Monday, December 28, 2020

Just Checking In...

I thought it was time to check in. There isn't much happening here. I do have the rest of the blocks made for Easy Breezy. I need to add sashing and sew them together.

I'm hoping to begin machine quilting a quilt later this week. We'll see how it goes. I am knitting each day - I'm working on an afghan and a sweater.

We finally decided to get an Air Fryer in October and it has become a favorite. We use it most days and have been eating well. Yesterday we had egg bites for breakfast and roasted a whole chicken for dinner. Both were excellent. Tomorrow I think we'll try apple fritter bread because we have some apples that need to be used. We've cooked beef, pork, poultry, fish, pizza, grilled cheese, different vegetables, and a few desserts. It will be a long time before we run out of ideas.

I have become somewhat of an expert at a couple of computer games. I have played Algerian Patience for 10 years. I had to reload the game and began a streak last fall. Yes, I really win this game. Every. Time!

My other, more recent game is Numberzilla. I have almost every badge and I refuse to buy the hints, bombs and undos so I have to play smart. I've only been playing about a month. 

Both games involve some concentration which helps me deal with my back pain.

I'm seeing a neuro-spine surgeon in a few weeks. The imaging I need cannot be done in time for the one appointment he has in January due to Covid, quarantines, holidays, and vacations. So I will see him first thing in February. The pain is rather constant so my days aren't very productive. I'm not supposed to work through the pain which is hard. I am hoping to get a little exercise - treadmill walking and stationary recumbent bike riding - in the days ahead. A little will be like 5 minutes or until the pain intensifies. I feel better when I get some exercise so I'll do whatever I can. 

We had a big snow storm a couple weeks before Christmas so ours was a White Christmas. Last night we got a little more snow and tomorrow we are under a winter storm warning with many inches of snow forecast. We are ready to hunker down for a few days. The two of us will celebrate the New Year at home.

Happy New Year!

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Some progress made

I finished Basket Weave Strings a few days ago using  Bonnie Hunter's Basket-weave-strings pattern. 

This donation quilt is 58" by 66". The strings are all from my string scrap bin which is still overflowing.

I free-motion quilted this with a back and forth curve across the strings in each block using Aurifil 50-weight #2600 Dove Gray thread.

I quilted the edges with a loop in each setting triangle and straight lines in the border.

The backing is from my stash.

I also finished a table runner using Missouri Star's Circle Magic. I bought the templates early in the pandemic and they arrived broken. MSQC was very quick to replace them. I was not as quick to make something. I ordered the templates because I had a bunch of blue circles cut with the Baby Go cutter. I thought this might be a good way to use them. The circles were the perfect size for the small template. 

I used red or white for the opposite side of each blue circle. The table runner is 9" by 29". Each circle has a square of batting (Dream Cotton) inside which is a perfect use for scrap batting.

Each circle is quilted before sewing the pieces together. The process is easy in this quilt as you go project. 

On the back, you can see the centers of the blue circles I began with.

I might try the larger circle template - I'd like to see how that looks. This little runner will be used in our home next summer.

I also finished two quilt tops, Batik Knots and

Black/White with Red. Both have been added to the growing pile of tops waiting to be sandwiched and quilted

Easy Breezy is half done! I sewed fifty 4 1/2" blocks together. When the other 50 blocks are finished, I'll add them.

We enjoyed a nice Thanksgiving by ourselves. We are hopeful that we'll be able to be around some family at Christmas time.

Update on my back: Physical Therapy has ended for the time being - the tests showed that I wasn't making progress; in fact, my mobility was regressing. The first spinal injection was painful and didn't help. I'm hoping to skip the second spinal injection and just progress to the next doctor. We'll see... 

Friday, November 6, 2020

Some finishes and more...

The flannel quilt, Pink Puppies, is now completed. It is 42" by 53" and a donation quilt. 

This was a cute kit 

with striped binding.

I added the pink flannel backing. I free-motion quilted this with large swirl flowers. I think they show better from the back. I used 40-weight Aurifil thread, #2423 pink.

Colored Strings is finished. This donation quilt is 58" square.

The back is red with colored circles and the binding is a black and white stripe.

I free-motion quilted this with rulers, doing four different motifs. I used the same motif for all 4 squares of the same color. I used a beige/brown Aurifil 40-weight thread, #2326. 

The first motif is a four pointed star.

This a a diamond pattern repeated a couple of times.

Next is a wedge pattern.

The 4th pattern is three four-sided figures with one common corner.

I finished piecing Diamonds With Squares. I'm adding a scrappy white border and it will be ready to pin and quilt.

I also began another quilt that I'll call Black/White with Red. All of the blocks are made. I'm still using some black/white strings that I made years ago. After adding red to the corners, I sewed some of the blocks together and decided to make a change.

The new layout has white sashing with red corner stones. I already like it much better. 

I finished this sweater. It is not gathered but appears like it in this photo.

I also finished my afghan, from Building Blocks by Michelle Hunter. Each of the 12 squares is different and is written for a person to learn more about knitting. Although I have knitted since I was a child, I am, for the most part, self taught. It's a great book/pattern and I did learn a few things.

To look really nice, one would have to get on the floor and spread this out nicely. But today, I'm not getting on the floor. 😉

You might be able to see it better on the back of the couch.

I am making another afghan from Michelle Hunter's book Building in Color. This one is knit in ten strips each using 2 - 3 colors of yarn. I am working on the second strip and have already learned things! It's nice to be filling in the gaps in my education.

I'm still going to physical therapy. We were rear-ended in a car accident in September of 2018 that moved vertebrae L3 about 1/4". My L4-L5-S1 vertebrae were fused together with cement made from my hip bone and screws in 2011. Well the spinal canal in L3 is much smaller than before the accident and is now full of arthritis and more so all of the nerves are again being pinched. This includes both sciatic nerves (right and left). It gets rather painful at times and it is difficult to move. The PT will continue a few more weeks and I'll start injections in early December. If need be, L3 will be moved back and fused to the vertebrae below. For now, I don't get a lot of exercise but I am able to sew some, I can knit, and I'm very good at taking naps!

Life could be worse but I'm hoping is gets better soon.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Just Checking In

Irish Chain with Solids is slowly being quilted. I'm quilting it as I follow Angela Walters' "Quilting with Rulers Challenge".

I continue working on projects and finished the top Basket Weave Strings. I decided to use a teal grunge for the background.

The inner border is a plain cotton in the same color.

I've put together a couple of blocks for the Aspen quilt.

I ordered this book, Quilts for Scrap Lovers: 16 Projects: Start with Simple Squares by Judy Gauthier after watching Judy on The Great Wisconsin Quilt Show. 

I wanted to see this simple block and how she was making it and using it. It is the only block used in the cover quilt of the book.

First I took my new color wheel (I've never actually owned one before.) and pulled some fabrics from my stash.

Then I made a few blocks, well it was quite a few. I took the liberty of making the blocks my way instead of Judy's because I really don't mind working with triangles.  I still need to finish sewing the blocks together.

A couple of days ago, I found this picture and decided to make a few blocks for a quilt I'll call Batik Knots. I have a lot of 2 1/2" batik squares and thought it would be a good way to use some of them. Figuring out the size of the middle dark square took a little time, figuring, and testing. I finally settled on a 3 3/8" square. It might have been faster to track down the square on the Olfa website but I don't know what size their yellow squares are and I do know mine are already cut at 2 1/2".

Here is the first block I made.

And now I have enough to see what my quilt will probably look like.

I'm still knitting - I'm on the last sleeve for my sweater and I have 8 of 12 blocks finished for the afghan. I am spending a lot of time knitting because I'm having some back problems. I'll see a specialist next week. In the meantime I have physical therapy. I had a CT scan because I can't have an MRI with the screws in my back. My PT said we're going to treat this like it is a pinched nerve for the time being. I'm pretty comfortable when I'm sitting and knitting so that works for now.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

My projects at the moment

In early May I only had two long term projects going, everything else was finished. One of those projects, Tiny Log Cabins, is done and now LOTS of other projects have been started.

I have 5 quilts in the to-be-quilted pile:

Irish Chain with Solids
has a red border.

Magic Star now has a white border, added since this photo.

I purchased a kit for a small flannel quilt a few years ago at a shop going out of business. Pink Puppies was fast to put together.

I began making some monochromatic string squares a while back, using four squares in a block. This past week, I made more squares and put the blocks together. Colored Strings is a finished quilt top.

Missouri Star Quilt Company's Rhombus Gemstones was fun to make. I used a Grunge jelly roll, Bella white, and MSQC's rhombus large template.

I have three quilts that are long term projects - they have small pieces. I'm making a dent in the tiny scrap bin!

Little Squares is still in progress.

There is Easy Breezy that I think I called Easy Peasy before. I have about 30 blocks done.

I began Aspen which was inspired by Amanda Jean of Crazy Mom Quilts.

I'm also making a dent in slightly larger scraps. I started another Bonnie Hunter design, Basket Weave Strings, a few days ago.

I've been playing with Missouri Star's Circle Magic. I have a few 'blocks' finished.

I am still working with Christina Cameli's Pathway. Instead of the pillow that she demonstrated in the class, I am using the technique in a quilt.

I've also been knitting. I'm making Michelle Hunter's Building Blocks afghan and hoping to learn things along the way.

I also began a sweater for me - Petite Knit's Anker's Sweater.

And what would life be like without more masks?

Right now, I am enjoying making more than finishing so that's what I'll do! Who knows - there might be more starts before anything gets finished. A new pattern book is arriving today!

Note: Blogger still seems to have issues with font sizes so it is what it is.


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