I’m doing my part to jump start the economy. While riding my bike this past weekend I decided that my tailbone couldn’t take another mile of the beating it was getting on my old bike, so we stopped into the local bike shop and inquired about trading it up to a mountain bike with fatter tires and a smoother ride. They gave me an offer for my old bike that I couldn’t refuse, so I’m now the proud owner of a Specialized (it’s a brand name, who knew) bike.
The old bike, a Giant (also a brand name, bikers are a strange lot) Cypress, was too tall and the tires too narrow. I liked the construction of the bike, but not the ride; I always felt top-heavy. The new bike, a metallic red Specialized Hardrock Sport, rides smoothly and is able to handle the dirt paths I like to ride. I don’t like the small handle-grips, but I’ll get used to them or change them out. I took the bike out on the Shingle Creek Trail in my neighborhood and had a nice ride with the gators and wild cats. I didn’t see any, but I knew they were watching and judging me. Thankfully they must have seen that I would tough and chewy as they didn’t come into sight, but I could hear them stalking me.
We’re taking the bikes out on some of the many trails here in Orlando in the next few weeks. There are nearly 200 miles of bike trails within riding distance. Next up, West Orange Trail and Lake Minneola Trail.
On the quilting front, I worked some more on the back of Arthur’s quilt (the side made with Mom’s clothing). No real progress there. I also made a name badge for guild using the design that I’m using for the flyers and ads. It came out better than expected, but the hand-dyed fabrics I used aren’t as opaque as I wanted. The bright colors of the hand-dyes were muted on the black background. I’ll try a white background
I took a suggestion from Patsy Thompson and had a glass of wine before quilting the name badge… not a good idea! The quilting came out fairly good, but more than once my fingers got uncomfortably close to the needle. I’ll sew sober the next time.
At mom’s funeral I lost my voice. It was raining and unusually cold here in Florida. I didn’t say much, so not sure why it affected me so badly. That and a bad cold kept off work for a week. What a way to spend my birthday weekend, too hoarse to talk, sneezing, and freezing. This year is starting to look like a repeat of the last one.
I did use my time off work to my advantage and work on… wait for it… quilting. I finished the back of the new quilt and got started on the quilting. I changed the quilting from the last one (remember, this one is just a slight modification of the previous one). This one has more curves. I echo-quilted the inner section; and used a clam-shell pattern in the bottom portion of the baskets. I promise to put pictures up of both quilts after February 20th.
Working on these two quilts has inspired me to complete two other memory quilts that I made in 2000! I designed the quilting during a lull at work on Monday (MLK holiday). I’m looking forward to quilting these two as it they are full size (72″ x 90″) and larger than what I have attempted before. The current quilt is only 60″ square and has been tough maneveuring under the needle of my Bernina. Can’t wait to get a longarm machine.
This weekend is the Central Florida Quiltguy meeting in Mt. Dora/Leesburg/Eustis. It will be fun to see the guys again, but I’ll have to leave early as it is also Country Saturday Night; my two-stepping night.
This second week of the new year and Florida is in a record breaking spell of cold. Our poor “furnace” is working overtime trying to keep us warm, but it takes a break now and then to rest. To make it worse for me, I somehow got a cold which progressed into a sinus infection. All of this on my birthday weekend. I even missed a quilting retreat in Leesburg over the weekend. Thanks Timm and Stuart for the invite, and sorry Kelly I couldn’t be your quilt-slave this time.
Enough with the bad, the good is that I’ve had time to quilt. The new project I’m working on is going quickly. Since the beginning of the year, I’ve finished the top, finished the back (just as detailed as the front), and have started quilting it. This has to be a record for me. The quilt I made for my sister Judy a few years ago (2007) took a couple of weeks to make and quilt, but it was 14″ x 26″; this one is 60″ square. I learned so much on the last quilt that it made quick work on this one. It also helped that I read Diane Gaudynski’s book, Guide to Machine Quilting. It’s full of tips, suggestions, and examples of her fabulous quilting.
Going back to the quilt (and I need a tissue).