Thursday, March 29, 2007


(This idea shamelessly stolen from Rhonda)

Thirteen places I have been on vacation:
1. Hawaii
2. Minnesota
3. Colorado
4. Puerta Vallarta, Mexico
5. Cruise Ships
6. British Isles
7. California
8. Washington D.C.
9. Texas
10. Florida
11. Whistler, Canada
12. Cozumel, Mexico
13. New York City

WOW - that was harder than I thought it would be!! Mainly because of my self-imposed criteria that it had to be an actual VACATION trip. I have travelled alot because of my Air Force career and quilting/stamping conventions, but that was business (supposedly, hahaha).

Vacations that I dream about...
* Baby K's first trip to Disneyland
* Australia and New Zealand
* Scotland
* Germany
* Russia
* Italy with my brother and SIL who are both architects
* African Safari

I am a big fan of "The Amazing Race." We just got a DVR box with our cable subscription last year, which makes it MUCH easier to follow a sequential show. I saw all of season 10, and I am cheering on Uchenna and Joyce in the All-Star Race. The show feeds my love of travel, although I know the participants can't really enjoy the spectacular places they are visiting.

Books that fuel the travel bug:
Eat, Pray Love. I just finished it...and I can't recommend it highly enough! Imagine spending 4 months in Italy, then India, then Indonesia. What a year of experiences.

The Ladies #1 Detective Agency. I got such a sense of Africa from this series. I haven't read all of the books yet, so I'll have to get back to that one of these days. Not much action in the books, but you feel like you are transported!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Only 12 more days...

til Easter! Which means the end of Lent!

This is what I found when I was looking for a picture to put in today's post. (Search for the "Stars" can) How cool is that - a cola tribute to quilters!

Background: while driving to the Pancake Supper on Shove Tuesday, B. and I had a discussion about what to give up for Lent. (We are Episcopalian, so we kind of pick and choose which Catholic traditions to observe, LOL.) I decided to give up french fries, which wouldn't be too difficult since we are cutting way back on how much we eat out. Then I decided I needed more of a challenge, so I pledged to give up Pepsi. It hasn't been too bad, I just had a one-can-a-day habit...but let me tell you, I will really enjoy a big cup fresh from the soda fountain after church on Easter Sunday!

I was going to continue the "fast" after Easter by not keeping soda in the fridge at home, but I may have to get a quilty Pepsi can, just for show!

And in case you are wondering, B. gave up candy, which expanded to all sweets. Too bad we got our Girl Scout Cookie order right after Lent started! His one exception has been a cake he baked from scratch. I have provided terrible temptation though by keeping chocolate in the house. He's a trooper!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Stage One Complete

Here is Baby K trying to pull up on the barstools. I'm dreading the moment that she slips and smashes her nose on the tile! I wish my back could bend like that...

I put Kerstin's top together! It sure reads orange, LOL. She picked the fabric...I just sewed :-) The next step is a small black border, then a slightly larger orange border (she loves the daisy print) and then 6-inch piano keys with all the scraps.

I finished the first of the Rockin Socks! They're a little tight going over my ankle, but I didn't want to go up a needle size and have them slide down my leg. They fit perfectly once they're on! I immediately cast on for it's mate. B. is amazed that I may actually finish this pair before the second kit arrives! Thank goodness for March Madness and Spring Break that allowed me some quality knitting time.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Squares, Updated

I laid out the blocks for Kerstin's quilt...

Then counted and recounted my blocks, and found a mistake in the pattern! Looks like I need one more block to fill in the blank space. I did some minor shuffling after this picture was taken and I have plans for the borders. Stay tuned!

Baby K got some new clothes this week so we are having a fashion show.
I am much too practical a mother. Dresses like this are for pictures only! K. is on the go non-stop now, so we keep her in cotton onesies. Thank goodness baby clothes are relatively cheap. It's about time for a garage sale to make room in her closet!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

2007 Quilt Show, Part Three

These are some more of my favorites from the Arizona Quilters Guild 2007 show:

"Sunday Morning Sudoku" by karen G. Fisher. This looks like a fun technique for playing with color placement. It won third place in the Small pieced, machine quilted category.

You need to click for the larger version to see the amazing quilting in the alternate blocks! This is "Spanish Crosses" by Marlene Cordes. She won an Honorable Mention in the Small Quilt, Mixed Technique, Machine Quilted category.

Finally, I enjoyed the color play in these non-traditional log cabins! I am drawn to the strong geometrics...things I could display in my classroom! "Log Cabin Goes Round" by Vera Smith.

Working over Break

We're thinking it's time to get a video camera. Baby K is on the move! This is the farthest she has ventured into the kitchen. She has a little pink ball that she likes to chase around and she can almost pull up on her toy box and the coffee table. This is a labor of love. (Mom - remember that saying that done is better than perfect???) I made this quilt top 2 years ago for my Dad's birthday. Mom quilted it with parallel (and not-so-parallel) lines. Then she decided the quilting is too horrible to exist in the world. And since I have soooooo much more free time than she does (see above picture...HA!) she dumped it back in my lap to pick out all the quilting and re-do it. I'm not sure what she was thinking, and I'm questioning my own sanity for doing it, but it is an overdue present for my Dad. So here we are. I spent 2 hours last night and haven't even got one block undone.
What would you do now?

Finally, I'll end on a high note. Can I just say that I love pantographs for my longarm??? This quilt is 60x60, and it took me about two hours to quilt. Love that!! It's a shop sample. I'm not sure what fabric line it is, but I think it's gorgeous.

Monday, March 19, 2007

More from the quilt show

Here are some more of the fantastic quilts I saw this weekend at the Arizona Quilters Guild annual exhibit.

This is called "Basket Case" by Sharon Brooks. (Third place in the Theme category "Out of the Attic - Old and New")

Next is "She's a 30's Star" by Debbie Stanton. First Place - Large Quilt, Pieced and Professionally Quilted. Beautiful trapunto work.

Here's what I'm working towards in my longarm quilting! This won a blue ribbon for Exemplary Machine Quilting. It's "Amish Square in a Square" by Mary Nyberg.

And our happy Baby K!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

2007 Quilt Show

For Amy...
Sunbonnet Kitties by Lynnette Mault
This was the most unusual quilt I saw...two in one! The stars float off the background,coonected at the center. "Not so plane geometry" by Diane Magarelli.
I tried to take a side view to show the 3D effect...

Finally, this year's trend - One Block Wonder! I loved the setting with a piece of the original fabric on the front. This is "Caught in the Whirlwinds" by Caryl Spenny.

More throughout the week as I match pictures to their creators!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Friday night knit club

Here is Baby K in her 7 month bunny picture: It is so fun to look back at all the pictures. I am going to combine them into a poster when she's a year old.

Now that she's mobile, she like to crawl across the room and get into her toy box.

On to the knitting! I kept measuring and trying on the sock to see if it was time to start the heel. This looks about right, but I went ahead and knit about 4 more rows to get the exact measurement.

You can see the heel taking shape...just a few more short rows and I'll start my first cable, woo-hoo! The curved needle in front is the stitch holder. Quite a pain to juggle that...I'll try waste yarn on sock #2. And I'm not a big fan of the Susan Bates metal DPNs that I'm using. My hands get sore! Any Rockin Sock knitters out there - I've seen alot of comments about going up to a size 2 for the leg...pros and cons??? Take a look at my yarn "cake" on the left. It's starting to fall apart and become a cone! I'll post a better picture this weekend. Spring Break has arrived, thank goodness. I'm planning to visit Stitch-n-Bitch this week after months of being too busy!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Summer is in the air!

Well, Phoenix has had it's three days of spring. The weatherpeople say we may hit 100 degrees this weekend! And before the exclamations start (I know you are saying "How can you live there?!?") I will just explain that us desertfolk survive the heat the same way you all survive blizzards and single digit temperatures...WE STAY INSIDE! :-)

Our school district did a very mean thing. Our spring break is next week, and they gave the students a half day yesterday...which means that today feels like Monday and no one feels like working because vacation is almost here!! I don't have any big plans for the time off other than a movie date with my girlfriend. And lots of baby time, of course.

Our big quilt show is this weekend. I am going to the Preview Party tonight, which will be loads of fun. It's a catered dinner, with a band, and several hours to see the quilts on display. I also need to visit one of the longarm dealers to pick out some thread. I find that PermaCore works best for me. A friend of mine has a thread chart, so it's easy for her to order online or over the phone, but they no longer make the charts. I was so bummed when I heard that! I am slowly building my thread stash by ordering several shades of whatever I think will work. But, I never seem to have what I need these days. I'd also like to buy more pantographs, but I don't know if any of the show vendors will have those. I know of several sites online where I can shop for patterns, but that's on the "one of these days" lists, not urgent yet!

So, you can look forward to LOTS of pictures tomorrow. (Aunt Gretchen, I'll even include some of Baby K in between the quilts!!!)

Sunday, March 11, 2007


I quilted this sampler for the Quilt Pink auction. It's overdue, and I wanted to get it donw quickly, so I just stitched in the ditch across the blocks, meandered in the setting triangles, and put a freehand vine with leaves in the border. Hopefully, you can see some of the quitling in this shot of the back:
I did find time for knitting on the Rockin Sock "inside out":
I was hoping for pooling of the colors rather than stripes, but either way it's fun to watch it emerge. Today is NCAA Selection Sunday, which means the next three weekends will be full of basketball and primo knitting time!

Baby K has had a bad rash over her chest and back, plus some diaper rash, so we spent some time in the fresh air. B. installed screen shades on our patio, and that's a shop cooler behind me, so it's very pleasant throughout most of the hot summer. Of course, it's been a beautiful weekend, with temperatures in the low 80s. Our poor snowbirds are in a tight's getting too hot here in the desert, but it's too cold to go up north!

Friday, March 09, 2007

One toe

I gave up on the swatch, and just started the pattern as written for the medium size. I got 7 stitches to the inch on size 0, and I really didn't want to use 00s for the sole! It fits, such as it is, over my toes, but I'll make a final judgement when I get more of the sole done.

I think (I hope!) I will have more pooling rather that stripes, but again, it may be too early to tell...stay tuned :-)

I had a problem with the pattern for the set-up row...when I finished the 4 repeats of (k2, p2, k1, kfb) I had 7 stitches left! I just repeated the k2,p2 once more, but when I knit my first round of the sole, the stitches were off (knitting the bumps instead of purling them). It certainly doesn't bother me, and I probably miscounted - I was running up and down the stairs since Baby K didn't want to go to bed. We'll see how the second sock works out.

I am soooooo tempted to bring my knitting to students are testing today, but I have piles of homework to grade, so I will be good. The Suns are playing tonight and that makes for quality knitting time! Although I'm torn...I have 2 quilts to put on the longarm. Mom needs them for shop samples ASAP. I will have to set a timer and knit for an hour, then quilt for an hour!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

At last!

I am an official member of the Rockin Sock Club! My first kit arrived last night and I am itching to cast on my new socks.

This is the best part:

A little "emergency skein" on a keychain! Just too cute. I carried it with me to lunch, it made me so happy.

Here's the real thing: Blue Moon Fibers' Socks that Rock in the Monsoon colorway.

Hard to tell colors on the computer, but another club member said it reminds her of her military camo uniform. That is a very good description! It's an earthy blend of greens and browns. I saw a green sky once, and it was during the summer monsoon season, so I guess that's a good name. The pattern uses cables, which will be a new skill, but one I have been anxious to try. I am stopping at the shop tonight to get needles - I hope they have the small size I need!! Then I will swatch and probably wait until the weekend to cast on the actual socks... I'll need time to concentrate on the toe-up instructions.

Work has begun on Kerstin's Squares Squared:This will be a very BRIGHT eclectic quilt, LOL. It's kind of small, so I will add some plain accent borders then some piano keys to finish it off.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Cheerful Tootsies

La had some adorable feet on her blog a couple days ago, so I share with you my favorites:

Baby K's toes - (she is standing in her bouncy seat)

And those of Gidget, while hiding in my closet:

I love the orange "freckle" on her leg! In case you haven't seen full pictures, she's a calico.

No sewing going on. B. is attending a job fair on Monday so I helped him write his resume on Tuesday night, and Wednesday is choir practice. I put the Hidden Stars away so I can start on the gifty quilts. I can start cutting bright orange fabric this weekend if I get busy and iron it all tonight! Of course, the iron gets put away and the knitting comes out during Grey's Anatomy!!

So, in lieu of fiber content, I will leave you with a picture of Baby K's new trick. She is discovering all sorts of new facial expressions!