The Domestic Goddess

For those of you who know me or you may have picked up the vibe from reading the blog, I'm NOT into housekeeping. It's just not my thing - I know - I'm a princess. I'll blame it all on my mother. She was the queen of knickknacks. OK - so I bet that all households in the 60 and 70s were chock-a-block filled with bric-a-brac. All those cutesy ornaments and whatever else could be collected. Our house was filled to capacity!

Not only was it filled with that kind of stuff but with limited storage options, a lot of things hung out in the open. Hence, it was a disaster to keep clean. And it was my job to dust. I hated dusting with a passion and told my mom that I would never dust. I would always have a cleaning lady. And I've had to make choices in my life so that was possible.

At this point in time, the cleaning lady is in self-isolation, just like everyone else. So I have had to bite the bullet and get out the vacuum. I may even have to break down and get the dust cloth out as I've noticed some of the tables - well, you know what I mean.

It's not like I don't ever clean. I do - my studios are in pretty decent shape. I Swiffer the floors regularly and I do dust the surfaces. But that's totally different from housecleaning. Isn't it funny how our minds work?

I do vacuum the living part of our house. Just not often. So the other day, I dug the vacuum out. If I'm going to vacuum, I might as well do a good job! So in the manner of my mother, I flipped all the chairs onto the table so it was easier to get at all the dirt, dog hair, and dust.

Prepping to vacuum

Hmm - what's this? messages?? Oh yes - M and her friend went around our house one day (can you tell which day?) and marked messages in hidden spots with a PERMANENT marker. I find them behind pictures on the walls, on the bottom corner of doors, and lots of other places. I guess they were bored. I wonder how they are coping now? I wonder if M is going around her OWN place and writing messages?

The underside of one of the chairs

Hmm - I see that some of the felt pads are missing from the chairs. They sit on a ceramic floor so it's not like we need to put them on to prevent scratching, but the felt pads cut down the noise. 

Where's the felt pad?
I even took the throw rugs outside and vacuumed them after they had been shaken.

Vacuuming the rugs outside

It was easy enough to put on new felt pads. I knew exactly where they were. That was the result of cleaning out a small storage closet in the basement quite a while ago. I took tons of pictures, but they never got posted.

Bag of felt pads

OK -- so I managed to get one chair done before DH so thoughtfully put the chairs back on the floor. Now I have to get back at it today so I can put the bag of felt pads away.

Since I'm doing this, I did the same thing for my chair in the office. Hmm - what do I see???  Another note from 2007. But in pencil this time.

Another message on the bottom of a chair
This chair is missing a big screw and it's been missing for a while. I know it's in the office somewhere, but where? I think I'm going to have to start a list of missing things. Then I can get excited when I find the item as I'll be able to check it off. Oh boy!!!!  I don't get out much!

There's a screw missing

I just get a laugh out of some of these situations. I know where the bag of felt pads is located, but can't remember where I placed the bag of bodkins. Hmmm - another place just came to mind. I'll check there later.

Remember, I mentioned a store that had gotten creative with their sewing machines. I found the picture. Isn't this the best!!!!

A creative sales pitch for sewing machines

 There were also bolts of fabric in the window and you could drive up, "shop" for fabrics. Then call the store and order and pay. They would cut the fabric and then leave it outside their door for pickup. People have gotten really creative. This store is called Marie's Sewing Center in the state of NY. They have two locations and this might be in Hamburg. I can't remember - I've been to both locations.

I spent a LOT of time on the phone again yesterday. I don't mind but after several long calls, that eats into the day. Oh well - nothing on the urgent schedule so who cares. Part of it was for my day job as we try to figure out how to go forward in our education duties.

Speaking of which, I'm going to book the webinar on needles for Wednesday, May 6 at 7 PM EST.  I've played around with the time trying to decide which is best. I'm going to aim for this time and then we'll see if that works. I'll be posting the link, but mark that date in your calendar.

I did get the binding on the Cancer Can't quilt. It's already been picked up and delivered. One more UFO out of my house. 

Binding on the Cancer Can't quilt
 As you know, I was working on that mini-quilt. Working on a mini is NOT less work than working on a big quilt. Sure you can use your 24" ruler to cut borders, but the blocks require the same number of pieces as a big quilt would and they are way fiddlier to sew together.

And I'll just say it now - I got LUCKY with this quilt. I'm going to show you where.

There they are -- all 35 half star blocks are done! I was very excited to see those come to an end. The pattern called for 28 but since I added the extra sashing, I was on my own to figure out numbers.

While I'm a planner, I tend to just wing things when it comes to quilting. So I made 35 and hoped for the best. You can see how methodical I was - I had five colors - 3 darks and 2 lights and I made 7 of each giving no thought to the final result.

35 mini half star blocks

Well - it's time to keep going, so I took those blocks and laid them around the quilt. That's where the first panic moment happened. OH SHOOT  - how do I place them so I get a pattern without having to make more?

I ended up with a dark at the ends of the rows and alternated a light in between. Thank goodness it worked!!! 

Laying out the pieced border

What was leftover? Three darks half star blocks. Holy  - I couldn't have planned it any better. I seem to have a 6th sense about quilting. Or more likely, I say - whatever I end up with - that's what I get. Or I'm so flexible that I'm good with any scenario. That's true to some extent, but I do like symmetry (most times) and well - I'm meticulous about some stuff and yet, not about everything.

Bottom line - the pattern worked and I have three half blocks left over. OK - so I'm going to make one more half block and then I'll have two little star blocks. Not sure what I'll do with them, but 2 full blocks will more likely find a home than three half star blocks. See why I never get much done? It's because I fiddle with stuff like this!!!! I can't help myself. I LOVE IT!!!!

Three leftover half star blocks

I pieced the star block border together. Now it was time to figure out the coping strip needed to make the pieced border fit the quilt. If you don't know how to measure a coping strip border, there's a GOOD document on the Northcott web site. It's good - because I wrote it! But I got the coping strip border on (the dark blue) and then the pieced border got sewn on as well.

The pieced border is on the mini quilt

Let's say that that wasn't as easy as I made it sound. My brain was somewhere else this morning. I did all the math and then missed Step Five on my instruction sheet. The instruction that said ADD ½" for seam allowances. Oh dear - I had to redo part of that process. DUH!!!!

Time to get the final border on. I don't' have a lot of fabric choices left. I sort of weighed them in my hand and said this one will do. I thought about putting a dark border on, but that was too much. So medium it is.

The pattern said 3". So I started cutting 3" strips, never giving any thought to how many strips. I seemed to be in auto-pilot mode. I got the first two borders on and for some reason, my brain was off a wee bit. Measure the length - 22 ¼". Cut the length 23 ¼". Seriously??? I did that twice! Once on the coping strip border and once on this one. I know we all have days like that. Thankfully it doesn't happen often for me. And thankfully, I cut them too long so it was easy to fix.

Part of the last border is on

As I cut those two side borders, I had another moment of panic as I realized that I may not have enough for the top and bottom. I had joined the side borders with a diagonal seam.

Turns out that if I join the last two strips and use the leftover piece from the side borders with a straight seam that there is JUST ENOUGH. Now is that luck? or intuition??  I'm going with intuition! I KNEW that was going to happen. Oh well -- just another crazy story about a UFO.

Just enough fabric for the top and bottom borders

The binding is going to be one of the dark fabrics. I hope to get that done today and find some backing. Then I can get this out of Studio U and into the "to be quilted" pile.

I'm thrilled, to say the least. This is a HUGE moment. This UFO has been hanging around for years and now it's going to be done!!!!  Done in my house is when it lands in the "to be quilted" pile. The cutting table looks a wee bit messy when I left it this morning, but it's all the stuff from this quilt that will need to be tidied up once the top and binding and backing are complete. I also have a quilt block that needs to be sewn together and mailed.

The cutting table

Still - the only things on that table are the CURRENT things I'm working on. Two things - that's it!! And it's been how many days? It's a miracle!!!

Speaking of UFOs, I see that Elle's oldest UFO is from 2010. Oh, how I wish!!! And I got a call from Pauline yesterday. Pauline - NEVER has a UFO. She works on one project at a time and gets it done, right down to the binding. Then she starts another. ACK!!! If only!!! I'd still be back in 2000. Anyway - she currently has FOUR UFOs. FOUR!!!!  Pauline - how could this have happened?? She's not been herself for the last couple of weeks (nothing serious). I'm sure once she's over this, that those four UFOs will be tidied up quick.

My oldest UFO?? It's over 20 years old. From my very first quilt class. The quilt top is together - it just needs to be quilted. So I guess that's technically NOT a UFO since I consider them done once they hit the "to be quilted" pile.

I hope you get to spend some time outside today. I spent a LOT of time in the gazebo yesterday. Reading my book, just watching the world go by, and taking it easy. I LOVE it.

On that note, I'd better get the day going, and hopefully, NO MORE issues with measurements!

Have a super day!!!