Civil War block 4

The fourth block of Barbara Brackman’s Civil War mystery was released over the weekend and I had been working on the Elna, so decided to make the block with that machine.  It’s the one with the blue.


I got through it, with a minimum of swearing.  The Elna machine sews wonderfully.  I opened up the base and found the rattling part, which was the one that was missing from the bobbin winder.  So, I got rid of a rattle and got the bobbin winder working.  I oiled and cleaned and she got really quiet and you know how much I like that.  And, she makes a lovely stitch. 

But, every new piece of fabric I try to chain piece through her gets caught under the foot and makes the cutest and most undesirable ruffle that releases as soon as you lift the foot and is playing havoc with quarter inch seam allowance.  Not to mention, someone had probably not threaded the bobbin right and, trying to get tension on the bobbin thread, turned the bobbin tension all the way up.  So, when I threaded it right, it caused a puckering in the seams.  I futzed and played with it and got through the block, but it’s still going to take some more work.  I’ll get there…eventually.

I got the first sawtooth border on the mini quilt this morning.  Soon as I figured out that the quilt center came out smaller than predicted in the pattern (oops!) and the sawtooth border came out longer than predicted (oops! Sally would be so disappointed) the answer became simple.  Take a block off both ends of each sawtooth border and they fit like a charm.  So, on we go.


Also wanted to share some lovely iris in the garden.  I love to go out there every day and see what is new.


These came from New Hampshire.  We dug them up in front of an antique shop.  The lady gave us a trowel out of her stock to do it, but we insisted on paying her for it.  And, we dug up some iris and brought them home on the plane, with a whole bunch of yellow bearded iris.  TSA wouldn’t let us travel today with some of the stuff we carried, way back in the day.  Rob and I bring a plant home from just about every vacation.

Have a great Tuesday.  Work, schmerk.  I’m not a wabbit.  I’m tired.



That pesky quarter inch

I almost started this with a dirty joke about why men make such good map makers.  If you know it, feel free to smile.

Anyway, I got the center of the mini quilt together this weekend.  I started putting it together on Friday night and suddenly things started to come apart.


When I’d made the sashing, my seam allowance was off.  By a lot.  And, to correct it, I trimmed the strips down without regard to how wide the individual sections should be.

Now, that would have worked fine if I’d employed it throughout, but half way through making the little corner pieces, I corrected it.  So, nothing was matching up and all the sashing and those eight corners that make the sashing turn were all tossed and I made them again.  Grrrr. 

The mistake was that when I used my seam guage to set my seam allowance to the perfect quarter inch, I turned it the wrong way and from that side, it’s not a quarter inch to the edge.  Maybe 3/16.  And, that extra sixteenth of an inch, spread across two or three seams was enough to make it way off.  So, it’s not just “follow the instructions” for this quilt, it’s be very detailed about how you follow them.


But, it came together and there were two of these.


See how the top triangle has the right point cut off?  Well, that couldn’t be, so I took little bits of stitching out and fixed it and put them back in again.

I guess they were right at bee; once an overachiever, always an overachiever.  Rob is suggesting I enter this in the show this year.

Anyway, all that done and there were the 152 hst blocks to make.  Holy tiny persnickety work, Batman!  They finish at 1/2”.


I have all four sections pieced…and all four are different lengths.  So, now there’s that to correct and get them all to the right size. 

Or, I could leave that border out.

But, we all know I won’t.

Everybody have a great Monday.  We are celebrating the day of Rob’s birth today.  We had a whole birthday weekend where he got to pick the places we ate and what we did.  We were all tired on Saturday, after the band on Friday night.  It was a Beatles cover band, so lots of singing and dancing and excitement.

Happy Birthday, Dearest.  Thanks for hanging in with me and being my best friend. 



All he said was lol

You know you’ve got a good one when his only response to the following text is LOL.


I accidentally bought a sewing machine


And, it really was an accident.  And, testament to the fact that I cannot resist a $20 sewing machine.  Parts on a sewing machine are worth more than $20 and I’m really good at getting the actual machine back into serviceable condition and haven’t had to sell one off for parts yet. 

This time, it was an Elna Supermatic.  I saw it in the morning, did  a quick research, found out the most common problem, read reviews, learned about the machine and the company and I bid $21.51.  And, I won.  The shipping was more than the machine…although I think I got cheated on the shipping, but I’m happy enough with the machine to let that go to the universe to reconcile.

Main attraction?  Color.

See the silver metal bar folded up against the machine?  That’s a knee control.  No pedal.  I actually like that and Sydney was fascinated and couldn’t wait to try the machine.

Dare I hope she will decide to sew?


Love the green.  And, this machine was made in the same time period as my Grandmother’s Singer 15-91, but technologically, it’s miles ahead, using cams to create decorative and zig-zag stitches. 


I already bought my first cam.  The machine only came with the zig-zag cam and I bought a blanket stitch.


The cam cost a dollar and offered free shipping.  I feel like I’ve gotten in on a well kept secret.  These machines are cheap, but they’re supposed to be pretty good.


The tension is built into the nose cone of the machine and it’s going to take some getting used to threading, but eventually I won’t need the manual anymore.

The machine case folds down to a convenient extension bed.


Please note that I have not started cleaning the case and it is as dirty on the outside as the machine was when I opened it.  There was tape residue everywhere.  This extension bed was hard to put on the machine, so I probably am doing something wrong or something is bent and I wasn’t ready to try to force it and scratch any paint. 

The whole thing is aluminum.  The machine, at 13 pounds, weighs two pounds more than a featherweight.  The case feels heavier than the machine.  Together, 31 pounds for shipping.

The seller described it as “not too loud”, but when I plugged it in and gave it the juice, it sounded like a volkswagen without a muffler.  The handwheel skipped and jumped and things wouldn’t turn. 

I brought out the oil bottle and started bathing, first the places indicated by the owners manual, which I printed for free off the internet, and then any place I saw metal moving.  And, slowly, it got quieter.  It took a while to clean out all the lint from the feed dogs.  Cheap machines are always dirty.  And, the bobbin case had surface rust that a cotton swab and some oil took right off.  It’s quieter, but it’s not as quiet as my Grandmother’s 15-91.

Unfortunately, I value quiet over many other features of a machine, so the 15-91 keeps pride of place in the sewing room for piecing.  But, I’ll keep working on the Supermatic. 

Hey, it gives me something else small to take to classes and bee.  Another novelty. 

And, it’s cheaper than collecting shoes.

This morning, I pieced the corner sections for the mini quilt. 


At first I was nervous about the change in background color, but I’m feeling pretty good about that now, after walking in on the quilt a few times with these pieces in place and the more I see it, the less jarring it feels.

Be well.  Have a great friday.  It’s Rob’s b-day weekend and he has asked to go hear a band.  I love life music and Austin is the live music capital of the world, or, so we say.  So, it should be a good one.



Well, what do you know…

Mini-piecing continues.  I’ve completed the sashing and the cornerstones and those cute little squares around the edge that cause the gold to turn a corner, and the setting triangles.  Now, it’s just the corners left to go.


And, then I can put the quilt center together. 

And, then it’s off to border school.

Not sure I’m happy with my fabric choice in the setting triangles.  That could end up being remade.  Minus a couple of accidents and mistakes. 

I can only say that it is all about following the instructions precisely and all the instructions I’ve used have come from Sally Collins Mastering Precision Piecing and this pattern is from her book Small Scale Quiltmaking.


If you follow the instructions carefully, this is a really easy quilt to make.  But, it’s hard to follow instructions that carefully and I’ve made a couple of mistakes that no one will ever know about. 

She says to arrange the basket blocks in a pleasing way.  So far, I can’t find an unpleasing way. 

Take care.  Have a great Thursday. Lane


Life moves forward

This morning was such a rush that I'm just getting to a post for today. 

Thank you all for the encouragement.  I did make the call yesterday to schedule the consultation.  And, just as I predicted, as soon as the numbers were dialed, all the stress melted away.  It's just something about taking a first step that paralyzes me. 

This is all very familiar to me.  A few years ago, I needed to have some dental work done.  I put off the phone call for years.  Yes, years of dental problems.  It affected how I interacted with people.  And, I put up with it and did my best to keep things from getting worse.  But, like all things medical, not getting worse is not the same thing as getting better.  Finally, I got a bad infection and the tooth became loose and something HAD to be done.  Unfortunately, I waited until it had to be done before I did it and the tooth couldn't be saved. 

I made the first phone call, ended up with the sweetest periodontist who did several thousand dollars worth of work in my mouth and I'm a new man.  It changed how I talk to people (and whether I talk to them).  It gave me back my self confidence, not just getting my tooth fixed, but feeling confident about being in charge of my choices (even if I am slow).

Anyway, you'd think that would be enough to change me going forward, but it wasn't.  I still put off booking airline flights for business trips in hopes that things will change and I won't have to go.  And, I still put off medical appointments. 

I promise not to name my quilt the colonoscopy quilt or anything else as horrid. 

And, thanks, Lillian.  Your words were simple and powerful. 

Be well everyone.  I managed to get a good bit more done on that miniature quilt this morning.  If it keeps going this fast, there's a chance it could be in this year's show.  Goodness knows, that many tiny matching points should be seen.  A lot!  I might even send pictures to Sally Collins.  If I finish fast enough, she might even remember who I am.



Something new

I really couldn’t help myself on this one.  I saw the actual quilt when Sally Collins was here and it really is basically the same block she taught me to make in class, except there are more of them.  . 


And, it’s really cute.  And, really small.  The quilt size, finished, is 28 1/2” 


The blocks are 3 5/8” and finish at 3 1/8”


Over Saturday and Sunday, I made all 13 of them. 

And, I have all the sashing sewn, and am cutting it down to the right lengths.


It is 1 1/2” wide and finishes at 1” 

At bee on Saturday, they kept saying “once an overachiever, always an overachiever.” 

I’m surprised at how fast it’s going.  But, I really did spend all weekend working on it.  I barely came out of the sewing room and didn’t get to all my weekend chores.

This won’t be the final name, but I’ve come to think of it as the colonoscopy quilt because I got this far as a way to avoid the anxiety I’m having about scheduling the appointment with the surgeon.  I know, I know, it ain’t no big thing and the day before is by far the worst and the fasting is the hardest.

But, I’m still anxious and nothing that anyone has said has made me feel any better.  Except maybe Bonnie Hunter.  She had hers done when we turned 50, like I should have.  And, she approached it as something that has to be done.  Just a fact.

And, for me, it is a fact now.  Even though I managed to avoid mine, my sister had hers (dang her!) and now I have to have one. 

It is a fact. 

Today, I am going to call the surgeon.  That’s another fact.

Be well.  Have a good tuesday.  Wish me luck because really, this is the hardest part for me.  After that first phone call is made to schedule, I get real good at handling what’s going on in a very businesslike fashion, finding as many laughs in it as I can.  It’s just making that first call that’s hard for me.

The therapist calls it first step trauma. 

Well, it must be something.  It has a name.

Take care.  Lane


The pictures you missed

Well, our week of no internet ended with a very confused repairman on Friday, who made a single phone call when he had given up on everything else, that magically fixed whatever was wrong.  Hmmmm.

I did make comment that I’d spent two and a half hours on phone calls.  Why didn’t they try that?

His answer was that he can call a different service group than me and the two groups don’t share or talk.  What????

Well, without sharing my pretty obvious feelings about that, let’s get to a picture or two.

Here is the red/white/blue quilt that I made.  100_6697

This is a great lap quilt and soon as I get it quilted, it will get donated to the red/white/blue quilt group at the guild.  Rob wants one, too. 

And, here is a quick peak at the silk quilt. 


More to come on it later, but wanted to show how much like a house it is looking.  I took it to bee on Saturday.  But, I need to get it back under the needle and keep going.  I’ve had a whole weekend off from it and need to re-focus.

On friday, I made a shirt. 



A tiny bit big, but perfectly serviceable.  Hopefully, it will come out of the wash a wee bit smaller. 

I wore it all day Saturday, and then Syd pointed out that it still had the maker’s marks on it where the pocket was positioned.  Can you see the blue mark at the top left of the pocket?  Oops.


It was nice to have internet.  We spent a nice quiet Easter with me sewing my OCD away.  I managed to make an Easter basket for them to share with some favorite candies, and I baked a ham, despite not realizing the grocer’s would be closed yesterday morning.  Oops!

But, we’ll survive and I’ll make a quick stop in tonight for supplies. 

Everybody have a great Monday.  I started something new over the weekend.  I really didn’t mean to.  It kind of sneaked up on me. 


I think I’m going to be saying oops a lot this week.



Customer Service

I think Rob and I have spent a total of two and a half hours on the phone, trying to get internet back.  Whatever it is, it happened between 6 am and 8 am, day before yesterday.  And they cannot figure it out.  So, I'm at home tomorrow morning to wait for the repairman to show.  Yay, me...

Fortunately, we have insurance on our wiring, so it's not going to cost us anything.

Rob is so good at customer service.  The time I spent yesterday morning was polite and when I got frustrated, I thanked the guy and got off the phone.  Then, Rob kicked in and I listened to him talk to a lady for at least an hour last night and they joked and laughed and talked like they were old friends.  And, when they were done, he asked her to transfer him to her manager, so he could tell what a great job the rep had done. 

I wish I was like that.  I get frustrated and can't just keep trying things over and over to try to solve the problem. 

He's my customer service hero.

Yes, I'm quilting.  And, no, I can't upload pictures.  But, you're going to be surprised to see how far it's gotten in very little time.  Last night, Sydney and I were talking about it. 

Okay, so even as I write that, I am astounded.  Suddenly she's gotten so easy to get along with and so happy and jolly.  And, interested in me and what I have going on.  What's wrong?  Who is she and what has she done with my surly, grumpy teen that just wants to be left alone? 

And, can she stay?  We don't really need that surly grumpy one back.  We're happy with the substitution, so if aliens have abducted her and replaced her with a pleasant clone, we're good with that, okay?  No take-backs!

Anyway, we were talking about what I was going to quilt around the house and she had the perfect idea.  It might have been her first ever perfect design idea. 

It brought a tear to my eye.

She and I are both off tomorrow.  She wailed "Nooooooo!" when she found out we could spend the whole day together.  She has vowed to lock herself in her room and only come out to tell me when she is hungry. 

Fat lotta good that will do her.  I'm off, too!

Everybody have a great Thursday.  My boss's big meeting is this afternoon; the one we've all been getting ready for.  Hopefully, next week, we'll get to some "normal" at work, whatever that is.

Be well and I hope to have internet back tomorrow.  Me?  I plan to spend my day off putting together a shirt I cut out a month ago.



Living without

Oh, woe is me.  We have no internet at home.  Weird, huh?  You'd think we were on the prairie, in winter, without firewood or food. 

It's so easy to get used to things just being there, at the tip of a finger.  Flip the switch, there is light.  Push the button and make the toast.  And, when those little conveniences aren't there, life is all discombobulated.  I don't like it.  I like routine.  I burned the sausages this morning, trying to make breakfast, lunch and dinner, while talking to the tech help desk.  I tried too much multi-tasking and had to ask Syd for help. 

I woke really early this morning and couldn't get back to sleep, so I got up and put on my nice warm robe and went to the sewing room.  I wasn't intending to sit at the machine, but I did.  I finished quilting  the last section of roof and started some tiny background work to represent an oak tree that shades one side of the house.  My white marks are starting to fade and the pencil just doesn't leave as nice a mark on the silk when I'm doing it on the soft batting instead of a hard surface.  But, if I sit under a very bright light, I can still see the lines to trace them again; just a little at a time, as much as I think I can do in a sitting or it wipes off again and I'm back for another tracing. 

The last marked item is the tree branches above the house.  And, then I move to the lawn.  Still not quite sure how I will quilt something that makes you think of well manicured, St Augustine grass.  I  plan to doodle the ideas I've had and see if I like any of them.  Better to doodle than to unsew what I don't like.

After all that quilting, I finally finished the first bobbin.  A class 15J bobbin will hold a LOT of 100wt silk thread.  I decided after that much work, my Bernina needs an oiling and cleaning before I do more.  She's starting to make a bit of noise and that usually means she wants oil.  She doesn't want much from me.  A swipe with a brush to remove lint and several well placed drops of oil.  I keep her happy, she keeps me happy. 

Not sure what is interfering with my ability to sleep lately.  Waking at 3am.  Can't just lay there.  If I'm awake, I toss and turn.  That keeps Rob up, so once in a while, I get up and head to the sewing room.  I guess I can't complain about the extra sewing time.  Every quilter wishes the day was two hours longer.  I just wish I wasn't getting mine when I should be asleep.

Be well.  Have a good Wednesday.  Wish our internet devils away.  I have pictures I want to share.



A lot done, but not much to show for it.

At least for today.  I did get a quilt top really close to being finished and I’ll blog more about it tomorrow when the top and bottom borders are attached.  It turned out to be so easy and I’m really happy with how it looks.  Rob wants one, too.  I think I can do that.

Anyway, most of the weekend was spent on that and on rearranging the artwork in the sewing room and working in the yard.  But, I did manage to get one more roof section on the house quilt finished.



Something about that section makes it really look like a house to me.  Just that fact that it is at a different angle and spacing than the first section starts to add perspective as well. 

This picture is for my Mom.  She gave me some Iris and the other day, I noticed for the first time that it was about to bloom.  I asked the color and she wasn’t sure.  So, here it is.  It’s a very, very vibrant yellow.  Much brighter than my other yellow iris.


Sydney took that picture, so of course, the background and centering are perfect.  Finally, she’s interested in something enough to learn about it on her own.  Yay!!!!!

Journalism and photojournalism were a good choice.

I moved this quilt out of the closet the other day.  This is a truly wonderful quilt.  It’s a half size of the original and it is very densely quilted,  I quilted it during Syd’s recovery from knee surgery last year.  My machine is very close to her bedroom door.  And, when I was nervous, the quilting got really, really dense.

And, in other places, it’s loose.


I found a whole bunch of lovely quilts that needed to be shown and so I took down some Goodwill art and hung my own work.  I kept all the oils and watercolors.  I know good stuff when I hang it.  But, I put my stuff up, too.

Have a great day everybody.  It’s Monday.  My boss’s big meeting is Thursday afternoon.  I think I’m taking Friday off.  It’s okay to be supportive and all, and to be available to take care of anything she needs as she preps for this meeting.  But, I’ll be glad when I can have a day to pamper myself



A comedy of mistakes and some corrections and forward momentum

Last night, the weirdest thing happened.  For about a half hour, I couldn’t get anything to come out right.  First, I knocked a full glass of water onto the end table and floor and everything piled on them both.  Rob helped me clean that up.  Then, I decided I wanted to make a batch of popcorn for me to snack on for a couple days.  First, it got turned off before it finished popping.  Then, I couldn’t pour it into the paper bag I had selected.  Then, it started to burn.  Then, I poured it into a huge bowl, and spilt most of it into the sink.  Then, I put some in a baggie and some in a paper bag for Rob and Syd and I tried to rip the top off the bag so they wouldn’t have to reach way down into it and the whole bag ripped open and popcorn went everywhere in the kitchen and dining room. 

That one I cleaned up myself.  Thank goodness no one tried to help.

When we got in bed, Rob mentioned my string of mishaps and we laughed.  As he headed into the bathroom, I handed him my nearly empty glass of water and asked him to pour it out before I spilt it in the bed.  That sparked another round of laughter.

This morning was clean up day on the house quilt.  I had some lines that needed straightening and needed to put the tree branches in before I could draw in the shingle grid.  And, then I picked out some stitches and buried a whole lot of knots.  


All rather boring, with little progress to show.  Tortoise and the hare, you know.  So long as something is getting done…well, it’s something.

I pulled out my block that I volunteered to make for the guild boutique.  I really should have taken three or four. 


This is going to be so fast.  It’s a paper pieced log cabin block.  Now, I never would have thought to paper piece such a simple block, but I guess that’s how they’re going for consistency in size.  That’s fine.  They ask to leave the paper on (oh, it would be so much easier for the person to assemble if the papers were pulled for them.)  Anyway, I plan to do that this weekend so I can tuck it into my bag and it won’t get forgotten. 

Everybody have a great Friday.  I have a chore list as long as my arm for this weekend.  But, at least they’re all simple, quickly completed things.  Sunday, it is supposed to rain.  What a great day to quilt. 



It doesn’t have to keep the rain out…

It just has to make you think of the concept “roof” when you see it. 


That’s what I kept telling myself this morning when I was counting the mistakes in the roof.  One, near the right side, halfway down may have to be removed and redone.  But, I’ve decided to wait until I get the adjoining sections of roof done before I make any drastic decisions.  You may not even be able to see that mistake when I am done.


See the door area, puffed up in the center?  That’s my un-sure-ness space.  Our front door is blue and I want to quilt the front door in blue thread.  It feels like a very artistic decision. 

And, I am afraid that I will ruin the effect by quilting the door in blue thread.  Artistic decision gone awry.

I’ve purchased the thread.  I’m going to start it in blue, without doing anything too complex, and then, if I don’t like it, it won’t be a problem to pick it out.  And, if I love it (which I secretly think I will) I can quilt the heck out of it. 

I think the name of the quilt is “Welcome, Welcome”.  I’m tempted to add “all are welcome.  Step into the light, children.”…anybody recognize that movie line? 

Anyway, back to the quilt, i hope to work up the nerve to try that this weekend.  Maybe tonight, I’ll have a small glass of wine and thread up that blue thread and see where the evening takes me.

Have a great Thursday.  I need some days off to play.  I’m feeling so inspired to quilt.

I knew I should have taken a couple days off after Sally Collins’ class.



Trying to do my part

I’m trying to do my part toward the guild’s fundraising efforts at this fall’s quilt show. 

I’ve made two blocks for the quilt my bee is contributing.  I have the kit to make a block for the boutique to sell; it’s such a simple block, I wish I’d taken several (they tried to tell me I should take several and I just didn’t listen).  I’ve made 30 spool pin doilies.  If they sell for as little as $5 each, that’s still a nice sum.


I want you to see the yellow in my garden.  My garden goes through color phases.  This week, it’s yellow.

Two stands of yellow iris going nuts.  These came from Boston and didn’t bloom for many years…like 10 or something until they had acclimated to Texas.  And, probably crossed with native Iris.  Now, they’re giving me more each year.

100_6678 100_6679

Yellow Gerberas Daisies.  Not much plant yet, but two blooms.


Yellow Columbine…but see that peek of purple starting to show on the left hand side.  In a week or so, my garden will change color.


And, summer blue larkspur.  But wait!  Those flowers are yellow.  And, it’s not summer.  Yes, this is a mystery.


A seedling came up down the hill.  It’s yellow, too.  Me thinks that my perennial died and now I have two seedlings that bred with a yellow larkspur.  Oh well.  Doesn’t matter.  They’re pretty and they fit right in with everything else that’s going on out there right now.

Everybody have a great Wednesday.  It is hump day.  Half way between last weekend and next weekend.  Goodness, I hope I’m not the only one that feels like he works the week to finance the weekend. 

Oh, and medical benefits.

And, groceries.

Ahhh, that makes me feel better about the day at work.  Count your many blessings name them one by one…



Sally Collins at the guild meeting

Sally was a delight at the meeting last night.  Even though I had spent two days with her, she still had new things to share and more quilts to show. 

She is a very no-nonsense speaker.  She has her way of doing things, acknowledges that there are often other ways.  And, has no intention of changing because her way works for her.  She encourages everyone to find what works for them.  If it’s her way, great.  If not, that’s great, too.

I was really drawn to this quilt.


It really speaks my name with the browns and blacks.  I took several close up pictures of the quilt with my phone. 

But, this morning, I realized that it’s the color more than the pattern that I am drawn to. 

I’m drawn to this pattern.


But, not those colors (high school colors of purple and gold kind of ruined me on that combination.)

What if I used the blacks and browns to make the purple and gold quilt? 

That made my heart sing.

So, we’ll see how it goes.  I’ve always wanted to make a lone star.  Why not make a teeny tiny one.  Actually, we’ll see if I can talk myself out of it.  I really need to be quilting three quilt tops at a time, not starting another top.

LW asked how the roof was going to look.  I got it started this morning.  Already learning things about how this should be done. 


Can anybody identify my problem? 

Take a guess.

The roof scale and the stone on the front of the house are the same scale.  On the actual house, the roof is a different color so it stands out.  But, when you only have one color, it’s about the scale.  So, I’ll have to densely quilt the facia board that runs along the edge of the eave, and that dense quilting will separate the two sections, and then you’ll be able to see better that one is rectangles and one is random shapes.

Yesterday before guild, I went to The Quilt Store, here in Austin for silk thread.  Lovely store.  I got out for $50.  I felt very lucky.  It’s all because of that pesky free motion quilting book that leapt into my hands and insisted on going home with me.  I was fine until it started to cry and make a scene.  So, I stuck it under my arm to quiet it down and slinked out to the car with it. 

And, I read a third of it while I ate dinner.

Be well.  Have a great Tuesday.  Enjoy any quilting you get done.  I wish I could spend the day at the machine after the inspiration of being around Sally Collins.



Great weekend, but I missed my family

That’s weird, huh?  Oh, well.  I’m weird.  Even though I was home on Saturday night for Dinner Out and a movie and popcorn at home, which is a tradition since Sydney came to us, and even though I spent Sunday morning puttering around with Rob and we had lunch together, and even though I would have spent about as much time alone in the sewing room or garden as I spent at class, I still missed having them around.  Asking a question, just when i was focused in on a point or something.  What’s for lunch?  Or something equally as mundane.  I hate that.  But, I missed it just the same.

Yesterday’s class was very relaxed.  Most people had started a new block, giving up on the block they started on Saturday and calling that one “practice”.  I made a new one, too, but I finished the one I started on Saturday, warts and all.

And, I’m glad I did.  When I taught, it was always the people who came to do something that were happy.  The people that came so they could walk away with something ended up disappointed.  And, that’s the word that spread. 

I went to Sally’s class to learn four buckets full of stuff and whether I walked away with a pincushion didn’t matter.  I don’t think that was true of everyone.  Some people expected to walk away with a pincushion just like Sally’s samples. 

I walked away happy, AND I got a pincushion. 


Most of the problem with it is in the piping.  That’s where my supplies and tools fell short.  Sally offered us 2 feet of “practice” piping from her stash and I used it for practice.  It was medium blue.  In retrospect, I should have used my hand made piping for the test and her piping for my cushion. 

Anyway, before I continue with the second one, I’ll get some appropriate cording to make the piping from, or buy some piping.


Not enough contrast in that second one, huh?  It may not even get finished.  Might just be a block.  But, you can expect to see more stuff in this size coming from my machine. 

First thing, a quilt for the dollhouse. 

Because everyone was relaxed yesterday and it was cloudy and rainy and the temperature in the class was better, there was lots of laughter and good mood that felt good.  I was glad to make a second block because it kept me there, enjoying the company and the hum of machines. 

Over the weekend, the house quilt did proceed.  Here you can see the tree filled in on the right side. 


I looked out the kitchen window on Saturday, before I started the tree, and I was thinking, what does bark look like?  I started studying the tree in the back yard  and while I stood there, I saw it.  The filler for the tree is jagged lines, like streaks of lightening that children draw.  Touching. 


This morning, I drew the grid on one section of roof for the shingles. 


Constant and steady progress.  That’s how the turtle beat the hare. 

I need a few consecutive hours to quilt that roof.  I’m not sure I can leave it for the day and pick it up in the same frame of mind and unfortunately, when it comes to background filler, frame of mind is the name of the game for me to be consistent.

Tonight is guild.  I need to find a show and tell. 

Have a great Monday.  Lane


The non-stop marathon of quilting weekend.

The Sally Collins class is two days.  We get together today, just before noon and we run until six. 

I was very keyed up yesterday morning and needed to sew.  I put in some shrubbery on the house quilt.  Well, that starts to establish the density of things.  I did this with teardrops and if you look close, they look like leaves.  Wait til you see what I did for tree bark. 

100_6656   100_6659

Am I the only one that ever wants to name a quilt “It looks better on the back”?  I’m loving the back, maybe more than the front. 


So, then, I went to class and we learned about teeny tiny piecing.  This is my pincushion so far.  It still gets another border.  And, I’ve started a second one.  As I would finish a section, I couldn’t just sit.  The second one is a bit more masculine, maybe.  Or not.  Who cares.  How butch can a pincushion actually get?


In case that doesn’t look tiny enough, here it is with a nickel in the middle of it. 


My block had some funny seam lines and Sally came by for a bit of personalized feedback on the block at the end of the day and I shared what I didn’t like and she suggested I dampen the block and pin it the way I wanted it to look.  I brought it home last night and did exactly that.  That eighth inch border wasn’t very lined up where it crossed under the basket block and a bit of water and some pins straightened that right out.  Appearances wise anyway.

And, this morning, I got up and pieced the third Barbara Brackman Civil War block


In case you can’t tell, I cheated.  I cut the dark and medium pieces with my tri-recs rulers instead of paper piecing them.  It’s not quite the same, but it’s close enough for me.  And, way easier. 

Okay, so I need to squeeze all my chores into this morning.  And, I already wasted most of it.

Be well and have a great Sunday!  It’s raining here.  Whooooo-hooooo.