Leftovers of the Day

Yesterday was a hair-trimming day, followed immediately by grocery shopping. The grocery list was shorter than usual, and so I arrived home with a couple of hours to spare before getting a start on dinner. I decided to knock off some little stuff in the sewing room. For one thing, I wanted to do a block for Lisa's Live, Love, Teach quilt. A quick one to do was going to be this little plaque (for lack of a better word) that Lisa's mom painted for her many years ago. Lisa sent me a picture when the idea for her quilt was hatched and asked me to include it.

It was originally rectangular, and I needed it to be square for the quilt. I resized it, and then talked over with Lisa the best approach. It would be difficult to recreate the font as her mom had painted it, and it was also going to be impossible to find fabrics that would match exactly. Anything I did to create a quilt block was going to be an approximation. The alternative was to print on fabric, and that was what we decided on.

So whenever you tell yourself that something is going to be "quick", you should know you're telling yourself a big fat lie. Creating a block to be printed was quick. Printing it was something else again. The limitations of my printer and photo-to-fabric printing capability quickly became apparent, and that was the only "quick" thing about this process. The printer refused to use the fabric that was loaded into the photo paper cassette, wanting only to choose from the regular paper cassette. If I loaded the printable fabric into the paper cassette, the printer refused to recognize that there was anything loaded into the cassette at all. It simply flashed "Load Paper Into Cassette" in the snottiest tone possible.

It's tempting to go into the whys and wherefores of this, but when one lives with an engineer, one learns the tedium of long-winded explanations. Consider that I'm protecting you from knocking your teeth out on your computer keyboard as you are lulled to sleep reading about it. You're welcome.

In the end, I taped the printable fabric to the center of a sheet of printer paper and then crossed my fingers, genuflected, danced around three times while rubbing my head and patting my belly, and Voila! It worked! One image printed onto fabric. 

Printing onto fabric tends to fade the colors, and so I bumped up the saturation a little to keep the colors as bright as possible. 

Having completely reached my frustration tolerance limit, I decided to do something simple, like tracing the next Vintage Kitchen block. I was in dire need of something to hand-stitch this morning.

After dinner, Mike had some things to do outside, and so I got started on this. It was about 75% complete when I picked it up and finished it this morning.

Also, I traced out the next block for Lisa's quilt...

And then got a start on that one this morning.

For today's tricks, I have some housework to do. After that, I'll make the back and fix the border for Vintage Tin. Those shouldn't take long.

Then, I'm excited to be starting the quilting for the To the Rescue quilt.

This should be pretty easy...I'll probably just outline the appliques, do a diagonal grid in the "patches," quilt some more water around the hoses and then do some stippling in the yellow fabric with the red hats. I'm going to quilt flames into the outer border, and I'll probably do some sort of over and under design in the other two borders. "Over and under." Got it? It's always fun to move to the upstairs window where Eliza is located, and so I'm looking forward to this.

Also today, we're having our propane tank swapped out for a larger tank. Here in rural America, we don't have any hook-up to natural gas, and so there is a large propane tank on the far side of our garage. Here's a picture that was taken before we ever even purchased our home. Don't ask me about that "Nasty Boys" thing...it belonged to the previous owner.

The house looks completely different now since we remodeled some time ago (ten years, maybe) by building a larger garage and converting the single garage into an office for Mike. The propane tank is there on the far left of the garage, although it's a lot less obvious now. Here's another ancient picture of the place.

I've been sending Mike links about the Cascadia Subduction Zone and the apocalypse we're expecting should the thing decide to slip. While we're not generally alarmist sort of people (because being alarmed requires a significant amount of energy), we have been considering things we can do to be better prepared for emergencies. We're going to install a big generator...by "big" I mean big enough to run the pump for our well. Changing out the propane tank for a larger tank is another relatively inexpensive and reassuring fix. Besides, when we get a big ice storm, the propane truck can't always get up our hill to fill our tank. Having a larger tank will give us a buffer for the coming mini ice age as well. Yes, catastrophe looms from all directions.

Before disaster strikes the home front, however, I think its a good idea to bake bread. Today I'm going to bake some Whole Wheat Zucchini Nut Bread...because, you know, zucchini (which might be considered a little mini disaster all its own). There's a little bit of housework on the agenda too, and so time to get moving before the propane man comes and catches me in my PJ's.

8 comments from clever and witty friends:

gram k said...

Love your blogs and wry sense of humor....hope you are surviving the CSA "apocalypse"...

Junebug613 said...

I had a similar problem recently, when I tried to print my quilt labels in my new printer. Very frustrating. I left it alone and the next day when I tried it, it worked without a single hiccup. Weird stuff.

Beth said...

Hi Barb--Here's a question that might be pitched more toward the engineer in the family...coming from Southern Cal (as you did, right?) I am accustomed to planning for earthquakes and their aftermath, and thinking about emergency preparedness and taking care of ourselves until services can be restored. Having said that, now that we live on a rural property in Clatskanie, OR instead of our very familiar SoCal suburbs, we've considered getting a big ol' propane tank.

But what do you (or does Mike) think about the potential for some kind of explosive event in case of an earthquake? I'd love to be able to turn on a gas fireplace and keep warm, but I'd hate to have a propane explosion when the authorities won't be in any shape to come put out a fire. (And, yes, I am a worrier.)

Thanks for following me along this non-quilty detour...just can't resist talking disaster preparation.

Kate said...

I hate printer problems. Sometimes you just have to fool those darn things.

Dana Gaffney said...

I had a printer that was always wanting something from me and talking rudely so one day I unplugged it, carried it outside and threw it in the trash. I still remember that day of freedom with fondness.

Jacque said...

I have never tried to print on fabric yet....now I'm scared. Haha! Love your pile of veggies in the previous post - bet the zucchini bread turned out awesome!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Tee Hee - love Dana's response! I did something similar - yeah, throwing out a printer and taping fabric to paper to get it to feed. We have always had 'supplies' on hand being a large farm - and people tend thing we are self efficient being farms. A large generator, diesel tank, gas tank, water buffalo tanks and old root cellar are all things that have been part of the operation of the farm and have come in handy in disasters (because no one has ever come to our rescue - we did it all ourselves).

quiltzyx said...

Glad you got such a nice result when it finally made it through the printer!
Thanks for the link to the article about the Cascadia Subduction, it was very interesting. Are you far enough inland & up high enough? From the article it looks like my sister Nancy, who lives near Sacramento would be far enough east to be OK. Judy & Walter, well they might be far enough south, but they are west of the I-5. Hmmm.