Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Come "a-long" with me

I've joined my first "a-long", the first of many I hope. I'm very excited. I've picked out my fabric(s) and pattern(s) . I'll finally be able to put those Amy Butler patterns I bought to good use. Last summer while rummaging through The Rag Shop I stumbled on the Amy Butler patterns, they didn't have many and of course I wanted them all. I was very patient (in my opinion anyway) and bought one a week using my 50% off coupon. Fortunately no one else seemed to want them and there wasn't even a place for them on any of the shelves. They were just there off to the side on the cutting counter. Anywhoose, I'm making the smart handbag in the upper right corner. I'll use the striped fabric for the lining and the tropical print for the outside. They were on sale, so I treated myself to a few more cuts of fabric with money I had found in the pocket of a jacket I hadn't worn since we moved here. I picked up buttons for the bag while I was at Joann's as well. I would also like to make the velma bag, the swing bag & the weekender bag (I don't have weekender bag pattern, but maybe I should check out Rag Shop again). All the other "a-longers" chose fabulous fabric and patterns, I can hardly wait to see the process and final results. One person has even finished her bag and the a-long hasn't yet started! Awesome!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Another UFO bites the dust

My nephew's birthday baby blanket is complete. Yay!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Area 51 has nothing on me

I started a scarf for my DB for his birthday. Growing up he was a great fan of BBC's cult series Dr. Who, so I decided to make a Dr. Who inspired scarf using a pattern in Sally Melville's, The Knit Stitch. The scarf was my first knitting project and I started it before we left for vacay to South Carolina. The few minutes before we left saw me practically burning my retinas trying to memorize the movements from helloknitty because I wanted to learn how to knit continental (the english method seemed like such a waste of energy to me). I figured if I couldn't learn continental from knitting an 8ft scarf it wouldn't be from lack of practice. Well it worked! During my non-driving times (my DH and I took turns) I got a hang of it and actually finished the scarf two weeks after I started. BUT I never wove in the ends and this summer will mark a two year ufo! Uggh I really don't like weaving in the ends. Now I know to weave them in while I am knitting. So because of this my poor DB still does not have his scarf. Hmmmm, his birthday is coming up and I have 49 ends to split and weave in. Can I do it by Saturday's B-day dinner? Just in time for Spring? I will try dang nabbit!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The evidence your honor

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

coincidence...I think not.

He didn't even have the decency to look abashed!

Oh well, that's what I get for leaving anything outside of a locked safe that was sealed in an airtight vault inside an undisclosed building, behind a 15ft. high electric fence. That was my uncle's Irish Hiking scarf. I started it last year and I had every intention of finishing it within my lifetime.

His partner in crime can barely even move after all that yarn play.

Hummph, exhausted

Monday, March 20, 2006

What I see, what I hear

In the early morning during my drive to work, I've been listening, off and on to "Anam Cara" by Celtic scholar & poet John O'Donohue.
he is such a pleasure to listen to, the cadence and lyrical quality of his voice are arresting sometimes I find myself having one of those "driveway moments" where you don't want to get out the car and miss what comes next. His spirituality is very thought provoking. I don't always have radio on, because I enjoy the silence. I find that silence is something so rare and sacred in these days of cell phones, ipods and the like. I remember on one of our vacations a few years back, DH and I went to Colorado and went hiking on our first day there. It was so cool to go hiking and see animals, that because I grew up in a major city, only ever saw on t.v. or in a zoo. There they were just grazing, paying us no mind. At one point while on the hiking trail two deer crossed our path. I just stood there and gently pulled DH's arm to get his attention. One of the deer had stayed behind a bit and stood in the path facing us, we stared at each other for a long time. The deer then seemed to continue on it's way, but we still hadn't moved. It came back a few seconds later with it's companion and we just stared at them and they at us for what seemed like a long time but was most likely only two minutes. Silence is like that to me sometimes a moment so beautiful, I don't want to break it. Mind you, having lived in Pennsylvania I had even seen a moose walking down our street at about 4:00 am one morning on the way to work, that was surreal. Had I known at the time that moose a sighting in PA was a nearly unheard of phenomina, I would have called the occurence in. Growing up in New York City allows you to see daily the most absurd things as an almost natural, normal occurence. Seeing a llama in the backseat of a taxi cab one day for example. But this was a different experience, we were in the Rockies, their turf this time not New England, New York City or Allentown PA. It was silent contemplation and curiosity and it was awesome.

I'm finally going to start on a book I purchased over a year ago on, "The Creative Habit" by Twyla Tharp. I'll divide my time between that and school related materials and texts

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Updates & Whatnots

Last weekend's NorthEastern Shop Hop was a complete success! If you count success as my winning any of the prizes in any of the stores in the two states involved a success, then no that part was a complete bomb. BUT on the other hand if you count success as spending a wonderful weekend driving your DH batty when he comes to the realization that gasp, you are just one of the many fabric dependent junkies out there and there is NO CURE! (insert evil laugh here) Then yes, it was a rousing success. I got to visit new quilt shops and buy more fabric and each shop had a goodie bag for the shop hop participants. One of the grand prize winners came all the way from New Jersey! There is no way she could have done all that in one day. It took us both Saturday and Sunday. Granted we started quite late on Saturday due to the fact I had a workshop to go to that had completely slipped my mind. We didn't actually hit the first shop until 2:00pm and we barely made it to the last shop on Sunday before they closed. Grand prize winners received the Madeira Treasure Chest and each store had their own drawings and prizes. Plus it was great fun. I love driving around with DH, he always takes the scenic routes and I think he's part compass.

I have been quilting I managed to square all my blocks of the crazy curves quilt and piece them, and then unpiece them. Long story, but I will say the seam ripper and I are best buds. I'm in the process of re-piecing.

Here is a pic of an arrangement I didn't choose to go with.

I began my hand quilting class being offered at one of the local high schools in the evenings. Completely lost track of the particulars of cutting my half triangles for the Amazing Technicolor Quilt. She showed us a way of cutting that would eliminate having to snip off the extra corners at the end of each altered & reassembled square (a.k.a. triangle) but I forgot, uuuggggh! I have to give her a call. Crazy quilt class and other curve class, hmmm, I believe it's best not to ask about those right now.

I had my phone interview earlier this week and just received my acceptance letter (yay!). What did you say? Why, yes as a matter of fact it is for the summer plans I'm making. Housing (check), how I'm getting to Colorado (check), transportation while I'm there (check), roommates to lower housing costs (check). Application and acceptance into the program. Ahem, application and acceptance (oh, yes of course, check). My mind prefers the spherical rather than linear thought process. I can understand the linear thought process but can't comprehend why someone would want to operate that way. I'm so glad DH has gotten used to it. This morning after breakfast DH came up with an analogy, he said I talk like I quilt. I have at least 7 different conversations going on at once and they never actually finish. Ha, ha, very funny DH, very funny.

Quilt Show Pics

On March 3rd my most wonderful DH took me to for a drive to my first quilt show "Fabrics & Fabrications" a quilt exhibit in Fairfield, Connecticut. The exhibit benefited the Make a Wish Foundation. I managed to take some photos before the juice in my camara died. The quilts were draped over pews or hung from various balconies so getting the full effect in the photos proved challenging. The descriptions and information come from the exhibit catalog.

One of my favorite quilts was a crazy quilt from 1888 made by Jennie Tarbell Crowther of Vermont.

Here is a close-up...

Other than the fact that it's a hand quilted whole cloth quilt, I'm not sure about the rest of the information on this piece. I zoomed in to get detail and forgot to write down the number to look up in the pamphlet afterwards. I think it might be called "Medallion Star" created from a pattern in the Smithsonian Institute quilt collection.

J. Phil Beaver designed the line of fabric and the quilt "Indiana Harvest" for Free Spirit Fabrics. WOW!

The "African Story Quilt" was made in Nyanga, Zimbabwe. Each panel tells a story of people in their village, an accompanying paper detailed the meaning of each picture. Of course DH thought the last panel and it's description was very funny.

"Japanese Garden Path" was created by Kathleen Rice who was inspired by a similar quilt she saw in a 2005 quilt show. It reminds me of both Stone Henge and of the stone walls found throughout New England.

"Tree of Life" is a commissioned king-size Amish piece that hung from the choir balcony in one of the chapels used for the exhibit.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Three words:

Shop...hop...drop. Still three more quilt shops to go.