Saturday, March 29, 2008

Hip Hip Hurrah - One year today!

So today IS the day. I've telephoned my sweet son and wished him Happy Birthday. He and his wife were headed off to watch an English Football (soccer) match, telecast to an Irish pub in Washington, D.C.

And. . . . . I have drawn a name of one of my nice readers and it is,

Judith is a friend from Crazy Exchange, so I already have her address in Hoorn. This is quite fun! Judith was the first blogger from the Netherlands that I began reading almost a year ago, so this is fitting. Parcel coming your way, Judith.

Stephanie mentioned in her comment our most peculiar weather and that it has been. Yesterday began grey and rather dreary. I was sitting in my sewing room and not paying attention, but eventually looked out and guess what I saw? Snow! Now really, it is almost April and it is not supposed to snow. But alas.

It's mostly all gone this morning, but the weatherman says we may get more before the day is over. All the while he continues to say that spring is coming and as soon as next week, we might get temperatures into the mid to high 50's. Shall I hold my breath?

And yes, I have done some sewing. The dear favorite, White Chocolate continues to need my attention. Will I ever finish?

Making a crazy exchange item - can't really show you, but here's a hint:

And a WIP which I came across last night:

I have spent a fair amount of time looking for the right fabrics and then designing the borders I need to make for two RR's. Will post photos when I get those together.
Happy Saturday, 29 March. Happy Blogging to you all.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Just two more days

OK - we're almost there. I promise a photo of the drawn name and then you'll get an email so you can send me your "snail" mail address. Oh this is fun! Actually I've done a bit of sewing too, so we'll have a find ole time catching up. See you on Saturday.


Monday, March 17, 2008


Well, it's only 12 days until I have been amusing myself with this blogging business for a full year. Amazing to consider. And so, in the tradition that I have seen on various blogs, one is supposed to figure out a way to commemorate this august occasion. And that is usually a "give away" of some sort. I have been thinking about this and am not quite sure - I suspect that Europeans would prefer American fabrics, but Americans might enjoy European fabrics. Such a puzzlement!

But a promise that I will figure something out and if you leave me a note here, I will pick out a name and find something to put in the mail to you. Ah how time goes quickly by. Carpe Diem - Seize the day!


Sunday, March 16, 2008

Returning to life as I know it

Phew! A whole week on what would be termed "normal" mode. What a change from the past few, packed-full weeks. Many memories to savor. But now, it's time to 'hit the road running'. This week I cut apart 23, 100% cotton dress shirts, a donation from a good friend. These have been washed and ironed (some soaked) and will become Christmas ornaments along with some opened-out mens' ties - a la Marti Michell. They are small log-cabin designs. Oh so cute (and as soon as I can put my hands on the book, I promise to put up a picture).

I have, however, done a couple of other things. I have been making the 1 3/4 inch nine patch blocks for our quilt groups donation quilt. These are intentionally scrappy. We haven't yet determined the setting color, but likely a blue or something dark. This is such a departure from last year's Judy Niemeyer paper pieced beauty - we will know by the amount of sales, I guess, if this was a good idea or not. Ya gotta give it a try.

I am delighted that I have started to see some progress on my neutrals quilt(based on the White Chocolate pattern designed by Deb Luttrell; August 07 McCalls Quilting). Four patch and half square triangles go together to eventually make a Sunny Lanes variation block.

Then the Sunny Lanes block is paired up with what they are calling a Double Square Block and you can see the basic unit of this quilt. I am so delighted as this is turning out exactly as I had envisioned it. It will be wonderfully muted and soft. Yeah! [what you see in the background are the floor tiles - not other quilt blocks.] :->

Tomorrow it's off to Stone Soup Quilting and then Tuesday, back with my refugee ladies. They were working on skirts while I was away, so it will be great to see what progress they have made. Life is so good!

Monday, March 10, 2008

The last two weeks

Sunrise just outside Washington, DC, visiting my DS and DDIL. They have a marvelous view to the southeast from the 7th floor of their apartment building (actually looking directly at downtown DC, but you cannot really see it). It was really nice to rest and relax from my prior adventures and also to get to visit with them (which Mama never gets enough of!) During the week they worked and I amused myself. On Saturday we got to spend a big chunk of the day at the National Zoo - I'd never been there.

Then on the Sunday I flew to New Orleans and met up with 18 other folks from my church denomination (UCC). We were there as part of the national Disaster Response efforts. We were divided into four groups (which later became 3) and were assigned to 3 homes. Our tasks included sheet-rocking, taping, mudding and sanding, texturizing ceilings, painting and general demolition and clean-up. And "no" I didn't really know how to do much of any of these things beforehand. But we were trained and supervised and gently guided into doing the work needed to help refurbish these homes. It was a truly amazing experience - with both great highs and depressing lows. There was lots of laughter and at least as much tears. It is so incredibly sad that some folks are still without a home 2 1/2 years after Katrina and Rita. There is some governmental help available, but it is largely the faith communities that have shown up. I worked on a duplex "shotgun" house (each room is directly behind the other - no hallways) belonging to Miss Otha. She did come to visit us one time, while we were working.

As you can see the house has been painted, but there is no electricity or plumbing. We would visit Home Depot once or twice a day to use the "facilities". We would walk down the aisles headed back to our house and people would stop us and thank us for our work - completely unbidden. They would just ask if we were in town to help with rebuilding and then thank us and then tell us their "story". It was just so profound for them in the telling and us in the hearing. [You may notice that I managed to get a lot of plaster dust on my camera lens.]

We stayed in a dormitory that has been set up in a local church and had some of our meals there, as well. We did have a chance to go out to the French Quarter and some jazz, after a tour of the city and visiting the sites where the first levee breaks occurred. We did visit the lower 9th Ward where some of the worst devastation occurred, but also got to see the Musician's Village, being built by Winton Marsales and Harry Connick, Jr., among others. (apologies for any spelling errors). I was most touched by a visit to Beecher Memorial Church which is basically a shell with a roof and some outside walls. Within the church, prayers and wishes have been written on the posts and beams. One day that will all be covered up, but will always be there with those folks.

What an experience!