it really distracted from the center by being sooo bright. I have chosen these darker fabrics because they are a little bit interesting, but the middle remains as the MOST interesting part of the top. Haven't gotten them sewn on yet, football and Downton Abbey are calling me this evening.
6.5 yards added this week for Sami's graduation quilt. Total for the year: +0.7 yards.
Light snow falling
Fresh bag of potato chips
Friday, January 11, 2013
I have started the next pair of socks from leftover yarn. The toes are different from each other, then a stripe of white, and now on to two remnants of the same green yarn. The green might get me through the sock heels. Then on to another yarn. [I have lots of choices!]
The internet and other bloggers
Homemade bread dipped in olive oil
Exercise bicycle at home
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Finished Charlie's socks made from leftovers of yarn from previous socks. They actually look quite a bit like a "pair" because I switched the yarns back an forth between the two socks. I threw in a few lines of color to keep up my own interest.
He tried them on last night and they are a tad short on the leg. So I am changing the "preferred length" statistic on his card to 9 inches from 8 inches.
As she left after Christmas I offered to make a pair for my daughter. She said there was no need for them to "match", so my next knitting project is to make her two socks different from each other.
[Non-knitters should know that the designs on these socks are built into the purchased yarn by changes of color and spots. I don't do anything to make the designs, I just keep knitting! Great looks for little effort.]
Breakfast with friends
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
I KNOW I threw away all the extra circle pieces months ago, so I decided to try adding a couple of squares. The circles are all in HALF pieces, so I made the square as half pieces also, not quartered. I don't think many observers will notice.
I'm now trying out the yellow on the right for a possible border. This is all darker than the photo looks, and it will be a neonatal quilt, so the yellow is intended to brighten it up a bit.
I have two of my four goals for January completed, and that means the two that are left are not my favorites. During my start on the "reorganization of one bookcase", these blocks appeared causing a cessation of reorganization and an immediate tangent. Now I HAVE to work on getting them off the Design Wall before next Monday, right?
Meanwhile Handiman Dan finished his work today, so we now have:
working lights in three places,
a better shower hose,
a working doorknob on the sewing room [keeps visiting dogs out of my pristine work area],
a bathroom cabinet door that will stay closed,
a functioning thermostat and
a new storm door in the basement.
All good. And a good contact for future needs.
My massage therapist
The Public Library
Monday, January 7, 2013
More Ragged Bullseye blocks for a neonatal quilt. I have already sewn a set together when on retreat in November. Thinking about whether to make two or add these to the others for a larger quilt top.
Made it to and through exercise class today
Handiman Dan on his way to fixing a long list of house problems
Downton Abbey, Season III started
Friday, January 4, 2013
Still progressing on the socks for Charlie, lower sock shows the charcoal heel. I'm working my way up the ankle. Looks like I have about another 2 inches to go.
One of my goals for this month is to straighten up ONE bookcase of fabric. Today I rearranged two shelves. One was all plastic bags and WonderUnder , which was removed to a different location. That allowed me to move some "flimsies" onto that shelf. Baby steps, baby steps.
Christmas card came from Atsuko! Now we have her address!!
After a night of coughing, I was able to sleep in the morning
New med for arthritis seems to be helping hips
Last bites of the delicious Christmas ham
Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Today I managed to finish my second UFO into a neonatal quilt. The confetti blocks were already sewn together and I decided on no border to go with the no sashing.
Layered it, pin-basted, machine quilted in the ditch and on the diagonal, chose red, star dotted fabric for the binding to go with both sides, and now it is in the wash. Yippee!
I am so delighted with getting TWO finishes this early in the month. Of course, that is largely because I have had nothing else taking much time these two days. The week will change tomorrow.
Breakfast with dear friends
Joann's coupons got me cheap batting
Charlie grilled luscious pork chops
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
39" x 39"
This was a UFO, at the "flimsy" or finished top, stage. And with today's work it is now a finished neonatal quilt. Before company came to watch football I found backing fabric [chickens!],
Later I made the binding, applied it to the back and folded it over to the front for machine sewing down.
I feel great that I finished a project on the first day of the year, even to getting it washed and dried!