Wednesday, August 16, 2017

That Was Then, This Is...

Some of you may be of the age to remember films in high school history class with Walter Cronkite reporting a history event as if it was a current event, like the signing of the Declaration of Independence, or the Battle of Concord.  He'd start out with the headlines and then go to the scene.  And at the end, they'd return to Walter and he'd say "And that's the way it was, July 4, 1776."

I'm not sure when they started saying "that was then, this is now".  I'm thinking about the kids going back to school next week locally, and suffering from a little nostalgia.

Preschool graduation
It wasn't horrible of me
to want to take a picture...

The backpack was
nearly as big as
the girl carrying it!

How did he get so big?
 How did we go from then to

drivers' license and hair up in a fancy do?

Miss A is going to Middle School this year.  Miss A is old enough to get her drivers' license learner's permit... Miss K and Master J are no longer cuddly toddlers either, everyone has gotten older and more mature including the G's -- Gramps and Gramma.

Oh well, I guess it's good to know that when it's time for someone to drive me to the nursing home, there will be people to do it!

Sew on...

Monday, August 14, 2017

Summer's Ending, Hello Fall!

I cannot believe I just said that!  Hello fall??  Whaaaattt??

Well, as much as I appreciate spring and summer in Wisconsin, I love fall.  September is the loveliest month... It's when DH and I got married, well EONS ago.  We used to take an almost annual trek up to Door County in September.  After all the flatlanders go back to Illinois but while the shops and restaurants are still open it's quite nice and you can travel around without fear of getting stuck in traffic jams everywhere.

Then in October the leaves on the trees start changing colors and it's sweater weather!!  Yay!  I love sweaters.  Can't have too many sweaters...

To all the sheep I say thank you!!

I think it's why I love knitting,
especially the small stuff!
And why I love packages that arrive
full of this fun stuff!  The bright
green skein is now socks.
Miss E is taking Drivers' Ed classroom training this week.  Next week Thursday she and Miss A go back to school.  DH's birthday is their first day of school, I have a dentist appointment in the morning and a church meeting that evening, so maybe I can convince him to go out to lunch with me to celebrate.  It's a major milestone birthday this year.  Of course he'd like to just ignore it...  My grandma used to say you're not old until you hit 100!  Well, aren't we both on the way to that, I ask?  LOL!

The less I go to the office, the less I want to go to the office.  Working from home has its advantages, and its disadvantages.  No one to commiserate with when the red tape gremlins get to you, no big printer or scanner for those monster jobs, but then again, the commute is very nice and the price of lunch fits my budget.  :-)

Last week at my local quilt guild meeting we had schoolhouse night.  Four tables were set up for four demonstrators, me being one... I showed the ladies how to do our strip pieced blocks.  I was amazed at how many of them had never heard of strip piecing!  There were about 50 in attendance, and I'll bet there were only a handful who admitted to knowing what it was.

I'm certainly no expert, but our church group has been doing these blocks for a very long while, using up the scraps or trying to... it's funny, but no matter how many quilts we make from our scraps, the size of the pile never seems to shrink! 

There are lots of tutorials out there to show you how to do this type of quilting, but I like to call it the no stress method.  Your foundation pieces don't have to be anything special, or cut to a specific size other than larger than what you want your finished blocks to be.  Your seam allowance doesn't have to be a quarter of an inch, or a scant quarter, or even consistent, as long as you sew straight lines.

Sew, press, sew, press, trim.  Repeat as often as you like.  Make them any size you want, put them together in any way you want.  Use all string blocks, use with other blocks.  Sash if you want to, coordinate your colors or don't.   It doesn't matter, the finished product is always pretty.  No worries about the right shade of anything.  Don't be too matchy-matchy, it's supposed to be fun, remember?

You don't have to carefully cut all your strips the same width either.  Some say don't go below 3/4 of an inch, some say the smallest you should use is one inch.  (The strip width less 2 seams = the total exposure on the right side.  How small do you want that to be?  It's your block!!)  

The strip has to be long enough to cover the foundation square with some 'overhang'.   Is your strip too short?  Sew on another piece, and it doesn't have to be the same fabric!  Even and 8 year old can do this, if her feet hit the foot pedal of the sewing machine.

Our church quilters meet this Saturday.  We took July off but now are anxious to get started again.  I miss our fellowship when we're not meeting.  And we have some work to do -- since our new pastor started doing services in June, we've had a spate of baptisms that doesn't show any sign of stopping.  Blessings abound! 

On the opposite end of our mission there doesn't seem to be any slowing down of people with illness or surgery or other kinds of needs either.  We're viewing the option of partnering with a hospice in the area to provide quilts for their patients on a regular basis.  We view the end of life as just as important as the beginning, and blessing to be shared there too.

On a happier note, the State Fair ended yesterday with wonderful weather and a good time had by all.  I didn't get there this year (Mr. Crabby declined to take me and I hate going by myself...) so I didn't see the wonderful stuff in the family living center.  But I understand that several of our LQG members took home some ribbons for quilts and other crafts.  Congratulations, everyone!

Time to get going on some projects in real life!  My giant blue quilt is ready to have its rows sewn together, and I finished the back for Miss A's project, started so long ago she lost interest.  Ha!  She's 10, more interested in Minecraft and Spotify to pay attention to her UFOs I guess.

The pattern is Yellow Brick Road. 
Mine is blue because my blue bin is overflowing.
Because, well, blue...
 Sew on...