Saturday, July 28, 2007

Memory Lane

Deb over at Red Shoe Ramblings posted these questions, which sent me back in time...

1. Did you ever join, or consider joining a sorority or fraternity?
If I had gone to a regular college, I probably would have tried. As it turns out, the Air Force is one big fraternity and whenever Academy grads get together you start comparing stories!

2. When you were ten years old, what was your favourite thing to spend money on?
At that age, I loved to ride my bike up to 7-Eleven, but it was across a major intersection, so we didn't make the trip very often. Slurpees and surgary candy - yum!

3. How many pairs of shoes, is too many pairs of shoes?
More than 10...I rotate among three or four pairs usually.

4. What food combination do you enjoy, that others might find somewhat odd?
Well, my favorite recipe is lasagna with spinach, and my husband detests cooked spinach, so I guess that qualifies. I think I'm fairly ordinary about food!

5. When is the last time you looked at a photograph of that special person in your life?
We just had professional portraits of Baby K done, and I have them laid out in the family room.

6. Think about your best friend in high school: how long has it been since you’ve seen him/her?
About five years...she invited me to her baby shower, and since then it's only been Christmas card photos!

7. Think of the last time you saw more than one of your high school classmates together at the same time: how did you happen to run into each other?
I flew to Texas for my friend's wedding, and I thought I recognized another classmate on the plane. I found him after we landed and he was visiting another friend in the same town. We had a few drinks and then went our separate ways.

8. How many of your teachers do you think you would love to visit in person after all the years since you graduated, just to talk about having them as a teacher and catch up: one or two, three to five, five to ten, or more than ten?
Only sophomore English teacher! We would have this group activity where someone would come up with outlandish questions ("If you could go back in time, what period would you visit?") and we'd take turns answering. The walls were covered with quotes that the students picked out from our reading...lots of Thoreau! I loved that class...and now I'm a math teacher. Go figure!

9. What was the best lunch food your high school served?
I usually brought my lunch except for the one day per week when they set up a taco salad bar.

10. Did you participate in any extra-curricular activities in high school, like sports, band, etc? If so, how many?
Yep. I played flute and piccolo in band and I was a Varsity swimmer all four years.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Quilt Camp recap

At my first Quilt Camp in the Pines, I was fortunately paired with Jeanne as a roommate. She is a quick wit, has a punny sense of humor, and is a fantastic quilter. We got along as if we had been friends for years, and I have roomed with her every year. Since I was only going to stay for three days instead of six, I wanted to maximize our time together and we signed up for the same classes.

Day One - Jennie Rayment's "Twitch, Twiddle and Tuck"
(note: I am not going to link to their websites...use google if you want more info or to see their books.)

This is the teacher's sample:

I actually got my flower finished in class! It's great when you don't bring home major UFOs. I just need to add some hand-stitching to complete the 3-D effect, and some beads in the center, then it's ready to quilt.
Day Two: Martha Nordstrand, hand embroidery
I don't do much hand work at the moment, but wouldn't it be wonderful to embellish quilts like Martha does?!? Look closely, the feathers on the birds are all hand stitched! It's an incredible quilt in person.

Day three - Karla Alexander, "Aurora Aura" from her book "New Cuts for New Quilts"

Karla is a fantastic teacher! Very friendly and patient, and what a fun technique. She designed this pattern to look like the Aurora Borealis over the waters of Alaska. You basically stack rectangles of fabric, make some freehand cuts, then shuffle and sew. This is my progress so far...the light fabric gives it an icy feel, which is a nice fantasy in the desert summer heat!

Then I came home. Camp continues through Saturday, but I missed Baby K too much to be away any longer! I'm planning to have some midnight sewing sessions to finish up my UFOs, but it may be a couple months. School starts in three weeks, and teachers go back the week before students, so it really feels like summer vacation is winding down.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Away again

I am leaving this afternoon for Quilt Camp in the Pines, my last hurrah before school starts. Here are some more pictures from the quilt show in June to tide you over until I return on Thursday. Happy stitching!

I have always been attracted to color-gradient quilts. I bought a rainbow pack of hand-dyed fabric to use when inspiration strikes.
This was a beautiful two-color quilt. I love the piecing, and the fabulous quilting in the alternate blocks.A local group submitted their black and white challenge quilts:

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Finished Objects

I'm done with the April selection from Rockin Sock Club! The yarn is called "Walking on the Wild Tide' and it was a silk/merino blend. So luscious!!!

The first picture shows the shifting colors:

The second picture is a little better in showing the leg pattern, which I found in The Sock Calendar by Catherine Wingate and Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer.

On the quilting side, I pieced the back for the Row Quilt from some fat quarters in my stash. I made a big label with details about the photos that are on the front. It's important to document your quilts, and there is extra security in sewing them into the backing.

Here is some detail of the quilting. These are two of my favorite freehand designs. An all-over scroll and a "flame flower." I used the flame flower on the bright orange and yellow quilt earlier this week. The scroll is an easier background fill for me to do than meandering.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Babies grow up so fast...

This has been my primary project this summer - Baby K!

We toured a daycare facility yesterday, so Daddy thought we should try wearing shoes.

And here is bunny picture number ELEVEN. Hard to believe she is almost a year old! (for new readers, I have taken a picture of her with this same stuffed animal every month. It's a fun way to watch her grow.)
Yes, I have been managing to squeeze in some sewing time. This is the Baby K family tree row quilt. The blank space is for the other grandparents' photo. I was using up scraps, but started to repeat fabrics and then it ended up red and green. I am going to put horizontal sashing rows in and a small border in black.
This is a customer quilt that I took off the longarm this week. The top is the front of the quilt, and you can see my freehand squiggle designs on the solid backing. It was fun to work on this bright design!

Monday, July 09, 2007

AAACK! Summer's halfway gone!

As one of my teacher-friends commented today...we have to go back to school in one month! This is causing some minor panic and mental distress, since I have not accomplished much of what was on my summer to-do list. Oh, forget it...when do I *ever* do anything that I plan to do on school vacations?!? I just wish there was a way to profit from procrastination ;-)

Sock update... TA-DA:
B's first pair of handknit socks. Pattern: Basic socks from Cat Bhordi's "Socks Soar on Circular Needles." Yarn: Socks that Rock (lightweight) in Obsidian. Do not adjust your monitor...the left toe is squared off due to knitter error. B said he could live with it!

No photo of the Wild Tide April Rockin Sock Club progress...I am working on the gusset of the second sock and the foot will be all stockinette, so they should be done soon.

Baby K has been fussy all day. We're attributing it to teething...but any time she's cried over the last two months that's been our excuse, and there are no new teeth yet! Since school starts next month, I have to get serious about lining up daycare. Send your best thoughts for that search and for B as his job interviews start! He's looking for a position teaching high school history.

Baby K's new toy is a string of Hawaiian beads that I made on a cruise years ago. She can take them on and off herself and they make great noises on the tile floor.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Home again, Home again, jiggety jog!

Phew...vacation is nice, but it's always good to sleep in your own bed again. Thankfully, Baby K is an easy-going traveller. Just a few minutes of screaming during the plane's descent. I know it was her ears popping, but we couldn't interest her in drinking anything. She also didn't really like the portable crib, so she slept between me and Daddy most of the time. What luxury!

Here are the highlights of our trip:

1) a visit to the Minnesota Zoo. It's undergoing some construction, but the exhibits that are open are great. Most of the animals were sleeping during the afternoon we were there, but I don't think Baby K noticed!2) a baseball game...the Saint Paul Saints versus the Pensacola Pelicans. It was so much fun! Think "Bull Durham" - the between-inning games were hilarious. The Saints won, too.

3) a trek up to the North Woods - Clear Lake, outside of Virginia, about 65 miles northwest of Duluth. The three days we were there it was rainy and cold, which actually was a pleasant respite from the 110+ desert heat at home. We stayed inside and curled up on the couch with a book.

4) a delightful surprise was the Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary, where they have an observation deck and feed black bears every night. We saw 4 babies in a tree, and about 6 adults at the various feeding troughs. 5) Of course, I did feed my fiber habit too. I added some Christmas fabric and batiks to my collection from the Quilter's Courtyard, and the yarn is Yarni, handpainted in St. Paul, purchased at the Yarnery. Both stores were charming.

6) Uncle Ty and Aunt Jean gathered some entertainment for the baby. Their next-door neighbor had this train toy for her grandchildren. Baby K loved it, and it has really enhanced her walking skills.
Sock update tomorrow!