Friday, March 4, 2011

the march lamb

Do you believe in the old saying that if March comes in like a lion it goes out like a lamb? And is the opposite also true? Here on the frozen tundra it has seemed pretty lambish for these first days of March, cold but no storms. That does not bode well for the end of the month! Our March weather is typically snowy inshort periods, often coinciding with high school tournament time and snarling up plans for people traveling from all over the state to St. Paul for the final rounds of hockey, wrestling and basketball games. The good thing about any snow we get now isknowing that it won't be around for long, as compared to the snows of Nov/Dec that you know will remain as icebergs for months to come. It's all a mind game at this point!

I am loving my morning at home today, it's quiet, I have noplace to go so I can keep my jammies and robe on for a bit longer, and the fire in the woodstove is keeping me toasty. I've been taking some pictures to share with you---

This is a nice little woolen penny rug that I handstitched not too long ago. The little circles were all cut out for quite awhile, patiently waiting for my attention. If I remember correctly, this started out in Wisconsin when I was on a retreat at Beaver Lake Landing. We walked across the frozen lake to visit the home workshop of a wool dyer, and ended up with assorted woolens that someone (maybe Marilee?) started cutting into little pieces so we could exchange and get a better variety. I might have the facts wrong on that, but I doknow that it was a cooperative project, which always makes it more special.

I finally finished the binding on this baby quilt:
I really got some sore fingers from this one because I made the binding just a titch too small, or the seam allowance just a titch too big, because it really needed some pushing and pulling to turn around the edges neatly. I showed you this here before when I was blocking the yardage to get it squared up. These are not individual little pieces that I sewed together, they are just designs printed on fabric. I quilted them as blocks with a coordinated blue backing that has words about babies all over it. It finished up about 36" square and will be heading off to Arizona soon for a new baby boy in Laura and Rommel's family.

Still doing some winter-type knitting, making an "infinity scarf", which is basically just a big loop to be worn around the neck. The colder it gets, the more it encircles the neck!
Nice bulky washable wool yarn, pattern free here.

I spent part of my morning yesterday making up kits for quilts to be made and donated to Quilts For Kids.
My club, guild, gang, whatever you want to call it, officially the Ham Lake Piecemakers, is having a sewing fest next Friday and Saturday to see how many donation quilts we can generate. So I am getting some prep work done for that, using fabric from my own accumulation and a little support for key pieces from the quilt shop. I think these will bring lots of comfort to some little ones.

Putting my new design wall to good use as I construct these rows. The top row has been sewn together with triangles, but I am not loving this fabric. I might have to have a do-over on that one. I have 4 other rows done and this one just doesn't go with the flow.
Three more rows to go!

And the sorting, reorganizing and purging of my sewing stuff is winding down (alleluhia!). I have prepared a bundle of patterns that I am ready to part with.
These will go to the Piecemakers for a little fund-raiser that we usually do at our retreats. If you are part of a quilt group you might want to try this, it has been a success in adding to our treasury and helping us buy batting for our charity quilts. Here's the deal:
members are encouraged to donate a few items that are likely desirable, not junky. These can be fabric bundles, a basket of notions, a bag of thread, a group of patterns, etc. The coordinator places a few of them on a display table with a little basket next to each item. During the next few hours, group members can put their name into the baskets that they are interested in. $0.25 per name! You can put your name in as many times as you want, but it costs each time. At a pre-determined time, one name is drawn from each basket and that person is the new owner of that treasure. And we start it all over again, until we run out of items! It's fun to see what is in demand, and how many quarters some women are willing to part with!

Time to get on with the day and I will leave you with this parting thought:
"Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful." Sophia Loren

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