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2014 Busy Quarter

I have composed so many blog posts in my mind that have never been written down. This is an attempt to explain and rectify.

Last fall my hubby's uncle was in a minor traffic accident.  Since then, we have become more active in his and his wife's life.  They are delightful people but it has made us more aware that getting older is just hard.

Last fall, I enrolled in a machine quilting class at Quilt Mercantile, Celeste, TX, taught my Jackie Brown.  Unfortunately, not enough people signed up and the class had to be rescheduled.  The class was actually a two night retreat at their retreat site.  The delay gave me time to recruit three of my friends to attend with me.  If you ever have a chance to take a class from Jackie Brown, she is a knowledgeable and patient teacher.

This was Jackie's sample.  I got everything done inside the oval during class and was pretty happy with my progress.  I got over my fear which was probably my biggest obstacle.

In January, I joined the Plano chapter of the American Sewing Guild again at Lake Texoma.  My friend Joyce joined the ASG and roomed with me.  I went to this retreat with one project in mind.  The pinwheel quilt that I had made several fabric choices on, cut the wrong size, re-cut the right size and sewed wrong.  I finally got it right.  The top is complete now.  The back is ready.  The batting purchased and the binding is made.  I have decided to quilt this quilt myself using the skills I learned in the machine quilting class.  Another friend has offered to baste it for me on her quilt frame and I am going to take her up on it.  This way I can avoid the pins while quilting on my trusty Bernina 830.

Jackie gave me some great ideas on how to quilt this one.

Another project I started on the ASG retreat and finished later was Tango Wave placemats. I had purchased the pattern and fabric years ago. I finished them later at home and love using them on my breakfast nook table.

For my third retreat, I went back to Highland Lake Lodge near Emory, Texas last month.  My goal for this retreat was to make two dress for my daughter in law.  She needed pure white dresses to wear to serve as a Page at the conference for the Daughters of the American Revolution.  I got most of the two dresses done.  I wanted to give them a good pressing before putting in the zipper on one dress and buttonholes on the other dress.  Oh, I didn't tell you!  After three years of using a steam generator iron at the ASG retreats, I finally purchased one. I got the Rowenta Professional at Bed, Bath, and Beyond and used their coupon.  I love it.  After my daughter in law tried on the dresses, I hemmed the sleeves and bottom of the dresses.  She also needed a ball gown so she decided she could use her wedding dress.  It had a self train so I just had to cut and hem it even around the bottom.

In the midst of all of this, I finished a scrap quilt.  I seem to be in a scrap quilt mood.

This was a king size quilt and Debbie Westerman did a fabulous job quilting it for me.  I ordered the back from a website call Backsidefabrics. I normally don't order fabric online but this fabric was 116 inches wide and a great deal.  Their customer service was great.

In keeping with my scrappy mood, I started paper piecing hexagons a couple of years ago and made a small quilt for my mom.  i have continued to make hexagons and want to someday make a quilt out of them.  It is a great take along project and can be done while watching TV.

I am continue to work on my paper piece quilt "In a Pickle."  It was a kit I purchased at the Plano quilt show a couple of years ago.

Last week, I attended the Dallas Quilt Show.  While it is always fun to attend this show with friends, I would estimate that a good third of the quilts this year, were what is called "Modern Quilts."  There is an entire new movement of "Modern Quilters."  If you are part of this organization, more power to you.  I encourage you to sew your heart out, but I don't get it.  I will now return to the quilts I did love.  My focus had changed somewhat since I had just attend the machine quilting class so I took pictures of quilting as well of quilts.

This is what I want to be able to do, on my home machine.  Given practice, I can do it.
I am especially interested in quilting around applique since applique is my favorite type of quilt patterns.

While there was many wonderful quilts, probably my favorite was an "Affairs of the Heart" variation.  I love what the person did with the pattern.

I very seldom agree with the judges on the "Best of Show" quilt and this year was no exception.

For a person who likes to stay home, I think I have some type of trip schedule every month for the next several months.  I will be going to Lafayette to visit my family, another quilt retreat in April, Drupalcon in Austin in June, and a family reunion this summer.

It would really be hard if I had a job to go to.