Friday, May 31, 2024

Cute & Durable - Hah!


"Pawsome" it says....

"Layered Durability" it says....
"Double the durability and lasts twice as long" it says.....

Two hours later:
Maybe not! says me! 

Definitely not, say Kaitlyn & Vicky.

If I'd simply thrown $15 in the trash, I wouldn't have had to clean up the mess and throw the remains in the trash!
If you'd done that, say Kaitlyn & Vicky, we wouldn't have had as much fun!
If I had thrown it away, says me, I wouldn't have to pick up poop adorned with pieces of "durable" green rubber!

Thursday, May 30, 2024

A Weighty Matter

When I see this cartoon, it makes me think of Lesley Gore singing "You would cry too if this happens to you!" (Now I've planted that song in my head for the rest of the day.)

One of our first stops after we loaded up and began our trip was to stop at the truck scales to get our weight.  

As shown on the receipt, our weights: 
Front: 13,960 lbs
Back: 23,820 lbs

Michelin has a chart for every tire that tells what the pressure of the tire should be when cold (65 degrees) based on the weight and size of tire. 

So, now the Mister can get out his tire pressure gauge and make adjustments. This will also make the handling of the motorhome a bit better as we go down the road. 

Thursday, May 16, 2024

And, Sew it Begins!

No sewing! Sewing had to come to an end, for now! 

The last few weeks have been rather hectic preparing for our annual trek west to visit with the family. In addition to the normal flurry of last-minute appointments with doctors and dentists, planning and piling things we want to take and those things that are staying home, and finishing up some last-minute sewing projects, I can add the confusion of having a new motorhome and not knowing exactly what can fit on it and where we are going to stash it. 

A few weeks ago I completed the plans for the initial part of our journey:

    • First stop: Fort Clinch State Park, Fernandina Beach Fl - 2 nights
    • Second stop: Hilton Head National RV Resort, Hilton Head, SC - 3 nights 
    • Next stop: Apple Valley Farm RV Resort, Lake Lure, NC - 3 nights
    • Final planned stop: Pool Knobs Campground, LaVergne, TN - 3 nights

It doesn’t look impressive. It doesn’t look worthy of the amount of time I actually spent searching maps, planning routes, and contacting and making reservations at campgrounds. Despite all of that time, I didn’t get very far! I am wary of projecting out further in our journey. I hesitate to do that because it seems that every time I have, our plans have changed and I needed to cancel reservations, then search our route, locate alternative camping spots and make new reservations - twice the work!

So, with my plans we will soon reach the edge of our mapped journey. We will reach “Here be dragons” territory. (In medieval days early explorers would draw dragons and sea monsters on uncharted areas where unknown possible dangers could exist.) I don't believe there are dangers here. We know our final destination (California) and we know there’s a lot of miles between Tennessee and there. We know there are rivers to cross, thankfully on bridges, lush green landscape and arid, sandy desert, mountains and valleys. We have Interstates to drive, and secondary roads to explore. But, we’ll take it all one day (night) at a time to determine where we go and where we will stay. We plan to make a few longer stops to explore along the way, and we will just pencil those in as we go. 

What a great way to travel and see the country! 

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Crank 'em Out

I've been on a roll with quilting over the last year. I have almost been in panic mode, wanting to use up fabric I have acquired, before succumbing to the call of new fabrics, new colors, new designs and new patterns. It has basically been a quilting frenzy, and I'm not totally thrilled with what I cranked out.

This was a quickie 4-yard pattern that came with a bundle of fabric I purchased in 2020.
I'm not a fan. 

Here's another oldie...a kit purchased sometime around 2020....get got 'er done!
Again, I'm not a fan of it.

I think I purchased this panel to make a fabric counting book before my grandson was born. He's now 6. 
Another "get  got 'er done" quilt - although I do kinda like this one! 

I called this quilt "Bye, Bye Blues" It was made from scraps of blue fabric left over from past projects. I do like this one!

This is the back of the quilt - basically another quilt! 

I think I bought this kit in 2017. I was enamored with the thread spools.
Now, as my son would say, "Meh"
Well, it's another "get got 'er done" quilt!

I can't take credit for the fabric on this one. It wasn't from my "stash", 
but I had to get it done as it was a project from the Quilt Guild I belong to. 
I was given this fabric, and had to make something out of it and return the finished
project to the fabric's owner. I really stepped out of the box on this one
and I love how it turned out!

Christmas was coming, and I had purchased a cute tree skirt pattern in 2018.
I decided it was about time that I used some of my fabric to make the tree skirt.
I was pleased with this "get got 'er done"!

I began quilting in 2015. I used to sew scraps together as "leaders & enders" 
when I was sewing pieces for other quilts. I turned the sewn scraps into 6 1/2" squares. 
I had about 70 of them, and always planned to make some sort of quilt with them. 
I used a quilting design software to "design" this quilt.
I decided to call it "Candy Corn"

I had some sort of brain fart when I cut the yellow rectangles to make 
the triangles. I ended up with a huge stack left over. So... I took more leader/ender 
squares and made a similar quilt with the leftover yellows - using the right and wrong
side of the fabric to make this "Macaroni & Cheese" quilt.

The back of both quilts are also pieced, and used the remaining 
leader/ender blocks. 

This is another project for the Guild, where I was given the fabric
and had to create a quilt to give back to the owner of the fabric. 
This isn't actually finished as I want to appliqué leaves on some of the trees. 

I went to Hamilton, MO in 2016 - home of the Missouri Star Quilt Company.
This is THE Mecca for quilters. I picked up a few "charm packs" with
varied design and color ways of a "collection" of fabric. This year I finally selected the pattern "Night Sky" from a Jenny Doan collection (she is the quilt maven of the MSQC) and I created this quilt. 

Then something happened. I had a "slap upside the head"moment. I realized I was cranking out stuff...and it wasn't satisfying me in anyway. It wasn't igniting anything in my heart. As I came to this realization, or perhaps the "baseball bat" that hit me up side the head that was the cause of my rethinking,  I attended two presentations by quilt artists who talked about embellishments on quilts: Margaret LoBianco and Susan Cleveland. They made me see that going a step beyond, taking extra time to be precise and finding ways to stitch in something of myself makes the quilt - not just the physical steps of sewing pieces of fabric together. Later, a chance meeting with quilter/author Marianne Hatton, made me realize that I needed to step back, take a deep breath, and examine why I quilt and determine what aspects of the craft excite me. 
While this metamorphosis was occurring, I was finishing the NightSky quilt. I completed the "flimsy" (the quilt top before it becomes part of a sandwich that is quilted).  I was not very excited. I stared at the large white blocks in the middle of the stars. They were like black holes in space - a whole lot of nothingness.  I experimented with using fabric pieces to create blades of a pinwheel - in the picture above I had just pinned the pieces on so I could sit back and stare some more. I liked it. I made more pieces and painstakingly pulled apart seams and inserted the fabric pieces in the center of each white rectangle. I have finished the pinwheels with two colors of fabric circles appliquéd in the center, including some decorative stitching, and most recently a few beads.  I love how this quilt has evolved, and will continue to be transformed as I get it on the long arm for quilting. It's a simple quilt, but for the first time I am truly excited by a quilt I have made!

Close up detail of 3-D pinwheel

Sunday, May 5, 2024

Here We Go Again

 It's happened again. We saw an RV. We fell in love with the RV. We decided to "think" about the RV. We did...for a moment. We priced it. We priced our trade. We drove home in a "new to us" RV! 

This is a Newmar NewAire 3543. It is 35 feet, 10" long. It is barely used. It is beautiful. is also causing brain drain. After having several Tiffins, we are not familiar with the electronic systems on this motorhome. When we want to turn on lights....we have to think about it - hard! Same thing with trying to put shades up or down. It will take some time. We will get used to it!

I'll have to take some more pictures, as we are settling in. Currently,  however, everything from our Breeze is in the guest room....

and the living room...

and the garage...

and the laundry room!

What a mess! Vickie isn't sure she can handle the upheaval. She found "her" bag amongst the rubble and settled in. That look says I'm in for a tussle if I try to take the bag without her!!! 😁

What is Four?

Have you ever thought of the meaning of "four"?  Four is the number of: seasons in a year. corners and sides to a square. virtues....