Monday, August 30, 2010

off to the fair

I've heard there are some of my entries at the State Fair that have ribbons on them (some folks that I know have already been down there)

today we're going to check it out

I'm taking my camera -- and a list -- last year there was a piece I had entered that I totally forgot about and found out it had won a ribbon when I picked it up after the fair

heh, we'll try to avoid that issue this year

Sunday, August 29, 2010

baby things and other excitement

even though I didn't think I'd done much the past few days, things seem to be getting finished

there on the left if the first (probably of many) little sleeper for my coming grandson (still can't quite get my head around that one!!)

and my daughter had purchased a valance for the nursery, but it was way too wide for the window in the room, so she asked me to make a little modification -- I removed the panel with the squirrel and finished off the end -- I'm going to make a pillow out of it as soon as I get to the store to pick up the necessary materials

and I've started working on this piece again

all of the tree trunks are now attached, and here in this picture I've pinned down the first of the branches on the aspen trees

I cut strips of the bark fabric on the bias so I can bend and curve the branches as I go

since this is such a big piece it's pretty hot to work on it for very long at a time right now

but cool weather is coming!

a while back I did a 3 panel wall hanging that had maple, aspen and cottonwood leaves on it

for a while I've been thinking about doing a piece with oak leaves

yesterday I finally got around to cutting the rubber stamp that I need to stamp on the background fabric before I start doing the applique

pretty nice I think

I'm also working on a more Christmas themed piece that has holly

so while I had all of the tools out I figured I might as well cut that stamp too!

so maybe today I'll drag out the paints and have a stamping good time (might as well make all of the mess at once!!)

worked on the pattern pieces for the Dream Rocket piece yesterday too -- finally settled on what I'm going to do to create the "blue planet" part of it, so some progress is being made

a couple of days ago I started another little baby undershirt, and I'm already over half way up to where it breaks for the arm holes

picked up this lovely cotton yarn in the sale bin -- marked half off because the original wrapper was missing

that certainly didn't matter to me, I was happy to get this nice yarn to work with

yesterday morning the DH had to have a tooth pulled -- poor baby

while I was sitting in the waiting area I got this much done on another shawl

I'm using that same pattern I used for the red one

I had tried to use this yarn for a scarf a while back and just didn't like the look of it

this is much better -- the pattern makes a nice "waffle" and the yarn has a bit of "fuzz" to it, so it fills the waffle and makes it look warm and cozy

oh yeah, and I finally wrote the pattern down -- just in case someone asks

lots to do today -- got to get moving!

Friday, August 27, 2010

stand up and be counted

a while back, when I was talking to someone about writing a blog, she commented that she couldn't see any reason to do that, and couldn't imagine why I did

my response was it is where I make myself accountable for what I'm doing -- not to mention that I seem to have a small, but loyal group of readers (I have a hit counter, I know you're out there!) and that group seems to like hearing about what I'm doing

but mostly we get to show off what's actually getting done

like this, for instance

this piece has two purposes

1) I need some pieces for a show I'm doing in November/December that I can sell at a reasonable price


2) I'm gearing up to knit a shawl with a really fine thread and I wanted to get the feel of having a shawl on the needles

and I have to confess that I liked the whole feel of this one (which is a pattern that I just improvised on the fly -- sort of a cross between a baby afghan pattern that I made a while back and a scarf I made more recently)

and I may knit one more -- I have another bag of yarn that I started to make into a scarf and really didn't like the feel of -- and there is even more yardage in it than there was of this lovely red stuff -- and I have in mind someone I could give it to for Christmas if it looks as good as I think it will

meantime, I find I'm part way through two different blocks for the baby quilt -- one because I got part way in and discovered I'd enlarged the original drawing too much and needed to redo it, and the second because I wasn't going to go crank up the computer at 9 in the evening when I discovered the problem, so I just started in on another block -- oh well, hippos and chickens will all come out right in the end -- as long as I don't mix up the pieces!

time to get moving -- lawns to mow, errands to run

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

when we last saw our hero....

she was standing next to her quilt from the Hoffman Challenge, grinning like an idiot!

I hate this picture of me (ok, I basically hate ANY picture of me), but I'm thrilled about where it was taken

on Saturday we went to the Rocky Mountain Quilt Festival to see all of the Hoffman quilts

I had hoped to be able to figure out who my competition is for hand appliqued, hand quilted stuff, but because they don't actually keep track (or care much) about that, I'm no wiser about it than before
I took these shots of the sign that will travel with my quilt for the next year

soooooo cool!

and I got to actually see the fabric for the 2011 Hoffman Challenge (and yes, we're already thinking about the design for that one -- actually maybe more than one design as I can enter in more than one category if I want to)

so since I was at a quilt show and there were vendors there, I also brought home some additional fabric to work on projects with

these were the 10 for $10 fat quarters that I picked up from both The Quilter's St"itch" and Dream Catcher Quilting (oh yeah, and that bright orange one there came from the Quilter's Studio -- purchased at the full price because I needed that for a block on the baby quilt)

while we were there I also got the batting for the baby quilt -- bought it from LuAnn Farr at Winline Textile -- I like keeping the business in the family whenever I can, and she is a cousin on the DH's side

anytime I visit with my daughter I get project work done too

two more blocks for the baby quilt are complete -- both bears (go figure!)

and the fantasy quilt is filling up!

now I'm working on a big chicken block that goes on the left hand side there next to the bunny
there was knitting too

the zig zag bag knitting is now complete, so it will be going into the washer for felting soon

and I started this lacy looking shawl -- it is moving right along -- I'm about half finished with the 6 ounce skein of yarn, and the plan is to have the triangle just get bigger until I'm almost out of yarn then bind it off and it's done

and three more afghan squares

ok -- time to get busy -- lots to get done!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

yes, I've been busy!!

busy enough that I just haven't been able to get here for a day or so!
first of all there were the peaches

two boxes of peaches, and they had to be dealt with promptly or they just become compost food

so here are the ones that we canned -- because they were really big peaches we had to cut them into pieces smaller than halves to get them in the narrow mouth jars (which were what I had brought up and washed and had lids on hand for, so I was not switching to wide mouth, thank you very much!)

these are going to my dad tomorrow for his eating pleasure
and there was the long awaited trip to pick up fabrics from someone who has been saying for months now "come and get some of this stuff"

yesterday I did

a lovely pile of landscape fabrics to be made into wonderful things

and she also sent home a quart of pinto beans and ham for our eating pleasure (and yes, they were wonderful)

and I will be doing a landscape quilt for her sister -- a seascape on a Hawaiian theme -- which should be a lot of fun and very different from anything else I've done
this is the back ground of the piece I'm doing for the Dream Rocket project

just one piece of black fabric would have been way too "flat", so I did curved strip piecing to create a more varied texture for the sky behind the blue planet

and this is sort of what it will look like with the next step -- this is the drawing on paper that I plan to do as a fused piece to be attached as a whole piece -- I think

we'll see how that all goes

the knitting on the next piece to be felted is moving right along -- I'm about half way up the knitting having just started the second set of zig zag stripes

and this morning there was laundry (canning makes extra) and lawn mowing

tomorrow we head off to visit with my folks, then on to my daughter's for the weekend -- and the visit to the Rocky Mountain Quilt Festival to see the Hoffman Challenge quilts on Saturday

yup -- we're busy!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

making stuff for the nursery

one of the things that is going to my daughter for the nursery is a rocking chair that belonged to my grandmother

I've had it a long time -- rocked my daughter in it, and now it's her turn

she asked me to make a pad for the seat -- she and her hubby picked out the fabric --

and yesterday I finished it up -- it has that cording on the top and the bottom -- and a big long zipper in it so it can be taken off the foam cushion and washed

and while I was at it, I made this bag for the nursery too

it's to hold plastic bags (the kind the newspaper delivery guy brings every day) that can be used to wrap "used" diapers in

the bag has a tight piece of elastic at the bottom so it can "dispense" the plastic bags and a draw string at the top so it can be opened up and "loaded" with bags

and a handy hanging strap so it can be conveniently placed where ever it is needed

this is one of those "just make it up as you go along" projects, and I'm pretty pleased with the way it came out -- I'm hoping my daughter will be too!

one more block for the baby quilt is complete

Mr. Hedgehog

he's a really small piece, so it didn't take long to get him done despite those pointy parts

and the right hand side of the fantasy quilt is definitely filling up!

today we're putting up the first of the peaches -- time to get to it

Monday, August 16, 2010

one more giraffe

we have had this fascination with African animals for art projects in the last year or so, and it seems the baby quilt is no exception

having already finished the elephant and the zebra, this is the next addition

giraffe -- or fafa -- as it is known as at our house

yesterday the peaches arrived, so this week we will be canning peaches

and I still have a couple of other projects that I need to get finished before we leave on Friday morning

best not dally!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

what I learned in class

do you remember when you had to write stuff for school about what you learned on a field trip?

heh, well, that's sort of what today's post is all about -- only it's not only what I learned that I was supposed to learn, it's also what I learned about myself

picture number one here is the picture that was handed out with the instruction sheets at the class yesterday

the idea of this project was supposed to be to create a fused landscape that looks as if it is seen through a window

by the end of the day, this is what I had created

going my own way as always, I just couldn't process the idea of making four unconnected separate blocks that were joined only at the end by fusing on the window stiles

I needed to see the entire picture first, window stiles could be added later

I learned how to fuse to put a design together -- prior to this the only thing I had ever used fusing for was to put lettering on track jerseys (and I covered the entire raw edge with fabric paint to seal it when I did that little project about 20 years ago)

I also learned a lot about the way I choose colors and work on things, and perhaps that is as important as learning the technique -- I work better in stages -- usually I work from a drawing that has been through several permutations to reach it's final stage and has at the end been colored with markers/crayons/colored pencils then blown up to create patterns

and even then when I get to the actual fabrics, I may change those colors again

this piece is no different

I was not happy with the "finished" product when class was over, but I didn't know yet what needed to change

by the time I packed up my stuff, drove home and unpacked my stuff I was ready to start making some changes

I ripped the snow off the one mountain and cut it into smaller pieces -- putting a little snow on two mountain tops and in that little valley

and I totally removed the entire water/rock stuff a the bottom

I like this brownish grass-y weed-y looking fabric better

I may cut up some of the rock fabric for the individual rocks to add in there, but already I like this better

and as for the trees? I think there may be one branch of pine needles involved here sort of extending from one side into the picture

and that window thing? probably not -- but I am considering other options -- like a screen door

I'll keep you posted -- and as always -- a pattern is just a suggestion!!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

off to do exciting things

yesterday, while I was hanging out in the doctor's office with the DH, I finished knitting another afghan square

I like it!

and while I did not get the outside yard work done yesterday afternoon, I did get the inside work done -- we're all vacuumed, bathroom cleaned, dog toys picked up -- as good as it gets when family is coming to visit (sorry sis!)

today I'm off to do an all day design seminar -- my stuff is all packed -- a whole flat of neatly folded fat quarters (bet they don't stay that way!), iron, rotary cutter, pencils, notebook, camera (I want to record my progress)

I've never gotten to do this before and to say I'm looking forward to the experience is a vast understatement

I'll let you know what I learn (watch for pictures here soon!!)

Friday, August 13, 2010

the wonders of gardening

one of the most interesting things about gardening here in the high desert is you never know just what will happen -- producing food is largely a matter of a fortunate combination of crop selection, favorable weather conditions and a lot of good luck

the squirrels here seem to have solved it on their own

the plant in the center of this picture is planted in what is ordinarily a "no grow" zone

it's outside the garden fence in the pea gravel under the pine tree

and I have no idea exactly what it is -- some sort of melon or squash, judging from the shape of the leaves and the blossoms, but until something sets and gets big enough to identify I have no idea what little bonus crop my squirrels have planted for me!

and this is the other mystery garden

as you may recall my saying, we had to relocate one of our compost bins so the fence could be replaced

when we did that we lifted the enclosure straight up, moved it to its new location, then shoveled all the compost up into the new spot -- I guess that's one way to turn the stuff!

a couple of days ago I noticed that something was growing inside the bin

at first I thought it was just weeds because of the recent monsoonal rains we've had

but no, closer inspection reveals that these are some sort of melon or squash, and that they are already starting to develop their 3rd, 4th and 5th leaves -- in very short order after my first seeing them

like with the squirrel garden, I have no idea what they are, so I'm taking a wait and see approach!

this was the harvest yesterday

let me say that those two zucchini's are the most interesting thing -- obviously that one there on the far left has gone a bit nuts! usually zucchini continue to get longer, not fatter -- it's destined for the fry pan

just a few more green beans, but now all of the plants are loaded with blooms -- lots of them to eat soon

and I probably won't have to buy another tomato until well into fall

(the good Lord willing and the hail stays away!)
and this is another example of why we will not be planting corn again

this picture was taken through the screen door and a down pour, and its shows what the wind and the rain (which we were not supposed to get any of according to the weather witches) did to my corn patch yesterday afternoon

just as it is started to really tassel too --

we may still get some corn off of it, I'll just leave it alone and hope it survives long enough for some ears to mature

we had already decided that corn was a bad idea for next year anyway -- our water rates are going to be steeply raised, and since corn needs a lot of water, I don't think we can afford it again
the 4.5 mpg hat is done

I stitched on those cool vintage buttons yesterday afternoon

and I like the way this looks -- I might even knit another from some other yarn

today is going to be busy, busy -- a doctor's appointment for the DH; the front yard to be tended to (mow, edge trim, cut back the man-eating bush at the front door, spray the weeds) and I need to vacuum and tidy in the house as we will have visitors on Sunday and I'll be gone to a work shop all day tomorrow

wow! when did my life get so hectic?

love it -- places to go (people to annoy!)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

did that speed sign say 4.5 mph?

we took the items for the State Fair in yesterday

its just down the road a piece -- usually we can do the round trip for this purpose in a couple of hours

heh, not so much

they are in the middle of a major road reconstruction project and we crawled along for what seemed like F O R E V E R ! (which means when we make the next two trips down there -- for the viewing of the fair and the pick up of stuff -- I'll be getting a map for an alternate route!!)

the up side to that is I got a lot of knitting done on this next project -- which I started in the car on the way down there

I need to knit faster, however, because I'm dangerously close to not having enough yarn in the one skein I bought to finish it --- AAARRGGGHH!!

(faster, must knit faster! -- and with my fingers crossed)
another block for the baby quilt is complete!

this is "the puppy"

the right hand side of the fantasy quilt is filling right up!

I have only the bottom edge of the big redwood tree left to attach -- so cutting of branches might actually happen today -- most exciting

but first there is lawn mowing to do

and this evening I have a guild meeting -- one that I'm really looking forward to

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

or just one more piece

yesterday's "finished object" was just bothering me

it just didn't look completely "finished"

I decided what it needs is a a short loop strap -- and some kind of fancy bead zipper pull

so last night I knit this, which I will run through the washer to felt and make into a strap for the bag --

and I'll be prowling through the bigger beads in my stash to create a zipper pull
finished knitting the first scarf for that holiday show

I had knit this pattern before -- even with this yarn -- and I really liked the way it looks, so I decided to use up the rest of the yarn and make one more

ready to be blocked!!

yesterday afternoon I started pulling out the fabrics for the workshop I'll be taking on Saturday

I have 2/3 of a box lid full -- and I may add a few more after I hear the teacher give her trunk show at our guild meeting tomorrow night

progress is being made on the redwood trees -- I have part of one side on both the biggest tree and the small one that leans into it left to stitch -- then it's on to the branches on the aspens
finished this last night too

today is the day that my stuff for the State Fair gets turned in, so right after breakfast we'll be loading up and heading off to Pueblo

and car time means some more knitting might get done!

time to get moving

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

on to the next deadline

which is the first part of October when I need to have all of my items ready for the November/December show

this is the first finished item specifically for that

I put in the zipper and the lining yesterday -- love that I was actually able to get some fabric that had exactly the same colors in it!

another felted bag is on the "to do" list for this show, but I'm going to finish the Zinnia Scarf first (and it is at about 60% done, so I'm whipping right along there)

one of the things that I must have for that show is some kind of hang tags that are big enough to put in washing instructions, material content, etc., etc.

so I needed to come up with something different that I've used for years for my teddy bears and jewelry

a while back I acquired a package of 2 1/2 by 5 inch cards that are scored in the middle to make cards out of (they were bought for another purpose and the score in the middle made them unusable for that purpose, so they've just been sitting around)

they're about the perfect size -- and I'm thinking about using this little graphic on the front of them -- experimentation is in progress

time to get moving -- we need to go and vote, then on to the hardware store for the rest of the needed sod and lawn edging to finish the fence edging