Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Christmas in February

My Christmas gift arrived about two weeks ago.  It wasn’t Santa’s fault; I was late giving him my list and it had to be back ordered.

Here’s Chloe checking out the box…some assembly required. 
…and here, thanks to Bob's hard work, it is assembled and loaded.  It’s a quilt ladder that makes it possible for me to enjoy some of the quilts that have been stored on closet shelves.  The one on the bottom with the feathered star is a design by Susan Garman that was a block of the month several years ago. 


Monday, February 25, 2013

Squeezing in some Quilty Time

It’s been a very busy two weeks…dealing with the usual life interruptions plus preparing for, then entertaining, and then wrapping up after company last weekend.  But I did squeeze in some quilty indulgences along the way.  Last Thursday our local quilt club sponsored a workshop with a Sulky representative.  I was delighted to be exposed to some new-to-me techniques that can be done on my Janome sewing machine.  I always assumed that I would need a true embroidery machine to do some of the applications we played with.  Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos of those, but the workshop included a package of goodies including these Sulky threads that I will enjoy using. 
I never know what off-the-wall tips I’ll get when I go to these events.  The tables we had to set our machines on were a little too high for comfortable work.  Here is the solution one of my classmates came up with...of course then my feet didn't want to touch the floor, but I could at least see what I was sewing.
Friday I joined a friend for a trip to the La Grange quilt show and a nearby exhibition of Amish quilts in Winedale.  It was great fun to have this time with my friends. 


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Vintage Find at the Ranch

Even though I have been through every drawer and storage area at the ranch house numerous times since it became our responsibility, I still sometimes rediscover a vintage piece from my family roots.

These two appliqued pillow cases resurfaced last weekend as I was checking our bed linen situation.  They are made of muslin.  One of them is patched.  I seem to recall my grandmother having a quilt made with this design and my guess is that these are either leftover blocks from that quilt, or possibly part of a pillow case exchange.  I know my grandmother was a member of the Extension Club.  I think I will leave them up on my design wall at the ranch so I can enjoy them when I’m there.

While we were at the ranch, Bob downloaded the latest batch of photographs captured by his game camera.  Most of the images were taken at night, but here is one in daylight of the feral hogs that have started visiting our property regularly.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Different Kind of Mug Rug

We made another trip to the ranch last weekend and this time I had a little more time to plan on a project to take.  In December, Debbie at Stitchin Therapy posted a tutorial on making mug rugs from embroidered handkerchiefs and then offered to give away some of her extra hankies.  I was one of the lucky recipients.  I pretty much followed her tutorial, and they are so sweet and feminine, I thought they would make a good Valentine’s Day post.  Thank you, Debbie! 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Hello, Neighbor!

Marlene at Stitchin by the Lake is facilitating a get to know the neighborhood weekly post, and this week I’m on the list of featured bloggers.  Thank you for introducing me to the neighborhood, Marlene!

I live in the hill country of Central Texas.  The picture in my blog header shows Packsaddle Mountain, as seen from our property in Llano County.  My family has lived in Texas several generations and by happenstance, our property is adjacent to the original land one of my ancestors received as a land grant prior to the Civil War.  We are city folks, though, and live in a community about half an hour from there. 


When we receive lots of rain in October, the wildflowers turn the hill country into a place of incredible beauty in March and April.

I can’t remember when I made my first quilt, but I do know I used a magazine pattern that optimistically claimed it could be completed in a weekend (but not by me).  I used synthetic blends, wrapped the backing to the front for a binding, and failed to bury my quilting knots.  My husband hated that quilt, but we used it until it fell apart and was discarded. 

My second quilt was not much better.  I used a plastic milk carton to make my templates and cut the fabric with scissors.  I still didn’t have a clue about how to make a binding so I just turned the edges in and whip stitched it together.  After making that one, I stopped quilting for years.

When I retired in 2006, we returned to Texas.  I joined a quilt club and began spending Tuesdays at Sit ‘N Sew at a nearby quilt shop.  Whenever anyone asks when I began quilting, I usually say 2007.  I’ve got a lot left to learn, but am I ever enjoying the journey.

I always seem to have lots of projects going at once and you can spot some of them in recent posts.

Thank you for stopping by.  I appreciate visitors to my blog and would love to hear from you. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Playing with Scraps

Bob and I made an unplanned trip to the ranch Thursday.  We are having issues with feral hogs, and Bob wanted to see what needs to be done.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have any sewing projects prepped except one Jane Stickle block to applique.
I knew that wouldn't be enough, so I quickly rounded up some of my smaller batik remnants and printed some Triangulations foundation sheets for two-inch finished half square triangles.
My Jane Stickle quilt is creating lots of small scraps that are too large to throw away and too small for anything other than a scrappy quilt.  I think I will end up with enough diversity to be able to use some of the patterns in Edyta Sitar's book, Friendship Triangles. We’ll see where this one goes. No rush, since I have no definite plans, and best of all, no added expense either.
Here are the half square triangles I've done so far. Since they are made from very small cuts I don't have many of any one pair, but I believe I should have close to 80.  A couple of the projects I like in the book call for about 500 half square triangles.

An added bonus was that this gave me an opportunity to play with my Singer 301A, a straight-stitch only machine, which stays at the ranch. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Thinking About Options

At some point in time, I will need to make a decision about what sashing I want to use for my Jane Stickle quilt.  I found a small cut of black fabric in my stash and pinned some blocks to it to see how it looks.  I think this may be the direction I go.

Monday, February 4, 2013



I wasn’t sure if it would be easier to start over with this block or fix it.  So, following the advice of some of the readers who saw my dilemma, I waited until I could step back and look at it calmer and decided the fix was pretty straight forward.  All I had to do was remove one corner unit, reprint the paper piecing foundation and go from there.  It worked. 

Thanks to all who offered encouragement and ideas for using the “broken” piece on the back.  About a year ago I made a mid-course design change and started mixing in a variety of background fabrics.  That meant I had to redo several blocks.  I like the idea of incorporating them into the back of the quilt.  They are, after all, part of its history.


Saturday, February 2, 2013

First Two "Be Attitude" Blocks are Done

My “be warm” and “be loving” blocks for our Be Attitudes block of the month are finished, just in time, for me to pick up my February kits today.  Embellishments like the buttons for the carrot nose (hope I can find one) and scarf will have to wait until the quilting is done.  For the moment I’m actually caught up on a project!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Jane Stickle Block Progress

It’s time to make my monthly progress report on Jane Stickle blocks.  I can only count six finishes this month.  Several of them have inset seams so it takes me more time to make them. 


There should have been seven…but alas, this is what I discovered when I went to press this block for the last time.  (It was rather late.)