Friday, April 30, 2021

Urban Renewal and Nature Notes

 Don't get me wrong, my husband is very considerate and will do most anything I ask.  But when I suggested that we replace the WiFi router to improve connection to my bedroom "office," the request fell on deaf ears.  So I moved the computer to the kitchen table.

After several weeks of having to relocate the computer multiple times a day, I decided that perhaps I should move my "office" to the guest bedroom closest to the router.  (Note my MIL's appliqued kit quilts from the 60s.)

Yesterday was the day!  This involved swapping tall chests between the two guest rooms, relocating a chair to the living room, moving my desk to the guest room, and moving two chairs from the living room to the bedroom to fill the vacant office space.  Whew!  I logged over 3,000 steps just walking from one end of the house to the other a bazillion times.

But the result is worth it!

It's a little tight, but a lot less ponderous than my great-grandfather's tall chest that used to be in that spot.  And whereas I was surrounded by window blinds in the bedroom, I now have a nice view to the lake from my chair.

And if I stand at the window, I can keep tabs on the "secret garden" which obviously needs a little attention.

We have had lots of bird activity lately.  I frequently see tiny hummingbirds that have feasted on a blooming bush in the secret garden and then rest on a neighbor's tree.  They are too small to photograph, though.  We also have an aggressive robin that pecks at his own shadow in the dining room window.  I've seen cardinals and woodpeckers do that, but never robins.

I have spotted two new birds lately.  First was a belted kingfisher that possibly was on his way back north a few weeks ago.

And yesterday a rose-breasted grosbeak decided to rest a spell on our deck railing.

My photos aren't the greatest since I'm using my phone and shooting through a window, but you can get the idea.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Twisted Sisters

Many years ago there was a great little shop in an abandoned gas station just outside of Maryville, TN called Pappy's.  If you stopped by Pappy's booth at the Mountain Quiltfest in Pigeon Forge, he'd give you a 20% off coupon good at the store on his already great prices.  The coupon was good for several days after the show so it was convenient for us Nashvillians to stop on our way home!

Well, Pappy decided to retire and close the shop.  He sold everything to sisters, Mary and Margaret Wildi;  they renamed it Twisted Sisters and moved to Alcoa, TN, on the west side of Maryville.  

The new owners have maintained and even enhanced the service once received at Pappy's.  It's definitely worth a visit if you are in the Knoxville area.  Such a beautifully organized shop with quality merchandise and a great loyalty program.  They also do online business so check out their website.

Speaking of the loyalty program, I qualified for a discount because April is my birthday month so I made the one-hour trek yesterday and look at the yummy combo I picked out.

I have a couple of ideas for what I want to do with them -- as if I need a new project!  I also got some golf-themed fabric to make a door prize for our church golf outing, along with some much-needed WOW background, several patterns, and a bunch of FQs.

A Question for my Peeps

 When you make a quilt intended to be a wall hanging, do you wash it?

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Is it May Yet?

 As soon as Angela announced the RSC color for April -- light/bright blue -- I went in search of orphan blocks I could convert into table scraps.  I found a set of 3D hexagon blocks that would make a sweet table runner.

Then Montezuma's revenge hit.  One whole week out of commission -- no appetite, no energy, fighting the side effects of some powerful antibiotics.  I didn't think I would be able to make it to the S'mores retreat in KY, however as my condition improved, my confidence that I could make the drive increased.  But first, I had to get the 45K service on my van.  So Week 2 was spent in Kentucky, but not much was accomplished.  On Friday of that week I headed back to the Plateau at 0-dark-30 in order to make a committee meeting at 10 a.m.

Week 3 - nine holes of golf on Monday, drive to the dentist in Nashville on Tuesday, grocery and choir practice on Wednesday, clean up my stitching corner in the family room on Thursday, pack for a weekend in the mountains on Friday.  Saturday through Monday, time spent with my sister-in-law, first time to meet since we departed ways at LAX on February 2, 2020 after the TOALT.

So here we are beginning the last week in April and I haven't done squat in the quilt department other than do handwork on the bindings of Twisted Ribbon ...

... and Diamond in the Rough ...

Maybe I can squeeze a couple of RSC projects into these last few days of April.  At least, that's my plan!

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Retreat Wrap-up

 I wasn't firing on all cylinders this week, so I kept my project load light at the S'mores retreat.  First I stitched the binding to Twisted Ribbons.

The handwork kept me busy while I watched the NCAA Women's Gymnastics finals today.  I also got the binding stitched on Diamond in the Rough.

The handwork will take a while.  I started that project in a class with Debbie Caffrey in 2012 (at least that's when she autographed my pattern) and I've been holding on to it to get custom quilting.  My LAQ did a spectacular job.

I put the two more borders on Delectable Mountains.

It still needs at least a narrow border to stabilize all the seams along the edges.  I also put the first narrow border on Weaver Fever (no photos) but ran out of steam.  I will try to get the second border on before the end of the month since it is the challenge project for April.

Weather permitting, I'll be playing golf with our church women's group on Monday. We call ourselves the Westminster Abbies.  Haven't played in a couple of years, so wish me luck.

Have a great week, Y'all!

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Retreat Days 2/3

 Each day I'm feeling stronger and so glad I opted to spend time with my friends.  We've all had a nose to the needle, foot to the pedal and much beautiful stuff is evolving.  But, unfortunately, the cloud is being selective in which photos it wants to save.  I'll show what I can.

First is Sena's feathered star that she started at a Cindy Williams retreat.  It will eventually morph into Blue Velvet, a Cindy Williams pattern.

Next is Nancy's feathered star that she began in a class with Marsha McCluskey in 2009.
I love the setting!

Deanna brought a quilt made from a blocks we exchanged at a retreat in 2013.  The challenge was to use "Civil War" prints, any block pattern.  I love the setting on this one, too.

I put the last two borders on Delectable Mountains, layered the paraments for the church, and have stitched the bindings on both quilts that recently came back from the LAQ.  Photos to follow.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Retreating After All

 As I started feeling better each day over the weekend, I became more hopeful that I could make it to the S'mores  retreat at least one day.  Then Mr. Lakeside suggested that, if I felt up to it, I go yesterday after I had Micah (the van) serviced.  So with a few swift last-minute additions to my supplies, I was ready to go.

I arrived just as Donna was putting the finishing touches on Grassy  Creek, last year's Bonnie Hunter mystery.

I have a few fiddly projects to work on today, but mostly I'm just going to chill with my friends.  We've all been vaccinated and our tables are more than 6 feet apart.  We are preparing our own meals.  Life is good!

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Almost Human

I don't often have side effects from medication, but the antibiotics I took for a tummy problem last week laid me low.  I think I had every known side effect except ruptured tendon.  Yes, ruptured tendon was one of the less-likely side effects!  I have let the clinic know that I do not want to take those pills again!

But I am much improved!  Since I had planned to attend a quilting retreat during my birthday week, Mr. Lakeside booked an overnight at a posh Nashville hotel Saturday night.  On the way there, we stopped to pick up a couple of quilts from the LAQ.  Wait till you see them!

He also patiently waited while I got rid of my Covid hair.

We spent the afternoon lounging in the suite, enjoying champagne, and watching The Masters.  Son-1 and his bride joined us for dinner and a grand time was had by all.

Oh, I bet you want to see the quilts!  Well, I'm reserving full-on shots till I have proper space and lighting.  But here are a few highlights of the quilting.  First is a smallish quilt, Twisted Ribbons, that I made in retreats with Cindy Williams (The Math Whisperer).

I don't normally like heavy quilting, but this is going to be a wall hanging so I asked my LAQ to have fun with it. And fun she had!  I especially like the detail in the outer ribbon.

The other quilt is a favorite of mine, started in a class with Debbie Caffrey about 10 years ago.  This one is staying with me so I requested custom quilting.

Custom, but not heavy.  I can't wait to show the whole quilts!

Monday, April 5, 2021

Still Gimpy

Well, I DID make it down to the sewing room today, but only to consider a border change on Weaver Fever that I showed yesterday.  

I was inspired by my friend Donna (born a Weaver) who used a floral border on hers.


This is Donna's second started in 2015!

Well, of all my border prints, nothing would work (insert sad face here).  But in my search I did discover a baggie with pieces and parts from a Quilting 101 series I taught at a guild in 2014.

There is another Table Scraps runner in my future!

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Happy Easter!

 Greetings and Easter blessings to all my virtual friends!

Can you believe we have already crossed the first quarter mark in 2021?  Time to get a move on ...

Getting a head start on April when Angela announced the RSC color a few days early, I immediately went to the orphanage in search of bright or light blue blocks I could use for Table Scraps, a challenge hosted by The Joyful Quilter.  I found several possibilities and, before I knew it, I had a near finish.

I had three blocks left over from Weaver Fever (Jackie Robinson pattern at that were either too long or too narrow.  When working with this "bargello" type of block, it is critical that intersecting seams line up and these three just didn't make the cut.  But as a table runner the length didn't matter and I could trim the width. (As a point of reference for you, the lower left light blue rectangle is the top left of the block.)

I pulled a moldie-oldie fabric for the back.

In full disclosure, I still need to tuck the seam in on one end and then I'll do a bit of stabilizing quilting.

Speaking of Weaver Fever, S'mores' Donna pulled #1 from the magic mug ...

... and putting borders on Weaver Fever is #1 on my S'mores monthly challenge list!

Inner and outer borders have been cut and packed for the next retreat later this month.

I needed to get Summer Baskets off the design wall.  Even though I have not put the fused flowers in the baskets, I decided to go ahead and assemble the center.  

All four of the little triangle borders had been made and since those were all bias I was afraid they might stretch if I folded them into the project box.  So I added them, as well.  Then, just for grins, I started making the triangles for next borders and put some up on the wall.

After considering several different combinations and arrangements of the triangles and floral fabric, nothing made me happy so I am going to simplify the design and just add the large outer floral border.

This project will go with me to retreat and if I have mechanical problems or just get burned out on sewing, I can work on the flowers.

I have been under the weather since Thursday -- don't panic, it's not Covid -- and have done nothing more than poke through my blue scraps.  Hoping to get back to the sewing room tomorrow.