30 September, 2008
We returned from the funeral. It was a sad but comforting weekend. It is always nice to be with family. Spread around the country as my husband's family is we wish it wasn't just weddings and funerals that brought us together.
I had a terrible cold until about Sunday, and last night my tummy started in knots. Hence the day on the couch. The Monster is in daycare and I will give the babe all the attention she needs, but thankfully she naps a lot!
23 September, 2008
In the meantime, we are off for a funeral this week. Hubby's grandfather passed away on the weekend so we are going to Kelowna to celebrate his life with the rest of the family. Babies are so nice to be around when there is sad news. Even being sick my girls'cries sound sweet to me this week.
See you next week.
19 September, 2008
As for work this week, I actually pieced the back of it already. If Hubby was home and up for it I might be able to get out to a shop and get it basted, using their tables. I might just have to clean the kitchen floor and do it there. You see, I am quite anxious to get going on quilting this one. I've decided on a recipient and I want to be able to take it to him as soon as possible.
My boss has been in the hospital since March. After a barrage of tests and treatments he is now waiting for a heart transplant. He is a young guy for this to happen to (early 50s), and has a gorgeous family in his wife and 10 year old daughter. I knew him for a few years before I took my current job and he's always been a source of inspiration for me. He is so committed to what he does and to the people around him. And right now he is going insane in the hospital, complaining that he is fully institutionalized. I hope this quilt can bring him some brightness and comfort.
While working on this quilt I started thinking about all the fabrics that are a part of it. I haven't bought any fabric of late, making everything from stash. In this quilt alone there are fabrics from many other quilts. So I like to think that I am extending the hugs to my boss from all the other recipients of quilts with the same fabric. That means he is getting hugs from my nephew, my sister-in-law's sister and her husband, my brother and sister-in-law's niece, my old boss and her first baby, a quilting friend in the US, and a few more from Hubby, the Monster, and our family.
13 September, 2008
Then, on Thursday, I ran into a girl that I knew from high school. Turns out she only lives a few blocks from me. And she is a new mom, with an adopted 14 month old. Oh, and her husband is stationed in Afghanistan with the Forces so she is doing the single mom thing - all the time. I am in awe of women (and men) who can handle life alone like that. You definitely need good support systems.
This week, thankfully, my neighbours were home so they were able to come over once and watch the baby while I ran out. If I didn't have them I don't know what I would do! Especially this week when our phone and internet went out and was only fixed today. They were also some friends simply to talk to.
On the plus side, I did take as much time as I could to sew - during naps. Today I finished the top of this quilt. I liked this picture so much that I am posting it first. After no internet for nearly a week I have to play catch up with my posts. And while finishing it today I came up with the name: Inspired Improvisation.
03 September, 2008
To prepare the fabric I decided to treat it with a mordant, alum. Alum is toxic, if you eat a tablespoon or more. But considering it is sold in the spice aisle at the grocery store and is approved as a food additive, I decided it fit into my efforts at natural dying. I simmered the fabric in the mordant solution of 2 tablespoons alum to about 6 or 7 cups water. I know, I should measure and give you more precise instructions, but this was done after the girls went to bed. The fabric simmered for an hour while I simmered the dye solution about the same time.
After soaking in the mordant I squeezed out the excess water, but did not rinse the fabric. Then I added it to the dye and simmered for another hour, stirring to make the colour a bit more even. After an hour I turned off the burner and went to bed. This is what it looked like the following afternoon. We decided to go swimming, so I never got to it in the morning.
I've decided to try a few more items, sticking to traditional Prairie materials. My next experiment will be with the berries of the mountain ash tree.
02 September, 2008
The Monster was colouring while we were in Kelowna. Her limited supply of highlighters and pens at Great-Grandpa's house brought about the colour scheme. For some reason I kept this picture, when I normally recycle her everyday art at this point. Using this as my inspiration I pulled fabric and started cutting.
First I cut a bunch of squares and strips. Then I slashed the squares and sewed the strips in, randomly of course. After a good press I slashed the squares in the other direction on some, creating a cross in the middle of the square. Some I left with just one strip. In less than an hour I had 14 blocks.
Who knows what this will end up as and who for? But I felt immensely better after that hour and slept well (with expected interuptions) that night. And since Hubby is not home with a paintbrush for the playhouse I will hit the basement and quilt in between loads of laundry.