Saturday, June 30, 2007

Orphan top almost finished

I couldn't believe it when I discovered that I had enough orphan blocks and parts that I could make two quilt tops! I could have made one queen size top, but I wanted this for our tent trailer. Our sleeping bags are now 37 years old, the down is almost nonexistent in places, and most of the time we camp it's too warm for down sleeping bags anyway. Now we'll finally be able to toss them because we'll have two orphan block quilts instead - one for each bed. I'll put wool batting in them so they'll be warm when needed and cooler when needed - I just love wool batting!

Here is the first top - all finished except for the borders. I'm going to work on getting the second top together before I put borders on either one because there are still orphan blocks all over the sewing room. I love the way this looks - in spite of the fact that so many of the colors are so much brighter than fabrics I work with these days. It feels so good to be making something out of all these bits and pieces - and it feels especially good to get them out of the boxes and drawers in my sewing room!

Hopefully by this time tomorrow I'll have a second top to share - that's my plan anyway!

A perfect weekend . . .

That's what I'm expecting. Why? Because there is nothing I have to do - I can spend the whole weekend sewing! Last night I finished the repairs on my son-in-law's sister's quilt so they can deliver it to her tomorrow. Tonight I'll baste my friend's quilt that's on the machine while I watch the Mariners beat - hopefully - the Blue Jays again. And the rest of the weekend is for my own sewing! I hope to have the orphan top together by Sunday night, and at least one of my own quilts quilted. Should be doable!
I put out all my red, white and blue summer decorations last month. In past years I've left my spring teapots and tea cups on the buffet and dry sink, but this year I put them away because I wanted to find some patriotic dishes for the summer. I've been looking and looking but couldn't find anything. Yesterday I thought to check the "one stop shopping center" where I get my groceries. I don't know why I didn't look there before, as that's where I found the great fall things a couple years ago. Wouldn't you know it - they had just what I've been looking for! And since the 4th is almost here they were all on sale for 25% off. I love how they look. I don't know what it is about new dishes - they just make my heart sing. I think if I had the storage room and money I'd have as big a stash of dishes as I do of fabric!

1. Cool weather
2. A mid-week day off work
3. A $6 red and white checked table cloth for the dining room
4. A bed full of white Shasta daises and blue-purple lavender
5. A scale heading downward after a disastrous week weight-wise


Sunday, June 24, 2007

OK - I lied - just one more

I can't resist posting one more picture. I played around with what I had on the wall, trying to get a better balance of color and value. I like this better than what I had, but it still isn't right. I need more parts to play with. They are coming - but not as quickly as I'd like. Rats - too bad I can't stay home from work tomorrow! I sure could have fun!

I finished my Harry Potter movie-thon. Now I need to focus on listening to the rest of the books.

A fabric jigsaw puzzle - almost

The difference is I can chop off a piece if it's a little too long, or sew another hunk of fabric onto a piece if it's a little two short. As I've said before, there are very few actual orphan blocks in this work-in-progress. You can see a 25-patch in teal and purple and cream - that's a leftover block from the Double Irish Chain I made for my daughter to take to college. She had roommate problems her first year, and spent many a night wrapped in this quilt on the floor of friends' rooms. You can see part of the finished quilt in this picture of their kitty. There are a couple rail fence blocks left over from a baby quilt I made for one of my assistants at work. There is a nine patch or two and a pinwheel. There are lots and lots of leftover chunks of strata from various projects. And lots and lots of half square and quarter square triangle squares. There are even a few that I turned into Broken Dishes blocks - as Finn said this wouldn't be complete without a few of those. Some of the blocks you see on the design wall are already stitched together, others are not. I don't want to stitch too many together as I want to have freedom of placement for color and value balance. Many of the "spare parts" were enlarged by using the "mile-a-minute" method - very effective for a project like this. So far this is both the same and different from sewing string or crumb blocks - easier and harder at the same time. As the others it's been very addicting - in spite of my best plans I've done nothing but this all day. I didn't even go upstairs to watch the baseball game - instead I listened on the radio while I sewed.
On the ironing board you can see lots of trimmed "parts" as well as some still needing trimming and some needing pressing. I most likely won't get to all those before I have to head to bed, so I decided to post anyway before I finished. I still have no feeling as to how big this quilt will become. I'm pulling random strips of various widths out of drawers, have robbed my bin of 2" squares, and even robbed a bit from my tubs of half square triangle squares. I'd love for this to become big enough to serve as a quilt for our camper, or possibly a Hotel Hope quilt. I've had the same pleasure making this quilt as I did my Broken Dishes - revisiting fabrics from so many past projects. Once again I'm amazed at how fabrics have changed through the years and how my tasted have changed too. There are so many fabrics here that I'd never use and would never buy now - yet they all look great together in this quilt. There are even pieces from Amy the Calico Cat - scraps I happily took off her hands from the quilt she made of homespuns. Amazingly enough they look great mixed in with all the rest.

I probably won't show more of this top until it is done - after all, the pictures don't really look all that different from the ones I posted this morning. I wanted a record of progress made - progress I'm very happy with - at least so far.

Site meter

I still don't have my site meter back, unfortunately. The weekly report I received this morning indicated that I've now received over 10,000 visitors. Amazing! I can't believe so many people are interested in what I say and do!

Unfortunately I can't figure out any way to tell which visitor was number 10,000. I suppose if I forked over the money for an upgrade from the free meter I could, but I'd much rather save that money for something else!

Out of chaos . . . a little less chaos!

I can't believe it's been so long since I posted! I've spent the last few days on the computer in a valiant effort to catch up with my blog reading. Hasn't happened, but at least I'm not as far behind as I was.

The little sewing I've gotten done involved stitching my chaos of block parts into larger pieces - working toward my goal of having everything fit together into large 12" blocks. I matched things according to their sizes, not paying any attention to whether or not fabrics "went" with each other. I subscribe to Sharon Craig's believe that everything goes with everything, so the only rule I used is that the two pieces couldn't be exactly the same color. What fun I had playing with all these pieces! I'm still not ready to start designing with them - they are still too varied in size - but I'm getting closer. I threw lots of them up on the design wall again for a new picture - I really love what I'm seeing! I'm going to allow myself only a couple hours today to play with these, as I have other things I need to finish first.

My friend Kim loved the way I quilted the African quilt I'm happy to say. She disagreed with my believe that I'm not ready to do elaborate feather wreaths on her quilt, but accepted my decision. She gave it back to me so I could baste it for her - she's decided she will hand quilt it instead. I have it on the machine and it shouldn't take me more than an hour or so to put in the basting stitches. I can do that during the ball game today.

I also have a quilt repair job that I need to do. I totally forgot about this one when I happily stated that I had nothing left here that wasn't my own. I've had this one for a year or two - it's time I finished it and returned it to the owner. I belongs to our son-in-law's sister, and was made by her grandmother. It's warn very thin over some of the back, and some of the patches on the front have worn partially away. I need to applique new pieces over the front patches and then do what I can for the back. It may need to have an entirely new back - I've not yet decided. The backing is turned to the front for the binding so putting a new backing over the old one won't be that much trouble. I don't have any fluffy pink yarn to tie a new backing, which is how it finished now, so I'll have to figure out something else for the ties. I've committed to finishing it by the end of the month, so I need to get started today.

Thursday we celebrated our 38th anniversary in a very quiet way - dinner at Applebees and then an evening at home watching Felix pitch a great game in a Mariners defeat of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Felix, our staff ace, hasn't been himself since he came off the disabled list so it was great to see him pitch well again.

Yesterday we had all the kids here to celebrate our daughter's 33rd birthday - which is today. I woke up with the realization that I'd forgotten to order the ice cream cake - horrors! Luckily I've been getting our "cakes" from the same Baskin Robbins for years, and the owner is a fellow quilter and guild member, so she did a rush order for me and I was able to pick it up when we returned home after dinner. It was a very nice visit - even though Sophie has now reached the age where she doesn't want to be held by anyone other than Mama or Daddy. By the end of the day she warmed up a little so I was able to get a quick snuggle with a happy girl instead of a protesting one. I'll be happy when this stage ends!

OK - that's enough rambling from me. As I have lots of plans for the day I guess I'd better get in the shower so I can start being productive!

1. Jelly rolls, jolly packs, and charm packs
2. Ten pounds lost!
3. Warm rain for the garden
4. Summer vacation for DH
5. Hot tea with milk


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Finally a response

After four days I finally got a response from the help folks at site meter. Here's what they say:

Hello, We are correcting a problem with the meter styles on s29. If you are using the dynamically updated counter style you may be experiencing issues with the counter not being visible on your page. We are continuing to track your statistics and no information has been lost. We will post more information at once the problem has been corrected.

Thank you, Site Meter Team

I was really hoping that I could keep close enough track that I could identify the 100,000 visitor to my blog. Unless they fix it quickly that's not going to be possible, as I'm now above 99,000. So much for offering a prize to the 100,000 visitor!

So I guess I'm going to have to pick a post like everyone else has done and draw a name from everyone who comments. Of course I have to figure out what a good prize would be first. I'm on post 367 right now so I think the 400th post would be a good time. That gives me time to come up with a prize also!

In the meantime I'm way behind on blog reading - as usual. I hope everyone is having lots of quilty fun - I'll catch up one of these days!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Monday musings

Here are better pictures of the two quilts I quilted this weekend. The sampler is for Hotel Hope and the African quilt belongs to my friend Kim. Kim gave me another one to do also, but I'm going to return it to her. At least for now. It has huge expanses of plain white space in between simple blue and yellow star blocks, and I feel totally inadequate to do something like this yet. She wants fancy designs in the white empty spaces, which means I'll have to sew over prior stitching many, many times. I'm just not very good at that yet. If the print is busy it hides it a bit - also, on my own quilts I figure I'm practicing. I know every stitch will stand out on that white background, so I'm going to be honest and tell her I just can't do something like that. Not until I have put in much more practice time than I have up until now.
Which means after Tangled Threads tomorrow night there will be no flimsies in the house to quilt except mine - hooray! I'm hoping to get both Joseph's quilt and my first string top quilted this next weekend so I can cross two more off my list. Time will tell.

In the meantime tonight I stitched and trimmed and stitched some more, fitting together oddball parts and blocks for my "Orphan Train" quilt. I decided to stitch some of the smaller bits to strips that I pulled sight unseen from my strip drawer so it felt like I was making mile-a-minute blocks at least part of the time. I watched the first Harry Potter movie while I worked. My goal is to watch the first four movies again before the next one comes out in July, as well as listen to the first six books before the last one comes out. They are good things to stitch and quilt by - I've seen and heard them so many times that I don't have to pay really close attention.

This is going to be a busy week at work - a good thing as the time should go quickly. I can hardly wait until the weekend so I can put one of MY quilt tops on the machine!
1. Healthy Chinese take-out for dinner
2. A good medical prognosis for my new supervisor
3. Sophie "passing" her four month check-up with flying colors
4. Perfect June weather - not too hot
5. The successful conclusion of Fred's 38th year of teaching


Saturday, June 16, 2007


Seeing all the stitchery going on and getting the transfers in the mail has spurred me to get out a couple redwork towels for my kitchen. I made these days of the week towels several summers ago. They were great handwork for camping trips that summer. They aren't for show only - seems like whenever I put them out on the oven door they eventually get used. We always have a few dishes to wash as my Calphalon pots and pans aren't dishwasher proof. These look like they could use a good pressing, but I decided to take a picture of them for posting anyway. I won't do the new ones in redwork - instead I'll use lots of different thread colors, just as I did when I was a child.

I'm going to be needing some longarm thread very soon - and it looks like Checkers sells flour sack dish towels. Time to polish up my stitchery skills!

What happened to my site meter?

The last few days my site meter has been missing - it's just disappeared. When I check the HTML the code is still there. I'm still getting weekly reports so I know it's still counting.

Doesn't anyone know how I can get it to appear again? I didn't change any of the settings. I wrote their "help" group a message when it first happened but I've not received any help. I hate not being able to see it.

If anyone knows how to make it appear again I'd be most grateful for assistance! Thanks ahead of time.

Saturday ramblings

So far it's been a busy weekend. I put the last Hotel Hope quilt top on the machine yesterday afternoon - at least the last one I have that was made by someone besides me - and started quilting it. I didn't think I'd get it done until today, but I kept plugging away. I quilted until the Mariners lost to the Astros. Then I resumed listing to "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban". I noticed it was starting to get dark, so I figured Fred would be up to say good night soon, and then I'd head to bed. I kept quilting, Fred didn't turn up, and it got later and later. By the time I finally Fred must have fallen asleep - he had - I was almost done. I reached the end of the quilt about the same time I reached the end of the book. I used a panto I've not used before - Popcorn by Jodi Beamish - and I really liked how it turned out. By the time I was done it was 10:30, so I headed to bed.

The last couple days I have hit the jackpot as far as mail and UPS deliveries go. I ordered new pantographs from three different sources - two packages arrived yesterday and one today. My second Vogart transfer arrived today. A small order from Z&S Fabrics - I know, I know, but dieting doesn't mean starving! - arrived today. Two Aunt Martha's transfers for baby quilts arrived yesterday. A back order from Checkers containing a couple new quilt books and some Mary Engelbright tins for decorating my sewing room. Packages arriving is the best thing about shopping online!

I'm always striving to be more organized, and my pantograph storage was driving me nuts. I had to pull out almost every roll every time I wanted a particular design - even though I thought I'd organized them in a logical manner. So last Monday was my evening to solve this problem. I put them all on an alphabetized spreadsheet and assigned each one a shelf location. My shelf is a very inexpensive one that we used to use at work, but it had sat unused for several years so our facilities manager said I could buy it for $5. Worked for me! I labeled the shelves to match the chart. Then I put a lot of spare ribbon to use by tying one around each design - the "rubber" bands I'd put around them kept disintegrating. This morning I added all the new ones. I didn't realize I had so many - almost 50! There are a bunch I've never used yet, so I'm hoping many are suitable for either the quilt tops I have waiting already or all the scrappy tops I've been putting together these days.

Once I finished my organization I put another quilt on the longarm. This is one made by my friend Kim - the friend whose son is in Iraq and is part of the tank platoon we did the quilts for. In August Kim is moving to Finland for a year as her husband will be working there. She's clearing out almost everything as they have put their house on the market. She brought over the roll of batting left over from the Iraq quilts - probably about 22 yards - so I'm quilting a quilt for her. It's from African fabrics, and I'm having lots of fun with the custom quilting. Unlike most longarmers I like doing stitch in the ditch, and this quilt has lots of it. Plus applique to embellish and quilt around.

My back has given out for tonight so this won't be finished until tomorrow. I'll get a better picture of it then. Fred's going to work out so I'll have a bit of quilting time. I want to fix him a nice breakfast when he gets home, and then the kids are coming over for a Father's Day celebration in the afternoon.

All weekends should be this productive!

1. Fred cleaning up the kitchen after dinner
2. Receiving an organizational gene
3. A comfortable relationship with my longarm - I'm not so much a newbie any longer
4. Healthy Choice fudge ice cream bars
5. Rain showers for our garden


Friday, June 15, 2007


Inspired by Finn, Bonnie and Tonya, I took my box of "orphans" off the shelf and started throwing them up on the design wall. I love the "orphan train" quilts they've been posting. The idea of making something from almost nothing - note my similar obsession with strings and crumbs - is so appealing. I decided it was time these saw the light of day and became part of a quilt too.

Oh my - talk about chaos! I've not tried to arrange anything much in this picture - I just randomly threw stuff up on the wall, moving it or turning it if too many similar shapes or lines were together. I can tell immediately that I'm not yet ready for this. Or maybe I should say my orphans aren't ready for this. You see, most of my orphans are not full blocks. Instead they are stray half and quarter square triangle squares of oddball sizes, strip sets, little four patches, and other odds and ends from my years of quilt making. The sizes are just too varied and in many cases too odd for me to work with comfortably "as is". Maybe some people can work in this size chaos - I know I can't.

So the first order of business is to make these into sizes that will fit together without too much problem - maybe finished sizes of 3"x 3", 6"x 3", 9"x 3", 6"x 6", 6" x 12", 12" x 12" and so on. I have drawers full of strips I can sew onto these and chop off as needed in order to make turn the parts into sizes that will fit together.

Once I do that I will be ready to go back to the design wall and begin again. I'm really looking forward to that. In the meantime I'll take these down and start "chunking" them into manageable sizes.
don't get me wrong - I love the chaos of colors, prints, shapes, and values! These are what will keep my creative juices flowing as I turn this into a one-of-a-kind quilt.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Nostalgia - and personal indulgence

I don't have anything quilty to report. I haven't had time to stitch since Sunday. When I finish this post I plan to go upstairs to pin another quilt on the machine - it will be so nice to touch fabric again! I'm in the middle of a marathon "listening" session while I quilt - I borrowed all the Harry Potter books on CD from my kids so I could "read" them all again before the next one comes out. Just a little over a month - I can hardly wait! Is Snape really a bad guy or a good guy? Will Harry survive? Those are the burning questions we all want answered!

In the meantime my "quilty" time has consisted of browsing the Internet at work during lunch. I've been intrigued by a
new blogger I found who collects vintage embroidery transfers. I've not thought of Vogart transfers for years and years. Memories came flooding back as I read the posts and perused the pictures. Memories of spending my small allowance of 25 cents a week on embroidery floss and transfers. I think floss was two or three skeins for 5 cents, and transfers were either 10 cents or 15 cents. My mother bought flour sacks at J.J. Newberry, cut them in half and hemmed them, getting two dish towels per flour sack. Then she stamped them for me, and I stitched the designs.

When my allowance increased and I started junior I started buying my own flour sacks. I loved to embroider - my mother started me stitching when I was five or six. I can remember many summer days when she'd say "Enough Patti Jo - put down that embroidery and go outside for some fresh air and exercise!" My reply was always the same - "I don't want to go outside - I don't need fresh air and exercise!" Didn't usually work, so I had to ride my bike for awhile before I could sneak back inside to go back to my stitching.

As years passed my birthday and Christmas gifts to mom expanded from one or two towels to an entire set. I laugh now when I think of that - because my sister and I did the dinner dishes and probably used the towels way more than she did. I loved the designs with days of the week the best - even though the towels were never used on the appropriate days! I stored my thread by clipping the skeins into good lengths and braiding them. I'd hook them around someones finger if one was available - otherwise I used my big toe for braiding the thread! I still have thread from my youth that I keep and use this way, though I started storing new thread differently when I became addicted to counted cross stitch.

Fast forward to last Monday. Floresita talked about buying vintage transfers on Ebay, so I took a look. What a wealth I found - including many of the very same transfers I'd stitched as a child. That's when I knew I had to have a few of them. The towels I made as a child turned to rags long ago - I never did make a set for my hope chest as I'd change my mind and give them to my mother for yet another gift. Now I will make them again - stitching to my memories of wonderful times. I will hang them in my kitchen to be pretty - not used - and will be reminded of happy times whenever I see them. I bought this set on Ebay on Monday evening, paying more than I probably should have but worth every penny for the memories. I won another set Tuesday - kittens in the kitchen - which should arrive soon. Just thinking about stitching these designs again fills me with happiness.

1. A glass of ice cold milk
2. Treasures brought by the mail carrier
3. The colors of my world
4. Another pound lost!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

That was quick!

I finished the last customer quilt tonight - a red and white baby quilt that needed an easy panto. I like doing these - I actually feel I make a good wage per hour when I do easy pantos. Our financial planner, who also happens to be a colleague at work and a quilter, made this for her niece who is having a baby. I love the red and white combination. So very bright and cheery! I quilted a design called "Shooting Stars" by Jodi Beamish. (I think!) I like this design a lot - I've used it on at least 10 or 12 quilts. Update - the design is by Bonnie Borseth.

I hope to get the charity quilt finished tomorrow. We'll see how that goes - my feet and back may hurt from all the time I spent at the machine today.

All in all this was a great weekend, but it wasn't completely without injury. While quilting the baby quilt I ran the longarm needle through the side of my finger. Hurt a lot at first, but a tight bandaid to stop the blood took care of things and now it's just a nuisance when I quilt. Time spend by quickly these past two days - nevertheless, I'm very satisfied at the number of quilting goals I accomplished. All weekends should be so productive!


I am VERY happy to report that I've finished quilting my friend's convergence quilt. It is far from perfect, but it will do just fine. I finally gave up with the water design I wanted to do. It's a freehand right to left design, and no matter how much I practiced on my Magnadoodle I couldn't do it. I finally decided it's because going left to right is so firmly entrenched in my brain that no matter how hard I try I reverse direction without thinking. I know the same pattern can be done left to right, but since my book shows it being done in the opposite direction I'll need to take a reverse photocopy in order to picture it.

I am happy with how it turned out, and I know my friend will be also. I've now received another customer quilt plus a charity quilt plus two quilts from a friend I'm quilting in trade for batting. So doing another of my own - plus Joseph's - will need to be delayed a bit longer.

1. Perfect weather for fertilizing the lawn
2. A husband who enjoys grocery shopping
3. King Tut variegated thread
4. Sleeping in this morning
5. Another come from behind Mariners victory


Saturday, June 9, 2007

No trips to emergency today

Cher and I had a very safe and sane scrap cutting session - though neither of us cut any scraps LOL! Cher cut almost all the pieces for her son's wedding quilt. I spent the day winding my embroidery floss onto floss bobbins. In spite of Dawn's comment that I could very well sprain my wrist doing that - with my luck - all was well. We had a good visit, wonderful chicken and yam soup made by Cher and a trip to Starbucks in the afternoon. The best kind of day to spend with a quilty friend.

Friday, June 8, 2007

One more top finished

Tonight was the first North Star Quilters "Sew Along". Our little guild has had four "Sew Frenzies" a year - one every quarter - since before I joined. At the last one there were a lot of comments from people wishing we got together more often to sew. Thus we decided to have a "Sew Along" half way between each "Sew Frenzy". Both happen Friday nights from 6:30 until midnight - though we very rarely make it that late. There is usually always a planned activity for the frenzies, and a potluck dinner. We decided for the new days we'd work on whatever we wanted, and have dinner before we came. We had 9 turn out tonight, which is more than have made it to the last several frenzies.

I had great plans for tonight. I figured I'd have Joseph's top together by about 8:00 or so, and then could work on mile-a-minute blocks from then on. That's what I packed for too. Well, I knew that Joseph's quilt had been a mistake-fraught quilt from the beginning, but I figured I was past that. After all, all I was doing was sewing it together. Hah! At least four more mistakes tonight - incorrect measuring, unexpected cut through part of a border, sewing pieces together wrong at least twice if not more. The good news is that I did find the perfect outside border in my stash, and the top is now done. Nothing was accomplished on the mile-a-minute blocks as I didn't finish the baby top until after 10:30. By then most everyone was packing up. At least I got exercise toting the rest of the stuff back and forth from the sewing room to the car - three times!

Tomorrow Cher and I are having another scrap cutting session. I'm going to try very hard not to slice into my finger again. I think I'll start by letting her cut while I wind floss on bobbins. That sounds like a fairly safe activity, don't you think?
1. Good times with quilty friends
2. A project finished at work
3. Another pound lost
4. A new quilty t-shirt
5. Cool weekend weather forecast


Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Coming right along

Last night I finished the last two blocks of Joseph's quilt. These are the two heart blocks I had to do over because the hearts were fused on in the wrong direction. I don't have the sashing strips cut out yet but I couldn't resist laying them out to see how they look. I really like the way it all fits together! The rest should be easy - except for one thing. In my entire stash it doesn't appear that I have a good fabric for the outside border. I'm hoping when I get the rest of it together that I'll find something that works. I really wanted to make this entire quilt from stash.

1. Cooler weather today
2. A great score in Phase 10 dice
3. 6.5 pounds lost in the last 16 days
4. Silky cotton sheets
5. A new quilty sweatshirt

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Finished is a very good thing!

Apparently this is the weekend for finishes. I don't keep a list for crossing things off except in my mind - it feels really good to cross these off my mental "list".

I finished quilting two flannel samplers for a customer that needed to be done by mid-June. I've not quilted a sampler before so I had lots and lots of fun figuring out how to quilt each block. I'm lucky - quilts "talk" to me and tell me how they want to be quilted. These two were no exception - their message was coming through loud and clear. I liked the results so much that I took a picture of each block - I've never done that before. The owner of these quilts is in my little guild, so I'll deliver them to her at the meeting on Thursday. I sure hope she likes them as much as I do. I've never done two custom quilts one after the other in one day - by the time I was done with the second one last night my legs and back were aching as were my hands from gripping the handles of the machine. I know some ladies have put new cushioned grip bicycle hand grips on their machine - I think I need to look into something like that.

In between quilts yesterday I helped my husband spread another yard of bark. It was HOT outside, and my body just doesn't like the heat. The thermometer said it was in the mid to upper '80's, and standing in the sun was more than I could do. We were doing the beds to the east of our driveway, so I sat under the crab apple tree watching him shovel a load into the wheelbarrow and then dump it on the beds. My job was coming out of the shade long enough to spread the bark in a nice layer all around the plants while he went back to the truck for another load. We couldn't believe it - this load was supposed to be the last - but it wasn't enough to do everything. With the little that was left Fred did the neighbor's side of our west bed that borders the property line while I swept all the stray bark off the driveway. Our yard recycle containers are empty so I could have moved on to trimming shrubs but it was too darn hot. There was no bark left for the bed on the west side of the house either. We decided to call it quits until next weekend - hopefully it will be a bit cooler then. I came in and jumped into the shower while Fred went to the club to shower, then to the grocery store for milk, and finally to Subway to get our dinner. I was starting the second flannel quilt by the time he got back with the sandwiches. At least everything visible from the front of the house now looks great - as long a one doesn't pay that much attention to the shrubs that need trimming!

Today I'm doing the very last customer quilt in my possession. I've had this one almost since I first got my machine. It's a good thing my friend Sue is in no hurry for this one. I told her it had to wait until I felt my skills were good enough - and that's taken over 2 1/2 years. She got the idea for this convergence quilt from one she saw at a quilt show. She and her husband love to sail, have a sail boat, and decorate their large house with lots of sailing related things. The quilting is to be all freehand, with a vibrant sunshine in the sky and waves all over the water. I have a photo that shows the quilting pretty well so I know what she wants. This afternoon is going to be the day I tackle it. Wish me luck! I'll be so glad to have this one finished and off my conscience. I bet she'll be so surprised when I give it back to her on Tuesday.

Update: the photo showing finished quilting is the "idea" picture I'm to use to quilt this quilt. The quilt is on the machine but so far I've not had the courage to start quilting it. She may or may not get it on Tuesday. I keep telling myself it's not going to get any easier by putting off starting. So am I quilting? No, I'm watching baseball and reading email and blogs on the laptop.

1. Subway turkey sandwich
2. A pretty front yard
3. Big trays of flowers from Costco
4. Creme Brulee Coffeemate
5. Cooler weather today - oops! Not true after all. Hopefully tomorrow!