Happy Independence Day!

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This year will be very different than years past for sure but I hope you have a safe and happy 4th of July.   I spent a little time working on this flag wallhanging that has been sitting in my “kits” bin for a few years.  wp-1593878617259.jpg   I talked about doing it in this post a few years ago and had it in my  to do basket but somehow it jumped back into the kits bin.   But now the fabric has been cut and two rows are done with seven more to go.  While it won’t be on the wall for today’s celebration, it will be up there later this week and will be there for the rest of the summer.

While I was sewing, hubby got the grill  going and the ribs are smoking. Most of the rest of the day will be spent enjoying the flowers in our garden while listening to music and the sounds coming from our neighbors yards as they are home celebrating too.

Whatever you are doing today,  make it the best day you can.    Happy 4th everyone.

Bye for now.   See you soon.

Ginny

Posted in Sewing/Quilting, summer | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Summer has arrived!

And along with that, our first trip to the beach.

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We headed down there early and it was wonderful to sit there and listen to the sound of the waves breaking on the shore and breath in the scent of the salt water.  It was so peaceful.   I have been waiting so long to be able to enjoy “our” beach again.

There are other signs of summer too.  One of them being my petunias just exploding with color in their tub.  wp-1593035558279.jpg

They certainly  are loving the warmer days and the sunshine. Summer sun  The lightning bugs have arrived and they are putting  on a beautiful twinkling show for us in the evening after dinner as we are doing some porch sitting.   They are just too quick for me to get a picture of them.  I love when I first start seeing them appear.  Then I know that summer is really here.

Another thing that said “summertime” to me was hearing that there actually may be baseball played this year.   Hopefully next month.   I have missed watching the Yankees.  Let’s hope that all the talks and plans that are happening keep moving forward and we get to spend some time cheering on our teams and yelling at the umps…. and the managers too when they don’t make the moves we think would be the way to go.  Here’s hoping that soon I will be saying “Let’s Go Yankees!”  NY Yankees

As far as activity in my sewing room goes,  I have still been working on masks and think I will be for a while.   I can foresee the demand for them going back up as we get into fall and schools open.  I have also gotten back to work on the log cabin quilt and the borders have been added.  Just need to get the binding on now.

I also did get to a project I had been wanting to get to.   I got this quilt rack a couple years ago on one of our trips to Connecticut at an antique store.  Not sure how antique it actually is but it was what I needed.  However, it was not the nicest color.   It was sort of a mustardy brown.   Not anymore…….  wp-1593035521440.jpg  I like it so much more now that it is painted white.   The colors of whatever quilts I put on it will show up much better.  Right now it is holding a Double Irish Chain quilt that I made back in the 90’s.  I was pretty new at quilt making so I tied it.  I guess I did OK because it is still together and it has had quite a bit of use in its’ 20+ years.  The blue quilt is actually a signature quilt that was made for me by my fellow teachers, teachers aides and administrative staff when I left California.   Whenever I sit and snuggle under it,  so many great memories of my preschool teaching years run through my mind.   I was so lucky to have had the opportunity to work with so many great people there.    I also sit and wonder what all those little people that I had the privilege of having in my classes have done in their lives.   I treasure all those memories.

What has been keeping you all busy?   What keeps you from going stir crazy in the “stay at home” period of our lives.

I hope you are enjoying your summer.   And just in case you need a reminder……. my snowmen pals are telling me that we’ve got six months ’til Christmas. 

Be well.  Bye for now.  See you soon.

Ginny

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Is Summer Really Almost Here?

So here we are at Memorial Day weekend.  Does it feel like it to you?  With the rhythm of the weeks and months being so different this year, it is hard to believe we are at the end of May.    The weather here has not been consistently giving the signs of us coming up to the unofficial start of the summer that’s for sure.   But I was happy that over the last couple of weeks we have had some pretty nice days to tease us a bit.   This gave us the opportunity to spend some time outdoors working on weeding and getting our flowers and veggies planted.

We also had one of my favorite irises bloom as well as getting to enjoy the first rose of the season.

Last year we had a robin’s nest in a tall shrub outside our bedroom window.  It was visible from one of our windows and we enjoyed watching for those little blue eggs to hatch.  I wondered if there would be a nest again this year.  I had noticed a couple of robins spending a lot of time on the fence and on our air conditioner in that area.   Well, on Friday while working outside, I noticed a bit of straw-like material hanging down from the shrub and sure enough, there was the nest.         wp-1590272569888.jpg  We can’t see the eggs this year but we will be sure to be careful when we are in that area to not disturb the little family.

The houseplants are now in their “summer place”   wp-1590268629166.jpg   and I got my fairy garden set up   wp-1590268354710.jpg .

As far as what’s been happening in my sewing room,  well, as you might expect,  there are still masks in production.

There are some kiddie size ones,   some masks with extenders and some from my teal and purple day.    But there was also other sewing that happened too.

 

I made a couple of cell phone pillows and I have been working on my Christmas hexagons.  I’ve got 32 completed and ten more ready to go.   I think I will make a hexagon version of the zig zag tablerunner.  I am excited to see how it turns out in the end.

And yes, BFF, I have done a bit of work on the Farmer’s Wife blocks we picked a couple weeks ago.   No pressure.  🙂

And so, as I said, here we are at Memorial Day.  Today is a rainy day and I actually have been enjoying the sound of the rain outside.  I do enjoy a day with rain instead of just a day of grey drizzle.  It makes for a nice day to read.  The plans for the rest of this “long weekend” (it all feels the same to me) will be to be outside and enjoy the nice weather that is supposed to be here for a few days starting tomorrow.   We will watch the virtual Air Show tomorrow and  grill some burgers on Monday.   I will probably do a bit of summertime decorating inside.

There will be some creative time too of course.   I have been checking out things for Christmas.    After all, as my snowmen friends have reminded me ……20190605_180216.jpg …. only 7 months until Christmas.  🙂

Whatever is happening in your neck of the woods, I hope you have a good weekend.   Do something creative.   Stay safe.

Bye for now.  See  you soon.

Ginny

 

Posted in Gardening, Sewing/Quilting, Springtime, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Projects- Past and Present

Week what of Quarantine are we in?   I’m not sure.   And what season it?  Spring right? Well I think Mother Nature is a bit confused about what day/month it is too.  We had snow here today.  Now, you all know that I have said how much I love snow and  I was excited about it enough to startle my hubby when I saw the flakes and jumped up and yelled “Hon, look!”   But really, it is Mother’s Day weekend right?

So, what have I been keeping myself occupied with since the last time I was here?  I was very, very busy with the mask-making.     I have caught up with the orders and I’m now in the process of making masks just to keep stocked in case anyone else needs them.  Heaven knows I certainly have enough fabric to make a bunch more and  my order of elastic arrived so I am good to go.  I am now able to work on other projects again that sort of got pushed to the back burner when the mask need got so great.    I have also been continuing on with my purging/organizing of some closets.   I have come across some interesting things in my ventures into long-ago packed boxes.  Among them are these projects that were started many, many, many years ago.

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These six blocks are from the early 1990’s and were the start of a Christmas block of the month project that highlighted different block styles .  I am not sure what happened to rest of the blocks or even if I had the instruction sheets for them but I will use these blocks in a small lap quilt for this Christmas season.

I also came across this family of Gingerbread people just waiting for their eyes, noses and happy holiday smiles and their stuffing.  In with the Gingerbread people were quite a few long wedge shaped pieces of Christmas fabric that I am not sure just what I had in mind for them.  Were they really going to be a project or maybe they are scrap cuts from a project I finished long ago.   I will figure out something to do with them too.  Maybe they can somehow be incorporated into the same project as the blocks.

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I have been trying my hand at making some mask extenders on my embroidery machine and also some that are crocheted.wp-1588637214835.jpg

So many buttons to choose from!

And so here we are at Mother’s Day weekend.    I am happy to say that we did have the opportunity to work outside for a few days during a spell of nice weather and we have gotten our beds and flower pots ready for this year’s crops and flowers.    The onions and garlic that our grandson Max helped plant last fall are doing very well and I think we will have a good crop to pick this year.

We have our herbs started in pots inside the house and also in the outside pots and got our peas and carrot seeds planted as well as lettuce.    I am hoping for some nice weather to return this week so we can be outside enjoying our gardens.   We received the rest of the seeds from Burpee and will have to figure out how to get our veggie plants.  Mail order?  Curbside pickup?   Delivery from a local nursery?   We will need to make that decision this week.

I hope this post finds you all healthy.    What has been keeping you occupied?  Have you been reading?   I have been doing quite a bit of that at night.   Watching anything good on Netflix?  Re-watching some favorites?  I am doing a bit of that too.

Be well and stay safe.  Bye for now.  See you soon.

Ginny

 

 

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Day #150 of Stay at Home

OK, so it isn’t 150 days but it sure does seem like it.   And our governor has extended our PAUSE, as it is called here in NY, to May 15.   And, not unexpectedly, the Air Show scheduled for Memorial Day weekend has officially been cancelled.

What, you may ask, have I been up to these last umpteen days?   We did get out to deliver the Easter baskets to the grandkids.   We were properly socially distanced, of course.  Here they are four of them, all lined up and ready to go. wp-1587175673302.jpg  The two California Easter bunnies were sent on their way the week before just to be sure they got there on time. wp-1587176039423.jpg

Other than Easter Bunnies,  I have been making masks, masks, masks and more masks for family and friends.  We now  need to have a face covering when out in public and in a place where the 6 foot socially distanced safe space may not be able to be achieved.

 

Some with ties but most of them with elastic.   I am getting faster at making them.  Tomorrow I will be finishing up a few more pleated masks and then I am going to try a new pattern that is made on my embroidery machine.  We’ll see how that turns out.

The weather hasn’t been exactly ideal to really get into some of the projects we would have liked to be able to tackle.   But I’m sure nice yardworking days are coming.  Right?  They’ll be here won’t they?

Looking ahead to the next 4 weeks at least (ugh) of “stay at home” time,  there are a number of projects on the “to do” list.     There are quilts to finish, actually some to start too.   Garden beds to get ready for their new residents.   Closets to go through and get organized.  And, of course, books to read.   I am on Book #7.

Since we are only in Phase 1 of  opening up our state and, being of a certain age group and in that vulnerable population they keep talking about,  I know that we will not be heading out the door to some sort of normalcy for quite some time yet.

In the meantime I will try to keep myself busy and sane and just take it one day at a time.  How are you dealing with this crazy, insane, unbelievable time?  Have you joined the army of mask making  sewists?  If so, do you have a favorite style/pattern?  Wherever you are, I hope you and yours are all well.

Stay safe and healthy.  Bye for now.  See you soon.

Ginny

 

 

Posted in Sewing/Quilting, Shelter in place, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

What day is it today?

I find myself asking that question each morning.   Everyday seems a lot like the day before, and the day before,  on and on.    Sigh.   How are you all dealing with the sameness?

When it is nice outside, we try to get outside for walks or a bit of yardwork.  We are really enjoying all the spring blooming that’s happening.  This forsythia makes me smile every morning when I see it.    wp-1586210392181.jpg

Inside we keep ourselves busy with chores,  small projects and coming up with some twists on dinner to try to change things up a bit.   How many ways are there to make chicken?  Apparently,  quite a few.   Did a bit of decorating for Easter.

The sewing room has been getting a bit of use too.  Not everyday.  I must admit it is sometimes difficult to get my motivation in gear.  But I have gotten some things done.

There is a thing going on about putting teddy bears in your windows or somewhere prominent for kids to see when they are out taking a walk with their parents.  It’s like they are going on a Bear Hunt.   So, I put one of my teddy bears in an upstairs window waving to any little hunters that may be passing by.wp-1586210436035.jpg

And I made a little teddy bear on my embroidery machine to sit in my kitchen window.

I am working on some bunnies for Easter baskets.  The hardest part is getting the ears pinned onto the hoop in just the right place.  The stitching only takes about 3-5 minutes.    Since I couldn’t get out to do shopping for bunnies, I just went with bunnies I had left from last year’s Easter orders.  Luckily I had enough for all 6 grandkids.

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This one was made for the newest addition.  Shhhh!  Don’t tell Aviendha she is getting a yellow bunny for her first Easter.

 

There have also been some masks being made.  Some with ties and some with elastic. I have a bunch more cut now and I’ll get to sewing on them over the next couple of days . wp-1586211571149.jpg

At night I have been making progress on the hand sewn hexis.  I’ve got 24 done, with 18 more waiting to be stitched.

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I work on them while watching tv at night.   I got a few more done last night while watching two really great Country music shows.   I enjoyed that night of music so much.

That’s what I’ve been up to the last couple weeks.  What have you been doing during this time of quarantine, sheltering in place, staying home… whatever the words are that you want to use to describe it?

I hope all is well in your neck of the woods.  Take care.  Stay home.  Stay safe.

Bye for now.  See you soon.

Ginny

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Checking in

How are you all doing with this very weird time we are going through?   I’d love to say that I have been sewing up a storm but alas, I have had a hard time keeping motivated.  Not that I haven’t been doing any sewing.  I have been working on my log cabin quilt, made some face masks just in case hubby or I get a cold (the masks are not effective for the Covid-19 virus) and want to keep from coughing near each other , and I also have my hand sewing for the evenings.    wp-1585255006772.jpg

I have made pretty good progress on the quilt.  I only have 3 more rows to add.  Yay, the end is in sight.  wp-1585254689869.jpgWell, hold everything.   Just to add to the craziness of the times,   the machine I was using to do the decorative stitch on the “in-between” rows decided it wanted to start acting up.  I spent over an hour on it  and twice I thought I had fixed the issue but nope,  just a short line of stitching and back the issue came.  So, to keep my sanity, I just shut it off and walked away.   To borrow a line from Scarlett O’Hara, “Tomorrow is another day”.   And I’ll be here.   I can use my Brother machine to complete the quilt since it is both an embroidery and sewing machine.  I will just have to take the embroidery unit off and set it up as a regular sewing machine.   At this time,  I will not be taking a trip to the repair shop.  If hubby and I can’t get it fixed, it will just wait until things settle down and I’ll use my other machines.

I have been reading a lot.  I am on book #5.  The other night, because I didn’t want to hear anymore about the corona virus, we decided to watch a movie  instead of regular tv.   We chose The Two Popes on Netflix.  It was a very interesting movie.  I have also been re-watching  all the seasons of Call the Midwife because the new season will be playing on PBS soon.   And Emma is available On Demand now so I might talk hubby into watching that with me this weekend.

Weekends.  I remember when weekends were different than the rest of the week.  I teased my non-retired friends by responding with “What’s a week end?  to them when they spoke of what they did on their weekends.  Well, now that I don’t have to be anywhere on any day at any particular time,  I truly don’t know the difference between days.  I really have to think about what day it is when waking up.  I differentiate the days by what programs are on HGTV that night.

And one more note….. I miss baseball.  This was supposed to be Opening week.

So that’s what I’ve been up to.  How have you all be doing?  Getting used to the social distancing?   How are you keeping yourselves busy, entertained and productive?

I hope you are all feeling well.  Take care.  Stay home.

Bye for now.  See you soon.

Ginny

 

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Social Distancing

The phrase of the month.    I was looking forward to going to see the movie Emma last week…… nope.   We also had plans to go to a local flower show and get some ideas for this seasons garden beds…….. nope.   We luckily had done a good amount of shopping a couple weeks ago so our pantry and freezer was pretty well stocked.  Just needed a few things and our dear Kathryn braved the crowded stores to get what we needed so neither of us had to venture back there and  we are all set for a couple weeks now.

OK, no movie, no flower show, no shopping, no picking up our grandson after school.    What shall we do to keep busy?

Well, first of all, I headed up to my sewing room to clean up and rearrange a bit to get set for some extra sewing time.

Rearranged my jelly roll and layer cake storage cabinets,   hubby helped me add a pegboard  to the wall by my embroidery machine so I can hang my hoops there and then I organized my scissors and rulers and templates.   Ready to continue work on some projects.

After I got done with that,  I prepped some hexagons for handstitching while watching tv in the evenings.   I had finished all the ones I had brought with me for my “retreat” time at my sons’.   Emma was replaced with some Call The Midwife episodes and a Svengoolie movie on Saturday night.

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We didn’t get to go to the big flower show but we took a walk around our gardens and enjoyed the show our own bulbs gave us this week.

The weather has been fairly nice so we get to take walks around the neighborhood.  We are getting started on our spring cleaning,  we are trying out new recipes and I have already read two books since last week.

I don’t know how long this new normal is going to last.   I miss seeing our kids and grandkids.   I miss baseball.  I was looking forward to the start of the season.  I hope hubby and I don’t drive each other totally crazy.   Without the schedule of school pickups,  lunch with friends, the occasional trip up to see my sister and my sons and other plans that were on our calendar, the days seem to all blend together.   I am looking forward to when we can get back to our old normal again.

In the meantime,  we will make the best of it and if the weather continues to warm up, we will get to do more work outside in our gardens which will be great.  We will enjoy walking up and down blocks we usually just drive by.   We will watch movies on Netflix and Prime that we have been meaning to check out.   We will get some painting done and closets gone through.   I will finish the log cabin quilt and a seat cushion for a friend (although I don’t know when I will get it up to her).   I’ll plan my next quilt.

So,  as you maneuver through this new experience,  look for something to make you smile each day.  I know it will be harder on some days than others.  Like today was for me but the smiles did come.  What are you doing to keep yourself occupied?  Are you home with your children because school is closed?  How is that going?  I would like to hear about how you are all getting on.

Wherever you are,  be well.     We will get through this.

Bye for now.   See you soon.

Ginny    

 

 

 

 

Posted in Log Cabin Quilt, Sewing room, Springtime, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

A retreat with me, myself and I

I needed to be at my son’s house for 4 days last week.  Four days with no sewing machine and just me and my granddog for a good part of one of the days?  Nope, not happening.  I packed up my trusty Featherweight and kitted up a couple of projects to take along with me —– my log cabin quilt for machine sewing time and a hand stitching project for evenings watching tv.

My bff and I have been working on the Farmer’s Wife blocks so there was that possibility but she had asked to take a break from them.  We have been choosing 3 blocks each every couple weeks or so and working on them.  When we were both finished with that set of six, we would pick out next group. And Sharon, I counted, we have finished 48 blocks so we are almost at the half way point so let me know when you want to start again.  We are in the home stretch …… well almost.

Since I don’t want to get ahead of her, I needed to pick another hand sewing project to bring along.  I had seen a tutorial on Missouri Star Quilt Company a few weeks back.  I ordered the templates and  had any number of charm packs to choose from for the project so I looked through them and made my choice.   Click here if you want to check out the tutorial.

I set up my little Emma (my Featherweight’s name) on the dining room table wp-1583108928483.jpg and I enjoyed my self-retreat.   I now have three rows of blocks made for the log cabin quilt.

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I used a Winter Song charm pack by Moda for the hexagons along with some red and green fabrics for the backs.  I have had that charm pack in my collection for quite some time and it needed to be made into something so I can enjoy it more than just looking at it whenever I see it in my charm pack drawer.   I am enjoying these and they are easy to do.  I’ve got eight more ready to go now that I’m home too.

All in all, it was a good few days of sewing, spending some time with my son, my sis who now lives close to my sons and my granddog.   I got to see some beautiful deer on a few of the dog walks which always thrills me.  They are such beautiful creatures. 

That’s what I’ve been up to lately.   I’ll be working on both the log cabin quilt and the hexagon project this week.  I have a deadline for having the quilt done so I will be dedicating a good deal of time to completing it over the next  couple weeks.   I am not sure what the hexagon’s will turn out to be.  A tablerunner or tabletopper maybe?  A Christmas tree skirt?  Time will tell.

I’d love to hear about what you all have been doing.

Bye for now.  See you soon.

Ginny

 

Posted in Blogging 101, hexagons, Log Cabin Quilt, Sewing/Quilting | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

What bags can I recycle?

I was looking at all the things I have from the store that come enclosed in plastic or wrapped in plastic or in a plastic bag.  What gets  put in the recycle bin?  What has to go back to the store?  What doesn’t get recycled?   So many questions.  So I went to the NYS Dept. of Environmental Protection to see what guidelines were there and this is what I found:

Acceptable Film Plastics for Return to Retail Film Plastic Recycling

Note: All materials must be CLEAN and dry and ALL food residue should be removed. Receipts should also be removed.

The law requires that stores collect film plastics, which include:

  • grocery bags
  • garment bags
  • retail bags with string ties removed
  • newspaper bags
  • dry cleaning bags
  • produce bags
  • bread bags
  • cereal bags (but if it tears like paper, do not include it)
  • over wrap from paper products (paper towels, toilet paper, etc)
  • stretch/shrink wrap
  • zip top food storage bags
  • bubble wrap
  • air pillows found inside shipping packages (must be deflated)
  • shipping envelopes (must be all film plastic, labels removed)
  • furniture and electronic wrap
  • any film packaging or bag with the “How2Recycle” label indicating that it is plastic film and can be returned to store drop off

Now to find out just where to bring all these “acceptable plastics”.    Because judging from the above list,  I will have quite a bit.   Of course, there is always the option of making plarn from the bags.  You can find out about what plarn is here.

Now, the hard plastic containers are a horse of a different color and I am still trying to figure out if I am disposing of those correctly.

Remember, March 1 is the day the new regulations take effect so keep those reusable bags in your car.    Or you can just reuse the plastic bags you have already accumulated from previous shopping trips.     I am curious to see how many stores actually follow the new regs.

I’m off to check out a few more patterns for shopping bags.

Bye for now.  See you soon.

Ginny

 

 

 

Posted in Blogging 101, Recycle, Reuse, Repurpose | Tagged , , | 3 Comments