Monday, May 31, 2010

further fence foolery and a lot of quilting

in order to fix the fence, you have to tear down fence

here we are at the end of day 3 of the fence foolery

we finished tearing out the rest of the second panel and put up new 2x4 support framing

there are the right you can see the beginning of the new fencing --- like in a knitting pattern -- *one brand new fence board, 2 used fence boards, repeat from * to end of framing --

ah, more zebra fence!
all fence foolery and no time in the studio can make me really cranky

here's one of yesterday's solutions to that issue

another of the small charity quilts for the guild all ready to go

don't you love the orange!?

the only thing I bought for this is the pink (yes PINK! -- there is pink in the paisley pattern) that I used for the back -- the orange pieces were given to me by someone that thought they were impossibly ugly, and the batting was from a bag of pieces from the guild's put and take table

give it back folks -- give it back!

the last three drawings for the animal quilt

and the "map" (got to love using technology to do in minutes what it would have taken hours to do with paper and pencil!)

this began as something with 13 blocks and has grown to 19 -- heh -- sounds like standard operating procedure to me!

I've done the "blow up" of all of these blocks and have started pulling out the fabrics that will be the backgrounds for each block -- a wide assortment of greens and blues and browns to put each individual animal against a suitable back drop

stitching will begin soon!

yesterday I got the "vine" for the morning glories all attached to the flower quilt, so today's work on that will be the little elongated heart shaped leaves -- the local fabric store is having a sale today, so I'll be going and checking out possibilities for borders, backing and binding on that project

the DH finished the rough sketch of the baby quilt we're designing for a commissioned piece

I'll be doing some coloring with pencils on a copy of this later today and working up some numbers so I can give her an official proposal

this is so cute that I may decide to just make it even if she doesn't decide to have me make it

and maybe make an attempt at creating a pattern to make available

time to get rollin' -- the fencing awaits

Sunday, May 30, 2010

columbines and fooling with the fence day 2

so at the end of our work day, here we are

we cut another 2 foot off the top and bottom 2x4s in the panel on the right hand side so the DH could actually get to the spot where we needed to dig the hole (using the original hole was out of the question since there was concrete there and no possibility we could remove it)

so while he dug the hole, I removed fence slats from that piece we had cut off -- and managed to save 5 of them for reuse -- yippee

so the last thing for the evening was standing the 4x4 upright in the hole and pouring in the concrete around it -- we used the quick setting stuff, so we didn't have to stand out there and hold it forever

next its on to the 2x4s that we will be nailing the fence slats to --
I did manage to do some work in the studio between and after the fence project

the three columbines on the far right hand side are now complete

as I was working on stitching in the white three dimensional petals it occurred to me that I'd done this before -- only then I was using a pastry bag and royal icing!

further evidence that nothing learned is wasted!!

I'm again amazed at how realistic they look and how what I thought would work actually did -- and the centers of the columbines are more of that fuzzy yellow eyelash yarn using the same, if slightly shorter, crocheted technique that I used on the holly hocks

the last flowers will be morning glories -- and I plan to let those crawl all across the bottom of the fence -- so there will be cutting of long narrow bias strips to start on that the next time I work on this

progress on the Christmas sweater continues -- we're at 85.122%; and I have 5 strips of the afghan stitched together

time to get to it

Saturday, May 29, 2010

fooling around with the fence

we had big wind the first of the week (which of course has been followed by the instant HOT of summer)

it took out an entire panel of the fence

we'd planned to work on this later in the summer on a weekend that we would have help

heh -- not so much

so yesterday it was off to the hardware store to get 2x4s and cement

hopefully by the end of this week we'll have this under control again

so, it's putting serious kinks in my plans for doing other things, but we'll survive

the pointy petals of the columbines on the Wild About Flowers piece are complete and last night I managed to get all of the round petals stitched together (those have two sides so they can be attached only at the base of the petal), and turned and the shading done with the marker -- all ready for me to start attaching them -- hopefully today sometime

have almost finished the sleeves of the Christmas sweater

time to get to that fence work before it gets too hot!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Recognition is good sometimes

if you've been reading here for very long, you've seen my postings about finishing another afghan square (say, in yesterday's post for example)

I send these off to this organization, and you can read all about our activities by using this link.

Our leader was recently sent a copy of a book titled How to be an Everyday Philanthropist...330 Ways to Make a Difference in your Home, Community, and World -- at No Cost by Nicole Blouchard Boles, that has a short bit in it about our organization.

So far 11,350 afghan squares have been used to create afghans that have been sent to places like the Gulf Coast and Haiti, and I'm proud to be able to say that some of my humble efforts are part of that

So, we're trying to get folks from all 50 states to commit to making just ONE eight inch square on October 23, 2010, for Make a Difference Day.

Come on, it's just one little eight inch afghan square -- you can knit or crochet, you can use up some of those bits and pieces you've got in your stash!

join us!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

going buggy?

the DH is in need of another bucket hat to wear while working in the garden

I've made a number of these -- most of them with some kind of decorative embroidery

this is the one I did on the fabric I'll be making his hat out of -- looks like a giant green avid!

the embroidery work gets done first on these, then it's on to actually making up the hat

and the DH was real busy yesterday creating some more drawing for the animal quilt we've been designing

he has about three more of these to do then he'll be working on the ones for the sea creatures

hmm, seems he's building me quite a stack of work to do!

I can't complain thought, these are real cute and I'll be doing simple techniques -- not putting on every feather on every bird as a separate item (been there, done that!)

finished the last strip for the Christmas afghan last night

hopefully today I can spread out all the pieces and decide what order I need to stitch them together in

can't believe I've managed to get this thing to this point in only 11 weeks with everything else that has been going on

finished another afghan square too -- this one is number 36

and the Christmas sweater is 73.415% complete

this morning is the meeting of the applique group -- can't wait to hear their reaction to the Memories of a Garden Pond piece

time to get moving!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

the project that keeps on amazing

at least it keeps amazing me!

every time I've tried something new and different (at least for me) on this, it has actually worked -- AMAZING!!

ok, so now all of the holly hocks are done -- my crocheted eyelash yarn centers worked perfectly, and the flowers have just enough stiffness to stand out from the quilt

nice, very nice

so the next step is to put a couple of columbines in the fence gap on the far right hand side of the quilt

I'll be doing drawings today for the patterns

meantime, yesterday we were talking with our neighbor about the planned fence replacement this summer and she asked me if I would be willing to make a quilt for her soon to be born grandchild -- she wants a sea creature theme and a lot of aqua color -- yup, we're working on new drawings and I'm trying to figure out how to price such a thing -- always the scary part of getting paid for a new art form -- should be fun!

the Christmas sweater is 70% finished, and last night I started working on what I think will be the last strip of the Christmas afghan

today there will be shopping and yard work then back to the design work on the new quilt and stitching on the on going ones

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Another Pretty Apron

I finished this yesterday afternoon

this came out really well

the fabric has a lovely sheen and enough body to stand up nicely

and I love the strawberry theme on the tape for the pocket dividers and the ruffled trim (which goes all the way around the outside edge as well as along the bottom of the waist band)

lookin' good!

three more drawing done for the next quilt we're working on

the DH has been busy!

I got the backgrounds of all of those first group he did all picked out, so now I have a few more to do


Monday, May 24, 2010

and all we got is ONE picture?

lawn mowed? --- check

two outdoor sheds cleaned out? --- check

work on flower quilt, tree quilt and new quilt projects? --- check

work on charity auction? --- check

selection of new items to put on eBay? --- check

knitting on Christmas sweater? --- check (63.171%)

knitting of Christmas afghan? --- check (91.667%) --- oh good, at least one picture!!

today's to do list: front lawn mowing, laundry, groceries then finally into the studio --- much as I like warmer weather, I'm not wild about the extra work!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

the dance of the flowers

these are the first three of the holly hocks for the flower quilt

each petal was stitched and turned and top stitched and shaded with copic marker and stitched together

there are 3 more of these to do -- in an almost red pink and a sort of fuchsia color

then I get to make the centers -- I was able to get some bright yellow fuzzy yarn to do that part with

and this is the next drawing for the next quilt

whoo indeed!

Christmas sweater is 59.268% complete

and those pine boughs I was talking about moving have been moved -- along with the rose bush we found when we cut back the pine tree! who knew it was still alive? we dug it up

Saturday, May 22, 2010

gardening, knitting and a new project

you know, things just don't last forever

my old gardening gloves, which I brought with me from California in 2002 had so many holes in them that I could just as well forget to even put them on

I gave them a decent burial

and I got brand new ones -- and its a good thing because I will be hauling big pieces of pine tree away from where the DH will be cutting it off

yesterday afternoon we planted about 72 feet of beans

we had poured the seeds into a plastic container and soaked them, so the yellow wax and the green beans will be all mixed together in the rows because I made no attempt to keep them separate even though I could tell the seeds apart

I'm hoping the hail doesn't come like it did last summer because I'd really like to get to eat these!

earlier in the week I was concerned that we had a rabbit nibbling in our garden, but that fear has been put to rest

the "rabbit" was my Labrador! I caught her taking a nibble of one of the little squash plants! so yesterday after we planted the beans we once again strung up our fence netting to keep her out of my garden

I finished another strip of the Christmas afghan

this is strip number 15, and makes a total of 53 inches worth all knit up (that's 88.333% of what I'm planning to do)

and the holly hocks on the flower quilt are moving along nicely -- all of the "side view" ones are stitched on, and last night I did the first of the 3 dimensional ones -- today I need to go and get some eyelash yarn (or something similarly fuzzy) in bright yellow to create the centers for these flowers
another afghan square is complete -- number 35 for 2010, and this one was made up of the little scraps and pieces from the last box of squares that I had sent off

knitting on the Christmas sweater is going well too, it is now 55.854% finished

yesterday, for the second morning this week, I was off to a quilt group meeting

we were working on quilts as a service project at this group and the "morning shift" had 5 of the 7 we planned to do finished -- so the "afternoon shift" was going to have an easy time of it!

while I was away the DH was busy working on some drawings for the next quilt we're working on -- I love these cute little animals!

I need to do the pattern creation then I can start working on these while he does the rest of the drawings

today we may be doing a bit of yard work then a couple of errands then it's back to the projects!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Memories of a Back Yard Pond

it is done

more than two months ahead of the deadline for it to be turned in


the paperwork to submit it asks for a title, so what I had been talking about as the "Hoffman Challenge" quilt all these months here, has now been officially named "Memories of a Back Yard Pond"

I have already printed a picture for my "brag book" and one to send to my friend in California that doesn't do computers, and I will be taking it to the 3 quilt groups I participate in between now and June 10, then it will go off to the judges

so now I'm working more intensely on the "Wild About Flowers" quilt which has an August deadline

the stalks, leaves and buds of the holly hocks are done now -- the last four buds I did so they look like they are partially open and they are three dimensional -- something that I'm doing a lot of on this piece

last night I started stitching on the open flowers that are side views on the stalks, and as soon as I get all of those stitched on I'll be doing the 3 dimensional open flowers

once again this piece has surprised me as the technique I thought would work to do those opening buds actually DID work

I'm going to add some glass beads that look like water droplets to this at the end stage too
work continues on other projects too

after removing the sleeves from the plaid shirt, I stitched in the long sleeves from the white shirt, then I cut off the button and button hole bands from the plaid shirt and added a wider double thickness of white down the front

I'm working on edging everything with the print fabric now -- cut as narrow bias strips and applied sort of like a quilt binding

once the basic construction is complete I'll be moving on to doing the embellishments
these amazing items arrived in the mail yesterday from my friend in California

I had sent her stampings of my African animals which she made into a wall hanging (which you can see a picture of in this post)

so she returned the favor and sent me some stampings of some wood blocks she had picked up when she went to the quilt show at Sisters, OR, last summer

these are amazing!!

I think that some of them are going to get used as embellishment on that black and white shirt I'm doing

and she's done half of my prep work for a demonstration I'll be doing at our guild meeting in June on bead embellishment --- she's already stamped plenty of animals for me to use there!


and for those of you keeping track of the knitting progress -- the Christmas sweater is 48.537% complete (heh, yeah, I did actually work on that too!)