Friday, September 29, 2023

No More Snails!

Yesterday I put the final paper-pieced corner on this little beauty.  I bought the panel at Back Porch Fabrics in Pacific Grove, CA in early February.  

I don't remember if I got the pattern at the same time (and at this point I can't even find the pattern to provide proper credit).  Later in February I picked up the cream and green grunge at Whittle's.  And quickly put the borders and first corner on ... then it sat until yesterday.  I have picked a pretty floral for the back and plan to get it quilted before the end of the year.

This morning I woke with a foot cramp a little before 5 so I decided to go ahead and get up.  Once the coffee was ready, I headed downstairs to finish the last 8 snails' trail blocks.  

They didn't go down easy, though. I was cruising along, pinning in my free time in front of the TV, and the last four had the third round TOTALLY wrong.  Wish I had taken a picture.  So it was rip and re-sew before I could get to the final round of triangles.  Believe me, I was very cautious about what I was doing from there on.  The snails are going back into timeout until a November retreat when I will have the pattern to show me what to do next.

With nothing major on my calendar today, I decided to move another project closer to the finish line.  I started Judy Neimeyer's Summer Solstice in 2018.  I made the 8 New York Beauty blocks in the class, but balked at doing the Lone Star with paper piecing.  I used strip piecing, instead and used class time at the recent LAB retreat to get that much done.  

Today I focused on the borders that will square this piece out to 58" square.  I had the great idea that strip piecing would also work, but figuring out the details made my head hurt.  Time for a glass of wine!

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

I've Been Sewing!

Recovering slowly from my week at Life's a Bear Retreat. But I finally got back into the sewing room last week after getting the machine back in place, though I can't say the pathways through the sewing room are anyway close to cleared.  

The first thing I tackled was assembling the rows of chunky churn dash (I've since learned the block is also called 4-square) at Devo last Tuesday.

I am auditioning fabrics for borders.  The current plan is to donate this one to a very young heart transplant patient.

At 4th Friday (the guild open sew day) I finished assembling the blocks for Gray Flannel Suit (the charm square fabrics remind me of men's ties) and yesterday I added the borders.

I have been reviewing my UFOs, looking for some that can be quickly finished at the next sew day, either Devo or 4th Friday.  In the process I came across a moldy oldie -- Of Flowers and Snails by The Artist's Palette.  

LOTS of snails trail blocks that twist in both directions and include different combinations of fabrics.  I think I originally planned to use the finished snails trail blocks in a small quilt... 

... but when I opened the box I found that I have cut most, if not all, the blocks! 

So every day this week I will try to get at least one group of blocks made.  Sadly, I can't find the pattern, so a friend is going to bring me hers at the next retreat in November where I will have plenty of design wall space to lay it out because it's a double!

Monday, September 18, 2023

More Retreat

So, I've figured out a way to get pictures for the blog -- I email them to myself from the phone, then save to my desktop where I can retrieve them for posting.

As I said before, this year's LAB retreat focused on a Cindy Williams original design called Lollapalooza.  And it was just that!  Cindy is a great teacher and fun to study with.  

We learned to use a ruler designed by Robin Ruth to make the construction of compass points with strip piecing.  Yes, I know, that sounds impossible, but it works!  However, word of warning:  the ruler is NOT intuitive!  The accompanying book is required.

Look at the wonderful work our group of retreaters did in 3.5 days:

I'm the one on the left end who looks like she's naked down below.  Here's a closeup of what I accomplished.

I'm not sure where I'll go from here.  I was so impressed with what others did with their lone stars that I'm regretting not doing the whole project.  But I don't have enough fabrics in my stash in those particular colors so I may need to go shopping.

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Life's A Bear

 And slowly this bear is coming out of hibernation.  The old computer has been repaired and I have finally found my blog on it.  So I thought it about time I check in.

After a busy catch-up week, I am retreating in the North Carolina mountains this week along with 23 other quilters at Cindy Williams' annual Life's a Bear retreat.  This year we are at the Hinton Center in Hayesville, NC, working on Lollapalooza, a combination compass/lone star pattern.

I opted not to do the lone star portion of the quilt on the first day; instead, I worked on finishing an ages-old lone star.  

This is Judy Neimeyer's Summer Solstice.  I took this class at Quilt Camp in 2018 because I thought it would be an "easy" introduction to paper piecing.  I got the 8 New York Beauty blocks done in two days, but balked at paper piecing the lone star portion when I knew strip piecing to be much easier.  Five years later I still need to square out the corners and add borders.  But I'm happy to have moved it along.

On day two I made the 18-inch outer compass  and on day three I made the 8-inche center compass ...  Sadly, no photos because apparently the Cloud doesn't extend to the mountains 😒

I managed to put the compass all together today, then pulled out an old Judy Mathieson compass I started in a 2006/7 class with her.  It is paper-pieced with the perforated freezer paper.  A fun technique, but after unstitching multiple seams today, I threw in the towel.

I'm hoping the pictures will appear on the new computer when I get home tomorrow.

Thursday, September 7, 2023

I'm Back!

 And back in business!

We have been back from our cruise for over two weeks.  But, apparently, we picked up a virus from an insecure WiFi network on the ship and my computer totally crashed.  The good news is my husband gave me a new computer for Christmas.  But, being a senior, I was hesitant to learn something new -- until I had no recourse.

So  I have finally been able to access my blog (totally by accident, I can assure you) on the new computer.  The old computer has gone to the "Senior Geek" in our community to be restored.  And hopefully by tomorrow I will have access to photos and all the other things I need to keep this thing going. 

Thank you for your patience.

Friday, September 1, 2023

The Epic Vacation

 It wasn't my intention to tick off two bucket list items this summer but the timing was in our favor, so we went for it.  We took a little more than two weeks to recover from the Canadian train trip to prep and pack for the cruise to Iceland. I am so OVER international flights so when I saw that this cruise departed from and returned to Boston, I said "Sign us up!"

Boston was a particularly exciting port as we have a married grandson living there.  So we took a few extra days to spend tine with them before our departure.  As often happens, we were having such a good time with them I failed to get photos.  We did spend a day at the Boston Aquarium.  What a fabulous place!  

I think I'll make that photo of sea anemones the wallpaper on my new computer!  I have had a long infatuation with sea horses so was thrilled to see some in real life.

A couple of days later we boarded the Holland America Zaandam and headed to Portland, Maine for our first stop.  We had a nice tour of the area that included the Bush compound at Kennebunkport ...

... and a historic lighthouse.

Following that, we had a day at sea before we reached Nova Scotia and Newfoundland so I joined a group of knitters in the Crows Nest lounge to start working on a years-old large-scale EPP project that I started in a class with Christine Porter on a quilt cruise (circa 2008).  It took many more sessions in the lounge (and many glasses of wine) but I finished hand-whipping the pieces together and yesterday I added borders by machine.

It measures 21 inches square.

I took another hand-piecing project that I will feature in future posts.