Monday, September 29, 2014

Good Day to be a Reds Fan

It was a wonderful weekend to be at the ballpark Saturday and Sunday.  Unless you were a Pirates fan who travelled from Pittsburgh to see your team win the division this weekend. Then probably not. 

It was a great day on Sunday to see Johnny Cueto get his 20th win and his go-ahead RBI in the 8th.  To see Aroldis Chapman strike out those Pirates. To see "Reds Win" on the field-level scoreboard.

At the end of the game a long, long, long line of kids waited inside the stadium to run the bases at the end of the season's last game.  If you look very closely, you'll see Steph and the grands in the parade, but mostly just take my word for it.

The weather was great, and lots of fans just milled around afterwards, soaking it in.  I loved that some fans thanked the ushers and told them, "See you next year."

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Tealtown Ball Fields

This afternoon the stars lined up just right, and Nora and Aaron had games at the same time, adjacent fields.  For me, as a spectator, time time passed really quickly with two games to keep track of.

Someone pointed out that Nora's team is the Purple Dragons

while Aaron's is the Dragons.  Of course, I'd completely missed that.

It was hot for the end of September, very dry.  There were little puffs of dust everywhere a ball came down.  We've had blue skies for three days now, unusual for us.  I hope they hold out as they are supposed to, for one more day when we go to see the Reds tomorrow.

Since the All Star break, there has been little to celebrate for Reds fans, but it's hard to not feel a little energized when they won this afternoon in the 10th inning with a walk off home run.  For sure, baseball will break your heart, but now and again it makes a heart happy too. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Wonder Under

I can remember the feeling when I bought my first entire bolt of Wonder Under.  I can remember walking out of the store feeling about ten feet tall, feeling like I had arrived as a fiber artist.

And then the other day, I looked at Melody Johnson's blog, and she had a picture of the TEN bolts of Wonder Under that she had just purchased.  Along with her thoughts about why she likes Wonder Under the best.  You can read her blog here.  The post is a few days back.

Having said that, my most recent bolt of Wonder Under is the best ever.  It's amazing.  The paper peels off well and leaves a lovely film on the fabric.  Perfect.

The basement cleaning continues.  Things are off the floor and there is space on shelves.  I'm happy.  But I'm not quitting yet.

Monday, September 22, 2014


If there is an Obi-Wan Kenobi action figure in my sewing room, it must mean that Halloween is coming.  I have a pair of khaki pants from the kids' resale clothing store and some khaki fabric from Hancock, greatly reduced.  A rust-colored v-necked tee would be a good next find.

It's hard for me to get back into my sewing rhythm after being gone a couple of times.  This is surely the day when that will happen. 

The good news is that my basement is slowly getting cleaned up.  I want to put two resin tables there so I can easily lay out fabric and batting for quilt sandwiches.  I have a spot on my bedroom floor for that, but it's really too small and I have that big unfinished basement.  Actually, I have enough space there for the tables, it's not that bad, it's just the idea of having things neat.

Last week I put together some basement shelves that I've probably had for a year or two.  And now I have a big chunk of cardboard for enlarging the back garden bed just a little.  It's why I never get much done - there is always one thing more. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Smoky Mountain Camping

I've kinda given up on taking pictures in the Smoky Mountains because my pictures always end up looking like every other picture.  Even though each one is personal.  This one is actually looking at the trail going down, but it looks like it's going up.  Like I said . . . my pictures all look the same. 

This is the Appalachian Trail at Newfound Gap, one that I usually find hard because there are lots of rocks and a steady uphill beyond every curve.  Then, it does smooth out just at the junction of another trail, not quite 2 miles up.  I've finally talked my kids into going on ahead so I can take my time.

We camped on Wednesday night, then it rained on Thursday night and our gang stayed in a hotel suite.  Across the street was the Mountain Coaster, just opened last week.  Sarah and I tried it out half an hour before the 10 p.m. closing and it was FUN.  Smooth and fast coming down the mountain.  If you're in Gatlinburg, try it out.  A good ride, and nice people.

It rained again on Friday night and we brought home a wet tent.  Everything inside was dry, though, so it could have been a lot worse.  The friends we meet every year were gone when we came back from our hike on Friday.  We figured that they got wet on Thursday, figured that the same would happen on Friday, and set off for home.

I guess I'm old, but I thoroughly appreciated the Thursday night hotel stay.  Showers.  Beds.  Bathrooms a few steps away.  No camp fire, but a fireplace.  Ice.  Still the river sound.  A hotel breakfast, not great, but hot.

I decided that I need to work on making my bathroom more luxurious.  Not just functional and taken for granted.  It's so small that I'm not sure how to do that, but there must be a way.

And, I've decided that I need more gym time.     

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Softball Player

After a couple of months without softball games, I just had to go and watch Nora play. She was such a happy girl.  She is usually pretty quiet, but on the softball field she looks different.  More confident.

This fall league is a little different - her team has girls ages 7 - 11.  Quite a spread, especially with those 7's who are smaller and the 11's who are taller than others their age.  The fields are really nice, though, with real bathrooms, a definite plus.  

I needed to quickly make a Christmas table runner, like the fall one I made last week.  The border is really a lovely green and gold - it looks almost gray here.  I'm sure I'll make another right before my class so I'll have the directions fresh in my mind.  The class isn't until the end of October.

So now, I am almost ready to start on a banner for my local church's 40th anniversary next month.  There will be some similarities between the table runner and the banner.  Lots of reverse applique circles. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Happy Birthday, Aaron!

For the second year in a row, Aaron wanted a Star Wars birthday.  Star Wars and Minecraft are his things! The birthday cupcakes had Darth Vader and Yoda rings.

There was a kid party at a nearby park and a family party later at home. He was one happy guy. I reminded him of all those times this summer when he'd ask "how many days 'til my birthday?" and it always seemed so far away.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Class Table Runners

I needed a class project for the end of October and wanted something that would encourage students to get some of their machine feet out of the box and to make something unique to them.  My first try was the red table runner, but I decided that the fabrics didn't really work.  Plus the trim placement needed some tweaking.  After I'd put it aside for a couple of days, I actually liked it a lot, and I'll enjoy it for myself.

The circles are made with a Circular Attachment, which isn't really a foot, but it does go on the machine.  It's a wonderful thing.

This will be my actual sample.  Different colors.  Trim in the right place.  I wish I'd used orange behind the eyelet - in the store, I thought it showed up too much behind the eyelet, but I think that would have been all the better.  And, orange trim, but there was only one package and I needed two

Close up of the eyelet and the binding trim.  I have the supply list ready and the instructions almost written.  Now, I'll hope that my supervisor likes it.  And that students will want to make it.  It's just a little on the art quilt side, but not too far.

Far enough, though, that maybe it would look good off the table and on the wall.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Charm-ing Baby Quilt

I had some kid shorts to return at WalMart and couldn't resist looking in the fabric section. Sometimes there are some pre-cuts that look ok, and I did like two bright charm packs.  When I went to piece them, they weren't the same size by just under 1/4",  I didn't bother measuring to see the actual sizes.  The smart thing to do would have been to cut down the larger one, but I just tried to adjust in the piecing.  Not wise at all, don't be me.

I don't know why I had this Angelina Ballerina fabric in my stash, probably did get it on sale for a baby quilt since there was just the right amount.  I washed the quilt just so I could see how much the Fusi-Boo batting puffs up.  There is a nice little puff, maybe not quite as much as a cotton batting, but nice.  Soft.

I want to clean my basement, it definitely needs some attention.  Once I do that, I can put together a couple of resin tables for making the quilt sandwiches.  I can either iron or spray baste on them.  Maybe that will be my motivation to do the cleaning.     

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Heirloom Table Runner

Last week someone called me and asked whether I would be interested in making a baby's christening gown from a wedding dress.  I told her that I didn't really do heirloom sewing and thanked her for calling me.  Then when I looked at the Viking September project, I realized that I would be doing a little heirloom sewing after all.  This project isn't on the Viking website yet, but probably will be there within the next few days.  Click on "Be Inspired" then "Sewing Projects."

The amazing thing is that the organza is embroidered without a stabilizer.  A frame of batting is put under the outside of the hoop, where the top and bottom connect. I was a skeptic, but it worked great.  If you don't have an embroidery machine but still want to make something pretty, you could substitute lace yardage for the organza.  I just might do that anyway.


Monday, September 1, 2014

Happy Labor Day

Happy Labor Day, everyone.

Just when I think that summer has had its last hurrah, there is one more good time. I am truly blessed.

My neighbor, Olivia, in the white top, and Aaron, in the yellow swim shirt, share a September birthday.  They will be 15 and 7 next week. Olivia had an early family party today and Aaron and I got to join the fun.