Sunday, April 30, 2006

It's Raining, It's Raining

Ok, this is day 3 of the Rain. We are still afloat. This has mostly been a good, steady, soaking rain. I found my Ark Quilt pattern. I think I will sift through my fabric to find some pieces to applique. It could be my rain project for the Summer? Yes, don't make fun of me. I suffer from Startupitus. The problem is that when it is raining, I can't work on the sewing machine. Just not enough light with the current setup.

Today, I spent a lot of time working on weaving in ends on the Ladybug panels. I can almost finish a panel during one DVD disc of X-files. Currently on the 2nd panel. By doing this by intarsia, instead of carrying all the yarn, little fingers and toes (and kitty toes) are less likely to get caught up in yarn.

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Here is the back before weaving. Looks like a mess doesn't it?

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Here it is after weaving. Much neater.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Little Flower Centers

We are raining, raining, raining. It's Saturday and I heard that it is going to rain through Wednesday. I'm tempted to start one of my Ark projects (I have quilting and a cross-stitch Ark projects). In the meantime, I have finished the centers of the flowers for the main motifs for my Mom's Rose Afghan. Ta Da!! I was going to stop and buy the white yarn that surrounds these, but the parking lot was PACKED. I am also steadily working on sewing in the ends on the Ladybug project.

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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

4 Things I Did Do

4 jobs I’ve had in my life:
Customer Service Clerk
Wire Operator (entered stock, bond and
commodity orders)
Technical Writer

4 movies I can watch over and over:
Godzilla (the one with Matthew Broderick)
Die Hard
Men In Black

4 TV shows I love to watch:
Midsommer Murders
Extreme Cowboy Race (on RFD channel)
Food Unwrapped (Food TV)

4 places I have lived:
Massachusetts (semi-rural)
several Minneapolis 'burbs

4 places I have been on holiday:
West Texas

4 of my favorite dishes:
Chicken Caccatore
Steak with fries
Homemade submarine (hero) sandwich

4 websites I visit daily: (on hiatus, temporary I hope!)

4 places I would rather be right now:
Texas: at least until it gets hot.
Fishing (anywhere)
My own home
In a needlework shop (with a pristine credit card)

4 bloggers whose blogs I visit frequently: (crochet) (I skip the politics, love the photos)

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Sister's Choice Blocks

Yesterday and today has found me mostly working on Sister's Choice blocks. I'm rapidly running out of some scrap selections (dark green for the stars, for instance). I am not planning on a border and will be tying this. I want it thick like a comforter, so will have to research where to get thick batting by the yard. The little squares feature a lot of little novelty items, so it makes the quilt interesting.
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I babysat on Friday. Yes, me!? Let me introduce you to 11 month old Samantha, the daughter of my cousin Steve and his girlfriend Kayla. Kayla has been a work-at-home Mom since Samantha was born, but now her company is requiring her to come in a couple of days a week for a few hours. So, I'm one of the babysitters and it's a blast. Samantha is so interested in everything. She is cruising and just started to occasionally try to stand without holding onto something. I can tell already that she is a future needleworker. Look at her interest in yarn already! Yes, she was within arms reach while she had this yarn. Note to others: If buying baby clothing, skip the stuff with short ties. I think I tied it into a bow 12 times over 3 hours. Strings are just way too fascinating.
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To occupy her with something else when I was ready to remove the yarn skein, Samantha chose to demonstrate the completed flowers for my Mom's Rose afghan. These are baby approved.
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Another helpful crafter was the kitty (Not sure of his name, I think it's Hedges). He is a very friendly cat which made taking photos mighty difficult. Look his way and he runs over for attention. He thought yarn was fun as well. He is a dark smoke color, not black.
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Saturday, April 22, 2006

Ladybugs Are Knitted!

This deserves a special entry all of its own. I finished knitting the last ladybug panel for the Ladybug Afghan last night. I also finished Season 3 of X-files. Now, of course, it will take most of Season 4 to do the finishing (weaving in ends, sewing), but the major part is now complete.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Quilts, Quilts and Quilts

It's a beautiful, but very windy day here in the Minneapolis 'burbs. I've been able to get a lot of things finished very recently. Must be all this nice sunny, wonderful temperature weather! In knitting, I finished Ladybug 17, so only one more to go! I'm still on Season 3 of X-files. Don't worry though. The finishing is going to take at least 2 DVDs of X-files.
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Today you get some photos! I finished the very dreaded Pumpkin kit top last night. The result is actually pretty nice. I think I put the eyes a little too close together on the upper right pumpkin, but all-in-all, I think the kit was worth it despite the many misnumbered pieces. Quilting it is still ahead!
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Here it is! The March Thimbleberries Club BOM block. Whew, I'm just keeping up. I plan to stitch the center on these, but just haven't got to it. So far, this was the easiest block to do!
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Oh, yes, and the flying quilt! Here it is! The Floral Triple Irish Chain quilt is already complete, only one day after my swap blocks arrived! My quilting plan is to do random leaves in the floral area and then a stylized flower in the center. Likely to hand quilt that flower. This is approximately 75 x 89 inches.
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Saturday, April 15, 2006

Happy Tax Day!

Yes, if you are still working on your taxes, you are welcome to groan, but for everybody else who didn't procrastinate, CONGRATULATIONS! You are DONE!

I've been working on a lot of smallish projects the past couple of weeks. Finished March Thimbleberries BOM. Worked on Sister's Choice blocks. Have nearly finished another ladybug (we had a hiatus on X-files for a couple of weeks). Working on CrochetGuy's 2nd block (first one wasn't square, so I'm redoing it). Glenda reports that all the swap blocks have now been mailed out, so I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of my Triple Irish Chain blocks! In between all this, I decided to eliminate most of my stamping hobby, so have been monitoring that on Ebay (seller id: StephMN). I love scrapbooking and I like using stamps for scrapbooking. I don't use them for cards, so they just don't get enough use to justify the space. OH, and I'm working on a dreaded kit with Halloween Pumpkins. Now that I have all the pieces cut out, I guess it wasn't too bad. It was a Quilt By Numbers wall quilt and all these little pieces really intimidated me. But, I used some speed cutting techniques and that part is done. Today, I'll try to make some pumpkins!

When I'm working on quilting projects, I like to listen to books on tape. My latest author was one recommended by the library. He is Max Brand. He wrote Western Mysteries back in the 1920s and 30s. The one I just finished is Timbal Gulch Trail. Great blend of humor with western culture. First western I've 'read' since the 90s (my grandmother was a fan of Louis L'Amour and had all his books). Some of the books on tape require a player with balance control. Since I don't listen to tapes in the car, I'm getting a Bookcassette Adapter for about $5. Good investment for getting unabridged reading! For regular reading, I've been reading Lazy B by Sandra Day O'Connor and Alan O'connor. This book really gives a great flavor of growing up on a cattle ranch in the early half of the 20th century. Well worth the read!

Factoid: program my parents were watching this morning reported that carrots really don't improve your eyesight. During WW2, to hide the fact that radar existed, the Brits reported that pilots were eating carrots which allowed them to see much better. Who'd of thought? They were also the ones who came up with the fake air squadron. Things that make you go hmmmm...

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Swap Central Still

I have continued to work on Triple Irish Chain Flower blocks. Nine have been sent off for the swap, so I'm trying to finish the rest. This block features many of the 2.5 inch strips that I swapped in the March String Swap. The more flowers, the better the final result.
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Block 1: 2.5 inch squares make a 14 inch block. Note placement of white. This can be strip pieced.
As mentioned before, the Triple Irish Chain features only 2 blocks when doing it scrappy. I did one of the 2nd block. The remainder will be strip pieced, but I just wanted to be certain I had my dimensions correct. I have enough white fabric to finish the piecing. Not sure if there's enough for the border that I'm planning. A sensible person would cut the border first, but since I need the white for another project, I'll just hold off. I have to decide if I want to feature some really nice quilting in the center or add some appliques. Still up in the air about that.
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Block 2: Also using 2.5 inch squares. white 10.5 inch center with 6.5 inch strips on side.