Thursday, September 30, 2010

Something new and something sort of old

This is our new boarder. I discovered him "squatting" in the old enamel tub we collect rainwater in for gardening. Except for the driest parts of the summer, there is always water in it. Apparently this froggy thinks he found himself a private pond where all the skeeters are for him and him alone! Little does he know the "pond will soon have to be drained. Maybe he's a she and she'll come back in the spring to make a home for some little froggies??? Wouldn't that be fun!!! I believe this is called a Northern Green Frog, by the way.

Last weekend, a busload of Guild members headed up (or down?) to the Chautauqua Institute's Quilting Around Chautauqua event. I hadn't been before and was under the impression it was more or less a quilt show. Not so- it's kind of a regional quilt show and vendor mart. I don't know how many vendors there were. I was there to see the quilts, to be honest, and was glad when I finally found the rooms where they were hanging. They weren't labeled well and there were no programs, so I cannot credit makers or patterns. I have posted a few of my favorites at snapfish.
Kathi was taking a picture of the quilt on the railing here and in true Best friends fashion, MaryLee and I got in the picture doing our best Kilroy impressions!

This is the something sort of old. I pieced this quilt in 2007 or 2008 using mostly bits and pieces I pulled out of the "orphan blocks" box. It felt like I was digging through the old quilts graveyard, so I called this project "Frankenstein's Monster" It's hand quilted. This is in the upstairs hallway- which I call my quilt gallery. In just a few days it will be hanging in the quilt show!!!!

I am grateful for:
Sewing time!
Spending a great day with friends.
Fewer hot flashes!
Fall colors.
A new project to play with.(coming soon)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

More mental meanderings

Yes, I admit it, I'm a tv junkie! I get a lot of handwork done when there's something on worth watching. I know one thing- I sure do miss summer reruns!!! The big news is that the new TV season has arrived at long last- with REAL shows!!! So far I am happy to report that the Monday shows are quite tolerable, especially "Hawaii Five-O!" I'm not sure about "The Event" yet. I want to like it, but the first episode was more like a movie trailer than a tv show. Hopefully they settle down soon. Last night I tried out "The Defenders". If you liked Boston Legal, you may like this one! And, of course, the good shows from last year are back0 which is like getting together with an old friend! Tonight is Grey's Anatomy and Fringe- on at the same time of course, but I manage with the help of hulu!
The hectic pace of last week is a distant memory now, since I have been able to spend some time int he sewing room. As always, we enjoyed going to see Jake play football. (above) The really nice part was the game was on Saturday last week, when the temperature was a comfortable (for the spectators) 75 degrees, rather than the 50 and rain they had the night before! Jake is number 50. Hard to get good pictures, but I keep trying. Poor kid plays his heart out at three or four positions and they are losing badly every week.

In the sewing room, I haven't really done alot, but I have managed to get a couple of things finished. Remember the knitted leaves? Here is what I did with them. The jacket was nice enough, but very blah. I thought the leaves would add just the right amount of pizzazz. I cut off my head in the picture because it was a "stay at home" day- no makeup. It's not vanity that prevents me from showing my face, it's a public service.

I made a baby quilt for a friend's daughter in Feb of 09 and had a few "bonus" blocks. I put them together into this little quilt, figuring if nothing else I could donate it. My work study from last semester is expecting a baby girl in a couple of weeks (that wording makes it sound like the baby will come via UPS!). So all I had to do was get it quilted and bound! It's like cheating! Once again inspired by Leah Day, I did sort of big flowers in the centers of eacg block and then a sort of leafy vine around the edge. If you've never tried the "supreme slider" when you machine quilt, Please do! You'll wonder how you ever lived without it!

Old business:
The bag I made for Claudia was very well recieved. She thanked me profusely and then said:
"If I could reach up and hold a star for every time you've made me smile, the entire evning sky would be in the palm of my hand!" Isn't that the sweetest thing you have ever heard????

I'm still working on the second blue sock, so hope to have pictures to show the WIP soon.

I'm grateful for:
Dear, sweet friends
Something to show for my time
Soup weather
My car is officially mine now!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Time for a rant

You've been warned.

I went to a meeting yesterday, where there were somewhere between 50- 75 people. Refreshments were served. The usual stuff, coffee, tea and of course bottled water. I always bring a mug to this type of meeting, since I drink tea, but will NOT use a disposable cup. ( I don't have a dishwasher, but am still willing to do an extra dish when I get home) I was the only one there who thought to bring my own! How hard is it to carry a coffee cup in a quilted bag??? There were cases and cases of bottled water consumed, as was evident by the number in the TRASH at the end of the meeting. Again, I ask- how hard is it to carry ONE empty water bottle home to place in your recycle bin??? My other question is to the organizers of the luncheon. New York now has a 5 cent deposit on water bottles. Did these people not want to collect that deposit? All they had to do was place a box near the trash can for the bottles!!!!
It's a simple concept. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!!! The "throw it away" mindset in this country has GOT to be replaced with the most basic principles of thinking of the future of this world!!!! Carrying a coffee cup, or one water bottle home is a very easy first step. Please think about it next time you're out.

There are definitely signs of Autumn's imminent arrival here in western NY. My favorite early harbinger is the bright red of the Sugar Maples. The one at the top of this post is on a curve on my way to work- right where you can't miss it!
I have had very little sewing time this week, but it was just enough to finish up a couple of projects.

I made another patchwork Tote- using Scrap Therapy squares and coordinating fabrics- as a gift for a friend. ( I hope she gets it before she reads this. :-)
I'm still working on the pattern so I don't have to bind the points. I'm thinking this may be my last attempt. I just don't like the points at all- no matter what I do.

I also finished this little wall quilt. It was adapted from a pattern by MH designs. A former girlfriend of my son's saw mine made from the pattern and wanted one for her daughter. No way was I going to be able to do it in the time allotted, so I adapted it for machine applique. Then, just as I was getting close to finishing, they broke up. I suppose I could still have given it to her, but... well, you know. So it sat in the pile of UFO's until last weekend, when it took me all of three hours to finish! I am donating it to the Guild's quilt show silent auction.

Linda mentioned how confusing the sock sounds from last week. I'll take pictures as I make the second one and hopefully that will explain the process better. Stay tuned. Maybe that will be my Sunday project during football. (Oh, wait! I have a quilt to finish for the show!!!)

I am grateful for:
The rain held off until today, not yesterday when I drove over 300 miles.
Guy got a job!! (which was also Luke's good news last week)
I got to see the "Eureka" finale after all!
Fall colors.
Soup weather.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

We just got here.

Carly Simon sings a song about the end of summer, saying "we just got here". That's how it feels here suddenly. Don't get me wrong- it has been a long and rather brutal summer by my standards. I don't do heat well- don't enjoy it at all. For me, anything above 80 degrees is TFH (too "Damned" hot)! But putting away the hammock the other day was a bit sad. When the rare perfect day comes long, there is nothing like laying in the hammock under a shady tree ( which I finally have at my house!) with a cold drink!

There are other signs of Fall, of course. And not all are to be dreaded. The brilliance and abundance of the colors is one of my favorite things about living in a climate with four seasons.

I'm a bit stuck on the goldenrod and aster thing, I guess. I did some more painting with them in mind. They'll look better when I cut them up, right?

It feels like the last week flew by. I know I was busy but I can't tell you what I was doing, and I certainly have little to show for it. One thing I did finish was my "discovery sock" from Cat Bordhi's book _Personal Footprints_.
It's a very interesting process. You knit a foot, based on a tracing of your own foot. It's a tube, no openings. You cut that open and knit the leg to the foot. Last thing is to close the hole in the heel- otherwise you have on hobo socks!

I'm not sure I'll get to go to the high school football game this weekend. I guess I'll have to settle for watching the Bills instead.

I'm grateful for:
A cold night for sleeping under a quilt.
A quick chat with Guy.
Peanut butter brownies with chocolate chips.
Good news for Lucas!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Hits and misses

It has been an up and down week for me. Good news and bad- all sort of evening out, so I can't really complain, right?
Even nature, it seems, has good days and bad. For example- these nasturtiums ( one of the few flowers still blossoming in my garden) are lovely, aren't they? They look like a master painter came by and placed the brush strokes just so to get these wondrous colors.

Meanwhile, this Black-eyed Susan... Nature was having a bad day when she made that one, don't you think?

After the last pincushion- which was indeed meant to be a spool of thread (good job, Kay!)- I went back to the drawing board and came up with these. Much better, IMHO! I had fun playing in the beads and choosing colors from the barrel of felted sweaters. The spool became the petals in one of them! So, a good day.

The little art group of which I'm a member had a gathering a few weeks ago to do some fabric painting. I had just gotten home and didn't even know where my clean clothes were, much less my paints. But I really wanted to play along, since I got some new toys to play with! So I grabbed some chunks of fabric and went out to play. Not sure if it was a good day or a bad day, really.

I like the one part of this piece- which was sort of a sampler for a lot of the new toys.

I pleated this piece- very random pleats- and painted it in strips and splotches, and am very pleased with the result.

This one was meant to look like the field in front of my house when the goldenrod and wild asters are in bloom. Not quite what I wanted, but I love the way the sky came out! I see this piece being fractured when I play with it at the design wall.

So- hits and misses. But the important part was that I played! :-)

I am grateful for:
Play time!
Friends who take care of each other.
My boring job.
cookie dough
a nice long chat with my son.