Thursday, May 22, 2014

The world is so full

... of a number of things, I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings! - Robert Louis Stevenson

That's the truth. The world is full! Full to the brim. And when obligations stack up and keep you sleepless, it's too much. That's the way it's been the past few nights as I've remained in my sewing room until 12:30 or so, and then gone off to bed, sleepless until 1:30 or 2:00 a.m. A 5:30 wake-up makes for a short night. One of these days, my body will give up, won't it?

So what's been going on?

Last week/weekend saw me in Sebring, Florida (2-1/2 hours away from me), for four days/three nights, attending a modern quilting retreat hosted by Carole Lyles Shaw, president of Sarasota MQG. I haven't retreated since living in Iowa, so this was a fun opportunity.

Twenty of us stayed in the charmingly rustic, historic (1916), Kenilworth Lodge.

While the retreat was planned for Carole to teach about modern quilting - her demonstrations and help with modern design - my travel-mate/roomie/and sewing bud - Lora - and I did our own thing. Happily, we spent most of our time working on our own.
Lora and I are collaborating on a quilt for our June 3 "What is Modern Quilting?" presentation to Quilting Guild of The Villages, and I'm happy to say that our quilt top is complete. (No picture to share.) But that also means my work begins! Quilting it!

I did do quite a bit of quilting while on retreat, going there with two of these 20" Christmas Snowflake blocks completed. I was able to quilt them, backed with fusible fleece.

For the second time ever, I used the BSR (Bernina stitch regulator) to quilt one of these blocks... and I still don't like it. I'm an unregulated quilter, for sure!

Here are the blocks, sewn into a zippered and cording-edged pillow.

I've now replaced three of the four sofa and love seat pillows that came with our furniture. I'm keeping an eye out for my next 20" pillow design.

With fabric purchased in Kansas City, and using the Empty Bobbins "Cover Up" pattern by Shea Henderson, I made covers for both of my sewing machines - my Bernina Aurora 440...

...and my Pfaff Grand Quilter. Quilting designs on both are channelled lines at half-inch intervals, some pebbles, and free motion feathers in the white background sewing motif fabric.

The covers look very nice in my sewing room.

The last project I tackled was the "Sew Together Bag," by SewDemented. I'd like to recommend this pattern to you because it's darling, but in all honesty, the pattern was very difficult to follow. Just ask the quilters around me who saw me tearing my hair out while reading aloud to try to understand! They couldn't understand it either. I was so frustrated. I have many years of sewing and pattern-writing under my belt, so it wasn't just me who has a problem.
Linen and scrap fabrics
But the bag is design is adorable! Who wouldn't like a cute bag with three interior zippers for keeping little things? It was fun picking out these prints.

It's just too bad that directions weren't understandable. A re-write would help, and some diagrams too. If you already have this pattern, or want to try it anyway, I'd recommend following The Quilt Barn tutorial. Too late, I learned about the tutorial.

While I was away, a new clock arrived in my mail. It's an eight-inch wall clock I ordered from A customer can upload any picture for a clock face, and it seems my "Dandelion Clock" quilt has the perfect look. It's on my sewing room wall, and I really like it!

Speaking of "Dandelion Clock"... this week that quilt was returned to me from the Home Machine Quilting Showcase in Provo, Utah. In the box was also a pretty ribbon, a nice judge's critique, and a $50 check. Thank you, Bloc Loc, for sponsoring this prize!

The money, along with a birthday gift certificate from a dear friend, has recently been put toward an order of Terra Australis. I've been waiting for that fabric for such a long time!

One more picture... grandies. These are our boys in Texas - Austin, who's now four years old, and LJ. They're playing on an I-Spy quilt made by me. Check out those chubby baby legs! Oh how I miss my little boys - all of them. 

But back to my full life... and living as happy as a king. What's coming up? 

June 1 - I'm the June "queen" of the Mid-Century Modern Bee, and I have NO IDEA what to have them make for me!
June 2 - I'm a featured "Batt Girl" on the Quilter's Dream blog
June 3 - I'm co-presenting the "What is Modern Quilting?" program to Quilting Guild of The Villages
June 4 - Co-leading a modern, 15" X 15" improvisational block workshop with Quilting Guild of The Villages (We have room for more, if you'd like to attend!)
June 5 - My blog post is your Florida stop in the American Made Brand blog tour
June 10 - Instructing Bradenton Quilter's chapter: how to make a collapsible thread catcher
June 11 - First class of Beyond First Time Quiltmaking at The Villages Lifelong Learning College (We have room for more, if you'd like to attend!)
June 18 - Second class of Beyond First Time Quiltmaking

I'm also doing a book review of Heather Ross's memoir: "How to Catch a Frog," and interviewing her for an article in American Quilter magazine. Then, toss in a Central Florida MQG meeting, three doctor's appointments, a hair appointment, routine dance classes, church, and... Let's just say, I think I need a vacation!

Isn't retirement supposed to be relaxing? Linda


  1. Oh, my goodness, Linda, I'm exhausted just reading about your schedule! Looks like you had a nice time at the retreat. You certainly accomplished a lot!You'll probably need another one after such a grueling month. Your grandkids are growing so fast.

  2. Are you sure you are retired?! I think you need to start saying you have a second career.

    The location for the retreat looks pretty.

  3. I agree with Karen- you have a second career! Love the cushions and the clock!

  4. That retreat center! That pillow! That clock! That schedule! Whew!

  5. What a GORGEOUS place for a retreat . How lucky you are. I'm sure you'll think of something for us to make you
    : )

  6. Busy, busy, busy!!! I really don't know how you do it. Love your new cushions and the clock is fantastic. You are not alone with not liking the BSR; I think if you've never done FMQ it's probably a good tool. I never use mine either. Hope those Dr. appointments will go well.

  7. Your projects and quilting are wonderful but wow, the schedule! Hope you can find some time to take it easy and catch up on sleep.

  8. I'm with you, Linda. Sometimes it seems it would take an old-fashioned shoehorn to fit anything else on the calendar. And I'm guilty of once thinking people who were retired had just all the time in the world. Your retreat looks so productive and what a nice facility. Love your projects!

  9. Goodness girl, you might need to learn the word "no". It all sounds terribly exciting, hope you take good care of yourself.

  10. Makes you wonder how you ever managed to find time to work!

  11. Love your 'snowflake' pillows AND your clock! wow.

  12. You manage you time well. You get so much accomplished. And I will bet, you do it all with a big smile.

  13. Such a busy little retired bee you are Linda. That's the way to do retirement right in my opinion.

  14. What a fabulous looking lodge to stay in! :)

  15. Everything sounds so fun and busy over in your neck of the woods, and I'm sure sometimes it feels TOO busy, but I learned a Spanish proverb when I lived in Lima, Peru: Better to wear out than to rust out. I think you exemplify that!

    Fun to read all the different things you've been doing (including the last post about your golf cart pillow) and it reminds me that retirement doesn't mean holding a remote in one hand and a soda in the other. You are a great example to all of us!


  16. I have a friend who still works and she swears I'm busier in retirement than she is working - it sounds like that's the case for you too. I love that multi-zippered bag and have thought about making it but just couldn't make myself buy the pattern for fear I wouldn't be able to do it. I'll try the tutorial so thanks for the link! blessings, marlene



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