Monday, July 21, 2014

Love and Generosity

Wow! What a week! I always have to start with a photo, so here's Kay's rug:
She based this on a photo she took while on a cruise with her late husband. He helped her with suggestions and was a major contributor to keeping her interested in the project. It has been languishing since he passed away, but we're pretty sure she will eventually be able to finish it with fond memories. She's going to try again after a cruise she's taking by herself.
Margareth's been busy with her loom. Here's one table runner:
And another one:
Thursday was a busy day! Besides Common Threads in the morning, the new quilt guild met at Davidene's in the evening. I was blown away by receiving nine blocks for the Habitat for Humanity quilt! Here they all are (including the ones already received), in no particular order:
I'm still expecting to get a few more. This is one more example of how generous quilters are.
We shared tips and tricks, and I learned a few new things. Even though some of the tips I already knew about, it's always good to be reminded.
Then we had show-and-tell. I had sent the baby quilt off already, so I only had the photos on my iPad to show. Here are some of the quilts we got to see in person. A block exchange that was all houses:

Paper-pieced hearts, part of a block exchange:
OMG, I love this quilt! Dianne made this for her DDIL, but had to change the colors somewhat after buying the fabric. She did it with the help of some bleach and some tea. (Long story, but if I thought I could get away with it, and wouldn't feel incredibly guilty, I would steal this one. I love these colors, and the workmanship is superb!)
Dianne also showed us this embroidered quilt:
We also saw this beautiful July quilt. (Sorry, I'm still learning people's names):
This one was was supposed to be a Lone Star, but the quilter, Jill, had some "issues" with it, so she reworked the pattern and named it "Broken Pie Chart."
Sometimes life gives you lemons. I think it's a wonderful quilt!
Someone brought some adorable baby sweaters, made for a charity she helps.
Davidene, who owns the shop where we meet, is incredibly generous with her resources. For example: I wanted to make a label for Johan's baby quilt and sew it on when we get to his place. (The quilt has gone on before us for the Baby "Sprinkle" tonight.) Unfortunately, the ink-jet printer we need to use has stopped working. (These appliances always seem to have a shelf life that's a lot shorter than ours.) Since I'm short of time with all the stuff going on, I thought I would buy the fabric printer sheets and have the copy store print the label for us. Davidene offered her printer AND to break up a package so I only had to pay for one! I elected to buy the whole package, since I'll need to make a label for the Habitat quilt anyway. When I calculated the cost per label, it seemed like a bargain, compared with the work involved in preparing and printing my own. The label turned out great! We included Johan's first photo and the photo of his Finnish great-great-grandfather, after whom he was named.
Speaking of little Johan, he's home and doing well. We're grateful that he was near medical attention, though, because babies who arrive "underdone" often have issues. His were minimal, but a lot of precautions were taken, and he got great care. He resembles his brother a lot at the same age. He's longer-waisted and has bigger hands with very long fingers. It will be fun to see how he grows into his own individual self. Here he is meeting his big brother:

We'll be meeting Johan in person in just a few days. I've been packing and cooking, in preparation for our trip. DH will bring the trailer to the house after his dentist appointment tomorrow. Then we'll hit the road on Thursday, the pups in the back in their car seats, and I'll be riding shotgun surrounded by my fiber fun. Not much to do, riding shotgun, except keep the audiobook running and appliqué or knit, unless we're attacked by bandits and I have to use my knitting needles and appliqué thread for unintended purposes.
I love spending time with family!
What's on my needles: Cat Bordhi's "Bavarian Twisted Stitch" socks from her book, Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles and some plain vanilla socks for mindlessness.
What's on my Featherweight: Back to Delectable Pathways, still working on the hand appliqué for the last panel. Most of the leaves done. Planning to get the flowers done while we're gone. Wish me luck!
What's on my iPad/iPhone: Still listening to Dean Koontz's The City. It has been a busy week, so I haven't had as much time. Still reading Black Diamond Death by Cheryl Bradshaw from Book Bub on the iBooks app. Only at bedtime. It's an interesting story, but I never go through an eBook as fast as an audiobook. Also watching the video lessons to my Craftsy class, "Mastering Foundation Paper Piecing" with Carol Doak. It's so nice to be able to watch a class offline. You don't need internet (except to download) and it takes less power to watch offline. Great for traveling, if you have enough memory/storage on your device.
What's my app of the week: It has to be the Messages app. With phone reception not strong in the hospital, especially NICU, we were getting most of our information from text messages. An added bonus: All those wonderful photos we got of Johan's adventures during his first week in the world were delivered by text. What a joy, when we couldn't be there in person!
What's in my wine glass: Bolla Romagne Sangiovese 2012. Another big bottle. (See a trend?)
What's my tip of the week: When you have a gazillion stitches to cast on using long-tail CO, and you're afraid you'll run out of "tail" before you get to the end, many people elect to use a different CO. However, if you have a center-pull ball or at least  two balls of the yarn you're casting on with, you can tie two separate strands together, leaving just a little tail of both. Using both strands, attach a slip knot to the right needle. Then, using one strand as the "tail" and the other as the working yarn, CO as usual, not counting the slip knot. When you finish your first row/round, slip the slip knot off. Don't knit it. You will have two extra tails to weave in at the end, a small price to pay for not having to start over five sts away from the 456 you need!

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.

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