Monday, September 29, 2014

Remembering Marie ...

 ... is a lovely little lonestar wall hanging designed by Carol Hopkins Designs/Civil War Legacies.

My First RM circa 2010
Lovely, yes.  Little, at 24" x 24", yes.  Tricky, YES YES.  Those diamonds finish at 3/4"!!

But we have an excellent teacher within our guild who coached us all along the way -- first in fabric preparation (starch is the key ingredient), then cutting strips (a secret fabric order to ease the way), then sewing (gotta be a true and consistent 1/4"), then cutting again (two-ruler method conquers), and finally pinning (marking the intersections with Frixion pen).

Unfortunately, for the Saturday class I left my entire tool kit at home -- no rotary cutter, no seam ripper, no thread!   So I didn't make much progress on this, my second RM.

Auditioning Background and Borders

After auditioning several fabrics I have settled on a crackled brown-black for the background and a caramel for the inner border.  The outer border on my wall is my top choice for now, but I usually wait to see what the center "says" it needs.

With so much on my calendar the next few weeks, Marie will have to go back in the box until next month's retreat.  Now it's on to Wink & a Smile.  Follow my progress as I work through it this week.

Have a great week, Y'all!  And be sure to check out what others are working on at Patchwork Times.

Sunday, September 28, 2014


Another week with little out.  It's hard to do anything with vertigo.  I feel like I'm running in slow motion all the time -- no sudden movements.  Even my conversation seems to have slowed down, although I am much freer with offhand comments to perfect strangers ..... what's with that??

The best the ENT doctor could come up with is that something caused the sudden onset that sent me to the ER last Saturday.  How's that for a diagnosis?  Currently treating fluid retention with "water pills."   The good news is I've lost 5 more pounds since Weight Watcher weigh-in on Tuesday!  But, then, who wants to eat when they feel like .... well, you get the picture.

I did manage to get the binding made for French Braid.  Still have the last little connecting section to finish application.  Oh, My, did my LAQ do a fabulous job on it!

French Braid Quilting
She put feathers in the braid, a running curly-cue in the blue cornerstones, and cross-hatching in the base triangle and border.  I can't wait to show you the finished product.

I also got S'more Blue (Loose Change) back from the LAQ.

S'more Blue Quilting

I asked her to use a modern design called "Beans" and I'm really happy with the result.  Had hoped to get that binding (previously counted) applied today, but didn't feel up to it after losses in the Ryder Cup and the Titans game.

I have two weeks to get those bindings turned before I take them to Fall Quilt Camp.  I will be offering both of those, along with three other projects as potential classes for next year.

In those same two weeks I need to finish two more class samples, put the finishing touches on the pattern I will be teaching this year, and start packing all my accoutrements for a week of teaching and frivolity.  Plus our guild show falls in there, as well.  Crossing my fingers that my head stays clear enough to accomplish everything.

Stash Report:

     In this Week:                      0 yards
     Out this Week:                0.5 yards
     In year to Date:         219.50 yards
     Out Year-to-Date:     174.25 yards
     Net Used 2014           -45.25 yards

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Out the Door

One small project done and out the door -- well it's in the front floorboard of my car ready to be mailed once I'm released to drive again after a bout of vertigo that struck as I drove into the PO parking lot yesterday.  Doing much better today, thank you, but still have several follow-up visits to a variety of doctors to figure out what's going on.

But I digress ...  Back to the project.

I am participating in a Halloween block swap hosted by Denise at Just Quiltin.  Having committed to making 4 sets of 3 blocks, I can hardly wait to see what 12 blocks I get in return!  Here's what will be on the way  to Denise soon.

King's Crown

Card Trick

Crow's Foot

Amazing Windmill

Aren't these fun fabrics?  Blocks finish at 12 inches.  The first three came from Judy Hopkins 501 Rotary Cut Quilt Blocks; the last one from 5,500 Quilt Block Designs by Maggie Malone.  If I had no other books in my quilt library, I would not give up either of these.

Since I had counted the first three several weeks ago when I finished them, the stash report for this week is negligible:

     In this Week:                      0 yards
     Out this Week:                0.5 yards
     In year to Date:         219.50 yards
     Out Year-to-Date:     173.75 yards
     Net Used 2014          -45.75 yards

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times

Monday, September 15, 2014

Another Monday ...

... and we're halfway through September!  Somebody pinch me, please.

Today is the earliest day I could mail my Spooktacular blocks to Denise at Just Quiltin, but I still have at least one more set to make.  Glad I didn't wait till the last minute to make these!  I'm sure it's not too late for you to get in on the fun so check it out.

Done so far:  Kings Crown, Crows Foot, and Card Trick.

Kings Crown, Crows Foot, and Card Trick

Still to do:  Snails Trail.  I'm considering which of these new FQs to add to fabric I already have on hand.

I'm also thinking about adding a fifth set using Celtic Twist.  I think the links would be a good place to highlight some of these fabrics, too.

Celtic Twist

That's my design wall today.  Hoping by tomorrow it will be empty and the squishy on its way to Denise.

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Fall is in the air ...

... and I never touched a sewing machine.  Where did the week go?

Monday was guild day.  I presented another block in "Back to Basics - Quilting 101". 

Celtic Twist

This month's block was Celtic Twist -- which turned out to be more complex than I thought it would be.  My thinking when I planned this series was that those who start quilting now may be learning with specialty tools and shortcuts without understanding the basics of piecing.  I'm not sure I've accomplished that purpose, but I have been assured that even the most expert quilters have learned something.  We have learned many ways to make half-square triangles, at least two ways to make flying geese, a couple of options for quarter-square triangles, sew-and-flip, and partial seams.

Tuesday I went to Weight Watchers and the library.  I haven't mentioned here that, after declaring I would lose weight in the new year and not succeeding, I have returned to the only weight-loss plan that I have had success with. Slow going thus far, but I expect positive results in the end.  I'm to the point where I need to up my activity level.  Now that temperatures are moderating, I plan to start walking.

After the weekly grocery run on Wednesday I headed down to Chattanooga for the AQS Show.  It was small, but not unexpected for the first year of a show.  The convention center is very nice.  AQS has two more years on their contract there; I hope they do well.

I returned to the show on Thursday to get a more thorough look at the quilts and do some intentional  shopping.  I had only a few things on my list; one was Halloween FQs to finish my swap blocks.

Halloween Fat Quarters

I also got some bright FQs for a class sample ...

Bright FQs to go with existing background

and some black/white FQs for stash enhancement.

Black and White Basics

 The only other fabric I bought at the show was 2 yards of purple Daiwabo Serendipity.  A pattern and some gifts, plus a cordless iron rounded out my purchases.

With time on my hands, and the weather in my corner, I decided to drive up to Maryville to look at some property and use my coupon at Pappy's Quilting (acquired during Pigeon Forge visit in March).  I was looking for a background for my black and white spiderwebs; this is what I finally selected. 

It's really more red than the photo.  I'm still not sure if this is what I will use but it's a good almost-solid to have on hand.

So the stash report for this week:

     In this Week:                 10.5 yards
     Out this Week:                   0 yards
     In year to Date:          219.5 yards
     Out Year-to-Date:     173.25 yards
     Net Used 2014          -46.25 yards

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times

Sunday, September 7, 2014

A Really Great Week

The week started like gang-busters, finishing up a couple of projects hanging on from the week before:

Starting from the top:  backs for Mary's Triangles, Smore Blue, and Elegant Garden.  Plus bindings for MT and S'more Blue.

Backs and Bindings

That always moves a large chunk out of one's stash, doesn't it?

Later in the week SIL came for a brief visit with the Queen Mother which enabled my Main Man and me to take an overnight to Knoxville.  We began a search for land to build our retirement home at a higher elevation, ideally with views of water and mountains.  This task is going to take a while -- so much to choose from.  We saw some areas of interest and, more importantly, we were able to eliminate some areas from consideration.

Ultimately, it was a much-needed getaway for us and a delightful way to spend our anniversary.

Now it's back to the grind, prepping for upcoming demos and classes before I head down to Chattanooga for AQS.

Stash report this week:
     In this Week:                      0 yards
     Out this Week:             11.75 yards
     In year to Date:          209.0 yards
     Out Year-to-Date:      185.0 yards
     Net Used 2014            -24.0 yards

I'm OH SO close to Net Zero!  I will be shopping with a purpose in Chattanooga -- no unnecessary splurges (she says with fingers crossed behind her back).

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times.

Friday, September 5, 2014