Sunday, October 4, 2020

Mending a Memory

 My mother must have made this quilt for me some time in the 1940s, as I remember it being on my bed when I was quite small. Over the years it had gotten worn and was mended by some clumsy hand stitching (probably mine when I was a teenager). When the quilt was too far gone for further use, it was put away in a cedar chest, where it lay folded for decades. 

This is what much of it looked like:

After much thought (years and years of thought!) I finally decided I was brave enough to try to save what was salvageable. I cut off the two sides that were in the worst shape, added binding to the cut edges, and then took out the awkward old hand stitched mending. This made all the tears and worn spots visible and ready to be dealt with. 

Next, I used fusible interfacing, cut into tiny pieces and inserted into large rips and into small places where the fabric was worn. It was painstaking work, just perfect for this terrible pandemic year. When a piece of interfacing was set in place--sometimes with tweezers-- between the two layers of ancient fabric, I used a damp pressing cloth and a steam iron to fuse the three layers together. Tiny scissors trimmed away stray threads. 

And here it is: Faded, worn, and somewhat smaller than it used to be--but it is hanging where I can see it first thing in the morning and last thing at night, just the way I remember seeing it when I was a child. 

Monday, June 8, 2020

Morning Walk

This was my walk this morning--past horses, onion fields, an irrigation ditch, and a pecan orchard.

Horses at the neighbors' place

Field of onions being harvested.
Planted last fall, each onion is now the size of a large grapefruit

This field was quiet and empty two days ago. Now it is filled with kneeling workers,
carefully picking onions and placing them into the big crates. A forklift works day and night, 
loading the containers onto trucks.

Irrigation water flowing down from the Elephant Butte Dam, about 80 miles to the north

Pecan trees. The dust in the distance is from the onion harvesting.

The soil under the pecan trees looks like this between flooding by irrigation

Back home again to the big scary cactus, started with just two pads 11 years
ago and now about 9 feet tall.

Friday, March 20, 2020


These are worrisome and anxious times, what with the whole world experiencing the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. I wanted to put some links here so that we would know what to do if one of us falls ill.

As of today there are 43 cases in New Mexico, and one case in Dona Ana County. The first tests were made available today and ran out in 2 hours. More tests will be available on Monday.

General Information and a Counter (more up to date than the CDC site below)

Johns Hopkins Coronovirus Resource Center

Keeping Track of the Spread of the Coronavirus, Staying Up to Date on Advisories and Closures

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention--Number of cases in the U.S., number of deaths, source of exposure (updated at noon each day):

New Mexico Dept. of Health--Number of cases in New Mexico, number of tests given, cases by county, and links to testing sites

City of Las Cruces, COVID-19 Alerts--updated daily, local closures, where to get tested, community resources:
Note: Be sure to click on "view all updates" (in red and on the right in the center column) to see all of the prior updates. There is a lot of information here.

More Information From the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)--How to protect yourself, symptoms, who is at risk, and general resources.

What to Do If You Are Sick--if you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 or if you have symptoms, these are the steps to take.

Disinfecting Your Home if Someone is Sick--How to clean and disinfect surfaces in your home, how to launder items, etc.

I probably will add to this list as I think of more questions.

Sunday, March 8, 2020

More Sweaters for Refugee Babies

A friend in my knitting group has offered to deliver baby sweaters and hats to the Salaam Cultural Museum in Seattle for shipping to a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan. The folks at the museum will add the baby garments to boxes made up for new mothers. The boxes also include blankets, diapers, and other baby necessities; then the boxes themselves serve as baby beds. 

Here are my latest contributions:

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Refurbishing a Lamp

Poor old lamp! It was a freebie from the Swap Shop at our town dump when we lived in New Hampshire long ago . Rotted silk shade...

... and tarnished base. Note that the base is off-center, too. 

The first step was to remove the rotted silk from the shade. 

Next, I made a pattern from a large sheet of gift wrapping and made a replacement shade of fabric, following the directions here: I did add a plain white cotton lining to the new shade, a lesson learned from the last lampshade I made with just one layer of fabric. It was all put together with spray adhesive, my newest favorite tool.

I unscrewed the base and re-centered it, then sponged on some turquoise craft paint and brushed over it with some gold to highlight the texture. Nothing perfect here.

I'm not showing any close-ups of the lining, because once again--not perfect. Here is the finished lamp--all cheery, much less formal, and in my favorite colors. Best of all--someone else's trash is now my treasure.