Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Back to Sewing - Maybe

I come here nearly every day to read my favorite bloggers' blogs and get inspired by the things they do, mostly sewing, quilting, decorating, or creating.  And then I feel guilty.  And uncreative.  And dull.  Because I don't take the few minutes to write down what we've been doing.

And I'm aggravated that I won't change the name of the blog and make some design changes, but I just can't think of anything.  Did I mention being uncreative.  I'm not even sure that's a word.

But working backwards and trying to remember things.

We went to Issaquah today through clouds and low 70 temperatures in JULY in the middle of the day.  It was pleasant though.  I don't miss at all the 90+ degree humid weather.  I may even keep some kind of energy level all summer instead of wilting around noontime every day from June to October.

Mike had his CT scan today after being on the Opdivo for 4 treatments.  It was a nice trip, the scan went as expected, and we even went to Bellevue to Pacific Fabrics - nice field trip for me and chance for him to sit in the car and read.  

It's nerve-wracking waiting around to hear the results, but Dr. Kaplan never keeps us waiting long.  He always calls the afternoon or night of the scan and gives us the results.  This time, he said there was favorable news about the cancer.  It hasn't spread anywhere and may be improved.  Since he's not changing the treatment plan, we feel like this is what he expected.  There is an answer for the bouts of coughing he has been having though.  There is a mucous plug in a lung that has to be taken care of immediately.  The Opdivo treatments will resume every 2 weeks beginning Wednesday.  They don't cause a whole lot of bad side-effects, so this is a good thing.  

So this morning --  Graysen, Katherine, and I went over to the park for awhile even though all the equipment was pretty damp.  Graysen rode her pedal bike with the training wheels, and she is doing so well with them.  She pretty much goes about her business when we get to the park, but this is something new for Katherine since she's started walking.  She is just thrilled to be out in the middle of other children, sometimes just standing in the way and staring and grinning.  She discovered the steps and climbing wall today, and she is a climbing machine.  She is unstoppable when she starts, and I have to hang onto her clothes to keep her from getting away from me.  I'll get some pictures tomorrow.  Graysen is beginning to socialize more and tag along and play with other children.  She's so funny just walking up to them and asking questions and just running along with them.  Seems like yesterday she was the one just toddling around.  

So to the sewing:  I've done a good many repairs and patching up since we've been here.  I've made Graysen a nightgown and this top.  The gown is already outgrown, and she needs another one or two gowns that twirl.  I'll try to get a picture of the top.  She does like it, so I bought some fabric today to make her another one.  I was anxious to try double gauze since I had heard so much about it.  It was fine to sew with, pretty easy to ravel, but I love the way it is soft and doesn't wrinkle, plus there are so many cute patterns - although fairly expensive.  

When Emily and I went to Pacific Fabrics in Bellevue, we saw a beautiful quilt hanging on the wall.  

The back uses strips of the coordinating batiks.  So pretty.

This was being advertised as a block-of-the-month quilt where you completed it over 6 months, buying each month's lessons monthly.  I wasn't sure I wanted to invest that much money in it and have it shipped or make the trip to Bellevue to pick it up, so I went home and thought about it and looked around.  I found the designer, Cheryl Malkowski, and went to her web site.  She was selling it as a complete kit for probably $80 less than buying it monthly, so I ordered it.  

I love everything about it - the fabrics, the instructions, the breaking down into lessons - and especially these little stickers.

All those hundreds of precisely cut pieces would be a jumble if they weren't marked.  

I worked on the first block tonight, and it went together nicely.  It's just a log cabin block, but I do have problems with my quarter-inch seam and getting it the same way every time.  I played around for the longest time with needle position and finally got it just where I wanted it.  Every piece fit onto the last piece just like a jigsaw puzzle.  

I looked on the picture to try to find 5 log cabin blocks in the quilt but just couldn't find where they went.  Finally, I looked at the instructions, and they are to be cut diagonally and placed around the edge of the quilt between the stars.

Anyway, I've made the plunge into quilting again and can't wait to find some blocks of time to work on it.  

A less enjoyable but necessary job was repairing an old quilt of Mike's grandmother's - or great-grandmother - we're not sure who made it.  Emily and Ryan inherited it and love it.  It was already old and getting shabby, but in these last few years, it's been well loved and used, and the binding was beginning to come loose and fray as well as some of the blocks.  You can see the hand quilting stitches, and several types of fabrics were used, including corduroy.  It seems to have held up the best.  

This is not really a binding, but the back fabric is brought to the front and tacked down.  I'm going to just put a separate binding on it.

This is the binding fabric Emily and I decided would be the best match.  I pinned it nearly all the way around until I found out I needed about a yard more, thus the trip to Pacific Fabrics again today.

This is my easy to pick up project to work on when we're sitting on the balcony blowing bubbles or if the weather is ever warm enough to enjoy the good light.  

I started on this little bread cloth several years ago with no particular use in mind, but now that Graysen is talking about tea parties, I thought it would be a perfect little tablecloth for her.

Pictures of my sweet afternoon guest.

We go through the bubble solution!  Everyone who passes is treated to a cascade of bubbles from the balcony, and she never gets tired of blowing them.  Simple pleasures.

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