Saturday, March 29, 2008

For Peggy

This is a UFO that is at least 3 years old. I finally finished it! I had planned to give it to a child through Wrap Them in Love, but when I got it done, it spoke a different message to me. This quilt seems like a good size and good level of cuddliness to send to my cousin, Peggy, who recently discovered that she has cancer. It was completely unexpected and was discovered during routine surgery for something else. I think a quilt is in order in this case, don't you?

Be strong, Peggy, and when you're not, the quilt is a soft place to have a good cry.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Back to Tiny Quilts

... aka postcards.

I haven't made quilty postcards in a while. A friend on an online quilt group just had open heart surgery, so a bunch of us decided to send her some quilted postcards instead of plain old get well cards. This is the one I made.

It's to represent her being healthy again and splashing in the spring rain puddles.

May we all enjoy some nice, splashy moments this spring, in rain, preferably not in snow.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Last Minute Bag Lady

Here are 4 tote bags I made. I procrastinated until the very last minute. I really wanted to make quilted bags, but I put it off and put it off, then I ran out of time. So I just made simple tote bags with no lining.

Tomorrow I am doing a short volunteer stint at a transitional housing facility - helping the residents celebrate some birthdays and eat cake (sounds tough, doesn't it?) These bags and a few sundry items inside will be gifts for the 4 people who had birthdays in March. I've known about this project for a couple of months, but did I plan ahead and allow enough time to make the prettier, quilted bags? Of course, not.

My friend, Karen, says she needs some quilty motivation, so this is what I suggest: go to the Wrap Them in Love website, and look at the Galleries (scroll down to the bottom of the home page). The more recent galleries are more inspiring, I think. These are quilts people have donated for kids in orphanages worldwide. They are amazing, I think! It always inspires me to see these gallery pages. Oh, if you get super inspired, maybe you can whip up a quilt to donate to this wonderful place:

Challenge - guess how many of the 2007 quilts were made by me.
Even harder challenge - which ones are they?

(This is an informal challenge; your prize, should you win, is the satisfaction of knowing you are a good guesser.)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

I hope everyone had a happy Easter. We had a quiet, very good day. After church we had dinner with our daughter, who provided the lucsious chocolate cake you see here. Then while she and hubby took naps, I did more sewing.

Then later we had a brief visit with our son and his GF who just returned from their spring break trip. They were bummed to leave warm temperatures and come back to snow, but c'est la vie. Better studying weather, I guess!

I managed to mostly finish the top I made for Tonya's summer class. It's not even spring here yet (fresh snow on the ground, temps in the 30's F); I surprised myself by finishing this project very quickly. It turned out bigger than I intended, but I'm happy that I'll have my own personalized lap quilt. I plan to add borders before I quilt it. I hope to get this one done soon so I can use it right away.

The sign language represents my career (interpreter), and I included a lot of other life symbols and names. This is not at all how I had envisioned this project, but I'm happy with the result.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Back in the Ring

I guess it was easier than I realized to get the Mavericks ring code back, but I didn't know how... if anyone ever loses their ring code, this is how to get it back:

"you have the ability to do all this through
alt.webring yourself. Click on ANYONE's panel for
LIST...and log in with your user name and password"

I would have done this if I had known how, and my time away from the ring would have been brief. Anyway, I'm just happy to be back in the ring. Hopefully I'll have no more blog explosions.

Not long ago I was at the Mall of America. I enjoyed watching the kids play, while the moms stood around waiting patiently. Now that my kids are adults I like to watch scenes like this, thinking nostalgically about my kids when they were young. I didn't know how quickly the time would fly and how precious my time with them was. I'd have been a better mom back then if I had known how the days would fly away. I'm blessed with two wonderful adult children; mostly I love having adult children, but sometimes I miss those days of being Mommy and kissing the boo-boos.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Sewing While Waiting

Still waiting for my Mavericks ring code to be re-established; I'm still a Dead End if you're trying to travel the ring. I hope to have that fixed soon. Meanwhile I have been doing a fair amount of sewing. On National Quilting Day (last Saturday) a couple of my Yahoo groups had a virtual retreat. I managed to get two tops put together.

This one I had started a couple weeks before and then stalled. Once I got back to it, it completed itself quickly (to the flimsy stage only).

This one is orphan blocks. I wasn't as thrilled with how this one ended up, but I guess it's OK. At least it's one-of-a-kind, and the kid in the next bed (at the orphanage, hospital, or wherever it ends up) won't have the exact same quilt! Interestingly, after I made this one, I just started randomly sewing together other orphan blocks and leftover pieces of things. I didn't plan a thing, just started sewing and putting in little spacers when they didn't fit properly, or whacking them off if they were too big. That one is still incomplete, but I am liking it better than the one I tried to plan! I'll get back to Total Random Quilt one of these days and then you can see what you think of it.

I'm working on Tonya's Summer 08 class... A Study in Repetition. This is what I have so far. I have a couple other ideas to include, too. I'm trying not to rush this one, because that's when I put in something I don't really like. Since I'm working with such an important word I need to be extra careful this time. (tee hee)

This morning it snowed. We're still a ways off from true Spring.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Mavericks Ring: Please Note --

I lost a lot of links and my Mavs ring last weekend. You won't be able to access the ring here at my blog until I get the code and re-install it. Sorry to be a Dead End in your ring travels. I hope to be back in the ring SOON! (I'm relieved I didn't lose my entire blog, which I thought had happened at first.)

Sunday, March 09, 2008

My Quilts Came Home!

Our show came to an end, and I finally got to bring home my quilts. I had really missed them! I spent a lot of time taking off tags and temporary hanging sleeves so I could get them right back to where they belong. It felt so good! We're sleeping under our topsy turvy quilt again. Hooray!

This fox wanted to see the show but came a little late. Oh, too bad. Try again next year, foxie.

Only one of my two dollies was in the show, so they had a lot of catching up to do when they were reunited. They're happier now, too. (Yes, I am in my 50's. Quit laughing!)

OK, I knew I wouldn't get my new couch. Hubby just can't shop on an impulsive basis like I can. The sale came and went, and we're still in the discussion stage. Oh, well. I know we'll get one eventually.

Time for a new week, just a little thrown off by the time change, and looking ahead to a week with something to do every night! Arrrgggh! I am getting too old for a schedule like that.

Oh, by the way, I added bells to the bottom of this quilt. They symbolize doorbells for all the houses. I found a home for the quilt, too. It's in the landing area in our basement, right next to the little old school chair that is kid-sized. Seems perfect there. Can you spot the spider web in this picture? If so, please ignore it, like I am doing.... until I catch spidey creeping toward my quilt, then it's Lights Out.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Pin Cushion & Sofa

Blueberry Lane is giving away a free book. If you post a picture of the pin cushion you use most frequently, you'll get your name in the drawing. Here's mine. I can hardly live without it. I use all its features, and I take it with me to retreats and sew-ins. I got this when I was a new quilter (1999) and had used up my first frequent-buyer card at a quilt shop. This is what I treated myself to with my "free" money.

I like to have a pin cushion at my cutting board, too, but they tend to wander off. I just got this one recently. I hope it stays put, at least for a while.

On another topic, I'm lobbying my hubby to go with me on Saturday to buy a new sofa. We have only had a loveseat in our living room since moving in here a zillion years ago, and it's time for a full length sofa. The one I have spotted is on sale through Saturday. My hubby is not against re-doing some furniture. He just is NOT an impulse shopper like I am, so he needs a few days to digest the idea and decide it's OK. The big question: will he come to the correct decision before the sale comes to an end??? You can see how badly we need a longer sofa. Here's our poor daughter taking a nap on the shorty one we currently have. Tune in later to see how this plays out.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Reading and Sewing and Sewing and Reading

I'm not totally out of my sewing slump, but it's easy enough to sew pre-made crumb blocks to plain squares. I managed to make two tops using this mindless approach while listening to a book on tape: In the Company of Cheerful Ladies by Alexander McCall Smith. It's number six in his No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series.

A friend of mine has listened to several of this series on CDs. She raved about the great reader whose accent and pronunciation of the names and places just made it seem like the reader is sitting in Botswana listening to this story. So I thought I had to try it out since I had no idea how some of the names are properly pronounced. I lucked out when stopping at the library. They had two of the CD packs available: one for book 6 which is exactly what I needed. I do love hearing this book being read to me. Gives me another sense of the stories that I miss when reading it to myself.

I think I'll go back to just plain old reading when it's time for No. 7 in the series, but I'm glad I've listened to one for the unique audio experience. Of course, I am finding it very entertaining to listen while sewing... but it has to be mindless sewing to make this work. I'll see how my coming-out-of-slump process goes.

Oh, and to help the slump-ending process along (or hinder it???) I joined Tonya's Summer 2008 class. I'm glad she called it Summer rather than Spring. That gives me plenty of time to try to come up with an idea and to work it out. Right now I am free of ideas. (It sounds better worded this way, don't you think? Lots better than saying I'm stuck and empty-brained!)

I managed to make two blocks for the Lotto group I'm in. Had hoped I could churn out more than two, but it wasn't to be.

Hugs to my pal, Karen, whose mother died this week.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

What's a Sewing Machine?

I haven't done any sewing for several days. I'm almost forgetting how! Today I finally went back to my machine to make some blocks, and I actually had to stop and think for a minute how I do my HSTs. I mean, those should almost be automatic, like I could do them in my sleep!

It came back to me in a hurry, and I managed to make two blocks. Then I got tired of sewing again, and went back to reading. I'm on a reading blitz these days. I am feeling a little burned out on sewing after getting ready for the show, and I burned through my inspiration that came from the show. Now reading is my focus until I get bitten by the sewing bug again.

In the last week I've read the following books:
Good Grief by Lolly Winton
From Baghdad, With Love by Jay Kopelman and M. Roth
The Know-It-All by A.J. Jacobs is in progress (funny book!)

I went to visit my mom over the weekend. Her 87th birthday is this week! I had a nice visit with her. I'm so happy she is still pretty healthy and spry. I hope I age that well. (All that smoke is from only 12 candles!)

Remember back when we were challenged to post pictures of our laundry rooms without cleaning them up first? Here's how mine looked a few days ago. The dryer quit working, and my hubby pulled it all apart to see what was wrong. He replaced the motor, and now it works better than ever. It's so quiet that we can hardly tell it's running, whereas we used to be able to hear it easily from one floor above.

Heather tagged me with a new kind of tag that I haven't seen before:

You're supposed to reach for the nearest book,
turn to page 123,
and type sentences 5, 6, and 7 into your blog.

My nearest book is __Neither Wolf Nor Dog__ by Kent Nerburn (a book I highly recommend, by the way). It's on the shelf right above my computer. Here are sentences 5-7 on page 123:
I marveled at the sense of well-being that this vast landscape induced in me. There were no jagged edges, no fragments of meaning. All was massive, singular, and soft under the prayerful canopy of the sky.

So let's see... for this one I want to tag some people who I know love to read. So I will tag Mary and Sharon.

Let's see what books they have close at hand, especially Mary who has several in her Kindle. How will she choose??