29 September 2011

BOM Seven...

12 September Here's how the newest Block of the Month should go together. I am putting off cutting/piecing this until I get another time-sensitive sewing project done—hooded towels—several. In addition to making larger hooded towels (for larger child or small adult), my friend Autumn suggested I could make infant-size ones—three* per beach towel. I bought four beach towels on clearance this late time we were at the BX and have a dozen small made.

After a hiatus of almost two months, I've bought a couple dozen fat quarters, and some other yardages—
mostly coordinating patterns/colors for binding the hooded towels. But I found this incredible border print that absolutely took my breath away!
I Present to You: Effervescence by Amelia Caruso for Robert Kaufman fabrics. The artist, Amelia Caruso has some great paintings that just bubble off their industrial surfaces. I bought two yards of this, one yard of the stripes, and only a fat quarter of the green (it's all they had). Here's the whole line. Sigh.

Fast forward—it's 17 days later
I got all the towels sewn. There were 26 altogether, but I think a dozen of them might be practically given away. *I misread Autumn's instructions and made the hooded towels from beach towels quite a bit smaller than useful—three from one towel instead of three from TWO towels. Am hoping she could sell them cheaply for baby dolls or something.
For the solid color towels, I attached a print binding. For the white ones with color stripes, I simply sewed the hood into the towel's hem, and usually put some solid binding (taken from the solid towel's end hem) along the hood edge. I made extra ones in red or red/white in hopes shoppers will buy/order them on which to have the OU logo machine embroidered. I've already heard from my OSU friends and the reason I'm not making extra orange ones is that Autumn has only purchased the license to use the OU logo and not the OSU logo. In any case, GO COWBOYS!

And I jumped back on (or fell off?) the fat quarter wagon. I've made up for lost time and recently bought 40. I find myself amused with what colors/patterns may catch my fancy any given days. And do I think with a plan in mind? Yes, and no. "It's pretty" is usually good enough for me. I am thinking a little downstream that I'd like to do an art quilt in batiks, and find myself buying batik colors for that someday project. Speaking of someday, someday I'll have to show you how I document my fabric inventory!

Pinterest! This is my new online time-gobbler. You look around the Web and find photos, videos, and pages you like and 'pin' (kind of like tagging) them to your personal 'boards.' Here are mine—click the link and see all my boards and pins. I think this is great for the middle age brain—fleeting glimpses can be saved and revisited, often! I think one can create as many boards, and pin as many items as they wish. Shown is a screen shot of the index page of my boards. For example, I've got a board called "Zentangles® and More Drawing." I want to get back to Zentangling (quilting displaced my initial interest last winter).

Last weekend, I finally got around to my September BOM. As I was cutting the pieces from the month's fabric allotment, I came up short (again) on one of the pieces supplied. I know they're getting tired of me coming up there showing them where they went wrong, but ya gotta know I'm kinda tired of being shorted. It makes me hesitant to subscribe to another BOM there.

But here it is. Month number seven's BOM! I'm looking forward to finishing it in a couple of months, then choose its binding and backing, and get it quilted. There's a guest room bed on which it might fit, but am thinking, especially due to the fact our pets have free run of almost every space, it will become a wall hanging.

Can't believe tomorrow is already the last of September! My minds has been stuck in April or May, so SWOOSH went all those other months. I've got that speeding ticket to pay off regardless of the fact the officer wrote in the wrong time, by 12 hours! Alas. Shut up, pay it, and be glad they happen only every 30 years!

Here's how the newest Block of the Month should go together. I am putting off cutting and piecing this until I get another time-sensitive sewing project done—hooded towels—several. In addition to making the larger hooded towels (for larger child or small adult), my friend Autumn suggested I could make infant-size ones—three* per beach towel. I bought four beach towels on clearance this late time we were at the BX and have a dozen small made.

October is already starting out as a busy month. Sunday, October 2nd is Baptismal Bash at our church. It's not unusual to baptize dozens of people, and with the new campus open, they'll have lots of folks to baptize in Midwest City as well. It always so heartening to witness.

And I get to attend a quilt retreat next weekend. It's my first and I expect it to be lots of fun. Who knows, I may actually get something done out of it!

Which reminds me—I'll close on this photo I found online. I used to be this person. Now, I LOVE the feeling of finishing projects!

07 September 2011

A Few Good Reads...

A few months ago, I was invited to join a book club. Ah, ladies who read! How neat is that!? I had no idea what to expect. I've never been in a book club before. (In case you didn't know, I tend to approach new experiences with much contemplative caution.) So, I guess ya gotta read—I was doing more of that. Check. I guess you talk about books—I can talk, lots! Check. This is at your sister's house? (Sisters [a concept this only child had not yet grasped*]. Hmm. Asked Tom [also an only]—"What if they're mean to me?" His answer: "Just punch 'em in the nose and come on home.") Check! So, off I went.

As everyone else would expect, the ladies were very kind, funny, candid, intelligent, and welcoming. And they enjoyed the 'punch 'em in the nose' story. And there was wine. And food. And no one's told me about this kind of thing before?! Tah dah and thank you!—IAM IN!

That first month I joined, we were supposed to be reading "The Help." I just couldn't get into it. Yeah, sounds like sacrilege now, especially due to the book's and movie's popularity. I just couldn't get into the written dialect. I am now in the process of listening to the audio book (which I am enjoying) so I can go see the movie.

Yep, I've taken to listening to some of the club selections. Knowing me, I am more likely to listen to an audio book while sewing and crafting, than sitting down with a book. (It's hard to multi-task with my nose in a book, well, other than laundry or running the dishwasher. I'm sorry, it just looks like I'm doing nuthin'.) Once I knew which titles were upcoming, I'd check with the library for books on CD, check them out, and listen to them.

Fast forward to recent reads. Last month was "Water for Elephants." I started listening to this one, which was good. I listened to the first 2/3 of the book and book read the last third. By that time, I liked the story well enough to sit with it alone. For September, we're reading "The Housekeeper and the Professor." This was not available as an audio book, and I've read a few pages into it. And for October, we're doing "The Art of Racing in the Rain." I took a peek into the pages, hey it had a dog's picture on it, I couldn't resist. Oh, my stars and garters—I loved it from the beginning, and wound up finishing it before anything else. I cannot wait to hear the discussion on this one! And after finishing reading it, I'm now listening to its audio version while sewing. It's like having someone read aloud a letter from a friend. I like it all over again."The car goes where the eyes go."

Another twist in recent weeks is the addition of using my iPad to read eBooks! I checked out three titles from our Metropolitan Library System. Titles may be available immediately or put on reserve. And once I've downloaded my book, I have to read fast because they're available for only seven days at a time. And while the library (free) versions read via OverDrive, they are not searchable. I downloaded a couple of freebies from iBooks (public domain/classics), and like the search feature. I haven't purchased any through Kindle or Nook accounts, but that's always an option. I would buy "The Art of Racing in the Rain" to enjoy again. Another lady in our group and I were showing the others our iPads/eBooks and the 'Seesters' bought iPads the very next day! (I'm so proud of them!)

Gwen had just finished reading "Olive Kitteridge," and spoke very highly of it. So, what's it about? Uh, depression and suicide. Oh, uh…joy! But I trust her judgement. After all, she loved "The Art of Racing in the Rain" as much as I. After checking out the eBook, I first started reading it on my iPad. I also reserved the print book because I suspected I would not finish it in seven days. Gwen would ask periodically, how was I liking Olive (did she mean the book or the character?). At the beginning, I was drawn in by the book's writing style and tone much more than by the character, Olive. She'd ask again several days later when I was finding Olive more interesting. As of yesterday, I was more able to identify with Olive because she found small brownies just too tiny to serve. Oh, this woman knows my soul! I finished the book a little earlier today and liked it. I'm reflecting a bit on some of the ideas and characters and wonder if my thoughts will change. One thread running through these recent reads are observations about aging/mortality, or I'm just noticing/identifying them more.

I want to get another post uploaded soon about my current sewing undertaking, as well as the current BOM—maybe even something about my birthday, or getting my first speeding ticket in 30 years!

*Seesters: A clue about families—their members are each like a spin art picture. You can drip and drizzle the same colors on many different canvases and after they're spun, they'll all turn out a little differently. (Observation from an 'only' and an 'adopted only,' at that.)