Jockeying for floor space ~

Yes, I've gone and done it again! Now waiting for delivery of my latest purchase - a Martelli Bella Sedere (Italian for  sit down) long arm quilting machine -  and now must figure how to acquire the required floor space in my sewing studio without knocking out walls!  Yes, I've really done it now and my Martelli is seriously jockeying for floor space.

Since I'll be getting a new pressing board delivered with the quilting machine, I quickly sold my changing table pressing station. That gave me a few additional square feet.   And in its space, mounted on the wall,  the cannot-live-without 7' x 4' design wall. 

I'll miss seeing my M*A*S*H poster but had quite a surprise when we moved the design wall from its original place to find a long forgotten 2004 Jazz Festival poster featuring Harry Connick, Jr.  



I'll also be taking out the current cutting station and will be using the new cutting area that is a part of the Martelli table.  Did I mention that the table height can be adjusted up and down, tilts just the pressing of a button.  I can either sit or stand while quilting and can adjust the height while cutting and pressing.  Love this feature. 

I've dropped the leaf on my Horn sewing table for a few more feet.   I can always raise it on as-needed basis while piecing/sewing  on my Juki.  But for now, I'm loving the streamlined look of the studio. 

We moved my Grandmother's antique handmade cypress kitchen cupboard down a few feet to accommodate the Martelli.  Inch by inch.....jockeying for floor space. 


and here's the space, all ready for delivery.....

I'm so excited and can hardly wait. 


Reflections Unfurling: There is ALWAYS a choice:

Reflections Unfurling: There is ALWAYS a choice:: Always a choice.   But, one must first want other must then explore the possibilities.... mentally and physically  search...

Have I been loving you too long ~

Oh, yes!  It's beginning to be a love/hate relationship with these damn flying geese.  What started out to be fun is now getting me to the point of asking self "are we having fun - yet??" 

paper-pieced flying geese

It's not that I don't love paper-pieced flying geese....and it's not that I don't love seeing a work-in-progress pinned to the design wall, it's just that I've been distracted by other fun - traveling to quilt shows and lunches with friends and participating in quilt guild programs.  It's that time of year to enjoy it all.


paper-pieced flying geese

There you have it,  my flying geese have been languishing on the wall and has me wondering how high must I fly to fall back in love.

It has me telling myself that it's only a quilt top and I don't have to marry it.  I read practically every day where relationships end for one reason or another and there should be no shame in ending one  that isn't making the grade.  

paper-pieced flying geese

It's already mid-morning and the question all morning has been, "Is today the day to finish with this love affair? "

Perhaps today is the day to pack it up and and move on! 

walking away from a love/hate relationship



Adjunct ~


Adjunct:  (noun)

A thing added to something else as a supplementary rather than an essential part. 

A collage drawn and altered, stamped, painted and Photoshop, having a little bit of nothing to do with my ordinary day of quilt making.  I say!


Sharing a good time ~

I am all about things and thoughts and sharing a good time today ~

My day started....simply enough.  The housekeeper is stopping by this morning to sweep away the dust and grime and threads and lint from the week past so I had to get out of pajamas, get a shower and do the preliminary cleaning before her arrival. 

 Sharing my thoughts on two vintage chairs on the streets of LaGrange.  How neat is that - all fluffed and ready for the next passerby

Our housekeeper is a sweetheart so I hate that she might think we live like slobs.  I feel compelled to stuff stuff into drawers and hide other stuff in the closet.  Why, really, should I care what others think?  Well, just 'cause my mama made me make the bed every morning and clear the dresser top and for sure lower the lid to the commode before I left for school.  Neat was a family tradition that I continue to uphold.


Twin doors fronting a side street in New Orleans where there is no space for clutter. 

The front porch of The Queen Ann Bed and Breakfast
Natchitoches.  Even though open-air sitting, there's not a speck of dust in sight.

Loving the color selections for this vintage modern cottage
Austin, Wow! Clean as a whistle. 

Seattle garden shed ~
and then there is my hometown - a tour of the 'hood
And so, my day has started - simply enough. 

Contained - er

Just a few minutes in left-over time.   A study:  contained.  My wool vase with flowers on wool. Yet to be completed but still worthy of a picture in its 'as-is' place on the shelf. 

VASE:  A decorative container typically made of glass and used as an ornament or for displaying cut flowers.

Reading this morning about tapestry weaving in an issue of Fiber Art Now magazine  " starts at the beginning and moves on until you
reach the end.  You can't go back and fix something you did at the beginning without unweaving."   A quote from Dr. Jessica Hemmings, head of the faculty of visual culture, National College of Art and Design, Dublin. 
So it could be said about life from beginning to end....except we can't unweave. 
  Continuing to quote Dr. Hemmings, " Tapestry creates an unforgiving record of our inattention." 
Have a wonderful day and weave it well.

Moving On ~

It's Monday, already,  and I'm still mulling over my feelings of yesterday.  I had a wonderful nights' rest and am ready to make the most of my day.  Except I need to review my feelings of yesterday for just one more minute.  

garden angel

When I'm focused, I'm the one who can work for hours on a project.  The flying geese project held my attention for a time yesterday,  but then not.

I sat down to some hand quilting for a while, but again my attention span was short.

 So I grabbed my book and read until my hands started to cramp.

 It was then that I dug out some fabric and covered it with a thin layer of gesso.  Of course, that took forever to dry with our humid air so the cycle started over again:

flying geese, hand quilting, reading, painting.  It was as though all the kings' horses just couldn't put me back together. 

                                              We had frozen pizza for dinner last night and the grass continues to grow

Not sure what was causing my anxiety....not even sure it was anxiety.  I just couldn't stay focused on any one project.

Here's to you, Monday morning......You are feeling good. 


As time lets me ~

Ginger came by yesterday with the newest Jen Kingwell fabric line - a fat quarter bundle of Moving On Lawn - that she picked up from Brenda's shop.  We split each of the 34 fat quarters right down the middle and I've been moving on with it.   Oh, heart! Stop racing ~


It fits beautifully with a Jen Kingwell's Gardenvale line from a couple of years past.  And it all fits in beautifully with my flying geese on the design wall. 

Improv Flying Geese - a work-in-progress quilt on the design wall

As time lets me, this quilt top is growing, but not in the direction I originally thought it might go.  You see, I wanted to get this quilt top done quickly so decided that six vertical rows of flying geese with big wide white sashing strips in between with big white borders surrounding would just do the trick.  This one needs to be at least 80" by 90" which is a little larger than I've been making, so this design layout immediately began to bore me.  Imagine that!

I pulled a few mixers Thursday night, but when Ginger got here yesterday and started pulling even more, I began to see the light.  This one needed to be in my usual style, not something in a picture I found on Pinterest. 

Improv Flying Geese - a work-in-progress quilt on the design wall

As time lets me, this one will grow to the needed size. 

Improv Flying Geese - a work-in-progress quilt on the design wall
I'll keep you updated - as time lets me.  TaTa for now and have a beautiful weekend. 


Flying With Geese~

It's personal, flying with geese.   How they are constructed.  How structured their formation is.  The direction the geese take.  The randomness of their stops and starts. 

The decision is made.  The new quilt in the guest bedroom will be all about flying with geese. 

paper-pieced flying geese quilt blocks

We, the HUMan and I, (well, mostly I) see, he didn't think there was anything wrong with the 20 year old drapes and shades in the living, dining, guest bedroom and office!  I didn't see anything particularly wrong with them either, so that's why they continued to hang, until I decided that there doesn't have to be anything wrong when a change is needed.....and a change was needed, I declared so all the drapes, cornice boards, window shades - all of it came down and now each window has a fresh new white Havana/Bahama style shutter.  I am over-joyed with the freshness of it all.   Except now the quilt in the guest bedroom looks tired and I'm tired of looking at it. 

The room looks just about the same now as then.....the walls are still the raspberry red, the old iron bed frame is still the bed of choice, the white wicker rocker is still in place as is the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival poster.    I change the pillow arrangement from time to time and put different quilts at the foot of the bed on a whim, but it's the whole cloth quilt that's underneath all the other quilts that needs to be updated.   


Back to my flying with geese......I decided to draft and paper-piece my geese.....time consuming to make 216 geese blocks, but that seemed to be a good enough place to stop last night around 6 p.m......just in time for dinner.   I also decided to make each of my geese blocks by randomly pulling scraps from my scrap bags and by using remains of whites and creams and yellows as my background.  It felt good!   Now don't you be going feeling sorry for me because I enjoy paper-piecing and scraps and random mixes of fabric.  Kinda crazy, but I love to just let loose and enjoy the improvisational style that comes forth so don't you go feeling sorry for me.

Flying With Geese - the saga will continue after I decide what to do with all these blocks.  Keep in mind that we live in a  modest house in a  pretentious neighborhood.  I don't try to keep  up but don't mistake - my gaggle of geese will be flying high with the best of them. 


Aimlessly Waiting ~

I've been waiting for something large and wonderful to blog about.  Something witty. Something important.  But none of those adjectives describe anything I've seen or done lately.  So, I'll just talk a little bit about what's going on around here.  Naturally, there is always a quilt work in progress. 

improv pieced half rectangle triangle quilt with big thread slow stitching - marty mason

We dined out last night and dinner was wonderful.  It rained as we dined - he on a steak, a medium to rarely cooked ribeye and I on grilled halibut.  Servings are large,  even at  fine restaurants,  so we'll have a steak sandwich for lunch today.  I didn't think a halibut sandwich sounded very appetizing, so I left my remains at the restaurant. 

Micro stitch quilt basting gun

Moving backwards.....I basted four quilts Friday.  You see,  I have a new way of basting quilts and so far it's almost worked out.  I say 'almost' because I'm still having to  wrestle around with the larger quilt tops.  I use my dining table as my basting surface which isn't as wide as the large quilts.  But anyway, next comes my 1" layer of foam that I purchased at JoAnns' last week.   The quilt back smooths out nicely on the foam and, of course, the batting takes care of itself.  If I use cotton batting then the quilt top usually snugs down and smooths out without a hitch.  Wool batting, which I adore, gives a little more of a smoothing struggle.  But my new basting technique is with that little Micro Stitch (as seen on TV).  Those little tacks are just the trick.   And, as they advertise, say goodbye to pens AND  there is no spray basting required. 

Moving forward my zeal to do more hand quilting, I started another one yesterday.  After quilting four lengths up and down the quilt, I decided that the thread was too heavy.   I had some Valdani 8 weight that was a nice variegated color mix for my quilt but 8 weight is just too hard to pull through the layers and it was puckering the back.  I bit the bullet and pulled out the 4 lengths of quilting  that took all morning to stitch in.  Now I'll start with a #12 weight and see where that takes me before making an investment in heavier weight quilting thread.  Perhaps by Houston Quilt Festival this November I'll know more about my likes and dislikes on using heavy thread in my slow stitching.  I'm sure they'll have a thread vendor that will be more than happy to assist. 


Now you see, there doesn't have to be an earthquake to shake a blog post out of me.  It just takes a minute longer to type as I ruminate on my everyday happenings.

That's it from the home front.    Happy Sunday to you all.