Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Finally Some Snow!

Terri has been planning for awhile now to come for a visit with her boys during the week of Winter Carnival.  We were both starting to worry that they wouldn't see much more winter than they've seen in North Carolina.  Hopefully we won't go back to 40 degree temperatures and lose this all before they come.

Here are some photos so Robert and Philip can see that we're finally getting some winter!

It looks like I better shovel the front porch!

And the drift in front of the garage.

The photo above is my neighbor's house.  They live in Missouri.
They'll have a little work getting in if they come for a visit anytime soon.

I mostly use my back door in the winter, but I do try to keep this front porch shoveled out.  I'll be getting my exercise today.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Free Motion Quilting

One of the things I really wanted to do when I retired was to learn how to free motion quilt.  I was excited when I came across the FMQ Challenge for 2012 -- each month there will be a video from a different teacher with a new challenge.  I decided it was a good time to get started.

The teacher for January's challenge is Frances Moore who demonstrated a simple leaf pattern.  Before starting with the sewing machine it was suggested we draw out the design on paper to sort of fix it in our brain or some such thing.  Art is not a talent of mine, but I thought I'd try some doodling -

After scribbling a bit, I set out to try it on my machine.  I used a 50 weight cotton thread in both top and bobbin and used a size 80 topstitch needle.   I had a piece of linen/cotton that had faded on the fold lines so I decided to practice with that.  If I had thought of it, I would have used a darker thread that might photograph better.

There's some pretty deformed looking leaves in there and I had some difficulty with spacing, but I feel pretty satisfied for a beginner.  I'm looking forward to seeing what I can achieve by the end of 2012.  

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Judy at Patchwork Times chose #5 for our January challenge.  That means I need to get working on my churn dash quilt.  I had listed this for 2011 but bumped it off and chose to get Dan's quilt finished instead.  I only have a few blocks made for this quilt and they finish at 6".  This is definitely not a one month project.  My plan last year was to work on it every month and hope to have it complete by the end of the year. That never happened.  

Hopefully I can make a little progress on it this month, but my goal will again be to complete it by the end of the year.  For sure. 

It's the 4th of January already and I haven't even started.  After putting up my design wall I got a little carried away making spider web blocks.

Yes, it looks a little cockeyed -- the blocks aren't sewn together yet.  I'll probably play with them for a few days, moving pieces around, until I realize that it really doesn't matter.  After all, this is a scrappy quilt.  I think it would be fun if the grandkids came to visit and they could move things around for awhile too.  

I love the memories that all the fabrics evoke.

Memories of quilt retreats, memories of road trips, and memories of quilts I've made for special people.  Lots of memories of the days of Traditions and buying trips to stock our fabric corner.

There are some fabrics in the quilt that make me wonder how they got into my stash.  They're so ugly that the only thing I could do with them was to cut them up into small pieces and use them in a scrap quilt.  For that, they work.

Working on a scrap quilt makes a real mess of the sewing room.   Now I need to clean things up so I can get some work done on my January challenge.