Sunday, May 21, 2017

What's been happening in May?

You know, I began a challenge of posting every day last September and for the most part, I've held to that goal. May was a month of time off from posting--I had so many things occupying my mind that I didn't have the energy to post.

However, I need to write up this post as part of the Hand2Help project organized by Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.  It's the final week of this project and time for finished (or nearly finished) quilts to be posted and linked to her blog.

I began my twin sized quilt for the International Institute St. Louis when I went on retreat with my guild on April 20, and yesterday, I pinned it together into a quilt sandwich. This afternoon, I begin the machine quilting, although I still don't have any design ideas. Here's the quilt, all pinned together:

As I said in an earlier post, I decided to use up the 4 charm packs 

and coordinating navy, wine, and cream yardage that I'd purchased on impulse several years ago.  I chose to make flying geese units out of the charm squares for one of the blocks and simple red-white-blue stripes out of yardage for the alternating blocks. Do you want to know how many FG units are in this quilt?  I did the math--480!   I don't even want to think about how many dog ears I clipped off these darn geese! Fortunately, I was able to make them using the "no waste" method so I don't have a bunch of trimmed off corners in the garbage. Eight FG units made a 6" block, finished. Next time I want to make FG, I think I'll work with a larger size!

I had 3/4 of the FG units made and ran out of the cream yardage that I was using for background of the geese. HELP!  Fortunately, Hingely Road Quilt Shop in Floodwood, MN had more of this fabric and shipped the additional yardage I needed for this quilt.  If you're ever in that area of MN, about 50 miles NW of Duluth MN, be sure to stop in. This shop is overflowing with precuts of all kinds!  My biggest problem is choosing which ones to take home. They also have a separate room devoted to Northwoodsy kinds of fabrics, so if you're needing any kind of cabin, fishing, hunting, or water sports kinds of fabrics, this is the place. The best thing is that they post all of their fabrics on their website, so you can shop on-line if you want to!  BTW, I don't have any financial interest in this shop, I just love it a lot!

But, I digress.  After I got all the FG and stripe blocks assembled, I decided to use the remaining blue yardage as the border, with a FG block in each corner.  I had barely enough fabric to make this border, and I have enough of the dark red to do the binding.  

So this is the quilt that's been occupying my time this month.  I'll link this to Sarah's post and with any kind of luck, I'll have this quilt in the mail by June 2 which is the deadline. I'm sure that if the quilt is a few days--or even a week!--late, the organization will still accept it.  

This project has been a triple win for me. First, I got to use up that fabric which had been languishing in my stash for way too long. Second, the quilt will be given to a refugee family as part of their new home in America. Thirdly, Sarah has organized the most amazing prizes for us quilt makers.  Giving this quilt to the new American family is reward enough for me, and if I should happen to win a prize, well, that's just icing on the cake!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Gardening time

For the past couple of days, I've been occupied with gardening chores. While it's too soon to actually plant much of anything, there's lots of prep work that needs doing before we begin the actual planting.

Don and I spent a morning spreading leaves over our two garden plots at the Community Gardens. We've gardened there for the past 3 summers, taking over the plots our daughter had for the three previous seasons. The soil is very sandy so we have to add organic stuff to try to enrich it and the create a more humous soil which is better for growing things. We had saved the leaves from raking last fall and got the last bag dumped and spread out just as the guy showed up to till all the garden plots. Great timing since we wanted the leaves turned under and into the soil. Now we just let the worms do their thing!

After we got that job done, I began working on the front flower bed. Although it's a new bed, there seemed to be a nice assortment of undesirable plants germinating. Weeds, in other words. Where do these guys come from!  Since I've not done any of the kneeling, stretching, and getting up and down since last summer, I decided to split the job into two days, and yesterday, I got it finished with very little soreness in my body today.

My little plants that I started in the house here a couple of weeks ago seem to be doing pretty well. The first picture below is the tomatoes, peppers, and other assorted things that will go into our personal garden.

This second picture is of the 24 cabbage plants I've started.  I may keep a couple of them for personal use but most will go to the food shelf here in town.

Last year we'd decided that we didn't need both plots for personal use and ended up having a lot of barren ground that had to be weeded a lot, for no purpose.  We figure we need about 1& 1/3 of the two plots and the other 2/3 will be planted with things for the food pantry. Cabbages, carrots, ,onions and potatoes are the goal.  Today I want to get the potatoes and onions and tomorrow they can be put in the ground.  The cabbages aren't big enough yet and it's still too cool for the carrot seeds.  

Also today, I want to begin cleaning out the raised flower beds Don built last summer.  We have some day lilies and iris in the beds but there's a lot of dried up plant material that should be removed to the compost bin before we put in new plants for the summer.

All of this to say that I've not been in the sewing room for days. Last summer, I did very little gardening since I had that extremely sore thumb and wrist, but now that's been fixed so I expect that I'll be getting my hands in the dirt a lot more. And frankly, it feels very good to be outside after such a long winter.  

I plan to continue working on my quilting projects throughout the summer but at a slower pace.  And I probably will continue posting but again at a slower pace. When Lily's here, and the weather is so very fine, I find it hard to spend time inside on the computer when there's so much that can be done outside.  

Don and I were talking about an anticipated train trip to Washington this September and one of the things we want to do is some hiking in the Olympic National Park as well as at Mt. Ranier National Park.  That means that I need to begin training NOW!  I already have a plan:  Begin with the 1.5 mile walk in my neighborhood for a week or so and see how that goes, gradually increasing the distance. Speed has never been my goal, just distance.  All this upcoming hiking also means that losing a few pounds--Let's be real here, I need to lose a LOT!--will help my poor knees tolerate all this walking.  I've had success in the past with a low carb diet so I prowled around the internet looking for ideas, and I think that's the way I'm going to go.  Wish me luck with this new venture.  I'll be posting updates from time to time, but only if things are going well. If I don't say anything about walking and dieting, you'll know I've not followed through but for now I'm going to be positive about it.

So I'd better turn off this computer, lace up my walking shoes and get a move on!

Friday, April 28, 2017

One weeks' worth in one post

When I woke up this morning, I realized that it was Friday and that a week ago, I was packing up to spend 3 wonderful days at quilter's retreat. Then I also realized that it has been a week since I last posted in this blog!  I have been so proud of myself for posting nearly every day except when I've been traveling.  I guess it's time to catch you up on activities here in cloudy and cold Wisconsin.

Monday, April 24
Related image

I couldn't believe it when I turned over and saw that it was 8:30!  OMG! I guess I was really, really tired from 3 days of quilt partying at retreat over the weekend! 

I was at Nawbury Lodge in New Auburn, WI, about 50 miles from my home, with 14 other wonderful quilters, and Boy Oh Boy! did we have a ball!  Great friends with lots of laughter and giggles, wonderful food, and of course, lots of sewing done.  But I was exhausted when I arrived home, barely able to put my things away in the sewing room.

While at the retreat, I got a good start at the charity quilt I'm making for the Hands2Help project organized by Sara at confessions of a fabric addict.  I got 3 rows sewn together and the flying geese blocks made up for another 3 rows.  Since there are 12 rows in the twin sized quilt, I was nearly half done with the piercing.  Yea!  I'm using the 4 charm packs I'd purchased several years ago, along with some yardage, to make up the FG and believe me, I really wish I hadn't decided to use the charms in the FG design. The geese measure about 2" by 4" finished and that means there's a lot of sewing and cutting that goes into making all of them. I calculate that one charm pack, minus the 4 or 5 pieces that I'm not using in this project, make up about 140 FG!  And multiply that by 4 equals a lot of FG!

I also finished piecing the Bless My Garden embroidery project and that's ready for quilting up.

And I struggled to make up one The Farmer's Wife Sampler block, so now I have 9 made up--out of a hundred or so!  What was I thinking! Each block takes me several hours to make up since paper piecing is not my favorite and I struggle quite a bit. I keep thinking that if I keep at it, I'll finally get it.  "Nevertheless, she persisted."

Today, I have a grocery run to make, some housework waiting for me, and finish putting away my things in my sewing room. That should keep me out of trouble for a bit. I also have an appointment with my customer to deliver the wall quilt she asked me to make.  Hope she likes it!

Tuesday, April 25

Today was medical day.  First thing was to head over to Eau Claire to see the doc and get the cast taken off my hand. What a relief to have it off!  I realized that I've never had to have anything casted until now, and I don't like the feeling of it. Thanks goodness I only had to wear it for a week or so, and not the 6 or more weeks that you have for serious broken bones.  I was a little afraid to move my thumb since it hurt so much before when I did, but, nope, no pain now!  I am a happy woman!  All I have to do is daily massage for a month and some hand exercises.

In the afternoon, I took out the leaf rake and finished raking the front yard. I found some leftover organic fertilizer that I wanted to get on the lawn before it was too late, and I finished up that job just as the first raindrops began falling. It rained steadily all evening.  Perfect timing on my part since the fertilizer directions say to water heavily after applying.  No worry about that now!

Wednesday, April 26

Today looks like a NBS kind of day--Nothing But Sewing--except for a couple loads of laundry.  I think I've recovered from the marathon sewing I did at retreat and am ready to round up the flying geese and get them in rows and into the quilt top. I'm also intrigued by making another Farmer's Wife block, and I have 3 or 4 Solstice Challenge blocks to make to get caught up with that again.

In the picture of the FG quilt above, you can see that indeed, I assembled another 3 rows and now have the quilt top half done!  Unfortunately, I don't have enough of the cream colored fabric and will have to find more of it. Fortunately, it's a very popular line called Fusions by Kaufman, I think, and I know of 2 shops that carried it in the past and may still have it.  If it's not at the nearby store in Rice Lake, I'll take a road trip up north to Floodwood MN where I've found the fabric on their website.

And to update you, my customer loves the wall quilt!  In fact, she liked it so much, she paid me twice what I was asking, since it was for charity!  I was so surprised!  I know I've said it before, but when I make a quilt for a customer, the money they pay goes to my Jolly Ruby account as does all the revenue from the Jolly Ruby Etsy store.  This money then goes to help people with disabilities who run into unexpected expenses like car repairs, appliance replacement, and so forth. I donate the money to the two area counties and one of them uses it to pay for home delivered meals for these younger people who can't cook for one reason or another and who don't have the funds to pay for the meals out of pocket. More often than not, my customers pay more than the asking price since it's for charity, and every time, my faith in the goodness of people is restored.

Thursday, April 27

Today was Road Trip and Shop Hop day!  Yesterday, my husband asked me to make a wall quilt for him using fabrics denoting his career as an educator and I suggested a couple of ideas but he wasn't sure. I said he'd have to come shopping with me and choose the fabrics himself--and he agreed!  So, today was the day.  When I'd met up with my friend, Bonnie, last week, she brought me a huge shopping bag overflowing with yarn that she no longer needed, so this was the time to take it to the prisoners for their craft program.  Don and I went there first, about 40 or 50 miles away, and he grumbled all the way!  However, when he stepped into the shop, his mouth dropped open in amazement over all the things tucked away in there.

This was a place called Sew and Sew in Stanley, WI, way out in the country, and they have a very nice assortment of not only fabric but embroidery and wools as well.  We didn't find anything for his wall hanging but he did like the golf fabric very much. Have I ever mentioned that Don's an avid golfer? Well, indeed, he is.  In fact, he has a golf simulator in one of the basement rooms where he "lives" in the winter, and when he saw the golf fabric, he immediately asked me to make him a wall quilt for his golf room, so we got a yard of that fabric for me to work with.

As we were leaving the shop, I noticed a couple of metal lawn chairs to the side of the door. Between the two chairs was this!

Next, we headed to Rice Lake to see if the Busy Bobbin had anything for his other wall quilt, and yes, they did. This shop is crammed full of all sorts of fabrics and in the specialty section, he spotted a couple of music themed bolts. Well, since he's also a "musician," (she said, tongue in cheek) he thought this would be perfect for the wall quilt. There were two coordinating bolts so we got a yard of each.  Don't know what I'll do with them, but I'm leaning toward large half square triangles using colors from my stash.  We'll see.  And, no, they didn't have the Fusions fabric that I need, but Angie suggested that rather than driving all the way to Floodwood, I could send them a swatch and see if they can match it. Great idea!  I'll get that taken care of today.

Also today, Don and I will spend some time at our spot in the community gardens spreading bags of leaves over the soil. The gardens will be tilled in the next few days and if the leaves get turned under and into the soil, that will be a very good thing.  After that, I need to sit down with paper, pencil and calculator and figure out how much a trip to the Canadian Maritime Provinces would cost and then see if Bonnie has any time free this spring to spend a week or so out there with me.  She and I have been wanting to take this trip for the longest time, and just now I have the cash so it's time to spend it!

I also want to get back in the sewing room and make a couple of backs for 2 throw sized quilts that are waiting for me to get them done, and maybe make a couple (or a hundred) more flying geese!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

When I went on this blog site to write today's post, I realized that I'd saved yesterday's post so that's published today as well.

Good thing, too, as I have very little to say today. Yesterday and all week for that matter, promises to be cloudy, cool, and rainy--perfect weather for sewing--with warm and sunny days over the weekend when I'll be inside at retreat. Aaaaarrrrrgggghhhh!  But, actually, any weather is good weather for working on a quilt, don't you think?

I'm proud to report that I got all my seeds planted yesterday, and when I return from retreat on Sunday, they may have sprouted.  Don and I have 2 plots in the community gardens and we decided that for just the two of us, we only need about 1 1/3 plots. This year that extra space will be filled with onions, potatoes, cabbages, and carrots, most of which will  be donated to the food pantry here in town.  We also grow a couple kinds of tomatoes and two kinds of peppers--hot and sweet--green beans, broccoli, brussels sprouts, beets, cucumbers and dill, and maybe other things this year as well.  But nothing happens until nearly the end of May when the soil and air are warm enough for the seeds and young plants.

I also spent time in the sewing room making up a sample block of the flying goose blocks I want for the charity quilt.  I changed my mind on the block layout after seeing this on pinterest:

Image result for flying geese blocks

I like the pinwheels effect and I made up one block out of the Warmth charm squares and that looked pretty good as well.  The blocks measure 6 1/2" unfinished so I may put 4 of them together to make a 12 1/2" block and then add the sashing.  There are enough pattern and color choices to make this idea work, well, at least I'll give it a try and see what happens.

No further progress on my applique last night. I just didn't feel like doing it, but never fear, I will return to it, probably tonight.  When I finish this post, I'm in the kitchen for a couple of hours making a lasagne for my daughter and my husband to have on Saturday when I'm gone. Jo's coming home to celebrate her father's birthday with him and she's requested what she's always referred to as "Good Lasagne."  What does that say about the other dishes I made for her all those years she lived under our roof?  LOL

This afternoon, I get my eyes checked and I think I'll have a second pair of glasses made up as a spare. I have some old frames that I think they can use. Last summer while I was at the community garden, I ran a wheelbarrow over my glasses on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, and they were quite mangled but the lenses were okay.  I managed to drive home without them, but it was tricky, I can tell you.  Don and I got to WalMart about 10 minutes before the eye center closed and they were able to fix them for me, thank goodness!  Otherwise, I'd have to spend the entire weekend without glasses, and even after half an hour, I was getting a headache.   So I decided I should have a back up pair, and now's the time to get them made up. 

So, I'd better get a move on--Good Lasagne is calling me!

I had to "organize" another road trip

I consider myself a fairly organized person. Rarely do I have to search for my car keys and so forth, unlike my husband.  He used to misplace his keys all the time and it drove me crazy hunting for them, until he hit on the idea of paying the children to find them for him. "I'll give you a dollar if you find my keys"  was heard more than once as we  were getting ready for work and school. Years and years later, the kids confessed that it wasn't unusual for them to take his keys and hide them when they needed an extra dollar or two!   Clever little buggers, weren't they?

But I digress.  I've never paid my kids to find things for me because I can usually locate them myself. Except in the sewing room.  For some reason, I put things away in there and often times have a very hard time remembering where they are. Take my applique supplies for example. I'd taken a class several years ago on needle turn applique and bought milliners needles, silk thread and applique pins at that time, with every intention of practicing this art.  Over the following five years or so, I'd come upon these things from time to time, and I'd always thought I should put them together in a place where I can find them when I'm ready to applique.  So, yesterday, I was ready to begin the applique on Bless My Garden and do you think I could find the needles and thread?  Not a chance.  I turned the sewing room upside down, and could only locate the pins. So off to Eau Claire I go--again!--to get the needles and thread. (Remember, its a 25 mile trip each way for me to go to this LQS) I found the needles at one store but had to go to another to find the thread, not silk, but a 60 wt cotton, very fine.

Other than in the class years ago, I've never done needle turn applique but I thought this was a good project to begin on since it's only stitching circles onto a square of fabric.  The long thin milliners needles, or straw needles as some call them, are really easy to use and make it quite easy to turn under the seam allowance. And this fine thread disappears without a trace.  I'm happy to show you what I accomplished last night:

These are the  blocks that I appliqued last night and I have 9 more to go.  I'm really liking how the muslin embroidery looks on the rust fabric, and the lighter sashing fabric will look great as well.

While I was waiting in the LQS for the clerk to finish with another customer, I had to take a look at the Civil War repro fabric that this shop specializes in, and what a treasure trove I came home with! Take a look at these 13 fat quarters that now live with me!

As always, the lighting in my house gives everything a yellowish hue so these are really not quite as yellow as they appear.  They'll join the others in my bin of CW fabrics, and this morning I decided I'll take them with me to retreat this weekend, along with half a dozen foundation papers for my Farmer's Wife Sampler quilt. I began working on this project last summer and set it aside as I got busy in the fall with the quilt festival followed by holidays and then our winter sojourn in Alabama.  But I'll have them with me to work on if I feel inspired.

The LQS didn't have the silk thread I wanted so I went to a locally owned sewing center also in Eau Claire, and while they didn't have the silk, the owner was very helpful.  In addition to the thread, I also picked up several Frixon pens since mine are empty and dry after only 3 or 4 years--Can you imagine!  They also had some sale fabric and I picked up this floral thinking of a Stack and Whack quilt in my future.  I've heard this referred to as a "one block wonder" as well.  I think this will make a very pretty and feminine quilt.

While I was in town yesterday, I made a grocery run at one of my favorite stores over there, and after I was home and put everything away, I had time to spend in the sewing room. First I made up the applique blocks that I worked on after dinner, and I also made a final decision as to the charity quilt I'll be working on at retreat. Drum roll, please!  The Final Decision is to make the quilt out of this "Warmth" fabric that I bought, again, several years ago--maybe 5 or so. 

I have 4 charm packs of this collection and I'd also purchased several yards of coordinating dark red, navy blue and cream fabric to go with.  I'm making flying geese out of the charm pack squares with the cream as the background.  I'll use the red as the sashing and the blue for the outer borders.  I haven't decided on a layout for the geese yet, but I'm leaning toward the layout used in the Underground Railroad quilt. But in mine, the goose bodies will be colored and the background will be cream. This design may change as I work on it, with the other option being putting the geese in strips with some sashing between. We'll see how I feel as it progresses.   

Image result for underground railroad quilt blocks pictures

Depending on how many of the charm squares I use to make a twin sized quilt, I may have enough left over to make a second quilt. If so, they would both go to the Hands2Help group I'm participating with this year.  They're due in June, so I have to get a move on.

Today, I MUST get my seeds planted or it will be way too late. I'm pushing it already, as it is, then it's back into the sewing room to get organized for the retreat.    

Sunday, April 16, 2017

He's up!

Happy Easter!

Image result for easter images\

Every year at Easter time, I remember a skit Garrison Keillor did on the Prairie Home Show many, many years ago. I heard it one time and never heard it repeated.  Maybe the audience objected to it as being sacrilegious, I don't know. As I remember it, the skit is about Holy Week in Lake Woebegone and how the priest of Our Lady of Perpetual Responsibility was able to get some assistance from the young priests in training at the seminary at St. John's nearby.  This was in the 1970's when there was a lot of change, turmoil, and some would say, chaos, in the Catholic church.  The seminarian was a "liberal," a progressive," and that didn't necessarily suit the good Catholics of Lake Woebegone.  Father Emil gave him the honor of performing the sunrise service at the church.  As it came near to dawn in our favorite little town, the church gradually filled with parishioners until there were no empty seats. When the time came to begin the Mass, the young priest-to-be stepped out onto the altar area wearing not the robes and other garments a priest usually wears, but jeans and a T shirt printed with an image of the Lord on waterskis, and the caption, "He's up!"  

So Happy Easter to anyone who takes the time to read this, and I hope your faith is restored and strengthened because, indeed, "He's up!"  Easter here at my house is extremely low key this year. No visitors, and no going out to dinner or even brunch. Just Don and me here but I have a very good smelling dish in the slow cooker--lemon and garlic chicken breasts--that I'll serve tonight with a baked potato and some cooked asparagus. I would love to have a bite of coconut or lemon cake for dessert, but neither Don nor I need that indulgence.

Our daughter, Jo, had mentioned coming home on Friday night for an early Easter dinner, but I said, no, I probably wouldn't be in much condition to cook or entertain since I was scheduled for surgery on my thumb that morning.  And I sure wasn't in any shape to have anyone over that night, not even my youngest child.  The surgery went very well and I'll have a cast on my thumb until I return to the doc on the 25th.  I took two doses of hydrocodone on Friday and on Sat morning I said, "Nuts to that!" and only took a dose of Tylenol.  Since then, I've not needed any pain medication of any kind. 

Boy, that hydrocodone is nasty stuff!  It took away any pain I had in my thumb/wrist but it absolutely knocked me out.  And when I woke up from it, I felt like I had a hangover, and I definitely thought I'd left that feeling behind me when I moved out of my 20's. No thanks!

Yesterday Don and I had a wonderful Easter/Birthday lunch with good friends but by the time we were finished, I was exhausted.  Ha is from Viet Nam and he and his wife, Carol, invited us to go with them next year on a trip back there. Don served a couple of tours in the war in Viet Nam and we're both really excited about taking this trip.  So, we have about a year and a half to make plans with them and get it all pulled together.  

Needless to say, nothing is happening on the quilting front, other than I finished the last of the embroidered blocks for Bless My Garden and when I'm finished with this post, I'm going to cut the squares so I can begin appliqueing the embroidery to the rust colored fabric.  

So, once again, Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Quilter's road trip

Let me see if I can remember yesterday.  It seems as though the days are so similar that it's hard to distinguish one from the other. That tells me it's time to break out of this routine and begin doing something different---but what will it be? That's my challenge-to decide what I want to do that will be new, exciting, and above all, interesting.  Don't hold your breath. It may take awhile to decide.  :)

I know I spent way too much time on the computer yesterday and the day was half gone before I got off. That's a huge time waster, I know.  I've limited myself to only scanning Facebook on my phone and not spending so much time at the computer going over all the posts.  So far, I've kept to that limit for the past 3 days, so I give myself a pat on the back for that.  

Of the choices I had of things to do yesterday, I passed over making backs for the 2 quilts that need to be sandwiched and tracing the final 2 designs for Bless My Garden, and chose to go on a road trip to the LQS, and I'm so happy that I did!  I went to The Calico Shoppe in Eau Claire, WI, and they had exactly what I was looking for!  The store is as inviting inside as the entrance promises.  

Image result for The calico shoppe images

This store seems to specialize in Civil War repro fabrics and I was hoping I could find something in their collection that would work with the embroidery I'm doing. Yes, indeed, they had it.  The first thing was to find a fabric that will work in a quilt I was asked to repair and, with the help of both clerks (the store wasn't very busy when I was there), I was able to.  It's the light grayish blue/green shown in the picture below.  I had them cut enough to make the patches and the binding for the quilt, and rounded it up to a full yard so I'll have leftovers to use in something else.

After we found the right fabric for the repairs, we moved on to choose 2 fabrics for Bless My Garden. This was quite a challenge since the sample in the book was done in reds and mine is in gold and greens but I kept choosing fabrics that had red in them.  Not good, so the clerks were able to keep me on track and we finally decided on the rust colored fabric for the background of the embroidered circles as well as the outer borders. For the sashing between the blocks, we chose the lighter colored print which gas a tiny bit of red and an even tinier bit of blue/gray.  I'm glad I had the extra bit included when I decided on the bluish repair fabric since that will work perfectly for the sashing cornerstones in the wall quilt!  Win/Win!

Before I left the store, I had to peek into the sale room where I usually find something to take home with me.  And I spotted this brown with tiny peppermint designs in it.  I bought all 3 1/3 yards that were on the bolt and I'll use it for something in the future.  Maybe in the twin size quilt I have to make for Hands2Heart.  

I love this flying geese quilt that my friend Bonnie and I made a few years ago and want to make another one. I could make the geese out of Civil War fabrics in my stash and use the new brown for the sashing which is green in this photo.  I just have to make sure I can adjust the pattern to make it large enough for the charity.  

Yes, I think this is the project I'll bring to spring retreat next week.  Along with some other things to work on if I get bored or hung up on this quilt.  

Today, I'm going to catch up on some housework so I have a clean house for the weekend.  I'm having surgery on my thumb and wrist tomorrow so I think a clean house would be a good thing.  I also want to trace out the last embroidery designs so I can continue working on them, and I'm determined to find the special needles and thread so I can begin the needle turn applique as soon as I finish the embroidery.

Again, nothing very exciting going on here in NW WI.  The snow we had a couple of days ago melted by evening, and since then it's been cloudy and drizzly.  Perfect weather for sewing, but truly, I wouldn't mind seeing the sun once in awhile.