Saturday, January 31, 2009

Got a new book...

I'm a sucker for buying books online. I found the most recent one on a quilting website; it's called Enduring Grace and it's about the Shelburne Museum Collection founded by Electra Webb in Vermont. She was a collector of Early American quilts but enlarged the collection into all things early American including 9 houses which she had taken apart and reconstructed on her 8 acre parcel. Each house contains a part of her collection. The website indicates that the museum has been enlarged even more since the book was written. To me, that sounds like a trip I would like to take... to see a museum that large... and full of memorabilia going back to the start of the country.

At the same time, I could visit the Bennington Museum in Vermont that holds the beautiful Dear Jane quilt of which I made a replica. It has the largest collection of Grandma Moses paintings. I would be in heaven - quilts and paintings!

I saw Milk today with Sean Penn as Harvey Milk. What an era the '70s were... and what a fight gay people had to ensure they had the same rights as all other Americans. Penn was excellent as Milk and I will now be rooting for him to win the Academy Award. I lived in the San Francisco area in the late '60s and there was a hippy movement happening at that time. When the gay movement started there, I was back in Los Angeles but I remember all that happened very well. Who could forget the Twinkie Defense that Dan White, the murderer, put up. I wasn't unhappy when he committed suicide years later. Enough of the movie reviews but I heard about two more good movies that I would like to see... The Namesake and The Visitor and I'll be seeing those in the next few days. Don't know that I will review them here, though. I have yet to see Frost/Nixon which I really want to see because I like Frank Langella... who knows, maybe I'll change my Oscar favorite pick after seeing it.

My new quilt is not coming along. I'm so bad at choosing fabrics and though my local quilt shop helped me, I still am not crazy about putting yellow in that quilt. In the first two pictures, I am trying to see if a bright green or the purple paisley might look good with the blue and red of the feathers that go around the stars... but I'm not crazy about either one of them.

I want green, but a light lime green! So I ordered fabric online and I'm waiting for it to get here before I complete that part of the block that I'm supposed to have finished for January.

Oh well, I've got some of it paper-pieced.... boring! I had to stop cutting out all the little pieces and just start sewing.... I like to just hack off a piece of fabric and sew it on, then cut off what I don't need... it's faster. I really dislike precutting but I'll probably do some precutting and some hacking. I hope this quilt turns out looking all right. I'm a little worried about it. Here's one reason.....

At least the top of the Depression quilt is now ready for sandwiching. I'll get around to that in the next few days while I'm waiting for that new fabric to show up.

Oh, and I started my new Anita Brookner novel... Hotel du Lac. The last one - The Bay of Angels - was exquisite in its' simplicity; she writes as if she knows you will understand the character without over explaining. I wish I could write like that.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Double Wedding Ring 'Tute'

I found this great tutorial on Webshots that was done by CJ Spensley. She was kind enough to post the slideshow of how to assemble a Double Wedding Ring quilt. I have many, many parts done to make this particular quilt; it was to be a gift for my daughter and her new husband... obviously I haven't completed it. I'm not sure that she will want it after the events of last Fall. One day, I'll ask her... but not until she elects to move from the house they shared.

As you can see, it's a rather complicated piecing for the DWR.... lots of curves to be sewn. But I fully intend to finish the quilt one day ... maybe this year. Right now, I'm hand-quilting the Dear Jane, piecing the new quilt and have yet to sandwich and machine-quilt the Depression quilt. I've decided to put a soft flannel on the back of that one and I have to choose a color or pattern that will look good... and feel good.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Sewing this Depression quilt that I've been working on, since completing the top of my Dear Jane, is making me depressed. I find I just don't like doing 'cookie-cutter' quilts. It looks okay but it's boring me to tears finishing it. One thing I can say is that it will be quilted REALLY quickly so I don't have to look at it any more. Then again, maybe I'll enjoy it once it's done.

This is the quilt I SHOULD be working on.... but I like to finish what I'm working on at the moment before starting something new, so that I don't end up with a closet full of UFO's (unfinished objects). It looked complex enough to make that I won't get bored while putting it together... and it looks nice enough that someone might want it after I'm gone - or even before! Because it's easy to get tired of a quilt when it takes a year or more to complete it. Although I've gotten tired of looking at them after only a month in some cases... see above. ;-)

Our new president has done a marvelous job since taking office. Today, it was announced that the WH computers are six years old... that's older than this computer that I use for frivolous matters, and quite honestly I've been considering updating it. So what the heck were those people in GWB's administration working on if they had clunky computers? And they are MS computers, not Macs.... I know that will be a top priority to get changed... as well it should be.

George Mitchell named Middle East Envoy this morning. Hillary Clinton took over the State Dept this morning and changes are happening quickly. Lots of Clinton appointees are being named... Richard Holbrooke is Special Envoy to pakistan and Afghanistan! He called it a 'daunting' assignment... and it is.

I gotta go shopping for cat food with Laura.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bush out; the One is in!

I am in total despair at the state of our country right now. I only hope that our new administration will do something that will benefit the people and help us to overcome the damage done over the past eight years of the Bush administration.... but right now, I'm not sure I trust anyone to better things. So watching the inauguration with it's costly bill gives me little comfort and seeing GWB's final address to the nation and realizing that he has little understanding of what he's allowed to happen makes me angry. Hard to believe that so much has changed in a period of 8 years.

On the "close to home" front: A lady is missing - car left on ferry - from the Seattle/BI ferry run... where did she go? Did she possibly walk off and start a new life elsewhere? Or was the economy too much for her? Could she not wait for the O.... or didn't she trust either?

On the quilting front, I have my Dear Jane quilt on a lap hoop and ready to hand quilt. That will go quite slowly, I think, given that I have no experience at all with that.

I began work on what's called a Depression quilt - an easy 'half-square triangle' one - and I intend to use it as an extra blanket on the sofa for those cold drafts and cool mornings when I feel chilly. I've also signed up for a Block of the Month quilt posted on The Quilt Show. I wasn't even able to choose the right colors for it so who knows how that's going to turn out, but it is something new and adventure is not only a part of life but a great way to learn something new. So, onward ho! I'll post pictures as I go along.

The picture here is one of the record amount of snowfall we experienced on the island this December. It was extremely bad timing for the Christmas season because it kept people home just before Christmas. I shopped online as much as possible but I really wanted to shop locally so on Christmas Eve, I went out and bought as much as I could find in the stores I could slosh to. Then I lost the bag of gifts and had to slosh back to the store I found all the right stuff in and re-buy the same things. At least the things that they had left; it was a small shop with one-of-a-kind gifts so a little frustrating. The day after Christmas, the shop called and said that my bag had been turned in by the book store where I had also tried to find gifts. So I had to return those for credit. Christmas 2009 - bah, humbug! Actually I had a very nice Christmas with Richard, Abigail and the boys playing their Wii gift and meeting their friend, Kirsten and SO who were visiting. Laura made a very good dinner and we opened gifts here. Cozy!

One of the most eventful weather things (in my eyes) that happened this winter happened in January. On the 4th, I decided to take my Christmas tree to the recycling yard for recycling and Richard brought his bottles along with some garbage from the holidays. It was approximately 4:30pm and Richard asked me to stay for dinner - salmon. I wasn't going to but Walt was so persuasive that I capitulated and said yes. It was a wonderful delicious dinner and there were no regrets .... until I went to leave and found about 3 inches of snow on the ground. I decided that it wasn't enough to stop me from driving home but I found myself sliding a little as I backed down their hill. As I turned onto the road to go down the hill I realized that I had made a mistake... I was skidding badly and the brakes wouldn't hold... I couldn't steer either. It was either leave the minivan in the middle of the road and hike the 15 feet back to Richard and Abigail's to spend the night or slide down the hill into the other vehicles I could now see off the side of the road. I called R and he came and jumped into the van in time to experience it slide right into the side of an Audi. Luckily we stopped there. We left the van and hiked back home. At 4:30am, Richard and Abigail shoveled snow from the front of the van and slowly advanced the van down the hill to a parking spot, which unfortunately was in a soft spot of a park lawn. I had to call AAA to come and winch it out... and someone had hit the L tail light during the night which will need to be fixed, but not bad considering. It was extremely annoying at the time though. I still have a broken tail light. grrrr.....

New Year's Eve was quiet. Had drinks with Laura and her date Mark, over at a bar nearby then headed home to enjoy the evening. Laura and Mark continued on to a party in Seattle. Laura was concerned that she might not see the fireworks from the Space Needle but evidently she was able to, so that worked out fine for her. Laura and I saw the Northwest Ballet's version - by Maurice Sendak - of The Nutcracker in mid-December which was a great event that we both enjoyed. The evening was beautiful and we got some great pictures of the Space Needle which was close by... and of Christmas lights in 'the hall'.

My dental work is progressing slowly but surely. My final appointment is February 4th which is kind of scary but I'm looking forward to it too. For my entire life, I've had to deal with a terrible cross-bite and over-bite along with bad enamel. All my teeth have been capped, filled or pulled and I am looking forward to having a normal bite after all this. Of course, every dentist I've ever been too has promised that I will be very happy with their results also... and I was for a while. Let's hope I'm happy with these results for years and years.

Liza seems still undecided about when to leave CF but she wants to sell the house... not just walk away.... so hopefully it will sell quickly in the Spring so she and Madeleine can leave for other parts soon. She mentioned Victoria which is close by so I like that idea. Vancouver is too sleazy to live in.... besides the Olympics is coming there in 2010 so rents will be astronomical. Smart move for her. Shawn is still in all of our thoughts but it's only been 4 months so of course we won't forget him in such a short time. This was Shawn:

Happy the man, and happy he alone,
He who can call today his own:
He, secure within, can say
Tomorrow do thy worst, for I have lived today.

He was a great guy and lived life to its fullest. Tomorrow came but he was secure because every minute of the day was his. Cheers, Shawn! You were (and are) loved.