Thursday, May 05, 2016

{Throwback Thursday} Red Scraps and a Pattern from Mom's New Magazine

When I first started quilting, I went through a phrase where I'd see a pattern, think I could pull of the technique, take myself up on the dare and immediately start cutting fabric. This is one of those quilts. 


We were at Mom's house for Christmas and I was flipping through one of her quilting magazines and found the pattern for this one. She gave in to my begging and let me borrow the magazine for a little while and I started cutting red scraps. A few blocks in, I wasn't sure if I was making a cute quilt or wasting all of my best red fabric.

The quilt came together and I was happy with it....then I started seeing pictures from Infinite Variety and I wanted my red fabrics back in my stash. Almost nine years later, I've bought more reds and I'm happy with the quilt again.


If I was doing it again, I'd buy a piece of red yardage for the back. As fond as I am of pieced backs, I could have made much better use of these cuts of fabric.


Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Three More Squares....Or Eight....Or Sixteen...

It's starting to look like I could have made the afghan without buying that extra skein of thrift store yarn. Now I need to decide whether to start seaming all of those blocks together now or wait until I do more sorting and find out if there's more old green yarn hiding in the sewing room.


I know that there's at least one skein of a paler green acrylic that I'm never ever going to use for anything else, so I figure I'll dig at least until I find that one.  If I make this bigger, I can use up more stash yarn. I estimate I'm at 1200 yards so far and since that green was never going to be suitable for anything else, I'm thrilled!



I happily lost myself for a while in The Doll-Master and Other Tales of Terror by Joyce Carol Oates. The title story was chilling, but it was the others that really pulled me in. "Gun Accident," about a teenager who is asked to house sit for her favorite teacher, was my absolute favorite. Mrs. McClelland is oddly frantic and Hanna is so careful to do the job well and not betray the older woman's trust.  It's set in 1961 and I wish the author hadn't felt the need to interject that "This was in an era before voice mail. A phone simply rang and ran in an empty house, with no way of recording a lost call."  That bit was jarring and unnecessary. I was thoroughly enjoying the historical settings and didn't need a reminder that it was a brand new book.

The description of Perfect Days by Raphael Montes had me hoping for something along the lines of You or The Collector. The plot was similar -- a psychopath succesfully abducts the object of his desires and a twisted relationship develops -- but the book never really grabbed me. All of these plots are improbable, but I hard a harder time than usual suspending my disbelief with this one.

Disclosure -- I was provided with an advance review copies by the publishers. All opinions are my own. This post is linked to Patchwork Times, Yarn Along, iknead2knit 

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Meet Old Blue


When Hubby and I first got married twenty-five years ago, he had a set of blue kitchen utensils. There was a can opener and a set of measuring cups and probably a few other pieces. Over the years, they've all been replaced.

Old Blue is still with us. It didn't get a name until recently, but it's starting to have sentimental value. This is the spatula we always reach for. Those melted spots -- they're mostly my fault. I've replaced it more than once, but they don't seem to make this style of spatula anymore and I haven't been able to find a new version that I can stand. Whenever we're at estate sales and I find a nylon one in good shape and for a decent price, I bring it home. But when I need to cook something, this is the one I use.

At this point, it's got so much sentimental value that I'm on the edge of retiring it for safekeeping. Because if something happens to Old Blue, I'll be sad.

Do you cling to silly things that are way past their prime? Or is it just me?

Monday, May 02, 2016

Room to Sew


I pile things on my sewing machine, anything that needs a temporary place where no one will mess with it. Because no one touches the stuff on my sewing table.  Unless Teenage Daughter wants to sew a dress and use my machine instead of hers and than all bets are off and I'll never see anything again.

I'd hoped to have some blocks to show you this morning, but first I had to clear off everything that was piled on and around my sewing machine, safely waiting for me to deal with it. I can't tell you what the last thing I sewed was. (Actually, I looked back at my blog posts and it was the apron pockets I did in early March. A few weeks before that, I worked on a zipper bag which I still haven't finished. I don't want to look back any further, because it will just get depressing.)

April was a bad month. I lost a couple of days to a whopper of a headache that I couldn't fix because migraine pills only work on migraines and I can't take ibuprofen more than once or twice a month and Tylenol doesn't do much good, then got absolutely flattened by the chest cold that my husband brought home from work, then had to. The blood thinners are keeping me from clotting, but wreaking havoc with my quality of life. I've been to two different doctors and had unpleasant tests and hope there's a solution that will make this better.

Yesterday I cleared off everything that didn't belong on my sewing machine table, wound a couple of bobbins in anticipation of those blocks I really do plan to piece soon, cut more squares of linen for the anatomy quilt, and zig-zagged around the edges because that linen frays like you wouldn't believe.

Zig-zagging around the edges is pretty close to actual sewing, right?

This post is linked to Patchwork Times

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