Thursday, January 29, 2009

Secret Valentine Revealed

My guild has a Secret Valentine Swap every year. This is one of the best parts about the guild. You make something for a member anonymously and mail it or deliver it to her for Valentines Day. I have received many beautiful things,a rumbleford bag, table runner, quilt, etc. Below is the Valentine I am sending off. I made the apron using an apron I have as a guide. There are Swarovski crystals all over it! I hope she likes it:) I also bought her a cloisonne brown and pink tape measure but I forgot to photograph it and it's already wrapped. Everyone brings in their gift to the February meeting, we sit in a huge circle and we introduce ourselves to each other and show off our Valentine. The funnest part of this is that some people have hilarious stories about how they delivered it or how they received it. Last year my friend Jen donned a wig and sang like Cher when she delivered my Valentine for me. It was a hoot. I don't think my Secret Valentine uses the computer much (I asked her DIL) so no worries that she will see it early.

I met up with friends from high school last weekend in my hometown of Melrose MA. It was great to see them. I left at 17 for college and never really went back home. I felt like a journalist asking a million questions. We are getting together again in a few weeks because a freind who moved to FL is coming home. I am looking forward to seeing them all again. We found each other again through facebook!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Studio Redo Again

When I was in Houston at the International Quilt Festival I bought a Bernina Quilting Frame. I can use it with my Aurora 440. It came in several boxes so I asked Kevin to assemble it for me as a Christmas gift. While planning where it would go in the studio (cellar) we started talking about my sewing table. I wanted one that had a bigger surface. Below are the results of that conversation. The table was built for the garage to store the kids toys on and under. It was a great idea but ended being a catch all. Kevin cut the legs down to the perfect height and then cut spaces for my machines. It wasn't that long ago that I fixed up my studio but somehow we were redoing it again. I guess it will be a constant evolution to the perfect space.

In the photo are the cool quilting lights my sister Maureen gave me for Christmas....

From this shot you can see that both machines are on one side of the table. Great for sewing with the kids. I keep the Bernina 1130 threaded with white and use it for all those things that need to be peiced...
This is my tool box that I keep next to my sewing table. I have been using it for about 10 years. It's on wheels and I take it with my when I go away quilting with my guild. I love it....
These are my purchases from The City Quilter in NYC. It was on my list of places to go. Great shop with lots of fabric choices. The piece of lexan was cut by Kevin for me as a trimmer for my postcards. He has cut a bunch for friends, too.
This is my favorite part of the new sewing table. The storage space is awesome. Everything that I need is right there in front of my but not in my way!

Here is the new frame. My friend Kathy Sperino - Finishing lines is going to come over and help me get my first "quilt" on it so I can start practicing! She is unbelievably talented and I am lucky to have her as a friend!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

the happy and the sad

I have had so many things to blog about and written many posts in my head over the last month. We had a terrible tragedy in our lives last week. Our next door neighbor Ty Nakamura was killed in a car accident on Christmas Eve. He was 39, married to a lovely girl named Stephanie. They have a little boy who will be one in a few weeks and she is pregnant. Words can't express how sad we feel for her. This community has been fabulous in gathering around her to help her in any way they can. There is a fund set up to help her. Checks in any amount can be made out to: Stephanie Nakamura FBO the Ty Nakamura Memorial Fund and mailed to Milford National Bank,14 Hastings Street, Mendon, MA 01756. The other part of this tragedy is that the car that Ty was in the accident with also had a fatality and it was another neighbors 93 year old Grandfather. Such a sad loss for his family and such a terrible time to lose a family member.

Here are some of the things I wanted to blog about.

I got an email before Christmas that my Slice of Life quilt was chosen for the IQF 2010 Calendar! The note said they publishers from Martingale Press chose from 400 finalist. What an awesome thing. They also asked if I would lend them my quilt for their Chicago and California 2009 Shows....

I had a commission quilt to make for Christmas from a friend. She wanted to give her husband something special this year. She gave me photo (via Flickr) of her two Siamese cats. Here is the finished quilt.

I made a commissioned bag for someone for Christmas for her daughter. She chose the fabrics she thought her daughter would like and left the rest to me. The lining and pockets are vintage fabrics. The messenger style is fun to make.

Below is a picture of my family taken at the Murphy Family Christmas Party. We had a great time seeing everyone. My SIL Pat and BIL Dave did a wonderful job pulling it all together. We look forward to seeing everyone again soon!

Kevin and I just returned from NYC. We went for our 20th wedding anniversary. We stayed at the Warwick Hotel (lovely place) and were there from 12/30 to 1/2. We stayed in room 2009! Can you believe that? We didn't request that room, just lucky. The hotel was across the street from the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) and they had a special exhibit of Van Gogh. It was terrific. There has often been discussion on the the list about copying. I learned to become an artist by copying and it was how we were taught in College (I have a BA in Art). Several of the pieces in the MoMA are copies of others work or styles. One of Van Gogh's pieces specifically says that it is his translation of Millet's work. With 30,000,000 million quilters in the world (and billions of artists) there is nothing new that can be done, just translations.....
We also went to see Spamalot on Broadway! Hilarious even if you aren't a Monty Python fan. Clay Aiken was Sir Robin which made the show even more fun to watch. I am not a fan but he was great! We met a really nice couple from Canada on New Years Eve in Randolph's Lounge in the hotel. We met them again on New Years Day and it was great to get to know them. We talked about everything from fishing to politics! We hope we meet up with them again, they were really cool people.
Kevin built me a new sewing's 4'x8' and he sunk both of my Bernina's into the top. We reorganized my sewing room to fit my new Bernina quilting frame. I will take some pictures when I am finished reorganizing.
Some of my goals for 2009 are; to make lots of Murphy Bags (I sold 25 in December) and quilts, enter some quilt shows and return to Houston.