Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Weekend after the FNSI

Orange Broken Dishes BlocksKnock knock.

Who's there?


Orange who?

Orange you going to blog about the results of your Friday Night Sew In?

On Friday, I finished cutting almost 800 orange triangles ... and I spent some time over the weekend sewing together triangle squares and making broken dishes blocks. It was a whole lot of chain sewing and pressing ...

These are twelve of the 21 blocks I'm making.

The real fun is coming ... when the orange blocks are done, I'll add them to the yellow, green, blue, purple and red ones and start playing on the design wall.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Approaching Normal

For those who wonder, I am still, surprisingly, hurting and am frustrated by the things that I still cannot do, but I continue to act as if things have returned to normal and make the effort.

New Project IdeaYesterday, I took advantage of the sale on holiday fabrics at Santa Fe Quilting and came home with these ... and an idea on how I want to use them.

I felt bad about leaving the store in a bit of a mess because I just couldn't push the bolts back in place on the shelf.

I have owned the Art to Heart Book, 12 Days of Christmas and the stand for the little quilts for a while and I love the idea of using these little quilts to count down to Christmas ... and perhaps, with these new fabrics in hand, I will be able to make it happen this year ... if I can get past the pain of applying pressure with a rotary cutter necessary to cut the fabrics.

Orange ScrapsI have also pulled out my orange scrap bin and the die cutter to make the blocks I need for one of my rainbow scraps challenge project (and goal for a lovely finish in December), but ... I am afraid the motions involved may not be possible for me to accomplish without pain ... yet.

I know that getting back to working with fabrics will be good for me, emotionally and creatively, though, so if I cannot work on these two December projects, I will find do-able others.

Although I missed the deadline for QuiltCon, I am still motivated to finish this quilt, from the Michael Miller challenge fabrics.

MM Fabric Challenge - Still in-progress

I had just finished arranging the randomly colored log cabin blocks and started sewing them together before the crazy life events of the last few weeks ... and left them on my design wall looking just like this for almost a month.  I am still excited about the quilt design I have in mind for this quilt and am motivated to finish.

Perhaps, the best choice for me would be some handwork ... I keep thinking about getting organized for some comfortable, restful, hand-quilting. I just have to get past the physicality of reaching, pulling, arranging involved in basting a quilt.   If I can make this last one happen, I am looking forward to a Slow Stitch Sunday evening of hand quilting and stress reduction.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

It's Beginning to Look Like ...

Santa Fe Prepares for the holidaysToday was a cold and rainy day, but earlier this week, on a more pleasant day, I snapped some photos of the preparations for the holidays around the Santa Fe Plaza.

The dog sculptures outside the Pop Gallery were wearing new festive ribbons.

The decorations here are a mix of traditional, commercial and uniquely New Mexico style.

The rain falling here translates to snow in the mountains ... and a hint that we may have a frosting of the white stuff at lower elevations soon.

Santa Fe Prepares for the holidays Santa Fe Prepares for the holidays Santa Fe Prepares for the holidays
Santa Fe Prepares for the holidays Santa Fe Prepares for the holidays Santa Fe Prepares for the holidays
Santa Fe Prepares for the holidays Santa Fe Prepares for the holidays Santa Fe Prepares for the holidays
Santa Fe Prepares for the holidays Santa Fe Prepares for the holidays Santa Fe Prepares for the holidays

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

A Different Kind of WIP Wednesday

Over the past couple days, the old cracked boiler has been removed and a new one, which didn't work, installed in it's place. Electricians were called, circuit boards were replaced and late this afternoon, someone called the manufacturer's tech support line and troubleshot the problem--there was a tiny little missing jumper wire.

So, the work in progress around my studio looked like this:

Good riddance old cracked boiler Getting ready for the new boiler
Putting in the new oneAt the "not quite working" phase ...

Because it's a radiant heat system and the house has become very cold over the past week, it's going to take a while for things to warm up ... but this is progress in the right direction.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Finish This! My Goal for a Lovely Finish in December

Remember this one?

Scrappy Broken Dishes Blocks

My goal for December is to make the missing scrappy orange blocks, decide upon an arrangement and sew the 121 blocks together into a quilt top.

For those curious about my personal saga, no, I still don't have heat at my house.  A replacement heating system was delivered and installed today, but ... it doesn't work. An electrical expert came and had no more luck and, at the end of a long day, I was told, "you have a broken boiler."  Which is exactly what I had before ... but different.

As a result of having the garage door at one of the studio open all afternoon and part of the evening as they ripped out the old (broken) system and installed the new (DOA) system is that the house is cooling down even faster ... I spent the day at the other end of the studio, huddled by an electric heater and my hands and feet are more like ice cubes than physical appendages now ... can I have some cheese with this wine?

Sunday, November 30, 2014

An 11th Hour Finish for the 11th Month of A Year of Lovely Finishes

When I fled the house with cats, all their stuff, all my stuff, etc., friends suggested I be sure to take some hand work.

Stitching down the BindingI'm sure I sounded like a whiny baby when I explained that I couldn't stand the physical pain of carrying one more bag or the process of putting together a project to bring to the hotel.

Yesterday, I did manage to trim a quilt, make binding, sew it on, and pack up everything I needed to stitch it down in the hotel last night.  The electric heater that the heating service guy loaned me made it possible ... until I turned on the iron and blew the circuit in the studio ...

I have a bit more stitching until I'm completely done (and I'll finish today for my Slow Stitch Sunday project).  Last night I noticed that the colors of the quilt worked well with the decor of my hotel room and couldn't resist spreading it out over the king-size bed for a photo.

The lighting isn't great, but ... good enough for me to share this Lovely Finish.

Almost King-sized

I'll have more details to share later, but I couldn't wait to share my November Finish (and the first EVER Block Lotto sampler quilt I've finished in the same year as we made the blocks that are in it.)

Update - here's the finished quilt hanging in my VERY COLD studio.

It's a Mod Mod Sampler Quilt - Finished

This one was also long arm quilted by Lynn Horpedahl. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Why me?

You'd think that being run down by the cell phone menace would be enough to bear ...

I woke up genuinely feeling thankful to be alive and even though my plans for the holiday weekend were anything but normal, I was prepared to make the best and enjoy it ...  and even try to work on a couple projects I had hoped to finish at the end of the month.

I really just wanted (and needed!) a couple days of rest at home.

I planned to cook a couple of my personal Thanksgiving favorites for a simple meal at home, including a black and blue berry crumble using this recipe

I knew that my real desert at the end of the day today is going to be this Mochacino Smoothie ... that is likely going to taste anything but good, but is a necessary preparation for a CT Scan tomorrow. 

While others are scurrying about shopping Black Friday sales or happily avoiding the rush and staying home and quilting or enjoying other pursuits, I will be likely sitting in another waiting room for what seems like forever until  ultimately getting scanned to make sure everything is OK inside.  Because, unfortunately,  it really doesn't feel like everything is OK and when I went to urgent care on Monday, they were concerned about my spleen. 

Still, I was looking forward to a restful weekend and enjoying the prospect of waking up slowly this morning–I still wake up too early–whenever the pain meds wear off which is usually 2 or 3AM, but I stayed in bed a while and slowly faced the challenge of getting out of bed.  I made coffee and was enjoying it upstairs while reading email and blogs and then ...

Beep beep beep beep ... I heard an alarm that I hoped was one of the smoke detectors downstairs telling me it needed a new battery, but kind of knew was the Carbon Monoxide alarm in the studio.

It was a familiar sound because I'd heard it about a month ago and the owner of house called the company that services the heating and plumbing who, a couple days later came out, replaced some parts and supposedly FIXED it.

I contacted the owner of the house, turned down all the thermostats and opened all the doors and windows to air things out.  Now it's freezing.

My plans for a restful 4 days, with some healthy meals and a little time spent in the studio are dashed.  The owner of the house suggests I spend the next 4 days–or as long as it takes the Keystone Cops of plumbing and heating to show up–in a hotel.  Because of my allergies and sensitivity to chemicals, hotel stays are always hard for me. My plans–small as they were–are ruined, my hopes for a restful weekend are ruined and now I have to face the painful prospect of packing and collecting the cats (that I haven't even been able to pick up because of my injuries) and their paraphernalia and getting everyone settled into a hotel.  I don't know if I can do it.

I could scream ... but that would hurt too much.  (So, I suppose, I am whining on my blog instead :-)

Whatever the long weekend NOW holds in store for me, I AM thankful to be alive and thankful that there is a CO alarm ... to survive the cell phone menace and be killed by carbon monoxide would have just been too sad.

I hope your Thanksgiving is so much better than mine. 
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