Thursday, September 27, 2012


Fall is here.  I've already had a pumpkin latte and stocked up on pumpkin spice coffee for my coffee maker at home.

Here is the centerpiece of a small quilt I'm working on right now.  The title of the pattern is "Blossom" and I'm not sure if it's referring to the pumpkin head or her cat. 

Lots of leaves to make to go around the border.

I'm enjoying the simple process when I can squeeze in the time to work.  Hope to get this one finished up soon.

Blossom will go up with the rest of the Halloween decorations.  So the real question for me is, when can I start decorating?  I do think there is such a thing as too much Halloween.  As opposed to Christmas - there's never too much Christmas.

Soon.  All the Halloween quilts are coming out soon...

Sunday, September 16, 2012

What Makes a Champion

Another Monday, another gymnastics story.  This one is a little different though.

This weekend we watched Wasabi Girl in another gymnastics meet.  She did fairly well, and after rotating around to the different events we settled into seats for her last event, the uneven bars.

All the girls lined up to warm up.  They put on their grips, chalked up, and started their swings and flips.

And then it happened.  Every parent's worst nightmare.  A fall.  Hard.  On one ankle.  The crowd gasped and the gymnast's face told the whole story of pain.

A coach was right there to scoop her up and take her to the sidelines for ice and an exam by a nurse.  It was agony to see.

The rest of the girls had to finish the bars and then because it was the end of the meet, they gathered to sit by the winners' podium to hear the results and see who was to receive medals.

Injury couldn't stop the team spirit, so with the nurse's help and a lot of limping and grimicing, the injured girl sat with her team on the floor.

When the injured girl's name was called for a medal, Wasabi girl stood up, put her teammate on her back and carried her up to the podium.  The crowd cheered.  It was a beautiful moment, repeated several times as she won more medals.

I don't care about medals, although Wasabi Girl has won her share, including at this meet.  I know a real champion when I see one.  I am so proud of her.  Being on this gymnastics team has brought out the very best in her.  It didn't hurt that I overheard other parents telling her they had tears in their eyes when they saw what she did.  I know I did too.

I took this picture after the meet.  More smiles than pain at this moment because we stopped by a restaurant for a quick bite to refuel the girls after a long meet and before the injured friend has to spend a long afternoon at the doctor's office.  Fingers crossed that all goes well for her.

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Quilt is Done! The Quilt is Done!

Today I put the last stitches in "Henrietta Whiskers."  Yay!  This quilt has been a lot of fun to make.

There are bits of wool felt scattered through the applique, like this acorn.

I quilted a feather pattern in the border with purple thread, which hardly shows up. I felt like it needed some more purple though, to go with that bright acorn top in the lower left of the quilt.

Lots of buttons and embroidery.  This was a free pattern from Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs.  The pattern is no longer free, but is still available.  You can check out her current free pattern while you're there.

All of these little squirrels with acorns must mean that Fall is upon us.  This one is up on the wall now and I think that means its time to get out the rest of the Fall quilts and start hoarding canned pumpkin again for all my Fall baking.

Have a great weekend!  I'll just be here admiring my quilt.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Morning Checklist

Dishes done.  Check.

Laundry all folded.  Check.

Tunes loaded up.  Check.

Big fresh cup of coffee.  Check.

It's time to quilt!

(oh yes, and blog post done - check!)

If only every day were as easy as today. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Needlework Tuesday: Downton's Done

This is a silly little piece I made on a whim.  The pattern is available for free from The Sampler Girl.  I'm going to find a little frame to put it in.  Looking at the picture up here on the screen I see a stitch I missed.  Funny how I didn't notice it in person.  I'll have to go fix that. 

The kids think we should hang it in the front entryway.  They're big fans of the show.  Have you been watching it?

The caldron is moving along.  Filling in the caldron itself is going to take me a while.  Amazing how the kids going back to school somehow leaves me with even less time than before. 

Needlework Tuesday is hosted by Heather at Books and Quilts.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Greatest Gymnastics Souvenir Ever

Gabby Douglas
Nastia Liukin
Mckayla Maroney
Aly Raisman
Kyla Ross
Jordyn Wieber

And so many more.  This shirt blows my mind.

Wasabi Girl had the opportunity to go with her coach to the Kellogs Tour of Gymnastics Champions this weekend.

The event was apparently incredible, but better still, afterwards her coach took her backstage where she was able to meet the Olympic Gymnastics team and former Olympic winners.  They all signed this shirt for her.

It may not be everyone's idea of art, but I'm getting this framed.  What an absolutely wonderful keepsake.  What a great memory for Wasabi Girl!

This shirt makes my Monday.  To see more Monday makers, visit Cheryl at Twinfatuation

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Field Trips Then and Now

Back when I was in high school, I remember we had opportunities to go to fine arts events.  There was one concert in particular I remember.  It was a young artist series and we got to see a young man play the cello.  His tuxedo didn't fit very well, but I remember I really enjoyed the concert.  He was just starting out at the time, which is why he was playing for students.

I remembered that young man often as I learned the harp.  Seeing and hearing him helped me realize that solo instruments could draw an audience.  To this day I think hearing good live music is one of the most valuable gifts we can give children - and ourselves.

Here are Wasabi Girl and Jungle Boy off to see "Rigoletto" at San Francisco Opera.  They are going on a field trip with their symphonic band.  It's really just a dress rehearsal, which is why the tickets were available to schools.  Jungle Boy wanted to dress up anyway.  I think they look great.

Not everyone appreciates opera.  I love some, don't care as much for others.  But I believe trying  new experiences like this is like trying new foods.  You can't really know unless you experience it.  I'm grateful that their school gave them this opportunity.

And that young man who played the cello in the ill-fitting tux?  His name was Yo-Yo Ma.  He's won many many awards in his brilliant career.  I'm proud to say I've been a fan since we were both very young.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Falling together

This poor Fall quilt was up on my design wall for a while and then got replaced by some other projects.  I've picked it up again and now the rows are sewn together.  The colors look even better now that it's not all individual blocks.  I've got the setting triangles all cut but after that there are two more borders that have a lot of piecing, so this one will take me a while.

My caldron cross stitch is taking some time, but I love how it's coming together.  There will be a big spider web in the upper right and lots of details and bead work on all the critters.  Still many hours to go.

I started this quickie by the Sampler Girl.  I'm only going to work on it while I'm actually watching Downton Abbey, so it might take a while to finish as well.

All stitching takes a back seat this month as I do my volunteer work for our local tutoring organization.  I enjoy matching up tutors and students.  Everyone wins.  It's just challenging sometimes to find schedules that work for everyone and rooms for them to meet in our very crowded local elementary school. 

I sound like an old lady, but I can't believe I'm already seeing candy corn and Halloween peeps in the grocery store.  It's one thing if I want to get a head start on crafts for the holidays, but I really don't want to see the commercial stuff that early!  I'm pretty sure the pumpkin patch down the street was setting up as well.  Buy pumpkins in this weather and they'll rot on your porch in a week.

How soon do you start decorating for Halloween?  Or for Fall?  Maybe it's time for me to pull out some Fall quilts.

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