Monday, September 21, 2015

Happy Jubilee Birthday

The passage of time is inevitable. I will be celebrating the 21st anniversary of my 29th birthday. Yes, I admit I will be turning 50.  Kicking and screaming inside. It's just another day, says a friend of mine. Hopefully I don't look [or act] my age.

I like to mark my milestone birthdays with friends, so I decided to have a party on Saturday. I decided to cater the food myself, except for the cake, Friday night I was a busy beaver. Both ovens were in use. Got it all cooked and made the salad the next morning. Ready to go.

And it was a FUN party and a good turnout. There were a several friends who were unable to come for one reason or another. There were a few who came that I had forgotten to invite. LOL  I even gave a speech. Here is what I said, more or less.

"  Thank you all for coming here to help me celebrate my fifth decade on this planet. Thank you to the EAA board for allowing me to use this facility. And thank you to my husband for making my dreams come true.

    As my birthday approached I realized it would come whether I wanted it to or not, I decided what I wanted most was to celebrate it with all of my friends. Funny, when I made of list of friends to invite, nearly all of these were "airport people". Six years ago when I went to my first EAA chapter meeting, I came home with a big grin, saying "these are my people".  Now, six years later, I can claim "these are my Friends".

   Jean-Paul Sarte wrote a play "No Exit" in which a character famously exclaims "Hell is Other People". Let me explain why. The play is a metaphor for a mirror. You can see your character, your essence, reflected by the people who surround you.  The character in this play is a mean, egotistical jerk so he didn't like what he saw. As I look around me, I see people who are interesting, intelligent, a little quirky, and fun-loving. That makes me feel good about myself. I like who I am. So I say "Other People are Heaven, not Hell".

    Inside the kitchen area is a table with a list of what I have accomplished in my First 50 years. There is also a page for you to write suggestions for my Next 50 years. Help me figure out what to do next!

    Before we eat, let's take a moment to thank our Creator.  Dear God, thank you for bringing us together to celebrate my birthday. Thank you for the beautiful weather. Thank you for the food that we are about to eat. Please keep us safe and bring us fair skies and tailwinds. In Jesus' name, Amen. "

For my quilting friends:  I decided my jubilee quilt was the "Broncos Crossroads" quilt I finished last December (see post here). It has 50 blocks so it seemed appropriate. I love how it turned out. The quilt is based on the "Carolina Crossroads" design by Bonnie Hunter. I made it a bit bigger, changed the border, and used one fabric for the background and one orange for the accents. 

Friday, September 11, 2015

Strawberry Fields Forever

After making all those potholders mentioned in my last post, I ran out of Insul-bright.  My go-to place to buy quilting supplies online is Connecting Threads.  To take advantage of the free shipping, I had to buy more fabric. <big fake sigh>  I bought yardage for finishing up a couple quilts ….and yardage for a new quilt.  I just HAD to--the fabric wasn’t whispering, it was yelling at me!  Which means I have fallen off the bandwagon again. But hopefully I will finish this one quickly and return with perseverance in finishing up more UFOs. See how I worked in my theme word for this year?

Check out the Sep/Oct 2015 issue of McCalls Quilting magazine for the quilt “Strawberries & Cream” designed by Kathy Flowers. I collect strawberries. Even though there is not a strawberry shape anywhere on this quilt, the title and strawberry red color caught my eye.

But I don’t want a white background. I am drawn to the teal/red combo, so that’s what I intend to use for this quilt.  I am also planning to alter the border slightly to give a bit more separation and attention to the little bitty nine-patch corners. This quilt has three sizes of nine-patches so it will serve as my participation in the nine-patch theme of 2015. And I will add strawberries to the back to make the name a reality.  I have some strawberry print yardage I have been saving for a special project such as this.  Kathy, the designer, sent a nice note to me when I told her that I was inspired by her quilt. Here is a quick view of Step 1 and a preview of the color combo I chose.

On a higher note, September is a lovely month for flying. During the Labor Day weekend while my daughter was visiting, we flew to a nearby airport for lunch. That's a favorite activity of pilots, flying out for that $100 hamburger.

Later that day, my husband took her up again as his first passenger now that he is a full-fledged private pilot. It was a gorgeous evening as you can see.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Piece and Plenty

After finishing a project, sometimes  you feel the urge to begin a new project even though you have thousands hundreds several unfinished projects waiting. So what's a quilter to do?  Make a few potholders!

I came across an adorable potholder set on Craftsy. Check this out:
Build-A-Burger Potholder Set PDF Pattern 
My version:

This was SO much fun to make!  I had a package of InsulBright just waiting for the right use. Leftover batting scraps from previous quilts were recycled.  My stash was perfect for this and I only had to add a bit of terry cloth for the buns.

Speaking of terry cloth, my fabric store only had bright white terry cloth, so I bought it anyway and used a tea bag to stain a portion for the insides of the hamburger buns.

I found the instructions to be decent, but no help AT ALL on how to deal with the binding ends. I finally figured out the best way after finishing the last one.

The most fun item was the tomato. You'll see.

The most difficult was that #$%@# lettuce. Those ruffles were so frustrating! What worked for me was using my serger on the cut edge of the ruffle to keep the fabric from raveling. I marked the ruffle at each quarter point to ensure the gathers were evenly distributed. Next I basted around the edge with a doubled thread (single threads snap too easily). Then I pinned to the green circle at each quarter point and began pulling in the gathers. A few more pins and some careful sewing and it was ready to stuff and complete.

These potholders were so much fun, I couldn't stop. Next I made this one based on a free pattern from Jacquelyn Stevens (it's free on Craftsy).

Then I made another one.

And then there were three:
Here is a view of the back side:

All of the fabrics are from Connecting Threads from previous projects. This combo was so cheery! And it was a great way to use up part of my stash of scraps. I hand stitched the binding down because my skills at machine stitching binding are still under developed.

On a higher note.... a milestone birthday is approaching so my daughter painted this as a gift and gave it to me early. She did this freehand from a photo of my beloved "Bravo" Cessna 170B. Great job on this, sweetie!