Monday, June 25, 2007

On Vacation

We're leaving bright and early for Minnesota! I promise lots of cute baby pictures when we get back, since the trip includes an airplane ride and a few days at a lakeside cabin. I have my sock knitting and five novels, which I may finish unless Baby K decides this is the perfect time to start walking!

I'll be back on July 6th...until then Happy Stitching!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

More Socks that rock

The June kit... Colorway - Firebird. Luscious as always!

Pattern - "The Solstice Slip." The slipped stitches lean left, then right and look like little flames. I'm hoping to start these next week on soon as I finish the one and a third that are currently on the needles. B's second sock is about halfway to the toe, then I will finish the second sock from the April "Wild Tide" yarn, and then I can enjoy the summer selection!

Friday, June 22, 2007

A new quilt

I had the urge to piece rather than work at the longarm the last couple days. I sketched out a row quilt that incorporates some pictures of Baby K, and then I used EQ5 to come up with measurements. I decided on 5 rows: log cabins, friendship stars, paper pieced hearts, pinwheels and sawtooth stars. The pictures include grandparents and aunts and uncles, so it will be a fun family-album type wall-hanging.
Here is the heart block, and the kaleidoscope block that is now an orphan...the center has too many points coming together and it doesn't lay flat so I substituted the log cabins!

My parents just got back from a tour of China, and they brought lots of souvenirs for Baby K. Here she is getting to know a panda bear. I think she likes it!
We couldn't let her play with it very long, because it is holding a silk bamboo shoot, which Baby K bit and started to shred. She does this with all her stuffed animals...takes a big bite and pulls off a mouthful of fuzz. I hope this phase ends soon! She is also chewing the bindings off most of her books :-(
Happy mail!!! My June Rockin Sock kit arrived today, but I haven't opened it's late, and I think I'd rather see it in the daylight. Plus, I have two other socks on the needles, so
it will be a few weeks before I can cast on a new pattern. I guess I'm just a weirdo who likes to anticipate things! The only hint I've heard about this month's yarn is a keyword "fire" - red yarn with a lacy flame type pattern??? Come back tomorrow and it will be revealed!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Thursday 13

13 ways Baby K tries to avoid a nap...

1. Scream

2. Cry

3. Shriek (at a higher pitch than a scream)

4. Thrash around

5. Suck on her toes

6. Babble at the cat

7. Wave at the ceiling fan

8. Eat

9. Rub eyes

10. Rub nose

11. Kick

12. Chew on stuffed animals

13. Chew on fingers

It was a 40 minute process this morning...

Monday, June 18, 2007

First Feathers

I came home from my class at MQS inspired to try feathers. This is a shop sample for Cotton Fields, and it had perfect spaces for free-hand feathers.

In this shot of the backing, you can see my feather border:

Here you can see the "fuzzy" fabric, which was a challenge to quilt around so I kept it simple. In the pinwheel blocks, I used a continuous curve in the smaller triangles and you can barely see the small feathers in the pink triangles.

If you are intimidated by quilting feathers, there are many books that you can look at. Then practice on paper! There are some tricks to getting the flow and where to backtrack, that's why I suggest a book or class. Kim Brunner and Cindy Roth were the instructors in the classes I took, and they both recommended the book "Infinite Feathers" by Anita Shackleford.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Sock Progress

On the bottom is the first sock made with the April Rockin Sock Club yarn. I found another pattern since I didn't really care for the lace in the club pattern. But, I promised to finish B.'s pair...they are Simple Socks on 2 Circulars from Cat Bhordi's book. I'm almost to the heel on sock #2, and I'm *really* tired of K2P2 ribbing!

B. worked long and hard to finish the ripping-out project...That is the pile of thread left once all the layers were separated. Now it's time to quilt it again! I found a golf pantograph that should make it a quick finish - if you call over 2 years quick!

Happy Father's Day from baby K:

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A day for Bunnies

Baby K is 10 months old! At this point, she won't sit still for pictures, so I positioned the bunny as best I could and snapped away.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Classes at MQS

I took a class called "Everyday Feathers," with Cindy Roth. Here is a sampler she made...

Then I took a class called "Beautimous Blocks,' with Nichole Webb. (Look for her boook of the same name from Homestead Quilting.) Her motto is "Quilt Like a Rock Star!" Totally fun gal - she wore a tiara in class, it was a blast. (Amy - the block on the left is what I think of as ferns... thinner and more wavey than feathers)

More quilts from the show. This is "Plain Ol' Nine Patch," by Kathy Ellzey. It's a small quilt, probably 10 by 20 inches, and it was in the thread challenge. Yep, all that color is thread and quilting designs!!

The picture I took of this whole quilt is pretty blurry...I need to take a deep breath and hold still when I take pictures I guess! You're just trying to hurry and stay out of people's way. All the animals were paper-pieced and the quilting was different in each block, very complementary to whichever animal it was.

Monday, June 11, 2007

More Quilts

Here is another Theme quilt from MQS. It's called "Tumbling Through Time," quilted by Carol Kimble: I loved this art quilt so much that I've been dreaming about it! It's called "St. George's Trophy," quilted by Helen Baczynski. The background is a dragon pantograph, and the front is a dragon pelt. The tag hanging off reads "1 dragon slain, 1 maiden saved." I thought this was the most creative piece I've ever seen! And for Amy..."Neferkitti," quilted by Janet Fogg. Love those cats!!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Back Home!

What a week!! I left for MQS on Tuesday and had a fabulous time...wonderful classes and amazing quilts. Then, I got a call on Thursday that Baby K had a rash over her whole body and had been fussy all day. Poor thing! Daddy took her to the doctor Friday morning - strep throat. Yikes! So, they were miserable for about 48 hours, and of course the antibiotics had kicked in by the time I got home, so all is well.

MQS Report:

This quilt is called "Sugar and Spice," by Renae Haddadin, a winner in the category "Innovative Custom." The detail is breath-taking. Here you see the quilted cable/feathers in different color thread on a black background. Then, you see the other side of the quilt which is done on white fabric. It was spectacular.Next is "Northern Lights," by Janet Fogg, first place in the Theme category (theme was Timeless Stars, and the block patterns had to have been published in the Kansas City Star newspaper.) You can almost see the quilted snowflakes in the sky. The piecing to create the magnificent wolf was incredible.

Finally, here is the Viewer's Choice winner: "Turnabout" by Claudia Pfeil, a quilter from Germany. As you can see, many of the winners are quilting intricate feathers in metallic threads on black backgrounds. I love the color gradients in this piece!

More to come...I took 100 photos!!!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Talk amongst yourselves

Baby K woke up at 4am with a temperature of 102.5! We took her in to the doctor, even though she has no other symptoms - first child syndrome ;-) Diagnosis: fever. Treatment: alternate tylenol and motrin every four hours. Of course, she only wants to be held, and even then she will cry for thirty minutes at a time...which is not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but until now, she has been the happiest baby you've ever met, so this is a challenge for mom and dad!

Instructions: Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the following…They MUST be real places, names, things…nothing made up! Try to use different answers if the person in front of you had the same 1st initial. You can’t use your name for the boy/girl name question.

Your Name: Andi

Famous Artist/Band/Musician: Annie Lennox (the Eurythmics)

4 letter word: Axle

Vehicle: Acura

TV Show: Amazing Race

City: Albuquerque

Boy Name: Armand

Girl Name: Allison

Alcoholic drink: Apple martini

Occupation: Airline (flight) Attendant

Flower: Aster

Something you wear: ascot

Celebrity: Alex Trebek

Something found in a kitchen: aluminum foil

Cartoon Character: Alvin the Chipmunk

Something You Shout: Ahoy, matey!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Binding Tutorial - Part Two

At this point, you have most of the binding sewn down, and two tails that we need to sew together.

Lay the longer right hand piece, right side down, on top of the shorter left hand piece. Place one or two pins toward the edges if needed. Sew from the top left corner to the bottom right:

Once the pieces are sewn together, you can flip them together into one continuous piece. At this point, it will be very obvious if you sewed in the wrong direction!! You should have a smooth piece that will exactly fit the remaining edge of your quilt. Trim the seam allowance, and finish attaching the binding.Once the binding is attached to the front, I hand-stitch it to the back. If I were to attach the whole thing by machine, I would first attach it to the BACK of my quilt, then bring it to the front in order to cover the first seam. You can use a decorative stitch or a straight seam with matching/invisible thread for this option.

Binding is one of the tedious steps - but it has to be done in order to have a finished quilt! Quilt show judges pay particular attention to this - they also want to see the mitered corners sewn down on the front as well as the back. And some longarmers will attach the binding to the front of the quilt for you, which saves some time if you can afford the extra cost.

Binding Tutorial - Part one

I finished Elizabeth's Yellow Brick Road, and now I hope to sew on 320 inches of binding in the next 24 hours!

First, we have been outside with baby K a little bit.

I had some wonderful teachers: Mary K and Faith, who work at my mom's shop. I think this is a fairly standard method for creating straight-grain bindings.

To start, I measure the perimeter of the quilt, and add 20. My current quilt measured 74 by 87, which is about 320 + 20 = 340. Divide this by 40, and that tells you how many strips to cut for your binding. I cut nine strips at 2.25 inches (two and a quarter). Sew them together on a diagonal (see part 2), trim the seam allowance and press in half.

I then take this looooong folded strip and sew the raw edge to the FRONT of my quilt, using a quarter inch seam. I start sewing in the middle of one side of the quilt, and leave at least a 10 inch tail.

When you reach a corner, stop a quarter inch from the edge, turn the quilt, and sew off through the corner:To make a mitered corner, fold the strip vertically to the top of the quilt:

Then bring it down, keeping the fold even with the edge of the quilt. You will have a little triangle "pocket" when you are done. Start sewing again using a quarter inch seam.

When you have turned the fourth corner, stop sewing, leaving a substantial gap, and bring your quilt to a cutting surface. Fold both tails so they meet somewhere in the middle. Cut the extra binding so that one inch remains on the left, and 1.25 inches remains on the right.

You are oe ready to sew the tails to make a continuous loop! Go back to the directions for part two.