"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will."
Mahatma Gandhi

Thursday, October 20, 2011

CATCHING UP!!!

There's been a lot going on around here for the past few weeks, and that's a good thing.  Today I am catching my breath and catching up.  Of course, blogging is a part of that.  

I've not posted progress on the stitch along for a while.  I continue to stitch along, but have been spending more time in my sewing room lately, so cross stitching progress has been slow.  My vision has been bothering me a bit also, so the 18count Aida I'm working on seems like it wasn't a totally wise choice, although it will look great when I finish.  Two of the stitch along pals have finished and here's their final products, absolutely beautiful!
Denise's finished work
Shari's finished work. 
These two ladies are stitchers extraordinaire and turn out beautiful pieces very quickly.  Rose and I aren't quite as quick, but we always finish what we start, so those pictures will be posted.... someday.  

In the sewing room I've been working on and figuring out the Bear Paw quilt that I'm making without a pattern, but with the guidance of quilting teacher Rhonda.  

As I've been making the pieces I've been wondering how it all comes together and I had an epiphany just yesterday when I figured that out.  Since it is en pointe, it will be assembled starting from the upper left corner and out from there.  The big AHA moment came when I saw that the horizontal sashing and nine patch pieces are not part of the block but instead are rows of their own.  So, now I get it!
 See what I mean?  Rhonda will have to show up on the scene once I get all the elements made, and she'll do the math for the setting triangles and corner triangles.  And, hopefully she'll agree with my AHA moment.  I'm sure she knew it all along and will be glad to see I figured it out on my own.  I learned a lot about assembling en pointe quilts from my work on Diagonal Madness.  
And, last but not least, 56 years ago today my Mom gave birth to a lovely tiny girl that she and Dad named Angela.  That's me!  It's my birthday today and Happy Birthday to me.  

The last year has been so filled with joy, and it seems as if every year is, I am very blessed.  I've gotten to spend a lot of time with family and friends near and far, have seen both of our children thrive and enter their Senior years at college, celebrated our 29th wedding anniversary, and have done a lot of good sewing and stitching.  My work in dog rescue and at a food pantry has been meaningful and productive, and has lifted up the lives of many humans and 4 legged friends in need.  The year has not been perfect, there have been losses and illnesses, as there are every year.  Those are parts of the fabric of life also, and I hope I've learned from them.  

MS has taken some more pieces of me away over the year, but It will never get the essence of me and so I forge on ahead. 


Already today I've gotten a call from my sister, who reports that she has a present to give me.  I can't wait, she picks out really neat stuff for me.  In the mail yesterday arrived a package from my friend Sue  who also is really great at picking out neat giftos.  Here's a picture of what she sent me:
It's a really cool little bowl that is weighted on the bottom and is magnetic on the inside.  Holds pins perfectly and is too heavy to get pushed aside onto the floor, which I do often with my flat magnetic pin caddy. 
The weighted bottom. 
So how lucky am I?  How can I count all these blessings?  I can't!  


And, today I am blessed with the present of no cooking, hurrah.  Will be going out to lunch with a girlfriend and out to dinner with Dave.  And, I think an afternoon nap would be a wonderful birthday gift to myself.  


As I've said before, I could not ask for more. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A LONG TIME COMING

All the time I've been messing around with stitching and living life, I have managed time in my sewing room, my current project being a quilt for Dave and me.  It's about time.  Dave wanted a bear claw, and I wanted a bear claw with a bit of a twist to it.  

I chose this quilt while browsing online:

This picture was of the quilt for sale, and I was unable to find a pattern.  No problem, my dear quilting instructor Rhonda has been working with me, coming by the house here and there to get me rolling on each step.  First was the making of many paws.  

Finally this week I had enough paws made to move onto the next step, the building of the block.  

I love it and I'm glad to be to the "fun" part of making this quilt, I was tired of paws.  

A bit of a tutorial is to show you the back of the block.  
In making a quilt block, it always helps if you have OCD.  But, there's more to it than that.  Very early on, Rhonda taught me the importance of (1) accurate cutting (2) the direction in which you press your seams (3) stretch is always horizontal and (3) be consistent.  Those lessons have me at a point in my quilt making where I do believe I can tackle just about any block and have it come out accurately.  Every one of these paws and blocks have their seams flipped the same exact way, and every one of them is flipped opposite of the one it is going to match to.  

Now Rhonda would take that a step further, and she would assemble this block without using one pin because she'd know that her measurements were spot on accurate and consistent and that the flip of her seams would make them mate up into perfect junctions, and if by some chance they didn't, she'd have stretch working for her.  She is the quilt guru, I am the student and I pin, pin, pin.  



Monday, October 3, 2011

STITCH ALONG PROGRESS

We all are continuing quite well in our Northwind stitch along project.  It's week 7 already!


Denise is flying, and has even gotten her initials and date done.  

Shari continues her speedy stitching, although she's not been so bold as to stitch her initials and year yet.  



And, here's me, keeping up pretty well for me!


 Rose has had to step back for a bit, as her life has gone completely out of control, and family comes before stitching (most of the time).  She'll hop back in as soon as possible. 

HER MOM'S DAUGHTER

Each child grows up to be their own unique selves, life is pretty miraculous that way.  But, within each child, a parent can see an occasional glimpse of themselves and the lessons they have imparted during that child's life.  

Our Anna, in California on an internship, seems to have absorbed a piece of our household and taken it straight to heart.  That part I speak of is the fostering of animals.  

Anna volunteered to work for the Orange County Humane Society, and their greatest need was for foster homes for kittens, and so please meet Milly.  

She is such a little peanut, somewhere around 2 pounds, 5 weeks old.  I'm not sure why she is away from her litter, but she is.  Anna is doing a very good job socializing her and teaching her some house manners and such.  What a lucky kitten this is.