Friday, December 28, 2007
One last gift to show you -- this is a little "purse-nickity" bag that I made for my hairdresser. There's a second, matching one that's just a little pouch for jewelry or other small stuff, without any quilting. She's at the gym all the time and I thought they would be useful. In fact I (finally) joined a gym myself and I'm making one of these for me!
Tomorrow, after my much-needed haircut, Al and I are going to take a drive to a marshy area in Marin that is supposed to be a great place to see migrating birds -- hope to have a few good photos to show you all. Then it's a big cooking and baking push for our annual "chili fest" on Sunday afternoon!
Saturday, December 22, 2007
And, I got up-to-date on the NYB blocks -- here are the 14 so far. I smooshed them all together in sort of a random order and I'm liking the flow!
p.s. people in San Francisco hate to hear it called "Frisco" or "San Fran" -- do people in Philadelphia dislike "Philly"? if so, I apologize!
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Here's a picture of my finished "Holly Jolly" table-runner. This is a gift for a friend on the Friends of the Library board who's been an incredible mentor for my terms as president -- I would have been an abject flop without her! I gave it to her yesterday, rolled up and wrapped like a Christmas cracker; she didn't open it because we were with other people. Maybe she's the patient sort who will actually wait to open it on Christmas! For backing, I used a print that looks like leather-bound books, since she's a book fan like me and works at the library. I'm very happy with it, and will probably make the pattern again with other fabrics. It was quick and fun to do.
Speaking of quick, (not), here is current progress on my NYB block of the month. This shows the 12 blocks through November. I have one of December's blocks done, too, but I'll waiting to take another photo until the second one is done.
I wonder if my husband is sneaking looks at my quilt books behind my back. The other day he stopped in front of the design board (can't help it, it lives in the dining room most of the time!) and looked at these blocks for a bit and said "they remind me of the Statue of Liberty". Gee, maybe that's why they call them new York Beauty blocks? He did the same thing a couple of years ago with a quilt I made from a pattern called "super nova".
Monday, December 10, 2007
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Then the cat decided to disappear for 24 hours -- maybe he got locked in someone's garage, or maybe he was paying me back for leaving him alone for a few days at Thanksgiving. He sauntered back in, demanding food, about half an hour after I had created a "missing cat" flyer to post around the neighborhood the next morning. I was starting to have fantasies about getting new furniture in the living room that wouldn't be cat-scratched to death, but I'm happy he came back, instead...
I did manage to make a couple of pot-holders for the gift exchange with Al's relatives -- it's one of those things where everyone gets one name to send a gift to; this year everything is supposed to be handmade or recycled.
And I've made a little progress on the NYB blocks (Al walked by the other day, paused and looked at them, and said "they remind me of the statue of Liberty". Is he sneaking looks at my quilting books behind my back? Yes dear, they're called "New York Beauty" blocks)
And, a couple of friends came over to sew this afternoon and I made good progress on the Holly Jolly table-runner that was posted here. I promise a photo as soon as it's put together. The best part of the day was that I did a little trunk show of my unquilted tops (there are a bunch of them!) for my friends, and decided that there were several I was ready to donate to "Blankies for Grownups" -- this is a local group that makes comfort quilts for seriously ill adults. Bonus: I can bust some stash by making backings for them, too! And I got re-energized about a couple of other tops, and vowed to make a serious effort to get more of them finished next year.
And now a question for those more computer savvy than I: I figured out how to create a signature, and I figured out how to add it to an individual post -- but is there a way to permanently add it to my blogger template so that I don't have to copy/paste every time?
Monday, December 03, 2007
How do you like your eggs? over medium, or poached with the whites cooked solid
How do you take your coffee/tea? strong, with milk!
Favorite breakfast food: depends on if I'm trying to be healthy... old-fashioned oatmeal with dried fruit in it, or bacon & eggs...
Peanut butter: crunchy, and preferably without added sugar or oil
Coke or Pepsi? Coke, but rarely
You’re feeling lazy. What do you make? If I'm alone -- lean cuisine! If DH is there, scrambled eggs with whatever vegetables are around
You’re feeling really lazy. What kind of pizza do you order? We hardly ever have pizza... more likely to run out for shrimp burritos.
You feel like cooking. What do you make? Some kind of stew
Is there a food you refuse to eat? eggplant, okra, oysters and any innards except chicken livers
What was your favorite food as a child? Grilled cheese sandwich
Is there a food that you hated as a child but now love? most kinds of fish
Is there a food that you loved as a child but now hate? fish sticks, and plain Cheerios as a snack food
Favorite fruit & vegetable: Apricots and Asparagus
Favorite junk food: anything served with guacamole
Favorite between meal snack: corn nuts
Do you have any weird food habits? probably, but I don't know what they are!
You’re on a diet. What food(s) do you fill up on? salad & frozen yogurt
You’re off your diet. Now what would you like? really good macaroni & cheese
How spicy do you order Indian/Thai? mild
Can I get you a drink? Campari and soda with a twist
Red wine or white? either, depending on the variety
Favorite dessert? cherry pie; devils food cake
Sunday, December 02, 2007
Friday, November 30, 2007
Uh... they're brand new?
Here's a few that I actually sort of like:And this is the piece de resistance -- the donor refers to this as "Y2K Baby Butt fabric":This is about the size of a fat quarter, not just 10". She wanted us to get the full effect! Why on earth would anyone manufacture this fabric?
What would YOU do with these squares?
Sunday, November 25, 2007
The Thanksgiving dinner was surprisingly good! I was a little worried about the tendency for my in-laws to make everything from cans and packages... but that didn't seem to be the case. There was a distinct lack of greenery though: my Brussels sprouts were the only non-starchy vegetable besides the obligatory green beans smothered in something from a can and topped with something else from a can.
(Steam the Brussels sprouts until tender but not mushy; toast some hazelnuts in a pan and then remove skins with a towel and chop in half; mix the sprouts and nuts and drizzle on some hazelnut oil; sprinkle with kosher salt; mix it all up and eat!)
We were hoping to have a little snow, just to make it seem like a real Wisconsin experience -- and we did! Just about 2-3 inches, but it was so pretty! Here's a very bizarre photo from our hotel room. It was enough for me to be able to throw a few snowballs at Al (memo to self: put gloves on before making snowballs) Boy, was it cold for a California girl! Most days were around 29-30 degrees F. I wore a lot of clothes, but there were still some frozen bits sticking out. I'm often tempted by Madison because it's such an interesting city, but the weather (summer and winter) would definitely take some getting used to. Here's a photo I took in Mineral Point, a small town about half an hour away -- there are lots of artists and antique stores there. Things iced over like this are seldom seen where I live!
My friend Carol took me to the most amazing yarn store -- it's called Lakeside Fibers, and it is HUGE and friendly, and has a nice cafe looking out over the lake. I don't need any more yarn, but I succumbed to some gorgeous red Berroco "Foliage" to make a scarf out of. Apparently the colors are supposed to resemble New England fall foliage; mine is "Japanese Maple".
Saturday, November 17, 2007
The family pressure can get a little overwhelming, especially for such a short visit. Luckily I have one fine friend (my father-in-law's neighbor) who I can sneak off with for an afternoon for my time-out, while Al entertains his mother! Did I mention I have two mothers-in-law? Is that fair?
My biggest quilting success of the week was the decision to hand over my giant batik jewel box top to the long-arm quilter. I had it all pinned, and it sat here for a couple of months while I tried to make myself start quilting... but at 100" square it wouldn't begin to fit on the handiquilter frame, and I just couldn't see pushing it through my machine on the dining room table. So -- it's promised for mid-January and I hope to have it on the bed by the end of that month! (I know I posted this photo before, but here it is again)
Then, I finished up this very-bright baby quilt that had been started last year. I've accumulated a small pile of baby & child quilts that are intended for charitable uses, but I have trouble figure out who to donate them to. The local guild gives a lot of quilts to the children's hospital here, so I'd like to find another outlet. A couple of years ago I gave some to a women's shelter called "Better Futures for Women and Children" -- in addition to the shelter, they help women get set up in new apartments. Maybe I'll get in touch with them again, and create space in my closet for a new stack! I like to do the various mystery quilts in child-size versions, so they seem to add up.
Finally, this is a top that resulted from a mini-group project a few weeks ago. It came from a Sara Nephew pattern, and it's called "cube in the corner" -- my version is called "Fade to Black". It's a little bit wonky -- there are a million bias edges to deal with -- but I think it will quilt out, as they say. And -- the whole thing was made from stash! Of course I haven't decided how to quilt it yet...
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
I also finished up the Oriental Bookcase wall-hanging that I was making for the retiring treasurer of my local Friends of the Library board -- however, now he says he's not going to retire for another year! A friend suggested that I show him the quilt but tell him he can't have it until next year....
Maybe not a big deal for those of you who livein other places, but we seem to have a distinct shortage of really interesting clouds here... although we do have great sunsets. This was an early (for me) morning view up behind our house at what someone called "sheep clouds". I guess I need to be up at 6 more often!
Friday, October 26, 2007
I get so mad at myself for letting myself get totally frustrating by the #@!&&%! computer... where's the chocolate, anyway?
Saturday, October 20, 2007
On the quilt front, let's see -- I finished and mailed off the QOV quilt I was bitching about recently. I realized after I mailed it that I hadn't taken a photo; must have been a message from my subconscious, since I loved it so much... not!
I bought a DVD called "I Have a Longarm and I'm Not Afraid to Use It" from Angel Threads recently, hoping it would help me figure how to stop doing all the stuff I was doing wrong. It seemed to spend an awfully long time on pinning (I mean, couldn't she have started the pinning and then finished it "off-camera" instead of filming the whole boring process?) but I did learn a lot. I loaded up a practice quilt yesterday, did most of the stuff she said to do -- and it worked SO much better! I even tried some feathers. Should have tried them in thread that didn't contrast so well with the border fabric, but what the heck...
More pictures soon, I promise -- I have a couple of things close to being done!
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Bold those you’ve read.
Italicize books you have started but couldn’t finish.
Add an asterisk* to those you have read more than once
Underline those on your TBR list.
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
Crime and Punishment
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Life of Pi: A Novel
The Name of the Rose
Pride and Prejudice*
A Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the Fates of Human Societies
War and Peace
The Time Traveller’s Wife
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Reading Lolita in Tehran
Memoirs of a Geisha
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West
The Canterbury Tales
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Love in the Time of Cholera
Brave New World*
The Count of Monte Cristo
A Clockwork Orange
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath
The Poisonwood Bible
Angels & Demons
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility*
The Picture of Dorian Gray
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
To the Lighthouse (I saw a theatrical production of it, though...)
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Sound and the Fury
The God of Small Things
A People’s History of the United States: 1492-Present
A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
The Scarlet Letter
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (I read the motorcycle
parts and skipped the Zen!)
In Cold Blood
The Three Musketeers
In more book news, I'm trying to decide whether to join the 12-prizewinning-books challenge that I keep reading about. Ms. Jan talks about it here. I have at least three "eligible" books on my shelf at the moment, including one that I've gotten stalled halfway through... Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai. I got side-tracked reading Karin Slaughter murder mysteries while on vacation, and then Rise and Shine by Anna Quindlen, and now Custodian of Paradise by Wayne Johnston. I'm almost done, though, and I promise to go back!
(side note -- Wayne Johnston is a wonderful writer; if you haven't read The Colony of Unrequited Dreams, it's worth looking for!)
I spent a few days in Portland this week, mostly for work... did a little damage at Fabric Depot, which was having one of its "30% off everything" sales. (and no sales tax, 'cause it's Oregon!) Then I wandered around and found a cool yarn shop called "Twisted" and bought yarn for my "toe-up on two circular needles" socks class that starts in a couple of weeks.
Portland was a riot of fall colors, although locals said it was starting later than usual this year. I wish I'd brought my camera along to capture some of it; the blends of green, brown, orange, yellow, red, purple were truly stunning in some places!
Friday, October 05, 2007
Also... PIQF is coming up! Are any of you in blogland planning to attend? (Pacific International Quilt Festival in Santa Clara, CA -- just a bit south of San Francisco). Send me a comment or an email and let's try to meet up for a few minutes or a coffee.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
This quilt is from a wonderful little swap I played in this year. It started out as a Christmas exchange including one block, and then we sent 8 more blocks on the same theme over the next 8 months. The theme I chose was "wind and water", and the blocks made by my "partner", Kendra, are truly wonderful. I think each is a little work of art, so I use a setting that really shows them off. Kendra is a designer of quilts and little quilt cards -- you can see her stuff and subscribe to her monthly fabric greeting card kit at www.klmtradeco.com
This fish became one of the monthly cards! And the block below, called "Star at Sea" is my absolute favorite. I was totally blown away by it.
I'm plugging away at a QOV quilt from a kit -- it's fabric and a color combination that I don't like; it's strip-pieced, which I don't like; and it's just not going together very well. I'm trying to decide how much I care whether the corners of the blocks line up (they don't) and whether I should pull apart the two rows I've sewn and trim the blocks like I should have done to begin with! I don't like to do shoddy work even for "charity" quilts... but on the other hand, what are the chances that the recipient is going to notice and/or care about the details that I see as imperfections? Where do you stand on this issue?
Monday, September 24, 2007
Saturday, September 22, 2007
We made it home from Hawaii late last night. Our United flight from Kona to San Francisco was cancelled due to mechanical problems and since the airport is so small, they had a bit of a meltdown trying to deal with everyone. We were lucky enough (after racing around and standing in line for more than an hour) to get seats on an Aloha flight to Oakland, which is actually more convenient for us. So, we had middle seats in a smaller aircraft, and got in at 11:30 pm instead of 8:30. I'm a total zombie today -- feel like I'm hungover, even though I just had one beer on the plane!I did manage to get out and do a couple of errands; of course I ran into all the traffic for the Cal football game because I never know their schedule. I'll probably start feeling alive right around when it's time to go to bed tonight!
Computer mysteries: can anyone answer these questions?
- on my home desktop, when I download email into Outlook, it shows the date the message was originally received; when I do this on my laptop, it shows the date the message was downloaded to Outlook. Where is the setting to change this?
- on my laptop, when I start to fill in my user name for blogger (for instance) it gives me a couple of options as pre-fill; when I do this on my desktop, it doesn't -- where is the setting that controls this?
- one of the pre-fills is wrong, from when I made a typo one time. How do I delete the pre-fill?
And now for something completely different: socks! I finished my first sock a few days ago, and here's the proof:
I do wish I'd chosen some more interesting yarn; this purple is sort of boring after a while. I did get one of those novice's gaps on one side where all the different angles come together, so I need to work on my technique. I think I remember Jenni from Fairybread talking about this with her first pair...I have started the second sock, and it's about 4 inches along. I was thinking it would be cool if you could knit both at the same time so that you don't run into knitter's ennui when it comes to finishing the second one... actually, I know that Silver has an online class on a way to do this, but it's pretty much over my head at the moment. Has anyone tried it?
I'm dying to get the sewing machine out and SEW SOMETHING for the first time in more than 2 weeks. What to tackle first?
Monday, September 17, 2007
(for those readers not familiar with it, "99 bottles of beer on the wall" is a dumb counting song that people sing when driving to (supposedly) make the time go by faster. )
We've moved from Kauai to the Big Island for a few days. I love Kauai because on the north shore there's almost always a little sea-breeze and it doesn't get very humid. The last couple days on B.I. have been another story... there's been cloud cover and it's been very muggy. I'm spoiled, living in Northern California, and I don't understand how anyone can tolerate the weather east of the Rockies or anywhere with humidity! (no offense to any readers, of course -- maybe you just have to grow up with it!)
Here are a few photos from our last day on Kauai; first the ubiquitous gecko -- I love the smoothness of those big leaves:
These are taro fields in the Hanalei Valley. I think they look quite quilty, and I'm thinking about how to create an actual quilt from this.
This is a detail showing the texture of some of the newer blocks and the reflections on the water.
I really like the layers of light and shadow on these palm fronds. I've been reading Ruth McDowell's book "A Fabric Journey" which explains her process of turning photographic images into her fabulous quilts, and I'm trying to save photos that might inspire me to try some of her technique.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
I). YOUR ROCK STAR NAME (first pet and current car)---Sally Camry
2). YOUR GANSTA NAME (favorite ice cream flavor and fave cookie)--- Coffee Ginger
3). YOUR FLY GUY/GAL NAME (first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name) J-Wal
4). YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal)---Blue Rhino
5). YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born)---Anne San Francisco
6). YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first)---Wal-Ju
7). SUPERHERO NAME: (”The” + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink)--- The Green Campari
8). NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers)--- Myer Harry
9). STRIPPER NAME: ( the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy)--- Sublime Mocha Truffle
10). WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names ) --- Kastle Stephen
11). TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter)---Hollis Hanover
12). SPY NAME/BOND GIRL: (your favorite season/holiday, flower)--- Autumn Rose
13). CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie” or “y”) Apricot Shortsie
14) HIPPY NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree)--- Banana Linden
15). YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: (”The” + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + “Tour”) The Quilting Clouds Tour
OK, now it's your turn!
The red on the far right reminds me of volcanoes... you always have to find a "souvenir" fabric, right?
Since I'm spending two weeks without a sewing machine, and I don't "do" applique, I decided to learn how to knit socks. Here's where I am so far:I'm working on the heel. I really have no clue how to turn the heel or how the instep and the heel come together... but it's a "beginner" pattern and I'm confident (hopeful) that if I follow the directions it will all work out! I'm using big (sport-weight) yarn 'cause I thought it would be easier. I've made a couple of tiny glitches, but all-in-all I think they're looking okay.
Sunday, September 09, 2007
- Kapaia Stitchery (fab quilt shop with lots of batiks and asian designs that they develop and then have printed in Japan),
- some great silk-screen t-shirts from a shop on the way to Poipu that I can't remember the name of,
- a drive up the canyon,
- a stop or two at Tin Can Mailman (funky used book store),
- way overpriced drinks on the deck of the Princeville Hotel while awaiting the sunset (and hoping for the green flash!)
- some snorkeling!
Having a lazy morning now, enjoying the wi-fi and some Peets Coffee that we found in the local supermarket. I promise more photos when it stops raining.