Friday, November 30, 2007

My Last Link Gone

I received an e-mail last night telling me that my only cousin, Bill, had just died. I feel bereft because Bill was my last living link to my childhood and my father’s family. Bill was my father’s brother’s son. We were both only children.

Bill and I were going to get together “soon.” You know how that goes. We re-united by phone and e-mail in 1999 after losing touch for many years. He was going to fly to California or I was going to travel to Georgia. But we never did. Darn it.

I put up a web page about Bill some time ago. Now, who can I share the stories with? The one about his mother Florence stuffing her sweater and smuggling yarn in from Canada, or the one where I had to be rescued just before I went over the falls alone in a rowboat at their lake in the Adirondacks?

I guess it stops here. It makes me so sad.

Labels: ,

Monday, November 26, 2007

Old Dog, New Tricks

I was learning new tricks with my new little Janome Jem today. The first thing I did was get a big thread snarl on the underside of my fabric. When I tried to pull the fabric out of the machine I found extra threads coming from below the face plate. “Hum, I guess you have to hold on to the bobbin and needle thread when you begin sewing.” I’ve been doing that for years and years and now I know that new machines require it too.

It was a good lesson. We had to take the whole thing apart to get the threads out of the back of the bobbin area. Now, I’m not afraid of taking the machine apart. I know how it goes back together.

I practiced new stitches and it ran very well. It’s fun.
I went upstairs and told my old faithful Jewel (a Singer 301, two-tone mocha and cream) that she would not be abandoned. The little Jem does a fine job with fancy things, but the good old 301 has the most beautiful, even straight stitch in the world.

Labels: , ,

Friday, November 23, 2007

Flashback Friday -- Thursday

A nice dinner for two.

Labels: ,

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Counting My Blessings

Thanksgiving 2007. I am blessed. Thank you all.

Labels: , , , , ,

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Sixth Sentence Meme

I found this meme on Sophie’s blog.
Take the book you are currently reading and turn to page 161, then read the 6th sentence and share it. Here are mine from the three books I am reading right now:

“Okay. He asked me to marry him tonight.” (actually the sixth and seventh sentence) From the book Framed in Lace by Monica Ferris.

This loss of identity seemed a shame, given its origin. From the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver.

Not surprisingly, the white birch has come also to be known as the “toothpick tree.” From the book The Toothpick: Technology and Culture by Henry Petroski.

I'm not tagging anyone, but it's so easy, why don’t you play?

Labels: ,

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Catching up

Saturday night we attended the 2007 Tournament of Champions in Fairfield, California to watch the Field Show bands. Lots of color, lights, music and movement.

I could not get a good clear picture, but this one stands for my impression of the event. That’s the Leigh High School band from San Jose in action. My grandson Spencer and my daughter-in-law’s son Scott were the trombonists. A great performance! The judges agreed and gave them first place. Eighteen bands were in the competition.
Spencer (on the far left) and Scott (on the far right)
The boys were really pleased after their appearance.

Back to work at home on Monday – packing up and shipping out quilt pattern orders.

Tomorrow, I’m planning to get going on my Pay It Forward gifts.


Saturday, November 17, 2007

Tradition Continued

What a lovely birthday yesterday. There was an angel food cake with pink 7-minute icing (see the photo in yesterday's post, below), and a new Janome Jem 720 from Robert and my son and daughter-in-law. I’ve now read the instruction manual several times and am about ready to sew on this newfangled gadget. Thank you all.

Labels: , , ,

Friday, November 16, 2007

Friday Flashback -- Birthday

I've grown a little taller and my legs have slimmed down, but other than that I feel about the same. I still love angel food cake with 7-minute icing.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Dejected, Rejected

Not one single person joined my "Pay it Forward" Challenge, posted yesterday.

November 16th update: All is well now, three people have joined the P.I.F.
That's good.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Toss a Pebble in the Pond – Pay it Forward

Sophie posted an invitation on her blog, Sophie Junction, to join the “Pay it Forward Challenge.” It is much like tossing a single pebble in a pond and watching the ripples spread out.

I will send a handmade cloth gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I don’t know what that gift will be yet -- though my intention is to make something for you that you will know to be useful or believe to be beautiful–and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.

Sophie noted a favorite quote by William Morris:

Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.

I’m sort of a practical person, so your gift from me will most likely be useful, not necessarily beautiful. Tell me what colors look good in your kitchen when you post your comment to join this PIF challenge.

Labels: ,

Monday, November 12, 2007

Ladybugs are so cute NOT

I loved ladybugs when I was a kid. I sang the verse, “Ladybug, ladybug, fly away home…” and brushed them off gently so they could fly away.

In recent years we’ve had ladybug house invasions in late October and early November. The first couple of years they came we carefully picked them up and carried them outside. It was tedious work, but we knew they were good for protecting plants from aphids and we wanted them in our yard. However, in the last few years we’ve given up our kind ways. We vacuum them up and dump the bag before it begins to stink. They are all over the south windows.
I ran across a blog about the invasions whilst I was searching the web for information. Leslie in West Virginia posted this in 2006. Click it and read it so I won’t have to repeat the information here.

I’m sorry ladybugs

Labels: , ,

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Aucuba's Sunny Spot

Aucuba found her regular sunny spot for a nap after the clouds rolled away today. She loves the semicircle on the stairway, although it looks like an uncomfortable perch to me.

Labels: ,

Friday, November 09, 2007

Friday Flashback -- Orinda Park Pool

This picture was taken in 1953 by Wayne Miller at the Orinda Park Pool.

It IS quilt related. I found Joan Samuelson’s Journal Quilt on her blog Rosegardenquilts (November 2 and November 3, 2007). The quilt is her impression of the Orinda Park Pool. I spent my entire childhood there.

I am the girl holding a coke bottle sitting next to my hunky boyfriend, Jim Anderson. He was the boy who gave me my first serious kiss. Judy Henderson, my neighbor up the hill, is on the right. I don’t know who the woman is, nor do I recognize the small children.

Labels: ,

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Showers Predicted

It is November, after all. My favorite month. This is our bathroom.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Happy Birthday Robert

I love you. I hope we have many more long walks together.

Labels: , ,

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Priority Alzheimer's Quilt

On the Artquilt list there was a lot of talk about going to Houston for the really big Quilt Festival (see the post below). Several of us who were not going joined a “Stay-at-home-Challenge” to make some Priority Alzheimer’s quilts for Ami Simms’ fundraising effort. We decided to make as many small quilts for Ami’s auction as we could before November 4, 2007 while we were at home. Diane Petersmarck organized the project. I managed to make one little quilt.
TITLE: Remember the REAL ME

The quilt honors our Aunt Ginnie (yes, that's how she spelled her name). She had Alzheimer's for the last few years of her life. She was a favorite at the care facility because she was one of their most cheerful patients. She was, of course, vague, occasionally fearful, and sometimes confused, but she retained her sweetness.

She had been an expert needlepointer and an avid gardener. She maintained her 1/2 acre terraced garden all by herself until she was in her 80s.

I found a nice old photo of Ginnie and her daughter Judy.

I isolated Ginnie’s image and placed her on a scanned fabric background. I distorted the right side of the composite image using some tools in Paint Shop Pro. I printed the finished image on fabric and hand-quilted it.

You can see more of the stay-at-home-challenge quilts HERE on a page Diane created for the project.

Labels: ,

Friday, November 02, 2007

Our Woman in Houston

Sophie took a picture of some journal quilts all hung on a wall in Houston. When I speak of Houston (as if everyone is supposed to know) I mean the big, huge Quilt Festival held in the convention center every year.
Sophie had to search through 400 journal quilts to find mine (see yesterday’s post below). I thank her very much. She has some more Houston pictures on her blog.


Thursday, November 01, 2007

Walking Journey Journal Quilt 2007

Click on the picture for more detail.

My walking journey started February 2, 2007. The preliminary quilt sketches based on my blog and my life fit right into the Journal Quilt 2007 project.

In the lower left hand corner of the quilt there are doctors examining my left foot. (The people on the quilt are paper pieced from my pattern, Kate & Friends.) Prior to my walking journey, five doctors had diagnosed my painful foot problem as a neuroma (2003), nail fungus (2005), and finally PAD requiring immediate surgery (January 2007). Walking is an alternative to surgery. That is the path I took.

The journey started just outside my front door on our short gravel lane. The winding path on the quilt is an actual photo of the pea gravel, and the foot prints on the path are my Nike Free® shoe soles printed on cloth.

The gray haired man with the big stopwatch is my dear husband (and coach) Robert. He has been with me every step of this journey.

A redwing blackbird (Western bi-colored blackbird) appeared in our neighborhood in March. His call “Lucky meeeee” was a cheerful accompaniment early on. The blackbird has a bead eye. After a few weeks, our cat Blackie appeared at the side of the lane. He began walking with us on a regular basis.

The woman with the red hair and the purple tights is my long-time friend and practitioner Philadelphia. She has sent love to me all along the way.

About halfway into the journey our fluffy white cat Feather began showing up on the lane. Blackie and Feather finally figured out our routine. Now they travel a bit and sit down and wait for us to catch up. Our 15-year-old cat Aucuba tried walking with us a few times, but she decided to wait on the top step and watch our progress. The three cats are still delighting me on my walks. Their images are printed on fabric circles.

Quilting around the curving path reminded me of my daily laps. By mid-September, 2007 my foot had improved impressively. I am no longer an invalid. Healing is shown by the lovely green rising above the red pain at the bottom (fabric by Frieda Anderson). At the top right of the quilt I’m waving thanks to my wonderful support team. The journey continues.

Other Journal Quilts I’ve found online today:

Virginia Greaves

Wendy L Starn

Lynn Majidimehr

Gerrie Congdon

Heidi Miracle-McMahill

Terry Grant

Labels: , , ,