Monday, May 17, 2010

Divas Saturday in May

Diva Dorothy was on a boat with her family - cruising up the BC coast to Alaska. This was not a standard "cruise." A family friend had purchased a 32 foot yacht (not a sailboat) and asked her husband if he would sail it from Vancouver to Anchorage, Alaska. Naturally he said yes and of course Dorothy wanted to go (although how she could pass up a Divas Day is beyond me!) - as did her two boys and their respective significant others.

Diva Sue had pressing kitchen renovation issues to take care of.

All that to say, it was down to the remaining Divas to make a day of it on Saturday. We surely did miss the missing Divas, but the show must go on.

Because I didn't get too many sewing pix, let's start off with a pix of one of our resident purple finches. Joe, my DH, took this pix.

Diva Karen did some pinch-hitting for Sue and pulled off an extremely yummy lunch - shrimp and crab on the BBQ. Joan brought salad, Kristie and I contributed some wine, and as you will see below, Rhonwyn, my "girl-in-law", made us a confection quilt.

Joan spent many hours organizing, cutting, preparing the next quilt top beforehand. She brought her machine and did the sewing. With Kristie and Karen's assistance, the next top is ready to be assembled.
Rhonwyn's "spiders" - yummy chocolate/peanut butter treats.

Some cupcakes. They were off-limits to Divas as Rhonwyn wanted them saved for Craig. I'm not sure why he's so special! :)

Here are the "quilt" cupcakes. These are so cute! And they tasted real good, too!

I worked downstairs on Harley and got the purple quilt quilted. Then on Sunday I quilted the black/colour quilt. It felt like I was falling behind on Diva's projects so opted to use my Diva Day that way instead of power sewing, which is what I usually do.

Now - there has been an email floating around that I'm going to put in this post. I don't know if the source is actually as it says, but I totally agree with the "findings" - assuming the study is legit.

We all work at the same company, which has been undergoing a "re-org" - which means many of our friends and colleagues are being "reassigned" to other places, or simply laid off. It has been very stressful for everyone so we felt we HAD to have our Divas' Day just to normalize a bit.

Here is that email:
A thought to share…
I just finished taking an evening class at Stanford. The last lecture was on the mind-body connection--the relationship between stress and disease. The speaker (head of psychiatry at Stanford) said, among other things, that one of the best things that a man could do for his health is to be married to a woman whereas for a woman, one of the best things she could do for her health was to nurture her relationships with her girlfriends. At first everyone laughed, but he was serious.

Women connect with each other differently and provide support systems that help each other to deal with stress and difficult life experiences. Physically this quality "girlfriend time" helps us to create more serotonin--a neurotransmitter that helps combat depression and can create a general feeling of well being. Women share feelings whereas men often form relationships around activities. They rarely sit down with a buddy and talk about how they feel about certain things or how their personal lives are going. Jobs? Yes. Sports? Yes. Cars? Yes. Fishing, hunting, golf? Yes. But their feelings?--rarely. Women do it all of the time. We share from our souls with our sisters, and evidently that is very good for our health. He said that spending time with a friend is just as important to our general health as jogging or working out at a gym.

There's a tendency to think that when we are "exercising" we are doing something good for our bodies, but when we are hanging out with friends, we are wasting our time and should be more productively engaged--not true. In fact, he said that failure to create and maintain quality personal relationships with other humans is as dangerous to our physical health as smoking! So every time you hang out to shmooze with a gal pal, just pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself for doing something good for your health! We are indeed very very lucky.

Sooooo let's toast to our friendship with our girlfriends. Evidently it's very good for our health.

...Which is exactly what we did!

Monday, May 10, 2010

New York, New York!

NYC top done!

Here's a bit of chit chat about the border. This is based on the Harlequin border pattern from the Blocks Galore website. The pattern uses only one row of "diamonds" whereas I wanted two - which adds a bit of fussiness to getting it all together. But the method is the same.

First - strip the colours together. Cut the outside strips 1/2 inch wider than the inside strips.
Cut the strips to the required size. In this case I was going for one inch squares so the inside strips and the cut strips were all 1.5 inches. Outside strips were 2 inches. Times Square is the postcard inspiration for the quilt design.

The corners were a bit fussy - but that's because I did them the hard way. If you do them the easy way - shouldn't be too much trouble. My mistake is that I set the blocks all the same way - even though I knew not to - I think I'm a bit dyslexic (that's my excuse - more likely just a klutz!) and thought I reversed the direction, but didn't. Anyway - I got them altogether and I'm quite pleased with the result.

Friday, May 7, 2010

New York!

DH and I were in New York last fall. Naturally I had to find a fabric store. A New York quilt has been on my list since then. I wanted to do a small wall hanging. It's not turning out that way. That's because I also wanted the fabric designs to show so ended up cutting the blocks bigger. I guess it will be a lap quilt. It's not finished - obviously.
This will be the border. I'm happy to report that the Divas attended a Mark Lipinski talk last week during the Quilt Canada proceedings and Mark agrees with me that anything looks good in a fabulous border! I think this is going to be a pretty cool border. I wanted to get the classic checker cab motif AND a sort of night light effect - I think the cab thing is pretty obvious, but the yellow is also meant to be those lights that flash on and off to give the illusion of movement.
Here's the fabric.

Now if you've got this far - a bit more on Mark and the Quilt Canada show. Mark is a very funny, gay dude. He had me in tears, I was laughing so hard. I have to say that I don't think I really learned too much about actual quilting - but it was worth the $25 for the sheer entertainment value of his "talk" - which is more like a stand-up comedy routine. Back at one of the quilt stores I heard that at least one person was offended by his talk - so if you do go to hear him be prepared. I certainly wasn't offended and I got the sense that not too many in the room were.
The Quilt Canada show quilts were amazing. No pix - they had rules about pix and I didn't want to be carted off to the quilters' jail (no sewing allowed). I surprised myself by not buying much at all - although the Divas did stock up on thread for Harley - which will be put to good use soon enough. I think I'm saturated and need to work on some of the great stuff I already have.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


Still warm from the iron - here is the top for "The Good Ship Elliot." This is the second nautical quilt - one for each of my cousin's little boys - Luke and Elliot. (see previous post).