Back at it

To work, that is.  I started back to my regular 4am schedule on Thursday after being off for six weeks and can honestly say that I thought two days of work was going to kill me.  It may yet.

To use a family phrase, “I’m so t-a-r-d tired, that I could f-a-r-t faint”. 💨

Don’t ask.  Just go with it.

While I was out, I did eventually sit down and accomplish a few things on the sewing front.  A word of caution: do not wield a rotary cutter while under the influence of narcotics.  It’s a miracle I still have all my digits. 🙌🏻

Thankfully I have a handy dandy Accuquilt Studio to do a lot of the cutting now.  Of course, there are still blades to contend with, but there’s at least a modicum of foam covering them up.

I cut out four rag quilts, two of which are finished.  Do I have pictures?  Nope.  🙄

I also cut out two Bonnie Hunter quilts, Garden Party and Crabapples.

The picture below constitutes the beginnings of Garden Party.  I already had a ton of Kaffe Fassett fabrics cut into the correct sizes and it would’ve been tons quicker to use them, but did I?  Obviously not.  Why make things easier, amiright?!

Lordy, but I do so love polka dots!  And I have a ton of them.  Logic said if I used up a bunch of them, I’d clear some shelf space.  I started with two and a half stacks of polka dots.  Post cutting, guess what, I still have two and a half stacks of polka dots…and another box of 1 1/2″ strips.  Yikes!  Fabric’s a lot like bunnies…quite proliferative.


Little units coming together…


And help from the dachshund.


Funny how all these little pieces didn’t take long to put together.


Until I eventually had blocks.  Boom 💥   Audiobooks 📚 make sewing go so much faster than watching 📺.  Love me some Sue Grafton and Earlene Fowler! 


I’m still working on the nine patch units blocks, but I’m getting there.  The orange 🍊 makes my heart ❤️ go pitty pat.


And more help from Ziva.  Downward dog, anyone?


Then there’s the Crabapples fabric.  Look at all those 1 1/2″ squares!  👀.  This one’s all cut out and ready to go.  


I’ve also made progress on En Provence.  With a bit of aggravation thrown in.  What is quilting, after all, but equal parts pleasure and pain?


I laid each block out on my design wall to make sure I got everything oriented correctly and discovered to my dismay that I hadn’t, despite counting and recounting, pieced enough units to make sixteen of these blocks.  There may have been some salty language bandied to and fro.  

Mostly fro, but some to as well.  

Do I go back, cut more fabric and piece the needed units?  No!, my inner toddler whined and no it shall stay.  I made a make-do block from the leftover units and a couple of solid squares.  Life sallies forth and so shall I.  I’ll post a picture when the flimsy is complete.

I also still have quite a bit of work left on Double Delight, but I took one look at it all and decided nope, not today.  For six solid weeks.  Sue me.  One day it will be done!

Toward the end of my leave, my quilting friend Deb of the blog, My Quilty World, came down my way for a retreat.  As I was feeling a bit down, I asked if I could pop in and get a dose of red-headed sunshine.  She said yes and I got a much-needed Deb hug and smile.  Thanks, Deb!  Love you bunches 💐

I also got this…

Photo credit: Deb Singer-Hayter of My Quilty World 

Ignore the fact that I look like a nincompoop, but holy smokes, it’s Bonnie in the flesh!!!

😀😃😄😁😆😀😃😄😁😆😀😃😄😁😆😀😃

Earlier that same week, my mom and I got to watch The Diva participate in her first track meet.


Why, yes, I will be one of those obnoxious sports parents, yelling and carrying on. Too much fun!


Her events are the 1600 and the 2400.  The bottom photo was the 1600 where they combined boys and girls.  So proud of her.

Well, I think I’ve packed enough into the post.  

Until next time, its nap time 😴 .

Keep swimming 

First, a plethora of gratitude for those who offered up words of encouragement following this week’s profanity-laden meltdown.  Y’all are awesome and appreciated.  Thanks for sticking around.


Mama got the rest of her staples out yesterday (double knee replacement) and ‘celebrated’ by doing the laundry and ironing today.  Weirdo.  Oops, I mean…love ya, Ma!  😘   I did a verbal vomit all over her and got some sound advice about things.  Hey, it’s not as if the woman can move very fast yet.  There was no chance of escape.

I even found a bright spot in going to the DMV to renew my license.  In and out in…wait for it.  Guess?  Guess how long it took me?

Fourteen minutes!  Fist 👊🏻 bumps all around!!

Post-meltdown, I’ve tried to devote a little bit of time every day to getting something creative done.  Yesterday, it was writing Christmas cards.  I’m not a wordy person, blog wordiness notwithstanding.  But I tried for a bit of wit.  If you get a card and it’s something goofy sounding, just know it’s coming with the best of intentions.  Falalalala 🎶 😳

I’ve also been working on Clue 2 for Bonnie Hunter’s En Provence mystery quilt.  I like to think I’m leading from behind because trying to hurry and catch up only serves to freak me out.


I’ve opted for the paper-pieced version for this clue.  My perfectionism is stroked and soothed by the power that is the absolute guarantee of awesome that is achieved by this method.  Does that make sense?  Put another way: anal-retentives rejoice!  Everything matches; all points meet…can I getta hallelujah?!


The flip side is my perfectionism doesn’t at all appreciate ‘scrappy’.  Everything must match and scrappy does not match!!  Pretty soon I’m going to have to breathe into a paper bag.  Onward I trudge.

Today has been especially good weather for sewing…cold, windy, overcast.  Even Ziva the Diva appreciated her sweater today.


Although I have to say, I’m over the overcast already.  Where’d the sun go to anyway?

Inside, there’s a fire and a vintage sewing machine waiting to be fed.


I love my Featherweight.  He asks no questions, he tells no lies and he has zero expectations.

Onward.

Blogging, Quilting and Griping (and possibly cursing)

Do you know what happens when you go almost an entire month without blogging?  I do.  But you knew that right, that I already had the answer because, naturally, if I’m going to pooch screw something I’ll immediately get on here and tell y’all all about it.  Because why writhe about in angst and shame alone, amiright?!

For the love of Pete, all I wanted was to update about my progress on the mystery quiltalong.  Hey, I’m ahead this time!  And then, boom, there’s the payback for my chutzpah. 💥. The entire post was written and all I had to do was hit publish, but no, I had to go back and correct that grammatical error and poof, the entire thing swirled the bowl and was gone with a resounding flush. 🚽

So, here I am trying for Blog Post: The Redo.  Wish me luck.

Tomorrow is the day for another clue reveal in the Chasing the Sun mystery quiltalong of which I am taking part.  You can find the page on Facebook and join in…it isn’t too late!


This past clue is the only one I’ve managed to finish ahead of time, never mind that they’ve all been bite-sized and really manageable.  With me, there’s just no telling what’s going to happen.  Kind of like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates, only without Gump.  Or the chocolates.  Sigh.

At any rate, I’ve stitched up a heap and wound up with some bits, pieces, strips and even some blocks.  Some of the bits I can’t explain, like four strips of one inch blocks…🤔

And four of these purple thangs…🤔🤔

And one itty bitty square in a square…🤔🤔🤔


Best not to think on these things too long.  I need all the brain cells I can muster.

The first block to be completed was the Children’s Delight.  I’m still questioning the wisdom of the deep purple, but the instructions called for black, so…dark purple, black…same difference.


Golly, I love the orange Grunge…so much, in fact, that I went back and bought the rest of the bolt.  Hey, it was lonely in that shop!

Each of the clues has involved what the designer called ‘Unit A’.  After dealing with sixty of them over the course of virtually every single clue, I have renamed the little turds.  No, that’s not it.  I could tell you, but the sound of my mother’s voice enunciating not only my first name, but my middle name as well in That Tone that all mothers use, is the only thing stopping me.  Little bastards.  No, that’s not it either.

Don’t ask me what my problem with them is because I can’t tell you.  It’s like the adage about trying to define porn: ‘I can’t define it, but I know it when I see it’.  I hate Unit A almost as much as Brussels sprouts and every sport except hockey (go Red Wings!)

In the end, what I’ve got (so far) are 4 Children’s Delight blocks, 16 Courthouse Steps and 60 eff…, I mean Log Cabin blocks.


There’s still a truckload of fabric left to be cut. Better hope no one comes to visit because there’s no where to hang a coat.


While I bide my time until tomorrow’s reveal, I’ve pulled out Double Delight by Bonnie Hunter again and am in the process of piecing 130 3 1/2″ nine patches.  Yes, that’s 1-3-0.

At least they aren’t Unit As.

Revisiting Mary Ellen’s Sunflowers 

You remember this quilt top?


It’s the one my great-grandmother made, the one desperately in need of quilting, the elephant sitting squarely in the middle of the quilting room.  Since that blog post in 2011, I haven’t touched this baby.  I decided this was the time.

Luck and an escape from work allowed me to hit the road to Brazos House in Rainbow, TX again for the second time this year.  Squeal!  The Diva claims the chuckle I emitted and happy dance I performed were just this side of pure evil.  Something told me this wasn’t kid code for cool.  So I did what any self-respecting mother would do.  I hopped on my broom and blew that popcorn stand, leaving behind His Awesomeness who may or may not have marked my departure as his good fortune; The Diva who bemoaned being left behind with two testosterone laden beings; Himself, whom I’m fairly certain I kissed as I blew out the door; and the dog, whom I’m sure is planning a retaliatory poop for my return home.  Be sure to flick it onto the carpet like last time, you little schnitzel!

Himself just stood there and looked like he’d been shot out of a cannon.  

There may be carnage when I get home.  At the very least, the house will look like a merry band of marauding Vikings encamped in the living room.  But for a few days of quilting in the country, I’ll take it.

The Diva and Himself (before becoming cannon fodder)

The more I make this trip, the faster it is to get here.  This may or may not have something to do with my willy-nilly adherence to posted speed limits and my general disregard for my own personal safety.  I like to think of it as survival instinct.  Only in reverse.  Because, even though I love ’em, sometimes a little distance makes me love them even more and want to kill them a little less.  Mommy loves you guys!

My mission this go round was to make headway with quilting the sunflowers.  You remember them?  Go back and read the beginning of this post.  I’ll wait.  Yes, I got sidetracked, but I’m back now.  Keep up.

The going is slow and tedious and requires significant snackage.  Yes, that’s a word because I said so.  Don’t argue with Mother.  Here’s a bit of progress.  I’m not showing it all because I’m mean and I want you to come back for more.  Plus, I haven’t had coffee yet so I’m not even human.


These colors aren’t true, but I’m making do.  They are, in fact, lighter and more toward the pastel side of things.  Eww.  Again, I digress.

There are twenty (pause for dramatic sobbing and liberal use of tissues) blocks.  Twenty.  Like what I was twenty-two years ago.  

I am going to die before I finish this thing (more sobbing and perhaps a fit of the vapors.  Where’s my fainting couch?) !!!

I did have a nice walk yesterday morning, with two lovely escorts.  I bet their bathroom business isn’t vindictive.  Take note my dictatorial dachshund!


And there was a trip to Babe’s for chicken fried steak.  Yes, that’s leftovers.  In my purse.  You can never be too prepared.


I’m not so Pollyanna or delusional as to think I’ll actually get this whole thing quilted, but a quilter can dream.

Until next time.

Converts!

I’m sure my mother felt the same way when I crossed over to the dark side and embraced quilting in all its glory, but, damn, has today been awesome!

My coworker, who shall remain nameless and faceless per her request, expressed interest in a machine I was selling, bought it, then came over to my house to learn all about it…and how to actually, you know, SEW!  

I had her firmly in my clutches!  Bwahahahahaha!!!!!

Here’s what she made.  

Two envelope pillow covers!  I’m so proud of you, H!!  She left with the q-word dangling from her lips, a couple of jelly rolls and some sewing swag.  Hey, why should I be the only one with an expensive hobby?!

The Diva also expressed an interest in taking up needle and thread again.  Flush with a healthy dose of awesome sauce after my morning success, I decided to go for it.  I helped with the cutting and some ironing, but she did the rest.  

  
I’m so tickled for them both.  I’m pretty pleased with myself, too.  I taught two someones something that didn’t involve profanity or questionable judgement.  Yay, me!

I’m off now to buy that lottery ticket!

Bite-size Quilting: 3 Nibbles

I’ve been cutting out bits and pieces here and there over the last 6 months to make blocks from Tula Pink’s “City Sampler 100 Modern Quilt Blocks” book.  There was an all-the-rage quilt along on FB and everybody and their dog was following along.  Picture after picture of really spectacular finishes….I love to see what fabrics people choose.  I got all kinds of inspired and jumped in with both feet.  Unfortunately, as in high school track, I couldn’t keep up.

Sadly, I’m only up to block nineteen-ish, give or take a skipped block or two.  Let it not be said that Stephanie was ever in a quilting hurry.

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This one is not my personal favorite.  I don’t know if it’s the cut of the fabric or the drunken-sailor stitching of the quilter, but I swear the individual components of this block are listing.

009

This one I like, though they aren’t my typical colors.

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I loved the brights in the, well, bright, fabric and they way they pop against the gray.  Isn’t gray the new neutral or was that last season and I just haven’t caught up yet?  No matter…

Nineteen down, eighty-one to go.

 

Playing Catch-Up

I have, to use the technical term, been ‘piddle farting’ around lately when it comes to sewing.  Forget quilting, it’s taking all I’ve got just to sew a few stitches before the energy level drops to zilch and I wake up the next day, on the sofa, snorting and drooling.  Lovely picture, but there it is.  Gotta love fibromyalgia.

At any rate, I got a few more Tula Pink blocks completed and have found that ‘scrappy’ is not something I enjoy.  Scrappy = chaos in my orderly universe and it’s giving me the hives.  But I’ve committed myself, to the project not the asylum, so I only have, oh, about 86 more blocks to go.  What color straightjacket should I choose when I’m done?  Something to complement my ensemble or should I be bold and go for contrast?

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008

009

010

Not as bright as some of the others, but that’s okay.  Maybe they’ll provide a resting spot for the eyes instead of making the whole quilt some sort of psychedelic horror show.

This morning it was lovely and cool with just a smidgen of wind.  I begged Himself to let me open the windows, but being a magnet for every particle of pollen in the known universe, he nixed that idea pretty quick.  So, I improvised.

011

I figure I might have a month’s worth of mornings that will be suitable for back patio sewing.  After that, we’ll be frying eggs out there.  It was loverly and quiet and testosterone-free as Himself and His Awesomeness sweated it out doing….well, I’m not sure.  Manly stuff, I presume, most probably involving bodily noises and car movies.  But that’s just a guess.

Happy Mother’s Day a day early to all the ladies out there.  I raise my glass to you (mainly because The Co-Defendants have driven me to drink) but also because we moms rock!

 

 

This, That and a Finish

I managed a finish this week…can I get a ‘hallelujah’ and a high-five, please!

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This is the first, and quite possibly last, quilt I’ve FMQd on a domestic machine.  I used Captain Jack the Janome that my mama gave me.  I did an all-over swirl around the Disney princesses…wouldn’t want to mar those pretty faces, you know!  I left a bit of backing fabric larger than the top, folded it over and sewed it down for the binding.  Not sure how I feel about it, but it may grow on me.  Like fungus, only not as furry.

Here’s a quilting close-up.  Don’t judge.  Or if you do, just don’t tell me.  I wore my snazzy Fons and Porter quilting gloves for the job.  Love them!

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Not nearly as smooth as what I can accomplish on mom’s mid-arm, but in a pinch, eh, it’ll do.

The Diva and I IHOPd for breakfast.  As a connoisseur of unexpected food pairings (cottage cheese and ketchup, anyone?) let me just say that chicken and waffles is as appealing as PeeWee Herman in a speedo.  Truly disgusting.

We intend to spend our day doing whatever the heck we want as we are man-less.  NO car shows, NO masochistic marathon sessions of NCIS, NO farting (unless you count the dog, but she’s a chick so she can stay).  Amen!  We can even do this…

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Looks like heaven to me.

Hey, did I mention Himself finally bought me a minivan?!  Here ’tis…

001

Ya, you betcha, I’m still laughing.

And last, but not least, I finished another Tula Pink block.

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We’re going wherever the day may lead.  Make yours an awesome one!

Tula Pink Kick in the Pants

To say I’ve allowed the fibro to kick my butt here lately would be a major understatement.  I have, for all intents and purposes, been utterly useless; even The Co-Defendants seem more productive.  SCARY!  This psychotic Texas weather doesn’t help in the least…both Friday and Saturday were warm (think 70s) and today it’s colder than a witch’s boob in a brass bra.  You’re welcome for that visual.  How about ‘colder than a frog’s butt’?

Friday afternoon I washed the tons of dirt off the Mom Mobile, paid for it big time on Saturday and got absolutely nothing done until evening.

I’m plodding along on the Tula Pink City Sampler blocks although I must say it’s pretty gratifying when I get even one of these little babies done.  Here are numbers 8 and 9…

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I think the tape measure one is my favorite so far.

Only 91 more to go!