Thursday, December 26, 2013

Baby Stella and her quilt

A little fussy and about ready for a nap, Stella is wrapped in her new quilt holding a new bunny doll. She has a reindeer headband made by her mother who has a knack for headband making.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Stella's Stars

I was waiting for the sun to come out so I could get a photo with the pinks more or less true  They're fairly true although you can't see that the background of the main part is a pretty print.  The stars are viewable.  Not your usual cute baby quilt.  But I'm not a "cute" kind of great-grandmother and I really wanted to make complicated stars.   So this will go to Stella tomorrow for her first Christmas.  That backing is a Liberty of London fabric, very light pink printed with the alphabet.  I actually bought that fabric at a thrift shop even before Cori and Jay were married, let along before I had any thought of soon (or so it now seems) having a great-granddaughter.

She'll have a first birthday almost immediately and will get a more appropriate bunny-doll.  I usually don't wash new quilts but I wanted this  to have an antique look and I wanted to get rid of visible marking pencil lines used for the machine quilting. Done in time for Christmas.  Now on to other projects.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Honey and Honey comb

"I haven't seen honey comb in ages," I said the other day when half a dozen of us (women) were sitting at lunch talking about food additives.  Someone said she had read that most honey on the market is not pure honey but  a mixure of syrups and preservatives. (As if honey needs an additive!).  I believe she is probably right (I'm willing to believe anything stupid and venal that the food industry might do). 

That morning I had put honey on whole grain toast and noticed, sadly that the jar is almost empty. It was given to me last Christmas and is named Bumble Rumble Honey from a private apiary in Barnstable, Massachussets -- which is to say not more than ten miles away from where I live.  I believe this to be pure honey and I truly enjoyed it. Then came my comment about honey comb. True I used to see it frequently as a choice in the grocery departments but haven't see it for a very long time. 

As soon as one thinks of a thing it often appears (except parking places at the mall at Christmas time).  This morning, at a no frills produce outlet that I frequent -- the kind that is a commercial outlet for a company that mainly supplies local restaurants with produce they buy daily from the whoelsale markets in Boston -- I saw, beside the cash register two small jars of honey with the comb inside. They were only 6 or 8 ounces and cost $23.95 each. A stiff  price for a lot of beeswax! But the experience proves it is still to be found. I will definitely tell my friends the next time we meet but I'm not feeling generous enough to buy a jar for each of them as a Christmas gift.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Batik reversible quilt

For over a year I've been collecting batik charm squares (5x5") planning to make a reversible quilt.  It's done and badly photographed. (If I can get photos with truer color I'll replace these.) There are 260 squares, which is 130 on each side of the quilt. 

The top photo is the dark colored side.  The bottom photo shows light side - these colors are fairly true. This is my second try at getting decent photos but they don't really do them justice.

This is simply quilted on the diagonal, the front squares are divided with a light multi-colored batik and the back with a dark batik fabric.  I will be mailing it tomorrow to my daugther in California who says the quilts she'd had for a few years are getting tired and need a fresh infusion.

That's fine, because I sew for the fun of seeing the pattern and colors work the way they I'm happy to give it to someone who'll use and appreciate it. 

I had a half hour going through quilts this morning and now have a different one hanging in the living room to look at for a while.  I change things after several weeks -- if I didn't go through the bags of quilts now and then I'd totally forget about some of them.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

No Time to Have a Cold

I've often noticed that Presidents don't seem to catch cold.  Also I've never seen a concert musician stop and sneeze, blow his or her nose or cough.  Sometimes you just don't have time to have a cold.  That's how I've felt this week.  So I fought the cold I wrote about a couple days ago with simple remedies, mainly plenty of sleep, long steamy baths were a pleasure and I became so relaxed I could not hold my eyes open long when I thought I'd read for a while before going to bed.  Some hot tomato soup and peppermint tea was also involved and, yes, I also had some chicken soup another day.  That and determination -- do I believe in mind over matter?  well... maybe ... Anyway, I haven't reached for the tissue box even once today and maybe a little cough or two this morning.  I can't help wondering also if my new practice of tai chi played a role. It's supposed to be good for blood pressure and much else. A friend recently gave me a page printed from a Harvard Medical School website that listed several medical studies attesting the benefits of tai chi.  None of them mentioned the common cold.  Just wondering ....  Doesn't that panda look like one contented little beastie?

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Sniffle, sneeze ....

Coming down with a cold is a bummer. Sniffle, sneeze, cough. The head seems to be all stuffy sinuses.  I don't get a full blown cold very often but I've got one now.  I'm about 30 hours into it; I figure the running nose will end in the next 12 or 20 hours and then it'll be a cough for a few days.

Of course this is a most inconvenient time.  That's how colds happen, when you're thinking of all the things you want to do in the next week.  I am not one to go to bed with a cold.  I tend it with chicken soup, teas of various kinds and when the cough gets bad with Robitusin. 

I have litle patience for the people who think a cold is a permission slip for them to cancel everything they have to do and lounge in bed, napping and reading and listening to their favorite music.  I've always thought these physical problems were to be worked though.  But a certain amount of pampering is allowed, like going to bed at 8:00 last night, lulled into somnolence by a long hot bubble bath.  In fact, I may give myself the very same license this evening. Big deal. There's nothing earth shaking I need to get done -- although I really must get the chipped old nail polish off  and put on some nice new polish.  A cold isn't an excuse to be slovenly.  So it goes. As they say, if you treat a cold with all the remedies available you can get rid of it in about a week; if you do nothing it'll run it's course in about seven days.