Sunday, August 26, 2012

Today is National Dog Day

A great day to celebrate the dog and to promote dog rescue!


Her eyes met mine as she walked down the corridor peering apprehensively into the kennels. I felt her need instantly and knew I had to help her. I wagged my tail, not too exuberantly, so she wouldn't be afraid.

As she stopped at my kennel I blocked her view from a little accident I had in the back of my cage. I didn't want her to know that I hadn't been walked today. Sometimes the shelter keepers get too busy and I didn't want her to think poorly of them.

As she read my kennel card I hoped that she wouldn't feel sad about my past. I only have the future to look forward to and want to make a difference in someone's life.

She got down on her knees and made little kissy sounds at me. I shoved my shoulder and side of my head up against the bars to comfort her. Gentle fingertips caressed my neck; she was desperate for companionship.

A tear fell down her cheek and I raised my paw to assure her that all would be well. Soon my kennel door opened and her smile was so bright that I instantly jumped into her arms. I would promise to keep her safe. I would promise to always be by her side. I would promise to do everything I could to see that radiant smile and sparkle in her eyes. I was so fortunate that she came down my corridor. So many more are out there who haven't walked the corridors. So many more to be saved. At least I could save one.


And this is my rescued Australian Shepherd Mix:
What a sweetheart!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Places I’d Like to Visit

I read in a book recently about an event that is held annually on Martha’s Vineyard.  It is called the “Grand Illumination” and I looked it up and apparently just missed it (like I could really go this year, but a girl can dream ...!).  It was held this past week on August 15th.  All of the gingerbread cottages around the Martha’s Vineyard Campgrounds and Tabernacle in Oak Bluffs take part in the event.
The cottages are adorable and a sight themselves, but when they are all strung with oriental lanterns and lit in unison at dusk, they are truly a sight to behold.  What a great family outing this would be.
The event begins with a concert and community sing prior to the Illumination, a tradition that has been upheld since 1869.  I’ve heard that the cottages have been handed down from generation to generation and if, heaven forbid, one of the cottages should come up for sale it is immediately snapped up just through word of mouth.  Apparently, the lanterns stay with the cottage!
Wouldn’t it be cool to make a house-themed quilt using the Grand Illumination as your inspiration?  Just think of all the great embellishments …

Here’s one block pattern for a cottage (with tutorial) from Nanette Merrill at Freda’s Hive:

And here is a more typical house pattern (easy peasey) from Janet Wickell at About.Com:

Just had to add this to my long list of quilts to make!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

What's in the Works

Nothing earth-shattering - I have been working on bindings … lots and lots of bindings:
Remember that I was shocked that I had 8 tops stacking up waiting to be quilted?  Well, I’ve whittled that stack down to only 2 still needing to be quilted.
the finished stack is growing - 5 down, 3 to go
And this one is quilted and only needs to be bound.
I’ve had to start and stop since we’ve been having electrical storms in the area.  The clouds looked beautiful in the sunset, but parts of our area have been pounded with rain.
Today alone, we had 2.96 inches.  Can’t say that’s not a good thing, but I hate unplugging my sewing machine when I’m on a roll!

Speaking of rolls … did I tell you that I picked up a wonderful Jelly Roll with the last of my birthday gift cards?
Just look at these great colors!  I have a pattern in mind – watch this spot for an update sometime soon …

Thursday, August 9, 2012

I Must Be Crazy ...

Yes, I must be crazy.  It is 95 in FL this time of year (with a heat index of 102) and I went out and played golf again today.  I was doing great on the front nine and fell apart on the back nine.  It wasn’t my fault … no, really!  I was totally demoralized when a big black crow stole my favorite Kashi crackers right out of my cart.  I was going to bite into their crunchy goodness right after that hole …
They were unopened and I even had them hidden under a golf towel, but the little bugger found them and flew off with them.  Bummer.  At least this Roseate Spoonbill didn’t laugh at me – my husband certainly did.  This Spoonbill might be young since its head is still very white.  It was the only one on the course and they usually hang out in groups.
Then on another hole I hit a very excellent shot off the tee and another very excellent shot that was going right for the flag – wait – wait for it – until it hit the edge of the concrete cart path and bounced like a rock back at me, hit the top of the golf cart by my side and landed 50 yards behind where I started.  Again, my very supportive DH nearly laughed himself sick.  These Coots were hiding their heads in shame for me … or were they laughing, too?!
Now you tell me how any of that could possibly be my fault?!!  I think I’m going to go take a nap …

But first, I’ll have to show you my finished Quilts of Valor Mystery Quilt top - this is #24 from Persimmon Quilts:

It is HUGE (72 x 72).  I’m used to making 40 x 60 child-sized quilts and this was a monster to work with.  But I think it turned out really well.  Another member of my QOV group was making the same Mystery quilt and I hope she brings it to our meeting tomorrow – I’ll be sure to snap a picture!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Quilting Progress and a Book

I had finally shamed myself into getting the pile of tops onto the quilt frame … and I have made great progress.  These are the three tops that are fully quilted, including their borders – now they just await bindings:
 And this is the back of the fourth one that has been quilted on the frame, but needs quilting in the borders (I do that on my tabletop machine).
I stopped for awhile because I want to mull over whether to change thread color.  Because the top fabrics have a lot of black in them, I quilted the center squares with black thread and it looks just fine.  But the top and bottom borders are rainbow stripes with no black and I don’t know how black thread would look on that … I’m thinking about what to do!

I did get some exercise walking up to the library even though the sky looked threatening.  The osprey sitting in the lower-left on this tree branch had sense enough to stop flying, but I went anyway.  I made it there and back before the downpour, thank you very much!
So, I’ve been reading a book called “The Age of Homespun” that has some interesting stories (although it is quite tedious reading – sort of like a college textbook!).
One thing I learned was that the history of textiles was often able to be followed using wills and probate records that included inventories of the deceased’s possessions.  In some of those documents, e.g., letters, inventories and probate documents, quilted petticoats were called simply “quilts”.  Wouldn’t that be confusing if you were looking for a bedcover?!  These quilted petticoats usually had some kind of simple crosshatching over most of the surface with more decorative designs on the borders.  One woman even quilted a full-masted ship in sail along with mermaids on hers!  This is one example from the Old Sturbridge Museum’s collections:
Tomorrow’s tasks include finishing a few more quilts, maybe get to those bindings and get those bug jar appliqu├ęs in the mail.  Just more fun ….