5/23/13

Stay-At-Home Day

It's been a busy week so far.  Definitely not much time for sewing.  Mainly I've been working on my embroidery project, and sewing the binding on a quilt I finished.  More about that later.  For now, I'll just say that I've been without a car, except for Tuesday and Wednesday.  Matthew's car is in the shop for some major repairs, and so he's borrowing mine on the days when I absolutely, positively don't have to go anywhere.  That suits me fine.  It makes me look like a nice guy, when actually, it just gives me an excuse to stay home.

Monday started out gray and threatening, but then turned into a beautiful day.  I used the time to work in the greenhouse and do to some housework.  Aside from hand work, I didn't do any sewing that day, but it was a productive day nonetheless.  Tuesday, I met up with my quilting buddy Pat.  Pat prepared a really nice lunch for the two of us, and then we took off to go to one of my favorite quilt shops, Greenbaum's Quilted Forest in Salem, Oregon.  I was on the hunt for a couple of fabrics I needed for my May NewFO project, and this being my birthday month, I got a discount at Greenbaum's.  


The May project is to start the Quiltmaker's Garden, published in five parts in Quiltmaker magazine last year.  I was able to pull most of the fabrics from my stash, but I needed some blues.


Here are the fabrics I've pulled.  The two blues on the bottom were purchased on our fabric outing.  I had forgotten the list of fabrics I so carefully made up, and so I was winging it on colors and amounts.  I completely forgot that I needed a blue solid, which worked out okay because I still have enough fabric left from the back of the Plain and Simple Amish Sampler.  I'm not sure why I didn't realize it before, but I didn't end up purchasing anything I didn't need.  Not that I would have minded purchasing something I didn't need.


Come to think of it, I did purchase a couple of things I didn't need.  This fabric, for instance:


Obviously, it was irresistible.  It is obvious, isn't it?  Also, being someone who loves "theme" quilts, I was quite taken with this book, Away from Home


The little blurb about the book on the Amazon website says this:
Away From Home is woven from the diaries and letters of Lowell, Massachusetts, Mill Girls and the history of the textile factories where they worked. The featured sampler quilt has an appliqued center depicting two of the Mill Girls surrounded by nine pieced and appliqued blocks. 
I really love how we can learn history from quilts...and from quilt patterns, and so I think I will enjoy putting this quilt together, probably some time next year.

Also, Pat and I have discussed free motion quilting quite a lot, and she was kind enough to gift me with this book by Diane Gaudynski.  It features some wonderful pictures of Diane's beautiful quilting.  When I see something like this, I realize that there is still a lot to learn.  In fact, I don't think we ever stop learning, do you?


(Thanks again, Pat!)  Also, Pat was kind enough to allow me to borrow her little Singer 301 that she found at a yard sale (I think).  She has lovingly cleaned it up and put it in good working order.  Since purchasing Big Bertha, I've realized that my new machine is really too big and heavy to take along when we are traveling in our RV. Pat has some expertise about vintage machines and featherweights, and she suggested the Singer 301 might be a good choice.  (I don't know anything about these little machines, and so I'm appreciating her advice and suggestions.)

Anyway, here is the little 301 sitting next to Big Bertha.  Which one would you prefer as a traveling companion?


Further, she travels in one little suitcase, and I'm saying any gal who can pack all of her stuff in one suitcase is my kind of traveler.  I haven't had a chance to do any sewing with her yet.  That's on today's agenda.

Our weather has been positively awful since Tuesday.  I don't think it stopped raining all day yesterday.  I took off from home yesterday morning to get my monthly pedicure, and when I came home, the kitties were positively wild eyed with boredom.  I was trying to do some sewing in between cries of "Mom!  Smitty's looking at me!"


"Mom, Smitty's bothering me!  Make him stop!"  And from Smitty, "I'm bored.  Got any catnip?"


I did give him a little nip, which only made him wilder.  He spent the rest of the afternoon photo bombing me.


Nevertheless, I did get some good images of the Divine Promises quilt that I finished yesterday morning.


This quilt is going to my friend Lisa in California.  Here are some close-ups of the embroidered blocks.  








This quilt was designed by the talented Jenny of Elefantz, and it's been quite a delight to work on it.  I started this quilt on January 16, 2012, as one of my first NewFO projects.  All the blocks were completed back in October, but I just this month got around to quilting and binding it.  It was the finish I committed to for:

  

Finally, yesterday, I started the May block for the Hello Moon quilt along.

I was able to get the block all fused, and the embroidered parts drawn in.


I got this far with the top-stitching before running out of bobbin thread, and that seemed like a good time to stop.


I should have this one finished fairly quickly this morning, and then I'll start working on my little ladies for the Rainbow Quilt Challenge.


It's the last Saturday of the month, and so I'm hoping to have my little ladies finished so that I can link up on Saturday.  Those blocks always take a fair amount of time, and so I'm hopeful I can also finish a block for this month's block lotto.  That one will go fairly quickly.


We're taking off Friday for our trip to The Palouse to celebrate our 38th wedding anniversary (tomorrow).  This being Memorial Day weekend, we'll have four days to make our way through The Palouse and on to Spokane, Washington.  We've made absolutely no plans nor reservations anywhere, and we're just going to take it as it comes.  I did tell Mike I wanted to visit at least one quilt shop on the way.  Mainly, I'm just looking forward to taking in the beautiful scenery.

(image credit:  Michael Reichmann, The Luminous Landscape)

I'll probably get in one more blog post before we leave in the morning, but otherwise, I'm not going to blog while we're gone other than to post a few pictures using the Blogger app.  You'll have to wait until I get back and then I'll tell you all about our trip.

I hope you have a good day of sewing ahead of you.  Aside from doing a little laundry, my whole day is dedicated to the sewing room...and breaking up cat fights.

13 comments from clever and witty friends:

Marei said...

Happy Anniversary. Have a great trip. Mom! Smitty is touching me!

Quilting Babcia said...

I love your Promises quilt! Hmm, I see a quilt in today's Palouse photo, don't you? Enjoy your trip, and Happy Anniversary!!!

quiltzyx said...

I do really like the rainbow raindrops fabric! But you did a good job of not getting too carried away at the shop. :)
What a lovely gift book you got, some great inspirations in there.

The little 301 looks like my Singer! Here's a picture of mine: https://www.facebook.com/suezyx?ref=tn_tnmn#!/photo.php?fbid=35010348117&set=a.35010278117.42847.815918117&type=3&theater

Teresa in Music City said...

Absolutely yes!! That fabric is entirely irresistible! Can't wait to see where you use it. And I have that book by Gaudynski - it's great for remembering all the little details about set up and threads etc. Plus, after seeing all those gorgeous examples of hers, I am further reminded that I could never reach that level of gorgeousness in my own FMQ, so I'm quite free to play and not try to be the FMQ Queen because that job is obviously already taken! I'll be interested to see how you like sewing on the 301.

Those vintage machines have such a charm of their own, and if you're not careful, you'll find you want one of your own :*) Speaking of having charm - that Smitty is one cute charmer indeed! Imagine, photo bombing you! The cheek of that little guy *grin* Poor Gracie....

Sher S. said...

Happy Anniversary!!! Have a fabulous trip, relax and just enjoy the ride. Smitty will just have to have a chill pill to leave Gracie alone. He should know by now that she won't tolerate his antics, but he just might need a paw hit upside the head as a reminder. I have a featherweight and love it, great to take to classes that I don't need all the fancy stitches for. Enjoy the little Singer.

Sherry said...

Happy Anniversary!!Have a wonderful trip! I have a 301 and really love the sound and feel of the machine I hope you enjoy using one as much as I do.. The Divine Promises quilt is lovely.

Brown Family said...

I have a lot to finish next week to keep up with my May BOM's! WHere did May go!

Nan

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Happy Anniversary and have a safe and lovely trip.

Dana Gaffney said...

The picture of the two machines looks like a Bernina ad, beautiful big, shiny and new. Photo bombs make the best pictures, you should thank him :). Have a good and safe trip.

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

I've heard lots of great things about 301's. Happy Anniversary! Chat with you when you get back.

Barb said...

If you're in Spokane, you NEED to drive 30 miles over to Coeur d'Alene, ID. There is a fabulous quilt shop there, and it's just off the freeway, heading north to Sandpoint. It's called Bear Paw Quilting. Fun shop!

Love you Finished quilt and all the other projects you're working on.

Kate said...

Divine Promises turned out beautifully. Poor bored kitties. DT finished school on Wednesday, then promptly got sick on Friday. However, by Sunday she was claiming she was bored. It's going to be a long summer!

Cindy said...

Congratulations on your finish! It looks like you have invested a lot of effort into a spectacular quilt.