Thursday, March 20, 2014

In the Warm

Well, I've been back in Arizona for a little over 48 hours now.  The weather is, of course, marvellous.  In the morning I go for an hour walk, half of that hour with my dear Sis.  Yesterday I went to the quilting group and put together a charity quilt that I need to do the machine quilting on.  I just happened to return the day they had their quilters' luncheon.  I enjoy that group of women a lot!  Are quilters always such nice people?

Today Dear Sis and I went to an art show right here in the community center of our village.  There were many beautiful paintings, mostly watercolours.  I met a woman named Mardell who is going to teach a water colour class next October, November and December.  Wonderful!  Just what I would like to be part of.

Then I had even better news from her: she is also a musician and is a member of a chamber orchestra that meets near here, composed of all retired people who live in this area.  They are short of viola players, so when we come down next fall I'll take along my viola.  I will be thrilled to be part of a string group again.  I have missed that so much and had even voiced the thought to the Dear One that perhaps that activity in my life had come to an end, not because I was willing to forgo the pleasure, but because it just wasn't available to me where we live in Alberta.  So that was wonderful news for me to hear.

Then I went to the pool for a session of swimming and sitting in the sun reading and knitting.  Came home around 5 p.m. for a light supper and then talked with the Dear One for a bit by phone.

What a lovely day this has been!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Missed Goal

The current major quilt is off the design
wall, and it was looking very bare.  So a "new" current project takes its place. >>>>
This top was partially finished some time ago.  I really like how dynamic it is, but it looks a little bit "tame" when hung this way.  Right side up shows more motion.

Quilt Club met this past Tuesday and I finished sewing this top together that day.  It's hanging sideways here.  It measures 60" x 72" without borders.  The black strips and small blocks to the left are being considered for a border.  Not sure yet what will eventually come about.

I had hoped to finish the major quilt I was working on before going away for a month, but that didn't happen.  There was just a bit too much to do yet, so that project is folded up and put away in the quilting stash closet.

I probably won't post for a few days, as I will be travelling.  Going south to the warm place!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

A Breakfast Treat

Years ago Pillsbury had a jingle in a TV ad that ran "Nothing says lovin' like something from the oven...."  I took that to heart, and when we moved to Alberta in 1971 with our four kids I decided to make all the baked goods we eat: bread, buns, cakes, cookies, scones, etc.

This morning I needed to make something for breakfast and thought of scones, just plain ones this time, made with butter of course, with a bit of whole wheat flour added in.

What a treat!  A hot scone cut in half and loaded with homemade cherry jelly!

There were ten of them.  Jim ate four and I ate one------There are now five left, enough for another breakfast at a later date.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

An Idea

 This morning as I was trimming 1/2 square triangles I had an idea.  My green cutting mat, which I've had for many years, is getting very beat up where I do most of the squaring up of blocks.  I've used it with the numbers right side up and reversed.  This morning I thought, I should try turning the mat over and seeing if the blank side is the same material, giving a new cutting surface.  And YEAH!  It was a fresh, good cutting surface.

The funny thing about it was that as soon as I turned the mat over the "new cutting mat odor" rose from the surface.  I was so surprised that it smelled new, just because that side had always been face down on the cutting table.

Yesterday I was able to finish only 6 blocks.  I try to do 8 each day, and sew them together into rows and attach the new rows to the ones already finished.  It was just not a good sewing day.

This quilt is probably the most difficult I've ever made, and that's because it is just chock full of points that have to match exactly.  Because the background is a pretty stark white, any slight discrepancy in a point match shows up.  There are hardly any blocks in this quilt that have not had at least one seam ripped out and resewed.  Many intersections have been redone three times, some four, and one memorable one was redone six times!  I am really, really sick of ripping out and redoing.

But as you see in the photo, I'm nearly finished with the last panel.  I have just two and a half more rows of four blocks each and then this panel is complete.  The making of the three layer "sandwich" and machine quilting don't take all that long.  I would really like to finish this before I leave for Arizona on the 18th of this month.  But I will quit working on it after next Tuesday's quilt club meeting.

This Morning

This morning it's coming down thick!  March and April are the months when, statistically, we get the most snowfall.  Kind of gruesome to contemplate right now!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Not Much Progress

 The last few weeks I spent a lot of time sewing on the current quilt project and made a lot of progress.  Especially coming up to this past Tuesday things were really coming along nicely.  I pushed to reach the point at which I could spend my time at the meeting (from 1 p.m. to about 8:30 p.m. with time off for a tea break and a supper break) doing the machine quilting on the panel for the foot of the bed.  I met both of those goals, and was very satisfied with that.

By Friday of this week only the right hand of these two rows had been finished.  These are for the left side panel.  There need to be thirteen rows like this.  Friday morning I started sewing on the two pinwheels, the gold and blue ones.  I sewed, picked out, sewed, picked out until the material could handle
no more without becoming "holey."  Nor could I handle any more of that frustration, so I stopped sewing on it.

I mended two of Jim's flannel shirts and did a little ironing.  Then I took the summer quilt from our bed and replaced the red border.  This quilt has been in use for 14 years and the border fabric had frayed open in several places.  This is a orangey/red print that I bought in 1981 to make a very cute cat quilt for our DD#2, who was 11 at that time, so the fabric was on the old side.  I still have quite a bit of it, so I cut and applied a new border.  Now it will be useable for several more years.

We use this quilt as a sheet/blanket in the summer, so it goes into the washing machine on a regular basis.  I'm not one who wants to just preserve the quilts I make.  They are for daily use, and when they wear out, well, good!  I can make another one.

The current project was supposed to replace this quilt, but when I couldn't find 3 oz. polyester batting, I just bought the lightest batting available here in our little town.  It's too heavy for a summer quilt, so it will become our "bedspread" quilt, beautifying our bedroom and spending the nights on the quilt stand.

Since Friday I did some more sewing and now have 3 of the 13 rows completed for this panel.  I will try hard this week to finish the panel so that I can machine quilt it at our next quilt club meeting.