Thursday, July 31, 2008

Goodie! Two Shoes!

Woohoo! Standing on my own two feet!! Nothing like having something go wrong to make you appreciate little everyday things like walking around. I will still wear my boot at night for a month, and the doctor said it will be three to four months before the healing is complete, but the worst is over! I can do whatever feels ok, gradually increasing my walking. Yes! And I can't wait to use my right foot on the sewing machine pedal again.

Here's where Otto's quilt stands. I think I'll do one more zig zag, put in some more extra squares from the front, and fill in the rest with red.
Blog Names
Nicolette explained the name of her blog, devliegendekoe, and asked others to post why they chose the names they did. I wonder about blog names sometimes, so I thought I'd explain my blog name and hope that you will, too. Over the years I've used various combinations of my daughters' names for passwords and such. When I learned that's the first thing hackers try, I moved on to other passwords, but I still really like the combination name 'jovali,' from Jocelyn and Valerie. It has happy overtones for me, probably because it looks like 'jovial' -- and of course because it reminds me of two of my favorite people!

(aka Little Goodie Two-Shoes)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Line Design

Today my iGoogle homepage had a link to How to Create a Line Design in Wikihow. Wikihow is always fun to browse.
This is, of course, more complicated than some, but not at all hard if you read their directions. I was thinking what fun it would be to make a quilt based on one of these line designs. You could have lots of fun with color, shading, illusions... The piecing would be tricky, but I was thinking of doing a simple design with large-ish pieces. If I got overwhelmed, I could return to some free piecing -- until I got overwhelmed with that!

My boot comes off tomorrow -- I can hardly wait! Been doing some quilting (a big zigzag for Otto's quilt and more stars), but will wait to put it together until I can get up and down more easily. Those long border strips are tricky (and I'll use any excuse to put off doing a border, my least favorite thing!).

Saturday, July 26, 2008

More on Otto's back

More fun stuff! Val carried one of our rolling kitchen chairs downstairs to my sewing room, so I was able to slide around and gather fabrics and whatnot to finish up Otto's quilt. (I'm walking much, much better, but I don't want to overdo it.) I made two trees and attached them to the house, and placed them all on a foundation of leftover squares from the Trip Around the World on the front. This is the first piece I have ever made totally without a plan! It is, well, liberating.

And speaking of liberated quilting, last night I hopped through the Liberated Quilters webring. Wow! Fun blogs -- many I knew already, but some were new and very exciting. If you haven't taken the time to read through that ring, go to the icon in my sidebar and click 'next.' Each blog will have the Liberated Quilters logo to take you to the next blog in the ring. There aren't many blogs, so it won't take long. Have fun!

Other interesting stuff

"My mommy always tells me what to do, except when I make art." One of my husband's former students sent us a link to a video for the Granville Studio for the Visual Arts because his daughter True is one of the kids in it. It's a delightful film, but it's that quote that really got to me. I'm learning to be a liberated quilter, and that's my new motto.

Mr. W. YouTube has a 2-minute video of Mr. W that blew me away. Click here to watch it. Once you've seen the whole thing, you might want to watch it again to completely understand it. I don't want to say more because I want you to be as surprised as I was. Totally worth it!

Jeff's photos. I learned about the Mr. W video on my nephew-in-law's new blog, The Wide-Angle Lens. His blog is interesting for a lot of reasons, but I think quilters will especially enjoy his photos. He posts one every now and then, so just scroll through to see them (most posts are short). He also has a photography blog, Fleeting Glimpse Photography, which is great. (I have links to both of these in my sidebar.) If you read my blog last August you may remember seeing a couple photos I posted then -- click here to take a look now. One day I'd like to try translating one of his photos into a quilt.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

All kinds of faces in all kinds of places

I love cities! Energy and excitement bounce off the buildings and through the streets -- it's invigorating. I feel more curious, more creative, and more alive in a city. (And more exhausted at the end of a day!) Since we live in a rather isolated community, we usually get our city 'fix' on vacations. My camera was laden with an embarrassingly large number of photos from my recent trip, but instead of the usual vacation pics I thought I'd share my city experience from a different angle. This trip I found myself entranced by the idea that people see faces in everything, which makes sense because facial recognition must be basic to survival. But what a kick!I saw this little fellow on a sticker pasted on a wall -- no idea what it's for. If you just saw a question mark and an exclamation point, you wouldn't think 'face.' But placed where a head should be, those are clearly eyes and an expressive set of eyebrows.
I love these guys -- such personality! A Nike mouth and a pair of glasses on a soccer ball. Wow. Who thinks of doing this?
These tiles, which I saw at the British Museum on the first day of our trip, started my find-a-face frenzy. I saw them from across the room and for a second I was stunned. They were in the section on Islamic art, which never portrays people. Then I realized that these were not faces. Taking the tiles together, you see the design, but if you focus on an individual tile, you see two crossed eyes sitting on a round nose, big lips below, and a fringe of hair above. It started me wondering what is essential to make us see a face. It's interesting to think about. My guild's challenge for this year is a self portrait, and I may play around with the face idea in a quilt.

And as long as we're anthropomorphizing, take a look at this well-dressed Parisian tree and pipe:

Those are knitted sleeves -- don't know how they get them on! A couple years ago I saw a website or blog that showed some trees wearing knitted garments, but I didn't save the url. Just did a google search and found this lovely tree ensemble.

Of course I know it's ridiculous to dress a tree or put eyeglasses on soccer balls, but it's so much fun. So many cities and towns are just plain ugly, at least in the U.S. Just a little splash of paint on a wall, a quilt hung here or there, a tree that's dressed up with nothing else to do but make people smile -- how much that could change how we feel! I'm in favor of random acts of beauty, or of humor.

Quilting without my foot
Finally, on the foot surgery front, I'm getting better. It has been quite pain free, but the boot I have to wear for 2 weeks is so thick in the heel that I'm very hobbled when I take the few steps I can manage.
I have a little scooter to get around on. Paula the Quilter suggested it and it's great! I bend my knee and rest the lower leg (the one in the boot) on a padded surface and push myself around with my good leg. You should see me go! (Of course, one time I toppled off...)
I brought a couple quilting projects upstairs to the dining room to work on while I recover. I haven't done the borders for Otto's quilt as I had planned because it's too awkward to measure and cut something that big right now (getting onto the floor, except by falling, is not so doable at the moment). But I joined a guild swap to use up some holiday fabrics that were at the bottom of a box of fabric I purchased at an auction, and I have done all of those -- 11 blocks a month for 6 months! But I'm done! It was a little boring, but easy under the circumstances, even with my left foot running the pedal. When I can walk again, I can do more interesting stuff. My daughter Val, who is taking good care of me, is going to help me downstairs today and I will choose some more interesting projects to bring upstairs!

It's great to have Val home and looking after me. In case you are worried that I'm not doing well, check out the dinner she made me last night -- a spinach, pine nut, and apricot frittata with oven roasted potato wedges and a salad of mixed greens with roasted beets and peppers!
So good! In case you wonder about the dried apricots in the frittata, so did we -- but they were fabulous!

Added later: The Calico Cat asked about the frittata recipe. It's from Cook 1.0 by Heidi Swanson. She's also the author of Super Natural Cooking. Her stuff is great -- usually quick and easy, with an emphasis on whole foods and deliciously healthful recipes. She's a professional photographer, so the photos are fabulous. I subscribe to her newsletter, which is emailed every time she posts (a few times a week). So many good recipes, so many interesting links! Her blog is 101 Cookbooks. Check it out!

I also want to give my thanks to Toni, the Quilting Pirate, and Gene, an Alabama Artist, for giving me blogging awards. I really enjoy their blogs and it feels wonderful to know that they enjoy mine! I feel a little awkward naming others (I know some people like these and some people don't), but would like to say that I very, very much enjoy being part of the quilt blogging community. You guys are great! And if you would like to post an award, feel free because I would love to give one to each of you. But if you hesitate, or if you wonder about the history of some of these awards, take a look at Michele's With Heart and Hands post about one of them.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Heeling (!) well

What a surprise when I woke up from my surgery with a cast on my foot! Something they neglected to tell me in advance...But I'll only have it on until Monday, when they'll replace it with a boot. Yesterday I was all drugged up and pretty out of it, but today I decided not to take pain medicine until I needed it, and so far, I haven't needed it. Hoorah! I'm using a rolling chair from our kitchen set as a wheelchair, and Monday I'll see about getting crutches. No sewing so far, as I have to keep my leg elevated, but I hope by tomorrow I won't need to do that. Just letting you all know I'm doing fine!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Home again, home again

Hello, everyone! I feel very out of the loop because I had almost no computer time during my vacation, and what little I had was just enough to quickly read some email. I'll be visiting blogs and catching up this coming week. I missed everyone!

My trip was great -- I went to my niece's wedding in England (her husband is British) and since we were already almost there, my husband and I took the Eurostar to Paris. Awesome! In addition to all those touristy things that people do, I also got to spend a wonderful day with Tonya of Lazy Gal Quilting. What fun! I saw all her fabulous quilts up-close-and-personal. It was like being in Disneyland. Tonya was so friendly and she showed me a few little tricks for making wonky letters. Then we went fabric shopping. I picked up 3 African fabrics at a great price. I don't know exactly what I'm going to do with them, but I like them so much I'll think of something.I also got to chat with Clare, the Dordogne Quilter, who was too far away to visit but close enough to phone. Since I started blogging, I've made so many friends around the country and around the world. I can't believe my good fortune at getting to know Clare and Tonya better!

I really haven't had time to do much quilting since returning home (little things like a zillion loads of laundry and mountains of mail took precedence). But tomorrow I'm having some minor surgery to fix my foot -- hoorah! -- and so my sweet husband suggested that I bring my sewing machine and projects to the main living area since I won't be doing stairs for awhile. I can't carry everything up, so I played around a little with Otto's quilt to choose a border. After auditioning many fabrics, I'm thinking of using a black and white check border with a red binding. Too much? Comments welcome! Remember, this is for a baby, and babies like high contrast.
It's good to be in touch with everyone again. I'll be seeing you in blogland this week!