Category Archives: Quilting

Pollyanna’s on the move

Lyda here.

It’s been a bit crazier than usual around Chez Disney, where I live with my two friends and their nutty but lovable Disney Dog.

You see, my friends decided to sell their condo and buy a house. They gave me the news Sunday night, and there’s an open house for the condo this Saturday. Yes, they move fast!

So, all three of us have been packing stuff up in a frenzy. They are moving tons of stuff into a storage unit, for that “my, isn’t this spacious” look. We have all been getting by on less sleep. At least the dog is getting his exercise, running up and down the stairs with us.

Most of my books are already in storage – gasp! – and I’ve got to get the fabric and sewing machine packed up next. Oh, the suffering! I can’t believe how much fabric I have. Once the move is over, I will need to do some serious stash busting. But no time for that now!

So it’s knitting for me for a while – small, portable, and without the myriad bits and pieces of quilting. I kept out my knitting books, and I plan to practice some stitch patterns while making dishcloths. Small, portable… you get it.

Oh, the things I do for my friends!



When Pollyannas Collide…

From the dusty archives of our Drafts folder:

This is what happens when the Pollyannas met up on Facebook late one night… The colors let you know which Pollyanna is which. Also, the names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Not us. Our families, silly.

Anna-Liza:     Hey there – are you really on right now? Or is it just a Facebook illusion?

Lyda:              Yes, I’m on.

I went and started a cooking project and now I have to stay up ’til I’m done.

How much longer are you going to be up?

Hoping less than half an hour. I have something simmering – have to check it once in a while. Then I can pour it in a jar and let it cool and go to bed.

Not too much longer, then.  Hey, I graduated.

I saw! Congratulations!

It’s kind of weird. It felt like this huge thing before it happened, and hardly anyone has even acknowledged it. I thought the people at work would all sign a card or something.

Wow. Nothing?  Although it’s not totally surprising, I guess.


Then again, there’s that whole karma around getting validation from outside.  Bleh. 

People keep asking me “What are you going to do now?” and the truth is I have no idea. I’d like to do something completely different, but I’m not sure what.

I’m hoping that, now that the kids are in school again, life will be less crazy and I can indulge myself with a call to you once in awhile again.

And, in re: “boring job,” you *must* read “Radical Homemakers.”

That would be awesome! I miss our long talks. I saw your note [on Facebook] about “Radical Homemakers.” Sounds interesting.

It’s a quick, but sort of intense, read. I think it will weirdly fit in with your studies.

My son the Sith Master thinks I should be a teacher and teach English so kids will learn to love books and reading and writing, instead of learning to hate it.  I don’t know though.

I have to do some posts on the blog…

God, I am not even sure when the last time I posted was. Blogging is another thing I want to get back into.

And I’ve started making these cute little stitch markers that my knitting group is “test driving” for me. If they work well, I’m thinking of selling them on Etsy.

Me too. I need to post about graduating, for one, and check off a big thing off my Bucket list. I did do this.

To jump around a little, one of the big reasons we like living in our own house is that we can garden a lot more extensively. We want to do an “urban homestead” kind of thing with a lot of edible landscaping.

Stitch markers – cool! I haven’t knitted in so long. It’s finally cool today, so I can think about dusting the needles off. I’m thinking I’ll just make a scarf with yarn I have, and then give it away to someone…

Maybe even backyard chickens eventually.  A scarf’s a good way to get back into knitting.

“Urban homestead” – I like it. Edible landscaping is a terrific idea.

You know those books about women’s knitting or quilting groups? I swear our knitting group could inspire one of those.

There you go, something else to do in your copious free time. And hey, while we’re at it, we really should write a book together too.

We’re growing pole beans on our front porch railing, and we’ve been getting really tasty green beans.

[about writing the book together] Yep.

Something with lots of sex in it. I’m not having any right now, so at least I can live vicariously by writing about it.


I can’t write well about sex – it always comes out too serious.

Or just stupid.

“Mmmmmmmm .. Mmmm … Mmmmmmm … ” Didn’t we make fun of some book like that way back when?

I know – comes out serious, stupid, or insipid when I write about it. Maybe together we can keep it fun and funny.

 “RRRRRRrrrrrrr …. VVVVVVVVVv”

Sorry. Got carried away there.

You are cracking me up!  “And she arched her back and screamed like a lioness…”

Do lionesses scream, exactly?

I’ve always wondered…

The scream thing annoys me. How many women actually scream when they orgasm?

Probably not so many.

Well, mountain lions scream, or so they say. I haven’t heard if they scream during sex, though. On the nature shows, the lioness always just looks bored during sex.

Yeah, she does. Lions seem a lot like this one guy I dated…

[On “How many women really scream during sex?”]  Good question. Probably less than men pretend they do. But is that because the women are worried about someone hearing, or are they thinking, “I’d scream, but it would be stupid”?

Or it’s just not a natural response.

Moaning, gasping … “Mmmm”ing … seem more real.

OMG, I think we should do a whole chapter of the book comparing old lovers to animals from the nature channel.


Names or aliases? I think names could cause problems…

Yeah, moaning, gasping is more real. I think Playboy started the screaming rumor, and some women just play along. Probably most women don’t even talk except to say “yes yes more more” but really, what else do you need to say?

Definitely aliases. We might want to visit Texas again someday.

[On what else women need to say during sex]  “Stop that”

“Get off me”

“I told you not to do that”

Hopefully followed by “do this instead,” or “let me be on top now.”

Yeah, but I wonder if men hear it after “stop that”. It would be a turn-off to hear her say “I hate when you do that”… or maybe not, what the hell do I know?

I think we have a blog post here.

I don’t think I’d say that during the act…

Well, “stop” if something hurt or was really unpleasant.

At least one! Hey, let’s just turn it into a knitting / quilting / urbanhomemaking / sex blog.

Isn’t it that already? Well, maybe the urban home thingy not as much.

I keep having this image of two very proper people explicitly discussing sexual acts over the tea and crumpets. Sounds like a Monty Python skit.

Which is actually not a bad idea…  I mean, if you really need to give detailed feedback or suggest something complex, maybe it’s better to discuss away from bed.

The Radical Homemaker thing is about disengaging as much as possible from what the author calls the “extractive economy” and engaging in the creating of a “life-serving economy.” Backing off from consuming…

Yeah, I guess the urban home not so much, especially since I stopped writing about cleaning too.

And yes, discussing away from bed is probably best.

Wait; let’s go back to talking about sex.

Nothing like a serious discussion to kill the mood.

We should just copy and paste this chat to the blog.

True. Et voila!

And when discussing one’s partner’s technique, they might feel safer if they have their clothes on. Of course, the dinner table might not be the place either… not if there are knives on the table. Better to serve pasta…

Or gazpacho.

Yeah, hot soup would be a bad idea….

This one time, the bed collapsed. I thought that was pretty frickin’ hilarious. How can you not laugh when the damn bed collapses? The man in question, however, did not think it was funny. An important clue that this was not the guy for me.

So another chapter in the book = funny, embarrassing, weird moments in sex.

Hey, are you done cooking yet? And by that, I mean on the stove…

How could we not? I remember the bed collapsing story – still can’t believe he didn’t think it was funny. That happened in a production of Fiddler on the Roof I did makeup for – Tevye’s dream sequence. He ran and jumped into the bed, and it collapsed.

Yes, the jars are cooling now.

Oh wow. I bet everyone working the show still tells that story.

Cool. We can work on the post tomorrow. Or I should say “I can work on it tomorrow.” Since I’m not the one with two active kids at home…

Probably. “Tevye” is now a voice actor in CA. Works for Disney, done some good stuff.

And I’m babysitting AND Very Superior Husband is doing a weekend retreat up at the cabin.

I sometimes wonder if I’ll run into one of our theatrical classmates out here but hasn’t happened.

Speaking of sex… you could go jump in bed with your gorgeous husband now. But… don’t jump too hard.

And no I can’t – he’s at the cabin.

You see how I did that with the bed-collapsing reference? I’m so good.

Which is probably why I’m up late cooking.

[finally getting a clue] Oh. Well. He’s at the cabin and you aren’t?

[about the “I’m so good” thing] Yes! You are!

And he’s doing a retreat.

So you are herding the kidlets alone this weekend? Wish we could do it together. Damn I miss living in the same city as you. Stupid pointy mountains!

Pollyanna calls it a moral victory

Lyda here.

With the Quilt of Unusual Size completed

Mentioning it as an excuse for another picture of QOUS – on the Sith Master’s bed – and no, his room is not red, it’s just the lighting and/or my mad indoor photography skills

QOUS on bed

How’s that for digressing?

Anyway… this past weekend I found myself with time to turn a few UFOs into FOs. So I dug out some quilted bags that I started forever ago and never finished. These were supposed to be gifts in a giveaway in 2008 that never happened. Finishing them at last is a moral victory.

Now they will be ready the next time I need a quick gift for someone.

Finished Object #1: a crazy quilt bag

Bag 1

Note the leopard print edge at the top. Grr!

bag 1 inside

As you see, the inside is blue. The back of the bag is the same fabrics with different shapes (plus a bit of the leopard print), but apparently I forgot to take a picture of it.

That bag was practically done – it only needed the handles added.

Finished Object #2: another crazy quilt bag

bag 2 side 1

One side

bag 2 side 2

Two side

bag 2 inside

Red side, inside.

How Dr. Suess-ian.

That bag only need the inner lining, the edging at the top, and the handles added.

Finished Object #3 – striped bag

striped bag

striped bag inside

Which, it turns out, was completely finished already and had been put in with the UFOs. Apparently to give them hope that it could happen to them. Very Velveteen Rabbit.

UFO #4 – Another crazy quilt bag. No pictures. This one was made with scraps from a box I got from a friend – I am not proud, I will gladly take the discarded fabric of others, and there was some good stuff in that box. If you have fabric that needs a home, send it on over. The quilted outer part of the bag was about a third done. But it just didn’t appeal to me anymore. I worked on this bag for a few hours on Saturday, decided that I just hated the whole thing, and with a great lightening of heart, gave up on it. It is now in the scrap pile, to be cut up into strips or squares or something, and put into some other crazy quilt project. Or not.

It was a relief to walk away from it.

It’s funny how things like UFOs press on my subconscious, nagging at me at a level that I’m barely aware of.

For example… oh geez, here comes one of her stories, run for it!

I made a quilt for one of my grand-nephews, who was born on the fourth of July. But I didn’t send it to his parents, because I thought it would hurt his 2-year-old brother’s feelings if he didn’t get a quilt too. So I thought I’d wait and do another quilt, and send them both.

You guessed it. That second grand-nephew quilt, which has an African jungle theme, is in my UFO pile.

And I still have the completed Yankee Doodle Boy baby quilt sitting in the closet. How I wish I had just sent it.

These boys are now much older, and the quilts they would want now – if they wanted such things – would be vastly different (plus much bigger). And the whole family now lives across the ocean. And the boys have a little sister – who also did not get a baby quilt, see above reasoning.

And none of these children is pining away for the quilt they never got. None of them even knows about these quilts! I hereby dismiss any guilt or embarrassment in this matter. Begone! You have no power here!

I’ve decided I’ll donate the completed baby quilt this year. Our county fair collects baby things, displays them at the fair, and then gives them to the children’s hospital. If I finish the African jungle quilt – I’ll make a baby-sized version instead of the larger one I’d planned, and save the rest of the fabric for other things – it will be donated too.

Y’all, I have to confess that it was only last year when I stopped feeling vaguely guilty when I changed the radio station in the car because the song was good but I wasn’t in the mood for it. I don’t know what I thought – that the musicians were going to get their feelings hurt? Because I changed the radio station?? I’m such a weirdo. But I didn’t even realize consciously that I was feeling guilty about it. It was just a vague discomfort… Sometimes I even listened to a song that I wasn’t in the mood for, or that I didn’t particularly like, because it was a “good song.”

And one day, I was driving along, and I reached to change the station, and became conscious of this nagging hidden guilt I’d been carrying for… well, years, I guess…

And I burst into laughter.

And the guilt evaporated.

But I digress… Quite a lot, it seems.

My quilting UFO pile has now been significantly reduced. And I did all my mending too. UFOs now includes the aforementioned African jungle quilt, and The Increasingly Inaccurately Named Easy Heart Quilt, a project that I created for myself and really love, but never quilted because I was scared that I would ruin it.

A project that I started because I fell in love with a book and because – wait for it – I wanted to do something small.

That I could complete quickly.

Please note that this project was started in 2008.

Cue the uproarious laughter.

That is two – only two – quilting UFOs left.

The Heart Quilt project is going to be one of the next things I pick up.

It’s only fabric and thread.

I’m not afraid any more.

Pollyanna shows off her QOUS

Lyda here.

I promised y’all pictures of the finished project, the Quilt of Unusual Size (QOUS). And a Pollyanna always keeps her promises.

I apologize for the lighting on pics 1 & 3 – apparently Sith Law requires the Sith Master to keep his room dim. (Also known as, “Mom should have adjusted the camera.”)

On the bed and home at last:

QOUS completed 1

The “city scape” on the back of the quilt, and on the right side, the pieced border between the main back and the red outside border:

QOUS detai back

The back, with some of the quilt folded back to show off the binding (made from one of the quilt fabrics – I’d never done that before and it came out fantastic!):

QOUS finished 3

A tumbled QOUS:

QOUS in repose

Detail of one of the corners on the front, showing the quilting stiches:

QOUS detail 1

More detail of the main part of the top:

QOUS detail 2


I’m so pleased with how this quilt came out. And the Sith Master loves it! It is exactly what he wanted.

I told him that it’s worth about a zillion dollars, what with the going rate for Pollyanna-time and all…



Pollyanna Returns to the Not-Being-Consumed-by-A-QUOS World

Lyda here.

Happy to report:  There is one huge frickin’ completed project in the world.

The Quilt of Unusual Size is done. Finished. Put to bed.

Literally. I put it on the Sith Master’s bed myself.

Finished it, appropriately enough, on his birthday and gave it to him the day after.

Pictures soon.

P.S. He loves it.

P.P.S. My room seems much bigger now. Is that an echo?

P.P.P.S. Time for CAAAKKKEEEEEE!!!!!!

P.P.P.P.S. Do these count as digressions?

Pollyanna grapples with the Quilt of Unusual Size… some more

Lyda here. But y’all knew that.

Before we get into the epic that is the Quilt of Unusual Size, I want to give a shout out to a new reader and quilter, whose blog is Quilting with Whimsy: Welcome! Love your quilts! Did you know that both of the Pollyannas are from Texas?

How’s that for starting with a digression?!

Also, on Monday I saw the latest Die Hard movie with the Sith Master. We had a blast! Although a lot of that was the company – I love being with my son. The movie is just action and plenty of it, but what’s wrong with that when that’s what you’re in the mood for?

Oh, continuing to digress…

Important tip: If you see us at the movies, do not sit next to us because we TALK. Of course, with a movie this loud, it didn’t matter. In most movies, we whisper a little – mostly I whisper – but this time we talked quite a bit. I may have had too much caffeine.

Did I ever tell y’all that I once had a guy tell me after the movie that he almost shushed me? Yeah. That was our first and last date.

Not that I talk during every movie…

Okay, I probably do…

A bad habit from watching too much TV alone, perhaps…

Even within my digressions, I digress…

Quilting, right, quilting…

Last weekend was mostly about quilting the QUOS. I spent both days machine quilting the quilt. I’ve now done about three-fourths of the quilt. I’m working on the sides now, which is much easier as the bulk of the fabric is off the machine.

I’m not really doing a quilt pattern. I’m just doing lines of stitching. The distance between the lines varies, and not all of the lines are perfectly straight. This is on purpose. (Maybe none of the lines are perfectly straight anyway, but let me keep my illusions, y’all.)

On the middle of the quilt, before the red borders, I stitched in the same direction as the stripes on the fabric. The stitches sometimes stand out a bit, and sometimes fade into the fabric. I like the way it looks.

On the borders, I am stitching parallel to the edge of the quilt, which is sometimes parallel to the stripes and sometimes perpendicular to them, as the borders have fabric going different ways.

I’m debating whether to add stitches across the solid red borders, to create irregularly-sized rectangles. I think I’ll figure that out once the rest is done.

Once the quilting is done, I have to do the edge binding, and I’m going to make binding from leftover fabric from the top. Hopefully all the diagonal fabric, if I have enough.

Hopefully I’ll finish the quilt this weekend. Because the Sith Master has a birthday at the beginning of March.

But if it’s not done… well, he’ll understand.

He always does.

Pollyanna versus the Quilting of a QUOS

Lyda here.

With the basting done, Pollyanna bravely begins machine quilting the Quilt of Unusual Size.

The metal bands in the first picture are quilter’s clips (like these) holding the bulk of the quilt rolled up and out of the way. I’ve never used them before, but they seem to help with the bulk.



The red lines are the quilting stitches.

The blue lines are the basting stitches which will be removed if the quilting is ever done…

When! I mean when!!

Oh, now I’ve done it. I’ve angered the Quilting Goddess for sure…

I’ll be like Sisyphus

Doomed to spend eternity working on this quilt, never finishing…

the Quilt of Doom!

Help me