Sunday, May 28, 2017

Wild Quilting

Back to typing with my ergonomic keyboard today.  Yay!  The poor Tramp unplugged, replugged, restarted, rebooted, removed and replaced batteries all multiple times and somehow when it was all done it worked.  Phew.

Today I got a start on quilting a couple of tote bags.  One is for a guild swap and the practice one is for me.  I had a bee in my bonnet that I wanted to quilt on denim.  To that end I got out some of my quilting books, browsed my Pinterest quilting design photos and the ones on my computer, and fired up and watched a Craftsy class again.  Wild Quilting with Christina Cameli.  I need lots of practice to compete with her.  Wow.

Yesterday I cut and interfaced denim and linings.  Today I rewatched some of the Craftsy class and then I put on my big girl panties and started quilting.  ;-)  That first stitch is always the hardest.  Sigh.

All the front pieces for the practice tote are done.  And now I'm planning on a good night's sleep before I move on to the larger back piece.  :-)

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Hi!  Here I am.

Oh good grief!  I finally get around to this and my keyboard quits.  Sigh.

Ok.  I'm back.  Struggling with a non ergonomic keyboard.  Technology has not been my friend lately.  The phone had to be replaced (thank you Apple Care!), the new headphones died too, then the mouse, and now the keyboard.  Sheesh.  Mercury Retrograde is over!  We won't mention the other things currently wrong with my computer.  Send The Tramp a sympathy card.

Ok.  What's been happening.  Sewing has been good.  That kind of tech has been working....thank goodness.  I had a deadline to finish my round robin quilt before the North Carolina Quilt Symposium last week.  I decided I "needed" a suspension system for managing the bulk of my quilts while quilting. Some PVC pipe, bungee cords, clamps and a handy hubby made it happen.....not that either of us really knew "how" to make one.

How high to make it was the first question.  Why the height of the handy shelf of course.  :-)  I've since bought more components to add to it, which is one of tomorrow's projects.

It turned out to be quite a marathon, but I did get the quilting finished, and blocked, bound and labeled the quilt just in time for the entry deadline.  Oh, and got additional labels and hanging sleeves on the three other entries as well.

And it made it to the quilt show.

Here are the four of us Quilting Babes with our round robin quilts.

I made the second border (the Carolina lilies) on Dawn's quilt.  I love how she wore a shirt to match her quilt.  lol

I also entered my Chain Reaction quilt.

And it was so nice to see En Provence hung!  It's too big to get a decent photo at home.

 I did get an honorable mention for the Random Roses table runner.

I made the blue and green ribbon border on Anne's quilt.  Her quilting was wonderful and she got a ribbon. :-)

I added the colorful outer border to Kathie's quilt.  Just as colorful as she is.  :-)  It was a fun challenge.  We have a new challenge planned for next year.  Stay tuned.

I took a Foundation-less New York Beauty quilt class with Jane Godshall.  Now I understand the technique I can't wait to make some more blocks.

I had a class with Vickie Clontz making wool bead earrings.  So much fun!

They matched my apron!

I also had a fun class with Laura Wasilowski making embroidered landscapes, but I have nothing to show yet.

The challenge for this week was getting this quilt top together so Mom can applique the stars on the border.  It's in her hands for now.  This is the third "eagle quilt."  You can see quilt number one in the photo above hanging on my fireplace.  Quilt number two was donated.

I'm still having fun with the boy.  On this day I had bought a balsa wood glider for him.  We discussed the concept of gliders vs powered airplanes in the car on the way home.  At home I dragged a chair over so he could examine the spectacular photo on our dining room wall of one of The Tramp's friends piloting a glider in New Zealand.  With glider in hand, The Viking examined it very closely trying to see the face of the pilot.  A sweet moment.  :-)

Wednesday, March 29, 2017


Much anticipated is the imminent arrival of The Sailor Son and his lady.  With an hour and a half more until they arrive I realized I have time for a post.  How about that!

Evil Step-Daughter sent another photo of her quilt, now finished with the binding.  The recipient is going to love it!

I finished my four pairs of jeans.  I'm very pleased except the blue ones are a bit tight.  This body needs a blue denim with more stretch.  Sigh.  ;-)

I think I've figured out that all my frustrating sewing machine problems when making the first two pairs, striped and grey, were caused by the very heavy Guttermann topstitching thread.  The black and the gold threads are Coats.  Much better!!

A simple pattern with real back pockets, but faux fly and front pockets.  The soft knit waistband is a big plus in my book.

I also spent some time making a Captain America experience for The Viking.  He was thrilled.

 Even more exictement when we stopped, in costume, at Target for the shield.  He wore the outfit everywhere we went for two days and is looking forward to showing off for The Sailor Son tomorrow.

In anticipation of our visitors I've been doing some spring cleaning.  Always a chore is removing the pollen.  You could write your name on everything on the back porch.

The sandbox cover.  Ick!!

After a long session with the vacuum I managed to get most of it.  Of course I'll have to do it over again soon, darn it.  So looking good.....for now.

The water level on the pond is being lowered in anticipation of some repairs to the dam.  We've realized that not only is wind and water our enemy, but muskrats as well.  Nasty little buggers apparently.  The water has to be lowered four feet and this is how it looks at the moment, down almost a foot.

The boat is on the edge waiting to be used to go out and re-open the valve to let out more water.  The dam work is scheduled for next week.  It should be interesting.

Thankfully, not all of our azalea flower buds died from the cold.  I was so pleased to spot these starting to open today.  Lovely large flowers with that interesting leopard spot pattern.  Beautiful!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Yum and Yuck (sort of)

Just catching up with a few photos, kind of in order.  Sometimes I come up with a theme when I'm typing.  Yum and yuck is reaching a bit though.  Heh.

This month Bernina had a 25% off special on presser feet.  Yum!  I had watched a video on binding a quilt with the #71 Run and Fell foot.  I mentioned it at bee and Cathy was able to loan me hers to try out.  It works great, so I took advantage of the sale, and with practice I'll know what adjustments to make depending upon quilt sandwich thickness etc.

This sandwich was a bit thick and firm so I struggled a bit and only one of the corners is what I would call well done.

But it looks just fine when you are galloping by on your horse.  ;-)

I also made three more blocks for the Honey Pot Bee sampler.  The foundation pieced envelope blocks look simple, but were a bit of a challenge to put together.  I also made it harder for myself by printing song lyrics and a poem on fabric.  It was tricky to line everything up just so.

This is the "echo" block.  I decided using pink and purple would represent the yin and yang of The Tramp's and my favorite colors.

It's yummy colorful!

I take The Viking for a swimming lesson once a week.  He was thrilled with his new "'merican flag bathing suit."  "I love it because blue is my favorite color, Nini!"  At the same time we found a matching backpack on clearance to use as his own "gym bag."

I finished the biscornu I was working on as a swap gift for the March guild meeting.  I added a few crystals for sparkle and the recipient was very pleased.  I added a gift bag with chocolate and pretty pins.  Oops.  I didn't take a photo of my pincushion and gift bag which also included some pins and yummy chocolate.  The next swap is tote bags.  I can't wait.

We've had a bit of yucky cold weather interspersed with the warm spring days and this is what Maisy thinks of the cold.  :-)

The geese layed at least five eggs in a nest at the foot of our driveway.  Sadly a fox (we are guessing) thought the eggs were yummy and the nest is no more.  We've put some rocks in it's place to discourage them from re-nesting in the same spot.  It was kind of yucky being attacked by large and outraged geese each time I went to the mailbox!

We had several nights of below freezing weather which killed the flowers on many of the azaleas and has also killed the new leaves on several shrubs and trees.  Yuck.  I'm hoping they survive.

A St. Patrick's Day photo of Stardust in her yummy greens.  :-)

The Evil Step-Daughter in New Zealand has been busy working on a gift quilt.  She does amazing work, even with small children and large dogs underfoot.  Just fabulous.

The Sit-Down Free Motion quilter's Facebook group has a free-motion sampler tutorial and I've done my practice and filled in the first square.  Not bad.

 The Viking and I stopped at McDonalds one day this week while we were rushing around doing errands.  He saw some children at another table wearing their Happy Meal boxes as hats and glasses so he had to try it.  He also continues to enjoy dipping his apple slices in ketchup.  YUCK.

 I ordered some more Valdani pearl cottons for my BOM chicken project.  Yum!

 Some beautiful days have prompted walks with the dogs.

The pond is looking brown and yucky from the recent rains and scummy from all the pollen.  The dam end has been eroding at a newly alarming rate and a lake and pond management company has been contracted to fix the problem.  The narrow strip between the water and the expensive new road is quite squishy and large chunks of the bank fall into the pond after each rain.

Yesterday I was startled by the dogs barking frantically at the back door, rather than at neighbors, cars, delivery trucks, dog walkers and what-have-you out the front window.  Luckily I spotted the doe on the other side of the fence before I opened the door.  I hate to think what Crazy Maisy would have done to herself if she'd tried to go over the fence.  I know there are deer everywhere, but this is the first time I've actually seen one in this neighborhood.

The last jeans I made are wearing out so I'm making four new pairs for the summer.  The Bernina was giving me fits yesterday with the thick topstitching thread and it took me all day to get it sorted to our (mine and the machine's) satisfaction.  Yuck.  The serger was a trooper through it all and worked like a charm.  Yay!  Something had to go well.  That stripe fabric was making me dizzy too.  It was nice to move on to a grey pair.  Now for the black and the blue ones.

The Sailor Son flew out to California to his gal's graduation at Travis AFB.

They are now sending us scenic selfies from their drive across the United States to Virginia.  This is Hoover Dam.  They hope to be here by Wednesday.  I can't wait!

Oh dear.  That means I better finish up this sewing and then clean house!!!  Yuck!