Friday, January 29, 2010

Full Circle

Twenty-four years ago last night, my husband and I spent our last evening as just a couple. We cooked a favorite dinner, Szechuan chicken, and watched the news showing the Challenger disaster over and over again. Our first baby was 19 days overdue and I was scheduled to have labor induced the next morning.

We got up early the morning of the 29th, paused to take a picture of a very pregnant me in front of the fireplace, said goodbye to the dog and headed to the hospital on some snowy roads. The doctor assured me I would have the baby by dinnertime. Well, our son arrived not-so-fashionably late around 10:30 that night after a long, difficult labor and delivery. I didn't get to hold him for the first 45 minutes since I wasn't in such great shape. He was born on a Wednesday night and I couldn't get out of bed until Friday afternoon. The woman in the bed next to me had had her third C-section and was far more mobile than I. When I went for a Lamaze refresher course near the birth of my second child, I described my first experience to the midwife and she said, "Why are you doing this again?" (I laugh now, but you can only imagine what remark did to my already shaky confidence about giving birth.) All's well that ends well and we have now have a fine son who has been a joy to raise and has made us so proud.

And last night, we came full circle and were a just a couple once again. The birthday boy now lives on the West coast, our middle son is in college and our daughter is on a school trip for the weekend. In just a few months, it will be just the two of us most of the time. Thank goodness my husband is still my best friend. We're going out to dinner tonight to celebrate that along with raising a toast to our son's future.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Um, About That Challenge

Way back in August, I wrote this post about my 25-project challenge. The deal was not to buy any more charts until I had finished 25 projects from my stash. Well, I made it to ten projects before I caved and bought the charts you see in the picture. But it was all for a good cause--I acquired these for a total of only $6 at the "yard sale" my sampler guild held during its January meeting. A portion of the sales went back to the guild for programs and donations.

I know, I know, there are are some of you thinking "Why did she go to the yard sale if she was serious about that challenge?" Well, I hadn't been to a meeting since October. Couldn't go in November since someone was silly enough to invite DH and me to a wedding on that day. Also couldn't go to the December meeting,and thus missed the smalls exchange and the holiday luncheon, because my daughter was auditioning for district band that day. (She made it in and I had a good time exploring the quilt shop in a nearby town as well as seeing a gingerbread house display and getting some really great chocolate-flavored coffee, but that's beside the point). So, really, I was, like, duty bound to go to the January meeting. And anyway, if you check out my other blog (link in the sidebar), you'll find that one of my goals was to complete a 10-project challenge. Cross that one off the list!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Penguin Parade

Here's the first of three quilts I made for my children for Christmas this year. The pattern is Check It Out from Pressed for Time Quiltworks. Super easy and made with fun fabrics from the Polar Brigade line by Moda. This one is for my older son who loves penguins. He loved the quilt and now it's on its way to Los Angeles to be put to good use.

For the first two weeks of 2010, it has certainly felt like those of us in SE Pennsylvania were actually in Antartica. Despite a depressing rain yesterday, it was warmer and today is in the 40s. Feels like spring!! This is a three-day weekend for me and I've been enjoying the extra time. The Christmas decorations had all been gathered in the basement last weekend and I finally got them all boxed up and stored away again this weekend. I went out to the quilt store to pick up my Thimbleberries Block of the Month and while I was there, let myself be talked into the Thangles Buck-a-Block for this year (wasn't too hard a sell!!). I spent part of yesterday working on financial aid forms for my daughter, but couldn't do too much without some tax information. So I put on a book on tape (True Blue by David Baldacci--It's OK, but I don't think anyone in real life talks on and on about being in service to one's country the way his characters do.) and sat down at the Baby Lock. By the time two CDs were done, I had pieced six blocks for my Fall Frolic quilt and screwed up the courage to tackle the pinwheel block from my Tuesday night quilting class. The block's not perfect, but I'm fairly satisfied. Today was spent shopping for a semi-formal dress for my daughter and going out to lunch. I took a book along to read while she tried things on, so we both had a good time.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Another Panel Bites the Dust

Here's a picture of my slightly wrinkled Panel 4 of Petit Sampling Etui. This was the 2009 SAL for my sampler guild. It's been the Project from H*ll for me and nearly made me give up stitching. I had to frog a lot of over one stitching on the first two panels and when they were done, I took a short break. The stitching on the third and fourth panels went better, but took a lot of time. I took a long break to piece some quilts and do some smaller projects and finished up the fourth panel over my Christmas break. Once I got back in the groove, I realized how much I had missed stitching so that has spurred me on to complete this project.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Daily Strand

I decided to join a group of stitchers who post on the Hand-Dyed Fiber forums and do a daily strand on Quaker Christmas (By Gone Stitches). I started this about 18 months ago and had only the two big motifs on the left stitched. So far, I've stitched on this every day during the last week and it turns out it's a great daily strand project. There is only one color of thread for the large motifs and the graph is easy to read. I'm seeing lots of progress and sometimes it's hard to put this away. But I'm steeling myself to do just the one strand as I must stitch the final two panels on Petit Sampling Etui to have it ready to be finished at my sampler guild meeting in February.