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I’ve been busy

Mom puts me to work when I visit so I’ve been busy, answering questions, teaching her to bind off one scarf and cast on another, cutting quilts out and getting ready for part two of our trip which starts in the morning.

I can’t show the project we worked on Tuesday but today, I cut out my Plus 2 quilt for her. I had a pretty Jelly Roll and we paired it with a nice black.


I didn’t get all my walking in on Monday or Tuesday but today my sister and I did several walks throughout the day and finished off with almost 2 miles when my brother-in-law got home. Total mileage for the day = 7 miles which makes up a little for the slacking off.

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Blocking ads

Linda commented on my post that she uses an ad blocker which I used to do on the laptop too only now I do all my blog reading on the iPad. So out of curiosity, I went looking for an app that would block ads and found Purify. It works with Safari and they show you how to turn it on once you download it. It does cost $1.99 but it’s worth it to me to have ads blocked. 

I tried it out on two ad heavy blogs and no pop ups! 

Automated house

I’m a big fan of technology although we haven’t automated the house yet … I took a baby step today and added a couple light bulbs that I can program via an app to turn on and off, to dim, and I can even schedule the lights to turn on and off while we’re gone. I didn’t want to buy a hub and have to connect it to my WiFi so this was simple. I bought the light bulbs, put them in my lamps, downloaded the app, and set the schedules. I really need to add a thermostat that can be programmed remotely both here and at Big Canoe too.

Making a choice

I believe that bloggers have a right to make choices about their blogs but I can choose not to read them too. I’m over blogs with ads that take up more space than the content and pop up in the middle of the screen. I’m removing them from my Feedly app. 

Results

I spent all of March and April here in Tampa except for a week we spent in Big Canoe and I had a list of goals I wanted to achieve in that time. We also started a major renovation of our upstairs bathrooms which is ongoing but in spite of that, I managed to accomplish all but one thing on my list plus a lot more. 

I did not complete the hand quilting on the pink and purple quilt. The chair that I quilt in is in our bedroom and since the bathroom renovation started in the master bathroom, I haven’t been able to get in there and stitch during the day – at night, I worked on binding and knitting. 

11 tops were quilted 

  • 5 were quilted on the longarm at Big Canoe
  • 5 were child size tops quilted here in FL
  • 1 was a doll quilt finished here in FL

9 quilts were bound – two of the tops quilted were Mom’s and I trimmed them and mailed them back to her for binding. 

5 tops were pin basted for quilting and I might get one last one done today. 

10 tops were pieced

  • 5 tops are sofa sized and will go to Big Canoe for quilting on the longarm
  • 4 are child sized and will be quilted here in FL
  • 1 is doll sized

4 quilts were cut for Mom

Knitting

  • One scarf was finished
  • A scarf and hat were knit for my sister
  • Feather and Fan blanket started and halfway done. 

And I walked over 350 miles!


I lied

When I left MN 2 years ago I said I wasn’t going to build up another stash in FL and I’ve done so-so with cutting and kitting projects while I’m in GA which is where the stash got sent along with the longarm. I’ve been buying kits — some with the intention of making the quilt like the Bow Ties others where the kit is deeply discounted and I plan to use the fabric for one of my own quilts, like the Churn Dash. I’ve also bought a bunch of precuts BUT I’m using it and finishing quilts so I won’t feel too guilty. 

I like to walk in my sewing room and work on anything I want without having to go shopping for a project. (That includes batting. I order these small batts from connecting threads when they’re on sale.) 


I’m all set to do some pin basting today. The batts and backings pulled from my stash. 

The simple pinwheel was from a jelly roll – discounted of course, the Strippie was kitted up from stash before I left MN, and the Rainbow HeartStrings from my string bins. 


For the first time in a long while, I feel like I’m finally in a groove with my quilting!

So far so good

I set up the Babylock Jane and played around a bit. I think it’s going to work well for me. The stitch quality is excellent, much better than the Elna, when using the free motion foot. For now it’s on top of the sewing table but it has an extension table which will work until the new cabinet is delivered. 

Sewing machines


I’ve been threatening to buy a new sewing machine for years and have twice gotten Keith’s agreement and not followed through. I love my Elna but it’s 14 years old and doesn’t have a knee lift or thread cutter and most important – the throat space is really small which makes it a challenge to quilt on it. 

I’d intended to buy a Janome 1600P-QC but they didn’t have one in the store. I tried out the equivalent Baby Lock machine and left the store with it. Of course, I can’t sew without a  cabinet which cost more than the machine. I bought the least expensive one but they only carry Koala so it wasn’t cheap but it is solid. 

They also service machines and so I’ll take my Elna in for servicing. It’s overdue!

I’m thinking those doll quilts will make good practice and help me get used to the new machine. 

The weekend fun continues

My HeartStrings group is meeting in Roberts, WI to sew quilts for veterans entering hospice and I wanted to participate even though I couldn’t attend. On Monday, I started one of my Patriotic Rail Fence quilts. Late on Thursday, my GO baby and 8 inch Qube arrived and you know I wanted to play but I try to be very disciplined about finishing a top before starting another. I did a little math in my head and realized that I could use the 8 inch Qube to make a 12 inch Ohio Star block. (My instruction sheet calls for a 12 inch Sawtooth star).

 First I redrafted the top star border and using two dies, cut quarter square triangles and squares. The first block came together perfectly! Remember my post on the Qube – if you decide to buy one look carefully at the individual blocks – this 12 inch block is made from the 8 inch Qube!

  

I also made myself get the rail fence section assembled before starting the star blocks. There’s a border between the stars and rails that’s cut but I won’t sew it to the rails until the star row is completed. You’ll just have to imagine it in between.   

And since we’re having lovely weather, I took a break and we drank a couple beers by the pool.  (Pouring them into plastic glasses of course!)

   

Now, I’m going back to making the other star blocks. 
  

Race Day

For fun, Keith and I signed up for the Tampa Airport Runway 5k and walked/ran it today. It’s easier for me to train with a goal in mind than to just go out and exercise every day. The big race will be a half marathon in February but we’re signed up for a 15K (9.32 miles) in October also. 

Pre-race selfie

  
I even got some race bling! This is the 3rd ‘participant’ medal I’ve gotten, the other two were for a half marathon in Fort Lauderdale and an 8K here in Tampa.  

 
I won’t be breaking any records but the pounds are slowly coming off with the training so I’m winning. 

Walking
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