On the wall

My heart is broken over the tragedy in Uvalde.  I can't imagine the suffering in that small community where everyone was affected in some way.  Despite what the gun lobby pays the politicians to say, there are people out there that SHOULD NOT BEAR ARMS.  And, no one needs an automatic weapon, which is designed solely to kill and maim people.  The second amendment says we have the right to bear arms, but it doesn't say we have to be stupid about it.  We should be able to go about our daily lives without worry that some asshole is going to kill us while we're trying to decide between the name brand or the off brand, or while we're teaching children to think, or while we're celebrating the beginning of summer break.  This shit is not right and if you want to be part of the change, make sure not to support people and causes that say that everyone should have the right to a gun.  If you are supporting them, then you're part of the problem.


Yeah, stuff is in a little different order today.  Some days it's important to mix things up.

We finally got the arc quilt on the wall.  None of our hangers were spaced far enough apart for this quilt, so adjustments had to be made.  It....sparkles.  That's the only word I can come up with to describe it.  I never made anything that sparkled.  But the light catches the bright fabrics, especially the yellows, and all the movement in the quilt makes it look like it sparkles.  

I wish I'd made a small quilt with just one circle in it first.  In retrospect, that would have let me know all the pitfalls in the piecing.  I think I would have done some things different, not in the fabrics, but in the assembly.  There are a lot of those little fabric wedges where the point isn't in the right place and there are places where a tiny sliver comes to a blunt end instead of a point.  Little things I didn't notice in assembly, but I could have done better if I'd practiced the quilt first.  I hope I learned something there that I can take into other quilts.  Do a little practice sample before making the larger project.  The only thing I'd change in the pattern is, I think I'd have made the center a circle instead of those two back to back arcs.  Okay, that's my critique out there.  Now, I can just sit back and enjoy it.  

I got started on the triangle quilt and it didn't take me long to realize that I couldn't quilt a spiral in it with the quality I expect in my quilts, so I moved to the next logical choice and am quilting in the ditch, along the diagonal square.  The pins are places I got out of the ditch and will go back and fix them later.  Now that I'm quilting, nose to fabric, I can see a ton of errors.  I was more interested in finishing than perfection on this one.  But, from a little polite distance, they all disappear.  Might name this one 'Stand Back!'  Just kidding.  Or maybe not.  You really do have to stand back to see the optical illusion of it.

And, some garden pics.  

I believe this daylily is called Charlene's Patio.  It's one of my Mom's seedlings that she named after her sister.  The main stand of Charlene's Patio is on the other side of the yard and hasn't bloomed yet, so we'll have to wait for it to bloom to be sure.  If this is one, it would have to be one fan I accidentally dug up and stuck in a pot and this is the first year it's bloomed.  

The echinacea was having a power day.

I love these asiatic lilies.  They're one of my favorite things in the garden because they're such an exotic color and I look forward to them every year.  This year, it's gotten too hot, too early and their blooms have suffered, and they got damaged when we sealed the fences, but I got a few really nice ones and am enjoying them!

This is an iris I bought on a whim last year.  It was more expensive than most of the plants I buy.  I thought I lost it when it froze to the ground in winter, but it's put up some mediocre growth and given me two blooms, so I'm hoping it's recovering.  What a flower, tho!!!  Rob says the first year they sleep, the second the creep and the third they leap.  This is this plants second year.  

I tossed some four o'clock seeds into the garden last year and a few came up.  They seeded and this year, there have been a few more.  They're tucked in, here and there and they jump out at me in spaces where they're the only thing blooming.  

That's it for me today.  It's Memorial Day.  Our flag is out and we plan to enjoy the day off work.  I hope you enjoy your Monday as well.  



All work and no play

This was the weekend Rob chose to stain and seal the fences.  At the end of the week, we had just about given up the idea because the chance of rain was 80% or higher every day.  We got up Saturday and decided it wasn't going to work out and within a couple hours, the clouds broke up and it was a beautiful day, except temps in the high 90's.  We were able to do a little less than half the fences that day before it got too hot to be outside.  It rained a little bit that night, but not enough to make a difference, so we knocked the rest of it out yesterday.  Fortunately, that little bit of rain brought the high temp down to the mid-80's and we were able to work well past lunch.  The fences look great!

This is the before picture of that same fence.  Big difference.

Needless to say, I wasn't able to do much quilting after that, but I got the backing ironed for the triangle quilt and realized I didn't have a batting, so I ordered that and it came yesterday.  I should be ready to get it pin basted next weekend.  fI spent the rest of the weekend sitting still and working on that afghan I'm not enjoying very much and am trying to finish so I can get it out from under foot.  

Some garden pics from the week.  

This daylily is one of my Mom's seedlings called Peaches.  She named it after her dog.

When talking about new plants, Rob says; the first year they sleep, the second year, they creep, the third year, the leap.  And, this is this Shasta daisy's third year and it's giving a great show!

This is a large clump of orange dallies.  They die to the ground in winter and I forget they're there and am always trying to plant something in their spot.  But, they're very hardy and will choke out anything I accidentally plant too close.  

The heads on the phlox are the biggest I've ever seen.  Maybe I haven't been growing them in enough sun because now that we're getting more sun, they seem to be enjoying it and building up to quite the show.    

This is a red echinacea.  I have a a yellow one, too that has almost died and I'm trying to bring back.  We'll see.  It was one of the plants choked out by the orange daylily above.

Tomorrow, I have a meeting with a team I've worked with for 2 1/2 years and have never met f2f.  This is a team I do a lot for, and for the most part they love me because I can make things happen that no one else can, mostly because I've been with the company 38 years and know people from all over that happily do me little favors.  It will be fun to meet them.  And, a good chance to get out of my comfort zone and back into a conference room, shaking hands and solidifying relationships.  


Every woman has the right to decide whether to be a mother.  I know the decision is hard and I don't know anyone that's taken it lightly.  No matter the reason, it's still a right and a decision no person can make for another.  Hate, bigotry, racism, and false religion cannot be part of that decision.  And, I would ask those that oppose abortion exactly how many hard to adopt children are part of their families.  And, if they say none, then I have no interest in their opinions or thoughts or concerns about anybody making the decision whether to be a mother.  If you don't care enough to back your ideas up, then you don't care enough to change my mind.  

We all know that eventually, good triumphs and hate turns in on itself and consumes it's followers.  It has and always will be true.  You just have to study a little history to know it.  

Everybody have a great week!  Keep your chin up.  The struggle is real and getting real-er every day.  And all we can do is struggle in our own way, contributing to the common good as much as and where we can.  




Yeah, I know that's usually a bad thing, as in spiraling into depression or something like that.  But, not this time.  This time, it was about finding a way to quilt a spiral into the triangle quilt I showed last week.  

My plan was to find or draw a spiral that I could use as my starting point, then use the extension on my walking foot to measure and echo that spiral out to the edge of the quilt.  My efforts at drawing a spiral were not so good and I quickly turned to the internet, where I found a great spiral and printed it.  I laid my printed copy on a piece of tissue paper (I'll remember to iron that tissue paper before I do this next time) and using an unthreaded needle and the extension on the walking foot, I needle punched the pattern into the paper.  If I could do that on tissue paper, then I knew there was a really good chance I could do it on a quilt.  If it didn't work on paper, then time to find a new plan.  

It worked.  I pinned the tissue paper to a practice sample and I'm very happy with the result.  The plan is to needle punch the pattern into tissue and use my free motion foot to quilt the quilt center.  This practice showed me that it's going to be a pain to maneuver the whole quilted around in a circle and I think it would be much easier to do free motion.  Once I get outside the paper, I can use my walking foot to do the rest of the quilt.  The free motion foot will also help avoid distortion in the quilt.  

The quilt is laid out in a grid.  I need to make sure I don't distort that grid by pushing the top fabric around before it's quilted down.  Because the free motion foot goes up and down, it doesn't push fabric around, but the walking foot, which feeds fabric from front to back would push the quilt top in front to it.  Granted, because it's a walking foot, it won't be much, but it wouldn't take much to throw off the optics of the quilt.  A thin cotton batting will also help avoid distortion.  If the quilt top was floating on a nice cloud of wool batting, it would be very easy to distort, but on a flat piece of cotton, which grabs the quilt top and helps hold it steady, it will be less likely to distort (I hope!)

Now, I've got to get it sandwiched so I can give all this spiraling a try.  

I also made the American Stars block for May.  I did traditional piecing on the first one, but it took so long that I decided to paper piece them.  Then, I found out that took even longer and was just as prone to errors, so it was back to traditional piecing with the last two.  I'm using every skill I learned from Sally Collins in her Precision Piecing class.  In that class, we were working with miniatures, but the same principles apply when making larger blocks (I could fit 16 of the 3" blocks we made in class in this one 12" block).  One of Barbara Brackman's sample makers is Becky Brown.  She has a wonderful sense of color and pattern.  She used a stripe in the background of the block and I was so inspired, I wanted to try it too.  I really like the effect!  

Some people show you pics of their grandchildren, I show pics of my garden.  

Last week, we had a regional meeting in the hybrid work environment. We had people from four time zones and at least 6 states for a full day meeting to get to know one another again and our new members and to talk about how we work and function in the new environment.  I was on the planning committee and the ice breaker was my idea.  We asked each participant to send in a picture that spoke to "who they are" and spend a minute talking about the picture to the group.  Of course, there were plenty of family pics and funny stories.  This is the picture I sent.  I talked about how the garden is my resting place and how much time I spend out in it.  And, how relaxing it is and how it's my refuge (and when my managers stress me out, this is where I go).  There were lots of oohs and aahs and laughs at how I talked about it and our 51 week a year gardening season.  It was hard to choose between the garden and a quilt for my photo. 

Some other fun pics from the garden this week:

This is the first year this lovely orange Iris has bloomed.  What a beauty!  

These yellow swallowtail butterflies are all over the yard.  

The first phlox.  The phlox usually all bloom at the same time, but this year, this one opened earlier than all the others and is really showing off in a prelude of what is to come.  I grow phlox in several places in the garden, so when they're all in bloom, they're a real highlight.

The nasturtiums have started to bloom.  Not sure about these this year.  They don't seem like they're going to hold up to the extra sun we're getting this year.  That's okay, I have three large pots of them that I can spread around the yard in some shadier spots.  

I don't know how old these glads are.  They've been in a shady spot and haven't bloomed in years.  I found them last year and moved them to a better spot and they must have liked it.  I found a few more small ones that I'm going to lift and move this year and hope they bloom next year.  

It's been a long week and the news of republican suppression of freedom hasn't changed.  I'm ashamed of how quickly our country has regressed and at the fools who are being played in order to make it possible.  It's not about life, it's about power.  If it was about life, we'd have gun control.  It's not about freedom, except the freedom to be protestant and straight and white and own a gun.  That's not freedom at all.   

Everybody have a great week!  



Finally done

 Started in October 2019, finished yesterday.  It felt good to put those last stitches in.  Then, I took it outside for a picture in the bright sun.

This is the most difficult thing I ever made.  It took a long time to piece, and a long time to quilt.  I kept having to stop for breaks and made a couple of other quilts since I started this one.  This is a really pretty quilt, but it's so outside my normal comfort zone that I look at it as if someone else had made it.  I'm sure that will change as I start to socialize it and get feedback.  I plan to wash and block it to size later this week.  It's 68 1/2" square,,,or it will be when I block it.  😓. Then we can hang it and see how it hangs on a rod.  I extended the sleeve past the curved corners so the sides wouldn't sag.  We'll see if that works.  I knew the side edges would sag if I didn't extend the sides of the sleeve out far enough.  

I don't know if you remember this quilt, but it's the other one I wan't to quilt before the show.  This got a lot of attention when I posted it after finishing the top (March 2019),  The holdup on this one is figuring out what to quilt in it.  I know I will have to keep the quilting even across the surface of the quilt or it won't lay flat, so I can't quilt the whole thing in the ditch because the pieces in the center are so small.  I'd have to pick a grid and quilt the whole quilt at that measurement.  The original plan was to quilt a spiral in it, and I'm going to spend some time trying to figure out how to do that.  Hopefully, if I figure out I can't do it, something else will have occurred to me while I tried.  (All those articles about learning through failure are paying off.)

In other news, there were new flowers.  As the Iris finish up, the daylilies are starting to bloom.              

This is a balloon flower.  I love these and how they puff up and burst open.  

The first Shasta Daisy.


There are no words for my disappointment over what I see happen in our country.  This is not going to end well.  

Everybody have a great week!  Find something you enjoy and take the time to enjoy the hell out of it.  



Finishing one, planning another

 I was reminded by an email from the guild that time is drawing short to get any quilts I want to enter finished, so I made sure to leave time to work on the arc quilt yesterday.  It was a perfect day for quilting as we'd received a lot of rain on Saturday night and there was no going out in the yard.  I'd made a couple of plans to cut the bias binding, and chose to lay the black yardage out on the dining table and cut it using the rotary cutter across all 44 inches.  I only needed five cuts and had almost a yard of binding left over.  I had trouble attaching it and had a couple false starts and then it went on smooth as silk.  As it's black on a dark background, I need lots of bright light to hand sew it down.  It's one of the narrowest bindings I've ever made.  I cut it at 2".  I didn't think about how thick the quilt is with all those seam allowances around the edges, so it's a very tight binding, which will give the edge of the quilt some stiffness and help hold it flat when hung.  I may go around again, sewing it to the back a second time, just to make sure all that tightness doesn't pop a thread.  

I also took a little time to appreciate the quilting in the quilts hanging in our living room.  I caught them in just the right light, so the photos look blurry, but if you blow them up a little, you can see all the detailed quilting in them.  Those were the days.  I'm wondering if I could even do that tiny work anymore.  I'm afraid I'd get impatient.  

I quilted this one on vacation on my Singer 301.  She did great!  In the mornings, when Syd was horseback riding and Rob was walking all over the mountain with his dog, I'd quilt.  We each needed that alone time and then we'd spend the rest of the day together.    

This is my first daylily.  Rob has had a few yellows and I have lots of scapes getting ready.  It's "ditch" orange.  Ditch because it's what grows in the ditches some places and is considered common, but I still think it's lovely.  It's very bright and I saw it right away from the kitchen window.  

Siberian Iris.  Rob and I brought these home from a vacation to New Hampshire about 20 years ago.  They don't bloom often and I lose track of them in the garden, but they're putting on a nice show this year.  I brought one home from Syd's a couple years ago.  I wonder if it challenged the others to bloom.

This is a Louisiana Iris and I got it in Louisiana.  It came from my Aunt's garden and this is the first year it's bloomed.  I can only assume that cutting the trees last year has given all the Iris enough sun to bloom.  

This orange rose.  It's definitely not what I would have picked, but it's so bright that it's really a good addition to the garden.  

This is a Cinco de Mayo rose.  It's a red/pink/orange rose that my camera didn't do justice.  

And, my coreopsis, filing in a small spot along the path.  

We were in Goodwill the other day on a clothes run and found this clock.  I keep dragging clocks home from there.  Some are bargains, some not so much.  This one cost $10.50.  It's a Seiko Lorus from the 60-70's.  It's a 30-day wind up with a nice chime.  I did about a half hour of cosmetic work on the case and then wound it and it's kept perfect time since...and when I say perfect time, that's no exaggeration.  It's in sync with my phone and has been for a couple days.  The case is a little foo-fy, but what a great bargain.  

Everybody have a great week!  Do something you enjoy.  Don't let it be all work and no play.  Last week, I was on a mental break at work, letting my mind rest while I did repetitive tasks.  But, on the weekend, I let that mind go wild on quilting ideas for a quilt made of half square triangles.  No firm plan yet, but I'll keep noodling on it til there is.