Tuesday, July 7, 2020

{Post 1,720} So Much Time Has Passed

It has been many moons since I have posted. I looked back at my last pictures to see what had been going on back then. I have had two of my grandkids for a week, a doctor appointment, been to OH and PA for a week, had two times of guests for supper and games (that’s a big rise since several months ago), took a flower-arranging class, rearranged my booth and took on a booth buddy (woman from whom I took class that also sells homemade candles and pottery her husband makes), went to GA again overnight and brought grandkids home, Lazy 5 Ranch today, and tomorrow is one grand’s 6th birthday (he has my heart, so this will be sweet). So, I’ve just been sitting around, LOL!

I’ll start with the most recent stuff first. Well, no, I’ll really just be jumping around. I brought back a 13-gallon trash bag full of mostly floral fabrics from my sister who lives in OH. I had literally just gotten rid of all of my own floral fabrics. Florals are not something I’m drawn to, so I use them very little. I just decided tonight that I need to make masks again. I will use some of the florals for those. My daughter that is the mom of the grands I have right now lives in the Atlanta area. She said they just announced today that kids will need to wear masks to school in the fall, so she asked me to make some for her kids. I already have 4 they can use and will make a couple more for the little princess.

So for the floral fabrics, I used some new ideas from a new YouTuber I have been listening to...Karen Brown of Just Get It Done Quilts. I have gleaned several good ideas from her (and Bonnie Hunter, who I’ve been reading for years). I looked through Pinterest for large floral print quilts and decided on 4 I’d like to make. I figured this bag was good for at least 4 queen-sized quilts. I sorted through the entire bag and combined like fabrics and set aside a few (actually very few) pieces I knew I would not use in quilts. I took those to the thrift shop on the next trip there.

Then I took paper plates and wrote the size of piece and how many I needed for each quilt. For example, I had one that had 75 2-1/2” squares. I ironed each piece and straightened up the edge. I started with my largest squares needed. If the fabric was too small, I used the largest size I could get from that print. I stacked them up so I was cutting through several layers. I only worked through about 1/4 of the fabric (it was this past Monday. I watched a friend’s two youngest boys so she could take care of something for 6 hours. One of the boys took a 4-hour nap, so it wasn’t very hard). Once I cut down the big squares, I cut the rest into 2-1/2” squares, then I cut strips from the scraps.

I started using the strips in these blocks that I made without a pattern. I copied a pattern I saw called “Rinse and Repeat”. I saw a close-up of a quilt and could easily see the pattern. So I made these so far. Keep in mind that I have rarely had a spare minute the last 3 weeks.

I started with several sizes of squares and added the same fabric on two sides, log cabin style. Then I trimmed the blocks to 7” square. These were made last night because I wanted a few minutes of machine time. And I mean a FEW minutes. Here is the quilt I copied...

I’d like to make it at least 60” wide. I like that the strings are all different widths, as are the starting squares. Everything can be used in these, but I will limit the color palette slightly. I like the horizontal straight-line modern-looking quilting, too.

We went to the Lazy 5 Ranch today. It ended up taking nearly all day. It has over 750 animals from 6 continents. One drives through. We always left our windows up. What. A. Blast. 

Here is Katie getting her first glimpse of a group of 4 buffalos in front of our van as we pulled in. She is so emotionally expressive. “Are those REAL, Grammy Jo?” Yep!

We stopped at Chick-Fil-A for lunch and then the drive-thru car wash on our way home. Katie yelled, “Ooooo...there are buffalo boogers on your window!” And she was right. There was also long-horned cattle drool, ostrich feathers, and a host of other animal debris. They definitely get up close and personal!  The little burgundy edge at the bottom of the next picture is the hood of my van.

Here are just a few more pictures to catch up...

 Snap bag from salvages and denim for my booth:

Live flowers I arranged for my (Zoom) class then later gave to a friend going through cancer treatment for the second time in less than a year:

My new booth set-up. We switched the hutch and hanging screen and added a curtain rod for table runners and wreaths (in the fall):

My 2020 hydrangea color:

One of my fancy up-twists. I am a hair model. Helping encourage the gray-haired ladies:

PA visit...son-in-law and grandson:

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

{Post 1,719} My Plant is Happy

One of the joys of my life is house plants. I have had this plant longer than I have had my husband! For a long time I have moved it around our house. I wanted a nice, good-looking plant stand for it that was fairly high and extremely stable. Enter thrift store. I bought a barstool that had a rotating armed chair on it. Wes removed the seat and screwed on a round piece of wood I had gotten (at a different thrift store to make a wall sign. I took it from there cleaning, sanding, painting (twice), waiting (for the paint to cure)....but it was worth it! Look—my plant is smiling!!!!!!

I love making things for my home—it gives me such satisfaction. Much more than just buying something.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

{Post 1,718} For Julie

The sampler quilt I commented about on Julie’s blog. Wonky Feathers pattern. I don’t know how to add a picture to a comment, so I am posting this here for her. I machine quilt for customers. Contact me at joanparker10@gmail.com for a quote on your top.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

{Post 1,717} More Projects Finished

I am making one more patriotic item for my booth. I finished up 3 small quilts yesterday. One is a quilt I want to keep. Just need to find the perfect place for it. Here it is, still on my quilt frame. I quilted it with a light blue thread in Wonky Feathers. It is now bound (with the same red fabric as the border) and has a hanging sleeve. I think I’ll try it over my sideboard. Stay tuned! I think it’s about 24” square.

I rarely buy fabric, unless it’s for a specific item. I got a jelly roll with the fabrics in the center above. I bought a yard of the red for the borders of this and the previous (nearly identical) quilt. Tonight I was sitting at my sewing desk wondering what I’d do with the leftover fabric from the jelly roll. I didn’t have much to match it, even for a scrappy quilt. The blue and red are both shades I don’t have in my stash. So I came up with these 16 spool blocks. I had enough for 14 w/o repeating a fabric, then I actually had to use two reds and two blues to have enough to make it an even 4 x 4, or 16.

The lighting is not good in the picture. It’s night time, and the room I have my design wall in has only a center ceiling light. I’m debating whether to add borders or just leave this as is. The blocks finish at 6” each. I have enough of the red with polka dots (3rd row down, second block in) for borders and binding. At least I think I do. I sure have stretched that yard of red!

In news from around our happy little house here, my husband finished installing our new mailbox and post tonight. Now to move my pride and joy—um, I mean my purple clematis vine and Black-eyed Susans. I hope they make it. I have had all those flowers for 20 years. I moved them from our last house. I need to wait until Wes builds the enclosure for the mailbox flowerbed to move them. We are deciding between fake rock and something wood. Since he is doing all the work, I am leaving it up to him. Until a project becomes his, it’s like pushing string to get it to completion. I’m sure some of you can relate. 

I went to my booth today after allergy shots, per my usual. I had finished two more table runners and wanted to get them in the booth before the weekend. Saturdays are the busiest days there. I got a curtain rod and some hangers from Walmart on the way. I hung the curtain rod from the front of my hutch (it is old and falling apart as opposed to old and in good condition). I didn’t realize that the center of the rod is sagging until I got home and looked at the pictures. I also stripped out a screw putting up the rod holder, so I need to take another screw and a drill in. I am thinking I can put a wooden dowel in the middle of the hollow curtain rod to strengthen it. Will go try it tomorrow.  One of my new runners is on the rod and the other has the gold border on the screens. I moved the patriotic large throw to the ladder and put a queen-sized quilt on a child-sized bench I took in.

I am not selling much, but I keep adding things. I can take an honest answer...do you think the booth looks too crowded? Please leave me a comment or send me an email (joanparker10@gmail.com).

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

{Post 1,716} Out and About??

This past weekend my husband and I made a 3-1/2-hour-one-way trip (we also came home, LOL). It was so weird to be out and about. My husband’s birthday was this past weekend, and one of our daughters invited us to come for supper and stay overnight. We enjoyed it so much. Then one of our sons asked to meet us at a DINE-IN RESTAURANT on our trip home. Honestly, I felt like we were getting away with something! It was so fun. Several times we were all (all three of us) laughing so loudly that nearly everyone else turned and looked at us. The restaurant had the open tables and booths spaced out so there was lots of distance between them. We had a marvelous time.

I hand sewed this little wool pattern on the way there and home. It measures about 8” across. I love little projects like this that finish up quickly.

I forgot to take the thread for the berries, so I added those and blanket-stitched the outside once I got home. I have plans to make another one of these. So cute and fast.

While we were at my daughter’s, my grandson asked me to make him a quilt (he is 7). I told him I would love to. We picked out a pattern on Pinterest. Might have it finished in time for Christmas.

My daughter made the following recipe while we were there. It was so good that I made one the day after we got home. I gave half of it to a family that “Oreo’d” us tonight. A family from church left a package of Oreos and a quart of milk (in a Mason jar tied with string and a card) on our front stoop, rang the doorbell, and ran back to their car (our door is far from the driveway). We got out there before they pulled off. I offered them half of the pork I had cooked (they have 4 young children).

When I write down a recipe for myself, I don’t put all the steps in. Here is some help if you are planning on making this same thing. I used a 9-pound bone-in piece of meat. I’d try to use boneless next time. I cooked it in an 8-quart Instant Pot, and it barely fit, even cut up. The instructions are to cut it into chunks 2 times as big as your fist before sautéing. IP=Instant Pot, T=tablespoon, t=teaspoon, QR=quick release. Mmm-mmm...

Here is a quilt I machine quilted for a customer and the second one is a top that I pieced to put in my booth. I just started the quilting on that tonight.

More on my patriotic quilt tomorrow, I hope!

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

{Post 1,715} Another Day in My Life

I have become best friends with my cutting mat and sewing machine again. I have been making masks nearly all my free time (and then some). That seems to be slowing down. I also made a twin-bed-sized quilt (customer) for a childhood friend She has received it, and she loves it! Here is that project. It was made in a Disappearing Four Patch pattern and quilted with what I call a triple axis design (free motion by yours truly).

When I get some time, I am going to make a matching pillow sham for her. I have the fabrics, I just need the time.

I machine quilted this beauty for a customer/friend.

Then came Mother’s Day. It was the first time I heard from all 8 of my children. One of my sons-in-law was the first one to reach out to me. He and I are very close. He is a gem. I just thought it was odd that this was the first time I heard from all my kids, and it was the first time we could not be together. Weird times.

We had a day and a half of tree work (removal and pruning) done this past Friday and yesterday. I am so pleased with the workers and the way things look now. Pictures do not do it justice. Here is the front of our house before any work was done.

These were taken first thing in the AM, before any work was started. Our house is the gray one in the middle, FWIW.  After they finished removing 3 small trees and cutting half of one out and trimming branches, the sunlight was so BRIGHT!!! Also, it was overcast and early when I took the befores.

I am so thankful for our house. I hope you are for yours as well.

Two of my sons sent me flowers for Mother’s Day. Here are some pictures of them.

My five-year-old grandson is with us for the next few days. I love him so! Things are quite different when he is here. For example, pizza and strawberries for lunch! We are going to paint a plant stand this afternoon. We are also going to the dollar store for a few little gifts for his cousins who I will be seeing this weekend. I will get him a couple little somethings, too. This will be his first time wearing a face mask. He is excited.

Till next time.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

{Post 1,714} Another Day of Isolation

These have been strange days, indeed. I am somewhat of a loner as it is. I have had to make myself reach out to people during this time of “sheltering at home”. Being a homebody, this has not been a hardship for me. I have over 100 bolts of fabric at my house because I used to sell Thimbleberries fabric online from my home. I probably need to think about doing that again as I still have way more than I could ever use in this lifetime.

I would love if some of you would share one very good thing that has come from the sheltering time we are experiencing. I can think of several, but this is one of my favorites. My youngest daughter is leading a time of sharing from our personal Bible study Monday through Friday. As odd as it sounds, I know the ladies in her church from their voices. How do I know this? The first time I joined their group, there was a glitch with my Zoom app. I could hear them, but I could not see them (that cleared up on day #2). But I have spent so much time at their church and talked and talked to so many of them that I knew who was speaking just be hearing them. But my point is that I have loved sharing what we get from God’s Word. She is using the acronym SOAP: scripture (reading ourselves), observations (that she asks us to volunteer to share), application (again—voluntary), and prayer, which we end with. It is 30-40 minutes per session. Rachel encourages us to read and journal our findings ahead of time. It has been just delightful as her mom to see her lead this group of ladies all older than her. She is gracious, encouraging, and knowledgeable. I am so proud of the young lady that she has become.

In other news, I am making so many masks, as I am sure many of you are. After my family and church family were covered (pun intended), I reached out to neighbors and friends through Facebook. I also made and donated quite a few to a charity that my pastor supports.  Now I am selling some on eBay. I have made all adult masks until today. I have developed a pattern for children. Several states have a mandate/order/whatever in place now that requires anyone going out in public to be wearing a mask. One of my sons and his family live in such a state, so I got to make them for his little girls and wife. Our lives have all been affected by this virus, haven’t they?

The above mask (orange) is one for a child. The loop of T-shirt “ribbon” goes around the back of their neck, then the strings are pulled to adjust it to fit over their nose and mouth and chin. Then the string is tied behind their head. The “ribbon string” is made from cutting a tube of t-shirt into one-inch widths and pulling it. It makes the perfect slightly stretchy soft tie for a child. The pleats open up once it is on, so it fits all the crucial areas for a mask.

Below are some of my favorite adult masks. I bought a boatload of black elastic, and I only have enough left for about 20 more masks. I am praying what I ordered comes in soon. I don’t think I will see the end of mask-making for some time.

Have you given serious thought to where your soul will spend eternity? Ten out of ten people will die. Sin is like a virus that none of us can escape. Have you asked God to save you from the penalty of your sins so you will go to heaven when you die? I would love to “chat” with anyone who has questions.

I have been making masks every spare moment. Now it’s late, and I have to lay this old head to rest.

Have a good night!