Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Grandma O'Quilt Wins....Pearl Loses

Well now...a no good, terrible day started in arthritic 
pain, staying in bed, which made it worse. Of course being in my head is being in such a bad neighborhood!!
At last, up at noon for a walk and it was raining.
I could not get a grip.  Finally with a bit of help from friends and the universe, I went outside in the wind tonight.
I breathed deeply with GUS....Great Universal Spirit.  
I love the wind, as Charlotte has very  little of it. Tonight, Pearl blew away in the beauty of this tree and the realization that I was not in control. Such a relief.
You see, I was so into self that I was even annoyed that a picture of me looked just like my grandmother at my age.  Reality is not my strong suit.

Below:  Goodbye mustard, Hello blue!!  My artistic sister has great color sense...She helped me see the error of my safety net.

 I even finished two wonky blocks from Blue Elephant Stitches

Here, we have Linda at Quilt Con, admiring the YMCA T-shirt quilt by Mac Barnes
Such a delight. Only 20% of Quilt Con entries were accepted, making things even more awesome for our Mac Barnes.
Tell me  how lucky I am to be on the recipient end of the work of artist, Linda Swanekamp.
The month of February is a month of love  and kindness.
More love for grateful me: a pair of quilty handmade earrings from Sally Catoe!!

Lastly a funny:  Lynsey at 15 sent me this text last night.
Grandma, I found you on Google so you must be famous.  Why did you not ever tell me????
This is a picture from 1978 as my man and I recieved our graduate degree diplomas...
Crazy  that Lynsey found this yesterday....Famous???  Right!!!!

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

It is OK to Chill

For some reason I seem to have an agenda to just do what I feel like doing, instead of the "shoulds". Then feel guilty..Jeeze...The new and improved me will try to remember that I am retired...
I deem it OK to just be...
A good day today with friends for lunch, more talking than sewing.  It is OK
We have known each other 25 years...That  brings  enormous comfort.

I am showing here what I have done with my strip sets of African fabric.  I have cut them 4.5 inches wide in preparation for a Railroad Crossing quilt.

I hope I am not losing my touch as I wonder once again on color....Maybe it should be a bright blue or a more subtle red...etc...instead of going with my gut favorite...gold.  Going to just leave this all on the design wall to perculate while I read or sew something else.

A thrill tonight as I was able to watch the awards ceremony at Quilt Con on my computer from home.
Thanks for the  link , Mac Barnes
I know you are having a great time.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Life, the Craziest Activity I Have Ever Been Part of.....

 Today, I was excited about a Sit and Sew....I was packed and ready.  The morning light brought a disgruntled me who decided to stay home and pout..However, .I made myself go and had a great time.

Below are the results of my day. I had brought a bag of African scrap strips, fully planning to give them away.  Not!!!...Selfish me sewed them together instead.  Great relaxing fun!!
All these strip sets are fodder for creativity.....
At Christmas, I bought myself three Amaryllis plants.  One bloomed once and I gave it away in disgust.
One bloomed several times, I keep it on the mantle in hope.. This one is a winner...keeps on blooming until almost March...way to go.

Aged insecurity soothed with gifts.  From Lucy came a bouquet of roses; from Susan came a little Easter gift because she knows I love orange; from my DIL, a text that she is thinking of me...
Lucky, Lucky me. At Sit and Sew, friend, Suzie calmed my soul and friends gathered round to help me lift my bags and to laugh in quilty comraderie..

Meanwhile, in the Oregon mountains, near Mt.Hood, Aoife and her daddy built an igloo
At 3 and a half, Aoife learns the fine art of snowball throwing.
The valentine I received from Aoife....she stamped her name on the back.

A God thing.... a great read by Dr. Edwards from right here in Charlotte.
How to live the last part of life...with eyes wide open...
Very grateful I found this.
Now, as the night went on...poof, a blown fuse or something.  I had to get security up to unplug things. Silly me had the iron and fireplace plugged in too long at the same time.in the same socket.

This crazy life:  I never know which way is up and which way is down.
Tonight I went nuts trying to access the Quilt Con awards online...only to be told it was tomorrow night...Dear me...

Thursday, February 15, 2024

The Many Turns

Not too crazy about Valentine's Day without my dear man...April 14, it it will have been 9 years..OMG
Alas, someone left these by my door this morning..with a note:  'You are loved!!'
 I guess someone found out the I fell the night before...so embarrassisng.  I slipped in some water on the way to the bathroom at 3 am.  And, I could not get up...Jeeze Louize.  My trusty old lady button on my wrist was pushed and in 5 minutes two big security guys showed up...Boom, I was up and back in bed...so embarrassing...like a freaking baby.  So grateful I am at senior living apartments. So grateful nothing broke....but, my ego and my spirit....ugh!!
Today was a pool exercise day and a two short walk day
Also visitors for lunch...My DIL and two darling adolescent grands.
We did a quick Happy Birthday song for them both.  Lynsey turns 15 tomorrow and in a few, Dylan turns 14. I gave them a money limit and told  them to pick out their presents online and I would buy them.  Whew...so easy peasy for old Grandma..  Lynsey is so not happy  that her  younger brother is now taller than she is.  Looks like Lynsey is  ending up at 4'11" like both of her great-grandmothers on her mother's side.

Nothing fazes Dylan...Mr Charming,  just like his father.

linda and Sherry came for lunch on Wednesday.  In this cute box I found baker Linda's awesome heart chocolate cookies...the best!!  Here she is with a background to die for.

It took the three of  us to work on the obstinate African layer cake quilt top.
It is still not done, but on its way...stay tuned.
This quilt started out as red, white and blue for Black history  month...but it did not seem to work.
Next I added color and movement....alas, too much color and too much movement with no place for the eye to rest.  This is the fourth try before the garbage bin....Looks like it does have some possibility..However....no red, white and blue!! 
The many turns of the quilting process!!

The End...not really...because tomorrow is another day.
Another sewing day and another sunny day!!

PS:  More
I finished the above top, sans border...I do know that border and quilting will make a  big difference.
I am still crabby....to spend so much time  on something that usually comes  easy to me is frustrating..and at the end of the day, it was  just sewing big blocks together...Jeeze Louize
It is also bigger than I had planned....So, I know once the border is on and I put it away for awhile, it will be ok.
Then this disappointment:
I bought this because of the great color combination.  Upon  closer look, it has Bob Marley and marijuana on it...nothing wrong with Bob Marley,.......but.....OMG
AND, my great, wonderful African fabric store is now sending out fabric that is much poorer quality  than  before...I sent them an email....have to wait and see...
OK...Just sharing xo  
It is like life...not turning out quite as planned, but we make the best of it.

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Again......Joy in the Little Things

Of course Aoife's handmade Valentine is for her daddy...Daddy's girl...of course!!
I bought this sweatshirt on sale, as my others were lost in the move last year.
When it arrived, it had some unknown ugly lettering down one sleeve.  This was a perfect chance to try out my new iron on quilt block applique.  It may be a bit much, but it had to cover the letters...The instructions suggested that I follow up with hand or machine stitching...I  used a Jersey needle and a tight knit zigzag stitch. (the one with the dashes between the zigs..)  My first time ever doing this, but my teacher was excellent!!!  A fun shirt for hanging around my place.

I even added my cool and awesome sunflower pull that my girl got me for Christmas.

Dinner tonight was Mardi Gras food...
In Portland, evidently the tradition is Pancake Tuesday.
My friend Lucy brought me tulips....one of my favorites.
Here they are in front of Susan's painting...I just love color.
Charlene brought Valentines for us all at dinner.
A 2.5 hour dinner...we laughed and laughed...
This morning started out as usual with this old lady crawling out of bed at noon... I hurried down to the foyer where an event was happening...registration for absentee ballots ....Yes!!!  It was so crowded...many stations to register folks, even a camera set up for picture taking as NC now needs a picture ID to vote.
I think over 200 people signed up for the absentee ballots..amazing.
That is one third of our residents.!!!! Get out that vote!!

Next item of interest:  The boss here told me that a new quilter from Maryland just moved in yesterday and she was so eager to meet up with other devoted quilters....Yay!!! a good life!
Hopefully, as she gets settled, she will come visit Grandma O'Quilts and her free,  in-house fabric store!!

Days Gone in the Blink of an Eye


The above quilt process is driving me crazy.  Maybe it is because I am up too late listening to podcasts while I sew
..(I can thank Sherry and Lisa for that)!!!
Fooling around with 10 inch African blocks and not finding solace!!!
I still hate it.
So...hot iron is out, ironing these 2.5" strips that I made in sewing yesterday.
Also ironed these old plaid blocks already sewn into  hourglass...
Yesterday I sewed them into two patches.  Now ironed, soon to be four patches...sigh all edges on  the bias...One more challenge!!  
When it rains icky all day long.  When arthritis hurts me and headache hurts my sister. When exercise is sitting in front of my fake fire, taking a nap, then the weather is in control and not me.
Well...here is a new bud on my Amaryllis.  Not too many blooms  this year...but hope exists when one shows...nice...

This morning was quilting in my community..We  tried to plan the year.  I will teach the rope bowl construction.  Miriam and I together will teach needles and machine feet...Stay tuned.

Hope is a bright light in an often dismal world. 
Oh, dear, midnight again!!!!  So fast goes my life..so fast!!

Sunday, February 11, 2024

Rainy on the Outside, Sunny on the Inside

Pouring rain as sleep deprived me headed out to Quilt Patch Fabric's Super Bowl sewing day.
Of course new friends, of course wobbly me on my cane had everyone bring in my machine, etc.
Laughter and Super Bowl food...everything but the game.
Finally, I was able to finish the above quilt binding..."Done" in many languages brings joy.

My Accuquilt cutter cut more African fabrics into 10 inch squares..
Aoife shopping for essentials at Trader Joe's
Aoife checks out the Crocus in Portland, Oregon.

Below my charms all organized into those boxes  I showed you yesterday . So much better than hundreds of them thrown into two huge hatboxes, willy nilly.
Some of these are self-cut; most of them gifts.
Voila!!!!!  Neatly stacked in this drawer...amazing..all of them.
Blues, Kaffe's, Derse, Childrens...etc.  etc... Happy me..
The boxes stack so nicely.

Yesterday was a fun day at the library with CMQG.  Friends, show and tell and sewing.
Today, Sit and Sew at QPF, Tomorrow at my complex a quilting show and  tell and project planner.
Three days of quilting in a row????
Three  days of friendships in a row???
AND, sewing even once home...
Cannot beat that kind of day.

All doctors should be made aware, that quilting  helps to relieve joint pain!!!

Friday, February 9, 2024

New Things

Emily spent $48 for Aoife's first  hair cut...and she hardly even had hair then...Forever more Aoife will have...the bowl cut by her mother, just like my grandma did for me.!! Aoife's new  haircut:

I found these advertized on Instagram for charm packs...Mine arrived today.  I have had a great time organizing two huge boxes of random 5 inch squares...now so much easier to select and sew.
New to me clear organizers.

My west coast cousin asked me to send a valentine card to a school who wanted cards from all around.
Here is mine...mailed off yesterday. It is a  remake of the card I recieved yesterday...Several people now to love it.

Christine's one patch.  One of many she made for family members (from his shirts)  to remember her dear love. He died almost 8 years ago, one year and one day after my husband died...We are fellow travelers..
Missouri Star had a warehouse sale the other day...This woman of  excess decided due to the great price, that I needed to add new, more modern zippers to my huge zipper collection...Voila!
Now I have a quilt collection, a fabric collection, an Aurifil thread collection and a zipper collection... Proud Grandma O'Quilts!  I am buying some things for myself now.  Nothing, I mean nothing, compares to the money I spent raising 3 grandchildren for 8 years nor the cost of  my husband's catastrophic illness, ALS.
Tonight at dinner, there was no place to sit, so I sat next to someone new.  A great move...She was a retired university English professor, a published poet and an artist.   Very interesting.  After a fun dinner, she told me she had been diagnosed with Alzheimers...I could not see it at all...Crazy life.
Here is her apartment..She has a two bedroom, one of which is a painting studio.  Wish I had taken a picture of that...so awesome.  She told me these lovely rugs had been purchased in France where she still owns a home.
Lucky me was the recipient of one of her books and one of her paintings.
Lucky new friend was the recipient of my mother's books and a potholder!! What fun!

In case we did not remember, life can be so very hard.

Now waiting for our Sherry to come and hang the picture for me.
She has helped me sooo much.  I hope she does not start charging $30 an hour like the maintenance folks here do.
Here is the adorable  bag Sherry made for her granddaughter's birthday:

Since there are no secrets at Grandma O'Quilt's house, here is a picture of my old lady legs in my new compression socks.  With a sock helper, there is no problem getting them on and they stay on...Is it too much to ask that my legs will soon look  18 again?????

I have not sewn in two days...so busy organizing.  Of course organizing is a messy thing.
Wondering how my cleaning lady will get  into my place...