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Holiday weekend

We’re enjoying our holiday weekend and keeping up with our training. Today’s walk was 4.5 miles and it was hot – even at 5:30pm. 

Being mindful of the meaning of the holiday, we remember those who have served including my father and Keith’s father. My brother-in-law, Jamie, and my nephew, Ben, visited Arlington National Cemetery to honor Keith’s dad and sent us this photo. It was an unexpected and incredibly thoughtful thing to do. 


For some reason my blog has stopped sending comments to my email – weird! Until I figure out what’s going on, I’ll check the website for any questions and respond to those manually (create a new email and copy and paste). As always, I appreciate your stopping by and your feedback. 

Speaking of Bear Paws

Mom sent me this photo today. She still has borders to add but it’s looking gorgeous!!


I’m not one to spend a lot of time on practice quilt sandwiches, I tend to draw something until I feel I’ve got the path down,  quilt a few short lines on a scrap while I’m checking my tension, and then go for it. I designed my little strippie years ago when I first got my longarm for the same reason. It allowed me to practice my quilting and still have something to show for my time in terms of a donation quilt. The three strip widths allow me to practice different designs and by the time I’ve repeated them in the strips, I found I’d mastered the design or at least improved! 

For this one, I’m quilting loops in the small strip, a fern like vine in the middle strip, and I haven’t decided yet what I’ll quilt in the wide one. Using the Adobe Idea’s app, I did a little practicing. (The Ideas app is no longer available but you could do the same with Adobe Draw)

I’ve made a start but have some errands to run this afternoon so I probably won’t finish the quilting today. 

By the way, there’s always that little voice in my mind as I start quilting one of these tops here on the regular sewing machine that says it would look so much better if I quilted everything on the longarm – after a number of years, I consider myself fairly proficient on the longarm. I ignore that voice and just start quilting. I know I’m going through a learning process – quilting is different on a regular sewing machine – but circumstances dictated that I would live away from the longarm and just visit it 3-4 times a year.  The number of tops that I can quilt during those visits is limited so if I want to continue to finish and donate a number of quilts, I need to quilt the smaller ones here. As it is, I’ve already got 6 more tops here that have been pieced since my last trip in March that will go to Big Canoe for quilting

Auditioning borders

This top will get a single framing border and I like to throw my possible choices up on the design wall while I’m working on the blocks so that by the time I’m ready to put it in, I’ve made my decision. Of course with my fabric stash in GA, I’ve got fewer choices but I found two possibilities and my initial choice is not the one I decided to use. 

I just need to sew the border on and this top will be ready to go to Big Canoe for quilting on the longarm. 


I’m feeling under the weather today and didn’t accomplish a lot but I did knit a while and bound this HeartStrings quilt of mine. Technically, I should block this to smooth out that little waviness at the top but since it’s a donation quilt and not a wall quilt, I’ll toss it into the washer and dryer and let it crinkle up. 


Keith’s been biking rather than walking because of problems with his foot. He’s been to the doctor and it’s improving but not quite enough – he did try a 5.75 mile walk with me yesterday but decided it was too much too soon. 

Today, I joined him and we biked across to Davis Island and had a picnic by the water. 

The speed and time stats are off because I didn’t pause the workout when we stopped to eat but the distance and route are accurate. 

I’ve been quilting a bit here and there this weekend and I’m almost finished with the HeartStrings quilt – I’ve even pulled out those lines in the spiral where my tension was messed up and I’ve already re-sewn them. 

Slowly making progress

Let’s see, I had to take a nap this afternoon, to take my walk this evening…

… And to watch the Bolts win tonight but there is some progress being made. The rays are in progress and I’m going to break one of the rules of quilting that says the density of the quilting should be consistent. There won’t be as much quilting in the bottom half of this one but if you can see the sides of the quilt, that’s the spacing I’m going for. I’ve also got to pick out about three partial rows of the spiral because my tension is funky. I must have knocked the thread out of the guide as I wrestled with the quilt. Luckily they’re just short rows and typically it’s easy to pull out stitches where the tension is bad. 

I know it’s crazy to put this much quilting in this Heartstrings top but I’m enjoying the challenge and learning my new machine at the same time. A couple issues are the lack of a guide on the walking foot and for some reason, I can’t seem to pick up the bottom thread and bring it to the top before I start a row of quilting. I thought it was the auto thread cutter at first and left the thread longer but still couldn’t pull it up. The needle on this machine is sideways – maybe that’s the reason but I’ve got to say it’s kind of a negative. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still very happy overall with how the machine is performing but this is just odd. I’m going to have to research it a bit to see if it’s me or if it’s just a flaw in the design. 

I’m also getting used to the new cabinet. The back extension is a big, big plus as is the tray on the right but there’s not really enough support on the left. I’m probably going to have to find some surface to extend the reach of the cabinet and to support the quilt on that side. 


The spiral quilting is done, I’ve re-pin basted the quilt and I’m planning my rays. Not sure how this is going to work out but here goes!

Construction zone

I’m loving the results but I’m so tired of living in a construction zone! The dust, the constant coming and going, the getting up early!!!

I snapped this photo of my cabinets today before they installed the mirror. Love the rectangular sinks. 

The master is done except for some minor touch ups and I had another bath after my walk this evening – loving being able to soak in the tub! The blinds were ordered from and I’m happy with them. They’re private, made for moist environments they’re white which matches the trim (and tub). I’m still waiting for them to install the correct spout – they needed some additional hardware so Abel put a temporary one on so I could use the tub. We’ve been very happy with our choice of contractor even though the process is slower than I’d like. 

They should finish up the tile in the hall bathroom tomorrow. You’ll notice I went with the same choices in both bathrooms. I stress enough about my choices that I didn’t need to go through that twice. I’m glad we decided to remove the tub and just go with a shower in here. If we end up reselling, a) the bathrooms have been remodeled and b) there’s a tub next door in the master bathroom if needed. 

All the items we ordered for the library came today but given that there’s so much construction dust, we decided to leave everything covered/in boxes for now. I can’t wait to get this room set up and ready to use. There’s a rug on the other side of the room just out of the photo – I’m still stressing about some of these choices too so it will be nice when everything is unpacked and unwrapped so I can know if I made the right choices in here too. 

When the bathrooms are done, we’ll talk to the contractor about the kitchen and get an estimate. I’m going to need a break over the summer but I don’t want to wait too long before we tackle that project so maybe late fall?!

I worked on some of the spiral quilting today – I might have mess things up. I didn’t want the spiral to extend beyond the green so I’m doing partial lines to fill in the rest of the green, yellow, and orange before moving on to the “rays”. This one might look better in my head than in reality but we’ll see.