Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Mid month accountability

 Mid-month accountability for Chookshed Challenge number ten. 

This is the early history 'map' of Lowell - I'm making it up as I go along.  It won't be too crowded because well, there weren't a lot of people here then.  I will trim it, especially the sides after I've declared it finished.  I'm getting close.  There needs to be some bears, foxes, etc. represented.
I broke my fast and went to a fabric store because I needed something that could be interpreted as a white pine tree, it's Michigan's state tree and I needed to show it somewhere.  Couldn't find anything but then I happened on this fabric that had ferns scattered throughout and I thought, well, from the street they can look like white pines.  
The cornstalks have beads for the ears of corn - I'm still working on them as they recede to the back. Probably I will forgo the beans.  The Three Sisters will be twins instead of three.

But I have been working on the daffodil blocks by sewing on the front porch with the cranker machine, appliqueing a message on a pillowcase for college bound Charlie, also.  Picking my battles.

AND I informed the next one to graduate that she needed to give me a year to do a graduation quilt for her.  It can take me years to start to finish a quilt so saying I need a year is speeding things up in my life. Well.  In the back of my mind I knew what she was going to choose.  That's how well I know this kid.  And I was right.  She chose a Baltimore Album quilt!!!!  Oh, my. Instant panic mode and emergency outreach to Friend Barb who has no quilting fears and works fast and made a stunning red and white Baltimore Album.  I've looked online for examples and they run from super fussy to more sparsely decorated.  I am going to go with continuing to look for a couple of weeks, gather motifs that interest me and meet the requests of granddaughter and during that time get these current projects underway. this one will be completely hand appliqued.

This is going to blast the Chookshed Challenge right out of the water.  

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

The Days are Long, But the Years are Short

 This is a year of big changes, big growth leaps for the grands in our family.  Everyone is moving on, moving up, just plain growing up and nothing brings that into focus like graduations.  Just the word itself means change. 

When you are holding your newborn in your arms for the first time you aren't thinking of this day. But there is a something grandparents say to new parents, "don't blink." 

Because when you aren't paying attention, when you are living those long, tiring days, this day is suddenly upon you and you are bursting with pride and wiping the tears from your eyes at the same time.  
Charlie is our first grandchild.  That doesn't make the other four less significant but he put us on the map as grandparents and his firsts are all of ours.  
Our Ceci had her last dance recital last week.  She has opted to do the pom squad as she enters high school this fall.  She loved dance but the schedules aren't compatible and as she moves on to high school she wants to be a part of all that entails. No one can blame her for that!  As one leaves high school, the next one enters. And we know how fast this time will go.
And then there's this guy.  He's now done with elementary school and entering middle school. I fear middle school like I fear spiders but this guy and that smile, well...

This is all just this past weekend and just our son's family.  The locals here are having milestones for themselves, but that's later.  

Saturday, June 8, 2024

Better Than Christmas

Today is the day. I wait all year for first picking and it's truly better than Christmas.

                                        We picked 8.5 pounds of strawberries in 15 minutes

 Came home, took two cooked crusts out of the freezer and made these two fresh pies, one for us, one for daughter's family down the street. 

We pick often and not lots at a time because I do not make jam, I make these pies.

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Attention deficit

 It is well known among my family that I can flit from one thing to another quite quickly.  I can also zero in but they aren't usually around to see that part of my attention deficit.

My number ten Chookshed Challenge is to work on the pre-history map of Lowell and I did actually pull it out of the box for the photo.  And I did say that I am happy to work on it while sitting out on the porch enjoying the fine weather we are having.

But then I walked past the bed where the daffodils were all stacked and thought - ugh- if I don't get these trimmed I'll never get them assembled and I CAN sit outside with this.  So for the past two entire afternoons I have been spent trimming these 20 stacks of HSTs.  I can't believe it's taking so long to do it!  Two full, whole afternoons!  And they still aren't finished! No wonder I can't get anything done, I am easily bored and if I didn't have an audio book going I would have stuffed them back in a box. I'm too close now to stop so trudge on I will. 
I did though, pick up the map and resumed figuring out the Indian corn.  If you look closely you can see the pencil outline I made of what I thought would be ok, but whoa, they were so big and clunky I pulled it apart.  Do you know what happens to beads when you cut the string? 
I think this size works better, this is an artistic interpretation after all.  A few more pumpkins at the bases of these cornstalks and am still wrangling with the idea of beans, the third of the Three Sisters.  I don't know if the will make it.  
And I found this tucked away for this quilt.  Trees!  I can build the forest!  And look! Bear tracks! If I don't do a bear I can track some. 

Saturday, June 1, 2024

Number 10


Well, here we are about half way through the Chookshed Challenge and I'm still in it!  I haven't abandoned it in frustration and pressure.  I think it's because I chose things for the most part that needed finishing so I wasn't starting new.

 Number ten was drawn and this is my number ten, the early pre-settlement map of Lowell. It is meant to be a companion to the street map I did a few years ago but I put this aside when I got stumped. But now I think I can come to terms with it.  And there is hope for it now because I can sit in my spot out on the porch and work on it. 

Look how wrinkled it is!  I pulled it from it's little project box this morning and laid it out for this photo. It will get more crinkled as I work on it so no, I am not ironing it now.

When I was cooking this idea in my brain the background fabric was super important because there was going to be so much of it showing.  I found this on a website and it was absolutely perfect. It showed the natural wildlife the Native Americans lived with and I didn't have to applique a representative of them.  Deer, rabbits, squirrels, and the flora is all in there. I need a bear, though.  It was perfect.  I am appliqueing the pumpkins under a stalk of corn, which I am using beads for and somehow will represent beans. 
Loved what I found for the canoes - and it was in my stash! Here, the Native homes were dome shaped and made of bark. 

So, because this is a very portable project I can spend my afternoons on the porch and actually might get it done.

This is my street map of Lowell, photo shows quilt unfinished but you get the idea. My number ten challenge for this month is the time of pre-settlement. 

I've said it maybe a dozen times that I just can't be inside on a nice, sunny, warm day.  Even if I am 'only' sitting out there reading I can't justify being inside because Michigan isn't heavy on warm sunny days.  Winters are long.  The other day I brought the cranky out on the porch, set up the daffodil blocks and got them all sewed and cut.  It was an afternoon among the birds and sunshine and I made some progress.  These little HSTs now are almost all ironed open and I will take the machine out again on a nice day and build them into daffodils.  I don't think I will ever be sorry I bought this crank machine.