Saturday, June 29, 2013

Alice's 7th birthday quilt

Sorry, not the greatest camera battery went dead later when I tried to take another photo with Alice and her quilt. Good thing I snapped this before wrapping it up for the gift giving later on.  

  I made this back in 2007 at a quilt retreat in Grants Pass Oregon.  I had it pinned ready to quilt with binding made, waiting for Alice to grow older and become a "pink" girl.  This birthday was the perfect occasion to give her the quilt.  Not only did she love it, but, it will go on her new bed that she is getting as she moves into a new, larger size bedroom.  Her mom said it looks both old-fashioned and yet modern at the same time and also loved it.  I used string blocks on the smaller scale with all the leftover strips from the original quilt I made for Alice's aunt Miranda.    here is another link from when I finished this top 

I have cleaned up the sewing table and will pull out Max cloth books to finish up next.  I made a start and ran into a few challenges due to not trimming the fusible batting correctly.  I also want to cut up muslin foundation squares and make new string blocks.  Those will become leader/enders while I work on stuff for Max or whatever else I decide to add to the work on now stack.

I hope to get over to Alice's house this weekend and get some photos with her and her new quilt.  Have to check with how they are progressing on the clean out/purge, move and set up the new furniture in the new bedroom.  I am off for now to have a tea lunch with a friend and then call my son and see how it is going.

A great kickoff to the weekend!

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Sunday, June 23, 2013

current project...not a quilt

I finished my 4th donation quilt and mailed off all four last Friday.  My goal is a quilt a month-so I am still short by 2.  With that off my plate, I decided to tackle copying my all time favorite potholder (bought on a fabulous cruise to Mexico with my mom about 20 years ago!) As you can see from the photo, the old potholder is in very, very sad shape!

I have a small very special stash of ethnic fabrics...some from Mexico and some from Peru.  I made myself chose one piece to cut into for this project.

It was easy to find go with solids as I have over the last few years been adding to that particular group.  I then took apart the sad potholder enough to determine exactly how it was made.  

Resorting to the kitchen cupboards, I rummaged around until I found the right size plate for the full circle shape I needed and then had to hunt down a smaller circle size-finally the bowl featured in the photo was "just right".

I have saved some similar "stuffing" as what was used in the original potholder knowing one day  I would make new ones.  Check off that item.

Of course the final step was to make bias binding.  I turned to google and found a suitable online tutorial, but, had to contact my FAB pal Linda for additional support.  Of course she came immediately to the rescue!  Thank you Linda.  

So, this morning I have everything ready to do the actual sewing.  I am only making one for now, however, if it proves to be as wonderful as the original I will certainly add to our collection.

Next up: press out the wrinkles in a pinned quilt for Alice.  Her birthday is in 4 quilting and binding will be what I will be doing.  I have the binding already made, just need to whip up a cute label.  Of course I also need to decide how I want to quilt it.  

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Sunday, June 09, 2013

knitted finish a while ago...finally a photo

Here is finally a photo of my finished cowl - knitting finished and joined on January 27, 2013 used Ultra Alpaca by Berroco- one skein which is 50% Alpaca and 50% wool-yummy feel.    The pattern I used was sold at Northwest Wools by a local Portland knitter, Judy's Original Knits, Portland Oregon and is called Reversible Cable Cowl.  It called for Debbie Bliss cashmerino aran, 2 skeins.  I did buy 2 skeins to be on the safe side, could not find the 2nd skien, and bought yet another one.  I am sure these unused skeins will work for another project at some later date.  As I mentioned on a prior post I took a knitting class where I could bring any project and get help/support in making whatever pattern you brought.  This project was a great next step in my learning more basic knitting skills- ie, a refresher course in how to knit cables, and figuring out this pattern.  The pattern turned out to be much more involved than I realized and the major help I received when I got stuck, was, to write out the parts that in the pattern said: row 11: same as row 3 and so the parts where you did the 4 over 4 ribbed right cross cable...yes, wrote that out as well each time at the bottom of the page where I needed to do that part.  Then, I had a much easier pattern written out for me to keep track of where I was during this project.

I am now knitting a new project for M which is ever so much simpler!  I will share more on that at another time.

I promised to write something about HIs Holiness the Dalai Lama's visit where I, along with 11,000 other people attended.

It was amazing!  The first part was about environmental issues.  Mostly about what we can do about air quality and raising more global awareness.  The second part was on compassion.  Now, that carried some spiritual punch.  When we joined to perform the ceremony (sorry I can not recall the proper name) , where everyone of us stood holding a length of white silk like fabric up over our look all around at all of us doing the same thing, at the same time with the same intent was so powerful...all of us of the same continues to resonate inside me.

I learned  and took away a lot.  I discovered  new avenues to continue exploring on my spiritual journey and overall it was just so affirming to be a part of.  I am so grateful to have had a chance to be in His Holiness the  Dalai Lama's presence - a memory forever in my heart.

I am reading a book that turns out to have a connection with him as well.  The title of the book is Roots of Empathy by Mary Gordon.  This is a wonderful read, especially if you are interested in influencing babies/young children to grow up to be socially responsible.adults.

This book is about the programs she developed, one in the Seattle WA area, in schools where they developed the whole program in practice.  In 2006 His Holiness the Dalai Lama in a public dialogue was delighted with Mary's program and in 2009 the world's first peace and education center to have his name was built in Vancouver B.C,, with Roots of Empathy being a part of the undertaking. You can read more here.

Currently:  I am back in the front yard weeding and doing some design changes to downsize the weeding areas.  I put down 75 pounds of river rock yesterday and was amazed at how little area it covered.  M was certainly accurate in her comment that using a "lot" of river rock would cost big bucks!  That 75 pounds cost $25 alone.  I will be adjusting my plans to fit within a much more reasonable cost frame!

I need to plant everything- seeds and starts.  Today in fact.  However, there is of course further weeding to be done before any planting can happen.  I will fill a start tray and start seedlings in that today.

And, I have my sewing machine all set to start machine quilting on the 4th donation quilt.  I have not taken photos of the 3rd yet- but once the 4th is done I will then take photos of both and post.  I have been spending far too much time reading quilting blogs, following links, leaving comments, and not actually doing.

On the other hand, I did climb up into the attic (last night) and reviewed  everything stored on the left side in tubs.  Turns out, I only have 2 tubs of clothing up there-my "summer" items.  I am ready to have this part of my wardrobe back and pack up the heavy "winter" clothing items.  Always fun to sort and purge when I do this job twice a year.
As this has turned out to be quite a long post...time to get it wrapped up and on with the plans for today.

It is getting sunny outside and that garden is calling...enjoy whatever you chose to do today!

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