Thursday, February 28, 2008


Thanks to everyone who gave me input regarding whether to crop the quilt or not. In the end, I split the difference and cropped most of the blue off the one side (although not as much as I'd thought of initially. I also decided to put a regular binding on it, adding a small amount of the light blue from the challenge colours.

So here is the finished quilt.

I'm still not sure I'm happy with it, but the deadline is here, so there you go.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Stilling Thinking

This isn't right in my head yet. Aargh. Maybe soon. I'm sitting at work still musing over this piece and trying to figure whether I like it. And so I pick at it like a scab. I cropped it in photoshop just to see what it would look like. Maybe it's a good thing it is at home so I don't cut it to pieces before I completely make up my mind. Any preferences which looks better?


Not cropped:

Spiro Finished (almost)

I'm almost afraid to show this now. I've received more compliments on the previous look, much to my surprise. I wasn't happy with anything from the very start. On my design wall, it looked lost and unappealing without much to draw me to look closer. Cropped and on a computer screen was another matter.

So here is the almost completed quilt.

I'm going to bind it, but with a facing instead of a narrow binding. The finished size is about 16 1/2" wide x 19" high.

This month proved a real challenge (huh, go figure), but I enjoyed the stretch. I felt very much that I had to take this idea further to make it work. Some ideas I had didn't work, but now, two days from the end of the month, I have a thought on how to possibly make my initial idea work. Hum, more playing might be in order.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


After a weekend away, I'm finally making progress on this month's Take It Further Challenge. I had enough put together to work on it in between milonga's when I was in Portland, but didn't get much accomplished. Ah well, there is still one more week left in the month.

Now for some quilting. And maybe beads.

Friday, February 15, 2008

ValenTango—A Reflection or Two

It is quite possible I'm becoming a tango festival junkie. I love the passion, the energy and the shear number of bodies. Watching the young hot bodies dance is an experience all its own. I spent pleasurable moments in between abusing my feet watching footwork, hip movements and embrace. Ah, bliss.

At Gordon's recommendation, I made sure to attend all the alternative milonga's. Hipbone (that fits tango doesn't it!) was hot and crowded, but the vibrancy more than made up for the heat. The venue is funky, but the heat almost made it too much. Here, it is evident that there is a subtle change in dance among the younger crowd. A higher skill level is necessary to dance the way these kids are. Grounding of your foot, the necessity to collect, the pause are all integral. The dancing is much more a dance of pause and move, pause and move. It is wonderful to watch and even better to dance.

I've been perusing websites looking for a tango festival in July that was mentioned. After discovering that many of those hot bodies I saw were internationally renowned teachers in Portland "for fun", I finally found what I was looking for. Nora's Tango Week runs from July 4th to 11th in San Francisco. Hum, guess I know where I'm going next.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Spiro Frustration

My idea for the TIF February is based on a Spirograph. It was one of my favourite toys as a kid. One problem quickly arose. They are no longer available. At least not in the same form that I remember. Chapters online shows a new version, but Toys 'R Us doesn't, at least not in Canada. I didn't bother to head to Chapter's locally to see if any were in stock, as it was easy to see that the set isn't what I remember.

I found a Klutz book with a similar product to the new version of the Spirograph, and took it home to play with. If you have a good idea, don't mess with it! This just doesn't measure up. All the circles are the same size and the dynamics of creating the spirals are different. I persevered... I'm stubborn, just ask anyone who knows me well.

After much trial:

And error (more error than trial, actually) I might have found something that will work. It will be very ephemeral, but with quilting may get the idea across. We'll see.

My biggest concern is that I'm going to run out of time. I have until Wednesday to get something together, and then won't be able to work on it until next week as I'm heading to Portland on Thursday for Valentango. Woo hoo! Oh, and a friend booked the hotel online for me. He thought it was near the tango venue. Instead it it near the largest fabric store in Portland. Fabric instead of shoes? I think I can live with that!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Further thoughts on TIF

I've been contemplating the idea of the February challenge. Several ideas have come to mind, but I'm not jumping up and down over any of them. None of them fit with the idea of taking things further.

Yesterday I bought supplies for one idea, but still don't know if this is one I want to do, after all, those of us of a certain age all remember the first moon landing. It doesn't feel original enough to work on something that is so much a part of all of our psyche (but maybe that is the best reason to do it).

While in the craft store, I remembered a recent conversation on spirograph. This was one of my favourite toys when I was young. That sent my mind in another direction. Hum, are they even still available? I couldn't find a spirograph though. The closest was a Klutz book with elaborate wheels, but this might have potential. Now my mind is working on how to bring something out of this nebulous idea percolating at the back of my mind. Oh gee, there is something else I remember--percolated coffee.

Friday, February 01, 2008

What To Do?

Hum, don't know where to go with this piece. Originally, I thought to embellish it once I quilted it--something I haven't really tried in the past. After I appliqued the light strips on, I had to let it sit to figure out how to quilt it. Now, I have no idea whether embellishments will work.

I've sewn on beads, I've taken off beads. I chose different coloured beads and sewed those on. And took them off. I kind of like the leaves, but my daughter thinks it takes away from the simplicity of the piece. Yeah, bummer. That's what I was afraid of. On to February and this can sit on my design wall for a while. Like Juanita said, maybe it will whisper to me. Instead of yelling like it did with a few of those bead choices.

How Old Am I?

The Take it Further Challenge this month is "what are you old enough to remember?" In no particular order, just remembering:

I remember Neil Armstrong taking the first step on the moon. My brother and I sat in our living room and watched in awe. I must also have watched the second moon landing as I always thought the moon landing was near my birthday even though it was in July.

I remember when penny candy was actually less than a penny. My brother and I would get a quarter once a week for our allowance and part of it was spent on little black jawbreakers that were five for a penny.

I remember disco. I was too young to get into the clubs to dance, so I would slather on the makeup and sneak in. I guess no one was as vigilant back then as I can remember spending many a Saturday dancing my fool heart out. Not much has changed--I still love to dance my fool heart out!

I remember Atari and the games that went with it. Hey, I remember Pong, the first computer game ever.

I remember peddle pushers. Now we call them capri pants. Mine where hot pink. I always wonder at the reasoning of my mom allowing a red head to wear florescent pink pants, but hey I was a kid.

I remember eight tracks. Enough said.

I remember when we used to talk to one another. I mean OMG, WTF does TTFN mean?

I remember drive-in movies (and the A&W Drive-in). Every Saturday my mom and dad would take us to A&W for Chubby Chicken. Then we would head to the drive-in for a double feature. I remember trying to stay awake to watch the "mom and dad" movie every single time. And never once did I manage. I also remember waking up just enough when we arrived home to know dad was once again carrying me into the house. And loving it.

I remember the Cold War. And the end of the Cold War. To this day, I have a love of Bond movies. I read every Ian Flemming book he ever wrote, watched every Bond movie, read Le Carre and Graham Greene. I wanted to be a spy when I grew up. Ah well.

I remember Twiggy. She was the first thin model. Now we can't get away from them and the image the portray. Anorexia anyone?

I remember how great it once was to look back, the sweet nostalgia of remembering the good times in life. Thanks Sharon for helping me to reflect on those pleasures. Ah, I needed that.

If I ponder it some more, there will be more that I remember, but now to figure out if there is a quilt in there somewhere. If not, the colour scheme for this month is pretty cool too.