Monday, January 30, 2023


I wrote that headline the day before I went back for the second Epley procedure on last Thursday.  That seems to lay me low for at least a day.

Nevertheless, I'm happy to report the vertigo is subsiding, ever so slowly.  My days are pretty good until I bend down to pick something up.  I'm sleeping well, but have to sit on the side of the bed for a minute or so before I get up.  Just knowing what is going on makes me less apprehensive and able to deal with the occasional swoons.

However, it has created a bit of hiatus in my quilting activity.  I have made it downstairs a few times to keep things moving along.  However, my photos are not uploading to the computer so not much to show.

I did a little cleaning up in the fabric/cutting/quilting room and pulled out a pile of projects to take to the next retreat in February.

I also cut some kits to pass on to WOWE for their quilts to comfort dialysis and chemo patients.

I also spent some time thinking about my SAHRR project -- worthy of a post on it's own if I can get to the photos.

DH and I are heading out of town for a couple of weeks soon so don't worry if you don't hear from me.

Friday, January 20, 2023

Moving Slowly, But Making Progress

Well, the first PT maneuver resulted in mild improvement in the vertigo.  At least I can function, however cautiously, during the day.  But getting up out of bed is no picnic.  I keep a walker handy to help me stay upright on the way to the bathroom.  

I spent most of today at the computer with frequent breaks for hydration and range of motion.  I did manage to get down to the sewing room to photograph my fabric pull for the SAHRR.

In addition to the greens and golds above, I found a couple of nice blacks and a closely-matching white solid.  I'm ready for Monday!

While I was downstairs I re-arranged a couple of blocks in Driftwood.  I think I was initially drawn to the pattern by it's "airiness" created by the light pastel fabrics and the alternating directions of the black triangles.

But the side of my brain that requires order rebelled a bit so I rearranged the blocks into a more prominent structure.

While I'm not 100 percent pleased with the design change, I am 200 percent happy with how the majority of the block intersections don't have matching seams!

I still need to look over the arrangement and try to move any blocks that have the same fabrics touching.  With all I need to accomplish around the house -- like put away the Christmas decorations -- before an upcoming vacation, I will probably box this up for completion at the next retreat.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Slow Week and SAHRR

Not much happening on the quilting front as I have been experiencing vertigo since returning from Rock Island last week.  In fact, I had a couple of brief episodes while there that I attributed to the low beds (we were in the "handicap" cabin).  Anyway, I go for therapy tomorrow and I hope that gives me a bit of relief.

So I've been catching up on blogs and see that Quilting Gail is hosting another Stay at Home Round Robin this year.  I believe this challenge was first issued in 2021 when most of us were hibernating at home in order to stay free of Covid.  I never finished my project from that year and decided not to participate in 2022.  This year I'm going to give it another try so I have selected an orphan block to be my center starting point. 

Last week I was thinking this would just be a little table mat, but I have run across some more sunflower fabrics that might work so I'm going to give the SaHRR a go.  (In full disclosure, I did not make the sunflower block.  It was an exchange block from one of my quilt cruises and I don't remember who made it.  If it's yours, please let me know.)

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Sunday SUN Day

 Finally, a day of sunshine after a run of sleet and snow days!  

The last full day of the Rock Island Retreat was devoted to Driftwood.

And I successfully completed the 42 blocks needed for the throw size.

As is, it will measure 48 x 56.  I'm thinking I might want to make it a little bigger -- either more blocks or a border.  In any case, I need to put the blocks on my design wall to make sure I'm happy with the arrangement and to make sure I don't have the same fabric next to itself.  With luck, I will be able to put it together at Devo and Sew on Tuesday.

Before that, though, I need to put away the Christmas decor stacked on the dining table and cut my fabric for a class block before Tuesday.  I have beef stew going in the crock pot so no more kitchen time will take away from sewing time today.

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Last Day

 Linda/Texas Quilt Gal asked a question about our retreat so I thought I would answer it as a post since some of you others might be curious, too.

In 2002 my husband and I moved to the other side of Nashville to live in his childhood home and be closer to his parents who had moved into a retirement/nursing complex. I joined a new quilt guild and quickly became acquainted with other quilters who like to retreat. So around 2004, when Tennessee State Parks offered a BOGO winter promotion on some of their less-used cabins, I invited 4 friends to join me at Rock Island the first full week of January.  The cabins were modern and the location relatively convenient.  

The rest, as they say, is history. Though the participants have changed over the 20 years, the drill is the same.  The cabin has five beds -- two bedrooms and a loft sleeping area -- plus two bathrooms.  One of the bedrooms has a queen bed so one person gets to be "queen" each year on a rotating basis.  We have learned to move the large furniture pieces into out-of-the-way places so that we can set up our sewing stations.

Since we meet at a restaurant for lunch on Sunday, we snack the first night.  Three people are each responsible for one evening meal; two share the lunch prep every day.  The last night we clean out the leftovers, often with a baked potato bar.  Bottom line -- we don't go hungry.

In recent years we have been joined by several of our guild buddies in other cabins.  I don't know how the others rock, but the rule in our cabin is no TV and no drama.  And we're still speaking to each other after all these years!

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

New Day, New Quilt

Having knocked out several projects on Sunday and Monday, I decided to start something new yesterday.

I really fell for the soft look with the black accents.  And it happens that I had a plethora of 2-1/2" batik strips that called out to be used.  So I started cutting yesterday and worked on some of the sew-and-flip black corners -- I tried to think of an easier way to do them but in the end I just went with the obvious.  I finished two blocks yesterday just to see if I am happy with the direction I'm going.

You know, totally scrappy is not my "thing" but I'm doing my best to just grab whatever strip is on top of the pile.  It's so tempting to be matchy-matchy, but so far I've resisted the temptation.  I may have to rework some blocks that have just a bit more bold color, but I'm waiting to see them all together before I make that decision.

Today I have completed 11 more blocks and have the remaining 29 blocks in various stages of completion.  It will be a throw/lap quilt about 48" x 56".  Tomorrow is our last day here so I would love to have the top completed before I leave.

Monday, January 9, 2023

Rock Island, Rock On!

I headed out in the fog Sunday afternoon, but everything cleared as I headed down the Plateau to Rock Island State Park.  The rest of the crew was already there when I arrived so all I had to do was tote my stuff in.  I had packed judiciously with as much on wheels as I could in case it was raining, but the skies were clear.

We relocate all the living room furniture so that we can all five sew in there.

I quickly applied myself to Crossroads, an easy project I learned about from Connie at Free Motion by the River.

I had most of the blocks done so it was a simple matter to stitch them in rows, then assemble the rows into a quilt.  I was able to finish the top Sunday night, but my photos have been slow to load.  I love the cheerful scrappiness of this one.  The finished size is 60x72.  It will go to one of my donation locations.

Monday morning I opened a box of 4-patch posies left over from a class I had taught several years ago.  I had decided to make alternate hourglass blocks.  I knew it would be unbalanced because of the limited number of blocks I had.  In the end, I resorted to substituting two solid squares in lieu of posies, but with the busy fabric they are not easily discernable.  

I have plans for borders that will amplify the unbalance and make it large enough for a wheelchair quilt.  However, I need to check my cheat sheet for mitered borders which is at home, so this project went back in the box.

I took a few minutes to frame this little sunflower block and to cut the back.  It will become a table mat once batting is included.

And, finally, I attached the last three rows to Women of the Bible.

Tomorrow I will start a new project that should take all day (or more).  And it will be only Tuesday!  We'll see how the week pans out.

Saturday, January 7, 2023

'Tis No Longer the Season

Geez, two weeks since Christmas and what do I have to show for it?  Well, for one thing, a clean house.  You see, we traditionally host an open house on New Year's Day and that's my excuse reason for cleaning house at least once each year!

So Hair of the Dog went on as planned on a beautiful 60-degree day.  The last couple of years I have enhanced my traditional menu of legendary chili with a second pot of  crustless chicken pot pie.  You'd have thought it was a junior high dance as all the guys assembled in the kitchen and the gals around the dining room table.  We were having such a good time, I forgot to take pictures.

Monday I was in recovery mode, Tuesday was Devo where I put the binding on this baby quilt ...

... which was my practice quilt on the new longarm.  I thought for sure I took a picture of it after quilting; alas, I did not and it has been passed on to one of the Devo gals to turn the binding.

Wednesday was grocery day and Thursday included a church committee meeting.  In between all of the normal activities I've been prepping and packing for my annual retreat at Rock Island State Park.  I've packed six projects, plus a leader/ender project, so stay tuned for daily updates.

Today, being Epiphany, it was time to take down the Christmas decorations.  It didn't take long because I didn't do much this year.  In fact, every year it gets less and less.  I had one small tree where I hung ornaments that were small and particularly meaningful.  Like all the ornaments my mother-in-law made each year for all her family and friends.

Those ornaments were always attached to a package of beaten biscuits, a Southern delicacy like no other.  

I use many ornaments collected in our travels ...

... and recording special events in our lives.

The family always groans when I insist the grapes go on the tree.  

That ornament was on my very first Christmas tree, 77 years ago!