Monday, August 31, 2020

Best August News

The best thing that happened to me during August was having "Elizabeth, My Almost Perfect Cat" quilt shipped safely to Wisconsin and back home. She and another quilt, "Interleave Symphony," are entered in The Great Wisconsin Quilt Show September 10-12, 2020. This show is a large annual show that will take place virtually this year at this link: The Great Wisconsin Quilt Show

It's time to put away the Color Block quilts. These have been fun to make and it is interesting to experiment with different threads and stitch patterns. 

Although the hydrangeas have refused to bloom this summer, the grass just in front of it seems to be trying to put on a beautiful show to make up for them.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Time Zooms By

You'd think time would drag in these "safer-at-home" conditions, but the days are rushing by. The COVID death rate is up to 175,000 in the U.S. and all of my former regular activities are either cancelled or meeting online through Zoom and YouTube. It is a confusing time. Temps have been in the 90s, so I am watering my flowerbeds every day. And now we have TWO storms (Marco and Laura) heading our way in the Gulf of Mexico. 

My hydrangeas have not had even one flower, and the zinnia seeds produced tall leafy plants with no flowers. But you can always count on coleus! I even added four more small plants last week. My red bell pepper plant has a beautiful pepper on it--hoping it will turn red.

Zinnias growing taller, but no blooms

I do not see any honey bees, and only one bumble bee, finally one butterfly, but no caterpillars making new butterflies. Hoping for better luck next summer.

I helped make more liturgical banners for my church, University Baptist Church. The six side banners are complete and ready to hang when we can be back in our sanctuary. These are green and white felt, 24" wide x 36" high, double-sided, and represent the Greek symbols Alpha and Omega and Chi Rho. 

I've made several more Color Block wall quilts. These simple but colorful pieces are fun to stitch, and making straight rows or other geometric patterns gives a satisfying feeling of being in control of at least one area of my life during the uncertainty of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the cats are always entertaining. They have been especially affectionate after having noisy workmen in the house doing the kitchen work.

Tarbaby leaning on my neck from the back of my chair

Elizabeth enjoying a leisurely breakfast

Elizabeth enjoying a leisurely breakfast

Rahrah pretending to be the favorite kitty 

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Kitchen Remodeling

 Two plumbers and two tile installers spent the day with me. Thanks to Stoneworks (quartz countertop), Southern Interiors (subway tile backsplash), and Bill’s Plumbing Co. (faucet). I’m so happy with the bright new kitchen. Does this mean I will have to cook more? And it all started with a question about a leaky faucet.

Looking into dining room

View from dining room into kitchen

View from dining room table into kitchen (across Linda's table runner)

Oh, look! I made cornbread tonight!
While the workmen were busy I tried to work on some Color Blocks. Elizabeth had to be close enough to touch. So we sat in the recliner a while.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Sunbonnet Sue and Kitchen Remodeling

I finished repairing the Sunbonnet Sue quilt. She looked better than thought she could. All the little dresses were made of feedsacks and were quite strong; the muslin background was in good shape, leaving just the borders and backing fabrics showing the most wear. Luckily, the quilting was evenly distributed so there was no wadding up of the cotton batting. There is something so satisfying about giving new life to some unknown quilter's work. Will someone doing the same to my work one day?

Several weeks ago I decided to upgrade my kitchen. Well, actually I mentioned to my son Mark that the sink faucet leaked and wondered if it needed a new gasket. He suggested the upgrade and helped me pick the materials.

We ordered quartz countertops (color called Buttermilk) and he dismantled the taller dividing section. Instead of this taller shelf, this countertop will be an additional 12" wider. While waiting for the materials, I moved everything out from under my kitchen cabinets to get ready for new countertops. The guys installed the countertop and sink today; plumber and and tile guy will hook up faucet and backsplash subway tiles tomorrow.

Installing sink

Temporary brace while waiting for wood turner to prepare a post
 for support of upper cabinets

I'm looking forward to seeing it all finished.

Friday, August 7, 2020

August and Elizabeth is in Milwaukee

 Thank goodness for USPS tracking that let me know my quilt "Elizabeth, My Almost Perfect Cat" arrived in Milwaukee safely to wait to appear in The Great Wisconsin Quilt Show 2020 Virtual Experience--a joint venture of PBS Wisconsin and Nancy Zieman Productions, LLC. The event will be September 10-12, 2020, and can be seen at this link. 

The real Elizabeth is unaware that the quilt is no longer on the wall, as long as she can get my undivided attention occasionally.

I have been doing some repair on a very old quilt, using fabric and parts from a second quilt for the repairs. This involved frequent threading of a needle for hand stitching. You have seen tools that look like a gimmick. . . well, this little jewel is one of those, but it works like a charm. 

Place needle in needle slot, thread across thread slot

Press down on lever

Voila! Lift threaded needle out and pull thread through

The two quilts show evidence of lots of use, love, spills, stains, perhaps even some dog teeth, and washing. One was in such poor condition that it could be cut up for repairing the other one. The outcome certainly doesn't look pristine and new, but it can be passed on to another generation in this family. The first picture is the worst quilt. The other pictures are of the quilt with pieces being replaced.

Old quilt to cut up for repairs
The older quilt, for cutting up

Repairs underway

Replacing a bonnet and background

Meanwhile, there was lots of sleeping going on. But I had to wait for their naps to get anything accomplished.

Rahrah keeping me from reading

Tarbaby on garage floor

Finishing up new quilts (quilting and binding) is much easier than working on old ones!