Saturday, January 13, 2018

Randomday, and a Farewell

A fond farewell to my old laptop, which as I write this is at 50% power remaining and no way to recharge it. The clothespin that has been holding the cord into the charging port at just the right angle for the last two years is no longer doing the trick. This is possibly because I closed Magistra and put it on the floor behind the old treadle sewing machine (which is also a convenient table for displaying Tertia's pottery projects) last night for the Last Noel. Magistra has had a good life and worked hard... I feel like I need to pay tribute to it here on the blog, since, realistically, I would not have a blog presence without it. I received it as a Christmas gift in 2010, and it traveled back and forth to school with me on a daily basis until it developed this problem with the ability to charge and hold a charge, sometime in 2015 I think. I believe we have copied all essential files and photos to the main home computer or the cloud, and so I'll be able to get started again on the new laptop we plan to purchase, but it just won't be the same for a while, and please understand if you don't see a blog post from me as I navigate the frustrations of learning a new device. Change is always hard for old-school people like me!

The Last Noel itself was very nice. We had plenty of food and a good number of people from our wider circle. Quarta's friends played a kind of freeze tag/ hide and seek in the dark in the yard, and we await the spring to see the impact this had on the shrubbery. It is good that God makes plants, like people, resilient.

And so the Christmas season is officially over, and we are off to new adventures.

Monday, January 8, 2018

On Ringo Lake Link-up (Parts 6,7,8 and not up to 9 yet!)

All right, folks, there is no way I was going to have a completed top by today. But I am happy to have slightly more than half of the blocks pieced, and am sharing photos here for the link-up at Bonnie's blog.

It's really a cheery, bright block and I look forward to getting them all sewn together and then figuring out the diagonal setting. It helped to have some uninterrupted sewing time over New Year's, but that is going to be harder from now on.

 It's kind of fun seaming a bunch of top rows and middle rows at a time. Then you can cut them apart, stack them, and make a bunch of blocks at a time.
I really enjoyed using a very wide variety of fabrics for this quilt. I used up some smaller bits that had been in my stash for a long time, and I cut a lot of extra strips to add to my strip bins for future use. Favorite neutrals are Kermit the Frog, Halloween candy, chicken wire, totem poles, bugs, musical notes, and maps. Favorite corals are some of the 30's prints, some of the Connecting Threads collections I dug into, and a bunch of others. Favorite blues - I always love the plaids, and the little skull and crossbones, and the fish prints. I used some of the brown floral scraps from my mom's sewing stash that I inherited. It's funny how I have such vivid memories of how and when I got most of these fabrics. Sometime I will have to count up the total number of different fabrics in this quilt, and I bet it will be over 100.

But for now I will slowly work to get the whole top together!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

New Year

Welcome 2018! I have attempted to give the blog a new look. Gone are the dandelions blowing, and I am attempting to clean up some of the sidebars. It may take a few tries to get it the way I like it. I hope everyone who reads this enjoyed a good end to the 2017 year, surrounded by loved ones.

We had a nice Christmas, with Daniel home from Virginia, and Peter home from college in Pullman.
 Christmas Eve it snowed, and we made it safely to Grandma Chapman's home through the Portland snow and freezing rain.
 Christmas morning it has always been the tradition to open the stockings first. The children used to look a lot more excited, but they have become too cool, I guess. And some of them need coffee to function in the mornings now.
 Steve and I are working on the art of selfie taking.
 Steve's mom is looking very sweet in this picture.
I finished the socks from the yarn I bought in Annapolis for Daniel. These and the Stashbuster socks for Peter were my only handmade gifts this Christmas. I have two more pairs on the needles right now which may be future Christmas presents, or "just because" presents, for Steve and the boys. But I am a little bored with sock knitting for the moment.

New Year's resolutions: actually, not anything specific. Read more, blog and write more, knit more, finish more quilts; improve the Latin for Duolingo course, which now has more than 650 learners on Memrise (ironically, a better host than Duolingo); get the house organized, organize health and dental care for those of us who need it, organize Tertia's affairs as we are now officially her guardians. Mostly, we have some major purchases and expenses that are overdue; many are holdovers from 2017, which was full of unexpected expenses. So very unpoetical, but that is why the creative things are important.

Wishing everyone a happy, productive and healthy 2018!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

On Ringo Lake week 5 Link-up

I am sneaking this link-up post in at the last minute. You can find the link-up for this week's clue at Quiltville. I had fun with the flying geese this week, but it was Christmas, after all. So they are not all done, about 70 percent maybe. I played with all the patches so far and came up with this as a possible arrangement:

 I'm guessing tomorrow's clue will include some neutral triangles to match clue 4, and maybe the final reveal. I'm sure we're pretty close!
 My ironing board needs to have the mouse ears removed after I clip the units apart.

A lot of mouse ears fall off at the machine, too.
This week's collage: I snuck in a snow-selfie, Quarta singing Hamilton tunes, and a Christmas pie, but they are kind of in the general color scheme. We had snow on Christmas eve, and the lessons and carols service was canceled. But it was a nice night to stay in.

Merry Christmas, and happy stitching to all of you!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Randomday in Black and White

My cousin Scott challenged me to one of those Facebook thingies, where you post a black/white photo of "everyday life" every day for seven days. I don't usually take anything other than snapshots, but this was actually fun. Maybe changing a color photo to black and white makes it artsy. It's kind of a telegraphic version of my week.

 Go to church on Sunday
 Sew patches on a soldier's uniform on Monday
 STAR WARS on Tuesday
Turkey on Wednesday -- just because
 Kitty on Thursday
 Christmas tree on Friday
Bake Christmas pies on Saturday

I'll let that be it for Randomday. Have a very Merry Christmas, and God bless us, every one!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

On Ringo Lake - Part 4

Once again I'm linking up to the Quiltville mystery, On Ringo Lake. This week was clue 4. You can see what everyone else has been doing here.

I made a collage of pictures I took in the last week. I'm still only about half done with clue 4, which isn't bad considering I have both boys back home for the holidays and we've been doing a lot of nice family things. Like steak and turkey dinners, Quarta's school dance, and going to see Star Wars. Also my cousin challenged me to that Facebook thing where you take black/white photos of ordinary life for 7 days. It's hard to focus on the sewing, but this clue is kind of a fun one. It's nice to work with the browns and blues again. I wonder where it's all going?

I like a LOT of variety in my scrappy quilts! No problem with the blues, but I have a somewhat more limited selection of dark browns. Still, I don't think there will be too much repetition. I also notice that if I have a "signature" fabric, it's plaids. They are in every quilt I make. Must be my Scottish ancestry.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

On Ringo Lake - Part 3 Link-up

On Ringo Lake is on clue #3, and here is a collage of what I've been working on since that clue came out Friday. You can find many more at the link-up at Quiltville. I've been taking more sunrise pictures as I walk Tertia to school in the cold mornings, because we've been working with sunrise colors. And there really aren't any ugly sunrise colors! My camera is not really capable of picking up all the reds, pinks and oranges, unfortunately. Sunrise in these northern latitudes was 7:43 this morning, and the temperature was 24. Brr! And sunset will be at 4:26.  But the tradeoff with the cold temps is that we are having nice clear weather and no rain.
 So the clue is to make umpty-hundred of these mirror-image parallelograms, but first you have to cut umpty rectangles and 2(umpty) triangles (or squares that will be trimmed down).
 I haven't really been cleaning up my area as I go, but after I cut I did have to roll up my strips and squeeze them back into their bin. There is not a lot of room to work on my cutting or sewing surface. I need to work on taming the mess... but it's not terribly realistic right now!
 I thought at first I'd need to buy the "easy folded corners ruler" if I didn't want to use squares instead of triangles and waste more fabric. But it turns out my Fons and Porter flying geese ruler, which I also used for the last clue, can also be used to trim the coral rectangles down. It worked quite well and gives the final measurement that you need in the clue.
 Here are some of my pieces in process. I used an even wider variety of corals, pinks, peaches and some oranges than I did in last week's clue. Like I say, there are no ugly sunrise colors!
 These long strings of units are what you get when you do a bunch of one-way slanting parallelograms at the same time. Kind of looks like strands of DNA. And my arrangement of them with previous clues kind of looks like a space invader:
It's a lengthy process. I'm still at about half-umpty, but I only have about .25 umpty rectangles to trim. And I like the process, the variety, everything. At least 80% of my fabrics are from my stash, not the ones purchased for this mystery, and I think the average vintage of my stash is about 2001. Some fabrics are much older