Saturday, September 29, 2007

Matching from Long Distance

Greetings! I have missed posting here but have been so busy! Last weekend I went on my annual female cousin's retreat and had a blast, as usual. We go to our cabins at a northern Minnesota lake. (Many relatives own cabins on the same lake.) We always have such a good time. Every year we also read a book and discuss it together. This year we read Founding Mothers by Cokie Roberts... a good book which (finally) chronicles the important role women played in the early years of establishing the USA (after stealing it from the indigenous people) - a big chunk of history that is missing in most history books.

Would you believe that I forgot to take my camera? I was kicking myself all weekend, because the fall colors were just spectacular!

Last Wednesday was my birthday! Husband treated me to attendance at a Talking Volumes presentation (a book club hosted by Minnesota Public Radio). The guest was Sherman Alexie who has written several novels, poems, and screenplays and won many awards. He was VERY entertaining and fascinating. I bought his two most recent books and have already read one which was excellent. It's a young adult book called The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. I recommend it for both young and old adults.

Also as a birthday treat I received some fabric in the mail that I had ordered from Z&Sfabrics. On a whim, I went to their site linked from Tazzie's, and placed an order. I thought it was fun to get fabric wrapped in a bow, and the extra bonus was that it arrived on my birthday.

On blind faith, ordering from a computerized thumbnail, I tried to get fabrics that match the blue piece I bought in San Francisco last month. I think I did pretty well for not being able to see them side by side. What do you think? Was my long-distance matching pretty successful?

This weekend I am finally able to do some sewing. However, I can't show it to you! I'm working on a challenge quilt (which has to remain anonymous) for my guild, and most of the other projects I'm working on are also for my guild's annual show. I don't want to show them before they're seen at the show, or they'll all be ho-hum quilts being seen for the 2nd time (by my local readers, if there are any). Last night I finished a funky wall hanging using some of Tonya's letters. All I can say about it is that it was my attempt to stretch my comfort zone and make something funky.

Back to the sewing machine for me! I have a long list of projects I need to tackle!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I Like Words

Hey, this is fun! Vote for your favorite made-up word!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Make An Offer...

Recently I went to the Quilt Pink auction site at ebay and noticed that they have a section called Make an Offer. With so many quilts to auction off, some of them don't sell the first time around. I decided to give it a try, made an offer on a quilt and got it! This quilt was made in Livermore, CA and measures about 40" x 48". I plan to take it to work and use it in the office when it gets freezing cold during the winter. Sometimes it's just too nippy when the outside temps are below zero, and it's nice to have something to throw across our laps. It's the price we pay for having a bunch of wonderful windows in my area of the office.

Next picture is of the non-traditional little quilt I finished over the weekend. (It's about 10" x 12".) The inner piece has been around my house for quite some time. It's just a little sampler technique thingy that I did in a class taught by Shelly Stokes at MQ (Minnesota Quilters) way back when... this weekend I impulsively slapped it onto this batik and finished it as you see. The ribbon hanging thing is not the most professionally done, but guess what... I only had that much ribbon left on the spool, so that's what I did!

I'm not taking Tonya's class, but I see them all posting pictures of letters. It got me inspired to make letters, too. Not sure what for at this point, but here are my first few. I'm making my way through Tonya's tutorials at her site, starting with the easier letters and working up to the harder ones. It's been a while since I did much with her letters... we'll see what sorts of creative juices these will start stirring up in my soul.

Last photo is my wonderful children! We had the best time going out to eat with them this weekend. I'm loving having adult kids. Our son just turned 21, and our daughter will soon be 27. Amazing! Time, like an ever-flowing stream...

I've stayed up way too late and will pay the price tomorrow at work. Time to hit the sack!

Who is Nice?

A while ago Finn tagged me with the Nice Matters Award. Ohhh, I do appreciate that, Finn! (And I do believe that it matters when people are nice.) Thank you! It's my job to send it on to another nice person, and I decided to tag Tracey, because she does a lot of charity quilting, and also she sent me a book, free, because she knew I wanted to read it! Recently she donated a quilt to a neighborhood kid just because. So you've been tagged, Tracey! You get to decide who else in Blogland deserves a Nice Award. You can pick up to five recipients! I went with just one, because I felt overwhelmed trying to pick five out of all the wonderful bloggers I've met. They all deserve it! But Tracey was most recently nice to me, so she wins.

Check in later.. I'll show you the untraditional quilt I made this weekend. First I have to take care of laundry and some other junky chores. (Oh how I would much rather sew today!!!!!)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

In Honor of 9/11

I just found this web site and think it's a great idea. In honor of all the compassion and humanity shown on 9/11 six years ago, the idea is spreading to make every 9/11 a Good Deed day. You can sign up at this site, , and make a pledge to do something for others today.

I'm going to donate some school supplies and books to a local community center/food shelf. And speaking of books, here's a great one I got in the mail yesterday from Tracey.

Thank you, Tracey!! I'm very eager to read this book! It's about a woman who rode the orphan train (which you can read about here, at Finn's blog) and ended up in a small town in Minnesota. I'm very familiar with the town where she grew up... right now I have other things I need to finish reading, but next in line, definitely, is this book, They Named Me Marjorie, written by Marjorie's granddaughter, Ann Zemke.

Live your day with love in your heart today!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

My Purple Weekend

I had fun sewing this weekend! I won a block lotto of purples. They arrived on Friday, and right away I put them into a top. Here it is:

This will go to a child somewhere.. one of the donation programs I support. I still had some purple blocks left, so after church today I sat down and put these three blocks together, and I started right in on the quilting. Then, while hand stitching down the binding, I watched some interesting shows on public TV about women scientists - Einstein's first wife (I never did catch her name) and Lise Meitner. Both were cheated out of credit for their work - surprise, surprise! But I like to hear about them and the amazingly brilliant minds they had. Anyway, it feels good to get a complete table runner made in one afternoon! I plan to sell this at my church bazaar in October.

And I still have 9 purple blocks left for a future project!! I did manage to finish another orphan top. It doesn't excite me too much... not one of my best jobs. But it's done, and hopefully it'll be cozy and cuddly once it is quilted.

I guess I'll show you some of the fun we had at church today... a good service followed by a picnic and games. (By the way, we have a new minister who is just wonderful.)

Our heat wave finally broke, and the weekend has been cool, sunny, and gorgeous!! We love to have our windows open and take in the fresh air on days like this. Unfortunately we have two neighbors who like to burn their yard waste on nice days. Yesterday we got stinky smoke in our back windows and today we got stinky smoke in our front. Isn't it odd that burning is even allowed here?? This is a suburb of St. Paul, not that far from the city! The problem is that this suburb likes to pretend it's out in the country, enjoying the rural life, so they don't have a ban on things like burning of yard waste, and they even have put up very few street lights, because then we'd lose our rural feel. Crazy, if you ask me. Wake up and notice that we are city dwellers, please! Anyway, I'm going to go for a walk to enjoy the lovely weather and get away from the stinky fires. Ta-ta!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Idea From Tazzie

I got this fun idea from Tazzie who found this: Spell with Flickr.

Here's my version.. thought I'd made the tiles small enough to make only one line, but I guess not. It was fun, anyway.


Monday, September 03, 2007

Cleaning, Cleaning, and More Cleaning

I took on my sewing room this weekend. You would not believe what it looked like Before. It was so bad, that all the hours I spent on it have not yet gotten it to the After stage. My sewing room had gotten so unuseable that I was using my sewing machine in the dining room. I think I mentioned this before... hubby was afraid I was taking over the house. I have thrown away two trash cans full of stuff and have deposited three big bags of old papers in the recycling bin.

I can't believe how many patterns I had printed off the internet and "set aside." Doesn't that sound polite? It really means, "toss into the corner and let accumulate and gather dust for a couple of years." (Yes, I was finding papers from 2005 on the bottom of the pile. Might as well be honest.) In six lifetimes I would not have been able to use all those patterns - and some were duplicates of patterns I have already saved!

To reward myself for all the work, every few hours I would let myself do some sewing. I had to make a few extra crumb blocks, but did have most of these already made. The turtle blocks were made by Ann D. ("a long time ago" according to her - apparently my orphan blocks pile is similar vintage to my piles of tossed aside papers.) It didn't take long to put this top together, but it took long enough so that I felt like I got some "real" sewing time in. (None of this fake sewing time for me, thank you!)

It's embarassing to admit that I'm still not done cleaning my sewing room. I'll keep plugging away at it; I don't know if I'll get it to a point where I dare take a picture of it, but wouldn't that be grand??

Meanwhile, this top with the turtles will be on its way to Wrap a Smile, to wrap around some little kid who goes through cleft lip/palate surgery. I hope he or she loves it!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

I Reluctantly Choose Buttons

OK, I agree with many of my readers who suggested velcro or something other than what I offered... what really got me motivated was the comment that the kids would lose the clip. Ok, you're all right. I was just hoping I could be lazy. Do you know that I *hate* sewing on buttons? And yet I decided to try this...

I'm actually happy with this result! I think it looks so cute! Now I just need to find some buttons that will go with the rest of the bags. I had two of these quilty buttons. I put them on a bag for me and a bag for a friend. The rest will be generic so I can sell them. I wonder if there is a (cheap) button somewhere that says "time for lunch!"