Back in my house!

Wow, it’s been a while! For about a month there, I was poised to move any second now, until the last week of October when I finally got to.

The sunsets are really amazing from my deck.

I got a sewing table, and the Forbidden Room of Mystery is now the Sewing Room of Mystery!

Wee squares everywhere
It’s not really all THAT forbidden

It seemed like everything was breaking for a little while – the first time I tried to do laundry, it flooded the downstairs! The plumbing was damaged by the storm, but no one knew because no one had used it since April. But now things are finally calm enough that I’m working on various projects again. The rainbow batik quilt is really coming along nicely, and today I cut out the batting and backing for my niece’s quilt and made another wonky log cabin square for my mom’s.

Is it even a quilt until Nina’s helping?
My wonky log cabins have some issues with being the right amount of wonky. This one’s close.

My bedroom came out MUCH MORE PURPLE than I anticipated when I picked out the paint, but I ended up really liking it, especially once I added the curtain.

Rory always looks startled!

Finally, I didn’t dress up for Halloween, but my beloved did. 😀

Art by Ruka!

Moss garden!

I finally got the borders on this. I think the pink was a really good choice!

My house just needs a refrigerator and an inspection before I can move back in! It was badly damaged enough that the county has to OK it for occupancy again.

As you can see, I don’t really have enough room in the apartment to spread out a full quilt like this one, plus I’m going to use a spray adhesive basting, which I should *probably* do outside, so I’ll likely wait to put this together until after the move. My garage will be empty and newly painted, so I might use its hard floor instead of trying to assemble the quilt actually outside.

Moss garden quilt

The top of my moss garden quilt is mostly done.

It looks less bad than I thought it would. The squares don’t all line up like they’re supposed to… but it’s not as noticeable as I was afraid it would be. I have a great talent for cutting things the sizes they’re supposed to be and then having them not end up the sizes they’re meant to end up. All my nine-block squares were too small… so I cut the solid ones to match, and then they were too small. I obviously have a cutting mat with some sort of spacetime anomaly embedded in it.

I was going to use the lilac millefiore fabric I have as the backing and the dark millefiore for the border, but I changed my mind. The next thing I’m making is a boardwalk block quilt, like this practice square:

with these fabrics and the 2017 dusk fat quarters I have on the way:

I decided to swap and use the millefiores for that quilt and the yellow-orange batik I was going to use for that for the moss garden one instead.

Which means I am undecided about what to use as the moss garden border. I think I’ll get a solid or solid-ish green since it came out so green and yellow, though now that I look at the photo more, I’m leaning more toward pink.

For now, I’m not going to put anything more together; I’m going to make a wee quilt sandwich out of that practice block and see if I can remotely do freehand machine quilting myself. I’m really uncoordinated, so probably not, but hope springs eternal.

More projects

I’m finding sewing projects to be a lot like writing projects in that I have way more ideas than I can possibly work on at once. Luckily, making a quilt or a bag is much faster than writing a novel!

I’m going to make another drawstring bag using this fabric that I couldn’t resist.

so pretty!

I’m going to try crumb quilting for the patches because I’ve done enough projects that I have lots and lots of wee pieces, and I hate throwing them away if they’re remotely big enough to be useful. I think I have enough pieces in blue and green to stick with just those, and I got turquoise thread and a light blue zipper today, so I have everything I need.

My mom was so into the wonky log cabin blocks from the other bag that I’m going to make her a quilt out of them.

it’s pretty wonky

I have a bunch of jelly roll strips in blue, pink, green, and purple, so I’m using those, and I’ll still have enough left to do a jelly roll race quilt if I feel like it. I got some black and white strips today, too, and I think I’m going to chain them together and use that as sashing for the log cabin blocks. It’ll still need backing and binding material, but I don’t feel those yet. 🙂

I’ve also got all the pieces cut out for the moss garden quilt, and I need to finish putting the last few nine-patch squares together. I’ll need to find a way to lay it out and figure out how I want the squares to go without having a very helpful cat right in the middle of it.

Anytime anything is happening, she has to be right there!

Finally going home soon!

The Halloween quilt top is done, and it looks like I’m going to have a hard time wresting it from Nina to finish and give to my niece.

She’s a big help!

Today I made a wonky log cabin patch for my next project.

I get to move back into my house in just a couple of weeks! 😀

Since I have pictures handy, here’s the story.

My house got hit by the tornado late Easter night, and I haven’t been able to live in it since then – the next morning, when emergency services came through, they basically said, “Put your cats in carriers and leave right now.” Like, firemen literally carried my cats out.

Here they are going in!

That’s because the wall holding up the top front half of my house looked like this.

yaaay

I was in the house when it hit. A tornado really does sound like a train going through your house. I ran downstairs, and luckily both cats came down, too, and I just sort of cowered in the back corner of the house that’s up against the hill. I heard at least two LOUD ASS bangs, which I later realized were my garage doors caving in and probably either the wall in the garage collapsing and/or trees taking out my deck. The whole house shook like a giant had given it a good shove, and stuff fell off surfaces everywhere, even in the middle of the house. It was an EF3, I found out later, which means 145+ mph winds.

That much wind does stuff like this (my study)

When I bought the house, there were about 20 trees around it, no exaggeration. Now I have one.

I had one and a half, but my contractor cut down the half, probably because it looked like this.

By some insane miracle, my upper floor held off from collapsing into my garage long enough for my cousin to build a supporting wall, which saved both my house and my car, which had been trapped there where the garage doors caved in.

By another insane miracle, even though all my trees bit it, none of them actually landed on my house, except the ones across my deck.

The morning after

I had to hike down to the closest major road with my cats because everything was blocked by downed trees and power lines, and my parents met us there and took us to their house. Luckily my wonderful neighbor was going down, too, and carried one of my cats for me. I also had a bag with my CPU – because I had an editing project on that computer due that day – and all the art and things I’d rescued from my study, where the ceiling had already fallen in that morning.

This is by the wonderful Zee. The hard copy lived on my study wall, and you’d better believe I grabbed it when I realized that room was going to be a total loss.

Yes, my one true fictional love

I don’t remember the next couple of days that well because I was desperately sleep deprived and out of it. I do remember lots of people asking how they could help, though.

It turned out my house can be fixed, and I’m basically getting a whole new upper floor. My poor neighborhood still looks like it was bombed, and a lot of houses have been bulldozed.

A little after the storm. That tan house is gone now.

I got really, really lucky. It’s weird to go through something like this, because it’s awful, of course, but as a writer and someone insatiably curious about just about everything, it’s also really interesting to be able to experience and observe something not a lot of people have been through.

All the colors

Aaaah, so much beautifulness! 😀

Believe it or not, I used to be a goth. My mother likes to claim I was the first goth in Chattanooga, but this isn’t quite true. I was one of the first two girls at GPS to have a black uniform. I fully blame/credit Mononoke for the shift in my taste from all black all the time to crazy colors and patterns. Just look!

So much beautifulness AGAIN!

Halloween quilt and my house!

The quilt for my niece just has one more row to be added, and it’s big!

A little wonky, of course

I still need to pick sashing and binding for the next one, but I’ve cut out about half of it. I’m not orange’s biggest fan, but I am *in love* with this shade of the Kaffe Fassett millefiores.

pritty

I also went over to my house for its last inspection! I’ll do a post of tornado pictures at some point, but for those who don’t know, my house was hit by the Easter tornado, and I haven’t been able to live in it since then. My neighborhood still looks pretty rough.

Fantastic view from my deck, though.

I should be able to move back in about two weeks, yay!

Everything is almost finished inside; my contractor says it’s just cosmetic stuff to do now, like the interior trim and getting the flooring installed. They’ve taken the plastic sheeting out of the kitchen, so they must be getting close!

My office looks a lot better without the ceiling on the floor!

I made a goal to finish the second draft of my novel before I moved, and I just have two more scenes to nail down, so I’d better get to that! Here are the three main characters, in one of my favorite bits of art people have made for me.

North is not here for your selfie, Yumino.

Hey, I have a WordPress account

Who knew?

I actually forgot until I was prompted to log in to comment on someone else’s page. But since I have it, and since, like lots of other people who’re staying home a lot, I have a new hobby, I figured I’d use this page to keep all my friends from getting deluged by pictures of in-progress quilts!

I think I crossed some sort of event horizon not unlike buying doujinshi in a new fandom when I started cutting pieces for a new project before the current one is done…

Halloween and Kaffe Fassett… seems about right

The Halloweeny fabric is for a quilt for my niece, which Nina has been trying to claim as her own.

Nina’s a big help.

Rory (you can tell them apart because Rory is bigger, has a notched ear, and has big anime eyes) claimed the first quilt I made, which was a lil one I made for the kitties. As you can see, it’s kind of wonky, but she loves it anyway.

I think it’s not that bad for being my very first major sewing project!

And since no (re)introductory post would be complete without Mononoke fan art, here’s a lovely drawing made for me by Jenni, continuing the cat theme. ❤

My one true fictional love

Recipe: Southwestern Black Bean, Cheese, and Spinach Casserole

1 T olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 big handfuls baby spinach
15-oz can seasoned black beans, partially drained
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
4-5 tortillas

salsa to top with when serving

1. Saute the onion in the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat until translucent.

2. Add the spinach, and cook until it starts to wilt.

3. Add the black beans, with some of the liquid from the can. I opened the can and let some of the liquid drain out, but didn’t rinse the beans or shake the can upside down like I would if I were totally draining the beans. Cook until most of the liquid cooks off, and remove from heat.

Image

4. In a casserole dish, make a layer of torn or cut tortilla. Top with half the cheese, then half the bean-spinach-onion mix. Add another layer of tortilla, then the rest of the cheese and the bean mix.

5. Cook at 350 for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and starting to brown.

6. Serve with salsa on the top or side. Sour cream would also be good!

Image

This comes out really, really cheesy, so if you want it less so, either reduce the amount of cheese, or add a layer of something else. A can of diced tomatoes would go well, or a jar of salsa if you want it spicy.