Monday, February 20, 2012

The Morning After the Storm

Yesterday afternoon was gray and dreary as the snow came down in gobs... several times I had to step out onto the deck to clear the satellite dish because the snow was blocking reception.

This morning... bright sun and blue skies! I enjoyed my walk with Toby around the neighborhood.  When I started it was in the low 20's but it was warming up quickly.  The wet roads were a bit slick with black ice and I had to be very careful how I walked.  But the bright sun on the blacktop quickly had the ice melting.  The birds were out singing like crazy!  I wish there was a way to share that beautiful sound with you.  It just makes my day. 

Luckily, I remembered to grab my camera when I left the house this morning and took some nature pictures.
I love how the frost forms on the edges of these leaves and grass spikes

Snow covered red berry bushes look awesome!
 Neighbor Dan was out pruning these berry bushes as I walked by on Saturday.  He left a pile of branches for the truck to come by and pick up.  I grabbed a couple branches to take home and arrange in a vase for a bit of color in the house.  I almost picked some snow covered daffodils from another neighbors yard, but I resisted the temptation.

 And while the neighborhood children had fun in the snow yesterday, I was working down in my quilting room making this using up some of the Improv Swap Blocks made last year by my friends at Pat Sloan's Quilt MashUp.


I've tried a variety of metal and plastic thimbles over the years, but they never felt comfortable so I didn't do very much hand sewing.. or if I did it  involved only very short working sessions because I would end up with raw fingers... the finger underneath the project would get pricked  and the finger on top trying to push the needle through the project would get poked! I'm sure I have a few old thimbles here and there that I have tried, but I can't find them right now.

About 5 years ago I started an applique quilt... the calendar quilt with various barns by Piecemakers... It was, unfortunately, my first needleturn applique quilt and I struggled along both with the small piece sizes, technique and sore fingers. But I really liked the idea of quilting a picture, so I plugged along... on and off... for most of the year before life got busy and I fell so far behind that all I did was collect the kits and I box them up for another day. I actually completed only one of those blocks with the pieceing and embroidery. I have another seven or eight blocks with all but the tiniest pieces appliqued and none of the embroidery. (sigh)
I've done other applique and handstitched projects since then with much bigger pieces and discovered this leather thimble at one of the quilt shows. I like the elastic-y part that was tight at first but stretched to a more comfortable fit in short order. I would sometimes lay my work down and walk away forgetting I had the thimble on until someone would ask what I had done to my finger!... it became a part of me.

Here's a picture of the working side of it. It is hard to tell in the picture, but this one is about ready to be replaced. It has been getting a lot of use lately as I'm handsewing those Cheddar Bowties.  That gray area where I push the needle through is getting worn thin and the needle is starting to poke through to and into my finger. I am hoping it will last me until the next quilt show comes along and I can purchase another one.

Bonnie Hunter is doing a linky thing on her blog today where everyone can show their thimbles and extol their praises... or not. You can read about it here:  I am heading there now to link up and read your post!