Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Still Clearing Out

A blog post begins with a single key stroke and hopefully a photograph.  As I’ve been engaged more and more with cleaning out the ranch house in anticipation of a sale, it’s become increasingly easy to procrastinate about blogging.  Not that much sewing is happening right now either. 

Here is a tiny bit of the vintage sewing related stuff that came home with me.  The little green tool box belonged to my grandmother and still contains a few of her sewing supplies including paper templates for a quilt pattern.  Hubby tells me that the sewing machine oil is still good.  As far as I know the machine attachments work though I don’t anticipate ever using them.

Our garage is crammed with things we have transferred from the country.   We can still get our cars in it, but it is really hard to negotiate around the stuff we added.  I am determined that I will sort, donate and pitch so that we don’t have to rent storage.  It’s still hard saying goodbye to some things, but I think doing this now is one of the kindest things we can do for our daughter down the road.  

Monday, February 12, 2018

Guild Quilt Show

Guild Donation Quilt

During the past several weeks my Guild friends and I have been consumed with preparing for our biannual quilt show which was held last weekend.  My assignment during the show was to assist the treasurer in record keeping by being the shepherd of six cash boxes.  That meant I was there well before the doors opened and among the last to leave after the doors closed.  Despite the early arrival of a cold front and a new venue, the show was a success.

Silent Auction

We had a fabulous silent auction.


 And a boutique loaded with handmade items.

Since I don’t subscribe to any magazines, I always look forward to our Bits and Pieces area where members have donated anything sewing related they no longer want to hold onto.

Score ($5)!

Of course, I had to visit the vendors as well.

We had 147 gorgeous quilts, but I was so busy once the doors opened, I didn't get any pictures.

The whole weekend was a lot of fun, but oh I was tired when we finally wrapped up.  I treated myself with a trip to the massage therapist today to work out some of the kinks.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

And the Beat Goes On....

For the past several weeks we have been preoccupied with making and following through with a major life decision.  It’s not a bad or even a particularly sad decision, but it is an irreversible one and requires major cleaning out and disposal of family memorabilia.  Consequently, I’ve little to share on the quilting front, but work does continue on my two primary projects.

My hexagon neutral borders on my Edyta Sitar project continue to grow.  I find this handwork project very soothing at a time when that’s much appreciated.   I have a really hard time letting go of family items, even when my head and heart both agree the time has come to do so.  

This was my workstation during Bonnie Hunter’s most recent QuiltCam.  After a morning spent sorting and rearranging, it was nice to sit down and work along.

My scrappy hexagon project is under the needle on my quilter. 

This is where I procrastinate the most, because I have the least confidence in my skills.  Since the top is so very busy, I decided to go with a simple meander.  I’ve also reconfigured my work space once again in an effort to reduce drag while I work.  I had been browsing Amazon for tables of a particular dimension when I remembered this one tucked away in a closet.  It’s a little longer than ideal and weighs a ton, but should do the job nicely….and it’s totally paid for.

We’ve had a series of very pretty days here.  I saw these water fowl on a recent walk.

Monday, January 1, 2018

A Finish as 2017 Ends

Happy New Year!  

I managed to wrap up 2017 with a finish.  This quilt project began with a February 2015 Bonnie Hunter workshop in San Antonio.   At 73 X 81 inches it’s the largest project I’ve quilted since converting my HQ 16 to a sit-down model.  It also took a lot longer than I thought it would, but it’s finally done.  It seems I keep making the same mistake time and again.  It would have been much easier to bind this quilt if I had not chosen to use a batik. The design is "Texas Tumbleweeds."

While the cutting table was still set up, I pin basted my scrappy bow tie quilt.  Hopefully, its smaller size will make quilting it less of a wrestling match.

The last night of 2017 brought snow flurries.  We did not get enough for a measurable accumulation, but for this part of the world, it was a noteworthy event.

We had a visitor just outside our back-yard fence recently.  The dogs never noticed her and she lingered for a while undisturbed.  We rarely see them this close.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Loss of an Old Friend and Celebrations

I feel like I’ve lost an old friend.  My mother purchased this iron in 1997 and eventually it became mine.  It never had a drink of anything other than distilled water and it never leaked or sputtered.  After its most recent tumble from the ironing board, though, the electronics in the handle were visible and it was uncomfortable to grasp.  Even Bob conceded it was time to go.

I have learned that if you want to spark an animated conversation among quilters, all you have to do is utter one word: “iron.”

There are advocates of vintage dry irons found in antique shops and others who swear by the benefits of steam.  Some insist the way to go is as cheap as possible so frequent replacements are painless.  Others like the high-end ones with all the bells and whistles, like the neat one that levitates up and down and is available in a cute pink model.  I was sorely tempted by the levitating model and kept hoping to find an end of the year sale I couldn’t pass by.   Didn’t happen.

This is what I decided to get.  It is undoubtedly the priciest iron I have ever owned.  Had I known about two unanticipated expenses this month (refrigerator and vacuum), I would have gone another route.  It’s mine now, however, and I will do my best to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.  My first time to use it was yesterday and it performed nicely.  I read lots of reviews before making my choice.  Some were extremely favorable and others said they experienced leaks three months after purchase.  One purpose of this post is to give me a record of its birth date.   

In other news, hubby and I celebrated our 40th anniversary Saturday. 

Dessert(s) were involved. 

Usually we like to mark the event with a trip to the Texas coast, but the damage left by Hurricane Harvey changed our plans.  We decided to spend an extended weekend on the San Antonio River Walk. 

Despite record rainfall one day, we had a great time and I even managed some leisurely strolls.

Julia and our youngest grandson joined us for one of the celebration meals (the one involving chocolate).  She gave me these Christmas earrings early so I could enjoy them this season.  Jewelry making is one of her many talents. 

Our other reason to celebrate this December is our oldest grandson’s successful completion of Marine boot camp!  I’m really looking forward to seeing him later this month.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

A Little Maintenance Required

I had hoped to be posting a finished picture of this project by now, but sadly, my HQ which is normally a rock-solid workhorse started getting very quirky over the weekend.  I finally gave up and took her in for an appointment this morning with the dealer who sold her to me in 2008.  I was told she had a timing issue and of course she got a good cleaning too.  While she was there, I had an open toe foot installed.  Now I will be able to switch back forth between a ruler foot and one that gives me improved visibility.  Maybe we are ready to roll and get this UFO finished.  

My current handwork project continues to grow.  It even has a corner!  I pushed so hard on it last week, though, that my right hand is feeling a little achy.  So, I’ve forced myself to give it a rest for a few days.  I recently had another birthday and my body is sending increasingly clear messages that I need to pay attention to these warning signs.

We’ve had a string of warm days…highs in the low 80s…and I captured this picture of a very uncooperative model earlier this week.  It appears, however, that this morning’s cold front has finally brought winter to Central Texas.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

A Little of This and That

Fifteen more anti-ouch pouches will be going with me to Guild meeting today. 

Although I failed to meet my goal of finishing the quilting on this project, I have made a good deal of progress and the end is finally in sight.

I used up my spool of bobbin thread and had to place a quick order for a replacement.  While I was at it, I also ordered a few more bobbins for my Handi Quilter.  The ones that came with it in 2008 did not have the hole to feed thread through while winding the bobbin, I’m hoping these will be easier to wind.

My project while sewing with my Tuesday friends was my hexagon quilt.  It continues to grow at a very slow pace, but it is growing, and I’m really enjoying it.

I couldn’t resist including these non-quilting related pictures. 

Butterflies have always fascinated me.  This one was not a cooperative model, but I finally managed to catch a shot when its wings were open.

And while walking earlier this week, I looked down and spotted this bluebonnet plant growing among the weeds.  If we continue to get a little rain through the next few months, we should have some pretty blooms around mid-April.