Monday, March 21, 2011

Design Floor Monday

Not much progress on the Depression Block. I got one more block put together, a lot more HSTs put together, and only 240 more to go.

Gardening is priority right now, and probably will be for awhile.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

And the Winner Is

Krista at While He was Napping!

Check your email, so I can get a few details.

Congratulations Krista and thank you all for entering.

P.S. I jumped the gun on the drawing. I had it in my mind that I said Sunday, until I reread the post on Monday.


Stash Buster Report Week 12

My miscalcuations have finally worked for me! On my last report, I said my net was a negative 21 yards, but 31 minus 20 is 11, not 21. I was pretty discouraged after that. I feel better after seeing it corrected this week. And finally, I can report that I didn't buy any fabric this week.

I need to get back to my game plan and start sewing every day. I'll admit the HST's are getting to me, and I've really slacked off lately.


Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Day Spent Outside

That sounds lovely, doesn't it? When I hear other people say they spent the day outside, I envision a walk around the lake, or even boating on the lake, cookouts, golf or tennis, something like that. Not a day of work. But that's what we've had today.

I began my day beheading errant dandelions and other weeds in the yard, then I moved on to trimming back brown leaves and dead limbs. The cat abandoned me and became Hubby's best friend when I started the riding lawn mower. He ran to Hubby and followed him into the shed, meowing and looking back at me. Not sure what he was telling Hubby, but it wasn't good. I've never heard a cat meow so much. If this cat isn't eating, sleeping, or being petted, he is meowing. Sometimes it's a whiney 'pet me' meow, but sometimes he just runs after us meowing. Hubby has started referring to him as his little gray dog. I also never knew that cats followed people around so much. Until we got him fixed, the cat spent most of his time sleeping or ignoring us.

The big Saturday ToDo list started earlier in the week when Hubby accidentally broke the pond skimmer.

The old one was made out of a utility sink, but it was a bit of a problem at times, so he ordered a new skimmer and it came in today.
It goes in here, but it's a different shape than the old one, so some digging and plumbing adjustments had to be done first.

Hubby worked on enlarging the hole for the skimmer. I looked over one time, and saw both of them totally engrossed in the hole.

Earlier this week, one of our apple trees began blooming. Notice I said one? The other one was dead, and it takes two to tango, even for apple trees. So off I went to the nursery to get another tree. But not just any apple tree, it had to be a blooming apple tree of a different variety. I had called around and finally found a nursery that had a good selection of apple trees, and they thought there might be some blooms. The last tree they showed me was the only one with even a bud; I think it had two buds. Budding, not blooming tree - a Granny Smith. Sold.

I planted the new tree, and now we're waiting for the buds to open. It had better hurry; the biological clock on the other tree is ticking.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Sometimes, We Get Just What We Paid For

No, that's not frosted privacy glass. That is a window fogged with condensation. When we built the garage, we bought most of the materials at a big box store, including the aluminum insulated glass windows. On the rest of the house we had the original windows topped with storm windows, and while they worked, they were hard to keep clean between the two windows. We thought any thermal pane windows would be better than those. We were wrong.

The windows we put in the garage don't have a thermal break which separates the inside metal from the outside metal and keeps the outside temperature from transferring through the frame. As a result, on a cold day, condensation formed on the glass inside the garage, and ran down to the window sill causing mildew and some water damage. And this window is worse than the other two windows in the garage, not only is this window fogged, there is about an inch of water in the bottom!

Hubby ordered a new window, hopefully one with a thermal break and better glass, and we'll add Replace garage window to our ToDo list.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Product Review - Computer Cooling Pad

I want to tell you about this thing because it has made my life sooooo much better. My laptop gets hot, and it's not just the battery. Even with the battery out, this puppy gets hot. Too hot for it to ever be in my lap except on the coldest winter day and even then on top of a blanket or it would burn my legs. I used to sit in a chair with it on the table, and I noticed that it crackled the finish on the table top in that spot. I tried putting things under each corner so it could get air under it, and then it was too high to type comfortably. Plus, it made me sit with my back to Hubby while he sat comfortably in his recliner with his laptop in his lap. Even with the computer on a desk or the table top, the heat from it made me uncomfortable. Add a hot flash to that, and I was one miserable woman. Also, I had to replace the computer's fan this year because it overheated, and the tech said I was lucky I heard the sound in time and turned off the computer before something in it fried - only he used some technical geek speak that meant that.

I thought surely I wasn't the only one with a hot laptop, and I started searching for a solution. I found a lot of cooling pads, but only one with rave reviews about how quiet it is. It was pricey - compared to the others - but I bought it. It was about the same price as a new fan, and hopefully will save my computer. The fan in it is whisper quiet and it works like a charm.

It has a cushion on the bottom, so it's comfortable on my legs, and it has these two little tabs that flip up to keep the computer from sliding off, which is really nice when I have to move it to get out of the chair. You can see those in the top picture.
You can see in this second picture how it is powered by the computer and plugs into a USB port on the laptop. (with the red arrow) So there isn't another cord you have to plug in somewhere. And if you need even more air flow under the computer, it has little rubber bumper type things that pop into slots in the top. (with the red circle). It also has speakers, which I could do without, but there is an on/off button for them. There is also an on/off button for the fan, but I don't know why.

I'm not getting paid for this endorsement; I should be so lucky. I'm just so happy with this thing, I wanted to tell anyone else who is still suffering from hot-computeritis. As you can see, I am sitting in my recliner in front of the tv. Well, you can't see the tv, but it's there and the Ranger game is on, although they are getting smeared by the Padres.

Don't look at my junk back there - of course now that I said that I know you will. I have quilt blocks laid out on the floor, and pictures leaning against the wall that I need to hang somewhere, and my little baby tomatoes that refuse to grow.

Oh, I almost forgot, this is a Logitech N700, and it's actually called a Speaker Lapdesk. I bought it at Best Buy and the sales guy didn't think it was a cooling pad because of the name, but it is. It should be called a Cooling lapdesk with speaker, but they didn't ask me. Here is a link to Logitech where if you want more information and where they probably don't call all the parts "things".

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Thrifty Thursday Wreath Makeover

Yes! This is the place to enter your $1 or less makeover! Just put a link to your project in the comments of this post. Challenge ends Sunday at midnight, and I'll draw a name Monday morning.

Now on to the story of the wreath I bought to enter a different contest.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Design Wall Monday

I've made very little progress on the Depression Block. I don't mind sewing the triangles together, but trimming them on a low table is a pain in the neck. Literally. So I dug out a UFO that I had put away quite a while ago. I'm pretty sure I was going to make a twin size out of it, but after a few people on an online group told me it was too blah (not those words exactly), I put it away. I could make it into a rather large baby quilt, or I could continue with my original plan. I guess I'm rather blah myself because I still like the colors as they are.

On the subject of the makeover contest, I still haven't found an item to makeover. I've been to the thrift store a couple of times (the rules are that we have to buy an item during the week for no more than $1 and have it done by Thursday) but I am overcome with a lack of inspiration when I am there. I also think some people must have cheaper thrift stores than I do. On Saturday I only found one item less than a dollar. It was a caster wheel for 50¢, but for the life of me I couldn't think of anything to do with it.

If you are considering entering my challenge, you don't have to run out to buy something for $1. You can also use anything laying around the house or something you get free.

Friday, March 11, 2011

A Day at the Quilt Show

I'm going to get my stash buster report in early, because I haven't done a thing this week. 0 in and 0 out. To see what others have accomplished this week, check out Patchwork Times

I went to the Dallas Quilt Celebration today. I was going to take one of my great-grandmothers' quilts to see if they could help me narrow down the time period, but when I emailed with that question, I was told that they only give a valuation. So I didn't take anything. While there, I went over to the appraisal area and talked with a few ladies who were waiting to do appraisals, and they said dating the quilt was part of the appraisal, and there is one appraiser who is an expert in antique quilts. So I made an appointment to take a quilt tomorrow. So now the question, which quilt?!!

Which of these three would you take?
1. (click the picture to to go to the post about it)



I'm leaning toward #3 but I'd like to know more about all three. I hope she can tell me something that will lead to an answer.

I think I got a clue about quilt #1 today too. This is a block from my quilt:

And this is a block from a quilt at one of the booths at the show, dated 1880, the double pink fabrics aren't exactly the same, but very close:

But for now, I'm kicking back in the recliner with a heating pad on my neck. Carrying a purse and camera were hard on my neck and back today.

Update: Saturday, March 12. I just got back from the appraisal. I took the #3 quilt, and I know just a little more than I did before. First she said that the magenta fabrics in this block, weren't available before 1880, so that date set the lower age range.

I was trying to find something about that online and found that the color magenta was actually discovered in 1856. It was produced by Hofmann and very popular in Britain, but it was a fugitive dye and unstable until a new process was developed in 1862. So I wonder if 1880 is a realistic lowest date, or if it could be lower. I guess it depends how long it took the fabric to make it's way to across the U.S.

She also thought the blue and yellow fabrics were one of the oldest in the quilt.

She said the red on white shirting used in each block, indicates the quilt was made around 1910, as were many of the fabrics, since there was enough of it that it was probably bought for the quilt, and not from scraps. There were a couple of panics followed by recessions in the years between 1907 and 1911, and the quality of fabrics went down with the economy. This red on white fabric is obviously a looser weave than many of the other fabrics in the quilt. There were several recessions in the 1890's and those first years of the 1900's, and to cut costs, print fabrics only had two colors. And most of the fabrics in this quilt are two color prints.

She also said it was a variation of the Wheel of Fortune.

She did say a couple of things that make me think this quilt was made by Mother S. First, several of the fabrics are the type that would have been in a farmer's workshirt - the blue print in the center of each circle and the blue stripe. There are a couple of shirtings she called lacy because the print on it looks like lace. After Mother S's father died, they probably would have remade the shirts so Mother S's mother could wear them since she now had to run the farm; remade the nicer shirts for Mother S's younger brother, or used the shirts for other things, keeping the scraps for the quilts. Also, the quilting is done in the Baptist fan, which was Mother S's favorite pattern, and one that was done quickly. She said that while the pattern looks difficult, it really wasn't, except for the circle of triangles around the wheel, and even that wouldn't have been too difficult for a teenager who had been quilting since she was young. Mother S married in 1906, so this could be a quilt she made for her hope chest, and that would also explain why I haven't seen any of these fabrics in her other quilts.

I also asked her about the stains. I thought the blacks had run since most of the brown stains are around them, but she said no. She said it looked like water marks. She said a couple of the brown prints might fade in washing, but I can test all the fabrics to see if they are colorfast, and then she suggested washing it first in Orvus to remove any dirt, and then soaking in Biz to remove the stains. I asked her about Vintage Quilt Soak, and she said that Biz was the same thing. She cautioned me not to dissolve the Biz in water before pouring it on the quilt though or it would cause damage. She also said that she has soaked quilts for two or three days before to get out the stains. So wish me luck, I'm going to try it tomorrow.

Now a look at the rest of the fabrics in this quilt. If you recognize any, please let me know.

Final update: I got the appraisal and she listed it as circa 1900, and valued it at $750 in today's weak market.


My ordinary life, Quilt show, Vintage fabric

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Thrifty Thursday

Since Thrifty Thursday is all about reusing and recycling, I want to challenge crafters to use their creative energy on reusing or remaking. Here are my rules: buy something with a cost of $1 or less, or get a free item, and remake it into something useful or beautiful. Bonus points if the finished item is so great it's hard to recognize from the original.

Anyone who wants to accept my challenge should post a link to their project in my comments next Thursday. If anyone does, I'll put the names in a hat & choose one who will get a prize - a personalized refrigerator note pad.

Ready. Set. Go!



Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Eat Those Leftovers!

Every time I clean out the refrigerator and see the food containers that have become makeshift petrie dishes, I resolve anew to eat leftovers and leave the science experiments to the experts. And then things get pushed to the back, I forget about them, and it starts all over again.

So today I made a couple of refrigerator magnets to remind us of those leftovers.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Design Wall Monday

Yes, the same block is still in the works, but I did put one block together, and have put a few more triangles together. Now before you say: "Hey Marti, you've got too many pinks and tan florals up there," let me assure you it won't stay that way. My system for putting the triangles together is to get one stack of a light color and two of each of the dark colors - to insure I'll have a good mix. So far I've only got a stack of pink and a stack of tan florals done. Squaring up the HST blocks is hard on that pinched nerve in my neck, so I only do four or five at a time. It's going to take awhile at this rate.

Did you notice I said Design WALL this week instead of Design FLOOR? I think Hubby was getting a little tired of stuff on the floor, so I rigged a temporary wall by putting a flannel backed table cloth over a quilt rack (on top of the quilt hanging there). It's not very big, and not easy to get to, but it works.

Monday is also chiropractor day, so I'm not going to push it today. I've figured out that doing things that make me bend my neck down irritates the nerve the most. Saturday we played pinochle with my in-laws. You would think that would be easy on the neck, but it hurts every time I play cards. Too much looking down at the cards in my hand I guess. If you are a pinochle player, especially double pinochle, you'll appreciate the last hand I got. I was dealt three ace of clubs, three 10 of clubs, king and queen of clubs, king and queen of spades, king and queen of diamonds, and queen of hearts, along with other cards. I thought it was worth the gamble and won the bid. In the kitty was the fourth ace of clubs, the king of hearts, and two other aces! We play women against men and the men gave up on the spot. LOL

Well, back to the quilting.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Stash Buster Report - Week 10, 2011

Once again I added more than I used, but I just couldn't pass up this bargain: twelve yards of drapery fabric for $6! I had budgeted $150 to buy fabric for my den windows, so I'm ahead there.

Last week I began keeping a total stash count, and guessed that I had about 50 yards of fabric. Liz asked if that was all I had, so I started measuring. I have five Rubbermaid totes and a box with my fabric and guessed at 50. Boy was I wrong. I've measured about half of one tub, and the total is already 70 yards, so I'm estimating the rest until I can get it measured too.

Even though I've bought more than used, and have more than I thought, I'm encouraged because I've been working on it every day. Between the stash report and design board reports at Judy's Patchwork Times, I feel some accountability.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Thrifty Thursday

Ok, I know this is Friday, but cut me some slack; I did buy this yesterday.

I was browsing the thrift store and happened across this bolt of drapery fabric. I thought it would match my living room colors. What do you think - a good match?

Now hold on to your hat. I just gave it a rough measure, and there is almost twelve yards on the bolt, and I got it for $6. No, not $6 per yard, $6 for all of it! As we say in Texas (at least in the movies), Yeehaw!


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Can You See the New Font?

I changed my blog title to ITC Zapf Chancery, and the color to blue. If it's not a font on your computer, you'll just see the default, which is Times New Roman. The Chancery is a fancy font.

There's a poll on the right. Can you tell me if you can see it or not? Thanks!