Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Trying to get going on a more regular posting/journaling schedule...and wanted to show a couple of things...most of the things I made for Christmas gifts are gone and not photographed...:-(...too much hurry...but I've got a couple of pics, anyway...I think I probably made more gifts this year than I have in a while, and it felt pretty good....and the response has been good, too....(I mean, we all know whatever we've done is less than perfect, so it's really nice when someone is really tickled to get it because you made it)
The above were sachets made from cocktail napkins from AllAboutBlanks - I used a Crabapple Hill pattern for the monograms and then filled the sachet (in a separate internal sack) with really good quality dried lavender flowers purchased online. Getting the stupid ribbon through was probably the hardest part of all. For some reason, these oatmeal napkins were easier to deal with - the fabric was tougher and the grosgrain ribbon was easier to use. The first 6 I made were with white linen napkins (sorry - they got wrapped before the camera came home) and I used white satin ribbon - talk about a royal pain!! But, boy, they all smell GREAT!!
This below was for a special friend...got in a real hurry at the end, and, man, is the quilting pitiful, done in a hurry that morning before work...however, I know she won't care. She loves anything I do. (don't know if you can tell I did a bit of coloring with colored pencils...have only used crayons before...this was a bit softer and more subtle)
She's called me Sparky since I've known her...and it just kind of tickles me....she's a great friend and huge encourager just in terms of being a friend and also in my ladies' class and being Beth's running coach - she's a few months older than me and finished her 50th state marathon in October. She's run more than 50 marathons, but she also did the whole "all 50 states" thing, too. Wow! My hat is off to her! She's one cool chick.
On the way back home from East Tennessee the day after Christmas, we stopped in Crossville to revisit a quilt shop I discovered there a couple of years ago making the same homeward trek. It's a really, really neat place just off the interstate. They have a "men's room" - as in, tv, recliners, sports and hunting magazines, etc. to keep the men happy while the wives browse and pet fabric and shop. Kinda cool, huh? Got a special Christmas gift from some of the girls at the office of $$ to spend, so....I couldn't disappoint them, right? Right??? In addition to what's shown, I got several white-on-white pieces and an absolutely beautiful parchment-looking fabric to go with all sorts of things. Those 3 civil war repro blues are to die for! And, the 30's things ALWAYS call my name - these charm packs were just too cute to resist. And the other one has some absolutely beautiful fabrics.
(oh - and sorry for the mess on my cutting table - frantic Christmas leftovers)


  • that I AM so blessed
  • family and friends
  • living where even a recession leaves us richer than most of the world, and the richest part of all is our freedom to worship without restraint of any kind

Monday, December 29, 2008

I hope everyone has enjoyed good times with family and friends. The times of togetherness are so much more important than the gifts, however much fun those may be.

Before the season is completely gone, I thought I'd stick in a few pics of our very first band concert! Our Christian school is in its 8th year and we added band this year! My sweetie, who was a band director/chorus teacher before joining his dad in the utility construction business, has 2 beginning band classes. He's a contractor in the morning and a band director in the afternoon. He is really loving being back with music and kids, and the kids really love him, too.

One of the moms brought hats for everyone...and the band was the hit of the evening, which was the annual RCA Christmas program.

Managed to catch my 2 sweeties just before things got underway....he got Beth to play keyboard for a special little percussion thing the drummers did before they got to the Christmas numbers. And all 3 of us had sung some carols with a few of the older kids before the program actually began....I think that was designed to distract folks from all the pre-program excitement and quieten things a bit so the precious little teeny ones who were first on the program could be heard. Without an auditorium yet, we have to do things in the gym, which makes it a bit more difficult, but it was a great evening all around!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

This picture may not look like much (not a very good picture, admittedly), but it has much meaning for me. The little clay orchestra around the tree was hand-made in Honduras by native craftsmen and brought to me by a dear friend who goes there on annual mission trips. Wish I had closer pictures to show the detail - the conductor has a tiny baton (that has miraculously not been broken in the years I've had the orchestra and packed it up and gotten it out and packed it up and gotten it out) I have fun arranging them differently each year, although I always start out with placement as the instruments actually would be in an orchestra, and then space limitations force me to get a bit creative. There was no firing of the clay, so the figures are quite fragile. She has brought me several figures similarly made. The scarf on the stereo top was made by my great-grandmother, who crocheted the edging. There is a tiny mended place on one side where a patch was put under a hole. The figure on the right is Scrooge, a director's gift after we did A Christmas Carol the first time...you can't see the whole thing, but it has a candle holder to the right of the figure. Doing the play was a wonderful thing and the actor who played Scrooge is a very dear friend. I was the Ghost of Christmas Present as well as assistant director. (and Scrooge and I reprised those roles this year and had another wonderful time)

That was way more detail than anyone probably wanted to read, but my point is that this special time of year is about special memories - treasured memories that we revisit and new memories that we are making. This is a very special time in our journey.

More wonderful memories...this sleeping Santa candle is over 50 years old...he sits on a piece of dead cactus from beloved relatives in Texas...the little sack of presents was made by my mother over 50 years ago to go with Santa (corduroy with a bit of glitter) and there are tiny packages that she fashioned with cardboard and wrapping paper in it. The hurricane candle holder in the middle she bought for me the year Beth was born and it's been used every year since then. The dresser scarf was another made by my great-grandmother. There is something special about every item on this table. Each one alone can bring a warm feeling and a smile - put them all together and they're powerful stuff!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Happy Fall to everyone! I just love fall...this picture, which I got from Google, does a really good job of showing how I feel about fall - looking up, whirling, feeling as well as seeing the glorious colors and the sky that is BLUE instead of merely blue. Truly "the heavens declare the glory of God". Fall is brisk and energizing and crisp and exciting. A time of new beginnings.

I've had dead camera batteries and seemingly no time to charge them, but eventually I'll show a picture or two from the big AQS Quilt Expo in Nashville (the last one so close, boohoo) and maybe even a project or two underway.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Didn't realize it had been so long . . . don't know how in the world time sneaks away like it does! Man, it flies whether you're having fun or not, doncha think?

Let's see - we had the RCA (Riverside Christian Academy) retreat for teachers, staff and Board members, which made it extra special for us - Beth's been teaching there, Evan is teaching there this year (band) and I'm on the Board. We had a great time at Joe Wheeler State Park in north Alabama, which is right on a big TVA lake. This week we had orientation and got to see all the returning students and new students - more excitement.
At work we've survived another end-of-month and the leaving of one of the doctors (she's pregnant again and wanted to move closer to grandparents) and various folks being out with surgery or illness on top of the folks out for vacation.
At home we're working out different schedules and enjoying the pool in the evenings as we can, and - drum roll, please - I have a new sewing machine!!! The Janome 6500! Wasn't what I had in mind but what I got - I'm so excited! And hope to get to learn a little about how to use it this weekend. I've never had a good sewing machine before. After I sew on a few scraps, I hope to do the machine part of putting the binding on this quilt of Beth's.

And more excitement coming up! This is the last year for the big AQS Quilt Expo in Nashville, and we're going! Beth's taking a day off from school on the Friday. She and I will go up and drool on the fabulous quilts and the vendors' wares all day, the boys (Evan and Joshua) will come up Friday night after work and we'll all eat together and stay overnight. Then on Saturday morning, she and I are taking a hand quilting class from Joe Cunningham, buddy of Gwen Marston!!

Gratitudes: all the undeserved blessings we enjoy, surviving difficult situations, being part of the exciting venture of our fledgling Christian school

Monday, July 14, 2008

Weather, weather, weather!! Sooo many difficulties brought on by weather! And yet - we're nowhere near the slaves to weather that those who came before us were. We've just become so accustomed to air conditioning both in our houses and vehicles. Running hot and cold water everywhere. Light at the flick of a switch. The ability to cook at a moment's notice.

I managed to come by a bushel of green beans -for which I was very thankful as we have no garden this year. Beth and I planned to spend Saturday in the pool breaking beans on that oh-so-conveniently-placed concrete surround. We were interrupted 3 times by thunder and rain . . . retired to the porch each time till the sun was shining strongly again.....we finally finished on the porch! Our power was out for over an hour at one point. After power returned I decided to work on a couple of powepoint slideshows for church Sunday morning - one with songs so we could stand and sing with the use of the songbook purely optional and one with welcome and announcements and suchlike to just loop around continuously as folks were coming in. Sounded good except for the power outages that managed to come every time just as I'd added something really good and had truly had no chance to SAVE!!! This went on for a while but I got something usable and decided to quit! and then power was once again gone for good. Or at least for a while. I managed to shower and wash my hair and even shave my legs almost completely blind. Since I'm mostly blind in the shower anyway, I actually managed to get through this without doing myself mortal harm with the razor! There was no unending stream of blood going down the drain or anything dreadful like that.

By the time the power came back it was after 8:30 - toooooo late for me to contemplate starting the canning process.

So canning had to wait until after church Sunday. Even with a few rough spots along the way, I managed to get 19 quarts canned using the pressure canning method, not the water bath. (We only do tomatoes with the water bath method.) And green beans are the only motivation for me to do the whole pressure canning thing. I cooked at least 4 quarts to divide with Beth and Joshua before starting the canning. Finished around 8:30-9:00 last night. pooooooped! On the right is Evan's mother's old canning book put out by the Kerr company. The price was $1.00.

It is well-worn, used and loved. Lots of handwritten notes, extra recipes from family friends, etc.
Mrs. Grace Buntley was a neighbor down the road...we knew her and her daughter who was close in age to Evan's parents and her granddaughter (and husband and family) is a good friend of ours (and a contemporary - she's in that magic period after 50)

Didn't get laundry done, didn't get dusting or vacuuming done....didn't get anything done but beans. Oh - and haven't mentioned the additional 4 dozen ears of corn we froze on top of the 3 dozen I froze last week after eating over 2 dozen!!! - but we're taking the lazy route recommended to us by some folks who can be trusted of freezing it in the husk (yes, you heard right - no blanching, etc.) and then just taking out what is wanted and shucking and cooking just before eating.
Next year we WILL have a garden again somehow!!!

While I was timing the cooking of beans and the pressure canner and such I managed to get the most recent round of postcards fused to the stiff backing but did not have time for the quilting because I had to wet them and let them dry to make sure none of the blue marker lines remained. I did get pieces for the back cut out, though.

Inch by inch, as Pete Seeger used to sing.

Have a great week!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

One of those seasonal pop-up thunderstorms forced me out of the water yesterday, so I finished sewing my Wee Play charm squares to the white squares! (and what possessed me to put them on the table with the white tablecloth for the picture??!!) Then I cut them apart and pressed them open. (still have the bunny ears to get rid of, though) The more I look at these fabrics, the more I like them. Can't remotely decide which to get for border/binding! Seemed like whichever one I was pressing would be the best one . . .

These are postcards-in-the-making. (is it obvious I'm still on my turquoise/red jag?) I finished all I had in my little project sack upstairs, and now it's time to trim them and finish them up and get them in the mail. I have managed to trace some new ones in spite of last week's fiasco, so there are more to take upstairs for my evening handwork.

Beth is progressing nicely on her new quilt, and when she brings it out here next, I'll try to get a picture of it. She took it to Mississippi when she and Joshua went down to visit his folks for a couple of days and in spite of his mother having been a home ec major, Beth had to explain the quilting in the ditch. They thought she was sewing the pieces of fabric together even though it looked like they were already sewn together. tsk tsk task Guess no quilters in their circle of family and friends, huh?

Our 4th was great, as usual. Lots of good food and good fellowship and then great fireworks! We are so blessed to live in this place.

Yesterday I heard the katydids for the first time, and they make me a little bit sad because they always make me realize our summer is running down.

  • my sweet family
  • my ladies' Sunday School class
  • the glories of this earth

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Oh, No!

What a dope! The last post should be removed from blog history. So dumb.
Quick...let me show you something better...Beth's first quilt...ALL hand-done from piecing to quilting to binding, etc.....she picked 2 fusion fabrics we already had for the body and then just some leftover yardage from I-don't-remember-what for the border and binding...just to have something to work with...this is a whole "learning experience" and all that jazz....quilted with dark thread and used a muslin backing for economical reasons and then realized the dark quilting didn't look so hot on the back...ah, well....a learning experience is how she termed the whole thing.

Some good fabrics I got on sale to use in a quilt from MaryQuilts, which has some great free patterns. Boxed Squares is what I want to do with these 30's prints. I'm hoping to have time this weekend to get the fabric cut. Or at least to get started on cutting it.

We've got a big 4th at the home of some friends who live down the road and who have been doing fantastic, unbelievable 4th celebrations for over 20 years now. Everybody brings food and they take care of barbecue and hamburgers and hotdogs and there are lots of folks and lots of food and LOTS of good times! Started with the dad and his sons doing the fireworks and then moved to the sons and now a grandson or two is involved....really neat....and the fireworks rival that of most towns!! And we're just out in the country having a good time!!
Everybody be safe over the holiday. And enjoy spending time with family and friends.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

It was a good thought . . . :-)

I was doing something productive while enjoying the sun and water...tracing words and pictures on pieces of fabric on their way to becoming postcards. I was standing in the pool and using the surrounding conrete as my worktable, something that Beth and I frequently do. Well, truthfully it's a resting place for books for reading with your top half nice and dry and your bottom half comfortably in the lovely water more often than it's a worktable, but . . . anyway, I was working away when the rather brisk wind blew my first drawn-upon-with-water-soluble-marker fabric into the water along with several sheets of paper which had the various texts and drawings on them. AAAACK!!!!!! When was the last time you tried to hurry in 4 feet of water? Grab the fabric here...."dash" to grab that paper there...."dash" in the oppposite direction to grab another paper....several more "dashes" and then I saw the little blue pen floating merrily away - it was down in the deep end near the ladder. After rescuing everything and laying each sheet out flat to dry on the hot concrete including the now blank piece of fabric, I resumed my labors with another piece of fabric from my plastic Wal-Mart sack and a different page of text that had been safely residing under said plastic sack. Whooosh!! There everything went again. And went in as many directions as there were flying pages. I had thought the wetness of each sheet would safely keep it nice and flat on the concrete. That proved to be a completely incorrect thought. And not the only incorrect thought, either. Such as the one that lead me to watch over the sheets as they dried until the wind completely died down before again resuming my labors. The wind stopped. I started again. Whooosh! Another gust of wind sent the almost dry pages flying over the water only to drop them midflight. In my ridiculous optimism, this scenario was repeated in about 5 slightly different formats. But, guess what - I had taken the camera out there with me, so I was able to record some of the results of my folly.

However, I did get a few other pictures that might be of interest....they are taken from down inside the pool looking up in different directions - fortunately all have trees, even the side toward the barn.
east and then south

west is a large red maple and northwest is another one...and you can see a bluebird house on the outside of the fence

Saturday, June 28, 2008

It's hot. No, make that HOT. And sticky. The humidity is so high you feel like gills would help the breathing process. When you start sweating - oops, no, that's glistening - at 6:00 a.m. while watering flowers, you know it's full-blown summer. Not that I was watering at that time this morning - it's Saturday! (but I have been doing that) This morning I mixed up a little plant food at half strength and poured it in some potted plants. I'm always so afraid of burning them. I even put a tiny bit in the geranium-from-2-years-ago where little mama wren has her nest with 5 eggs. I really appreciate her MO this time, because - wonder of wonders - she built the nest facing out so you don't have to be a contortionist to see inside it. You don't even have to bend over unless you just want to get really close.

I haven't done anything on the quilt front except help Beth, who's now at the quilting stage of her newest venture. This time it's a lap quilt she's doing, and she machine-pieced it. She and Joshua are going to Mississippi for a long weekend to visit his family since he doesn't have to work next week, and she wanted to have the quilt to work on while down there. I can't wait to see what she's done by the time she gets back Tuesday!

There are several folks I really need to get embroidered/quilted postcards done for, so I have one started that I can work on in the evenings when we're piled up on the bed watching tv and on my today's list is tracing off several more. That's the part I don't care for, because it's so tedious to trace words. I think I may prowl around at dafont.com to see if I can find something a little easier than the ones I've been using. That's a really cool site if you like playing with fonts and dingbats and suchlike.

I tried a site linked from Feelin' Stitchy where you can print text of your choosing for cross stitch (wish I'd had it back when I did a lot of that!!!) or backstitch. There's only one for backstitch, and because it's still done with cross stitch type fabric in mind, it didn't give me the effect I wanted when using it one of my postcards. My trial with it is the one I'm currently working on, and I'll finish it, but don't think I'll do any more with that font. If you do cross stitch, you really might want to check it out - here's the place for charting text.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Tagged! ?

I've read all sorts of interesting things as folks have participated in various memes (how is that pronounced, I wonder?) and now Caroline actually tagged me! Of course, it's taken me a week to get to it, but . . . that's kind of how things go sometimes. And probably my answers could be helpful to anyone suffering from insomnia . . .
What was I doing 10 years ago?
Specifically for June, I was canning green beans from the garden and counting the days till I could pick that first wonderful cucumber! I was working at the same doctors' office where I work now, although then I was Office Manager and now I'm Administrator. Daughter was in college 85 miles (hour and a half) away in Nashville. Hubby was working long hours 6 days a week as a utility contractor. (this year we're hoping he'll make the transition back to teaching and be able to start a band program at our Christian school)
What 5 things are on my to-do list for today? (no particular order)
Only 5??? Teehee - I love lists and making lists and few lists have only 5 items. However, the reality is that most lists have served their purpose simply by being made. Where does it say you're supposed to DO what's on a list?
1. Cook the fresh beans bought at the local farmers' market yesterday since we have no garden this year
2. Mow the yard before it gets too hot (no riding mowers here)
3. Do lots of laundry
4. Do something quilty - hmmmmm, cut more squares for the quilt patis or iron and cut strips of the lovely 30's fabric I got yesterday at the LQS sale?
5. Work on lesson and find a great handout for tomorrow's ladies' Sunday School class that I teach
6. Think of some cool something to do for dear sister-in-law's birthday coming up July 1st as she's been down in the dumps lately
Yes, I know that's more than 5, but I'm reminding myself that I really want to find that just-right something to do for Donna!
Snacks I enjoy:
Crunchy, munchy stuff - more toward the salty side than the sweet and NOT chocolate
Things I would do if a billionaire:
Definitely quit work to have more time for gardening and quilting and crafting and volunteering at school. Buy all the big instruments that schools have to provide for a band and start a music library for our Christian school. Build a separate building for the preschool program to give more space for the K-12 kids in the existing building and then add several other buildings like a separate chapel and theatre, a restaurant/meeting facility overlooking the river that winds along one side of the property, a camp in the wooded part of the property for us to use and to let other church groups use and so on and so on. Buy a farm and build a house for Beth and Joshua. (Not too far from our farm)
Places I have lived:
I have always lived in Tennessee. Grew up in the eastern part,in a beautiful valley in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, and now live in the southern middle part, in rolling farmland. It is very beautiful in this rural area, but I confess I still miss having the mountains all around me.

This is all still pretty new for me and I know some folks definitely do not like to be tagged, so how about this - if you think this would be fun, consider yourself tagged! If not, just ignore it.

The blog world really is a great place to get to know some neat folks you couldn't meet any other way.

Have a quilty day, everyone! Or at least a good day!

and yes, that's a bulb on a string of Christmas lights beside the fuschia in the hanging pot in the picture - I leave them strung on the porch, unlit, because all the birds love to perch on them in between visiting the feeders or flowers. Both Evan and Beth think they should come down, but I like to help the birdies!

Friday, June 13, 2008

This is an old quilt from my childhood. No matter what cute matching bedspreads and pillow shams my mother made me (usually coordinated with curtains she made, too), I always wanted this quilt on my bed. On top. (no silly bedspread covering it up) I have no idea what my reasons were, but I well remember loving this quilt and spending endless hours looking at the various diamonds and counting the ones of each color and loving the fabrics. At the time, I thought my grandmother had made it, because she was always doing embroidery and she had given it to me, but I really think her mother had made it. I don't think she ever did any quilting. I have another quilt that her mother, my great-grandmother made, and it is really a scrap quilt - string pieced from various plaids and such.

A few folks have had questions about the quilt patis and the difference between them and traditional English paper piecing and also how they work, so I took a picture of some of the backs so you can see that a few sloppy backstitches do the trick. I included a pati on a square of fabric just to show what it looks like before you start wrapping and backstitching. The ones with bigger flaps on the back are ones I cut from a leftover strip I had that was 2 1/2" instead of 2" and I sure wasn't going to bother cutting off that other 1/2", so they're done with rectangles instead of squares.

It's been another hot day, and around lunchtime the black clouds made it almost night-time dark while the thunder rolled in the background. However, by the time the rain actually got here, it was much lighter, and the worst of everything appeared to go around us. I think we're set for stronger storm activity in about an hour or so. Who knows? This time of year it's pretty unpredictable. (this is looking over the barn roof at the first clouds)

I've made a trial run with a handy little tool - the Quick Starter. You use it to draw on the back of squares destined to become part of triangle squares. You get both stitching lines and the cutting line in between. I'm kind of copying a quilt done by Creative Little Daisy that I just fell in love with, using the Wee Play charm squares. When I get a few stitched, I'll take a picture of them.

In the meantime, hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.


  • living in such a beautiful place
  • handy gadgets
  • clever folks who design wonderful material

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Just a quick post before heading out to water flowers. I got started with the Quilt Patis - and this is the kind of thing that could become addicting. I really wasn't sure if I'd like it or not, but I do like it. She's right - 7 little backstitches and you have a perfect hexagon. So far my biggest problem is keeping the material from scooting around. You take a tiny bite of fabric with a pin in the center hole, but it doesn't keep the fabric from sliding a bit. I've pondered a drop of glue but haven't tried it yet. Don't want to make it hard to get the little pati out when it's time. Right now I'm just playing with scraps to see if I can even do it and have no clue as to how to finish the edges. I found a cute picture online of a way to put the "flowers" together that would make a cute table topper, so I think that's what I'll do. But those edges . . . hmmmm
Beth is doing incredibly well with her hand piecing and quilting - she just did 3" blocks and then a border, quilted with simple x's in the boxes and she's almost through with the binding. All by hand. I'll try to get a picture of it. We're thinking about doing one together for a winter project - probably pieced on the machine, but we want to hand quilt it on Evan's mother's old quilting frame. We thought we could set it up in the living room and work on it on the weekends and maybe have a puzzle going on another table for the guys to piddle with and for us to work on for little breaks.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Whew! What a week. It might have been a day shorter, but it sure seemed a day longer. I won't go into details, but a couple of weeks ago I had to have one of those serious "sit down, this is going into your personnel file" conversations with a very talented worker who yet keeps letting her various personal crises interfere way too much with work and has left some very important things undone - one of which was not sending in recredentialing papers for one of our insurance carriers on time, which meant that the doctors can't be preferred providers again until the paperwork is done. Not a good thing at all. It's a minor carrier with whom we have very few patients, but it should never have happened. Anyway, she's doing better on the surface and there's not any specific or tangible thing to speak about, but I think she's going here and there in the building whispering. Next week there will have to be another conversation.
We keep having rainy spots and teeny bits of thunderstorms. This is looking out from our front porch a couple of weeks ago, and the leaves are even fuller and lusher now. Our weather this spring has been more like England with frequent but not torrential rains and lower temperatures - hence the heavier than usual blooming of pretty much everything from irises to bushes to trees. The honeysuckle fragrance is especially heavenly right now.

I've finally decided what to do for my hand-piecing project - I'm going to dig out the Quilt Patis that I bought a few years ago and try to do a small grandmother's flower garden project!
Beth is making good progress with her begining effort. I haven't seen it yet, but she's got all her blocks together and rows together and ready to do the border. She just did simple 3" squares to mimic an old scrap quilt like MeeMaw used to make, and started with a table-topper type size. But for a girl who's never had the remotest interest in doing any hand sewing of any kind - pretty impressive! She's been looking through some of my quilt books and has decided that the idea of strip piecing has definite merits, although I personally can't imagine doing that by hand. We're going to get some batting for her today and try to get her quilt sandwiched so she can start hand quilting. She wants to try using my hoop.

I'll leave you with another view of the interesting old quilt I got at the flea market that I think I won't be able to cut.

Enjoy the weekend!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Ah, the luxury of two days in a row at home! (Took Friday off to have a really long weekend.) One goal was to rearrange the computer/piano/fabric/cutting table/craft/junk room. Wellll, when Beth finished with school at lunch yesterday she came out so we could get started with pool time, so . . . er, I'm nowhere done with the room. However, Beth and I had a great time at the pool sunning and swimming (even tho the water is pretty chilly at 71 degrees!) and working on plans for the drama production we hope to do at school next year - Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. We're thinking of using the 60's for our "look" because you can do all sorts of things pretty easily. We'll have to do the play in the gym more or less theater-in-the-round style as the stage is way too small. I've been co-director for 2 productions of it already, and she and I were both in one of them as singers. If you've ever seen it, you know it's a really fun show.

We talked about some other things, too - quilting and hand piecing! Beth's never been interested in doing handwork of any kind, and while she loves quilts she hasn't wanted to actually make one. Well, she's just finished reading the first 2 books of a new series Judith Pella has out that incorporate quilting into the story. We joined forces to buy the books because we knew we'd share them. (we read lots of the same things and swap books back and forth) I read these first and passed them on to her. Well, the books are set "way back" and though a few of the women have sewing machines, most do not - so there's lots of hand piecing as well as hand quilting. Beth has decided to try out some piecing by hand on her summer break and suggested that we have our own 2 person sewing circle - work along at home and compare progress, etc. on the weekends when we're at the pool. So I may try hand piecing, too. Got out these kind of loud fabrics above to think what I might want to use. Haven't a clue what blocks to try.

Obviously I need to do some arranging of fat quarters - shirtings with bright stuff??

Anyway, I'm looking for inspiration. Maybe instead of looking at the fabric I should get out a quilt book or two to see if something grabs me and looks like it might lend itself to elementary level hand piecing. Doesn't sound like too painful a task, does it, to browse through quilt books?

So I guess maybe I'll do just that. We've got planned leftovers for supper and I've already cooked a roast for Sunday dinner. Tons more chores need doing, but I'm on a self-declared holiday after all!

I hope everyone is having a safe and enjoyable holiday time with family and friends.