Saturday, December 17, 2016


Tonight's temperatures will reach -10 F.  It is good to be inside and watch the snow swirling out there where it cannot reach me.  The cats have taken to their kitty heating pads and the birds are crowding in at the feeder.

I have been making progress on Sweet Surrender.  I am slowing working away on the pieced triangles intermixing that with FMQ practice.  Here is SS so far:

None  of the applique and pieced sections are in their proper place yet-I will do the layout when all the triangles are finished.  I have 6 more big triangles to piece and and 6 half triangles for the edges.  This paper piecing is very hard on my hands and shoulders so I am taking it slowly.  Appliqueing never bothers me probably because that work requires more movement of hands and shoulders but for epp, one sits and stitches in the same posture continuously.

Finishing the pieced triangles will probably take me a few weeks.  I alternate this tiresome job with the fun one of Free Motion Quilting practice.  I told you I have been taking a wonderful class from Christina Cameli-Wild Quilting on the Craftsy platform.  I cannot say enough good about this class.  We begin by making 6 fat quarter quilt sandwiches and use these to progress thru the lessons.  I have completed lessons 1, 2, & 3.  Quilting from lesson 1 was shown last post and here is lesson 2:

This lesson was on grouped combinations. This has been liberating for me as I am being more spontaneous and less critical as I quilt.  For a person who began this blog 6 months ago describing her terror at FMQ, this spontaneity and its associated feeling of freedom demonstrates so much growth.  The actual quilting may not be spectacular but the ease with which I did it was.

Here is lesson three-blended combinations:

Christina is such a lovely person and her lessons are so instructive.  I really recommend this class!  It is a 10!

As I said, the snow is falling and winter is definitely here.  The birds are arguing over the sunflower seeds and we cannot kept the feeders full.  Here is a pretty wren:

And here is one of the many goldfinches visiting us right now:
He is waiting his turn at the feeder.  The sparrows are such greedy, aggressive birds that it is harder for the smaller goldfinches to claim a perch.  In the winter, the pretty yellow of the goldfinches dulls to this muddy yellow.  But wait until spring!

The next couple of weeks will be very busy for everyone.  I send out best wishes for everyone to have a merry and happy Christmas time!

If you can squeeze it in your busy schedule, happy quilting!

I am linking up with:
Slow Stitching Sunday, Bambi's Blog,
Patchwork Times,  Em's Scrapbag,
Esther's Wow, Let's Bee Social,
Free Motion by the River, Whoop Whoop,
and Off the Wall Friday.           

Sunday, December 4, 2016

He did it again! And so beautifully with a stunning queen sacrifice. 

Since the advent of computerized chess so much of chess play has been defensive. Computers have taught the effectiveness of defensive play: of always thinking solely of ways to prevent your opponent from making progress than of thinking  how to make progress yourself.  Now Magnus is a genius at both offense and defense but loves offense.  His opponent only does defense-granted he is a genius at it and almost brought down our hero.  But Magnus blew him off the board with an incredible QUEEN sacrifice giving his opponent only two moves both of which were death.  It was so creatively beautiful and such a stunning victory.  We were hysterical in our amazement and joy! 

We have seen Magnus play in St Louis two times.  St Louis is becoming the US chess center largely because a very wealthy man there has set up a chess center.  He rehabbed a lovely old home in a historical part of St Louis near  Forest Park which is a cultural center of St Louis.  Each year Mr. Sinquefield hosts a tournament with a million dollar prize and invites the top 10 world chess players.  We go to this tournament each year and get to see chess played at the highest level.  It is quite a privilege.


On the quilting front, I have enrolled in a craftsy class:  Wild Quilting taught by Christina Cameli. 

I love wild, free form quilting such as that sewn by Christina or Kaylee Porter with her graffiti quilting.  So I am learning some techniques and know how.  Here is my version of what we learned in lesson one.

You would have to take the class to know  the assignment of lesson.  Just suffice to say that this is my original design to carry out the assignment.  Divide and Conquer.  This was a bit of a departure for me as I did not do much planning on the quilting or censor myself or do much marking.  I just let it flow for better or worse.  The quilting is pretty good, awkward in places but that was not the point.  I don't think you can do wild quilting if you censor yourself and try do to it correctly.  

I have also been working on the infernal epp triangles for Saucy Strawberries  which seem guaranteed to cripple my hands.  I will post an update on them soon.  I think I will work on them slowly and devote most my time to FMQ practice and beginning the quilting on Chuck Susan and Me.

Well, that is all the excitement in my week!  How has yours been?

Linking to:
Slow Stitching Sunday, Bambi's Blog,
Patchwork Times,  Em's Scrapbag,
Esther's Wow, Let's Bee Social,
Free Motion by the River, Whoop Whoop,
and Off the Wall Friday.           

Magnus Carlsen photo from Slate on line magazine which has a great article attached if you are interested.