Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy (almost) Thanksgiving

How do you like these colors? Looking a bit more fall-ish? I have tried those very nice, fancy backgrounds, but had some difficulties so I had shifted back to this plain one. Maybe I will try again, but meanwhile a soft melon color should lead you to pumpkins and falling leaves - right?

The northwest has had one major storm after another these past weeks. Rain and wind - big time. Another one is due in today. Alas! The ski areas are happy with early accumulations,but there is lots of flooding and soggy ground. So. . . . . . one must stay indoors and create!

On Saturday I took a class on making Parols. Charming decorations - in fact I really like the plain wooden 'skeleton' almost as much as the covered ones. On Sunday we brought them into the church, at the end of the service, as an introduction to the change into advent. They will be hung on the wall at the front of the church, behind the choir. Should be pretty impressive.

The way we learned: You begin with 1/8th inch dowels which are made into a star shape, held together with very narrow strips of masking tape and 24 gauge wire. Make a second star shape and attach the 2 stars together at the points. Then 5 "spacer" pieces of dowel are added to the middle to give it depth. Then it is just a matter (easier said than done, I might add) of covering the framework with tissue paper. Obviously anything with a flame would be dangerous but they re such fun just to be hanging.

My turn to host Thanksgiving, so we will be 10 adults and 6 kids (and my house isn't that large) so it will be a wonderfully chaotic time, no doubt. I hope that you and yours find new (and old) ways to recognize the abundance we all have and be truly thankful. And for each of you, I am happy to be able to say "Thank you".

Friday, November 20, 2009

Lucky me!

As I opened the front door today, there, inside the screen door, was a parcel from my Crazy Exchange friend Joke. Somehow she thought that she owed me an exchange and so she sent me the most amazing stitchery. It is the Alphabet in Fraktur. For those of you who know about these things, it is a Chatelaine Design, with silk and beads.

This all makes my little efforts seem rather paltry. Oh well, as a friend used to say, 'that is why there is chocolate and vanilla'. So here are a couple of little gifts I finished yesterday:

The little sayings came as a panel - just cut it apart and add some borders and there you are. A Christmas tree for a friend's very little apartment. It is just so very nice to have little things to share.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Blocks finished

I have finished up my Buggy Barn blocks. Now just to finish square-ing (how do you spell that?) them to 11.5 inches. Notice how the fabric for the flower petals on one block, are also the background on another. And then that same fabric is a flower center, in one of the blocks.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Great Learning Day

Wednesday was the presentation at my Quilt guild from Pam and Janet of Buggy Barn. Really amazing AND they must have brought 40 quilts for us to see. Incredible display of considerable skill. They are such fun and homey, as well. Then yesterday, Thursday, was a 9-4:30 workshop with them. We were to choose any of their "Crazy" patterns and then yesterday was spent in learning how they choose fabric, stack fabric (critical to the entire process), cut fabric, shuffle the stacks of fabric and then begin to sew. I was able to complete one block (I know, I know, one block in an entire day????)

(red background flower on the left is mine)

The main part of the day was learning the process and then proceeding to execute it with lots of help. Janet and Pam just roamed the room answering our pleas for HELP. I don't think anyone had a total disaster except for the gal who didn't read her pattern correctly and didn't bring large enough pieces of fabric. Most of the patterns require fat quarters - but lots of them. My pattern called for 30 fat quarters - but I made it ALL FROM STASH! Yeah!

The two on the left (the cats and fish) and the crazy courthouse steps, are quilts they brought to show us as samples. I loved the cats and fish - it is a part of a series named for children's games. This one is "GoFish". Cute, huh?

It was a great day. Last night I finished up all my "A" blocks and my "B" blocks. Just to finish up with "C" and "D" and I can assemble them. Many thanks Janet and Pam.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Much Excitement

I have been waiting for November for some time now - tomorrow Buggy Barn will be the featured speakers at our Quilters Anonymous meeting. Yeah. And then on Thursday I will get to spend the day with them working on one of their "crazy" quilts. Oh great fun. I'm excited. Details to follow.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Perfect Weather

for sewing and quilting! Grey and cloudy just really lend themselves to burrowing down in my little "den" and producing.

Here are the last couple of day's efforts:
Just add the last of the borders and now ready for a backing. This will only require some 'stitch in the ditch' and some outline quilting and viola!

I did not quilt this, but it is very nicely machine pieced. I have organized a back and will ship it off to Alayne for machine quilting, and then bind it. Christmas for my brother and wife [King size is so doggone big!]

Dolly bed accoutrements being produced for Sunday's party. Isn't this a grand invitation to fall/winter? My "christmas cactus" always blooms for Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Sewing Retreat

My Clothing and Textile Advisors had a sewing retreat this past week-end. 22 of us gathered at Camp Huston, owned and operated by the Episcopal Diocese. It was a great time of visiting, sewing and delicious meals, I didn't have to prepare. :-) The camp sits in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains and outside the dining hall are spectacular vistas of the mountain tops around, including some new snow on Sunday morning. There were the requisite quilts and table runners, but also sewing of everything from new panties to umbrellas.

I achieved my goal of completing all the machine work for the unfinished Christmas projects left from last year. They may be coming to you, so I can only show you the one for the grandkids,

This is a sweet panel and border fabric I bought over a year ago in Ft. Langley, BC. Always helping the local economy!

While my sweet grandson was in the hospital, his mom brought his pillow from home and he had the Halloween pillowcase I had made. Folks notice what you make, so be sure to keep producing. :-)