It has been eight days since I posted last. Time flows over me like a river. Sigh.
Today the sun is shining and the cherry trees are in bloom - and the forsythia is yellow.
I know this because Skip and I went out this afternoon and drove a few minutes west to Clarksville to look at cars. There is an auto park near the firehouse in Clarksville where there are at least two dealers who sell all-electric vehicles - Chevrolet (the Bolt) and Nissan (the Leaf).
Our PT Cruiser is getting on in age (it's a 2003 model and has 196,000+ miles on its odometer:) and we would like to replace it with an electric car. Not a hybrid (though that has better gas mileage and lower carbon footprint than internal combustion engines) ... but a truly electric vehicle. Right now, there are about six or seven good alternatives on the marketplace. So, while we still are not 'under the gun' with necessity, we are shopping around - compiling information and test driving cars, checking out dealerships, etc.
For the past forty years, we've bought Chrysler vehicles and have managed to get decent gas mileage ... but, those times are gone. Chrysler seems to be focusing on the so-called 'luxury' car market - big guzzling SUV's, etc. That means we haved limited experience with alternatives and have to get educated. :)
We managed to test drive a Bolt (Chevrolet's new all-electric version of the Volt which is a hybrid). Skip drove and I rode in the back seat (to check out how comfortable or not the ride is there:) - seemed pretty nice to us. There was no Leaf model on the Nissan dealer's lot to test drive (there is high demand for that model as it works really well) - we have to go back in a week or so when they get new cars delivered. The sales people in both places were helpful and not heavy handed sales demons which I consider important. :) My response to hard sell tactics is almost always to turn my back and walk out (when I don't lose my temper entirely:).
We'll be doing more of this shopping and testing for the next six months or so (fingers crossed) until we decide what and where to buy a new car. Let's hope the Cruiser holds up until we can choose. :)
I've been doing a variety of sewing-related things in the past week but don't have much photo documentation for most of them. Last Saturday I took an all day class (organized by my guild Faithful Circle Quilters) with Erin Underwood. We spent the day sewing (and some students finished!) to make a tuffet.
I decided to make mine using jeans-weight denim for durability (and because I know it will become the favorite nesting spot for my cat:). I went thrift store shopping on Thursday afternoon last week to buy used jeans (I don't wear jeans any more and my husband and son never have, so no old jeans here at home:). It was actually the first time I'd been inside the big Goodwill shop near my home - I've donated lotsa stuff to them, but never gone inside. :) I chose five pairs of lady's sized jeans - one dark indigo, one pale blue, one gray, one red and blue plaid on a gray background and one dark blue pinwale corduroy - and got the lot for a total of $28. I thought it was a good bargain. :)
I spent a couple of hours on Friday afternoon deconstructing the jeans and cutting them up into 3" wide strips. When I got done I had a very nice pile of fabrics to work with. I took a photo and shared it on Instagram but I can't find it now to post here. Sigh. :)
So, I decided not to drag my sewing machine along to the class on Saturday - mostly because I'm still recovering from the surgery and trying not to stress my body too much and my Bernina is heavy. Partly, I will admit, from laziness - didn't really want to break down and pack up my sewing area. Sigh. Because I just cut pieces and took lots of photo notes during the day, I spent a lot of time just observing and chatting with other students.
As usual with classes, there were a lot of really creative choices for materials brought to the class. One student was using hand dyed velvets, another one the remnants from a Trip Around the World quilt she made; one was fussy cutting a beautiful floral stripe print, another was using batiks. I think one of the most fun things about any class (whether I'm a student or the teacher) is seeing the materials chosen. :)
Sunday I spent the afternoon sewing my first set of pairs of strips but set them aside in their project box to work on something else on Monday. Monday afternoon was the first meeting of the new session of Wool Club at Springwater Designs. At the end of the last session, many of us decided to work on a common project during this session. We chose a pattern by Sue Spargo (click the club link to see a photo) that features a tree in leaf. The photo shown on the Springwater site shows the front of the pattern (presumably Sue Spargo's version). Here is the background our leader, Carrie, made:
She made up some basic kits for this and I bought one, but then substituted some pieces of my own. Here the bits are, as I laid them out to be sure I liked the colors:
As you can see, mine will be a bit, um, brighter. :) Here is how the thing looked when I got the background pieced:
I had some mishaps working on this - cut a hole in my fabric while trying to trim off a thread ... missewed a seam and did not discover it until after the whole thing was done ... turned one piece of the outer border upside down to what I had planned. Sigh. The whole thing got finished, though. :) I tend to believe that patterns are only suggestions, anyway, and prefer that the things I make 'show the hand of the maker,' namely me (warts and all). :)
Since I took that photo, I have appliqued on the roots and bole/branches of the tree. I can't wait to start on the leaves. I am thinking seriously of doing a 'seasons' spread of colors ... we'll see. :)
I have been trying to think about and complete some things that need to be done before I leave on my spring trek westward next week ... but haven't made much progress. I am having trouble breaking out of my lazy ways around the house and being actually productive, to say the least. I am spending a lot of time reading books, sitting around with my feet up and reading blogs. Shrug.
Tomorrow my friends Barbara, Patty and I are going to Lancaster, PA to visit the AQS Quilt show for the day. I have reserved an electric scooter to get around for the day (fingers crossed that works out - don't have enough 'walk' in me to do the entire place on foot, not yet). I am pretty eager to see what's new in quilting. :) Not as eager to get up at 7:30 a.m. (Lancaster is about a two hour drive north of us) to leave at 8:30, but for quilts I'll do it. LOL!