Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I'm still here!

For some reason, I always think that it is necessary to have some photos ready before I can post. That's ridiculous, of course. So, here are some random thoughts that have been cluttering my mind for a while.

On the quilting front, we had a great time in Florida, as usual. We always exchange what we have dubbed, "Room-mate gifts". My contribution, as we arrived in Florida, was note pads in various shapes, including flip-flops, palm trees and sunglasses . . . . sunglasses . . . . hmmmm. I felt an idea germinating, and it influenced my fabric purchases for the trip. The idea is sunglass frames, with images as though they are reflected on the lenses. I have about twenty-four cut, and they're just a riot! All the images are tied to themes of our trip. Some are sewing related - stacks of fabric and sewing notions, food related - spaghetti ala Patti, and lots of opportunities to enjoy sea food, so crabs, too; and beach related - sea shells, flamingos . . . lots of fun in bright polka dot frames. I was bemoaning the fact that a few "road signs" would really add to the memories . . . such as the speed bump that was definitely speeding toward us one evening . . . the girls in the back seat might have permanent knots on their heads, and Patti claims to have been assaulted by an arm rest. Dawn sent me a link to Bear Paw Fabrics, where they had posted a road sign fabric . . . perfect phrases shown on road sign shapes. I managed to put a "collage" of phrases in a few lenses, such as "Getaway - AreWe There Yet? - Quilter on Board" in one sunglass frame; and "Road Trip" in another. Because the placement is critical, I have basted the lenses into position to do reverse applique. They are the kind of project where one can't help but giggle at the whimsy. I'm thinking of placing them in a pinwheel or perphas just simple 9-patch block set. This definitely goes in my "Miss Mary's Retreat" projects for the end of January.

Once the muse has been inspired, it generally snowballs into other projects, so as I was contemplating sunglasses, I tried to think of a way to use some of my stash of Christmas prints in a similar fashion. Ski goggles came to mind, but it seemed that the image might not be as easily recognized as sunglasses. Once again, Dawn to the rescue . . . she suggested snow globes. I can't wait to start digging in my tubs of Christmas fabrics. I would put that on my Miss Mary's list, but I'd have to have them all delivered in a POD!

DH has worked several auctions since my last post. And, I have had quite a bonanza of good things. One Friday, I went on my lunch hour to see what the sale of the day had to offer. I found a neat little Norwegian sewing box with some kitchen "plunder" . . . zip-loc bags, freezer paper, etc. I bid to $11 and won the bid. I was delighted with the sewing box, and in looking through the three other boxes, found I also had solved my dilemma of my aging hand-mixer. At the bottom of one of the boxes was a brand new 7-speed LED display Cuisinart hand-mixer. I put it to use this week with quick breads, and was afraid to take it above speed #4, for fear I would achieve lift-off! With a big grin on my face, I walked over to my husband to show him how lucky I had been with my $11 bid. He just smiled, reached in his pocket, and said, "Merry Christmas . . . you can enjoy this longer if I give it to you now." In his hand was a stunning 18-karat white gold wedding ring set with diamond. The stone is brilliant and flawless. I need to get it appraised for insurance, but hate to take it off my hand while that's done!

The remaining "valuable" in my $11 bid assortment was a portable electric typewriter. I decided my grandson might enjoy it, and I was right. What was funny, though, was trying to explain what it did to him. His first question was "where do you see what you entered?" So, I put a piece of paper in it, and showed him how to type. His next question was, "how do you clear it?" He was clearly delighted with the instant result of the keys hitting the paper, as opposed to having to send it to print on the computer. I think my son is getting tired of hearing the clatter of the typewriter every evening as Drew plays with his new "toy".

A few weeks ago at an auction, the acquisitions were two antique quilts. One is a summer quilt, with sort of an arrow pattern. It has only a muslin backing on it, so some day in the far distant future, I may take the back off and actually quilt it. The other is a red and green applique quilt in a 4-block coxcomb pattern, dated 1871, and proudly signed in about 5 inch letters, "Elise Schurbeck". The red has long since departed the quilt, but some remains, held in place by the quilting. I promise to post a picture of it soon.

My cousin, Diane, sent me a lovely gift for Christmas, too. This must be my year for jewelry. She designs stunning pieces, and sent me a necklace and matching earrings in her design called, "Nefertiti". It is Venetian glass beads, malachite, and brass with gold settings. Her jewelry is called Stone Blossoms, and she's very talented.

Last Friday, four of us took off on a mini-shop hop. I managed to locate the perfect background for my "snow globes", and "wooden" looking fabric for the bases. In Danville, Illinois, at Threads of Time, I found a fabric on the sale table suitable for the back of the quilt . . . it has snowmen in snow globes! One of the challenges for the Old Tippecanoe Quilt Guild show this spring is an alphabet challenge. We drew for letters, and we are to make a 14" quilt with something depicted that begins with our selected letter, and using a visible amount of fabric in a color that starts with that letter. I found all the fabrics I need for my turquoise tea pot. I envision it as rather elaborate, and am contemplating doing some Celtic work on it. See what I told you about the muse striking? Mine has shifted into overdrive!

I'm still plugging along at my sock knitting, working on Pairs numbered 32 and 33. I want to select a couple skeins to work with as we visit our son and his family in Virginia. Can't wait to see those kids . . . I know they are growing like weeds.


Dawn said...

Oh I can't wait to see the sunglasses at Miss Mary's! And I can't wait to see pics of the antique quilt and of course the ring! Wooo Hoo!!!

Oh and I love the story of Drew's new typwriter!

Laura said...

I hope you had a great Christmas visit with your family Linda!

I can just see Drew typing away.