Sunday, February 25, 2024

I'm no quitter...

Did anyone else see this moon ring?  Since Ella passed, my husband and I continued the tradition of a last jaunt outside before bed.  Last week, were pleasantly surprised by this moon ring.  Breathtaking.

I'm kind of in a moon phase, as I had to stop on the way home from work and take a picture of the moon over the trees.  It was so peaceful.   
I'd be a liar if I told you I didn't want to quit on this project, but I didn't.  I can't tell you how many times I ripped this apart and resewed it.  Only to find it was still off.  I had to seriously ponder why the tail was incorrect.  After numerous times of pinning and repining, I realized I must have accidently left and extra 1/4-inch seam.  I have never wanted to throw something away as much as I wanted to throw this project in the trash.  I just couldn't do it.  I couldn't walk away.   I also hate unfinished projects.  If I start something, I am determined to finish it.  
My mom asked me how many glasses of wine it took to finish it.  Truth is there is no drinking with a project this difficult.  It was hard enough with all of my senses intact.  I ran out of cloud material and had to substitute the only blue that was close enough.  The whole project was with leftover materials.  The batting was leftover, the binding was leftover, and all of the pieces were leftover from numerous projects.  In the end, I used a nice dark leftover thread to provide a decorative pattern around the binding.  As you can see it was a nailbiter to the end.    

I didn't quit.  I kept ripping that sucker apart and putting it back together.  Is it perfect, no.  Nothing I do is perfect, but I didn't throw in the towel, no matter how bad I wanted to, and I finished it.  I am all the wiser for doing it.  It was one of the hardest quilting projects I have ever done.  It pushed my limits and my patience.  
I wasn't the only person working on projects.  My husband loves to make signs and he has been working all week on this Gone Fishing sign.  It isn't completely done, but I love how it looks.  He isn't quite done with it.  
We had a great weekend.  Lots of walks, great meals, and projects to keep us busy.  Today at the end of the day it was warm enough to sit outside and watch the sunset, while finally enjoying a glass of hard-earned wine.  
Tonight's sunset was a bit lackluster compared to last night's sunset.  Yesterday the colors were wonderful. 

One has to love the beauty Mother Nature provides.  Funny how you need clouds to see the colors in life.  
What is a project that you wanted to quit, but just kept at it?  How did you feel when it was done?

Sunday, February 18, 2024


 Sooooo, paper piecing may not be my thing.  I thought it was a good way to use up scraps, but it really isn't.  I ran out of sky material at the very end.  It seemed like you could get in a good rhythm and things would go well.  They didn't.  

I thought I was doing great, but as you can see the hump has a few issues.
I knew I was having issues with the hump, but the tail malfunction completely blindsided me.  I don't know what happened there, but it isn't pretty. 
The seam ripper is my friend.  The seam ripper is my friend.  The seam ripper is my friend.
On to other less frustrating areas of my life.  I did hot yoga this weekend with a good friend of mine, Michelle.  Afterwards, we enjoyed a cup of coffee and a refreshing visit.  We both have undergone some big changes in our lives lately.  Sometimes you just need to talk things out with a friend.

My husband and I have really been enjoying the outdoors this weekend.  I am forever thankful that we can go for walks together.  Many years ago, he had a bad hip and we couldn't walk 30 yards without him enduring days of pain afterward.  He had hip replacement surgery about 15 years ago and the results have been amazing.  I never take our walks for granted.
It snowed this week and I have to say it was much needed.  Everything feels like it just got a fresh coat of paint.  The snow renewed winter.  Things look crisp and clean.  Once in a while life needs a reset and that is what the snow provided.  Have you had snow lately?

Sunday, February 11, 2024

My life is in pieces...

 I'm very blessed to have some good friends.  Jody and I have known each other since college.  Over time we both developed a love for quilting.  We've gone to a few quilt camps together and hit a quilt show once in a while.  She is amazing at choosing colors and thoughtful while creating her masterpieces.  I on the other hand, charge forward and frequent the use of my seam ripper.

She has taken the plunge and now works a quilt shop, bought a long arm quilting machine, and is making her love of quilting a career.   This weekend she invited me to attend a paper piecing class held at the Quilted Buffalo, where she works.  I absolutely love the pattern, so I was all in.

Little did I know what I was getting into.  First off, I came down with a terrible cold.  My eyes were watering, my nose was running, and everything was punctuated with a brain rattling sneeze.  I was determined to take the class, because I didn't know when it would be held again.  I donned a mask, some Benadryl, and hot coffee.  As you can see from the pattern below, paper piecing this was not going to be a walk in the park.  Now, try to do it with a fuzzy head.  
It went better than I anticipated, but I won't lie the seam ripper was my friend.  If you have never paper pieced this is what it looks like.  Very much like a puzzle.  
I went with dark earth tones and a sky background.   Jody went with a dark leather like background, and she is making a white buffalo.

Here is another version. The combinations are endless.  It was great getting to see where Jody works and some of the quilts she had done.  We got to do some visiting.  We also met a farmer from Milbank that wandered in, sat, and chatted with our class while his wife was shopping.  He was a hoot.  He tried to pick up some of our lingo, so he could communicate with his better half.  He was familiar with the seam ripper, "You cuss when you use that, right?"  Right he is.
When I got home, I slept hard.  All of that thinking while dealing with a head cold was too much, plus and long drive home.  This morning, I felt better, so I tackled the project again.  As you can see, I am plugging along.  Yes, I have had to use the seam ripper.  Yes, cussing was involved.  
Challenges are a good thing. This is tough, but I'm going to see it through to the end.  It was great doing the class with Jody.  A good friend is like a four-leaf clover; hard to find and lucky to have.  What is your latest challenge?  What was the last thing you did with your best friend?

I'm adding links to the Facebook pages for the Quilted Buffalo and Jody's Our Quilty Things in case you are also a quilter.

Quilted Buffalo

Our Quilty Things

Sunday, February 4, 2024

Forward motion...

 This week I had a traffic jam on the way home from work.  I can handle this kind of traffic. 

Saturday morning was perfect.  It was warm and sunny.  I sat on the deck, enjoyed my morning coffee, and watched the nuthatches, chickadees, hairy woodpeckers, downy woodpeckers, pine siskins, juncos, blue jays at the feeders.  I can't remember the last time I sat outside.  The new deck is wonderful.
My husband and I took several walks.  I have to admit they were frustrating, as the snow is rotten and there was ice everywhere.  It wasn't enjoyable and we really missed Ella.  We did admire this beautiful pine at the back of our property.  I wish I knew how old it is.
Despite the good weather, I was determined to finish my quilt top.  Here it is.  I was confident when I picked the fabrics.  While piecing it together, I began to question my color choices.  Now, I am extremely happy with the final outcome.  
Sunday was crazy.  I got up and sat on the deck with coffee.  The fog was slowly creeping up the valley.
It didn't take long and there was a light rain and everything around us was socked in with fog.  We stayed just above it.
Then as fast as it rolled in it rolled out.  The next thing I know and this afternoon I looked out the window the fog had disappeared, and the sun was shining.  I guess what they say is true, "if you don't like the weather, wait a minute and it will change."
I feel pretty productive this weekend.  We put some handrails up in the barn, I completed the quilt top, and bottled some grape wine.  I was also able to get a few walks in.  They were bittersweet, as the snow was rotten and Ella was missed greatly.

Have you been making progress on your winter projects?  Spring is around the corner.  Before you know it we will be gardening.