Signing Off for the Weekend

We're heading off to Rockaway Beach for the weekend. This is our annual (2 years running) family get-together in lieu of a gift exchange at Christmas. We're staying at a house a neighbor owned before moving away, and the house is listed on VRBO now. We're expecting some rain (pretty typical of the Oregon coast), but we're hoping for enough sun breaks that we'll be able to get out for some walks on the beach. In any case, the food will be good, and the company will be wonderful. There's nothing I like better than spending time with my kiddos.

Yesterday I spent most of the day packing food. It's always the hardest part of any packing job. This morning I'll throw in a few clothes and my toothbrush, and then call it good. It's only two nights, so how much does any one person need? I'm not taking my sewing machine for such a short outing, but I will be carting along the last block for the Gingerbread Square quilt.

When I was finished with my packing for the day, I got to work making up the sampler sandwich for the Facebook free motion quilting challenge in which I'm participating. Here it is sandwiched with chalk pencil lines drawn in.

Also, I made up a little practice piece for the first lesson.

My good friend Ila gifted me with a whole bunch of thread a while back. (Thank you again, Ila!) There were about half a dozen of this variegated thread, and so I decided to put some of that to use. I used the remainder of that spool on the left when I wound my bobbin.

After that, I watched the video that goes along with Lesson One and learned that my first task was to stitch over the chalk lines, thinking of them as stitch in the ditch. And that worked out perfectly because I wasn't any better at staying on the chalk line than I am at staying in the ditch. Practice, practice, practice, right? So away I went stitching those lines and I have to say something didn't feel right...or sound right...or something. I'd checked my tension, but I looked at the back just to be sure. Okay, well this is a problem. 

I'd left some papers on my work surface. When I tossed the sandwich onto the table I made a mental note to move those papers before I started stitching. And then I went mental and totally forgot to move them. I stitched through five stapled sheets I'd printed off about stitching with metallic thread. Oh well. It probably wasn't anything I was going to read anyway.

About the time I had that all taken out (both paper and stitches), my little helper cat showed up. And let me tell you, a bored cat is no help at all. 

Watcha doin? Sewing?

He was mystified when the earth starting moving beneath his feet.

What the...?

Hey! Get back here! I'm talking to you!

Maybe I'll just take a bite of this...ew...just as I thought. Bland. I never eat cream-colored fabric. Give me some green any day of the week.

And what are those? Thread tails? Not as good as mouse tails, but anything in a pinch.

So with all of that, it's actually kind of amazing that I managed to get the whole thing ready for free motion quilting.

And then, I stitched my practice piece. This motif is called "poppy petals". Not too bad for a first try.

I circled a couple of places where I kind of painted myself into a corner, and then had trouble finding my way back out.

I'll probably try this at least one more time before braving the actual sampler.

And that's all the sewing I did yesterday. I'm signing off for the weekend. I'm not taking my laptop, and so I won't be doing any blogging over the weekend. Of course, I'll have lots to tell you when I get back. We're all looking forward to the weekend, and I'm hoping you have a good weekend planned for yourself too.

6 comments from clever and witty friends:

crazy quilter said...

Just wanted to say your practice piece is pretty impressive to me! You go girl! Have a great weekend with the family.

Dana Gaffney said...

Have a wonderful weekend, I loved the family trip you took last year.

gpc said...

Oh yes, I am salivating over your practice piece and know I will love your sampler. I joined the group just so I can go back and find the tutorial when I need it, whenever that might be. Just lovely. Have tons of ridiculous fun this weekend! I agree, nothing is better than time with the kids. :)

WoolenSails said...

That is a fun practice piece and I see Smitty is having fun too. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.


Wendy Tuma said...

Wow -- I'm very impressed with your practice piece. And your kitty is just too cute. Mine likes to sit by the iron (even singed his hair one day, without realizing it). What is it about cats and quilts? :)

Kate said...

Hopefully Smitty got a bit of outdoors time after your quilting session. Your practice piece turned out nicely, even with the minor errors.