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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Helping a good cause

A friend and fellow quilter asked if a few quilters (myself included) were interested in helping out with a charity project. As you know, most quilters are generous with talent and time, so we all agreed yes, we'd help. What a beautiful project.
We all gathered in January and February at this friends' house to assist in sewing the blocks so they'd be ready to assemble. The quilt design is from by Nancy Davis Murty and it's called, Butterfly Kisses . Here is a picture of the finished top.



What could be better than fun fellowship with like minded ladies and friends. We got together on 2 Saturdays and this is what was accomplished. One dear friend assembled all the blocks together and also took this picture at her house while it was draped so nicely over the banister railing. So she deserves the most credit, she's the engine that could, if you know what I mean while all the time maintaining a nice and friendly attitude. The quilting is now being done by Carole, a talented Long armer in our area. The finished quilt will be raffled off with all of the proceeds going to the Glenwood Cemetary.

What's NEW?

A finish, that's what. I'm so thrilled. The table runner that I mentioned ripping out all of the terrible quilting I did back around Thanksgiving, has been quilted good enough by me. It literally has been talking to me every time I entered my sewing area, so of course I strongly and willfully ignored it. What else are you to do with a undisciplined child! Well, guilt has been riding my back about my avoidance of quilting it, so yesterday I took the proverbial "Bull by the Horns" and started quilting it. It was going smoothly especially since I slowed down my machine to 440 stitches per minute. It seems my timing is off with my machine. It was okay but actually a little too slow then so I sped it up to 740 spm to get more of a faster pace without going full speed, that was a dream. (Note to self, spm now to be done at 700-800 when quilting.) It's a comfortable and doable pace. Hence a big milestone was accomplished.


Here are 2 pictures of it. The left one is of the waffle time runner.
The picture on the right is the reverse side of the runner. Using Westminster Fabrics I was able to simply design the backing myself. This was fun and I love the way this turned out. Now I have 2 different looks, all the while with only storing 1runner. The next picture is a small sample of the quilting I used, and this is the runner that was totally done in November, BUT hoirribly. Hence ripping out all the stitches to redo it. I am also pleased with my efforts there.

This design is my own since it was done free hand but I was inspired by Kim Stotzenburger with her book, "Just Leaf It".



Last week I also wrote out four things to complete by Friday. Not too much success there though. Two out of four aren't bad. Did work on both numbers 3 & 4, but didn't quite finish those as listed. Understandably so with having grandchildren here 4 fulls days since last week, but a girl has to have priorities!

1-Waffle time runner quilted
2-Finish reading "A Letter to My Daughter" by Maya Angelo
3-Embroider the Giraffe block on the Noah's ark stitchery
4-Finish Reading Angels and Demons by Dan Brown.

My plan is to continue to list 4 items weekly to help in progressing my UFO's and works in slow progress (wisp) that I'd like to edge towards completion. So I'll add to my list and relist what wasn't completed. At the end of March, I'll be going to a quilt retreat weekend set up by friends, so I'll need to "kit" up some of the UFO's I thought of working on. Sew what's next? Stay in touch, you'll soon see since I feel like I'm on a roll.
Enjoy your day and catch up with you soon.

Jane

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Bread

While surfing blogs I ran into a recipe for homemade artisian bread. Found the original recipe and printed it out. Wow! Fantastic! We both love this recipe!


DH has made several batches of it so far and every time it's scrumptious. I even brought a loaf to share with my Artist's Way meeting this past Sunday with some cheese and butter. Was I surprised, every morsel of bread was eaten and there were cheese slices still left. Usually it always seems like it goes the other way around. Anyway, several friends have asked for my recipe, so that I thought it might be best to share my link here with the original recipe and who to credit:

ARTISAN BREAD IN FIVE MINUTES A DAY
by J. Hertzberg and Z. Fran├žois
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 0312362911

The Master Recipe: Boule
(Artisan Free-Form Loaf)
Makes 4 1-pound loaves

3 cups lukewarm water
1 1⁄2 tbsp granulated yeast (1 1⁄2 packets)
1 1⁄2 tbsp coarse kosher or sea salt
6 1⁄2 cups unsifted, unbleached, all-purpose white flour
Cornmeal for pizza peel


Tips to Amaze Your Friends
The “6-3-3-13” rule. To store enough for eight loaves, remember 6-3-3-13. It’s 6 cups water, 3 tablespoons salt, 3 tablespoons yeast, and then add 13 cups of flour. It’ll amaze your friends when you do this in their homes without a ­recipe!

Ouch, OOOHHH! Fell off my No Buy Wagon!

Hi all, while reading some favorite links I ran across a notice of a $50 gift certificate for Superior Threads. They have the best thread and are the best thread makers around. Anytime I go to a quilt show, I always treat myself to more thread from them. I think I have all their thread charts too and would love to get the stitched out examples they offer. King Tut is nice, but I'm starting to favor the lava thread line, it seems smoother and so nice to fall into the fabric.

Well today is a mixed up kind of day. Yesterday, I did not feel well at all. Wasn't sure if it was the flu on top of my neck back injury. While visiting Mom in FLorida, my pain had lessened. Now that I'm back at home, it seems worse. Why? I think because I need to do more. Dishes, laundry, shopping, etc..... I really and truly relaxed while on vacation and was actually spoiled too. The only "House work" things I did were to make our bed and dishes after dinner. Mom was so organized that all meals were prepared well in advance (even before most of us were awake) in her house. But back to reality.

Yesterday DH and I went to a LQS named Dreamcrafters for their annual 25% off sale. I had a list of needs (fabric and stabilizers) for completing UFOs and quilt kits that were already in my stash. It seems great that I'm shopping my stash first. I have many mediums and prints, but the stabilizing pieces of solids and such are surely missing. I am trying so hard to behave with quilty purchases. Despite behaving, I still spent $160. Yikes!

With the traveling, I think the frost heaves on the road trip were horrific for my spine. I hurt so bad with the trip that when we got home, I went to bed after taking my meds. Contiued to hurt throughout the night and even this am, I am in pain. Need to watch our 2 month old grandson (PGS#3) this am and this evening. Well off to lie down again while I can.
Stay Well
Jane

Monday, February 16, 2009

Lost a friend.

The big C is a horrible disease. A good friend succumbed to this disease after being under under hospice care. He left our world very quickly, his diagnosis was first mentioned last fall and now he is gone. Words are not adequate for how I feel and with trying to express all the feelings I have for him and his wife, both I consider good friends. His wife of 55 years is battling her own health issues and is very confused at times.
I do feel that "T" made up his mind, that his time was over and not to linger. Almost as if he was willing himself to die. The little bit of time he had left to share with family and friends, he was a very different person than his "living" self was. Normally he'd be very communicative and receptive, but after the diagnosis, he seemed different. He was just as gentleman like, but seemed to be very reserved, so that I feel like we lost part of him even then.
I hope I never have to experience a disease like that close to my life again, all the while realizing that I know I will. Psychologically, there are many different aspects of one's own demise. So when trying to assist someone, without trying to subject them with your own views, is a very difficult position to hold with grace. Trying to allow their dignity to stand on it's own, yet hope they realize that caring and love is offered and extended in what ever manner they need. My thoughts are many, and as you can see by my tortured english phrases, I really am having a hard time in trying to articulate all that I feel.
With Belief in the ever after, I remain
Jane

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

What a nice surprise! While sifting through our huge stack of mail, (son said he's never seen somebody get as much mail as we do)it must have piled in an area of 10" high by 2' by 3' wide, I found these two postcards.
.

I received this one
from Pat L. in NY





This one I received from Kim.


Aren't they both beautiful. It's always amazing to see the creativity of the different members of stashbusters. I also enjoyed the creative process making postcards for 2 other members and my Mom. The one below is just one of the 3 I created. I find that it's a challenge to come up with a plausible idea. For mine I pieced fabrics stamped desins, chalked and painted backgrounds besides adding a few free formed hearts. I was pleased with my final results but I hope the recipients wil be as well.


Hope your Valentine's day was shared with all that you love.

Jane

Monday, February 9, 2009

I'm back.....Long post

Just got home Friday night from visiting my Mom in Florida and having a little vacation with "DH". What a wonderful trip. Despite my last post of our ticket purchase for a flight with Allegiant Airlines, the flight was smooth, nice and rather quick. Much easier than driving all that way. We rented a car after landing so while visiting Mom and her Boyfriend, we were able to come and go without having to rely on their vehicle. This was so much nicer. I can relate now more easily with Mom (Which I really never have had a problem doing) of how she felt her first year in Florida without her own set of wheels.
The time flew, Mom and I didn't get as much alone time as I had hoped for. I told DH I could see him any time at home, that I wanted to spend some more time with Mom. He understood, but my Mom wasn't feeling the best the last week we were there. Regardless, I was glad to get there to see her and reconnect.
While traveling in Florida, we went to the Keys.
The Keys are such a beautiful area and the weather was tropic even for January! Since we were only there 2 full days, we left with quite a tan. I was pleasantly surprised. I did use a 30spf lotion so I wouldn't burn, which I didn't. Luckily though, neither one of us has peeled either.
One of our days was spent sight seeing Key West. The 1 1/2 hour ride took us about 4 hours since we really enjoyed the journey. Robbie's Marina allowed you to go on their docks for $1.00 each. It was unbeleivable the number and sizes of the tarpon that swam aroung the docks. Of course, since fish was the menu, quite a few feathered friends were trying the "all you can eat approach to". Baria Honda Beach for a little hike before crossing the 7 mile bridge. A beautiful day in Key West taking a trolley tour, seeing Ernest Hemmingway's house, the Southernmost point in the "Continental USA", shopping, Mallory Square with many artists sharing their talents, a beautiful sunset off the wharf, Marguaritaville, Slopppy Joe's establishment even a drag show which was really quite funny! So we successfully did the "Duval Crawl". Of course, I switched from alcohol to soda or water. That being said, you guessed it , I was the DD. We returned to our resort in Key Largo at 3:15 am! Glad we had the next day to play - lounge lizards.




The resort we stayed at was luxurious. 2 pools and a jacuzzi with Tiki bar, and at the ocean beach with another tiki bar. Swam, drank, used jacuzzi, drank, sunshine, drank, swam, heaven! This is the view from floating in the pool. The bougainvillia were hanging over the waterfall flowing into the pool after a 10 foot drop. Beautiful! I miss swimming in the North during the winter. I'll have to try to fit in the YMCA this week for swimming. It was so wonderful. My plan on swimming with the dolphins though was crossed off my list on this trip. The temperature of the ocean was a little too cold for me.



We were also able to see most of the Everglades. We saw every type of animal that resides there, with the exception of snakes and the cougar, THANK GOODNESS! I never knew cougars were so far south and was surprised to see signs warning people of them being in an area. So we hiked several trails, rode the rental car to the southern most point called Flamingo Point and then proceeded back north and to the western side of the state via Alligator Alley and Cypress National Park so we could find our lodging in Everglade City. Toured that side of the glades in a Carolina boat. It was only DH and I as passengers for the tpur, so the captain (owner) was able to really personalize our trip for us. It was gorgeous weather and pleasant. Saw dolphins and even a mother and youthful Manatee. Such shy creatures. Only the tip of their snouts were evident besides the cloudy trail they left behind while negotiating the waters. Mangroves, shell islands, fishing, ospreys, pelicans.... all were wonderful.
By the time we traveled up the west coast, visited a beach, transversed the "Sunshine Bridge going into St. Petersburg and back to stay with my Mom, I was thouroughly rested and recharged. A good thing too, since The Villages were having their Quilt show. How outstanding it was.
The talent that was evident was truly amazing. Especially Mom. Her quilt "At Last" won a ribbon as an Honorable Mention. This quilt is beautiful.



While reading the label printed for the show, I started crying because she mentioned that this quilt was coming to me. I know my Mom loves me, but seeing what was written really touched my heart. The amount of time she has invested in this quilt is unbelievable. It's has celtic knot blocks, besides appliqued vines with roses, and celtic knot center medallion with vines and roses too. The borders also have Rose and vines appliqued on them. Her quilting is beautifully done. Besides hand quilting a gridwork, she hand quilted stippling within her blocks' celtic areas. The detail! I'll be posting some photos when I get a chance. Even now, just talking about it, I have a little too much moisture in my eyes.

Well, I'll catch up more in a future post and what else that has been going on. Sorry this has been so wordy, but I wanted to relay a little of what I had been doing in the past several weeks in my absence. Enjoy!

Jane