Tuesday, May 31, 2022

A Beautiful Sight

 A Clean Work Table

I finally arrived at the conclusion that my lack of productivity has been due to the mess(es) in my sewing rooms.  I should have taken a "before" picture!  I had a huge pile of remnants from making white paraments for the church, plus two stacks of "curated" fabrics for an upcoming project, plus scraps from the Bible blocks and piles of notes about "who knows what."

So yesterday and today I set about clearing off the cutting/work table and putting away WIPs in the sewing room.  Part of that process included getting my RSC blocks done for the month of June!

I have put my third RSC project, Square Dance, on hold until I can make some decisions about color balance and layout.

I spent some time at the end of last week visiting with family in Nashville while the NYC grands were in town with Great Grand Princess in tow.  On Friday I ventured south of Nashville to shop at Quilting Squares of Franklin.  I was in search of a sashing fabric to go with the Bible blocks.  They told me about a sale at another shop and on my way there I ran over a metal object and punctured a tire.  Thankfully I was only a few blocks from my previously favorite tire shop, and equally grateful that they had my brand and size of tire in stock! 

Grand DIL and I went to a fiber festival in a nearby town on Saturday and had a fun day together which included a stop at Dickson Doughnuts.  Who knew a vegetarian could have a soft spot for sweets?  While she, the knitter, stocked up on lots of supplies, I came home with a nalbinding needle ...

... and a patriotic T-shirt ice-dyed by a sister-S'more.

The vendor made nalbinding, an ancient form of knitting, look so easy, but when I looked for U-tube videos I'm not convinced.  I'll let you know how I do.  Worst case scenario, the vendor is in Huntsville, Alabama, so it would be an easy drive to take a class.

Hoping to get more sewing done this afternoon and tomorrow while I watch the NCAA Division 1 Men's golf. Vanderbilt is #1 seed and made it to the semi-finals this morning.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

That Late-April Trip

I mentioned in a recent post that I would tell you about my late-April trip to Ohio for a quilt study day with the Midwest Fabric Study Group.  It was a long 8-hour drive for this aging body, but well worth the trip!

Ordinarily our meetings are focused on antique quilts, but for this first in-person session since the pandemic the focus was on needlework, especially as it pertains to quilt-making.  In our Friday night session we learned about tools used to create textile items.  Each session included a kit that pertained to the discussion, so our first kit was a wool needlecase.

Several attendees set about making their needlcase right away but mine is still in the bag (it's hard to sew when the lights are low for Powerpoint presentations!).

Saturday morning opened with a discussion of Tufted Work, also known as plush template embroidery or stump work.  The speaker brought some fabulous examples!

It is done by satin stitching with wool yarn over a template, then cut away to create a chenille effect.  Apparently this was so popular in the early 20th century that metal templates were manufactured and sold.

The kit we received is for a simple X worked on wool.

I have managed to get my wool in the hoop, but have yet to thread my needle.  This project will go with me this weekend when we visit family.

Broderie Perse (Persian Embroidery) was the next topic.  That is a style of applique that creates a scene or decoration using printed images cut from fabric.  It was popular in the mid 19th century when imported chintz fabric was so expensive; a small amount of yardage could go a long way when the motifs were cut away and appliqued onto a muslin background.  I chose a pitcher of flowers for my kit and will replace the flowers with others cut from another fabric.

The last presentation was about the history of penny rugs.  Generally wool motifs stitched on a wool background with a blanket stitch, these were most popular after the Civil War when economics forced women to use any available scraps to brighten their homes.  My pin cushion kit has been stitched!

Now I just need to put the pin cushion together and fill it!

We had a silent auction to raise funds for some of the projects our group supports, like the Quilters Hall of Fame and the American Quilt Study Group Seminar paper presentations.  I couldn't resist this fat quarter collection.

It's Isobel from the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation by Windham Fabrics.  I had hoped I could use some of these in my Bible blocks, but the blues aren't quite the same.  Oh, well, I'll just have to find another use for them!

 If you are interested in old quilts, look for a quilt study group in your area.

Friday, May 20, 2022

Garden Tour

It may just be my imagination, but it seems like the perennials in our garden are the prettiest they have been in a long time.  I invite you to take a stroll with me.

Wildflowers amongst the spent daffodils, mountain laurel, peonies, and Knockout Roses.

We see the rhododendrons this way from the house ...

... but the boaters on the lake see this ...

I entertained this crazy bunch of ladies from our Nashville church last Saturday (I'm second from left).

I put a bouquet of Iris on the bartop where the gentlemen dined ...

... and an arrangement of peonies and rhododendron on the ladies' table.

The astilbe are blooming in the shade and we will soon have a plethora of white Annabelle hydrangeas.  I need to get the pots at the garage doors ready to receive some fresh plants so a trip to Lowes will be on the weekend's agenda.

Monday, May 16, 2022


I found some time in the sewing room!

Realizing the month is half over and I haven't even thought about the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, today I pulled out two of my projects and got to it. 

First up was my variation of a Chaser block (Cynthia Brunz design).  I managed to get one done in sage.

Then I turned my attention to Square Dance, a project from last year (or maybe even 2020).  I threw together one sage block.

While I had the box out, I saw that I had prepped a number of blocks in anticipation of future colors.  Why wait?, I thought.  So I assembled those which gave me a total of 36 blocks.  These are going with me to Devo tomorrow to work on a possible layout.  Stay tuned to see what I come up with.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Where's Libby?

 Seems like I've been on the go ever since the birthday trip to Fall Creek Falls.  And in the few days I had some free time, I just didn't feel like writing anything.  Do you go through spells like that?

So just WHAT have I been doing?  Not much sewing, that's for certain.  I did take time to determine I need a different fabric for the sashing on the Bible blocks ...

... and since I will be going to Mountain Quiltfest at Pigeon Forge next month, I've put that project on the back burner.  I also spent some time cutting kits for Devo's encouragement quilts, but that will be a subject for another post.

I belong to a quilt study group that had a weekend event at the end of April and that, too will be the subject of another post.

I barely had time to unpack, do laundry, and repack for a mini-vacation in Arkansas.  Granddaughter is graduating high school and we opted to go to her final choir concert rather than graduation.

Ash is the red-head in the second row on the left.  This is the camerata/competition choir and their voices are exquisite.  Following their opening number, Pure Imagination, they were joined by the remainder of the junior and senior high choirs.  At the end of the evening's performance they traditionally sing Dolly Parton's Light of a Clear Blue Morning during which the seniors step off the risers and go into the audience to give their mothers a red rose.

It's always a touching moment; makes me tear up every time I think about it.  While in Conway we shopped for some new summer clothes, hiked in Cadron Settlement Park ...

... and enjoyed games with the family.  Ticket to Ride is one of our favorites, but this Western Expansion has new twists that I didn't totally grasp until I lost.  

I'll demand a replay the next time we visit!  On Saturday, DH and I headed northwest to Eureka Springs.   Since we had time to kill, we ventured off the highway to see Arkansas' Natural Bridge.

Lovely place, but a very precipitous drive into the canyon to see it!

In Eureka Springs we stayed a couple of nights in the 1886 Crescent Hotel.

No key cards, here!  As one would expect, the decor fit the era.

They have added a few modern amenities, like air conditioning (window unit) and a small fridge, but it's still an OLD hotel with creaking floors and pigeons on the window sill.  Our room is the top left one ...

I had to be careful not to hit my head on the sloping roof when I got out of bed!  We thoroughly enjoyed our stay there.  On Sunday we drove over to Crystal Bridges in Bentonville, AR,  an art museum (and more) funded by the Walton (as in Walmart) Foundation.  

I never understood why it was called Crystal Bridges until I saw that the glass-enclosed galleries are on bridges over a small creek.  While there we walked some of the many trails on the property, took an excellent guided tour about the museum's architecture (hubby's forte), and visited a Frank Lloyd Wright rare 2-story Usonian house that was moved and reconstructed on the site.

On our trip back to the hotel we made a quick stop in Rogers, AR.  If you are a fan of  HGTV's "Fixer to Fabulous," you will recognize this ...

Dave and Jenny Marrs' Welcome Inn (Air BnB) is finished and functioning!  It would be a great place for a family reunion, I'm thinking.

We took two days getting home as we both had dental appointments on Tuesday in my old home town.  We picked up lunch and ate in the shade at a little pocket park that used to be the location of the town's swimming pool.

While strolling the path around the park, we came upon a fairy garden.

It was so sweet!

All the driving and sitting the last few weeks got my back out of whack so I went to the chiropractor this morning.  I think they have fairies, too!