Sunday, January 25, 2015

Moving Right Along

I've done as much as I can in the house for now.  There are a couple boxes that ended up there and should have been in the Cottage.  So they sit until I can get someone to move them for me.  Or a couple of people.  And a forklift.  Yes, it's fabric.  I'm also pretty positive that there are boxes in the back that should be in the house. 

One thing is I have way too many quilts. 

There are some with which that I will never part -- you know, my first quilt, first paper piecing, first applique, first whatever.  Then there are those that I've collected at auctions from such designers as Carrie Nelson, Brenda Riddle, Kimberly Jolly, etc.  Then there are quilts that I've received as gifts.  All of the above are in their forever home.

But there are those quilts that I made just because I wanted to use a color, a fabric line, try a pattern and/or technique, maybe go out of my box a bit, or just make it for the sake of sewing.  Had a ton of fun with all of them, but they won't ever be used by me.  Perhaps young folks would like the brighter ones.  I did find the box containing the two quilts that I made for Brenda Riddle's retirement home project.  I feel so badly that those haven't been quilted and off to her.  That's going to be Number Uno on my things-to-do list!  The backings weren't in that box -- the packer's fault because they were stacked together -- so I will search today for those.

Today I start tackling this.

I've opened some of them looking for things.  Those ones way at the top of the stack are books.  They're over my head.  Enter the forklift!  I should have looked more closely at previous pictures taken.  I've been searching and searching for my shredder.  Yep, there it is sitting on the mantle.

Those boxes were plunked down two months ago yesterday.  Now I'm able to get around without a walker and it's time to dive in.  Oh, wait, no diving.  No more trips to ER.  This will be a slow and steady process.

I went out there thirty minutes before sunrise to assess the situation.  I had to laugh out loud at my shadow heading back to the house.  Hair in a lopsided ponytail, pajamas, and a weird angle from the motion light behind me.  Looks like one of those funny mirrors at the carnival!

I have been sewing a bit on BOM packages that have arrived since my move.  More on that later!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Life in the Country

I went over to my brother's house to drop something off.  When I pulled up, his neighbor, Ted, came out and told me to get my phone because there was a black bear cub in my brother's back yard.

I grabbed several pictures from far away and cropped them.

He was real small and had been around the neighborhood for a couple of days with no mama bear around.  So Ted called Wildlife & Fisheries.  The cub was loping off when W&F arrived, but the guy ran behind him and scooped him up with a dip net. That's how tiny he was.

Poor little fellow.  I hope he's fed and taken care of, and then released back into the wild when he's bigger.  I never thought much about bears around here, but our little town holds an annual Black Bear Festival, so I guess I should have figured that one out!

An exciting day in the "other LA"!

Monday, January 12, 2015

2015 Finishes - So Far!

Focusing only on positives this year, I set up the Bernina I had shipped here last Christmas and was able to get some bindings sewn on.  So I have three finishes already in 2015!

I sewed the two Minick & Simpson bindings on because the first thing I did was put my M&S stash in the new closet.  It's a good thing because the plastic tote in which I had carefully folded away the binding fabrics is still packed in one of those boxes in the cottage.  These quilts are nice and flat, but were folded for a few months.  They need to be washed to get rid of the folds in them.

Nantucket by Minick & Simpson.  It was so much fun sewing along with a group of ladies making this quilt. The fabric is their Midwinter Red line for Moda, but the binding is another red from another collection.  I love that their fabrics lines work together!


The next finish was Hurrah also by Minick & Simpson.  Although I couldn't find the tub with the binding fabric, I found more of that striped fabric in my stash and was able to forge ahead on getting this binding done.  Yes, I bought extra of their stripes.  I love them for bindings.  In this case, it's a good thing I did.
The third finish was the Jelly Roll Jam free pattern from the Fat Quarter Shop.  I had the binding in a Ziploc and I wisely folded it in with the quilt.  Penny pulled it off the chair and claimed it.  After all, I did take away all of her other quilts when they were washed and packed.  This baby needed a quilt!  It's funny because I gave her another quilt soon after this, but she keeps going back to this one.
I have two other quilts that need bindings, also free patterns from the Fat Quarter Shop.  Those will have to wait until I can unearth my solids.  I plan on diving into the boxes in the cottage hopefully this week as I'm feeling somewhat better.  Of course, they piled boxes of books on top of everything, so I guess those will be the first things unpacked back there.
I was at a point where I was out of projects to stitch.  I found a tub that had ended up in a wardrobe box with my clothes because it was in my bedroom.  In it was the unfinished quilt by Brenda Riddle, A New Day.  While I was assembling the blocks, I think I remember finding a HST turned the wrong direction. I must have fixed it because I can't find it now.  Of course, if I didn't fix it, I'm sure I'll find it after the borders are on and it's quilted.  That happened to me one time!
I have feelers out for two cleaning ladies.  I hope to get one (or both) of them in this week.  This house is big and has a lot of wood floors.  I tried vacuuming with one hand while pushing the walker with the other.  It didn't work so well -- but I'm positive it would have made for a funny picture.
One last picture.  It was real foggy this morning.  By the time I took this picture, a lot of the fog had lifted but it was still hanging over the bayou. 
I didn't venture all the way to the back but the bayou is under that layer of fog.  Oh, a few folks have asked me about that "street light" back there.  I actually have two in the yard.  They are dusk-to-dawn lights, and are great to have because it's a long way to the back of the yard and they light up the area nicely.  I call them my bogeyman lights!
I can do this .... I can get the cottage unpacked .... I can settle into my new life .... I can stay healthy this year .... I can do this!  Only positive things all year long! 

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

2015 Quilting Goals

I've been thinking about this for a couple of weeks.  I haven't set many new quilting goals in the past because of my work schedule.  Now is the time!

There are two quilts on my radar for 2015. 

The first is Austin Bluebird Sampler by Minick & Simpson.  This quilt blew me away when I first saw it for a couple of reasons.  First and foremost, it's Minick & Simpson, and everyone knows how much I love their fabric.  I don't know if I'm their biggest fan, but I'd wager I'm in the top ten or so!  The second reason is that I want to dip back into needle turn applique.  I was a fairly good appliquer before life got in the way.  It's time to embrace that love.

Laurie, I apologize for snagging this picture off of your blog ... sorry.  My cover picture is packed away in one of those mystery boxes out back.

This quilt is gorgeous.  I signed up for the Minick & Simpson BOM as soon as it was offered, but I haven't started it yet what with packing and moving.  I'm going to start with the couple of months of shipments I've received since the move, the pieced blocks.  As soon as I find my applique supplies (freezer paper, light box, the thread pack, the first shipments), then I can get started on the applique.  I'm really excited about this one.

The other quilt that I zoomed in on from the Market pictures is Brenda Riddle's Seedlings quilt with her new Ambleside fabric for Moda.

I just received all of her new patterns yesterday.  Brenda, *thank you* for the wonderful package and for rushing them out to me.  Again, this one has a touch of applique and lots of fun nine patches.  As soon as the fabric is available I'll start this one. 
The soft colors were my first love, and no matter how many quilts I make using more modern fabrics or the darker Civil War colors, these will always be near and dear to me.
On the UFO front, I have several that will get finished up pretty quickly once I'm set up in the new sewing space, the Cottage.  I have the James River Blues blocks all made and ready to assemble.  The Quick Curve Ruler quilt is also ready to assemble.  There are a couple of more that are in that same state.  I was waiting until I moved but I didn't expect to be delayed on the sewing .... those emergency room trips and wheelchairs and walkers certainly screwed up my unpacking schedule.  Hopefully in the next month things will all get sorted out and I'll be ready to sew away.
Of course, today I need to get ready for the 20 something degree weather they are predicting for tonight.  Jeepers, I'm eight or ten miles from the Gulf.  You wouldn't think it would get that cold here but it does.  I forgot that South Louisiana is seasonal.  Anyway, the downstairs heater in the Cottage is broken and a part is on order, but I don't think it will be fixed today.  So I have to make sure water is dripping, and the upstairs heater is turned up in the hope of warming the downstairs enough to keep the pipes from freezing.  And then there are those hundreds of faucets outside that need to be wrapped.  Okay, so I exaggerate when I say there are hundreds, but there are probably more than a dozen.  Last winter there was a faucet pipe that burst out back and spewed water for a week until the lawn service found it.  I want to try to avoid that this year if I can.
Too bad the bayou won't freeze.  Then I could add ice skating to my list of things to learn this year!
Kidding, just kidding!  Imagine clumsy me on ice skates.  I can't even walk downstairs without falling.  Heck, they'd have to reserve a permanent bed for me in ER and give me a private parking space right outside the entrance!
I wish everyone a Happy New Year, especially a healthy one.  Each new year gives me another chance to get it right, and I'm going to do my best to meet THAT goal this year!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Christmas Week 2014

All of the plans I had conjured up in my mind for decorating this Christmas have gone by the wayside.  I have a few things out that, frankly, I had left out after last Christmas when I headed back to CA.  I didn't get back to Louisiana this year, so the house just sat waiting for me.

Remember, I landed in the emergency room within half an hour after the moving van arrived.   They pretty much put stuff wherever.  It'll all get sorted out eventually, but for now things stay as they lay.  Right next to the front door is where my grandmother's treadle machine landed.  I want to get the cabinet stripped and restored to its original cherry finish.  Until then .....

Of course, having a pair of crutches in the foyer is a decorative must!  I just know everyone will be copying this vignette!  Go ahead.  You have my permission!!

Sally and I ventured out to a small antique store in this little town one day.  I found that Mikasa sleigh.  I thought I'd put some holly in it from the yard.

The red berries aren't real visible in this picture, but I didn't want to venture out on the grass to get a closer picture.  This is taken from my carport.  The back yard is on the other side of that fence.  There's a forest next to my property with all sorts of critters who set off the motion lights at night.  The crew that's been hacking away at the overgrown bushes started cutting back the holly trees and I stopped them.  "Let's do that after the new year."  I don't know how many times I told them that!

I also stopped them from cutting the overgrown azaleas in the front.  I figured a little color in the yard for the holidays is better than nothing.  I wish I could go out back to get a snapshot of the camillias.  Some are blooming and some are full of buds.

Yep, this isn't at all what I envisioned for Christmas this year, but as the over-used saying goes, it is what it is.  I'm getting better and that's all that's important for right now.

I hope everyone has a glorious holiday season.  Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas from my little corner of the world!

Saturday, December 13, 2014


The other LA has been a place of whirlwind activity for the past week.  Plumbers, electricians, carpenters, jungle whackers -- but the most important of all, my friend Sally.  She flew into town on Monday and has not stopped flying since she's been here!

The boxes in the last post are gone but for a few that I need to decide what to do with.  The quilting cottage was attacked yesterday.  At first we could go no further than opening the front door and looking at boxes stacked almost to the ceiling.  There are still a ton of boxes, but the stash closet is shaping up.

It's about 60% full at this point.  The shelves on the right are holding bolts and flat-fold backings.  I'm sure things will be shifted around as I work in there, but it's nice to have 13' shelves to put the stash on.  Except for the top shelf, the other shelves are 12" deep.  Maybe I could have gone a little deeper with those but I didn't want fabric right up against the doorjamb.  By the end of today we hope to have the books put away on shelves on either side of the fireplace.  The "extra" fabric will go upstairs but that part will have to wait until we have brawn onsite!

The kitchen took us (I say that tongue-in-cheek because Sally did all the work!) almost two days.  There are tons of cabinets and drawers.  It was a lot of deciding what went where.  It really looks nice now.  Here's an in-progress picture of the pantry.

Since I'm still gimping around, it will most likely take me a few months to get everything where it's supposed to go.  I'll just have to take baby steps now, both literally and figuratively.  The knee is some better, the brace keep falling down my leg, and I need to get PT scheduled.  I'm getting real tired of pushing the walker around but it's a necessary evil at this point.  Looking at the bright side, the seat does work for toting around a small grocery basket at the market!

The jungle-whackers I referred to above came in and really have worked magic in the back yard.  I had huge azaleas encroaching on one side of the pool.  While I hate to remove healthy plants, there's now an unencumbered view of the bayou from the house.  They've done about 80% of the back.  The front of the house needs some attention, too, but it's mostly clipping of low-hanging oak branches over the driveway and trimming crepe myrtles.  Again, I hate to cut those but I think the trees will look better and will not be brushing up against the house.

Tall toilets and new shower heads and fixtures will be going in next week.  The computer closet has been wired.  Most of the TV stuff has been located so I can now schedule service here.  A new fence around the garbage can area will be built.  A lot of other things but I can't remember it all right now.  I have a new driver's license and car tags, a local bank account opened .... yep, progress is being made on the bayou!

I couldn't have done any of this without Sally.  Her husband told me to watch out if she puts her hair in a ponytail, to take myself and anyone I love and just get out of the way!  I replied that he should have warned me of that beforehand!  I want to help so badly, but I've gotten real used to her telling me to get out of her way!  I love you, Sal!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Moved In

The moving van came at 7:30 p.m. on Monday and worked until 11:00.  They came back the next morning at 10:00 and worked until 3:30.  There are boxes everywhere.

Of course, I can only see the ones in the den because ....

.... as soon as they got here Monday, I took them back to the back house, the Cottage, where all the sewing stuff goes, and promptly fell down the stairs.  A trip to the emergency room and I was told nothing in my knee is broken but I need to see an orthopedist. (Earliest appointment I could get was 12/9.)  They didn't x-ray my leg which is swollen and hurts like all get-out. I can't stand on it.  My brother loaned me a small wheelchair (that he also needs), so I can get around a bit between the living room and the kitchen and a small half bath tucked under the staircase downstairs.  I haven't showered since 5:00 Monday morning.

I have no idea what the upstairs in the house looks like.  I'm sure the furniture and boxes are all piled around up there.  I have no idea what the Cottage looks like but I was told that they ran out of room to put all the boxes.  I have no idea about anything.

Cheese with my whine?

Vicky, welcome to the other LA.