Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Growing My Library

I recently saw pictures of quilts made from this designer's patterns and was fascinated by the detailed work in them.  When I saw these books go on sale, I decided to add them to my library, though I can't imagine when I will attempt one of her projects.  For now, they are just beautiful eye candy.

It seems like the unexpected opportunities to splurge are coming rapidly these days.  I caught a sale from a favorite online vendor this weekend and invested in some fabric for July's workshop.  Today I get to go to a for real brick and mortar quilt shop.  All I need at this point is some batting, but we'll see what comes home with me.  

Monday, June 29, 2015

Friendship Bags

It took longer than I expected to finish this batch of friendship bags, but they are now ready for delivery to the July Quilt Club meeting.  I made them for the boutique that will be part of our quilt show in February.  They had the advantage of using up several fabric and batting remnants.  Yay!

Next up, anti-ouch pouches; then I can begin playing again.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Well Worth the Effort

The workshop yesterday required us to haul a lot of supplies into the meeting room, but it was well worth the effort in terms of both good instruction and tremendous fun.  Our instructor was Mary Ann Hilldebrand, an art quilter who has won numerous ribbons for her work.  I neglected to get her permission to use photographs of her work, but a search on Pinterest and the internet will net numerous images.  Her subject for the workshop was free-motion quilting.  The class size was kept small and we all received lots of individual encouragement.  Here is the practice work I did in class.

Some random insights from her in class:

-- I really need to work on consistent stitch length.  I like small stitches but not microscopic.
-- When asked if she ever ripped out she said “yes….a lot!” 
-- She buries thread tails on show quilts using self-threading needles from Spiral Eye Needle Company.
-- She frequently likes to extend the design from the center of the quilt into the border, or beyond.
-- She is meticulous.  She showed us a small piece she has submitted for inclusion to a juried show.  If it’s accepted, she will have to remove the binding and trim off ¼ inch so that it meets the show’s criteria.

Next month’s workshop is being led by Sandy Klop, and I’m really looking forward to that one as well.

...and I've never outgrown the habit of chasing rainbows.  We had a shower last week that ended in a simultaneous mixture of rain and sunshine, so out I went with the camera.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


If it's Wednesday and it looks like I'm packed to move out, then it must be Quilt Club day.  Sadly, this isn't even all of it.  Following the meeting we have a workshop on free motion quilting, so I had to pack up my big Janome instead of my sweet little Featherweight.  Add to that the sewing tools, donations to the Bits 'N Pieces booth, anti-ouch pouches and the quilts from the Fair (which they asked us to bring), and I have a pretty big pile.  I sure hope I luck into a good parking place.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

County Fair Weekend

The Burnet County Fair judges were very kind to me this year.  I’ve shown these items on the blog before, but I wanted this photo so next year I can remember what I’ve already entered.  Because of some very good leadership, the Fair has grown every year.  I hope the trend continues.  We enjoyed unexpectedly rainy weather and cooler temps today, but attendance was still good.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Making Bags and (still) Cutting

My cutting marathon, which could more aptly be compared to an occasional stroll around the block, continues.  Now, however, I’m working against a deadline.  My cutting table needs to be cleared and stowed by Monday when we are expecting people to come by the house. 

During the process I’ve started cutting and making these cute little gift bags loosely based on a free tutorial at Rachel Griffith's site.   I have a dozen of these in various stages of completion and will donate them to the Quilt Club’s boutique for the show in February.  They are a great way to use up smallish cuts of fabric and remnants of batting, and they make great hostess gifts. 

…and in an effort to keep both of us comfortable while sitting on our patio this summer, hubby has purchased a second swamp cooler so I can have a cool breeze too.  Life is good.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

More Texas Tumbleweed Blocks

Hubby and I went to a nearby farmer’s market this morning, but we were disappointed in the sparseness of the vendors.  At least half of them were craft related and relatively few had fresh produce…bummer.  At least the outing was fun.  After that we made two quick stops and were home by lunchtime.  This is ROT (Republic of Texas) Rally weekend during which thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts congregate in Austin.  Many of them enjoy group excursions to the Hill Country; so, we wanted to return home before the highway traffic built up.

I stayed in the cool house and enjoyed the girl chatter during Bonnie Hunter’s Quilt-Cam this afternoon.  These are the Texas Tumbleweed blocks I worked on.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Star Blocks Started

Now that the sub-units for the Texas Tumble Weeds pattern are complete, I can start making the star blocks.  Five are done; “only” 31 remaining.  Now is when I find out if I have enough diversity in the fabrics I chose to work with.

My stack of things being culled from my sewing space this month is slowly growing.  These items, and hopefully enough more to completely fill the sack, will be donated to the Bits ‘n Pieces booth for the February 2016 Quilt Club Show.  I sat in on the Quilt Show Committee meeting this week.  Plans are well underway and excitement is growing.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Plugging Along

I'm still doggedly working at taming piles like this, 

...into piles like this.  It's a slow process involving ironing and lots of starch, but it's gradually getting done.  

My pieced hexagon quilt is still on the design wall and every time I look in that direction I end up moving something around.  

Not pictured are two more hand pieced blocks that came out of the workshop led by Ami Simms.  Once those are complete, I'll start making more red hexagons to border it.

This is the time of year the turtles in our area start moving cross country from one pond to another.  This guy (or gal) decided to retreat into its shell as soon as the dogs and I approached.  It's about average size.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Moving Forward

June has had a productive start so far.

My 11 anti-ouch pouches are complete and ready to hand in at the June Quilt Club meeting.

The last sub units for Texas Tumbleweeds were finished as I watched Quilt-Cam Tuesday night.  Now I can start laying out blocks.

And the first tomato and jalapeno peppers of the season are ripe! 

The rain has gone and we are now punching 90+ degrees every day, but it is still nice and green.  According to the LCRA, Lake Buchanan is now at 50% of full and Lake Travis is 80% of full.  Mandatory water restrictions in our area have been relaxed to voluntary status but we are still asked to limit watering to certain hours twice a week.