Mid-April Check-in

I stayed home 4/10 through today, I don’t plan on doing a supply run until next week sometime.  DH has been stopping on his way home to pick up a few things if needed, so that helps increase the time between my major runs.

I’ve noticed that the grocery store I usually go to has not had any weekly sale inserts in the local papers for about 3 weeks now.  The Wednesday HyVee ads have also been missing, along with the store inserts in the Sunday paper.  The ads for Menard’s, Theisen’s and Fleet Farm are about the only ones left now.  I did get a Joann flyer in the mail today.

I made 8 more complete masks from the bed sheet, plus have 3 more that need ties made.  I think I’ll wait a bit before doing that, I’d like to work on another project for a day or ten.  There was a good post at the Sewcialists on 4/17 about PPE sewing – why or why not (personal reasons, not whether they help or not), how many if they are, feelings about it, etc.  They covered all the thoughts I had, and still have, on about mask making – yes or no, only a few or hundreds, questioning why are home sewers expected to spend their time and money to donate, the attitude in news articles toward home sewers donations vs companies making things for pay, etc.

Sewing & Needlework:

I still haven’t heard from the shop that I ordered the Arkansas Traveler die from on March 6.  I sent an on-line inquiry on 4/8 evening, asking if it ever came in and giving them my phone number, which I don’t know if they have.   We’ll see if they answer their “contact us” message any better than Little Red Hen.  On 4/14, no answer, so I sent a message directly to AccuQuilt through their help center, with no answer as of today.  If they can keep sending out the masses of “buy stuff” emails, I’d think they’d have someone answering their help center emails.

After a long absence from her blog, Kathleen Fasanella has posted some videos to make things faster.  Especially interesting is the pleating form in video 3:


I made few more blocks for the Hunter Star quilt.  That makes 8 each of red and blue blocks completed.  I also cut 16 more red fabrics, not yet sewn, and made stacks of blues to be cut yet.  I’m not doing much sorting of fabrics as I pull them off the stack.  I’m only swapping if something is truly off, like warm/cool mismatch or competing pattern scale or “mood”.  I calculated I’ll need 210 blocks total, 15 rows and 14 columns, to make a full-queen bed size quilt.

More Hunter Star blocks

I still have not gotten another 2″ C clamp for the Q-Zone.  I don’t know why small clamps are not stocked in the few stores still open :-<    Not everyone needs huge ass clamps.  Harrumph.  I came up with a work-around, I think.  A small section of pool noodle taped to the frame.  As long as i don’t hit the end too fast, it should work.

make-do right hand end bumper on Q-Zone

DS walked in with a Singer Professional Buttonholer from the early 70s(?).  Cool – it can be used with either vertical needle or slant needle and it looks to be complete.  I’m not sure why they say it needs a zig-zag plate, the the machine is set to straight stitch.  I guess I’ll have to try it out to find out why.  And it does bound buttonholes?  Sweet!

Singer Professional Buttonholer, early 70s

Organizing & Decluttering:

I pulled out the stack of recipe clippings to start organizing them.  I think they’ve been building up for 3-4 years.  I’ve finished the soups and breads.  I probably should toss most into the trash, especially when I consider that I haven’t used 99.99% of the recipes I’ve saved over 40-ish years.  And then there’s all the cookbooks…  Anyone who saw them all would probably think I cook up a storm every day.  People would be similarly misguided about all the sewing/quilting/needlework books I have acquired over the last 40-ish years also.

Before finishing the 8 masks, I took time to put a few items elsewhere – the glued flower frog is now on the display shelf.  The bookends, the hard drive from a long gone computer, and some silk flower magnets went to the basement along and the box they were in is now in the kitchen cabinet corralling DH’s drink mixes.  That’s a tiny bit less to keep shifting around in the sewing room.  I also pulled all items from under the Queen Anne cabinet that holds a Singer 201 and moved it closer to the wall.  Then I moved the little bookshelf that holds my printer, paperwork and some clippings notebooks a bit closer to the sewing cabinet.  That gave me about 2 inches more room between the bookshelf and the Q-Zone.  That gets the items that were under the sewing cabinet “for now” out so I can work on making silver cloth rolls for the silver plate silverware that came from great grand parents.  Another great-grandmother (not sure which one) project is the remains of a quilt to take apart and salvage.  It had been used between mattress and box spring, so the center is nonexistent, and it smells of mildew.

Mess under the Q-Zone & HQ piling things here “for now”

Piles that had to be shuffled to access machines

Under Q-Zone and HQ after a bit of organizing

The coverstitch and Bernina 1030 – now out of the way. Mostly.

Not Shopping:

That not-shopping wagon that I fell off it a while back, the one that up and sped away far down the road – I’ve caught up with it now.  It’s sitting on blocks with no wheels now.  As in – there’s no place open to go shopping, at least to browse fabrics, books and such.  I never got in the habit (so far) of ordering a lot online.


I did a bit of rearranging in the garden shed so I could get out the seed starting items and the little wagon and tools so I can do some cleanup around flower beds.  I also pulled and burned the asparagus stalks from last year, and nearly cried at the state of the garden.  Over the last few years I gave up on the garden because I was tired of spending my all my weekends and vacation time on hands and knees pulling weeds with no help.  Last year, I think I made it out there about 5 times total after throwing a few tomato plants in the ground.  I know I never even picked the asparagus the last 2 years.  BIGBIGBIGHUGELYBIG mistake – now it’s pretty much a solid carpet of weeds sprouting.

I started the cardinal climber seeds, saved from last year.  After soaking in warm water overnight, the seeds are now sprouting after only a few days in the potting soil.  I’ve been saving and starting my own cardinal climber seeds for about 7-8 years, as that saves me at least $20 a year.  Also started is 17(!) pots of tomato seeds this year.  I gave them a warm water soak, but no sign of sprouting yet.  I have no expectation that 4 pots of tomatoes will sprout as the seed is very old.  Normally I have about 5 tomato plants, but my home canned or frozen tomatoes are about gone.  I wonder if there will be a shortage of garden transplants this year due to more people starting to garden because of the virus thing.  Some stores that are considered essential have their garden centers roped off, that makes NO sense to me.  People who did not get seed ordered last winter need to be getting them started now, if not sooner.  Some should have been started a month ago, depending on what plant, also what area of the country.

I made giardiniera, leaving out the jalapeno peppers.  I had bought a jar of a commercial mild variety and thought it was heavy on the green olives, so I’m trying to make a batch and I’ll cut back on the olives and chop those that I do add reallyreallyreally small.  I Do. Not. Like. green olives, but I suspect this is one of those things that if left out totally, the result would be less than desirable.   I used a recipe on Food52 and added some of the spices from the recipe on The Daring Gourmet and ended up with 3 pints.  It *looks* like the one I bought, hope it tastes good after it sits a day or two.  It came out pretty good, although next time I think I will add a few jalapeno peppers.  Even more amazing is I had DS try a bite and he took a jar with him.

First attempt at making giardiniera

Thanks for stopping by…

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