Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy 4th

Hope you are enjoying a glorious Independence Day! Today after doing a few chores, I enjoyed a dip in the swimming pool, then lunch that I didn't have to cook. Like most of the city, it seemed, we stopped by a fireworks store to stock up for tonight. This afternoon it was so hot, I decided to stay inside and make a quick table runner for the holiday.
Carole from My Carolina Home offers this free pattern here. Her star blocks are 12 inches, but I didn't want mine quite so big, so I used 3.5" strips to make 9 inch stars. The end triangles were from a 6.75" square and were a bit too small, so if you make this smaller version I suggest 7.25" square.  The dark blue border was 2.25" (finishes at 1.75") and the red/gray strip border was 1.5" (finishes at 1").  I plan to quilt the light blue square as an echo of the star blocks. The binding will probably be red.

In the spirit of today, I offer my thanks to our soldiers who defend our great country. Thank you for fighting for our freedom!

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same."

--Ronald Reagan

Sunday, June 25, 2017

In the 'Hood

Guess what!  I will be starting another quilt!  Beth Helfter of EvaPaige Quilt Designs has created a new mystery quilt which you can participate in for a nominal fee.  Link.  The first clue came out this week which includes fabric requirements.  Here are my fabrics:
And this is from the girl who doesn't like orange. Go figure. My rationalization is that it will contrast nicely with the blue cushions on my outdoor furniture.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Quilting Addiction Fed

I am ignoring the danger of making sample blocks.  In my last post, I acknowledged my addiction to Bonnie Hunter's Garden Party quilt design after making a sample block. But I just had to try some of the quilt blocks from Quiltmaker "Addicted to Scraps" column by Bonnie Hunter. Maybe making the sample blocks is an addiction in itself!

1. Moth in the Window

After Andee made her colorful quilt from this pattern, I finally cut into my collection of plaids. Mixing plaids makes me shudder (slightly OCD?) so if I pursue making a whole quilt, I will highlight the plaids with a complimentary solid and most likely use black sashing. What do you think?

2. Garlic Knots

What a simple yet cute block! If you have made this block, did you assemble the pieces into a 4-patch and nest the seams?  Or did you assemble by row and press open the seams like I did?

3. Ceiling Fan

These feel so tiny!  It was difficult to get good points in the middle, and nesting the seams was a bit problematic.  If you have made this one, how did you get around that problem?

4. Whirly Girly

Gotta love the name because it fits well with my aviation themed blog.  A "whirly girl" is a female helicopter pilot. I fly fixed wing, but am intrigued by the added challenge of a rotor craft.

5. Pinwheel Fancy

Well, I actually didn't sew this one. I'm dying to try this block with my teal stash, just like this reader quilt on page 72 of Quiltmaker Nov/Dec 2015 issue.

And the fun continues!  This next quilt has been on my wish list for a long time. It's from the book "Rotary Riot: 40 Fast and Fabulous Quilts" by Judy Hopkins and Nancy J. Martin, published in 1991.
The blocks are 8 inches, which is larger than you would think, making it easy to get those points right. I wanted to use my plaids for this one, too. Check out my first two blocks:
What have you been sewing lately?

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Highly Addictive

This sign should appear on Bonnie Hunter's Garden Party quilt pattern:

WARNING - Highly Addictive

There were so many pictures of beautiful Garden Party quilts. Some had Bonnie's red accents while others were in green, blue or even purple. I decided to try a test block. 

Then another quickly jumped under my needle. And another. Suddenly I found myself frantically digging through the big old scrap bin for more fabric to cut into 1.5" strips. 

Then I gathered up all my reds to cut up for alternate blocks. OMG - these are so addictive! Those tiny 1.5" squares are so cute! My hands are shaking and I'm wiggling with glee!  This was the same sensation I experienced when playing with Crabapple blocks or making those 112 Chunky Churndash blocks.  
Oops!  I started another quilt! Have you tried this quilt pattern? I bet you can't make just one block! The pattern is in the Quiltmaker May/June 2015 issue. Come on, make it with me!  

Check out the tweaks Susan put in her Garden Party quilt, shown in her blog post. I like how she floated the final red squares and used yellows in every flower block center.

I must find the willpower to resist so I can finish up my other "Bonnie" quilts - Jamestown Landing and Grand Illusion. Both are on their final steps.  I finished up the last seven broken dishes blocks for JL to complete the center and now I have to work on the piano keys border. I have a bit more to do on GI then it's time to assemble.

Joining the local quilt guild has been awesome. We get together weekly for quilting time, with one of the weeks reserved for the program meeting.  Everyone is so friendly and encouraging. This is inspired me to get busy and finish up some of my languishing UFOs.

On a higher note, last Saturday we flew Nine Zero Bravo to Hendersonville, NC. It was fun to blow the cobwebs out (literally!) and log some cross-country time. The local airport was having a fly-in and antique car show.  I had hoped to meet up with fellow quilter Carole @ From My Carolina Home, but our plans did not work out this time.  Check out her post about where she was that day. Her blog is filled with great pictures, isn't it?   

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Catching Up

Hello again!  I had not realized how long it had been since my last blog post. Wow, time does fly quickly (hah - "fly").  Given our household move and work taking so much of my time, I obviously have not done much quilting. The turtles I found at a nearby park represent my SLOW progress!

Although.....I did visit a couple quilt guilds in my area. The one to the east boasts of having Bonnie Hunter as a former member.  It seems to be a pretty large guild and I will probably join at the next monthly meeting. The guild nearest me was definitely more 'approachable' in that the group meeting that night was smaller and every member talked with me and made me feel welcome. They meet weekly, more like a quilting bee for most weeks, with each member hand-sewing on a current project as we chat.  Maybe this way I can finish binding "Marigold Field" and attach labels to my quilts.  Maybe that's what I need to quick-start my work on all those UFOs.

Speaking of UFOs, I did find some more greens and purples to augment the En Provence stash. It's slow going and I've lost the momentum. I am opting to make the quilt a bit smaller, just nine of those blocks, so I can move on to another quilt that has my eye--"Points of Interest" designed by Jo Kramer and Kelli Hanken of Jo's Country Junction. I love, love, love the block and 1930s border!  I might have already ordered all the fabric to make it, including the backing. It's calling to me and I am trying really hard to resist.

Now that the weather is warming up quickly, I have also turned my attention to the installation of a swimming pool. My hubby and I made a deal. If we were planning to live in this hot, hot southeast countryside, I get to have a pool. We found a local company with a great reputation. The project has been going on for about 10 workdays and today we began filling the new pool with water. I'm SO excited!

As for flying, my last post mentioned the engine problems on my flight south. I asked the airport mechanic to check out my airplane. Seems that we had a bad spark plug. After replacing the plug, we flew a few times then suddenly the airplane wouldn't start. Maybe the battery is getting old?  We charged the battery and it still didn't help. So we replaced the battery and now 90Bravo is humming smoothly.  I cannot wait to get back in the air and explore again!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Life and En Provence

Hello!  It has been several months since I last posted on this blog. You might say Life has kept me busy.

First, we moved from Pennsylvania to South Carolina. Holy cow! Talk about a culture change, plus with the hassle of finding a house, packing our belongings, moving in and unpacking, it's no wonder I can even remember my name let alone my new address. At least I can enjoy 70+ degrees while my former neighbors shiver in 30 degree weather. Check out the view from my back deck.

Eventually I will meet all my new neighbors. One sweet lady brought over a box of cookies to welcome us to the 'hood.  Last month I met a couple teenagers from around the corner who brought over a box UPS mistakenly delivered to their house. Yesterday I met another neighbor and his dog. My husband and I joined a local aviation group and I'm already volunteering to help with social media communications and chili cook-off. It's hard to make friends in a new place unless you get involved in stuff like that.

Second, I have been working long hours. Luckily I am able to keep my current job for a few months and telecommute most of the time. One week a month I travel back to the northeast to work onsite. That allows me the opportunity to visit my daughter who elected to stay and try to live in her own apartment while making minimum wage. Hah! Doesn't quite make it, so frequently requires support from Mom and Dad. I am hoping that will be incentive for her to go back to college soon.

Third, hey it's the holidays.  Visits to family, shopping for gifts, sending out holiday cards, digging out the Christmas bins to decorate.

It has taken quite a bit of time to try to fit all our stuff into a smaller house.  It simply doesn't fit. We have TWO storage units and have made multiple trips to the dump and donation sites. We still have too much stuff.  But this is a necessary transition as we begin thinking about retirement. Time to simplify.  Right now my sewing room doubles as the office. There are still boxes to unpack, but at least I was able to set up my desk, cutting table and sewing machine. And FINALLY begin working on Bonnie Hunter's new mystery, En Provence.  Luckily I had plenty of scraps to handle all but the magenta which was purchased on a quick visit to my parents.

Okay, I have quite a bit more sewing to do. It feels good to get these creative juices flowing again.

On a higher note, in November I flew my airplane from PA to SC. Sounds simple, but it wasn't. The flight itself was supposed to be about five hours of flying, plus a refueling stop midway. The weather was perfect, only about 5 knots and sunny the whole way.  Well, about an hour into the flight, my engine began faltering. My heart began racing and I made a Mayday call to Air Traffic Control (ATC). I quickly tried all my tricks to troubleshoot the problem while heading to the nearest airport. When I pulled back the throttle a bit, the engine ran smoothly. So I elected to continue on and baby the engine while ATC kept an eye on me. My landing was less than perfect but I was safely on the ground.  I refueled and checked the engine and fuel carefully. A couple other pilots gathered and we talked it over. Must have been fuel problem, we surmised. My fuel tester showed no water and nothing else looked odd, so I took off again. And about 45 minutes later the engine did it again!  So I pulled back on the throttle and continued on to my final destination, just a little slower than I would have normally flown. My landing was great and my husband was waiting to drive me home.  We will have to check some of the engine components before flying on another trip. My airplane may be capable of landing in a field, but I would rather do so by choice not by force. Someone was watching over me that day!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Hot Time in the City

Most of us bloggers tend to post less frequently in the summer because we are busy with so many other parts of our life. I am no exception. Six weeks have passed. Lots of cleaning, purging of old stuff, a bit of weight loss (yay), and planning for changes which will eventually show up on this blog.

My sewing projects continue to progress....

The red binding on "Allietare" - almost finished.

A couple of rows are assembled on "Colorado Sunshine".

"Marigold Field" is back from being longarmed and will soon be bound in orange.

I decided to remove blue triangles from "1860's Revival" and replace with large triangles spanning two blocks to cut down on thickness of seams converging. If that doesn't make sense, wait until the fall and I will post a picture.

Then I started a new project (gasp). Okay, it was simply an effort to use up some of the fabric scraps accumulating in a BIG box. And it was an easy, mindless activity. I have a nice pile of these string sections started. They will eventually build up into THIS quilt.

And life would not be complete without some FLYING. 

My husband and I flew in a historic Ford Tri-Motor. Very cool [and noisy]!

And we played around the air on cooler evenings, practicing takeoffs and landings as all pilots do.

Then I had a nasty bout of Lyme's from an infected tick bite. I have lived here nearly 20 years, working in my garden, hiking through the woods, trimming weeds around our country property and had never had anything like this happen. Luckily I saw a doctor right after the rash appeared. A few weeks of a heavy-duty antibiotic and I am as good as new. You can bet I spray on insect repellent every time I go outside. 



And life goes on.....