Monday, March 30, 2015

Too late to turn back now

As you may have heard (several times) I am going to be a grandmother in a short 8 weeks or so. 

I was just thrilled to hear mom wanted to use cloth diapers.  Now keep in mind, I used cloth diapers over 30 years ago, and- as they say here- diapers have come a long way since the days of pins and rubber pants.  (personally I blame Martha Stewart, who seems to have  created this need the world has to decorate every last element of our lives)  My babies were born in the dark ages, when your choices were prefolded or unfolded.

So when we talked about it, I mentioned diaper service. (do those even exist anymore?).  She said she was going to talk to her cousin who used cloth diapers.  Apparently that cousin recommended diapers like these: 

I knew a friend of mine had made diapers for her grandson. So I offered to do that- and consulted my friend, who helped me wade through the mountain of free patterns and information for making diapers available online.  She even sent me some of them, now that Freddy is in big boy pants!

Linda said the first thing I would need is a snap press. (I call it "the snapplicator")

Before I started cutting into the good fabric, I made a test diaper, which gave me a chance to see how the snapplicator works.    How cute is this? 
The baby came with a kit and patterns for some baby stuff I tried to knit for my boys.  I say tried because I wasn't much of a knitter then.  Lucas used to play with this baby, who he called "Elizabeth"- don't ask me why.

And I have finally gotten to the point where I think I know what I'm doing.  So I got out the good fabric, called PUL.  Cait picked this one out. 

And here is my work table.  You can tell I'm working hard because of the mess.
It was a long, and tiring afternoon, where I learned a lot, but accomplished little.

For example, I learned that when you put a snap in backwards, you better have a good pair of side cutters to remove it.

The snaps have two parts, of course, which are called a stud side and a socket side.  I call them innies and outies.

 The PUL is tough and kind of stretchy so it was very hard to get the pin on the snap to go through it.  The website recommends an awl.  I tried a very fat needle, but the hole seemed to close back up.  Then a light bulb came on!  I have the tools to set snaps like these- you tap the metal gadget with the hammer and it makes a tiny hole- prefect for the plastic snaps as well! 

So this has become a rather labor intensive process.  I started thinking with what I have spent, I could have just bought more of the pre-made diapers.  But I've come too far now. 

Meanwhile, I discovered the cutest baby hat pattern in my collection.  It didn't specify a size, so I just went ahead and made one.  Looks like I can save it to give him on his first Christmas!

Did you hear that in Florida, there was a ban on the words climate change in government offices?  How stupid is that?  Like it will go away if we don't talk about it!!
This video shows how ridiculous that kind of thinking is!
GCC is holding their annual ecofest April 11 from 10 to 2.  They do an e-waste collection, among other activities. 

I am grateful for:
Getting to see Cinderella with Cait and Kiara
Finding some great people to help me with my aunt's taxes
George's sister has come to visit.  In a perfect world, she would have stayed with us 3 years ago!
I have crocuses!!
Spotify and headphones

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

My quilt, my friends and I went to the Quilt Week Lancaster!

I was absolutely thrilled to be chosen as one of the 200 quilts  on display at the AQS "quilt week" event in Lancaster, PA last week.  I know my quilts will not win any awards at these shows, so to me the award is being chosen!                               I don't know why they only show 200 quilts, in all honesty. There could easily have been another 50 0r 100 quilts on display and still plenty of room for the vendors.  But I am apparently one of the rare people who goes to quilt shows for the quilts.              

My bestest in the world friend Mary Lee came along, and we met up with Carol,  one of my online quilting friends, when we got there. 

The variety of quilts was nice, and of course we had our favorites.
This one, Fern Rising by Claudia Pfeil, just amazed us!  It is nearly impossible to get a picture that does it justice.  It has over 27,000 crystals on it.  When you stand in front of it, it just sparkles!

Another of my favorites was this one, called Diamonds by the Yards, by Helen Doyle.

The hand work is amazing- no matter which technique she used in any block.

I think this one would have been my pick for best in show, Tinks Choice by Laura Trenbeath

The piecing and machine quilting are exemplary, but she also painted on it (in the border) and added what must be thousands of crystals and  gold colored studs!!  It has everything.

 Robbie Joy Eklow's work always makes me smile

 I loved the colors in this piece by Karen Kay Buckley and Renae Haddadin

 This one was kind of hidden in a dark alley, but I still loved it!  Called Butterfly by Nancy Tejo

 This is called "Doodle Bird" by Joanie Zeier Poole and Pam Levenhagen. The center panel is hand painted, if I understood the description.  I don't know if the black ink was added before or after the quilting, but it was meticulously done.  Just stunning!

 This piece grew on me the more I looked at it- Hope Springs, by Jan Martin

 The bubbles make this one- Chasing Bubbles, by Hiroko Miyama and Masanobu Miyama. The quilting in the little girl's dress is pretty amazing as well.

And the quilting in this one just amazed me.  October Sky by Bethanne Nemesh.  There is so much detail in it- and  the shimmer of silk besides.  Just stunning!

At the city Limits, we enjoyed this sculpture.  I want one!!!

I didn't get a picture with kathi and Tracy.  We joined up with them for dinner Friday evening at Annie Bailey- a great Irish Pub.  Fish and chips=Delish!!!
Earth Day is coming.  At GCC they hold a waste collection event- where you can safely dispose of old electronics, among other hard to dispose of items. Saturday, April 11. Check the GCC website for details as it gets closer. 

I am grateful for:
Being part of the show
good friends to share the event with
The snow is melting rather quickly
I saw robins, a killdeer and red-winged blackbirds
almost time to set up the nursery for tiny kittens

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Being 6 again for a little while

Kiara came and spent a while with me on Saturday.  Now that I am not trying to do everything and keep the kids busy, I can enjoy getting down on the floor (down is easy, up is the hard part) and playing with her!  This is the great joy of being a grand parent, I guess.
It seems her current favorite activity is building forts.  So we pulled every chair and spare blanket into the bedroom and built one!

It was pretty roomy in there, so we spent a great deal of time inside.

We took in plenty of toys and supplies.  We played "go fish", and had some girl talk and used our imaginations to tell some really fun stories.  I felt like I had time traveled and become a six year old myself for a while.  It was so much fun, I completely lost track of time.

While we were playing Barbies, Kiara noticed that her dolls didn't have a blanket.  So off to the stash we went!  I never miss an opportunity to sit her at the machine.  

And now her dolls have a proper "blanket"!

Tomorrow I am heading off to the AQS show in Lancaster where  my quilt was chosen a "semi finalist".  I know I will never win a prize at a show like this, but it is just thrilling to see my work hanging alongside those who do!!

I am grateful for:
A little girl to play with
Watching Outlander at last, on DVD!
Macaroni and cheese
Time spent with friends

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Retreat was awesome!

   Last weekend I had a wonderful 4 days of sewing with my friends from the Museum Quilt Guild on our annual retreat.  We stay at Camp Asbury on Silver Lake- a mere 20 minutes from home!

 I got there fairly early and got right to work on baby quilt number one, which I call "Snips and Snails".  It seemed like it took me forever to get the appliques ready to blanket stitch. 

I almost forgot to bring threads for that, so at the last minute I just grabbed the whole bin!

I love wandering down to Kathi's work station to see what she has pulled out of her stash to work on!

Mary Lee and I used all the space made available due to our table mate not being able to come until Friday.

By dinner time Friday I had the top finished!

So I got to work cutting pieces the second quilt I brought along.  I had thought it would be a nice quilt to hang over the changing table, but it's bigger than I realized.  (I really should pay more attention to the finished sizes in the patterns!)   He will have a big smiling frog mouth quilted on later.  I didn't plan it, but it was pointed out to me the cool way the pieced border has a 3-D look!

Along the way Saturday, I was helping Mary Lee with her "Old Italian" blocks.  She cut these wrong and was going to throw them out.  I asked if I could play with them- and promptly screwed them up worse.  She may use them on the back

This is how they are supposed to look..  It's going to be beautiful isn't it?

I popped by Kathi's spot to admire the free pieced blocks she made.  I have learned not to ask what she will do with them.  :-)

Julie brought the pattern for these birds and invited the rest of us to try one. Aren't they cute?

So now I have 2 baby quilt tops pieced and ready to be quilted- in only 4 days!

The staff at the retreat center provides all of our meals on real plates, which we return to the kitchen to be washed and used again.  They provide us with beverages all day, with real coffee cups and glasses!  The only garbage produced from meals was the paper napkins!  It reminded me of when I was in elementary school- where we did this every day.  Imagine the mountains of garbage that would not exist if this was still done in every institution.  Imagine....

I am grateful for:
Great times with very good friends!
My stomach is feeling much better. (knock wood)
The end of February!
Bad weather has given me some stories to share- and I made it where I was going!
Being completely silly and laughing until it hurts.