Sunday, September 30, 2007

LQG Show

In the middle of the Flashback Classic Car show was a quilt show put on by the local quilt guild. What a great idea! While husbands, brothers and boyfriends are looking at the cars, wives, sisters and girlfriends can have some fun of their own and go to the quilt show. Somebody on the City of Ukiah planning board was thinking that day!

Lots of ladies in blogland have been making string quilts, but I haven't been able to get excited about the idea yet. Until I saw this one! The jewel tones bordered with black gave it this terrific stainglass feel. Beautiful!

I'm a sucker for compass blocks of any kind. This one's called Compasses and Chains.

This one had a sunflower in the center of each snowball block. I mostly like the color scheme.

Felt applique' and embroidery. I like the way the black sets off the flowers.


Pieced by a local quilter, beautifully hand quilted by the Amish. I really like the interplay of piecing and applique'.

Close-up of the applique'

Sunflower baskets

To be continued...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Classic Cars- A Window on Time

Every year our town hosts what's called the Flashback Classic Carshow. Cars and their owners come from all over the state to see and be seen during the two-day event. My quilty friend Karen was up for a sew day visit and we went into town to enjoy the sights.

A 1931 Ford Model A

Ukiah Valley Fire Engine
Karen in front of a 1949 Ford Woodie
The cars were lined up on both sides of the main street and they went on for blocks and blocks. It felt like everyone in town was there and people we didn't know stopped to talk to us excitedly about their favorite car. One little old white haired man stopped Karen on the fly because he'd overheard her say something about having owned a Thunderbird once upon a time. He must've been in his late eighties, but the glint in his eye and the sparkle in his voice as he talked about a premier Thunderbird about three blocks down on the left that we just *had* to go see was so endearing. He launched into what a *fine* car that had been in his day. As giddy as a school boy he said, "I *love* this show! You can see the car you had, your parent's car and even your *grand* parents car. I think it's just great!" In that moment I could almost see him in high school, getting his first set of wheels, pickin up his girl and going for a malt... or whatever they did in his day. =)

And the jukebox played over the loud speaker: "Uhh... huh. I'm in *love*. I'm all shook up..."

Where's the Popcorn Lady?

Another American institution bites the dust. How will we LIVE without that cheerful, dependable, *accurate* voice on the other end of the phone telling us what time it is?

All my life I've been able to pick up the phone and dial 767-8900 (or p-o-p c-o-r-n) and hear:
"At the tone, Pacific Standard time will be... 8:17... and 50 seconds. *beep*"
Last night when I dialed Popcorn I heard, "dee, dee, dee! Beginning September 19, 2007, the Automatic Time Announcement Service will be discontinued. We apologize for any inconvenience." (!!)

How can she do this to us?? Did she get a better job?!
How will I *ever* truly know what time it is again?

*rising musical strain*
"Does anybody really know what time it is? Does anyone really care?"

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Roses,Tulips and Granite Heights

Aren't they beautiful? I received them at work for my Birthday. It really made a long day more tolerable. =)

Flowers sure do brighten a girl's heart.

Then on Saturday my sons came for the day and we got to hear about their trip to Yosemite. They went with a group from church to rock climb and hike to Half Dome.

Due to the drought year, there's less water in the falls than in this picture.

This is Hollin - DS2, on his way up. It's amazing to think of relying on a rope like that.
Their group hiked to Half Dome the next day. It took sixteen hours round trip, alot of it hiked in the dark, but they conquered and returned home safe; tired but happy. Frank and I recalled hiking and camping trips we'd made in the past. It was great to relive the 'glory days' of youth.

Friday, September 14, 2007

A Short Walk Down the Street

This is a Ukiah Valley view, looking west to the coastal range that stands between my town and the Pacific Ocean. It gives you a good idea of the area, vineyards and redwoods and small town life in USA.

But when I drive to work, this is one of the things I see on the way.

It's called the Mountain Gate and it's over the street that takes you to the City of Ten Thousand Buddah's monastery and school. You'd think I'd get used to see it after all this time, but it seems so exotic in among all the usual sites in Ukiah.

The monastery grounds are within five minutes of my office and I walk there sometimes. The site used to be a state hospital years ago and many of the buildings are falling into disrepair. But the temple is dazingly.

I wish I could zoom in and show you the elaborate art on either side of the door, but I always walk around somewhat respectfully.
And then there are the peacocks. I can hear them from my office, sounding like tiger-sized cats meowing. They wander the grounds freely and peer back at me as I try to get in for a closer look.


Frank and HP7

While I worked on the ninepatches, Frank could be seen pursuing a different pastime.

He finished in a day and a half. Now we're taking turns reading out loud to one another. He reads, I knit. I read, he listens. It's restive.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Ninepatch Construction

If you wanted a hundred and fifty 3 inch nine patches in 75 colors, how would you make them?

I chose my colors from the 1 and a half inch strip bin.

Then I sewed sets by color. I call these the A-B-A units.

And these the B-A-B units. Since I want all my ninepatch blocks to be 'X's and not 'O's I need twice the amount of A-B-A length as I do B-A-B.

I press to the dark fabric on both units. Then I layer them right side up, a little staggered to distribute the bulk of the seam allowances and rotary cut apart at 1 and a half inches. This picture shows enough A-B-A strips for twelve ninepatches.

I layer and cut the B-A-B strips the same way. Then pair the mates right sides together and lay the third piece atop and stack them on the board I carry from my work table to my sewing machine.

Here I have 26 green ninepatches paired and ready to sew. Because I pressed to the dark on both strips, the seam allowances nestle together really nicely. I don't even have to pin. When I sew I take the cross piece off and set it right side down, pick up the paired strips, sew and repeat.

Once I run all pairs through the machine, I turn the pile of remaining units over, begin at the front of the string of blocks and add the last row, chaining as I go.

Here are 110/150 I need. There are lots of different ways to make ninepatches, but I really like working with one color family at a time. It's so pleasing to see the shades of green, blue, purple, brown, orange and red.

A New Blouse

Hooray! I finished the blouse begun during a sew day back in July. Just needed to 'hunker down' and do it.

I love this pattern and have made it maybe three times. Here is the last one I made, which is about 7 years old (!)

It's still pretty and I like wearing it, but whenever I come across the remnants I'm always surprised at the change time has made to the colors.

It reminds me of the first time I saw original fabrics from the 1930's that were new and unwashed. The greens were dark and the bubble gum pink was loud. Not at all what we normally associate with the soft pastels of that era. Age can make us gentler, soften our brashness over time and make us beautiful.