October Activities

October has been a great month for being outside which means I have not done tons of quilting. However there will be plenty of time when the rainy, gray weather begins. Ray and I have done lots of hikes around the area, picked berries, spent a week with his mom – so many fun days. Let’s go through it!

Ray’s mom had not been up here since last fall so it was a treat to spend time with her. She is a very easy houseguest. I had gotten my Covid vaccine a day or two before she came and it knocked me down pretty hard. So for the first couple of days she and Ray hung out together and when I felt better I joined in. (I don’t know why that vaccine was so hard on me – did any of you react strongly to this one??) My kids all came for a bbq over the weekend which was fantastic.

We went to a local nursery that is a favorite of Ray’s and mine. Michele bought me a Japanese Maple tree for the front yard as birthday gift. While we wandered around we came across this wooden carved statue of Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf. Look closely at all of the detail as this is just amazing. It is all carved from ONE tree trunk. We inspected it for a long while; it was incredibly impressive work. Red Riding Hood’s facial expression looks a little strange but otherwise, amazing!!!

So many of you have asked about my dad’s health. You are all really thoughtful!! I want to show you picture proof of his improved health. Steroids can be magical. Fortunately, he isn’t experiencing any negative side effects from taking them daily. It seems like he will need them for months to come. But the doctors are following him closely and monitoring his health while he is on this regimen.

Last May I started adding a bit of a jog to my walks. In June I began running and soon was able to run three miles. Not fast, mind you, but I could run the distance. Since then, I have done two races with Ian, my youngest son. He loves to run and is really quick. For this race on October 15th (celebrating Ian’s 33rd birthday) he did the 10K and I did the 5K. He ran his best time so far for for his 10K and took 3rd in his age group. I had hoped for a better time but for whatever reason, this run was a struggle for me. (I think it had to do with my blood sugar and the food I ate before the race.) Anyway I ran it but was a bit slower than the first race I did in August. I also took 3rd in my age group but many of the women in my age group choose to walk the race so this isn’t a huge deal. But I am enjoying the running I am doing and try to do a three mile run at least twice a week.

While this isn’t an award winning photo, it shows the size of the huckleberries my husband has been picking. I haven’t lived where these grow wild prior to now. Last year we were just too busy getting settled to notice them. But this year! Ray has picked so many of them. He spends quite a while cleaning them because they are tiny!! Getting those little stems cleared out is not a fast task. But yum. He has made huckleberry jam and a batch of huckleberry muffins so far. There is a quart of berries in the freezer waiting for his next inspiration. I do enjoy having a husband who is comfortable in the kitchen.

Check out these quilting rulers!! I treated myself to two sets of Bernina quilt rulers as well as a ruler foot. When Sophia was here in September we talked about how much fun she has using rulers to quilt with. I have thought of these now and then but couldn’t get it in my head that it was doable. Free motion quilting is already fairly awkward. To add a ruler to the mix when moving the fabric around?? But guess what? It is so fun. The rulers have a layer of thin adhesive (or some sort of gummy substance) on one side of them so they do not slide. I have been looking at loads of YouTube videos and tutorials on the Bernina site.

I haven’t used them on actual projects yet. So far, I am just playing with them. It is super fun and I can see using them on something real fairly soon. Also, for those of you who are frugal like me, Bernina presser feet and accessories are super pricey. I am a fan of watching EBay. The foot I bought used for half of the retail price. The ruler kits arrived in unopened, original packaging so were never used. They were also half of retail price. This hobby is rather expensive so saving a few bucks where I can is helpful. It takes some patience to watch for items that you specifically want or need but I think it is worth it.

Looking ahead at the week, I am hoping to spend a bit of time in the sewing room. However, on Saturday my Bernina started acting up while I was quilting a lap quilt (see above) that I am anxious to finish because it is a gift for a friend. Why fail me now??? The timing is not good here. But it seems to be something to do with the hook (behind or under the bobbin area). I have cleaned and oiled, threaded and re-threaded, changed out needles, rewound the bobbin about 87 times. What else can I do??? Ray looked at it for a while but couldn’t find anything either. I don’t want to take it in because it takes so darn long to get it back, it is probably something simple and it will be a $250 outlay. How frustrating! If anyone has ideas as to why the upper thread is binding up below after just a few stitches, please leave a comment. Anywho….. If I can get the Bernina 570 back on track, I will finish the lap quilt.

At the moment, I have my little back-up machine set up. I used it to make a pair of cozy joggers yesterday but I can’t finish the quilt with it. The little machine is actually quite a work horse and is fine for piecing and making clothing.

Have a lovely week everyone. Wish me luck in figuring out my silly sewing machine mystery!!

22 thoughts on “October Activities

  1. Barbara Pollock

    Hi there! I’m a friend of your parents, and I am so happy your father is better. I LOVE this picture of them and will ask my son if he can print this for me. Take care and much happiness always. I’ll be calling them soon. xxoo Barbara

  2. Diann@LittlePenguinQuilts

    So fun to catch up with what you’ve been doing, Bernie! All the time with family sounds wonderful. I’m so impressed with the huckleberries (I’ve never tasted one!) and your running. Wow! Have fun with the quilting rulers and hope your sewing machine is a fairly easy and inexpensive fix!

    1. Bernie Post author

      Diann – thanks for the note. I love this time of year – gorgeous weather, fall colors, hiking and running. All good things! I sewed on the little machine for a while and then tried to work on the Bernina but no luck. Back to YouTube and the Bernina site to glean for more info.
      Take care and stay in touch!

  3. Yvonne from Quilting Jetgirl

    I wish I knew what you to tell you about your Bernina, but I have no idea. I wish you a lot of luck in getting it fixed as quickly and economically as possible. I’m so glad that you continue to have so much joy with your family, it makes me smile to read your posts and updates. As for the updated COVID vaccine, the people I know who have had the strongest reactions received the Moderna booster. I’m scheduled to get the Pfizer tomorrow afternoon and I hope I don’t feel too bad from it… And I’m so glad to know your dad is tolerating the steroids well and feeling better. When my mom is on steroids, which happens pretty often due to her MS, it’s not very pretty.

    1. Bernie Post author

      We are really (pleasantly) surprised at Dad’s success with Prednisone. I have taken it a few times (at a lower dose) and had a lot of issues with edginess, not being able to sleep etc. He just seems to tolerate it well. Lucky!!!
      Good luck with the vaccine tomorrow. Hope it is not a problem. 🙂

  4. Karen

    goodness those huckleberries are small. I have heard some people say the vaccine knocked them down for several days – I had that one and the flu shot at the same time had a sore arm and didn’t feel quite right for a day but not bad.

    1. Bernie Post author

      Karen – Huckleberries are like the size of a bee bee. Tiny tiny berries. Ray brought more home today!
      Glad you didn’t have any ill effects from the flu shot. Seems hit & miss with the vaccine. Glad I got it though. Seems like this virus rears its ugly head this time of year and all through the holiday season.
      Take care and stay healthy!

  5. Bernie

    I’ve found another way in. Rather than using WP reader I am at your direct site. Fingers crossed it goes.
    Kudos to you for the running. Ugh about the machine. I hate when they do that. Check out the Bernina site or You tube? Good luck. I am just getting underway with fall projects.

    1. Bernie Post author

      Oh – that makes some sense. I never comment using the WP reader. I like going to the actual sight. Also, I dislike commenting with my phone. It seems like I have to log in to everything over and over if on my phone. The laptop is so much easier.
      Spent a lot of time with Bernina YouTube videos today. No luck so far. Sigh.

  6. Wendy

    I’m so glad to hear that your dad is doing well, Bernie, and so nice to see the photo of the two of them. Glad you got through the after effect of the vaccine, too. And yay for you on the 3 mile runs – you go! I don’t own a Bernina, so no help, sorry, but I sure hope you can get it fixed without too much hassle and get back to that quilting! Those girls are growing so fast!!

    1. Bernie Post author

      Hi Wendy – No luck with my machine so far. Sigh. I will try a bit more and then call it good and take it in for servicing.
      I am really enjoying the running and just need to think of ways to stay motivated when the weather changes to cold and rainy days. For right now though, the fall colors and cool temps are perfect.
      Hope you are getting outside too – you will be looking at snow out those windows soon enough!!

  7. Pam Hanson

    About the Bernina-be sure you are using the same thread top and bottom. Sounds like you’ve tried everything else. Good luck.

    1. Bernie Post author

      Hi Pam – yes – same thread on top and bottom. But thanks for trying to help!! I worked on my sewing machine quite a bit this afternoon. Reading articles and looking at YouTube videos but have not had a lot of success. I may have to take it in for repairs. I sure gave it a good try though!

  8. Eva

    What is the good news when we have bad and rainy weather? Time to write blogs and sewing!
    First and most impotant, thank you for the good news that your Dad is better. Very nice foto of the two seniors. The family foto looks very sympatical. Even you are knocked out, it is nice that they can spent time together and that she is a lovely guest you like to have.
    It is so funny for me to read the english version of „Rotkäppchen“ the part „rot“ is an adjectiv in German and means red, „Käppchen“ is a belittlement of cap. Girls and ladies wore a cap (like the Amish), and hers was red. And Huckleberries reminds me to Huckleberry Finn… this book.
    Oh yes, a husband in the kitchen can make happy!
    Wow, love that you have fun in running. Most important is .. you do! kudos!
    Sorry, my machine starts with a B… but no Bernina. But will ask my friend.
    Love the girls as well, and the little one… she is a darling. Never forget the picture with the big umbrella and the yellow school bus were her sister goes! Cover picture in a magazin if you ask me!
    Have a good week and hope your problems are soon be solved!

    1. Bernie Post author

      Eva: I love when I see a comment from you. What a treat!! It is really fun to hear your interpretation of something I write about when you consider it from a German perspective. Thank you for following along with my blog.
      Seeing Mom and Dad so happy now is such a relief. He feels much better and they are getting out and about. They have started to become involved in their church which makes them very happy.
      I worked on my sewing machine quite a bit this afternoon. Reading articles and looking at YouTube videos but have not had a lot of success. I may have to take it in for repairs. This is disappointing but it is a good machine so I need to keep it in strong working condition.
      I hope all is well with you Eva. Take care and keep in touch.

  9. Sandra

    I love the family photo Bernie! And wow, go you on the running. I’ve been a walker (haha Walker) my entire life, even as a kid hated and was not good at running. The only time I have ‘felt’ running is a couple of times after an intense section of my aerobics class in the later 90s where she would have us run a lap or two through the school hallways after the intense part and it must’ve been a runner’s high because I felt crazy powerful, like I could’ve done 50 laps of those highways no prob. Love the quilt you are trying to quilt, and yay for rulers at half price.

    1. Bernie Post author

      Hi there Sandra – long time since we have chatted. I have been remiss in both reading and writing blog posts. I love that family photo too. Sometimes we get lucky and everyone smiles, no one blinks and the picture is great. I want to print this one!
      Running is something I have done off and on over the years. However it has been about 10-12 years since I have done any running. Have to say, it feels soooo good. I do enjoy it – after the initial get back in shape muscle pain subsides. Now it is a fun thing to work on. The fall weather has been really nice – when it gets colder and rainy out, it will be a challenge. I am hoping I can keep myself going so that I am not back at square one come spring time. Crossing my fingers!!!

  10. TerryK

    Hi Bernie,
    Bummer about your machine! Did it start stitching poorly all of a sudden?

    Maybe there is a tiny thread stuck in the bobbin case. . . .or has gotten behind the bobbin case. Maybe you have a burr on your throat plate at the needle hole. Maybe you have a burr on the hook. Maybe your needle isn’t pushed all the way up in the machine. Maybe the entire pack of needles was bad. Maybe the thread isn’t going through the tension discs and or thread guides properly. Try flossing the thread though the tension discs. Did you see any lint? I hope you figure out the issue without your machine needing a “spa” day!!!

  11. Linda at Texas Quilt Gal

    What a lovely family you have, and everyone always looks so happy in your photos! And my first question was going to be about your Dad. Love the photo of your folks and I’m so glad he’s doing better. Bernie you look so fit, and congratulations on being able to run 3 miles! Hubs and I used to be joggers (I could do between 2-3 miles), and we both loved it and miss it. We are treadmill walkers now – lol! I am impressed with Ray’s patience with those tiny berries. I’ve never had a huckleberry. Your lap quilt is looking beautiful – hope you can get your machine figured out. Looks like you are off to a good start with the ruler quilting!

  12. Sue Marshall

    Woo Hoo! I love quilting with rulers. Looks like you’re doing great with rulers and running!
    You’re looking good girl!

    1. Bernie Post author

      Hey Sue – I sure wish you were closer to me and you could give me a few lessons! Your quilting is just gorgeous. So I am going to have to just practice, practice, practice.
      As for running, I increased to four miles this week and it feels great!


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