Tuesday, April 27, 2010

There Will Be A Pause For Intermission

Slight bump in the road.  Went to the orthopedist today.  He took x-rays.  Didn't see anything except the obvious observation that my hand is swollen and sore!.  Much to my chagrin I came home looking like this....

I asked him, "how am I supposed to quilt and applique"?.  He said "can't you take a break?".  No..not really.  Things to do, quilts to start and finish...........

I have to be like this for a week.  Waiting to see if something comes to the surface (like a thorn) or if immobilization helps.  If not, he may have to "explore" the knuckle.  I don't like the sound of that!  Right now it is throbbing with pain both from his manipulation and how tightly he has wrapped it.

Dang..........!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm not happy. 

In 1997 I had my right shoulder reconstructed and my right arm was strapped to my waist for six weeks.  I still managed to work from home and get 8 or more hours a day of accounting and statistics done on the computer.

In 2005 I had my right index finger's knuckle replaced with a ceramic joint.  I was in a couple of different splints for several weeks.  I still figured out how to quilt and piece.

This morning I worked on the 4th block of the project from last Monday's workshop.  That's it above under my hand.  I was ready to sew the rows together, then add it to the other three blocks to complete the first quadrant.  Don't know how that is going to happen now as all that is free is my index finger and thumb.

To make matters worse we received two new siggies today. I have some pieced, but they need embroidery added.  I don't see that happening this week.

Do you know how hard it is for me to NOT sew?  Pray for my patience.  Typing is tricky too so don't suppose I'll be here much.



I'm usually pretty organzied..sometimes too much so.  I love receiving siggies and I normally follow a pretty set routine when a new one comes in the mail.....

I enter it on a spreadsheet

I scan it

I post it to my Photobucket album of siggies

I blog about it

I file it in a sleeve in a three ring binder waiting for the day I put them all together in a quilt

That is what I NORMALLY do.

Yesterday I was looking at my spreadsheet and thought we (Tom and I both swap) had never received a siggie from a March trade with Susan in Texas.  I checked all the above. I looked around my computer.  Nope, no siggies.  So I emailed Susan.  She said "Are you sure?"  Yep, I was sure. 

But it kept nagging at me, so today I visited Susan's blog and looked for a picture of her siggie. When I saw the fabric I knew we had recieved them.  So I started digging again. And guess what I found?  Yep..buried deep underneath some papers right in front of me at the computer. 

Duh............boy do I feel stupid!  Luckily Susan wasn't going to send more until this weekend.

So much for my "organization", huh?

Here's Susan's terrific siggy, commemorating her love of Texas.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Mission San Juan Capistrano

I finished Block Nine of Lyn Brown's California  inspired Baltimore Album.  This one is the Mission at San Juan Capistrano.

This one was particularly challenging for me as I've been struggling with an infection in my right hand since pricking it on a rose bush four weeks ago.  The first antibiotic took the initial swelling down and almost eliminated the pain. Then it got worse once I was off the antibiotic.  I had too much going on to go back to the doctor so waited until last Wednesday when I already had an appointment.  That resulted in antibiotic number two.  Follow-up appointment today and not only is it not getting better, but it is hurting more all the time.  So tomorrow I see an orthopedist and see what he recommends.  Apparently I've picked up a nasty bug that is resistant.    I'm disappointed that I haven't been able to keep up the pace with my Dutch Treat blocks but am happy that I did manage to get 30 blocks done  this month, even with a swollen hand. 

Here are the first nine block's of Lynn's BOM.  Only three more to go.

Spring Beauty

The azaleas and rhododendrons around town have been so gorgeous this year.  We have several that bloom at different times.  These were last week.

More are blooming this week.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Teajuana Mahone

Bet this quilt gets your attention, doesn't it? It is one of the jaw dropping beauties shared by Teajuana Mahone this week.  I met Tea in blogland in the last couple of years but too late to book her for a workshop and trunk show last year when I was program chair.  So I suggested her to our current chair and she traveled from St. Louis this week to do a workshop for our Pittsburg guild (Little Balkan's Quilt Guild) on Monday and a trunk show that night.  Then she gave trunk shows to the two Joplin guilds (Town and Country and Four Corners) on Tuesday. Since Tom and I also belong to the Town and Country guild we got to see her quilts twice and listen to her inspiring lecture on scrap quilting. She offers so many creative and logical solutions to managing your scraps and making them work for you instead of overwhelming you.

If you love scrap quilts, or even if you don't, you will be blown away by the creativity and beauty of Tea's quilts. Her workshop on the Exploding Star was fun and she has made what looks like a difficult piecing challenge quite simple and achievable. The picture below shows Tea with the blocks made by participants.  Mine is the little bitty one in the upper left corner.  Her pattern offers several sizes and I went with using 1" finished squares so my quilt will finish about 36" square.  I'd love to get busy and finish mine, but it's going to have to go on the back burner for several reasons, only one of which I'll discuss later.

 Tom and I were thrilled to have Tea and her friend, Sarah, come to our home after the workshop Monday and get to know them better. And Tea brought me this great siggie to add to my collection.

Be sure to check out Tea's blog and her website.  You'll be blown away by this amazingly prolific quilter. If you are in charge of booking programs for your guild, you should consider Teajuana.  You'll be glad you did!

Enjoy this slideshow of Tea's quilts

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Good Student

One of our guild members asked for help in creating a quilt to be auctioned to raise money for rebuilding New Orleans. She grew up in there so the cause is dear to her heart and should be important to all Americans.  She provided a center  4 1/2" square of Mardi Gras fabric and asked each of us to make a 12"  Swamp Angel block out of our choice of fabrics. I made my block a couple weeks ago and gave it to her at our board meeting last week.  I forgot to take a picture.

Today Tom decided to get his block made and I guided him through the process of making quarter-square triangle units for the first time.  I like to use a system of sewing and then cutting so that you aren't working with bias edges. I also like to oversize my squares and trim to size so that HST's and QST's are always perfect.  I showed Tom how to do this and he created a beautiful block.    He picked his fabrics up in Joplin a couple of weeks ago and had very specific reasons for each fabric reminds him of an alligator, one a snake, another swamp grass, and the light fabric represents moonlight.   This is the most complicated block he has pieced in his fairly short quilting career.  I'm so proud of him! Isn't he a good student?

Friday and Saturday we were gone most of the day but I did get two more Dutch Treat blocks done.



Friday, April 16, 2010

Castle Window & Cat's Paw

No Dutch Treat blocks finished yesterday as I was baking....

But two finished today....

Castle Window

and Cat's Paw

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Dogwoods & Tall Ships

Our one and only dogwood is in full bloom this week and so pretty.

I've spent the last two days working on the latest block for Lyn Brown's Baltimore Album BOM. This week's block is the Tall Ship Pilgrim and it took a little bit of time since I'm doing needleturn on all of these blocks rather than fusing them.

I also used embroidery to indicate the simplified rigging instead of inking as suggested in the pattern.

Seven blocks are now complete and I can't wait to see what the remaining five will be.

You can read the story about the ship Pilgrim on Lyn's site.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Camera to Carousel

I'm not much of a sports fan, but for the second weekend in a row there was exciting television.  This weekend it was the Masters Golf Tournament.  Wow!  What a great weekend of golf.  I've never swung a club or walked a course in my life, but I sure enjoy watching.  And it provided lots of time to work on more Dutch Treat blocks....all pretty easy ones.  This brings me up to 25 blocks made since I started the first of this month.


Canada Goose


Card Game


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Bunnies, Butterflies and Others

Four more Dutch Treat blocks completed, three really easy ones and one not so much. LOL.


Busting Out

This was another with really tiny holes.  Just to put things in perspective, here I am working on it.


Spring Flavor

I think my favorite non-quilting blog is The Perfect Pantry.  I not only love peeking into other people's pantries (a feature every Saturday), but I love the recipes Lydia shares. 

A couple days ago she had a recipe for a red pepper, asparagus and spinach quiche.  The picture looked so scrumptious I had to try it right away!

Of course I never make anything exactly like a recipe shows and this was no exception.  First of all I used frozen asparagus because for us, without access to home grown, frozen is always top quality vs. what's available in the grocery store. Instead of fresh spinach I used frozen CREAMED spinach (which I use often) and omitted the yogurt. Lastly I used an Italian cheese mix. And I make my own crusts..have circles of dough in my freezer all the time.

My pictures aren't  nearly as nice as Lydia's..but it sure tasted good!

We loved, loved, loved it! Next time I will use a stronger cheese (maybe Swiss?) and add a couple more eggs. I will definitely make this again and again.

Be sure and check out the original recipe here.  Thanks, Lydia, for sharing!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Four More

I'm continuing to make progress on my second set of Dutch Treat blocks.

Border Crossing (easy except that it's sort of dicey to leave just a few threads at each corner..not to mention I didn't do a great job keeping the lines totally straight.  I know from the first one that once this is quilted that won't be nearly as noticeable).

(not one of my favorites to make, this time or last time, but once it's done it becomes a favorite
those little pieces are TINY!))

(another with some very NARROW areas)

Building Blocks
(a pretty easy one in comparison)

You may have noticed these have been sort of alphabetical.  Except for one, I've been going through the book as they are printed, which happens to be in alphabetical order.  Last time I picked whatever one I felt like doing and that ended up with all of the more difficult ones coming at the end.  Hoping that this way will spread the difficulty out.