ASTROSCOPUS's SparkPeople Blog ASTROSCOPUS's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Summer Starts Pleasant couple of days. I've gotten to enjoy swimming, have started quilting one quilt, and pin basted another. Tomorrow and Thursday I'll get to spend time with friends, and Friday will visit with family. Just have to find time to finish my best friend's present and pack...somewhere. <BR> <BR> Yesterday's block - appropriately - was Summer Solstice. I love these batiks; it's the same pattern in two different colors. <BR> <BR> <img src=" Wed, 22 Jun 2016 00:55:39 EST Ladies' Aid Album I've got to get back to sleeping at night. The staying up until 3 and waking up at 10 or 11 is not a good thing. This week I'll work on that goal. <BR> <BR> Yesterday's block - New England Block - was completed with dots and fantail fish. It was a whim that I like, but it is a seriously eye-popping block. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> After finishing the New England Block, I finally completed the Four-Pat... Sun, 19 Jun 2016 23:00:26 EST Peace and Plenty What a productive sewing day. I completed my best friend's birthday present (well, the top to it), made a tissue box cozy, made today's block, and got within two borders of completing the top to a UFO. I'll post a picture of the bff's birthday present after I give it to her. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Just don't ask me what I've done with the rest of my life. <em>30</em> And now I'm ending my night ... Sat, 18 Jun 2016 01:14:22 EST The Hen and Her Chicks Finally got the top of the table runner done. I'm not a fan of applique, mostly because I'm not very good at it...because I don't practice...because I'm not good at it... It's a viscous cycle of inactivity. This runner is a simple pinwheel pattern - that I made correctly for once - edged with flag blocks. And I think the whole thing, including applique, took less time than today's block. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> ... Thu, 16 Jun 2016 00:37:55 EST Double Sawtooth Four days in a row getting all my steps for the day! I actually love how I feel with exercise; wish I could always remember that. What's up with this Eat Fat, Get Thin program on PBS? I need to research. <BR> <BR> Today's block - Double Sawtooth - went together well. I was afraid there would be problems since it's so simple, but managed to not mess it up. <em>20</em> Got to use the fish fabric that I love. <BR> <BR> <img src=" Tue, 14 Jun 2016 23:56:58 EST Broken Star Found some beautiful Alaskan art fish fabric today. Don't know what I'm going to do with it, but it'll be pretty. Maybe another bag. <em>30</em> <BR> <BR> Today's block - Broken Star - was fun. Even followed the cutting directions properly for once. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Mon, 13 Jun 2016 21:32:50 EST King's Crown II Finally got back into my full workout program the last 2 days. It's been hard to get out with all the fabulous (rainy) weather we've been having. The sun finally came out today for about 20 minutes before setting. <BR> <BR> Today's block - King's Crown II - turned out well. And then I started the table runner. Didn't finish it - power kept going out, makes it hard to sew. I'll probably finish piecing the table runner tomorrow, but then it has applique to put on. <BR> <BR> <img src="... Sun, 12 Jun 2016 23:10:24 EST Hopscotch Went to an aquarium fancier's meeting this morning, and it just encouraged me to put in a goldfish pond. Now I just have to find some kind of container to set up for it - can't really dig a giant hole in the rental property yard. <em>20</em> Saw an old canoe made into a pond online somewhere, it would be interesting, but where to find one? <BR> <BR> Today's block - Hopscotch - is a wonderfully simple set of sixteen HST. I carefully cut out the pieces - the wrong size - then carefully ... Sat, 11 Jun 2016 19:41:24 EST Does Double Duty Second day of napping, just can't seem to stay awake in the early afternoon. Need much more activity... <BR> <BR> Finally finished the Astronomy quilt top today. <em>244</em> Borders are on, and everything. Now I just have to find the right fabric for the back, and find out if mom will let me use her longarm to quilt it. The student blocks are a bit stiff - not sure if she'll want her needle to go through those. <BR> <BR> <img src=" Sat, 11 Jun 2016 00:04:26 EST 3 Days Later What have I accomplished in the last 3 days? Not much. Went back to the school to feed fish, got the interior top of the Astronomy quilt put together (just need the borders now), and finished all the laundry. Really not much. <BR> <BR> Tuesday's block was Denali - following Monday's Juneau. Denali has some incorrect cutting instructions, and I didn't catch it until more than halfway through the block. So, the 12" block is actually 11" and full of pleats that are NOT supposed to be there... Thu, 9 Jun 2016 23:22:23 EST Juneau I shouldn't have said anything about yesterday's sunny day. Right after that, I went to visit a friend in the hospital and drove into a sideways storm. At least it only lasted about 10 minutes. <BR> <BR> Today's block - Juneau - is a bit more detailed than some of the recent blocks. I do like this block. Only made one mistake in cutting and piecing...why do I insist on using stripes? Easy enough to fix, though. <BR> <BR> <img src=" Mon, 6 Jun 2016 21:00:22 EST Father's Choice Sunny day! And my backyard is a swamp. Hopefully it will dry out soon, and my fruit tree won't drown. <BR> <BR> Today's block - Father's Choice - used up some of the mistaken cuts that I've made recently. Using up scraps of scraps is fun. <em>20</em> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Sun, 5 Jun 2016 14:45:48 EST Diagonal Square I like rain and storms, but this is getting a bit beyond. It would be nice to be able to hang out with friends by the pool or at the beach for a day. <BR> <BR> Yesterday's block was Ladies' Wreath. The block pattern is nice, but the snake skin fabric pattern is not my favorite. Don't know why I ever bought it. Think the lilac should have been a much brighter color, like red or a turquoise. <BR> <BR> <img src=" Sat, 4 Jun 2016 20:33:52 EST A Busy Week of Blocks The last week of school is always busy, even with a holiday Monday in it. The seniors graduated, one of my favorite high school teachers from high school passed away, my friends have a Memorial Day pool party, and yet another theatre night all happened within 4 days. After tomorrow morning, I finally get to relax and sleep! <BR> <BR> May 28 was Mosaic #12, a fun block full of flying geese. It went together quickly and well. Good thing, since we had to be at graduation from early until l... Thu, 2 Jun 2016 21:37:10 EST Amish Star Good day, fun block, no sleep. Two out of three ain't bad. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Sat, 28 May 2016 00:47:02 EST Railroad Crossing Computer bugs are giving me fits. Getting information in took an hour longer than it should have. Tomorrow will be an easy day though - packing up and finishing paperwork. <BR> <BR> Today's block - Railroad Crossing - reminds me an awful lot of yesterday's block. It is less detailed and much simpler, though. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Thu, 26 May 2016 21:37:16 EST Rocky Road Woke up this morning thinking it was Saturday...not good when there are still 3 days of work left. Then I lost my id and credit card during lunch. Luckily, the restaurant manager found them and held them for me. And the goldfish ate another guppy. Can't wait for this weekend; I'm awfully tired. <BR> <BR> Today's block combines 4 patches, squares, and HSTs. Quite enjoyable, and everything lined up. At least the sewing was relaxing. <BR> <BR> <img src=" Wed, 25 May 2016 22:11:04 EST Propeller and Scot's Plaid I spent all day yesterday thinking it was Wednesday...such a pity it wasn't. I could get right alongside tomorrow being Friday. Yesterday's block - Propeller - was fun, nice, and easy. Very much enjoyed it, even though the diamonds are a bit distracting. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Today's block - Scot's Plaid - was just about the fastest block I've ever put together. It would make a wonderful patterned ... Tue, 24 May 2016 22:13:43 EST Basket of Chips <img src=""> Okay, I'm still sick of making basket blocks, but this is chips - now I just need a salsa bowl block. Sun, 22 May 2016 21:47:26 EST Army Star Today is the Fitbit Challenge day. I woke up early enough to get all my hourly steps in, and and about 30% done with my daily step goal. Gonna get it done! <BR> <BR> I do like this block pattern. Wish I'd had it when I made the Quilt of Valor for my friend's son. It's a nice block and would look good with others on a QoV. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Sat, 21 May 2016 14:21:00 EST Crow's Nest First move in fish died today - no idea why, though. I'll take the water to be tested tomorrow. <BR> <BR> Today's block - Crow's Nest - is quick, easy, and the seams don't interfere with each other. I quite like it. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Fri, 20 May 2016 22:37:10 EST Building Blocks The kids cleaned out their aquariums today - and I wound up with another group of homeless fish. If I keep teaching this class, I'll wind up with a house full of aquariums and a goldfish pond in the backyard. <BR> <BR> Today's block is Building Blocks. I've had problems with joining up squares in the past, so I made four patch sub-blocks. No problems today! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Thu, 19 May 2016 22:03:13 EST Chisholm Trail <img src=""> My poor little girl kitty. She was so excited for me to give her food, that she put her paw right underneath my foot and I missed seeing it. No harm done, but then I took the lid off the fish tank to clean it and she went jumping up like she normally does. That was one wet kitty cat. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day for her. Today's block - Chisholm trail - was fine. I enjoyed making it, except... Wed, 18 May 2016 22:50:10 EST Crockett Cabin I keep thinking this week is almost over - except it has barely begun. It's the lack of sleep that's causing me problems. Working on solving that problem. <BR> <BR> Today's block - Crockett Cabin - was another quick block to make. I didn't nest all the seams, or spiral any of them, but the block works well without the fiddling. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Tue, 17 May 2016 21:49:51 EST Diamond Panes <img src=""> Sleep? What's that? Got to work on finding out and getting some. Hopefully soon. Enjoyed today's block, though. The pattern vaguely reminds me of the Union flag. Tue, 17 May 2016 00:26:52 EST Two more Blocks Yesterday's block was Envelope. Yet another one hour block (well, two blocks). So much better than Friday's Minnesota. I just kept putting it off until late. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Today's block is even easier - Grandmother's Choice II - with fabric saved from a friend's quilt. I have the dark and light reversed, so it looks very different from the pattern. I'm liking it a lot. <BR> <BR> <img src... Sun, 15 May 2016 21:06:48 EST Minnesota I hate this block. Not the look or color, just the block as a whole. If I were looking at one made by someone else, then I would probably really like the look. However, with 97 individual pieces that have to been put together in a precise pattern to make this one block - it's just not worth the three hours it took. Little, fiddly, annoying, and all on the bias, so it will probably stretch out and make the final quilt lumpy. <BR> <BR> Okay. Done complaining now... <BR> <BR> <img src="h... Sat, 14 May 2016 00:50:34 EST Broken Dishes Last night was a theatre night - and the block that was scheduled couldn't possibly have gotten done in the hour that I had to sew - so I swapped blocks from one day to another. If anyone has a chance to see A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, go! It is hilarious. Just sad that my theatre buddy was sick and couldn't make it. <BR> <BR> The block I made yesterday - Flying Goose - was much easier and quicker to put together than the Minnesota block I'll make Friday. I got to use my shar... Thu, 12 May 2016 22:29:30 EST Contrary Wife I am not! Well, I'm not a wife, anyway. The block was one of the easiest so far. And, yet, I still managed to make mistakes - sewed one HST together the wrong way. Could have taken the pieces apart, but didn't want to. So I have 2 HST sitting around wrong - just cut new pieces. They'll get used up eventually. Of course, none of the fabrics match. I like that, too! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Tue, 10 May 2016 22:05:12 EST Forest Paths Yea! I'm feeling better! So happy, a week of sick was seriously annoying - all I did was sleep. <BR> <BR> Yesterday's block - Grandmother's Favorite - was declared "Boring" by my loved ones. <em>39</em> I think it would look interesting all over a quilt in different colors, or as a spacer block, but...Maybe I chose the wrong colors for this one. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Today's block is Forest... Mon, 9 May 2016 21:06:05 EST This is getting old The being sick, not making blocks. Of course, I don't really want to make the blocks because I'm sick. But I am making them. <BR> <BR> Yesterday's block was Free Trade - love my batiks, they even make free ugly fabrics work well. And the block itself is nice and a star variant. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Today's block is Nautilus - close to a Snail's Trail, but with a different center. Since I really li... Sat, 7 May 2016 23:46:41 EST Great Blue Heron <img src=""> Or turtle. Whatever. Thu, 5 May 2016 23:19:42 EST Stepping on Crowns? I was apparently VERY tired last night - yep, day 5 of not being well. There's a memory of planning to post the Stepping Stones block, but after that??? No idea. It's a nice block...lots of 2.5 squares, so a good size to work with. And I would love to make more. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Today's block is King's Crown, simpler, fewer pieces, still nice as a fill in or spacer. Could also be used to feat... Wed, 4 May 2016 21:32:42 EST Swamp Angel WHAT?!?!?!?!? I don't get that name at all, but I really like the block. Especially since I had to get up from a nap to make it (still not feeling well, and my kids kept telling me to go home today). Good thing I remembered to trim the HST and QST before putting it all together. If not it would have been seriously wobbly. Gonna quit typing now before I start seriously rambling. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <B... Mon, 2 May 2016 21:09:54 EST May Basket Happy May Day! I didn't do any dancing today; woke up feeling worse, so I went to buy orange juice. Finished the entire jug before 3pm. I hate feeling sick. <BR> <BR> Took a while to make today's block because I kept stopping to take naps. Did get done, though, and even finished sewing the first corners on the Astronomy quilt panel squares. That quilt is taking quite a while to put together. Have to but the outer corners on, then get to work on the student's squares. <BR> <BR> <i... Sun, 1 May 2016 21:28:29 EST 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