Sunday, October 16, 2016

Quilting Aids

My focus this past week has been trying to push forward on a quilting project that has taken way too long.  I’m gradually closing in on it and thought I would share two things that have helped make the process easier.

A real problem with quilting at a sit-down machine is drag.  No matter how big your work surface is, if your project manages to drop off the table edge, you’ve got resistance as you free motion quilt.  This is the solution I found somewhere online; I believe it was at Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry’s  site, Bryerpatch.  The bookends were bought for next to nothing at our local library thrift store and I have an abundant supply of binder clips.

The other aid I’ve found is a product by Gum available in the dental section of the grocery store.  These speed up the process of threading multiple strands in a large eye embroidery needle if you want to bury threads.  Using this method reduces the problem with thread shredding when using most self-threading needs.

My handwork project for this afternoon’s edition on Quilt-cam will be more hexagons.  My aging tablet can no longer handle the load of Quilt-cam so I have to sit in front of my computer monitor to watch.  Bonnie is trying a different method for broadcasting and I hope it works.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


While sewing with friends yesterday I completed five anti-ouch pouches bringing me to my 2016 goal of 100.  Anything more I complete this year will just be a bonus.

I’ve also added three more diamonds to the collection of units for the “Handful of Scraps” project I’m working on.  This is a great project to do while watching television, provided a certain mutt who loves to sit in my lap gives me a chance.

Right now hubby is headed to the ranch to meet up with his hunting partner of 30 plus years.  Deer season does not begin for a few weeks, but they always like to spend a few days beforehand getting things ready.  I, on the other hand, have the slow cooker simmering with the first stew of the season and hope to make some serious progress on the quilting front.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Sunday Slow Stitching

Slow Sunday Stitching

It’s Sunday, and while I’m not a faithful poster to Kathy's Slow Stitching Sunday linky party, I do so love to devote at least some time to handwork.

I’m almost to the end of the pieces I have prepped for applique for this Becky Goldsmith project.  When I finish that stretch, I’ll go back to basting my hexagons for my version of Edyta Sitar’s “Handful of Scraps” design. 

This is what I took as a handwork project for the retreat last week.  Mainly I worked on trying to get as much diversity in the neutrals as I could and my collection has grown.  I've always had a fondness for wood boxes and this cigar box was a gift from one of my Tuesday sewing friends.  She periodically brings one after her hubby has emptied it and we take turns claiming them.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Back from Retreat

I returned yesterday from our guild’s second annual retreat at the Compass Retreat Centre in Mt. Calm, Texas.  Like our first retreat, it was tremendous fun and a very welcome break.

This is the project I focused on, my version of Sue Garman’s “Good Golly” pattern.  I began piecing the blocks at our last retreat and had all my half square triangles ready to set this year. 

With help from my friends, I was able to make some border fabric decisions.

The retreat center has an attached fabric store with lots of gorgeous batiks.  Retail therapy was involved…

…and chocolate was involved; both from the snack table and the wonderful desserts served with meals.

…and inspiration was involved too.  Here are a few of the projects from the other retreaters.  I did not manage to get pictures of them all.  This is only a sampling.

We managed to get a little silly along the way.

I’m glad to be home again to hubby, doggies and my own bed; and I’m already looking forward to next year’s retreat.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Plan B and More

My plan Tuesday was to work on these applique blocks while sewing with friends.  In my haste, however, I did not get there with everything I needed.  

So, onto Plan B, my hexagon project which I had tossed in my bag almost as an afterthought.  I ended up making lots of neutral hexagons while we chatted and generally had a good time

Since I last posted about this project, I’ve added a second rosette and a diamond unit.   

I've finished cutting from scraps in my stash for swapping with a friend.  This stack fills a half gallon bag.  I'm really looking forward to seeing her next Wednesday when we will make the exchange.

Today, a squishy package arrived in the mail from Wanda at Exuberant Color.  I had contacted her to see if I could purchase of some of her batik remnants.  As she was already cutting for some kits and projects anyway, she kindly agreed.  Oh, they are so lovely I may not be able to cut them for a while.

Finally, my new earphones have arrived (after having to return a defective set) and I am able to hear the dialogue while watching Netflix movies, even when hubby is really into a football game or has the entertainment system cranked up in the next room.  I am a happy camper!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Playing in the Scrap Bin

I’m having fun petting fabric this weekend.  I love a scrappy quilt project, but get tired of using just my own scraps.  So, I recently proposed a scrap swap with a Guild friend who is a scrap quilter extraordinaire.  We exchanged ideas about minimum sizes and preferred colors and are both working our way through our stashes while our husbands enjoy football season.  Besides having new fabric to look forward to, this is also giving me the push I need to spend some more time straightening up my stash.  It’s a mess, but it’s my mess and it’s glorious!

Since last posting I’ve also finished 10 anti-ouch pouches bringing my 2016 total to 95 and knitted two dishcloths.  There was also a delightful girls’ day out last weekend at the quilt show in Fredericksburg including a stop at a quilt shop and lunch at a fancy/smancy/new-to-me bistro.  There have been Guild committee meetings and applique group gatherings plus my usual sewing with friends Tuesdays.

I am slowly making progress on a quilt under the needle on my HandiQuilter and have pushed forward on with my applique and hexagon projects.  So, while I’ve been unable to bring myself sit down and log my quilting journey on this blog for three weeks, I have been steadily at work and really enjoying myself.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Slow Stitching Projects

Slow Sunday Stitching

My current handwork projects are my English paper pieced hexagons and the project from the workshop with Becky Goldsmith.

This is the first rosette, made with French General fabrics, that I worked on during our trip to New Mexico.

This is what I plan on working on today while watching the Olympics wrap up. 

I enjoy alternating between the two projects.

I’m linking up with Kathy’s Slow Stitching Sunday post today.