Thursday, March 27, 2014

One Stage Finished and a Feathered Visitor

The handwork on the Jill Finley block from our last quilt club workshop is complete and ready to stow away until May when Sue Garman will lead a workshop on fitting pieced borders around a medallion center.  I understand she will start by setting a 12” block of our choice on point and go from there, and this block just happens to finish at 12".  Wasn't that good planning on the part of our Program Chairman.

I had stepped outside this morning and spotted this beautiful American White Pelican at the pond near our house.  Egrets and herons are regulars here along with the occasional osprey.  This is first pelican I've seen and he kindly stayed long enough for me to dash back in the house and grab my camera. When I first glimpsed him, he was at the water's edge with his wings outspread looking truly magnificent. You can't tell from this isolated shot, but this guy (or gal) is really huge!  A Master Naturalist friend tells me they will be migrating out of our area in the near future.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Another Tuesday Triangle

Here is Jane Stickle border triangle, BR-9, Sue’s Garden.  I was actually able to finish this block while sewing with friends today despite a late start and a lunch commitment.  It’s definitely neither my favorite block nor my best work, but it is done.  That makes me very happy.  Some of these blocks are sewn.  Others feel more like they are built, and this is one of the latter.  I believe I have 13 triangles and four corner kites remaining.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Jane Stickle Triangle

Uh, oh….


Done, at last.  Here is LS-12, Button Hook.  It was a fairly straight forward block except I managed to reverse two of the triangle components on the base.  The top diamond applique piece is really, really small.  It's a little bit askew, but after all the "fun" I've had with this one, I am going to leave well enough alone.

In November Bob surprised me with a blooming cyclamen on my birthday.  It soon entered a dormant period, but starting last week, blooms began to appear again.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Doll Quilt is Bound-Labeled-Done

Now that it has reached its destination in South Carolina, I can show my contribution to the 2014 "Get Your Mrs. Claus Hat On" project.  I used up almost all the triangle squares that did not make it into my split nine patch quilt.  

The Mrs. Claus project has been close to my heart since it began a few years ago.  The quilts are paired with handmade doll beds and cradles and gifted to children with special needs during the Christmas season.  Follow this link for more information.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Workshop Day

Many of us in the quilt club enjoyed a workshop Wednesday with Jill Finley.  We made a block from one of her books using her techniques for making triangle squares, turned edge applique using freezer paper templates, and bias stems made from a bias strip maker.  I had already been exposed to some of the techniques, but as always, each instructor adds to our tool box of skills.

This is my block which has been glue basted and is ready for hand stitching.  The points on the leaf tips will be tidied up as the hand stitching is done.   The hardest part for me was trying to make the stems for the two outside flowers symmetrical.  I still need to practice that part.

This workshop exercise yielded a 12 inch block which we can use at the May workshop when another instructor leads us through exercises in making pieced borders fit on a medallion quilt.

We only had the use of our space at the church until 3:00 and the time flew by.  I think everyone had a great time.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Looking Forward to Some Play Time

Many thanks to those who sent encouraging messages after my last post.  Progress in cleaning and repairing the ranch house is underway.  The insurance representatives and the company contracted to do the clean-up are at work.  Dehumidifiers have been set up and the plumber has repaired the source of the problem.  

Tomorrow is quilt club day and it looks like I’m moving.  This pile includes my officer materials, sewing machine and applique tools, all of which will be needed at the meeting and workshop that follows.  It doesn't include lunch which I have to take due to the limited amount of time we have at the church.

I haven’t had much opportunity to use my sweet Featherweight lately, so I gave her a spa treatment today.  The carrier I'm using is about 10 times bigger than I need, but is the only one available at the moment. Some of the lose items stacked in the pile will end up being tucked inside.  Her original box has deteriorated to the point of being untrustworthy.

I’m looking forward to a fun day.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Slight Detour

Life delivered something of a detour Tuesday.  While sewing with friends I received an urgent call from Bob who had gone to the ranch.  A waterline had broken and extensive house repairs will be required.  Since then, much of our time has been consumed with the situation.  My HQ16 quilter had to be dismantled and removed from the house along with other valuables.  Quilts, clothing and linens that can be salvaged are being laundered.  Ultimately, it will work out, but in the interim things are in a mess. 

As a result, I have very little quilting progress to report, but I have finally knitted up all my dishcloth yarn, except for a gigantic cone I purchased at a thrift store. 

Here is my collection of 20 dishcloths for my own use as well as the gift drawer. 

Today I decided to take a break and joined a friend for a visit to the quilt guild meeting in San Antonio.  Gyleen Fitzpatrick delivered a wonderful program on using scraps.  Lunch and two quilt stores later I was feeling much better.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Doing the Happy Dance!

I still can’t believe how very fortunate I am (insert squeal).  Vicky at LA Quilter recently offered a wonderful giveaway to commemorate doggy Penny’s fifth birthday and her blog’s eighth anniversary.   The prize was a tower of French General Esprit De Noel fat quarters.  Long have I eyed the French General collections, but never made the plunge, so I was stunned to learn I had won the drawing. 

My box arrived today.  I could not believe how big a tower of fat quarters is. 

It includes 33 fat quarters with no repeats.  Now I am in search of a fat-quarter-friendly pattern that will show off the beauty of this collection, and I’m open to suggestions.

Thank you so very much, Vicky!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Tuesdays Mean Sewing with Friends and Jane Stickle Blocks

Tuesday’s Jane Stickle triangle block was LS-1, Nancee’s Fantasy.  It required paper piecing and applique and went together surprisingly quickly. 

Our icy weather morphed into a gorgeous sunny afternoon in the 50s, quite a change from the sleet and icy conditions of the morning.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Thunder Sleet and Applique

We went to bed to a thunder sleet storm last night and woke up to freezing temps and ice.  It's kind of pretty seeing the sun shine through it, and this photo of our rain chain does not do it justice.

Fortunately, the roads in our area are clear, although the “big city” 40 miles to our east has chaos conditions for rush hour.  I should be able to leave for Sit 'N Sew Day shortly.

Last night I watched Bonnie Hunter's Quilt-Cam while I did applique prep work for one of the Jane Stickle triangle blocks I’ll be working on today.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Split Nine Patch Now a Flimsy

My split nine patch scrappy quilt is now a flimsy.  I really had fun with this one and it has been entirely made from stash remnants.  I now have two tops that are ready to be sandwiched and quilted.

Our high temperature yesterday was 80.  As I prepare this post this afternoon, my computer gadget tells me it is 29 degrees.  It’s also very windy and damp…good weather to be inside sewing.