Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Shop Sample

Shop sample.  You've seen a bit of it before, so enough said. 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Remembering Uncle Darvin

News from Bluffton:  my uncle Darvin died on Friday at age 91, in the Riley Creek home he and aunt Evelyn loved.  He was the family patriarch for many years, and we will miss him.

To me, his home was a place of riches, always.  In the house on Elm Street, there was a grape arbor, a tv, a Monopoly game, a wonderful garden, a former chicken coop far enough back in the yard that it seemed like a different place.  My cousin Gregg and I were playing there one summer day when Darvin called to us and we slunk into the house, certain that we were in some undetermined trouble.  But what awaited us were root beer floats, my first, a sweet treat that tasted incredible.  I remember a summer meal under the grape arbor, the picnic table, the shady spot.  It fed my child's heart as well as my stomach.

For the former art teacher, Darvin's home was a place of art.  I love the piece in his entryway that reads, "When the world wearies and ceases to satisfy, there is always the garden."  And garden he did, far into his 80's.  And create he did, always, but his art perfected looking as well as making.  He photographed and collected pieces that looked like something else, that tickled his fancy.

He chose joy, loved a whole list of life happenings.  Instead of a mumbled grace before meals, he loved to sing the Johnny Appleseed song.  He loved to share meals - many times when I meet someone they will say, "I had dinner with your aunt and uncle at their house one evening."  He loved stories, loved to tell them, loved to hear them.  His ability and willingness to "talk Swiss" was amazing to me - in my home I would beg my parents to speak some Swiss words but they would decline. 

Darvin taught art at what-was-then Bluffton College for many years, and I always marveled over the story of his carrying buckets of clay up three flights of stairs to what at that time was the art space.  Amazing too was his spirit in choosing art as a career, growing up in a family and the post-depression time where the practical, not the artistic, was valued.

I love the pictures of Darvin with his new great-granddaughter Milena because he loved his family, all of them.  Nieces and nephews included.  We will all miss him.

(Thanks to Kristen for sharing the photo.)       

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Pretty in Pink

I'm working on another quilt using the new Viking  Circular Attachment.  I have to admit that it's quite a tool!  Since my first quilt I've done a little research and have learned two simple steps that give really good-looking results.  First, use a tear-away stabilizer on the back.  For lots of circles, it's easy to iron on a fusible tear-away that just stays throughout the piecing.  And, use a table to support your work.

It just so happens that I don't have a table for my Diamond, only for my smaller machine, so I kept on the embroidery unit and stacked some books behind the machine.  And, I mentally added a table to my list of wants.  Along with a single hole needle plate.  I always have a list!

I'm using a very light verigated thread for the free motion and wish I'd chosen a darker color, even if I couldn't find it in verigated.  This is ok, though, in areas where I've travel stitched several times over a line of stitching it has a wispy look that I kind of like.   My goal for today is to finish the background quilting, then move on to working in the yard.  It's the season.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

At Last This Quilt Is Finished

How did I ever get so behind on the baby quilts for the local hospital?  It feels like I've been looking at this Trip Around the World forever.  I know there was the "grandmother was sick as a dog" week and the trip to Asheville week and last week spent picking out the machine quilting, but still . . .

At least, in the end, I really like it, and there isn't a tuck anywhere, so the time spent ripping out was worth it.

Above is the back, with the two blocks that I thought I pieced wrong, although in retrospect I really don't think I did, probably just had them turned wrong.  Surely the next little quilt will go absolutely smoothly. 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Saturday Ramblings

Just heard the Reds fireworks after thirteen innings.  Relief.  But, leaving 17 men on base?  Really?  From a team that already led the league in runners left?  Oh, my.  Good thing the Reds pitchers are awesome.

Just got a text with the picture of Aaron and Nora at their cousin Lindsay's wedding.  So beautiful.  And, so typical, Aaron is flat-out happy and shows it, Nora, I'm sure, is flat-out happy as well, but a little reserved.

I was at the Behringer Crawford Museum this morning, waiting on some folks, and took my picture beside the steamboat dress-up clothes.  Who knows why?  Maybe because there was a full-length mirror there.

I have one more seam of machine quilting to pick out on my current baby quilt.  At the group on Monday, I was using my beloved Viking Emerald, which I like to take for events like that.  It's light, and mechanical, so I don't have to take my "good" machines.  But I used a generic walking foot that I had at home (the regular Viking walking feet don't fit on this machine) and obviously, in retrospect, it wasn't the right one.  Not horrible, but it wasn't right either, and I want my quilts to look nice.  One more seam.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

New Bobbins

The flags above are on the way out of Great American Ball Park, I just had to take a picture of the American flags at half mast.  The ninth inning continuation of Tuesday night's game lasted all of nine minutes, 2 walks, 2 singles, win for the Reds.  The Reds won the second game 11 - 2.  Remember when I said that if they don't hit one night they'll get lots of hits the next?

I got new bobbins last weekend, isn't it the little things that make us happy?  Viking has had these watercolor bobbins for years but I never got any because I usually did my piecing with gray or cream or navy and didn't need many bobbins for that.  I usually use prewound NEBS for the quilting.  But recently I've been doing quite a few alterations and the threads need to match.  So, more threads and new bobbins.

Steph's family is going to a wedding this weekend and the usual craziness of finding a nice dress is compounded for Steph by the fact that she is tall.  I was really proud of her fabric store shopping when she got cream and black fabric in just the right knit so I could add on some inches to this pretty dress.  The dress looks really classy, not added-on-to in the least.  Yay for us!

And, gotta say, I love my serger.  Perfect for this kind of thing.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Rain at Great American Ball Park

There was a rain delay at Great American Ball Park last night - check out the weather map on the screen.  The game finally got started around 8:30, went 8 1/2 innings, and, can you believe it, got delayed again with the score 0 - 0 when it started pouring again.  It was Homer Bailey's night, too, with ten strike-outs.

The game will start up again at 5:30 this afternoon, in advance of tonight's game.  It seems that when the Reds can't score one night they do well the next, so maybe they can walk off in their half of the ninth.  And here's the thing:  I've heard that I can trade in last night's ticket for another one for tonight's game since they will be finishing last night's game.  It wasn't like it was a sell-out, far from it.

So, if it is nice weather tonight, I'll be back at the ball park. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Knotted Quilt

This sweet little knotted baby quilt was made by one of the Sunday School classes as a shower gift for the youth leaders.  My only part was putting on the binding.  This morning.  For the shower after church.

I can't remember ever seeing my mother actually quilt, she always knotted.  Once or twice, as a young child, I can remember my grandmother's sisters and friends quilting at a frame in her dining room.  And when they all went home, I can remember my grandmother checking to see whose stitches weren't neat.

One sister in particular, who "drove a tractor like a man," got bad press for her too-big quilting stitches.  I was surprised to look at one of her quilts in later years and see that she could, in fact, quilt neatly when she wanted to.

Side story:  a few years ago my sister and I were driving down the Pandora, Ohio, road past what had been my great-aunt's and uncle's farm.  There was a sign saying "sweet corn for sale."  We didn't really want any sweet corn, but we drove up the lane anyway to catch a glimpse of the house and barn.  The owner had been a neighbor, and he told us, "You know, it was your great-aunt who was the farmer in that family."

I worked the past three days while most of my co-workers were at the International Quilt Show in Cincinnati.  This was fine with me - I'd gone the past two years.  I must have had quilt show envy, though, because I found myself placing a Superior Thread order a couple of nights ago, mostly for threads I haven't used before.  One was for a thread that can be used for hair and can take curling iron heat to 400 degrees.  Sounds like the perfect thing to use in my upcoming "My Favorite Thing" quilt.  I got red, of course.     

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Nora and I

Nora and I travelled out in the country forever and ever, I think, but eventually we got to the softball field for her first game of the season.  She had missed the practices because we were in North Carolina and her stomach hurt a lot.

But, she got to play 3rd base and she scored her team's first run of the season.  Her mom made it from Cincinnati to watch most of the game.  And yeah, they lost, but that was ok.  And next week's game is a home game and she and I will make it to practice tomorrow.

Tonight was Aaron's first tee-ball practice too.  Spring is finally here.


The key word for the 16" x 16" April quilt for Contemporary Quilt and Fiber Artists was Roots.  I knew what I wanted to do, but ended up doing the whole thing yesterday because the meeting was last night.  Sometimes, that's how it goes.

In my perfect world, I would have had time to add some yarn and beads, but I probably won't now since it's bound and has a precise look.  Maybe if I'd done a pillowcase finish.

My quilt was the most boring, and the most literal.  The most popular interpretation was hair roots, needing a dye job.  The second was family roots. 

I wonder what I need to do to be less boring.  Next month's word(s) is My Favorite Thing. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Kit from Bloomington Quilt Show

Thanks to Carrye for bringing me a little kit for this "Schnibbles" Bag from the Bloomington Quilt show.  It's for collecting those threads and little snipped corners and other sewing bits, with the goal in mind of making something from them.

And, actually, from time to time, when I have enough bits, I do make little bowls from them, sandwiching them between sheets of Ultra Solvy and sewing just enough to hold everything together.  Shaping them around a Diet Coke can.

What I love:  the little piece of plastic stiffener that goes in a casing around the top and holds the bag open.  Genius in a 9" strip.   

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Rocky's Hot Chicken

A visit to Asheville just wouldn't be complete without a visit to Rocky's Hot Chicken.  Asheville is known for its dining spots, but this one gets the kid vote of approval, hands down.  All the more so when it's warm and the outdoor patio is available, which didn't happen this time. 

I don't eat meat, so I don't have to make the choice of the hotness of the chicken, but there is the pondering of which sides to order.  Even with four on the side plate, it's still a hard choice.  And then there's the choice of draft beers.  Ordering is done at the counter, and we felt lucky to find seating for all of us.  It's a popular place, even on a Tuesday evening.

It was the first time during the trip that I felt well and normal, and that was good, too.  Whatever little virus Steph and I had lasted a long time.  Sarah had chain saw training on Monday and Tuesday, so she's smiling the smile of a certified chain saw person.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Happy Easter

I hope that everyone had a happy Easter with all the Easter tradtions you like most.  We had a wonderful North Carolina Easter, with Aaron fully recovered, Steph and I not so much, and Nora never did come down with the croup or anything else.

We went to Fletcher Park in Hendersonville on Saturday for the hat contest and egg hunting.  Those folks definitely know how to put on an egg hunt.  Nora and Aaron had matching hats, but I guess that Nora had ditched hers for the Easter Bunny photo.

There was a trip into Hendersonville for lunch with Winnie's Dad at an old-fashioned soda fountain, very crowded and lovely. We went to the bakery for hot cross buns and to the rock museum for some geode cutting. 

Winnie and Sarah cooked a lovely traditional Easter dinner with a lemon birthday cake for Steph.  If I'm remembering right, there was a trip to Carrier Park that I skipped, but it started to rain so there was a repeat on Monday.  Sarah helped with the park playground build back in her Parks and Rec days.