Thursday, March 5, 2015

This and That

My blog book, the third I have purchased since beginning my blog in 2010, has arrived.  Just in case something weird happens and my blog evaporates into the etherland someday, I want to have a print version as a permanent record.  It is, after all, my record of all the quilts I make and what happens to them.  Some weeks it’s really hard for me to keep the record going; but I’ve enjoyed the connections I’ve made with other quilters so much I want to keep it active.  Looking at the covers, would you guess my favorite color is blue?

I've started quilting the project I pin basted last week.  I’m pretty happy with the way it has progressed.  Most of the work is being done on my sit-down Handiquilter, but I still prefer doing straight line and ditch stitching using my Janome with the walking foot.  I doubt I will have the quilting finished by my self-imposed deadline of Monday.  We expect visitors that day and I would love to have the clutter of this particular stage of the project stowed.  There are somethings, though, that just can't be rushed.

Tomorrow I will be joining my friends for a few hours of quilting and visiting, and visiting and quilting.  The Tuesday group has declared an in-house retreat this week.  I've missed most of it due to schedule conflicts, but am looking forward to the time I can be there.

The sunshine finally returned today after a series of five very gloomy, drizzly days.  The dire predictions for icy conditions this morning skipped over our immediate area.  It was extremely chilly and windy, but pretty, and we are expecting a gradual warming trend over the next several days.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Farewell Until Next Winter

Peggy and "North Dakota" Carol, two Winter Texans who have become a regular part of our Tuesday quilting group for the last three years, are heading home again.  They are so much fun; and they always keep in touch with us during the rest of the year.

In keeping with a practice they started their first year, they hosted our group to a luncheon as a thank you for being included on our Tuesdays.  Truth be known, we’re the lucky ones to have such delightful ladies join us.  

These are the party favors that came home with each of us including bubble bath, raspberry preserves, a cake tester and dishrags that served as napkins.  The theme was the 1930's.  I’m told the blocks on the apron were found at a garage or estate sale.  Peggy had them appliqued to the aprons.

Today we are again cabin bound due to iffy driving conditions.  Okay by me.  I ransacked the pantry and freezer and threw together a soup that is simmering in the slow cooker.  I can always find a quilting project to work on.  Boredom is not an issue!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Ice Day

Today I woke up to icy conditions.  Even at the warmest point of the day, our rain chain was still iced up.  That’s a fairly unusual circumstance for those of us in Central Texas, and by any standards, we've had a very easy winter so far.  Quite frankly, we just don’t do winter well here.  All the schools shut down, the church office and all its activities were cancelled.  Even my doctor sent a text that she wasn't holding clinic today.  Since there wasn't anywhere I absolutely had to be, I gratefully took all this as a sign that I could stay home and catch up on some long delayed chores.

One of those was to sandwich and pin baste this quilt.  Done!

I also realized that I had never posted a picture of this block that came out of the workshop with Gyleen Fitzgerald last week.  I decided to depart from her recommended instructions and will be hand appliqueing the circle to the background, rather than attaching it with a seam.  Once the handwork is done, I’ll consider what borders I want to add.  It was a fun workshop, but I've decided to make this one a wall hanging.  I can see I need to do a little more work rounding out the circle.

My work has continued on the blocks I began for Texas Tumbleweed, the project begun week before last in San Antonio.  The pattern calls for 36 of the ladder blocks and 36 star blocks.  I’m really enjoying the process on this one.

So, I now have projects prepped for machine quilting, machine piecing and handwork.  I should be good to go for a while.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Anti-Ouch Pouches

My first 10 anti-ouch pouches for 2015 are complete and ready to turn it at tomorrow’s Quilt Club meeting. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Texas Tumbleweeds Workshop

The Texas Tumbleweeds workshop with Bonnie Hunter in San Antonio last Friday definitely lived up to all my hopes for a fun day.  There were 24 of us in class, and even though I only knew the two other people who filled last minutes openings from my local club, I felt welcomed and included.  Bonnie is one of those teachers who lavishes attention on all her students, making the day that much more enjoyable.

I was travelling solo thus allowing me lots of room in my hotel room to sew at night.  Here is my set up from the night before the workshop when I was piecing a different project.

Here are two complete blocks from the project.
I also managed to stitch up bits and pieces of several additional units.

Here is a shot of all the blocks made by students that day.

What trip would be complete without a stop (or two) at quilt shops along the way.

…and a couple more souvenirs from the workshop itself.

It was an extravagant mini vacation and I had a great time.  

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Almost Ready to Roll

Packing is almost complete for my Bonnie Hunter workshop.  I feel like I’m moving, and this does not include my clothes!  My husband has asked if I need to rent a forklift to get everything in the car.  Gotta love him, smart-alecky though he is.  The pink Go Baby bag was a splurge at Quilt Festival.  It is a Featherweight “purse.”  The larger rolling bag holds my tools and project supplies.  Since taking this picture I've managed to tuck the iron (shown in its tote on top of the black bag) and one of the show and share quilts in my clothing suitcase.  Making progress!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Ugly Fabric Challenge Quilt is Bound-Labeled-Done

My ugly challenge quilt is finally bound labeled done!  After I had pieced the front, we received clarified instructions about the challenge and this will have to be disqualified.  Some of every fabric has to be on the project front and I had saved the little piece of cupcake fabric to use as a label on the back.  

I pieced the top during the holidays and it came to be my sanity project that allowed me to retreat from the hustle and bustle of the season a few minutes at a time.

For my personal records:  The quilt is about 51 inches square.  With the exception of the black fabric, all of it including thread and batting came from either remnants in my stash or fabrics exchanged at the Christmas party.  It was made using a “Trash to Treasure” tool and book by Gyleen Fitzgerald.  

The back was also pieced using Gyleen's “Baby’s Got Back” technique which is fat quarter friendly.  Gyleen will be at our February Quilt Club meeting and I’m excited to have one of her projects to show.

I had a particularly hard time even thinking about blogging this past week.  Partially, it’s because so much of my quilting time has been spent cutting scraps for Texas Tumbleweeds, the Bonnie Hunter project I’ll be working on later this week.  Cutting is my least favorite part of the quilting process, but I was able to use up a lot of odd sized batik remnants getting ready for this project.  I think my fabrics are finally kitted up.  Either tomorrow or Wednesday I’ll  give my little Featherweight some spa time.  Tonight is Bonnie’s Quilt-Cam night, so maybe I'll find something fun to play with during that.