Wednesday, September 05, 2012
Thinking I could save time by taking backroads--off I went.
What's that up ahead? Oh! No! School is out! I'm stuck behind this bus which is stopping at the end of every other driveway.
I was in plenty of time for my appointment, but none the less I was happy to see that school bus take a right where I was turning left.
Over the hill I go and--oh! No! Another bus!
If you can't beat them--or pass them---slow down and remember what it was like to ride the bus to and from school in my own school years. Other memorable moments sending my own kids off on the bus when they started school.
This is the stuff memories are made of. This is how we gauge the passing of time and easing out of summer and into another school year.
I've enjoyed seeing every one's "first day of school" pics on Facebook. Precious!
The upside of a 4pm dentist appointment? All the busses will be done and gone by the time I am on my way back home!
This is a pic I took while at a stop on my way. The apple effect is thanks to a photoshop iPhone app!
This came across my radar a bit late – yesterday was a run around doc appt day --- and it slipped between the cracks!
Never fear, there is still TIME to enter to win!
There's still time to leave a comment on Quilty Pleasures for your chance to win the new Quilts from Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks.
Don't miss this opportunity for 19 amazing quilt projects! Twenty copies given away!
I love what they have done with the blocks from the magazine, turning them into gorgeous quilts that you too can make!
At just $6.99, a magazine is by far the best value for quilting patterns. That comes out to about 37 cents per pattern. You can’t beat it.
And since they are giving away 20 copies, you might get your copy free!
Don’t leave your comment here on my blog – you need to leave it on the Quilty Pleasures blog.
Here are the details:
Please leave a comment on Quilty Pleasures by midnight Wednesday, Sept. 5 for a chance to win this issue.
Answer this question: From what you’ve seen, what project in this issue has piqued your interest? We’ll choose 20 (that’s right, twenty!) winners and announce them here.
((When you go to the blog you can preview the quilts in the issue. They are GREAT!))
Good luck everyone! Tell them that Bonnie sent you! :c)
Bali has some of the most skilled art workers that I have ever seen.
We stopped at a place called UC Silver and took a tour of the work room – here you can see silver workers painstakingly working at their craft. The supplies are simple. Silver, blow torch, tools for bending, molding, shaping ---and the designs are phenominal!
I loved the photo of this guy working there with his feet propped up on the stool. I don’t remember exactly what he was doing – shaping or sizing rings or something…but his pose is quintessential Bali!
Rows of silver artists working in their cubicles. These folks had it lucky – the place had A/C! It was also fun to see girls and guys working side by side. The woman in the front is holding a piece of silver jewelry in her tongs while using the blow torch on it.
Silver wire, a board to work on, some pliers and tweezers…..
A young man works with silver loops.
While the work room is basic…the showroom is exquisite! I loved these dancing ladies that formed the bannister going up the stairs. We weren’t allowed to take pictures of the items IN the show room, but could take an overall view:
See how the ladies continue at the top? It was so cool!
There were earrings and necklaces, rings and bracelets from simple to Oh. My. Word! There were gem stones, precious and semi precious and I think we all found something to come home with us. I’m very simple in my jewelry tastes. I have my basic every day jewelry, and I don’t often switch things out with every outfit. I like easy and simple and casual. But I did find one thing that just had to come home with me. Very much one of a kind….
I just loved this pendant and chain! The filigree on the top is so delicate and I love that it was worked by hand by one of the artisans I watched. The stone is actually a purple amethyst . I bought the chain to go with it – I liked the texture of the ball chain. The ring that is on the chain is something I added, something I always wear. It’s a simple eternal loop that says “Love Life, Be Brave”. It reminds me that it’s not always easy to get out there and put yourself forward in scary situations, but it is worth it!
The outside of the building was just as fun as the inside…huge golden dragonflies flit on the walls, and more dancing ladies are on the top of the roof along with golden roses and other adornments. It turns out we passed this place several times on our daily jaunts – it was on a major route. We all said “Okay, I know where we are now, that’s the silver place with the dragonflies!”
Yes, this was “voluminous blouse” day ---but I had to pose with some of the dancers while I had a chance!
Today’s routine will include mail order, ordering books from the warehouse for some upcoming teaching and lecturing engagements in Indiana toward the end of the month, a massage, and a dentist appointment. I should have planned better – I should do the massage AFTER the dentist – but my therapist was only going to be available early afternoon, and my dentist appt is after 4pm ---so..we go with the flow and do it!
So far on my One Hour of Needle & Thread challenge – I’ve racked up 4.5 hours! I’m making progress! There are numbers on my calendar sheet. How are you doing with it?
We have several who have joined in and linked up --- see what they are working on HERE at the bottom of the post!
Tuesday, September 04, 2012
Wanna join me?
This is the post that waited.
The post that was planned, but I woke up too late to finish it because at 2am I was still staring at the ceiling.
I knew that nap yesterday afternoon with the power out was going to be a no-no. But the power was out, the house was dark and quiet, it was too dark to even want to clean house – so what’s a girl to do?
And that bed with its freshly washed sheets and delightful fresh-from-the-laundry fragrance just beckoned to me in a siren’s call. COME! SLEEP! Just a little bit….
And I was out. For about 3 hours.
Today there has been no nap. No time for one! I woke up about 8:45 and hit the ground running for all that had to be done today.
I have a foodie post to share with you from Bali!
First of all – see this sign above? Kentucky Fried Chicken! Open 24 hours! And they had free wifi! LOL!
We cracked up at various “Stateside” fast food chains that were showing up everywhere. Burger King. Who wants Burger King in BALI!? Mc Donalds was another one….24 hour Mc D’s…with Mc DELIVERY!? Which set us into gales of laughter imagining the Balinese delivery guy on a scooter with a bunch of happy meals riding behind him. EVERYONE was on a motor bike in Bali. They swarm like flies around all the cars, up the center line between the two lanes, cutting off traffic, dodging here and there..it was really scary watching them!
So where did we eat our lunch? At a really cool place down the plaza from Mawa’s office! We told him we wanted Balinese food, and he said he knew of JUST THE PLACE. He called ahead, had them set a table for all of us!
How jetlagged do we look?! This was also on our “Factory” day!
The menus really did have every kind of food on them --- ITALIAN seems to be a big hit there as well, so if you didn’t like Balinese cuisine, you could get spaghetti and meatballs. Or fish & chips. Or always a cheeseburger --- or chicken cordon bleu. That seemed to be on every menu I came across as well.
As for Balinese fare:
This was a Balinese fish dish, the bean and noodle salad was quite spicy! And Rice. Always Rice. Bali leads Indonesia in rice production followed by the Phillipines and of course rice is a mainstay of every family – for every meal.
*Note* When you order food you've never had before --you don't know if they served you what you ordered or not! It turns out this was KAREN's lunch, and I had already taken a picture of it! LOL! I think I ate some of her bean salad too ---oops!
One thing you will notice too is that the portions are NOT huge. Just right. I never noticed a SINGLE grossly overweight person in Bali at all. I’m sure it has to do with the simple diet, which is mostly fruit, veggies, rice or noodles. Sometimes fish. Sometimes chicken. Sometimes eggs --- but meat is not an every-meal-occurrence. Dairy is almost non-existent. I think there is a lot to be learned here.
Dishes are often wrapped in banana leaves and steamed. A very healthy and delicious way to cook things. Of course, where do we get fresh banana leaves here in the US?
Desserts mainly consist of a variety of fruits. And even the “sweets” that we would call cookies are NOT THAT SWEET. One favorite is rice that is formed into patties and then deep fried to be like a crunchy rice cake…and it has a bit of a sweet glaze on it, but it is not cookie-sweet like we would have here in the US by any means.
What is the first two ingredients in most cookie recipes in Western culture? BUTTER & SUGAR!
I “KNOW” they eat more balanced than we do.
Look at this stair case!
This was in the restaurant going up to where the restrooms were ---how cool is that!!
Can I have this stair case, please?!
And this was the view from the top looking down at our happy little group as they chattered away about all we had seen and done so far this day:
Fond memories, each and every one of them!
Update on my doc’s appt today:
The bulging disk is a bit of an issue, but it isn’t causing the leg problems I’m experiencing.
For the leg problems He’s thinking I’ve got a bad bursitis ((inflammation of the hip bursa)) and it’s just being chronic. Babying that has had a shortening effect on hamstring and glute muscles. And those deep hip rotators such as piriformis are ALWAYS key in the kind of pain I have.
Mix that with the sciatica and I’ve got a perfect recipe for shooting pain and persistent burning and pain in the hip/leg when I walk/sit/lie down. I’ve got another prescription for anti inflammatory, and he wants me to get some physical therapy going. It’s going to be interesting trying to fit that in with my schedule but I’ll do it. I’m hoping between everything that we can get things to ease up a bit and heal.
He said shots are still an option, but wants to do that as a last case scenario and I’m glad for that.
Oh, btw – all this from a doc who looked young enough to be Doogie Houser, only cuter. Dang! I’M OLD!!
I'm meeting my orthopedics guy for the first time and while I'm hoping we solve this leg and back problem quickly, I'm also thinking about how much I like the plaid of this gown!!
:-). Send good thoughts please!
Monday, September 03, 2012
This is just a follow up to Quilt Cam time while I was machine sewing on a binding!
Someone asked about my machine ---this is Barbie! She is a 1950s Japanese Singer-Clone based on a model 15. LOVE HER! She is straight stitch only, and I love her pinkness!
For everyone else that asked:
The yellow seam guide I use says Sewing Machine Seam Guide on it and has many holes for setting a seam width.
Because of so many requests – I’ve added the seam guide to my online store, but it is ONLY going to be available WITH BOOK PURCHASE. It is too small of an item to want to be packaging up 4, 000 of them individually. I sell them at my classes for $3 each. With book purchase including postage, they are $4.00
If you already have all the books…maybe there is a friend who would like one for her birthday, and you can buy a book and order the seam guide at the same time. I just have too many things going to be printing invoices and mailing labels for gobs of $3.00 plus postage items. But I CAN stick them easily into a book order. I hope this makes sense to you and that you understand.
Lynn asked what kind of iron I use ---it’s an older Rowenta that I got at the thrift shop for $3.99 and have been using for years. It gets good and hot, it has no auto shut-off and I never put water in it ever ever ever ever. Water is the one simple ingredient that will kill ANY iron!
Bonnie T from VA asked what size of square I used for my label in the corner of the quilt…..I cut about an 8” square and iron it in half diagonally to make a big triangle, and stitch it in to the back corner as my label.
Theresa, you asked why I do a 3/8” binding on my quilts…..the simple answer is because that is the width of seam my walking foot gives me when I use the edge of it as a guide to sew by! I can use a 2.5” binding strip this way. I like it better than a tiny 1/4” binding..just a bit more color shows!
I still have to get in my hour of hand quilting time ----and then to bed!
I've trimmed the quilt up.
I've cut my binding strips.
I have a sleeve piece ready.
I've got a label to attach!
I'm going to leave the QuiltCam up for about an hour or so----
*Note* If it says OFFLINE below -- you missed it! It's live streaming, not a recording, so you can't play it back like re-runs, you'll just have to join us next time!
Wanna join me?
Until the huge rain and thunder storm put my power out in the center of the LAST ROW I was quilting!
It was a doozy of a storm too….the power was out for hours, than was on again, then was off again. I gave up and went and took a nap!
Of course, it was on again when I woke up and I could have had this thing done a long time ago, but……the nap was nice too.
I’m tickled at how many are joining in with me on the One Hour of Needle & Thread challenge! I haven’t sat at mine yet today. With the power off, my house is way too dark! I’m in the woods, even with windows, it’s all shade and tree cover outside. The roof over the front porch makes that ALWAYS in shadow out there….and the basement is a hole with one small window that opens to tree covered shade so it’s dark EVERYWHERE with no power.
And too hot to want to light kerosene lamps. It’s got to be REALLY an emergency to want to create that heat in a house in the south in the summer!
However, the power came back on, and I finished the quilting!
I chose an edge to edge design that had no “real” motif to it…just swirls and curls. I didn’t want the pattern of the quilting to shout out from the quilt, I want the blocks to come forward. This quilt is all about the piecing, and there is loads of it.
I also needed something tight enough that “most” if not all the pieces had quilting running through them to anchor them down. This pattern hit nearly everything, except maybe in the blocks where the 1/2 square triangles are about the size of my little pinky finger nail.
I think it looks pretty good!
No matter what I chose, there was nothing that was going to look “1870”. Let’s be real. It’s machine quilting. Even stitch in the ditch is not appropriate quilting by machine for this kind of quilt, and I hate stitch in the ditch anyway! Baptist fans would not have hit enough of the pieces in each block leaving too many unquilted. Feathers? Noooo….that’s too fancy for this kind of quilt too. Too much icing on the cake..what’s next after that? Sew crystals to it? No thanks! This swirl will do! Swirls also perform another vaulable function….they can suck up areas of too much fullness – I had a couple blocks that were so heavily pieced that they poofed a bit, and the swirls eased them right in with no bagging or sagging.
I’m not particularly found of cross-hatching by machine either –One color of thread that crosses many colors of fabrics can make things look like a mattress pad. I used a sand colored thread that blended through everything as best as I could get it.
Now for the binding..... Red would be predictable?
But you know what I see when I look at these blocks? That Prussian blue!
It would be an unexpected punch that would tie the blue bits in the same way the yellow border made the yellows shine. I better go dig in the stash and see what I can find. But who knows, if I don't like it, I might still go with red.
Perhaps a bit later, we can have QuiltCam time for sewing on a binding!
But first – DH wants to go to town and I guess I’m going to have to ride shotgun.
How perfect is this for Simply Needle & Thread?
Last night I got all of my stuff together and put it in my comfy chair down here in my studio. It will nag at me all day this way, begging me to sit and do some stitches!
Want to see where I’m working?
Even though my studio room is long and narrow, I’m lucky to have enough room for a pair of chairs. It’s not “House Beautiful” down here --- there are cords that run across the floor – the yellow one you see is a heavy duty extension from the other side of the basement – for the iron. I can’t run the quilting machine and the iron on the same circuit or it blows the breaker. Necessity beats aesthetics, you know? Yes, there is a yellow cord all the way across the basement. So what. It works!
I’ve got everything I need right by my chair. My thread, needles, scissors, seam ripper for removing basting and a tall insulated cup of my favorite Margarita Crystal Light!
From here I’ve got a perfect view of what’s on Netflix! I hardly watch “regular” TV ---I like that I don’t have political ads, or ads of any sort. I love movies!
After watching a movie, and finding that I had completed the hand quilting on 3 complete LARGE fans ---I marked down the time I’d spent –an hour and a half! And went to bed! That wasn’t so hard!
Since September IS National Sewing Month – I think it’s the perfect time to put those hand stitches in projects that have been languishing. I’m hoping to get some more in today. And I think tracking myself on my calendar page that will be kept right by my chair will help me to see that progress!
If you are joining in and have a blog and want to link up below, please do!
Remember, we need the address of the specific POST when you link up. The address should end in .html NOT .com For instance, my blog address is quiltville.blogspot.com and that simply isn’t enough. To get the address of your specific POST, click on the title of the post and the address should appear at the top of your browser in the address bar.
The address for THIS post is http://quiltville.blogspot.com/2012/09/september-is-national-sewing-month.html see the difference?
When in doubt, ask me. If you link it to your whole blog I’ll have to delete your entry and have you try again because I can’t fix it for you.
Write a post of the project you are going to be working on this month. Show us where you sew, make your post interesting! Tell us about the project and why it has languished….let’s get those stitches in, one at a time!
Sunday, September 02, 2012
It was our day to be students, and we were all so excited!
We’d been to the warehouse. ((And bought oodles of fabric!))
We’d seen how commercial batik fabric was made, but what about the original artistry of the “REAL” batik, the way the Balinese have made it an art form over the centuries?
I’d had batiking classes in school through my art studies, and when batik fabrics first came to the states back in the “90s” ---These were NOT like what I remembered batiking to be. Similar yes, but there were no “pictures” to them. Just textures and over dyed color.
I so distinctly remember my first classes. The smell of the wax, the tool in my hand, the tedious process of drawing, waxing, dying…over waxing dyed areas so the next dye would resist that area, and so forth, painting in areas with a brush.
Would you believe my first batik ever in school was an image of a banana split? It was a fun project. I wonder whatever happened to that – that was long before married life and children and many moves ---
We loaded up the tour bus…all of us eager to get in and DO IT! We wound through neighborhoods, through the center of towns --- all getting decorated for Thanksgiving Garungan Day, remember? We parked the bus down by the monkey forest road in Ubud – the bus was too big to go where we were going!
From here we all loaded into separate vehicles and off we went! Our driver introduced himself to us as “Chili”. As in Chili Pepper. As in SPICY HOT! And we all laughed. He asked our names, and then began to sing a silly song, including all of our names in it. SO FUN! I wish I had gotten a picture of his vehicle…the ever present offering in place right there on the dashboard. “Please keep my passengers safe from my driving!”
We arrived to find ourselves at the Widya Batik Studio! Oh Boy!
The walls were lined with gorgeous batiks handmade by the artists who were teaching us! The method of traditional Balinese batiking was discussed and demonstrated.
This map is a batik piece. Mawa gave us ALL paper maps and told us that Bali looks like a chicken that’s laid an egg. He is right, it does! LOL!
We had our choice …..we could wood block stamp with wax…remember the wood blocks from the Block Stamping at the factory? These are much the same.
More stamping blocks to choose from! Some were wood, some were metal!
We could also choose from a multitude of designs to trace ourselves if we wanted. Sometimes just SEEING the traced designs can start your brain going on what you want to do ---and suddenly it hit me—I was going to DRAW!
I started out freehand on a piece of paper. When things were the way I wanted them to be…I slipped the paper under my fabric and traced.
Aren’t we SO busy!!
Here is my design on the fabric!
Our instructor showed us how the waxing is done. He dips a stylus into the melted pot of wax on the burner and carefully leaves a line of wax to cover each pencil line. It’s a painstaking process and not as easy as it looks!
Pauline is a trooper! She got in there and got busy with it – the woman has NO FEAR! She did a great job too! For those of us who weren’t sure, the instructors sat and showed us how to do it by waxing our fabrics for us! LOL! Yeah, it was the cheaters way out –but we still learned a lot by watching!
Here they are dipping their tools into the melted wax…this little stand is just COVERED with wax inside and out..the surround protects the other areas from getting wax where it isn’t supposed to go. I was fascinated by the ads in the local paper!
Mary is trying the stamped designs on her fabric!
Once the waxing is complete the dye is applied with brushes! Pick a color and get down to it! Put a color where you want a color..put another color somewhere else. After the sun dries the dye, the wax will be boiled away leaving a white dividing line between the colored areas. This was SO FUN!
There were so many photos and this post is getting long so I uploaded the rest to a slide show! Yes, there are chickens everywhere! And bananas growing on trees! We were in a magical place letting our inner child come out to play.
After our dye has dried in the sun, it’s time to boil out the wax! You’ll see photos of that in the pics above as well!
This is my boiled and drying batik piece!
This whole process was very much what I had done in school, and it was so fun to do it again. I am thrilled with how my piece came out – not sure what I’ll do with it yet!
Photo op with the family’s shrine behind me! What a memorable day for everyone – and to think – at this point we were only on our second full day!