Friday, January 22, 2021

Friday frolics, with the Log Cabin Loonies!!

How are you doing today?  I hope your day is wonderful and fulfilling, whether at work or at play or at home!  Here we go, Loonies, in the best and most respectful way...Hahaha!!!  Quilting should be fun, right???  OK, so we added a round last week, to however many blocks you are making.  So we are adding another round this week!  4 1/2 inch long strips x 1 1/2 inch wide.  Add the light strips first, then then red squares on the colored strips, and then colored strips with red squares, to finish your round!  Should be 6 1/2 inches square now.  Tada!  Fast, done, and on we go!! I am making my  lights very light, for my example block,  so you can see the contrast, but of course you use whatever you have and like!  
I feel like I had a major breakthrough with the mystery quilt from Bonnie Hunter!  Here is the block I am making.  Lots of struggle with colors and what to do...I made a few little changes, but here I am.  
Full steam ahead, now!  Pretty piles of Pieces, don't you think??  
Now I am making tracks, and finishing blocks!!



 

Don't you think the trimmings are pretty?  


*****************Health ideas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1.  Contract those abs, right in the be, first thing!!
2.  Drink your water, starting first thing!
3.  Take your vitamins!  (with food is better)

How about a walk?  How many of you walk, every day or most days?  It is very easy, requires little equipment, and can be done inside or outside.  Let's add a walk!!  Gradually add to your distance if you have not been doing this...but consistency is the key.  Try to walk every day, even if it is a block!!!


*********************Decluttering*****************************

I am working on clothing this week, my coat closet in particular.  Goodness sakes, I have had coats for years in there that I have not worn.  Time to get the good ones to someone who needs them!!!

This year so far:

1.  Pantry
2.  Linens
3. Coats





Have a great day!


Julie

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Week two of 2021 is behind us!!

Happy weekend!!  I am off work today, working extra tomorrow.  Time to sew and have fun today!  Above is my progress on Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt.  I love these little blocks so, so much!!
Just playing with pieces here...
And more play!  You can find all the pieces to the mystery right here!


Quiltville's Quips & Snips!!: Grassy Creek Mystery!

***************************Decluttering and cleaning for this year:  Part 2!*************


Last week we worked on our pantries.  Mine feels and looks so much better, and now I have meals planned, using things in the pantry.  Love it!!


So this week, I am working on my linen closet.  Wow...what a mess!!!  



The only way to make things less cluttered is to have less of those things to clutter things up.   I donated a bunch of good towels,  moved others along to the "rag bag", to use for cleaning and out in the garage.   I also donated three new sheet sets...I have plenty, and someone can really use them.  

Now!  That feels better!!!


I found things I had forgotten completely about!!  


The above quilt is a very early one, from my hands.  1990's, sometime.  It has never been on the blog, I don't think...it was made way before the blog.  Of course, hand quilted.  NO label though!  grrrr!!  Lesson learned, of course!!!  Julie, label your quilts!

The binding was done by hand, with a whip stitch.   Hahaha!   I just folded the back to the front, which the backing was obviously as old sheet.   I just love it, anyhow!!!  Glad I have progressed a little bit, in my quilt making.



I also found these hand embroidered pillow cases...done my my mom and grandmother.  I smoothed them out, admired all those tiny stitches, carefully folded them and put them back in the closet.  I just can't part with those, not quite yet.
I found this old comforter!  Wow...must be 30 years old.  It weighs 18 pounds.  Seriously, I weighed it!  Talk about a weighted blanket!! It got donated, too.  


So if I do a bit of decluttering and organizing every week, by the end of the year?  We will make a great deal of good progress!!! Care to join me?


*************************the 1930's, a study***************************

I was recently gifted these pretty, pretty fabrics and this book, which I have been lusting over for years.  Yahoo!!  This reminds me of my reading I have been doing about the 1930's.  


Causes of the Great Depression:  1929-1939.  Did you know it lasted so, so long?  Wow!   There are many reasons why this happened...many theories.  


1.  Easy money.  Remember those roaring Twenties?  They were the result of easy credit, and easy money...lots available.  The government increased the money supply, and this readily available supply also increased prices.  This was compounded by terrible monetary policy throughout. Interest rates were up, and banks were lending...and people and businesses were highly leveraged with lots of loans.  Also, lots of investment in the stock market with this borrowed capital. 

2. The federal reserve cut off the money supply in 1929...resulting in a huge 20% drop in the stock market, over just 4 days.  629 banks closed that year alone (this number varies in my research), but you get the idea...banks can't loan out all that money and not get paid back!! Thousands more failed in 1930, 1931, 1932 and 1933.  

  3.  Hebert Hoover instituted the Smoot-Hawley act, raising tariffs, affecting our trade terribly...he just seemed to institute more and more policies that really made it all so much worse. 

Have you heard of the term "Hooverville?"  Common, every day folks were living in encampments, little tents and structures made of cardboard boxes, etc.  People like us!!!  A terrifying thought.

Taxes and levies were added, burdening an already struggling populace.

4.  FDR:  The New Deal:  Work programs! Remember these, or have you heard of them?  President Roosevelt also really contributed to the terrible lengthening of the depression too.  I am finding horrible fiscal policy and taxes, etc. that really did not help anyone.  Seems like everything that was tried, really failed.


TEN years! A decade of doing without essentials,  struggling and scrambling to make ends meet and feed families.  What an awful time!


I have kind of just skimmed over the reasons why this happened, although I am fascinated and have done hours of reading about it. You can get really into it, as I have!   I thought it was important for me to understand why this happened.  I am very interested in how the common folks handled all of this, and how they coped...and the sequalae of all the fear and deprivation that happened.  

Thanks for reading...more next week!


************************************Health!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


So?  waking up...big smile on your face!  Contracting those abs??  Don't they feel better?  Drinking that first glass of water, so your kidneys are happy???


If you do something for 21 days, they say you have developed a habit...so keep going!


This week, I encourage you to look at what supplements you take, if any.  I take a handful...vitamin c, vitamin d ( I have a known deficiency), multi vitamins.  zinc!  Do some research...they sure make me feel better, and although food sources of vitamins are best, we don't always eat very nutritious food, do we? I am taking them!  

You are so worth a little effort in increase your health. We take care of others all the times, but take a moment and love yourself, too!

1.  Contract those abs, securing and strengthening that core.

2.  Drink your water, first thing and throughout the day

3. Take your vitamins, if appropriate for you.


Hope everyone has a lovely, wonderful day!  I have greatly appreciate hearing what you do for your health...thank you for sharing!!



Julie


 

Log Cabin Lunatics! This is for you!

Good morning!  It is Saturday!  Wow!  Time is just flying, isn't it??  Here is the next step in our log cabin journey, using our strips and have a blast, and using up those little pieces!   So...put a funny movie on, or some fun music, or an interesting audio book!  Here we go!  We have made our centers, (here) and cut a bunch of strips, 1 1/2 inches wide (here) , and also cut a lot of red squares 1 1/2 inches.  Now we are ready to really make some tracks!  From your light strips, sew a 2 1/2 x 1 1/2 inch strip to each side of your center.  Keep in mind placement...light to light.  Then sew your red squares onto your 2 1/2 colored strips, and sew it together.  We have made a round!!!  See the block below...this is what we are aiming for.  If you assembly line piece, it goes very quickly.  Make as many blocks as you want to make...it goes amazing fast and it super fun! Smile...think good thoughts as you sew, and it will infuse your quilt with goodness and fun and when you see your finished project, you will enjoy it all the more!
One finished block.

In the few minutes before work, I pieced these blocks, for the mystery quilt.
And these too!!!  Just super fun, if they are all cut out and waiting by the machine.



Have a lovely day!


Julie (heading up the lunatics...hahaha!)  
 

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

A little progress, and some squirrels!!



Well now!   It is a brand new year, isn't it!!!!  The squirrels outside are playing in the oak trees, while going up high, snug in their nests, at night.  I am inside, warm and snug, after our "blizzard." (a few drifting down flakes of snow)...and decided for my mini of the month, I would try to make small mini, as part of a great big whole quilt.  So here is my mini for January!!  I just kind of free hand cut some letters, drew a snowman and cut it out, and pieced some blocks.  Actually, I had most of the little stars made already...I can sew one in five minutes, if I have them cut out, so that is what I do in the mornings before work, sometime.  I have a basket full of them!  I am already thinking about February's mini. 
I am making centers for my Quiltville mystery quilt...now these are just fun, as mentioned before.  Love, love! this part!


Quiltville's Quips & Snips!!: Grassy Creek Mystery!


It is pink month, for Rainbow quilts!!!  So I made some pink tulip blocks.  Again, super fast to piece if you already have them cut out.  
Here is where I am on this rainbow quilt...note the already cut out pieces on the tray below the blocks.  I guess I am just a cutter outer kind of quilter!

 My wonky star in the center.  



ON WE GO!  My hubby got his vaccine today, for which I am profoundly grateful, for he is a vulnerable person...




Julie

Friday, January 8, 2021

The first week of 2021!

 



Good morning, or afternoon, to everyone!!!  I have been working on Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt, "Grassy Creek.".  The final pattern has been revealed, and you can still find all the steps for free, here, until February 12th.


Quiltville's Quips & Snips!!: Grassy Creek Mystery - the Big Reveal! (Part Seven)


Now this is the reveal post, keep in mind, so if you want to do it as a mystery, go to quiltville and start from the beginning!  

I am sewing connector corners on the above blocks...that is just plain fun, with some fun music playing and toe tapping going on!
Here are my little pansies...I love them.  They thrive in our cooler weather...which did you know they are saying we will have snow on Sunday!!!!!!!!!!!!????????  Whoop!  


My iris are confused.  They are blooming again, in December.  I love them for their plucky spirit in the winter!!!  These belonged to my mother in law, and I have divided and spread them to all points of the backyard.  I rescued them, because her little garden was paved over just a few days after I dug up the original iris, about 15 years ago.



OK YOU LOG CABIN LUNATICS!!!!!!!  READY???  We made our centers last week, so this is a cutting week.  I used 1 1/2 inch wide strips, light and dark.  Cut a whole bunch.  How many?  Well I don't know how many blocks you are making, but I can always use them, so I cut a lot of my strings into this size.   I use my strips from my scrap user system, too.   I find I can go either with bright clear colors, or browner colors...but if I mix them, it just looks like mud.  Hahaha!!!  Cut a lot of red 1.5 inch squares, too.    


Maybe you want to treat yourself and change your rotary cutter blade...I did, and wow, I love how much fun it is to cut with a new blade!!

*******************Health*****************************************************

This is my challenge to you this week.  Before you get up...stay in bed a moment.  Contract your abs, hard, hold for a count of three, then release.  Repeat x 20 times.  Many of us ladies have a condition called diastasis recti, which is a condition that is common after childbirth, where the muscles of the abdomen separate.  It makes it really hard to support those internal structures, and makes us look a bit potbellied!  This exercise helps these muscles get back in place!    It doesn't matter if it has been years since your kids were born...do this.  It helps, but you need to be consistent and do it each morning.  It feels really good to get those muscles energized!


Then?  Go and drink a glass of water first thing!  This helps lubricate joints, and also your brain, and helps us not have bad clotting, etc.  Now if you have congestive heart failure, or kidney failure,  you are going to do exactly what your doc says about fluid restrictions, but for most of us, we don't get enough water, and this is a healthy good habit!!!  


So what healthy habits are you doing?  Please share!  It helps us all!

*************************Nurse's notes**********************


I received my second vaccine! It really kicked my toot for the first day, but now I am fine, no tiredness, no fever, no body aches.  I pray it gives me much needed immunity and a small step to a return to normality...or maybe we will have a new normal?


At one point, we had 90 patients in the ER.  90!!  40 were holding for needed beds upstairs in the hospital  We,  in the hospital, were full.  Wild!  The charge nurse of the ER called me, and begged me for beds, and said he was marching up to administration and making them come down and take a look in his ER.  wow!!!  I have never heard him so upset!!!  People were furious with the waits...but what could we do?  The docs were running frantically around trying to see everyone!  


Even our women's service floor is completely overwhelmed with covid patients today...so no hysterectomy patients or others are getting their surgeries. In fact, all elective surgeries are cancelled, period.  FULL STOP...it is all covid patients.  


************************Decluttering challenge!!!!!!!!!!***********************


Food banks are very low right now. So can everyone maybe take a look at your pantry?  Do you have good, non-expired food that you may not eat?  This is my challenge to you, for this week!  Clean your pantry and take what you do not need to your local food bank.  I did, and it was crazy how many people were there to get food.  They always take cash, too...


Your pantry will look so good for 2021!!!


So my theory in starting a weekly de-clutter thing is....I think most people need to do this in our homes, and it will be fun to share our efforts and just think of what we can do if we focus on an area every week!!!


**************************The 1930's********************************


I have been doing a lot of reading about the 1930's, for myself, to learn more than my skimming knowledge obtained at school.  I love history, but in my school, this era was not studied in depth, like the civil war era, or the revolutionary war.  In my university studies, I was all about chemistry, mathematics, biology and nursing.  This era profoundly effected my family, so I want to know more. So!  Here I go!  


It seems that I cannot learn more about the 1930's without first knowing more about the 1920's.  What a wild ride!  After World War 1, there was a general sense of well-being...the men returned from the war, then the women got the right to vote!! Many people moved from an the country (agrarian based) to the cities, to work in factories.  There was a general sense of well-being...and lots of spending!  I figured out that that is why so many upright pianos still exist from the era...the 1920's!!  One of them sits in my living room...100 years old.  Maybe you have one of these!  Lots of cars were also purchased...big ticket items, with newly earned money.  I also found that many people bought things on credit. I found a phrase, "The run up" to the stock market crash...and it seems like it was a wild ride...the "roaring twenties."  The flapper era!!!  


The colors of quilts lightened...with textile mills churning out brighter fabrics, the colors changed from browns and darks, to more happy, lighter colors, and I see this in the antique quilts I have admired.   Although, purchased blankets were also much in use, instead of quilts, too!!  Lots of penny squares were embroidered, although this seems to be a little earlier in history...but lots were made in the 1920's, too.  Perhaps you, as a child, embroidered some of these...I know my mother sure had me do that, to learn to embroider. I found redwork quilts, attributed to the 1920's. 



It seems that these may have been pre-printed squares?  Or heat transferred to fabric...we did that when I was a kiddo.  Or hand traced!  Are these made in the 1920's?  Hard to tell, but they are attributed to that era.  













I could be wrong about this, and please let me know what you know, but it seems that quilting was huge in the last 1800's, then waned a bit, then when the 1930's hit, it had a renaissance. There is a totally different look to the quilts in the 1930's, compared to the 1880's! At least this is what I am reading and seeing.


Stay tuned for more on my exploration of the Great Depression era!!!!!!!


******************************************************************


Julie



Roaring Through the 20s : Paper Pieced Quilts from the Flapper Era - Walmart.com - Walmart.coms



Friday, January 1, 2021

Happy New Year to all!


 Happy New Year!!!  I wish all the best for each of you in this coming year!  A new year is always exciting...full of possibilities!  I have several goals and aspirations for this year, and one is to enjoy and use my scraps and then gift the resulting quilts!    Above is a sample of what scraps can be.  A  number of people wanted to know how this block is made, and so...here goes!!



DO YOU KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS???  THE LOG CABIN LOONIES ARE RIDING AGAIN!!!    

Are you a little bit nutty about your scraps, in the best of ways?  Do you have scraps that you love, and don't want to toss or donate?  Well here you go, log cabin lunatics!!!  ( I am a proud member of this group, LOL!)  

Here is a very dark picture of the block...you can make it any size, but I wanted to use my 1 1/2 inch strips and pieces, lights and darks, (because the bin will not close properly) so I made ten inch finished blocks. 








Here is where I start.  Grab your contrasting fabric (I used red, for two reasons.  First, I have a big hunk of plain red fabric, and secondly, I like it!) Cut two 3 1/4 squares, one of your pale and one of your red.  

Draw a light line diagonally across the 3 1/4 inch pale square.  


Sew a quarter inch away from the diagonal line on both sides, and cut the pieces apart on the line, as above.


This what you will have now, after pressing toward the dark fabric.  Remember to trim those dog ears!


Then draw another diagonal line through the center of one of the blocks, place right sides together, and sew a quarter inch from the line, on each side.


Cut the pieces in half on the line, after sewing.  





Press!  and sliver trim if you need to.  This piece should measure 2 1/2 inches exactly.  You will have two log cabin block centers, already made now.  Easy peasy, and I know lots of people know how to do this, but new quilters may benefit from this tutorial.



AND THAT IS IT FOR THIS WEEK!  Next week, we will start adding rounds.  It will be fun to quilt along, on an easy project with no pressure whatsoever!   Make as many centers as you would like to make blocks.  I made 48 blocks.  This current one I am working on will have the same amount of blocks...the quilt measures 60 inches x 80 inches without borders.  










And here is why I want to use up my scraps!  I dumped them all out and reveled in them today, and Rosie my poodle enjoyed them too!  LOL!  
She dug through them and had as much fun as I did with them.  I have made at six quilts from these scraps, and I am not done yet! Log cabin quilts, crumb quilts... I LOVE SCRAPS!  LOVE, LOVE...



********************************* 1930'S*********************


How many of you were influenced by this period in time?  Maybe you love feed sacks from this periods, or the reproduction 1930's fabrics so widely available now.  Maybe you lived through this time, and have habits and ways of thinking that was influenced by this time period.  Maybe your parents or grandparents lived through this!  This year, I am doing a study of why this happened, the actual living of it, probably from an agrarian point of view, and also consequences and sequalae of the period.  Always the student, I just love history, and I think this period has profoundly influenced a lot of our behaviors.  Stay tuned, as I do an in-depth study, just for fun.


*********************************Healthy habits**********************


As a nurse, I think the medical profession is a bit backwards...not criticizing, but I think we should foster health, as much as treating illness.  Patient involvement and teaching is paramount, and buy-in of taking charge of their own health is so important! 

How many of us charge around, so busy we never take a deep breath, relax, drink our water, or take our 

vitamins?  How about exercise?  


I would love us all to share our healthy habits, and maybe we can influence each other and help each other too!!


*******************************Nurse's Notes***************


I will continue to share my nursing life, not only as catharsis for me, but to share what life is like inside a CVICU, in a busy city hospital.  


***************************DECLUTTERING!*************************


I know I have too many things in my home.  As I get older, things are tending to creep in, un noticed...too many things!  I will share what I am decluttering and donating, and also repurposing!  I think we waste too, too, tooo much as a culture...so maybe we can share our good ideas about this topic too!




Have a great day!  Sorry for the long post...on we go!


Julie





Thursday, December 31, 2020

December Mini of the month


 This is my mini quilt for December.  It all started from those light blue triangles...I made the little quilt around those leftover pieces.  Hope you have a lovely day today, the last day of this year!


Please see Wendy, here, our great and fearless mini quilt leader!  Just wait until you see her mini quilt...WOW!


The Constant Quilter: Fig Leaf and Flower - ready to quilt


Julie

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Applique update

Good morning, all!  I am posting this from 2:30 in the morning...just cannot sleep.  This is not a good thing, because I have to work tomorrow!  Here is my applique update for my applique/piecing quilt, "Mrs. Lincoln's sampler quilt." I have all the blocks sewn together, to this point.
This one is my applique block, 
And this one is my pieced block.  I added some string piecing, just because I love it so much.  
I just like this jolly guy, so I added a picture of him!  The label on  the back says I made him in 2017.  
My buddy at work ordered this for me!  Cute!
Speaking of work, we have to wear blue scrubs.  I made this little apron, to wear...my shoulders are getting pulled forward with all the stuff I carry in my pockets, and I though this might help.  I know the young kids at work will tease me about this!
I experimented and made a tiny pin cushion, from a pill container.  I need something else to stuff it with, other than batting...maybe walnut shells.  


*********************************Nurse's  notes**************************

I went back to work after 4 glorious days off.  I have to say, the 26th was an especially lovely day for me!  Relaxed and just fun!

Covid is exploding here.  We had 40 (FORTY!) holds in ER...this means 40 patients were waiting for beds in the hospital. JUST IN MY HOSPITAL ALONE!  We had a total of 111 covid patients in-house yesterday.   I was in charge and got calls from Abilene, Argyle, Corsicana, Oklahoma even, all wanting beds for covid patients.  I just could not safely absorb any more patients.  I feel that this will be so much worse before it gets better, after the Christmas surge and then the New Year's surge hits us.  In Rockwall, our hospital reports all the administration is out on the floors, trying to help.  Nurse directors and managers are all taking patients.  All single rooms now have two patients in them, in that hospital.   I have no idea where they are getting beds from, maybe renting them?  They report 140% patient capacity in their hospital. 

Wendy, my nurse friend on our floor, is out with covid.  Olivier, our social worker, is out with it, and not doing well.  Emily, James, and Shelly are also out sick with it.  Many doctors are out with it, and this is where the tower could topple.  

The atmosphere is one of desperation, of frantic-ness, of anger and aggravation, of fear, interspersed with the occasional joke and grin.  Hugs are non-existent.  I ran all day long, trying to help where the help was needed most. Never sat down once, except to do staffing.   All I can say is, they get 12-14 hours of me, and then I go home.  That is it, folks!!  I will work as hard as I can for those hours, and no more...no more 16 hour shifts for me, although one dialysis nurse worked 24 hours straight with no relief, last week.  Way to go, Robin, my sweet friend!  Just more and more patients needed life sustaining dialysis, and they just kept on bringing her patients, so what could she do?? These patients were on the edge of death, high potassium levels, and HAD to have dialysis or face death. When your kidneys don't work, it is not good!  7 am to 7 am the next morning.

I get my second vaccine in the coming week, and that will be a good thing.  I liken this to the Crimean War, for old Florence Nightingale, or Clara Barton, in the civil war, who formed the Red Cross. At least we do not have to cook, and grow our own food, and make our own bandages, as they did, as nurses, or the many other harsh realities of life on those times! They had little medicine, very few supplies.   But this is our time to shine, and we are trying our very best to help each and every person who needs it. 

Blood bank is over-run with requests for convalescent plasma and blood products.  Lab is over maxed out. Radiology is using nuclear techs and ultrasound people to do x-rays on the floor.  Overtime is mandated, now.  Many are at 80-100 hours per week.  Ambulance personnel are doing 48 hour shifts on, 24 off, and then back for another 48. Good thing those kids are made of energy and toughness, fueled by Red Bull and coffee!  

We have received e-mails warning us that we will be expected to take twice the patient load per nurse as we usually have.  We received 11 government nurses, in the general hospital side, to help us...I have no idea where they come from.  So our paradigm is shifting, and we are taking more and more critical patients.  The doctors are choosing who gets the machines...vents, CRRT machines, bipaps are all at a premium. Life and death, honestly... Our elective cases for surgery have been stopped, so we can use those resources to take care of covid patients.  

********************************************************************************

Just for me....someday, I will reflect on these musings and I wonder what I will think of them?



Julie



Saturday, December 26, 2020

Quiltville mystery day!


 Good evening to everyone!  Christmas is over for the year, so I just spent the day in a relaxed mode. I had leftovers for meals, and pie for dessert.  What could be better?   I finished the whole Clue 5 of the Quiltville mystery!  I am delighted...I have changed the colors a bit, and I just think those little nine patches are cuter than anything!


So that is it...a hassock piled high with quilt pieces.  On we go!!



Julie