Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Color on a Dreary Day

It’s always nice to get a splash of color during dreary winter days.  

Just for fun I put some of my pieced hexagons on the design wall, in no particular order.  They are bright!

This amaryllis opened the first of four buds yesterday.  I found bulb kit this fall at a big box store.  It was half the price I had seen them in the past, so I couldn't resist it.

My Christmas cactus is also blooming.  I brought this one home last year and it immediately dropped all its buds.  I was afraid I might never see it in bloom.

Friday, December 26, 2014

An Early Arrival

An online order arrived unexpectedly ahead of schedule Christmas Eve.  This is the box it came in.

...and here is what came in it (the ruler, not the dog).  Remarkably, this 15 inch rotary ruler protected by a little wadded up brown paper was totally undamaged! Maddie, of course, had to check it out. It was specifically called for in a project I will be doing, and was not a size I could find locally.  I thought it would be useful, so decided to get it.

I included it in an order so I could get the free shipping and thought it would be sent with everything else; but it came early.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Progress on Ugly Fabric Challenge and Stash Additions

As time permits, I've been working on my Ugly Fabric Challenge quilt.  All center blocks are done and on the design wall.  I've already changed the arrangement since taking this picture and will probably tweak it some more.  This has become my “sanity” project for the holiday season. 

Santa Claus arrived early for me.  Hubby suggested a spontaneous outing yesterday that included a stop at a quilt shop.  These came home with me.  They will be the borders and bridge fabrics for a workshop scrap quilt I will be making in February.  I also picked up some neutral fat quarters that may go in the quilt as well.

To all my readers I extend a heartfelt Merry Christmas wish.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

More Pineapple Blocks

It doesn't take me long to make a mess when I’m working with 1 ½ inch strips of fabric.  

My collection of pineapple blocks using the ugly fabric from the Quilt Club Exchange has grown to 16.  I think I will aim for 25 to make a usable throw.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Stars Over Hawaii Is Bound, Labeled, Done

My Carol Doak designed quilt, the last from the September 2013 Hawaiian quilting cruise is finished.  At 49” square, it is not a large quilt.  However, it was fairly labor intensive to construct and was entirely paper pieced.  It is a design with lots of secondary patterns. 

Coincidentally, this is also my 100th post this year, the first time I have ever blogged that often in one year.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Officer Term Draws to a Close

Our Quilt Club’s outgoing board members gathered for a last meeting and luncheon this week.  I confess I am ready to hand over the responsibilities to my successor, though it has been a very good experience to serve as an officer the last two years.  

It has been a special joy to serve with our outgoing president.  She took the job on very short notice when our president-elect was unexpectedly forced to relocate.  She served with humor, grace and courage, all the qualities you would hope to have in a presiding officer.  

Each of the outgoing board members was given a small quilt.  No two were alike.  This is the one I received.  She made it using the pattern from the Karen Stone workshop we had earlier this year.  I will treasure it.

Friday, December 5, 2014

One Comes Off the Quilter

I finished quilting the last project that was part of the quilting cruise I took in September 2013.  While trimming it, I spotted some areas that needed a little more quilting and had to take it back to the machine.  I'm calling it done now.  This quilt was designed by Carol Doak.  I hope to have it bound and labeled before year end.

A few more of our Winter Texans have arrived, though some of these have started staying here all year.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

She's Back!

Somewhere in my collection of old cookbooks, I have one with the notation “Beware of friends bearing gifts.  They may make you fat!”  Our winter Texan quilter friend, “North Dakota Carol,” has rejoined us for Tuesday’s Sit ‘n Sew gatherings.  She gifted us with these cute containers of honey which had been harvested from bee hives on land owned by her family.  It’s so good to have her back with us.

I have made two blocks for my ugly fabric challenge.  I’m using Gyleen Fitzgerald’s pineapple block tool and find it really is an easy process and a great way to use up scraps.  Hopefully I will pick up speed and get the 16 made I need for this small top.

Monday, December 1, 2014

I have a plan, of sorts...

Our final quilt club meeting of the year is a pre-holiday party and usually includes some kind of quilty game.  This year we were told to bring one yard of ugly fabric.  The rules were that the fabrics would be passed around the table (we had 7 at our table) until we were told to stop.  Then we would tear the piece we were holding in half, keep half and pass the remaining piece for the next round.  By the time we finished, each of us had a mixture of fabrics ranging in size from half a yard to a small rectangle a little bigger than the palm of my hand.  We were then told to make something with it.

I have to say that some of the fabrics were okay but others, well, what were we thinking when we paid good money for them.  Happily, none of mine came home with me.  We are permitted to add other fabrics to the mix, but we must use at least some of everything we received.

So this….

Has become this….

We’ll see how it turns out.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Jane Stickle Quilt is a Flimsy at Last!

I added the final triangle border to my Jane Stickle quilt yesterday while watching/listening to Bonnie Hunter’s Quilt-Cam.  Even though the daunting task of quilting still lies ahead, it feels like a huge weight has finally been lifted from my shoulders.

Speaking of a huge weight, this flimsy has lots of seams and thread and is very heavy.  I did not want to try to mount it on my design wall without help, so I spread it on our guest bed for this picture.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Rainy Day

We've had a lovely rainy day.  I've spent part of it here in my comfy chair close to a window where I can enjoy the sound of the rain.

It’s possible to do applique with a sleepy dog in your lap…difficult but possible.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Outgoing President Gift

Today was the last 2014 meeting for our local quilt club and it was also the day we kicked off the holiday season with a party.  The members were invited to surprise our outgoing president with 12 ½ inch basket blocks.  Here’s the one I made for her.  The pattern came from the Summer 2011 Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks issue and was designed by Dawn Heese of Linen Closet Designs.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Top Row Done on Jane Stickle Quilt

The top row for my Jane Stickle quilt, complete with two corner kites, is on the design wall.  Had I known just how troublesome those corner kites would prove to be…including inset seams, I might have stopped with the center blocks and left well enough alone.  The right corner block was especially troublesome and I’m still not sure if the time-honored ooch method will make it work.  I haven’t figured out what went wrong making it shorter than the other blocks in the row, but I surely do not want to re-do it.

We are having a cloudy day and I had to use the “auto contrast” feature for this photograph.  So, the colors are not quite true, but they are close.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Working on Jane Stickle...Still

Work is continuing on the Jane Stickle quilt.  I now have one corner kite complete and two more in various stages of completion.  

These are fairly labor intensive, but each stitch gets me closer to a finish.  


Monday, November 3, 2014

Bottom Border - Jane Stickle Quilt

The first row of border triangles for my Jane Stickle quilt is done…maybe.  Somehow I managed to reverse the order of the triangles for what is supposed to be the bottom border.  You would have thought that by my age I could tell the difference between right and left.  I will put it up against the center, and see if by chance I like the way it looks.  I am so ready to wrap up this multi-year project. The orange block in the center reminds me of a mask with a smiley face.

I started prepping one of the corner kites for applique today.  It will go with me to Sit ‘N Sew tomorrow.

We are scheduled to do a final walk-through of the ranch house Wednesday.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Quilt Nirvana

Sometimes a girl just has to play, and that’s what I did this week.  I arrived home last night with two sore feet and many good memories from the 2014 Houston International Quilt Festival.  Thanks to a good friend who generously offered me a ride and a place to stay, I was able to go.  It had been four years since I last attended and as always the experience was made up of equal parts exhilaration, fatigue, inspiration and humility. 

Here are just three of the many quilts that caught my eye.

I am always amazed at what some artists can do with fabric and thread.

 There were, of course, a gazillion vendors.  Here is the loot that came home with me.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Getting Closer...

I finished stitching sashings to the last five rows of my Jane Stickle quilt last night.  Slow progress, but progress nonetheless.  Here they are with the eight rows that have already been joined.

Work on the ranch house rebuild is nearing completion and we spent yesterday unloading boxes that the ServiceMaster crew had packed in April.  I honestly thought that over the years we had discarded most of the stuff we no longer need or can use.  But, as the boxes were opened, I discovered how wrong I was.  Much of what they contained originated with my parents including some 1934 nursing textbooks that had been squirreled away on shelving we no longer have. 

I was emotionally and physically drained by the time we returned to town yesterday, but we really got a lot accomplished.  We pressed as hard as we could since the construction guys are scheduled to haul trash away this week.  The house is a mess as the crews are still at work, and mice have taken advantage of open doors and windows to move back in.  Appliances and furniture are back in place, though, and it will be habitable by the time hunting season arrives.  That makes my husband very happy.