Friday, September 14, 2018

Back to Hexies

I've not had anything new to report on the quilting front, but I'm still plugging along.  These are the red hexies I've basted in the past week.  The picture does not do a good job of representing the colors.  There are about 50 or 60.  

I'm feeling the need for some machine stitching in my future.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Quilt Retreat

Last week I was at the Compass Retreat Centre in Mt. Calm, Texas, for our guild’s fourth annual quilt retreat.  It was my first time to serve as the event’s committee chair, and I must say it was a real learning experience with an entirely different set of rewards.  I am grateful I had the support of a willing and experienced committee.  I couldn’t have done it without their help.

Because of the added responsibilities, I was only able to work on one project, but at least I did get it to flimsy state.  This is “Old Glory” from this year’s Simple Whatnots series by Kim Diehl.  I made a major goof cutting the borders and ended up having to match plaids and lengthen one side.

We had 28 participants and all seemed to enjoy themselves.  The food was wonderful and the work space had comfortable workstations with good lighting, plentiful design wall space and power outlets.  The major complaint was trying to come to a happy medium on temperature settings.  I was the holder of the key for the lock boxes on the thermostats, and kept pretty busy adjusting them up and down.

We had beginner quilters and well as experienced teachers plus a mix of traditional and art projects.  Here are a few shots.  Most photos had the quilter in them and I didn't feel free to share those.

Here are some other scenes:  

The Compass Centre is (in)famous for its chocolate chip cookies.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

When in LaGrange...

If you ever find yourself in LaGrange, Texas, a visit to the Quilt Museum is definitely worthy of a stop.  Located about an hour’s drive southeast of Austin, the current exhibit through September is a collection of quilts by one of my favorite quilt designers, Sue Garman.   I had the privilege of meeting Sue and attending one of her workshops a few years ago.  Bob generously took me on a road trip Friday and it was a wonderful day.

The museum does not allow visitors to take photographs, but the staff will take one picture of each visitor in front of any quilt they choose.  Some of my favorites were hung from the ceiling and I couldn’t get close to them, but I finally chose this one.

Sadly, Sue died in January, 2017.   Information about her life and work can be seen at this link on The Quilt Show site.  If you click on the Smilebox link at the bottom of the page, you can see pictures of her studio beginning with slide #14.

Her quilts can be seen at the Come Quilt site.

As a side note:  LaGrange’s other claim to fame was the Chicken Ranch which ceased operations in 1973 and is now in ruins.  It was the inspiration for the musical “Best Little Whore House in Texas.”

Today I am very grateful for having had the opportunity to see this lovely quilt collection in person.

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.