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I had to cut February’s Thing-a-Day short as we said our final goodbyes to my Father-in-Law on Saturday. He was a strong man, and it was an honor for me to be able to help with his care these past several  months and to be part of his family.

I am happy he was able to have his wish to stay at home, and that in the end all of his children and grandchildren were around him.

 

 

 

Tattered quilt 1

I rescued this little quilt from the vintage table at a used fabric sale this past summer. I didn’t even unfold it, just felt it needed to come home with me. The label says “Tattered Quilt”, and I thought I might be able to stabilize it and preserve the charming fabrics. Plus, at $1, it almost jumped into my hands.

Tattered quilt 2

However…I have since unfolded it several times, and it is beyond tattered. There is a large tear right down the center, and smaller ones along two of the other pieces of disintegrating sashing. The binding has been cut off and a new one partly sewn on. There is a large patch across a part of it and some of the original fabrics are tissue-paper thin and already torn beyond any salvageable point.

Each time I take it out, I get overwhelmed by everything that would need to be done to make it a whole quilt again as it is.  I am debating whether it is worth the attempt to preserve it as it is, with the possibility that I will not be able to and thus keep it unusable, or doing the unthinkable (to me) and cutting it up to make new blocks from the parts of it that are still strong enough so it can be used and enjoyed. Would cutting it be destroying it, or giving it new life?

For now, it has been folded up again, and put back on the shelf.

 

grey yarn

I don’t know if it is a regional thing, but around here, when there is a hint of snow in the forecast, everyone runs to the grocery store to buy up all the milk, eggs and bread. For some reason a snowstorm must make everyone crave french toast. There is snow predicted here Friday afternoon and Saturday, and the weather reporters must be desperate for some news because they are hyping it up and urging everyone to stock up. Predictions range from 3 inches to over a foot. I am assuming it will be on the smaller side after all of the hysterics going on.

With a full freezer and plenty of things in the pantry, I’m not worried about running out of food if we are snowbound for a day, but just to be on the safe side, I did make a quick trip to pick up a skein of yarn. It is silly, really. I have yarn in the house, and plenty of fabric, and, if I have to admit it, a 6-foot shelf of other assorted craft supplies. For whatever reason, I like to have a snowstorm project and even though I am working on two other WiPs already, I just needed that one more skein. It’s a brand I have not tried before called
‘Big Twist’, but it was the color I needed so I’m going to give it a try.

I may be alone in this need to stock up on craft supplies because the store was pretty empty, but the parking lot of the grocery store I passed was full of cars.

 

6 mittens wip

Some more progress was made on the little felt mittens WiP. This proved to be a nice-sized project to take to my Father-in-Law’s house when I had to spend some caregiving time there.

Did you ever have some technique that always gave you trouble and then it suddenly clicked? I faced that with french knots. In the past, they have always been trouble. I’ve gone as far as leaving them off of past projects because I didn’t want to ruin things when I got to the end, and I always put them off until the end. I don’t know what happened, but I was able to make the french knots on these (so far) without any problem. I still have 24 left to go, and am hoping they will be just as obedient.

 

I was able to grab an hour and start joining the squares for the rag quilt, but first, they needed to be ironed. I use a simple spray bottle when I am ironing and I started thinking about my grandmother’s “sprinkler” (on left in photo).

Sprinkler

This bottle always sat on top of her refrigerator. It is one of those items no one else in the family regarded as having any value, so I was lucky enough to end up with it. My grandmother was born in 1910 and lived to be 98. She got married in the middle of the depression, and for 3 months, she and my grandfather lived in a tent next to an old chicken coop that he was making over into a tiny house for them to live in. He had lost his job, but she was working (progressive woman that she was), and left for work every day from that tent. This must have seemed luxurious after that:

002 Chicken Coop 1933

Like so many people who went through the depression, she was an expert at reusing things.  This sprinkler bottle is an example. But she also was not one to use a plain bottle when it could be made beautiful. Underneath that paint is a plain brown bottle, but you can only tell from removing the top and looking inside. Her home was filled with examples like this. and old chair that she painted with flowers and vines, a cute hanging vase next to the sink  to hold the twist ties she always saved, even her dustpan was painted. Her life was a constant reminder to me that just because something is utilitarian, it does not mean it can’t also provide some beauty in your life.

Dad

This is my dad. Isn’t he cute? He just got back from his 60th college reunion this past weekend. I may be biased, but he is a pretty amazing guy. When I was growing up, I never knew that some people called professionals to fix things in their house. He was able to do everything. As you can see from the photo, that hasn’t changed.  He came over to our house to help with some electrical projects. As his able assistant, I actually learned how the circuits and junction boxes worked, but I was still happy to have him do the work since he actually knew what he was doing.

I got creative with dinner tonight. Roasting up a bunch of vegetables with some fresh rosemary from the herb garden. When I was working, I never felt like I had the time to roast vegetables since I got home so late and quick dinner preparation was my main goal. It’s been fun to try different meals. I do get into a rut of preparing the same rotation of food, so this time has given me the chance to experiment with new recipes and mix things up a bit.

I bought some of that yarn designated for arm knitting a while ago.  Not that I wanted to try arm knitting, I was hoping it would crochet up into a thin but cozy scarf. No matter what I tried to do with it in crochet, from finger crochet to using the Q hook, it just comes out too stiff to really use for anything that needs to drape.

arm yarn

Here are two swatches I did. The one on the left is 5 rows of double crochet, and the one on the right is 5 rows of single. If it wasn’t acrylic, it might make a good pot holder. I also found it was very difficult to frog.  The loose fibers would get caught around the stitch and require breaking them to keep ripping out.

It is always fun to play with new fibers, but I don’t think I’ll be doing anything with this with the crochet hook. It really does need to be done in something as loose as arm knitting.

Ever follow a pattern exactly but then realize there must be a mistake in it?   That happened. Unless van headlights are pointy.

Pastie

I’ve figured out the flaw and am working up new versions.

I’ve gotten farther along than I thought I would on this crochet project.

van

Here’s why: Sunday night, I flushed the toilet, and it didn’t flush. This happens sometimes, old house and all that. However, after plunging it, and trying to flush it again, the sink and shower started gurgling. Never a good thing. My husband tried to snake it, and all we got was more gurgling, and water coming up through the sink drain. Also never a good thing.

I went upstairs to try that bathroom, and while the toilet flushed with no odd noises, when we went into the basement, all of the pipes leading from the bathrooms were leaking. The waste pipes. Three of them. Really never a good thing. A call to the plumber was made, but it being Sunday night, we knew we would need to wait until morning to get an answer.

Yesterday I waited for the plumber. Waited and crocheted. I was afraid to even go out a few minutes away because we had now NO working bathrooms, and I was not going to miss his visit. The good news is I finished the main part of the back panel. And later that night I was able to weave in all the ends.

The plumber arrived at the end of the day, worked on the problem, called a coworker who came over, worked some more, brought in a big machine that made a lot of noise and did…nothing.

I did not know this right away.  I had crochet class last night and went to it, leaving  my husband who had since gotten home from work, to deal with the problem. I had been hoping that they would finish early so he could make his woodworking class that night.

When I got home, his car was in front of the house.  That meant no class, which meant probably bad news. And it was. They had not been able to fix it.

Good news…the plumber returned this morning with an even bigger tool and bored his way through pipes probably into the next town. He was able to fix the problem by lunch time. Now I have toilets that flush!  And can take a shower!  And a new found appreciation for those people who lived in the era of chamber pots.

I am currently washing all the rags we used to mop up the waste water leaks, I’ve sanitized the bathroom, replugged in the computer (which was against a wall where there were leaks), and am looking forward to a long, hot, cleansing shower once I get all this mess cleaned up.

Today was a crafty day.  I did many rows on the back panel of my hippie van pillow, but waited too long and the daylight faded for me to take a photo. It’s at a point where I am excited about finishing it though.

Earlier today, I took advantage of a Joann’s coupon and did some shopping for fabric backing of the quilt  top I was working on back  in January.

Fabric

This is the fabric I chose for the backing. At some this week I hope to get back to it.  Weekends are hard for sewing because my husband is starting on a woodworking project and takes over the dining room table with sketches and actual cuts of wood. No room for a sewing machine.  One of us should really be practical and orderly, but alas, it is not the case. I’d rather have us both creating and happy (and messy) and deal with the mess on Monday.

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