Thursday, September 28, 2017

September's UFO List

Despite the fact that I'm 
in full swing of being a nanny Nana
I've made some progress on

Any forward progress is 
a reason to celebrate.

A couple of weekends ago
 there was challenge
to "sew a jelly roll".
To be honest, I don't buy 
many precuts,
but looking over my UFO list 
 I remembered I had 
"make a Mondo Bag"

I knew it was a sign.
Time to work on this.

I combined a well cured
Fig Tree jelly roll and a 
very mature pattern and 
started sewing.

A long time ago I have made lots of the 
Quilt Smart Smart Bags.

All this bag takes is 
two fat quarters,
one for the bag and one for the lining.
And, of course,
the Quilt Smart fusible
preprinted interfacing.

Making a Mondo Bag
was just as easy.
The fusible interfacing has
all the necessary lines printed on it,
where to cut and where to sew
and what direction to press.

Using a jelly roll is a quick
way to get a variety of  2.5" squares.
Cut, fuse, sew.
Nothing could be easier.

 Here are the squares fused to
the interfacing.

If you're careful, you're
 able to get enough squares for two Mondo Bags
out of one jelly roll.
One bag for you and one for a friend.
Once you've bought the pattern,
you can buy the interfacing panels separately
and make as many as you want.

Over the years
I've had bag envy with many
of my quilting friends and their Mondo Bags.
The size and shape is perfect
for carrying beautiful quilts 
for show and tell to your local guild meeting.
Well, mine was finally done

and became my show and tell
for September.

Another project off the list.

There are several projects
that are getting close to being done.
It's going to be a sprint
to the finish.
I've appreciated Meredithe's
fun UFO's list and accountability.
I have actually stayed pretty focused!

Until Next Time-

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Hurricane Irma

 I asked my daughter, Kate,
who is the museum's assistant director at the
Seminole Indian Museum,
to share her recent experiences with hurricane Irma.

 I think I can officially call myself a Floridan! 
After 8 years of near misses, 
Hurricane Irma took a direct aim at south Florida last week. 
 We were lucky last year when Hurricane Matthew 
 decided to stay off the coast and 
we got a bit of wind and rain. 
 This time however, 
with the size of Irma being over 400 miles wide 
there wasn't much chance 
we would not feel the effects of this powerful storm.

 Hurricane Irma heading towards Florida, followed by Hurricane Jose

I think one of the hardest things about hurricanes
 is the anxiety that comes with waiting.
 Because of Hurricane Harvey,
Floridians did not waste any time preparing for Irma.
  By Tuesday, 5 days before the storm was to hit,
 gas stations were already running out of fuel,
 grocery store shelves were bare,
and it was almost impossible to find water.
 My husband had to go to the gas station
 at 2 in the morning on Thursday to get gas--
 and even then, there was a line!

 Photo credit: Sun Sentinel

 Just waiting...

Because both my job and my husband's gave us Thursday and Friday off,
we had time to prepare our home
and make sure everything was in order.
 As the days passed,
Irma turned into a monster storm.

 Thursday she was aiming right for Miami
 as a Category 5 with 180mph winds.
 Many of our friends and co-workers evacuated.
 I tried hard not to refresh
the hurricane models every hour,
wondering which path Irma would take.
 By Saturday, Irma had shifted more west
and was heading straight for the Keys.
 My heart broke for those living there,
especially a dear friend who lives on Big Pine Key
 (where the eye would eventually hit)

Saturday morning we enjoyed some outdoors time.
 By early afternoon the clouds were rolling in fast
and rain bands beginning.
A curfew was set
and no one was supposed be out on the roads until Monday.
  Even though Irma was headed northwest,
we were going to experience
what meteorologists call the "dirty side" of the hurricane.
  Because hurricanes move counterclockwise,
 we would get the winds plus its forward velocity.  

Irma hitting Cuba on Saturday

The next 27 hours are kind of a blur.
 I barely slept Saturday night.
  The wind was howling
 and the rain was pounding.
  I got up at 5
and turned on the news,
which stayed on the remainder of the day,
only to be interrupted by the 5 or 6 tornado warnings.

 As the day progressed,
 the winds grew stronger.
  By 1pm we were getting gusts of over 100 mph.
 By 4pm the worst of the storm
 hit as the eye moved over Marco Island.
Through the wind we could hear branches snapping
from the trees and strange and loud bangs
and scrapping noises.
I couldn't imagine
what the west coast of Florida was experiencing
 knowing we were 100 miles away from the eye of the storm.

I feel so thankful
that we only lost power
 for a few minutes throughout the whole storm,
 while thousands of people are still without power across the state.
  We spent the evening huddled in our living room,
 trying to keep our mind off the storm with our favorite shows
 (not very easy to do!).
 Finally, pure mental exhaustion took its toll
 and I finally slept as the winds began to die down.

When we woke on Monday morning
 we could see the sun shining.
However, amidst the blue sky
 there was so much damage and
 stories of devastation were pouring in over the news.
 We again felt so lucky that our home
and neighborhood seemed to sustain
only damage to trees, power lines, and the city water pumps.
  Others across the state were waking up to their homes flooded
 or worse, completely gone.
Over the next few days communication was tough
with a loss of cell service
and we would message our family
 when we could through Facebook to let them know we were ok.  

 My husband walking by downed branches from a nearby tree

 To our amazement, our spiny orb spider friend outside our home survived the winds!

On Wednesday I headed out the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum
 where I work to do damage assessments of the campus.
Our museum and collections stayed safe through the whole storm!
 Unfortunately, our beautiful 1 mile boardwalk
took quite a beating from Irma.
 It will take several weeks before our boardwalk can reopen
 to the public and a much longer time
before the Cypress Dome comes back to life. 

Nine days later,
 life is still not quite back to normal.
  Grocery stores are starting to restock,
 fuel is still limited, stop lights are getting fixed. 
 People are still without the basic necessities of power and water,
 and the piles of debris from trees and vegetation
 is a daily reminder of what we all went through last week.  
Hurricanes are incredible storms 
and it's scary and amazing 
to see the strength of mother nature unleash itself. 
 I just hope that the remainder of hurricane season will be quiet!

Post Hurricane hair

Although at this time,
Hurricane Maria is devastating 
the Caribbean Islands, once again. 
Hurricane season is far from over.

Until Next Time-

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Why Not

I confess.

I tried to be strong.

I tried to hang in there

and resist temptation,

but I just got giddy with

the thought of just playing,
starting something new, and
abandoning "the list"

Why Not!
Nothing big.
Just something to give me the 
opportunity to play and dig in the fabric bins.

A couple of weeks ago I 
bought Jo Morton's new book

and went exploring in my fabric closet
for some some inspiration.

I found a bag with some fall fabrics I had
purchased, well, let's just say awhile ago.

I don't remember what the original plan was.
It doesn't matter. There's a new plan.

It's given me the chance to dig in the stash.
Play and audition fabrics.
 No pressure.

Just lovely fun.

Now the fabrics are cut for hst's

Maybe someone will have a long nap this afternoon
and then there might be even be some sewing.


My Florida daughter and son-in-law
can now wear the official T-shirt

"I survived Irma"

They have been house bound for a week,
but Kate finally headed out to the Seminole Museum,


where she works as museum director, to do
 some damage assessment.
Hopefully, all is well. 
What an incredibly exhausting week for
everyone in Florida
and for the nervous moms
who live somewhere else.
Until Next Time-

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Oh, Baby, Baby, It's a Wild Week

 On Thursday I thought
my coincidence with the #31
was going to continue.
(see last week's post, here)

We all had a feeling that my Denver daughter  
was going into labor and would be heading
to the hospital before August 31st ended.

But it turned out we had to
wait until until Saturday, September 2 for

Eloise Frances to make her appearance.

She'll be joining her two brothers and
life will never be the same at their home!

I had to wait until Monday
to hold her.
It was a good Nana fix!

I have started a new school year commitment.
Each weekday morning
 I'm heading off early
to get my kindergarten granddaughter to school

Everdeen and Weston

and then bringing this serious looking 4 month old
back to my house for the day.

 Cat Stevens sang
"Oh, baby, baby it's a wild world."
I'll just change the words to
"Oh, Baby, Baby it's a wild week".

Quilting time is squeezed in during naps,
which are very short,
or at the end of the day.
We'll see how that goes!

But fear not,
I did get a chance to work on a baby quilt
for Weston.
I had purchased a Moda kit
designed by Gingiber.
I adored the animals and the prints
and thought it would make the 
perfect little boy's quilt.

One of the things about purchasing a quilt kit
put together by the fabric company is that
the fabric amounts included are
VERY generous, which, of course,
you are paying for.

For example: six different fat quarters that only 
required four 2 3/4"  squares cut out of each.
or eight different fat quarters that only
required four  2 3/4" x 5.5" rectangles. 

I understand they aren't going to take the time
to subcut smaller increments, but
even a fat 1/8th would have been better.

The problem that bothered me the most, though,
was that were was a error in the pattern, 
right at step #1.
You would have thought that someone
would have caught it along the way.
Well, I guess all that extra fabric came in handy.

The quilt eventually came together great

and the animals

are pretty cute.

And what about all that
 extra fabric?  It  made the perfect
pieced backing.

The panel included a miniature
version of each animal with a sweet comment.
It was fun to include them as well.

Hopefully, it won't be too long before
I can get it quilted.
We'll just have to see how "the wild week" goes.

 And as Bob Dylan says,
" The Times They Are A-Changin' "
I guess that's what keeps you young!

Until Next Time-