Monday, September 25, 2023

Travelings

 I have been here and gone again and again over the past 2 months. 

First I went on a quilt shop hop to Hamilton, MO, for the Missouri Star Quilt Company visiting, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and back home to Wisconsin.  Lots of fun.

Then my spouse and I went up north on two different trips for seeing Lake Michigan in Door County and then Lake Superior and the Apostle Islands. Nature fills my cup with delights while hiking and sharing time with my loved one.




Back home and then an early morning  phone call to see Mom in the Kawartha Lakes in Canada. Fortunately, she turned around and is doing much better; she is 91 and a respiratory virus is going around. And we came back home again.

On to quilting news. 

For my Crabapple Hill quilt, I realized my backing fabric was not sufficient in size. So I enjoyed playing around with my leftover half square triangles and fabric to extend  it to the right size. And I then sent it off to my long arm quilter. So glad to get it off my plate. 




I am still slowly making progress on my 9 patch scrap quilt. I am in the process of assembling the 6th row.  Woot woot!

I had a baby quilt that was due in May for my niece in Virginia. And due to all the confusion of the summer, I finally started and completed it. A woodland animal quilt was requested with a slate blue focus for the room. Back in April I found a panel with many animals and used that in between an Irish chain blocks.  It turned out very nice.  I will say, I was not very successful with Dream Cotton batting.  I am not used to such a thin one. But the design process was fun.  It looks like flannel fabric, but is a printed series of tweed looking fabrics. 



The red seems to be ok, but the greens are more a light one and a forest green. 
Below is the front and back of the finished quilt. 



Looking for some quick projects, I am also trying to complete some projects on my pile. I had started to quilt my Fourth of July wall hanging last summer. So I finished the quilting using a walking foot around the star blocks and the flying geese. And then the binding.  Hooray for another quilt off the pile. 




To add to my creativity and enjoy a new colorway, I started the new Blockheads 5. Again on the use what you have, I pulled some blues and teal batiks and added a few to the mix. I intend to complete the 9 blocks for the short group which is due to finish my Christmas. So using up some fabric while starting a block of the week. I little old and something new. 

This is the first version:


Then I switched the arrangement for this version.



Saturday, August 5, 2023

REDO and mini show

 Have you ever finished a quilt top only to dislike something about it?  Well, here is my story on that note.

For years I have worked on the Over the River pattern by Meg Hawkey of Crabapple Hill. My husband was the one who admired it in a quilt shop on a vacation and so I bought it. 

It took years to finish the detailed embroidery started in 2016 and completed in 2019.  And then it sat.  I had all the materials together as I had selected some beautiful fall batiks to compliment the sepia colored stitching. 

I took it on retreat and finished the top!  Hooray!


But I did not like the blocks in the middle as the red print was what I had originally selected, but the outside flying geese did not have that many reds to pick it up.  So I frogged the blocks in the middle, leaving the green blocks. 

And last night I saw a batik out of the corner of my eye in my storage room that looked perfect. 
I recut and resewed the blocks putting the top back together!  


My hubby and I went to the Wisconsin State Fair yesterday.  I have been going ever since I moved her decades ago. Such memories and such traditions for us.  Here is me in front of a new mural of all the things state fair from animals and cheese and foods.


We love the Kids from Wisconsin, a great musical group chosen yearly from all over the state. There are probably 40 kids between the musicians in the band as well as the singers and dancers.  As always, they have a great combination of numbers with costume changes and different songs featuring the talents of the individuals. 



And one of my favorite parts is the quilts.  I did not enter the competition this year, but saw many friends' quilts displayed.  Here are a few of them. The first place winners in each category are always hung from the ceiling available to see but out of reach of hands. The rest are placed in cases with a variety of other crafts. such wonders!














Thursday, August 3, 2023

Merry Merry July

 So now that the kids are gone, I have returned to quilting.  It is nice to be creative and start to finish up some things. 

Besides working on many 9 patches, I pulled out my Merry, Merry Snowman by Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill. I started this in January with a friend.  She would do the block first and then I would do it the next week. She was able to put her top together, but I got stuck with all the things going on. 


I had taken it on retreat in May and had things bundled up according to blocks.  The pieced backgrounds were completed, but I didn't have all the fabrics/wool I needed for the applique. And that is the state I found them in. 

So one at a time, I selected the missing pieces, chose fabrics and attached them.  The snowmen are all made of wool and then blanket stitched around the edges by hand.  There are many embroidery details for each block as well such as lettering, arms, carrot noses and such.  But I do use the machine to attach the fused fabrics. Button eyes will be attached after quilting. 

And here are the blocks  6, 7, 8, and 9.  






Hooray for me!

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Update

 My dear daughter in law is doing better.  Her kidney has somehow started filtering and doing its job. The doctors judge this by a creatinine level. And it decreased which is good. She will not need a 2nd kidney and she has decided not to proceed for a 2nd pancreas.  She has lived with diabetes since she was 14 and does not want to attempt another surgery after the complications and days of sitting in the hospital. She misses the boys so much. We send lots of photos. 

As for the boys we are now at 50 days being together.  Wisconsin weather is lovely as compared with Louisiana.  They have gone swimming in all kinds of lakes and pools becoming so comfortable in the water with their goggles. We have visited lots of playgrounds as well, which they love. Additionally we have been to zoos. a planetarium, parks for trails to walk, indoor climbing, and more. I have them read almost every day which has boosted the second grader's confidence. And lots of homemade treats and eating outside.  We love being with them and I get lots of hugs. 

And no, the flight plans did not go as planned. I just returned from driving to the tail of Missouri and back in 2 days for returning those precious boys to their dad who drove them back to their home in Louisiana. I miss them already. 

A wonderful picture to treasure


Only picture with just me and my boys. 

Carousel at Vilas Park in Madison, WI

So back to quilting. I have tried to squeeze in some piecing here and there on my 9 patch wonder. I have the 5th row attached and the blocks for row 6 made. 



I am also hoping to get my Merry Merry Snowmen blocks finished this week. 

Now to make lists and return to the many projects in various stages needing to be finished. Well that and all the neglected parts of the house to clean. 

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Away from home!

 I have been missing in action.  And that also means not sewing. So sad!

I needed to take another trip to see my step father in Canada. His renter was asked to leave. And the living area she used was a mess: literally. So after a long drive and overnight emergency visit to the hospital with him, I stayed over a week to help clean up, organize packing the materials, and keeping an eye on him. 

He lost progress from his rehab due to another issue with blood clots in his bladder and a couple of overnights in the hospital.. Ugh. But after a few days recovery, things began working and the house resumed to its original state after packing and rug cleaning. 

Things settled down and he began to gain strength due to his caregivers. So much better than when I started.

I also had the opportunity to visit my mom and spend some time with her. They just removed the Covid test before each visit. Yeah. But I did need to wear a mask.  

Then after the 10 day visit, I had a quilt retreat!  It was a much needed trip in beautiful weather. 

So what have I been working on:  Yes, many things at the same time.

9 patch quilt: 4 rows completed and more pieces




Chandalier quilt with



my quarter square triangles ( about 15 blocks left to add border to it)







Merry, merry snowmen



And a new little project: lazer cut wall hanging from Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts: 




And then on Saturday of Memorial Day, we received the call that our daughter in law was called to get her kidney/pancreas transplant. Hooray! She has been waiting since August. So we awaited 2 days while the surgery kept getting postponed and then it happened on Monday. 

So as planned I made arrangements to fly to Louisiana and help with the house and the boys and all the menagerie of animals. Because on top of her surgery, my son was due to start his new job since he had been waiting since April.  Government agencies to not move quickly. 

So she came home on Saturday and was so glad to be in her own bed and around her family. After 12 hours she struggled with nausea. And just like that she went into shock and needed to return to the hospital ( an hour away). 

The pancreas needed to be removed in surgery and then the kidney although still implanted did not improve her levels. So 2 major surgeries in a week and still hoping the new kidney kicks in. Things leveled off and she returns twice weekly for check ups and dialysis every couple of days. They did a biopsy of the new kidney.  It should be working. HMMMM. 

The boys and I have done many projects, read lots of books, and take care of their pets and along with the 4 kittens . I am adapting to 20 degree warmer weather and air conditioning as well. We practice skate boarding in the mornings when it is cooler as I hold them and they balance around a vacant walking track. 

And after 3 weeks I brought the boys up north to my home for the next month as their Mom recovers.  What an event to have them fly in 2 stages back to Milwaukee. They were nervous and excited and did very well. I was so worried in Atlanta changing planes but it all worked out. 

They are enjoying our weather and we are swimming and playing on playgrounds, reading, and more.  So much love and so much fun. 

And today I FINALLY sat at my sewing machine.  What a wonder! 

Hope all is well with you.




Sunday, April 30, 2023

A finish for Sarah!

 My daughter had moved to a bigger apartment a while back.  And for that she needed furniture as she had increased her space a great deal from a studio with a kind of small bedroom  to a 2 bedroom space.  Wonderful wood floors and lots of room for an office as well. She purchased a new couch and with her new decor, I offered to make her a new lap quilt. 

I finally made it and finished the top on my retreat in early March. And now, I got it back from the longarm quilter.  It is a very modern design found in an issue from last year's American Patchwork and Quilting magazine.  The fabrics were a collection from Connecting Threads. The inside border was a golden tone of the same line and the background was also a light version of the same line; the print is a very light version. ( You really can't see it in the photos. )

She and I selected a minky/Shannon cuddle fabric for the back which makes it so soft and accentuates the swirly quilting designs. 

I then decided to make a single fold binding of the scrumptious fabric and attach it by machine. 

And now it is DONE!  

                                             

Quilting design on the front; the thread color was done in a light gray.


The binding was attached by a zig zag on the machine which will fluff out after wearing and a wash. 
I also just wanted to finish it and didn't want to hand sew the synthetic fabric.





Yummy plush fabric showing off the quilting design.



Saturday, April 22, 2023

Easter

 I have been missing from quilting for several reasons. 

First and foremost, my husband and I took a trip to visit and cherish our grandchildren.  We flew this time to Louisiana. And although it is supposed to be a warmer climate being in the more southern region of the US, we were met by cold and rainy weather.  This may have restricted our outdoor activities.  But it did not affect the fun we shared with the boys.  Lots of snuggling and books!  Without a doubt the very best part. 

We shared 2 Easter dinners with them. One with just the 6 of us and the other with my daughter in law's extended family. The latter had amazing desserts and I loved the pecan pie myself. 


I have been unable to sew on my sewing machine.  It is in at the "spa" receiving its yearly chiropractic care and cleaning.  Today it has been 2 weeks; so I expect to get it back very soon. 

So I have not done much but cutting out parts for piecing. It is actually stunting to my process.

But since my return, our weather was just gorgeous last week: in the 80s and sunny.  Trees have bud, the grass is greening, and my tulips have arisen from the ground.  

Funny how we are back to SNOW this morning. It is only a quarter of an inch, but it is cold and a drastic change.  I liked wearing my spring clothing, being outside, and cleaning up around the house and porches.