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A Summer of Extremes

I don't know about you, but this summer has been like no other; between weather and politics, sickness and health, and triumph and tragedy, it is almost more than a mind can take.

To name just a few:

  • Pulse tragedy!
  • Carol's MAJOR surgery, which is likened to rearranging the abdominal organs!
  • Crazy dry July in Florida, with accompanying major heat.
  • Only partially soaked August.
  • Brexit.
  • Presidential election, which I'm sure came to mind instantly.
  • Summer Olympics!!!
  • C-diff. 
  • Terrorism both near, and far.
  • Child eaten by gator!
  • Up and coming young singer shot at the Plaza Theater!
  • Sewing....a good obsession to have.
You probably have your own list, or so I suspect.

During this crazy summer, while I've been holed up in my sewing room, I've let the flower beds run amok. Seriously, they were going to hell in a hand basket, as my late Mother would say, while I happily played with fabric. Talking to Pam in the driveway, I noticed just how much the side bed needed attention, so I forced myself to do just that before mowing the lawn. Trees, weeds, ferns, and vine,s all made their way into my garbage cans. I was delighted that I had two swallowtail butterflies keeping me company while I was sweating like nobodies business.
Normally I would begin working outside earlier, but for some reason, oh yeah, I know the reason-- I wanted to get the binding on my quilt, so it would be ready for the hand sewing I plan to do later today while watching college football. I am crazy for this backing fabric--so soft and, well, just plain awesome.
Anyway, the pool temperature has dropped way below 90 degrees, and instead of my usual routine of getting wet before I begin my outdoor chores, I waited until I could stand the heat no longer. Stripping off my shorts, headband, gloves, shoes, and sunglasses, I jumped in before I passed out .
That is but one of three jam packed garbage cans I filled. Then I mowed. Whew--sitting at my sewing machine is so much easier, but when was I the type to take the easy way out? Right about now I'd say. :)

Wednesday morning I went to the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild meeting again; me and 67 other folks, and I use that term because there were several men in attendance, including one who won a prize for becoming the 100th member of the guild. So, it's not just me that is obsessed. I am in good company! Sitting beside me was a woman named Mary, who just so happens to live nearby, doing embroidery on wool during the meeting. See that pink and black thing on her finger? It's a thread cutter she can take on an airplane in lieu of scissors.
She was one of quite a few that took home Pulse quilts to finish on her longarm quilting machine. As I mentioned recently, the response has been overwhelming. Alissa, the president, is so enthusiastic it is hard for that not to rub off. She brought along three huge binders filled with all of the notes attached to the donations, including one from a woman who teaches sewing in a jail. She wrote that the eight women meet once a week, for three hours, none of whom have sewn before, but by golly they made a quilt. Tears from not only the president, but others during the reading of that letter!

She showed off a few of the completed quilts, many so very creative. How about this beauty?
Yup, Orlando skyline, and 49 hearts....

Three members from the guild in Sarasota brought quilts, as did a woman from the Sheriff's office.
That would be a pile of more quilts destined for someone's comfort. It is my understanding that there are 850 identified recipients to date. So, apparently the meetings are for both updates on charity projects, and inspiration. Do I need more inspiration when there are not enough hours in the day for me to try everything I want? Well, apparently I do. 

One of the women made a quilt using fabric she dyed using the ice method.  Looking it up online later that day, I came across a woman who used snow and dry Kool Aid powder to dye yarn. What the heck...let's get it on. I bought some quality muslin, cut it into strips, and raided the ice maker bin. Let's take a look at the process.
Using an old chlorine bucket, that is the start and I'll show you a few more of the process.
That would be Strawberry Kiwi, Peach Mango, and perhaps Tropical Punch. Now I started this around four in the afternoon, not the best time as the temperature was still hovering around 90 degrees, allowing the ice to melt fairly quickly. About twenty minutes later it looked like this:
An hour later:
Ice is completely melted after about two hours.
Hanging it on the line, I had high hopes,
for something interesting. The truth is, it was not. Once rinsed, the fabric was mostly pink; in other words, blah. Both muslin and Kool Aid are cheap, so there's nothing stopping me from trying again, when I hope I will have better results.

Circles. I've not tried anything before with circles. Now I have.
This too, is not great, although I'm still sold on the concept, just not my execution. There's always next time.

So, do you think that after the election things will settle down to a more even keel? Let us hope so because this extreme stuff is for the birds!!

Taking things one day at a time,

Gail

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