Saturday, December 13, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
I'm all caught up on Judy L.'s Star Block of the Month. She'll be giving us another block in 4 days and then we get a break until February. Then there are 3 more blocks and a series of borders. I'm on a roll and don't really want to stop, but I think it is going to be a good thing, because then I can focus on some other projects that have been falling by the wayside and maybe resume this project with gusto in the new year.
I'm having fun with it and really like this stage. I haven't been following the exact color placement for each block and have been using a somewhat scrappy look. So now it's neat to rearrange the blocks into what the final placement will be.
Here are blocks 1 through 9:
Monday, December 8, 2008
Something has clicked recently, though. I knit at least 10 rows without making a mistake! Hurrah! Here is a picture. It is the beginnings of a scarf. The yarn is Peruvian and is 60% wool, 30% alpaca, 7% acrylic, 3% viscose.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Michelle was working in lab and she was just as excited as I was to decorate. The first step was to take cotton balls and tuck them deep into the branches. They kind of look like snow. Then we both thought the blue, elastic tourniquets would make a great garland. Next I was off on a scavenger hunt around the clinic for items that would work in the tree. Everything seemed to be clear or white and the tree needed color and a topper.
I gathered a children's face mask and covered the base with it (it's got Disney characters and is colorful). The black plastic ear thingies that they stick in your ear are on a few branches. They weren't staying put very well. I found some big swabs and stuck them in near the top. Michelle decided to color them red (now they kind of look bloody!!-- gross!) I stuck some blood draw tube covers in the branches (reddish in color), made a base of bedpan basins. and put a couple of tongue depressors on top of them. At the bottom of the branches, I spelled 2008 with the stickers we used on x-ray file folders to mark the year.
The best part of it all is the topper...wait for it... a urine sample cup! =) All of the nurses have gotten a big kick out of our holiday spirit. It doesn't take much to amuse us!
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
I'm progressing along with the Star Blocks of the Month. I spent a lot of time deliberating about the color placement on this block and changed my mind a few times. The pattern calls for the same color that forms the ring in the center to be the inner part of the star points. After cutting the triangles, it didn't look right to me:
So, I decided to use a dark black for the inner star points. I wasn't totally sure about it, but told myself to "just sew it, it looks fine!". I've been telling myself that a lot while working on these blocks, because I can dilly-dally forever while picking colors.
Here is my second color choice for the star points:
Unfortunately after sewing 2 sets of triangles together I decided I didn't like this fabric and didn't want it to be in the final quilt. It's definitely a lesser quality of fabric than what I'm using in the rest of the blocks and I'm worried that as the quilt ages, this one will fade and break down. I bought it at Joann's and feel it was a waste of money. The weave is loose and it took several rinses to remove excess dye. I'm not even sure if I got all the dye out! Grrr. Back to the drawing board. I picked another black and am pleased with the result.
One more block and I will be caught up. Maybe tomorrow? Here are the first 8 blocks, 5 more to go!
Monday, December 1, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
I call this picture "Crazy Loomy". =) I was trying to figure out how to take a picture of a black cat without overexposing it. I tried many things: no flash, different speeds and finally figured out that I can set exposure levels on the camera and tell the flash what type of light the picture is.
This is the result of my adjustments. Loomy is looking less crazy and a bit more handsome:
Monday, November 24, 2008
The news on the radio said that we got between 1 and 2 inches of snow. Most of it on the pavement melted or turned slushy. The grass and trees clung to it, but it will be gone soon. The weather will hover around 40 degrees for the middle of the week.
I should take this as a warning and find all of my ice scrapers and gloves! I'm always unprepared for winter.
I've been calling this "Pink/Brown Baby Quilt" or "Emilie's Pink/Brown Baby Quilt", but those are really boring names. So I'm open to any suggestions on what to officially call this! I finished hand sewing the binding last week, just in time to take it to UFO club at Millhouse and put my name in the jar for finished projects. The drawing for a gift certificate is in December and I've been able to get my name in it quite a few times, so keep your fingers crossed that I win.
On Saturday I visited Kim and Peter and gave Ella and Emilie their quilts. As promised, here are pictures of the girls with their new quilts:
Cutie Pie Emilie
She even wore jammies that matched the quilt (notice the flower on the jammies looks similar to the quilting??!!)
Sweet Pea Ella
If you need proof that her favorite colors are green and pink, take a look at her bedroom walls!
I had all kinds of great pictures on my camera (more of Ella and Emilie, Jack and Owen at the children's museum last week, my knitting progress), but somehow I accidentally erased the entire memory card in my camera. =( I was goofing around with my camera while trying to figure out how to take a picture of a black cat without washing out/overexposing everything. Kim's cat Loomy is mostly black and I was determined to get a picture of him. The good news is that I figured it out. There is a setting for adjusting the exposure and one for choosing the lighting (daylight/fluorescent/tungsten, etc.). Between those and choosing the speed manually, I got some good pictures. Instead of resetting each option, I thought I could do a "reset all" step. Apparently reset all includes resetting your memory card. Grrrr. That was a life lesson. I re-took some pictures of Loomy and he might guest star on a Caturday in the future.
I've finished up/made progress on lots of my projects lately and will try to post about them separately. Unfortunately my Star BOM has fallen behind. I have 2 of those to catch up on and really, really, really hope to get to them this week.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
The first time was last Thursday at a talk she did for a guild in Delafield. She spoke about the fabric food chain. I thought I had a solid grasp on this, but I still learned a lot. It was great to see all of her quilts up close and personal. Photos and websites don't ever do justice.
While at the talk, I found out that there were openings in the Saturday workshop!! I had tried to register for this a while ago, but it was full. As it happened, they had room for me and my mom. The pattern being taught was Virginia Bound (seen in the background of the top picture) from her latest book, Scraps & Shirttails. I got my copy that day and this is probably my favorite pattern. The long diamonds really shine.
On Friday I shopped for more shirts at a pay by the pound thrift shop. I bought a bunch of shirts 2 years ago and cut up half of them, but never got around to using them. This is the perfect opportunity! My mom and I spent the rest of the day washing them, drying them and then "de-constructing". We had a great variety of darks/colors, but very few tan/white/neutrals. So instead of shirts, I decided to use tan scraps that were lying around. Perhaps I'll thrift store shop some more and find a few shirts to mix in. There are 79 blocks total and we only have 8 done, so there is plenty of time!
Here is our messy work area on Saturday:
And here is our first star (made from 4 blocks):
The pattern name is Virginia Bound, but because the workshop was held at North Prairie, I'm naming mine North Prairie Bound. =)
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Another finish! Another Hip-Hip-Hurray!
I just finished the binding on the Flip Flops Quilt. (This picture is taken prior to the hand stitching of the binding). This quilt is for my friend Kim's daughter Ella. She's 4 and is a lot of fun. Her favorite colors are green and pink, preferably together! The backing is pink, the binding is green and I quilted it with a variegated green thread.
I'll take a picture of Ella with the quilt when I give it to her. Before that happens, I need to finish the binding on the quilt for her baby sister. Soon!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Saturday, November 8, 2008
It's been a rough week for Putty. In the spring, he started some medication for an overactive thyroid. The good news is that it's worked very well. Unfortunately one side effect of the medication is that he hasn't felt the need to groom himself very much. He has a lot of fluffy fur and it's been getting matted.
This week, I was attempting to trim some of the mats (they appear out of nowhere!) and accidentally cut him. The vet recommended stitches and because Putty wasn't being cooperative, he needed to be sedated. While sedated, they ended up shaving him! He is better off this way, but he wasn't a happy camper when I picked him up from the vet!After:
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Charcoal is feeling left out, because Putty got two Caturdays in a row. Is it my fault that Putty is more photogenic and a better helper in the sewing room? Honestly, I have such a hard time taking pictures of Charcoal. 1- He's not cooperative. 2- The camera doesn't like his dark, dark fur and always wants to overexpose with the flash.
Charcoal is my 1/2 cat. I always say that I have 1 1/2 cats, because he belongs to my neighbor who works out of town during the week. In order to make things easier, I suggested that Charcoal just stay at my house. Charcoal was once an outdoor stray and is still extremely skittish. When I would try to give him attention at his house, he would run away and hide. Now that he stays at my house, he is much more outgoing. He's still a little crazy, because I can pet him one minute and the next he runs away from me like I'm an axe murderer. Another reason that Charcoal is here, is because Putty likes him. Putty gets bored with me (a hooman) and likes to play in cat ways with Charcoal.
As long as I'm linking to LOLcats, I swear that this is Putty on the right and Charcoal in the middle.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
In other Wisconsin news, we had some prett strong flurries yesterday. I tried to capture them in a picture. The spots you see here are the flakes, not your eyes playing tricks on you.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
All 157 of the blocks for "Funky Boxes" are done! Hurray! Yippee! Woot!
That's the good news--there is bad news. Somehow there is a problem with the C blocks. Yesterday I sewed the 2 largest blocks (F blocks) and was all set to trim them today, when I thought it would be a good idea to check what size they should be trimmed to. Why-oh-why didn't I do that for the C blocks? Hindsight.
I had some problems when I originally scanned the foundation templates from the book. The scan was enlarging the picture some crazy, non-logical amount and I did some calculations to re-size the scan and then print enough blocks out on the foundation papers. Well, the printouts weren't super precise and on occasion I had to trim the block a little (1/8th of an inch) different than the pattern. On the C blocks, I rounded down 1/8th inch on all sides and I really should have rounded up! So now they are off by 1/4 inch! Grrrrrr. There are 18 C blocks in all. The solution that I'm considering is to remove 2 of the outer edges and re-sew new strips and trim them to the correct size. Unfortunately, the seam ripping is going to be a bear, because I used teeny-tiny stitches to perforate the paper (that makes paper removal easier).
This isn't any fun, so I'm just going to focus on the good news right now. ALL BLOCKS ARE DONE!
Here is a picture of all the blocks stacked up next to my iron:
Monday, October 20, 2008
Well, block 6 is done, but it was a bit of a struggle. I don't know what was going on today, but nothing was working out. My rotary cutter was well past due for a new blade and I swapped it out this morning. The new blade cut like a breeze, but I kept making mistakes with cutting for the BOM. Wrong size, swerved away from the ruler, not square/trim again/still not square/trim again...what's going on??!!?? With all the problems I had cutting my pieces, I was ready to put to old one back in!
It took ages, but I finally I had everything cut out. The sewing went fine and the block turned out ok-- not my best work, but ok. Maybe I'll join the group that is going to remake this block? Actually, I don't think I want to revisit that cutting twilight zone again. To quote the UFO Club, "Done is good."
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Last, but not least, today was Jessica's baby shower! My friends Kimberly and Jean hosted and the theme was retro/50's era. Guests were encouraged to wear pearls and twinsets. I had fun with it and wore a scarf over my hair and under my chin when I arrived. I had an old apron for when I was in the kitchen and brought cucumber sandwiches and a dish of mixed nuts. If only I had some cat-eye glasses!! Drat. Of course for a present I'm giving her a baby quilt. For today, I gave her a shoe box full of the Funky Box blocks.