Thursday, August 25, 2016

Newsy bluesy

I am on a mission to improve my hand quilting, starting with finally getting a thimble that doesn't fall off my finger continually.

I've had some good advice along the way (thank you quilter friends and bloggers).  I think it's down to these two thimbles as my favorites:

 The blue one is a "roxette" thimble, about $20.  I ordered it from Colonial Needle.  I REALLY like it.

And I ordered a new hoop...

It's a 12-inch hoop from Edmunds, smaller than my old one from the 90's, which I think I gave away.  It's lovely.   I stopped using a hoop a long time ago and have just been lap quilting.  I thought going back to a hoop might help in my quest for more even stitches.  I'm adding some stitches, for practice, to this Wandering Way that I hand quilted (just in the white areas) back in the late 90's for my grandma. I'm noticing that my old quilting stitches look better than my current stitches.  What the heck.

Meanwhile if you are participating in the Gwennie Inspired Medallion group, how is your "Star" themed border coming along???  I am almost finished... and enjoying working with this deep, deep indigo.

We will link up our progress at Lori's blog Humble Quilts a week from today, which is... SEPTEMBER 1st.  Whaatttt?  Where did summer go?  At that time Wendy will reveal our fifth and final theme!

In other news... we said farewell to Tommy last week (just last week?!) and my oh my the house is quiet without him.  The fridge is emptier.  The house is bigger.

I'm glad his "Burgoyne Surrounded" made the cut (so hard keeping suitcases to 50 pounds!), because I do believe it will be a piece of home and comfort...  it's an oldie but goodie and he has used and loved it for years.

I think I will keep Tommy's room as-is, posters and all, for the two years he's away...  That blue 4-patch is one that Tommy himself started as a little boy, and I finished in Japan.

A lot of blue in this post.

The bluesiest news I have though - more of an admission - is that... we have bid farewell to Daisy as well.  I had felt for some time that "things weren't working out" and that when Tommy left, I would start looking for a new home for her.  Tommy knew this and accepted the idea as inevitable but asked that I wait until after he left.  I had so many tears - tantrums, even - over the care and keeping of this dog over the past two years.  I NEVER thought I'd be "that lady" to give away a dog, but, there it was.  I knew it was the right thing to do for all involved, painful as it was.  The tipping point is that one of our adult daughters is so severely allergic that it started to limit her visits home - sort of a deal breaker, thinking ahead to the next ten years.

I thought it might take months to find her a GREAT home, but things happened real fast once I spread the word to my friends.

She's now in an ideal situation right in town with a family well suited for a driven, working-breed, shedding, mass of energy wonderful dog.  Their son's name is also Tommy - you can't make this stuff up.  I have no qualms whatsoever, which is a great feeling.  We made a gradual transition over the past month, and made it official a few days ago.  Still, bitter sweet.



  1. So glad you have found a thimble that suits you. Don't worry about the stitches for a while. It will come with time. That is what people tell me about machine quilting and I am still waiting for that to improve! Seriously though, after you relax and find your rhythm, all will be fine. I think the empty nest will be much harder to adjust to, but it too will get better. And as for Daisy, I hope you know this seems the best for you and for her. Now relax and go quilt!

  2. Lovely quilt pictures in your post! Heartfelt commiserations on your goodbyes temporary and permanent - both for good reasons, and both off to new adventures.

  3. Please keep us posted on your hand quilting adventures! I'm right there with you in wanting to improve, I'm just waiting to finish up a few other hand-intensive (but not quilting) projects first.

  4. It seems like hand quilting is not quite like riding a bicycle -- once we learn to balance on a bike we never forget but it's a different story with hand quilting, at least for me. Even a month away from my needle is too long.

    We kept our daughter's room the same when she left, too, except for a few improvements. It wouldn't have mattered what we'd done though: she was so very sad to come home. She loved her mission.

    Love that blue quilt on Tommy's bed!

    Giving away a dog is a sad thing but really, it sounds like Daisy's doing well, and that's really good for her -- and for you, too. Be gentle with yourself about giving her up.

    --Nancy. (ndmessier @,

  5. awe - I'm so glad that Daisy has a loving home. What a beautiful room you son has. I'm glad too that he could take a well loved quilt.
    lovley post - good luck with the hand stitching.

  6. I agree...a very blue post...good and bad..still a nice post. Love that Tommy started a quilt as a little boy...trying that with my Evan..

  7. Lots of changes at your house. It's never easy. Settling in with some hand quilting might be just what is needed.

  8. I think my stitches were smaller and more even when I didn't use a hoop ... like the well basted ASIJ ones. These days I borrow space and pin-baste and need the hoop to get the back adjusted better. Saying goodbye is never easy.. it seems that is the one thing I do most often. As for the dog, I think Nikko will be on my carpet long after she is gone.

  9. It sounds like Daisy will be fine in her new home and Tommy will find such comfort in the quilt he managed to squeeze in. Have fun with your quilting!

  10. Wishing Tommy all the best. Daisy is likely doing very well in her new home. Yes, all of that blue color is pretty and calming. So many changes at your house. At my age, I dislike change but realize it is necessary. My Gwennie stars round was difficult, but hoping my decision is acceptable. We'll see at the link-up.

    1. Danice it looks like you are a "no reply" blogger which means I can't email you a reply (which is what I normally do). Looking forward to the linkup on Thursday!

  11. I haven't even begun my star-inspired round for the liberated QAL! Very little was accomplished in The Magpie's Nest this August {sigh}. I'm hoping for a better September, and to get caught up! Congratulations on sending out an excited missionary. :-)

  12. Oh I hope one of the thimbles works very well for you. It makes all the difference in how much time you are willing to spend quilting!


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