Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Not Quilting

Well, my bias tape challenge quilt isn't done yet. This is all the further I managed to get on it before grandsons arrived for eight nights - drawing lines around the perimeter to square it up in anticipation of sewing binding to the quilt.

Tay and Aesa are now here from Kansas City. We picked them up in Orlando while their mom attends a conference, and have been finding things to do.

Being full time grandparents is way outside the norm for us. "Demanding" is the word that describes our week. Keeping five and four year-old brothers occupied, separated, and making sure there's complete equality in everything - who gets dressed first; who gets the orange or blue whatever - has been challenging. Who would guess that an argument would ensue over who gets to ride, facing backward, on the four-seater golf cart?! Suffice it to say that I have forgotten (intentionally) how parenting is a full time job.


As we've been finding things to do, one particularly pleasant outing was to Silver Springs in Ocala. I had been there as a child, probably 55 years ago, and still remember it. The place was really something in its heyday. Now it's Silver Springs State Park

Once upon a time it was a bustling tourist attraction. When we were there, about twenty cars were parked in the huge lot meant to hold hundreds of vehicles. This entrance used to queue up long lines of people at five ticket booths. 


Still, it's a beautiful place with huge cypress trees dripping Spanish moss, wildlife, and those iconic glass-bottom boats. The same boats that were built in 1962 are still taking visitors along the Silver River and over the pristine springs. 

Wandering around after our boat ride, we noted empty buildings, pavilions, and shops. It made us feel a little sad to see the changes - the faded grandeur. We concluded that natural beauty just doesn't have the attraction it once did. And we're sure that has impacted Ocala, and all the nearby mom-and-pop motels that are no longer in business.

Anyway, we're finding things to do with the little boys, though we can't decide if we're doing a good job of wearing them out, or visa versa!

Two days before the boys arrived, we had our guest room ceiling painted. I saw this ceiling-painting idea on Houzz, a wonderful resource for home decorating ideas, and immediately loved the idea. The Sherwin-Williams paint color is "Belize," and I couldn't be happier with it.

The empty wall above the bed is for my waiting-to-be-quilted English paper-pieced "Flower Ball" quilt. The piece is appliquéd on a Kona Azure background that nearly matches the ceiling color, so I know it will look great.

I broke down and bought a new rotary mat after noticing that my rotary blade seemed dull until I happened to cut some fabric on a newer mat. The rotary blade was just fine! So, after more than 20 years use, it turns out the old mat was just plain "mushy." Besides, the old Olfa mat was only 23" X 35"; my new Omnigrid mat is 24" X 36". 
Left: new Omnigrid mat; Right: old Olfa mat
Online shopping turned up the best deal through, surprisingly, Joann.com. The mat was only $31, so with a $2.99 coupon for shipping, it turned out to be quite a bargain. While I was at it, and the deal on shipping was too good to pass up, I also bought a 6-1/2" X 24" Olfa rotary ruler, and a June Tailor Quilter's Cut and Press 1. Yep, I'd worn out those tools too. After a couple decades of quiltmaking, that happens. Do you know how long it's been since you bought your basic quiltmaking tools? Linda

18 comments:

  1. Just have to smile about the parenting/grandparenting thing. I can't imagine even having grandkids yet let alone keeping two little boys busy day after day. I remember hearing about Silver Springs from my parents who often went to Florida to visit my dad's sister. I think they went there. At least we had some photos of it.

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  2. Have fun with your littles. I love your bright room with all the quilts

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  3. Fun times, and my money is on them wearing you out rather than the other way! Ceiling looks nice. Silver Springs is a fun spot. They used to do a wonderful Christmas lights display. Not sure if it's still on, but it's worth the trip up. That 6 1/2" x 24" is my favorite ruler. And I never thought of a mat wearing out other than getting a slice in it. Come visit my blog if you get a chance- I've been painting instead of quilting. Also fun! www.quiltnans.blogspot.com

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  4. Precious times, if exhausting! We just had our first day of babysitting the 3 youngest grands, ages 6,3 and 1, and we were totally worn out after 8 1/2 hours! But rocking the 1 year old before his naps was the best - and he looks just like his daddy at that age. Enjoy!

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  5. Sounds like everyone is having fun!

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  6. It's Thursday!! Just 2 more days, counting today. Hang in there. I'm sad to the park is doing so poorly. People need to be getting out into nature more, esp. with their kiddos. I've worn out a few rotary cutters and mats!! This winter, while in the states, I need to replace all of my rulers! They're getting worn down, too!

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  7. Fun post full of variety - nice. Good reminder about the quilting tools! I'm planning on making a new design wall soon! And ironing board cover!

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  8. I am smiling at those darling boys. I'm sure you are having fun, but it's probably the two of you who are getting warn out. What a fun time at the park even though it's not what it used to be. I recently bought a new mat for the same reason -- it kept dulling my blades. I've asked for a new cut and press for Christmas as I've overused mine, and even ironed on the wrong side twice! That does it no good. I love the ceiling color. It looks similar to what is in our kitchen now. The quilt on the bed and wall are gorgeous. It's a happy and welcoming room. Have fun with the rest of the visit and remember, I get the blue one!

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  9. I have obviously forgotten the correct use of warn. I meant worn!

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  10. my oldest daughter and I recently traveled to upstate NY to stay with youngest daughters children while mom and dad went house hunting in Alabama (will be moving there in three weeks). My grandchildren (three of them) turned three last July - yup triplets! Auntie and grandma were exhausted after 8 days but so much fun and joy - wouldn't trade those times for anything.

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  11. Good to hear that you are "surviving" the week with two energetic little boys! Looking at them one would think butter doesn't melt in their moths ;)! Your guestroom looks very inviting and your flower ball quilt will be perfect for that empty wall.

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  12. Precious memories being made this week. :) I replaced my mat sometimes in the last year but even so it doesn't seem like rotary blades las as long as they used to. :( blessings, marlene

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  13. Those boys are sure cute and I would guess that they are probably wearing you out. What I can see of your quilting on your bias quilt looks fantastic. I bet you can't wait to finish the binding. It's sad to see many older natural sites not being used and appreciated anymore. We are getting too far away from the beautiful things that God has provided for us.

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  14. Forgot to tell you I love the color of your ceiling too. Your quilts that are on the wall now look beautiful with the color too. Nice choice.

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  15. You'll be ready for some "personal" time and a nice rest, Linda. You've been making memories for those cute boys! Ahhhhhh aqua!! Love it.

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  16. I just returned from a 3-day visit with my daughter and granddaughter. Daughter had her wisdom teeth out and needed Nana to help out. I came home exhausted. I guess that's why God gives us our children when we are young.
    I remember visiting Silver Springs (and Cypress Gardens) when I was young. The glass-bottom boats were awesome. I guess nature can't compete with technology. Unfortunately!
    I have a niece who says the ceiling is just the fifth wall. Love that blue ceiling.
    I really enjoy your blog and look forward to reading about your days.

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  17. You will need a long vacation after caring for those boys! Fun, yet totally exhausting!

    Your room looks beautiful. Two years ago I painted my kitchen ceiling a lighter version of your color. It's unexpected and I just love it.

    Your bias tape quilt looks amazing!!

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  18. I love your story about grandparenting! My dad always says you can't call yourself a parent until you have two. I'm not sure I agree, but I understand what he means! I can't wait to see your finished bias tape project! I have a feeling you'll be walking away with the prize!

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