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.

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.