Sunday, April 27, 2008
Something new for the sewing room--two new clamp-on adjustable arm lights from Dick Blick.
My ceiling lights are full-spectrum but are recessed behind panels. I've always needed task lighting too, and my ironing area has always been especially shadowy. This is the perfect and reasonably priced solution. And as long as I was buying one lamp, I ordered a second one for my work table.
Saturday was tied up with a volunteer appreciation luncheon at the library but I was determined to accomplish something today. I started quilting the Serendipity. So many triangles in the piecing--I had thought I'd do something I hadn't done in years: quilt some continuous curves. Started with this but decided it looked AWFUL.
And so I spent most of the afternoon ripping out the start I made. Few things are less fun than ripping out machine quilting. The ripping takes much longer than the sewing...
I just have no patience with free-handed quilting that needs hit the mark, like ditch quilting and continuous curve. And I sure don't have the patience take the time to mark for quilting. As if! Give me some nice freehand squiggles any day.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Look: a box of glorious African fabrics from the huge heart of Lil from Luxembourg.
Can you believe the generosity of Internet friends? A couple weeks ago, I posted this photo of my sewing room on Flickr.
Lil of Addicted (AKA fissiett) commented on the African fabrics and asked me if I needed any more. She said she had piles and piles of them, purchased in Paris in 7 yard cuts.
Of course I need more. *grin*
And so the box arrived today--five days from Luxembourg to Wisconsin BTW--and I am just beyond excited. This is the sort of thing that just sends me around the bend.
So much fun--some of the motifs are like nothing in the world:
I think this one is my favorite of the whole bunch:
I also think an African fabric quilt has suddenly moved to the head of the queue.
Friday, April 18, 2008
Ever since I saw this, I knew I HAD to have a pair.
I had heard about long backorders on these shoes, but mine arrived in good order. Camilla Engman anything is just beyond cool. And it's finally spring-y enough here to wear something this lighthearted.
The main character is a young girl named Stephen growing up in an era when she doesn't know "what she is" and everyone around her only knows she's different and "mannish" and odd. In the early twentieth century, exploring one's identity as a gay person meant a nearly impossibly rocky road to happiness and fulfillment. You just know that a sad life is ahead for young Stephen...
Fortunately things are somewhat better now.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
When I was a kid, we used to do the occasional shopping trip to Toronto and my mother and I would linger and drool in the china departments in Simpson's and Eaton's. So I started young with this stuff. Antique malls and shops are very dangerous places for me. There are at least ten china patterns I'm watching for at any given time. If the china is blue and white, it's doubly dangerous for me.
And someday I will find that bargain-priced full set of vintage Fiestaware...
Here, a couple shots from my china closet. This first is Noritake Azalea.
This set belonged to my maternal grandmother. The story is that many of the pieces were premiums from the Larkin Soap Company. That might explain why there are lots of exotic pieces like condiment sets, butter tubs, celery dishes, and five sets of salts and peppers. But there are exactly NO dinner plates! So these don't see much use. But soooo pretty.
This is Gay Day by Wood and Sons:
These were my mother in law's wedding dishes. I have loved, loved, loved these since the first time I saw them. Now they're mine--the default "good" dishes in this house. It's a service for twelve with serving dishes, tea pot, and all the extra goodies.
Blue and white--just makes my heart sing.
What REALLY makes my heart sing these days is the coming of spring. It's slow, for sure, and we have our minor setbacks. But look: here are the peonies peeking through what we hope is the last snow we'll see this spring..
Hard to believe June is just a few weeks away. Bring it on!
Gratuitous Lucy shot; very Westie:
P.S. Forgot to add that my latest weigh-in at WW was down a bit better than 3 pounds (hadn't been able to go in 3 weeks). I'm knocking at the door of a big milestone. Feeling good, and wearing the skinny pants once again. Yay!
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Being really intrigued when a copy of Strips that Sizzle fell into my hands, I planned my own sizzly quilt for a couple years before ever cutting into fabric. And what could be more electric than color wheel opposites like turquoise and orange?
Still, when the blocks were done, I wasn't as pleased as I might have been. The success of Strips that Sizzle quilts hinges on value choices and value grading choices aren't always easy for me. So the blocks were put away.
When I went looking for the blocks later on, I couldn't find them. Anyone visiting my sewing room wouldn't be surprised. Some interesting Freudian implications, perhaps?? No, just general CHAOS.
Eventually the blocks surfaced. I planned a layout, but needed to fill in some gaps.
This week the blocks got made and the top assembled. Yay--another UFO is together in one piece!
Now the decision--to border or not to border?
Instead of making that decision, I'm re-organizing my under-the-stairs sewing storage area. Good lord, I've got one HELL of a lot of fabric. *grin*
It's fun seeing green, blooming spring around on the blogs and on Flickr. Here in Wisconsin, this is what mid-April looks like. Last vestiges (we hope) of snow:
Sunday, April 06, 2008
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
Wanted to share some favorite pics from our local quilt show this past weekend. Ah yes, quilt p0rn!! I always love seeing what quilters everywhere are up to. Hope all of you feel the same. I have some detail shots, but not enough.
This first one is the best feedsack-type quilt I've ever seen, hands-down. It made me want to go shopping for thirties-type fabrics and few things have ever made me feel that way before.
This was a favorite with all my friends and with me too. VERY fun:
This next quilt was made by Carol Butzke, one of the judges of the show. Pretty much sublime:
The math involved in this one makes the head swim but I love it:
This quilter, Susan Wojciechowski of Milwaukee, had several quilts in the show. I'm a big fan. A TOTAL wow:
More black and white and color (which was the show theme):
This next one, tapping into an admirable collection of African fabrics, had amazing quilting that followed the pattern in the background fabric. Sorry I don't have a detail shot.
OK. Now for quilts by my buddies. This is Sue's well-deserved blue ribbon quilt:
Renee's Cabin Tracks. She miscounted and made twice the blocks needed for this quilt, and that's one heck of a lot of sewing. So, she made two of these:
Sweet Heart applique:
Renee. If she only had a blog...
Happy April 1 to all!