Holiday overload – let’s get back to Quilting!

As I go back and look over things, I notice that the pictures I posted last time do not seem to be there, which is a real bummer so I guess I’ll have to go do some editing and see about uploading them from my computer rather than email.  However, that won’t be today.

I have been doing some much-needed cleaning, okay, not really, but I’ve been getting ready to start reorganizing my sewing room since I got a new flat screen television for Christmas and that means that I can get rid of the entertainment center and move my desk and and and…well, probably a lot more steps that you’re not really concerned about.  Suffice to say, I’ve been standing in the middle of my room staring at the walls and the piles of stuff that have planted themselves on my floor while trying to figure out where they really should be as well as where I really want that television to go and how I want my desk set up. Tomorrow I will start to figure out what exactly is going to happen in there.  Right now I am saving for an Ikea closet.  If you want to see my inspiration, look here:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/athomesewing/  This quilter has great photos, responds to questions and details everything out so if you are also inspired by her sewing room you can have similar results at home.  Of course, if this room is not inspiring for you and you are still looking for good ideas a simple search for sewing room organization yields tons of pictures and inspiration.

Anyway, as I was standing in my sewing room contemplating  what steps I wanted to take, I noticed my Monkey Journal from last retreat.  After our discussion of this blog, I thought I had better take some notes as events at retreat can move rapidly.  I thought I would take the time to share them with you.  Especially since our guild newsletter is now out and directions for spring retreat registration are contained.  In March we’ll be creating some new stories for you.

Hattie lives with and cares for her 95-year-old mother, whom we refer to as Mother.  While we were retreating this fall Mother had called the butcher for some groceries to be delivered and said groceries failed to arrive.  Mother was also concerned regarding a problem with the screen door.  The butcher arrived the next day and we laughed that Mother may have convinced him to fix the problem with the screen door.  However, since he was late we also thought that she should have gotten some sort of discount or a larger cut of meat, or perhaps as one Monkey suggested, some free sausage.  Conversation then disintegrated into what a 95-year-old woman would do with free sausage….I don’t think I need to go any further than that.  Sometimes we are naughty Monkeys.

Hattie also teased us in emails while we were getting ready for retreat that she was now the proud owner of a dulcimer.  We begged and pleaded with her to bring it because I don’t think that any of us had actually seen a dulcimer up close and personal.  She did bring it with her and we managed to convince her to give us a little concert.  Ruby and Vera came out to visit and with all of the Monkeys present we managed to convince Hattie to play for us.  Ruby and I provided vocals as best we could and a cup was provided for tips.  We also put in some requests but Hattie was not up for The Red Hot Chili Peppers although we did manage to convince her to play Kumbaya.

 Hattie, Ruby and Vera with the dulcimer

 Hattie with her dulcimer and tip cup.

Hattie did put a disclaimer on her dulcimer playing, that as a beginning student she was currently “playing to the level of dirge” or perhaps that was Blanche offering some encouragement for more practicing.  We look forward to seeing what levels are above dirge.  Personally, I’m hoping for salsa or merengue.

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Anxiously Waiting

You would think that I am referring to Christmas.  The truth is I’m really referring to retreat.  I received a Monkey Email today from Hazel to be on the watch for our Guild’s newsletter that our retreat registration form for Spring Retreat should be inside.  There is a catch this time around.  At our last retreat in the fall, when we decided that we should have a blog, we were overbooked.  Seriously overbooked.  And there was a wait list.  I know what you’re thinking.  Ladies?  Seriously?  You’re going to a cabin in the woods to sew with your friends, what is the big deal?  Retreat simply is a big deal.  As big a deal as we can make it.  Bigger than Christmas gift giving with our families.  Okay, maybe that is overstating it a bit, but it is one of two times a year when we put everything else in our lives aside and bask in the glow of our Monkey-ness for 4 glorious days.  When retreat is overbooked that means there is a chance that one of us Monkeys may not make it to retreat for this basking.  Since there was soooooo much interest in the fall retreat we now have a new rule to follow.  That rule is that completed retreat forms and deposits need to be post marked by a certain day and not a day before.  Of course that means that there will be monkeys lining up at various post offices demanding that their completed retreat form and deposit be post marked and sent off immediately.  It will be Monkey Madness!  Madness I tell you!  Okay, I exaggerate again.  However, you can bet money that we will all have our forms ready and waiting to be mailed on the day in question.  For now we are just biding our time waiting for our newsletter to arrive with the retreat information.  For now we will have to be content with that.  Well, all of us except for Sandra Dee.  Her we will have to remind and probably print out the form and place it under her nose while we tap our watches and say “Get this filled out and ready to mail so you can make it to retreat!!!”.  That part is not an exaggeration.  Sandra Dee would even agree with me on that.

I’m not sure what my Monkey friends have been working on, I think that they will need some nudging to keep me informed about their doings while not at retreat.  For me, I have a quilt that I am getting ready to put a final border on and another that I just put a border on.  Let me add a couple of pictures.  Both are from the Cozy Modern  Quilts:  23 Easy Pieced Projects to Bust Your Stash by Kim Schaefer.

In the book this one was done in minty greens and browns like chocolate chip ice cream.  It was very striking that way, but I had a fat quarter collection that was coordinated and I opted to use lots of color.  It’s a much different effect.

In the book this one was done with browns/black in the center, tans and lighter browns for the middle and then creams for the outside.  Of course I opted to do things differently.  I do really like that book  And I’m willing to bet that I will probably make every quilt in that book.  Now, however, I am on the hunt for Hobo Quilts:  55+ Original Blocks Based on the Secret Language of Riding the Rails by Debra G. Henninger.  I bought it and brought it home…so it has to be there….somewhere…

Happy Holidays and Happy Quilting!