19 May 2013

Photo dump

While downloading and editing the pictures I took this morning (see this post), I found quite a few older pictures on my memory stick. Some good ones, some not so good ones.
I think by now we all know that I mostly use my phone to take pictures these days, but sometimes it takes a "real" camera to get the pictures I want. As much as I love my iPhone for taking pictures (I don't use it all that much for other things), I doubt I could have gotten these with my phone.

Same berries, different area of focus.

Same pictures as above, cropped.

Amgen Tour of California

I'm a big fan of the Tour de France. There's practically no chance that I'll ever get to see it in person, but living in California, I did have the opportunity to watch the Amgen Tour of California live today, the very last leg in Santa Rosa.
I took both iPhone and SLR camera along and, since the riders did two turns in downtown Santa Rosa, I shot pictures with the camera the first time and did a video with the camera the second time they rode by.
Here are the pictures, well quite a few of them (and many more didn't make it):

Tejay van Garderen, winner of the Tour

 As much as I love the camera on my iPhone, I know that there's no way I could have gotten anything near as good with that camera. For the first time in a long time I used automatic focus again and the sports setting and just clicked away. Just about all of the pictures turned out well, except for the ones at the end, the awards ceremony. I was too far back in the crowd to get decent shots, so there is just one of Tejay van Garderen (and not the one where we brought his newborn daughter on stage) who is the overall winner. No picture of Peter Sagan who won the sprint finish and apparently had a really good time on stage or any of the other individual winners.
And here is a link to the video:
Amgen Tour of California

09 May 2013


I took my first quilting class over 30 years ago. I was pregnant with my first child at the time. Hoping for a girl, but not knowing (ultrasounds and amnios were rare in those days), I did not have a single pink thing when the baby was born. Yes, it was a girl.
Two weeks after her birth, I got a phone call from the wonderful elderly woman who had taught me how to quilt: she knew I didn't have anything pink and she'd heard I had a little girl, so she had made a pink baby blocks (or tumbling blocks) quilt for me. By hand. And by this I mean completely by hand. Rotary cutters didn't exist just yet, we marked our pieces with pencil, cut out with scissors and while some of us used the machine, she sewed by hand and quilted by hand.
This is the beautiful quilt she made. And here are some close-ups:

The last picture shows the pattern perfectly.

I had started my own (unisex) quilt a few weeks before, but didn't finish it for a few more years. For one thing, my daughter was a preemie, for another I had bitten off far more than I could handle. She was five when I finally finished her quilt and it is plenty big for a five-year old, she slept under it for a few more years.
I remember quite a bit about how this quilt came together. The pattern came out of a German women's magazine, Brigitte, probably one of the Christmas issues, those always contained crafty things. I am sure there were full-size templates for all the appliques. And the original quilt was in reds, whites and blues. The magazine quilt used a lot of plaid, but there was no plaid to be had where I lived. So, I settled for polka dots and florals, calicos, because that was all there was at the time. I machine appliqued, and I have no idea how I figured that out because that wasn't something covered in our class. Looking at it earlier, I realized that I obviously had a lot to learn back then. I should have made the quilt one row narrower and one row longer because then it would have flowed better (always end with the same kind of block as the first block in a row).

Still, I am kind of proud of my very first quilt. It definitely was a labor of love and even though I didn't really know what I was doing, it turned out quite well. I am getting ready to pass it along to my little grand daughter and figured I'd better take pictures and write about it while I can.

I am linking up with Randi from i have to say for Show 'n Tell Tuesday.