Saturday, April 28, 2018

30 Quilt Blocks in 30 Days Blog Hop

Sorry!  It has taken all day to get this posted.  Ugh!

Carla Henton of Creatin' in the Sticks has hosted a blog hop and quilt along all this month.  We are on the last two days of the hop, but you can see any of the Blocks you may have missed by visiting Carla's blog at the above link.  

I chose Dovetail as my block and I wish I could inspire you with an artistic reason for that choice.  But, I can not tell a was at the bottom of the list and would give me more time to complete.  Even with all the extra time, I still failed to photograph my process and progress.

So I will use Carla's pics...

I wanted to make a black and white quilt for one of my sons.  Black and white seemed so masculine and the pattern so strikingly graphic.  And I wanted this layout

in black and white.  After the first row, the work and design looked just fine, I on the other hand felt like this.

Vertigo, dizziness and migraine.  Too much contrast between black and white?  Design too busy to focus on?  I don't know quite what happened, but I was definitely feeling ill.

A couple of days later I tore it apart and went to this layout...

Still in black and white, but now I don't trust an entire quilt of this pattern, either.  So I opted for a pillow...although it almost became a piano bench cover, as the design looks like piano keys.

 Using 3 full blocks with a half block on each end and 3" white lattice strips between the blocks, the finished pillow is 40" x 10" including the trim.

After the piecing was finished I decided it needed some character.  I ironed fusible batting between the pieced top and a white cotton fabric of the same size.  This gave a perfect stiffness for hand quilting a stenciled Ribbon Cable #28725 by Simply Quilting Stencils.  The quilting stitches were made using Coats and Clark Glace Finished Hand Quilting Cotton thread in black. I prefer thread with glace finish because it provides abrasion resistance and reduces tangling and knotting.  I have a real battle with most regular finish cotton thread when hand sewing quilt bindings.  Knots and tangles...and bad words.

Lastly, I added a loop piping in black that took me forever to find at Joanne's in Fort Smith AR.  Guess they lost their super employee that kept the shelves organized.  

I enjoyed the hand quilting so much that I may yet make that black and white quilt to go with the pillow.  Check my blog in a year or two.  I am a Slow Stitcher.

Thanks to all for reading my words and to Carla for a fun blog.  Be sure to come back tomorrow to see what Carla will do for Block #30.

                  April 30th

Block 30 - Slow Tee

Thursday, January 4, 2018

A New Blog

I have a review that I just posted on my new blog Lakeshore's Reviews.  The site isn't fully developed yet, but I would appreciate all of you taking a look at it.  Hopefully, I will add to all my blogs gets in the way of FUN.

The review includes a couple of opportunities for my readers, also.

Thanks and I wish a Happy New Year to all of you

Saturday, February 25, 2017

On a Roll

This is definitely a red-letter day.  I just finished my second project in the same week.  It has been years since I last accomplished that.

After a year-long Quilts of Valor project, I needed something small and somewhat less precise to do.  A couple of years ago I purchased a grab bag of wool scraps for making penny rugs.  I found Penny Rug by Bonnie Sullivan in the Nov/Dec 2006 issue of Love of Quilting magazine.

I used a copper colored bead for the door knob and was lucky enough to find a perfect frame at Hobby Lobby...though the three dimensional aspect of the stitchery required that I not use the glass.  Hope the wools don't catch much dust.

Fun project!

Friday, February 24, 2017

A Finish!

Having a cold and staying indoors isn't all bad.  The rest of the family avoided contact with me so I finally managed to finish another Quilt of Valor. 

I purchased the center panel at a fabric store in Lincoln, NE a few years ago.  I found the pattern for the quilt here.  I believe the designer of the original pattern is Nancy Rink.  I never really found a pattern name.  If you are interested in the pattern, I still have the pdf and would be glad to email it.  The pattern calls for American Valor Collection Fabrics by Faye Burgos, which I could not find.   So I have modified the pattern to accommodate the fabrics available to me.  It is a simple pattern and should have taken only a couple of weekends, but life happens and it became a year long WIP.  

AND, I still have a cold, so maybe another finish this week. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Packing Small

Recently my husband and I took a Danube River Cruise with AmaWaterways and Educational Opportunities to celebrate our upcoming 50th Wedding Anniversary and our 70th birthdays...all happening between 28 July and 16 Aug.  Since I plan on spending the rest of my rickety years traveling, I decided we had to come up with an easier way to navigate the travel gauntlet.  My solution: carry-on luggage only.  His solution: downgrade the ship stateroom in order to afford Business Class airfare.  Our solution:  Let's do both!  So, while he spent untold hours researching flights, I researched carry-on gear and  travel clothing.  

For travel gear, we usually turn to eBags, where we each chose a Swiss Gear carry-on bag.  

This is the 19" model which conforms to European airline specifications.  That is 19" x 14" x 9" (with an additional 2" of expansion).  It is a 4-wheel spinner case, which was a God-send when rushing through a crowded airport.  No need to drag it behind...just walk it in front of you.  Super smooth action on nearly every type of flooring we encountered.  

For our second carry on, we chose Swiss Gear backpacks that would fit under the seat.  
I normally travel with a change of clothing in my backpack for those times when my luggage is lost/destroyed/delayed.  But, since everything was already in the overhead storage in my carry-on, I could have gone with a smaller backpack.  *Noted for my next trip*
These are packing cubes, also from eBags. They really helped keep the packed clothes from sliding around in the suitcase and eliminated nearly all wrinkling.

So, my packing list:  2 pair of JJill pants from their Wearever Collection, 1 pair of leggings, 1 pair of jeans, 6 shirts/blouses, 1 long skirt with 2 tops and one cover-up, 1 pr of pajamas, 3 bras, 5 pr undies, 5 pr socks, 3 scarves, 3 pr of shoes, 1 waterproof jacket, 1 hat.  I wore jeans, t-shirt, scarf, jacket and one pair of the shoes on the plane and carried an addition shirt and undies in the backpack.  Everything else fit in the carry-on.

The backpack also carried a small amount of jewelry, Kindle, hair do-dads, and make-up.  I even carried a hand-quilting project to work on not knowing that there would be no time for such a quiet activity on a river cruise.  I have also downsized my make-up to a 3 piece set from BOOM.  So, my TSA liquids bag had only the Boom makeup, toothpaste, tiny bottle of liquid laundry soap, one tube of lipstick, mascara.  No need to carry anything else.  The ship is a floating hotel and provides "spa quality" shampoo, etc.  

I was confident that I could make this plan work with all the lightweight fabrics available to me for summertime.  We weren't as confident about my husband being able to stay within the confines of the carry-on.  Especially after seeing it all laid out on the bed. 

His carry-on packing list:  2 pair of lightweight slacks, 4 polo shirts, 1 pair of shorts, 1 bathing suit, 2 t-shirts, 4 pair undies, 4 pair of socks, hat, 1pair sandal (size 13!!).  He is 6'1" and well over 200 lbs, so we are not talking about small items of clothing here. In addition, he must travel with a CPAP machine, but with the expandable zipper, he managed it very well.  His back pack carried all our electronic adapters, Kindle, and mini iPad. 

I opted to wash a couple of clothing items each day, but husband sent everything to the ship laundry daily.  He spent $40 for laundry service, which was cheaper than paying for an additional bag to carry more clothes.  I chose to do my own laundry for fear of what these lightweight pants might look like after a commercial laundry trip.

We received a lot of incredulous looks and comments when presenting just carry-on luggage.  The bell man at the Marriott in Budapest said in his heavily accented English "You must be very organized".  The pilot at one stop saw us waiting for the hectic rush to depart the plane and asked if we needed assistantance (old people). We thanked him and told him we were in no hurry since we had no bags to claim.   We saw him later in the terminal and he complimented us and said we really know how to make travel more enjoyable.  

Flying from Fort Smith AR to Budapest Hungary took about 24 hours.  Because of flying Business Class and using just carry-on bags, we arrived in really good condition and ready to tour Budapest the following day (remember, we are almost 70). Just knowing you didn't have to fight the baggage carousel crowd was pure freedom.  To find reasonably priced Business Class fares took my husband several months of research and negotiations, but it was definitely worth it.  And an unexpected benefit of traveling with just carry-on baggage, we were able to hop on better flights to eliminate stops without losing our Business Class seats. 

Oh, and we found that we each packed one outfit more than we used!