Thursday, October 28, 2010

a Quilt for Alzheimers

This is the little quilt that I'm donating to the Alzheimers Art Quilt Initiative.  Fortunately it is a little squarer than it looks here, the quilting almost creates an optical illusion-odd.  It is called Hope in a Whirlwind, the hope is the little wonky house (whose home isn't a little wonky) and the sun and of course, the quilting gives it the whirlwind effect.  I dedicated it to the caregivers of those with alzheimer's.  My quilt is made up of scraps, I think I showed the little houses the other day, and I appliqued the sun into the corner.  It is registered, #5862 ( in case you want to bid on it at and will be for sale after they sell their 1000 quilts that they are taking to the Houston Quilt Show this week.  Houston is one of the biggest quilt shows in the world and I understand that these little quilts just fly off the hangers, so many people attend the show, intending to purchase a donated quilt.  I hope to be able to see this phenomena some day.   

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Seriously Overloaded To Do List

Okay, okay, even I admit it.  (H's been saying it for a while.) I'm a bit over my head now.  I have a crazy quilt in progress, with another class scheduled in mid Nov.  I have a hand quilting project in progress with another class scheduled in early Nov.  I have another crazy quilting class scheduled at a different shop in late Nov.  I am hand appliqueing the border for the dresden plate quilt.  I have to clean out the flower beds.  I finished a 100x100" quilt top last week.  I went to weaving tonight and put more yarn on the loom for the baby blanket.  I am hand appliqueing the CWBQ blocks.  I am making wonky house blocks in my "spare" time.  I am the new newsletter editor for the quilt guild.  I go to the gardening meeting, art guild, basket guild, and quilt guild every month and weaving every week.  I have the basket quilt started.  It's much better than twiddling my thumbs, but I really NEED to wash windows.  I have to go to work every day and I am making time to feed the cat (yes Chrissy, Putts is getting fed AND I cleaned the litter box tonight) and the fish, but otherwise I'm cooking and ...well, you know, doing stuff.  I hate being bored.  Pics next time.   

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

This and That

These are the last of the zinnias for the year.  They have been beautiful, in fact so beautiful that I really almost didn't care that they completely outgrew the snaps and I haven't seen a snapdragon since June.  The lesson is to put the zinnias behind the snaps, not in with the snaps...  I tried to dry them and they rotted so I'm not putting zinnias on a wreath for the front door, but they have been very prolific all summer.  I have probably picked 30 or more bouquets in the last 4 months.  I have given them to friends, neighbors, co-workers, the kids, and had them in the kitchen all summer. 

I am quilting, I am weaving, and we are going north this weekend to take Chrissy to dinner for her birthday.  This little house project is something that I did tonight because the big project is going hmmm...okay, but it's not exactly what I wanted, though it looks great, because I am finally getting better at piecing...pinning is the not so secret, secret and because it takes longer, I was reluctant, but it works, so now I'm a convert...however the big project is a secret so I'm not sharing yet.  The little houses are just for fun.  I think I'm going to make a village, maybe with trees and a dog or two.  The weaving is going pretty well, but I'm not going to be happy that I am putting all this work into acrylic yarn.  I decided to weave a baby blanket.  Now you would be asking yourself, why would she do that?  No idea, but the acrylic has been purchased, because it doesn't shrink and it washes well.... and the loom is almost warped so in a couple weeks, I'll have a baby blanket with huck lace blocks interwoven with plain weave.  It should look very cool, but I really have no idea what I'm going to do with it.  This weekend, H, the dogs, and I are leaving Friday morning to go up north for a couple days.  I am using Chrissy as a way to get away from the house and not think about having to wash the windows.  I hate dirty windows, I also hate washing windows, but I really hate laying in bed on a Sat morning thinking about washing windows, so it's on the list soon.      

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Yeah MSU!!!

For the third year in a row...MSU beat UM at football today!  Yes, I know H, and C, and P aren't happy with the outcome, but I think it's pretty stunning.  And D said that things were exciting in EL this afternoon.  Yeah State!!!  On to BB, we will almost assuredly celebrate twice this year.    

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Alzheimer's and Dust if You Must

I volunteered today for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative, a group started by Ami Sims, to raise money for Alzheimer's research.  She has her big fund-raiser at the Houston Quilt Show, this year in early November, and she wants to take 1000 art quilts with her.  She also has the exhibit that is at the Shelburne Museum in Vermont.  It turns out that Ami only lives a couple miles away and needed help cataloging the quilts bound for Houston.  A couple members of my quilt guild and I spent part of the day there.  I also got to see, up close and really in person, the art quilts that were done by famous quilters to support the cause, the World Series Quilt Challenge.  There is a reason that these people are famous and published and prize-winning.  Their quilts were stunning.  No photos could do them justice.  Check them out at  On the other hand, most of the quilts that I handled today were from just people, quilters like me, but people with stories to tell, about folks thay have loved and lost to Alzheimer's disease.  Each of the little quilts has a dedication and many, many were to their moms who didn't know them, or how to cook, or sew, or garden, or drive anymore.  My family has been so fortunate, but today I thought of grandma's friends, and Aunt Irene, Sophie, and Grandma Jerry, and all those who cared for them.     

And since life seems so short...I love this poem...sorry I don't know the author, I think it's from England.

Dust if you must, but wouldn't it be better,
to paint a picture or write a letter,
bake a cake or plant a seed,
ponder the difference between want and need?

Dust if you must, but there's not much time,
with rivers to swim and mountains to climb,
music to hear and books to read, friends to
cherish and life to lead.

Dust if you must, but the world's out there
With the sun in your eyes, the wind in your hair,
A flutter of snow, a shower of rain.
This day will not come around again.

Dust if you must, but bear in mind,
old age will come and it's not kind.
And when you go - and go you must -
You, yourself, will make more dust!

Grandma always said that if she had her druther's, and of course, none of us do, she wanted to go with a stroke of lightning.  Me too.   

Saturday, October 2, 2010

October 2010, UP and the Durand Quilt Show

How can it be October already?  What happened to September?  I missed it somehow.  I went up north with Rh and P last weekend, went back up north to spend a couple days with Chris during the week and here it is October.  Last weekend....I worked on the crazy quilt square, photos will come soon, but my camera takes terrible pics with incandescent light so I'll figure those out tomorrow.  But all day Sat, I learned how to knit.  It was easier with them there since they both knew how and could help.  I made this fine dishcloth, really really pathetic.  It seems that I unknowingly went from 40 stitches to 51 stitches and then P got me back to 40, but in the meantime, I have this ruffle in my dishcloth.  Oh well, but I think I can knit and purl now.  I also worked on applique a bit, but mainly I learned how to knit...or so I thought, until I got up north to see Chris and walked into her house with her room mate's knitting sitting on the floor.  SHE IS MAKING A SWEATER!  Not just any sweater, but a gorgeous Norwegian sweater.  Now she is Norwegian, and she has clearly been knitting for a while, however she assured me that this was her first sweater.  I didn't take a picture, but I sure wanted to.  She has been doing socks for a few years...  There were perfectly consistent yarn floats to get the little white dots into the black background and a black and white triangular pattern around the bottom of the sweater... Absolutely gorgeous.  So, I ran out the next day and bought knitting needles and dishcloth yarn for Chris.  She must learn how to knit, and then, as M said, they can knit and watch tv together.  Good grief.  I don't think I will ever get good enough at knitting to do anything but watch where the yarn is...and my fingers are...and where the needles are.... 

The trees have turned to reds, yellows, and oranges in the Keweenaw.  These pics are for K, and your pretty colored leaves are on their way south.   The pic on the right is from Nara Nature Park across from the Pilgrim River Steakhouse.  I stopped there and walked for a bit along the trail, picking up leaves and admiring the trees.  The one on the left is from the MTU parking lot overlooking Portage Lake.  Chris and I drove up to Copper Harbor too, but it was cloudy and raining, so the leaves weren't great.  Some of the trees had already dropped in the wind.  But we stopped for a bit along the Lake Superior beach and watched the waves crash in over the rocks, it was so beautiful.  We also stopped at a restaurant in Calumet on the way back and had thimbleberry margaritas.  Only in the UP...

I went to the Durand Quilt Show today and these were some of my favorites. 

This one is applique of course.  Very pretty and lots of work. 

This one was phenomenal.  Someone has made 2,288 2" log cabins and turned them into this 83x96" quilt.  She did it all by hand.  This lady had lots of scraps of fabric and loads of time.  If you look closely, you can see the little 2" block on the paper.  Incredible. This was definitely my choice for the viewer's choice award.   The reason that quilters never throw away a scrap of fabric... 

 I liked this log cabin too.  It's hard to see in the photo, but she called this one Cabin Songs and it has an appliqued border of trees and coyotes howling in the corners.  Her colors were wonderful, bright, and perfect for a cabin in the woods. 
 This is a pattern from a book called French Braid.  I took this photo because Rh just bought this book and loves this style of quilt.  You can't tell from the photo, but the maker quilted this with a silver metallic thread and it just shines. 
Another applique, one of Mary Warner Stone's patterns.  This one was appliqued with a button hole stitch done by machine, rather than hand, but the colors were great. 

 Another applique, done by hand, I think.  She used batiks and it was bright and cheerful.  I loved her border and she had appliqued the veins on the leaves, which I had never seen done before. 
I took this photo because this is the same basic pattern as Don's apple quilt, and I was really surprised at how different the quilts were, even using the same pattern.  She used batiks and Don's quilt has the red and gold apple fabrics with the freehand lettering in the border.  This one was nice, but I do like Don's quilt better.  Personal bias...