Not so finished

This morning, I wanted a new pic of the arc quilt.  I was sure I was finally finished.  I spent yesterday afternoon correcting the last errors and tying off the last knots.  I was at the machine so the quilt was kind of piled up next to me and I gave it a once over and tied a couple stray knots. When I laid it out this morning, I saw four pins (mistakes) and two untied knots.  I was so disappointed.  

I swear this quilt is trying to be unfinished...

I'll get it done, but I've started to feel a sense of urgency.  I have another quilt I'd like to quilt to enter into the September show.  It doesn't even have borders yet.  

I re-made the American Stars block.  I guess we all knew I would.  I'm not much on being beaten by a little sewing.  I didn't try to paper piece it this time.  I cut it and traditionally pieced it, marking all the intersection points and making them match.  Thank goodness, it took less time the second time.  In retrospect, I wish I'd used a lighter blue instead of the brown, but I'm still satisfied with the block.  

Here are the four blocks together.  They look rather disjointed.  Two look alike, but the other two don't look the same at all.  I have to keep in mind that I'm mixing these with 12 others to make a queen size quilt.  There will be so much variety that it won't matter that these four look odd together.  

I took Friday off, just to burn some PTO.  It's gotten away from me and I need to schedule a week out.  I didn't have any particular purpose, but I ran some errands and took care of a couple things and started "mapping" the garden.  I want to know where things are so I can stop planting things on top of one another and so I can tell what is where and what color it's going to be.  All the (unk) will be replaced with the color when the plant blooms.  It looks like it would be easy, but it's really slow work and kind of boring, so I keep sitting the notebook down and pulling a few weeds that I see when I'm looking at the space so intently.  I got two sections done this weekend.  It will get easier, I'm sure.  I've already started a spreadsheet with information about the plants and I plan to add things like when it bloomed and how tall it got to that.  

And, speaking of the garden, here are a few pics of new flowers.  

I think this Iris came from my Mom.  Not sure.  

I love this little peach Gerber daisy.  It's such a happy color.

The nasturtiums are up.  I'm hoping for another good year.  They did VERY well last year. 

Work was good last week.  It was nice and steady, not stressful but deadlines were met for several projects.  That's how it is when the boss is on vacation.  This week will not be the same.  We'll need to answer all the things that came to his inbox that he left unread until his time with family was done.  But, that's okay, he needed to unwind.  I'm feeling rested and refreshed and ready to take on whatever comes my way.  But, I'm sure looking forward to retirement.  

Everybody have a great week!  Do at least one thing that's just to bring you joy.  I'm really stressed about what I see in the news, and am feeling the safety that I've enjoyed these last 20 years slipping away, so I need all the little things I can find that bring me joy. 




So much going on

It started with a dead battery in the car that made me have to reschedule an 8am doctor's appt and then there was upper management in the office and I went to the office for most of three days.  I had that rescheduled doctor's appt and Bella had an appt to have her staples removed from the surgery a couple weeks ago.  I was definitely busy and put more miles on the car than I have in a single week in a long time.  

Unfortunately, I have nothing quilty to show.  I worked on the American Stars block and threw it away.  I did not have the patience for that kind of precise work this weekend.  I finally put away all the jackets and sweaters that had built on up the arc quilt and worked on it a little.  I did a little mending and a little cleaning and made us a delicious roasted game hen for lunch yesterday.  And, spent a lot of time in the garden.  

These Iris and Amaryllis are having a great show!  The yellow Iris are responding to the extra sun from the tree trimming last year.  

I just told someone that I didn't have a purple iris and then one appeared.  I don't know where it came from or how long I've had it, but it hasn't bloomed in long enough that I'd forgotten about it.  

This multi-color iris bloomed.

The leadwort plumbago went nuts for such a small plant!

We have a neighbor who has a real stand of Amaryllis in their hellscape (the space between the sidewalk and street where it is almost always hard to garden).  They put on this show every year.  

And, I wanted to share these dianthus.  They came from my Mom's last year. 

Okay, that's it for me.  I spent a lot of time cleaning up in the garden.  Now that everything is in, it's just dead-heading, weeding, and keeping it looking good.  

Everybody have a great week!  Find a flower and enjoy it.  



Some quilting and a lot of gardening

I set it as a goal to have this little top finished this week.  It took a considerable effort to do that and get all the points to match...well most of the points to match.  Can't wait to quilt it.  I'm pretty proud of how it came out and of the twist I put on the pattern.  There are a couple things I'd have done different, but overall, I love it.  It will look great with some quilting and a nice binding.  It came out to 32" square.  A great size for a wall hanging and small enough to do some really fun small scale filler quilting.  

Lesson learned about sitting on the floor to sew.  That ended up being the hardest part of putting it together.  I started it sitting on the floor and thought about moving the machine to a table and sitting in a chair.  It would have been much easier, but there was all that moving (the featherweight, known for its portability) and rearranging (everything was massed in the floor around me) and I was in a 'can't be bothered mood' and ended up doing the whole thing in Easy Pose.  When I was a kid, my Aunt Jane brought her sewing machine to my Grandmother's house to sew some fringe on her living room curtains.  To get to sit with the family, she sat in the living room, on the floor and sewed.  I always think of Aunt Jane when I put a machine on the floor.  Of course, she would have been younger then than I am now.  

Oh, how they used to sit around and laugh when they all got together to visit.  

We had heavy rain last night, so no telling what I'll find coming up in the garden this morning.  It's been like greeting old friends, some I've been expecting and some I've forgotten that are surprising me.  And, of course, the poke salad.  Someone up the hill must have quite the stand of that going on because every year,  I get more seedlings.  It started with that one plant that I posted here so proudly until some of y'all told me what it was and how poisonous it was.  I didn't let mine go to seed, tho.  But, there have been lots of other plants, too.  

The spirea has come back.  It was looking very sad last year and there wasn't much of a bloom, but a little haircut and some good food and it seems to be ready to have another life.  

I didn't expect much bloom from the mock orange after we cut them so drastically last year and that was a safe expectation.  They aren't putting on the show they normally put on, but they are putting out some beautiful blooms here and there.  

Columbines.  The garden starts with white blooms and this is the first of the yellows.  

And, the leadwort plumbago.

I maintain a training manual at work and update it annually.  Last week was that week and it sure was nice to have the garden to walk around in every so often to let my eyes rest and have something pretty to look at.

It's going to be a busy week.  This morning, I have a doctor's appt, first thing and then there will be people in from all over the country.  I've been recruited to pick up lunch from one of Austin's premier barbecue joints on Wednesday.  There was a time I would have been so nervous that something would go wrong, but I'm feeling pretty confident.  What's the worst can happen?  Oh, never mind.  Let's don't do that because in just a couple seconds, I thought of a couple really bad things.  It will be fine.  

Everybody have a great week!  Do something you enjoy, two things if you can!



Balancing work and play

I took Friday off.  I needed to be away from the job and my calendar was clear and I had stuff I wanted to do that I don't get paid for.  I didn't accomplish a lot.  Some shopping, put a couple plants in the ground, a little light housekeeping and a nice dinner.  A great way to spend some "stolen" time.  The rest of the weekend was also balanced between work and play, but there was more emphasis on working around the house.

Last weekend, I picked up a set of fabrics at the quilt show that I thought would look nice together.  I hemmed and hawed, trying to make myself feel guilty about starting something new when I have so many projects going on (there's a reason my UFOs hang just inside the studio closet door where I have to walk past them to get to anything).  I looked at patterns and played with the fabric and picked what I wanted to make and changed my mind multiple times.  I had carpenter's star in mind and looking at pictures of other people's quilts gave me something to do between projects during the workday.  I pulled additional fabrics from stash to go with the ones I'd picked out at the show.  And, just when I was about to give up and fold everything into the stash, I found the perfect photo for inspiration.  It's not a carpenter's star, but it shows up in searches for that pattern and it was perfect for the green, gold, orangey red, and blue fabrics from the show.  It didn't matter that I wouldn't be using the fabrics I'd pulled from stash to go with the fabrics from the show.  

I cut the first few green HSTs and then had an idea.  What if I cut all those pieces in half so I could use the complimentary medium shades I'd pulled from stash?  So, I did.  I don't often cut fabrics and audition them, but decided to here.  This is everything laid out.  Forgive the sewing machine leg...that's from underestimating the size when I started laying pieces out from the center.  I am very happy with what the added variety gave me.  The dark blue point on the right is what those are going to look like (fingers crossed) when they're assembled.  So far, everything has gone together perfectly.  I have the blocks made for the first 5 rows and will start to put them together into rows soon.  When finished, with borders, it should be about 30" square.  Just the right size for a small, fun project that I can knock out quick.  I'm taking time to really do this right, trimming pieces before attaching to other pieces so that everything will fit together just perfect and it's paying off in matching points.  

I've been wanting to sew on the featherweight for a while, so I pulled it out and set it up in the floor next to the pieces and have been enjoying how well that little machine does.  Perfect lines with very little pull to left or right from the feed dogs.  That pulling is so annoying when I'm trying to get small precise points.  

In other news, while Rob power washed the deck on Saturday, I cleaned carpets.  On Sunday, while he sealed the deck, I worked in the yard and watered everything good.  One of the things I had to do was hang shade cloth in the greenhouse.  We had trees cut last year and without that shade, 80* outside was building to 100* in the greenhouse and the sun was burning the leaves of everything out there.  I hung the shade cloth and it was much more pleasant out there yesterday.  The plan is to make some repairs to the greenhouse and paint it to match the house and put a new roof on.  The new roof will be gray plastic, so hopefully I won't need to create artificial shade after that.  

My other big accomplishment was the grill.  My grill had gotten into bad shape and I was thinking about replacing it, but there's nothing wrong with the grill.  It was the insides that was the problem.  So, I cleaned it out really good and replaced all the insides; the burners, burner covers, grates and even the thermometer on top.  It cost about 30% of what I new grill would have cost and didn't add much to the land fill.  I can hardly wait to put a steak in there.  

I've been doing so well with orchids that I gave myself a new one on Friday.  It's the first one I've bought and paid full price for.  And, I love it!  It reminds me of daffodils, which I have trouble growing.  Just what I need, something else to take care of, right?

Work's been busy, but I'm finally getting my head above water.  Last week, I found myself with time to look at pictures of quilts during the workday and that felt really relaxing.  We're gearing up for more in-person meetings and I've RSVPed for a couple things.  One night, I'm having dinner with some of the company's upper management who will be in town for some meetings.  These people know me and I'm not going to miss the opportunity for some face time with them.  I worked with them when they were not nearly so important and we will swap stories from the old days, I'm sure.

Everybody have a great week!  Find something you enjoy and do it, even though there are more pressing things that need to be done.  Once in a while, it can be a good thing, and for me, it satisfies that need to be rebellious in a fun and productive way.