Monday, March 25, 2013

Direction Matters

My seam ripper saw a bit of action recently.
I got a bit over confident when pinning the inner border strips for the Breeze quilt...

It made sense from the perspective of lining up the seam to use the inner corner as a spot for the long sides to aim at... turns out not so much.

So out came a seam ripper and then the re-stitching. Though one of the strips took me four attempts to get it line up correctly so that they would come out even.

So must remember to sew across  the short sides.  Much better!  And this lower set is the one that was ripped apart multiple times. You can see on the lower edge where it doesn't match up correctly. 

For the outer borders, I used a ruler with the 45 degree marking on it - and didn't have any issues with the seams not lining up correctly. Did have an issue with one of the strips being cut a bit wonky - so that side faces out and will get straightened out when I have finished quilting and need to trim.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Reporting In - Friday Night Sew In

The theme of the night - Borders (and Basketball).  March Madness is in the house - so perhaps I didn't spend as much time sewing as I might have - but I did enjoy myself.

A tool I never knew I needed is the retractable tape measure.  When Gus and Mike went to Thimble Pleasures, Gus picked one out for me.  It is on a lanyard, so I can hang it on my ruler wall or around my neck. Lots of measuring happened last night - first across the middle of the quilt to attempt to ensure it is square when finally complete - then to ensure the borders are the correct length. 

Rather than have the join in the border hit the center of the quilt on each side, I measured in from one end to determine where to place the pins for the correct length of the border - them matched the middles up and pinned the borders down. The inner border is completely attached and two of the outer border strips are sewn on and the third pinned down.

In other news, the Tar Heels defeated Villanova last night and advance to the Round of 32 to be played Sunday evening. We have theater tickets to see Anything Goes so will miss most of the game.  We watched Florida Gulf Coast upset #2 seed Georgetown last night and Wichita State take out #1 seed Gonzaga tonight, so we are hoping that UNC can pull it out against Kansas and advance to the Sweet Sixteen.

This morning Gus and I headed out to the American Tobacco Trail to ride with his Scout Troop. Gus completed 25 miles - and has now completed 3 of the 7 rides for his cycling merit badge.  I rode around 12 miles - gradually increasing distances each ride I take.  After lunch with friends and a trek around REI to get bike computers and other supplies, I took a nap. Gus went outside to shoot baskets for a half hour... I wish I had half his energy.  Tomorrow morning Gus has 3-on-3 hockey, so hopefully I can get back in my sewing room again this weekend.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wish I were hopping along... Meet My Machine Blog Hop

I've been following the Meet My Machine Blog Hop this week. Oh how I wish I had seen this one in time to sign up.  But there is a linky party, so I can still participate. 
  • Please tell us about your current machine - make, model, etc. (and if there's any story behind you obtaining it, etc.)
 When I decided to teach myself to quilt, I knew that I needed to upgrade my sewing machine or the hobby would be more of a misery.  In the mid-90's I tried to abscond with my mothers 1960's green metal Singer. Not because it was a pretty machine (it isn't) but because it is reliable and easy to use. So rather than give up her machine, she gifted me with a Singer. After all, isn't Singer the "gold standard" by which other machines are measured.  As it turned out, not so much, at least based on the plastic parts and tendency to pull to the left.  A few dog beds and curtains later, the Singer and I never bonded.

I turned to messaged boards and the internet to research machines. WOW! It is overwhelming.  Knowing myself, I quickly ruled out the electronic, 600,000 different stitch machines. Too complicated and I would pay for things I would rarely ever use.  What I need is a straight stitch and a zigzag, on a reliable machine.

Enter Penny.  Penny is a Bernina 801 that I found on eBay for a steal. She sat in storage for 8 years, before her previous owner's mother decided she deserved a home where she would be used.  She arrived with a bit of a lint build-up, but also just in time for the "get to know your machine" class that is offered at my local quilt store, and is a per-requisite for many of their quilting/sewing classes.  As a part of the class, I learned how to thoroughly clean her, and to not be afraid to open doors and remove panels to get at every last piece of lint.

About a year later, I decided it would be nice to have a few more decorative stitches available. Penny has 7.  So back to the internet I went.  This time Craigslist yielded a treasure in the form of Bernadette.

Bernadette is a Bernina 830 Record. She has 20 stitches. Also mechanical, and easy to care for. I had intended to drop her off to be cleaned on the way home from picking her up (she is another who spent some time in storage) but while finishing the mini-quilt for a swap, Penny seized up, so I had to do a quick switch. Bernadette is a bit longer than Penny, perhaps with a little more throat space. She did not come with her extension table or carrying case. The extension table I was able to find on eBay (Penny's doesn't fit her), the carry case I haven't bothered to find yet. They tend to be ridiculously overpriced, so for now, Bernadette lives happily on my sewing table. (I thought I had a better picture of her, but apparently not).

I'm considering adding a serger to the family (she will be Amy Farah Fowler, just in case you are following my naming convention).  The table that Penny and Bernadette share is also a find from Craigslist.

The most recent addition to my sewing room is Mollie.

Mollie is a Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen.  I purchased her new this month and we are still learning about one another. I am most excited by the possibilities her large harp offers and am looking forward to years of quilting with her.  
  • What's your favorite machine accessory/doo-dad?
 My favorite accessory at this time for Penny and Bernadette is my walking foot.  It has made a huge difference in the quality of my quilting.  I basted the Irish Chain Fire Truck quilt and realized after the fact that I'd forgotten to change feet. I ended up spritzing all the water soluble seams away and starting over as the layers had completely shifted. I do with that it was easier to install that foot as it does take some fiddling.

With Mollie, I'm really enjoying the Needle Up/Down feature - one that Penny and Bernadette do not have. 
  • Tell us a little about your first sewing machine - is that the one you still use today?
My first sewing machine, of my own, was a child's Singer. I have no idea where that machine is now. I have a feeling she went the way of a garage sale.  My favorite machine to use as a child is Mom's green singer. 
  • How many machines do you own (don't be shy, fess up) & tell us a bit about them - domestic, serger, embroidery, long arm, vintage, antique? Do you use your vintage/antique machines, or are they eye-candy only? 
I currently own the four machines described above, though the hapless Singer will be rehomed. I thought about letting Gus use that, but I'd like him to enjoy sewing, and he prefers Penny and Bernadette.  My father has my grandmothers vintage Singer which he uses periodically, and I hope that she will join my group one day.
  • Would you recommend this machine to a friend (be diplomatic here, lol)
Yes, I would definitely recommend the older Berninas and the HQ Sweet Sixteen to friends. I'm very pleased with all of them.
  • If you could have any machine (let's say you win one for FREE tomorrow...) what would it be??
Truthfully, had I answered this last month, it would be the HQ Sweet Sixteen. So I have to say there isn't one out there that I'm pining for. Perhaps one of the newer Bernina's with an embroidery module - but the only time I've wished I had embroidery capability was while making the fleece hats for the hockey team recently.  I'm quite happy with my machines. I really like playing with the longarms, but have no space for one and my back cannot handle standing for long periods of time, so they are not ideally suited to my lifestyle or this point in my quilting journey.
  • Show us your sewing space - what are your favorite parts of that space and what do you want to change? 
I am in the midst of reorganizing my sewing space/craft room.  My favorite part is my cutting/pressing station and my ruler wall.  I do not have a fear of holes in the wall (and a patient husband), so I set the wall up such that I can easily find each ruler by grouping. I do need to add another nail soon to accommodate the recent additions to my ruler collection.

My sewing chair is actually a bit of a disappointment, though it does work better in front of Molly than it did at Penny and Bernadette's table.  The problem lies in the arms... but let me step back a bit. I was supposed to go to my first quilt retreat and ended up backing out due to conflicts with Gus's ice hockey schedule - so I took myself, and the money I would have spent on a hotel room and meals, to Staples to sit in office chairs.  I spent a long time testing around 20 chairs. Some I eliminated quickly, but I kept coming back to this one - the seat and back provide excellent support and are easily adjustable. What I did not consider (or notice) is that the arms cannot be lowered.  Ideally, I would like to find this chair with NO arms, but I've not been able to find the mesh seat without arms. As you can see, Penny and Bernadette's table is 'bent' so the inability to adjust the arms puts me quite a distance from the table. I tried using the exercise disk to lower the chair and maintain my body height, but I can't lower the chair enough to get the arm under the table and the shelf that is set in to the left.

Now that I have the basic sewing room set up, I'm working on amenities to make the room more fun and useful.  We've lived in our house for nearly 10 years, and for nine of them we had one bedroom serve as a general storage room (it called itself a guest room, but no guests would actually fit in it). Now we are actually utilizing all our rooms (and purging lots of stuff!).  I've hung my framed cross stitch pieces done over the years and will add at least one oil painting from my grandmother's house when it arrives - and then all available wall space will likely be taken.
Gus likes my media center. The shelves need to be better organized and some of the craft items can probably be donated.  This should be a go-to spot for tools as it sits just to the left of the brown sewing table.  This does put the TV at my back, but as there is not cable hookup, just a DVD player, I usually put movies in for the noise factor, not to watch them.  I can easily move the TV to the cutting station if I want to watch quilting techniques while quilting.

I have another set of shelves which is not ready to be photographed as they are too disorganized where the stamping and scrapbook supplies live. And I have my design closet - not ideal as I need to remove it nightly so that Mike can reach his wardrobe.  If I can generate the willpower to purge clothing from my closet, I will eventually move him back to the master bedroom closet and then take over this closet for fabric storage. Gus has discovered this is a great place to procrastinate...

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Breeze is blowing

I spent an evening rearranging the blocks on the design closet.  I finally settled on this which met my basic requirements of not having 6 squares lined up in a block and utilizes the "L" in each block for a secondary pattern.  Though truth be told, that made it much harder to pull together.

Here it is assembled and pressed.  I believe that every quilt can teach me something. This one is a study in scrappy and color value.  I tried to create a controlled scrappy. There is one splat of dark red that I didn't catch in the design stage. It is staying.  I can also now see as set of 6 long strips stacked that I didn't catch earlier. Also staying put.  Partway through the block construction, I realized that some Ls point east and the others west, so rather than pointing them all in the same direction, I accommodated the early error by making sure there were 6 of each at the end.  It might have been easier in the design phase to rip a few seams and point them all in the same direction.

I have learned that I'm not totally comfortable with scrappy.  It might be the limited palette here - there are 12 fabrics which are repeated throughout the center of the top. Perhaps with a wider variety of fabrics, I would be more comfortable. Something to think about as I prepare for one of the Volume 2 quilts.

Still a firm believer in STARCH.  It made it much easier to match the seams on the blocks.

Next step - borders.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Mission Organization - Confession of a Craft Supply Hoarder

This is likely the first in a series of short posts as I tackle the sometimes overwhelming hoard of craft supplies.  I have come  to accept my hoarding tendencies and hope to never find myself featured on reality TV.  I would like to think that this is related primarily to craft supplies. Mike would probably disagree. I think it stems from keeping the memorabilia for when it is time to do the scrapbook. The problem is, that often as I'm putting together a scrapbook, I've forgotten that the memorabilia exists or misplaced it or it is in another state (scrapbook retreats).  So I end up with more heaps of things that I'm not sure where to file - but am certain I will need. I'm the same way about favorite items of clothing.  Recently though, I've started to take a more "brutal" attitude toward my wardrobe, so am clearing and donating more items and more "but I mights..." 

I'm normally pretty careful to photograph around the piles of stuff. But isn't the first step admitting you have a problem?  This is Mike's desk. Or in my mind, that is what it was supposed to be. Can you see the printer to the right, and the scanner a bit above to the right (that is on a bookshelf)?  The longer Mike put off wading in to use the desk, the more fabric and other stuff got piled on it.  That was one of the first areas to be tackled last Thursday night.  Initially the boxes, baskets, trays and bags of fabric were stacked in the middle of the floor. As I needed to clear the desk in order to turn it 90 degrees. This is a desk my father and I made when I moved into my first apartment - bookshelves for a base and a very heavy top. Dad cut, I sanded and stained.  It is nearly 30 years old and going strong.

Phase two - before opening Mollie's boxes, you can see where the stack of fabric moved. To the left of the picture is the shelving (I do not have a before picture of that disaster on purpose). That was just too embarrassing. I will take a during picture for a future post as there is a lot to do still.

And my cutting/pressing station. Another flat surface that has collected "junk" though some of that is a result of having just moved the black trunk (an antique wardrobe trunk that I've not been able to motivate myself to give away... though I'm getting closer...).  In the picture I can see on top a miniature quilt from a swap that still needs to be hung on the wall (I really like the quilt), pressing sprays, obviously my iron, the "ice rink" from one of Gus's toys (has now moved to his room), the Creative Memories paper trimmer, several bags of fabric, a box with markers and fabric for signature quilts ... and this is just on top. Stuff underneath is a bag of UFOs, a basket of half-done fleece scarves, more fabric and the placemats I just brought back from Denmark (now put away in the dining room).

I am pleased to say that on Monday night, while helping Gus finish his science poster, I tackled the bags of fabric and have the bulk of the fabric from the boxes, baskets and bags somewhat organized in the tubs which form the base of the cutting station. I have placed a small table underneath in place of the basket and bag which is containing various quilting supplies that were previously scattered around the room.  Huge progress. And I have a better handle on my stash.

As an aside, I found just 1 true pink fat quarter during the sorting and organizing.  I'm not a "pink" kind of person, and having a son have avoided stocking up on pink, but it surprises me to learn that I have more orange (which I detest) in my stash than pink.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Sandy Breeze - Guild Project

One of the first quilts in line for Mollie, once I get a rhythm and feel for her, is the guild donation quilt that I started in January.  The quilts will be sent north to be distributed to families affected by Hurricane Sandy.  One of the Bees in our guild spent time cutting and creating the kits so that we could start sewing.  This was my first sewing day, and a lot of fun, but I'm not sure why I assumed that someone else would quilt the tops...  rather than being responsible from starting stitch to finishing stitch (I might have taken on the role of runner/presser/gopher for the day instead).  Previously I blogged about this project in I will never skip starch again!
The basic block - Fat Quarter Breeze

Fittingly, the name of the block is Fat Quarter Breeze. The blocks went together easily (especially once I applied starch and pressed them flat), but combining the 12 into one large top that is pleasing to the eye has me stymied.  Part of it may be the colors - it is scrappy and not a palette I would normally work with. Some of the colors that clashed to me as I was piecing have grown on me. I'm hoping the thread I picked up the other day when I picked up Mollie will work as well, or at least blend.

Discovering the joy of design.
 While organizing my craft room on Sunday, I created a temporary design wall over the closet doors.  My very patient husband's clothes are in this closet as I kind of pushed most of them out of the closet in our bedroom, so I do have to take it down at night.  Gus was fascinated by the idea of sticking the squares on the wall and took over the design phase for the top. He may also have been trying out a "mom-approved" form of procrastination on his science poster. I may try rotating a few blocks before sewing them together, or I may just leave it as Gus designed it.  I found the pattern online (after misplacing my copy from the guild workday while reorganizing) and even the layout of the blocks is scrappy.  I did audition the possibility of sashing between blocks, but didn't like it and am concerned that there may not be enough border fabric included so I don't want to change the dimensions dramatically.

Gus's initial design - which he has since altered a bit, and as I look at it, I can see possibilities for change as well. Back to the design doors we go.  This is the underside of a Florida State University table cloth.  Totally suitable for me.

Monkey is not quite sure what she thinks about the whole quilting process. She typically acts like she is regularly beaten when a camera is present, but she adores Gus.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Introducing Mollie

After much research and thought, I have added a new machine to our family.  Mollie is a Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen. And yes, I may be showing my age with her name.

 Thursday night Gus and I rearranged my sewing room. As I scan back over my camera, I realize how careful I was to not photograph my original decorating scheme which divided the room in two - to provide my husband with a desk/office area.  This was accomplished by setting up shelving across the center of the room.  While it provided storage space, it also made the room a bit claustrophobic.  So we cleared the center of the room and moved cubes and shelves to the walls.  Though as Gus rather pithily pointed out, it is already a mess again as I have boxes and baskets of fabric waiting to be put away now stacked in front the the bookshelves/technology center (printer/scanner/computer).  A future post will focus on the overall organization.

First: Move Trunk...
Let me take you on a journey.  Several years ago I was inspired to learn to quilt. An online friend has been posting quilts for years and had purchased a Handi Quilter 16 Sit Down.  I drooled over her machine from afar for a long time, and then another friend brought home a 16. Eventually I started test driving quilting machines at shows.  I like the idea of driving a machine over a quilt - but I don't like standing for long periods of time and I don't have the space for a frame, so the longarm on a frame option is really not feasible (though the Homesteader is a great machine and the price is right - as I recall it is made here in NC).

 In 2011 I test drove the Sweet Sixteen for the first time at NC Quilt Symposium and met Donna Sontag from Whatever's Quilted.  I tried out the Sixteen again at a few more shows and was totally hooked.  However, this is not a cheap purchase (over time I suppose it can be amortized over the number of quilts I don't send to someone else to be quilted...) so it took some time to decide to buy.  (This morning though, I had the epiphany that I've spent more on Gus's hockey fees in the past two years than I did on a machine that with care will last for decades, so I'm feeling pretty smug right now).

Second: Open Boxes...
This past Friday was the HQ Truck sale at Whatever's Quilted.  I sent my offer to purchase over on Tuesday (glad I did it early as I learned a bit about daily limits on bank cards and had to call to get that limit temporarily raised so that the purchase could go through).  I arranged to take a half day off work to drive to Wake Forest.  I spent last week practically vibrating, ready to go get my machine.  Friday I left the office and headed over to renew my license plates (must multi-task time off) and realized between Durham and Wake Forest that I was probably having a full blown gall stone attack. I'll spare you the details, but it definitely put a damper on my adventure.  I'm fine now and made it through the rest of the afternoon.  We filled out the final paperwork, picked out accessories, wound bobbins for the quilt I'll work on first as the Bobbin Winder is en route from Utah, and loaded everything into the Polar Bear (my Vue).  On the way home I started to feel better and recruited Gus and Mike to help me unload Mollie and her table.  Gus helped me with the machine head... The box weighs in at 53 pounds. Gus weighs in at 82 pounds. It was valiant of my young helper. Mike helped with the table - at 59 pounds - and 36 x 42 inches I knew that one would overwhelm Gus.

Saturday morning I took Gus to meet up with his Boy Scout Troop to spend the day rock climbing.  I returned home thinking I would nap before the Quilt Bee meeting, but was too energized.  It was time to unwrap Mollie and get her set up. The first thing I was faced with was the statement on the box to "not destroy" as it was reusable. Alrighty then, one possible helper is on his way to Pilot Mountain and the other would not be amenable to being woken to move furniture around at 7:00 a.m. ...  Executive decision time... since I would break the box down to store it anyway, I will simply release the glue along the one edge, so I laid the box down and opened it like a pizza box.  Success.  Double success as I got it leg side up. 

I started removing the shipping foam (which is now safely in the shed with the box) and opened up the legs.  Knowing that the legs are adjustable to get an ergonomically correct height, I decided to go ahead and extend them before flipping the table upright as I figured it would be easier to lower the height than raise it once it was rightside up..  Not knowing what my ideal height for the table would be I raised them to the 10th hole on each side. Tried the 13th, but even upside down decided that it would be too high.  For the record, on the 10th hole, someone of average height (5'5") could quilt standing up (note the amount of curtain visible under the table).  I was right - it was easy to lower it and eventually settled on the 4th hole.  An added bonus is that it is flush with my sewing table seen next to the trunk in an earlier picture.  I toyed with centering the table between the cutting station and the sewing table and decided that there was too much risk of getting a quilt caught between the tables, so the two sewing tables are butted up next to one another now.  It is a tight fit, but I still have full access to the cutting/pressing station to the right.

The table adjustment is actually pretty easy to do. There is a latch the crossbar for each leg that is squeezed together to release. I did lift the table marginally so that there was not opposing pressure from the legs to make it harder.  With a machine in place it would have been much less fun.

The table has a brace underneath the cutout that gets removed before inserting the machine head, I assume to minimize the possibility of damage during shipping.  As I removed the brace and looked face down into the cutout, I was a bit concerned that whomever had done the precision cutting had slipped. So I made a mental note to figure out how one might fill the gap, and was running through things like foam tape as the last thing I wanted to do was repack and reship the table.  However, once I placed the head in the table, my worry turned to being impressed as the cutout is quite precisely done.

Back to the chronology...  Now that the table is set and the height I want, I turned to Mollie's box.  How fitting, she arrives Pretty in Pink.  I alternated between sliding her forward and the box backwards until I freed her from her packing.

 Next came the task of placing her into the table.  As I was still the only awake human in the household, and the corgis don't have thumbs, I first placed a length of fleece on the table to protect it from bumps or scratches and then worked my way around to slide her in from the back. Must remember that there is a gap between the table and the windowsill right now, so that things don't get pushed off the back (but aren't 12 year olds here to crawl under tables and retrieve things for us anyway?).

After placing her in the table, I opened the box of accessories and other neat stuff (free thread from Superior along with a nice catalog).  It was at this point that I found the set-up instructions for the table...  perhaps those might be printed on a piece of paper and included in the box with the table? The final set-up steps included reading the getting started book and installing the power cord, thread guide, foot pedal and touch screen. Next came the first test drive, but as this post now resembles a thesis, our first stitches will be addressed in the next installment.

Friday, March 1, 2013

A life remembered...

 On January 21st 2013, my Mormor, Ane Birthe Elisabeth Carlsen, passed away at the age of 100.  She died in her sleep, in her own home.  It was a peaceful end to a busy life.  I spent a week in her home, south of Copenhagen, Denmark helping my mother with the sorting and packing of a house full of memories.

Spring 2012

Our 2005 Visit and Gus's first time to meet his Olde Mormor

My sister traveled over with my Mother first and spent time on a treasure hunt, emptying drawers and shelves and carrying things down a very steep flight of stairs. She did a huge amount of work sorting clothing to be discarded versus donated. Over 90% of the clothing was gone before I arrived. (We still took 9 bags of clothing and linens to Red Cross on my last day). This picture, taken from the top of the stairs, doesn't begin to show how very steep these stairs are...  There are now stacks and stacks of items to continue sorting.  My uncle came in on a Saturday to pack china and pick up memorabilia from his family.  Countless trips have been taken to the dump as well.

The house was built in 1919. It is quirky with built in cabinets and shelves and a wonderful paneled dining room. My grandparents purchased it in 1949 as a summer home and moved to it year round in 1964.  There are a lot of memories here. In 1987, while touring Europe by Eurail pass after spending a semester in London, I arrived one morning in Copenhagen much earlier than expected. Rather than wake my grandparents, I curled up on a chaise lounge on the back terrace where they found me a few hours later.  I remember the terrace as covered in flowers, though this trip it was snow. Sixty years translates to a lot of stuff.

It was a different era - then a good household was able to serve dinner for 24 using matching china, silver and glassware...  Now - at home, I have 3 different sets of dinnerware.  Sadly, I think my "wedding" china has been used once in 13 years of marriage. We turn first to the pink plates or the stoneware as they are more easily reached and dishwasher safe.  Glassware, forget it - my table is eclectic to say the least. But I digress...

Specialty items galore as well.  Who knew there was such a thing as an oyster plate?  Well, my grandparents had 10 of them... The everyday china has even more specialty pieces. So far we've uncovered a gravy boat, butter holder, toothpick holders, candy dishes of various styles, in addition to the requisite plates, bowls, lunch plates, tea cups, saucers and serving trays. My favorite piece is the fruit ark... As my uncle put it, in 10 years, this will be retro.  Right now though, I think he is wondering what to do with it.

I spent one afternoon tearing up worn sheets to wrap items and organize them for shipping to Florida. The tearing was therapeutic, but dusty.  Speaking of dust, Gus so generously shared a cold with me about a week before I left.  I was doing pretty well on the trip over, but between the lingering cold and the amount of dust we kicked up as we carried things around, I spent more time concentrating on breathing / not coughing the first two days. I did learn that most of the OTC drugs we can get so easily here require prescriptions in Denmark.  Fortunately Mom was with me when we ventured into the pharmacy where we found a children's cough syrup to combine with the meds I brought along with me.  Wow. VILE doesn't begin to describe it. Little to no danger of kids sneaking it. I think I can still taste it.

My memories of the house have always been tied to their artwork.  Several years ago, I asked Mom, if there was one item I could have from the house, it would be the cow painting - and I'm pleased to say that once the estate is settled and the items packed that we will be finding a place to hang this favorite painting.

The castle to the back is not original to the painting. My grandfather had another artist add it later, and it is the castle where they rented a gardener's cottage every summer.  I loved visiting the castle and the cottage when we were young, and watching the cows in the fields nearby.  Thus I am thrilled to be able to keep this memory and to share it with Gus.  We have several other wonderful paintings coming to us as well.  My walls will finally be grown up!

While in Denmark, Mom and I spent time doing fun stuff as well.  On Wednesday we went downtown to enjoy high tea at AC Perch's Tea Room.  For the tea connoisseur, this is crack. The first time Mom introduced me to AC Perch's Thehandel it was to the store below the tea room.  Imagine walking into a small room, lined on two sides with brass apothecary jars.  As you open the door a wave of tea hits you in the face. Intoxicating!  I brought home four different types of tea, nearly 1/2 kilo in all.  My luggage smelled wonderful. 

Thursday we traveled south to K√łge to an embroidery shop and chose three kits to enjoy. We then walked over to my favorite quilt shop, or patchwork as it is more commonly called.  Patchwork Butikken is a delightful store. They do carry many fabrics I can find at home so i pass those by. Over the past few years I've found several patterns with very Danish themes and some uniquely Danish fabric (Nisse). Mom brings me fabric and/or patterns after most of her visits too. 

Now, remember my opening picture... the high on Thursday was 1 - Centigrade.  A veritable heatwave.  This southerner bundled up!

Thursday night we spent at Cirque de Soliel - Allegria.  VERY French.  The acrobatics were amazing. We went with two of Mom's friends and ran into more of her highschool friends while waiting in the lobby.

I enjoyed spending time with Mom. It was bittersweet knowing that this was my last visit to the house I've been visiting for over 40 years. I'm not sure when I'll get to return to Copenhagen. There are so many wonderful memories.  I have plans to incorporate these into future quilt projects.

The Beach at Greve. February 2013. Snow atop the white sand.