Monday, March 31, 2014


Are you a procrastinator like me?  When I have something that I am nervous about or really don't want to do, I blow it all out of proportion and it is this big looming ball of stress. I suddenly find myself inspired to work on anything and everything except that and I am so productive.  This happened to me last week.  

I had a quilt top to quilt for a friend.  It was the first one I had ever done for her.  I respect this woman so much.  She's been quilting for something like 40 years.  She knows that I have only really done meandering but she mentioned that this one repetitive place on the quilt really needed something extra.  I was willing to try, but let me tell you, I was scared of that quilt.  

It hung on the design wall in my bedroom for at least 2 weeks.  Once I decided what to do, I had a little burst of energy and knocked it out.  And then, of course, I was like "what was I so worried about?"  I think it turned out okay for a first attempt at such things.  The chalk still shows a bit in the pictures.

And everything turned out great, because she loved what I did.  And it was done in time to send it to her Grandson for his birthday.

But during those 2 weeks, I think I quilted 6 quilts - some for me and some for Mom and one for a lady at the church.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

A Busy Week

The bad news:  

Got my taxes done this week.  Bad news.  Have to write a pretty big check.  I guess I need to change my deductions or it will probably happen again.

The good news:

Had lunch with my Lunch-a-Bunch, some friends from my former job.  We are all retired now and we get together for lunch at least once a month.  

Got two of my quilts quilted this week.

This one is named "If You Build It".  I had the urge to sew a while back and couldn't decide on any one thing, so I just decided to make about 300 half square triangles and worry about what to do with them later.  When the later came, I decided on this layout.  I finally got it quilted on Thursday and will need to bind it out and it will be truly finished.
This is the Bright Pineapple Blossom that I made on a retreat back in January.  I picked a bright bright green for the back and got it quilted yesterday morning.  I'll be binding both of these with scrappy binding just like the quilts.
These two quilts and others are part of my stash reduction process for this year.  I'm doing my best to use up some of this fabric (of which I have way way way too much).

Quilted two of Mom's quilts.

Sewed the rows together and put an inner border on an Orion's Star that I am doing for a shop sample.  Just have to put on the mitered border.  Never done one of those before, so it ought to be a challenge.

Signed myself up for yet another quilting retreat.

Attended a quilt show where lots of people I know got ribbons.  More on that tomorrow.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

More Secrets

Well, I finished up my Triangle Challenge Lotto Block today.  I thought I had done it last week.  I had it hanging on the wall to admire, but the more I looked at it, the more I thought it was just not finished.  So anyway, I hacked on it and changed it up today and now I REALLY like it.  I hope the others do too.  Sorry, but it's still a secret until April 7.  It's gonna be hard to keep it in, but I'll show you as soon as it is revealed.  

I also worked on my Modern Cotton Robin.  You may have also called this a progressive quilt or a traveling quilt or something like that.  We turned in our initial blocks at the last meeting and we picked up somebody else's initial block.  Now we are challenged to put a round on the other person's block.  It could be a pieced border.  It could be square or set on point or even wonky.  We could even choose to only put borders on 1 or 3 sides if we so choose.  Being modern in nature, there's no telling.  There's one round that we'll trade off on April 7 and another round we'll trade off on May 5.  The last round will be traded on June 2. That last person will be responsible for quilting and binding.  We won't get to see any of the blocks again until the meeting on July 7.  What a long wait!

Anyway, I've enjoyed working on this first block.  The block I received was somewhat busy in nature, so the challenge to me was to calm it down some and yet, not be boring or traditional.  I think I accomplished that.  So now it should be wide open for the next person to take it in a wild direction.  Can't wait for the next round.


Retirement is a whole different mindset.  

At first, you seem lost like a ship without a rudder, wandering aimlessly.  There's no longer that purpose of showing up at work and the accomplishment of the challenges you meet there.  There's also a bit of isolation, because you are used to being around all those people at work, lunches with co-workers, etc.  You have to find new purposes and boot yourself out of the house to find people to interrelate with.  It takes a little while.

You think you'll have all the time in the world free to do what you wish, but it is exactly the opposite.  It seems that your days are so filled that you wonder when you ever had time to work.  Also, I find that I am less efficient in my scheduling than I used to be.  When I was working, I got off at 3:15 and I could make 2 or three stops on the way home before businesses closed at 5:00pm.  Now, I will rise in the morning (much later than the sun) and I will think to myself,  I can't really do anything, because I have a dental appointment today -- at 2pm.  What's with that?

I am a member of three quilt guilds and a hand quilting group that meets weekly.  I sew quilts top and I also have a longarm on which I do my own quilts and a few for others.  I have a part time job (2 days a week, sometimes 2 1/2).  I read a lot and I have the usual appointments and errands like grocery shopping.  That doesn't sound like much, but I never seem to have any time.  

I think it is just the retirement mindset.  I have also become much more of a procrastinator, especially when there are things that I don't want to do.  I will think to myself "I'm retired, I don't have to do that at any special time".  

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Guild Challenge

Our Guild Challenge this year is very simple.  Use a Split Nine Patch in a quilt.  That's it.  We were trying for something very simple that just about anybody at any level could do.  You can do a quilt made of all Split Nine Patches or even just use one in your quilt.  It's open wide for those with great imaginations as well.

This is all I can show you for now:

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Hand Quilting

I talked to you recently about my group that does hand quilting on Wednesday mornings. Since then, we've been again and I've honed my skills.  This week, I remembered to bring my phone and also to take a picture.  I am getting pretty good.  Not fabulous, but a lot better than when I first started.  Take a look!  I did this section all by myself.

The lady's husband, where we meet, raises orchids and we got a tour of his greenhouse.  Here are a few of the babies that were blooming. Gorgeous!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Modern Quilt Guild

We had our Not Your Mama's Quilt Guild meeting last night.  We had a great talk from a woman who teaches Pilates.  She showed us all about how to stretch properly so we can sew even longer.

We started our Modern Robin.  It's patterned after the CottonRobin.Blogspot.Com, but hopefully it will have a modern twist to it.  We each made our blocks for the center and turned them in last night.  We were also able to pick up our first block to work on.  We will add a round and then somebody else will add a round and then a last person will quilt and bind it.  I can't wait to see how mine comes out.  Take a look at their reveal to see how it works.

I am so excited to get started.  The block I received is beautiful.  I have posted it on the wall so I can look at it for a while.  I want to do something special.

We also sold the background fabric for our triangle lotto challenge.  Create a block with the theme of triangles interpreted however you wish.  We'll have viewer's choice and somebody will win all the blocks.  It ought to be fun!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Rockin' Retreat This Past Weekend

Had a wonderful three day retreat with some fabulous women who just happen to be quilters. We cut.  We ate. We sewed.  We ate. We designed.  We ate. We laughed.  We ate.  All in all, we had a great time and nobody went hungry.

Jo (also known to me as Mom) finished up that baby quilt on the wall as well as did some binding on another.

We spent a considerable amount of time hanging out in the kitchen

And visiting around the table.

We polished off most of a large pot of crawfish etouffee.

We had Carrot Cake

The pound cake was half gone by lunch the first day.

I worked on my guild challenge.  
This is as much as I can show you until June.  More later.

Tai even made this quilt top (in progress) from pieces and 
parts of fabric left by prior retreaters in the scrap bin.

Sarah did this wonderful floral stars top

And Karen finally finished sewing 
all of the ruffles on her rag fur jacket.  
It's gorgeous!
A really great time was had by all!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Quilt in a Box Setting Challenge Reveal

I recently told you about the Quilt in a Box Setting Challenge that our quilt guild was having.  At the time, my layout was a secret, but we've had our meeting and the reveal, since then.  Here's how mine turned out.  I rather like it.

Here are the others, that were revealed that night.