Greetings! I spent much of my free time last week practicing and rehearsing for the annual Salmon Falls River Friends of Music benefit concert (proceeds go to help young music students) which took place this past Friday evening:
All went very well! Quattro Formaggio opened the show so I was able to sit back after that and enjoy the rest of the 14 acts performing – great fun. Happy to say that I’ve become much more comfortable performing in public though my method of becoming comfortable is to be over-prepared! It may not be apparent from my blog writings, but music is very important in my life. For periods of time I have played the accordion, the piano, and the guitar and now I’m back to the accordion. I truly enjoy it. I also love listening to many kinds of music, especially classical and listen to that regularly on a great Boston based classical radio station. I love continually discovering works that I have never heard before and I try to listen mindfully. I don’t, however, have a radio or CD player in my sewing room and prefer to design, cut, and machine sew in silence; however I often listen to the radio when I am doing hand work in my living room.
This week is the last week of the semester at the university, therefore my last week of work until late August. I decided to return to part time work – 20 hours per week seeing patients (no administrative responsibilities!) – for the next academic year, i.e. through May 2017. I have a feeling this may be my last year, but won’t decide until next spring. I have loved the extra time off and not having any administrative responsibilities since January. This summer should give me an idea of what “total” retirement might feel like as I will have 3 full months off before returning for the fall semester.
The recent warmer weather has prompted me to spend some time sitting out on our deck. I enjoy the colors of spring, especially the beautiful early spring green against the blue sky. I tried to capture it a little bit with my camera but it’s not like the real thing!
Makes me want to design a quilt in spring greens and periwinkle and/or deep blue colors some day.
I started a new doll quilt! Those of you who have been following my blog for a while may remember that a few years ago I started making a “trio” of doll quilts each year with the intent of exhibiting them at my guild’s show in October. This year is my 5th year doing this. I have one top done, waiting to be layered and hand quilted, so far this year:
For a while I’ve been mulling over ideas for a second one and finally decided on a star block that some call the “friendship” star, but also called a “pinwheel” star in one of my resources. Here’s my design wall right now (click to enlarge):
I hope to have the other 6 blocks done when I next post. I’m featuring blue and yellow/gold fabrics, a color combination I haven’t used much. I’m liking it instead of my usual “multi” colors. I have very much enjoyed doing some machine piecing since all my other active projects have required applique or hand quilting.
For the circle quilt, I have 2 halves complete, i.e. 2 pieces, each 4 blocks across and 8 blocks down, all sewn together with the little squares appliqued on by hand. All that remains is to sew the 2 pieces together and applique the remaining 7 squares at the middle intersections for this part of this quilt to be complete. Then I will commence designing the rest of it:
Click to enlarge for closeups. I’m much happier with how this is coming along since adding the squares and I don’t think the next “layer” is going to involve using the originally planned darker gray squares that I showed in previous posts.
I am making steady progress on the Stardust borders. Border #2 is done now except for the last 6 berries and I have basted on the stems for border #3 and have started appliqueing them down:
I’ve been pondering starting a challenging piecing project using the traditional “pine burr” block that has long been on my “to do” list. That list also includes a “feathered star” quilt and a “New York Beauty” quilt. However, I just found out that 2 of my closest friends are about to become grandmothers for the first time and I need to get started making a couple of baby quilts. I’m happy to have an excuse to make them and happy to put off for a while making a decision about starting another major project!!!
On the morning of May 23rd I am hosting 8 people, taking them on a tour of my home and discussing my quilts and quilt making. I’m doing this for the “Osher LIfelong Learning Institute” which is a national organization which offers all kinds of educational programs for “lifelong learners” age 50+. They’ve been trying to recruit me to do something quilt related for them for the past year and I agreed I’d do something once I wasn’t working full time, so the time has arrived! After taking my quilts out on the road to guilds 3 times in the past year, I didn’t want to pack everything up again – so much work! – so decided to offer taking folks on a tour through the house. I have to spend some time thinking about the order of presenting things which won’t be the same as in my trunk shows. This is what I’ll be doing over the next week!!
Also, Al and I are planning a vacation to California. We leave on 5/31 and will be away for 12 days. We are flying to San Francisco and driving south to Carmel and the Big Sur area for 3 days, then going inland to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks for 3 days, then back to the coast and the Santa Barbara area, including the wine country for another 3 days. Then we’ll drive back to San Francisco for a final couple days before flying home. Should be fun!!!
Yesterday Al and I celebrated 39 years of marriage and almost 40 years of being together. I confess that we are both liberal democrats. I joked that when we met in 1976, we were both incredulous that Ronald Reagan, an ACTOR, was running for president. Now 40 years later we are both incredulous, again, that a narcissistic, authoritarian real estate developer, who sees women as objects, is running for president. Scary! I hope we Americans come to our senses!
Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day, Gladi