Friday, August 17, 2018

Change of Direction

Other projects, including my hexagons, have been set aside while I work on an applique section of my guild’s next donation quilt.  

It’s been a long time since I did any applique, let alone something with shapes this challenging.  I’ve been making test pieces of some of the units before using a Kaffe fabric for the actual project.  We were given our choice of any hand-applique technique.  My preference is prepared edge rather than needle turn.

Fifteen more anti-ouch pouches went to the guild meeting with me yesterday.  I’m closing in on my goal of 100 this year.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Test Blocks

I have been playing with my red and white fabrics as I plan for a quilt retreat later this summer.  This weekend I completed two test blocks of a double nine-patch pattern.  I am still trying to figure out how to work pressing the seams so the blocks will nest. These don’t.

We woke up Tuesday morning to the wonderful sound of rain, a rare occurrence this time of year and our temperature maxed at 98 degrees.  It was the first day below 100 after a 15-day string.  So, today I am very grateful for the much-needed moisture and slightly cooler temps. 

Sunday, July 29, 2018

A Cool Way to Spend a Hot Day

Hubby had promised me an outing this weekend and did he ever deliver!  We drove to New Braunfels for lunch with our daughter and youngest grandson.  (The oldest is stationed in Yuma, AZ which is even hotter than Central Texas.)

Then, while the guys ran an errand and watched a movie, Julia and I went to the New Braunfels Guild’s Quiltfest.  Julia has an art background, but no particular interest in quilting.  She was a good sport, though, and let me have a nice, leisurely visit without complaint. She even bought a wreath for her office door from the boutique.

This guild is older and bigger than my home guild and offered up a lot of inspiration.  Of course, I also had to give the vendors some business too.

It was a great way to spend a 102 degree afternoon.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Long time no blog, because, quite frankly, our extreme heat is just zapping the energy from me.  Also, many of my works in progress are long-term and repetitive and I'm running out of ideas for photographs.  So, there you have my excuses.

I have been working, though.  My English paper pieced hexagon quilt is growing.  These units of three hexies are pinned on the design wall so I can play with the arrangement when I finally decide I have enough.  It has at least doubled in size since the last photo I posted May 27.

I also took 15 completed anti-ouch pouches to the July Guild meeting bringing my 2018 total to 75.  The project coordinator estimates that it takes an hour to construct each one.  I think I may be a little faster since I’ve been making them so long and do them assembly line style.  I probably spent 8 to 10 hours making these.  Someday I will try to keep track of my time just to see.

Finally, I have also been busy making these tissue holders for retreat gifts.  I have made 30 plus so far. Mine are made out of cotton.

My Aunt Mary used to make them by the dozens every year and she always generously shared them with me to use as gifts for friends.  She preferred brocade fabric.  When it became hard to find in fabric stores, she accepted the donations of friends’ cast-off formals.  I still have a few that I treasure as a remembrance of someone who had a lot to do with my love of sewing.

I’ve been tracking our days over 100 degrees this month.  We had an unusual respite with some rain early in the month, but it has been dry since then.  Our highs since last Monday have been 101, 103, 106, 105, 106, 106, 108, 112 and 104.  This is the first day we don’t have a heat advisory in effect and the predicted high is only 99 degrees.  Needless to say, I am grateful for a working air conditioner and the ability to enjoy a craft indoors.

There have been several wildfires in our county.  So far, they have been contained with no lives or homes lost.  I know all this is minor compared to the extreme weather happening in other parts of the country and the world at large.  

So, my friends, I hope you are successfully coping with whatever challenges you face and finding time to do something that renews your spirit.

Monday, June 25, 2018

A Finish!

At last I can report a finish.  This project was several years in the making, but it is now bound, labeled done!  If I were to name it, I would call it “Two of my Favorite Things.”  The applique is turned edge and hand stitched.  I had actually hoped to have it finished in time to hang at the county fair, but that didn’t happen. 

I had an unexpected opportunity to visit an Ikea store Saturday.  I had been very curious, because several quilters I know use their furniture in their studios.  It was quite an experience.  The store is huge.  You enter at one corner and exit at a diagonal corner via a serpentine path painted on the floor.  If you didn’t follow the path, you would absolutely get lost.  Although I walked at a leisurely pace, I didn’t pause very often and it still took me an hour to finish my tour and check out.  I found a task light that I wanted and a USB charger that can accommodate three cables.  Other than that, no purchases and I was able to check an item off my want-to-do list (I refuse to think of it as a bucket list).

This is about the third brood of swallow chicks raised this year in a nest located above our front porch.  The chicks are cute and the parents help control the mosquito population.  The mess under the nest….well let’s just say that when they finally finish for the season, I will need to do some power washing.

I delivered 16 anti-ouch pouches to last week's guild meeting.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Turtles, Ouch Pouches and Hexies

Much time this weekend was spent prepping the fabric Debbie sent so that it would be ready for basting onto hexagon papers.  There really are some beauties here and I’m looking forward to using them.

I also worked on finishing up some anti-ouch pouches and pulling fabric for a new red and white project that I may take on retreat later this summer. Can you have enough red and white?  I’ve certainly been working with that combination this year.

Finally, when I went to check out why my dogs were so excited one day last week, this is what I saw.  

Fortunately, he was on the other side of the fence and totally unimpressed by all the ruckus.  This guy was really big and after checking on-line, I think he was a soft shell turtle.  Most turtles we see are  box turtles, but we have these and snapping turtles too.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

And the Hexies Keep Marching On

My pile of basted hexagons has grown significantly thanks to nighttime television watching and a road trip. The trip was the four-hour trek to Dallas last weekend to celebrate a dear friend’s 80th birthday.  It was also an experiment since this was the first time we had traveled to a hotel with both dogs.  They behaved quite well considering how strange it must have seemed to them.  We hope to take them on a longer trip later this year and were relieved to see how they handled it.

Here’s a picture of my growing stack of basted hexies.

I also received a wonderful squishy package of reds and neutrals from my sweet blog friend, Debbie, over at Stitchin’ Therapy.  She saw the pictures of this project in an earlier post and volunteered to feed my hexie addiction.  These will work nicely with the fabrics I’ve already used.  Thanks, so much, Debbie.  We've been friends for many years and I keep hoping to meet you in person some day....

Because I am not confident that I really understand the ramifications of the new EU regulations affecting bloggers, I have made a few changes including removing side-bar items with direct links to third parties, like Bloglovin’.  I have never “monetized” my blog, nor do I have a newsletter or affiliate links.  I also verified that the standard Blogger notice about Blogger and Google cookies appears when viewing my blog from the EU.  Hopefully all this makes me compliant with the new rules.