Checkmarks on the List
Although I have been lost in the news with everybody else, my personal life went nicely in January.
Early in the month I had a dinner party for my husband’s birthday. He loves a good gathering, and will often invite people over for barbecued ribs or fajitas. I wanted this dinner to be a little more formal with linens, flowers, candlelight, and best china, and it was a lovely way to spend a winter evening. I finally used some crystal sherbet glasses I have had for 35 years, to serve a delicious tiramisu chocolate mousse I made from this recipe. (The other pictures I took at the party didn’t turn out; I didn’t have the camera settings right for candlelight.)
We are fortunate to have a group of friends that will go along with and adapt to any dinner party theme with relish. Back when I was researching the Copp Family Textiles, I saw that the collection included a set of “conversation cards” from back in the 1700s — I wrote out some of the sayings, and we tried to figure out what they meant! Some sparked more conversation than others, but it was fun to see what people thought they should discuss back then. Here are a few of the sayings — “It is better to go to Bed supperless than to rise in Debt,” “Most Men are the reverse of what they seem to be,” and “The surest way to be happy is to be good.”
As far as aligning my activities with my goals for the year, I have yet to look at the five books I said I was going to concentrate on, because in the middle of the month I saw all kinds of textile books at a used book store and took home a giant box of coffee table books on tapestry, kilims, carpets, and batiks! Thank goodness I didn’t resolve to not buy anything this year.
I have finished two of the projects on my UFO list – I made two dogs beds from a cheap memory foam mattress topper and some cotton duck (too boring to take a picture of, but useful!), and I finished these two lap quilts for the VA hospital.
There were some issues in piecing these, because some of the pieces were from poorer quality fabric, but the backing is lovely and it will feel nice to whomever receives it. Also, I could have done more elaborate piecing to make the Attic Windows look more three-dimensional, but I wasn’t willing to spend the time. I am pretty sure that at the hospital they just use these for a few weeks at most and then they probably toss them. I want them to be bright and colorful but I don’t want to invest more time in making them, than the staff will in making use of them. 🙂
One has wool batting and the other has cotton flannel for the middle layer. Both are very lightly quilted, just a few lines of stitch in the ditch, and both have been machine washed and dried. Neither filling caused any shrinkage.
For this year I really wanted to focus on scraps. One of the ladies in my quilting group is moving, and put about 9/10 of her fabric stash up for sale. I bought 8 shoe boxes full of scraps, already sorted by color, and cut into usable strips and squares! If you ask me, it just does not get any better than that. I could dither over making the absolute best choice for the use of all that wealth, but I am working fairly quickly, pulling the strips from one color box at a time and sewing them into sets. Then my plan is to cut those sets into triangles and whip some tops together for donation quilts.
I am finding it very comforting to make use of leftover pieces, to create something attractive that will benefit others.