Archive for May, 2016

Lost and Found

May 20, 2016

Years ago when I didn’t have broadband internet access at home I bought a USB drive so to transport files between work, where we had a T1 line,  and home. That worked great until the day I couldn’t find the drive. I worried that it might have fallen out of my bag somewhere away from home – I had personal financial files on it that I wouldn’t want in other hands. I mostly thought it fell down into the loveseat which is a double recliner.

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When I change purses, some stuff always seems to get left behind in the old purse. The other day it was time to change purses again so I took my current purse and 3 prior ones and emptied everything out to decide what should go into the new purse. I know you’re already ahead of me – I found the USB drive tucked away in a small pocket in one of the purses. I KNOW I checked the pockets of that purse when I was actively looking for the drive and didn’t find it. I guess it tucked itself away in a lining fold and hid until now. What a relief!

At some point at work, they started encrypting files copied to removable media. Now, I need to find the paperwork I brought home with the password and instructions on how to access those encrypted files. I should be able to access the files added to the drive before the encryption began being used.

Wednesday I went to the library and then to the battery store to get a new battery for my cell phone. When I got to the battery store, my reading glasses were gone. I hang them on the neck of my shirt and the seat belt often flips them off. Did I leave them at home or did I lose them at the library? They aren’t my only pair so it wasn’t that big a deal. I figured if they flipped off and out of the car at the library, they would have been run over by now. I had to go back to the library today to pick up a hold book. Someone had turned in my glasses. Yeah!

The quilt shop in town decided to feature a guild every month starting with Faithful Circle Quilters. During the month of May we get a 15% discount instead of the 10% Monday guild discount. I took advantage of it and bought 9 yards of the row by row houses fabric for the back of That Town and Country Quilt that I am 5 months behind on.

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Perfect, right?

I followed that by a visit to JoAnn’s to get some solids for machine quilting practice. There was a display toward the front of the store with solids that were 30% off so I picked things from that shelf. After pulling several bolts down, I happened to notice the price – $14.99 a yard. What!? They were very nice but I’m not paying that kind of price at JoAnn’s. I looked a little more closely and discovered they were Cloud 9 brand, organic cotton, made in the USA. I put those back and pulled from the $7-8 range. After getting cut, I discovered cheap solids father back in the store.

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Each of these is 1/3 yard so 4 yards.

Today was a perfect spring day, weather-wise. That has been very rare this year. It has rained most days for the past month. So we had about 36 hours or so without rain. Of course, the rain and cold are returning tomorrow to mess up the Preakness weekend. We have hope that next week will be warm.

When I drove to Illinois last month I put something out of whack and my right leg has been bothering me ever since. This week I started having tingling and numbness down the leg. Patty and I were supposed to go to the York, PA quilt show today but we’re going tomorrow instead so I could go to the chiropractor today. I’ve never been to one before although I have considered going when I’ve had problems like this in the past. Would you believe that what prevented me from going was all the new patient paperwork? That’s finally behind me.

After I made the appointment yesterday afternoon, there’s been quite a bit of snap, crackle and popping which means things are moving around. I was sure that by the time I got to the appointment, whatever was wrong would have fixed itself, finally. It didn’t. This practice is owned by husband and wife who are both chiropractors and also offers physical therapy, massage and acupuncture. Everyone in the office was very friendly and things felt very peaceful. The wife was my doctor. I really like her. She explained things very well and I never felt she was in a hurry to get rid of me. She didn’t do any manipulations today, just evaluation. My right sacroiliac joint is stuck, not moving the way it is supposed to. When the doctor finished with me I was turned over to the physical therapist to learn some stretches to do. I go back Tuesday to discuss a treatment plan.

Baltimore Museum of Art

May 15, 2016

First I have to do the obligatory whining about all the rain. The Baltimore-Washington area just set a new record for the number of consecutive days of measurable rain at 15. But, the rainy, gloomy days have gone on even longer. It’s just that we got a little break here and there. Thursday didn’t have measurable rain but it poured again on Friday and Saturday. Today was sunny but cold. We’ve been running 15-20 degrees below normal for the last month. It’s supposed to rain again on Tuesday and Wednesday. The TV forecast actually has 3 days after that of no rain but the weather apps on my phone aren’t so positive. Sigh. As our family friend, Ruth Wolf, would say, “Enough with the whining, already.” Or, Barbara L would ask, “Do you want some cheese with that whine?”

Week before last 20 members of the Baltimore Applique Society met at the Baltimore Museum of Art for a tour of the current quilt exhibits. Anita Jones, the textile curator, spent about an hour and a half taking us around the various textile exhibits.

Some of the pictures are a little blurry. I forgot my camera so had to use the phone. It’s a little too light for me to hold steady sometimes.

The main event for the Baltimore die-hards was this Baltimore album quilt.

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I love crazy quilts. I’ve always deluded myself into believing that I want to make one but I don’t really enjoy embroidery that much. This quilt was supposed to be in the crazy quilt exhibit last fall but was withdrawn because it needed some conservation work.

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This isn’t a quilt but the designs are very quilt like.

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This sampler has very tiny stitches.

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Anita showed us some other items that didn’t interest me. Eventually we ended up at the exhibit of the newly acquired modern quilts.

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In the adjacent room I found this chair made from yellow school pencils.

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And this interesting cabinet made from scrap wood.

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After the tour we had lunch at Gertrude’s, the restaurant in the museum. The chef, John Shields, once had a cooking show on public TV and has written several cookbooks. Not the place to go if you’re on a budget. I was at the table with Anita Jones (on the left) and Mimi Dietrich (on the right).

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I ordered a sangria. I’ve forgotten what they called it. The fruit-looking things are frozen juice, mango I think.

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For the main course I had the seafood salad with shrimp, scallops and crab over field greens with roasted lemon vinaigrette. I forgot to take a picture of it. Two of us ordered desert. This is the Gertrude’s Candy Bar.20160504_134409.jpg

I had the triple Crème brûlée with flourless chocolate cake.

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Most expensive lunch I’ve ever had but I enjoyed every bite.

Procrastination report

May 8, 2016

It’s been a busy couple of weeks and I’ve successfully managed to procrastinate working on quilting the baby quilts. I dragged out the first set of twin quilts last week, fully intending to finish them. I managed to do the ditch quilting on the one that wasn’t pieced as quilt as you go. Then I started procrastinating because I didn’t want to do the quilting that shows. Here’s what I did instead of quilting the quilt.

More double 9-patch blocks:

Some leader/ender spools:

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My string piecing during the news is working out for the most part. I don’t manage every week day. Monday is guild night so I don’t see the evening news. Friday night I woke up from a little nap just about news time but was too tired to be messing about with dangerous machines. I added these blocks to the collection:

Once a month I get together with a group of people that started as a lunch time group at work. I decide it was easiest to do something mindless so I have a bin of random scraps that I’ve been working from for the past 2.5 years. This bin is dedicated to the once a month sew-in so it isn’t the same container I’m working from during the news. So far I think I’ve made the string pieces for 4 quilts. The bin still looks full, doesn’t it?

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Most recently I’ve been working on the pieces for a String X quilt – a free pattern from Bonnie Hunter. Monday I bought fabric for the background and border. The majority of the fabric in the strings came from Amy. There are a lot of turquoise and green so I thought these fabrics would work well.

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I need to update my stash accounting to add 3.5 yards.

I was able to borrow a die for the triangles from Patty. Cutting a lot of pieces from one fabric is where the die cutter definitely saves time. So, in my ongoing quest to not work on the baby quilts, I started assembling blocks for String X. Here are 4 of them to show the design. I still need to make 6 or 7 more string pieces to have enough for 12 blocks. I’ll decide on an inner border and binding after the body is finished.

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Yesterday, after finishing all the String X blocks that were ready, I decided it was time to get back to the baby quilts. I’m only doing walking foot quilting so how hard can it be? You’d be surprised. I started stitching and saw this:

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What the hell!? Look at those loose stitches! I had to rip it all out and come up with another plan. I reverted to straight stitching instead of the serpentine. I need to give it a close examination today to see if it is acceptable – I saw some stitches that looked a little loose. I may have to revert to quilting it on my Janome Jem Gold or wait until I have a new machine. I don’t want to have to use the Jem because it is a 3/4 size machine and doesn’t have any decorative stitches. I also hate to delay longer because the girls are already 2.5 years old. I want to use the alphabet on the Bernina to quilt the girls’ names into their quilts. I’m going to give it a try and hope it works better than the serpentine.

This is on a Bernina 1230 using the walking foot and the serpentine stitch. I didn’t notice any problem when I did the ditch stitching with the edge stitching foot. I did some test stitching on a practice piece and it was okay. Why is it okay on the practice piece but not on the quilt? I’m going to take a closer look at my piecing to see if there is a problem there. The machine had its maintenance and repair several weeks ago so it shouldn’t be misbehaving. Could it be a bad walking foot? People claim this is the best Bernina ever made but I never bonded with it the way many people do with their machines. In other words, I’m not in love with the Bernina brand.

I am so ready for a new machine. I put it off until after I retired so it would do more than sit unused in the cabinet. I retired 2 years ago so it’s time now. I do love my Jem so I’ve been holding out to get the latest and greatest Janome. The 8900 came out in 2012 so I figured maybe this was the year they’d introduce a new machine for quilters. I was right! Thanks to Linda for letting me know that a new model is coming at the end of the month. I can’t wait to see it. I’m hoping for a special introductory price although I’m a little leery about buying the 1.0 version of a new model.