29 April 2022

Friday Funny

28 April 2022

Deadline Frustration

My goal for this week was to finish the first three Moda Blockheads 2 QAYG blocks so I could show off the incredible joining method I dreamed up late one night back in 2018. I finished quilting the first QAYG block about two weeks ago and began crocheting around the edge, thinking it would take me about two nights to finish the simple double crochet mesh foundation stitching.

I finally finished the first block at 5:32 Wednesday night after struggling with the crochet edging for more than two solid weeks.

I've done crochet edgings on my sewing projects before, but I've never had one give me as much trouble as this one did.

Christmas Snowflake Skirt
My Most Recent Crochet Edging Finish, a Christmas Snowflake Skirt

My previous crocheted edgings have been mostly on clothing. So I wasn't working with (or through) batting. I'm guessing that's why this one has given me such headaches. And, literally, hand aches and finger aches. Before I even finished edging the first side of this oversized block, I decided I need to find a different way to do this because I will never finish if every block takes me this long. Plus, it takes the fun out of a unique project when it's so difficult.

Right now, I just want to take a very long vacation from this project. I'm tempted to hide it away where I won't find it for years!!!

But I've been so excited about my idea for joining the blocks for so long now, I just can't stop working on it yet. Thankfully. I will try something different on the next block to make sure I have a better way of crocheting around the quilted block.

Linking up with Alycia Quilts.

26 April 2022


Our three hoya plants, two of which Lizard inherited from his father, have done too well! The third hoya was purchased in 2012 as a very tiny plant. We were replacing a similar one Lizard had inherited from his father but which had succumbed to mealy bugs earlier that year. The hoya plants had never blossomed in Lizard's appartment before he met me, and they never bloomed in my apartment after we were married. The one we lost bloomed for the first time in our home, back in 2011, I think, and I was instantly addicted!!!

The year we lost the curly-leaf plant, one of the straight-leaf plants bloomed for the first time, almost as if to console us.

When we moved the two straight-leaf hoyas into the sun with the new curly-leaf plant, they began blooming! Within eighteen months, the new plant began blooming, too. Photographer's paradise!

Up until last weekend, those hoya rope plants were living up to their name. Some of the ropes had grown more than 20 feet! Blossoms explode every six or so months on all three plants. In the last couple of years, perhaps due in part to both of us being home almost all the time, the aroma of the gorgeous flowers has become more than we can tolerate. I had asked Lizard a few times if I could give the plants a haircut. He was agreeable. But I was chicken.

Last weekend, I researched propagation and worked up my courage. I pruned all three plants and set 14 trimmed stems up in vases. One of the branches was 35 feet long!!! If even a portion of the branches root, I will be happy. If they do begin forming roots, I will plant them in pots. If they survive, I plan to give them away to some wonderful friends who have commented how much they love our indoor jungle. If none of the branches survive, I did my best. I didn't just clip them and throw them out. Hopefully, the original plants will continue to flourish, just not quite as overwhelmingly fragrant!

25 April 2022

Snowflake Monday

Lizard and I have been riding a few miles each day after work when the wind isn't blowing gale force. Because he does okay while I'm at work one partial day a week, I asked him if he would be okay if I rode in the morning before working at home. He has been wanting me to do that ever since his knee surgery in 2019. But I'd made the decision I would not ride until he could.

Last Friday, before our horrific winds moved in, I was able to ride 18 miles! (I forgot to turn on my Cyclemeter for the first half mile or so. The screenshot below reading 1.81 mph was snapped while I was standing still at the end of the ride. It probably picked up my lingering heavy breathing after that final climb!!!) I successfully got up three of four steep climbs near our home without stopping. The one I call the time trial ramp got me. But I almost made it to the top!

It's the first time I've done that many miles and any of those climbs in about three or four years!

I got home to find Lizard trying to surprise me by doing laundry. And now all our underwear has a very faint tint of blue. Looks very pretty!

Today's snowflake was inspired by both events. May there be many more such joyous occasions in our future!

You may do whatever you'd like with snowflakes you make from this pattern, but you may not sell or republish the pattern. Thanks, and enjoy!

Finished Size: 6 inches from point to point
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread, size 7 crochet hook, empty pizza box, wax paper or plastic wrap, cellophane tape, water soluble school glue or desired stiffener, water, glitter, small container for glue/water mixture, paintbrush, stick pins that won't be used later for sewing, clear thread or fishing line


Popcorn Stitch (pc)

Work 5 dc in designated st, take loop off hook, insert hook through top loop of 1st dc and replace loop on hook, pull loop through top of 1st dc.

True Blue Snowflake Instructions

Make magic ring.

Round 1: [1 pc in ring, ch 8], 6 times, omitting last 4 ch of final repeat; 1 dtr in starting pc to form 6th ch 8 petal of Round. Don't pull magic circle too tight.

Round 2: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 4 dc over post of dtr directly below, [ch 3, in next ch 8 petal work (5 dc, ch 3, 5 dc)] 5 times; ch 3, 5 dc in next ch 8 petal, ch 1, 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 to to form 12th ch 3 sp of Round.

Round 3: 1 sc over post of dc directly below, [ch 5, in next ch 3 sp work (1 sc, ch 10, 1 sc), ch 5, in next ch 3 sp work (1 sc, ch 5, 1 sc)] 6 times, omitting last sc and last 3 ch of final repeat; 1 tr in starting sc to form 6th ch 5 loop of Round.
If you're not reading this pattern on Snowcatcher, you're not reading the designer's blog. Please go here to see the original.

Round 4: 1 sc over post of tr directly below, in same sp work 1 hdc, 1 dc, 1 tr, [in next ch 10 loop work (1 tr, ch 5, 1 tr, ch 7, 1 tr, ch 5, 1 tr), in next ch 5 loop work (1 tr, 1 dc, 1 hdc, 1 sc, ch 3, * 1 sc, 1 hdc, 1 dc, 1 tr) 6 times, ending * on final repeat; sl st in starting sc; bind off. Weave in ends.

Finish: Tape wax paper or plastic wrap to top of empty pizza box. Pin snowflake to box on top of wax paper or plastic wrap.

If using glue, mix a few drops of water with a teaspoon of glue in small washable container. Paint snowflake with glue mixture or desired stiffener. Sprinkle lightly with glitter. Wash paintbrush and container thoroughly. Allow snowflake to dry at least 24 hours. Remove pins. Gently peel snowflake from wax paper or plastic wrap. Attach 10-inch clear thread to one spoke, weaving in end. Wrap fishing line around tree branch (or tape to ceiling or any overhead surface) and watch snowflake twirl freely whenever you walk by! Snowflake also may be taped to window or tied to doorknob or cabinet handle.

21 April 2022

Home on the Range

Mother's Day gifts are DONE!!!

This project (and the two practice pieces) taught me I can indeed successfully build a 60-degree diamond project without a template, and it also taught me how to properly machine-stitch Y-seams. My Y-seams on the first project were sad and frustrating. The Y-seams on the second project are not frowning. The Y-seams on the actual kit I bought at the beginning of this year are smiling! And that makes ME smile!!!

This project is (much) bigger than the kit I bought earlier this year was supposed to be, and I ended up having to buy three more yards of fabric in order to finish the background, backing and binding. (I didn't need a full yard of each, but I wanted leftovers.) I was able to make the diamonds with the fabric provided in the kit, even though my strips are nearly double the size the pattern called for. I was almost an inch short on one strip, but I was able to salvage the tiny triangles I whacked off at the top of each six-piece strip to finish that last diamond.

The Shabby Fabrics pattern called for (2) 1.5-inch strips to make the diamonds. I misread that for my first practice table topper and used previously self-cut 2.5 inch strip leftovers for a table topper for my mom for Mother's Day. I cut 1.5-inch strips from my snowflake stash for my second practice piece, which I love so much, I may end up keeping for myself. I decided to make the actual kit in the larger size in order to show off the adorable western prints in the Home on the Range collection. Even though the final project turned out much bigger than it should have, I think my mother-in-law might love it. We will be taking it to her in person next month during some much-needed rest and relaxation/rehabilitation.

I changed up the color order as shown on the pattern because I wanted to alternate the boots, plus, I thought making the teal strips the centerpiece would really make the coordinating binding pop. Plus, my mother-in-law's favorite color is teal.

I also unintentionally put the horseshoes on upside-down in relation to the pattern, probably because I have a snowflake-themed brain. The upside-down placement looks somewhat like snowflake points to me. Ha ha!

I quilted and appliquéd with King Tut Cedars, the first time I've ever used the colorway. It's been in my stash for quite a while, and I think it looks pretty darned coordinated, considering I haven't shopped for thread at all for more than two years except when I ran out of YLI Alaskan Skies while finishing up my Lizard Toes.

All three projects are quilted in the ditch because that's what the pattern recommended. I enjoyed this pattern so much, I might make another one, perhaps rainbow colors, to audition a different quilting design.

I waited until all three pieces were done to throw them in the wash. The background fabric on my mother-in-law's table topper unraveled from beneath the binding on one side, and all six horseshoes needed to be appliquéd on again as they, too, had frayed. I did a wider zigzag on the appliqués this time around and frogged the binding on that one edge and redid it. Resulting in 26 more ends to weave in!!! But all should hold firm now. And I'd rather have them grow fuzzy on me than the first time my mother-in-law washes it. Lizard suggested we wash that one again, just to make sure. This time, it held up beautifully. I think it will last a good, long time.

Linking up with Alycia Quilts.

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