Friday, May 26, 2017

Travel Nightmare!

Part of the reason I haven't posted was a short trip we took out to Nevada.  It wasn't the vacation that caused a long delay it was the MS episode brought on by an absolute travel nightmare with SPIRIT airlines.
Orange is the MS color...

Lesson learned: if you hear an airline you are booked with is having issues with employee contract negotiations rebook with another airline.  When we heard Spirit was having problems we called only to be told "a judge worked this out today.  Just check the news."  Sure enough there was a comment from the pilot's union saying they would abide by the Judge's order.  The next morning the pilots did not show up for our flight.

Lesson learned: if a customer service agent tells you to take the refund because they cannot book you on another airline (said there was an email from corporate telling them they had to keep the customers on Spirit flights)  take the refund immediately.  In Chicago when our second flight was cancelled the supervisor booked us on American Airlines and told us to cancel the reservations we made on our own credit card while inline.  You know that didn't work out...we ended up paying for both the AA tickets and the Spirit tickets.

Lesson learned:  discount airlines really mean discount.  The callback from a supervisor happened almost 8 hours late at 0150 - that is almost 2 am.  And she threatened to close the case if I didn't talk to her right then!  Needless to say that was over a week ago.  They asked for week to figure things out.  That was a week ago today...who knows.  Maybe they'll call a few minutes before midnight?!

That is only the tip of the the end I ended up being so tired from the flights and the waiting and then the many hours on the phone that I had an MS relapse.  I was only able to stay one night at my guild retreat and am having to cancel a long list of commitments for the next month.

Now enough whining and complaining...back to sewing and writing!

Quilt Retreat...

Can't believe it has been a month since I much has happened.

Today I'll keep with good stuff though - quilt retreat!

Twice a year we have a 4 day retreat at a local camp.  It isn't fancy but it is clean, the food is good and there is lots of space to work in.  What more can you ask for?  (OK endless cups of coffee and some chocolate...we managed to bring our own!)

There were lots of "ta-da" finishes...

ranging from traditional

to modern

and everything in-between.

I worked on some applique for our next donation quilt.

More later...have lots of projects going.  Having to work slowly though...

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Back from the quilter!

Today two quilts came back from Patty Lennon, a local longarm quilter who is in my guild.

First is a quilt I am making for my sister.  I used Bonnie Hunter's Scrappy Trip Around the World pattern only I put it on point!

Changes it a bit.  I've made at least 4 of the regular so wanted to try something just a bit different!

Of course then I had a table-full of 2-1/2 inch strips from making my sister's quilt-top so I played with another Bonnie pattern...think this one is Carolina Chain?  (Can't get to my books right now...)

This is really a fun pattern and uses a lot of scraps!  Now I just need to make lots of binding!  Plus set up my old Bernina...that machine just powers through binding!

Which is helpful.  As I said I can't get to my books...mainly since the MS has crept up on me.  I went to the guild bee feeling a bit weak.  By the time I got home I could barely make it into the house.  Right now I am back to using a walker.  It happened that fast!  Hoping it turns around just as quickly!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Busy Weekend

Estate sales and quilting made for a busy weekend!

I was looking for a spinning wheel for my niece and saw a couple listed at a local estate sale.  In the end I didn't get either of them.  One was way too large and the other I wasn't sure was working properly.

I did get some fun little things for me...silver spoons with delft shoes on the bottom (yes, I have a thing for Delft...started with a tea set my cousin gave me when I was 5 years old!), a fun container for sewing stuff in my sewing room,

and a cute little children's handkerchief.

I have no idea how old it is but the colors are great!  So all that fun for less than $10!

Then I went to my guild's "Mystery at the Masters" quilting day.  Now I'm not usually a mystery person (except for Bonnie Hunter's mysteries!) but I thought it would be a fun day.

It was a full workshop with over 40 quilters in the room!  We used a mystery pattern from Debbie Caffrey called O sole Mio.  I got as far as step 9...pretty good.

Except by 3:00 in the afternoon I was fried!  I ended up spending Sunday frog-stitching (ripping out stitches) from the blocks in step 9 and am resewing today.  My left arm had gone numb and the seams from step 9 had gone all cattywampus leaving me with wobbly edges and about 1/4 inch difference!  Not acceptable!

As I press the redone blocks I also realized why I don't do 3 fabric quilts...I get fabric-bored.  Since it was a mystery and didn't have scrappy suggestions I went with the pattern.  I'm sure it will be a pretty quilt but I don't enjoy the process as much.

On the Watson front...still no fence!  We had heavy, heavy rain this morning so I doubt they will be working on it today.  He is doing a better job of accepting it though...lots of walks and treats seem to be helping!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Why are borders so hard?

I am about 3/4 through with my leader and ender lozenger least I thought I was.  I measured it last night then laid it out on the bed and say what?!  It is too small.

Five of the rows have been sewn together so the best option is a border no?  But what border!

First I made some broken dishes blocks - the hst are 3 inches so the block finishes at 6 inches. I like the way it mimics the secondary pattern in the quilt.  But even with a 2 inch inner border it is only an 8 inch border.  I need more.

I tried a big honking broken dish block (broken platter perhaps?!)  On draft paper this looked really good.  In real life...not so much.  I'm tempted to make a second one to see if that changes my perception...

Then there is a hybrid option; a 2 inch inner border with the 6 inch broken dishes followed by another 2 inch border then a random brick pieced 5 inch outer border.  That gives me a big enough quilt for a king size bed...

I think I'll put off making a decision (and more blocks) until the center part of the top is done...

and when Dobby gives me my sewing chair back....

(on the Watson front...we brought him down by the river for a long run this morning.  It did a good job of wearing him out!  At least he ate his lunch and was a bit less "sad" today.  We'll just have to keep coming up with ways to distract him...unfortunately dog-parks are out.  He was attacked by a larger dog when he was small so unless it is in the house he isn't good with meeting other dogs...)  He is great with cats cat parks though!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

No fences!

My neighbors are replacing the fence around their yard which means lots of construction trucks (doing drains and gutters too...)  All this means we cannot let Watson out in the yard.

Has anyone ever dealt with a dog with depression?  They took down the fence last Friday.  So since then we have been taking him out about every 2-3 hours.  This is still not nearly as often as he went into the backyard for a quick squirrell chase.  For the first few days he was just confused...then he whimpered a lot at the he isn't eating - not even bacon.

Talked with the contractor and it will be mid next week until the fence goes back up...trying to think of options.

This does link to quilting...I'm keeping him back in my sewing room most of the day since that is the furthest point from the noise.

However the likes to sit on my lap...doesn't lead to productive days.

And needless to say Dobby is really not happy the dog has taken over his space.

So in all this what is on the design wall?  My leader and ender project from 2016!  Looks a bit like fences to me...with a bit of luck the real fence will be completed before my quilt-top is!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Border or no?

This churndash top is from the UFO box I opened yesterday.

While the Masters was on yesterday I pressed my stash of Cherrywood fabrics to see if I could piece together a border...

One option is a brick border

or a piano key...

or a crazy pieced...

or of border at all...

I think putting the top in the UFO box was my way of avoiding making this decision last time!

I do think I am going to quilt this with a combination of machine and hand quilting.  I'll machine quilt it in the ditch then use some perle cotton and do some big stitch quilting in the setting triangles and the centers of the churn dash.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Golf has taken over Augusta...making it difficult for me to think of much else this weekend!

The challenge for my guild's show this fall is "picture this"...a small quilt inspired by a photograph.  I keep looked at golf photos wondering if I could incorporate husband would like that!

On the UFO front (which I really should be focusing on instead of a new project!)  I finished piecing 3 backings this week.  That is a lot of yardage out of the stash.  Most of it was from fabric I bought on sale with the purpose of using it for backing.  One was made up of a bit of everything...

I finished up the liberated squares.  I decided to make a table runner.  I have a back all ready and plan to quilt it this week.  I may have some real (as in quilted and bound) finishes for April!

A glutton for punishment I put another UFO on the board.  I think this was Bonnie Hunter's leader and ender project for last year.  I was all gun-ho for a month getting lot of baggies of bits cut out and then for some reason it was put away...well, you know what happens then!

I like how it has so many of my favorite repro fabrics in it.  When finished it will be a good reminder or record of my stash.

I did sort of break my rules this time.  The first box/basket I opened had three projects in it!  Two are finished tops and one still needs a pieced border.  The two tops are in the "need a backing" pile and the one that needs a border is back into the UFO stack.  I think I need to order some Cherrywood fabric before I can finish that one! (far right in the photo!)

Finally on the Dobby front...he is doing better.  Still recovering.  He at least lets me check his scrapes now.  They all seem to be healing well.  This morning he stole Watson's breakfast so another step closer to normal!