Friday, February 27, 2009

Progress . . .

More on the Sunday Art Group Project. I decided it needed something else with it and like these three pieces of fabric. And then the freeform piece looked too precises and seemed to want to be "unsquare". So, I trimmed it and then I threw the pieces on Daisy this morning and quilted it all a bit. This is where I am now with this little project and I may do a bit more quilting later with it. I am thinking now . . . don't want to get carried away here. I want to trim the fabric pieces to shapes as well and connect them together with maybe bamboo or yarn - or both. Enough of that for today.

Off to load a customer quilt. . . one that Hoke and Daisy can do together. We love togetherness.

I know . . .

I have said this before. . . but this quote seems to really define me.

"I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult."
E. B. White

I have to make a few other "drops" in my life now to get back on track. I always struggle with what I "should" do and what I "must" to do to create. I have to hear my own music, march to my own drumbeat, believe in my dreams and bask in my passions. It may sound selfish to me, but without that focus I can not be there for others. My need to "belong", to be "one of the group" overcomes my inner need to be independent. It is then that I make poor decisions about my path. There can be no confusion at this time in my life.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What do you think?

I never learn. When I am about to enter into a new adventure, be it a job or a group to join, I sometimes get "bad vibes". You know the kind - little messages that are obvious if I were listening. I need to listen better. My past practices have been to procede thinking "I am a grown up and I can do this" when everything in me is whispering to stop, listen, and take another path.

I have just completed another lesson on this learning. Fortunately I did not continue on the path so long that I lost too much. I became involved with our local quilt guild late last fall. I volunteered to be an officer (programs) and started that work in January. At each step, at each turn, at each point, the voices were there to tell me this was not a good decision. No one would volunteer and the guild was struggling so I thought I should help. Now I know I should have listened.

Today, I resigned and I promise I will listen better. I wonder how many times I will need to have this lesson in my life before I "get it".

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sunday art group . . .

I belong to a small art group and yesterday we had a "prime the pump" gathering at one of our members studios. She led us in a creative experience to cut strips into waves from selvage to selvage, sew the strips together, don't press, and then cut across that piece to make curvy strips. You can then press and sew the strips into another background piece of fabric after cutting by following the shape of the strip with a rotary cutter You then take the piece with the strips sewn as inserts and add additional strips as sewn inserts in the other direction. It was lots of freehand curved rotary cutting adn curved seam sewing. It was a very freeing experience. You can see the progress in the pictures.

We are planning to have a gallery show this summer and it was a day for lunch, to plan our gallery show, and to take a couple hours for this fast, "don't stop to think", project. It was fun and I have something in mind to "finish" it. Some were very frustrated and one was magnificent and finished out of solid color sateens. We all agreed that it was a good way to get out of "comfort zones".

Returning to normal . . .

We got back from Portland last Tuesday late - and I have been trying to get my brain in forward every since. It seems almost like two weeks away with the company, the trip and recovering from the crud. Today feels more like normal - whatever that is!

This weekend was inspiration time. I worked some in my studio having Hoke (my IQ) stitch out some samples of different patterns on muslin. I have wanted to do this, but haven't taken the time so I did 8 samples. I have several quilts scheduled for April where customers would like to see possibilities. I also loaded the new version of the system that will allow me to have Hoke skip pretermined rectangles or irregular shapes. I haven't done much with that yet, but will after I do a couple more quilts. Here are a couple patterns I really liked that are new to me. The first one is "Leaf Texture" by Susan Mallett. I plan to use this one today. I love the texture it provides at all sizes. The second is "Could Nine Petite" by Patricia Ritter. I purchased both of these from Intelligent Qulting. You can click on any of the pics to enlarge.

Yesterday I spent some time with my "art group". I will post on that tomorrow.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

We made it . . .

We got here to Portland last evening just in time to go with Roy and Meagan to the Northwest Children's Theatre for "Alice in Wonderland". It was a fun, original show combining jazz with muscial theatre.

I have really been hit hard with this last virus, but hope I can see the end of the tunnel with it. I don't like traveling sick and I know I was sick as I love to drive and I didn't even want to drive.

We went to Missoula on Friday and met with financial planners for Mom and Dad. We then went on to Spokane for the night. I had several coughing "fits" - you know the kind - you can't stop and can't get in air. And, you hope you don't have to go to the bathroom or you are in trouble. Ice water is the best remedy followed by a cough drop. I only had 2 such episodes yesterday so I know I am getting better. Roy really wanted us to come if at all possible as we had postponed once already when we were going to come out for Meagan's birthday the end of January.

We will only be here 2 days and they are filled with "Grandma" stuff - celebrating her birthday a couple weeks late, shopping at the Disney Store, baking chocolate chip cookies, painting our fingernails, putting crystals on a shirt, dinner out at "our favorite place", painting the puppet heads from last fall - all the good stuff squeezed into 2 days.

By the time we get home next week, I will be well enough to see Weston, get more hugs and stuff. I hope he is also well so we can stop passing this crud back and forth.

Bob and I looked at each other last night and thought about how blessed we are - last week we spent time with Weston at the Disney Live show and this week we are with Meagan at a show in Portland. It is all good!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Give away . . .

Mother Superior's blog is having a give away. Go visit here and follow the directions for a chance to win a gift certificate.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Wonderful Weekend . . .

Our friends, Gail and Jim, from Denver are headed back to Denver. They flew in on Friday and we ran non-stop. The highlight of the show was going yesterday to the local performance of the "Playhouse Disney Live" show. The young man who plays Tigger (and a couple other parts) is Jim's nephew. Tristan is from Portland, OR and he met us before the show in costume and then took us on a tour of their travel buses after the show and we took him to a local pizza house for more visiting. It was fun to hear all about the "behind the scenes" part of this kind of a show.

Weston got to meet Tigger off stage before the show started. Weston was not feeling well and sat on my lap the whole show. He was mesmerized by all of the characters, the singing and all of the special effects - like the tools dancing.

The pictures from the top show Weston hugging Tigger backstage before the show. Then you see Gail and Jim with Tigger and Rainy, Weston and Stan with Tigger. Bob and I also had our picture taken with Tigger before the show. Tigger is shown onstage in part of the show.

After the show we were able to go around to the backside of the arena and see the four large tour buses that carry the cast and support staff. We also watched them load the Little Einsteins rocket for the trip to the next show which will be in Spokane, WA.

After we had pizza together, Gail and Jim took a picture with Tristan - aka Tigger. It was a very fun day and visit to share one young man's dreams come true! Tristan is 19 and has wanted to travel with a Disney show since he was just starting high school.

Now it is time to get some quilting done. These "vacation" weekends are wonderful and make me feel like I am ready to get back "at it"!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Good Friends . . .

Many years ago, I came to Montana State University here and was randomly assigned a roommate. Her name is Gail and she was from another town here in Montana. We became "best friends". We still are "best friends" and have been for all these many years. We have done Weight Watchers together since it started off and on, raised kids together, sewn together, made felted wool coats together, shared holidays, learned to quilt together and even collaborated on a couple show quilts together. She and I made "Tumbling Through Time" shown in the pic. We laugh now because our friendship survived that experience. That setting is a large Lemoyne Star and our experience with doing that was non existent at the time. We have great stories about our trials. Our paths and lifestyles have curved and crossed through the years. She and her husband, Jim, lived in the Denver area when I did and still live there. They are coming today for a long weekend visit.

We are heading to dinner tonight at a steakhouse out of town and meeting up with another couple, Ken and Laurena, who have been in the same friendship circle even longer. Laurena and Gail were friends from childhood and Laurena came to college here at the same time. Laurena is not a quilter - yet. But, we keep working on her. She is getting close as she called me yesterday and needs to add a border to a quilt her sister made for her son. He wants it larger. I think that is a start.

Tomorrow night we are going to the Bobcat-Grizzly basketball game - that is the cross state rivalry between Montana State University (here) and the University of Montana (Missoula). It is not quite as big a deal with basketball as it is in football, but still a fun game. Then on Sunday, we are going to see Disney Live. Gail's nephew from Portland, OR is playing the role of Tigger. We have a "meet and greet" set up with Tigger for Weston before the show. Wow - what a day that will be as well.

They will leave on Monday and life will return to something near normal. Normal lately has been very, very busy. We have guild again on Tuesday night and I am the program chairperson so I am putting the finishing touches on the program for that evening. Here is a picture of the pineapple blocks that I showed how to do last month and now I am making them into a center with flying geese around the edge. We also shared a quick, no waste method, to do the flying geeese last month. This month our tips and tricks session focuses on various ways to make half square triangles. I thought it would be fun to take what we do each month and incorporate it into this and it will be my own "round robin". I will share more on it as I have more done than showing in the picture and will take a new picture later. This round robin idea was inspired by the work of another friend, Ronda Beyer, and you can see and read about her round robin work on her blog.

What a great weekend we have in store! It is all good!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

He is skiing again !!!!

Stan, Rainy and Weston went up skiing again today. Rainy posted shared some pics and I am sharing them here because it is so exciting to see that little guy ski. He loves it! And so does Dad! It was a beautiful sunny day here as you can see from the pics they took on the hill. We are so thrilled that he is enjoying it!

We went up on campus and watched a great basketball game between Montana State and Portland State - we won, but it was a great game. Then when we got home the Super Bowl had just started and now we are into watching that. What a fun day