Sunday, August 31, 2014

I'm Back!

My dad died August 10th and, as some of you have already experienced, when death closes one chapter it opens another chapter full of paperwork, sorting, and redefining normal. The paperwork is done (on our end of things), the sorting hasn’t started (procrastination), and the redefinition of normal is in progress, probably perpetual progress. It’s time to get back to quilting.

My hip bursitis is better but not totally healed. Walking can be painful still, but I can now sit in regular office chairs at my computer and sewing machine for long enough periods of time to feel like I’m accomplishing something. Our summer has been hot and dry, too hot to work indoors most of the day, so I set up an old sewing machine on a long, 8-foot table outdoors under the trees. My plan was to get some UFOs quilted so I could do the bindings this winter. Lots of room on an 8-foot table, right? Not if you have two dogs who like to sprawl out on the table so they can better survey the neighborhood. One of the blessings of living on a hill, I guess. I finished one little quilt then gave up because Dusty and Trudy were barking too much. I’ll try again this week -- the neighbor kids will be back in school so maybe the dogs won’t have such interesting things to bark about.

While fussing about in my studio this summer, I found two heart-themed fabrics, one light and one dark, both measuring less than a yard in length. I’ve been watching and waiting all summer for ideas to use up those two fabrics. I’ve been making wall hangings to go with each month or season of the year, and these two seemed destined for a Valentine’s Day quilt. Last week, I finally found a block pattern that set my creative juices flowing. It’s a traditional, 2-color block called Sunrise, Sunset. To get myself back into the quilty swing of things, I’ve decided to make a 9 or 12 block wall quilt that I’m calling "He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not." If you have two contrasting fabrics you’d like to use up, sew along with me! Any two contrasting colors work well with this block. The virtual quilt below shows just a few possibilities.

Drats!  I've been trying for two hours to upload images but my internet connection is just too slow.  I'll shrink my images and try again tomorrow.

Friday, November 29, 2013

More Cold Weather Coming

I'm visiting my dad at the nursing home today.  He's sleeping, so I'm posting an update.  Still trying to find better internet service at home - one that's fast enough to do more than read e-mail.  Our cold spell ended yesterday, but there's another forecasted to move in on Monday, an even colder one with temperatures stuck in the freezing zone all day for several days.  Yuck!  I hope it doesn't do this all winter, but just in case, I'm trying to set up a sewing area in my mom's house so I can at least work on small projects.  And I need to  make my dogs some jackets to wear when it gets so cold.  Doggy sweaters don't work with them as they can squirm out of them faster than I can put the sweaters on them!  In past years, I made cotton ones (non-stretchy fabric) lined with flannel. This year, I might try fleece as the lining.  For Dusty, I should try to find some denim for the outside instead of cotton - his big paws shred cotton fabric too easily.  The old quilt I have an my bed looks like someone tried to feed it through a paper shredder!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Winter Weather has Arrived!

I'm still having internet troubles at home with my dial-up service, so I'm in town at my sister's using her dsl to access my blog and upload several posts at once.   Winter weather has arrived here, with nighttime lows dipping down to the low 20's.  It's been much too cold to work in my studio or in my trailer, so I've been sort of camping out at my mom's house.  To keep myself busy, I've been crocheting snowflakes.

I wish you could see the sparkly silver thread in the white yarn.  These will make pretty tree ornaments. The patterns are from the book 100 Snowflakes to Crochet by Caitlin Sainio.  The snowflakes in the book were made with crochet thread, but I'm using #4 weight yarn and an H crochet hook -- my snowflakes come out about twice the size of those in the book but still only 4-5" in diameter.  Half my snowflakes are made with the white holiday yarn, while the others are made from a variegated pastel baby yarn.  We're supposed to have another week of this icy cold weather, so maybe I'll get enough snowflakes done to decorate with and give as gifts.  But I'd rather be in my studio sewing.

In case you're wondering why I'm not hand quilting something, I have a 20-pound dog who thinks my lap belongs to him.  I can crochet above him, but any craft involving sharp needles is out of the question during the winter unless I'm sitting at a table.  During the warmer months, he's too busy playing outside to care about my lap.