Wednesday, July 31, 2013


We have been away for a few days and "away" has many meanings!  We were lucky enough to spend some time with our grandson in Toronto where we were "away" from all the stuff that goes on in running one's home -- cleaning, watering flowers in July heat, meetings, routine.  It was all good.

We then had the opportunity to spend a few days at our daughter's-in-law parent's lake cottage.  First with our son and grandson -- and then just the two of us.
In this setting -- we were really "away".

Away from home
Away from familiar surroundings
Away from TV
Away from internet connections
Away from radios
Away from traffic
Away from noise
And it was grand.  There is something remarkably liberating once you get used to knowing that you can't check messages or websites or news or all the other things that assault our senses without our realizing it.  It was comforting to know that phone service was available in case of an emergency -- but we weren't counting on needing that.

I deliberately did not take my little Janome -- I wanted to read a real book with pages and not on the Kindle or iPad.  I wanted to do handwork.  I wanted to enjoy the silence and loons and birds and occasional voices from across the lake (I wasn't so enamored with the occasional jet ski!).  And it worked.  I knit.  I read.  I sewed a few hexagons.  Mostly, I just sat and looked and listened.
I am glad to be home -- but,

I am particularly glad to have experienced a great weekend -- family, friends, and generosity -- all while making memories.
I hope you are able to find a time (and place) to hear the silence as well!


Saturday, July 13, 2013

And then there were three!

The journey of Lollypops continues.  This is not the first, and is far from the last, post on my ongoing relationship with Kim McLean's Lollypop Quilt.  I will spare you all the links; if you're interested, you can click on Labels on the right side of the blog. Suffice it to say, I've chatted about this before.
I love the Tour de France!  Also not a new comment.  I also love Wimbledon!  So the last two weeks have been perfect for handwork. As I've had a few minutes, I've run up to my little quilting room and pulled out this block that I prepared months ago, and have done a little stitching. My tension on my stitches is a little wonky -- you can see some puckering in the block --but that will "quilt out" right?
This block that is prepped has fewer motifs to appliqué so it will be next.  My personality is to start with the hardest (or most unpleasant) first and get it done so the balance is easier (or less distasteful in some circumstances -- that's not the case here).  It's not distasteful in the least -- it will just take longer.
The last prepped block looks like a breeze, doesn't it?  Bigger motifs, fewer small circles, and fun colors.  And this is the actual design -- no editing from me.  While I now have three (of 16!) blocks completely appliqued and two more ready to go, I had a moment of epiphany and realized that if I put everything aside and just prepped blocks and appliqued like a madwoman, I probably could not finish this quilt by the end of the year.  Really?  YIKES.  I need to get my act in gear and be more deliberate about this wonderful quilt.  I love it.  It makes me happy.  BUT. Piecing makes me happy.  Long arm quilting makes me happy.  Giving people finished quilts makes me happy.  But not getting this done before I'm 90 doesn't make me too happy!  I need to give this some thought and decide on some priorities and commitments.
Let me say -- this little gem from Superior Threads is a lifesaver!  I would never have enough different colors to appliqué all these bright colors.  I do have four spools of silk thread and I like them a lot but sometimes the colors just work better.  What a beautiful rainbow!  I highly recommend it if you have an appliqué project in your future.

I hope you have something that you are working on that makes you happy!


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Who would have thought?

Seriously, who would have thought that I would miss binding a quilt?

I just realized I have not put a binding on a quilt since December last year.  At least by hand.  I machine bound the two donation quilts each month. And I've missed it.

I have a lot of tops that are ready to be quilted (I counted at least 8 without giving it much thought).  That probably means there are more.  I know that's not many to most of you, but it makes me a little nuts to keep making tops and not finishing them.

Sadie (the Gammill that lives with MacQuilts) is in the midst of a home renovation and should come out of wraps soon.  I'll be anxious to get to Chicago and see friends -- and Sadie!

But, because of the generous spirit of a quilting friend, I have had the opportunity to use her HQ16 and get my feet wet with a bit of longarming. I have not done any since November! Some things come back to you -- some things take a bit longer.  I played around with a mystery quilt top that I am sick of and forced myself to finish. It's big.  It's heavy.  And it's QUILTED.  It will get a machine binding and be ready for donation when the need arises.  And it will be done!

Once I played around with Ethel (the HQ16) and got the hang of her, it was time to "go live" with a quilt I cared about. As an aside, Ethel is a sister to Lucy (a bigger HQ that lives with in the same home).  How wonderful is that -- two long arm machines!  One computerized and fancy and one a good reliable machine.  But I digress.....

Baby C's quilt is finished!  Quilted.  Bound.  And delivered - before she was!

I hope you are getting a chance to finish a project and smiling as a result of it.  I also hope you are as lucky as I am to have so many generous quilting friends.  Aren't they the best?