Thursday, January 31, 2008
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Monday, January 28, 2008
Five Fat Quarter Grocery Bag - If you go to Craftster.org and search on singlet you will get fully illustrated construction instructions. My intial attempts are posted here. The differences between those instructions and mine are:
- I use a fat quarter for each outside and inside piece.
- the fifth fat quarter is divided into four pieces and each is added to the 18" side of the other fat quarters to give extra length.
- I use the scraps to make the pocket.
Overall Apron - This inspiration was in the January/February 2008 issue of Cloth, Paper, Scissors however you can probably figure it out from the last photo in this post.
Japanese Market Bag - This was taught at the Quilt Festival in Houston by Nancy Hinds during Bag Lady Day. I outlined the construction steps in this post.
Try one, you'll like it
Sunday, January 27, 2008
There was a woman who spent most of the weekend assembling incredibly complex kalidescope type quilt tops. Another spent the weekend constructing her spring wardrobe. And then there was one woman who made a huge number of anti-ouch pouches for those recovering from breast cancer surgery ... which is the ASG community service project for the annual conference in July. I even had a chance to share with the group three fun projects - the five fat quater grocery bag, the Japanese market bag and the overall apron.
Through it all there was a lot of sharing of sewing knowledge, numerous efforts to create origami style jackets and so much laughter that, at one point, my sides were hurting. I was especially moved by the number of women asking about my Dad's health. Although some of us see each other regularly, one of the attendees only comes to the retreat and I would miss her if she didn't show up. We even had someone attend who had been an ASG member for only two weeks and I am looking forward to seeng the jacket she was working on all weekend finished. A highlight of the weekend was a huge donation of fabric from a member who used to be a costumer for a small renaissance festival. Needless to say I came home with a few yards of fabric that will be featured in up-coming projects without, I hope, becoming UFOs.
I have participated in similar actvities for other groups but none of them compare to this retreat with a group of sewers. Yes, we have different levels of expertise, different skills, different projects, different backgrounds and different outlooks on life but it seems to me that we are the most most united in our committment to supporting each other, sharing our knowledge and giving back to the community. I couldn't have asked for more from this experience and I hope you get the opportunity to experience this type of comraderie at least once in your life.
There were a couple of sour notes amongst all of this fun and games... I did not get either of the quilts quilted and I came home with almost no voice! I didn't get the quilts quilted because I stupidly brought the wrong feet for the sewing machine I brought with me. I lost my voice to a middle of the night coughing session from some allergan. Despite these set backs I had a great time and look forward to next year's retreat.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
It took only one night of TV movie watching to get them done as all you are doing is knitting a rectangle with exactly one increase in the whole thing. You seam it up with single crochets but I bet a regular whip stitch with the yarn would be just as effective.
I wonder how small they would get if I felted them? Hmmmm.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Friday, January 11, 2008
You find out interesting things when you have sons, like ........
1. A king size waterbed holds enough water to fill a 2,000 sq. ft. house to 4 inches deep.
2. If you spray hair spray on dust bunnies and run over them with roller blades, they can ignite.
3. A 3-year old Boy's voice is louder than 200 adults in a crowded restaurant.
4. If you hook a dog leash over a ceiling fan, the motor is not strong enough to rotate a 42 pound Boy wearing Batman underwear and a Superman cape. It is strong enough, however, if tied to a paint can, to spread paint on all four walls of a 20x20 ft. room.
5. You should not throw baseballs up when the ceiling fan is on. When using a ceiling fan as a bat, you have to throw the ball up a few times before you get a hit. A ceiling fan can hit a baseball a long way.
6. The glass in windows (even double-paned) does not stop a baseball hit by a ceiling fan.
7. When you hear the toilet flush and the words 'uh oh', it's already too late.
8. Brake fluid mixed with Clorox makes smoke, and lots of it.
9. A six-year old Boy can start a fire with a flint rock even though a 36-year old Man says they can only do it in the movies.
10. Certain Lego's will pass through the digestive tract of a 4- year old Boy.
11. Play dough and microwave should not be used in the same sentence.
12. Super glue is forever.
13. No matter how much Jell-O you put in a swimming pool you still can't walk on water.
14. Pool filters do not like Jell-O.
15. VCR's do not eject 'PB & J' sandwich es even though TV commercials show they do.
16. Garbage bags do not make good parachutes.
17. Marbles in gas tanks make lots of noise when driving.
18. You probably DO NOT want to know what that odor is.
19. Always look in the oven before you turn it on; plastic toys do not like ovens.
20. The spin cycle on the washing machine does not make earthworms dizzy.
21. It will, however, make cats dizzy.
22. Cats throw up twice their body weight when dizzy.
23. 80% of Men who read this will try mixing the Clorox and brake fluid.
...and at least one woman wants to try the hair spray on dust bunnies experiment.
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
BTW - did you see that I finally figured out how to embed links to other sites in my posts. Its taken me almost nine months to figure this out so I want hear lots of gasps of amazsement over my new found tech abilities. Can you see me doing a happy dance?
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Here are the rules:Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog. Share seven random and/or weird facts about yourself. Tag seven random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a notification on their blog.
Well, here are seven random facts about me:
1. I have a lump on my head from some sort of childhood injury. I used to call it my tumor just to get my mother mad.
2. I have rotten, crooked teeth. While growing up, Flouride was not allowed in the town water as the local pharmacist said it would give us all brain tumors (seems like a theme). On top of that, my parents did not see any reason for us to see a dentist regularly so I never saw one from the age of 6 to the age of 12.
3. I have always wanted a pick-up truck and a Miata in my driveway. I used to have a pick-up truck but no Miata .. although a 77 year-old friend of mine just bought one.
4. My son is adopted from Korea and, from the day we decided to initiate the paperwork, it took nine months for him to arrive.
5. I was born on a cold, frosty morning in June.
6. I went to boarding school at convents from sixth grade until I went to university.
7. I met my (now ex) husband at a sit-in.
Now to find seven others to get tagged...
Lisa at Mamalife which is a great blog by a mom who had a child later in life and does great entries on food, child happiness and the state of the world.
Kristen at Craft Leftovers who blogs every week with a new project from a 50 year-old in a 24 year-old's body.
June at Junie Moon who is the most productive person I have ever seen who also gives the nicest compliments to others with completed projects.
Patricia at A Little Hut who is another Kingwood resident and a fabulously creative paper recycler.
David at Antarctic Diary which just facinates me every time I check on what he has been dong and the fabulous pictures of the Antarctic fauna. I even have a friend in Canada who calls me just to make sure I have seen his latest post.
and, last, but not least, Bristolcare at Critter Keeper who entertains me mightily with the tales about all her critters including the ignoble Princess, the greyhound who chews everything.
When I get it all put back together, with a couple of changes, I will post another photo. And before you ask, I do have two lamps on most of the time - one is an OTT light which is great for matching colors and the other is a tensor lamp for general lighting. There is a sky light and an east facing window so there is pretty good natural light during the day but, since I hate ceiling lights in the evening, the lamps are a necessity.
Eye candy is important to me. The art is a Bob Conge print of James Joyce (a garage sale find), some Matise prints from an Abrams art book and the 1943 presentation print from the Rochester Art League called Winter Sun (off to the right of the photo). I also have a buletin board up, crammed with bits and pieces. I recently removed the bulletin board so I could remove some of the older layers. I was having trouble getting the push pins through all the detrius left over from when I was using the space as my work-at-home office!
Although I call it my sewing room my kid called it a studio the other day. Gave my heart a little flutter to think that I had a studio as that is a place where real artists work. Sometimes I think it should be called the sweat shop with my recent obsession to get things finished.
Anyway, I will not be machine sewing for a bit until I get it all back together. I hope it won't take too long.
Hope your week is going well!
Sunday, January 6, 2008
Cocoa: I like my cocoa in a thick mug with marshmallows, made with (at least) half and half in a double boiler on the stove. I love making it from scratch but have been known to put some Nestle’s Quick and milk in a mug and zap it in the microwave.
1. What is your favorite type of yarn? Everything but fuzzy yarns and lace weights. I haven't found a color I really don't like.
2. Do you knit or crochet (or both)? Both – I started as a crocheter and taught myself to knt.
3. What are your favorite type of needles, would you like to try something new? Again, I like them all as I tend to use whatever I have on hand. As I have my mother’s and grandmother’s sticks I have a lot of double pointed needles of bamboo, meal and plastic. The last one’s I bought were bamboo circulars in a large size and they are currently my favorites. I’ll try anything and have found that the yarn really dictates which sticks are best for a project.
4. Do you have a healthy supply of notions? I do have a healthy supply but I am always looking for stuff that others recommend.
5. What one thing do you keep thinking you need to buy for your knitting habit (outside of yarn)? I need to buy more books. I tend to have leaflets and reference materials but I need to get some of Elizabeth Zimmerman’s books (as a for instance) so I can see whole range of work rather than just one or two patterns from a particular designer.
6. What is your favorite 'quick knit/crochet' pattern (quick gratification) Not a pattern per se but I do like to grab a ball or more of something, needles that might work and go to town on a scarf as a practice piece with an untried stitch pattern. Makes for a lot of frogging but eventually I get it.
1. What is your favorite thing to do in the Winter? Work on hand work projects with all the windows open dreaming of all the snow I am not shoveling.
2. What is your favorite animal? Dogs, even though I am incredibly allergic.
3. Do you get the 'winter blahs'? Absolutely - the lack of color in the landscape and the shorter days can send me into the doldrums.
4. What is your favorite way to beat the blahs? I try to banish the doldrums by taking an impromptu road trip to someplace I have never been before and shopping like a mad woman. The shock at being so selfish usually snaps me out of it in a day or two.
5. What is the thing you are most looking forward to this spring? The return of color.
6. What are your favorite treats? Treat, as in food, is the recipe I just rediscovered of my mother’s for Peanut Butter squares. YUM! Anything with peanut butter is wonderful. Treat as in activity, would be a couple of hours with like minded individuals talking about the craft that we love.
7. What is your favorite board game? I love board games especially Scrabble, I am lousy at them but love the camaraderie while playing.
8. Do you have any children (furry or human)? I have one grown son and one Dachshund. I also have my son’s two Dachshunds here most of the time as I have a big yard and a doggy door to amuse them while my son lives in a town house with a tiny yard.
9. Do you have any allergies or special considerations you partner should know about? I am allergic to wool but have found that as long as it is not too rough or too fuzzy I can tolerate working with and wearing it.
Friday, January 4, 2008
You can see more at http://www.cafepress.com/
Thursday, January 3, 2008
First off I got both of the quilts quilted I had been given to quilt for the Quilt Teal, ovarian cancer, project. One of the quilts looks like a standard sample of 12 blocks and I stitched along the lines to hold everything together. Pretty simple quilting but a bear at the intersections where wrinkles kept getting in the way. The other was a much more experimental quilt sampler with hand and machine appliqued blocks along with some others that you need an odd color sense to appreciate. The second quilt I free motion quilted making little designs in each block and stipple quilting the sashing with hearts and loops. This was much easier when it came to wrinkles and went relativlely quickly.
Both quilts were an incredible challenge as the person who basted them together used very few safety pins and some of those were closed so that the bulk of the safety pin was on the back side of the quilt. For quilts this size I use between 100 to 200 safety pins so that there is no chance of the layers shifting while quilting. I counted a total of 40 pins in total for both quilts. Yikes!
Here they are, packed up ready to go back to Sunflower Quilts. The next person in line can sew on the bindings prior to shipping them off for auctioning on Ebay with all proceeds going to ovarian cancer research.
I lied about the NYE mystery quilt. I did not get it done on New Year's Eve but late on New Year's Day. I will be taking it around to the various neighborhood groups so they can all have a good laugh at my quilting misadveture.
Which brings me to my only New Years resolution. I will finish up UnFinished Objects (UFOs) from pre-2008 work at the pace of at least 2 per month for 2008. At a maximum, I will not undertake any new projects this year as the new heating and air conditioning units I am having installed will be taking a lot of my spare cash for the foreseeable future! I really have some wonderful projects here that have not been moving along but I am sure I will be able to get a few new things started and completed in 2008. So let's start counting - one NYE mystery completed (a bit of cheat but true)and two quilts that needed quilting for a total of three so far. Not a bad beginning to a New Year!
I hope the first few days of 2008 have been kinder to you than they have been to me because baby, it's cold outside!
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
The NYE (New Year's Eve) mystery fiasco has ended for me. I took the bits and pieces that I had cut and/or sewed and made a little lap quilt/foot cozy/wall quilt. Its about 35" square, uses fusible batting as the filler and is stipple quilted in a random pattern. The binding is really just a bunch of litte bits folded over the edges and zig-zagged on with invisible thread. The funniest part about all this is that you cannot see anything of the design that was supposed to be the quilt. I dare you to find a heart block surrounded by an Irish Chain in the mess I have produced. Anyway, here is the quilt... still in progress for quilting and binding but it will be done before I go to bed tonight.
Best part about this whole exercise is that my younger brother called me just as I was coming to the conclusion that my quilt would not work and asked me to send it to him when I get it done. That sounds like a dare to me so he better be watching his mail box as this will definitely be coming to him in the next week or so. After all, I don't need another reminder of plans that have gone awry as I already have many examples!
PS - I have a photo of my dust cover class notes posted down in the original post.