Wednesday, July 24, 2013

it's all about MN

The past 2 weeks (or so) have been all about Minnesota as far as my work and sewing and quilting go. August 2nd is the kick off for the statewide quilt shop hop.  This is a coordinated effort by many (~90?) quilt shops to promote the idea for customers to get out and visit old fave stores and new treasures.  There is an official passport that is stamped at each store, and depending on the extent of your travels you are eligible for prizes and gifts.  At Bear Patch, we invest a lot of time and effort into making it a special event for the 17 days.  We give out little freebies to each person, prizes to qualifying quilters, and treats!  Debbie has a direct link to the Pearson's candy factory, and buys cases of their mints and mini salted nut rolls to give away.

We also have cases and cases of the special edition Minnesota fabrics on hand, and we create as many samples of neat projects for inspiration as our little fingers can manage!  I have 2 new patterns designed and 1 makeover of a previous pattern in the works.  I really thought I was way ahead of my planning and would not feel rushed and hurried to get them finished on time.  That was about a month ago, and then life happened!  I was gone for a family trip followed immediately by back surgery (planned) for Bob, which really required a lot more from both of us than I had ever anticipated.  No, I didn't have to go under the knife myself, but being the helpmate is a job of its own.  Bob's limitations continue for several more weeks--no lifting (over 5 lbs), no bending, no twisting, no housework, no yardwork, etc.  So I am trying to cram a lot into my days.

Out of the cramming has emerged this--

Slug Bug

 and this--
Wound Around

The first quilt is not nearly as yellow as it looks in the picture, I still have to put on the binding and then I will take a "real" picture to show you.  It feels good to get this far!  I have been putting up frequent posts on the Bear Patch Blog highlighting the Minnesota projects at the store, so hop on over there if you have an interest.

On a side note, I tried out a new thread (new to me) on the Slug Bug quilt for my longarm machine quilting.  This was a polyester 40 wt. variegated thread from Aurifil.  When I was at the Portland Quilt Market we (Debbie and I) did a little shopping and visiting in their booth.  We love their 40 and 50 wt. cotton threads and have a big supply at the store.  I am always interested in new threads that are appropriate for my quilting so I have what my customers want.  This turned out to be just the right color combo for my Slug Bug quilt.  I photographed it in a lovely natural surrounding to capture a great still life!  Other longarm quilters will appreciate the beauty, I am sure.  It ran pretty well in my machine, it did get a little twisty a couple times but that could have been partially due to the fact that I was running faster than usual.  It has a nice bit of sheen to the fibers.  Now I just have to figure out how to get more of it!

Aurifil 40 wt. polyester thread color 5512
Now it's off to work at the store, a day of moving and sorting and lifting and pulling to get merchandise ready for the 3 day annual summer sale that starts tomorrow!  It will be an ibuprofen cocktail at bedtime tonight!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

a very special memory

When my Brita was just a little bit of a thing, she loved books and learning letters and learning to read and write.  She liked to write little "stories" about things that happened.  For a Christmas letter to her grandpa and Grandma Hansen, she wrote them a little "poum".  I think she was 5.  She wrote phonetically and we didn't worry about pushing her to learn correct spelling, feeling that it was just more fun for her to write her own way.  Grandpa and Grandma Hansen are both gone now, and an auction is coming up.  Yesterday we were able to gather together a few special mementos from their house, and this was an important thing for us to bring home.

A translation might be helpful:

A Poem About Christmas
Dear Grandpa and Grandma
The Christmas tree shimmered in the living room as people came walking in the house to celebrate Christmas.  People were singing beautiful songs about Jesus.  People were passing out candles and then they sang "I am lighting my candle because I want Christ to be the Light of my Life".

That last part refers to a Christmas tradition for our extended Hansen family.  We all sit down together and take turns reading the story of the nativity, singing carols, and finishing with a candle lighting.  We pass the light from person to person around the circle, and we recite the verse Brita wrote at the end of her "poum".

Grandma Hansen framed this and always had it hanging in her kitchen at Christmas.  I am going to get a copy for myself to hang here, and I'm sure Brita's will hang in her own home.  I'm so glad it has been saved for us!

Friday, July 5, 2013

a fine new door

On our mental to-do list (Bob's and mine) for going on more than a year has been our sad old garage door.  It was in need of replacement, having been bumped and broken and bitten a few too many times.  The biting was by little critters (chipmunks and/or mice) that chewed away part of the rubber seal at the bottom so they could have a free-for-all in our garage during the winter.

Thanks to the fact that Bob is now stuck at home for weeks, he is able to address some of the things that need to have someone at home to talk to people, get estimates, and get the work done in a timely fashion.  That's exactly what happened on Wednesday, and voila!  A lovely new door.  And a motor that is like stealthy quiet, so maybe when he does go back to work I will sleep right through his exit!  If my schedule started later than his, often I woke to the sound of the garage door lifting.  This could be the beginning of a great new day!  Thank you to the friendly guys of Elite Garage Doors.