Friday, September 26, 2014

The Xcentric quilt is finished at long last!

So, remember back in May I said I was having trouble deciding how to quilt this because I had too many ideas? 
This, by the way is my project from a class with Anita Grossman Soloman, called Xcentric.  I have not, as Anita suggests, kept it simpler.  It's just not my way. 

I had it tacked to my design wall for weeks trying to decide how I wanted to do the wavy lines I had settled on.  Then Mary Lee was looking at Anita Shackelford's "Modern" templates patterns for longarm machines, for one of the pieces she needed to finish for the quilt show.  She found one she liked and sent me the link so I could see what she was talking about.  Once I got there, I found this:

I immediately knew this was the one!!!  I do not, as you know, have a longarm machine, not did I feel the need to spend the money for the template.  So I practiced it on paper several times before I tried it on a sample quilt sandwich.  It takes a lot of concentration to do it perfectly with free motion, so I just got to a point where I was satisfied.

I took it out in the late day sun thinking I could get the quilting to show up.   The waves do look great with the piecing, but don't show much on the front.

It's more visible on the back.

Here is a close up.  In the borders I did a ribbon thing for the inner border and a Grecian key design.  I figured that would echo the piecing.  I used a fine thread, so it is not overpowering.  I have to use fine threads since my machine refuses to tolerate the fatter ones I prefer.  Pouting and stomping my feet does not make it more cooperative.    (Personally I think this means the machine has to be male!)

The "Make it Simpler" thing is that I only had a small piece of the original striped fabric I brought to the class, but decided I wanted a larger quilt.  So I went looking for other fabrics in similar colors to use, finding only the aqua in the corners. So my solution was to buy fabrics that read as solids, make strip sets and cut the squares from them!  Not simpler at all, but I think it worked out pretty well.

I named this quilt "Gadgets in Motion" because it kind of looks like a printed circuit board to me.

Did you hear about the "People's Climate March" last week?  I don't think it got much media coverage, in all honesty.  The rich guys don't want it known how many people are now aware of the peril their greed has put us all in.  (sorry for the poor grammar!)  But the people are speaking up and making it known they want things to change NOW!
I found this article interesting- asking What- or rather WHO-  is Stopping us from making the necessary changes???

I am grateful for:
GREAT news from the insurance company!
Only 12 more days to the COF retreat!
A beautiful stretch of warm days but nice cool nights.
Old magazines.
80's music.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

RAFA exhibit and shopping with my BFF

After the guild meeting on Saturday, Mary Lee and I headed up to Brockport for the afternoon.
 The first thing we did was stop at Perri's Pizza and get giant slices.  Neither of us finished.

Then we headed down the street to "A Different Path Gallery",  ( I just love a location where I can park my car once and just walk to all the places I need to go!), where the Rochester Area Fiber Artists were displaying their most recent exhibit, "Up Against the Wall".  It's a small gallery, but with a nice display space; and it has a very cool gift shop!
Here are a few of my favorie pieces:

I think this piece is called 11c, by Elizabeth Scott.  It's made with ice dyed fabric.  Looks like Irises** to me.

This felted piece is almost 3 D in person! 
It's called White-tailed Deer #7, by Demaris Verzulli

Forest Glen, by Sarah Terry.  It's a hand dyed piece of fabric, she did thread work on to make it a forest scene!

I love the way Ann Hawkins' "The Wall, Overgrown" uses both layered applique and reverse applique!!

There were two tesselation quilts.  I assume they were made in response to a challenge to interpret the work of another artist- in this case, M.C. Escher.

The top one is "Sometimes I don't know if I'm coming or going" by Sue Donovan

This is "First in Flight", by Diane Iati Miller.

Julia Deal's "Stained Glass" is so perfectly flat- and her quilting lines are so straight-  I both admire and despise her.  :-)

** Speaking of Irises, I admired a plant in the gallery and asked what it was.  Not only did she know, telling me it is an "Indoor Iris", she picked a few of the plantlets for me to bring home with me!  Never fear, if it ever blossoms, you'll be the first to hear about it!
(Later research has shown it is called a "walking iris".

Do you know the environmental position of the candidates you are thinking of supporting in the fall elections?  You should!

I am grateful for:
Mary had wet wipes.
Cool nights so I can sleep wrapped up in my quilty cocoon.
Macaroni and cheese
I finished my last entry for the quilt show.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A rose by any other name....

A couple of weeks ago I noticed there was a bud growing on my "starfish cactus".  I have had this plant for nearly 30 years.   It has blossomed only once before.  I remember the blossom being just beautiful, but smelling like a dumpster.  That didn't mean I wasn't going to enjoy watching it blossom again.   

So I kept track of the size of the bud, knowing it would get fat and huge before it finally opened up- kind of like being pregnant, right? 

And then finally I came home from work the other day and found the blossom!  The petals opened up and wrapped around the pot.  Fully extended it, would have been about 10 inches across.

I didn't notice a smell until I got real close to it.  The next day, however, it was so bad the screen porch was full of flies.  So I moved it outside. 

Here you can see how big the bloom was, just before it started to wither.  The white spot near the center?  I'm pretty sure some of the flies laid eggs on it.  Yeah, it really smells bad!

Do you return the plastics bags that accumulate in your house to the store?  Did you know you can recycle more than those awful bags you can't get a way from- no matter how hard you try!  I collect all of the plastic bag packaging around the house, even ziploc bags (after I reuse them several times).  I cut the zippers off the zipper bags first.  Here's a list of plastic you can recycle- and keep out of the landfill!  Just stuff them all into one of the grocery store bags and put them in the bin at the store!

I am grateful for:
How much better I feel after spending time with friends.
The big beautiful moonrise last night.
Al's help with that stupid garden edging
Winning the war on dull apparel!
Finding just the right fabric!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A Wedding at the Buffalo Zoo!

Poison dart frogs
A friend of Al's got married yesterday at the Buffalo Zoo.  They had planned to have the ceremony at the Giraffe habitat, but the thunderstorms chased everyone into the reception tent instead.

 (once again blogger's formatting and lack of user friendliness are giving me grief!  Am I the only one who fights with getting the text and pictures where I want them?????)

A highlight of the ceremony was when the Judge actually stopped and looked around when she asked anyone to "Speak now...."

  After the ceremony, the bride and groom disappeared for a bit and the guests were invited to wander the zoo.  I hadn't been to the zoo in years and years, so I was happy to have time for wandering.                                                           
My favorite part was the "Rainforest Falls" exhibit.  They have created a mini rain forest.  Not a fun place on a hot and humid day, but it wasn't much warmer or more humid inside!

 The Scarlet Ibis is the first thing you notice.  And there are quite a few of them.  The birds are free to fly about the whole habitat, and one landed on the path in front of me at one point!


 The pink birds are Roseate Spoonbills

I didn't see this bird on any of the signs.  It was  probably there,  but I missed it. I also missed if there was any indication of what kind of flower this is.  But it sure is pretty!

These are Red Pirahna
And a vampire bat came over to the window to say hello to me!

I also wandered in to the Gorilla habitat.  I think the information said this baby is about 3 months old.  I just missed his chest beating display, which drew a collective, "Awww!" from the crowd.

There is a bill working its way through the California legislature to ban those plastic microbeads, found in personal care products.  The plastics industry is lobbying against it. Not surprising, since they have found a way to make money off of something I am guessing used to be a waste product. (I couldn't find the source for them in my research). That is all anyone cares about in this world, as I may have said before.  So if we stop buying these products, the manufacturers will get the message!!!

I am grateful for:
Al deciding not to spend a great deal of money to attend a huge non-event.
Two more of my foster babies found homes last week.
THE RAFFLE QUILT IS FINISHED!!! (better picture soon)
The friendships that endure.