Friday, September 29, 2006

More pictures for Grandma

Cuddling on Daddy's lap. It's great to have Mommy and Daddy home all the time!

Just too cute!

No fiber content today...I've been working on my challenge quilt for the longarm group. It's turning out ok, but I've done alot of picking out stitches! Good thing I'm in the ROOKIE category, it certainly shows! I tried some "wineglass" background stitching...think of a double wedding ring pattern, that's what it looks like. I had fun with that!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

back in time

Grandma called yesterday and she has been checking out the pictures. Baby K says "Hi Grandma and all my other fans!!"

Pantographs are wonderful. I can get a twin size quilt done in about 3 hours. This is a Linda V. Taylor pattern "Feathered Roses" that I used on the Hugs and Kisses quilt (from Tonya's Xs and Os). I have two quilts done that are ready for binding. They are both charity quilts, and I think I will attach both sides by machine. I usually machine stitch the binding to the top and hand-stitch the back, but I don't see myself getting that done in the next few years!!

Back in Time...we are waiting for the phone company to come and install regular land-based telephones todays. Ever since we moved into this brand-new subdivision, we have used only cell phones (long story about bad customer service). Last month, with all the baby news, we ended up going over our free minutes. This large cell phone bill inspired us to take a close look at our plan, and realized we were being lazy uninformed consumers who deserved to pay three times the going rate! So. we took the big step of switching cell phone services (yay - new phone!) and getting a land line. This should save us money because the regular phones will be bundled with our internet and cable service for a minimal price increase, and the cell service is much cheaper. Anyway, we have taken a step back from being a progressive wireless-only couple to a normal family with a home phone number!

One last shot of the happy baby...

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


I am usually too impatient to prewash my fabric before starting a new project...especially with these strip club quilts where I have 30 2.5 inch strips. I always imagine the nightmare of frayed edges and go straight to the sewing machine! So, I have a bunch of finished quilts that have never been washed. (Now would be the time to invest in Retayne or Dye-magnet stock!!)

As I showed you yesterday, the next quilt will be made from batiks. I took the plunge (haha) and spent the morning handwashing the strips. Good thing! That focal fabric bled a pretty purple color, and the greens and yellows I'm using also turned the water various shades of the rainbow.

Next comes the OTHER reason I don't prewash...ironing!

Daily Baby Fix:
Baby K's favorite position...we call her "Superbaby"! She's really starting to fill up the crib.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Daily Fiber Content - I used this batik as the focal fabric for the last Strip Club quilt. I want to get this done before I go back to school in three weeks. (ha...ever the optimist!)

Daily Baby Fix - on Daddy's lap this weekend. My parents haven't checked in yet...they went to Ireland for the Ryder Cup. If they find an internet connection I hope they leave a comment to say hi!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Moody Blues

This is almost a king size quilt, and I didn't have anywhere to lay it out for a picture. So, you get to see the top left corner, LOL. It's a sampler with great border details. We will donate it to a local charity and hopefully they can raffle it off for lots of money! One of the cool design features is that half the setting triangles are white and half are dark blue. It really makes your eye move across the quilt. The longarmer is thrilled with all the open space...she loves to do heavy quilting and this gives her room to play.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

All baby, all the time

Look at me! I can hold my head up so high! I'm sure this means I'm brilliant ;-)

OK, so the title was a lie. I did some sewing this week. These are raffle blocks for my guild. The pattern is called "Crystals." Great stash buster, as long as you can find the 4.5 inch square for the center!

Baby K is such a cuddler! We're hoping she soon learns to sleep more than two hours at a time! I dropped in at school today to help the new sub get's going to be so chaotic when I go back in three's best not to think about it!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Contest Winner

Lorinda is the winner! Guess number 11 (Kendra) was correct. Once she sends me an address, the goodie bag with magazines and yarn will be on its way. Thanks for playing!

Photo explanation - I plan to take a monthly picture with this bunny as a reference. This is Baby K at one month old. She weighs about 9.5 pounds, but she's very long, about 22 inches right now. All her clothes are loose in the body and straining to cover the diaper!

A stitching report...on Saturday I went to Sharon Schamber's trunk show. She does AMAZING work - as evidenced by her Best in Show wins at Houston and Paducah. You may have seen her Piece-li-que technique on Simply Quilts. I bought a DVD tutorial about feathers and stippling and I'm anxious to see how she modifies her machine. She described an extension table that her husband built for the throat of her longarm.

On Sunday, I met with my guild charity team to work on the borders of our quilt. I need to finish the borders and get the binding ready. When I get it laid out today, I will take a picture. We based our design on the bear paw variations in the book "Hidden Block Quilts" by Lerlene Navaril. I have so much fun working with a team to make these quilts. Just like an old-fashioned quilting bee!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Shades of Tomkitten

I was going to keep Baby K anonymous...but then my parents went on vacation and Grandma didn't think she could handle two weeks baby-free. So, I told her to check in here to see photos. And here is the little princess! She is five weeks old. She is a good baby and we know we are very lucky. She only gets fussy for about half an hour in the evening. We have carted her around quite a bit...restaurants, church, CostCo, etc. and she never makes a sound. As long as we feed her every two hours, she is a happy camper!

I mentioned last week that I'd have a contest to give away my extra goodie bag from the Arizona Diamondbacks Stitch-n-Pitch event. (drumroll, please) Guess Baby K's name! Your hints are that she is a girl and the name starts with K. Leave your guesses in my comments. The first correct answer will win the goodie bag (with all contents!) that was showcased in a previous post. Fine print...any of my friends and family are not eligible, since they already know the answer, and they were probably at the game and got their own goodie bag! If no one figures out the right answer, I will think of something else. (like, more hints, or a random number generator!) Grab the baby name book and start guessing!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Quilting on the longarm

In the first photo, you can see some of the shapes I have been working with today. Why yes, it IS a Christmas quilt! And yes, this is the last minute - it has to be done for a class on Saturday morning. Tomorrow is crunch time!! I use my computer's paint program to show you my quilting designs when I can't get a good picture. Drawing with the mouse is somewhat close to the motion of the longarm! But, luckily, the longarm designs come out much smoother!

The second photo is the next project to be loaded on the longarm. The local longarm guild is having a "President's Challenge." Everyone used the same pattern for the piecing (fabric choices were individual) and then it's up to us to showcase our best quilting. I entered in the custom category because I have some freehand designs planned. Plus, I'm a rookie, so I hope that works in my favor ;-) I have only been quilting on a longarm since March. The thread I'm using for most of it will be the PermaCore (tm) that you see in the picture. Those colors are for the borders, tone-on-tone. The black center will have a colorful design, which I am keeping secret on purpose. A) I like the suspense and B) if it doesn't turn out right, I can do something else and no one will know I messed up the first time!

Happy stitching to everyone!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Knitting is a sport

Saturday night I dragged B. and Baby K. with me to Chase Field (which will always be B.O.B. to me!) to watch the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the St. Louis Cardinals, and to be a part of TNNA's Stitch-n-Pitch event. Reports are that over 1000 knitters were there!! (Probably closer to 500 when you subtract spouses) It was really cool to look around and see so many hands working on so many projects! Unfortunately, there weren't any announcements during the game...I kept a close eye on the Jumbo-tron waiting for them to highlight all these crazy knitters. But, they did find Baby K right before the game and broadcast her cute little face. My dad was holding her so his hand was across her adorable D-backs outfit...I'm sure they would have lingered if they saw that she was a true fan!

South West Trading Company was a partner for the SnP event and they donated the yarn you see in the picture. All the women got the cool pink bag, which is a great size for knitting projects! (Notice the awesome grommet handle.) Plus, if you had purchased your game ticket specifically for the SnP event, you could claim a yarn goodie bag. Of course, I redeemed B's bag as well, so now I have THREE pink bags, and two sets of yarn giveaways. (There may be a contest in the future..I'll get Chris to mention it when I work out the details!)

Photo details, from left. After the game, they gave everyone a team hat. Nice touch! I started a new pair of socks. The goodie bag contained an issue of Creative Knitting and Crochet!, plus some soysilk ribbon/ladder yarn, purple fuzzy stuff, and Skacel Fuego, a mohair/wool blend. My yarn stash is growing and I have NO IDEA what to make with these things!! Scarves, most likely, but it would be fun to work some of the funky yarns into a sweater. (No, not all in the same sweater! I like to color-coordinate!) Actually, the purple fuzzy stuff could go in Baby K's log cabin...that would make a neat border!

I'm up against a quilting deadline again...I need to get the Christmas Strip Club quilt finished for class this Saturday. Yikes! Especially since I need to order thread, which will be delivered on Thursday. I'll have to use that in the border and get the main part done with the colors I have on hand! I have a solid backing so it should be easier to take pictures.

Tony thanks all of you who have visited. He is enjoying the morning outside under the tangelo tree. He has been unsupervised for a couple hours and is behaving so well! We usually don't let the cats stay outside unless we are sitting out on the patio, and Tony has a bad habit of jumping up on the cinder block wall and exploring the neighborhood. Scary thought because you never know who has their dogs outside, and he doesn't have claws or a collar. So, we keep a close eye on him!

And in honor of the extraordinary, ordinary Americans who died five years ago, I say a prayer for their families and a huge thank you to all service men and women who are fighting terrorism and preserving the ideals of democracy and freedom throughout the world.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Tony the tagged

I'm Tony, and today is all about me! (as it should be every day) I am a two-year-old black and white cat with the longest, fluffiest tail you have ever seen. Chaos tagged me to share 5 weird things about me. I really don't think these are WEIRD...I'm just a cat, after all!

1. I love to lay in the grass. Note the relaxed pose in the photo on the bottom. My yard is wonderful, but the people don't spend enough time out there. They keep saying things like "It's too hot. We'll go out when it's less than 100 degrees."

2. My favorite playtoy is Raffie, a beanie baby giraffe (photo on the top). Mom likes to keep a small collection of stuffed animals on top of the piano or the TV. I love to climb up and capture them! Right now, Raffie is in my super-secret hiding place in the corner of Dad's closet.

3. I wait for my people to get out of the shower by sitting on the bathroom counter. One of my most adorable kitten poses was in the sink. People need supervision in the bathroom, you know.

4. A special treat is when my people put me on top of the refridgerator and I roll to the back under the cabinet. Then I attack fingers that creep up over the sides. This game is more fun with Dad, because Mom is too short to see me when I'm up there! But people must stay in the kitchen for this game...I don't like to play alone.

5. Dad taught me to climb a ladder. He keeps it under the ficus tree in the backyard. I don't have front claws, so I can't climb up the trunk of the tree, but I like to sit at the top of the ladder hoping for birds to come close.

And bonus #6 - I love knitty things, of course! Mom has learned the hard way to keep her knitting in zippered bags or shut up in the closet. She gave me a small swatch last year, but I put it away in my other super-secret hiding place...or maybe it just got lost outside.

If you have four legs and/or fur or feathers, consider yourself tagged! And please leave me a comment. I am adorable, you know ;-)

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Challenge Complete!

I finished Tonya's is my Hugs and Kisses quilt! Trying to get big borders from my meager stash is a bit difficult. I needed to make it at least 60x70 to donate to a senior center that is our longarm group charity for the year. From now on, I think I will keep the letters in the border as titles, but I definitely enjoyed the process!

Next up...more borders and bindings on two other projects!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Baby Knits

Here are some lovely hand-knit gifts that Baby K received...a Petal Bib (a One Skein project), the square bib from Mason-Dixon, Baby Bolero from One Skein and a variety of burp cloths. They are almost too pretty to use! Luckily, Baby K has not been much of a spitter-upper yet, just dribbles as she eats.

The Intarsia and Beading class yesterday was lots of fun. We were laughing so hard when we got to the differences in language! Debbie calls American football "the game with big shoulders and masks" and she had never heard of the term "bangs" to talk about hair...the British call that "fringe."

The project to reclaim my sewing space is about halfway complete, now to find the motivation to finish and drag out the machine and all the accessories! We are waiting for the baby's dresser to arrive, and then the organization process will be alot easier...right now Baby K is sleeping in a cradle in our room, so the nursery just has piles of clothes and toys all over the floor. And I need to get birth announcements and thank you notes in the mail! Sounds like a good job for - tomorrow :-) Just call me the Queen of Procrastination!!