Friday 12 April 2024

Three New To Me Sewing Things, Crossroads Quilt Blocks

We have had a pretty good week here at the wooden house. Tony's medical tests were inconclusive and further testing is needed. A bit disappointing but no news is good news in my book. He's most concerned about being tired and not having the energy to do all the things on the property he used to do. He feels defeated to let others do these things, like he's giving up or slacking off. It isn't easy for him to shake that feeling but we are trying to focus on the things he still can do both chore wise and for enjoyment. Any thoughts?...he reads your comments as well. 

We got the last of the fire wood moved up to our veranda. The wood fires have long stopped but we didn't want the wood left on the ground where it was and it looks neat and tidy up here all ready for next fall. 

It is Day 3 of pouring buckets outside...that would be the third day of ten straight with a forecast of rain. So a concern about ground water levels was probably needless. 

Two things I need in the sewing room for sure

This is the best feature of my sewing machine...that little sliding knob.

 Know what it does?  It controls the speed of stitching. It was ages before I discovered it and now is an essential feature as going slower really helps me keep it all straight and accurate. The slower I have this knob setting, the better my stitching looks and even at its slowest mark, it is faster than hand stitching, of course. I smile at that last bit cause I can picture some of you amazing sewists would be driven crazy with that speed. 

Thing #2...These scissors...some of you recommended these to me years back and I ordered them. They are Gingher scissors, kind of weighty and very sharp. 

Then I kept them in their package in the cupboard like I often do with things that are "Good", too good to use everyday or some weird idea like that. ( I come by this trait honestly being from a line of women who "kept things for good" with a line drawn between what could be used every day as opposed to only on Sundays or special occasions). Last week I opened the package and began using them for cutting fabric. Dear me, I can't get over what it feels like cutting with these scissors. So smooth- like cutting butter, as the saying goes. I could kick myself for not using them sooner. My usual scissors now feel like I'm practically hacking the cloth rather than cutting it.
And that's my stack of Crossroads quilt blocks up there...all 56 are finished. Yea!

Then I realized there is a third common item that is new to me. As you can imagine, with all the hand stitching here at the wooden house, I go through a small mountain of spools of thread. I caught sight of this below on a You Tube video and had one of those ah ha moments...yes even late in life, that can happen. So after a tiny bit of investigation, I ordered one from Amazon. I wonder how long will this last me. 

A little catching up to do...I missed LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color's prompt for last week which was answer which would you rather- a day at the beach or the amusement park. That is tough as there is something sublime about being on a beautiful beach. But amusement parks, which around here would be fall fairs with all the rides, are so much fun and in recent years visited with a grandchild so very special. A toss up I guess. What about you?

And the prompt for today is Night Owl or Morning Person? For many years I was a Night Owl mostly because that was my reading time and I would read late into the night. But I've switched in retirement to being more of a Morning Person. What about you?

Next time I'll share a sewing technique I saw on Instagram that I just had to try and is scrap busting too. And also a wonderful and easy pasta recipe I tried that we both loved. Do hope your weekend is great and gives you time to do what you love.

Happily sharing with Quilting Patchwork AppliqueSmall Quilts and Doll Quilts and Quilting is More Fun Than Housework.


LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

I love the speed control on my sewing machine, too, and also my Gingher scissors. They were a gift from my mom when I started sewing more as a young mom, and she made sure to let me know that they were NOT for cutting paper! :) I'm sorry Tony is dealing with that lack of energy to do things he used to be able to do. Mike notices that in himself, too, and we've had to hire people to do some things for us. Others we break down into parts - one part done one day, another part the next. Sending you both good thoughts!

Julierose said...

I hear the same types of comments from my DH--who just turned 85! Slowing down and leaving tasks to others is really difficult for him; when I couldn't even walk down our hall with my herniated disk I felt awful having him "do" every little thing!! I "get" that feeling totally. And now that I can do more, he STILL insists on being the one doing more around here...we have always shared tasks during our marriage [59 yrs this Sept~]and took over for the other when need be. Aging gracefully is hard....
Love your Crossroads pretty...and a good pair of scissors is such a wonderful tool...
Hugs, Julierose

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

Tony is probably just slowing down as he ages - he is in his early 80's right? I think there is a big difference between 70's and 80's for energy no matter how hard we try not to.
I have a pair of Gingher scissors but they are for curve cutting and I rarely use them and shouldn't have spent the money on them because of that - I got them before I started to use the rotary blades so much - I'm not even sure where they are!!

Nancy J said...

Scissors, yesterday a friend came in with a very old shirt that had some holes at the bottom back, could I please fix it? We chatted while I did the necessary reapair, using the cut off part to cover another hole. I dropped a bobbin so picked it up with my favourite, the extending wand with a magnet on the end, bought from a tool shop. Then I showed her my big pin bowl, also with a magnet underneath, from the same shop, used by mechanics for gathering nuts and bolts. She was amazed at the the things I use. Then I broke a needle, maybe that was just at the end, and that was when I used the wand to find that TINY piece that flicked onto the carpet. So Use your scissors, I have 7 pairs, and TWO are for paper only!!!

Tony, did they check your Ferritin and B12 levels???
Mine are a problem if they drop too low, and low for me is still within what the Dr calls " Normal" range !!!
Jocelyn, apology for the long reply, almost an essay!!!

dq said...

I don't have a singer, but I do have speed control on my Juki. I am glad you discovered yours.
The Ginghers are definitely a MUST HAVE, but one rule is that you MUST HIDE them from people in your house. They are too expensive to use on anything but fabric.

Love your block on top with the Rula Pink safety pin fabric. I actually have mine out at this moment deciding on fabrics for a block.
Thank for the tips and happy sewing

Jenny said...

That beautifully stacked pile of firewood made me smile, truly a work of art, all ready and waiting for next year. Sorry that hubby is feeling bad about not doing what he used to be able to. As my 99 year old Aunt used to say, "getting old is not for sissies". Guess we are all getting older, and slowing down a little. No words of wisdom for him though, just to do things he enjoys, I guess, and dont be afraid to ask for help.

Jackie said...

I would pick the beach. Being stuck in the middle of Canada, beaches are few and far between.

God bless.

Anne Kirby said...

Ask me how sharp the Ginghers are...I cut a chunk out of my palm the other day. Evidently I need more training!!

LA Paylor said...

fun post, start to finish, I loved it. I love gingher but they are heavy. Rain, we had a few drops. April is supposed to be 2nd snowiest month in colorado but no it's in the 80's already. We need an AC to sleep since the house was built to hold heat. oy. I keep things that are too good to use too... laughed knowing we are alike that way. BIG spool... do you sit it on the floor and trail it up to the machine!lol
I want another hand project now that this month's EPP is done.

Rosemary Dickinson said...

My parents always saved good things for the future. I always felt bad when I'd find a gift I gave them and it was tucked away in a drawer. My mother said they were "saving" it. I knew they liked it but felt bad it wasn't being used. I have Gingher scissors and love them! I figured out about speed control on my machine after I picked up my machine and moved the little lever. It took awhile for me to figure out what happened!

MissPat said...

Hey, Tony, You're getting older just like the rest of us. Most of us can't do the things we used to do easier, like climb ladders and haul mulch, and lift and move heavy things. It's part of aging. There's nothing wrong with hiring people to do the chores and saving your energy for the things you enjoy doing. End of lecture.
It is ironic how so many of use save the "good stuff". What are we saving it for? Use it now, it's unlikely at our ages that we'll wear out the "good stuff".
Enjoy your weekend, We've got rain, too.

Anonymous said...

I use my speed control all the time. When I am doing curved piecing, a slower speed really helps! Raining a lot here too. Everything is very wet. It is supposed to be sunny today!
Doctors always test for the big scary stuff first so it is good news that they have not found anything yet. It’s hard waiting for tests and test results.
I have a lot of experience personally and at work before I retired with older people. My main observation was that those who accepted their limitations and adapted were happier and their relationships with friends and family were better than those who fought against it. Also, people who remained active physically and socially aged better than those who didn’t. I hope Tony gets some answers soon. Take care. Gail at the cozy quilter

Michele McLaughlin said...

I have two pairs of those scissors and LOVE them as well. Plus our hardware store sharpens scissors and so they last forever (and I only ever needed to have them sharpened once in about 20 some years). Love the crossroads blocks! The fabrics are so pretty! Have a wonderful weekend from soggy Pennsylvania!

Linda said...

Glad that Tony's tests didn't reveal any dreaded issues, but I understand that "inconclusive" can be worrisome with facing more tests.
It's no consolation I'm sure, but I hear the same from my Hubs about not being able to do things he used to do, and if I dare suggest we ask for help from our kids or hire someone he poo-poos that idea immediately. He has a pacemaker and his heart is going on the 12th year since his heart attack, so I just feel grateful he is still around to complain about not being able to do things. But I get it, and it is very hard to accept these limitations as we age.
My Mom and Granny also "kept things for good", and so do I! :D

Nanette Chopin Cook said...

Tell Tony to do what he can and enjoy watching someone else doing the hard stuff! Hoping that the tests prove nothing is wrong, may be some B-12 and make sure that he still takes the daily 30 minute walk!

Scissors? I have so many, especially some of the German made ones for all the hand work I do. I have my original sewing scissors from when I made my own clothes (from age 12 to 30)! After 30 I have never made a garment!

I am getting back to where I was in August 2023 before the thumb went out of commission (along with my walking). I will tell you and Tony that the 4 month recovery for a thumb surgery on the predominant hand was hell!. I made sure I walked but only a mile and that was just not enough. It is amazing at 79 when you cannot use your right arm how fast the muscles go dormant. If I had not had the 2 OOPS with the thumb during the last recovery month, I would be better off. This week I am doing my 1.5 mile and I can already see the difference.

Bottom line - Tony may be limited, but with a structured walking routine (providing nothing is wrong with the new tests) and movement during the day - no sitting and watching TV, etc) He will feel better. If I had worked my right shoulder all during the 4 months, I would not have had issues in the last month with weakness. But I now have 80% of my strength back though some painful exercise.

Take care of both of you. It was hard for me to turn over my house cleaning to Georgia (my housekeeper) but it sure has saved my back. Hugs to both of you!

quiltingbydawn said...

I do have a speed control on my machine that I adjust based on what I'm sewing! I look forward to seeing the technique for scrap busting.

Warm Quilts said...

Imagine my surprise in finding my pair of Gingher pinking shears in the ashes of what was left of my sewing room. They still had the familiar weight, but were fused together and had begun to melt on the underside.

Losing our home in a wildfire was devastating. I am forever grateful that we have always used our fancy dishes, cherished family mementos, lacy linens for 'just the two of us' or with a house full of family and friends. Our memories of using those treasures over the years brought so much joy as we re-built. We've started over now with some things new and some antique pieces - using 'everything' because each day really is a special occasion.

I can't wait to see your finished Crossroads quilt! Thank you for sharing the best feature of your sewing machine; when I find a replacement, I will look for one with speed control. said...

It's okay for a job to take a week instead of a day. . .puttering is good. After all, when you split a job over several days you have less chance of running out of something to do! It isn't awful or a sign you've lost it, to hire some jobs out. I like your crossroads blocks. Those are fun to make!

Frédérique - Quilting Patchwork Appliqué said...

Fatigue may be due to tyroid dysfunction, but that's probably where the tests went too. I'm glad the tests didn't reveal anything serious, it's always better than bad news.
I have this speed control on my Pfaff too, and it's so much more than a gadget! I use it often, especially when I'm sewing spirals or curves. Thread cones are very handy for me too, I 3D-printed a special spool adaptor to use with my sewing machine.
Thank you for sharing with P&Q ;)

QuiltGranma said...

When I was a receptionist at a Real Estate office, I discovered that one should NOT have their firewood ON the porch as termites can get into the house and destroy your home. There was some specification about how far away from the house the firewood should be, but I do not recall it. Just a word of warning.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Really hope they figure out the reason why your DH is so tired but at least it's good news that the initial testing came out okay.
I have that slider speed thingie on my Janome too and use it all the time.
As for those big spools of thread - I use them (serger thread actually) in my bobbins all the time. Using expensive 'good' thread in the bobbins is a waste of money when the serger thread works just as well and the cones last a long time.
To answer the question of the week - for me it would have to be the beach because amusement parks hold absolutely no attreaction. And I'm neither a night owl or morning person ending up somewhere in the middle of the day.

Chookyblue...... said...

Hopefully you'll find what's happening for hubby soon.......
I could use your wood pile this week........ Temps are dropping a bit more and we might light the fire.......
I'm definitely a morning person.......