Monday, August 12, 2013

I've been home for a week...

I spent five weeks in Pittsburgh, PA with my daughter, son-in-law, and 7-year-old granddaughter. First of all, let me say that it's wonderful to be loved by this little family, and to be welcomed into their home for such an extended stay. (Don't you hear a lot of stories about families that don't get along so well between generations?)
The little family.

 Second, let me express gratitude to my husband and youngest son, who support me spending time with our extended family, despite leaving them on their own. (They miss me, but they get along fine without me!)
Sitting on the front porch, enjoying the summer rain,
complete with lightning and thunder, and a double rainbow!
Third, since we leave so far apart, I'm glad to have the opportunity to really have relationship with my granddaughter, more than just a visit.
Admiring the community garden,
which Bethany and Max helped to found.
Now I'm home, with a little time before school starts and I go back to work. I've been enjoying time to myself, and getting reacquainted with my sewing space. I started by making some asterisk blocks for Sue, in our Stars in Their Eyes sewing bee. As usual, I got carried away and made more than the two expected, because it was fun to play with prints for the background fabrics.
Red and aqua on gray.

I wanted to make a gift for my cousin, who is getting married this week. (I know, the invitation said no gifts, but I just can't show up empty-handed.) I'd purchased this tea towel to make into a medallion quilt, and thought it would make an attractive cushion. When I started working with it, Ralph really liked it, and I started thinking maybe it's a little too kitschy for my sophisticated cousin. When I added the zippered back, I accidentally turned it so the zipper cover faces up (a dust catcher-ugh!), and that decided it. This pillow is staying at home.
Tea towel becomes a quilted cushion.
I even made the piping.
See that zipper cover facing right?
It's parallel to the top edge of the pillow front.
Too bad I didn't check before stitching around the pillow three times!

So I decided to make a set of cloth napkins as a gift. I used Penny's tutorial at sewtakeahike and tweeked it a little to get the best cuts from my fabric and still come up with a 16" napkin. The center is linen, and the punctuation fabric is a nod to my cousin's love of writing. To me it's also symbolic of the reminder to pause, to listen, to appreciate when sharing a meal. I love the mitered corners, thanks to Penny's easy-to-follow directions.

Aren't they sophisticated?

I'd sure like something to share for Show & Tell at this month's quilt guild! Just before I left for Pittsburgh I took Debbie Maddy's class to make her Labyrinth Quilt. Simple construction, it would be easy to make just using her pattern, but taking the class was so worthwhile! Debbie was entertaining, and full of really effective tips for cutting, sewing, and arranging fabrics. Here's my quilt in progress, now I'm working on quilting it.

Oh yes, I'll be back with more photos from Pittsburgh! I just want to live in the moment, you know!

So, what do you think, are the napkins a good gift? Is it okay to bring a gift when the invitation says gifts aren't expected? Can I wear a black dress to the afternoon wedding in the city? 

And what about that pillow, made from a retro-style tea towel? 


sewtakeahike said...

everything you made is stunning Linda! I especially love your pillow and your napkins, turned out so good!

Ralph Kucera said...

It is good to have my lovely & loving, talented & good cooking wife home! John & I are happy to allow Gramma time for Poppy & family time for Bethany & Max, but happier when she comes West again...I do feel I missed out on Pittsburgh this summer, so maybe we'll all have to come to the 'Burgh for Christmas! I think my answers are all "Yes," to your Q's