Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Roadtrip cancelled

Well, the anticipated road trip to Buggy Barn, in the eastern part of the state, isn't going to materialize - at least not this week. It seems that there is too much going on to make it a fun, relaxing trip. This was supposed to be a "fun" break, but was beginning to act like drudgery - squeezed in between lots of other things. So we wisely (we think) decided to postpone. I'm a bit disappointed as I had 3 things laid out that are needing backs. But that will come, one way or another. This way I can have some unanticipated time to work on my Roxanne Carter nine-patch variation. Did you notice that I said that this is entirely from my stash - not one scrap is new? I'm proud!

I have been biting my tongue - which for me is difficult. DD and family are renting a little house and their lease runs out the end of June. They still haven't found another place - it is only 32 days from now and I'm getting nervous! Apparently in addition to price, a big problem is their dog. So to me, it isn't an issue. I like dogs, but if its a choice of dog or house, then I see it clearly. But I have been keeping my big mouth shut and just trying to be helpful (and not mentioning the dog issue). My mother used to tell me that she had scars on her tongue from biting it and not saying what she saw as obvious. I guess I'm suffering just the same. Oh these kids, it doesn't really matter how old they get, we still worry about/for them.

Happy Tuesday. Hope y'all had a great holiday week-end. We had a delightful, fun week-end.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Day Camp Report

What fun to get to learn new skills. Now I need to practice them quite a bit so that I can continue to use what I learned. Our LQG had a Day Camp last Friday and Saturday. The cost was minimal and one just had to show up and then you could learn a variety of skills. I spent quite a bit of time learning "Fine Machine Applique" as explained in Cherie Ralston's book. Apparently it is also summarized in a book by Susan McCord and Barbara Brackman. [It is my intention to give everyone credit.] One uses a variable overlock stitch, set very narrow or a very tiny zigzag stitch. When the stitching is done with the top thread matching the piece being appliqued and the bobbin matching the background, the thread shows very little. Then when sandwiched with batting and backing, one is to stitch in the ditch around the applique. You really have to have your nose buried in the fabric to see it (if done correctly). Quite incredible.

Even more fun for me, was working on a pattern designed (and taught) by Roxanne Carter, "9-Patch Wonder". It is a little bit tricky, but not really hard and it makes an interesting design. And best of all, it was ENTIRELY from my stash. Yeah for May Stashbusting. You make 4 1/2 inch blocks into a 9 patch block and then sub-cut it and transfer the cut edges from block A to block B, and vice versa. Not even too much seam matching. This is just laid out, not sewn, so the seams aren't exactly lined up, but you get the general idea.

Saturday morning I returned and primarily worked on my None Patch Wonder, until later in the day, when I tried my hand at marbeling. Luckily the church where we meet, has a large kitchen, so the gals were able to set up several "stations" at which one could marble fabric which they had pre-treated. So here is an effort at that. If you can tell, we intentionally whipped the solution, before adding the dyes, so that you get tiny little dots, which are the bubbles.

This Friday morning we are heading out for a week-end in the RV. We are going to a campground not far from Mt. St. Helens, about 3 hours from here. It's usually a very fun week-end and the weatherman appears to be cooperating, as well. (what a change from the usual). Next week, quilty friend Ronda and I are heading to the eastern side of the state to visit some quilt shops that we never get to see - this is a very belated Christmas gift to her. I have several things that need backs and alas I don't believe my stash will provide. At least I can't find anything that really excites me in there. Happy long week-end, for those who don't have to work on Monday. And thanks to our current and former military personnel, on this Memorial Day.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Things are Busy & A couple of questions

Greetings from my busy world. On Wednesday evening, quilting friend Ronda and I had the second half of our stash swap. Not quite the same as using it all up, but she had come over and found a few things in my stash that she was interested in. Then it was my turn to see what I might "need" from her collection. She thought I might have more need than she did - at least she had several pieces that I tried to politely turn down. I don't think she snuck too much into my 3 (!) boxes. Now I must explain that it is not ALL for me alone, but some for the Stone Soup Quilts group [making lap quilts for Bone Marrow Transplant folks] and for Q.A. (our local guild) for Premie quilts. That does make me sound sooooo righteous. Not quite true. :-) She said that she was tired of her asian prints (yeah for me) and I think I took all of those left-overs. And many florals and a whole bunch of purples. Perhaps I should feel more guilty? I will ponder that.

These are what the Stone Soup blocks look like. 14 1/2" blocks (big) made with 20 blocks.

Two used books that seemed like good 'library' materials - just in case.

And so to my quesitons: How do you store you useable scraps? Currently I have mine in baggies, sorted by color. If you make strips, how do you store those? Knowing that accessibility is critical and being able to see things make it more likely they will be used, then what is your set-up?

Quilt group this morning. Tomorrow and Saturday are the all-day LQG Day Camps. Oh such fun. I will need to rest up next week. Life is good.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Good Gracious!

Long time not writing - it actually speaks to the pace of life, just at the moment. I'm retired! Life is supposed to be slower. Oh well, guess that just means that I'm keeping busy. And so, for anyone who cares, my life since May 3: Helping with church Pentacost banners; Clean house for houseguest and family Birthday party for 7 year old*; Houseguest arrives; shop for and prepare meal for street teens [once-a-month at church]; NW Kidney Center's Breakfast of Hope; depart for week-end away**. Phew!



This Thursday morning is my usual 3rd Thursday quilting group. Friday and Saturday, Quilter's Anonymous is sponsoring a 2-day Day Camp with various classes. It should be a very fun time. And so it seems to go. Thank goodness I have the ability to do all this running around - no more small children - any longer. Then next week will be time to work on/finish up some of the projects I will have gotten started. Life is good.

Friends are leaving today for 3 weeks in the Netherlands. I'm so jealous. We traveled there last summer, so can't really afford to do it again, this year. Hopefully next. Instead I will continue with my Dutch studies and perhaps learn a few more words - will I ever get proficient? Learning a foreign language as an adult is sure challenging, but some of the research says it staves off altzheimer's - so I will put this in the prevention category. :-)

At least for today, the sun is shining. Happy spring to all!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Fun at the ocean

Sunny and windy - a great time was had by all!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Can You Believe it?

Had a terrific week-end with DD and her 3 precious little ones. We were in a "condo" at the ocean - about a 3+ hrs. drive from home. No TV, no telephone, no radio. Just the sound of the crashing surf and wind and us'nz. My son-in-law couldn't come, which was too bad, but DD said that she did enjoy just the change of pace. We shared meal planning and prep - quite easy.

The really funny thing that happened was asking my almost 7 y.o. granddaughter what she wanted for her birthday. Gracious - she wanted a pony (no!), 2 puppies (no!) a bird fountain for the yard (no!) and a quilt (easy "yes" from Nana). I asked if she knew what colors she wanted - thinking she would have no idea. She said, yes, she wanted blue and green and orange. [See photos below!]

All the troops are coming over on Sunday for a little family birthday party. So I will let Emma preview what I had put up on the design wall and see if this looks like what she wants. Can you believe it?