Monday, November 28, 2016

November weather

It's cloudy.  Gray.  Chilly.  Every.  Single.  Day.  It's November.

We got a little spoiled earlier in the month, first by going to Colorado where it was sunny and 65 degrees every day.  After we got home, it was also warmish and sunny.  But for the last week or so, November has been it's old usual self.   I suspect December will be similar until later in the month when it will be very cold and sunny right through January.  That's "normal" for the north country.

Meanwhile, it's a good time to do indoor things.  Yesterday I did a mountain of laundry.  Paul had no clean socks left - highly unusual.   I read Seven Days newspaper and a little more of Jennifer Chiaverini's latest book Fates and Traitors, about John Wilkes Booth.  It appears the Quilters Book Club group has gone moribund because, although the selection for November/December was chosen ages ago, no one has mentioned reading it.  I have it downloaded to the Kindle, but haven't started it either.  I "retired" as moderator back in July after unsuccessfully trying to get people to participate more.  People seemed to want ideas for good reading but not to share their thoughts about what they were reading.   At any rate, I'm finding Fates and Traitors really fascinating.  Didn't know anything much about the Booth family.

Of course, I've been quilting.  I took a break from the orange peel quilt to make some quick coasters in Christmas fabric for Diane, my boss at the historical society.  I usually make her something for Christmas and have run through a variety of quilted items over the years.  I hope she likes these, made with six 5" squares each.   Diane is a peach of a "boss" for a volunteer.

The biggest news is that I finished the Orange Peel quilt yesterday!  The sun came out briefly today, so I managed to take some photos...

Saturday, November 19, 2016

A busy day

I ran around doing "things" most of the day and didn't get to my sewing machine until 3 pm.  At that time, I put the last two borders onto the orange peel quilt, pieced a muslin back, and laid out the sandwich.  Tomorrow I'll pin baste and start quilting.

Today I shopped for groceries, did a load of laundry, hand washed a top (rayon feels nice but is a pain to own!), washed a few windows (the sun was streaming in so it was essential), vacuumed the car and installed new floor mats, made oatmeal chocolate chip bars, sifted through a stack of old magazines, covered the grill for the winter, and...!   It was a lovely day to get a few winterizing things done since tomorrow and Monday are supposed to be very snowy.  It doesn't seem possible considering how nice it was today. 

But I am looking forward to quilting over the next couple of days.  Will probably outline the orange peels first and then may echo quilt in the larger cream spaces.  I'll probably echo quilt inside the peels as well.  As for the borders, well, I'll decide when I get to them.   I like the way the 2" tumbler border turned out.   The quilt now measures 48" by 48", so it shouldn't take long to finish.

Thursday, November 17, 2016


I finished appliqueing blue scrappy orange peels a few days ago, and yesterday I put them together into a 36" x 36" square.   That was the easy part.  I added a plain  1.5" cream border, and then started cutting out tumblers using blue scraps from my box of 2.5" squares.  Sewing those together didn't take too long, but each border needs 27 tumblers.  I really love working with the tumbler shape.  While they're similar to squares, they add some zip to an otherwise dull border. 

In the corners, I'll add some 2.5" squares, and then I'll add another cream border, probably 3" wide.  I'll quilt that square and see how I like it.  I may add more borders that I'll quilt-as-you-go, or I may leave the quilt at that smaller size.  If I stop after the second cream border, it'll have a scrappy blue binding.  

I'm looking forward to quilting around the orange peels and then doing something in the middle - either echoes or a small grid.  It will just depend on my mood.  I'm itching to try out my new ruler foot and ruler, but think I'll do that on scrap pieces first.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Ordering for Christmas

My family lives in Colorado, Wisconsin, New Jersey, and the Netherlands, and Paul's family is spread over the U.S., too.  Because many of our Christmas gifts need to go into the mail fairly soon, I have started shopping, and much of what I buy is books.  We love to give books!  And many of our family and friends rely on us for recommendations.   I try to get things that I've enjoyed over the last year or so, and these include:

All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr - absolutely the best thing I read this year
A Man Called Ove, by Frederik Backman - I hesitate to see the film since I liked this so much
Tannie Maria's Recipes for Love and Murder, by Sally Andrew - first in a mystery series set in South Africa
A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains, by Isabella Bird - an old favorite.  The illustrations by Bird are wonderful, so this is the edition to get
Nothing Daunted:  The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West, by Dorothy Wickenden - picked up in an airport and couldn't put it down
Be Frank with Me, by Julia Claiborne Johnson - a sweet family story
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, by Gabrielle Zevin - unlikely romance between a curmudgeonly bookstore owner and publishers saleswoman

While I like to support my local bookstore and have a "frequent shopper" card, shopping online really does make sense for bulk buys at this time of year.  Some of my favorites are not yet out in paperback, so I will wait and get those for gifts next year.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

A coupla pix

On our trip to the Denver area, we visited Daniel's Park near Castle Rock.  What a view!

And isn't my 94 year old Mom looking great!?!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

A quick trip

We got back from visiting Mom and Jenny in Golden, Colorado, late Monday night, and spent yesterday getting back to "normal" - grocery shopping, post office, bank, voting.  Fell asleep early because waiting for election results appeared futile, but woke up early and couldn't sleep out of curiosity.  Let me simply say that I am worried about the national results but OK with the state/local ones.  Phil Scott seems like he will make an even-tempered, open-minded governor who can hold Vermont together whatever may lie ahead.

We had a very nice albeit brief vacation that was punctuated by wonderful weather - sunny and in the 60's almost the whole week - and good times.  Tuesday, we went with Mom to an opera luncheon featuring some young singers, one of whom sat next to Paul.  Mom had been taking an OLLI class on Denver's parks, and the final class featured a visit to Daniel's Park to the south of the city.  The view from up there was amazing!  We always enjoy going to the movies there because the neighborhood includes two multiplexes, so we went to see Sully, starring Tom Hanks and describing the aftermath of Captain Sullenburger's historic airplane landing on the East River in NYC, and Denial, about a lawsuit in England over the publication of a book about people who deny that the Holocaust ever happened.  Both were excellent.

Friday, we drove up to Longmont where Jenny met us for the Boulder County Handweavers annual fiber arts show and sale.  The pieces included quilts, knitted sculptures, weaving, and embroidery, but we weren't able to take any photos.  I wish I could have because there were some very interesting pieces.   Paul enjoyed watching the dog trials at the fairgrounds while we shopped. 

Saturday, we did a little more shopping at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum which has just opened its new gallery outside of downtown Golden.  They had a special exhibit of political quilts, including quilts featuring each of the presidents, from Washington to Obama.  My favorite political quilt was one with a circus theme including a big blue donkey and red elephant, but I couldn't take a picture of it because the place where it was hung didn't allow one to step back far enough.  Many of the other quilts made similarly wry statements about the political process, though.   I bought a couple of wool applique projects to work on this winter.

Sunday, we visited the Colorado Railroad Museum which was interesting, particularly for the huge display of HO scale mountain villages with trains wending their way through.  It took me back to when Chris was little and making villages with his HO scale trains.

Monday saw us traveling back home via planes, buses, and cars.  We were glad to get back to our routine but sorry to leave Mom, Jenny, and the warm weather.  Winter is fast approaching, and we're bracing ourselves for what that will bring.