Monday, July 31, 2006

I had been reading many of your blogs for several months now, but this posting by Finn
was the post that started my correspondence with Finn and made me want to have my very own blog.
There has been a special place in my heart for the Carnegie Library in my hometown for as long as I can remember. Even at the age of 9 when the library moved to a new, modern building, I was sad. I love old things, they have a story to tell even if they don't have a voice with which to tell it.

I wanted to share of photo of that old library. It has been a museum sponsored by the local historical society for many years now. More old things for me to think about.

Thank you to all of you who have made me feel so welcome here in blogland. I am truly enjoying myself here. Not to much quilting happening today. I'm going to try to pick out some fabrics for my feathered star practice block. That should keep me busy.

P.S. Wicked was wonderful and well worth the wait. I'm so glad we got the chance to go.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

The day is finally here. We purchased these tickets sometime last summer and I have been waiting axiously for this day since then. I even have a new emerald green blouse to wear. I think I'll go start getting ready right now -- I'm so excited.

Friday, July 28, 2006

I don't really think I was a tomboy, but I sure didn't want to be associated with anything that felt girl-y when I was growing up. My girlhood bedroom was furnished with white French provencial furniture including a canopy bed decked out in pink dotted Swiss with lace and ruffles. Blech. I just hated it. My mom so wanted me to be lady-like and I just didn't have it in me.

While I was willing to sit still long enough for my grandma to teach me some simple embroidery stitches and to do cross-stitch on gingham check, I did not want to learn to sew on a machine. Everything my grandma and mom made for me in the way of clothes involved way too many ruffles for my taste. I avoided Home Economics classes in school like they would give me the plague. This is a picture of some of my very early work, a potholder embroidered during a summer visit to Grandma's.

I should have at least tried to show some interest when it came to learning to sew on a sewing machine, but I didn't. I inherited my mom's Singer "portable" machine (that thing weighed a ton.) I didn't really want to sew on it, but Mom made my Halloween costumes and even my wedding dress on that machine. I couldn't just let it go to the junk heap.

Then one day my inner-homemaker came alive and I decided that I wanted to make a quilt. I got out that sewing machine and was completely baffled by it. My husband studied the manual, declared the sewing machine an engineering marvel, showed me how to fill a bobbin and to thread the machine. I was on my way. I bought a rotary cutter, mat and ruler. I went to a quilt store and was overwhelmed by the bolts of fabric. I found what I later learned to be the fat quarter bin and made my selections. I chose a pattern that seemed like something I could accomplish and came on home.

I cut up that fabric but it sure wasn't straight. I stitched it back together again, all the while having no idea what a 1/4" seam allowance meant. I got the strongest fusible I could find to keep my applique pieces in place while I buttonhole stitched them down. (As you might guess, I thought employing the use of a thimble would signify a weak constitution and avoided it's use for a good long time.) I got nice, puffy polyester batting, turned the quilt inside out envelope style, put the quilt nice and tight like a drum in my largest embroidery hoop and hand quilted the whole affair using the stab stitch method. The picture doesn't look too bad. An in-person viewing would make you think something like, "Bless her heart, she sure tried hard."

It was a long way from that quilt to ordering a book on making feathered stars. At least we know no matter how that star turns out, I won't give up. I'll just make something else.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

I had a fun afternoon with those Blockheads. Lots of vacation photos. One lucky lady got to be at the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show this year. It looked like so much fun. Maybe someday I'll get there.

No one put a single stitch in anything this afternoon. Just "Yack, yack, yack." I did bring home a friend's quilt to stitch on the binding. Binding is one of my favorite things. I did the binding on another quilt for her and we were both so very happy about it. I got to do something I enjoy and she didn't have to do something she finds tedious. A win-win situation. I will ask her permission to share a photo when it is complete.

Looks what the mailman brought me today.

Last week I conducted a little online retail therapy and this was a result of that. I can't really say what brought me to the point that I want to try a feathered star. Can it be that the heat is shutting down my braincells, rendering me incapable of making good decisions. My husband pointed out the subtitle at the bottom of the front cover. It reads: Really hard blocks that take a long time to make.

I know what fabric I want my finished star to be. The question is: Do I dive in with that fabric (which I have had for quite some time and will NEVER be able to find more) or do I make a practice block using up something that I don't really care about? Points to ponder. I shall sleep on it and see how I feel in the morning.

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

I'm a snapdragon. Well, how about that? I have seen these on several other blogs and finally clicked on one today to see what it was all about. I always fancied myself a sweet pea ... I smell good, I can rejuvinate myself if I'm left in the field long enough, I love to have the support of someone strong by my side but I can function without it if I HAVE to. I'll have to ponder being a snapdragon a little more to see how I feel about it. :-)

Blockheads. Today I meet with my quilting friends for our monthly get together. At the very beginning we just said "Stitch and B****" but the time came when some joined that had kids and it became uncomfortable to leave answering machine messages using our name. Now we are Blockheads and the name fits. There is such an array of tastes and styles. It's fun to see what everyone is working on. And there is no shortage of very strong opinions.

Yesterday afternoon I made it to our local Farmers' Market. There is such a nice variety of fruits, vegetables, flowers, plants and even some prepared items. They pack a lot into one small area. I plan on making Gazpacho this morning so it can chill while I am away in the afternoon. It should be cool and refreshing on what our weatherman predicts to be another hot, soupy day.

Thanks to Finn and
Jeanne for the comments. The positive feedback is rewarding and inspires me to share more of my days. Have a great quilty day everyone

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

I wish I had a clothesline.

A few years back, we installed a clothesline in our backyard. I enjoyed it so much. Just getting an early start on laundry to make the most of the sun and warmth of the day, figuring out the most effective way to get several loads onto the line, the delicious smell of bed linens as they are folded into the basket once dry ... then we got a little reminder from our home owner's association that we don't have clotheslines in our neighborhood. It was a "friendly" reminder and probably not directed at us in particular. I don't like to make waves or have anyone angry with me. So we took down the clothesline and I use the gas dryer for all of my laundry drying needs.

This spring, I assembled Greer, the garden gal. You can see that her head is carefully bowed to not be visible above the fence. So far no word that we don't allow scarecrows in our neighborhood. She has kept a careful watch over the new plantings and they are filling in quite nicely. Thanks Greer, you are doing a great job.
Today is Farmer's Market. I think I will go see what fun things they have this week -- maybe even some cut flowers for the house would be nice. I have a neglected applique project that I should put a few stitches in to see if I can get inspired to finish it up.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Here is a photo of the quilt top I completed yesterday. It is from a pattern by Buggy Barn. When I was a relatively new quilter, I made a Lone Star quilt using the traditional piecing methods. It's a bit of a fluffy quilt. I still have it around here somewhere. Maybe I'll try the traditional method again someday.

I have to admit that I was fearless when I first started quilting. The first time I signed up for a class, the class sample was for a Christmas tree skirt. The teacher tried to get me to select something else -- something that wasn't curved. But I wanted a new tree skirt. I didn't know it was hard to sew curves, so what did it matter to me? It turned out pretty good. Then there was the Lone Star and I learned to be a bit more humble. Especially when dealing with pieces cut on the bias.

We are feeling some relief from the heat and humidity this afternoon. For this I am most grateful. It has been a long time since I have felt a cool afternoon breeze come through my windows. I hope it lasts.
I think Grandma had it right. When I was young, I would stay with my grandma during Easter vacation, Christmas vacation and at least two weeks of the summer. (Yes, we still called it Easter and Christmas vacation then.) Grandma used to make items to sell at the church's annual bazaar.

A popular item was a set of seven flour sack dishtowels, embroidered with the days of the week and the chore associated with that day, the edges finished with a nice bias binding stitched down by machine.

With all of the talk of energy saving measures, I think about those dishtowels and the assigned chore for each day. I wonder if we just followed the dishtowels, would we begin to find some energy savings. Monday - Wash Day -- get it all done in one day. No more load or two every day with the dryer heating up the house. Tuesday - Ironing -- well, I don't do much ironing which would leave more time for quilting. Wednesday - Sewing -- okay, more quilting. Thursday - Market -- get all the shopping and errands done in one day. Save on gas and frayed nerves from being out in traffic. Friday - Clean -- everything fresh and tidy for a weekend with the family. Saturday - Cook -- nice, fresh, home-cooked meals ready to go for the upcoming week. More time to quilt on the weekday afternoons. Sunday - Rest -- Something we don't often do in our overscheduled lives. The 3 R's - Reflect, Relax, Rejuvinate. That Grandma was a smart gal. I miss her.

I tried to post a photo of the quilt top I completed yesterday. No luck so far. I'll try again later. Nothing in my ironing basket, so I'm off to quilt.

Monday, July 24, 2006

It Must Be The Heat . . . After months of reading and enjoying the blogs of others, I have come to the conclusion that I, too, have things to say, photos to share and sometimes just plain rants to get off my chest.

I hope to share events from my daily life. From mundane chores, to amusing anecdotes, quilting adventures, triumphs in the garden and adventures into the world away from my own backyard.

Today I'll share a photo of my friend and nearly constant companion, Harper. She is a 9-year old Australian Shepard/Golden Retriever mix. On one of the luckiest days of my life, we locked eyes at the local animal shelter and the rest is history.