Quilting day with the hubs

On Saturday, Rob took me to the quilt show in La Grange, Texas.  His idea.  He drove.  He video'ed the show and has posted it to his channel.  It was a very nice show.  These quilters are serious about their quilting.  I'll rely on Rob to show you the show.  My pics are mostly of wonderful quilted elements that I might want to incorporate. 

Okay, that's just a sample. 

And, as if taking me to a show wasn't quite enough, then Rob took me out for Mexican food made from scratch, and then we went to the Texas Quilt Museum. 

Now, the museum wasn't quite what I expected.  I kind of expected at least one display of quilts made in Texas.  But, most of the quilts on display were not made here.  There were some lovely ones tho, including a complete set from a quilt guild in England focusing on the signing of the Magna Carta.  No photographs were allowed inside, so you'll have to trust me that the quilted art was amazing!

Next door to the museum is a quilt store for all of us that have gotten all quilt-cited and need to touch some fabric.  And, take home some momentos.  The Quilted Skein is fabric and quilting on one side, and yarn on the other side.  Now, Rob's facebook page made it look like I went a little nuts.  But, I didn't.  And, I never got out of the checkout line.  That man knew I was next.  But, the two ladies he was helping were taking forever!  So, I spent the time playing with some yarn.  All told, for the whole day, I bought 6 fat quarters (that I didn't need), two patterns (that I didn't need), a large spool of quilting thread (that's experimental to see if I need more of it), a supreme slider (really did need that), and a set of wooden double pointed needles for knitting socks (ehh, depends on how you think about it whether I needed them or not.)  Not too bad, considering all that was available. 

Fortunately, we didn't go anywhere they were selling plants.  That might have been a whole different story on such a beautiful spring day!

As a side note, I filed our taxes yesterday.  Married, filing jointly.  Rob and I have never really mixed our finances.  This was a first.  Married and filing jointly.  Who'da thought it?

Have a great Monday.  I'm still binding the Dresden Plate quilt.  But, I made 32 arcs for the DWR.  And, did a lot of quilting on that little red/white pillow that ran.  Pics later. 



It didn't really get better

Well, Barbara Brackman released her next Westering Women block from this year's BOM series.  And, I gave it a whirl.  It's called Indian.  And, when I think of Native Americans, I think of blues, greens, and terra cotta colors.  So, I pulled those fabrics from my stash and used a sand color as the neutral.

And, I hated it.  (but it looks great with the bedspread, right?)

So, I took it apart and found a new fabric for the center. 

And, I liked the new fabric, but I didn't care for the sand colored fabric.  So, I took it apart some more and replaced that.  And, I'm not much happier with it now than I was to begin with. 

But, honestly, two tries is all I'm giving it. 

It just doesn't fit with its sister block (and, yes, I did have to look up whether its should have the apostrophe, just for you guys.  because it's early here and I'm using that as my excuse for not being able to remember.  Jeez, I'm a technical writer after all...).  So, the new challenge of this quilt is to make blocks that will tie those two together.  Yay, as if life wasn't already challenging enough. 

Kidding.  Life is good.  The trip to New Orleans went fine.  The weather was bad, but we were unaffected by it.  I had dinner with my outgoing boss and my new boss...that change happened just a couple days earlier.  So, I took the chance and got them to talk between the three of us about my favorite subject...me.  It was a great chance to make sure the new boss heard all the things I wanted him to hear. 

It actually started a bit before that when I had to choose whether to ride in the car with the old boss or the new one.  I chose the new one.  And, we chatted amiably for a bit.  And, then I just asked "is this a good time to start talking about what it's going to be like to work with together?"  And, he said sure, so we did.  I'm finally learning to sell myself.  Dang, but ain't it about time?

Everybody have a great weekend.  Syd has a choir competition.  Rob and I are going to a quilt show.  Life is real good.



A little winter gardening

I shouldn't even call it winter, because we aren't having one of those this year.  Which is okay for the garden, I guess, but it's gonna be heck in summer with all the extra bugs. 

I spent a lot of time in the yard a couple weeks ago, cleaning and getting things ready.  And, I spent more time out there this weekend.  It's going to look great this year.  Instead of adding things, I'm focusing this year on moving things around, to get their optimal spots for looks and for environment.

I knew that spring was here officially when I saw the forsythia in bloom.  Ready or not! 


I set up a few little pots of mixed plantings, just for some fun and early color. 

A little more fun...I don't know if these will do anything this early, but I was just drawn to the particular orange. 

And, other than the forsythia, this is the first bloom of the year.  This iris came from a neighbors yard.  She was a prolific gardener who passed away a couple years ago.  Like me, she was a "hectic" gardener with a chaotic yard that I loved.  One day, I was walking the dog and one chunk of one of these iris had heaved up and someone had kicked it and it was on the sidewalk.  In two years, it's turned into a large clump that will need to be divided this year. 

The Dresden Plate quilt continues.  I didn't really think about what a totally hand made quilt would be like.  Binding.  Think binding.  Rob even asked if I could cheat and put the binding on the front with the machine.  But, I didn't. 

I sewed it to the front by hand, then folded it over and sewed it to the back by hand.  Well, I'm sewing it to the back by hand.  I just started that part and turned my first corner. 

The plan is to bind it, and attach the sleeve and wash it and block it.  Then, let Rob go over it with his judge's eye and give me feedback.  I may not be able to fix everything he finds.  But, I think I'll have a really good idea of what I'm submitting to the show after he gives it a once over.  And, I still have time before the show in September to make a few changes. 

Everybody have a great Monday.  Today, I have an eight hour meeting.  Tomorrow, I fly to New Orleans and back Wednesday afternoon.  It's going to be a busy and fast week. 

I'm glad I spent some time this weekend relaxing in the garden and quilting.



Snipping threads

I'm getting ready to pin baste the Star Struck quilt. 

You can imagine that in a quilt with that many pieces, there would be some ravel on the back.  
And, your imagination would be correct.
I've been snipping threads off the back for about 2.5 hours and I have at least another hour to go.  But, it's okay.  Because every little black thread I'm going to show you in the rest of this post is a little black thread that would love to lay down behind that white fabric and not show itself until I put in about 800 quilting stitches in around it.  Been there. 
Have that quilt.
Not only is there the regular ravel that you'd expect, but even more of it was caused by hauling this little quilt all over creation and showing it off before I moved forward on it.  Anyway, here are a couple examples of thread that needs to be trimmed off. 
And, this is what I have picked off so far, balled up tight.  That's a lot of little tiny pieces of thread. 

This is one of those steps that is tedious and boring.  And, I dread it.  But, it's that one little extra step I can take to make sure this quilt is as good as I can make it be.  It would have been a lot less work if I hadn't folded and refolded the top so often.  But, I enjoyed that too, so I'm okay with the extra work. 

My birthday was wonderful.  I collect gnomes and Rob gave me a new gnome for my kitchen window.  And, a dish that I didn't have.  The story goes that he was standing in front of the china cabinet with his phone and Syd walked up.  He was looking at the picture of the piece and trying to determine if I already had one in the cabinet.  Syd took one look at the pic and said, he doesn't have that.  Now, I do.

I just found out that Christine, at Quilterscandy was inspired by my refolding day post.  She mentioned the importance of every quilter having a refolding day.  Thanks, Christine!!

Everybody have a great Tuesday.  Work is interesting right now.  I got a new boss while I was off last week.  And, this week, I'm moving to a new desk location.  Ch-ch-changes!  And, on top of that, I'm applying for something different.  Good thing I'm flexible. 



And, as all celebrations must...

This one draws to an end. 

I took three days off work.  I've spent more of it than I intended out in the yard, deciding I could quilt inside later, when the rains start, and work in the yard now, when the conditions are perfect...and no squishy clay mud to deal with.  I'll try to get out and take some pics.  Just a lot of clean up and some moving things around.  And, I'm mapping the beds again, so I will know where things are.  I've done my best to keep my map up to date, but even so, there's a lot of stuff on that map that either isn't there anymore, or hasn't come up this year, and I'm not sure which.  But, I know, like always, the beds will be full and lush again this year.  I can tell that, just from what hasn't frozen back. 

We haven't had any hard winter.  Just some temps in the 30's.  Nothing to freeze things back and kill off all of next years pests and bugs.  We're gonna regret that. 

But, it wasn't all yard work and eating leftovers, there was lots of quilting done, too.  I'm looking at the Dresden Plate quilt, and having to start thinking about the binding.  I was talking about having to make all that binding by hand, and then attach it to both sides of the quilt by hand, and Rob asked if I couldn't just use the machine on that little bit.  But, the quilt's name is Every Stitch by Hand, and so far, every stitch has been.  And, I'm not gonna chicken out at the home stretch.  I can bind a quilt by hand.  I probably need one more full day to finish the quilting and pull some out and put it back in again.  Maybe a day and a half.  Then, the binding. 

And then, the washing...and I'm not sure what I'm most anxious about.  How will fabrics from the 50's hold up attached to a new piece of fabric?  We shall see.

LW asked where I was going to show it.  It's going to be in the Austin Area Quilt Show first, and that's this September, so I'm feeling real good about getting it done.

And, I got rows 2 and 3 finished on the DWR quilt.  That took 6 sections, or 15 melons, or 30 arcs.  And now, I'm outta arcs.  I need new freezer paper templates before I can make any more.  And, the question about how many times you can use a freezer paper template is answered...it is 6.  Then, there's just not enough sticky on it for me to keep working with it.  They don't take that long to make.

(please excuse the dog toy...)

And, I was merrily quilting away on the red and white quilt, despite the slight run in the corner. 


I flipped it over to trim threads.  And, holy crap red runny dyes, Batman!  I just spritzed it a little on the front to take out some blue water soluble ink.  And, it ran a drop on the front, and three corners on the back look like these...

Because of the way it was on the sofa the other day, my friend thought it was a pillow. 

I'm also thinking it's going to be a pillow. 

I've gotten very careful about how I handle it.  I shuddered the other day because of the number of times I'd tossed it on top of the Dresden Plate quilt and how disappointed I would be if that red dye ran on that piece of work. 

I'll sew a red pillow backing onto it when I bind it.  And, I'll get it sealed in a Ziploc bag until I can get it to the show committee.  I've learned to be a afraid of it.  And, you guys know, there's not much about fabric that scares me!

Everybody have a great Valentine's Day.  Rob took me out on the town last night for my birthday.  We had a wonderful time.  Then, this morning we lay in bed and drank our coffee and watched The African Queen and were just a couple, watching a romantic movie.  We are so lucky. 

Hope you are feeling it, too.



Slow progress

I'm still making slow progress on hand quilting the Dresden Plate quilt. 

We laid it on the floor in the living room last night and there is surprisingly little re-quilting to do.  I really thought that, because I'd been quilting on this quilt for several years, I'd want to pull some of the early work out and replace it.  But, there's really only one bit of echo around a plate that is too narrow and needs to be replaced to look more like the rest of the blocks.  Other than that, just two more block centers like the one above to quilt. 

But, look at those tiny stitches!

I've taken a few days off work.  I needed to be away for a bit, just for some mental health days.  And, I'm spending as much as I can quilting and working in the yard.  No structure.  Just doing what I want to do. 

Today, I'm having lunch with a quilting friend.  And, I'm moving daylilies into the neighbor's flowerbed, and I need to head to the hardware store for seed starting pellets.  But, first, I'm going to be cutting 2.5" squares for the Double Wedding Ring quilt.  I'm bored with the lack of variety. 

I sat on the deck with the featherweight yesterday and made 8 arcs.  That was fun.  Bonnie Hunter has a good idea sewing out on the porch.  Unfortunately, I can't get a treadle out there, but my FW and a good heavy extension cord did just fine.

We'll have to see what my lack of structure holds in store for today! 

Everybody have a great Thursday.  Lane


Moving forward

Weekends are always busy here.  We save most of our chores and errands for weekends.  And, this weekend was no different.  I did get to spend a good bit of time quilting.  I'm still working on the hand quilting on the Dresden Plate and when I can, I'm working on the green DWR quilt.  I got four circles prepped.  I decided to go with bed sized.  36 circles.  I really should count it by the diamond shapes.  That's the real block.  And, sometimes, it only has one melon shape attached.  But, even that is a completed block.

Yesterday, I decided to start quilting this little star quilt.  It's made from leftovers of the guild's raffle quilt and I thought it would be nice to donate it to the silent auction. 


It ran when I spritzed it to take out my blue quilting marks.  Oh, well.  I'm still donating it to the guild's silent auction.  But, I'll be marking with tissue paper from now on, not water soluble pen.

I worked in the yard and I cleaned house.  I actually got down on my hands and knees and scrubbed my kitchen floor with a brush, washed all the cabinet doors, and bleached the countertops.  Rob kept looking at me funny.  But, he knows I applied for a job last week.  He knows why I was scrubbing and cleaning and working in the yard. 

It's my stress release.  With me, cleaning is a sign of positive change.  And, comparatively, it's not a bad vice.  I'm sure we could all think of things more annoying than a clean floor as a way to de-stress.

The job is a good match.  I kind of hope I get it.  It's in a completely different area of the company, working on a different kind of product.  It would mean a whole new set of people.  Most of whom I have never offended.  But, the work is familiar.  I've had a wonderful string of managers that have challenged me and given me data analysis projects and shown me better ways of doing things.  It was always in addition to my regular responsibilities...and was probably as much to keep me busy and quiet as to challenge me...but in this job, that would be the main responsibility.

I am, of course, excited.  But, not anxious.  Just kind of, I can do this and I'm going to do this.  And, either it will work out or it won't.  It's so much easier to do things if I let go the outcome. 

Everybody have a great Monday! 



Sewing weekend

It was a beautiful weekend.  Sunny warm days.  We all worked in the yard part of Sunday.  And, despite getting out and doing things and working in the yard, I managed to get a lot of sewing done. 

I made Barbara Brackman's first block of the Westering Women quilt...I'm calling it Go West!  (great, now I'll be humming The Village People all day)

Hard block to photograph.  Even as well pressed as it is, it kind of wants to rise up around the edges. 

I got the quilting back in the corner of the Dresden Plate quilt.  This is hard quilting...straight lines...what was I thinking?  If you look real close, you'll see that one pair of those lines doesn't match to it's companions on the other side of the sashing.  That'll have to be corrected. 

Oh, well.  Life goes on.  And, I just got three tubes of my favorite hand quilting needles.  I couldn't remember where I got the first tube.  I suspected a quilt show.  But, when I ordered silk thread for the black and white quilt, I realized my preferred vendor for silk cones, Rose Rushbrooke (I am not being compensated for this) carries them.  She sells the large cones of silk thread and Jeana Kimball's Foxglove Cottage needles and lots of other very nice things.  You can also see her quilts.  Lots of wonderful art quilts. 

And, I made more progress on the double wedding ring. 

Moving right along.  For me, Double wedding ring has been the hallmark pattern.   The one I always wanted to make but was always afraid to try.  And, now I'm making it.  And, I'm loving it!  Rob suggested I go for 16 blocks so we can hang it on the wall.  But, I still want 36 blocks so it will fit on our bed.  We will see.  I've stopped making arcs because I have enough made for the 16 blocks.  And, I'm thinking, trying to decide.  Wall.  Bed.  Wall.  Bed.  If we go with wall, I'm gonna have a boatload of olive green fabric left over. 

I thought I'd show this.  If you're careful, this is all the scrap that's left from cutting a dozen of the large green pieces and as many melons as I could fit in the negative space.  I've been very inventive in how I'm cutting those pieces and will likely take some pics to share. 

I've decided double wedding ring is really easy, even if it is kind of slow.  But, it's only easy if I use all the tips I learned from Sally Collins class.  I premark all my intersection points with pencil and pin them together so I know they will match when I sew them in.  That little bit of prework, and a boatload of pins makes the sewing really the easy part.  So, I take it to the sofa and do and the pinning in comfort. 

Everybody have a great Tuesday.