Thursday, September 27, 2007


Ok, just a warning here. This post is a bit of shameless self-promotion. Yet again. So, bear with me. A few weeks ago I got an e-mail from the folks over at the Sew Mama Sew blog asking if they could post a link to my t-shirt dress tutorial on their site for their Kid's Clothes Month. After running around the house giggling and chortling (I think my husband thought I was absolutely insane -- even after I explained why I was acting that way) I e-mailed back and said YES! The link went up yesterday in the "girls clothing" tutorial section (more giggling and skipping around the house -- this time my husband didn't even ask) and you can find it here (including some nonsense blurb I wrote about myself -- um, I really need to work on that whole talking about me thing). Check it out -- there are some great tutorials for children's clothing out there, including one for making a toddler's skirt out of charm squares...oooh, think I may have to check that one out! (and the one about making dresses out of pillowcases, and the twirly skirts, get the drift!)

Oh, and if you found my site through the Sew Mama Sew blog -- please, leave a comment, say hi, etc. I don't bite -- really!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Been Busy

But instead of the cleaning (which, there is even more of than I thought. Does it NEVER end? There are advantages to living with a husband who just doesn't see the dirt -- but when it comes time to clean it, um, never mind...), I've actually managed to get some sewing done!!! Woooo Hoooo!

I'm still in Finish What You Have mode here -- I'm really liking the phrasing on this one. I may even borrow another phrase I saw in blogland over the summer soon -- Use What You Have (sounds so much better than "Fabric Diet"). So, no new projects to share, but progress on others -- oh yes.

First up is the t-shirt "dress" I made for my daughter a while back. (OMG -- I just looked at the date on that -- was it really over a month ago??? I have GOT to stop leaving projects 1/2 done -- especially ones that have the potential to be grown out of!!!! It's one thing for a quilt to take 6 months or more to finish, but a child's SHIRT?!?!) I finally got around to putting on the yoyo's I wanted to add. I'm still not sure about these -- not sure what is bugging me. The colors I chose, how many? I don't know. I could add more yoyo's -- super easy to make using those yo yo makers.

Taking any away may be a problem though. 'Cause, I'm not guaranteeing it or anything but I'm pretty sure I used applique to attach these things. Now, the thing is -- applique is NOT my thing. (at least, not yet -- I may be chaging my mind about avoiding it at all costs though) Applique is one of those scary quilting terms and skills I've managed to avoid quite nicely for the past six years. But, I think I may have done some. By hand. And I don't hate it. So, no, these yo yo's are NOT coming out.

Aside from the whole I finally did some applique thing -- these are also attached to t-shirt material! Do you know the pain involved in trying to remove them?? I don't THINK so. So, add some -- I can. Depends on other opinions -- what do you think? But for right now, I'm going to consider it DONE. DD can wear it tomorrow for its first test round of spills, paints, and other gunk to get spilled on.

My other progress has been with the %#@*&*#*& challenge of bias binding. Some of you may recall that I managed to screw up make a mistake while I was making my bias binding for 'Cause I Can't Crochet. I finally got up my courage and tried it again. This time, paying attention to what I was doing. (and thanks to dh for volunteering to do the grocery shopping with toddler in tow when I said "I NEED to sew today" -- he may not see dirt, but, well -- there are many other reasons I love him) So, binding done -- and on the bias this time. Quilt trimmed. Binding attached. Now all I have to do is sit and do the handsewing. (what IS it with all this hand work?) Luckily -- it's premier week for all the new fall network shows. I can sit, I can sew, I can watch TV -- sounds like a plan to me!

So, off to do some more cleaning, some more sewing, if I'm lucky I will get to the post office today to send off some goodies -- I need another me!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

You like me, you really like me...

I kind of feel like Sally Field here. I've recently been nominated for a couple of blogger awards, and I'm still kind of blushing. Both because of the awards -- and well, 'cause I remembered another award I had been named for and I had, well, forgotten to do anything about it. This is not because I wasn't honored -- but, well, I really am blushing here folks (blotchy red cheeks and everything). I just don't think about myself that way, this is a good thing and a bad thing (makes job interviews a bit of a problem in fact -- there's self-effacing and then there's just not being willing to say ANYTHING good about yourself. A recent job interview where they asked that since teachers are superheroes how do I fit in? Um -- a hero? ME? I teach English and history and politics -- heroic? Overweight, mostly sarcastic, sometimes absolutely absentminded ME? Needless to say -- I didn't get the job.) So, for me, these things kind of make me look over my shoulder and wonder if they're really talking about -- well, me. But, I've been assured they have so, in no order of preference and/or time given --

Karyn over at Trail Mix nominated me for the Nice Matters Award. Thanks so much! I'm going to have to remember this the next time I have to read my course evaluations from a group of college freshmen (or any students for that matter) telling me what an awful, mean, horrible person I am. And yep, to them I guess I am. I make them do homework. I make them read, and think, and write. Awful, I know. They somehow never believe me when I tell them I'm really a very nice person -- and see -- now I have someone else's opinion to back me up!

And Linda over at All Stitched Up nominated me for a You Make Me Smile Award. Wow. Ok, given some of the complaining I've done lately -- to know that I make someone smile? That is way cool. And from someone who makes ME smile? Even better!

There's a little blurb that goes with this one:

From the author of the award:
The thing that I love most about blogging is that I learn so much about a person just by reading his/her blog. I have met MANY wonderful people with wonderful stories to tell and I am grateful every day for each person whom I have the pleasure of crossing paths in life with. I wanted to create something special for the top ten people who have inspired me through their blogging; the stories they tell, and the lives that they lead with grace and dignity. I visit their blogs for inspiration and encouragement.

Hold on, there's still one more that I need to take care of --

Samantha over at Mad Fabri-Holic nominated me for a Rockin' Girl Blogger Award. Again -- need to remember this for when I read student comments -- then again, not sure they think anyone over the age of 24 CAN rock. *Sigh* I am remembering at least one memorable student essay that explained to me that the Beatles had invented Rock-n-Roll. Hey, it could have been worse -- she could have said the Stones.... Oh yeah, and the other one who claimed proudly the only good thing to come out of the '80's was her generation...anyhooo....moving right along...

So, the deal with all of these awards is that I now have to nominate others who I feel deserve them. 10 for the Nice Matters, 10 for You Make Me Smile, and 5 for Rockin' Girl Blogger. Last time I checked the math (and I really don't LIKE math all that much despite evidence to the contrary) that's 25 bloggers (with no repeats 'cuase I'm like that) -- and I have to match the award to the blogger -- eeeek (I've been having a hard enough time matching fabrics to the winners of my 50th post give-away. I think I've finally done it, but man, it wasn't easy!). Then there's the whole -- well, if I think they're nice does that mean they don't make me smile? Um, no -- they probably do. And if you're nice, does that mean you don't rock? Hardly. And then there's the 25 people limitation (limitation??!!??). I read a lot of blogs. I think it's somewhere over 150 or so at this point and I keep on finding new ones to look at (and some I haven't visited in awhile that I WANT to get back to). And I usually find something to smile about, something that rocks and as of yet, I haven't found a single craft blogger I've come in contact with who ISN'T nice. So, instead of making myself (and all of you) crazy about this whole thing -- I'm just going to give a list (in no particular order) of 25 blogs I get to on a regular basis. With only one or two exceptions (sorry for the inside jokes folks) they could be nominated for ANY of these awards. Check them out -- give them a read -- say hi from me if you don't read them already. If you want and your blog is mentioned -- take a badge, any badge, or all of them and pass on the love.

Kristin La Flamme -- great art, fun crafts, beautiful kids, you ROCK (and yep, that is a hint)

Lazy Gal Quilting -- um, need I say more? Tonya's work is fantastic.

J's Quilting Blog -- fun quilts, great projects, and lovely woman.
Quilts and Pieces -- a fellow Illinoisian (is that actually the word -- egad!) and fantastic quilter

Thee Handworks -- beautiful photos and thoughts

Quilted Cactus/Quilting Fitzy -- lots of fun here, life, quilts, etc.

Applique 'n Patch Quilting -- serious inspiration for me to try some handwork -- and some great encouragement as well.
The Wooden Spool -- kids, crafts, and great colors.

From the Strawberry Patch -- great quilts, and an even better attitude about life

Kate's Quilting (& Other Fibre Arts) -- prolific -- makes me feel like a total slacker, but in a good way.

Abyquilt -- serious inspiration for handwork and other goodies here

Kim's Big Quilting Adventure -- musings on life, quilts, etc. Warning you may not want to be drinking anything when you read some of her posts!

LA Quilter -- if you thought *I* bought a lot of fabric...I'm an amateur! But I can't help but drooling over the purchases!

Tracey ~ ozcountryquiltingmum -- quilts, kids, chooks, lambs, chooks ... nice, makes me smile and she rocks...'nuf said.

Tazzie Quilts -- beautiful quilts, applique, socks...just beautiful.

Quilting Journey -- reflections on life, art, quilts, random bits as well -- always a fun read

Allie's in Stitches -- crazy quilts, embellishments and some "sane" quilting as she calls it!

Pieces from my scrapbag -- ok, what more can I say but -- well, it's Finn. Warm, inviting, thought provoking, all around, a cozy corner of the internet to pull up a chair and sit awhile.

Covered Porches and Wooden Screen Doors -- life in the UP of Michigan, oh, yeah, and quilts!

Taniwa -- life and quilting in Japan -- wonderful posts and quilts!

The Calico Cat -- fun quilts, and fabrics -- if there is a cat fabric out there, she's got some!

Fluffy Flowers -- funky little fabric critters from recycled materials. Way cool.

Stashmaster -- a quilter and fabric collector who also works in a quilt shop. Oh my!

From the Magpie's Nest -- lots of great quilts and fabric projects here!

Un Arc En Ciel Dans Le Lavabo -- mostly in French, sometimes in English as well -- lovely projects and photos of a crafter.

And here's the thing -- this is only the tip of the iceberg of the blogs I read on a regular/weekly type basis. I haven't even mentioned the blogs of some of my favorite fabric/quilt/crafting designers, let alone some of my other favorite reads. I think I'm addicted. But, um, if I'm going to create a list of all the folks I think should be nominated, I might as well create something on my sidebar of favorite links or something. Maybe I will do that -- a rotating list? Could be...hmmmn....

So, if you read and comment to my blog and you're not mentioned above -- consider yourself nominated as well. If I comment on your blog -- ditto. Grab a badge and go forth! I've got blogs I need to catch up on reading :0).

Monday, September 17, 2007

Go Fly a Kite...

So I haven't been posting a whole lot of my own quilt/craft work lately. That's partly because not much has been going on here. For some reason I've been in a bit of a "slump". Part of it has been the general clean-up going on at casa de cornfields, but part of it has been that there have been other distractions. Like apple picking, and this weekend, a kite festival.

There were all sorts of kites and flying banners. There were giant windsocks floating in the air attached to kites in the shape of just about any animal you could imagine. The sky was full of dragons, teddy bears, colorful fish and of course, giant gecko lizards. (which for some reason my dd was very concerned would be coming towards us -- she got over the concern eventually -- but it was kind of funny) Not to mention all sorts of fun geometric shapes and not just your traditional kite shaped kite.

There were demonstrations by "professional" kite fliers -- who made stunt kites zoom in time to music and made me wonder how often you have to practice to have that kind of control. And, of course, what would a festival be without vendors selling -- you guessed it, kites. So dd now has her very own first kite. A far cry from the plastic ones I used to get every spring and that
Dad and I would take out to the local school yard. But, oh, just as much fun to fly. (and no spokes in this one to worry about breaking -- which usually happened to my kites on the first or second day I used them!)

And a little girl who had fun holding the string and flying her own kite. (ok, so Nana was really doing the flying here -- but SHE doesn't know it -- and she was so darned proud of herself!) Yep, it's worth not getting much done in the sewing department to have memories like these...

BUT -- I've been going into sewing machine withdrawals lately. Soooo...I did manage to get back to my machine late last night. And unlike other times when I've had one of these slumps, I did not start a new project to jump start my work. Instead, I decided to accept the challenge issued over at turkey feathers to Finish What You Have. I've got at least 3 or 4 projects in progress that need some work -- and a few more that are barely in progress and need to get finished. It sounded like a good way to extend my deep cleaning into my sewing area and make room for all of those projects I keep buying fabric for!

Enter today's FWYH entry. It is a pair of cutie patootie pj's for dd. I used the puppy fabric I bought with Mom a month ago for the pants along with this pattern. And an adorable puppy design by Anna Maria Horner for the t-shirt. I started these before I began my cleaning spree and they've been sitting abandoned set aside waiting for me to finish them up. Since it took less than an hour to finish them I have no idea why I let them sit so long.

I will admit that I cheated a bit with the puppy on the t-shirt. Anna Maria's pattern and instructions (available as a free download here) call for sewing down the applique after preparing it. Um, well, since I reduced it to 30% of actual size to fit on the t-shirt AND I was working with an existing t-shirt (amazing what a little applique will cover up -- some paint/gunk from daycare that just would NOT come out in the wash is now irrelevant!) -- I made the design into an iron-on applique by using some fusible interfacing. It worked pretty well -- but, I think next time I will use a heavier weight interfacing -- I just used what I had which was very lightweight. Nothing a little bit of fabric glue didn't fix at the extremities -- but still.

And just because I can -- one final picture of the back of these pants. I LOVE the little pockets on the tush -- don't know why, but I do. I can't wait to see dd in these -- but I thought that waking her up in the middle of the night to change her pj's was a bit much. Even to satisfy my crafty glee. There's always tonight!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Service please...

Ok, so it should be no surprise to anyone who has read my blog for long that I love to go shopping for quilt fabric. Really. I do. And it's not just fabrics. Oh no. I love patterns too. And gadgets and notions. Oh, and fabrics. Have I mentioned I love fabrics? Yeah. Given my addiction to quilt shops and their wares, you would think there isn't a quilt shop I don't love or at least appreciate. Well -- I finally found one that on the surface I should be absolutely crazy about, but I'm not.

Now, don't get me wrong. Not every quilt shop is for every quilter. They all have personalities. Some specialize in civil war repros. Others in modern quilt fabrics. Still others in brights and novelties. No shop can carry EVERYTHING, and they shouldn't have to. That's the beauty of this whole quilting thing -- different fabrics for every type of quilter. I accept and embrace that notion. I have been in some shops where I'm not going to find a lot simply because those particular fabrics don't sing to me -- they don't shout at me "Come play with me" or "I want you to take me home". That's cool. Even in shops where I'm not in love with the fabrics I usually find SOMETHING -- a notion, a poor, lonely little orphaned fat quarter that doesn't really belong, thread, needles, SOMETHING. At the very least, I usually find someone willing to chat with, a friendly smile and a hail fellow well met to another quilter -- even if we have very different styles.

And in some shops, you just go WOW -- like a kid in a candy store. The personalities of the fabrics just mesh with your own. All of your favorite designers in one place. Fabrics and colors that sing to you so loudly you almost need earplugs just so you can concentrate on what you want to buy first. You know -- the shop where if money was no object you would take at least a yard off of almost every single bolt. And some of them, you'd take a bolt.

Most shops are a combination of the two extremes. A section or two (ok, or three or four) you love. Some fabrics that you don't -- but that's cool, someone else will. Patterns and ideas -- some you like, some you don't. But usually, usually someone who is friendly and willing to chat. A fellow quilter. And as most of you know, quilters are some of the BEST people!

So why am I waxing poetic about the types of quilt shops and their personalities? Well, I was feeling the need for some fabric therapy the other day. In the midst of my cleaning spree I ran across some old memories that had me feeling a bit blue. They weren't awful -- just the sorts of things that can make you nostalgic and a bit sad. Ones that remind you of losses you would rather not have -- and that you can't do a darned thing about it. I decided it was much to beautiful a day to be in that kind of funk (that is best of rainy cold days when you can have a fit of the blues, NOT for days when the sun is shining in a beautiful blue fall sky and the weather is behaving for a change). Perfect antidote? A drive in the country with the end destination a new to me quilt shop.

As an added bonus, the shop in question had an ad in my newest guild newsletter -- and it prominently mentioned that they carried the new Joel Dewberry line and, more importantly to me, the luscious Chocolate Lollipop fabrics by Anna Maria Horner. (These fabrics are simply delicious folks -- fun, bright, with a twist of serious sophistication -- if you want to see some lovely examples check out Anna Maria's blog -- actually, if you want to be wowed by a seriously talented designer who is also a fantastic Mom -- check out her blog. How she does it all I do NOT know) I've been wanting some of these fabrics for ages -- but, well, I wanted to see them in person. I know, I can order them on the internet - but, well, I like feeling the fabrics and seeing them in person. I also like buying from local small quilt shop owners when possible. I know I can get things less expensively online -- but, well, I like HAVING local small quilt shops around, so -- that means spending money there! So, bonus -- a localish (most shops are at least a 30 minute plus drive for me) that is carrying fabrics that NO ONE else in the area is carrying. WOOO HOOO!!!!

My excitement lasted until I actually got to the shop. I walked up to the only obvious door from the side parking lot and the woman who was loading fabrics into a truck treated me to a weird reception. I was friendly and asked if this was the entrance -- obviously I've never been there before -- and was told that it was the BACK entrance, but I could go in if I wanted to. Um, yeah, that's why I'm here! But, ok, busy lady -- looked like she was getting ready to go vend at a quilt show (and since there's a major show in Madison, WI this weekend -- not too surprising). She actually had to unlock the door to let me in -- which is lovely since it was marked as the handicapped entrance, but, well --

Anyway, one of the first things I did was say I had heard about them from my guild newsletter and I came out specifically for the Chocolate Lollipop fabrics. Turns out she had just put all of them in the truck. Great. Ok, I can come back. It's not that far from my house (35 minute drive or so). And then I was told they would be back on Tuesday -- if they didn't sell out at the show. Um, ok, gee -- thanks. Now, did I expect her to unload the fabrics she was packing for the show so I could buy some? No. Not really. Though, I did think I could have been asked if I knew what I wanted (I did) and if so maybe I could get the 1 or 2 (ok, this is me 3 or 4) fabrics I wanted. I probably would have said not to bother -- but still. I did have the other person working there point out that there was a FQ bundle there in the shop (just about the ONLY Chocolate Lollipop left there btw). The problem being the ideas I have for the fabrics all involve at least 1/2 a yard of fabric if not more. FQs aren't going to cut it.

Ok, not a problem. This is a quilt shop after all. Even if I can't get my chocolate fix -- there ARE other fabrics after all. And let me tell you -- this shop has some lovely fabrics. Shelves full of Kaffe Fassetts. Really. Current prints, some older ones, stripes, shot cottons, etc. More Kaffes than I've seen in a single place outside of a major quilt show. Full lines of most of their fabrics. And, the Joel Dewbery fabrics. I should have been in heaven! But, well, after showing me where the Aviary fabrics were -- the sales person spent her time, um, following me around the store. Now, you've seen photos of me (well, kind of) -- do I LOOK like I'm a thief? But every time I reached out to pick up a pattern she was staring at me and using body language that indicated I wasn't supposed to DO THAT. A notion, same thing. And she made sure I could see her watching me as I was walking through the bolts of fabric (come on -- they sure as heck aren't going to fit in my purse. I carry a really small purse too.). Now, I suppose it could have been meant as being friendly -- but, um, I'm really not too sure of that. For it to be friendly -- a conversation would have been nice. Chit chat. Ask about quilting? Um, I am in a quilt shop after all. I did mention that I belong to a guild. Nope -- just staring at me and making me feel like picking up a pattern to examine it was a crime. It gave me the heebie jeebies. As a matter of fact, despite the fact that there were beautiful fabrics that I really would LOVE to play with there, the entire store gave me the heebie jeebies. (and we won't even mention the prices -- not just full price, but full urban center pricing which for the area where this shop is located? Um, let's just say it's high. I know fabric prices have gone up -- but, ya know, there is such a thing as being priced out of your market)

Does this mean I didn't buy anything? Oh, yeah, right. Like that's gonna happen. I did get a couple of things. Some of the Joel Dewberry Aviary fabrics, I think these are going to be a bag of some sort -- not sure what kind yet.

And I did get some Kaffe shot cottons -- these I think are destined to go into a little Halloween wall hanging. Though, I need to find some purple to go with them. Maybe something with a pattern as well, but I love the way these feel.

And just so I didn't feel totally chocolate deprived, I got the only piece of Chocolate Lollipop in the store other than the $60.00 FQ bundle (um, I really wasn't planning on spending that much folks -- the other reason the bundle didn't come home with me). It is an off cut fat eighth. Which means it isn't even a full fat eighth. But darn it, I got some of the fabric I went for! Not enough to do much with it -- but some.

I will say the sales person (not sure of what else to call her) did warm up a bit towards the end and help me find this little fat eighth and chat while cutting -- but still didn't make me feel much better after being watched so intensely while I was shopping.

And to get the bad taste from the shop out of my mouth (so to speak) -- I headed off to one of my favorite quilt shops in that area. Their selection of "modern" fabrics is pretty much one or two lines -- and then mostly brights/novelties. They have a great selection of batiks and flannels for kids (adults too for that matter). They have a wall 'o plaids for those of you who love 'em. No Amy Butler. No Joel Dewberry. No Anna Maria Horner. No Heather Bailey. No Kaffe Fassett -- and that's ok. Because what they do have, is the service that was missing in the other shop (and no, I'm not going to name that one).

It's not really fair to compare my reception at the two shops. I've been going to my fav for years now. When I walked in the door I was greeted with "Hi Angela!" by both owners (who were also getting ready to vend at the Madison Quilt Expo btw). Followed quickly by "Where's ------ (insert dd's name)?" I chatted with Stephanie (one of the owners) about her youngest daughter (who is adorable and was running around the shop "helping" Mom -- and is all of a month younger than my own dd) and mine and about quilting in general. She helped me look for a thimble for my newly developed interest in handwork (darn you Tonya and Rose Marie and all of you other talented hand quilters, embroiderers, and appliquers out there). When I mentioned I wanted a color of a line they are carrying but they didn't have -- she took down my name and said she'd call when the bolt came into the store. This even though I told her what I wanted it for -- and I'm only going to buy a yard or two (and since she is ordering it for me -- I'll probably buy more than I need). Nope -- they may not have all of the "cutting edge" fabrics -- but what they do have, is good, friendly service. The kind you come back for. The kind you drive for 40 minutes for even with the price of gas going up again. The kind you look for in a quilt shop -- or at least I do.

And of course, I didn't walk out empty handed. Some lovely denim blue solid -- it may be a skirt. It may be a project I'm thinking of -- but haven't decided on yet. Some may get combined with the Kaffe shots for that Halloween quilt. And a cutie pie pattern for a jacket for dd -- who is crazy for jackets, shoes and hats. My little accessory queen. Did I NEED either of these purchases? Nope -- but that's ok, I did need to buy locally (sort of) and feel good about it. I'll be going back there -- again and again. Even if I can get fabrics I want for less online -- if they carry it, I'll buy it from them. Because service is important. And so is supporting the local quilt shop owners who go the extra mile.

As for the Chocolate Lollipop fabrics I want, and that other shop. Well -- hmmn, the cost of gas to drive 30 minutes there and 30 minutes back -- well, that's just about the cost of shipping if not MORE than the cost of shipping. Z&S -- here I come. Less expensive, less of a hassle, and no heebie jeebies!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Fall Fun

Ok, I have to admit it. Summer is over. Kids are back in school. Leaves are turning color. The weather is finally out of the 90's and getting cooler (though, it's not a guarantee that we won't have more really hot days -- just that it's not a guarantee they WILL be hot). I still say I want more summer -- but, I do eventually bow to the inevitable (not always graciously, and sometimes kicking and screaming in a tempter tantrum, but I do it EVENTUALLY). It's fall. And for some reason, fall is inspiring me to clean up my house and get organized for winter in a way spring just didn't. So, no new quilty goodness to report here -- I've been too busy playing with the dust bunnies and trying to figure out what stuff I REALLY need versus the stuff that is just hanging out in my house. *sigh* Anyone know where I can rent a backhoe? (for the stuff that's just hanging out that is)

I'm hoping to get to some sewing today -- I'm getting itchy and I have a few things I NEED to get done, but I did take some time off this weekend. Bowing to the inevitable change of seasons doesn't seem so bad when it involves a perfect fall day -- with a hint of summer still in the air.

And since it's time for harvest -- why not go out to a local orchard where you can pick your own apples? Sounds like a great way to spend a morning to me.

We have several local orchards in the area, though my favorite has really been expanding with all sorts of things to do for the kids besides just walking through the trees. (no, we didn't do it -- but, I just loved the sign!)

Frankly with all of these beauties around, it was hard to think of anything but all of the pies, snacks, and some sauce in the making.

And, of course, where would I be without my best little helper? Though, she did need some help from "Papa" to reach the best of the apples on this tree.

She, of course, being the independent little thing she is ("NO Mamma, I do dat!") -- she found some that she could reach on her own! (after repeated explanations about not picking the ones that are already on the ground, ickies!)

And then, after all the hard work (and I have to admit, before we were carried away by all the darned mosquitoes -- all that rain we had means the apples are NOT the only bumper crop -- the darned things are getting to be the size of small birds and they are VICIOUS), a snack to refuel. Apple donuts and cider slushies -- yummy!

A wonderful day in the sun (even with all of the blood donated to the local insect population) and a reminder that, indeed, as much as I love summer, I love fall too. I may be going kicking and screaming this year -- but, the crisp air at night, the bright skies during the day (MOST days -- today, not so much), and the bounty of the harvest -- what's not to love? Mmnnn...I guess I can stop my fit about summer ending and embrace the season that's here -- and maybe in all of my cleaning, I can dig out my Halloween decorations!!!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


Ok, humility is a quality I don't really have a problem with. I have very little of it, so, not a problem :0). Nope, the humility I'm talking about deals with the notion of the "humility" block. You know -- the block that is "not right" in a quilt that is supposed to show that the quilt maker is not perfect? (only Diety is perfect, etc. -- pick the name most appropriate to the way you worship) Um, yeah, that block. The one that is supposed to be "intentional". Ahem. Both Lisa and Nicole posted about a block like that recently and my only comment was -- who needs a humility BLOCK?!? I've got a humility QUILT.

Really. An entire humility quilt. In fact, the first one I ever made (at least the one I think of as the first quilt). I've commented to others (and maybe here -- I can't remember) that my first quilt is safely in my mother's protective custody where all first attempts at crafts belong. You know, the loving place where all is forgiven thanks to a mother's loving eyes (despite the fact that the same mother will mercilessly frog any knitting that doesn't pass muster and/or tell/encourage you to do it -- Hi MOM!). There were no pictures of my pathetic little quilt. This is a good thing. Then I had to help Mom buy a digital camera. Hmnn...yeah, well, there goes the no pictures thing.

So here it is, my first quilt. Not too bad in this shot. I mean, from six feet away on a galloping horse nothing wrong with it. It's bright, it's cheerful. The problem is when you get off that darned horse.

'Cause it's then that you notice a few things that MIGHT be "off" with this lovely. Such as, oh, I don't know -- um, those bear paws might want to have, um, POINTS?!?

Yeah, points would be nice -- though frankly, the points are easier to forgive than the mismatched seams. You mean, those seams were supposed to MEET?!? Welcome to the wonderful world of, yes, 1/4" seam allowances are MANDATORY -- not a suggestion. And yes, even if you think of them as a suggestion -- you really need to at least CONSISTENTLY screw them up adjust them.

Mom was kind of amazed when she took these photos for me to share -- she said she hadn't remembered it as being that bad (there's that Mom eyesight thing -- thank goodness for it) but that I have improved quite a bit. Um, yep. And that's the lovely thing -- after 6 years and who knows how many projects. I have gotten better. Much better. Good enough that I have a quilt hanging in a quilt shop as a sample. And my corners even match and everything. But the thing that hasn't changed is that I'm still having fun with it -- that this whole quilting thing has been a blast and a half, mismatched seams, pointless points and all.

And just so I don't get too cocky about my little shop sample -- um, while I may no longer make entire humility quilts -- I did just make a humility binding. (grumble, grumble) Instead of that lovely bias binding I mentioned -- I ended up making a continuous straight grain binding (or is it cross grain -- at this point, not sure it matters). In my own defense -- I probably shouldn't have been working on it at 1am after a particularly difficult night with my suddenly not wanting to go to bed 2 year old. (that's my story and I'm sticking to it -- had NOTHING to do with me just making a mistake)

So, another trip to the quilt shop (darn) and another yard of fabric. And maybe THIS week -- I'll get the binding made that I want! That is IF I can get my life back on track -- after two trips to the dentist (and the sore jaw both visits -- first from the hygienist, then from the cavity filling), new carpet installed in the computer room (and cleaning out the closet in that room because, hey, it all has to be put away anyway -- might as well do a deep clean), and a house that is screaming at me to CLEAN it and declutter it so I can find my sewing space again! (and this little rant paragraph is my way of saying -- sorry I haven' t been posting or commenting much, life has been keeping me from the computer) So -- back to the closet clean out and trying to get my life back together!