Saturday, July 4, 2020

New Project

I should be receiving my next block of the month installment soon, so I’ve been trying to complete the first month’s assignment.  I wanted attempt a fancier project and this one will certainly provide that challenge.  It is a design by Kim Diehl called Esther’s Bloomers.


Here is the center block.  It was not difficult.


The smaller blocks that will eventually surround it will take longer.  There are 36 small leaves that need to be appliqued.


This is my first attempt at using Apliquick tools and a glue stick for prepping the units.  It took many false starts before I was happy with the results, but this method is much easier on my hands than molding each piece around a heat-resistant template with starch as I have done in the past.  Fortunately, You Tube videos helped me learn the technique.  I am curious to see if the glue presents a problem when doing the hand stitching.  


A group of us gathered in a parking lot Tuesday to drop off completed anti-ouch pouches and pick up supplies for more.  I had 33 pouches to hand in.  We wore our masks and social distanced as much as possible.  Somehow we managed to not exchange our usual hugs.  As one of our number said, we are hug hungry.

We expect to hit triple digit temperatures today.  I'm most grateful for a working air conditioner.

Friday, June 26, 2020

It Only Took 7 Years

I’ve been working on knitting dishcloths during television time.  They are not nearly as bulky and much easier to set aside when a dog lands in my lap than my other handwork projects.  I bought this cone of cotton yarn for $1 at the library thrift store 7 years ago thinking I would never use it up.  I have no idea how many dishcloths it produced, but it is finally gone.  Tonight, I’ll weave in the loose ends.  As soon as I finish prepping, I’ll start working on hand applique from my block of the month.

Our crepe myrtles are blooming now.  The white sky is partially due to clouds and partially due to dust.


Sunset courtesy of Saharan dust.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Progress on Blue Blocks and First New Blogger Post Attempt

I have completed 48 of these blocks, which I think of as my quarantine project.  The blocks will finish at 8 inches square, so I think I have enough for a lap quilt if I add borders.  I also have two baggies of extra paired units. 

For the moment I am setting them aside so I can begin work on the first installment of a block of the month project. The pandemic delayed the launch of this program by a local quilt shop, but the owner recently arranged a means of quick pick-up or even a mail service.

This post is my first attempt at using the new Blogger.  I have seen comments about how hard it is to find the button to click for a new post (turns out it is near the bottom of the screen).  Then I had to search for the way to change the photo size.  This will definitely take some getting used to, but so far it has not been as difficult as I feared.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

What I've Been Working On

If I’m counting correctly, we are now in our 10th week of Covid-19 quarantine.  My, how life has changed!  It seems like Texas is on the national news every day as the governor moves us through the reopening phases.  We live in an area with lots of retirees and our particular community continues to be more cautious than others; for which I’m grateful. 

Since my last post, I have completed 37 anti-ouch pouches with 9 more cut and ready for stitching.  I’ve done enough of these over the past several years that they qualify as mindless sewing, and I’m grateful to have them to turn to when I need hypnotic stitching.  These cushions benefit breast cancer patients. 

A house quilt has been on my want-to-do list for a while.  When I saw this free pattern for a 9-inch pot holder at Laugh Yourself Into Stitches I decided to give it a try.  It’s a fun little project, and I intend to make several for my gift basket. Now that my test block is done, I want to be a bit more adventurous in my fabric selection.

This is my pandemic quilt project.  I had pulled the pattern from the American Patchwork and Quilting April 2019 magazine.  Debbie at Stitchin' Therapy also posted about this block.  

I decided to do my blocks in blues, greens and neutrals, a combination I find very soothing.  It sure involves a lot of scrap cutting, but my collection of blocks is gradually growing while my scrap stash refuses to shrink.

One way I’m coping with missing my friends is by participating in various e-mail chains.  I was quite surprised when my participation “earned” me this pin made by one of our members.  It will be added to my guild name tag and worn with pride when we finally meet again.

The wildflowers have mostly gone to seed now, but here is another shot from a neighbor’s wildflower bed that I took a couple of weeks ago.

The cacti care still in bloom.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Still Quilting...

It was never my intention to abandon my blog for many months, nor do I intend to give it up.  It has been a helpful diary of my projects, and a bridge connecting me to others who love to quilt. My silence also does not mean I have stopped quilting.  For whatever reason, I just have had neither the discipline nor energy to hit the keyboard.

Since my last post, I completed this flimsy made up of leftovers from an earlier red and neutral project.  I like my leftover quilt better than its predecessor.

Leftovers Quilt Top

Early this year I made up my mind to touch every quilting book I own and decide which would be donated to the Bits and Pieces booth at our guild quilt show.  We were most fortunate that our show fell in the first half of February before we knew what the Corona Virus meant and lockdowns were put in place.  Since then, of course, all regular guild activities have come to a halt, except for email and text chains that help me stay sane.

Donated Books

Also saving my life right now is Ollie, who has a lot of puppy left in him and who definitely claims me as his human.  Walks are helping too, as are audio books and mindless facemask and anti-ouch pouch stitching.  Anything that calms me down and makes me feel productive is good. 

Faithful Stitching Pal

Speaking of anti-ouch pouches (for breast surgery patients), I don’t have the opportunity to pick up kits at guild meetings.  So, one of my goals during quarantine is to touch every piece of yardage in my stash and decide what I will donate to that cause, then cut and sew it.  As a result, I already have a respectable stack of fabric laundered, pressed and ready to cut. But my storage shelves are a hot mess.

A neighbor works with stained glass and gave me this lovely suncatcher.  I love butterflies.


And a scene from that same neighbor’s wildflower bed.

Patricia's Garden

Monday, January 13, 2020

Some Quilty Setbacks and a Reprieve

See this sweet, innocent face?

Ollie has learned not to get on the beds, until our backs are turned, that is.  That little rascal continues to unmake them.

And now he’s discovered my design wall. 

My red scrappy quilt is taking longer than I anticipated.  I discovered that I will have to add yet another row so that the design ends and begins at the same point top and bottom. 

So, more rail fence and nine-patch blocks are in the works.  Unfortunately, I looks like I will have to do some more cutting too.  I’m learning to love my die cutter.

The reprieve came in the form of a delayed start to a block of the month.  Not sure why I signed up, but I’m committed now (or perhaps I should be committed).

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Hello 2020

Happy New Year everyone.  I hope your 2020 is joyful.

Even though my blog has been silent, work continues on a number of projects, though at a very relaxed pace. 

This rag wreath will stay on my sewing room door year-round, or at least until I get tired of looking at it.  I found several tutorials for making it on Pinterest, and it was a great way to use up some of my neutral scraps.

My piles of nine-patches have grown and are being added to my design wall along the way.  I figure when I have enough blocks to finish filling the wall, I’ll play with placement and start thinking about borders.  This is a “leftovers” quilt from a couple of previous projects. 

The forever hexagon project continues as well.  I discovered an error in aligning two rows and will be doing some frog stitching…sigh.

On December 6 we had to put down our beloved corgi, Harley.  He was the best ever dog.  Just let me say that I-Hate-Cancer.   It took both my parents, several aunts and now a second dog.  The house was just too quiet with only Maddie, so we have adopted Ollie into our pack.  Here I am with Maddie (in front) and Ollie competing for lap space. 

Ollie is a rescue terrier mix that looks like he is made up of spare parts.  Like all rescues, he has issues.  Our dogs have their own beds and are not allowed to sleep in ours.  Ollie, however, not only gets on our bed when we are not looking but unmakes it and redistributes the pillows…that rascal!

My Christmas cacti are pretty much finished, but at their peak they were a delight.

For the first time, I tried my hand growing an amaryllis bulb.  It provided a nice bit of color as well.  

The last two weeks have been filled with hostess duties as relatives from Wisconsin have been visiting.  I've eaten too much and exercised too little.  Time to get back to my healthier lifestyle.