Padua was highly amused by the foot-foto day. Can you tell he's perched on top of the shredder? I can't leave it plugged in for fear one of the fuzzballs will shred a foot or a tail or something!
This is the first quilt top I did at Asilomar. One way that I like to work is to go through the whole process once, naturally trying to get a good quilt top out of it, but also to get a handle on how it's all going to work. This was a good example of that for me. Picking the right values of fabrics, for instance--and who would have thought that I, having endured the 70's and the stream of orange/brown/gold that characterized it, would ever decide to make an orange quilt? Or even have so many orange fabrics? Truly amazing. Anyway, I am very pleased with this quilt top, even though I made a glaring mistake. I'm sooo smart. I had to buy a new cutting ruler, since I managed to get away without one; I didn't realize that it was one of those newfangled ones that's actually 6 1/2 inches wide--and I cut my 2 1/2" strips with the wrong side, so they actually came out 3" wide! didn't even catch on till the blocks were all assembled and I was measuring them for proportions on the sashing. Sigh. It's okay though, because since I mean to teach this as a class, I think the larger blocks will actually be "friendlier" and less intimidating to prospective students. I hope! I also know that it will look a whole lot better once it's quilted--it is very square, as is the other one, but being pinned to a board makes them look a little askew.
You know I can't resist putting in wildlife photos when I can. Asilomar has quite a herd of deer roaming around--this is the view out of the window of our classroom. On this particular day, there were 6 of the critters grazing on the hillside. They didn't even look up when we went out on the deck to take pictures! Too bad I didn't take pictures of the "midnight raiders" aka raccoons, who knocked over our trash cans and then stared me down when I went out to see what the noise was!
Finally, some more flowers. These are along the sidewalk at the entrance to the Apple Farm's restaurant/gift shop. It's one of our favorite places to stop since San Luis Obispo is about halfway between home and Monterey and is just south of a particularly difficult stretch of road--the Cuesta Grade--so fortification is needed before or after driving it. Also (especially poignant today) Bob and I stayed there for the weekend to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. (Today would be the 44th.) The grounds are beautifully landscaped and even in the winter they put on a magnificent floral display--the purple stuff at the back of the picture is kale. Yes, that kind of kale! The tall green thing in the pot is another kind of kale, but this one has "bolted" and no longer looks like a flower.
One more note--I have resigned from the bookstore and am now a "lady of leisure." With everything that needs to be done here at home, I don't think I will be at a loss for things to do, and hopefully I'll have a little more time to do some of the things I love. It was a real wake-up call for me to find that my quilting tools and fabric were still packed up from my trip to Asilomar last year. There has to be something seriously out of whack when I don't touch something I love to do for that long! I still love to read, and will spend lots of time in the bookstore, but I'm hoping that I'll also be able to quilt, and teach a few more classes, and spend lots of time KNITTING up that yarn I've brought home!
Thursday, March 01, 2007
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Lots and lots of goodies to share after my almost-two-weeks away! First, here's the stuff from Stitches West that followed me home. In back some spun silk and natural alpaca (both from Village Weaving and Spinning in Solvang), then (l to r) some Geisha, Spectrum, and STR Lucy from Blue Moon; some lovely heathered alpaca from Honey Lane; two shades of KPM, one from Yarn Lady and one from Foxyknits; and finally a lovely celery-green alpaca/silk, also from Village.
Came home to some mini daffs blooming in the yard. These little guys are barely 3" tall. Can you tell how dry and hard the soil has baked? It's been a very dry winter and there's no rain in the forecast. Scary. (This picture is especially for you, Sheepie!)
By contrast, here's a view of sunset at Asilomar the first night we were there. It did rain but only overnight; the days were clear, crisp, and very pleasant. Such bliss to work in such beautiful surroundings--I promise, I'll also post some pictures of the deer and the ocean and even of our little classroom building. We had a fire in the fireplace every morning (the elves come and lay it while we're at breakfast, apparently) and three meals a day, cooked by someone else and the dishes done by someone else too--a great week.
What did I do, you may ask? Well, here's one of my projects--the top is cut off but it does have full side and top and bottom borders. We were working on exploring the three-dimensional look--I think this quilt top is pretty successful at that. The blocks really do look 3-D and seem to float right off the quilt. I'm going to try to get this one, and the other project which I'll post later, quilted and ready for classes on the next shop schedule.
If you want to read more about our adventures at Stitches West--it was a real hoot, a great trip!--check out Jillian, Madge, Mary, and Annette's take on it. We even got to meet THE Ellen Bloom! Ellen even posted a pic of us on her blog--here it is, "borrowed" and with many thanks!
I think there are quite a few of us who will be making plans to return next year. I'm hoping to even have some wonderful hand-knits to wear. Can you spot the two SKBs in this photo, and Jillian's Marilyn? (She's got a good series of photos of it and details on her blog today.)
Lots more things to talk about but I'm still in the process of wrapping up now that I'm back home again. Two weeks is a long time to be away! No laundry facilities, for one thing, so I brought home a large suitcase full of grubbies. Most of the cats were pretty blase about my return, except for Hi-Hi (aka the big fat fluffball) who has barely left my side whenever I'm here. Even wakes me up during the night for reassurance that I really am here. Sigh. I guess it's nice to be loved.