Sunday, February 26, 2023

Retreat Wrapup

I made it home safely and DH helped me unpack the car.  I still have lots of stuff to return to the basement sewing room but that's a task for another day.  It was a great retreat, though a much smaller crowd.  Of those that stayed home, one had Covid, one had the flu, and one had an ailing husband, so the remaining nine of us could really spread out in the very spacious sewing room.

Ruth spent her entire time making a HUGE commissioned T-shirt quilt -- so big I couldn't get the whole thing in the photo! It contains pieces of nearly 40 T-shirts.  Talk about heavy!

Nancy finished her French Braid quilt she began in a 2010 class.  She debated about adding the outside borders because it was already quite big, but she was pleased with her decision once it was done.

My second almost-finish is Granny's Stars, a pattern by Nancy Mahoney.  According to my paperwork, the pattern appeared in a 2009 issue of  Fons and Porter magazine.  I took this class with her in 2016.

I was curious if the block had a name, so I searched in Judy Martin's 1998 The Block Book  and she called it Blackford's Beauty, except her block doesn't have the little white strips.  Personally, I think that's what "makes" the block so interesting.  

Working on an older project has its own set of problems.  I started this project on a different machine and I think I have improved my quarter-inch seam over the intervening years so it was a bit of a challenge getting things to fit.  Thankfully, all the pieces were cut and many of them had been clipped together in blocks.  Still, it was a challenging puzzle and I'm pleased with the result.  

The pattern calls for a 6-1/2" border with LOTS of applique.  Not my cup of tea.  I do think it needs something so I will be looking at what batik I might  have that would be appropriate.

Thursday, February 23, 2023

What's Happening

I'm going to take a few moments to show you what the other S'mores are working on. 

Donna has been making curtains and pillow cases for a cabin on her property, but she has also taken time to put the binding on this years-old beauty.

Kim assembled her version of chandelier beads.

Nancy has been busy.  She put the finishing touches on her variation of a Cindy Williams design.  We're calling it Green With Envy because none of us are that creative!

Nancy is currently assembling the French braid columns we made in a 2010 class.

Sena finished Shuriken (I forgot to photo) and is now working on what some of us call Blackford's Beauty.  

I say "some of us" because I am currently working on blocks that Judy Martin also called Blackford's Beauty in her 1998 The Block Book which I will be showing in my next post.

Mary finished the center of this captivating design and is now thinking about border fabric.

Lots more has transpired in the first two and a half days that I didn't photograph.  I'll try to do better in the next two days.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

What Would You Do?

So I arrived at retreat by lunchtime on Monday and got myself situated.  We've had so many drop out due to Covid or flu that those remaining have three tables!  Talk about luxury!

My first order of business was to finish the Women of the Bible sampler that I started last year with the Devo and Sew group.  All I needed to do was add two borders.  I made note of the finished block size and the finished sashing size and did the math to see how long to cut the long side inner borders. Then I measured the top and amazingly it matched my calculations!  I repeated the process with the top and bottom inner borders and everything was spot on.  That never happens.

BUT I cut them one inch too short!  What would you do?  I had enough fabric that I could cut some more but, instead, I trimmed 1/2 inch off each side.  Who (other than youall) would ever know?  

I did much better with the outer borders.  So here's the finished product.

Friday, February 17, 2023

Spring Has Sprung

I'm still recovering from the California trip, tackling two weeks-worth of laundry, and clearing off cluttered surfaces around the house.  I did take advantage of the laundry by throwing in the new fabric I brought home along with some other pieces that had never been washed.

The little bits I put into a mesh bag, but the larger scraps I figured would do fine.  BIG mistake!

Car service, physical therapy, and meetings have occupied much of this week.  I'm hoping to get new tires installed today.  Then I can pack for a quilt retreat!  So look forward to lots of quilting news next week.

As my headline says, Spring has indeed sprung here on the Plateau.

Lenten Roses a/k/a Hellebores


And as I write this, it is spitting snow!  Weather whiplash ...

Thursday, February 16, 2023


Leanna/Not Afraid of Color posted this prompt of Valentine's week:  how did you know your mate/friend/pet was "the one"?

Actually, mine is the Second ONE ...

My divorce from the first One was finalized on a Friday 45 years ago.  That night I slept on his sofa.  On Saturday I set out in the rental truck with most of my worldly possessions and by Sunday all was unloaded in the next abode in my old home town.  

On Monday morning I reported to the new job I had secured a few weeks earlier as a spec typist at an architectural firm.  The Office Boy stopped by my cubicle that day to invite me on the firm's canoe outing that weekend.  

I declined because I needed to finish unpacking.  The next week I invited him to go camping with me and the two boys (then 8 and 11).  He declined because he was helping his sister move to Savannah, GA that weekend.

I never went out with another man, but it took three years for us to be sure it was the right move to get married.  I have never regretted that decision!

Oh, and that Office Boy?  He ended up buying that firm many years later!

Tuesday, February 7, 2023


I have spent most of my life on or near the Atlantic Coast.  I know that the ocean is on my right when I am facing North.  It's the exact opposite on the Pacific Coast and I am SO confused!  I can't tell you how many times I have sent DH in the wrong direction on this trip.  

BUT, I have radar when it comes to a quilt shop!

So this morning we wound our way along the 17-Mile Drive through the Pebble Beach vicinity and along the rugged coastline, stopping to admire many gorgeous vistas ...

... and stopping for lunch at Sticks at Spanish Bay Inn.  After we dropped SIL off at that inn which will be her base for the next two days, I suggested we hit a quilt shop while we were on that side of the peninsula.  Back Porch Fabrics was about 3 miles up the road (or was it down ...).

A little fabric therapy made this camper happy.  Some background with soft colors ...

... a great diagonal print for borders or who-knows-what (maybe to go with those FQs) ...

... and corks to line a wine bottle bag.

Back Porch Fabrics is a small shop but a lovely selection of fabrics, particularly on the modern side (no repros).  If you are ever in Pacific Grove/Monterey, CA, drop in to visit.

Monday, February 6, 2023

California Dreaming

We spent two early days at the AT&T Pro-Am.  If you saw three people walking on the wrong side of the 4th fairway on Friday, that was us.  Once we were committed, we couldn't turn back and thankfully we weren't arrested!

The Pebble Beach course is even prettier in person than it is on TV.  

Above is the 7th green that sits on a bit of a precipice as does the 18th tee below.

The fairways are lined with beautiful homes. We joked about putting in an offer on this one!

When we weren't walking the course, we could bide our time out of the elements in this beautiful pavilion, the Palmer Club at 18.

On Friday we did the touristy things in Monterey, visiting Cannery Row and Fisherman's Wharf.  

There is a lovely paved pedestrian/recreation trail that connects the two, but if you're not into salt water taffy and T-shirts, well ...

On Sunday we ventured down to Big Sur to see McWay Waterfall but the park was closed so we stopped for lunch at Nepenthe, known for its stellar views.  We stopped into the restaurant's high-class gift shop after lunch and amongst the gorgeous Navajo silver jewelry, woven blankets, and inspirational books I spotted this:

I passed on the opportunity.  Since the tournament could not be completed on Sunday due to weather delays, we can go back today for free, though without the luxurious accommodations we had earlier in the week.

Thursday, February 2, 2023

SAHRR Prompts 1 and 2

OK.  I admit I was late getting started on Prompt 1--spools (see my last post) and then Prompt 2--stars was announced.   I have a very busy February with a limited amount of sewing time.  What's a girl to do?

Why, check what everyone else is doing, of course!  That's when I saw that someone (sorry, I don't remember who) had used what looked like dancing spools on fabric as a border for prompt one.  YES, I had a fabric with spools -- granted they were very old-fashioned spools -- so I fussy-cut several 3-1/2" squares for a test run. 

In the meantime Prompt 2--stars had been announced.  Dare I use the same crutch and look for a star fabric?  Well, wouldn't you???

So I cut some 3-1/2" squares of star fabric and alternated them with the spool fabric.  That sounds like a win for me.

Pretty dreary, if you ask me.  But timing is running out, I'm going to be out of town and away from the sewing machine for a bit, and I'll be way behind when I get back to sewing.  So here's my plan:  I will make traditional 3-inch spool blocks and the "spool" part of the block will be the star fabric!

SAHRR - What Was I Thinking?

Note to self:  Make more notes to Self!!

When I saw the prompt for Round 1 of the Stay at Home Round Robin, I was less than inspired.  I wanted to try something "out of the box," but my vertigo-head couldn't wrap itself around what it would take to accomplish my idea.  Then I saw Julie's (Quilts and Costumes) pretty blue spools and decided I'd just go with the obvious.

I could see that the block could be constructed as a 9-patch, but finishing at my desired 3 inches, that would be a lot of little pieces and seams.  So on Sunday I devised a plan to use 1-1/2" x 3-1/2" rectangles with flip triangles for the four HST corners and immediately set about cutting all the pieces.  I even cut the corners for one block so that I would be sure they were going in the correct direction.  Then it was time to leave for church.

That sermon must have been pretty good because by the time I got back home and had lunch I totally forgot what my plan was!

I reckoned that I had reversed the fabrics for the flip corners so I cut more.

But wait, how is this going to finish at 3"???  OK, stop laughing.  I cut the center section down to size and nothing matched up, not to mention I was back to almost a 9-P with little pieces.

And, yes, that's a wine splash in the corner.  Lots of little purple dots all over my Kona Snow 😒

I finally realized my original plan was to use the white rectangle with flip corners on the SIDES of the dark rectangle.

Success!  But by then it was Monday and Prompt 2 was out.  I came up with a new plan; stay tuned.