Saturday, December 23, 2006

Secret Santa

Before Carmen left to Spain, we had our Secret Santa. I was so excited, thinking of what I was going to make to my secret Santa. I know the girls, they are all very creative and I was curious to see what they would make.

We had a great time, of course!! As you imagine, all the gifts were so beautiful! And we know each other well, it was not hard to come up with a present. It is very inspiring to be in a group like ours. I really cherish our friendship.

I took Flor. I made her a small black purse, a head band, a pin cushion and a small Christmas tree wall hang.

Pilar got a notebook from Camila. It had a nice quilted cover.

I got the most beautiful Christmas ornaments from Claudia.

Claudia also made a small ornament for all the girls. She is so sweet.

I wish you all a great Christmas.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

No more hidden business

Hi There!!

Now that we don't have any more secrets to hide from Carmen, it is time for us to start posting about our Sunday meetings. It is holiday season and many of us are traveling or busy, but one can always count on Pilar! She never forgets to get the keys of the commons! Thanks!

Flor never told us she is a professional seamstress. Here is the outfit she made for her son's baptism. Without pattern!! Using a sewing machine from 1949! (I can't tell you where she got it!!). It looked amazing!! Very very beautiful!! I wonder what she will make next.

Amisha is back knitting.

We had a guest, Paz. Can you guess who her sister is? She came all the way from Chile to surprise Pilar, who opened the door yesterday and almost had a heart attack to see her sister. Isn't a great Christmas present?

Here is our key master. She finished her baby quilt. It is gorgeous!

Have a great week! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Brand new

Hi Everyone,
This is my first posting to the blog. Thank you Carmen for your invitation. It came at a time when I needed to see a "spring" in the desolate desert.
I had a really bad accident on my bike last week. I suffered a mild concussion. I went to Shands and they gave me a brain scan. I hit pretty hard. And, unfortunately, I did NOT have my helmet on! I will forever wear one now. It was a difficult lesson. Now, when I look at all the riders without them on the streets... today I yelled, "Please wear your helmet!" But, I'm afraid, no one will listen. They have to learn their own way.
Thanks again for the invite. I am computer iliterate, however learning my way now! Thanks to you I can blog. This week is the first time I put together a powerpoint. I have done three of them now! (It's been a busy week!) I hope all of you have a blessed and wonderful holiday season. I hope you make lots of wonderful homemade things that bring joy to all.
All my love in quilting,

Monday, December 04, 2006

Las Mosqueteras

This is a picture from the day we gave the quilt to Carmen.
(Carola is not in the picture because she was in Brasil with her family)
It is realy nice be part of Minerva's Circle.
We have a lot of fun: yesterday we have our
Secret Santa game and everybody got amazing gifts!
Thank you for all these wonderful Sundays!

And thank you to everybody in this world for all the nice comments you leave in our blogs!
Thank you very much for all your support!!!
We wish you all the best for the New Year to come.
Happy Christmas!
Las mosqueteras : )

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Amazing Friends

I have often mentioned about my quilting group of friends here in Gainesville. We are like magnets and attract each other despite of our many cultural differences. We enjoy and respect each other and we have built up an amazing friendship. Something very special.

He mencionado varias veces sobre mi grupo de amigas de costura aqui en Gainesville. Somos como imanes y nos atraemos unas a otras a pesar de nuestras diferencias culturales. Disfrutamos juntas y nos respetamos y hemos conseguido crear una amistad increible. Algo muy especial.

After the terrible event of losing my husband over 3 months ago, our group became even stronger. We were all hit by sadness one way or another and what my friends, not only this group but from all over the place, did during those days, weeks and months was an amazing demonstration of friendship. This group of friends got together the Sunday after my husband’s bike accident in my friends home, and I made the effort to get out of my home to get away from the phone and visits coming to my house. It was such a nice and warm environment. We all talked about our crafts, listened to each other and enjoyed desserts as usual. I also poured out my pain and they listened. The following day a group of us went to the fabric store to buy fabrics, all of this helped me keep my feet on the ground during that first week.

Despues de los momentos tan terribles al perder a mi marido hace mas de tres meses, nuestro grupo se hizo aun mas fuerte. Todas nos llenamos de tristeza de una manera u otra y lo que mis amigos, no solo este grupo sino que de todas partes, hicieron durante esos dias, semanas y meses fue una demostracion impresionante de amistad. Este grupo de amigas se junto el Domingo despues del accidente de bici de mi marido en casa de mi amiga, y yo hice el esfuerzo de salir de mi casa para alejarme del telefono y de las continuas visitas a casa. Fue una reunion muy agradable. Hablamos de manualidades, nos escuchamos y disfrutamos de los postres como siempre. Tambien solte mi pena y me escucharon. Al dia siguiente unas cuantas nos fuimos a la tienda de telas a comprar telas, todo esto me ayudo a mantener los pies en el suelo durante esa primera semana.

Then I went for a month to my sister’s home. I needed to be somewhere else, with my family for a while and I enjoyed some days of peace and quiet. I came back and my friends were here ready to take me out to lunch or to come to entertain me and my son. Then it came Sunday. Our weekly meeting. Exciting because some of the girls had been out of town, and also because Yanina and Camila were celebrating their birthdays. And so we got together at Clara’s home and we had cake opened presents and then the BIG surprise.

Entonces me fui un mes a casa de mi hermana. Necesitaba estar en otro lugar, con mi familia durante un tiempo y disfrutar de algunos dias de paz y tranquilidad. Volvi y mis amigas ya estaba dispuestas a sacarme a comer o a venire a entretener a mi hijo. Entonces llego el Domingo. Nuestra reunion semanal. Muy emocionante porque algunas del grupo habian estado fuera, y tambien porque Yanina y Camila celebraban sus cumpleanhos. Asi que nos juntamos en casa de Clara y comimos tarta y abrieron regalos y luego llego la GRAN sorpresa.

They had all come together, while I wasn’t around, to make me what I think is the most beautiful present I have ever received. An amazing quilt made by 11 amazing friends. I couldn’t believe all that work was there in front of me, to cover me every night and to make me remember that I have all these wonderful friends here to make sure that I don’t feel lonely. And of course the quilt is so beautiful. It was made with 12 blocks (3 x 4) out of which one was made out of stripes with the signatures of each one of them. Those stripes also match with the block that each of them made. I had the task to find out who made which and I did pretty good because I know their styles and taste by now. But it is so beautiful, I can’t stop saying that, because each block is so different but they are all very well coordinated, and combined. And then when they described to me how they got organized to do this, how excited they all were, how they had to get together everywhere possible during weeks, how they exchanged so many emails to decide on details about it, how they picked the quilting, how they learned about each others machines, how they took several hours to decide which color to pick for sashing…then it even made it more beautiful. All is left to say is take a look and you will understand a bit of what I’m talking about. Thank you my friends, I love you all very much.

Todas se habian juntado, mientras yo no estaba por aqui, a hacerme lo que pienso que es el regalo mas bonito que jamas he recibido. Una colcha incredible hecha por 11 amigas increibles. No me podia creer que todo ese trabajo estaba delante mio, para cubrirme cada noche y para hacerme recorder que tengo todas estas amigas maravillosas aqui asegurandose que no me sienta sola. Y por supuesto la colcha es tan preciosa. Esta hecha de 12 bloques (3 x 4) de los cuales uno esta hecho de tiras con las firmas de cada una de ellas. Esas tiras tambien coinciden con el disenho del bloque que cada una de ellas hizo. Tuve que averiguar quien hizo cada bloque y no me fue mal porque ya conozco sus estilos y sus gustos. Pero esque es tan bonita, no puedo parar de decirlo, porque cada bloque es tan diferente pero todos estan muy bien coordinados, y combinados. Y luego cuando me describieron como se organizaron para hacer esto, lo emocionadas que estaban, como se habian juntado en todos los lugares posibles durante semanas, como se habian intercambiado tantos emails para decidir cada detalle, como habian decidido como acolcharla, como habian aprendido mas sobre las maquinas de las demas, como les llevo varias horas para decider de que color hacer los bordes y entre los bloques…entonces aun se volvio mas bonita. Lo unico que me queda decir es que lo veais con vuestros propios ojos y podreis entender un poco de lo que hablo. Gracias amigas mias, os quiero a todas mucho.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Oven Mitt, Halloween Ghost and the Art Festival

After a few blogging attempts, here is th
e oven mitt!
My daughter wanted to try it on as soon as it was ready, she seems to be looking for her little fingers lost inside the big mitt.

When I picked some of Amisha's nice pieces of fabric, I promised to myself that I was not having them mooved from one shelf (Amisha's) to another (my own!). They arrived at the right time as we were going to visit
my parents in law the next weekend: I used the fabric to make this oven mitt for Grandma.

The pattern was from the book "Denyse Schmidt Quilts" and the idea of using it also came from Amisha.
I owe a lot to Amisha on this project. Thank you!

and time goes by.......

and.... it WAS Halloween, last week!


Did this ghost scare you?

My son was scaring mommy (wearing t
he costume that she had sewn for him).

and yesterday.......

it was the Gainesville Art Festival!

And here is the youngest Minerva's Circle member, focused on her art project.
Teri was there, being the most inspiring and enthusiast host!
Congratulations Teri, you make art feel like the most confortable and fun place to be!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Back to blogging

Life sometimes takes unexpected turns. Things happen and shake us really hard. For a while I have been sad, confused and upset. I have been thinking a lot about life and its meaning. I try to understand but I come to no conclusion. At this point, I find solace on different things and people. Of course, my son. He is part of me, he is my life. But my great inspiration is my friend Carmen. With her, I started sewing and blogging. She is a great friend, like a sister and our friendship has been keeping me sane. And now, I look and her and find strength to cope with the pain and keep going. Her positive attitude, her strenght and determination is an example for me. Carmen, you are a wonderful human being and my blog is dedicated to you.

And here is a picture of the light boy. That is what he wanted to be for Halloween. Can you tell he was eating chocolate?

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

new faces

is it wednesday already? october whirls by and i am here to report on our sunday minerva's circle meeting. very little work to show from me as i got back from my conference sunday morning, and sadly a needle and thread is not airplane-friendly material! it's too bad really, as that long flight would have been a wonderful time to work on the flock of triangles quilt. much knitting but no sewing! it was great to sit and sew and relax with everyone on sunday, catch up, and see the new amazing work. first from shradma, who is new to gainesville and to our group... i think this is her 2nd or 3rd meeting. this weekend she brought her current project, a cute summery top:
she also brought these wonderful projects she made as a young girl in school. this is a sweet baby bib-- all the sewing is by hand, and the center fruits are individually appliqued and embroidered. her stitches are so tiny and delicate... it's very beautiful.
and here is another project from when she was a girl... a girl's smock-style top, with wee buttons in the back. click on the photo to check out the applique and embroidery! i especially love the girl in the corner, holding a basket on her head. as someone who tries embroidery on and off without much success, i'm so impressed with her delicate work. it inspires me to go back to my sublime stitching kit and finish the tea towel i started a year ago!

i hadn't seen pilar in a week and suddenly she had made a new quilt! this confection is made all in soft flannel, front and back, in soft baby colors. very sweet and a great quick project... she is going to tie the quilt rather than sew it at the corners of the squares. i love that idea and there's 2 more babies coming up... since my fingers have been sore for more than 2 months now on the triangles, i'm thinking tying will be the way to go for the next one.
ciao chicas... see you next week!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Our Sundays meeting

I can't say enough how much I enjoy meeting my crafty friends on Sunday. It is amasing how productive they are! Every week they bring new and beautiful things to show. I need to keep up with them, so better make this post short and go back to work...

Amisha is our fabric philanthropist. She brought us a lot of beautiful design fabric to give away. How sweet of her! And she cooked a deliciuos chocolate cake. Thank you, thank you Amisha!!

Clara made a great bed cover for her daughter's bed.

Claudia finished her big blanket. She said Pilar helped her. Isn't great to sew together? The blanket is amasing! So colorful and happy. What a great color combination!

Pilar is finishing the 'Tiny Happy' bag. Almost all of us have this bag. Well, one of us made bags for the whole family!! The bags are easy to make and they look great.

And here is another blanked from Claudia. I love the design and the the colors. As you can see on the picture, I am not the only one.

See you next Sunday!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

better late than never

well... here it is sunday again, and i am very very delayed in posting photos from last week's meeting of minerva's circle. many apologies to my fellow quilt-and-sewers... i will try to be less of a slacker next time :) there were some marvelous creations at our meeting, and we had a new small person join us-- teri's son! he is already quilting at age 8 and was sewing away on a lovely patchwork piece. clearly he's good genes from his mama! here he is with teri looking on...
amazing, no? it made me think about when i learned to do needlework from my grandmother... i was in elementary school and i loved it. she taught me to crochet, quilt, sew, even tat lace! (the lace-making didn't last, though :) )

the super-productive gisele and her cozy halloween flannel pajamas for her son...
she was also working on 2 new mini-moopy dolls that were so, so cute. the fabric choices were so bright and colorful and she was embroidering some very expressive faces. here is one and the second is in progress in her lap.
flor is making some pants here , i believe, and is also trying to work out a pattern for a baby-holder that will go into a shopping cart. that's her little one in the stroller next to her... he is getting so big and is extremely adorable.
yanina is working on another pillow (or wall hanging? the memory starts to go when you wait this long to blog!)... a floral geometric design that she invented herself. i'm amazed by her ability to sketch out complex designs and make them a reality!
and clara is now the official goddess of applique. this is a finished bag for her son, to carry library books home in. all of those sharks are hand-cut and appliqued, and the details (teeth and eyes) are sewn on. we were all in awe of this bag! she sketched the sharks from a children's book that her son likes, cut them from soft blue suede-like fabric, then put the sharks together with "algae" fabric for the bottom and shimmering green threads. and check out the bag handle... it's padded so the heavy bag won't be uncomfortable to carry. this rocks clara!see you all this afternoon!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Birthday cake and more...

My son just turned five years old. He is so proud of his age!

He loves animals
and for the last year and a half
his passion
has been "sharks"
So, after having a
Tyranosaurus rex birthday cake
for his third
and fourth birthday,

he wanted a shark cake. I had no clue how to make a shark cake.
Then I had an idea. But when I woke up on his birthday,
I had given up and was going for one of those
nice cakes from Publix.
That's when my son interviene: "Mom, let's go
do the icing and decorate the shark".
What could I say?
Well, we had fun and we did it.

This is what we did.

We were so happy that we started
throwing ideas around to add to the cake for the party.
So, while I stayed home baking and decorating, the kids with dad and
the grandparents went "shopping" for a boat and a fisherman.

When the cake was finished we all
gathered around and laughed. My
husband asked me if I was making the cake for
my son or for me, as I was having
so much fun (specially while making the waves...).

The kids loved it.
They just wanted to play with it.

I can't emphasize enough that this project was only possible because my son would not let me give up. I guess we all need that kind of input, once in a while.

As it was the beginning
of school,
I decided to sew these little pencil bags for the children.

Just before leaving to Portugal, where we spent four wonderful weeks with our family, I made this pillow for my father. I could not show it to my friends because I left that Saturday, so here it is:

Friday, September 01, 2006

We are so immenselly sad for tragedy hit amongst us.
In our hearts the deepest sorrow.
Conforting words and tears fall short of power to relieve pain.

"There is no pain so great as the memory of joy in present grief"

"The pain passes, but the beauty remains"
Pierre August Renoir

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

the sunday afternoon quilt and dessert society...

this is what my husband calls us! he is always wondering what delicious treats we are munching at our meetings... this time it was lovely fudge brownies and a great cream cheese and spinach dip. and we were very busily working away...

look at the adorable spiderman pajamas that pilar has made for her son! she made the pajama bottoms with her new sewing machine, then appliqued a piece of the same fabric to the soft cotton top to make a set. she also told us very funny stories about her son in the pajamas-- she was loosening up the waistband on sunday so they wouldn't pinch him!on the blue pajamas, she also made the pajama bottoms on the sewing machine then added a strip of coordinating fabric to the top as an applique. they are very cute pilar!

gisele was working on her lovely blue and yellow quilt... right now she is doing a very pretty scalloped quilting around the edges.

and carmen finished her baby quilt on sunday during our meeting! i love the colors in this quilt-- orange! :) she quilted it all over, following the circles, so there is a bubble pattern on the back. it's very cuddly because the orange fabric on some of the squares and the binding is a soft fuzzy velour-type fabric... so nice!

and here is claudia with maria from chile, who was new to the group. she has made amazing progress on her quilt since last week... she is piecing these squares together with a green binding in between each block. it's hard to tell here but she has made a strip as long as the couch!

for my part the baby quilt was put aside in favor of the wee bunny, and carmen and gisele helped me position his ears and make him cute!

oh, i also wanted to share with you all the recipe for the banana bread i made a couple of weeks ago. it is very easy and tasty... i bought a big bunch of bananas yesterday hoping that some might go a bit squishy by the end of the week so i can have banana bread :) here's the recipe:

2 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

mix all of these dry ingredients together. then add
1 c. mashed banana (i use 2 or 3 bananas... however many are sitting around!)
1 tsp. vanilla (i tend to splash a bit extra in too)
2 large eggs, and
1/2 c. oil.

mix only until everything is mixed and wet-- don't beat or overmix. pop into a loaf pan at 350 degrees for an hour and there you go!