Sunday, November 24, 2013

"Let Me Surprise You" is Quilted

We made a trip to the ranch this weekend and I put the second Hawaiian cruise quilt top (Let Me Surprise you by Charlotte Angotti) on the quilter.  I may or may not do a little more work on it using my domestic machine.  I think I would like it better if I did some stitching in the ditch, but right now that machine is set up for another quilt.

For a time it looked like we might be forced to stay an extra night at the ranch because of a winter storm advisory, but it has held off long enough for us to return to town and squeeze in a quick stop at the grocery store.

My Christmas cactus is loaded with blooms. Putting it in a room that only had natural light through a southeastern window certainly made a difference.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Quilting and Blooms

I've started the stitch-in-the-ditch part of quilting Pohihihi.  It’s a time consuming process and doesn't lend itself much to photo ops, but I enjoy this stage.  I have to agree with several quilters concerning thread versus pin basting.  It is much easier to work with a thread basted quilt and it doesn't take any longer to stitch than than it does to pin baste if you have the right needles and thread. 

I had to re-order backing fabric for the Charlotte Angotti flimsy because the on-line vendor sold out of my first choice.  I hope it arrives in time so that I can make a trip to the ranch and load it on the frame before December.  I would love to have two of the three Hawaii quilts finished this year.

For several years I have been inspired by the photographs Wanda has posted of her Christmas cactus plants on her blog, Exuberant Color.  When a store in our area had some for sale last year I purchased a plant.  To my amazement, it not only lived, but is in bloom!   About mid-October I moved it to a southeastern window in the guest room and avoided turning on the artificial lights.  The plant began setting buds immediately, and the first finally opened.  I’ve been watching to see if the store where I found this one brings in more this year.  I would love to have another color.  

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Just Checking In

I find it difficult to believe that I went to a three-day sew-in last week and did not come back with any photos.  My time there was spent paper piecing units from the Carol Doak quilt kit I received during the cruise.  While working at home, I have been marking, sandwiching and basting Pohihihi.  Usually I pin baste quilts.  This is an experiment to see if I like it better.

I have decided to quilt this one on my Janome, since I don’t know when I will have the opportunity to put something on the quilter at the ranch.  During November, it becomes a hunting camp for Bob and his hunting partner.  I try not to disrupt their routine, but I have been invited to join them this morning for a country style egg and bacon brunch.

We are having our first freeze of the season today.  Last week, however, we had very mild, foggy mornings.  I’ve seen lots of spider activity on our morning walks and captured this photo of one heavy with dew.  I’m not a great fan of spiders, especially when they try to take up residence indoors, but their webs are beautiful.

Monday, November 4, 2013

"Let Me Surprise You" is a Flimsy

I finished putting together the “Let Me Surprise You” quilt from the Hawaii quilt cruise last night.  After fighting those bulky seam intersections and fidgety points, I am more than happy to let it rest a while.  Next up is a paper piecing project designed by Carol Doak.  It is the last of the three projects that came home with me from the Hawaii quilt cruise.  I would love to have all of them to the flimsy stage by year end.

Tomorrow begins a three-day sew-in at “Our Place.”  That’s the name we call the store front that we have rented as a place we can sew as a group.  We love it, even though parking can be an issue. 

So, this afternoon I will be winding bobbins and organizing my take along supplies for paper piecing.  I will also be cutting some 2 ½ inch squares for the split nine-patch I’m using for a leader/ender project.  I don’t usually use leader/enders when paper piecing, but it will be nice to have something easy to fall back on if I need a break.

We are enjoying a drippy day here in the Texas Hill Country.  So far, we have received nothing measurable, but it’s still good news.   About a week ago Austin, 40 miles to our east, experienced heavy rains and severe flooding.  We did not get any here, and the watershed area to our north and west which supplies our lake system failed to get any as well.  Our feeder lake, the source of the water we need to run our households is still well below 40% full.  So, any rain we receive that helps keep our yards alive during this water shortage is a blessing.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

"Let Me Surprise You" Progress

The 16 blocks for Charlotte Angotti’s “Let Me Surprise You” quilt are pieced and on the design wall.   Now the work begins joining them.  There are a lot of seams and points to match, so it will take some time.  The quilt should finish at about 60 inches. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

October Jane Stickle Block Progress

I completed four Jane Stickle border triangles in October bringing my total to 32 of 52 triangles (plus the four corner kites).  I have two additional ones prepped and ready for work.