I’ve decided to share some ‘stuff’ with you all, of course feel free to delete.
My first quilting class began in January 1980, it was a 14 week class (50 miles drive to Lincoln, Nebraska), once a week on Wednesday, making a Sampler Quilt. 14″ blocks, hand pieced, hand appliquéd, hand quilted in the quilt-as-you-go method. I was working as the bookkeeper (no degree, so not an accountant, LOL) at a car dealership at the time, I asked for Wednesday afternoons off, and I would work Saturday mornings to make it up the time.
Below are the Gingher Scissors that I bought in that first quilting class (1980), because it was before the rotary cutter was available, around here anyway.
The pincushion was a High School Graduation gift from an aunt, pincushion from a jewelry store. FYI, I leaned over and asked my mom, what is it, after opening the box? She whispered ‘a pincushion’. Hummm, at the time all I sewed were clothes. Seems that aunt knew I would need it someday? Like 18 years later.
I still have both of these items, the scissors rest in a drawer, because we mostly use rotary cutters these days. Those scissors cut out many quilts, and in 1980 $27.00 was a lot of money to spend on scissors. The pincushion turns up every now and then, but we seem to have all kinds of fun pincushions that we make or receive as gifts, and I use those from friends. One of these days will have to talk about where we sewed back then. LOL
Russ and I took vacation time after driving to Portland, Oregon for Spring Quilt Market this year. Visited a friend and her DH in southern Oregon before driving to see Crater Lake. Plans to see another friend in California were changed, one nice thing about our vacation, was no exact time line, we would get home when we got home.
I80 across northern Nevada was gorgeous, the sky was amazing and seems like we could see forever. Western Utah Salt Flats are a wee bit less than gorgeous. However once we made it to I15 south to Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park, just beautiful! We spent a day in each park.
Our next destination was Santa Fe, we ended up staying there 4 nights, a favorite place to visit. We figured it was 17 years since we were there, it was after Christmas last time, was good to see Santa Fe at a different time of year. However it is pretty special around Christmas time.
Next, on to visit my cousin Fred in Denver, before the last leg home. Fred’s mom and my mom were sisters, we grew up 2 doors apart.
We were gone 23 days, 5,400 miles and it was all very wonderful.
I had hand-piecing along, I can stitch in the car, besides other places. I had the corner units for 12 blocks along (48 units to piece), so it was easy to finish up the blocks (still hand piecing) with the bars and center square when we arrived home. That quilt is out for MQ, One of my fastest hand pieced projects ever, because . . . I had the time to work on it, 16 blocks total, 4 were completed before we left. Stay tuned for the reveal one of these days when it returns home.
A fun part . . . we found “the road less traveled” . . . we decided to take some back roads north out of Santa Fe to see different areas, up around Taos, I was enjoying the scenery and seems I missed telling Russ of our turn, the road was blacktop, and according to device would still take us to the Hwy we wanted . . . well it did, but after a few miles, the blacktop disappeared and we drove on this for about 2 1/2 miles:
I told Russ we found ‘the road less traveled’ and it would make a great story when we arrived home. He agreed. LOL We did reconnect with the correct highway, but so glad we got to be on this road, could only drive between 2 and 13 MPH, yep that bumpy. Making memories!!
We lost sweet kitty Chloe May 4th, a week before leaving for Portland. When we returned home the house was so very quiet. We had sort of decided that Chloe would be the last kitty, but she was only 12 when she left us. House was too quiet, even for Russ it seems.
We have always adopted strays, these days there are very few stray cats wandering around. Toward the end of June, Russ saw in the Omaha World Herald that the Humane Society had too many cats and there would be free adoptions. We drove to Omaha July 10th, long story short, we adopted Socks and Abbie (our names for them), Socks is the Tuxedo of course, and Abbie is a Torbie (mix of tortoise and tabby), they are both 2 years old and have settled in nicely. They came to the Humane Society together and needed to be adopted together. Yes of course we left a nice donation, now we are on their mailing list. <g>
Last but not least, Russ joined the Wellness Center after his lower back fuse 3 years ago, 2 years ago he had his right partial knee replacement, and a year later the left partial knee replacement, he is currently patched up and doing well. He walks at the gym and uses machines. He still walks in the park or other sidewalks on nice days. He has been after me for over a year to join him in going to the Gym (as he calls it). I finally gave in later in June this year, as I do like to walk and feel better when I get at least 7,000 steps a day (yes I know the goal is 10,000). Summer is my least favorite time of year, hot and humid and not good for me and asthma walking outside. I’m going to the Gym at least 3 to 4 days a week, walking and using 4 machines.
Also, since it is a Wellness Center, there are also rehab people there daily, working to get back on their feet after a health setback. Makes one feel pretty lucky to have the choice to go, while trying to stay healthy.
Another good thing about being off the road for teaching (2016 was my last year), I’m cooking again, Russ thinks it is a good thing, me, not so much. Best news is that I’m not flying these days!
One more thing . . . since I’m home . . . I’m making what I call “quilts that I’m not writing directions for”. Besides I have bins of blocks already made, blocks from block exchanges, starts that were never finished and it is time for me to finish them, because when I see them, I still want to finish them, but where to start?
Well, start by marking and cutting out another set of hand-pieced blocks that have nothing to do with what you want to finish! I did this because I wanted some handwork for our trip and evenings at home (you read it above).
Since last winter I have hand-pieced a couple other block sets, I’m now figuring out the setting for one of them. I know, one should have a plan up front (or so I’m told), but it is more fun to just make blocks you like/love, then figure out what to do with them! Really it is, for me anyway.
One other fun thing for me is to search through my ‘fabric collection’ and find some oldies but goodies that want and need to be used. Yesterday I dug out a gorgeous floral stripe from probably 20 years ago, perfect border for a smallish (36″ x 36″) hand-pieced blocks top, will ‘fussy cut’ the border, and sew it to the top. Now to decide . . . do I HQ it? or send it out for MQ? hummm
One more really nice thing is that since I’ve pulled back, my friends that have helped me sew my quilts for well over a decade, were released from ‘Jo sewing’ duties the end of 2016. However, we meet up once a month at the studio for a ‘Sit and Sew’, I so look forward to these days and hanging with my long time sewing friends. Anyone that has a stitch group understands, I’m just late coming to that table. Feeling very blessed these days.
Enjoy your week and hope it includes some (or lots of) sewing! Jo