Thursday, May 25, 2017

Don't pay the ransom...I've escaped...

For a few minutes. I've miss you all so much. I haven't touched a ravioli since I made my tassel in the last post. Work is being all encompassing. It may be about over.

So this is how I am after work being work and in the middle of everything...moving my office.

I'm bathed in sunshine, and a little wilted. OK, I'm a lot wilted, but keeping upright. 
 I'm holding hope in my heart that I'll even get to sew one ravioli this weekend.

And just imagine the treasures I'll get to enjoy when I get to read all your blog entries.

Aloha, and I hope life is treating you well.


Sunday, May 14, 2017

Dear sewing machine diary...

Lizzy, I put the other foot back on and no more clunking.

I was minding my own business trying to make another little group of ravioli.

I found out just how handy a seam ripper can be when the bobbin thread somehow raps around the bobbin.

Or, at least, that's what it looked like.

Look! I made a pom pom (tassel) mess.

I miss you all.

And for some reason, the text of my blog post turned blue. Except for this note about the text turning blue. Sigh.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

The Universe, fate, or whatever can (verb) itself...

And along those lines, I sat down at the sewing machine to put a few ravioli together. I thought I could simply not breathe another moment if I didn't create something. Something that no one could take away from me or criticize or try to change.

Here were the rules and the instructions to the Universe. There were:

None. Zero. Not a one. Zilch. Less than one. None.

No matter what the sewing machine did or does. (See the previous post.)

The same color can land next to itself or not.

The seams can match up or not.

Many, if not most things lately, I have had to accept that I don't or can't control them.

The Ravioli Quilt isn't one of them.

Witness the truth of it:

I love it. Every single stitch. Every crooked seam. The two little matching squares sitting side-by-side.

I'm even over the occasional clunk the machine makes when I sew a little too fast. (Although I will admit, I keep expecting to break another needle. I can't figure out what's hitting what, but the dear machine I have named Turtle sews on.)

I guess her name is Turtle because she and I stitch slowly along. We're a little slow, but we don't stop. We keep moving forward. No matter what.

Peace and love.

Oh, and does your machine have a name?

Dear Sewing Machine Diary

After several weeks of things that kept me away from the ravioli, I went upstairs and made 10 of the little darlings.

Then I decided I was going to change to the 1/4 inch piecing foot.

Changing feet is one of those things that very easy once you know how to do it. I figured it out and was pretty pleased with myself...until I started to sew.

The sound of a sewing machine needle breaking is an interesting sound. Not at all like I expected.

So I brought out the package of needles that the fabric store sold me. I couldn't get them to go into the sewing machine needle spot and stay in. I knew I had seen a small thing of needles in with all the attachments that came with my Brother 65. Here's what I bought and here's what I had.
A needle from the old pack fit right in. I can't see a difference in the two needles, but I swear, one works and one doesn't.

I looked and looked and found a post to an old Brother forum that said these needles will fit a Brother 65.
So while I was pondering the whole needle thing, I put in one of the "green package" needles (that has a red head if that's important). I slowly peeked while I lowered the needle and sure enough, the needle would have hit the foot if I'd slammed it down.

To make a long story short, I finally figured out that I had to move the needle over. Another fun adventure of finding out which wheel moved the needle over. (Yes, I did have the manual. Yes, it's not bad when you actually know what you're looking for.)

Now I'm a little over sewing. I'm still pondering if the needles at Amazon will work. And I'm still puzzling why "universal" needles may not be so universal.

At least I actually got 10 ravioli made. And I should be able to string a few of them together. (I just couldn't wait until all the ravioli were done to start seeing a little progress...hence the 1/4 inch piecing foot.)

A short word about my absence.

Life seems to choose to make it's most interesting twists when we're happily making plans and thinking we're almost in control. At least that's what a friend and I decided over tea.

And life happened all over the place in the last few weeks.

I thank you for your notes of love and concern. This blog remains a stress free zone, so only pleasant thoughts here. I can hardly wait to treat myself tonight by catching up on what you've all been doing.

I'll be reading even though I still might not be posting much.

Know I'm thinking about you.

Friday, April 28, 2017

I'm alive...mostly.

Just wanted to drop in and say, "Hi."

I've worked over 50 hours each week for the last 5 weeks.

In survival mode.

Thinking of you and I'll catch up as soon as I can see daylight.

Hugs and Aloha,

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Does anyone remember the Duck and Cover drills in school?

Did you participate in the Duck and Cover drills in school?

For those of you who missed them, you didn't miss much.

The basic premise was that if there was an atomic bomb explosion, we were to get under our desks,  and cover up our heads and necks. Even at a very young age, it didn't seem that was going to help much.

We drug ourselves home last night after working 30 hours in 2 days. We plopped on the couch and noticed this:
Bill the Cat had figured out his own version of Duck and Cover.

We had a great laugh which felt really, really good.

It's funny how stuff like that happens. One of us must have pushed him off the couch without noticing...or Bill really does know the benefit of Duck and Cover.

Thank you for all your emails of support. We have help and support arriving Monday.

Aloha, and I hope you're having a great week.

Monday, April 17, 2017

"Beware of the Blob"...

Aloha, and welcome this fine Monday.

First, I often forget that not everyone watched the ancient "Friday Night Creature Feature" movie program, or Saturday morning science fiction movies.

The Blob is a movie made in 1958 about a creature from outer space that looked and moved like a horrible, gelatinous hunk of growing and destructive Silly Putty.

I think it was Steve McQueen's first major movie. I'll still watch it, even though the title song is so bad it makes toes curl.

My goal of sewing raviolis Sunday afternoon gave way to a few minutes Sunday evening. Here is the state of my sewing room futon:
The quilt on the left is a doodle quilt I call "Window Cats." I bought a curtain rod so I can hang it on the wall behind the futon, but I'm not sure when that's going to happen.

I'm pretty sure the photo is fuzzy, but my eyes have finally given up seeing straight and I snapped one pic on the way out the door this morning.

The quilt to the right is just gifted squares sewn together.

Both of the quilts are hand pieced, and the cat quilt is hand quilted.

There were 100 ravioli ready to sew on the seat of the futon. I actually got 10 done last evening.

Today, a picture of this is hanging on my work desk as well as my sewing room door at home:
My new goal is to go right up to my sewing room whatever time I get home from work, and sew 10 raviolis. I'm hoping doing something so special when I get home, it will make a clean division between work hours and home hours. I'll let you know how it works. lol.

Aloha, and I hope you're having a great day.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Work is acting like the Blob...

Silly work stuff is totally trying to take over my real life.

I'm letting it have this week, and then I'm kicking it out of my time away from the work day.

I should be back posting this weekend.

On on happier note.

I have 150 ravioli completed, and have cut out enough squares for 100 more.

It's fun to see it won't take me 10 years to get to a total of 380 ravioli. :-)

I hope you're having a great week.


Thursday, April 6, 2017

Attitude adjustment...

When work gets a little nuttier than usual, it requires extra effort for me to leave it all at work.

Making a cup of tea when I get home, and setting this friend out where I'm sitting, always helps:
Once upon a time, I made bears to sell. All of them were out of 100% wool. Leilani (Heavenly Flowers) is the only one I made out of polyester as a practice bear.

I fell in love with her.

It's amazing, every bear had his or her own face. No two were alike. 

They were crocheted in pieces and then the loops were cut and brushed out. They were very labor intensive and trying to charge for them wasn't worth it. So I started giving them away.

All but Leilani.

Do you have something you've made that never fails to make you smile?

I hope you're having a great week.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The funniest thing about sewing again?

As I posted last time, the only time I spent any amount of time using a sewing machine was over (mumble...mumble...mumble) years ago.

And yet my left hand automatically keeps reaching to the back to lift the foot. I think that must have been where the lever was on the old treadle sewing machine.

All well and good, but the lever to lift the foot on my Brother is at the right of the foot underneath the machine.

(At least I hope that's what my left hand is doing. It would be scary if it's waving around for no good reason.)

Who would think muscle memory could last that long?

Aloha and I hope you're having a great day.


Sunday, April 2, 2017

I love my sewing machine...

I've only really used a sewing machine when I was forced to take Home Economics in 8th grade.

"Forced" being the key word.

No one wanted to use an old, "junky" sewing machine that someone had donated to the school. It was a very ancient Singer treadle sewing machine. Since no one wanted to use it, I spent a whole semester using it for several horrible sewing projects.

This is my machine:

I've had this sewing machine for several years, but never did much with it. It's a Brother XR-65T and I think I bought it in 2005. It's spent most of it's life buried in the back of the closet space under my stairs.

My friend told me to toss this and get a "decent" machine. But I thought, "What the heck. I already have this one."

Tonight I needed some alone time, so I headed up to my stress-free zone room and started playing. I was getting a little tired of making ravioli squares by hand.

Here's a quick summary of how it went:
  • Sew a side, take the square off the machine, pin the next side, repeat.
  • Wonder if I just shouldn't go back to doing them by hand since it was taking me so long to make one on the machine.
  • Pinning all four sides and poking myself as I tried to sew.
  • Deciding I wasn't going to kill myself if I started sewing faster than one stitch each minute.
  • Sewing over pins and trying to remember if that was good or bad.
  • Deciding it was bad when the needle hit a pin.
  • Giving up and sewing a ravioli without putting any pins in.
  • Ending up with only one ravioli that I'm actually going to have to rip and make again.
I have these:
This is one awful pic of 27 ravioli.

I only stopped because I ran out of muslin backing squares.

I'm glad I ran out because I'm really hungry and very thirsty.

But also very happy. I had so much fun and I'm in a much better frame of mind to face Monday.

I hope you have a great week.

Saturday, April 1, 2017


I spent many years as a technical writer/documentation manager in the Silicon Valley. I also wrote "stuff" and edited a few books for a publisher or two.

Tech writing is a sneaky way to get paid for writing. It contributed to my early retirement and 10 years in Maui without really working. Dear Husband and I call it reverse retirement. We had a lot of fun knowing that we would have to go back to work and stay in the harness until we drop.

Our reasoning? We could have 10 years of pure fun and then have other people pay us to slow down.

We've never regretted our decision for a second.

So now I write as a fun, sideline thing. Hence, I edit very rarely, as you have undoubtedly noticed if you've visited here before.

I'm moving my pen and paper writing prompts back online since I realized it would be easier to keep up. My writing blog, Hunter on Maui Writes, will be a collection of my writing prompts that I use during National Novel Writing Month or whenever I feel like writing and my brain is too tired to think.

I received a few emails from people who missed my rude prompt that posted when I was trying to add a second page to this blog and wondered what I said. It's over there.

My prompts can get very rude since I channel a muse that is crazy. (That's my story and I'm sticking to it.)

Now back to my regular posts here. Visit my other blog and comment if you're so inclined. Also, feel free to use my prompts if you like.


Friday, March 31, 2017

It's just one of those days...

I created a writing prompt page and Blogger decided to index it along with my recent posts.

It had to be a rude prompt, of course.

If you saw it, I'm sorry.

If you didn't see it. Never mind. 

Skulking back to my writing desk now.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Today is a green day...

I recently had some bionic eye work done (cataract surgery).

Each day my brain seems to grab onto another color that's popping out at me. The other day it was blue. There's been a red day, an orange day, and a yellow day.

Today is a green day.

I know these pics don't capture all the greens around here today, but I thought I'd try to capture them for you and for me.

I feel so blessed every day to see so well. It's just a little short of three weeks since my surgery and there hasn't been a day that's gone by that I haven't been grateful.

Colors are keeping me working on the Ravioli quilt even though my work life is trying to infringe on real life.

What colors do you see today?

Sunday, March 26, 2017

100 Ravioli

Sounds like an Italian restaurant menu item.

I have not purposely picked out colors before I have cut them at all, so I was surprised they spread out so well. I have many blue fabrics left. The greens will not be so prominent in the ending layout.

I'm enjoying this project so much. Hand sewing is so relaxing.

This is a three-day weekend for us. It's Prince Kūhiō Day. Today we're driving up to Lahaina to visit the one remaining bookstore on the island (Barnes and Noble). It's about 30 minutes up to the west side of the island.

I hope you're having a great weekend.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

What a beautiful sky this morning...

Today, I woke up to a sky so blue that it literally hurt my eyes.
This photo doesn't begin to capture the clear beauty, but it's the best I could get this morning.

The tradewinds were quiet for a few days and we had vog. It happens sometimes. It's from the Kilauea volcano on the Big Island. Kilauea has been erupting since January 1, 1983.
I'm on Maui, the next island north, and I'm in the South Shore area.
Wishing you great Spring weather. I'm envious of your daffodils. We have none here and we can't even order the bulbs. Pick a bouquet for me, please.


Saturday, March 18, 2017

Not necessarily the most fun part of quilting...

It's hard to make ravioli without squares.

I ran out of my cutting mojo before I cut all the muslin I wanted.

These squares, however, should keep me going for the next five years or so. ;-)

I hope you're having a great weekend.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Happy St. Patrick's Day

The green of this Red Ginger flower was the greenest thing I could see in my front yard today. It started raining or the green would have been even greener in the sun.

I hope you have a wonderful Friday and a great weekend.


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

About the Ravioli quilt

The Ravioli quilt is actually called a puff quilt or a biscuit quilt. My understanding is that they have been around forever. I actually ran onto a picture by accident, and the difference of the quilt grabbed hold of me.

Did you ever see something like that? It's not your style. You'd never seek it out. But, you see it and it's got you.

I immediately saw bubbles in the water. Now I see ripples in the sea. Some people stuff the puffs quite full. I'm going to stuff them "some" and leave some of the "ripples" in. The colors are going to be random, but I'll try to avoid the same colors touching each other.

I'm calling my quilt a Ravioli quilt because my beloved partner said, "What are you going to do with fabric ravioli?" It cracked me up, so mine is a Ravioli quilt.

Here is a borrowed pic with a link to its original owner.

From Growing on Goofy:

I wrote and asked if it was OK to post this photo. Word was that it was OK. If that changes, I'll pull the pic down.

There are several ways to make the quilts. I think I've chosen an odd way, but we'll find out. Eventually.

Here's a link to a site from 2008 that actually showed a Clover tool for making puffs. There's a pic there that shows un-stuffed puffs.

I hope you're having a great start to the new week.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Ravioli update

There are no 54 ravioli, but who's counting. ;-)

They are easy to store:

Thank you for your patience with my lack of posts since last week. Real life got in the way, but things are settling down now. Thank goodness.

I also noticed that I had been playing exclusively with embroidery and ignoring the ravioli. I'm going to try to alternate days between embroidery and the ravioli. Otherwise, the 380+ ravioli will take a decade or two to complete.

I hope you have a wonderful week.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Stems and leaves are making me smile

I figured out what was making the stems and leaves not work for me. I was using bright greens and one color at a time. Barbara, of Pinelands Treasures. left a comment that really helped me see a different way. Thank you, Barbara. I'm not sure the truth of your comment about vines and leaves being different colors in nature would have occurred to me. (Duh?)

Also, I want the yellow flowers to be the focal point of the project. The bright greens were fighting with the flowers.

I turned to an old project, that I'll never complete, and started pirating darker shades of green. (Pirating courtesy of Black Sails that I've been binge watching.) I also started playing with multiple colors on the stems and leaves.

I've decided to make "clumps" of flowers and experiment with different leaves and stems.

A great big mahalo (Hawaiian for thank you) to everyone who has left such positive comments, ideas, and encouragement about this simple project. You've helped me more than you can possibly imagine.

I hope your week is going great for you.

Thank you.