Thursday, October 31, 2013

Different Sizes

Turns out that all the tiny quilt square ornaments are different sizes.  I don't know whether it was meant to be that or I just measured wrong, but I sort of like it.

Trick or Treat is tonight, despite storm warnings that may or may not hold off until after the fun.  Some across-the-river communities are rescheduling for tomorrow night, but I have a feeling that on this side of the river, Friday night football is an institution not to be messed with.

Speaking of which . . . I didn't realize that the Bengals are playing tonight.  Reason enough to watch tv for once.  I also hadn't realized that all the games can be televised now, whether or not they are sold out.

I had my annual physical this morning, which I always dread.  I have a new doctor, though, and I really like her.  She seems to come from a wellness perspective, which I so appreciateSo maybe, next year I won't dread it as much.   

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

So Tiny

I love quilting and art quilting magazines and sometimes it's hard to resist buying them . . . but, that's another story.

Last year's December American Patchwork and Quilting magazine featured three tiny 2 1/2" quilt block ornaments in three patterns.  I've meant to try them out, and finally made the easiest, a pinwheel.  Very sweet, and not as hard as I thought.  I actually like my teeny binding better than the one in the directions.  If I could just make one every day, I'd have a pretty selection to put on packages (but I probably won't.)  The square-in-a-square pattern has such teeny pieces that I can't imagine anything other than paper piecing for that one, so I'll see what I can do with that.

The background is my all-time favorite Life Is Good pajama pants, welcome again with cooler weather.  It's supposed to rain on and off ALL day today.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Favorite Sewing Tools

I'm making a few potholders to demonstrate the Viking Circular Attachment, and I realized how many of my favorite tools I'm using in this teeny project.

1.  The Circular Attachment, of course.  It makes beautiful circles and pedals with no tracing, no fusing, and no fuss.

2.  The Interchangable Dual Feed Foot, which puts quilts together without any shifting.  I can attach the binding with the 1/4" foot, then snap on the open toe foot to use a pretty stitch to sew it down.  By far the priciest of these tools, but so worth it.

3.  Those Clover Wonder Clips around the edges.  No pinning.  New this year for me, and I'm addicted.

4.  My new Gingher applique scissors.  The angle is just right and they are so sharp.  Why did I wait so long for these?

5.  Another "why did I wait":  the package of 20 Viking watercolor bobbins.  No more unwinding a bobbin because I need a new color.  This should be a no-brainer but I put off buying them for far too long.  And I love the colors.  Some of the green bobbin traditionalists complain that it's harder to see the thread color, but I've had no problems.  Whatever machine you have, get yourself some extra bobbins - you'll feel wealthy.

6.  The Fons and Porter rotary cutter.  I have to admit that I was attracted to it just because it's red, but it's far and away my favorite.  Great for right and left handed cutting, easy to swap out blades, and so easy to lock.  With little ones in the sewing areas occasionally, that's important.  Ok, I'll admit it:  with me in the sewing area, that's important.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Pillow Top

Since I'm teaching a class in making this pillow on Saturday, and since it's been about a month since I made the sample, I stitched up another one.  I did a lot more free motion this time, making lots of organic bubbles, and now I feel better about the class and have a good hand-out, too.

How fun to have my neighbor knock on my door today to see if I wanted to go to lunch.  And to wander around the shoe store while she took care of an errand there.  I've worked down the street from this mall for six year and shopped there many times and never went in the shoe store.  How did that happen?  And yes, I saw a very cool pair of Merrell's but I've already blown whatever shoe budget I may have had on my athletic shoes.  Which I love.

People just a little north of here have been reporting sightings of snow.  However, what I'm looking forward to now is those few precious days at the end of October or the beginning of November when the weather turns warm one last time.  When the temperature is in the 70's.  It's such a gift.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Quilted Elephants

One of the nice ladies in our baby quilt group gave each person some fabrics - one with Ed Emberly elephants, one with orange squiggles, and one blue mottled.  We could add some of our own fabric, if we wished, to make a challenge baby quilt.  Fun, and so generous of the giver.  My first quilt, above, had lots of the elephants, I really love them.

I had just a little elephant fabric left, as well as some orange and blue.  I bought a different orange and a turquoise fabric and made the second quilt.  I'm taking a Craftsy class by Joe Cunningham called Pattern Free Quiltmaking, and that's where the ideas for the improvisational quilts developed.  No knowing ahead of time just what the quilt will look like, but the thing is, I always like it.  Lots of organic wavy machine quilting.

I started another quilt with the group this morning, then was reminded that next month we should turn in a Christmas quilt for those holiday babies.  Maybe I'll need to put this morning's quilt aside and look at my Christmas fabrics.  One of my year's goals was to NOT buy any Halloween or Christmas fabric this year, I have lots.

Saturday, October 19, 2013


We had this wonderful idea to go to HalZOOween at the Cincinnati Zoo for trick or treating today.  We'd done it before and it's fun for the kids to see other kids in costume and to collect some treats at various booths set up along the paths.

But, it rained all morning plus half the afternoon and it was chilly to boot.  Our first clue that this wasn't a usual zoo day was that half the primo covered parking lot was blocked off and it was easy to find a spot in what was left.

It was still a wonderful day and there were some costumes and it was easy to see the elephants smashing pumpkins.  There was no wait at all for the train.  Aaron had a light saber duel with another Darth Vader.  The kids collected treats.  There were little creatures to admire and pet.

If it's a nice day next Saturday, that place is going to be packed. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Cut Flowers

It was a cool and rainy morning, but the guild guild's floral committee kept the work coming on the back porch of the Nature Center.  In the end, there were many lovely arrangements to bring inside for the guild's annual fall show.

I think I made the same goal last year, but this year I'm going to remember it.  I'm going to be more intentional in planting flowers in my yard and in cutting them to bring inside.  This morning I cut rosemary, sage, broomplant, and grasses, thinking that I didn't have much to contribute but knowing that we needed things.  And mixed with cosmos, zinnias, and dahlias, they were so pretty.  There's no reason why I can't have little arrangements for almost no money to brighten my house.

So, I've already added this to my list of goals to come for next year.  If I put it on my goal list, it usually gets done. 


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Which Artist?

My cousin Gregg and his father, Darvin, were both wonderful potters, and both were professors at Bluffton University.  Darvin died earlier this year, in his 90's.  Gregg, nearing retirement, is still at Bluffton.

A couple of weeks ago I was at a meeting at a church friend's house when she put the coffee cream in this charming little pitcher and said it had been made by my uncle Darvin.  I had been eyeing it, but thought it had been made by Gregg.

So, today I sent a facebook message to Gregg with an attachment of this photo, asking him whose work it was.  Both signed their last names only to their pottery, so no help there.

I'll let you know whose work it is.

Saturday, October 12, 2013


The kids love Cincinnati Nature Center's Playscape on a fall day.  Time just goes by there.

Other kids come and go, but Aaron, especially, could take a lunch and play all day.

Nora nicely humors him, but she too enjoys the unstructured play, building fires and teepees and houses with furniture.  They even had pretend meals with prayers.  Good stuff.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

This Time - Five Hundred Miles Only

This time I'm really going to do it.  I'm going to keep track of the number of miles I walk in my good running shoes. 

No walking until I can feel that there is nothing left of the shoe and my back hurts and my feet feel worn.  No walking until I go into the store and the clerk tells me that what I'm wearing is three styles ago.  No wearing my good walking shoes to the grocery store.

There's just something in me that believes that when I spend that much for a pair of shoes they should last for years.  Even when I go out and pound hard on pavement.  And I do, I strike really hard with my heels.  There's just something in me that doesn't believe that shoes should only be worn 500 miles.  I just need to get past that.

So, this time I'm going to keep track and when I get to 500 miles, this pair of shoes will be retired to very casual wear, grocery shopping and wearing to meetings.  And I'll go back to the store.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Aaron's Halloween Costume

Aaron is crazy about Star Wars, and he wants to be Darth Vader for Halloween this year.  His mom supplied the black shirt and McCalls 2854 has a good cape pattern.  There were lots of little pieces of Wonder Under involved. 

He already has the mask, and with black gloves and black pants, he should be pretty convincing, as long as his red hair doesn't shine through.

Hope he's a happy boy

Friday, October 4, 2013

Natural Bridge

Today the kids had a day off school and the family took me along to Natural Bridge.  At first Nora was a little timid about the height of Natural Bridge and other rocks, but by the end of the hikes she was a happy girl.

Aaron's legs got really tired on the hike from Natural Bridge to the parking lot, but he was a trooper.  The trail sign says 1.25 miles, but I don't believe it, it definitely seemed longer.  We took the chair lift to the top and hiked down.  I'd rate that trail strenuous, lots of ups and downs and trail rocks.

Not all the Red River Gorge trails were accessible because the Forest Service roads were closed, but we did the short hike to Angels Windows, where the trail head starts in the parking area beside the road.  Natural Bridge wasn't affected because it's a state park.

My Kentucky friends know that a trip to Natural Bridge/Red River Gorge is not complete without (1) Ale 8 1, and (2) Miguel's pizza.  It just has to be.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Tooth Fairy Pillow for the Boy

I made a tooth fairy pillow for Nora far in advance of any loose teeth, although in my defense, she was late in losing her first tooth.  The last person in her class to do so.

But, that second grandchild did not fare as well.  His first tooth came out a couple of weeks ago, (without much drama on his part) and he has a second loose one beside the gap.  Until today, still no pillow.

But, here it is, with the upper zombie tooth being the little pocket just the right size for a tooth.  The I Heart Zombies design is from Planet Applique, and I learned that in the future I'll be using a cut-away stabilizer for their designs.  I though, umm, applique, a tear-away will be fine, but it wasn't and there are puckers.  I had to sit down with myself and tell myself that this is for a six-year-old boy, he's not going to critique it.

Now, if he can hold off losing that second tooth before I see him next time, he'll have his own tooth fairy pillow.