Feline Friday is hosted every friday and HELP for Hexie-aholics is hosted on the 17th of each month. We hope you'll join us!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Feline Friday - 9/30/11

One of these pussycats is not like the others...
The winner gets to take a ride in the PTU tomorrow morning to the rabies clinic...

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Shop Hop

Well, here it is almost the end of the day and no blog post yet...It's just been a crazy busy week let alone today specifically. Next week will be the same or worse since I collect school taxes and tomorrow is the due date.

I had a little scare with my Bernina this morning, the first time I've used the machine in a week. When I turned it on it didn't do that normal buzz sound and the needle wasn't centered yet I couldn't move the needle like it's supposed to. I cleaned everything and even took off the cover to see if that needed cleaning. I was a little miffed since it just had it's annual cleaning/servicing in August but I finally got it to wake up properly. If it happens again I may need to drive the 2+ hours back to have it looked at again. Ugh.

Since I don't have a lot of time to post, I'll finish the Adirondack photos next week and I'll just show my purchases from the Shop Hop last night.

First I went to Mt Pleasant Quilting Company in York. Their charm was a basket block and they included York Peppermint Patties LOL. They have a scrap bin that is sold by the inch so I got a boatload of scraps for my stash. I need to make a point of trimming them this weekend instead of just adding them to the "needs trimming" pile. Maybe if I post that to-do item here I'll be more accountable? Don't hold your breath! I also bought two ornament kits.

My next stop was Chestnut Bay Quilting in Caledonia. Their charm was a star and they had Reese's Pieces. I had never been to this store so I wasn't sure what to expect but they have a nice selection of batiks and civil war style fabrics. I purchased the red, black and greys for one of my Houston classes. I had picked out a green FQ for the class and then a couple Civil War FQs when I found out that if you bought so many you got one free - I had no problem picking another :)

I might go to another shop tonight if I can get my tax work done lickety split. We shall see...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Adirondack color

The fall color in the Adirondacks was phenominal - and these pictures just don't do it justice. Friday and Saturday were overcast but Sunday was bright and sunny. You will definitly notice the difference :)

Can you see the pitter patter of the rain on 8th Lake?
These are just a few of the Mallard ducks we fed on Friday and Sunday.

Spider web between my car and the tree on Saturday morning.
I moved my car during the day and there was another web on Sunday.

Mom & Dad at 7th Lake - before one of our rock hunting sessions.
It looks like a speck in the sky but Payne's seaplane is circling to come in for a landing.

The contrast between the sky, clouds and trees on Sunday was phenominal!

7th Lake - I just love reflecting ponds (near where I rescued most of the rocks I brought home)

Transition from 7th lake to 8th Lake

Tomorrow - playing with my camera at the Catherdral Pines
(shorted maintained trail, it's all of 1/10 of a mile) and Black Bear Trading Post quilt shop.
It's too bad I haven't done any sewing all week but tonight I am playing hookie for a quick shop hop trip...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Adirondack Mountains

Just a short 4 hours away from home is the Adirondack Park where my family has been camping for 34 years. I didn't realize it had been quite that long. We always go to Eighth Lake Campsite which is part of the Fulton Chain of Lakes. In the beginning, I think we only had one tent for the 4 of us...that became 2 and then 3 tents as my brother and I got older and needed "space".

Unfortunately, the summer I was 16 was my last trip there. I had chicken pox that summer so I hid away the first week while I was still contagious but I also caught the biggest fish - and that's all I can remember from that summer. I do have the picture to prove the fish but it's a print (of all things). I never got to go back because I had summer jobs and then moved to Miami. It's been a long 24 years and I've missed everything about the Adirondacks (except the drive).

Mom & Dad eventually got a pop up camper and just this summer, a full size pull behind camper. I must say it's nice to sleep on a decent bed (OK, I slept on the "kitchen table") and not need to set up and tear down a site as well as needing to pack and unpack the car so that it all fits. The best meals are cooked over the fire or camp stove and not on the camper stove which we only used to make cocoa in the mornings.

We fed the ducks.


We walked in the woods behind our site where dew dripped from under the fungus among us.


We collected rocks down this path where bear hunters startled us as they walked out of the woods.
We won't talk about the large rock that fell on my flip-flopped foot...


We shopped till we dropped and then shopped some more.

Check back later this week for more pictures of the fall color and the quilt store I went to 2 out of the 3 days I was there (!!!)...

Monday, September 26, 2011

Design Wall Monday - 9/26/11

Just a quickie little post today since there isn't much to show... Job#2 and 3 evening meetings ate most of my time over the past week but then I got to spend the weekend camping in the Adirondack Mountains (more on that later this week).

While sitting by the camp fire I was able to finish the black sashing on the bottom left diamond and start on the bottom right. I am really liking how this project is progressing :)  We'll see how big it gets (2 more rounds maybe)...I'm itching to work on other hexie projects as well...



Friday, September 23, 2011

Feline Friday - 9/23/11

Do you remember the new-to-us red cat bed that no one wanted to use even tho it was freshly laundered? Someone suggested that I place a used towel or blanket in the bed to garner some intererest...yeh...didn't work.

Now that fall is coming, tiny Midgie has reclaimed her large blue cat bed that she only half fills, leaving Pepper out in the cold. I think it's the first time I have seen her use the bed since she and the bed arrived here summer 2010. Being a wuss and not willing to stand up to the sister who is one third his size, Pepper now uses the small red bed. I have seen him hanging out the front "door" when he hasn't stuffed his toukus in far enough. I'm not sure that he cares as long as he's warm!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Art of the Garden

I am not what one would call an overly dedicated gardener. I like to pick flowers for the house or my office but I do not give up my other hobbies for the summer nor do I spend days and days gardening until I can't move, like some people I know. Mostly because it only takes a single afternoon of gardening to not be able to move. I also can't be out in the heat overly long or I'll end up with a migraine.

This past Sunday was the most perfect weather to be working outside. I've had some potted plants on the side porch this summer (inventory changes as things get planted or donated to me) and I finally decided it was time to get the other hosta bed in.

This is what I started with. The corner has been in progress for two summers. There is a yellow wood poppy that is beautiful in the spring/early summer and the sum and substance hosta is supposed to be huge when it's older. There are also columbine and lillies thrown in there with two Solomon's seal. The wall mounted hose reel replaced a wheeled cart this summer that constantly tipped over. Best decision ever! Do you remember the rock under the hose reel? The one I swiped from the edge of a corn field and only got home becuase of the stranger that helped me get it into my little car? Now I need a slightly smaller one to put in front of it so the hose doesn't know the little plants over.

I started by digging up the sod. Let me remind you that I have clay here at CasaGrande and it's been dry. I finally used the hose to dampen the surface enough to loosen it up. Next I placed rocks for what will become a rock wall...I just need more rocks! Then I placed the hosta, sedum and day lilly pots where I wanted them, trying to leave room for everything to grow. I've still got some empty spaces but I've got more plants to add and some to move from other gardens. It still needs mulch but it's already much better than just grass and weeds :)


I finished the afternoon by digging up red potatoes (great crop) and onions (not so great), pulling some weeds and clipping some Glads for the house. Don't ask about my back...or the butt muscles I somehow strained?!?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Block "problems" continue

Sew...I'm hoping you read yesterday's post where I was hurrying and didn't read the directions carefully leading me to frog out some seams and correct 4 square-in-square blocks.

Well...I fixed those and placed the 9 sections on the design wall. This quilt is made up of 9patch star blocks (from EQ7) but there is a lot of give and take with color placement to make the actual block look totally different. These were my 2 options:




After some debate with myself I decided to go with the second option because I thought it looked more like the star blocks we were aiming for.

EXCEPT....when I finally got it all pieced together and really looked at the finished block, I hadn't made the layout I had chosen. I've decided not to re-do the block. I did like both layouts so why not...maybe it was divine intervention. I also have to make my blocks in a different color way so I'll make a better effort to use the other layout in the fall colors.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Design Wall Monday - 9/19/11

One of the tasks on yesterday's long honey-do list was to make a 9-patch star block. It probably should have only taken 20 minutes.

I was modifying the directions to use the easy angle ruler and using a chart from Bonnie to make square in square blocks. Once I finally got the fabrics selected (the hardest part because it's for "someone else") I zipped together the SIS blocks and went to trim them a little when I realized they were all way off. That's really strange because Bonnie's method is very accurate. I reread the cutting chart several times before I realized the directions actually pertained to the finished size. I've taken them partially apart, trimmed the center piece and will put them back together tonight. Ughhhhh...

Friday, September 16, 2011

Feline Friday - 9/16/11

I can tell fall is coming...

not just from the colors on the trees, the smell of smoke from the neighborhood chimneys, the frost warnings or the sweaters I have been wearing (!) ...

but when pussy cats normally at odds start cuddling on the closest quilt it might just be that time of year.

Destruction from Hurricane Irene

After Tom emailed me pictures from TS Lee on Wednesday I realized I had never got his emailed pictures from Irene just a week before. Don't forget to biggie-size for more detail. The first four are taken with his mobile phone (and I am not sure what towns they are from)...I knew things weren't going well by the language he used...he never txts like that.


Tom was stationed in Oneonta, NY for just over a week but the crews were given a daily work site that was anywhere within a 1.5 hour driving radius...that included sites in Pennsylvania. I won't tell you the 3 letter abbreviation that came with this photo...use your imagination.










This photo was titled "Irene is a b****." In one text I was trying to lighten the mood and asked what fun things he was doing knowing that sometimes he was playing hurry up and wait. He answered none because it was hard watching little kids who had no home or place to go. Ugh.








He also told me several times that what he was looking at could have just as easily been damage from Katrina. This particular image was labeled "Holy **** I'm in New Orleans."












The house that belongs on this foundation can be seen in the very back of the photo.







The remaining pictures are from Prattsville, a particularly hard hit little town at the edge of the Catskill Mountains. Tom told me to picture Main Street in our town of Castile (maybe 2 miles long) just completely wiped out. About 75% of the people didn't want the electric boxes replaced on the remains of their houses - they had had enough floods and were moving on.

This double-wide was washed about 500 feet off it's foundation, who knows how far it would have traveled if the tree didn't stop it.

You could see the damaged houses but Tom said people were also just piling their wet belongings street side to wait for garbage removal. Dumpsters were everywhere. The piles of what was left of people's lives grew to be quite large.

The flood washed out 8 feet of dirt from UNDER this gorgeous Victorian - it's still in it's original location.

This is a 100,000 pound dot sand blasting trailer. Can you see the dirt washed out from under it? Where the guy dressed in blue is standing? This massive piece of equipment was only supported by one wheel and stiff legs. You wouldn't catch me standing down there.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Destruction from TS Lee

My brother works for Rochester Gas & Electric (RG&E) and has twice been sent downstate for restoration work after Hurricane Irene and TS Lee. He gave me permission to share these photos. You may need to biggie-size the pictures to see all the details.

Today Tom sent me these photos taken in Binghamton, NY, just a few days after TS Lee flooded the city. I've been told this was their "1,000 year" flood --> their "500-year" flood was only in 2006. I can't imagine the level of destruction for this storm alone, let alone just a few years after the last storm.

Can you see the line of work vehicles in the rearview mirror? Crews came from all over and I'm sure this is just a smidgeon of the caravan making their way through the flood waters.


Binghamton has 3 main substations. The crews were there to tear down the substations with it's submerged equipment and rebuild them from the ground up. This substation is closest to the river and had 10 to 12 feet of flood water. If you look at the ribbed radiators just behind the van, you can see the brown high water mark towards the top. The fence to the left is probably only 8 feet tall. Most of the water had receded by Saturday: 5 feet overnight and before they would be allowed in to work Saturday morning and another 4 to 5 feet during the day. He said you could watch the water receding it was moving so quickly.

Last Saturday Tom texted me a video of 30 lb carp inside the substation. They had been washed over the fence. The guys released them back into the wild. 

Mud and dust covers everything. The sewer plant was upstream (and flooded) so the combo of mud, dust and sewage does not bode well for the worker's health. They were warned that (almost) everyone got sick after the last flood.

Can you see Mike off to the left? In the yellow hat? The water was to the bottom of the porcelain insulators over his head.

I'll post Hurricane Irene pictures tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Blades & Rulers

In thinking about what to post today - I wanted to share how much I was enjoying the new rotary cutter blade I put in this weekend. I had stalled putting the new on partly because the last new one hadn't been that sharp and I assumed my scarred self-healing mat was the cause of my woes. Nope - it was the blade! I hereby encourage everyone reading today to change their blade. You will not regret it.

OK - I hadn't planned to say all that today (even tho it's all true). I had planned to share how I use one of my rulers - kind of starting a casual rundown of how I use various rulers - yeah, the ones I still haven't counted. Sometimes it's better not to know altho I have promised someone to just do it.

My friend Liana bought me this 18" x 2.5" ruler as part of a going away gift when I moved back to NY. As for it's original purpose, I find it a little wiggly because it's so long. I haven't tried to use it for it's original purpose in some time so maybe my technique has improved. Note to self - try this ruler for cutting strips some time.

What I have been using it for is is transporting HST from the cutting mat (yeah, they were cut with the new blade!) over to the sewing machine. I know Bonnie just throws them in a pile and then sews them all but I'm a little more anal and don't see the need to dislodge the 2 pieces in a pile so that I need to line them back up to sew the little buggers. Call me crazy.

And then...my quality control officer popped in for a look. At least he got his toukus off the couch - I was beginning to worry there was something wrong with his "senior" self. Please ignore the Glads that should have been put out with the trash...

Monday, September 12, 2011

Design Wall Monday - 9/12/11

Not sew much to share today...finished a table runner top. I'm thinking green for the back because it's my fav color and really the most prevalent color in the border fabric, but also because that red on the front is so in your face... I am thinking the border fabric will also be the binding fabric.


I attached another diamond to the hexie quilt. I'll be camping at the end of the month so I hope to relax and get a lot of hexies sewn then.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Nine Eleven

There are no words to adequately convey how I feel on this 9-11 anniversary.

My mind is full of clich├ęs and memories today, having woken to the clock radio playing patriotic songs and snippets from the news of that fateful day.

Let Us Never Forget

God Bless America

That’s the best I can offer you today


Friday, September 09, 2011

Feline Friday - 9/9/11

I wanted to share a photo of my 3 little helpers this morning as I was working on my EQ7 lessons (Team Tabby were on the table with me and Squeaky was rolling around on the floor) EXCEPT all three of them beat it when I stood up to get the camera and this was the best I could get after re-posing Midgie. It's still representative of her non-stop attitude and probably why I only have a tenth as many pictures of her as compared to the other kids.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Squishy surprise!!!

We interrupt today's regularly scheduled UFO Thursday post to share a little surprise I received today!!

I don't get to pick up my mail super often - there is no delivery to my end of the street so I have a PO box that I only get to once or twice a week and only if I leave for work early enough. I almost didn't make it this morning but I was surprised to find a very pretty squishy in the little box.

Denise and I talk tea sometimes...especially when the newest Tea Time magazine comes out and I am biting at the bit to borrow the library's copy. Recently Denise shared that she was sipping pumpkin spice tea and I told her it sounded yummy.


Can you guess what was in my squishy??!! A golden package of Pumpkin Spice tea from Emma's Tea Room and a note card that is perfect because sewing IS my therapy. I can't wait to get home and brew some. This cool weather is perfect for sipping a cup of tea in my favorite teacup tonight :)

Thanks Denise!!!! You really made my day!

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Fat Cats and veggies, oh my

On Saturday I worked at the LQS. Being a holiday weekend there were a few slumps which gave me time to look around the store and find stuff to try not to buy. I actually resisted buying anything other than what I needed for a pillowcase until about 4:30. That last half hour was a killer because I ran across this fabric and just couldn't pass it up again.


I also caved on a new pattern I had been eyeing that used the "new" Fat Cat ruler. But look how much I've already got done...


I just need to finish the gold sashing, add a gold inner border and then the veggie fabric becomes the outer border. There are actually 2 red fabrics versus 3 greens but it just screams red to me...

Yes Denise - I bought another ruler but no, I haven't made the list yet :(