Pretty hard to tell from this photo - one is for a scarflet with a lacy entrelac edging ... and the other is a very nice textured shawl somehow worked from this afghan pattern.
"THE Mole had been working very hard all the morning,
spring-cleaning his little home. First with brooms, then with
dusters; then on ladders and steps and chairs, with a brush
and a pail of whitewash; till he had dust in his throat and
eyes, and splashes of whitewash all over his black fur, and
an aching back and weary arms. Spring was moving in
the air above and in the earth below and around him,
penetrating even his dark and lowly little house with its
spirit of divine discontent and longing. It was small
wonder, then, that he suddenly flung down his brush
on the floor, said `Bother!' and `O blow!' and also
`Hang spring-cleaning!' and bolted out of the house
without even waiting to put on his coat.
I've lost the identifying blurb that tells me where online I found this wonderful image with three dimensional embroidered flowers (if you recognize the piece, let me know, please, so I can credit the worker!:) - this piece makes me happy that spring is coming. :)
Today, as any quilt maker most likely knows, was Quilting Day. Those of us who are of the fiber persuasion are meant to celebrate quilting somehow. Myself, I had to work on the sales floor in my shop - so I was, quite literally, surrounded by quilts and quilting all day. :)
I enjoyed helping customers (as I usually do:) choose fabrics and find the things they needed to work on projects. One lady was buying Australian aboriginal art patterned fabrics - which reminded me that I have a nice little bunch of Aussie prints somewhere in my stash, waiting to become a quilt. (hmmm) Another is so busy at work that she does not have time to sew more than a single patchwork block a week - but was buying fabric to pet and plan ahead for her next block.
Daria P. worked with me which was fun. She was at the AQS Lancaster quilt show on Thursday, taking an applique class with Kaffee Fassett. It was interesting to see the combinations of colors and prints she chose to put together as a result of that class (Kaffee is a genius colorist)!
She was also very, very excited about the purchase of a new longarm (HandiQuilter) machine that she is going to keep/use at my shop. Truthfully, so am I. :) I have long thought it would be a good extension of the quilting business to have a resident longarm quilter and I'm pleased that it will be Daria. The machine is supposed to be delivered sometime during the coming week - we are going to put it into the smaller classroom space and devote that area to receiving deliveries, kit production and quilting. :) I think this will be a win-win for all involved, including the customers who would like to have their tops quilted. :)
The weather today was gray, cloudy and mid50's - there was a cold wind blowing that put an edge on the potential mildness, though. (brrr!) My daffodils have yellow buds but still have not broken into flower. The county water department spent all day Wednesday repairing a leak in our water lines which was situated on the circle at the end of our cul-de-sac, right in front of our house. In the process, they took down two of the three remaining Chinese cherry trees. (sniff) When my kids were younger, those three threes created beautiful pink flowers in abundance every year in late April/early May ... the falling petals would rain down whenever the kids climbed in the trees. I expect the color show will be much diminished now.
I managed to finish the April work schedule for the shop today during a quiet spell - there are at least three days that I will have to search for someone to work. Two of my employees are out 'sick' and I will be gone for 18 days during April. I had not counted the total up until yesterday and did not realize how much of the month I am planning to be away. Driving to Ohio, then Kansas, then KY, then home again will consume 6 of those days. The rest I will spend with family in Kansas and at the big quilt show in Paducah. I've never been to that show before and I am really looking forward to going - and I sure hope my knee can stand all the walking!
Isn't this an interesting statuary? I spotted this as I was out and about my errands today - one of my stops was at the county health department which is in the Fox Run light industrial area (hence this statue, right next to the administration building). There was no sign or plaque as to the artist, etc., so I only have to guess. :) Hard to tell what it is made of - something pretty durable, so I'm guessing not wood. The color and surface texture of the figures was enchanting. :)
I was there to apply for a copy of my son's birth certificate - he is finally getting interested in having a photo identification card (he doesn't drive, so a photo license is out) - for which he needs his b.c. :) The sun was shining nicely when I took this photo as I left the building. Ten or fifteen minutes before that, as I went in, the rain was pounding down.
Warm, spring rain - mid50s and quite welcome. :) The earth smells sweet today as it warms up. There are still snowdrops blooming - I spotted some in my front yard, coming up in a forgotten corner where I planted a few bulbs many years ago. My crocus must have been eaten or maybe just died out - there are none flowering by the front door step as there have been in past years (even though I saw some in another yard across the court, their perky blue/purple petals shining up:).
Besides the health department, I went for my weekly weigh-in today (gained 1/2 pound - for the past five weeks, my body has been yo-yoing between 34 and 37 pounds lost...stubborn body!). I also had an appointment to get my hair cut. Since that establishment is near my store, I stopped and had a nice salad for lunch then went to the store for a while, thinking that I would sew on a project of my own for the afternoon.
Instead, I got distracted trying to deal with our email situation (sigh) - my i.s.p. has installed a new fancier server. We have managed to get all the link-ups reconnected so that I can get and send emails ... but now my email software is misbehaving. :P I have to set Skip at it as the problem is beyond anything I have been able to figure out for myself.
So, well, after two hours of fiddling, I gave up and drove home - in early afternoon rush hour traffic, by then. I was supposed to attend an online seminar about e-newsletter improvements with the Quilt Trade Association (shop owners) at 7 p.m. ... but got a notice that it had been cancelled due to family emergency on the part of the lecturer.
So, my evening is knitting and watching Campion (Masterpiece Theater) streaming on Netflix. What a funny day - started off with heavy rain, moved to clouds and then sunshine .... many, many errands and not feeling as though I've accomplished much at all. Good thing tomorrow is another day off!
Every once in a while I actually manage to finish something I am working on. This photo shows a blurry image of my Madrona Road challenge project (I'm sorry about the blurry - my hands are shaking more than they used to do, and I usually can't see the blur until I get the photo onto a computer screen). I am pretty happy with this pillow - it turned out very much like what I imagined it would. :) I combined hand and free motion machine embroidery, hand applique, hand beading and machine quilting/finishing to make it. Here are some closer photos:
I did add more beaded centers to those two flowers on the far right above before I quit working last night. You might be able to just glimpse the hand embroidery I worked on the chevron printed fabric to the right of the poppy print above (I forgot to photo that section). Can you see the little bird pattern inside the bird applique? :)
On the whole I am pleased with this pillow. These are not fabrics that I particularly liked but they worked up nicely together. If you want to see the challenge projects that Violet Craft (the fabric designer) chose as 'best', you can see them here. I particularly like the tree quilt that she chose as the big winner! :)
On other fronts, life eases onward. I spent about two hours this morning at the labs for our new health insurance, having blood drawn and so forth. :P Then an hour and a half at my bank, getting my account straightened out. I think I might have mentioned that they warned me the account might have been 'compromised' by a theft - they were soooo right. :P This has happened so often that I have lost count. I don't think I am especially sloppy financially or particularly unlucky, so I think the whole cyber-crime banking issue must be a nasty one! This time the perps were buying various kinds of expensive sports shoes in Houston, NYC, and LA. (sigh)
Now I'm off to sew a sample for my shop and try to warm up. We have a cold front moving into this part of Maryland - supposed to get snow/ice by Tuesday evening. My poor daffodils will have to be strong (as usual) and tough it out!
Spring is gently sneaking up here in Maryland. As I walked out my front door yesterday morning, I could see that our daffodils have buds on them now. :) Today it is snowing (well, snowflakes are drifting down, none are sticking). The weather here changes quickly. :)
I've been working on this and that but nothing is getting finished. :P I have gathered all the threads, beads and such to do my embroidery on the last crazy quilt round robin block ... but have not started sewing (way too sleepy in the evening when I get home:). I gathered up goods to make my January and February crazy quilt journal blocks (gotta add March to the pile, now), but haven't started. I got most of the appendages sewn onto my spring variegated monster, but not all (can't find the left over yarn to do the sewing with). Just kinda discombobulated right now. :P I _did_ get my medicines in the mail, so that problem is solved, for the moment.