Happiness is Making Small Blocks and Preparing for a Long Awaited Road Trip

Welcome – and NO it is not winter here in South Texas.  We are still dealing with some 100 – 102 plus a nice heat index.  BUT I do believe that next week, we might have a weather change and our temp’s will return to a more normal and maybe cool off in the evenings.  80 at night is not my cup of tea.

We are beginning to prepare for our annual trek to Arizona for the winter – Yes – South Texas Snowbirds going to Arizona and the Huachuca Mountains. When we started spending the winters in Arizona, other Snowbirds could not understand why we would want to leave South Texas during the winter – IT IS CALLED CEDAR ALLERGIES!  I am so happy that this week-end the RV will be moved from the storage cover and the “fun” begins.  The “fun” is of course cleaning the inside and outside and start making the “list” to load.  One of my favorites times is preparing for a trip.  Love it.

I have been working on Brinton Hall hexagons for the center Medallion and have many more to complete and I will need to sew them all together soon!

Last week I decided I had overloaded my Studio with a Rocker/Glider and my Singer 301 which sits on the “Singer Treadle” table. So we moved both to the Den.  Now if I  want to do some evening sewing in the house, I have a machine available.  I have not spent much time with my Singer 301 and it will probably be next year before I do.  I have been using my Singer 401a this summer and have become very familiar with it.  For the trip to Arizona I have decided to take my Husqvarna Sapphire on the trip.  Hope this is a good decision, might take my featherweight as a backup and when I go to a group sewing or workshop.

I have also been working on my Churn Dash and Alexander Bean Pot blocks and really enjoying them.  I am using Party of Twelve fabric for both of the quilts.  I make 4 of the 5″ churn dash blocks and 4 of the 4 1/2″ Alexander blocks with each fabric from this line.  Having fun.  I am not sure how the quilts will turn out because I plan on designing the setting (at the end of course)!  I set the 4 blocks on point on the design wall and I think this is an interesting setting of the blocks.

Alexander Bean Block On Point

 

This is not how the block is set in the original pattern, but I am playing with different ideas.  I love the block and have the technique down perfect!  I think that this could turn into an interesting design.  Click HERE to see the Alexander Bean Pot quilt I made last November.  Interesting how the blocks can make different designs.  Below are some of the Churn Dash blocks that I am making.  I love this block, but the alternating block in the pattern just did not appeal to me.  Therefore, I am going to make bunches and bunches of them and see what comes out of all this work.  I am really enjoying working with the small blocks!  This block goes much quicker than the Alexander Bean Pot….Probably the 1 1/2″ Square in a Square corner block!

Churn Dash Blocks

I put some of the blocks on the design wall  on point and set the blocks to see if it would look good as a scrappy quilt.  Think I may be on to something (not sure what, but something!)

Churn Dash On Point

I set four of the blocks together (same color) to see the effects.  This is interesting also.

One Color Churn Dash On Poing

For now is all I have accomplished in the last week or two.  Life does has it way of getting changing our schedules doesn’t it?

Take care and enjoy each day!

 

Living in Hotter Than Hell Texas

This weather is absolutely unbelievable!  Yesterday 105, today about 108. It was 100 at noon.  Needless to say it is really difficult to want to even take a 7 AM walk!  Did that yesterday and today I am on vacation from that experience.  The heat is so draining and it is as bad as being snowbound in sub-zero weather.  Maybe we will get a break by the end of August.  I am beginning to think I need an attitude adjustment.  The Editor of our local paper wanted me to do a political blog (she challenged me)……not sure if that helped my mood though – although it was a great way to vent!   My vision has changed in the last year and I had to order new glasses about 2 weeks ago….. still waiting…. so much for a RUSH job!  OK – looking for positive (again).

The last 3 days have been computer playing days.  I purchased a Dell laptop to mirror image my PC to take on our winter snow birding in June and had not populated it with all my software and files.  So starting Sunday My Dell and I became acquainted!  Such Fun!  This bled into Monday and yesterday.  But all is completed and I really like the Dell laptop.  (We had switched to Apple Computers and iPads in 2008 and iPones in 2013, but I needed the PC for my quilting software.)  I purchased an external hard drive for a backup in case something should happen when traveling – would you believe that the external drive holds 1 Terra Bytes of data and is the size of a 3 x 5 card?  Technology is wonderful.  Better than lugging the “tower” and the heavy-duty Seagate backup drive!  I keep telling myself that I do not want to learn anymore, but just cannot help myself.  Wonder if I will still be working on the technology changes in 10 years when I hit 80!

I also wanted to put a watermark on my pictures.  I did not see that capability in Photo Gallery, so I downloaded Picasa free software on my PC in order to use a watermark.  I thought that would be the solution for that issue.   I quickly realized that Dell did not download Microsoft Essentials on the laptop so I downloaded Picasa – wasted a lot of time cleaning up duplicates and decided to look for another software.  I found Photo Gallery in Microsoft Essentials and downloaded it.  I did some more research found out that I can use Microsoft Windows Paint software when editing a picture to include a Watermark!!   YEA for little things that go right in life.

I had full intentions to start a new project last week – did not happen!  Well, I did do a test block on the small churn dash block quilt… that is in the trash!  I did find a home for all the bad Marcus Brothers fabric – Sturbridge II – Enduring Legacy.  I gave it to the local Lutheran Church for their charity projects.  That was a bad investment to the tune of $250.00 BIG lesson learned on that one – no more Marcus Brothers fabric in my stash!  I also went through my UFO drawer and gave away some blocks for the ladies to make some quilts.  If I have not used them by now I will never use them.  I did find a pattern that I want to work on – it is an old BOM from Story Quilts called Monday’s Cats.  There were two different versions sold and I purchased the 2nd version and an old friend sent me Version 1.  So now I can have fun with that quilt – SOMEDAY.

Poor Brinton Hall – it has been begging for me to finish putting the Medallion Center together…. maybe tonight….My hands just do not want to cooperate.   Someone on a Yahoo group talked about some mitts to put in the microwave and warm up for hurting hands and my friend told me about a neck warmer – both will be here tomorrow – thank you Amazon!

I did complete the first phase of Stonefields and am very pleased with my blocks.  I am thinking that each segment will be made with different lines of reproduction fabrics.  For this segment I used Prairie Rose fabrics.  I am happy that I have Segment 1 completed!  YEA.

Stonefields Stars

Star Blocks 1 through 4

Orange Peel Block 5

Orange Peel Block 5

Orange Peel Block 6

Orange Peel Block 6

Pomegranate Block 7

Pomegranate Block 7

Pomegranate Block 8

Pomegranate Block 8

St Honore Gateau Block 9

St Honore Gateau Block 9

St Honore Gateau Block 10

St Honore Gateau Block 10

Willie's Birthday Block 11

Willie’s Birthday Block 11

Willie's Birthday Block 12

Willie’s Birthday Block 12

Posy Pot Block 13

Posy Pot Block 13

NOTE:  Well so much for the watermark……….Forgot to do it – too late now…Maybe I will adjust tomorrow.   Have a great rest of the week.  Enjoy Life.

Summer Doldrums and Back to Piecing!

Well!  I just love summer.  No rain, HOT HOT HOT.  It is 2:49 CST and 100 degrees – low humidity – but hotter than heck!  Does that tell you something about my frame of mind?  I am already for winter and it is just 3 Aug!  I do hope it snows in Arizona this winter.  I will just go outside and sit in a chair and get freezing cold!  This is going to be a brutal summer here in lovely South Texas!  I had decided to not walk for a while, but without my daily dose of endorphins, life is just not the same!  So on the road again to see if I can meet my 7 day a week walking goal!  The miles and steps add up quicker that one would think.  But one must endure pain to obtain gain – think the original saying was “no pain – no gain”.  Well, I have had enough of all the “GAIN” I ever want – thank you!  The word GAIN to me is more related to Clay’s Ham Radio vocabulary!  I think they call that “antenna gain”….. ENOUGH.  I think I sound like a bad Monday Blogger  (LOL).

I have been working on 2 projects now –  Brinton Hall and Stonefields – but now my hands and arms have now given out.  What in the heck does an old lady with Carpel Tunnel, Dorsal Wrist,  Ulner Nerve, and Fibro expect anyway – a body to work like a 30-year-old?  Forget that one.  I would have the surgery on my hands, but already been there done that one and do not want anymore of the “fixes” that do not work.   I just love the braces – so pretty and confining.   Should be fun to see if I can work on my EPP projects with these hummers!

Broken Hands

Lovely Braces for Non-Working Hands

 

So now I will find a piecing project to work on during the day and hand work at night – just as soon as the pain goes away.  This morning I went through my patterns (ever want to wonder why we purchase so many) that I will be taking on the winter trek to snowsville (see I can be positive).   I hate to open the drawers and see all those lovely patterns and most of them are hand work.  I think I need to have a pattern sale someday.

I finally found OMIGOSH! Here,  Afternoon Delight Here , and Twirly Balls and Pinwheels  Here from Sue Garman.    I think that I was on a roll when I ordered all three (3) in March 2014…..so now I am going to review the patterns, see if any of the 3 could absolutely drive me completely crazy and go for it.  If not, then the fall back will be a quilt that I have been wanting to make for 4 years – I first saw the quilt in a Tucson Arizona quilt store.  The name is Desert Nine-Patch from Timeless Treasures Here.  The pattern was free but no longer on their website – let me know if anyone wants a copy – think I downloaded it.    It is not a difficult pattern – lots of 9 patches.  Hum, wonder if I can find that pattern (thought I had lost OMIGOSH! this morning when I found it in the package with my Blue Snowmen from Curtis Boehringer)…. see too many patterns – so little time!  I have a method of making sure that when I purchase fabric for a specific quilt that I keep the pattern with the fabric – the only problem is that sometimes I forget that I do that!  Enough of this too!

Back to Brinton Hall.  I had started on the “beige” hexagons around the Medallion for Brinton Hall – This is what I started working on last night before the pain set in during the night with the hands.  I will have to put this aside for a few days for the hands to settle down.  I think that I tense up when I sew them together.  (another thing to work on – relax when doing hand work).  Does anyone have any tips on how to not tense up doing EPP?

First Row

Adding the Beige Hexagons to the Medallion

On to Stonefields.  I do not know how other quilters are, but sometimes I just need to have 2 or 3 projects going – especially since I am aware of what happens if I work on hand work for 2 weeks straight!  I prepared the first 13 blocks and have completed 7 of the 13.  The are quick and easy so maybe I will be through with this group by Wednesday or Thursday (dream on teenage queen!).

 

Blocks 1-7 Stonefields

Blocks 1-7 of Stonefields Quilt

I had decided to use my  Prairie Rose fabric for this quilt  (I have enough to start a quilt store) but quickly realized that I will now have to include other fabrics.   There are 121 blocks in this quilt so this is going to be a stash buster!  (I can see an overload coming for the RV – hope the tires hold up.)  It appears that this quilt will be made with a lot of different fabric lines of Reproduction fabrics.  This will be a fun quilt to make – not difficult and really challenges one on fabric selection.   When I purchased the fabric last year,  I also purchased the pattern that was designed for this fabric line so I will make that quilt with the fabric (someday) – see nothing goes to waste with Quilters.

Well, I am sure if you have made it to the end of this Blog that hopefully you have had a chuckle or two from my lovely Monday.  I can hardly wait until 4:30 PM – that is when I turn into a recliner person and veg there the rest of the day (after supper of course).  Football starts next Sunday and I am happy about that – wonder if the Cowboys will be able to make it to the Super Bowl…..So glad that Brady got caught – hope he stays out the full 6 weeks.  (Oops – there might be some Patriot fans out there – sorry) (LOL).

I hope that your Monday went well and that you accomplished at least one goal for the day.  Mine was to get out of bed!  SUCCESS.