The celebration

The birthday boy has been celebrated for another year.

He got records and toys and a new HD video camera…so look forward to even better quilt show videos. 

On Sunday, we took one of our drives in the country and did some antique shopping.  We started at Luling Barbeque for lunch.  We highly recommend everything but the sausage.  Maybe it was just an off day for the sausage, but it was pretty darn bad (if I’d ordered it, I would have taken it back to the counter and asked for something else).  But, the turkey and the brisket and the ribs were fantastic as were the sides.  After that, we hit a couple of antique stores and then we went to Geronimo to a couple more.  I don’t see this route lasting much longer.  Once a town gets known for antiques, the price of stuff gets so high that we aren’t willing to possess it anymore. 

In Geronimo, we were walking through the big store, just behind another gay couple.  They just would not get out of our way.  They had money enough to afford to buy and not enough good sense to know that they could get it cheaper through ebay, including shipping, if they were willing to wait

I’d love to show you pictures of Rob’s, but he only took phone pictures of his loot and I can’t get them to load here. 

Electronics…every one has a good feature and every one has something stupid and quirky.  And, I’m just not willing to learn all the quirky. 

Sometimes, you just have to stop and smell the roses.


Or, the bougainvillea


Or, the iris


Even if the roses are green.


Be well everybody.  And, this time, I mean me, too.




I am blessed.  I own two featherweight machines. 

I can remember the day I found this machine at a City-Wide Garage Sale, here in Austin.  I saw it and drooled on it a bit and then walked away.  I shopped, and looked, and it was one of those rare days when I just didn’t find anything that I liked.  So, we went back and looked at the featherweight again.  And, I ended up bringing it home.  I knew nothing about the featherweight or about the craze that surrounds them.


Then, one day, while hoping I’d find a Singer 501 “Rocketeer”, I found this one in a Goodwill auction case.


They wouldn’t let me take it out and look at it before the auction, but they assured me it had been tested by them and it worked fine.  There was another lady there and she wanted it and it turned into a bidding war and we went crazy and the bidding went higher and higher and when I won, the audience applauded.  I’d paid just under the full price for it.  (Let that be a warning.)

They offered to let me test it out while we were there and I declined.  That meant I didn’t get a warranty.  I got it home and there was just something wrong.  Turned out it had been dropped.  The handwheel was slightly chipped, but it wobbled like heck.  I took it apart and replaced the main drive shaft and broke a connection.  I replaced that and the new drive shaft didn’t fit the old stop wheel.  I replaced that and  thought it was just ready to go and set it back up and was about to start sewing on it and the motor housing fell off, broken from the post that it requires to mount to the machine.  It must have been cracked in the fall.

A white featherweight housing can’t be found without a motor and together, they $100, including shipping, and took months to find. 

So, I named her Alba Tross, and I’ll never sell her because I’ll never, ever, ever get my money back from her. 

Now, she’s a great machine, and the new motor was even stronger than the old one, so she’s got plenty of power.  But, she is not as good as the black machine, and it doesn’t have anything to do with her fall or my repairs.  And, please note, I didn’t say anything is wrong with her.  She’s just not as good. 

The black machine is from 1952.  The white one, from 1967. 

In those years, lots changed.  The company went from gears


To a belt drive.


She just lacks the…sureness and solidness and quiet of the gear driven machine.  There will always be a whir from the belt and if you sew for a really long time, the belt gets hot and stretches just enough that it gets hard to control her speed. 

The other thing I don’t like is the non-detachable power cord. 


Doesn’t sound like that big of a deal, except when you’re trying to put her in her case and you have to deal with both pieces.  It’s easier for me to avoid scratches if I can put one piece in at a time.

So, that’s my thought on a featherweight.  I’ll say this, I’ve only heard from one person of the many that I’ve encountered that owns one that didn’t like it.  She couldn’t say why.  She just didn’t like it and said she had kept it and tried and tried to use it and ended up selling at a loss.  But, she is the only one.

Everybody have a great Sunday.  It’s Rob’s birthday and I don’t know what we’re going to do.  Last night, we had dinner with my boss and his wife, and a co-worker at his level and his wife.   My boss is from India and they cooked Indian “home cooking” for us.  We had shrimp for appetizers and a dish of chips made from chickpea flour, broken up and topped with seasoned potatoes, yogurt, and two kinds of chutney.  Dinner was Turmeric colored yellow rice, delicious meatballs cooked in onions and tomatoes, Kashmiri sweet and sour eggplant, Chicken Korma (who knew the ingredients I can’t find and leave out made such a difference) and Paneer, which was ricotta cheese, cooked in tomatoes.  MMMMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmm.  We all stuffed ourselves. 

It’s so nice to have a kid that is an adventurous eater. 


She sat and visited with the adults, and later went and played with the little kids so their parents could visit with the adults.

Rob and I took her dress shopping yesterday for her Basketball banquet on Thursday.  She had a style in her mind and I disagree and I swallowed my thoughts and helped her put together a cute outfit, sandals, skirt, and top.  The top in the picture above was the alternate that I had to replace because it overpowered the skirt. 

I really wanted to say NO, you CAN’T have that.  I hate it and I won’t pay for it. 

It was hard to let go of that and help her make it work instead.  And, she gave some, too and was open to my suggestions. 

In the shoe department, we coined a new phrase. 

“Shop like a man!”



In the middle of the night

Last night, while I was soundly sleeping, my computer was working for me and won the auction for the last machine I’m actively shopping for.

And, Rebecca was right.  I was not sharing because I didn’t want the competition.  But, now I can tell.

I won a “Two-Spool” sewing machine, made by the National sewing machine company.  Remember that National made my Natalie.

The new machine looks very similar.  Except Natalie was built to be motorized and the two spool was built as a treadle, so the hand wheel is bigger.  The two spool has more complex decals, but they’re in pretty sad shape. 

I didn’t buy the new machine for her looks, tho.  I bought it because the bobbin is not just a bobbin.  The bottom thread is a whole spool of thread that fits into a canister about the size of a 35MM film canister.  You can sew forever.  And, if you put the same size spool on top, running out of bottom thread won’t be a surprise.

This morning, while I was hunting for an owner’s manual, I found this video.  This lady has the same machine (except hers is in a gorgeous parlor cabinet).  Her decals are in a little bit better shape than mine will be.  But, she does a great job of showing how the machine works.  And, if you watch to the end, you’ll see that she and I want to do the same thing…FMQ.  She’s trying to figure out an FMQ foot and so am I.  She also talks about why the experts say that no other manufacturer tried this. 

I guess I’ll be reaching out to her to see if she’s figured it out yet.  Has anybody ever seen a Greist darning foot?  I’ve looked for one for a while and never found it.  So, I’ve got the old noodle working on converting some other foot. 

But, that’s a long time away.  In the meantime, I’ll need kerosene and rust remover and a polishing wheel and…eventually an electric motor and a cabinet.  But, that’s a really, really long time away.

When she gets here, I’ll show you the pictures and you’ll see why.

I got the machine for the minimum price it was listed for.  I guess nobody else wanted to do the work…or they knew it couldn’t be done or wasn’t worth it.  Sometimes, ignorance is bliss.

I am pumped.

Sunday is Rob’s birthday.  The only thing he’s asked for is a carrot cake.  Sydney is excited to try her hand at that.

Be well and have a great Friday!  Lane


Yeah, but what do I know?

Okay, so today is all about the stuff I wish somebody had said to me when I started machine quilting.  My mentor has her quilts long armed and because I didn’t come from a sewing background, I didn’t know anything. And, I made some really big messes. 

And, you should, too.  Because making really big messes is a great way to learn.  Just be okay with it and move on.

Some of this might sound really basic, but it’s my secrets to success.  There’s been a ton of stuff written about free motion quilting, but details about straight line quilting seem to be hard to find…at least for me, so here is what I’ve learned from trial and error.  And, most of it applies to both straight line and free motion.

First thing is machine setup.  This is how my Bernina quilting machine is set up.


The machine is set down in a cabinet (custom made by my honey-doer in his woodshop).  Behind the machine is a table that the quilt can rest on after it gets through the machine’s throat plate.  Gravity is not a quilters friend.  Gravity will pull the quilt down and you don’t want to be wrestling with a quilt to quilt it.  Keep the quilt on a level surface the whole time.  To the left of my chair is a sewing machine cabinet that is the same height as my sewing surface.  It holds the weight of the quilt before it goes through the needle plate.  The quilt kind of snakes from that cabinet top, onto my lap, and then under the needle.  My lap is only about 5 inches below the sewing surface so that, with my back straight, my elbows are level with the sewing surface.

It would be very hard for me to quilt on the small surface of my machine bed.


Again, the quilt would hang off the sides and I’d be wrestling.  So, when I’m not in my perfect space, I have a surround (also built by my Honey).  It gives me the surface to the left and the surface behind the machine.


My focus is on moving the weight and volume of the quilt through the machine. The quilt will pull in directions I don't want it to go. Learning to manage that was key to learning machine quilting.  If I’m moving along and suddenly the quilt doesn’t want to move, don’t push (do as I say, not as I do…this is still hard for me, but it is almost always a mistake to push the quilt).  Stop and figure out what it’s caught on.  Usually, it’s because the quilt is hanging over the front of the machine bed and into your lap at a 90* angle.  Straighten that out a bit and it will glide on through.

When I straight line quilt, I usually don't do any stabilizing, unless it goes with the overall quilting plan and I’m going to leave it in.  There’s too much danger that I’ll catch one of those stabilizing threads with a quilting thread and break the quilting thread when I try to pull it out.  Or, I’ll get a pucker.  I do thread baste quilts into sections sometimes when I machine quilt.  I do this for stability, and to break it into easy pieces.  But, only if I won’t be crossing that stabilizing thread with a quilting thread. 

The walking foot should have come with an adjustable seam guide. (basic, I know, but I don’t come from a sewing background, so I had to stumble up on how to use this.)  When you use it, be sure that the tightening screw is tight.  You can nudge that while you work and before you know it, you’re quilting a whole new line.


Set that so that the seam guide runs along a seam edge from the piecing of the quilt.  In this picture, the piecing is in black and the quilting in red.


I never measure one line of quilting from another line of quilting.  There lie crooked lines.  If I get a little bit off and measure from that, the next time, I’ll be a little more off and the next time a little more.  If I use a piecing line to measure the quilting line, at least the quilting will be parallel with the piecing and you won’t be able to see that it’s not straight. 

I still practice before I put a stitch in my quilt top.  I take two pieces of fabric, about 36 to 45 inches square and sandwich them with a batting. (Later, if you want, you can finish it and bind it and it can be a baby quilt.) This helps me get ready for the weight and volume I’ll be working with and how that fits into the machine throat.  And, it gives me a place to practice a new design if I’m FMQ.  It all ends up being muscle memory after you do it for a while, but better to remind my muscles of what I want before I’m working on something I spent a year piecing. 

For practice, You could mark one line diagonally down the center of this sandwich, from corner to corner, and practice straight line quilting and using the seam guide (measure from a previous line of quilting or keep marking more lines).

I always start straight line quilting with a line that runs edge to edge, or corner to corner and divides the quilt in half. That means that half of the quilt is going to pass through the throat of the machine. The easiest way to do that is to start on one edge or at one corner and roll it into a log, toward the center line. Don't get crazy about the log. It's just to make the quilt small enough to go through the throat and organized enough to keep it from catching on something. 


I use my hands to flatten out a place about the size of a luncheon plate around the needle. In hand quilting, this would be the space that is in the quilting hoop. My hands are replacing the hoop to keep the quilt flat and taut as it passes under the needle. This helps prevent puckers in the quilt back. I put my right forearm against the log and push it a bit to the right, against the sewing machine riser, so that it doesn't get in the way of my hands. The log will get smaller and smaller as I quilt outward from center and more and more of the quilt will be on the left side of the needle.


Quilt one long straight line and then I snip my thread. At this point, the quilt has gone from my lap to the back side of the machine. Next, I pull it all back into my lap and quilt the second diagonal line.  I don't turn the quilt or change direction. This makes puckers and wrinkles.  I work in rows to the right until I get to the edge, one row at a time.

After all the lines to the right of center are in, roll the other half of the quilt toward the center and quilt all the lines on the other side of the center.

Now, if you want to get really crazy with it, you can quilt lines in the opposite direction, but if you do, be VERY careful that your hands keep the quilt taut as it passes under the needle or you’ll get a pucker in the back where the backing fabric pushes against a previous line of quilting and then folds over it.  One direction is generally enough to hold the quilt together.

I almost never use contrasting thread. I pick something that's going to be a nice neutral. Maybe a light blue or a light brown or even into the mediums, depending on how dark the quilt top is.  But, straight line quilting is about the quilting supporting the piecing, not about the quilting making a statement of its own.

I started out using invisible monofilament so my mistakes wouldn’t show, but if you do, try to use the one that's not shiny. Invisible monofilament comes in a shiny and a not shiny. I don't like the shiny because it reflects light more. The not shiny recedes into the quilt and all but disappears.


The one on bottom is the shiny.  See the difference?

Okay, so maybe I do know one or two things.  Anybody have any tips to add?



From right to left

Okay, so I got nothin’ quilty for ya’.  I could make a big show out of finishing the quilting on a Linus quilt and cough up a tute on machine binding.

But, since I’m not very good at that, you shouldn’t follow my example.

So, let’s take a walk through one of my other hobbies; the yard.  Are ya’ sick of it yet?

These are the beds I put in last year. 


One comes out further than the other because together, they complete a curve that matches the curve on the other end of the bed…we’ll get there.  I promise.

This is the bed I put in two years ago.


This still follows that curve.  There are daylilies and daisies and grasses and lots of other fun stuff that’s going to go nuts in the hot summer. 

And, we’re walking. 

The next few photos are of an area that started out as a daylily show garden.  And, that was terrific.  For the month of May.


After that, it was just green fronds.

I extended back to the fence first and filled that with the most drought tolerant plants I could find because it’s the area least likely to get watered when we turn the sprinklers on the yard.  I didn’t buy one of the drought tolerant plants.  Those plants do so well here that they reproduce and heave themselves out of the ground.  I just picked them up off the sidewalk.

Don’t tell the neighborhood association.




My next thing is to get in there and spread mulch.  And, I still have a few daylilies to move.  I wanted to wait until they’ve had a chance to bloom and I can see what color they are and then they’ll find their perfect place.

This next part has been here for a few years, but the front area is new.  I can hardly wait for this spot to fill in.  I am very certain that it is going to be a fantastic little area where the height and colors are perfectly matched; more here than anywhere else in the yard.  But, everybody needs a show spot, right?  This area starts that matching curve I talked about before.


Here is where I sit.


Funny story about the broken flower pot out front.  Rob said wood glue wouldn’t fix that.  I was sure he was wrong.  He was right.

I was wrong.

I’ve made Sydney promise not to tell him I said that.  You, too.

These opened this week for me. 


Next is the utility area.  We have an easement that runs across the back of the yard.  I have to keep good access for service persons.  So, I’ve graveled the area around the utilities with fist sized stones and made clear steps for them to be able to get through without any damage. 


A utility guy that came here early in this garden’s formation told me they really appreciate that.  So, I just keep doing it.  He suggested that when they can’t get through, they tend to do a bit of extra trampling in frustration.

Mustn’t have that, now, must we?

And, this is the original flowerbed.  This is a shade bed that I put in to keep my dogs off the fence and away from the neighbor’s dog.  It used to have a small fence along the front edge, with a  cute little gate.  But, as the bed filled in and the dogs got older and the neighbor moved away, we didn’t need the fence anymore. 


This bed does some small amount of blooming.  The camelia blooms at Christmas.  But, mostly it’s about leaf shape and shades of green.  A cool spot to watch on a sunny, hot August day, when everything else is wilted and tired.

And, that’s This week in Lane’s yard.  We’ll have another installment when something changes. 

Until then; be good, be strong, be forceful, be dependable, and be fragile, too. 

“Cuz if you don’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else?”

Oh, and vote Jinkx Monsoon!  Yay, Jinkx-ey.  America’s next Drag Superstar!



Good luck

So, things went very well with the ebay lady yesterday.  She actually explained how I could retract my bid from my end and then I re-bid based on what I thought the machine was worth, including all the extra work to remove the superficial rust. 

We exchanged emails and the machine isn’t frozen up, but the bobbin case has a good bit of superficial rust on the outside.  Unfortunately, the bobbin case is the hardest part on this particular machine to replace.  So, it will have to be steel wooled (can you use that as a verb?) to remove the rust and then smoothed to keep thread from snagging on it.  Do-able, but with a lot of extra work.  The hook will also have to have rust removed. 

Combine that with what I already knew about the machine’s surface decals and the bid I made yesterday was half the bid I made the day before.

But, this is a really rare machine.  In a year and a half of searching, I’ve only seen 4 come on the market and I’ll be bidding against professionals who want to collect, restore, and resell the machine.

They still may outbid me, but that’s okay.  They measure the value of their time spent repairing it differently than I do, and their skill set and tools make them more efficient at the repairs. 

We shall see.

But, I wish I hadn’t blogged about the seller as though she was doing something against me.  That was just my emotions.  In our communication yesterday, she was very nice and helpful and understanding.  I don’t think she understands what she has or how difficult it will be to repair as she has placed a “buy it now” price on the machine that’s about four times it’s actual value, based on condition.

Of course, you have to add to that how excited I am to find a machine I’ve been looking for so long, in ANY condition, and how excited I am because this is really the last vintage machine I’d like to collect.  I’ve gotten really good at not picking up random machines from here and there and focusing on collecting just the ones that interest me most.  I have run out of space for machines. 

So, what’s the best tip I’ve learned from collecting machines?

Who has one that looks like this?


This is Ken Moore.  His hand wheel and motor connect through a rubber grommet like thing that is secured to an arm that extends out of the motor housing and rests against the handwheel.  In this machine, unlike many others, there is a spring that keeps that rubber pushed against the handwheel.  It causes the rubber to develop a flat spot.  That makes a roar and can be serious enough to make even heavy Ken Moore, made of all steel, to shake.  First, I replaced the grommet and that took care of it.  But, the spring caused another flat spot to develop during a time I wasn’t sewing.  So, I used a sanding block and sanded the flat spot out, and now I keep a bobbin between the motor and the machine body when it’s not in use to keep the rubber from coming into contact with the wheel.


Be well and have a good one.  I’m late.  I’m late.  For a very important… ‘nother day at the drudge. 

Who’d rather be quilting?



Bits and pieces

Never listen to anybody talk about sewing machines that doesn’t know where the bobbin case is.  I sent a lady on ebay a picture of what the bobbin case should look like because she couldn’t get any pictures to upload to send to me.  She said it did and that all the parts were there.  I placed a bid.  Today, she sent me a photo and it looks like the bobbin area of the machine sat in the mud for many years.  I am very unhappy and am praying for someone to outbid me.  What a mess.  Shame on me for being trusting.  Every time I do that, I get burned and swear I won’t do it again.

But, I do.

We went to an estate sale, where I offended the lady running it by offering her what I thought something was worth.  She actually got upset, but all I did was offer what I was willing to pay for it, no reason to be upset, just tell me no and make a counter-offer.  Oh, well.  We did get this great coffeepot.  We collect the cornflower blue corningware because it reminds us of our childhoods.  We have the coffeepot in this size.


But it percolates on the stove. 


The new one has an electric heating element.  It is very cool and works quite well and get hot and percolating very quickly.  A good gamble for $4 on whether it would work.  It took a couple of tries, but I got a really good cuppa out of it yesterday.

I am quilting huge feathers into a Linus quilt.


You should be able to see better if you click and enlarge that.  I’ve tried to see how small I can make a feather.  Now, I’m trying to see how large.  Changing the size really changes the skills required to quilt.  Instead of it all being readily visible near the needle, big feathers mean looking all around and trying to end up with things that look like feathers and not like toes.

And, I got the first two miniature cabinets made for the dollhouse.


The camera makes them look green, but they’re really off white.  I may remake the doors.  This morning, I thought of ways I could definitely do better.  But, even if I don’t, these will certainly work for what I need them to do.

Okay, off for a bit of watering and then to the office.  Another day, another dollar and a half.

Be well and have a great Monday.



The end of the week

I am very glad to see the end of the week.  I am looking forward to beautiful, clear, blue skies and temps in the 70’s and being out in the yard.  We don’t get many weekends like this, so every one must be used to it’s fullest. 

This weekend, we need to cut back trees.  The city is doing a free brush collection in our neighborhood.  Not that they don’t pick up compostable brush every week, but this time, they’ll bring cranes and you can get rid of large wood and the best part is that you don’t have to tie the sticks into bundles.  I really hate to complain, but bundling sticks and tying them up with biodegradable string is not my favorite chore.

And, I’ll keep contributing to things like this.


These are Mr. Lincoln red roses and I’m finally learning how to adjust the camera to photograph the color red.  I really need to post pictures of my beds because we’ve had rain and everything I planted last week has perked up.  It’s looking good and I walk through it several times a day.  I love that feeling of accomplishment.

And, speaking of accomplishment, I finished the April Linus quilt top. 


That picture doesn’t do justice to all the mixed homespun plaids.


My impression of quilting with homespuns is the same as my impression of wearing them.  They creep and crawl and they can’t be ironed stiff enough without more starch than I want to use.   If I looked away for a half a second, my seam allowance would creep off to the side, even on Ken Moore, who has the straightest seam allowance of all my machines.


That said, before I cut that blue piece for the sashing, I did cut 16 wedges for my Dresden Plate quilt.  That’s the plan.  Cut more quilts from this, but always make sure I get my 16 wedges first.  Then, I plan to use the homespuns up and move them out. 

Now, I just need to pin baste and quilt March and April and I’m all caught up again.  These are going to get simple quilting, so I should be finished by early May and ready to make another Linus  quilt. 

After the explosions in West, I am doubly appreciative that I make quilts for Linus.  I know that there were quilts deployed and ready to go.  That’s what Linus does for me.  They get my work where it needs to be so it can be of the most use.  Who knows, maybe one of mine is even winging it’s way to West as we speak.

Everybody be well.  Thanks for all the comments to my post from Wednesday.  I got several perspectives and I like knowing how others are feeling.  It makes what I’m feeling so much more comfortable.  Even folks with different opinions shared something of themselves that I appreciate.

Hi-ho.  If I log off of here, I can take another turn through the flowerbeds before work. 

(and poof, he was gone…..)


Carry on

I've been hesitant to write the last couple of days, because so many of my thoughts are about what happened in Boston.  Most of the bloggers I follow aren't blogging about what happened.  That makes me feel like maybe I'm the only one that's having trouble finding words this week.  But, lots of the bloggers I follow haven't posted in the last couple of days either, so maybe it's not just me.

Am I the only one that's feeling a little jittery?

By definition, a terrorist is someone that makes people afraid; terrified.  They hurt one person in hope of making a lot of people afraid.  And, it's effective...if your goal is to make a lot of people afraid. 

Theoretically, if you make enough people afraid, you can change a behavior. 

Theoretically, if you make people afraid enough, you can get them to lock themselves in their bathrooms, with their showers packed full of canned goods, refusing to come out until the Apocalypse. 

Yesterday, I heard a lady from Boston interviewed on the news and her comment was that she refuses to be afraid.  My first thought was about how courageous that is to say, right there, on site.

But, I wonder.  Is she really refusing to be afraid?  Or, is she refusing to be affected? 

I can't say that I'm not afraid, even with the thousands of miles between Boston and Austin.  . 

I don't control the emotions I feel and fear is an emotion.  I can't stop being afraid. 

But, I can refuse to be affected.  I can keep going to work and I can keep tending to my garden and I can keep making quilts and I can keep donating to service organizations.  I can keep talking to my family and letting them know every day, and every minute that I am here, I am loving them; just in case there is a time when I am not here and able to let them know. 

Over the last decade, I've learned that there's no shame in letting the terrorist be successful at making me afraid.  But, I have not let them have the pleasure of success at making me change my behavior.

For me, refusing to be afraid is a great thing, if you can do it.  But, what I think is really courageous is to be afraid and still do whatever it is you need to do.  Like a tenured fireman, rushing into a burning building.  A tenured fireman knows the danger.  And, they go in anyway.  What could possibly be more brave than that???

I guess I'm interested in how others are feeling.  Are you afraid?  Are you affected?  Have you locked yourself in your bathroom, refusing to come out? 

Are you carrying on?



A baby quilt finish and a Linus quilt start

One right after the other, quilts just roll along.  It’s like a river by which one day, I’ll keep up with my days through pictures.

This is the baby quilt for Rob’s co-worker. 


It was a fun quilt, full of fun things that got worked into it, from originally picking the wrong color palette, which leaves us with two quilts in this pattern, through quilting birch leaves as if they grew on vines. 


We went to our friend’s house on Saturday, and I took this, working on the binding during the hour drive there and back.  Yesterday morning, before it was time to work in the yard, I got the last of the binding sewn down. 

Our friend’s yard was lovely.  She lives in the country and her husband raises cattle and wheat.  She works at the same place as Rob and she was my mentor during my early days of quilting.  She has put in a lovely drought tolerant garden around her house with a new driveway since we were there last and a ton of beautiful glazed pots, all around, with cactus and other drought lovers.  It was inspiring.

We had started our Saturday with a trip to a local nursery and garden center, not one of the big chain stores.  I picked up plenty of plants that, along with what I already had, should form a very drought tolerant flowerbed of my own.  Sunday, I could hardly wait until we had finished at the grocery to stick my shovel in the dirt.  No pictures today because today is not it’s loveliest.  Let’s give it a couple days and then we can see what’s changed.

And, after I’d worked until I could barely stand upright anymore, I came in and started the April Linus quilt.  No, the March Linus quilt is not quilted yet. 

So What.

This one is going to be all homespuns, because I am an overachiever.  I wanted to make one homespun quilt.  Just one.  Erin at VesuviusMama made a homespun dresden plate and it is definitely on my short list of quilts to imitate.  But, I had collected yards and yards and yards of homespuns on sale.  And, I’d donated a half dozen shirts that never really fit right, so I had a whole bind of homespun.


Yesterday, I started ironing it and cutting 5” strips off of it. 


The plan is to turn these into stars and then sash them with the bright blue.  But, we’ll see.  It was originally going to be 9 patches and I may very well go back to that for this one because I need a quick quilt so I don’t fall further behind in my goal for donations.

Everybody have a great Monday.  It’s back to the office for me.  But, first, we’re going to hit 90* today, so my little bed needs water. 

Water in the mornin’.  Water in the evenin’.  Don’t water in the noon day sun.  I’lll be a seein’ you.  We’re gonna have some fun.

Okay, that sounded cooler when sung to a tune in my head. 



size matters

Yes, I did just name a blog post that.

And, no, it’s not always true.

But, today, it is.

The medicine chest from yesterday’s post is full size.  I appreciate that you guys think I can create in miniature at this level of detail already.  We all know me.  I’ll get there.  But, for now, no, I couldn’t do this.


So, let’s give it some perspective in my messy sewing room.  (yes, that is all miniatures junk on my sewing machine, keeping me from any piecing.)


And, why are those things inside?


On top, in the lidded jars, are the accessories for my Ken Moore sewing machine.  Handy, without being in the way.  In the blue glass are pencils, markers, and a toothbrush for helping me clean under sewing machines, where that lint really builds up and I need a longer reach.  Assorted oils and lubricants, another small green jar with my wooden iron and more pencils and a screwdriver.  A flashlight for when the room lighting is just not enough, which is frequently in my sewing room.  All my light is task light, so getting it pulled into a totally different configuration to see under a sewing machine is a pain.  Better to have a flashlight handy.  A pig pin cushion with basting needles and the pill bottle is for “bad” pins.  Not pins that are misbehaving, but pins that have gone bad; bent, broken, dull, burred.  There’s a hole drilled in the top and the bad ones go through that and if I ever fill a bottle, I’ll exchange the lid with a new bottle (because pill bottles and old people just go together) and the bad pins can be disposed of without fear that they will tear through a trashbag, because if there is a pin on the floor, I may step on it 212 times without knowing, but if Rob walks anywhere close, it will jump into him and I will feel bad.

I’ve gotta find a picture for that frame on top.  Which one of my favorite people should go there?  And do I have a tiny picture of them?

It’s hard to fit today’s world into my antiques.

Be well.  Have a great day.  My work group is having a team lunch and I’m looking forward to it.  I’ve been at my desk, with my headset on, busting it to try to work on three important projects at the same time.  On Monday I do this and on Tuesday I do that and on Wednesday…well, you get it.  But, it’s the best I can do to balance working on a project and thinking about what the next step should be.

One is for a big muckety-muck in corporate.  Unfortunately, his is getting the most time and I’m working for him every afternoon.

Hey, never pass up an opportunity to be noticed for something good.  Lord knows there’s enough people glad to see the bad.



On plants

I love plants.  Even if they aren’t real.  I have a couple of artificial arrangements that I just love having around, even though I know they are dust catchers.  But, I keep them pretty cleaned up, so I don’t worry about it. 

On the other hand, I do love a fresh flower and my Mr. Lincoln rose really put out some beautiful blooms this week that I cut for our dining table.


They’re so fragrant that it’s almost sickening and so red that they are near impossible to get a picture of.  In fact, I wish I’d taken a picture when they looked a bit fresher.  But, like most of us, we look fresher out of photos than in them, most of the time.

I also made miniature caladiums. 


Imagine how much valuable quilting time I wasted making one and a half inch caladiums, from printed pictures of the leaves.

On the other hand, how cool is it that I made miniature caladiums? 

Okay, it took family TV time for two days to get them to look like this.

But how cool is it that I made miniature caladiums?

On the quilting front, I’m out to the last border on the baby quilt.  Just some simple squiggles and an occasional pair of leaves.


You may have to click that to see it.  Anyway, that will be finished in no time and I’m off to the binding.  Rob hasn’t said whether the baby’s mom has come back to work.  Hopefully, she’ll give me until this coming Monday.

And, I got my little medicine chest hung next to the sewing machine. 


I always need just a little bit of extra shelving, and this does the trick to keep things within arms reach.  (I didn’t think about the medicine bottle, the toothbrush and the glass that are in there.  I guess some ideas are too good to limit them to the bathroom.)


Compact, and out of the way.  I bought this at an auction and Rob never took to it, like I hoped he would, so it sat in the garage for a couple of years and recently, I decided to paint the inside and get rid of the hideous sight of a 50 year old medicine chest with the remnants of drips and drops of stuff still stuck to it.  And, now, it’s got my stuff in it.  And, hopefully, I won’t drip and drop gooey stuff in it in the sewing room.

But, you never can tell.

Anyway, everybody have a great Thursday.  Saturday is for finishing a baby quilt and going to the garden center and we may go see a friend’s yard that she’s been working on for three years. 

Work, work, work.  So, we all deserve a reward.  I have strict instructions to close my blog by empowering you to make a batch of delicious cookies and eat them all yourself.

But, I can’t advocate that you eat 6 dozen cookies in one day, so you’ll need a good hiding place. 

Do better than I did.  Christmas cookies don’t look so appealing in April.