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Monday, December 2, 2013
Catching up with the news
I went to a baby shower on Saturday. It took place in the electrons of cyberspace, people attended from the ends of the Earth - Canada, New Zealand - and the rest of the earth - USA, the UK - all to celebrate the pending arrival of Sarah's first baby, also known as bean. Sarah, who blogs at Narcoleptic in a Cupboard, also lives at another end of the Earth in the Shetland Isles, and it was fun and amazing to attend a shower for her nonetheless. Her mom took awesome photos for us and she was positively glowing while she opened the presents, so a huge success all round.
I made that infinity scarf for a shower prize, and the lovely Reene from Nellie's Niceties won it. I had this fabric on my shelf for a long time and did not make the scarf, thinking it would be too much work. Wrong. It took 30 minutes, from the start of cutting to the end of hand stitching up the turning hole. I already made one for me and plan some more. These would be excellent quick to make Christmas presents.
Now that Sarah has it, I can tell you that I sent Sarah the Swirling Medallion Quilt. I made it for her last summer and it has been really hard keeping it a secret till now.
A number of folks commented on my napkins and wondered how they wash up. So after they all had been used, I washed and dried them on regular warm and warm settings with my towels. These two photos are straight from the dryer before pressing. You can see there is not much curling and a little draw in from the thread and they came nice and clean - which is not how they went into the washer. Now, I did prewash both the quilter's cottons and the essex linen before I made them, because I wash all my fabric when it arrives, and I would recommend that for napkins.
The back show very little curling on the seams before a press. Since I have become a quilter, I have an ironing board set up all the time and it took only a minute or two to give these a nice press and put them back in the napkin drawer.
A few people mentioned that cloth napkins were a bit posh and I guess that might be one way to look at it. I made the first set when my kids were really little, in an effort to save both money and the environment. My messy kids, and us parents too, needed to use paper napkins, paper towels or tissues at every meal and frankly in those days the cost was an issue.
And I thought this was one of those small things I could do to walk gently upon the earth. My old napkins have lasted 10 - 15 years, although they are now in tatters as they were used daily. I estimate that we have not thrown into the garbage at least 26,000 paper napkins, probably a lot more than that. And fabric napkins are soft and pretty too. Let me know if anyone wants a tutorial to make some for themselves.
Cheryl, from A Dining Room Empire, put out the call for scrappy slab blocks so that quilts could be made and donated to victims of the terrible flooding in Calgary last summer. I sent some blocks and many of you did too. One day I said on her blog that it was too bad I lived so far away (3 hours on the highway) or I could help with the assembly. Smart woman, she called me on it as she was here to teach a quilting class a few weeks ago and so she brought me blocks, batting and backing to complete two quilts .
Working on these quilts, made with blocks from all over the world sent by generous quilters who wanted to send a warm hug to a stranger in need, was really a lovely thing to do. The willingness of communities, including the whole world quilting community, to help those who need help, to bring them the warmth and comfort of a quilt is fantastic.
I finished these two quilts on Saturday night, but for the mending in of ends and a wash, and put a photo on instagram. Well, Cheryl saw it and let me know that she was back in town, so my guy stopped on the way to do an errand and put them in her hands Sunday morning before she left for her home.
Enough news for today, I will show off the mittens I am making next time (you can see Kristie's pair here, and Kelsey's pair here) - it is snowing a great deal today and a very cold snap is on the way, so mittens seemed in order.