Wednesday, January 30, 2013

being part of a traveling show

you may recall this piece that I created last year 

the group of us that participated in this project (there are 20 pieces that are hung together with the "trail" connecting them together) have been looking for another location to have it hung 

(actually, two of the group are doing most of the hard work of making contacts on this --- I've volunteered to help with the hanging) 

this morning I got a message that these will appear at the Salt Lake City HMQS show from May 9 to 11 AND the Loveland, CO, Rocky Mountain Quilt Festival from August 9 to 11 AND will hang in two local library branches for the months of September and October of this year


I'm pretty excited about that

for quite a few years someone in my family has been the recipient of a hand made lap quilt 

the instruction with each of these is the same -- I expect these items to be USED -- basically, if you don't use them (and thus wear them out) you'll not get another one 

I've known since last fall when I was quilting the one for last Christmas who should get the quilt this year 

my son in law has followed instructions really well -- his is wearing out -- so I've been thinking about what to do for the new one 

last night I did this little "drawing" 

usually these lap quilt are made in blocks like a traditional pieced quilt, but this idea appeals to me even though it would mean the entire quilt top is the one single block 

need to do some research to create the patterns, and there will be the need of purchasing some batik fabrics 

we'll see where this goes

Mr Cute is crazy for tractors 

and he's a very lucky little boy --- in the open field right behind his house they are preparing to put in sewer pipe to build some new houses (yes, he's standing up on the back of the couch so he can see over that fence!)

that means the tractors are really up close and personal 

what a treat!! 

and I notice in looking at this picture my daughter sent me that he seems to have gotten taller since I last saw him -- sounds like it's time to schedule a week end trip to visit!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

beading complete!

finished stitching on the last bead last night 

followed by a coating of fray check on the back after that 


today's work will include cutting the bead work away from the background and starting to attach it to the backing --- which will be a soft tan upholstery velour --- it's the only thing I had that is big enough 

it will probably take at least a couple of days worth of beading time to get this finished since there is not only the outside edge all around to do, but also all those open areas inside 

this should be done by the weekend!  

let the fiddling begin 

a few days ago the DH pronounced this sweater pattern a "go" for the new cardigan I'm going to knit him

which means that I am now in the fiddling stage of trying to rewrite it to the point that I can actually make him something that looks like this one, but will meet the other qualifications

number one:  it must fit --- the pattern is not written big enough, so I will need to make it bigger

number two:  the original is knit in a gauge that makes a very tight jacket like sweater --- and I know from experience that something that heavy will never get worn -- even in this climate

so, like I said, the fiddling has begun --- knitting of samples to get the proper feel in the "fabric", then the calculating of whatever gauge that creates, followed by figuring out which size in the instructions, when knit in my new gauge will result in the proper size sweater

the math part is something that needed to be done with a calculator and a brain that was not so fuzzy as it was just before bedtime last night!

oh yeah, this is the yarn -- he decided something that would stand up to a lot of machine washing and drying was the best choice if he was going to really wear it as much as he did the last one (or more)


Monday, January 28, 2013

finished and nearly so

another afghan square for that growing box 

 meantime, there is other knitting being planned 

the pattern for the annual Christmas sweater has been selected, and we have now moved into the yarn selection phase of that project 

it's been pointed out by the DH that the sweater I knit him a few years ago is starting to look a bit shabby, so I've also selected a pattern and some yarn for that project -- nice -- a couple of new projects for the rotation coming up

 then there is this 

 I've almost finished the beading! 

just a little bit there along the left hand edge and at the very top to do

today I need to go dig through my stash of leather and upholstery velours to select whatever will become the backing for this little lovely

and I've started working on the design of another piece which is for a competition that ends the first part of March --- we'll be shifting color palettes -- to some greens

today  I need to do laundry and run an errand then back to the projects!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

the lil' ol' sausage makers

for a number of years the DH has been making our breakfast sausage 

running the fresh pork through the meat grinder attachment of my Kitchen Aid mixer, adding the spicing, packing it up for the freezer 

trouble was we didn't have any way to do "links", because that required another special attachment 

for Christmas our daughter got it for us 


 we made the trip on Friday to a local meat processing shop (a place where you can take your deer to be cut and wrapped after the hunt) and got some sausage casing 

and here are some of the somewhat bumpy sausages from yesterday's making 

we learned that this is for us a two person operation -- one of us has to load the meat through the top of the stuffer while the other one handles the casing end -- ok, we can do this 

it was a very tasty breakfast!

a bit more work on the bead project 

this is coming right along 

earlier in the day I did quite a bit of work on the next pieces for the Visioning Project 

and some quilting on the baby quilt -- I was thinking about doing this on the machine, but in the end decided I didn't want to risk damaging it with some machine work error, so I'm doing it by hand --- I really need to use the Visioning Project as a place to do some practicing on that 

things are moving along

Saturday, January 26, 2013

another finished quilt top

once the washing and drying of the fabric was done, it didn't take me long to put this top together 

 I like it even better than the pink one 

I have a nice little stash of tops to take to the next  meeting  

one side of the beading project is done! 

the other side has less to be filled in because I have already done the two rows of edging around all the open spaces, so the finishing of the rest of that side should go pretty quickly

yesterday's visit with the surgeon that did the shoulder replacement surgery on the DH went well --- he will need to go back in a year for a "check up" to make sure that the replaced parts are staying properly in place, but he is doing really well -- yippee!!

I think I have finally recovered fully from the bouts of bronchitis --- this morning, for the first time since Thanksgiving I woke up with a design idea for a quilt forming in my head --- it feels good

Friday, January 25, 2013

Let the quilting begin

the top is finished!

 and now that it's all stitched together, I'm pretty pleased with it the sandwich has been made, and the quilting has begun 

rolling right along!  

this side of the necklace is nearing completion 


can't wait to get to the next step  

another hat and mittnz set ready to go 

 this makes 5 sets finished --- only 8 more to go  

and one more afghan square --- this one made of 4 different little balls of yarn left from other projects 

the DH has a doctor's appointment this morning --- the surgeon that did his shoulder replacement wants to do a final check on it 

time to go

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

about the shopping trip

I've been looking for fabric to use on the back of the baby quilt 

now that the center moose block is almost finished, I'll probably be stitching this top together by the end of the week 

on most of these baby quilts I've been able to find a print that coordinates with the theme in a juvenile print  

I made the excursion to the other fabric store yesterday 

the only forest animal fabric was much too "adult" 

 I was able to get this soft tan fabric that has little vines and leaves on it 

this should be a good color coordinate for the strong browns, rusts and greens on the front of the quilt 

just need to run it through the washer so it will be ready when I finish the top  

time at the sewing machine again yesterday 

I've been working on putting together the pieced strips of this charity quilt top for a couple of days -- there are enough of them for two quilts 

I wanted to get a soft green to put with those at the fabric store, but I couldn't find the right color, so I just put together the pink one yesterday 

one more afghan square finished 

 this is the end of that red toned variegated yarn -- too bad, it was fun to work with 

time to get movin'

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

tick tock, tick tock

I actually worked on several projects yesterday, but this is the only one that I took a picture of

(time spent doing laundry and shredding an entire year's worth of financial documents just doesn't photograph that well!)

I've almost finished with the dark beads around each shape -- just the two clock faces at the left need one more ring each before I'll be moving on to the rest of the field

slowly, slowly

I have almost finished the center block for the baby quilt, so I need to find something for the back of that piece -- last week I was in one of the local fabric stores, but I didn't find anything that I thought was suitable -- I'll be checking out the other fabric store this week sometime 


Sunday, January 20, 2013

thoughts about being a good neighbor

we live in a "mixed" neighborhood 

by that I mean there is a wide range of ages from us who are retired from the day jobs to the newest neighbors on the block who have children the age of our grandson 

 I don't know all of them by name, but I do recognize their faces and we wave on sight 

earlier this week, in mid-afternoon, my doorbell rang 

standing on my porch was the girl that lives next door to us -- she asked if she could use my phone to call her mom and let her know that she was home (she couldn't find her own phone) 

I was happy to let her do that --- and after she talked to her mom, I made sure she had a key to get in at her house and told her if she needed anything to just come and knock on the door 

yesterday she was back -- bringing us this thank you note (that included inside a note from her mom thanking us and letting us know how grateful she is that she knows we're looking out for her daughter) 

 I'm touched 

sometimes doing the right thing gets an unexpected reward!  

progress on this piece is moving slowly along 

I admit that I've sort of lost the passion for it, which means it feels like I'm slogging along through something that seems to be taking forever 

 hopefully that feeling will get better as I get closer to finished!  

one more afghan square -- slowly filling up another box -- there's always somewhere that needs the afghans that come out of this project

Saturday, January 19, 2013

about the security system in the studio

this is our security system/art critic/foot warmer 

when I go to the studio to work, she comes along to lay in the sun and keep me company 

I'm getting ready to turn her routine upside down 

in the next month or so I'm going to be moving my studio out of the living room --- and I think she won't be pleased 

 it's finished 

and listed in my Etsy store 

and entered in the contest 

wooo hooo! 

now it's on to other projects

Friday, January 18, 2013

something else finished

another block for the baby quilt 

 all of the corner pieces are finished 

today I'll be picking through the tubs to find the proper fabrics for the moose which is the big center block 

 this piece is just quietly moving along  

 time in the studio yesterday was spent finishing up this piece for Mr Cute 

 about a year ago I made him a car blanket out of scraps left from other fleece projects 

his mama asked if there was a chance of having another one so there would be one to wash and one to use 

I just happen to have a few more fleece scraps left over from making Halloween costumes and sweat suits 

 this is much more of a "little boy" blanket than the first one was 

I hope he'll like it  

after fiddling with the cherry blossom idea I decided that less is more on this piece 

I'll be listing it in my Etsy store and entering it in the competition in the next couple of days  

remember this? 

I'm back to working on it 

yesterday I created the ring around the big partial clock face that is the bottom section of the piece 

I'm not sure exactly what comes next -- this one has been a "happening" right along, so that's no surprise 

we're just going to see where it all goes

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

time at the sewing machine

when I made the pot grabbers that were Christmas gifts, I had some of the special heat reflective batting left over just enough (barely!) to make these up for my daughter 

I originally was going to use the same black and white/yellow and white checked fabric that I've made other kitchen stuff for her from, but decided that fabric was not sturdy enough to use for this purpose 

this black and white fabric is better (and it's a left over from making her a skirt last summer) 

 ta da! 

the next project in there at the machine is to make Mr Cute a second "car quilt" -- I had some odd bits and pieces of fleece from other fall and winter projects, and have been cutting them into squares to put together for this one --- pictures to follow!

the peyote stitching is finished and the clasp is on 

all of the little thread joinings have been touched with fray check (but not trimmed yet) 

I really like how clean and neat this piece looks, and because of the beads I decided to use (cobalt and white with an AB finish) the color nearly glows 

 I'm still not sure if I'm going to add the cherry blossoms or not -- I like the idea, but I also like the sleek look of this piece just as it is (ok, I am going to trim those thread ends!) 

probably will try to work up some blossoms and see what I think by laying them on there just to look at 

what do you think?

 I can nearly knit these things in my sleep 

I can definitely knit them in almost total darkness 

 yesterday I mailed off a box full to the group that puts the squares together -- and there are now six in another box -- five that wouldn't fit in that box plus this one 

right now the ladies are putting together afghans that are going to victims of Hurricane Sandy -- we've already sent off one batch there 

(who knew we could knit up a batch of afghans faster than congress could agree to financial aid for those folks -- geesh!)

 this evening I have a meeting with a local art quilt group --- we haven't gotten together since October, so it will be interesting to see what everyone has been working on

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

another finished project

some time in the studio yesterday and another project complete! 

this is a quilt top for my local guild's charity drive 

every year we make quilts for Safe Passage, a local group that works with doctors and the police department with abused children 

unfortunately, in our little village they go through 800 quilts a year 

I turned in two quilt tops at last week's meeting --- once again this year I'm going to try to turn in at least one a month 

many of the fabrics I use for these come from the "put and take" table at the guild meetings (I came home with some more pieces last Thursday) and working on these at the sewing machine is good "meditation" time for planning art quilts  

a little more work got done on this piece too 

it's 5 7/8 inches long now, so I'm closing in on how long it needs to be 

 the clasp I'm using this time is different that the ones I've used before, so I'm not sure exactly how much length it will add to the piece --- I'll probably put one piece of the clasp on the "beginning" end of the piece and measure to determine how much more beading needs to be done
Mr Cute is in new day care 

they send my daughter updates during the day via text on her cell phone so she has an idea what to expect when she picks him up 

yesterday they sent this photo Mr Cute is Mr Cool! 

love it 

today we need to go out to the grocery store -- we've been "holed up" avoiding the cold since Friday, so it's time to venture out!

Monday, January 14, 2013

things to do when the HIGH temperature is 17 degrees

staying in the house is highly recommended while I'm still coughing from the bronchitis and it's this cold
good progress is being made on this piece 

I'm about half done with the peyote stitching, and it's looking good 

yesterday I started playing with the idea of making some tiny beaded cherry blossoms to accent this piece, and was pleased to discover that I have all the necessary materials to do that already on hand (how cool is that!)
somehow knitting hatz and mittnz seems to be the right project in this weather! 

this is the 4th of 13 planned sets -- looking good!! 

the next set will be purples (I've already pulled out the yarn for those) 

 finished another afghan square too

 yesterday afternoon I spent some time in the studio working on a charity quilt until I reached the point that I needed to find some solids to set it together with which would have meant pulling down all the tubs of fabric --- and I just didn't feel up to that then ---- maybe today 

time to get moving --- the laundry is calling

Sunday, January 13, 2013


another corner block for the baby quilt I've been working on is complete 

which leaves only one more corner -- the bison -- which I would have started last night except I'm going to have to go back to the stash tubs and find the right brown/black fabric to do his head 

nothing I had already pulled out is quite right  

this project is moving right along too 

just over 2.5 inches long

the theme for this challenge is Japan and my idea here was to mimic the look of the old traditional sashiko embroidery --- so far I'm very pleased 

yesterday afternoon I spent some time making order in the studio and cutting 2.5 inch strips to create a new charity quilt (which I hope to start sewing on today or tomorrow)

I've started doing the stitching on the first of the three pieces I'll be doing based on this little drawing (after spending several studio sessions doing fabric selection and the fusing of the "windows" to the pieces

simple stitching for a complex idea


Saturday, January 12, 2013

something new

I'm getting pretty good at juggling a lot of projects all at once 

doing it with quilt projects and knitting projects is a lot easier than with bead projects, however because I only have one work tray that I can do bead projects in

so the big bead embroidery piece with the watch parts has been temporarily set aside so I can work on this project that has a sooner deadline

I've not done any pure bead weaving techniques for quite a while other than creating "chains" for various bead embroidered medallions that I've turned into necklaces

this piece will be a bracelet, and is entirely worked in peyote stitch

it took me several attempts to get the first 3 or 4 rows worked, but after that it has just flowed along

the deadline for the challenge on this piece is the first week in February --- I'm pretty sure it will done a lot sooner than that

I'm also closing in on having another animal block for that baby quilt finished

moving along!

Friday, January 11, 2013

out with the old, in with the new

the original storm door on our house has not been doing a good job for a while 

despite repeated reapplications of weather stripping, it still leaked enough cold air that the hallway at the front door was a lot colder than it should have been

and the screen part had long since given up the ghost compounded by the parts being no longer available to repair it 

at Christmas time my sister, brother-in-law and nephew gave us a very cool present --- gift cards to our local hardware store 

last week we went and picked out our new storm door this morning it was delivered, installed and the old one carted away --- whoo hooo! 

 there is a lot more glass in the new one, so the dog won't be tempted to jump up and put her feet on the top panel where the screen is, which should extend the life of the screen a lot! 

now I need to get a quart of exterior paint that matches the paint on the door and the trim so I can take care of the rest of the job! 

 last night I attended the monthly meeting of my local quilt guild 

 the plan for programs this year is quite different than we've had for a while, and we started off the year with a brief (and very entertaining) lesson on basic color theory and a challenge 

each of us was given a package of 40 pieces of fabric --- all solids

we are to create something using at least 21 of those pieces and have it ready to show at our November meeting 

 cool I already have a design in mind! 

(yeah, yeah, I know, do I really need another project in the works? eh, maybe not, but since the design came to me so easily, I may be able to use it for some other purpose as well, so I'm going to go with it!) 


Thursday, January 10, 2013

exercising that word for the year

ta da! 

yesterday I finally finished another of the pieces for the visioning project! 

this one had to do with line and motion 

at the same time I was working on this for the visioning project, my local smaller art group was talking about the work of Klimt, and using his work as inspiration for fiber art 

this piece fit in both places!  

slow steady progress is being made on this piece 

 the original deadline for this was January 31, which has now been pushed out to February 28, so I'll be setting this aside in the next day or so to work on something that has a closer deadline 

I do like the way this is going  

time in the car to go set up a quilt show meant more knitting got done!

 two more afghan squares for the new box  

 I talked about Brave being the word for 2013 

apparently I'm going to have lots of opportunity to exercise it 

I drew this doodle while I was on the phone for over an hour (mostly on hold) trying to solve a problem with the new insurance I was supposed to have on January 1 but as of today still do not, and then more time trying to get authorization for the medication that the DH needs 

guess I jumped the gun getting excited about this whole having insurance thing --- I think it is not really going to happen