Friday, September 14, 2018

I'm (thinking about) coming back

Hello everyone!  The anniversary of my three year hiatus from this blog is coming up, and I'm thinking of bringing it back.   I've been retired six months now, and have been busy on lots of projects.  Does anyone read blogs anymore?  LOL We'll see. 

Here I am with the latest edition to my family, my niece, Kate's, baby Henry.  What a cutie pie! 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Six on Sunday - Week 20

Back up into the attic for me, clearing out some larger items.  At this rate, we may have nothing stored in the attic soon!

Old stereo system, light fixture that came with the house (now replaced), books from a computer we haven't had for years - 88 pounds

Susan pulled some hardbacks from one of our many bookcases, as well as a box of puzzles we may never have managed to solve (if we ever tried to).

Five books (mostly memoirs), a box of puzzles - 9.5 pounds

Books are one thing that we have a lot of, many of which we can probably stand to let go.  It will take quite a while, six at a time, for us to get down to just the books we can't bear to part with!


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Trinity Valley Quilt Show - Three Grand Illusions

I made a flying tour of the Trinity Valley Quilt Show this past Friday, right before we left for Shreveport to see Grandma in the hospital.  I knew she would not begrudge me an hour at the show before our visit.  There were lots of beautiful quilts, including three of Bonnie Hunter's most recent mystery quilt, Grand Illusion - all three were in the original color scheme, and all three were properly attributed to Bonnie.  I apologize in advance for the poor quality of the pictures, all I had with me was my phone.

Here is the winner of Best in Show.  This appliqued beauty was made by Peggy Sympson and quilted by Dawn Smith and Karen Denny, pattern "Baltimore Liberty" by Pearl Pereira.

I just love the elephant and the donkey, and the quilting is fabulous.

This might just be the most beautiful eagle I have ever seen.

The first Grand Illusion, called "Grand Delusion" by Beth Rhodes, quilted by Dawn Smith, won an Honorable Mention in the Masters category.

I just loved "Forever Blooming" by Sally Brown, quilted by Susan Corbett, pattern "Forever Blooming" from P3 Designs, which took second place in the Masters division.

What a gorgeous quilt!  I love the basket.  And just look at how wonderfully the background was quilted by Ms. Corbett.

The tall larkspur(?) is really striking too.  Ms. Brown stated that it felt like this quilt had "at least one million appliqued pieces... at least it felt that way."  I'm sure it did, but what an awesome accomplishment.

Ms. Brown also said she made all but the lilac sashing using only her stash.  That must be some stash!

There were many beautiful appliqued quilts, including this showstopper called "Promise of Joy" by Kathy Crane, quilted by Sabina Thompson, pattern "Hearts and Tulips" by Margaret Docherty, which took third place in the Artisan category.  I have Ms. Docherty's Little Brown Bird book, a copy of which took Best in Show at the Dallas Quilt Celebration several years ago. Magnificent!

Ms. Crane said this was her first appliqued quilt.  And just look at all of Ms. Thompson's pebbling.  That must have taken ages and ages to do.

Here is another of the Grand Illusions, made by Jan McCoy, quilted by Delores Talbot, called "Not Your Sunday Picnic" because "it was a real challenge to make."  Amen, sister.  I hear that!

And here is the third Grand Illusion, made by Barbara McClellan, quilted by Susan Corbett, called "Grand Obsession".  I think I can related to that name too.  This GI took second place in the Artisan Large Pieced/Machine Quilted division.

This beautiful Judy Niemeyer pattern called "Golden Harvest," pieced and quilted by JoLynn O'Neil, won an Honorable Mention in the Masters Small Pieced/Machine quilted category.  I just love her striking color choices.

This Christmas quilt by Bernina OESD called "Magic in the Air," made and quilted by Deborah McFatridge, won an Honorable Mention in the Artisan Digitized category.  What beautiful Christmas colors.

This crowd-pleaser by Java House, called "Oh Howly Night" was made and quilted by Jenn Haxton.

I love the raccoon:

And the wolf:

And especially the rabbit!

"Oh Howly Night" won the N.Q.A CJ Award of Merit for "Outstanding Achievement in Quiltmaking".  I should think so. If you were wondering, N.Q.A. CJ stands for "National Quilt Association Certified Judge."

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Tatting Tuesday - What I've been doing instead of tatting

This is what I've been doing lately instead of tatting.

Master bathroom shower floor
The floor of our shower in the master bathroom developed problems.  The "mud" or concrete under the tiles had begun to break down, making the floor uneven, cracking the grout and causing a leak. Luckily for us, the bathroom is over the garage, so it only dripped on the garage floor.

I tried to do a quick fix, which left the tiles uneven and the grout kept cracking loose. And, it only stopped the leak for a little while. 

Now I am attempting a more thorough fix, removing all the tile and the loose "mud" underneath, patching the mud, and installing new tile.  This is the patched mud, which still needs some smoothing and evening out. Then I can put down new tile, grout it, and thoroughly seal it.  Hopefully this will stop the leak for a long time.


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Six on Sunday - Week 19

Today is Leftover Sunday: leftovers from previous Six on Sunday culls make up this week's submission.  

We have eight prehistoric textbooks from two weeks ago.
Old, old textbooks - 15 pounds
And four items from the pantry reorganization of last week.
Coffee pot, bread slicer, mini-fridge parts, freebie lunch bag - 4.75 pounds
I'll take the textbooks to the used book store and see what I can get for them.  The pantry items will go to Goodwill; maybe somebody needs a lunch bag, or a replacement coffepot.


Saturday, September 19, 2015

Baby Jackets and Hospitals

Grandma has hit a rough patch health-wise, and had to go to the hospital on Friday.  They packed her hand-work (but no clothing) so I was able to finish her latest baby jacket for her while we visited her there.  Isn't it cute?  This one is already spoken for.  We have not done a white one in awhile. 

Grandma is doing pretty well (really exceptionally well for 103) and should get to go home on Monday.  She had a nasty infection, but the IV antibiotics seem to have gotten it under control pretty quickly.  She was much happier after her doctor allowed her to remove the (really tight) compression stocking from her sore ankle. 

I told the nurse that Grandma learned how to crochet in 1916 when her family was quarantined when her father had smallpox.  She could not believe it.  How many people alive have actually seen smallpox?  It was eradicated in the US in 1949.  One hundred three is really old.  Remember baby Sybil on Downton Abbey?  Grandma would have been old enough to babysit her!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Dear Jane C-11, Soldiers and Sailors Monument - in Progress with Curved Seams!

This is a tough block.  I have never worked with curved seams before, and the quarter circles of C-11 have a really tight radius.  I drew seam lines on both sides of the curves and used lots and lots of pins.  I started pinning in the center, and used a guide pin to place each subsequent pin.

I had to be careful to stay on the line on the reverse side too, and to ease in the seam just enough for it to lay flat.  This was a huge pain. It would have been much easier to applique.

The results were OK, not great, considering all those pins.  I found that I had snipped too deeply on the first few seams, and the curve pivoted at the snips, messing up the smooth contour of the line. Oh well, live and learn.

The backs lay nice and smooth, and most of the wrinkles ironed out nicely.  :)

The center circle is definitely going to be appliqued; I just have to finish prepping the circle.  The purple circles in the batik seem to line up beautifully.  I'm hoping that illusion will distract from the imperfection of the seams.  

More yellow sections will have to be fussy cut out of the batik (which was barely yellow at all) to edge the block.

I'll be glad to have this block complete so I can start work on the nice simple paper-piecing block that's next.

Happy quilting,
Susan in Texas

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Harlequin-Johnny Setting Triangles Complete

The Harlequin-Johnny setting triangles got their curves trimmed smooth, and their edges lined with red, which was all they needed to be complete.  My next step will be to put the rows of quilt blocks together on point. 

It looks as if Harlequin-Johnny is going to be a little small for our queen bed unless I take additional steps.  Since I only want to bind the curved scallops, not add a border to them, I am going to try to place a row of batik between the red edges and the ends of the rows to make a zigzag border log cabin style.  I can see it in my head, but I haven't proved it on the quilt yet.  Wish me luck!

Happy quilting,
Susan in Texas

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Tatting Tuesday - Snow Dragon Wing Done

The second wing of the Norwegian Snow Dragon is finally done and attached to the body!  Yay!

Norwegian Snow Dragon - Tatting complete
Now all I have to do is work in the ends, and block and stiffen it.

This was quite a project.  Easily the most complex I've done, and not just because I had to learn new techniques (like the Single Shuttle Split Ring). Now I'm looking forward to something simpler, like helping Grandma with a few projects of hers.


Monday, September 14, 2015

Dear Jane - C9, Jane's Tears, and Grand Illusion Sashings Complete

These "Tears" were fun to applique.  Lots of nice, smooth curves and only a single, not too pointy, point. I finished this block while chatting up a storm at the project day last Friday.  It is always nice to have some handwork to do in a group setting.

I never did get my sewing machine out of its carrier on Friday since I spent the rest of the afternoon pinning the halves of the Grand Illusion sashing together.  If you remember, Clue 3 took me a really long time to complete.  I also had neglected to iron about three quarters of the many many required units, so I had to do that first before I could start pinning.  I used Sheila's vintage Shark brand iron and was it ever nice and hot!

I completed the next task on the Harlequin-Johnny setting triangles last night.  The triangles are now edged in red and the scallops have been neatly trimmed.  They look SO much better, but I do not have pictures of them yet, so that will have to wait until Wednesday.

Happy quilting!
Susan in Texas