Friday, April 28, 2017

One weeks' worth in one post

When I woke up this morning, I realized that it was Friday and that a week ago, I was packing up to spend 3 wonderful days at quilter's retreat. Then I also realized that it has been a week since I last posted in this blog!  I have been so proud of myself for posting nearly every day except when I've been traveling.  I guess it's time to catch you up on activities here in cloudy and cold Wisconsin.

Monday, April 24
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I couldn't believe it when I turned over and saw that it was 8:30!  OMG! I guess I was really, really tired from 3 days of quilt partying at retreat over the weekend! 

I was at Nawbury Lodge in New Auburn, WI, about 50 miles from my home, with 14 other wonderful quilters, and Boy Oh Boy! did we have a ball!  Great friends with lots of laughter and giggles, wonderful food, and of course, lots of sewing done.  But I was exhausted when I arrived home, barely able to put my things away in the sewing room.

While at the retreat, I got a good start at the charity quilt I'm making for the Hands2Help project organized by Sara at confessions of a fabric addict.  I got 3 rows sewn together and the flying geese blocks made up for another 3 rows.  Since there are 12 rows in the twin sized quilt, I was nearly half done with the piercing.  Yea!  I'm using the 4 charm packs I'd purchased several years ago, along with some yardage, to make up the FG and believe me, I really wish I hadn't decided to use the charms in the FG design. The geese measure about 2" by 4" finished and that means there's a lot of sewing and cutting that goes into making all of them. I calculate that one charm pack, minus the 4 or 5 pieces that I'm not using in this project, make up about 140 FG!  And multiply that by 4 equals a lot of FG!

I also finished piecing the Bless My Garden embroidery project and that's ready for quilting up.

And I struggled to make up one The Farmer's Wife Sampler block, so now I have 9 made up--out of a hundred or so!  What was I thinking! Each block takes me several hours to make up since paper piecing is not my favorite and I struggle quite a bit. I keep thinking that if I keep at it, I'll finally get it.  "Nevertheless, she persisted."

Today, I have a grocery run to make, some housework waiting for me, and finish putting away my things in my sewing room. That should keep me out of trouble for a bit. I also have an appointment with my customer to deliver the wall quilt she asked me to make.  Hope she likes it!

Tuesday, April 25

Today was medical day.  First thing was to head over to Eau Claire to see the doc and get the cast taken off my hand. What a relief to have it off!  I realized that I've never had to have anything casted until now, and I don't like the feeling of it. Thanks goodness I only had to wear it for a week or so, and not the 6 or more weeks that you have for serious broken bones.  I was a little afraid to move my thumb since it hurt so much before when I did, but, nope, no pain now!  I am a happy woman!  All I have to do is daily massage for a month and some hand exercises.

In the afternoon, I took out the leaf rake and finished raking the front yard. I found some leftover organic fertilizer that I wanted to get on the lawn before it was too late, and I finished up that job just as the first raindrops began falling. It rained steadily all evening.  Perfect timing on my part since the fertilizer directions say to water heavily after applying.  No worry about that now!

Wednesday, April 26

Today looks like a NBS kind of day--Nothing But Sewing--except for a couple loads of laundry.  I think I've recovered from the marathon sewing I did at retreat and am ready to round up the flying geese and get them in rows and into the quilt top. I'm also intrigued by making another Farmer's Wife block, and I have 3 or 4 Solstice Challenge blocks to make to get caught up with that again.

In the picture of the FG quilt above, you can see that indeed, I assembled another 3 rows and now have the quilt top half done!  Unfortunately, I don't have enough of the cream colored fabric and will have to find more of it. Fortunately, it's a very popular line called Fusions by Kaufman, I think, and I know of 2 shops that carried it in the past and may still have it.  If it's not at the nearby store in Rice Lake, I'll take a road trip up north to Floodwood MN where I've found the fabric on their website.

And to update you, my customer loves the wall quilt!  In fact, she liked it so much, she paid me twice what I was asking, since it was for charity!  I was so surprised!  I know I've said it before, but when I make a quilt for a customer, the money they pay goes to my Jolly Ruby account as does all the revenue from the Jolly Ruby Etsy store.  This money then goes to help people with disabilities who run into unexpected expenses like car repairs, appliance replacement, and so forth. I donate the money to the two area counties and one of them uses it to pay for home delivered meals for these younger people who can't cook for one reason or another and who don't have the funds to pay for the meals out of pocket. More often than not, my customers pay more than the asking price since it's for charity, and every time, my faith in the goodness of people is restored.

Thursday, April 27

Today was Road Trip and Shop Hop day!  Yesterday, my husband asked me to make a wall quilt for him using fabrics denoting his career as an educator and I suggested a couple of ideas but he wasn't sure. I said he'd have to come shopping with me and choose the fabrics himself--and he agreed!  So, today was the day.  When I'd met up with my friend, Bonnie, last week, she brought me a huge shopping bag overflowing with yarn that she no longer needed, so this was the time to take it to the prisoners for their craft program.  Don and I went there first, about 40 or 50 miles away, and he grumbled all the way!  However, when he stepped into the shop, his mouth dropped open in amazement over all the things tucked away in there.

This was a place called Sew and Sew in Stanley, WI, way out in the country, and they have a very nice assortment of not only fabric but embroidery and wools as well.  We didn't find anything for his wall hanging but he did like the golf fabric very much. Have I ever mentioned that Don's an avid golfer? Well, indeed, he is.  In fact, he has a golf simulator in one of the basement rooms where he "lives" in the winter, and when he saw the golf fabric, he immediately asked me to make him a wall quilt for his golf room, so we got a yard of that fabric for me to work with.

As we were leaving the shop, I noticed a couple of metal lawn chairs to the side of the door. Between the two chairs was this!

Next, we headed to Rice Lake to see if the Busy Bobbin had anything for his other wall quilt, and yes, they did. This shop is crammed full of all sorts of fabrics and in the specialty section, he spotted a couple of music themed bolts. Well, since he's also a "musician," (she said, tongue in cheek) he thought this would be perfect for the wall quilt. There were two coordinating bolts so we got a yard of each.  Don't know what I'll do with them, but I'm leaning toward large half square triangles using colors from my stash.  We'll see.  And, no, they didn't have the Fusions fabric that I need, but Angie suggested that rather than driving all the way to Floodwood, I could send them a swatch and see if they can match it. Great idea!  I'll get that taken care of today.

Also today, Don and I will spend some time at our spot in the community gardens spreading bags of leaves over the soil. The gardens will be tilled in the next few days and if the leaves get turned under and into the soil, that will be a very good thing.  After that, I need to sit down with paper, pencil and calculator and figure out how much a trip to the Canadian Maritime Provinces would cost and then see if Bonnie has any time free this spring to spend a week or so out there with me.  She and I have been wanting to take this trip for the longest time, and just now I have the cash so it's time to spend it!

I also want to get back in the sewing room and make a couple of backs for 2 throw sized quilts that are waiting for me to get them done, and maybe make a couple (or a hundred) more flying geese!

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