Sunday, April 23, 2017

Blocks To Put Together

 It sometimes seems that I am only knitting. But in-between knitting times, I sew.  I have these four blocks completed and at least two more to cut up and resew.  I do have to confess that I have not really planned how this quilt will layout but I do like the blocks and am looking forward to whatever I decide to do with them.

Additionally I have these 5 machine embroidery blocks with 5 more still on the machine, waiting to be sewn.  I think I may be putting the two sets of blocks together as a baby quilt.

Of course before I can put this top together I will need to finish quilting the baby quilt that is currently on the quilting frame.  I hope to finish it this week: what a joy that will be.

During the time I was really sick a lot of my quilting supplies were piled up in front of my design wall.  I am trying to figure out what is in that really big pile and where I can put that stuff so I an use my design wall.  I will need it when I get all these blocks done and ready to go.

So, now I have a plan, I think, and I just need to figure out how to make it work.  Wish me luck.... Gari

Linking to Patchwork Times



Saturday, April 15, 2017

Almost Finish and Start

 I have finished all the parts for my sweater.  Because this sweater is so long I am pretty sure it will take some time before it is completed.  However it is a pretty heavy sweater so I won't need it until next winter which is a long ways away.

 This is a shot of the sleeve pinned on the armhole: it is not sewn together so it may look funny but you get the idea of how it will look once I stitch it together.  And you can see the back piece up there, too.  My plan was to clear off the dining table last Tuesday, when hubby was off teaching, and begin the stitching process.  I, however, fell into procrastinating mode, and found other things to do.  Maybe I will get to it this Tuesday.  And then again, as I said, winter is a long way away.

I did start a new project, one that will take me, again, until next winter.  This is the start of a Tunisian Crochet/Knit baby afghan.  I was going to start a pair of socks and got some yarn out but since I always knit two at a time I have to also get the stuff out to rewind the yarn into two equal balls: what a pain.  And it hasn't happened yet.

I guess that is my hint to me to get off the computer and get busy.  Oh, speaking of the computer, Microsoft did a secret update to my computer and messed it up royally.  I tried to go back but it refused to undo the update.  So I did something else which wiped out all my programs.  I still had my files but not the programs to see them.  So I contacted the Microsoft help desk and she was able to at least restore my Word.  Now I just need to hunt up all the disks for the other programs I use all the time.  Not a happy time but at least it is keeping me occupied.  HA! HA!

Have a wonderful weekend,  Gari   

Linking with Patchwork Times 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Start of Design Wall

Saturday I started some machine embroidery for the first time in several months.  I had found that I was having trouble using the hoops that came with my machine so I ordered the Snap Hoops, magnetic hoops that fit my Babylock machine.  According to the advertisement these hoops are supposed to be easier than the ones that come with the machine.  However, I looked them up on the Designs in Machine Embroidery web page and the cover says they are 4X stronger than the original magnetic hoops.  Do you know what 4X stronger means?  It means that it is almost impossible to pull them apart.  And no instructions came with the hoops and no videos to show how to work with them.  I did see a video on the magazine's web page but she is demoing the original 1X strength hoops, which would be no sweat to use.  But the 4X stronger takes everything I've got to pull the two parts apart.  I have searched YouTube for videos of the 4X hoops but so far have not found one that does a real demo of how to place and unplace the two parts with ease.  I guess I will just have to work at figuring out how to make this work.

I also started a pieced block to go with the embroidery but I stitched one of the rows upside down and had to unstitch so I didn't take a picture of that.  I am stitching and embroidering all at the same time (I sit between the two machines) and it gets a little confusing.  The problem is that even with the mistake, I am having so much fun.

Meanwhile I have finished all the parts for my sweater.  This is a shot of the sleeve pinned on the armhole: it is not sewn together so it may look funny but you get the idea of how it will look once I stitch it together.  And you can see the back piece up there, too.  My plan is to clear off the dining table Tuesday, when hubby is off teaching, and begin the stitching process. 

Because this sweater is so long I am pretty sure it will take some time before it is completed.  However it is a pretty heavy sweater so I won't need it until next winter which is a long ways away.

I have been so focused on this sweater that I haven't been doing any other knitting.  I got some yarn out yesterday but since I always knit two at a time I have to also get the stuff out to rewind the yarn into two equal balls: what a pain. 

And, for some couple relief, hubby and I went to see Beauty and the Beast yesterday.  What a beautiful movie.  We saw it in 3D and we did have to laugh when something got thrown or shot at us and we both jumped.

So, now I am off to the studio to cut some fabric for two more embroidered blocks, rescue the botched block and cut up another for re-sewing into the shape I want.  Then, if I still have the strength, I will wind yarn and start a new pair of socks.  And maybe an organizing fairy will come in and straighten up the cutting table, ironing board, and one of the sewing machine tables.  That would be such a help.  😏 

I hope everyone has a great week:   Gari

Linking with Patchwork Times

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Mini Quilt-Mug Rug


I want so badly to get back into quilting but every time I start to cut fabric I quickly tire and return to knitting.  Well, I saw this on Quilting Digest (SuzysSitcom.com) and knew I could make that in no time and feel that I was at least quilting something.  There it was shown as a pot holder but because of it's size, I saw a mug rug.

I keep my batik scraps separate from my other fabric scraps so I got to dive into the batiks and play.  Of course I had to iron the wrong window piece onto the wrong fabric and then HUNT for a replacement, but it wouldn't be a Gari project without at least one wrong ironing attempt.  But then, after that it was smooth sailing and I quickly completed my new mug rug and have a finish for March.  I may just have to specialize in mug rugs to have finishes from now on.  😄

And I am very happy to share my newest acquisition, a conduction "hot plate."  I have covered my stove with a large cutting board surface and needed something to cook on.  I have wanted to try this type of cooking and now was a great time.  It is really fun to learn to have specific temperatures rather than "low-med-high" with no real idea of what they really mean.  Anyway, yesterday we had company for brunch (oldest son and daughter-in-law) and I made scrambled eggs.  I remembered Bobby Flay, one of my favorite chefs, saying to cook them on a low heat (which I always have) but now I had to decide what actual temp was considered low.  I must have guessed right as the eggs turned out great. I only have two pans that work on this (and a whole oven full of what won't) so I guess I will be looking for some new pans as well as the knives I need.  Being a new cook is getting expensive.

And now we are off to a Museum Exhibition of Quilts.  I am excited to see if this will ramp up my energy for quilting.  I sure hope so, I've got a lot of fabric to use up.  Gari



Sunday, March 26, 2017

Progress & Spring

My blue sweater is coming along nicely.  Pictured are the two fronts.  I also have the sleeves done, I think.  I still have the last row to do but I want to check the length before I bind them off.  I am working on the back but after all of these stitches, it seems like it is taking forever.  Every other row is k1, p1, k1, p1, and my hand gets really tired.  I only have about 8" of the back completed so it's a good thing winter is a long way off.


I took this picture last week.  I thought it was funny that there were a couple of fully finished leaves on the bare branches.  I decided that the tree put these out kind of like scouts to test to see if it was going to be warm enough to leaf out.  It must have worked because now all of those branches have little leaves and are spewing pollen all over the place.  I am not allergic to the pollen but many of the people around here are and are really suffering.



And then there is this Christmas cactus.  It seems to be really confused.  But I congratulated it on the beautiful flower, which I am willing to enjoy any time of the year.

Last week we celebrated DH's birthday.  I had given him a Lone Ranger Lionel train set for Christmas so for his birthday I took him to a "train store" and let him pick what he would like as an addition to his set-up.  Then later in the week our daughter took us for a post-birthday dinner and then back to the train store to get a little more.  After he gets these parts set in place I will try to get a picture of his new toys.

DH is on Spring Break this week.  It will be nice to have him home every day.  We will be doing some furniture moving and then rewarding ourselves by going to see Beauty and the Beast.  I'm sure we will come up with other things to do but knitting and sewing will still be in my daily plans.

Linking to Patchwork Times 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Catching Up

 Since last we met I had my back surgery to have a stimulator implanted which has greatly decreased the pain I feel in my back.  The only post-op thing I was told was to not pick up anything over 10# for four weeks.  When I went back for the post-op appointment I found I am in a "study" regarding the implant and need to be seen every 3 months, I don't know for how long.  I asked if they would be paying me to come in but was told "no" because it would be seen as collusion.  I better not be charged for those appointments.

Last week I had a total bone scan to see what progression of the cancer in my bones had occurred.  I also had an organ scan to see if there was any cancer impact there. 

Then on Friday I started having abdominal pain.  I didn't feel sick but did hurt and couldn't eat.  I also was very restless and figured I must have the flu.  By Sunday I was not getting better, was very weak, and shaky.  I decided I was dehydrated and needed help so off to the ER we went, along with our daughter (the nurse) and her husband.  Five hours later I was rehydrated, was told I didn't have the flu, was given anti-nausea medication (I didn't have nausea), and was given the results of my two scans.

I was told that almost all of my skeletal system did not appear worse than the scan that was done in 7/2015.  There is, however, one area where significant deterioration was noted.  The ER doc said he thought the pain I was experiencing from this bone deterioration and suggested pain medication.  I decided that I will use Advil and that seems to be taking care of that pain.   And, nothing was noted in my organs.  

Meanwhile Abby has taken up Mahjong.

And Stubby has taken up protecting the baby Christmas cactus from the cold.

I have been knitting and just a very little quilting.  I keep thinking I will feel that I can get back into quilting but even thinking about it makes me tired.  Gotta build my strength.   Gari

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

This Is The Week

This is the week of my surgery.  Even though I was upset because the surgery didn't happen a couple of weeks ago, now I am nervous.  Today is Tuesday (night) and the surgery is Thursday (afternoon).  I know this going to be good for me but I am nervous anyway.  Over the last two weeks I have had an EKG, CT, and Blood Work.

Meanwhile, I am breaking the rule I made, "not starting anything new."  I am going to participate in the National Quilting Circle quilt block challenge.  It is a block pattern every week for 9 weeks.  The blocks don't look very difficult so I think I will be able to do one a week and have a nice little quilt top in a little over 2 months.


 These are the fabrics I have chosen for this quilt.  All of them are from stash so I am keeping with my "no buying new fabric" plan.  I am terrible at buying neutrals so I know I will have to purchase some of those as time goes by.