October 12, 2011

blocks made by me

Well, I guess I can show these blocks now since three of them have already appeared in John'aLee's Blog. I thought I had taken a picture of my blocks before I sent them to her but could not find it so I snagged this one from her Scrappy Appleyard blog.

Her daughter, Tory, lost her fiance who was a soldier in Afghanistan three weeks before their wedding day. I think he was only 21.  She asked for 8 1/2 inch star blocks in red, white and blue in Minnock and Simpson shades.  I dug out some prairie paisley charms I had and this is what I made.  She is making a total of three quilts so I am sure she would appreciate any additional stars anyone would like to send. Here is a link to the original request.

Earlier, Sara Fielke of The Last Piece blog asked for blocks to make quilts for a fellow quilter. She asked for Kaffe Fassett blocks. Here are mine: 

Both ladies provided such wonderful instructions on what they were looking for. I hope my blocks meet their needs.  Sarah's request came while I was cutting out a quilt she had just published. Serendipity or maybe that is Sarahdipity.

It feels really good to give, doesn't it?

October 7, 2011

stay hungry, stay foolish but most of all think different

I remember getting my first computer, an Apple II. I picked it up in the city along with my three year old niece who was going to spend the weekend with me.  We got home and I started unpacking the computer looking for the instructions.  Meanwhile, my neice went to the back of the computer, plugged the cables into the slots with the pictures on them, walked around to the front, turned it on and said "Where are the games?"  I was humbled.

This picture of Steve Jobs was taken about that time. I love to remember him that way and not gaunt, bald and in a black turtleneck. The second memory was the iconic "think different" campaign that was launched in 1997 to say that Apple was coming back (a promise he more than delivered on). The original commercial was narrated by Richard Dreyfus but the video below is an earlier version narrated by Steve Jobs himself. Just listen to the enthusiasm in his voice!

We've heard many clips from his 2005 commencement address at Stanford this week. I remember listening to it years ago but paid little attention to his third point he was making. It was about death and his pancreatic cancer diagnosis in 2004. 

Who talks about death to a graduating class about to go off and conquer the world?  You can Google it yourself but the salient part to me is the excerpt below.
"My third story is about death.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "no" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything -- all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure -- these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. . .
No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.
Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma -- which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960's, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors and Polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.
Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.
Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.
Thank you all very much."
I think I still may have a couple of original Whole Earth Catalogs in a box somewhere in the garage. 

When it was announced on NPR, the conclusion to their story said "Jobs touched pretty much anyone who has ever clicked a mouse, sent a photo over the Internet, published a book from a home computer or enjoyed portable music or a computer-animated movie."  That is pretty much the world. My dad always said "we should leave this world a little better than when we came into it".  Steve Jobs certainly did.

September 30, 2011

wanna win a blue ribbon?

I went to the annual quilt show in Sonora. It is put on by the Sierra Quilt Guild. It was still a very summery day here in the Sierra Foothills but the show was a delight.  The shoe is held at the Mother Lode Fairgrounds in Sonora and occupies three buildings.  It is an annual event and always a joy come September. I had been out of town the past couple of years so I wanted very much to see the show.
This is a Pam Bono quilt, Out of Darkness, In the beginning, I think.  I apologize for not getting a close-up of the information card so I do not know any of the particulars. There were lots of people and I hate it when someone stands in front of a quilt for five minutes taking pictures so all anyone else sees is the back of his/her head. But the creators should be recognized,

These were equally lovely but again no information.

I did however meet the lovely Kay MacKenzie of All About Applique fame.  Her applique work in person is awesome and so tiny, oh my. She is gracious and charming in person as she is her blog.

If you are ever in the Sierras the third weekend in September, try to catch this show.

Oh yes, about how to win a blue ribbon. A couple of weeks earlier, I went to my local county fair. We don't have a quilt guild here so I wanted to see the quilts that were entered in the show and what won a ribbon.  There were 10 quilts entered into the fair this year. Now they give out four ribbons per category and there are eleven categories, so doing the math that 44 ribbons and a few blue ones were not even awarded. Wanna enter next year?

June 11, 2011

friday night sew-in

Okay, I am back among the blogging. Job has ended, family emergencies are over. Back from the funeral, getting on with life so I thought I would jump into the Friday night sew-in next week.
Handmade by Heidi

If you would like to participate, sign up on Bobbi's blog. See you then.

July 23, 2010

friday night cut up

I have participated, very quietly, in the Friday night sew-in before but I actually added my name to the list this time.

It will not actually be a Friday Night Sew-IN but a Friday Night Cut Up.  I have a stack of fabric to cut. I have been making the jelly roll sew along blocks. Not from a jelly roll, but from some black and white and red and white strips I had.  Well, I am liking it so much, I am adding some other blocks to the twelve that will come out of the sew along. I bought a great border print I found on the Southern California Quilter's Run last month. It is black and white and red and LIME GREEN. How fun.

I also have a baby quilt to make for a new grand niece. So more cutting for that, plus two backings plus binding. Cut, cut, cut.

I need a distraction. I went to the Long Beach International Quilt show today. I have attended all of them so far and they all have been a disappointment. While there were some larger quilts this time, most of the show was recycled wall quilts forom the Hoffman challenge or Houston last fall, etc.  There are three big quilt shows now in California and this one definitely ranks a distant third to Pacific International and Road to California. I may have to skip 2011.  So it is Friday night cutting for me.

July 4, 2010

happy in the red, white and blue.

Independence day.  There is something quite ethereal about walking through Independence Hall in Philadelphia where those brave men took a tremendous leap of faith and started our country more than 200 years ago.

It is also very special to me.  It was on Independence day when I married the Dude.  Why do I call him "the Dude"?  Because everyone who meets him makes the correlation. Think The Big Lewboski but much more articulate.

Anyway, Indpendence day makes the perfect anniversary. One, you never have to work.  Two, your husband NEVER forgets and three, there are always fireworks.

So Happy Independence day to my fellow Americans and especially to the Dude.

photo from Eric Flexyourhead's photostream on Flickr

June 27, 2010

quilt run

Well I was not going to do it, but I did. The Southern California Quilter's run, yes I am still working in the area, is the last two weekends in June. There are 36 shops participating covering 6 counties. I had participated in 2008 but it was so crowded at every store that I said to myself "never again".

And there were no buses in sight.  But we know what happens when that phrase is used. I received a newsletter from one of the quilt shops encouaraging people to participate in the second weekend and I said to myself "why not?". Well, the second weekend is the thing to do. One could walk around and actually see the fabric. I made twelve stores I think, including passing in front of Disneyland's main entrance on a summer Saturday morning, not for the faint of heart. There were some wonderful stores out there and there were some not so much.

That being said, I did find the perfect backing for my jelly roll quilt along. I have been making the blocks in red, black and white, mostly black and white or red and white. So when I saw Timeless Treasures recipe box fabric, it has probably been around for years, I knew it would be absolutely wonderful. 

The picture is fuzzy, sorry.  I have a brand new camera somewhere here, I just have to find it. I put it in "someplace safe". Ever done that?  As soon as I find the camera, I will post pictures of the blocks with the backing, I just love them.

I will also post my almost completed Charming Girls quilt along which I am doing in Moda Darla fabric from last year, I won a giveaway of some fat quarters and enhanced my stash with some border fabric.  I am trying to make a second one, I am making the larger version, in some Christmas fabric from a couple of years ago to be given as a gift. It will be totally from my stash and scrappy and makes me feel very self righteous. Since I am on such a roll, I better get rolling.

August 30, 2009

well it is a little progress

a wee bit, but progress. It was almost 100 degrees here today and the fans were not cutting it, so I decide to cut outside on the porch.

I cut over one hundred two and half inch strips, but then I needed to sew. So I took the machine out on the patio table on the porch, removed the cutting mat and sewed. I got most of the blocks for this quilt top together. It was a little windy, a little dusty, but I also made a little progress.

and then the bee got me. so I gather my stuff and headed for an ice pack. ah, progress.

July 8, 2009

cutting remarks and quilt police

well, I have got myself in it again. I volunteered to make a quilt for a little girl whose parents are going through a bit of trouble. pink and purple, so I am cutting, cutting, cutting along with the pieces I already cut for Ann Smith's next summer mystery. Cutting, cutting, cutting.

now about those quilt police, I read a wonderful post from Nicole at Sister's Choice quilts on how she approaches making quilts. It was very liberating for those of us who are still wary of the "Quilt Police".

And speaking of Nicole, she met a wonderful challenge, from Camille at Simplify and Carrie from Miss Rosie's quilts, to post your first and most current quilt. Very brave woman. Me, not so brave but I am working on it.