October 26, 2007

Pansy Purse

My Pansy Purse - made from the pleated purse pattern in bend-the-rules sewing by Amy Karol. I didn't follow her embroidery pattern exactly, and I added a magnetic snap. But, other than that it's exactly her pattern.

It's definitely bigger than I usually carry, but perfect for our trip to Bulgaria. I need a bag big enough to carry my knitting, the camera and all the other odds and ends that I keep with me at all times there. Plus, I'll enjoy having such a cheerful bag with me. I mean, just look at the embroidery detail.But, now that I've shown you what I'll be carrying in Bulgaria, perhaps I should go pack for the trip, hmm? I mean, we leave tomorrow and the trip is three weeks. I might need something more than a cute bag to take with me.

October 21, 2007

Where are my sweaters?

A week from today we will be on a plane, headed for three weeks in Bulgaria. Everything about this trip is wonderful - lots of loving family, time to relax, great food, a beautiful country. Everything but the weather, for this Florida girl.

Today's forecast in Sofia? 43 (farenheit), feels like 39. 81% humidity.

October 17, 2007


Life is moving along smoothly, the earth is in it proper orbit and the sky is blue. Today is much like yesterday and tomorrow will be much the same. You think you know what to expect. And then the phone rings. Or, more likely in this modern age, the email pops up. Suddenly, the earth is wobbling wildly on its axis and you're not quite sure how to take your next breath.

Today I received an email that told me a dear friend, but one I talk to much too rarely it seems, has spent the last week in the cardiac ICU at the pediatric hospital. She's sitting at the bedside of her adolescent son, waiting to find out why there is fluid around his heart. Heart failure in a healthy 13 year old. My world was suddenly a very different place.

I can't even begin to imagine what her world looks like.

We spoke this evening. The fragmented phrases of two friends, trying to reach out across the unfathomable. Me trying to feel out how I can help, without asking anything of her – without asking her to put the energy in to thought. Her trying to tell me the hell she has been through, wanting to lean on me but not having the energy to string the sentences together to do so. My friend, who has tackled her life with such amazing strength and energy, so tired and scared, struggling to even speak.

It is so unspeakably unfair. This amazing woman who has fought so hard for this life for her and her children, and who has reached her goals with such good humor and grace. Who was married this year, to an amazing man who has wrapped her and her children in an amazing bear hug of love. Who told me just last month that she is pregnant with her fourth, and last, child. I know. I know it wouldn't be any fairer to another family. But this family... This family deserves a break.

I asked very few questions tonight, but I do know that she asked me to come this weekend, because the company helps. But not now, this weekend - the doctors expect to have him back on the regular floor by then. They had to put in chest tubes to drain the fluid from his heart and lungs. And it hurts, but it drained the fluid. So, I tell myself he seems to be turning the corner. The doctors wouldn't be talking about releasing him to the regular floor in a few days if he hadn't. Chest tubes may be painful, but they work...

So, I take a deep breath and feel my world steady a bit on its axis. Still I feel shaken by the reminder that tomorrow may not be anything like today. Bruised by the memory of my friend's fear and exhaustion. Profoundly grateful for the blessings in my life.

October 11, 2007

The Princess

That is my shawl - handknit with yarn Alex bought me the Christmas before we were married. Knit as a shawl for my wedding day, until I realized it contained mohair which would shed on my white dress and set it aside. It was finished on our honeymoon, and as a result filled with memories.

So, when the dog lays on it, I tuck it around her more snugly. She is the princess.

October 07, 2007

Rainy Sunday

A cup of tea and a lapful of knitting - the perfect way to spend a rainy Sunday.

October 03, 2007


From baby steps to leaping bounds - the Halloween quilt has been a dream. The top is pretty much pieced. I do think I want a border, but I have to buy some fabric for that. Darn.

I've named it Boo-tiful. This naming quilts is new to me, but I kind of like it.

Baby Steps

The backing for the T-Shirt quilt is ready. Last night I ironed, cut and pieced. But, it wouldn't be the T-Shirt quilt if I didn't have at least one issue. One long seam is all I needed to piece it, but the bobbin ran out a third of the way in. And the top thread held in the fabric anyway, so I couldn't tell I wasn't actually sewing anything until I got to the end. Weird, no? But, re-doing one seam, particularly when it doesn't involve my seam ripper, isn't that big a deal.

But, that little snafu aside, the two pieces of the quilt are now ready to be sandwiched with batting. I think I need to do some research on that, since I always really struggle with wrinkles. I read somewhere that you should use masking tape to secure the backing down and then smooth batting and the top on to it, only I can't figure out how you baste it once you do that.

So, progress is made. Baby steps.

October 01, 2007

Remember that flat of marigolds I bought back on September 13th and then left until I decided what I wanted to do with them? Know where they are today?


And my squash plants washed away, literally, in the weeks of heavy rains we've had since then. It looks like I was a bit early putting those in. And the fall watermelons suffered the same fate, but they were a long shot anyway. Now I'm just hoping my tomatoes don't feel over-watered, because I know they are pretty finicky about rain amounts.

On the other hand, I haven't had to drag out the hose in weeks either. And I still have a habanero bounty, though I am definitely going to have to look up more recipes using them. That or give everyone we know hot sauce for Christmas.


I seem to work in flurries of productivity these days. This weekend I finally finished the top of my dread enemy - the T-shirt quilt. Even the final borders were painful, and one row absolutely refused to line up. But, the piecing is done. I plan to find the little patches I saved that were too small to be squares and applique them on the crooked corners... and you'll never be able to tell. (I am assuming I will eventually find the darn things.)

S - if there was ever any question of my love for you, the fact that I persevered and will be presenting you with a completed quilt is proof enough. However, I have decided that I get a break before piecing the backing. (Truth be known, it's the ironing of it that I am putting off.)

Tonight, I sat down on the couch only to realize that I wanted to sew. I haven't felt a strong urge to sew in weeks, so I hopped up to indulge it. One I Pod (Nano) pouch coming up.

And, with that done, I still felt like sewing. My not-so-scary quilt has taken form, and I am really pleased with it. (The colors blend better in real life than shows up in this poorly lit photo.)

I've decided to add a fourth row to the bottom. (Or maybe to the top. We'll see which balances better.) The squares are 11" by 11", so right now the quilt is 33" square. I figure a 3" border will work well, but that's still 39" square. I want to be able to use my quilts on my couch, and I figure a little extra length will make that more comfortable. Especially since Gwen always makes me share.

And when I put the quilts and blankets away, she climbs in the basket with them.

(And then flees when I try to take a picture under terrible lighting conditions that causes the camera to flash and sputter. We'll catch her at it again and get a better shot - it's her new favorite place to sleep.)