Friday, March 28, 2008

SpoolSpinners meeting

Our SpoolSpinners Bee is making a quilt top for one of our members, who is moving to New Mexico. At our meeting last night we worked on putting together all 4.5" blocks people brought from home. We had four machines in action, and could have used one more!

Of course we also had "Show and Tell" and we also had some Secret Suster gifts to distribute.

However, by 9:15 we had the top together in about five long strips. These I brought home, and I will be sewing them together this afternoon. Good work everyone!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Winter Aconite

A sunny day! The snow is fading away, and the first flowers of early, early spring are blooming. They are called Eranthus or winter aconite, I think. The blossums are about one inch across. They come before the early yellow crocus.

I also have some Snowdrops blooming. No picture because they always show up in a very ratty pile of dead leaves, matted grass and snow melt. I planted them right next to the sidewalk so that we would be able to see them easily--but they need some green to show them off. Hmm, maybe move them, or plant some more in a better place. Where is that?

I am eager to walk out into the meadow to see what is going on there. However, it is so wet and muddy, I know I would get boots weighed down and further make big holes in the pathways. It's hard to wait!

Saturday I am going to Richmond, VA for five nights to visit a friend, and I am anticipating much more spring greenery and flowers there. Don't fail me Sue!


Jo came to breakfast before going to hospital to be with Bob
Sun and eranthus

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Guild neo-natal collection

Our West Michigan Quilt Guild met tonight. One of the big events was the collection of quilts for the Neo-natal babies at our regional hospital. There were 367 turned in! We had a parade of them going around the church sanctuary where we meet, but since I was carrying mine, I didn't get a photo.

Here is one of the two I contributed. I showed the top before, but I just finished quilting it on my Pfaff this afternoon in time to get it washed and dried before the meeting.

Here's a closeup so you can see the "pebbles" in the inner border. This is the second time I've used this pattern in home quilting, and I like it a lot--both the look it gives, and the fact that you really can't do it WRONG. Just keep going around, in almost the same place, two or three times.

I trhought Iwas going to do something "fancy" in the plain squares, but not enough time, and it is soooo easy to do those diagonal lines.

In the border I just followed the plaid for some channels.



Everyone I called was glad to pray for Bob at time of death

Finished this neo-natal quilt

Ate "mindfully" today

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Sunday

Here's a glimpse of the Easter liturgy this AM at Holy Cross Episcopal Church, Kentwood, MI.

We rang bells at every "Alleluia", and sang lots of familiar Easter hymns.

My contribution was making cascarones for the congregation and putting them in coat pockets during the sermon. I made many fewer than in normal years becasue of having this virus for the last two weeks. So I found that I had to go back a take the second egg away from some coats so that I would have at least one for each of the remaining. This is a Mexican custom I learned ini California years ago. A blown out eggshell is filled with confetti and a piece of tissue paper glued over the opening. People crack them over one another's heads while saying "Alleluia! Christ is risen!" I always tell people to do this OUTSIDE the church (after demonstrating with Charlie during announcements inside the church). However, a lot of kids can't wait!

I missed the Easter Vigil on Satruday night because of a commitment to the Grand Rapids Women's Chorus.


Friday, March 21, 2008

Star points

I have made a few more pieces for the SpoolSpinners' gift to Beth. We'll see next Thursday if we are going to assemble this or just give her all the pieces.

As you can see on the right side of the photo, I double stitched the corner pieces and cut between the stitching lines. This is creating "extra" HSTs. You can see a pile of them in the middle. This gives me 56 "free" HSTs that will be 2" square, but it does mean a LOT of squaring-up! Something I can do during the NCAA basketball games with half an eye. Don't have a plan for these right now.

Looks like about 3-4" of snow haas fallen this afternoon--so I'm taking my tiredness to bed for a nap. Can't seem to shake this flu virus or whatever it is. I missed church last night and at noon today.


Monday, March 17, 2008

Birthday Presents!

My birthday is coming up this week, and I received a box of presents from my SpoolSpinner Secret Sister a few days early.

Everything was packed inside the purse-like tin with the handle; seven Fat Quarters of batiks! Plus there is a "Quilter's Pocket Map of Michigan, so I will be able to find Quilt Shops wherever I go. Better get that out and store it in the car.
Thank you, thank you to my Secret Sister!
Now--to think up a great design for seven FQs!


Made it through exercise without dizziness
Clean sheets on the bed
Rehearsal tonight really helped with one of our GRWC songs

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Losing a SpoolSpinner

One of our Bee members just announced she is moving far away in one month. So we quickly came up with an idea for a gift. We are each going to make some blocks in Bonnie Hunter's quilt "Smokey Mountain Stars".

Each square is 4.5", and the corners are from 2.5" squares. This is very easy sewing. Everyone is going to use medium to dark blue for the background, so the white and yellow stars should really show up well. I assume this will be very scrappy within the color choices. I hope we will collect enough at our meeting this month to make a reasonable size quilt in a short amount of time!



Lots of help planning the Paschal Meal

Gift of a Gratitude journal

Britton's War Requiem tonight

Thursday, March 13, 2008

No progress

I've been having some dizzy spells and nausea--some form of the flu, I suppose. But no work on quilting has gotten done.

Next week is Holy Week, so lots of church services.
Maybe I'll get something done in the interstices.


Saturday, March 8, 2008

Star quilting decision

I decided AGAINST the Square-in-a-Square plan for the Stars.

Some time in the night I remembered that I was concerned about the Stars not showing up as well as the Rings. Therefore, I have chosen to outline the Stars, one quarter inch inside the edges. I hope with the quilted square in the middle as well, this will be a contrast to the two circles on the Ring block, making the Stars more noticable.
Could work. . . .
Anyway, as usual once the decision is made, I can't see why it took me so long!

Of the three pieces the quilt is divided into, I have the Stars quilted on one--the smallest. Tonight we are having the annual Vestry party at our house, so no more work until after church tomorrow.


Levi, DS's dog, is a good guest
Got Flat Stanley mailed back to DGS
Charlie's night to cook dinner

Friday, March 7, 2008

More circles- coffee can size

I am adding more circles to my "Ring" blocks. As I looked at what I had finished, I decided that

If I could find the right sized circle, I wanted to add one that went approximately through the Accent fabrics that made the Ring. I grabbed a two pound coffee can from the kitchen, and it worked just the way I wanted it to!

This photo shows one of these larger circles iin the lower right, and also all my "special" tools: The pill bottle, the coffee can, and the "Chako Ace Fine Marker-Blue" pen. So far this pen does just what it should for me. . . .makes a clear line, and when I spray it with cold water, it disappears.

So now as I quilt those additional large circles, I am conjuring with ideas for more quilting on the Star block. Maybe a square just OUTSIDE the light triangles making a square-within-a-square? Whatever, it needs to be "similar" to the large circle in the other block!


digital cameras
moist, warm tropical room of the botanical garden
"Night of the Iguana" on TV this afternoon

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Circles AND Squares

Oops! Yesterday I should have included a photo that included BOTH circles and squares, so here it is.

Stitch-in-the-ditch separates each 3 inch finished square or block, and then I have put a circle or a square in each of the "plain" blocks. I think this is sufficient until I get the borders on, at which time I will have to conjure up a plan for them!


Exercise today: 45 minutes in the community pool


Footcare nurses

Pizza for lunch

Another surface cleaned

Monday, March 3, 2008

"Free" motion?

I decided that those pesky empty squares in the middle of each block needed to be filled with something.

Since I have been calling the not-star block the "Ring" block, I thought its circularity would be enhanced with a circle in the middle. I looked around the kitchen for a can or something the right size (not going out to the edges so as to be more visible), and came up with a pill bottle. I drew around it with one of those blue pens that have ink that disappears in water. Then I "free" motion quilted on the circles. Lots of stops and starts as the circles are far from each other.

I decided on a square for the middle of the Star blocks, but how to make a square square in "free" motion?

I decided to cut a recipe card to what looked like the right size square, and then try to follow around the edge of it. First I found that a regular glass headed pin was TOO long, and caught on the darning foot and messed everything up. So I found a short pin that had come in a recent new dress shirt for Charlie. That worked fine!

I sewed the card to the quilt a couple of times going around the corners, and some of the straight lines weren't very straight. But I got better as I went along.

Now I only have one quarter of the quilt left. Tomorrow I will layer that and pin it and stitch in the ditch, and do these circles and squares. Then sew the last pieces together. After that I'll think about borders.



Decisions about quilting finished

Coffee time with Ray and Dianne

My sweetie pie

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Three-fourths of the Carolina Crossroads

I finished the Stitch in the ditch on the third quarter of the quilt today. That's the triangle closest to the camera.

In the middle is the section that is made up of two parts, already quilted and then sewn together.

The triangle in the upper right is the duvet showing on our bed. That's where the last quarter of the quilt will be when I get that part quilted.

And here is a photo of the back, made up of three different plaids so far.
This is my first try at doing a quilt in sections like this, and I thought I might as well have the backing of each piece be different.


Harry Potter on TV
Leftovers for lunch and dinner--no cooking
Cleaned up a pile of paperwork!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Choral Workshop

Leaving home at 6:35 AM Lynne and I, as part of the Grand Rapids Women's Chorus, drove to Ann Arbor. We heard 7 other women's choruses sing two songs each. We heard the professional music director compliment and then tell each group what to improve on each song. She wanted a lot of them to stand further apart. She wanted better diction and vowels. She wanted notes held longer and stronger.
We broke for lunch. DDIL Lynne and I went to a famous Ann Arbor delicatessan.We came back to Hill Auditorium and listened to 4 more choruses, as above.

We went backstage and warmed-up. We got silly. We went on stage. We sang our two songs, one in Italian with piano, and one in Mohawk with drums. She said we were great, that we had the desirable low timbre that comes with maturity. She asked how long we had had our vests/dresses. She said we should stand further apart. She said we should start with a more firm attack at the beginning of each piece.

We drove home arriving at 6:15 PM.

The misrepresentation in the above is that we weren't all there (Photo lies.) In fact there were only THREE altos to 5 basses, 8 sopranos, and 9 tenors (my section). But we did (mostly) hit the right notes at the right time.


Exercise: Four 5 minute walks to and from the car.


Lynne's company


Good work and humor in the GRWC