Monday, September 21, 2009

Vintage Rumor

I got to show off my new aprons when the Queen Mother dropped by this weekend. She caught me resting while I recovered from my Journal Jog experience earlier that morning which I loved (except for the loss of the spaghetti feed beforehand, the extremely late start, the hideous color of this year's t-shirts and the charley horse that knotted my calf muscle when I woke up from my well-earned nap).

This is our team--we are so attuned to each other that we all wore black shorts and pink sports bras without consulting beforehand. I'll grant you that most athletic shorts seem to be black--but what are the odds on having the same color underwear?! The five miles just blow past when you have good friends to share them with. We thoroughly enjoy the experience each time we compete.

But back to aprons...the Queen Mother happened to mention that she has a pattern that is vintage. It sounds like one of those dress-aprons from the fifties--how totally cool is that! I can hardly wait to get my sewing fingers wrapped around it.

Meanwhile, I still have one more (modern) pattern to try that comes highly recommended. I just need access to my car for one afternoon so I can find more cute fabric...I'm thinking large polka dots.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Kitchen Color

Aprons from the workshop!

"Morning Call" apron aka the "Worst Apron Pattern Directions Ever".The best part is the huge bow I can tie in the back! Which naturally I didn't photograph.

I figure this apron is named "Sweet Scallops" because a pattern named "It Will Take 101 Pins To Attach The Bias Tape" probably wouldn't be as profitable.Okay, it wasn't all that bad, although I did count how many pins I used and it was indeed one hundred and one. (Yes, perhaps I'm a bit picky.)

I made the red bias tape myself. I would have loved to find a brighter red with pindots instead, but I'm happy with the result. I've made enough oval placemats over the years that I've evolved my own system for attaching bias tape on curves, so it went together smoothly.

Cooking in the kitchen will feel a whole lot more fun now!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sneak Peek Preview

Something's cookin' in the workshop. Well, maybe not exactly cooking although the sewing machine has been working hard enough to heat up a tad. Hmmmm...maybe that's a good idea--a sewing machine that I can cook on. What a time saver that would be!

I have a project and I grabbed these inexpensive fabrics in a rush at Wally World. Now that I have them home, I realize they are so me!

Mary Englebreit and me--not a subtle bone in our bodies. If you love bright strong colors, might as well embrace them and flaunt it. What can I say? They just make me happy!

Betcha you'd never guess that I love to wear aqua and turquoise.This turquoise/merlot combination seems familiar somehow...

I just naturally opted to try the hardest project with the worst directions first. (I think there's something about a challenge that I can't resist.) I'm beyond grateful that I was smart enough to work with an inexpensive material since I had to buy more after I'd cut one piece in the wrong orientation. Seriously, the directions stunk big time.

I'm just taking a little timeout dictated by The Universe since a pocket disappeared on me. Tomorrow should see some finished products to share with y'all.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Lesson

I've missed the Pacific International Quilt Show just twice. Once when my sister's first home closed escrow and I helped her move out of their apartment the weekend of the Quilt Show. Once because I'd just started working after raising my kids.

Then September 11th rocked our world and all of us realized how fragile life was. I knew how my parents felt when Pearl Harbor was bombed. The Pledge of Allegiance suddenly took on deeper meaning. Patriotism and flags ruled. America was united in a way I'd never experienced.

It would sound trivial to say that I've never missed Pac Int'l since, unless you knew that it's not the quilt show that's important, it's all the friends who carve time out of their busy schedules every year to come. The quilt show is an excuse, a really good excuse, filled with gorgeous quilts and vendors galore. The real draw is seeing far-flung friends, catching up on family and jobs and health concerns, sharing our mutual creative enthusiasms, meeting new babies, passing around photos of our homes and gardens. Our yearly October get-together is a touchstone of friendship. I cherish our group photos taken through the years.

September 11th reaffirmed for me that friendship is a treasure that must be tended carefully and never taken for granted. So I take those days in October off year after year. I can make do without quite a lot, but I need my friends.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Elemental Spirits

I love to spend the summer walking with friends. I roll out of bed early, pull on shorts and a tank top, put my hair into a ponytail and head out the door. My walking partners love me even without makeup or deodorant as long as I bring my sense of humor. We chat about dogs, school, men, the weather, flowers, our weight, shopping, family, clothes, travel, book, work--pretty much everything under the Nevada sky--while we get our exercise on our local trails. All good things must come to an end though--even if temporarily until another summer vacation arrives. This year we celebrated a summer of friendship by hiking to the summit of Mount Rose.

On the twisty drive up to the trailhead, I remembered the horrendous headache I'd suffered on my last hike to the summit. It was all I could do to put one foot in front of the other on the five-mile hike back down to our cars. What in the world was I thinking to suggest we do it again?! What if I got another headache? I noticed the American flag at the Chevron station was flapping full out--I hadn't even checked the weather report. If it was that windy at five thousand feet, what was it going to be like at the almost-eleven-thousand foot summit?! My stomach started to knot up. I decided to focus on having a wonderful day--starting with drinking yet another liter of water on the drive so I wouldn't have to carry it in my pack and enjoying the mountain scenery.

The drive was beautiful, my pack was light, we met up in the parking lot and headed out over granite and through pine forest. It wasn't long before we caught glimpses of Lake Tahoe thousands of feet below us while enjoying the birdsong and sunshine peeking through the trees. It also wasn't long before I started to sneeze and cough. Yep, hayfever lurks and I was really glad I'd taken my allergy pills and a sinus tab just in case.

The little Galena Creek waterfall provided a welcome mid-hike rest and a view of the summit above us. Water is such a calming element.

Doesn't look far, does it?
Whoops, used the zoom! Maybe we do have quite a ways to go yet.

We survived the stretch up to the saddle (always my least favorite part) and the switchbacks weren't bad with frequent stops to calm our heartbeats and catch our breath. Then we rounded a corner and the wind was suddenly breath-taking (literally) as we ascended above the treeline. On the shaly exposed trail, I found myself lurching a bit like a drunken sailor with a wide stance as gusts tore at me.

And then...sudden quiet as we reached the summit. The rock shelters deflected the winds and the sun warmed us while we ate our lunch at ten thousand feet and then posed for the obligatory photo shoot with wide smiles and Lake Tahoe behind us.Alas, one walking partner was working at the Rib Cookoff and couldn't come, but our uncomplaining husbands tackled the summit with us. Nothing left but an easy hike off the mountain and good memories.

Water, wind, and earth--everything but fire, thankfully.
Did I mention I seem to have brought a little earth home with me?

Note to self: Next year, get in shape early enough to tackle Mount Rose earlier in the season to avoid hayfever. And bring Kharma along on the hike!