Monday, September 30, 2013

We Now Return You To the Regularly Scheduled Program

The property of rain is to wet, and fire to burn; that good pasture makes fat sheep; and that a great cause of the night is lack of the sun. –William Shakespeare, As You Like It, Act 3, Scene 2

I've been working on and off for about 4 months on the quilting for a flimsy that P. made. When it's "on" I make a lot of progress. But it's mostly been "off." When last I left off, I had the ditch work and border finished and almost half of the background quilting {diagonal lines through most of the quilt} finished.

I've been working on it again the last couple of weeks and had really hoped to have it finished by now. But I seem to overestimate my abilities to bend time to my will and underestimate the number of distractions in the way of Parent Teacher Conferences with really long lines, play dates, loads of laundry, meals to prepare, sick days {I had my first cold in more than two years}, the need to sleep for ⅓ of the day and just plain life. And I have about a zillion other projects in progress that sometimes just call to me and I have to stop and work on those. Nevertheless, I am roughly ⅞ of the way finished with the diagonal quilting.

I like being on the far side of the half-way point. It means I have less left to do than I have already done. And it's when things all start to take shape and that pesky voice of self-doubt is quieted, either because it was a good plan and it's coming together or because it is too late to do anything about it anyway.

I've been using blue painter's tape to mark the lines for quilting. The tape is really only good for one use; it picks up too much lint on its special clean-release adhesive and so I started a tape ball. I didn't think about it until I was about ⅔ of the way through and had already used a full roll of tape and was a good way into my second roll, but it's still a good size — bigger than a golf ball, but smaller than a baseball. I ran out of daylight today, what with all those things that keep cropping up, like people needing clean underwear and homework checked, so I'll show you a photo another day. In the meantime, you can see my marking system and if you look closely, you can see the pattern starting to fill in in the bottom right corner of the photo.

If I hurry, I can make the tape ball a little bigger before the requisite hour begins to get my full 8 hours of sleep.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Mormon Messages: Daily Bread — Experience

I think what we have to do when the pressures are there and the clouds are dark and threatening is take life a day at a time. It helps at times not to think too far ahead just do what the day requires. "Give us this day our daily bread." We are not anticipating the hardship or suffering that might be entailed. We sometimes just have to break it down to this moment, this day. And while deliverance isn't immediate and you may not see the end, still, you've got enough for today. –D. Todd Christofferson

Monday, September 16, 2013

We Interrupt This Regularly Scheduled Program ...

The chief enemy of creativity is good sense. –Pablo Picaso

You might recall, a couple of days ago, me banging on about procrastinating on the quilting for P.'s String Ring Dresden and then finding my creative quilting mojo again. I promised to show pictures of the progress soon — I'm one small smidge past the half-way mark on the background quilting and then I'll have to come up with something perfectly perfect to quilt in the 12 Dresdens. I've been tossing around a few ideas, feathers among them, but haven't landed on anything for certain. But I digress, as this is not the post with all the progress in it. Sometimes, you gotta stitch where your bliss takes you, and after several days of wrangling a big quilt {one of the biggest I've done} under the machine, I needed a little break. So I broke out the needle and thread and yet another work-in-progress.

Why, you might ask, did I pull out another embroidery project instead of just working on the embroidered labels for the Patriotic Sampler, which I have sitting on my sewing table for the specific purpose of using as a "get out of quilting free" card? Because Halloween is closer than the 4th of July, silly. And there is the outside chance that I can finish this before then if I work on it as my sit-and-wait project.

I started this cute little hat almost three years ago. I pull it out every year as Halloween approaches. And sometimes work on it after Halloween has passed in the hopes that it will bring me that much closer to a finish the next year when I remember Halloween is coming and pull it out again. A year and a bit later, I had most of the pointy cone part of the hat finished. A bit after that, I'd finished the final piece of the hat. Last year, I finished one of the pieces for the brim and started on a second {no post}. Yesterday I pulled it out again, finished the last two pieces of the brim and assembled it.

This has been really fun to work on. It's hard to photograph black fabric, so some of the photos are washed out. But I think my favorite design of all is the one with the pretty purple cone flowers, and the photo turned out nicely, so it gets its own little spotlight.

I'll work on the decorative stitching between the pieces that ties it all together crazy patchwork style, when I have a few minutes of sit-and-wait time {mostly when I go to pick up the Not-So-Little Bugs from school, who, incidentally, don't believe me at all when I tell them that I walked to and from school every day. Uphill. Both ways. In 10 feet of snow. Yeah. That joke never gets old.}. I have my stitches selected for each seam, all mapped out on a sketch with the colors of floss I want to use. I've learned to write these things down so I don't forget. I'll probably need a refresher next year.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some quilting to do.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Mormon Messages: Daily Bread — Pattern

We all recognize the need for physical sustenance. Hunger and thirst remind us very strongly if we forget. But the spiritual need for sustenance is equally strong. It comes not in drinking water and eating food, but in our constant daily efforts of communion with God. We ought not to think that we can go weeks and months without spiritual sustenance and not suffer and not have a deadening influence in our spiritual life. Acknowledging the reality of our need for a daily spiritual ministration, or manna, helps increase in our courage to do the right thing and to serve others, more than we would have if we ignored God. People sometimes think "well those are such small things; prayer, immersing ourselves in the scriptures, pondering, meditating. How can that really produce a significant difference in a person's life?" But it does. As small these are the those things seem to be, as the daily routine sometimes they may seem to be, these are the things that, day by day, transform us. –D. Todd Christofferson

Saturday, September 14, 2013

What I've Been Doing While I Should Have Been Doing Something Else

Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task. –William James

Have you ever asked a child to do something they don't want to do? They fuss and whine and complain and drag their feet and try everything they can think of to get out of it. And after all that time and energy they put into not doing the thing, they could have done whatever it is three times over. I do that sometimes, too. I think that is why it is so frustrating for me when the Not-So-Little Bugs do it :wink:.

I've been dragging my feet on the quilting on P.'s beautiful String Ring Dresden for a while. Now don't get me wrong. It's not that I don't want to do this project. I volunteered for it, after all. It's more that I'm scared that I'll mess P.'s quilt up. It is intimidating to quilt for another quilter. I'm a bad, bad friend and she has been very patient with me. The quilt has been at my house for nine months. For the first five months, I ignored it. When I couldn't ignore it any longer, I broke down and started quilting. I got almost to the half-way point and then I lost my mojo. In trying to get it back, I pulled something else out that I thought I'd just work on for a bit. But it turns out that this project was bright and shiny and oh-so-distracting, so I worked on it for just a bit more. After six weeks, I decided it was time to put it away. But I didn't quite. I was the perfect covert dragging-my-feet opportunity and I took advantage.

I kept the little embroidered labels out to work on when I have a few minutes of sitting and waiting. I knew that Grandma Week was coming up and they'd be perfect for when the adults all sat around and talked after the kids had gone to bed. And because I knew Grandma Week was coming up, I decided I didn't want to get in the middle of quilting and have to stop. I embroidered all of the block names and the quilt name in their reds and blues.

After I finished the block titles, I knew that I couldn't work on filling in the details, because that would look too much like avoidance. I decided to keep that "get out of quilting free" card for another time. But except for that really dry spell for the last three weeks of June, I sew almost every day. I needed something else that would get me out of quilting, but not be too obvious. I puttered around with some half-square triangles. And then, just to break up the monotony, I started a completely new quilt. I think that might have been an outright tantrum against finishing the quilting.

Fabric Auditions

Call Backs

Final Casting


Dress Rehearsal

The performance has been put on hold, though. I stashed the project away to be finished after I finish P's quilt. I finally got up the gumption, put on my big girl Machingers and am quilting again. With any luck, I'll be finished in a week. Photos coming soon. Unless I decided to procrastinate again.

Also, I am officially out of places to stash projects, which {hopefully} means a few more finishes. Soon. Ish.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

You Don't Know Beans

Baked beans were always the only fashionable meal for Sabbath noon in Massachusetts. A minister who is a very correct mathematician, and a bit of a wag withal, has computed that he preached regularly every Sabbath afternoon to fifty-five bushels and three pecks of baked beans, while their owners were asleep. –From a nineteenth century magazine as quoted at The Old Foodie

During the last few days before school began, I went to two different barbecues. I've now eaten my quota of hot dogs for 2013 and got to make my two favorite pot luck dishes. I took potato salad to one barbecue and my favorite baked beans to the other. These are the best baked beans you'll ever have. My aunt brought them to family gatherings and I loved them so much that when my mom planned out a little family lunch after I got home from my mission in Brasil, she asked her sister {the aforementioned aunt} to bring her baked beans. But after eating beans and rice every. single. day. for 16 months, I couldn't look another bean in the eye. Not even the best baked beans ever. It actually took a full year for me to like beans again.

While I was cooking up a big dish of beans for the barbecue {a double recipe}, I snapped a picture of some in a dainty little china dish I inherited from a neighbor to entice you to try this tasty dish. Trust me. You don't know beans until you try these beans.

Linda's Most Excellent Baked Beans
8 strips bacon
3 cans {15 oz. each} pork 'n beans — about 5 cups
½ cup ketchup
¼ cup molasses
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon mustard
½ cup onion, finely chopped
½ of a green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
½ teaspoon hickory flavored liquid smoke
¼ teaspoon pepper

• Cook and crumble bacon.
• Combine pork 'n beans, ketchup, molasses, brown sugar, mustard, onion, bell pepper, liquid smoke and pepper in a 2-quart casserole dish.
• For quick beans, cover and bake for 30 minutes; remove cover, stir and bake for an additional 30 minutes at 350˚.
• For slow cooked beans, cover and bake for 2 to 3 hours at 225˚, stirring every 30 to 45 minutes. Raise oven temperature to 350˚, uncover and bake for an additional 30 minutes.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

I'm a Mormon: Jeff Decker — Motorcycle Sculptor

I'm a sculptor. I love motorcycles. And first and foremost, a family man.

I can't find anywhere in the Bible that says that I can't love motorcycles.

I believe the best dinner conversations are with those who don't agree with you.

I believe in having friends that pray to a different God than I do. I think that they should be able to worship to the dictates of their hearts and I hope that they respect my right to do the same.

I believe that every one of us is a work in progress.

Jeff Decker, Motorcycle Sculptor for Harley Davidson

While I don't know him personally, Jeff and I live in the same little Utah town. I passed him on the way to drop LadyBug off at school the other morning. He and his wife own one of my favorite restaurants and when I go downtown, I drive past his Harley shop with that first sculpture shown in the video displayed out in front. It's kind of cool.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

A Stitch In Time: August Finishes Giveaway Winner

Ambition can creep as well as soar. –Edmund Burke

Thank you to everyone who linked up in August! Having the month start on a Sunday kind of threw a wrench into my blogging cogs, as well as my work schedule, so I apologize for the delay in posting the August winner. I also apologize that I haven't commented on your wonderful finishes. I did click around to all of you and was so impressed. I will get comments done {which is something important to me and is part of being a gracious hostess, I think}. In the meantime, thanks for participating. I love to see your beautiful works of art. I'm excited to announce our August winner, drawn by LadyBug, who picked #4.

Gracie Girl

Congratulations to
:partytime: Kelly :partytime:

Kelly will receive a 7" stacker of Gracie Girl by Lori Holt! Lori designed this fabric line with her daughter, Kassidy Grace and named it after her. Visit Lori's fun post to see Kassidy with the new fabric line and read a little about how they came up with the colors for this design. Lori and her daughter have also finished one quilt with the new line, Candy Beads, and have given us a peek of a second, Shuffle, with the promise of more! I couldn't be more excited for Kelly to get a chance to play with this fun fabric. I know she'll do something fabulous with it. She's a very infatuated quilter {as her blog name suggests} and linked up three other quilt finishes, #15 — Going Camping, #19 — Preppy Plaid Chevrons, and #30 — Serendipity. Make sure you click on over and check her blog out. Her enthusiasm is catching! And if you haven't already, make sure to check out some of the other fun finishes in August!

The September Finishes Linky Party is open, so you can link up as you go throughout the month. Remember to include the September Finishes button {code found in the August post} somewhere in any post you link up. Code for a button for your sidebar can also be found at the bottom of the September post. This month, The Fat Quarter shop is giving away a $15 Gift Certificate!

Today's post brought to you by:

Sunday, September 1, 2013

A Stitch In Time: September Finishes Linky Party

Success isn't a matter of being the best and winning the race. Success is a matter of handling the worst and still finishing the race. –Ritu Ghatourey

Once again, you all have amazed me with the beautiful things you finished and linked up in August! Wow! Just, wow! I've been all over the map lately, puttering around with one project and then skipping to something else. I not just hope but plan to finish a few things this month. September is going to be a really stitchy month. Let the linking begin!

To participate in this month's linky party:
• Your project must be completed sometime in September, 2013.
• Once you've got your project finished {as in done, finito, nothing more to add, ready to use/display/give away} with some sort of stitching in it, blog about it or post a photo of it on Flickr.
• Scroll down to see what other bloggers are up to and link to your own finishes.
• Please include the September button in your blog post. Copy the code in the text box below and paste it somewhere in the post you link for this month's finishes. The button is a link to this specific post, so that other bloggers can find their way over and link up too. If you'd like a button for your sidebar, the code is at the bottom of this post.

• Each time you link up a finished project, you're entered to win the September giveaway, a $15 gift certificate from The Fat Quarter Shop!

• Thank you to The Fat Quarter Shop for sponsoring our giveaway!

The Fine Print {which might be boring but you really should read}:
• Your project must be completed during the month you are linking to.
• Projects must include stitching of some sort. For example: appliqué, crochet, cross-stitch, embroidery, knitting, practical sewing {garment construction, bags, curtains, etc.}, quilting.
• Projects must be completely finished. As in done, finito, nothing more to add, ready to use/display/give away.
• You can pick something new to do, but projects do not have to be started during the month. If you pick up a UFO, Ph.D, WIP and finish it during the month, it counts.
• Finishes must be completed during this month, but you have until noon MST on the 1st of the next month to link your post.
• Post about your finish and then link your specific post {instructions here} above. Links to your blog and not the individual post about your finished project will be deleted.
• Have more than one finish this month? Great! Post about each finish individually and then link the specific posts up separately. Each finish, and therefore each link you add, counts as one entry for this month's giveaway.
• If you've already posted about a finish for this month, there's no need to do a separate post. Just add the button to that post and link up.
• Please copy and paste the code below to include this month's button somewhere in the post {not your sidebar} you link up for this month.
September Finishes

• Don't have a blog? You can link from your flickr account. Just post a picture, include a little note about your finish and a link back here {code included below} in the description. Then join the linky party.

• Want a button for your sidebar? Copy and paste the code below into an HTML gadget for your sidebar. This button is a link to the main A Stitch In Time Linky Party page, which always has the current month's finishes and links to all previous linky parties.
A Stitch In Time Linky Party

• Make sure to visit a few of the other links and leave them some love {ie, a comment}. A good rule of thumb is to visit two links for every one you include.
• Winner of the sponsored giveaway will be drawn randomly from among the links and announced by 8:00 pm MST on the 3rd of the following month.
• Instructions for making an index page to your finishes can be found here.
• Kindly consider changing your comment settings to the pop-up window option for faster and easier commenting for visitors to your blog. Instructions can be found here.