Friday, March 30, 2012

Another Jane Stickle Triangle

Quilting has slowed this week as we prepare for house guests starting Sunday.  I did manage to do my second Dear Jane® triangle, TR-2, named Australian Pine.  Progress!

‘Reen has a tutorial of this block on her Aunt Reen Quilts Modern site.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Belated Progress Report

Yesterday was busy with household chores, and I did not get around to making a Design Wall Monday post.  So, here is a belated picture of Strips That Sizzle on my design wall.  This is the layout I decided to use, and I have begun sewing the rows together. 

I have a small cut of the fabric on the right.  If I have enough and it looks okay pieced, I may make a narrow inner border order out of it to add a little punch of color before adding a wider outer border.

I’m also ready to start doing the handwork on my Jacob’s Ladder quilt binding.  It will be the project I take to at Sit ‘N Sew today, but I am a slow stitcher and it will take several days to finish.  Sometimes I like just taking handwork to my group sewing days.  There is less stuff to carry in and out of the classroom. 

And…it’s turtle season again.  I had to rescue this little one, which somehow got inside our fence but couldn’t get out.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Jacob's Ladder is Quilted

We spent the night at the ranch and when I took my walk this morning, I was totally captivated by the beauty of the season.  Every time we have a wild flower show this good, I try to memorize it in my mind’s eye as well as take lots and lots of pictures, always mindful that it may be a long time before another one this pretty comes along.

While we were there I finished quilting Jacob’s ladder.  It is ready for its final trimming and binding.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

DJ Block K-3

This block, named Seven Sisters, was a fun one to construct.  I used the tutorial provided by Aunt ‘Reen.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

My First DJ Triangle and the Morning After the Storm

I feel like a celebration is in order.  I have completed my first Dear Jane® triangle.  It is BR-1, Rosemary’s Rainbow.  Thanks again to,  Aunt 'Reen, for a great tutorial.

For years I have heard the quotation:  Texas is a land of drought punctuated by floods.”  I wish I knew who to attribute that quote to.  I did an Internet search and failed to locate a source though I saw it used in reference to numerous places on the globe.  The last 24 hours have certainly proved the truth of that statement.  We were repeatedly awakened last night by the weather alert radio, thunder, and a near hysterical dog.  The rainfall totals were not record breakers but the bulk of the rain fell in a very short time span creating flash floods.  The LCRA gauge on our ranch recorded 3.6 inches and the gauge closest to our house in town recorded 3.74, while our neighbor’s unofficial gauge registered 4 inches.  The water shed that feeds Lake Buchanan at the head of our chain of lakes did not get as good an accumulation, but it did get some.  The lower constant level lakes in the chain are expected to receive enough run off from the immediate area to necessitate opening their flood gates. This should benefit Lake Travis at the end of the chain, which is also at record low levels. Despite the hardship this weather event is creating here and elsewhere, we are so grateful for the moisture. 

This is a picture of the inlet that feeds the pond near our house.  There was no inflow all last summer and we were worried that the pond would dry up entirely.  Today water is going over the spillway.

And here are the two doggies enjoying the quiet after the storm.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Design Wall Monday -- 03/19/2012

Another potential Strips That Sizzle layout is on my design wall today.  I still have more blocks to piece and more play time before I make a decision about the final design.  Somewhere along the way it clicked in my brain that you can use these blocks the same way you would use any half square triangle.

I’ve linked up with the Design Wall posts today on  Patchwork Times.  Be sure and check out what others are up to.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Spring Break and Bluebonnets, but Not Much Quilting

Even though our time the last few days was pretty much filled with activities involving our grandsons, I had an unexpected opportunity to work on my quilting while the boys went on an outing at the ranch with their grandfather.  I didn’t actually get to do any quilting, but I did get the Jacob’s Ladder flimsy loaded on the HQ frame, the thread changed, the bobbins filled and a new needle installed before we headed back for town.  Here it is being sized against the roll of batting before it was loaded. 

We are beginning to see bluebonnets.  Usually we need rain in October in order to get a really good show.  This year the rains came late, but we are already seeing more wildflowers than we did last spring.  You can even smell them on the breeze.

The day was very overcast, but I couldn’t resist taking a couple of pictures.  The season will change very quickly.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Another Dear Jane and the Real Fun Begins on Strips That Sizzle

Here is my version of Dear Jane® block M-5, Mother’s Point.  Thanks again, Aunt Reen, for another great tutorial.  I have already done the other two center blocks on this week’s schedule, but we will be doing my first triangle later this week.  Since I am about to dismantle my sewing room so air mattresses can go down, I will be starting that segment late. 

Also, I started throwing up Strips That Sizzle blocks on the design wall.  They will also have to be packed up later today, but playing with them is rather addictive.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Strips that Sizzle and Tutorial Recommendation

The tasks at hand do not lend themselves for photo ops.  I have been cutting units for my Strips That Sizzle project.  The kids are going to visit later this week (it’s spring break time here).  So, the cutting table will have to be stowed and the sewing room dismantled to make room for air mattresses.  I’m pushing forward with this so I will have something ready to work on at Sit N Sew day this week.

Connie over at  Quilting by the River  has put together an excellent tutorial on how to add customized signatures to blog posts.  Be sure and check it out.  A link to the specific post is here.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Thanks, Doreen!

Many thanks to Doreen over at Aunt Reen Quilts.  She has just started a blog with tutorials for those of us working on Dear Jane quilts.  I began my Dear Jane quilt three years ago and had already made the blocks for first five tutorials she posted, but not M-12, Hopscotch.  Here is my version.  I now have attempted 55 of 169 center blocks. Since several of them will need to be redone, however, this was a good time to make a design change decision.  I think I will start mixing in multiple fabrics on some of the blocks rather than using the same background fabric all the way through like Jane Stickle did on the original quilt.  This decision was partly inspired by the work that Anya did on her Baby Jane which you can see using this link to Hills Creek Quilter.   I had some remnants from the cutting I had been doing on my Strips that Sizzle project and decided to pair two up for this block.  Because of the strip widths, I reversed the light and dark arrangement. 

I’ve started putting my completed blocks in page protectors and filing them in order in a large binder.  It saves wear and tear on them when I’m looking at them.  Since Doreen is just getting us started, now is a good time to join in if you’ve ever considered making this quilt.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Just Checking In...

I have been busy on quilting activities, but most of it has been prep work before the sewing begins.  For the past year or so, I have been taking my batting from a roll.  It’s nice to always have what I need on hand and it has fewer creases than packaged batting.  It does have a drawback, however.  Because the roll is very wide, I frequently end up with large batting remnants.  Yesterday I took a particularly big one that was taking up too much space in my sewing closet and put it to work. 

I sandwiched my Hearts Abloom wall quilt for quilting on my domestic machine. 

I also made a practice sandwich, cut up more of the remnant into blocks for my Swifter sweeper and some ¾ inch strips that will eventually be used in a bag that Debbie at Stitchin’ Therapy designed.  Here is a link about this technique:  Debbie's Strip Bag.  By the time I finished slicing and dicing, this was all that was left of the remnant.  It certainly felt good to get that done.

I have also been working on my strip sets that will be used in my Strips that Sizzle project.  Here are the greens on my design wall.  I felt like I was in the middle of a tropical rain forest while they were up. 

Here are the purple/mauve sets.  I have a few more of those left to stitch and then it’s back to the cutting board.   

Earlier this week, this is what I was seeing outside our front door.  The city is totally ripping up and repaving our street.  I do so hope this will help with a drainage issue we have.  Today, however, we are enjoying that most wonderful event for Central Texas, a nice, rainy day.  In a little while, I will be joining a friend at the theatre to see Iron Lady.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Late Design Wall Post and an Oops…..

Due to an unexpected quilting closet disaster, and life in general, I'm late checking in this week with a design wall report.  Here are the latest Dear Jane®  blocks I have completed.  They  are numbers C-13, Lakota Sioux; C-12, Family Reunion; C-2, Streak of Lightning; and C-3 Rayelle's Fence.  I'm still using bits and pieces from the batik remnants Jeanette gifted to me.  It is so much fun to play with them. is the oops....

There I was, contentedly piecing the other night when I heard an ominous falling noise.  I checked on Bob…not him!  He was happily gazing at some gadget or gizmo on-line, probably related to radio controlled model airplanes.  Nope, not the doggies either.  They were snoozing, blameless for once.

So that left the sewing supply closet.  Yup…the $3 hanging shoe organizer that I bought 3 years ago and had mercilessly crammed with fabric finally gave way and crashed to the floor knocking over numerous project bags in the process. 

Oh, well.  It’s just another opportunity to clean out, reorganize and rediscover all the projects waiting in the wings for their turn.