#550

Here it is, my 550th blog post!  Not as catchy as Chanel No5 or OU812, but I’ll take it.

So this is where I finally get around to cataloging all the projects I completed at the last Brazos House retreat I attended Mother’s Day weekend.  

The larger the to-be-packed-pile became, the more disgruntled the dachshund.  That is a face that guarantees a retaliatory pee.  Little jerk!



Y’all, I kicked butt.  I don’t think there’s been a retreat where I’ve accomplished more.  Can you say ‘hurray’ for UFOs?!  Three cheers for being half-assed about your finishes!

Outside of my own home coming into view (assuming neither of The Codefendants has royally screwed the pooch while I’ve been gone all weekend and Himself is about to blow a gasket…yeah, don’t ask), the view below is my all-time favorite.


Happiness in five cattle guards!

Mom and I spent several days here with our quilting friends and one pink crop-toting sheriff.  Don’t ask.  I’m still scared of Sheriff L.  😳  It’s always the quiet ones that’ll get ya, isn’t it?  No picture though…what happens at retreat, stays at retreat.  🤐

My first finish was Garden Party by Bonnie Hunter.


All the posy blocks are polka dots.  All.  Of.  Them.  The chain blocks are the black and whites I’ve hoarded forever and orange, because orange is an under appreciated color and I love it.  The outer border is black with tiny white polka dots.  It’s been described as “halloweenish”.  Um, no, but whatever revs your engine.

I opted to straight set my blocks so that the chain blocks were on the diagonal.  The diagonal chains make me think of the Irish Chain block which makes me think of green Ireland 🇮🇪 which makes me happy.  In Bonnie’s pattern, the chains wound up hanging straight which made me think of executed prisoners.  ☠️.  Hey, if you’re looking for logic, this blog isn’t the place for you.  Move along…

The next finish was a leader/ender baby quilt from Garden Party.  I love the handprint border!


My final finish was En Provence, or as I like to call it, A Weed Grows in France 🇫🇷.   You see, this is what happens when you think you’ve cut enough units and then get down to the last block only to discover that you didn’t.


I’m still dithering on how I’ll do the last border.  I’m thinking purple…or maybe green…or maybe none at all.

This was the top that required some tiara power and a seam ripper.




There was a woolie project to play about with…thanks, Deb!  See the tiny heart and C + S on the tree trunk?  Himself and I will celebrate 20 years on the 31st.


Mom and I each won a round of LRC.  Here’s my loot…42 western fat quarters!


And a picture of my mother after she realized she’d won a jelly roll. 


This may be my last post if she ups and kills me for posting this.

I also won this lovely package of Perfect Man sponges.


And in the end, back home again to my sweet family.


I am now impatiently awaiting the arrival of September and my first ever beach retreat.

Quilt on, my peeps!

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Up All Night?

Not quite, but I haven’t stayed up until the midnight hour in ages (not even for my birthday and that’s New Year’s Day) so the fact that I am indeed still awake and somewhat functional is a testament to my determination to get stuff done…and the fact that I’m a four alarm idiot. Midnight, I haven’t missed you.

But…

I’ve gotten quite a bit done.  This retreat I decided to bring projects that have been in progress since Noah floated his ark.  Two by two?  More like four by four.

So far, I’ve finished two receiving blankets.  These were the only two new projects I brought.  Then again, it’s late and I may be forgetting what else I packed.

Let me just state for the record that Minkee, while soft and cuddly, makes me want to disembowel someone with a grapefruit spoon after I’m done sewing it up.  Wretched, horrid, nasty stuff.  Never again.   

   

I finished two strip quilt tops. 

  

  

  
And two rag quilts.  

  

Did I mention there are two days of retreat left?

For now, the bed is calling me.  ‘Night all!

Mr. Todd’s Quilt

Mr. Todd is a volunteer at the hospital where I’ve worked since 1996 and we’ve been buddies for most of those years.  He does all manner of things while assigned to the Emergency Department and occasionally finds himself in the lab where I work.  I’ve never known him to come in without seeking me out for a hug.  He reminds me quite a bit of my Dad’s dad, who was himself a polite, soft-spoken gentleman.

Anyway, several months back I decided he really  needed a quilt.  I finally settled on a Moda Union Blues by Barbara Brackman layer cake and some additional yardage to make a lap-size quilt.  As a side note: when I become President of the Quilting Universe, I’m going to insist on more fabric prints for men.  I’m sorry, but it’s really difficult to find fabric (at least in my neck of the woods) for a manly quilt that doesn’t involve hunting or fishing. 

I’ve used the pattern before and even blogged about it in the past, but cannot for the life of me remember which quilt shop put it out.  The directions are no help since the shop name isn’t listed on it. Sorry.

UPDATE: I have laid hands upon the link.  Hallelujah!  Here ’tis:

https://bowenstephanie74.wordpress.com/2014/03/16/the-quilt-on-point-tute/

Suffice to say, you sew five blocks across and eight down (40 blocks.  See…I mathed again.  Whohoo!). You make a cut diagonally one direction, flip the pieces about and sew a seam, press, make another cut and sew another seam and presto you’ve got a quilt top with setting and corner triangles built in.  Easy peasy.

I pieced it on Lennie the Featherweight and quilted it on what I’m told is a dressmaker’s sewing machine.  I’ve named him Tom Selleck.  Hunky devil, isn’t he?

Here ’tis. 

My quilting philosophy for this one was to keep it simple.  Usually I’m all for all over heavy quilting, but I took my meds and this was the result.  Simple, straightforward, no frills.  Manly.

Up close and personal.


And more gratuitous quilt porn… 

I even caved and put a label on it, something I NEVER do. 

I wish I could say I got a picture of him with it, but I was too busy hugging him and he was too busy enjoying it.  And really, isn’t that the point?

Labor Day Sewing

Nothing beats a three day weekend in my book.  With the kids quiet (God bless books!) and Himself ensconced in his favorite chair in front of the computer, I’ve been free to do as I please.  Shhhh, be very, very quiet.  If they notice I’m occupado doing something I like, all heck will break loose because, you know, kids.

I finished up the Texas Tech (boo!) rag quilt I’d been working on by running it through the wash.  I spent the next half hour cleaning all the threads from the inside of my washer and the dryer lint trap.  I love the look of rag quilts but, boy, are they messy. I gave it a good shake (the quilt, not my fanny) out on the patio and out popped more threads.  At least the birds will have nesting materials, right?

  
I love how the clipped edges get all curled up, don’t you?

  
I’ve used batting, flannel and just plain ‘ol quilters cotton in between the top and backing.  Sometimes I skip the middle layer altogether.  

Assuming I’ve used batting, flannel for top and bottom makes for an exceptionally heavy quilt which I personally love; flannel for top and cotton for bottom with a flannel center is perfect for Texas winters.  For summer, yes I use a quilt in the summer, you can get away with just the two layers.  

Some folks will cut the middle layer to be slightly smaller.  Me?  I cut all three layers the same size so I can see the middle peeking out.  It’s personal preference.

This quilt is pretty lightweight since I used a very thin flannel for the ‘batting’.

  
The backing has scripture written all over it.  I’ve been saving it for the perfect occasion.

    
Tomorrow I’ll drop it in the mail and get it on its way.

Flimsy Finish

I nabbed a scrap bag of red and white 2 1/2″ strips from my local quilt shop with nary a thought as to what I’d do with it, don’t we all, but for the price, I couldn’t pass it up.  Let’s call it a fabric liberation, shall we?

 
I’ve been working on several projects that follow a pattern and wanted something quick and easy.  Something to just zip through under the pressor foot with wild abandon.  A no-brainer, if you will.

I decided a jelly roll race quilt was perfect. 

I’ve yet to perfect my technique.  Do I press as I go or wait until the whole shebang is finished?  Naturally, being the somewhat lackadaisical gal I am, I always opt to press at the end and wind up grousing the whole time.  I’ll never learn.

  

I think this pack had more strips than the commercially marketed Jelly Rolls by Moda which accounts for how much larger it seems than a standard JRR quilt. Also, as I pieced, it dawned on me that the reds are all different….some bright and true, some muted.  But, no matter. ‘Tis done.  Let the rejoicing commence!

Before you ask, I’ve no intention of bordering this puppy.  Nuh-uh.

  

I’ll use this red for the binding.  Love.

  

I’ve dubbed this flimsy ‘Sour Cherries’.

Happy Friday!

Rag Quilt

The start of the new school year always puts a bit of a crimp on my sewing time.  There’s the wandering hither and yon for last minute supply needs (steel toed boots…yes, boots), the bank to wrest more funds from my account for said supplies and those pesky orientation nights that I’d just as soon avoid.

Don’t you just love it when the little darlings ask for money for the next day at 10 pm?  Please don’t tell me if yours don’t do that.

I did get this rag quilt pieced.  Now all that’s left is the clipping…and clipping…and clipping.

  
Happy Friday, y’all!

The Retirement Quilt

🎶🎺🎶🎺🎶🎺🎶🎺🎶🎺🎶🎺🎶🎺

Strike up the band and can I get a chorus of ‘hallelujahs’ while I’m at it because, hello, I finished a quilt!

💃🎵💃🎵💃🎵💃🎵💃🎵💃🎵💃🎵

Not being one that actually finishes anything quilt related under tight time constraints, I can at least give myself a pat on the back that I finished it this YEAR!

  
Made for friend and (now former) coworker, Merle, on her retirement after 25 years at the hospital, it was a kit of gorgeous blue batiks.

The greenish marbled backing is also batik.  I used the ‘wrong’ side of the fabric as the right side had a really busy design.  It’s the first quilt I’ve ever completely bound by machine.  Me likey a lot.

  

Let me tell you a little about Merle.  She’s one of those people who is perpetually cheerful.  She’d sing the ‘Good Morning’ song and even though I’d roll my eyes and make gagging noises, I have to say…I kinda miss it.  And her.  

For the longest time,  I couldn’t decide if it was her nature or pharmaceuticals.  

It’s her.

  
The lady has mad kitchen skills.  Need a cake?  Here’s Merle.  Breakfast, lunch, brunch, snack, dinner?  Merle.  Recently had a baby?  Here’s Merle with casserole, salad, rolls AND dessert?!  Crap, I can’t even pull that off myself on a weeknight.

Just don’t start a debate on what constitutes chili.  Hint: there are NO noodles in chili.  

She’s a fount of marital advice, most of which I’ve cheerfully ignored.  Hey, Himself needn’t ever know about SNAP, m’kay?

I don’t do quilt labels ever, but I did put this on the back of hers and included her trademark expression.

   

Use it up until there’s nothing left, Merle.  Enjoy!
  

Bug-eyed Snowballs

Last night’s finish is another ten-year plan project.  I suppose I should feel some shame in letting my projects languish unfinished for so long, but it’s rather cool to say I started this last century.

Whatever rings your chimes I guess.  

I took the picture this morning in a very heavy mist surrounded by nature, farm animals and Stephen King novel-worthy mosquitoes.  Perfect weather to stay inside and sew (or stay outside, heavily doused with bug repellant).

  
This project introduced me to partial seams, something I never considered putting on my bucket list and something I never care to do again.  Much like dating unsuitable young men or swerving on rain-slickened pavement to avoid wild boar carcasses.  Don’t ask about that last one.

 What a pain in the keister.

As usual, it has its share of puckers and mismatching, but it’s pieced.  And after another quick trip to town, I’m back with another project in the works.  Here’s hoping it’s done by the time I leave tomorrow.

Chickens and a False Start

My last retreat finish was a table topper.  The pattern, Center Piece, is from Pieced Tree.  A bit of a bummer that the kit didn’t come with quite enough fabric, but with Mom’s help I was able to make do.   The backing is the light green fabric with red trim.  Very vintage.

   

I started another UFO Sunday morning but was quickly thwarted by my damn machine.  Boy is Lennie the Featherweight in deep horse puckey. Can you tell I’m still a tad put out?  I’ve narrowed it down to a stray thread in the bobbin housing but haven’t worked up the nerve to take it apart.  Best to leave that for home where I can curse properly and with reckless abandon.

I did get one block finished just to see what’s what. The pattern is called A Mexican Mystery.  The block is Mexican Cross.

  

I guess three out of six completed UFOs isn’t bad for two solid days hunched over an ungrateful piece of metal.  With my free time today I think I’ll devise some sort of torture for my bellicose machine.