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Monday, August 27, 2012

Machine quilting — Sakura update

Can you see what I'm doing here? There's a lot of gold tracery printed onto this fabric, so I'm outlining the major motifs of the central panel. I'm using a gold metallic thread that gave me fits at first but has now settled down to behave itself. ;) I've done the two cranes, one of the large flowers, and all of the stylized "clouds". My biggest problem now is deciding how to quilt the squares and large rectangles that form the borders. I'm thinking I'll keep it simple, since there's so much gold printed on these fabrics, too; anything very detailed simply won't show up.

Any ideas out there?

Sunday, August 26, 2012


I've mentioned before that I'm taking another class at Craftsy, this one called Knitting with Beads, taught by Laura Nelkin. Today I finished the first of two shawls for this class, and I'm now waiting for it to dry after having blocked it. :) I love the color of the yarn I used (it's a little paler than shows in the photo), and I think the beads are just subtle enough to add a nice touch without being too flashy. I'll probably start the second shawl soon; that one will be black.
Now it's back to some machine quilting! I'm planning to take yet another Craftsy class soon on another style of machine quilting, so that should be lots of fun.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

I'm quilting ...

really, I am! ;) I know I haven't posted anything quilty in a long time, but I am quilting these days — as well as knitting and whatever else strikes me. LOL! And here's the proof:

This is a top that's a bit unusual for me, in that it came from a kit. I don't buy many kits (this is only my second!), but I did love it when I saw it some time ago. I pieced the top and then set it aside to go to Flagstaff and then on that Hawaiian cruise and to the Shakespeare Festival (it's been a busy summer!), but I'm back at it now. So far, I'm still working on the straight-line ditch quilting that I prefer to use for stability's sake, but the free-motion will be next — and much more fun! Here's another view of what I'm doing:

In case you're wondering, this is called Sakura, from a line of Red Rooster fabrics.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Tea, anyone?

Can you imagine having afternoon tea while enjoying this view? That's what one of my daughters and I did this afternoon! :) She was away when my birthday rolled around, so this was her delayed birthday gift to me, and it was wonderful. We were on the twenty-third floor of a high-rise hotel, looking out at part of the Las Vegas Strip as we sipped and nibbled.

What did we nibble, you ask? Look at those lovely plates! There were little sandwiches to begin, followed by scones with clotted cream and jam (yum!). Finally, we had various pastries for dessert. All of that was, of course, accompanied by pots of tea — mine was a jasmine and Earl Grey blend that was really delicious.

What a lovely way to spend an afternoon! It's not the first time we've done this, though this particular tearoom was new to us, and I sincerely hope it won't be the last. :)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Short get-away

Gosh, I can't believe it's been so long since I've updated my blog! I guess life has just been going along as usual, and nothing has stood out to write about lately. However, that changed yesterday. DH and I took off to go to Cedar City, UT, to see two plays during their annual Shakespeare Festival. Our trips there began rather accidentally, when I won tickets to one of these plays about a year ago. Once we'd gone there for that one, we were hooked! Up until yesterday, though, we hadn't actually seen anything from Shakespeare, as this Festival also produces plays by other authors from around the world. 

Yesterday, we actually attended — and thoroughly enjoyed — two plays. The first was a matinée performance of Scapin, a comedy originally written by Molière, a French playwright of the seventieth century. I'd read a lot of his works in college, since I majored in French, but I'd never seen one live. This production was translated, of course, into English, but it was also modified so that the characters interacted quite a bit with the audience. By the time the play ended, my cheeks were hurting from laughing so much!

But the laughter wasn't finished at that point. That evening, we attended a production of The Merry Wives of Windsor,  the first Shakespeare play we've seen there. We hadn't realized that these plays are performed in a replica of the old Globe! It was quite impressive, and the actors were so good that everyone there enjoyed the experience despite the inherent difficulties of understanding Elizabethan English. There was much laughter and enthusiastic applause — all well deserved. :) The photo I've attached here is a panorama of the inside of the outdoor theater; naturally, no photography was allowed during the performance.

It was a long — but completely enjoyable — day, but we're home again and ready for an afternoon nap! ;)