Wednesday, May 27, 2009

"Sunshine on my shoulder makes me happy"

As has happened only 4 other times in the past 20 years (according to the weather guy on TV) we had 3 sunny days (together, in a row) over Memorial Day week-end. Amazing. More than 80 gals came along for our annual long week-end trip, near Mt. St. Helen's. (of volcano fame - but long ago) and we had a great time. Potlucks and table games, our own unique version of a triathalon and our most successful fund-raising auction, ever. As I'm the president this year, I wanted to be sure that we made some profit, but it was fabulous. Our members were generous with their donations (to be auctioned off) and really got into the swing of bidding for things. So we finished the evening (Sunday) with over $3100. Isn't that spectacular?

I got busy and then my camera batteries died, so only have a few photos, but you can see how lovely our weather was and some of the silent auction activity. [no sewing this week-end]

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Camp Stitch-a-lot

The Clothing and Textile Advisors (CTA) of Snohomish county (north of where I live) puts on a summer camp, each year, for children to learn sewing. The children come for the morning or afternoon (or both) of a week in June OR a week in early July. [There is a 3rd week later in July for the more advanced students.]

This is a really fun adventure and this year my oldest granddaughter will be attending and her Nana will be teaching two of the days. Otherwise, I'm just in transportation. For the beginners, the projects are: a name tag holder, a lunch bag, an apron and an "Ugli" doll. In addition, the kids are taught about their sewing machines (which they must bring), tools, ironing/pressing, safety, etc. If they finish their project for the day early, then they have available 6 1/2" cotton squares to make into a small quilt top - given to a local hospital.

This is a great program and while there is lots and lots of prep. work required, the kids (or their moms) sign up quickly and the program is usually full. We (CTA's) are required to be roving helpers, advisors and problem solvers. So TODAY: we had a fabric cutting 'party' to begin the preparation of materials.

The fleece is for the Ugli dolls. (I couldn't find a picture of those, but I'll keep looking. They are about 8 1/2" x 11" rounded rectangle, with fleece 'hair' and braided cotton arms and legs. CUTE!)

For the more advanced students this year they will make cargo pants, winter scarves and "humbug" bags. The third week will be crochet and knitting in the morning and quilting in the afternoon - that group will do their own cutting.

This is fun, despite some up-front work. We will probably have one more work party before the camp begins. I know at least one little girl who is might excited about staying with Nana for a week and getting to go to sewing camp. Life is good!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

One opinion about me

fun quiz for myspace profile and blog

MayBritt had this fun gizmo on her blog, so decided I would give it a try. See what it says about you. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Will spring ever really arrive?

We are having just lousy springtime weather. We might get one beautiful day and then it is quickly followed by 4-6 of grey, clouds, wind and rain. I want to be able to predict that I can be outdoors, sipping something cool on the patio. We got the glass-topped table washed and all the chairs cleaned but they are likely to be dirty before we even get to use them. Bummer! We got a couple of the left-over plants from the church superfluity sale and they can happily sit in their pots for a while - no big rush to get them in the ground.

Judy Laquidara has been posing some very thought-provoking questions. How do you begin your quilt planning? Do you start with the pattern or do you start with the fabric? I would really be interested to hear your answer. As I think over what I've made during the past couple of years I guess I really do both. It kind of depends. I don't typically copy the coloring of the quilt - if starting with a pattern - but I do try to get a sense or a feeling of what the quilt "says". This is getting a bit 'artsy' for me, but you know what I mean. But I am also notorious for finding some fabric and then figuring out how/where I can use it. Among my favorite shopping opportunities is Goodwill. My friend Ronda was always finding real treasures there, so I started to visit from time to time. I have not found all the major things that she has (quilts, irons, ironing boards, sewing tables, etc, etc), but it's a matter of 'checking in' on a fairly regular basis and see what they have.

On Monday, on my way home from CTA I stopped at Goodwill and found a couple of goodies.

There are about 3 yards of the plaid and more than 5 of the blue. They cost me $5 apiece. The blue had a stain, but a bit of Spray'nWash and it looks good as new. So I see a back for something.

I showed you the blanket I made for my RVing ladies. And a bit of scrap cutting. I was given some fabric to use for my granddaughters:

A very sweet white cotton for some sort of blouse. I also got some dark green corduroy (don't know where that picture has disappeared to). Perhaps matching jumpers for the big one and for the small one. Cute, huh? [Oh, Nana!]

And lastly, I pulled out my knitting, again. The last time I tried socks they did not turn out well. They were all the wrong size and I was just fed up. But I bought myself a new pattern and the gal assured me that if I simply followed the directions, exactly as written ("Don't read ahead!) they will turn out well. So they are floating around these days:

Next time I will fill you in on Camp Stitch-a-lot.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Busy Friday

For a day that I thought was going to be very slow and quiet, I managed to fill almost every minute. This morning I finished up with the 'lap robe' I'm making. Every year our RVing group has a fund-raising auction Memorial Day week-end. I am the president this year, so felt like I wanted to make a tad-more-than-usual donation for the auction. You know how you get ideas in your head but then trying to figure out how to make them a reality isn't always easy. And so, I purchased a lovely, very soft fleece-type of throw and decided to applique on it. That was where I kept getting stuck. I read an assortment of articles and looked at books, all about fleece and even some 'how to applique on fleece' but nothing seemed to work exactly as I thought it should. I finally took the logo to Kinko's and blew it up several hundred percent and then used that to make patterns of the pieces. While on my way to Jo-Ann's to buy the fleece I needed I happened to stop at the Goodwill and there I found the pink and purple I needed [$1.99 apiece]. So I only had to go retail for the green and yellow both on a 30% off sale. I made the pattern pieces out of freezer paper and then traced around them with a fine sharpie, then cut them out inside the black lines. By the time I turned them over you couldn't see any markings on them. I used color thread on top and clear in the bobbin. You will notice that my sunbeams moved a bit, but oh well - everything was so soft and squishy (and moveable).

Now this may sound entirely too dramatic for those of you who are good at this, but applique is not my best skill, so I was astonishingly apprehensive. But shortly before noon I finished up and have to say that I am satisfied with my donation.

To wind down I continued with my cutting squares and strips - mentioned in previous posts. I'm working my way through my zip-loc bags of various colors. Making strides.

This way they take up so little space in the drawers. I just love it!

The phone rang and I was supposed to be helping out in the church office this afternoon and I forgot. I managed the fastest clothes change, a little make-up and a hair comb and I was off. I got home about 4pm. Waiting for me on the counter was the bowl of cookie dough that I had decided to start earlier, in a fit of some sort. I truly can't remember the last time I made cookies. Cakes and pies, sure, but cookies not for a very long time. But somehow I just had a hankering. So a spicy cookie with apple chunks and walnuts - yummy.

I'm tired! It's been busier than I anticipated about 14+ hours ago. Yeah for the week-end.

p.s. I know why I don't make cookies - it's because I just eat them.
Those two are gone now. :-?

Monday, May 4, 2009

"Monday, monday - can't trust that day"

So far it has been a rather pretty morning, but the weather guy on TV promises big storms by this evening. Oh yuk! I believe his words were something like "more like November than May" - doesn't that just sound swell?

I have been doing a bit of sewing as well as a bit of camping - it is that time of the year, you know.
So, I've begun to add the borders to the split 9 patch made from the pre-printed fabric. Really pretty cute. By adding the borders it will become large enough to make a Stone Soup quilt.

Bless Bonnie Hunter (she is soon becoming my very best pattern provider) and her Majestic Mountains pattern. I just tried this out with some shirting fabrics I had. Lesson one is don't use strips or be sure they all go in the same direction - makes you dizzy, otherwise. But I do just love this pattern and will be back really soon to making more of these.

I still like the cut-up shirts, just need to pay attention to how I use them.

Over the week-end we had our second Women's RV group outing. We just always have such a great time and this was no exception. Friday was fabulous weather and everyone so enjoyed sitting outside. Sadly it started to rain (and I mean RAIN) during the night and by Saturday morning it was hard to walk around and avoid the big puddles. Some of the folks went out on a whale watching boat trip. (they only saw a few spouts - is that the right word - quite far off) Luckily no one was sick and the water was very rough. Some of us stayed home and just enjoyed sipping a cup of tea and hand sewing. Ah relaxation! I'm starting on my 'Leanne's House' clone.

Saturday evening we had a "belated" Easter egg hunt - our planners hid over 100 eggs and after dinner folks were to find them. There were 11 door prizes (ID'd on your egg) all donated by the park - bless them, and chocolates, candies and "Marne money".

Yeah, that's me. The idea is that this money is spendable at our auction next month -our biggest fund raiser. [see what fun you have when you are the president - famous or should I say infamous?] It was a clever idea.

Seafood potluck dinner - with our own ice sculpture, the club house with "party" lights, a hot game of Carcassonne after dinner and a collection of items for the local Human Society - they specifically asked for "cat" things. Sunday donned sunny with blue skies so it made "breaking down" a much more pleasant activity. Everyone headed home. We will gather again for Memorial Day week-end, near Mt. St. Helen's. Oh such fun.

Life is very good. Lucky me!