Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving Wrap

Family came. We ate. The food was wonderful, lovingly homemade by hubby.

The palm tree table cloth was purchased last week, specifically to make the Thanksgiving table uber-Florida, albeit... tacky.

My meal contribution was pies and these Oreo turkeys from a Kraft recipe found here.

Our Tampa family including Juniper, their black lab were here.
Lyn, Brent and Austin

And four generations were together - my dad, son, me, and grandson.

Now, let's bring on Christmas!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Stockings at Thanksgiving

Like the rest of you - at least most Americans - I'm scurrying around, preparing for Thanksgiving company. Though it's my hubby who's doing all the cooking (except for the pies I make), my job is to make the house look it's best. My dad who's from Kansas City, has been on Florida's Gulf coast for the past month and is coming to visit us for six days before heading back to Kansas City. He hasn't yet been to our new house. Our Tampa family is coming for a couple nights too, so we'll have a nice family contingent.

Anticipating a "tear-down" of my sewing room so it can be a temporary second guest room, I've been madly sewing. Last January my son asked if I'd sew Christmas stockings for the three of them. Of course, I've put it off. But when a son asks for something homemade by mom (how seldom that happens!) I'm determined to give him my best.

The stocking pattern I'm using is a big one - 18" long X 11-1/2" from toe to heel. You can download it from PrudentBaby, here. I'm adding a cuff.

I picked three different blocks from my go-to block book "Around the Block With Judy Martin." On the left is Double Pinwheel which is Mom's stocking. Flying Birds is for Austin. These two stockings need to be quilted, have a cuff added to the top, and be sewn together.

But the lettering is ready! Dad's Strength in Union block stocking was the test piece.

A short Skype session gave me the chance to show them this stocking and get their approval.

For those who might be wondering, last Thursday's Modern Quilt Guild meeting went very well! How great to have 14 enthusiastic quilters for our first meeting! Several quilters couldn't make it because they were out of town for the Thanksgiving holiday, but we already have 15 quilters registered for the Madrona Road challenge being offered by Michael Miller fabrics. Read and see more about our meeting on our CentralFloridaMQG blog.

Happy Thanksgiving to my American compatriots. We have many reasons to be thankful. Linda

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Loved and Stitched

It's great to be home again! These are the little people I left behind, and who were the reason I was in Kansas City - to take care of them while their parents were away. 
Aesa, 2 years; Tay 3 years
Honestly, I didn't see much of 13 year-old Celina who was in school or in her room studying during about 90 percent of my visit.

I also left this color behind. This tree was next door to our daughter's house. Check out that blue-blue sky! I very much appreciated seeing this beauty.

I also had the chance to visit with - several times! - my good friend, Carla. Here we're at the Blue Valley Quilter's Guild quilt show, standing in front of Carla's "Liberated Crosses" quilt, a perfectly lovely, free block pattern you'll find here on her blog.
L: Carla; R: me
My Monday flights went fairly smoothly - Kansas City to Chicago to Tampa - and I arrived only 20 minutes late, due to a strong headwind, or so the captain said. The best part was that my hubby and my luggage were waiting for me. My suitcase was easy to pick up, sitting as it was in the American Airlines baggage claim office. Note. Don't lose track of that little baggage claim ticket! It was used to confirm that the suitcase was in fact mine.

While traveling, I had a happy finish. I completed the last two of the 21 embroidered blocks for the Snowmen A to Zzzz quilt!

Checking back to older posts, I first blogged about embroidering these blocks here, in September 2009. So it's been a UFO for three years, two months. And it's still a UFO until I get it made into a quilt!

The Snowmen embroidery project was something my friend, Miss Kim, and I did together. Mine was mostly embroidered while traveling, by car and by plane, and at 90 minutes of Happy Stitchers every week since June.

Kim came to visit me from Iowa while I was in Kansas City. It's so great to connect with friends!
L: me; R: Kim
She brought along her Snowmen A to Zzzz quilt top so I could see it.

We agree that the border fabrics are what set the tone for the quilt.

Being one who's into brights, I'll be looking for something modern, perhaps with aqua. (And who would have guessed that?!)

As for my next embroidery project, I have a small piece in mind, an Australian design of Matroishka nesting dolls.

But for taking along to this afternoon's Happy Stitchers, I've resurrected a hand-pieced UFO, this Starfish quilt that I began in March, 2011. (Isn't blogging a great way to keep track of one's projects?) It's only about 30" X 40", and is looking a little rumpled for being jammed into a bag for so long.

On Thursday, I'll be focused on preparations for the first meeting of the Central Florida Modern Quilt Guild. I'll be at Sharky's Vac 'n Sew (Wildwood, Florida) at 5:30 pm to get set up for our 6:30 meeting where I'm offering the program, "The Modern Quilt Guild: Quilting for a New Generation" that will mostly be presented on a big screen TV. I'll show modern quilts from the Flickr Fresh Modern Quilts group, while explaining what modern quilting is all about. We'll have about ten modern quilts on display too. I'm just not sure what to expect as far as turn-out. Twenty? Thirty people? Sharky's can seat 42. Here's hoping to filling up the place! Linda

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Delayed a Day

Today I was supposed to fly home after being in Kansas City with our daughter since October 27. Today I learned that if it's at all possible, it's best to fork over the $120 more it costs for a direct flight than it is to save money by making connecting flights.

American Airlines was supposed to fly me to Tampa via Dallas. What happened is that the plane we were to fly to Dallas on was overfilled during fueling. The excess fuel ran across the tarmac, creating a safety hazard.

Initially, we were told it would take 20 minutes to clean up. You can see a crew sweeping up the substance that was sprinkled over the fuel to absorb the liquid.

In fact, the flight was delayed several hours.

Though I hesitated, I decided at the get-go to return to our daughter's house and catch a 6 a.m. Monday morning flight from KC to Chicago to Tampa... all at the expense of American Airlines. This seemed like a better option than getting to Tampa Sunday night at 10 p.m. make which would have made my husband have to wait for me more than three hours longer. What I didn't know when I made the new reservation is that my luggage would go to Tampa without me! (Edited to explain: Luggage was not allowed to be removed from the plane due to hazardous conditions for baggage handlers.)

Did you know? I have a horrible fear of flying. It's been more than two years since I've flown anywhere. On the way to the airport today I told my daughter I would rather have dental work than get on a plane.

So this post finds me back at my daughter's house. I'm wearing borrowed clothes and have a new toothbrush. My travel clothes are for Florida's 75F (23C) degree weather. It's expected to get to 20F (-7C) here tonight.

I can't help but recall when I had a similar flying incident in May 2010. When returning home from a visit with my daughter, due to plane damage during take-off, my flight returned to the airport. That time I also stayed with my daughter.  I wrote in that blog post, "Some things are never meant to fly."  I'm still that "some thing." Linda

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Quilting and Sewing

I'm away for a couple weeks visiting grandies. When their parents are away on business, I'll have my hands full for a few days. They're adorable children (if I do say so myself), but I'm making a serious adjustment to the realization that a two year-old boy and a three year-old boy can easily become loud, disruptive, demanding and difficult. Those infant angels can and do make changes. I'm also enjoying shopping for myself - snatching up great bargains on summer clothes - and catching up with friends: Carla of Lollyquiltz, and an Iowa friend who's visiting me next week.

Before leaving home, I managed to get a little machine quilting done on my Beach Cabanas Among Friends quilt - I guess I've just named it!

Taking cues from the fabric prints for the quilting designs, I first quilted the water, then the sand.

Each cabana is quilted differently, just like the friends they represent. I've changed thread color to match each cabana, choosing quilting designs that are similar to the prints. Small "snails" are quilted on the pink cabana, and organic lines on the gold cabana. By the way, I'm not using the BSR for this one. I'm pretty sure I won't be using it much, if at all.

Also before leaving I won Jennifer Paganelli's giveaway of fat quarters from her Happy Land collection. Here are those 23 fat quarters! What a great win! I see some yummy sewing ahead.

I'm as pleased as punch about that fabric, but even happier that Jennifer also generously emailed me a PDF of her new SisBoom "Rebecca" shift dress pattern! It's one I've wanted to make!

Though I was a sewist for many years before taking up quilting, I've never made anything using a PDF pattern. It's been an interesting experience. Just as with a commercial pattern, expect to go through prep work to make the pattern just the right size. I'm making the shift for myself, so I took my measurements first, printed 21 pages for the size 8 pattern, and then cut and taped together the pieces.

A quick check of the little 1" X 1" square on the print-out, ensured my printer sized it accurately.

The pattern called for 2-1/2 yards of fabric for the shift, and to make bias strips for the armhole finish. That was about a half-yard too much, so I'll buy less for the next dress.

All the parts are ready to sew, including pressing fusible interfacing to the back of the facing pieces. The pattern doesn't call for interfacing, but in my experience, it gives better stability to necklines and - in this case - a waistline band. 

The fabric I'm using is "Splurge" by Donna Wilder, a Joann's Fabric purchase. I thought it best to try out the pattern on a relatively inexpensive fabric and save the "good stuff" for a second dress. I hope to use my daughter's sewing machine to sew it while I'm here. Linda


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