Thursday, March 28, 2013

Mug Rug Exchange

One of the truly wonderful things about quilting is that it has always been a mechanism to draw people together, whether through groups gathered around a quilting frame or via the technology of today’s Internet. 

My partner for the Rugs with Friends exchange group this turn hales from Australia, and her mug rug arrived this week.  She made it with fabrics that have images of animals and plants native to her homeland, and her package included these generous extras:  an Australian quilting magazine and two cuts of floral fabrics in my favorite color, blue.  I am so very pleased. 
Unfortunately, the package I mailed to her more than two weeks ago has still not arrived and I am concerned that I may need to send her another.

The Texas Hill Country has been enjoying a very pleasant and early spring.  We received little rain during the winter and what we did have came at the wrong time for optimal bluebonnets. 
Bob took me for a spin Monday in his new utility vehicle and I snapped this photo of an old rock fence I had never seen before.  These are rapidly disappearing from the countryside, but this one is in a secluded spot that has remained undisturbed.

Here is a slightly different view of Packsaddle Mountain.

Here are Chloe and Harley enjoying an outing in the back of Bob’s Ranger.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

A New Project ...

Wednesday was Quilt Club Day and I stayed afterwards to participate in an afternoon workshop on making memory quilts.  We were told to bring a 24 inch square of dark fabric, batting and any pieces of old lace, or crochet we might want to use along with old  costume jewelry, buttons, or other decorations.  It was a fun afternoon as we swapped and shared bits and pieces of old lace and tinkered with each others’ designs. 
I am still working on the layout of the pieces and rummaging around long forgotten storage containers for costume jewelry.  Some of the lace pieces were purchased from antique dealers or given by other workshop participants.  Others, however, including the tatted cross near the top were items I have saved for decades.  Once the lace pieces are in place and secured to the background fabric, I’ll add the other embellishments.  After that, a backing is added and the piece is quilted and bound.
My slowly growing collection of Jane Stickle blocks for the month is on the left, and I'm still pondering my options on the Be Attitude block I've posted about before. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Jumping Aboard the Bloglovin Train

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Like many of the bloggers I follow, I am joining up with Bloglovin to replace the function of Google Reader, which is being retired in July. This will take some getting used to, so please bear with me if there are glitches.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Enjoying Being Messy

I’ve been leisurely working my way through Kaffe Fassett’s autobiography, Dreaming in Color.  It is a fascinating peek into a creative mind at work.  One of the first things that struck me in my reading was his comments about how messy his space gets when he’s in his creative mode.  My mother was a neatnik and I know she would be truly appalled to see my work area when I quilt.  Quite honestly, I'm also appalled at the mess I create. 

I’m in the process of putting the two background pieces for this month’s two “Be Attitude” blocks together.  I wanted to substitute some of my own fabrics for those supplied in the kit and have been having a gloriously messy time doing it. 
I'm still not happy with where they stand, particularly the last one which has too little contrast between the border pieces and seems too dark overall...I may have to dig through my treasure trove some more or even make a purchase at the quilt shop tomorrow.
On a separate note, I'm trying to decide what route to take for keeping up with the blogs I follow since Google Reader will be discontinued.  I would appreciate any thoughts.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Chugging Along

I realized yesterday that I have fallen behind in documenting my quilting, even though work continues on a number of projects.  Part of my time has been spent completing a mug rug for an exchange.  Pictures of that one must wait until I know it has reached my partner in Australia.  It goes in the mail tomorrow.


I’ve also spent some time prepping Jane Stickle blocks.  As one of my fellow Jane quilters commented recently, you spend as much time prepping these little gems as you do sewing, and for me it’s frequently a very messy process.  This is a second attempt on this block because I wasn’t happy with the fabrics or applique on my earlier attempt.


Here are fabrics paired for several blocks, next to the tutorials Doreen has so generously provided.  I’m trying to have several blocks kitted for Sit ‘N Sew days. 
While deciding which blocks to attempt next, I discovered a couple of blocks I had not recorded as complete.  There were also some others, primarily in the first three rows, that I intended to re-do because I had used the same background fabric in too many of them.  If I give myself permission to scatter them in other parts of the quilt top, they might not have to be redone, after all.  I’ll have to give that some thought.


And, finally, here is the growing collection of “Be Attitude” blocks I’ve been making as part of a block of the month.  “Be Positive” and “Be Kind” are ready except for the hand embroidery (including the legs on the ant carrying the cupcake). 

I’ve allowed myself to become over-extended again this year, but I am enjoying the variety. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Monthly Jane Stickle Report

I completed four more Dear Jane blocks in February, and there are two more waiting in the wings for handwork, which will be counted in March.  That brings me to a total of 125 center blocks completed out of 169 and I’m still holding at 23 border triangles completions.  Progress, slow, but progress nonetheless.  You can tell from the photo that I was trying to add more red blocks to my assortment.

Wednesday was a bittersweet day for my local quilting group.  We enjoyed a wonderful luncheon at a local restaurant hosted by our two winter Texans.  They will be headed back to Minnesota Monday because the lease on their cabins has run out.  We will miss them, but hope to have them back with us next year. 

This is the group of about 14 quilters that gathers informally at the local quilt shop every Tuesday.  As so often happens when quilters meet regularly, this group has become a very important support network for its members.