Saturday, September 26, 2015

Back to Regularly Scheduled Programming...sigh...

After four delightful days and nights with quilting friends on retreat, I am gradually reentering the real world.  You know, the world of cooking my own meals, no desserts, and doctor’s scales…that world.  Nonetheless, I’m glad to be home with hubby and the dogs.  I made Friday a recovery and reentry day with a very long nap built into the afternoon schedule.

Our first Quilt Club retreat had 28 participants at the Compass Centre in Mt. Calm, Texas.  The center was designed for quilters by a quilter and is run by quilters, so you know it had to be good.  We had spacious, L shaped work stations that made it easy to spread out our work.  I took my 63 year old Singer 301 and she held her own among some mighty fine new machines!

We also had acres and acres of design wall space, but my little blocks were so small, I used very little of it. This paper pieced Sue Garman project is going to keep me busy a very long time!

Every day, sometimes twice a day, we were visited by the “quilt fairy” and everyone won a door prize.  The loot I brought home (some purchased, but mostly gifted) including my blocks and an emptied spool is below.  

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Getting Ready for the Retreat

I have been a cutting fool this past week as I prepare to leave for a retreat later today!

…The trimmings…

…The sewing related stuff…and this doesn’t include my suitcase….Good thing my friend has a big car and there are only two of us…

I also managed to finish four more anti-ouch pouches for the month.  This brings my total for 2015 to 92.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Progress on Multiple Fronts

It’s been a quiet but fairly productive week on the quilting and sewing front. 

During Quilt-Cam yesterday, I worked on putting rows together for my Texas Tumbleweeds quilt.  The end of this project is finally in sight and I’m looking forward to emptying a much needed project box.

I also completed 10 anti-ouch pouches to turn in at Wednesday’s meeting.  If I haven’t miscounted, I’m at 88 for the year and closing in on my goal of 100. 

For the longest time I had fallen out of love with this project and it languished on my design wall.  I’ve started working on it again in the evenings while hubby and I watch television.  It feels good to see some progress there too.

I also finally made a decision about what project I will take on my retreat later this month.  It is Sue Garman’s new “Good Golly” pattern.  Sue is one of my favorite designers.  This will be a (very) long term project, but I think I can entirely complete it by shopping my stash. 

Several years ago a quilting friend gifted me these lovely Jenny Beyer fabrics.  I think most if not all the borders will come from this collection. 

The rest will be entirely scrappy and by the time the project is done, it will have lightened my stash by 23 ¾ yards.  It has 1,728 paper pieced half-square triangles and some of the sashings finish at ½ inch!  This one will be a real challenge.

So, for the rest of the week every spare moment will be at the cutting table.

Oh, if, like me, you wake up slowly in the mornings, this will certainly accelerate the process.  

I had just opened the door shortly after 6 a.m. to let the dogs out when I saw him.  One dog skirted him and one jumped over him, both totally useless.  Fortunately, with a little encouragement from a broom, he reluctantly slithered away.  The general consensus is that he was the "harmless" variety.  I'm going with that theory.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


Ida, over at My Sister Made Me Do It..., is hosting a linky party where we can show off our favorite pincushions.  I’ve made a few as gifts over the years like this one, which I actually had requests to make for friends.

And this one made one night from a failed Jane Stickle block and gifted to a blog friend.

However, my favorite is one I purchased a lifetime ago, long before I retired, moved back to Texas and resumed quilting.  

It is a reproduction of a pincushion designed and used by the Shakers and is a souvenir of a trip we made to Kentucky to one of their former community settlements. The Shakers had a gift for making purely functional items beautiful.  Their history has always fascinated me.  I really enjoy this practical little cushion that I can clamp to the edge of my sewing machine table where it is stable and out of the way. 

Be sure and check out what others have to share at Ida's blog.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


Today marked a new chapter in the life of my Sewing with Friends Tuesday group.  In May, 2013, the quilt shop we had congregated in every Tuesday for years closed its doors.  Since we were unwilling to drift apart, we struck out on our own, renting a small retail space connected to a storage facility.  A few months later, a slightly larger space in the same complex opened and we moved across the parking lot to it.  Last week, we moved two miles down the highway to even bigger digs.  I don’t think any of us realized how much of a need the quilters in our area had for a non-commercial space where they could  spend time together sewing.

The space is very basic, but the ac works.

There are still a few items that the owners need to remove….

It was still a bit messy and chaotic today, so I just worked on basting some hexagons.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Getting Ready

Several months ago I joined a newly organized group of quilters who like to applique.  We are not an official quilt club bee, but we did select the name JABs when we made a quilt to be donated to the club’s library book project.  The name is open to several interpretations.

The rules for hosting are simple:  something to drink and only snacks that can be purchased pre-made at the grocery store.  This is my first time to host, and yes, despite the relaxed duties, I’m a wee bit antsy about it.

I did a little tidying up in the sewing room, because, of course, that’s the first space quilters want to see when they visit another quilter’s house.  I left my projects and ironing board out on purpose; this is a working space, after all.

I am not a fan of reptiles of any sort, but these little lizards are pretty.  I saw this one last night when I went out to dispatch a wasp nest I had spotted.  I know wasps are good critters, but my husband is extremely allergic to their sting and I try to keep them thinned out when their nests are located at a place he might encounter.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Wednesday's Workshop

Wednesday’s workshop project was learning to work with silk.  Debbie Maddy led us through the process and our 3-hour class project was a large churn dash block.  

Sadly, I was having one of “those” days and ended up making a miss-cut that required me to buy additional fabric before I could finish the project.  Fortunately Debbie had a little more of what I needed for my kit and I was back in business with even enough left over to add a border.  Last night I finished it.  It’s approximately 16 inches square.

I love the look of silk, and learned a lot during the class.  One of our program speakers this year said we should expose ourselves to as many different teachers as possible.  I truly buy into this concept and am very glad I took advantage of this opportunity.  The silk projects she showed during her trunk show were exquisite.  Debbie is an engaging teacher, but this is probably not an avenue I’ll pursue.  Cotton is much more accessible in our area and not quite as pricey.