Saturday, March 29, 2008


Don't you love it when a plan, you didn't even know you had, comes together?

Last week I was at the Spring Branch neighborhood ASG group. During Show and Tell someone mentioned that they were making a new outfit for the special ASG event next weekend. My thought at the time was that they were really compulsive about not wearing the same outfit twice and forgot all about it.

Skip forward a couple of days and I am happily refolding fabric to be stored again in all the new space I have created. Two pieces of fabric ended up on the bed beside each other and they looked great together.

Light bulb goes off! I could make an outfit for the event this coming weekend. I can become part of the world that always has something new to wear to an ASG Event.

Here's the fabric (after Alex tried to make a nest out of it):
I think I can make a simple dress and jacket combo with the madras cotton print as the dress and the solid linen as a jacket.

And, since I have not posted any pictures of Alex and the girls in a while here is one of them lying on some fabric last night hoping that I won't make them move:

Friday, March 28, 2008

Black and White

This post is not about politics or important moral issues. Sorry, I'm just not up for that especially as my doggie allergy is in full bloom today. Then again, it may be my grass allergy as I did cut it today. Anyway, my head is full of fog and the post nasal drip is beginning to get to me.

This post is really about all the wonderful black and white fashions I have seen in the lastest issues of Vogue. Lots and lots of black and white dresses and other graments, some times, with random splashes of other colors, other times, just a fabulous print. I love block and white dresses as one of my favortes when growing up was a summer dress that my mother said was made out of handkerchief linen. It had a big full skirt (great for twirling) and the overall pattern was a large paid.

I am on a diet from the stores right now but I may just pick-up a Jones New York number I saw when it goes on sale in a couple of months. Until then, I will just have to make something myself to fill this need. Here is the bag I made:
The pattern is in the Australian Magazine Patchwork & Stitching and was forwarded to me by a fellow ASG member after seeing a similar bag from Taiwan. The Taiwanese bag was made from wonderful silk squares which were only about 3" square. My bag used a packet of 5" square charm squares. Even the handles used the charm squares set on the diagonal. I couldn't find a black or white button loop without cutting up more fabric so I used a bright pink pony tail holder instead. That 'inspired' me to paint some of the florals with a pink textile marker from Kuretake. I see myself keeping the marker with me when I use the bag so I can do some more coloring while beng bored waiting for appointments. This bag will hold a lot as the bottom is more rounded like a sack rather than flat like most bags.

Inspired by Vogue, translated from the Chinese, explained by the Austrailians and executed by a Texan... this bag has travelled farther than I ever have or will in this lifetime.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

MIA no more

I previously wrote that the wristlet I made for the Bag Ladies Swap was MIA since mailed to my partner. I have now heard that it has been received and that she likes it. Yahoo! Unfortunately, she has been unable to post a picture and I foolishly did not photograph it while it was still in my hands. If/when a picture is posted I will let you know. Until then, you might want to check out the other wristlets produced for this swap here.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Weekend Project #2 - Stash Crash Diet

I promised last week that I would put my stash fabric on a crash diet with the intent to donate the discarded weight to a friend to take to Mexico for a poor community there. I also promised that one large green garbage bag was my goal amount. I quickly realized that fabric weighs a lot and that I probably wouldn't be able to lift a bag of fabric. Instead I went to my shopping bag collection and filled up four of them plus a medium size shipping box. I was talking to another afriend about my self-imposed project and she suggested that scraps could go to a friend of hers who uses scraps in her creative endeavors so I filled up another large shipping bag of scraps. Here's what the pile of bags looks like in my front hall:
This was a tough project for me. I can't count the number of times I stopped to admire a partcular piece of fabric and wondered what could be done with it only to realize that I bought it for a project I completed years ago or bought it with no intent in the first place. All were put into a bag or box for someone else to use. I had to stop and laugh at myself when I came across a shoe box sized storage bin labeled 'quilt scraps'.... I was so optimistic when I was younger to think that I would have a scrap collection that would fit completely in that small container. The Mexico project is getting a lot of cottons, a ton of knits that won't work for cancer caps and hundreds of cotton and denim squares that I have cut out over the years but have been unable to use up. The scrap bag has just cotton scraps, a lot of which made me smile when I remembered the projects that generated these scraps.

The downside of this project is that I now have to reorganize the stash that remains. In my enthusiasim to find fabric to give away, I emptied a lot of containers, hangers, bags and drawers onto the guest room bed. This mountain needs to be re-organized and put back into the containers, hangers, drawers and bags so I can enjoy the space I have created for the keepers.

Warning to anyone expecting to sleep over: There is no place for you to sleep for the next few months unless you want to sleep with the dogs on a couch.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Sewing AdvIce

From my northern friend Martha:

If you have ever had trouble focusing at the sewing machine or been a little stressed while quilting --this may be just the help you need.

Prepare yourself mentally for sewing. Think about what you are going to do. Never approach sewing with a sigh or lackadaisically. Good results are difficult when indifference predominates.

Never try to sew with a sink full of dirty dishes or beds unmade. When there are urgent housekeeping chores, do these first so your mind is free to enjoy your sewing.

When you sew, make yourself as attractive as possible. Put on a clean dress. Keep a little bag full of French chalk near your sewing machine to dust your fingers at intervals. Have your hair in order, powder and lipstick put on. If, you are constantly fearful that a visitor will drop in or your husband will come home and you will not look neatly put together, you will not enjoy sewing as you should.

From a Singer Sewing Manual, 1949

This is a hoot! But what the heck's French Chalk and why would you put it on your fingers?

Weekend Project #1 - Cancer Caps

As I mentioned on Friday, I received a box of fabric and kits for making cancer caps. My goal was to finish up the pre-cut kits and, maybe, cut into some of the yardage we had gathered for additional caps. After digging through the box I found three kits, 15 completed caps and tons of yardage. Once I separated out the yardage that probably wouldn't work, as in very little stretch or stretch in only one direction, I tackled one of the kits. I made the first one on my serger and was astounded that it took all of of ten minutes to complete. Then I got on a roll and in the end completed 35 additional caps. Here is what 35 of these caps look like all piled together:
This is the simplest charity sewing project I have ever completed. Basically the caps are made up of one 17" x 22" piece of fabric plus two circles of fabric 7" in diameter (that's the measurement taken from one side to the other straight through the middle, which also happens to be the size of my bread and butter plates). Sew together the 17" sides, fold the 22" sides together to form a tube with the wrong sides of the fabric together. With the circles wrong sides together, attach them to the 22" raw edges and you are done. Flip the whole thing so that the sewn edge around the circles is to the inside, fold a little cuff, add a fancy pin if you have one and you are done.

The measurements are approximate as some of the slippery fabric was very hard to cut accurately. Since I was using my serger, I tended to err on the side of more length rather than less, so that the serger could clean up the seams to the right size. I went looking for pins in my jewellry box that I could use as decorations and only found two that don't have a specific use already. I think I'll drop by one of the big discount stores or local thrift stores later on this afternoon to see if I can find some inexpensive pins for these caps.

Tomorrow - Weekend Project #2 - crash stash diet - stay tuned!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

UFO #8

As I was looking for a particular piece of fabric the other day I kept finding the same half finished wall quilt. As I tossed it aside for the 45th time in as many days, I realized that it wasn't in the way but it was begging to be completed. I bought this as a kit at the International Quilt Festival and thought it would go nicely in my Asian themed guest room. Well, my guest room still has no theme (the current working theory is that it should be themed as a NYC cool gray, beige, black loft space) but the quilt has been completed.
The pattern was called something like Shanghai Sunset and is primarily done using fusible web. When I decided to finish it everthing had been fused and the red medallion in the lower left hand corner had been quilted down. The final size, after quilting and washing, is about 48" sqaure. I am so glad it is done and that I do not need to keep tossing it out of the way when I look for other things to do. I will be hanging it it the stairwell to help keep some of the air conditioning upstairs during those long and hot summer days that are just around the corner.

BTW - the stairwell has no theme either.. which could be a theme in and of itself.

Doll Quilt Swap

Several readers have mentioned to me that they would like to participate in a small quilt swap. The Doll Quilt Swap has re-opened for round three. Sign-ups are now with the quilts due in the mail three weeks after the matching occurs. There is no theme and the sizing is pretty simple - from 12"x12" up to 24"x24". If you would like to participate please go here to get the rules and how to sign up for this swap. I think I will sign-up again as I have a couple of ideas I would like to try out in such a small format. I played in round two and recieved a wonderful bargello quilt and sent a Ricky Tims' style convergence quilt. This time I think I will try some more applique as I need to work on my technique and with such a small format I just may succeed.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


Several years ago my son gave me a Nintendo DS for Christmas with a cute virtual Dog training game. This may seem a strange gift for a 20-something son to give his 50-somehting mother but ever since he got his first Nintendo game system I have been obsessed with video games. I would stay up late at night playing the first Mario Brothers game and finished it before he or his friends. t. One little boy's mother told me I was the coolest mom to her kids because I could play video games, an activity she found as exciting as watching paint dry.

Over time I have narrowed my focus on the kinds of games I enjoy. I do not like the 'shoot'em up' games or those that require a lot of manual dexterity. I do like the puzzle type games where you either have to solve a puzzle to advance to the next level of play or those based on shapes or numbers. The virtual Dog training game that came with the DS was a real bust as I do not the patience to wait around for time to pass before I can walk the dog or feed it.

My most recent obsession has been the Sudoku Girdmaster game for the DS. I started working on this late last year and started getting obsessed when I realized I could actually solve some of the harder puzzles without breaking a sweat. I've played it in bed when I couldn't sleep, in the doctor's waiting room, in the bath, in the car at the drive-up teller and in restaurants while eating. I finally threw in the towel yesterday with only 3 of the 300 Suduko grids in the game incomplete. The game proudly told me that I had spent 191 hours solving the puzzles but that did not count the numerous times I had to retry various grids like the 10 plus times I tried the hard level grid number 118 without a final answer. I now find that it is almost impossible for me to solve a paper based grid as I am always looking for my stylus to record guesses in the empty spaces.

I don't think I have ever spent as much time on a single activity in my life. I know that if my mother was still alive she would snort in disgust at my Sudoko playing. My excuse is that I am an obsessive type person. From quilting to stash busting, I easily get obsessed with a particular activity to the exclusion of all others. And besides, don't all the geriatric experts claim that as we age our brains need puzzles and such to keep our brains healthy?

I guess my brain is 191 hours healthier than if I spent that time cooking or cleaning. Well, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Friday, March 21, 2008

In the Mail

One of the places on the web that I like to hang out at is the Bag Ladies Swap Flickr group. Every month or so they have a swap where a different style of bag is swapped amongst other willing participants. I have never swapped with them before because most of the work looked so professional. The project for March was a wristlet which didn't seem too complicated so I decided to take the plunge. This is what I received today:
I love the use of the red vinyl and she really went over the top with the extras. It seems to be a timely item as just this week I decided I needed a new place to store coupons and such for my shopping journeys. This bag seems like a perfect solution. Thanks to Piece of Me (aka Sandi) for such a terrific swap.

The wirstlet I made for my partner seems to be MIA. She should have received it on Wednesday but I have not heard from her yet. Maybe she thinks it sucks and doesn't know how to tell me? I emailed her earlier but do not have a reply yet. Here's hoping its on the slow boat rather than lost as I do not have a picture of it and was rather proud of how it al came out.

With my fingers crossed....

Have a great weekend with all of its fertility festivals!

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Today I had the great pleasure of sharing my Muslin Transformation workshop with the Woodlands based ASG neighborhood group. I originally wrote about this early in my blogging career and you can see that post here. It is always fun to share, with a group of creative women, technques I have tried. I did not have my camera but believe me, they made some wonderful samples. There were two problems we encountered. One is that we really didn't have enough time to try everything I brought with me. The other is that the stuff I hauled with me that now has to be squeezed back into my stash. Here's what the pile looked like earlier on the stairs to my sewing space:
There is one item in that pile that I did not bring with me. The cardboard box at the left is full of kits and fabric for making cancer caps. I picked these up from the amazing Miss Margory and hope to get the kits done this weekend. The fabirc needs to be a two way stretch and some of the knits from the local ASG warehouse, are only a one way stretch. This one way fabric will be donated, I hope, to others who can use it. There are so many groups that need fabric - local high schools with sewing programs, community colleges with fashion design classes, craft guilds with charity sewing projects, senior centers and after-school places with craft programs, elementary schools with art programs and local churches with missions in poorer countries.

In that spirt, my embarassingly large stash is going on a crash diet. By the end of this weekend I will have reduced its size by at least one large green garbage bag of yardage. Although I am short of breath after writing that sentence, I know it is the right thing to do. Specifically I will be donating it all to another ASG member who goes to Mexico with her church to work with women to sew things for their families and for resale. Will you join me? Who will get your excess stash?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Finny & Donk's Sewing Adventure - March

I finally made peace with pintucks. I ended up going by the instructions in the book and the results were pretty good. I wanted to beef them up a little so I added cording to them after I sewed the pintucks. Here's what I came up with:

The project for this month was a pintucked table runner. I decided to make one for a table that I keep dumping things on. I figured if I made the table runner out of a fancy fabric I would be restrained in dumping things on it. I chose a lovely peachy dupioni silk. About half way through I realized that this fabic was not fancy enough. I went into my stash of completed embroideries and found, what I think is, the perfect complement to the silk. I added the embroidery, some simple borders and backing and voila! I am now thinking that it may be too pretty to sit on a table and I may make it into a wall hanging. For now, it will stay on the table top until I get my next inspiration.

Here is Alex giving his sniff of approval:

Note to self: Always smell sale fabric before purchasing it. This fabric was purchased from Leandro Fabrics when we had their fabrics here for the ASG Houston annual meeting last year. It was on sale in a sealed plastic bag. When I started cutting up the fabric the most horrid smell began to waft through the room. The whole piece (four yards of it!) smells of mold and mildew! Since I wanted the silk to stay crisp I waited until I was finished then sprayed it liberally wth anti-smell stuff. So next time, smell before I buy!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Skinny Jeans

When I grew 39" hips back in eigth grade, I immeadiately became a size 14 for pants and shorts if I wanted my hips to fit into them. My weight was anorexic at the time so waists were always loose but the hips fit. Ove the last 40 plus years I have gone up a couple of sizes to an 18 in pants and I was okay with that as long as no-one took a picture of me from the side when my 'growth spurt' would be entirely too obvious.

Over the past year I have dropped about 20 pounds (eat less, move more) and all of my pants have been hanging off me . It had gotten so bad that I did not have to un-button or un-zip my jeans when taking them off at night. A couple of months ago I purchased a couple of pairs of jeans that were a size 16. I thought they were a good fit (especially after a couple of hot water washes) until I realized that I had to wear a belt pulled tightly to keep them on during the day. This is totally unacceptable so the other day I went and purchased a couple of size 14 jeans.

Yahoo! They fit my hips BUT they are still falling off. Why you may ask are these teeny tiny jeans falling off my husky body? THEY HAVE NO WAIST! They are the newish lower rise style and the waist band is about 2 - 3 inches below my natural waist. Where before I depended on my hips to hold up my pants with a smaller waistband, the new style have a waist band the same size as my hips. I think I going to have ask an expert (read someone much younger) on how I can keep my jeans up.

I don't think my body is ready for this newer style womens jeans. Summer's almost here when jeans wearing will be verboten. I wonder if I will have the same trouble with shorts?

Friday, March 14, 2008

@#$%^&*( Pintucks

I spent a lot time the other day trying out my pintuck making skills. It appears that I have none. Pintucks are tiny little pleats that you see on fine heirloom garments and, typically, down the front of women's blouses. After 20 or so samples I was unable to consistently get a good result using a twin needle and my pintuck foot. I even tried making corded pintucks and got one good result but when I tried again it came out wonky. I even tried to do bigger ones without the twin needle and pintuck foot, as the instructions in the book 'Simple Gifts to Stitch' suggested, but those did not come out as they should.
Lessons learned:
  • Even if you read and follow the instructions you can have less than optimum results.
  • Pre-washed linen is very, very soft and does not want to make crisp pintucks.
  • Starch/sizing are good things when trying precision sewing.
  • Cheap pintuck feet for your sewing machine are cheap for a reason.

So that I don't feel like a total nincompoop, here is a teaser for the Bag Ladies wristlet swap. I actually finished the wristlet this evening using a lot of materials that I had on hand. My inspiration came from an Old Navy sale rack. The final product combined Cordura Nylon, Dupioni Silk and some embroidery I completed many years ago. I will try to mail it off tomorrow. I hope my partner loves it as much as I do.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Happy Birthday Carissa Lynne!

Today a dear friend of mine became a grandmother for a second time. Her younger daughter gave birth to healthy baby girl who weighed in at 6 lbs. 9 oz. and is 19" long. Carissa is from the Greek for grace and, although I am unfamiliar with it, seems to as popular as Alice. Carisa's big brother was two weeks late but she is two weeks earlier and has been tryng to get born for several months now. I'm sure Mom, Dad and Grandma are happy that she is here. And there would be a wonderful picture here so we could all go ooh and aah but I seem to have messed up the transfer from my phone to the computer. Another instance of not being able to find the manual when I need it.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Not So Stinky Alex

My boy seems to be over whatever was causing his intestinal distress. The girls did not seem to mind his stinkiness but it forced me out of my bedroom the other night. He is back to thinking he is the leader of ths pack and trying to eat everything in sight. Next time I will know to give him Pepcid, very tiny meals and not to worry as much. Maybe if I started earlier he may not have gotten so bunged up.

Antartic Diary

The last post has occured on one of the most facinating blogs out there. He should be home by now and I will miss his regular updates on what it is like winterng over in the Antarctic. His penquin photos will also be sorely missed. I doubt I will run across another like it in my random hitting of the next blog button but will continue to try.

Finny and Donk's Sewing Adventure

The next project is the pintucked pillow. I am looking forward to this project because I think it requires straight line sewing for the right effect and I am not known for my long straight sewing. Since I haven't used a twin needle in quite a while or my pin-tuck foot ever, this should be quite an adventure.


I am only in one swap right now and that is for a wristlet bag through the Bag Ladies Flickr group. I have seen many versions of wristlets (small handbag that can hang off your wrist) and I am looking forward to making one up that suits my partner. With the amount of great stash fabrics and embroideries I have here I am sure I can come up with something.


I have previously written about the challenge one of the neighborhood groups I belong to is posing this year. The elements to be incorporated into my piece are inspiration from the Sergeant York movie, the color to be dusty rose and the stitch to be a highlighted is a satin step stitch. I napped through their meeting the other day and as a penance I started on my project. The fabric I am using is a rose, green and beige cotton plaid that is embroidered with flowers and stitched all over with elastic thread. My concept (a la Carol Watson's guerilla style garment making ideas) is to pleat the fabric at the waist, so only one of two colors of the plaid show, and then to make it all into a dress. I am not sure if it will be a successful garment but I am having fun stitching the pleats. The color and stitch are right on target, the link to Sergeant York is a little tenuous but I am sure I can come up with a plausible story.

Site Update

After many tries I now have a background to the blog header (silk from Carol Lane Saber Workshop) and have cleaned up the sidebar. I really must keep my house cleaning more regular or this blog will get even messier.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Quilting Arts TV

The other day I ordered the set of DVDs making up the first season of Quilting Arts TV on PBS. Pretty reasonably priced, especially with a pre-publication discount. If you get a chance to see the series or to own the DVDs, do so. The production values suck and the time they spend on each technique seemed too short for me but the techniques are intriguing and apply to many applications, not just quilts. Heck, any show that pairs Sue Hauseman of America Quilts fame with Lelsy Riley of mixed media fame on the same show can't be all bad.

One of the very early shows had a wonderful technique for making stencils. Jane Dunnewald of 'Complex Cloth: A Comprehensive Guide to Surface Design' fame used two pieces of fusible interfacing, cut through both pieces in a simple design, fused a piece of tulle between the interfacing pieces, coated the uncut areas with latex house paint and stenciled with fluid acrylics. Sort of like silk screen stencils on the cheap. I was so fascinated that I tried the technique.

Here are the stencils I came up with:
and here is my effort at using them on watercolor paper:
Things I learned - I am not an artist, a sharp exacto knife is required, simple designs are best and good stenciling technique takes some practise. However, I had fun trying figure this all out and I really want to try it again while taking into account the lessons I learned. Also, now that I have seen all of the programs and there are many, many techniques I need to try. When I do I will definitely let you know how they turn out.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Garage Sale Season

Around here there are two Garage Sale seasons - one in the spring and another in the fall. The summer is too hot and the winter is too unpredictable for Garage Sales. This post is all about watching for small bags of handmade quilt blocks when you are Garage Sale hopping. At one, when I still lived up North, I found a baggy of hand embroidered squares of fabric that just begged to be made into a quilt. The bag cost me $5.00 but I think they would have taken a lot less. I spent another $20.00 at Joann's on fabric and the whole thing, including quilting, took one snowy winter Sunday to complete. Here is the quilt:
and here is a close-up of some of the squares.

and here is a view of the sorta one inch wide binding. Nice mitered corners but what happened when I joined the ends?

I love this quilt. I can't believe that I just sat down and started sewing without a clue how to finish it. The binding, by any current standard, is way too big and the quilting is way too loose. It's nostalgic looking but I think any kid would love all the baby animals some anonymous woman hand embroidered. Paul has been the keeper of this quilt since I finished it many years ago. He told me he was afraid I would give it away but that he wanted it for his kids so he has been lugging around since then. I borrowed it for this post and I am under strict instructions to give it back to him when I am done.

So, watch out for the little baggies that hide out at garage sales. I have a complete set of hand sewn dresden plate squares and a bunch of other blocks from other grarage sales. I have almost enough for a complete king sized quilt. I just need a few more bits and pieces and I can get down to putting it together. Maybe I'll find just the right pieces this garage sale season. Wish me luck!

KAQG Auction Donation

The Kingwood Area Quilt Guild (KAQG) has a bi-annual auction of handcrafted quilts and related items. I am a member of their wearables group and we committed to making purses for the auction. I hand a brain storm the other day when I saw a cute purse on Betz White's blog made out a felted sweater. I thought about a white angora sweater I picked up in Canada as a perfect base for this type of handbag when combined with a machine embroidery design I have. Here's what it looks like: Mine is taller than Betz's by about 2" and the embroidery is the the focal point rather than the felted embellishments Betz used. The bright pink interior and the pink ribbon trim are both from the stash.

It's the perfect size for a little girl on Easter Sunday or for anyone during an Easter Egg Hunt.

Unfortunately the auction will not occur until after Easter. For some reason I kept thinking that Easter was April 23rd and not the real date of March 23rd. Heck we are already in Lent. If Easter Sunday was late in April, there would be many miserable people out there suffering through all the things they have given up. I will add this to my stash of kids stuff without a known recipient....unless one of you would like it? If you do, let me know and I'll pass it along (before the real Easter).

Scratch one project and find another fast. If all else fails, I will donate a bag I made, but have not used, from the 'Velma' Amy Butler pattern. Now if I could only find where I stashed it I would be all set!

Stinky Alex - Update

Still stinky but better. He is now on Pepcid and tiny meals. Things are moving somewhat normally however he has had at least one incident of things moving the wrong way. He is very unhappy and sleeping more than usual but was thrilled to find an old baseball on a walk yesterday afternoon. For a while he was his old self - hiding the ball from Kemora, almost playing fetch with me and only playing with it from the high ground aka the landing on the way upstairs.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Stinky Alex

Alex has his intestinal track all bunged up. He almost refused food this morning and nothing has come out since yesterday morning. I took him to the vet and they took x-rays . He has a lot of stuff from one end to the other but, fortunately, none of it looked like it was a blockage. They gave him a shot to move things along and I need to watch him to see if anything comes out in either direction. If things start moving normally, no problem except damage to the oriental rugs. If things start moving abnormally, then I need to get him back to the vet or the emergency vet ASAP. Until something happens the air around is certifiably toxic and, even though its in the 40's, I have a window cracked open to offset the smell.

Right now he's sleeping the sleep of the dead and dropping little smell bombs with incredible regularity. I hope that medicine works soon or at least before my sense of smell is permenantly ruined.

Wish us luck!

One Last Gasp

Previously (here and here) I wrote about the New Years Eve Mystery Quilt project. I totally messed up the cutting and construction although the fabric was lovely. My younger brother said he wanted it and I was grateful that someone thought it was worthy of ownership.....especially when that someone leads a very pared down sort of life and lives in a tiny space. I finally gave it to him a few days ago but it had undergone a weird transformation. The quilt itself is too small for sleeping under so I went to my stash of books and found one on using origami folds to make purses. Here is the result:
A botched quilt folded into a household file. Its a good size for newpapers or large sketches. I used stash buttons that were lying around waiting to be machine sewn onto something. The functional button holes were a good chance to play with the button hole feature on my sewing machine. I hope my brother enjoys it or at least gives it away to a good home.
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Visible Democracy

What a day and nght Tuesday was for those of us in Texas voting in the Democratic primary. My local voting location covered five precincts and in the last primary only 100 people showed up. This year about 5,000 voted and about 3,000 showed up for the caucus. The voting then caucus thing is uniquely Texan and I hope they do away with it by the time the next primary occurs. My voting place was so overwhelmed that the last voter finished voting at about an hour and a half after the polls closed. The rule is, if you are in line when the official poll closing time occurs, you get to vote because you were on time.

About a half hour after the polls close and the official election folk have locked up the results then the caucus can occur. We didn't even get into the building until about 9:00 pm, TWO HOURS after the polls had closed. Five tables, one for each precinct, had been set up with about 8 chairs at each table. My precinct had about 500 people for that one table. The poor organizers had to quickly find space for everyone. In the end, the pastor at the church where this was all going on, had to be called in to open the sanctuary so two of the precincts could meet in there while the other three met in the community center.

I finally left at about 10:00 pm as I was dead on my feet but the actual caucus didn't finish until about 11.

I was immensely proud of the passion people showed in trying to vote in both the primary and the caucus. I may not have agreed with their choices but it was wonderful to see so many different people making the effort.... the elderly bikers, the elegant house wives, the weary business people, the scruffy house builders, my doctor, the cashier I like from the grocery store .... all were there to have their voice heard and vote counted. I was especially glad to see a number of children there. I wonder what they reported to their classmates the next day?

Anyway, here's to democracy - flawed, fractured and imperfect as it may be I wouldn't have it any other way. Besides, who wants to stay home and watch re-reuns while history is being made?

BTW - this is my 200th post. I have been mulling over what to say at such a milesone but all my high-handed snooty thoughts vanished when I realized that visible democracy is the most approproate. Now go out and support your presidential candiate and vote in November!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

UFO #7

I finally finished quilting one of the two quilts that I created for the daughters of a friend of my father. It took me almost seven hours to get it done and it has been complete and utter torture. Needles broke, thread broke, bobbins disintegrated and the backing bunched. Even though I was ready to throw in the towel many times I kept going and now I am very pleased with the results. The quilt is the mostly rectangular one and the mostly square still needs basting and quilting. The incredibly weird thing abut all this is that after binding and washing it I think it looks really good. The original post is here if you would like to refresh your memory.
You may remember that I was worrying over whether to call this qult, and the other, UFOs becuase I didn't do all the sewing. With the torture of the quilting behind me on this one I believe both of these quilts will make it on my list of completed UnFinished Objects from previous years. I am giving it away tomorrow with the two pillows I made from the left over blocks. I do feel some guilt over only having one quilt done but there is only so much you can do.
The top sausage shaped one was to go with the quilt I just finished while the other is for the one I have not completed. The top pillow form came from a set of three I picked up somewhere while the square cushion form is a leftover from a long ago failed project.

One UFO down, several zillions to go.