11 July, 2018

In A Corner No More

 A very smart friend once told me that we will never finish that quilt that we're not working on. She is exactly right; we might be able to visualize it finished, or wish that it were, but all the visualizing, wishing, hoping and dreaming won't make it so! I am guilty of all of the above. This sampler quilt that is currently on the frame (and has been for eons!) has responded well to some focused attention. I have worked myself all the way down to the outer border and will remove it from the rails this afternoon to turn it. Only two more borders left!  Stay tuned for this one's glamour shots to be shared shortly.

And then there is this one. "Bless This House", an album quilt begun over five years ago and posted about here. I have nine of the albums blocks done and am ready to begin the top panel. I had painted myself in a corner by machine appliqueeing the year onto this center block. Anything done can be undone; right? I painstakingly unstitched the incriminating year of my blatant procrastination and updated the block today. Time to get busy, and there's no time like the present. I need to be a little bit more strict when holding myself accountable! Yes, I am working on my quilts, it seems to be the only way to get them finished; at least that's what I've been told!

Life is Good!

10 July, 2018

Warm Days, Cool Hues

Ever since we returned from our recent adventures, both up north and our more local grandchildren-focused ones, I have been playing catch-up; there's been little (if any) actual time in the sewing room! I did need to spend some time constructing the latest block-of-the-month before the next session rolls around already--next week! So go the days of summer! This year my LQS is focusing on Deb Tucker's "Tucker Trimmer" tool for each month's block. As you know, I am a huge fan of these tools! I made a variation of the assigned block, adding corner triangles to the center square to really show off and accentuate that center fabric on point. I am using a variety of low-volume prints for my backgrounds each month. I have committed myself to setting each block with half-rectangles after designing the setting in EQ8 the month before (see post here).  So, with the addition of block #2 the blocks will look something like this, next to one another. My tool of choice for the half-rectangles is another Deb Tucker tool: the "Split-Rects"; it is precise and accurate.
Setting the second block made me realize that I would need to piece the corner squares when the stripe is to the outside, mitering the stripes so that they would turn the corners. I decided yesterday that it would be the smartest thing to go ahead and cut all of the Split-Rects units and piece them together, bundle them into groups for setting each of the next ten blocks, and have them all ready. Now I feel much more prepared when each month comes along, I am good to go!
I am happy with the progress on this one so far. The icy-cool colors are perfect for a hot summer's day! Oh, and one more plug for EQ8. When designing a layout your fabric requirements are calculated at the same time; 1 yard of each fabric was suggested as the correct amount for the alternating light/dark setting pieces. I bought exactly that amount. When I realized that I was going to need to piece those striped corners I was sweating it as the fabric was dwindling with each slice...  and fast!
I had enough; phew! Just barely, but I had enough!
Not much to add to the scrap bin at all. 😉
Life is Good!

03 July, 2018

Just Horsing Around...

Last Thursday we picked up our youngest two grandchildren and headed up to Grayson Highlands State Park in Mouth of Wilson, VA. When we left here, at 9 AM, for our one and half hour drive it was almost 90 sunny degrees. When we arrived there it was a chilly 62 and threatening rain! Brrrr! Naturally, we didn't have sweatshirts or raincoats; poor planning on my part. We unpacked our picnic lunch and hastily ate before we began our hike up the Rhododendron Trail in search of wild ponies. We didn't have to go very far before our efforts were rewarded, richly; not only did we encounter ponies, but babies too! It was such a treat to experience the wonder of this discovery through Gregory's and Lynnleigh's eyes!
We were cautious around the mamas, careful not to approach them from the back or side. We were told that there were larger herds farther up the trail but, by then, it was beginning to rain and I was lobbying for a return hike back to the warmth and dry shelter of the car!

On our way out of the park the sun popped back out. Gregory was our backseat map reader, he informed us that a scenic lookout was coming up! He was so excited to stop there for the view!
We had a great day!  Driving home we discovered that we passed right by Bonnie Hunter's future Quiltville Inn! When the Inn opens up for retreats, I hope to be among one of the first guests. I need to remember how close this wonderful state park is, a hike here will be just the right break from days of sitting and sewing. Oh, yes; a day in the mountains fills the heart and soul!
Life is Good!

01 July, 2018

Triple Blue, Times Two!

We spent a VERY rainy Tuesday evening in the Capital City this past week. We weren't the only ones who were getting wet though. These two cuties were in the pool swimming for their Swim Team. We forgot how wet we were, cheering from the sidelines transcends any and all physical discomfort. 
Yes, Mason and Lucy Ann were both TRIPLE first-place winners! 
It was one of the best times I have ever had standing out in the pouring rain.
Life is Good!

30 June, 2018

...Miles To Go Before I Sleep...*

We've been on an adventure!  Back in April, on his 90th birthday, my Dad told us that one thing he had always wanted to do was cross the Chesapeake Bay via the Tunnel-Bridge. We decided then and there that this needed to happen!  Plans were made, routes were mapped out and the car was packed; it was time to make memories. We drove to New Hampshire to get my Mom and Dad and then we were off on a five-day adventure. We made many stops along the way, ate some great meals and spent a few nights before we got down to Virginia Beach. Bright and early the next day we headed for the Bridge-Tunnel!

My Dad's face says it all. I believe he enjoyed every minute of the experience!
Safe and sound on the opposite side of the bay! Just like that we were headed back up north again.
Once back at their home we celebrated Father's Day together; here Mr. Goodneedle and Hannes are enjoying some time together (along with the rest of us!) over a rip-roaring game of Cribbage. 
My mother celebrated a special birthday while we were back home with them too. 
Sadly, all good adventures must come to an end.  All too soon it was time to say good-bye and to leave for our return trip to NC.  Along the way we visited with Mr. Goodneedle's family in the Boston area for a few days and, this time, it was all about a bucket-list item for yours truly. I have always wanted to visit the JFK Presidential Library and Museum, we were lucky enough to squeeze that in.  
Located right on Boston Harbor the building has spectacular views.
We took the highlights tour which was informative and transportive (back to the 60's) at the same time. As anyone does, who lived through the events of those days, I remember exactly where I was when I heard the unbelievable report that our president had been assassinated. I was standing in the front driveway of our elementary school waiting for the afternoon bus to take me home. I was ten years old. I believe that this was the first time I had ever even heard the word "assassination" or even knew what it meant. Sadly, it became an all too familiar word from that moment on. 
A stop at the Ladies Room as we exited the Library held one more highlight. 
 I thought this was one of the coolest sinks ever! Have you ever seen one of these sinks before?
Lots of time as a passenger in the car allowed for the hand embroidery on these fifteen-year-old blocks to be completed. (Sarah Sporrer for Indygo Junction - "By Wisdom A House Is Built") I only lack two blocks now of having all twelve finished. I may be naming this one: "All In Good Time". 
That's all for now. Since we returned we've been busy running here and there; but that's another post for another day! Thanks for stopping by. I have two questions for you: what is something on your "must do" list; and where were you (when the world as we knew it changed forever) on November 22, 1963? 

Life is Good!

* Today's post title is excerpted from my favorite poem, "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening", 
by Robert Frost. It was written in 1922 and published in 1923 in his New Hampshire volume. 

18 June, 2018

Cart Before The Horse?

This is the first of twelve blocks-of-the-month that we will be doing at my LQS. Having just set all of those hexies together from the last BOM session it's all about moving forward. This time we're exploring blocks using Deb Tucker's Tucker Trimmer. If you've been a long-time reader you know that yours truly is a huge fan of everything Deb Tucker does and all of the Studio 180 tools. (The Tucker Trimmer is the original tool.)  I chose the turquoise print, on the outside of this block, as my control fabric. Each block will contain that print with low-volume backgrounds that will change, block to block. I am staying with a monochromatic color scheme and already went ahead and designed my setting in EQ8.  The Split-Rects borders on each block will alternate light/dark to add some interest and some movement. Is this a case of putting the cart before the horse? Maybe; after all, I have no idea what the blocks will be. But, I grabbed the reins anyway. We'll see where this goes, right now I am happy with the idea. (The pieced blocks inside the setting borders measure 12" square.)
Life is Good!