Oh I wish it was me!
Sunday, December 21, 2014
Sunday, December 14, 2014
Thursday, December 4, 2014
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
|graceful bird by Jeanette|
|water bird by Sherry|
|perching bird by Peggy|
|snuggling owls by Summer|
|balancing bird by Grace|
|wild bird by Valerie|
|hungry bird by Mary|
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
The amount of learning that took place during these ten days was phenomenal: I saw incredible growth in sewing skills, in quality control, in design, in color use, etc., etc.. Most of these women had not been exposed to modern kitchens, and after a week with a variety of appliances and conveniences at their fingertips, they were navigating with confidence. They were attentive, receptive and full of gratitude with each lesson and experience. Their senses of humor rose to the top; they were delightful to live with.
At the beginning of this trip, I imagined that we'd have a few homesick souls, but that never happened. As time went on, I realized they probably have never had a time like this with trusted girlfriends, a sewing room and fabric at their fingertips, with the ability to sew into the wee hours of the night, laughing and sharing stories. And all of this was happening without family members interrupting their focus with requests for meals and the like.Don't we all love retreats from life!
On one of our final days, Linda allowed them to collect their packing materials - fabric cuts of their choice to fold and pack around their new sewing machines, filling up every nook and cranny with goodies to sew and create with for a very long time to come. Linda's generosity was GI-NORMOUS and she and this amazing opportunity will not be easily forgotten.
Many thanks Linda and all her many volunteers for all you provided for us. Many thanks to my fantastic traveling partners, Bev and Toy...we are such a good team! And to our lovely "sewing ladies" from Mazatlan, thank you for being dedicated to your craft, working so hard at all you do, being my friends, and being the reason for all of the last two weeks to happen.
Now, for a bit of breathing...
Monday, November 3, 2014
Now you may think this picture of our dear leader Toy looks as though we're having a fun and leisurely time...and half of that is true...the FUN part. We are down to our last 24 hours and Linda still has an encyclopedia of projects to teach us. She is busy on her longarm quilting machine with our eleven quilts. Meanwhile we are in the classroom learning more new things: a 10 minute apron, how do a proper binding, a purse from an 18 inch square, and their first attempt at free motion quilting. THEN, to top it off at the end of the day, they began filling their boxes with cuts of fabric from an amazing selection from her fabric store. These ladies are going home with a year full of projects. And yes, we are tired tonight. One more day of fun! Thank you to our teachers today, Dorte and Janet...muchas gracias.
Sunday, November 2, 2014
The "sewing ladies" from Mazatlan have been VERY busy. Yesterday they began a full size quilt project and today many have already finished, minus the binding. As they complete the top, Linda puts it on her longarm and quilts it beautifully in not much more than an hour. They have gotten so much practice in design work, color work, choosing threads and the like. These last 7 days have been packed with incredible learning experiences.
But that's not all that's been happening. Since the Mazatlan group is leaving this Wednesday, the ladies want to get in some shopping for gifts for their families. I've done a lot of shuttling to local centers and have had to rein them in from frantic spending...mainly because everything needs to fit into two suitcases...including their new sewing machine, all their projects, and the many materials that Linda will send home with them. The packing will be an adventure.
Two of the women had special visitors today. Norma met with her best teenage friend, Jessica, who she hasn't seen for almost 20 years. They talk every year on their birthdays, so have stayed in contact, but today they were able to physically spend the afternoon together. Dora Alicia's sister and family drove 3 hours from Merced, and they have not seen each other for 15 years. It was a special day of special gatherings and connections. Today was also Day of the Dead, remembering those loved ones who have gone before us. We made an altar earlier this week which hangs in the sewing room.
Linda treated us to a fun and delicious dinner at the local bar down the street last night, which we also shared with a few of of her volunteers. Saturday night on the town! There are some amazing volunteers associated with Quiltworks. They have spoiled us, coming in to help cut fabric, teach lessons, or show off their wares. Today Vivian, master appliquér, brought in an incredibe dragon that she designed and appliqued, and also quilt squares she created for The Twelve Days of Christmas. So unique and beautiful . Thank you Vivian!
Two more full days for us...very full I am sure.
Friday, October 31, 2014
Traditionally the last Friday of each month is "supper and sew", but this Friday was a bit different with our Mazatlan sewing ladies" doing the cooking. We expected 50 but with lots of competing events (Halloween, the world series parade, etc.), only about 20 showed up. Oh well, we now have tamales for 3 days! No cooking! A highlight for me was my cousin Mary Ann and her friend joining us for the evening. Good food, good friends (and family), lovely singing by Cecy! And of course more sewing lessons til the wee hours of the night.
Thursday, October 30, 2014
Today was a big day of preparations, as tomorrow (Halloween) we are having a big party where our sewing ladies are in charge of the dinner. We're having 50 guests so this is not a LITTLE party. We did a major shop for the tamales, tostados, arroz con leche and other delicious things the ladies will be cooking. Then the ladies helped Linda set up her boutique of beautiful fabric arts that are right next door to where we are. This is where the accompanying photo is taken...of some of our amazing workers. We were treated to an amazing pot roast dinner from Jeanne, a Quiltworks board member, and an earring raffle from Wanda, another volunteer. Dinner was followed by more quilting demos. We are trying to pack every moment with learning, fun, friendship, and new adventures. And we are!
AND, I thought I was through with driving, but now that I know the city, a little shopping trip across town is NOTHING! BUT, we are NOT going to the World Series parade tomorrow, so maybe I'll have a reprieve from the steering wheel.
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
The San Francisco Giants won the World Series tonight...and we were in the midst of all the post-game craziness as we drove home from a quilters' event at the Presidio. (And I was a driver...more white knuckles!)
Today was another FULL DAY of classes...AND Linda gave each woman a new sewing machine to take back to Mazatlan with them. She is so generous, and they were so thrilled. The photo here is of Linda giving machine lessons: taking it out of the box, setting it up, proper care and operation, etc. Linda knows little Spanish but her warm and animated personality communicates so much.
We all finished our sweatshirts that we cut apart on Monday, then embellished with beautiful fabric designs. The women are learning so much and having such a good time. They are away from all their family responsibilities and able to just enjoy being together, sewing and creating, laughing and telling stories. I feel so blessed to be a part of this amazing group of women and this San Francisco adventure.
Please, no more driving for me!
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Today we were tourists in the beautiful city of San Francisco by the bay. In our morning session to organize ourselves, Linda informed me that I was needed as a driver. GULP! It wasn't just that I was unfamiliar with the city, but my car has STANDARD transmission. I requested NO HILLS, but it didn't quite work out that way. Now that I'm back home after a long day and everyone is still alive and breathing, AND my car is in one piece, I can proudly say "I survived driving in San Francisco!" But yes, my knuckles were VERY white.
We started out at the breathtaking scene at the Marin side of the Golden Gate Bridge, followed by a cable car ride. Then to downtown to Union Square for a bit more sightseeing before we began our scheduled events.
Linda and her nonprofit Quiltworks are involved in numerous programs and organizations throughout San Francisco and she wanted us to witness how quilters and sewers can give back to their communities. The first visit was to the sewing program at HPP or the Homeless Prenatal Program, focusing on maternal health. Here Quiltworks has been instrumental in setting up a sewing program for pregnant women. The women there were involved in their individual projects and welcomed our group of Spanish speaking women. We all were so interested in how the program was organized as we possibly could get something like this going in Mazatlan. And our new friend, Linda, wants to help to make this happen. The photo here is of one of our women, Dora, as she pitched right in and helped another with some pant alterations that she needed for a job interview tomorrow.
Now for MORE DRIVING!!! The next stop was to the embarcadero area to check out the Delancey Street program. This is a large residential complex for ex - offenders and other folks with similar issues and also provides good vocational opportunities. We visited the sewing and upholstery shops to see the great works they are creating there. We followed up with dinner at Delancey Street restaurant (also run by residents at the program) where we were hosted at a dinner by the Soroptomists of San Francisco. They had goodie bags for all of our women AND little coin purses which they couldn't open until we all finished dinner. At the signal, they all opened theirs and discovered a ten dollar gift, but for one lucky woman, she discovered one hundred dollars. She was thrilled to say the least.
It was another day of amazing hospitality, huge hearts, experiences in a most beautiful city, and sharing with our wonderful group. Linda doesn't want us to say thank you anymore, so we'll just stick with a great big "MUCHAS GRACIAS" every chance we get.
Monday, October 27, 2014
Linda's facility consists of four storefronts in South San Francisco - her four story home/quilting room, a fabric shop, a classroom, and a sewing boutique where our ladies have sold things in the past. Today was a classroom day, where Linda taught three different and ambitious projects: a basic quilt square, a fabric bowl (actually taught be a volunteer, Jeanne), and transforming a basic sweatshirt into a unique fabric jacket. All this was on top of learning how to use a different machine, AND absorbing a full day in both English and Spanish. Our ladies did great! We were super busy all day long, got so much accomplished, and now have an agenda and projects ahead of us (along with more lessons coming up). The women were exposed to so many new and different things. For one, they are learning to use rotary cutters and mats...something we "north of the border" sewers take for granted.Their eyes are wide open and they are taking it all in...with much happiness! The last three hours of the day were spent just straight sewing, being together, laughing and telling stories (me with my rusty Spanish), and helping each other with problems that arise. It was a bit like HEAVEN. In this photo, Magui is showing us phase one of her sweatshirt transformation project. Muy bien Magui!
My 6 hour drive from Oregon was uneventful (except for the wonderful visits with family and friends along the way), but my Mexican friends weren't sure whether they were in a dream or reality with two flights (the first for many of them), and then a limo ride from the airport in SF to the fantastic home of Linda Hannawalt, who is making this amazing experience possible. Even though everyone was exhausted, we gathered for food and a welcome/information session with Linda, translated by Toy, our fearless leader. We rolled into our bunks around 1AM, still a bit wired, all heading for dreamland in either Spanish or English, all with similar content of great adventures ahead. This photo was taken the following morning, all looking more rested, at Linda's home.
Friday, October 17, 2014
Friday, October 10, 2014
What a great class we had last Saturday at Sew Creative in Ashland. "Improvisational Applique" produced eight wonderfully whimsical birds using colorful scraps and the ladder stitch. Take a look at what nested in our classroom!
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Friday, August 1, 2014
I love these five packs of color. They are created in the "dark light 123" crossover method, taught to me by my dye buddies, Cynthia and Christine. Its a lovely blend of 2 colors, which also produces different values. They work so beautifully together. Directions for this method can be found here: https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=7501629057264755564#editor/target=post;postID=6314322770481458600;onPublishedMenu=posts;onClosedMenu=posts;postNum=57;src=postname
The combos I used, starting from upper left, proceeding clockwise:
1. golden yellow with better blue green
2. lemon yellow with deep orange
3. golden yellow with fuschia
4. turquoise with navy
5. amythest with cerulean blue
6. amythest with fuschia
And here she is...sweet Cecilia.
Saturday, July 19, 2014
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
AND I also used them to fit a theme (carbonated) for my quilt journal group, Cyber Fibres. Here's what I shared with my group this week:
It’s the height of summer and I am feeling remiss at not participating in my QJ group for a while. But I have been working on projects, and want to share, so found a way to tie them in…