Of Quilts, Kids, and Questionable Odors

Mine is a world filled with the wondrous wonderfulness that is beautiful fabric: its softness, its supple textures, its exorbitant price tag.  Pretty fabric, lovely fabric, jump into my stash.  

I always say this weekend I will sew, which roughly translates to after tending to everything else.  

This weekend, ‘everything else’ has amounted to a plethora of experiences, some of which I’d just as soon avoid.

First up, letting His Awesomeness get behind the wheel. 😱  

This child, like his father before him, is a curb hugger.  I cannot tell you the times I’ve shrunk toward the driver’s side in an effort to, please, sweet baby Jesus!, don’t let us hit that mailbox!!  He doesn’t seem to appreciate that there’s plenty of asphalt for all to enjoy.  Never mind the fact that there is no oncoming traffic.  Meanwhile, my posterior is doing something my Mama nicely refers to as ‘working buttonholes in the seat’.  As much clenching as my butt cheeks have done, you should be able to bounce a quarter off ’em. Not that you’d want to since we’ve never formally met, but, you know.  Frankly, driving lessons should fall to the father, I mean biological here, not God, but boy have God and I had some pretty intense conversations during those drives.

In an effort to relax, I turn to Lennie the Featherweight.  Sewing for me is like a wonderful night on the town with a good looking man without all those pesky expectations of what happens when you get dropped at the door.  Lennie doesn’t care if I drink or swear, wear undergarments reminiscent of grannies and he certainly doesn’t expect to be invited in for a nightcap.  

On that note, I finished one flimsy and have moved on to another.  Clearly, quilting it isn’t high on my list of priorities, like shaving my legs in the dead of winter.

I don’t name my quilts, but this one reminds me of water flowing over rocks.  I love it.   

 
I’ve started another one that’s all flannel, because obviously, when the temperatures start to climb, you want to work with fabric that’ll  make you sweat like a hooker at a Saturday night tent revival.  Idiot. 

   

This past Friday, I said goodbye to my favorite volunteer who is moving to be closer to family.  I’ll miss you, Mr. Todd.  

And to round out my week, our newest furbaby decided it would be epically delightful to roll in something that smells of a wonderful dichotomy of sewage and death.  My Lulu never did this.  I can only guess that it’s a hound thing.  Bad Ziva!  

I’m hoping this next week leaves out the surprises and just leaves me with a tighter tush.

It’s the Final Countdown 

Nothing like a little 80s hair band reference to spur me on.

Ahem…

Next week, The CoDefendants will gleefully welcome Spring Break while, moi, Quiltnmama, having higher aspirations that involve having someone else cook and clean up (not to mention being able to pee uninterrupted) will be hot-footing it to quilt retreat. Can you hear the chorus of ‘Hallelujahs’ here?

Now, what to pack?  I figure if I’ve got the necessities covered like deodorant, a toothbrush, and clean undies (you know, in case I get in a car wreck 🙄), I’m good as gold.

What projects to bring is another matter.  Take too much, and I’ll be loading and unloading the Mommobile until menopause.  Take too little and I run the risk of finishing everything.

Hahahaha, finishing everything!

I have a better chance of landing a spot with the Rockettes.

So, with today being a beauty, I threw open the windows to, in the words of my Mama, blow the stink off.  This is the same woman who advocates always wearing good underpants “in case you get in a car wreck”.  I know, the logic escapes me, too.  Never mind the fact that I’m married and no one cares about my underpants but Himself (and apparently my mother), but were I ever to get in a car wreck, you can bet dollars to donuts all the hot EMTs and firemen would be on vacation.  Yes, I’m shallow.  But if I have to be in a car wreck, dammit, I want hot men to rescue me!

Where was I?  Oh, yes…a beauty of a day.

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I have many projects in various states of completion.  Do I want to piece or do I want to quilt at retreat?  Decisions, decisions.

I decided to start another project.  Three cheers for procrastination!

I was asked to make a Texas flag quilt for a friend’s mother, so I doodled out the design. Yes, I’m a native Texan and yes, I know what our state flag looks like.  And, yes, much to the disgust of The Diva, who can do disgust with the aplomb of an Oscar-winning actress, I drew it out on a paper napkin.

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I shopped my stash for the fabrics.  Yes, I know it’s as much a  surprise to me as it is to you, but really, darlings, those choking noises and looks of utter shock are uncalled for.  Stop it.

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My friend specifically asked for a rag quilt for which I am eternally grateful as they go together quickly with minimal fuss.  Corners don’t match up perfectly?  No problem!  It’ll all be covered up by the clipped edges.  Yahoo!

I managed to uncover some Quilts Across Texas fabric from, gulp, 2012 to use in the backing.

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All that’s left is to cut the batting.  My arm feels like it’s about to fall off and I haven’t decided on retreat projects, but, by golly, I’ve got another project on the table!

  
Come the night before retreat, I’ll be pitching anything and everything into the back of the Mommobile.  It’s a ritual if you will.  Like shaving my Sasquatch legs once warm weather makes its welcomed appearance.  Whattaya gonna do?

Sigh…

 

 

Double D…again

(Sorry if the post title brought you here looking for hooters.  Try the next blog.🙄)

The saga of Double Delight seems to be a recurring theme for me and the blog…to the point even I’m getting tired of hearing about it.  

I told my Mama just this afternoon that I’ve never been so focused on getting a quilt finished already.  Part of it is the money invested…something Himself needn’t know about.  Ever.  Never you mind the value of the fabric already in my obscenely large stash.  This monetary investment is different because I chose it with a specific project in mind rather than my typical “oooh, pretty fabric”.  And let’s not discount all the time involved in cutting it up.  Argh!

I’ve given up on actually keeping up with the quilt along.  Wait, wait.  Let me rephrase that.  Did I mention they’re finished?  Right-o!

Here’s where I’m at…at the end of Clue #2. 

And hey there, Hello Kitty pajama pants!  I saw you adorning a woman’s backside several weeks back in the halls where I work.  And, no, it’s not Walmart.  I’ve resigned myself to the fact that for a significant portion of society, pajama pants are the new yoga pants.

Anyhoo, I’ve committed to leaving the squaring up to the very last before assembling the blocks.   I’ve already had one lady comment that she’ll be waiting for the rant I’ll be posting.  Give it time, sugar!

————🐾🌺🐾🌸🐾🌼————

On another note, if you follow me on Facebook, you know the family and I lost our furbaby/fursibling/sewing buddy to cancer last Friday.  Cancer sucks.  I give it two middle fingers. 🖕🏻🖕🏻

Our Lulu was a sweetie pie.  Sewing without an 80lb boxer laying across the foot pedal just won’t be the same.

Lulu, His Awesomeness and The Diva
  

  

It’s the Retreat Life for Me

I could really get used to quilt retreating.  Reckon I could get paid for it?  I wish.

In the meantime, I’m back at Brazos House in Rainbow, TX…again.  Sigh.  It’s such a chore.

  
Five cattle guards to cross and then you’re there, or so the saying goes.

  
Once again, I packed the Mommobile with enough projects to open my own quilt shop and not a snowball’s chance in heck of even making a dent in them.

But that’s okay because I’ve got three and a half glorious days of not cooking or cleaning, peeing alone and plenty of gorgeous views to take in.  Add in the company of my wonderful mother, my aunt and a roomful of quilting pals and I’m set.

  
  
Today it’s raining like mad, making for perfect sewing weather.  (Now if the fibro will just leave me alone.)

Here’re the blocks I’m working on…paper pieced, thanks be to the quilting gods!

  

Until next time.

For Mama

A week from today, my Mama is scheduled to undergo a double mastectomy.  I haven’t any words to express how scared we all are.  Prayers are appreciated.

  

Lennie’s New Throne

Through her work, my Mama makes the acquaintance of all sorts of interesting folk.  About a week back she pulled into our driveway and unloaded what, for Featherweight owners, amounts to the Holy Grail. 

I’m speaking of the vintage FW table, designed specifically for our machines and no other.  Keep your bells and whistles, oh ye of the gadget-y, does everything but wipe your hiney, mow the grass and cook dinner types.  I’ll take my FW, thank you very much.

Did I mention she scored another one for herself?

  

Lennie looked quite the dapper dude if I do say so myself.  I thought I’d leave it as it was and call it good, but on closer inspection it was apparent change was a-comin’.

I tried re-gluing the veneer which worked about as well as putting a sack over Carrot Top’s head and pronouncing him Tom Selleck.  We all know that’s a load of malarkey.

So I did what any typical three year old would do when presented with peeling wallpaper…I commenced removing the veneer.  Ask me about the wallpaper story sometime.

  
Needless to say, Himself wasn’t pleased with me and my penchant for peeling.  Nyah-nyah-nyah.

Thinking this was my jumping off point, I hauled it outside to commence sanding it when the phone rang.  

It was…dun…dun…dun… My Fah-thah.  The man is the Darth Vader of all things built, repaired or remodeled.  The Force is strong with that one…right along with the hammer, saw and chisel.  And he wanted to see if he could salvage the veneer.  

“Too late”, I squeaked.

“I’m coming up there”, he said.

Gulp.

And so it was that five minutes later, Dad was in the house and getting to work.

  
  

As he patched, he circled the table finding more spots in need of attention.  Finally he decided there was yet another layer under the stuff I’d already scraped off.  More scraping ensued.

  
There was a suggestion of applying new veneer, but I had a plan.  And it involved paint.  I’m not by nature a wood painter. Wood looks good enough on its own without benefit of paint, but this wood was crap and needed help.

This was the point where I was certain I was going to puke.  Was I really going to paint this thing?

  
Apparently the answer was yes.

 
Fast forward through a whole passel of doubt and what-ifs and holy craps and this is what I’ve got.

  
Lennie’s gonna rock it!

Brazos House Retreat

So I’ve been getting quite a few questions about where I spent my Mothers Day weekend…with my sweet Mama, of course.

I spent it here, a sprawling farmhouse in Somervell county.  It was extremely difficult but somebody had to do it.   For you, my sweet blogging friends, I was willing to subject myself to new terrain in the name of investigative purposes.  No need to thank me.  I was happy to make the sacrifice.  Wine helped.

Kay, the owner, kept us fed, comfortable and happy.  Deb Singer-Hayter, our hostess with the mostest, put together group projects and gave demos on hand quilting and swirling seam intersections so they lay flat.   There’s a technical term for that, but my brains are fried.

 

The grounds are beautiful, relaxing and full of animals. Four-legged kinds.  Not a kid or husband in sight.

 

This is Fatsy Cline looking fit and trim.

 
  
The indoor spaces were just as pretty, but being the nincompoop I am, this had to be my favorite thing. 

 Yes, it’s a faucet.  Shut up.

 
  

   

It’s a wine cup…and feet desperately in need of a pedi. 

 
It rained off and on most of the time.  The river was rocking by the time we left. 

 

We met so many new friends.  There were even two Stephan(n)ies.  Are y’all scared yet?!? 

 

Me and my awesome Mama. 

 
Until next time! 

 
By far the best sight of the weekend was this one. 

Here’s hoping I’m back there come October.

Fraternal Four-Patches

The only good things about cold weather are being able to hibernate inside our humble abode, downing cup after cup of caffeinated deliciousness (and if it’s after 5pm, a little Irish cream is just the thing), a fire burning (preferably in the fireplace, but if it’s dinner-time…eh, could be in the kitchen, too) and a nice dog.

Oh, and sewing.  Sewing is definitely on the list of indoor cold weather activities.

While my Furry Minion went under the knife at the vet’s, right along with a handsome sum of my quilting money, my Mama came up to the house to sew with me.

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This is my Furry Minion, not my Mama. You know, just in case you were wondering.

I started out with some scraps that showed up from Heaven knows where and managed to cut them into two stacks: 5″ and      5 1/2″.

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My quilts generally fall into two categories: baby/kid and lap, unless I have completely lost my marbles and taken the plunge with a larger sized project.  Typically, anything bigger and Lennie the Featherweight gets a tad cranky right along with his operator.  These two stacks each made up into nicely sized baby quilt tops.

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Twin #1
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Twin #2

Twin #1 is roughly 35″ square, while Twin #2 is about 30″ square.

I forced myself to go slowly and as this is not typically in my nature, proved to be something of a challenge.  I pressed the heck out of the seams with steam, which I’ve never done before (I’m a starchy kinda gal) and measured and re-measured and re-measured my measuring for good measure.  Are you keeping up?

While two baby quilt tops in one day may not rank right up there on the Accomplish-o Meter for a lot of quilters, it is for me.  I spent my day with good company, doing what I really enjoy.

On to the quilting!

The Strings are Strung

Last year I had a wild idea that I just had to make a string quilt.  When will I learn to ignore these yearnings?

Anyway, I am not a scrap saver.  Once done with a  project, the leftovers go to a new home so I can have room for more stroke-able, drool-worthy fabric.  While other quilters were saving selvedges and stringy bits, I was cutting into the copious fat quarters that were taking up valuable shelving space.  At this point in the my post, I need to take a moment to shout-out to my Mama and thank her for helping me cut up strips.  Thanks, Ma!  I’m so glad you have all this free time now that you’re retired.

I made sixteen 12-inch blocks from assorted-width strings.  Yes, I know it doesn’t technically qualify as a ‘string’ quilt, since the strings are supposed to be leftovers, but this is my blog post so I deem it so.  The strings were in widths of 2 1/2″, 2″, 1 1/2″ and 1″.  By the sixteenth block, I was beginning to curse the whole idea of string quilts and whomever came up with the whole concept.  I’m sorry, but I found it extremely teeeeeeddddddiiiiooooouuuussss even though the finished product is really cool looking.

Tedious…from the woman who loves paper-piecing.  Go figure.

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I really like how it turned out and the size will make a nice lap quilt or larger baby quilt.  I’m still on the fence about a border…I’m leaning toward ‘no’.  Time will tell.

I’ll have plenty of strings from which to choose should I want to make more of these blocks since my newly purchased scrap bag is now teeming with all the leftovers.  Waaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!