Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tuesday's news

Actually go back to a beautiful Sunday afternoon walk. These lovely flowers and changing trees with likely be gone soon. Alas! Autumn approaches.

I can only show you a peek of autumn-themed table runner for a crazy exchange gift. My free-motion quilting is not my strongest skills, but I'm practicing, which is what all the books say is required. Monday's project.

Now to do the quilting on the crazy pink and orange little quilt for #1 granddaughter. I finished the Dick and Jane one for GD #3. And then to make the pillow for GS (the #2 kid). I need to get these finished as my quilting buddy Ronda and I have made a promise to each other that we will work together to make some Christmas gifts - table runners. I have been putting aside the patterns that I come across that I like, so we can share our inspiration. That is currently scheduled for Oct. 11 - our stashbuster quilt group is having a day retreat. I'm looking forward to it.

Today was the final preparation for the sewing class which begins next week. Norma and I decided to give each of our sewing machines the "once over" - as best we could - before classes start. So with a brush and canned air and some Q-tips and rags and some sewing machine oil, we tried to be sure they were as good as was possible. 4 of the 6 machines we have are old, donated machines and have some real challenges working properly. That just makes learning to sew even more difficult. But we have tried to get them in tip, top shape for our 6 ladies coming next week. This year we made little notebooks with vocabulary lists for them [this class is really sewing and English] and will begin with parts of the sewing machine. It's challenging to think of all the words that we take for granted; even the system of measurements we use here are not what these ladies are used to - we use inches and yards and they use all metric measurements. Keeps ya on your toes. We'll see if they will allow any photos in their class.

On with our projects. Life is good!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

It's almost October! Yikes!

Well, life has been busy after my marvelous days with Caro. I have been doing some catching up and finishing up and trying to make some sense of my sewing room. Oh my goodness! It's so easy to just plop things down instead of helping them find their home and then all of a sudden CHAOS!

I have been sewing but cannot show you everything because I know that a couple of folks do see my blog from time to time. Our crazy exchange group has the usual exchanges going on - I have one in progress. They are also doing an autumn exchange. I finally managed to finish up my little project. It proved to be a bit more demanding than I had expected. The particularly fun challenge was to find some other little goodies to include in the parcel - but with a total expenditure of only $5.00. You should try it sometime - it was so much fun to find things that were on the close-out table, marked waaaaaay down, Goodwill, even found some freebies which I could include and still stay within that limit. Tomorrow I shall wend my way to the post office and ship some things out.

I have had a hankering to do some handwork, so have made one applique piece - not sure how I will finish it and have started some needlework, which may turn into a Christmas gift. It probably is time (or past time) to get myself busy with thinking about what I might want to complete before the holidays.

Here are some photos. I will point out - should you miss the significance - of the partially cleared off sewing table. I sometimes don't see that tabletop for months at a time. The little pastel/white pieces are something I'm playing with, with scraps from Stone Soup quilts. Game pieces for a children's game, with a quilter's hand involved (part of an exchange) and my tidy bins.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Such an amazing few days

My friend Caroline has been here visiting me from the Netherlands. We have been having a simply wonderful time, doing so many things: quilt stores, sightseeing, eating, visiting friends - oh so much to do and the days just go by so quickly. And tomorrow she will return to the Netherlands and home.

We visited my Dutch teacher for coffee and conversation:

[hopefully my Dutch has improved a bit]. With luck, I will be able to visit the Netherlands again and Caroline and our friend Jacqueline will be able to come back here in a year or so.

While Caroline has been here we have been "required" to visit so many quilt shops and "sample" a few of their wares. So my stash has only been increased in a modest way (that's what Caro said!) I will have a few things to show you over the next few months. I did get the border put on oldest grandaughter's quilt:
Stone Soup Quilts is starting again, along with CTA and the sewing classes for the African women. Life is getting busy again with the arrival of autumn. I'll keep you posted on this good life.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Seattle adventures continue

Caroline and I are continuing to have daily adventures. Follow along, with words and pictures at her blog - see below for address. This is such fun!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Look at Caro's blog

Be sure to look at Caro's blog. She is here visiting with us from the Hague, Netherlands. We are having a wonderful visit of sightseeing and quilting. She has posted pictures each day of what we are doing, so you will see my life, as well, on her photos.

Tomorrow we are off to Stone Soup Quilting in the morning and visiting some quilt shops in the afternoon. It's a hard job, but someone must do it. :-> Aren't we so lucky!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Back in the Groove

Hello, hello - it has been a while and I'm working my way back into the usual. Our trip to Yellowstone National Park was amazing - I'm sure any of you who have been will agree. I am putting together a slideshow of the trip to put on the sidebar. So soon, with that.
Crazy mom quilts project (from some months ago):

Alayne has finished with the longarm-ing and I am finished with attaching the binding. As this was a scrappy quilt, I used strips of the various fabrics for my binding. I think it's pretty darn cute. This will be a gift for a wedding at the end of September.

Also ready to tie knots and sew the binding for the "challenging" quilt for youngest granddaughter.

Driving home from Yellowstone, we stopped at a wheat co-op in Montana. Bought some white wheat flour and some "imperfect" bread - for 50 cents per loaf. [what is imperfect bread? the crust got too brown!] So, thought I, why not haul out the bread machine and try my hand, again, at some bread making? I remember how and found a recipe that sounded good. This door stop was pretty awful! (it's too big for a hockey puck). I used only the wheat flour and it was just waaaaaay too heavy. I could barely cut it into pieces for the birds. So I had to try again with the proper flour and happily it turned out as it should. Very tasty toast for breakfast.


AFTER: [This is the recipe for a small size loaf.]

Caroline arrives from the Netherlands this afternoon. We have a jam-packed 12 days of "all-things" quilty. Won't that be fun? Will try for lots of photos to commemorate this - her first trip to the U.S. Isn't life good?