Friday, May 31, 2013

Thursday's Things

Thursday dawned bright and early, full of promise.  Another unscheduled day, to do as I pleased.  The problem was, I was winding down on most of my projects.  hmmm.  What to do?

On Wednesday evening, I'd fixed the setting blocks from Penelope's Lone Star.  It went from this:
To this:
I'm not sure you can tell the difference, with the distracting bed shots, but it's definitely an improvement.  I cut the borders but will sew them on at home, when I have a large enough surface to measure and cut accurately.  A 3' round table is not the best work area!

I brought along a project from Asilomar, 2011.  It's been quilted for a long time, but I thought it needed some shells.  I sewed them on while watching Hart of Dixie on NetFlix.  How's that for a wild evening?!!  ;)  (How's this for irony?  When I called up my blog post, I'd begun the work exactly 2 years before I finished it!)
I like the little line of shells.  There's something about the added texture that makes it "just right."  :)

On Thursday, I picked up the leavings from Wednesday's sewing, and started sewing them together.  I found a few classic favorite prints in the bottom of my bin, and before you could say, "Jack Robinson!" I'd put together a quilt top that makes me smile.  Not only that, but it will work nicely in my pool bathroom, once it's finished.  (When I say "finished," I refer to both the top, and the bathroom!)

I tried to get a mood shot, but with the wind, and the seagull residue, it was tough.  I ended up back indoors, with the quilt on the floor.  *sigh*

It's not terribly big - somewhere around 22" x 28ish...This one is going to be a lot of fun to quilt!  :)

I took a next-to-the-last walk on the beach.  The glare was tough, but here's the one photo of my face, to prove I was here:
 By dinner time, it was overcast again, as it is this morning.

Last night I finished the beading on "Inspired by Sara."  My plan is to block it before taking a glam shot for you, to show it looking it's best.  I had no idea I would LOVE this quilt, but I do.  I'm disappointed that it's an inch to small to enter in DesMoines.  oh well. I'd specifically tried for that 24" minimum, but all that quilting took its toll.  Can you say "shrinkage"?

This brings to an end my week's seclusion at the beach.  It's been wonderful.  Tonight I'll be back in the valley, where tomorrow is expected to be triple digits.  ugh.  I can feel it now.  Sucks the creativity right out of a person, if you know what I mean...

Thanks for joining me!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What To Do On Wednesday?


 3:45 - ready to sew
 (I have no idea why Blogger felt it should turn my photos sideways and s-t-r-e-t-c-h   them.)
6pm - stitched together and put aside until morning.

I have to say, I LOVE the beach!  :)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Glimpses of Tuesday

Breakfast with a dear friend
"Old" project - Inspired by Sara
 Current additions:

New Project - Inspired by Cindy

I'm a bit bummed that I can't quilt it this week.  I forgot to bring quilting thread!  And I can't find the quilt store, even though I drove 20 miles to find it TWICE!  Maybe it's behind an Open Sesame store front and I'm missing the magic words to expose the entrance?  

Instead, I'll move on to the next thing...which is sharing what the sea lions did overnight:

Can't wait to see what Wednesday brings!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day

Remembering those who have served.  Thank you.

Sunday, May 26, 2013


Everything's beachy.  I love it.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

So Many Things

First off, I finished my quilt.

I know.  I'm stunned.  I still can't believe it.  It could probably use some tweaking, which I still might do, but for now, it is finished and set aside.  I will examine it with a critical eye after taking a break for a while.

Oh.  Did you want to see it?  Here you go:

My entry packet for Houston is in the hands of the USPS.  I mailed it yesterday.  Amazing.  I really did not think it was possible.

Last weekend, we took a break and visited our daughter and her family.  I was so focused on finishing my quilt, I couldn't be bothered to take the time to post much of anything.  For those of you who enjoy Penny pics, these are for you:

She has hot chocolate in her demitasse.  Every picture taken during this visit is an action shot.  She doesn't hold still, not at all.  :)  Grandpa and I got to babysit from 4pm-11pm.  What a delight to tuck in a little girl who smiles and says, "I love you, Gramma!" 

Twenty minutes later, she called out, "Gramma?  Gramma?  I'm not sleeping.  Gramma?  I need you, Gramma!"

All I had to do was tuck her back in.  She wanted me to lie down with her, but I told her I was sorry, but I had to watch Grandpa.  Grandpa had fallen asleep on the floor in the other room.  She thought that was pretty funny, and I was excused.  She went right to sleep.

This week I am on a little break from the valley.  I've got a few projects with me, and hope to have at least one thing to share by the time I return. 

This isn't what I usually think of, when I think of the beach, but it will do.  It will do very nicely, thank you.

And there you go.  Now you're all caught up...until next time!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


Put it in, take it out.

Try this, un-try it.  Trying that doesn't work either.

What am I talking about?  I'm trying to finish my quilt. 

I thought hand-quilting would work, but it became too lumpy-bumpy and distorted.  I kept hoping it would get better, but it didn't.  It got worse.  I stopped quilting this morning at 10am, and pulled out quilting until 1:30pm.

Then I decided to tie it, with buttons.  But the buttons overpowered the quilt.  The embroidery became insignificant.   All I could see was buttons.  I sewed them on for 3 hours: they only took 45 minutes to remove.

I tell you, this baby is starting to look a bit worn around the edges with all the stitching/unstitching.

I finally understand why Crazy Quilts are tied.  Trying to do anything else to secure them can make one crazy! 

And so, my next feat will be to tie it, unobtrusively.  It still has 4 lines of quilting, which I think I will keep.  In the end, maybe it will have to go too.  If nothing else, I've changed my thinking.  It is more important to do it right, than to meet this year's Houston deadline.  Meeting it is still a possibility, but one that is becoming more and more remote.

Oh well.  I still think goals are good!  :)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Self Control?

If a local fabric/craft store is going out of business and has marked all of their button cards to 25 cents, is it necessary to exercise self control? 

If the buttons are made in Germany, I vote "no"!  :)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Still Stitching

Stitch, stitch, stitch!  I'm getting closer to the end.  In fact, yesterday I sewed all the blocks together, and am working on the seam treatments.  I embroidered about 40" late last night, but this morning?  I'm going to take it all out.  It falls short of my expectations.  I have a different look in mind, and about an hour ago I found the perfect trim to pull it together.  Goals are good.

Rejected:  Fly Stitch in variegated perle cotton, size 8

Replacement:  couched trim

It's hard to tell in the close-up, but it does the job I want it to do, at least I think it does.  The only way to know for sure is to pull out the fly stitch and couch on the trim.  Goals are good.

I still have to get the three layers together and quilt them.  More good goals, that's for sure.  I'm running out of time and that deadline is screaming forward.  Other things are getting tossed by the wayside as I focus on achieving the look I want.  I'm much closer now than I was last week, that's for sure.

I've also made a number of postcards and a couple of little quiltlet birthday cards, but I'm not sure what I did with the photos.  oh well.

And I finished up a promised quilt-for-hire on Tuesday. 

It had come into my possession right at Show Time (mid-April), and I said I couldn't do it just then.  I was told, "no hurry."  Well, I don't know if you know me and deadlines, but if you tell me "no hurry," and don't give me a time frame or "finish by" date, it gets pushed down the to do list as other things pop on.  On Monday night, I got an email from the owner.  oops.  She said she wanted to pick it up and do it herself, as I was too busy to get it done.

I love a challenge.

I got up at 6am Tuesday and went to work.  By the time she called at noon, her quilt was done.

I didn't quilt all of it.  She had done the in the ditch, around the applique, and the stippling.  All she wanted me to do was the free-motion work in the borders.  It was a lot of fun, once I actually went to work.  And it was a very nice break from all of the handwork I've been focusing on.  I echoed some of the patterns of the applique blocks.

 And there you go.  Photographic evidence that I am alive and well and quilting like a maniac.  I am hoping that the next time I check in, I'll be able to tell you that my quilt sandwich is together, and the quilting has begun.  Goals are good!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Stitch, Stitch, Stitch

I'm continuing to pursue this crazy dream of finishing a quilt to submit for Houston.  Time is of the essence.  I've been moving my needle as quickly as I can, as often as I can.  I have one border left to embroider.  Over the past couple of weeks, the size of my quilt has more than doubled.  It began as a 24" square.  When I finish, it shall measure 36" square.  It doesn't sound like it's THAT much bigger, but it's gone from 576 sq in to 1296 sq in:  That's a difference of 720 sq in!!!

Isn't math fun?  :)

I've also worked on a few other odds and ends, but for the most part, I've been stitching.  Stitch faster!  Stitch faster!

Just thought I should check in and let you know I haven't forgotten you.  I'm just really, really trying to focus.  Goals are good!  We've got some weekend plans and then some, so I really do have to spend every spare moment on this quilt...if I want to submit it to Houston.


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Grand Plans

Okay, so I want to get back on my weekly goal setting.  I know I'm late, but better than not at all...

I believe we're on week #19.  Does anyone else think this year is going by much too quickly? 

Coming right up is the deadline to enter your quilt in Houston.  If you don't enter, you don't get in, right?  Then again, you have to have something to enter...which I'm working on.  Stitch, stitch stitch!

I have hours and hours of handwork in my future, as well as 8 machine-stitched seams, binding and quilting.  Entries must be received by May 30.  On Facebook I've seen more than one quilter concede that she will not make it.  oh dear!  To be received by May 30, it needs to be mailed...before then.  What would we do without FedEx?  ;)

But I'm definitely getting ahead of myself.  Stitch, stitch, stitch!

If I don't blog much during the next couple of weeks, imagine me with my head down, stitching like a mad woman.  Goals are good, and this month's goal it to get something submitted to Houston. 

Stitch faster!  Stitch faster!!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Not a Hopper

So this weekend was the Heart of the Valley Shop Hop.

I'm not a hopper.  I've unintentionally hit a couple of hops in SoCal and Napa, but for the most part?  I'm not a fan of crowds.  And I don't like to drive just to drive.  But on Friday?  I headed out and hit 3 of the participating shops that are in my neck of the woods.  :)

I always stop by Thimble Towne.  It's 5 blocks from my house.  To NOT see what Jeremy has done to get ready for the hoppers would just be rude.  :)  He had a Sock Hop, complete with vinyl records and poodle skirts (or leather jackets) for everyone's photo op.  The proof is all over Facebook.  It was a lot of fun, and I did shop.  :)

I also drove to Porterville.

I had to go to the walnuts, which is already halfway there, so a stop at Tina's seemed like a good idea.  I shopped there too.  :)

But the main reason I got on the road on Friday was to see the results of the Iris Challenge, hanging at the Calico Mermaid.  See me smile.  :)

The Chamber of Commerce acts as the judges, and I guess they had quite a time deciding.  They finally ended up with ties for first AND ties for second.  My "Iris Garden" tied for first with Becky Haley's quilt, which hangs just to the right of mine.

Georgia was also taking photographic evidence of shoppers.  Sure, I'll be a sport.  :)

As to quilting, I've made a few cards recently, which have been sent on their way.  I feel bad when I'm sending March birthday wishes in May, but then I remind myself that, after all, we did have a quilt show.  :)

Thank you, Blogger, for not messing with the orientation!  :)

Other than that, I've been madly piecing and embroidering on a piece that I dream of submitting to Houston this year.  That dream means that I can't waste time.  This is a time-intensive exercise in handwork. 

If nothing else, I'm likely to finish Season 2 of Downton Abbey.  Goals are good!  ;)

Friday, May 3, 2013


So I've been grandly goal-setting and thinking that I plan to do this, that, and the other thing.  But the asthma kicked in last week, and seems to be here to stay.  Rather than follow through on those best laid plans, I'm plugging along, taking mid-day naps, and simply trying to breathe. 

goals are good.

At Retreat, I finished two baby quilt tops, to wit:
I "finished" the Sara-inspired top in my previous post.  I'm trying to add a wee bit of embellishment, but it's not currently a priority.

I started a new project, but there's nothing to show.  For the most part, it's in my head.

My latest fantasy is that I'm going to finish a project from last year, and submit it to Houston.  That means it needs to be Finished finished in a couple of weeks.  Call me crazy.  I'll post a picture once it's done.

But really, right now?  All I want to do is breathe...