ASTROSCOPUS's SparkPeople Blog ASTROSCOPUS's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Louisiana Woke up too early to yet another thunderstorm, but it cleared quickly. Met up with my theatre buddy and we went downtown to see Beauty and the Beast. Very good show, LOTS of little kids who have never been taken to theatre. Culture is good for kids. <em>41</em> <BR> <BR> Unfortunately, I also woke up with severe drainage, resulting in a horrible sore throat. I meant to get orange juice but forgot, so I've been drinking hot tea all day. <BR> <BR> Today's block - Louisiana - uses f... Sat, 30 Apr 2016 22:11:47 EST Wagon Tracks This block keeps throwing me. It looks more difficult than it is (well, looks more difficult to me). It's actually amazingly simple, 4-patches and HST. I should have trimmed the HSTs, but I'll deal with it as is. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Sat, 30 Apr 2016 00:33:39 EST Toad in a Puddle Well, no. But I did see a speckled snake speeding across the trail, a rat snake slithering into a dead tree, and a frog jumping into the underbrush. Plus all the downed trees blocking the trails. One downed tree, especially, caused me problems by completely blocking the last 50-100 yards of the trail loop. Meant I had to turn around, and my 35 minute walk turned into 50 minutes - got all my steps for the day. <em>30</em> <BR> <BR> Today's block - Toad in a Puddle - is flying geese o... Thu, 28 Apr 2016 22:24:06 EST Square on Square Got back to the park for the first time since the floods. Very slippery, muddy trails but it was nice to be outside again. Started using an app shared by a friend. It's called Zombies, Run! Since I'm not really a zombie fanatic, it doesn't do a whole lot for me except for being an amusing story. Maybe the amusement will keep it interesting. <BR> <BR> Today's block is Square on Square made with more of my pretty bright fabrics. Love them! Squares followed by squares...the calendar desi... Wed, 27 Apr 2016 21:51:30 EST On the Square The name of this block just reminds me of the movie Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. All the 1" squares would be scary if I didn't know how to sew strips together and subcut. Learned from my mom - the stripper. <em>246</em> Not sure what I was thinking with the pink background fabric, but the block itself is okay. <BR> <BR> I'm still sulking about yesterday's block, but only inside my own head. Don't think I'm going to rip and fix. Might make a new version of the correct pattern - just ... Tue, 26 Apr 2016 21:50:36 EST Eight Hands Around...or not <img src=""> I should have posted this a couple hours ago, but I've been sulking. After being so careful I still managed to put the corner HSTs on wrong. Friends and family say they like it this way so it's not that bad. I'll probably fix it tomorrow. Maybe. Still sulking. Mon, 25 Apr 2016 22:46:12 EST The Crayon Box I know "adult" coloring books are popular these days - and I would LOVE to have the Doctor Who coloring book - but even in college we were coloring to relax. Instead, today, I'm making quilt blocks. The Crayon Box block is another nice, easy block with no awkward seams to deal with. Yippee! Got to use my batiks and one Stonehenge fabric. Now back to putting together the Astronomy quilt. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Sun, 24 Apr 2016 17:03:48 EST Crown of Thorns Another nice block - not crazy about how I pressed the seams, but so what? I like the block. And I've started cutting pieces for the Astronomy quilt. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Sat, 23 Apr 2016 21:06:31 EST Bear's Paw Huge 14" Bear's Paw quilt block today. Got to use my pretty rose bud fabric and green batik. Somehow this is all I've accomplished today. Don't know where the afternoon and evening went. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Fri, 22 Apr 2016 22:14:14 EST The Double V Woo, hoo! Got an opportunity to visit Ireland next year. <em>137</em> <em>646</em> I'm excited about the trip, not so much about the budget I'm going to have to stick with to pay for it. If the summer job comes through, that'll pay about half of's hoping. <BR> <BR> My traveling buddy's husband thinks I should sell some of my quilts on Craigslist to help pay for it. Having a hard time getting them to understand I'm willing to give quilts away to friends, family, and dona... Thu, 21 Apr 2016 21:46:13 EST Duck's Foot Bit of a shock today. On the way home I saw a bald eagle being chased by a crow. Planning on talking to the TPWD people about it, but the local park is is under water. The whole park. So not going for a walk in the park in the sun today. <BR> <BR> First time a quilt or block has had duck in the name and I HAVEN'T messed something up. It even has stripes that worked out fine. I'm so proud. <BR> <BR> <img src=" Wed, 20 Apr 2016 20:22:43 EST Flying Geese Rain passed, water (mostly) receded - in my area - and off we went, back to work. So many others still have flooded homes and neighborhoods. It has been a spectacular weather week so far. <BR> <BR> Today's block is a whole bunch of flying geese flying around a square. I got to use my batik turtle fabric - I have 3 colors of the same print. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Tue, 19 Apr 2016 22:07:35 EST Friendship Quilt Woken by storms, frustrated by how long it took to get word work was cancelled, now I really want a nap but can't sleep. Can't even get out for a walk in this weather - flooding all over the city. Instead I keep walking in circles around the house. I guess it works. <BR> <BR> Even made my block early this morning - Friendship Quilt. I would like to see it as a full quilt, and it is a nice block to make. Even managed to find a red fabric that works with the red printing. Yea, fabric! <B... Mon, 18 Apr 2016 12:15:11 EST Gentleman's Fancy <img src=""> Yet again, nothing much accomplished today. Tomorrow will be busy with tutoring and my club meeting, but this is just how it's going to be. I did, finally, get the block done. When I got around to it, the pieces went together fairly quickly. The seams aren't as flat as I would like...not bad, though. And I got to use my Dalek fabric. Sun, 17 Apr 2016 22:43:44 EST Economy Block Today's block is the Economy Block. Another nice and simple block...sort of a square in a square in a square. So nice and simple I decided to use it in the Astronomy quilt. Bought all the fabric I need for the sashing and borders - batiks and Stonehenge. I do love those fabrics - I'll post pictures once I get those blocks made. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Sat, 16 Apr 2016 22:38:16 EST Robbing Peter to Pay Paul Learned something new today - the park provides bug spray at the visitor's center. Yea! No more mosquito bites. Those I picked up yesterday are amazingly itchy. Also no woodpecker sightings, but 6 squirrels and a perch. <BR> <BR> I enjoyed today's block. Simple pieces and one of my favorite batiks. I could make a full quilt using this block. Apparently the name refers to the blocks being the same pattern but with different colors. Not sure about that, but it would probably be prett... Fri, 15 Apr 2016 23:55:33 EST Hour Glass Such a pretty day I decided I had to go to the local nature park and get all of my steps in. Got to see red-eared sliders in the pond, a beautiful and huge pileated woodpecker, and about a thousand mosquitoes out for blood - mine. It's a lovely, peaceful place to walk...just have to remember my repellent next time. <BR> <BR> Today's block is Hour Glass. Nice, simple, and small (only 6 inches). I used some nice dots that I got on a whim along with the same turquoise from yesterday, but ... Thu, 14 Apr 2016 22:03:42 EST Churn Dash Fun day! Today we were making Galaxy shirts in class. Bleach and glow-in-the-dark fabric paint. For the kids who didn't bring a shirt, I took in black fabric squares and I'm going to use them to make a quilt. With all the back and forth getting paint, goggles, and dixie cups, I got almost all my steps before leaving work. <em>311</em> <BR> <BR> Churn Dash is today's block and a wonderful classic! I do love this black fabric, and the swirls and tangles work with the turquoise tangles... Wed, 13 Apr 2016 21:49:57 EST Lawyer's Puzzle This afternoon's rain was interesting - giant raindrops about 4 feet apart. Okay, maybe not that extreme, but still odd. They were far enough apart that I walked across two parking lots without getting hit. All that healthy walking...followed by a very unhealthy dinner. Tomorrow I'll make a wonderful stir-fry. That will be better. <BR> <BR> Today's block - Lawyer's Puzzle - is very much like the Crown of Stars from back in January. It's not difficult, but extremely time consuming. An... Tue, 12 Apr 2016 21:54:42 EST Flower Basket Yet another basket block...there are a LOT of them so far this year. I do like this one; it's not so fiddly and my fabric choice actually worked without being turned strangely. The yellow was even my first choice - and yellow never is. Now off to return that e-mail I've been putting off for 2 days. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Mon, 11 Apr 2016 22:17:54 EST Foggy Mountain Breakdown And, once again, I forgot to post yesterday. I also owe an email to friends, but I'm putting that off another day. <BR> <BR> Yesterday's block - Gaggle of Geese - went together quickly. I didn't follow the directions, so it was a bit iffy for a while. However, it worked out. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Today's block is Foggy Mountain Breakdown. I left it until very late tonight. Luckily it only took an ho... Sun, 10 Apr 2016 22:34:26 EST Hearth and Home The longer this year goes on, the worse my fitness levels seem to get. Activity increases and decreases, but I'm just not consistent. I've actually managed to stick with my New Year's Resolution for more than 3 months...just not with my healthy lifestyle. <BR> <BR> I wasn't looking forward to today's block - Hearth and Home. I didn't like the look of it. On the other hand, it was pleasant to make. Went together easily and well. <BR> <BR> <img src=" Sat, 9 Apr 2016 00:21:12 EST Hour Glass IV I don't see an hour glass in this block, but I enjoyed it anyway. It reminds me of a Hawaiian shirt. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Thu, 7 Apr 2016 21:13:59 EST Memory <img src=""> A beautiful block and I just wish I could remember how tired I get after a night at a very enjoyable show. Wed, 6 Apr 2016 20:40:25 EST Basket Case! <img src=""> It's pretty bad when my friend's husband can keep track of our theatre days better than she or I! She came by my room halfway through the day to ask if we had tickets. Yikes! So the rest of the day was spent worrying about all that had to be done. It's even a show I've been excited to see - Oliver. Ran home after work to (quickly) make the block - that wasn't cut...of course. AND it's a 2 block d... Tue, 5 Apr 2016 18:08:09 EST Air ... Quartet I don't know what happened to yesterday's blog...guess it just didn't make it on the computer. It's not as if anything else important was going on. <BR> <BR> Yesterday's block - Air Castle was fun to make. I like the pattern; it reminds me of a wheel without being round in any way. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> X Quartet is today's block. I like it, all the Half Square Triangles are fun, but it's not o... Mon, 4 Apr 2016 21:14:40 EST Light and Shadows Managed to run all my errands this morning - it involved driving for 4 hours just to wind up back home, but now I have the rest of the day to enjoy the sunshine. Got my car back and got a new iron to replace my last two broken irons. A new iron is wonderful. Doesn't leak, doesn't catch fire, presses well, and didn't cost $200. <BR> <BR> Today's block - Light and Shadows - is all squares and rectangles. Very nice for beginners, I think. And it would make a nice pattern on a full size q... Sat, 2 Apr 2016 17:56:22 EST Card Trick I've always loved the look of this block, but this is the first time for me to actually make it. Never got around to it before. My color choices even match the calendar pattern...just felt like it today. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Fri, 1 Apr 2016 21:50:26 EST Margaret's Choice Much better day for movement, especially since we walked out to the retention pond and back twice today. Saw a pair of red-wing blackbirds out there. We also have a lot of fish fry and little froggies! <BR> <BR> Fun fact: last week my iron tried to catch fire, so I switched to my cheap old iron. Today my cheap old iron started leaking water from the handle. I didn't even know the handle was part of the reservoir! Guess I really should have gotten a new iron for my birthday. <BR> <B... Thu, 31 Mar 2016 21:41:59 EST Hen and Chickens Wow! I didn't move at all today. Not sure why not, but I'm just too tired now to fix the problem. And this block has so few pieces that I didn't walk much between the sewing machine and ironing board. The Hen and Chickens block was nice to make - very few seams to interfere with each other. I did mess up my cutting a little bit, but not enough to mess up the block. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Wed, 30 Mar 2016 21:14:59 EST Aunt Dinah Lots of HSTs for today's block. And I managed to keep the pieces in order - yeah! Didn't have to pick out a single seam's a miracle. Even managed to finish fixing Sunday's block. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Tue, 29 Mar 2016 23:08:16 EST Millenium Dropped my fabric pieces today, so I was very careful to correctly line up my difficult sections. At least that big white square in the middle can't be messed up. Except...yes, yes it can. First I sewed it on the wrong side of the next section, then I realized the wrong side is up. That is staying as is. And I'm still fixing yesterday's error. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Mon, 28 Mar 2016 21:41:48 EST I'm How Busy? Yesterday, a perfectly normal day. Sewed a block, made a skirt, went to a musical. Sweet Potato Queens is totally worth the drive! Truly enjoyed the show. Somehow ran out of time and forgot to post my blog. Ah, well...these things happen. Today wasn't any busier - just missing the trip downtown to the theatre. <BR> <BR> Saturday's block - Fair and Square - used some neutral browns. It was a nice block to make, I just needed to change how I pressed half of the HSTs. <BR> <BR> <im... Sun, 27 Mar 2016 21:14:10 EST Birds in the Air Really enjoyed my extremely crowded trip to the grocery store this morning. Finally got the squid and shrimp for dinner. <em>498</em> Yummy! And all the wonderful fruit and bread. I miss living close enough for that to be my regular store. Yes, it was worth driving for 40 minutes to get there. <BR> <BR> Of course, since I was in the area, I had to drop by the quilt shop...never a good idea on a budget. Ah, well, managed to pick up this extremely cute teapot and cup fabric. Coul... Fri, 25 Mar 2016 16:47:01 EST Fox Paws So sad, I'm excited about my plans to go to the grocery store tomorrow. Still looking for whole squid - think I've finally found the place. <BR> <BR> Today's block was fun. I really like the stripes with the roses. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Thu, 24 Mar 2016 22:56:13 EST Hovering Hawks Finally got to use this wonderful purple and orange batik. Not sure the orange was the best fabric to pair with it, but I do like them together (in theory). <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Wed, 23 Mar 2016 20:47:42 EST London Roads <img src=""> Another busy week - didn't realize until yesterday that tonight was a theatre night. Seeing Cabaret and enjoying it greatly! This weekend is also theatre. At least that's Saturday. Today's block - London Roads - was quick to put together (thank goodness!). And I even followed (almost) all the directions. Tue, 22 Mar 2016 22:20:57 EST Spring Has Come Spring has come in, with cooler weather. I spent all day at work freezing until I remembered...I can make tea! Tea helped. <BR> <BR> Very busy day all told. Finished the block - with all its little triangles - and had to run to class. Today's project was a card wallet. Kinda fun and cute. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=" Mon, 21 Mar 2016 22:50:55 EST The Chinese Block Quilt <img src=""> Back to work tomorrow, and I am not looking forward to it. It is going to be a very hectic day. And I have a class afterwords, so I'll have to be really hurrying. Today's block – the Chinese Block quilt – used yet another poor fabric choice. Definitely not enough contrast between the two fabrics. I really wanted to use my pink polkadot instead of the pink, but I couldn't find enough of it. Sun, 20 Mar 2016 22:50:52 EST Providence Yet another block that I messed up. Only once, and it was an easy fix, but still... <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Sun, 20 Mar 2016 00:03:03 EST Homeward Bound Except I got home yesterday. And back to the routine. Today's block - Homeward Bound - would be wonderful for beginners. Two HST with two squares, sew easy! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Fri, 18 Mar 2016 18:07:30 EST Irish Chain Happy St. Patty's Day! <em>441</em> The day started with me knowing I would miss out on steps due to traveling, so I chose a slightly longer workout. It ended with me trying out a new workout (that I am NOT ready for), giving up part way, and going for a 30 minute I got all of my steps!!! <em>311</em> Really amazing since my fixed car decided to not be fixed after all, so I had to spend an extra 1.5 hours taking the car back to the mechanic. <BR> <BR> Today's block -... Thu, 17 Mar 2016 23:43:28 EST Jack in the Box Not the fast food - yuck! Although we did have very yummy dinner out at a restaurant owned by a relative. Didn't know he was a relative until a couple days ago. The things you learn by talking to people in a small town. <em>20</em> Excellent catfish, and my aunt loved the crawfish. So did the little girl at the next table...except she had to keep shaking her hair out of her face while eating the little mudbugs. Good thing I had a hair elastic to give her - crawfish guts in the hair... Wed, 16 Mar 2016 21:26:38 EST Crown and Stars Today's walk seems to have gotten me 9 flights of stairs - really no stairs, just a hill. Got to see a blue heron, wood ducks, a bunny, cows, deer and bobcat tracks, and blooming wisteria. After that the weather was so nice we had breakfast out on the deck and enjoyed nature some more. Makes me wish I lived in (and had a job that allowed me to enjoy) a country setting. <BR> <BR> The Crown and Stars block has so many tiny pieces! It took quite a long time to make, and then I realized the ... Tue, 15 Mar 2016 21:53:04 EST Goose Tracks Made today's Goose Tracks block using some leftover zebra fabric. I could have arranged the sections a bit better, but it's not worrying enough rip it out and fix it. After finishing the block I walked around the lake and annoyed a pair of Canada geese. It isn't as if I walked up on them - they were across the lake from me - but, "Honk!", and off they flew to land by the dam. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR... Mon, 14 Mar 2016 19:38:08 EST Dutchman's Puzzle Today is the first day in a week that I won't meet my steps goal. <em>39</em> It happens when I have to drive half way across the state to visit family. Yeah! Visiting family. Boo! Not making goal. Ah, well, my mom is on an exercise program - so, maybe I'll get her to walk with me. <BR> <BR> I made today's block - Dutchman's Puzzle - after getting to my parent's home, and was lucky enough that mom had white fabric to work with my orange sea print batik. Brought a (very) random s... Sun, 13 Mar 2016 22:19:17 EST Country Lanes Not yet...tomorrow I'll be walking down country lanes, but today I'm burning calories by spring cleaning the house. Also burning are my fingers - got in the way of some steam this afternoon. No fun. At least the day is beautiful and cool enough to open up the windows and air out the house. <BR> <BR> Today's block - Country Lanes - is one of the simplest yet. Four 4-patches connected by strips. It would make a very nice classic quilt. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeopl... Sat, 12 Mar 2016 14:46:31 EST Fruit Basket Well, a Fruit Basket block full of fish fabric...I do like these bright patterns. The block name makes me want to go buy new fruit for breakfast; I won't tonight, but tomorrow morning maybe. I have all kinds of plans for tomorrow. Hope the day doesn't run out before my chores do. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Fri, 11 Mar 2016 21:15:44 EST Hour Glass III One more day until I get to sleep for a week! Or something like that. <em>211</em> Definitely something to look forward to. <BR> <BR> I was late sewing today's block because of a celebration. It was good to be able to spend time with friends, celebrating one of their accomplishments. Luckily the Hour Glass III block is small and simple squares, and it was fun to get to use the colorful frog fabric. <BR> <BR> <img src=" Thu, 10 Mar 2016 21:56:30 EST Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! Except they changed some of the songs - probably to stop the audience singing along. <em>20</em> We did, anyway. It was a fun show to watch, even with opening night mess-ups. <BR> <BR> I had cut the pieces for yesterday's block the day before, but had cut the wrong sizes for 2 colors - still had to cut more fabric. I do love these paisley fabrics! The Janet's Star block was fun to make even if I was rushing to meet friends for lobster enchiladas and musical theatre. <BR> <BR> <... Wed, 9 Mar 2016 20:52:53 EST