Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Leap of Faith

I've come a bit further since the above picture. Now I've got about 8 more of those treacherous seams (sewing rows together) to go, then the border pieced to fit the outline. Must wait for additional fabric for that, so finishing the top completely will have to wait, but I hate to stop for fear that i'll lose momentum. This is by far the most difficult quilt i've made. I know, it's nothing compared to applique or paper piecing these blocks, but for me, sewing this together has been a real challenge. I notice, though, that the longer i do it, the easier it gets. You sort of develop a feel for how to sew this accurately, altho i also went through a phase, after things went surprisingly smoothly in the beginning, of being insecure and screwing it up, having to rip out a lot. Like so many things in life, it requires a leap of faith.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Another Raffle Quilt made by Lisa

Ronnie and Ruthie, two of my elder siblings, taken by our Dad in the 50s. These were the two middle kids out of 8 and they continued to be close after we all grew up.

Below, another raffle quilt to benefit AIDS Services in Austin. My sister Lisa made it in memory of our brother Ron (in the photo above). Beautiful work, as always. Lisa is extremely prolific and very generous with her time. One of these days, she'll have a blog of her own and then, look out!


Friday, September 18, 2009

National Gallery and Pub in Dublin

Tthe National Gallery is my favorite place in Dublin. This was the one and only picture i took, because the man in the doorway was a guard, walking toward me to tell me you're not supposed to take pictures.

Where we had dinner our first night. A labyrinthine sort of pub, full of nooks and crannies and atmosphere. Touristy, but lots of locals go there too.


I just got back from 4 days with students in Dublin. It amused me that the first thing they thought of when we stumbled upon a spectacular view was to whip out their phones and text their girlfriends about it.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

She's Baack

I just had to report: I've made tons of progress on the Tumbling Blocks project in the last few weeks. I think i finally have enough blocks for a lap quilt--over 200. I nailed a large piece of flannel to the wall, so that i can better lay them out--and leave them laid out. Important bcs they are so small and so varied in coloration. I'd like to experiment with different kinds of layouts.

I also finally got up the nerve to sew a couple of rows together. I'd been dreading this, assuming it wd be really hard, but it went surprisingly smoothly. All the corners and angles matched fine. I think it's been roughly two years since i started this. What's motivated me to finish it is I want to give it to my friend Nancy.

A lot has happened in my life in the last few months. I suddenly had way more work than before, and less sleep than usual, and then i landed in hospital in May, with a heart muscle infection (Mycocarditis). Spent 4 days in cardio intensive care and then another week on the cardio ward. I'd never spent much time in hospital before, so it was kind of interesting, especially the time in intensive care, once i got beyond fearing for my life (they have a way of checking your vital signs constantly and sending troops of doctors to visit you, and generally making you feel you're on death's door). When they sent me to another wing of the hospital for some tests, i snuck a peek at my files and it was kind of funny to read the nurses's observations of me, as if i were an animal in a lab: "Habits: reading." "Amerikannerin, aber spricht perfekt deutsch." American, but speaks perfect German. This is not true of course, but it made me happy to see this.

I'm all recovered now and work will be slowing down soon. The doctor yesterday told me the final results from the MRI are absolutely fine but i am under strict orders to stay home next time i get sick (apparently, Myocarditis is brought on by overdoing it when you're sick), and since i happen to be getting over a cold, guess who got a lot of sewing done today?