Wednesday, January 21, 2009

It's a Beautiful Day!

My heart is happy :)

Tom and I went snow shoeing Tuesday morning. And this time I brought the camera.

There was a song in my head and a need to just look up into the sky.
I said thanks more than once.

Happy Inauguration Day!

I also whispered something about "men" and "idiots".
In the same sentence and several times.

My idea of perfect Snowshoeing is to go forth and blaze a wonderful trail until you're half tired, turn around and enjoy the fruits of your labor: A nice groomed trail for homing. Since you're half tired, getting home is just the right distance and goes quicker than you think.

An idiot man declares at 20 minutes past half tired:
I know where we are!

It'll be quicker to go off into the deep woods, with no clear trail.
I can see the

Never mind that we're getting off the "interstate" of snowshoeing trails and taking the over grown "tote road". You'll need 4 wheel drive to get back to the main road after he finally acknowledges maybe we should turn around.

Gee, never done that before ;)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I almost forgot...

Star Bright borders are done!

Saturday morning family members were called to a gathering in the living room for a mandatory round of applause over another finished quilt top. They complied quite nicely.

It was supposed to have another 5 or 6 inch border of the lighter fabric, but all the bias of the pieced stars made for wavy borders. One side was a real headache. Enough that I've pledge to myself only border-less quilts from now on! We'll see :)
I thought I had a quilt bat all ready to go and was going to pin the layers and get started with some quilting since we were having a blizzard. Except it was crib sized when I pulled it down. Too small.
Now I must go to the fabric store at my earliest convenience?
Oh, darn.

{Thought bubble: More red fabric? Or maybe some muslin so I can try a hand stitched Scrappy Cathedral Window...}
No one can see that, can they?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Took a little detour

Found myself in Russia gazing at beautiful stitch work.

I don't remember what word I put in Google the other day. But, This is what I found! Plus her tutorial for the Hex shaped needle books.
I have an addiction for making needle books.
So I made one for myself today ;)

The pictures of the tutorial are so universal I hardly needed to use Babel Fish to translate. (You can enter a web address and it translates everything for pages & pages. Mostly understandable, even!)

I made mine quite a bit smaller, once I realized how much larger 17.5 cm is than I thought. Next time I need to decide on a template size and stick to it. That way back & front might come out more or less the same size - first try. I used a CD as the template for the cover circles and instead of hemming the edge I sewed 2 circles together, trimmed extremely close and snipped a slit in the middle of one of the circles and turned.
Slit is completely covered by insert.
(Way easier!)

This one does have a bit of a design flaw as my stork scissors stick out of the pocket too far. Plus I cannibalized a 6 inch crazy quilt block with the hummingbird already stitched. I wanted to get started right away - instant gratification. It started out as several fabrics with embroidered seams, but the more I cut it down to a smaller size, the more was lost. You can just catch a glimpse of the other fabrics. One of the seams had a pink embroidered chain that stood way out of place without the rest of the block seam work. I snipped off the pink, but the needle marks still show.

But most importantly: I finished a project AND have one less orphan block in the treasure box!

Friday, January 16, 2009

(If) I bought fabric

I'm not blogging about it.

If I had a discussion with the cutting table lady at the fabric store she might have laughed as we discussed a need for some red to supplement my fabric inventory.

If there had been a 50% sale on everything, this would have been a really good day to supplement just a little more.
You know. If.

Progress has been made on several quilting fronts.
(She attempts to divert attention)
4 weeks of the Calendar Challenge have been completed.
(this is only the 3rd week!)
I may add some applique to the red & blue week panels to mark the return of my desire to applique.

Star Bright
borders have been worked on once again. 2 days in a row. No pictures yet because I never think of it when it's all spread out on the living floor. You'll have to trust me. I'm working on it!

And why did I forget how much I love to applique?
It's been a lot of years since I did any bigger than a postcard.
A Tisket a Tasket, 12 Months of Baskets

I decided to put the Bunny Hill Designs free block of the month design for January in the blue block setting I already had made. Needed to make the basket smaller so it would fit.

Congratulations to Briarose, winner of the socks AND Needled Mom, winner of the Knitting Needle Roll-up from my Whirl Into Winter contribution.
I even won something from Patchscrap!

Now let's get winter whirling out of here.
It's too freaking cold!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Quilting Old and New

She's at it again

Great News:
I used up some more of my fabric inventory!

Formerly known as stash fabric. "Stash" has a negative tone and what I'm really doing is Quilting Green. Right? If you have plenty of material on hand you don't waste gas running to town. Until you know.

When you need some more...

Did you note how I'm ignoring the fact that I've started some new things and Star Bright has gone 4 days without much forward momentum?

Digging through all my inventory, I found some more of the 2nd border fabric. So I can add a very narrow strip to the either side of the seminole border under construction (I was afraid would be too wavy) and still have enough to do the binding.
What luck!

Wondering: Should I practice saying this with a straight a face or a grin?

I've also been digging through my Unfinished Treasures for the - ahem - aging English Paper Piecing project(s) I knew were in there somewhere. I happened across some cheap Hex Therapy - and after some debate with myself, got out the ironing board and took a few wrinkles out my Grandmother's Flower Garden. I'm going to work on it again.
(Note bold font promise and shiny new button in the sidebar!)

I suppose you might further note the second English Paper Piecing project also pulled out of hiding and ironed nearly wrinkle free. Because if you quit working on one hand-pieced project, you should start another.
In a different shape.

(Would have been better though if every family member in the household did not appear in the kitchen to find mom standing on a chair taking pictures of very old unfinished quilting things. Explanations sound so much more guilty said out loud.)

With that said... I signed up for a couple of quilt block exchanges a couple of weeks ago. shhh!

One is a birthday exchange; 7 people signed up. Each get a block from the others on their birthday. I missed one that happened before I signed up. She said I could surprise her or wait until it rolls around again.
I thought I would try applique and make my contribution extra special since my own 5.0 is just around the bend. Except I really like the Heart Applique. Tom actually commented on it: "you should keep it".
I'm undecided and now the clock is ticking louder...
But I enjoyed doing applique for the 1st time in years! And I really like this setting.

The other swap is a centralized Chain of Friends block, in groups of 8. I have 9 finished. Commitment completed!!!

Until a different set of 8 blocks show back up in my mailbox and their life clock starts counting its way towards another UFO on my list?
Maybe not! I sent an email to our local county Project Linus director and they accept orphan blocks. And there's a Blanket day coming up so the big pile of unwanted treasures may find a good cause.
Or become someone else's problem.

Friday, January 09, 2009

201 posts! So she took a hammer to it?

Pardon our mess...

Finally said screw it and upgraded from Classic Template to New & Improved Blogger Template. I may have some tweaking to do still!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Star Bright!

Now we're getting somewhere!

Star Bright by Janis Nelson, Quiltmaker magazine #83 Jan/Feb '02.
(Started the day after Christmas ;)

The New Year's Day attempt at Planet Patchwork's One Day Mystery Quilt set my resolve back a bit ...already?
Started something big, before finishing a project underway. And then changed my mind.
I hate the Big Fan pattern, but now there are quilt pieces sewn together as evidence that give me away. Especially once it becomes a blog entry. I started something new.

Delete button, maybe?
No... it will just be something else. Soon.

But I went on a guilt ridden, star paper-piecing, fake 9-patch sewing frenzy. The main body of my Scrappy Quilt is DONE!
There's even an extra row up the side so Stars would be in all 4 corners. Now pattern calls for 4 Borders - one of which is Seminole styled piecing.

The "I will quilt it right away!" pledge must be taken. Right hand in air, left hand on sewing machine: "I will!"

Have I mentioned I don't know right from left most of the time?

Friday, January 02, 2009

I need a Plan B

Happy New Year!

(or How a UFO is born)

Planet Patchwork had a GLOBAL all day quilt-a-thon on New Years' Day. I had this in mind when I picked up the 3 fabrics at 50-60% off while Christmas shopping.
(Don't say it.)

Starting at 11 am ET they would release a piece of the pattern every hour.
Door prizes.
Live Chat.
(Good for getting questions answered. Sort of. But a little hard to chat, mark, cut, sew and iron seams open all at the same time.)
I had the house to myself, so why not?

Turns out I didn't have the right Fabric A. (light color)
So I tried tea dying 6 of the fan pieces.
Better? Maybe. Or Not.
I'm not loving the Fans.

So now I need to look around for another quilt project that uses 8.5" & 2.5" Half Square Triangles somehow.
I'll call it my Slippery Slope Project.

Or I'm going to be making a lot of needle holders...

I did start out the day working some more on the stash busting scrap quilt. Squint really hard so all all those colors on the same quilt top don't freak you out!


While our furnace was on the fritz (24 hours) and I needed to keep the back up wood stove cranking so I wouldn't freeze to death, I was distracted by this little bag.
Recycled denim, of course.

Pattern free as a challenge, although may only be available for limited time. Hurry over!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Whirl Into Winter (part 2)

It's not easy being yellow.

Briarose said

Dear Birdies in the feeder
I am your fearless leader
Who forgot to put seeds out last night
OH you guys are a sight
Sorry dog gave you such a fright
But did you have to mess up the deck?
I should give you heck!

ok that was sooo lame, but those socks are soooo amazing and my feet are cold....I can imagine them on my feet sitting in front of a fire...

ps...I love your blog name...

In the Summer of 2006 I joined the group internet knit-a-long called Amazing Lace.
I had just learned to knit socks in December of 2005 - with help from my mom. The basic plain knit sock recipe she uses. She's left handed so I had to teach myself to knit from a booklet. I learned the basics when I was a teenager, but had no real interest for very long.

By the time I joined Amazing Lace I was ready to try something harder. A fancier pattern from the internet. This was the pattern I went crazy with! At the end of Summer I met the challenge to knit something a little lacy.
(A garden of socks for the photo contest.)

Trouble is I bought all that yarn on sale and nobody in the family has wanted the yellow socks for themselves or a friend in need of gift giving. So I am giving them away.

For a chance to win the yellow socks write a little letter of poetry. As described in my previous introduction to the Whirl Into Winter Giveaway:
"Face a window and write a poem in the form of a tiny letter addressed to anything you see outside."
For inspiration, read actual student entries from an Outdoor Lit class here.
My attempt:
Dear Mr. Maple,
Dignified and gracious
standing guard at driveway's edge.
Does it tickle your bark when those 2 bushy tailed gray squirrels
chase each other round and round?
No Poetry Police here... All actual attempts will qualify :)
International entries accepted for both contests on this blog.

Some of our favorite people are overseas right now!