Thursday, January 29, 2015

Getting Ready

Most quilt related activity this week has been of the “getting ready” variety.  I am signed up to participate in a workshop led by Bonnie Hunter in San Antonio the middle of February and less than a week later one led by Gyleen Fitzgerald at our local Quilt Club.  Fortunately both projects are ones a can shop for in my stash.  I’ve been busily slicing and dicing my way through a bunch of fabric.  As that is my least favorite part of the quilt-making process, I've tried to allow myself lots of time before the workshop dates.

The brown paper bag is a new addition to my quilting arsenal.  Bonnie is much more liberal than my comfort zone allows for the selection of neutral fabrics.  She sometimes uses the color of a brown paper bag as the standard for determining whether a fabric is too dark to use as a neutral.

The quilt we will be making in San Antonio is called Texas Tumbleweeds from her book:  More Adventures with Leaders and Enders.

I have a supply list for Gyleen’s class, but not a lot of information about the project other than it will be a feathered star block.

Now that my husband is feeling much better from the surgery he had three weeks ago, he is really getting bored.  Lately he has been flying his radio-controlled helicopters…into the ceiling, walls, light fixtures and house plants.  I do hope he is well enough to spend time doing this outdoors soon.

Friday, January 23, 2015


The ugly fabric challenge quilt is quilted.  I hope I can find the strips I cut for the binding. 

We've had several cold, rainy days in a row here with an accumulation of 1.37 inches over the last 48 hours.  No one is complaining for the inconvenience and discomfort, not even the soggy grocery shoppers I encountered at the store.  The rain is very much appreciated.  The lake levels had come up 4 inches as of last night.  Not all that much, but moving in the right direction.

My white Christmas cactus has started blooming again.

Monday, January 19, 2015

A Semi-Successful Experiment

For a time after the holidays, the gloves I use when free motion quilting were MIA.  They had been tucked away in a very logical place when the sewing room was dismantled to make room air mattresses. Problem is, much of the time my brain is not that logical and I was losing a lot of quilting time while I searched.  I was beginning to panic until I remembered a tip from a lecture at Quilt Festival about using sheets of shelf liner instead of gloves and for a time that’s what I did.  The shelf liner sheets work, but they are definitely not my favorite.  Fortunately, my gloves eventually surfaced.  

While at the grocery store this morning, I found these $2 lightweight gardening gloves.  They will be my next experiment.  I've seen other bloggers talk about using them, and at that price I may pick up several more pairs if I like them.  It's not always easy to find the made-for-quilting variety locally.

Sunday, January 18, 2015


Frequently when I begin to do handwork, Maddie insists on hopping into my lap and snuggling down.  I love my handwork and I love my lap dog, so I’m learning to enjoy both at once.  I know this picture looks a little scary.  When I’m really stitching and not trying to juggle a camera in one hand and posed stitching in the other, my hands are resting on a small box of sewing notions or lap desk between my stitching hand and Maddie.  So, the real danger is that my sewing stuff will go flying when she shifts positions, not her getting poked with a needle.  I’m linking up with Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching.  She challenged us to include a picture of our hands today.  Click on the link to see what other busy hands are up to.

Saturday, January 17, 2015


I had such ambitious plans yesterday about making progress on quilting the ugly fabric challenge.  Then I flipped it over and saw part of the edge was folded over and stitched onto the backing.  Oh, well... So, I plopped myself down in front of my computer monitor and watched an episode of The Quilt Show while I did some frog stitching.

My amaryllis and red Christmas cactus are beginning to fade, but both are still in bloom.  I have really enjoyed them this season.  I had a friend in the Dallas area who re-planted the amaryllis bulbs in her flowerbeds.  That is somewhat problematic here as we have cloth mulch and I don't want to poke more holes in it.  I am thinking about sticking it in a pot outside this spring and seeing what happens.

Monday, January 12, 2015

It's a Start

The ugly fabric challenge quilt has been sandwiched for a couple of days, and as usual I have procrastinated beginning the quilting.  Finally, tonight I sat down to the machine and started work on it.  If hubby is released from the hospital to come home tomorrow as anticipated, I’ll be at home more.  I don’t know if that will result in more or less opportunity to sit at my machine.  At least if I do get the chance, I’m ready to go.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Slow Stitching on Sunday

I spent a lot of time in hospital waiting rooms last week as hubby underwent surgery.  I thought I would make more progress on hexagons than I did, but at least I did make some.  The neck light was a purchase when I attended Quilt Festival last year. This was a planned surgery and I knew from experience that there was neither enough light nor surface area to work without something like this.  After our Quilt Club President included it in one of her monthly tips, I went on a search for it.  It isn't as good as a nicely positioned task light, of course, but it definitely does the job. I’ll be back today, so I'll have more opportunity to work on them.  

The patient is doing great, though in his case the word “patient” does not seem to apply all that well.  I’m linking up to Kathy’s  Slow Stitching Sunday post.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

A Pieced Backing

I finished piecing a backing for my ugly fabric challenge quilt last night using fabric remnants and fat quarters.  The instructions for this technique are by Gyleen Fitzgerald and can be found here.   This is the project that specifically called for a 15 inch square ruler.  I also found a batting remnant so I should be able to get this project to sandwich stage fairly soon.  Gyleen will speak at our Quilt Club in February and I hope to have it finished by then.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Starting 2015 with a Flimsy

We are in wait mode for our next round of company to arrive sometime later today, so I used the time to finish my ugly fabric challenge top.  The next step is to piece a backing from some fabric I've pulled from my stash.  Due to some family plans, I doubt this project will be finished in time for the January Quilt Club meeting when we were asked to bring whatever we made from the challenge fabric.  I would love to finish it by the end of February.

2014 was not all that productive a year for completing projects.  I know it’s unwise to compare, but the year-end summaries that have popped up on the blogs I follow blow me away.  Life permitting, I want to pick up the pace in 2015.  My goal with regard to my quilting is to have fun, and not to fret over its imperfections.

If I have a word for 2015, it’s “enough!”  …well, maybe not quite enough fabric.  :-)