Monday, September 28, 2020

Biking Again

 I can't believe how much he LOVES biking now!  A couple of years he was excited to get his new bike.  He flopped in over in the grass in the front yard.  He didn't want to have anything to do with it.  NOW he wants to go every day!!!  I'm so excited he loves this hobby with me.  

Another fun element is that he's starting to plan the whole thing!  He plans how much school work he has to do for the day for remote learning, he plans what we will have for lunch.  He plans what path we will go on.  When we get home we highlight our map and write the date on it.  Our goal is to eventually bike all of the Ohio & Erie Towpath Trail.  We don't have a set time by which we want to do it.  We just want it to be fun.

I'm guessing there won't be much quilting done in the near future.  It takes about 20 to 30 minutes to get to a bike path.  I really don't want him to ride on the road.  It's just not safe.  We have GORGEOUS bike paths around here aplenty!  We like to ride for about an hour and then turn around and ride an hour back for a total of a two hour ride.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Remote Learning at its BEST!

 We chose remote learning for the first nine weeks of school for our son.  It is working great so far for us.  Time is flying as we start week five this week.  One of the benefits is that I can give him way more motivation to finish his work timely.  

He works hard.  Sometimes our internet is not the best (especially 8:30 am to 10:10am)  I'm guessing it's because the schools are logging in and getting started?  We got a wifi hotspot from the library.  It's not working that great either.  We had a lot of trouble Friday, then Monday and Tuesday.  Tuesday last week was BEAUTIFUL!  I had wanted to go canoeing all summer but we did not go.

Tuesday was the day!

I told him to hold still for a second so I could take this photo and then put my phone and camera in my ziplock bag and put them in my bag that snapped around the support in the canoe.  Boy am I glad I did!  About a quarter of a mile down the stream we completely DUMPED!  Owen went in to his waist on one side.  I went in to my EARS!!!  The water was cold in the high 60's.  I've never dealt with a completely submerged canoe before.  Boy was it heavier than I expected.  It was hard to dump.  Luckily I drug it up onto a log and almost had it completely emptied.  A good Samaritan came along and helped me finish dumping it and we were on our way again.  Eyes opened wide...

My phone (also in a waterproof case) and camera were still safe and with the canoe after the flip.  Yeah!  Perfect timing.  You don't get this kind of lesson in the traditional school setting!

It was a seven-mile canoe trip.  We had fun, but we were also happy to make it back to the bus.  All laughs and smiles.  You can tell in the photo how wet my hair got.  Brr.  We seemed to be the only people on the return bus to be wet.  There was another mom on the bus with her two sons.  We gave each other the "remote learning rocks" nod.

We learned some interesting facts from the bus driver as we waited for others to gather on the bus to make the return trip.  They were shut down in April and May due to COVID-19.  The first day they were allowed to start back up they were PACKED--as was the rest of the summer!  More and more people went down the river this year than ever before.  There are four choices when you go there:  canoe, kayak, tube, and raft.  Canoes are not as popular as they once were.  The "cool" people want to try to kayak.  The party people want to take the slow raft and a cooler with them for snacks and beverages.  When it's hot the tubes are fun for the swimmer group.  The old-school people want to canoe.  That's about right... we're old school.  

The bus driver also told us that they thought if they doubled the price of the adventure trips that it would deter people and help with social distancing.  They said it didn't phase people at all.  The health department was called frequently because of the lack of social distancing.  He said that people that came to enjoy time on the water this year seemed so happy to get out of the house.  He told us that all of the staff got $/hour raises and extra $/hour bonuses for working weekends.  They have more vessels on the water than ever and business is booming.  They did have to add to their buses and trailers because of the demand.  Personally, I think that's great for them.  I love it when good old activity and fun wins over modern/electronic stuff.

Here he is in the way home... He didn't want me to take a photo of him sleeping in the truck.  This is starting to become one of my hobbies (taking a photo of him sleeping in the truck.)  Don't worry, I am stopped when I do this.  He still thinks that if he covers his face with towels from McDonald's that I can't see him and won't take a picture.  Ha ha.  He made good use of his glasses to hold the towels in place so that he could nap on the way home.

We also enjoyed some magnet fishing this week.  He finished early on Wednesday and I talked him in to riding his bike for half an hour (up the path) to magnet fish at a new place.  We got to magnet fish for about an hour and then had to head back half an hour to where we parked.  When we were all done I don't even think he realized that he rode his bike for an hour!  Win, win!  We didn't have any luck at this magnet fishing spot.  But it was still fun.  

This is the local place where we could canoe.  We did not canoe here because we didn't know that we needed a 24-hour advance reservation to help with social distancing.  Also, the river is much more narrow and the water is down.  We would have had to get out and walk the canoe down stream in several places.  It's definitely on our list of things to do next summer.

Friday it was quite cool (in the 50's).  I had to scrape the first frost of the year from my truck windshield and burn the dust off of the registers by turning on the furnace for the first time.  I caught some kind of bug this week (my sister-in-law had the same symptoms 2-3 weeks ago.  Ugh.  I'm just starting to feel more pep today.  Woohoo.  

This dock is about 37 minutes from our house.  There is a really nice bathroom very close by.  Owen earned his magnet fishing reward by working hard on his remote learning, so I didn't want to let him down by not going.  He really looks forward to our adventures--as do I!

Remote learning has been such a positive experience for the both of us.  Yes, it's definitely not the income I made when I was working, but the memories we are making are priceless.  I honestly think that with the fewer distractions and teen drama that usually goes along with middle school, the individual attention, and the motivation that I can offer at home can't even come close to what he gets in traditional school.  Yes, he does not get the socialization skills that he really needs right now, but we have been participating in some social activities that helps with that.  He doesn't have to wear a mask all day when he's with me, although he would wear a full hazmat suit to school if I would let him.  He LOVES his masks and costumes and this is no different to him.  I can still tell when he's saying things he shouldn't while wearing his mask or making faces at me like moms can tell.  LOL


The Red Zigzag Quilting is Done

 I finished this quilt and returned it to my friend early last week.  I've been a tad behind on my posts and such.

I used my Circle Lord giant template board called ZigZags.  I think the red thread gives the quilt a little jazz.  My friend giggled when she saw it.  This quilt is the one that had a cotton blanket as the batting.  Seriously... in some spots there was about 1/4" extra on the sides.  That's a little close for my comfort, but I made it work!  Woohoo.  Everybody is happy.  I went out of my comfort zone again.  You can also see that the width of the backing wasn't as wide as I usually like it either, but I got it on there.

Here's a close-up of the red-thread quilting.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

The Purple Quilt

 Last week when I dropped off the red zigzag quilt to my friend she gave me this purple quilt to longarm quilt.  

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

WIP Wednesday 9.16.20

 Wow, I haven't updated my WIP list since July 22nd!  Here we go with my list of current projects:

I made progress on a friend's quilt this week.  It's called "...the one with the red thread."  I am quilting zigzags on it.  Hopefully I'll have it finished and back to her by the end of the week.

I thought I was making progress on this Linen & Threads SAL, but the section circled by the floss needs ripped out and restitched to the left a bit.  Glad I enjoy cross stitch.

I am now using the machine that was given to me by my awesome mother-in-law.  She was an amazing seamstress.  I have it set up in my longarm room so that I can add to quilt backs that are not big enough.  I can make simple repairs to quilts before they go onto the frame without having to take them to the other house where my regular sewing machine is.  Yeah!  Steps saved!

This is supposed to be a Sister's Choice block.  The people that gave me the materials to make it did not give me the right amounts of the fabrics for the kit.  I had to improvise and cut some of my scraps.  I forgot to take a picture of it when it was finished...  It was a rush job...

Owen and I have been busy magnet fishing and riding bikes.  We got this tricycle for him about three years ago and he never really wanted to ride it.  It is harder to ride (for me) than a regular 2-wheeled bike because there is more friction and it's harder to pedal.  We rode bikes four times this week!  He's getting it.  He's growing up so fast and really getting stronger.  Now we are working on stamina.

Here he is in a graffiti-painted tunnel.  (Sorry that I didn't realize there was poor language in the photo when I took it.)

I have been using my food dehydrator A TON!  I am so happy how some of the things are tasting.  We'll be able to enjoy them from our garden later.  Here's some dehydrated zucchini chips and some kale chips.  I learned how to use my sealer this week which makes it even better to suck all the air out of the bags.  I still need some practice with it.  This little bag of zucchini chips don't look like a lot, but they go great with a sandwich and seem to be about as much as a snack size bag of chips.

I currently have 60 on-going projects on my list.  They are separated into stages.

Pieces Need to be Cut & Sewn
 1.  Cheddar Jack cat pattern from 
 2.  Digging up Bones (Owen's dinosaur quilt)
 3.  Rock Island Campfire Quilt
 4.  Picadilly Circle
 5.  ...And Sew On BOM at Quiet Play (one block to go)
 6.  Go Four It!  Scrappy 4-patches started as leader/ender, June 2017
 7.  Patriotic Folk Animals (from Americana Quilts Book) 8/8/19
 8.  Leah Day Building Blocks QA
 9.  Jelly Roll Rug
10.  Classic Meets Modern BOM
11.  Veggie Patch from Katie Mae Quilts
12.  Mod Mod QA (from Block Lotto, circles w/lines)
13.  Owl's Well That Ends Well (RSC19 project started 1/26/19)
14.  Kevin the Quilter's Sapphire Stars Mystery (started Summer 2017) I can't find it!!!
15.  Temperature QA (changing this project to a table topper)
16.  Kite Girl (RSC14)
17.  Amish Country BOM (from Lynn, Johnna's mom)
18.  Cabins at the Lake (from Fons  Porter Magazine) only one house block complete.)
19.  2.5" Scraps from Dani -- making "cracker" blocks
20.  Sand Castles -- Bonnie Hunter string quilt started January, 2019 -- an RSC project
21.  Little Houses (3.5" blocks)
22.  Pumpkins & the Beanstalk (a 2nd quilt)
23.  Dresser Scarf (My Grandma's WIP from the 1970's found 1/1/20
24.  Linen & Threads Mystery SAL, Started 1/1/20 for my sew-to-go-bag
25.  Slabs with White Rectangle (RSC14 started -- needs blocks each month)
26.  Bonnie Hunter Box Kite class from March 2017
27.  Unity Quilt Along with Bonnie Hunter (started 4/1/2020)
28.  Orange, pink, grey kite blocks 2015
29.  Maroon Sampler Quilt
30.  Gypsy Wife QA started in August 2017
31.  Kathleen Tracy's 2019 Mystery Quilt Facebook QA started in March, 2019
32.  2016 Plus Blocks (from left over pieces of Soul Searching Blocks
33.  RSC16 Folk Art Birds
34.  Waffle Blocks (August 2019 -- RSC19)

Blocks Still Need to be Made
 1.  Bluepatch Mystery Quilt
 2.  Scrap Crystals (RSC15)
 3.  We Can Do It Skill Builder Sampler
 4.  Drunkard's Path Variation quilt
 5.  Finding Nemo Scrappy Trip quilt 

Blocks Are Made But Need to be Sewn Together (and/or Some Sashing)
 1.  Block Swap Adventure Orange/Yellow Sampler (2011-2012)
 2.  Cruise blocks won from Libby
 3.  Orange/Blue Fish Blocks That I Won
 4.  Split Stars (blocks won from the Block Lotto, October, 2012)
 5.  African Violet baby quilt (Block Lotto inspired)
 6.  Tall Fly (blocks won from Block Lotto; October 2012)
 7.  Fortune Teller (RSC14)
 8.  Sonja's Windows string quilt
 9.  Block Swap Adventure (2013) Churn Dash Blcoks
10.  Tula Pink's City Sampler 100 Modern Quilt Blocks 5/17/17 QA
11.  Flower Baskets (blue and white with some applique) Block Lotto win 10/1/18
12. Pre-printed cross stitch pillow sham (May 2018)
13.  Bonnie Hunter Garden Party (started 3.18.17)
14.  Cathy's CRAZY BY DESIGN Dot Dot Dash Bag, Won April, 2018

Quilt Back Needs to be Made (Tops are Done)
1.  Card Trick (pink and blue)
2.  Hunter Green Star Quilt
3.  Good Fortune -- A Bonnie Hunter Mystery started Thanksgiving weekend, 2018
4.  Soul Searching -- Julianne sent it to me on 8/29/19

Ready to Longarm
1.  Bubble Gum Pink & Navy Quilt
2.  The quilt with the red thread
3.  #SpiderSewalong quilt from Instagram

I'm linking up at Quilt Fabrication for Midweek Makers.  Check out all of the fun projects!


Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Dora's Machine

 When my mother-in-law passed away a few years ago I was notified that she wanted me to have all of her sewing things.  This is her treasured sewing machine.  I made so many beautiful gowns and things.

This machine embroiders small sections.  I need to get the book out and read up on it so that I can eventually play with it a little.  Every time I have to add fabric to the back of a quilt because someone didn't give me the 5" extra on every side of the quilt to be longarmed, I add my own fabric so that I can attach it to the frame.  This process makes me take the quilt to the other house where my regular sewing machine is.  Now I can just add the strip(s) of fabric and save steps and time.  Woohoo... progress...

Monday, September 14, 2020

A Friend's Quilt -- The one with red thread...

 I loaded a friend's quilt on my longarm last week.  I'll just call this one "The one with red thread" on my long list of things to do.

I am longarm quilting my friend's quilt using red thread this time.  It just needed something fun.  The backing of this quilt is a solid red and it matches the thread.  I am using my giant template board from Circle Lord that is called Zigzag.  I don't use this board much, but I think it looks great on this quilt.  I have used Swirls too many times (in my opinion) for this particular friend.  

The challenge on this quit is that she gave me a cotton blanket to use in place of batting.  Look how much freedom I have on each side!  Luckily the blanket had just enough stretch to make it all the way across the quilt.  This friend always likes to give me challenges!  There isn't much extra backing fabric on this one either.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Slow Sunday Stitching -- and UnStitching...

Bummer. I thought I was making good progress on my Linen & Threads SAL at bowling, but then realized it was all in the wrong spot. Argh...

See that section circled with the floss? It needs to be ripped out and restitched a few rows to the left. Sometimes I leave it in and make it work. The stem won’t be close to centered if I do this. It must be undone this time. 

I'm linking up at Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching.  Sorry I couldn't zoom in on the cross stitch when I linked up at Kathy's Quilts.  I couldn't crop the picture down far enough and the rest of the photo didn't load for some reason.  It's probably our poor internet lately.  Ever since we decided the remote learning option our internet has been in and out.  I'm having trouble uploading blog posts.  I'm not a huge fan of using my phone for blog posts.  It's just one more thing to deal with, make my best decisions, and keep on moving forward.  Adapting...

Slow Sunday Stitching

Monday, September 7, 2020

September OMG Quilt

OMG -- #SpiderwebSewalong

My OMG for August was to finish my #SpiderwebSewalong quilt.  It was going great and on the longarm frame and everything when I noticed that I didn't like the way the starting and stopping of the unregulated stitches were making little knots.  I totally ripped it off of the longarm frame so that I could take out the knots and decide what to do for the quilting of it.  I did not get it done in August.  I am moving it to be my September OMG -- one main goal.

The #SpiderwebSewalong was designed by Lindsey at Pen + Paper Patterns .  You can see her Etsy shop and fun patterns here.

Normally I would have left it on the frame, but I did decided to quilt it in a different direction and need to load it differently.  I only have one quilt to longarm for a friend.  I will be doing that hopefully next week.

I'm linking up at Elm Street Quilts for the September OMG goal setting party.
It is my goal to finish the #SpiderwebSewalong quilt.

September OMG link-up is open!

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Finally Finished

 I finished this quilt and returned it to my friend yesterday.  

See the red (from the back at the bottom?)  The backing was not large enough.  Some blocks are upside down.  The red and green fabrics are stretchy.  Seams were a popping.  All repairs were made and it was quilted with my Circle Lord giant template board called Cosmos.  The customer requested swirls, but the swirls would hit each block just the wrong way taking away form the embroidered family names and birthdays.  All in all it turned out great.  This will on display at my friend's house.  She is super happy with it.