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February 2019

Low Levels

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This is still my daily mode. At least I have ideas now, unlike the past five weeks. Baby Steps. :)

Monday I had a delightful outing with  my friends Barbara and Patty. Barbara drove us down to Purcellville, VA to visit Webfabrics. I have to tell you that this shop is a DESTINATION for quilt lovers. It isn't huge but it has a fabric selection to compete with any shop! I actually went with a mental shopping list - I needed some Allison Glass brights for making my NYBeauty mini swap quilt and I was in search of Moda's Boro fabric collection.

My give-to partner in the NYB swap likes brights and specifically mentioned AG prints. I don't keep my fabrics by designer - I buy according to what strikes me visually (or what I need for a particular project) and I'm indifferent to designer (for the most part - I do follow the Kaffe Collective, Cori Dantini, Jason Yenter and a few others:). So, I needed a few reliable AG prints to set the tone for myself (have already delved into patterns and design ideas for my mini:).

The boro prints are purely self-indulgent. I have an abiding passion for Japanese indigos (actually, indigo of any kind lights my fires - I have several African ones, too), especially ikat and shibori prints. Happy sighs.

Here's what I found to buy (I _did_ restrain myself:):

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They had a whole collection of the boro line ... but I decided to cherry pick a few that especially called to me (almost bought the fat quarter collection but 35 of them was a bit pricey since I don't have a definite project in mind and I do ... cough, cough ... own just a few indigo prints already. :) Right now I am thinking these might become tops to wear instead of quilts - the hand is very linen-like.


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I did buy some Allison Glass fat quarters, along with a few others that appealed to me. I am looking forward (about time!) to sewing with these. :)

Monday night I went out to Faithful Circle's meeting (hadn't been in three weeks, what with coughing up my lungs and the weather) ... was so good to see my friendly neighborhood quilters. :) Show and tell was nice, too.

Even with pretty fabrics sitting on my sewing table in plain sight, I spent most of today reading or sleeping. Sigh. Gotta get out of this slump and reignite my sewjo! I have an appointment to help my last private student tomorrow - she's making an African-themed quilt for a new great-grandchild. Hopefully that will help me focus and go back to sewing.

:) Linda

PS My daughter called me this evening - was good to see her (FaceTime). She and my SIL have been in Rhode Island at the Intercon larp-ing* convention. They go almost every year (missed last year because she was too close to term with my second grandson). She told me that she ran three events this year and played in one. They always leave the (now two) boys with Alan's parents so it is a week of just the two of them (bonus!:).   * Live Action Role Playing

 


Fluffy

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This is the view out my bedroom window this afternoon. It is still snowing here in Columbia ... and my neighbor's house (downhill from the back of our house) shows the accumulation. At the very bottom of the photo you might be able to see someone's (or -thing's) footprints in the snow. It always surprises me when it snows how many tracks show up in our yard. There is a good sledding slope just to the right of this photo so maybe these are kid's tracks to go out? Or maybe those deer that like to bed down under our deck (a story off the ground) leave traces? I wonder who's been around. :)

I am feeling just as fluffy as the snow right now. Sigh. My emergence is going on still, but with ups and downs. I got out last Sunday to spend the afternoon with my friend Barbara - it was the monthly meeting of the Sew & Tell group. I always enjoy seeing my friends although the weather kept some of them home (snow was predicted but did not show up  that day:).

At the recent Baltimore Modern guild meeting I picked up a packet of fabrics from the Comfort Cases rep who attended from the DC Modern guild. The one I chose features bugs and dinosaurs:

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At the meeting Sunday I cut up most of these prints into strips and rectangles. There were already made eight or nine blocks for a quilt and I decided to just continue the project. Comfort Cases makes duffels to give kids who enter foster care with a book, a small quilt, etc. in them. They ask for 30" - 40" quilts and so I figured nine 10 to 12 inch blocks would make a good size. I managed to cut enough to make three tops that size during the afternoon of the group meeting. I had not brought Blue with me (too spindly to carry much, still) so I bundled the cuttings up to work on at home.

Friday afternoon I had visited with my friend Barbara for our weekly sewing date ... during which I managed to trace off another pattern for my next punch needle project: My memory truly sucks! :P NOT Friday but Saturday afternoon - I went to the monthly meeting of the Columbia Friends group (Baltimore Modern guild) and worked with those sewing buddies. LOL - Barbara will be surprised to read about our Friday get together since we DIDN'T this week. I spent Saturday Friends meeting tracing my new punch-needle project, cutting framing squares for my finished punch-needle Coneflower piece, and cutting bits for the Comfort Cases project. Sheesh!

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This heart pattern came from Mary Corbett of Needle and Thread (I _think_:). I don't know how long I've held onto it and finally found a use for it. :) I have not decided how to do the punch needle - what colors to use, etc. Pondering that in my backbrain, still.

If this sounds like I've been busy sewing, it's a mirage. Sigh. I manage a only few stitches daily (yes, that _is_ better than NO stitches:). I seem to be spending a lot of time just sitting ... or sleeping ... or reading ... or playing solitaire. Sigh. I got annoyed with myself yesterday and spent most of the afternoon cleaning one quarter of the area around my computer desk - mostly sorting through papers rescued from my Mom's house and assorted knitting projects abandoned in the mess. :P Stirring up dust that my allergies are complaining to me about today. :P

I think it might take me the rest of this week to finish cleaning my desk at this rate. :P Gotta focus on the end result, right? At least there is progress, no matter how sloooooow. I bought a new light bank (for my S.A.D.) in December ... time to get it set up on my desk so I can use it!

There are all kinds of things waiting for me to work on, of course. I am almost a month behind on my temperature blocks ... the Comfort Cases tops to assemble and quilt (they did give me backing fabric:) ... Little O's quilt to finish ... a New York Beauty mini to make for the Instagram swap I joined ... never any end to projects (new and old) that need working on. :) Gotta get well a little faster.

:) Linda
 


Emerging

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At long last, I am slowly emerging from the viral swamps. Wednesday I went out to the local grocery store for a quick trip (I was sooooo bored:). Thursday was the last day of my steroid series of pills and also the scheduled weekly meeting of Faithful Circle Quilters (which I have belonged to since 1987). I very gladly went to guild from 10 a.m. until the end at meeting at noon - usually (of late) I go to lunch afterwards with a subset of the members but, that day, I decided to minimize the potential damage due to low energy and just go home. I think it was a good thing as I spent much of the afternoon asleep in my cosy armchair. LOL.

Yesterday my friend Barbara and I got together for lunch (Corner Stable in Kings Contrivance Village). Wednesday had been Barbara's birthday and I _thought_ I could give her the small gift I bought for her (but, true to form, could not find it  in my chaos). Lunch was delicious - Barbara had the baby back ribs and I had pulled chicken (barbeque to non-southerners:) sandwich with fries. Yummy!

Afterwards we went to Barbara's house for an afternoon of sewing. I took along my crazy quilt block to work with ... I was unsatisfied with the border I had attached so I took it off (set all the extra pieces of hanky aside in reserve to think about exactly how I want to use them). I had gotten my next homework assignment from Kathy Shaw which was to attach a 'lace' piece to two seams in the block. 

Of course, when I was packing up my stuff to meet Barbara, I could not find actual lace bits so I picked up some tape braids and doilies that were at hand to ponder. I worked for a half hour or so trying to fit the doily bits into my block but they just would NOT go ... eventually I chose two of the braids to use:

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Since I had already pieced my block, I had to  pick out bits of the seams to tuck the braids under (which annoyed me, honestly). I plan to cover the now-visible seaming stitches with embroidery later. Sigh. I dithered quite a lot over where to place which braid ... and then just chose an arrangement (had to get tough with myself:). After I took this photo, I sewed down the center of that rickrack with a purple thread which did help the red to blend into the block better. I really like the vine-y embroidery on that rickrack (came that way) and hope to embellish it with flowers somehow to take advantage. :) I am picturing beads (maybe gold - the color - bugles or white pearls) tacked onto the green braid. :)

Barbara was feeling a bit at loose ends as we got started but then settled down to work on her Bonnie Hunter Good Fortune project. She got quite a lot of four patch units sewn together (I was admiring her little swirled seam allowances on the back:) ... and then joined bits to make one of the alternate blocks. Barbara used purple (red violet) and chartreuse in her alternate blocks (Bonnie used green and blue) and I REALLY liked the result. Should have taken a photo. :)

After I finished working on my crazy quilt block, I took out my punch needle flowers and finally finished the background embroidery. I need to wash, block and finish the piece now. (Again, no photo). I talked to Barbara about what to do with my bit (about four by six inches in size) - originally I had thought about making it into a tote bag pocket or maybe zipper purse. I think I will make a small wall hanging by framing it with fabric (Barbara suggested a real frame), though. I know how to do that easily and I really want to finish it and go on to the next one. :)

Last night was blissfully quiet - Skip and Hugh went grocery shopping and I just read a book in my comfy corner. Sunday afternoon (tomorrow) is the monthly meeting of the Baltimore modern guild and I really want to go (besides the fact that I'm the recording secretary and I _need_ to go:). So I am giving myself today to 'lay low' and rest. I am, technically, well now (rarely cough and only have had to use my inhaler once in three days) ... but my stamina is much reduced and I don't want to catch something else as I heal. :P That is my common pattern when I've been really sick - jump back into daily life too quickly and vigorously and then catch something else because my immune system is not decently recovered. Sigh.

:) Linda

 


Still Down

520586_db7aThis is what healing looks like, ideally. LOL! here is what healing looks like for me, right now:

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I am on the second day of two different steroid treatment series and I am mostly spending my time asleep ... and coughing ... and coughing in my sleep. :P Not very interesting. :P

I can only dream about sewing or any other active pastime right now since I have no 'active' in me. Sigh. Looks like this coming week will be one of mostly vegetating and focusing on getting well. Gotta be done but I sure wish it wasn't so danged boring! :)

I am listening to some of my favorite audiobooks. Not enough attention span (or keeping-eyes-open energy) to watch TV. Shrug.

:) Linda