Friday, April 26, 2013

A sign of things to come

You see a lot of signs on telephone poles.  Lost Dog, Garage Sale, Even, nowadays, Cash for Houses.  But this one was a first:
 Can you read it:?

"Cash for Diabetic Test Strips".

Oh God.  Is that the new black market item?  Diabetes has touched my life in several ways, and this makes me a bit sick.

You can tell exactly what's going on here.  If you're on Medicare and Social Security with the Part D prescription coverage you can get test strips at a reduced rate.  If you're trying to live on Social Security any addition money is a blessing.  So you sell half your test strips for extra cash and only test your blood glucose half as much as you should, even though testing is necessary to determine if your medication is working correctly and to make sure you are not getting into trouble health-wise.  But you've got the money to buy groceries.

Or you're one of the working poor who make a little too much to get Medicaid or assistance.  Test strips are expensive, some of them around $1.00 a strip depending on the brand, and depending on your condition and your medication you may have to test your blood glucose three or four times a day. So you buy test strips more cheaply on the black market, where they may be expired or have been kept in extreme heat or cold, which affects their accuracy.  You don't know if the results from those strips are correct or not.  You may be calibrating your insulin injections using a bad number.  But you can't afford to go down to the Rite Aid and buy them for full retail.  Not and pay the light bill too.

I can't drive by this sign every day and not almost cry.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Linda Hahn mystery, Lazy Sunday mystery

These are two mysteries that I have talked about but I don't think I've posted photos yet.  So here goes:

Linda Hahn's mystery on

and Lazy Sunday from the Quiltmaker magazine mystery:

We have ventured WAY outside my comfort zone with these colors!  But I have to admit that they are lovely.

And just so you know, I have NO IDEA where either of these designs are going.  Just along for the ride, folks.  

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Whoops - forgot the cheddar bow ties!

In my haste during the winter to finish UFOs I forgot one:
Cheddar Bow Ties!

I didn't notice that Bonnie Hunter was doing a giveaway and link-up based on the bow tie blocks until I saw the winner of the giveaway announced in the group digest today.  And I have't thought about my lovely bow tie blocks for months and months.

Oh, man.  Now I HAVE to finish them!

Anyway, I am probably about a quarter of the way done with enough 4" bow tie blocks to make a king size quilt (why, oh why do I have to make them so LARGE!).  Unless I add a border I need 576 of them, so with 170 done there's a lot of bow-ing and tie-ing in my future.  I probably should finish the binding I have started on Easy Street and get to it!

Friday, April 5, 2013

You're not from around here, are you?

Of all the strange things to see out my front window this morning as I sat sewing, this is what I found:
Two Canadian geese wandering around in my front yard, enjoying what I am sure is a plethora of bugs in my new spring grass.  Perhaps they stopped on the flyover for a snack before continuing north.  Or perhaps they are a pair that live around here near the river.  There seems to be quite a few year round residents, especially around the power plant where I worked.  

In either case, this pair was headed toward the busy road that borders my property and I was worried about them.  I have seen geese in the streets near the greenway beside Chicamauga Creek stopping traffic and it always scares me that a driver won't see them.  So I grabbed my camera and my shoes and went out to shoo them back up the hill.

Here they are crossing my driveway and heading up the side street:
If they just keep going that direction they will be safe.
 I have to admit that while I was goose-shooing, I was keeping a safe distance.  These are pretty big and can be cranky.  They can peck and pinch!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

News flash - I'm not crazy!

See the post yesterday for details - I just got an email from the mystery designer who realized that she had written the instructions to allow for trimming and then didn't tell the user to trim to size.  That was the problem with the dimension discrepancies.

What a relief - I'm not nuts.  Things like this really test your sanity when someone verifies they are looking at the exact same inputs that you are using and then comes to completely different conclusion.

On another front - this is what I get for being smug.  I'm churning along on part two of Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville magazine mystery, thinking to myself how quickly I'm completing this step when I remember that I was planning to make 25% more of all the pieces to increase the quilt to king size instead of twin size like the instruction.  So I'm not almost finished after all.  Back to the cutting table.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Am I confused?

I just had one of those "down the rabbit hole" email exchanges that leave me doubting my sanity.  I'm working on an online mystery which shall remain nameless.  This month's block is 9 1/2" unfinished, laid out like a nine patch, with piecing in the center and edges and plain squares in the corners.  The instructions said to cut four 2 1/4" squares and sew them together in a four patch for the center of the block.  It also had you sew two 2 1/4" x 3 1/2" rectangles together to make the edge patches.

The block is supposed to look like this:

Now, the corner squares are cut out as 3 1/2" square (3" finished), so if the block is 9 1/2" unfinished, the rest of the parts of that blocks better also be 3 1/2" before joining them (3" finished) or it won't turn out the right size.  But when you sew two items together that are cut 2 1/4" the resulting piece is 4" wide, right?

Am I confused?  Am I crazy?  If you sew a four patch of 2" squares together you get a 3 1/2" unfinished patch.  If you sew a four patch of 2 1/4" squares together you get a 4" unfinished patch.  If you sew two 2 1/4" x 3 1/2" rectangles together you get a patch that's 4" x 3 1/2".   And if you use these to make that nine patch it will be 10" unfinished, NOT 9 1/2".

What am I missing?

Can't leave well enough alone

I've been monkeying around with border ideas for another Kim Brackett quilt, which is currently being completed.  Here are the EQ mock ups to illustrate;  I'll post a photo later.

This is the design:
Really nice but it needed to be MUCH bigger.  I added another vertical row and debated making it a 5 x 5 instead of a 4 x 4 design, but I was running out of the batiks I was using in the blocks.  I had plenty of the border fabric however so I brainstormed how to bring it into the quilt.  This is what I came up with:
I like how the outer points match the wide border and look like it is poking through the maroon inner border.  It also makes the quilt king size.  I love it!

Here is the quilt as it stands (before the rest of the blocks with the border fabric were made, and also before I changed my border fabric selection):