Sunday, April 29, 2007

This week has gone by so quickly!

Can't recall what I did all week except for working on Alana's tallit. It's finally got it's basic design and stitching done. This week I will do the embroidery and beading.
And finally sew on the lining.
Then I'm going to make a quilted tallit bag, except it's not going to be a bag but a roll-up (like a jewellry roll bag). I already have a nice piece of cotton fabric which matches the tallit in colours. Its pattern has lines which go from one side to the other so I'll use those lines as my quilting stitch guide.
Today is the opening of the Pomegranate Guild 25th Anniversary Exhibit and I am quite excited. I will be seeing many pieces the other members have made as well as the group quilt. I haven't seen it yet except for a glimpse in the Canadian Jewish News. I wasn't able to work on it because it was made at Tuesday afternoon workshops and I work during the week.
But I got a call last week to say that there was an empty wall in the exhibit hall and someone had suggested my family chuppah to fill the space. So in addition to my blue and white shadow box, my "brother-grandfather" piece and my "four sons" piece, my chuppah will also be on display. I am excited and proud of my textile accomplishments.
Anyways, off to the exhibit! I hope to post photos and commentary about it later.
P.S. Did I mention that I was at the Mississauga Quilter's Guild exhibit yesterday and saw a goregous black and white quilt with splashed of colour at the centre of each block. Menachem took photos. I will post later.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Tired but content

Yesterday was a long day. And today, my body aches.
I spent the day with Lola, a new quilting friend from Israel who is here visiting her daughter. We went over to pick her up and she brought me some booklets of quilts from Israel which I have perused and intend to revisit soon.
Menachem drove us to Newmarket to take in the York Region Quilter's Show and then he went down to watch the Raptors first playoff game.
I think Lola enjoyed herself. Most of the quilts were traditional, both in patterns and techniques. Not very much art quilt style. I almost always enjoy these shows because I now have a true appreciation of the amount of work invested in each quilt. There was also a vendors area but I was a good girl and only bought 3 fat quarters...
From there we walked at least 5 km. to the bus back to Toronto. (It was supposed to be a 2 km. walk but I didn't realize exactly where the bus stop was...) On the ride back, we both napped. Then we took the bus to the Creative Needlework and Sewing Festival out near the airport. The show was OK. Again I was a good girl and only bought some "Sulky" -- I've never tried sandwiching fabrics and fibres and thought it was high time I tried--and some lacey type lavender fabric which I may use for Alana's tallit.
Menachem came to pick us up and it's a good thing he did. I was so tired by the end of the day.
And now my back aches from all the shlepping and walking...
But I came home energized and finished cutting the glue and paper bits off the fabric samples.
I'm going to make my first art quilt. I'm not quite sure yet what colours and fabrics to combine but I'm planning to jump in and start cutting strips and hope for the best.
Anyways, Menachem has a camp meeting this afternoon and I think I'll go to Fabricland to see if I can find any lavender fabrics there and save myself a trip down to Queen Street.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Itchy fingers

Wednesday evening I went to the Pomegranate Guild meeting. I was tired, as usual, and wasn't terribly able to assimilate the lecture about the history of Jews in the textile dyeing industry, although it was interesting.

The evening was not, however, a total write-off. One of our members brought in upholstery fabric sample books for people to take and some did. Whatever was left, I took. I brought them home, and dismantled the sample books. I will cull from them the samples I like and take the rest back to the next meeting.

I have been mulling over an idea for an art quilt -- I've never made one -- based on a mosaic pattern I saw. The samples should work wonderfully with other fabrics I already have. Yesterday, Menachem and I went to Perth to check out the winter damage at camp. There wasn't any visible damage except for the raccoons who apparently have moved into the Beit Tarbut (rec hall) again...
But on the 3.5 hour trip in each direction, I had time to think about the technical aspects of doing the art quilt and think I may have solved one of my dilemmas.

We also visited Dee, my quilting guru. She is quilting my first quilt and has finished it except for the borders. It looks quite striking. She is coming into Toronto next Friday evening for a camp board meeting and I wouldn't be surprised if she brings it with her. And then I will have to bind it. Et voila. It only took two years to finish...

Saturday, I am spending the day with Lola, a quilting friend from Israel who I haven't met personally yet. We had originally made plans to go to Cock-a-doodle Quilts and then down to Queen Street to the buttons/beads/fabrics/ribbon stores but while surfing, I found out that there's a quilt show in Newmarket and I think she may enjoy that more. The creative needlework and craft festival is also on this weekend so maybe we'll go there Sunday. It will take some creative scheduling because Menachem has his first Raptors playoff game on Saturday and a camp meeting on Sunday.

And I've received the go-ahead for Alana's tallit. I want to buy fabric and trims -- on the trip, I had several ideas about how to make it. I'm just waiting for Alana to tell me what kind of a design she wants and her colour choices. She had orginally chosen lavender but I'm not sure I'll be able to find it in duppioni. I actually thought of make stripes using duppioni, organza, lace and ribbons between them. I'll have to run it by her, although I think she's pretty easy in that respect.

Anyways, off to work.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Dry Spell

I am going through a dry spell, creatively. Probably because I am not sleeping well and am just too tired in the morning and evenings, before and after work, to stitch.
Dee, my quilt guru, was in over the weekend for a Hashomer Hatzair board meeting which was held in the restaurant of the Novotel North York Hotel. I took my projects along and after the meeting ended, we laid out the wonky quilt on the restaurant floor for her critique. The concensus is that I will rip out the borders and this summer, when we get together, she will show me how to stabilize the quilt edges before adding the borders.
I have been pondering making fabric boxes. I downloaded three patterns for paper folded boxes and made the first one. I debated whether a box made from two layers of fabric sandwiching wonder-under would be sufficiently rigid. It isn't. So my next try will be with stiffer stuff -- Pellon or similar. I am still trying to figure out the mechanics but have an idea.
Anyways, I'm off to work shortly so will cut this post short.

Friday, April 06, 2007

For lo the winter is past

Ha ha. It snowed yesterday and there's flurries today. And it is cold.
I have been sick for a few days with cold/flu symptoms and this weather is very conducive to staying indoors and catching up.

The sdarim are over and were both lovely. The first night was chez nous and we had 16 people: the usual suspects minus Alissa and family plus Roi and Nicole. Roi (one of my father's former pupils) and his wife, Nicole, came in from Pittsburgh and stayed with us so that was an additional pleasure.
The preparations were relaxed, the seder itself was relaxed and the clean-up was also not terribly daunting.

The second seder we went to Alissa's. Also very, very nice. It was just family -- Alissa and Mel, Sari and David, Johanna, Matty, Aunty Ethel, my mother, Devora and Noam, and Menachem and me. So we were able to carry on conversations without too much hoo ha.

I had been feeling lousy off and on since before Pesach, running nose, itchy eyes, headache, but it developed into fever and chills, so I stayed home Wednesday and yesterday and slept off and on during the daytime and even during the night (something I haven't been doing recently). Today I'm better insofar as fever goes but I think it may be developing into a sinus infection so I'm going to take it easy for the next few days.

This morning, feeling better, I went into my studio to stitch a little. I'm almost almost finished the Heschel piece. I just have to sew on the hanging sleeve, attach a label (still trying to decide what it should say) and perhaps a few bobble and beads at the bottom corners.

I have more or lest finished my UFOs and am now into my WIPs. I want to finish the challah cover, two more cq pink squares and a few other pieced pieces (another blue Auf Simchas trio, and two more pink/purple Auf Simchas trios. I have the Inbal quilt tops to finish, sandwich and quilt, and some other things floating around.

So, that said, I'm off to stitch. And because it is Good Friday and the Easter weekend, there is the most fabulous liturgical music on the radio. Relaxation at its best.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Gefilte fish and tsimmes

One of the reasons I blog is to keep my children who live an ocean away up to date on what's going on in the parental unit's life.

It is erev erev Pesach and we are preparing for the Seder tomorrow evening which will be at our house. I actually started cleaning last week -- cleaning of the heavy-duty once a year variety. I continued yesterday and today.

This morning Menachem made gefilte fish, using his late mother's recipe. While he was "putchking" with the fish, I, as sous chef, peeled a ton of carrots for the tsimmes. So now the fish, tsimmes and vegetarian clear soup are ready, the dining table has been extended, the Pesach dishes have been washed, the list of things to do tomorrow is ready and we're relaxing, sort of, for the rest of the day. Menachem and Yunkie have a basketball game this evening.

Tomorrow, Menachem will make Pesach meringue cookies, chicken with prunes, baked potatoes and yams, roasted vegetables, and a fruit platter. (My mother is bringing her veal roast which, according to the family's carnivores, is delicious, Devora is bringing a salad, Mindy is bringing ratatouille, and Bat-Sheva is bring bits and bites for dessert. And my mother is bringing compote, the traditional anti-dote to matza overload...

We love having the family over but it's always a little sad for us because our kids are so far away...
We are having company, though. One of my father's pupils and his wife, Roi and Nicole, are coming for the Seder from Pittsburgh. Although Nicole has family in Toronto, they have cats and Roi is allergic. So they'll be staying with us. They should be coming this evening.

Anyways, I'm off to nap. I have a cold and it's making me tired.

Chag Sameach to whomever may be reading.
I haven't been in my studio for a while. I haven't been sleeping well so I have trouble getting up early to stitch in the morning and am too tired to stitch in the evening...
Oh well. Hopefully this too shall pass.

About Me

I am in my mid 50's, have been married (happily) for 38 years, have 3 adult children who live an ocean away... By day I am a legal secretary. The rest of the time I play with fabric but I still won't run with scissors...