Sunday, July 27, 2014

Handwork on Sunday

The preliminary stitching in the ditch continued yesterday on the Carol Doak quilt. I am using invisible polyester thread for this stage.  I wish it weren't so shiny, but it is less noticeable than any other choice I could have made.  This stage is monotonous enough that I am able to listen to a book I downloaded from the library.

I also attached the binding to the front of the split nine-patch quilt yesterday.  Today I’ll be doing handwork on it as my Slow Stitching Sunday project at Kathy’s Quilts.  Except for the backing, this quilt came entirely from my scrap stash.  The binding fabric was part of a scrap bag I won as a door price during the Hawaii quilting cruise.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Cutting Table is Mine Again...Temporarily

Bob was as good as his word and freed up the cutting table yesterday.  I spent some time trimming the split nine-patch quilt that I had finished quilting and piecing a backing.

Today I’ve begun the process of creating a sandwich using the Carol Doak design from last year’s quilt cruise.

We were surprised by two isolated showers today, giving us just over a 1/10th inch of rain.  The forecast had predicted a 0% probability.  I am so glad it was wrong.

Monday, July 21, 2014

At Long Last

This top was made from split nine-patch blocks that were Bonnie Hunter’s Leader/Ender challenge in the summer of 2013 (I think).  I finally finished quilting it today.  I did the stitching in the ditch on my Janome as well as some straight-line stitching using my walking foot.  By the time I had finished that stage, my HQ16 had been converted to a sit down model and I did the rest of the quilting on it.  Part of the work was free motion; part used stencils; and some involved ruler work.  There was a lot of learning going on during all this as my machine and I became friends again and it definitely shows.  Nonetheless, I’m happier with the results than I expected. 

As soon as Bob reaches a stopping point on his project and clears my cutting table, I’ll trim it.  Hopefully, that will happen sometime this week.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Slow Stitching on Sunday

Yesterday afternoon I did the prep work on the next borders for the Jill Finley quilt project while watching Quilt Show videos on my iPad.  There are 18 flower motifs to be hand stitched, so it will take a while to complete this stage.  Now I have something to work on while Bob uses the remote this afternoon to navigate between golf and Tour de France.  I’m linking up with Slow Sunday Stitching today at Kathy’s Quilts.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Fun Outing

“Out in Lukenbach, Texas, there ain’t nobody feelin’ no pain,” so the country-western lyrics go.  There really is a Lukenbach, Texas.  It’s only about an hour’s drive from here, but until yesterday, neither Bob nor I had ever been there.  I fell in love with the old oak tree in front of what used to be a Post Office until 1971.

If you blink, you’ll miss the turn off to it.  Signs for sale in the souvenir store say the population is 3 and they may not be exaggerating.  

It was a fun jaunt for us and Bob was nice enough to let me spend some time (and money) in a quilt shop along the route.  Here is my loot.

The large green cut is for a backing to the Jill Finley quilt I’ve been working on.  The rest are just fabrics that made me feel happy.

It was overcast all day and when we got home around 3:00 or so, I had to take a picture of the outside thermometer.  Mid-seventies in a Central Texas July afternoon are extremely rare, and appreciated.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Quilt Center Pieced

The center appliqued blocks and first border are together on the Jill Finley quilt project.  The next step is to prep an upper and lower border for applique.  There will be a final pieced border on all four sides.  

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Jane Stickle Triangle,Left Side - 11

I enjoyed the day sewing with friends and managed to complete this Jane Stickle triangle block.  If I haven’t miscounted, I have one triangle left.

I've also begun the long process of cutting 1 inch strips for sashings.  The sashing fabric is much darker than it appears in this photograph.  

Sunday, July 13, 2014

So Close and Yet So Far…to Finishing This Project

Will it be soccer, golf or Tour de France?  I haven’t got a clue since hubby has control of the remote and two of the three are being recorded.  I guess it doesn't matter; for the most part I’ll have my head down doing the handwork on the remaining center block of the Jill Finley project I've been working on since April.  Once it is finished, I can put the 16 blocks on the design wall and begin figuring out how to arrange them.  There are borders to work on next, two of them requiring more applique.

Yesterday I set aside numerous household chores that are demanding attention and indulged in some quilty time with friends.  My regular day with them is Tuesday, but there were about five of us who decided to gather yesterday.  I know of few things in life quite as relaxing as spending time with good friends doing something I love.  Since it was a spur-of-the-moment decision I grabbed my applique handwork basket.

I’m linking up with Kathy’s Slow Stitching Sunday, because that most definitely describes my plan for the afternoon.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

One of Those Days and Jane Stickle Triangle

I think maybe I better stay in for the rest of the day.

It began shortly after 6:00 this morning when I let the two dogs out and the chase began with an armadillo.  Fortunately, the little guy managed to get through the fence before they got to him.  

…and the day continued in that vein:  verifying that not only have I lost a filling, but the dentist is on vacation; knocking over a huge pile of boxes in a shoe department; being the ramming target of every cart at the grocery store; and finally coming in to change clothes after washing the dog (she always wants to share the water with me), looking down and ... well…

Not only do they not look alike, they don't even feel alike.

Anyway, yesterday was a good bit more productive, at least in the in the quilting department.  Here is Jane Stickle Triangle Left Side 10, Megan’s Cathedral.  This one was actually pretty straight forward.  Two triangles and four corner kites remain. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Difficult Decision

Some decisions are harder than others.  After our experience with a broken waterline at the ranch house, and Bob’s two month recovery from the first of a series of potential surgeries, I reluctantly decided to convert my HQ 16 quilter to a sit-down machine that can be operated in my sewing room at our primary residence.  The process required that I purchase a special table and foot pedal.  Handle bars had to be removed and new lights installed.  My Handiquilter dealer made the 40 mile drive to our house to make the conversion.  She also verified that my machine came through the flood undamaged and that the timing is good.

Since then I've been working at becoming friends with my quilting machine all over again.  I've lost the stitch regulator, the ability to use pantographs and the speed that comes from using a machine mounted on a carriage, but I have gained more accessibility and a feeling of greater control from being up close and personal with my work.  I am convinced that I made the right decision.  And, for the time being at least, I still have all the bits and pieces that would make it possible for me to reverse the process again. 

I always feel like I've accomplished something when I retire one of these thread cones, even if it was a sample cone with less yardage than the regular ones.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Jane Stickle Triangle -- Left Side 9

I joined my Tuesday quilting friends group yesterday and worked on this Jane Stickle bock named Kiwi.  It was pretty straight forward applique work, and I enjoyed being able to work on something that allowed me to be productive without having to concentrate so much on what I was doing.  The next two blocks in the queue will be primarily paper piecing.