Saturday, January 30, 2010

Quilt Show


I know that my posts were few and far between. Things have been busier at work. I was expecting this, which explains why I allowed myself more than one post a day earlier this month.

It's the weekend, and we went to a quilt show held by a local guild. Such lovely quilts. The picture is a small sampling.



And then we took a walk in the park. The camera helped us forget the cold. We went to a buffet dinner.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

10 Best Posts Today Award

I felt bad for not choosing any bloggers for the Lemonade award. Too much pressure to choose the best blogs for anything.

But I decided to share with you some posts and sites that I have seen today. My award; my rules. I am behind on blog reading, so these may not be the most recent post the blogger has posted. Also you might notice that most of these awards have a tendency to be in alphabetical order. Well, that is because I read my blogs in alphabetical order. Sorry if your blog is in the wrong part of the alphabet to get a chance to win an award today. If people like this post, I might do it again another time, and maybe next time, you stand a chance of winning.

Laura Peterson made a quilt called The Quilt Show that was on the Road to California show. You must see this quilt. Click on the link to get to the site. Yes that's a quilt, not a photograph of a quilt show. Be sure to click on the links on the page to get the details on the individual quilts. The little quilts are amazing of themselves, and when put into the show. Wow. That was one idea I had seen before - making a quilt with lots of little quilts. I vaguely remember seeing this concept a long time ago. She did it, and she did a fabulous job.

Thank you to Paulette for showing me this quilt. Also check out the wool crazy quilt she found. Beautiful.

Syko made these beautiful applique quilts. I love her style of applique. Love the freedom. The applique stitches add a lot to the pattern, instead of simply being something to attach the fabric to the background.

Jackie at Tallgrass Prairie Studio makes modern and liberated quilts. She is very inspiring, and she teaches me that you don't have to make a quilt with a million pieces for it to be beautiful.

Tanya lives in Japan, and has helped me tremendously with my Japanophile daughter. She posts daily, and I read her blog daily. since I didn't have any unread posts from her, I almost missed adding her to this list. I've learned a lot about Japan, and consider her to be my friend.

Teri at Teri's Painted Daisies is a quilter, but mostly she paints everyday. One of her posts a while ago, had collage postcards made with words found in newspapers and magazines that were ready to be thrown away or recycled. I used that idea to make my ATCs. I love using words, but then wonder if I'm choosing the right word to feature. This idea made it easy, I was limited by the words that were available to me in the catalog I was using, and I just used the ones that were the right size and had a pretty font. I will be doing more of this in the future.

Vicki from What a Load a Scrap has been showing some pretty quilts. I really like the blue and white one here and the string quilt.

Megan at Will Work for Fabric has been making a patriotic quilt that is a combination of patchwork and applique. It's a nice masculine quilt. Love the horses.

Cheryl Goss at Willowberry Designs is hosting another free beautiful BOM, Under the Sea. I downloaded her designs last year, and still want to make them someday.

Wishes, True and Kind
has posted some pretty quilts in her last few blog posts. I really like the value quilt. It's on my very long to-do list.

Okay, I've named 10 sites, and need to stop and work on my doll quilt and cleaning.

Strangers and Stupidity

I've been reading a couple of books, that I thought were worth noting.



Consequential Strangers: The Power of People Who Don't Seem To Matter.. But Really Do.
I'm afraid this one didn't hold my interest until the end, probably only because my reading is as scattered as my quilting, so I didn't read the whole thing, but the topic is worth noting. There are many important people that come and go in our life and don't get a lot of attention in life - the coworkers, the people in line, the hairdresser, the store clerk, the librarian, the bus buddy, and now lately, the blogging friends, the Facebook friends who are befriended only because they play the same game. Some of them are short term, some of them are long term, but they are all important. Yesterday, the librarian pointed out a quilting book to me.

There have been several times in my life when I relied on the consequential, short term strangers, to help me get through - like when I quit my job, and all the people in my regular support system were at work, and didn't know what it was like to not work. The people on the child support listserv who helped me understand the various sides of the issue.

Now I've got a new group of Consequential Strangers. The people on the couponing blogs who tell me where to get the best deals. The people who leave reviews for the products I am thinking about buying. The genealogy and quilting bloggers who keep me informed of the current trends in those topics. Most of these people don't know me very well, if at all, and probably wouldn't miss me much if I left their forum. I think now with the new applications, there are more Consequential Strangers to meet, and to appreciate.



Just How Stupid Are We? Facing the Truth About the American Voter.
This one is about how fickle and uninformed most American Voters are. Another one where bringing up the topic is more important than what is actually said in the book. With modern resources, we are able to find out much faster what is going on in the world, and can complete polls and get in touch with our representatives much faster. But we don't seek out information and don't know much about what is going on. Personally, I am willing to take some of the blame. It's true that I don't take the time to find out what is going on in the world everyday. But I think the media has to take the blame as well. Our newspaper, and news shows only cover local and national news. I have to go out of my way to learn about events happening around the world, but celebrity news comes my way from everywhere. I don't know what I don't know, so it is hard to look for it.

It's my Consequential Strangers, my blogging friends from around the world, that are helping me be more informed, not just about quilting and money saving deals and genealogy, but also about what is going on around the world. Thank you.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Lemonade Stand Award



Allie gave me a Lemonade Stand Award. Thank you so much, Allie. that is really sweet of you.

The Lemonade Stand Award, given out for bloggers that show great attitude and gratitude. Now isn't that a lovely award?

Here are the rules:
Put the Lemonade logo on your blog or within your post.
Nominate at least 10 blogs with great attitude or gratitude.
Link the nominees within your post.
Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award.
[Copied and pasted from Allie's blog.]


I have a very long list of people I visit from time to time, so choosing 10 bloggers is really be impossible, and I think I am going to pass this time. Too much thinking on my part, choosing the recipients among the long list, trying to avoid the popular ones, so I can highlight the hidden gems, worrying about whether they like getting awards, etc.


Monday, January 18, 2010

How Many?



I had hoped to have finished the top of the doll quilt I am making, because other quilts are crying out their names to me. I am planning on hand quilting this, so as soon as the top is pieced and sandwiched, I will be able to move on to a UFO. Almost everybody else has already finished theirs without issue.

I am apparently numerically challenged, despite my career choices, probably because I was trying to count how many there are of each block by looking at the picture of the finished quilt, and I probably did it too fast and haphazardly. I have finished the sixteen patches (most of them anyway), and the triangle setting blocks. I didn't account for the eight patch blocks, so I've got some more sewing to do. This is not a big deal, I am enjoying the process.

It's a big culture shock from doing a raw edge casual project with few pieces to doing a small quilt with so many pieces, where scant quarter inch sewing matters. I had to sew many of the seams again to get closer to the tip to make my points sharper.

In case I make this quilt again, (when I'm done with all the other quilts that are calling my name) I thought I would write down the count here so I don't go through this again.

The directions are on Lori's blog. She was so sweet to do all the measurements for us and give us the directions. Her directions aren't wrong; I just happen to be making mine "easier", by using the same green fabrics in each block. Let's not debate the difference between blue and green, ok? We do that enough at home. The picture makes these look a lot more blue than they do here.


There are twelve of these blocks. The cheddar is cut 3 3/8 inch squares. The squares are 1 1/2 inches. You need 2 light squares and 2 dark squares for each block, so 24 of each. The triangles are cut 1 7/8 inch square. There are 24 of the light and 24 of the dark squares, then cut on the diagonal. It is tempting to count how many pieces there are overall in this quilt, but I should wait until I am done with the quilt. More of the same size squares (not the cheddar) will be needed for the border. More of the cheddar fabric is also needed for the border, just not that size.

There are 13 of the 16 patch blocks. The squares are cut 1 1/2 inches and can be strip pieced.



They are simply alternated. See the picture at the top of this post. My daughter was on the computer and I was trying to lay it out from memory and put it on point. Don't do that. It is an interesting design choice though. When I did sew, I had to be careful, so the lights and the darks properly alternate. I found that if I made sure there was a dark square on the top right, every time, I was doing the rows right.

I kinda like the way the quilt looks without this border. It looks more finished this way. But I think it looks more old fashioned with the border, and am going to put it on. The border pieces are pretty much like half a block.



The cheddar are three 5 1/4 inch squares, cut twice on the diagonals to make quarters. There are 12 of the triangle setting blocks. 6 of them have the dark on the left and the light on the right, and the other 6 have the light on the left and the dark on the right.

There are 8 of the 8 patches. Simply half of the 16 patch blocks.

There are 4 of the 4 patches for the corners.

Yes, I do trim off the dog ears at some point.

Of course, if I stopped blogging about it, and simply made the quilt, I would have been done by now!

Edited to add:
I am submitting this post to Amy Lou's sew and tell. I haven't made any visible progress on this quilt since I wrote it.

I am glad I took the time to write all this though, because I was worried about running out of green fabric to add. With this post, I realized that each of my fabric scrap additions were greener and greener. I am hoping for something that looks like similar values. I was worried it would be too obvious that I didn't plan the colors very well. In the last addition, I was able to add something to the other side of the color range, something slightly bluer. I think I have enough fabric now for the whole quilt.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Quilt National

We went to see the Quilt National show at the Rife Gallery today. Since it was the last day of the show, it was now or never. We were not allowed to take photos, even though someone else there took plenty. I decided to follow the rules. Couldn't take photos outside either because it was raining.

So many beautiful quilts. My mother, sister, brother-in-law, and nephew and I went. I kept looking at all the techniques, and thinking that I should make a quilt like that. Not to copycat, but to be inspired by the technique. So many quilts, so little time. Hopefully I can make little quilts using the techniques. Here is a link to some of the quilts we saw. Not all of these quilts were in the gallery.

Africa Scarified is made of squares of fabric which may have been appliqued instead of pieced. There were a lot of beads, and couched yarn to make an aerial scene. Wonderful! I would love to make something like this.

Falling Leaves probably starts with a base of the trees, but then has snippets all over for the leaves. There is also a path you can't see in the photo. The artist statement said she used scraps leftover from all the other projects, separated by colors. It is then closely free motion quilted. We tried to see traces of tulle, but we didn't see any. I'm not sure what was used to keep the fabrics in place until it could be sewn down. Another technique I definitely want to do.

Miscellany is also a wonderful use of leftover fabric. Make little blocks - these look like they are probably paper pieced, and over time a new quilt is born.

There were a couple of portrait quilts. One was made of dotted fabric squares. There was also a portrait made of yoyos. The shading was then painted on. My mother thought this would be wonderful to do with her mother's clothing. She said she will ask her sister if the clothing is still available. She even said she would help make the yoyos.

Did you notice, all of my favorite quilts make it much harder to throw away even tiniest bits of fabric! I think all these ideas would work with my plan to use up the fabric when I make a quilt to storing avoid leftover scraps.

Product Review: Cropper Hopper



I wrote a review for another blog in November, and never heard from them, so I figure I'll post it here for you.

Cropper Hopper 10 Drawer Rolling Organizer

This is a great way to store and compartmentalize little, lightweight things. A scrapbooker, a jewelry designer, a quilter, an office worker or a student would all be able to keep his / her things organized. I bought this on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving when lots of things go on sale, and many people in the long line had this organizer in their carts. One lady said she was going to assign each group of students in her classroom their own color-coded drawers. It could be useful to keep by the door for each household members' keys, signed permission slips, or mail. You could purchase drawer organizers, like those used for utensils, to separate out smaller items.

It does require some assembly, but it is not difficult. The directions, with five steps, are easy to understand, and have clear pictures. Everything you need is included, with some extras. The box says you need a hammer, but I'm not sure what it is for, maybe snapping in the casters. I didn't have any difficulty just pushing them in. The only other equipment I used was a screwdriver to tighten the screws behind the drawer knobs. The box did not call for a screwdriver. You could add other drawer pulls (not enclosed) to personalize your cart. The dimensions are 37 1/2" H x 13 " W x 15 1/4 " D.





The drawers are nice size, about 10" W x 14 1/2" W x 2 1/2" D, with plenty of room for a ream of paper and other supplies. There are ten drawers, with room at the top for additional things. I plan to use stickers to label the drawers. Hopefully this will help me put things back where they belong. The drawers are not enclosed, so they will collect dust. I plan on covering my organizer up when not in use. To open the drawer, either lock the wheels or hold on to the cart. There are no locks to keep the drawer in the cart, so it is possible to pull too hard and have your supplies spill out onto the floor and the other drawers. The drawers only open from the front.



It is lightweight aluminum, and plastic, not industrial strength. To test it, I put a ream of paper in the top drawer. The picture shows the top drawer pulling away from the rail, but not slipped off. It felt like the drawer was straining to open, and when I closed it and opened it again, it slipped off the rail, so it was resting awkwardly on the second drawer. Even though there is room for a ream of paper and other supplies, I would recommend storing things that are lighter. I will keep my beads and other small items in containers before putting them in the drawer.

The average retail price seems to be around $70. I haven't compared this with other products, but I think you should be able to find something sturdier for that price. The Black Friday price was $24.99, which makes it a good value for me.

Pros

Pretty colors, color coded supplies.

Lots of drawers to compartmentalize stuff in a small convenient space.

Can be moved around a room with casters. Two of the four casters have locks.

The drawers are removable, so supplies are portable.

Cons

The drawers will fall off the rail when loaded with heavy items.

Some assembly required.

The drawers are not covered, so you could get some dust in your storage. This also makes it hard to move over thresholds and to different floors, depending on the contents, in case something spills out of the drawers, so it is best for a designated craft room.

The drawers do not have stops in the back, so you have to be careful to not open them too far, so your contents aren't all spilled over the floor, and into other drawers.

Since I wrote this post, I loaded it with my supplies. I'm loving being able to organize my stuff and finding it easily. I thought 10 drawers is a lot of space, but I apparently have lots of supplies. Pins and needles, 2 drawers of ribbons, beads, scissors and rotary cutters, markers, small templates. I have one WIP in there, but I'm not sure I'll use it for that - most of my UFOs tend to be bigger than will fit in there. I haven't gotten a chance to label the drawers yet, I was waiting to make sure I was sure about my loading choices. I have a tendency to not lock the wheels, and I had a box of unopened pins that fell all over the floor as a result. I was planning on also doing a review on the sewing table as well, and I will do that here later.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Retreat

Virginia Cole of Galloping Pony is holding a cyber retreat at the end of this month. Check it out.

Cheddar Cheese and Crackers



I think it snowed 17 days in a row. But yesterday, the sun was out, and started to melt the snow off the street and roof. It is warmer and winter doesn't seem so bad here.

I've been watching the news about the earthquake in Haiti, and the aftermath. It brings to mind all the other disasters that have happened around the world. I really feel for the people in Haiti, and hope that help gets to them quickly. It takes a while to organize and coordinate relief efforts, and it always seems to take longer than it should to get help to the people who need it.

I've finished the first step of the Cheddar Cheese and Crackers quilt. I had counted how many pieces I needed for this block, and didn't think about the ones I would need for steps 2 and 3, so had to dig out some more of the Bali pop strips. I decided to move on to step 3, and go back and do step 2. Hopefully, everything will look coordinated with the different strips I used, but if it doesn't, it doesn't much matter.

Nothing like an earthquake to keep things in perspective.

African Circles


I just love the Quilt Reveal label. I put it on this post before I even started writing or adding pictures. This is my first finish of the year, hopefully the first of many. The binding is done on the African Circles quilt.

This quilt is very different from my normal style, and I didn't even think I had one, and took me out of my comfort range. The African fabrics are busy, and I added a background that was also busy, but hopefully tames and brings them together. I know that the circles are arranged symmetrically, which wasn't the plan, but I had to put them in a pleasing arrangement, and symmetry is pleasing to my eye.

Just as a reminder, I used an old CD as a template, and the circles are attached raw edged with a zigzag stitch. They are also quilted with a zigzag stitch around each circle.



According to some sources I've read, Africans make their quilts busy to avoid evil spirits from getting into them. Somehow to my logic, it seems that busy quilts would trap the evil spirits in a quilt, which is still somehow a good thing. In either case, I added some quilting in a zigzag pattern on the circles on the side for the evil spirits. They may see that they will be treated like pinballs in this quilt, and avoid entering.



The border also has zigzag stitching, to create a diamond pattern.



Although it didn't need more quilting, since the circles are quilted, it did look like it needed more quilting design, so I looped around the middle circles. It was hard, because I wanted to make sure I wasn't causing any lumping as I created the loops. I didn't, even though the photo shows a crease. I'm not sure I like the circular quilting. I might take it out and add diagonal lines joining some of the circles. I'm just not sure the diagonal lines would look any better, and not sure it would make an overall difference in the quilt. Please let me know what you think.

For now, I'm calling it done, and reserving the right to redo the quilting.

I've added this blog post to Blue Cricket Design's show and tell Wednesday, and Amy Lou's Sew and Tell. Feel free to click on the links to see what other crafters are up to.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Cheddar Cheese and Crackers


I know I was going to finish African Circles before starting a new quilt. I could sit down all day and finish sewing down the binding, but I would prefer to do it when I am sitting down to watch TV, leisurely. All that sitting around is not good for me, and I've never abandoned a quilt at the binding stage.

I know I said I was going to make circle banner quilts, or finish some UFOs, or at least start on one of the quilts that are already kitted up and not started. I might have to call the kitted quilts UFOs, just to get moving on them.

But I also said that I was going to take advantage of little projects when they called to me. And Lori at Humble Quilts is making a doll quilt called Cheddar Cheese and Crackers. It's a doll quilt, how long can it take? I'm not making it as scrappy as she is, but I think batik fabrics will add to the variety. Even though I am technically opposed to cutting up a jelly roll vertically, since it kind of ruins the point of buying precut fabric if you aren't going to use it's precut features, I figure since this takes just a few strips, it won't hurt to do it this time. It keeps me from rummaging through the stash for other fabric, which is always a good thing.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Scanfest Resumes



I've been reading a genealogy book - one about writing your history, and looking at the photos makes me jealous. These gorgeous black and white photos of days gone by, which we have very few of, beautiful certificates and memorabilia, and even the color photos are nice. The boxes of ephemera looks so nicely old and well loved and well used. I was thinking that if I photographed boxes of ephemera, they would simply look cluttered and dirty and disgusting.



They did lead me to resume Scanfest. Instead of starting with one of the big boxes, I thought I would start with a smaller album. Note that the first photo is not all inclusive of the photos that need scanning. This album is one my sister gave me, probably for my daughter's second birthday. It wasn't a quick scan-while-reading-blogs, because the photos are tucked into sheets, so they had to be taken out and put back in after the scan. It is a nostalgic trip down memory lane through diaper changing and spoon feeding days. One thing I love about these pictures is that they are taken before we became artistic. The backgrounds are clear for everyone to see. I can see what my sister's place looked like.

I think we need to do more of that. Besides taking the artistic shot, and the closeup shot while blurring the background, once in a while, we should take a wide angle view of the background. So what if it is cluttered or boring. It will remind the future us of the setting of the story of our lives in 2010.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Squirrel



I was shoveling the walk, yes again, and I kept hearing noises from the neighbor's tree. I figured it was the squirrels. This is the first time I remember seeing squirrels in the wintertime, and these like to make tracks in the snow. One of them was making noises the whole time I was shoveling. I was trying to figure out whether I was being yelled at for clearing "their" space, or maybe I was being told about spots that I missed. I missed a good squirrel-on-the-post photo yesterday, so of course, I brought out the camera.



I couldn't see the squirrel from the viewfinder - transition lenses, coldness, laziness, and bright outdoor light, so I just took some pictures until I finally aimed the camera at the right branch.



Just eating, and not talking to me. I like the wrong ones I took as well, so I'm sharing those as well. Yes of course it's snowing again.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Snow



It's been snowing everyday, enough to have to clear the walk everyday. There is going to be 2-4 inches of snow today. Our first significant accumulation. Schools are closed early - the forecasters are calling it a blizzard. The police have stopped taking accident calls unless there is an injury to a person. You can compare the photo to the one in this post. There is a street and a couple of driveways under there. The street doesn't get cleared unless there is significant accumulation, so it is slippery under the snow. Oops, got water on the lens.

I was expecting this, so I went shopping for my free stuff yesterday. Yes, more office supplies. I like to use my cash back from free stuff to buy more free stuff so I can have cash back so I can buy more free stuff. I was expecting to stay home and quilt today.

The daughter had other plans and decided to call and get a job interview today. I told her we could go early and hopefully get back before the snow gets a chance to start or accumulate. They offered her a chance to stay and visit, and she took it. I got to pick her up when the snow is at its worse, before the snow plows had a chance to get to it. As she says, it is a short drive. And I didn't tell her this, but I need short stints like this to strengthen up my winter driving stomach muscles.

I've finished quilting the circles. I can stop singing "You spin me right round, like a record, baby." I tried doing some free motion, but the planets have not properly aligned for it. I tried two different brand new needles, two different threads, and all of the tension settings. I have done free motion before, but for me, it either works or it doesn't. Besides, the quilting idea I want for this quilt, zigzag, actually looks better with a walking foot. Hopefully I'll be able to finish quilting it today. I have more windows to cover with plastic, and maybe wash the curtains while I am at it, but I'm not going out again today.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

2010 Plans



As I was looking at blogs during the holiday season, one thing that really jumped out at me were the banners. So many beautiful banners. I thought it would be really fun to make banners to decorate the house with. Most of the banners were triangular pennant, using a couple of fabrics. Some of them were half an oval shape, with each half oval having it's own theme and design. I really like all the ideas - the similar pennants, and the decorate each piece idea, the semi oval idea. Except that I didn't have time, since I was busy making holiday gifts.

I really enjoyed having some progress everyday, and I'm pretty sure that my readers enjoy seeing new projects, instead of the same old "I quilted another circle today" post. One way I thought I could remedy that is to make a little scrap quilt out of the leftover fabrics. But that still doesn't amount to a lot of projects. I thought seriously about making journal quilts - maybe one a month, and I could use my new quilt hanger that came with the apron pattern.

Today, I received a couple of emails referring me to this French blog. There is a translator on the blog. It's a group of people who make something similar to ATCs and postcards and twilts and journal quilts, except that they make them the shape of a CD circle. I like circles, in case you couldn't tell that from my African Circles quilt.

I'm not making any promises, and not joining the group officially, but maybe you might see some CD circles on my blog from time to time, and maybe those CD circles will eventually become a banner of some sort. It worries me, because it sounds an awful lot like starting a new quilt when I have lots of old quilts to finish, but maybe I'll be able to think of some reward system to fit it in.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Progress on African Circles



When I showed you the picture from the archive, I realized that I hadn't taken a recent picture. Because this quilt isn't made with blocks, I was thinking progress pictures wouldn't be able to show very much, but there has been a border added that doesn't show in the photo, and circles quilted that probably won't show in the photo. Only four left! I folded over the green backing fabric on the right so you can see it. Parts of the extra batting was borrowed for the holiday gifts!


I am still quilting down the circles. Since I wasn't able to free motion, I am zigzagging them, which requires turning the quilt all the way around under the machine for each circle. It feels like there are many more circles than you can see. Makes me think of the toy Sit and Spin. Remember that I already zigzagged them down to the top, and now I am quilting another zigzag round the same way. After this, I will try to free motion again, with my fresh brand new pack of needles.

When my shoulder muscles are tired of going back and forth turning the quilt around in the machine, I am taking a break and letting my shoulder muscles go up and down putting up more plastic in the windows. I have lots of old windows, and it is really cold outside. I've had this on my to-do list since October 1, but there is something about really cold weather to motivate me to do this task.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Movies

When I was younger, I had a magnetic photo album. More than one, actually. And I had recently learned about scrapbooking, when it was in its infancy. One of the things they did, was to save stuff for the album. Stuff like movie tickets. So I saved them - I think it was a nice recap of the movies I had seen, even though I eventually forgot what some of the movies were even about. And some people would ask me why I was saving movie tickets - like they were something important. Eventually, I threw them out, and I regret doing so. Because I think the movies I saw are important to me.

I enjoy going to movies. I usually go with someone, and that adds to the experience. I'm not going to start saving ticket stubs, but I have a blog now where I can document my movie watching, hopefully with enough details so I will remember it.


On Christmas Day, my princess and I watched The Princess and the Frog. It was a good movie. It has been brought to my attention that Disney has a good and evil theme in so many of their movies, and this one was no exception. It does bother me that they do that. The world isn't full of good and evil. There are many shades of gray, and there isn't evil lurking around every corner. I didn't mind watching it, I just don't think that that lesson should be taught over and over again to children. the feminist in me didn't like the ending, but it is a fairy tale, and I don't know how they could have made it work except how they did. The graphics were great, including a couple of scenes that had me designing some quilts.


There were lots of people at the theater. Apparently, we aren't the only ones that make movie watching a Christmas tradition. When I first walked into the theater, I didn't see any children, which I thought was strange, but apparently they were all sitting up higher than I was. The main character in the movie wants to own a restaurant, and they talked a lot about foods from New Orleans. I've always wanted to visit there. It seems like one of those places that would be like a different world than plain old Ohio. Anyway, the movie made me want to try some of the foods, so I went home, and looked up "New Orleans pastry" recipe because I didn't know how to spell beignet. A few days later, I made it. The recipe calls for 7 cups of flour! Yikes. I halved it, using only half of the yeast. I should have halved it again, but that would have involved using half an egg and throwing away three fourths of the yeast packet. Looking for the recipe again, I can see that there are recipes that make a smaller batch, but I couldn't find one at the time. They were really good. My mother has forbidden me to eat donuts because they are not healthy, but beignets are not on the "do not eat" list. The princess ate some, and I shared them with my friend and her family when they came to visit.


Yesterday, my brother, daughter and I went to see Avatar. I was told the plot was trite, but I really liked the movie. I thought the plot was great, and the computer graphics was wonderful. I found it very believable, and everything was tied together at the end.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Year - New Quilt


Picture from archives

I've seen a couple of blogs where the quilter resolved to start a new quilt for the New Year. Tempting. Very tempting.

But when I was doing my annual recap of 2009, I realized that I have to take the opposite approach. You see, I've been trying to get away from feeling bad that I don't have a lot of finishes to show you. I have been telling myself that it isn't about the quantity. I should make the quilts that I find beautiful, and not worry about how long it takes to make. So many of the projects I like have piecing and applique, and I am very, very slow when it comes to applique.

I am not going to make resolutions this year. It seems like when I tell myself that I can't do something, or that I must do something, I become very disobedient. No one tells me what to do, not even myself!

Instead, I am trying to think of this positively. I have lots and lots of quilts in the works. It's like with your taxes, they tell you to save up and use it all in the same year so you can get the most bang for your buck. If you are expecting a big medical expense, do all your medical things the same year, so that you can itemize and get a big refund. I didn't have any big finishes last year, but that only means that I have a lot of quilts that are close to completion. This means I can have double the finishes this year. I have lots of quilts that have made good progress, that it shouldn't take to much more to take them to completion this year.

Does this mean there won't be a new quilt this year? Absolutely not. There are lots of kits that are calling my name. But hopefully, I'll get a couple of older quilts finished before they start jumping up and down and screaming.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year 2010



I hope that this New Year brings you lots of fun adventures, health, wealth, and happiness. I am still trying to start the new year right, finishing up the leftover tasks, sewing, and blogging.