The Perfect Point

About a year ago, I started making the Swoon Quilt, by Camille Roskelley.  Yes, I know, I was late to the party.  For a few weeks I chugged along, sewing each block with scraps from all the quilts I have ever made in my short quilting life.  Then I lost my sewing mojo as the house buying and house moving and house selling stuff just went on and on . . . .  I had only one block left to do, and I finally got around to it after a 3 months hiatus.  I LOVED my fabric choices for that last block!  And then I discovered that somehow, my bare-quarter-inch seam had shifted, and that last block was about a quarter-inch off on all sides.  Sigh.  This is by way of explaining why the finished quilt has extra patches in the background color, because of course I had to stick to the “scraps only” rule, and wouldn’t you know I had no more Moda “snow” left, and I had to fuss with not just the last block, but adjacent blocks too.  Anyway.  I did finish, though, and I love my Swoon, fixes and all:

Swoon!
Swoon!

As a result of Swoon, I had even more triangles than I had before.  Then I found the Mod GeoCruiser quilt by Kelli Fannin (read about her inspiration here).  I had been wanting to do a bicycle-themed quilt for DH, and even though this is a cruiser bike (and a girly one at that), and he is a road bike fanatic, I thought it was a fun design that he would like.  It also helps that he is the most un-macho man I know 🙂  So this is the quilt top:

Mod Geo Cruiser
Mod GeoCruiser

I learned how to make really sharp points with this quilt: cut the triangles larger than specified, then trim down after sewing.  Really simple idea, right?  The small amount of fabric waste is so worth it, because despite my best efforts, I do not have a consistent quarter-inch seam (as I proved with Swoon).  I’m still not fond of triangles, but at least I can sew really good ones now!

My cruiser is made up of scraps from previous quilts, plus fabric from Mom’s house dresses.  I really like the idea of having bits and pieces of her dresses in this and all future quilts; the therapist tells me what I’m doing is taking Mom with me.  That is a very comforting thought.

Saturday Morning Bike Ride

Saturday morning bike ride with DH on our tandem:

Our subdivision, still under construction.
Our subdivision, still under construction.

I had my DSLR camera with me, and decided to shoot from the shoulder.  Literally.  It was an interesting experiment in seeing what the camera captures.  Image stabilization goes only so far, but I rather like the blurriness, a reminder of DH and I in motion.

Old Fort Collins High School
Old Fort Collins High School

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This is one of my favorite houses on the route.  This blur reminds me of those dream (or nightmare) sequences in movies.

Togetherness, it's beautiful :-)
“Togetherness, it’s beautiful.”  Thank you, Laura.  

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This time of year, lots of abandoned sofas and chairs curbside.

Gravel works
Gravel works

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Cache la Poudre
Cache la Poudre

We have had rain for six weeks, and the river is at its highest since the floods in September 2013.

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Laporte
Old Feed Store, Laporte
Laporte
Laporte
Vern's Restaurant, Laporte
Vern’s Restaurant, Laporte

Now with a fancy new deck, but still too cold this early in the morning to breakfast outside.

Cache La Poudre Middle School, Laporte
Cache La Poudre Middle School, Laporte
Poudre River Trail
On the Poudre River Trail
Farmhouse
Farmhouse

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Behind the farm buildings is a cell phone tower, pretending to be a really big tree.

Why yes, we can make the house as big as you want!
Why yes, we can make your historic brick house as big as you want!
I have balcony envy.
I have balcony envy.
Converted grocery store.
As well as converted grocery store envy.  
Brought to you by our favorite farmers of Native Hill Farm.
Brought to you by our favorite farmers at Native Hill Farm.
Owned by a total coffee geek.
Owned by a total coffee geek.
Off-campus student housing.
Off-campus student housing.
Spring Creek Trail, and lots of water here too.
Spring Creek Trail, and lots of water here too.
An artist lives here, and her landscaping puts the rest of us to shame.
An artist lives here, and her landscaping puts the rest of us to shame.
I pretend I do not see the mound of dirt.
I pretend I do not see the mound of dirt.

Santa Fe 2015: Sunflowers

A well-dressed tourist in this city of tourists, she stood in front of the still life of sunflowers.

“I was in Amsterdam years ago and got to go to the Van Gogh Museum,” she said.  “It was a privilege.”

“How lucky you were,” the artist agreed.

“I loved his Sunflowers painting,”  she continued, “and of course I can see his influence on your work.”

“You know, I get that a lot,”  the artist replied. “It’s the sunflowers, it’s the only thing people see.  But except that they are sunflowers, everything else really is different!”

“Yes, but you can still see his influence,”  the visitor insisted, turning to look at the artist.

Outside, a beautiful day of turquoise skies and spring breeze.

“Thank you,” the artist stepped back on a sigh.

Wedding Industrial Complex

Not to be confused with the Military Industrial Complex, although one could be forgiven for confusing the two. For about a year, I have had a second row seat to the planning and implementation of the Wedding of the Century.  It has been fascinating in an appalling, watching-a-train-wreck sort of way.  I should not be surprised by anything I hear, yet I continue to be.

The Prelude:  The proposal in a boat, on a lake, with his-and-her families (sworn to super secrecy so as to be able to surprise the bride-to-be) gathered to watch on the shore.

The Ring:  OK, no snarkiness here.  It is a family heirloom.

Destination shower, destination bachelorette party, destination wedding.  And lest anyone balks at travelling the distance for just the ceremony, the beach barbecue the day before, and the swanky wedding reception and dinner with band and booze.

Eleven bridesmaids (and presumably eleven groomsmen), not counting the new-to-me entity of the “Junior Maid-of-Honour” (and yes, there is also a senior Maid-of-Honour).

The $3000 dress …  although I acknowledge that in this world of Say Yes to the Dress, it is probably a very low price for the Dress of the Century.  I still think the required alterations ($500) should be included in the cost of the dress.

The Veil, at $1500.  MOB showed me the picture, and I remarked astutely, “It’s a wedding veil.”   “It has hand-made lace,” she said.  I looked for it, and finally spotted the 6″ wide border of lace.  Well, of course it has hand-made lace, because why else would anyone pay $1500 for a few yards of netting?

The Wedding Planner.  I’m going to assume it was NOT her fault that the invitation to the destination bridal shower arrived two days before the event . . . .

The other (many) Invitations, including the announcement several months beforehand to prepare guests for the official wedding invitation.  I’ve never received one of those before, so I learned something new.

Someone cleverer than me said this, and perhaps it is as true as anything else:

The way we marry is who we are.  

Red Chair Reads: One Fine Day

One Fine Day, by Mollie Panter-Downes (1946)

It is summer of 1946, and Laura and Stephen Marshall are trying to adjust to life in post-war England.  Their little village of Wealding seems the timeless, quintessential English village: the Manor House, the rectory, the High Street with the requisite independent shops, the winding country lanes, the picturesqueTudor cottages. The Marshalls — and the village — have survived the war, and now it is time to live the peace.

What is that peace?  Look closer and there are signs of upheaval everywhere: Laura’s house is falling down around her, the weeds are winning, and a sense of disquiet pervades her life.  She is prematurely grey, she stands in endless lines for her family’s rations, she sees rusting coils of barbed wire, she runs across the remaining German POW still working English farmland.  The owner of the Manor House has sold the crumbling pile for institutional use, and the future is personified by the ambitious and ethically challenged Mr. Rudge, and the good-natured by sly Mrs. Prout, a charwoman who knows her worth, who never says “madam,” and who understands her “place” is not where the “gentry” thinks it is.  So Laura continues her everyday day: she finds her wayward dog, climbs the chalk down and catches a glimpse of her future, and finally sees that her world has undergone a fundamental change that she may not have wanted, but that she can in fact embrace.

Nothing much happens in One Fine Day —  nothing, except one woman finding reasons for hope and optimism.

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