Wednesday, November 28, 2012

It's beginning to look....

I wonder how many of you heard the resounding "HOORAY, I'm DONE!!!!" last week when I finished the December calendar quilt.  I am pleased with these quilts, and will enjoy them for years to come, but I will not miss the monthly deadline I set for myself for all of the past year to get them all finished each month.

I changed the December one a bit.  I've never really been a red and green person for my own holiday decorations.  I prefer blue, and snowflakes.
I found this great piece of blue in my stash, and then remembered the gold star buttons!  It's quilted with  a silver metallic silk thread.  Lots of holiday sparkle!

So then I started looking around the studio, at the mess mostly.  There sat a Christmas quilt top I had hoped to have finished last year.  It's a Scrap Therapy pattern. I made this top when I taught this pattern as a class several years ago.  I doubt it will be finished before this Christmas passes.  I don't have an incentive to get it done since I don't know who I'd give it to anyway.

There were quite a few leftovers from this top, so I laid them all out and decided they look pretty good all by themselves.  I'm not sure what it's for, but it might look nice under the plants for the holidays!The read around it is the backing, but the binding will be that color.

There were a six blocks leftover, and I thought they'd make a cute baby block. I wish I knew a baby who might like it.

These pretty boys are my most recent batch of foster kittens.  They went to the shelter the day before Thanksgiving, so they would be there for "Black Cat Friday"  Two of them have found forever homes already!  I spent some time at the shelter this week to help out.  So much love just waiting for someone to give it a good home.

It's a hard season to be green, frankly.  So many holiday parties where the hostess just isn't able or willing to provide reusable tableware for her guests, or the office party caterer uses disposables.  Not to mention the blatant consumerism- where we are all somewhat compelled to buy things we just don't need.
So make one small change for the planet if you can.  Reuse some gift wrap, or use the Sunday funnies!  Cut down on the number of lights you hang outside.  The world only needs one Griswold Family!  :-)  Instead of cheap bows, add a gift to the outside of your package with fun shoelaces, hair accessories, dried flowers, a necktie...
Or just bring your own plate to the office party!  There is no act too small when it comes to saving the planet we inhabit!
There are a few more ideas to be found, if you wish to look here, or here

I am grateful for:
Thanksgiving- my favorite holiday!
Hot turkey sandwiches.  (not the only reason I live Thanksgiving)
Sewing days.
The dedicated folks at the animal shelter (some are there 5 or 6 days a week)
Running out of color ink on the last page of pictures I needed to print.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A finish and a great show!

 I bought the kit for this at the quilt show last month.  I'm not big on kits since I usually want to choose my fabrics.  I did substitute a couple in this one- the socks for one.  I'm sure this is meant for Halloween, but it suits me.  I may hang it over my desk as a warning!

Last Monday the ArtCGirlz, hung a display of our work at the GOArt! satellite gallery at the Senior Center in Batavia.

We each brought in a few pieces, many of which had been in the guild show just a couple of weeks ago so it was all ready to hang!
At first we weren't sure how to fill the space, and then we weren't sure we HAD enough space!  But it all worked out and it looks really great (We are GOOD!)

 This is the book page project we did a year or so ago.  Top to bottom, the pages were made by Kathi, Lori, Martha and Elaine.

We each chose a section of a photograph to enlarge and interpret.  This was my first "random piecing" project- and I have loved it ever since!
This is the back of mine, which shows the original picture.

 Here are a couple of the sections at the show. 


This is painted on one of the non- gallery walls of this room.  Isn't it pretty?
Here are a few of the quilts I especially loved.  I am going to have to go take more pictures, because I missed a lot of great work , apparently!  I'd have sworn I took better shots of more than these few!  I missed Elaine's round robin, Mary Ellen's Leaves, Susan's bird........(sorry girls!)

Sharon made this from a class she took with Velda Newman

Another book page project Kathi did

Sharon made this piece using decolorant and thread work!

Look how the crystals sparkle in Kathi's landscape!

I'm more pleased than I can say to be included in this very talented group!
(and I'll share more pictures soon!)

In "Green" thoughts this week, my tip is to remember it's not enough to just change your light bulbs and put your newspapers on the curb every week.  If you are truly concerned about the planet, there is so much more!  Talk to people who don't seem to understand.  You don't have to shout, just remind them how easy it is to recycle, or buy more cautiously.  Become an activist by contacting your representatives at all levels of government to let them know how you feel.  I know I'll be writing "my" new congressman a letter very soon.  (I surely did not vote for him since his views did not represent me in the least!)  Be informed and share what you know- gently, as I've learned.

I am grateful for:
An "Indian Summer" afternoon to sit on the porch and read.
An easy and delicious new cake recipe. (be patient, Guild members...)
A man who tolerates my crabbiness.
Some unstructured time.
Cuddle time with the foster babies- for 6 more days.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

What's on the wall?

The quilt show is over.  The next challenge quilts aren't due until January and February.  So I can try to clean up the studio a bit.  So, here's what's in the works these days.

 This is the picture from Kim Schaefer's book of the last (FINALLY!) calendar quilt.   I decided to get this done right away instead of putting it off for the weekend after Thanksgiving.  I don't think I have any big Holiday plans, but who knows?  Besides, I really want to be done with these!  I'm glad I've done them, and I really like them.  But the "have to" that came with them was terrible at times!
 Over time, I decided those applique squares weren't as charming as I had originally thought.  So mine won't have them.  And I decorate my Christmas tree in blue, so mine will be more like this.

The holes are where the little presents will go.  Mine are sparkly.  (a big surprise, I'm sure!)

These scrappy blocks have been tacked up on the design wall- under various other projects at times- for months!  I finally got them assembled last week.   This will be a donation quilt.  I may add another row onto it, so I haven't added the border yet.

 This is the only thing I had for sale in the Boutique at the quilt show that didn't sell.  I took a good look at it and decided it was kind of uninteresting.  So I added some sparkles.  Can't go wrong if it sparkles. 

I bought a kit for this at the show.  I forget which vendor, but the pattern is by Bloomin' Minds.  Called a "Half to Have" pattern.  They have LOTS of cute designs.  I'm going to have to see if I can find a few more of them!
I changed a couple of the fabrics.  I thought the black and white stripes were better for the socks!  Oh, and I have red glitter for the slippers.  (can't go wrong if it's sparkly!)

I just finished "reading" (is it still reading if it's an audiobook???) this book.  Short and an easy read, but it left me with some strong feelings.  It's about a 50 something woman who wakes up one day and finds she is invisible. Turns out she's not alone, and that many of the women were invisible long before they couldn't see themselves in the mirror!  I think others will find themselves nodding their heads and sharing the feeling.
I think this book can remind us all to find ways to let our inner lights shine more brightly more often!

Along those lines, I will announce to any who have not heard that my small art group, the ArtCGirlz, are showing our work at a GOArt!satellite gallery in Batavia for November and December.  Unfortunately the gallery is open only weekdays, but if you get a chance, it's a pretty great show!

For a green tip this time, I was looking at wrapping paper at the store today.  Then I asked myself if I really need any.  Wrapping presents is a fun idea.  But there are more earth friendly ways.  One pet peeve of mine is people who only use those little gift bags once.  Why throw them out? I even save the tissue paper if it isn't torn!  Here's an article that asks you to make your wrappings and decorations out of your junk mail!

I am grateful for:
My ArtCGirlz
Sunshine when we can get it
No pressure sewing time
The joy of the extra ten minutes cuddling under the quilts on a cold morning.
No more campaign ads/ calls/ rhetoric- for a few months anyway.