A New Day

It's a new day. So far, I haven't flung any staining liquids into any of the rooms of the house, and so I'm calling it a good start.

Since we were gone this past weekend, I haven't yet done my block-of-the-week for Lisa's Retirement Quilt. Today, I made up the block that Lisa's daughter Sarah contributed. Last week, I created the template for the block, which consists of taking the block or photograph (in this case, the scanned image was emailed to me) and scanning it to create a jpeg that I can manipulate to the parameters I've set up for these quilt blocks.

Once I have them sized the way I want, I print them off to create a template.

Once the template is made, I use it for my pattern to trace onto fabric for embroidery or applique, or whatever I have planned.

Recall that the unfinished blocks are only 6-1/2 inches, and so some of the details are quite small. In this case, I decided the best way to proceed was to add color using crayon, 

and then iron over it to set the color. To do that, you simply place a paper towel between the fabric and the iron. Keep checking to paper towel for color transfer. When no more color is transferred, the color is set. Effectively, you're dying your fabric with wax from the crayon.

Now the block is ready for embroidery. I've started putting a stabilizer on the backs and then using the triple stitch on my sewing machine to stitch the circles contained in many of the block designs.

With that accomplished, I'm ready to hand stitch. I'm going to hand stitch all of the outlines, the individual strands of hair, and I'll use satin stitch for the points of the pencils, the mouth, and the hearts around Sarah's signature. I'll backstitch the rest. It shouldn't take too long. And now this one is ready to go.

After yesterday's fiasco, I've decided to limit today's contact with sharp objects and breakable glass. To that end, I started some Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup for dinner. I got the recipe from a website called Your Cup of Cake. I've made it once before, and it was very good and quite simple to get it going. With dinner already made sans disaster, I figure I'm home free. I'll just make some biscuits...or better yet, burn and serve rolls...and my kitchen duties are done for the day.

Today I'm getting my hair permed. My hair is starting to cooperate a little more. For one thing, I stopped washing it so much, which was a hard transition to make...something akin to kicking heroin, I imagine, although I can't say I know what that feels like. It occurred to me that part of the reason for my thinning hair was that I was washing it to death. My suspicions gained traction when I read an article somewhere about people like me who grew up with very oily hair and skin. When I was in high school, I sometimes washed my hair twice in the same day to keep it "fluffed up". And with those days far behind me, washing it that often was not helping at all. 

The writer encouraged me to get used to the way my hair felt if I avoided daily washing, and after a few weeks, I determined that the article was correct. I was really more dependent on the feel of just-washed hair than I was on the need for it. It's been about six months since I went to about twice-weekly washings, and I can really tell a difference. So, all of that to say that I'm getting my hair permed today, and in contrast to perms gone by, I'm not anticipating hating my hair when I'm finished. That doesn't mean I'm happy about the perm process. I still hate that part, but I do like the body a perm gives my fine and very straight hair.

This morning I checked my tomato seedlings, and my, oh, my. Look at those little guys grow!

One side of my greenhouse will accommodate 11 plants, and so I plant 11 cups...three seeds to a cup. Then I thin them. It's always hard to decide to pull up the unlucky few...what would that be? Tomatricide? Anyway, we're getting to the place where I'm going to start killing some of them.

Oh, and if you're wondering why I grow my tomatoes in a greenhouse, it's because they won't ripen in the garden. We're too high on the globe, and definitely too high on a mountain in a rainy climate. I end up with vines heavily-laden with luscious green tomatoes that never turn red. It's a sure way to grow heartache. Perhaps with climate change, and given the warm winter we've had, it would be possible...on occasion...to get ripe tomatoes in the garden. I've given up on it, and now I'm sticking with what works every season.

10 comments from clever and witty friends:

WoolenSails said...

That is such a fun block and she is just going to love all the designs with all of it's memories.


Lyndsey said...

I love the block design. My hair is very fine and straight . I think I was a teenager when I realised that twice a week washing worked much better. My hair is always very fluffy when newly washed and I don't enjoy that very much. Friends keep urging me to have a perm but I'm not sure about it. I hope the experience wasn't too trying today.
Your tomato plants are coming along nicely. It is always a shame to kill off the weak ones and makes me feel really mean but there isn't room for all of them.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

All these special little blocks are going to make for such a wonderful quilt. I had a perm when I was a teen and it burned all my hair off. I know the products and process is all different now, but that experience totally has kept me from another perm.

LynCC said...

Very cool to see your process on this block. Using the triple stitch for the circles is brilliant. Hey - what kind of greenhouse do you have? We're too high, as well, and have far too short a growing season for tomatoes. But I dearly love real tomatoes!

Dana Gaffney said...

It's perfect using the coloring method on the crayons, I still need to try that. I'm adding get the tomato plants started to my to do list, thanks for the reminder.

Dar said...

Your block of pencils is very 'sharp'. I like the added colors to it too. I think it's time for me to start some tomatoes too, that is if I have time to transplant them to the ground. Sometimes that is the busiest month on record and so my tomatoes don't ripen until September, way passed when everyone else has been enjoying theirs.

Jacque said...

That process looks like fun...your block is going to be so cute!

Kate said...

Very fun block for Lisa's quilt. You are definitely recycling all those skills you've been picking up.

It's been snowing here since about 2 PM yesterday. Definitely not our normal weather for the time of year.

Brown Family said...

That block is cute. I like the crayon coloring you did on it. I need to start tomatoes, too. That is all I ever grow, but I need a sunnier place to put them.

quiltzyx said...

Great colored pencil block! I wish I could sew circles so, er, circle-y!!
Yeah, I used to wash my hair with dish soap when I was in high school, it was so oily. Now I only wash it twice a week at most & just rinse with plain water the rest of the time. And I get it tortured a couple of times a year.