Monday, September 26, 2016

Just 80 Minutes: Part Two

Well, last week I paper-pieced two pretty nice segments and expected to continue with this for the second week of Just 80 Minutes.

Change of Plans! Strangely enough, on Tuesday night when the Guild came to the Bee Blocks part of the agenda, dear Cozy was Queen Bee and she asked for a pair of pickle dish blocks. With lots of paper piecing. And [shudder] curved piecing. Paper piecing and curved piecing in one block. Ye gods.

So on Wednesday morning I began my work. I have put in way more than 80 minutes of paper piecing this week. Here is what I have learned:

1. There are many ways to make a mistake on a pickle dish arc. I will not enumerate them.
2. One can rip out on paper piecing. But only one time per seam.
3. When attempting curved piecing of paper pieced arcs, one must remove the paper first.
4. There's a rhythm to it.

Cozy's recipe calls for bright colors for pickle dish bases and inside points on both arcs, light colors for the smaller arc, dark colors for the larger arcs, lightest colors for the shoulders and gray (not pictured) for the center to which all four components eventually will be affixed.

I'm getting the hang of it, though this morning I found the words to "A Boy Named Sue" running through my head, i.e., my next project will not be a pickle dish!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Back to Italy, Part One

The trip started on Labor Day. Joe and Blackberry had spent part of the weekend camping with a large and varied group of family members, but came home on Sunday and right away started pulling things together.

We knew Star Flyer would be waiting for us in Rome on Wednesday, but decided to go a day early to begin to adjust our timing.

Our hotel had a nice rooftop bar and deck where we met a nice couple from Argentina. I was able to use my very bare-bones Spanish to offer to take a picture of the two of them without sparking an international incident. I also took these pictures before we went out to Piazza Navona for our dinner.

The plaza is a busy place and is great for people watching. It is also great for food. Joe never chooses calamari for himself but is always agreeable when I suggest we get an order to share. This particular batch was crispy, tasty, and just right. Back home it was Gene's Birthday, and I thought of Honna, Judy, and Helen and how often we'd observed this date with calamari!

I have a major passion for risotto and always order it if it's on the menu. Especially in Italy. It's more of a northern Italian dish than a southern one, and in the area where we were it was hard to find risotto other than a shellfish type (I have a shellfish allergy). We found this fantastic mushroom version for dinner that night and I was happy as the proverbial clam!

After breakfast on Tuesday, we went directly to the Pantheon. This was my third time there and it was early enough that there was hardly anyone inside! What a treat. I think the reason that this building moves me so much is because it is a reminder that long before Christianity, people knew there was god.

This is the third time I've taken a picture of the oculus. If I were to return, I would undoubtedly take another.

In the small piazza outside the Pantheon were gathered interesting people, including what seemed to be a drawing class. The weather was lovely and we just enjoyed being in Rome.

We stopped in at a nearby church and on the way out, Joe was inspired to comment, "That must be a REALLY important church. It has TWO beggars!"

And then it was time for lunch, a couple of errands, and the ride out to Civitavecchia, the port where Star Flyer was waiting for us.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

On Display!!!!

So, on Sunday afternoon, despite the jet lag (I promise the travel post is coming soon!), I really, really wanted needed to go over to the Mancuso show at Oaks. My Guild had a special exhibit at the show, and two of my larger quilts along with my Paint Chip Challenge had been juried in. Joe was happy for me and although the shipboard head cold had begun to impact him, he accompanied me. What a thrill it was to see my quilts on display! This was a first for me.

The Paint Chip Challenge. Mine is in the center. We had to pull two paint chip samples out of a can, add one color and neutral(s), and make a quilt that was no larger than 24" finished. Mine is called Saramanda because Sarah and Amanda pulled my paint chips for me. It is a Barrister's Block.

Fewer Than Fifty [Shades of Gray]

Gato Limpio; Joe's in the photo because he was of immense help with the design.

Meanwhile, at the big show in Chattanooga, the SSOBB quilts were on display, too! Alas, I couldn't be two places at once.