My summer vacation

It’s easy to get caught up in what we CAN’T do right now … I miss going out to eat, I miss traveling, and I miss seeing my MOM … but looking back over the last 7+ weeks it’s been a pretty good summer.

I’ve been productive in the sewing room and will be taking a bunch of tops home to quilt.

I’ve made about 50 masks for family … we’ll be wearing these for a while!!

And I’ve had time with the boys, a short visit from my brother, lots of hiking and some kayaking!

I’m loving it here in Big Canoe and we’re already looking forward to the next visit … we have a few more days before we leave and Chris and Becky are coming for a quick visit tomorrow.

Winding down

Our time here is winding down and I wanted to get out on the lake one more time … today was supposed to be completely clear … I thought I was going to have to make a run for the Marina as the sky darkened.

But I was lucky, after a little drizzle, the afternoon turned out beautiful. The clouds kept it from being too hot and there was a nice gentle breeze.

I did manage to piece a little Strippie top when I got back. These are always so cute. I also cut one out from the leftover fabric from the puppy quilt. That leaves me 4 Strippie “kits” here assuming I don’t piece another one before we leave on Monday.

Click here for Quick Strippie instructions.

Hiking and chores

Another day without sewing … good thing I’ve already gotten everything on my list done but I’m still thinking I’ll get a Quick Strippie pieced at some point this week and I might make some more masks too.

I did laundry and chores today … all my guest beds are made up and ready for the next overnight visitors which might not be until we come back in September. We’ll probably see Chris and Becky before we leave but I don’t know if they’ll stay overnight.

We had terrible storms this afternoon … one reason I didn’t sew … but managed to get out for another 3 mile hike after it cleared. Deer, bear, snakes … we never know what we’ll see on our hikes. Today it was a turtle.

And Keith had a herd of deer come up to his window today while he was working. I can’t believe how close they get to the house. We’ve seen the mama and babies in the back several times in the last couple weeks too. We never saw deer at the condo although we would see them when we were driving or hiking … we’re very close to the lake here so I’m assuming our yard is just in the path they take to and from it.

The weekend

We had a nice visit with Adam and the kids this weekend. Yes, that’s me playing cornhole … Keith arranged with Chris to have two boards made … one for the Washington Redskins and one for the Vikings … guess which team is mine?!

And a nice hike this afternoon when they left to go home.

I crocheted a little this afternoon … still don’t think I’m going to get this blanket done before I leave but I am more than 3/4 of the way through it. One more week here in Big Canoe …

Assembled

This one took me a while … I don’t love it but I don’t hate it either. It’s a perfect example of the good and bad of using precuts. The good is it’s easy to pick up a Jelly Roll or two (I used 2 with some leftovers) and start sewing, the bad … they can be too busy. Ideally, if I was working at home I would have added in fabrics from stash to calm this down a little. It’s not that I don’t love some of the fabrics, it’s just that it could have used some tone on tones. With some Jelly Rolls you can just use a consistent background fabric but others like this one would benefit from lots of stash fabrics being mixed it.

But … I’m not going to fret over it. Sewing in two places means sometimes I’m going to want or need stuff that’s at the other house. I’m just happy that I have great sewing spaces set up in both houses AND lots of projects to work on too.

The block is a framed 16 patch and you can find my quilt notes at this post.

Adam and the kids are coming for the weekend so I won’t be sewing for a couple days … not sure what I’m going to start on Monday. Maybe a Quick Strippie or two since I’ve just got one week left here after the kids go home before we head back to Tampa.

This and that

I was back to work today … the framed 16 patch quilt is half way assembled. I set it aside to make some more masks but I’ll try to get it finished up tomorrow. Adam is coming tomorrow evening for a visit and Chris and Becky are coming Sunday. Caleb doesn’t like wearing masks so I decided I’d try to make it more fun, Becky heard a rumor that I’d made a mask for Keith using elastic and wanted to try one she didn’t have to tie, and Chris had found some Smokey the Bear fabric and wanted a couple masks. All done. I decided to use the elastic for Caleb’s too so I added that after I snapped the photo.

I went searching for a pattern using the elastic and found some with the pleated masks but the one I liked best allowed me to use my templates that my sister and her friend developed and the elastic goes around the head not around the ears. I used 22 inches of 1/4 inch “rope” elastic for Becky’s and 20 inches for Caleb’s. I threaded it through the casings, overlapped it 1/2 inch and sewed the ends together. That join can be hidden in the casing on the side of the mask

I got a photo today of our bench being installed at the cemetery. He told me that they’ll do the landscaping around it once it’s not quite so hot – some small bushes and grass. We both love it! Knowing we were going to be cremated, I always expected to be in a drawer somewhere … the bench is way cooler … and I can see my Dad’s grave from it. Not something I could do if I was in a different part of the cemetery. I’m so happy they were willing to work with me to find a spot near Dad.

And finally, another recipe to share. I found this Instant Pot Greek Nacho recipe a couple months ago and have served it several times. It’s one of Keith’s favorites. We had it again for dinner and he loved it.

Still on vacation?

I must still be on vacation. No sewing today. Keith took off a half day and we went up to Amicalola Falls State Park and hiked 4 miles … it about did me in. The humidity was high and the climbing was a challenge but it was a good afternoon.

Errands

I don’t have much cause to be out running errands these days but I needed to run to the post office (we do not get home delivery so I go 2-3 times a week to pick up the mail) and the drug store today. I happened to drive by an old train depot in Jasper – the sign said Pickens County Mercantile and Quilt Shop and since I didn’t realize that a shop had opened up in Jasper, I just had to check it out (only 1 other customer and the owner were in the shop and all 3 of us were wearing masks). It’s a cute little shop and I bought a few things. They also have some yarn so it’s a good local resource for me.

I also decided after waffling back and forth and back and forth … that I was going to get a haircut. It’s been 5 months since my last one and I was looking pretty shaggy. With us heading back to Tampa soon, I couldn’t stand the thought my longer hair in the August heat … but there was no way I was going to visit a salon in Tampa. The shop only had 2 stylists working, only 2 customers were allowed in the shop with everyone else waiting outside, and everyone had masks on.

I’m sure we are more restrictive than some about what we will and won’t do during these times, and more liberal than others. We’ve discussed our risk factors and feel like my risk is moderate and that Keith’s is pretty low. The haircut and the quick stop in the quilt shop weren’t absolutely necessary but precautions were taken. I’ll admit I’m tired of the constant debate with myself about what is and is not safe and am looking forward to an effective vaccine and life returning somewhat to normal one of these days.

Not quite the glamour shot that Finn had after his visit to the beauty parlor yesterday but better than before!

Arranging and rearranging

I think I’ve spent as much time moving these blocks around as I spent making them. Not sure if this is the final arrangement or not but I’m ready to be done with this top so it’s time to decide and start assembling.

Can you stand another photo of Finn? He was groomed today – he’s really struggled with the heat this summer and I know it’s going to be worse in Tampa in a couple weeks so I had him shaved short. He’s so handsome!

Deer

I’m trying to teach Finn not to bark at the deer in the yard … he’s doing better and most of the time he just lets out a low growl…except the other day when he completely missed this one at the window of Keith’s office. I’m a little jealous because Keith sees more deer in the front yard from his office window than I do in the back yard from my sewing room!