Saturday, December 30, 2006

Playin' Around

Well, now that I've got time on my hands, I've found some lovely ways to fool around.

In the mood for a lovely, wintery game? Try Winterbells. It's charming and amazingly addictive. And the music is so soothing.

Want something more upbeat and graphic? Try these squares.

Did you know you can play Battleship online? I loved this game as a kid.

I've discovered I'm quite good at online miniature golf...better than I am in person.

How's your aim at tossing paper into the trash can? You can practice here.

Or if you just want to mindless pop bubblewrap? Go crazy here.

Oh, and in case you need to send some holiday thank-yous before you can play without guilt? Well, here you go.

Good thing I didn't discover all of this before I got my work done.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Back to the living

Well, I made it through my massive work project. I have logged something like 60 billable hours in the last week, and I'm pretty tired. But all is done and filed in court and now I have at least a week with no work to do. Plus, there's a big check coming for all these hours so that's handy.

Yesterday, having been to bed at 3:30 am, I woke up at 10am, spent a few more hour on the computer and phone to make sure all the work got to the secretary and was ready for filing, then went back to bed and slept solidly from 1 to 5 pm. I rose, had dinner, and was ready for bed by 9pm. I sure can't do late nights any more, and when I do I take forever to recover.

BUT today I am back among the living. I have had breakfast with Roger and Caroline, I've put away two loads of laundry and have more going, I've tidied up Christmas debris and vacuumed the whole downstairs, I've loaded Itunes on Caroline's computer so she can manage her own brand new Ipod, I've put my work files away (out of sight, out of mind!) and I've made a grocery shopping list. I don't think I've been out of the house in 6 days, so an excursion to the store should be an adventure!

Something tells me I'll be crashing for a nap later...but for now, I feel quite happy to be back to real life. Oh, and I've made the blogger transition to New, Improved Blogger so we'll see how it all goes.

Can quilting be far behind?!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Let the cooking begin!

Last night, feeling fuzzy headed and bleary eyed, I emailed a draft of the pleading I've been writing to Bob, my legal compatriot, then turned off the computer and went off to soak in the bubble bath. Lovely! I was in bed by 10pm, which is hours and hours early for me this week.

But today I am in holiday mode. This afternoon my best friend in the world Beth arrives, then she and my sister and the three of us will feast on cold cracked crab, sourdough french bread, Prosecco (Italian sparkling wine) and caesar salad.

My holiday surprise to everyone tonight is MATCHING CHRISTMAS pajamas, so we can all look foolishly festive (or festively foolish) while we sit around after dinner playing games and such.

Tomorrow, my folks, brother, SIL and her mom will arrive mid-afternoon. Dinner will involve herb-crusted beef tenderloin, baked shrimp, cream cheese scalloped potatoes (a new crock pot adventure), salad, and the required raspberry jello salad. Beth is bringing a Buche de Noel (the traditional french chocolate cake yule log, which will amuse my mother no end as she will surely remember my senior year in high school when she helped me make one for my french class christmas party) and Kitt is bringing apple pie.

So, today is all about food. I am off to make the jello, the artichoke dip (another absolute holiday must-have in our family), and two kinds of Christmas cookies. Usually I get the cookies done earlier...but heck, they're getting baked and that's what counts. They're not even needed for Christmas, actually, but for the post-Christmas nibbling.

Caroline is ready to be my #1 helper, and Roger plans on an afternoon nap, which he richly deserves after covering most of the parental duties while I've been locked in my office all week.

Now, where's that butter? Hand me the bag of flour...

Friday, December 22, 2006

A Paper White Christmas

Here's a holiday riddle for you.

What goes rustle rustle rustle, clickety clickety clickety, munch munch munch, zzz zzz zzz?


The rustle rustle rustle? I am wading through 8000 documents for a litigation emergency. I'm not kidding. I have 7532 to go. That's MY white Christmas.

The clickety clickety clickety? Typing the pleadings. They're due on Dec. 29 and I have sworn to do no work on Dec. 24 and 25, so I'm clicking as fast as I can.

The munch munch munch? Holiday cookies, of course.

And the zzz zzz zzz is self-explanatory. Although that's what I'm doing least of this week.

Despite the work craziness, I'm enjoying the festive feeling as Christmas approaches. Caroline is thrilled to be done with school for 2 weeks (and Roger is for 4 weeks). I'm jettisoning things off of the pre-Christmas to-do list right and left with determined practicality. I can always watch White Christmas after December 25.

So, blogging is taking a seat in the way back of the bus, as is the AQ blog ring. (Sorry to all of you with blogs pending...I'll get back to it soon, I promise.)

Meanwhile, I wish all of you the happiest of holidays. Enjoy your loved ones and be glad to be together.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Everything's Coming up Cupcakes

I have gone from being sick and lethargic to being healthy and frenzied. I guess that's par for the course at this time of year, eh?

We are in full holiday mode around here. The tree is up, the decorations are scattered throughout the house ("Why is there a Santa in our bathroom?" Roger asked. His family never was into holiday decorations much, I guess) and lights are strung outside. Shopping is even almost done. My annual late night "White Christmas" movie-and-gift-wrapping fest is not far away.

But first, the show must go on. This year, Caroline has been involved in a wonderful kids' acting group called the Imagination Foundation, and this weekend is their big ensemble performance of 1001 Arabian Nights. Caroline and about 15 other kids have been working for months on this production. They performed Thursday morning for a whole bunch of kids from various schools in the community, then have shows Friday night, Saturday night, and Sunday afternoon. Thursday was a special thrill because Caroline's classmates, teacher and principal were there, along with various other friends. The play is going off without a hitch and Caroline is discovering the excitement of performing with a group of friends. After tonight's performance, she said the best part was when they huddled backstage for a celebratory cheer.

And those cupcakes up there? I didn't bake those, but it sums up today. I made 4 dozen festive cupcakes and three batches of fudge (plain, pecan, and peppermint) for the theatre bake sale. Maybe I'll be able to face the family Christmas cookies next week sometime.

I am SO looking forward to snuggling into my flannel sheets tonight! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, December 10, 2006

A reassuring surprise

This morning I tried to call a friend in Sacramento, and started to dial her area code, 916. Well, my office phone is getting old and now I find that I have to press the buttons extra hard to get them to register. Well, as I was dialing I noticed that some numbers weren't registering and some were registering double, so I hung up and dialed again. As it turned out, my friend wasn't home and I left her a quick message.

Moments later, my phone rang. It was a police dispatcher. "We've received a 911 hang up call from this number," she said. "Is everything okay?" I realized that my "1" button had registered twice as I tried to dial 916, so I'd accidentally dialed 9116 before I'd hung up. I thanked the dispatcher for checking, apologized for the false call, but explained that it was my phone acting weird and I hadn't meant to dial 911.

Well, just minutes later Caroline came running up to my office (where I was engrossed in sewing) and said that daddy needed me downstairs right away. I headed downstairs, where I found a police officer in our living room. "We got a 911 call from Diane," he said, "and I just wanted to make sure you were okay." Turns out that even tho I had confirmed for the dispatcher that it was a mistake, officers check on 911 calls in person to verify. The officer wasn't going to take Roger's word for it that I was fine, without seeing me. I reassured him that it WAS an accidental dial, and he left.

Isn't it nice to know that a 911 one call (even an accidental one) gets this much assistance?

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Odds and Ends

Thanks for all the nice comments about my red and white house blocks. They've been fun to make.

And about those blocks? Some time ago (over a year, probably) I bought this set of templates thinking it'd make the house-construction easy. So, last weekend I pulled them out to use them. Well, although the package doesn't say this anywhere on the outside, these templates only work for the traditional style house if you applique several components. Frankly, this hugely irritates me. The block is perfectly piece-able, and the package didn't provide any clue about this change in construction technique.

So, after some fiddling (and concluding that I was too spacy to try to draft a new block) I found a paper-pieced schoolhouse block, a freebie on the Quilters Newsletter site. So I was able to forge ahead, without that nasty need to cut precise shapes ahead of time.

Meanwhile, on another note, the cats are enjoying our new sofas.

I'm getting really good at getting the cat off in a flash, by the way.

At least Willow cooperates by snuggling on the washable throw. (Isn't it gorgeous?) Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 01, 2006

Kick start for art quilts

Look what arrived in my mailbox this week! It's a wonderful booklet called "Small Art Quilts: Designing a Series" by our very own Deborah!

I was really looking forward to seeing this, as I know how charming Deborah's work is. And I am not disappointed! It's a great collection of tips and ideas for getting started in a fun, free-form way. And, in typical Deborah-style, there are cool illustrations and fun surprises inside.

I bought an extra copy to donate to my guild's library, by the way. We have a lot of members who want to try art quilting but don't know how to start. And this would make a great holiday gift for your quilty friends! You can order them herePosted by Picasa

Thursday, November 30, 2006

At Home

Things have been so silent here because things have been really quiet around my house.

I've had some creepy, crawly flu bug, and all I've done, pretty much, is drag myself from bed to couch and back again. I think I've watched more tv in the past week than I've seen in the past 3 months.

I'm feeling a tad perkier, but I'm still shaky.

And those red houses up there? For years I've had this desire to have a red and white school house quilt to hang in the stairwell in December. Don't ask me why, but I just like this simple traditional pattern. I've been collecting red and white prints for a few years now, and over thanksgiving weekend I figured I'd give it a start. It's another mindless sit-at-the-machine and sew sort of thing, for that little energy I've had.

Okay. That's my endurance for the morning...back to the couch for me with a up of hot tea. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The bottom of it all

No, we don't have a pink living room floor. But this is what the living room and dining room look like today as I'm waiting for the carpet guy to come back and install the new carpet.

This will represent the final fix of the vandalism damage, believe it or not. New couches arrived last week.

Now all that will remain is to redecorate the rest of the room to match the new stuff. Ahem.

I've been hanging out at Calico Corners lately, and have acquired fabric for new valances, slipcovers for the dining room parson's chairs, and other fabric for the other dining room chair seats.

So I'll be upholstering any day now. And we should have a whole new look downstairs by Christmas. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 18, 2006

The lull

I'm having one of those fallow periods. I've gotten a bunch of things done, and there is nothing pressing on my plate at the moment. You'd think this would be a great time to jump in and play with one of the many ideas I've had rolling around in my head.

But I'm just not in the mood.

All last week, I cleaned and tidied and purged and filled several car-loads with stuff for the Salvation Army. So, I'm enjoying just sitting in a very tidy house.

I've finished three quilts in the last few weeks. It's satisfying to have them out of my works-in-progress pile and I've enjoyed working on them. But (strangely, for me) I'm not in any rush to start something new.

I just got the wonderful Journal Quilts book from Quilting Arts and I've really been enjoying looking through it. There are great creative ideas on every page. Still, I've not rushed to my studio to try anything.

I think I just need to rest and recharge.

I'm reading. I went off to the library today to return the latest stack of books and found the Friends of the Library sale in progress. I came home with a new stack of books (hardbacks for $1 each!) so I have good reading ahead.

I've been watching Monarch of the Glen, a wonderful gentle series about the trials and tribulations of a modern-day laird of a run-down but charming castle in Scotland, courtesy of Netflix. And today, I started "Seamless," a documentary about the fashion industry which I suspect was the creative seed for Project Runway.

So, I feel a bit unsettled, but I'm remembering that these times are necessary for the busy times ahead.

Maybe I'll get my bag of Melody's fused scraps tomorrow and see what happens...

Monday, November 13, 2006

Monday's Agenda

As you can see from the view out my office window, it's a grey, rainy day today.

I love being inside and cozy on rainy days. (It's not the gorgeous snowfall that Gerrie and Kristin are enjoying, but it's good enough for me!)

I'll be doing some legal work this morning...

Then maybe some machine quilting to finish the garden quilt.

Not thrilling, but a day of contentedness.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Inch by Inch, Row by Row

I finished my second fruit and veggie quilt last night. It's called "Inch by Inch, Row by Row" from that lovely garden song. This pattern comes from Kaffe Fassett's Quilt Road book, and is a pattern designed by Mary Mashuta. It's chaotic and colorful, just like a real garden.

This morning, I took both fruit and veggie quilts outside to photograph them. I don't have a good place to photograph large quilts so I rig a temporary spot by pinning them to the shades that roll down and protect our patio from bright afternoon sun. I didn't take the time to make these look as square as they really are.

Here's the other fruit and veggie quilt, called "Eat Your Fruits and Vegetables: It's the Law!"

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Pointless Sisters' work

No quilting activity from me today, as I spent the day cleaning a big closet and various drawers. I'm in spring -- um, fall -- cleaning mode around here.

However, Ann H., the official photographer of our guild's art group (aka The Pointless Sisters) sent me a disk of photos from the last few meetings, as I'd promised to post them here. The Pointless Sisters is a subgroup of the Santa Rosa Quilt Guild, and it's open to anyone in the guild who is interested in art or contemporary or non-traditional quilts. It's a diverse group, and we have fun show-and-tell sessions.

Ann W.'s piece (from a Sue Benner workshop, I believe):

Caroline's appliqued and hand-quilted masterpiece, which is hanging at the Quilt Festival in Houston as I write this:

I don't know who made this, I'm sorry to say, but it's cool, isn't it?

A small landscape by someone (sorry, missed this meeting!)

Jane's fractured landscape:

Jane's play with dimension:

A broderie perse fence scene by Caroline:

Cathy Z's split circles

Janet's arabic lattice (notice all those coffee fabrics):

Janet's Twisted Sister quilt (she's in a long-time minigroup called the Twisted Sisters so this was perfect for her)

Selma's result from a workshop with Karen Combs at our guild

Genie's asian fabric quilt

Sandy's applique in progress


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Good news

The news this morning confirming the election results from last night started my day off very well, thank you very much. For the first time in years, I'm feeling hopeful about this country's future again.

And with that happy feeling, I headed off to my art mini-group with Pat, Rita, Ann and Cathy. Today we talked about our individual goals, which was a helpful and inspiring discussion. Each of us has pretty different goals, but we agreed that articulating them and discussing them from time to time will help each of us stay on track.

My goals? I came away with a newly revised list:

** Eliminate negative thinking about "unfinished projects" and regard those things as "works in progress." I know that I always work on a bunch of different things at a time, and if I am going to do my best work, I sometimes need to stop and let something sit before pushing forward just for the sake of finishing.

** Continue to make progress on the works in progress I have, and weed out the things that don't require any more energy from me. I have some "wips" that have taught me what I set out to learn and won't be improved from more time on them. It's time to let them go and move on.

** Play more. I tend to make everything a big project, rather than just letting myself experiment and try out new ideas and techniques. Maybe experimentation will lead to a bigger work, but maybe not. And that's okay.

** Explore my series topic with playfulness and adventure. When we started getting together, we all wanted to try to work in a series format, whatever that meant for each of us. I decided to explore my fascination with circles. I've been keeping a notebook with ideas and sketches, and I've done a few smaller things or have "wips" on the topic.

** Recognize what I *do* accomplish. Frequently I decide that on a particular project, I'm going to work on something (whether it's trying a new binding, or try some different quilting patterns, or experiment with fabric combinations). I'd like to be better about documenting what I've done with photos and notes so I can remember to recognize what I did manage to accomplish in my quilting.

** Let go of ambivalence at sometimes making quilts from patterns. Considering how certain I am that the quilt process is for me and me alone, I still manage to react to (and absorb) some quilt artists' view that it's not valid if it's not constant, original work. From time to time, I have to mentally step back and think about what I'm doing this for. I don't want to be known as a great artist. I don't want to have people seek me out to teach. I simply want to create quilts and quilt art and enjoy the process. Sometimes that means I'm creating something wholly new and original. Sometimes it means that I'm having fun by putting my fabric choices and taste and personality into traditional quilt shapes and patterns. Both are satisfying to me, that that's okay.

I came home to learn the news about Donald Rumsfeld's resignation and the increased likelihood that the Democrats have won the majority in the Senate as well as the House.

It has been a very good day.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

My country

I want my country back.

I want to be proud of my President and my government, instead of feeling ashamed at the narrow-minded, ill-informed, and arrogant man who currently fills that office.

I want to see America’s reputation in the world rise again, so that we’re viewed as a truth seeking, truth speaking, and honorably acting country.

I want to see our government acting to protect the lives of children and minorities and underprivileged people.

I want my government to place real value on education, by making sure that every child in this country gets an excellent one.

I want to see our elected officials not only talking about what is right, but doing what is right.

I want my country to be a leader in the world that other countries will want to follow, not be a bully nation.

I want my representatives to be smart, not devious.

And maybe today is a start.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Nantucket west

I've been working on a Nantucket theme in our master bathroom. And today, I added the picket fence.

I've always wanted to try this sort of wall mural stencilling. I found this fence stencil some months ago, at Beverly's I think. Having finished a big work project last night, I woke up this morning with the urge to give it a try.

There are actually two smaller bits of fence on the walls on either side of the door (behind me as I took this picture). It was pretty fun, actually, although I do think that my shadow grey is a bit too dark. I'll live with a bit before I decide whether to go over that color in a lighter grey.

I have a wonderful delphinium stencil that might make for nice flowers behind the fence...but we'll see. I've been looking for a good climbing rose stencil, but haven't one so far that I like. They're too "americana" or too victorian or, well, too something.

Tonight, I'm sore but satisfied. I think I'll go soak in the tub and admire my handiwork.

PS. Thanks for all the good-luck-with-lice wishes and suggestions from everyone. We have managed to avoid them, which is a pleasant relief.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Scariest Halloween Ever

So, you think your Halloween was scary?

I've got you beat. We've had the creepiest, most horrible Halloween surprise EVER.

A ghost? A haunted house? Bats in the attic?



When I called in to school this morning to report that Caroline would be out sick again, the secretary told me that not only are a whole bunch of kids out sick with this same bug, but also that an outbreak of head lice has been found in the 5th grade.

No sign of them on Caroline's head yet, but (knocking on wood) I've never had to deal with this and I'm a bit uncertain about how to tell the difference between the lice nits and plain old dandruff. I've been looking at pictures on the internet (yuck) and now I'm ready to do another check with my lighted magnifying glass.

Keep your fingers crossed for us that we've dodged this bullet.

[7pm: No nits in sight after careful inspection. Phew. Makes you itch just thinking about it, doesn't it?]

Monday, October 30, 2006

We interrupt this blog... make an important Artful Quilters Blog Ring announcement.

Today, a startled ring user let me know that someone's blog address had somehow been taken over by a very graphic porn site. (No, I'm not going to tell you which one.) Clearly, unbeknownst to the innocent artist whose blog was overtaken, some internet porn pirate planted something on her blog that caused the address to immediately leap to another not-at-all-quilt-related (ahem) site.

I'm letting you know about this because:

1. If you find anything like this on the ring, PLEASE let me know ASAP. We want to recruit new art quilters and art quilt afficianados, but not THAT way, okay? I'd like to move that stuff off of the ring right away if it shows up.

2. I have no idea how this could have happened, and the poor blogger will have to sort out what got added to her blog and how. Just so you know, it was a address. Those of us with addresses will have to keep watch, I guess.

Gee, I'll bet her blog reader stats changed pretty dramatically, eh?!

And now we return to our usual content...

Just another manic Monday

Remember that hokey song? Still, it sort of sums up the way this day has gone.

I had grand plans. I was going to spend a few hours on a research project, the kind I especially like because it involves researching a discrete issue that I can answer with a few hours' work. Then, I had quilting plans.

I'm in the process of doing quilting on this fruit and veggie quilt, and I was hoping to finish.

Yes, this is Fruit and Veggie #2 (ooh, a series!) which is likely to be an auction quilt for Caroline's school, if they end up having an auction. (Here's a funny thing... Knowing that this school has a big spring auction fundraiser and that they have a huge garden in which the kids work throughout the year, I set out in search of gardeny fabric to make a quilt for the auction...Which is how I ended up buying such vast quantities of this Kyle's Marketplace line of fabrics, more than enough to make 3 quilts (at least), thank you very much. And last week someone mentioned that they may not even HAVE the auction this year.)

Anyway. Here's a slightly better view of the quilt, when it is spread on the floor of my office. I've used Mary Mashuta's All Season Garden Quilt pattern (you can see her version here if you go to the Quilt Kits section and choose Quilt Road from the left-hand menu) from Kaffe Fassett's Quilt Road, a book I adore.

Then, assuming that I got THAT done (I do think big), I was gonna get started on quilting this gift quilt for my aunt. Yep, it's bundled up and you can't see what it looks like. Well, it's a gift!

And in case I wasn't in the mood to do that, I was going to play with my "fruit salad" bin of strips...

to make checkerboard sashing for yet another fruit quilt (no veggies, just fruit) made like this one, also from Kaffe Fassett's Quilt Road:

And how much of that did I get done, you ask?

None. At 9am I got a call from Caroline's school that she was feeling very ill. I rushed out and got her home in time to spend the morning doing comforting motherly things while she retched over the toilet. And you really don't want pictures of that.

(Now, at 3:30 pm, she has perked up some and we're contemplating whether some saltines and jello will stay in her stomach. Wish us luck.)

Saturday, October 28, 2006

More from the Junk Drawer

It's been one of those weeks filled with a lot to do and the feeling that I have very little to show for it.

On the one day I could take time for quilts with a clear conscience, I buckled down and faced my least favorite quilting task: piecing the quilt back. I even figured that as long as I was doing one, I'd do another. I had a tolerable time piecing the backs for my newest fruit and veggie quilt and the garden quilt I'm making for a Christmas present, and I got them both fully sandwiched and basted and ready to quilt. I felt very virtuous at the end of that chore!

I've discovered that my library was wireless internet now, which is what is allowing me to post this very entry. I've just dropped Caroline at a birthday party at a nearby park, and I came inside to escape the strange October hot spell and to get a bit done on the computer. I love that I can sit here and have full internet access for free, and all via my powerful green library card.

Speaking of birthday parties, I am frequently puzzled by the etiquette and safety issues these events present. For example, Caroline is at a new school this year and we know very few of the families with kids in her class. This is the second party she has attended which is hosted by people I don't know. Why should I leave my child in the care of people I absolutely do not know? At the last party (a backyard party in a child's heaven of a backyard, complete with swimming pool, trampoline, rope swing dangling over the trampoline, and big jumpy house), I looked around and pretty quickly saw that there were no adults watching the kids in the pool (while they pushed each other in) or on the trampoline. The mom and dad were busy going in and out of the house, fetching food and beverages and generally doing party stuff. So, I hung around and watched the pool, feeling that it simply wasn't safe to leave my child (and the others) unattended around the pool. No other parents seemed the least bit concerned. I guess I'm over-cautious. Today, I introduced myself to the host parents, looked at the park area where the party is taking place, and noted that there are various parents there watching the kids. I've decided to leave for a while, but I'm sure I'll go back before the end-time of 4:30 to see what's going on. Do other parents worry about this sort of thing? What do they do?

I had a lovely book club get-together last thursday night. We, the No Guilt Book Club, decided that we were in danger of becoming the No Book Book Club. We're a bunch of working moms, and we love having dinner together and we always intend to discuss what we read. But we don't typically see each other in our day-to-day lives, so we always have a lot to talk about when we meet at our monthly dinners. This time, we read Sister of My Heart by Chitra Divakaruni. And since it was about the intertwined lives of two cousins in India, we met at an Indian restaurant and had a delicious dinner. Next month's book is The Traveler by John Twelve Hawks. I've just grabbed a copy at the library. It doesn't look like the sort of story I'd usually choose, but that's the great thing about the book causes me to read books I wouldn't otherwise pick.

Unfortunately (and maybe coincidentally) I woke up in the middle of the night after that dinner with the worst stomach ache I remember having. I did not feel well AT ALL. I rallied to get out of the house on Friday, but I'm still on the edge of queasy. Saltine crackers are about all I want to eat right now.

On Friday, despite my weird stomach, I met up with my friends Janet, Pat and Pam to celebrate Pat's upcoming birthday and to wander around a few shops. We explored a yarn store (such tempting, lovely yarns!), a bead store (visual candy!), and a few "stuff" know, knick knacks and gifts and home decorating. AND we ventured off to find the new fabric store in our area, The Material Girl. At the moment, the shop is upstairs in a funny little strip mall building, but it is moving soon and the new space (right nearby) is large and well-lighted and looks like it will be great. Despite the tiny site now, we were all impressed with the great and interesting assortment of fabric. Lots of Kaffe Fassett and Amy Butler, a wonderful selection of black and white prints, some interesting vintage pieces of fabric on the bolt... I suspect I will return.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Show and Tell, Part 2

I wish I were quilting, but instead I'm catching up on home-business after my retreat days. So, I'll show you more gorgeous quilts from the retreat's show and tell.

Pam made this huge and colorful quilt:

Here's Kathy S.'s baby quilt:

Diane A. showed off this fun quilt from an Alex Anderson class:

Nancy made a poppy quilt from fabric she bought in France, and her good friend Diane A. liked it so much that Nancy surprised her with one for her, too. What a good friend!

And isn't this a great Halloween quilt by Nancy?

Here's Sydne's faces from a Therese May workshop:

Helen has the patience to do lovely hand-applique.

Tamara showed this chain variation (I forget what it was called) that matched her outfit perfectly!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Show and Tell

At some point during the ranch retreat, we take time to have a group show and tell. It's great fun and we all love seeing what the others have brought. I thought I'd share a few photos from this retreat's show and tell. A disclaimer: we hold show and tell in the ranch's chapel, where the lovely colors and stained glass windows make for unusual lighting. This year, we did this in the early evening, so the light was fading. As a result, the photos are not great (and in some cases really grainy) but you can still see the delightful quilts displayed by these talented women.

Pat D. shares my love of these Kyle's Marketplace fruit and veggie fabrics. She wasn't thrilled with this top but then someone suggested it would make a great tablecloth, so she loves it again.

Here's another beauty by Pat D.:

Eleanor usually works in the ranch kitchen, but this time got to attend the retreat as a guest and relax and sew! She shared this fun quilt.

Here's Kathy S.'s gorgeous poppy:

I love this strippy one by Maurine:

More fun strip work by Jennifer (excuse that elbow in the corner):

And you've got to love these circles by Diane A.:

Nancy shared this great fish quilt.

Look! More strip fun by Helen!

Several women in the group had taken a workshop from Therese May on whimsical portraits. Here's Lesley's, which I think she's making as a Day of the Dead quilt. It has buttons and puffy paint and all sorts of embellishment on it, and she promises more doo dads to come.

Here's something you won't see often: Carolynn holding up a bright quilt! Carolynn usually works in a very soft palette, but last time she and Pat D. challenged each other. Carolynn agreed to make a bright quilt if Pat D. made a brown quilt. Look how thrilled Carolynn looks with hers!

And here's Pat's brown quilt... Still pretty "bright" for a brown quilt, but it fit the bill. There was much hilarity as these two were shown.