My Lucky Day

Okay, I'll admit it: I'm a terrible speed demon. When I'm driving my car, I'm trying to get from point A (home) to point B (also home) as quickly as I can while simultaneously keeping all four wheels on the ground and not running into anything. Surprisingly, I have only received two speeding tickets in 46 years of driving. That's not to say I haven't deserved more...I've just been lucky. This morning, I should have received my third.

The police officer who pulled me over had me dead to rights. Knowing this, I put on my most charming demeanor when he approached the car. Apparently, he was bowled over by said charm, and told me right away he wasn't going to give me a ticket. (Heaves huge sigh of relief, because I'm afraid that would have been an expensive ticket.) He took my license and radioed in, presumably to check for wants and warrants (none), and then told me to slow down and have a nice day. I wished him a Merry Christmas and thanked him for his mercy. I might have kissed him, but I'm afraid that would have been counterproductive.

No more than five minutes later, I found this on the ground at my feet:

A lucky penny, as I live and breathe. I knew right then and there it was going to be a good day.

In case you're wondering what I was doing whilst out endangering the public, I made a stop at the post office, then dropped some donations off at Goodwill, then picked up some scratch grains at the local feed store for the ground-feeding birds. All in all, I was doing my good deeds, and so I'm thinking I was getting a bit of good karma along with my good luck. Then I came home.

Before heading out onto the Formula One circuit this morning, I did a little embroidery. While I was working on that I came within a gnat's eyelash of panicking when I realized I needed to be starting on a house-warming gift for some old friends who moved to Bend recently. I saw this at a quilt show a while back, and decided I'd make it for them to celebrate their new home. This is one of the designs from the Bless our Home Blackwork pattern from Birdbrain Designs. Here's how it looks in the image from the pattern cover.

So I traced that out this morning onto some tea-dyed muslin. I'm going to work it in black as it's shown on the pattern, but I'm going to add a couple of little red accents as well.

We were planning to visit these friends in the spring, but it looks like we'll be heading over there for a couple of days right after Christmas. I need to get started if I'm going to have it finished in time. No time like the present, I always say.

This afternoon, I've been working on quilting the Gardener's Journal quilt. I haven't done much as I'm writing this, but I added the little flower here:

Yesterday, I received Angela Walters' new book, Shape by Shape. 

I have always liked her way of quilting. Her designs make it possible to sort of eyeball and work your designs freehand without marking your quilt. If one wanted to be very exacting, one could still mark, but that's not my style nor my personality. You're never going to see nice straight, even, symmetrical quilting coming out of my sewing room. You might say I'm an off-kilter kind of gal, but then, you probably already knew that. Anyway...I like this book.

I've tried a couple of the designs...this sort of square in a square in a square in a square.

In this next one, I was just trying to cover some ground quickly, and it worked out okay.

Then I came to the next embroidery piece. It's always hard to decide what to do. I ended up quilting some ghosts of apples. Also, I put some branches in the trees, and some basket-weaving in the basket.

And that's as far as I got before I sat down to write this.

Yesterday, a Christmas angel sent me a surprise. It's a wool ornament made by Debbie who blogs at Woolen Sails. What a delightful surprise, and completely unexpected!

It's a cat! Here's how it looks from the back:

So, thank you, Debbie. Very sweet of you.

Finally, it's Tuesday, and so time to link up to:

Val's Quilting Studio

Today's category is Long Arm quilts. I'll need you to tell me what you think because I don't think my machine is technically a "long arm" machine. My friend Marei calls it a "mid arm". It's a sit-down machine. On a long arm machine, the quilt stays stationary, and the machine moves across the quilt top on rails. On my machine, the machine stays stationary, and I move the quilt top under the machine just the way I have always done while free motion quilting on my domestic machine. The only difference is that I have a nice 16-inch throat space now, and there are no feed dogs. Plus, it's a big industrial machine, and so it sews over seams without a hiccup. Anyway...all of that to say that if I'm going to stick within the bounds of the category, I don't know if my machine counts as a long arm machine. What do you think?

Anyway...never one to be left out, I still have a post that works because I took a long arm class at my local quilt shop this past spring. In my usual verbose fashion, I wrote a long blog post about every second of the entire day. I did some fun little designs while I was there, including these two:

Standing at that machine all day convinced me that a sit-down machine was the way to go...at least for my tired feet. You can read my post right here.

And that's about all I have to tell you for now. There are still a few hours left in the day, and so I'll just keep working away at my quilt. I'll have more to show you tomorrow.

13 comments from clever and witty friends:

WoolenSails said...

That is going to be a wonderful present for your friends. I like doing home pieces for those who just moved or got a new home. Today I am punching some fun stockings to make a swag, for me, this time;)


Vroomans' Quilts said...

Slow down sweetie - we all want you with us for some time. Love watching how your quilting is coming along and the use of motifs with areas. Cute little ornie.

Mrs.Pickles said...

wow you are busy. you must have sparkys flying off ya :)

quiltzyx said...

Yep, I think that traffic stop was a bit of a karma-evener-outer. ;^)

I like the new stitchery for your friends - a very nice house warming gift.

That is a very cute ornament surprise - I wonder why she thought a cat would please you....?

Continuing to do fun work on the GJ quilt! I agree with Marei that it's a mid-arm, but since it's industrial & not a "regular" sewing machine, I think it counts as a long-arm too.

Lyndsey said...

Hi Barbara, it's been a while since I last read any blogs but I'm up and running again. Great to catch up on all your news. I still have lots of posts to read. the stitchery looks nice and will make a great housewarming present.

You need to slow down a bit as there is no fun in wasting good fabric buying money on a speeding ticket. Lucky you that the officer was in a good mood

Dana Gaffney said...

I'm taking a more universal view, the cop stopped you before something else happened, cue the somber music. The cop was your lucky thing not the ticket.
I'd ask if my mid-arm would be allowed, it opens up much more of your quilting to show if she said yes.

Lou said...

Love Angela's books! I have them all!!!

The ornament is the cutest!!!

I finished the sunflower yesterday... will send you a pic:)

Keep up the good work and hope the luck stays with ya!

Dar said...

Your day did start out a lucky one. Maybe a stop at the casino would have been in order? lol In our area we call the sit down industrial machines midarms. The long arms are those that hold the quilt steady and you dance along the sides. Both require a skill base. More and more of the top award winners are using their own domestic machines or sit downs and doing amazing work. Keep it up and you'll be there with them.

Ann Bassett said...

You are one lucky girl. That penny was a nice find.

I'm voting that your machine is considered long arm because of the throat space. I thought the term long arm referred to the throat space not how the machine worked. I say Eliza is a long arm.

Nita said...

I love love love that blackwork sampler and I am finally going to order it. Today I get to go to my LQS for the block of the month and then I am going to come hone and sew. Hope you have a lovely day also!

Brown Family said...

You were very lucky! Love the cat ornament!

Kate said...

You were lucky! Hope the luck has stayed with you.

Val's Quilting Studio said...

I hadn't seen this book yet! I will have to check it out!! Thanks for sharing at Tuesday Archives Barb.