Thursday, November 29, 2007

Things to do while nursing a cold. . .

Try as I might, I haven't avoided this one. At least it isn't requiring bed rest, but I'm feel pretty puny - so have just been futzing around the house and doing a few things. I have done a bit of cooking. [I am a very good cook but would prefer to be in my sewing room rather than standing at the stove.] So, on to the fabric items:

This is a quilt being made for Stone Soup Quilts (for patients at the Fred Hutchison Cancer center, undergoing treatment). All the fabric is donated. You can see the challenge with the dark blue, as it is faded on the fold lines, so I had to cut around those. I was anxious that I would have enough, but it worked just fine. This log cabin pattern is the standard layout used for these quilts and they do turn out nicely. I will return this to the church next Monday - the usual Stone Soup day, and it will be sandwiched and backed and quilted and bound. As it has been 'mine' - I chose the fabrics - I bet I can choose the backing as well. I pieced a couple of backs, as well, this week. [tilt your head, I forgot to rotate the finished top]

On my own stuff, I have made these fun, oh-so-easy placemats. Not sure who they will go to, but it's a ready-to-go Christmas gift. Just 4 fat quarters and some backing. Thank you Mary Louise for showing me how to do these.

[We have a front loading washing machine and it is just the perfect height for working on little projects.]

There you have it for today - snuffle, snuffle.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thanksgiving and on to Christmas. . . . . .

I am happy to report a wonderful Thanksgiving. My Dear Daughter and her 3 children, as well as my friend of 32 years, her daughter and son-in-law and 17 mo. old granddaughter all joined us for a yummy potluck dinner. Delicious! And so easy. [Everyone had left and the dishwasher was running by 5:30pm]

I started with some cleaning in the sewing room. Look at that - you can see the table top. Meanwhile I have been putting needle to fabric, in a variety of ways. Finished attaching a label to the Christmas quilt and to the baby quilt. Did some outline quilting on a flannel Christmas 'cheater' for my daughter's house. My LQG has an annual raffle quilt and I took a turn at selling tickets at a fairly new quilt store. (Lovely fabrics)

We follow Women's Basketball at the University of Washington. They held their annual Thanksgiving week-end tournament and I'm happy to report that UW won. Yeah team! Today was the Seattle Marathon and I was recruited by a friend and competitor to be a Course Monitor. So I clapped and cheered and encouraged the walkers and runners on to the final mile. It was cold (low 40's) but sunny which helped everyone's mood. Tomorrow it's back to Stone Soup Quilts. Life is good.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

WIP Wednesday

I see that phrase used and think it is quite a good descriptor. For me, that is exactly what today will be. The last couple of days I have been working on finally completing a number of things that have been in various stages of completion or otherwise. This afternoon I will drive a friend to a medical appointment and have two bindings to sew down. I always sew the front side of my bindings by machine and do the back side by hand. What about you? One is the baby quilt - as soon as I get that one in the mail I think I can show you. The other is a Christmas table runner I started for myself ages ago and never finished. So on Monday I trimmed it to size, yesterday sewed on the binding (which is fairly narrow, but it is all I had of that fabric) and today will finish up. Yeah!

Judy L. talked this morning about decorating for Christmas. I like to wait until after Thanksgiving (and probably will this year as well) but I think I'm anxious to get started as we won't be here (in this house) for Christmas. We are going to my daughter's to be with the grandkids. I remember my parents always came to our house for Christmas morning - to be with the kids! It's interesting how many of us mimic those holiday traditions our parents followed. So decorating is poised to start SOON.

I finished sewing the sections of of the Christmas tree skirt together. It was not as difficult to match up the pattern as I had feared. I have, however, put it aside for a bit as backing and BINDING it will be a major headache, I feel sure. At least it will be huge going all the way around. But as we won't be here it isn't quite so critical [she said having started it about 5 years ago] :-? Instead I will finish up the things that have to get in the mail and complete before Christmas and then come back to this. I'm feeling like I do qualify for Works in Progress on this Wednesday.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Keeping busy

Patty Anne and I went to one of the Rusty Barn Productions - sewing, quilting and crafting expo at the Puyallup Fairgrounds. They wouldn't allow any photos inside (sadly) so I can just report that there were probably 60 vendors - many I had not seen at previous Sewing Expo's (I'm referring to the ones sponsored by WSU Extension). We showed rather remarkable restraint in our shopping.

Some fabric, 120" tape measure (having just heard Karen Kay Buckley say that everyone should have one of these and I didn't) a chalk pencil that irons off, some redwork patterns and some cherrywood scraps for embellishing sweatshirt make-overs. The sweatshirts class was the only class that we attended. Good thing, as the poor woman didn't have a microphone and the walls were simply fabric over rods. Hard for all of us.

On Friday we went to the Tacoma Art Museum to see the Gee's Bend exhibit - quite renowned. Today, to my pleasure, a gift from a crazy exchange friend, Mary, arrived. She was wonderfully generous.

A handkerchief bag, an embroidered tea towel, very "Dutch" fabric, a to/from tag, embroidered heart on a heart hanger and a lovely Dutch quilting magazine. Aren't I so lucky?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Days are Whizzing past

This has been a busy, fabric-related week, but the pictures aren't fabric related. So start at the beginning. . . . Monday was the Clothing and Textile Advisors (CTA) Thanksgiving meeting and luncheon. It was a thank you to the group for all the hours of volunteering they give: teaching classes, providing sewing, quilting, knitting, crocheting help, making things for needy groups, etc. It is through this organization that I teach sewing to the refugee women. They are on hiatus this week - back next. Today was Quilters Anonymous (QA) my local quilt guild. The speaker was Karen Kay Buckley. Her work is simply amazing. She does beautiful applique and just covers her quilts with fabulous designs - she especially loves little (and I mean tiny) circles (dots) all hand appliqued. Wow! [Makes my oak leaves look pretty klunky.] Her presentation focused particularly on "To border or not to border - that is the question" and she had a marvelous slide show and small trunk show demonstrating the various and different techniques she favors. She will teach a class tomorrow, but I cannot attend - on to that in a minute. Check out her work. I think you will be most impressed with what you see.

Tomorrow I am driving to Tacoma miles to see an exhibition from Gee's Bend. I have certainly read about these quilts, seen stamps featuring these quilts, read about some of the artists, but never seen the real thing. That is on tomorrow's agenda with my friend Patty Anne. After that we are scheduled to visit the fall Sewing, Quilting and Crafting expo, in Puyallup. I have attended the spring show, sponsored by Washington State University Extension Office and the CTA's, for the past 10 years, but never this one. I think it is a newer addition to the expo cycle. I will take my camera and see what we see.

But on to the photos - we enjoyed a one year old's birthday party. My daughter set this up as a "tea" party, replete with hats and beads and feather boas. While the babies didn't really get into it, the adults did our part. And it was just delightful.

At least it was white cake with white icing! Oh - birthdays are good.

Friday, November 9, 2007

The Holiday Fairies are gearing UP

Or if they are not, it will soon be late! I have been working on a number of things that I cannot show you fully - at least not yet. Blog "peekers" might be out there. However, I have one thing that is 'not quite' Christmas on one side and quite Christmas on the other. That is for my crazy exchange Christmas gift.

There is another gift (red) for that exchange, also in the works.

And then what will obviously be a baby quilt - almost done but a surprise, nonetheless.

I can report one thing that I have been doing and show you: I am using Stephanie's fabrics from the Golden Brown fat quarter collection to make the center of a round robin. It is from the Australian Patchwork and Quilting, Autumn Leaves quilt. The applique block is designed by Judy Day. [I want to be sure to give the appropriate credit and not have you think it all came from my little head.] My center is to be 30cm square. It will be sent off to Jacqueline, in Belgium and she will add the first border. Each border is to be 10 cm. It goes to 3 or 4 more people before I get it back, approximately November '08. Should be fun to see the metamorphisis. (sp?) Oh yes, the center circle will be a mustard yellow.

Perhaps like you, I am starting the holiday round of entertaining. Dinner this Saturday provided and prepared by a friend - I bought it at an auction. Oh yes, and granddaughter Megan's first birthday party in the afternoon. Sunday is "get the RV ready to be put away for the winter" - boo hoo. We have such a very fun time in it. I am the President-elect of our RV group so will be busy with that all next season (March-October) Monday is a U.S. federal holiday, but my CTA group is having a luncheon, with thanks for all the volunteering that group does. Oh my, oh my. Busy times. Life is full, but good.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Moving Forward

I am happy to report that Swooze was most helpful and has welcomed some of us from Q4P to More Quilting for Fun. I think the important word is "fun". She has admitted that in a perfect world there would only be blogs about quilting (on this ring) updated at least weekly, with many photos. But there are also humans whose lives wander a bit further afield. Including mine.

So I am pleased to invite you to read further on this new ring.'

Life is good!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Change, change, change

Well I am feeling duly chastised. I have, indeed, posted blogs that are not entirely quilt related. Bad me! New "rings" seem to be springing up. I adore Judy L's Sunshine Quilts and read it almost daily, but cannot 'qualify' for her new ring as I haven't had a weekly blog re stash-reduction for the past 12 weeks. Is anyone else feeling somewhat adrift?

I sew and quilt and some handwork parts of 5 or 6 days per week. Do I write about it every week? No! I do some other things each week that seem, in my mind, to be of some import or at least interesting to someone else reading here. Likewise, I really enjoy and appreciate learning about various ones of you and how you fill your lives, what is going on, what is important, who is important, etc.

So, please, HELP. What shall we do? Am I the only one feeling unsure where I belong? Is there a blog ring for those of us who are 'mixed up' in our hobbies? Enjoy learning and trying new things? Are not singly focused? Or is the choice that one must have more than one blog and then limit its content?

I'd really like to know what you're thinking. :-?