Friday, February 26, 2010

finished schnibble...

This is my February finish for the Patchwork Penguin's UFO challenge (see the UFO in the sidebar...) It's a Schnibbles pattern called "Scratch" -- easy to make and everything came from stash or scraps. It's pretty small at about 36" square, so I'll probably be giving it away to the local Children's Hospital.

Not too much else happening around here, since I've been engrossed by the Olympics. I hope to have the second sock done within a day or two.

And -- my post #300 is coming up, so I'll be figuring out some sort of celebratory giveaway to announce soon!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I'm Honored!

Terri at Quilternity's Place recently honored me with this "Beautiful Blogger" award!

And now I need follow the rules:

To accept this award, here are the rules:

1. Thank the person who gave you the award. Thank you, Terri!
2. Paste the award on your blog (see above)
3. Link to the person who nominated you (see above)
4. Tell 7 interesting things about yourself (see below)
5. Nominate 7 or 8 blogs (see below)
6. Post links to those 7 blogs (see below)

Here are 7 things about me that I might regret telling you...

1. I played the bassoon (sort of) when I was in college. The children in the house I was living in at the time thought I had a chronic digestive disorder... and it turns out that my husband ALSO played the bassoon, although we didn't know each other at the time -- a match made in heaven, right?

2. I am a total maniac about grammar, and I'm not afraid to correct people.

3. When I was 24, I spent 6 months hitchhiking
(mostly) around Europe by myself. Probably shortened my parents' lives a bit. Further disclosure: that was 1976. The Berlin Wall was still up, and the Soviet Bloc still existed. I went to East Germany, Poland, Hungary and Yugoslavia, along with most of Western Europe... and lived to tell about it!

4. I used to take improvisational acting classes (and I drive my co-workers crazy by preferring to "wing it" in meetings instead of having a firm agenda and notes to stick to)

5. I learned to sew when I was little, making doll clothes. I started making most of my own clothes in junior high, and did dressmaking for others in college. My first sewing job was making a purple wool wedding dress for a woman who was 6-months pregnant! My first quilt was a project for an art-school design class -- it had photos of carousel animals printed on linen (and my instructor said he wanted one with pictures of Marilyn Monroe!) After a long hiatus, I truly became a quilter in about 2001.

6. I'm pretty seriously scared of heights.

7. I'm a puzzle freak -- especially crosswords and jigsaws. But I'm a snob, too -- they have to be hard, but not insane. I do the crosswords in the Sunday New York Times, but I can't do the Saturday ones...

It is really hard for me to pick out a handful of bloggers to steer you to, since I read a lot of blogs and they all offer something I like! Here's an attempt, though -- I would like to share this award with these lovely bloggers.

1) Krista -- PoppyPrints (I just found Krista's blog recently, and love her creativity)
2) Sophie -- Sophie Junction (and Sophie also "runs" the monthly Block Lotto that I love so much)
3) Libby -- The Quilted Craftsman (Libby does amazing quilty art and always has interesting things to say)
4) Karen -- Sew Many Ways (Karen does "tool time Tuesday" every week and comes up with ingenious uses for things you never thought you'd use)
5) Awful Library Books (this has nothing at all to do with sewing, but I'm a huge fan of libraries; this is a series of amusing posts about (mostly older) books culled from library shelves
6) Wanda -- Exuberant Color -- (I know a lot of you already know Wanda's blog, but OMG -- she does such amazing stuff and is so prolific!)
7) Nancy -- Blogging, Near Philadelphia (Nancy and I have been in swap groups together for years, but she also writes a varied and consistently thoughtful blog!)

I hope you find something new and interesting in this list.

Now, back to the taxes...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

my productive day

So, a couple of years ago I did one of those "Block Party" things at a LQS -- you paid $5 or $10 to start and they gave you the fabric and pattern for a block; if you brought back the finished block the at the next meeting, you got the goods for the next block, and so on

The blocks were basically 9" blocks, but then they had these fancy little PITA corners they wanted you to add:
I didn't like the corner bits, so I made one set and basted them onto the new block every month so that I'd pass inspection...

And the blocks have been sitting in a stack waiting patiently ever since. I drafted several corner options but didn't really like any of them. Then, a few days ago, a discussion started up on the Stashbuster Yahoo list about Maple Island Quilts' BQ pattern, and how it had been used as a setting for orphan blocks. Yahoo! I've actually owned that pattern for years! I redrafted it in EQ to fit my 9" blocks instead of the 12" blocks it called for, and auditioned a bunch of stuff from the stash, and carted it all off to my mini-group date today...

et voila:
The "frames" are black with little metallic squares. I bought the fabric online a while back without realizing it was metallic, and I thought I'd never use it... but it's perfect for this!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

your socks are like limpid pools...

I finished another sock -- now I have two "singles" and I need to get excited about casting on and finishing their mates. I'd rather start something new...

But really --what is it with the way all my yarn pools? This is KnitPicks Stroll in the SKYP pattern. Side A:
and Side B:
I wish I'd made the cuffs a little higher, and they're just on the edge of being too small -- but I think if I'd added in one extra repeat of the pattern they would have been on the edge of being too big. The pattern is quick and well-written, only two rows to keep track of so it's hard to get lost!

happy birthday to me

It's not one that ends in a 5 or a 0, but it's sort of significant because I think it means I can't say "mid" any more... it's now "late"! Bummer!

Not much on the to-do list today, now that we've had a fun time sweeping the basement... but I did get to open 28 birthday greetings from the ATC swap I'm in. It was so much fun, and I dragged it out as long as I could. I'm not going to post pictures of all of them, but here are are few just to show the wide variety of designs and techniques.

First up is my favorite -- from my sister in Tasmania. It's "the princess and the pea" and I think she's trying to tell me something...This one from Cobi in The Netherlands has beautiful embroidery

Montse in Spain sent a birthday cake!

I love these mixed media birds from Pauline in Australia

Finally, this dragonfly is from Maria Clara in Spain

I figure if I want any cake for my birthday I'm going to have to make it myself, so that's next on my agenda -- angelfood cake with raspberry sauce -- yummy!

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Early design wall sighting...

At Long Beach last year, my friend Catherine and I saw this dynamic quilt called "Country Barter" made by Mickey Beebe of Santa Cruz, CA using African and other fabrics. We were intrigued by the fact that the blocks look so different even though they're all the same pattern -- Basement Window. We saw the quilt again at PIQF in October and decided to use the block as a project for our mini-group. Catherine was delegated to pick out a focus fabric for all of us to use, and she chose a batik in complementary oranges and blues that looks variously like oak leaves or kelp depending on your perspective! Today four of us gathered at her house, spread our piles of fabric all over her furniture, and got to work! There's a pattern in one of Judy Hopkins' books that involved templates -- we rejected that after I realized that Bonnie Hunter's article about the Old Kentucky Album block in January's "Quiltmaker" was actually the same block and was based on simple 2" strips and squares.

So, after all that introduction, here are my first four blocks:
(these are meant to get trimmed down to square, but it hasn't been done yet. I'm toying with the idea of appliqueing them to a plain background so as to keep the zigzag edges...)