Thursday, October 20, 2011

I was captured by aliens...

OK...that's not exactly the truth.  I'm so glad I found my way back home to Fabric Therapy!  This is the longest I've ever gone without posting, and I've sure missed it!  I kept thinking that I had no business posting without something very, very quilty to share, and there has not been enough fabric therapy going on in the quilt cave lately!

First, we got away to celebrate our anniversary and do some Octoberfest-ing on the west side of the state.  We were in the Saugatuk/Douglas area on the first colorful weekend and enjoyed these Alpine horns playing in downtown Douglas, after the harvest parade.  Hey, they can play more than the "Riccola!" song!  They were playing difficult brass band marches and such, and the nice lady in the group and my daughter hit it off (both French horn players...duh!), and she let Riley play her horn!

These horns are beautifully carved and are only made in Switzerland and, until recently, the "Canadian Alps."  They do come apart, I was relieved to find out.  Either that, or all Alpine horn players drive vintage 1970's station wagons to haul their horns to gigs.

We listened to Alpine horns, ate a Bratwurst, drank a good beer...yep, it was a real Octoberfest.

Saugatuk and Douglas are art colonies, so we enjoyed looking through the shops and galleries.  Great towns...but no quilt shop.   :o(

Then, the block of the month I was administering and kitting for the local quilt shop arrived at the final month.  There were many evenings of sorting out little pieces of cut fabric and interesting buttons for forty kits.  All of that went into several small baggies for each kit.  Weasley found this boring, especially since I wouldn't let him "staple" the edges of the ziploc bags (does anyone else's cat have a thing about ziploc bags and plastic sheet protectors?!?).  I had said "no" so many times, he was pouty and refused to smile for camera.

This was a fun quilt to come up with and sponsor.  The center blocks are from the Halvorsen book, "Count On It" (we made them larger), then we designed the outer border using the letters in that book and designs from some of her other books.

Then, I volunteered to design and make the samples for the upcoming Holiday Dash at the shop.  Oy!  Each participating shop is featuring a different block for a holiday or season.  The blocks can stand alone as wall-hangings or be made into a large quilt.  Here is our Halloween block, the Pumpkin Watcher, now all hand-quilted and bound, featuring my "bowling pin kitty" (start with a sketch of a bowling pin and just add ears and a tail...grin)..

Julie Hale of Bits and Pieces, one of the participating shops, came up with the design for a "Celebrate!" quilt that will hold each small holiday quilt.  You might say it's a "wall-hanging wall-hanging."  I call it DONE, as I got it hand-quilted and bound this week as well.

But mainly, the bad economy has been affecting me greatly, but not in the ways you might guess.  FUNDRAISING is eating my life!  It seems like every group, every love, every interest is struggling for funds right now.

I'm writing arrangements and playing piano for a fundraiser concert at the church in a couple of weeks.  It will be fun, but it takes a lot of time on my part, listening to CD's, then transcribing those arrangements for piano, bass and drums.  I have a good music writing computer program, which is much easier than writing them out in manuscript, but it is still a time eater.

My daughter is going to a new school this year...really...the first year of it's existence!  It is a public school, but follows the International IB curriculum.  A brand new school has no music library, which means the band, choir and orchestra are sort of living guessed it, MORE fundraising to purchase scores, equipment, etc.

I don't submit all the hours I work doing things for my local quilt shop, so that seems like fundraising, as well.  Some shops are really hurting in this economy.

There's a disturbing trend here...we are losing the and art in school, music in church, quilting.  State education budgets are taking a pounding, as are teachers.  Good thing I am hand-quilting Steve's boxer shorts quilt (Boxer Rebellion)...I need lots of fabric therapy right now!  Quilting on a quilt made from old underwear seems very appropriate in this economy!

I also took some quilts to the Ypsilanti Heritage Museum for their annual fall show.  They mix quilts in with their regular displays, and people attend the show for a small donation...yep, more fundraising. 

I aired out The Bride and also took All Around the Town.  I always love to see what people bring in.  LOVE this one with the music fabric...

This one really spoke to me...the owner made it from his grandfather's flannel shirts.

Sorry to be so rambling...I won't be a stranger.  I've missed you!

In stitches,
Teresa  :o)