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sakon76: (Sakon)
Still doing the shuffle of recovery. I (mostly) feel fine, but I sound like the living dead. Last night was fortunately better, as I had a guild meeting. Where I was voted and sworn in as Secretary for the next year. On top of running the Block of the Month and a Nine-Patch Exchange and sometimes helping out with Quilts For Kids. As one of my friends in the guild observed, "if you want to get something done, ask a busy person." Well, I expect it'll be good for me.

I'm also pondering which quilts I might want to enter in the quilt show in a couple months. Of the ones I've made and still have, there are five that spring to mind as maybes: the black/orange crane quilt, Wonderful Husband's flag quilt (the show's theme is "As American As..."), Squiddle's dinosaur quilt, Squiddle's sunflower quilt, and I need to pull out and get quilted the top from the round robin last year, since the show would like all those exhibited together if possible.

I'm four books behind in my blogging for the year, and currently working on my fifth, Rilla of Ingleside. I read maybe the first half of Montgomery's Anne Shirley books when I was younger, but I never got to this one, and I think it's a good thing, because I don't think I'd've liked it then. Now, it's interesting and I'm liking watching Rilla mature. Though the baby she's taking care of keeps taking me aback when she mentions things like him being exactly on track, weighing nine pounds at four months of age. Um. My babies were almost ten pounds when they were born. ^_^;; And they don't even hold the family record! I don't think I've ever held a baby that small.
sakon76: (Sakon)
Squiddle has turned into a bit of a backseat driver. Yesterday, on the drive home from my parents', he kept telling me "Green mean go. Go, Mummy!" :)

One of the disadvantages of having joined a second quilting guild is that most months the meetings are back-to-back: second Tuesday evening, second Wednesday morning. That said, I'm now starting to feel like I'm "relaxing" into the second guild and acting as a part of it rather than just an outsider.

My first guild, however, is the one for which I run the Block of the Month. And this month I did another designed-by-me block, a nondenominational winter holiday of choice tree, decorations optional. And like the pumpkin block I designed two months back, all 30 of my printouts flew out the door! I had people taking pictures of the instruction sheet on the board, and was telling them the block should be up on the website soon. So, thus far, the seasonal blocks designed by me are popular!

Though it doesn't feel like autumn here. The last couple days, and today, the temperatures here in Anaheim have been in the 90s. So the house gets shut up in the coolth of morning and opened back up when the heat breaks. Yay for passive thermal management techniques. Today I need to pack the boys into the car and do a thrift store trawl, looking for a juice pitcher and some nice outfits for Squiddle and Jazzy, as our annual family photo is in a week and a half....
sakon76: (Sakon)
The Orange County Quilt Guild met last night.

Normally, there's about half a dozen people who do the Block of the Month, with somewhere in the range of 20-25 blocks being turned in.

Last night? My pumpkin block had sixteen participants turn in a total of seventy-one blocks.

Wah. Tea. Ef.

I think the November block (Bear's Paw, in browns) will not be so popular. But I'm thinking part of the popularity was (1) seasonality, and (2) varying levels of difficulty. Therefore, maybe a tree block for December, with different construction techniques and maybe some decoration techniques...?

(Also, my guildmates made and gave me 9" four-patches for a baby quilt for Jazzy. I've got 43 of them plus a label and a fat quarter. In a 6x7 setting, that's 54"x63"... without any sashings or borders. I think this will be a baby-to-teenager quilt, the way Squiddle's more recent quilts have been.)

Sold Out?

Oct. 6th, 2016 10:28 pm
sakon76: (Kitten)
Since taking over the Block of the Month for my primary quilt guild, I've started keeping track of how many people turn in blocks each month, and... honestly, I'm kind of appalled. Not including me, maybe six people participate. And of the thirty printouts I bring, maybe twenty get picked up by guild members. (Which means... fourteen people take the handouts and don't make the blocks?) I've been considering doing a little survey sheet asking what kind of blocks people would prefer to do, just to try and goose those numbers some.

Except it seems maybe I have?

When I picked up the Block of the Month board and sundry materials from the guild president this week... there were NO copies of the October handout left. Not even the color sheet that gets pinned to the board!

Given that the block in question is an original (albeit simple) design by me, this has me feeling a little chuffed.

Of course, the proof, as they say, is in the pudding, and come Tuesday evening, we'll see how many people actually turn in blocks....
sakon76: (Sakon)
Together with Wonderful Husband, I finally got the floors cleaned this morning. The whole house, swept and vacuumed. It's been needing it for a while. Somehow sweeping is harder work than it seems - I always end up sweating by the time I get the whole house done. But with two of us doing the work, I wasn't dripping the way I usually do. And we've been churning through laundry and tidying and generally trying to get the house and ourselves ready to have a new baby in a couple weeks.

As part of that, this afternoon we went back to Babies 'R' Us, this time with Squiddle in tow. And tried him in the seat of just about every double stroller they had.

He's two. (Okay, almost three.) And pretty much on par size-wise with his agemates. And he was too big for all of the strollers except one! And that one was one of the double-wides. (Not the one I was considering, though, which no place within 50 miles has in stock for us to try out.) There's no point in us getting a stroller for two children if it's decidedly not going to fit one of them! So we are back to dithering.

But, in the "done" category, I have finished and posted my Block Lotto quilt squares for the month, and made up the first of the sample blocks for my quilt guild's September Block of the Month. It's a pumpkin design I charted out by myself, and good job I did a test block before cutting and sewing everything - there was one mistake in my measurements.

In any case, it's late and my bed has clean sheets calling my name. (And the backyard apparently has a pair of raccoons, not calling my name. This is part of why our cats come in at night....)
sakon76: (Sakon)
Quilt guild last night, different quilt guild this morning, next month no quilt guilds at all because I'll have a new baby....

Took Allietare-by-Moonlight to the first one, it was well received. Amusingly, another of the sew-and-tell entries was another Bonnie Hunter pattern (Midnight Flight)! I don't think I've seen anyone else in the guild do her patterns before. But apparently Pam flew out to Mackinac Island earlier this year and took a class from Bonnie there. I also took the Allietare quilt to this morning's guild, but ended up not showing it. Decided I didn't feel like dealing with lugging it from the car and around the meeting, and it being only my second meeting with this guild, I couldn't remember how the sew-and-tell worked there, so.... Less hassle, less stress.

I'm slowly beginning to taste the differences between the two groups. The Wednesday morning one's membership skews a little older, and is larger and more active, which I attribute to most of the members being retired. The Tuesday night guild has been established longer, and kind of feels like there are people in it trying to shake it out of some ruts it's fallen into. Both are interesting, both do good charity work, both leave me inspired.

So this afternoon, rather than cut out anything for the Disappearing Cowboys quilt, I pulled out another of my UFOs (UnFinished Objects) - twelve Sunflower blocks (two made by me) that I won from my main guild back in May. I sketched out my setting design, then sashed the blocks with a brown remnant, a small piece of sunflower fabric I inherited from my grandmother, and framed it all with a bit of blue from the Costume College pile. I won't say I used every last scrap, but I certainly had to piece things to make it all come out! It was either going to come out cute or hideous. Fortunately, when I asked Wonderful Husband his opinion he seemed to like it.

So now I have a 48"x60" quilt top ready for batting and backing. And I've already pulled fabric from the stash for the backing. If I'm good, if I'm lucky, if I can get the floor cleared... maybe tomorrow I can get that and another UFO laid out and basted. Just in time for the weather to get hot again, of course!
sakon76: (Tsubomi)
Got the center of Allietare-by-Moonlight up to 2/5ths quilted last night. Onward! I also wrote up the preliminary directions for this next month's Block of the Month for my primary quilt guild. Now to do up a few sample blocks and see if there's anything I need to smooth out or clarify in the instructions. I may need to drag out a second sewing machine for this, since my main machine and table are all set up in quilting mode ATM, which means a hell of a lot of stuff got shifted and stacked on the ironing board so the table's clear and can support the weight of the quilt.

(I appreciate that Wonderful Husband doesn't mind my hobby and/or grumble about the space it sometimes takes up.)

I've also been going through the stuff I acquired at Costume College. Some stuff has gone in/by the basket I take to quilt guild every month. A couple Piecework magazines, however, have given me inspiration for a linen 1920s day dress for next year. There's a really nifty Egyptian embroidery design in one, and a smocking tutorial in the other. I'll need to look into acquiring sufficient blue silk embroidery thread.

I've also taken the four stained embroidered runners I got and soaked them in Oxyclean for about 30 hours. One came out completely rescued; on the other three the stains are now much lighter. So I've pulled out my Retro Clean and set those three soaking in that for another couple days. We'll see if it gets the stains completely gone.
sakon76: (Kitten)
Guild meeting went well. People seemed to like the sample blocks I'd done up for next month. Twenty-five of the thirty instruction sheets got taken. We'll see how many blocks get done up for next month, though. For this month's blocks, there was a grand total of thirty-two blocks and six participants. One of whom was me, and I sewed up nine of those thirty-two blocks.... (But since I'm now running block of the month, I'm not putting my name in the drawing to win any of the blocks.)
sakon76: (Sakon)
32 weeks in, I'm currently feeling less ungainly than I have been, and have slightly more energy - on the days when Squiddle doesn't pull his "energy vampire" act and steal it all for himself. Seriously, the toddler can bounce for hours on end! But what this mainly means is that lately I've been poking at gardening and tidying up the house a bit. Maybe this is the "nesting" phase?

Not much sewing going on, save for a couple of pillowcases to match my black and orange crane quilt, and, of course, doing what's been needed for taking over my quilting guild's Block of the Month. First meeting with me in charge of that is tomorrow night! I've written up the directions, had Wonderful Husband do a double-check for coherency, worked up five sample blocks in different colorways, and hit up the photocopy shop this afternoon following my dental appointment. I'm pretty sure I can handle this, but still, just a twinge of nervousness doing something new. Added on to which is the solid fact that I will not be at the September meeting, so I'll need to do up worksheets and sample blocks for a couple months out. But it's been fun so far, and honestly, getting to sew up blocks without the subtle added stress of "I may win these and therefore have to do something with them" is kind of liberating. It kind of feels like why I usually teach at Costume College. Spreading the love of a thing without having Yet More Stuff to deal with afterwards, if that makes sense.

Speaking of Costume College, I have arrived at the fact that I may not have any costumes this year. Between heat waves, energy-sapping toddlers and their in-utero baby brothers, I just haven't been able to face sewing clothing. And I think I'm okay with this. I'm going to go, take it easy, and enjoy myself. Kind of a last hurrah weekend before becoming the mother of two.
sakon76: (Default)
Not much better than a sound night's sleep with a clean body under clean sheets.

It's supposed to be ticking back upwards to "Too Bloody Hot" again the first half of this week, so waking early was a bonus. I can get stuff done while it's still cool enough to move. Planning to skedaddle down to my parents' later, though.

Did the Quilts For Kids meeting yesterday. The tubs of tops and backs and fabric... we couldn't get through them if we had a month of Sundays! But we got about a dozen layered for the guild members to quilt, and several kits done up for other guild members to sew together. And I got all the stuff for running Block of the Month, so sometime this week I need to look through that, consult against the idea spreadsheet I worked up, and do up August's block sample and handout.
sakon76: (Sakon)
Yep, as expected, Dr. Arora ordered a three-hour blood glucose test for me. Which needs ten hours of fasting beforehand! So my parents minded Alexander this morning while I took care of that. It involved: blood draw; drink bottle of orange glucola; wait an hour; another blood draw; wait an hour; another blood draw; wait an hour; another blood draw. It was half past one before I was free to go and finally have food/breakfast/lunch. Oddly, though, I wasn't actually hungry at any point. More just feeling like I should be hungry.

On the way home I stopped at the farm stand between home and my usual hospital and picked up the flat of #2 (smaller) berries I'd phoned and asked they put aside for me. They have the best berries. Tomorrow begins the annual jam-making!

Tonight was quilt guild. I got asked if I can take over Block of the Month, as the woman who runs that and the Quilts For Kids group and is Parlimentarian has suddenly been promoted and has to move to NorCal within a month. Apparently this happens every time she's Parlimentarian? Last time it involved her moving to Afghanistan for a year! I told the guild president I'd think about it and talk to Jill about what it involves. I think it's light enough duty that I could handle it, even with chibi #2 appearing in September... the only bit that might be tricky is having to get to the meetings about forty minutes earlier than I currently do.

And my parents are going out of town in a couple weeks, so they've asked us to kitten-sit. That will be a fun exercise in logistics, with two cats of our own and a toddler. But Squiddle was playing nicely (under supervision) with Rey today, so maybe all I have to worry about is how my two cats will react to the temporary interloper....
sakon76: (Sakon)
Went to the new quilt guild meeting this morning. Had a great time. The members were friendly (though I suspect at 39, I was the youngest person in the room - but then that's almost true of my other quilt guild as well) and the guest speaker was great. I wish I was able to take her class tomorrow! But (a) I hadn't cleared babysitting Squiddle with my mother, and (b) the class was full anyway.

I'd actually been to this guild before, something like fifteen years ago when was taking my grandmother to it. But that's a lifetime ago! The main reasons I hadn't been attending it since I got back into quilting were (a) daytime meetings, thereby necessitating child care for Squiddle, and I do not want to take my parents for granted in that respect, and (b) the fact that it's second Wednesday morning of the month meetings - and my other guild is second Tuesday evening of the month meetings. Which mean most months (though not this one) the meetings will be back to back! But I had a really good time, so I'm glad I'd decided ahead of time to pay full membership dues rather than just be a visitor/guest for my first meeting.

After that, and after lunch with my parents and Skyping my inlaws so they could see Squiddle open a package they'd sent to him, my mother, Squiddle, and myself went off to the Orange County Animal Shelter so my mother could visit and adopt a kitten she'd bonded with. "Her" cat was killed by a pack of coyotes a couple weeks ago. One of her neighbors has a security camera and caught it on tape. Never let anyone tell you there isn't wildlife in the middle of suburbia! But she was ready, and the two-month-old black kitten was active, curious, and friendly. Squiddle wanted to hold him, but we agreed that was a bad idea - he can pet the kitten (thus far nameless) when someone else is holding him, but not hold him his very own self.

Downside to the day: seem to've caught Squiddle's headcold from the other day. Or, at least, I have a scratchy throat, no energy to make dinner, little want to sew, and not overmuch desire to go to my writing class tonight. :(

ETA: Definitely sick. Not a good week for this.
sakon76: (Sakon)
Some days I can do all the things. Some days I can do few of the things. And some days, like today, I manage to do all the things and it makes me giddy because I did not think all the things were going to get done.

And since I got all the things done today, that means that tomorrow I get to play and go to a meeting of another local quilt guild. This guild meets during the day, which is the reason I've not gone before. But next year they're going to have a guest lecturer/teacher I would really like to take classes from, so.... My parents have agreed to watch Squiddle for me for a few hours while I test the waters.

Today was also Wonderful Husband's first tumble into the election process since gaining his US citizenship. Unfortunately, this is a busybusybusy week at work for him, which means very long hours, so he essentially had to go on his lonesome to vote as soon as the polls opened. :( Not the initial voting experience I wanted for him. I walked over to our polling place with Squiddle in his stroller early this afternoon. He fell asleep before we even got there, and stayed asleep when we got back and I transferred him into his bed for naptime. ^_^ Which was when I got all the remaining things done.

September 2017

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