Emails from College and Victory...For Now

Breaking short a Florida vacation to attend a funeral in Tennessee, Timmy calls from a Greyhound Bus:

Timmy: Hi, Mom. Can you pick me up at 4am tomorrow at the Greyhound Bus Station downtown Atlanta? [Friend's] Mom died. We're all going to the funeral in Nashville [about 12 of them].

Mom: Okay. Where are you now?

Timmy: We're going to layover at Tampa for a day, then it'll only be two hours' drive to Atlanta [I swear he said this]. Mom, the people around here are scary.

Mom: Timmy. They couldn't possibly make you layover at Tampa for a whole day and you can't drive from Tampa to Atlanta in two hours unless it's you at the wheel. Do you know any geography at all? Florida is long and Georgia is long. Didn't you notice that on the drive down? And have you ever learned your months?

a few hours later:
Timmy: Hi, Mom.

Mom: How's it going?

Timmy: There's a strange man sitting next to me. He says his name is Tiger. He's covered all over with something. Can you drive down and meet the bus partway?

Mom: Ha ha I know you are just kidding.

Timmy: Mommy, save me.

Mom: Timmy. You are going to be a Marine. Think of this bus ride as a military maneuver in Odd Territory.

Timmy: Help me.

24 hours later after Timmy has caught up on sleep at home and shopped at Value Village for funeral clothes, since he has nothing black and nothing suitable actually of any kind:
Timmy: Look, Mom, we found four matching black vests, aren't they cool?

Mom: Oh, Timmy. You aren't going to wear those to the funeral [Mom envisions them in matching vests at the funeral, very possibly putting on some sort of musical revue]?

Timmy: Nah. Just wear them around at the hotel. Mom, where did these black pants come from [sporting unusually attractive black slacks]?? I found them in my room. I've never seen them before.

Mom [in sacred hushed tones]: Oh. God must have put them there. For you to wear to the funeral.

Timmy [in the same tone]: You're right. And the first girl who admires them will become my wife. [pause] [regular voice] Oh wait, these are from my Halloween costume.

So, it is a sad situation but Timmy and F., on their way at 6am to pick up the other friends and drive to Nashville. In their vests.

Got the next Circuit Rider block done:

Neighbor Update: I do thank you all for your interest in my frustrating House Next Door situation. Found out from the County a few days ago that they have not had a valid business license since 2005 and have never had permission to operate out of a home. I am going to suggest that when Code Enforcement investigates a complaint like this that they either check for a valid license themselves or clue in the complainant that they should check on this. It could have saved me years of frustration.

Currently, they appear to have moved operations out of the house, although they are still coming home at night, of course, since they unfortunately own the house. Gaston the Housebound is sometimes not pleased at being kept in and has taken Tomcat-like steps to protest:
But still I keep him in and suffer the consequences.

Code Enforcement cited these company owners for some things, most important being the expired license. Another department is doing some work on this operating-without-a-license infraction. The Code Enforcement officer told me that the co-owner he spoke with threatened me with various things, the only thing of which he would state specifically is that they were going to sue me of course.

I think I mentioned I haven't been able to grow tomatoes in my tomato bed since they started filling my property with the diesel fumes, so yesterday I planted five for possible fall tomatoes as a victory measure. I feel like I'm reclaiming my yard:



One surprise was that I really enjoyed piecing this Stickle triangle:

It looks so much like a church I suppose Jane had that in mind when making it, don't you think?
Of course, there's that other triangle that looks precisely like a 1930s radio microphone complete with art deco styling and I don't suppose she knew about those :-).

Next surprise was that I (suddenly and without warning) pulled out this stack of feedsack Second Saturday Sampler blocks that has been languishing helpless for years:

and threw them into their green polka-dot setting:

Last and most astonishing surprise is that there may be some progress on the Torment subject, but it's too soon to be sure yet.



There are times when it would be nice to fix the covers just right...

and hide:

From under the cover, I did manage to finish two Stickle blocks:

but last week there was a Distasteful Agenda and no other quilting happened. The guys in the house next door happen to run a heavy duty construction business out of the house. This violates code. Code Enforcement does not care. A few feet from my house and a few inches from my driveway, there is constant activity involving two or more large diesel-engine trucks (one beeps as it is being backed up the loooooong driveway) that are kept running in the driveway with the sickening diesel fumes filling my house, a flat-bed trailer and a hard-sided utility trailer, two employees, two owners, two yellow cars (all vehicles carry the business name on the side), and a carport kept crammed with construction debris including toilets, fixtures, lumber. Years ago, Code Enforcement apparently encouraged them to move out, which they did for about a year, then one sad day they returned and C.E. has done nothing from that day to this despite my pleas.

I began to try again on this last Sunday. I don't know what things are like where you live, but in DeKalb County, Georgia, Code Enforcement has the endearing quality of looking for something to cite you for when you make a complaint.

Last time I complained about all of this, they cited me for having a picnic table on my patio. I am serious. They said it was furniture. Here is the picnic table, still guilty and on the patio:
I just want you to gaze upon this picnic table. I'm sure you can see where this is more important than a construction business being run out of a house in a subdivision. Discrimination towards women? I'm just askin'.

Last time I complained about this business, the owners did some hollering at me and stormed on to my property saying they were going to "set me straight", upon which I called 911 and relayed the request to stop hollering and to stay off my property. Since then, I don't venture out into the yard if they are around, which is much of the time, so it's been hard to do any yard work. Since I knew if nothing else, Code Enforcement would be sure to come out to my property looking for any disruptive picnic tables, I spent about 12 hours total doing heavy yard work, putting a pile of leafy and branchy refuse on the street that rivaled Stone Mountain. I have to at least try to foil them, eh?

Dear Reader, I could barely move this morning. Oh, the tearing muscles in leg and stomach. I am almost 60 after all. This called for ibuprofen and epsom salts with rosemary in a hot tub:

I only take showers. Rembrandt was shocked by this tub water and by me sitting in it. Naturally I enticed her with a sprig of rosemary:

She tried the water...

and it was yummy...

These guys have also been encroaching somewhat on the property line, if memory serves me correctly of where it's located. There was an encounter with one of the employees a few days ago that required another 911 call and a police report as I stood from my property taking a picture of the business sign on the side of the truck he was backing into the driveway...among the many foul and cursing things he was swearing at me, including that he would kill my cat [Gaston goes outside for short periods, well, he used to], he was shouting at me not to take his picture. Hmm wonder why a recent immigrant would object to that, hmmm? He came on to my property a few feet during this. So I am having a surveyor come out tomorrow to stake the line partway back and I will build a fence, which unfortunately can only be four feet tall. I'm planning seven fence sections, which means digging eight post holes and putting the posts in. I have found that I can't lift an 80-lb. bag of concrete any more. Isn't it typical that after being home all summer, DS is currently on a Florida beach?

So Dear Reader, I hope to report in a few days that I have somehow gotten this fence put up. Who knows about the code violation, but I'm going to work on it. Have contacted the Commissioner's Office (haven't heard a thing back) and Dale Russell, TV government watchdog (haven't heard a thing back).


Second to Last Week of Summer Break

Less than two weeks left now of summer break from the Day Job. I've been trying to a maximize my time these past weeks but the time has sped by like a bolt of lightning. Maybe I shouldn't have slept through it like Gaston here. Just kidding. I was mostly awake. After Gaston finally got up, I got these fabrics made into a top, using the Over the Top Tunic pattern from Indygo Junction:

The latest Stickle block. G2. I didn't like it as it was, so I moved some lines around in EQ6:
The versions that others made that follow the pattern, however, are very attractive. Looks sort of like a pair of arrowheads.

I have the first three rows of Dear Jane put together!

Yesterday, I attended Barbara Barnes' class on Big Stitch Quilting at Little Quilts that she has been teaching, incidentally, for six years. I have wanted to take it for ages, and I can tell you, it is one fine class. Take it if you can. Her big stitch quilting is legendary for who knows how far around for its beauty. Barbara gives you her whole method for doing the stitch in the class, plus her advice on thread, needles, batting, basting, and backing.


Two Stickles

A triangle...

and the infamous G06, with the precious tiny star safely enclosed by the larger one. We hand pieced this one last night in our Dear Jane group at Little Quilts. Please let me know if you are interested in signing up for this group for the Fall Schedule: Keep the Janiacs alive :-) !


Repro Divas - Show and Tell

This month's project was to try our hands at hand piecing:

The quilts and blocks above are all hand pieced. Most said that they truly enjoyed assembling blocks by hand...that it was a nice release from the machine.

Further Show and Tells:

This big guy (at least seven inches across) is a Moda freebie:

This is made from one yard of the strippy fabric from Marcus Brothers' American Patriot:

Uh oh! One member has gotten several galloping pony patterns. They are so lush! And she is working on this tote bag:



More finishes. Got the fourth side of binding done on this one. Just look at the exquisite longarm quilting on this; this was done by a friend of mine:

Got the binding on this one, the yellow patriotic version of the 2003 Second Saturday Sampler:

And got the binding on this one, Hula Huts, begun in 2006, quilted on my friend's longarm in 2007, finished today :-) :

Incredibly, the stack is gone. Didn't think it would happen so fast. Shame can be a useful thing:

But uh oh, there were more sandwiched projects in the closet, so there's a fresh stack to work on:
These are not merry, lighthearted UFOs that mostly only needed squaring and binding. These are grim and dark UFOs that have problems. Can you say "unpick"?

If I had any brains, I would toss them in the trash, especially this one:
This is the 2004 Second Saturday Sampler blocks. At the time I was determined to use the hand-look quilting stitch on the Designer1, which involves clear thread and way way too tight tension. I imagine I tried loosening the tension, which did not work. The stitch does not work. But it was one of the reasons I got the machine, so I stubbornly did the whole quilt in the ditch with this horrible tight stitch and the clear thread that shows as plainly as anything. The fabric puckered, the stitch looked horrible. It would make more sense to throw it out, since it's absolute murder picking out the stitches, but I like the sashing, so I'm giving it a try to pick it out.

Rembrandt says, "oh just throw it out and take a good nap".

Oh, I found more of the fabric that I asked about in last post: it says Andover Broderie Perse on the selvage and dates to at least 2004 or 2005, because I found it in the sashing of the 2004 SSS quilt above.


Help: Fabric I.D.

No, not this one, I know it's an (indispensable) Dimples. This is the finishes-1"-star. Worked with the paper piecing. One point is way too big. Ask me if I care:

It's this one. Can somebody tell me what this is (sorry not a very good pic)? It's on the tip of my mind:

I finished the Baskets of Posies; it's all quilted and bound:

Finally took my Designer1 to be serviced. It hasn't stitched right for ages and haven't been using it, so there has little or no machine quilting. It felt so odd to meander again, as if there were no way at all to move around on the fabric. Isn't this the cutest map fabric and ticking for the binding?

Got the cat-proof table runner done, too:

Only one row of binding to tack down by hand on this. I just know I can make myself do it. PoorpoorGinger doesn't even have to move:

Since Baskets of Posies is done, I'm going to sub in my two Stars Around the Garden quilts for my Charming Challenge (not to put in the drawing or anything, just for me as a way to get myself to get it done):

The first one needs a little more work, then they both need sandwiching, quilting, and binding.