130 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, July 13, 2022

  1. I guess you’re working on… IN THE PINK or something like that. 🙂

    I was just working on Bikemap.net. It lets you log your bicycle routes and enter your times. It figures out the distances for you. My only saved route as of right now is 0.67 km long, named “Around_the_Block.” I have “ridden” it four times in five days (on foot – I have no bike yet) averaging 00:10:30. My hips and feet hurt. I’m building up my stamina and adding a little light exercise to the diet. I also looked for bicycles on the net. I need to test ride a few.

    I have begun to hate the green onion crop in Phredd. I have to prune them even more often than the kudzu – I mean Basil – in Ethel. At least I ate all the mature Romaine lettuce in Teresa, and I’ll be harvesting from Seble this week.

    The red sweet peppers turned out to be yellow. I’ll harvest the largest one on Friday. The piri-piris are still green. Soon. Happy scantily clad farming day!

    1. A good saddle’s important, especially if you’re heavy. I bought myself a wider, more cushioned one than the standard. It’s well worth going to a local bike shop, if you have one: you really need them to fit a bike to you.

    2. Good recommendations! The last time I bought a bike, I bought a wide seat to replace the butt-wiper that came with it. I don’t know any good bike shops.

      1. Gary, I agree with the other commenters, getting a good (wide) saddle instead of those narrow racing saddles helps a lot. But I’d add: try to find a bike on which you can sit upright.
        I have no idea where you are in the USA, but if you’re within shipping distance of Winnipeg you might have a look at what Plain Bicycles has available: https://plain-bicycle.myshopify.com/

        The upright step-through bikes that are ubiquitous here in the Netherlands are so much more comfortable than the racing/roadie or mountainbike/trailriding types seen everywhere in the USA, it makes an enormous difference for a less-/inexperienced rider.

        It has higher, swept-back handlebars so you can sit up straight and continually watch everything ahead ànd around you without contortions, and you don’t put pressure on your wrists. It also means you’re much less likely to fall over the handlebars and hit your head if you do fall; falling sideways on a knee and arm at the slower speeds usually done on such upright bikes (anything between 8-18 mph, but a jogging-speed of about 10 mph is the usual speed here) is a lot less dangerous than going head over heels at racing speeds.

        It is also quite useful, with carrying panniers on the back rack and a crate or basket on the front, so you can get anything you can reach safely by bike back home on your bike.
        Fixed lights, fenders and chain guard, a coat guard (certainly if you’re not using panniers), and hub gearing and dynamo make them very maintenance-light and usable in all weathers.
        See this video by NotJustBikes to get an idea of what I’m talking about:

        If you’re on Twitter, AmericanFietser in Carmel, Indiana tends to talk about these kinds of useful, no-stress bikes too, and likes pointing people to where they can get them.

        PS. I’d bookmarked a page where I could buy your indoor growing kits when I’d have enough saved, but seem to have lost that link. Could you mention their manufacturer again sometime?

        1. Wonderful links! I’m not interested in a racing bike, so upright is my cup of tea. I’ll be sharing your thoughts in a blog post of my own.

          As you could tell, providing multiple links means entering moderation. My indoor gardens came from just four manufacturers, but there are a bunch of similar products out there. Everything I bought could be found on Amazon, but they have home pages of their own. All of the manufacturers I bought from and links to them are here: somethingsmustbeendured.com/post/time-to-compare-and-contrast. My limited recommendations are there as well, such as “if you’re going to buy multiple Smart Gardens, start with the SG-9, not the SG-3.”

          1. With your information I went searching, and I found a secondhand Click & Grow SG9, with 3 extra seed kits, for less than half price (100 euro) – I’m picking it up on Sunday and going to visit my aunt who lives near there, about 200 km away.

            Since the seed pods cost nearly 10 euro per 3, it’s not ever going to be financially advantageous, with a bag of salad or a head of green or iceberg lettuce costing only 1 euro, and the supermarket only a 10 minute walk from my home. But it just looks like fun to grow my own, and it might encourage me to eat more salads than I do now. For half price, I’m going to give it a try.

        2. This is really interesting, Hanneke: thanks. I used to have a touring bike with drop handlebars, which I used to commute in London and go on touring holidays. More recently, when I was living in the country, I bought a hybrid mountain bike, but I found it far too dangerous to cycle around here. I think if the roads ever improve, your style of bike sounds much more fun. Meanwhile, I need to accept that I’m not going to use my bike, and see if I can sell it. I did use to enjoy cycling.

      2. I wrote a reply with two links for Gary, to the Plain Bicycle project in Winnipeg and to a NotJustBikes video about comfortable upright stepthrough Dutch bikes, but it got sent to moderation.
        Maybe searching on some of those terms will give you some useful results to think about before you buy?

        1. I searched and found the links. The NotJustBikes video was depressing. He was so right about the lack of planning for bikes and pedestrians. I’m not considering a bicycle for anything beyond neighborhood exercise, because leaving my neighborhood requires sharing the motor dedicated roads with 45 MPH inconsiderate vehicular homicidal maniacs.

          This is not to say that no bike paths exist. Bikemap.net has a locator. To get to them, you put the bike on a rack on your car, drive to an entry point, park, take the bike off the rack, pedal around for a while, then remount the bike on the rack and drive home. I might get to that level of enthusiasm before I die… but likely not. (I do own a bike rack for my car.)

          When I was a teen, I rode my Schwinn Spitfire IV everywhere in Panama City, FL. I even rode it 22 miles to Tyndall Air Force Base (and back) working on a Boy Scout merit badge. Them days is long gone. Those roads are long gone and were scary even then.

        2. The post came theough in the meantime. Great links!!
          NotJustBikes has super interesting videos, I love to watch them. I especially remember the one about American city designs that explained so well why there’s such a strange divide between suburbs and inner cities.

          Gary, cyclong is such fun! Getting around without the need for a car, no expenses apart from the initial purchase of the bike and checks once in a while AND the idea of doing something good for your health is a great combination.

          1. There are TWO initial costs: 1) Purchasing a bike and 2) moving to Holland or some part of Europe where I could use it. The NotJustBikes video explained my local situation perfectly. He was only trying to go 800 meters. The FNFL is over twice that distance from me.

            A bike is wonderful transportation in Virginia provided you find one with four wheels and a motor that permits you to pedal it at 50 mph/80 kmph. Even mopeds and motor scooters (I’ve owned both) are risky.

            This is Good Ol’ Boy country. Good Ol’ Boys own and operate the biggest damn pick-up trucks they can afford, with four-wheel drive and “I own this here road” mentality as standard options. Their wives all drive “Soccer Mom” SUVs that compete for size (and gas mileage.)

            There are towns and cities in the USofA that incorporated proper urban planning for pedestrians and cyclists. I hear good things about Sacramento in California (thirty years ago.) I do not live in one.

          2. I was taken aback to discover, walking back to my cousin’s house in the suburbs, that there were no pavements (sidewalks) outside the centre of Saratoga Springs. No wonder everyone had been so surprised when I insisted the walk would do me good. Other relatives – a couple on their late seventies – had a kind of minivan, even though there were only two of them. It’s equally silly over here, of course – people mostly choose big, powerful vehicles for the status of them, not because they actually need them.

          3. Gary, as soon as I read your comment about the dangerous car-only roads I wanted to take back my reply.
            I dearly love that in good old Europe walking and cycling is not only possible but normal. I guess the distances one has to cover are very different. Within cities the trend is to make using public transport more palatable and make using the car unnecessary. The last 2 years made cycling even more popular (no using crowded busses/trains and doing something sporty), so bikes were hard to come by.
            Where I grew up a car is a very sensible tool to go places, but it’s possible to use the bike/moped etc instead. My uncle covers great distances that way (e.g. from Austra to Bavaria, he’s addicted to cycling but it’s helped him stay incredibly fit).
            I wouldn’t be crazy about taking my bike to somewhere by car to be able cycle a bit.

            What you describe is scary on so many levels.

          4. Dodo, a bicycle is a great way to exercise, but I think I successfully conveyed the danger in making it a main means of transportation. If it were up to me, I’d make cars illegal _in_ cities.

    3. Have you thought about getting an electric bike? You can still peddle when you want. It would expand your range and terrain options. I would love to get one, but my knee is too stiff to ride a bike currently.

      1. I looked at a few. Then I looked at an indoor exercycle. Because of poor urban planning, I am not looking for a bike for basic transportation. Even a trip to my Friendly Neighborhood Food Lion grocery store requires riding on a cars-only take-your-life-in-your-hands road partway.

  2. 100k and the ending is already written but I am STUCK on the third act and how to get them there. I keep going away and reading cookbooks and stuff about perfume manufacture and whatever else is unrelated (WIP is speculative fiction with some death and kissing) when all I really want to do is get drunk and sit in a bathtub full of ice cubes and sing show tunes loudly until The Big Solution presents itself. Just venting here, sorry

    1. Skip that part and go on and write the end.
      Then go back and see what the bridge between the first two acts and the last scenes are.
      It really helps to know where you’re going. I try to write the last scene very early; I already have a Bob-approved final scene for our third book.

      1. What a great tip! That’s where I always get hung up. I hate endings. They are so hard. But if it’s already out of the way, then the rest would be easier.

      2. Thank you! I have a whole raft of STUFF I keep trying to wedge in, and at some point am going to have to kill a whole lot of darlings. This is the hardest (but most fun) thing I have ever done. Might do the drunk in a tub of ice cubes thing anyway, maybe as motivation x

  3. I’m at 30K in the third book of a series and have figured out I’m not good at series. Other than that, I’m in a good place and wishing that for everyone. Good for you on the 80K!

  4. I had to replace my old square 18″ monitor for the desktop with a much larger 27″ one (cranky eyes). Which meant taking everything off the desk. So now I’m in the middle of cleaning and rearranging it, will be great once it’s done. Amazing how much crap accumulates even when you neaten the front bit periodically.

    On the bright side, as I was going through folders, I found one full of print-outs of Jennifer Crusie writing advice and classes, so there’s that.

    Otherwise I am spending my one free day in the middle of a busy week doing laundry, prepping for the long weekend trip I’m taking with friends Friday afternoon through Tuesday morning (we’re renting a house, but I apparently still need to pack All the Things), and hopefully, writing.

    1. We go back a long way, Deb. Some of that stuff may be so out of date as to be wrong (gasp!). I can still remember the first time you introduced yourself at a conference and gave me chocolate. I remember thinking, “I like this woman.”

      1. WRONG? WRONG? Impossible. Well, unlikely. And either way, having written a number of books since then, I have undoubtedly come up with my own wrong way of doing things.

        I think it was my first RWA convention, which would have been in DC in 2008. If not, it was the first one in NYC after that. I actually stalked you through the entire conference with chocolate, as I recall. The book signing first, then your presentation on Beats (which literally led to all of said books being published). Then a panel with a couple of other authors (one of them might have been Krissie or SEP). I remember I went up to give you chocolate again and you looked sad and said, “I can’t take that unless you have enough for all my friends.” AND I DID. Because, really, if you’re going to be a chocolate stalker, you need to be prepared.

        It was fun. Man, that was a long time ago. I still have the book you signed, in which you wrote “Don’t believe anything Bob says.” (I think he’d said I should look you up at the conference and that you weren’t that mean.)

        1. “if you’re going to be a chocolate stalker, you have to be prepared!”

          Love it!

        2. The beginning of a beautiful friendship (g).
          (I can’t believe I guilted you into giving people chocolate. So sorry.)

          1. Ha! I was raised by Jews. I can’t be guilted into anything. I did it because I wanted to. No apologies necessary. You shouldn’t have had to even say it. I should have come up with enough for everyone on my own.

  5. I just survived my first shift back at work after two glorious weeks of leave. It was far from the worst night I’ve had this year, and even when things went into the shape of a pear I just shrugged and rolled with it. Apparently time off is good for my temper. Who knew?

    And I finished the greyhound jumper while I was away! We just need to choose buttons for it and sew them on, and then she will be a stylish old lady indeed.

      1. I don’t have any social media, but if my friend puts some up I’ll try to get her to send me a link.

  6. I’m getting prepared for the annual visit (postponed for the last two years) of the niece and nephews who live out west by stocking up with mountains of food and trying to come up with ideas to entertain teenagers in Toronto. All suggestions welcome!

    1. How old are the younglings? Boys, girls?

      Crafts and books are pretty much my go to, but cooking things on a stick over a campfire is often a hit. Or homemade ice cream, bread dough stovetop donuts…weird cooking processes that you don’t normally do.

      1. Four boys aged 13, 16, 18 and 20; two girls aged 16 and 19. Weird cooking – you terrify me. I can’t even do the normal kind.

        1. Depends on what their interests are, Take them to any special markets or cool independent shops or foodie places, stuff they don’t have at home. The older ones might want to catch a gig. If you’re near green space go for a picnic or a hike or if you are nearer city centre a tour of the local urban art. Check for pop ups, they can be fun

        2. May I suggest swimming pools (city pools are free). Depending on finances, Canada’s Wonderland, Ripley’s Aquarium or the Toronto Zoo (any of which can be pricey, esp. for that many teens). Public libraries, esp. if you have a library card and can borrow for them, e-books, books, graphic novels, dvds, etc. and again free. Get them Presto passes and let them explore. Niagara Falls is always a good trip. I live in Scarborough myself, but I haven’t had any teenagers to deal with for a while. If they are into outdoors, maybe the Island and they could rent bikes.

          1. I’ll stick pins in my eyes if I ever have to go to Niagara Falls again but yes to the rest! The Island is a really great idea – renting tandem bikes could be fun.

        3. Blue Jays game? That’s a lot of tickets though, maybe expensive. My young nephews don’t have public transit where they live, so they always enjoy that when they come to the SF Bay Area. Especially any trip involving a ferry. Most young people in my life are really into Japanese culture (manga, anime, etc ), so they love going to Japantown. I also make them do research online and pick things themselves, with sometimes surprising results. My nieces picked the Museum of Ice Cream, which was not a museum or really much about ice cream, just photo ops for Instagram. It was so dumb, but they loved it more than Hamilton! (I had already seen it, and took them later; I thought they’d love it.) My teenage nephew picked something (petrified forest about an hour away) that I would never have thought of. I don’t think it was what he was expecting, but he got to be in charge. Later I took him on a trip anywhere in the world (I had a good job then) for high school graduation, and he picked Italy. I made him do research again and also made him responsible for things when we were there, like getting us places on transit or buying tickets (after I showed him once or twice). He was nervous at first but then got very casual about it. Everyone thought it was a generous gift, but it was stealth indoctrination into the travel mindset, since he wasn’t getting that anywhere else. My sister/his mother has never been west of Chicago despite two of her four siblings living in California for 25+ years. It worked too; he’s a traveler. Anyway, my point is, put some of the burden on them.

          1. This sounds an excellent idea to me. A grown-up version of what I used to do with my niece and nephew – I’d take them exploring, and we’d take it in turns to decide which way to go. They finally grew out of this at 16, but my niece in particular does a lot of walking with her fiance.

        4. My 17 year old still is into ball games (well, he plays soccer) and will bring home new balls every once in a while. On our last holiday, dh had to pack a soccer one and on the return from soccer camp brought back one that ds bought on site in Italy for their nightly volley ball sessions at the beach. A bit like a playful retriever…
          Soccer is fun for the girls, zoo 😉

          1. They are so into the internet and I don’t think any of them do anything physical – taking them to the cottage for paddle boarding and kayaking at least.

          2. Ds is a kind of cyborg – his smatphone seems to be part of his anatomy. But thankfully when there’s a ball it works as an antidote.
            However, the others have recommended so many better things that I might try some for my kids for the upcoming summer holidays.

      1. I don’t know if I can contribute that much to their corruption…maybe I’ll get them all a tattoo or a piercing instead…I’m sure their parents will be grateful to me.

        1. My dd would come over to you in a heart beat. She fancues getting a nose ring which my otherwise laid back dh is adamant she does not get. Reminds him of cattle (bulls with rings hanging below their nostrils). I find the ones on the side quite nice but agree with his veto against the bull rings… mind you she’s 14 and needs parental consent still (requirement here), so I hope she’ll change her mind in the next 4 years…

          1. Yes one of my nephews has done the nose ring already and yes it reminds me of cattle. I feel so old…

  7. A friend from work asked me to come over last night. Turns out her husband left and she hasn’t told anyone, but her therapist told her to gather her support systems. Apparently that is me. I feel bad that she doesn’t have someone closer. She is a very sweet person but we just haven’t had time to get that close.

    I am feeling a little overwhelmed as to how best to support her, and a little shaken. This is the third fairly solid couple in our circle to bust up… I don’t want that to happen to us. Ugh.

    1. Lupe, it could be the “close, but not that close” that makes you an easier person for her to tell. Hopefully as she moves through the process, she’ll expand the support circle.

      1. Ugh. Maybe. Except I met her through her husband. Hers and mine worked together and are friends. She got me the job I have now. They were our “Adult friends without kids and similar interests” friends. It’s complicate.

        So far it’s an amicable, temporary split. Hopefully they can work it out.

    2. I think listening is the best thing. She’s probably going to cycle through the same questions and complaints and grief as she works through this, and sometimes all you need at those moments is somebody there listening and saying, “I know. You don’t deserve this.” It’s just a really bad time to be alone.

      1. Maybe cycle in offering to make her a cup of tea or offering her chocolate, when you don’t know what to say

  8. 80,000! That’s so exciting for us as readers :-). I will take it as inspiration to get some scenes written on my WIP today.

    At this very minute, I’m supposed to be electioneering at some early voting locations for my daughter’s campaign for the MD state house. But a tree that fell across our driveway in last night’s storm and a bad crash on the highway I need to take have conspired to postpone my drive. So this morning I’ll write, and this afternoon I’ll drive to Baltimore to be one of those pesky people who tries to hand literature to voters on their way to the polls. I think there is also phone banking in my upcoming weekend plans. I am terrible at all of this peopling, but the things you’ll do for your kid!

    1. Is your daughter’s name Augusta? If that is her, I read her campaign summary, and if I were in District 46 I would definitely vote for her. But not in a primary, because Maryland does not LIKE independent voters. We are allowed to vote ONLY for school board members in primary elections.

      1. Yes, Augusta for Baltimore!

        Re: independents, they give us voter counts by party, and there were 2 independent voters at my polling place today. I have no idea what they were allowed to vote for, but glad they came out.

  9. I continued working on the unfinished quilt top from last week. After I posted the picture and started working on the borders, I realized I had put it together wrong. I started off saying I would NOT pick it out and redo it, it would be fine the way it was. (Ask Kelly – I told her!) But it kept nagging at me. So after I finished all the pieces of the border, I went back again and caved. Picked out the border, and the squaring triangles, and a little bit more. Cut out the missing pieces (and recut the squaring triangles, since I had trimmed them to fit the previous), and finally put everything together. I like it better – and it is done. Not quilted, but top put together.


    From my stated list of projects needing to get to the “top done” stage, I’ve completed 3 of my proposed 5. The last two “just” need borders.

    1. I cannot imagine taking that apart and then putting it back together again. You are a quilting hero.

    2. It does look better with the new configuration, not crowding some of the tufts up against the border. It looks much better balanced now. A lot of extra work, but definitely worthwhile!

  10. Tried to leave a comment but didn’t make it through the filter (I am real! Honestly! My TBR pile alone can attest to this fact!). Struggling with third act of WIP (100k and rising but will be slashed and burned). Fallen out of love with secondary protagonist and really need to take her out for a nice long walk to remember why we were friends in the first place. Heatwave in London so am incapable of doing anything more than lying on the sofa weeping lightly into a bag of frozen peas.

    1. I will check to see if I can find you. This comment made it, so Akismet evidently took exception to something in that post.

      1. That was me further up the thread, so please ignore (I was worried Akismet took the drunk tub showtunes comment as some kind of veiled threat) x

  11. Still working on the same stuff, more or less. Had singing rehearsal this week for the show, otherwise knitting the same giant projects. I got gifted some yarn so I’m making some tiny stuff out of that too.

  12. I quilted the three lap quilts I made a few months back, but don’t have pictures yet — need to bind them first, and then I’ll share. I was thinking I’d do before-and-after images, because quilts change so much (for the better) between being just a top and being quilted. Not sure if it comes through as much in pictures as it does in real life, but at least some of the transformation can be seen in pix.

    Also resumed writing fiction on Monday after a break for birthday week, getting a novella ready for holiday release.

  13. I’ve been focused on my health, so have deliberately not been pushing myself to get things done, but instead have mostly sat and read in the garden (https://www.instagram.com/p/Cf9KYzMM5hO/) and resumed my hour-a-day walks. Some of my reading was useful: I researched the Peak District for my holiday there with friends in September, and I’ve started researching how to best process my photos in the latest version of Lightroom (I was going great guns on this a year ago when my big editing job kicked off and I had to stop).

    I was offered a treeful of Morello cherries at the allotments yesterday, and picked enough for a pie, which I’m going to stew and freeze. I’m off to harvest more strawberries and blueberries; and possibly my redcurrants. I’m thinking of experimenting with redcurrant jam, since I’ve still got plenty of jelly from last year.

    1. You have a lovely garden. It looks like a wonderful place to sit with a favorite beverage and get lost in a good book.

      1. That’s what I was thinking also. Or painting a flowering vine not too much but just enough.

      2. I’m going to add wires, as elsewhere in the garden. There’s a dwarf kiwi Issai planted on the left and a Chilean guava on the right, but they’re both still small. Hoping both will give me some good fruit.

        1. Ah! I wondered, because they didn’t look quite right for Bishop of Llandaff, but very similar. Stunning.

          1. They tend to mostly be orange-red, in my experience, although I’ve got a magenta and an amber – not as strong plants, though.

  14. I’m working on two editing projects, and I have family guests for the week. Also trying to maintain my to to the gym habit, oh and prep for next month’s recitals.
    And stay calm and have fun. Sheesh.

  15. I put the (maybe) final touches on the infant website, and am close to publishing it. Also completed one profile and began research for the next one (freelance work). Making tiny efforts at weeding. Finished planting the last of the plants in pots. Housework, not so much.

  16. Last step(Let’s pretend) really just last _packing_ step of putting my scattered belongings in a suitcase or two. Plane in about 6 days (tickets in process…) Still haven’t chossen the route, or whether to fly straight through (30ish hours) or multi day stop overs in two places. Which would need places to stay and possibly a vehicle. This may be the least organised overseas trip we’ve ever done.
    I think we have decision fatigue. So many made and implemented in such a short time that yet more seems impossibly hard. Or maybe it’s just me.

    1. Clancy, aviation everywhere is a mess right now. Minimising the number of flights to get there minimises the chance of your luggage getting lost in transit. It’s still possible with current staff shortages, but going straight through means you only have to survive airport hell once instead of doing it several times. You’ve made a great call travelling after school holidays have finished, it’s going to continue being insane until Sunday.

      1. As this point I almost don’t care if my luggage gets lost. Apart from having to buy clothes. But Sydney to Edinburgh is three airplanes, two layovers no matter what. We were only considering whether to stretch the layover long enough to sleep in a bed or to visit family in the States as we pass.
        Though Qantas is said to planing a direct flight to London for next year. Then it would be possible to take a train to Edinburgh. I expect that will be pricy even compared to our current tickets.
        I asked about business class, timing is so tight maybe they have cheaper than usual seats? $10,000AU each. Or weirdly, $13,000 for just the last leg, mid-USA to Edinburgh. So no.

  17. A question for the quilters:

    I have a lovely quilt top that was pieced by my Mamaw probably 40 years ago. She loved to piece, but hated quilting, so there were several tops left after she passed. Anyhoots, I’d love to get it quilted — which I can do locally, no problem. However, Mamaw only made full-size quilts, and I have two queen-size beds.

    I’m wondering if there’s a way to add fabric to increase the size of it. I remember a long time ago seeing a quilt that was quilted on top, but just had panels of fabric stitched to three sides, making it into a sort of combo quilt/bedspread.

    I would appreciate any advice y’all can provide. Thank you!

    1. @Pam, I twice did something like that for a quilt I’d made. Once a simple fabric strip, sewn onto the wall-side (for a single bed along a wall), so that could be tucked in under the mattress, out of sight, without causing too much wear on the pretty quilt cover I’d put a lot of work into.

      The second was a lot more work, for the full-size quilt I’d made for a friend, when they switched to a wider bed.
      The quilt they had that used to overhang the mattress now just sat on top of it, barely, with no overhang at all. So I made 2 new long and narrow pieced and quilted strips, an entire extra row of blocks as this quilt was built of square blocks (with long straight strips in between), in the same colours (and partially the same fabrics, lucky I still had those in my stash).
      Then I carefully and as invisibly as possible hand-sewed those strips onto the sides of the existing quilt. I used a different-but-related pattern for the squares in the new strips, so they clearly fitted onto the pattern of the existing quilt, but wouldn’t be detonating in their use of different fabrics as long as the colours were compatible.

      If the top of the quilt isn’t a pattern like blocks that is easily replicated on the sides, I like to make the overhanging sides from a separate pattern, usually a row of square diamond-shaped blocks (blocks standing on their points), with a wheel-shape filling the center of the triangles between the blocks (and smaller wheels in the corner triangles).
      Any pattern that can stand as a separate ‘border’ or overhang but goes well with the top would do. Sorry, I don’t have Instagram or anything like that, so I can’t link you to any photos.

      Adding new pieced side-panels to your Mamaws quilt tops is a lot easier before the tops are quilted, as it doesn’t need the careful invisible hand-stitching onto the original on front and back. But it does need someone who likes to sew, piece and/or quilt to do so. Also, if you feel that adding to them would distract from your Mamaws quilts you might not want to do that.

    2. I will second Hanneke’s note that adding fabric to the quilt top should be done before it is quilted. You (or someone you know and trust) could add a framework around the quilt on all sides. It should be something that harmoniously works with the original. Ideally if you had some of the original fabric you could use that – but more than likely, you’ll look for something that is similar in color and sense.

      If it makes it easier for you to use Mamaw’s quilt, go for it! Quilts are meant to be used.

      1. Yeah, this quilt top is probably 40 or 45 years old. There’s no way I’ll be able to actually match the fabric. Coordinating fabric might work, though.

    3. If it’s just a top (as in, not yet quilted, which is what I’m getting from your post) then it should be a fairly easy process (she says, gingerly, aware she hasn’t seen the top so can’t really judge) to just add appropriately-sized strips of cotton fabric to each edge to extend the size as wished, and then get the quilter to quilt the whole thing.

      Or, as you say, you could add fabric after the top is quilted to extend the size (would be cheaper if you don’t have to pay for all of it to be quilted!)

    4. Personally, and this is just me, but I wouldn’t change the size. I’d just get them quilted at their current size, and then pair them with a coordinating simple spread, so the quilts are more accents than spreads. You can get knock-off matelassse (spelling?) spreads and other simple geometically-quilted whole cloth quilts pretty cheaply to use as the underneath spread.

      Benefits: 1. much cheaper to quilt than if you add borders that need to be quilted — borders add to the total square footage disproportionately (sort of like how the first row of a granny square crochets up in like three seconds, but once you get to the last row, it takes forever. Same sort of math.

      2. Less chance of wear and tear along the edges than if if you attach decor-weight strips to the edges instead of expanding the quilted area. Also, there’s probably less tugging and manipulating a topper than an actual spread, so again, there’s less intense wear and tear. Important for things with intense sentimental value.

      3. Flexibility — if you ever want to use it on a future smaller bed,or as a throw on a sofa, etc., you still can. Also, you can swap out the underlying spread for different seasons.

      4. Ease of washing — a smaller quilt is infinitely easier to wash/dry safely than larger ones.

      5, You don’t have to worry about perfectly matching the quilt the way you probably would if you were physically attaching the extra fabric. Home-dec fabric changes as much as fashion fabrics, so you might have a hard time getting some new fabric to not feel off when incorporated into a new piece, but no one really expects that close a match when it’s clearly two separate things that are being displayed together. If you have any vintage fabric, other than perhaps a true indigo, and you take it to the fabric store to match, you could see what I mean. I don’t know all the technical color terms, but even something we think of as standard, like “navy” tends to be different from year to year, with varying amounts of blue, black, gray, and even yellow/brown added in.

      1. I have a cheap mass-produced queen-size cover from Bed Bath & Beyond topped with a gorgeous batik Real Quilt that doesn’t overhang the edges at all. It’s the cherry on top of my bed. 🙂

      2. Thank you. That’s an excellent – and much more elegant – idea than what I was trying to accomplish.

    5. Two of my sisters who quilt gave me double sized quilts they had made, but like you, I have a larger bed (queen sized). Another sister suggested that I turn the quilts to the length being the sides and fill in the top with throw pillows. It worked very well so now I can use the quilts whenever I want to change my decor a bit.

  18. I got with my editor on Friday and did some small stuff — a piece of fan fiction (I don’t do many of these at all) that’s now up on AO3, and a re-work of my writer’s bio. Yesterday we talked (Tuesday’s are our regular day) and I picked which three pieces I’ll submit to an online magazine I’ve had a lot of luck with. The rest of the time I’ve been working on the current idea, figuring out what the characters are like. The nonfiction book on music device networking is functioning as a release valve — I go to it and write a section when I need to let my mind work in the background on my main project at the time.
    My other brain drainer is my website issues. For my main one I’ve got some work done in the past, so I have ideas if nothing else, but my new site has a big bag of nothing. So I’ve been thinking about that a lot.
    And finally, (I know, evil adverb) I’m getting stuff in a place where it won’t bug me too much if I set it on a back burner, because sometime this week a friend of mine is coming by to read me some information from a book on Ancient Egyptian Music. This will free me to start on the major work, a full orchestral oratorio with six vocal parts and an expanded percussion section. That’s going to eat some time

    1. Wow. Just wow. The idea of an oratorio sounds complicated enough, without adding Ancient Music? And Ancient EGYPTIAN music to boot? Wow. Kudos to you!!

  19. I just got home from 10 days in Minneapolis coaching, and fencing, at the Summer National Championships. As a club, and an almost brand new club as none of our kids had been to Nationals before, we did very well. But I’m exhausted and I’m taking the rest of the of this week off.

    1. Good for you to coach young people a fun and skillful sport. I think it would be excellent exercise for brain And muscles. Best wishes to your students.

  20. Being retired has proven to be good for my soul. I don’t have to fit everything into a weekend and am able to relax more. Today I went blueberry picking; it was great, the weather cooperated, and I managed to pick 6+ lbs to put in the freezer for the winter. I also signed up for AAA (primarily so I could get Euros for an upcoming trip to Spain later this year), which I had been procrastinating about for weeks. Then I managed yo finish a book I have been picking up and putting down for several days. I’ll post about it tomorrow for the Thursday what are you reading post.

  21. I’ve been working on one of the front flower beds. Well, two actually. The part that runs under the picture window was edged with stacked rock but it was old and the concrete they had bonded the rock with was chipping and it did not look good, nor was it functional. We are replacing that with white vinyl, which matches the fence, and it will go from having a kinda-sorta curve to the front to being straight. I’m joining that bed with a small-ish area that has had roses and some really ugly grass that runs vertical along the retaining wall.

    I’ve made that portion of it large enough so that if I have to move my roses so we can put a picket fence in behind it as a snow block, we can. I should be taking some during photos, mostly to remind myself what a pain it is. I’ve had to change my plans because of fairly substantial tree roots. I worked to hard to get the mountain ash looking this good to ruin it now. Alas, one root bit the dust due to my then-super-sharp edger going right through it but there are many others to take it’s place.

    Tomorrow we go to watch Love and Thunder and I get an ultrasound on my shoulder to see why it hurts pretty much all the time. Gardening when injured, that’s how I roll. My edger is sharper than me.

  22. I am re-reading the first 10 chapters of my book, and adding snippets that come to me when I’m supposed to be sleeping. At least those wakeful hours are not a total loss. I’m working on self-esteem, health, and the never-ending yard chores. Books are coming for the first two! It’s too hot and humid to do much else. This is the time of year when I ask myself “Why did I move back to Kansas, and this heat and humidity?” It is also the time of year when I used to ask myself “Why did I move to Tucson and all this horrible heat and dryness?” It’s all a matter of perspective. ; >{]

    1. Perspective, oh yes. I loved Edinburgh weather 15 years ago, a few months out from San Francisco. But now I keep noticing how similar Edinburgh summer is to Sydney winter (today both 16 degrees, with 16% vs 80% chance of rain)
      16C is about 61F, seems cold now. I really hope I haven’t adapted so much that I can’t adapt back.

  23. Still making blank sketchbooks and journals. Still crocheting. I like making things but lately I’m really beginning to wonder if I should stop.

    I have so many many things I’ve made, there’s too much stuff in my home, supplies are expensive, and there’s only so many times I can give friends things they may not need or actually want.

    I’m not a writer, so that way of making something that doesn’t result in a physical product is closed.

    I love paper and yarn and paints and making resin pieces, but at what point does it all become too much? But what would I replace all this with… it makes me focused and relaxed and happy.

    1. I consider that kind of thing medicinal.
      I don’t do well with the drugs that keep your fingernails out of the ceiling, but I can crochet and relax and stop obsessing because I’m following a pattern and because the rhythm is so soothing. So I don’t consider it a craft, I consider it medication. Or the thing that keeps me off medication.

      As for what to do with them: sell them on eBay or Etsy if you have the energy and interest (I don’t) or give them away to homeless shelters, retirement homes, schools, wherever they can be used.

    2. I gave a lot of my made-in-the-past stuff to my sister for her church’s ‘yard sale’ fundraiser.

      I’d gotten to a point of feeling oppressed by Stuff, and guilty about all this stuff I’d made that was simply lurking in cabinets. Trying to sell it (had an Etsy store, back in the day) was stressful & time-consuming & pointless (given the full-time job to which a few dollars a month of craft income was a meaningless supplement) – gave up on that and let it lurk, but over the past 15 months the urge to Let Go somehow grew strong enough.

      I don’t miss that stuff, and if anyone gets a moment of pleasure out of something I’ve made, great; on the other hand, if they don’t, I’ll never find out so I’ll never have to feel bad about it!

    3. There is a group in my area that makes cuddle blankets for children that different police departments keep in patrol cars so that if they have a situation involving distressed children, they can wrap them in something cuddly that the children can keep. I knit blankets for cats that I donate to our local humane society and hats for humans that I donate for Christmas boxes for our local Seafarers House to give at Christmas for the merchant seamen. You probably can find lots of places that would treasure the crafts you make.

    4. My first thought was offering them to charities to sell (better ideas from other people here); but also, perhaps charity shops would be a source of cheap materials? And I second Jenny: don’t give up what brings you joy/peace.

  24. My basil was flourishing so I made some pesto. And cleaned the bathroom. That’s pretty much it.

    We need rain here. My rain barrel is empty.

  25. I went to see a doctor today to find out what kind of bump I have on top of my knee cap . It appears to be a cyst that is not doing any harm, but is pointless to remove because it will only grow back. Sigh. My internist did say that the only thing to be gained by having an orthopedist examine it was that I would find out the cause. But I’m not sure I really understood the cause and they made me list all my medications TWICE after my internist verified them less than a week ago and then the doctor was over 30 minutes late. I originally had an appointment with a PA for Tuesday, but they cancelled that appointment and left a message saying that on second thought, I really needed to have a doctor look at it. It turns out that they had made an appointment for a PA who wasn’t on duty that day and the guy who called me just wanted to make it sound like the reschedule was for a medical reason rather than a logistical one. Sigh . I wish they would be honest about the little things because it makes it so much easier to believe them about the big ones. I’ve already decided that I will go to the guy who did my sister’s knee replacements at a different hospital if I have more problems with either leg, but this really reinforced that decision. They could tell that my doctor had ordered x-rays in the spring after I fell, but nobody bothered to pull them up and take a look at them.

    On a more successful note, I finally confirmed that the money that Survey Junkie and Pay Pal have been fondling for almost 2 weeks has finally made it into my checking account. I thought it was the fact that my bank had been bought out and my numbers had changed that was the problem, but once I talked to someone at PayPal on Monday, the deposit made it into the correct account in under 24 hours. Life is so much simpler when you can choose from more than the 3 or 4 most common choices. In the last 10 months or so, nothing I need has been on the automated menus. It was such a relief to see how quickly things could be fixed when you weren’t limited to the FAQs.

    After I confirmed that I had finally received the money, I didn’t waste any time before I went out and ordered tee shirts for myself and my sister and 2 crossword puzzle books. A year or 2 ago, when I ordered shirts from Out of Print, the shirts they printed those adorable designs upon were clingy and sticky and pilled when you washed them. So I called to try to confirm what kind of shirt these were printed on, but all I could discover was the fiber content. I really miss going into a store and being able to feel the quality of a fabric before you buy it. I do not want to spend $10 on postage on something that I will just have to return.

    1. I’d see another doc about the cyst. My husband and I watch Doctor Pimple Popper all the time, and she removes cysts every show. The trick is to make sure the doctor removes the cyst sac — otherwise, it will come back.

  26. Over the past week I finished writing the book-in-progress and relaunched a 2019 title with a new cover design. I *should* have blogged my July title, but haven’t yet.

    In garden work, I cleared a swath of weeds, propped up my spindly leggy mess of backyard sunflowers, and re-edged half of the front yard.

    In Day Job, I filed a lot of new cases.

  27. My critiques Tuesday urged me to work on getting poems / flash fiction published. I submitted to the New Yorker. It was suggested I find some contests. Wrapping my head around how to do that.
    We are really enjoying Portrait Artist of the Year. I recommend everyone at least watch Season 2 Episode 9. The winner of season 2 paints an amazing portrait of Alan Cummings. Lots of fun screen time with Alan. Streams on Freevee which is free with ads.

  28. I’m having a crazy busy summer of teaching. I’m way behind on grading, and everything I have to do is the exact opposite of my wheelhouse (three new classes, two of which are on topics I don’t know anything about and am not interested in, two sections of an asynchronous online class which I haven’t really done before with mostly native English-speaking undergraduates when I’m an ESL teacher used to in-person classes with visiting international students). At least I’m getting some income after not much for a while. It’ll go fast too. I’m just trying not to lose my mind.

  29. I have been lurking here for months. I’m not quite sure why I’ve been so busy but for a while now it seems like I’ve only had time to read comments, not join in the conversation.

    One of the projects I’ve been working on is my next release – coming this Friday! – and the other books in the series. I’ve also been doing crocheting. My parents-in-law are in care and I bring a project whenever we go visit to help pass the time with them. My MIL likes to help pull the yarn from the ball. Here’s a link to my latest accomplishment. https://www.instagram.com/p/Cf9JPdOL3qU/

    1. I said this in Good Book Thursday, but I’ll repeat it here: Amazon just fulfilled a preorder;
      Items Ordered
      Loving Between the Lines (SILVERBERRY SEDUCTION Seasoned Romance)[Kindle Edition]
      By: Brenda Margriet


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