The Eyes Have It

This morning I was up bright and early to get to an eye exam at 8:30. You must understand that most days I'm barely out of my PJ's by 10:30, and so to actually be somewhere at the same time as working people was something of a challenge. It hasn't always been that way, but it's been that way long enough that I wasn't sure I was up to the task. That, and I avoid rush hour traffic as if my life depended on it. Arriving at 8:30 makes it pretty difficult to avoid. Nevertheless, I did manage to arrive there on time.

I got a chuckle out of the woman who came to the waiting room to summon me because I was sitting alone in a large room. She stood up straight and tall, looking over my head as if addressing a crowd, and in Saturday Night Live style announced, "Barbara?", as if there was some question who that might be. Because I'm a snot, I hesitated just a minute until she made eye contact with me, only then admitting that I was the person she was looking for.

Since Friday, I've been having the most annoying "flashing" in the peripheral vision of my left eye. I consulted Dr. Google and found that this often accompanies the formation of new and dreaded "floaters". If you were born in the 14th Century, as was I, then you are probably well familiar with floaters. I've had them for years. Still, when a big black Cheerio of a floater appeared right in the middle of my field of vision on Saturday, it was a little annoying if not downright alarming. I was fairly certain it was nothing more than a new floater, but I wanted someone to take a look at it just the same. As expected, my optometrist assured me that it was a normal process, albeit irksome. He also told me that gravity would eventually lead it to settle down so that it isn't as noticeable. It will probably break apart as well. Just the same, I'm due for a regular eye exam, and so I made an appointment for a month hence, and he'll look at it again then just to be certain it isn't getting worse.

So with that behind me, I came home and started putting together my current project, "Oh, Christmas Tree". This is the project I've taken on as my February Let's Book It challenge.

As a reminder, I'm doing a project from this book:

The project I chose was this:

It required the making of 222 half square triangles, and I've spent the better part of the week on that.

Listening to a good audio book took the tedium out of that little project. Beginning yesterday, I started sewing the rows together. I think the thing that makes quilting so addicting sometimes is the fun of seeing a project come together, and this project has been especially gratifying in that way. I'm excited to add each row to see the project transformed as it comes to completion before my eyes. I have some housework to do, and so I'm needing to stop sewing for the day, but I have it about 2/3 complete now. Here's how it's looking:

There are 18 rows of 12 half square triangles, and I've completed 11 rows...so 7 to go. Then it has some borders and some pinwheel cornerstones. Originally, I was going to ask my son Matthew to help me light the tree with LED's, but I've had some second thoughts about that. If I bring lights from the wrong side to the right side, with their accompanying wires that hook them to the battery, then how am I going to quilt it? It seems to me that I risk running the needle through the conductive wire, and that would be a problem. I've considered possibly only putting lights at, say, the star points and the points of the tree. In that way, I could just avoid those areas when I quilt it. That might work, but I'm not sure. Mike, the senior engineer of the family, is going to take a look at the possibilities to see if it can be done. More on that later. I might need to abandon the lighting idea.

So that's all I've been working on this week, other than the usual comings and goings. I'm going to link this post to the February Let's Book It linky party at Vrooman's Quilts.

And don't forget, the February NewFO Linky Party and Giveaway goes live tomorrow. Did you start anything new in February? Join in the party tomorrow.


Kate said...

Wow, you made lots of progress! It's looking great. Hope your engineers can work out a solution for your lights. That would be really cool.

carla said...

Wow!!! That is a lot of hst's!!! The tree is very pretty!!!! Lighting would be interesting

Wow!!! That is a lot of hsts!!! The tree is very pretty!!!!

carla said...

Wow!!! That is a lot of hst's!!! The tree is very pretty!!!!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Oh, love all the HSTs - didn't realize that even the backdrop was all piecing - what a great look. I don't think i'd want a string of lights inbetween my quilting layers - Maybe quilt and finish off - then some little button holes so the wiring can be run against the back and the lights slipped thru the holes?

Vickie said...

How pretty! You will be all ready for next Christmas for sure. I think I have that pattern somewhere...hummm. Great job!

Teresa in Music City said...

That's a fun and lively Christmas Tree my friend!!! I love it! Glad you are taking care of your eyes - you definitely need them for quilting :)

Junebug613 said...

Wow, you are whipping that one together! I literally laughed out loud at your waiting room comments. Some people......

Janarama said...

You add the lights through all three layers. Here are a few YouTube videos for adding lights to a quilt.


This next video briefly talks about lights on a quilt using conductive thread. Fast forward to the 5 minute mark in the video.


Here's a blog that has a tutorial for adding lights to a quilt.


Maybe one of the ideas above will help you light up your tree.

Your tree quilt will be beautiful with or without lights.

Valspierssews said...

The tree looks fabulous. That is a lot of HST! I know what you mean about watching it grow. It is hard to stop and take a break. It is always, 'Just one more row'. Very adventurous with the lights. Sounds like a good challenging project though.

Farm Gate Creations Incorporating Hummingbird Quilting said...

I love your tree, well done it has turned out just beautifully.

Michele said...

It is looking great so far. Glad to know that the eye issue wasn't anything serious and that nurse at the doctor's office needs a little lesson in dealing with patients. That would have annoyed me too.

quiltzyx said...

Wow! That tree is growing up quickly! I do believe it will be ready before next Christmas!!!

Glad the floater was just a floater, and that you made it there on time, traffic, "real clothes" and all!

Dasha said...

Barbara, I had exactly the same thing happen about this time last year - flashing lights & this whopping floater mid vision on the right eye. I was a bit perturbed as a friend had had a detached retina only a few months before, and her description of the symptoms was "flashing lights". You can be assured, that if things go as per my experience, the flashing does disappear, although not 100% (still happens once in a while when I am tired) and the floater has diminished to the point that I am not normally aware of it. It is pretty disconcerting though when it first happens.
Your tree is fabulous.

Dasha said...
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Dasha said...
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Brown Family said...

The one lighted project O saw was not actually quilted all the way through. They quilted the front added the lights and then added a loose (sewn on three sides) back so they could get to the battery pack to turn it on/off and change batteries.