The New Hearing Aids, Family Birthdays, and the Traverse Quilt Progress

AND, today there is an early morning haircut with a recommended person who cuts CURLY hair.

But, I’ll backtrack to Sunday night–where there was a family celebration for three birthdays in close proximity in my oldest son’s family. There were happy people, lovely presents, a lovely meal, and I spent the night. We stumbled on to the Super Bowl after dinner and presents and cake as there were two of the birthday folks who follow football–and we watched the whole thing to the sad end for the Eagles supporters.

That halftime show…didn’t hit my amusement or delight range. Strange, to say the least. Maybe it is a generational thing? And I have no idea what the words to the song were. They all looked like desert people who had lost their tents and were adrift in the sand. With a killer storm coming. And high ground wasn’t going to help. And they knew it.

I realized when I went to bed that I had forgotten my new hearing aid charger. These days new hearing aids don’t use batteries unless one demands them. When I got up Monday, both aids were totally dead, so there was nothing to do but go home and charge them up as I am profoundly deaf without them. So no nice early coffee morning interlude with my DIL and son.

I had the old hearing aids for the 3 hours it took to charge the new ones. It’s always good to have back-ups. These new aids are beyond awesome–the bluetooth technology now is so amazing. I can talk on the phone (once I answer it) or listen to an audio book with the phone even in another room. And the sound quality is so, so good. I can control the volume on my phone, too, rather than trying to push the tiny volume buttons on the back of the aids. I feel so lucky.

I had defrosted lamb chops for my main meal, which I eat in the middle of the day. (Costco has reasonably priced lamb, which is harder to get here than in Maine.) I had half of a small cabbage in the refrigerator, and I do like to slice cabbage thin, add salt and olive oil and some herbs (fresh dill this time), and eat it like a salad. The cabbage gets soft in a bit and exudes juices–this would be the begining step of fermenting cabbage to make a sauerkraut actually. But I can’t eat fermented foods with my Histamine Intolerance. The next thing I knew, I was adding other fresh veggies to the cabbage while the chops cooked and was putting some water on the stove to cook some buckwheat noodles.


Here’s are the quilt rows I have completed now–laid out on the upstairs rug. I’m stuck until more fabric arrives. I love this project, which has color changes within each row, some more subtle than others. The Windham Artisan cottons (shot cottons) just…glow.

The longarm is not arriving on Thursday. Both Judy and Rob are down with bad colds–so Judy is projecting arrival for next week. Hopefully.

Already I have two quilts backed up to quilt, and the Traverse project will need to be quilted. And I have a whole stack of super cute Churn Dash blocks that will make a quilt. So what to work on while I wait for the longarm?

The EPP project (English Paper Piecing) from hell is the sad answer–it’s the unfinished 36 Ring Circus quilt. It has 6 rows: three are done and attached and one is finished and waiting for the remaining two unfinished rows. There is also an outer border that could be added–I have all the paper pieces for it.

So, yesterday, I sat quietly upstairs in my new chair, with my view to the street from the window available. I was surrounded by light and with the iron close at hand. And, I hand sewed. I have all the middle parts of the remaining 12 blocks glued (all Cotton+Steel fabrics) and ready to go. And all the outer ring parts are glued as well.

Here are the three completed rows and part of the fourth row–a picture I took way back in March 2022. I don’t even want to think how long I’ve been working on this quilt. The rings are boring to sew, and the piecing of the rings and rows is difficult going with all the curves.

OK, I’ll stop whining now. But this quilt won’t be a big one in the end. It’s way to much work for a baby quilt, and I don’t know about it for a wall hanging either. BUT, I have NEVER abandoned a quilt project this far along, and I’m not going to stop now.

So many hours already… The glueing alone…

Yesterday I put the adorable little office chair out on the curb late afternoon as Tuesday is trash pickup day. It was gone by nightfall when I put out the big trash bin.

Happy travels, little chair.

A Sunny Friday

But rain is coming later in the morning. I don’t mind–it means I don’t have to worry about watering any of the dormant grass–assuming I can even manage to undo the tight hose bolts the movers closed on BOTH ends of two hoses by linking them into a big circle so there would be no loose ends.

I have to say I like solving problems like this hose problem though. Maybe two sets of pliers? Maybe a son or grandson…

Here’s a problem I could not solve though. My DIL was replacing this chair, and I asked her for it. Isn’t it the cutest, sweetest little chair–one just meant for my sewing room?

My DIL warned me that the chair was not holding its height and would gradually slide down to its lowest level.

Maybe that low level would be ok?


Maybe I could fix it?

I went online and discovered that chairs with hydraulics gradually lose their air over time and will slide down to their lowest level. Who knew? The first, easier, fix involved tape for traction and a hose clamp to prevent the chair from sliding down.

Nope. The whole shaft would have to be taped with a hose clamp at either end maybe.

The next fix involved taking off the wheel apparatus and placing a metal or PCP pipe over the shaft–centered on the pipe with washers if the overlaid pipe had too much play on the chair shaft. The chair would then hold in a permanent height–set by the overlaid pipe. That would have worked–but I had no way to cut a metal or PCP. So…


I ordered a new chair from Amazon as I could not find one locally for a price I would consider. Sewing chairs at JoAnne’s were $300 plus!!! And office chairs at Staples were also expensive and so…”officey.” This chair was $138 with tax!!!! Lovely. But it had to be put together. So I spent a quite lovely hour doing that task while sitting on the upstairs rug under a good light.

And now I’m very happy! The chair is very comfortable, the arms can be slid up and out of the way, there is lumbar support for a lower back, AND I had fun putting the chair together.

I am really enjoying having my machine facing this outside window. It is easy to open the shutters, which swing open into the room, to open a window to let a breeze inside. And in the late afternoon, a time when I mostly sew, I can see families out walking with children and dogs and visiting with others they see along the way. There are a lot of dogs and children here, too.

The Traverse quilt is coming along–here are two sections on what was my temporary design wall.

Now these sections are on the rug out in the big room as I will soon have other sections to joint these two.

The final 4 rows and batches of fabric for Traverse will arrive from Sewtopia in a few weeks now. And while I wait, the longarm will come next week, and I’ll quilt the two quilts that are waiting for it–and trim and bind them.

I so looking forward to diving into all the saved projects I have acquired.

My New Sewing Area

Yesterday I SEWED in my organized and (mostly) ready-to-use upstairs sewing area. I say mostly as the design wall is “in progress” and the longarm arrives February 16th.

I love having my sewing machine right in front of these windows which look out to the neighborhood. (The Plantation Shutters were installed yesterday morning, and I love them. They control light so easily, with just a touch on one slat in each panel, and are so modern and uncluttered.) It is dusk outside, but I have plenty of light for sewing with all my portable lights.

My second machine is set up on the short wall behind me, with my bulletin board above it. This machine is set up with the walking foot for installing bindings or sewing a grid onto a smaller quilt. The hallway to the big room is to the right, and a closet is further to the right on the other short wall–so more storage for the bins I have with cut strips and blocks.

To the left is the wall that will become a design wall.

I began my new sewing adventure yesterday by making the 5th row on the Traverse BOM project designed by Tara Faughnan and hosted by Sewtopia. I have the fabric for three more rows and will catch up with those first thing. Sewtopia is shipping the rest of the rows in a few weeks in one package. Getting hold of the fabrics has been hard for Sewtopia this winter.

Here are a few finished blocks in a wide row that will use two rows to make its design. I am testing to see if my blocks are perfect as the row has to measure exactly to all the other rows.

***First, before giving you more pics of the upstairs, a blog reader asked me about the quilt on the downstairs couch. It is a “Sunday Morning Quilt” finished in March 2019. The blog post is as follows:

There is a search feature on the right sidebar of my blog.

The stairs to the upstairs areas stop at a landing where I hung this quilt on the right side. This area is filled with light.

This picture is too dark, probably from the top bar of the shutters, but there is a lot of light in this space. This picture shows the truer colors in this quilt–which I designed some years back in a class taught by Amy Friend.

There is a long wall flanking the right side of the walkway into the larger “game room” area where the longarm will live when it arrives on the 16th. There are blog posts on all of these quilts. The quilt on the far left is made from a block and fabric palette created by Latifah Saafir as guest designer for The Color Collective. The quilt on the right in an improv method designed by Tara Faughnan for The Color Collective. The “four season” quilts in the middle were inspired by Sarah Fielke in the book by Sarah and Kathy Doughty, MATERIAL OBSESSIONS 2.

The “game room,” which is dark, is next. The longarm will go here. To the left is a closet and beyond it the utility room that houses the ac/heating systems. All three quilts represent work done in The Color Collective seasons.

On the opposite wall I set up the serger, and there is a bookcase flanked by storage units that store items that will be needed in this room. The longarm is coming with an overhead light bar that will help with light in this room. The New York Beauty quilt is my design, and the diamond quilt is a smaller version of a quilt designed by Tara Faughnan in The Color Collective. The larger version is hanging in the downstairs hallway.

The hallway door on the left is a closet that houses my fabric stash and beyond is my sewing room.

I’ve been working hard in the last few years to whittle down my stash, and it all fits easily into this closet. The top right shelf on the right is filled with projects I need to make but have not started.

There is a very nice bathroom opposite this closet.

I brought the very comfortable queen blow-up bed with me, and it will be easy to set it up in the sewing room if I have overflow guests. There is the downstairs guest room, and the grey couch in the tv/sitting room is a queen sofa bed, but more privacy would be available for a guest upstairs.

So, there you have it–a tour of the sewing digs.