Saturday, April 13, 2024

Sew and Sow - Well, Almost!

It was a busy and beautifully clear spring week here in the Salt Lake Valley! Everything is greening up and the trees are bursting with pink and white blossoms everywhere. I got a few pictures and things hung on the walls of our new condo (“few” being the operative word), we got the internet and cable all set up, the title company and the HOA got everything cleared up and all funds applied, and we got busy setting up the garage (Bruce) and courtyard/garden (me). Pictures later in the post. 

And I got some sewing time!! This week I concentrated on sewing blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. I finished my 11 crumb blocks for RSC’s Purple March

…as well as the purple scrap column. I don’t think I’ve shown these before, but each column is roughly 4” wide and 58-60” long. I’ll just keep making these in various colors, and neutrals too, until I have enough to sew up into a decent-sized donation quilt. 

So then I moved back to yellow, April’s color for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. I got four 8” (finished size) blocks done. I have the stars blocks all cut out and ready to sew, as well as my yellow strings for the coming week. I’ll be in a good position to get more sewing time in next week as each week progresses and our household moving and settling chores lessen.

Our family contractor decided he doesn’t have the time or “bandwidth” to tackle our kitchen remodeling project. His late wife (our Cousin Carrie) passed away three months ago from cancer. We didn’t know if keeping busy would be a blessing or a hardship for him, so we totally support and respect his choice not to take it on. We do have a connection to an electrician, and we will start there, adding the necessary fixtures and lighting to the kitchen and two bathrooms first. It will give us time to research design professionals for cabinets and countertops. And then will come the painter, and lastly the flooring. All things in time. I hope we can be done by autumn. Time will tell.

I do have some pictures of our courtyard to share with you. It’s a much more manageable size for us than the old house was with a big patio, 8+ grow boxes, lawns, flower beds, etc etc. 

After collecting the necessary supplies early in the week, Bruce set out emptying his bins of projects and electronics and Stuff into the cabinets and built-in storage in the garage. He’s getting excited as his workshop in the oversized double garage gets set up!

Meanwhile, I worked on the courtyard. I trimmed down and dug out 3 barberry bushes (sticker-y things), with one more to go. I’m keeping two smaller ones for their color (dark red/maroon), but trimmed them nicely. I got my blackberry canes planted and the rhubarb and irises as well. Then I weeded and mulched the entire area, hung most of our metal art, and put out some decorations. But the biggest project (this all took 2 days) was filling the pots and Greenstalk vertical garden with potting soil, setting it up and testing it. It works like a charm! 

This first picture was taken through one of the living room windows, through the courtyard to the street. You’re looking east, to the mountains, which are more clearly visible when seated in the courtyard. The Japanese maple isn’t leafed out yet, but the pink blossoms are beginning to appear. 

This next picture shows the fresh mulch, trimmed barberry and garden decorations. There is drip irrigation along this side of the courtyard. Back in the corner there near the short wall is where I removed an overgrown barberry and planted the blackberry bush (bare root at this point). There’s a trellis standing along the wall there - hard to see - that will be home to a climbing rose eventually. And I’ll likely plant a few annual flowers along the front edges. 

This next photo was taken from the front door steps and shows the other half of the courtyard entry area. Yes, there’s an old bird’s nest (unoccupied this season) in the tree. Should I leave it or take it down? You can also see where I sawed off one limb of the tree that was sticking out (low and potentially hazardous) over the seating area. This side of the courtyard has sprinklers. In that front corner, I planted some iris rhizomes that I brought along from the old house. 

Next up is a photo of the seating area. We will definitely need to get an umbrella to shade this area. You can see our neighbor’s umbrella in red over the wall. The orientation of our place is such that we have direct sun in the courtyard until about 2:00 in the afternoon, at which time the house begins to create shade as the sun moves in the west. 

There was a big, bawdy barberry bush (awesome alliteration) behind the love seat that met its demise this week. It’s remnants, along with the limb trimmed from the tree, are slowly being chopped and broken up by me to add in to our weekly trash pickup. One more bush to remove - the red thing you see back in the corner. Good riddance! I don’t know what will go along that wall yet. I’ll take this year to study the light patterns and decide next year. But there is one sweet bleeding heart bush there, which makes me so happy because I had one at the old house. 

You can see the Greenstalk vertical garden there on its spinning base. There are five tiers of six pockets (10” deep) for a total of 30 planting pockets. I filled all the tiers with soil. What you can’t see is the white watering tray between each layer. The very top is the watering bowl that you fill with water. Then the water flows down to the five white trays on each tier. There are holes in those trays for the water to drip out into each planting pocket. So ingenious! I need to wait another couple weeks before it’s safe to begin planting, but I have lots of seeds - basil, cilantro, lettuce, CARROTS!!, spinach, rosemary, and more. And I’ll add some strawberry plants, and flowers as well. Our bigger Talavera pots will house tomatoes and flowers. 

Here’s a close-up of the Greenstalk. The base not only spins, but I can move the whole unit on wheels to chase (or avoid) the sun or foot traffic patterns. 

This will be an easy garden for us to maintain and scale down if necessary as we age. And the lady in charge of HOA gardening for our condo complex has already asked me to provide some of my (presumably planted) Talavera pots for the Cinco de Mayo dinner next month! 

Next week I hope to have some interior pictures to share. Many of them will be “before” shots - like my 1979 kitchen. But the process of making things our own is part of the fun, isn’t it? I hope you’ll be along for the whole process!

See you next week, friends! (And I’ll try to do a better job of answering comments next week! xo

Saturday, April 6, 2024

Settling In

 We have moved from our house of 21+ years to the condo. Whew! It was a monumental undertaking. Bruce had been clearing out his workshop all winter, while I worked on the rest of the house. We made weekly trips to the thrift store, gave lots of stuff to family and friends, had two loads of junk hauled away - and that was all before the move. Since we have moved, there has been another trip to the thrift store with donations and another load hauled off by the junk dealers.  I’ll go into more detail later in the post so those who are here only for the quilting stuff can be spared! 😁

I’m woefully behind on my sewing goals, but I plan to take the rest of April and May to catch up. To that end, my first thing to share is the twelve string blocks I made in purple, which was the March color of the month for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC). 

I still have a couple other things in purple that I need to tackle - crumb blocks and possibly a column of purple coins. Oh, and a red crumb block too. Sheesh! Nevertheless, I began sorting and sewing yellow, the RSC color for April. 

First up - Color Stix blocks. The pineapple one was my prototype block made last fall. I’ve added another yellow and a gold to bring my count up to three of these blocks for April.

My plan is to hit the scraps hard this week to get caught up on all my RSC blocks. I’ve also got two quilts ready to baste and quilt, and eight (8!!!) donation quilt tops to turn into quilts. Yeah, that will keep me busy through May!!

* * * * *

The Move

Well, we got through it. It was rather The Move From Hell, mostly because of the buyers’ real estate agent who, once the deed (or title or whatever it was) was recorded, was on our cases to hurry and get OUT. Our movers arrived before 8 am (there were 4 of them) and we were not done at noon, the goal time. She was trying to talk the buyers into charging us rent by the hour for the additional 2 hours it took to get everything out. To their credit, the buyers were having none of it. After all, we left them the refrigerator, the living room TV and remote (it was mounted on the wall), most of Bruce’s machine shop machines and work benches, a roto-tiller for the garden grow boxes, garden tools and a daybed and mattresses (their request). I was helping the movers and both Bruce and I were driving carloads-ful over to the new condo to help. The agent was really a downer for us and the movers. Plus, our friends and neighbors were stopping by saying goodbye or offering to help, etc. 

To add insult to injury, when the buyers and their parents went out to lunch, their real estate agent started going through Bruce’s workshop and saying “they don’t want this” and “they don’t want that” - stuff that we thought we’d agreed on previously. So a desk, a filing cabinet and two bookshelves had to be added to the stuff we were trying to cram into the already-full moving van.

And on the condo end, it was an unloading frenzy. We bought the movers lunch (pizza) and they threw in an extra hour of work for free because we “were the nicest people they’d ever worked with”. Ha! By 6:30 pm, they were able to leave. The cats were rather freaked out and skittish for the first day and night, but they’ve mostly adjusted and have seemed to enjoy exploring their new digs. And every night, as usual, Alfalfa is in Bruce’s lap and Darla is in mine.

We’re about 95% unpacked now and we found we didn’t get rid of enough stuff! Having to bring along those 4 workshop pieces, plus getting rid of a couple junky cabinets that were left here, means we had to call the junkers again this week. 

We had a flooring contractor over on Wednesday to check out the floors here in the dining/ family area, which feel uneven. It turns out the subfloor is fine but the unevenness is caused by a formerly nice, thick carpet pad having been worn down in high traffic areas. That was a relief! 

Today we’ll meet with our family contractor to rough out a kitchen/dining room process and timeline. There is NO lighting in the vicinity of the dining table area or over the kitchen sink. In addition to the kitchen remodel, we’ll put down hardwood floors in the dining/family room and down the L-shaped hall.  I’ve got to draft a design plan and start shopping for materials - cabinets, lights, a new dishwasher, etc. So much to do!

Here is just a sneak peek of my sewing cubby room. Small, but it works!

And the other priority for the day is getting our internet hooked up. We’ve been using our telephone hotspots, which are not dependable at high traffic times - hence this post not being published until late this morning. 

Talk to you next week, friends!

Friday, March 15, 2024

Rainbow Parade Giveaway Winners

I’m dropping in briefly this morning (it’s actually Friday evening as I write this) to announce the winner of the Rainbow Parade pattern giveaway from last week. Preeti and I thank you all for the great response! Without further ado, Mr. Random Number Generator chose the number that corresponded to:

 Crazy Mom!

Crazy Mom, (and I love anyone else who admits they’re crazy too!) I’ve sent your information to Preeti, and she will be contacting you with your free Rainbow Parade pdf copy. 

But wait! There is a “consolation” , or should I say a second, prize winner! I offered a selection of Choice Scraps to some lucky entrant. And that person is:

Miss Pat

Pat, please get back to me with your mailing address. And do remember that Bruce and I are in the process of moving, so it will probably be closer to the end of the month before I can get it out to you!

My Saturday plans include attending a National Quilt Day (also called World Wide Quilting Day) event locally with Cousin Kim and friend Ruby. And in the evening Bruce and are going out to dinner to celebrate the March birthdays with my son and DDIL. Another busy but fun day! And it sure beats packing!! 

I DID sew several windmill blocks this week in purple for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge’s color of the month, but I forgot to photograph them. I’ll be sure to get a picture of those and any other purple blocks I manage to sew at National Quilt Day for next post. 

I don’t know if I’ll have internet at the new condo next weekend to do a blog post. I’ll try it using my cell phone hot spot, but just wanted you to know in case I can’t get my act together. If I’m not here for Scrappy Saturday next week, you will definitely see me the following Saturday. 

Saturday, March 9, 2024

Another Crazy Busy Week

Oy. What a busy week it’s been! Crazy-busy. The sale of the house continues, as well as the purchase of the condo. We’ve passed all the inspections, all problems or issues have been corrected and it’s All Ahead Full. The closings are in less than 2 weeks. 

The ancient water softener in the new condo has been bypassed by the owner’s plumber and the water service safely turned back on. Our house passed all the inspections for water, electrical, HVAC and mold, although not without a substantial investment in a new electrical panel by us. We later learned it was not totally necessary, but we went ahead with it to assuage our consciences. On Wednesday, the electrical work required us being without power from 9:30 am until 5:30 pm. We were so creative keeping ourselves entertained for the day away from home; canceling the storage unit we will not need after all, having a Barnes & Noble coffee date, visiting our financial advisor, going out to lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant, seeing the Bob Marley movie One Love (good music and acting, but too hard to understand the thick Jamaican accents), and hanging out at Wheeler Farm. 

On Thursday, my friend Ruby and I packed up the kitchen and dining room. That is progress! I feel that we’ve now entered the third trimester (hehe) of the selling and moving process. The “births” will happen March 21 and 22.

In the middle of the craziness, there was a definite bright spot. And I mean that both figuratively and literally: the release of my friend Preeti’s new pattern, Rainbow Parade. In case you didn’t catch my Wednesday post, here’s a picture of my Rainbow Parade quilt. 

You can read all about it on Wednesday’s post. And while you’re there, don’t forget to leave a comment on that post if you’d like to enter the giveaway for a free PDF Rainbow Parade pattern! 

I managed to get some purple sewing for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge done somehow. First up, three Color Stix blocks. I wasn’t thinking when I laid these blocks out, because it looks like one long piece. But it’s really just three blocks hugging each other! 

Then I separated my purples into red-purples and blue-purples and made a 16-patch star win each color way.

That’s it from here for now. Do check out Scrappy Saturday for this week’s Rainbow Scrap Challenge! 

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Rainbow Parade - I’m in Love!

Welcome to my blog, whether you’re a returning reader or if you’re new here. I have a fun post for you today!  Let’s get started!

My friend Preeti of Sew Preeti Quilts is an Island Batiks Ambassador and an accomplished quilter and pattern designer. If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you’ll know that I’ve been lucky enough to (1) be her friend and (2) be a pattern tester for her bright and happy quilt designs. And that’s what this special post is all about!! May I introduce you to my new love, Rainbow Parade?!? 

This quilt practically sewed itself while I watched in wonder! Well, OK, that’s a *slight* exaggeration, but it really was so very easy to cut out and sew.  Preeti’s directions are always clear and precise, so it’s like she’s with you there the whole time, like a little angel on your shoulder. Hehehe

My Rainbow Parade finished at 51.5x65”. I quilted it in a vertical serpentine stitch with my walking foot. I found The Perfect backing fabric in my stash - a rainbow of boxes. 

Let me show you a closeup of the backing. Truly, I don’t think I could have found a more perfect backing fabric! 

As always, Rainbow Parade will be available in Preeti’s Etsy shop HERE. Preeti has the pattern on sale for a limited time at 20% off, so don’t wait to grab yourself a copy! 

But guess what? You can enter now to win your own free PDF copy of Rainbow Parade! Just leave a comment below anytime between now and Thursday, March 14 at noon, Mountain Time, and you’ll be entered in a drawing for a free PDF of Rainbow Parade. To sweeten the deal and because March 14 is also my birthday, I’ve got a present for another entrant. I’ll do a consolation drawing for a luscious grouping of scraps chunks and a fat quarter of fabric goodness (trust me, I have good taste - I offer my Rainbow Parade quilt as evidence and rest my case) OR a cute charm pack of Sundrops by Corey Yoder. Your choice.  I’ll announce the winners on my Saturday March 16 weekly blog post. 

To make a good thing even better, you can enter a drawing at the blogs of my friends and fellow pattern testers listed below. We pattern testers may have different drawing dates, but each of us will award a PDF copy of Rainbow Parade to a lucky winner on each blog.

The PDF drawings are open to international entrants. For my personal drawing of a scrap package or the charm pack, I’m limiting it to US residents. Winners will receive their PDF pattern via email from Preeti. But the winner of my extra birthday drawing will have to be patient until the beginning of April. As some of you may know. My husband and I have sold our home and will be moving into our new condo on March 22-23. I’ll need some time to unpack!! 😂😘

How about one more picture of this rainbow lusciousness?

So leave a comment and you could be a lucky winner. If you don’t have a blog or are a No-reply blogger, be sure to leave your email address in your comment. You can’t win if we can’t contact you! 

Thanks for dropping by. Let’s show Preeti our quilty love, OK? And hopefully I’ll see you back here on Saturday for my regular weekly blog post!

Friday, March 1, 2024

Will Winter Please Leave the Building?

I’m so sick of winter that I could scream. Last year, winter was so much more wintery in terms of cold temperatures, precipitation, and early onset. But this has been such a stressful last few weeks and months for us, that it’s been “just one more thing” to deal with. And I’m so over it. 

The house sale and condo purchase saga continues. It’s been up and down, not bad but sometimes not good. I’ll save the details for the end of the post so that if you’re here for the sewing-related content, you won’t have to listen to me whine. :-) But in a nutshell, we got a good offer on our home that we’ve accepted and we have made an offer on a condo to purchase that’s been accepted. Both are set to close on - are you ready? March 22. Yikes!!!

Suffice it to say that I didn’t get much sewing time this week, and when I did, it was primarily focused on finishing up the secret sewing that will be revealed on Wednesday. A special mid-week blogpost!! But I do have a couple minor things to show you.

For the Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC), Angela at So Scrappy has called purple in all its variations as the March RSC color of the month. All I’ve done so far is sort my purple scraps into strips, chunks (blue purples and red purples) squares/shapes (like HSTs) and miscellaneous. I’m linking up to Scrappy Saturday for the RSC. 

That’s really exciting, isn’t it? (That’s sarcasm, in case you didn’t catch that)!

I finished up a column of scraps and strips in red for February. Since I never showed my green column for January, I’m showing both now. They’ll finish at about 3” wide (and 62” long), so I’ll not only be doing our usual 9-10 RSC colors, but likely will add gray, brown and black as well. And possibly divide the yellows into a yellow and a gold column. 

Seeing that picture above reminds me that the design board is coming down this week so I’ll have time to patch and paint the wall behind it before we move.

And through all the chaos that has been our life for the last couple months, I’ve managed to keep up with the Stay at Home Round Robin (SAHRR). But this week, I just couldn’t do it. I did cut out the pieces and began sewing the triangles, but that’s it. The rest of this, the final border, will be sewn next week, come hell or high water. But in the meantime, I do have a photo to share. The outer components are just pinned or slapped up on the design wall, so please disregard the wonkiness. 

White fabric will fill in between the corner groupings. This week’s hostess, Kathleen, called for us to use a letter or number in our border. Not necessarily literally, although a literal interpretation was certainly valid. I chose the triangle block because it consists of three pieces (2 white side borders and the blue triangle) And because it looks like the letter V. Additionally, I grouped them in threes, so I think I met the challenge. Or I WILL meet the challenge when it’s all sewn. We have until March 18 when the final finished quilts will be revealed. In the meantime, I’m linking up to the Round 6 SAHRR linky party  HERE. There are some really lovely quilts being constructed that you can check out at that link. 

So this is where I begin my Tale of Stressful “Woes of Moving” diatribe. If you’re not interested, (and who could blame you?) this is where you take the exit ramp. No hard feelings! 

* * * * * * * * *

This week, the builders who are building the townhouse complex behind us, legally recorded their quitclaim deeds to the residents on our side of the street. Basically, they gifted us with an additional 252 square feet at the rear of our property, which the county officials have now incorporated into our lot. But we had to chase down a copy of the recorded deed so the prospective owners’ title company could have the documentation. OK, that was easy enough. Then the title company asked us to provide them with the copy of our Kizerian Family Trust, because that’s how our land ownership is held. Luckily I had all the documents on a thumb drive, so that easy enough to locate and get emailed to them. But between the two issues, a half day was killed, never to be recaptured. 

The new owners had their appraiser out to appraise the property (for their mortgage loan), and we had to clear out for a couple hours for that to take place.

And then on Thursday afternoon - all afternoon - we had to leave the premises while the buyers’ inspectors crawled all over every detail of this house. Roof, plumbing, electrical, appliances, etc.  At the same time (yes, it was planned that way), our inspector was doing the same thing on the condo we want to purchase. So far, so good, right? But this is where things began to get a bit stressful.

When we got home that night, the microwave didn’t work, and neither did the lights in my studio. What had they done? Well, Bruce checked the electrical panels, and one of the kitchen circuit breaker blocks had not been snapped in all the way by an inspector who apparently had to take them out to do his thing. OK, so Bruce snapped it in and the microwave worked just fine. The lights in my studio, it turned out, had been, well, turned out. There’s a master switch that controls all the lights and power in the room (don’t ask me why, it was that way when we moved here 21 years ago), and they had just flipped the switch off. So we just flipped it back on. And let me just say here that Bruce was flipping more than that, too, if you catch my drift. 

So the next morning, we get a text message from our agent saying their inspector said our air conditioning unit was not operational. What?!? Bruce went outside to the A/C unit’s fuse box and low and behold, the inspector had put the fuse block in UPSIDE DOWN, which is the normal “off” position. It wasn’t making contact. Bruce put it in correctly, and then we had to test the A/C. Yep, cold, windy weather outside, and here we are with the A/C on. It worked like a champ, and soon the house was 60 degrees. I have frostbitten toes to prove it! (Just kidding). So we called our agent and explained everything and ranted a bit about their incompetent inspectors. But apparently, not taking our word for it, the buyers have an electrical inspector coming on Monday. Luckily, we don’t have to leave the premises, and Bruce will have the opportunity to show them what happened. 

As if all that weren’t enough, an issue came up with the condo we’re purchasing as well. When it rains, it pours. In one of the hall closets, the water softener unit, the hot water tank, the furnace and main water shut-off valve (to the entire condo) are all situated. Apparently the water softener was leaking (not badly, but leaking nonetheless). When inspecting these items before we arrived, the inspector decided the smart thing to do was shut off the water valves to the softener to bypass it altogether. But apparently the valves “seized” (his words) and he ended up having to shut off the main water valve to the entire condo. We were told it would need to be addressed before the water could be safely turned back on. The condo seller balked; they had a backup offer to ours and said they were not going to address it. We talked to our family plumber (Cousin Kim’s son Nick). We sent him a copy of the inspection report and the pictures. Nick said the inspector, likely erring on the side of caution, probably could’ve unstuck the water softener valves. Nick offered to do it for us. When we talked to our agent to get permission for us to bring our plumber to the premises to try that, we learned that the sellers were getting a plumber in this weekend after all to try that themselves. So, we’ll hear the results once it’s accomplished. We don’t even want the dang water softener! 

And all the while, we’re packing our belongings. I know no home sale is without glitches, but man, the stress keeps ratcheting up. I really need a day to just sit and sew while listening to music. Who’s with me?

Friday, February 23, 2024

Cleanest House on the Block

That would be our house … cleanest house on the block. Why? Because everything was pretty much in tip top shape and freshly painted, scrubbed, wiped, etc etc (you get the idea) when the house went on the market last week. And then, almost every day since we have had lookers and re-lookers. So we go through the process of wiping down counters and floors, turning on lights, making beds and putting away clutter and personal things. And then the housekeeper was here yesterday, too. When agents schedule a showing, which they do through an online app, we have several hours or even a couple days’ notice. And we go through the cleaning and prep process again, sometimes twice a day. About ten minutes before their scheduled time, we leave the premises and do something. Sometimes we run errands. We’ve sat in the parking lot of a local shopping center reading our tablets several times. On Saturday for the Open House, we entertained ourselves by going to The Aquarium. I have pictures of that to show you for a change of pace. 

The first thing we saw was this huge structure, called the EECO Voyager. It is a virtual reality exhibit that you can attend and see the various world ecosystems through. We had already missed the once daily showing, so we just went indoors to visit the various sea life and other creatures. 

I won’t bore you with all the pictures I took, but I’ll show you a few of my favorites.


Giant Clam. Notice the nozzle-thing (technical term) through which it filter feeds.

Obviously, the is RAY Charles - he’s smiling and “into” the blues…

Looks like “Sugar Ray” to me with those white spots (wink)

OK, OK, I’ll stop with the eye-roll-worthy humor and get to the sewing stuff now. You’re welcome.

This week for Round 5 of the Stay at Home Round Robin, our hostess Gail of Quilting Gail called “4” as the challenge or theme for the round. She explained that we should use an element of the number 4 to guide our additions; a star with four points (think Friendship Star), four colors, or whatever. I decided to make Rail Fence blocks with four fabrics/colors for my border.  

Although I had no more of that center parrot fabric, I tried to use all the colors of that print, including pulling in some black background prints that had the cheddar and orange in them. The strips were cut at 1.5x4.5” to make blocks that will finish at 4”. I did have to add a few extra strips as coping strips since the measurements weren’t necessarily divisible by 4. But it worked out. The quilt top now measures 39x45.5”, with one more round to go. I can’t wait!!

In between house showings (and cleaning and laundry and errands), I managed to pin baste my secret sewing quilt. I am determined to get it quilted on Sunday. Reveal will be March 6.

And we can’t forget the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. For Red February, I added four simple 8” windmills to the collection. 

And finally, I snapped this picture on a blustery and rainy Monday, which was Presidents Day here in the USA. 

As for the house sale, we’ve had one ridiculous offer. It was from investors looking to flip the house and make a quick buck. We were told to expect at least one of those. We basically ignored it and let the response deadline expire. I would’ve preferred a “Not only No, but HELL NO” response, but it’s easier just to ignore those types. The good news is that there are two different families who have visited the house twice, one couple staying an hour on their last visit. And more showings scheduled for this weekend. We expect we’ll have a real offer soon.  I certainly hope so, as we have made an offer (and it has been accepted) for a condo here in Murray, about six blocks away. But it’s contingent on getting and accepting an offer on this house within the next three weeks. Hold a good thought for us!

Friday, February 16, 2024

When the Going Gets Tough . . .

When the going gets tough, the tough have to take a one-week break from blogging. So, last Saturday I was finishing up the painting I needed to do on the house - 2 bedrooms, baseboards and a kitchen wall. We also had our contractor here adding baseboards to a closet I never finished, and fixing a leak in one of the storage sheds. The photographers were here on Monday. One took aerial photos and the other took interior photos, and we were fortunate enough to have sunshine that day. The listing went live on the Multiple Listing Service on Tuesday, and I was a crying basket case the entire day (stress relief?) The home showings started on Wednesday. We’ve had 3 showings so far (Friday night as I write this) and have an Open House scheduled for tomorrow. As well, there are 4 additional showings scheduled over the next three days plus a notice from one broker to be expecting an offer already this weekend. Head = spinning. 

But the good news (or should I say Additional Good News?) is that I actually got some relaxing sewing time in this week. Some of it is secret sewing (whose reveal date is on March 6), but much of it is Rainbow Scrap Challenge sewing. 

Finished: two 12” Star blocks. I love these so much! These were done week before last. 

This week I sewed 18 string blocks at 6.5”. No plans yet for them. I’ll be linking up to Scrappy Saturday when that link party goes live in the morning. 

I’ve also been keeping up with the Stay at Home Round Robin (SAHRR). Here was my progress from week before last - Triangles, as called by Emily for Round 3. 

And then this week, Brenda at Songbird Designs called Square-in-a-Square (aka economy blocks). 

So, I am current with this, too! Yay! 🎉. I can’t remember the size of the top offhand, and I’m ready for bed and am NOT going down to the studio to check it. I think it’s 30-something by 40-something at this point, with two more rounds to go. 

By this time next week we hope to have a sold home, a newly purchased condo, and be well on our way back to sanity. Oh wait, then there will be packing and moving. Oh well, sanity is overrated anyway….

Friday, February 2, 2024

How to Pass Winter in the Blink of an Eye

Yeah, I know there’s plenty of winter left here in the Northern Hemisphere. But it did feel like spring for several days here this week, which is like an unplanned vacation in my book. I actually was able to get out in the yard for a couple hours on two days to spray weeds and do some garden spring cleanup.

And the winter really is flying by, helped by the relentlessly-approaching mid-February deadline (self-imposed, but now set in stone by a date with a photographer) to get the house photographed for the MLS listing. So let me gab for a few paragraphs about that before we turn to the meager sewing I got done this week! 

Last Saturday my son Ryan and DDIL Kim came over and helped us take stuff out to the backyard junk heap. We had lovely, sunny weather. Then we shuffled desks, bookcases, beds, etc. to make the three upstairs bedrooms more presentable (staging the house for showings). Kim and I hung or re-hung photos, put out fresh greenery and bedding, etc. Then we relaxed and went out to dinner and just had fun. 

On Monday I went to get my annual cortisone shots in my shoulder, so I didn’t do any wall painting this week per doctors orders. Oh, and we got the credit pre-approval process done with the title company we’ll be dealing with. I arranged for the windows and screens to be cleaned on Tuesday, inside and out. We also scheduled the junk dealer to come on Tuesday. They hauled away so much stuff, and the beauty of it is that they will donate/recycle anything useable (bookshelves, some electronic equipment, wood, etc. So on Tuesday all of that - windows and junk removal - happened according to plan. Big sigh of relief. I still have some furniture to give away and will be posting those photos to the community website later this weekend. 

Later in the week, we looked at a condo, made an offer, then spent a restless night of dread, realizing the work that needed to be done on the new place was not what we wanted. We don’t need a renovation project, just a future home. So we rescinded our offer before the sellers had a chance to respond. In so doing, I came to realize that I’m overly anxious about this process of timing the selling of this home with the buying of a condo. Basically, I’ve never done it before! When I was married to my first husband, we built the two homes we lived in. When Bruce and I got together 22 years ago, we rented this house for the first six months. We fell in love with it and bought it. Easiest “move” we ever had; went to the title company as renters and returned home as owners. 

So, all that to say that my sewing time was precious little this week. My first priority, however, was adding the second border to my SAHRR (Stay at Home Round Robin) piece.  

Also, I’d like to apologize to everyone who left comments last week. I read and appreciated every single one, but never got around to answering any. Shame on me. I’m thinking maybe sleep time is overrated, 

This week was Anja’s turn to call out the next round, and she chose “two colors” as the challenge. I wanted to pull out some orange from the center area, so chose orange and white as the two colors for my next round. 

That bottom edge looks a little wavy, which happens with borders if you’re not careful. But it might be my pinning. Either way, it will be corrected before the next round.  I’m linking to the SAHRR link-up for Round Two  at Anja’s blog

I didn’t forget my beloved Rainbow Scrap Challenge this week, no matter how busy I was. But truth be told, it took next to no time to whip out these Color Stix blocks by Cynthia Brunz in February’s RSC color of the month, red. 

The Color Stix quilt, when completed, will be sent to Cynthia Brunz for her Compassion Quilt drive. 

And in case you were wondering (or even remembered) about my personal Quilt Kit Challenge, I did not finish the third January quilt yet. It, along with the “green strings and blobs” quilt top I made still need to be basted and quilted. But they have backings and are ready for their turns under the needle. 

But that didn’t stop me (and Ruby and Cousin Kim) from picking the numbers for my three quilt challenge packets for February. The numbers we picked were 15, 21 and 22.  Here are the corresponding bags of scraps and yardages: 

On Kit #15, which is another bag of 2.5” strips I coordinated at some point, I am so tempted to do another quilt where I merely sew the strips together along the long edges, like the one I did last month. It would show a total lack of creativity on my part, but desperate times call for desperate measures. On the other hand, if there are too many (I haven’t even counted yet), I could do a simple rail fence quilt which would be easy and fun. I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

So tomorrow (Saturday) we are going to an Open House for a move-in ready townhouse in nearby Holladay here in the Salt Lake Valley. And then a stop at Target for another comforter and Home Depot. I will also be spackling holes in two walls of our downstairs office/bedroom in preparation for painting next week. 

There is a light at the end of this house-prep tunnel - I can see it! Or is that an oncoming train?

Friday, January 26, 2024

Hectic Week

This week was so busy that I hardly got any sewing done. Really, I mean it this time! :-) I do have the last of my Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks to show you for January’s color of bright and dark green and the first round of my Stay at Home Round Robin (SAHRR).  But first I have to whine. (Anyone have some cheese to go with that?)

We have moved from Moderate House Prep Mode into Full-on Ninja House Prep Mode. That means my top priority this week was coordinating a family work day for tomorrow (Saturday), emptying desks and bookshelves that will be moved or given away. I also painted a bedroom and closet. I’m trying to pace myself on the painting. In the next week I’ll be prepping 2 walls and painting in our downstairs office/bedroom.  The week after I’ll do the touch-up on one kitchen wall and baseboards around the house. We’re trying to get ready ASAP for the photographer to come so our listing can finally go live around mid-February. In the meantime, we’ve been looking at locations and condos/townhouses and have found one that we like. But will it still be there in another week or two when we get pre-qualified for a bridge loan while this house is on the market? Who knows. I have to focus on what I can control and let go of the rest for now. 

So, color me surprised that I even have anything to show you! First up, let’s take a look at the first round of the SAHRR.

Our hostess for Round One is Wendy of Peaceful Quilts. Wendy called for us to use the traditional Signature Block (also known as Indian Hatchet).  At Wendy’s link-up, you can see all the fun additions that the participants have sewn for this first round. This is what mine looks like.

It measures 18.5 x 24” at this point, so I’ll probably combine a couple rounds into one as I move forward, which we totally can do. But we’ll see what is called for the next round. I would like this to end up at roughly 40-45” wide and 50-55” long, so I’ll be keeping that in mind moving forward.

My final blocks for Green January in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge are these simple Windmill blocks. Simple, that is, until you get rockin’ out to some Billy Joel music and lose track of what you’re doing and sew three of nine blocks backwards. *Cough, cough*. But that’s OK, I fixed ‘em. And Billy was totally worth the effort! Hey, did you hear that he has a new single being released on February 1? It’s called Turn the Lights Back On).

So, that’s it for my week. I’ll be linking up to Scrappy Saturday when that link goes live.  And if you’d like to come over and help me paint, don’t be bashful!  I invited my entire Weight Watchers workshop over to help me paint this week, and would you believe no one took me up on it? Serves them right because a good time was had by all. And by all, I mean me (wink).

Have a good week, friends!

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Frozen in Place

This week has been a bit of a low-key crawl through days. Cold, rain, snow, ice, wind. Cousin Carrie, who was diagnosed in the early autumn with pancreatic and liver cancer lost her battle with cancer on Monday night. That pretty much set the tone for the week (along with Mother Nature). We’re all still trying to take it in. This afternoon there will be a family pot luck gathering at her daughter Jenny’s house where we can all come together and just be with each other. 

So this week’s accomplishments are limited. On Monday during the day (before we learned of Carrie’s last hours), I ran around buying paint and new welcome mats, visiting the pet store (new litter box for the cats), going home store shopping for decorator accent pieces and cushions for staging the house, and going to Costco to get gas for the car and buying a case of tissues for Bruce’s never-ending cold. Or whatever it is. He went to Instacare yesterday and they were stumped. *sigh*

On Tuesday, I sewed and did laundry and vegetated. On Wednesday, Cousin Kim (Carrie’s sister) and I met up, went to a coffee shop and drank coffee and talked all morning. I took her home (her car was getting serviced) and came home from her place with lots of new empty boxes for future packing…

On Thursday I deep cleaned some rooms of the house - in preparation for moving around some furniture - and some sewing. Yesterday (Friday) was grocery shopping and lots of paperwork. 

So, I’ll show you what little I have. 

I sewed three more blocks for the Anne quilt I’m making for a friend. Now I have five done of twenty needed. I had intended to have at least 10 done this week, but oh well.  At least there’s lots of green in the blocks, so I can link up to Scrappy Saturday

And I worked on Scrap Kit #19, pictured here to refresh your memory. 

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Stay at Home Round Robin 2024

After skipping last year (and truly missing it), I am once again participating in the Stay at Home Round Robin (SAHRR). This is a fun annual event hosted by Quilting Gail and five other hostesses in the US and Canada.

This week we’re showing our beginning block, which will become the center of this medallion-style quilt along.  The idea is to begin with a random leftover block from our respective block “orphanages”. Then each week for the next six weeks, one of the hostesses will call out a block or motif (like a star, flying geese, checkerboard) and we’re to add that to our block and grow it into something fabulous. 

I decided to begin with this block that was given to me by our local Quilts for Kids group (it was a donation), since they know I like to play with scraps and exercise my creative bone. This block measures about 12.5” and contains bright kid colors that I’m sure will be easy to supplement from my stash as we move forward.

Bright green, orange, blue and chrome gold (and parrots!) What’s not to love?  There were also three smaller pinwheel blocks given with these fabrics, but I’ll take them apart to have 12 half-square triangles to use. 

The link for this week’s parade of blocks is HERE at Gail’s blog. The rest of the SAHRR schedule is: