It's a dog's butt

No, I'm not already making disparaging comments about marriage. 

It's really, a dog's butt, but you're going to have to wait til the end for the title to make sense. 

I bought a beagle pattern for Rob for Father's Day.  Granted, I ordered kind of late, but the seller said that most orders were sent within 24 hours, and I would have had time to make the piece for the big day, but the pattern didn't come, and it didn't come, so after the big day, I wrote the seller, and the next day, she sent the pattern. 

I printed it out... but it's kind of small.

So, I traced it on a transparency.  Rob's beagle is a female, so when I traced it, I left out a couple of gender specific pieces and had to do some renumbering.

And, I used the overhead projector to enlarge it on the wall.

I traced it, and colored it in.  Rob picked the fabrics, and I was off...  There wasn't enough of the green for the background, so we picked two backgrounds that he liked and added a horizon line.  Even with that, I'm running low on green, so the horizon line is being moved lower, to take less green fabric, and piece A, the left edge will be remade with that new division between green and blue.

So far, I've made a dog's butt, hence the title.

Well, you can't really argue with results, eh?

Marriage has made exactly the difference I would have expected, knowing me and Rob.  There's lots of calling one another husband, but little else is different.  We still went to the grocery yesterday, and we worked in the yard, and we cleaned house and we cooked and I quilted.  And, Syd did those things that teenagers do, mostly read and watch TV.  Except we smiled a lot...


I'm ashamed of some Texas politicians and so proud of others.  I'm appalled that people are still trying to make this about religion.  And, just when, in a country whose main theme is separation of church and state, do public officials, paid with my tax dollars, get a religious exemption from their job?  Okay, y'all.  Gay people cannot be the most objectionable people that you ever married.  I've seen the public.  Just put it in perspective, and stop acting like you're better than the rest of us.  God doesn't endow you with certain inalienable rights.  Religious history proves that.  The state does give those rights.  History proves that.

Travis county issued 313 marriage licenses on Friday.  Compare that to 17 the day before.  The future is coming y'all.  Don't be in the way when it gets here.


Everybody have a great Monday. 

It's my first Monday as a married man.



How a little day turns into a big day

I got up yesterday and quilted for a while, walked, and got ready for work.  It was a normal day.  I even posted a quilting post.  I got to the office and answered my email.  Rob texted me about the SCOTUS decision and I started to read the news.  That probably was the end of my work day.  I don't think I accomplished anything much after that. 

I remember that the first time I cried was when I saw that our County Clerk, who has been trying to marry gay people since the idea was first introduced, and has managed to get a few through during narrow windows, was starting to issue licenses.  I'm pretty sure I made a sound that the cube farmers around me heard.  Oh, well.  I was very emotional.

Rob called.  He and Syd were on the way to a store that specializes in flags.  He had called and put a rainbow flag on hold.  This is the call where I asked him to marry me.  I think I actually said "Do you want to go down there?". So unromantic.  Because it was understood.  We both knew we would be going soon, but yesterday was hot and it was already late in the day to be waiting outside for anything, even something as important as marriage.  The pictures of the clerks office on the news looked like there was a long line outside the building so he was going up there to see how long the line really was, and call me if I should come up and join him.

Rob's next call was to say that when they got to the flag store, the City of Austin was trying to find a rainbow flag to fly at City Hall, and Rob had the last one on hold.  And, would he mind giving it up to the City for them to fly.  He even got to talk to the city official who offered to try to get it back to Rob when it comes down.  No promises, but he'd try.  Rob was on cloud 9.  We decided to meet for lunch at the best burger place in town and while we were there, sitting in a crowded restaurant, we talked about the practical aspects of getting married while Sydney munched her burger and pretended that she wasn't listening.  We talked about our finances and what getting married meant, and what it didn't mean.  And, we talked about the practicality of trying to do it on the first day, and the danger of waiting.  In the end, after much going back and forth, Rob asked what I wanted to do and I said I wanted to go down there. And, Sydney rolled her eyes and said "finally".  She gets impatient when we take our time to make a big decision.

When Austin offered domestic partnership for a short time before some turd-head put the stop to that, we didn't go down.  And, when Austin offered marriage licenses that were later invalidated, we didn't go down.  This time, I wanted to be there on the first day.  Even if there was a chance of violence and protest.  Actually, especially if there was protest, not to protest back, but to defy that protest and empower others to defy it as well. 

We went home and changed into shorts for the potentially long wait outside.  And, then we drove across town to the clerks office.  It took an hour to get there.  A very long and frustrating hour... oh, what an idiot I was to try to give directions...

When we got there, the parking lot was full and we had to park a good distance from the door.  We got out of the truck and walked up to the end of the line. 

I asked "Is this the end of the line, and did you need to sign up someplace?". And, they said "We're not in line.  We're here to celebrate your day with you!  Go around us to the door and go on in.". And, they did cheer for us as we walked past.  And. oh God was it hot.  But, I'll bet there were 35 people standing there, in the heat, for one purpose, and that was to support us, and others like us.  I actually got the feeling that if there was trouble, they were there to handle it. 

And, I'm weeping again.  I guess you had to be there.  Or maybe not. 

We got inside and were directed to a huge conference room that would have easily held 250 people, except the person that arranged the chairs must have been gay because they set the place up in a circle instead of straight lines.  And, on one side of the circle was the State Seal of Texas on the wall and the American flag and the Texas flag.  And, about 100 people were waiting.  Our number was 137. 

They asked us at the door whether we wanted a formal marriage or an informal one.  Okay, kid at the buffet moment, y'all.  Shall I have the chicken, or the beef?  We didn't know.  They asked whether we wanted to leave married, or whether we wanted to get a license and wait 72 hours.  We wanted to leave married. 

It was a good thing we had that two and a half hour wait, because we learned a lot about marriage.  I heard one lady say that informal marriage isn't recognized in all 50 states, so we checked into that and changed our minds and wanted a formal marriage.  Then, the sweet and funny lady that was making announcements told everyone that if we wanted both, we could have both, and leave married and get the formal marriage later.  Her quote was "I'll take your money, honey.  We'll do whatever you want". So, we decided to do both.

That sweet lady did a great job of keeping us informed.  She was the one calling numbers, and she was the one that came to the center of the room, called us to attention, and made announcements about how to avoid the 72 hour waiting period, which judges were doing marriages that afternoon, which judges had just announced they were staying late to marry people, how much it cost... any question that she got too often, she gave the answer to the whole room.  And, she did it with flair, curtseying and spinning around and smiling and laughing.  And, every time she talked about marriage, she ended with the same phrase..." and then you're married and you go "take care of your business"", which drew laughs from the crowd.

The first number we heard them call was 98.  39 people ahead of us.  And, the crowd grew.  Where there were empty seats when we got there, it was standing room only when we left. 

The crowd was varied.  There were kids in their 20's and people in their late 60's.  There were mothers with infants and teenagers like Sydney, and people in shorts and people dressed up, and people carrying flowers and balloons and laughing and talking.  Couples who brought their parents to witness the big day.  And, couples who clearly knew no one else in the room and huddled together, waiting their turn.  And, every time they called out a number and the couple stood up to leave the room and go to the clerks office, we cheered for them.  Now, you're thinking this was a bunch of gay people cheering for gay people, right?  But, there were straight people there, too.  Just like there would be any other day.  There to get a marriage license and they waited in line, too.  And, when their numbers got called and they left the room, we all cheered for them too.   And, despite all the cheering and happy applause, there was tension in the room, too.  Thick.  This was people making life altering choices and they knew it.  And, they were ready to do it anyway.  Oh, sure there were the ones there because they wanted to be first.  But, there were couples who had real commitments that they wanted to acknowledge, to themselves, and to the world.  Couples who held hands and didn't talk, and waited quietly, looking into space, like they were seeing a different future.  And, despite the smiles and cheers, they (and we) were taking it serious.

Almost all the gay couples were coming back to the room to have pictures taken in front of the state seal, holding their license up.  And, when they did, we cheered them again, and laughed and cried at their proud family photos.  Babies squirmed and toddlers ran around, and teenagers hugged their Moms and cried.  Old couples held fast to one another, and young couples pulled faces and mugged the camera.  And, the crowd cheered and cried; and cheered and cried.  And, two of the straight couples were brave enough to come back into that crowd again and take their pictures.  And, we cheered for them.  As one couple was leaving, I heard the man say to his new wife, "now we're going to 'take care of our business'.". And, everyone that heard him laughed.  He was pretty cool about it all. 

Finally, our number was called and we were cheered as we left the room and were taken to the clerks office. 

Answering questions
And, more questions. 
 The first license in my hot little hand.
We were escorted, and dropped off with a clerk, who was fun, funny, and clearly happy to be doing what she was doing that day.  She joked with us and helped us make our marriage license application process as good as it could be.  Including helping us edit the application to mark out the WO in WOMAN and changing WIFE to HUSBAND within the documents.  She was so sweet.  There are some counties where the clerks are refusing to issue licenses because "they don't have the right paperwork.". Screw that.  When the paperwork didn't fit us, we changed the paperwork!  With an ink pen.  Rebecca  married us.

I got listed first, but only because my name has a suffix, and the only space on the application for a suffix is under the section titled MAN.  Sorry, just had to throw that one in. 

And, then we went back to the waiting room for our photo. 

And, the crowd cheered.

And, when we left the building, the crowd outside cheered and people took pictures of our family and our license and gave us flowers and offered champagne and blew bubbles.  And, I wept all the way to the truck.

So, marriage is generally followed by a big marriage dinner, right?  So we went to our favorite family friendly Mexican restaurant and had margaritas and Enchiladas and celebrated our big day.  Together.  As family. 

Now, anybody that thinks we missed out on anything because we were in short pants and because our families and friends weren't there and because there wasn't a big reception should know that we've been winging this whole relationship thing in our own way since we started, 15 years ago.  And, that's what we did yesterday, too.  No one could be happier, or more proud.  If it had cost ten thousand dollars, it could not have reflected our family more perfectly. 

Everybody have a great Saturday.  We're still riding the adrenaline rush.  Lane


Husband and husband

It's official. We are married in the state of Texas.

There's still more to come. We have a "common law" marriage that is good in most of the country. In a while we will have an official ceremony and that will be for a "formal" marriage that can't be contested in any state, no matter what.

We weren't taking any chances that anything could happen. We doubled down.

It was a lovely afternoon and I will tell all tomorrow.

Rob's gonna think I don't wanna be married if I don't stop crying. But I can't help it. It's been a really big day.

Huge cheers to the Travis county clerks office for creating a festive and fun environment. And for being so supportive. They've married hundreds of people today and every one of them was excited and smiling and congratulating everyone that walked through.

And God bless the crowd standing outside in the heat just to cheer us on the way in and on the way out. It was beautiful.

There I go crying again.

Pics tomorrow.

Thanks everyone for your good wishes.


What happens now????

What a wonderful day. SCOTUS has made same gender marriage legal in all 50 states. Our county clerk is already issuing licenses.

And I find myself at a loss for what to do now. I've looked into how to get the license. I don't quite know how we get married after that.

Do we rush down and get the license before some obstructionist turd-head puts on a delay?  Do we take our time and do it right?

i don't know what we'll do. But it's time to figure it out and that begins by talking about it.

Oh, and I guess I could pop the question, eh?

Wish us luck as we maneuver through whatever happens next.

Diagonal lines

I'm making a quilt that has lots of diagonal seams.  You guys know that I'm lazy, so I wanted to find the easiest way to do this.  I really hating drawing all those diagonal lines, and then sewing along the line, so when I found this method, I was hooked.

I took a post-it and drew a diagonal line on it, from corner to corner.  I've also used a piece of tape.  It kind of depends on the shape of the feed dogs.  Tape holds better, but the point of a post it will fit between feed dogs, right up to the needle.

I took the two bricks and made a mark to indicate an intersection.  You don't need this if you're working from squares.  Then, I lined the pieces up so they formed an L

I lined the pencil mark up with the needle, and keeping the opposite diagonal corner on the pencil line, I get a perfect diagonal line along the block, so long as I don't let it waver left or right. 

It works very nicely and I think it's much easier than marking the whole line on every block.  That tiny little mark I make is so much easier than what I'd have to do to draw the line.

Everybody have a great Friday.  It's another day in paradise... except it's hot as another place here.  Probably wouldn't be so bad, but all that rain has left the earth saturated and that is starting to evaporate.  But, the garden is lush and beautiful.  And, I can see it from the windows on the back of the house... in the air conditioning.



Oh, the hate

I'm so confused lately by what is on the news. 

I don't think I've ever seen so much hate.  Bigoted, hurtful, oppressive hate.  I get hate.  I feel hate.  But, when I hate, I don't hide that hate behind something as neutral as Christianity.  And, I'm not saying all Christians hate.  But, the haters seem to brag about their Christianity as a reason for their hate.

Now, I've been uninvolved in religion for a long time.  The church I grew up in was not interested in me, as a gay man, so I drifted away and lost interest in it.  But, as I remember it, the whole basis of modern Christianity was love... not hate, so you can see how this would be confusing to me.

These people with their hate have filled me with apprehension at what should be a very happy time.  People are killing other people for stupid ideals.  They've threatened civil war and to kill gays if gay marriage becomes legal.  And, based on what we saw in Charleston, they're willing to do it.  Of course, I'm confused and afraid.

I grew up in Northern Louisiana.  I grew up around racism.  The N word was just another adjective in that place and time.  But, I was taught that it was a rude word.  A word that I should not use.  This was a time of desegregation in the south, and as I got older, I was around, and became friends with more and more African American kids.  It was a big deal when an African American kid was elected, with me, to the National Junior Honor Society.  It was a big deal when the Spanish club had a holiday party at my house and my Mom told me that the one African American student in the club was the first African American guest she had ever had in her home.  It was a remarkable event, but not a big deal.  He was as welcome as everyone else.  There's even a picture somewhere of him sitting in my Dad's recliner, a very special seat in the house. 

Recently, someone accused me of not caring for the way I was raised.  And, like every other person in the world, I would have to say that is partially true.  No family is perfect.  But, I was taught about love, respect for others, and, even though we were right in the middle of a very racist part of the country, I was taught not to be a racist.  Those are parts of my childhood that I do remember and that I do care for.  And, they are lessons I am passing on to my own kid. 

Times are supposed to have changed.  But, damn it's taking a long time.  And, it's only going to be accomplished by people doing exactly what we are and teaching a child tolerance, love, and peace.

Rob says this is the death knell of hate.  That a younger generation will help us overwhelm the residual haters.  I sure hope he's right.

We shall overcome.  We shall overcome some day. 

It's funny.  I usually cook during the news.  But, you know those cutesy little human interest stories that they tell?  I stop and stand in front of the TV to watch those.  I need those stories.  I need to see that there are good people, doing good things.  And, while the media may be heavily tilted to telling the bad news, I'm so glad they still find a few minutes for good.  If I owned a news network, I'd have a daily news show that only reported the good things people do for one another. 

Have a good Thursday.  Today, we could hear from the Supreme Court.  Either this country will move forward in response to a majority of its citizens, or it will be held back by legally sanctioned prejudice.  But, held back is not the same thing as stopped.  We will eventually get it. 



Sometimes, you have to try more than once

You may remember that I recently moved things around in the sewing studio.  It just wasn't working before I moved things around.  After I moved things around, it still wasn't working, but it had more potential.  It's like I had to move it around, and then live in it a while, then move it a little bit more.

I wanted multiple sewing stations, each set up to work on a different type of project.  I wanted the custom cabinet that Rob made me for the Bernina 930 painted, and am trying to hire Sydney to do that.  So, I moved it out over the weekend, and set the 401 up.  I haven't sewn with this machine in a while.  It had a problem in the bobbin case/hook race area that was making a terrible banging sound.  So, I moved it to the repair area and found out that the bobbin case and the positioning lever were too close together, which caught the top thread as the hook brought it around the bobbin and made a popping sound.  Now, how that 50 weight thread, popping around an obstacle was making that loud banging sound, I have no idea.  But, it was.  Loud enough that I thought it was a much more significant problem that I was going to be tackling.

Anyway, it's sewing again, and it has a very minor swishing sound as the thread moves around the bobbin.  That may be as good as I can do on this machine as it was heavily used when I got it.  The previous owner sewed professionally on it.  But, it still makes a lovely stitch.

Don't pay attention to the pile of stuff in the upper left.  That is a couple of projects that were too close to being done for me to move them anywhere else (and forget about them).  The next picture will be the machine on that side, where I am actively working on those projects.

This is my Grandmother's 15-91.  Another wonderful machine.  It needs maintenance.  I need to remove the handwheel and replace all the old lubricant in there.  But, I cannot get one screw loose that would let me in there to do that.  So, she starts a little sluggish until she warms up, but then she purrs and is almost silent.  Eventually, I will get that screw out, but not today.

The tea towels are an idea I saw at a professional sewing studio.  They had taken embroidered tea towels and added ties to the sides and were using them as machine covers.  I happened to have three beautiful, handmade, vintage tea towels that our friend Linda had given us.  I haven't added the ties.  I want to use a nice ribbon in a green that matches the green stripe in the towel, but I'm still using them to cover machines.  And, I really like the idea.

This is the treadle two-spool.  This is my most recent addition to the collection of machines.  The other day, I went to Goodwill and picked up the lamp on the right side for $4 and that was the missing piece to get me sewing here.  This machine does not have the smooth action of my Singer treadle.  And, because it has the wooden dust cover under it and I don't want to take that off... and because I have long legs, it's taken some getting used to.  I'd love to use it to FMQ, but before I try that again, I need to get more used to the machine, so that's the focus now.  This is where I'm making those paper pieced log cabin blocks with half inch finished strips.  That's a long term project that requires I do a lot of making the machine do what I want it to do, and that is going to make me very familiar with how it works, including its quirks.  And, believe me, all my vintage beauties have their quirks.

I also have the serger set up and a couple things to put away, but I think this really makes things more usable in this room.  My next task is to clear up my side of the garage again.  I'm having scrap challenges, and am trying to wrangle them back into a usable order.  And, my sewing machine collection has gotten a little out of bounds out there, with multiple machines in states of disrepair, waiting for me to find out how to correct what's wrong.  Or waiting for me to find a part.  That's the dangerous side of collecting anything, right?

Please say right.  It will mean so much to Rob if you all agree that collecting takes up space.

Sydney has a second interview this morning.  Whoo-hoo!!!  She took the initiative, at the suggestion of her friends, to call the hiring manager yesterday, just to follow up.  He said he would call last Thursday, and did not, and she just asked what the status of her interview was.  And, he told her to come in today for a second interview and bring her social security card and an ID in case she needed to start filling out paperwork.  He still has an afternoon opening. 

That sounds so promising. 

She is going to be braver and smarter than me.  That's just what every parent wants. 

Have a great Tuesday.  Lane


Well, there's good news...but there's also bad news

New thunderstorms this morning.  Flickering lights, lightening, nearby.  We'll see if I can keep internet access long enough to post this. 

I pulled out the center star this morning and laid it out on a clean sheet to measure and stretch it to the right size.  The good news is that there is no need to stretch.  It is the right size.  A perfect 48 1/2".


Except on one side...


Okay, that's not the real word I used, but it will have to do... my Mother reads this blog, after all.

And, wanna know the really weird part?  You can see where I made the mistake. 

Look how much wider the horizontal white inset strip is than the vertical one.  And, can someone tell me exactly how I made that mistake? 

But, you wanna know what?  It's nearly done.  And, I did it.  And, this is the worst the worst mistake I've made so far. 

I can live with that!

Everybody have a great Friday.  I have the day off.  If the rain stops, Sydney needs a haircut.  And, I need new clothes.  But, mostly, I have a to-do list as long as my arm (that I've already knocked three things off of) and now I've added some seam ripper work to that.  And, I'm already having fun.

If the rain keeps up, I'm not going anywhere.

Now, how did I manage to be off 3/8 inch???



A good time for hand work

I'm pretty sure I'm not the only person that turns to hand work when times are chaotic and stressful. 

My boss has moved on and I don't know who I will be working for, or what my responsibilities will be... and that's not so bad, but it's going to be a while before I know, and the waiting is hard... especially since I'm pulling out projects from my to-do list that I hoped I'd never have to work on, just to stay busy.

Sydney is looking for a job.  I'm toying with the idea of looking for a job.  I'm putting out feelers and making connections.  I recognize that searching for a job has changed... and I'm not familiar with how it works today, so I'm reading about it and taking baby steps.  You never know what will happen when you put yourself out there.

And, I'm having some stress from a couple of difficult personal relationships.  It's hard to let a kid make mistakes.  It's double hard to watch adults make mistakes. 

Anyway, I'm still quilting away on the Dresden Plate quilt. 

Sitting and stitching at a speed of about 1/100 miles per hour is great for making me slow down and step out of the adrenalin rush.  And, because it's slow, I can really focus on getting it right.  I picked out a whole bunch of quilting the other day because I was getting a pucker on the back.  Grrrr.  But, I went back and basted again and it went away... at least for now.  If it comes back, I'm going to turn it into a dart and put the hanging sleeve over it...

And, during TV time, I'm working on the red, white and blue hexie quilt.  This is another slow project, so when I got a border attached the other day and it was off by one point, I was pretty upset. 

I'm keeping it in a basket so I can pull it out every evening and then put it away. 

The question is; when will this be finished?????  Will it ever????  Or, will it be my perpetual June project, inspiring me for the Independence Day holiday. 

Everybody have a great Thursday.  Lane


That quilt I always wanted to make

After I finished putting the Texas Braid together this weekend, I needed something...I don't know, something else scrappy.  And, I picked a project that I've put off for years.  I've been collecting 1" strips since I started saving scraps, and I've stashed them and held on to them.  And, now, I have two baskets full.  So, being in a scrappy mood, it was time to at least check out the feasibility of this project.

Those logs finish at 1/2". The red centers are 1". 

I have a bin of dark scraps and a bin of light scraps, and I see this happening, over a very long time.  I think it took a couple hours to make these two blocks on Sunday afternoon...I made them during a movie. 

I had already tried this and realized that I could only do it as a foundation project, and you guys know how much I love freezer paper piecing, so I drew out the pattern, and transferred it to several squares of freezer paper.

And, it worked! 

This time.  But, this is like the third time I've tried.  This is small scale for a log cabin block, so if you're thinking about it, think about it twice.  Getting those consistently straight lines as you go around the block are "difficult".  I doubt it could be done without a foundation.  And, if it could, it would take forever.

And, even though it's wasteful, the easiest scraps to use are wider than an inch, so I'll likely raid the 1 1/2" strip bin for part of this, too... especially since about one in ten 1" strips get tossed because it's not really 1" wide.  I guess I thought this wouldn't take so much precision... if I thought about what every project would take, I'd never do anything.

Sydney's interview went well yesterday.  She would not let me wait.  She said "I'm not a child". 

When we pulled up in front of the restaurant, she had a bit of a panic attack and a little cry.  That was hard.  But, I was patient and let her go, and then I started with the funny and encouraging things she needed to hear before she went in and did one of the hardest things she'll ever have to do, for the first time. 

The guy didn't sound very encouraging.  Even though it's fast food, they sell margaritas and beer, so there's a lot of stuff she can't do because she's not 18.  One of the things I had her make sure and do was find out exactly what job she was being interviewed for because I didn't think she was going to be happy washing dishes.  She could make tacos and work the drive through. 

Okay, I'm good with that.  She should hear back on Thursday.  He gave her the standard line about having other people to interview.  It's only three days a week. 

She's still applying at other places. 

Growing up is hard to do.  Letting someone grow up is hard to do.

Everybody have a great Tuesday.  Thanks for all your encouraging words.  I empathize with all of you that are going through this summer job thing with me.  Thanks for letting me know.  It's nice to not feel alone.



The first interview

Sydney has her first interview this morning.  Rob had an "in" at a fast food restaurant, and he did what he does, and she had a pre-interview yesterday, and an interview this morning.  There's a good chance the kid could get a job. 

And, oh, my, but that means so much change in our lives.  And, I am sure that it's okay for me to be anxious about that.  I cannot be the first.

One of the good things about this job is it's for the afternoon shift, so hopefully, no late night picking her up after shift.  And, it will get her out of here and expose her to a whole different group of people; people that didn't have the opportunities she does, that will hopefully inspire her to take her educational opportunities a bit more seriously. 

From this page to God's ears...

She's nervous.  She asked me for a ride to the interview this morning, but I offered to wait and bring her home after (we are having more storms here), but she doesn't want that.   She wants the ride there, but she wants to take the bus home. 

And, I can be okay with that because I have to. 

All I've wanted is for her to grow up.   So, why is it so hard to let her, now that she's trying??????

Rhetorical question.  I know exactly why.

One of the things I got done this weekend was putting together the Texas Braid quilt, a pattern from Bonnie Hunter.

This quilt took years.  First, it's not a good leader/ender, which is what I planned it for.  The rows get big, quick, so you can't piece on it between other things.  Or, at least I couldn't.  And, it's not all that exciting.  It's doing the same thing, over and over and over again. 

And, after you've done all the pieces for a row, you end up with a row that's 6" wide.  That's not very wide for the effort it took.

But, it's done now. And I just need to find the right red border, and then it can be finished.

And, then, I'm picking something else out of that same book to make.  Because I really need to get more scrap quilts made.  QUICK!  After I cleaned the sewing studio the last time, I had to concede that I've let my scraps get out of control again.  And, the only reason is that I wasn't making quilts out of them.  The only reason to do all that work is to get to use them for exciting quilts.  And, I wasn't doing any of that.

Everybody have a great Monday!  Wish the kid luck!  And, worst case scenario, she gets interview practice.

See ya'.  Lane


Teach a girl to find a job

I'm hoping I can bring some humor to a subject that I'm sure most people have faced, or will. 

If you still have this to look forward to...I'm so sorry.

My girl does not want a job.  What she wants to do is sit around my house all summer in the air conditioning, eating bon-bons, if she knew what those were, and cold cereal.

But, she can't. 

So, we asked her where she wanted to work.  And, she picked a couple of prime places, places where she would be competing against adults with work experience. 

Okay.  Those will be great practice before applying at a fast food place.

So, we start the application process.  And, if you've ever been around a teenager, then you know they know everything and don't need help with anything, ever, because adults are stupid and don't know anything about the real world, and only they have any idea of how to do anything, especially anything that requires a computer... or thinking.

I actually caught myself saying last night, "if you'd just realize for 5 minutes that you are all of 17 years old and that you don't know everything and that we CAN help you."

I may as well have spit into a fan.

But, it does seem to calm her when I call her on her attitude, tell her, very calmly that it's not working on me, I'm not getting mad with her, and then show her what she's doing wrong, which mostly involves reading the error messages that she's getting when she enters incorrect information and doing something about it, other than repeatedly hitting the enter key, hoping for a different result.

We had to teach her about a resume, and a cover letter and how to answer a survey.

Last night, when I told her to put in one of her cover letters that she wanted to work in the photography department, but understood that she had no work experience and she was willing to take other jobs, while she developed those skills and made herself qualified for the job she wanted, she said that was begging.

Okay, you're 17, you have no work experience, you have a bad attitude and you are a procrastinator... beg like your life depended on it, honey!

She's finally getting through the first two applications, after three nights of working on them.  I just kept reminding myself that it's the long haul, not the short race.  Teach her to find a job now, and maybe I won't need to help after her first boss fires her for refusing to wash dishes, or scrub toilets, or any of the other things she's told me she's not going to do over the last 9 years.

Y'all said it, I keep repeating it.  Parenthood; the best job you'll ever hate.

Find farewell to Sir Christopher Lee. You scared the be-jeezus out of me. Thank you. Rest peacefully. Unlike in your movies.



A delay

Yesterday, I posted about my next project. But there's been a delay in that. Now, I have two small sections of the raffle quilt that came out the wrong size and need to be taken apart and put back together with the correct seam allowances.

That wasn't the plan, Stan.

My part was supposed to be done.

But I am ready to work on my own stuff again.

The other night, when I was leaving the Board meeting, one of the other members told me I'd learn to say no. That she had to learn to say no and I would too. It seemed such an odd comment from someone serving on a volunteer board. But I'm starting to think she was right.

Hey, did you hear about the Billy Graham family moving all their money because of that sweet and wonderful commercial that Wells Fargo did about the two Mommies?  The bank they moved the money to is one of the main supporters of Miami gay pride and the Miami gay pride celebration of same sex couples in long term relationships. I swear. It's true.

You can't pray the gay away, y'all. We're everywhere.

Every body have a great Wednesday. Go look for that commercial if you want a sweet tearjerker moment. Too sweet.



Next project

I am looking for my next project.  I've fulfilled my commitments to the Guild raffle quilt.  I've delivered the baby quilt.  My big 2015 project is a block of the month, so it won't be finished til end of year.  I don't have anything new waiting in the wings that I'm excited about... and I know how unusual that is for a quilter. 

And, I'm in the mood to quilt.  So, I'm thinking about quilting this feathered star quilt.  Yes, I know I've said that before...

Bad photo, I know.  But, it's a lovely green feathered star quilt that was started as a baby quilt.  But, it's too big.  And, it's too green.  And, it just didn't fit the baby's family that it was originally made for.  So, that baby got a different quilt that everyone was happier with and this one sat in my studio, in the UFO pile, just waiting for me to tackle it. 

I have the yellow thread.  I have enough leftover fabric to piece a back.  I even know what I'm going to quilt in it... think feathers... tons of feathers.  A boa of feathers, exploding out of the center.

Okay, that might be a bit dramatic.  But, you get the idea. 

Now, to find the time to sit down and start marking. 

That's what has kept me from starting this one.  All of it has to be pre-marked.  That means making drawings to fit, and then tissue paper copies of those drawings.  And, then the part where I actually sit down and make yellow bobbins and get started. 

That's the hard part.

Joen Wolfram wanted a photo of this quilt, finished, to use as an example of a quilt made from three adjacent colors from her color wheel.  That was over a year ago...I bet she's forgotten that now.  That was one of those strike while the iron is hot moments that I missed. 

I brought it to class as an example of a monochromatic quilt, but she showed me how it is really three very close shades of green, the names of which I can't remember now.  But, even with three adjacent shades from the color wheel, it's still an unusual quilt.  You don't often see that.  And, less often do you see it work as well as this one did.

I was able to do it by picking the right print... that polka dot print, which had the background shade of green and two other shades of green; a lighter and a darker.  I just picked up fabrics in those two other shades of green and went to town.

Anyway, it's very summery and the more I've sat here and written about it, the more excited I've gotten.  Why do I always do that to myself when it's time to go to work??? 

Anticipay-ay-tion, it's making me wait....

Everybody have a great Tuesday.  I just found out that a friend is going to Hawaii for a year.  She's so lucky.  And, I'm going to miss her so much.  We aren't sit and visit for coffee friends.  But, we're friends that share something more than just an acquaintance.  Not long after she started reading this blog, she walked up and hugged me and said she really appreciated how I write and what I have to say.  It really touched me.  I'll never meet so many of you, so to have someone look me in the eye and tell me she thought I was special made me feel real good. She may not even remember.  But, it's one of those moments that will stay with me for a long time.



Busy weekend

I did a lot of stuff this weekend, but the thing I'm happiest about is pushing through the stars for the raffle quilt.  I got the stars pieced a couple weekends ago and then put them together.  There's a whole tutorial being worked up about how I made points match that didn't want to match.  I tried something and it worked.  And, it was so easy.  And, it worked more than once.

I also spent as much time out in the yard as I could.  This daylily bloomed for me while I was out there.  When I started, it was still closed.  But, by the time I was ready to go in, it was beautiful

And, we got the first bloom from a daylily named Charlene's Patio.

I also did some hand quilting.  There's another post in the planning, not so much a tutorial as "things I've learned about hand quilting that I can share" kind of post.  Things that would have helped me relax when I was learning to hand quilt, and even when I was starting this project and decided that it was going to be heavily quilted.  I'm on the fourth feather.  Whoo-hoo!

Remember that sharp needle I accidentally picked up the other day?  Well, it was starting to soften in the middle and bend, so I went in search of a brother for it.  I tested a whole lot of sharps before I found the package that one came out of.  One thing I was reminded of is that size is relative to manufacturer because a size 10 from one company was not the same as a size 10 from another.  But, these are Richard Hemming and Son needles, sharps, size 10.  They have a nice length, and are sturdy enough to stack some stitches on, and they slide through that cotton batting like butter.  I've used about a half the package I bought several years ago... and I need to go in search of more.  They will not last like a between for hand quilting.  But, they more than make up for it in ease.  I'll save those betweens for when I'm hand quilting through wool or poly.

Everybody have a great Monday.  Syd's first Monday off school.  Enjoy it kiddo... tomorrow, there will be chores.



So, that's what happens when it rains

Oh, we had so much rain.  Harmful in quantity, and yet our water resources continue to fill, even though it hasn't rained in five days.  We really needed that. 

All that water had great effect on my lawn and garden.  Now that the rain has stopped and the sun has started to shine, things have really started to spring up.  Last week, the tomato plants dropped all their fruit and had no bloom.  This week, they have started to spring up, as have all the other sun lovers.

This daylily is the offspring of a "spider" daylily and probably a common yellow.  The spider parent is lost, but, I have this.  It probably doesn't exist anywhere else.

And, this daylily is called Yabba-Dabba-Do.  And, it's just getting started. 

The red knockout rose is about the burst with bloom.

The phlox... I'm not so sure about the phlox.  Hopefully, if they get some sun, they'll put out more blossom at the head of each stalk. 

This is one of those kind of part sun/mostly shade places where I've tried to add interest in leaf shape instead of trying to get things to bloom. 

Yesterday was Syd's last day of Junior year.  She passed.  Her next task is to find a job.  The last thing she did was sing at graduation.  I picked her up after and she wanted a slushee.  Okay, she asked for a slushee and while I wasn't immediately inclined to go out of my way, we ended up getting one.  And, I know I got a boatload of brownie points for that.  That's cool.  And, I also got a chance to very gently express some feelings about the last couple weeks of school and the scramble she goes through at every grading period to get caught up.  And, how frustrating we find that.  But, that was minimal...a side note to taking her for her really gross sounding slush with ice and syrup and candy.  I settled for a simple cherry limeade.  There's nothing better on a hot day than a cherry limeade soda on crushed ice.  MMMMMM.

Okay, y'all.  I gotta go to work.  We have an appointment scheduled for tomorrow to deliver the baby quilt to its very pregnant Mama.  It's hard to set things like that up with people you don't know very well. 

See ya!


What happens when nothing happens

I ended up sick this week. 

Rob stayed home on Tuesday to take care of me.  I was that sick. 

By yesterday, I was able to hold my head up and I worked as much as I could.  It was a bad week to be sick.  It's my bosses last week before she changes jobs.  Yes, the boss that I've thrived under is moving on.  And, yes, it does make me very anxious.  I don't know who I will be working for or what responsibilities I'll have. 

I'll miss her.  And, I'm doing my best to look forward to the next set of opportunities that will come my way.

But, it still makes me anxious.

Anyway, I couldn't move around this week, so I hand quilted.  Rob had to help me load the quilt into the frame.  I finished all the blocks in my yellow Dresden Plate quilt and moved out into the border.  (yes, this is the best I can do for a picture... I've been sick...waaaaaaa)

The border has some half and quarter plates in it.  And, around them, I have envisioned feathers.  I've never hand quilted feathers. 

As you can see, they're pretty okay, right?  And, they go pretty fast.  There will be eight feathers and the first one took about three hours.  Jeez, I can machine quilt a half of a quilt in that time...

This is the heaviest quilt I've ever worked on.  It weighs a ton.  I don't know why it feels so much heavier than other bed sized quilts.  I didn't add anything in particular that would add to the weight. 

I've been quilting on it with a between needle, but the other day, I accidentally picked up a sharp.  I know it won't last long before it bends, but that sharp slides through the cotton batting like butter, while the between is like driving a nail.  I can only stack three stitches on the between, but I can stack six or seven on the sharp.  Which is why the sharp will bend...hmmmm.  Maybe I'm not thinking about this clearly.

Oh, what we go through for beauty, right?  This is my big one.  It might not be the nicest quilt I ever make, but it's going to be my hand quilting triumph.  Hand quilting takes a long time, and I've picked this one to get my best effort and my most dense quilting. 

And, one day, I'll actually get it finished. 




The Gnomes get paint

We all really enjoy the Gnome garden.  It's one of those things that is never finished and has become a collection.  We're always looking for things in the right scale to add. 

The house is an old birdhouse that my Mom gave me many years ago.  I think it came with a bird feeder.  It was weathered gray wood.  So, I cleaned and sanded it and primed it white... and then I got creative.

The door is painted on the house, but the door frame is cut from a very thin piece of bass wood and glued to the house.  The window is the bird's entry.  I just added the little crossbeams to make it more window like and to keep birds from actually nesting in it... not that a bird ever nested in it in all the years it was outside.  But, make it pretty, and who knows...  I added the chimney...because I could.

I got creative with the back, too.  Couldn't resist.  I don't know if anybody will ever see the back.  But, if they do, it will be cute, too.  All that is painted on. I wasn't up for cutting all that and adding it.

Of course, when I was reading up on Gnomes, I found that gnomes live underground, so I guess this is more of a fairy guesthouse in the gnome village. Oh, well.

It stopped raining long enough for me to work in the yard a few hours on Saturday.  The yard is soggy, but starting to dry.  There is no rain in the forecast for this week.  The lake is 70% full.  The aquifers are filling with water.  It's been a drought changer.  I sure hope it's an ender, but who knows.

This daylily is Bernina.  It's Syd's favorite.  And, it sure is a pretty one. 

Everybody have a great Monday.  It's going to be a long day, ending in a guild business meeting.  Oh, well.  No more rest for the weary.