Saturday, March 28, 2015

Family Time

This morning Sarah was in the Run the Bluegrass Half Marathon in Lexington, and it turned into a wonderful family time.  We met yesterday afternoon and went to the Race Expo at Keeneland to pick up her packet and shirt.  Then we went to Joe Bologna's for their fabulous Italian food.  I had eggplant parmesan, really, really good.

Steph and the grands came in the evening.  The kids adore Aunt Sarah and talked and talked.  

It was a cold day for a race, and this race was huge.  Sarah told us how long it would take her to get to the finish line, and we timed that well.

Steph's co-worker recommended Winchell's for lunch, and it was a great recommendation.  Steph, Sarah, and I all had the shrimp and grits, warm with peppers and onions and a wonderful broth.  

One of Sarah's Lexington friends, Jason Baines, was killed in a bicycle accident a couple of years ago and some of his friends erected a ghost bike in his honor.  Seeing the memorial was something Sarah definitely wanted to do this weekend.

Now Sarah is on her way home, driving through the gorge on I-40.  Steph and the kids are at a hockey game, and here I am.  Everyone is scattered again.  This weekend was a wonderful gift.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Deconstructed Nine-Patch

This is my version of Jacquie Gering's Deconstructed Nine-Patch quilt.  Her pattern has the white and colored squares in the center of the quilt instead of offset.

The pattern is in the Winter 2012/2013 International Quilt Festival Quilt Scene and can also be found at the Interweave Store.

I used the walking foot for my quilting, quilting across one row and starting from the opposite side for the next row.  I just turn around on the extra backing/batting.  If you use basting spray, like I do, be sure the quilt is tacked down well on the upper and lower edges.  I ended up with pleats on my last rows at the top.

I started with in with my seam ripper, then decided to take the dishonorable route and just cut off off the top three inches or so.  No one will ever miss it. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Finally, A Bird

This bird will be the first of many, I've been wanting to try to make some birds for the longest time.  I saw this little guy in one of the Stitch magazines, but I'm not sure which.  I love his long legs.

Really wonderful news, my cousin's baby girl came home today.  Born at the end of December, she weighed 1 pound, 2 ounces at birth and 4 pounds today.  She has a little sister at home and grandparents close by just waiting to help care for the girls.

In my church's Art and Spirituality Group, we are studying the book What We Ache For;  Creativity and the Unfolding of Your Soul, by Oriah Mountain Dreamer.  Today, I am pondering these sentences from Chapter 8: "To create in any form, we have to be willing to engage our intent and then let go and allow this grace, this flow, this unpredictable and sometimes seemingly chaotic energy that is both what we are and yet larger than us, to direct the process.  This is how our spirituality is not separable from our creativity."

And from the same chapter, "If the inspiration that gets us to create is the inhale, and the creative work itself is the exhale, empty time is the pause between the two, the place where we sit for a moment and wait for the impulse to take the next breath to come from a deep stillness."

Sunday, March 22, 2015

A Bag and a Burn

This bag was adapted from directions in the Fall 2009 Stitch Magazine.  I haven't purchased this magazine recently - maybe I need to rethink that.  

What I love:  the linen band at the bottom,  the wrap-around pieces of trim, and the handles lined from old jeans for extra stability. Dotted lining that matches and handles.  

The grands spent the night last night and are snoozing in bed this morning.  A sure sign of spring - Aaron had a sunburn on the back of his neck.  The kids were helping clean up the ball fields yesterday, then played outside in the nice weather.  If it goes like it usually does, Aaron will wake up this morning with the sunburn completely gone.

We watched some of the NCAA tournament last night.  I asked Nora if she knew what make a three-point shot different from a two-point.  Of course she did.

I thought I could watch the Kentucky/University of Cincinnati game and be completely neutral about the outcome.  Not so, I was rooting for Kentucky, like always. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Drawstring Bags

The drawstring bags are for hygiene supplies for my church to give to Mennonite Central Committee for people in crisis areas.  I adapted the instructions just a little so I could use my serger to give them some extra strength.  Hope no one minds.

When I got to the drawstring part, I was reminded of trying to make a similar drawstring bag for Girl Scout camp ages ago.  I could NOT figure out how to get the drawstrings in.  And neither could my mother.  

Actually, I'm kind of in love with these little bags.  I'm picturing making a few to use as gift bags, maybe using scraps of fabric or Christmas fabric.  If you want instructions to try some, google MCC kit bag instructions.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Yellow and Gray

This baby quilt has some embroidery to come, but the quilting and binding are finished.  I'm enjoying the disappearing nine patch these days.  Fabric is by Riley Blake,and I'm loving that too.

One of my goals last year was to use less fabric than I bought, and that worked well.  It's kind of become a habit now.  And the other was to upgrade the fabrics I did buy, to get nicer stuff.  I make nice things and I spend a lot of time making them, and I wanted my fabric to reflect that. 

Back around Thanksgiving, I made kitchen curtains for someone and saved a few of the scraps.  In the interest of cleaning up my sewing area, I put trim on some kitchen towels and added a potholder to go with the curtains.  I hope it will be a nice surprise.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


Have I mentioned that I love my neighborhood?  Lots of hills, and a little view of city skyline when I am on my way home on the next street over.

Urban enough to hear neighbor's music in the warm weather, and I love that.  Close enough to the ball park to hear the fireworks when the Reds win or hit a home run.  My own little circle of shopping that keeps me close to home when I want that.  A park at the end of my street and the big river close by.  Some nice little local restaurants nearby with more on the way.  A long street leading to the river with diverse shops, with the newest being antique and coffee shops.  And one of the oldest, probably, has the last of the city's dancing girls.  

A fabric store and library that are both within walking distance.  Don't forget that.