Sunday
Dec312017

End of 2017 Miscellany

The year went out with a snowstorm. This was the driveway at about 9:00 a.m. yesterday morning:

The husband had already left on his plow rounds and I didn't see him again until it was time for dinner. It kept snowing and he was trying to stay ahead of it, so he just kept driving around and plowing, then circling back and plowing again. He does about half a dozen houses in our neighborhood, as well as the fire station around the corner and the one that is further up on the way to town. When he got home, he ran the snowblower to keep a path open to the chicken coop and around the house and out to the mailbox. 

The dogs are befuddled; they are used to having the run of the yard, but with three feet of snow everywhere and the huge piles of snow made the by plow, they are limited to running around the driveway where it is cleared off. Rusty is too old to break trails and Lila can't be in such deep snow until she gets her bandages off. 

Supposedly we are done for a week or so. It is predicted to be clear and dry this week. Yay. I am looking forward to maybe sledding down some of these snow hills with a couple of little boys I know.

I just keep telling myself we need the moisture. We need the moisture. 

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This is the time of year when I score big on some very strange items that only have value if you clean a lot of old sewing machines:

My girls replace their makeup brushes about once a year and I happily take all the old ones. These are great for getting into little crevices and cleaning out lint and other stuff. I don't wear makeup (never have; it just makes my face itch too much), so I rely on my kids for a supply of used brushes. 

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I didn't actually do any sewing yesterday, but I did the next best thing: I cut fabric. I had to move the cutting table into our bedroom along with the ironing board. It was a bit cramped, but I got it done. (The husband came up to get something and as he was maneuvering his way around all the stuff, he said, "I thought I built a big enough house," which he did, but people are sleeping in my other sewing spaces.) 

This pile of squares is destined to become drawstring bags. I think I mentioned that our church ladies sewed up a bunch of these earlier this year in memory of our friend, Cathy, who was the executive director of The Nurturing Center in Kalispell. They were such a hit that the center contacted us again this fall and asked if we would do more. They provide the fabric, I do the cutting because I have a big cutting table with rotary cutters and a mat, and other ladies do the sewing.

I've had the fabric since before Thanksgiving and I didn't want to let it sit too much longer. The center gave us three bolts of fabric. One bolt took me about four hours of cutting (with other stuff going on in between), and if my math is correct, there should be about 74 squares. (One bolt = 10 yards = 360 inches divided by 14" = 25 strips subcut into three 14" x 14" pieces.) When this stack of squares is sewn into bags, I'll work on the next bolt. 

Cutting fabric is very relaxing. I caught an episode of "Sewing with Nancy" (Zieman) on making scarves and thought again about what a loss it is to the sewing world that she died this year. 

I also pinned together the last half of the stack of pillowcases. I might be able to get those all sewn this afternoon. I use the "burrito method" of making pillowcases. Once I get each of them rolled up into a burrito and pinned, it's easy just to chain piece them through the machine, much as I do quilt blocks. Finishing these should give me a stack of about two dozen to drop off the next time I am in Spokane, and then it will be time to collect all my kid-friendly remnants and cut out another bunch. 

The pile of unfinished objects/works in progress/projects half done has really gotten whittled down in the past couple of months. That's such a good feeling. Now I can go into 2018 ready to start work on a whole list of new projects.

See you on the other side!

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