Saturday, September 8, 2012

New table runner and more!

I can't believe how busy my life has become over the summer!  I never seem to have a minute where I can simply sit without thinking of the next task that has to be done. I thought life would slow down when I retired--all the time in the world to do what I like.  Hah!  That's a myth!

We went to Bayfield WI a couple of weeks ago to spend time with Don's old school mates. I made an Autumn themed table runner as a hostess gift and it looked so good, I decided to make a couple more to put in my Etsy shop which you can find here:  

I designed this simple little thing and I really like the clean lines.  Makes the colors stand out more, I think.  

I stitched in the ditch in the center panel and did a cross hatch in the border.  If you want to see more of it, take a look at Jolly Ruby.

This afternoon, I have to do a bit of quilting to finish a gift for one of our hosts while we're in Bulgaria.  Yikes!  We leave Monday morning and I have a ton of things yet to do, including canning tomatoes, the most time-intensive job I know!  We'll be gone for 2 weeks, one in Bulgaria and one in Germany. Jo's taking us around Bulgaria and then we're all going to Germany together. I can't wait to see Jo-she's been gone for a year and a half and before that she spent a year in Texas. So I hardly know her anymore.

For now, I have lists of things that have to get done, so I'm going to get busy.  As soon as I get on the plane I'll start to relax.  Ciao!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Quilts for Bulgaria

September means summer has ended, in a way.  We still have warm days--Indian Summer if you will--and it still feels like summer but there's a chill in the air in the early morning and there's a dryness in the air that comes with Autumn, unlike the extreme humidity we have in the summer.  I love Autumn!  I suffer through the hot and humid days of summer, and daily give thanks for the swimming pool that feels soooo refreshing at the end of a hot day of doing house and garden chores.  When the air changes to the cool and dry air of Autumn, I know that, once again, I've survived another summer. To celebrate September, I even baked today--fresh peach crisp. Yummy!

Autumn means I get more excited about quilting again. I have been working on quilts all summer, but not as much as I do in the rest of the year. Somehow, it's hard to sit under a quilt sewing on binding when it's 95 degrees out and the humidity is nearly that high as well.  Know what I mean?  

Last Fall, my guild began a block exchange. The first block was Friendship Star done in Autumn colors.  I love making that star block and I must have made about 20 or so to enter in the exchange.  The way it works is that you get 1 chance to win for each block you contribute. Well,one of my 20 or so chances won the whole kit and caboodle! About 60 blocks all together!  And in my favorite Fall colors.  Jo had asked if I could make a couple of quilts to bring as gifts for people she works with in Bulgaria and I decided to use the Friendship Stars to make 2 quilted throws and here they are:  

This one has light stars on dark backgrounds so I used light fabric for sashing and borders and the other quilt has dark stars on light backgrounds and I used dark fabric for the sashings and borders.

I machine quilted them in similar freehand designs that look pretty good close up but I couldn't get a good picture of them with my camera, so just take my word for it.  :)

This table quilt is one I made to coordinate with a set of place mats. I used fabric that was printed with a variety of fruits--oranges, blueberries, grapes, cherries, and so forth--with a white on white contrast.  I just did a meander over the entire quilt  and I like how it turned out. EXCEPT. . . When I looked at the picture in my camera, I found my "humility block!"  Way too late to correct it!   I don't know how I missed it--must have been that the heat and humidity addled my brain and eyesight as well.

If you don't know about the humility block, it comes from the Amish, I believe, who deliberately make an error in their projects, so it's not perfect. Only God, they believe, is perfect. In my quilting, I never have to deliberately add a mistake--I make enough of them accidentally to keep me very humble!

Don and I will be leaving for Bulgaria and Germany in 9 days and the Friendship Star quilts will be going with us, along with all sorts of other things Jo wants us to bring.  I'm getting really excited to go on this trip!  I haven't seen Jo for 17 months except on Skype, and before that she was in Texas for nearly a year. She's my youngest child and I'd like to think that she's my baby, but she's the most independent of the 3 children.  After a week in Bulgaria, which Jo is arranging, the 3 of us will spend a week in Germany, traveling between Munich (Oktoberfest!!!!) and Frankfurt.  I can't wait! I'll try to take pictures but being in Germany during Oktoberfest may mean some more-than-usual out of focus pix!  But we'll be having a good time!