Thursday, November 17, 2011

Giving thanks

As I was sorting through some old photos the other day, I ran across this little gem. This is me in 6th grade, working on a sewing project for my Jr. High Home Ec. class.  I was sewing an elephant pillow as a decoration for my room.  We had already done straight line sewing by constructing a chef's apron.  Now we were working on sewing curves.  What would be a fast, easy project for me now, was quite challenging for me then.
As I recall, I got quite familiar with my seam ripper because I had a huge problem keeping the 5/8" seam allowance going around the curves of the little trunk. We were graded on accuracy and my teacher was quite a stickler, so I wanted to get it just right.  The memory makes me smile.
I had no idea then what learning that skill would lead to now...

And, these few photos don't even begin to cover the clothes, toys and items for my home I have churned out over the years. 
So, since this time of year is a time to show our gratitude, I wanted to say thank-you.

Thank you, Mrs. Highfield.  
Thanks for your skill and dedication as you introduced a silly, giggling, home-economically-challenged, pre-teen girl to a skill that has rewarded me so much through the years.  
I know it was your job, but I appreciate that while you were firm in your demand for attention to detail and accuracy, you were patient and compassionate as I learned the ropes.  Because of you, I have a talent that continues to bring me great satisfaction to this day.  
My only regret is that I cannot speak these words to you in person.  Not that I think you would remember me or anything.  I am sure you helped many, many young girls in your career.  It's just that if I were able to speak to you personally, I would know my words actually reached you.  I've never been a teacher, but I imagine that I would be very happy to know that something I taught someone actually changed their life for the better.  
You did that for me, Mrs. Highfield.  If you ever do stumble across this blog, I hope you approve of the fruit of your labors.

Remember this quilt?  Wow, it's hard to believe I finished that top a year ago.  Well, the week before we left for Thanksgiving, I finally got it quilted.  

I love the way it turned out.  

It is a little hard to see in the photos but I did something different with my stipple stitch.  I used the zig-zag stitch on my machine and I am thrilled with the results.  The quilting really goes with the Halloween theme of the fabric.  The multi-directional zig-zags remind me of the arched back of a cat and for that reason I have named this quilt "Scaredy-Cat".  It just seems to fit.

Here is a picture of the back.  Although the fabric is busy, it does show off the quilting more than the front.  The smokey blue thread I used just sort of blends in on the front. 
You might recognize the pattern of this quilt as the same one I used for the quilt I made for my father-in-law's 95th birthday.

Well, I was finally able to give it to him at the big family celebration on the 27th.  I am happy to report it was a big hit. 

Here is another quilt top I whipped up before we left for Utah.  
I have had this fabric in my stash for a while but was unsure of what to do with it.  I didn't want to chop up the design, so I finally just decided to use the entire yard as the center and run a couple of borders around it.  I think it made a fun, bright toddler quilt.
Here is the backing and binding fabric I have chosen.  The multi-colored dots will be the back and the grey houndstooth will be the binding.  

Of course, I can't use something from my stash without finding something to replace it.  Here are a few fabrics I just couldn't resist.  Lucky for me, they were all on sale!

With the holidays coming up and my training certification looming in December, I probably won't be able to spend too much time quilting.  The first part of the month will be spent cramming for the test.  After that I will be frantically getting the house ready for the kids Christmas visit.  However, here is a sneak peek of what I am planning for my next project.  

I can't wait to get started!