Giving thanks

It is, as I type, Thanksgiving Eve. Yes, yes, that IS what you call the day before Thanksgiving when you have to order pizza for supper because you were so focused on getting what you needed to cook The Big Dinner that you forgot what you were going to cook the evening before. Or, in my case, because I have worked like a demon knocking out a big pile of appraisals and didn’t even think about supper until just now. But guess what? I’m DONE! For the first time in…three…four…five…a bunch of months, I have no appraisals waiting to be finished. I love my work but I am feeling really great to have them all done.

Yes, I do have a few folks waiting to hear from me to get the ball rolling, but for this moment, these few days, I am going to not think about them. I have a note in my planner to remind me. (Have I told you I bought an Erin Condren planner? More on that another day, just suffice it to say that it was the best money I’ve ever spent.)

Vacation starts for real now. I did have a mini one…We spent a couple of days this last weekend in Branson with my husband’s parents. They took us to see two shows AND two films at the IMAX. It seems that what we did the most of was EAT, though. Yikes! I think there might be a month’s worth of salads on the menu around here soon. Abundance was the word there. So.much.food.

I also did my part in keeping the local economy booming. I managed to fit in some serious retail therapy. Yes, of course it was fun! There are some great shops at Branson Landing, and a few I like to visit at the outlet mall too (I’m looking at you Coach and Fossil). I was pleased to find some things that fit my style (no matter how odd others find it) and grateful I hadn’t spent everything I earned this year on quilts and fabric.

My mother-in-law and I managed to fit in a trip to Quilts & Quilts. Since we’re both quilters, it was pretty high on the list. Have you ever been there? It is a wonderful, huge store, full of so many good things. ┬áThe ladies working were so helpful and just plain nice. I didn’t buy a lot of quilt fabric but I did find a couple of great Art Gallery jersey knits to make this top from. Mine will look more like the one at bottom right, longer and with longer, straighter sleeves.

It’s been a long time since I’ve sewn knits…will have to hunt for the right needles in my stuff (or go buy some) since my usual sharps won’t work. But, truly, I can’t wait to get started. The fabrics feel just lovely. They’re in the wash as I type, so it won’t be long. Since it’s been so long since I’ve sewn with fabric like this, though, I do plan to take time to sew some samples before I start on the actual garment. Here’s when I’m glad for the hours my mom patiently walked me through garment construction all those years ago. I learned to sew with those slinky knits (double-knits too) in the 70s, remember them? We thought they were the greatest things ever. Fortunately, today’s knits are a completely different animal. Sewing them isn’t so different, but wearing them surely is! If you never wore the early synthetics, trust me, you have something big for which to be grateful.

Ordinarily I would be full steam ahead getting ready for Thanksgiving: baking pies, thawing a turkey, scrubbing floors, all that. Honestly, I think it is one of the easiest meals to make, but I am not going to do it this year. When The Boy and I had lunch with my parents last week, we decided that it would be okay if we all went out to eat. I know, it seems a little weird, but it’ll be fine. You see, tomorrow is also the anniversary of the day I married The Man. It’s been twenty-one years, which I still can’t believe. (Yes, I would do it again. In a minute!)

We didn’t get married on Thanksgiving Day, it was actually the Saturday after. But we went out to eat that time too since there were way too many other things happening, as you might guess. I am so glad that we have the option of going out. In a perfect world, I probably wouldn’t make that choice, but once in a blue moon doesn’t hurt anyone and we are still all able to be together. And, the no-dirty-dishes part doesn’t bother me either.

And after the Thanksgiving Anniversary, what else am I doing? I could tell you that I am going to clean house and put up Christmas decorations but that would be a big, fat LIE. I am going to sew. A lot. A way lot.

So, besides the fact that I and my family are alive and well, I have a bazillion other reasons to be thankful. And so very thankful I am.

Happy Thanksgiving to YOU!

Still cramming it in

Last week I told you all what I’ve been doing for the last several months. I crammed a lot of stuff into a single blog post. This week I am still trying to get my feet on the ground, finish up appraisals, clean the house, think about Thanksgiving, plan some sort of Christmas list, you know, regular stuff. But I’ve also managed to get a few hours of sewing in. I wish I could say “days” of sewing, but for now that’s not going to happen. I am still cramming as much into my days as I can. It makes me happy, though, to handle fabric, and I’m generally a much nicer person when I’ve gotten to play a little. (Please tell me I’m not the only one?)

image
What am I sewing? Well, I can’t show you that just yet. I know, I know…but I think it might be worth the wait. I have several quilts in progress that I am planning to pattern, so I’ve been working on those. See why I can’t show you yet? I knew you’d understand.

 

My latest is a fun piece I found in a local flea market. It’s a ratty little thing but has a neat inscription on it and is a block pattern that I’ve never seen before. I’ve been trying to work out the most efficient way to make it. So far I’ve only made about six blocks, but I have fabric on order (yes, I did too need it!) to make one that ends up bed-sized. I originally started cutting pieces from a layer cake but quickly realized that 10″ of fabric wasn’t enough to do the pattern justice. The fun thing about the pattern is that I’m seeing so much potential for playing with color, introducing interesting secondary patterns, and mixing it up in other ways.

Check out the fabric the original maker used for sashing. Wild, huh?

Sashing
Interesting choice, yes?

The fabric I’m using is Aloha Girl, from Moda. I did not have plans for it when I originally bought it (which is just kind of crazy, really, but who knows what I was thinking), so I’ve just kind of winged it when it came to cutting. I’ve created some interesting scraps!

Aloha Girl
Aloha Girl, by Moda (photo courtesy of Missouri Star Quilt company)

It appears to be sold out nearly everywhere, but I think I can find a little yardage to take care of sashing and a border for what I’ve made. It may not be the fabric I would have chosen had I bought it when it was available, but I am okay with doing that for this particular piece.

Another of the pieces I’m working on has had its binding on since April, just awaiting me hand-stitching it to the back. But, since I sewed the very narrow binding on in a hurry, I am having to fix it in a couple of places. It ended up too narrow to wrap to the back! You know what that means, right? Yeah, my seam ripper is getting lots of action.

Ripper
Meet my little friend

So, there you go. There are others but these have been the main focus this week. There will be progress I can show you one of these days, but not just yet. I have yet to decide whether to sell the patterns on my website, on Etsy, or somewhere else, but I’ll let you know when I start putting them out there. Part of this process will include writing up new lectures and workshops too. I am really looking forward to that. It’s always fun to give a new idea life, don’t you think?

What have you been working on?

**to follow along with my journey, be sure to “Like” Lori East Quilts on Facebook too!**