Monday, October 27, 2014

Catching up part II: Quilt show

I started this post 6 days ago.....Just sayin'.

Mystic Thistle won the Paper Piecing award

 The Museum Quilt Guild biennial show was October 17 and 18.  Two of my pieces were awarded by the judges. I wouldn't have thought these would get that kind of attention.  You never know, right?  Judging is such an odd thing.  What one deems best in show doesn't get a second look from another.

Meditation # 27 won machine quilting for a small quilt


Quilt show week is always a busy time, as I try to be as helpful as possible.  This year, I wasn't as involved as I usually am, but was still there for most of three days in a row.  It's just a nice, sort of communal experience for the members of the guild.

Here are a few of my favorites from the show.....

Row Robin: Black and White and Bright, by Connie Grimsley

Miss Daisy, by Nancy Bush

Orbiting the night sky, by Ann Renica

At the Pyramids, by Jennifer Grimsley

SN 1987A, by Bethany Anderson

Sunny Day, by Kay Lennon

Shadows in the Logs, by Eileen Partise
I found this article interesting- on using algae to produce energy!  The fact that there are people trying to create alternatives gives me hope!  Ooops! I forgot the link to the article!  Thanks to Liz for mentioning it.

I am grateful for:
My busy month is over.
A whole day of football!
Quality sewing time.
The people who showed true concern.
I won something!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Catching up part I: A Gathering of Friends

Some of the members of an online quilter's group called the Cranky Old Farts (Or Friends if you prefer) had a retreat in Denver PA a couple of weeks ago.  I have met most of these ladies on similar retreats before, so it was wonderful to see them again.  But there were also new friends to meet for the first time.  That's the beauty of these groups- you are already "old friends", even though you have never met face to face before!

I had actually hoped to get some sewing done on a project I was hoping to finish last week, so the first thing I did was set up my sewing space- my home away from home.

But when we get together, there are always a lot of fun activities to enjoy!

On the first night, we opened our "Hometown swap" packages.  Each person brings a goodie bag with items representing their home- and a few little quilty things just because.

It's as much fun to see what everyone else gets as to open your own!

We had a great show and tell of donation quilts, as well as quilts we brought just for sharing.  (Remember my ugly duckling quilt from a couple of posts ago?  This is what it was for.)
Anne's donation

Penny's- I think it's called Remembrance

Carol "Dutch's" donation

Linda is making this as a gift

The quilts were being donated to a cancer treatment group in the Hershey,PA area.

The second night, Footie led a fun activity where we all painted wine glasses.  There was a bit of grumbling about not being artistic, but we all had fun!  And the glasses are all very pretty!

My wine glass

I think this is Linda's

The back of Linda's

And, since we were in the Lancaster area, there was shopping!  Going to Burkholder's is like quilter's Nirvana!

Some of what I bought will be used for classes with Paula Nadelstern next October!!! (more on that later)

The hotel we stayed at didn't have receptacles for guests to recycle.  So I collected it and took care of it when I got home.  It wasn't hard, and didn't take up a lot of room in the car.  It might only be 20 water bottles, but every little bit helps.

I am grateful for:
A husband who lets me go on these little vacations.
Time spent with wonderful friends from around the world.  (Carol and Peter came from Australia!)
Even though my GPS went haywire and sent me on the back roads of eastern central PA, the scenery was beautiful.
My anti-anxiety "treatments" are helping.
The windows in the hotel were the kind you can open, so I could get fresh air!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

For a good cause

 I spent last weekend finishing this quilt.  I admit, it is not the most beautiful quilt I have ever made.  I was playing with scrap therapy squares using the paper bag method- you just grab the next one and sew.  But there is enough color in it to make it kind of cheery, I hope.  It is going to be donated to a cancer treatment center in the Hershey PA area this week when I am on retreat with my online quilt group. 

Since the patchwork was nothing special, I decided to make the quilting interesting.  It shows better on the back, so you get to see the uglies I use for my backs as well as the thread snarls. 

The very center was based on a piece of fabric I have with a large paisley print.  I was wondering how it would look as a quilting motif.  It looks ok, but I need to work on making it more uniform.

For the rest, I chose a few designs from Leah Day , and from another free motion book I have.  I think I have shared it before, but I can't recall the name at the moment. (I'm not at home, but will update if I remember when I get there)
 I was not thrilled with the loopy one but there wasn't much I could do to improve it, except fill in a few spots with smaller loops. (Third pattern from the bottom)

I also finished this kitty knitted from a pattern called "the Parlor Cat" by Sara Elizabeth Kellner. A friend sent me the pattern and I thought it might make a nice gift for someone to win at the annual "Furball"; a fundraiser for the animal shelter.

Isn't she funny, with her big butt?

I know she's a little too precious.  I don't care.  I enjoyed making her.  I hope whoever wins her will enjoy her.

In one of those things that makes me think there is no hope for the planet, the FERC has approved the storage of methane gas in old salt mining caverns in the wine country of Seneca Lake, not that far from me.  The Finger Lakes are a precious resource that the Western New York area is lucky to have I hate to think of that beauty being lost forever.  Not only that, but fresh water is going to become a more valuable commodity as climate change causes more widespread droughts around the globe.  We should be taking all action possible to protect it, not taking risks with it!

I am grateful for:
Apple Crisp
Good football games
When Luke stops in for a visit
Living where I can enjoy how beautiful the sky is.
When the people at customer service actually help you!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Autumn Color!

 One morning last weekend, I looked out the kitchen window and realized how beautiful it was.  The leaves have turned rather quickly.  Or maybe I just don't notice it much until it reaches a certain point.  Either way, I was inspired to record the beauty of the morning.

I was noticing this morning as I drove to work how much color there is now.  The maple trees that turn the vivid orange are my favorite.  I'll probably be stopping on my way home to grab a few pictures.  I may even have a quilt or two to make....

If you've been reading for a while, you may remember my love affair with the giant pokeweed plant outside my kitchen window.  It has to be 10 feet tall this year.  Even though the leaves are starting to get rusty and yellow, it is still beautiful.  The Mockingbirds come several times a day to fill up on the berries.  (which are poisonous to people!)
And there are still new blossoms just beginning to open- even though the first hard frost will come soon.

I made a few more "Chessie" dolls for the upcoming "Furball".  They will probably be door prizes.

The darker ones are a bit of a challenge for me.  I painted accents on to define the faces.  I am not a strong painter.   I wanted to do more, but decided not to chance ruining them.  I need to get Beth to teach me her techniques!

Have you noticed the little signs on the edge of fields of corn and soybeans?  Did you know those signs  are there to promote the GMO seeds used in those fields?  Those GMO plants are only creating the need for stronger and stronger pesticides and herbicides, as the "bugs" become resistant to traditional products.  Once again I am asking you to inform yourself and share your knowledge of how these companies, and practices are damaging our fragile planet!  If we make our voices heard by exposing the truth, we CAN change things for the better. 

I am grateful for:
Autumn's glory.
Cuddling my foster girlies.
A very nice lunch with Elaine.
It's almost COF retreat time!
Having time to finish The Book of Life (audiobook) while I drove to Herkimer Monday.