Monday, June 29, 2015

A quilting question

  Last time we chatted, I mentioned my late aunt's quilt block project.  And that she did all of her projects by hand.
   Now my aunt had a beautiful hand stitch ... straight, perfectly spaced. She could give Amish quilters a run for their money. Sadly, I did not inherit that talent.  I can't hand-sew a straight stitch worth a $%!!

   So I thought I would try to do a bit of machine quilting ...  a 3-inch square ... two rows of stitching to create two smaller squares within.  Easy, right?

    Er, no.  I can't machine sew a straight line worth a *&!*!! either.   Odd, because I can sew a reasonably straight line to make things.   
     So for those of you who quilt ... am I missing something?  Is there some quilting gadget I should use?  A special foot for the sewing machine? Or should I make a stencil of some kind?

Friday, June 26, 2015

A quilting we go ...

   When my aunt passed, I ended up with one of her unfinished quilt block projects.  I've worked on it on and off over the years, and recently picked it back up again.
    I was coming to the end of the pieces that I had and was wondering what I should do next, when it hit me ... there were more cut pieces put away somewhere.
    So I dug through a box, and boy howdy, did I find quilt pieces.  Problem was, many of them -- some finished, some not -- were for another project ... one I didn't particularly want to finish.
    As I thought about it, I realized that the unfinished ones (which are hexagons) could be cut into the proper size squares.  And the material is similar to what's in the first project.
      At this point I should  explain that my aunt sewed her blocks ... with batting ... separately, quilted them, then sewed them together ... all by hand
      So I had all these nicely stuffed and quilted hexagons left ... what to do?
     I finally decided to cut the hexagons  into smaller squares and use them for another project.  After cutting, the batting could be used as "stuffing" for the squares in the first project.
     I'm experimenting with some nine patch for the smaller squares, but haven't decided just how I'm going to use them.  But at least they'll be out of the box, right? 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

In the news ...

  Just a couple of things of note:

  Egg prices have finally spiked in my area.  The price for a dozen large eggs seems to be around $2.49 ... even at Aldi.  Very glad I stocked up at 99 cents ...

A story in The Wall Street journal notes that snack bars featuring meat are the newest thing, while sales of traditional bars, such as granola, are dropping.   The fun part ... at a  cost of $2 to $3 per bar,  per pound they can cost more than steak.
    (On a side note ... seems like life is mirroring science fiction even more ... now we're getting our nutrition from little processed bars. )

  Here's the story if you're interested.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Barking up another tree

I needed a narrow piece of webbing for a repair project, but for some reason, the nearby fabric stores (or stores with craft sections) didn't have anything that would work.

  So I resigned myself to buying online, until I came across this at the dollar store:

Yep ... that's right.  A dog leash.

But hey, it's the perfect size, and if I turn out the black side (sorry, not easy to see in this view), it will be a great match.

And best of all ... it was $1! And I have leftovers that I can use for something else.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Back and forth ... and back again

  Apologies for the lapse in blogging for the past month or so.  As I've mentioned to my friends over on Frugal Living, I've been at a temp job ( or a project/contract job if you will) which is expected to wrap up shortly. 

  It's been interesting going back to work after a 7-month layoff.   Nice to know I'm still employable, even it it is short-term. On the other hand, I'm reminded that there is a cost to working.  More gas, more laundry, more lunchbox chips, granola bars, etc  ... the occasional soda. (At least I don't have to pay for parking ... )

But we've adapted ... especially on the food front. DH took over a lot of the cooking, so we've managed to avoid the convenience food/let's eat out traps. 

  My biggest challenge has been lunch.  The office  does not have enough microwaves to service all the folks who want to warm up their lunches.  And we only have a half hour, so ...

   At first, I bought deli meat, and burned out on that pretty quickly.   But slowly, I started to realize that a pork roast produces dandy sandwiches, as does baked chicken.  And baked chicken can be turned into chicken salad.  A hard boiled egg can be the basis of a chef's salad.  Tuna salad and crackers is good, as is homemade hummus. 
   As for treats ... first couple of weeks I bought cookies, but I've gotten back into the routine of baking.  

    So, about the time I have this figured out ... it will be time to move on.   (And what's next?  No idea.  I'd like to try working part time to see if I can get a better work/life balance, but we shall see what turns up.)