Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Seeking a Bit of Blue Sky

Life has been stormy ... both literally and figuratively in my remote corner of the planet.  When life becomes complicated and stress or worries tend to monopolize my life, I turn to dillydallying.  Working with my hands ... creating ... being busy ... all assist to help me clear my head.  The complications and worries still exist, but I am better able to think and pray with clarity rather than confusion.  If you follow me on instagram, you know that I have been especially busy ... working on multiple projects ... and those are just the ones I post!  Mr. DD has noticed over the years that the number of projects directly relates to my stress level! ;-)
Today, I'll just share the progress I've made on our guild's 30th Anniversary Party!  It was such fun ... and the event's influence is still being felt here in DillyDallydom!  I took this pic at the beginning of the wool applique' class.  Roseann's sample is in the upper left corner.  Sew inspiring!
Girlfriend DD had never done an entire project with hand stitching!  And she was taught by the best!  Roseann is a wonderful instructor ... with both beginning and experienced stitchers.
After making our pincushions, we moved on to a more advanced project, this sweet table mat is a close-up photo of Roseann's sample.
GF made great progress on her mat ... it was nearly finished by the end of the day!
I have been working on my finishes here at home.
It only took a few minutes to finish the pincushion.  They were all sew dang cute ... I want to make more!
And one end of my mat is completely finished ... and I have made good progress on the remaining end.
"Her Majesty" got a new outfit during class with Sherri Falls!  QBee Marianne brought in decals and gifted me with them!  What a hoot!  I had such fun dressing my machine!  "Her Majesty" is such a workhorse ... she deserves to look pretty!  We began that day by working on our Crafty Basket!  Not to boast ... but I am in love with my kitty / yarn themed fabric!
QBee Marianne and GF working on their crafty basket ... love this pic, it really captures how much fun we were all having!
Sherri had many tricks and techniques that really helped everyone make their baskets successfully!  And GF and I have a new appreciation for binder clips!
I finished mine here at home ... and absolutely love the results!  This is a pattern I will make many times over!  I plan to use mine for knitting projects, but I can envision many uses for the pattern!
I am so in love with this fabric ... wish I had more yardage ... ugh!  The polka-a-dots with kitty ears and faces just makes me giggle!
GF decided to make her first mini under Sherri's tutelage ... yep, she is a very smart woman!
Those little one inch (half inch finished) squares can be challenging, but Sherri checked her accuracy and GF made great progress!
I was able to get started in class, but being chairperson of the event prevented me from making much progress.  But I was able to soak up all the hints and tips Sherri used to help us improve our piecing.  We all benefited from her insights and experiences ... I loved learning from her!
First block came together nicely ...
... and the second block went together even more quickly!  This block pattern is really fun!
Yep ... Little Miss Snoopervisor is always near ... lending a paw.  ;-)
Six blocks done ... half way there!
Currently I have eight blocks done, and only four remain.  I am busy getting ready to teach at the Valdez Quilt Festival, so have set my Winter Lights quilt aside ... for now!  I hope to use this quilt during the winter months following the Holidays ... stay tuned!
Dillydallying provides for me a glimpse of blue sky during stormy and complicated times.  I truly am serious when I say ... do dillydally!

Do what you love.  Take good care!  Do dillydally! 
Mrs. DillyDally

Friday, August 19, 2016

Our Hearts Are Heavy

Here, in our remote corner of the planet ... we are grieving.  An outstanding 2016 graduate left this earthly life last week.  Every corner of our community has reached out to support his parents, brother, and friends.  The pain ... the sorrow ... the love ... the emotions are intense and overwhelming.
Class of 2016 - Photo taken May 2015

Today was a "Celebration of Life" event to honor his short, but influential life.  My comments were the following:

As a teacher, one of the first things I did when I had new students is work to identify their strengths through observation.  I was co-advisor for the Class of 2016 from 7th grade through their 10th grade year.

It was quickly apparent that Enrique had many talents … but one was particularly unusual for a student his age.  The greatest desire of every human heart is acceptance.  Even as a 7th grader, Enrique would seek out those who might not feel included and bring them into the activity that was taking place.  Those gestures of friendship and compassion mean so much to the recipient, helping others feel like they belong can be life changing.

As a sophomore, he was in my Healthy Living and Career classes.  Enrique’s personal development and relationship skills were extraordinary.  He surrounded himself with a diverse group of friends, offering them encouragement and unconditional acceptance.  I enjoyed and respected him for his independent thinking skills, sense of humor, loyalty, and willingness to question the status quo.  He was such a pleasure to have in the classroom and he contributed to everyone’s learning.

We are here today to celebrate Enrique’s life … I have a personal message for his classmates and friends.

You have all been in my thoughts and prayers … we will miss Enrique and all that he brought into our lives.  I know in my heart that you wish to honor his memory.

The best way for you to honor Enrique is to live and enjoy a future in this world that is no longer possible for him…
·      Make decisions that create possibilities for your life.
·      Choose a career path that is your passion.
·      Fall in love, many times if necessary.
·      Share your life with a special someone.
·      Have a family.
·      Love unconditionally.

Life is never perfect … it is certainly unfair … and nothing is promised.  So … honor Enrique by living with purpose … create a future that maximizes your potential.  Enrique would encourage and want that for you.

Love one another.
Mrs. DillyDally

Saturday, August 6, 2016

My Birthday Bash!

Sew much has happened since my last post ... every time I sat down to write, I couldn't decide where to begin!  I am so grateful for an especially busy dillydally life ... no complaints from me!  Finally, I decided to just dive in and begin with my birthday!
QBee Diane made me a beautiful German Chocolate cake and extra vanilla cupcakes for those with chocolate allergies!  Love that she shared her baking talent with us!  The truth is that the day wasn't really about my birthday.
The day was really about these two Minnesotans visiting my remote corner of the planet!  "Quilt Rock Stars" Sherri Falls and Roseann Kermes were here to help our local quilting guild celebrate our 30th anniversary.  We have learned to schedule such visits with an extra day to assist with their adjustment to the Alaska time zone or in the likely event of travel complications!
 We spent the day exploring all 36 miles of road available here!  The weather was less than perfect, but Minnesota is "where the women are strong" ...
... "and the men are good looking"!  Roseann's husband and youngest son came as well!  Despite the weather, all four Minnesotans embraced the experience and were up for the adventure!
That evening, the guild's organizing committee came to my home and we hosted an Alaskan themed potluck dinner with moose meatballs, halibut enchiladas, and Copper River Red Salmon cooked on the grill!  Add to that three salads and birthday cake for dessert!
Best! Birthday! Ever!  Sharing my remote corner of the planet ... listening to that beloved Minnesota accent all day ... hanging with Quilt Rock Stars ... working with amazing QBees ... and sharing a meal with family and friends!  It was a perfect dillydally birthday!  I am blessed!

Do what you love.  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Preparing to Party!

Our local quilt guild is celebrating ...
... 2016 marks our 30th year of existence!  Yep ... all this quilt filled fun began in 1986!
This photo was taken by the local paper when we celebrated our 1st anniversary ... we all look like we're 15 ... and we were! ;-)  We giggle each time we see this photo ... the rail fence quilt on the counter summed up our skills at the time ... perfectly!  Too funny!

We decided to celebrate our success with a special event!  You can find all the details here on our guild blog!  We are hosting two very successful designers, and to honor a broad range of quilting techniques, one day will involve machine piecing while the other will honor hand sewing!  How fun!
I have spent time this week preparing for the machine piecing day!  Ever since Sherri Fall's book was published this spring, my intent was to make the sampler on the cover during her visit here.
In choosing fabric, I ordered multiple holiday charm square packs to help determine my fabric choices.  I fell in love with McKenna Ryan's Sugar Plum fabrics!
Playing around with the Sugar Plum palette created a dillydally windstorm!  It blew me directly to the Winter Lights quilt ... here is a pic of the pattern with my choice of background.
Sherri has encouraged us to have our project cut out before class, so that we can spend more time sewing!  I am using the light colors for my inner star points.
And the dark fabrics will be used for my large star points.  The fabric collection contains many directional prints.  I eliminated those when I looked at how the stars were pieced.  We all chose different projects from her book ... I am so excited to see what everyone will make!
Sherri is having everyone begin the day by making her Crafty Basket!  I came across this fabric while in Anchorage ... it is perfect for DillyDallydom!  I love polka-dots ... but polka-dots with kitty ears makes me weak in the knees!  Yep ... this fabric has Flicka and I written all over it!
Things are out of control in my sewing room!  To make room for more projects, it was past time to bind a few quilts that have been patiently waiting!  Binding went on two matching baby quilts that will be delivered to their recipients today!
One of the babies has a 3 year-old sister who is receiving this twin sized "Big Girl" quilt ... one that she will never out grow!
In conjunction with the classes, we are holding a quilt show as well!  Just the motivation I needed to bind a quilt that the public hasn't seen before!  Whew ... it feels sew good to finish a few quilts ... three are off to their forever homes and the other destined to decorate my home every winter!
I bring my machine out to the dining room table when binding quilts because my sewing table space is too small in the sewing room.  That makes for a very happy puppy ... she has room to be a helper ... a somewhat naughty one ... she loves to chew on the foot pedal.  Here she is pouting because I told her "no" in a very stern voice.  She doesn't like to be scolded, and becomes very affectionate.  Her paw on my foot was her way of offering repentance!  Notice the condition of my knock-around-the-house sandals ... hmmmm ... I wonder who was responsible for that?  Yep ... navigating dillydally winds and a puppy tornado while preparing to party ... I have sew earned next weekend's celebration!  I love my dillydally life and wouldn't change a thing!

Do what you love.  Do party!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Keeping Cool!

We have had a week of exceptionally warm weather ...
... and no one is complaining!
Well ... almost no one!  The heat has been a bit tough on our family member who wears a black fur coat!
To help her battle the heat, we seek out cool water sources daily for her to play in.
She likes to submerge herself entirely.
Waterfalls are especially refreshing!
Laying in the shallows of a lake helps too!
Sticking your face underwater with a friend appears to be effective ...
... and results in two very tired and happy puppy pals!
All this sunshine makes my daily walks all the more enjoyable ... and my knee stronger!  And of course Nissa's silliness adds to the fun!
She uses even small bodies of water like this muddy puddle to cool off!  It cracked me up when she even plopped her head down!  She is such a goofball!
Flicka is in clear opposition, as always!  She loves soaking up the heat and avoids all bodies of water!  She communicates her smugness in true kitty defiance and has no sympathy for Nissa's discomfort!
Do what you love.  Stay cool!  Do dillydally!
Mrs. DillyDally