Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Back from the Ranch

We came home Monday after (for me) two very productive days at the ranch.  I finished quilting “Just Do It” and also did a small practice piece with appliqué.  The latter project gave me an opportunity to try out a new ruler and also the Micro Handles I purchased for my HQ16 during the International Quilt Festival last November.

After I took both pieces off the frame I realized there was a little more work I wanted to do, and that gave me an opportunity to work with my vintage Singer, which I keep set up at the ranch house. 

Monday, May 30, 2011

Design Wall Monday -- 05/30/2011

My design wall is serving more as a holding place for the bits and pieces of this month’s Civil War Chronicles blocks than as a design tool.  I had to clear my sewing area so I could piece a backing in preparation for a trip to the ranch, so the CWC blocks were haphazardly put up on the wall.  They have been quite a challenge for me this time because the striped fabric has to be placed in a specific orientation and in some blocks the stripes must match.  

Next up on the quilting frame is my “Just Do It” quilt from the triangle exchange.  I’m also binding the “Stars Over Wisconsin” quilt and hope to finish that soon.

Errr… what’s so exciting puppies?

Oh, I see. 

I am happy to report that the squirrel made a safe escape when the dogs were called to the house. 

Be sure to stop by Judy's  and check out Design Wall Monday to see what other quilters are up to. 

Memorial Day

With gratitude to those who gave their lives in the service of our country…

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Of late, I’ve been trying to reduce the clutter in my life, rather than acquire more.  It’s been a real struggle and I have done my best to avoid garage and estate sales.  Our church recently sponsored one to benefit missions, though, and I could not resist stopping by.  I didn’t realize that it ended at 2:00 p.m. and got there just in time to get the close-out deal.  Anything you could shove into a plastic grocery bag was $1.  This was my loot. 

I had been looking for saucers to use under flower pots.  Also, I’m drawn to wooden boxes and I found two.  I’ve already loaded one up with sewing tools.  The other appears to be part of an old(?) cigar box.  Barely visible on the bottom is the statement that the cigars contained in it were to be sold at no less than 20 cents each.  I’ve decided to use this little box as a tread catcher at my sewing station at the ranch.  Also in the pile, but not very visible is a nice tile trivet that blends well with our everyday dishes.  No, I didn’t need any of this, but in my defense, it took two of us multiple trips to deliver our contributions to the sale, so I still have less clutter than before.

Today’s wildlife picture is this little guy, trying his very best to blend into the grey porch color so the dogs wouldn’t pester him.  I am happy to report that he escaped intact.  I’ve decided to name the lizard that lives in our mailbox Hoppy.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Design Wall Monday – 05/23/2011

This is what’s on my design wall, after I finished piecing this medallion top from the triangle exchange I participated in last year.    

Here is the top, waiting for its turn on the quilter.  I think I may consider making this quilt again someday; but if I do, I’ll want to use neutral fabrics that read as solids as the light fabric in the triangle squares so the pattern is more visible.  This is the first quilt I have made with mitered borders.  It is small, about 57 inches before quilting.  I think I may name it “Just Do It” since I debated a very long time about whether or not to attempt it.  The design is by Edyta Sitar in her book Friendship Triangles.

I really pushed this weekend to complete this flimsy so it wouldn't be a distraction as begin work on the latest installment of the Civil War Chronicles quilt, which we received last week. 

Be sure to check out other design walls at Patchwork Times

Monday, May 16, 2011

Design Wall Monday -- 05/16/2011

My wall looks much the same as last week with work progressing fairly quickly on the medallion quilt.  The piecing is tedious, but it is moving along.  Two of the central quadrants are pieced. 

Also up on the board is a small appliqué piece that came out of a class offered by the quilt club more than a year ago.  It was a class on machine appliqué, but when I pulled it out of the UFO heap; I decided to change it to an exercise in hand appliqué, which is my primary interest now. 

We have very much enjoyed watching the humming birds at the feeder in our back yard, but not so much fun is this little guy. 

He has taken up residence in our mail box, and is in the habit of jumping out in my direction when I remove our mail.  I know tossing in a couple of moth balls would discourage him from staying, but then all the greeting cards I send out for the congregational care committee won’t smell very good.  Maybe the answer is to leave him alone and start using a different box to make my posts.  Anyone want to suggest a name for him?  If he’s here to stay, he should have a name.

We had the very good fortune to have substantial rain last week.  Our ranch has a rain gauge maintained by the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) and it recorded just over four inches for Wednesday and Thursday when we had storms in the area.  Bob made a quick trip out there Thursday afternoon to be sure we did not have hail damage.  All was well, so this was a very happy week for us.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Design Wall Monday -- 05/09/2011

A flimsy at last…here is the top I’ve decided to call Stars Over Wisconsin.  I’ve been referring to it as my Wisconsin stars quilt project, but I think it is really a variation of an Ohio Star block, hence the name change.  The kit was purchased during a trip to Wisconsin for a family funeral.    The design is by Bits ‘N Pieces and called Chocolate Covered Cherries.  It remained in my UFO heap for more than a year before I finally pulled it out and fell in love with it again.  I found some red Moda in my stash that will work for a backing, so this project is both the completion of a UFO and a stash buster!

Here is what is on my design wall today…420 half square triangles acquired in a triangle exchange at a local quilt shop in 2010.  Unfortunately, the shop was open for less than a year.  It made me very sad to see it close.  All of the HSTs were made from a collection called Autumn Harvest.  I bought fabric for the border while she still had it on hand and I've been wanting to see what I could come up with.  

I fell in love with the quilt on the cover of this book by Edyta Sitar and that is the layout I playing with on the wall.  I will be very unhappy if I forget and turn on the ceiling fan.  There are other patterns in the book that would be easier, but this one uses the majority of the HSTs.  If I go with it, I will have a lot of seams to match and I will have to deal with some bias edges.

Judy’s site Patchwork Times  has links to lots of other design walls.  Check it out!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Design Wall Monday -- 05/02/2011

Here are this month’s completed blocks for the Civil War Chronicles quilt.  I enjoyed these fabrics much more than the previous ones as purple is one of my favorite colors.  Also, there were no directional prints this month so it was easier to put the blocks together, but they were still labor intensive.

Our temperature hit the 90s yesterday then plummeted to the 40s last night.  Unfortunately, the front did not bring us the rain we hoped for, but at least we should have a very pleasant week with moderate temperatures. 

Our community has a series of ponds, and this time of year is when the resident turtles start moving around.  This guy somehow got in the yard, but could not find a way out.  Bob helped him get to the other side of the fence so the dogs would not bother him.

Check out the links at Patchwork Times to see what other quilters are up to.