Thursday, August 31, 2006

A Quiet Interlude

I am home this morning because I'm off to the doctor for a checkup in a little while. It's nice to have a little extra time to savor the coffee and do some blogging. I haven't been as faithful about writing and reading here as I used to be, but I still enjoy it when I get the chance. Things at work have been busy with the start of a new semester, and we have gone from a quiet campus to one that is bustling and insanely crowded. This fall we will have the highest enrollment in years, around 34,000. By contrast, my own little corner of the library is quiet, but with all the crowds and traffic it can feel like a challenge to get there.

I spent time last weekend sewing on another gift quilt to be given at Christmas and I have started a Christmas wall hanging. I am fiddling around with some brightly colored starburst blocks a la New York Beauty, except that they are fused. This satisfies my need for instant gratification, but I still want to make one the traditional way. Don't ask me why, I have no idea.

The holiday weekend is almost here. I will be going to the San Diego Quilt Show on Friday with my friend Joan. I remember seeing Cynthia England's work a few years back, and it was amazing. This will most likely not be the venue for seeing art quilts, but I will enjoy what is there. Then there are the vendors. You never know, there just might be some great fabric or thread that leaps into my hands and begs to be taken home.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Quilt Camp

"Is it morning?" I think I need to sleep some more...

Carla and Gayle are binding by the pool. Barbara is in the sunshine working on layout and a border.

Here is Joan a bit later in the day, sewing away on her Featherweight.

Pam T. working on applique.

And here I am with about one third of the quilting done on my cheerful gift quilt.

Morning at "Quilt Camp"

Here are the early risers, enjoying their morning coffee.

In southern CA. we often have cool, marine layer skies that change into bright sun as the day advances. This was one of those days. As you can see from my lovely hairstyle, I am fresh out of the shower. Although, come to think of it, with all the swimming I probably looked this way most of the weekend.
I like these pictures because of the casual, comfy way we are all curled up with cozy quilts.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Fairmont Way Day Spa

This past weekend was a lovely time spent with girlfriends, lots of good fun, food, sewing, and laughter. I did, in fact, remember the camera, so there will be pictures. Don't you love this lounge chair cover? Pam's neighbors made a set for her as a thank you for using her pool.

She actually made each one of us a lovely personalized towel set. We really did feel like we were at a spa.

I loved jumping in the pool for exercise and to cool off. I took my Aqua-Jogger belt and got some real exercise, and we all brought healthy food. Fresh fruit, wonderful salads and Weight Watcher desserts. We all felt so virtuous!

Here is our hostess hard at work in her studio area, which is mere steps from the pool. She is working on quilting a raffle quilt for her guild. I love the kaleidescope blocks on her design wall. You can see various background fabrics being auditioned there.

This pineapple block table topper is very traditional, but I love it. The scrappiness appeals to me, I think. Not sure how much more Blogger will let me post right now, so stay tuned for more pictures later.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Elizabeth Berg and a Sewing Weekend

Here are a couple of books I just finished, and I've decided I like this author very much. I have a couple more books ordered from Amazon, and one more from the library. In "The Art of Mending", the main character is a quilt artist. The story is primarily about family relationships and not art quilting, but that aspect intrigued me. There are a couple of scenes I can really relate to, for example when she's in the fabric store or in her studio. In "Say When", the wife uses the excuse of going to a quilting class when she is really going to meet her lover.

I am getting ready for a weekend of big fun, some quality girlfriend time spent with my quilting buddies. Pam's husband is off fishing, so we are all spending the weekend at her house. We are sharing responsibility for food and will keep the cooking to a minimum. We plan to sew, eat and LAUGH a lot. Pam has a lovely swimming pool, so there will be water aerobics to cool off and get exercise. I am going to work mostly on my machine quilting, but I have a couple of other gift projects to take along. It's always hard to predict how much work I will actually complete during one of these get togethers. If I remember, I'll take pictures.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Art and sadness

"Lake Edge" by Emily Mason

Loved these cool,deep colors, it feels almost like you could just dive in. I love, love, love this artist's work. I don't know why achieving this kind of feeling in my own paintings is so elusive. It looks so simple, but it isn't at all.

I've been reading more than sewing, although I have some gift quilts I am working on.
Sewing this way is relaxing, especially when I listen to a book at the same time.

I've been struggling lately with too much sadness. I finally had to stop listening to the news. The tragedy of war is so overwhelming and I had a terrible sense of foreboding and sadness that I couldn't shake. The feelings seemed to affect my ability to create art as well. I'm more the "make a joyful noise" type when I make art, and I don't seem to be able to express the darker emotions that way.

Focusing on the positive now. Look at the beautiful spirit in this art.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Mini Quilt Show

Here are some simple but pretty quilts that were shared at our last quilt group gathering. All of these were former UFO's finished by my friend Pam.

The next quilt is a simple flying geese quilt, made by my friend Gayle for her husband. Each block is a different fabric, representing his various interests. I thought it was a great idea. Gayle said that she had made so many quilts for her children and other family members that it was high time she made one for her husband. It will reside in his den when it is finished.

There are a few more quilts to share, but Blogger doesn't want to let me post any more right now. I'll save them for another day.
I'm working on three Christmas quilts and one art quilt. Not far enough along to share pictures just yet.

I had a fun day off today, mostly spent shopping. I found some pretty shirts in lots of colors, and they actually fit which is even better. I tend to buy several of the same item if I like it and it fits. I bought shirts in purple, teal, pumpkin, and pale green.

I will probably spend the rest of evening enjoying a good read.