Monday, February 23, 2015

Peggy Visits the Frog Pond

On the bright side, the first appliqué block of the First Ladies Quilt, the "Martha Washington Wreath," is finished.



There will be two of these, and I have started the second one. I'm using the needleturn method. My local quilt shop, Davidene's Quilt Shop, is having a class in Eleanor Burns' Tales of First Ladies. The next class is next month. (See last week's post for the first pieced blocks for this quilt.)

I've also made some progress on the paper-pieced Pine Burr quilt. Here's the second of 16 blocks. (I haven't removed the paper yet.)

The grey fabric in the big triangles will also be used in the borders. I had bought 1/2 yard of it on sale at Elaine's Quilt Block, a quilt shop in Salt Lake City. Then I decided I needed more, but they didn't have any. However, they were able to give me the name of the line of fabric. After an online search, I found some at an Easy shop, No Place Like Home Quilt Shop. In two days I had an extra three yards. I couldn't have found it without the help of the nice ladies at Elaine's!

The local quilt guild met Thursday evening, and we had a demo on paper piecing. Saturday I put into use what I had learned and finished the block in less than a day, about three times faster than the first one. (More about the quilt guild meeting later.)

There's a Spin-in in the Knit Picks Knitting Community scheduled for the end of this month. Here's what I'll be spinning:

There are two braids of hand-painted roving from Greenwood Fibers. The one on the left is Polwarth in "Lavender Hedgerow" and on the right is Heathered BFL in "Jingle Bells." I purchased both from Wasatch & Wool in Park City, our own Local Yarn Shop. The fiber in the package is a gift from a friend, a souvenir from New Zealand, from a small supplier. It's Merino sliver.

So far, so good. Now here's the part where Peggy dons her swim fins and walks slowly down to the frog pond....

The Brick Cardigan was coming along great. I had the decreases finished, the short rows turned out almost invisible. Then I tried it on. It was very loose in the neck, clearly too soon to start the ribbing, although that was next in the pattern. That would have been easy enough to fix, but it was also too snug at the armpits.

If you've been following this project, you'll remember that I tightened the gauge to get a firmer fabric and went up a size in the pattern. I thought I had enough rows in the yoke based on my gauge, but clearly I didn't. (It's the math.)

So, off to the frog pond. (For anyone who is a nonknitter or new to knitting, frogging is where you rip out your knitting, as in "rippit, rippit," or what the frog says.)

I'm back on track, but planning on working the decreases every other right-side row until I have about three inches of yoke. Then I'll evaluate how it's going. At some point, I'll change my decreases to every right-side row if I need to, which is what I expect.


More on the bright side, as I was ripping it out, I noticed a mistake I had made in the pattern. One of my cables went over to the left instead of to the right. I could have fixed it later, but it's much easier this way. Here's my mistake, which I left behind in the frog pond:


Common Threads met at Georgette's on Thursday morning. Lynda picked me up. I had planned to walk, because Georgette lives right up the street, and DGD was using my car to take Joanie to the doctor, but Lynda offered to pick me up, because she was going right by my house.

Lynda was making a scarf to go with the hat she showed off last time.


Janet had some news: She has been asked to allow her baby blanket out of Weepaca to be on display at The Wool Cabin (a yarn shop in Salt Lake City)! She's working on another one now. She's a beautiful knitter, although she considers herself to be "a quilter," which she also does well.

Thursday evening was our monthly quilt guild meeting, where Dianne did her demo of paper piecing.



She had been working on a kit she bought several years ago at The Stitchin' Post in Sisters, Oregon. (Unfortunately, the kit is no longer available.) She demonstrated how she does paper piecing using this kit. It depicts the Sisters mountains that give the town where The Stitching' Post quilt shop is located its name.


This part goes under the mountains:


The demonstration was followed by lots of show-and-tell. The group had watched a demonstration of Hawaiian appliqué last month, and several people brought their projects that resulted from the meeting.


It's great meeting in a quilt shop, where we can be inspired by the lovely fabrics.


Linda's heart quilt was great for a February meeting:


Besides the heart quilt, Linda was finishing up a churn dash quilt.


Jill is finishing up this Easter egg quilt.


This star quilt is almost a miniature.


It wasn't supposed to snow until Saturday, so DH and I had planned to go on a hike on Friday, but it snowed. (Boo, Weatherman!) The planned hike had to be moved to a location that wouldn't be muddy and changed into more of a walk. At least the pups got to run off-leash for a while.

This is absolutely not normal snow for February, or even March, in the mountains of Utah. We usually need snowshoes to walk this trail this time of year, and there is no ground to be seen. I wonder where our snow went....

What's on my needles: Brick Cardigan, working on the yoke...again. Also the second Martha Washington's Wreath appliqué block for my First Ladies quilt.

What's on my Featherweight: Pine Burr, second block finished, third in the planning stage.

What's on my loom: Still some warp for another scarf, but still folded up.

What's on my iPad/iPhone: Finished Threading the Needle by Marie Bostwick, from Audible. Now listening to A Second Chance, Vol 3: The Chronicles of St. Mary's by Jodi Taylor. Also reading Charlotte Collins by Jennifer Becton on the Nook app.

What's in my wine glass: C K Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon wild reed Canyon 2012. A lovely wine.

What's my tip of the week: When frogging (see definition above), I like to rip until I get to the row/round before the one where I want to start, then take out the last row/round of stitches one at a time by inserting the needle into the middle of each stitch in that row/round, then pull the stitch above out of it. It's so much easier to pick up the sts and have them facing the right way on the needle while the yarn you're removing is still in them.

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, February 16, 2015

Spring Already?

I've made progress on the Brick Cardigan this week:



However, I have also been trying to get some quilting in before the Spin-in scheduled for the end of this month.

First, I'm working on a paper-pieced Pine Burr quilt. This is the quilt I've had planned for some time and led me to use paper-piecing on my Delectable Pathways quilt, even though I could have pieced it conventionally with no difficulty for practice. Here's my first Pine Burr block. (The fabric above the block is the inspiration for the colors in the quilt and will make up the border, as well as appear in some of the blocks.) The pattern is the Pine Burr quilt from McCall's Quilting magazine, May/June 2012.



On top of that, my local quilt shop (doesn't that sound wonderful?), Davidene's, is teaching a class based on Tales of First Ladies by Eleanor Burns. We had the first class on Wednesday. The next one is in a month.

The first block from Tales of First Ladies (we make two of each block) is called "White House Ladies." Davidene's had an optional pack of Civil War report fat quarters for the project at a great price.


And I've made progress on the first appliqué block, "Martha Washington's Wreath."

Vintage Stitchers met this week at Barbara's, because she can't drive yet after knee surgery. She's doing well, though, as is Rebecca, who is a few days further along in the same process. Barbara showed us her finished poinsettia appliqué quilt top:



Janet showed us her 1600 quilt top:



Janet also brought another quilt. Both of these are from mostly Robyn Pandolph fabrics. This one has with Minky on the back.



Marilyn held up her "Circle of Hope" quilt. The pattern is by Susan Meyer from Quilting Discoveries.




It was my turn next. I showed them my finished "Seeing Stars" quilt top, which Julie will quilt for me when she has my "Crystal Stars" quilt finished. (I'm not in a hurry, although I am anticipating.) I also showed them my Pine Burr block and the two First Ladies blocks I had finished.

Carol was next with a BOM quilt:



Here's the back of Carol's BOM (block of the month) quilt, showing the quilting. The quilter used a darker thread on the back in the sashing for an interesting effect.



Diane also had the same BOM quilt, but in different fabrics:



Brenda showed us her Chinese Coin quilt top.



Barbara has finished a Batik Reflections quilt top. I have seen this quilt online, but the batiks she chose make this one exceptional.



Now Barbara is working on a Dresden Plate quilt. She has 12 blocks prepared and two done.



Rebecca is doing the same block on a black background. She is using black in the enter as well.


We've had no winter to speak of. I guess God gave our snow and cold weather to the northeast. It's supposed to snow today, but it was so warm Saturday that we went on a hike, trying out a new trail we hadn't been on before. It was muddy, so we turned back and went to Gorgoza Pond, where we could use the bicycle trail. We've been going to Silver Sneakers, and DGD1 has been going to exercise classes as well, but it's nice to get outdoors with the pups. I saw a grey squirrel in Sunday. They hibernate in the winter, so...I guess winter is officially over.

What's on my needles: Brick Cardigan, working on the yoke. Also the Martha Washington's Wreath appliqué block for my First Ladies quilt.

What's on my Featherweight: Pine Burr.

What's on my loom: Still some warp for another scarf, but still folded up.

What's on my iPad/iPhone: Finished The Talisman Ring by Georgette Heyer, one of my favorite authors. Very funny. Now listing to Threading the Needle by Marie Bostwick, also from Audible. Also reading Charlotte Collins by Jennifer Becton on the Nook app.

What's in my wine glass: Apothic Red, 2012. My absolute all-time favorite wine. http://www.apothic.com

What's my tip of the week: If you want to give pea soup that smokey taste you get from a ham bone...without the ham bone...throw in a dried chipotle chile. You can keep it vegetarian.


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, February 9, 2015

Fun with Friends

Common Threads met out in Midway on Thursday.


Ginny is making progress on the hand-quilting of her pillow shams, and Lynda modeled her latest chapeau (another project for a friend).


Janalee, our host, was crocheting a chemo hat, and Georgette had a small needlepoint project to work on.


DGD1 brought her garter stitch scarf to work on.


Julie's working on this sweater for her DGD1:


She had already finished this BSJ (Baby Surprise Jacket) for her DGD2.


For something a little different, Angie shows off the Dream Catcher she finished at Common Threads.


Angie is the author of the novel Copper Descent, which I just picked up from Kindle.

Ginny showed us how to make an apron from a pair of old jeans. She cut the front off, leaving the waist band and the seat down to where it starts to curve for the crotch. You use the front closure to fasten in the back.


Here Ginny shows the finished apron, which she presented to me.


I've been collecting fabrics mostly in these colors.


I'm planning on using them in the Pine Burr quilt from McCall's Quilting magazine, May/June 2012.

I think I've learned enough about paper piecing that I'm ready to start on it. However I have a class at Davidene's on Wednesday from 11-1, so I'll be starting that first, although I may try just one block, just to see. The class at Davidene's is based on Tales of First Ladies by Eleanor Burns. They're making a stack of fat quarters in Civil War fabrics available at a great price, so I plan on using those.

We've been walking the dogs on the street, because it's too muddy on the trails and there's very little snow. I think the northeast got all of our snow this year. The local resorts have snow, though. (They can make it.) We try to get out and walk on the days we don't have an exercise class.

DGD1 brought home a new friend to knit with. While DGD worked on this scarf with some new (to her) stitches, I taught the friend how to use two circular needles to knit in the round. She did some stash diving in Grandma's little yarn store and came up with some yarn for a hat. During the times when they didn't need my help, I organized my fabrics for the Pine Burr quilt, so it will be ready to go. I also tidied up my studio a bit and put away a bunch of interchangeable needles I had just lying around.

What's on my needles: Brick Cardigan, second sleeve coming along well. (It looks the same as in last week's blog post, except that there are now two sleeves.)

What's on my Featherweight: Mending, but I'm ready to start a new quilt on Wednesday. I have a class at Davidene's at 11:00 AM, so will have to pack up my baby and include some supplies and equipment.

What's on my loom: Still some warp for another scarf, but still folded up.

What's on my iPad/iPhone: Finished In the Company of Swans by Eva Ibbotsen. Now listening to The Secret of Pembrooke Park by Julie Klassen from Audible. Just started Angie's book, Copper Descent, on the Kindle app.

What's my app of the week: Virtuoso Piano from this website (there are several other piano apps), for figuring out what notes I'm supposed to sing in a piece were singing Sunday at church.

What's in my wine glass: Woodbridge Zinfandel 2013. Always nice.

What's my tip of the week: This tip came from someone in the Just Us Quilters group on Facebook. She cuts up her larger leftovers into squares and triangles, and keeps them near her sewing machine. When she's piecing a quilt and needs to start or finish sewing by using a small scrap of cloth, she sews together two squares or triangles instead. When she has enough of them, she uses them in a quilt.


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, February 2, 2015

Annie Get Your Knitting Needles

It has NOT been a quiet week here. First, there were the Sundance shifts, but I had some knitting time during some of them, so here's my progress:


I'm on the first sleeve, but this photo was taken before the Super Bowl game, so it's a little further along now.

I had three shifts at the Sundance Film Festival, which is over, but I have one shift (today) left to work, "The Best of the Fest" for locals, to compensate them for having to put up with the Festival.
The piecing of the first quilt top of the new year, "Seeing Stars," is done.

The pattern is "Clara's Journey" from Connecting Threads.

As you can see, this quilt is too big for my design wall. The finished quilt is 91.5" square. Now I have to decide how I want to have it quilted.

The big news, though, is the addition to the family (at least those living in the house), DGD1, who has come to live with us. She made a great addition to the church choir, which was in need of altos. We sat where the altos and sopranos meet, and I took a selfie of us:
She went with me to Common Threads on Thursday, CO a scarf, and had several inches done by the time we left. We're going to have fun knitting together. I had to help her make room in the guest room for her clothes, which took some time. I think she's pretty well settled in, though. She's been here before, but just for a week at a time.

We watched the Annie Awards Saturday night online. For your weekly cuteness, here are DS2 and DDIL2, sitting in the audience:
DS2 and his team were nominated for "Animated Effects in an Animated Production." They didn't win, but the film he was nominated for, The Boxtrolls, won two awards. There are five people on his team, and they would each have won an award. Too bad they didn't win, but not bad for first time out, and it was exciting that they got to go to the awards. Their boys were staying with the other grandparents. The lucky ones who live near them.

What's on my needles: Brick Cardigan, first sleeve started.

What's on my Featherweight: "Seeing Stars" quilt top done.

What's on my loom: Some warp for another scarf, but still folded up.

What's on my iPad/iPhone: Still listening to In the Company of Swans by Eva Ibbotsen. Finished And Only To Deceive by Tasha Alexander, paperback.  I've decided I want to read more by the same author. This was the first of the "Lady Emily" series. They are mysteries. I have several books from Book Bub on my iPad, but haven't started one yet.

What's my app of the week: iBooks, which allowed me to download and keep the Annies program.

What's in my wine glass: Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012 vintage. Very nice.

What's my tip of the week: A quilt batt that stays together well (such as Warm & Natural) makes a great design wall. I sewed a hem at the top and bottom of time and ran a batten through each, to keep it flat. I have hooks at each side of the top of the closet in my fiber studio, so I can rest one of the battens on it. If I had to, I could roll up quilt blocks and all to store. I can put blocks and pieces on the design wall without using pins, but strips and bigger sections stay put better with pins. I think an old blanket would work, and I've heard of people using the back side of a plastic tablecloth, the kind with a flannel backing.


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, January 26, 2015

Dancing in the Sun

I'm making use of the new LED light for my Featherweight, which is back out of its case and on the job.


The piecing of the first quilt top of the new year, "Seeing Stars," is almost done. Here's the photo I took of the first block, ready to put together.


The pattern is "Clara's Journey" from Connecting Threads.

The center nine-patches and the primary fabrics in the big stars are scrappy, but otherwise I've been consistent in the use of fabrics. All that's left to do is the borders, which will finish the outer small stars, with an outer border of the off-white background fabric.


The turquoise was sort of a daring feat for me. I'm branching out. (I still love traditional and vintage reproduction fabrics, though.)

The Sundance Film Festival has started again, and I've served one shift (on Saturday) of the four I have planned. I have another one this afternoon/evening.

I always take something to work on, in case I have some down time on the job. Saturday I was assigned "exit/re-entry, which gets pretty quiet after the film starts, so I got some knitting done. I've been making good progress on my Brick Cardigan. (The pattern is "Aleph" by Hannah Cuviello.)
We went to the opera yesterday, so I had the trip down to SLC and during the opera to work on it.



Our older granddaughter is coming for a visit and will be here when I get home from my shift. I see sushi and more knitting in my future....

What's on my needles: Brick Cardigan, good progress.

What's on my Featherweight: "Seeing Stars" quilt, center done, just the borders to go.

What's on my loom: Some warp for another scarf, but still folded up.

What's on my iPad/iPhone: Finished The President's Pilot by Robert Gandt, and Home from the Sea by Mercedes Lackey. Now listening to In the Company of Swans by Eva Ibbotsen. Still reading And Only To Deceive by Tasha Alexander, not on the iPad for once but a paperback version I picked up at a rummage sale.

What's my app of the week: Southwest, for flight information, etc.

What's in my wine glass: A Chianti this time, Livingston Cellars.

What's my tip of the week: There are a number of apps that let you make calls through the Internet without charge, which is handy if you live in the mountains and have poor or no cell service in your home or you're visiting a place where you have access to WiFi but don't have service. Some of these apps allow you to use your own cell phone number.


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.