Saturday, October 23, 2010

Quilts in Our Home

I’ve made between 75 and 100 quilts, ranging in size from three-block table runners to one king-sized quilt, one queen, several double-bed quilts, and many wall hangings and baby quilts.   (I’m not counting my raw-edged journal quilts in this tally). Most of these have been gifts to grandchildren, children, nieces, nephews, great-nieces, friends, etc. But some few of them I made for us. Today was a red letter day, since my last big art quilt, Jubilation, (which has been the subject of several of these posts) was finally hung in our living room, high on the wall in this two-storey room. I am pleased with how it looks!

Picture taken from the upstairs "bridge" that overlooks our living room.

The hand-quilted, whole-cloth quilt in the dining room

Aqua in Abstract
The Stone Arch Bell quilt
Others of my quilts in our house are white quilt in the dining room; a traditional quilt above our bed in the master bedroom; a quilt of my own design that I made for Bob’s 70th birthday in the living room; and the first “art quilt” I made, the Stone Arch quilt in the landing of the stairwell. (This quilt won a red ribbon in the Temple Quilt Show last year.)

My second art quilt, Aqua in Abstract, also a prior subject of a posting, was hung today as well, above the television set (I’m running out of empty walls!) in our bedroom. I’m in the process of slowly—very slowly!—making a king-sized quilt that uses all of the aqua and turquoise fabrics that are in this small quilt, in addition to many others.

The star quilt above our ged

The star quilt in the bedroom is composed of two different star blocks, the Friendship Star and the Sawtooth Star. In these stars, no fabric is used more than once; and every star is different from its fellows. I made this quilt in a class taught by my good friend and quilt-buddy Patty. It won a red ribbon in the Waco Quilt Show one year.

Bob's 70th birthday quilt
Bob’s quilt features stars that are associated with various states in the union significant to our family: Texas, of course, (my birth state and that our daughter Susan), Arkansas (where Bob lived most of his growing-up years), Tennessee (his birth state), Georgia (where our two eldest children were born, Kathy and Rob), Michigan (where two grandsons were born), and California (where our granddaughter and her brother were born).

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ugly Dolls and Embroidery Lessons

Locke's stuffed animals and Ugly Dolls, all ready to
go to sleep with him and me!  (The pink-eared one was
the last doll I made for him, last summer when he
visited us!)

Locke with the latest Ugly Doll

Lia's snail embroidery

As soon as I arrived in California, grandson Locke announced that what he wanted to do with Grandmommy was sew, and with Granddaddy, play baseball.  He certainly did a lot of the latter!  When I asked him what he wanted to sew,he said another Ugly Doll.  So I've worked on one off and on ever since.  This afternoon he and I stuffed the doll, and above he is sitting with the doll.  Not so good of Locke, but a good picture of the doll!

I could tell that Lia felt a bit left out, with my spending so much time on this project with Locke, not to mention all the games we played. So I asked her what she wanted to do with me, all my herself, in my remaining time today. She was most interested in the embroidery that I am doing for my great niece, so she asked for an embroidery lesson. I had her draw a picture of something she'd like to embroider, and she drew a really cute snail. Then she copied it onto a piece of yellow felt, in pencil. I showed her just the simplest stitch, the straight stitch, and off she went. I sat beside her to help her with threading needles and knotting threads, but she put in all but perhaps three of the stitches in the little snail above.

Tonight, with their Dad out of town, Lia is going to sleep with her Mom, and Locke, with me!  I hope I can squeeze in with both Locke and the gigantic menagerie of animals and Ugly Dolls now residing in my bed, as you can see from the picture above!

Lia and her embroidery.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Rogers Gardens and a Soccer Game

One of the hundreds of hanging baskets
An exotic plant, unlike any I've ever seen!
Rogers Gardens is within walking distance of where my daughter and her family live in California.  It is a magical place, the most beautiful gardening center or nursery I've ever seen.  I've visited it for every major holiday--Easter, Christmas, of course, and now Halloween.  Yesterday the two grandchildren, their dad and granddad, and I walked first to a nearby shopping center where we sat outside and ate either fast food Chinese or pizza.  From there we went to Rogers Gardens.  The children were most interested in the over-the-top Halloween exhibit rooms, with every sort of Halloween decor one could imagine.  Every where we went, there were piles of pumpkins of all sizes and varieties, including some that were white and some, almost red or certainly pinkish!  Bob and I walked all through the gardens, marveling at the exotic plants and especially enjoying the most beautiful hanging basket I've ever seen. 

The Christmas decorations are already displayed, too, with several rooms filled to the brim with huge Christmas trees, all thematically decorated.  Locke took me to see the nutcrackers, of course!  I was shocked at some of their prices.  When I said to him, "Well, these make your Target Nutcracker look pretty plain and simple in comparison," he said, "But I'd be afraid to own one that cost THAT much!  I like to PLAY with mine!"  Lia loved the nutcrackers which also had a music box on which they stood; oddly, these were affordable, much less expensive than the "collectable" ones!

Before our Rogers Gardens adventure, we all went to watch Locke play soccer.  Sadly, his team lost for the first time this season, but he played a super game as one of the two main defensive players!

Here are pictures of our Saturday doings:

Lia and Locke at Rogers Gardens
Locke in front of his team sign, at the soccer game
At home, ready for the game!

A nutcracker Alice in Wonderland and the White Rabbit