Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Spotted This Morning

This was what I saw this morning. He was having a good time, splashing in the water of the lake. 
I didn't take the picture--I don't carry my phone while I run--but I wanted you to get to see him. He's called an anhinga. I love learning about new species. 
Have a great day! Learn something new! 

Little Stitches

My trip to the U.S. continues...hanging out in south Florida with Mom and Dad. Sometimes I feel a bit disoriented, being away from home so long and pretty much living out of a suitcase. I miss my own "space", my own real life. Some days feel surreal. I try to stay anchored; I start off the day by running a couple of miles, make sure to put in some quilting stitches every day so I feel like something was accomplished, stay in touch with the kids in Israel by Skype and Whatsapp. Somehow it's not the same as being there with them. Am supposed to go back at the end of May.

I finished quilting and binding the little Christmas Geese quilt that was pieced a few months ago. This was another Monthly Mini from Temecula Quilt Company. Even though there is nothing particularly creative about making these kits, it still provides me with the feeling that I'm making something, which in itself is rewarding. 
I actually ended up with two kits for this, so one will be to keep and one for a friend. It was a very cute pattern and fun to make. They sent me out a kit for another Monthly Mini--it's called Baby Baskets and is adorable--and I should receive it here in Florida this week. I'll be in Baltimore next week where my machine and quilting tools are, and hopefully I'll get a chance to piece it then. If I manage to get it done, I'll post some pics of course. 
Coming up: hoping to attend the meeting of a local quilt guild on Thursday morning. Can't wait! 

Friday, April 1, 2016

Finish It Up Friday

It's a good thing I brought along lots of little quilts to work on during my trip to the States. While I was in Baltimore, I finished up two more minis. These were both Monthly Mini kits from The Temecula Quilt Company. Sometimes it's just easier to have someone else pick out the fabrics and the pattern and all you have to do is sew it up. This Diamond in a Square was a quick project. I pieced it before leaving Israel, and quilted and bound it while I've been here. It was quilted by hand with #8 perle cotton, one of my favorite quilting threads. 
The other one I finished this week was a little bow tie quilt. 

At first I started quilting it by hand, then changed my mind and quilted it on the machine...that took about 5 minutes. I had cleaned and oiled my Bernina, which sat unused in Baltimore for way too long, and I wanted to see what she could do. Worked like a charm! Then all I had to do was finish up the binding. 
Have a happy weekend. Hope yours includes some sewing! 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Some Little Quilties

I've been in Baltimore almost two weeks now. Getting some work done in the house, which I haven't been to in over four years. It's still quite cold here (unlike South Florida, where Mom tells me it was 91 degrees yesterday), and lucky for me, a friend gifted me with a coat she's no longer using. Am seeing lots of old friends, and even made a new quilting friend. This was the funniest story--we went to this family's house for lunch, and somewhere near the end of the meal I noticed a gorgeous bargello-style quilt hanging on the wall behind me. It looked so familiar--I had seen the same quilt on a blog years ago and corresponded a bit with the maker. Turned out this was the same lady! She gave me a tour of the house, and there were stunning quilts all over the place. Wow wow wow!

I'm still working on the little projects I brought along with me. Some are finished, but there are more to do. The Little Churn Dashes are finished. 

So is my Little Crumbs quilt. 
I love it when something can be made with the tiniest of leftovers!

I'll be in Baltimore until Sunday, when I go back to Florida for a couple of weeks. Then on to Detroit for a family-filled Passover week! 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Sugar Bowl

Another beautiful Florida morning. Ran 4 miles this morning, no duck mashings! I love going out while the stars are still shining and the sky is pitch black. By the time I come back in, there's a little patch of light grey/blue in the east and the stars are starting to fade. 
While I run, I have time to think. Sometimes I recite some poetry I've learned by heart, or say some Psalms as I go. It's the nicest time of my day. 
Here is a shot of one of the little quilts I finished up since I left home. 
Sorry it's not such a great picture, and of course I left a thread showing on the top. But it's such a cute little quilt, I love it anyway. This is a very traditional little block called "Sugar Bowl". The pattern was in one of Gwen Marston's older books. I love the combination of red and white, it's so classic.
Getting ready to take Dad to a doctor's appointment this morning. Another day, another doctor. He's really doing pretty well, considering his health problems. I'm glad I was able to come and help out, and just be with Mom and Dad. It's the first time in 40 years that I don't have anyone at home, so I have the flexibility to travel without worrying about anyone. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Black Ducks

And yes, I forgot to mention the AWESOME humidity outside at 5:30 a.m. Indescribable. 
And also I neglected to mention the problem with these ducks. Either they are deaf or blind or just plain STUPID, because they can see you coming, they can hear you coming, and they just plain refuse to get out of the way. These ducks obviously have a death-wish. 

On the Road Again (Florida)

Yes, I'm back with Mom and Dad in Florida again. I'll be here for one more week, then I travel to Baltimore, where I'll be for a week, and then back to Florida! The weather here is hot already.Yesterday temps were in the 90s here in Pembroke Pines.  I go out to run at 5:30 a.m., before the sun comes up. When I go out, it's already in the 70s, but it's better than going out later in the day when temps are really hot. The water in the pool is starting to warm up, and Mom says it will be swimming temperature soon.
The only problem with running in the dark is...the ducks. The ducks here are BLACK and they park themselves right  near the running path for the night. I'm always afraid I will step on a duck in the dark and I'll get bitten. But so far that hasn't happened. So far. I'm being really vigilant so I don't step on one. On Friday I saw a mother duck with 4 little ducklings, 3 black and one yellow. I wonder where the yellow one came from.
In my spare time, when I'm not busy playing Mah Jong or going to doctors with Mom and Dad, I've been working on my little hand-quilting projects. Three are finished already. I hope I brought enough with me to work on. There are 5 more to go.
Here's the first one:
This is only 9" square. The little Churn Dashes finished at 3".I love them! The pattern was in my favorite quilt magazine, Sew Scrappy, which I think only came out twice. There were so many good patterns in each one of them. I wish they would put out another issue. Does anyone out there remember that magazine besides me? Both cover quilts were by Kathie Holland, and they were amazing! 
Okay, I need to put on my running shoes and get out there! 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Getting ready to go

Just got back recently from a visit with my folks in Florida, and I'm packing to go back for an extended trip. My Dad has Parkinson's disease and Mom can use an extra pair of hands to care for him. So I'm getting ready to leave. This involves closing up my house here in Jerusalem and putting together some hand quilting projects to work on while I'm traveling, and while I'm at my parents' house. I'll have some long layovers in airports, and I like to have some hand quilting while I sit.
This is one of the little quilts I'm taking along. The pattern was from Karen Costello Soltys' book, Bits and Pieces, and it was paper pieced-an easy way to make perfect diamonds. If you like making little quilts, you might like this book. I've already made four of the quilts in it, and hope to make them all one day.

Okay. Back to packing!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Winter is finally here!

Woke up to a cold Jerusalem morning. Snow mixed with rain was falling, and even Fester, our most intrepid cat, refused to go out in it. So I have stayed home from my quilting group today, and am puttering around the house, drinking tea and toasting slices of the sourdough bread I baked yesterday.
About two weeks ago, our granddaughter-in-law gave birth to identical twin boys in the 26th week. She has had a difficult recovery and was just released from the hospital last night. Baby #1 is not doing so well, and Baby #2 is progressing slowly. It is going to be a long haul. The babies are in a hospital up north, in the town of Safed, so we haven't seen them at all. My friend has a natural foods restaurant in Safed, so she is sending over good, nourishing food to our grandson and his wife, as are other people in the community there. Many prayers are needed for those babies!
My scrap bins were overflowing, so I decided to do a bit of de-scrapping and cut lots of 2.5" squares out of various scrap fabrics. I pieced them together following Lori Holt's Scrappy Crossroads tutorial. Most of the Scrappy Crossroads quilts I found online and on Instagram used white as the background fabric, but I had a nice piece of blue fabric that Etty gave me not long ago. I think it was actually from Rebecca, the long-arm quilter. It worked very nicely as a background. I made 6 blocks--they're a nice big 16" finished--and today I'm piecing a backing for it. Hopefully it will make a nice baby quilt for one of the twins when they are a bit bigger.
You can't see the whole quilt top, as I just hung it over the railing, but you can get the idea. I have to say that I used every kind of hideous fabric for this quilt, and I don't know where 90% of the fabrics came from. I'm telling you--I don't remember buying any of it! My friend Sara recognized some of the fabric as having been hers, some was definitely from the 1980s, and there may have been some really old feedsacks in there too. I think there were only a couple of fabrics I liked in there, but they look great all put together in a random scrappy way. That's the beauty of scrap quilting!
Well, I have to get back to my tea. Hope you are keeping warm, wherever you are!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

A New Granddaughter

Yesterday's post was so rushed, I forgot to tell you who that little baby in the picture was. Sorry about that! She's my new little granddaughter, Naama (pronounced Na-a-ma). Looks like she will either be blonde or strawberry blonde. She's a very yummy baby. Lucky for me, they live a minute away from my house, so I have had plenty of time with her already, just bonding. I am truly blessed, to be so close to my children and grandchildren. Just wish my Pittsburgh kids were here too. We're supposed to Skype tomorrow, but somehow it's just not the same.