Monday, November 30, 2009

O, November!

Early this morning, I read this sentence on some blog or another (I thought it was Gretchen's blog but do you think I can find it again?). Anyway, it has stayed with me all the day:

"November, why are you leaving already; you just got here!!!"

A glance at my calendar showed that already I have too much scheduled for the current week, let alone looking at the next few. I made a few adjustments. I wasn't sure if it helped or not.

I went to work and looked at all that needs to happen in the next three weeks before we have our winter break. It seemed impossible.

Apparently I wasn't the only person feeling this way. At our administrative team meeting this afternoon, our head of school suggested we take time for individual reflection and then paired sharing. He gave us small papers with the queries for reflection and we each took ten minutes alone with them. Then we were paired with another member of the team and took turns sharing. I received the gift of being paired with a lovely man who is, himself, a former head of school, and in the best position of any of the team to understand my particular role and the stresses it brings right now. Sharing with Jon and then listening to his story was one of the best things that happened to me today.

Perhaps the queries (or some modification of them)could be helpful to you, if you are stressing about the next few weeks and all that lies ahead. I thought I would share them with you. I'm also sharing my responses to one of the queries.

--What is the story of the next several weeks in my professional role? What lies ahead?

--What do my constituencies need and what would be helpful to them?

--How do I stay mindful at a busy time? How do I keep anxiety at a minimum?
...Eat the spinach first; that is, do my less pleasant tasks early in the day and not let them wait.
...Set priorities for the next three weeks now, and check them daily to see if they are still accurate and what progress I'm making.
...Be flexible.
...Absorb all that I can from a professional meeting I'll be attending on Thursday and Friday.

--How can I move from a long to-do list to a simpler idea of what needs to be done? For example, "My next three weeks is all about [these two or three things]."

It is Advent, a season of reflection on so many levels.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Baby Shower

Today my sister was lovely enough to host a baby shower for one of my two pregnant daughters-in-law. This one was for my older son's wife. To the left is a picture of what I gave her.

You probably are thinking that it doesn't look very new. And you are right. I picked it up in 1968 at the PX when we'd been married a year and believed that we wouldn't be able to have children (not that we could have afforded any then, anyway). I bought it and hid it away in my underwear drawer until September of 1974 when I brought it out for Tom to wear home from the hospital. He and two other babies wore it and I packed it away again, not quite sure why. I found it in the attic a few weeks ago and thought Someone Else might get some wear out of it.

I also gave this quilt to the expectant mom. I love these happy animals who were part of a farm block swap. I made the crow and the rooster and the sheep in the middle. I believe Karrin made the pig and Desertsky the cow. I don't know about the others. This swap was pretty many years ago and yielded one or two other baby quilts. I was partial to this one and -- again -- packed it away for someday. I made other quilts for Sammy and Carrie when they were born and I imagine I'll make plenty more grandchild quilts.

But this one, I thought, was just right for the child of the quirky guy who wore the blue and white kimono, a baby we are so looking forward to meeting on or about April 10!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Just a Couple of Moos

It's the COW (Cranky Old Woman) here, with just a couple of annoyances to report:

. . . calling Bank of America about a credit card issue, being put on hold for 5 minutes and 48 seconds (yes, the telephone has a second counter on it), listening to short bursts of loud, unpleasant music interspersed with marketing messages, before finally being connected to a customer support rep who was considerably less than cordial
. . . the woman ahead of me in the 15-items-or-less lane yesterday who had 27 items in her cart
. . . marketing people who call the school and asking for the head by name (and often a garbled version of his name), demanding to talk directly to him about products they are selling. One of them this week told me, "We are required to speak to the head of school." Well, honey, I'm not required to let you do that. Another: "It's our policy to deal directly with the head." Guess what -- we've got policies, too. I could never be a sales person.
. . . companies who waste paper by sending me one catalog per week
. . . similarly, companies I deal with on the internet who send me too-frequent emails asking for more business. I mean, like really, who needs to buy dishes three times per week?
. . . parking lot rudeness at holiday time -- oh, peace and joy to you, too!

Okay, with that all out of my system, I get to the real business of the day: To say how thankful I am that a few years back "with just a bit of trepidation" (as my "About Profile" used to say, this sixtyish wife, mother, grandmother, Lutheran, thinker and quilter entered cyberspace . . . . and oh, the friendships she found there! Thanks to all who visit, who read, who comment, and who return. Thanks to all who blog wonderful blogs that enrich my life. And thanks, especially, to Frank, whose thoughts and poems touch me so deeply. If you haven't see his new blog, you might want to.

Blessings to all this Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Endangered Species of Vegetable?

Well, I had to go to three different stores before I was finished. I had to work on Sunday afternoon, so got to take this afternoon off as comp time. What a great deal! The stores weren't crowded, the lines weren't long, and the parking lots weren't life-threatening.

First I went to the little local grocery store where I generally do most of my shopping. Got my bird and most of the other things. But not the parsnips.

I needed some goat cheese crumbles and some better looking parsley, too, so I went over to Whole Foods, thinking that would finish things. I got the parsley and the salad fixings and the crumbles and while I was at it I picked up a couple of scones. But not the parsnips.

So off I went to the dreaded Genuardi's. And viola! I walked into the door and there stood the manager who promptly inquired how I was and then personally escorted me over to the parsnips. And they were just gorgeous. All scrubbed and clean and with those stringy little tails chopped off.

Had already found my anjou pears at the first stop. So I think I'm good to go.

What am I going to make? Pear and parsnip puree. Requested by a very smart fellow for Thanksgiving dinner.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Ready for Thanksgiving?

When one works at a school, the question among the staff and the faculty is inevitable: "Are you ready for Thanksgiving?"

It's never clear whether the question means, "Isn't it great to be having 4.5 days off!" or "Are you cooking on Thursday and if so, have you hit the grocery store yet?"

The "are you ready" question returns in another month, but I'm not ready to go there yet.

My standard answer to the "are you ready" question is -- God willing -- "I'm where I should be." As in, right now, for instance, I've not bought my turkey or made any pies, but I've tidied the guest room, planned my menu, made my shopping list, and designated the time to go shopping before Wednesday when the parking lot at the store is a life-threatening adventure.

We do things differently at our place. Years ago, it became obvious that the best holiday of the year shouldn't be compromised with stress about whose turn it is to go where. Two of my children have in-laws within an hour of our home. And those in-laws do Thanksgiving dinner on Thanksgiving Day. And we do it on Friday. It's such a simple solution! Two turkey dinners for some people. No hurt feelings. No juggling of calendars. An extra day for preparation. Stores open that morning just in case.

Am I ready to stuff a turkey? To admire but not eat someone's punkin pie? To have our entire family together under one roof? To take the annual group photo for the Christmas card? Am I ready? Oh, yes! And as for everything else: I'm where I should be.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Dressmaking Interlude Concluded

Well, you know, I really enjoyed making this dress, but that doesn't mean I'm going to get back into the clothing sewing mode any time soon! I enjoyed it because I was making it for someone I love -- one of my [two] mommy-to-be daughters-in-law. This lady is a professional musician (yes, and every once in a while, we have her harp actually living in our home and can hear her practicing!) and people in orchestras have to wear long black dresses for performances.

I had this lovely black fabric that a friend had given me (not suitable for quilting) and a pattern left over from my daughter's pregnancy. I even had some lining fabric. So I had to buy a zipper and a package of lace seam tape. Took about a week to get it together, because it was a busy week on other fronts.

I like how it turned out. The fabric is soft. The style is simple. The zipper is pretty straight and so is the hem.

She'll be home on Thursday and we'll see how it fits.

The photographs are terrible. They remind me of something you wouldn't buy on Ebay. In actuality, the sleeves are the same length.

Now, back to quilting!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

We the Purple?

Oh, I've had another lovely weekend so far. Last night we went down to the local pub for dinner with our dear next-door neighbors, whom we've seen powerfully little of in recent weeks. I said to Maggie, "Maybe if we didn't live so far apart . . . we'd get together more often." Anyway, when we came home, we watched a Netflix and I did all of the fingerwork on the performance dress except the hem. This morning I got the seam tape on and tonight I'm going to handstitch that hem in. A good pressing, and it will be done.

Today I did mountains of laundry and started sewing the blocks into rows for the batik four-patch quilt. I wanted a name for it and began thinking "Power to the Purple" might be the name. Then later tonight I though perhaps "We the Purple." Am sort of up in the air on this at present. Could be that the real name hasn't come to me yet. I'm liking this quilt a lot.

You can see the start of some cabins. After I made that cabin for Marsha a week or two ago, I got to wanting some of my own. I have a great big Rubbermaid tub of batiks and plenty of black, so I cut a bunch of centers this morning and have been using this as a leader-ender project as I assemble Purple.

If you've been following this blog for a while, you already know the trouble I have with leader-enders. They tend to develop strong personalities and get kind of pushy, demanding to be made into real projects, not just insignificant leader-enders. Usually they prevail. Not this time, I hope. I gave those centers a good strong talking-to today and I think they are going to behave.

If not, I imagine you'll be among the first to know.

Friday, November 20, 2009

COW Here

Somebody at work pointed out that there's a support group for everyone but us. There are the people of color, the Jewish families affinity group, the group for gay, lesbian and transgender issues, among others. "What we need," she said, "is a group for Cranky Old Women." "COWs," I responded. "COWs."

So I got to thinking that perhaps when I feel a rant coming on, I could put a picture of a cow in my post, and then people would know that it doesn't contain any quilty, family, or theological content, but rather is just a Cranky Old Woman holding forth.

Got it?

Good. So here's the cow again. And here's the diatribe:

I'm thinking that the blog world I frequent is changing a bit. And here are some the things that are peeving me right about now.

Blogs that are are done by people who work for fabric manufacturing companies. They're nothing short of free advertising for Moda, etc. It took me a little while to figure this out, and then I took the links out of my Quilters list because I'm not on the payroll.
Blogs that have giveaways with all manner of traffic-generating conditions (you know, earn one entry for leaving a comment, earn another for posting, earn yet another for making a link, yadda yadda). Why would anyone want to sift through a couple of hundred comments from people who are only interested in the giveaway? Isn't blogging about developing cyber-relationships with other bloggers?
Blogs that, again, involve generating revenue for a company or designer. Right now a lot of quilters are participating in a project that involves purchasing one pattern per month from a certain designer. Lots more free advertising for the designer as the participants post their finished projects on their blogs. Because lots of us see what others are doing and imitation, you know, is the sincerest form of flattery.
And then there's the endurance test. Some group of designers somehow banded together and set up some kind of a triathlon where for twelve consecutive days one has to visit a whole slew of blogs on a daily basis and leave a comment on each one, each day, in the hopes of winning some prize or another. Makes me tired just reading about it!
Okay. 'Nuff said. End of rant.
Cranky Old Woman, Near Philadelphia, Signing Off (for now)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Odds and Ends

. . . Whew! They're all assembled, wrapped, and ready to go in the mail (ITM, as Honna would say). Back in the middle of the summer, when Advent seemed light years away, Fiona and Jo came up with the idea of an international swap where we'd gather 24 small gifties, one for each day of Advent, plus one larger hand-made giftie for Christmas and send these to our partner. They should have gone ITM a week and a day ago. Mine are going today. To someone who lives about as far away from Philadelphia as possible. I hope you are pleased, partner!

. . . The other evening I went to a meeting of a newly formed group not far from my home. I'd heard it was a new quilt guild. By gosh, the women were nice! Earnest, generous, and eager to help newbies learn to sew and quilt. It wasn't a guild, but rather a sewing group. A great idea. Just not what I'm looking for at the moment. Last night Judy and I went to the guild we've been attending for several months now. It's friendly, welcoming, full of interesting and diverse programs, and 45-minutes-drive each way. I don't believe I'd do it without Judy's wonderful company on the road. Membership in the guild is limited. We're on the waiting list. And hopeful.

. . . Our granddog leaves today. Perhaps then Bo, who's hidden himself in the lower level for ten days, will venture back upstairs and start speaking to us again.

. . . Oh, and please go here. Kim's a blessing to my life. Perhaps she will be to yours, too.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Guest Blogger

I don't know if I mentioned to y'all that while A&A are trying to sell their condo, the grandparents-to-be are earning points by keeping their dog. Zoe's been with us for a week and a half; tomorrow night we hand her over to the other "grandparents." To keep A&A from missing her too much, each morning I send a brief email report of how she's doing(just fine), what excitement she's found on her evening walks with Joe (deer, skunk, cat), and how her appetite is (superb).

This morning there was an experience to top them all. And I can't improve on the reporting. So here's my husband, in his own words:

This can't wait for Nancy's Joe & Zoie Adventures.

This morning we were out looking to see what we could find. You know we have seen deer frequently; the other evening 5 and last night a single deer was silhouetted on the crest of the hill. So this morning we went to see if the deer were bedded down near a spot we found them on Saturday.

We when down the trail, through the edge of the park, over the small bridge, into the woods and turned left. We both stopped periodically and look while we listened. At this point in the walk Zoie stopped smelling other dogs and she knew what we were about. We moved forward to the spot but found nothing.

Well, it was a morning walk and I had to get to work. So we went back out of the woods, across the bridge and through the edge of the park. Shortly after we were back on the trail to [our street], a fox came down the hill and stopped on the trail about 75 yards in front of us. We both saw it and we just stood still. The fox sat scratched itself, looked around and walked the path toward us. It stopped again, scratched again and then came closer. Zoie and I were standing in a shadow of a tree, I had on a bright yellow jacket that blended into the tree, the wind was blowing across the trail so the fox didn't smell us, and the sun was bright into the fox's eyes so we were hard to see. The fox came closer; we were both frozen, I tightened the leash very slowly, and we waited. The fox trotted along checking out one side of the path then the other (the path is from six to eight feet wide in that section).

The fox was redder than others I have seen in the area Its tail was flattened and thin, not bushy, and darker red, with a white end of about five inches long. The still came toward us, we were frozen there for at least five minutes. At a distance of about 60 feet, half the width of our yard, the fox stopped. He just looked at us, he appeared to squint at us in the bright sun. He blinked his eyes and he looked, we didn't move.... Around his eyes there was darker hair and he watched us. After a while he moved back several steps and stopped to look at us again. Still Zoie didn't move. He walked back to the other side of the trail and looked back again. Then the fox hopped into the woods, Zoie jumped and pulled the choker collar was tight and she could hardly breathe but still she pulled! We moved up to the spot where the fox had gone and smelled and looked and, of course, pulled some more, but he was gone and we couldn't believe what had just happened.

I wonder where Zoie will want to walk tonight.

Joe, Near Philadelphia

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Lovely Weekend

Oh, it's been a lovely weekend! I did so much sewing! And we did other wonderful things -- dinner on Saturday at our favorite restaurant in Chestnut Hill, movie this afternoon followed by Jules Thin Crust Pizza, and then more sewing. I tell you, it's been splendid!

In the purge of a couple of weeks ago, I unearthed a batch of bordered four patches that I'd made from a pair of Bali Pops. I put them up on the wall with the hope of getting them together soon. Going to cut setting triangles out of Kona black and then use scraps to make some sort of a border beyond that; we'll see how it evolves. I'd like to think that Wanda would like this project . . . .

The other thing I've worked on is -- gasp -- a dress! A few years ago, a friend in real estate was cleaning out a house she'd sold and came across a partial bolt of some lovely black fabric. It's kind of a thick rayon, but I'm not sure at all what the content actually is. It is plain black and on the dressy side. Well, one of my pregnant daughters-in-law is a professional musician, and she's going to need a long black dress to wear for performances. I can't imagine how much she'd have to pay for that, if she can even find it. I had patterns left from making some things for Sherry and for a friend's daughter when they were pregnant, and one of them just happened to be a simple v-neck, longish-sleeved long dress. I've been working on that and am at the point of setting in the sleeves, and that's not something I can do on black fabric at night. So tomorrow afternoon when the light is better, we'll give it a try. So far, all it has cost me is a zipper!

The movie we saw was "Amelia," and we both liked it very much. I'd known nothing about her, and learned a lot.

And now it's time to go into the living room and return to the hand quilting of the table runner I'm finishing for a Christmas gift.

Because this lovely weekend isn't over yet!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Block Six

After a week that was both stressful and exciting on many levels, it was nice today to have no commitments, no obligations, no nothing. Uncharacteristically, I stayed in my jamas until eleven o'clock, and sewed much of the day.

The latest block from the FQ Mystery project came and I spent some time today putting it together. It's not my favorite from this series, but it was easy to make and it is done!

During last weekend's purge of the studio, I came across a batch of simple bordered four-patches I'd made from a couple of Bali Pops and today I stuck them up on the wall. Himself has decreed that all they want for setting is black, and black we have, so that is likely tomorrow's effort.

And now, gotta go. We're going over to Chestnut Hill for dinner.

Nice, nice weekend. And only half over!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

With My Nose?

According to family legend, some matriarch reportedly said, "If you sew on Sunday, you'll pull every stitch out with your nose!" I've no idea just how this would be done, but it sure isn't a pretty picture, now is it? Oh, those old-time Methodist rules and regulations!

I spent most of Saturday cleaning and organizing my sewing studio. It was quite the mess and as of now, it is a real pleasure to be in. Once I got it pretty close to the way it should be (there are still a couple of baskets to be dealt with), I settled in to sew. And it continued on Sunday.

One of my monthly group mates, Marsha, sent the lime center square and the starry white and asked for a bright log cabin with the final layer being blue. Golly, this was fun to work on. I hope Marsha is pleased and I'll be eager to see her finished project -- I bet it will be stunning.

Another group mate, Anne, sent a brown CW print and asked for a 6" nine patch and a 6" pretty block. I was glad I had some CWs to draw from to fulfill her request.

Finally, Christmas is coming. I pieced a couple of table runners using William Morris scraps and a particularly fine WOW for gifts. The second one is on the wall there, and the first one is layered and pinned and is in the living room where it is about one-half hand-quilted. You should be able to click the picture to enlarge it and have the full benefit of that truly yummy white.

There's some peculiar satisfaction in finishing up these little mini projects. And now I'm off to sharpen my nose. Just in case.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Rouenneries Resolved

Well, the jury is in and the decision is made and the verdict is rendered... My Rouenneries will become Moda Lissa's Ocean Waves quilt, and I'll start it in January. I bought the magazine with the pattern on Sunday, and I'm going to put the yardage that I need to supplement the FQs on my Christmas wish list.

Now don't go expecting to see the quilt in February, friends. This is an intricate pattern for me, and it will take some time.

Which is a good thing because by and large, for the most part, I'm currently not interested in "quick quilts." I'm interested in projects that have detail and take time.

There were many great ideas submitted, and the winner is Di whom you can meet here, where she shows other shots of the quilt. Di wins a FQ or two -- so, Di, please send me your postal information as well as your preference among: Batik, William Morris or surprise for your FQs.

Di's FQs, Miriam's journal cover, and a couple of other things will be going to the post office at the end of this week along with my Advent Swap parcel.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Lest We Forget

She's been uncharacteristically ordinary of late, our Sarah, doing next to nothing even slightly mockable. I don't know what this is about, and prolly Helen doesn't either.

But, in one of the finest pieces of writing I've read recently, Matt Taibbi reminds us of just who this woman really is and what we should keep in mind as she readies her campaign. You can read it in its entirety here.

I think my very favorite part is the line that says, "Nobody understands this . . . quite like Palin, even if she doesn’t actually understand it in the sense of someone who thinks her way to a conclusion, but merely lives it, unconsciously, with the unerring instinct of a herd animal."

Is that splendid or is that splendid?

Thursday, November 05, 2009

I Get by with a Little Help from my Friends

And right now I could use a little help.

It's those Rouenneries. I've fondled and admired them. And fantasized and unfolded.

I still don't know what I'm going to make from them! And I'd love to get working on whatever it is going to be right after Christmas.

So, friends, how about helping me decide? Send me a link to your favorite quilt that uses only fat quarters (except for borders). I've got about 40 of 'em. There's a prize in it for somebody. A fat quarter or two, of course.

But not Rouenneries.

No way.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

In Mysterious Ways

We've decided it is time to clean up and reorganize our "lower level." On Monday evening I was puttering around down there and came across a great big box of papers. I wasn't sure what they were, so I pulled out a pile of them and started to read.

Years ago, when I was in my forties, I felt called to a vocation as a hospital chaplain. It was to be a long and complicated process, beginning with earning a college degree (not an option for girls in the family I grew up in), then four years of seminary followed by three years of serving a congregation as a pastor, before a person could be considered for "specialized ministry." In my final year of seminary when I was serving as an intern, I knew that I was not called to be a pastor to a congregation and it seemed to me to be immoral to use a congregation for my own purposes. I left the internship and the candidacy process, finished my M.Div. by an alternate route, and wondered what the future held.

I decided that since hospital chaplaincy was where my heart lay, I would pursue additional units of clinical pastoral education (CPE). During that time, my denomination opened another way to chaplaincy -- through the diaconate. I applied to enter this program, which was in its infancy. At that time the head of the candidacy committee for our synod was a very difficult and power-hungry woman who was infamous for zeroing in on one or two candidates each year and making their lives miserable. She never understood my rationale for having withdrawn from the pastoral track, and when I applied to the diaconate, she insisted on a complete psychological evaluation and starting all of the steps over from the beginning, even though I had been months from ordination two years earlier.

The diaconate was denied me.

As I looked through the papers on Monday night, I came across verbatims of hospital visits, theological reflection papers, and other writings from the four CPE units that I completed. Reading through them, I was struck by the fact that they represented solid work. They were well-written and were evidence of good ministry and earnest learning. I couldn't remember some of the patients that were involved. But I began to have a feeling of, "Golly, I really did accomplish something. I did some good for some people who were hurting. I brought God into the hospital setting." I felt happy. The last paper I came across was the psychological assessment, pointing out all of the myriad reasons that I was unsuitable for this work. It was horrible to read it again, and I wish that I hadn't.

On Tuesday morning I felt sad as I went about my work at school. The things in the assessment stayed in my mind and although I did not feel that the description of me was accurate in several of the sections, I wondered if, in fact, the psychologist had been right and I was wrong. In the midst of all of this, a family member phoned with a problem, and although I listened and supported, I felt like I wasn't doing enough. The warm, fuzzy feeling of the evening before was gone and replaced by an awful self doubt.

Around mid-day an email popped up in my inbox. It was from our parish administrator, saying that the pastor was on vacation, that Beverly R had been hospitalized, and would I be able to do a hospital visit. It has been a very, very long time since I last received a request like that.

After dinner, before I left for the hospital, I told my husband about my experience of Monday evening and how it had spilled into Tuesday morning. He was so affirming, saying that he knew I had been called to that ministry, that I had done good work, and that the psychologist was trained to look for pathology. He didn't add it, but I know both of us were thinking, "particularly after hearing from that horrible candidacy director."

I'd visited Beverly in the hospital eleven years ago, supporting her as she sat at her dying husband's bedside. I hadn't known her at all before that night, but out of all of the hospital visits I've ever made, that is one that stands out with clarity of detail. She's "eighty-one-and-a-half" now, she told me, and lives with a multitude of medical issues -- a heart condition requiring a pacemaker, a chronic gastrointestinal disorder, some ongoing pancreatitis -- and her mind is sharp as the proverbial tack. She talked and I listened, she talked some more and I listened some more; she recalled the last time we were together and said how much it had helped her to have me there that night. She said again and again how glad she was that I had come this night. We held hands and prayed together before I left. She thanked me for coming, having no idea whatsoever what she had done for me this night.


Monday, November 02, 2009

Journal Covers

This past weekend while we were at our quilting retreat, generous Pat gave a lesson on making journal covers. She used a technique from Wanda's tutorial (Wanda, BTW, is the most prolific quilter on the face of the earth; she even puts Turbo to shame!). I'd read the tutorial and perhaps even printed it out. But I never did anything with it.

Dear Pat brought along some small notebooks for us to cover, and she even brought a bag of scraps. I had a ball! I don't have a photograph of that first attempt -- I brought it home and gave it to my friend yesterday morning. But here is a picture of the next two. And there is another one made since that photograph was taken.

I'm loving this! And it all comes out of scraps!

Thanks, Pat!

Thanks, Wanda!


Yes. It is Rouenneries, and yes it is mine.

It's been months since we got our initial glimpse of this line of fabric. I remember that first peek and I remember thinking the fabric was utterly gorgeous. I still think it is.

And at the same time, I'm aware that I've succumbed to the media. Our appetite for this fabric has been teased and whetted consistently since that first appearance. Some fortunate folks somehow got advance packets of it and showed what they'd made on their blogs. Others designed patterns based on it. On-line shops tantalized us by promising it would be in their shops and -- consequently -- in our hands in October. Scarcely a week went by in all of those months without a reminder somewhere: Rouenneries is coming and you need it.

And then all at once, no sooner had October arrived, but the major suppliers, i.e., Hancocks and Fat Quarter Shop were already sold out. Apparently a very limited supply of the FQ packs was produced. Or somebody is hoarding them a la Cabbage Patch dolls, hoping to make a killing.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I almost never buy fabric without a plan for it. William Morris, as you well know, is the major exception.

This Rouenneries was here in the mail when I got home today. It is gorgeous. To swoon over.

Simultaneously, though, I feel that I've somehow gotten caught up in the media/marketing frenzy around this line.

And for me, that's not what quilting is about.

I'm just sayin'.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

My Soul is Fed . . .

. . . With Needle and Thread. Somebody used to have that on her blog. I forget who. She prolly still does have it.

My soul was fed mightily this weekend -- with needle and thread, yes -- but more so with fellowship, community, good food, and laughter. Not to mention a bit of wine.

Ten of us went off to White Oak for our semi-annual getaway. Nine have been going for several years together, and one was brand new: Pat, the blogger I knew briely in a previous life. Honna and I drove out together on Friday afternoon, stopping or a while at Sauder's, where I bought backing and batting and little else. By the time we got to White Oak, the wine had been poured and Pat had been welcomed and embraced.

It was one of the best White Oak experiences ever. I think that a little new blood (after being "typed and crossed" as the medical types would say to be sure of a good match) is an excellent thing once in a while. Kind of keeps the group from getting too comfortable, if you know what I mean. It was fun to share our schtick with the newbie and to get to know her. We sewed and we sang and we laughed and we danced and we solved most of the world's problems. Some of us watched the baseball game on Saturday, and if there were any Yankee fans present, they had the good sense to not mention it.

I was still fighting some sort of a cold (and so far am successful but every now and again the old froat starts to hurt), so I was only sewing at about 80 percent. But as you can see, I got my Peace on Earth assembled and am pretty satisfied with it. I wanted a different fabric or the lattice but since I was so late in hunting or it, it wasn't to be found.

Since I was doing the health preservation thing, I didn't go out to shop on Saturday as is my custom. So I didn't have the opportunity to buy something for my give-away. However, Pat taught us a new project -- we learned to make journal covers and I loved doing it. Here's my plan: I drew a name and my give-away winner is Miriam and if you'd like, I'd love to make you a journal cover and send it to you. You may choose from among William Morris, batiks, or hand-dyed fabrics. And if you already make journal covers yourself, just say so, and I'll head on out this week to the LQS for a store-bought give-away. Miriam, I look forward to hearing from you.

I'm still feeling mellow from all of the wonderfulness of the weekend. Himself was away this weekend, too; backpacking and camping with our expectant-father sons. They had a fine time, the weather notwithstanding.

Life can be very, very rich at times. Don't you agree?