Monday, November 23, 2015

Feeling Grateful

For Joanie’s birthday present, I promised to sew together the paper-pieced pine tree blocks Julie, Janet and I helped her make.

They had been sitting in her craft room. Joanie has had a difficult year, health wise, and hadn’t been able to sew them together. She wants to embroider wild grasses over the cornerstones, and that is a project she can work on while sitting on the couch or carry with her. to doctors’ visits. I presented the completed top to her at Common Threads, which met at Ellen’s on Thursday morning..

The design (other than the construction of the paper-pieced pine tree block) was Joanie’s, as was the selection of fabrics and the layout. Everyone enjoyed seeing it, even the nonquilters in the group.
We had a good meeting, and it was great to have Ellen back from Florida, even for just a couple of weeks.

Georgette is almost done with her afghan:

Margareth is working on a fox hat from the pattern “Foxy & Wolfie.” 

Our newest member, Birna, who is an excellent knitter, is making a hat.

Park City Quilt Guild met Thursday evening. We talked about fabric storage. Some people use wooden shoe storage units or nice cabinets. Bins are usually a last resort, because it’s hard to see what you have. 
Then we had show-and-tell. Here are some of the quilts and quilt tops we got to see.
A hexagon quilt:

I don’t know what to call this block design, but it’s sort of a cross between Delectable Mountains and Log Cabin:

This miniature quilt was a kit, but there wasn’t enough of the binding. Members of the guild suggested she substitute one of the dark colors from the little blocks for binding, and the quilt maker loved the idea. Before a few minutes had passed, she had the binding off.

One of my favorites was this great flannel appliqué bunny quilt:

This huge quilt sports bright, large-motif fabrics and a flower quilting design.

Jill always has something amazing to show us. Here are some modern pine trees, and she made pillow shams with some of the scraps.

I think Lynn called this quilt her “Santabaum.” Half tree and half Santa:

Another quilter showed us a mini quilt she had made from a photo of her mother when she was younger. Her mother made one of her at the same time. A great mother-daughter project.

I have a Tumbler quilt, but it looks nothing like this one, even though the tumblers are exactly the same size. The fabrics make such a difference. Mine is a charm quilt, but this one uses the same fabrics over and over and has a much more modern look.

Saturday we had a work party to make a quilt to commemorate the life of Sam Jackenthal, who died in a ski accident in Australia, where he had gone to compete.

Ellen’s grandson skied and competed with and was friends with Sam. A teacher at the Park City Winter Sports School, where they were students together, found out that Ellen was a quilter and asked her to put together the hand-painted fabric squares fellow students at the school had made as a way to deal with their grief at losing their friend.

Davidene allowed us to set up our machines in her shop, and Patti, who was working that day, cut our fabric strips for sashing between waiting on customers.

Several volunteers from Common Threads and the Park City Quilt Guild came with their machines to help put the blocks together into four-patch blocks and sew together with sashing.

We were finished with the top by 2:00 PM. Now it goes to Julie, who has promised to quilt it for us.

When I look at all the misfortunes of others, I feel grateful for all I have. Life hasn’t always been easy, but I have my health. All three of my children, their spouses and all five of our grandchildren are alive and healthy. I have a DH who dotes on me in his strange and intriguing way and doesn’t mind that I take up half the house with my fiber fun or that I cook vegetarian. We have two delightful pups who remain healthy and continue to entertain us as they enter their older years. I don't always know what my next meal will be, but I know there will be good food. My house may be colder than I like, but it's warmer than outside. I have adequate health insurance.I have friends (local, far away and online) who knit, quilt, crochet, weave and embroider and who continue to inspire me. There is a nice shop full of yarn and spinning fiber and another full of quilting fabrics, patterns and notions within a few minutes' drive. I get to enjoy singing in two choral groups, both led by great vocal directors. Squeeky and Jay-Jay and their friends and relatives keep us entertained. Yes, I’m feeling very grateful this week. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
And just to show I can still dress a turkey….

What's on my needles:  Still hand-quilting the Delectable Pathways (aka "Peggy's Sistine Chapel"), some progress made. Still knitting the Trickle Brick Socks and dishcloths almost finished.
What's on my Featherweight: Kaleidoscope Quilt, two blocks to go, and then I can put them together. 
What's on my iPad/iPhone: Listened to Eva Ibbotson’s Magic Flutes from Audible. Now listening to If You Find Me, which was a Deal of the Day from Audible awhile back. Finished Three Silver Doves by Deborah Garn on the Kindle app. Now reading The Murder at Sissingham Hall by Clara Benson, a murder mystery set in 1920s-era England.
What's in my wine glass: Frontera Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot. Very nice, and worth the big bottle.
What's my tip of the week: Corrugated ribbing is often used in Fair Isle or other stranded knitting, but why? Here is an example of Fair Isle knitting with corrugated ribbing at the bottom of the photo:

Aside from the added color (corrugated ribbing uses two colors, one for the knit sts and one for the purl sts), the stranded ribbing is thicker and somewhat less stretchy than the traditional K1, P1 or K2, P2 rib all in one color, which might seem flimsy when used to anchor a knitted item that is also thicker and less stretchy than plain knit because of the strands across the back. I’m planning on using this when I CO the March of the Fibres Cardigan for DH.

Note: This blog post was produced on the iPad and the MacBook, using the iPhone for some photos and some photo processing. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for, cleaned or broken. No animals were harmed during the production of this blog post.

Monday, November 16, 2015

High Fiber—Doing Dishes and Other Chores

My life is in pieces:

The Kaleidoscope Quilt is coming along. Here are four blocks on the design wall:
All of the centers are done, and half of the blocks are completely finished.
I started some dishcloths using Knit Picks Dishie. This project is easier to work on when I'm riding in the car for quick trips. The colors are, from left, Pomegranate, Azure, Mulberry. (Azure is also the one I'm currently knitting.) The pattern is Grandmother's Favorite, free on Ravelry.

For Joanie's birthday, I promised to finish piecing her Pine Tree Quilt top. I spent an afternoon at her house. Here's a photo of the layout she chose. The sashing is the fabric under the blocks, and the fabric to the right will be a 3" border. (For scale, the blocks will be 7" finished and the sashing 1" finished.) The fabric at the bottom is the backing.
I had to leave about 4:00 PM, so I'll have to have another session, but I have the top two rows of blocks sewn together and the rows sewn. The bottom two rows of blocks are sewn together, and the other two sashing rows are sew. The cornerstones will be the same fabric as the sashing, and Joanie plans to embroider wild grasses over the cornerstones.
Vintage Stitchers met on Thursday at Rebecca's. Brenda has been busy since we saw her last. She has finished several quilt tops. This is her machine-embroidered Halloween Quilt.

She pieced this top at a quilt retreat recently.

Brenda has had these fabrics for some time.

Here is another machine-embroidery project, this one using patterns from Bird Brain Designs.

Rebecca had finished this cross-stitch for her daughter.

Remember her Christmas quilt? She inherited most of the blocks from a friend who passed away a few years ago. She finished the quilt, adding her own special touches. Now it's done, and what a great tribute to her friend.

She has several quilts to piece for gifts, so she's making 1600 quilts. Here's the first one, ready to have quilted.
Janet had finished piecing this quilt top, which was part of a "Route 66" BOM. She will probably add borders.

As for life at home, the first real snow of the season has arrived. This was just the beginning.

Stay warm, everyone, and watch out for ice.

What's on my needles:  Hand-quilting the Delectable Pathways, knitting the Trickle Brick Socks and dishcloths.
What's on my Featherweight: Kaleidoscope Quilt. 
What's on my iPad/iPhone: Finished Darken the Stars. Now listening to Georgette Heyer's Beauvallet. (I love her books. They're so full of humor, adventure and romance.) Still reading Three Silver Doves by Deborah Garn on the Kindle app.
What's in my wine glass: Glen Ellen's Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 vintage. Nice and fruity.
What's my tip of the week: For hand-quilting, thread your needle before cutting it from the spool. Let that end be the short one, and your thread won't tangle. No thread treatment (such as beeswax) needed.

Note: This blog post was produced on the iPad and the MacBook, using the iPhone for some photos and some photo processing. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for, cleaned or broken. No animals were harmed during the production of this blog post.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Keeping in Stitches

The Busy Bee Throw is done.
I blocked it after it was sewn together, which was a challenge. I didn't have enough blocking mats, so I used what I had to make a frame and put plastic lawn bags in the middle, so it wouldn't get the rug wet.

The throw is going to come in handy this winter, and it was dry just in time for our first snow of the year. I used City Tweed DK in most of the colors, using "Obsidian" for edging the hexagons, sewing up and a final sc border around the whole thing. The designer is Shaina Scott.

The Kaleidoscope quilt is coming along. I have all the fabric cut and completed two more blocks this past week.

Most of the fabrics are from Connecting Threads' Kaleidoscope line. The pattern was inspired by "Fresh" from Simply Retro with Camille Roskelley: Fresh Quilts from Classic Blocks. I removed a lot of the seams. It takes a little more effort to assemble the blocks, but as my background is in hand-quilting, I'm always looking for ways to eliminate extra seams. I'm having to take some care with bias edges, and some of my fabrics have a direction (one way is right-side up, like having a nap), so I'm having to pay attention to how I put those fabrics together if I don't want the seam to be obvious.

I needed a small project to take with me when we went to the theater during the week, so I CO the Trickle Socks by Katie Douglass. There's not much to show yet, but it will be easy to keep in my purse. I'm using KP's Stroll Tweed in "Firecracker Heather."

Finally (and I mean finally), here's the third (and final) quilt shop in St. George visited with Vintage Stitchers a few weeks ago: Scrap Apple Quilts.
144 W. Brigham Rd. #23
St. George, UT 84790
(435) 628-8226
(800) 994-0097
Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday thru Saturday

Thanks for giving me a reason to revisit these great quilt shops.

Oh, and one more thing: I'm still out a car. DGD went to pick up her new car on Monday, and over the weekend, someone decided she needed to come up with $1,000 as a down payment. We were trying to work it out, but later in the week they wanted $2,000 down with no change in interest rate, which was exorbitant. She scrapped the whole thing for now. Fortunately the two jobs she works are very close to each other and not far from our home, so we can take her and pick her up when DH and I both need cars. But still. [Sigh!]

What's on my needles:  Hand-quilting the Delectable Pathways and Trickle Brick Socks.
What's on my Featherweight: Kaleidoscope Quilt, four blocks finished.
What's on my iPad/iPhone: Finished Just Deserts by Jinx Schwartz, then listened to Sea of Stars by Amy A. Bartol, the second in the Kricket series. This book was left up on the air, so I immediately downloaded the third book, Darken the Stars. (All of these were from Audible.) Still reading Three Silver Doves by Deborah Garn on the Kindle app.
What's in my wine glass: Rex Goliath Free-range Shiraz. Yum.
What's my tip of the week: When making socks, if you find yourself with "ladders" where you switch needles, try switching one or two sts at the end of one needle to beginning of the next needle (whether dpns, two circs)  every so often. It's easier to avoid ladders if the new needle starts with a K st. Just be sure you put in a marker for the beginning of rnd, so you don't get your pattern off.

Note: This blog post was produced on the iPad and the MacBook, using the iPhone for some photos and some photo processing. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for, cleaned or broken. No animals were harmed during the production of this blog post.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Life Gets in the Way

It has been a crazy week, but the Busy Bee Throw is coming along.

The arrow points to the top row of the three that still need sewing together. Coming down the home stretch. I think I have enough of the "Obsidian" to sc around the outside once, which should help it stay together.

Dr. Griffith (from Carnegie Hall) coached Park City Singers' Tuesday evening practice and ended the evening by inviting all of us to Carnegie Hall next year, at our own expense, of course, but it's nice to be invited.

There was no stitching group meeting this week, because it was the fifth Thursday, but I made a trip to the big city to pick up my winter shoes that were being repaired and my engagement ring, which had to be enlarged slightly to fit over the knuckle on my right hand (something I've been planning to do for several years). While I was in the city, I stopped in at the Apple Store to get help making my photos accessible on my new iPhone. I saw my first snowflakes of the season coming home from choir practice Thursday evening. It won't be long now.

Then there was the odd pain that came and went all day Friday, and finally was so severe I sought medical help. The tentative diagnosis was that I might have had a kidney stone, as they found one had taken up residence in my right kidney, and it may have had friends. The doctor didn't think the stone they found was obstructing anything and might just stay there forever. Or not. The pain went away, but I'm having it checked out further. Anything life-threatening has already been ruled out.

This week I'm giving you a look at Superior Threads quilt shop, St. George. They carry threads as well as fabric. (Call ahead for thread, as that department isn't always open.) Batiks are there specialty. I don't think I've ever seen so many in one place.

Here's the address, in case you want to visit:
87 East 2580 South
St. George, UT 84790
(435) 652-1867

For cuteness this week, here are the grandchildren in their Halloween Costumes. First, the pirate crew:
Then The Boxtrolls:

And finally, Velma from Scooby Doo:

Speaking of, DGD1...I should be getting my car back today. She'll be picking up her own car (paid for with her own money) at the dealer. Wait for it....Yaaaaaay!

What's on my needles: The hexagons for the Busy Bee Throw and hand-quilting the Delectable Pathways.

What's on my Featherweight: Kaleidoscope Quilt. No progress this week.

What's on my iPad/iPhone: Finished Banished Love by Ramona Flightner, another WhisperSync deal from Audible (a free book from Book Bub and low-priced audio if you had the Kindle book) and then went on to the sequel, Love Reclaimed. I wasn't very impressed with the narrator, but the story was good and a good picture of what life was like in 1900 and why the suffragettes were so determined. Also finished Auld Acquaintance by Ruth Hay. It was a good story, sort of like a vacation spent in a rustic farmhouse in Scotland. Now I'm listening to Just Deserts (which the narrator pronounces "Just Desserts," as in the saying, which I'm sure the title is a play on, but it's set in the desert, so I wonder if she knows the difference). It's written by Jinx Schwartz. The narrator seems good otherwise, and I'm enjoying it. Also just started reading Three Silver Doves by Deborah Garn on the Kindle app.

What's in my wine glass: Apothic Dark. Wonderful, dry and slightly fruity. I don't know if it's as good as the Apothic Red. Guess I need a tasting.

What's my tip of the week: Keeping your sewing machine plugged in to a power strip saves wear and tear on the plug.

Note: This blog post was produced on the iPad and the MacBook, using the iPhone for some photos and some photo processing. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for, cleaned or broken. No animals were harmed during the production of this blog post.