Thursday, March 14, 2013

Still in Winter's Grasp!

With the warm temps on Sunday, I was hopeful that we would be past another cold spell...but here we are with temps in the teens at daybreak and cold and wind! But . . . it is sunny and the snow has either melted or blown away today!

I went with my cousin Rosie to Honeoye Falls to see the RAFA (Rochester Area Fiber Artists) exhibit at The Mill on Tuesday. Friends Elaine (Blog: Elaine's Blogging World) and Kathi (Blog: Pearl Street Road) have pieces in the exhibit. Love what they created! I have such talented friends! What a neat show! It is amazing what people do with textiles! Loved it and then had a nice lunch at the cafe across the street. It was good to spend time with Rosie, who I see way too infrequently. When we finally do get together, it is hard to part because we have so much to talk about and we seem to just pick up where we left off, even though it has been months sometimes!

I have been busy in the studio with getting some of my UFO's out and working on them. Of course, I also just had to start a new project! I signed up for a class at Mt. Pleasant Quilt Company, a quilt shop in York, NY. It was for the Stack 'n Whack technique. I took the class yesterday and loved what I was able to get done in just six hours! I learned a lot from the instructor and shop owner, Barb Miller; and now I feel skilled enough to finish the other 11 blocks on my own and get them in to the modified Irish Chain setting. It will be a work in progress, but I was so excited when I got home from the class that I spread all the pieces for the blocks out on the back of the sofa last night and looked at them and rearranged some of them and then pinned them into sets so I could sew them in the same patterns I had them arranged in. With this kind of technique, using stacks of diamonds, you can use the pieces to make a block with either end at the center, so you do have choices. Each block is completely different from the next and it is really fun to see what emerges when you put the block together. I won't show you all of my blocks until I get the top done, but here is my first block completed at the class yesterday. I feel like a little kid when I finish something like this and want to run home to have Mommy put it on her refrigerator door!

I love the fabric I picked out. It is by Timeless Treasures, a fabric maker that I seem to be drawn to! I used one of their fabrics in the recent Literature Challenge my quilt guild held. The colors in this fabric are ones that my husband and I both like and he thought the blocks were beautiful and was surprised that they all came from just one fabric. He is my biggest fan and he indulges me with my daily studio show and tell!

Today was a home day, and although it is already 6 o'clock, it doesn't feel like it because it is light and sunny! That is a nice thing about the time change...more daylight at the end of the day.

A trip to Penn Yan is in my near future to get my Bernina machine in for maintenance. It has had a rugged workout lately and as I finished my last block of 32 for my Amish Stars quilt, it finally stopped stitching correctly. So...I will be without that machine for a while, but it will force me to use my other machine that I keep in a cabinet upstairs. I get a little lonely up on the second floor landing, but I will see how it goes sewing up there. It really is a great machine...I just may find I enjoy sewing up there after all. In the afternoon there is light from the south, so that is a plus! It has not been used in a long time, so I hope it works! It may need to go in for maintenance, too!

I have named this quilt "Stars Over Chincoteague". I started it way back in 2007! Another UFO that I have been happily working on. Paul and I love to go out at night on Chinoteague Island on the road that leads to Assateague Island and gaze at the stars. We have spent many weeks there in the winter, with the exception of this year, and love the slow pace on the island during the off season -- not to mention the mild temperatures and lots of sunny days!

(  That isn't fabric between the rows! . . . The blocks are lying on the floor on my patterned rug.The rows will be sewn of black fabric like the background in the blocks. There are two more, there are 8 in each row. )

Oh, and I worked on the first row for my RRRR (Row by Row Round Robin) that I am doing with my guild. At first, I didn't like it, but now I do. Here is what I came up with. I think it will be fun to see what the next four people in my group do with it.

If I don't have a machine to use, I have other projects to work on, that is for sure! Knitting my beautiful cable scarf that is almost done, starting some cathedral windows quilt blocks. . . . a handwork project to keep next to my chair in the living room so I can work on it during TV shows, or my wool project from a class two years ago . . . and of course, my album making.

I always have plenty to do . . . not to mention working with my husband on our real estate career. I might even start my spring cleaning . . . no, maybe not . . . why rush the season? But, my husband did  mention to me today that he is interested in rearranging some furniture. I love rearranging furniture in rooms, so I better strike while the iron is hot!

It is dinner time and I need to help in the kitchen. . . Chicken and Asparagus for dinner tonight! Yum!

What I have learned:
I CAN keep up with the group in a quilt class!

What I want to learn:
How to do everything on my list by day's end!

What I appreciate:
Sunshine and more daylight at the end of the day.

What I want:
People to practice kindness.