Monthly Archives: February 2013

Pollyanna Promises and Champagne Wishes

Lyda here. Been too busy to blog, what with work and life and oh yeah, being sick for a thousand million years! Prescription drugs are fun. Not.

Pollyanna promises more on the Quilt of Usual Size soon – with pictures!

And more Random Weirdness.

And strange zombie references.

And movies and TV and books… oh, my!

Possibly some knitting one of these days too.

But no cat juggling. That’s where the Pollyannas draw the line.

Here’s wishing the champagne is flowing freely where y’all are…

Come to think of it, champagne would be better for what ails me than all these antibiotics…

Wanders off grumbling, bumps into wall, trips over chair, crawls back into bed…

Pollyanna grapples with the Quilt of Unusual Size… some more

Lyda here. But y’all knew that.

Before we get into the epic that is the Quilt of Unusual Size, I want to give a shout out to a new reader and quilter, whose blog is Quilting with Whimsy: Welcome! Love your quilts! Did you know that both of the Pollyannas are from Texas?

How’s that for starting with a digression?!

Also, on Monday I saw the latest Die Hard movie with the Sith Master. We had a blast! Although a lot of that was the company – I love being with my son. The movie is just action and plenty of it, but what’s wrong with that when that’s what you’re in the mood for?

Oh, continuing to digress…

Important tip: If you see us at the movies, do not sit next to us because we TALK. Of course, with a movie this loud, it didn’t matter. In most movies, we whisper a little – mostly I whisper – but this time we talked quite a bit. I may have had too much caffeine.

Did I ever tell y’all that I once had a guy tell me after the movie that he almost shushed me? Yeah. That was our first and last date.

Not that I talk during every movie…

Okay, I probably do…

A bad habit from watching too much TV alone, perhaps…

Even within my digressions, I digress…

Quilting, right, quilting…

Last weekend was mostly about quilting the QUOS. I spent both days machine quilting the quilt. I’ve now done about three-fourths of the quilt. I’m working on the sides now, which is much easier as the bulk of the fabric is off the machine.

I’m not really doing a quilt pattern. I’m just doing lines of stitching. The distance between the lines varies, and not all of the lines are perfectly straight. This is on purpose. (Maybe none of the lines are perfectly straight anyway, but let me keep my illusions, y’all.)

On the middle of the quilt, before the red borders, I stitched in the same direction as the stripes on the fabric. The stitches sometimes stand out a bit, and sometimes fade into the fabric. I like the way it looks.

On the borders, I am stitching parallel to the edge of the quilt, which is sometimes parallel to the stripes and sometimes perpendicular to them, as the borders have fabric going different ways.

I’m debating whether to add stitches across the solid red borders, to create irregularly-sized rectangles. I think I’ll figure that out once the rest is done.

Once the quilting is done, I have to do the edge binding, and I’m going to make binding from leftover fabric from the top. Hopefully all the diagonal fabric, if I have enough.

Hopefully I’ll finish the quilt this weekend. Because the Sith Master has a birthday at the beginning of March.

But if it’s not done… well, he’ll understand.

He always does.

Pollyanna versus the Blog Monster

Lyda here.

No matter how many posts we Pollyannas write, no matter how many words we throw at the blog, it howls for more. The Blog Monster is always hungry.

We go through our day, and the Blog Monster is growling in our ear, “Take a picture of that strange cactus. Write about the weird person in the checkout line behind you.”

And it can be hard to walk the blog line – how much do we revel? How much do we tell about ourselves, our families and friends, our daily lives, our secrets? How will we feel years from now when someone new in our life reads our old posts? Linked that last sentence to a Crazy Aunt Purl post, because Laurie says it better than I could. As always. Plus, check out her recent posts:  Hats! Cats! Awesomeness! But I digress…

It is up to each blogger to decide how much is just enough – not so much that stalkers turn up at our door, not so little that we feel like we are lying like Mata Hari. (What an interesting article. Her early life was so sad. Why has no one made a recent film about her? But I’m digressing again…)

When the Pollyannas created our blog, we agreed not to use actual names of people in our lives (past and present). We decided to use our own actual first names but never our last ones. We post pictures of our family and friends only with their permission. I never post pictures of my son, at his request. Sith Masters need their anonymity, y’all.

And it is still sometimes difficult to decide how much to reveal. We have some posts that have been marinating in our draft folder for over year. We wonder, “Does this tell too much?” “Is this funny or just embarassing and sad?” “What if my boss / family / banker reads this?”

Maybe we’re a bit too careful.

Yet, despite our best efforts, someday our kids might end up in this therapy group.

I wonder if they have groups for “Adult Cats of Bloggers”?

Pollyanna versus the Quilting of a QUOS

Lyda here.

With the basting done, Pollyanna bravely begins machine quilting the Quilt of Unusual Size.

The metal bands in the first picture are quilter’s clips (like these) holding the bulk of the quilt rolled up and out of the way. I’ve never used them before, but they seem to help with the bulk.

QUOS_quilting_2

QUOS_quilting

The red lines are the quilting stitches.

The blue lines are the basting stitches which will be removed if the quilting is ever done…

When! I mean when!!

Oh, now I’ve done it. I’ve angered the Quilting Goddess for sure…

I’ll be like Sisyphus

Doomed to spend eternity working on this quilt, never finishing…

the Quilt of Doom!

Help me

Pollyanna versus Seasonal Confusion

Lyda here.

Southern California weather is weird. It’s sunny and 75 degrees. Two hours later, it’s raining like crazy. Next day, the thermometer has dropped below 60 (hey, that’s cold to us). Day after that, hot Santa Ana winds are blowing all over the Southland.

People get confused by all this.

But think how the trees must feel.

All of these pictures were taken one lunch time in the one small parking lot.

Is it winter?

It’s winter, right?

Wait, maybe it's spring...

Wait, maybe it’s spring…

Um... early fall?

Um… early fall?

"Summertime... and the livin' is easy..."

“Summertime… and the livin’ is easy…”

Pollyanna and the Basting of a QOUS

Lyda here.

I promised to tell y’all about basting the Quilt of Unusual Size.

When last we saw her, Pollyanna had completed pinning the layers of the QOUS together, working at a mysterious location.

Join Pollyanna as she continues her epic journey…

Since my room is really small and I have no free floor or table space, I put the quilt on my ironing board – with my cutting board underneath to provide a hard surface. I used a chair to catch one side of the quilt, and my lap to catch the other side, and some bright blue thread left from an old project. For you non-quilters, basting is sewing, but with longer stitches and without caring how it looks – the point is to hold the quilt together through the quilting process. The basting stitches get removed once the quilting is done.

So Pollyanna began basting by hand.

And basting.

And basting.

And then basting some more.

I basted the middle section first, then worked toward the edges. I put the basting rows about 2 inches apart. Maybe I overdid it, but I have invested a lot in this QUOS, and I wasn’t taking any chances. I wanted to be sure that the layers would stay put during quilting. Better safe than sorry. That’s what he said.

It took two full spools of thread, many Pollyanna hours, and a lot of TV. Hurray for PBS, HGTV, and reruns of “Bones” and “Gilmore Girls.”

I spent one full weekend just basting. Seriously. I only stopped for necessary Pollyanna functions (eating junk food, drinking vast quantities of diet soda, passing out for a few hours sleep…) 

By Sunday night, I was stiff all over. I actually had to ice my wrists down so I could sleep.

Yes, I’ll take my medal now.

But I digress…

Behold:

  QUOS_basted

The Quilt of Unusual Size, securely basted together.

And that’s how you baste this kind of turkey!

Pollyanna Brings You No Bad News

Lyda here.

I own y’all a post about the Quilt of Unusual Size, but I have to take and download pictures. I’ve completed the basting and moved on to machine quilting. This is an epic journey I’m on. I vow that my next project will be something small. A bag. A potholder.

A bookmark.

But I digress…

Since I don’t have pics to show you the quilt… Quick, distract them!

I bring you Random Weirdness of the current news type.

Look over there, y’all!

1.  As a huge fan of the “Star Wars” films, I was interested to learn more about Stewart Freeborn, the makeup artist who created the looks for Chewbacca and Yoda. Yes, kids, in the earliest films Yoda was not CGI. He also worked on “2001: A Space Odyssey” – including creating the  proto-humans in the “dawn of man” sequence – and on “Doctor Strangelove“. And if you haven’t seen those two movies, you need to. Immediately.

2. Check out the trailer to the new PBS film, “Makers: Women Who Make America.” It premieres this month – check your local listings. Should be excellent. They had me at Carol Burnett.

3. And lest you feel I am neglecting the touching news, check out this heartwarming news about a boy and his new robotic hand. And this technology is available – with instructions on the web, and about $150 in materials – to everyone. How cool is that!

4. For animal interest, we have this video of a whale breeching under a boat.

5. In case you are wondering what to do for lunch, here are some unusual ideas.

6. And since you might not have time to actually eat lunch, you can gobble some snarky fortune cookies.

7. Finally, for those with an identity crisis, there is this. Dude, I don’t think this is what they mean when they say, “Wow, that guy is really a big star.”

There.

Now you aren’t thinking about the quilt at all…

Oh, fiddlesticks…