Tuesday, December 29, 2015

2 Days Post Blizzard

Last night when I turned in, it was -5F.  I was concerned about how low the temperatures might fall, and I left a lamp with an old incandescent bulb lit beneath the kitchen sink,  the only sink on an exterior wall. When I awoke to discover the temperature was +17F., I was surprised.

Apparently the front had moved into our area during the night.  It stayed cold all day, although we did get some sun late in the afternoon.

I'm getting some organizing done, and some cooking, of course, but there is nothing being finished on the quilting front--and there needs to be.

Happy quiltmaking and knitting....

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Snowy Sunday

This was a few hours ago.  The winds are bringing more horizontal snow and are still moving around what has fallen.  I-40 remains closed for many miles--and many miles of other other roads are closed or dangerous. We are still within the "Blizzard Zone."

The pharmacist at Smith's texted me that a prescription has been filled.  I will not pick that one up today.

I still haven't read my new magazines--but I'm getting some fabrics, including scraps, moved around.  I hope to finish some binding.  I may start sewing some leftover patches from other quilts together.

Stay warm, dry, and pleasantly occupied, everyone.....

This is the NM Roads map as of 8:15 this evening.  However, it hasn't been updated.  I-40 is closed across the entire state--and I'm guessing there are more closed roads.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Goliath Creeps Into My Town

The National Weather Service has named him Goliath. Locals are calling it Snowmagedden. This storm is twisting and turning here in our state and not going anywhere for a while.  The thing is that it's huge and stretches across many states.

We had to go to the grocery/pharmacy for  prescription refills and a few things to create multiple meals and pots of soup this morning. We waited in line for 20 minutes for the refills and another 30 minutes or so for grocery checkout.

This is one hour into the storm.

This is six hours into the storm, and the last daylight photo.

We were up to only about six inches accumulation.

But with the snow blowing horizontally, looks can be deceiving.
Yes, it's true; in New Mexico, snow is often horizontal.

This is what NMRoads is reporting at 8:00 p.m.--except there are reports that the roads are worse.  I'm thinking the state can't keep the website up to date due to so much activity.

I just received a message from a friend saying, "I just heard about the accident that closed I-40: 2 Semis, 3 Cars, 2 Fatalities. Praying for everyone involved."

One of her relatives is an EMT, so I suspect the message is correct. A lot of travelers and families need our prayers tonight.

I'm grateful for a warm house and pajamas fresh from the dryer.  Three new magazines, some knitting, beautiful music playing, and a College Girl who didn't dare suggest going out in this are keeping me happy--and feeling fortunate.  (The homemade chicken noodle soup and homemade rolls probably helped too.)

 I'm offering prayers for all those being impacted by this huge storm.

Stay home, stay safe, stay warm.
If you can sew, quilt, knit, or cook instead of going out in it, you are truly blessed.

10:00 p.m. update: We're now being told this storm will not be out of here until 6 a.m. Monday.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Felted Socks - OOPS!

I finished a pair of teal green socks a several weeks ago.

Saturday they came out of the laundry shrunken and felted--despite the fact that they had come through previous laundering under exactly the same conditions with no problems at all.

Sunday I ripped them out and wound them into little yarn cakes.  I decided to make some wristlets--since I'm pretty sure they will be warm.  I've managed only several rows of ribbing so far.

I'm taking it easy because two days ago I had cataract surgery; the surgery itself and my recovery are truly amazing.  Because I chose distance vision, I can see things without my glasses clearer than at any time since I was a very young child.  The cataracts in my left eye were larger than in my right, so my left eye received the attention this week, and my right eye will be done next week.

I've been playing a few Christmas programs on You-tube, thinking I'll reminisce about sweet old television Christmas specials--Julie Andrews, Andy Williams, and more.  But, I haven't gotten much knitting done.  I did finish quilting a prayer quilt I began quilting last winter and then had to un-stitch because the tension was messed up and I hadn't realized it.  The next quilt blessing is January 10, and I'd like to quilt some prayer quilt tops that have been sitting around here for months while I've had no time to quilt.

Stay warm!

Happy quiltmaking and knitting,....

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Candy for Quilters

When something like this arrives at the post office, I know I'm in for some good times.

Let's peek inside:

New color card with Fil-Tec's expanded line of colors and thread types...

Bobbins for the quilt that has been waiting since August (of course, there are quilts that have been waiting even longer)....

including two metallics waiting for their opportunity....

a new selection of some "small" cones to try.  (Small means only 1000 yards.)

Cheery reds for a quilt top that doesn't exist yet....and more staple colors.....

These remind me of that glossy ribbon candy that was so popular many decades ago.  Of course, these are much better because these are free of corn syrup, and the only way they will add any weight to people's hips is if they wrap themselves in one or more of the resulting quilts before stepping on a bathroom scale!

Yes, some lovely quilting joy ahead.

Happy quiltmaking,

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Quilt Think III - Making Winter Warmer

I bought these Frost by Benartex Fabrics months ago in a charm pack.

They are adorned with silver metallic.  And because they've been sitting here since last winter, they took a bit of tugging to get apart.  There are two charms of most prints.

In fact, I vaguely remember that I may have purchased two charm packs.  I hope I'm right.

I also have Kona Snow charms.

Interior decorators usually caution not to put blue and white in a north facing room because they will make January feel awfully cold.  My experience is that I love blue and white after Christmas--and I'll take every glimpse I can get of blue skies--probably since I've spent all but the last 25 years or so living where gray skies are more common than blue ones in winter.

I purchased these because I just like the prints.  They could become another prayer quilt, but they are just as likely to become a keeper quilt.  It will depend on whether I can get organized enough to remember if I really did buy two Frost charm packs.

I'm slowly moving some of my sewing things into our tiniest bedroom--so we'll feel less squished in our living room now that I've added a television.  But the stuff is heavy.  And my house has quite a few things in common with a Rubik's cube when I try to rearrange.

I'm very, very, busy with rehearsals for Christmas music right now.  I play piano for our church's Jubilee ensemble (flute, trumpets, clarinets, etc.), am part of the Jugband (as in J.U.G.--Joy Under God), sing in our main choir, and a quartet/quintet.  All the church music groups will be part part of a combined mostly-music service this Sunday.  The Jugband will also be doing music programs for a couple of assisted living/rehab centers and the Breakfast with Santa.  I do have a few more things going on--and a couple weeks until first semester ends.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow evening since my college girl should return home.  She's so incredibly busy that I hear from her if something is wrong (like a repair-engine light coming on in her car--a filter needed to be cleaned), but it seems she's barely getting a chance to rest--I'm hoping she's eating well and did an outstanding job on her finals!

Happy quiltmaking,

Monday, December 7, 2015

Quilt Think II--Inspired by the Ladies of My Childhood

While I love color, there are certain colors that appeal to me more than others.  For over two decades my favorite colors have been violet and teal.  I've made a lot of quilts in other colors, but when I come home, it's to the heavenly shades of violets and teals that comfort my soul--with some blue/yellow in the kitchen because I love those colors, and they're great for a kitchen.

A short while ago, Missouri Star Quilt Company featured Robyn Pandolph 10" inch squares that were so reminiscent of the homes of elderly ladies I admired when I was a child, that I knew I needed to design and make another quilt that honored those lovely women and brought some of those colors into my home--even if they don't blend all that well with the rest of my decorating.

Here's a glimpse of the fabrics in the set of ten inch precuts. I figured the colors were probably not true on my computer screen and guessed they would be a bit dustier in tone, which they are.  I also thought I wanted the plum or rose large florals for borders.  The only large floral in stock was the gold, so I settled for that one, but put the other two on my wishlist at Missouri Star.

A couple of weeks ago, I received an e-mail notice that those fabrics were now in stock.

So what I did was order a couple of yards of each.
No, I haven't had a chance to design or piece anything with them--but I'm fondling them.

Yes, they are delightful; however, one of my Georgia friends ordered the same pre-cut and was disappointed.  I think it's the inspiration of all those lovely ladies that makes these fabrics speak to me.

Happy quiltmaking,

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Quilt Think I--A Quilt Inspired by Dr. Chroma

Yes, I've been missing from the blog for a long time, but life has rushed on.
Most days I've come home from work too fatigued to do much of anything; although since I convinced the doctor I was on waaaay too much blood pressure medicine, I'm doing better.
So, I've been imagining and dreaming lots of quilts that haven't gotten made.
However, I imagine most people would say it's getting the inspiration that's essential,
So, here is inspiration number one.

A year or so ago I purchased these musical fabrics, planning to make a quilt for my dear friend Gwen Carlton.

Gwen spent her long career playing double reed instruments and teaching band to young people in Illinois in Peoria Public Schools.  Well, there were those years in the 1970's when the district decided to seriously curtail art and music classes except for minimal band and forced all those teachers into general education classrooms.  Because her mother had been teaching kindergarten, the powers that were decided Gwen should teach kindergarten too.  Although she has always been enchanting to young children, it was not a good fit; she did her best, continued playing in community orchestras and ensembles, and after several years was reassigned to be a band teacher--although she had to cover five or more schools.  Last winter Gwen suffered a stroke, went into surgery that was declared a success, suffered another far more devastating stroke in the hours after surgery, and passed away a few weeks later never having regained consciousness.

Therefore, this fabric has been lingering for even more months.

In October, Busy Bee, the shop a couple of miles north of I-40 in Edgewood, held some special days for quilters.  I carried the musical fabrics to the store, and came away with some new companions for them.

These are Michael Miller Fairy Frost fabrics in not quite pure colors.  They spoke to me because our sixth graders were reading The Phantom Tollbooth, and one of my favorite parts is the chapter about Dr. Chroma--probably because my brain just can't separate music and color.

So I came home with these, thinking the yardage would be perfect for the background/skies.
(Yes, that's the presser foot of my vintage Necchi BU on the right.  It's one of my favorite sewing machines; I removed the motor and treadle it--feels much healthier than sitting with my foot on an electric control.)

However, they sat in the bag for weeks because I didn't have time to even consider using them; furthermore, although I'd thought I had quite a few leftovers of Fairy Frost from other quilts,  it turned out I had much, much less than I remembered.

Recently, I found a lovely sale on Michael Miller 10" squares at Over the Rainbow, one of my favorite on-line shops.

These were in the Crayon Box collection--just what Dr. Chroma needs.

Of course, I'm not sure when I'll get these to the designing/piecing stage.

I've spent the last several months trying to find moments when I've had enough energy to add quilting to a quilt for a friend's daughter--and at this point, I'm hoping she can have it by Christmas--but I'm not sure that will be possible either.--Her mom pieced it (we designed it together), but it will be up to me to put on the binding, etc.

In the meantime, my brain is working on possibilities for Dr. Chroma's world of color and symphony.

Happy quiltmaking,

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Blessed Quilts II

Here are a few more quilts from our last prayer quilt blessing.

And, just for fun, here's a photo of the class float from my trip to El Paso, IL last week.
The float ride was an unexpected bonus. (Yes, that's our school in the background.  It has now been consolidated with that of the community of Gridley, seven or eight miles to the east.) Being 87th in the parade lineup gave us a great deal of time for informal catching up.  It was a wonderful prelude to the evening meal.  And, yes, there were a lot more guys than gals.  Of the 58 graduates, only 17 were women.  Our class was very, very lucky that we did not lose a single person in Vietnam.

I was able to talk with several people I'd not seen since graduation, and we missed a few who did not attend.  However, we've all faced challenges and grown and moved on, and everyone seems to be in a pretty good place emotionally.

To sum up the weekend in words we heard frequently as kids, it was more fun than a barrel of monkeys!

Happy quiltmaking,

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Blessed Quilts

Here are a few quilts that were blessed in August.

 We dedicated over 60 quilts, and they were layered so tightly that many are barely visible.

 They are so petty.

However, they are rapidly departing for new homes, although we had hoped we would have enough to last until after the first of the year.  For much of the summer I quilted so many that I lost count and didn't even get photos of all of them.

Since July I've had absolutely no time to quilt anything; I hope to change that this coming weekend, although our community is having the Pinto Bean Festival.

However, in the last week I've given one to my classmate Bob K., who is having back surgery; today I sent off three: one to Polly B. in Florida, wife of a classmate, who is in need of a diagnosis; one to Leah T. in Illinois who needs a diagnosis for heart issues and is hoping treatment will be non-invasive, and one to Robert J. in Illinois who has been suffering for six years with prostate cancer that is spreading. (Robert's wife is a former schoolmate.)

When we started our prayer quilt ministry, besides using our stash, our hope was that we would be able to make some small quilts that would prove a blessing to people with cancer.  We've expanded the ministry to include people facing serious health challenges.  While we frequently hear wonderful stories of healing and God's grace, I am constantly amazed at how much I am blessed by this work.  I hadn't even considered that possibility back when we started, and all the blessings just make my heart sing!

Happy quitmaking,......

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

NM State Fair and Methodist Pie

The New Mexico State Fair is in full swing in Albuquerque.  A couple of weekends ago, my engineer was engineering pie crusts, for pies that are being sold piece by piece at the Asbury Pie Cafe at the fairgrounds.

She was part of a large crew working in Wagner Hall at our church.
The proceeds benefit multiple charitable organizations in Central New Mexico and surpassed $1million several years ago.

Happy quilting,....

Monday, September 14, 2015

Quick Trip "Home"

This past weekend I made a very quick trip to my first hometown, leaving Friday afternoon and returning near midnight last night.
My friend Pat and I made a trip out to the farm between El Paso and Gridley, IL where I grew up, because my baby sister in Houston requested photos; I'm glad we were able to do that, although it's sad that every time I return, there is less to see.

This is the south face of the home.  The porch was enclosed in the late 50s or early 60s.  There used to be white wooden lattice panels over the spaces open between the foundation pillars of the porch.  It really looks as if the sidewalks are still the original ones installed around 1918.  I wonder if any new cement would last a hundred years.

The southeast corner of the house.  On this side of the airconditioner, there is an iron panel that opens into the room in the basement where coal was dumped from the time the house was built until the coal furnace was replaced by an oil furnace in the early 1950s.  In the early 1960s that furnace was replaced with a natural gas furnace.

I'm not sure why the wooden lapped siding of the house is missing in places.  It could be the result of tornado damage.

These semi-trailers are sitting on the 60'x100' foundation of the laminated rafter building that my father had built with an inheritance my mother received in the late 1950s.  I find it amazing that husbands could do things like that.  The building was hit by several tornadoes over the last 25 years or so, and it was torn down.  The cement pile to the right consists of remnants of the poured concrete foundation for the rafters. There used to be a huge orchard to the right.

This view is toward what was the site of the barn, also a victim of several tornadoes.

When I was a small child, a concrete foundation was poured at the west side of the corn crib for a wire-walled "room" to store corn on the cob.  I'd looked for this footprint on previous visits and had come to the conclusion that it had been worn away, so I was glad to find it this time.  My parents and grandfather were so happy about creating this foot print; to me the wet concrete on my foot was totally disgusting!!!

This is the south face of the crib.  Although we always called this the "corn crib," we used it for storage of both corn and oats. Yes, more evidence of tornado damage here.

I knew the sun was not in a good place, but I could not resist taking a photo of our grain silo.  (At least this was not built with my mom's inheritance.)

This is the northwest corner of the crib. Through all the decades and many changes of paint, the green shingles on the cupola remain.

This little concrete "monument" is what remains of the large concrete trough that watered cattle and horses.  It was also where the gold fish from my early childhood lived after I lost interest in them.  By the time I left for college, they had grown so much that they could have been sold to people who collected carp, but back then I didn't even know people had such hobbies. Although an underwater coal fueled heater kept the water from freezing in the winter, one winter after my mom, sister, and I had moved out, my dad let it freeze over, killing all the fish. (I'm guessing the concrete surrounds the water pipe that delivered water to the tank.)

Here's a view to the north on the side of the barn yard that besides the barn was home to a movable storage shed, a hen house, and a brooder house.  When the storage shed was being built, my parents told me Grandpa was going to live in it, and I just cried and cried.  They thought the whole thing was funny, but their joke was never funny to me!

This is the east face of the house.  The two windows to the east mark the position of the "pantry" with a dumb waiter to the dining room, a long porcelain sink with an equally long drainboard, storage drawers and windowed china cupboard, and a storage closet.  The door and window on the right mark what we called the "back porch" and was a weather protector where we dropped our boots before entering the kitchen.  The deck has been built on since the place was sold.  The iron rods to the right are the base of the windmill.  And here are more of those nearly 100 year old sidewalks.

The top of the windmill has been replaced with a television antenna.

The yard to the north of the house no longer includes our huge garden because that space has been reclaimed for the corn field.

This is the north face of the house.  The single window to the left was once three larger north facing windows.  I'm not sure why I didn't take a picure of the west face of the house.  It has a smaller porch at the door to the west side of the house.  Whenever anyone knocked on that door, we knew they were strangers.

This second photo of the large foundation, shows how blue the sky was, rivaling New Mexico's sky.  No flat bottomed clouds in Central Illinois!

I'm linking to a post that shows what the farm looked like in the summer of 2008

This little photo session was the beginning of a weekend of immense fun that included people I hadn't seen for years, including several I hadn't seen in decades--since we graduated from high school!

Happy quiltmaking,
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