SAL: Sweet Cactus Update

I am so excited to check in and connect with all of you. We have been self quarantined during the corona virus since the 4th. It hasn’t been exceptionally hard for me but I was surprised how anxious I was for this 3 weeks to pass. Here is where I was at our last check in.

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Here is where I am now

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I’ll be continuing to work on this sweet cactus for my daughter but I have also finished another project I have been working off and on for some time that I wanted to share with you, a new crocheted baby blanket.

 

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In my favorite popcorn stitch

 

My thoughts are with you all affected by our worlds current situation and I am looking forward to hopping over to your pages to see what you’ve been working on. Continue to look out for yourself, your family and others. Be safe and take all precautions possible.

staysafe

Now to go and blog hop and enjoy the work of all the other talented crafters and if you’d like to participate please contact Avis below and she will walk you through joining in.

A New Sewing Machine Gets Put to Work

It was on a whim that I purchased a sewing machine from Joann’s. I’ve probably had it for close to year now. Since I am not a machine quilter, or machine sewing creator of anything really, I never updated my blog with the purchase. But here she is, basic, simple and at a good price. I want to say $79 but I honestly don’t remember and I had no idea what I would do with it really.

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I have had a machine before, an old Kenmore that only did straight stitching. I made a few children’s outfit for a daughter when she was 3/4; 40 years ago, one pattern in a few different colors. That was the extent of my machine experience. Where that machine is now, no idea. I also had a gorgeous antique treadle Singer machine, brought over from Italy given to me as a gift by an aging Italian couple at least 30 years ago. That is now treasured by another daughter.

Here we are in the midst of corona virus, COVID 19, we have been self quarantined since the 4th, (my husband has severe COPD) I had first heard of the virus from my daughter living over in Okinawa (Military) It was big news about the cruise ship off the coast there, a petri dish of the infection. I remember the panic we felt, mother & daughter discussing what to do. She went out and prepared as best she could. Nearly all supplies were gone from the commissary, ‘send me Purell sanitizer please, lysol spray’ all the things you need and can’t get. (no can do through the mail) 3 cases were originally contracted by cab drivers by guests from the ship on shore visiting. But that was contained and no other spread was reported. Fast forward to now. This past week a resurgent of a few cases again, schools are closed and the base is secured. Anyone coming in has their temp taken. The same protocol ~ shelter in place. Her husband is in Bagdad, Embassy (5 months now) not expected home till July. There are rules on bases, one being if she were to catch it she would have to self quarantine in her bedroom with a private bathroom. No bathroom in her bedroom, so no can do, which begs the question where would ‘they put her’ and what of my 2 grands at home, where do they go? Dad can’t come home, no planes in and out from either places plus he would have to quarantine, they can’t be sent to grandma….all this to say we are facing incredible times of uncertainty where questions remain overwhelming at times and with no easy answer. Just adding another note to this mother’s concerns, I also have one grown daughter, a home health hospice nurse, Calif. and another, a checker at Whole Foods, Oregon, both serving their community ~ I am worried of course and also proud of them ~ but I have veered off course

The sewing machine ….

I am making masks for friends and anyone in my small 55 and over community that may want one.

But I have to laugh. My blogging and fellow quilting friend Kathy @ Sewing Ect. shared this morning

https://livinginrapidcity.wordpress.com/2020/03/25/sewing-machine-purgatory/?c=14376#comment-14376

just posted a great story ‘sewing machine purgatory’ along with a great soufflé recipe you must try

A sewing machine master I am not, a novice at best, with only one home economic class in the late 60s under my belt, so when I ran out of bobbing thread that came with the machine, I was horrified. Where was that manual? of course I couldn’t find it, so I turned to You Tube.

I found what I needed and with the cheers of my husband “great job” I got a bobbin wound. It wasn’t that hard but then, when I went to start another mask, the tension was wrong, the stitching was not right. Good grief Charlie Brown – I spent hours watching, rewatching, re threading the machine, changing the bobbin, positioning with a ‘6’ and back in. ohhhhhh, wait, I got think I figures it out, quilting thread weight in the bobbin, regular weight thread, one wrong threading error of machine by the needle, simple errors but no less my own sewing machine purgatory. Then, add in my husband calling from the other room, from his on line gaming commander chair where he is saving the universe from invasion (don’t get started on that) “do you need me to come in and help you?” “NO” ~ keep away from me, that was the last thing I needed just then.

Almost an entire day was spent on this problem.

But I got her fixed and am back in business making masks. My small part in feeling less helpless. I liked this from the American Red Cross.

staysafe

With so many of us scattered all over the country and in different countries facing different and yet many of the same concerns, fears and confinement of movement lets look out for each other, whether it be physically, or through concrete deeds or words of encouragement.

besafe

 

 

HQAL: Capital T Quilt Update

Three weeks has brought some changes and I find myself moving right along. I received the batting I had ordered from Joann’s website.

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With batting and backing material I was ready to sandwich it all together and get quilting.

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I am using a Coats & Clark extra strong hand quilting thread in a cranberry colored to match the backing.

Next, the hand quilting actually began and I have completed 2 blocks, moving on to a 3rd already. I have only been quilting the inside of each block. I can tell already that I will be going back through once that is done, quilting the outside border of the larger block.

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It’s  difficult to see the stitching on the blue block.

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With the coronavirus here and causing great concern in our area we have pretty much socially distanced ourselves from our community. We have not been out since the 4th, except for 2 trips I have made to the grocery store. My husband has severe emphysema. It was critical I take pro active measures immediately.

One of the up sides to this, was that plenty of quilting had been getting done.

To all my quilting friends and family, sending out a prayer for calm healthy weeks ahead for us all as we navigate through this crisis. While we are distancing ourselves from one another physically let’s remember to reach out to friends and family and check in on one another. I look forward to hearing from you all on the next check in.

Now time to go and blog hop 🙂

Kathy, MargaretEmmaTracyDeb, Susan,  Nanette,  EdithSharonKarrin, Gretchen, Kathi,  Bella, Daisy and Connie

This Hand Quilt Along is an opportunity for hand quilters and piecers to share and motivate one another. We post every three weeks, to show our progress and encourage one another.  If you have a hand quilting project and would like to join our group contact Kathy at the link above.

SAL UPDATE: Sweet Cactus

 

In our last posting I had made the decision to start this simple Cactus cross stitch as my next project. It will go perfectly with the last cactus I had done for my daughter. I am calling this one ‘Sweet Cactus’.

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I’ve got a good start going. This shouldn’t take too long to stitch up and it’s a nice simple distraction from a few other projects I have going.

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Gorgeous cactus blooms

 

Welcome back to Linda and welcome Cathie and Laura ~ if your reading this and are not a participant and would like to be, its easy.  Please contact Avis below and she will walk you through it.

HQAL: Capital T Quilt Update

Three weeks hasn’t brought much progress on the Capital T quilt but I did decide on my backing material. I originally had thought I’d use a solid fabric in the cranberry, maroon color of the sashing material.

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Finding the right coordinating color proved harder than I thought. In fact, it was impossible for me. I had taken a gamble and ordered a king size flat sheet but the color was off. I could have spent more boots on the ground time shopping but ultimately I decided on a pattern which I think will work perfectly.

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It is from Joanns, one of the premium wide cotton fabrics @  108″ for 19.99 on sale at 11.99 . I bought 2 yards and will have more than enough to use in something else.

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Hoping I’ll have her all sandwiched together next time with some quilting begun 🙂 Please take a moment or two and enjoy the projects of the other hand quilters in our group.

Hand Quilt Along Links

This Hand Quilt Along is an opportunity for hand quilters and piecers to share and motivate one another. We post every three weeks, to show our progress and encourage one another.  If you have a hand quilting project and would like to join our group contact Kathy at the link below.

Kathy, MargaretEmmaTracyDeb, Susan,  Nanette,  EdithSharonKarrin, Gretchen, Kathi,  Bella, Daisy and Connie

 

SAL Update: Keeping It Simple

It’s been a crazy 3 weeks ~ I had thought my next project would be to start this Halloween holiday sampler. I never saw directions so tiny. My magnifier didn’t help nor lighting, so I put her aside again.

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You may remember these little gems I picked up. I started and finished the Cardinal.

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After finishing this and as an afterthought, I am now thinking wouldn’t these make darling tiny pillow ornaments?

While at Joanns, I picked up this simple Cactus kit and decided this would go perfect with  the Owl and the Cactus I did for my daughter a month or so back.

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That about wraps up this SAL update. Please take a moment and enjoy the postings of the others in our group. Just click on the links below. There are some wonderful projects in the works.

 

Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Sue, Constanze, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Heidi, Jackie, Sunny, Hayley, Megan, Deborah, Mary Margaret, Renee, Carmela, Jocelyn, Sharon, Daisy, Anne, Connie, AJ, Jenny

About the SAL

This SAL (Stitch Along) is slightly different to other SALs in that we don’t all stitch the same design at the same rate. We choose ONE unfinished project, or ONE new one, and show progress of its completion over a series of three weekly updates. There are no deadlines and no set amount to stitch. The result is that the space in our drawers full of WIPs (works in progress) is gradually being freed up to store lots of new crafty goodness. It’s surprising how much motivation I’ve gained from being in this SAL. If you’d like to finish a project you’ve left unfinished for a while, or start a new one with us, you can join us by contacting Avis. She’ll send you a few simple rules to agree.

Hidden in Plain View then stashed out of site ~ shame on me!

I was doing some light cleaning and came across a book I had picked up some time back.

Hidden in Plain View by Jacqueline L. Tobin and Raymond G. Dobard, Ph.D. 

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Remembering I had started it, loved it, how could I have forgotten about it and not finished this?  Had I shared this with you? Checking back through my post I didn’t spot anything so here I am with a nod to this wonderful, fascinating book published in 1999.

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I have been to Charleston, had we not thought to stop at the Marketplace? Shame on me.

CharlestonWV

We had admired the gorgeous sweet grass baskets that adorn the streets, the stands along the way that dot the highway, had we not thought to stop and purchase one? Shame on me. (Thankfully I had made time for a few pictures)

sweetgrass-baskets-

ahhh – sweet grasses (not my photo)

sweetgrass-goldenrod

Just last year was my first time using the Flying Geese pattern. Called for in the blocks in  the Capital T quilt I am currently working on, I felt like I was on a drunkards path trying to get it right. I tried special rulers for the geese, 3 different ways to piece the geese together, you tube video’s…finally success. (blue block = successful geese 🙂

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The book traces the flight from slavery to a place where a safe haven awaited through the use of quilts.

 

So with a good pair of reading glasses, time purposefully set aside to devour this fascinating book, I began again.

Fascinating, informative, historical, introspective, heartfelt, educational, fun ~ all words I would use to describe this.

If you have the chance to find this through any of your favorite bookstore vendors, used or new, I know you would love it ~

HQAL: Capital T Quilt Quilt Update

I am excited to share this 3 weeks update with you. Since starting this Capital T Block quilt over a year ago, I hav finally finished piecing all her blocks together.  Here is where I was at our last posting.

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A week of heavy snow and home bound, I really got so much accomplished. Here is where I am now with the top totally put together.

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I have ordered a flat sheet in the maroon and I hope the color I choose will be a good match. I have not added the two side border pieces yet but they are cut out and ready to be attached. On that bottom left corner block, a tad to small, I will add a small extension piece and it will be fine.

Not always thrilled with my color choices as I was working with this, I am happy with how it has turned now.

Thank you for stopping in and checking on my progress. Please take a moment to visit the pages of the others in the group. There’s so beautiful hand work being done.

This Hand Quilt Along is an opportunity for hand quilters and piecers to share and motivate one another. We post every three weeks, to show our progress and encourage one another.  If you have a hand quilting project and would like to join our group contact Kathy at the link below.

 

Kathy, Margaret, Emma, Tracy, Deb, Susan, Nanette, Edith, Sharon, Karrin, Gretchen, Kathi, Bella, Daisy and Connie

SAL Update: Ornamental Pumpkin

January and I am starting strong. At our last posting I had decided on and started the ‘Ornamental Pumpkin’ cross stitch and here is where I was at.

 

 

A snow storm kept us house bound for over a week. It was awesome! I got so much done, in fact I am all done 🙂

 

 

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Not original in the plans, I added the word ‘pumpkin’. With a finished size of 6″ x 7″, its not much bigger than 4 1/2″ x 5 5/8″ if I had used the recommended 28 count. I used 11 count. It actually has one major counting flaw and is not symmetrical. I decided to leave the flaw and cross stitch on. Of course it is so visible to my eye but I am hoping not to yours. I still am unsure if I will simply frame or do something different with it. It was a fun little piece to do!

Now to tackle something a little more complicated, I will move on to “Trick or Treat”

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Please spend some time and take a look at the pages of the other crafters in this SAL. There is some amazing projects in the works. If you would like to join in please contact Avis at the link below and she will walk you though joining – its easy!

 

Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Sue, Constanze, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Heidi, Jackie, Sunny, Hayley, Megan, Deborah, Mary Margaret, Renee, Carmela, Jocelyn, Sharon, Daisy, Anne, Connie, AJ

About the SAL

This SAL (Stitch Along) is slightly different to other SALs in that we don’t all stitch the same design at the same rate. We choose ONE unfinished project, or ONE new one, and show progress of its completion over a series of three weekly updates. There are no deadlines and no set amount to stitch.

 

Christmas Cards in January

You may remember that for Christmas 2019, I  wanted a little something extra special for my uncle. I had found at our local Goodwill store this cross stitch card and thought it was perfect and just what I was looking for.

He Loved it !

Browsing eBay for fun stuff, I came across a set of 4 similar cards being sold.

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I was able to pick up these 4 beauties for $8.76. The cardinal is my favorite but they are all adorable and will make very special gift cards this coming holiday season.

As you know already, it is never to soon to get started ~ shhhh ~ before we know it, December will be here again in all it’s holiday glory 🙂