Sunday, March 16, 2014

Cute video about the cold weather and picture of my new quilt

I found this video on another blog and thought it was funny.  As I write this there is snow (again!) on the grass and roofs and cars.  The street and sidewalks are just wet.  The temperature is about 32 degrees.  Richard has been put on snow patrol tonight from 11pm to 7am.  He will be at work for the day at 7am so I hope he won't be called out too early.  He works at the hospital in maintenance and he and his coworkers have been given the job of snow removal.  Thank heavens, they broke them up into three crews so he hasn't had to go so often.

The weather should be cleared up before I go to work tomorrow at 1pm.  I am supposed to teach a class on the Double Pinwheel Quilt at 2pm and another at 6pm.  I designed this quilt in quilt software on my computer, called EQ7.  I picked two blocks that looked really good together and put a border around them.  I had the fabrics in my stash already.  We haven't taught any creative classes since November.  We usually drop the classes during the holidays and this year we held off because of the cold and snowy winter.  We scheduled this class hoping spring would have arrived. 
Double Pinwheel Quilt

Sunday, February 16, 2014

String Quilt Finished

Last fall I was at work sewing string blocks.  Pam, my co-worker, was cutting out pillowcase kits, and everytime she had scraps she gave them to me.  I sewed them into the string blocks.  It wasn't long before I had enough blocks for a good-sized quilt, so I put them together with sashing and cornerstones.  I used a gray sashing so the blocks would pop with all their beautiful colors, and the cornerstones were sitting there having been cut out of tiny scraps.  As I was putting the quilt top together, it occurred to me that we should raffle the quilt in order to buy more fabric for pillowcases.  My favorite longarm quilter, Vonda Cochran, offered to quilt it for free.  It is hanging at the Viking Sewing Gallery where I work.  We started selling tickets on it on Jan. 31 and as of yesterday we have brought in $257 for more pillowcase fabric.  We will continue selling chances until April 26.  I am hoping for at least $500.
I am a member of a group who sews pillowcases for children hospitalized at Cabell-Huntington Hospital and CAMC Women's and Children's Hospital.  We give each hospital 40 pillowcases a month.  We volunteer our time and sewing expertise to make the pillowcases.  We take donations to buy the fabrics, and we have all bought fabrics and raided our stashes for fabrics that would appeal to children.  Some quilt shops give us special discounts, and Kohl's has given us money for coming to their stores to make pillowcases.  We sometimes meet for a day and make as many pillowcases as possible.  This is a wonderful group of women that I am proud to be associated with.  I need to mention the loss of one of our members last week.  Patty Weitzel, of Hometown, West Virginia, battled breast cancer for five years.  She was a very talented sewer and embroiderer, and a wonderful friend.  She will be greatly missed. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Almost Lost A Kitty!

Rosie gave me quite a scare the other day.  At 11pm Thursday night I told her goodnight and went to bed.  When I got up Friday morning at 7am she was gone.  Just vanished into thin air!  I looked everywhere but she just wasn't there.  I was going to Cedar Lakes in Ripley for a sewing retreat for the weekend so I searched for her frantically.  Debbie and Diane and I were to meet here at my house to make the trip, so when they got here they helped me search.  I finally decided to go on to Cedar Lakes and surely Richard would find her when he came in from work that afternoon.  But she wasn't there.  I need to explain.  My cats have never been outside.  They are afraid of outside and will not usually go out a door unless it is left open for hours and they get enough nerve to go.  All but Rosie.  She has never ventured out a door.  She is a timid cat, usually hiding when anyone comes to the house.  Strangers rarely see her at all.

I came home on Saturday afternoon because I just couldn't stay at Cedar Lakes any longer.  When I got here I emptied drawers and closets and anywhere a cat might hide in the house.  I poked around in the garage for a while but it is such a mess, with junk and Richard's big screen tv parts everywhere.  I really didn't think she would be there anyway.  The Christmas stuff is still sitting there because it has been so cold to go out there and put it all in the attic.  Richard had put some cat food and water in the garage just in case.  I also walked my whole neighborhood looking for her and asking neighbors if they had seen a strange kitty cat.  I finally stopped looking and had a hard time going to bed because Rosie sleeps with me.  On Sunday morning I got up and as usual fed the cats their breakfast first thing.  I put Ace's bowl in the hallway (he won't get his food if I put it in the kitchen where the other cats are).  Then I went to open the blinds in the living room when I heard a cat meow.  I asked Richard if that was Ace and he said it was not Ace.  I threw open the door going out into the garage and there she was!  She wanted her breakfast!  She was very skittish and wouldn't let me near her at first.  I guess the garage was like a jungle to a scared little kitty cat.  She finally let me bring her in.  I can't tell you how happy I was to see her!  Since then she has barely let me get out of her sight.  She has been staying right on my lap.  I took this picture a few minutes ago and you can see that she looks just fine.  We have no idea how she got out in the garage without any other cats going too.  I guess we never will know.  I told Richard that we have become complaicent about the doors since these cats don't run out like most cats would.  That is changing right now.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Celtic Solstice Top Finished

Today at work I finished my Celtic Solstice quilt to flimsy status.  I love the quilt, but I think I would have liked a second white border after the pieced border and before the green outer border.  I changed two of the designer's colors.  Bonnie K. Hunter of made hers in blue, orange, green and yellow and I changed her blue to purple and her orange to hot pink.  I enjoyed making this quilt but I don't know that I would make it again.  I am using Cream Rose for the batting and backing the quilt in the same green fabric as the outer border.  By the way, that is Rosie, my sweet Rosebud, posing on the quilt top.  She considers all the quilts hers and if I leave quilt blocks or rows laying on the bed I will come back to a complete mess.  She likes to mix things up.   

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Second Cataract Surgery

I finally had cataract surgery on my right eye on Friday morning.  Surgery went well, just like before, with no pain.  They taped a protective cage overy my eye and we left to get lunch.  After lunch we visited Pat and Fred in Kanawha City until my appointment with the doctor for another check on my eye.  I thought my vision was cloudy but the doctor was happy with it.  We went home and I rested the rest of the day.  And then I decided to go out into my sewing room.  I flipped the light on and stepped down into the room and - holy crap! - jumped right back into the computer room!  I carefully looked back out into the sewing room and my yellow and white room was blue! Very cool blue!  Evidently this new lens is tinted!  My left eye sees colors brighter than they were but really the same colors, but my right eye sees everything bluer than it did before.  Richard said my fluorescent bulbs in the sewing room are cool white, and I notice now that all fluorescents seem bluer to me.  I really can see much better with the new lens, but now I wonder how I will do when I choose fabrics and colors for a quilt.  I guess over time I will come to terms with it, but right now I check everything with one eye and then the other.  I wasn't told this could happen.  I have known since August that I needed cataract surgery and have talked with many people about it, almost all of them telling me I will be very happy with it.  No one said it could change colors completely.  I don't want more surgery so I hope I can learn to live with it.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Water Safe to Drink!

West Virginia American Water Company put up a map showing the area that was contaminated by the chemical last week.  The entire area was colored red - contaminated.  They started giving the ok to flush the first zone at 5pm yesterday.  We live in the fourth zone, which was given the ok at 9pm by turning our area blue.  We immediately began the flush, by opening all the hot water faucets for 20 minutes in order to empty the hot water tank.  After that we opened the cold water taps for five minutes.  Then the water was (supposedly) safe.  We still need to replace the filter on our fridge, so we are not using the ice or water in the door until then.  This morning Richard and I both took showers before going to work.  How wonderful - to be able to use the faucets we had to ignore for five days!  I keep thinking I will never take it for granted again, but I know that I will.  I have found out that you can get clean with a sponge bath, but a shower makes you FEEL clean.  I am extremely happy that this ordeal is over!  And it was an ordeal.  I guess I've been lucky all my life.  We've never had a power outage for more than a few hours, and I don't remember ever having trouble with the water.  I've lived in the shadow of Union Carbide and Dupont all my life but it's never been a concern.

Why in the heck would they locate a chemical company right above the intake for a large water company?  It just doesn't make sense to me.  I heard there are many lawsuits filed already and I hope that company goes out of business forever.  Now I read in the Charleston Gazette that the chemical has gone down the Ohio River as far as Maysville, Kentucky, about 143 miles from here and the residents there can smell the licorice smell in their water.  They expect it to reach Louisville, Kentucky by the end of the week.  Water companies along the river are closing their intakes so they don't bring it in to their systems.  This really brings home the thought that terrorists could contaminate a large system, such as Washington, DC or New York City and look how many people that would affect. 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Maybe An End In Sight

No pictures in this post.  I want to talk about the water emergency going on here in Charleston, West Virginia.  A chemical leaked into the Elk River on Thursday, just above the intake for the West Virginia American Water Company's water treatment plant.  They said that about 7,500 gallons of this chemical leaked from the storage tank.  It is a chemical used at coal mines.  The water treatment plant is about a mile or so from my house.  We have not been able to use tap water for drinking, cooking, cleaning, or anything except flushing the toilet since then.  I don't think I have ever wanted a shower as badly as I do right now!  It has been declared a State of Emergency and FEMA and others have brought in lots of water for us.  We have not lacked for drinking water, but it is really hard to use drinking water for cleaning, either our bodies or our houses.  Each day I heat a little bit of water and have a sponge bath, but I let my hair go a little longer.  Richard keeps threatening to take a shower anyway, but we don't know what that chemical may do to us. 

News this evening is that we may be able to use the water very soon.  They said that the chemical must test below a certain number for 24 hours before we can flush our systems.  We have to drain the water heaters and throw away the ice in our ice makers.  Filters must be changed.  They said they will open the system in zones, and we are in zone four.  The first zones include the area hospitals, one of which is where Richard works.  Schools are cancelled for tomorrow and maybe for longer.  Some of the area restaurants have been able to reopen as long as they have a separate source for water, submit their plan in writing and get approved.  It really looks strange to drive around and see parking lots empty of cars.  We went to Sam's Club and Walmart today and there were very few people there.  I hope how soon this crisis is over and we can move on to the next crisis!