Monday, June 30, 2008
I'm very fortunate to have a DH who can do just about anything.
We celebrated his weekend of work with a Sunday evening dinner of sauteed scallop salad with avocado and lime/cumin dressing.
He had picked this recipe out of the newspaper and thought it sounded good. He was right! HIGHLY recommended. (I'm linking to a newspaper in another city as our local paper doesn't do such a hot job of archiving recipes...)
I got a quilt pinned and ready for quilting--the loud little blue and yellow baby quilt. Hope to get this quilted this week. At least that's the goal.
Is it a stitch or is it just air? The border on the white Kidsilk Haze shawl is just about ready to turn corner number two. I had an idea on how to accomplish the remaining corners with less angst. I'm going to try a stitch marker so that I can tell what stitch I'm aiming for on the double joins as I traverse the corner. We'll see how that works.
As lovely as this ethereal yarn has been, I'll be glad to finish this project and go back to yarn that's more.....there.....than Kidsilk Haze. Actually being able to see what you're doing--an interesting concept!
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Expectations have been radically lowered: the original plan was to roll out a fabulous, completely new website. Now I would be thrilled to just get the old site to work in the new set-up. Supposedly this is all supposed to be ready to go by July 1. But folks, it's not happening, at least not yet.
Did I mention that we've known that this change was coming for nearly two years? Sigh.
My problem is time and the wearing of many hats at my job. It's hard to concentrate on something like CSS and html when my desk is a cubicle with an INFORMATION sign hanging above it. Kids are coming up to me asking what the next Spiderwick Chronicles book is or do we have Skippyjon Jones? And then there are the newbie internet users who ask, "It says I need an email address. How do I get one?" And, "Do you have tax forms?"
Sunday, June 22, 2008
That title is a bit of Milwaukee humor--in a city with heavy and deep German roots, streetcars and buses do that, y'know.
After a glamorous Saturday spent vacuuming and scrubbing (first unprogrammed at-home weekend in a month and half), I sat down last night DETERMINED to knit the border around the first corner on the wedding shawl, which has been limbo since the May retreat. Knitting a border around corners is unexplored territory for me. But I did it, heart in throat all the way. The glowering and muttering got so bad that Mr. Kathie told me, in a concerned voice, that he didn't think knitting was a very good hobby for me. LOL
It may not be perfect but I bet blocking will do wonders. I am doing it, baby!
Not sure what it is about lace knitting. It keeps my stomach in knots but when the project is done--oh boy--I look at it and marvel. I made that!
This shawl is not to the happy, happy point yet, but it's in the home stretch.
In other news, Delectable Mountains went to the long arm artiste today. Wish I'd taken some pictures. Her quilts are gor-gee-ous and she lives way out in the deep country. It was a beautiful drive on this perfect June Sunday.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
This one's been a year in the making. A box containing the elements of this quilt traveled to Pennsylvania with me last summer and I really did spend some off-time in my hotel room trimming half-square triangles to size.
It went to The Glen last week, needing only a border. And one good day of sewing (once the lights went back on) had it finished.
I'm pleased with the outcome--I've wanted to do a red and white quilt for years but never could see my way clear to quite get to it. And I kept collecting fabric... This seems to be a year of Getting Things Done, which is a good thing. But I have enough reds and white to make many more red and white quilts. The stash never seems to go down. Hmm. Why is that?
And there's a bit of family heritage in this quilt. The floral print with the brown and red flowers was used in a coverlet my grandmother made for my bed when I was a kid. This was some extra fabric I found among her sewing things and recognized right away.
This one will be going out to be quilted. I've quilted large quilts on my Bernina in the past but it IS a wrestling match and I'm not in a wrestling mood.
Monday, June 16, 2008
I'm back from a very sodden quilt retreat near normally beautiful Baraboo, Wisconsin.
Despite torrential rains, washed-out roads, downed trees, water-inundated highways, and a 12-hour power failure, we managed to have a great time. (I even got to hold the flashlight while the cook carved a turkey in pitch darkness...)
No, this is not my car below. But it could have been. This was walking distance from our lodge. One unfortunate driver.
It's a strange situation to have to plot and plan to devise safe routes to get from quilt shops in one small town to another. Several of us had a harrowing trip to Country Sampler in Spring Green on Thursday afternoon, and felt very fortunate not to have been carried off by flood waters gushing across the highways. (Sun was shining when we set out on the drive...)
By the time we left Spring Green, the shop owner was dealing with flooded streets and with water gushing up from the floor drains in Country Sampler's basement. Hope all is well there by now...
Much of the interstate highway from Milwaukee to Madison (normally a quick one hour drive) is still closed necessitating a huge detour routing drivers what seems like halfway around the state. Crazy.
But I digress! We're adept at making lemonade from lemons--we just stayed at our lodge and sewed, waiting for waters to recede and for roads to clear. And ate. Everyone got a huge amount accomplished. I was able to finish THREE quilt tops, which I will share in coming days.
Here are two tops, both Bonnie Hunter's Carolina Crossroads, made by the same person, the camera-shy Queen of Toile, Mary.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
I auditioned a raft of fabrics for the border,
but in the end putziness wins out, as it usually does with me, and I'm thinking a pieced border will look better. I'm trying to keep it as simple as possible--don't want to drive myself nuts with this--and I'm thinking piano key piecing in a variety of reds...
Monday, June 09, 2008
The weekend garage sale was a total waste of time. We made barely enough to cover our expenses and lost two whole days out of our lives in the process. That was a lesson--never again. The terrible weather was probably a factor--we had nearly 6 inches of rain over the course of the weekend, which was certainly not conducive to garage sale hopping.
Disappointing. But, must keep it moving, right? So, on to quilting...
The hand sewing on Serendipity is completed. So it's another quilt in the finished column.
This one was really fun to make. It began as an informal class at a friend's house in late winter of 2007, taught by Judy Hasheider. (Judy herself has done several of these quilts, each more gorgeous than the last. Check out this one!) It's a stack and whack-type idea, taken from the book Serendipity Quilts by Sara Nephew.
I was intrigued to find a funky non-floral fabric and see what it would do when serendiptitized. You cut the fabric into repeats, carefully layer it all, cut strips and then cut triangles or diamonds from the strips. You don't really know what you'll get--hence the serendipity. My quilt consisted of big motifs and baby motifs. Sometimes the triangles that looked like nothing much made up into the best little hexagons.
The whole thing goes together like a puzzle. (Well, that's brilliant--don't most quilts go together like puzzles??)
Sometimes when I do stipply meandering quilting, it can be a bit of a cop-out, but I was really happy with the look of the quilting on this. I used bright yellow rayon thread--which had been purchased for a different quilt altogether--and I really liked the effect on the solid black border. And there was enough of the fun yellow lines fabric to do the binding.
Friday, June 06, 2008
Two years ago, LazyGal Tonya posted a shot of her apartment. There was, of all things, a phrenology head on a shelf. I commented on the post, saying I would just love to find one of those heads.
Yesterday I came home from work to find a big package in the mail. Tonya--she may be a lazy quilter but she has one unbelieveable memory. Tonya has sent me a phrenology head that she found at a boot sale while she was visiting a friend in England.
Just totally shaking my head in wonder. I LOVE it--it's just the right bizarre touch for my pad and it has a fun story to go with it. It wouldn't be nearly as cool if it had come from a rummage sale around here.
And speaking of bizarre... and speaking of rummage sales...
Am I crazy? We're doing a rummage sale here this weekend, trying to move some stuff. Right now I'm snowed under excess glassware, coffee mugs, Christmas trim, and other miscellaneous stuff, trying to merchandise it, such as it is, and price it all. If you find yourself in the burbs of Milwaukee this weekend, do stop by. And bring cash.
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
1. I have a cowlick in the middle of my hairline above my forehead that makes bangs a forever impossibility for me. As a kid, I fought against it because I wanted very much to be Pattie Boyd, but (surprise!) the cowlick won. P.S. In the picture above, I am not any of the girls with bangs.
2. When I was a kid, I had imaginary friends. A whole family of them, all with names. What can I say? I was a lonely only child. Everything I did, everywhere my family went, the imaginary family did the same things but in a bigger and more lavish fashion and I talked about them A LOT. My mother hated these imaginary people.
3. My chief means of self-expression was drawing. I drew on any surface available--grocery bags, church bulletins, my dad's shooting club paper targets. I wish I still had the same urge to draw.
4. I grew up in the part of Pennsylvania where oil production figured prominently in the local economy and history. There is still a working oil well next to the local McDonalds. My grandmother had her own personal gas pump in her garage. THAT was convenient.
5. I still have a highway sign, with the name of a borough in Pennsylvania routed into it, that a boyfriend appropriated and gave to me the night before I left for my first year at college.
6. The first thing I ever sewed (age 12) was a lavender denim straight skirt with a kick pleat. I was so nervous sewing the darts that I drew lines to sew on. I've gotten over that hangup pretty well.
7. I don't understand coffee. I don't understand why people drink it. The smell of it makes me ill. Get it away from me.
OK. Who to tag? Tonya, Atet, Dawn, Elaine, Clare, Cindra, Tazzie?
Sunday, June 01, 2008
I have a finished pair of socks to share! These were begun in January and went the usual route of being worked on in doctors' offices and at Weight Watchers meetings. (And does our WW meeting leader ever love to compare my everlasting knitting with "embracing the process" of a weight loss program. I am one living, breathing visual aid for her.)
One sock got done that way over the course of several months. But what with recent air travel and car travel, the second sock was completed in two weeks. So hey--I'm not a complete slug.
The pattern is my old standby--the basic adult sock from Ann Norling. The designer is Deirdre Wallace. I also own the book Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch and I've been playing with some of her ribbing variations, but still using the basics of the Ann Norling pattern. One of these days I'll try toe-up knitting, or the two-circular-needle socks but for the time being, this is working for me.
The yarn is Online Supersocke in color 100--Holiday, a wool/nylon combo. Turquoise socks will help make winter days bearable. I hope.
Speaking of winter, it was a long, hard slog and I know I whined plenty about it. There was lots to whine about, what with the snow, and the ice, and the broken legged Mr. Kathie. At last it is bodacious June and my habitat, which was so barren and frozen for so very long, is now green and blooming.
I think we northerners appreciate spring all the more for having endured the cold and ice. And this year, I am appreciating. Oh yes. Glorious!