Monday, October 30, 2006

Something Good for Breakfast

Today I learned something: a cold Apple Dumpling is just as delicious as a warm one, perhaps even better, if that is possible, especially when eaten first thing in the morning! Best breakfast pastry I ever had!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Apple Dumplings

Recently Finn posted a recipe for Apple Dumplings. Now I can't find it on her blog to link to it. Maybe I remember it wrong.. was it someone other than Finn? Yesterday a friend of mine gave me some apples from her own orchard, so today I tried the dumpling recipe. Oh, man! Yummy!! Mine didn't turn out all that professional looking, but they sure were delicious!

Here are some pictures of my apple dumplings. Is your mouth watering? They would have been even more delicious with ice cream. Next time....

One of my Houses

One night I played with Tonya's wonky house tutorial and made two house blocks. One immediately went into a project that I can't show you yet. The other one sat around waiting for a good spot to go, and eventually found its way into this quilt. The hot air balloons were made by someone else in a challenge from me to use that wall paper-ish looking fabric and make it kid-friendly. I decided to add the house (with added tree made from wall paper-y fabric) underneath and a bird and cloud above. After I got it put together I had these thoughts:
1) the tree next to the wonky house looks like a large guitar jammed handle first into the ground
2) the bird is either sitting on a cloud or is producing a very large "splat"

This is going to a kid's quilt donation group; I just hope whoever gets the quilt enjoys the ambiguity of my tree and cloud designs.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Trying Again

Yippee! Blogger finally allowed me to post the photo. Hmmm.. I tried 3 times with the photo posted on the left, and it didn't work. When I changed it to center, it worked! Coinkydink?

This is the pillow I talked about in the previous post (same day). It also is my sit and stitch spot, although it doesn't show much detail other than a close up of the chair. I'll get a better picture of my sit and stitch spot a little later.

I owe, I owe, so off to work I go!

Boutique Results

Blogger isn't letting me upload a picture. bllllttthhh. I wanted to show you the pillow I made for the boutique I was in charge of. Last night the boutique happened. My pillow didn't sell, but I have another place to put it where I'm sure it will. However, my two Halloween bags did sell. Yippee! One never knows what will be popular from year to year. We didn't have a very good selection of stuff this year. I need to talk it up more next year.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Response to my Self Portrait Game

Interesting comments and guesses. Thanks for playing my game. Yes, I'm a quilter. Yes, I enjoy music. I have played instruments in the past, both clarinet & recorder, but currently don't play any instrument. I have also been in several choirs over the years. I love listening to music and last week attended a fantastic Minnesota Orchestra concert.

I write a lot of letters and have two trusty pen pals, one in Nebraska, one in Czech Republic.

Red? That postcard really is orange. I used to say that yellow & orange were my favorite colors. These days I love so many colors, I can't pick a favorite. I chose that orangey background because it is bright, cheery, and warm, three attributes that I like to pretend I have.

Winter is my 2nd favorite after fall. I did not attend Hamline University, but my son currently does, and I just love that school (I'm on a parent council there.)

I do know American Sign Language! I'm a sign language interpreter by profession... have done so for 24 years! It is a wonderful career.

The blue piece is a picture of a hand. Hands are important to me, both for my profession and for my avocation, quilting. Admittedly, this is a frog hand, but what the heck... it's representational.

I have only seen the Gee's Bend exhibit in books and on TV. Would love to see it in person some day.

This one puzzles me: I have an expensive sewing machine? Is that represented on my self-portrait somehow? I have a low end but very nice machine, more money than I ever thought I'd spend on a machine, but definitely not as high as one can go.

This was fun!

All About Me

I made a postcard that is my self-portrait. What can you figure out about me from this picture?

Friday, October 20, 2006

The Sampler Becomes a Top

All my letters and rows are put together! It was kind of putzy, because I added thin strips between most of the letters and between the rows, but it was fun to watch the rows grow into a top. I won't get to quilt it tomorrow, because I have to go to an all-day workshop. Boo hoo! (I'll take my knitting along so it's not a waste of a day.)

For the small letters, I just did raw edge machine applique, at least that's what I call it. Here's a look at the back where it's much easier to see what I did.

Thanks for the reminder, Forestjane. I meant to tell you the size of this top and forgot. It is 27" x 34". And about your other question, when I started this blog I didn't know what I was going to focus on. I should have guessed it would be quilting. I might have named it the Quilted Giraffe. Giraffe Dreams is just something I made up based on an excerpt from _Out of Africa_ by Isaak Dinesen. I fell in love with giraffes when I read that book and have been a giraffe person ever since.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Textile Center Part II

Here's more about the Textile Center of MN. If you missed yesterday's post, scroll down and look at that, too, so you get a look at all the photos. This first one is pretty yarn that is for sale in the store. See the sign that says you can win the $1200 item? That refers to the dress, which is the 2nd photo here.

I didn't enter the contest for this dress. I didn't even pay attention to the contest rules. The dress on me would look like putting Tinkerbell's dress on Babe the Blue Ox.

This is taken from inside the store, through some silk scarves, to the out of doors.

The mirrors in the women's bathroom... they're all different!

They have this truck that says it's textile mobile... I really don't know what they use it for. I've never seen it at any events.

The picture is fuzzy, because I did not want to use flash.. these are some display pieces. Prettier in person than my fuzzy photo can show!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Textile Center of MN

I thought I'd share some scenes from this unique place, Textile Center of Minnesota. All the fiber art groups got together and financed this place. There is a gallery, office & work space for each group, a library, a small store and probably even more that I don't know about.

This is the Minnesota Quilters' office - closed when I was there today.

This pretty weaving is hanging outside the Weavers Guild of MN space.

Made of fabric and beads. Don't you think Tonya's wonky letters would have looked great in this piece?

This figure is on display in the library.

These quilts are mostly for sale.

Hands on the bathroom wall...

A quilt project for Somali women displays some of their feelings about living here and living in their former home.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Tote Bag

I made this bag for the boutique; pictures show the two sides. I did letters by just cutting them out with scissors, like I did the small letters of my name on the sampler in my previous post. To attach these letters, I set my machine on free motion quilting and went around each letter in a not-so-neat fashion. Then I went back and zig zagged in lines through the letters to provide more stay-put-iveness. It's just one way I thought of to do it. I did the heart and the exclamation point with regular machine applique stitch.

Here's a close-up showing the two types of stitching I did. Nines told me you'd all still love me after seeing my messy laundry room. Now I'm asking you to still love me despite this unconventional method of attaching letters. By now you probably know I'm full of odd ball quirks! LOL. Anyway, look at the funny coloring! The picture that looks sort of orangey and reddish is closer to the real color. That was taken without flash. The other one that looks like the letters are purple was taken with a flash. I was surprised at the huge variance in color! The purple is way off. Here's one more photo. Are you bored yet??

My Sampler

I finished my letters! I decided on a format! This will be my little wall hanging. I went shopping today to find the fabric I had run out of. I didn't find it, so I decided to be liberated and bought something else with colors that I thought might work. I'm amazed that I can often match colors pretty well by memory! The A, W, X and Z are made of the new stuff that I bought with my leap of faith. What do you think?

P.S. Some of you asked how I did the small letters. I just cut some squares and then cut out the letters like I used to do from construction paper to make signs in high school. So far I just tacked them on with a glue stick. I'm still pondering my options for how to permanently attach them.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Bazaar (bizarre?) Sewing

I'm in charge of a small boutique at my church. It's held on the same evening as a bigger event (turkey dinner) so the boutique isn't huge, but is a decent fund raiser. I'm trying to get some things made quickly this weekend to add to the variety of "stuff" we have for sale. The challenge is to make things that people might buy, but to offer only inexpensive items as most people don't come to the dinner wanting to do extensive shopping. All I've made so far tonight is a simple tote bag. I'm plotting and scheming how to use Tonya's letters on something. Hahaha... wait and see what I produce! This photo shows the bag I made last year (right) and the one I made tonight (left). Last year's didn't sell, so why do I think they'll both sell this year? Who knows.. maybe someone wanted a pair and will snap them up this year.

Here's the second installment of my Gratitudes List, done alphabetically.
Things I'm thankful for, "B" --
1) birthdays. I had one recently. I'd rather have one than not!
2) birds. We get a lot of beautiful song birds in our yard every summer. They make me happy!
3) blogs! I've had the fun of blogging and finding friendly, inspirational, strong women to blog with! Some good men, too!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Pretty quilts

These are some round robin quilts that were done by a few people in my local guild. I did not participate. It wasn't the typical round robin where you add whatever you want. They had to add specific rows, and that felt like something I would dislike doing. So I did the secret fabrics-in-a-bag thing where I got to do whatever I want... I'm almost done with it; you'll see it in November.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


I've been skipping around from blog to blog, reading people's thoughts and the things they post about their lives. It's interesting to see how we all struggle with similar things: raising children, working on relationships, trying to make a difference, wanting the world to be a better place, looking for happiness. Life is complicated and oh so precious.

Nothing quilty tonight... just thinking about my family and other of life's big issues! "Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy." Remember that from SNL?

Here's a deep thought: a Halloween ghost has fallen down under the weight of its own Boo!! Scared itself, perhaps? Or is laughing uproariously over how un-scary it really is! See photo below.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Secret Projects

I am working on two projects that I can't show you! This first one is a project we are doing at my guild. We each put our choice of fabric into a bag and gave it to the coordinator. She gave them out to other people, so that we ended up with a bag of fabric, but not our own. Our job is to make a small wall hanging using this person's fabric. We don't know whose it is! At the end we will get our own fabrics back, transformed into a finished wall hanging.

Here is a picture of the fabric that came out of the bag I was assigned. I spent today working on this project, but I can't show it to you until November. (If the owner of the fabric sees this, she now knows who is working on her wall hanging, which is already spoiling the surprise a little bit, but I doubt if my guild members dig this far into my blogs.... except Sally, and she said it's not her fabric.)

The other project I can't show you until February! It is a challenge for our quilt show in Feb. We have to make a small quilt using a particular fabric, and our quilt has to fill in the blank, "B is for _______." Mine is nothing at all like I had envisioned myself making, but I like it so far. You'll see it in 2007!

I forgot I was going to start a new Gratitudes list, going alphabetically. Got this idea on another blog. I had to come back and edit this entry so I could add my list:

Gratitudes, "A"
1. a capella choir - my son is having a great experience in his college choir, and they sound great
2. apples - great time of year to get good, crisp apples
3. aunts - I don't have many left! I appreciate my Aunt Dody.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Towels & My Laundry

Nines asked for pictures of our laundry rooms, so here's mine. That big pile of stuff is not a usual thing. My daughter just moved out, and in the process, she dumped what I had sitting in the dryer into that big heap so that she could do her laundry and pack and move. It was easiest just to stay out of her way during that process. And then I had the week from h--- with work all day and stuff to do every night, so I just didn't have time to fold all that laundry. I'm not the world's best housekeeper, but I don't usually let big piles like that sit around for days on end.

Our laundry room is in the basement. We have sheetrock up, but we've never finished that room. We moved into this new house 13 years ago. We're hoping finally to finish our basement next spring/summer. Maybe we can paint the laundry room Granny Smith apple green!

The other picture is towels that my sister sent me for my birthday. I knew you'd like the colors, so I took a picture! The joys of having digital cameras... we can take pictures of towels and laundry rooms and not have to pay for developing of these unusual topics.

I have enjoyed staying up late tonight and catching up on blog reading. You are all a talented bunch, as well as entertaining and witty. Thanks for letting me become a Maverick and get in on the fun!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

I need a 6-day weekend!

I'm willing to work one day a week. Don't you think that should be sufficient? And I think it should be illegal to have more than 2 evening obligations per week. This week I have had something every night - even on the one night I thought I'd have free! How am I supposed to get all my quilts made if I never get time to sit down and sew!? And Tonya keeps encouraging us and providing new ideas... the ideas keep swirling around with no place to go.

Here's a sale I happened upon. I bought some fabric at 40% and 50% off! How fun is that?! More ideas that I don't have time to work on.................

I'm willing to start my 6-day weekend this Saturday. Is that all right with everyone? If so, please tell my boss.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Always Gorgeous on the 4th!

Today is October 4, my daughter's birthday. She is 26 today. In the last 26 years, we have noticed that October 4 is nearly always a gorgeous day. Today is no exception. It's just spectacular outside! Leaves are ablaze, sky is a deep blue, temperature is perfect, and it cools down at night for great sleeping. In 26 years I think we have had two rainy birthdays.

Here's a picture of my DD. She is a big Huskers fan.

I hope everyone who reads this is enjoying a spectacular Oct 4th, wherever they may be.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Changing Direction Mid-Stream

I have not worked on my letters since making it to "T" a few nights ago. I did manage to make this small quilt, however. I made the crumb blocks from scraps and slapped it together quickly with the yellow bumble bee fabric. It was a quick little quilt and will be finished by another quilter, so it makes me feel like I got something done in a short time. In the middle of thinking about quilts, I also took up some knitting!

My daughter is moving into a tiny apartment. She had a huge yarn stash and decided to sort through it. She gave a whole bunch to me which I will use and also will share with more prolific knitters than I. I started right in on the purple yarn. I think it'll become a lap blankie. I'm picturing a sweet grandma somewhere warmed by this, assuming I get it done, of course. I'm not a master knitter and tend to do better on small projects such as hats. And I no longer have a sweet grandma of my own. I'll get to adopt myself to someone else's grandma!

Very warm, sunny and beautiful day here today. "Glorious" is the best word that comes to mind.