Friday, October 7, 2016

Pumpkins and Leaves and Pet Peeves

Happy Friday!  I'm actually blogging on a Friday for a change.
It really is fall now, I guess.  Here's my grandson in his Halloween outfit.  I've decided orange is my new favorite color.  (Oh, and the shirt doesn't lie, either.)
Here's my finish for the week--I have finally finished the canning.  Last weekend I got a half bushel of apples and a half bushel of pears canned up.  A few of these jars are left from last year, like the beets (I'm the only one who likes them) and some of the pickles and jam.
The little jars here on the lower left are baby food.  Applesauce (unsweetened, of course) is next to the wall, and the pears are closer to the jam jars.  They're clearly labeled on the lids, since they look just about exactly alike.  Our little guy has started on cereal and vegetables, but no fruit yet.  When he's ready, we'll be ready.
These empty bottles are for vinegar.  I started some on Saturday, as I finished the apples.  I make it with apple peels and cores with water and a little sugar.  It will ferment in the kitchen until it's good and vinegary, and then I'll put it in these glass bottles.
My grandson and I went for a walk on Wednesday.  He rode in the stroller and chewed on a toy, and he didn't seem to mind when I kept stopping to pick up leaves.  Even though it's early, some of the trees are starting to turn, and there are all these wonderful colors just lying on the ground.
Of course that made me long to make leaf blocks.  So I did!  Hey, why would I worry about UFOs?  Sometimes the inspiration strikes, and there you go.
Before I started, I knew I wanted to make 9 in. blocks.  They're a good size, not too tiny and putzy, and not too big and clunky.  I used my scrap strips, and cut them lickety split with the Accuquilt cutter.  Then I took them up to the sewing room on a cookie sheet.
I'm varying the blocks a little, and making them very scrappy.  Lots of the squares came from my shoebox of leftover 3.5 in. squares.
So that's what I'm happy about this week.  
I guess I'm getting grouchy in my old age, but somehow today I've been thinking about stuff that makes me grind my teeth and shake my head.

Pet Peeves of Fall 

1.  Fake pumpkins for decorations.  Believe it or not, they actually make fake pumpkins TO CARVE.  Seriously.  Real pumpkins are cheap.  Buy some from a farmer.  Buy extras and make a pie or two.

2. Strong fake-cinnamon smelling pine cones.  Today I went to buy batting in a chain store, and could barely breathe for the smell of it.  I kept looking around for them, but didn't see the bin of them until I got to (of course) the batting shelves.  AT THE BACK OF THE STORE.  I think the employees stuck them back there to try to lose the smell, and who could blame them.  I might have put them on the loading dock where a truck would hit them.

3.  Christmas decorations put up before Halloween.  It gets earlier every year.  Next year it'll probably start right after Valentine's Day.  I like Christmas, I really do, but this is too much.  Holidays should take turns, like grade school kids at show and tell--one holiday at a time.

4.  This ENDLESS presidential election season.  We've had almost 2 years of this nonsense, and at this point I'm all out of outrage.  I'm going to be so excited to cast my ballot on election day, mainly because that will mean the election is finally OVER.

Sorry about the ranting this week.  Writing this down made me realize just how minor most of this stuff is, and how good I really have it.

I'm linking up with the very creative Myra at Busy Hands Quilts
and with Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts
Enjoy the season this week, whatever it may bring.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Other Perspectives

I had a lovely day last Saturday.  A friend and I attended a lecture at the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts and viewed the current exhibit.

The exhibit is Quilt Nihon, Treasures of Japan, and is so worth seeing.  There is a wonderful variety--traditional applique, collage, pieced quilts, textured hangings, etc.   Check out the museum's web page here.  The exhibit runs through November 13, 2016.

The lecture was even better.
The presenter was Sarah Nishiura, an art quilter of Japanese descent  (that's her on the left).  She showed us a slide show about her heritage and influences, including family members detained at a camp in Wyoming during World War II.  After the slide show, we got to see many of her quilts.
Her quilts are amazing!  She plans them out carefully on graph paper, machine pieces them, and HAND QUILTS them.  It was so thought-provoking to see someone else's way of designing and making quilts.  I need to do this more often.
Sarah gives classes, and sells some of her quilts.  You can find details and much better photos on her web site here.

After all the quilty fun, my friend and I went out to dinner in Cedarburg.  It was warm enough to sit outside.
A couple of years ago, this friend had given me a quilt top she was unhappy with.  She's an art quilter, and apparently this particular top just wasn't doing it for her.

 She likes to think out of the box, and do the unexpected.  Here's what the top looked like.

At the time she gave it to me, she was frustrated with it, and just wanted it out of her house.

So she gave it to me, to do something with it for charity.

These blocks are really intriguing. the seam ripper!

Here's the pile of fabric I had left after taking the quilt apart.   I've taken quilts apart before, but they usually deserved it.  It was sad to take this one apart, because it was perfectly pieced.  All of this fabric will be used in other quilts for people in need.
I had constructed the top of a baby-sized quilt from the blocks in my friend's quilt.  The top, backing, and batting were all hanging on a hanger in my sewing room closet.  So it was easy to just give everything a quick press, pin baste, and get quilting.  I wanted to show it to her on that Saturday.

Here's what I ended up with.  As you can see, I'm not an art quilter.  Thinking out of the box is not for me.  (I LIKE this box.  It's really comfy in here.)   This should make a nice quilt for a little girl who likes pink and bold prints.
I did simple ditch and outline quilting using my Pfaff with the built in walking foot.
Here's the back.  I had to add strips to make it wide enough.

So that's a finish!  It's small, but it's something.

In spite of my busy schedule babysitting, I try to sew something every week.  This week I'm putting my granny squares together in rows.
Sometimes I think I'm too tired to sew.  But then I realize sewing GIVES me energy.

What gives you energy?
Have a lovely week.

I'm linking up with Myra at Busy Hands Quilts and Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts today.