Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Baby Blanket Re-visit

The number of babies (new and upcoming) in our family keeps increasing, which means I might have to spread the baby blankets out a bit - rather than 2 4x4 blankets, I will have to make another 4 blocks and make 3 3x4 blankets (but it is important that all cousins have the same sort of blanket, right?)

I have been working on it.  It is a lot of fun to be able to try random, crazy stuff without worrying about the overall impression.  Plus, I can repeat patterns I really like!

I now have:

For this one, I thought I would see how tight a spiral I can make with a walking foot.  Turns out not very.  I decided to fill the space with some spirals.  Kevin thinks it looks unfinished - I may come back to it and put something in the corners.

I just wanted to see if I could do something really easy to fill the space.  I really don't like it - I didn't even bother finishing it when I ran out of bobbin string!  At least I tried...

Pointsettas from Leah Day / 365 Free Days of Free Motion Quilting.  A bit season-specific, but I really liked working on this one.

Another one by Leah Day.  Ok, but I don't like my "beads".

Stomach lining by Leah Day.  Sorry that the chalk is so bright - I could barely see it on the quilt itself!

Some fun...  I'm considering using this one on my Shattered Dishes quilt.  I've done it before, and I really enjoy doing it.

Peacock feathers by Ferret.  I really should learn how to do feathers... but I'm still intimidated.  Apparently this is how she started.

From Machine Quilting: A Primer of Techniques by Sue Nickels - thank-you for the recommendation, Sylvia!  I think I need to work on making really fine squiggles - this is about as small as I can go. 

Another one from Sue Nickels.  This one is really fun and easy.

An old pattern that I have used before (like 5 years ago, when I first tried free motion quilting!).  Now that I know some other patterns, I don't like this one as much!

I am now half-way there.  Like I said, I can start repeating patterns, which is nice - at least for the patterns that I enjoyed!  I still want to master paisley, as well, so there may be some more variations on that one coming.


Sunday, 6 December 2009

Trying to get ready for Christmas...

I'm having trouble getting into the Christmas thing this year.  It could be the nice weather.  It could be that there are more interesting things going on in my life.  It could be that I just really, really don't want to face the yearly trudge to the Toys"R"Us website to get angry about how condescending toys for little girls are.

We got out the tree.  Our cool fiberoptics have burned out.

We tried shopping.  It required a 2-hour nap to recover, and we didn't manage to buy any gifts.

Finally, I decided to make Nanaimo bars: a very, very Canadian Christmas tradition.  And one of my few skills (making them, I mean). 

Since every year someone ends up calling me asking for my recipe, here it is:

1/2 cu. butter or margarine
1/4 cu. white sugar
5 Tbs. cocoa
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
2 cu. graham cracker crumbs (I use crushed digestive biscuits in Britain)
1 cu. coconut
1/2 cu. walnuts (I usually skip this)

Combine everything up to and including the egg.  Put it in the microwave and cook (stirring frequently) until it has the consistency of custard.  Then mix in the other ingredients, and press into a 9x9" pan.

Make vanilla frosting/icing as you usually do, but add 2 Tbs. of custard powder.  Spread over the base.

1/8 cu. butter / margarine
1 cu. chocolate

Melt the chocolate and butter.  Spread over the frosting.  Let solidify partially, and then cut into 1" squares.

Keep in mind the better the extremes between the bitterness of the chocolate layers and the sweetness of the frosting layer, the better they seem to go over!

To add a bit of a quilting flavour, when I made these for the Cambridge Quilter's Summer dinner, an elderly lady took the last one and wandered around the rooms asking, "Who made this?".  I admitted to it with trepidation, but she sat down next to me and demanded the recipe.  They really are that good!


Monday, 30 November 2009

The first scan

I don't want this to become a baby blog (come on, this has happened at least 6 billion times before - so what?), but we had our first scan today.

A. I really am pregnant!  Not faking it!
B. It's a thumb sucker.  Apparently Kevin and I accidentally doubled up on those genes.
C. It did the same indignant turn over and try to ignore me thing that Kevin does in the middle of the night.  Definitely his child!

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Some decisions.

I went with quilting last week.  I think I made the right choice (especially since it started to rain as soon as I made it!).  I am now done piecing my Shattered Dishes quilt:

I had to resort to the machine for the last bit of it, since my wrists were too sore to do anything by hand!

My next choice is how to do the border.  I think it needs some sort of border, because otherwise it's a pretty busy quilt.  I think I want to maintain something a bit 3D, especially since I am totally out of the neutral fabric!  In that case, should the border come "outward" (or at least it looks like that to me...):

Which leaves plenty of other options (inward, outward, blue or orange, etc.)

The next choice will be how to quilt it.  I have been trying to decide whether to quilt based on the original block (as I imagined it):

And then, of course, do something more fun in each of the blocks...

However, I think it could be fun to go "on point" and break the quilt up into 2 different blocks:

This could allow for some fun in terms of treating the blocks differently - ie. something really tight in the "cross" blocks, and something much looser in the broken dishes blocks:

Any thoughts?

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Second Trimester Rocks!

I have now gone through the magical transition from first to second trimester.  Sweet, sweet bliss - I can think again!  I can eat again! (in fact, I am now constantly hungry!)  And, best of all, I can sew again!

For my friends who want to keep track of my measurements:
waist: 30"
hips: 40"
(both down 3% from my pre-pregnancy size - definitely no evidence of a bump yet!)

As for weight, it is hard to tell because I was switching scales and unit systems while I travelled, but at the lowest I lost 14 lbs from my pre-pregnancy weight.  I am now at -12 lbs (I have never been so proud of gaining 2 lbs in my life!)  The whole experience has made me realize that despite all the pressure for women to be thin, that extra fat is there for a very, very important reason - you may need to go 6 weeks without being able to eat some day!

More importantly, sewing!

While travelling, I managed to visit a couple of quilting stores in various cities.  I am pretty embarrassed to say I can remember which stores in which cities (it is all such a blur...)  But I did manage to pick up some exciting new supplies:
- glow-in-the-dark thread.  I think this will be so much fun!
- a "Clearly Perfect Angles" mat for my sewing machine.  I haven't tested it yet, but I think it will be useful.
- some "Soak" to try cleaning some of my blankets and quilts that are too large for my laundry machine.  The website says it is for wools, but at the Birmingham Quilt Show they had a stand where they were recommending it for quilts.  I may not test it until spring when the weather is nice enough to dry everything outside, though.
- some new marking tools and threads.
- Machine Quilting by Sue Nickels, as recommended by Sylvia.  I have tried a bunch of the patterns from it in my quilt-as-you-go project.
- Design Essentials by Lorraine Torrence.  A really good book - it has me re-thinking some of my designs.  I probably need to re-read it, though, since I read it on one of the days when the nausea and vomiting was at its worst...

Wow.  I hope Kevin doesn't notice quite how much I bought, especially considering I wasn't even quilting at the time.  At least I have promised that I will make him a baby sling.  And maybe some cute towels with bunny ears.

As for actual sewing, I have made some progress on the spheres quilt (remember the one that I was preparing specifically for all this travel?  Ha!  I have made it about 3% of the way!).  I almost have Shattered Dishes totally pieced, but I am out of shape - if I hand sew for 2 hours or so, my wrist gets sore!  I used to be able to hand sew for 8-9 hours straight! 

I have quilted another 6 panels for my quilt-as-you-go project (the real story is that I am going to make Khilen, Kevin's new nephew, and our baby semi-matching quilts).  Again, I could not work on that one to save my life while in my first trimester....

You may be noticing a lack of pictures.  In my travels, I seem to have lost our card reader.  I am sure we will track it down...

And now, the real dilemma - I have not cleaned or gardened in 2 months.  A responsible person would get out the bleach and Comet.  However, I have so much sewing I want to do!


Tuesday, 17 November 2009

I'm back... ?

Ok, so it's been a while.  I have plenty of excuses lined up:

A ton more travel.  About 12,000 miles:
Cambridge - Heathrow - Chicago (I think - it's getting blurry...) - Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh - Charlotte - Cincinnati
Cincinnati - Chicago - Edmonton (yay! vacation time!)
Edmonton - Kootenay Bay (yay! at the cabin where I didn't even have internet access!)
Kootenay Bay - Edmonton (a couple more days with family)
Edmonton - Heathrow - Cambridge

and I finally got home last Thursday.

The other excuse is - I'm pregnant.  I've been too tired to think.  I've been too nauseous to eat.  I've been barely able to function as it is - something as complicated as surfing the web has been impossible!

At least I presume I'm pregnant.  I should be in week 12.  However, the NHS has lost my paperwork, so they won't do a scan.  I am unimpressed.

So.  There it is.  Maybe I'll get my energy back at some point and be able to get back to sewing / posting (or at least cleaning, which I haven't really done in the last 2 months...)

Thursday, 22 October 2009

A Rant

I have been too shattered from the travel to do anything like quilting (or exercising, or reading, or doing anything other than working and sleeping) so I have no real progress to report on that front.

I have come to a decision from this last trip: I am going to make it a goal in my life to never go to Houston again.  I don't make such decisions lightly, but I think this one is required.

My reasons:

- missing the quilt show.  I know that this is technically my fault, but I have decided to blame Houston instead.

- I tried to go running at 4:30 in the morning (I was still on British time).  It was 80ºF / 24ºC that early.  The dew point was 79.5ºF.  ick.

- One of the lunches served at the company that I was visiting was Southern Fried Steak (ie. breaded & deep-fried steak-like product).  The vegetable sides were pasta and rice.

- The course I was teaching didn't go as well as I had hoped.

- My flight out was delayed due to a problem with the plane.  This meant that I missed my connection, and they lost my luggage.  I got to the hotel in Cleveland around midnight, and I had to go to my meeting the next day in my clothes from the day before, without my notes.  I blame Houston.

- My co-worker got stuck in Hurricane Gustav last year.

- Some of the biggest news while I was there was about Barbie's cankles.  I know this was a US-wide problem, but really now...

I always thought that I would like Houston.  After all, I grew up in Calgary, and at least one kid in my class every year would get transferred there (or at least their parents would be).  Most of those kids (that I have tracked down on Facebook) stayed, so there must be some advantages!

I'm sorry to anyone from Houston, or anyone who likes Houston. 


Monday, 19 October 2009

Another 11,150 miles

Cambridge - Belfast - Cambridge (28 hours back home), then Houston - Cleveland - Cambridge. 

I got home yesterday, and have been catching up on sleep ever since.  Maybe I'll have something more interesting to say once I have caught up a bit.  That is, if I have caught up before I take off for the States again next week...

Friday, 9 October 2009


Back from Belfast last night.

Off to Houston tomorrow morning.

So tired I want to cry.

week 1 of insane travel schedule done.


Sunday, 4 October 2009

And the travel begins...

Tomorrow evening I'm off for Belfast, and then Saturday I'm flying out to Houston.  Hopefully I'll get some piecing done, but probably not much blogging...

The status of Shattered Dishes:

Two more blocks to piece, and then putting the whole thing together.  I'm really happy with how it is coming out!

Only 2 more blocks on my FQM project (had to get courses ready this weekend rather than quilting, like I really wanted to...)

And my sad, sad news...  You may have noticed that I am going to Houston next week.  You may have also noticed that the International Quilt Festival is in Houston next week.  It is not a coincidence, but it is a poorly planned one...  I did convince our customers that they should do their training that week with the plan to stay on a couple of days afterwards to peruse the show.  I was very, very excited about it. 

But I didn't look closely at the dates.  I had seen some dates around the 10th and 11th, as well as some around the 15th and 16th.  I thought that a show that big would be a week or two long.  I was asked to visit some clients in Cleveland on the 15th and 16th, and I thought it would be fine.

And then I looked up the details...  The 10-12th are a trade show, closed to the public.  The show itself starts on the 15th.  When I'm in Cleveland.  I'm so sad...

(and a little bit relieved - I find the following exhausting:
- running training courses
- flying back and forth over the Atlantic (two trips across in 3 weeks...)
- quilt shows
- life in general

so maybe this will save a bit of sanity...)

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Baby quilts

Kevin's family is going through a baby boom (welcome to the family, Kailen!) so it is time I get some baby quilts made.

I have been really, really enjoying Leah Day's 365 Days of Free Motion Quilting Filler Designs - every day she adds a new filler free motion quilting design.  Check it out - it's really cool!

I have never learned how to hand quilt (although I finally know how to make a quilter's knot!  hurray!) and I often feel like my FMQ lets me down - I can do a couple of patterns, but it is definitely is my weakest area in quilting (as well as maybe general laziness when it comes to doing enough squaring).

I decided to start a "quilt as you go" project, to try out a bunch of these FQM patterns and to improve my skills.  I have cut out 32 blocks:

I have sewn around the orange center to stabilize, and I have started quilting!  It is lots of fun (although I have already run out of my selected thread... I'll have to pop into town tonight after work...)

Please keep in mind that I am not nearly, nearly as good as Leah at FQM...

I have tried Sea Oats:

The orange centres are just some old sheets that I got Kevin to dye, and the edges are some fantastic batiques that I bought while Kevin's parents were in town - it is my first time working with batiques, and I now understand why everyone raves about them!  The backing is some old, old fabric that Kevin's parents found in his grandparent's cabin in the mountains - so it really is a family quilt!

** Update: the name has been revised to Khilen, pronounced Kyle-en.  The pictures have proven that he is a very, very cute little boy!

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Deoxyribonucleic acid

Yeah, I know I should be finishing the binding on the wedding quilt, or working on a baby quilt, or generally doing something more productive than making a new pattern to ignore...  But it's pretty cool, isn't it?

The wedding was fantastic, and they really liked the "starter quilt" - perfect in case it rains on their honeymoon!  I managed to negotiate another week's grace to finish binding the quilt, so I guess I have something to do while I watch "the X-Factor" tonight.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

A return to being me

I took Wednesday, Thursday and Friday off to help my friend with her wedding, but the commitments for Wednesday and Thursday have been pretty light.  Instead, I have ended up taking the time to recover from the last couple of weeks of insanity.  

I got their "quilt pack" started - the central squares are cut and the triangles for the corners are printed.  I am giving them enough for 16 8" blocks - enough to get them started and playing, but not as intimidating as a full bed sized quilt!

I still want to write up some instructions, but I will need Kevin to take some pictures for the complete effect.

I also cleaned.  I cleaned a lot.  I think a lot of my frustration was because my home was so chaotic.  I can now use the bathroom without feeling guilty about how badly it needs cleaning!  Hurray!

With all the dirt, I managed to clean away my frustration about our guest (who is now gone).  His bedsheets are cleaned and the room is back to being my sewing space.

Of course, I baked an apple pie.  And I let the neighbour's kitten attack my feet repeatedly.  Slippers are important protection.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Quiet Spaces

I am one of those people who really needs my own space. I hated living in a dorm during my undergrad. I really need time where I don't need to worry that someone wants anything from me - even if it is just friendly conversation.

Maybe the truth is, no matter how "customer facing" I am at work, I am still just a quiet nerd at heart, who just wants to get on with my life in a dark basement.

This is part of the reason I don't mind the insane travel I have to do for work - when I'm travelling on my own, I get the flight, the hotel rooms and the drives that are completely mine!

I didn't have my quiet space this weekend (or in the last couple of weeks, for that matter) and it is starting to drive me crazy. It's sad that I'm so desperate to lock myself in my sewing room for a couple of hours... or take over the kitchen table and do some cutting... or turn on a bad movie and do some stitching...

Obviously, I haven't gotten much sewing done this week. Our guest did leave, but it has gotten to the point in the year where it is too dark in my sewing room to do anything when I get home from work (a new lamp is in the mail!). I did get about 20% of the sphere pattern printed and cut out.

I managed a bit of time in my sewing room to bind the wedding quilt on Saturday morning, but then we went to another wedding, I had a bunch of friends over in the evening, and the following morning I ran in a charity race. By the afternoon I was too tired to think straight (yay naps!) and then it was evening again... and our guest was back (I hadn't realized he was coming back for 2 days), so I couldn't slip away like I wanted to. I hope I wasn't too passive-aggressive with him... but that's what happens when I don't get my quiet spaces...


Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Inspiring Pictures - Buildings with unusual angles

Going through my folder of photos, I have found a lot of pictures with buildings that don't use 90º angles.

I spend a lot of time thinking about perspective. When you look at a cube close-up, it no longer looks like a cube - the sides elongate and the angles distort:

Every time I set up a quilt pattern with my computer program, I try to chose the right perspective to twist the angles away from the usual pattern, but maintain the correct size to the viewer.

We usually look at buildings in perspective, since we are so much smaller than them! I find it really interesting when architects alter the angles on their buildings to change the perspective, rather than changing the perspective itself.

Take this building in Amsterdam, for example. The door is a proper 90º from the ground. But the entire building is tilted over, even though it looks like I am taking the picture from below it (which, admittedly, I am, but not as much as it looks).

The Dutch are fantastic for this sort of game. Here is another building (I can't remember the city!) with some fun angles.

Tokyo, Japan. I love how this one "spins". Another pattern that I would love to make some day. It also gets smaller at the top (as well as the perspective), so it looks much taller than it actually is.

Seoul, S. Korea. I have a lot of pictures of the curves on roofs of traditional Oriental buildings - it is such a satisfying "flare". I wonder if there is a geometry to it like the "golden ratio".

Finally, of course, a pod hotel (Tokyo again). It seems so dated and 60's now... But it is also a lot like the "inner city" patterns some people make.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Coming Along...

My last week has been crazy, but a quiet weekend has helped me recover my sanity.

The quilt show went really well. It was the first time I had really shown other quilters my work, and I got some really great feedback (phew!). We got a lot of people through the door, and raised a lot of money for the group and for charities.

We also had Norah McMeeking come and do a talk on landscape quilts on Wednesday night. Her Bella Bella quilts look so amazing, and yet the geometry is so simple. Really fantastic! I want to try out some of the techniques she mentioned one of these days...

Project updates:
- wedding quilt - I did a bit more quilting, and have tied off the loose ends. Just squaring and binding to go (the project for next weekend!)
- wedding project - I have decided to give them enough blocks to make pillow covers. Then, if they like it, they can go on to make a quilt top. I hope that is less intimidating than a huge pile of fabric!
- bulging blocks - I have done some machine sewing, but now I have lost my sewing room, so not much further movement.

As for the next project... As Kevin had the strongest opinion (and, well, I do have to live with him!) I went with the sphere. I have added a background (stolen from the compass idea) and put in some stars around the edges to use up some of the empty space in the print-outs.

I couldn't make the sphere as large as I had hoped, since I only have so much fabric I could use up. The sphere and edge will be 52". The stars are 8", so the complete quilt will be around 72-76".

I got some beautiful, shiny pima cotton sheets from a second hand store a couple of months ago and dyed them:

(so all of the blue in the plan is a great big lie). I am sticking with the "sun" theme, and painted some yellow and red into the fabric, although it isn't very bright. I have no idea what I will do about the background yet - I will think about it when I get there.

I have also put together most of the pattern. All that leaves is the printing, cutting, sewing and quilting!


Saturday, 5 September 2009

My Next Project

- I am almost done the quilt for my friend's wedding
- I am about to lose my sewing room for a week

- all my other project is at the point where there is only machine sewing left to be done
- I have an insane amount of travel coming up in October

I think that I should start on my next project.

I am leaving the compass for now, since it will require a lot of thinking/shopping/dying the right fabrics.
I really want to do something geometric after working with bulges for so long.

Up for consideration are:
Another sphere. Note that I did sit down and figure out the pattern from the ceiling in Dali's museum - thank goodness for insomnia! I have tried to make spheres like this a couple of times, slowly iterating towards the right technique. I want to make the sphere itself about 60" wide (which makes most of the pieces about 6" x 9", I am happy to say!

Kevin really likes this option. He wants me to map on "land" colours according to Earth (or a similar planet). I am also considering making it in yellow/orange/red, and quilting it in corona and swirls for a sun. It could be a really fun one!

Second option:
A systematic study of rotating cubes. Each rotated cube would be scaled to the same size as a 2" tumbling block cube, and would be in a larger hexagon with a 4" side length, so that everything would map onto a classic tumbling blocks pattern (like I did for my "truly tumbling" quilt).

I would make it with Japanese folding, so that it would be pretty modular and easy. I have big ideas for how to dye the fabrics.

This one makes more sense if I want to post patterns on my website (when will I ever get back to that?). Also, if any of the dyeing etc. goes wrong, I can throw a bunch of bits into a baby quilt for the upcoming niece or nephew.

Any thoughts?

(Off to the last day of the quilt exhibit!)


Thursday, 3 September 2009

Cambridge Quilters Exhibition!

A quick post after an exhausting day - Kevin and I just spent 8 hours putting up quilts for my local quilt group's show. For such a small group there is some really amazing work - I'm so lucky that I can learn so much from the people around me. I'm also really, really lucky for Kevin - at 6'4", he was a hero for putting up all the really high quilts and helping out!

My Inverted Horizon:

And a detail to see just how stressed I was to sit around quilting such tiny spirals for hours and hours and hours... Thank goodness that project is over at work!

And my Exploding Blocks:

Everyone in the Cambridge area should come along! Friday & Saturday 10-5, Sunday 10-4!

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Excessive Squiggles

Last weekend was a Bank Holiday, which was really, really nice. The hen party for my friend (Anna's) went really well , although I was incredibly stressed out about it! Sunday I cleaned and did some shopping, and then Monday I sat down at my sewing machine and worked on Dan and Anna's wedding present.

The wedding is on the 25th, but I have another friend coming to stay with us from the 10th to the 22nd, so I will lose my sewing room :-( That means I really need to get to finishing this guy!

Have you ever sat down and just needed to do squiggles? I couldn't help it... It feels like the last couple of weeks were very linear. Maybe I'm just strange.

Anyway, this has been the fate of my bulging blocks. They are now a throw for the bottom of a bed. It's 18" wide, and probably about 100" long. The squiggles overpowered the bulging blocks, so I tried to enhance the bulges with some shading... which didn't work very well.

Then again, I always dislike my quilts for about 5 years, after which I can look and them and no longer see just the mistakes!

A little bit more quilting (I have to finish the shading now that I have started it!), tying the knots, and then squaring and binding. I am not sure how I am going to get it done in time, but that's life.

I am trying to decide if this should just be part 1 of the gift. When we were talking to them a couple of weeks ago, they said that they were considering making a quilt together as a project for the first year of their marriage. They know nothing about quilting, and Anna has only ever hand sewn! Would it be cheeky of me to use up some matching fabric, and print a pattern on it for them? I'm thinking of something really simple like a snowball pattern (she's an excellent painter, and could paint pictures in the centres).

Or is it lazy to make them make their own quilt?

Anyway, tomorrow I help out setting up the Cambridge Quilters' Exhibition. Hurray! The first time I have put my quilts into a show!

Friday, 28 August 2009

Inspiring Pictures - Looking up part 1

It will be a crazy day today - I am organizing a "hen party" for a friend. Unfortunately, I am not yet sure what a hen party is supposed to entail. Hence, I am going North American on it and organizing a bridal shower. It should be fun, but I am really stressed about it!

I am happy to realize that I have a lot more pictures of looking up than I have of looking down. Hence, I will split this into a couple of posts.

The first picture is from the Dali Museum in Spain. Everyone must, must, must go to this museum - it is full of his work, work that he liked, and work that was inspired by him. There will be a lot of mention of this museum in the "inspiring pictures" posts.

This glass sphere was in the roof. Now, I have thought a lot about how to break up a sphere into smaller bits. You can see in my first post that I have tried to piece a sphere, but I was never happy with it. This ceiling sphere is cool because it looks like equilatoral triangles, but they sometimes have 5-fold symmetry. I could spend hours trying to figure it out...

Some day, I really want to make a wall-sized semi-sphere quilt, so that it either makes the room larger (if it looks like it is going into the wall) or smaller (if it looks like it is coming out of the wall).

For something a little bit more mundane, this is the ceiling of a ski lodge where I stayed in Switzerland. I could totally make a pattern like that. Someday I totally will.

For something more "artsy", I took this picture while sitting under an umbrella in a cafe on a sunny day. It gives an effect something like that Bushfire Sunset quilt from Birmingham. Mom - we could make something like that together - what do you think?

To bleak. This was last March in Seoul, S. Korea. There was a "yellow dust alert". It is fine sand in the air, blown over from China. My father has been in Bejing during a yellow dust storm and he said he couldn't see the other side of Tiananmen Square! I would love to capture in a quilt the repetition of the buildings and architecture and the shades of grey and beige. Obviously, not a quilt about beauty.

Since I live in Cambridge (and have a magic card that gets me into the Colleges), I must mention King's College Chapel. I spend a lot of time sitting in the Chapel, staring at the ceiling while friends and family go through the displays (which I have seen many, many times...) There are only 4 churches in the world with 3-D buttressing like this. It is truly astounding. I would love to make a quilt of this, and convey just how small you are in the face of God (I may not be religious, but there is no way you cannot feel that way when you go into a large church or cathedral).

Ok, off to do the last-minute party preparations! Then, long weekend! Hurray! So much quilting to do...