Tuesday, February 9, 2016

A Good Week

Weather up here in Maine seems to be particularly difficult to predict, and I don't know why. Case in point (and there are many): Friday I was scheduled to take my friend to her doctor's appointment. I knew there was snow in the forecast, but I double checked the forecast in the morning right before I left the house at 8:00, and I wasn't worried. They were only predicting 3-6" of snow.

Her appointment lasted about an hour, we had a little lunch in the hospital cafeteria, and headed back to her house. The drive was bad and worsening by the time I dropped her off and headed home. I nearly lost it twice at the intersections because the snow was so wet and slippery. By the time I got home about 1:30 in the afternoon, we had 8-1/2" on the ground; and we got another inch and a half by the time the storm ended.

Yesterday the original prediction for Monday night and Tuesday was snow showers. This morning I measured five more inches on the ground, and I noticed the forecast had been updated. The weatherman must have finally looked out his window and revised the forecast. Sheesh!

Although I didn't get as much time for sewing as I would have liked over the last week and a half, I did manage to finish the QOV top. Still need to find some backing fabric and get it loaded for quilting.

The Candystripes top is also finished. I didn't particularly enjoy making this quilt . I was glad I only had to suffer through making a 36" square quilt. I also learned I don't care for pastels. 

I had bunches of 4-patch units left over; and since I didn't want to make another Candystripes, I started making 36-patch blocks out of them. I had exactly enough 4-patch units to make 9 big blocks.

This quilt, which will also be donated, needed to be about 36" square like the first one. A horizontal set wasn't going to get me there, so I set them on point, and that'll put it a little over 38", so I'm good to go. I've made one of the alternate blocks and have set a few triangles in place for the remaining blocks and setting triangles.

Wish I could credit this to a designer, but I found the photo in a quilt catalog from some company I never heard of, and it wasn't credited in the catalog. They simply called it "Postage Stamp Stars". I get these oddball catalogs once in a while, probably because one of the magazines sold my name to a hundred different places.

The red Twisted Ribbon is finished, and I put all of them on the design wall to motivate me to keep going. I have five more ribbons to make, two browns, two greens, and a blue-green. There are no borders on this quilt, so when the columns are done, the quilt top will be done.

Finished my sister-in-law's socks and mailed them to her. She received them and sent me back photos of how they fit--perfect! Yay!

I love scraps and have been given many over the years. Our quilt group has an auction every other year as a fundraiser; and they always have a multitude of scrap bags too, so I usually buy a few bagfuls. I think it's great fun to see what other people are sewing with, and it's a great resource for little bits of this and that that I don't have in the stash.
Bonnie Hunter had a photo on her blog recently showing some scrap sorting she was doing on her living room floor. I was inspired by that photo enough to dig out a scrap bag from the auction and go through it.

It needed to be washed to remove some odor, and it's a job I absolutely dread because it always becomes a horribly tangled, wrinkled mess. Even washing them in a mesh laundry bag in the washer hasn't helped.

This time I tried a different approach. I sorted the scraps into three bins in the tub, one each for lights, mediums, and darks. After adding a little liquid soap, I mashed them up and down in the wash water, rinsed them the same way in clean water with vinegar (for total odor removal) in it, spin-dried them in the washer, and tossed them in the dryer.

What a difference! Much less fraying and tangling, and they came out of the dryer all fluffed up and relatively wrinkle free. After sorting them the way Bonnie was doing, an XL Stor-It bag stuffed with scraps has been tamed into nice neat piles.

It will probably be about three months to finish the renovation in the kitchen. Hubby has commenced the demolition, and the contractor will be out next week to measure the spaces and write up the contract for the cabinetry.

The kitchen is probably original to the house, built about 1950. At present there are only cabinets on two walls, and this doorway to the dining room is at the end of one of the walls. The white cabinets in the dining room (homemade by a previous owner) had to be angled at the front because of the doorway. It's quite awkward.

Everyone seems to be quite charmed by the blue metal cabinets, but I can't stand them and can't wait to get rid of them. We're installing red birch instead.

Now the doorway has been moved over, widened, and framed in. A space has been cut in the adjoining wall to set in the refrigerator, which was next to the stove. We'll have a floor to ceiling pantry and appliance closet on that same wall, cabinetry on three walls in total.

A soffit over the cabinets also had to be removed. Hubby finished that work over the weekend, and some order in the kitchen has now been temporarily restored. Things will be inconvenient and messy for a while, but it'll be worth the wait.