Saturday, December 3, 2011

Bell ringing, a gift and a giveaway

This morning, I spent a couple of hours bell ringing for the Salvation Army.  I am the one in the blue coat.  Chris B., on the left, is our new guild president.  I had a really good time.  It was great fun greeting people and sharing Christmas greetings.  I was pleasantly surprised at the generosity of the people who came by us.  In these hard times, and in this depressed area, it was really heartwarming to see just how much people are willing to share.  It was a good morning, and I plan on doing this again next year.

When I got home, after a side trip to Puyallup to the quilt store, I found a box on my porch addressed to me.  It was from Friends4Kenya.  I didn't know what it was, or who they were.  I brought the box in and immediately opened it.  Look at this beautiful basket that was inside!  I was stunned and couldn't figure out where it came from or why I would deserve such a thing of beauty.  So, I went online.  Friends4Kenya is a small group of women, mostly quilters, who work with women in an area outside Nairobi.  They have taught these women to make these beautiful cloth baskets.  Be sure and visit the site and read about these wonderful women. Once I found out who these women are, and that I am related to two of them my marriage, I began to figure out how this beautiful basket came to me.  Willa, I assume this is from you.  I love it.  Thank you.

And just why would someone send me this beautiful basket?  It is almost my birthday.  That's right.  I will be turning 65 next Saturday, the 10th.  I have thought of many ways to celebrate this event here.  I decided on a giveaway.  Then, I had to decide on something I could afford for the prize.  When I went to Puyallup, I found this Ruby charm pack and this very cute Schnibbles pattern that is charm pack friendly.  I love the Ruby line for Moda and hope you do, too.
If you want to enter to win these two things, please leave me a comment telling me about the best present you remember ever getting.  Why was it so special?
I will leave this open until next Saturday, December 10.
Good luck, everyone.  I look forward to reading all your stories.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Another sneak peak

I am working on another mini quilt for an exchange.  For this one, we are supposed to make triangle trees.  The max size is 50" total perimeter.  This little quilt will be about 12" x 12".  I didn't think I would be making mini quilts when I started this adventure, but now I love them.  It is a wonderful way to practice different designs, piecing techniques, applique techniques, and quilting.  I also love exchanging them.  If any of you want to do a mini quilt exchange with me, just let me know.  I am always up for the fun and challenge. 
I didn't get much more done in the studio today.  I had errands to run and swap ornament blocks to sort and get into the mail.  I had my usual dismal experience at the local chain fabric store.  It is getting so bad, I have decided not to go there any more.  I am sure that many of you have JoAnn Fabric stores where the store is clean, warm, and the people are friendly and knowledgeable  That has not been my experience at my local JAF.  Today, they had at least 15 people waiting to be helped somehow, and two people working.  When I asked if there would be a better time to come back when more people would be working, I was told that the shifts were all filled and that she was sorry I was having a negative experience.  I will find another place to get notions and batting from now on.  One of my biggest pet peeves is poor service, and I have given these people enough chances.
Okay, enough soap box whining.  Tomorrow, I am going to be a Salvation Army bell ringer for the first time.  Our guild has been doing this for a few years now.  I have the first shift, so I have the buckets in the back seat of my car right now.  I am looking forward to ringing my bell and sharing Christmas greetings. 
Until tomorrow evening, joyful quilting, everyone.

Monday, November 28, 2011

A tease and new thrift shop finds

This is all I can show of the red and white mini quilt.  I finished piecing the top this afternoon.  I am very pleased with how it turned out.  Almost all the points survived and the corners match.  I will figure out how to quilt it next weekend.
I went to the doc to have him look at my ear, and he pronounced the infection gone.  On the way home, I stopped to pick up some King Tut thread to quilt the Jacob's Ladder and some small things to get ready for the gift exchange at my guild meeting.  Then I went to the local Goodwill.  I was really excited to find these wonderful things.

Look at all these wonderful shirts!

Intriguing plaids.

Hawaiian prints and a chartreuse plaid.

Look at the reds.

I even found a good sized piece of Grannies Flowers from 1997.  It is going to help create the back for the JL.  I also found a king sized floral on black sheet, a table cloth for our dining table, and cloth napkins.  All in all, a very successful trip.  I was excited to discover that the store had enlarged its linens section.  I will have to keep my eye out there.
Tomorrow, I start my week with Bella.  Until Friday, joyful quilting, everyone.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

WIPs or UFOs?

When I started the year, I had four completed quilts under my belt, and plans to make as many quilts as I could with the time and fabric I had.  I didn't even know what a UFO was, and when they talked about them at my guild, I had to ask someone what it was all about.  Now, things are a bit different.  I haven't counted the number of quilts I have finished, but I soon will.  I have been looking at the stack of projects I have in various stages of completion.  In other words, UFOs.
There are a few things I just don't have any interest in finishing right now, but the others will be put back on my to-do list for the new year.  A few of them need backs, quilting, and binding.  A few of them need more borders before I can even think about finishing.  Some need more blocks.  I have listed six of them for the UFO challenge at my guild.  As I finish each of them, I have plenty more to add. 
As I think about next year and quilting, I wonder if I will finally settle into one style.  Do I really need to?  When I look at the list I have started of quilts I want to make, it looks like I will still be trying a bit of everything.  Over the next few weeks, I think I will be posting a bit about what I have accomplished this year, and what I hope to do next.  This is mostly because I am making Christmas presents and won't be able to show much of what I am doing.  I am also doing it so I will have it out there and will have a list to compare to at the end of next year.
In the meantime, I am still quilting and having great fun.  I will show you all the things I am making after they have been given.
Joyful quilting, everyone.