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Monday, April 30, 2012

Curvy Star

In Houston last fall, I took another class from one of my favorite teachers, Philippa Naylor. This one was on techniques to use in curved piecing. I only finished the very center portion of the piece in class, and then — as these things so often happen — it was pushed back further and further in the line of my to-do projects. However, yesterday I finally finished it! Yay! 

I really like the techniques we learned, and I'm pretty happy with this little piece, considering that I stuck to fabrics I had on hand. ;) I used double corded piping around the outer border before adding the binding, and of course all of the piping and binding strips had to be cut on the bias because of the curves. But it all went together very easily. 

They come in threes ...

That's bits of bad luck, of course. ;) It all started with the plumbing in our home, which had been built with the wrong plumbing fittings. As a result, we had to have the entire house re-plumbed: three days of noise, mess, and stress — all followed by massive cleaning sessions by DH and me to get things back to normal. Ugh.

Part two was when our credit card was hacked. I wrote a bit about that here, and now I'm using shielded envelopes for my sensitive cards. Not very convenient, but effective.

Part three was just this past week. Our refrigerator's compressor was in its last death throes, so our home warranty company sent out a crew to replace the compressor. They were due here at 6:00PM on Friday. It took them a couple of hours or so to get the old compressor out and open the box with the new one. That's when they discovered that the new compressor was larger than the previous one; why couldn't they have looked before they arrived? The larger compressor does fit our refrigerator, but it needed more freon than they'd brought with them (see why I think they might have needed to check before coming?). Do you know how many supply places are open at 8:30PM on a Friday evening? Yup — none. 

I had to leave the refrigerator unplugged all night; I couldn't open it at all, since I was trying to prevent cold air escaping and the resulting food spoilage. The repairmen promised to be back by 9:30AM Saturday with the necessary freon. Fine. Except that they didn't get here until after 1:30PM! By that time, since I couldn't leave for fear of missing them, I was getting pretty hungry. It's a good thing one of my daughters came by with some leftovers from her previous night's dinner. ;)

But all's well that ends well. The refrigerator is purring happily, I have a new credit card, and the plumbing seems fine. Whew! I think we've had enough bad luck for the time being, don't you? ;)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The last piece

Friday was our younger daughter's birthday. I won't say how old she is, because it's a complete shock to me that I could possibly have a "child" older than 20. ;) You can imagine what *30* did to me! 

Anyway, her favorite birthday dessert is a specific cheesecake she's been requesting for many years. Unfortunately, I just didn't think that particular recipe would serve enough people, so this year I made another one, which a very good friend had shared with me. I did modify it a trifle by adding some flavoring to it, but — oh boy! — was this ever a winner! It's an Oreo cheesecake with almond flavoring, and the last piece was enjoyed by my husband this evening. Of course, half of what was left the evening of our daughter's birthday went home with her, so it's not as though we've been eating cheesecake nonstop since Friday. LOL!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A heads-up

This post has nothing to do with quilting, food, or anything else I've ever written about here. Yesterday my credit card was hacked. Someone did some fun online shopping at what they hoped was my expense — to the tune of over $400. I'm lucky. I discovered it the same day when I checked my bank's web site, quite by chance. 

After some discussion with my bank, we've come to the conclusion that the most likely way that the perpetrator obtained my card number was by means of a scanner. These scanners, easily obtained for about $10 read the RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chips in many credit cards and all US Passports, giving up our personal information with no effort on the part of the thief and without any hint that we're at risk. 

As I said, I was lucky to discover the fraud almost immediately. Not everyone is as lucky. But I'm now awaiting the delivery of some special "sleeves" I've ordered to shield my credit cards and my passport from illicit scanners. You might want to explore your options, too.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Christmas in April?

My son-in-law has been "gently" hinting for a few years that he needed a new Christmas stocking. My daughter has one I made for her when she was quite young, and each of their three children also has one specially made for them, but my son-in-law has been using one of those generic ones from a big box store. He finally told me a few weeks ago what he wanted on his stocking, and it's anything but traditional. I'll bet you can guess that he's a huge fan of the NY Yankees. ;) So this was today's project, and he'll have it in plenty of time for Christmas. :)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


It seems as though I've been working — on and off — on this quilt forever, but it's finally done. :) It's my Swap Baskets quilt that began as a swap (October, 2010) of signature blocks among the members of my local group. I had no idea what I was going to do with the blocks, but I wanted them. LOL! Then a half-square triangle block swap (July, 2011) was proposed, and I had the idea of using those blocks to make the signature blocks into baskets. This quilt measures about 70" x 87", and it should be very nice for curling up under when the weather gets chilly again. 

I machine quilted this with feathers in the cream strips and in the outer borders. The baskets are outlined, and there are echoing triangles quilted into the black setting triangles.