Lessons Learned

I love, love, love teaching. Whether it’s math, science, or sewing – I’ve taught them all – there is something really special about sharing my knowledge with others.

For several months, I have been teaching two classes as a part of an in-depth introduction to quilting. My students have been such wonderful people. Since the series runs over six weeks, we get to know each other pretty well.

Now, I am starting to add new classes to my repertoire. Last Sunday we held our first Advanced Beginning Quilting class with some of my former students and some new faces, too. Our project is Cherry House’s Sand Pebbles Quilt, which is seemingly complex, but actually rather simple and quite stunning.

One of the (many) perks of teaching all of these students is seeing how each one interprets the pattern, which fabrics they choose, and how each quilt develops its own personality.

And next month? I am so very excited to finally be teaching a free-motion class! ^_^ The project is cool in-and-of-itself and free-motion is my very favorite part of quilting. Here is a list of all of the classes that we teach, including Jera’s very first class.

A big thanks to Anna for taking pics of my class last week so that I could make a post. Isn’t she a great photographer?

2011

All fancified up!

I just wanted to pop in and wish you all a Happy New Year! This pic is from the big fancy party I went to last night. Dressing up and acting like a grown up was nice, but it was the company I kept that really made the evening memorable.

Cheers to an amazing year to come!

Falling Into Step

The pink polka-dot galoshes sit at ready by the door. Esther’s paw towel, too. I’ve been wearing layer upon layer all week. And I have to admit that I’ve been a wee excited to wrap myself up in my favorite charcoal cashmere scarf (brought to me all the way from Scotland). I love the tights and leggings, the splashy sounds of traffic in the rain, spending evenings drinking something warm under the heat-lamps of the local coffee shop patio with my best friend. The past few weeks have been full of, as a friend would say, Jewy holidays. And tonight, I made mushroom risotto filled acorn squash. Fall has arrived in Seattle.

IMG_1700(The City Center Quilt from Cherry House’s book City Quilts, hanging in the shop now)

This is one of my favorite times of the year. What I really love about it is the excitement generated by the change. My other favorite time of year is when winter shifts to spring. (There are only two seasons in the PNW, after all.) Especially during the fall, because of the High Holy Days, these are times to reminisce and also to plan for the future.

WallingfordStepsQuilt (My first quilt pattern, The Wallingford Steps Quilt. This is the pattern I’m using in my Quilt Basics class. It’s also available free in the shop.)

Replace the galoshes with my first pair of heels, the hot chocolate with a martini, and the scarf with a little black dress, then you’d have a fair picture of how I spent my summer. I worked hard and I enjoyed life. I learned that I can be quite independent, but that it’s okay to rely a little on the company of friends. I went to my first show, because I thought the band name was cool. I also went to my first burlesque (sort of). This summer I made friends, had my heart broken (nothing comparable to the spring), took up some new hobbies, and avoided housework as much as possible. Oh, and I lost 18 pounds. It was a fantastic few months.

IMG_1691(Ugh, someday I’ll learn to take a better picture. This is my Modern Hannukah quilt.)

What will the fall bring? I’m not entirely sure, but I am hoping to focus the next few months on cranking out more quilts. Most of the quilts that I have made lately have been for the shop. One of the perks of the job is the chance to do what I love all day, but that also means that by the time I get home I don’t have much motivation to sew. That said, the past week has been full of inspiration and my head is bursting with visions of quilts. If I can get half of them made in the next few months, then I’ll have a pretty sizable collection ^_^

30!*

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Have you ever had a friend, once close, but who you somehow drifted away from? You keep telling yourself that you should reconnect with her, then put it off for months or maybe even years. Finally, you are determined to catch up, but there was some turning point when so much had changed that you don’t even know where to begin. That’s how I’ve been feeling about the blog. So many things have happened in my life since my last post that I don’t even know where to start.

As you may have guessed, Esther and I are all settled into the new neighborhood. We live blocks away from Greenlake, a small lake in the middle of Seattle. This summer I’ve been walking and running. And if you follow me on Twitter, then you’ve probably heard that I’ve even gotten back on a bike to commute to work. (Since my accident a few years ago, I have been far too paranoid to ride a bike comfortably.)

Working at the fabric store has been a dream. Every day, I get paid to do what I love. It doesn’t get much better than that. I’ve also been teaching, as documented by one of my fabulous students, Camille. Teaching is something that I have always loved, whether the subject was math or knitting or quilting. When a student finally grasps a concept that was once beyond their reach, you can actually watch as a light goes off in their head – like in the cartoons. Those moments never cease to amaze me. I’m looking forward to meeting my next crop of students.

So, my dear internet, I’m sorry to have neglected you, but I have more posts to come (some even written already!). And I have been busy updating the look of the blog, so perhaps you’ll forgive me for my little summer vacation.

 

*Just kidding, obviously.

** See, K, I promised I’d post by the end of the week! With hours to spare, even! :)

29!

Today marks another year of life for me, twenty-nine in total. To be honest, in the past few weeks, I haven’t been looking forward to my birthday. I didn’t think that I would be able to celebrate so soon after the split. But things have been shaping up rather nicely. Things have really been going my way.

Take my last garage sale trip with the girls, for example. I don’t think either of my shopping-mates found much, but I found treasures at nearly every single sale we went to.

More thrifty finds

  1. The metal tray and red scarf were from a little thrift shop. Had I taken a better pic, you would see that the tray says, “Let’s kaffee klatch!” This term is completely foreign to me and I am going to make a point to work it into conversation on a daily basis for the next week.
  2. The red scarf was from the same little thrift shop. I wore it the very next day as a belt over a navy dress. So beautiful!
  3. The glass dish was a bit pricier than I should have paid, but the shade of teal was too perfect for me to pass over.
  4. My favorite finds of the day were the two Pyrex refrigerator dishes. I have always wanted some of these and couldn’t believe that I had found them. When my friend pointed them out, I nearly had a hysterical fit right there. They’re refrigerator dishes and yellow and orange. Yellow! If that’s not kismet, then I don’t know what is.
  5. From the same sale, I bought the adorable little vintage alarm clock. That will come in handy after I move.
  6. Finally, there is a small geometric print. Below the figure, it says, “Created for Marilyn H. Little”. The seller didn’t know who that was and neither do I, but I’m quite curious now.

More important than these great finds, I have incredible friends and family, all of whom have stepped up to make sure that my birthday is celebrated. I’ve been taken out to eat nearly every night and am going again tonight. My parents and little siblings sent me a really sweet package in the mail, including a beautiful wooden box carved by a NW artist, a Boston Terrier necklace, and some fractal art they knew I’d enjoy. So, I feel very special and cared for, exactly how a birthday gal should.

Though I know people who are older than me think it’s obnoxious when I say this, I must admit that I feel old. I say this proudly, because it means that I have gained another year of wisdom and isn’t that what it’s all about?

d/dx (Change)

Garage Sale Season has finally arrived, along with some of the most beautiful weather we’ve seen in a long while. I’ve been doing some heavy thrifting with Evelyn, the sale queen, and Chara. I have a ton of great finds to share!

drexelsideboard At only $75, this Drexel sideboard was a steal! It’s in excellent condition.

I also have a bit of personal news. There has been a major development in my life recently and while I won’t publish any gritty details, I do feel that I should mention it. After nearly five years together, the Mister and I have decided to part ways. There’s actually no real drama about it. We both care for each other very deeply and have both valued our time together. We’ve known for a long time that ours is not a relationship meant to last a lifetime. It is time for us to move on.

vintagedinnerwareA china service for six. It’s hard to tell, but the motif has teal and yellow leaves, my favorite colors. I’m looking forward to my first dinner party with these.

Of course, it makes me sad, but I am trying to be optimistic about this change. I am finally going to move back into the city, a move that I have been longing to make since before we bought the condo. In a few weeks, Esther and I will be calling a beautiful vintage apartment our home. It’s in a sweet neighborhood in Seattle that is extremely dog-friendly and walkable. I’m quite eager to begin our new life and decorate our new place with all of my finds.

blackappleprintIsn’t this vintage frame *perfect* for Emily Martin’s The Little Knitter print?!? The owl was a thrift from last year and the (leaning) Eiffel Tower was a puzzle that I put together.

I’m also excited to tell you that I have been hired at Fabric Crush, which is a dream. If you’re in the area, then you should definitely check out this boutique store. It is everything that I’ve always wanted to see in a fabric store, light, modern, with a great selection of fabrics. That is not even to mention my wonderful group of coworkers. I will even be teaching classes, including a quilt finishing class next month.

I can’t wait to share my apartment with you once I have settled in! Until then, I have lots more thrifty finds and quilty goodness to post.

Rainy Day Stash

Given the name of my blog (and my Hebrew name, which means “love of rain”), it should be no surprise that I have fallen in love with Melimba & Beccabury‘s line Rainy Days and Mondays. Here are the four prints that I’ve stashed so far:

rainydaysbyrileyblake

These prints are so cute and graphic and I love the colors! Instead of tucking them away on a shelf until I decide what they will become, I put a bit of it to use straight away.

Esther’s collar was getting grimy and gross, but the fastener and hardware were still in good shape. So, I took the old collar apart and remade it with the raindrop stripes fabric.

New Collar

Esther seemed pretty happy to pose, so I think she approves of her new accessory. It definitely compliments her green jacket and green leash very well. Next time I’ll get a pic of her all dolled-up.

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