Tuesday, January 31, 2012
When I looked through my things I found that I didn't have many red things, so yesterday I worked on a couple of quick items. The little table runner at the top is just a little larger than place mat size and gave me some practice in cutting and piecing curves. Sometimes I just forget about cutting without a ruler.
Then there was the potholder below, which is a January Block of the Month from Craftsy. Craftsy has some online classes, and the Block of the Month is free - if you're interested, check it out. I have to admit that I didn't like this block just because it isn't my style, but with lots of quilting I was happier with it.
Some time during the past year I put together the little quilt below from paper pieced blocks I'd done years ago.
Sunday, January 29, 2012
And it just so happened that Aaron got angry when he had a scissors in his hand (a little scissors from the art box) and snipped a hole in the back. Maybe the real picture was his look of horror when he realized what he'd done. Nevertheless, there was a time out invoked.
I couldn't face sending Nora home with a hole in her shirt, so I asked her to choose a fabric for a bird from the huge scrap tote. A few minutes later she came back with a second fabric, saying that just one bird would be lonely. Below you'll see the new back of her shirt, which will live on to be worn other days.
The picture is pretty true to size. It wasn't a very big snip.
Saturday, January 28, 2012
Friday, January 27, 2012
I'm thinking of quilting a piece of the fabric in a totally different manner, then cutting out circles in both pieces and exchanging them in the large quilt. I'm pretty sure that's what's going to happen next.
Yesterday I finished my 20th walking workout of the month, which was my goal, with a minimum of thirty minutes each. Sometimes I walked outside, sometimes I followed a Leslie Sansome DVD. Some of those workouts were pretty darn wimpy on my part, but not all. On to February, and I'm allowing myself to roll over extra January workouts into February since it's a short month. Ten thirty minute minimum and ten forty-five minute minimum. With the DVD's, 45 minutes translates to a three-mile walk.
Actually, all my January mini-goals are finished or in process for the ones that are ongoing. I'm happy.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
I've joined a small online group designed to play along this year and am considering the first theme, metamorphosis. I'm a little intimidated by the process and simultaneously having trouble picturing how this should look for me. With the deadline coming up in February, I've decided to just start and see where I end up.
There are the usual suspects in nature relating to this theme, but I'm starting with the metamorphosis of the fabric and thinking about the life changes that can happen with women. Toward that end, my first step, started last night, was shibori dyeing a plain piece of muslin, sewing in a series of pleats and not submerging the entire fabric for some varigation. My dried piece looks just like I wanted it to. First deep breath.
For phase two, this afternoon, I'll be sewing in more pleats, this time curving upward on the fabric instead of horizontally. When I dye, I'll want enough tint, maybe in light purple, yes, certainly in purple, to cover almost all of the white and deepen the red just a little. More varigation. And then, we'll see.
In between picking out stitches that held down the pleats, I'm making a casserole with mashed potatoes and kale. I don't know why getting a bag of kale seemed like a good idea, when I couldn't find the recipe that called for it, but it did. The substitute recipe, with the mashed potatoes, reminds me of a similar one in More With Less, a Mennonite cookbook, that uses spinach. I really like that one, so I'm hopeful that I'll like this too.
Monday, January 23, 2012
I'm pretty darn happy with my curvy seams. Nice and flat. If you're wondering about the little block in the center, second row from the top, it's James of the Thomas trains. Just so happens that (1) his background was the right color and (2) Aaron loves the Thomas trains.
Picture the painted background much more blue than gray and add that saturation to the quilt. The colors are more dull that in real life - the quilt is pretty lively. 14" x 13"
I'm pretty excited, I just ordered a Smash Journal from Amazon. With only one page to go in my art journal, I've been looking for my next journal. From what I can tell, this is sort of like anti-scrapbooking. It comes with a combination pen/glue stick and you can add various things by gluing them down, then smashing the journal together and putting a band around it. Just my kind of thing, I've been noticing that I'm adding more and more little cards or ribbons or fabric bits. My only concern is that the pages are thick enough for watercolors.
Friday, January 20, 2012
I like to put together my quilt sandwiches using 505 temporary basting spray or Sulky KK2000. This time I used the Sulky because that's what I had. I put the sandwich together, then went to work out and probably did something else too. When I came back to start quilting, I quickly realized that the spray had lost its tackiness, just that fast. There was some ripping out involved. So, don't do what I did, put in a few well-placed rows of quilting right after spraying.
Now, about labels. I was making labels on my embroidery machine, which was nice, but then I noticed that some people were "labeling" their quilts with a permanent fabric marker. Hmmm, much quicker, and no different than I'd do with an art quilt. I'm going to do that from now on.
Freezing rain is expected tonight, and tomorrow is a work day for me. We'll see how that works out. Just last night I dreamed that I was driving down the interstate when my car started to skid, then it corrected itself and went on. In fact, it's supposed to do that, but I doubt the dream was about the mechanical feature of my car.
I also dreamed that my friend, who is expecting a boy, had a little girl. And two nights ago I had one of those dreams in which I was trying to get to class, late, and was running but getting nowhere fast. When I finally got to class, the professor asked for my assignment, which was a whole binder, and of course I didn't have it.
Perhaps my life is off course and I'm unprepared and not proceeding in a timely manner. And I'm correcting that, perhaps.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
She brought me a chain ring, which will make a good sun print, when there's sun. The discharged piece, in aqua, is too light but I'll do something similar in a darker piece. And I've found some printed fabrics with bicycles, or in patterns that remind me of bicycles. The screenprinted towel is by Brandi Powell on etsy.
So, Sarah, don't give up hope, your flags will be coming. I'm thinking of ten flags, does that sound about right?
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
I cut fabrics to make a jelly roll and did the jelly roll race piecing. I had it mind to use it as a worship banner for January, and that's why I went for the fast put-together. Even so, my best laid plans didn't work out and instead I hung an antique quilt in winter colors.
All this is just as well because this will now be used for the church communion table at Mennonite Arts Weekend. It will have a white and elegant ceramic piece on top and will probably go on the table on an angle so some of the piecing shows. I think the simplicity of the pattern will really show off the ceramic piece. Sometimes things just work out as they should.
And then, on February 12, I can still hang this as a banner. It's approx 3' x 6'.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Sunday, January 15, 2012
And now, I do, although there are several things to ignore in this tiny quilt, starting with the green block in the middle that's too big. I cut wrong when I was trying to trim down the block to get it to 8." Then there's the fact the block looks crooked, but that's just my photography. It is, in fact, square. Honest.
Then there's the quilting. Sigh. I tried to free motion using the "headbands" design and it didn't go well. I think, though, that I'm starting to get it. Once I get it, I can start working on making the stitches even. I'm trying to tell myself that my stippling was pretty bad in the beginning too - I know it was. If I practice, and practice, I can do this.
I'm picturing my last little quilt of the year, # 52, with beautiful free motion quilting, totally elegant. Optimism. "Even if I knew that the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree." Martin Luthur King.
And one more on King's birthday: "The time is always right to do what is right."
Friday, January 13, 2012
Thursday, January 12, 2012
The attached tag said Husqvarna Viking Embroidery Club 145, and I vaguely remembered making it, or starting to make it, as a work project. It was originally supposed to be a bag, I think, and I simplified it to a table runner but still didn't manage to get it all quilted. The embroidery was all finished, so I took it to work when it needed to be there, then later brought it home to finish. Sometime. When I checked, the current Embroidery Club is 173, and they come out once a month, so that gives you an idea that "sometime" started a while ago.
The hand dyed squares were quilted, and part of the blue, so lots of blue stippling later, it's finished. I've been thinking about a snowflake table runner for January, but this will let me get the Christmas tree runner put away.
I always enjoy finding a project with hours already put into it, especially when it's a pretty one and easily completed.
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
And, how long has it been since I've done ANY free motion? Weeks, I'm realizing. In the weeks before Christmas I was doing primarily sewing and embroidery, no free motion at all. And in the weeks before that, a worship banner and baby quilts, once again no free motion. The last time I remember this kind of quilting was in the weeks before the CQAFA Nature Center Show, and that was in October.
This may be one of the gifts of the journal project, getting me back, in small ways, to those things I love.
Monday, January 9, 2012
I'm not sure how Lucy your dog dog fits into this book series, but I suspect that she might be the author, writing under a pseudonym.
This afternoon I finally got calendars for the year, including a weekly planner. I really love The Sacred Journey: Daily Journal for Your Soul, but it won't be sent to me until around February 1. I've tried just keeping a list of dates, but I need the visual pages to make sense of it all and I was acting stupid about dates. I hate acting stupid.
I planned to come home and cancel Sacred Journey, but I just couldn't do it. It has lovely pages for notes and goals and it has various symbols and explanations. Lots of room for writing or jotting recipes. And it's been reduced $4 more. I'll use the one I got today in the meantime, then use it for something else. Grocery lists, maybe. Lots of ideas for pretty art quilts. This will work.
Sunday, January 8, 2012
And today, with Nora at Aunt Tina's, he asked one more time, and yes, it's open now.
The train table was back, in a different location, and the trains were new. The gerbil didn't come back, but two white mice were in the aquarium.
Saturday, January 7, 2012
Friday, January 6, 2012
I was happy to relinquish my role, and yet today, I missed those kids.
Yesterday after school (Nora's school, Aaron was still in his) Nora and I took the bedspread to the laundromat. The bedspread was a casualty of the sickness earlier in the week. Nora was happy to show me to laundromat ropes since Steph had taken her once when they were temporarily between washers. How to get change. How to put in the quarters. The joy of the machine that dispenses temporary tattoos.
Then we stopped at the DQ before picking up Aaron. Nora chose a vanilla cone and quickly entered the cone zone, feeling the texture with her lips, swirling the ice cream with her tongue. She was all happy and dreamy and contemplated the curl on the top and the cone on the bottom. She became so relaxed.
I really, really, really wished that I'd kept up with technology and had a camera phone. Soon.
We picked up Aaron and he gave one of his new teachers a quick hug. She's a young and pretty brunette, just the type he favors. He was dismayed earlier in the week that his beloved Ms. Judy was gone for a few days, but he quickly became an admirer of Ms. Amber too.
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
And tonight, in the amazing manner that kids have, both are better again. Watching a Sponge Bob movie. Steph said they didn't need another movie and I told her I got it more for me. She was skeptical, but oh, I did. The trip to Target was good too. Peace reigns.
At lunch time they wanted chicken noodle soup, which I didn't have. I did have some chicken stock in the freezer, so I heated that and threw in some lasagna noodles that I cut up once they were cooked. Held my breath. Both pronouned it great, and Nora had two small bowls, the first she'd eaten in 24 hours.
My soup didn't have homemade noodles, but I can remember my grandmother making them. Every now and then she'd make lots. Spread a sheet on the unused beds and put the noodles on top to dry and dry. There was a time when I did make noodles in small batches, then gave it up when the frozen ones came long. And then forgot about them.
I'm enjoying the book Make the Bread, Buy the Butter. What to make from scratch and what to buy, based on taste, cost, hassle. Lots of recipes. Including one for pasta. Maybe I'll try again.
Sunday, January 1, 2012
But now, it's a new year, and of course I have a long list of goals. I just counted up my mini-goals for January, and there are fifteen. Mini-goals fit into the larger goals, steps along the way to make sure the larger ones get done. Not every goal has a mini-goal.
One I'm especially looking forward to is to set a time away at the end of each month for a check-in of the larger goals. With my new Kindle Fire (thanks, family,) somewhere with Wi-Fi, like maybe Mammouth Cafe, with their lovely egg, veggie sausage/cheese/whole wheat bagel. The check-in.
Vicki Welsh at Field Trips in Fiber is doing her Color Palette Challenge with her friend Judy, and I'm going to do that. A new color palette every month, colors I might never normally use. Note the new spiffy button on the side-bar.
When I opened her blog this morning to see if this month's colors were posted yet - yes, I'm eager to see them - I was struck by her yesterday's post. She did a journal quilt every week last year, an ambitious project, then put them together at the end of the year. A wonderful visual of the year.
I think that the older I get, the more visual I get, and I love this idea. Can I add it to the list? My list is pretty serious, and I don't put on things that I won't do, or at least should do.
Yes, I can. Something small, say, 10", which wouldn't be intimidating. Nothing complicated, just a snapshot. Done on Saturday, or by Saturday.
Happy New Year, everyone.