Saturday, January 15, 2022

First finish of 2022 & More

 It's been hard to get to my keyboard these past few weeks.  The puppy wants to lay in my lap, and that blocks the keyboard.

laying in my lap, blocking the keyboard

We named the puppy.  His AKC name is Dread Pirate Roberts, but we're calling him Westley.  His name comes from the movie The Princess Bride. Westley has been supervising what sewing I've been getting done this year.

My little quilt guild, Wego Quiltin' is having a UFO Challenge this year.  I had everyone list 12 different UFO's.  Each month, I will draw a number, and everyone will work on that UFO for the month.  Since I have soooooo many UFO's, I listed at least 2 different UFO's for each month.  We drew #12 to work on in January. This is my #12 list:

12.  Striped Circles Shadow quilt (Wego Holiday Party– Dec 2019) *BONUS – Halloween table runners (3) & placemats (Fall 2010 on 1896 Singer 15 treadle)

Back in December 2019, I was given the striped charm squares that Thelma won at my little quilt guild's Holiday party.  We're supposed to bring a finished quilt top by the next Holiday party, but, since I didn't win the charm squares (Thelma won them), I didn't get my quilt top finished until last week.  The blocks have been done since late Spring 2021, waiting for me to get back to them.  Sorry for the photos, but I haven't had a place to take photos.  

Striped Circles quilt top

After I took this photo, I noticed that I accidentally got 2 matching circles next to each other. 

Oops!  2 matching circles next to each other

Since these circles are all hand appliqued onto each square, this was a simple fix.  I just took the bottom circle off and put another circle in it's place.  


finished 'corrected' quilt top

Woohoo!  My first finish of 2022!  Well, I still had lots of charm squares (I'd cut out dozens of them after the Holiday party) and I also still had leftover striped circles.  I figured I'd use them on the back of the quilt.  

1st stack of leftover striped charm squares

2nd stack of striped charm squares

stitching striped charm squares together on my 1927 Singer 15 hand crank sewing machine

All the circles had been stitched on the machine above, so I figured everything else would also be stitched on the same machine.  I did hand applique all the circles onto the background squares.

Well, I started laying out the rows of striped charm squares, and was trying to figure out where to use the rest of the striped circles.  After looking at the rows, etc, I began thinking that this looked like a whole other quilt top, not a backing.  Hmmm....

looks more like another quilt top than a backing

I've been sewing the circles onto the cream strips.  I have Ladies Crafting at church today, and that is my hand project that I'll be working on.  I'm slow at hand work, so this will take me some time to get all the circles stitched down.  Do you think this should be another quilt top, or just the backing of the Striped Circle Shadows quilt????  Let me know what you think in the comments below, please (my email address is listed under my profile, if you can't comment below).

Back in December, I made an apron for the lady who picked up my 1913 Willcox & Gibbs treadle in Santa Monica, CA.  Nancy held the treadle from October until early December.  We'd chatted that she had an apron that she loved, but it needed to be replaced.  It didn't tie, but instead, it had straps that crossed on the back.  Well, I found an apron pattern online that sounded like the apron she wanted replaced.  

Tessuti Apron pattern

The Tessuti Apron pattern was a free download.  The pattern suggests a heavier fabric, but I wanted to use some of my sewing themed fabric.  It worked well.  I did change how the pocket was done, since I used black fabric, and I wanted the pocket to show up.  I added piping and lace around the pocket.  I also added one of my tags to the pocket. Since regular quilting cotton fabric isn't wide enough for this pattern (it calls for 60" wide fabric), I had to piece the fabric to make it work.  I carefully added fabric where needed and felled the seams so that it would look nice. This apron will be headed to Nancy next week.

front of apron

back of apron

piping & lace added to the pocket

my tag

back of my tag

felled seams, to make the fabric wide enough

I also picked up another sewing machine in December.  A lady in the Chicago area was selling all of her Willcox & Gibbs sewing machines.  I got first pick, and I bought an electric (yes, electric sewing machine).  Now I own all three styles of Willcox & Gibbs sewing machines (hand crank, treadle & electric).  This is my new electric.

1925 W&G electric

W&G with the foot pedal

The foot pedal on the electric W&G is HEAVY!!!  I think that it weighs at least 10 pounds!  The machine, in it's box, with the motor and foot pedal weighs 40-50 pounds.  You have to be strong to haul around the electrics.  The hand crank, on the other hand, only weighs 1.5 - 2 pounds total.  

When I picked up my new electric W&G, I also picked up 4 other W&G machines for a friend (treadle, electric in a cabinet and 2 more portable electrics).  

Lisa's treadle

Lisa's electric in cabinet

Lisa's electric #1

Lisa's electric #2

On Christmas Eve, I picked up another machine, from another local person.  I'm holding this machine for someone on the East Coast.

German hand crank

I'll be taking all 5 machines to the Texarkana TOGA later this Spring.  


Weight Loss update:

Woohoo!  I have now lost 82 pounds.  I'll be going on maintenance, also under doctor supervision, after my next appointment (next Wednesday).  I'm down in size 12 pants (and a few size 10's, too).  My goal was to get to size 12 again.  I'll be on maintenance for 6 months.  I can't wait to add more calories to my diet.  The changes I've made are lifestyle changes, but I will get to re-introduce some favorites back into my diet, even though I'll have to be careful what I eat from now on.  The thing I'm missing the most the last 6 weeks is my Meijers Purple Cow Chocolate Frozen Yogurt.  It's even out of stock online.  Darn all these food supply chain shortages.  

Don't forget to let me know what you think about the Striped Circles quilt tops!

Thursday, December 30, 2021

My Christmas Present to Myself

I hope you had a nice Christmas.  We had a very quiet Christmas, with just the 3 of us (hubby, oldest son and me).  I did get to watch my grandkids open their presents, thanks to Skype.  The two oldest loved their aprons I made for them, and the chefs hats that I sent (sorry, I can't take photos when I'm on Skype).

Back in early August, we lost our beloved Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Katie, after 13 years. Katie was a fixture in my sewing room, and was my 'velcro' dog (she followed me everywhere).


Well, I've been looking for another Cavalier.  There weren't any puppies anywhere.  We met with a breeder in Oklahoma, when we were there in October.  Then, in late October, a breeder in Illinois announced that there would be puppies in the next week or so.  These were born on November 2nd.

mommy & her puppies (the top black & white one is mine)

the sire

The puppies were 8 weeks old on Tuesday, so we could pick up the new puppy.  We drove 1.5 hours north, and arrived about 10 minutes after the snow started.  This is our drive home.
the snow shortly after we started driving home

puppy snuggled up to me

snow on branches

visibility on the drive home

We made it  home safely, thank goodness.  Now our biggest worry was if our Alaskan Malamute would take to the puppy (the puppy was used to large dogs, since the breeder also has a large dog).

So far they are getting along.  We have to be careful, since Ziva could hurt the puppy easily.  Ziva is 93 pounds while the puppy is 6 pounds, and will only get to 13-25 pounds when he is grown.

The puppy is settling in nicely so far.  For safety for the puppy, I got 2 pack-n-plays off of Freecycle, and made some sheets for them (good use for that red fabric that bled dye). Who cares if the fabric bleeds on the puppy sheets?

I finally got some stitching done yesterday (had to finish sewing the velcro onto the last 2 puppy sheets), and set up a pack-n-play in my sewing room.  It's a tight fit in my sewing room, since the puppy wants to be right next to me while I sew.

chewing on toys in my sewing room

sleeping during our supper

Our biggest problem now (other than not getting anything done because we're too busy playing with or holding the puppy) is a name for the puppy.  It has the 2 white streaks on it's back, so hubby thinks we need a name that goes with the white streaks, but that isn't a necessary thing.  This puppy is really fast when it's loose on the floor.  We are starting a list of possible names.  Any suggestions????  I'll let you know what we name it.  

Here are a few more photos of the puppy.  As I've been writing this blog post, the puppy is asleep on my lap.  

puppy (top left black & white) with it's litter mates

puppy at 1 month old

puppy at 6 weeks old

snuggled up to hubby's ankle


Update on my weight loss:  I weighed this morning.  I've lost 81 pounds since the end of January (337 days of dieting).  We ate Chinese with friends on Christmas Eve, I skipped my diet on Christmas day, and we ate lunch at Red Robin on Sunday, with more friends.  I'll skip my diet again on New Year's Day (I do NOT want to know how many calories are in Aeblskiver's, our traditional New Year's Day breakfast).

PS:  Please pray for my friend/client's family that I was the caregiver for.  His wife lost her mother 38 days after she lost her husband.  It has been a really rough couple of months for her and their families. 

Saturday, December 25, 2021

A Difficult Few Months, and Not Much Sewing

I've been meaning to post, but I just haven't figured out how to tell everyone about my difficult October/November/December.  

Since January 2019, I've been a caregiver for a blind man from my church.  Such a sweet, special man, and a strong christian man.  He was diagnosed with MDS, a blood cancer before I became his caregiver.  He'd been doing well, but his 'markers' started getting bad.  His doctors told him that the only cure was to have a bone marrow transplant.  Before he could have the transplant, he had to go thru several rounds of chemo, which he tolerated well.  

Well, he went in for his bone marrow transplant a few days after I went on my trip, in early October.  Things were going well for him until early November, when he took a turn for the worse.  Unfortunately, he didn't survive, and died on November 18th.  I've not wanted to sew much since all of this started.  All the stress and worry about his transplant and health, just took all my sewing Mojo away from me.  

I finally made myself start stitching, since I needed to finish some Christmas presents for my grandkids, and some other things.

I have very few photos of what I've been working on these past 3 months, sorry.  I've just been too scattered to remember to take photos. I did get a lot organized in my sewing room (still lots more to do in there).

I did get my exchange blocks from the Treadle On Fall Basic TOBE (Treadle On Block Exchange).

My little quilt guild made 'I Spy' blocks to play Bingo with for our Holiday party.  There were 45 different categories of things to choose from for each block.  Things like: Animals, Solid Red, Transportation, Solid Blue, Butterflies, Bugs, Candy, Food, Christmas, etc.  I had fabrics from 43 of the 45 different categories (I didn't have any Kites and I didn't want to go to the basement to get Pine cone fabric).  The blocks were 25 patch blocks.  I got so busy cutting 2 1/2" squares that I ended up with 8 blocks.  The blocks will be put into charity quilts. (sorry, no photos)

My little guild also had an exchange.  The lady whose name I drew wanted an Arm Chair Caddy. I did make one, but I totally forgot to take any photos of it.  The tutorial I used is here.  It was fun to make, and I did change it up a bit, since I wanted the pin cushion part to be a different material.  I received a lovely, two-sided runner as my gift.  Sorry, I haven't taken a photo of it, either.  I'll try to show a photo in a future blog post.

I appliqued (fusible) some fun things on aprons (from Hobby Lobby) for my grandkids.  The two older grandkids love to wear aprons. Each apron has something on it that is 3D (bunny ears, turtles ball cap brim, horses mane, and lots of buttons).

I also made them 3 different fabric books (sorry, I forgot to take photos).  I did get to see them (thru Skype) open their aprons and books just before I started this blog post.  Yipee for Skype and modern technology, since they live in Alaska.

I cut out 2 more pairs of ruffled pants for my best friends granddaughter.  Hopefully I'll get them stitched up in January.  I even cut them out in the same fabrics that I used for my granddaughters ruffled pants.  

I finished stitching down the binding on the 2nd Harry Potter Castle quilt.  I used that quilt to teach a different method of joining the ends of binding to my little quilt guild in November.  (Again, no photos, sorry). 

I also made 10 Pin Cushion Thread Catchers (3 are already out the door). I still need to stitch the pin cushions closed on the last 7. (Again, no photos).

I've done other sewing, too, but no photos (some is secret).

I'll try to get back in the habit of taking photos of what I've been sewing (and also blogging).  I'd just gotten caught up with blog reading November 1st, when everything started going downhill for my friend and client.  I just haven't been in the mood to read blogs (or blog) since then.  I'll try to start reading and writing blog posts again.  

I do know that I'll be writing a new blog post next week, after I get my 'Christmas Present'.  I'm supposed to get it on Tuesday.  

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, November 6, 2021

October goings on

Wow, it's been 5 weeks since I posted last.  It's been a busy 5 weeks.  We left town for over 2 weeks just a few minutes after my last blog post.  Our grandkids and their parents flew down from Alaska, and we met up with them in Texas.  Hubby's parents live a few blocks from my mother, so we got to have 4 generations together from both sides of my family.

4 generations of Parker's

We finally got to meet our youngest grandchild.

Me with Declan, our youngest grandchild

We got to spend a whole week in Texas, making memories with family.  Here are just a few photos.

cousins together with their kids

my best friend of 40+ years

Gwendolynn's Tea Party

Declan at the Tea Party (he's loving his cinnamon toast strips)

sister-in law

Korin & Gwendolynn helping make cinnamon toast

I also got some photos of Gwendolynn in her new ruffled pants that I made her.

She loved modeling her new ruffled pants

I also got photos of Declan (and me) with his new Harry Potter Castle quilt.

Declan in his Harry Potter outfit

the Harry Potter Castle quilt

After a week in Texas, our son's family and hubby and I drove to Oklahoma for another fun filled week.  We used to live in Tulsa, so it was fun going back and seeing friends and places we took our sons when they were little.  We went to the Tulsa Zoo and to the Oklahoma Aquarium.

son's family at the Zoo

in the elephant house

on the Zoo train

underwater at the aquarium

Declan loved the fish

we'd just finished feeding these fish

with Grandpa, checking out more fish

Korin getting to ride the pony at the ice cream shop in Nowata, OK

When I got home, there was a pin cushion waiting for me from the Treadle On Pin Cushion exchange.

pin cushion, phone holder and scissors I received

I also weighed myself after being gone for over 2 weeks (scary).  Well, I did great!  After 9 months of dieting, I've lost 70 lbs. 

70 lbs lighter, in some of my new clothes

Since we got home, we've been busy.  We were witness's at friends renewal of vows.  We had Trunk or Treat at our church, and we helped with a retirement party for our pastor.

oldest son and hubby at Trunk or Treat

I also bought a new sewing machine off the Salvation Army website.

1913 Willcox & Gibbs treadle

great decals

Unfortunately, the treadle is in California.  I'm trying to find it rides here.  I can get it part way here, but there are 'gaps' in the trip.  Hopefully those gaps will get filled so that I can play with this new machine.  The lady who picked it up for me is having fun checking out all the attachments that came with the machine.  

I got mostly caught up with all my blog reading.  I'm only a few days behind now.  

To leave you with a photo of the fall color in  my neighborhood.

my neighborhood's fall colors

Now to get back into my sewing room.  I haven't sewn almost anything since we left on the trip.