Thursday, April 2, 2020

Living in isolation

We're doing okay here, but I miss my quilting buddies. Guild has been cancelled again, and we will all try to get by without the camaraderie we love. To everyone out there reading this, STAY HOME!!

 The more people who do this, the sooner the curve flattens and we all go about our lives again.
Spring has begun to bloom here, and Mr Wazoo is spending a lot of time outdoors digging, raking and sprucing up the yard.

Tulips coming up for the first time! He planted them last fall.

He said the package said they were multi colored, but I guess they lied! Good thing we like pink.

The supervisor.

I love red bud trees! They always look lacy and pretty. This one was planted two  years ago and is getting really tall!

Aren't the flowers nice?

The supervisor doesn't know what's going on here. 

Our little pink dogwood tree flowers are beginning to unfurl. 

The white dogwood isn't far behind!

Phlox in all its glory!
We have limped along with the quilting, sending off for a new controller box for Millie ($1074), a vertical hold cable for Big Gammill ($30) and a new Joey box for the studio Dish receiver (free, if we send the old one in within 10 days). Trying to fix everything over the phone has been exhausting. I have wasted more time the last couple of days than I care to remember.

Dismantled and broken...Millie looks sad.
I finally finished the giant quilt, and am happy to have it behind me.

I told you it was big... it ended up 102x119 after quilting.

Thimbleberry fabrics, all complimenting one another.
Panto: Primrose Swirl

Muslin backing.

Mr Wazoo took a few hours off to quilt this Spring-like project.

This is a sweet collection of floral prints.

Panto: Ribbon Roses

The backing is also a lovely floral.
Today, I spent hours sewing down baby clothes  the customer glued to the background. Glued. Yes, with glue. I had put it off because I knew it would be a mess to do, but pulled up the big girl pants and tackled it today. The needle is shot, but I am finished with that part. Some of the areas were so thick with fabric and glue, it was hard to sew through. Now, I have to quilt it.

Here is a sample of what I had to sew through. I used a wide buttonhole stitch.

None of the rick rack is sewn down, either. I will sew it down during the quilting.

Another big quilt. I wonder who will use a baby clothes quilt this big?
It is 78x98.
Well, my day is done and pot pie is in the oven. I have been researching my family's ancestry and have made some startling discoveries! But that will be  for another day. Now, I think as glass of wine and some Britbox TV is in my near future.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Socially distanced

We have taken the order seriously here at Wazoo, but the greater population seems to have no fear of what may come.Mr Wazoo and I took Molly along and went for a car trip on Sunday. We passed by Home Depot, Walmart and the grocery  while driving and the crowds of  people in each location were astounding. What the heck are they thinking? If anyone thinks the virus won't find them in Blairsville, they will be surprised when it does. People are fleeing Atlanta to get away from the virus, and many of them have cabins up here. My fear is that will transport the virus here. We continue to heed my daughter's advice and stay home.
I made the masks for each of my other three kids to wear to the grocery store, and will stick them in the mailbox here today.
Masks for the kids
I finally finished the pick-out on the giant quilt, removed all the threads, spritzed it with water to close the stitching holes and got it loaded on the big Gammill. I have four rows done and hope to finish it today and move on to another project.

I really like this quilt. The customer said she used up a stash of Thimbleberry fabrics she has had since the 1980s. It's a simple block, but is very effective in showing off this collection of fabrics.
I'm using the paper panto: Primrose Swirl, one of my favorites for large quilts.

Things are budding out and causing some excitement for Mr W. He will be outside all day, I'm sure.Right now, it is after 10:00 and I haven't started to work...I had better get moving! Stay healthy and get a breath of fresh air sometime today!

Friday, March 27, 2020

pick pick pick...

No big news.I spent the day picking out the four rows of quilting on the big quilt I took off Millie. I thought there were only 2 but there were 4. Yuk.
Bad news with the cable. We got it today and replaced it on the Quilt Path. No luck. I had to go ahead and order the $500 motor for the 3 year old system. Sigh...
Anyway, I made the masks for the Hospice group. I need to hurry over and deliver them before they leave for there weekend.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Masks sent

I finished the masks for Oregon by noon and got them mailed. The post office allows three people in at a time, and they have red taped areas for each of the three to occupy. All 6 feet apart. The entire place smells of cleaning agents, too. The new norm.
I've been video chatting with my kids and it is wonderful. We did a challenge to each other to list your five all time favorite movies. You know you're getting old when your kids haven't heard of some of your favorites, and I haven't heard of theirs! ha ha. My kids know I have a wicked sense of humor, so they said they were going to look for my favs. 1. Ever After, with Drew Barrymore; 2. You've Got Mail, Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan,3. Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House, with Cary Grant and Myrna Loy 4. Harvey, Jimmy Stewart, 5.Father of the Bride, Spencer Tracy, Myrna Loy (again?!) and Liz Taylor. There are loads of wonderful movies, but these are ones I can watch over and over without getting bored. Ever After is my all time favorite because the cinderella character is so independently self aware. Plus, the prince is dishy!
Here are the masks from today. They will be in Oregon by Friday and keeping people a bit safer.

These are more manly, in case there are men needing a mask.

Lined in white, interfaced and have a nose pinching wire.

Modeling the mask of the hour.

No rain today!! Mr Wazoo spent the entire glorious day outside doing garden clean up and mulching. Spring is near! The phlox is blooming.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Making masks

Boy, there are many tutorials for making masks out there, and I have watched a few. The mask I am making is the more difficult one that fits over the N59 mask. My daughter works in a clinic where they are rationing the masks, so they need the cloth ones to wear over the N59 ones and keep them a bit cleaner. Yesterday, I made 15 of them. Today, I will finish up the 13 I have cut out and get them mailed to Oregon.

The new masks are made with this batik. They are lined with white sheeting backed with non-woven fusible interfacing. They have large elastic hair ties for the ear pieces and a wire between the layers to cinch them to the nose. They are a bit labor intensive, but are the type they need to cover the N59 mask.

The hair ties keep the mask snug to the face without a gap.

Mr Wazoo modeling the man size version, also made with batik.

All ready to mail.

You can see the white lining here.

We had quite a treat to top off a long day. I made brownies yesterday and made brownie sundaes. Yum.
I'm back to the studio today for more mask production. I think some bluegrass music will be perfect for my background noise!

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Is a day not quilting wasted?

I spent the day yesterday 'not quilting'. It was pretty weird. My kids have started a quarantined family Marco Polo group. I had never heard of Marco, so my daughter helped me (by text) to get the app on my phone and join the group. We spent most of the day chatting and seeing what each of us is doing. Look for it for your smart phones and set up a little group. It is fun.
I made a huge pot of ham and bean soup for us and did a bunch of paperwork and paid bills. Mr Wazoo tried to understand the insurance and hospital correspondence while making phone calls to customer service for help. His stroke has unleashed a wave of bills and non-bills from the hospital, Medicare and insurance company. I'm glad he had something to occupy him as it rained all day again.
I stayed up until 1:00AM researching Mr W's family on Ancestry. I haven't had much time to keep up with my genealogy lately, so this was a fascinating diversion. His mother's family were like rock stars back in the 1700s in Australia! His dad's family...not so much. They were slave owning, cotton growing farmers in Alabama. Many fought for the confederacy in the civil war. My family, on the other hand, were revolutionary war soldiers, and union soldiers! I guess we have been fighting each other for generations!! ha ha, not just in the living room at Wazoo! Anyhoo, I spent way too much time reading accounts of there heroics of his great-great-great grandmother and her brave journey as a young widow to Australia with her four children.
This morning, I arose to another gray, foggy, drippy day. I need to get in the studio and make 20 or so masks for Carolyn and get them sent to Oregon. Thunder and rain are today's special, so I will get busy and make something useful and cheerful!
Stay calm and stitch on!

Sunday, March 22, 2020

A Plea From a Health Care Worker


This is my daughter, Carolyn. She is a PA in an urgent care facility in Portland, Oregon. Please listen to what she says and send this to everyone you know and care about.
We have to act responsibly NOW. Our health care workers are in jeopardy of losing their lives because people would rather party and wander the store aisles aimlessly than be serious about a pandemic. Today, I began making masks for her and her associates because our country can't provide them. The greatest and most powerful country in the world and we can't provide appropriate protection gear for the front line health workers. Stay home and sew.  Stay home and bake. JUST STAY HOME!!

Okay, here is what I did at home this weekend.

I am making as many masks as I can with the limited supply of elastic I have. Once again, all the elastic has been swept up by hoarders and I can not get any to keep making masks after twenty. Mr Wazoo has some wire we have cobbled into the nosepieces, and I do have plenty of fabric and fusible interfacing to line the mask with.

This is the type mask health care workers need. The pleated surgical type don't protect  them as well. The ones with a pocket for in insert are moot because there are no masks to insert into the pocket! If you want to make and donate proper masks, I have posted the video to the blog. Disregard her saying the workers would turn it to the inside and wear it some more...they are NOT doing this. Also, add the extra layer of fusible interfacing to the back of there mask pieces to make them more impervious to the airborne droplets.
This is the lap quilt I finished and said I would show to you. It is my go to pattern; 2-3-2-6.
I love the fabric combination!
I free motion quilted it with swirly- whirls.
I free motion quilted it with swirly- whirls.
The ornamental cabbage accidentally bloomed! They are so pretty, I thought you'd like to see them.
Pretty red poppies blooming, too.
Please help them be safe!
No more N95 masks at her clinic.

Tutorial: How to Sew a Face Mask for Hospitals | Coronavirus COV19

Friday, March 20, 2020

Some good...some very, very bad

 Good news! The 'cheeseburger cheeseburger' bird is a Carolina wren. I finally saw it and looked it up on my Merlin bird finding app.
Ta da!
I finally finished the huge custom quilt and am ready to change gears to doing pantos and charity quilts on the Gammill while the Millie is out of commission. (that bad news comes later...) I didn't think this quilt needed custom quilting because the patterns on the fabrics are so busy and conceal the stitching. The customer wanted custom, so here we are. A week and a half's worth of work, and I am correct. Cant see the quilting on the front at all. The back is nice, but who cares about that? Not me. It will be  beautiful on a bed, though.

The finished quilt.
See how big it is?!
All that work...I can barely see any of it.
Here is more.
On the back, the quilting is more visible because the thread is a lighter color.
There are wiggles and wobbles. Hesitation causes these. I couldn't always see where I was going on the quilt, but I think it turned out pretty despite my failings.
A bit more of the back.
After taking the quilt off the Millie and dismantling the machine, carriage and most of the table, we tested all the cables and their connections. We then put it all back together (minus the roller bars) and tested it again. Same trouble. Tech says they are going to send a new leg motor. $500 please. This machine is three years I dumb or something? Anybody out there want a used APQS? I'm ready to sell it and move on. The $500 part will bring the cost of the machine (bought at the show sale price) to $30,000. It took the first two years after buying it to pay it off. We may cut our losses and sell it, going back to hand guided quilting on both Gammills. Okay, I've vented enough.
Here is where it all started. The machine messed up and then had this screen.
Tech had Mr Wazoo crawl under the table (quite a feat for a 75 year old geezer with two fake knees) and take off a motor under there. After that, we had to take off the back two roller bars, the machine and carriage. After lunch, we hooked it all back up again (without the roller bars) and did a test. Nope...same warning box came up.
So here we are. I made the quilt hanging over the front bar while Mr W did his thing under the table. The other big folded quilt is the one I took off. I will have to remove the first two rows of quilting before I can go back to quilting it.
Millie is now bungeed to the carriage and table so she won't accidentally fall off.

On the brighter side, it didn't rain today! We had a pleasant, cloudy day. I had the studio door open and we heard the gentle ding-dong of the wind chime  on the deck. I sewed a lap quilt while waiting for more instructions to text through, and to pass the time. Mr Wazoo watched the talking heads going on and on about the virus. I'm sure we are all realizing this is just the beginning...
Outside, the garden doesn't know there is anything wrong. It is slowly waking up and showing signs of life. Molly is happy to sniff the grass without being soaked through by rain. We're washing our hands more and staying close to home, but a small distance from each other. Every tickle or cough makes us wonder if we have been exposed somehow. I hope you are all calling or emailing your friends and family. I know I am so grateful to have kids who FaceTime with me and text fun jokes to my phone. As Winston Churchill  once said, "Keep calm, and carry on."
Peeky blue flowers jus popping up.
Blue sky!! And fluffy clouds.
Molly getting a snootful of good smells.
Even the potted flowers perked up!