1/30/2011

Emails from Afghanistan and Sunday Morning

Latest Barbara Brackman CW block...
Made via paper piecing, which takes forever and a day but gets good results. In my eagerness to be a good quilter, I made one section too many, that is now an orphan:

Sigh.

Made another Tag Along Tote to carry supplies for the year-long Winsome Wreaths group. This is an enjoyable little tote to make. The flower came from a little length of vintage lace:

Class is a good group; I am glad I signed up. I have a good idea for a pattern that involves redwork embroidery and wanted to make sure that I know how to do that. I often think I know how to do something and realize at point of need that I do not. First Winsome Wreath block. The one on the red fabric is for the Valentine's bag extra project. Used Transfer-eze for these two pieces; the stuff is fantastic:


Emails from Afghanistan #1:

Timmy:
"Timy has officially gone international. After several days' of delays due to the ice on the roads "making it too dangerous to drive to the airport", the Marines finally took the leap of faith over the Atlantic. We visited Germany...for 30 minutes. So my experience of Germany consisted of drinking a Capri Sun in the USO.

From Germany we flew to the Former Soviet Republic of Kyrgyzstan. Apparently we wait here, and then take the leap into Wherever-It-Is-We're-Going, Afghanistan.

I always wanted to travel abroad. To countries like Ireland or Australia where they speak English...or at least a funny derivative of English [editor's note: I believe it is we Americans who are the funny derivative of English, eh dear reader?]. It hasn't been too bad though. I have daily opportunities to play charades. I also sound a lot more sophisticated now, as my friends and I talk aloud about the exchange rate between the Euro and the American dollar. Never mind we're just trying to calculate our bar tab at the end of the night.

As I write this, it's 9 degrees outside. I didn't know that the temperature could be expressed as a single digit. We all walk around in 4-5 layers of clothes, beanies, balaclavas, and gloves...all we're missing is the snowshoes. Which I've considered building out of the tennis rackets they sell at the base exchange (not sure why they sell tennis rackets; summery sports seem unfeasible here).

But everything's going fine. For a failed former Communist puppet state, it's really not so bad. And we're all happy for the time to relax before we head out.

I hope you and the cats are doing well. Hope you somehow get through Day Job. I know it is awful."

Mom: "Timmy, come home" [and more in the same vein].

I got started on MotoMail this morning, wrote him a letter, and will await developments. They are supposed to print it out and deliver it to him.

1/23/2011

BB CW #4 and Class

It's so much fun to make these Barbara Brackman blocks. Reminds me of the old Dear Jane days.

Although my Dear Jane Triangle Days are not yet over. Must get back to the rest of those triangles one of these days. You see that in this block, I abandoned the idea of having the four Ts show up and just did whatever. One fabric is the from the new Jo Morton Hurrah and one is from Blue Hill American Independence.

The first installment of my LQS class, Study in Amish, met on Thursday, and I loved presenting information on characteristics of Lancaster Amish quilts!

I presented about 50 quilts and other images via a slide show and we worked on the little Lancaster Diamond in the Square pattern that came with the class (available on my website). These four little patterns also have an info sheet about regional characteristics of that particular pattern.

I'm looking forward to the next installment, Holmes County, so if you would like to sign up for the remaining classes, please call or visit Little Quilts in Marietta; they will pro-rate the class tuition for you.

This comparison shows how it is thought that the Center Square Lancaster Amish quilt design derived from the earlier Center Medallion design made in England and the eastern coast of early America:


Here is a detail from an Amish quilt made in Holmes County that shows characteristics typical of that region. Attend my class to hear more!

For next time, I'm interested in showing both Lancaster and Holmes County, Ohio, quilts side by side, to highlight the differences between the two region's quilts.

Timmy deployed yesterday. I have a funny text exchange that I was going to post, but I just don't feel very funny at the moment. Maybe later. I have two ways to send a message to him, so am going to write to him later today. Forge on.


1/15/2011

BB CW #3

Being disgustingly lazy, I stenciled Barbara Brackman's appliqued CW block #3:
If anybody is interested in the design I used for the block, I uploaded it to Google Docs.

Here is the quilt line-up so far:

Here is an antique Seven Sisters block that I bought years ago in Indiana. It is a singleton orphan block. Well, they didn't put the 7th star in the center:

1/12/2011

Iced Atlanta


I left the house/quilting studio for the first time since Sunday to ice-walk to the grocery for provisions. This is what I am going to try next:

Now you know that since I am a quilter (and decidedly not crazy for Day Job) that I was not the least bit upset about staying at home for three days to quilt. It has been heaven. I wouldn't have gone to the grocery except that I really needed to get a "walk" (if you can call mincing along on the ice as if my feet had been bound as a baby walking). I had food but nothing to put in the crock pot and I didn't know if the grocery would have bread (they did), so I made dilly bread and put lentil soup in one pot and sauerkraut/turkey sausage in the other pot.

I was interested in making chili but there was no ground beef in the store. I could have had all the unground beef I wanted for $20 and up a package. There was also no celery or carrots, no loose potatoes or loose onions, a necessity for backpack-toting. The store co-manager said he and the other manager had slept in the grocery for three nights running. He seemed a bit crazed and it's no wonder. It made me think of that Sondheim musical where the people lived in the department store 24/7 and sang beautiful songs.

Icicles!


Triple-decker icicles! One-dimensional icicles are simply unheard-of down here.

There are other quilty things I should be working on, but this Old Swedish Quilt (pictured on Kathie Holland's blog) has captured my attention:

That Rembrandt, always helping with the quilting:
Don't ask me what that red thing is on my arm, it's too long a story.

1/10/2011

Monday Morning

I know the Southern Snowfall is a challenge for many, so please forgive me for being absolutely thrilled at seeing several unheard-of inches of snow on the Atlanta ground (and getting a Snow Day besides!). I'm a Nordic Snow Girl and miss the snow down here in the humid South. Got out pre-dawn and tried taking some pictures but hey, it was pitch dark. Need I point out that I was the first person out?

It was fabulous walking around in footprint-free snow. Note the snow covering the palm tree :-) :


A present appeared in the mail from Pam! Will you just look at that adorable snowman she made from two buttons??? I die.

Pam and I have long been seeking in vain to get a suitably stained and chipped shabby chic bone dish JUST like the one that appears in the Blackbird Ladies' blog banner,

with no luck at all. I mean seriously, I have been stalking eBay for years and not a single dish has appeared that is like Barb and Alma's. They all seem to be disgustingly pristine and pure white, I mean, gag. Pam, however, found two pretty ones that are in the pre-stained stage and are the right shape (it isn't even easy to find a dish shaped just like the one in the header); she shared and sent me one! Thank you, Pam, this goes right at my sewing machine for a crackers dish :-). Maybe someday, someday, we will be able to find bone dishes that have not been well cared for like the pair that Pam found ha.
Dear Pam thinks I know how to age this dish, the poor deluded girl. Soak it in the only two liquids around here, Diet Coke or Olive Brine? Bury it in the kitchen compost pile for two years? Oh okay, I know from my living history museum days that I could drop it in a 19th c. well or bury it under the dirt floor of a log cabin for 160 years or so to achieve that aged effect. Now where is my 19th c. log cabin? I had it here a minute ago. If anybody knows some sensible way to age it, let me know.

Second BB Civil War block:


A supplementary Les Fleurs class met yesterday courtesy of Wanda so that we could see a few completed quilts. Some gorgeous quilts have resulted from this year-long class. Please forgive the lack of focus in some or all of the pictures. I took the pictures with one hand while on hold on B's cell phone (Net10 Customer No-Service) with the other (for a solid hour, I might add, with nothing at all achieved; but thank you for the minutes, B!):





My Timy hasn't left the country yet, but he will leave for Afghanistan towards the end of the month. If you have a way to keep my baby in your prayers (several have already promised to do so), I would be so thankful:
Okay, it's back to admiring the snow and getting some quilting done.

1/02/2011

Barbara Brackman's Civil War Block #1

Must participate in this. It will be fun to try to stay on task with fabric selection.

I am making the blocks 6" and will be popping photos of the finished blocks into the EQ diagram as I go. The signature star block might look nice in the four corners:

Thank you for doing this, Barbara, I had not yet gotten involved with any of the Civil War quilt projects that are available and I did want to make a quilt to commemorate it.

1/01/2011