Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Back From The Ranch

Following a Thanksgiving celebration with neighbors we headed for a four-day trip to the ranch.  Bob used the time to hunt wild hogs and succeeded in killing two which were smoked and are now in the freezer.

Meanwhile, I loaded the Lone Star Quilt shown above on Fiona and went to work.  It was made at the request of my brother-in-law, Dave, who purchased the fabric last April.  Our agreement was that I would work on it during the year with goal of having it complete by the time he's back in Texas.  Dave is a Winter Texan with roots in Wisconsin.  Weather permitting, he will pass through our area in late December on his way to the Rio Grande Valley, and I want to have it ready for him. 

It is by far the largest quilt I have put on Fiona.  It measures 98 inches square and took up the entire frame.  The quilt is now ready for trimming and binding.  I hope he will be pleased with it.

See these tomatoes?  I have tried unsuccessfully to grow tomatoes many times.  My husband thinks they are ugly plants but swears that it is entirely by accident that they frequently encounter weed killer.

When the local grocery store started selling plants in September for fall gardens, I bought one and planted it in a pot.  It grew extremely large but somehow managed to survive toppling over three times, stiff winds, light hail and outright neglect when we took trips to the ranch.  It finally succumbed to an early frost while loaded with green fruit.  Friends suggested that I wrap the tomatoes in newspaper and store them in a cool place.  I did so and we had home grown tomatoes for our salad Saturday night! 

Finally, while at the ranch we celebrated my birthday.  It was one of those "decade birthdays" we all love so much.  I was showered with cards, Facebook greetings and Bob even got me a birthday cake.  I can’t remember the last time I had a cake with my name on it. 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Memories of Thanksgivings Past

We have the good fortune to live in a community that was built on a former pecan orchard.  Many of the trees still grow in public areas and this year has yielded a very good pecan crop.  Gleaning pecans with my family during Thanksgiving holidays is one of those happy memories from my childhood.  Here is some of what we’ve harvested thus far this year.  Hopefully, we’ll be adding more to the bucket before the season ends.

I haven’t had a chance to post in a while.  A good friend invited me to spend a few days with her in Dallas so there has been no opportunity to sew since my last post.  Then, of course, there were the preparations for Thanksgiving itself once we returned.  Hopefully, I will soon have a project loaded on Fiona and be back at work. 

Life happens, and family could not join us for Thanksgiving this year.  In the meantime, we are enjoying the company of dear friends.

I hope all of you have a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Blue and Yellow Quilt

I have always lived in the south where temperatures are toasty most of the year, making me wonder why I am so drawn to a craft like quilting.  It finally got cool enough recently that I wanted to cuddle under a quilt while watching television.  I pulled out this blue and yellow quilt I finished earlier this year.  It was supposed to be a scrappy quilt from my stash, but I soon discovered that I did not have enough variety in my color-way and ended up purchasing more fabric.  Fortunately, I was able to use almost all that I purchased so this project did reduce rather than add to my existing stash.

The light wasn't very good in the room where I took the picture and the colors look a little washed out in this photograph.  They are much more vibant.  The pattern is one I found on Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville site.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Design Wall Monday -- 11/15/2010

My Carolina Chain quilt has grown some.  After taking some measurements and crunching some numbers, I think I will have a satisfactory throw size quilt if I add 70 more blocks and a modest border.  So, I’ve been busy cutting and sewing. 

When I delved back into my quilting closet, I surprised myself with all the fabric remnants I had forgotten about.  I’m a little heavy on greens and a little short on lights, but I should have enough with what I have on hand. 

There are several other projects waiting in the wings so I want to finish this one.  Unfortunately, work on it needs to pause later today, as I really must hem up some pants. 

A few of you were nice enough to inquire about my new smart phone.  I found its internet and e-mail features useful while travelling to the Quilt Festival in Houston.  I still don’t quite get the texting thing, but am forcing myself to try that too.  I've also discovered I enjoy listening to music on it with the ear buds.  There’s a pretty steep learning curve, but I think I’ll adapt to this new tool.

Be sure to check out other design walls at Patchwork Times .

Monday, November 8, 2010

Design Wall Monday -- 11/8/2010

Progress on the Carolina Chain project I’ve posted about before slowed this week so I could work on this tiny quilt that is about 24" square.  This was one of the Christmas quilt kits handed out at the Quilt Club in October. It will be donated to the Threads of Love organization which benefits premature babies and their families.  It is nearly ready for simple machine quilting.  The photograph was taken at a bad angle and does not do it justice. 

Check out Judy's site at Patchworktimes for lots of inspiration.

A good friend unexpectedly invited me to accompany her and another friend to Houston for the International Quilt Festival last week.  We stayed at her daughter’s house, enjoyed the experience of seeing some truly masterful quilts, and took advantage of the opportunity to shop for and learn about supplies not readily available locally.  Most of my purchases were supplies for my mid-arm quilter.  Those items are at the ranch waiting for my next opportunity to load something on the frame.  Here are a couple of my other purchases.

Finally, the Texas Hill Country has been enjoying a delightful fall season.  Ths is a rose from my garden.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Another Early Quilt

I had a lot of fun making this bow tie quilt which was competed in 2008.  I was still very new to quilting when I began it and would pick up a blue fat quarter or two any time I went to a quilt store.  It took about two years from start to finish and was one of the earliest projects I attempted to quilt on Fiona using a Baptist Fan Groovy board.  We have it on the bed in our guest room.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Design Wall Monday -- A Day Late and More Than a Dollar Short

I've made a little more progress on my Carolina Chain quilt.  This isn't the final layout, but I enjoy putting the blocks up so I can watch it grow.  I've started "unsewing" a few of the blocks that don't have enough contrast and changing the fabric combinations so I can add them to the mix.

I might have more to show if I hadn't lost this old friend....

Actually, it was my husband's cell phone that died.  That meant a new contract (hence the more than a dollar short comment in my post title) and new phones for both of us.  Here's what we ended up with ....

These "smart phones" are a lot smarter than I am.  Most of our spare time since Saturday was spent trying to figure out how to use them.  We are both registering high on the frustration meter.  Better wait a while before asking me how much we like it.