Wednesday, December 31, 2008

How This Little Quilt Evolved

I've been working on the Dbl Fourpatch strippy. Once I found the perfect brown things came together really fast. Originally it was going to echo the look of the late 1800's. But it talked to me and told me something different.

I drafted it in EQ6 to plan borders and get an idea of the finished dimensions. It was at that point that a little voice asked- do I want yet another nap sized quilt? The plain borders brought the size to 63" x 76". I don't seem to make bed quilts. They just finish wherever. Well not this time!

I shopped six different stores to find the perfect brown; but while there I also found the perfect red. This is the new proposed layout. The last border is five inches. It finishes at a whopping 108" x 98". Oh my head... what am I thinking? But I'm pysched again and the juices are flowing. I haven't been this excited about making a quilt in a long time.

I've begun cutting the pieced border. Only fifty-five each of red and brown two and a half inch squares. Not as bad as I thought...

Velvet Laprobe

Finished the edge of this for my mom during Christmas vacation. She made the top and hand embroidered around all the patches. I guess she wasn't sure how to bind it and asked me if I'd mind doing it.

It's in the mail to Massachusetts this week. I hope she likes the finish.

The World is Not Left-Handed

My Grandmother was left-handed, my aunt and so am I. I didn’t know any difference until I went to school, age 5. But my scissoring wasn’t on the lines and my Christmas stars didn’t come out as nice as the others. I was thirty five before I got my first pair of true left handed scissors, not just right handed scissors with left handed handles. A light went on and I could *see* the line I was supposed to cut for the first time. So THIS is how it’s done!

When I was 15 I took Driver’s Ed. I’m left side dominate as well; eye, ear, hand and leg so I asked the trainer if there was a car with the gas pedal on the left. He just looked at me strangely and didn’t answer. Come to think of it, the ignition is on the right too. That stinks.

I figured out I was different, but I didn’t think it warranted much thought. As time went on though, I started to realize what it must be like to live as a minority. Turns out only 7% of the world’s population is left-handed. No wonder I was considered clumsy or backward when doing things, I wasn't part of the majority. Tools and environments are not made for left-handers; we have to approach the world, interpret what’s there and adapt.

After college I worked in a packing and shipping warehouse. I remember clearly the day the floor stockman said, “Hey, what are you doing with that box cutter? You’re going to slice somebody if you hold it like that! Here let me show you how to do it.” The box cutter was symetrical, but he wanted me to do it right handed. If I had, I *would’ve* sliced somebody.

As far back as I can remember I’ve been told I’m doing things backwards. There’s an implication there that I soundly refute; not backwards, just reversed. My dish drainer is on the right hand side of the sink, the point of my ironing board is on the left, if you want to cut a slice of bread after I've cut a piece, the cut end of the loaf will be on the left, not the right. If you think about it from my point of view, it just makes sense.

It turns out that research supports the idea that Lefties are more artistic and better at abstract thinking than right-handers. It may be because they have to analyze, decipher, accommodate and respond to a non left handed world. My second son is left handed and I’m grateful he had a Leftie to teach him life skills as a small boy. When you watch a Leftie child struggle to unscrew the lid of a peanut butter jar you’ll know what I’m talking about. – Lefty loose-y, righty tighty becomes your friend, though I didn’t learn that one until I was almost 40.

I’ve told the story so many times I believe it’s true, though I can’t remember for sure, but in grade school the teacher was trying to help the class learn their left hand from their right. “Your right hand is the one you write with, your left is the one that’s left over.” That’s very clever and would be useful for remembering… but you see the problem.

But you know… I wouldn’t trade my left handedness for any other attribute I possess. Sure there are those that don't want to sit next to me at the dinner table ‘cause I might bump them with my elbow, but Lefties hand sew and quilt from left to right and that makes us really useful at a quilting frame. I may not do things just the way you would, but I’m more ambidextrous in general because I’ve learned to adapt. I'm a creative problem solver and I tend to think outside the box.

Next time you see a southpaw juggling packages at the door of a building with a right-handed handle, please help her through and don’t assume she couldn’t manage because she’s clumsy. And just for fun, try brushing your teeth with your left hand tonight. I bet it’ll feel real different.

Left-handed Persons in the Presidency

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Just in Time for Next Year

I've admired this autumn leaves table runner for years. The first of November I found it again in an old magazine I got off the freebee table at guild. When I went to put the pattern in my notebook, I found I had two copies already! Okay, it's time to make it...

Worked on it during my family reunion over Thanksgiving. I had 8 people for almost 6 days - and I have a small house! But it was great to have needle in hand and still be around to talk and visit with the folks.

I love the colors - and the movement. I'll put it away until next year and be pleased to have it done and ready to go.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Isn't it Cute?

I should say up front that I don't do paper piecing. It not that I don't like the results... it's just way to *fussy*. I don't wanna have to think that hard. At the same time I adore Russian Sunflowers and Mariner's Compass patterns, what's a girl to do?

Isn't it cute? This star flower is 3" across. I love it! I have no clue what I'm going to do with it. But I just had to overcome my resistance to pp'ing long enough to make one. ~~ It took me an hour and a half!!

Mousepad Makeover

What do you do when your DS's laser mouse can't read on the holographic surface of the only mousepad you have in the house? You give the pad a make over!

It was Frank's idea. I ironed interfacing to the back of the fabric to stabilize it. Then we used spray photo adhesive to adhere it to the mouse pad. Trim and treat with Scotchguard and away you go!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


The seam ripper fell off the shelf above my sewing table.

Now what are the odds of this happening?

Sunday, December 14, 2008


It was rainy today and the temperature never rose above 38. I decided to put my trip to Michael's on hold until my lunch hour tomorrow.

I made two batches of Spiced Walnuts, one with Splenda for my MIL who's diabetic. I'm happy to say that Splenda Blend actually behaves just like white sugar when candy making... I didn't know if it would.

Then I made a double batch of Chocolate-aroos - Imagine Rice Krispie treats with peanut butter stirred in, topped with melted chocolate chips. Yum!
Somewhere in there I had lunch. Then did three loads of dishes. Next I gift wrapped and shipped wrapped above said gifts. I always feel better when the packages to Washington and Oregon are in the mail!

Christmas carols played on the hi-fi until it was time to make dinner. Then I announced I needed something livelier! We put on El Chicano - which is a lot like Santana only with jazz overtones... despite the fatigue. After dinner I created two gift trays of cookies and candy for coworkers. Much sampling of cookies and candy were enjoyed. I'm ready for some down time.