Monday, January 30, 2012

Quilt Show: Part 2

Here are 4 more quilts that I am putting in our show. It's been a busy few days of attaching hanging sleeves and finishing bindings. I have two more quilts coming from the machine quilter.. I'll need to bind them and attach sleeves, then I'll be DONE! I'm eager to get back to my fun sewing - doing whatever I want and creating magic, more or less.

Welcome Home which you have seen before. It's about 8" x 14"

Have you seen Rainbow one before? Perhaps before it was quilted.

a simple table runner that I made for our bazaar in the fall; it didn't sell, so I kept it and used it at Christmas time

my Legos quilt - all done!! I love this quilt and can't wait to get it back after the show so I can sleep under it.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday Books: Long-Shining Waters

working on a binding... still have a couple bindings to do after this one... bindings: my nemesis

It’s Friday evening. I waited until now to write my Friday Books log, because I was hoping I could say that I finished my book. I’m close to done, but I just didn’t take any time today to read.

I am inundated with quilt bindings and hanging sleeves, so I didn’t set aside any reading time. Oh, I did take time to go get a haircut today. Then it was right back to bindings.

I am almost done with Long-Shining Waters by Danielle Sosin. I am going to give you my report on it, assuming I’ll easily finish it when I take the time to sit down and read (probably bed time).

The book is the story of three women who live along Lake Superior in three different centuries. They all live on the Minnesota side of the lake, which is the towns and sites with which I am familiar and which came up in one of the women’s life story. Each woman experiences a tragedy of some sort. They each have to deal with it and with life after the fact.

The chapters alternate between the women. For example, chapter one is in the early 17th century, chapter two is in the 20th, and chapter three is in the 21st. Then the chapters bounce around between the three centuries. By reading each story concurrently, the reader gets a view of the similar theme of women dealing with their ups and downs, minor and major, over the years. I tried not to feel too jolted when each chapter bounced to another story. With the stories inter-mixed, I felt a kinship between the three women, even though they would never know of each other.

Overall I liked it and would give this book 4 stars. It was a Christmas gift from my sister, and I’m glad I read this fun book.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Quilts for the Show, Part 1

I think I will have as many as 16 quilts ready to hang in our guild's show this year. I don't think I ever had that many, even the year I was Featured Quilter. Well, this year they are encouraging small quilts, and small is part of the theme, so it was easier to churn out a bunch. Many of mine are just simple, quick, unimpressive, and small. A couple of them are beauties, but most are average. Here is your first sneak peek at some of the quilts I will show this year. (Most of them you've already seen anyway... no big thrill today, I guess.) A couple of my quilts are still at the machine quilter, so I'll show those in a few days when they're done.

This one is about 50" x 70"; after the show this will be donated to Wrap Them in Love

This is my goofy one with odd stuff added to it

The slide shows up well when back lit; I think it's a shot taken in Europe.

Solid Style.. it's only about 8" x 14"

Guess what this is. duh. and you've seen it before

This is my Bah, Humbug quilt

my pet Hum Bug is 3-D

My bride doll from 1960 has become a quilter, too

You've seen this already, probably too many times

I purchased this at Aunt Annie's Quilts.. a sample made by shop owner Lucy Senstad and then beautifully quilted by Diane Schotl.. I love this quilt!

showing the center block detail

This is my masterpiece, also quilted beautifully by Diane. It's done and gorgeous!! I'm modeling it in my grunge, not-going-out-in-public outfit and hair.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Are These Your Shoes?

Have you been to my house some time in the last 4 months? If so, did you leave a pair of shoes here? I don't know who belongs to these shoes that are now waiting quietly in our front closet.

I have about 12 quilts registered for our upcoming show which runs for the month of February, and I have to finish about six bindings. I hate doing bindings! They are soooo B-O-R-I-N-G!! But it will be fun to get these quilts done and also fun to have so many in our show this year. I have a couple of beauties as well as my usual ho-hum quilts. I hang them all, good or not. I like to provide encouragement for those beginning quilters who might attend the show. :-)

Today is my sister's birthday. Happy Birthday, K!! It is also the ten-year anniversary of our dad's death. Hard to believe it has been ten years. I was a mere 49 years old then. I was lucky to have my dad around as long as I did. We miss him, but he would have been in poor shape if he had survived his last bout of illness. Alzheimers was starting to show its ugly face, and our dad would have been so unhappy being that ill. Mom is doing well... still healthy but slowing down a bit, which is understandable at the age of 90 years and 10 months. Her mind is still sharp, and she still loves to read. Go, Mom!

Speaking of being age 49 ten years ago, I remember thinking it was hard to turn 50, but now I'm coming up on 60 which I think will be harder. (Inside I do not FEEL 60 at all.)

I actually have loved my fifties. What a great decade of re-discovering myself! If any readers are worrying about turning fifty, don't. It's a great time in life.. empty nest gives you the chance to re-mold yourself and to re-energize your marriage to that guy you have been sharing parenting with all those years. It's also a time when you finally feel that you've learned some of life's lessons and actually have some wisdom. I don't worry about little things so much and can take life's ups and downs with a little more peace of mind. It's really nice.

At my new job several of my co-workers are very young, with babies and young kids, maybe another job or going to school, and so many distractions in life pulling them in all directions. I can see quite a difference between them and me. They necessarily are more concerned about not wasting time and trying to tie together all the loose ends of their hectic days. I have more of a "I'm here for fun" attitude, and can take the blips much more easily. I'm sure enjoying this stage of my life.

Maybe being 60 will be more of the fun I've enjoyed in my 50's. We shall see.

This week at work I fell (super-klutz) and landed on my knee. It has been very sore but is better today. I was embarrassed at my clumsiness, but hey, what can you expect from an old broad who's nearly 60 years old?? LOL.

Yesterday I met a friend at this cute little yarn shop for an afternoon of knitting. I hope to go there again some time. Nice shop, called Lila and Claudine's. (Claudine was the name I was given in French class back in 9th grade. You don't see that name around here too often.)

Oh.. I'll share a quilt photo with you. I made this hand block to send to the International Quilt Festival coming up in Ireland (it wasn't just my great idea.. they are asking for hand blocks), but then I decided to keep it. This is one of the 12 I will hang in our show. I'll show you all 12 of my quilts one day soon.

Now I'm heading back to my sewing room for more bindings, oh the joy. While I sew, I'm watching a bunch of grown men crash into each other and try to get control of an oblong piece of leather. For some reason they think it's a very important endeavor.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Books: ARC

Last weekend when I went to visit my mom, she had recently finished reading an Advance Reader Copy of The Good Dream by Donna VanLiere. Mom said it was good, so I picked it up and started reading. By the time I left town the next day, I was about 2/3 done with the book, but had to bring it home to finish it. I finished it quickly and give it about 3.5 stars out of 5.

A single woman in 1950 ("an old maid") meets a small boy who has been terribly neglected and abused. She takes him in, and the town has a variety of reactions. There's a small mystery about where he came from. The woman and the boy and the town all go through some adventures. It was a quick, easy read, and I enjoyed the book except for a few details that didn't seem correctly "1950-ish." For example, there's an interstate? Nah, I'm quite sure they wouldn't have had one yet in 1950. Sometimes the tone and the interactions seem more appropriately 2000's than 1950's to me, but one can overlook that and enjoy a well-told story.

This book will be published in July, 2012.

P.S. Last week I talked about being bored by Dangerous Ambition. After attempting to read it for nearly a month, I gave myself permission to give up on it. Not my cup of tea.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Hiding Peas Under My Knife

When I was a kid I absolutely hated peas! Yecchh! I would take the smallest serving possible, eat as few as I could get away with, then hide the rest of them under my knife and declare that I was done with my peas.

I went to see my mom this weekend, and she served peas. I can eat peas now, but they're not my faves, so I still don't eat many of them. She glopped a huge pile on my plate, and I ate about half of them, which is probably more than I ate in the whole first ten years of my life. Then I couldn't eat anymore, so I tried my old trick.

They're hard to hide, and I still had way too many of them left to get away with it!

Another funny dinner-time thing my sister and I did was watch how many bubbles we had in our milk. You know when Mom pours milk into your cup, and it makes a bunch of bubbles? The bubbles are money, so the more bubbles you have, the richer you are. The BIG bubbles are very valuable! As time goes on you become poorer and poorer.

Just remembering some of our crazy antics as kids... after a long enough time the antics become endearing. I don't think my mom will ever think my dislike of peas is endearing. And I can no longer get away with hiding them under my knife.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday Books: Bored

I am currently reading Dangerous Ambition: Rebecca West and Dorothy Thompson: New Women in Search of Love and Power by Susan Hertog. In fact, I've been reading it for a while and still not done, and I have interrupted it with a couple other reading choices (as in last week's post, The Twin).

I wanted to like this book, because it got a great review from Laurie Hertzel (Book Editor)in the St Paul Pioneer Press. I'm a fan of hers, you might say. So I was hoping to agree with her that it is a great book. I just am finding it boring, and I can hardly wait to be done with it.

Who knows.. maybe it's just way above my brain power and appreciation level. I'm off to visit my mom for a couple days, and I usually get some reading time in after she goes to bed. Hopefully I'll make progress on this book and can move on to another one. Tune in next week to see what happens!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The First Second Legos Quilt

Remember Tonya's Legos quilt which is her reproduction of an antique quilt she loved? Several other quilters have made them, too (including me). I would have thought that we could call Tonya's quilt the "Second Legos Quilt" , the first being that antique quilt she admired.

Recently I was organizing pictures from the past year, and I came across the group of photos I took at a quilt show in tiny Park Rapids, Minnesota. Look at this! It's a Legos quilt! I think it pre-dates Tonya's quilt, so in reality, it's the First Second Legos quilt. Tonya's would be the Second Second.

I remember looking at this quilt and being amazed at all the little pieces. Now I've made one of my own that's even larger and has even more pieces. I never would have thought I'd do one. Mine is getting quilted next week, and I'm very excited to have it completed! Mine is about the 100th Second!

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Gaining and Losing Friends

Recently I talked about re-uniting with my friend, L., after about 47 years. It has been such a joy! L and I had another friend, MJ, who was another child who attended church with us. MJ lived on a farm, and it was always a huge treat to go visit her and play on the farm... endless joys and games to invent and things to find and get into. Those are some of my fondest memories.

Now that I have reunited with L, I was hoping that some day soon I could find MJ and see her again, too. Maybe L, MJ and I could all three get together.

what might have been... 3 GFs in our younger years (not a real pic of us, but the hair colors are correct)

Unfortunately, I found out this week that MJ died early this month. I never got to see her after being a good friend of hers during my growing up years of ages 5-12. (I think I saw her once when we were teenagers.) I also found out that she had a particular demon that dogged her for many years and contributed to her death. I'm very sad that she had that demon in her life. She was such a nice, sweet person... whose choices led to an un-sweet adulthood, at least in part. I grieve over the thought of it.

In a way I feel blessed that I only remember her as the sweet and kind and fun-loving child she was. We had such fun playing together. I always felt like she was nicer than I was, and I wanted to be more like her. She never made me FEEL bad, I just recognized that she was a nice person from deep inside and admired that in her.

This is the calendar year in which my friends and I will turn the Big 6-0! Yikes, that sounds.... surprising. It doesn't seem possible. I remember when I thought anyone 60 and over had lived a good life, and seeing them in the obits would not be surprising. Now I know it's much too soon.

MJ, I am sorry that you will not get to see your 60s. I loved our short years of friendship. You are now free of your demons and have found true peace in the great mystery beyond. Rest in Peace, MJ.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Friday Books: The Twin

Tuesday night I went to bed, intending to read before nodding off. I realized I had left my Kindle downstairs and was too lazy to go down and get it. I grabbed a book off my shelf and started reading. By Wednesday evening I had it done. It was one of those can't-put-it-down books.

The book is The Twin by Gerbrand Bakker, translated from the Dutch by David Colmer, winner of the International Impac Dublin Literary Award. Excellent book! This is the story of an adult twin, whose twin brother died when they were 19. The surviving twin's life is changed dramatically upon his brother's death, and he spends a lot of time avoiding thought/giving thought/learning thoughts about his life and how he could or should carry on. His aging father is a thorn in his side, having had a bad relationship with his father all his life. Various people in his life, and a few new to his life, help him sort through his memories and feelings about life and his self-identity. This is a 5-star book.

As an added bonus, the cover photograph of this book is beautiful!