Monday, October 28, 2013

Miscellaneous Monday

It's the usual variety of doin's around here.

After teaching a selvages workshop last week, I am on a selvages kick again. Another small bag pattern I've been wanting to make seemed like just the right selvages project. I've gotten no further than sewing selvages to the foundation bag shapes. The large piece is the bag body. The two small pieces are outside pockets. When it's finished, it will be fun to use because if I've learned anything about carrying a selvage bag (I already have two of them), they're a sure-fire conversation-starter.

I have four new LED lights in my sewing room. Since there was no overhead light, and the kind of light kit that could be added to the fan couldn't provide adequate illumination, this was the way to go. I was pleased that the electrician knew enough about the subject to understand my request for lighting that would let me to see the true colors of fabrics in my stash cabinet. These LEDs are 3500 kelvin; not the typical 3000 kelvin used elsewhere in a home. It means they emit a more natural, bluer color (less yellow). An added bonus is that LEDs don't produce heat (important in a west-facing room in Florida!) and because LEDs don't have bulbs, they're expected to last 30 years.

I know, I know. The room looks almost too clean. I had to give it a thorough cleaning after the electrician drilled holes in the ceiling, layering everything with drywall dust. The design wall is empty, awaiting my next great project. Ha!

This is a picture I took a few evenings ago from the front of our house. We face west, so it's the same view I have through the bay windows of my sewing room. We're blessed with some pretty spectacular sunsets. This one was exceptional.

On Wednesday I'm welcoming a house guest! Edith is a special quilter-friend, from Switzerland. She's coming to stay for ten days. We're old friends. She visited me three times before, the last time being in 2008 when we still lived in Iowa.

How Edith and I met is a pretty cool story, if I do say so. We met through the Internet, back in its early years - 1994. At the time I was working at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. The Internet first blossomed in colleges, and employees were encouraged to use this new technology. I found a quilting chat room called Kaffee Klatch, and while sharing brief conversations with quilters I "met" Edith, thinking I'd found someone with whom I could practice my rusty French. Instead, I learned she was from the German-speaking part of Switzerland (east), but with a common interest in quilting, we became fast friends. When I graduated in 2000 from Drake University (as an employee, I took advantage of the opportunity for a free education) with a journalism degree, my May celebration included a visit from Edith. I'll admit that we were both nervous about our first face-to-face meeting. After all, we were committed to her spending ten days with me! But we very quickly learned our fears were ungrounded.
2000 - R: Edith; L: me
Since our first meeting, I visited her in 2002. This is us in Ste Marie-Aux-Mines, France, attending the European Patchwork Meeting.
Edith also visited in 2004 and 2008 with the last visit planned so we could attend the AQS show in Des Moines, where both of us had quilts juried into that show!

So for the next couple of weeks, the little sewing I expect to do will be on my Riley Blake Challenge piece. I'm hand appliquéing.

Speaking of hand appliqué... I regularly follow my Instagram feed, and I was excited to see pictures from quilters attending quilt market. Several of them were impressed with the hand-appliqué of one particular modern quilter who is doing what she calls "slow sewing" - Carolyn Friedlander. This is her modern hand appliqué piece.

I'm really interested to see what she's introducing to younger quilters. Is the latest trend heading toward hand appliqué? I'm also hoping my LQS will be stocking Carolyn's latest fabric line from Robert Kaufman: Botanics. Love it!

Also, as an admirer of Emma Jansen's designs, I'm hoping her new fabric line, the pretty Terra Australis, makes its way here too. I will always have special feelings for that country, having been able to visit and spend a total of four months there. Love the country; love Emma's patterns and fabric designs.

How nice to have so many quilty things, and a quilty person's visit, to anticipate! Linda


  1. The right lighting is so important in your sewing and creative area, how cool that you could get what you needed put in! I'm glad for your friend to come visit again, she will love your new digs and that beautiful guest room ~

  2. I'm so excited for you and know you two will have a glorious visit! She's going to love visiting you in Florida and seeing all your pretties!

  3. Thanks for the tip about the lighting! I'm seriously thinking about moving my sewing room to a larger bedroom in the basement. It also only has a ceiling fan light so I knew lighting would be an issue.

    Have a wonderful time with your friend!

  4. What a lovely story of how you met Edith. In 1994 I had barley heard of the Internet and you were already making friend all over the place. I hope you'll have a great visit and I'm sure she will enjoy seeing your lovely new home. Your circle applique looks fantastic by the way; can't wait to see more.

  5. FL does have spectacular sunsets this time of year. And a move to FL from IA - yes! My poor snow-deprived, FL- born (1) and raised (both) children don't understand how good they have it. Enjoy your time with Edith showing her all of the best Central FL offers.

  6. Glad your lights are working out. Your RB challenge is looking fabulous !! Have fun with Edith.

  7. How fun to have Edith coming! Your room is gorgeous, and those lights are enviable. ;D

  8. I am loving your RBC applique! What a clever use of that print! I can't wait to see the whole thing.

  9. Your look so cute with your cap and gown in that first picture. I know you will have so much fun with your friend Edith. What a great story of how you met. Your hand applique quilt is very summery and reminds me of Florida. Is that center orange design a fussy cut piece or all appliqued little pieces?

  10. You haven't changed a bit since those pictures in 2000 and 2002! I'm sure you and Edith will have a great visit. It's also a good time of the year, not so unbearably hot and humid.

    Your lighting will make a big difference! I don't have it quite right over my cutting table but the rest of the room is ok.

  11. The lighting looks great. It's hard to get it just right but it looks like you've done that. Please give my best to Edith along with a hug. I know you two will have a great time. Love the baby quilt.

  12. Great post Linda! Sweet story of how you and Edith met - amazing that you two have gotten together in person so many times considering the geographical distance. Love your selvages. You have quite a collection.

  13. Love your story about Edith. How lovely for you both. The selvedges look great. I cut some, then forget some, so I've pretty much given up on saving them. We dont always get too many selvedges - our fabric is so expensive that we tend to buy fat quarters and they dont always have a selvedge.

  14. How great to have a friend like Edith, and to continue to develop that friendship through shared experiences.

    Your lighting story is a good reminder to all of us to get comfortable in our sewing spaces, which includes good chairs and adequate lighting. I'm tucking away your info about your lights, to be used at a later date--good info!

    And I love the appliqué. I hope these quilting skills come back around!

  15. I'm so jealous of your new lighting - that's a problem I struggle with in my sewing room. And what a wonderful time you'll have with Edith! Stitching buddies have a special place in our hearts always. blessings, marlene


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