Thursday, April 30, 2015

Progress on Grand Illusion

I am actively working on two quilts at the same time - Blueberry Hill and Grand Illusion. That does not include several quilt projects set aside until I can focus on them.  Having two very different projects going allows me to switch back and forth when I get tired of one or the other.  Nope, focusing on only one project just isn't my cup of tea.

The center of Blueberry Hill is nearly finished. It's at a point where I need to lay out the final rows before sewing, so will need to wait until I can dedicate a few hours. Therefore, I switched to working on Grand Illusion. I had decided to change from dark green pieced sashing to light green, allowing the blocks to stand out better. Check out the difference:

Switch to light green....
Much better!

I have to pause a moment and brag about my daughter. Her prom was last Friday and she looked so beautiful!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Appreciating Life

Unlike Twitter fanatics, I don’t fantasize about sharing my entire life with the public. I like to live my life quietly and privately….to an extent. In my free-form web searches for new quilting patterns, I found myself wishing more quilters would share their designs, finished projects and also share tips to help us improve our quilting skills.

Then I found myself enjoying the stories fellow quilters included in their blog posts. One quilter is also a nurse who shared her experiences with unnamed patients, how they inspired her to appreciate life. Another quilt shared her struggles with weight loss in an unusually uplifting way. Other quilters who support charitable activities such as Project Linus or Quilts of Valor and share pictures and stories of those who receive their donations. Such amazing people!  And many of them actually read my blog and post occasional comments which never fail to encourage me. Thank you, my friends.

So when I decided to share my quilting activities, I also wanted to give others a glimpse into my other interest – aviation. People tell me that my face glows and my eyes sparkle when I talk about being a pilot. Hopefully my enthusiasm for flying comes through when I share this part of my life. [OMG flying is so much fun!].

So what have I been up to since my last blog?

Sewing . Mocha Swirl is back from being longarmed, but not bound because I need to order a bit more fabric for the binding. I finished the last of the neutral string blocks for Blueberry Hill and now need to focus on the remaining broken dishes blocks before beginning on the string – yes, string – border.  I am struggling to resist starting a new project until I finish more quilts in progress. Maybe I can sneak in a wall hanging to satisfy that urge.

Gardening. It’s spring. I planted peas several weeks ago and they are already 5 inches tall. Last weekend I planted nearly all of my garden with green beans, tomatoes, peppers, herbs, beets, lettuce, spinach, onions, cucumbers and summer squash. The plants enjoyed three spring showers this week.

Flying. Ah yes. Freedom of the air. I got back into the air with some landing practice early April. Last weekend my hubby and I flew along with a friend to a nearby town which happens to have a great seed store near the airport. We celebrated our purchases with lunch then flew back home. That’s why I own an airplane. It’s satisfying to have the freedom to take a trip “on the fly” [pun intended]. We are planning a flying trip this summer and I hope to have plenty of stories and pictures to share.

Reading. I am not a paid reviewer, but I do subscribe to BookBub which notifies me of free or discounted books to read on my electronic devices. I have posted several reviews on Amazon, both favorable and well, warnings not to waste your time.  The funniest one I read this month was Death of a Dapper Snowman by Angela Pepper.
Cooking. My daughter’s boyfriend and I have perfected recipes for arroz con gandules and flan. Now for a related side note.  I have ordered many specialty spices and blends from Xxxx for many years. However, after their owner published several preachy essays fixated only on one very inaccurate viewpoint, I have decided to boycott the company. That’s my choice. I am not sharing their name because I do not want to encourage sales of their products or invite people to try to change my mind.

Motherhood. It’s my daughter’s senior year of high school, she just turned 18 and this is prom week. Emotional rollercoasters, drama and angst.  ‘Nough said.

Working. Too much work, not enough vacation. That needs to change soon.

Exercise. Not enough.  That needs to change soon, too.  [Andee, keep pushing me with your Fitbit stats!]

Family and Friends.  I try to keep up with family news with regular calls, texts and emails. I trade emails with friends. But I crave more face-to-face social interaction.  One of my goals is to cultivate more friendships and plan more outings to improve our social life. Now I have a party invitation and an open coffee invitation from a new female friend. I also met a local female pilot I would like to get to know better. And I hope YOU, dear reader, will post a greeting on my blog. I promise to post more often on other’s blogs, too.

All in all, I am fortunate in my life and health. We live in an amazing age and are fortunate to enjoy so much freedom. Let’s count our blessings and face our challenges with hope.


Friday, April 3, 2015

Becoming an adult

Yesterday was my dear daughter's 18th birthday. Supposedly she is an adult now, but I will always think of her as my baby girl. She has such a bright future. I am so proud of her!  My most recent advice to her was "Just because you Can doesn't mean you Should."  Please share your words of wisdom or advice in a comment.

Earlier this week, just before March ended, I finished my two yellow blocks for my 2015 Rainbow Scrap Quilt designed by I can't wait to start on purple blocks for April.

Last weekend I dropped off three quilts with North Star Longarm Service, one of which was the humoguously, gigantico king-sized Celtic Solstice. I am so excited that one is nearly finished!  My longarmer Cindy was in awe of the number of pieces in it. Bonnie Hunter's quilts are so detailed. There are a few die-hard quilters who finish her mystery quilts right away. Thank goodness there are an even greater number who, like me, need a BIT more time to finish up. Like, a whole year.

Again, my theme for this year is Perseverance.  I am really trying to finish up some of my UFOs. This week I am working on Blueberry Hill (Jamestown Landing design by Bonnie Hunter). OMG - this one is like a marathon!  I have decided not to do a string border and simply find a nice blue stripe for the outer border. IMHO, a string border is just asking for an unraveled nightmare with so many seams on the outside edge. Yes, I could stay-stitch the edge but there is still a risk. Besides, I am saving my blues for Bonnie's Smith Mountain design. Or maybe I'm just tired of sewing strings. Anyway, check out the progress....

 I am proud to report that I need only 18 more string blocks and 17 more broken dishes blocks to finish up.