Thursday, April 5, 2018

Nonnie's Reading Corner #2

So, please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
Then fill the shelves with lots of books.
-Roald Dahl

Omigoodness! What would I do without a book? I'd have never met Nancy Drew. I would never had known the wonder of a poem: "The moon was a ghostly galleon..."  I would believe that one woman could raise her children on by entering word contests,  I'd never had learned the phrase '"Twas brillig and the slithy toves. Did gyre and gimble in the wabe." I wouldn't know a blind cat named Homer who could catch flies out of the air and also survive 911. And I wouldn't have met Dick Francis.

Ten Facts About Books and Me:
  1. I take a book with me everywhere. 
  2. I read three at a time: one to listen to, one on my Kindle and one "real" book so that I can read three books at a time!  
  3. The books have to be entirely different from one another or I can't sort them out.
  4. I sometimes have to keep a list of characters so I know who they are as the book progresses.
  5. I forget the end of most books I read.
  6. I have the advantage of reading more books than anyone because I can read a book over and over and over again because I don't remember the end!
  7. The author I've read the most is Dick Francis. If you want to start on his books, read The Danger.
  8. I read young adult books because they are clean. I stop reading any book that has profanity, vulgar language or explicit sexual scenes.
  9. I love a day where I can start and finish a book in one day. Book defined by amount of pages being over 250 pages.
  10. My favorite book of all time is To Kill A Mockingbird. It touches my soul in so many ways.

In March I read four books:
  1. Black Water, D. J. Hales
  2. Reality Bug, D. J. Hales
  3. Bleak House, Charles Dickents
  4. I Capture the Castle, Dodie Smith
The first two books are a continuation of a Young Adult series I'm reading.

I read Bleak House as an audio book. I often read older classics this way. Many older books were first serialized and the money earned was determined by how the number of words written. It tends to have a lot of drawn out situations, descriptions, and sideways wandering but I did find that I had no problem going through books if I listened to them. Bleak House is one of these. To support and explain the premise of why I listen and why I needed to have a list of characters, here is what Goodreads said: "[Bleak House] was published in 20 monthly installments...It is held to be one of Dickens's finest novels, containing one of the most vast, complex and engaging arrays of minor characters and sub-plots in his entire canon."
I fell in love with Mr. Jarndyce and the Little Woman. The characters were rich and side stories and characters all came together in the end. The ethics and compassion of Mr. Jarndyce plays against the ruination of lives that live on hopes that will never come to be. I think that one of the funniest things in the books was a part of Mr. Jarndyce's personality. Though he is a benevolent man, he does not like to be thanked. When someone starts to thank him, he starts talking about the east wind and how it looks like it might switch to a north wind soon...
I believe this book will go right up with the other classics I adore:  Understood Betsy and The Home-Maker by Dorothy Canfield Fisher, Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell, and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.

I found the book, I Capture the Castle quite by serendipity. It was written in 1948 by Dodie Smith. I'm really not good at writing descriptions of books, so I hope, dear readers, that you will bear with me. The castle in the title really is a dilapidated castle that a very poor family lives in. Most of it is in a state of "rack and ruin,"and part of it is uninhabitable. The family just manages to get by. The youngest daughter, the heroine of the story, decides to write a journal and follows the events of her family for six months of an unusual amount of events and change. It is a very dear book and so worthy of being read.

In the beginning of this post, I named four things I would never have met if I didn't read books. Leave a comment telling me the books I was describing. The one who gets the most books correct will win a prize...a quilty surprise. If there is a tie or two or...there will be a prize for each! 

I hope you will put your nose in a book today and find yourself in another place.


Monday, April 2, 2018

Looking Back & Looking Forward #10: Wherein There Is A Lot of Whooping Going On

Osteosperum in my flower garden
Life has been so much better this week. No more train wreck. I'm chugging along very well and at pretty good speed, I might add.  My quilting is back on track. My yard is blooming with flowers. The weather is wonderful. I get to see all my children this Sunday!
I have packages being delivered here almost every day. Most of the fabric I ordered came in today.

I'm not sure what the name of this flower is. If you know, you can put it in the comments. Every day I take a stroll around my front yard flower garden. I like to look for things that are coming up, new blooms, and just enjoy my lovely flowers.

Right now, the lilac and the iris are just starting to bloom. I just adore lilacs. Their smell! The tiny little flowers. Did you know that my lilacs put on buds in February, April and November. Crazy flowers. I tell them that all the time. "What do you think you are doing?" Obviously they ignore me because they keep doing it year after year. The only time the buds come out to flower, though, is in April.

It was 10 minutes to sunset when I started writing and there just wasn't enough light to take a good picture.

But I digress...

Looking Back

I did so well this week! Happy dancing is going on all through my house. Everyone else in the house (the dog, the cat and hubby) all think I'm crazy...you form your own opinion.

Goal #1
My conservative goal is to get the yardage package(s) out of the mailbox, open them up and iron the fabric.

This was the orange fabric to make my grandson's High School graduation quilt. I had started out with some orange, but there just wasn't enough variety. For the whole backstory, click here. The fabric all came with three of the five arriving in the mail this afternoon.

I was going to try and hurriedly iron them to make my goal. But I was making split pea soup and had to go in and make the Irish Soda Bread that goes with it. I have a different bread that goes with many recipes I have. See this post for my thoughts on bread AND a recipe for bread.

I vote that I met this goal since 3/5th of the fabric didn't arrive until this after noon.

Here's the new fabric. To hear the accompanying details for this story, click here.
The top four are just different oranges with lots of design. The lower one is  shades of medium orange to burnt orange. I have a couple of other oranges in my first set of fabrics that are a burnt orange so this should work in just fine.

Goal #2:
Chip's One-Year Birthday Quilt
2.  I have the fabric ready and already have the pattern. Since I'll be free most of the next week, my goal will be to cut out the pieces.

Here's the fabric! Isn't it sweet?
I had ordered a yard of cowboy fabric for Chip's quilt, but it wasn't enough. I had to fussy cut all the fabrics and since it was in rows I could only fussy cut every other row. I cut out all the fabric I could and ordered more. It came today.
The blocks for Chip's quilt are 6-1/2" square. You need 20 squares for the quilt.
The picture on the left shows the two fabrics that will be bordering the blocks.

The bonus is that once I've cut the fabric for Chip's quilt, there's enough left over to make a baby quilt. So I fussy cut the remaining fabric and will cut the rest.

The blocks are 4-1/2" square. It needs 20 blocks and makes a baby size quilt.

Below are a couple of pictures of this pattern. The one on the left is a baby quilt made for a co-worker of mine. The one on the right was made by Firstest when he was eight.
Looking Forward:

Next week I plan on putting most of my energy into Firstest's quilt and maybe a little time on a couple of side projects.

1.  Firstest's Quilt:  
     Cut new fabric into pieces.
     Assemble 10 blocks
 2.  Military Mom Quilt (see here for post with explanation of this quilt)
      Figure out and draw up the layout of quilt
3.  Computer chair pillow
     Make cover for pillow

That should keep me busy. Since we are going to a SFGiants game on  Friday afternoon and to Firstest's Court of Honor for his Eagle Scout Award, I may not get everything but #3 is a wish, and any work on #2 will do.

I hope you have a wonderful week with lots of flowers, happy circumstances and joy with the ones you love.

Nyd din dag! (Danish for "See You Later!")

I'll be sharing this post on linky parties. Be sure and jump over to them to check out what other accomplished and fascinating quilters are doing. The Linky Parties are listed by day of the week.  

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Looking Back & Looking Forward #9: A Train Wreck

Looking back is definitely not a good thing this week. I got thru lots (as in I don't know the number) of blocks on the quilt for my grandson's High School graduation. At that point I was half excited, half worried about what it would look on the design wall.

 This is what it looked like.

I put the blocks on the design wall but stopped because it didn't look so good. My husband's much better at color than I am and helps me out a lot on designing my quilts. The next day when he got home from work I asked him to come take a look at it. He walked in the room, glanced at it and said, "It's awful."
"That's what I thought," I said glumly.
It's true. I looked at the original pattern and it worked because it was all shades of one color. Mine had three main colors.
Doomed! Doomed I was! Right from the beginning!


 After I went to my bedroom and cried a little, and stared out the window a little, I decided to get on with my life.

The dreadful story is here, here and here.

I've switched to a pattern that I've made twice before. I know it's easy to cut out and easy to make, and quick too. This is a good thing since I've already wasted over a month on the other quilt. The good news is that I can combine the "little" bird pieces from the other one and arrange them into a large hexie. I figure I'll just applique them on some fabric and voila!

The new quilt is this:

The pattern is Gumballs by Debbie Luttrell, who owns Stitcin' Heaven. It calls for 10 different batiks in 1-5/8 yd cuts. The secret to this is to get them all in one color family. I made this one for my TGS. I loved it so much I made one for me too!

Firstest's favorite color is orange, and has been since he was knee high to a grasshopper. So, orange it is!

Okay, doke:

Looking Forward

Firstest's Graduation Quilt:
I had a heck of a time finding 10 different orange batik fabrics. I went to every quilt store in the county, except for Joanns. I ended up with six cuts. I found large orange batik scraps and some yardage and added it in. When it came time to assemble blocks, there just wasn't enough variety. I went ahead and bought some from Etsy and some from Ebay. Now the fabric may not be here until next week, so I don't know when I can work on the quilt.

1. My conservative goal is to get the yardage package(s) out of the mailbox, open them up and iron the fabric.

Chip's One-Year Birthday Quilt
2.  I have the fabric ready and already have the pattern. Since I'll be free most of the next week, my goal will be to cut out the pieces.

That's it for me. I'm a little relieved because I have made the patterns for both Chip and his older brother, Firstest. I think it will be fun from here on out!

Nyd din dag! (Danish for "See You Later!")

Hurry on over and see all the fun going on in the linky parties. Find them in the right sidebar!

Picture of train wreck attribution: http://imlsdcc.grainger.uiuc.edu/

Monday, March 12, 2018

Looking Back and Looking Forward #8: Wherein We Weep For Last Week

Yes, alas, dear readers. I am almost a total failure on last week's goal. It was my lofty goal to complete 45 more blocks for my dear lad's and grandson's, Firstest, graduation quilt. 'Tis not for lack of fondest love for my dearest boy nor lack of fabric, but because the ordinary time was filled with other tasks of pressing importance. What tasks, ye say? The formidable task of juicing all the lemons and oranges from abundant orange and lemon trees, the multitudinous running of errands, buying the right color of fabric, visiting with most noble daughter and offspring, and various lowly housecleaning duties..

BUT FIRST!  


Confessions Of A Fabric Addict

Sarah Craig over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict is at it again! Sarah is the originator of  the annual Hands2Help. She has an indomitable spirit of giving and caring. She spends a majority of her time making, quilting and helping others make quilts in what she calls a "Quilt Ministry." Sarah gathers quilts from a group of friends from her church and from people wanting to donate, and then gives them to people who need them in her church. She has given quilts to people with cancer, for wives, husbands or children who have lost their parent/spouse unexpectedly, someone who has lost a loved one, someone who is dealing with serious medical issues or someone who went into hospice, plus many more!

You'll not find a more crazy-busy quilty person around than Sarah. You'll find on her Make a List Monday post each week her list to-do list for the week. I read it each week and am exhausted just at what she has set out, and usually accomplishes, each week! She goes beyond the Ministry and does commissions for t-shirt quilts, quilt patterns, has Quilt-A-Longs, phew...does she even sleep?

For H2H (Hands to Help) lovely quilters sign up to make a quilt or two, (or three or four!) for a charity. She has three different charities you can pick from, or you can choose for yourself! (Click on the linky button at the top of the right sidebar)

I have done this before and it is so much fun! There are also prizes! Hurry up! Go to Confessions of a Fabric! What are you waiting for? You can come back here and read on my progress/goals, but first click over there to sign up? If you lack incentive...those who sign up before March 17, you're entered in a giveaway!

And now that you have signed up to make a quilt, we continue with our regularly broadcast (show) blog post!

Looking Back

High on my euphoria of completing 45+ blocks the previous week, I set my goal last week again to make 45 blocks. Hmmm, well, *stutter*, uh-hmm (cough), I did get some blocks done. I made four blocks--ta da! Also, I completed 14 half-blocks.

I had completed a number of blocks and half blocks using the light grey I had chosen. Unfortunately that grey showed as white when put up on the design wall. (see post here, complete with pictures) So off I went to Joann's to see if a better grey in Kona had appeared on the shelves. I hit pay dirt. I also did some switcheroo-ing since the new grey was darker than the medium grey. So the new grey became the medium grey and the previous medium grey became the light grey. If you get my drift.

I had already ripped apart the blocks with the wrong grey and at my Thursday Quilty Time with my friends, I started putting the new grey on the previous blocks. And that is how I ended up with four completed blocks and 14 half blocks.

Looking Forward

Sorry to be repetitious here:

1.  Sew 45 blocks for Firstest's graduation quilt.

If I can somehow conjure up some extra time, I would like to:

2.  Finish RSC green block. (post on my RSC goal this year)

3.  Make my March renewed block-of-the-month. (post on my BOM challenge)

I'm hoping you are going to have a wondiferous week of quilting!

Reminder! Check back in on Thursday for this month's Book Corner post. Here's the first one.

Reminder #2! Visit the blogs that I link this post to, on the ride side bar and sorted by day of the week.

Nyd din dag. (It's Danish for "See you later." I'm Danish! (partly), (like one third), (just to be honest). 

Monday, March 5, 2018

LB&LF#7 Wherein We Celebrate Meeting A Goal!

March has flown in with many winds here in Northern California. It definitely came in like a lion...the end of March will tell whether it goes out like a lamb. We had lots of wind and rain this past four days, which we definitely needed. Rain, that is. We don't need wind, in my opinion. I had enough of that in Maryland to last me for a year.

Without anymore preamble, here's the progress from last week. And, prepared to be awed!

Looking Back

I had one single goal this past week and it was to make 45 more blocks for my grandson's High School graduation quilt. Drumroll! I made more than 45 blocks!

Here is the assortment of blocks that I've made so far. I got carried away and driven by my own enthusiasm. I cut too many strip of one color combination and came up with 40 blocks. Eeeerrr.😕

40 blocks in one color combination is too many.

By doing modern math, I found that I only needed 12 blocks of each color combination. Just a little bit overboard!

I'm back on track again. And let's not forget that I met my goal of making 45 usable blocks. So this is definitely a winner!

Looking Forward

I hate to be redundant, but I want to make 45 blocks next week. One more week of that will bring me to 135 blocks, just ten shy of the needed 145. I think I'm making good progress on getting this quilt done by end-of-May graduation!

A Bit of Scrappy News

I am a friend of a very popular quilter who does trunk shows, et al. She knows I love to make scrap quilts and gives me the scraps after each quilt she finishes. I got a big cloth bag full of her latest scraps. They are gorgeous and they are in my favorite color!
I can't wait to start using these gorgeous blues!

I am hooking up with the bloggers listed on the left column. They are great bloggers, one and all. It's worth it to go and explore there blogs once you get to their linky site.

Nyd din dag. (It Danish for "See you later." I'm Danish! (partly), (like one third), (just to be honest). 



Monday, February 26, 2018

Looking Back and Looking Forward #6




beware!





This is a fair warning! If you are squeamish or prone to screaming, Do.Not.Read!!

BEWARE of Google!
Not Google Search, but Google change your password! It is not for the faint-hearted! Truly!

There I was yesterday sweetly sitting at a computer in our Church Family History Center. I needed to get into a second site, but the password I knew was not working. I know everyone will raise their hand if I ask if this has ever happened to you. Ah yes, 100%.

So, I thought, I'll just change the password. That's SOP (standard operating procedure) for when you forget your password at home or afar. La la la la... Click on Forgot Password on Google Sign In.
     1.  It asks me to copy wonky letters to prove I'm not a robot. No, last time I checked I was human.
     2.  Next screen, what is my secret password? Now I feel like Nancy Drew. I enter that!
     3.  Fill out a form the full size of the screen: Name, Address, Phone Number, Email, Alternate Email, M/D/Y you signed up for Google. Just kidding on that last one! But, on and on.
     4.  It sends an email to my Alternate Email, which is my husband's.
     5.  They send me a code. I type it in the box.
     6.  Finally, in the coup d' gras. (Here is the eerie meaning of coup d' gras: A deathblow delivered to end the misery of a mortally wounded victim.) Well hey. Google now wants to deliver me a death blow. Arrrrrrrrr
     7.  Google says I'm on an unfamiliar computer and wants me to designate (and probably verify my credentials again!) this computer as one I use.
     8.  I don't want my name showing up every time someone else comes to the library and they go to google to find their email.
     9.  After a half hour they've got me.  Arghh! Splutter! No! No!
     10.  I think the deathblow is about to come...I surrender...and exit out of Google.

I was lucky to get out of there alive! I'm warning all you fair gentlemen and ladies so you won't be killed trying to get a new password from Google.


Looking Back
beware!

 What? Not Again? Sad, but true. It was a disastrous week.

My only goal was to make 45 blocks for Firstest's High School graduation quilt. A hefty blow, but nonetheless, I soldiered on. I cut the strips for the blocks, sewed them and cut them into 60' diamonds. Thursday is my day to quilt together with a couple of friends. I keep my Featherweight at my friend's house so I don't have to carry a machine back and forth.

Something in the back of my head said, This machine has to sew the same size seam as the one on your Janome at home. Hmm, I said, well both of them sew a scant 1/4". It'll be alright.

Now you can guess what happened. No, they didn't sew the same 1/4". My task was to rip the seams out of all the strips and the diamonds too.

The first thing at my friend's house, I put all my blocks up on her design wall. Once I stepped back--Disaster! The lightest gray strip showed up as white when put together! I had to tear all the diamonds with the light gray on them. See the pictures in the top row down below; the grey looks white.


Top Left: Blocks with Seams Picked Apart.  Top Right: Close up of blocks sewn apart with curled seams, proof that I ripped them out! Bottom:  The strips to pick apart! Lesson learned!

And that is my progress for this week.

Looking Forward

Make 45 blocks. Same goal as last week and I WILL sew them on my home machine!

Announcement:

There's a whole lot of fun happening on Thursdays in my blog! It's a new feature on my blog! It's Throwback Thursday, a chance to re-visit a blog from my posts from years ago! It's new! Lots of fun! Fun for days! Give it a try! Here's the link for last week's post, jump on over to there!   Throwback Thursday will be published once a month on the first Thursday.


Nyd din dag  (It's Danish!) 
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