Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Treasures in the attic

Before she died, my mother told my daughter that she could have her thimble collection. It got boxed up in the mid 90's and hadn't been thought about since. As so often happens, those boxes ended up in mama's attic (me!) So awhile ago, when trying to tidy up the attic, I found the boxes and decided to take a peak inside. I am the sewer in the family, as it is now (although my mother was quite accomplished), and so perhaps I should enjoy the thimbles for a while before they move on to my daughter and granddaughters.

Imagine my surprise - and my daughter's - to find that there were more things than just thimbles in those boxes. And so here are some of the things that I found inside:

A box with a glass lid. The tools inside are clearly for sewing, but I'm not sure what they are all for or what they do. There are a couple of separate handles into which pieces fit. But what is that which appears to be a knife? A bodkin? A stiletto?

These are labeled as glove darning "eggs". One silver, one wooden.

These are labeled as bodkins. I presume to thread ribbon through eyelets or lace.

Various thimbles. Notice the two metal ones in the front - they are tiny. Presumably for children's hands.

Scissors with an embroidered case. They look like gardening shears, don't they?

For shoe buttons? Dress buttons?

I have no idea what these are. They are wooden, about 8 inches long. There is a spring in the center, so when you squeeze the handles, then the two prongs at the top separate. Ideas?

This is kind of fun - no? Luckily inside one box there was also an old four-sided glass case. I think it was for pipes. So it makes a great place to keep these little treasures where I can look at them. Lucky me!

Monday, April 28, 2008

"....with a little help from my friends"

Friend Ronda just returned from a trip to Massachusetts. While there she visited The New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, Mass. Lowell sounds like a fascinating city, with a rich history of textile manufacturing. Apparently many young women came from far and wide to live in Lowell (in proper boarding homes) and work at the textile factories. They would work 6 days per week and faithfully send money home, to their families. Each year the Quilt Museum has a fund-raiser, selling books and fabrics which have been donated to the museum. Some of the fabric is used for community sews. The remainder is saved up throughout the year and for 8 hours it's available. Each person pays $25 and is given a green shopping bag. You then fill your shopping bag with as much as it will hold. There are new fabrics put out about every 30 minutes and shoppers help each other locating specific colors or style/designs. And so this evening she brough over the suitcase she had to borrow to bring home her newly acquired fabrics. Luckily for me, she generously shared some of her bounty!

Debbie Mumm and a nice cup of tea:

Sophisticated red/brown and flowers:

Another friend was cleaning house and gave me the perfect "goes with" fabric:

And lest you think I do nothing but mooch fabric from my friends, I have done a couple of things. Baby Rosa got her new flannel quilt:

And white chocolate's center is stitched together! Hurrah! Now just to finish up with some borders and figure out what to do on the back. I figured out that it has been about 10 months for this one:
And if you are following along, today was Week 3 for CTA training. Today we covered four topics:
* CPS reporting
* How to develop a lesson plan
* Adult Learning styles
* 25 Handiest (is that a real word?) tools for sewing
Life's good, for sure!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Should I hang my head?

In some camps, I shouldn't be quite so excited about acquiring new "stash", but I'm darn excited. I have always had very good luck ordering from Connecting Threads and once again, they have come through with some lovely coordinating fabrics. So, with a sheepish smile, my new "arrivals":

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

With good intentions

You know about the road to somewhere unpleasant being paved with good intentions - unfortunately I think I must be well along that road. I do keep intending to update this more often than once a week, but somehow the week flies past and here we are again. So, here's to another Tuesday and another week, but luckily considerably less crazy this week. Hurrah!

So let's begin with this past week-end. We decided mid April, a good time to go camping, right? Wrong! That's snow. Can you believe it? We had hail and rain and snow all week-end long. I don't think the temperatures ever got over about 43`. Bless that furnace in the motorhome.

I did complete a few other things in the sewing department this last week. So here are my four other Crazy Mom blocks:

When we got home on Sunday I learned of the birth of Rosa Elise, daughter of my Dutch friend Danielle. They have 2 boys, so #3 is a girl. I'm imagining they are pretty excited. So I had to get busy. Should finish this up tomorrow, as I don't have enough batting left.

And just because it seemed to call my name, a parcel of goodies from Connecting Threads arrived in today's mail. Yeah! First fabric purchase in a very long time, so I don't feel too bad.
Life is good, for sure!

[But my skills at arranging photos and the accompanying text are not so good. Sorry about that - I think you can figure out which picture goes with which words.]

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A little of this and a little of that

You know how it goes - bits and pieces of assorted things. But in the end, I guess a few things get done. Working backwards, yesterday was the first day of my training to become an "official" Clothing and Textile Advisor. You know, with that and (is it now?) 50 cents, I can make a phone call. This program is under the auspices of Washington State University Cooperative Extension Service. So after 7 weeks I will get an official name badge and can give away my services to whomever might want them: 4 H, scouting, camp fire, etc, etc, etc. This is the program through whom I am teaching the refugee women how to sew. And so, I am already part of what's going on with CTA. Yesterday we learned to make a pillowcase, taught the same way that the kids are taught during the summer sewing camp, Camp Stitch-a-Long. Next week someone is coming from Toastmasters.

Meanwhile at home, I have a couple of "finds". These were at a thrift store for something like 50 cents. I figured why not - I should be able to figure out something to do with them.

Also finished cutting out the last four weeks' worth of Crazy Mom Quilts 12" blocks. Because I made 2 of each, I now have 24. Had them laid out on the family room floor last night trying to decide. Hmmmm.

Another of my thrifty "finds" was this little drawer unit. Friend Alayne had suggested that she uses one when she goes to a quilting week-end to carry all her stuff and a place to keep it all together and tidy. What should I find at the church rummage sale (which, by the way, earned over $20,500 - all for mission projects. Cool, huh?) but a drawer unit. I helped the total with my payment of $3.00. Pretty good, no?

Can't show you much, but here is a little hint for my crazy exchange item - should be finished up very soon and then ready to go in the mail. And last, but not least, guess what I'm still working on: White Chocolate. We're getting there, slowly but surely.

Where is spring hiding????

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Adding word verification

to eliminate what appears to be spam. Hope you don't mind for a while.

Monday, April 7, 2008

A New Week Ahead

When I was working I didn't really enjoy Monday's - it was something about going back to the same ole grind. Now I find that the prospect of a new week ahead, new adventures, places to go, people to meet - I just love it. Isn't it so strange? As I'm feeling better, I have managed to accomplish a few things and that feels good. I do wonder from time to time if I am perhaps a bit ADD. I seem to run in several different directions at one time, working on multiple different projects. Oh well. I do get back to them and eventually finish up those WIP's just waiting for me. And so, having said that, accomplished this week-end:

a little bag for the iPod I bought to replace the one I seemed to have lost. (grrrr)

It makes me feel like things are in better order, if pieces of a project are in a plastic bag [what did we do before the advent of zip-lock type bags?]

My brother had helped me run a cable from my computer speakers into my sewing room. I had had a very old pair of little speakers that were pretty lousy, so I bought myself some new (still not expensive) speakers at Radio Shack. It's amazing what a difference they make. Internet radio, talk shows, BBC, Radio Netherlands, World Radio - it's wonderful!

Scrap strips from our quilting guild nine-patch project. (all in one place - yeah!)
I would happily entertain your suggestions about how I might use these.

And finally, nickel squares cut (stored in a plastic bag)and ready to be made into a table runner.


Saturday, April 5, 2008

New Colors for Spring

Did anyone notice, that this is a new color (green). It seemed quite spring-y, so decided why not. This is been a busy week but don't seem to have lots to show for it. I did purchase some fabrics for Judith (for the blogoversary drawing) but I won't show you those. She can post a photo when they arrive. I hope she likes them. All 1930's style of fabrics.

I have continued to work on my crazy exchange round robins (RR) and can say, with a big sigh that I finally finished them. The batik-ish one was just a challenge all the way around. The center wasn't even and try as I might I couldn't make it lay flat. I think I took those borders off at least four times. Finally my friend (and quilter extradinaire) Alayne helped me figure out how much to ease in on both sides to make it lay correctly. I had to lose the mitred corners but did finish it. I hope that Marc will be satisfied.

And then I also finished Caro's sweet dog center for the RR. Marc had both of these and gave them to me when I was in Belgium. For Caro's I really wanted to carry out some of the green from her center so that's why I chose the "checkered" fabric. So now they are complete and ready to be sent off to Jacqueline in the Netherlands. She will put the last round on Caro's and a second border on Marc's. One more to go before it goes home to its owner. It's especially challenging (as many of you know) to add a border to a piece that already has one or more on it. We are thinking that perhaps we'll do a row robin later on - just to keep going with this sillyness.

Nana had "daycare" duties on Thursday. However, I'm thinking that the price was a bit "high". I ended up so very sick all night, last night. Oh my gracious. That hasn't happened for a while. Thank goodness. Bless those little darlings, but they had been under the weather last week and I think they must have shared with me. Phew!

Of course, I have just loads of WIP's - I'm not sure what will call my name next. As soon as I'm feeling a bit more chipper.