Friday, September 11, 2020

Full Speed Ahead

I've put on my running shoes to keep up with the next eight days of activities! Every month it seems that obligations contrive to pile up in a window of time that has me triple-checking my schedule to see what I need to do each day. 

Last evening, I joined a two-hour+ "Sip and Sew" with 20 other quilters from South Florida MQG. I'm getting to know people better and make new friends. 

On Saturday I'll briefly pop into the Central Florida MQG Sew-In before logging into my two-afternoon (Saturday and Sunday) virtual workshop with Maria Shell @talesofastitcher. I've already expressed how excited I am to take "Linear Blocks: Line into Shape." 

After a Monday morning doc appointment, there's Show and Tell prep for the evening virtual Central Florida MQG meeting; followed Tuesday morning with the start of a 10-week virtual Bible study - "Children of the Day" with Beth Moore" (if you've taken a Beth Moore workshop, you know how much homework there is!); and an afternoon Zoom presentation to Big Cypress Quilters on the topic of "Quilt Photography."

Add another doc appointment; prep for another Saturday virtual presentation on the topic: "No Tails Binding: Mitered Corners by Machine" to South Florida MQG; and a Sunday, Sept. 20 blog post to share as a guest reviewer of a new book The Ultimate Guide to Rulerwork Quilting, by Amanda Murphy... and there you are. You've just watched me jog through the week!

Knowing that limited sewing time lies ahead, I set myself to making this past week. 

This was the Tuesday status of my postage stamp quilt with 68 of 72-needed blocks made. 
Photo taken with my iPhone 8 - a very inaccurate representation of colors 

Each block is a 64-patch that finishes at 8" X 8".

With the blocks complete, now the quilt top is almost pieced, which hasn't been a small task! That's because when joining a block to a block, I took great care to make sure all seven seams aligned. Now I'm doing the same with the rows. Lots of pinning!

And gosh, is it a heavy quilt, with all those seam allowances! Though I'd prefer not to add batting to the quilt sandwich, I think the seam allowances need to have something to "bury" into. I already have a plan to rulerwork quilt clamshells across the 64" X 72" top. 

Our Kansas City family returned to a hybrid form of school on Wednesday. Each of the boys, in fourth and fifth grades, needs to take two masks to school on the days they're present in person.
Aesa (4th grade) and Tay (5th grade)

So, I've been masking-making again (for their mom too), and switched to the free mask pattern by JapaneseSewingBooks. It has a nice 3D contour across the cheeks and nose, comes in six sizes, and has a channel for elastic. Rather than sew-in the ⅛"-wide elastic, I can knot it to be fit to the face, with the knot then slid into the fabric channel. 

I was asked to make KC Chiefs fabric masks, and though I checked at the usual online shops, and even called two from-Kansas City friends who live near me, no one has Chiefs fabric. So, I made solid red masks instead. The boys should at least like dinosaurs and alligators on the other masks. Now the masks are finished and in the mail.

The second embroidery project I finished is this flex case, from Aneela Hoey's book Stitch and Sew.
For the front, I selected green linen fabric, then chose a coordinating print fabric for the back. Finally I picked colors of size 8 pearl cotton for the hand embroidery. The finished case measures 4½" X 8½" - a good size for eyeglasses or rotary cutters. It came together easily, and another is prepped to stitch.

In the kitchen, I actually made something! Dan has always said my French bread is the best, so when he asks me to make a loaf, I oblige. We have a new, oversized baking sheet, so this is the first time I've been able to braid the dough to make a truly long French loaf - almost 24"! It tasted excellent, if I do say so myself. 

Book Recommendation
America's First Daughter by Stephanie Dray offers an insight into the history of one of our founding fathers: Thomas Jefferson. Though I am familiar with Monticello, and knew that Mr. Jefferson kept a slave as his concubine (Sally Hemings), I didn't appreciate the family emotions that must have played out behind closed doors. Nor did I know that Mr. Jefferson was an ambassador to France which is where his oldest daughter Patsy (Martha) was educated, grew up, and "came out," preparing her for the role she was later (1800-1801) to play upon returning to the US and her father's presidency in Washington City. Oddly enough, I found it fascinating to realize that the enmity and accusations being flung between the Republicans and Federalists are the same we're hearing from our candidates and officials today! Politics haven't changed!

This book is based on truths that make me respect Martha Jefferson Randolph, America's first daughter. As far as entertainment value, it doesn't score as high as others I've read. But for education,  understanding, and sparking a desire to visit some of these historic Virginia sites, I give it high marks. Audio book-o-philes will recognize an oft-heard narrator: Cassandra Campbell.

Linda's score: 4.0/5.0

As I was driving to a lab for morning bloodwork, I stopped to snap this sky view. Apparently the contrails of two jet planes created this ❌ in the sky. 

It's up to you to decide if the formation means that this has been a let's-cross-it-out sort of year, or that we've been given an over-sized, God-breathed kiss. I'm choosing the latter. Linda


  1. Try here for KC fabric. I think she had some. This page has an email inquiry link.

  2. Love your postage stamp quilt. The cold and snow brought me inside for a few days this week so I used some of the time to trim scraps into small squares. Seeing your post and thinking of the math makes me realize I have a LONG way to go in the number of squares needed. Yikes. Not sure it will ever happen. Can't believe how busy your are. I'm relishing the quiet, calm here. Have a great workshop.

  3. I have Chiefs fabric in my stash. I would be happy to send enough for several masks. I enjoy reading your blog. I've made and gifted several Chiefs Quilts over the years. I gave one to a friend that has seats on the 50 yard line, front row behind the Chiefs' benches. We see her every now and then in commercials or clips from the games.

  4. Oh, you are such a busy bee getting so many things done while I procrastinate and slog on. Can't believe how big those boys are getting. The postage stamp is darling and well-suited to a person with a lot of patience. Good for you, and thanks for sharing.

  5. And here I was thinking retirement was a time to slow down. And I’m afraid anything that requires homework sounds like work to me!😃 Your postage stamp quilt is going to be amazing! I hope you get a chance to slow down a little and some more slow sewing like that delightful embroidery.

  6. You are amazing Linda. Yes, that sign in the sky is God, reminding us.
    I love that
    Your quilt is really sweet. You have such a lot of patience and so careful and precise, so everything looks good. I love the little purse case too

    The bread is beautiful
    Keep having fun. You are always an inspiration

  7. You certainly are picking up the pace to near-frantic level (at least in my world it would be)! Love the postage stamp quilt, and I think you're right, a light-weight 80/20 cotton/poly batting would help all those seams stay where they should as you quilt it. I'm looking forward to baking bread again, just as soon as the tomatoes are finished ripening. Two large bowls to be canned tomorrow, and then we'll see if I can put the canner away or if we'll have enough for another batch before frost hits everything.

  8. Absolutely love your postage stamp quilt.

  9. You'll have to run to keep up no doubt! The only thing missing in your usual busy schedule is the commute. Oh my, those are a lot of seams- but the quilt top looks great. The bread turned out beautifully- I can almost smell the yeasty goodness from here. Will check out the mask link- I'm about ready to make another batch.

  10. I made one of the Japanese Sewing Books masks, and it was easier than either of the other types I've made. It could have been hard to thread the elastic through, but I had an old latch hook that did the trick. Next time I'll lay the elastic in before sewing, I think.

  11. You are so close on the postage stamp quilt! It's going to be a stunner! What handsome grandsons you have and hoping their school year will go smoothly!

  12. Linda, that postage stamp quilt is going to haunt my daydreams for awhile! It is stunning. Oh, the work, the patience....and the reward when it's completed! I admire your energy. I was bragging about you to a Massachusetts relative just the other day!


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