Wednesday, July 29, 2020



Sometimes a mess stimulates me; other times, like now, it depresses me.  So no stitching this week while I continue organizing/reorganizing things in the studio.  I want to get fabric out of totes/bins and up on a shelf where I can see it.  That requires shelves!

DH and I assessed what elements we already had on hand, and what we needed to shop for. So on his grocery run yesterday he stopped by Lowes for a bit of this and that.  The standards are too long for this area, but we had them left over from the last house so we used them.  

Lowes cut the longer shelves to fit the left wall, but DH has to hacksaw the shelves we already had to fit the other wall.  And that's a project for another day.

Now that the dust-producing step is out of the way, I'm going to start loading fabric!

Friday, July 24, 2020

One of Those "Duh" Moments

Passionate for Paisley is nearing completion.

Since there is a touch of gold embellishment in the paisley fabric, I thought a metallic gold flange would be a nice touch in the border.

Well, it's been a while since I've done a flange anywhere, much less in  border.  I thought why stitch the flange and then the border when I could do both at once.  Here's why:

Oops!  A little reverse sewing (ripping) will take care of the problem.  I should have a finished top by tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

A Do-nuttin' Kinda Week

Some weeks are like that ... 
Three projects in the works, and little progress on any of them.  For one thing, I've been sleeping later in the morning.  That could be a good thing.  And I've been helping DH install mesh in the gutters before the temps get out of hand.  By "helping," I mean I hold the straps so if the ladder falls it doesn't break a window.  Forget about what would happen to him!  And I've lost an hour out of most days bleaching my teeth in anticipation of some serious dental work that starts tomorrow.

So here's where I stand.  Jack's in the Pond is together except for the borders which are cut and standing ready when the mood strikes.

The panel wall hanging-which-has-no-name now has three borders (sorry, no photo).  I shopped my stash and found something that I think works.  The forth border is wavy and needs to be worked on, and you know how I feel about sewing borders ...

And, finally, Passion for Paisley has progressed from a spark to an almost-finish.  I am putting a metallic gold flange in the border.

I have given up on the garden.  It has been too hot with no rain and even twice-a-day watering is not helping.  I get a handful of cherry tomatoes every other day.  The three Bradley tomatoes refuse to ripen.

I have also given up on feeding the birds. The squirrel has figured out how to climb the hook and the birds don't seem to like the "squirrel-proof" feeder I got as a replacement.  Add to that the mess they are making .... well, you get the idea.

It was a big mail week, though!  I was the lucky winner in The Joyful Quilter's 10th blogiversary drawing.  I requested a mug rug in red to go with one she sent me a couple of years ago in a swap.

On the positive side, I have been doing some organizing around the house, a little at a time.  And since returning from the TOALT I have lost over 10 pounds!

Saturday, July 18, 2020

I need your help - Update

I recently pulled out a very early project (circa 2004) to finish the hand quilting during the pre-dinner hour only to discover the excessively long needle is "welded" in the fabric.

There is no evidence of rust, but I suspect that is the cause.  Any suggestions on the best way to extract it with minimum damage?

Thanks to everyone for their thoughtful comments.  I went with the first option - pliers - and it worked!  There was definite rust on the needle where it went through the seams.

There is no evident rust on the fabrics.  This is a Christmas wall quilt so if any rust appears, I'll just applique a holly berry or something else on it!

Friday, July 17, 2020

Where Did This Come From?

Apparently left field ...
or maybe the Far East

Needs a name

I honestly don't remember where I found it.
I was clearing some things off the work table and noticed that the "Asian" bin needed attention.
The "Parts Department" was also on that end of the table.
So it could have come from either one.
The little squares were cut and coordinating fabrics were folded inside.
So I decided to put the pieces on the wall to see what needed to be done.
Two days later, it's all together except for the final border.

I don't have enough of the border fabric I planned to use so I may have to shop.

Obviously it started with a panel.  It was so crooked I didn't think I'd ever get it into a rectangle.
As a result, the panel was smaller than the size specified in Sidelights, the pattern I was using.
I had to make adjustments in the strips between the little squares to make everything fit.

I hope to make it to the E TN shop hop next week, 
so maybe I'll find a border for this one and several others.
Stay tuned!

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Passionate for Paisley

Somebody, please give me blinders so I don't see all those shiny things in little plastic bags!

More on this next week ...

Monday, July 13, 2020

A Beautiful Day

DH and I were honored to witness the marriage of this beautiful couple today.

R and E

What lengths folks will go to to tie the knot!

Davidson County Courthouse

The bride is an immigrant from Togo.  She has made the best of a bad situation and now has found her soulmate.  She was part of our A-Team of caregivers for my MIL for nearly 10 years.  She worked the night shift most days and when the company we hired them through decided to move to Texas, she and one of the other gals formed a company to keep serving us.  She was holding MIL's hand when she passed away.  

We were touched that they wanted us, her "Nashville Family" to be part of this beautiful day.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

A Walk on the Wild Side

Wilderness is a Flimsy!

I decided on a leaf print for the border to play up the leaf blocks and added a bright gold stop border.

Why don't I see the stray threads until I post the photo?  I need to order some flannel for the back before it can be quilted.

It was a week for wildlife at our lakeside retreat this week.  This mother duck and three ducklings waddled through our yard several times on the way to the duck spa next door.

The babies are hiding behind the grass.  I also spotted a doe with her fawn outside my sewing room.

The deer have been unusually active during the day.  We have to be ultra-observant when heading out of our hollow.  I passed a doe nursing her twins right next to a busy road.  Her expression said "Really?  You can't wait till we get home?"

I finally located a crook that will fit on our deck railing so I could hang a feeder for the birds.

We have a pair of American Goldfinches that are enjoying it along with a family of House Finches.  The cardinal couple somehow manage to balance on the tiny perches and yesterday I think I saw a female bluebird.  The feeder is right outside our breakfast nook window and provides hours of entertainment.  I don't have to worry about cleaning up the mess; I have several furry vacuum cleaners.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Finished or Not

It's Friday!

I realize I never mentioned progress on an old project last month.  One of the Rainbow Scrap Challenges from 2018 was the Squared Away Sampler designed by Mari/Academic Quilter.  When I put them up on the design wall I was short one block to do a 3x4 setting so I made another one.

Then I set about combining them with my current favorite background alternate squares.

It remains unfinished because I am auditioning borders.  Oh, and as I was putting it back in the box, I found the missing block that I had "borrowed" for a guild lecture.  I guess that means I'm starting another sampler ... or it could become my label.

This week I did finish my abbreviated version of Jenn's Journey (top, back, border) which I'm calling Lib's Trek because of all my starts and stops on that project.

I continued working on Jack's in the Pond (more detail here).

And I took a peak ahead at the end of my alphabet and couldn't resist pulling out Wilderness.  It began as a panel of wild animal silhouettes that was left over from this quilt the Rock Island Rockers made for the park office to celebrate our 10th year of retreating in January 2015.

I had already added log cabin strings to the silhouettes and was contemplating how to stretch them with an alternate block when I came across a batik panel of leaves.  This is my progress to date.

I had to add strips to the sides of the leaves to make them the same size as the panel blocks.  I like the offset look that creates.  It has not been assembled yet and I am auditioning borders.  I am thinking this would make a nice wheelchair quilt for a gentleman.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Back to My Regular Programming

Finish #19 of 20 in '20

A few days late, but I finished Jenn's Journey a/k/a Lib's Trek today.

It's a little over 40" square and I think it will make a nice wheelchair quilt so I prepped a flannel back.

The dark blue batik binding is ready, as well.  Now to find space and time to get it all together!

Monday, July 6, 2020

Pardon the Interruption

On to another eclectic design wall.

The project on the left is a subject for another day.  Ignore the single On Ringo Lake block that appeared in a box of batik bits.  It's Great to be Square, on the right, is returning to the box until I have time to make some replacement blocks which are already cut.  Actually, it never had a box!  I found these blocks wrapped around the replacement parts in a tote of batiks I was culling through.   On the table at the lower left is the project I was actively working on, Jenn's Journey, which I am renaming Lib's Trek.

My goal was to finish this last week but I took a break to consider borders.  In that batik search I mentioned above, I came across this interesting piece:

It is directional and only a small chunk so it may need some supplement for the top and bottom borders.

The main interruption to progress, however, was Jack's in the Pond.

The current plan is to stop at 9 blocks.  The remaining three are mostly cut and ready to stitch.  At this point it will be 45"square.  I may add some sashing and definitely a border.

I hope everyone had a pleasant and safe holiday weekend.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Jack's in the Pond

After I expressed my concern over the complexity of Jack's Chain, Wanda/Exuberant Color suggested that I put the one finished block in a table mat and use the 9-patches in another project.

That thought kept rattling around in my head.  But what to do?  

Coincidentally, a replacement window salesman stopped by on Wednesday with the measuring guys so that he could show me the quilt he made while working for McCalls Quilting in the 90s.  Apparently all the employees have to know how to quilt, regardless of their task on the magazines.  He also brought a 1997 issue he worked on that had a Goose in the Pond quilt.

Our copy machine had been unplugged to give the measuring guys access to the window in DH's office so I snapped a quick photo with the phone.  I've always liked this block.  So today I made a sample.

And also a negative version.

The blocks will finish at 15" so it won't take many to make a whole quilt.  Now, what to do with all the stripsets I've already made ...

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Thursday's Tip

Read the Directions!

I will preface this post by saying that I am not a fan of specialty rulers, especially those that are good for only one task, and most especially those that work for a limited size of block.  I make an exception for those made by Deb Tucker/Studio 180 Designs because of their versatility.

I think I mentioned earlier that I "cheated" on Jenn's Journey by using some already-made snail's trail blocks.  

However, this decision also affected the dimensions of the diamonds and square-in-a-square blocks (versus what was in the pattern).  I thought I was smart enough to figure out what I needed to do.  That was my first mistake!  The second was not making any notes on what I was planning to do and letting it sit in a box for over a year. 😕

In the project box I found Deb Tucker's Diamond Rects ruler which I used to establish the odd angle for cutting the diamonds. But I didn't notice that the ruler also included measurements for cutting the corners.  Instead I used the corners I found in the box. As a result, my Diamond blocks were coming out 1/8"too narrow. I was able to compensate for that in the seams.

Then I spent hours trying to figure out how big to cut the center square for the square-in-a-square blocks.  I had gone through this same exercise just a few weeks ago when I was working on Everlasting! (shown below). 

Well, duh!  I have Deb Tucker's Square Squared ruler hanging on the ruler board!  It tells me to cut the center squares from a 3-1/2" strip.

So I cut 3-1/2" squares.  And I'm thinking why would anyone need a template to cut a square?

The ruler also told me how big to cut the corners.

Which I dutifully followed.  But my SiaS was too big and the points would be cut off ... because the square which I cut from a 3-1/2" strip would have been 3-3/8" if I had used the ruler template!

Just so you know -- I know how to cut 3/8" but I understand not everyone has a ruler with eighth-inch markings so I'm not making a negative comment about the ruler.  I obviously did not read the instructions!