Monday, September 25, 2006

Quilt Camp!

Twice a year I run away to quilt camp in Ft. Bragg, CA. It really energizes me, and is a hugely needed break from my frantic life. No one needs anything from me, no demands are made. and no complaints. It's so refreshing! This time, I made not a single block -- well, OK I did start to. I volunteered to make a quilt for the widow of a favorite patient from his shirts. I did cut pieces, and sewed a pile, but decided I have to do this at home. The fabric is so thin, and so difficult to handle that I need to really soak it in starch to be able to handle it without deforming the blocks. I ended up making 8 purses! Here's some of them:

5 of them were gifts, 3 for me! The red bag in the center has a lining of tiny red frogs, my favorite little collectible. Mascot? Not sure what to call it, but when any of my friends see cute frogs they think of me --

The bag pattern is my own, and I spent the days perfecting it - a tweak here and a "try this" there. I'm amazed that I can do this. Simple things for simple minds, eh?

This is the view from our hotel rooms:

Noyo Harbor in Ft. Bragg -- Hard to wake up to, huh? I just love going to camp - sharing with all the other quilters, running around saying - "What are you working on?" and making new friends. I met a lady named Cathy, from Sacramento. She and I shared the same outrageous sense of humor and clicked immediately - I hope she comes to the next one!
Now that I'm home, I have to buckle down and get these quilts done for the show - I promised to enter, but the quilts weren't done! Now I have less than 2 weeks, so I better get busy.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Time, Time, Time --

I have an ancestor! I can't tell you what a thrill this is; we do know our family history and can trace one arm back to the 11th century, but have never seen the face of anyone older than my grandmother, and have no pictures. Behold, my great-great grandfather, Jacob Landis Berry, 1838 - 1885

And a handsome fella he is, too!
So far I've learned he was born in Ohio and died in Oregon, served in the Union Army during the Civil War and had 2 wives, Emmeline and Susan. (How's that for cool?) but I haven't seen mention of his children anywhere yet but of course, here we are! Turns out that a distant cousin of my mothers had given the picture to my Aunt, who passed away 15 years ago. My Aunts husband turned it up and passed it to my mother. Mom told me the inscription on the back gives his name and dates of birth and death, and the photographers name. I am so foolishly tickled with this guy! I've printed out a sepie toned print and I'm going to find a old timey frame and write his history, as much as I can find.
Then I have to get to work quilting - those show entries are not going to get done without em.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Labor Day Play

Waaay too hot to ever play outside, unless you have a big body of water, so I played inside with my favorite toy - EQ5. I dyed some more fat quarters, and love them even more, but now I'm considering what I want to do with them to show them off to best advantage. My first idea:

I've made a couple of test blocks, and have to say I'm a little hesitant. That's an awful lot of "plain" fabric, meaning no design. The quilting on it will be important, so there's my question, as always. Will quilting inspiration ever come easily? Boy, I sure hope so....... Is this the right project for my hand dyes? Should I do applique? But it's Kona cotton, so it's pretty dense for applique, unless I don't do needle turn. What do I do? What is the meaning of Life? LOL -- I love these kinds of dilemmas, so much easier than the daily grind problems. I could always just keep them as is and use them for petting, right?

Sunday, September 03, 2006

The Big Change

After many months of agonizing and prayer, I've finally made a decision that will direct the rest of my life. I am going to leave the security of the working world, and stay home. It's a hard-fought decision, believe me. I'm at least 13 years from "real" retirement and don't intend to be retired yet, but I have a great need to simplify my life and enjoy what I have instead of being too unhappy, stressed and sick to enjoy any of it. DH and I don't have a solid clear plan yet, let alone a time frame, but one thing that will happen is the addition of a long arm quilting rig, which will bring some income and allow me to do something I love. I will have the luxury of taking a walk in the early morning hours instead of flying down the freeway. I'll be able to watch my chickens and hummingbirds and horses - I'll walk my yard and even be able to work in it. I will be able to joyfully join friends for social and quilting times without feeling like it's yet another demand on my time. Already I feel a great weight lifted, and there's still much work to do and road to travel. I slept so well last night, after thanking my Savior for His guidence and feeling His hand on my shoulder I drifted right off.