Saturday, March 27, 2021

Weekly Round Up 11: Scraps, handsewing, and log cabins - and notes on the rest of the time too.

Time is passing so quickly for me now.  I was sure I had recorded our meals (DodgeEats blog) every evening, but if I did they disappeared so I had to recreate them today.

On the Sewing Front:

1 of 3:

I enjoyed listening to StashBandit Diane Harris's talk last Sunday about using scraps.  She has been hosting these talks in hopes I think of getting more speaking gigs.  I wish I had more guild connections to get her more jobs!  I'm not wild about using monofilament  thread for bindings, but you know it was a long time ago that I tried doing that, so perhaps I should try again with her.  Probably the thread is made better than it was back when I tried it.  Her hints and tips during the talks have been very good to hear.  I goofed and was on a walk while her zoom was presented, so I took lots of phone photos - difficult to see on the computer now - while I was walking.  Here are a few:

2 of 3:

I also took a zoom handquilting class demo by Jessica Wohl | Piece by Piece: Beginning Hand Piecing hosted by Shakerag Workshops in Tennessee.  She was very clear with showing her methods of hand piecing.  She does not tie any knots but she does trace the stitching line on both sides of each piece of fabric (unless it is an improv piece).  She puts her needle and checks both sides before proceeding with sewing. She loads the needle with several stitches, then straightened the fabric and takes a back stitch before going on.  So each line of stitching is reinforced very well.  Instead of cutting fresh fabric or getting new supplies, I used several tumbler pieces I had left over from an old project and sewed four pieces together and I used some needles and thread left by my mom.  The seams are very sturdy.  I think I need to sew a few more together to really remember this method.  I forgot to ask her if she ever washes her pieces sewn this way.  Her examples were very art quilty so I am not sure.  

Showing grain of fabric

Showing how to put the needle thru when joining four pieces together.

An example of work by Jessica Wohl - hand stitched from found fabric.
For a close up click on

My tumblers hand sewn:

Marking and following the lines would result in a flatter piece of work.

3 of 3:

Attended the second in the new series: In the Studio with Lauren 2: Log Cabins and Power Strips sponsored by The Georgetown Lombardi Arts and Humanities Program (But I can't find Lauren or the class on the Georgetown site. I found her class via eventbrite site.)

For this new class series,  I decided I would make a little quilt for our little dog out of the class blocks.  So instead of making four or six blocks each week, I planned on making one or two blocks - and then putting them together for Buffy.  However, already, it turns out the weekly blocks finish at different sizes.  So I will need to spend a little more time figuring out how to put the blocks together.

Week 1 of 7:

The first Log Cabin blocks were to have a red center, show contrast between the two sides, and using 2.5 inch strips.  I have a bunch of strips that have black and white only - and then green, blue, and purple.  So I was going to be using those.  Lauren was showing the sew and then cut only the side you are next going to sew method (rather than cut ahead and then sew).  Really helps to remind you what side to sew on next - and saves trimming time too.

These are around 14 inches.  These standard log cabins look rather bland to me.  The strip widths are very consistent.

Week 2 of 7:

The block for this week (second version) was to use half width strips (1.25 inch) for the first sides, and use the same 2.5 strips for the second size.  

These are around 10.5 inches.  Because of the way these are constructed, if there is enough contrast then the log cabins look curvy.  But you have to have at least four to see that illusion.  

But I'm having trouble seeing the curves. I tried to get the contrast by following the rule of the one side being fabric with black and white and the other with blues, greens and purple - but I should have been looking also at the value of the colors.... So back to the fabrics to rethink how I do the log cabins!

Log Cabin Layouts from

I could add another round or two to make the size more match the first week blocks, but since I am not sure what Lauren will be challenging us with in the coming weeks, I will wait to do more.  

I want this project to be small enough that I can get a quilt finished as soon as the class ends.

So that's it for sewing and quilting this week.
Now other stuff.

I  am still healing from all the dermatology work from last Friday.  He freezes potential cancer spots and takes samples from others.  This time it really was a lot done.  But since I have put the paperwork organizing on the back burner a bit, I am not feeling completely guilty or stressed about my lack of progress on that front at all!  It helps that the deadline has been pushed back by the federal and (my) state governments too - but I will still try to submit to our bookkeeper by the original deadline.  We will see what happens.

I had fun making new to me foods.  Combining beans with different things to make nice lunches, making sauce for chicken, and making another pudding, canned fruit topped with streusel topping treat. As soon as I'm done with the pudding mixes I'm looking forward to trying making pudding with cornstarch. (I ordered double of that early on with online food ordering.)

Trying to keep my chin up, but actually feeling a tad blue over-all.

Our little dog has officially lost vision in one eye and the other one can just see flashes of light.  We have a new medicine to give her.  Thank goodness for her it has not made her ill with side effects.  

It was clear a few weeks ago that she shouldn't go up on the sofa as she can't see where she is and it was scary thinking she could hurt her joints or bones by walking off into the air onto a power strip or something.  So we set up different boxes and pillows on the floor and hide little treats and carrots there for her to find.  She has a really good time sniffing to find them (usually in the evening).  If we don't hide the treats then she barks - so I have been spending at least an hour (sometimes three!) doing that with her in the evenings.  

It is incredible how quickly her vision changed. Just last November she was coming upstairs every night to stay with me for at least a few hours at night.  She has only come up a few times since then.  

She still enjoys her two times a day walks around the neighborhood.

We have modified the areas (putting boxes of different heights for her to use as stairs, and boxes to block open areas so she is less likely to walk into the air and hit something sharp) where she sits to try to make them more safe for her so she still goes to sit in the sun in whatever room has the sun at that time of day. 

We used to let her free in the backyard, but now go out with her and follow her around to be sure she doesn't go in an area that isn't safe now that she can't see as well.

See the box behind her?  There is a pillow on the floor in front of the end table and a high piece of thick cardboard blocking the armrest of that chair too.

Her new enrichment area gets moved around when she is looking for treats.

Sometimes she gets in the little bed and sleeps.

Our son will be getting his first vaccine tomorrow! He has letter from the university saying he is teaching that one class, so he is eligible. Not sure if behaviors will change much once he has the second one.  He is making progress on his research project (he is hoping to get published, then will apply for graduate programs).  Once in a program then, I think, it would be easier to meet people to friend.

I sure wish I had friends who would walk and go out for lunch and go to museums with me and quilt!  

Massage Envy is now charging me my monthly fee again so hopefully not too many months will go by before I feel safe to do that again.  Each month my payment goes toward a one hour session.  But if I miss a month the sessions just add up and stay in my account so I can do a few alternating week sessions for a while.  I don't lose the money or sessions (as long as I pay the monthly fee).  I had 'saved' a few sessions last year as I was thinking of going more often during the summer but it ended up we were all self-isolating then.  It's a long drive for me, but I really like the stretching and massage. So looking forward to that too.

Can I think ahead to the nice facials I was getting at the beauty college too?  I tried to go every few weeks at least.  So refreshing.

Thinking ahead to travel to Italy after my personal trainer told me she was saving up to go to an August wedding in Italy.  What a nice thing to look forward to.  Our Irish wedding been changed for only 25 people to attend so we are off that list now.  But since it is in June probably too soon for safe travel anyway.  Our friends in MA/FL travel to Italy pretty often, we have discussed doing a trip together...  Dreams.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Weekly Round Up 10 - there was a plan?

 No sewing, not much of anything really - except for yesterday....  And that was an entire day spent on the computer!  Had fun as I always to downloading and renaming monthly docs for credit cards, utilities, bank accounts.  All the things needed for the taxes - and more just cause I can.  I'm really almost ready to hand things over to DH and then the preparer.  But almost is a huge word...

The week before had me with a hurt back from twisting around the step up to the sofa boxes we had set up in the living room and den.  Kept the first ones, but moved the coffee table so Buffy has more room to go in the sun and it's easy to sit with her for part of the morning too.  moving the coffee table didn't help the back....  Then we had our second vaccine at the Petco Super Center.  We are old pros at the drill now, it wasn't as exciting I think.  No side effect until the evening.  The my arm started hurting.  The next day I felt like I had the flu - so uncomfortable!  We had doordash deliver for a few meals as I stayed pretty much in bed.  

But then I felt better and did a bunch of organizing and EOY stuff.  Today Saturday I spent a bunch of time walking.  Perhaps three hours.  Some with Buffy, some while chatting with friend on the phone.

Next week I will be back at exercise and walking while chatting with P. Want to continue gong thtu papers and books - and packinh things up for Goodwill.

New to me Food YouTubes

Just discovered this guy today - he makes it seem so easy.  I have to try these out soon!

Can I Recreate Canned Corned Beef Hash To Taste Better? | Childhood Eats
Chef Attempts To Take Hamburger Helper To A Whole New Level | Childhood Eats

Friday, March 5, 2021

Weekly Round Up 9: Plan not going as expected


Nothing by me.  

I missed the Scrap Quilt Secrets: Fabric Savvy with Diane Harris of Stash Bandit talk last week, hoping to go tomorrow.

Did find these neat free PP Pattern for Scrappy Triangles:

Originally saw here:

Pattern download and photos of lots of examples of quilts completed  with the PP designs:

Last week I forgot to share that I had read Stitched in Color blog a little more closely and notice she and her family have moved to Holland.  She and her husband are not Dutch and they had never been there before moving there!  All (sort of) because she read a book!

That is more of the life I had dreant I would have, but it hasn't happened yet.  Perhaps now that DH is retired we an live there for a at least a bit.

The Plan:

The plan was, if you remember, was that I would take this past week off from my scheduled activities (exercise, walking and chatting with friends/family) so I could concentrate on getting paperwork together for the taxes.

On the weekend I was very industrious - weeding and doing yard work. 

Then Monday DS Alex asked me if I could take the little dog, Buffy, to the vet.  Of course I said yes.  But that got me distracted for the rest of the day all I could do was shred papers that I had in a box waiting for action.  

On Tuesday I vacuumed, shampooed and vacuumed the carpets and persuaded Bernie to walk with me to the shopping center.  I had to return a presser foot ankle/connector thing and had to use UPS so they would pay the postage.  That was an easy drop off thank goodness! 

On Wednesday it was DS's birthday so I spent way too much time making his birthday dinner (this year chicken pot pie  Ended up with enough for 15 servings instead of 6-8 I expected! Put extra filling in the freezer) and then he and I set about making his birthday cake together.  But I hadn't gotten unsalted butter (as I didn't think it mattered but it does to him) so we pivoted and made a different cake - this one from the  Guinness Site - Boozy Chocolate Poke Cake )  I had gotten the ingredients so we could have for St Pats Day.  So glad I had everything we needed so we could still make cake together.  We just added the Guinness to a chocolate box cake mix in place of water, so it was rather easy too - although we didn't taste the cake on his actual birthday as it had to be refrigerated for so long!  It was a hit.   Have you ever made a poke cake?  This was my second one.  My first was a coconut cream cake.  There are all sorts of recipes on YouTube.

Thursday In the morning I called cousin in Ireland. Haven't voice chatted in almost a year.  They are restricted on how far they can drive from home. only 5K now.  She can go farther for work, and because she is a nurse.  The fine starts at 100 Euros if they get caught going beyond what they are supposed to go.  Her daughter's Summer wedding is now just going to have 25 guests - instead of the 250 originally planned.  So we are off the list of attendees. 
😞 I hope they will have a party for her when it's safe to travel again.  I can't remember else what I did, but it wasn't paperwork!  I wrote to the man who does our taxes and asked him to send in an extension request.  I may have discovered Jamie Oliver on TV with his 15 Meal Show  Brillant!  Recipes Now I see he has a book by the same name. We were supposed to get our second COVID vaccine but it has been rescheduled for the third time now....  Sunday to Thursday to next Tuesday I think.

Today, Friday,  I hurt my back in the AM so spent most of the day in bed with a heating pad, napping or watching Star Trek Voyager.  I wrote my personal trainer and friend I usually walk with and said I needed another week off to do the tax stuff.  In the evening DS and I did another cooking class with Cooking Class with Chef Giacomo from A Casa Mia SD  We made: • Burratina with Smoked Salmon and sauce made with beets ground with walnuts, garlic and yogurt  • Risotto with Reconstiuted Porcini mushrooms, Vegetable broth (tomato, zucchini, celery, carrots), fennel sausage  •  We ate some of DS's Boozy Birthday Cake instead of the Torta Della Nonna with raspberries and nutella that was part of the planned dinner.

So my plan so far has not worked at all.  But I have next week now to get things done.  And there is always putting it way off with extensions....