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.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Back From Vacation

We spent last week enjoying a respite from the Central Texas heat as well as the noise and traffic associated with the annual boat races.  It was our first trip to Ruidoso, New Mexico, where the temps are lower and the altitude higher. 

We had a delightful cabin full of amenities. 

Maddie enjoyed her new world from a favorite perch.  Harley was with us too, but wasn’t much for posing.

Our excursions included a trip to the Hubbard Museum where a fabulous exhibit of art quilts was on display. 

This one really captured my heart.

We attended the horse races where I lost $2 and Bob lost 60 cents. It was fun to watch the people as well as the ponies.

I also did some quilting!

This is what my lap looked like on the drive coming and going (whenever Maddie would get off it, that is). 

When I wasn’t in the car, my handwork focused on my Becky Goldsmith applique project.  Stems are now stitched down on all four quadrants and flowers are gradually being added.

I even got some machine stitching in.  This is the breakfast nook I claimed as my sewing station. 

…and some of the paper pieced triangle units for my “Good Golly!” Project.

Best of all…by happy accident our cabin was an easy stroll from Martha’s Fabric Store. 

This place is crammed with all kinds of fabric and home d├ęcor items, much like the independent fabric stores I remember from childhood. 

I was told Martha died at the age of 94 and her daughters continue the business.

I made three stops there (easy walking distance, remember?).  I’m pretty sure Bob will choose lodging farther from Martha's for our next visit to Ruidoso.

The day after our return was Guild day and I delivered 11 more anti-ouch pouches bringing my 2016 total to 85.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Gleanings and Slow Stitching

Our Guild lost a very sweet lady in July.  Pat always had a smile of her face that bespoke both wisdom and joy.  She also was an avid quilter with a huge fabric stash.   

The family kindly invited the quilting community to go through her sewing supplies before handing the rest over to Goodwill.  By the time I arrived, all the quilting cotton had been claimed by various charity sewing groups, which I know she would have wanted.  I do wish I had arrived early enough to see it, though.  It was housed in a separate structure on her property and I am told it was beautifully organized.  I always love to see how others set up their storage and sewing spaces.

I was invited to go through her (very full) closet of craft books and laid claim to some.  

I also got to choose a few patterns and even found a project box.  Some of the books will find a home in my own library; some I will pass along to others after I’ve taken the time to browse through them. 

Very often when I go to events like estate sales, I leave with a sense of sadness.  This time, however, I left feeling uplifted, as if Pat knew and approved of what we were doing.

My slow stitching today continues to be the applique blocks I showed last Sunday.  Gradually I am becoming more comfortable with the technique Becky Goldsmith teaches.  I hope to be working on it in front of my computer during Quilt-Cam this afternoon.  However, I’ve had to miss the several recent Quilt-Cams due to technical glitches (mostly at my end), so I may end up joining hubby watching the Olympics instead.  At least there are two very appealing choices before me!

Maddie certainly appears to be enjoying her lazy Sunday morning.

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

Slow Sunday Stitching

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Verrrrry Slow Stitching

I’m still working on the class project from the Becky Goldsmith applique workshop.  Her technique is really different from the one I’ve been using.  Not only does she recommend a much shorter needle, she also uses different fingers to manipulate the needle.  It feels like I’m working with 10 thumbs.  I intend to push on with it a little longer and see if it begins to feel normal.  At least I'm doing true needle turn work on this project.

The extended weather forecast indicates this will be a very good week to stay inside and sew.

Slow Sunday Stitching

I'm linking up to Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Red is a Flimsy

I met my goal for finishing my hexagon top before last Wednesday’s Guild meeting and workshop.  I’m calling it Red because, well it is...  It’s time to take it down and store it out of sight for a while.  Usually I like my work much better after a break.  I have a bit of a quandary on where to trim the outer borders.   It somehow ended up wider at the top than the bottom.  If I even it up by trimming off the top, the print design will no longer be symmetrical.  I would love comments about how to handle this.

The workshops with Becky Goldsmith Wednesday and Thursday were a delight and loaded with information.  By the end of the second day my head was spinning.  Here is my class sample on traditional needle turn applique.  I need to improve my technique for sharp inner points, but I’m no longer so afraid to attempt the technique.  Becky admits to being something of purist.  After listening to her rationale I went out and purchased Orvus detergent for washing fabrics and quilts.

The elliptical has become my friend this summer.  When it’s still 95 degrees at 8 p.m., inside walks are the only way I’m able to get in a reasonable number of steps.  Listening to audio books makes the task more enjoyable endurable.

I’ve also been punching out hexagons for my next English paper piecing project.  The weekly flyer we get from the grocery store is on heavy enough stock to be usable.  I’m also using the inserts from magazines.  As slow as I work, I should be able to easily keep up with my need.  These hexagons measure 3/4 inch on each side.  That's slightly smaller than the design I will follow, but it seems more economical than purchasing the shapes.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Checking In ...

While I have had a difficult time making myself sit down to the keyboard and create a post, I have been at work the last two weeks.

I finished 10 anti-ouch pouches to take to the guild meeting Wednesday.  That brings me to a total of 74 this year.

There have also been some stash enhancements here.  I’m getting ready for my next English paper piecing project.  I’ve long admired the cover quilt on this book by Edyta Sitar and have decided to do it primarily in French General fabrics (but maybe not the border).  I scored on a recent online auction and was able to get a jelly roll plus four yards of fabric for what I would have paid for the yardage alone.  I have some other French General cuts in my stash, so hopefully I have enough diversity and can begin with this soon.

I’m signed up for two guild workshops with Becky Goldsmith this week and have been pulling the supplies I will need to take.  The first one is on color.  Thursday we’ll have a six-hour session on applique.

I’ve also resumed working on dishcloths while watching the Tour de France with Bob.  It’s an easier project to work on if a dog decides to land in my lap.

When nothing but mindless machine work would satisfy me, I’ve worked on miniature bowtie units.

My goal is to finish appliqueing my red hexagon quilt to its borders before Wednesday’s workshops.  I’ll probably take it with me tomorrow when I join my Tuesday group.  We’ll see how far along I get working on it some tonight.  

Monday, July 4, 2016

A Flimsy

I finished adding borders to this bluebonnet applique piece this weekend.  It's nice to free up a project box.

For some reason I had trouble sizing the center to the pieced borders and had to resort to drawing a picture on graph paper.  In the end it did work out.

We're enjoying a quiet, at-home holiday weekend here.  This evening we will probably take the golf cart to one of the areas on the course where we can enjoy the city's fireworks.