Bill and Sue get repaired

I finished knitting my sweater last week.  It was a great project for working through my anxiety about the house repairs.  But, there's no good place to block it that won't be in the way for a while.  Rather than try, I picked up another project to keep my hands busy. 

I picked up this Sunbonnet Sue and Overall Bill UFO in an antique shop a couple years ago.  There were a couple of Sue blocks made and the pieces of Bill were there, but no layout for where to put the pieces.  I made these ten blocks.  And, last week, I started remaking these ten blocks.  Because that's what I do.  (not sure about the Sue in the top row in the white dress.  She might need a new dress.)

I wasn't happy with them.  Bill's shoulders were halfway down his back and Sue's hand was constantly outstretched like she wanted something (Excuse me, could we get this little girl a glass of water?)  So, I started taking the arms and hands off and by Saturday evening, I had them all back together again. 

I believe that UFOs are created when projects don't come out the way we envisioned them.  That leaves us uninspired for the project.  I think that's what happened to the original maker.  The blocks were kind of a mess when I got them, and I could see someone being disappointed in that and giving up.  Start something new that inspires.  I buy UFOs so I can pick them up at that point, with no expectations, and see what I can create from the original maker's disappointment, just by seeing it in a new light.  I'm glad I was able to set this one aside for a while, until I could forget my original vision and come back with fresh eyes and correct the things I didn't like. 

And, yesterday, I made this block. 

Most of the fabrics are not mine.  Either they came in the UFO or I supplemented with garment fabric from my Mom and also from my stash of quilting fabric.  I tried to keep in a family of 70-80's prints as much as I could.  And, a new, heavier background. 

The crew was here working on the foundation Wed-Fri.  They were afraid they'd have to come back on Saturday because of obstacles they ran into, but they didn't have to do that, thank goodness. 

I will say the whole experience was disconcerting.  And, I worried that I had overpacked...taken too much care.  I had not.  Even with all the glass and dishes in the kitchen packed or padded in some way, I could still hear glass rattling and finally realized it was in the fridge.  The house moved.  It went up and down and side to side.  I holed up in our bedroom with the cats and dogs.  The crew wasn't in the house until Friday, so there was just the one day of them jackhammering through the foundation 15 feet from where I sat, trying to hear a conference call.  But, I did sit and work all day Thursday and Friday.  I guess it was a way to stay busy and not think about what was going on. 

This is one of the jacks they used.  The black pole in the middle is the pier that will support the house and keep it level.  The red part is the hydraulic driver that pushes them down.  The pier was driven down about 20 feet until it hit the rock substrata.  So, now the house sits on rock, not clay soil. 

Here are three of them lined up along the back of my kitchen/dining room.  They used the weight of the house as leverage to drive the piers down.  That caused the house to bounce, especially the kitchen. 

They did piers down both sides of the house and across the back, and six piers inside the house that they went through the floor to place.  They broke and repaired a water line.  They put the dirt back in the holes they dug.  When they started, we told them that whatever they dug up, they could toss to the side and not bother trying to replant.  All our flower beds on the sides and back of the house need to be remade to aid drainage away from the foundation, so what they dug up gave us a head start on that project. 

Today, the plumber comes.  He's our wild card.  They're going to test the water lines, incoming and outgoing, for leaks.  If the plumbing settled with the house and didn't crack, we will be very lucky.  If not, we will be giving the plumber a lot of money.  So, again, fingers are crossed that the damage is minimal.  I cannot tell you how much it costs to replace a whole plumbing system in a city where plumbers make $135 an hour, on average.  I just don't want to know that.  If I need to know it, they will tell me.

Everybody have a great week!!  I started unpacking on Saturday.  I was doing it right, unpacking all the dishes and running them through the dishwasher before putting them in the cabinet.  Then, Rob wondered what if they have to jackhammer through the foundation again to repair a water line?  And, I stopped working and sat and sewed Bill and Sue blocks. 

I deserved the rest. 



Like good Boy Scouts

Always prepared.  That's how we try to live.  This was the last weekend to get ready for this week's repairs.  But, there was a little time for some relaxing too, because we were so prepared. 

When I was relaxing, I was sewing or knitting.  My body was too tired to do much moving around, but my mind was still working 90 miles a minute.  Hand work helped take care of that. 

I got this little leader and ender together.  I had laid it out and rolled it on a pool noodle, in a flannel backed table cloth.  But, I put it too close to the edge and pieces kept falling out of it, so when I was looking for something to do, that's what I picked up.  It didn't come out like I thought it would, but it's nice enough and will make a good small utility quilt.  I'll add some fun border to it and it will make a nice square to lay across the seat of a chair or across an ottoman or something. 

Or, maybe it's just fine and I'm not able to see it because it didn't come out exactly like I expected it to.

Anyway, we've had lots of rain and the garden is doing well.  Not sure I showed these, so if I did, sorry.  I spent some really relaxing time out there yesterday morning while it was still cool and watered the flower pots and pulled dead leaves. 

I have this hanger that holds three baskets.  I don't plant directly into the coconut liner.  I put a large plastic bowl in that and plant in the bowl.  I have red geraniums, ice plant, and dusty miller in all three, but the dusty miller isn't doing much. 

And, here is a little Gerber Daisy.  I planted this in a great spot last year.  And, then a larger plant came up and covered it and it almost died.  So, I dug it up and put it in a pot and left it to live or die and it lived.  I've had this for several years.  It's been in the ground in several spots.  But, it seems to like living in a pot better. 

But, most of our weekend was spent lifting and toting and filling the POD.  We decided not to put the dining room furniture out there.  There are no repairs in the dining room, but there are a couple on the other side of the dining room wall so every thing had to move, but it didn't have to leave. 

The garage hasn't been this clean since I bought the house in '98.  There is still stuff on the other side of the room, but this corner is clear. 

We finally found someone to take up the deck.  He came on Friday.  He was being weird about the price, so we just offered him an amount he couldn't refuse.  Sometimes, you gotta do that, because we were not able to go out and do that in a single weekend.  It took the contractor and his team an hour.  They had to unscrew 720 screws. 

We moved all the furniture out of the living room yesterday and pulled the carpet and pad back.  Then, we unrolled it and put the furniture back so we could enjoy it until tomorrow night.  It's just the sofa and a couple recliners.  And, we'll need to cover the television with a quilt and some plastic.  All the little tables are in the pile in the dining room.  

Remember that a couple months ago, I was turning the house upside down looking for some documents?  They were the documents from when I bought the house.  And, in them, there was a description of the previous repairs and the engineers report from when I bought the house.  And, the lifetime warranty on the repairs.  When I couldn't find that, I felt terrible, but we moved forward...mostly because we didn't have a choice. 

Well, I found those papers in a box in the garage (even Rob said that wasn't the kind of thing I would lose) and was able to get the diagram to the repair company so they can make adjustments in where they dig.  And, found out that lifetime warranty was only for five years and expired in 1994.  That actually made me feel better.  At least I hadn't lost a document that was worth money.  And, the new repairs come with a lifetime warranty from a company that's been in business with the same name for a long time (that's important in a lifetime warranty).

By next week, this will be over and we will be waiting for the plumber and the guy to reinstall the carpet.  Keep your fingers crossed that the movement in the slab last year didn't damage any pipes.  That's another expensive repair. 

Everybody have a great week!  Yesterday, Rob remarked on what a good team we are.  He focused on how long we could keep TV and entertainment operational and I focused on making sure I could feed us all week without cooking.  I made burgers and a casserole and have two kinds of sandwiches ready to go.  He figured out that if he wrapped the TV Tuesday night, we could keep a portion of our real lives going for two more days. 

Those are very important things. 



In the midst of it all

I haven't really been telling people about our foundation thing.  There's a saying here that every house that doesn't have a cracked foundation will have one eventually.  It's the clay soil the city is built on.  Many of the houses in our neighborhood have had foundation work done.  Anyway, people don't like to talk about it because they're worried they will be next.  Don't talk about it is like whistling past a graveyard. 

But, there was one co-worker whose daughter had had foundation work last year and I mentioned it to her.  We had a nice long chat about how theirs went.  They chose one of the companies that we didn't choose, so it was interesting to hear how that process worked.  We talked about some boxes and packing paper in her garage that she was glad to bring to us.  The next day, she showed up with 13 new boxes, a bundle of packing paper and a roll of tape.  She'd stopped at Lowe's and picked it up that morning.  When I realized what she'd done and said she didn't need to do that, she said she liked to help her friends out when they were having a rough patch and gave me a big hug.

I was moved.  There will be a thank you card on her desk this morning.  And, we used all those boxes and so, so, so many more. 

The POD came Saturday morning.  That was fascinating to watch.  The lifted it, pulled the truck out from under it, and used the lifting unit to drive it into our driveway and lower it.  The lifting unit was itself a wonder of machinery, but the delivery driver did a really nice job and certainly knew what he was doing.  He parked it right where we needed it.  . 

All the glass that was in the laundry room, just above where they will need to make a hole is packed as is all the glassware in the kitchen.  All the serving pieces that were stored above where they are placing another pier is packed...it's surprising how many of these piers are under something of mine that has to be packed up.  Rob has packed everything in the living room and there are just a couple things in the dining room.  All the furniture is so bare!  Do you remember I mentioned that we ended up with a box that had about a thousand cloth napkins in it?  Welllll, all the dishes in the kitchen that I didn't think I needed to pack are stacked with those between them, not because I'm afraid of breakage, but I don't want to listen to them rattle.  And, we attacked the garage.  We disassembled the jenga puzzle of extra furniture.  And, we picked several pieces to let go and a few pieces to keep.  We have a big goodwill pile.  And, Rob has a friend, so all that stuff that I wanted to put ebay and was never going to, I'm giving to her to sell.  Rob took three boxes to her on Friday.  Yesterday, I packed three more. 

On the quilting front, I just sent Edyta feedback on the coolest Christmas quilt.  It's called Oh, Tannenbaum.  The 24 pages of instructions look intimidating, but it's a very easy to follow pattern, made in a row by row style. 

And, I finally found my layout for this quilt.  Sorry about the toes.  But, I'm just too tired to edit. 

And, there are garden pics.  A couple daylilies. 

And, the oakleaf hydrangea has started to change to a pinkish brown. 

Well, that's it for me.  Syd had to be at work early and has overslept, so superdad is going to need to take her to work.  Everybody have a great week!! 



And, then we did that...

I am happy to say that I got both my quilt guild raffle quilt blocks done.  They came out very nice, but both have their little imperfections.  The other day at work, there was a young co-worker looking very closely at a piece of woodwork he had created.  Later, I heard him talking to another co-worker about the mistakes.  I took the chance to share the quilter's maxim that if you hang it on the front porch and look at it as you ride by on a galloping horse and you can see it, it's a mistake.  Both my co-workers enjoyed that a LOT!

We should start getting other blocks back tonight.  I've heard from a couple people that have finished and am sure there are others.  The background for the quilt is three shades of gray fabric.  The one used in the applique is the medium. 

Other than that, the only sewing I've done in the last two weeks was to piece a block for a pattern I was reviewing.  I was absolutely dead sure the measurements for the center were wrong,  So, I pulled out some fabric and gave it a try...and I was incredibly wrong.  I don't have to make a block often in reviewing patterns, but this is not the first time. 

I've spent a little time in the garden.  We were at the hardware store Saturday and watching all these people buy stuff for their yards.  We were breaking a sweat just walking to the car and I looked at Rob and asked "Isn't it a little bit late for that?" and we laughed.  We both do all our hard work in the fall winter and spring.  All I'll do from now until September is pull out the dead stuff to keep the garden clean and keep the air flowing through it. 

These two iris came off the same stalk of the same plant.  This is a shade loving iris, but I think I might have put it in a little bit too much shade, so it will be moving to a sunnier spot soon and hopefully, it will do more than this next summer.

This is a "dead nettle" that I bought because it was a shade loving ground cover and I like something that is kind of vine-like growing out of this tilted over pot.  It blooms a fuschia colored flower every so often. 

For my shady spots this year, I chose a bi-color coleus and red impatiens.  You can't see the coleus.  I just cut it all back...

and am starting a ton of baby coleus.  I recently did the same with a Dusty Miller that survived from last year and it's rooted and ready to transplant. 

These are two pots that have done extremely well in the greenhouse and I wanted to show them off outside the back door. 

Yesterday, we started packing.  No, we aren't moving.  We are packing and will move most of what we own into a POD in the driveway while we have our foundation repaired.  We had a structural engineer in a couple months ago and got his assessment of the problem so that when we started talking to repair companies, we'd know enough not to get ripped off.  And, we studied foundation repair until we knew enough to be able to talk to repairmen and ask good questions.  Then, we started inviting companies in for bids.  We got a variety of repair options and a range of prices.  And, we went with the most expensive because it matched the engineer's assessment the closest.  When we had that engineer in, it was to keep from being overcharged.  We ended up using it to make sure the repair we get is the repair we need.  But, it means moving out of the living room, the dining room, the kitchen, and packing all the glassware I have stored in the laundry room.  If you've followed for long, then you know I have a slight obsession with glassware and dishes.  That's really fun...until it all has to be packed up or washed.  And, we have to take the boards off that deck we had built a couple years ago.  We're trying to hire someone to do that. 

Anyway, wish us luck.  After the foundation, we need more repairs.  It's going to be a periodic construction zone around here as we have sheetrock repaired and the house painted inside and out and we'd really like to get new floors.  And, we have to have an air conditioner.  And, we need plumbing repairs...……..

Rob reminded me, a house is never really paid for. 

I think the best part of this has been how well Rob and I are handling it.  We both look at one another occasionally and say "I think I'm going to throw up."  Not literally, but between us, it's a message of; I want you to know I'm really nervous about this and I'm saying it in a way we can both laugh about.  We've had a couple moments where we lost patience with one another, but nothing has escalated into an argument.  And, we haven't kept any of this from Sydney.  She's been listening and reading the bids and asking questions.  And, I believe that what we are conveying to her is "life happens.  Deal with it in a happy way and move on."  At least I hope that's what she's taking from it.  That and don't be afraid of the hard stuff.

Oh, and knitting makes a great distraction.  I've been knitting my way through the anxious bits.  I have the front and the back of my sweater done and am about 40% of the way up one arm. 

Everybody have a great Monday.  I'm off to pick and box and fill it with useless stuff. 



Group Sew-in

The other night, Sydney was letting us know she had to work Saturday night.  And, I said okay.  We're going to a party and also wouldn't be home.  She asked when we got a social life.  We've been to two parties in two months and suddenly we have a social life.  But, it's good.  We needed to find grown up things to do as she grows more and more into her own life. 

The party was a graduation party for Rob's best friend's daughter.  She just graduated with a degree in film and is moving to L.A. to make her mark on the film industry.  I wish her luck.  They were running her films on a loop on their TV mixed in with videos and pictures of her as a small child.  It was really cute.  And, we had a very fun time.  It was a small group and I'd met most of them at other parties.  We laughed and ate and laughed and laughed some more. 

On Sunday, we had the group sew in for the guild raffle quilt.  It was a great group.  Sixteen people plus my co-chair and me.  It was everything it was supposed to be for a host.  I was still cutting kits when people got there, but we got them all started and I finished cutting fabric and making kits as people were starting to sew.  There was "feedback" given about mistakes made and pieces cut too small in the kits.  There has to be that.  And, there was the requisite person that wanted to give up and I convinced her to just give it a try and that every stitch she sewed that day was one I didn't have to sew later and get as far as she could and I'd finish up for her.  And, soon as she relaxed, she ended up laughing and having as much fun as anybody and making and assembling pieces.  We sewed for about 6 hours.  Part way through I suggested folks try the curved piecing while we were in a group and could talk through it.  And, everybody had a really hard time of it, and we talked about alternative methods of attaching the center; applique, hand stitching, and "just glue it on and let the quilter deal with it".  That was my favorite.  It's a very tight and difficult curve, but after hearing everyone's feedback yesterday, I think I figured out an easy way to do it, so soon as I can get on my machine, I'm going to try it and if it works, I'll send an email out to the participants. 

And, when it was done, I dropped everything that was coming home with me into a box in a disorganized mess that I'll need to straighten out before I can sew anything.  There were a few minutes when we couldn't account for 6 kits and I wondered if people made mistakes and just picked up a fresh kit.  But, over dinner, I figured out where they went and now I can relax. 

In the end, there were lots of compliments that the event was fun and that the project was well organized.  And, really, that is all I can hope for from a group event.  Now, it's just answering questions and waiting for blocks to come back in so we can start sewing them together. 

I have no pictures.  No projects of my own.  A fat black hairy caterpillar ate the last two peach Iris.  That was disappointing.  I moved him to the side yard, out of my garden.  I probably shouldn't have.  He was just doing his thing and who knows what beautiful butterfly he will turn into later. 

But, I do have pictures of the oakleaf hydrangea that is blooming like crazy.  It finally found its happy place.  And, I'm happy about that. 

Can't remember what this is, but these are its first blooms.  It takes the hottest evening sun on the deck and loves it and gives these beautiful delicate flowers. 

And, I got my first strawberry.  It was delicious and sweet.  I'll never make a fruit stand.  But, I might get to enjoy some really good fruit. 

Finally, I took the new job.  I'll be starting the end of June.  They're having a tug of war over who gets my attention and that's awkward.  But, I guess there are worse things that could be awkward than having two groups fighting for my attention.  Anyway, the new group is very excited to have me and already wanting to learn what I can do for them.  And, the news is starting to leak out slowly.  I'm looking forward to new changes and a fresh start.  Everybody needs a few fresh starts in life, right?  And, as uncomfortable and awkward as they can be, it's usually for the best in the end.  So, here's to new things and fresh starts. 

Have a great week!!  I'll be sewing guild kits.  (I think I might have accidentally brought home three...eek!!!)



When life gets busy

Like the weather, sometimes life is sunny and easy.  And, sometimes it's thunder and busy.  It's how I react to that makes all the difference.  I'm sailing through a busy time with the same smile I wear on a sunny day.  That's relatively new to me.  And I like it. 

But, I did allow myself to bullseye focus in on just one project as my stress relief.  I worked on my newest project, my sweater. 

The pattern is called "Dad's sweater" from the book The knitting man(ual).  You'd think it would be something made for a dad...but it's not.  It's from a picture the author found of her Dad when he was young, wearing a sweater.  Anyway, I knitted the back in record time and all that time I would normally have spent fretting and worrying got poured into my stitches.  My Dad told me once that when my Grandmother was worried and couldn't sleep, she would get up and scrub the floor.  I guess this is my version of scrubbing the floor.  And, I'm good with that.  Who wants to scrub the floor?

There have been a couple days this week that I could put on my gardening shoes and wade out into the yard to see the flowers.  I believe this Iris came from my friend Lyn. 

And, these two daylilies. 

We've had so much rain.  Rain in the morning, noon and night.  In two days, we got 6" and it rained two more days after that.  I know other people got more and my heart goes out to anyone affected by flooding (my family's home flooded when I was a teenager).  But, I can't help say that I'm tired of the rain.  There has been just enough sun to encourage everything to grow, so it's like a jungle out there and I'll have to take my snips to it soon as I can walk around. 

I mentioned a job opportunity last week.  At that time, I was only talking to the people that I work for about it.  I had not talked to the people that want me to work for them yet.  I spent some time last week doing that and will do more today.  They were very excited that I was even considering it.  I'm leaning toward taking it.  They need and want someone to do exactly what I did in my current role a few years ago; modernize their process and affect the region by example.  I'm a better person now than I was when I did it the first time.  And, I could use a new challenge.  And a fresh start.  Everybody needs a fresh start once in a while. 

In the meantime, I need to cast on 135 stitches for the front of my sweater. 

Have a great week!  Next Sunday is the group sew to work on the guild's raffle quilt.  I have done all I've been asked to do...so far. 




My projects, their projects

I was sick last week.  I felt bad all weekend, but Sunday night, I was up most of the night, chills and sweats and misery.  Fortunately, none of the people that we were with over the weekend reported being sick,  but I do remember a friend hugging me at the wedding who sounded like she felt the way I did a couple days later. 

Rob's cousin and his wife were wonderful.  This was our first meet and we took them out to one of Austin's classic Tex-Mex restaurants where the food was wonderful.  But, the Margaritas...not so much.  They use natural lime juice and it was tart that day.  We all had a lot of fun, visiting and laughing and sharing stories. 

Saturday night, we went to the wedding reception.  The wedding was a private civil ceremony on Friday, and Saturday night there was "a catered affair".  We knew one of the brides and over the course of a few parties, we are meeting the other bride's friends.  It always starts awkward, and then we find someone we remember, but don't remember their name yet, and we end up striking up a conversation and celebrating together. 

Then, Sunday was Rob's birthday and I made him carrot cake cup cakes and we ate good food and laughed a lot while we did chores. 

Monday, I sat on the couch and finished these. 

I love knitting socks so much that I've finally decided to start a sweater.  We'll see if I have the skills...or if I just think I do.  It's looking good so far...after a false start and a re-do.

Most of my time has been spent on the guild's 2020 raffle quilt.  A couple weeks ago, we bought the fabrics.  We ordered one and that's holding us up.  I showed the test block I made a couple weeks ago, but now I've been able to make samples using most of the chosen fabrics to show at the meeting tonight.  I have kits in various stages of "finished".  The border kits are done and I will be taking them with me tonight to hand out to volunteers.  My co-chair is bringing the background fabric.  I plan to take a border kit, so you'll get to see it.  Here are my samples for the blocks. 

The volunteers will make two of these "quarters".  They take paper piecing skills, an easy Y seam, and Drunkard's Path curve piecing skills, so not too difficult.  Unfortunately, I had to substitute in a turquoise fabric, so these samples won't be in the actual quilt.  But, they did help me write the instructions.  The kits are bagged up and I just need to add some photos to the instructions and they'll be ready to print. 

We've had lots of rain.  Lots and LOTS.  The garden looks tropical, and unfortunately it's full of mosquitoes.  But, I get out there every day and do a little something, even if it's just pluck off a few dead flowers or pollinate Syd's pomegranate.  Here are some garden blooms. 

The Oakleaf Hydrangea is in full bloom and looks happier than ever. 

A little yellow Gerber Daisy.

Some strawberries in the strawberry jar. 

A very vivid Echinacea.

I thought I'd show the little leader/ender I've been working on.  A friend shared the solid squares.  They were a fabric line sample pack, so they weren't square and they were all different sizes, approximating 1 3/4".  Make a block and toss it into a box.  When you run out of little squares, turn the blocks into something.  I've fun out of little squares after about three years.   I went out looking for 2 1/2" squares in the scrap bins to mix these with and found a whole stack of dark blue squares.  We'll see what it turns into.

And, finally, I've been tapped on the shoulder and made aware of a new job opening.  They want me to fill this spot and approached my manager to let me know.  It's working on a bigger product and is supposed to give me more name recognition because of that.  (In my job, good name recognition gets you invited to work on tons of different projects.  Bad name recognition leaves you at your desk, playing solitaire.)  This job would mean giving up the variety of little projects I work on now that give me more name recognition than the person that currently has the job that's coming open.  That really feels like I'd be giving up a lot, but before deciding, I'm going to talk to her and talk to the hiring manager and see whether I'm looking at this right. 
Lots of stuff going on.  Lots of decisions to make.  Everybody have a great Monday!  Wish me luck at guild tonight.  It's always weird to show off my work and try to get people to volunteer to work on guild projects.  I'll have my smile out of my pocket and pasted on.


The Lotus quilt.

If you remember, I had a kit that I knew I was gifted but was afraid I'd never make.  I had held onto for a long time, wishing I would, and when I realized it wasn't really going to happen, I shared it with a follower, Michelle (less than a year ago...that's going to be important later) .  Michelle was excited and as she's made progress, I've shared her comments and pics and progress a few times.  She's finished her quilt top now.  And, she shared pics. 

Check out the clamshell border.  She extended the applique out into that border, but simply so it doesn't conflict with the clamshells.  And, added flowers in the seam lines so the quilt doesn't look so blocky. 

 Here's a closeup of her work.  Here, you can see the embroidery that she added. 

She made many adjustments to the pattern.  Here's the original pattern, which we had trouble finding because it seems lots of people added flourishes when they made this quilt.  If you compare this picture to the picture above, you'll see how a few changes really made this quilt.   

It's been such a pleasure keeping up with Michelle and her progress.  It truly is a piece of original art, Michelle and I congratulate both your skill and your creativity in adding interest to the quilt.  Great job and I can't wait to see how you quilt it!

As for me, I might have taken on more of a project than I'm up for with my guild.  I've been asked to help with next year's raffle quilt.  And, I said yes.  And, Rob reminded me that last time I did this, I asked him to remind me that last time, I said NEVER AGAIN.  But, I'm doing it again.  And, for me, that always starts by making a test block. 

Every so often, I admit that something is just too fiddly for me.  My skills aren't up to it and the skills I'd need to develop are not interesting to me.  Sewing one circle inside of another circle with matching points is just not a skill that's interesting to me.  So, instead of that, I broke my block into quarters, drunkard's path style, and then joined the quarters.  I'm going to suggest this to the guild because it will be much easier for the quilt's final assemblers than taking circles made by multiple people and turning them into a perfectly matched piece.  It breaks that circle into four much easier curves, and it gets those curves taken care of by the members that will volunteer to make blocks, not by the quilt's final assemblers.  I can support that idea. 

How about a couple pics from the garden...

Down the garden path. 

A vintage plant stand of ferns. 

A velvety Mr Lincoln rose:

I worked in the yard most of Saturday.  This weekend was a "pots" weekend.  I'm setting up pots for the year, getting them established and ready to place in the garden.  The plastic greenhouse is still set up, so I'm using it for a humid environment to start cuttings and plants in.  It's working great and I hope I remember to leave it up for these few extra weeks next year, too. 

And, yesterday, we celebrated Easter. 

Rob loves the memory of dyeing eggs, so Saturday night, he and Sydney dyed a dozen eggs.  I sat in the living room, sewing a label on the wedding quilt that STILL isn't delivered.  And, I listened to them in the kitchen, dying eggs and laughing.  The next morning, I peeled them and turned them into deviled eggs. 

And, we had a nice lunch. 

 And that's about it for us celebrating the holidays. 

It's going to be a pretty normal work week for me, but on Wednesday, I'm taking the day off to spend it with my raffle quilt co-volunteer, shopping for quilt fabric.  Saturday, we're having lunch with Rob's cousin, who is passing through town and then the wedding is that night.  And, Sunday will be Rob's birthday, so lots of stuff will have happened to fill next week's blog post. 

Everybody have a great week!!  Lane


Flower pics and a Sydney story

There is very little to show quilt-wise this week.  All my quilt work has been binding the wedding quilt (which apparently is some kind of continuous circle that will never end) and cutting strips for the arcs quilt.  I still need to make and attach a label to the wedding quilt, so hopefully, next week, there will be a nice post about delivering it. 

Work was very stressful last week.  I have too many projects on my plate and my boss is being kind of obnoxious about my workload.  His solution is for me to hire a temp to help me manage it.  My suggestion is that if my workload is more than one person can do then HE should hire someone to handle it.  In the meantime, I'm done working myself so hard trying to keep up.  A weekend in the yard was exactly what I needed and I worked out there until my hands ache and are stiff this morning.  Perfect solution to stress.  And, the garden is definitely paying off. 

The mock orange in bloom before the big storm we had on Saturday.  Of course, the rain played havoc on it, but it's still covered in flowers. 

Sedum blooming.  I think this is the first time these have bloomed this way.  I'm using it as a ground cover in the sunny part of the garden.

Yellow roses.  Just starting.  It's not quite hot enough for these roses to go nuts yet, but soon. 

Asiatic lilies.  Syd gave me one for Mother's day one year and I bought a second.  These usually die here because of the heat, but this one is doing quite well in a pot. 

These two iris are first time bloomers.  Hopefully, this won't be the last time.  I'm not sure what I did last year to get all these iris to bloom, but I sure hope I accidentally do it again.

I also found some time to play in the scraps for the arc quilt.  I need 24 sets of 16 gradated strips and 24 sets of 9.  I counted last night and had 16 sets of 16 and 31 sets of 9.  Oops!  That's okay.  Nothing is wasted in this quilt.  There will be plenty of need for strips in the borders. 
I've got two weekends sunk into cutting strips, and I haven't sewn the first stitch yet.  Hmm.  That ain't right.  I'm ready to sit at a sewing machine for a while.  Cutting these strips is just standing at the ironing board, ironing my scraps, tossing the polyester and then cutting the tone-on-tone scraps into strips.  YAWN!
Sydney has been in Nebraska for the weekend.  She comes home today.  It was her first flight alone.  She was really cute as I tried to share all my experience.  We sat on the sofa the night before with her phone and I showed her how to check in using her phone and pay to check her bag.  We looked at pictures of airports so she could see what it was going to look like after she went through TSA.  And, we looked at maps of the airports she was traveling through so she could see how far she was going to need to walk between gates.  And, I shared that she should find her gate, then walk around to find food.  I took her to the airport on Thursday morning and we talked as we drove in.  She looked like she was going to be sick and we laughed about that.  We checked her bag in and I showed her how to use the check-in kiosk and walked her to TSA.  We talked about the machine she was going to need to go through and how to stand when she did.  Fortunately, there were no lines to wait in and she got right in.  And, I left her there.  She kept us up to day through the day and was picked up on Omaha by her aunt. 
We've talked to her more since she's been in NE than we talk in a month when she is here.  She has called every night and we text and chat and laugh about her family.  We sent all the ingredients for her to cook Indian food for Grandma, and Grandma loved it.  She has visited with her Aunts, both of whom she lived with before she came to us.  One called Rob to tell him what a wonderful job we had done with her and to tell what a great person she had grown into.  Very independent and confident.  And, honestly, that's what we were going for.  Before she left, I told her that no matter what mistakes I had made as a parent, the one thing I never worried about was her ability to stand up for and take care of herself.  And, I'm pretty sure there was some standing up for herself that needed to be done. 
Family forgets that people change when they move away.  Family thinks that people are in some kind of stasis in their new location and only change in concert with the family.  But, that's not true.  Just like family members grow and change, the ones that move away grow and change.  And, when the two groups come together, it can be uncomfortable.  I think one of the Aunts thought Syd would still be the same person that left 12 years ago.  But, she's not.  And, the Aunt apparently wasn't very interested in who she'd turned into.  That's the Aunt's loss because Sydney is certainly a  LOT more interesting today than she was when she was 9.  And, just like it was the Aunt's loss, I don't think Sydney was bothered by it.  I think she looked at the Aunt and celebrated that she had moved away. 
Everybody have a great week!  I pick up Syd at the airport tonight and I'm sure there will be fun stories and her dog will be very glad to see her.  And, I'll be glad to know she's home.  Raising kids is crazy.  You spend all that time trying to protect them in hopes they will grow up to thrive, independent of your protection.  I definitely got to feel both sides of that coin this weekend.