Saturday, November 24, 2007

These are the ingredients for a little birthday gift. I purchased and downloaded some images and printed this one on transfer paper. I'll frame the image with the pink and also use it for the back of the small pillow I'm going to make. When I stuff it, I'm going to include some dried lavender that I have left from some sachets I made a couple of years ago for Christmas gifts. It still has lots of fragrance! She's really a pink person, so I hope she'll like it.

Brrrr, it's cold here - 24 degrees! The frost looks like snow and is so pretty. I've got to put out new suet cakes for the birds and refill the feeders. I just wish the wind would die down before I get to those chores - it just seems to blow right through you!

This jumbled mess will (hopefully) turn into a cute little quilt. I found the little Crazy Eights pattern and thought it looked nice and easy and like the perfect thing to use for those bright little fat quarters I bought 2-3 years ago and haven't been able to bring myself to cut. Some of the prints look like they escaped from a 50's kitchen, which is why I like them. I needed 8, so I had to augment with some other 1/4's that looked like they'd fit in. There are precious few seams that need to match, and I like that! Precision is a wonderful thing, but it's nice to be able to just relax and go sometimes, too.
I've got about 6 weeks' worth of stuff to do today on my first Saturday at home in forever. I want to start getting stuff ready for various projects, and one of them is some quilted Christmas postcards. Anyone want to share ideas for such?
The laundry is calling me . . .

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend with those near and dear to them . . .

Friday, November 23, 2007

Here's the little candle mat I made for Beth in its early stages - it's a Bare Roots pattern, but I found a kit with wonderful dyed wool felt at the Quilt Exposition in Nashville. The color gradations are great. This is at the beginning of the embroidery - who knew that it would be impossible to mark on the felt? Just had to eyeball the designs! all turned out great in the end. And I still have the pattern and know better how to approach it next time. I found a small pumpkin-scented candle to go in the middle and sneaked the whole thing into her classroom. She loved it!
And here's the whole-cloth mini quilt I started in Gulf Shores . . . haven't washed out the blue lines yet...thot the quilting would be visible, but it doesn't seem to be. It was lots of fun, though. I was doing the whole Tonya thing - no frame, no hoop, etc....using an embroidery type position and motion rather than the traditional rocking motion...I have since started on a black one with a different quilting design and will show it when done...maybe can figure out how to make the quilting show up.
We enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving at Evan's mother's house, even though it will be our last one there. She just moved to an assisted living facility last weekend. It's painful, but we are so blessed in that she had no broken bones in spite of numerous falls in the last couple of years and didn't burn down the house in spite of leaving the cooktop on, etc. Evan's sister Connie picked her up and brought her out to her house where we congregated, bringing all the feast elements from turkey and dressing to ham to potato salad to everything else! My brother and his wife and daughter came over from East Tennessee as well. Evan and all his siblings were there and some of the grandchildren and out-laws (as in the case of my brother and his family). Having a good family is a blessing we often take for granted, I fear, but it is a tremendous blessing nonetheless. It gives you a good start, it gives you support along the way, it wraps its arms around you when you need that. We are so very blessed.
With a heart full of thanks for the rich blessings from God that are all completely undeserved . . .

Friday, November 16, 2007

The journey continues, whether it's blogged about or not . . . I've managed to read a few of your blogs even though I haven't posted anything. I've been having camera difficulties on top of lots of other hindrances, and what's a blog without a picture? One of the things I love so about other blogs is the fact that I get to see handiwork, families, houses - which helps you enjoy "knowing" that person. I love reading stories about good friends who have met courtesy of the internet, specifically blogland - even friends from different countries who actually get to meet in person! It's one of the positive ways that technology has impacted us all.

Sooo, what have I been doing since August? Well, Evan and I managed a trip to Gulf Shores for the first time in a LONG time - we dearly love going to the beach. We found the perfect place to stay and had a fabulous time. I took some pictures - which are unavailable at the moment, but I do plan to share a few of them. Mostly we goofed off and relaxed. It was absolutely wonderful.

One of "my" doctors (there are 8 in the office where I work) had emergency back surgery in September and we're still reeling under those ripples. The daughter of one of our nurses was tragically killed in an automobile accident in September, and we're also still feeling those effects. Oh - but let me tell you what we're doing for Rhonda (the mother) - who loves quilting. (In fact, when I went to the big quilt exposition in Nashville back in August, it was with her.) There are several beginning/wannabe quilters at the office, so instead of getting flowers for her that would soon be gone, we're working on a wallhanging quilt. We fixed squares backed with freezer paper and managed to get everyone, including docs, to write something for her - some wrote little personal notes, some wrote Scriptures, a couple did a bit of artwork. We got some 30's repro fabric, which is something she's recently fallen in love with, to frame each little block. I am going to embroider a Bible verse for the center. (we asked her other daughter for a favorite) We're at the stage right now of getting the blocks framed. We got them laid out earlier this week so I could try to calculate how big the center with the verse needed to be before I traced the words there and started stitching. That's my Thanksgiving holiday project for myself - to get that hand stitching done. Hopefully I'll be able to show you some pictures. We hope to get most of the folks to take at least a few quilting stitches - in-the-ditch type stuff, and since pretty much everyone can sew a running stitch, which is what it amounts to . . . to make it truly a joint project.

Aaaack - and now I'm about to be late for work.

This picture, by the way, is one I'd already transferred to the computer - taken in the York Castle Museum in York, England last year. I think it's from the late 1800's.