Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What a day! It's been one of those days when I shouldn't have gotten out of bed. While setting up the room for Nimblefingers I apparently pulled a muscle. Whatever I did, I couldn't walk. So I spent the session sitting down in one spot. Thank you to everyone for working around me. Deb, the EMT, gave me instructions for follow-up care and offered her hottub so hopefully I'll feel better soon. Today we had 20 attendees, 20 ladies and 20 kids. My 5 kids all started working on a simple bag. Hopefully they will all finish them next week. Joyce's kids were working on pillowcases. I'm not sure where they left off. I thought I had broken one of the sewing machines when I dropped the pedal and it popped open so I had my husband bring in the sewing machine given to us by Katherine Denegar. Joyce was able to fix the pedal though so we ended up with 4 machines. The girls were still waiting in line though.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Another busy day at Nimblefingers! We had 10 ladies, 13 kids and 3 teachers. Most of the girls were doing hand sewing. Last week Joyce had them start on a needle case which they finished this week. From there they were to make a simple four-patch, by hand, which they will continue with next week. Sadye finished her 4-patch and made it into a hotpad. Her sister Abbey finished her quilt with some guidance from Winnie. And Laura D. is putting the binding on her quilt with assistance from Agnes. Samantha finished her 2nd pillowcase which was her goal. So we had a lot of sewing going on. Many thanks to Agnes, Winnie and Deb for their patience and help. Now for the ladies... Marie brought in some gadgets that are used for knitting handles, etc. She has a whole collection of them! I hope she'll bring them in again so we can see them in action. Linda O'C brought in a quilt, partially quilted and probably from the 20's or 30's which was given to Jean Perras. Jean didn't want to finish hand quilting it so she donated it to us. If we could get it finished it would be a very nice raffle quilt! Winnie has been making small quilts for her bazaar. She brought in 2 to show but apparently has about 6 more at home! And she used to say she'd never be able to make a quilt! Pat brought in some fabric to donate and some cheesecake to eat. Thank you Pat!

Monday, July 21, 2008

I was away in Texas last week visiting my mom so I've only heard secondhand how last week went. It sounds like it was a madhouse. 14 girls attended and 12 adults so the adults were outnumbered! I heard there was no food (ach!), that the coffeepot wasn't working (double ach!!), that the sewing machines were misbehaving and that there weren't enough tables for my ladies! Well, it's nice to know I was missed. Of course ... all of those problems would have been solved had I been there (ha-ha). But I was away, sewing up a storm at my mom's house. I made 2 visits to my favorite quilt shop (my sister made 3) and I spent a small fortune. I had taken down 7 projects to work on and I finished, or almost finished 5 of them. I will bring in my projects to show tomorrow. I was happy to see some of you at the quilt show last weekend. I thought it was a very nice show. And double thanks to those of you who entered your quilts. See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Today was the first day of Junior Nimblefingers. We had 13 ladies and 12 younger ladies. 6 of our younger ladies were 1st timers so they spent the afternoon with Joyce learning the tools of the trade and trying some hand sewing. The other 6 younger ladies had all attended last summers Junior Nimblefingers and some had also attended our winter session. We had them practice on the sewing machine just to get a feel for it again. Then 3 of them began making pillowcases. One had a quilt top to sandwich and tie. One had a quilt top to finish. And one was ready to learn something new. Thank you so much to Marguerite and Pat for helping with the sewing machines, to Agnes who helped with the sandwiching/tying, to Winnie who helped with the quilt top, to Cathy M. for helping teach a new block pattern which will become a placemat and to Deb and Anne for being floaters wherever needed. Although it was a bit of a madhouse I think the kids all had a good time. As for the adults, we may need to take a nap and recover before our decisions come in. Unfortunately next week I will be missing--I'm going to visit my mother in Texas for a week. I'm sorry to miss the fun and excitement but I will return the following week.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Here are Anne Coletta's notes from her first day of Nimblefingers:
My First Experience with Nimblefingers
My name is Anne and I am a graduate student in library school spending time at Voorheesville Public Library this summer. I asked if I could attend Nimblefingers because I was curious about how a needlework group spent time at the library.
I expected to see a lot of needlework - quilting, embroidery, knitting, etc. - and I was not disappointed. Now, keep in mind that I haven't encountered a sewing machine since Home Ec in 7th grade, oh, about 25 years ago. I can mend my clothes and replace buttons. I know one crochet stitch (are crochet stitches called 'stitches'?).
Well, yes, I did see a lot of needlework skills displayed by the Nimblefingered ladies (men are welcome too - where were you guys?).
What really impressed me, though, was the sheer amount of talent and experience in the room. I tried to eavesdrop on as many conversations as possible. I learned about needlework, but I also learned about life. These ladies have amazing stories about where they come from, what they've done and what they are doing both in their families and in their communities.
I felt right at home at Nimblefingers. A strange thing happens to me as I get older and it happened here: one lady seemed to me the spitting image of a next door neighbor I had growing up, Mary. Mary's mother was straight from Ireland with a lovely lilt and a gentle glow about her. When I was a small child, she knitted me a beautiful yellow cardigan. When she presented it to me I was astounded and speechless - such love and generosity. Mary asked me, "What do you say?" clearly expecting me to say "Thank you," but I was so overwhelmed I ran up to her mother and gave her a big kiss.
That's what these ladies remind me of: life, experience, love of family, love of community. We are all richer to have these ladies with us. Thank you, Nimblefingers.

Thank you Anne for the lovely thoughts.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

18 ladies attended Nimblefingers today. Anne Coletta, our new library intern, was one of our attendees, observing what we do in our little group. We had a lot of activity today. Sue Mosher returned to us after a several year absence. She’s still been quilting and needed help making a bias binding. Fortunately Linda O’Connor was here to instruct her. Connie was using an interesting little gizmo. It was an old wooden spool with nails sticking out of the top which you wind yarn around to create a tube that can be used as a tie or the handle of a bag. It was really quite ingenious—a knitting machine from before the days of electricity. Daryl laid out and sandwiched a baby quilt to give away. We discovered we had enough blocks to make another prayer quilt. Fran brought in a laid out her almost complete wool appliqué lap quilt. Linda O’Connor has been having some fun with her new felting machine. She’s been felting different fabrics, ribbons, and yarns to different kinds of fabrics just to see what kinds of effects she comes up with. It will be exciting to see what she makes when she starts adding felting to her already beautiful quilts. I have asked Anne to give me her comments on the group and will post them when they are available. I think she was very impressed though! Remember, next week Junior Nimblefingers starts! Take an energy pill or eat your wheaties so you're ready!