Okay, so after I posted this, it told me that this is my 200th post. Woo hoo! Who would have thunk?
walking foot that is, spent some quality time together over the long Thanksgiving holiday. My head was still clogged and it eventually turned into an ear infection. I even spent part of my birthday in the urgent care clinic. No one in the house really wanted to spend too much time with sniffly me, so the upside was that I had a new book to listen to loaded up and I could sit and sew :) I had always liked this pattern that I had from Venus de Hilo. It was supposed to be a pillow, but I thought that it was the right size for placemats. You can make two placemat fronts from two fat quarters and stack and cut them together producing two complementary placemats. Here is one set..
Next up was the quilting…I really do want to learn to free motion quilt, but I don’t want to mess up something that I intend for a gift, so the walking foot it was! The red ones were backed with green and the green were backed with red and I bought a slightly goldish silk thread so that it would have a bit of a shine. Some echo quilting and I was on my way!
Oh, those darn threads! Some day I will remember to check for threads before I take the pictures. Last night I attached the binding to the front by machine. Today there is a DCMQG meeting at a library in DC and I do not want to drive and lug my machine, so I have the perfect little pile of hand sewing to do!
By next week these babies should be ready to wing their way to San Diego for holiday gifts. They don’t read my blog…so I am safe in posting…no sneaky peaks necessary. Are you working on any gifts?
A bit ago, as some of my current bee commitments were winding down, I pondered whether I wanted to be involved in another bee. There has been some frustrations with one and even almost some peripheral nastiness in another. Well, the opportunity arose and I found the perfect spot for me….a reasonable 2 block monthly commitment, pushing me to try new things. Plus, I get to send the blocks away and someone else puts them together :) and….wait for it…the finished quilt goes to a really good cause, near and dear to my heart – hospice. Well, really, the quilts are presented to hospice patients and then later to their families/loved ones. That is the heal part. Yes, I am now part of heal circle of do.Good Stitches. I finished my November blocks a week or so ago, and will get them into the mail by tomorrow. This month I was to make a block with an inspirational word…
As I write this on Thanksgiving morning, as the only one up in the house so far…I think of balance. We do not travel on Thanksgiving, a wise decision that I made decades ago. Anyone may come and visit I said, but we do not travel. New in our jobs that the time, vacation time was precious, and traveling in the tight Thanksgiving window took all of the joy out of it. Yesterday, as so many of the people around me were travelling or cooking, I was chill. I sewed – the ultimate of chillness.
So what is the balance that I am thinking about? In the big view it is the holiday itself. I know that some view this as a heartless holiday as the original Thanksgiving story we usually hear is at least partly fiction and leaves out that this was probably the beginning of oppression of the Native Americans. Can we balance this with the family-centered holiday that it has become? I love asking people what their family makes for Thanksgiving – the variety of food, some common denominators. While cleaning up our classroom earlier this week, I was chatting about this with a colleague who grew up in Iran. What did she make? Years ago I started by making the same dishes as my mother always had, but she did not have that same experience to draw from. It turns out it is very much the same…her kids lobbied for a very “traditional” set of dishes, diving into their new culture on Thanksgiving, yet keeping their heritage the rest of the year.
The other things that bombards us around Thanksgiving are ads. I have a tiny family, so purchasing holiday gifts is not a big chore. We were never the family that went overboard, and I often have made some of the gifts. This is another place where I want to see balance.
And then there is the issue of time. I discuss this a lot with my students and especially with their parents. As these children often have many gifts and all of them have many opportunities, how much is too much? I often need to ask the question, “Is your child doing too much?” I believe in working for balance of that sort in our daily lives – and often need to think about that for myself, and make thoughtful choices
Now I am rambling a bit, and every post really does need a picture…so here is a little something that I made recently while playing around with all of the selvages that I have been collecting. I made it when I was sick and did not want to risk working on something that I would be bothered if I messed up. It was fun to do, so I think that I will be making more of them…the selvage bin is pretty full!
So, how is the balance in your life? And, what is your Thanksgiving Day like? Traditional, a mix? Please share and comment what you are eating today.
Before I became injured, Katie and I signed up for the Run Under the Lights at the Holiday Lights at Seneca Creek Sate Park. I just LOVE holiday lights. I love the brightness and cheerfulness at the darkest part of the year. Around here there are walk-through lights at Brookside Gardens and at the zoo, but there was a drive through at Seneca Creek. We had driven through many times in years past so I jumped at the chance to run through it. They cap the entrants at less than 800 so it was a lower key race. KT ran and I walked (finally I am allowed to walk some distance…hopefully to run soon) taking pictures as I went along. I know that if I use the flash, you can see too much of the works of the lights, but if I don’t use the flash it is hard to get a good picture. Here are a few nonetheless….the Gaithersburg logo
The runners probably did not really appreciate the lights, but while walking I could enjoy them.
Although this one is terrifically out of focus, it almost looks like skiers with a spray of snow.
I particularly liked this peacock…
And here is one of my epic fails…I still think that it is pretty cool with its threads of light!
I started this post a few days ago…before I was totally brought down by the creeping crud. I made it through Monday at work, but have been home since. Drippy, no voice…I certainly did not want to share the joy. I did receive this lovely in the mail last week…from Michelle for the Mug Rug Revival Swap. The tea wallet even came with an assortment of tea!
While I making one of the last blocks for QAWII, I decided to make two fun blocks while I was chopping up the gnome fabric. Last week I sat down and sandwiched them with insulated batting and then backed them with a fun aqua snowflake fabric and did a little quilting.
Eventually they will get binding – not sure what though, red? – and become hot pads…maybe a gift? I need to be careful though…not everyone appreciates silliness the way that I do. Perhaps that is why I teach middle school!
All summer Linda and I worked on the sari quilt that I have affectionately dubbed the monster. The entire quilt top is made out of saris (I know, what a surprise!) and was sent to Sari-Bari for their yearly fundraiser. Why the monster? We said that we would make a queen sized quilt. Then we received the saris and realized that they would need backing. It grew and grew and…we needed to find large enough rooms to lay it out and work on it…you get the idea. In the past quilts were auctioned off on ebay. This year they selected some quilts that will be raffled off. This way someone who might not be able to afford to purchase a quilt can still participate in this worthy cause by purchasing a raffle ticket and perhaps win a sari quilt. So…here is my picture of the quiltand here is the picture they posted, all staged in a beautiful outside setting.So, if you want a chance to win a monster, hop on over to Sari-Bari and buy a ticket!