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Please don't remind me that I'm poor; I'm having too much fun pretending I'm simply "living green" like everyone else these days.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

I went with my brother to my father's grave yesterday to check on the headstone. Nothing has been done to raise it. I've made repeated phone calls to Fort Knox trying to get it raised before it sinks completely. I was very disappointed that it's even farther below ground. So is the vault that holds him. The whole grave shows a deep depression of sunken ground. The cemetery is on a hillside. All the rain run off goes over my father which is causing the ground to wash out with it.

I noticed many, many stones sunken almost completely below ground that weren't the last time we were there a year ago. Some of the stones only the top was still visible. Next year they will be completely gone. My father's stone may be gone by next year too. It's heart breaking to see a military post cemetery so neglected. I told my brother we should bring shovels to dig up the stone and raise it ourselves. He didn't think it such a good idea to be caught digging at a grave in a cemetery on a military post. Well why not? We could be there on Halloween. Perhaps everyone might be too scared to bother us.

The cemetery is also filled with wild mushrooms.

Some of the grave stones have death dates of around 1800 on them. Some are civil war soldier stones too. Ooo.... and some have great quilting designs like this. You have to look close to see the feather design and the flower design. (clicking on the photo might help)

After leaving Fort Knox we took my niece and her husband out for lunch to celebrate their 11th wedding anniversary. Then we stopped by to visit my uncle. I hadn't seen him since my aunt passed away about a year ago. To my delighted surprise he was refinishing my baby high chair! I thought it long ago lost to history. He's had it all these years. (30) The reason he's had it is because before it was mine... it was originally his. Made by my grandfather as a baby gift for my grandmother when she was pregnant with my uncle. It's very tiny for a high chair. A cabbage patch doll fits nicely in it.

After leaving there my brother and I stopped by the Peddler's Mall to check on our booth. We straightened it up a little. His golf stuff is selling very well. I sold a few knick knacks, a couple of vcr tapes, and one of the packages of batting. None of the 4 baby quilts have sold. I guess quilts are not a good selling item at a Peddler's Mall.
Time for me to get into the studio for awhile. Later today I've got to sort more stuff as I prepare to get my new floors installed. Everything needs to be easily moved around as the workers do the rooms.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Which quilt is next?

This one is mine. It's a printed whole cloth given to me in some donations a long time ago. It's been on my mind for several months so I decided to at least get it stabilized. I can do that much then take it off the machine to work on a little at a time.

I think I'll just do a stitch in the ditch around the major design and think about how to quilt the areas later. No rush.... just for fun. I'll figure out what to do with it when it's done. I guess you can see in the photo that it barely fits onto the leaders. Lots of things for me to do today so I'm not type talking a lot this morning.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Floor mop update

I got a chance to test out the wow cloth on the swiffer mop. I can still mop the bathroom floor. It doesn't have curled up seams like the rest of the floors. The regular swiffer mop doesn't work when wet. Why? Because the mop is designed to go in all directions easily gliding over a floor. When it's used as wet it sticks to the floor and flips upside down. This mop is best kept as a dry dust mop. The cloth can still be washed and used again and again. I like the fleece covers better than the wow ones for dusting. Fleece (or scrap batting) picks up much more dust.

The Clorox ready mop worked much better with wet wow cloth but it will take some getting used to. The mop is designed to use in a forward and backward motion only. I'm used to using a regular mop in a side to side motion. This mop works like the mops with the square sponge on them. You know.... like the sad Mr. Mop that's always singing "baby come back" in the commercials.

The liquid in the bottle (when full) makes the mop very heavy. I can get around this in a couple of ways. I can partially fill the bottle or I can put the liquid in a squirt bottle instead of the on board bottle. The wow cloth worked great. I'll do the velcro strips differently next time. One side will be completely on the cloth and the other side will be a tab. In fact, I may frog stitch these and re sew one side to make it easier to put a diaper on the mop.

It's best if the wow cloth is dampened before putting it on the mop. It works better than starting with a completely dry cloth. These wow cloths pick up lots of water. The floor is almost dry when the mopping is done if I don't saturate the floor too much. I found it best to treat it as damp mopping the floor instead of completely wet mopping.
When my new floors are installed I'll give the mop a really good test over the whole house to see if I really do like it better.

Next quilt is finished

It took some more stand and stare time but I figured out how to quilt it. Now that it's done, I like the quilting even more.

The overall look of the piecing is like floating squares so I did more floating squares with the quilting. Just to make it more interesting I added some angles too.

Every now and then I added a circle for more interest and to break up the monotony of all angles.

On the border I did alternating lines to give the impression of squares.

Here's a view from the back to show the look of the quilting. What do you think? Does it work?

The floor guy was here yesterday, my daughter and Ladybug were here yesterday, a customer was here yesterday, my brother was here yesterday, a customer called to talk awhile yesterday, my sister called to talk awhile yesterday, a friend called to talk yesterday too. All at different times. It's amazing to me that I actually got the quilt done with so many people stopping by or calling. Luck was on my side.

I see the friends are back on all the blogs. At first I thought I had done something to make everyone disappear from my blog. Then I noticed the friends were gone on all the blogs I visit. I figured it had to be something blogger was doing so I stopped trying to fix it.
Hmm.... I guess I need to figure out which quilt is next and get started. In about a week the floor guys will take over the house for three or four days so no quilting will get done then.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Frugal and diabetic?

I was working away, planning to get a small quilt close to finished today, when I got a last minute phone call to go to a diabetic cooking class. Someone had cancelled and I took their place in a limited class.

I was hoping to learn how to put together a menu plan based on a diabetic diet but using my own frugal recipes. I know how to do a menu plan... just not how to do it for a diabetic diet. Basically what I've done for the last few years is just barely eat enough to say I'm full then stop eating. I can't say I got what I was looking for in the class. It was a good class though.

They had some great food, (at least it smelled good). I didn't eat any because I had already eaten lunch. Also, I usually won't eat other people's cooking because I don't know their sanitary conditions or habits at home. Plus, the class was held at a medical clinic. Lots of sick people in clinics these days. You know.... the h1n1 flu and other illnesses are found in clinics. I'm allergic to the flu shots so I have to be extra, extra cautious around other people during flu season.

I want to learn more about HOW the people who write diabetic recipe books come up with a serving size. There HAS to be a formula for figuring it out because all the books tell the fats, sugars, carbs, and all that stuff at the end of the recipe. I want to know how to figure out my own recipes. Not just use those in a book.

I couldn't explain to the people there what information I needed. Maybe if I put it here some of my readers will have the answer? For example: One of the things served today was a tomato soup. The person who made the soup used a quart of low fat half and half in the soup. I looked at the nutrition label on the cream. (The little box of information all products have.) It said a serving size was 2 tablespoons of the cream then gave the nutrition information based on those two tablespoons. So if a person made the soup.... using a whole quart..... how much would be the serving size of soup? Two tablespoons? Then there are the other ingredients in the soup. I didn't get a chance to read the labels of the other stuff to know what a serving size was.

You see what I'm getting at? If I create a dish based on what's in my pantry, what's on sale at the store, or picked from a garden..... how do I know how much to eat of it? I think the nutrition labels on food are a bunch of hooey. I think I'll stick with my just barely full technique..... even if I always feel hungry.

I did get some books at the class. Maybe the formula will be in there someplace? When I find some time I'll sit down and read through them.

The 30 minute meals sounds interesting. Kind of the way I plan meals already. Might be a recipe or two in there I'll use. The fast lane book is the nutrition information for many, many fast food restaurant items. The outlook book describes diabetes and the treatments. All interesting information but none look like they will supply the formula I'm looking for. Anyone know the answer? (formula)

Lost count

I lost count of how many quilts left to do. I've had two or three come in and some gone out. The tops just coming in are some I promised to do (many months ago) no matter when the tops got finished. A promise is a promise so they are here waiting. The toppers are people with sudden health issues that created a problem getting tops finished.

This is the current finished top. The one I had to take off the machine for awhile so I could finish the deadline quilt.

I had a little quilter's mental block when it came to deciding what to quilt on it so I was a little relieved to set it aside for awhile. The odd shape of the pieces were the problem. You see the long narrow piece on the right side of the block? I knew I wanted one design on there but that left me with "what do I do with the other?" thoughts. More "stand and stare" and I saw it as a nine patch with narrow strips top and bottom. You see what I mean? So I did a design that would work on a nine patch then added an element to go onto the narrow strips.

Here's a look at the design from the back. Maybe you can see the nine patch a little better. I think it worked out fine.

A simple feather design on the outside border. A flower, leaf, and curl design on the inside border.

A view of those from the back.

Oh dear.... another stand and stare quilt. The next top is another of those that have me thinking.... what do I quilt on that? Stand and stare won't pay the bills. If the machine is not moving, I'm not earning any money. I do have some thinking time before I start the design. I'll do the stabilizing today while my mind works to come up with the quilting.

The blocks flip flop which creates a whole other design issue.

Comment replys? If you comment on my blog but have your "no comment reply" turned on then I can't type talk with you. To rnmom.... I love touching the quilt when the quilting is done. There's an attraction to the quilt that draws my hand straight to it. I love the texture that's created.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Floor mop diapers

Many, many years ago I used a product called Mop n Glo which was a floor cleaner and polish together. (Do they still make it?) It cleaned the floor and left a great shine. I stopped using it when I had to throw away far too many mops. I would forget to clean the mop after cleaning the floor. The mop would dry and get very stiff. Too stiff to use again.

I went back to using a regular floor cleaning solution with a mop that I had to wring out by hand. Then along came the Libman wonder mop. Fantastic! No longer did I have to put my hands into dirty floor mop water. Not only that, but I could throw the mops into the washer to clean them. The trouble with this new mop was that I would leave the mop in the water too long. The mop handles would rust and break right where it attaches together.

Well all righty; now I have a new favorite mop. I don't have to carry around a bucket of water anymore. These new mops have been around for awhile. Until now, I never wanted to buy one. Why?

Well because the brands I saw required me to purchase new pads and new solution to use each time I mopped. I have a lot of floor to mop. I guessed it would take a minimum of 10 pads to mop all my floors really clean each time. In my opinion that's not very frugal. It also puts lots more waste in a landfill. I believe I contribute enough to landfill already so I didn't want to start using something to put much more there.

This brand has all the advantages I wanted to see before buying one. Yippie!

The bottle is refillable. Unlike other brands that requires a new bottle of solution or more ready to use pads each time a person mops floors. I can put whatever solution of bleach or homemade floor cleaner or special laminate floor cleaner I want into the bottle. I won't be putting lots of empty plastic bottles into a landfill either.

For this project to work as I hoped, I needed something that's reusable. Constantly buying new pads to clean the floor is not an option. I bought these wow cloths at the Dollar Tree store. They are supposed to be super absorbent.

Then I searched through my quilting stash to find this velcro. Not an easy task when I've been boxing up stuff so it's easily moved by the floor installation guys. I want to use velcro because I don't like the push in system these mops use for holding the cloths.

The starter kit includes this package of pads. This will be my pattern.

I measure to find the pad is 9" x 11".

I measure and cut some pieces from the wow cloth. Then mark the cut outs. I don't see a purpose for the cut out section but decided to follow it anyway.

I cut some two inch pieces of matching velcro.

Measure and put a tick mark on each side to line up the velcro pieces. I put mine about 1 1/2" from the edge.

Sew on the velcro pieces. Remember to sew one side up and one side down or you'll have to frog stitch them. I kept repeating.... sticky side up, fuzzy side down. I used velcro because I had it. If you don't have velcro you could use elastic, tabs with buttons and button holes, strings to tie, or something else. You just want something that will keep the pad on while mopping.

All done! Now these can be used and washed. I wash my rugs each time I mop the floors. I can put the dirty mop diapers in with the rugs. Eventually these will wear out and need to be replaced but it's far better than throwing bunches of them into a landfill each week.

Why do I call them floor mop diapers? Well, have a look. Doesn't that look like a diaper to you? Not only that but they are meant to soak up lots of liquid and junk just like a diaper does.

After going through making these; it occurred to me that I needn't have bought the new mop if I didn't want to spend the money. I could have used my swiffer and used an empty dish detergent bottle for the solution. Duh!

Oh well. Learn as I go. Now I have two options whenever I mop floors. I have to wait until the new floor is installed to test these out. Hmm.... while I've been type talking this post it occurred to me that another use for scrap batting is to make some floor mop pads. Layer scrap fabric (or old wash cloths?) and scrap batting, sew it together, hmm... it should work. Ok, that's a project for another day.

Deadline quilt done

It seems like forever since I wrote a post but it's only been a few days. I was working along on a quilt when I got a phone call about another quilt. It had a deadline of Saturday so it could be taken to be photographed on Monday. I had completely forgotten about the deadline with so many things going on around here. So off came the one I was working on and this one went onto the machine.

It's a sampler type quilt. These look very pretty but create a delima for the quilter. We need to create designs for every different block while at the same time making sure they all coordinate with each other.

Here's the inside border design.

A long narrow block and a view of the inside borders.

I did line dancing in the center, cross hatched lines on the long strips, simple line on the other long strips.

Another block with line dancing and simple lines.

Flowers on some of the block pieces.

A different block with line dancing.

Tulip block with leaves, flowers, and curls.

The filler pieces got the same design in different sizes.

Triangles often give me pause on how to quilt the area.

A few straight lines to balance out all the curvy ones.

Piano key border got some feathers.

Another block with a combination of line dancing and a curly leaf.

Flying geese (naturally more triangles) got a feather design and a swirling wind background.

Another view of the inside borders. I need to practice my circle design.

Another look at the border design.

The quilt was picked up as soon as I said it was finished. I didn't get a chance to take pictures of the back.
I've also been sorting quilting things and putting into boxes to make it easier for the floor guys to move things around. Somehow I just don't believe floor guys will be careful with quilting stuff. Better that they move boxes than try to keep fabrics and books and gadgets in the right order. I got the check from the insurance company, made out to the floor guys. I just need to sign it and hand it over when the job is done. Hopefully, the floor will go in soon. Still, it means more quilting delay. It will probably take them two or three days to complete the job.

I'm working on a project (not quilt related) to post on my helpful hints blog. I should get it done today and I love the idea. It goes right along with getting my new floors installed. How to clean them easily and frugally. I best get started on it.