Wednesday, March 31, 2021

The Black & White quilt, fabric buckets, and cross stitch

Even though I am still a bit tired, I tried last evening to get a few small things done. I stitched around the star in the black and white quilt. I plan on doing echo free motion stitching to get to the center of the star.
I need to make two fabric buckets for Easter candy so I dug around and found these two combinations. I know they are not very Easter like in color, but they go with their bedrooms. As long as the Easter bunny was giving me candy I wouldn't care if it came in a cardboard box! LOL!!
I also have been working on this sampler. I found this when cruising the internet and was struck by how unique it was. I mean, a antique sample with a zebra on it; how cool is that? It is just weird enough I wanted to stitch it.  I could not find a chart so I decided to take the pictures I could find and just use those as my guide. I guess you could call this improv counted cross stitch! Here is the original sampler
Here is the sampler someone made
And here is what I have stitched so far. I am not fretting over perfection. After all the person who originally made this didn't have a chart, so I am taking a cue from her and making it my own. I wanted hand dyed black floss and I am using a hand dyed variegated for the "white". I wanted it to look old so I chose the off-white variegated thread and 28 count natural linen.
I have some ideas for some other samplers I want to make of my own design. I can't wait to get started on them! I guess I will need to make myself some more of those vinyl project bags!

Tuesday, March 30, 2021


I was still really tired yesterday so when I got home I washed some dishes, made some chicken soup, and watched a couple shows I had taped. This morning I was up early enough to wind some bobbins and get my machine set up to start quilting the black and white star quilt. I still have not received the backs of the t-shirts yet. The mother had a health issue and is recovering so it may be a couple weeks until I get them.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Making progress

Last night I worked until 9:30 to get as much of the floor installed as I could. I got the area were the new water heater was going which I had to do since the plumbers were coming the next morning. Here is behind the furnace before I got the baseboard installed. You see that thin white pipe? That is the condensate line and it is just in the way! I got the parts and the first thing they did was reroute it.
See? Much better! and check out that baseboard!
Did you see that little door in the brick? I decided to open that door and look in. Needed vacuumed out including the skeleton of some animal that die in there a long time ago. Yuck!
old one on its way out
new one ready for action!
I spent most of my time outside working because the guys were not keeping their masks on. My neighbor is going to help me cut down my ornamental grass with his hedge trimmer and thought it would help if I tie them up. I also cut back the shasta daisy dead flower stalks and cleaned up leaves so here is the before and after.
I also got the netting fence I bought to go around the cora bell bed to keep the deer from snacking on them installed. The plants were starting to grow with this warm weather we have been having so I needed to get those fabric covers off.
This is the area I have left to install flooring.
but first I will have to clean up where the water heater sat for 23 years. Yuck!
Hopefully I will be back go sewing soon!

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Floor progress, mac & cheese, daffodils

After thinking about the problem I was having with the floor - which was the planks not lining up straight - I decided last night to remove the two rows I had installed Tuesday night and beat the begabbers out of the remining floor to get it straightened up. I needed to move the floor about 1/8 to 3/16 of an inch. Thank goodness I was able to do that and then proceeded to put the flooring back in place using adhesive. The floor that is glued down feels so much better under the foot. I got two more rows installed until I had enough of that for one night. Here is where I am right now. I have the next row already laid out.
After I get those next two planks installed and get the tricky one under the duct installed
I need to get the area behind the furnace done. This is where the new hot water heater is going to be installed.
I am going to ask the plumber today about moving the condensate line to run along the wall.
I will have to take all the shelving down on both walls so they can get the old HW heater out and have a bit more room to get the new one in. Let's see if I can get rid of at least some of the crap stuff I have loaded on these shelves.
It will be nice to get the boxes of flooring out from in front of my design wall!
I did take the time to make mac and cheese in my new cast iron pan.  Meals for three or four days!
and I took time to enjoy my daffodils
Just to let you know I am not superwoman; I am just stubborn and tired! This is a big job I will be glad to have done.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Pillow case, backup sewing machine, and flooring progress

I got the fabric cut for that pillowcase my sister wants and have it partially sewn together. There is no timeline on this, so it gets done when it gets done.
The backup sewing machine arrived last week and I had to go to the UPS Store to pick it up since a signature was required - UGH!! one more thing to do! I unpacked it and found that 1. they didn't pack it well at all even after I told them to make sure it was packed well, 2. and then the base was loose. UGH! I emailed them and they told me to just screw the base back on tight. I did that and then fired it up to make sure it worked. The backup machine I bought three or four years ago went on the fritz and it was going to cost me way too much to fix it. I will now use that machine for parts, which I have already scavenged a few parts off of it already. Let's hope this backup machine number 2 lasts longer.
Now on to the floor. Got the miter saw ready
Set up the multimaster with a nice sharp blade
Here are pictures of how the floor looked at the start of my work evening
I filled in the ends of the rows to the right of the room and then it was time to cut this piece to fit around the door jamb.  I measured carefully
A nice clean cut. Time to install it!
Wrong!  I messed that up! LOL!! That is why you buy more than you need! Time to try again. It is not a total loss. I can cut that end straight and use it for a starter piece for another row.
After 6 trips to the garage to tweak the cut, I finally got the piece fitted in
Here is how the room looks right now. I wish I would have used some type of adhesive to hold down the flooring when I first started laying it down last year. It would have held the planks in place when I had to scoot the washer and dryer back into place. I am having an issue with the planks fitting together properly because some have moved. I don't have time to take the floor apart so I think I have a plan to try and resolve the one area that is causing me a problem. That will be first on the agenda tonight.  From now on I plan on putting dabs of caulk to hold the planks in place as I finish the floor.  Live and learn; next time I will know!  After 3 hours of working on the floor I was toast. More tonight!
I keep forgetting to show you the tool I bought for gardening. I had bought something similar last year, but it was not well made and the chopping end broke off. This tool is made of heavy stainless steel and is welded together really good. It is great for chopping out weeds and then the claw end for reaching under plants for debris removal or combing the soil to loosen small weeds. It has a nice grip on it too. On the cheap one I bought last year the tool part kept falling out of the handle which was a real pain.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

T-shirt picture and the big floor project

I remembered to take a picture of the t-shirts on the design wall.
My first task for the big floor project was to fill in the low spot where I had stopped work last year. Here you can see how the flooring hovered over the floor by the cast of the shadows.  I had put fill in this area before, but apparently I missed a spot!  LOL!!
I mixed up a bit of vinyl floor patch making it on the thin side, and poured it in place. I carefully worked it under the planks; there was no way I was taking that floor apart!
Here is how it looked this morning. It had dried out quite a bit so I will be good to go to lay down planks tonight after work.
Next I needed get the room cleaned out of all the stuff that had accumulated in the laundry/utility room. I hauled out all the recycling to the recycling bin - that was five trips of cutting up boxes and dumping the boxes and bags I keep the recycling in. I also decided to clean up the pile of weekly newspapers I never read that had accumulated beside the front door. I kicked them behind a bush so it was time to pick a winter's worth of papers and toss them in the recycling bin. While I was on my hands and knees pulling the papers out of the bush, I saw two little holes in the caulking at the front door frame. I never noticed them before even when I had the same holes on the other side of the door that the wasps used as a passageway to live inside my door frame.
I found the caulk gun and a tube of caulk so now no wasps will not be making their home here!
Back to the laundry room. Did three loads of laundry - one load were the sheets I stripped off my bed - to get the laundry off the floor. The laundry tub needed a good scrub and I found an old toothbrush so I could scrub the drain too. Then there was odds and ends that needed another home, shoes put away, and the wastebasket emptied. Finally I could vacuum the room. So the room is ready for installation of flooring tonight. I did dig out this fabric.
I had made my sister two vinyl project pouches with this color combination and she asked me to make her a pillow case in the same fabrics. The body will have to be the purple and the polka dot will be the border since I don't have that much of it left.
To say the least I am a bit tired today. I never sat down after I got home from work, but I am happy to have gotten so much done.

Monday, March 22, 2021

T-shirt quilt progress, yardwork, and a happy camper

I forgot to take a picture of the t-shirts hanging on the design wall, but I will show you some challenges with the few shirts I have left to interface. Here is the one sleeve area of this t-shirt. If I would try and trim the shirt to the design there would be very little background area. They had cut off the sleeve and just left a tiny bit that I had to remove.
There was extra fabric at the bottom of the shirt so I cut that off, cut it in half and used it to fill in the sleeve areas. Here I laid the t-shirt on top of the scrap and cut the scrap to the shape of the sleeve curve. I also make a little mark so I knew where to line up the two pieces for stitching. This is where the knowledge of developing techniques for impro piecing comes in handy!
I flipped the scrap on to the sleeve curve and now it is ready for sewing.
All sewn. Looks like a hot mess, but wait
Now you can see how I have enough fabric to cut the design out all the way to the edges of the t-shirt.  I had to do this to the other sleeve area too. 
Now on this shirt you can see there is no extra fabric at the bottom.
The armhole on the right had a buckle in it and would not lay smooth. I took out the stitching, recut the sliver of sleeve fabric, then sewed it.
So now I have enough fabric to square up this shirt when I go to cut it.
Then there is this shirt that was a tank top that I will have to add fabric to the armhole and neck areas
and this piece that they cut way to close to the design at the top
For this one I am going to add two pieces - first the yellow outlined area then the green. I will have to sew very close to the design, but with some small stitches to make sure it is secure, I think I can salvage it. This is why I don't like people cutting up the t-shirts. It makes extra work!
I did get outside for a few hours on Saturday and Sunday to start on the yard clean up. The flower bed next to the house looks pretty good and the daffodils are blooming.
I worked in the center bed too. Cut back the lavender, cleaned out leaves, started the mugo pine's trim, and cut back the dead flower stalks on the coneflowers and Shasta daisies. The big job will be cutting back the row of ornamental grass in the curbside bed, digging them up, dividing them, replanting and transplanting them along the property line.  Forgot to take a picture, but believe me digging up 7 ornamental grass plants will be a job and a half!  LOL!!
My sister sent me a picture of my nephew with the quilt I sent him. He is a happy camper.
Friday the plumber is coming back to install a new hot water heater. I must have been brain dead when I picked the date, because I thought I had another week to get the floor finished in the laundry room. It is so hard to keep track of what the date is; it keep changing! LOL!!! So now I have four evenings after work to get the floor done. Yikes! Doesn't look like much sewing is going to happen this week.