Tuesday, December 6, 2016


Nothing particularly exciting to report since the other day, though I did have the privilege of watching a fox trot along the road then stroll up our driveway and disappear through the neighbor's yard.  I know they are around, we just don't see them very often and this was my first photo op!

This is the progress on my La Passacaglia quilt.  Not much.  It's definitely one of those "in slow progress" projects.  A bit of a mishmash so far.  It's going to be interesting to see it come together.....and how many rosettes I decide to make over.  :-)

I love the honeycomb fabric, but it doesn't look like much until you get up close.  There is quite a fabric selection learning curve with this design so I'm taking an "anything goes" attitude.....until the OCD portion of my brain kicks in.  ;-)

I finished step 1 of the En Provence mystery quilt.  Step 2 is pretty much done as well.  Just need to finish ironing the blocks.

Today The Viking and I stayed at home with upset stomachs.  We both felt better as the day progressed, thank goodness for that.  He was thrilled when I gave him my worn out Machingers quilting gloves, or "glubs" as he says.

I also decided to get busy and quilt his little fabric collage.  He chose all the fabrics, from the store and my scrap bin.  I took him to JoAnn's to pick out four fat quarters.  No hesitation.  He went right for the lavender background, an orange print to cut up, and picked a yellow and green for the back and binding.  I had several colors of tulle to choose from for laying over the top and he was adamant about using the lavender.  He chose a bright lime green thread out of the drawer and I went to work.

He was quite pleased with his "quilt," though not nearly as excited as he was about the old "quilting glubs" and an odd piece of batting ("It's so soft, Nini!") that was put to use as a sheet ("It's not a blanket because it is white, Nini!") for his dinosaur.  :-D

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Life happens

Life happened during November.  It's been busy here.  Yes, that's a photo of Maisy.  Crazy Maisy.  Yes she is caked with paint.  Not entirely her fault however.

We had the house painted!  Finally.  This is the last look at the blue, yellow and red.  In a closer photo you would be able to see the painters had been prepping and the house has dabs of caulk everywhere. How did Maisy get into the paint?  Well.  One of the painters poured out the remainder of the paint from a previous job in a corner of our backyard.  Environemtally hazardous and illegal if nothing else.  First notice I had was Maisy coming to the back door caked with paint after she had a fabulous time rolling in it.  I was LIVID as you can imagine.  I dragged her upstairs to the bath before the paint could completely dry.  She, of course, was confused and upset and twisted her collar out of my hands, which led to paint on the carpet and paint all over my new clothes.  I had to throw out her collar too.

The contractor was mortified and rushed over to make things right.  So if one disregards the dog-and-paint incident, the painters did a really nice job and the house is looking pretty darned good.  The weather has been really nice too.  Look at that sky!

White with a yellow door.  New 6" gutters with covers to keep the leaves and pine needles out.  Yay!  Now we just need to save up for new windows.  There's always something to do, isn't there.

In the midst of the painting chaos came Thanksgiving.  Just a few of us this year.  Windows were jammed open from the new paint and I improvised and stuffed them with towels, but no one was looking at that, we were all focused on the table.  

And it was also my turkey baby's birthday.  :-)

I made a matching purse and wallet for her.  She'd worn out the last set which is a nice compliment to the designers.

I also broke down and got my hair cut.  Long was fun for a while, but short is best.  The Viking asked me if I had cut my hair.  I explained I went out to get it cut and asked if he liked it.  He didn't even have to think about it.  "No," he says.  "You look like a tall toothbrush."  Well thank you very much little boy.  He did make up for it a couple of days later by announcing I looked pretty in my new pink sweater.  :-)

We were stuck inside a lot with the anxious dogs while the painters were busy outside.  I let the boy choose a couple of fat quarters and some fabrics from my stash.  I helped him cut the fabric up and stick it to a background.  Now I have to get it quilted.  In the photo he's gotten bored with the fabric and moved on to cutting up junk mail.  I have to keep "his" scissors carefully hidden!

We were also limited to walks around the pond.  So I dug the garden wagon out from under the porch and he had a wonderful time pulling it on the new road.

And I had to get ready for my quilting bee's holiday lunch.  I saw this ornament pattern and just had to make them for everyone.  The one on the top left is my practice one.  They are a bit fiddly, but really not hard, and oh so cute!

I made this cute vintage style apron for the gift exchange.  I added matching pot holders and a cute red spatula that said on it, "Watch me Whip!"  Too bad I forgot to take a photo.  I need to make one of these for myself!

I've been doing a Round Robin with another group.  We call ourselves the Quilting Babes, courtesy of one of our husbands.  :-)  All of us receive our quilt tops back over the past couple of weeks.  They are all fabulous!

This is mine.  I started with the Carolina Lily block.  Kathie cleverly hand dyed the same white on white polkadot I used as my background to make the green polkadot border.  Anne added the fabulous fans and snowballs, and Dawn finished with the double flange border and more Carolina Lilies.  I'm thrilled with it.

I made the outer border on Kathie's quilt top.  She loves to hand dye fabric so I thought lots of color was the way to go.  I included some of the fabrics I dyed at a class she taught this summer.

Dawn's quilt top is so different.  I added the second border to this one, the Carolina Lilies.

I did the ribbon border on Anne's.  It's so interesting how different each quilt top is.  It's also a great way to stretch the creative muscles.  I haven't had this much creative fun in a long time.

So despite the fact I've got more projects than I care to mention waiting in the corners of The Sandbox, I decided to jump in and do Bonnie Hunter's latest mystery quilt.  I haven't done one for several years and when I saw the color choices for En Provence I just couldn't resist.

So step one is almost finished.  221 neutral four-patches.  Need to finish ironing them all so I can start step two!

I must be out of my mind.  ;-)

Saturday, November 5, 2016


I entered my only two actual quilt finishes this year in the North Carolina State Fair and omigosh I won ribbons!  Totally unexpected.  I entered mostly because it felt odd not to.  :-)  My Random Roses table runner was started in Karen Eckmeier's workshop at the North Carolina Quilt Symposium this year.  Karen is absolutely delightful and runs a fabulous class.  I'm very pleased with it and it looks so nice on my dining room table.

Omigosh! I got a third place ribbon for my small Chain Reaction quilt.  The designer, Cathy Kirk, The Quilting Cowgirl, is in my bee and gave us all a "class" in putting the chains together at our retreat back in April.  I really liked the quilt pictured on the pattern cover and was thrilled to have all the scraps on hand to make it.  Silly me.  I don't have a photo of it bound.  :-)

Omigosh a new sewing machine!  I traded in the trusty Juki TL98Q for the newest iteration.   A Juki TL-2200QVP Mini.  I couldn't be more pleased, it's even better than the old one.  I wasn't sure that was possible.

First job was to finish up these gifts for friends.

Stardust and MD.  Her dad captioned this photo, "Stadium Seating."  Too cute!

The Tramp and I voted early.  The Viking came along and stood in line with us.  He earned a badge from a local police officer and a future voter sticker.  We are so worried about the outcome of this election.  Definitely not an omigosh.  :-(

Omigosh it's a jack 'o lantern sandwich!

The boy was a minion for "Happy Halloween.".

It took a couple of days to get all of the yellow off of his face.  :-)

We went to a local park to trick or treat on the very warm Halloween afternoon.  My I look serious.  I think by this time I was hot and my feet hurt!

We also went out to trick or treat in the evening which he enjoyed very much, but the real highlight of the day was the "plumber duck" given out by a local plumbing company at the park.  Omigosh!

Five and Batman were Star Wars characters once again.

And Stardust looked like a lady on a mission as Judy Hopps from Zootopia.

Omigosh!!  We cleaned out the garage last weekend.  The weather has been so warm and pleasant there wasn't any excuse not to.

And when you are finished all that hard work you just can't ignore the call of the brownie mix.  :-)

About once a week I take The Viking to have lunch with Nanny and Papa.  I love this photo of an intense moment in their conversation.

Omigosh.  Poor Dad.  I caught him with his mouth full.

The Viking was delighted that he'd created the Hurricanes logo while dipping his carrots in his puddle of ketchup.

Omigosh!  It's November for goodness sakes!  The rhododendrum bloomed at least three times last winter and seems to be just as confused this year.

While we did yard work today, the dogs enjoyed the sunshine.  Here we have Piglet, happiness filled.

And finally, the real Omigosh.  I've brought the project back out of it's bin and am determined to get on with it.  I have 444 of these tiny four patches to put together (omigosh!).

Which are for these blocks.  Yep.  444 of them.  I must be insane.  But we knew that already.  :-)

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Being thankful

We are very very fortunate.  Hurricane Matthew is one to remember, but not nearly so memorable for us as for those who are still suffering from major losses.  Lives, homes, crops, businesses, power, access to the outside world, clean water (or any water) are just some of the losses in North Carolina alone.  Florida, Georgia and South Carolina have lost much too.  And the Caribbean!  :-(  The major rivers in North Carolina have not yet crested and are way above flood stage already.  Dams are compromised and collective breaths are being held.  Not a good situation.....which is a masterful understatement.  

Though not even near hurricane force, the winds compounded by the rain made sure a large number of us were without power for hours or days.  Trees came down everywhere and flooding damaged power facilities.  Many don't have power yet.  


While keeping a wary eye on the rain and wind, I managed to get one and a half placemats quilted before the power went out Saturday afternoon.

The dogs were not happy with being sent out into the backyard in the driving rain to do their "business" so The Tramp took the uncooperative ones out on the leash each time he went out to check on the level of the pond.  I took photos from the safety of the front doorway and here it is starting to cover the road.

Now the road is completely covered at this end of the pond.  The house built below the water level, out of sight to the right, is the one that suffers the most.  A house should never have been built there.  The water flows under the house and on both sides of it down to the creek behind.  There is a "dip" in the road to guide the water down a swale, but volumes of water such as this can't be contained.

If you click on the photo to make it larger I'm sure you'll see the heron.  It's fishing on the road!

The day was very dark, and we sat in the semi-darkness with our phones to check the news and outage maps, and flashlights for reading, and watched the craziness out the front window.

A branch came down and porch chairs were blown around a bit.  I didn't bring anything inside as the forecast kept pushing Matthew further away from us.  I probably should have anyway.


Dogs were bored.

And evening meant eating and reading by candlelight and flashlight.

Sunday proved to be breezy and gorgeous and the first thing we did was rush out to buy another cooler and some bags of ice.

Once we had done all the chores we could, it was back to relaxing in front of the view.  :-)

Food was safe in bins.

And the little camp stove was ready for cooking and making tea and coffee.

After dinner I dug out the Scrabble for a quick game before the light faded.

Wasn't as quick a game as we thought!  lol

The Viking's family didn't have power either, and since they are on a well also no water!  Mom and Dad had been without power just on Sunday.  So Monday morning we gathered up all of the meat in our freezer and took it over to their apartment in the retirement community to stash it in their empty freezer.  We took hot showers (lovely!).  The Tramp was able to have some lunch and sit with his laptop and connect with his office and the outside world while the rest of us ate in the (non-gluten-free) cafe.  The Viking's hair was still damp.  :-)

I took The Vking to the park to run off some energy and there were many more people than we had ever encountered there before.  I think cabin fever had set in, as well as lack of power for some and the schools being closed.  I'll bet all the parks were just as busy.  (The Viking is to the left of center.)

Monday evening.....just after The Tramp returned home with another load of ice.....the power clicked on!  Yay!  So today The Viking and I went back to retrieve our food.

And spent the rest of the lovely autumn afternoon on wheels.  He is finally big enough to ride this bike.  With the smooth new road and nice cool weather there is no reason not to!

It was all about the brakes at first.  :-)  "I'm just practice-ting," he declared.  "I have to train myself."  He is too funny.


In this photo you can see the debris line across the road from the flooding.  The water was all the way around to the house opposite ours.  The channel for the overflow is just past that mailbox post.  My new worry is the bank of the pond continuing to wear away and our very expensive new road being undermined.  I guess that's a discussion for the next HOA meeing.

Hopefully tomorrow I can get back to sewing!!