Saturday, September 25, 2010

What is a recumbent trike?

Have you ever seen a recumbent trike?  My husband has always been an avid bike rider and I tagged along after I entered the picture.  A few years back I talked him into trying out a recumbent bike and we ended up buying two of them because they are so much better on your back, and in my case for my wrists and neck.  Well a couple of years ago I had a close call when I was attempting to turn back towards home... I thought I looked and listened and it was clear, but I pulled almost right in front of a car that had to be in a blind spot when I looked.  Mirrors are very important on a recumbent because you cannot turn to look.  The car missed me with blaring horn and my bike slid sideways so that the tire of the car was literally about 3" from running over the tire of my bike.  I was OK, but I was definitely down and the driver just kept on going.  He disappeared around the bend without even knowing if I got up.

Needless to say, I have been reluctant to ride since   then, and my husband has been missing those outings.  He sometimes rides alone, but it is always nicer to have someone along for the ride.  He is the one that started looking at the trikes.  Now trikes in my mind had been for old ladies, but upon looking at all the pictures and information out there online, I realized that they are for people of all ages and some are really geared for racing and long distance endurance riding.  They give you a much safer ride, you can actually look around much easier and you won't fall over when you stop, so when you want to make a turn you don't have to unclip... you just stop look and then turn. Mirrors are still important on any bike, but being able to look before you make a potentially dangerous move is really a great relief.  Did I mention that I was even able to answer my cell phone while riding along?  I am not a real cell phone person, but I do have one with me usually and wouldn't you know it rang when I was riding and I was able to answer.  That was way cool.

 We jumped right into the bike scene joining an organized ride with a recumbent group out of San Antonio and we rode the Mission Trail for a ways and put in almost 20 miles.  That was two days after the bikes arrived, and after not riding for nearly two years, that was quite an accomplishment for me.  The following week we did a Ride to Remember, which was all bikes, not just recumbents.  I had a "mechanical" issue and we only rode 12 miles that day.  Around the block at home is 3 miles and we do that often... so we are starting to get back into shape.  It takes a while to build up your stamina, but now when the doctor asks if I am getting any regular exercise, I won't have to make any excuses.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Farmer's Wife Sampler is progressing

 As you could see in my last post, I have been working on the blocks for my Farmer's Wife Sampler.  I'm trying to keep my momentum going so it doesn't get pushed into my unfinished category.  There really is alot going on, but it seems I can usually finish a block or two now and then.  Right now I think I am up to 55 blocks done.   My latest three...
I have been enjoying the challenge of making each block unique, totally random from my scrap/stash.  I am not following any particular rule regarding my selection of the pieces.  Each block is an individual palette... I look at the block in the book and go to my scrap/stash to find some pieces that will work together for that specific block.  I made a decision on how I am going to put my blocks together.  I got my inspiration from a layout posted on the Yahoo Group for FWS.  The standard layout has the blocks on point and separated by very narrow strips of sashing.  The layout I am aiming for is in columns of on-point blocks with setting triangles.  The sashing between the columns is a floral border print.  I have not decided on the outside borders yet. I do know that I will not be using all 111 blocks in one quilt.  My current plan is to use only 70 in a queen size layout.  I do hope to finish all 111 blocks, with the second quilt probably being a lap quilt or something similar.

I want to point out that I would not have as many blocks done if I had not bought the CD that loads into my EQ6. It offers a bit more diversity in how to approach this project. I am using all foundation piecing.  I am convinced that there is no other way to do this without losing my mind.  Paper piecing not only helps with the speed of completing the blocks, but also ensures a much more accurate finished block.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

September is almost half gone

It really has been very busy around here... but what's new?  I have not been able to take the time to post anything new here in a while.  Last week we had some excitement on the weather front here in south Texas.  We were getting quite dry and really needing some rain... well we  had rain for a few days in a row, and I think it started Tuesday with a storm that was about as windy as I have seen it here... it took down a tree in the yard next door, and another one in our backyard.  The tree next door was quite a large tree, and it was hollow.

The tree in our back yard was a younger tree, although still pretty good size and quite green, but the soil here is mostly sand and this tree came up by the roots.  There was flooding as close as San Antonio.  I-35 up towards Dallas was closed in both directions for a while on Wednesday I think... due to flooding.  We are somewhat on a hill, so flooding typically is not a concern for us here at our house.

On the quilting front I have been doing some quilting for friends and trying to get some blocks done for my Farmer's Wife Sampler.  I think I am up to 39 blocks now.  I actually have done many more than that, but 39 which can be used as true FWS blocks.  This is a clip from my design board that is dominated by these 6 " blocks.

I joined a group on Yahoo for the Farmer's Wife Sampler that keeps me focused on getting these blocks done.  The group posts a new block each week, which is not in the same order as in the book.  With 111 blocks, if you only do one block a week, it would take more than two years before you would have all the blocks done and able to put together your quilt.  The group started last October, so it is realistic for me to make an effort to catch up.  Many of my UFOs do not have a target date for completion, so they get pushed aside when something new comes along, so having a target to aim for is very helpful.  I'm impressed with how well my blocks are coming along.  I'm doing them by paper piecing and that seems to give me a consistently good result.

Have a good week!