Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Since I Last Posted

The quilting highlight of my past few weeks was most definitely my visit to the International Quilt Festival in Houston.  It was physically exhausting, financially costly and emotionally draining and altogether wonderful.  It dished up equal amounts of inspiration and humility, and I hope I will get to go again.

The adventure began with just getting to the hotel entrance.  It seems the final World Series game was just a few city blocks away and the streets were crammed with fans and television crews. 

We were fortunate to be in one of the hotels attached to the George R. Brown Convention center and once in, I did not have to venture outside again until it was time to leave. 

There is no way my photography would do justice to what I saw.  This link will take you to the Festival web site where there are pictures of some of the winners.

In other quilty activity…

A friend has had to take an interim position at our church due to the sudden death of a staff member.  She asked me to help her complete a Christmas tree skirt she had promised to her son.  The pattern she gave me was really for a table topper.  I used the traced templates she provided and made the topper from my own stash before I had the courage to cut into her fabric.

This is how her tree skirt turned out after I enlarged the templates she provided.

And, then I made one for me using the only fabric purchase I made at Quilt Festival.

Winter weather has arrived in the Texas Hill Country.  Fortunately, we had no road issues here, but our rain chain is frozen this morning.

Tuesday is usually the day I go out and sew with friends.  I decided to enjoy my nice cozy house instead.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Next UFO Chosen

No finishes to show off as September winds to a close, but I have been at work on my quilting and sewing projects.  I delivered 19 anti-ouch pouches to last week’s guild meeting bringing my total for 2019 to 111.  Saturday was spent with three friends doing housekeeping chores at the place where we gather to sew.  It was both hard work and fun, and the place looks much brighter.

I selected this as the next UFO to quilt and bind.  Backing fabric has been pulled from the stash and batting has been preshrunk.  I expect there will be a lot of stitching in the ditch on this one.

And always, my ¾ inch hexies are my go-to handwork project at night or while traveling. 

Finally, we passed a number of exotic game ranches during a country drive last Friday.  I don't really know what kind of critter this is, but it is definitely not your typical Texas white tail deer. 

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Wall Quilt

I managed to squeeze in a finish on the last day of August.  This is a small wall quilt from Kim Diehl's Simple Whatnots Club last year.  I still have several more to complete. 

We were surprised this morning by a nice shower that gave us a little more than half an inch of rain and was very happily received.

Monday, August 26, 2019

11 Years in the Making

I began my version of the civil War Quilt by Jane Stickle in 2008.  It was that year when, quite unexpectedly, I had to opportunity to stand in front of the original while travelling in the Northeast.

By late November, 2014, it was a flimsy and hung in the closet with its backing band binding fabrics waiting for me to get the courage to quilt it.  I decided this year that I would rather have someone else tackle it, and finally it is a finished quilt!

Many friends gave me batik scraps to use in its construction.  The quilt is so large, the only picture I have of it, so far, was taken when I unveiled at last week’s Guild meeting.  

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Good Sewing Weather

This is the extended weather forecast that greeted me when I clicked on my weather app this morning.  I am very grateful for a working ac these days. 

While I haven’t mustered the energy to blog lately, I have been at work in my studio (and in my favorite easy chair and at my sewing groups).  So far this year I’ve delivered 92 anti-ouch pouches to the Guild which will be distributed to breast surgery patients.  My annual goal remains at 100.  However, with the guild’s membership putting much of its energy into preparing for our February show, I’ve tried to step up my production.

I’ve also taken a detour from quilting and made these crossbody bags.  The first one I made had issues and serves as a model.  As I became more comfortable with the techniques, I really started enjoying them.  The pattern is available through Brynwood Needleworks.

Monday, June 24, 2019

It's Red

Long time, no post, but I have been on the road a lot in June. 

However, I do have a finish to show!

No one ever said I was a fast quilter.  This project began as a workshop with Mickey Depre, author of Pieced Hexies, in August 2014.  I quilted it with simple vertical rows.  All it lacks is a label.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Butterfly Applique Project

It’s been a while since I worked on an applique project.  When a group I sew with decided to do a project for the guild’s silent auction in February, I was assigned the task of appliqueing three of the medium size butterflies for a quilt designed by Edyta Sitar.  Today I was able to pass these blocks off to the person who will embroider the antennae.  Our instructions were to use any applique method we liked as long as it was turned edge and stitched by hand.

I elected to use starch and a heat resistant template to prep the wings.  

After letting it rest several days, I returned to the Kim Diehl project with all the blunted points.  I worked on it a little more and I think it is better.

Monday, May 27, 2019

At Last, Something to Post About

Earlier this year I had to cancel out of a quilt retreat I had been looking forward to for months.  Life simply decided to happen at the time of the retreat.  So, I was over the moon happy when three friends invited me to join them for a retreat last week.  Did I ever have fun; and I was even productive.

Jeanette brought her collection of zipper bag patterns and gave me some lessons.  She started with bags made of screening.  Then we moved on to a lined, fabric pouch and a cross-body bag, both by Lazy Girl Designs. 

I started this 2018 Simple Whatnots project by Kim Diehl.  No matter how hard I tried, some of my points are cut off.  I finally decided life was too short to keep fussing with it.  I still need to add the remaining borders.

I also managed to complete 15 anti-ouch pouches.

Of course, I had to help the local economy.  There was a the quilt shop attached to the retreat center, and they were having a sale.  This is how I used the Mother’s Day gift from Julia. 

Chocolate was plentiful and the scales were not kind to me upon my return.  I’m working at getting back with the program and hopefully the damage will be reversed before too long.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

A Red and White Finish

I appreciate the supportive comments I received after my last post.  Hubby's health has improved and I also am feeling much better.  Gradually I am pulling myself out of the slump I was in.

One red quilt project is complete and another is in the process of being pin basted.   It was late in the day when I took this picture.  The real quilt is not nearly this dark.  I am so happy to be finally moving forward on some of my projects. 

Tuesday was spent with friends cutting anti-ouch pouch kits.  Our total stands at 230 kits from the two giant tubs of fabric we received.  The lady who says she actually enjoys ironing the fabric before we cut it has an injured hand, and will be out of commission for a while.  Since others in our group will be travelling off and on all summer, we are asking the project coordinator to hold off delivering more fabric until the August guild meeting.  I’ve also stitched up 10 pouches.  I had to stand at a weird angle while taking the picture to minimize the glare on the ruler.  It kind of makes me dizzy looking at it.

We’ve had an exceptionally wet spring and the plants, including the cacti, are loving it.

My blackberry bushes are also producing.  The first one I sampled was rather tart, but hopefully others will be sweet.

Friday, April 19, 2019


The last month has been very unsettled for us and I found I had little time for stitching and no urge to blog.  While I can’t say things are more settled, I am returning to my quilting/stitching activities.  Primarily I’ve wanted to do mindless type machine work.  So, this week I delivered 11 anti-ouch pouches to the guild meeting and have begun quilting this top with a simple meander.  

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Back to the Stash

I dove back into my stash and found some fabrics to replace two of my least favorite blocks in my red and white project.  I’m liking it better now.  I’ll let it remain on the design wall a while so I can think about it some more.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Time to Start Tweaking

I think this is enough red and white blocks for a small throw quilt, and I’ve begun playing with layouts.  This is not the final and there are still a couple of blocks I may want to replace with different fabrics, but I will sleep on it tonight.  It's amazing how looking at a photograph of a quilt makes trouble areas easier to spot.

I found this red and white print that may work for a border.

We had three hard freezes at the beginning of the week.  The high today was 40 plus degrees warmer than the highs Monday and Tuesday.  The wildflowers should be okay despite the freezes, but it remains to be seen if the peach crop will survive.  During an outing last week, we saw many orchards already in bloom.  

Monday, February 25, 2019

More Red and White Blocks

Several more red and white blocks have been added to my design wall.  More are needed and some of these may not make the final cut, but I feel like I am closing in on this project. There is one bright block in the very center that bothers me.

My Tuesday sewing friends and I finished kitting up all four tubs of fabric that we had been given for anti-ouch pouches.  Last Wednesday, 509 kits were delivered to the project coordinator at the guild meeting.  Once packaged with sewing instructions, they can be distributed to the membership for construction.

I was recently reminded that it has been a while since I explained what anti-ouch pouches are.  They are a small cushion with adjustable straps that hang from the shoulder and provide protection to the surgical site for patients who have undergone breast surgeries or biopsies.  Working on this project gives me great joy because we hear from the recipients and know they are used and appreciated.  The web address for the pattern is listed on my sidebar. 

The average last freeze date for this area is February 23rd.  It will be interesting to see if that’s the case this year.  We are already seeing a lot of plants in bloom and I spotted some baby geese while driving home today.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Anti-Ouch Pouches

The anti-ouch pouch project coordinator for our local guild recently asked for help in taking “raw” fabric and turning it into kits for the membership.  My Tuesday friends and I volunteered to help in this effort.  

It’s fortunate that this is being tackled on a team basis.  We received four filled-to-the-rim tubs of fabric which had to be ironed, cut, and folded.  The first tub yielded 121 kits.  Each kit requires just under one-half yard of fabric.  That's a lot of fabric processed and we're only one-fourth of the way through.

Out with the old, in with the new.

That project has really cut into my machine time, but I did manage to empty a cone of thread, and then stitched two more red and white blocks.  

Unfortunately, I discovered one of the blocks I made last week has the color layout wrong.  I’ve set it aside until I’m ready to re-do it.

After last week’s marvelous spring-like weather, we’ve had a cool down.  It’s certainly not the ordeal being faced by many, just cold, damp, and dreary days that beg for an afternoon nap.  Maddie doesn’t mind, though.  More nap time just means more lap time.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Red and White Blocks and a Win

A few more red and white blocks have been added to my design wall.  I haven’t decided how many I will want for the top, but I doubt I am half way through yet.

Last Tuesday I was able to join my sewing pals for a full day.  A friend let me go through some of her remnants and I captured these reds and neutrals for my hexagon quilt.  Unfortunately, the cuts are not quite large enough to incorporate in the quilt shown above.

Also waiting for me at our gathering spot was a basket I won at a neighboring guild’s quilt show.  It was loaded with all kinds of goodies including a kitted Be Attitudes quilt.  I’m not sure if I want to incorporate these new blocks in my WIP or perhaps gift it away.  I need to pull out the one I have started and see if the finishing kit might work.

I know many of my readers continue to struggle with absolutely horrific winter weather while we experience a much warmer than normal first week of February.  I hope it doesn’t offend anyone that I’ve included two pictures from my walk today.

February 4, 2019 Rose

Blue Heron looking for a meal.
The rose (the only one on a mostly dormant bush) was a real surprise, but the heron is a year-round regular in our area.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Red and White Blocks

Last week was chopped up by numerous appointments, most of which were out of town.  Consequently, I had very limited machine stitching time.  I did manage to add five new blocks to my red quilt, though, and that made me happy. 

We had a perfectly lovely day today, but a front has already blown in this evening.  We won’t experience anything like the frigid weather expected to the north.  Stay warm, everyone!

Monday, January 21, 2019

Looking toward the next project

What a week it was.  Hubby has been hospitalized three times in the last 40 days in three different cities.  The most recent admission was in the wee hours Sunday morning for monitoring.  He is on the road to recovery, thankfully, and will be released today.  In a few hours, our daughter and two grandsons will be here to celebrate a delayed Christmas. So, as they say, it’s all good.

The only sewing I managed to do last week was completing the 15 anti-ouch pouches I had started and then delivering them to Guild meeting Wednesday. 

I also pulled out these red and white blocks and put them on the design wall.  This is the project I would like to focus on next.  However, as we have follow-up medical appointments to deal with this week, there may not be a lot of sewing.

Meanwhile, seen on a recent walk:   some of our winter Texans waiting for a handout from a kind neighbor.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Another Finish

I finished quilting and binding this wall quilt from Kim Diehl’s 2018 Simple Whatnots Club.  I took it, along with my recently finished hexagon quilt, for “show and share” at a gathering yesterday.   

This was my contribution to the dessert table, shortbread made from a recipe I gleaned from
Wanda's blog a few years ago.  It tastes really good with hot coffee or tea.

This week I am trying to finish up the anti-ouch pouch kits I have on hand so they can go with me to the Guild’s meeting Wednesday.  Once done, I can indulge in some more play time!

Sunday, January 6, 2019

A Finish

Like so many quilt bloggers I follow, my resolutions/goals/hopes for 2019 are pretty much the same:  lose weight, walk more, use my stash, etc.  Because I want to keep things as simple as possible in the quilting realm, I’ve decided to just focus on finishing more quilt projects than I start.  

I’m off to a good start.  Here is my first finish of 2019.  It is English paper pieced hexagons using a design by Edyta Sitar from her book, Handfuls of Scraps.  I elected not to do the applique border and my hexies are slightly smaller than those called for in the pattern.  It measures approximately 55 X 59 inches.  I started it in July 2016, so it took me 2 ½ years to complete.

Finishes 1, starts 0!  (Also, I’m working on the binding for a small wall quilt.)