Friday, February 26, 2010

Her Cheery Outlook

I call this quilt "Her Cheery Outlook" in honor of my sister, Laura, and because I couldn't think of a more clever name!

Laura's birthday quilt, in process:

My sister Laura; she's a wonderful person who brings great joy to friends, family, and her students. She's very creative/crafty! Since her college days, she zealously protects her Ornament Therapy Weekend; a time when she and her college buddies gather and make crafts together for Christmas gifts, while enjoying food and libations and laughter and all that comes with longtime friendship. Sounds, wonderful, doesn't it? And every year, I love being the recipient of those OTW products! This year, a personalized wonderful calendar with photos and rubber stamping and family birthdays already marked, so awesome. Previous years include holiday aprons, accordion book with favorite family recipes, and embroidered felt Christmas tree ornaments, and many other treasures. And sometimes there's a Valentine's or Easter or birthday surprise, or something for no special reason. Lots o' love!

Laura just spent a year celebrating her birthday, number five-oh! And my newfound enjoyment of quilting easily found inspiration and aspiration to make Laura a birthday tribute. I didn't pull it together in time to stay inside that birthday year, but no one minds, right? I wish I could find the quilt online that inspired this one; it's a combination
of sophistication and quirkiness,
tradition and innovation, exuberance and order.

When we were teenagers, Laura's bedroom was decorated in pink and orange, in the 70s lazy daisy motif. These colors reminded me of our girlhood, plus I just love their joyfulness! This yellow I used for binding and in some quilt blocks has a smidge of gold ink; it's actually a Christmas fabric, a nod to all the Christmas presents Laura has made! Ellie-the-niece recognized this pink swirly fabric as a remnant from her Christmas present!

You can see the background is a few different whites, giving the quilt another depth of expression. I saw that idea in my inspiration quilt, and appreciate the freedom to not have everything matching and even. I'm also really happy with the stippled quilting, my second time free-motion quilting on my sewing machine.

The Pressure's Off!

Pour me a glass of wine, and serve up some of those brownies I baked! I've submitted this year's fafsa application. Pour me a glass of wine, and serve up some of those brownies I baked! I've submitted this year's fafsa application!I'm incredibly grateful for the financial aid Kathryn receives in order to attend Lewis & Clark College. She is so happy there, and growing so beautifully, intellectually and personally. Every year, though, I have to fill out the online form for the Free Application for Federal Financial Aid, and it's a booger! First, our tax return must be completed. Again, I'm so grateful that someone else does it for us! Still, it must be done before the end of February (the fafsa deadline),which is a nuisance. Then, it's a matter of transferring information from the IRS 1040 to the fafsa; shouldn't be too hard, right? Except that there are always questions about whether a bit of information belongs on the student section or the parent section, and what's considered taxable income, and the problem of changing labels for certain elements. Not to mention the eviscerating feeling of poring over and exposing our numeric value.
Now it's done for the year! And I realize it's weighed on me all month, and I'd also pressed myself to complete a quilt for Laura's birthday (which I love!), and to make a birthday present for Poppy's 4th! I'll show photos of those soon!