Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sunday blues

It's been raining ALL DAY. We need it here in the drought-stricken desert, but it has sapped all my energy. B. and Baby K are napping, and I've been wasting time on the computer...mostly browsing around Ravelry, that black hole for knitters. A bunch of quilters are trying to find a computer geek to create a similar website for fabric - then I'll never get anything done!

All my projects are at a standstill. I need photo fabric to finish my aunt's quilt. I need a different size knitting needle to work on the ordination stole. Since those are deadline items, I feel guilty working on my own projects.

It's almost the last minute, so I'll start grading test papers soon so I can hand them back in first period tomorrow! At least with the writer's strike there are no television programs to distract me.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Quilt In

I know the suspense is killing you...which project did she work on?!?

I took three - the graduation quilt, storm at sea and stack-n-whack fabric. I got all the blocks done and sashed together for the graduation quilt, next step is borders. No photo yet, I'm deciding if it needs two borders or just one. Leaning towards two, which is my default style!

The storm-at-sea is from a class I took two years ago with John Flynn. Did I choose the easy option of buying a laser-cut kit?!? NO! I decided to cut my own in traditional blues. And I cut, and I cut and I cut. Came home, and the project sat in the UFO bin. Last night I took it out, and read through John's rather sparse directions. The directions show very clearly how to piece the blocks together, but there are no cutting instructions! As in, "use template A to cut the diamonds." I have lots of squares and triangles, but I am missing the diamonds. So that project was set aside until I can research what to do next.

I perused my "Stack-n-Whackier" book, but I didn't see anything that caught my fancy. It's funny how Bethany Reynolds' designs have been adapted by others. She has a quilt that is basically the One Block Wonder (hexagons) and another that looks like the Doubledipity stars. I've already done the Treasure Box style, so I wanted something new. I ended up with a different pattern called "4-patch Stacked Posies" which is an easy kaleidoscope made out of squares. I love this butterfly print by Alexander Henry (the background is a rich plum). The repeat is only 12" which doesn't make for much variety in bigger blocks, but my pattern uses squares from 2.75 - 3.5 inches so it's working pretty well.

And here are a few blocks that I finished. The best part is putting them together in their different variations!

Thursday, January 17, 2008


There is a movement on Ravelry called "Mission Possible" - knitting resolutions for the New Year. I contemplated joining, but then realized that if I only finished 4 pair of socks in 2007, I probably wouldn't be able to dramatically increase that total in 2008! However, the projects I had in mind for that mission work out nicely for a Thursday 13 list:

Upcoming Knits:
1. Jaywalker socks in JanuaryOne colorway from Blue Moon Fiber Arts
2. Red, white and blue socks, pattern to be determined
3. Rockin' Sock Club kits from August, October and December 2007
4. Ordination Stole for Julie (due June 2008)
5. Baby blanket (potentially for Julie's pregnant daughter who is due in July)
6. A black cardigan, pattern TBD
7. TOFUtsies sock club kits...I think I have 2 stashed away!
8. Socktoberfest socks that were such a mess in 2007
9. Mitered Square blanket - 18 squares done, 126 to go!
10. finish striped vest...there is a little border part to do on the four main pieces, then the sewing together part
11. vest from Noro Silk Garden yarn...multicolored and self striping
12. Another log cabin out of leftover baby yarn
13. Socks from gift yarn

Of course, this list in no way resembles the order that my knitting will actually be accomplished! You'll just have to live with the suspense and check the blog frequently ;-)

And then there are the Upcoming Quilts...I'm going to a midnight Quilt In tomorrow, so I've been thinking of which UFOs to work on.
1. Graduation quilt...I need to put borders on the 20 blocks and then I'm ready to sash and assemble the top.
2. T-shirt aunt has been having issues sending me the pictures to do the last 2 blocks. we may have to resort to the old-fashioned US Postal Service! Can you imagine?!?
3. I have leftover one-block-wonder pieces, so I could do a second quilt similar to the one I finished in December.
4. I bought a charm pack and a pattern for a new purse.
5. At Quilt Camp in the Pines 2006, I started a Storm at Sea quilt with John Flynn. I have a recipient in mind when I finally get back to that project.
6. More NY Rising Sun blocks since I am teaching that class in a few weeks.
7. A Marti Michell block-of-the-month from several years ago. I think I finished 9 or 10 of the 12 blocks.
8. Jackie Robinson's "3 P's in a Pod" mystery quilt. All my blocks are assembled, I just need a design wall and some uninterrupted time to put it together.
9. The second quilt I ever started, way back in Underground Railroad sampler. I think I have 9 of 12 blocks done on that one too.
10. I bought fabric for stack-n-whack or one-block-wonders so I could start a whole new project!

Ok, you get the idea. I could probably think of a few more to make a list of 13, but obviously I have plenty of things to do at Quilt In. I'm leaning towards #1, 2 and 6 in case you wondered.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

First Quilt of 2008

Two years ago, my mom and I took a class with Sharon Schamber, and I have been recruited to teach it at Cotton Fields next month. So, we thought it would be a good idea to finish the sample! (darker background is mine, lighter is Mom's)

Here is the doesn't really show the quilting any better since it was a batik-y mottled fabric and my camera didn't like it much.

Now to review Sharon's handouts and remember how to put it together! It's the Piec-lique method that is kind of like paper piecing with freezer paper templates and glue.

It's cold and windy here in Phoenix today - one of those rare occasions when it's warmer back east than it is here! I don't mind the variety...I have a couple sweaters that I like to put on at least once a year.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Feeling Better

Looks like it was croup...or a bad chest cold. Daddy is still in bed this morning since Baby K was so nice to share all her germs. She is up and around, almost back to her normal self.I was able to do some knitting and finish a sock! It's a local yarn called TOFUsties from Southwest Trading Company. It's the first time I've used their yarn. I had fun making the bobbles, but I find I get impatient for the next step, so these are kind of short in the leg! And the foot could have used a few more rows, but socks stretch, right?!? Last fall, I had a nice routine worked out with the television, but since the writer's strike, it's out the window. I may have to resort to regular stops at Blockbuster to get me through the spring while hubby works the evening shift. I have to say that the latest Grey's Anatomy episode was NOT fun to watch after a recent visit to the ER with Baby K! I know I could turn off the TV, but it's nice to have something on in the background while K. plays. I can knit in front of the TV...quilting is not an option while she's awake unless someone else is around to keep an eye on her!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

What day is it?

This post is full of bad news, so move along or grab some tissue!

2008 certainly had a rough start. I developed a terrible rash on my legs around Dec. 30th. I thought it was a reaction to some new lotion, but it got worse even after I stopped using the new stuff. I saw a doctor who gave me antihistamine and prednisone, which has helped a little, but I am going slowly insane from the constant itchiness.

Monday was our first day back to school and it was cold and rainy. Perfect setting for the announcement that a terrible bus accident in Utah had claimed the lives of three students from our school - all well-known and involved in multiple activities. Please keep the Sheffey, Rasmussen and Bowden families in your prayers, along with the whole Deer Valley High School community as we deal with these losses.

During my last class on Monday, my husband called to say that Baby K had a fever-induced seizure at daycare and was taken to the ER. This happened back in September also, and luckily she bounces back quickly. We were in the ER for about 6 hours, and the doctor wanted to admit her overnight for observation. The only available pediatric bed was across town, so we spent a long night trying to get her settled down in a strange place. We only got about 2 hours sleep before we were discharged with an inhaler and antibiotics for a respiratory infection. I'll take her to our regular pediatrician here in a little bit. Nothing serious, just a hassle trying to juggle babysitters and substitutes for my classroom!

While baby K naps this morning, I need to finish up the binding on the Commission quilt. I put some stitching in the ditch, and the plan is to have people at church tie it while they say prayers for the recipient. Then I have a few more deadline projects - a t-shirt quilt for my aunt, a class sample for Mom's store, a graduation quilt, and a knit ordination stole for a seminarian friend. Plus, I have my for-me knitting projects like socks and the mitered blanket! So, if I get anything done, I'll try to start taking pictures again!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

I worked on a quilt that is being donated to charity. I am starting to enjoy meandering, but I need to practice my leaves more to get a consistent shape.

Every day baby K can do more amazing things...such as balancing a Lego block on one finger ;-) Man, she goes one hundred miles an hour all day long. Parenting a toddler is exhausting...which means I am strict about bedtime!
I had a fun day working on a t-shirt quilt with my mom. We got borders on all the blocks, so the hardest part is done. Baby K came over to play in the scraps and made a little nest for herself.