First show

This year, I have done three things that are definite signs of me "growing up" and evolving in my quilting.

First, I started teaching.  I taught my first class in April and will be teaching again later this month and will be spreading my wings even further in August to teach classes other than quilting on a home sewing machine. 

Next, I joined the local quilt guild.  Will I go to meetings?  I don't know.  Will I join in activities?  I don't know.  It was enough of a step to send in the application and make myself open to whatever the Universe wants to offer me through a guild.  I have no pre-conceptions.  I'm just open to whatever experiences there are.  I'm looking at volunteer opportunities and that will further expose me to what being a member of a guild has to offer. 

And, now, I'm entering quilts in this year's guild show.  Two quilts,

(bad picture, but I read about photographing it this morning)


I've come a long way, BABY!

Every obstacle that I've run into about entering these quilts has been overcome with a few very polite notes to the officers of the guild, who gave me the info I needed to move forward.  Believe me, I gave the Universe plenty of opportunities to deny me this priviledge, including not joining the guild until a week before the quilt entry deadline. 

Big year for me.

And, a big year for the family.  Vacation starts tomorrow at 4am.  Yay us!  Syd can hardly wait.  She's so excited that she's gotten downright rude.  Cuttin' her a lot of slack.  A LOT of slack.

Have a great few days.  I'm sure I won't get to blog again until at least Sunday...unless I share pictures of the Beverly Hillbilly truck loaded with all our junk.  Prolly not.  That might be a bit embarrassing.



Babies are so cute...

Mable found this cute baby opossum in the back yard this morning.  When she found it, it was hanging upside down from the wheel barrow.  I wasn't fast enough to catch that cute picture.  When I got back out with the camera, it was sitting there, just like this and let me get very close and it just hunkered down and tried to ignore me.  It was so tiny, I could have held it on the palm of my hand.

Mable's such a good girl.  She didn't bother it, just barked until I came over to check on it.  And, it's a tiny baby, too small to even be scared.  Just sat there while she bayed at it.

This is our second baby opossum to find.  The first one...this cannot be it because it was older and that was a couple months ago...lived in the back flowerbed in some pipes that are out there until it got too big to hide in the pipes.  Mable would bark at one end and then run the 15 feet to the other end and bark there.  We didn't know what she was barking at until one day, she was at one end and I saw the baby possum stick its head out the other.  That would have been another cute picture.

Normally, I'm not much of an opossum person.  I am intimidated by those rows of sharp looking little teeth when they hiss at me...which they invariably do when I find an adult in the yard.  They do not "play possum" and lay there like they're dead.  They hiss at me and arch their back and spit like a cat.  So unlike the well behaved raccoons that climb a tree and then study me from above. 

There's gotta be a reason babies are so cute.  They say it's so we will take care of them, and I guess it's true.  This little baby made me so much want to pick it up and take care of it.  We let this little guy alone and when I went back to check, he was gone.  When Mable tried to find him, she sniffed all the way around the flowerbeds in the back and didn't bark, so I guess it's Mama came and took it home.  It's amazing that we get any baby creatures anymore, with the neighbor's cats terrorizing the neighborhood.  But, we do, including the family of raccoons that grew up in our chimney this year.  Every time that Rob would put the cap back on the chimney, it would get pushed to the side again.  Eventually, we started hearing the babies playing in there and then they'd chatter when they were hungry.  So much racket we could hear it all over the house.  But, they must have grown up and moved on because all is quiet there now and Bella has stopped standing in front of the firebox, barking at empty space.

Everybody have a great Wednesday. 


The little backpack tutorial

Two more days ‘til vacation.  I thought the sitter was going to back out last night.  Something came up.  But he got it all worked out.  Really, I didn’t need to know.  I loved house sitting when I was in my 20’s.  Other people’s TV and fridge in exchange for a couple of chores.  Anyway…

This post is long and if you’re not interested in making a backpack, pretty boring.  Lots of pictures and me showing how much I don’t know about sewing.

If you sew a lot other than quilting, this will probably make you cringe.  I don’t know what to call stuff so I describe it in my own ways.  Anyway, here we go.

Any good sewing project starts with a pattern.  But, I couldn’t find one.  So, I drew one.  This pattern has two pouches to the backpack.  There’s a front, smaller pouch and a back, larger pouch.  And, the way the strapping is attached, the backpack hangs straight, even when the strapping is hung across the neck. 

I used about a yard and a half of denim, two 12” sport zippers (more if you add zipper pockets), and a yard and a half of webbed strapping and the closure for the webbing. 

First, I thought about what I want to put in the backpack.  Every year, I create a file folder of stuff for Sydney’s school; teacher contact lists, paperwork that I need to keep up with, etc.  So, it needed to be slightly larger than 8.5x11 inches.


I started out with a line 15 inches long.  At one end, I drew a half circle that was 8 inches in diameter and at the other end, a half circle that was 10 inches in diameter.  And, I joined those on each side.  I used a ruler to add a 5/8” seam allowance, all the way around.  I cut that out and laid it on a fresh piece of paper and added another inch all the way around for the back panel. 


The side sections were created during my muslin, so I’d know the right size.  The side panes are 24 inches along one side and 29 inches along the other side and they are joined with a diagonal line.  Cut two from a folded piece of the fabric so they will be opposites.


The other two pieces are triangles to attach the straps and we’ll talk more about them later.

First, I cut out two copies of the front panel.  Those are going to work together to form the front pouch.  Serge around both.  Add your pockets to the front of the first one.  I’ll leave that to you as I’ve created two flap pockets for the front of my backpack and one zipper pocket for the front of Rob’s. 


I also added a pencil pocket to the right side of the inner front panel so it is  inside the backpack. 

Once you have your pockets on, you need to notch the front panels for the zippers.  I started at the center of the top and measured out 2.5 inches and notched the fabric.  Then, measure from there, 12 inches down the side and notch it again.  My pencil and scissors show where my notches were.


I wanted my front, smaller pouch to open on the left, so I attached one zipper to that side, setting the edge of the zip along the edge of the fabric.  See that line of gold thread all the way around?  I used that to mark my 5/8” seam allowance and I laid the zip so the teeth would be just outside that seam allowance. 


Fold the zipper to the inside and topstitch a quarter inch inside of the fold line.  Make sure the zipper teeth are on the back and not sticking out of the edge, or they will scratch you when you put your hands in the backpack.


Now, put the two front panels right sides together and sew between the remaining zipper notches.  Press the seam open, notch the curve once or twice, turn it right side out.  Pin the zipper to the inside piece.  Starting from the top of the first zipper, sew 1/4 inch all the way around the piece to the bottom of the first zipper.  This will attach the second zipper to the piece.  Now, you have a double thickness, with a zipper on each side. 



The first zipper opens to a pouch.  This is the outer front pouch and there will be a bigger pouch formed behind it when the sides and back are added.

Serge around both pieces of the side sections.  Join at the top and bottom using a 5/8” seam and press these open. 

There’s a peak at the top of this joined section.  Spread it open and lay flat and lay the pattern for the back on top of it and cut the peak to match that curve.  I serged this, too.  I think of the joined side sections as a circle with a smaller opening and a larger opening. 


Mark the centers on the front section, top and bottom…


and pin the side section to the front section, right sides together, matching the marked centers to the side section top and bottom seams for the smaller opening.  One side will include sewing in the second side of the second zipper.  While most of the seam will be a 5/8” seam around, the seam along that zipper will be narrower, so be prepared to adjust to a smaller seam allowance in those inches.

Turn this right side out.  Along that second zipper, the zipper teeth will be exposed.  We’ll fix that next. 


Fold the fabric such that there is a fold line along that zipper and the zipper teeth are covered and pin that down from the outside.  From the inside, put the side section under the presser foot of the sewing machine, including all the seam allowance.  Sew all the way around.  This is going to do several things.  It will give you a quarter inch top stitching along the side section of that seam all the way around.  It will create a lip to cover the second zipper teeth and it will hold the seam allowance to the side section so it isn’t flopping all around in there and raveling. 


Now, we’ll add the back. 

Cut one back from the fabric.  And, cut the strap holders. 

The strap holders are triangles. 

Upper:  the two short, perpendicular sides are 4” and 6.5”.  The long side that matches them is the same as the curve of the back fabric at the top, putting the 4” side of the triangle at the center top and drawing a concave line between the ends of those two perpendicular sides. 

Lower:  the two short, perpendicular sides are 4.5” and 6”.  The long side is the curve of the back at the bottom with the 4.5” side at the center. 

Serge along all the curved sides.  No need to serge the others.

After you get those two triangles figured out, lay a ruler across the tips where the perpendicular sides come together so that the ruler is at 2” and whack that point off. 


Lay the webbed strapping along that line.  Cut about 8” off the end of the webbing strap.  That’s going on the lower strap holder


There’s a loop of webbing and the female end of the buckle.  Lay the other triangle atop this, right sides together and sew along three sides, leaving the curve open.  This is the only place I used a quarter inch seam, so cut them bigger if you want 5/8”.  I didn’t want to deal with the extra seam allowance in the turning.  I also clipped the corners to make them look neater.

If the female end of your buckle has a pretty side (mine did, but Rob’s did not) spend some time thinking about how to lay that in so that the pretty side will be to the front when you’re finished.  Or, buy a buckle without a pretty side on the female end.  The male end can be put on anyway you like, later. 

If you aren’t sure whether you’ve got the pretty side out, you could lay just one end of the webbing on the lower strap holder and sew it in and make the loop after everything else is finished.  If you did that, you’d be sewing the webbing to the webbing to form the loop.  Don’t know any reason that wouldn’t work.  Sorry, I figured it out when I made mine, but I cannot tell you how I laid it out now.  I’m pretty sure a whole lot of luck was involved.

The upper strap holder just gets one layer of webbing sewn to it and that will attach to the male end of the buckle.

Once these are turned out, top stitch around the seamed sides at a quarter inch from the edge.  On the curve, sew it closed at 5/8” and clip the curve from the raw edge to the seam as this concave curve will have to be stretched to a convex curve to attach it to the back.

Here’s where it all comes together. 

Serge around the back.  Fold the back in half and mark the center line.  Pin the strap holders to the right side of the back with the strap holders and webbing pointed inward, one on the left and one on the right, spreading the clipped concave curves open as necessary to match the convex curve of the back.  Remember that the shortest sides of the holder are closest to the center.  The reason I did that is I wanted the backpack to hang straight up and down even though the strap was crossing my chest at about a 30* angle. 

Open the second zipper…don’t make my mistake.  If you don’t open that zipper, you’ll make a ball that you can’t get into to turn it right sides out. 

Pin the side sections to the back, easing as necessary.  Sew this down, all the way around.  I sewed it double. 


Turn it right sides out and you have a small backpack with two pouches and however many pockets you chose to add. 



I don’t think either one came out perfect.  But, I made three, including the muslin, and they got better every time.  So, I recommend that you do make the muslin out of something cheap.  I didn’t put the zippers in my muslin and that was a mistake.  I should have.  The second set of zippers is much better than the first.  If I had put zips in the muslin, I could have pulled them out and used them again in the real thing. 


Teaching a 301 to FMQ…or a tale of three feet

This is my Singer 301.  She’s one of the first vintage machines I bought.  She weighs 17 pounds and is made of aluminum with all steel parts inside.  She has all the strength of a full steel machine without all the weight.  They call these machines the big sister of the featherweight, because of the weight.  The full sized throat makes it appealing to me to FMQ with this machine, but she just would not do it.
This machine is a slant shank machine that uses the same bobbin case as the featherweight.  I had the foot that came with the accessories on the right and I bought a foot in the center and the foot on the left came with another machine.
All three of these feet were advertised that they would fmq, but only one does.  Wanna bet now which one? 
I started out just trying.  I loaded a sample quilt in and played and played.  When it wouldn’t quilt, I tried adjusting the tension because I know that if there isn’t sufficient tension, the stitches won’t form.  But, no matter how much adjusting I did in both the top and the bobbin, I could only get stitches to form in one or two directions.  I could not quilt a loop or circle. 
As I quilted, I noticed the thread bumping around in front of me.
See all that slack in the upper thread?  That’s what it would look like.  Weird, huh? This machine normally has perfect tension, so what could be wrong?

So, how do these “hopping” feet work?  A bar sits atop the needle screw of the machine.   As the needle goes up and down, that bar causes the foot to go up and down and “hop”.  They all have that in common. 
This one is wire and can be bent, but not far enough and the plastic foot is not adjustable.  No matter how much I raised that wire on this one, there wasn’t sufficient distance in the rest of the foot to accommodate how high the needle screw rises in a normal stitch.  What was happening was that when the needle went up, it raised the bar, the spring…and the presser foot bar that the foot attaches to.  It raised the presser foot bar just high enough to disengage the tension.  So, when the machine pulled thread, it pulled extra top thread from the spool, not up from the bobbin area and because of that, the hook didn’t catch the top thread and the stitch didn’t form. 
That took three hours to figure out. 
The foot on the left above was actually made for a Singer slant shank machine and came with a Singer 401A.  There is sufficient distance so that the needle bar doesn’t raise the presser foot bar and doesn’t disengage the tension and the stitches can form.  It was like a miracle.  I did have to bend the metal bar over a bit to accomodate a screw on the side of the needle bar, but that was easy.

Okay, so the only other thing I did was adjust the timing, lowering the point at which the needle passes the hook to allow just a tiny bit larger loop to form for the hook to catch.  If you’re not familiar with adjusting timing, your repair man should be able to help.  It was about a 16th of an inch downward adjustment, so very little and I’m not sure how much that helped because I had done it before I tried the good foot.  It helped with the other feet, but did not solve the problem.  Another thing I tried was tightening the presser foot pressure screw on the top of the machine to as tight as it would go.  That helped, but I could still only get the machine to consistently make a stitch with that one foot.

Now, I can show you pictures of that table runner I made for my friend Suzanne.  Suzanne and I both had our Jubilee birthdays this year and I sorta missed hers.  I had the best of intentions, but a good gift just wasn’t working out for me.  It took several shopping expeditions to get what I wanted and even that didn’t seem like enough.  See, Suzanne has a heart as big as Texas and she has done for us and encouraged my family and taken to Sydney so much and I wanted to do a little something special for her.
I got this idea for a table runner from another blogger (and of course, I can’t find the posts now to give you credit) and I knew it was what I wanted.  And, I made it happen.  The gift started with this inspirational fabric, covered with quotes from famous women.
Next, I found a bundle of scraps in the scrap bin at the LQS that were the perfect colors, all bundled together.  Just enough to make a runner out of.
This is my gift for a good friend.  She got it in the mail yesterday, so I can share it with you today. 
Happy birthday Suzanne.  Know that you are so special to me and to my family.
Everybody have a great Tuesday.  Life is good today.  And, as Ellen says, Be kind to one another.


The one that won

Okay, so for us to go on vacation looks like a scene out of Meet me in St Louis with boxes and bags and trunks and piles of stuff everywhere...everything except the porters and servants to carry it all. 

Okay, so I'm exaggerating a little bit.  Not much, but a bit.

And, on top of that, there's the cleaning...I cannot let the house sitter know how we really live.  It's not like they're just coming in to feed.  He's staying there. 

Judge me if you will.  But, I suspect that more of you feel like me than are willing to admit it.  At least I know what to expect for our week away this year.  I know what to take, what I can pick up there and what the cabin will have.  And, I'm correcting some mistakes from last year...we're taking paper plates.  Lots and lots of paper plates. 

And, I'll be cooking breakfasts and some dinners so I'll need things to make that easy...there's no sense in trying to fry an egg in a scratched up rental cabin skillet.  Or cut anything with one of those knives.  But, I know about the grocery there and that they cater to travelers who need small sizes bottles and cans and jars so there are no leftovers that have to be hauled back home.  And, I've planned meals that will require a minimum of standing over the grill time and practically no use of the oven, except to make some biscuits once in a while. 

Very upscale camping out.  With air conditioning.

I do not do lunch on vacation tho.  I don't cook lunch for us when we're home, much less when I'm on vacation.  We'll eat lunches out.  Many would ask why I cook on vacation at all.  And, my very simple answer is that I am cheap.  Call it what you will; tight fisted, miserly, penny-pincher.  But, every meal I cook is money we can spend going and doing something fun.  So, I'll cook the easy ones and let somebody else cook and clean the rest. 

Rob and several readers did convince me to take a machine.  And, if I'm taking a machine, there's only one project to work on...The Pond Mountain quilt that I pieced when we were there last time.

I spent a good part of the weekend training my Singer 301 to free motion quilt...more about that later because the story of figuring that out is a whole post of its own, filled with tooth grinding and muttered curses.  And, I added the last border and pin basted this quilt and the plan is to quilt it in the same cabin on a mountain that I pieced it in.  How cool is that?  Lots of ditch work and some free motion filler in the white parts.  And, now I have two vintage machines that I can use for free motion quilting.  The quilt shop owners are going to hate that.

I'll still take the red/white/blue hexie quilt and I'll take the cmas quilt to machine piece if my 301 forgets is new training. 

I also got up really early on Saturday morning and made Rob's backpack.  Here's a teaser photo.  I started writing the tutorial this morning. 

Another backpack success.  Mostly. 

Everybody have a great Monday.  Lane


Just decide already!

I am a grown man, very long in the tooth, and can't decide which project to take on vacation.  I don't think I'm taking a machine because really, there just wasn't that much time to sew last time we were there (watch, something will be different and I'll be kicking my patooty for not having a sewing machine).  I figure that if I take a couple of hand work projects, I'll easily be able to fill the driving time and the few hours in the mornings before Sydney wakes up and after I finish writing my blog posts. 

Anyway, my two hand work projects that are the most portable are this Christmas Drunkard's path that I got really excited about three years ago and have left sit since.  All the blocks are made by hand, so I had planned to assemble them by hand.  This could be the cmas quilt this year.

Or, I could leave this home and put them together by machine sometime later, which would be mega faster and could make this quilt an even bigger contender for this year's holiday quilt. 

Or, I could take the tried and true, July 4th and summer, red white and blue hexagon medallion quilt

Otherwise known as the perpetual, never ending hand sewing project.  Honestly, every time I get close to the finish on this project, I come up with a new border or a new idea, or I take out the center and make it again.  It's going to be a great quilt...someday.  Unfortunately, an English Paper Pieced project of any size is often a lifelong project for any quilter to finish. 

Sometimes I think I'll take one.  Sometimes the other.  Sometimes I think I'm just distracting myself with this, so I don't have to think about the mountain of stuff that has to be done before vacation. 

Anyway, Lily Munster bloomed today, and I managed to get a picture. 

Lily Munster is the only good thing to come out of a brief period of dating this really creepy guy.  Everybody had one that was really creepy, right?  This one was pretending about who he was and at the end, I found out he was not a landscape architect, he was an accountant.  He had not moved here for a better job, but came here to live off his brother because he'd been fired and foreclosed on in his previous town, where he sold pesticides to local plant nurseries.  And, finally, he walked up to me on a date one night and told me he'd met someone else and goodbye.

Whew!  Dodged a bullet on that one. 

But, I got a beautiful lily out of it. 

And, then I met Rob.  No.  Seriously.  That same night.  And, after six months of dating because I had learned my lesson about getting to know people before getting too seriously involved, we "jumped the broom" and we've been together ever since.

So, great flower, great guy.  Somehow everything works out right in the end.



Jubilee, block 20

Funny how I seem to get so much done when I stop fretting about what I'm not getting done. 

Please tell me you know what I mean.

I finished block 20 this morning.  Pretty plain and simple.  Which is good because the next block has 24 paper sections and each paper section has at least two fabric pieces (some have 5 or more pieces), so that one's going to be a real challenge. 

The original block 20 had a pink center, but that just didn't look right, so I replaced it with this purple one that has both green and orange in it.  That seemed perfect and while less bright, also less abrasive.  I wish the greens had been in better contrast, but if I worry about every little detail in these 36 blocks, I'm never going to finish this quilt.  So, I'm learning to accept the little imperfections that exist in each block and move forward and enjoy the process and the quilt blocks.

This would be a good block to draft and piece in a Mariner's compass class.  It might be the one I use.

Other than that, I'm getting things ready for travel.  I always need a book, even if I don't pick it up the whole time I'm gone.  This trip, I picked this book.

We saw Zach on The Daily Show with John Stewart.  He did a great job of describing the book and the very next day, I ordered a copy.  It got lost in shipping and Amazon was wonderful at replacing it and now I have it in my pile of stuff to pack.  In the book, he uses the 12 tenets of the Boy Scouts to describe his family and how they stand for the values that the Boy Scouts also stand for, but the Boy Scouts don't accept his family because Zach was raised by two Mothers. 

I think this will be an inspirational book for a family vacation.  I'll let you know if I like it...or throw it out the car window.

Not likely.

Everybody have a great day.  Lane


Ever busy

Wanted to share a couple of pictures today. 

How 'bout them apples?
Looks like I'm going to be busy, huh?

Except they're crabapples

And, there are only four cups.  But, that is a new record for me.  I've never had enough to make more than a half jar of jelly so far, so getting 4 pints this year is very exciting.  My trees started as two sticks and I almost lost one a couple of years ago.  But, they've pulled through and I keep them very well maintained.  The arborist that works on our trees told me that crabapples don't like our soil and I should cut them down and put in something else, but I don't plan to do that. 

Crabapple is one of my favorite jellies.  These little apples are as tart and bitter as they can be.  Even the birds won't eat them until they are overripe.  But, boiled down for their juice and with a lot of sugar added, they make some of my favorite jelly.  I took care of all that last night and froze the juice and will make the jelly as soon as I can find a few hours to boil this small batch of jelly.  It's not enough for a pectin package, so I use the old fashioned method that my great grandmother described as "we boiled it for hours and finally, after the whole house was damp, it would get thick and we'd put it in the jars." 

I'm sharing a picture of my backpack because I am not planning to do anything to counter the fact that the zipper pulls look humongous.  Not so much in this picture because my camera can't handle this much red, but they're huge and stick out.  But, it's going to work perfect for what I wanted and it's heavy and sturdy

I want to take it for a test drive, but it won't hold all the junk I needed to haul to the office today, so there it sits, waiting for a low baggage day. 

Now, I need to cut one for Rob, who wants his to be denim blue.  I picked up the zippers (yes, the same kind) and other hardware the other day.  His won't need a lining, so I am hopeful that it will be easier. 

I heard from the quilt shop yesterday.  Looks like I'll be teaching quilting in July and maybe some other classes starting in August.  I've suggested drafting and piecing a mariner's compass, using Judy Neimeyer's method and hand piecing and hand quilting classes.  They seemed excited.  Who knows, maybe I could make some vacation and stash money at this. 

Okay, so that's it for me today.  All is back in alignment at home.  Real people are living. 

I don't know where I picked up "real people" from, but I've been using it for a while in things like calling the family to dinner..."real people are eating". 

Another eccentricity...I guess I'm trying to collect the whole set.



Out of sync

Do you ever get out of sync with the people you've surrounded yourself with?  I don't mean a real issue, just out of sync...not connected in our usual way, miscommunications, missed connections, nothing to say, off in different directions. 

That's what the weekend was like for me. 

I hate when it's like that.  It is not the norm in my family.  We're usually in really good tune.  So, when we're walking in different directions, it is very noticeable.

But, how do I FEEL about that? 

Isolated and alone.  Unable to say anything for fear it will come across wrong.  Left out of the family fun. 

I guess it's times like this that really make me appreciate the close family ties that we enjoy.  Sometimes you have to step outside of normal to really appreciate normal.

So, what did I do with my very quiet weekend?  I sewed and sewed and listened to an audiobook.  I spent time working in the yard and I picked the crabapples for jelly...but I didn't cook them down to juice yet.  I finished my little red backpack and am mostly happy with it.  I may make one more adjustment and see if that will make me completely happy with it, so I'm withholding pictures until I decide about that.  And, I did a ton of hand work on the Dresden Plate quilt, first building the sashings and cornerstones and then starting to sew them on.  But, that is slow work and a lot of progress doesn't look like much accomplishment.  And, I started the 20th jubilee block because that usually perks me up. 

And, I waited for the weekend to be over, in hopes that our routines will get us all back in sync. 

Everybody have a great Monday.  Lane


She waved at me...

Okay, for this to make sense, think of your own teen.  The one that never wanted people to see you with them.  First, I insist that there be a hug before I drop her off at camp in the mornings.  She never hugs back. 


But, I don't care.  I call her a pain in the rear...sometimes.  And, other times, I use another word.  But, if there's no hug, there is a good chance that I will embarass her in front of the whole camp.  And, she knows I might do it. 

"Yoohoo!  Sydney!  Bye!!! Sydney!  Tooooooodles!  Have a terrific day, sweetie-pie!" air kiss, air kiss. 

I've done it before, much to the amusement of the other campers and counselors.

Okay, not in a really long time.  Long enough ago that it didn't make her consider my untimely demise and the selling of my sewing machines for a dollar each (her favorite threat).  But she just never knows if and when I might do that again, so she complies with my requirement of a good bye hug in the parking lot, even if it as warm and affectionate as hugging a sign post.

Usually, we come out of the doors of the Y, where the campers meet every morning, and I go sign her in and she walks away like we just coincidentally got there at the same time.  She'll sit with her back to me so I can't catch her eye to wave.

I don't know what I did right this morning, but today, when I looked back before I left, she met my eye and when I gave a little finger wave, she gave one back.  Discreet?  yes.  Just the tiniest movement of her fingers.  But an acknowledgment, nonetheless.  And a small smile.

I will live on that all day.  Because, by the time she gets home, after spending her allowance on sugary drinks, she will be the grumpiest, moodiest, tiredest, most cranky little pain in the whatever word you want to use that she can be. 

But, she's doing the dishes every night.  She gripes a bit and asks why I'm not doing them, implying that because my legs are not broken, I should be doing everything, but she does 'em. 

Other than that, I'm just working on the red backpack.  I have the front outer cover made, including the two flapped pockets.  Pictures later as I move to the next step. 

Have a good Friday.  I'll be smiling my stupid, happy parent smile. 



Not much...it is a weekday after all.

That's right.  There is not much going on.  And, I am enjoying it more than I can express. 

Here's the picture I meant to show yesterday of the finished Jubilee block 19. 

I like the 3-D effect of the block, but I wish it had more colors in it.  The three blues were not enough to turn me on.  But, the next block will surely take care of that.  Okay, so not that many colors, but look at all that intricate piecing...

Here are the supplies for my new backpack.  I don't have any idea why red has become "the color" for me right now.  Everything I picked up this weekend when we were shopping was red or had red in it.  I'm sure I'm not the only one that cycles through colors.  It's not unusual for me to realize that every shirt I've worn for a week has green in it or blue in it.  But, I'm not usually so drawn to red. 

Ugh, I didn't realize it was so blurry.  The stripes in the top fabric are green and blue with bits of gold and black in them.  That's a very loosely woven fabric, so it's getting secured to the red denim lining fabric with a lot of straight seams, just to keep it from snagging.  Red zippers and there's even a red button in the strap buckle.  But, the strap will likely be black.  I looked at a red one and just am not sure I see that happening. 

The striped fabric came from my Mom when I brought her sewing machine home this year and the red denim came from my mentor.  I came up with the pattern, so all I've had to buy are the zips and the buckle and the strapping. 

When Sydney saw the muslin, she immediately recognized the bag from the store that I took pictures in, even though she was in the dressing room when I was busy with my devious activities.  She's seen me look at that expensive bag every time we go in that store and recognized it, even in different fabrics, without zippers or straps.

The doctor was a breeze, just as I expected.  I'm certified as useful for another 12 months or twenty thousand miles. 

Have a good Thursday.  Two and a half weeks til vacation.





I've spent the last 24 hours winnowing my "to-do" list down to just what I want to be working on right now.  Subsequently, I am going to be able to move a bunch of stuff out of the "active" pile o' junk in my sewing room back into the "stored" pile o' junk in my sewing room.  That means taking it out of the sewing room floor, where it is incredibly in the way, and moving it into the closet, where I can pretend it is not screaming to be worked on.  That will give me more floor space to move around in. 

I want to focus in on a few projects and maybe I'll be able to rekindle that feeling of accomplishment because when I've got 15 things going on in my brain, and I'm dashing from one to the next, I don't get that feeling that I've actually completed anything.

What made the cut?

The new backpack.  I want to take that on vacation in a few weeks because it will be small...just right for a few papers and a camera and a phone and wallet and mp2 player.  Much smaller than any of the backpacks I own now.  And, I made the muslin in about 4 hours the other day, including all the "re-doing" I had to do to get it right.  So, I know I can knock this out quickly.  I've gathered all the supplies over this week.  Now it's time to cut fabric.

The hand pieced and to-be-handquilted Dresden Plate quilt.  That one is good finger work while watching TV.  I should get the top finished in time to set it up in the frame to hand quilt this winter, when I don't mind sitting under a quilt. 

The Jubilee quilt because I really want to make that, start to finish, during my 50th year.  To celebrate my new focus, I finally got up the gumption to finish block 19, which was an incredibly BORING block.  I don't know why some blocks are exciting and some are not, but this one was not exciting; maybe not enough colors.  And, I think I see where some of my lack of commitment has come from on this quilt.  The pieces get smaller and the paper piecing more intricate as I go.  The next 17 blocks are incredibly complex and that is just hard to wrap my head around.  But, I am determined.

Four brown, thread crochet placemats.  I have to have finger work.  The dresden plate quilt was great for that while I was putting all those plates back together and mounting them to their backgrounds, but now, it's gotten big.  Anything I do on it going forward is going to be too big to be portable.  So, this crochet will be small and can go anywhere.

And, that's it.

I will not say how many projects got pushed to the side.  I will admit to it being more than a half dozen.  And, less than the dollar amount of the national debt.

Oh, and while I'm on the subject of focus, I took pictures of the stuff I wanted to talk about today.  Did I bring the camera?  No, it's sitting on the table in the sewing room.  Talk about lack of focus.

Everybody have a great Weds.  I have a doctor's appt this afternoon.  Routine inspection.  A bunch of money to have my blood pressure checked and my temperature taken.  $10 per minute to say that I'm still feeling fine, doc.  Here's your money.  Jeepers!



I am way behind in reading my quilting magazine.  I only subscribe to QNM anymore.  In the one I'm reading, there is an article by Leni Weiner about finding your quilting voice.  She talks about trying lots of different types of quilting, finding what you like, and pursuing that with vigor.  Her illustration was that she was standing near one of her quilts and two ladies walked up and recognized it as hers before they looked at the tag.  Her voice is her distinctive style that can be recognized on sight, from a distance.

So, what is my voice and why did that article resonate so strongly with me?

First, what do I want to do as a quilter?  What do I want my voice to "look" like.

I am a traditional quilter, inspired by the quilts of my Mother, Grandmother, Great-grandmother, and Great-aunts.  Modern is fun to look at and to admire at shows, but modern is not my voice.  I'm not an art quilter...although I think of my quilting as art.  That same issue of QNM shares that there is a new definition of the art quilt.  I can't remember what it was, but it wasn't my voice (likely why I don't remember what it was).  In fact, if I look at my quilting, I haven't moved forward in time to pick my patterns.  I've moved back in time, beginning with really old traditional patterns and then moving up to the patterns that were popular in the late 90's (think Karen K. Stone) when I started quilting.  And, I moved backwards from there, including patterns from the 80's, 70's, 30's and earlier (think Ruth B. McDowell).  And, one of my upcoming projects is a Birds in the Air quilt or a Square within a Square quilt using Civil War repros (think Barbara Brackman's inspiration from old quilts). 

My original aspiration was for whole cloth quilting and I have done a few of those.  Minimalism in the fabrics, but quilting the heck out of them with tiny background work.  Here is the influence if Diane Gaudynski, Leah Day, and Harriet Hargrave.

If you go back and read my blog, you'll read about quilting.  And, then parenting and quilting.  And, relationships and quilting.  And, politics and quilting.  And, knitting and quilting.

Always, the theme of quilting with whatever else was going on.

And then, sometime recently, there started to be a lot of work and crochet and tatting and distraction from quilting. 

Just as I was finding my quilting voice, I got distracted by new and shiny things.  And, my voice started to get diluted instead of further purified.

Okay, so the work thing cannot be avoided.  As much as I'd like to become a full time quilter, making commission work for huge buildings and opera houses, it ain't likely to happen any time soon, so I need to be good with having to go to work because that is what makes all the other stuff possible.

Knitting and crochet will likely stay and will likely still be my go-to projects for portability.  Unless I'm working on a full sized afghan, I can do it in the car, while I wait for the kid...you know, everywhere.  And, most of the time it doesn't take more supplies than can fit in a lunch bag.  Some quilting projects are that portable, but not the ones that require a machine.  Not even a featherweight will fit in a zip top baggie.

But, tatting (which I don't really enjoy) and ebay-ing (can I use that as a verb?) and worrying about how much I'm not getting done need to drop to the wayside because they are diluting the sound of my voice. 

Thanks to the clear words of my friend and fellow Texan, Pauline, I need to be okay with doing the priority stuff; work, parenting, housekeeping, budgeting.  And, then enjoy the stuff I do for fun.  Without feeling like the one is keeping me from doing the other. Think life in balance without too much focus on the serious or on the fun.

And, hopefully, if I can keep my priorities straight and avoid distraction, I can get back to finding and perfecting my voice. 

Everybody have a great Tuesday.  Lane


From 100 to zero

My regular followers know that I am usually going a hundred miles an hour, working on multiple projects at a time, zooming along at the speed of light...a quilt related whirling dervish, if you will.

But, lately, I just can't get my mind around much of anything quilt related.  This became obvious when Rob was in the sewing room the other day and said "What happened to the silk quilt?  Is it just waiting?  Or are you trying to figure out how to finish it?"  It is just waiting, under the excuse of I can't figure out how to finish it.  I did figure out how to finish it.  I just don't want to do it.  It's going to be a ton of intense, high focus, tiny work and I just can't get motivated to sit down and do that. 

Even my jubilee quilt is languishing.  I tried to work on a block over the weekend, but it was just so many pieces and I couldn't quite wrap my head around it.  I need to find my excitement about that again. 

And, those table runners?  Bah!  Who knows whether I'll ever get sufficient motivation to do that.  Although, they would be a good finger work project for vacation.  Small enough that I could even hand quilt them without having to sit under a quilt. 

I did get my friend's table runner finished.  And, washed, and blocked.  but, did I get it packed to mail?  Nope.  It's sitting on my sewing table with all the stuff to go into the box.  Just no box.  Not that I didn't find a ton of boxes in the right size while I was cleaning in the garage over the weekend.  I just didn't bring one in and pack and seal and address it.

I want a new backpack.  One really small.  I found one in a store not long ago that cost way more than I wanted to spend, so I took pictures with my phone.  I've been thinking about how to make it and yesterday, I gave it a try.  I made the muslin and it came out terrific!  In fact, I could use it, except it doesn't have the zippers in it and the stitches are all really big basting stitches.  I need to shop for the zippers and webbing for the shoulder strap and then I can make the real one.  But, I haven't.  Just couldn't get to the store over the weekend.

So, if I'm not accomplishing anything, why does my sewing space look like this?  Three machines, each threaded for a different project.  And scraps everywhere.  I will confess that I cleaned it all up yesterday because I just couldn't stand to look at it anymore.
We did spend a small fortune on summer clothes.  Sydney needs summer clothes and we all needed something new for vacation.  I picked up two shirts that needed small repairs.  I brought them home, made the repairs and tried them on and one turned out to be a women's shirt...Large, which would be my size in a men's shirt and it was on the men's rack and I tried it on over a shirt and thought it would work, but I didn't button it up or I would have realized that it buttoned on the wrong side.  Anyway, I repaired it and now it's headed back to goodwill because Sydney announced she would not wear it, even before I asked.  Another shirt that needed repairs looked like my size, but it wasn't.  Fortunately, it fit Rob, so I don't feel too bad about making repairs to it.

Look who picked out a dress.  She actually picked out two.  On sale.  Way too expensive for the amount of fabric or the amount of stitching involved in them.  But, she picked out a dress!  It was a moment.  Okay, it needs a blue sweater.  Not sure where we'll find that.  But, it's a dress!  Not a t-shirt and jeans.

And, sandals!  It was such a girl moment. 

And, when she picked this to wear out to dinner on Saturday nite, we just had to have pictures.  A dress!  And, sandals!  Rob and I felt under dressed for dinner for the first time.

And, just so I can add something to the done pile, I found this twin sized quilt on the trash pile this morning.  Somebody was moving and they basically put everything they didn't want on the curb.  We can't really use a twin sized quilt, even though this one is pretty (but cheaply and badly made with huge hand quilting stitches that are more like basting than quilting) so it will be the starter for the Linus pile.  Sometimes you just have to prime the pump to get something started.

I dragged it home and washed and dried it.  Sydney made an ugly comment that didn't matter because I don't plan to keep it.  I might even load some blue thread in the machine and do some more quilting on it.  Goodness knows I don't have enough of my own projects waiting, right?

Okay, so that's enough of me griping because I can't get myself motivated to do what I want to do.  I'm plenty motivated for what needs to be done...Sydney summer camp and basketball camp and prepping for vacation.  But, that's not getting any quilts quilted.  I guess the problem here is that doing all the stuff I need to be doing is taking up all my mental capacity from the things I'd like to be doing.  And, I'm slightly put out with my inability to do 15 tasks at a time right now.

Anyway, how about we finish with a funny food story.  Yesterday, I decided to make a peach cobbler.  I had some peaches in the freezer and wanted to use them and a cobbler just sounded delicious.  So, I found my recipe and I thawed the peaches and I put it all together and added the topper and put it in the toaster oven and for once, didn't forget it and burn the top.  Last night, I dished up peach cobbler and whipped cream.  I took a bite and it tasted funny.  Rob took a bite and asked what was wrong with it.  He said the peaches tasted like paint.  I didn't want to admit it, but he was right.  Sydney's comment was that's what happens when you leave peaches in the freezer that were picked by Moses.  And, she was right.  They were really old.  But, I didn't expect them to taste like paint.  So, that went in the trash.  Except the whipped cream.  We all ate our whipped cream.  And, that was last night's desert.

Have a great Monday.  Lane


Me, Me, Me!

It is time for some me and my needle time.

First, I have these two really pretty blocks made.  Plan is to add a green border around each and set them on point, next to one another, with triangles of the flowery fabric between them and then wide strips of that same fabric on the ends to create a table runner with pointed ends.  This is going to make a great runner for our living room in front of my West of Paris, TX quilt hanging on the wall.  The tone on tone peach-ey color in these blocks in one of the fabrics in that quilt. 

These fabrics are for the 19th jubilee block.  The block called for a brown fabric.  BROWN??  The first 18 blocks are bright, bright colors and I could not see making a block wtih brown.  Not knocking brown.  It's a great color.  But, not for this quilt.  So, I picked this very dark gold fabric to set off those three blues.  The freezer paper patterns are ready.  Now I just have to find time to start sewing.

I have three strips of the Dresden Plate blocks together.  This is great work for sitting in the sunroom, listening to a book on tape and enjoying the outside, without all the pesky mosquitoes. 

Recognize this Wheel of Mystery?  This is a favorite for me.  It was made as a Roman Shade for our bathroom and it would look great in there.  Unfortunately, I not found a way to hang it.  I'm going to give it another try this weekend.  It's too pretty to just hang in the sewing room this way.

As for Sydney?  She had her first solo ride on the bus yesterday and it was pretty uneventful for her.  She got one of our old phones last night, so I got my phone back.  And, tonight, she gets her first allowance payment.  Wow, she is having a big week.  Always before, she's gotten what she needed from us, when she needed it.  Now, she's going to have to learn to budget for what she wants.  And, she'll have to stop being so tight fisted with her own money.  She'll pinch a penny until Mr Lincoln screams.

Okay, so that's it for me today.  Work, work, work and then I get to go home and say hello to the needle, thread and fabric.



Don't listen to the words

Sydney and I went on our first bus ride yesterday.  And, once again, that book I'm reading came in handy. 

"Let's go home and get the car."

"Can't you just drive me to the school?"

"What if I find somebody's mother to pick me up every day?"

And, finally, that little squinting of the eyes and pulling the forearms over her chest and lightly shifting from foot to foot; left, right, left, right while saying, through her nose, "please don't make me ride the bus."  You've seen that very good impression of a small child come out of a teen.  Maybe your own teen didn't do it, but you know some teen that did that, knowing it wasn't going to work, but falling back on little kid behavior in an uncomfortable situation.

And, then, her coup de grace "Psychos ride the bus."

And, through all of it, I remained resolute, unyielding, and funny; joking and being excited about my first bus ride in about 25 years.  And refusing to let her spoil that for either one of us.

Because, despite the words and the faces and the complaints about how hot it was for the 5 minutes we waited for the bus to pick us up, there was excitement in her eyes.  Anticipation and anxiety all mixed together.  Anxiety about doing something new.  Anticipation about doing something new.  New opportunities.  No longer tied to the house, with no chance to leave unless one of us comes home.  And, scared poop-less at the prospect of being more independent.  I made sure, no matter how annoying it got, not to show any anxiety or let her anxiety affect me and my excitement about letting her be independent. 

We got on the bus and I said, very quietly, "I don't see any psychos.  Do you?"  "No.  Well, maybe the guy in the back that looks like Jesus on a bad hair day."  (her words, not mine.)

At the next stop a man got on.  Sydney said "He looks kinda psycho."  Me:  "No.  Look at his haircut and his fancy shoes.  He works in a bank."  Her:  "But his socks have dirt on them."  Me:  "So do mine."

At the next stop, a man got on all dressed in black.  Sydney:  "That guy's all in black.  He looks psycho."  Me:  "No, look at the jacket over his shoulder.  He's just a waiter.  He's not a psycho."

At the next stop, an old lady got on who was about as wide as she was tall and had a toothless smile from ear to ear and so much "happy" rolling off her that you couldn't help but smile back.  Me:  "There's our psycho."  Sydney:  "hmmpff"

We were on the bus all of 10 minutes, during which she complained that we were only going 10 miles an hour and she didn't understand why a lady that got on with us only rode a quarter mile and then got off..."why did she wait so long in the heat if she was just going 50 feet."

Another young woman, about Sydney's age also got on the bus at one of the stops and we speculated that she might also be going to basketball camp and sure enough, she was.  I asked Sydney if she made friends with her, but no, she did not.  Kids are so impractical. 

Anyway, when we got there, she wouldn't go in to the camp until her friend from middle school arrived...and I'm good with that.  What am I gonna say to her when I won't talk to strangers either.  I am modeling that behavior, whether I want to pass it on to her or not and I can't complain that she's doing it, too. 

After it was over, I asked her if the camp was good enough to make the bus ride worth it.  She decided it was.  So, we plan to do that more. 

Of course, this morning, Rob tells me that over night, her phone has died and she has to have a phone for me to feel comfortable with her riding the bus.  That really pissed me off because I actually went to considerable trouble to make this available to her and she just blew all that because she hasn't taken care of her phone.  Poor phone.  We all got phones just alike, at the same time, two years ago and mine and Rob's both look brand new.  Her's looks like it was used as a hockey puck at a grudge match on asphalt.  But, we'll get through that, too.  I guess that tomorrow, she'll have my phone for the day.


So, the whole bus thing is different in the southern U.S. than what I've observed in other places.  In other parts of the country, everybody rides public transportation.  I've ridden trains in NYC, Boston, Chicago and Cleveland and taken buses in those cities plus Atlanta.  Those cities have well organized public transportation.  But, in the south, where I grew up and including Austin, having your own car is a status symbol and only the very poor and people with disabilities (especially mental disabilities) and the homeless take the bus.  That's changing here in Austin as more and more people move from different parts of the country and expect good public transportation.  The city has responded with more routes so it doesn't take two hours to cross town now, like it did 25 years ago when I tried taking the bus to work because I was without a car.  And, more and more, the affluent choose to take public transportation to save on parking.  Most still have their cars, but it's more convenient sometimes not to take your car.  I know that there is still a capacity for something bad to happen on the bus.  But, I'm more worried about her having to cross that busy street than I am about anything happening at the bus stop or on the bus. 

And, the people on the bus represented a true cross of Austin culture as I described above.  Banker, housekeeper, waiter, high school student, college student, little old lady, Asian guy headed to the post office, and the friendliest driver you'd ever want to be picked up by, who was willing to help us understand the payment box and where to get off the bus (on in front, off in back) and welcomed us on the bus yesterday like we were new people who needed to be made comfortable in her home. 

All of that is going to be good for Sydney.  She needs to see more of that cross culture.  And, I have to trust that she has learned the rules of safety we've been teaching.  Crossing a busy street, sitting alone, avoiding eye contact with people you don't know, being comfortable in strange surroundings, keep your phone in hand.  All things that I didn't learn as a teen.  Lessons I want to pass on for her, to help her be more well-rounded.  To help her see that our way of living is not the only way there is.  And, that there are lots of people out there doing the best they can and that's good enough.  That way, when she's doing the best she can, she won't need to feel ashamed that it's not good enough.  Like I did.  And, she won't have to be afraid of everything outside her door like Bilbo Baggins...and me.

Everybody have a great Wednesday.  In continuing the kid theme for the week, she goes in for her physical this afternoon.  More vacation time burned.  Sheesh, will the parenting never stop???

I know the answer to that one.



public transportation

The book I'm reading about teens being crazy has a great analogy about teens moving in two circles that must expand and contract together.  One circle is the circle of responsibility and the other is the circle of autonomy.  As teens show more responsibility, the autonomy they are afforded should increase.  As they fail to show responsibility, the autonomy afforded should decrease.

Sydney has shown great responsibility; good grades, social consciousness, being where she is supposed to be when she is supposed to be.  And, now she is getting some autonomy.  This afternoon, I am going to teach her to ride public transportation, the city bus, to the high school. 

Okay, so this is the most controlled environment I can think of to let her be independently mobile.  The bus stop is a half mile from the house, on the edge of our neighborhood.  The bus ride is 3 miles and she should only be on the bus for 15 minutes a day.  The ride is in the middle of the afternoon, not during rush hour. 

I can't think of a more controlled way to expose her to mobility.  And, if this doesn't work, I don't have another option for her to get to basketball camp in the middle of the afternoon, two days a week.  I cannot leave work that much to get her there and neither can Rob and we don't know anybody that doesn't work that can take her.  I think for the first time, I miss having local grandparents and aunts and uncles.

First, I had to convince Rob that this was a good idea.  Then, I had to convince Sydney.  I got them both on board yesterday afternoon and had Sydney read 6 pages from the metro transportation authority about riding the bus; what is expected, what to do, what not to do, how to pay and how to signal the driver that you want off the bus.

But, at 3:30 this morning, I woke very frustrated.  It was like an animated cartoon.  I could basically hear the roadway growling and slithering like a black snake and I could hear horns blasting and I could sense a 9 year old Sydney, crying, waiting to cross the street to take the bus.

Okay, all you parents of grown kids are welcome to say that I've just had my first of many sleepless nights as we work on this responsibility/autonomy balance.  I'm sure it's going to be even harder when she goes on her first out of town overnighter.  Or, when she drives cross country.  Or goes off to college.  I'm sure there will be many nights that I will envision the roads as dangerous and people as threats.  I am sure I will wake with that clammy feeling and not be able to get back to sleep on a regular basis.

But I was not expecting it last night.  I was the one that solved this problem.  I was the one that did the research.  I sold the idea to the rest of the family.  I should have been the one that got the good night's sleep, confident in my choices.

Instead, I was the only one up, prowling the house in the middle of the night, panicked and trying to find the city ordinances about where you're allowed to cross the street.  So, if you think internet research is pointless and confusing when you're clear headed, try to do it in the middle of the night, when you are panicked and not thinking clearly and getting more and more angry as the hours pass without a better solution to the issue at hand. 

I finally found what I needed; the information that made me feel better.  And, I walked to the only dangerous intersection this morning, just so I could get the lay of the road she was going to have to cross.  And, I measured distances to see if I could get her to a cross walk with a signal so I wouldn't have to worry about her running out into the street to catch a bus that's nearing the stop. 

I've done all I can do.  And now it's time to let go and trust that she has shown us that she is responsible and ready for this added autonomy. 

At this point, I am sure that I am more nervous about riding the bus with her this afternoon than she is about either the bus ride or the first day of basketball practice.

And, when did this sweet little quilt blog get to be so much about parenting???  All I did was start one little quilt that's for a friend and I can't blog about, and suddenly I don't have anything quilty to talk about. 

Hey, there are lots of quilt blogs, but where else can you go to hear how scared an old man is of raising a teenage girl?

Have a great Tuesday.  I've gotta go home and find a handful of quarters!



carts and horses

It’s hard to watch a teenager learn lessons.  It’s hard to watch them not get what they want because they are learning those lessons. 

Last night, Sydney got her cart before her horse on basketball camp.  She asked if she could go home with one of the basketball players, whose mother we know well, after basketball practice tomorrow. 

What she forgot to do was to find out how she was going to get to basketball practice in the first place.  She did not know when it started, what time of day, what the recurring days were.  She had not asked how she was going to be getting there.  None of the responsibility stuff.

And, that left Rob with so many questions, that we never got to the “could she go home with a friend after.” 

This is a lesson she will have to learn.  The lesson of taking care of her own business.  Unfortunately, it is not a pleasant lesson to teach because we would have been glad to have her spend the day with a friend.  But, doesn’t look like that’s going to happen this week.  We still have to figure out how to get her there twice a week, all summer long, during work hours.

On a happier note, after the sun came up yesterday, I spent a while in the yard, playing in the flowers.  I wanted to share some pics.

These are the June daylilies. 




Green…or a pale enough yellow to appear green.




And, this undesirable triple orange that must have cross bred with something red because my other triple is just orange.

And, other vignettes:


100_3661 100_3662

And, that red pot, filled with creeping fig.

All in all, we had a good weekend.  A good balance of play and work.  That’s what they should be.  Unfortunately, sometimes the work needs extra time, and we like to balance that with some weekends of extra fun. 

We’re preparing for vacation.  Just four weeks.  Time to see if last year’s clothes fit.