Sunday, August 29, 2021

Slow Stitching Week

 That is, a slow week for stitching. The only slow-stitching I've done is the binding on a table runner (which I hope to finish before church this morning).

Before I get into my week, though, I have to say that after all the destruction and deaths in last week's flooding in Middle Tennessee, my comment about getting out of retreat just in time sounds a little flippant.  But at that point last Saturday, we thought only Garner Creek had crested.  Little did we know that the neighboring county got over 12 inches of rain.  

I appreciate all the comments of concerns from my blog friends about our situation here on our bluff in The Glade.  The flooding was 50 miles west of Nashville and we live 100 miles east of Nashville.  And we are situated high enough above our lake that the water would crest the dam before it rose to our level.  

Needless to say, I have been distracted -- not only by concern for my friends, but preparing for a visit from my sister-in-law.  I did manage to stitch up a little braid runner from a pack of charms.

I had volunteered to make a door prize for today's church golf scramble and I thought the colors in this charm pack were neutral enough to fit anyone's decor.  I did it quilt-as-you-go style and forgot to allow for a border when I cut the back and batting.  It's only about 7" wide!  It might fit on a mantle ...

SEW I went back to my original plan of using some golf-themed fabric, using the same technique but bigger pieces.  Well that one was going to be huge, might even cover a table.  I finally decided to fall back on a tried-and-true method for  coasters:

SIL arrived Tuesday, we played 9 holes of golf on Wednesday, went to a Playhouse performance on Thursday, shopped in Knoxville on Friday, kayaked on Saturday, and will be playing in the scramble this afternoon.  I think I did pretty well with the little stitching time I had, don't you?

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Flower Friday ... on Saturday

 ... and a retreat update

I recently -- well, maybe a month ago -- bought two hanging baskets to brighten up my front garden.  I was so proud of them, but never got around to taking a picture.

About a week ago the deer discovered this one.

I was beyond depressed so I moved both up on the front stoop until I could face the situation.  Look at what I discovered when I returned from retreat ...

Even the impatiens are regenerating. That is the same purple vine!  I've been calling it sweet potato, but I wasn't sure so I googled it and, indeed, it is sweet potato vine.

Apparently the deer don't like mandevilla, as they never touched it.  

After getting complacent about the deer, we have started to apply Deer-Off again.  Gosh, that stuff stinks!  

Looks like the S'mores got out of retreat just in time.  This is the dining hall this morning.

As I said in an earlier report, we no longer use the dining hall for meals.  The lodge building we were in is uphill a bit from the dining hall.  The wall that is referenced was built a couple of years ago after two major floods.  Looks like they didn't build it high enough!  So sad.

Friday, August 20, 2021

Retreat Wrap-up - Part 2

 There is a lot to show and tell so I split my retreat wrap-up into two parts, the second being what others accomplished.  Part 1 is here.

I always come away from a S'mores retreat inspired by what my talented friends are working on.  Most of them spent their time working on a single project, whereas I worked on a lot of little finishes.

Becky, the Teal Lady, learned to use the serger she purchased in 2017 with help from some experienced sergers.  She used it to bind several quilts including this one with Minky on the back.

Sena-1 put binding on this quilt that Kim had quilted, then she worked on finishing her Patricia Kaleidoscope shown in the background.

Meanwhile, Sena-2 spent all of her time on this absolutely gorgeous Kaffe Fassett design.

Mandy assembled two tops that she will probably sell in the gift shop of her B&B. 

Susan worked on an assortment of little projects, including the hand-pieced tumbling blocks.

Donna spent much of her time working on Bonnie Hunter's Unity quilt.  She had trouble with one of the rounds being almost an inch too big and is wondering if others who made this quilt had a similar problem.

Ruth used her time to assemble these blocks and add borders.

Meanwhile, Shirley finished the center of this quilt (only partial shown here) by the same designer as Ruth's whose name I can't remember right now ...  She will add borders at home.

Nancy assembled this striking Wink and a Smile (also known as Shooting Stars) but didn't have enough fabric for the borders.  It is amazing how reverse value placement in the center 9-patch changes the whole look of the block!

All-in-all it was a very productive retreat for everyone.  My apologies to those whose quilts I failed to photograph.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Retreat Wrap-up - Part 1

I have a lot to show and tell so I'm going to split my retreat wrap-up into two parts, the first being what I accomplished.

I arrived shortly after noon on Monday and unloaded all my gear into the sewing room.

My table was way back in the left corner.  From this photo, though, you can see what a lovely sewing space we have that accommodated 17 sewing stations (we've had as many as 22 in the past).  We use bed risers to raise the cutting tables and we provide our own irons and ironing boards.  The long row of tables down the middle is for eating and socializing.  Our sleeping rooms are like motel rooms -- two double beds and a bathroom -- located on the second floor (handicap accessible from the back side of the building  which is built into a hill).  Meals used to be included at the dining hall, but the last few years we've been bringing our own food.

So once I was situated, I set about finishing up several small tops.  First was this little gem I made circa 2018 from someone else's cast-off HSTs.

I added the two borders and then passed it on to Becky who is our Teal Freak.  The border is really  a plaid, though in this photo it looks like a stripe, from a Moda Christmas line several years ago.  It has all the right colors in it.

Next I tackled the borders on Jet Girl.  This will make a nice baby quilt.

I call it Jet Girl because I made it in a class (I don't remember the project name) with Yvonne, the Quilting Jetgirl who was teaching at a local shop while visiting her mother in this area.  I was still wearing the boot from my broken ankle so it dates to March of 2018.

Tucked in with Jet Girl was this little star-in-a-star, my first attempt at something "modern."  The design was a block in a magazine and I wish I could give proper credit but I don't remember.

Since it's the same color family as Jet Girl, I must have had some idea of combining them but, instead, I made another baby quilt.  The stripe border has been in my stash for a long time -- one of those things you love but can never find a use for ...

I wrapped up Monday night by adding borders to this modern piece with no name 😞.

This one will ultimately hang in my sewing room.  It makes me smile.  I finished off Monday by cutting borders for a RSC Sampler, but it came back home with me unfinished (not sure why).

I began Tuesday laying out and assembling Megan II, so-named because it is made from leftovers of a quilt I made for niece Megan's marriage on 10-10-10.

I think 11 years is plenty of time to let blocks mature, don't you?  This one may get a border and is probably destined to be a wheelchair quilt.  I am one block short of enough to make a second quilt just like this and I think I already have the pieces cut ... somewhere ...

The rest of Tuesday was devoted to assembling the Patricia Kaleidoscope (In The Beginning) I began in June at the Jonesborough retreat.

I want to give it a good pressing before I trim and measure for the borders so it came back home with me as-is.

Wednesday was devoted to Tumbling Triangles.  For the life of me, I cannot find the magazine photo (and pattern?) that was the inspiration for this one, but I love it and it will probably stay with me.  

After arranging then stitching the rows, I realized I hadn't thought about the side setting triangles.  The assembled "village" helped me select the same dark green that is in the HSTs (hence the flat bottoms in the edge squares).  It would not have been my first choice, but I am thrilled with the results!  I brought it home to give it a good pressing before measuring for the borders.

The rest of my time was spent cutting a new project for a retreat in September.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Another Retreat

Yes, it seems like the S'mores are always gathering somewhere.  This time it is our "Official" summer retreat at the Nazarene church camp where we've been meeting since the 2010 flood wiped out our previous favorite, the Lutheran church camp. We tried the Presbyterian church camp in the interim, but it didn't fit our needs.  Ecumenical, we are!

I assembled an assortment of UFOs, mostly things that require borders, taking advantage of the generous table space we have.  Some of these projects are so old I don't have pictures on this computer!

    Borders on old round robin - done!

    Borders on RSC Sampler - cut

    Borders on Jet Girl - done!

    Assemble Megan II - done!

    Finish and trim Patricia Kaleidoscope - together but that's all I could manage

Still to go:

    Lay out Tumbling Triangles and assemble if there is time

    Cut new project:  On the Fence (in case I have machine problems)

The Cloud is not loading my photos from this remote location so stay tuned for a final report in a few days..

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Progress on the Home Front

 The new fence has been installed around the secret garden and I began digging out irises and lilies.

If we are lucky (and the weather cooperates) we may get started on reworking the garden this week. We consulted a landscaping contractor working next door and if he gets done there early, he'll bring his equipment over to remove all the undesirable vegetation and lift/replace the stepping stones.

One of the undesirables is a large butterfly bush.  They are considered invasive in this part of the world and we have plenty more in other parts of the yard.  

Sadly, the butterflies will need to relocate.

Work continues sporadically on the deck enclosure.  The posts have been wrapped and the soffits and fascia were added last week.

Measured for screens yesterday and gutters will be next.  Railings won't be installed until the decking is replaced.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

What's wrong with this picture?



I was feeling guilty about my Start-itis (I wrote about here) and decided I should really finish up a few things, like the Patricia Kaleidoscope I began at the retreat in June.  It had been on the design wall so long that parts had fallen on the floor and in my assembly process I had changed my numbering system from blocks to rows.  One row was reversed so I turned it around, not realizing that the end pieces were directional.  It's still on my wall ...  sigh.

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Week in Review

 The first week of the month is usually uneventful for me so I expected to get a lot accomplished.  Well, you know how that goes ...

We got out on the kayaks early Monday morning.  The weather was so mild I needed to wear a T-shirt over my swimsuit.  We probably did about 2 miles total.  But with a passel of contractors expected later in the week, that was it.

On Tuesday I balanced my bank statement. Oh, and remember that visit to Twisted Sisters last Friday?  I pulled some coordinating fabrics for a future project.

That white with green leaf outline needed a companion, so I found the green on the bottom at the shop, then pulled the other two fabrics from my stash, thinking they would work for the pattern on top.  Still at the thinking stage.

That green purchase put me over my bonus, yielding a $25 gift certificate that had to be used before August 30.  But when would I be making the one-hour drive back?  Turns out a new resident/church member needed a ride to the Knoxville airport on Thursday which I was happy to provide since the shop is about a mile from there!  I went a bit over my $25, though ...

I just couldn't resist those colors!  Still looking for ideas to use them.  Suggestions?

My passenger paid me generously -- though I objected -- so I spent some of the money on her, picking a few fat quarters and pattern to make this table runner as a house-warming gift.  I had the top finished by the end of day Friday!

Some months I am pressed to use a full tank of gas.  Within 7 days last week I made two trips to Knoxville (70 miles each way), and three trips to Crossville (25 miles each way).  One of those trips to Crossville was to pick up a quilt that I was having quilted for our church choir director.

She apparently had a couple of strokes recently and is facing heart surgery.  I figure she will be spending quite a bit of time in a wheelchair so I put flannel on the back.  It's about 45" square.  Thinking her organist husband (who has health issues of his own) might be at church today, I pushed myself to get the binding turned and ran it through the washer this morning.  Since he didn't show, I'll have time to put a proper label on it.

Most of the coming week will be spent preparing to teach a One Block Wonder class at Devo on Friday.  More on that later in the week ...

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Wildlife Wednesday

 We have a fountain on a side of the house we rarely frequent.  So the tadpoles have taken over.

Have you ever wondered what a tadpole looks like as it is growing up?

Teeniest frog ever!

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

A Day at the Show

Smoky Mountain Quilters had their 40th anniversary show (a year late) last weekend. The guild has a passel of talented quilters including some national award winners. It's not a huge show but it has lots of categories and therefore lots of prizes.  And the quilts are hung in a manner making it easy to get up close to examine details.

So I made the drive to Knoxville on Friday to get a dose of inspiration; I was not disappointed.  

The first thing that impressed me was this device used to keep large quilts off the floor of the commercial exhibit space.

(Obviously I'm easily impressed -- or easily distracted ...)  Just a bar hung along the bottom; I'm not sure where it is attached but it's definitely effective.

Best in Show Large Quilt went to guild member Linda Roy for her original design Berry Blue.

You may recognize the name because Linda is a frequent winner at AQS shows.  Her work is always exquisite.  But she was not alone.  In fact, I was impressed with the overall quality of workmanship in many of the quilts, especially hand quilting.  Look at the detail in this small quilt, Mouse Pad,  by Jackie Perry of Marion Virginia.

Jackie received a special award for Excellence in Hand Workmanship, and I can see why!

Best in Show Small Quilt went to Debbie James of Corbin, Kentucky for her Applique Bouquet.

Beyond exquisite!

Ode to 717 Covid-19 Masks by Cindy Stuart of Maryville, Tennessee brought a smile to my face.

I don't take a lot of pictures of whole quilts when I am at a show, mainly because my photos rarely do them justice.  But I do like to get pictures of details that inspire me as did this bit of fussy-cut fabric.

So simple, yet so effective.

I had a lovely morning at the show, then popped by Twisted Sisters for a fabric fix.  More on that another day.