Monday, December 9, 2019

Monday Melee

In the bustle of activities, particularly the pre-Christmas melee, it's almost astounding how the days fly by. As I remain on-the-go, it's still surprising and disappointing (in myself) that writing a blog post takes a back seat to other things. So many other things.

Like online shopping. I'm not one to enjoy shopping among crowds, so when online deals came to my attention, that's where I focused my time. Among Black Friday specials, weekend deals, and Cyber Monday sales, I found fabrics too good to pass up.

These fabrics are from two of the three places I shopped: and Another order is yet to come from

On the left, from Christa I bought five one-yard pieces from a couple of her Benartex fabric collections. Then, surely because she and I are friends, she generously included six-inch sample squares of each print from her newest "Gridwork" collection coming out in January. I love the bright boldness of her fabrics.

At the top middle are two wide backs for finishing already-made quilt tops.

All the remaining pieces are knits! Three double-brushed poly knits on the right to make legging. The plain aqua fabric has cutwork along the edge that will look nice around my ankles. This piece came from my Thursday, first-time visit to The Sewing Studio in Maitland. Poly knits in the lower center are to make swing tops to go with the leggings.

You might wonder that I didn't buy more quilting cottons, but honestly... do I need to make any more quilts?! Storage space is at critical mass, as our master closet is overflowing with quilts. Like about 80 or more of them. In the weeks ahead I'll be activity choosing places to sell or donate them. I have several outlets in mind.

When Jill visited over Thanksgiving, she brought with her the latest box of fabric found at my grandparent's farmhouse in Ohio. You may recall that in July, I handled the first round of fabrics, including quilt tops, which I shipped to Monica in Austin, Texas.

This box has more of the same vintage fabrics, many of which have been cut into squares, and a large pile of four-patch blocks. Note the piece of cardboard that says "1968." I can only assume that is the year these squares were cut and sewn. 

At first I thought all the four-patches were hand-pieced (left), but just as many were machine-pieced. If grandma machine pieced these, I'm sure it was done on her Singer treadle machine. 

Thanks to Monica's @ButtonCounter series of Instagram posts about how she washes old fabrics, I will use her detergent recommendation to hand wash these fabrics and blocks. 

These two new fabrics are what I'll use to finish the quilt top that belonged to grandma. 

Since one border is missing, and there's no fabric to match, I plan to remove the three borders, incorporate the blue print into each one, and re-attach them. The 108"-wide piece of white muslin is to put behind the hand-pieced quilt top, to add stability, as I make the quilt sandwich. I plan to machine quilt the piece which will be given to granddaughter Celina who requested it.

I made three more zippered snack bags, two of which have already been gifted. The Haribo Goldbears (gummy bears) bag and it's contents were given to my line dance instructor who has previously shared with our class that her Wednesday night card club eats gummy bears soaked in various kinds of alcohol. I understand that these bears have already been drinking rum!

I also caught up to December 2 on my 2019 temperature quilt. It was a couple months worth of cutting and piecing, and what a relief to see a return to some cooler temps! The top right block represents an overnight low of 35F, a refreshing color change after a long summer of hot pink, red, and burgundy. Two more columns of drunkards path blocks will go onto the right-hand side, and will include a color key to the temperatures ranges, so the quilt should end up at around 72" X 84". For backing, a rainbow ombré wide back print is coming from Pineapple Fabric. 

Otherwise, I've been sewing clothes again. This is how my sewing room looks, rearranged so I can turn between my Bernette serger and Bernina 770QE. This past week I made three leggings, and three swing tops.

For leggings, I used this free online pattern. For tops I've made several modifications to Kwik Sew pattern #3766. I've added width and length for "swing," switched from short to 3/4 to long sleeves, and changed the neckline from low to regular, and even boat neck. Google has all the answers for this kind of pattern hacking! Drawing on freezer paper that's been pressed onto pattern pieces is how I keep making changes. Now to have more cool weather so I can wear these things! 

This is the 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle, Seashore, that Jill bought at Barnes & Noble when she was here. We worked on it together, and while I love working on a puzzle with others, I'm very slow on my own. Still, I finished it Friday, and felt satisfied to re-box it and put away the card table until another visit.

We've noticed that one of our two Hawaiian Ty plants, outside the front door, has begun to bloom! We've never seen this, even though we've had them for six years. Blooms in December?! Does anyone know what prompts these blooms? The colors are gorgeous!

I've listened to two more books, and have reviews for you.

Lies by T.M. Logan is a story that takes place in the UK, and is about a happily married man, Joe Lynch, whose life changes when he and his four year-old son follow "mom's car" into a hotel parking garage, and stumble into her volatile meet-up with another man. From the husband's point of view, everything that happens is a mixed-up misunderstanding, even when the police are interrogating him. The storyline uses Facebook and lots of technology to explain what's happening. From the reader's point of view, we "get" what's going on. But in the end, reality surprises everyone! This is a who-done-it without a body, or much evidence.

Linda's score: 4.2/5.0

This is a psychological thriller that also takes place in the UK. I found Our Kind of Cruelty by Araminta Hall to be very frustrating. It's about a man, Mike Hays, who is obsessed with his girlfriend, Verity Metcalf. During an eight year relationship, Mike and V come to love and know each other so well that they create signals and a pick-up-a-man game they call Crave. When they break-up, and V subsequently marries Angus, Mike accepts the blame for their failed relationship and assures himself that V is surely continuing a version of their Crave game. The story is told by Mike, and I kept wanting to yell, "You're wrong, wrong, wrong!" He's a man who is delusional... obsessed... scary... I disliked the story because I strongly disagreed with his point of view, but the author had me in her clutches. Hence...

Linda's score: 4.4/5.0

I have another book to recommend. Though I haven't yet finished it, it's perfect for the season, and for quilters.

The book is Wrapped Up in Christmas by Janice Lynn. It's about a man who's honorably discharged from the Army. After receiving a Quilts of Valor quilt, he goes looking for the quilt maker so he can tell her how much the quilt means to him.

This morning I'm off to Peace, Love and Ukulele Club, to play and sing my heart out. 🎵 It's always a cheery time, starting with our opening song: "With a Little Help From My Friends." Linda


  1. From quilts to fabrics to vintage bits to books and ukuleles- I'm like you, Linda, I just love it all!!

  2. Your temperature quilt is the best one I've seen. Truly! I'm almost tempted to make one myself but it would be quite different from yours when reflecting Colorado temps. Even in the summer we have cooler nighttime temps due to the altitude so the color changes would be more obvious. I too fell for several fabric buys in the past couple of weeks. Things I certainly didn't need. It does reinforce my desire to sew from my stash next year though. Hopefully I'll get lots done. I just got a new puzzle for the holidays that is very me . . . leaves! I love doing puzzles in the winter, especially ones like yours with lots of things in the image. Enjoy all your new purchases and projects.

  3. I LOVE your temperature quilt!! It is beautiful!I'll bet your glad it is almost over? The patches from your family are so precious, I love them!

  4. I love your Temperature quilt too! And those precious fabric pieces from the 60’s are truly a treasure. I love that Celina has claimed the quilt top for her own. I look forward to seeing how you finish it off.

  5. You have put the card table away and I on the other hand have just taken it out. Family will be here soon and every Christmas we do a puzzle.... a HARD puzzle. In fact a couple of years ago we could not get past a certain point so something that never occurred to me ...... we put the puzzle back in the box preserving as much of the together part as we could. Perhaps another year.....

  6. Your temperature quilt has the best pattern I have seen...LOVE IT!!! Makes me wish I had my template for Drunkard's Path here with me so I could do one like it! Do you happen to know the yardage you figured you needed to make your temperature quilt?

  7. That knit fabric shown in the photo will make up into gorgeous leggings! I'm happy that Celina is so interested in the vintage/antique quilts! Maybe a budding quilter in the family - a great reason to go on making an occasional quilt! I wish I could work up the mojo to make clothing again, but it's been over 40 years now since the last venture into sewing up clothing and that was maternity tops in the 70s. How times and styles have changed!

  8. I adore your temperature quilt! Please share your temperature range of colors, as I’d love to make one too! I loved The Drunkards Path block. I have the large and small DP Accuquilt die.

    1. Hi Cindy! I'm unable to reply to you because you're a "no-reply commenter" without an email address for me to contact you. I'd be happy to share a picture of my temperature key with you. You can see the key I started with in my January blog post. In July, when we had so many hot days, I added three colors to the top of the key I began with. Personally, I found that the Drunkard's Path block created a lot of waste fabric, as I cut each concave curve from a square. Perhaps your Accuquilt die will work better. Please provide your email address if you want a direct reply from me.

  9. By the way, Linda, after seeing your candy bags I thought of you today when I got an e-mail newsletter from Sew Many Things in Mt. Dora- they have new lines of fabric, including Tootsie Pop line with all sorts of candy boxes and treats on several prints. They would make cute liners for the candy bags. Have you ever visited that shop? Of course, I'm sure it's available in other shops as well- but you might want to look into it. Have fun.

  10. Love how your temperature quilt is coming along!

  11. good finds..... I have been tempted but I withheld the urge to get more fabric. There are some coming out next year that I want.
    We have Camellia bushes in the back yard that are green in summer and make very delicate pink flowers, (loads of them) in November to January. Odd.


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