Friday, January 19, 2018

Is There a Brain in There Among the Quilt Patterns?

Yesterday was filled with doctor stuff.  Carrie called to ask if I could baby sit since his school was closed, but I had appointments already filling my day. Luckily Frank was home and he was delighted to take charge.  We don't often get to have him and I was glad to be have the opportunity.  Andrew's mother seems to live there so I didn't want to miss out on that. 

I was in and out of the house, doing Papa-Relief in between driving on some still icy streets.  But once again, I was alone dealing with everything on my own.  Seems like that is my state of being.

They were able to combine to the MRI and Ultrasound into one appointment due to the cancellations they had.

Interestingly, it was recommended that I see a neurologist.  I looked up his stats once I got home and I was a bit uneasy.  His specialty is brain tumors and brain oncology.  I have a quilting friend who is having brain surgery today and one of our board members died of a brain cancer several years ago.  Not sure I want to be in their company.

We met Carrie and Andrew for dinner and baby dump and I went home to bed, exhausted from the day.

I did get a a bit of a chance to work on one of my little 3D pieces.  But the machine does such a horrible job of stitching, that I ripped it all out in favor of hand-stitching a big running stitch with perl cotton.  I really need to take that stupid machine back and let them dismantle it.

I thought I would make a star block, but this guy had a mind of his own.  Does not look like a star at all!  but it looks very Improv!

My favorite block I think is this one with the curves.   Also very improv.  I would like a whole quilt like this one. 

I  am going to get a pile of these faced so I can sit at night and do the hand work.

You know, I might have to get some 12 wt thread.  Wouldn't that work in the machine and be a heavy thread?  I guess I have to order it, that it probably would not be easily found in the local stores.

Then I am going to start on one of the big print quilts.

And soon I will have to start giving a quilt to everyone I know again!  LOL

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

3D ---- 3D ----- 3D

These are just photos of the flowers Frank brought the other day.  They are so bright, just like the pieces of fabric I have been working with today.

I got a photo email birthday greeting from my dentist today.  Really?  As odd as that might seem, it was a picture of chocolate cupcakes, piled high with chocolate frosting that was piped in a big swirl, with a  white chocolate flourish.

I think they want me to get cavities.....

So I have been playing with more improv squares today. 

I have an idea how to put them together, but it won't be in a quilt.  I am hoping to have another piece for one of the shows.  I have two coming up.  

It hit me today that I can put them into a hanging rather than a quilt.  

Here is the progress so far.  I am going to stop making squares and work on the assembly.  And work out HOW the assembly will go.

It will be 3 dimensional.  

We shall see as it progresses.

Please Don't Eat the Yellow Snow.....

....cause that's where the Huskies go!  LOL  McGee has found the joy of yellow snow.

We had snow again last night.  Started out with a light misty rain, then the sleet came.  When the streets were wet enough the temperatures cooperated and plunged to the upper teens.  Then the snow mixed in with the sleet and we had intermittent floating bits of snow and the heavier sleet particles.

This morning we woke to a white blanket of what is more like ice crystals than the fluffy snow of the last snowfall.  I guess people who live in snowy places have names for all the types of snow.  We just are amazed at snow...period!

Keep in mind, we are in South Louisiana!

And all on my BIRTHDAY!  I had big plans for the day, most of which is up in the air as to whether it will happen. 

Frank revealed the final gift of the Birthday Week Celebration.

Cheetos! Literally, my favorite food! 
I shall partake later today.

And of course with the snow and interstate shutdowns, the city has cancelled the huge celebration and parades they were going to hold for my birthday. 

I did play with the scraps in the bag Judy gave me.  I am going to have to come up with a name, or even a nickname for them.

I added leftover solids from Sawyer's quilt so the color distribution will be a bit wider.  However I do not have the yellows from that top right block.  I might have to dig a bit further in my stash to grab some of those sunny colors.  But I think I will wait to see how the other blocks play together to see if I want to dump it, make more or use it as a focus block somewhere in the quilt.

I am glad that you want a turquoise added in the La Virgencita.  She has a turquoise blue dress that I toyed with pulling out.  But the colors looked so warm I decided not to throw a cool blast in there.  I will do that today and retake the photo. 

At night I am sleeping under an additional quilt.  The colorful one is from my mates of SSOBB during the flood.  It was quilted by Valerie Purple Boots in Nova Scotia.  And the leaf quilt is appropriately named The Forest of Frozen Sorrows.

I had it packed to finish it at a February Retreat a few years ago when the temps dropped so low that the pipes at the Retreat House broke and flooded the place.  We had to cancel the Retreat of course.

Hence Frozen Sorrows.  It is one of my visual favorites. 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Birthday Eve

Birthday Eve!  And it is appropriately cold and freezing for a January birthday.  Today he brought me a card and a bunch of bright colored flowers.  Yesterday he brought me an ugly bracelet.  The many cannot pick out jewelry.  Although he did OK with the silver bracelet I directed him to look for the day before.  And Sunday he gave me a coat hanger thingy with circles on which to hang scarves and belts. Tomorrow is the culmination of the Birthday Week Festivities.  So sad to see it end!

So this is Tuesday, the holiday yesterday really messed me up.  I need to get my driver's license renewed and all the state offices were shut down.  And today they THINK it MIGHT snow again, so the city and state are shut down as well.  I wonder if they will give me two extra days to get my renewal?  Probably not.

I also needed a CAAWS document notarized and there was not an attorney in the city working.  I ended up at the accountant's office and he had one of their lawyers notarize my document for free, so I made money on the deal anyway.  I used to be a notary years ago, it probably would be a good idea to re-certify, although I have no desire to take the classes again, or the test.

I was early to the meeting so I walked around his building twice for a total of just over a mile. 

So what's a girl to do?  SEW!  And I did.

I was able to get the last two sections of  birds together and the whole thing somewhat squared.

I  declared it finished just about the time I decided it needed to have four white border strips added for when I quilted it.  I can trim down to whatever size I want, but I  will have the extra fabric as much as I want showing. 

Of course there were a number of plaes where the abutting fabrics were not square.  In other words MOST of the places required figuring out how to sew the darned things. And it was not always easy to get the fabric to sit flat.

In fact, I am somewhat of a genius in getting it flat at all.  Lynne must be a super genius ......  or maybe she is a better quilter in the block stage, making sure they are of equal or compatible sizes when she makes them.

But I got it worked out.

Took me a whole day.

Better Idea:  Next time I will just send the birds to Lynne to put together.

 It has been so very cold in Southern Louisiana.  Here is my fish pond with icicles!  LOL.......lordy, lordy!

Dd you see me and my brother in the last post?  Do we look alike?  He looks like my dad and I look like my Aunt Edie, dad's sister.

I will have to ask cousin Karen for a picture of the three of them.  They are the children of my father's brother, who we never thought looked like the other two.  As he got older he did, though.

But boy did Uncle Angelo's kids look like the Graci side!   The Graci Men in two generations have one face between them!

I am finished quilting the Zig Zag quilt and I added the binding.  It still needs to be hand sewn down.  I am very optimistic that this OMG finish will be a success!

So I need to look to the future projects.  I have so many of them.  And they all shifted places in the last few weeks since I found Kathy Doughty and Material Obsession's books Mixing Quilt Elements and Adding Layers.  I have two quilts I want to work on first.

What do you think of these colors together?  The background is a golden, although it is not solid.  I thought it was solid but when I got it down it had a swirl pattern.  I can use it on the back side but and you will see a faint pattern up close.  It won't really matter either side.

Do I need to mix it up more?  Do I needa different fabric in place on one?  This is the scary part for me. 

The rust color palate will be fan blades radiating out from the center (which will be a melon shaped center).  The two blacks will be cornerstones.

These will be large.  So there will be 4 of them on the quilt which will be 88 x 88.  Like I said, large.

You know, I wanted to make some sofa pillows.  I might as well make those first.  they should be quick (she says as it takes 10 days to make two pillows.....) LOL. You know that is going to happen.

I also have the pieces that Judy gave me at the last Fiber meeting.  I really want to play with that one!   Not Judy's thing, but definitely MY thing.

And I have another one with trees and dancing ladies and wild things hanging in the trees.   Also from Kathy Doughty/Material Obsession.

Of course, there are about 257 UFOs I can pick from as well............but that wouldn't be any fun, would it?

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Post #2 New Orleans weekend

 Please also see the previous post for NOLA photos and the church. Ok, video is working now.  Michelle took two videos rather than 2 pictures on my camera.  Oh, well. 

On Saturday for my Birthday Week Frank took me to Mes Amie Quilt Shop in the Lake Vista area.

The shop sits almost at where the break in the levee occurred after Katrina.  I had a number of friends living in this area that was one of the hardest hit because of the force of the water. Pieces of  Jim’s house were found nearly half a mile from its foundation site.  Charles house took 16feet of water.

This is one of the Old rich areas in the city, out towards the Lake Pontchartrain behind City Park.  A lot of the houses now have been jacked up and raised about 3 feet, still no match for Lake Pontchartrain to come sit on your doorstep.

Here are my purchases......all on sale, 35% off!  I know they look odd to you, but I have some of Material Obsessions patterns that will look amazing with these new friends!

I also scored two of their Row By Rows

2016 an 2017.  I wish I had taken a photo of this new Orleans quilt they had hanging.  Totally paper pieces and incredible in detail.  they created their own blocks as they went along!

And when I got home this was waiting for me  3.5 yards from my monthly surprise box from Becky's Treasure Trove!  Looks like sunsets to me, eh Carol?

This is me and my baby brother Kenny.  His birthday is the 8th and mine is the 17th.  So we met at Middendorf's for lunch.  I am tall at 5'9" and he is way taller!  He is 5 years younger than me.  I swear he is the spitting image of my dad.  I do a double take every time I see him. 

Frank and I did a little trip down memory  lane.

New Orleans is interesting, you get your  VooDoo, liquor and beer at the same place.

This is the Pottharst grave of my grandmother Irma, grandfather Jack, Great Great Aunt Mimi and her husband Great GreatUncle Neil Rowley.  And probably about 4 more people I can't remember.

That is my mother's side of the family.  The grave was in great shape, I was surprised.

Greenwood Cemetery is one of the 5 or 6 at the end of Canal Street.

this is the house Frankgrew up in in Metairie in Bissonet Plaza.  (Biss-ah-neigh) for those non-natives.  He lived across the street from me.

That was his room way off to the right. 
 This was my house. See the big dip in the sidewalk?  The land continues to sink as the water drains from the peat base.  The the whole area for miles was build on drained lake bottom.

And down the street was the church we were married in, but then it was Faith Cumberland Presbyterian.  I  agreed to be married in a church after Frank's mother pitched a shit fit about that.  I still regret caving in to her.......she never got any better.

This is a really bad shot of the bald eagle in his
nest.  I didn't have much notice when Frank casually said, oh, here is where the eagle is.....

Wait, I actually think this photo  is of the eagle.  Make it larger and maybe you can see it.

this is in the swamp areas outside Kenner, suburb of NOLA, and on the edge of lake Pontchartrain.

Here is a great shot of Lake Pontchartrain from the I-10 Bridge coming into Laplace.  It is about an hour from Baton Rouge to NOLA and a pretty level straight shot.

The New Orleans Airport is near this area west of the city of Kenner.  We actually used to live in Kenner after we got married.  Kenner was considered the "low class" Italians.  Now it is Latino and dangerous to be where you don't belong.

And these guys were waiting for us at Middendorf's when we arrived!  everyone was trying to stay warm.

Have I Got A Treat For You! Post #1

New Orleans photos!

Michael walks Mary Kate
Caroline's Son William
Caroline Sister of Bride
Wedding Photos at St Patrick’s Cathedral.  Such a beautiful church, it was established in 1833; stunning architecture inside and out.  Church was completed in 1840 and the fir mass was recited.

It is in the Faubourg St. Mary section of the city .  The  priest celebrating the wedding was from Italy and had the moat amazing accent, bringing me back to the Italian relatives of my childhood.  The architect was James Gallier, who also built Gallier Hall which serves as the seat of the New Orleans government only a few steps down from the church.    The murals behind the altar were painted in 1841.  They are masterpiece works of art.

Brides Parents Renee and Michael
Paintings above the altar
The area surrounding the church was one where the Irish Immigrants lived. Today it is in the heart of the Arts District and where Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie bought several warehouses to be
turned into high rent apartments for their Hollywood set.
14 Bridesmaids!
 Old St Patrick's Cathedral
Michael saying he has THREE girls
The service was personalized so beautifully by the pastor, and he noted that it was the perfect place for a girl named Mary Kate Donahue to be married!

Mary Kate and Brock
The reception was in one of the old warehouses near the hotel called The Chicory.  We actually walked to the church, then the reception and back to the hotel.    I dined on Artichoke Casserole and Shrimp in Brie Sauce, meat pies and leg of roast beef and about 4 Old Fashions and a couple glasses of champagne.  Frank had fruit and tonic water.

Our 20th floor room in the Loews Hotel had a spectacular view,of the Mississippi River.

This is afternoon overcast


Morning clearing up


Here is the cathedral from 20 floors up!

I will create a second post to show you the quilt shop, my purchases and my brother.