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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Another week

It's been really cold here, with periods of sunshine. We are still way below the amount of rainfall that we need. It is supposed to rain a little bit tonight and tomorrow, but I don't think it will be enough to matter much. I am getting a bit weary of the cold, but that is winter in the Midwest!
Not much new here this week. I've worked a little bit, played a little bit and sewn a little bit. We also have a visitor here from France, who we have been entertaining. Flat Clementine is the sister of Celestine, the daughter of my 1987/88 foreign exchange student/daughter, Helene. She went to work with me and then to a friends house to play. I am hoping to be able to get her out to the Lewis and Clark trail, the Santa Fe Trail and Stagecoach stop in Olathe, KS, and to Westport Landing where part of the Civil War was fought. That's just a few places I have in store - if the weather cooperates!
I've been working on some Japanese X blocks to exchange with some friends. They really are a good scrap buster, easy to make and fun to see the random results.
Japanese X blocks
Another good scrap buster are the pineapple blocks.  They just seem to keep coming.  I love them, and I don't think I will ever run out of scraps for these blocks!
Trash to Treasure Pineapple blocks
This is my last tub of scraps to "process". I never thought I'd see this day! LOL!
Tub o'scraps 
Organized strips/squares
This is the scrap strips/squares new condo. They live under my big board ironing station (which sits on top of a thrift store sofa table). I dismantled three children's sliding drawer plastic bins and replaced the drawers with my own baskets. I have found that if I can see in the basket or tub more easily, I am more apt to use them.  
Just in case you were worried, I still have the equivalent of three more of the big tubs, all "processed" and put away in their appropriate tubs. I don't think I will run out anytime soon!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

An almost perfect week

Before I get too far into this year, I need to start with the end of last year first!  And don't forget, you can always double click any photo to enlarge it if you'd like.
Ibby, Shirlee, Quiltgranny, Carol and Vicky (seated) 
Yes, the gal pals are still together after all these years, and we had a rollicking good time with food, games and gifts at Carol's home for the holidays.  We just got together again at my house this past weekend to test out the new stewdio space.  As always, it was a lot of fun with laughs and lunch and a lot of sewing.  We've decided to take a break from our birthday quilts this year and work on our own projects instead.  Watch out longarmers in the KC area!  Lots of UFOs are going to be coming your way!

Hard at work!
Even Mayo is looking for her UFO!
We had a scare the other day with Clyde, our 13 year old cat, brother to Bonnie. He is generally a mellow, happy go lucky guy and doesn't get into much trouble. Around bedtime, he started crying and wailing. It went on all night, and all he wanted was to be held. It was a LONG night! After an afternoon long visit to our vet, we discovered he has kidney stones. Not unheard of for a cat, but not as common as bladder stones. Nothing to be done for him except a change in diet, lots of fluid (how do you get a cat to do anything he doesn't want to do?) and some pain meds for the next 10 days.
This is Himself just 12 hours after beginning his pain meds. 
But of course, there was a wool/leather combo he just had to check out! All 13 lbs of him!
I don't have any pictures of what everyone was working on, but I do have some show and tell that they brought.  The first one is Carol's umpteenth rendition of a baby quilt for her soon-to-arrive second grandchild, Claire.  We all agreed that we love this one!
Claire's Zigzags
Shirlee shared her birds with us for the first time.  She had a tough year last year with chemo and radiation treatments, but her applique kept her busy.  She also worked on some Kim McLean flowers that are just out of this world, too, but I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE want to steal these birds!  They are from a Barbara Brackman pattern (which is traditionally more civil war era colors), but Shirlee sure knows how to choose the fabrics to make them sing, doesn't she!
I worked on a swap that I am doing with some new/old friends.  The Japanese X block is quite fun to make, especially with using my scraps that I just recently sorted.    Five blocks down, 100s a few to go......
When everyone left, and it was such a beautiful day here, I decided there was no time like the present to give my Christmas present from Hubby an inaugural ride.  Isn't it great?
Look both ways!
My new ladybug helmet
The last trip I made down our street was with Mayo, the Wonder Dog in the basket. I wasn't too sure how this would work out since she usually likes to charge bicycle wheels instead of riding over them, but she just sat ever so quietly and rode. I need to get a quilted basket liner made, a handlebar basket made, and find Mayo's harness so she ride safely in the back. I wouldn't want to risk her jumping out right in the lanes of traffic!
Mayo the Wonder Dog and Quiltgranny, rockin' and rollin'!
It's supposed to get really cold again for the next few days/weeks.  I'm so glad we got to go out and play.  As a matter of fact, I'm so happy I got to play ALL day with my friends and my toys!  See you next week!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

She's ALIVE!!!

Where oh where is Quiltgranny?
This "disappearing act" seems to have been a regular thing with me for the last 6 months or so, but I can assure you I have my feet back under me now, and the wind in my sails!
I could tell you that I've been sick (which I have), I could tell you that the family has been sick (which they have), or I could tell you that the dog ate my homework (which I don't think happened).  
    Mostly, I have to admit a certain kind of ennui, a kind that I can't quite put my finger on, but I am in a better frame of mind today and so too, last week. The definition of ennui is weary or bored. Bored, I am not, but weary I am. I don't know about you, I am weary of the senseless killing across the nation and the world; the movies filled with hate, blood and guts; and the overall negative tone and spirit of non-compromise in our political world. I am weary of the ads on television for cars I don't want, for medicines I will never use, and all the sports anyone could ever care to watch hour after hour.
     I was also weary of getting ready for the holiday, and then getting it all undone and put away.  Nothing seemed to be easy this past year.  And all I wanted for Christmas was an "easy button"!  LOL!  I didn't get it, though.
     ENOUGH of all that, I said!!!!  I just want to sew!  And like Rodney King said, "Can't we all just get along?"
     So with that said, my New Year will be filled with positive views and I will turn away from the negative. 
     So really, what has  Quiltgranny been doing besides whining (internally)?
     Well first, I took myself to a local retreat with some girlfriends the first week of December.  I thought that would be a nice break from the craziness, and it was!  It just wasn't long enough or far enough away, even though my car looks like I am packed for a month!  LOL!  
Retreat HO!
Ibby and her Christmas Ornaments
I liked Ibbys's ornaments so I much, I made some to make covers for binders.
These were a Christmas present for Phyllis, my neighbor.
I also have fallen in love with Gyleen Fitzgerald's Trash to Treasure Pineapple ruler.  It's like eating peanuts, you can't stop with just one! I have about 30 of them done now.
Nancy's Olivia.  I love the Snail's Trail blocks!
Tina with a finished Snail's Trail - I love the borders!
     I still have been working on the "stewdio" space.  I've had a couple of small groups over, and so some areas have been tweaked.  As soon as I download more pictures, I'll get an updated view.  I am loving working in my space now.  My friend Sue W. sent me a nice email telling me how I've inspired her to work on her space too.  So, I will keep sharing the news on the "stewdio" too in the coming weeks and months.
     Right now, I am working on Japanese X blocks.  These are part of a swap that I was lucky enough to arrange with some friends who have already completed the first leg of a swap with others.  Apparently I missed their initial arrangements, but lucky for me, they still needed/wanted a few more of them.  Last night, I got all the parts together, and tonight I am going to sew some before and maybe after Downton Abbey.  I love their scrappiness!  The tutorial is here, if you want to make some of your own.
This one is from Gone Aussie Quilting
     My guild has a lot of projects coming up this year, and as soon as I can get a handle on which ones I want to do, I will start sharing those with you too.  In the meantime, stay happy, healthy, warm and stitching!
Mayo the Wonder Dog is a great snuggler under a flannel rag quilt!