Swiss Star Center and Eclipse Day

Did you get to experience the eclipse on Monday? We were in the path of totality, so schools, college, banks, and more were closed. The experts warned us to be prepared for up to 300,000 visitors in town and to get gas and groceries ahead of time. The grocery stores were hit hard as early as Friday, with many things being sold out, and of course hotel room rates and gas prices soared. I saw a lot of people on Facebook trying to sell parking in their yards, though without takers.

I would suspect that "they" grossly overestimated the tourist count. There was a big show at IU with Mae Jemison, Janelle Monae, William Shatner, and other performers. I guess they prepared for 10,000 but only sold 2,500 tickets. Most of the pictures I've seen of various locations had small crowds, definitely not packed. I'm thinking that because the path was so broad this time, most people didn't travel long distances.

We enjoyed gorgeous weather and were able to witness the eclipse from the comfort of our own driveway. Many of the neighbors had small viewing parties and the closest neighbors had a pool and a blow-up slide respectively for all their kids to play on. 

It was quite hot out (~76 degrees) prior to the eclipse. My husband was outside working on his barn. The kids and I kept running out, looking, going back inside until something was happening. They did set up the GoPro camera in the chicken coop and my son set up one of his old phones to film out his window. He recorded with that for over two hours and ended up with a 20+ second video that shows the changing light. 

I was working at the computer and noticed that it had suddenly gotten much darker in the house. The temperature dropped about 10 degrees and it kept getting darker and darker inside, though it didn't seem quite so dark outside until right at the moment of totality. Totality lasted a bit over four minutes for us. The songbirds got a little quieter. We thought the chickens would go into the coop. They headed up the ramp and then looked around and came back down. 🤷🏻‍♀️ The roosters did quit crowing during totality, but started up again after.

I did notice that the sound of humans carried much, much farther during totality. We could hear many people talking that were not our immediate neighbors. There was lots of cheering. I could have dealt without the profanity that carried and also the fireworks someone set off afterwards--like, it's light out, why do you need to shoot them off now? At least they weren't shooting them during the eclipse. Why can't we just appreciate the wonder of nature and not ruin it with stupid fireworks?

We were all taking pictures. My husband got the best shot using his Samsung phone using the pro mode (pictured top). The rest of us have iPhones, so our pictures weren't good (directly above). My son used my DSLR with its dying battery to get this shot.

After all that, it's back to work for us. I completed the center portion of the Swiss Star for the QAL I'm participating in. We also had to make blocks with the HST from last week and square in a square blocks.

I'm really itching to get this top put together. The pattern author included an assembly diagram along with the individual block unit instructions this week, so if I can complete all the client binding, I'm going back to it. 

I also need to assemble my Log Cabin Stars top still. I have about two weeks to get that done before I need to post the OMG finish link up. Other tasks that need attention are prepping for my small guild's class this weekend and making my yellow RSC blocks for this month. And I really should start working on the guild's QAL. I bought all the fabric and I am now three to four months behind. LOL.  And I never, ever run out of business-related tasks, quilting or otherwise. There's so much behind the scenes work.

I've still been keeping busy with tons of quilts. Here are the ones I've completed since last week. The first two belong to Pat. These both need to be fully bound. I quilted Flirtatious Leaves on this one.

And Sprawl on this one.

I liked the selvedge on her backing fabric! It's a bit hard to read in my picture. It says, "Nothing Haunts Us Like the FABRIC We Didn't Buy!" Two Wisconsins are printed after.

Then I quilted Flirtatious Leaves on Carol's embroidered quilt. I used 60 wt thread in cream so as not to detract from the embroideries, which were all done by hand. I would have probably picked pale green otherwise.

Next was Twist Tie on Maria's quilt. 

And Ginger Hearts on two little doll quilts for Maria. All of Maria's quilts still need to be fully  bound by me. This first one looks much cuter in real life than in my picture. I couldn't get the colors to show up correctly.

I quilted Loops and Swirls on Trish's quilt. 

Finally, I quilted Deb's with Stipple.

I took advantage of the $.88 pineapples on special last week and canned 11 pints of pineapple chunks from four large fruits. I did almost all of this by myself this time, with just a tad of help from my son grabbing extra jars and rings at the end. He also helped me weed the side, vegetable, and a bit of the front upper garden the day before.

I took apart and cleaned the tension assembly in my long arm by myself! I changed out the check spring because it had a very deep groove worn in. I really need to just put in the new tension assembly next time instead of messing with cleaning all the plating dust out of here. Sometimes I can be frugal to the point of cheap. 

Monday I had a bit of a shock when I was loading the doll quilt backings. One moment I was rolling the fabric on and the next, there was a large crash--the quilt backing bar actually fell out! It damaged my LVP floor. ☹️ At least it wasn't my foot.  

My husband decided to add Loctite to all four rollers while he checked and retightened them. These are all on the left side of the frame when looking at the machine. If you have this frame for your APQS, avoid unpleasant surprises and please check periodically!!

I found this gem left by sister. It took me three or four days after she did it for me to notice. LOL.

Here's one of my little squirrel friends. I feel like I'm often distracted by squirrels, literally and figuratively.
Happy sewing, friends.


  1. I love the way the brights pop against the black! It is going to be so pretty. Sorry to hear about your floor but happy it wasn't your foot.

  2. We were in the 94% range. A memorable experience! Great deal on the pineapple. Wonderful colors for the Swiss Star.

  3. We have a place in Nashville, IN, and watched the Eclipse from our patio. We were so blessed to experience a total Eclipse. We live near Center Grove school in Johnson County, so we could have seen it at home. Our squirrels love us!! They love bird food. We love the fresh pineapple but I have never canned it. I usually make a fresh fruit salad which is dessert along with sharing a muffin. Have a blessed time this spring. Check out the moon in the western sky this evening.

    1. Hi, anonymous. I can't respond directly to you. I'm glad you were able to experience the eclipse too.

  4. Your eclipse photos are great - your son had a great idea to film it. People are strange tho aren't they? Fireworks/?? hmmm
    Your star is looking pretty!!! and canning already - go you!