Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Rest-Muse-Count Your Blessings

Ta-da! Finished piecing AND quilting the top I started at Libby Lehman's class at Asilomar last month. It's titled, "Count Your Blessings." One morning when I was walking the beach, I noticed a plaque on a rock that I must have walked past I don't know how many times and never noticed. It faces the ocean, and it says, "Rest - Muse - Count Blessings."  What a wonderful reminder!
So here is "Count Your Blessings!"  
OK, so I danced like no one was watching. My court date is pending.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Lowlights Reel

"The reason we struggle with insecurity is that we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else's highlights reel."  -Steve Furtick

This post is a behind-the-scenes. You all see the fantabulous end results and none of the struggles to get there. Who wants to read a blog about all the times you messed up?  I'll have some pretty pictures, please!

This weekend was definitely a behind-the-scenes reel. On Saturday, I took the shoe quilt to KiwiQuilts to baste on the longarm and to do some of the quilting. It would have been pretty embarrassing if I didn't have a secure sense of self (developed much later in life, btw.  Another favorite quote is Eleanor Roosevelt's - "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.") I couldn't even remember how to turn the machine on. I couldn't remember how to make it go, and the fabric I'm using was not cooperating, so it was hard to baste. In my defense, it has been since November since I used the machine, and the only time I had used it before that was a class two years ago, so I haven't developed any muscle memory. :)  People tell me when I teach class that I am so patient, and this is why. I know I am far from perfect, so it's much easier to be patient with someone who is learning.

Sunday we had planned to do gardening, but it rained, so it was a perfect excuse for Al to watch The Master's and for me to put the binding on "Autumn at Lost Mountain." When I took the quilt up from being blocked, despite all the great smooshing, it puffed up in the middle again and the border was wavy. I blocked it again, and when I took it up yesterday, still poofy in the middle, border still wavy. I'm not sure if that's because of the polyester in the batting or what, but I'm not blocking it again. I started putting the binding on, and my first corner is wonky, so that's a do-over, also.

So all in all, pretty frustrating...I'm headed over to Kiwi tomorrow to baste some more!  Next post will be pretty pictures (or at least pictures), but just wanted to share with you that I don't just sit down at the machine and churn out lovely results. Sometimes they are spectacular failures. Einstein once said that "Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid."  

Ladies, if a man says he'll fix it, he will. There's no need to bother him every six months about it.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Asilomar - "But I've still got some sand in my shoes..."

Remember that song from The Drifters in the early 60's? It was a followup to the hit "Under The Boardwalk."  Summer over, summer love over, memories over, but I've still got some sand in my shoes...

Had a wonderful week at the Empty Spools Seminar in Libby Lehman's class at Asilomar. There were about 18 of us in class, and we learned some great tips from Libby, who is also a Bernina Educator. The weather was fantastic, and I walked on the beach every day.

I actually added that little top rock, which is a lot harder than you might think. Just sayin'.

I was not happy when Aramark took over management of Asilomar a few years ago. You know, big corporate giant taking over management of "The Refuge By The Sea." But I must say, they have made so many nice improvements, and so far, still kept that unique small quality. First of all - SIDEWALKS! Previously pedestrians just shared the road with cars. I've never seen an accident, but I'm sure there have been plenty. Second of all - SIGNS! I can't tell you how much I have wandered around Asilomar looking for a building. A friend was going to meet me last week and she said, "You are going to have to come out to the street, because I am not driving around that maze." And they have maps (energy saving maps that light up when you walk by at night!) and directional signs (Scripps, this way. Lodge, that way.) Third of all - much better food, although that's up for debate. Usually by about the third day, I could not stomache the food at Asilomar and would eat offsite, but it is vastly improved in my opinion. When I made that observation one day, some of the women at my table said it was "homier" before. The recycling of food is hilarious, though...Pork Loin for dinner Monday night, Sweet and Sour Pork for lunch Tuesday. Steak for dinner Tuesday night, Steak Salad for lunch Wednesday. But they have vegetarian choices now, lots of salads, and well balanced meals. And new mattresses!  Don't get me wrong - it's still "rustic." No televisions, telephones in the rooms, wood floors that creak like my old bones...but at least it is rustic, and not just run down and decreptic.

So in class, we were able to choose from several of Libby's projects. I worked on the Pinata Quilt. In my quest to not have any more UFO's, I chose to work on a small version and do a larger version later. And if later never comes, I won't have yet another unfinished project. You work with the circular attachment to achieve this result. I didn't finish putting it together, but here it is on the design wall:

We took the red eye coming back Tuesday night...I'm still trying to recover from that! The sunrise was beautiful...hard to get a good shot from the plane (especially after you are supposed to have turned off all electronic devices.)

I'll be home until the end of the month, when I go to the quilt show in Paducah for the first time. Good to be sleeping in my own bed!
What's the difference between a skinny quilter and a fat quilter? A skinny quilter comes home from work, sees what's in the refrigerator and goes to bed. A fat quilter comes home from work, sees what's in bed and goes to the refrigerator. - Joke told by Libby at Asilomar.