Sunday, July 22, 2018

Sunshine and Showers

Summertime in the south means lots of hot, humid days and scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening. We have had that in spades!  Thank goodness for a swimming pool to cool down in, after doing outdoor chores.

Indoor chores, besides laundry and decluttering, means finishing up various quilting projects.  First, I finished assembling the gray 54-40 quilt from a recent Sew Sampler box.  I chose a darker gray from Connecting Threads which shows off the light aqua and yellows. This quilt came out smaller than I expected but will be okay for a throw. Aha - I forgot to add a gray border strip. Will take care of that quickly.

Next, I sewed the July red blocks for my RSC18 Squared Away.  

Now I am trying to figure out what my next sewing project will be. Should I make blocks for ongoing UFO projects (Lady in the Lake, Garden Party, Pine Trees, Green Irish Star Chain) or should I start on my quilt guild challenge? My goal for this year is to clear out at least half of my UFOs, so there's my answer.  I need to continue to work on UFOs. After all, I did plan to finish three before starting a new project.

On a more serious note....do you do volunteer work?  Do you have a cause you are passionate about? In the past I was a volunteer for Girl Scouts and animal adoption, and I am currently doing volunteer work related to aviation. But I have been searching for opportunities to make more of a difference in the world. I contribute financially to certain groups, but I want to provide more personal support. I enjoyed mentoring young girls involved in Girl Scouts. Maybe I could be a mentor to teens to help them take a longer view in life, to set goals and resist bad influences / distractors. A teenager is basically a sponge. Sponges will absorb both clean water and dirty water. The trick is to surround the sponge with clean water, to find good influences. If you are having trouble getting along with your parents, absorb the good things they can teach you and find or study another person with admirable qualities and learn from them. Pressures will squeeze out clean water and you can start the cycle again by finding more clean water. That's my analogy. Obviously I am passionate about being a good influence for girls as they face peer pressure and are impatient for the independence they really aren't quite ready for.  I have a 21-year-old daughter who has made choices with which I don't agree, but I love her anyway. She is an adult now and I am supporting her efforts to steer her life in a better direction. Maybe I can help a young teen choose a good path, too.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

June Blocks

Just in time.... here are my teal/turquoise blocks for June, which will be added to my RSC 2018 quilt project.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Summer is Here

Tomorrow may be the official start of summer but the summertime heat is here with a vengeance!

So how do you keep cool?  The swimming pool feels like warm bathwater and you hope there is a slight breeze to cool the droplets on your skin.  Or you towel off and go inside to air conditioned coolness. In my case, I work during the day in 68-degree-Fahrenheit air.

Anyway, the weather isn't the only hotness around here. My sewing machine and fingers are hot from finishing up a variety of projects.

First, my longarmer finished custom quilting Mesa Valley and it turned out fantastic!  I am nearly finished hand stitching on a wider-than-normal teal binding. This one will hopefully grab a shiny ribbon in the next quilt show.



Second, I free-motion-quilted a tablerunner and finished hand-stitching on its binding.

I even added some stitch-in-the-ditch lines on a table runner from a couple years ago (*now* it is finished).  This is a Connecting Threads kit.

Third, ummm....I started two new projects. Yeah, I know. I have plenty of UFOs that I need to concentrate on completing. But both of these called so strongly to me. While searching for images of a different quilt block, I came across an image from a completely different quilt. It was a quilt someone had made from blocks received in a block exchange. I had participated in that exchange, hoping so hard that I would be the winner. Alas, I didn't win, but the idea of making my own set of blocks had been percolating in my mind. Seeing that example was the inspiration to finally make my own. I now have eight blocks for the planned 20-block setting, all from my own stash.  It's so nice to shop your own stash!
 
The other new project is from a recent Sew Sampler box. My daughter's boyfriend really liked the quilt pattern. I figured it might be one more incentive for him to stick around for a while if I made this quilt (lol-if my daughter is reading this post, maybe you could curb your morning grouchiness so he will stick around longer than your previous boyfriends).  I finished cutting the fabric last night. It is an easy pattern so should go together pretty quickly.

Last week my hubby and I spent time visiting my parents and helping with home renovations. It was great to see them again, along with my brother and niece. We took a drive around the town and the nearby lakes to check out all the changes that have occurred in our home town over the past few years. It sure was nice to get back home again, though.

Where have you gone on vacation this summer? Or where would you recommend we check out on our next vacation?