JoAnn’s Blanket

My friend JoAnn has MS and is now bound to her motorized wheelchair. She’s out and about on her own a lot – zipping over to the Games Centre nearby to use the gym, off for coffee round the corner with friends.

When the temperature is low, it’s cold on her legs. So she needs a warm blanket. But the bulk of the blanket makes it difficult to carry her stuff with her – she asked if I would add zippered pockets to the inside of the blanket so she can hook the blanket In place and have what she wants to take with her securely on her lap.

Inside of JoAnn’s Wheelchair Blanket

Not a problem – I cut a wide strip from some PUL fabric I’d bought to make a raincoat for myself (it’s not going to get used for that, I can tell). I decided on the PUL because it’s waterproof and it will keep what JoAnn’s carrying with her dry.

I made self-contained pockets – PUL front and back with raw side edges covered by bias tape. I used a heavy weight (#5) zipper with larger pulls because JoAnn’s hands have lost dexterity. There’s a top compartment large enough for a magazine, a small pocket on top of that for money, and a lower pocket for other stuff – Kleenex, etc.

JoAnn gave me the measurements she wanted and I worked to her specifications. I attached the pocket pouch to the inside of the blanket at the centre so it sits squarely on her lap. To each side I added some colourful webbing tape to hold carabiner clips which she hooks to ties on the sides of her wheelchair.

The blanket was too long – it would have become caught in the front wheels, so I cut off 18″ from the bottom and bound it with a batik fabric using a standard quilt binding technique.

JoAnn is now ready for the next cold day.

If you know someone in a wheelchair, this might be a useful gift for her/him. Just an idea….

Mouldy Fruit Sculptures

You gotta take a look at these art pieces by Kathleen Ryan:

Mouldy Pear – “Soft Spot” by Kathleen Ryan

“Artist Kathleen Ryan creates a conversation between the beautiful and the grotesque in her oversized sculptures of mold-covered fruit. The New York-based artist uses precious and semi-precious stones like malachite, opal, and smoky quartz to form the simulacrum of common green rot on each fruit.”

Really, take a look at her painstaking work, it’s breathtaking.

Quilt On The Go – VI

This is the completely edge-stitched, bordered top panel.

Bordered Panel

The photo doesn’t do this panel justice – I have nowhere to hang it and photograph it in a way that allows me to align it perfectly. I laid it on my bed and adjusted the sides as best as I could with my photo software. But you get the idea here.

The narrow chartreuse inner border was a good idea – it brings out the brighter greens. The wider darker blue grunge border stabilizes the blues in the panel. I’m also happy with the subtle diagonal flow in parts of the piece.

Now to build a back

Fabrics For The Backing

These are the two main fabrics I’m planning on using – I also want to build in a bit of piecing using the blues and greens from the top. That’s a job for tomorrow.

Yesterday I sat down at my iMac to play with my Pfaff TruE3 embroidery software to discover it won’t run on my recently updated operating system!

The first line problem is the dongle driver which is incompatible with Catalina (the new OS 10.15); there may be problems further in I don’t know about and can’t know about until I get past the registering of the dongle.

It infuriates me – I bought the software for a whopping amount of money a year and a half ago and now I can’t use it. I immediately contacted Pfaff TruE3 Embroidery Software support who replied they had no information on whether the dongle manufacturer was planning a dongle driver update! TruE3 was only compatible with Mojave (10.14). No help there, obviously.

So by the weekend I’m in a bind – I can stitch out embroideries I’ve already created but I can’t modify them to any great extent and I can’t create anything new.

I’m going to have to ask around among the women I know who have invested in Premiere+ and see if I can spend a bit of time on their computer creating a design to quilt this new quilt with – that’s if that software will actually run on an updated Mac!

Decadent Baked Goods

Came across this wonderful crochet set of bagels by Kate Jenkins.

Bagels by Kate Jenkins

Her work is quite marvellous and ingenious! Check it out:

Decadent Baked Goods Replicated in Crocheted Wool by Kate Jenkins

I crochet well but it never crossed my mind to create something like this! Truly amazing – if you click on the link you’ll see all of her terrific pastries.

Quilt On The Go – V

I’m making headway – I’ve got all the circles edge stitched and about 2/3 of the Xs – It’s taken me several hours each of the last three days to get this far. Tomorrow afternoon I hope to be able to finish the remaining Xs.

Circles Appliqué Quilt – Edge Stitching

I’m stitching using embroidery rayon (in many different colours to more or less match the fabric I’m stitching – the stitch is a narrow blanket stitch (l: 2mm, w: 1.5mm) making sure I’m using the needle down position so I can pivot the fabric to keep the stitching along the raw edge.

Once I’ve finished the edge stitching, I will add a narrow chartreuse inner border, and a navy/teale grunge outer border to finish the top. I have fabrics for the second side – I will do some piecing as I assemble it so my narrow width of fabric can be extended to fit the width of the quilt.

What I have no idea about is how to quilt the sandwich! The last time I did a quilt like this I simply stitched the underlying block edges as squares through the circles and Xs. However, this time the arrangement of circles and Xs doesn’t lend itself to that. I’ve discussed ideas with several people and heard many suggestions. Were I doing the quilting on a long-arm quilter I’d just do some open curvilinear design but I will be stitching in the hoop so I need to come up with some kind of “block” idea that will fit within my 360mm x 200mm hoop. (I have a large reversible hoop but I’ve learned the hard way that whatever design I create has to not cross the centre line.) I need to let this percolate for the next week or so when I’ll be ready to do the quilting.

 

Mismatched Socks!

I don’t usually remove the wrappers from a ball of sock yarn – I work from the inside out so I need the wrapper to keep the outside end in place. However, this time I should have looked – I would have discovered that at ~200m into the ball I’d encounter a white strip to designate the start of the pattern repeat! Missed that. So I’ve ended up with two unmatched socks.

Mismatched Socks

I began the second sock by pulling yarn from the ball until I thought I’d got to a colour matching the start of the first sock. After six rows I could tell I was off and unskeined more yarn until I got a closer colour match. However, once I got into the second sock and came upon the white bit I realized what had happened. At that point I had two options – to undo the knitting back to the cuff, or keep going. I chose to keep going. I now realize I could have cut out the white length and most of the next 20 rows of yarn and likely got close to matching the first sock but that thought didn’t occur to me until I got close to the heel and by then I’d invested too much time to unravel back to before the white stripe. Instead, I unwound the yarn till I got to the start of the red section and began the heel, then brought in the blue after finishing the gusset and carried on with a blue foot. The result is two unmatched socks.

Surely one of my friends is comfortable enough to wear these socks as a “pair” – they’re as warm as all the others even if the feet are vastly different (the legs are somewhat similar).

Vegetarian Chili

Fall has arrived here in Nova Scotia – it’s drizzly today and windy with a chill in the air. A perfect day to make a large pot of chili.

This time I decided to make it vegetarian. I guess that was because I had been listening to a CBC radio program “White Coat, Black Art” – today’s episode was a repeat of an earlier one on a plant based diet. I’m eating less meat than I used to, so I thought a vegetarian chili would be a good thing to have in my freezer.

A Pot Of Vegetarian Chili

Here is the recipe (see below) I sort of used – it calls for onions, bell peppers, carrots, celery, cans of tomatoes and corn, white and red kidney beans… In addition, I substituted a jar of flame roasted red peppers (Unico) for the bell peppers, added mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli, leftover coleslaw cabbage, 1/3 can tomato paste, a good glug of tomato ketchup (French’s), a splash of HP sauce, and squeezed cilantro paste from a tube to liven the flavour.

Vegetarian Chili Recipe

In other words, since I was making a vegetarian chili I simply emptied my fridge, tossing in whatever vegetables were there.

My final secret ingredient was a full teaspoon of Sambal Oelek which gives the chili a lovely “zip” – you have to be careful with the amount because a very little goes a l-o-n-g way. It gives you heat with a hint of garlic, but doesn’t  overpower the chili flavour.

The pot’s still simmering.I will leave it on low heat for another 10 minutes or so to give the carrots, cauliflower, cabbage time to soften more. Then I’ll set the pot aside to cool before putting single servings in containers and stashing them in my freezer.

Yum!