Life as a Greenmonstr

Quilting and Other Facts of Life

November 2011 - Posts

Giving thanks

My son's 20th birthday is tomorrow.  His birthday is the last day that can't ever be Thanksgiving, so when it comes around it brings home the nearness of the coming holiday season.  It's time to think about our lives and realize how lucky we are. 

First and foremost, I'm thankful that my family and I are healthy and have a roof over our head and enough to eat.  I'm thankful that my teenage children are good kids with good common sense (at least for teenagers!) and morals.   I'm grateful for my husband who stands by my side.   I am thankful that although my working hours were cut, I stlil have a job and my husband can carry most of the benefits that I lost.

So many people are in need this year.  At the local grocery store, there is a Salvation Army tree with slips on it, each listing a child, their age, and some ideas for Christmas gifts.  This year, the tree is invisible, covered by the slips, many more than usual.  Also, in our area the food pantries are in great need of donations.  My daughter's high school is having a contest to see which class can collect more nonperishables to donate. 

While we are giving thanks this year, we should remember that there are many people out there who struggle to provide the basics for themselves and their families every day..  Giving thanks can include doing something to help those less fortunate; even a little bit helps.  If everyone does a little bit, it adds up to a lot!

A mystery no more

Well, Mystery Quilt V is finally finished!  It was a learning experience.  This was the first time I have made a quilt full of blocks made up of entirely bias edges.  For the most part they didn't stretch too much; I was careful not to play around with them.  However, there were a couple that were a little out of control.

I don't have much room in my sewing space, so I unfolded my cardboard table protecctor and placed it on my cutting table.  I needed the space to be bigger than my cutting table, so I supported the cardboard with the end of my ironing board and the top of the computer chair.  Basically, this imprisoned me at my sewing machine.  I arranged all my blocks and my sashing squares.  I thought it all looked pretty good so I went about putting it together.  I actually had to leave the room and come into the room from the other end to access the first row of blocks.  Somehow in the process I got the second row of blocks mixed up a little but oh well.  I didn't notice until I was showing my husband the first two rows put together and he said "those two blocks are pretty similar to each other."  Darn.  I left it that way, though.

Today I did the bottom half and the borders.  The bottom half went swimmingly, I must say.  I put the two halves together and added the top and bottom borders without incident.   I had to join two strips of fabric for the long borders, so I moved my needle position.  Unfortunately I forgot to put it back for my 1/4-inch seam so I sewed the entire long border with a too-wide seam allowance.  I ended up ripping out a five-foot seam.  Nice.  Not a happy moment. 

Anyway, I guess it came out alright in the end.  I'm not entirely happy with it but it works.  My husband doesn't really like it - he gave it the look that says "I don't want to say I don't like it, but I don't want to lie either" followed by a little nod.  He is very wise sometimes.  Anyway, without further ado, here it is:

 A couple of close-ups:

Tentatively I am calling it "A Cup of Tea by the Water" because the jelly roll was the Green Tea Bali Pop and the blue reminds me of the water.  I will be using the dark blue parts of the jelly roll for the binding once I quilt it. 

It was fun and a learning experience.  Thanks to Sandy for being our fearless leader!


Renewed appreciation

I love electricity. 

The snowstorm on Saturday night caused us to lose our electricity at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.  When we emerged from the house on Sunday morning, the ground was covered with heavy wet snow.  There were trees down in our yard, on the sides of the street, and on the power lines everywhere.  Snowblower was of no use - it clogged the chute like play-dough. We made the best of it at first but it wears on you after a couple of days.  We have a gas stove, so we were able to cook on top of the stove, but we have a well, so no power = no water.  That really throws a kink in the works.  Luckily our high school has a generator and they opened four hours each night starting Monday so residents could shower and power up their cell phones.  They also served a simple warm meal which was great. 

The house got colder and colder.  This afternoon when I got home the house was 50 degrees and it was 60 outside, so I opened the windows in hopes of heating up the house.  There's a switch!

I sat outside on the steps today and read my Kindle for a while.  When I came in, the light over the stove was on.  It took a second to register - at first I thought I had left the stove burners on. Finally it sank in to my chilly brain - we had POWER!  I did a small victory dance!  Luckily, no one was there to see THAT!  It was 4:56 p.m. Thursday night.  

Electricity ROCKS!