Thursday, December 30, 2010

End of the Year News

Christmas was quiet, filled with excellent food, not too much in the way of gifts.  I made my husband a reservation at Alinea in Chicago, and that's his gift.  I guess it's mine too,  although it's honestly not my thing.  Still, a world class restaurant is not to be sneezed at, so I'm grateful for the chance to go.

This is more my thing:

Our new kitten, Larry.  Larry was rescued as a newborn from a cat hoarding situation: sick, starving, covered with fleas.  He was bottle-fed, given antibiotics, de-fleaed (twice), and is now healthy, happy, and very people loving.  He thinks he is a person, I'm sure.  Our other cat hid for two days, stalked around in fury for several more, and now just stares at him.  He is completely undisturbed by anything she does; he's seen it all.  We're hoping they will eventually be friends, but peaceful coexistence may be as far as it goes.

On the quilt front, I've finished Interpret This! (reveals January 13), pieced one more quick charity top, and quilted and bound this one:

the last finish of the year.

We're going to Chicago for New Year's with my son, daughter-in-law and the twins since we couldn't see them Christmas.   I can't wait!

Everyone:  have a safe New Year's Eve, full of whatever sort of celebration you  most enjoy, and a good 2011.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Interpret This! Progress

After I finished some Christmas gifts yesterday, I was able to start working on my December Interpret This! piece.  I've spent a lot of time playing with Photoshop and learned some more about it.  The results aren't necessarily going to show this, however, since I've discarded a pile of trials.  Not wasted time though, because I enjoyed it, and learning can be its own reward--if you remember it!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Some Finishes

I'm not really hiding from Christmas duties. One of these is a gift, one was finished a while back, and the third--yes, it was an escape. I lied.

1. Lap quilt for son and daughter-in-law. I chose the colors to go with the repainting plan they have for the large living area of their home, and I hope they like it. I like the look of the quilt, but not the feel. The quilting is beautiful, but I've learned to be more careful about choosing the batting, quilting pattern, and thread to get a softer cozier touch for a lap quilt. Wool batting, looser quilting, and a finer thread would be better.

2. Guild service quilt, made from orphan blocks. I posted this before it was finished and quilted, but it is completely done now. Was there a reason I started the alphabet border in the lower left hand corner instead of upper left? I hope so, but I've forgotten it now.

3. Another guild service quilt. I started with pinwheel blocks made from the trimmings of flying geese units. I'd saved them, but hadn't used them because I didn't really want to square them up. But then after reading Gwen Marston's Liberated Quilting, I realized they could be a bit off square, and definitely didn't all have to be the same size. Then I added liberated log cabin strips, and this is the result. I love the freshness of the colors, and the movement the off-center pinwheels give. It definitely needs a bright colored binding to keep the border from disappearing, so I'll add that when I quilt it after Christmas.

It's so relaxing to make something like this! Now to wrap some gifts, and finish the tree.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Help with Binding

I packed up lots of gifts today and took them to the post office, along with my Road to California entry. Now as it's continuing to snow, I'm finishing my last big pre-Christmas project. I was laying the binding around the edges to make sure that the seams didn't hit the corners, and Florabelle came to help, as you can see.

Elizabeth Barton has a post today about quilt cliches, and I know a picture of your cat on your quilt is a quilt blog cliche, but I couldn't resist. After all, cute is cute, right?

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Hotel Fabric Art, and a Testimonial for Phone Cameras

In Chicago, we usually stay at one of the Club Quarters hotels. For some reason this chain features fabric art in their lobby. There used to be a silk wall quilt above the desk whose blocks made a subtle CQ logo. It was truly subtle; I saw it several times in Chicago and a similar one in New York before I realized it wasn't just an abstract pieced design.

This new piece, meant to suggest the ripples of the Chicago River, hangs in the remodeled lobby of the CQ on Wacker Driver, also known as the River Hotel.

It's silk, made by something like the faux chenille technique that was fashionable a few years ago. I've admired it several times, and two weeks ago remembered that I could take a decent picture with my new phone.

And also with my phone, I took this stunning photo, looking east down the river from the Wells Street Bridge. The moon was posing for me, I think.