Went to a quilt show

This weekend was the Georgetown quilt show.  We both love this show.  It's a small show, but the quilters that enter are very talented and the quilts are beautiful!  It was very hard to select just a few to share.  This is a show in the town that Linda lived in so it was a little bittersweet.  We had lunch at one of the places we used to take her and spent a few minutes reminiscing.  It's been several years since she passed, but I still miss her and her sense of adventure, and her kindness.

This was my vote for best of show.  I don't think I"ve ever seen this block before.  It's called a Pine Burr block and it uses folded fabric squares to achieve this look.  This is a pattern I want to dig into a bit, I want to know how it's made.  

This one offered a fun optical illusion.  When you looked at it straight on, it was a nice quilt, but when I looked through the camera, the optical illusion came through.  This one I already looked up to see how it's made.

Beautiful bird appliqué.  It was so precise, I had to look close to be sure it wasn't printed on the fabric and quilted around.  

The quilting on this small quilt just blew me away.  

I am probably going to have to buy this pattern.  I love the way the colors work and would like to try that.  

And, about a hundred more beautiful pieces of fabric art.  Oh, quilting bug, please bite me again!  I want so much to get back to making beautiful quilts.  But, I keep saying later and filling my time with a hundred other things.  

When we got home from the quilt show, instead of serging and washing my new fabrics (I should be ashamed!), I made shirt alterations all afternoon.  Yesterday, we went to the grocery and hardware stores.  We picked up the window for the greenhouse.  It's much bigger than I expected and will give a nice view of the back yard from the new potting station.  After that, I got in a couple hours of yard work.  It's a little later than I'd hoped, but I was able to divide a couple things that were too big for their places and potted all that up to use or give away later.  And, there was plenty of weeding to do.  Plenty!

After the quilt show, Rob and I walked through the garden to see the poppies.  

Rob suggested we take a selfie.  It might be the first selfie he's ever suggested!

Now, what kind of arsehold could be against such a cute couple being together, making a life and enjoying together time?  It certainly wasn't the people at that quilt show.  They loved us and everywhere it was smiles and asking us questions and laughing together.  

Everybody have a great week!  Enjoy time with someone you love and take every chance to tell them you love them.  




weekend off

Rob was feeling under the weather and it was cold and windy, so we took the weekend off from the greenhouse project and hung around inside.  It was a good weekend for soup.  I took the opportunity to get the interfacing on both our shirts, which always seems like such a chore and takes so long and then I put Rob's together.  

From the time he pulled this bolt off the shelf in JoAnn's, I knew I was going to be making a shirt out of it and it was a fun project.  I enjoyed the lures, which is not something I would associate with us, since neither of us fishes.   

The pattern I use for him is always a good fit, but I'd like to redraft the front plackets to make them easier to assemble and make the armholes a little bigger so the sleeves would lie flat.  Rob and his boss wear Hawaiian shirts on Fridays and while this one isn't Hawaiian, it will fit into the mix nicely.  

And, I made the matching pocket.  People have started to look for that.  The shirt I'm making for me is a wavy plaid and I've decided not to make a pocket because I'll never match it.  

There's still not a lot in the garden except green.  Lots and lots of green.  I really need to get out there and weed, but once that's done, I think it's going to be a good garden year.  I did get a couple pics of things that have continued to bloom.  

A nice little clump of white iris.  

And, these columbines just keep going and going.  

This amaryllis is not mine.  It belongs to a neighbor, but I'd love one of the bulbs. 

Last week at work, I had a project where I had to survey my peers about how they do a task and then give feedback to those that might not be doing it right.  And, the research was for an attorneyso I couldn't even tell them why.  So much potential for disaster.  But, I managed to pull it off and so far, it doesn't look like I've upset anyone.  I credit that to not taking a right/wrong approach.  Everything was presumed to be right, but legal recommendations might have changed, please verify with your attorney.  And, it seems to have worked.  

That's it for me today.  Everybody have a great week!  Find the beauty in the every day.  



Work, work, work

This week, all efforts were aimed at the greenhouse.  In those few minutes when I'd walk away from my desk during the week, I was spending time checking on plants that came out of the greenhouse and moving things around that weren't enjoying their places.  Things are kind of just dropped where I could find a place for them, shady plants in shady spots and vice versa.  I'm also trying to find temporary homes for all the things that live in the greenhouse, like extra pots and fertilizers and tools.  I own two of every tool, one vintage and one new, and that takes up space.  

I dragged the last of it out Saturday morning and then spent most of the rest of the weekend getting the stuff that wouldn't stand up to the weather into places where we control the weather.  I went through it all once, but I'm going to have to go through it again.  I don't want all that nonsense cluttering up the new greenhouse.  

On Sunday, I played in the garden while Rob replaced the floor.  I had some weeding to do and some thinning plants and some things that needed to be moved and when he needed me, I fetched and toted and kept us fed.  I think the floor was the part Rob was dreading the most.  Next, he's going to rebuild the end you see in the picture to replace that door with a window and add a vent fan.  Inside, the wall will be lined with shelves...and maybe a sink...wouldn't that be nice.  Then, we'll paint it to match the house and replace the roof with a tinted gray roof.  Since we cut down the tree that grew over it, it's been way too sunny and hot in there.  You can see the shade cloth I put up last year on the inside.  

Yesterday was our 23rd anniversary.  I think we both thought it was today.  Rob is calling it 23.1 because we celebrate 3 anniversaries a year.  This is the anniversary of the day we met.  The night the cowboy who wasn't really a cowboy asked a stranger in a bar if he could kiss him and I said yes.  (let's all spend two seconds feeling sorry for the guy from Dallas that was chatting me up...snooze/lose).  We've been together ever since...well, there was that silly thing about me not letting him move in until we'd dated 6 months, but that was pretty pointless since he was here all the time anyway.  

Since then, he's taken over my life, which I'd normally say was a bad thing, but it freed up my time to become a quilter and gardener and learn to cook.  We raised a kid, we've grieved, we've celebrated, we've worked shoulder to shoulder.  We've cried, we've argued and we've laughed.  

I get the chance to give relationship advice once in a while and it's always the same.  Find someone that makes you laugh.  Everything else fades over time.  But, there's always time and space to laugh.  

Everybody have a great week!  I'm going to take my man to dinner tonight.  Someplace he's never been.  And, we'll laugh.  

Find something that brings you joy and laugh your way through it.  Lane


Plants everywhere

We've had beautiful weather since Friday.  Earlier in the week, we had a lot of rain.  It amounted to a great weekend to empty the greenhouse and spend both days in the yard.  Sure my shoulders and knees ache, but it was worth it.  This was Friday, and over the weekend, it changed and the garden looks more full, plus the plants that I've moved out to their outdoor homes.  

Last week was crazy busy at work and I was like a sword fighter in a movie, taking out one foe (project) and then another.  By end of week, I had whittled my project list down to something I could face without dread.  I love crossing things off a list.  I got to spend part of it in the yard enjoying what nature is showing off.  There were more grape hyacinths.  

And, some yellow Columbine nearby.  Neither of these plants died back during the winter, even in the ice storm.  

I had lunch in the garden a couple days last week and the dogs certainly enjoyed the opportunity to smell everything and lie in the sun.  

Things are kind of a mess out there now.  While I was able to empty the greenhouse and cut off any dead growth from winter, I did not have time to do a lot of staging plants around the yard.  They're waiting in clumps, things that go here and things that go there, and some of them have to be moved while I wait for the crabapples to leaf out.  But, I can see how it's going to look when I get more time to do stuff.  

Next weekend, Rob is going to start repairs on the greenhouse.  We need a new roof.  The greenhouse is in full sun now and it gets too hot to keep plants out there.  We're going back with a grey tinted roof to cut down on some of that.  And, it needs a new vent and I think he's going to give me a window and some new shelves and a new floor.  And, we're going to paint it grey, like the house.  Right now, it's yellow like the house used to be.  I'll be holding the ends of boards and taking orders in the beginning, but when we get to the paint part, I'll be able to be more help.  

In my quest to learn to grow orchids, I've expanded to include a Dendrobium orchid.  We'll have to see how that goes.  So far, it's working out great!  The plant was in remarkably good shape for half off and it seems to be enjoying being with us.  

Everybody have a great week!  Stop and smell the roses and give yourself a break.  Life is hard now and it's not going to get any better until we find a way to speak in one voice and say ENOUGH!  I have confidence it's coming soon or I would not be able to get out of bed in the mornings.




Spring is starting to spring in my garden.  I've walked around and all the plants I worried about in the freeze are putting up tiny new shoots and leaves.  There are even a couple of flowers.  

The spirea started it.  It's opened more in the couple of days since I took this.  I think I'm going to get a nice snowball effect from it this year.  

 The white iris are always very early.  These came from a neighbor's yard.  I found one tuber on the sidewalk and brought it home and now they're everywhere, but only a couple have bloomed so far.  

And, the grape hyacinths I planted last year have given me a few flowers.  Just three, but I hope there will be more.  More important than flowers this year, the bulbs lived through last summer.  That was my worry.  They'll get bigger and stronger and I believe I'll get more flowers from them as they do, but only if they can survive the Texas summer heat.  

They came through this weekend to pick up the limbs that were downed by the ice storm a few weeks ago.    They've been piled on the curbs and sidewalks and streets.  Now, they've cleared the busier streets, but looks like they still have some side streets to clean up.  Rob and I watched like two boys fascinated by big machinery.  

Our dogs are getting older and needed a lower surface to use to jump on the bed.  We found a few tings I liked at retail stores, but Rob wanted to build something.  He built a nice chest that was lower and is hollow for storage.  

Then, it was my turn to come in and upholster it.  We chose a nice fabric that has sketches of dogs on it.  What better to use to upholster something we're building for the dogs.  It's not quite done yet.  I want to line the inside and there are a lot of threads left to cut.  But, for the most part, it looks pretty good...but don't look at it too close.    

So, that's how we spent our week.  Rob and I spent Saturday morning shopping.  We only needed a few things, and for the most part we only bought a few things, but we laughed a LOT.    

Everybody have a great Monday!  Challenge yourself to something you're not sure you can do.  You'll probably be surprised at how well you do it.  



Leaving the house

I am the worst home body.  I could stay at home all the time, just going out for supplies.  Getting to work from home just made that worse.   Last week was about getting out of the house.  

I always like to start with a quilt, so here's a quilt from an antique store we visited on Saturday.  There are quilts all over the store that they use for decoration and are not for sale.  The ones for sale are not nearly as nice as the ones on the walls and tables.  They're in remarkable shape.  Can you imagine sitting and doing all this tiny appliqué?  And the cherries are so perfectly round.  

This did not come home with us, but might have if we'd been in the truck.  It's funny how the early American furniture from my childhood is now antiques!

This did come home with me.  It's my birthday present to me.  Every so often I stumble up on a piece of Roseville pottery at a price I don't mind paying and have a very small collection.  (Small because I don't find much of it and what I do find is very expensive.)  

Didn't come home with me, but got drooled over three times and then plugged in and left behind.  It blew very fast and didn't have a speed control and was slightly out of balance so it made a good bit of noise.  

We expanded the collection of Americana glassware.  We went into a store that had marked it down to the point of being "too good to be true".  So, we helped them out by bringing some of it home.  

As always, antique dealers were happy to see us and we had a nice lunch in a small town cafe.  It was a nice drive and a great way to spend a Saturday.  

On my birthday, I decided I wanted to take Rob and Syd someplace different, so we went to one of the restaurants where my book club meets.  We had the whole schmeer, apps, dinner, dessert and lots of laughter.  And a great waitress!  She was just attentive enough that we never wanted for anything, but not enough to join the conversation.  Rob gave me tickets to see Patti Lupone in May and I can hardly wait!  

Everybody have a great week!  Do something you enjoy and try something you haven't done before.  It's good to grow.  



Making things happen

My new year's resolution was to spend time doing nothing and less time multi-tasking.  It's actually working out really well.  I find myself more and more just sitting somewhere, enjoying a book or TV and not doing anything else.  And, oddly enough, it feels like I'm getting more finished.  

I worked on this quilt this weekend.  Because of the pattern, I have my heart set on quilting a spiral that starts in the center and goes all the way to the edge.  Considering it's a continuous line, it should be pretty simple and straightforward, but it's one of the hardest patterns to quilt well that I've ever tried.  This is my third try.  It needs just that special skill that I'm trying to find.  

It needs a hopping foot, so it needs marking, but the pattern is so busy that I can't see marking, so I've tried tissue paper marking.  In the first try, the tissue shredded, so this time, I pinned the paper on and basted it to the quilt, pulled it off and the basting was my marking.  That worked pretty well.  I was able to establish the pattern and then use a walking foot with a guide to maintain the same distance and continue all the way out to the edges.  


But, even that had problems where I would adjust the bulk of the quilt because of the walking foot and get off the line.  I got about a third of the way out from the center and was so focused on the mistakes and was feeling pretty bad about my ability to do this, so I cut thread and pulled it out of the machine and laid it on the floor.  I chose a light grey 100wt silk thread for the top and a perfectly matching variegated thread for the back for the specific reason of hiding mistakes.  And, it did such a good job that I couldn't see the mistakes.  Oh, there are a few places where 10 or so inches of quilting need to be taken out and put back in, but for the most part, it worked this time.  I'm still having ideas about it.  Wondering if I can do better.  Wondering.  It's laid out across the Bernina, so I can look at it all week and decide whether I'm content...or want to try again.

In other news, we needed a new Christmas wreath.  Pretty badly.  The old one was falling apart and I kept finding pieces of it in the foyer.  We were in JoAnn's the other day and their C'mas greenery was on 70% off, so we stocked up and yesterday, I built us a new wreath.  

Pretty happy with it.  Can't wait til next C'mas to hang it again.  

Okay, Mary asked last week what we didn't have when the power went out.  Good coffee.  So, I decided I needed to learn to make good percolator coffee.  I pulled out a different percolator and made a very good cup of coffee in it yesterday.  

Then, someone reminded me I could have just used the French press.  D'oh!  So much easier.

Everybody have a great week!  Try something difficult.  Go at it with a fresh mind and spend time figuring it out and then give it a try.  Start with the rules, then find your own solution.  



Power and ice

We were affected by the TX ice storm last week.  So many trees down.  It's very sad.  Lots of deadwood fell out of the trees and anything that still had leaves was likely to have limbs broken.  There was so much ice buildup that the trees couldn't handle the weight.  And apparently, everything that could fell on a power line.  We were without power for about 54 hours, from early Wednesday morning until mid-morning Friday.  Of course, we worked as a team on resource management.  Rob was in charge of power and I was in charge of food.  Rob took care of the battery powered lights and I took care of the oil lamps and candles.  And, we spent a lot of time in our recliners, near the edge of the hearth.  Temps were only around 30 outside and Rob kept it around 60 in our living room, and I spent the two days in my heavy red wool sweater and was very comfortable, most of the time.  

These are some pictures of the ice buildup.  I thought this forsythia was toast for the year, but soon as the ice melted, it went into overdrive with blooms.

This is the huge oak in the neighbors yard on day 1.  The branches were bent to the ground.  That night, it rained more and this oak lost a lot of large limbs.  There was a huge limb from this tree that hung way too far out over our roof and last year, we had it cut back.  I'm so glad we did.  At the very least it would have been lying on our roof with the house supporting the weight.  Or, it could have come through the roof or fallen on our cars.  

There were icicles hanging everywhere.  

And, these photos are of us suffering.  We were so lost without power.  (I shouldn't make fun.  Other people did suffer.  We did not.)

Dinner day 1, soup.  Soup was easy and we ate a lot of it.  

Snug in front of the fire.  

By day two, we were playing a game called 'eat it before it can go bad.'  We did really good with our food storage and only lost a little bit.  On day 2, the fridge was starting to warm up and I moved the cold stuff into plastic storage bins and put it outside where it was plenty cold.  Then, a friend loaned us a generator and we used it to cool the refrigerators down every few hours.  The freezers never got below about 32*.  

I needed a project that was big enough to see in limited light and that I knew well enough that I wouldn't need the pattern all the time.  I picked this afghan and finished it.  I never learned to like this one.  But, now it's made and hopefully it will go to someone who will love it.  

Even when we got power back, we were being advised to stay indoors because of the falling limbs, so I put the buttons on my latest shirt.  

And, I bound this little quilt.  

So that was our week last week.  Power is becoming more of an issue in Texas, so now we own a generator...or we will when the new one gets here.  We plan to keep the one we used and give my friend the new one, still in the box along with the motor oil she didn't have but was going to need to use it.  

Everybody have a great week!  I hope all your adversities are easily overcome!  



Almost finished

My new year's resolution is working out well.  I'm finding ways to spend more time doing nothing and there's definitely less multi-tasking.  I'm enjoying that.  Last week, I took Friday off and spent most of it doing nothing.  The rest I spent adjusting my re-sized shirt pattern.  The new shirt fits well, but I had to make some adjustments as I was making it and I needed to incorporate those into the re-sized pattern.  I ended up pinning the paper pattern pieces together so I could adjust multiple pieces at a time.  It worked out well and I'm looking forward to my next shirt.  

This is the shirt I'm working on.  It looks great, but it's unfinished.  I ordered two sets of buttons and one is delivered, but I wanted to see what the others looked like before I commit.  Now, it looks like the other set may never be delivered so I can move forward with what I have and finish this one up so I can wear it.  

Funny story.  While I was making it, I had to make a pattern adjustment and I chose badly.  I made a cut that caused the hem to be much larger than the shirt, so it hung on me like a maternity garment.  I had to take some hem out, then the side seams part way into the sleeve, recut it and then put it all back together.  I thought it would take forever, but it was only about 1.5 hours and it was so worth it!

My next almost finished project was this quilt.  I've been quilting on it a tiny bit at a time for a while and decided I wanted it finished.  I have a perfect place to hang it.  I got the quilting finished yesterday afternoon and all that's left is the binding.  This was a play project, just for my enjoyment and I have definitely enjoyed it.  I like projects that are just for fun much more than making something that needs to be perfect so it can be seen by other people.  I played with a lot of different quilting designs here and it's not "quilted evenly across the surface".  The quilting matches the mood I was in the day I put it in.  

I took a couple nice photos yesterday morning when it was foggy and wet.  

We took advantage of a sunny break to walk the dogs.  

And, how about one quilt photo from the collection.  This is one of those quilts that was probably a better idea than a quilted project.  It's another quilt I made just for my pleasure.  The batting is wool, so we don't use it on the bed, but that's what it was intended for.  I made it the year we got married as our "wedding quilt" and like so many wedding quilts, it doesn't get used much.  That's okay, tho.  I have a plan to make another version that's more colorful and that we will be able to sleep under.  

Everybody have a great week!  Do something you enjoy just because you enjoy it and don't let what others might think change your mind.