unraveled wednesday | 2.13.2019…

     All 24 quilt blocks are done: stitched together in six columns of six blocks each and seams pressed.*  Next steps:

  • 1 -join the six columns;
  • 2- buy backing (I looked  through my stash and didn’t find anything I really liked so I’ll stop at the quilt shop tomorrow after I meet with my Thurs stitching friends);
  • 3 – give to the long arm quilter to stitch her magic joining the three layers – top, batting and backing – together… and then
  • 4 – Voila, one quilt ready for the May quilt show and, and…
  • 5 – finish the two quilts on my design wall, also slated for the quilt show.

I’m about half through Digital Minimalism and discovered the other day I missed the author’s book signing last Sat, here in DC. He actually lives in Takoma Park, MD, a suburb of DC. Oh well… On my TBR list: 3 memoirs: Educated by Tara Westover; Inheritance by Dani Shapiro; and Anne Patchett’s Truth & Beauty.

As for knitting, I continue to stitch a row or several most days on the Christmas stocking and Log Cabin/ 9- patch lap robe. Waiting patiently in the wings is a project I promised myself I would not start until (if ever?) those two were nearly completed… I am seeing the end! I also have a couple other KNiPs ( knit projects in progress – or not) that need some attention; determined to do so in 2019!

Time to resume my stint at the sewing machine and even go for a walk – sun’s in/out today and the temps are in the high 40s! Joining Kat and friends for Unraveled Wednesday!

Cheers~

*(the photo on the left is cloudy because the iron was steaming…)

sometimes mondays | 2.11.2019 …

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(I went to IKEA yesterday and treated myself to a frozen yogurt…yes, it was cold out!)

…are messy! It appears that winter has returned, despite Phil’s declaration, throwing a monkey wrench in everyone’s plans. I’m sure the school kids are delighted – especially if they have snow. We just had a dusting followed by rain and now: frozen snow! I am not complaining for my drive north was cancelled. As I see it, time returned to my schedule and an opportunity for me to finish – or at least get close –  the quilt I’m making… there, on the ironing board:  24 stitched blocks.

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Once I’ve pressed the set on the right, I will join all 24 …and voila: a quilt top. I think first, tho’, I’ll straighten the chaos in my sewing studio – there’s only so much disorganization that 72 sq foot room can accommodate*.

Time to get on with this day. What’s on your agenda? Whatever, enjoy!

Cheers~

*Note to Self: I probably need to consult with IKEA’s design team; they have a knack for maximizing small spaces.

unraveled wednesday | 2.6.19 …

 

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~oops, she made a mistook! ~ 

     This stitcher’s most coveted tool is her seam ripper… and she’s had plenty of practice using it over the past couple days. Stitching the blocks of a special quilt  she’s making. For some weird reason, she’s also being challenged in arranging the blocks in the proper order…discovered, of course, after a few have been stitched together! Nevertheless, she perseveres and progress is being made, albeit s-l-o-w-l-y. If all goes according to her intent, she will have completed sewing 12 (5 blocks to stitch) of the 24 blocks together TODAY!  Sew Honoré Sew!

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~often on her walks, she runs across a ‘free library’ ~

     This reader’s TBR queue is growing, almost daily. So many choices, so little time. Tho’ desired, one cannot do everything in any one single day, she reminds herself. One has to be a bit more discerning … She’s been thinking a lot about where she wants her reading to go and how to tackle the TBR queue. She’s not set a number of books to read in any given time period. When she was a child, the idea of reading a book perched in a tree or sitting by a fire at a ski lodge or on the beach  was very appealing. Alas, none of those desirable options are available today, either. She’s currently reading books relative to her 2019 word – habit – and zeroing in on memoir and an occasional fiction title – primarily as an audio book/walking companion. She received Cal Newport’s Digital Minimalism yesterday, started it this morning …and had to force herself to close it…or nothing might’ve gotten done today, including the blog and the quilt blocks! Yep, she thinks it’s going to be that good!

So, it’s time for her to return to the sewing machine and quilt blocks…or perhaps, take a quick read with lunch. Heads or Tails???

Joining Kat and friends for today’s Unraveled Wednesday .

Cheers~

mandalas and spring …

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~quilted mandalas~

     My quilt group meets weekly on Monday. At the end of each meeting, we have show-n-tell, an informal sharing by members of their recent quilting projects . This is a photo of quilted mandalas; I have a secret love affair with mandalas. Occasionally, I color one or try to create my own design. When I saw these, I knew I wanted to add making one or more to my someday maybe quilt project list. I chatted with the maker of these and asked her to send me a reference to the magazine and  instructions, if she still had them. She did and left me a message last night. Hmm, I thought, I think I might have that issue… and by golly, I do! I think I bought it before Christmas, skimmed the issue and marked the article to read/try later How about that for a bit of serendipity?

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~this tree~

This morning I was convinced that I saw just the faintest signs of green on this tree, often featured on my blog as I use it to track seasons. We’re having most welcomed spring temps. Yesterday, 60s and today, 70s. Maybe Phil was right – Spring will be early! Only time will tell…

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~#blueskybuds~

Today, I took a long walk – the first in days. I was on the lookout for forsythia; too soon…but I did see #blueskybuds ! And that made my heart sing!

What signs of spring have you seen?

Cheers~

unraveled wednesday |1.30.2019 …

 

 

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Bright sunshine greets us on this chipper and cold (31°), next-to-last day of January…we are grateful for the sun’s warmth and that the furnace is steadily pumping out heat. I have been in this house, in January when there was no power, therefore, no heat. Brrr! I can’t imagine what it must feel like in SD, WI, MN, IL with wind chills in the minus 50°s… I hope the homeless are in shelters and made myself a note: Send a contribution to our city’s non-profit homeless shelter hotline/transport service.

Speaking of heat and sunshine, I listened to What Should I Read Next?’s podcast #168, on my walk one day last week. The guest shared a very ambitious 2019 reading plan…but what really caught my attention was her review of The Warmth of Other Suns. I have that book; it has been languishing on my bookshelf longer than I care to divulge. Given to me by my friend Pat  (who devoured the book over a period of 3-4 days – she’s a binge reader), I decided it’s time to move the book up in the queue. I may also download the audio version to take along as my walking companion – tho’ it’s going to have to get a bit warmer first!

My friend Pat also made the lap quilt in the photo! A surprise Christmas present, machine-pieced and lovingly hand-quilted! Plus the backing fabric comes from OR!

Books, Quilts and a Good Friend are the best! Agreed

Joining Kat and friends for this week’s Unraveled Wednesday!

Cheers~

 

unraveled wednesday | 1.23.19 …

 

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Upon learning the sad news of Mary Oliver’s death last Friday, I pulled out her Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver. *  The poems in this 2017 publication, include work from her very first book of poetry, No Voyage and Other Poems, published in 1963, through Felicity, published in 2015. Mary arranged the poems in  Devotions. The first poem I turned to – on page 14 – was this:

 The Gift 

Be still my soul, and steadfast. Earth and heaven both are still watching though time is draining from the clock and your walk, that was confident and quick, has become slow.

So, be slow if you must, but let the heart still play its true part. Love still as once you loved, deeply and without patience. Let God and the world know you are grateful. That the gift has been given.”

Over the past few days I’ve read many tributes to Mary Oliver’s words of peace, quiet, gratitude, encouragement. I am saddened but heartened that we have the gift of  her words to console, guide and inspire us. Thank you Mary.

My reading queue continues to grow – tho’ I must admit that  over the past week, I’ve added more titles than words actually read.  Currently new “to read” includes Tara Westover’s Educated (via Audible) and Wabi Sabi by Beth Klimpton (print ). The back cover says wabi sabi teaches us to find more meaning and inspiration in our perfectly imperfect lives.

Knitting on the stocking, tho’ slow, continues; each stitch brings me closer to a fini! Also, over the past several days, I’ve been true to finding myself in my sewing room circa  9 am, honoring my commitment to stitch on a quilt I’m making for  ???  (name to be revealed at a later date).

Joining Kat and friends for this week’s edition of Unraveled Wednesday! Hop on over to see what others are making and reading.

Cheers~

* Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver. Penquin Press, New York. 2017.

weekending | 1.22.19 …

 

… the long awaited MLK and Women’s March on Washington weekend began for me Thurs 17th. The day started with joining my Thursday stitching friends, a quick run to Target and a  quick stop at Barnes & Noble. Yes, I bought a book; perhaps two…tho’ I can only recall the title of one as I type this post…

My friend Linda’ was coming from Portland OR; her flight, scheduled to arrive about 6 PM, was delayed in Denver. A quick check showed her flight’s ETA: unknown. Since I was so close to the airport, I called friend Pat  (she lives about 10 miles from the airport) to see  if I might stop by to while away the time. But of course she answered. About 40 min after I arrived, I checked to see if Linda’s flight status had been updated. On Time arrival! What???! Apparently the flight met up with a tail wind and therefore not only made up time but also arrived ahead of schedule! When I arrived at baggage claim, there was Linda!

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Friday, we lounged, er uh, enjoyed an extended Morning Solitude and Quiet Time. She was getting adjusted to the time change, the all-day before travel. I, well, I never turn down a chance to extend MSQT. Eventually, we got dressed and made a Whole Foods quick run, stopping on the way home at an Ethiopian restaurant for takeout dinner. Linda’s a big fan of Ethiopian cuisine (and  actually prepares it  tho’ she’s not Ethiopian). I hadn’t had Ethiopian cuisine in easily 15 years, so for me, the meal was truly a taste it again for the first time experience…and a yummy one, I might add!

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Saturday dawned early enough – a bit on the cool and dreary side – rain expected but we were ready with rain ponchos and boots, just in case. The March route was changed by the Park Service – we were not allowed to march on the Mall nor by the White House. There were many law enforcement personnel – both federal and city – and barricades: police cars; tanks; trucks; dogs; police on horses, etc.  We marched and chanted and they watched, minding not when marchers stopped to take a photo with mounted law enforcement officers in the frame. At least 100,000 marchers was the official estimate. On the way home, we stopped at the grocery store for pizza fixins… and champagne and Talenti gelato.

Sunday was pamper our feet day (I’d made mani/pedi appointments for us at Elizabeth Arden’s Red Door Salon); that took about 4 hours for us both. After, we went to Panera for soup and a sandwich and then to visit Dolly, Chris and Elias. Home, we joined Norman in watching the Super Bowl playoffs,  finished Fri/Sat leftovers and we knitted.

Monday, thus far  the coldest day of the year (would you believe 3 – 13 degrees?) dawned too soon. Linda had an early afternoon flight home to the west coast.  Unfortunately, her layover flight was delayed for 4 hours plus and she didn’t get home til 1 AM-ish PST!

Home, I watched TCM’s showing of A Patch of Blue with Sidney Poitier and then started making a quilt. I sewed until Nightly News came on. We watched more TV and called it a night about 11 pm.

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Slowly today I am resuming normal life… doing laundry and a few other household chores… making a few more quilt blocks … savoring weekend memories … missing my friend.

 

simply a moment | 1.15.19 …

 

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I realized today that I somehow skipped last month’s  S*A*M – my shorthand for simply a moment, a few moments on the 15th of every month when I pause and pay attention to sensory input: sight, sound, touch, smell, taste. Today, my concentration and solitude were rudely interrupted by a series of three spam calls on our new house phone. The previous one, having been in the house for nearly, if not, 9 years gave up the ghost. I thought I could simply replace batteries and was advised a new phone was cheaper than new batteries…

 

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The ringing phone shattered the peace and quiet I was enjoying as I rotary cut 96 rectangles( of two sizes ) for a new quilt I’m making.

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(quilt pieces I cut yesterday; today, I’m cutting the white fabric)

As I type, I hear Norman rattlin’ ‘roun in the kitchen, making his lunch,  against the background of the television.  Today, there’s more traffic on the streets – roads are cleared and snow-melting is helped by warmer temps; currently, as I type this post, it ‘s 37 degrees…I wonder if it’s safe enough  for a quick walk outside? Maybe I’ll give it a try in a couple more hours.

Time to resume cutting rectangles. But first, I think a cuppa peach tea would hit the spot right about now… What moments stand out in your today?

Cheers~

Simply a Moment is a monthly post on my blog that I’ve done for several years on the 15th of the month.

 

collecting december 2018 …

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It seemed to me that we had an inordinate amount of rain-filled days in December, which may explain why 1/3rd of the photos are nature and sky themed…rain, rain but no snow! Despite, there was lots of holiday decorating and merry making spread throughout, including Christmas Day. This year, my sister’s oldest grandson joined us (#26). The photo before –  #25, tho’ not so clear –  is a group pic of my nieces and nephews…I guess I was taking the picture and not sure what happened to my sister… Throughout, there are a few quilts  – two made by fiends in my quilting group; I close out the month with two photos of the hanging of the Flower Garden.

2018 is a wrap and 2019 is off to a good and modest start!

Cheers~