Short and Sweet: Pineapple Log Cabin Blocks and Apple iPhone 6 Plus

I am still working on the same projects, and no, nothing particularly exciting has been accomplished.  I finished another of my 17 3/4" paper pieced pineapple log cabin blocks:
So that's four down, thirty-two more to go.  I had to go buy some more neutral fabric prints to get through with the fourth block, not because I didn't have any more of the fabrics I used for the first three blocks, but because I was bored of those fabrics already.  Looking around my studio, you can see that I have chopped up LOTS of different fabrics into strips already:

See?  My Featherweight is completely surrounded by the blue fabric strips.  I just hope most of them make it into the quilt and don't end up as waste (or scrap bin replenishment).  I'm finding that I need more light/neutral fabrics than I originally anticipated because the neutral fabric strips are used on all four sides whereas the blues and greens are only used on two corners for each fabric.  I got some good suggestions in the comments from my last post about how to store and organize my fabric strips while this project is in progress, but so far I haven't implemented them.

In other news, I ordered a new iContraption last week but I haven't received it yet:

I ordered the Apple iPhone 6 Plus, shown on the right, to replace my iPhone 5s, shown on the left.  (Yes, I have heard about the iPhone 6 Plus supposedly bending when people shove it in their back pocket and sit on it.  If I was buying the phone with the intent of sitting on it, that would be a big concern...)  Consumer Reports tested a variety of smartphones for this issue and found that it takes 90 pounds of pressure to bend an iPhone 6 Plus:


As far as I'm concerned, resistance to bending under extreme pressure is not something I'm looking for in an iPhone (although it might be a concern to those who like to carry their phones in their back pockets).  I bought it to live in my purse, to hopefully take the place of the big and bulky iPad 2 when I'm out and about, and I almost never sit on my purse or put it in giant Consumer Reports phone smashing machines.  I'm more than happy to accept a slightly less rugged device in exchange for lightening the weight it adds to my handbag.

I was previously paying for a cellular data plan on the old iPhone as well as on the iPad, but the only time I was actually using the data for the phone was when I had left the iPad at home because it was too heavy.  I didn't like the redundancy of carrying and paying for data plans on two devices that do essentially the same thing, one of them a bit too small and the other one a lot too big.  I think the larger screen on the 6 Plus will be just big enough that I will be able to use it for checking emails, reading the newspaper, online shopping while waiting at red lights, and using Pinterest.  And of course, a new iPhone needs a new case (which presumably will also help to inhibit the ever-so-slight possibility of bending), which has also been ordered but that will probably take longer to arrive than the phone:
Leather iPhone 6 Plus Case in Brown Stingray from Piel Frama

I love Piel Frama leather tech covers.  They are handcrafted in Spain with a 30-day lead time, but totally worth the wait because they feel good in your hand, offer excellent protection, and last forever (or at least until I'm ready to upgrade to a newer device).

Well, I promised to keep it short and sweet with this post, so that's it for today.  Back to my pineapple log cabin blocks!  I'm linking up with Design Wall Monday at Judy's blog.

Pineapple Progress and Less Lumpy Leaves

Progress on Pineapples and Applique

I finished another pineapple log cabin block this week!  So now that's three down, thirty-three to go in order to make a California King sized quilt.  Paper piecing these blocks is fun and relaxing, and the only downside is that I have strips of fabric in blues, greens, and neutrals covering every available surface in my studio, which makes it hard to work on other projects.  I have not yet come up with a good way to move this project out of the way when I want to work on something else.  I could just toss the fabric strips into three bins according to color, but then they would get all rumpled and wrinkled and I'd have to iron each strip before sewing it to my block.  Hmmm...  I really wanted to be able to alternate between sewing pineapple log cabin blocks on the 'Nina 750 and piecing more 4" sawtooth stars on Bette (the 1935 Singer Featherweight), but right now I can't even get to the Featherweight for all of the fabric strips spread out around that machine. 
 I also found time in odd moments to add a few more leaves to my Whig Rose needle turned applique block.  Ta da:

3 Leaves Stitched, 3 More Pinned and Ready to Go
 Subsequent leaves (top two quadrants of the block) came out slightly less lumpy than the first attempt (lower left quadrant).  None of the little leaves are as perfectly shaped as I would like them to be, but this is a learning project.  Since it's getting better, I'm counting it as a win!

The first two weeks of having the boys in a new school went fairly smoothly.  Their workload is much more reasonable, and they are both enjoying having some time for normal childhood activities like bike riding and shooting baskets in the driveway after school.  Less homework doesn't mean less learning, though.  From what I've seen so far, much more emphasis is put on teaching the structure and process of writing at the new school, both in 6th and in 8th grade Honors Language Arts.  I like that they have an A/B schedule where they have math and language arts every single school day for 90 minutes, but that social studies and science alternate.  After all, math, reading, and writing are the foundation of all future learning in science and in the humanities.  Those skills need to be rock solid by the time they get to high school.  Anders is getting his violin practice done in the mornings before school, and both boys are joining academic clubs this year as well (Chess Club for both boys, LEGO Robotics League for Anders, and Science Olympiad for Lars).  I think Lars is planning to get involved with the school musical, too.  So we're off to a good start this school year.

Best of all, the school principal called me personally yesterday to ask how Lars and Anders were adjusting to the new school and whether there was anything she or her staff could do better.  Can you believe that?  I never got a call like that from anyone at their old school, the much smaller charter school that was supposed to be like one big happy family.  Not even when Lars was the only new transfer student in the entire 5th grade, skipping an entire year of math and having to catch up with kids who had been taking Chinese since kindergarten.  No one from the charter school ever bothered to call me unless there was a problem, or unless they wanted me to donate more money to the capital fundraising campaign.  I am hugely impressed with Community House Middle School!

Since today is Friday and I did finish another block this week, I'm linking up with Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, and Whoop Whoop Fridays at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.  Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!
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