Monday, July 31, 2017

The Stash Revisited

Live and Learn wanted to see pictures of my fabric stash and I am happy to oblige.

I had done a post on the stash in September, 2015, here.   The pictures are not that good because, back then, I didn't have a cell phone with camera capabilities and the pictures were taken with my laptop (not that the new pictures are that much of an improvement!).

I took some new pictures of the stash, today, and you know what's depressing?  There's hardly any change!  One or two items have been used up, but they have been replaced with fabric that was given to me.  I really need to do a LOT of sewing to make a dent in this stash!

Home of the Stash

The stash is housed in this 9-drawer dresser.  The top left and top right drawers contain other items, the other seven drawers have fabric, and the shopping bag in front contains some of the fabric that was given to me by a friend.

Drawer by drawer, going from left to right and top to bottom:

Top left drawer contains some of daughter's accessories; I need her to go through it when she has time to see what she wants kept and what can be given away.

Middle left drawer:

Velvets, Silks, Satins, Lace, and Lamé

Bottom left drawer: cotton/cotton blend solids (mostly broadcloth, purchased on 75% off sale for $1.00/yd.), including a purple bed sheet (at the very left) that was given to me and I am keeping for a quilt backing.  There is actually a small space opening up at the right!  The solid yellow, red, and blue fabric I used on the baby quilt came from this drawer.

Solid Cottons and Cotton Blends

The three drawers in the middle of the dresser are slightly smaller than the drawers on the two sides.

The top drawer holds all the various black fabrics - a mixture of silks, polyester, cotton, etc.  The fabric I used for the black blouse came from this drawer.

Black Fabric Collection

The next drawer down has all the white fabric:

White Fabric Collection

The bottom drawer has my collection of Christmas/holiday print fabric:

Christmas/Holiday Prints

The plastic bag holds all the scrap pieces, leftover from prior holiday projects.

The top right drawer has a miscellaneous collection of items, including some of daughter's baby shoes which I kept, picture frames, etc.

The middle right drawer holds larger scrap pieces, projects in progress, a stash of denim (jeans legs cut off from daughter's old jeans), etc.:

Large Scraps and Works in Progress

The bottom right drawer has print fabric, including some novelty prints.  Most are cotton/cotton blends, but there are two pieces of cotton flannel at the very left.   The teddy bear print for the baby quilt and the fabric for the recent tote bags were from this drawer.  The space they left has been filled with some of the fabric my friend gave me.

Print Fabric

The two baskets on top contain mostly bits and pieces, part of a quilt in progress, and a large piece of fleece fabric on top of one basket.

Mostly Bits and Pieces

The shopping bag in front of the dresser contains the rest of the fabric my friend gave me - neutral colored upholstery/home decor fabric.  She said she bought them to make drapes.

Neutral Colored Home Decor Fabric

She gave me two  big bags full - I had written about it in this post, from March, 2016; here's a picture of the pile of fabric she gave me:

Fabric from Friend

In addition to all this, I have more fabric in another drawer in a chest of drawers that contains daughter's collection of fleece fabric and in a suitcase stored in a closet!  I really don't know what I was thinking when I bought all this fabric!  But, back then, I used to sew slip covers and such and, just like my friend, had plans to sew drapes!  I still have those plans, but whether I'll be able to actually put those plans into action is yet to be seen!

Do you have a fabric stash?

The Weekend

Seems like I look forward to the weekend all week long and then, the weekend comes and goes in the blink of an eye!  Suddenly, it is Sunday night, the weekend is over, and I haven't done half the things I wanted to do!   

Saturday, I spent a relaxed morning, watching sewing programs on TV, reading blogs, and replying to comments on my blog.  A comment by SandyExpat saying she went shopping to take advantage of a $10 off coupon and a 20% off coupon from one of the department stores reminded me that I, too, had received a similar coupon from them!  The $10 off coupon was valid until August 3, but the 20% off coupon was valid only until July 30.  At first, I couldn't think of anything I needed - I had already bought the pair of black pants I needed and had sewn the black blouse I had been wanting.  I had enough clothes and socks, etc., but $10 off is $10 off, so I thought I would go and see if I could find something.  As I got dressed, I realized what I could buy - an item that I did need and had been intending to buy "one day" - a replacement for an undergarment which was too stretched out to "lift and support" the way it was meant to!  I have a particular brand of bras that I prefer;  the regular price was $35, but it was on sale (40% off) for $19.99 and with my $10 off coupon and the additional 20% off stacked on top of that, I was able to purchase the item for $6.12 with tax!  Now, that was a good price!  Thank you, SandyExpat, for mentioning the coupon!  I would like to buy at least another one more; I'm hoping I'll be receiving another coupon in the mail, soon.

After that, I went to the grocery store to buy cat food and a few grocery items for myself: milk, fruit, and pancake mix. 

Later, in the evening, I attended the monthly prayer gathering.  My cousin rode with me and I was glad of her company; I don't like to drive long distances by myself, these days, especially at night.  The prayer gathering was held at an aunt's house and was attended by family and friends.

I video chatted with my daughter after I came home, cleaned the litter box, and, went to bed late!

Sunday morning, I woke up feeling tired.  A friend and I had made tentative plans to go out to lunch, but when I called her in the morning, we both agreed to postpone our lunch date for another weekend.  I had a restful morning, watching some cooking programs on TV, reading blogs, and responding to comments.  My neighbor called and we had our Sunday morning chat.

I made pancakes and ate them with some of my fish curry for brunch.  Pancakes are my substitute for a type of Indian pancake known as "thosai" or "dosa/dosai" (the spellings vary) which is made from a batter of rice flour and urad (a type of lentil) flour.  Making thosai from scratch for breakfast means the batter must be made the night before or, if being made for dinner, the batter must be started in the morning.  Pancakes from a mix don't really taste the same, but it doesn't take much preparation time. 

After brunch, I ran the dishwasher and washed the dishes I had been collecting over a couple of days. (I have to collect them for at least a couple of days in order to have enough dishes to justify running the dishwasher, which, I've been told, I should run at least once a week and which hasn't been run for about two weeks!).

The afternoon was too hot to do anything much, even if I had wanted to.  I cut out and sewed yet another tote bag, using fabric I had in the stash. 

Kitten Tote Bag
I am planning to give this bag to one of my cousins who has a soft spot for cats and who has been there for me every step of my way up the mountain side.  Most recently, she had sent a request for candles to be lit at the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes and prayers to be said for my health when I went for my mammogram; I received an email from them confirming that they have done it according to her wishes.  I am so blessed to have her in my life.

Then, it was time for a nap!  After I woke up, I had a cup of tea and put water to the back garden.  Dinner was leftovers.  Later, I video chatted with my daughter.

This weekend, I am grateful for:
- Prayers and prayer gatherings
- Family and friends (including all my blog friends) who are there for me
- Coupons and good bargains
- A seemingly endless fabric stash!
- My daughter

How was your weekend?  Do you, too, look forward to the weekend all week and then, feel like the weekend just whizzed by? 

Saturday, July 29, 2017

July Grocery Shopping

July 29 Groceries

I stopped by the grocery store, this afternoon.  I mostly went to buy a bag of cat food, but I also picked up some groceries for myself.

I bought:
1 box pancake mix = $1.99
1 pint milk = $1.19
Bananas (4 individual bananas) @ $.59/lb = $.86
Black grapes @$.99/lb = $1.61
Total =  $5.65

The receipt below shows the total including the cat food and tax on cat food; but my grocery budget doesn't include cat food.

July 29 Receipt (total shown includes cat food)

Ha, ha, some weeks, I spend more on cat food than on food for myself!

Amount spent on groceries so far in July = $34.21 + $2.59 + $35.43 + $14.30 + $4.61 + $5.65 = $96.79

Amount left in the July grocery budget = $103.82 - $96.79 =  $7.03

I could have waited on the pancake mix until next month, but I bought it now, since I knew I had the money in this month's budget.  I debated whether to buy a box of store brand unsalted tops saltines ($1.49), but I didn't because I tend to binge on them when I have them!  I might still buy a box, next month, though.  I debated whether to buy a loaf of bread, but I still have some of the loaf I bought last and I've been toying with the idea of making another loaf of bread from scratch (before the packages of yeast I have get too old).

Breakfast was Indian style cream of wheat (uppuma) - with peanuts, curry leaves and pieces of dried chili to add flavor:

Breakfast: Indian Style Cream of Wheat
A banana for afternoon snack.

A late lunch of rice, fish curry (part of the frozen fish I bought from the Sri Lankan store; cooked with onions, tomatoes from the garden, coconut milk, etc.) and broccoli:

Lunch: Rice, Fish Curry, Broccoli
Some of the black grapes for dessert.

Dinner will be late and at an aunt's house, after the prayer gathering. 

I cooked two of the four pieces of fish I bought, so there's enough fish curry left for three more meals.  Enough broccoli leftover for at least one more meal, maybe even two. 

I don't know if I will go grocery shopping, again, before the end of the month.  If I don't, I will carry over the $7.03 into August.

Have you finished grocery shopping for July?  How did you do with your budget?

Stash Busting Friday

Friday was a quiet, restful day.  I slept in till mid-morning.  The sound of the phone ringing woke me up!  Whoever it was didn't leave a message, but later, when I checked my missed phone calls, I saw that it had been one of my cousins.  I called her back after I had finished brushing my teeth and had a cup of tea; she had called to check how my mammogram went, etc.  We chatted for a bit and I will see her tomorrow evening as I will be giving her a ride to the monthly prayer gathering.

I also called the radiation oncologist's office to see if I could still get an appointment on Tuesday, but, only got their answering machine.  Although their message says they are open Monday through Friday, I think only the radiation treatment section is open on Fridays, and the medical side of the clinic is closed.  Anyway, I left a message and I will call again on Monday.

New Tote Bag
In the afternoon, I sat down to sew.  I finished the tote bag I had begun last weekend.  The fabric was one of the pieces of fabric that were given to me by a friend.  I lined it with more of the blue patterned fabric I had used to line the previous tote bags, and I hand embroidered (using six strands of embroidery thread, doubled, and a chain stitch) the saying I had seen on the tote bag at the fabric store.  I also found there were lots of merchandise with the saying (and a variation on it), on-line.  I hope I am not violating any copyright laws by using it on my tote bag and showing a photograph of it on my blog!   This tote bag uses up one more piece of fabric from the stash!

I sewed another tote bag, as well, again using fabric my friend had given me:

Second Tote Bag

It was another stash buster, as I used up two pieces of fabric from the stash (one for the body of the tote bag, the other for the handles), plus more of the blue patterned fabric for the lining.  The blue patterned fabric is almost finished and I had to piece out the lining to have enough.

The Lining Inside

Daughter asked me why my tote bag handles are so short.  I explained to her that I am just using the fabric that I have; the amount of fabric dictates the length of the handles. 

But a certain kitty cat doesn't mind the short handles:

Dancer Claims the Tote Bag
First he chose the bag he liked better (he's looking at the blue tote bag in the picture, above)

It gets the Dancer Seal of Approval

 Then, he squired all over it, to mark it as his own.


Then he took a long nap on the bag!

On Friday, I was grateful for:
- A day of vacation
- Being able to sleep in and waking up to another day
- Being able to spent most of the day sewing
- Gardener friend doing some much needed tidying up in the garden
- Phone calls and emails from family and friends

Saturday's to do list:
- Run the dishwasher
- Do some house cleaning
- Sew a bit more
- Attend the monthly prayer meeting in the evening

How was your Friday?  What have you planned for the weekend?

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Thursday: Non-Appointments and Mammograms

Thank you, everyone, for your thoughts and prayers, today.  I felt myself carried by your well wishes as I underwent the mammogram, today.  I feel so blessed to have you all being so supportive of me as I go through this journey.

Today, I went to the office in good time for the morning meeting which I had thought was scheduled for 9:00 a.m. and was actually scheduled for 9:30 a.m.  After the meeting, I went to the farmers market and bought myself a croissant for breakfast (no, I didn't take a picture!)  I had wanted to buy a small baguette, but they didn't have any.  I also went to the pharmacy to buy a new bottle of ibuprofen, because the bottle I had at home had expired in 2016 (I don't normally use ibuprofen, but the nurse practitioner had told me to take some before I went for my mammogram). 

Then, I went to my 1:30 p.m. appointment with the radiation oncologist.  Except, even though they wrote out an appointment card at my last visit, they apparently forgot to enter the appointment in their computer system.  So they didn't realize they had made an appointment for me and were very surprised to see me!  Apparently, they had given my slot to someone else (who was standing behind me in line at the receptionist's desk).  I was told it wouldn't make much sense to see the doctor today, anyway, before the mammogram results are in.  I was asked if I could come on Tuesday - I said no, because I had other plans for Tuesday.  So I was given an appointment for Monday, August 7.  I don't know if I want to wait till so long to find out my results; I might call again, tomorrow, and ask if the Tuesday opening is still available and reschedule my Tuesday's plans, accordingly.

So there I was, at the clinic at a few minutes after 1:00 p.m. with nothing to do until my mammogram appointment which was for 3:20 p.m.  I went to the radiology department, anyway, and they got all flustered because I was more than 2 hours early!  I don't blame them for that.  I explained the situation to them and said I will wait.  They said they'll try to take me in earlier, if possible.  I sat in the waiting room, read my prayer book, and dozed on the chair while I waited.  Eventually, they called me in at 3:00 p.m. to have my mammogram done, a good five months after it was supposed to have been done!  (Normally, the follow up mammogram is done 6 months after radiation treatment ends; the 6 months was up in February, but they delayed it due to the swelling and inflammation).
The technician looked at the form I had filled out and asked what I was there for and I explained about the palpable nodule and where it was located, etc.  She looked at me and asked if I was a doctor!  I said no.  She said I used terminology that a doctor would normally use!  LOL.  She was concerned when she saw the swelling, etc., but she took 3 images on each side.  The ibuprofen worked and it didn't hurt as much as it usually does.  Either that, or she didn't compress as much.  I waited until she showed the images to the radiologist and he gave the OK that the images were clear enough for him to read.  After that, I was free to leave.  Before I left, I made it a point to ask if there was any release papers I needed to sign so the results can be accessed by the doctors, (the last time, my primary care physician couldn't access them until I signed a release form which her clinic had to send to the X-ray clinic) but I was told there wasn't anything to sign.  

I have had another quiet evening, today.  I spoke on the phone with an aunt, a cousin, and a friend who called to find out how my appointments went; I watched news and felt depressed by what I was hearing and seeing; I replied to an email sent by a friend; I dozed a bit on the sofa; and I video chatted with my daughter.  My cousin sent me a picture of her grandson on the quilt I had made for him, saying he loves it.

For dinner, I cooked some fresh rice and had it with some shrimp I had cooked and frozen, the last of the green beans I had cooked earlier in the week, and tomato chutney:

Dinner: Rice, shrimp, green beans, tomato chutney

Dessert was yogurt and treacle.

Today, I am grateful for:
- The mammogram was finally done 
- Ibuprofen
- Parking validation
- Prayers and well wishes from friends and family
- Paid sick leave

Tomorrow, I have taken a day of vacation from work.  I want to spend the day doing some sewing and cooking, too.  Maybe even running an errand or two.

How was your Thursday?  What have you planned for tomorrow? 

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Wednesday's Happenings

Today, I called the clinic, first thing in the morning, to ask if I needed to come in to pick up any referral authorization papers prior to tomorrow's procedure.  But I was told I didn't need to, because the hospital should have everything they need (everything is available on-line, apparently).  But, as I mentioned to one of my friends, I might ask the radiation oncologist's office if they could give me a print out for my own files, since I didn't receive anything from the insurance company (usually, I get a copy of the authorization in the mail from them).

I went to the office, after that, and spent a productive day.  Someone had brought assorted doughnuts to the office, including my all-time favorite, French crullers.  I am afraid I indulged in one of them and it tasted as delicious as I remembered them to be! 

After work, I came home and spent a quiet evening, watching news, speaking with an aunt who called, and making fried rice for dinner:

Fried Rice
Leftover rice, shredded cabbage, an egg, a rasher of bacon, and a handful of peanuts, some chili powder and soy sauce. 

Today, I am grateful for:
- Mammogram appointment was confirmed
- Safe drives to the office and back
- Everyone's good wishes and prayers
- Having health insurance
- Emails from friends, phone calls from family, and video chatting with my daughter.

Tomorrow, I will go to the office in the morning (another early morning meeting!) then, take the afternoon off to attend my medical appointments.

How was your Wednesday?  What have you planned for tomorrow?


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Tuesday: Mammogram Appointment and Tomato Harvest

I should have known that taking a 4-hour nap, yesterday afternoon, was not conducive to falling asleep at a decent hour at night!  I didn't fall asleep till after 2:00 a.m., last night and even then, I kept waking every so often.  But I couldn't sleep in because I had an early morning meeting at the office that I had to attend.  So, when the alarm went off at 6:30 a.m., I got up, had a cup of tea, showered and dressed, took the lunch I had packed the night before, and left the house a little after 7:00 a.m..  I was in the office by 8:00 a.m., in good time for the morning meeting, which was delayed by almost half an hour because the person who called the meeting was delayed!  But, the meeting wasn't delayed due to me being late, so I was happy. 

There were actually two meetings, in the morning, one after the other!  So the morning went by very quickly.

There was an event at the office, so lunch was provided!  Even though I had taken a packed lunch to work, I decided to eat the lunch that the office provided, and brought home the lunch I had packed, and had it for my dinner, instead.   

When I came home, there was a message from the oncologist's office saying that my mammogram has been scheduled for Thursday afternoon!  That is quick!  I already have an appointment with the radiation oncologist earlier in the afternoon, on Thursday; the mammogram is scheduled for a couple of hours after that earlier appointment.  It's convenient as the hospital is adjoining the clinic.   Things are moving quickly!

Tomatoes on the Vine
My poor tomato plant is all but dead, but there are a few tomatoes on it, including a few that were ripe!

Ripe Tomatoes

This evening, I picked the ones that were ripe.  They are not very big, but, I am happy to have them:

My Tomato Harvest!

There are about 5 or 6 green tomatoes still on the vine.  I'll give them a few more days to see if they'll ripen. 

I brought in the trash cans, spoke with my aunt and cousin and a friend who called, video chatted with my daughter, and washed the dishes. 

I don't know where the rest of the evening went!

Today, I am grateful for:

- Being able to wake up, this morning.
- Getting to the office on time.
- Free lunch at the office.
- Mammogram has been scheduled.
- My tomato harvest!

How was your Tuesday?  What are you grateful for, today? 

Yesterday and Today

Yesterday - Sunday - I had a quiet morning and afternoon.  I didn't go to sleep until after 4:00 a.m., so I slept in until around 10:00 a.m.  One of my aunts called in the morning to invite me to the monthly prayer meeting that she was hosting, next weekend.  Later, I chatted with a friend who called and my neighbor who also called.  Then, I went over the baby quilt with a lint roller to remove any stray cat fur (cousin reassured me that her daughter and son-in-law have a cat of their own and are used to cat fur) and found a big enough gift bag in my stash to put it into.

In the afternoon, I cut out and started to sew another tote bag with fabric a friend had given me.  I didn't finish sewing it, though.

One of my other cousins had offered me a ride to see the baby as she and her daughter were also going.  I was dressed and ready when she called to let me know they were on their way to pick me up.  I didn't realize it, but apparently, my cousin (baby's grandmother) was expecting quite a few people and what I thought would be a short visit over perhaps a cup of tea turned out to be a longer visit over dinner!  She had ordered Thai food, which was delivered to her house, and my other cousin and I helped her to dish out everything and serve the dinner.   The baby was very cute and friendly, not at all bothered by the fact that he was being passed from hand to hand and not fussing about so many strangers.  His parents were very impressed with the quilt and thanked me for it. 

After I came home, I video chatted with my daughter.

Today, I went to my appointment with the oncologist, in the morning.  We went over the results of the ultrasound, which showed that it wasn't a fluid-filled cyst, but a mass with smooth margins which seems to be a type of tumor.  Further diagnosis is needed before they can say for certain if it is benign or not, but I was told that the smooth margin is a good sign, as most cancers have irregular margins.  So, we are waiting for the mammogram to be scheduled.  According to the nurse practitioner, the diagnostic mammogram has been authorized; her office tried to call the hospital's radiology department to schedule the appointment while I was there, but couldn't get through.  She told me they will try to call and schedule it and will call me with the information.  I will be calling them back to find out what is happening, if I don't hear from them within a day or two. 

I also had my port catheter flushed while I was at the clinic and I have a follow up appointment in one month's time.  Once I have the mammogram done, I am also to make an appointment to see my surgeon to see if further surgery is required.  

I had taken the rest of the day off from work and I am glad I did so.  I had planned to spend the afternoon sewing.  Instead, I came home, had some lunch, and took a nap as I could barely keep my eyes open!  I took a 4 hour nap, so I guess I was really tired.

After I woke up and had a cup of tea, I exchanged emails with a friend, spoke with my aunt who called to find out how my appointment went, put water to the garden, took the recycling out, took the trash cans to the curb, cleaned out the fridge, did the dishes, and cooked rice and green beans for dinner, and made a cucumber salad.

After dinner, I video chatted with my daughter.

Today, I am grateful for:
- Smooth margins on the mass
- The mammogram seems to have been authorized
- A safe drive to the clinic and back
- A long nap
- Emails, phone calls, and video chats

I am, as you can imagine, feeling rather stressed by this whole thing.  I am trying not to overthink things, or worry too much, but it's not easy.  I need to regain my serenity.

How was your day?  

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Spoilt Kitty!

OK, it is official - I am a crazy cat lady and Dancer is a Very Spoilt Kitty!

Last night, I removed the baby quilt from the dining table and put it away.  A short while later, Dancer jumped on the dining table, expecting the quilt to be there, and when he realized it was no longer on the table, he walked around the table looking for it!  Then he looked at me as if to say, "What happened to my quilt?" and he lay down looking resigned to having lost his quilt.

And I felt sorry for him.

Which is why, at 3:45 a.m. this morning, I sandwiched the pieces of leftover batting I had from earlier projects between two pieces of scrap fabric from the stash and ran a couple of quick, long basting stitches to hold the fabric in place.  He sat and watched while I assembled the "quilt" and the minute I finished it, lay down on it!  It was too small for him to stretch out as he did with the other quilt, but he made himself fit.

This picture was taken a few minutes later, at 3:52 a.m.:

Spoilt Kitty on His New Quilt!
I guess I'll be buying another yard of quilt batting, soon!  :D

The Disappearing Yellow Block Quilt

On Saturday, I continued to sew the crib quilt.  The big dining table wasn't wide enough to measure the backing (I wanted to bring it to the front to form the binding, as well), so I spread it out on my bed.  I had barely done so, before I had help:

"I'll hold it down for you, Mummy"

Since the quilt top was a square and I wanted to make it a rectangle, I had to made a wider border at the top and the bottom.   I cut the backing fabric so that it extended 2 inches out at either side and 5 inches at the top and bottom. 

"What do you mean I'm messing it up?"
While I waited for him to get off the quilt, I did a load of laundry and hung it up to dry! And I chatted with one of my aunts who called to say that maybe she and my cousin might visit me in the evening.  She called me later to say she's unable to come as my cousin was working till late.

Eventually, I cut out the backing, lint rolled the quilt top to remove Dancer fur, and pinned everything in place.  I brought the edges of the backing to the front to form a second border and the binding, and hand-sewed it down.  I had just enough of blue thread to finish it!  There was about an 18-inch piece of thread left!

Just Enough Blue Thread!

Sewing the binding down took most of the afternoon.   After that, I tried to do some "in the ditch" quilting in the machine, but my machine was having a hard time with the thickness of the batting (I just have a very basic sewing machine bought for under $100).  So, I unpicked the bit that I did and decided to tie the quilt, instead.  I couldn't find the blue yarn I know I have (it's probably in one of the bags with one of the in-progress knitting projects).  So, I decided to use 4 strands of pearl cotton in various shades of blue, instead.

The Ties

Each knot is tied twice and each bow is tied twice, too, to make it difficult for little fingers to untie the knots.  

I had tied most of the quilt when I decided to take a break for dinner.  I left the quilt top on the table and this is what happened:

Product Testing!

 I chased him off and finished tying the quilt.  Now I'll have to lint roll it, all over again!

The Finished Quilt
The problem with using the yellow fabric for the border is, it makes the yellow squares along the edges disappear!  The same problem would have happened if I had used the red or the blue, too.  What I needed was a border of a different fabric color, such as green.  Oh, well.  You've no doubt heard of various quilt patterns called the disappearing nine patch and disappearing four patch, etc.  We shall call this the Disappearing Yellow Blocks quilt! 


Close Up of the Ties

The finished quilt measures 36 inches by 48 inches, which is the size of the piece of quilt batting I bought.

Tomorrow, I will go over it with the lint roller, again, to remove any fur I might have missed tonight, before wrapping it up and putting it into a gift bag.  I am planning to visit my cousin in the evening to give the quilt to the baby.

Today, I am grateful for:
- Being able to play with fabric the whole day.
- Having everything I needed for the quilt, other than the quilt batting, in my stash.
- My stash is now lighter by two pieces of fabric.
- There was just enough blue thread to sew down the binding.
- Getting my quilt "fix"!

 How was your Saturday? 

Saturday, July 22, 2017


I had planned to go for the lab tests in the morning, but I received an email from a colleague and I ended up working from home, all morning.  As a result, I didn't go for my lab tests until early afternoon.  But, according to the technician, it was for the best.  She said the morning had been very busy and I would have had a long wait.

After the lab tests were done, I went to the fabric store and bought the quilt batting.  The pre-cut packaged crib size batting (regular price: $9.99; on sale for 40% off) was more expensive than the batting being sold by the yard (regular price: $5.99; on sale for 40% off), so I bought one yard of the cheaper batting.  It was manufactured by the same company and it was thicker, too.  With tax, it came to $3.93.

Receipt for Quilt Batting

I looked around the store a bit, but didn't buy anything else!  I still have too much fabric in my stash.  I am determined not to buy anything unless I need it for a project.

I was hungry when I came home (I had eaten only a banana in the morning).  I cooked a meatball curry using a bag of frozen meatballs and sauted some okra.  I ate it with rice I had cooked earlier, and had a slice of papaya for dessert. 

Later in the evening, I sat down to sew my quilt and I got the top finished:

The Quilt Top

Then, I couldn't decide what color I should use for the border.  I considered using the blue, but I was going to use it for the back, as well as the binding, and I wanted something different.  Eventually, I decided to use the rest of the yellow fabric for the border.  There was only about 1 yard of yellow fabric, to begin with; but there was just enough for the borders.

Then, I basted the edges of the top to the quilt batting.  

Dancer gives his seal of approval!

All I have to do now is attach the backing and either quilt it a little bit or tie it with some yarn.

Today, I am grateful for: 
- Being able to work from home
- Friendly staff at the lab
- Quilt batting being on sale
- Not breaking my fabric diet!
- A long phone chat with my aunt

How was your Friday?  What are your plans for the weekend?  

Dancer loving the quilt!


Friday, July 21, 2017

Layout #1 Wins the Vote!

Layout #1
It seems that Layout #1 was the favorite among all who expressed an opinion!  It was my number 1 choice, too (and the one I had sketched out when envisioning the quilt).  Thank you all for participating.  I enjoyed seeing what you all picked.

Today, was my father's death anniversary.  54 years since he died.  It's been a long time, but I still remember the events like it was yesterday.

I went to the office in the morning and had a productive day.  I debated whether to go to the Farmers Market or not, but decided not to.  Treats stop being treats when they are had more or less every week.

On my way home from work, I put gas to the car; $30 worth of gas, which was selling for $2.63 per gallon. 

After that, I went to the pharmacy to pick up another medication refill (I had received a text saying it was ready for pick up, in the morning).  When I collected it, I made it a point to open the vial to check on the contents; I asked the sales clerk how many pills I was supposed to have (90) and reminded her of the previous visit, when I received only 30.  She offered to put the pill through their pill counter to double check the number of pills and recounted them for me.  She verified there were 90 pills.  I accepted her word for it, but came home and recounted them to make sure.

After the pharmacy, I decided to go to the dollar store next door for a few items:

July 20 Groceries
bananas, $.49/lb = $.61
2 mangoes = $2.00
1 can of low fat condensed milk = $1.00 ($2.59 at the ethnic store; $1.69 at the grocery store)
1 box flan mix = $1.00
Total = $4.61

July 20 Grocery Receipt

Amount spent on groceries so far in July = $34.21 + $2.59 + $35.43 + $14.30 + $4.61 = $91.14

Amount left in the July grocery budget = $103.82 - $91.14 =  $12.68

I went to the regular grocery store, too, but for something non-grocery, so didn't include that in my grocery budget.

Someone came to see what I was doing, when I was taking pictures of the groceries:

"Whatcha doing, Mummy?"

After I came home and had my tea, I sat down to sew my quilt.   The squares are kept right sides together and sewn with a 1/4 inch seam:

The First Two Squares Sewn Together

Row by row, they are sewn and the seams are ironed:

The First Row Started

I sewed the rows and attached four of them together:

Partially Sewn
I was getting tired by this time and I know that I usually make mistakes when I am tired.  So, I stopped sewing for the evening.  I didn't want to make a mistake and have to unpick anything.  I will finish sewing the top, tomorrow.

Plans for tomorrow include going to the lab for my blood test and a trip to the fabric store for the quilt batting. 

Today, I am grateful for:
- All of you participating and letting me know which is your favorite layout!
- A productive day at the office
- A safe drive home
- Gas for the car
- The correct number of pills!

How was your Thursday?  Isn't it funny how we all tended to favor the same layout? 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Playing with Layouts

Initial Sketch

On Wednesday, I went to the office in the morning and had a productive day.  Since it was National Hot Dog Day, I went to my favorite hot dog place on my way home from work and bought chili dogs for dinner!  After I came home, I ate a chili dog and had a cup of tea.

Then, I sketched out my initial layout idea for the baby quilt and cut out my quilt squares: 18 from the teddy bear patterned fabric and 6 each of the solid colored fabric.  I made each square 5 1/2 inches which includes 1/4 inch sewing allowances.  The finished square will be 5 inches. I didn't have enough of the teddy bear patterned fabric to cut 18 complete squares; I had to patch two of the squares, but I don't think it makes a big difference.

Then, I had some fun trying out different layouts:

Layout #1
Layout #1 is similar to the sketch, except I have a different order of solid colors and the diagonal lines are going in a different direction.

Layout #2

Layout #2 has the solid colors in columns (or rows, depending on how one looks at the quilt top). 
The patterned squares still form diagonal rows.

Layout #3

I tried to mix up the solid colors a little more, but daughter pointed out that the blue squares are still in columns.  I needed to mix up the colors a little more.

Layout #4
Layout #4 has the solid colors mixed up a little more. 

I still don't know which layout I like the best, although there are two that I like better than the others.  So, I am opening it out for a vote!  Which one is your favorite? 

Today, I am grateful for:
- A productive day at the office
- An evening spent playing with fabric
- Video chatting with my daughter
- Phone call from my friend
- Emails from another friend

How was your Wednesday?  Did you celebrate National Hot Dog Day?  Which is your favorite layout of the ones shown above?  Can you suggest a different layout?