Saturday, September 2, 2006

I haven't disappeared . . .

I've just been either away from home or swamped at work or trying to catch up on my sleep. It's been over two weeks since I did much of any quilting - and that alone can make me crabby. It's been almost two weeks since I picked up my new featherweight cabinet, and it still sits in the hall waiting for me to clean the sewing room enough so we can take it in. The next three days are all mine - I've probably got at least three times as many things on my "want to do" list than I'll have time for. It'll be fun trying!

We spent last weekend with all our kids. The six of us piled into Jeremy's and Chelsea's new Pilot and headed down the Oregon coast to Coos Bay where we spent the night. Sunday morning we headed on to Bandon so we could reach the West Coast Game Park when it opened at 9:00 a.m. Jeremy and Chelsea discovered this place on their honeymoon and went back last summer. They had a new baby cougar this year so the Cougars in the family - Jeremy and DSIL Rick - decided we needed to become personally acquainted with the new baby. This was an amazing place - dozens of animals roaming freely. Lamas, sheep, goats, chickens, deer, peacocks, a donkey and more all begging for attention from the humans - or at least the food we bought to distribute. The wilder animals were in large cages like a zoo. At regular intervals the staff brings out babies for petting and photographing. We spent a good 3 hours exploring and communing with the animals. Lots of babies everywhere, and soon lots more will be on the way - judging by the behavior of the animals. We had lots of fun, but came home very tired from 5-6 hours in the car each day. I'd hoped to appliqué while we were driving, but I was in the very back and there just wasn't enough room back there.


I've had "It's a Wonderful Life" spread all over my cutting table for the past two weeks, trying to get the appliqués for the border cut out. I started working on the "winter border" corner and got stalled there. I just didn't like how it was going. I cut out some of the other border pieces but didn't pin them on as I didn't want to move the top until this corner was all ready to stitch. I haven't had time to do more than look at it now and then, but each time I looked I really didn't care for what I saw. I finally realized last night that I just don't like the design in the corner. The red claw-like things are supposed to be pomegranates, and they do nothing for me. I like the pineapple and the holly, but it just looks scrawny anweirdrd to me. Then I had a revelation - you can't imagine how daring this is for me - I realized I could change it any way I wanted to! This is a very bold step for me, as I always seem to follow patterns to the letter. I'm thrilled that I've finally "grown" enough in my quilting life that I feel comfortable doing this. I can't draw - but these are folk art shapes. I can draw those! So I think I'll leave out the red claws and add more holly leaves and clusters of holly berries instead. Now I feel re-energized and ready to get it all prepped for finishing. Jeanne, aren't you proud of me!!!!

I'm so far behind on both my blog and my email reading. I'm going to try to catch up this weekend. I want to get my featherweight cabinet moved into my sewing room. I want to start prewashing the Mistletoe Manor fabric. I want to put away the summer decorations and get out the fall things. Unfortunately I also have to do laundry, grocery shopping and a couple more less pleasant things. And hopefully I'll get to see the Mariners beat Tampa Bay at least twice!

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Gratitudes:

1. Three day weekends
2. Fall - my favorite season - is almost here
3. Cool nights
4. Family fun
5. Blue skies

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14 comments:

Darlene said...

Welcome back - I've missed you!

Have a great week end - make it all yours, you deserve it.

Evelyn aka Starfishy said...

Sounds like you have been busy. Great photos at the animal park. And - good for you to change an element of the design that doesn't work for you! I think more holly leaves and some berries will look great!

Cheers!

Evelyn

Judy said...

Darn I lost my comment! I think you made a good choice. I've never seen pomegranates like that before and they would have to have super skinny stems in order to remotely work...nope..good choice!!

Carol said...

Glad to see you back. I'm with you...I think those are just goofy (sorry Jan) keep us posted on what you create to put in there. Have a wonderful weekend! ENJOY your time!

McIrish Annie said...

Way to go Patti!!! I think those "lobster claws" have to go! your idea seems better..

glad you are back. hope the Mariners do well. My poor Sox are battered and bruised. We are done!

sewprimitive karen said...

Patti, those are wonderful photos of the animals!!

Cynthia said...

thanks for sharing the photos of the animal park.

Have a good weekend and i hope you can find some quilty time for yourself.

Libby said...

So glad you got to spend such delightful time with your kids. The animal park looks like so much fun.
I'm happy that you have made your own design decisions. It can be hard to let go, but so freeing and satisfying one you do. Enjoy the process.

Finn said...

OK Patti, I'm not just dropping by as usual, I'm here to leave TWICE as many hugs as normal for you..*VBS*
It's awful to be so busy at work and home that you miss your sewing time...just isn't fair. A girls bound to get crabby!!! Extra hugs for that!
And I can't tell you how thrilled I was to read you are going to dismiss the pattern design that doesn't work for you, and use something of your VERY OWN that does work for you!! 3 blue ribbon day for that one!!
Hope your weekend is all that you want and need it to be. Big hugs, Finn

Quilts And Pieces said...

Oh the wildlife park looks so wonderful! And I'm so proud of you making the girl gang quilt yours on the winter border! Good for you!

Kathy - Pink Chalk Studio said...

I'm a pattern follower too. I keep wanting to find my voice in my quilting but I'm often happy to just change a pattern here and there to my liking. Choosing bold fabrics has been my way to claim patterns for myself. I enoyed reading your narrative of changing your quilt design, it fuels my inspiration to make my quilts my own! Your lucky to be so close to your kids that you can spend that type of time with them. My mom would be very envious. We got to see the Mariners beat the Yankees two weeks ago, given how the season has been we had lots of fun that evening. The girls had Dippin Dots and cotton candy. Love that baby cougar :)

Pam said...

Did the apes throw poop at you??? They are so horrible about that! We will most likely go in October since our littlest grandkidlets are now a bit older and will not be so bullied by the goats.

Glad you enjoyed your trip...we so love living on the Southern Oregon Coast.

Vicky said...

I'm a "follower," too, except on applique where I often change things. I was in a 4-day workshop with Robyn Pandolph a few years ago. I was having trouble laying out an applique block exactly like her pattern. She saw my distress, grabbed up a few leaves, moved them to the opposite side of the piece and said, "Now applique that down!" It was a real lightbulb moment for me, and I now take liberties with my applique! Very freeing!

Your Wonderful Life quilt is gorgeous. Can't wait to see it all finished up!

HUGS

Jeanne said...

My 'Wonderful Life' is waiting in a tub for me, too. And when I get back to it, I will most certainly be changing the borders, also!
Are you going to do the 2007 flag one? I don't think I will.
Jeanne :)