God Bless Sutherland Springs, Wilson County, Texas

We live  6 miles from Sutherland Springs, Texas and on a hot Sunday morning in November, a mentally deranged individual decided it was time to kill people and walked into God’s House and slaughtered 26 Christians and wounded 20.   This is the epitome of  pure hate!

I have always thought that if any mass murder, terror attacks, etc came to South Texas it would be in San Antonio where the military bases are.  I never felt that living in the country between two very small towns we would have to worry about mass anything.  Clay is a retired SA Fire Fighter and I am retired Federal worker.  I remember before we retired in 1999 that he told me they were beginning to train for mass incidents.  We just never believed it would come so close to our little rural Wilson County.  So peaceful and quiet, although much busier than 21 years ago when I moved here.  The little Community of Sutherland Springs, Texas did not do anything to deserve this horrible man made disaster.  So sad and shocking to me.

Now there are countless people who have lost family, loved ones, friends, children to this madman.  Our hearts and prayers go out to all the individuals impacted by this brutal attack and we ask that God help the survivors heal and that those who lost loved ones, family or friends.

I find myself constantly asking myself where has my America gone?  What has caused this country to go so bad?  What has caused all the anger?  What can be done to stop the craziness?  I can answer those questions, can you?

I was born during WWII, experienced Korean War, Cuba, lived through the riots of the late 1960’s and the Civil Rights era, Vietnam War, Iran and terrorism beginning in 1979, the Lockerbie bombing in the 1980’s, hijacking of airlines, Bush 41 Iraq War, all the killing of our Military in the 1990’s, 911, and the Iraq war.  But even through all of this the country stayed together until  2000.

Now this country has gang problems, drug problems, social problems, and individuals who have mental issues that are not treated.   Rather than discuss political issues in a peaceful way the way it was before 2000,  it appears that the choice is to destroy business, be hateful to people who do not agree with our beliefs, disrespect our American Flag and way of life, call White people Racists or White Supremacists (which is NOT true), or remove our great American History from the record books.  History will repeat itself if we do not remember how we got here in the first place.

But whatever is causing the killings of innocent people it must stop and Americans must take control of their own environment by becoming more observant, and not be politically correct, nor ignore family members who are exhibiting strange behavior.

There are two Heroes who have emerged from this disaster, the young man who drove the truck with the gentleman who shot the madman.  May God Bless them also.  We need more individuals like this in our Country.

This is not meant to be a political statement, it is a statement of fact.  I do not have the answer, the genie is out of the box and now it is up to God to help this country return back to some type of normalcy!

May God Bless those Souls who are now with him and the family, friends, loved ones left behind to pick up the pieces.  My heart goes out to you!

One Monthly Goal – November

Greetings from summer again in South Texas!  Where is that Fall weather anyway we are now 59 days away from January 2018 – Time passes so quickly now.  DST is this Saturday so we do get an hour back – maybe I can do more with that hour each day!

I have a feeling that my productivity will not be as good as October, but that is OK.  A trip to Galveston for a week, and of course Thanksgiving means a few days that will not be sewing days.  Hopefully I can meet some of my goals for November.

  1.  Mountmellick – I am working on preparing the EPP flowers for the Medallion and will then sew them on in the corners of the Medallion.  Next will be the first border that is a mitred border from border fabric.  The next border consists of  the small circles  and hopefully those will be finished and the 2nd border completed.  I have already appliqued the circles and ready for the flowers.

The background is 12 1/2″ x 16 1/2″ and the circles will be small. Then each block will be cut and sewn together with HST’s to make a border!

  1. Continue on with Sweet Stitches.  Currently I am working on Block 5 and should be able to complete it and Block 6.  – Then I would be halfway through.
  2. Aunt Bea’s Parlor –  Start preparing the blocks for embroidery

3.  Stonefields – Start preparing Section 5 for applique.  I really need to do a push on this quilt as I would love to have it completed by early 2018! If I can finish Section 5 I will be half way through!  There are 121 blocks for this quilt!

4.  Stars and Churn Dashes – I want to continue making these nice little blocks – no set number – I am just making a lot!

There are other projects to work on, but if I can achieve the November Goals I will be happy!

Linking up with One Monthly Goal

 

 

Halloween Birthday, Mountmellick, Stars, and Aunt Bea’s Parlor

Well, here I am another year older – really do not feel any different –  if the weather would either stay warm or just get cold I would feel younger!  LOL.  I am a Halloween baby born 2 minutes to midnight!  I have had the best birthday of all this year.  Sunday my adopted daughter (Clay’s daughter) came over for a pre-birthday celebration.  She brought me the most beautiful flower arrangement, a wonderful Italian Creme Cake (yummy), and a bracelet that has 5 charms on it.  The most meaningful charm says, “Marriage Made you Family, Love Made You Our Mom”.  What a wonderful gift from a beautiful daughter.  Clay gave me a beautiful gold Tree of Life to add to my collection of gold necklaces that I wear – each having a special meaning.  I will say one thing after eating potato salad, beans, and boneless ribs and the cake  – IT IS SERIOUS DIET TIME FOR ME!  15 less for Xmas, well OK,  this may be difficult with a trip to Galveston and Thanksgiving will be a Mexican Food menu!  Maybe by January 2018?

Flower Arrangement from Melissa

Beautiful bracelet, Charm, Butterfly, Birthstone, Angel Wings (she said I earned them) and a Tree of Life!

The “Cake” – So beautiful – Makes me want to make a Quilt!

My Tree of Life from Clay the Sweetest Hubby in the World!

Melissa, Clay, and the Birthday Girl! Can you tell Melissa is his daughter? LOL

I received a great quilting book from Jaydee entitled Red & White Quilting , numerous cards, a visit from Cousin Kay who bought me a great Quilter’s sign from a Pennsylvania Quilt Store when she was on her “genealogy” trip in September to Pennsylvania.   So turning 73 has been fun!  Additionally, I have had about 31 days of sewing that has been quiet and absolutely no “unforeseen requirements” to resolve!  Back to a normal life – a good routine – and lots of sewing.

Handcrafted Sign from Lancaster, PA

Now to the important things – Progress on my quilting projects!  Mountmellick has a border made with a 1 3/8″ squares with a circle appliquéd on each of the 48 squares.  Here are the instructions and the diagram on how she made these little puppies:

I had mulled over this part of the pattern ever since I started looking at it in 2014 and keep thinking  – hair pulling for sure.  I am hoping the measurements are accurate!!!  I took a 13″ x 13″ piece of background fabric and drew my grid and then trimmed the excess with my pinking rotary cutter! (keeps the raveling down).  Then I thought about how to center each little circle accurate!  I knew not to draw an “X” in each square because the marking would give me an issue.  I found my plastic mylar with a grid and cut a perfect 2″ x 2″ square and punched a hole in the center with my stiletto.  AH  so nice to have had the brain engaged for once and of course suggestions for the hole from Hubby!  It has been awhile since my creativity has been with me – glad to have that buddy back in the brain!  I will use Perfect Circles for these circles even if it takes me a little more preparation time!

My Fabric Grid for 48 1 3/8″ squares with circles appliquéd

My 2″ square-cut from the Grid template sheet – with a nice little hole to mark the centers!

Taking a break from MM I pulled out my 3 1/2″ Stars and Churn Dash blocks.  I am not sure if these will be part of MM or if I design my own Medallion Center and use them in that quilt!  I love making these blocks.  I quickly realized that I need the stars to have plain backgrounds so I would be able to mix and match!  I started on some maroon stars to match the Churn Dash blocks (30 of them) that are already finished.  I really love the gold and blue together!

3 1/2″ Stars

My next project to prep will be Aunt Baa’s.  I have been following Laura’s Blog during my “recoup” time and I have been itching to make this quilt for over 6 months!  I will at least get the freezer paper patterns printed off and as I have a little time I will trace the patterns on the background fabric.  I have a boatload of the 1930’s fabric that I did not use for the 1930’s Farmer’s Wife project (too many issues with that one).

Ever have one of those days when you really feel that you will be in that sewing room sewing up a storm early but only to find out that it takes longer than you think to walk, have breakfast, do a post, balance the checkbook (1 Nov) and clean up other paperwork?  Is it because I aged over night?  NO – it is the fact that I had a lot of “little” things to accomplish so now at 3:45 CST I will attempt to go play!  Tonight will be hand work and tomorrow will be an early start on my projects!  Yea!

Have a great week of sewing!

One Monthly Goal (OMG) – October

My goals for October were to get back to quilting after the hand surgeries.  My projects were Mountmellick, Sweet Stitches, Finish my RSC 2017 quilt top, and quilt my Hearts Quilt.

I have the center Medallion almost completed for Mountmellick.   Yesterday I prepared the 1/2″ hexagons for the hexagon flowers for each corner.  I had planned on making this quilt in 2014 – just a little delay here and there.

Sweet Stitches by Kathy Schmitz was a BOM that I believe I ordered in 2014 and now finishing Blocks 2, 3 and 4. I will be working on a few more blocks in November.

Mr Snowman – January

March Winds Blowing

Mr Easter Bunny – April Block

I made tons of 4 patches when I could during the summer months of recuperating and made a push this month to complete the quilt.  There are issues with the top, but it was a way for me to keep my sanity!  Hubby likes it so he will have another lap quilt (ok large lap quilt).  I am thinking that this top will be loaded and quilted in November.

Last Friday I did a marathon quilting day and finished my Heart Quilt which I had loaded in my long arm in May and could not finish it until now.  I started my quilting journey in early 2000 and in 2003 this was my first appliqué quilt.  I had to laugh at the stitches and I really thought I was doing so well.  It is good to always keep those beginning quilts to watch your progress in quilting.  I will bind the quilt in November.

Heart Quilt

It always feels good to set a goal and be able to complete them.  It has been a long 5 months but I am back to my passion of quilting.  Have a great day.

Mountmellick Medallion – Almost Completed

Greetings from a cool 47 degrees in South Texas! Finally! Life is still calm and good. I have hade a most productive 9 days with my quilting projects. Friday I quilted my Heart quilt and it felt good to finish, but I do believe I pushed the envelope quilting it in 6 hours. When I originally loaded the quilt in May I had decided to do a meandering with circles. I  do free motion quilting on my long arm as it is not computerized. During the last 30 minutes of the marathon quilting spree I noticed that the brain, hands and eyes just decided that they did not want to do that pattern anymore! But I quickly ripped that error and finished! This quilt was made in 2003 and was my first attempt at needle turn appliqué.  I really had to laugh at my stitches – they were 1/4″ apart!!!! Now I appliqué at 1/8″ stitch! Practice does help – LOL  (Still have the binding to do but maybe tomorrow)

My Heart Quilt

Quilt Back

Quilting Stitches

Saturday I did a marathon appliqué recoup day on my broderie perse MM Medallion. Yesterday I finished the center, but still have small flowers (paper pieced hexagons) to do but that should not take too long. I am going to enjoy making this quilt.   Each border will be a mystery as far as fabric selection goes as I will select them as I go! I decided that I would only do circles where the swag pieces meet and not the diamonds that Di Ford did on her quilt. So now I will sew them and move on to the hexagon flowers which should be fun as the hexagon are 1/2″. I am very pleased with my color selection. I took a chance that I may find another piece of the Dutch Chintz that I am using but figured that was a pipe dream. But, alas, I found a fat quarter and a 1/2 yard piece on Easy. The fabric is coming from Australia. YEA!

Mountmellick Medallion Progress

I am also working on Block 5 of Sweet Stitches. This block is a group of flowers in a vase with a couple of bees buzzing around!

On to the handwork and having a good sewing day!  Hoping your day goes well!

Linking To:  My Quilt InfatuationConfessions of a Fabric AddictFinished or Not Friday Sew Can SheEm’s Scrap BagBOM’s AwayFiber Tuesday;   Esther’s Wednesday WOWSew, Stitch, Snap, SHOWSew Fresh Quilts; Crazy Mom Quilts;  Oh ScrapScrap Happy SaturdayShow and Tell Monday with Bambi

Progress is Here – Finally

Here I am on 19 October and life is really getting back to normal!  A daily routine that I love, coffee, walking, breakfast, and the rest of the day quilting!!! Pure Heaven!  We have AGAIN changed travel plans and will be going to Galveston Beach for a week in November!  YEA!  After 17 years of wintering in Arizona to me this is going to be so much fun!  Next year a trip to Michigan to visit with Doug and Jean!  In the meantime though, I am quilting and have made progress with my projects although I did lose 3 days last week when we upgraded our iPhones with Verizon.  Now that was not fun but we persevered and I got over it!

I have started working on Mountmellick, a Di Ford Mystery Quilt in Quiltmania magazine in 2014.  It took me 2 days to prepare the medallion for appliqué, but I now ready to start the appliqué work.

Mountmellick Medallion Pattern

The process involves Broderie Perse  a technique that I wanted to work with for a long while.  I purchased a lot of Dutch Chintz fabric for use in making the Australian reproduction quilts, but had to put this on hold for a few years. Now I am ready to embark on my goals of 2014 and beyond!

I first began by auditioning different fabrics to use in the Medallion and came up with this selection.

Auditioning of Fabrics – The light-colored fabric with small flowers did not make it in the final cut!

Next step was to prepare the back ground for placement.  Then preparing the separate appliqué pieces.  For the broderie press flowers I played “let’s play cut out flowers” and here is what happens to beautiful expensive fabrics to achieve the goal required in this quilt for the medallion.

Dutch Chintz Fabric Cut Up

Alas – the final result of 2 days of work.  The stems took longer to appliqué and one can barely see them but after needle turning the flowers I believe more of the stems will show.  The leaves in the upper right hand corner are possible “changes” to a couple of the leaves in the middle right side where the two leaves are the same.

Ready for Applique – Stems finished – Flowers Ready for Applique

I have made progress (faster than I thought) on Sweet Stitches. I have completed Block 4 and will prep Block 5 tomorrow.

Mr Easter Bunny – April Block

Sweet Stitches – January thru April Blocks

The embroidery goes faster than my needle turn appliqué. My hands are working but, but it does make them “act up” a bit when I overdo the hand work, so today I am going to go back to the month of May when I loaded a quilt in the longarm and try to get it finished in the next day or so.  This quilt was my first appliqué quilt called Hearts which was made in 2003.  Hum a lifetime ago!  Since I am not a real scrappy person, I was surprised at the outcome for my first try with colors.   I retired in 1999 and learned how to quilt by watching Alex Anderson on PBS – really miss her from those years.  Elly Sienkiewicz’s books and Anita Shackleford were my main teachers.

Hearts – First Applique Quilt from 2003

An update on my CutterPillar Glow.  This tool is so neat and so worth the $110.00.  It functions as a cutting mat (the grid just lies on the glow mat) AND is so great to trace patterns for appliqué or embroidery patterns!!! BUT BEWARE – The mat below is a regular cutting self-healing mat and works great.  They also sell a glass self-healing mat that I ordered and received last week, but decided to call Cutter Pillar and ask about using the glass mat with my rotary cutter.  They said it would, of course, dull the blade on the rotary cutter (obvious) BUT that to be careful because it could slippery to work with.  Well with the recent surgeries I did not want to have an accident.  I was going to send it back to the Quilt Store – but the mat cost $22.00 and I had already paid $9.00 for shipping to me and then it would cost $10.50 to mail it back, I quickly decided to keep it and purchased a book of stamps!  I will try it and then post my opinion as to whether or not it is smart to purchase the glass mat!  Hope this information is useful for all.  I still strongly recommend this cutting mat – especially if you only have a small space for cutting.  I have a full size cutting table so that is not an issue for me, but when cutting small pieces this is great to have the backlight!

CutterPillar Glow Mat

I DO NOT RECEIVE ANY COMPENSATION FOR RECOMMENDING THE ABOVE PRODUCT. I am just sharing information about a tool that is great!

Well, that is what I have been up to and hoping to be even more productive as time progresses.  Hoping that you have a great week-end and enjoy sewing today!

Doing the Happy Dance!!!

FINALLY!  We are back into a BORING routine of retirement life!  I am always ready to take a short “getaway” but not this month!  I am through with the hand surgeries and Clay and Melissa are healthy and Melissa started a great new job yesterday!  What else could we want?  Well, OK – only one more trip to the hand doctor tomorrow and a few errands in SA and hopefully that will be it for a while.  It was a long long LONG 5 months and without a few quilting buddies I think I would have really gone crazy.  Thanks to Jaydee and Gretchen!  Great friends and quilters!

So one might ask – what does a quilter do when back to back carpal tunnel surgeries and dealing with only one hand to use for a short period with all of those projects gathering dust!  PUNT!  I had time to work on my RSC 2017 project which was not difficult to do and it was something I could work on between surgeries and all the lovely trips to SA!  I worked daily on trying to get this quilt finished by Monday and I achieved that goal!  When I started making the 4 patch blocks, I had no idea where I was going with the quilt.  Originally I had intended to make 28 blocks of 5 colors, but ran out of patience to just sit and sew 4 patches all day long.   I only used 4 colors and could no longer bring myself to make anymore blocks in other colors.  Here is the final outcome!  Anything that reminded me of this quilt that was not used is in the permanent UFO file!

RSC 2017 Challenge Quilt – Completed but not perfect!

One would think that since each and every 4 patch and 2 1/2″ offsetting squares were squared and doubled checked during the process, that the quilt would come out perfect!  Did not happen here and that is a big frustration for me as a Type A personality!  The quilt is lucky to have survived the same demise as its leftovers!

Also during this time I have been able to finish preparing the last two blocks (Blocks 1 and 2 the ones with the wreaths) for the Nesting quilt and have started appliquéing on block 1.  I love the Red Birds in this quilt.   I have only one more block to go and then I will start on the appliqué border.  This is an old pattern of Darlene C. Christopherson’s and so pretty.  Each block is different.  Blocks 1 and 2 had wreaths for the birds to sit on, but the pattern was not accurate so I quickly decided to change that and leave them off.

Moving right along, I found out that I could embroidery as soon as the cast was removed, but took it slow and easy.  I have finished 2 more blocks for Sweet Stitches project.  Today I have prepared the April Easter Bunny Block.  This was a BOM that I purchased in either 2013 or 2014.  It is fun and really fast to complete.  Kathy provides embellishments for each month that are fusible and really add to the block!

 

January

February

March

I have 3 projects going concurrently for appliqué, Nesting, Stonefields, and A Bountiful Life.  I still have to  prepare Section 5 of Stonefields though.  I also have other projects that need attention, but am thinking that I am ready to start on a Di Ford quilt – something that will be more challenging than 4 patches.  (Hummm if I have the problem with 4 patches, maybe this will not be a good idea – LOL)  I am going to start on one of the quilts from her books Primarily Quilts and Primarily Quilts 2.

In 2014 I purchased some of the beautiful Dutch Chintz fabrics to use in her quilts and it is now the time to get back to that time when I first started with Reproduction Fabrics and the Australian reproduction quilt patterns.  I have fabric for 3 of her quilts in the books so it will be fun to work with them.

All in all, I am finally at a place in 2017 where things are peaceful and calm and uneventful.  It has been a long 9 months of a not so good year.  So this is the beginning of my 2017 and I only have 3 more months in this year to produce!  I have almost forgotten that I have that wonderful new Grace quilting frame waiting for a quilt, but think it will be December before I attempt any hand quilting.

Our trip for the year will be in November as we are going to go to Santa Fe and Gallup New Mexico and on to Winslow, Flagstaff, and Sierra Vista, Arizona.  We will enjoy the new scenery and visiting for a week with our friends Doug and Jean who have already arrived in the Sierra Vista area for the winter.  Then back home for the winter, or whatever we end up with for cold weather.  It will be fun and a great chance to visit with our friends.  I miss our RV travel, but not the work involved!

An update on my new toy the Cutter Pillar I purchased at the SA Quilt Show.  It is a great and must have tool for quilters.  Today I used it as a light box – unbelievable!  To be able to use it as a cutting mat and then for the light box for tracing patterns for appliqué and embroidery is great and a time and space saver to boot!  To see how it works go to Cutter Pillar! 

Have a great week and enjoy stitching!