Wow!  That's my forty four.  They've all be pressed and then dampened and pinned down to size.  The smaller the pieces, the more important that seems to be.  If I'm understanding what happens here, when I sew all those seams in, the tension of the thread causes the block to pull inward.  When I dampen that cotton thread, it lets me stretch it out a little and I can get that extra eighth or sixteenth...or sometimes a quarter inch that I need to get the block to size.

Next, they need to be trimmed and squared.  Some have corners that are just the slightest bit too big.  Then, four strips to go around the triple feathered star.

Everybody have a great Saturday.  I've been hunched over pinning these down for so long that now, I need to go do something else.  Something that requires stretching.

See ya'.  Lane


Baby quilt finish

Short post today. There is so much going on in our lives right now. I can hardly keep up.

Lots of stress, so it's nice to get the chance to show off something I did for someone else.

It's certainly not the most beautiful quilt ever made. But it's a nice enough baby quilt. Babies are so non-judgmental.

Okay, gonna go now because this crappy Google software is about to start me swearing. Jeez, it must have been built by a swarm of locusts because it is both a plague and a blight.



A finish

A couple months ago, my friend L shared some things that belonged to her Mother.  One was a pre-printed whole cloth.  I decided to take it for my last business trip, where I worked on it some, but most of the work was done here. 

Because I was taking it on a business trip, I didn't want to take a hoop, so I quilted it without a hoop.  It's my first time to do that.  I have to say, I was more impressed than I thought I'd be.  It won't be my preferred method, but it worked just fine.

I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out, so I decided to use a dark grey thread.  Who knew that a dark grey thread was going to show up as silver against the black background.  Really, it's a very dark thread to show as well as it did.  Now that I see it finished, I wish I'd used something else.  I wish I'd used a dusty rose pink.  I started with that thread and then stopped because I worried that my work wouldn't be good enough...

How many times have I missed the opportunity for art so I could be "safe".

Anyway, grey thread and all, it's lovely.

The pre-printed pattern didn't include the rope border.  But, there was all that fabric let over.  And, like nature hates a void, right?  So, I filled it. 

Of course, the binding had to be black, but I learned that all blacks are not the same.  The black binding is darker and richer than the original fabric.  I like that because it makes the binding stand out as a frame, but not really stand out. 

The back was another safe choice.  A small print dark grey.  It matches the thread.  You can't see anything.  See what I mean about safe choices?

Of course, not all safe choices are bad.  Safe choices are what keep society together, right?  We find acceptable places to make unsafe choices, like roller coasters and speed boats. 

Everybody have a great Thursday.  Lane


All is well

Hi, all.  We are all well and managed to keep our heads above water.  If you missed it, Austin had torrential rains over the weekend.  They've now moved East and our thoughts are with Houston.

Saturday was nice.  Rob mowed the yard.  I spent most of the day cleaning the potting shed/greenhouse/garden room.

And, then I spent most of the rest of the weekend enjoying sitting out there and listening to the rain.  There was some rain I would not have been happy about sitting out there during.  But, most of what we got was nice thunderstorms, nothing scary.  The bad stuff seemed to happen after dark.  We had about a foot of water in the drain part of the yard last night, but it didn't get up into the house, which was nice.  Over the last few months, we've had water in our garage, but Rob figured out what was causing that, and we are draining appropriately again.  When we went to the store on Sunday, we saw tons of down limbs and trees across streets.  There was evidence of straight line winds that took out old oaks and fences along a line you could see.

We are near the bottom of a hill.  Across the street is one house lower than us.  And, behind them, a huge drainage creek that's usually dry and must have looked like a rushing river to that nice young couple all weekend. 

It didn't get into the shed either.  Even that part of the yard was draining well.

Anyway, thanks for your notes of concern.  It's nice to be loved. 

I didn't sew.  Which was weird.  I didn't have time.  I worked my bohonkus off all weekend.  I cleaned one of the refrigerators... like my Mom and Dad used to... where you unplug it and wash the whole thing down and vacuum the back and clean under it. 


And, I caught the new surface up as my main PC.  That took hours to do. 

And, I cleaned the grill... like with degreaser and rags and paper towels and a bucket of soapy water.  I got it looking nearly new. 

And, it made a great lunch yesterday.

So, my only pic is of the garden room/greenhouse...who knows what it is.  It's my sitting room when the weather is nice and it holds all our plants when it's cold out and there are tools and I store my soil bags there.  What does that make it?

A comfortable multi-purpose space.

I just heard thunder.  Guess it's time to head out and get us to school and work before it all starts again.

Be well.  Lane


April star

Good morning everyone.  It's Wednesday, and as has become very common here, it's raining. 

I have to keep moving, or I'll mildew. 

It's considered rude in a drought to complain about the rain. 

But, honestly, every day for weeks might be a little too much making up for a lack of it in the last 6 years. 

The garden is loving it.  There is abundant growth, but the rain plays havoc with flowers. 

And, because it's always wet, I don't have to feel guilty about not working in the yard.  Hopefully, there will be a short break between the rain and the summer heat that I can get a little weeding done at least.

Another benefit is that I get to stay inside and that means sewing. 

It must mean sewing because it sure doesn't mean housework.

I made the April star block last weekend.  This is from fabrics I picked up on my trip to Indiana last month.  Actually, these came from Louisville, KY, on the way to Indiana.  Again, just fabrics that took my fancy that day.  Not reflective of anything except my mood after a long flight.  But, it's another nice block for a sorta sampler quilt. 

I really am liking this idea and won't be surprised if I try this every year, but maybe with a less complex block.  Just making a repeated block out of fabrics I pick up at special events during the year.

And, no, I haven't quite worked out photo editing on the surface, but I'll get there.  Speaking of the surface, we had trouble.  I've had to have an exchange.  The first thing I plugged into the USB port wouldn't come out.  Like, it was stuck solid.  So, Microsoft mailed me a new one and I've just finished wiping the one I'm sending back... with my USB plug in it.  And, they've already let me know they won't be returning it.  But, that's okay.  What I'm losing is much less valuable than what I got back.  And, yes, I have plugged everything into the replacement, not to use it, but to make sure it will unplug.

Everybody have a great Thursday.  Rob unexpectedly has tomorrow off, so I might take it off, too.  He suggested we might go to a movie.  That would be nice.  Just the two of us.  Without bringing along out little bit of teenage attitude.

Parents need that.  As the kids get older, parents need that more and more, so if you're not doing it, you should.  Find a sitter.  Lock 'em in their room.  Whatever it takes, but get some parent time.  It makes family time more palatable.




We'd been at the choir concert about 10 minutes.  The full choir sang, and then a couple solos.  Scared kids that managed to get through their songs.  High School choir concerts are kind of a contract between the audience and the choir.  An unspoken agreement to give everyone the same level of recognition.

The boys choir sang.  Boys choir is iffy here.  It can go either way.  Singing in a high school choir is not the most macho thing in the world, which is weird, because where do most of the greats get their starts?  Anyway, they were above average last night, singing songs they liked and really giving them full force. 

Then, the boy walked up to the mic.  He was a big boy.  Not the kind to sing in front of a crowd.  He ran his hand over his short hair and wiped it on his pants leg.  The music started and he grabbed the collar of his t-shirt and wiped his mouth.  And, then he leaned into the mic and started singing.

At first, my eyes teared up at his courage.  He was obviously terrified.  And, the fact he stepped out there to sing on his own was enough.  But, then he started to relax.  And, he leaned in closer to the mic.  And, he sang a wonderful country-western song.  By the time he was done, I was crying as much as I'm sure his Mama and Daddy were.  And, I'm betting I wasn't alone.  I was as moved by his voice as his courage.

He was a turning point for the concert.  All the kids started to relax and the voices got bigger and the songs were fun.  The seniors all performed solos as did some of the Juniors.  The audience was respectful and encouraging. 

The boy's solo wasn't the only one that brought tears to my eyes.  It's so nice to see courage in young adults.  I hope nothing happens to discourage that.  I was inspired by their courage.  I hope I'm encouraging it in my teen.  Today, I'm facing the day with just a little more skip in my step because of the courage I saw at a high school choir concert. 

It's the little things, right?



Lane's lazy lasagna

Yes, there will be a simple recipe, but first, this lily bloomed yesterday.  I am so excited.  I've never tried to grow this kind of lily.  When it came up this spring, I couldn't remember what it was and almost pulled it up.  Glad I didn't.  This was my present for Man-mom day last year. 

That is actually a huge red flower.  Love it, love it!

Okay, so last night, I made dinner and I made a lasagna for tonight.  Rob commented on how good it smelled when I took it out of the toaster oven and I told him how easy it was and he dubbed it Lane's lazy lasagna.

My family loves it.

1# ground beefs
1 jar spaghetti sauce (I like Newman's Own, Sockarooni flavor)
9 lasagna noodles
1 medium container cottage cheese
1 egg
Salt and pepper to taste
1T parsley flakes
1 bag grated mozzarella cheese
A handful of grated parmesan

Cook the noodles in water according to the package.  Brown and drain the ground beef.  Reserve a half cup of sauce for later.  Pour the rest of  the jar of sauce into the meat.  I like to let this simmer for a bit, at least 15 minutes to get the flavors all worked in together.

In a large bowl, combine the cottage cheese, the egg, salt and pepper and parsley flakes.

In a 10x10 casserole dish, put a spoonful of the reserved sauce and spread it around to cover the bottom of the pan.  Add a layer of noodles.  I cut the ends off the noodles to get them into the pan.  Three will cover the pan, and then I stack the cut off ends on top of that. 

Spoon meat sauce onto the noodles and spread.  Spoon cottage cheese mixture on top and spread.  Add a thin layer of mozzarella.  Repeat for another layer. 

Top with another layer of noodles.  Spread with the remaining reserved sauce and sprinkle with a generous layer of grated parmesan.  Bake at 350* for one hour.

Don't tell the Italians how easy that was. 

Just wanted to point out that the same day that the gang fight in Waco was on the news, the TX state legislature was debating an open carry law (the right to legally carry an exposed weapon, for example a handgun in a holster on your hip... just like the wild west).  Somehow, the news is missing the irony of that.  I get it.  Lots of people want the right to carry a handgun.  But, do you really want your neighbor to have that right?  Let's face, it.  That guy's a freak!

Everybody have a great Tuesday.  It's another wonderful day to make a living, right?



red and white

Remember that old joke; what's read and white and black all over?

A newspaper.

Well, yesterday was a day to generate red and white scraps.  I went to a sew-in for the guild's raffle quilt.  It was an opportunity for people that were having trouble paper piecing the block to come in and get any help they needed.  The whole committee was there.  But, not a lot of other folks showed up.  That was okay by me.  I'm choosing to believe that means most folks are not having trouble. 

Which might be delusional.  We'll know in a couple weeks.

But, I focused on my part, 44 4" Lemoyne stars. 

Twenty-four down and one more that is almost finished.  Here is a picture of some of the progress on the quilt. 

I think it's going to be lovely.  Lots of work.  Lots of volunteer hours.  But, a lovely quilt. 

Hope it makes a whole bunch of money.

I spent 7 hours there yesterday.  It was a real microcosm of life; happiness, tragedy, congratulation, commiseration, accomplishment, frustration... I guess that's what happens when you put a half dozen people in a room and just let them go.

It was nice doing what I love with a group.  I don't sew as part of a group nearly often enough.

Everybody have a great Monday.  They are still trying to literally work my butt off.  I wish they'd try working my gut off instead.




K-razy week

This has been the busiest week.  Yesterday, I started working at 5:30 am, stopped to shower and feed Syd, stopped to take Nirti to the vet and eat a quick lunch, and worked until 5:30 pm. 

I don't need to do that often.  While it was exhausting, it made me feel important.  I met the crazy unreasonable deadline that I agreed to before I knew what this week was actually going to be like.  And, I got ahead on a project I was kind of a butt about earlier in the week... hopefully my stellar work will outshine my buttholeness. 

Honestly, y'all.  I do great work.  But, I work with this one group that never actually knows what they want me to accomplish... or at least they don't tell.  Do you know how hard it is to give the right answer when you don't know what that answer is?  Unfortunately, I recently gave what my boss thought was a very right answer, but the team thought was waaaaaayyyyy wrong because it didn't support their hypothesis.

Oh, well.  As long as the boss liked it, I'm fine.  I have a very tough hide. 

And, I got even this week by pretending to be obtuse. 

"I just don't get it.  What do you want me to do?  I don't understand?  What does this data mean?  Where am I supposed to look?  And, what do you want me to do?"


So, here are some pics of my more whimsical side.  I set up the gnome garden this weekend.  What started as one broken pot last year has grown into a multilevel complex that occupies all the corners of our front porch. 



So, those are my gnomes.  I started with just a few, and then Joann's got more in this size, and the village grew... and my enjoyment of succulents grew.  And, now, we have gnomes living in a succulent garden.  Because, really, a regular garden that took all that watering would be hard to live in... right?

You can't call me crazy till you've lived my average Tuesday.



This post brought to you. by the number 1 5/16

It's also the first post from the Surface 3 and the first one I've written without Windows LiveWriter in a long time. 
It's a good thing I got the Surface because my laptop gave up the ghost last night.  And, no, I had not been diligently backing it up.  I'll try moving the hard drive and see if I can get my pictures.  Fortunately, it hadn't been too long since I backed up.
So, why the reference to 1 5/16?  That's the predominant measurement in these Lemoyne star blocks.  I actually made one more yesterday, so now, there are 5.  Just 39 more to go!  Whoooo-hoo.


I have the other red pieces cut out and now that I'm out of whites, I'll need to cut more.  I only cut a few pieces to start, until I could play with the pattern and make sure everything was just right.  Then, I cut the rest of the reds.  I had to lay them out to get an appropriately scrappy look.  Can't leave that scrappy look to chance, you know.  If I tried, all my blocks would end up looking just alike.

And, if that wasn't enough, I'm also making my own monthly feathered star, which also has a Le Moyne star center.

And, I'm almost done quilting the apple core baby quilt.  In the end, I decided to go with the original plan, and just trust that vision and I ended up being happy with it.  I just couldn't find anything that was doing it for me, but after I decided to go with this, and the decisions got easier, I started to like it more and more.  I even like the simple quilting.  In the border, I quilted leaves, in the shape of the leaves in the print. 

I'm toying with some free motion, very loose leaves across the wavy grid, quilted into the blocks.  Just something to break up the regularity of it.

Whew!  Getting used to new things is tough. The new keyboard, different software, different spellcheck.  I need a nap after typing this post.

But, alas, this man's work is never done and today will be yet another very busy one.

Everybody have a great Tuesday.  Lane


Yellow and Green

It’s that kind of a day.  It’s going to be a bear at work.  Nothing I can do about that, except sit back and enjoy it.  Or, tolerate it. 

But, the boss is counting on me to be diligent in her absence, so I can do that. 

Today, we got the first daylily.  A nice common yellow.  There will be a lot of these.  And, a lot of others.  I’ve noticed an abundance of bloom scapes with flowers getting ready to open.  You can see some of them in the background.


Okay, so this one isn’t yellow and green, but somebody needs to set themselves a reminder to send me this picture in August, when it’s 108* outside and we’re begging for a cool breeze.


Or, this one would do, with its promise of more bloom and color.

Alas, it’s not all garden pictures, tho. 

The baby quilt continues to progress.  Last night, I was feeling pretty discouraged about it.  It just isn’t a very exciting quilt.  So, this morning, I decided I was going in the studio, giving it one quick look, and deciding whether to proceed, or give it up and start over.  I needed to make one quick decision, and then move on with it and stop second guessing myself. 

I decided that this is NOT the most wonderful baby quilt I ever made. 

But, it’s not the WORST one either.  It’s cute in it’s own unexciting way.  So, I will proceed.  The squaring border sections got pieced this morning, and two of them got attached.  Then, the dark olive border and the leaf print border and this one will be an official gift, ready to quilt.

Everybody have a wonderful Friday.  Sydney has a big test today and had to be at school early.  I filled her up with protein.  I told her she might burp, but she wouldn’t get hungry.

Brain food.  Keep the brain fed and hopefully the answers will come to you. 

My last bit of advice was “everything’s easier if you’re smiling.” 

You can imagine the look I got for that.  Who knew eyes could roll that far.  I was mystified.

Tomorrow is bee.  I want to finish this top and start cutting Lemoyne stars.  I need to get started on those.  I’m held up by the cutting.  I don’t want to do all that cutting.  So, I’m going to cut a quarter of them.  That’s the deal.  I can cut more, if I want.  But, I need to get at least a quarter of them cut out this weekend. 

Rationalizations are wonderful.



Baby quilt moving forward

If Eleanor Burns hadn’t already coined “quilt in a day”, I’d be using it for this apple core pattern. 

Yesterday, I drafted the pattern and tested it by making a four patch. 

Today, I pulled fabric.  I had decided on a nice blue-green and yellow combination.


I like it so far.

Then, I laid it out on the floor.


Eh.  I rearranged.  I pulled fabrics out.  It just didn’t do anything for me.  So, I picked it all up and was going to head in a different direction entirely (blue and brown) when I realized it was the blue-green that I didn’t like.  So, I pulled a different stack of green.

I have three stacks of greens.  One is blue-green.  One is olive green.  And, the third and largest pile is what I think of as true greens; shades of emerald and kelly.

I laid out the olive greens with my favorite yellows and knew I had a winner.


I did a little rearranging, and then I cut out the blocks.  I even had time to piece the first four patch (upper left corner) before I had to leave to go to that pesky job.


The leaf print at the bottom will be the outer border, and just like I did the little 30’s repro quilt, I want an inner border of half blocks, all from the same fabric…maybe a solid olive green?  Who knows. 

Anyway, I think it’s going to be a very cute quilt, and there is a good chance I could finish it this week as fast as it is going.  That would be wonderful. 

Everybody have a great Wednesday.  I’ll be dreaming of sewing…and with my list of things to sew, there’s a lot to think about.



Let the baby quilt begin

I have five weeks.  I must love a challenge.  In that five weeks, I need a baby quilt, a wedding quilt and 44 small lemoyne stars. 

Goodness Gracious!

I might take advantage of a rule that I’m not sure is officially etiquette; it’s okay to give a wedding gift before the first anniversary.

So, that just leaves the baby quilt and the stars. 

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.

So, this morning, I got started.  I drafted the pattern on paper with my trusty grade school girl’s pink and green compass.  Crude, but effective.  I used the skills that I learned in class on Friday.  I even smoothed out the curves so they’d be easier to sew, and while the steps for that are very logical, they aren’t something I would have come up with on my own.  Thanks, Martha!


And, I cut my template out of plastic.


I decided not to rotary cut around the template, but instead stacked four layers of fabric, traced the template on the top layer, pinned the layers together at the corners, and cut four apple core blocks with scissors in one go.  I felt like I needed four to make sure my blocks were going to come together the way I wanted them to. 


I picked the polka dots because I’ve had them for 10 years; they were a gift from my mentor.  And, who knows how long she’d had them.  I think they’d make a cute baby quilt, but they’re so thin, so I’m going to choose different fabrics from stash for this baby quilt in greens and yellows.  Then, I’ll use this polka dot fabric for Linus quilts.

Yes, I know how that sounds.  I can hear it as I type it.  But, with a Linus quilt, you don’t know if that’s going to be a dog blanket in a week, so I don’t mind if I don’t always use my best quilt shop quality fabric for them.  I don’t exclude my expensive fabrics, but I’m more likely to use less expensive fabric for my donation quilts to small children who are likely to outgrow the quilt relatively quickly.

It makes sense to me.

I can hardly wait for Martha’s book to come out so I can share her techniques with you all.  For now, let’s just say that the only place I pinned the four patches above was at the intersection, just to make sure it would match up when it was sewn.  I joined 2 two-patches, then joined those into 1 four patch, sewing two seams from the center out, which is easier than trying to sew it in one continuous seam that moves from convex curve to concave curve. 

Last night was a big Lane night.  I had my two show and tell, the apple core 30’s repro quilt top and my Civil War Stars.  When I stood up to introduce them, I got tongue twisted.  I wanted to tell the teacher’s name, and even though I said Martha, I got Marsha stuck in my head, and fumbled around like the uncoordinated kid trying to catch the football.  All I could think after that was Jan Brady saying “Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!”  I was so tongue tied that when it was time to talk about the stars quilt, I could hardly get anything out.  And, it didn’t help that the person ahead of me in the show and tell line was also a guy, who also had a star quilt.  It was very pretty, and I joked that maybe I should have kept my star quilt off stage for another month.

Then, my class went up with their blocks.  And, I introduced them and talked about how much fun we had in class.  There were quite a few finished blocks up there.  It was very nice. 

There was applause.

And, then, unknown to me, the quilt show raffle quilt co-chair stood up and showed off my triple feathered star and had me stand up.  More applause.  It was to incent guild members to take blocks to piece and bring back.  I think we handed out almost all of the feathered star blocks for the raffle quilt to members to take home and piece and bring back next month.  I saw some finished border blocks last night.  It’s going to be a wonderful quilt. 

Everybody have a great Tuesday.  I’m looking forward to cutting out blocks over the next couple of days, and turning them into a very cute baby quilt for a neighbor we don’t really know that well.  But, we’d like to.  And, what better way than with a quilt.

See ya’! 



Teaching, learning, and things in-between

Wow!   That’s all I can think to say.  I was a lot overwhelmed by the Gift of Quilting event sponsored by my guild this weekend.  I’ve been trying to think of what would be my favorite thing.  Was it teaching, learning, shopping…but it wasn’t.  It was the collection of quilters, gathered in one place, all intent on the same thing.  You could feel the excitement like a warm spring rain.  I left exhausted and exhilarated and inspired. 

On Saturday, I took Eve’s Delight class with Martha Thompson.  I”ll leave it to Martha to tell her story, and I’m sure glad she’s back.  And, she’s doing original and innovative things again.  My favorite tip was marking the foot on my machine so that I didn’t have to mark match points on every block.  That was a very good idea.  And, she didn’t pin.  That’s right.  She taught us to sew curves without pinning.  And, on my class sample, I only pinned at intersections…and when I put the borders on.  I especially needed them for the red border because I was working with both curved and straight lines.  The red border is half apple core blocks, and the corners are quarter apple core blocks.  Then, that little floral inspiration border and I was set to go.  I can’t wait to show it at guild meeting tonight. 


I bought a template to make these.  It’s a great template, made by a local company.  They had them in three sizes and I wish I’d bought all three…but the big one was kind of expensive.  Martha taught us to draft the block, so you should watch this space for a baby quilt, made of larger apple core blocks. 

As a test class for an upcoming book, Martha offered to let us make some test quilts for the book.  And, I’m interested and she’s interested in having me participate, so that’s another thing that might have come from the class.  She also suggested that I send a picture of the finished quilt to the manufacturer of the template and let them put it on their website. 

Is it okay if I’m excited about those opportunities?  I hope so, because I’m very excited.

My class went swimmingly. I promised everyone that we’d have fun.  And, we did.  Lots of laughs, lots of sharing and talking while we pieced.  Most of the class finished a whole block, the rest finished at least a quarter block and had the skills to finish the block from home.  EVERYONE learned something new and liked that.  Everyone was impressed by the precision.  I talked a little and then sent them off to do something, then I’d talk some more and they’d do something else.  Then, I set them to sewing…and where I could, I did ripping.  And, a few times, I was able to prevent mistakes.

I was talking and saw a lady about to sew through the paper.  I walked up, still talking and laid my hand on her piece to stop her.  She thought I wanted her to be paying attention, I think, and she pulled it out from under my hand and aimed it at the needle again.  And, I put my hand on it and kept talking.  She looked up at me with a what the heck? look and when I’d finished my sentence, I squatted down and folded the paper back and said “now sew it.”  And, we had a good laugh.

In the Apple Core class, I sewed a couple seams as practice and a friend called me an overachiever.  She was in my class the next day, and she was the one that was ahead of the class and working through her block fast.  I slipped past her and whispered “overachiever” and kept walking, leaving her to explain why we both laughed out loud. 

We had our share of frightening moments…missing machine parts and a machine that just suddenly decided it wouldn’t sew and “iffy” plugs.  But, we never blew a breaker and I gave lots of breaks so that those running behind had chances to catch up.  I helped where extra help was needed and I watched blocks come together.  And, I saw other people’s visions of my block be born.  There was one with a tartan plaid background…who would have thought of that?  But, it made a beautiful block.  And, there was one that was all browns and another that was all greens.  One was 7 different brights and one was all muted shades.  One had black on white circles in a bold background that I thought would compete with the block.  But, it didn’t.  Each and every block was wonderful and every time someone held up their work, everyone commented on how different it was from their own and how lovely.  Quilters inspiring quilters, and I got to be part of it.  It was wonderful. 

I bought my four fat quarters for my May feathered star block…but I don’t quite know where they are right now.  I know they made it in the house, so they’ll turn up.  And, I found a hand quilting frame that I couldn’t resist.  I’ve been inspired by Tim Latimer’s hand quilting and when he got his new frame, I started shopping.  But, I just wouldn’t spend the money.  I watched for someone that was selling one they knew nothing about, for a rediculously low price, but I never found it.  So, when I found this very nice, handmade one, that was half the price of the others I’ve seen, and I wouldn’t have to pay shipping, I couldn’t resist.

I loaded a quilt into it and can’t wait to sit and quilt…whenever there’s time for that again.  It will keep the quilt off my lap and it’s height adjustable.  My previous frame was not and out of all the sitting surfaces I own, none of them is the right height for that frame.  And, the hoop tilts for even greater access. 


I’ve never seen one quite like this.  There is a solid inner hoop with grooves along their length and an outer hoop with a line that fits the groove.  The corners are leather, so as they stretch, they’re adjustable to tighten.  The closure of the hoop is a board along the left side in the photo below.  Release the board and the outer hoop opens and falls away.  Close and hook the board and the quilt is held tightly.


It holds the quilt perfectly.  So, that was the reward I gave myself with the money I made teaching.

I love teaching.  I’m so sorry I got discouraged by my previous efforts.  I’m pretty sure I’ll reach out to a LQS and see if they’re interested in me teaching this class in their shop.  I think I’ll get good word of mouth recommendations from the class that will help me to fill another class.

It’s Monday and I’m still tired.  I think that just proves how much fun I had.  I stood and squatted so much that my legs hurt yesterday.  They didn’t hurt enough to keep me from watering in the garden and making a batch of bread and butter pickles and a spice cake. 

I love my life.  It’s so expansive and I get to experience so many things.  Good, bad, scary, exciting, challenging, exhilarating. 

Rock on, That Man.

Everybody have a great Monday.  Tonight is a big show and tell night.  I’m going to show the Apple Core and my class is bringing their blocks to show and I have the Civil War Stars quilt.  Big night.

Happy Star Wars Day!  “May the fourth be with you!”



Bound and ready to wash…almost

I sewed the last stitches into the binding of the Civil War Stars quilt this morning.  I was soooo excited.  I want to show off this quilt in class and on Monday at show and tell. 


Then, I remembered I haven’t trimmed the thread tails yet.  And, there are a lot of them.  Doo-doo.  So, I’ll be sitting around, trying to find very fine pieces of silk thread so I can lop them off at the root.  Picky, picky.

I want to use the quilt in class on Saturday as an illustration of another way that paper punching is useful in quilting. 


I’m going to show off these lovely Baptist Fans, and show the needle punched patterns I used to create them. 

I’m all packed to go.  The green box is for tonight’s Apple Core class and the black and yellow roller cart is for the paper piecing class on Saturday.  The featherweight will go to both. 


Yesterday’s appointment with the veterinarian didn’t go as well as I’d hoped.  While she is gaining weight, Nirti’s blood sugar is still very high.  So, we’ve increased the dose by another unit.

Okay, so the vet thinks I’m stupid.  It’s like every time I go there, I manage to say something stupid.  And, he’s not the kind of person that can let me walk away not understanding.  So, I end up getting an in-depth explanation of something that really didn’t matter.  It was all caused because the word UNIT is used two different ways.  One is on the insulin and one is on the syringe.  And, I didn’t realize they were different. 

Sydney and I have been doing an on-going algebra word problem.  We started with 100 units of insulin and if we gave one unit, twice a day for 10 days and 2 units, twice a day for 10 days, how many days of insulin do we have left? 

Except, instead of 100 units of insulin in the bottle, there are 1000 units of insulin in the bottle.  We’ve hardly made a dent.  I tried to explain my math, and I explained my daughter had been drawing up syringes and I hadn’t actually looked at the bottle.  He finally gave up on me and said, “I can tell you’re not mis-using the insulin or your cat would be dead.” 

Okay, that was kind of final, but it certainly ended what turned into a long discussion about nothing.  I sure didn’t want to be solving an algebra problem with him.

But, that’s okay.  I’m really liking the new vet, so I won’t complain too much about him taking time to make sure I understand what’s going on. 

Everybody have a great Friday.  My poor family is going to forget what I look like, I’m gone so much lately.  Oh, well.  I’m out there livin’ life…la vida loca!

My crazy life.

My crazy, fun-filled, expansive life.

Go get ‘em tiger!