Thursday, 7 May 2015

Planning for an East Coast Autumn

Just a quick drop-in, the last 5 weeks since I got back to Houston have been busy busy busy. Paul went straight to a job interview two days after I got back, and then was offered two jobs within the week following his return. He'd been sending out resum├ęs and doing the odd interview since the end of last year and nothing had been happening so we weren't really expecting this sudden frenzy. We got some good advice about going to visit the prospective new towns, we didn't do that with our move to Houston and we've found the adjustment here pretty hard. So you saw some of our visit to Muncie IN last time, and we also visited Raleigh NC. I took much fewer photos in Raleigh, the weather was not as good and it turns out it doesn't matter because come August that's going to be our new address!!

Street art, Raleigh.

I was completely wiped out last weekend after a month of travel and decisions, following on from a month where I was stuck in Ireland recovering from a bad scald. I had bought some AMH velveteen in a sale a couple of summers ago and planned on making a throw for the bottom of our bed. Before Christmas I had begun cutting out squares from my AMH collection, bits and pieces from various collections (scrap packs, FQ bundles, charm packs, whatever I'd gotten my hands on). But life had gotten in the way, that happens easily for me when it comes to lots of cutting or basting!

Fussy cut prints. The Big Squares.

Last weekend I was in just the right head space to mindlessly cut squares though, fussy cut in places, and then play with layout and enjoy the colours! Paul got into it as well, and the squares stayed on our bedroom floor all weekend. We had to use our phones' torches to go to the loo in the night - totally worth it though to wake up to all the colours in the morning!

I couldn't decide if the gaps should be filled in with more AMH or if that
would be too chaotic, so I tested in the top left corner first.

All The Colours!

Blocks got moved, one got replaced with a big leopard print square, I
couldn't believe how much tinkering I did before I was totally happy.

Anyway, this one's packed away into a plastic shoe box now and maybe it'll be my first quilt to make in our new place in NC, when we find one - it looks kind of perfect for Autumn to me! In the meantime, I have two quilts that need making before we leave Houston, one that's a top and partial back. And another that's only a plan, but will need to go to Ireland when we do for visas. I will keep you updated ;)

All The Colours!!!

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

A Few Days Away: Muncie, Indiana

A week or more ago I got the chance to visit Muncie, Indiana for a long weekend. I'd never been to Indiana before and I have to say everyone we met there was really lovely and very chatty, even the cop who pulled us over took us on a mini tour of the village we were in before letting us go on our way with a warning to pay more attention to stop signs and less attention to our gps when lost (duly noted, first time pulled over, fully lighted up chevy suburbans are kinda terrifying tbh). In light of recent events and laws passed in Indiana I do realise that this straight Irish couple are always going to have it easy in the getting a warm welcome department though.

Ball State University, home of the weeping angels?

I got a chance to visit Muncie's quilt shop, Cotton Candy Quilt Shoppe! They were genuinely lovely people and chatted for ages, told us lots about the area and sold me this bevy of neutral beauties. I'm collecting for the background of a quilt I'm making my parents, hopefully this year! They even invited me upstairs to join in on their class that was on, but we were in the middle of touring our way back to Indianapolis that day and I didn't have the time :(

Hard to tell, but the one in front is a Moda Grunge fabric.

I brought some handstitching for the plane and the hotel evenings (that one didn't happen, just conked straight out each night after walking the feet off myself). But the planes required entertainment, and I got this block finished!

I have this next block all ready, the final block in this batch of ten for the Farmer's Wife quilt, but I don't know how long I'm going to take to make it. I do love the colours so it's at least enticing still! I need to get back into the habit of stitching in the evenings, or find a lot of time in waiting rooms soon...

I was going to say let's time me! But let's not!! It would sap the joy. And right now I'm all about the fun in sewing :)


Monday, 20 April 2015

I'll start at the start

I went to Ireland for 6 days in late February for the wedding of a longtime friend, the wedding was beautiful even if the weather was not. But the trip itself turned out to be pretty doomed for me, and my constant refrain was 'it's all uphill from here' - it is not always uphill from there it turns out. One of the hill bottoms was scalding my right thigh quite badly with a cup of freshly made herbal tea about 5 hours before my flight back to Texas. My dad was thinking and suggested the shower, I later found out that running water on the burn (not necessarily cold because over a large area you can induce hypothermia, so tepid is fine) but running it for 20 minutes can reduce scars and skin grafts (I didn't need them, still waiting to see on the scar side). It would have been good to know that before, so now you know just in case!? I really hope it never happens to you, it's truly awful. It took about 3 weeks for the wound to heal over and because Paul was travelling a lot for work in the US we delayed my flight back another couple of weeks and I got back at the start of April. That was a whole other debacle, that uphill bit again, and it's good I stayed in Ireland that long because my burn did not like having to sit around all that time in the airports and planes. But I'm here now!
These are Hovering Birds, Jackknife, and Mother's Dream!

While I was home I had three farmer's wife blocks to distract me, and I downloaded the netflix app to my phone - it didn't care if I fell asleep randomly. I got those blocks finished - woop!

The centre of the Handstitched Medallion by Stitched in Color!

Once my leg was up to having some pressure put on it again I could get out my mother's sewing machine and I pulled out a really old project, I didn't get much done in the end but I did bring it back with me to finish off - I'm quite close. The blanket stitching took a long time around these blossoms, maybe because I got a bit strange and pernickety about spacing. Too little to do, idle hands and all that.

I really like the fabrics I chose for this quilt. This was the first pattern I'd ever shopped for and it took a really long time, involved Paul, and I second guessed the whole way through. But since then I've gotten in the habit of working within designers or within lines, I'm scared of mixing things. I tried last year again and it went disastrously - I'll show you sometime, I kept all the HSTs I made in case I figure out a way to fix it. But I want to break out of that, that's a new long term goal for me.

The neon threads are unrelated, but I found them in the LQS at home!

I'm going to leave it here for now, I'll be back with the tiny bits I've been up to since I came home in a few days :)

I've missed you, sorry to have been gone so long!