Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Scrap Quilt - Finished

This quilt was really done before Thanksgiving, but things got sort of busy just before the holiday with grocery shopping and getting my sewing room transformed into a guest room.  It was great to have the family home.  Things have just about returned to normal around here.  This picture looks alot like the one I posted of the top.
 I had a lot of spare binding from old projects and used that to bind the quilt.  It's quilted with a free motion loop pattern.  The back is made from white fleece so it's soft and cozy.  I want to use more fleece and flannel as backing this year.

So, the only things I bought for this project were the thread and the backing (which was a steal at $2/yard for 60 inch wide fabric).  It will live in my sewing room for now to use when I'm hand sewing or reading. 

This is probably my last project for the year.  It's time to think about Christmas activities and such.  But I've been thinking about which project to start next.  There are quite a few patterns that I'd like to try.  I'll just have to see where the adventure takes me.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Full House

It was a quiet Thanksgiving day here.  Only son #3 was here with us.  The rest will be arriving soon for our "official" family dinner on Saturday.  I remember all too well the stress of trying to cram visits to several sides of the family and work obligations into a few short days.  So we decided to postpone the holiday a few days to try to reduce the stress for everyone. And sewing has been put on hold while my room serves as sleeping quarters.

I'm looking forward to having the boys all around the table again.  We have a new table to fit the ever expanding family (3boys...err....men and their 3 partners).  I'm truly grateful for the privilege of being their mother and for the chance to see them grow into adulthood.  Sometimes we forget to appreciate the everyday.  I'm glad for the big accomplishments in their lives - the graduations, awards, plays, games, wedding - but also for the small things: their love of books, teaching them to swim, trips to the local diner for a hot dog, delivering newspapers, sleepovers and birthday cakes.

I'm thankful for the yesterdays, for the todays and for any tomorrows that come my way.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Flicker? (Not the bird)

There was a time that I considered myself pretty computer savvy.  That was about 15+ years ago.  We had just bought our first computer and I realized that no one in the family knew much about it.  Since I'm one of those people who likes to read the directions, I sat down with the instruction book (all in print and very extensive in those days) and learned how to operate and maintain our new family edition. But technology moves at lightning speed these days and I quickly fell behind.

Flash forward to today.  I can manage many aspects of the computer with ease, but I choose to ignore others because I just don't see the point.  And I learned early on that computer files are just one more cleaning chore - you need to declutter now and again or you have a mess - just like your sock drawer.  So, I can do some basic blogging although I still struggle with some of the finer points.  And I'm acquainted with Flicker, although until recently I didn't care to participate.  But, my desire to join a particular group required me to have an active Flicker account.  Hence, I took the plunge.  Call me dense, but I still don't quite get it, so any clarification is appreciated.  It appears that Flicker is sort of a place where you can have a visual blog with short discriptions and comments?  Or am I missing something?  So far I've uploaded some pictures but haven't gotten as far as adding comments or even really figuring out how to tell anyone how to find my Flicker page!  And, I've yet to use it to connect to the group that originally caught my attention. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Birds At My Sewing Room Feeder

My sewing room used to be located in a closet.  It was a big closet....but a small sewing room.  I didn't sew as much back then, but it was still quite a production to get things set up and put away.  But the family dynamics have changed with son #3 moving away to college and then grad school and coming home less and less.  So I slowly took over his room.  It's a large room over the garage.  It still houses a large bed so a good portion of the floor space is occupied.  But, I'm not complaining!  I have my desk, computer, file, sewing machine, cutting table and even a small TV and chair all in here.  There is a window at each end of the room.  Early on I decided to try to attract birds to the front window and was pretty successful.  Here's my latest set up (without birds since they're a bit camera shy):

(Please ignore the dirty windows!)   My usual customers are finches, blue jays and cardinals with an occasional dove.  But lately I've had quite an assortment of different birds!  Black capped chickadees, tufted titmouse, mockingbirds, all kinds of sparrows and even a woodpecker have visited!  I'm enjoying the assortment of birds (there are links to pictures of each one above) and would love for it to continue although I think many of them are passing through en route to warmer climates.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wizard of Oz Wallhanging and a Giveaway

This little project is just about finished.  It still needs a hanging sleeve, but here it is:
The inspiration for this came from here at Lilly's Quilts.  And the original pattern can be bought from a great online magazine called Fat Quarterly.  You can purchase this magazine by the issue or as a subscription.  The issue can be downloaded as a PDF file and then printed off in whole or part.  There are quite a few patterns in each issue and the per issue cost is $8.00.  Even though I knew I wasn't going to make the quilt as originally illustrated I wanted to read the directions for the filmstrip part and they were very helpful. The overall scale of the filmstrip is decreased to coordinate better with the smaller scale of the pictures.  It is quilted with clear thread to avoid competition with the patterns and pictures.

Being the Wizard of Oz fan that I am, I wanted to place the blocks in the order they occur in the movie.  The patterned pieces are meant to represent other parts.  For example:  The sepia tone piece is life on the farm, followed by the occurrence of Glenda the good witch with her magic wand, the distributed "wishes" are near the end and then the ruby slippers for transportation back to Kansas.

Now for the giveaway:  There is a giveaway at Lilly's Quilts for a Odd's and End's Layer Cake from Simply Solids.  You can enter four times and it's open worldwide.  Thanks, Lilly!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Pondering The Wizard of Oz

I'm working on a small Wizard of Oz wall hanging.  Even though it's a simple project, the progress has been quite slow.  Hopefully I will be able to finish it this week.  This has always been one of my favorite movies.  So, as I was sewing, I found (first major accomplishment) my VHS copy of the movie and figured out how to make the old VHS player work (second major accomplishment) so that I could watch it as I sewed.  I realized a few things:  I still love this movie.  I love the characters, the old special effects that were cutting edge in their time, the songs....everything.  Back in the old days, you couldn't just sit down and watch a movie whenever you wanted.  I didn't see The Wizard of Oz in the theater until I was in college.  My first introduction was on TV.  And since you couldn't record TV back then, you had to plan to be available whenever it was going to be aired.  It seemed like this movie was aired about once a year and my mother made sure I was aware of the show time.  Commercials were your only opportunity for food or bathroom breaks if you didn't want to miss part of the show - there was no rewind.  After several years my family got our first color TV (yes, I'm THAT old!).  And I was introduced to the color extravaganza of The Wizard of Oz.  I loved it even more.  I thought it was so clever of the director to start and end the movie in black and white making the magic of Oz even more breathtaking.  I do admit to being scared of the wicked witch and her flying monkeys in those days, though.  And they were uglier and scarier in color.

As I was viewing the movie recently I think I realized some of my attraction to the story.  I like Dorothy.  I think I related to her without being aware of it back then.  She grew up, as I did, surrounded by adults.  (I'm the youngest in my family by 11 years).  And there were times for Dorothy, as for me, when being "good" basically meant staying out of the adults way.  But Dorothy also has spunk and I admired that in her.  She was willing to speak her mind and stand up for the less able including her dog and her companions.  She was scared of the witch and even the wizard to an extent, but she didn't back down.  And, most of all, she came home.  She was frustrated with home at first, but she quickly realized that home and the people there were important.  In a way, she grew up and learned to value what was right in front of her.

After all, there's no place like home.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Book #7: The Time Keeper

I just finished reading The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom.

Like many of his other titles, the book was short, engaging and thought provoking.  I was perhaps a bit confused about this one.  I understand that he is trying to comment on the time focus of our culture, but I'm not sure that I absorbed the entire message that he is trying to convey.  Maybe I'm looking too deep.  Sometimes a story is just a story.  But that is seldom the case with this author.  Perhaps he is trying to say that our worries over time only exist because we have come to "count" time.  It makes me wish I was part of a book club just to discuss this one.

Small Blog Meet.

There is a small blog meet sponsored by Lilly's Quilts.  I thought I'd give it a try.  Here's the link:
                                                        Lily's Quilts
Hop on over and have a look.