Monday, September 18, 2017

Doing the math!

I have mentioned that I've been invited to show my quilts at a senior residence in November and December.  While my brother was here, he helped me pick out quilts to show.  However!  at that time, I thought I only had 9 ft. of wall space to fill.  Hence, I chose three wallhangings for that space.  In re-reading my notes (thank goodness I took some!), I see that I have 19 ft. to fill.  OMG!  That is 228 inches!

I decided to add the Civil War sampler (65") and another small quilt (37") to the mix.  And luckily, they have sleeves all sewn on.   That will allow about 6" of space between each quilt, which I had forgotten to take into account. 

I've made good progress with hand quilting Atlantic Crossing, partly because it's been quite sunny lately.  It's actually too hot to quilt out on the porch, but just fine inside.

Now to buy a couple more curtain rods and some picture hanging wire.  I will have to rummage around for wire cutters and write descriptions of the quilts for labels, too.   This show is a lot more work and worry than just hanging three quilts up at the library.  I'll be glad when everything's hung and I can quit obsessing!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Waterbury Grange show

Last night we braved commuter traffic (so many cars heading toward Stowe!) to deliver my Blue Orange Peels quilt to the old Grange hall in Waterbury Center for the "Fabric of Our Lives" show.  What a nice surprise to see two people I knew, also dropping off pieces.   I am still puzzled about why they chose the more traditional of the two quilts I entered, but I guess I'll find out more when I attend the opening reception October 1. 

It looks like the hall is still a work in progress, with unpainted walls and new stairs.  Paul said the floor looks great, though, and many old Grange halls show a lot of wear from dancing and various gatherings.  Artwork will be hung from the ceiling, which has a suspended grid and will work well for quilts on dowels or curtain rods.  Now that the quilt has been delivered I'm really feeling excited about being chosen!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Yet another rainy day

I don't really mind rainy days - I have lots of good books to read and quilts to make.  And because it's nearly fall, I have things I'd like to cook.  I started the morning making a Greek orzo salad for the Democrats' picnic tomorrow.  Here's the very easy recipe:

Cook a box of orzo, drain, and cool slightly
Chop and put into large bowl:
    1 c. tomato
    1 c. green pepper
    1 c. onion (or scallions)
    1 c. feta cheese
    a goodly amount of fresh parsley (if you don't have any, some dried will do but not the same)
    any other vegetables
Mix and add in 2 small cans of sliced black olives, and then the orzo

Mix up the dressing and pour over:
     1/2 c. lemon juice
     1/2 c. olive oil
     salt and pepper to taste
Chill and serve.  It makes quite a bit and is even a nice vegetarian meal on a hot day.

Then, for something more in keeping with the season, I made a large pot of spaghetti sauce with meat.  It has lots of spices, including thyme, rosemary, basil, bay leaves, oregano, and marjoram and will cook most of the morning before I put some in the freezer for later.  In order to do that, I then cleaned out the freezer to make room.   It's only the bottom part of the refrigerator, but stuff can sure get buried away.  I even took out a Dutch pastry that I saved for Christmas and never got around to serving.  I hope it tastes OK but am not going to bank on it!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Getting ready for shows

I entered two quilts into an art show called "The Fabric of Our Lives."  I had no idea what to include
in the Artist's Statement which was kindly returned to me by the show organizer because I really didn't say how my pieces fit the theme.  I realized what I had said was all the mechanics of how I put the quilts together, what patterns they are, etc.  I moved that stuff, so important to me but not to viewers, to a space for "other information" and wrote 75 words relating each quilt to the theme.   This one I renamed E Pluribus Unum, "out of many, one," which is quite appropriate for a mashup of scraps.  I think that was somewhat of a stretch, but apparently what the organizers are looking for.  They will contact me by Sept. 10.  Meanwhile, I have sewn hanging sleeves on both quilts.

Then there's a show I will be doing at a senior community in Nov. and Dec.  Today I sewed a few more hanging sleeves on.  It isn't difficult but just takes some time.  Luckily, it rained all day, so I stayed cozy on the couch sewing and watching cooking shows on TV.  I have a few smaller pieces that need sleeves for dowels, and I'll have to get some picture hanging wire for them, too.

And of course there's hand quilting and finishing my Atlantic Crossing wallhanging for the show.   I'm half-way around the alternating geese border now.  Will I be able to get the burgundy I need for the binding?  Hope so!  I want to have all of this, a price list, and an artist's statement ready for the hanging before we head to Colorado in mid-October.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Life is short

I got word yesterday of another high school classmate's passing.  Our class was large - 618.  But L. stood out for his excellent academic record and his athletic prowess.  Sixth in our class (I was #24, right ahead of the guy who was voted "most intelligent"), L. did well in football, basketball, and baseball.  He was a quiet, private person.  I asked a friend what happened:

Turns out L. died in his sleep, sitting on his favorite recliner. Between us, please, L's life was rough with alcoholism being a contributing factor.  L. died pretty much a pauper. Such a brilliant man reduced to such a humble existence. Breaks my heart.  But L. had such love and hope in his heart. Always positive. Always encouraging others. Very religious all of his life.

I always thought that L. went off to college in PA on a full scholarship. Turned out, it was a football scholarship, he got injured his freshman year, lost his scholarship, returned home and worked to put himself thru the UMD to earn his degree. Later, he earned a Masters at UNT. I can't help but think that, being 6th in our class, he could have easily gotten an academic scholarship, for sure. But L. was so self-effacing, he probably didn't give that a thought.

...He came from very humble beginnings, and all of us in West Rockville knew that his parents were poor, but he was a leader among us. We looked up to him and his quiet dignity and would have followed him thru Hell.

A long time ago, I had a form letter from L., asking for money because he was down and out.  I was a single mom at the time, trying to make ends meet in my fixer-upper.  So I couldn't help him.  I thought at the time how sad it was that he felt he had to do that.  He had appeared so capable and had such promise, but  deep inside he was just like the rest of us.  He was married a few times, had three kids who seem to be doing well, and was friends with his ex-wife from whom he rented a room.   I imagine his strong faith got him through a lot of ups and downs.   But his is still a sad story, and I am counting my blessings.  Mine may not have been the most exciting life, but keeping my head down and going about my business have worked for me.   My health is good, I have love and friendship, and lots of food for the mind and spirit.  What more, really, do we need?

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Walking in the forest

We haven't had as much rain lately, so for Tuesday morning's walk in the town forest, I proposed taking a trail we haven't used this year because it tends to be wet.  Going along the Mainline trail to look at the tree identification signs put up a few years ago, we ended up taking a slightly backwards route to the Empire Lookout.
This is a little dark, but we had nine people, including six from our neighborhood.  Nancy, Suzy, and Chris live elsewhere in the city or town, and we are a fairly congenial group which welcomes new people.  You can see that most of us wore jackets because the mornings have been in the 40's lately.  But the sun came out on the way back to the parking lot, and it got fairly warm.  We took a winding route back that climbed up past the Little John Quarry, and then walked along Pierre's field to a part of the VAST trail we rarely use. 

I will be sorry to see the walks end at the end of September and wonder where we can go to get such great conditions.   Even though we have to watch for tree roots and stones in the forest, the dirt trails are cushiony underfoot.  The mall is dull and its tile floor is hard;  downtown is OK except for the traffic; the neighborhood or the treadmill get old really fast.  

Next week, weather permitting, we'll try Rauli's Run, a new trail for beginning bikers.  Should be interesting.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Late summer company

My Wisconsin brother, Axel, was here for 9 days, and we've been keeping him busy most of the time.  Now that he's gone, he's keeping me busy with laundry and chores that didn't get done while he was here.  We visited a variety of museums and galleries, shopped for souvenirs a little, had some good meals, and walked in the town forest, albeit slowly since he uses a cane.
We watched his intake of food as he needs to lose quite a bit, so tonight we're treating ourselves to some peach-blueberry pie.

While Axel was here, he helped me figure out which pieces to include in a show at a Montpelier retirement community this November and December.  There are two walls, one 10' long and the other 19' long.  The shorter one has some furniture in front of it, so I plan to put only one quilt there.  I'll put three smaller quilts/wallhangings on the longer wall and then three mini pieces on the support part of the wall that juts out between the two walls.

Now that those decisions are made, I have to finish hand quilting my Atlantic Flyway wall hanging and put hanging sleeves on a couple of the quilts.  I also decided to enter two other small quilts in a different show, "The Fabric of Our Lives," in Waterbury Center Sept. 27 to Nov. 21.  One of those needs a sleeve, too.  And I'll have to inventory my collection of curtain rods and dowels.  Wow!