Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve

The shepherds have no idea how their lives are going to be disturbed by an angelic visitation. You can see that we have several varieties of sheep to keep located and healthy. At least three of them are European imports, and one is made out of a real wool fuzz ball. Luckily the sheep dog can help gather them together on the commode behind the loveseat.

Tonight the child will arrive at the stable (after church), and I hope to remember to fly the angel over to the shepherds before we leave for St. Louis in the morning. Then they'll have to get along on their own until we return on Jan. 4. It will be a quick trip for the Magi at that point to get to the stable by Epiphany. Maybe we should start them in the morning as well!




Getting bladder infection diagnosed before we left town

No upsets iin the travel plans

DS and DDIL with us in church

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Arrival at Stable

In a crowded Bethlehem,
far from the airport,
Joseph has found a stable.
Looks like there is hay for a bed
and some friendly animals to warm the air.

Time to move in before Mary's time arrives.
Hope there is a midwife nearby;
he'll ask the innkeeper's wife.
Then he needs to go to the Tax Office to register.

And we think we've got a busy schedule!
I'm looking forward to a sermon about Joseph this morning, since we are in the lectionary year of Matthew. Matthew doesn't care about Mary. All those stories are in Luke. However, I still hope we will sing "The Angel Gabriel from heaven came".

I made the "THE" this afternoon. Decided it should be a little smaller, as a less significant word. Now they are both pinned up at the head of the bed. It would be nice to get "STAR" done before we leave for Costa Rica, but Christmas Eve may not be a good day for working on it. Then again, maybe it will be! With no one coming to visit, I can use my time however I want!
I am trying to imagine how to make the "A" for "STAR" look like a star. Since I am not certain, I don't feel like starting. Guess I'll go to work on the packing, which could make for more time tomorrow before the Christmas Eve service. Maybe I'll have a brainstorm by the morning.

Steps: 2831 (bad!)
Yes! We sang "The Angel Gabriel from heaven came".
FOUR candles lit on dining table.
Pasta with pesto for dinner.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Pieced words

This quilt top has been hanging at the head of our bed for the past year. (Photo is sideways. Top is to left.) My plan here was to make a Night Sky with lots of different stars in it, using my collection of blue fabric with stars/nebulae. I thought it was ready to quilt, in fact it is spray basted to the backing. But it hasn't felt "right" to go on to the next step. For one thing it is an odd size, about five feet square. And it doesn't feel focused.

Hooray, a possible solution has presented itself. I looked at Lazy Gal Quilting (Bonnie Hunter's friend Tonya) and she is encouraging a Winter Challenge on "Free Piecing" --something themed for Christmas or Winter. I remembered some of the stars on this quilt WERE free pieced, because I got bored with how unlike the stars in the sky the Regular star blocks looked. [In fact I sent one of these Odd Stars to Bonnie Hunter as part of a Congratulations shower from Stashbusters.] Then I realized that with Tonya's second area of fame (with me) I could add some piece WORDS to this quilt. This is a new technique for me! Maybe this will solve the quilt's problems.

Right away, I knew the words I wanted were "Follow the Star". We have a family game by that name we play every year only during the 12 days of Christmas.

Today I had time to work on it, starting with the easiest letter - "O". Here is the result. Only one word so far. It took a long time to make the "W". I made it her way, but wrongly. Then I corrected it. Then I made it the way I wanted it to look.

The word is now pinned to the star top, and Charlie is in the room getting ready for bed without any comment being made. It is right over his pillow!. Oh, well. He has his sermon written, and we are packing for St. Louis and then Costa Rica. So much to remember and imagine that the real physical world has little reality for him. He's not very "visual".


Exercise today: Walk to STOP sign, and shovelling
Steps: 3011

Walking with my trekking poles through the fog,
ice melted on driveway,
diabetic chocolate from my Secret Sister

Friday, December 21, 2007

Stable ready for visitors

A quiet day in Lake Wobegon.
I went to the pool and participated in the Swimercize class for 50 minutes.
I sat at the computer and read e-mails and blogs. Finished squaring-up the mystery blocks from Step 2.
Peter and Lynne came over for dinner, bringing three Chinese take-out boxes, and some gifts for us to take to St. Louis. Lynne picked a "sheep with a curly horn" for the shepherds' flock and Peter picked the goose for near the stable. [Note: two mice.] Then he took his baby quilt away with him.
The battery on the pedometer gave out, so I lost the count of steps for today.

Safe travel to all who are starting their trips today!


helpers at the bank and the tailor's
clean house
conversation with adult "kids"

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Peter's Baby Quilt

A FIND in the basement! Here is the quilt Charlie's mother bought for our son, Peter. I think she purchased it at some church sale. Each block has an embroidered animal. For instance, a snail! That's a bit unusual.
It also has Prairie points all around in blue and white.
I haven't seen anything like this is while, but they were very popular when I was a baby, I think. Not that I had one!

Time for me to stop storing this, out of sight, out of mind, and time to hand it over to Peter. Or should I save it for his 40th birthday next summer? No, I think I will probably have forgotten about it again by then, and it will end up stayingat my house. Better give it to him tomorrow. Then he can decide who to pass it on to.

And here are the finished 9-patches for Step 3 of Bonnie Hunter's Carolina Crossroads mystery. Didn't think it would take this long, but finally got them "squared up" this afternoon.

So that makes 100 rail fence blocks, 100 9-patches with an accent corner, and 80 9-patches like this. Plus 16 dark plain squares, and 25 neutral plain squares. For a grand Total (so far) of 321 blocks made. That's enough to make a finished pieced top of about 36" x 80". We were told at the beginning this quilt will be 80" x 80". So not yet half done, but getting close!

Off this evening to our SpoolSpinner bee's holiday party. That will include a potluck of appetizers, salads, and desserts, a concert by a Madrigal Choir, the revelation of Secret Sisters for the past year, sign up for Secret Sisters for next year, and an exchange of White elephants. I'm taking a UFO as a White Elephant that I am sure I will never get finished--or I certainly don't want to spend time on-- four 12.5" blocks from kits (all the same) and 2.3 yards of fabric that could be borders or backing. Fun to see if anyone wants to exchange for it!
LATER: Here at last is my Secret Sister, Bonnie Golder, looking happy to receive the Red and White 16-patch. She very nicely claimed that she loves RED.
She and I happened to be roommates on the Bee quilting retreat back in September, so she thought I had given her lint-rollers because I saw all the threads on her clothes. Really, ALL quilters have this problem.

Steps today: 8863
Lovely tins and diabetic candy from my Secret Sister, Timmy
A fun time with other quilters
Home again to a quiet house

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

"Healthy Habits" report for last 9 days

I exercised seven days of nine.
I did not eat ONLY healthy foods, but I did better than previously. Putting in a lots of time on the Secret Sister quilt has kept my hands busy and my thoughts away from food (even away from the Food Network).

I planned my snacks to the extent that I had the appropriate foods in the house, and NO CHIPS! I gave myself permission to have one piece of Christmas toffee a day.
My weight stayed the same. This report is due on Mondays, so I'm late too.

Monday I purchased walking poles, they're like ski poles, but meant for hiking or walking. I have hopes that these will help me stand up straighter while walking and therefore not get the backaches that have discouraged me. Also, I need to not only SURVIVE our jungle and mountain hikes in Costa Rica after Christmas, but keep up with my 10 year old grandson for whom it is a special time with Grandpa and Grandma. So I chose poles that can be shortened to fit into my suitcase--naturally the high end of the price-range. I hope that expense will encourage me to USE them, even this week at home as I add twice a week walks from home to my exercise plan. [Ruler against wall to show scale.]

Today I walked completely around the outside wall of Meijers, and the pedometer said it was 1000 steps. By the time I had done my shopping, unloaded at home and eaten lunch I was up to 5000. So I am happy with that, especially since most days I do less than 5000. Of course the GOAL is 10,000. "Getting there, one step at a time" is my mantra these days. I've burned and crashed too many times before.

Food challenges of this week:
1.) Parishioners are giving DH, their priest, lovely Christmas food gifts, such as fudge, fruitcake and cookies. They sit on the kitchen counter all day. Tonight I am going to tell him to take them back to his office as my will power is lowering.
2.) Two potluck dinners at parties. I will try to stand on the other side of the room from the goodies and keep my glass full of something non-caloric.
3.) We need to empty the refirgerator before our trip. Plan: I must THROW away food, not consume it.

The Secret Sister quilt is in the wash machine. When its dry I'll get a photo of the whole top. Maybe that quilt needs a better name. . . . what would be fitting? "Red & White 16-Patch" is pretty descriptive of the center.


Steps today: 7723


Reunion group Christmas tonight,

Helped a lady in Meijer's with my punch recipe,

Talked to Sue on the phone for a minute.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

White quilting

Exercise today: 40 min "walking" in the pool and 10 min swimming
Steps = 3197

Whew! By sitting down to it two different times, I got the white squares marked and quilted this afternoon. My test of this blue marker on a scrap of white fabric washed right out, so I trust these marks will all be gone after I spritz with water. This not an adventurous quilting pattern, however after much thought I felt more confident using a purchased template--and it was hearts, which was what I wanted.

HOORAY! This gift is done two whole days early! Now to discern which of the many White Elephants in my sewing room will be wrapped for the SpoolSpinner party gift exchange.

After dinner I worked some more on the 9-patches for Bonnie's Caroline Crossroads mystery quilt. I thought I had enough of the 3-patch strips to get the 80 blocks made, but I had miscalculated on the dark-light-dark ones by about 25 out of 160. Made those. Got 40 blocks all put together, pressed and squared-up. Bonnie sez she doesn't square-up, but I don't think my workmanship is a good as hers!

Suddenly agitated about clothing for the trip to Costa Rica, and shoes, and a JACKET!


Sensation of water on my body in the pool
Mouse (wood) in the creche stable
Laughing with Charlie

Monday, December 17, 2007

Red Thread

Exercise today: Strength & Stretch class,
steps 5582

Monday is "Change the Bed" day at our house. So here is the Christmas duvet cover on the bed. Nobody ever told me that you could make a quilt top and then turn it into a duvet cover, I just did it because we have a duvet for the winter. It is so snuggly and warm, without being too hot. The regular cover is about worn-out with creeping wear holes near our face, so perhaps another duvet cover would be a good use for a UFO?

Secret Sister quilt: Finished the quilting I had planned to do with Red Thread. So before I changed the machine over to white thread, I finished making the binding, the rod pocket, and the label. When I then applied the binding to the quilt, I caught down the rod pocket and the label. In this photo you can see the backing fabric which is a fairly heavy flannel. The fabric's pattern does a great job concealing my wobbly machine quilting, and I love the pattern.

So now I have my only hand sewing to do on any quilt: tack down the lower edge of the rod pocket, and the folded edge of the label triangle. Now I am fearing the quilting that needs to be done in the white spaces on the quilt--but I'll put that off until tomorrow.


Exercise class stretches
Birthday lunch for Jo
Gift eggrolls for dinner

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Third Week of Advent

The Collect for the Third Sunday of Advent started "Rejoice. . .", hence the name "Gaudete" Sunday. Today our Collect has changed, but we still light the rose candle, not quite so penitent as purple.

Our book discussion group is reading Toward Holy Ground, Spiritual Directions for the Second Half of Life, by Margaret Guenther. Today's chapter is entitled, "A Good Death".
The end of the year, the length of these dark nights, and my increasing bodily aches -- all make this a appropriate topic. She says that preparation for death is a life-long project! Hmmm, I've put this off for a many years. Her recommendations include a daily examen of conscience, acknowlegement of our pain and loss, holding onto hope. Old words, but difficult to follow. I guess one really does need long practice so the process becomes "natural".

Yesterday I did all the Stitch-in-The-Ditch quilting on the Secret Sister quilt. Today I "screwed my courage to the sticking point" and started free motion quilting the red and white fabric. It has a very concealing pattern, which I really need. Now that I've finished that part with loops, I am looking at the outer, red fabric and trying to imagine that it too will hide the vagaries of my stitching, Probably NOT. However, I am using red thread at this point, so it will be a little hidden. Since I want this quilt to be useable for Valentine's season as well as Xmas, I am conjuring Hearts for this border. But now the corners that I liked are causing a planning problem----anything the right size for the border will be too small for the corner. Need to "put on my thinking cap". [Shades of Brownie Scout Troop #556 in 1950!]


No trouble driving to church (snow)
Choir practice for Christmas Eve sounded good
Lunch with Kathie

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Hole in the Lake

Quiggle Lake has frozen in a strange shape this year. Usually our side of the lake is the last to freeze because the spring is near our shore and the lake is much deeper not too far off our dock. So far we have a skim of ice, who knows how thick, that goes wayout to the middle, and a round hole out there. The geese have been gathering in LARGE numbers, but seem to be gone this morning when I took this photo.

On the window ledge you can see Mary and Joseph under the care of the Angel marching on their way to Bethlehem. Only 9 days left in Advent and arrival at the creche stable.

We had a little supper party last night, which always throws me into a dither and almost complete exhaustion by the time the company arrives. Even when it is simply spaghetti and salad! I certainly am the complete Introvert, whose reaction to arriving at a party is to say, "How soon can we leave?" When the party is at your own house. . . . However, once I find the conversation interesting my mind gets into gear and I do enjoy the exchange of ideas.

Calmed down afterwards by working on Bonnie's latest clue for the Mystery quilt Carolina Crossroads, getting most of my strips of three patches sewn together while listening to jazz on the radio.

Since my kitchen counter is all cleaned off for the event lastnight, I will find it easy to get the Secret Sister quilt top layered and pinned with batting and backing for the real quilting work. Also will give me time to imagine the quilting design(s).



SHORT haircut for Costa Rica, clean house, quiet day

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Secret Sister quilt Top done!

Secret Sister quilt TOP finished today.
For the moment it is 43" x 37", which is odd, but the border can be cut down later. I have enough of the red border fabric to cover the whole back and make the binding, I think.

Took more time than I was expecting. Each step was fairly simple, but with pressing, and cutting and FIGURING. . . . here it is 10 PM. Saturday I can start layering it and thinking about how to quilt.

I like the corner cut in like this. Pretty easy with an on-point block plan, but I don't remember seeing it used much. Gives it a more "old fashioned" look.

My exercise today was the Strength and Stretch class Charlie and I attend for a hour. Today was our Holiday luncheon, but we did the full hour of exercise first. I even was quite responsible in what I ordered at the restaurant--and had no dessert. My pedomoter only reports 1100 steps. That hardly seems enough. Guess I'll have to do a Step Check walking on the driveway and counting my steps myself to see if it matches.



Freedom to work all afternoon on this top

Followed my plan

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

First day with pedometer

Exercise for today: walking for 10 minutes around the Meijers store before starting my grocery shopping. That was just one circuit of the outside walls of the mega-store. Then there was another 25 minutes in the store actually finding the things I meant to buy.
My pedometer reads 3520 for "steps" at 10:45 PM. That isn't very high. I will have to work on making more moves each day.

After I put away the groceries I sewed together some of the strips of blocks for my Secret Sister. Then I rinsed out a couple of new fabrics for the Mystery. I'm getting ready for new instructions tomorrow. Presuming that Bonnie can stay on her own schedule.

After dinner I took out the calf for the creche so that the ox has some company in the stable. My father made the stable from scraps of lumber for us, and included a small light inside the roof. This illuminates the interior and acts as a nightlight for the livingroom all through the season.
Mary, Joseph, the donkey and the angel are still on the window ledge, but moving along.


SUN for most of the day
friends sharing growing old
pleasant clerks at the store

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Secret Sister progress

Despite weather forecasts of bad driving, I got myself out of the house at about 8:20 to go to the "Swimercise" class, and I even got all the contents together for a package to St. Louis and carried them with me. I was about 5 minutes late for the class, but I give myself high marks for getting out the door in time at all--other weeks I would have excused myself. Thank you "Quiltercize" friends for making me accountable. As FlyLady says, "You have to do this for yourself. You deserve it!" But it helps to know that others are working on the same project--even if that isn't Bonnie's mystery.

Having done my exercise, and organized my package at the Post Office, I reward myself by working on the next rounds for my Secret Sister quilt. I sewed the 2.5 inch four-patches together with the red and white fabric as bigger four-patches. They are now added to the middle section, and as I was cutting the setting triangles, I made a cutting mistake. Or a thinking mistake. I had bought JUST what I thought I would need, so now I will need more of this fabric--about six inches! Well, I got it recently because I didn't have any red with this much white in my Stash. I hope there are 6 inches left on the bolt!
Outside this there will be a narrow white sashing, and then a dark red wider border.
I will need to have it quilted and bound by a week Thursday. Since I hear Bonnie is going to tie up my time this weekend with another of her clues, I better work on this now.
Off I go to the local Joanne's!

Found it! And enough of the "right" red for the outer border.

I also stopped at an outdoor-athletic store and bought a new pedometer, or STEP-ometer. This is the third or fourth I have bought, the first two fell off my waist and were lost. I think because the clip was not strong enough. So the last one was chosen specificly because it had a real spring in the clip, not just a piece of plastic. That one lasted a lot longer, but eventually also fell off--and BROKE into two pieces. That one only cost $12.

Today the only other one with a good, strong clip was $50. Here it is, tipped up so you can see the metal spring in the clip. Hmm, that's pretty pricey, but I decided I really wanted it for this Quilters-Exercize group ("Quiltercize"?). Need to be counting my steps so I know I need to move around more.

When Charlie got home this evening, he was delighted to find that his Christmas shopping for me was completed, and he was giving my present to me two weeks early! And he didn't even have to wrap it since I was eager to get it out of the box.

This machine claims it will even read my pulse, but it has taken me so long to calculate the length of my step in centimeters and get THAT entered, that I am not reading any more of the instruction manual tonight.


Slimfast to drink for lunch
Slush, not ice on driveway
Success in shopping for grands

Monday, December 10, 2007

Charlie and lobster

All I did that could be considered quilting today was "squaring up" the 9-patches from yesterday. At least that means I am ready whenever Bonnie tells us to sew some of the completed blocks together.

So I don't have a photo of quilting, instead I will share with you a pic of my Dear Husband having a delicious encounter with a lobster on a vacation in Maine. It's down the column on the right somewhere.

Today's exercise: One hour at Strength and Stretch class.


encouraging talk with a fellow diabetic
afternoon nap under the duvet
TV show "Little People"

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Cute nine-patches

I did indeed finish the 100 little nine-patches for the Carolina Crossroads Mystery quilt. Here's a basket full of them with a sample display of four.

I decided the light yellow that was my second fabric for the "accent" position was too light to read as a medium. This position is supposed to be closer to the dark plaids. Luckily I looked through my Yellow Bin and found a brownish-yellow there that will do a better job. But perhaps these two fabrics will not be enough for the whole mystery! I will have to wait and see, and meanwhile hold back from rushing wildly to the fabric store, my natural inclination. I am going to keep the nine-patches that were already put together with the light yellow. But I replaced all the three-piece-strips with that yellow that had NOT been turned into nine-patches yet. So now there are three yellows in use, but only two that will continue.

These patches are smaller than I usually use, and the blocks are rather cute! I had nearly decided to get rid of my little bin of 1.5' squares and strips, but Bonnie may have converted me. Nevertheless, this is no way to use up very much Stash. I think we have enough blocks so far to make a top of 30" x 60". The final top is going to be 80" x 80", so we have a way to go.

The next Clue will come on Thursday, perhaps. Therefore I will have to work on something else during my quilting time.


Today an offshoot group was formed from Stashbusters by women who need to have a REWARD in order to exercise. The founder proclaimed that she was going to only quilt AFTER exercising each day, and lots of us think this may work for us. After all, this makes more sense than rewarding oneself with food! Hence a new group.

I have joined and gave myself the following challenge, which I am calliing "Healthy Habits":

1) EXERCISE weekly six days: Strength and Stretch class with Charlie twice, Swimmercise at the community pool twice, and walk at least 20 minutes a day twice.

2) EAT healthy always, and plan my morning and afternoon snacks (so I don't indulge in "easy" pickings).

Then I went out to take my first walk in a long time--45 minutes was my plan, or at least two times around the meadow. Forget it! I went once around the meadow and was winded. Total time = 10 minutes. Guess I need to lower my expectations to 20 minutes, which may be divided into two separate walks. Better to be realistic about my expectations.

Tonight I took out the first shepherd figure for our creche.


Singing Advent hymn "At Jordan's bank the Baptist's cry"
Tuna pesto salad
Discovered three 'lost' evergreen trees in the snow

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Carolina Crossroads mystery Step 2

I now have all the three piece strips for Step #2 sewn together. This has taken a good deal of the last two days. Nine-patches take longer than Rail Fences! I found it necessary to cut more strips, and Bonnie's fabric estimates made me realize that I did not have enough of the yellow accent fabric. So I found another yellow and will begin using that as well as the original. Maybe I'll even need to add a third eventually!.

So here is what my sewing machine looks like at 5:30 pm on Saturday. Baskets of 99 strips each for the rest of the 9-patches, and one lonely completed block, just so I can see what the result will be. I may have time to sew a few more of these together tonight, but I really think the work will be done on Sunday afternoon.


quiet day with no interruptions for sewing
crunchy potato chips
e-mail from my daughter

Friday, December 7, 2007

Advent decorations

We are not having Christmas at our house for the first time in, oh, 38 years. We will rush out of here on Christmas morning heading for St. Louis and a trip with our grandson to Costa Rica for eight days. But we are having Advent, right through Christmas Eve church. So we are having our usual "celebration" for the first 24 days of December.

***We have the Advent wreath on the dining table and we eat dinner solely by the light of the candles lit each week. Dinner is pretty dark right now with only one candle.
***The quilt of an Advent wreath is hanging on the wall behind the kitchen eating bar. The flame and glow of each candle there is pinned onto the background as the weeks progress. I can also see this from outside the house as I drive in the driveway.
***The creche figures are coming out of the box one at a time. So far Mary and Joseph have each had a conversation with the Angel about an unexpected event. They have acquired a donkey, and all four of them are slowly making their way from Nazareth (table by the wing chair) all the way south (along the picture window ledge) to the stable in Bethlehem (table by the loveseat on the other side of the living room). In the days to come various animals will appear in the stable, and the flock of sheep and shepherds will increase on the commode. No children remain at home, yet this activity keeps us asking after dinner is cleaned up, "Did you get a figure out for tonight, or is it my night?"
Iris' birthday lunch
enjoyed cutting fabric
going to a play tonight

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Secret Sister

My quilting bee, SpoolSpinners, has a Secret Sister option, beginning each January. That means the "reveal" is at our December meeting. I am now trying to put the little four-patches I have been making as leaders and enders into a table topper for my Secret Sister. My thought is that Red and White are good for Christmas and also are good for Valentine's Day and even the Fourth of July. Therefore a "lasting" color combination.

I have put together these 16-patches and am planning on an on-point setting. Now I need to make some HSTs that white and red to set around what I have already. This will give the effect of an inner border.

This project has a due date before Christmas, whereas the Carolina Crossroads does not have a deadline. So I am working on this one (and doing a little cutting of fabrics for the mystery as well between times).


some sun between the clouds,
dinner out with my DH telling each other about our day
Red and White! Love it.

Dots and Dashes

These are the blocks I made for a special Stashbusters "exchange". Well, not an exchange, but taking a chance of winning. We can send in up to 10 blocks, and then some of us will win 20.
It is a very simple block and we could use any fabric at all along with the muslin, so I just grabbed these three fabrics off my pile of things that really should be put away. These all were left-over backing edges returned to me by my long-arm quilter. So really, really scrap!
If I should "win" I will have to make enough more blocks to put together a quilt for Pine Ridge. But then, that's what I spend most of my time doing anyway.

Quiggle Lake

This is the view from our dining room slider (and the living room)in winter and in fall. There are no houses on the opposite side of the lake, where there is now a golf course. Luckily the lake is so small that no one tries to put anything motorized on it.

We have a rowboat, which Charlie uses to survey the number of turtles basking on fallen logs around the lake, and we have the permanent loan of a parishioner's canoe, which doesn't get used as often, partly because Zeke's antics make it unstable.

The view is to the westsouthwest, so we get good views of the sunset, especially in the winter. Yes, we do have snow on the ground now. The plowing service has been here once already, missing the edge of the driveway in one place and scraping the lawn.
Feather duvet,
hot shower,
faster internet connection than yesterday.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Bonnie Hunter's Mystery

I mentioned that Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville ( ) has made her latest quilt into an as-she-goes mystery for her followers (of whom there are MANY). In two days she had over 600 quilters sign up to be in the group. She working on the second step while telling us about the first step!

"Carolina Crossroads" is the title.

Bonnie's first step was the creation of 100 Rail Fence blocks from 1.5" strips, two dark fabric rails and an accent color in the middle. These make 3.5" blocks. She wants us to make them from our stash of already purchased fabric. So that is the task we are all working on now.

I finished last night and here are the ten stacks of ten blocks I put together from dark plaids with a yellow/gold homespun check in the middle.

Now I can go back to working on the December present for my Bee Secret Sister. It's red and white so far. Need to decide about the inner and outer borders....will green make it too one seasonal? Maybe keep it red and white so it can be used all the way through February.


Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Zeke tries to eat sprinkler water

Amazingly, to me, I have already received a request about my blog! Lori wants to see my dog. He is really Charlie's dog more than mine, though we all live in the same house. And Zeke's cage is in my sewing room.

Here he was in the summer . After an initial attack each time the sprinkler starts, he settles down to try to get a drink out of it. This results in a VERY wet dog.

Zeke's back comes up to about my knee, so he is a mid-sized dog. We got him at the Humane Society, where they claimed he was a cocker spaniel. Doesn't look like one to us. He is very protective of our house and yard, not pleasant for visitors.

Lori, you will have to wait for a picture of the lake. Somehow I can't get Blogger to put more than one photo in each post.

Quilt at Auction

Here is the quilt as it was displayed at the Grand Rapids Women's Chorus auction. The size is 74" x 104", which is a double bed size, or a topper for a queen or king.

I made it from four "jelly rolls" of fabric. These are pre-cut strips of 2.5" x the width of the fabric are are usually a complete line of fabric. They included all the green, orange and red/purple. I added one strip of yellow and one strip of blue.
When I had it all together I took it to Mary Davis for machine quilting. Then it came home again for the binding--also machine sewn on both sides.

I found this to be enjoyable at almost all stages, and was SOoo delighted that it fetched a good price for the Chorus! I'll do another quilt next year.

I have started cutting strips for the quilt that Bonnie Hunter is leading as a Mystery right now over the next several months. I am attacking my box of plaids for the darks and the lights, and at the moment think I will use a yellow homespun for the Accent color. Or maybe I'll use red, my continual favorite.

GRWC Winter Concert

We, the Grand Rapids Women's Chorus, had our Winter concert last Saturday. I was pretty nervous about not yet knowing some of the music, like 3 out of 8 songs. We had commissioned a new piece this year and the composer came from Lansing to direct us. The title is "Salmon Run" and much of the music is an imitation of the sounds and feel of the river water as the salmon fights upstream to spawn and die. Since the water keeps doing much the same thing, it was hard to keep track of where we were in the repetitions! However, I don't think the audience was aware of our difficulties.

After the 45 minute performance we have a reception and Auction to raise money for our music (and pay our accompanist). I had donated a double bed sized quilt. Two previous years I had donated smaller quilts and they had each sold for $250. This bargello pattern got a lot of compliments from the crowd, and sold for $450! Hurray for the Chorus' music fund!