Weather or Not

This past week has been a bit of a challenge. I had only a few quilts left in my queue and was hoping to get them finished and take the long weekend to do personal sewing before the next batch of quilts arrives later today. Mother Nature was not in favor of that plan. We had really poor air quality due to smoke from wildfires for several days. Then we started having lots of heavy storms. Since we were under severe thunderstorm watches Thursday, I was trying to use the hourly forecast to plan out enough time to work before the storms actually hit, figuring we'd probably have at least some power flicks. I had delayed in the morning since strong storms were predicted. Those never materialized. 

According to the forecast, I should have had enough time in the afternoon. We got a storm warning, but according to the weather apps, we still had two hours before the storms were due and I had about an hour left on the quilt. I noticed my lights in my sewing room were flickering, so I yelled upstairs to the kids to ask if the lights were flickering upstairs. Sometimes my sewing room lights flicker from too much load or whatever. My daughter answered no, I was near the end of the row, so I decided to keep going. I'm sure you see where this is going. 

The power started flickering more, which was okay because I have a UPS on the machine for just this scenario. The UPS gives you 10 - 15 minutes of backup battery power to have time to shut down safely. Like I said, I was really close to the end of the row. Then the power went completely off for a minute, but came back on. Okay, it came back on, I'm good. 

In the middle of the power flicks, my husband called the house phone to tell me that he was leaving work and the weather was intense where he was (a 40 minute drive away). I was telling him that since it seemed okay for a minute, I was going to advance the quilt and mark my realignment point before shutting down. 

As I was basting and marking the realignment point, there were a few more power flickers and then the power just went off (no more phone, either). The machine did not like this and started acting up. Usually this involves stitching rapidly in one place or just randomly moving and then stitching rapidly. Not a great scenario since you can get tears in the fabric or potentially have machine damages. Luckily, no tears happened. 

I noticed it was pitch black outside (around 3 in the afternoon) and yelled to the kids to come downstairs just in case. Now we have no power, no internet, and no cell service, so no way to tell what was happening and no way to report the outage. We had a bit of wind that we could see out the window, but it didn't look that bad. Weirdly, my husband was able to call our house phone again and talk to my son. Verizon was down, but his work phone uses AT&T and that was still ok. I have no idea how the house phone worked because it's a portable and usually it's just off if there is no power. 

Anyway, he got home safely despite extreme winds. The power was off for five hours and we were able to get the generator going to keep the fridge and freezer running. Many people in our area were out more than 24 hours, so we were quite fortunate. Driving around town, we saw lots of trees and/or limbs down. My neighbors had a large tree fall, just missing their house. 

The next day I did have enough time to finish the quilt with no further issues. I still had one more quilt to finish.  When the power started to flick during that one, I got smart and just shut down right away. In the end it took four days to complete the two quilts, but they got done safely.

The first one is Terry's, quilted with Coquina.

The next one is Amber's, quilted with Opal. This might look familiar to you--it's the smaller version of one I shared last week. 

At this point I figured I had two days left to work on my own things. I got my Under the Sea quilt (pattern by Sue Pfau/Sweet Jane) loaded and set the machine to work. This quilt is one I made a couple of years ago. I wasn't happy with the quilting I had originally done, so I ripped it all out this winter and redid it. I did use a new piece of batting since the other one wasn't looking the best after hanging out in my closet for a couple years then spending a couple of months being tugged at while I removed the stitching. I like how it looks now.

I used the Double Wedding quilting design from The Quilting Mill.

Meanwhile, I was working on my Betty blocks. I now have five totally done and five partially done. There are 20 blocks total.

I was also trying to figure out how to do a full bust adjustment on a pattern. I think I now understand the process, but since my projects are all for knit fabric and didn't have darts to begin with, maybe the standard FBA isn't what I want to do. I found a couple different methods for knit fabrics, so I'm trying to determine which method is the best for me to use.

I was just about ready to start tackling the mess on my desk Tuesday when my husband called my cell and asked for help out on the barn. He had rented a lift for a few days to help put up the trusses. Monday he had help from the neighbor. Here was their progress.

I helped him Tuesday afternoon and evening. We are now 1/4 of the way done--seven of 28 are on the building. The lift has to be returned this morning and he has one reserved at another place today. I'm not sure if I'm helping again or what. I do want to comment here that it's been very hot and humid these past few days. Working outside is not pleasant.

One upside to all the violent storms is that our air quality drastically improved. I was able to get out into the garden Friday and harvest some peas and a little more than a pound of green beans. 

My little hostas outside my sewing room window have lots of flowers right now. :)

My flower gardens need to be weeded, the lawn needs to be mowed, and the trusses need to be installed. We have loads of rain in the seven-day forecast. Should be interesting.


  1. We had bad air quality also but you are so much farther south than us, I never thought it would be down in your area! I'm glad your machine wasn't affected by the power outage. Be careful putting up those trusses and of course, happy stitching!

  2. Your quilting is lovely, as always!
    Re: FBA - check out Barbara Emodi. She is an excellent sewist and teacher and sews a lot with knits.

    1. Elizabeth, I'm unable to reply directly to you, but thank you for the recommendation. I'll check her out.

  3. Oh, wow what a rough couple of days for you!