Friday, December 31, 2010

Step 5 & 6 of the Mystery

My goodness, the time I took enjoying family visiting at Christmas did set me wayyyyy behind on the Bonnie K. Hunter mystery! But I am going at my own pace and not rushing.

I found that I could combine the step 5 and step 6 and do them as one. That is, instead of making 600 HST's and then sewing them together later into 120 sawtooth units, I'm making the 120 units as I go. So far, I'm up to 60 of the 120, halfway! Yippee! Here is what they look like.
The one disadvantage to this is that, as I am using WOF yardage for my neutrals, rather than true scraps, my sawtooth pieces are completed as sets rather than all-jumbled up scrappiness. It is my compromise. I know that if I had made all 600 and then stirred them up and THEN sewed them into the sawtooth units, they would probably sparkle with scrappiness. But I must admit that I have felt overwhelmed by these steps! So combining them is just my way of coping so that I don't give up.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Christmas Spirit

What fun it has been to set most of my patchwork quilting aside to be celebrating Christmas with lots of different family members!
My "kid" sister, who is 50, Lucinda rode the bus up from Connecticut to visit us. I also have an older sister, Anne, who lives just 17 miles away, two towns over. Since everybody's schedule is different, we had our presents on Sunday, December 19th.

Last year, Lucinda got a quilt from me and she loves it. So this year, it was Anne's turn to get one from me. Imagine my surprise that I got one from Anne, too!
These pictures show Lucinda who had just opened a blue cotton hair scrunchie that I had made for her. And Anne is modeling a hair tie-up ribbon in a black oriental batik that was a "close-the-shopping-bag-at-the-register" string from Keepsake Quilting in Center Harbor, NH.
Lucinda and I had driven up there, which is about 45 minutes one way, to have me pick out 8 fat quarters as my Christmas present from her. Wow! I felt so rich! I even made one of my choices an oriental calligraphy print to give to Anne, who loves those.
My husband, Felix, and Matthew, who is no relation but like our adopted son, were outdoors in the freezing cold trying to winterize a 2000 Jeep Cherokee Sport for Lucinda to drive back down to Connecticut. The plug to drain out some of the radiator fluid, so that it could be replaced with anti-freeze, had been cross-threaded by the previous owner. It gave the boys hours of trouble. But once they got it free, they got her car winterized to -35 degrees!
Here is a picture of Felix and Matthew doing a little body work on the Cherokee, too. They sure did want hot cocoa when they came into the house!

Anne's gift quilt to me was very special. She had placed the winning bid in the WLNH children's charity auction on a quilt that had been made by Daisy Troop 10972! Yippee! I love the red and green borders and sashing and the panels that the girls colored are just superb! I was so tired that I fell asleep right with it on the futon with my lady labs, "Luau" and "Raven." Ahhhhhhhhh, quilty pleasures!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sicky Day; Sicky Tea

Today, Sunday, was not much forward progress on Step 3 of the mystery from Quiltville's Quips and Snips by Bonnie K. Hunter. I was too sick to want to play much. I took a morning nap. Then after lunch, I took an afternoon nap. All that wore me out, so I rested by reading emails and sipping "Sicky Tea."

Sicky Tea:

Two decaf tea bags with hot water in a very large mug,
Add a giant squeeze (2 tablespoons?) of honey,
Add a giant squeeze of Real Lemon,
Add a shot of Napoleon Brandy.

Some people call this a hot toddy and it can be made lots of ways, but this is my version. When you have scratchy eyes, runny nose, sneezing and sniffling on a cold winter's day, it sure is a comfort!

On Friday and Saturday, I pushed myself hard and was very pleased to get 30 of the 60 total string blocks done. They are fun and kinda addictive to do as they are mindless sewing of strips with no worry about matching points or seams. Even if your 1/4 seam is off a little, it's okay!
I fretted a bit when using paper foundations for the first time because my blocks were awful "curly!" They would not flatten out even with ironing.

Then I found that once I removed all the paper from the back while sitting upstairs watching TV, all my blocks relaxed their curls and laid flat again. Yippee!
My personal bias for creamy buttery ecru-ish sorts of neutrals begins to show here, right? And I still love all those darling little calico florals that are so dated and out of fashion now. So, IN THEY GO!!! LOL! Now I just need to do another 30 blocks of them.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Yippee! Step Three!

When Step 3 came out this morning I was determined not to let my rotten head-cold get me down! So in I plunged, making string blocks in neutrals on paper foundations. I am using a box of Strathmore bond transmaster, which I bought two decades ago for $2 at a tag sale. It is working but a little heavier than tracing paper.

I live out in the middle of nowhere; it's 26 miles to get to stores, over 50 miles round trip. So, some days, it pays off to be a hoarding little old lady living in her dysfunctional clutter! I would have spent all day fetching tracing paper. Now I have 10 string blocks sewn and I'm taking a break! But I do hope to get at least 5 more done today. I still need to iron, trim, and peel off the paper from them, too.
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