Sunday, February 28, 2021

Weekly Round Up 8: A Little Cutting and Sewing - and a Plan


Just the littlest of cutting and sewing...

I think I cut the squares for my 3-D bow tie quilt this week.  Looking pretty good. Now I have to get these sewn so it's easier to decide what color fabric to use for the outer row and columns to even the sides up and whether I need to extend the quit more. 

And I sewed together the test block for the block swap:
Looks pretty good but it is not 9.5 inch square so I need to find a different pattern. One where I can have lots of plain fabric near the sides so I can just use my ruler to trim the block so it's 9.5 inch square. The sewing in this test block is not acceptable for a block swap...  : (

I was just reading where she describes what seems to be easy way to fix this problem. At least in the block she was making.

I will have to wait until the tax papers are sent to the bookkeeper before I can think any more about what quilt block to make for the swap.

I really thought that test wreath block was going to turn out perfectly as I made templates to help me with the cutting.  I thought after making the test block,  I could start to cut the fabric out and just start sewing the blocks whenever I needed a break.

I ordered a 1/4 inch foot for the machine and the piece that makes it so the foot will connect to the machine.  The connector thing doesn't fit so I will be returning that - and have to look for one that will fit.  
I am using an old machine that Audrey got for me while I was in MA in 2013.  It is great.  My other machine is even older (A Kenmore that I'm pretty sure my Mom used in 1967 and perhaps earlier.)

These are the presser feet I ordered and the connecter deal that doesn't fit.

But wait, June, you said had a plan?  A plan for what? 

Well, I decided to cancel all my activities for next week (I can't cancel our son's birthday, getting the second covid vaccine, or the local zoom cooking class I signed up for - no refunds possible and the food is being delivered the morning of the class) but I can concentrate on getting the 2020 taxes in order and hopefully to also organize some other papers that have been piling up too, by not doing walking/chatting or exercising or taking on any new appointments or activities.

It was such a relief actually when I made the decision to take the week off.

I made two kinds of bean soup that will last way into the week - so lunch is set. I will make rice to serve with it and change it up a bit by adding vegetables or meat as I serve it.  I think tomorrow I will freeze some so it is fresh later in the week. 

DH and DS do not usually have breakfast but we have blueberries, oatmeal, and cold cereals they can have if they want.

I planned the dinners and ordered the groceries to be delivered on Sunday:
Pasta, Sauce, Sausage, Squash, Salad?
Salmon Cakes, Remoulade, Asparagus, Salad?
Costco Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Canned String Beans, Salad
Stir Fry with Tofu Cutlets, cabbage, squash, string beans, rice, salad?
Chicken Pot Pie, Salad, Alex Cake
Costco Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Brussel Sprouts, Salad
FriDinner by Zoom

Because I had a plan for the meals I felt I could weed and trim bushes and trees yesterday and the day before. Yard looks a lot better already.

Tomorrow (Sunday before the week of papers):

I may work on organizing the kitchen a bit more. Perhaps doing another food inventory and applying the new stickers I got to put on things so I can easily track things with easier to see expiration dates and/or purchase dates - and then pull the label off and put the date used and then save the stickers until I can record the information in my chart. 

If I can find the birthday wish block from Carolina Moore I will try to make that too. (except she told me it is a traditional rather than paper piecing as I had thought - so it may be too much time for tomorrow completion). 

Or I may just walk and walk to get more February miles in for my 1000 mile challenge

DS said he would shampoo the downstairs carpets (around the 1st), and it could be DH washes the kitchen floor.  But if either of them decided to walk with me instead that would be even better.


Last week, my husband and I drove to Pt Loma to get some wine and shrimp and also got lunches to go - what a treat! It's only the second time, not including medical offices, I have been inside a business since the shut in began. The other time was the post office to get some postcards.

My Milkstreet class on Fearless Shrimp was fabulous! I learned two different ways to make shrimp. My computer froze on me so I got to watch and listen on my phone, so I didn't cook along as planned. I made the dishes the next day and then the next day - what a treat! I really liked them, delicious. Shrimp in Chipotle Sauce and Thai Grapefruit Salad with Shrimp. I will write more in my Dodgeeats blog.

In The Studio with Lauren was very good. She showed different ways to finish up a quilt and how to make a sleeve for it. Too bad I will have to miss the last session of the series, but a new series will start on March 18th. Already know we will be doing log cabins. Such a fun block to do in a wonky or liberated fashion...

The zoom EBHQ lecture was very nice: Jenny Lyon. I'm looking forward to next month's speaker:
Rachel Derstine and to working on the new EBHQ Lone Robin!  This time I will make it smaller so I can finish, in time to be part of show and tell at the end.

I chatted with or emailed friends I hadn't connected with in a while.


I was mask shamed last week during one of my walks.  What a shock!  I tried to be nice while standing my ground, but I as I replay the encounter I know I sounded snippy instead.   

Went something like this:
Hey lady, you don't have to wear your mask.  
But I am walking and talking on the phone, it's easier to keep on than to take it on and off.  You never know when a jogger is going to come by. You are staying in one place on your yard so it's okay to not wear a mask.  
You don't have to wear it cuz you are outside. 
I know I'm outside. I can see I'm outside.  Thank you.  (probably I said this sarcastically)
Well, I wasn't sure you knew you were outside.  
Well, I do. [I walk away.]
Over my shoulder I sort of loudly/rudely said: I'm not addled.  
I walk away, thinking to myself. I wish I were clever and that I need to avoid that block for now on... And I'm embarrassed at myself and that my friend was listening on the phone while this was going on.  Then I try to continue conversation with friend.

I will try to work on better ways to respond for next time, as I imagine there will be a next time, and I feel badly at the way I responded.  

Has that happened to you?  Do you have a response in your back pocket to share?



Monday, February 22, 2021

Weekly Round Up 7: A Little Sewing and then other stuff


I cut more blue squares for the 3-D Bow Tie Quilt and I partially cut out pieces needed for a test Christmas Swap Block.  That's it.

I was late, but I did attend the first of six free presentation by Diane Harris - Stash Bandit on:

Scrap Quilt Secrets: Fabric Savvy

The workshop is very nice so far.  You are all invited to sign up and attend.  Here is the link:  Http://  This first one was around 30-40 minutes I think.  I thought I was just a little late - but perhaps I had the incorrect time in my calendar.

She is also giving a binding class online - it is $40.
Binding is one of the things I really need to master - so I think I will attend one of these sessions.

Carolyn from My Carolina Home had a quick baby quilt to make.

She took fabrics and cut 3.5 inch strips out of them (alternating the colors - she cut 8 strips).  Sewed them together and made a tube.  Cut 12 - 3.5 inch strips and picked out the seam at different fabrics and then sewed to make a little quilt that was 24 x 36 inches.  It was Bonnie's Hunter round the world method I think.  She added borders so it probably ended up being closer to 30 x 42.  She used three fabric.  One was a solid pink the other two had white and pink.  Very sweet looking quilt.  Click on the link above to see!

Other Non-Sewing things:

My left eye was bothering me over last weekend until Tuesday. I did walk with P on Monday, but cancelled my exercise as I just was not feeling well. I called my eye doctor and left a message. When they called back the eye was better - I continued putting warm compress on and Refresh eye drops a few times a day though for a few days.

Milkstreet Class - Turkish Red Lentil Soup with Aleppo Pepper Oil - very nicely done. I had the ingredients so I cooked along, and that makes it very nice. I decided to go ahead and pay for a year's subscription and will try to make at least one new dish a week with them!  Next week: Shrimp!

I made an apple pie using the date filled cookie crust recipe - Next time will only add the apples.  I will strain out the liquid as it made the crust a little soggy.  Still delicious and so easy to make!

I finally went thru everything in the bathroom and put things aside to toss - or maybe will post on freecycle. Not sure.

I did the minimum of this possible. Need to ramp this up so the taxes can be passed off to the bookkeeper to finish and submit!

Chatted with P, Ellie, LM Kathleen, and BV. Maybe a text with Pam.

Can not believe how quickly this week went.  Not a lot to show for it.  
Carolyn from My Carolina Home has a different definition of what a week with not a lot of show for it ends up being....

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Weekly Round Up 6: A Little Sewing and then other stuff


I sewed a few more 3-d bow tie blocks and squared them up.  I cut some blue blocks to put between the pieced blocks.

The blue fabric has a design so since I will have set in triangles, I will vary the orientation of the fabric rather than keeping the center blocks so they are oriented in the same direction.

I am thinking of adding an additional blue block at the ends of all the rows then adding a zig zag of yellow before ending with the blue set in triangles. Then the quilt will be wide enough to wrap around the person using it. Actually since my DH noticed the quilt on the design wall and said it was nice looking, I am now planning on giving it to him.

I'm not exactly sure how the corners will end up, But decided the yellow zig zag after blue solid squares (right side of diagram) would be better than having the blue zig sag (left side of diagram).

Glad the zoom quilting class is Thursday - sure would be nice if I had the top together and could start the hand quilting then.  The teacher uses a frame to hold the quilt on her lap while she sews.  I'll have to get one....

My Once a Month Saturday group leader sent out an email lamenting how she didn't think she'd be allowed to have us meet this month - but maybe next month.  She asked us to write to let her know if we thought we'd be coming in March.  I wrote I wouldn't feel comfortable so soon.  She wrote back that she understood but then asked how I was doing on the swap blocks.  I just said making Slow Progress.  So I guess I need to really get started making those blocks now!  : )  I need to get a new 1/4 inch presser foot since my sewing is so off in the 3-d bow tie blocks.  For the swap I know I have to be exact....


So the non-sewing stuff.

I mostly went thru things in the bathroom so that has empty counters and some space underneath too.

M W F walked and chatted with P in the am, and did zoom exercise.

Did the expressive writing group - but I am really not very expressive.  In fourth grade compared to the others.  They come up with beautiful responses to the prompts.  Not sure if I will continue with it.

Didn't do any cooking classes - but did prepare some nice meals.

This soup was really well received:

This adapted from cookie recipe pie was raved about:

I put the Costco salmon in a pasta with alfredo sauce that B & A liked too.

On Thursday my eye started feeling odd.  Friday I called the doctor but was too late so will try again tomorrow.  Hopefully she will be open and not closed for President's Day - even better that I wake with a regular eye! Have been putting warm compresses on it.

Our little Buffy has been feeling so much better!  It's wonderful to see her 'hunt' carrots and go up and down the steps we made her.

Even made her a few carrot/treat towels.  She has gone out in the middle of night and entertained herself with pawing the knot open and making the towel flat while she finds and eats the things we put inside for her.  I made a video but it's not the correct file format for blogger.

This afternoon (Sunday) I was up in the bedroom with a compress on my eye, and she actually came upstairs to see me!  She hasn't been up very many times that I am aware since her eye really got bad in December.  I don't even have her water bowl in the room any more, and I took away the steps to the bed as I didn't want her to step off and fall down now that she really can't see well.

Anyway, it was a good week.  Not as busy as the week before.  I'm pretty sure I paid all the bills, and I tried to change passwords for most of my accounts too.  Seemed like a good thing to do for some reason.  Takes a long time to do that!

We have the ingredients ready to make a Valentine's coconut poke cake, but didn't make yet.

Process: Squaring up Blocks

I made a few more of the bow-tie blocks.  None of them ended up at 9.5 inch square.  I had them on the design wall for a week or so, debating what to do about the difference in the sizes.  Because there are the middle yellow pieces, it didn't seem using a square clear template would work.

So finally I just cut a piece of fabric that would be the correct size and used it as the template.

At first did a lot of double checking on both sides of the blocks, but then just centered the fabric templated and cut.

So now I have 15 blocks that are the same size.

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Weekly Round Up 5: A Little Sewing and then other stuff

Since there is some quilting stuff this week I will put it first.

Monday Night I ironed and cut some fabrics to go into my crumb block project while I listened to my local stores Facebook night. Sometimes they have blocks or patterns to share. This week it was just selling different things. I bought something a few months ago - but I hadn't looked at it carefully enough so will need to drive by and exchange it for something else. What a lot of bother in these shut-in times.

Thursday I attended the zoom quilting class where we are working on an on-point bow tie quilt - some hand stitching will be involved (hopefully). The way to make the blocks is fun. I blogged about it here:

------ Not Quilting Stuff

We had our first Covid Inoculation on Sunday! From house to house again it was a little more than an hour. Pretty good I think. The people at the Petco UCSD SuperCenter were so organized and nice. There was a little waiting line in the car to enter. Then they took our driver's licenses and looked us up on the computer to verify we had appointments (I guess). Then the car was waved on to the next area where the shots were given. For most people, I think there were 10 or 12 lanes where they were directed to drive and park in groups of 10 - 12 cars. The shots were given, then they waited for around 15 min then if they were okay they were waved on and left. We were at the end so we parked in a spot and they came around - the only difference I think was they asked us to time the 15 minutes ourselves. My actual appointment was 90 minutes after my husband's, but they did me at the same time as his - so that was very nice. As soon as the appointment was over we received emails with a link to set up the next appointment. Sunday February 28th - all set up and confirmed! We had trouble signing up initially, but switching to a different browser and then clicking on the date that was displayed made a schedule link appear, (before clicking the date there was no submit or schedule button - a little confusing) but then our appointments were set up! No after effects from the first shots for either of us.

Sun - Attended my first Milk Street Zoom Class - zoom Milk Street Class about making soft cheeses. Since the process for making even soft cream cheese takes so long, not a good class for this format I think. Trying other classes under my $1 trial account. They also have a really nice selection on self-paced classes.

We have been piling up the delivery boxes, cutting them apart to make more fit in the recycle container. Finally thought to see if we could have a second recycle container, and for $25 one will be delivered in a few weeks. It will be so nice to not have all the extra cardboard sitting around.

M W F - AM walk and chat on phone with Penelope and Zoom exercise with Jil.

Tuesday I attended a zoom expressive writing group - it was very nice. About 12 people. The prompt was a poem about Happiness.

Tuesday I listened to a Brain Talk: Hormones’ Impact on Cognitive Health & Alzheimer’s by Lisa Mosconi, PhD. I found some other videos she has posted: There is no such thing as a gendered brain, but women’s brains do age differently from men’s, and those differences matter for our health. Nearly two thirds of the 5+ million Americans living with Alzheimer’s are women, the most common cause of dementia. Why?

Dr. Lisa Mosconi will share groundbreaking findings from her research, focused on the intersection of neuroscience and women’s health, to reveal how decreasing hormonal levels affect brain aging–and share a roadmap to support lifelong brain health. She is the founder and Director of the Women’s Brain Initiative and Associate Director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic at Weill Cornell Medicine, where she also serves as Associate Professor of Neuroscience in Neurology and Radiology. She is the author of The New York Times bestselling books THE XX BRAIN and BRAIN FOOD.

A recording of Dr. Lisa Mosconi's presentation Hormones' Impact on Cognitive Health and Alzheimer's is now available to all who registered for The Brain: An Owner's Guide. You can view it anytime with this link. If you would like others to view her talk, please encourage them to register for the series, and we will email the link to them as well.  The link to register is here:

BrainHealthy Tip!
Did you know that a great way to exercise your brain is to reflect on key takeaways and make connections that are relevant to your own life? Dr. Mosconi offers these three thought starters:​​​​​​
  • Choices we make in our lives influence the health of our bodies. But those same choices also affect our brains, and therefore the way we think, feel and remember.
  • Think of your brain more like a muscle. There are things you can do to make it stronger. You can feed it properly, exercise it properly, take care of it properly, and your brain will perform so much better. Treat your brain like your best friend.
  • Historically, women's health was confined to reproductive organs. We now know that brain health is critical to women's health and must be part of the conversation to achieve meaningful solutions.
Coming February 9th at 7pm CT (5pm PT/ 8pm ET), David Katz, MD, MPH discusses The Acute Case for Chronic Health: Vital Lessons In Weathering Duress. Don’t miss it!

Thurs- zoom Milk Street Class Knife Skills 201: All About Sharpening I missed most of the presentation as I had a call I had to answer. They send out the video files so I can get caught up.

Wed - I listened to a Salk Institute Lecture: How do our brains adapt to changes in social contact? Acute social isolation produces prosocial behaviors and increases the motivation to seek social contact. In contrast, chronic social isolation produces antisocial behavior, and increases aggression, territorial behavior and avoidance of social contact. Join Professor Kay Tye as she shares how her lab is employing cutting-edge neuroscience approaches to understanding the mechanisms of how our brains respond to social isolation. Embedding the video doesn't work but the URL is:

Wed - I attended zoom Milk Street Class on The Art of the Braise.  I didn't have the groceries in the house so just watched. Turned out that is what most of the other people did too When I did make the meal on Friday my husband helped - but it still took almost three hours for the preparation and cooking!

No cooking method produces more miraculous results than braising, and few things are more comforting than a dish of tender braised chicken. Join guest instructor Molly Stevens, who literally wrote the book on braising (“All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking”), as she explains the science behind this essential technique. Molly will guide you to successfully prepare one of her favorite stovetop braises, Moroccan Braised Chicken with Green Olives and Preserved Lemons, as a means to illustrate the steps behind any successful braise. By the end, you’ll have a solid grasp of the fundamentals of braising and be ready to create your own dishes. In addition, you’ll learn a quick and versatile method for cooking hearty greens by making Broccoli Rabe with Garlic and Olive Oil from Molly’s newest cookbook, “All About Dinner: Simple Meals, Expert Advice.”

About Molly: Molly Stevens is an award-winning cookbook author, cooking instructor and recipe developer. Her cookbooks include “All About Dinner: Simple Meals, Expert Advice,” “All About Roasting” and “All About Braising.” Her recipes and articles have appeared Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, Fine Cooking, Eating Well, Rachael Ray Every Day and other national publications. She has been named Cooking Teacher of the Year by both the International Association of Culinary Professionals and Bon Appétit. Molly is happiest at her home in Vermont, and she can't remember the last time she skipped dinner. Find out more about her at

Thursday - Food delivered and then a local zoom class on making Italian Meal! 

 Why not spending a nice evening cooking together some delicious dinner with Chef Giacomo?

– Delicious Tuscan Artichokes
– Chicken breast with Prosciutto di Parma (18 months aged), Taleggio DOP cheese & sage.
– Our homemade crostata di Nutella with warm raspberries & Grand Marnier

Other important information about the class:
The class will last 1.5 hrs.
You will receive everything needed for our ‘date night’ for up to 2 people.
Class is held via zoom
Must sign up by February 2nd
Limited tickets available.

My son did the cooking with me. It was really nice to do with him.

The Chef is usually a caterer I think.  I admire him for rethinking his business during these times.

I finally, actually scheduled my mammogram and bone density appointments. Have been putting that off - but now feel a little safer to do (after having the first vaccine).  I had called before, but then had to contact my primary doctor to have her send the orders to the radiology place - then I was on hold for a long time before actually being able to schedule the appts.

I started looking at YouTubes for quilting demos, then moved on to cooking and way off topic ones:

Preppy Kitchen - Chocolate Eclairs -
Catherine's Plates - Coconut Cream Poke Cake -
A Cup of Joe - Matar Paneer -
Inji's Kitchen - Date Stuffed Cookies - - Weight for it - fun game ideas - would be good in classroom - Soldier's Dance
If you have time click to see the other videos prepared by these folks. If they had a blog I linked to that - the entry there will lead to YouTube.

So this past week I had sort of a lot of online videos and things to work on. My goal was to not take naps during the day. I was doing too much of that. I also though, did not do much decluttering or paperwork. So this coming week I hope to get some of that done too while I am listening perhaps to the lectures!

I have photos that I will link to once I can get blogger to see them.  I updated my lists of exercises and miles walked - See top of screen for links.

: )

What do you have to share?

Thursday, February 4, 2021

WIP: Finally some quilt piecing! 3-D Bow Tie Blocks

I have been picking fabric, cutting and sewing blocks!

3-D bow tie blocks in zoom class with Lauren Kingsland. I missed the handout for the block, but here are the directions for how to make this kind of block:

This was a really fun block to make. Just cut five pieces of fabric the same size and pin and sew three seams!  My pieces are 5 inches square so after sewn, each block is 9.5 inches.

I ended up starting with a charm pack and then adding fabric in green, pink, purple, aqua. I used three different fabrics, but the centers are all yellow. My only rule was to use either three or four colors for the four-patch part of the block.

This shows the rough layout of the blocks for the project:

Only twelve bow tie blocks are needed. There will be six full squares in the middle and then different triangles to fill in the sides and corners. Setting triangles - sides made from one square cut into four triangles QST, corners cut in half from a square HST.   (This site has a helpful chart to figure the sizes to cut.  She said with borders the quilt will finish at 50x60 (before the borders it will be roughly 38x51. I guess she is planning on the top and bottom borders to be wider than the side borders.  That works for me!

I was thinking of having the solid blocks in the center be a different color fabric than the outside. I found these possible backgrounds in my stash...  I'll have to arrange the blocks so the purple sections are not on the dark blue background if I decide to use the two tones...

Other people in the class had more controlled color choices. One decided to her red and white quilt would just have four-patches but the solid blocks will all have appliqued hearts. Such fun to see the different ways people are going with the project!