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Showing posts from 2015

Delving Into 2016

  New Years's Eve ..almost. So many people are getting ready to gather for festivities tonight (perhaps a nap before the partying begins, a new coif, shopping for Champagne?) that I almost always feel a bit out-of-step on this day. There was a time in my youth when I adored going glam (that's hard to imagine when I look in the mirror these days!), dusting off my formal wear and dancing shoes and chilling not one but many bottles of fine 'champs'. I used to look forward to see how my dates formal attire would look on them too. It was, at that point in time, a festive occasion. Not for the first time this year have I wondered if the holiday season is really fit only for the young.... Somewhere along the line my idea of a good New Years Eve became curling up with a good book and getting into bed by 9pm - about the time that my home states (New York and Connecticut) were watching the glittery ball fall in Times Square. I was never much of a reveler - truth be told. I wasn&#

Respite: Taking A Cue From Tilly

Respite —noun 1. a delay or cessation for a time, especially of anything distressing or trying; an interval of relief: to toil without respite. 2. temporary suspension of the execution of a person condemned to death; reprieve. This is what spouse and I are doing this year about the holidays. We are not being grinches or grouchers, but we are taking a sabbatical and enjoying a respite; stepping back and "not doing" rather than doing. I was curious to see how it would feel to "not do" during this time of the year and it feels a bit "out-of-step" certainly but, more to the point, it is a relief to be able to simply be in the relative here and now of the "everyday" watching the world swirl about and hurry on around me. I admit that I have become very disenchanted with the hyper- commercialism of the holidays, but it feels like more than that. As I get older I do tend to think more about memorable holidays past and, as could be expected, many of m

If At First You Don't Succeed

I made this quilt - " Smitten", designed by Jen Kingwell, to overcome any lingering fear of "Y" seam construction. I thought that it worked well. Recently the "project that has no name" included a couple of "y-seam" blocks. The first came off without a hitch- the second, however, gave me a few fits. Basically the center square is fitted into the block with y-seams ....sounds simple enough. This was my first, machine sewn, block. It worked, the size would have been right,but I did not like the colors and it wasn't all that good so I never even finished it My second try...not bad...not great. Machine sewn. A bit too wonky for my taste. I may keep it...or may not. Another machine attempt that, once again, looks okay..it's better....just not great....not perfect......but I'll keep it. Finally, I decided to give hand sewing this block a try. Yes, it took a bit longer, but not all that much when I take into consideration the

Modern and Traditional Playing Well Together

One project that I am working on is one that I cannot say much about at this point. The blocks, at least at this early point, are traditional blocks while some future blocks are quite unique. I wanted to do something different...as in using a non-traditional fabric selection- but then decided that I might as well make a second, more traditional, version as well. That helps me use up some of my collection of reproduction fabrics as well. For the less traditional version I have chosen a selection of fabrics from Parson Grey, Marcia Derse, and Malka Dubrawsky. For the traditional look a lot of my collection is by Judie Rothermel. I love seeing how differnt the effect is!               Posted with Blogsy...a great little app for IPad...c2015 mzjohansen musingcrowdesigns

Making A "Carry On Travel Bag"

A good friend has, once again, chided me for being such a laggard with posting. Time seems to move along at warp speed sometimes and I confess that I do forget. Most of the time it's more because I don't feel as though I have done anything that new or interesting... Last Spring I cut out pattern pieces to make " The Carry On On Travel Bag ". I had owns the pattern for some time and had looked forward to making it, but quilt projects and clothing endeavors took first place in my time commitments and the Carry On Bag languished in a corner. I finally decided that I wanted to put the "finished" stamp on this project before the end of the year and so I set to getting it done. I did buy the finishing kit for the bag...it makes it so much easier to have everything that you without having to hunt all over the web for long zippers, hardware and the nice acrylic bottom. The first thing that had to be done was to quilt the fabrics. I chose to use two differ

Gifts Of Friendship That Cross The www Bridge

For many years I moved a lot for business when I worked for airlines...9 moves in 10 years and all, ostensibly, for better jobs and better wages. What I missed out on during those years was being able to put down roots and with roots, of course, come friendships. As I look back on those years I question if all of the moves were worth it. Hindsight is 20/20 of course and it all made sense to me at the time (yes, I can be a bit bullheaded and obstinate at times!). Those years did give me a much greater appreciation for friendships though and, perhaps, that is one reason why I treasure the friends that I now have so very much. In the end, I think, life is about family and friends and not so much the career or the money. I have only a couple of enduring friendships from that period of my life - one who like my "other half" and the sister that I never had...so for that I am most grateful. The Internet is a great and mighty entity - one that I would not give up very willingly now t

An Intriguing BOM From Land Down Under- Or "Material Obsession" By Any Other Name

I decided that this coming year would be devoted to re-engaging in my love for hand appliqué. To that end I fell in love with this pattern, called Sweet Surrender, designed by Susanne Cody and sold by Material Obsession (the well known shop and home of Kathy Doughty) in Australia. In order to save just a bit on the high cost of international postage I opted for shipping every other month...so I just received two months in this first shipment. The fabrics that are included are shown below...in their just unpacked bags! Typically, I am not a huge fan of BOM's. I always seem to want to tweak patterns -if not downright diverge from them- and I often prefer to use my own fabrics. That being said, I was VERY curious to see what fabrics would come from the 'land down under' and so I ordered the BOM..figuring that I could always choose to use- or not use what was sent. Material Obession does a great job with their BOM's. Directions are clear and well written. Fabrics are well

India Flint and September Gone

Our classroom Caution! After a long quiet spell, this is a long post so, if you want to, have a cuppa and enjoy this glimpse into a workshop with India Flint....after a brief prologue! I have done it again! Failed as a 'faithful news updater'. Where did the time go? Once again a gentle push from a friend alerted me to the fact that that time had slipped through my fingers and an update here was sorely needed. September was an unusually busy month for me. Among other, smaller events, September featured an annual quilting retreat to Cle Elum, Washington. It's a beautiful spot in the mountains and the scenery always provides a nice Autumnal counterpoint to our lowland views. A week after I got back from there, my friend, Janet, and I headed to a neighboring island (Lopez) for a magical three day workshop with India Flint. It would have been wonderful if we had been able to just commute to and from each day, but the Fall Washington State Ferry Schedule meant that it wou