Thursday, February 27, 2014

20140227 Building Blocks and Cleaning Cupboards/Closet

Quilting Progress
I did manage to get up to date again with the Building Blocks project with Leah Day.  The blocks require marking, which so far is the most difficult part of the process.

Building Blocks - 2.2
Block 2.2 was my first time doing circles. Except for two places they went very well. Leah did without marking, but I thought I'd better mark just to be sure to get circles!

Block 2.3 has some stitching that can't be seen really in my example as my thread is so close to the color in the material. She calls it a Wiggly Pasta design.  It was pretty fun to do.

Watching her video of how she did the design in the 9-patch helped with the order of the stitching.  The outside of the block I marked, but didn't really follow with the thread as I had the block oriented so I only had the border to hold on to.  I should have turned it so the border was at the front of piece as it goes thru the machine.  The marking will disappear once it's washed, I think it will look okay in the final piece.
Building Blocks - 2.3

Next Monday we will sew the next three or four blocks in the Building Blocks project, then each week in March will be guided thru the free motion quilting.

I'm hoping in March to be finished with taxes so I can start my going thru boxes in ernest so I can find the quilting projects I was working on when we left for Boston.  I know I could start yet another new project, but it will be more satisfying to finish some quilts first!

Click to see my previous Building Blocks posts. 

I'm linking up to A Quilting Reader's Garden and to the 350 Blocks Project (so far I just have 6 blocks for February but there are a few more days to sew!)

Personal Status
I'm starting to feel better, but not completely tip top yet. This cold/sore throat and now pain in gums keep popping up and going away.  On several days I have forgotten to brush my teeth in the morning so I do in the afternoon and then after flossing it gets irritated, so I need to be sure to only floss in front of the mirror to double check this.

It sprinkled this morning so would have been a perfect day I think to weed as the ground would be soft and the weeds would come up easily but then I could feel that throat and was afraid I'd make it worst with outside work.

Mrs Lincoln's Dressmaker.  I'm actually listening to the book.  Sometimes they say things related to dates, if I was reading I could flip back to verify if what I was thinking was correct.  It's an interesting concept for a story, but full of fake stuff so I'm not sure about it.

House Cleaning
So instead I continued on my cleaning cupboard/closet project.  Earlier I cleaned and reorganized where I have food in the kitchen, and the containers that hold my whisks and grabber devices.

Today I emptied the hard to organize closet under the stairs.  Should have taken a photo of the resulting piles!  I had things all over the den and counter - what a mess.  I knew the way I had put the shelves in before didn't work so thought how to rearrange things.  I think the new way will work.

The way I have it now the shelves are at the front right of the closet and even though they stick out a little in the doorway, since I do not plan to put anything in front of the shelves it will be easy to get to the paper plates, cups, napkins, and plastic silverware that I stacked in the shelves.  The space behind this is just for storage of table clothes, napkins, lace - mainly from my mom that I still need to go thru and decide about.  But the way things are arranged I have space to put more if I find more in my travels through other closets and spaces so that will be nice. I have to go thru everything and do a preliminary toss and organize to remind myself what we have - so then I can go thru and really cull the extras and unneeded items.

A Quilting Reader's Garden Give Away

Angie at A Quilter's Reader's Garden is having five celebratory give aways, to celebrate her five years of blogging!  The opportunity to submit your name will close midnight March 6th.  She has a nice assortment of precut fabrics, thread, patterns and a Liberated Quilting book!

Monday, February 24, 2014

02242014 Monday Winters CA

Today was a wonderful outing with my friend to Winter California.

It's an old mining town - with a wonderful little quilt shop Cloth Carousel Quilt Shop.  (Click on photos to see detail.)

Winters CA Brick Work

Winters CA - Cloth Carousel Quilt Shop

Template Holders. Several sizes available.  Had Cloth Carousel tags - seemed to be from $18 to $30.  Great idea! Please call them to arrange delivery.

Kaufman - Lady Bug fabric (the store has lots of fun insect fabric!)

My friend and I had lunch at the wonderful diner, Putah Creek Cafe,  that was next door. We each had a tri tip dip sandwich and then split a piece of the best chocolate cake ever.  Then we drove me to the airport and I returned to San Diego...

Inside diner

Oil cloth table covering

BEST chocolate cake EVER!

Preserved walkway

Returning Home to San Diego!
Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake Recipes
(Waitress said they used old fashioned recipe that included cocoa powder)

Was a wonderful day (that started with freshly made waffles with bananas and pecans).

The end of week long visit to Northern California.  We started in Larkspur to visit friends visiting from Boston.  Has so much fun visiting, chatting, eating and viewing the sites.  We made plans to visit them this summer for a long visit!

Then they went back east and DH and I went to Sacramento area to visit my friend.  He went home after lunch but I stayed on for a long weekend.  Unfortunately most of that time I had a sore throat or cold - but there were spots of time for visiting, walking, eating, chatting, etc. It was great to see my friend again - it's been a long time.

New "life" projects to work on or plan > for consideration after the year-end books are closed and presented to the bookkeeper and our son's birthday and I get rid of this cold!

Quilt Related Expenses
2 yards Kaufman Lady Bug Fabric - $11.20 each yard = $22.40 total

Saturday, February 22, 2014

I'm a Winner: Autographed Quilty Fun book by Lori Holt from

Dear June,

You’ve won Lori Holt’s autographed book!  Congratulations!

If you could please reply to this email with your snail mail address, I will get it out to you right away  =)

Best regards,

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

02112014: Tuesday Walking and Healthy

Today started by waking feeling rested and healthy. I had slept on the sofa as DH has a cold again, what a difference a good night of sleep makes!

We called a cousin in Boston before coffee, it was so nice to touch bases with her again.  Hopefully 2014 will be good for that!  I made oatmeal for my breakfast - with fresh strawberries! Yum!

DH left for campus, I was going to walk, but then remembered a check that I needed to deposit for my mom.  There is (it turns out) a limitation on how much a check can be to be deposited by taking a photo.  So after a few emails left for campus myself.

DH had time for lunch, we went to Daphnes' in the commons.  Was nice to chat n the middle of the day!  He reminded me it was election day for the mayor of San Diego so when I left I had a place to go.  New streets to walk on, new houses to walk by.  It was very nice.  After voting I walked on to the bank.  I made my first deposit with out an envelope - there were two gentlemen who were nice enough to let me look on while they did it first as my first try was not correct.  Picked up some whole milk (for ricotta) and walked home.

I figured out how to download a library audio book so did that.  Heated up some Trader Joe's chicken, rice and peas for dinner.  Tomorrow I'll go to the library to get at least one book - will be fun to get back into reading new things!

Idea: Redneck Light Box

Here is a terrific idea for a light box.

To remove the sewing machine from table - put light below that and piece of plastic over the hole.

Janet described more here:

My sewing machine table has a solid bottom so her system would not work for me, but I looked around and found a plastic frame that I had gotten like 20-years ago and never used that would fit on top of the the Elfa white wire shelves.  I found a clip-on lamp not being used in DS's bedroom. It all came together quite easily actually.

I did find that I needed to double trace Leah's designs that were for the colored fabric to see the design - but that hasn't been has yucky to do as I thought it might be (at least so far).
Shows the top with the grey areas of the design traced with
a thicker felt pen, taped down ready to tape the fabric on the top.
I watched a video with directions for making a much more
fancy but complicated light box
that suggested putting tissue paper to diffuse the light
(I guess) so I taped that underneath the plastic frame.
I may decide to take that off later.

Shows the lamp clipped on the side, the space where
drawers were, and the side of the plastic frame.

First four block for Leah Day's Building Blocks Quilt Along
So the Building Blocks quilt is coming along nicely now.  This marking business took a lot of planning.  This system would not help people using black or dark fabric, as I can barely see thru the light lilac fabric that I'm using - but that is all I needed for now.

I'm using a regular mechanical pencil to do the marking.  I tested by making marked on uncut fabric and then washing it to be sure the pencil would wash out.

This is a new experience marking the quilt designs!  I'm even following Leah's suggestions and finger pressing then pressing the seams open.  I'm glad I got white batting to hide the doubled white pieces of fabric.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

02092014 Sunday Up to date with Building Blocks, Making Plans for SFO, and Dinner for M

Today was a pretty filled day.

It was great that DH was feeling well.  We went to next door house that had open house garage as the house is being sold.  The lady who lived there passed away, she and her husband were not very friendly with us, so although it is sad they are gone, perhaps the new owners will be more open to saying hello and sharing  our days.

DH got a microwave at the sale.  It was run by a firm, but already she had contacted people to come and take things away.

When we got back DH finished making yogurt and then I made ricotta cheese for the first time.  We ate on English muffin with a little bit of honey.  It was nice!  So easy to make.  I'll never buy it again.
I only made a little as I only had NF milk and I wasn't sure if that would turn out okay, but it did.  The full recipe is:
Ricotta Cheese
8 c milk
2 c buttermilk
put in sauce pan and heat.  Around 175 the curds really separate so wait a bit more then remove from the heat.
Put cheese cloth on top of a strainer on top of a bowl and carefully pour the contents of the pan and let the liquid dip off.  Once that is done put the remains in a serving bowl.  Done!
(I did this first batch with 1 c milk and 1/4 c buttermilk so only got enough to very thickly cover an English muffin half.)

I finished marking the Building Blocks pattern for Block 1.2 and 1.3, then sewed the 1.3 block - it seemed easier to me.  and it was a lot easier so that was a good choice.  My thread color however doesn't show the stitches very well, so that was a bad choice.  Leah had wanted us to use plain fabric or thread that would show up, I'm bummed that this grey does not show up the way I expected it would.  Oh well.  I can (at least) see the stitching clearly on the white fabric!

Our friends from Boston rang and we decided what hotel to stay at in San Francisco.  I rang my friend in Sacramento and set it up that I would see and stay with her a few days after DH returns home.  DH will come to see where she lives and we'll go out for dinner or lunch before he leaves.  We still have to figure out how we are getting from the coast to Rockland/Sacramento but that will be doable no doubt.

Then it was time to greet DS and his friend - who was accepted to the Master's degree program in chemical engineering.  We went to Pomegranates Restaurant -  They have wonderful meat dishes, but also a nice selection of vegetarian ones.  We started with the salad sampler.  Yum.  Potato salad with cucumbers and peas, beat salad with walnuts, carrot salad with walnuts, eggplant salad and the final was the bean and tomato and cheese salad.  All yum!  I had borcht for dinner and we all shared a cheese boat - very nice.  Finished off with some unusual honey cake and ice cream with a strong spicy sauce that hit all parts of the tongue.  Then they came over and we played a map game.

When they left I did the quilting on the second design.  A nice looking but rather boring grid design.  At the end I had to add one more line so I went out to the margin and then came back in.  I hope that will look okay when it's put together.  My bobbin broke in a white section and I forgot I had white fabric when I hid the thread so it will show forever.  I had tied a knot before hiding the thread and discovered I could not retrieve the thread and redo it.  Oh well.

So now I'm up to date for the Building Blocks project - I think I will be able now to sew on other projects too since this project doesn't really take up that much time to finish up.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

02052014 Wednesday First Time Walking to Campus

Today was the first time I walked to campus.  It took only 35 minutes.  Was loud and not particularly pleasant, but wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.

Met B at his office - then we caught up with DS and walked to the new Dining Room for lunch.  You pay ahead of time then have your choice of different dishes.  It was nice.  But more than the food was nice to chat with B and DS.

I walked back and went to Windmill Farms - was glad DS met me there as I got ice cream.  But the ice cream wasn't very good and after a few bites I tossed by plate out.

It was good to get out and walking, I'm having a hard time pulling myself out of this funk.  Maybe tomorrow I'll be able to get some things done...

02042014 Tuesday Visit by DS

DS came by for lunch.  I hadn't expected him.  Heated up some meatloaf and made a salad for him so it was nice.  Just a little talking.

I traced over some FMQing designs to see if that would work for the tracing table.  I think it will, but didn't trace as I didn't feel like sewing really.

In a funk.

Monday, February 3, 2014

02032014 Monday Wasted

Didn't feel great - didn't do much of anything.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

02022014 Sunday Light Box

I put together the pieces for the light box - might work out okay.  Hard to understand how expensive they are to buy.

But this one will work okay for white fabric.  To make it so I could see thru the blue fabric I had to trace with a thick felt pen.  I'm disappointed how much extra work the tracing is - and that the design is so blah.  But I'll learn something so that is good.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

02012014 Saturday Animal Shelter Beds

Started by reading an email from the past president of the org. A few years ago she and I had talked about doing some charity work together.  She had said she'd send info, well last night she did!  Years after we chatted about it.  It was funny.  I hope she wasn't just going thru old emails!  Nice of her to do, but too late for me now.  I need a break from that org.  She and I never did any non-org things together so didn't really become friends to hang out and do things together, so that ship has sailed for now. Good I wasn't holding my breath waiting for the information!  Maybe later would be interested in helping out again.

For charity and things to do, I had discovered things while in Boston, and now that I'm done with the org will have time to pursue them here in San Diego. There is also a Humanist group here that might have volunteer opportunities organized - but if not I can do myself!

I did some volunteering myself today. I went to North County Animal Shelter again and helped with making the little dog beds.  We made about 80 beds!  Pretty nice project and good group of people too.  I took some photos but until then come in my inbox here are the directions:

Little Round Dog or Cat Beds
Directions from
  1. Sew two 18" circles with wrong sides together, leave an 8" opening for stuffing later.
  2. Sew a 10"x 56" long piece together at short ends, right sides together.
  3. Fold in half lengthwise wrong sides together. (Forms a round "tube")
  4. Stitch closed along folded edges, leaving an 8" opening for stuffing later.
  5. Pin long side piece with the soft bottom piece pet will lay on ON TOP. Pin in 4 opposite sides then work your way around, if any extra fabric, fold the excess over to form a pleatNow sew round pieces to long piece, lining up both 8" openings together.
  6. The finished seam is on top of bed tucked under the side bolster. Using a serger makes this a clean seam, no fraying & can be used on outside of bed or tucked inside on top.
  7. Stuff side bolster and bottom of bed loosely with polyfil. Don't overstuff, cats like sides that are floppy!
  8. Pin both 8" openings closed and zigzag stitch together.
  9. Finished seam should be inside top of bed under side of bolster.
  10. Trim any excess seam that's showing to discourage "nibbling".
Then I met He for early dinner and to watch The Butler - it was a pretty good movie, although difficult to understand the lead character sometimes.  Guess I needed subtitles.

DS texted his little dog was still not eating, but was drinking and keeping that down.  So tomorrow he may bring the dog over and we will cook different meat to entice her to eat some. Poor little baby.

Take the Darwin Challenge

In a little less than a month it will be Charles Darwin’s 205th Birthday. This Scavenger Hunt to honor not only Darwin’s contributions to humanity, science and rational thought, but the continued pursuit of discovery for people all over the globe. With the Darwin Challenge, families are inpsired to learn alongside each other as well as experience the Sciences for the mere “Fun of It!”

You need not complete the Darwin Challenge in order. You may do more than one a day or see how many you can do on one day. You might wait and start the challenge on his actual birthday.

01312014 Friday A LOT of Driving Around

Had sort of long talk with DH before heading out for the day.  Every once in a while we have these talks - nothing really happens after wards - just venting I guess.

I first drove up the 15 and ended up having soup and half sandwich at Panera in Mira Mesa.  It was busier than I have even seen before!  DS said his little dog wasn't eating so he was thinking he would not be going on the Las Vegas trip.  He and I were going to have dinner and movie later so we exchanged some text messages too.

Then I drove on to the animal shelter to see about volunteering.  There were only two ladies working when I got there - they had a huge room to work in.  I ended up helping for about 90 minutes. They have several different projects or patterns.  Today they were getting pieces ready for stuffing tomorrow.  There are two main pieces to the little animal beds.  The rim and then the circle.  They sew the rim together, and then fold it in half.  The circle they sew the fleece and a piece of fabric together with an opening to put the batting in.  I'm not sure why they don't just sew the batting in at the same time - but tomorrow they will stuff the batting in and then will sew that down with either an X or a circle - just something to tack it down.  I'm not sure if they stuff the rim and then sew on or if they sew it on and then stuff it.  Maybe I will go again tomorrow to see.

After that I went to 99 cent store for some soap, then to mall by He to walk around and get some meat for top of salad.  But she called and said work was keeping her late so we cancelled for tonight.  I brought food home for DH, we ate I went to sleep.  Daphne's lemon and chicken soup, hummus and pita, chicken, salad, vegetables, baklava & churros from Rubios.  Now I'm awake so my timing is all off. Not a good day as far as being healthy!

I maybe getting the cold again - I have a sore throat.

So not sure about tomorrow or the weekend.  Hope to get some sewing done.  Would be nice to see how the animal bed project goes - it's such a long drive to that place I doubt I will do every month after all.  I don't know understand how everything I want to work on is so far away!!!  He would like me to come over for movie and lunch or dinner - I'm not sure what I will end up doing.