A busy quilter

is a happy quilter.

Holiday quilts.  I guess it’s never too early to work on Holiday quilts. 

This quilt needed a back.


I had two yards of a black holiday print that I’d bought with the kit as a “just in case” I couldn’t get more of the border fabric.  But, two yards wasn’t enough for the back, so I pieced a strip that is 12  by “a little over 72” to fill in the extra space.


Rob thought I should use it as a table runner, so I’ve promised to make him a table runner out of the last bits of this fabric.  Anyway, I cut five inches of length off the side of the backing and inserted the pieced section between the two sections of black.  That way, when I trim and square up, I’ll be cutting away the solid piece of fabric and not part of my piecing.  I did the same by adding strips of fabric to both ends of the pieced section.  Now, I just have to make sure it’s straight when I layer the quilt to pin baste it.  Soon. 

I also made a new quilt back for this quilt.


This one was pin basted to a horrible back.  I don’t know what I was thinking.  But, at least I was smart enough not to start quilting it.  Anyway, new back and now, it’s ready to go.  The new back is brown, with lots of little pointy trees on it, so it’s perfect. 

Yesterday was the next Civil War block from Barbara Brackman.


That’s block nine.  I really do enjoy the blocks.  And, I hope I’m going to end up with a nice quilt at the end.  If I don’t, it won’t be from lack of time spent choosing fabrics and precision piecing.

This, just out of the dryer.


Rob was caught snuggling under a warm Linus quilt.  With the air conditioning on.  Because who can resist a warm quilt, right out of the dryer.

Everybody have a great Monday.  I have more things to share.  I was very industrious this weekend.  Sydney decided to bake not one, but two cheesecakes and you can imagine how that went…  I found her crying in the kitchen, running cold water over a burned hand.  It was pitiful.  My first reaction was to be a dad and ask (real loud) “why did you do that?”  But, later, while I helped her one handed attempts to put sheets on her bed, I told her that the only people that don’t make mistakes are people that don’t do anything.

I wonder if she knows how few people would attempt to bake two cakes at the same time.  Or, how brave that makes her. 

Oh, and the cheesecakes were “deeeeelish!”



In other handwork

Okay, so if I heard it once, I heard it ten billion times…teachers, parents, babysitters…idle hands are the devil’s workshop.

I still can’t sit still.

So, there’s always something in my hands.  I used to spend a lot more time in the sewing room, and the sewing room wasn’t always as crowded as it is now, and sometimes Rob would join me to watch TV.  But, after we got Syd, he convinced me to start spending evenings out of the sewing room, with the family.  When I’m in a big, self-imposed, creative burst time crunch, I growl that out as “family time.”  But, most of the time, I brag about how we spend “Family Time” every evening, for at least an hour or so.  We laugh and we watch TV and we talk about our lives.  Or, we show one another how angry we are by not talking, laughing and sharing our lives.  Teenagers.  Can’t live with ‘em, can’t chain them in the attic anymore.

When we first started family time, I slept through it.  I cannot help it.  If I am still, I am asleep.  So, I started doing hand projects during family time.  That way, I’m awake and can enjoy it.  It’s too early to start hand quilting, but I have the bug.  I’m ready to pull my hand project out and just quilt away.  But, it’s too hot to lay a quilt over my lap. 

Right now, I’m making Rob a pair of gloves.  A friend shared this navy yarn.  Rob asked for fingerless gloves.


The other day, I had much more glove made than this.  It was huge, and then I was supposed to start the thumb.  First off, that used a ton of my yarn and jeopardized the completion of TWO gloves.  And, second, it was going to rise up half way to his elbow.  So, with Sydney staring at me open-mouthed, I ripped it down to the wrist, wound it back up, loaded it back on the needles, and gave it another go, adding fewer rows between my increases.  And, it worked perfect.  Now, I need to write that down so I can do it on the other glove.

Anyway, gloves are no harder than socks, in case you’re ever wondering.  The secret is a good, comprehensive pattern.  Mine comes from The Knitting Man(ual) by Kristin Spurkland.  Great technique book and I’ve made a couple of her patterns, which were clear and assumed I was a man and knew nothing about knitting.  It was great as I was self taught, toggling things together here and there.  I’d been knitting for years and made many things…some good, some not so much.  And, it wasn’t until I got this book that I learned the proper way to cast on. 

Everybody have a great Thursday.  I’ve got the borders on the holiday quilt now and my next focus is to get at least four backs ready to quilt some of the tops I have waiting.  There is a bottleneck in my production process right now.




This morning, I made the big switch back to Rob’s choice for the 2014 Holiday quilt.  We all love it!


That meant switching projects and switching fabrics and switching machines and needles and thread and setting a new seam allowance.  But, it’s all on track now.

Mable must like this quilt.


Or, she was having a fit over a squeaky toy.

Anyway, we got the class ring thing figured out last night.  She knew what she wanted, but she didn’t know any of the costs.  I took the packet and first thing I said was, if I figure this out in four seconds, you’re not getting anything but a remedial reading class.  It took me 20 minutes to figure out the pricing, and then I just stumbled up on it…but once found, it was one of those moments of “how did I miss that?”  I even taught a bargain lesson in comparing the prices of the individual extras against a package deal with some compromise. 

At bedtime, she said she had assumed that this would be one of those things we would not do.  And, it made me sad to think she thinks she misses out on life’s milestones.  Read that last sentence again carefully, because I can assure you, it’s just her perception, not a reality.

I’m using my National Two-Spool to add the borders to the holiday quilt and wanted to point out that there is one on ebay.  I can say that now, because my friend that was looking for one has found hers.  There are pictures that show the spool case is included.  In my observation of these machines on ebay, the spool case is worth three times what the machine is being offered for, so even if the machine is damaged inside, you could potentially make all your money back, plus some.  It’s a fair price, but be sure to verify the shipping.  That’s a heavy cast iron machine and the shipping seems low to me.  It’s less than I paid to ship mine several years ago.  That was in the old days, when we complained about the cost of shipping, and before it went sky high.

Okay, so that’s it for me today.  A quilting update, a parenting update and a machine collecting update. 

Have a great Wednesday.  I’m writing legal documents.  Oh, joy of all joys.  Please, don’t let anybody catch me with my eyes closed because it truly will mean I am asleep.



How do you pick fabrics?

Is it anything like this?


First, I have to limit myself down to a half dozen choices.  Too many choices and I’ll never be able to decide.  It helps me limit my choices when I need a good bit of fabric because I just don’t have that many large pieces for things like sashing and borders. 

Then, I lay them in the floor.  Sorry the picture is so dark.  But, laying them down and walking away is a good thing.  It lets my mind clear and then, I can walk back in the room and see the choices with fresh eyes. 

Sometimes it doesn’t work.  Sometimes, I pick up all the choices and try again.  Sometimes, I try a new set and then return to one of the originals.  It’s hard making decisions, even unimportant ones, about quilting.

In this case, there was a pretty obvious choice. 


The gold background pulls from the gold flower centers.  And, the greens and reds are a close enough color match. 

The lavender won’t work as the flower centers, though, like I thought it might yesterday.  So, I’ve picked another red…something similar, but not too similar. 

I didn’t intend for this quilt to take this long.  I need to put it aside and work on something else for a little while.  I didn’t intend to make another holiday quilt.  I have two others started already.  I’d rather finish one of them for this year’s quilt. 

But, next time I come back to this satin stitch applique project, these decisions will have been made and I can proceed at a faster pace. 

Or, I’ll change my mind and start over.  You never know.  Hey, I am a quilter, after all.  I get to change my mind. 

Everybody have a great Tuesday.  We’re ordering a class ring this week.  Sydney was focused on the wrong stuff, so I’ve tasked her with making a presentation…a sales pitch…to us for the ring she wants, including cost saving alternatives.  She needs to be able to make a case, and while she looked at me like I’d just asked her to lay an egg when I brought it up, she’s really studying and preparing to sell us on a ring.  Hopefully, she’ll have it by Christmas and a whole bunch of my shopping will be taken care of with a single check.




A little bit of Linus magic

The weekend of the quilt show, I had a really big week.  Other than being sick.  So, I wanted the first thing I finished to be something for someone else.  And, that brought a Linus quilt top out of the closet.

This was the only one finished…which is a surprise.  I thought I had more tops assembled than this for donation.

Anyway, this one quilted up in about four hours.  After months of working on the silk quilt, you can imagine how happy I was to finish something that quick.  This is one of the quilts I’m going to get out of Bonnie Hunter’s Easy Street mystery.  There will be three.  I really didn’t have many fabrics in the colors she suggested, and I didn’t think to substitute colors more prominent in my stash.


The back is actually a much better color match to the front than it looks.  The fabric was donated by a friend and works perfect as a teen girl quilt. 


I’ve also been working on that satin stitched applique project.


It’s amazing what a small addition can do to change a quilt.


Those little lavender circles will go back in as the flower centers (at least I think they will).  They’re yo-yos and the ruffled side gives the quilt a nice added dimension. And, then it will just need sashing and quilting to be a finished project.  Another UFO out of the closet and maybe good enough to go on the wall.  I’m hoping to emphasize the green/red/gold combination with a nice Christmas themed print. 

Everybody have a great Monday.  Lane


Satin Stitch Applique

I’ve been doing Satin Stitch Applique for the last few days.  It started with this little kit project that I bought as a clearance item from JoAnn’s. 


It’s a little table runner and I did satin stitch applique around all the pieces, then quilted it in a nice echo stitch.  I did the whole thing, including binding, in a day.  I like a quilt in a day.


Then, I moved on to a long term UFO that was gifted to me.  There are four of these blocks.  Someone started them, but I don’t think they liked Satin stitch because only one was really satin stitched, and it wasn’t very good.


The rest were done with a narrow zig-zag, in multiple shades of green thread.


I’m picking out that narrow stitch and replacing it with a better satin stitch.


The pieces are fused to the background, so I couldn’t fix those little mis-alignments, but they’re going to be fine. 

I have one quarter of a block of green stitching left to put in (yes, you can imagine how hard it was to walk away from it this morning) and then I’m going to do the red, and probably add some gold berries to it…or maybe not, then join them with some sashing and add a border, and that will be another of my UFO’s, marked off the list. 

I’m big on marking projects off the list right now.  I have another complete finish for Linus to show that I did last weekend.  After spending months on the quilts I entered in the show, projects I can finish in a day are in big demand around here.

When Joen Wolfrom was here, I shared that I wanted to make one of every kind of quilt.  She kind of made fun of me, implying I wouldn’t live long enough.  I don’t think she understood how broad my categories are.  For example, make a satin stitch applique quilt is nearly done.  Make a whig rose variation applique quilt…that one’s checked off, too.  Again, marking things off the list is very satisfying.  Is this a quilt I love?  No.  But, I’m enjoying the heck out of the technique and I’d sure do this again in a different style of quilt; one I’d enjoy better.  And, in the meantime, I’ll have a quilt to donate, next time this would be an appropriate quilt to be donated.

Everybody have a great Friday.  If it’s not raining, we may be going to a high school football game tonight.  That is, depending on grades at the end of the day.  Rewards are an important thing.



Stripes and plaids

We made it to the quilt show on Sunday.  We didn’t stay long.  Just long enough to walk through and see all the quilts.  I didn’t shop any of the vendors.  I just wasn’t in the mood to shop.  But, it was nice, getting to see the quilts with Rob and Sydney.  We all walk through quilt shows at a different pace, so we split and then recombine in different configurations as we go.  Just before we left, I met them in front of my The Point is the Points quilt.

There were two ladies, heads close together, discussing the quilt.  I couldn’t hear them, but Sydney was obviously listening.  One said “She mixed plaids and stripes in this quilt.  That’s why you should take classes, so you learn not to do that.”

(Okay, with all those little pieces, how could you tell plaids and stripes? And, who the heck was looking at the fabric anyway, it’s the points that are the point, right?)  And, who is "she"?  Lane is the man standing behind you.

If she’s reading here, Sydney wanted to congratulate you on your courage, for leaving the house after your hairdresser dyed your hair that color.  She thought it was very brave of you.

Gotta love a kid that shares your sense of humor.  You never know who’s standing behind you. 

Thank you all for your well wishes.  I’m feeling better.  Now, Sydney has it.  But, she’s so much better able to handle it that it hasn’t taken her down like it did me.  Yesterday, I worked from home.  It’s so nice to be able to do that on those days when you don’t feel too bad, but you’re making gross noises like excessive coughing, sneezing and nose blowing.

Everybody have a great Wednesday.  Between naps, I’ve been sewing and have a couple new projects to share this week. 



Sense of humor

The Universe has a strange sense of humor.  It’s quilt show weekend.  I’ve won lots of wonderful ribbons. 

And, I’m sick as Job’s dog.

I’ve got some kind of upper respiratory infection.  It kept me in bed or storming around in a feverish state of anger all day yesterday.  (I don’t do sick very well.) 

And, today is only slightly better.  So, I’m going to load myself up with a daytime cold remedy (artificial wellness isn’t something I usually do) to stop the nose blowing and cough and I’m going to the quilt show for a couple hours with the family. 

It’s what I want to do. 



Something old, something new

I’ve been playing with these old blocks. 


They were pretty much of a piecing nightmare, so I took them apart and re-pieced them, using the original color combinations as often as I could.  And, I made a few extra blocks to go with them, to bring me to 16.  Of course, the layout doesn’t look like that anymore.  And, there were two red blocks that aren’t laying here because I thought one of the reds ran during steam pressing, but when I tested it this morning, it didn’t bleed, so they’re back in. 

But, that’s not what you want to hear about.  You want to hear about the something new.


The Point is the Points won first place in its category, large pieced quilts. 


And, A Place for Life to Happen won first place in its category, other techniques.  It also won Overall Best Quilting on a small quilt for the show (purple ribbon).


The bird didn’t win anything, but that’s okay.  People are getting to see it and I’ll get feedback on it.

So, I’m pretty much walking on cloud 9 this morning.  I missed having Rob and Sydney there, but it was nice to be surrounded by my bee members, (four of us won ribbons!!!) and friends. 

Everybody have a great Friday.  Tomorrow, when the family goes to the show, I’ll take more pictures. 

Oh, and guess what?  A guy won best of show.  Whoo-hoo.  Yes, that man quilts, too.



Location, location

I helped hang quilts yesterday.  I helped hang a lot of quilts.  And, when I left, they had whole sections that needed to be hung, but because the background drapes weren’t there, couldn’t be hung yet. 

My Indian Orange Peel, The Point is the Points hangs at position one.  That’s pretty cool.  First quilt when people enter the show.  Facing out.  Great location.  Right behind best of show.  And, yes, I pointed out to a few people that it was mine.  Hmm.  If I don’t toot my own horn, who’s gonna?


My other quilts didn’t fare so well. 


Yes, center top row is another bird quilt.  Mine is on the right.

There are 350 quilts in the show.  In no other section are the quilts hung so densely, generally not more than three quilts to a ten foot section, and then, only if they are small, like 18-24” square.  The silk quilt is in a dark corner so you can’t see anything but a square of fabric until you get right up on it.  When I took this, there was another quilt at my left shoulder, so these densely packed quilts are going to create a bottleneck that will prevent some people from stopping. 

Some time between two a.m., when I woke up thinking about this, and 5 a.m. when Rob got up, I decided that if anybody’s quilt could pull off this crap spot, MINE could.  I hope it creates a bottleneck that they need a crossing guard and three paramedics to straighten out. 

Okay, not literally.  That wouldn’t be a good thing for the show.  But, I think you know what I mean. 

Anyway, I worked alongside a whole lot of really nice people yesterday and I think I helped make sure my groups had fun while we worked hard.  There was also some stuff I witnessed that wasn’t so nice.  Like the lady that had a fit because she didn’t like the layout where her quilts were being hung.  There were people that wanted to follow rules until it was uncomfortable and you guys know how I am when I’m not enjoying what I’m doing.  And, there were people that were polite and soft spoken and helpful and appreciative.  The way it worked for me was, I started with a team and we finished what we were working on and kind of drifted apart.  Then, I joined another team and we worked together for a while; two teams at opposite ends, hanging quilts toward the middle, where all kinds of laughter and chaos broke out.  And, I joined a third team near the end and we had a lot of fun hanging miniatures. 

Apparently, having the stamina of an ox, I ended up being one of the last people hanging and walked behind a show coordinator that was closing gaps where quilts didn’t make it by the deadline.  Sometimes, we’d move a half dozen quilts, half of them to the left, half to the right.

And, then I went home. 

I was plum tuckered out. 

I’m a little sore and slow today, but otherwise, no ill effects of going up and down a step stool about a hundred and fifty times.

Have a good Wednesday.  Lane


In common

You guys have heard me whine and moan as I stressed out about entering my quilts in the show.  I almost don’t post those because other people don’t really talk about it on their blogs and sometimes, I wonder if it’s just me.

Yesterday, I was talking to someone about the stress of it and how I would be working on some final detail about the rules of the show rather than the actual quilt, and things would start to go wrong and they’d avalanche, and I’d stress, and then I’d close the door and try to keep the swearing as quiet as possible so Sydney didn’t hear it.  I don’t know how successful I was at that.  Prob’ly not much.

I know from experience that if I will walk away…just get up and walk away from whatever starts to avalanche, just as the slope gets slippery and frustrating, I come back with a fresh idea and a solution and things go smoothly along.  But, sometimes I can’t.  And, at it’s worst, I threw a box of thread across the room after it fell off a shelf in my crowded, disorganized space and hit me in the head.  That’s the day I told Rob I wasn’t having fun anymore.  And, after that, I stopped worrying about it and I pieced that depression era quilt top.  I walked away and life went on and I stopped stressing about everything being perfect.

Rob was talking to my mentor yesterday about it and she talked about the same feelings when she competed.  How she couldn’t walk away and stop working on it.  How she stressed about perfection until it just wasn’t any fun anymore.  And, she stopped competitive quilting because of it and isn’t a member of a guild anymore.  Because it stopped being fun. 

And, my heart reached out to her, sharing those common feelings.  And, I was feeling bad because I couldn’t walk away, and my Mentor told Rob how lucky I was that I could walk away and piece that depression era top. 

I’m feeling pretty good about that compliment.

Now, it didn’t stop me from laying all three quilts in the floor and doing something to each one last night.  I nudged a bit of space out of the top of a sleeve so the quilt would hang straighter, and Rob crawled around on the floor with a flashlight, finding black threads on the black background that I hadn’t snipped.  I opened up part of the binding on both the silk quilt and the bird quilt because I COULD do better. 

But, it’s not like I was obsessing about it.  I still managed to make a good supper for the family.  And, I cleaned up after it.  But, the rest of the evening, I was futzing with the details until I called it quits and played solitaire til bedtime. 

When I walked the dog this morning, I saw the full moon, shining down so bright.  It gave me the chance to think about what I want from entering my quilts in the show and it’s not winning, like I thought.  It’s about being expansive.  Expanding my horizons, even though it’s uncomfortable.  Doing what I didn’t think I could do. 

Feeling the feelings and working through them.  (But don’t be the box of thread that hits me in the head like Newton’s apple.

Everybody have a great Tuesday.  This afternoon, I’m hanging quilts at the show.  Who knows, maybe I’ll get to hang one of my own. 



Packed and ready to go

My quilts are packed.  Rob took one to work for people to see and I’m taking the other two.  And, while I was finishing up at a leisurely pace, I finished the little 30’s era quilt.  \


Just needs an outer border.  I’ve had that green solid fabric for a long time.  Stumbled up on it in a thrift store.  I hid it so well that I couldn’t find it yesterday, but then it surfaced. 

Had to remake the Monkey Wrench block; it was the same shade of green as the sashing, albeit with little pink roses, and changed to a pink that came with the kit, but was discarded during construction.  It has lots of big white puppies on a pink background and it was planned for a block with little pieces.  The points would have been lost on the white background because of the large white spaces in the pink.  But, in a block with larger pieces, it works great. 

I decided to extend it to 12 for a lap size and went to my oldest pattern books for patterns like Jacob’s Ladder and Aunt Sukey’s Choice. 

I made this block, but it was so different that I didn’t include it.  It’s called Letha’s Electric Fan and you can find a pattern on the internet and a tutorial (make sure the pattern prints the right size.  The rectangles are 7.5x5.5 unfinished).  I pieced my arcs and cheated by appliqueing them onto fabric the right size. 


Love this block.  It’s been on my list of blocks to make for a long time.  It required all kinds of skills to draft and applique and make the circle and partial seam piece the whole thing together.   But, together it is.

Here are my two quilts.  I’m taking them to show off at the office.

Have a great Monday. 



A walk in the yard

This isn’t gardening season in the south.  It’s hot.  And, the plants show it.  And, because it’s so hot and sticky and thick with mosquitoes, it’s hard to get out and clean up dead leaves and weeds.  But, this weekend, as I was stressing more and more about my mistakes, I realized that I needed to get out in the yard.  And, with the rain we’ve gotten recently, it’s looking really good.  So, I lathered up with bug repellant and spent a couple of shady, early morning hours in the garden, ending with a washtub full of dead things and trimmings and weeds and trash. 

It was wonderfully relaxing.

And, I got to see this month’s blooms.  I’m lucky enough to have something in bloom all year round…except a couple weeks in January.



Yellow shrimp plant, just getting started.


Plumbago and one last head of phlox.


A few last minute orange daylilies.


Esperanza, a hot summer bloomer all over town.  I grew this one from seed and it’s very small still. 


Boston fern in a shady spot.  I stuck a root in a pot in the spring and this is what it has turned into. 


Caladium don’t mind the heat, as long as they’re in the shade.


These ferns froze to the dirt last year and are back in full glory.  I wasn’t sure they’d come back after being left outside in temps in the 20’s.



School has started and my nice kid is around her peers again.  And, she hears what they say about their relationships with their parents.  And, she believes them.  So, she comes home and tries some of that with me.  And, I can’t get her to understand that what those kids are saying is how they wish it was, not necessarily how it is.  And, it’s never going to be that way with me.  I’m in a tough spot where I need to counsel her on the amount of makeup she’s wearing.  And, I need to temper that with recognition of the amount of homework she’s bringing home.  And, which one is most important.  And, if I bring up the one, will I hurt the other.  It’s hard being a parent. 

Farewell Joan Rivers. 

Everybody have a great Friday.  Lane


Still breathing

I’m up to 5…almost 6 of the fun little depression era blocks. 


Block 6 is making me a little crazy.  Lots of little fiddly pieces.  But, I’ll get it. 

I made this block.


And, I wasn’t very fond of it.  it’s kind of wonky for me.  So, I decided to remake it differently.


And, I didn’t like it even more.  So, I took it apart and went back to the original. 


One or two of the squares in the top row of this block is too big.  Enough too big that it won’t go on and match points.  That will get some study and when I find the offender, I’ll take it out and trim it and off I’ll be.  I was very disappointed that I ran out of time to do that this morning. 

Everybody have a great Thursday.  Lane


Some fun, some not so fun

This weekend, I started off by replacing the gears in my Mom’s sewing machine.  That went pretty well.  The guy in the video did it all in 15 minutes.  I replaced the gears in 1 hour…but it took 4 additional hours to time the machine and get it stitching correctly again.  Grrrr.  But, overall, a good sense of accomplishment.  At some point, I’ll get it back in it’s cabinet and will have an additional machine for sewing. 

But, most of the three day weekend was spent on the show quilts.  I’m not holding up to the pressure very well.  It was a comedy of things going wrong and that was just frustrating the pee out of me.  My only consolation is that I’m writing down the instructions so I don’t have to have such a frustrating experience again.  It’s all those final details…the fancy labels and the fancy transport bags and all that is getting to me.  I should just go plain.  But, we all know I won’t.

Anyway, on Sunday, Barbara Brackman released the August Civil War block.  I thought piecing it would be fun.  But, it was less fun than I thought it would be.  I’m not so good at working from paper templates to cut my pieces.  But, I got it together and it’s a nice block.


Here they all are, together.  Starting to get crowded and I need to spread them out again, or stack them up.  That’s eight of twelve. 


And, while I was rooting around for some fabric, I found a kit.  I ordered this kit from ebay several years ago, when I was collecting 30’s repro fabrics.  It’s incomplete.  There are 8 blocks and a bit of extra fabric and an extra pattern.  I bought it for the fabrics, to use in piecing a 30’s repro quilt that never got started.  But, the blocks are nice and the fabric is cute, so I gave myself permission to make some blocks yesterday afternoon.


And, that’s when I found the joy of quilting again.  I used my best techniques to cut and piece these blocks and if anything went wrong, it wouldn’t matter.  So, it was all about the fun of it.  And fun I had, too.  I could hardly stop for family time last night.

Everybody have a great Tuesday.  I’ve made all my labels and sleeves, so now it’s just a bit of hand sewing them on.  The silk quilt is blocked and is hanging in the living room.  One more transport bag to make.  One small quilt to wash and block.  But, in the meantime, I’m going to enjoy making a few more of these repro blocks and just enjoy the lack of stress that comes from a bit of fun sewing.  I need it because I was feeling some serious quilting burnout on Sunday afternoon.