Sunday, December 30, 2012

First Snow -- three days late

Without a howl or whistle of the wind snow fell during the night, only a coupe of inches, if that.  A nice white blanket which would have been more appreciated on Christmas day.  But the clouds have no idea of what dy of the month it is.  This photo was outside my bedroom window when the sun had come up but was still mostly behind clouds.  This kind of snowfall is perfect -- a pretty blanket, but easy to brush off a car, causing no driving problems.  Winter is here.

Large parts of the country have massive amounts of snow.  We are lucky.  I actually stayed in and read the year end musings in the NYTimes. Pages of photographs of war, unrest pain in many parts of the world  during the past year.  And those, of course, only a hint at the actuality. Year end is a time for contemplation.

I have been trying to write a poem contrasting the hubbub inside Rachel' house with family all gathered and gifts galore, especially for the children, with my short (two blocks) walk home. I haven't managed to capture the inside part yet. But here is the second part:

White moon, rag-clad with cloud tatters
nesting in unwelcoming bare branches above
dense dark on sidewalk-less street.
 Still, cold air, quiet, no traffic,
alternate world at day's end,
enfolding walking woman on soft soled shoes.
Silent night, peaceful night, all is calm,
all is right.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Cole's Farmyard Animal Quilt

I've been I've been beavering way on this quilt of appliqued barnyard animals for Cole for Christmas.  Last Christmas his big brother, Finn, got  a similar quilt of big jungle cats.  I like these chickens and sheep, gesse and pigs and goats.  They are designed by Deborah Konchinsky.  I have a number of her applique patterns for animals and have used them for quilts for several years. She has, I think, a wonderful ability to catch the animals in a realistic way while always having a sense of humor about them.

In this case I decided to use only the  polka dot and stripped fabrics I had on hand -- except I had to purchase a new piece for the back.   The photos don't show the polka dots very well but the stripes are clearly bright and fun. I'm glad it's finished.  I have a handful of other projects to get busy working on. As of this afternoon this quilt is wrapped and under the family tree for him to open tomorrow.  At one, (his birthday was two weeks ago) he's not going to care about this quilt, of course. In a way it's really for his mother.  She remembers having quilts I made for her as a little girl.  Did I say that Cole is my second great-grandson?

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Finsihing up, challenging myself

A new season has arrived (and the end of the world was never a likelihood).  It's finish up and get back to things already started.  I'm finishing up my great-grandson's farm animal quilt -- photo in a couple of days. It WILL be ready for Christmas, but barely. Maybe tomorrow afternoon, maybe Monday.  Then a picture. 

Then it's time to turn back to my take on this wonderful quilt which was made by a South African quilter (this is only a detail of a very much larger quilt) that I saw at the World Quilt Show August before last.  I and my daughter managed to embroider nearly twenty circular designs, each different for the other, last winter. I have one that needs only a half hour more work and then I'm back to trying to do at least one a week all through the winter. Maybe Rachel will have time to make a few more too. I don't know how big it can grow by the first of August when our guild has another show.  Embroidering circular designs is a meditational exercise, every one will be different.  I must end up with a number that can be put together in a square. The detail shows nine.  I think the original had well over 100.  It's a challenge.

Of cousre that's not all.  Two tops and their backs are in my sewing room waiting to be quilted. Then I want to do some BOMs for my guild and I want to make a two sided batik quilt for myself, using 5x5 charm squares of which I have many.  And then, and then ... the mind is always far ahead of the doing.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Same Only Different

Four jewel-toned blocks was the terms of a swap -- four each for two partners.  So I turned to my most used paper piecing book Carol Doak's Fifty Fabulous Stars.  The ones sent to each person did not have to be the same and, as  can be seen, are a bit different.  This was an opportunity to use some small pieces of fabric.  I very, very much enjoy using these designs.  But I really hate removing the paper when I'm finished. However they go into the mail in a couple of hours.  And I move on to other quilting projects.