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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Good night, Irene

... and she's outta here!

As far as I know, this is all the "damage" at my house after the storm:
just a few branches blown off the trees!

Don't get me wrong, there was a lot of damage in DC - trees blown over onto peoples' homes, power outages, standing water - but there was none of that at my house or on my street, thank God.  

When I looked out this morning there were police and rescue vehicles on the street, but I have no idea what the problem is...

they were at a house about 6 doors down on my left.   However, if it were just a health issue they wouldn't need 6 police cars along with the rescue van.   I hope everything's okay down there.

Well the worst is over; now it's time for the cleanup.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hunkering down

a. to hide, hide out, or take shelter (usually followed by down ):  The escaped convicts hunkered down in a cave in the mountains.
b. to hold resolutely or stubbornly to a policy, opinion, etc., when confronted by ... unfavorable circumstances (usually followed by down ):  Though all ... was against him, he hunkered down ...

Well, I've done all I can do to prepare for Irene, so I'll just hunker down and let er ride.  I already had plenty of bottled water so I didn't have to get any more; my gas tank is just over half full; I have non-perishble foods I can eat for a few days if I have to; my iPod and cell phone batteries are charged up.  So, I'll just hunker down. 

At the same time, I haven't felt much like sewing anything the last few days, what with the earthquake and the Irene-a-thon that's been happening on every television station.  If we do lose power - and I'm praying we don't - I don't have any hand work to do so I'll spend that [daylight] time cutting and organizing my fabrics.

I just talked with my neighbor who works at the convention center as a sound and light technician, and he says the MLK memorial ceremonies are tentatively being rescheduled for September or October.  All the participants' schedules have to be coordinated and reshuffled... he just got home and he looked exhausted!  Since he was having to be at work by 4 a.m. most days because of all the preparations, he's been staying downtown - he plans to sleep through Irene if he can. 

According to the news, compared to yesterday's forecast the winds won't be as strong in this area as predicted, but they'll be bad enough.  I'm cutting down on my computer time, so I'll see ya when I see ya!

(I can't get a preview of this post so I hope it goes up...)

Sew forth and sew on til later...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Square play

I spent some play time piecing together some of  my 2-1/2" squares, making light/dark combinations.  Then I decided to combine them into groups of threes... possibly for 9-patches.

These were left after I sewed several 9-patch combinations, I didn't realize I had so many with the light square in the middle!

They do shape up pretty though, pushed all together...

At this point I don't know what I'll do with them... will I leave them as 9-patches or will I add more to the sides and make them 16-patches??  OR will I slice them up and do something entirely different?  A border design maybe??  Meanwhile, gotta do more piecing!

I just heard on the news about a hospitalized veteran who lost his hearing in June, and regained it Tuesday as a result being shaken around by the earthquake.  They're calling it a miracle and I think it is!  Now... I hope doctors don't get the bright idea to start shaking people around on purpose, trying to restore their hearing or whatever.

Sew forth and sew on til later...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Our new monument

Thanks everybody for your comments and concerns about yesterday's earthquake.  It was a whole new experience for a lot of people, to be sure!

This morning I hopped on the Metro and made a quick trip down to the Mall to see the new Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial, and it was a beautiful day for it! The memorial is located next to the Lincoln Memorial, where Dr. King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech in 1963. President Obama will speak at the official dedication ceremony on Sunday, but there will be celebrations over the next five days starting with a formal dinner tonight.

The entrance to the memorial is through large parted boulders meant to symbolize the struggle for civil rights...

Inside, there are granite walls inscribed with quotes from Dr. King's speeches, different dates and locations...

(Yep, I can see what I have to do!)
 The Man...

In the background of this shot you can see more of the panels inscribed with Dr. King's words; they stretch out on both sides of the entrance.  On the side of the boulder which holds his likeness is this quote:   

His "I Have a Dream" speech wasn't quoted on any of the panels, the designers wanted to highlight his other speeches.

And of course sightseeing isn't complete unless you get a T-shirt - I got this one...


The shirt looks purple with a black back, but actually it's blue!

And... since I was in the area of the World War 2 memorial I took a couple shots...

It was a really great day for sightseeing, especially with the breezes blowing off the Potomac and the tidal basin; lots of people out there, families trying to explain to their 4-5 year olds the significance of what they were seeing. 

If you're in the area I hope you can stop by to see the new monument, as well as all the other sights DC has to offer!

Sew forth and sew on til later...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Well, an earthquake is NOT something I'm prepared to see happen where I live but it did!  The news is saying we haven't had an earthquake in this area since 1897, but I distinctly remember an earthquake a few months ago, around 5:30 am, sounded like a big truck rumbling past the house.  This area is prepared for storms, but not earthquakes, they're just not on!

I was on my way home from The Fabric Peddler, sitting at a light just shy of an overpass when my car started shaking and shaking.  At first I thought something was wrong with the engine and I'm wondering "what in the world!  This car is too new for that!"  Then I noticed cars around me were shaking too.

By the time I realized what was going on, it was over.  The news is saying it lasted from 30-45 seconds, but for me it was around 10 seconds and brother, that was enough!  The epicenter is not that far from the DC area.

At home I had only slight damage... the clock and some pencils fell off my computer desk; upstairs a basket that was "geometrically balanced" fell off the top of a cabinet, my container of pins fell off my sewing machine ... but that was all. 

The official news says it was a 5.9 quake, extending as far north as Boston or more!  Office buildings are being evacuated, the Metro is operating at 15 mph speeds.  Cell phones are out, I can't reach my sister in New Jersey but I noticed she called me while I was out.  But I can't call her back, the circuits are not working.  AND I dropped my cell phone and have no visual on that little window, bummer.  It's time for a new one anyway.

Update:  I just talked with my sister, she and her hubby spent a few days in New Orleans and came back home today by train.  She says they had JUST got home when she heard Amtrak service was shutting down.  Her train was running 20 minutes ahead of schedule, thank God!  Else, they would have been sitting out there someplace on the tracks, for who knows how long.
Whew!  I think we're supposed to get an aftershock?  I hope there aren't any more problems...

Sew forth and sew on til later

Friday, August 19, 2011

South of Baltimore again

Yesterday I washed the Afri-scraps I picked up, to get the sizing (or whatever) out; and I even basted the smaller pieces together so they wouldn't get lost beneath the agitator.  Surprisingly, it worked out pretty good!  So now I'm good to go with my scraps.

I made another South of Baltimore block that I'll show you, but first I want to share some shots from one of my favorite movies - Karate Kid!  Little Dre had graduated from "jacket on-jacket off" and was in another training session just as I was finishing the block last night. 

Here he was kicking the bell hanging above him...

Balancing exercise...

ahhh, the limberness of youth!

the teacher...

the opponent...

and the winner!

And now my new South of Baltimore block...

I have no idea what kind of flower that is, or if it even has a name. 

I used the same layout as the first block because I found it an easy one.  The yellow is from "regular" fabric because I discovered the scrap yardage wasn't dark enough to show well against the light background.  On a dark background I'd definitely use scrap yardage because it wouldn't matter if there were lighter areas.

So that's two blocks; I might make just two more and put them together in a wall hanging set two by two.  I think I'd want the last two to be set differently though, just for variety.

Well, sew forth and sew on for now; have a great Friday!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Scrappy goodness!

Sometimes the best-laid plans can go awry .. or awright ... or, as my neighbor says, "aight!"

Yesterday I had my day all planned out, but the beauty of being a retired lady is that if your plans change one day, you can most likely do those things the next day!  I meant to sort through my fabrics and cut some strips, getting fabrics organized for the cruise, but I didn't.

But I think it was worth it - take a look at this...
scrappy goodness!

A few weeks ago an African dressmaker made an outfit for me and I noticed they were tossing all the scraps in the trash!  Can you imagine?  Anyway, I asked if I could have them, if the owners didn't want them.  So Mary was kind enough to save all their scraps - and I mean ALL of em - for the next three weeks and yesterday she called me to come pick em up! 

There were some things I don't want, though, such as this crinkly-feeling fabric...
I'm not sure what the fiber content is, but this piece measures 30 x 56" - can you imagine tossing that in the trash??  I think this fabric is used to make those elaborate ladies' head wraps because it holds its shape so well.

And here's an interesting piece...

there were two of these pieces, they have some gold on the other side.  Both pieces were sort of an odd shape (hey - it's a scrap!) and each measured approximately 18 x 30".  I can get a lot of pieces out of this one!

These are a pretty shade of green...

it's two different designs, I had a couple pieces of each one!

Here's a fun one -
it's a Guinness print and it says "Drink Responsibly 18+".  I wonder what the rest of the design looks like?  I went back upstairs and looked at it again...

somewhere in this city, somebody is walking around with clothing made from this fabric on their body!  *shudder*   Probably a man, strutting with his shoulders back and a big grin on his face.

I didn't want these silver and white pieces, and there's a lot of it...

it's a blend of some kind, look at a closeup of the lacy edge...

someone is getting a pretty dress!

You can always use black and white prints...

there are three different designs, several pieces of each.  The largest piece is approximately 12 x 16", I think.

And aren't these pretty...

I like these bright colors!  There's a good bit of the left-hand piece - 4 pieces that measure roughly 8 x 58", tapering down to about 2" at the narrow end. 

And this is a keeper...
there's just over a half yard of this one.  The piece is actually wider, about 1-1/2 yards wide, but there are large whunks taken out of both the left and right sides.

And finally, this piece of homespun...

there's about a yard of it, but it's not really my cuppa.

I'm glad I thought to ask for her scraps, I had a double armful!  There were some pieces I didn't photograph that I don't want - a piece of pale yellow linen, some lining fabric and some gauzy kind of stuff.  Some shirting and organza too, I think.  I can't wait to see what she didn't toss out next month, woot woot!!

So that was how I spent my afternoon... sew forth and sew on til later!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Distracted by the stash!

Yesterday I was looking for a specific piece of fabric (that I didnt' find!) - the bins where I keep my african prints were all a-tumble.  So, I started folding and straightening again, made two tubs out of three... 

I wish I had more of this fabric, I only have this little piece left:
I think it's out of print, I bought it at least 8 years ago, probably just a yard or two. 

I also like this piece, there's about 1-1/2 yards left:

I used a piece of it on the back of a quilt I made and by mistake I put it on backwards.  So instead of saying Tam-Tam  it said  Mat-Mat.  Still looked good, though.

Today I'm not in a sewing mood so I'll do some "controlled" cutting.  I was going through my scrap bins and finding some pretty large pieces in there, I'm not going to just whack them for scrap projects. 

Bonnie has posted the quilt she's going to teach us on the cruise in November and I notice she says we can bring 2" and 3-1/2" strips, so I may as well cut some from the scraps.  It will decrease the number of FQ's I need to take.

Now it's time to eat breffus, then a walk before it gets too hot.  Have a great day - sew forth and sew on til later!

Monday, August 15, 2011

South of Baltimore

I'm glad everybody enjoyed sharing our cookout yesterday, I wish you all could have been there with us.  Kathy, I'll be sure to sit next to you when crab-eatin' time comes  LOL.  Debbra, save the date for next year!

Lately it seems everywhere I turn I either see Baltimore album blocks or I hear someone mention Baltimore album blocks.  Since I've been playing on the 15 minute blog,  I wondered to myself, "what would scrap yardage look like in a Baltimore album block?" 

So... I drafted a Baltimore album-type block using lids from three different sized containers to draw the flowers; I thought I'd try flowers, just to see if I liked doing it.

This isn't from any special pattern, it's off the top of my head.

Then I pulled some red and green and yellow scraps and sewed together a few pieces to use for the flowers and leaves


I decided to use a brown rather than green fabric for the stems, for no particular reason ...

phooey, it's off-center.  oh well

I ironed fusible web onto a large piece of brown fabric and cut 1/4" strips, then fused them down on a 15-1/2" background square.

Now ... before we go any further ... I know this is not the "traditional" way to do a Baltimore album block so don't y'all get mad at me!  :O*( 

I traced the pattern pieces onto fusible web, then I pressed the fusible to the back of my scrap yardage.  I cut out the pieces and stitched them onto my background square using a raw-edge applique.

Ta-daa!  A "South of Baltimore" album block! 

This won't win any contests but I actually like the way it turned out; I'm going to try out a few more designs! 

Now that I look at it, maybe 15" is a bit large?  I wonder if I used a 12" background and made the pieces smaller...

Sew forth and sew on til later...