Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Class and Critters and More Pinwheel Palaver

Tuesday night quilt class is always fun. I call it "quilt class" but it's really kind of  a free-for-all, do-your-thing kind of gathering.

Case in point. These lovely people are Pete and Marietta, who have been coming to my class for mumble-many years, and their granddaughter Lauren. Lauren needed a dress for her part in her school's graduation ceremonies tonight; the girls were given a pattern number and general guidelines, and turned loose.

Well, here is the finished garment, all ready for the big night! Grandpa Pete cut it out, and Lauren really wanted to sew it herself, so over the course of a couple of sessions she did just that. The last part was accomplished in a session with Louise, who taught sewing in the L.A. district for quite a few years.

So much love in this picture! Next week P & M will be back to work on a quilt they've got in process.

These pictures give you a pretty good idea of how inspiring our classroom is, too!

This is a baby quilt Ethel finished this week. She made a "sister" quilt--not identical but using some of the same fabrics. That one's already gone to its new home and is, I hope, already being loved and used!

Anne's going to have a new great-grandchild (at least, I think it's only one great; there's at least one great-great, but that's a long story and I'll let her tell it!)

The baby's a girl, so the hearts seemed appropriate. Pink was going to be the first choice but then it got vetoed as the mom's favorite color is purple. Purple and green are a great combination!

I especially love the green hearts in the corners of the border. Just that great touch of "different" that makes it stand out!

She made this all from stash fabrics. Have I mentioned that she probably outdoes me in the stash department? She sews most of her quilts from stash these days--that's what we do! She's the one who turned me on to the Stash Busters online group and web ring.
Rochelle has been working on hand appliqueing some little bear blocks for a baby quilt for a family member. She's using solid color bears and polka-dot backgrounds, and doing a blanket stitch around the bears. Also, the little guys will have embroidered faces.

The quilt behind her is from Sam Hunter--patterns are available from Sam or from New Moon Textiles (where this picture was taken).

We also had another young lady last night who was making her first quilt. Big blocks, and by the time she left she already had two halves of a quilt top! She'll be back in two weeks to finish the top, put a border on it, and then add batting, backing, and do some quilting.
I promised some critters--and, for a change, none of them are Hi Hi, aka my  quilt supervisor.

This charming lady is Mae, who belongs to my friend. Her "sister" in the next picture is Missy, who is also a Border collie but much smaller.

They go everywhere with their owner, and are generally very well behaved girls. They'll all be headed north soon for another summer of traveling around, quite likely stopping off in Oregon to do a little sheep-work along with some of Mae's siblings.

It's a dog's life, and I think they have it pretty good!
I keep trying to get pictures of Shyla that aren't blurry, but she moves so fast that they're almost always as fuzzy as she is.

This is her "waiting under the computer" pose. When I sit at the desk, she's usually pretty close by, comes over for pets and skritches and loveys. Of course, if HiHi is anywhere nearby, there's likely to be a flurry of hissing and what is undoubtedly bad language!

You'd think two cats who share food bowls and cat boxes could get along, wouldn't you?
Pinwheels are progressing. I had to cut more squares for the last two colors of half-square triangles--those yellow and green ones in that picture down there.
Still sewing... but these are the last of them. These have all been sewn in one direction, and I'm hoping to get the second line done tonight so I can sit and cut them apart tonight while I catch up on trash TV, my favorite kind!

Well, not really trashy--I have yet to watch a single housewife of any variety,  I stay off the Jersey shore, and the Kardashians have to do without me. But I enjoy things like the next Food Network star, and some of the other FN shows; I'm a sucker for the bride shows, too, and I'll say yes to all those dresses!

Pretty weird considering I got married in a green wool suit and have never been sorry. Never wanted to be a princess bride, but have been happy to make sure my daughters and sons could have the weddings they wanted.

Anyway, I think that when I press and trim the pinwheels, I'll try to keep some kind of count of them. I'm currently thinking that using clips would work well... and I have a basketful from my paper piecing class!

Last bit for tonight. I frogged the Denver Cowl I had started in Miss Babs' Yowza in the Day at Powell's colorway. Some day I will get to Powell's Bookstore but until then I have to be content with knitting with this yarn.  Which, like all good books, is black and white and re(a)d allover...

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Progress, or It's A Good Thing I'm a Process Person

 The first two photos here are an experiment for today's Photo A Day challenge. The prompt for the day was "below."

So I tried taking a picture of the jacaranda tree from below the pergola--that's the fence-looking thing in the lower right corner. Looking up from that is the house front.

I had a pretty hard time keeping the sun from glaring through--you can tell where it is by looking at that really bright area over in the left center.

 This is a more straight-on shot of the tree. It's much thinner than it was before the big windstorm in December of 2011 took out the whole top of it and a couple of main branches.

But, it's back and blooming and seems pretty happy. Which makes me happy too!

I'm pretty sure it was planted by the original owner as part of the landscaping. It, the Italian cypress at the corner of the property, the crape myrtle tree, and one old (enormous) rose bush in the back are almost all that's left. There is a concrete curb that runs around part of the back yard which we've been told was originally the perimeter of a croquet lawn. The garage sits where part of it would be, and the neighbor's garage sits on the north end of it. 

When the boys were younger, Jeff and his friend Gregg dug an enormous hole in the back yard and came upon the remnants of an old fish pond, about 5 feet down. Cruel parents made them cover it up--it was right in front of the utility pole and we really didn't want to be liable for some poor lineman breaking a leg in a hole in the yard!

So, back to the pinwheel quilt. Are  you sick of it yet? I'm not, but then I really am a "process" person rather than a "product" person. I'm enjoying the process.

This picture has  some of the "parts" in it. The half-square triangles on the left side are sewn down twice and ready to be cut apart into two mirror-image pieces. The raggedy looking stacks at the back of the picture are the ones that have already been cut--I'm making two piles as I cut. The right side of the picture--with the ruler and rotary cutter--is the stack of squares ready to be sewn onto the rest of the half-square triangles.

This is what it looks like in progress. I didn't really pose that piece in the middle, it just fell that way, but that's what the blocks I'm making will look like when I'm done sewing and cutting and pressing and squaring them up.

I decided that I'd better sew some of the ones I'd been sending through the machine, on their second side, because they do get wrinkled when they pile up like this. Also they have a tendency to tangle together, and then I have to snip threads.

Luckily the second side goes really fast, because I'm not stopping and making pairs. I try to be somewhat random but I can't be totally careless with the pairings, because some of them look really barfy together. I mean, really look like the dog's breakfast. Or whatever your favorite expression for a curdled mess is!

So on this side of the machine, here are the rest of the pairs all ready to be matched up. I counted (first time in all this that I've counted much of anything) and there are 18 different fabrics here. There are at least 6 of each color, but some have a few more. I'm pretty sure I have enough squares (you know, those ones under the ruler in the other picture--the ruler is so the cat doesn't mess them up trying to get comfy in them) to match up to all these.

Which brings up the question of why I'm sitting here blogging instead of sitting at the machine. Hmmm. Maybe it's time to go back there. Or pour a glass of wine and go watch the Tonys. Have I mentioned I love my DVR? Because I do.

Over and out for tonight!