Back to normal life after a week spent in the wilds of Northern Wisconsin, just about completely out of touch with civilization. It's good to be back home to creature comforts like soft water, fancy shower gel, and Mr. Kathie, but I spent a lovely week away from it all.The weather was kind of poopy--chilly, gray, and rainy. But we had a couple days of cool sunshine. And even when the sky was sullen, the fall leaf color was getting better and better.And good friends, some Shiraz, and lots of sewing and knitting were good medicine for all eight of us.
Before I left, I set out some goals. Let's see how I did.
1. The Opposing Forces Quilt.
Here's how brainless I am. I had this pile of blocks and took them, but it never occured to me to take any extra fabric. I came up with a layout I like but it needs some blocks without orange. I sewed together as much as I could, but came home with a quilt with some blank spots. I also neglected to take along the rules for the original MArQ Opposing Forces Challenge. Is this quilt the corrent size? I bet not. Sigh.
2. The Red Japanese Kimono Squares. These are sewn together. I don't have a photo but they're pretty much randomized (I'm liking that word. What a classy-sounding word for toss-it-all-up-in-the-air-and-see-what-lands-where!). Next step will be to layer this and quilt and embellish like crazy.
3. The Alpha Project for the week, my Crossed Kayaks, never got off the ground till Thursday. It seemed we were all spending an awful lot of time knitting and watching movies. I didn't want to come home with this still just existing as an idea. But I finally got cracking and voila:
I'm really pleased with this little quilt--the secondary patterns just are so much fun. I had hoped to use up a lot of ten-year-old stash in this quilt. But the reality is that I used only a 7.5 inch strip from each fabric and there is still one heck of a lot of fabric in that bin. I have about four yards of a Smithsonian repro toile that will be the outer border and then I plan to back it with pieced hunks of stash. Done in the most artful way possible, of course...
This quilt went together in about two days, slick as a whistle. If anyone is contemplating this pattern, it's easy to put together and gives a lot of bang for the buck. Well, in my case, not a lot of bucks. I'm a firm believer in that old quilting precept about "once you've had the fabric for six months, anything you make from it is free".
4. The Kimono Shawl is D.O.N.E. I hope to get it blocked this week and will have an artsy shawl photo series then. My daughter sort of has dibs on it but she had just better love this shawl to pieces because it's going to be very hard to give up. We're going to have to make that crystal clear before I hand it over. I really enjoyed the yarn and every aspect of the six months I spent working on it.
5. One pink Lorna's Laces sock is nearly done.
6. I also started the Rosedale United sweater and had an entire sleeve completed, but I'm planning to un-knit and start over due to some sizing issues (made more challenging by the fact that I'm substituting bands of garter stitch for the ribbing at the cuff and at the bottom of the sweater).I had mentioned that our group was sending about a dozen quilts to Ironwood, Michigan with Liz to be part of the biennial Northern Lights Quilt Guild show that was going on the first weekend we were Up North (about 50 miles from where we were staying). The show was great--it's always fun to see what other quilters are up to. And get this--my Carmen Miranda won the small quilts Viewers' Choice! That was an unexpected big smile to add to the week.
Returning to work today was as good as it could be. Maria brought in THREE bags of M&Ms to celebrate my return and also to help me make it through my first day back. It helped! Yay Maria.