( Pondering semi-permanence and Port Aransas )
Earmworms are songs you just can’t get out of your head. Endless repetitions of even the best tunes and lyrics are guaranteed no-fun after the 50th loop. I happen to like fairly complicated songs, and usually only learn some of the words so it’ll be a chorus or at most one or two verses firmly lodged in my brain. In this case, it was "El Paso", by Marty Robbins. It’s a beautiful melody, a classic western theme, and far too catchy for me.
Every time I saw a sign for El Paso there went Marty, warbling away about his hapless lovesick cowboy and his very bad end. But wait: there’s more! Since I don’t learn songs all that well, about the 30th time or so another complicated melodic tune (that I know about half of) supplanted Marty with a Viking theme. It turns out that the words to “Song of the Shield-wall”, by Malkin Grey and Peregrynne Windrider, scan very well to the tune of “El Paso”, with only minor tweaks.
Click on the links at your own risk; I’m not responsible if you find yourself singing of Saxons in the Old West!
( Christmas in the desert )
( Traveling through Arizona... )
We spent Thanksgiving in Arkansas with my MIL; it was a nice long weekend with family members arriving at staggered intervals as their schedules permitted. Sunday we got back on the road after roughly two weeks in Hot Springs, headed for Sherman, TX, on the first stage of our long drive to California for the Escapees’ Rose Parade HOP.
( South and West into Texas... )
I’m sitting outside this afternoon, watching the first fire we’ve been able to have in what seems like years. I looked over our camping calendar and it has been over a year; the last time we were in a campground that would allow fires at all, there were burn bans in effect pretty much everywhere we went. At the moment we’re taking a rest day in Texarkana at Clear Spring Park, a Corps of Engineers park on Wright-Patman Lake, south and west of the city.
It’s been a pretty day, overcast and a bit chill, but still warm enough to sit out with the fire and watch the birds on the lake. Earlier today we watched large flocks of dark-colored waterfowl (ducks or coots, I’m not sure which) who were apparently travelling with flocks of white pelicans, as they swooped and swam to and fro across the lake. All of them were in constant motion, landing on the water for a few minutes then taking off again and landing in a different area, and flocks of seagulls swirled above them.
We’re on our way to Arkansas to visit family, and from there we’ll be heading south to Florida in March and April. On our way east from California, we got to do some touring in New Mexico, spending a few days on the western side of the state to visit White Sands National Monument, and then crossing the state for a few more on the eastern side to see Carlsbad Caverns.
( About White Sands... )
I’m very happy to be back on the road, but with resuming our travels the quiltmaking has slowed down some. Still, all but two of the whole blocks are done for the 30’s Stars quilt! I laid out all the blocks and put together a rough preliminary layout so folks could see where this is headed. (Click on the photo to open it in my Flickr account at a somewhat larger size, if you like.)
Next step is finishing the last two full-sized border blocks; then I think I’ll swap to hand-work for a few days. We’ll be touring National Parks in New Mexico for the next week or so, so most of my time will be given to that. And in the evenings I’d really like to finish binding the log cabin quilt that has been waiting patiently for completion since November. That’ll be a nice, warm, low-stress project.
Check out what everyone else is laying out and planning up, on Judy Laquidara’s Design Wall Monday!
In the way of things when full-timing (plans writ in sand) right after I wrote the post about making the speed run (fast for us, anyway) to get to Baton Rouge for Mardi Gras, our friends had to cancel the party. Bummer. But no cloud without a silver lining; the gap in the schedule let us slot in some sightseeing time and some needed work stops.
( From Tehachapi to Niland, CA... )
I’m calling this quilt 30’s Stars, but maybe I should be calling it 30’s four-patches. The stars went together in jig time compared to the four-patch blocks! These are the centers of the last of the full-sized blocks intended for the border. This picture was taken Sunday morning; as of Sunday evening, seven of the fourteen border blocks are done and stashed away in a pillowcase with the other finished twelve-inch blocks, and the rest are laid out and rolled up in a towel for travel. Hopefully, next time we stop those can be finished, and after that I just need to cut background triangles and strips for the edge blocks and put everything together.
Be sure to take a look at what other quilters are working on (with or without feline assistance) at Judy Laquidara's Design Wall Monday!
( Two steps forward, one step back... )
The picture features most of the 468 two-patch units made with 30’s prints and white squares. Some of them were used to make 76 one-patch units, but the rest will be sewn into four-patches for the 30’s Stars quilt.
( Naturally, somewhere in all that sewing I miscounted... )
December has been a quiet month in the Central Valley of California. Since Thanksgiving we’ve been living in Turlock for J’s weeks of radiation therapy. That’s going well, and the doctor is happy with his progress. Our holidays were peaceful and pleasant; we spent Christmas and New Year’s Eve at home and went out for small shopping jaunts and walks around the local lakes.( Our trip to Yosemite )
Judy Laquidara’s sponsoring a new mode of working on quilt projects in 2013: the Getting it Done challenge. At the start of every month, pick four projects, large or small, to work on during that month, with the goal of making steady progress over the course of the year.( My four projects for January... )
2012 was a good year for quilting; sitting in one place for months made it easy to finish three quilts, which were all well received by their owners at Christmastime, and a couple of longstanding finished tops were sent off to become full-blown quilts. I started a new quilting notebook (finally filled the old one) and made a list of projects to work on in 2013. I’m looking forward to next year and Judy’s new monthly pick four focus; that should give me the impetus to get a lot done!
The stars for the 30’s stars quilt are all done (someone reassure me that those dark blue centers aren’t too dark!) Now there are just 468 two inch squares to sew to their respective background squares and make up into fourpatches. I apparently really like the look of quilts with fourpatch blocks alternating with other blocks for a “sashing” effect, as this is the second in just a few months (Holly Berries being the first.)
But first, I’ll be off to the quilt store here in Turlock today; they’re having a deep discount inventory sale and I need to stock up on backing material. Don’t forget to check out what everyone else is up to at the end of the year, at Judy Laquidara’s Design Wall Monday. And may everyone have a happy and healthy New Year!
It was a grey and dreary morning, which is why my window looks almost black with the flash. This is the start of a new quilt (well, three new quilts, once all is said and done.) I love the look of 30’s quilts, whether reproduction or vintage. I’d made up patterns in EQ for several, and picked the one I wanted to make most for my next project.
( Cutting for multiple quilts... )