Sunday, November 15, 2020

A stormy night

 I can't believe how quickly the last four days have flown by. It's been so much fun, and a MUCH needed mental break. I can't thank the ladies enough for venturing out (safely) to enjoy this mini-vacation. 

But - it's not over yet. We still have today, although most of us will venture home shortly after lunch. And that's OK. I have a wee fire going this morning to take the chill out of the air of the sewing room. I've done well with the fire all week. It seems a bit reluctant this morning and not kicking out as much heat as I would like, but then the air might be colder, and this is a HUGE room. I have ONE log left. Do I venture out in the rain to get a couple more logs? Or just let it die after that last one?

The weather has been pretty nice since we got here, but today? Well, I heard it raining in the night - pouring is more like it, and it's still raining. There's a nasty wind out as well. I don't think I shall be venturing out for a walk. 

I'm a bit ahead of the game on my virtual walk - less than 12 miles to the Santa Monica Pier. I'm on Santa Monica Boulevard at the moment. Exciting stuff - I'll venture out at home with boots and a rain jacket - I hope!

Look at how beautiful it was yesterday. The sky was a brilliant blue, and when you were walking, it was warm. A perfect day for a walk. That was in the morning. 

The view from yesterday's walk

After lunch, we all went for a walk in the same forested area. A wee bit chillier, but it was just fine!!!!

The afternoon walk

I got a lot done yesterday. Not necessarily stuff that I can share with you at the moment, but let's say that I was working on some of the homework assignments that are due this coming weekend. No one was the wiser  - I just sat in my corner and sewed, pressed, and trimmed!

I started the day with some applique. What fun - I haven't done applique in a while. When you have an awesome sewing machine, applique is so easy. I'll be telling you all about it very soon. But here's the piece with all the applique. I removed all the stabilizer last night while watching the movie. I'll find a backing and a binding for it when I get home. 

My applique project

And I removed the paper from this project as well. It's been sitting in my pile of stuff for a while. I just need to find some binding for it, and it's ready to be quilted. 

Another Halloween wall hanging

Lynn is usually very neat and tidy when she goes to bed. But she's working on the LAST project that she brought with her. What awesome planning! She's in the middle of a gazillion half-square triangles, so her station was a bit messy!!!!

Lynn's station before going to bed

This is what I worked on yesterday afternoon. Another red and white quilt! All those little half-square triangles are cut-offs from some long-ago project. They have been pieced into 3 1/2" blocks for some time. Just not put into a quilt top. I had brought WHITE fabric for the sashing. DUH - I had white fabric with me that I could have used for the other red and white project. Oh well, what Ronda gave me worked just fine. 

So before I went to bed last night, this is what it looked like. Let's just say that I had a few seams to unsew during the day. Don't ask why - it just happened like that. 

Another red and white quilt

However, this morning, I've been up for hours, and everyone else is still asleep or at least in bed. The blocks are all together, and the first border is on. The second border is cut, and the moment I hit PUBLISH on this blog, I'll be back sewing. I want to get it finished. The binding is cut, and I'll find some backing when I get home. 

One more border to add to the mini red and white quilt

There are four more 3 1/2" blocks. I think I'll sew them together with sashing and make a much smaller mini quilt from them. There's no need to save those blocks for something else. I have some extra white and red for sashing and borders. Let's just get it done!!!!

So there is a dent in the project box that I brought to the retreat, and my bag of finished stuff is getting fuller. I'm happy with what I accomplished. Every seam sewn is one more that doesn't have to be stitched tomorrow. And that's all that counts. Progress!!!

Since Ronda got her embroidery machine last year, she's been going gangbusters at using it to do edge to edge quilting designs on table runners and small quilts. She's done two table runners since we got here and is currently working on a baby quilt. 

The back of Ronda's baby quilt

But here's the thing about that. She purchased some edge to edge embroidery designs. I liked them, and I'm thrilled that she is making good use of the machine. I never liked the fact that the stitch length on these quilting designs was so small. It might be great for embroidery, but not for quilting through three layers. 

She's been patiently waiting for me to figure out how to do that in the Premier +2 Embroidery Software by SVP - that's the parent company of Singer, Pfaff, and Husqvarna Viking. Well, the other night, I decided it was time to stop diddling around and get it figured out. Besides, I need to learn the Modify module of the software since it's my weak area. 

After a quick shoutout to my colleagues, I was in business. And YES - I can change the stitch length - at least of these particular embroidery designs. I took close up pictures, and it's a HUGE difference. Oh boy - I think I have a job ahead of me to change all of her designs. I'll post the pictures another day, but what a difference. It now looks like real quilting, and the back is as beautiful and smooth as the front. 

It's still not quite light enough to see what's going on outside, but the others must hear the rain and the wind and have decided to burrow a little deeper into bed!!

I'm so bad at keeping you up to date. YES - there is a virtual retreat next weekend. Saturday will start at 6 PM and go until 9 PM. Sunday will be an all-day affair starting at 9 AM EST and goes until 8 PM. I'll keep posting that information this coming week and will put up the Zoom links closer to the date. 

And then there are the classes as well. I'll update this coming week to keep you in the loop on all that's coming. Actually, it'll just be a reminder since you already know most of it. 

Have a great day, and stay dry!!!!


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