Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Finally, Setting Triangles finished…Let’s go Pebbling


IMG_0777Finally, I have finished outlining all of the flowers in the setting triangles on this huge quilt. Never in a million years did I think about the triangles taking as long as they did, but there have been many interruptions. I love the thread build up and the final effect. Amanda was pleased when she saw them in person. Now I can move on. I initially quilted feather wreaths in each of the blocks (with some really ugly stitches) but they are going to stay just as they are.

I am moving to the sashing now to try my hand at pebbling. My mom asks me every day if I am finished with the quilt, and my answer is not yet. She thinks I have gone completely bonkers. I am enjoying the process and the learning that has occurred in making this quilt, but I may take the prize for the longest time ever  spent quilting on one quilt. Oh well, I am in no hurry and want to make “Lovely Lou” absolutely beautiful for my daughter. She is certainly worth every stitch and every hour put into this effort of love.


I am joining Connie’s Linky Party today over at Freemotion by the River. I love seeing what other quilters are doing and always get some kind of inspiration. Thank you, Connie for hosting!    Freemotion by the River Linky Tuesday button

My first attempts at Pebbling…

IMG_1144   IMG_1145   IMG_1146

I just finished watching Leah Day’s Pebbling Tutorial for the sixth or seventh time today, and the above is evidence that practice is certainly required to master this filler design. However, instead of stitching on scraps, I have used this quilt “Lovely Lou” upon which to learn Free Motion Quilting. So ugly stitches, pitiful traveling skill and all, I am continuing to learn from the generosity of Leah Day and other bloggers. The above block is only a 2” square out of this quilt and I figure by the time I stitch all of those 2” squares I should have pebbling down pat, at least at this scale.

I would like to know from other quilters, would you stitch in the ditch around each 2” block to contain the pebbling or allow the back to have a more free-form organic look to it, without a box stitched around the pebbling. Amanda loves the idea of using this quilt as a reversible bedspread on her king size bed. What do you think?

Friday, September 14, 2012



IMG_0982Being a daughter, wife, mother, and grandmother has led to the best times of my life. My mother has been a great parent and friend to me and a wonderful caregiver to many of our family members over the years. Mom wanted to be a nurse—but financial constraints and life, in general, never allowed her to follow that path. Instead, she checked groceries in one of the local supermarkets in the town where I grew up. My father worked in the oil field as a laborer for most of his life. He passed away when I was 18 years old after suffering a heart attack (40 years ago). I have always been sad that I didn’t get to know him as an adult.

About four years ago mom fell and broke her right arm and fractured her hip. To enable me to care for her we moved mom from an apartment a few miles away into a small guest house about 50 feet from my kitchen door. Shortly after her hip had been surgically stabilized, her femur literally snapped into when she turned from the toilet to the sink. Severe osteoporosis has made her bones brittle and fragile. Her recovery has been agonizingly slow and has taken quite a toll on her physically, emotionally and mentally. Almost exactly a year ago it became clear that mom needed to be in the house with me for her own safety and well being. As her needs have increased I have been able to fill in the gap and hopefully that will be possible for a long time to come. She has shared many sweet stories and some tragic events about her life with me over this past year.

Being mommy was (and still is) wonderful, and I love my daughter with all my heart. The challenge with parenting is influencing your child’s every day being and hoping that you are making the right decisions. Amanda grew into an independent, strong woman with drive and ambition. Her artistic abilities are amazing, and her home is inviting with a personality that reflects the individual that she has always been. She is married to a man that I adore. Todd, a twin, is a good provider and loves his family. As one of two, he had to learn to share most everything in his life (including his birthday), while Amanda was an only child and rarely had to share much of anything. Todd’s dry sense of humor makes me laugh, and his ethics make me proud. My husband and I love spending time with them and appreciate that they are adults leading their own lives. Together, they blessed us with Mia, our beautiful granddaughter. However, moms are on duty 24/7 and that is best left for young people. Becoming a grandmother is different, only fleeting moments of fun-filled special times are there to be cherished. Those sweet moments pass in the blink of an eye. Mia lives about five hours from us, so any time she comes to stay with us is bonus time!  

My life seems somewhat similar to the quilts that I so dearly love. I don’t always get to spend the time quilting or blogging about quilting that I would love to be doing. I am often busy with mom (the top of the quilt) and occasionally with Mia (the bottom of the quilt). I love the top and the bottom of the quilt, but each has it’s own challenges. I guess I sometimes feel like the batting in the middle of that quilt sandwich, being pulled into shape while trying to balance a life with my husband, who is the love of my life. Mark is giving and kind to me and to my mother. Of course, Mia has him wrapped tightly around her heart. Mark and I have always remained friends, first and foremost in our marriage of 39 years. He respects me for who I am, an unorganized, messy crazy woman who loves to quilt and is almost always late for everything. Before my father died, Mark made a promise to him that he would take care of me. He has kept that promise and much more.

Since returning from our trip to Rhode Island, it has been hard to get back to daily quilting. Our trip was great fun and a bit wearing on both me and mom. I yearn for the peacefulness that quilting gives me. IMG_1085Just had a few hours on the machine over the weekend and about an hour this morning and that little bit of time did wonders for my soul.

As time permits I am continuing to work on Lovely Lou for my sweet Amanda…