Tuesday, November 26, 2013

New Additions

There have been a number of new things added to our home, none of which poop, for which I am eternally grateful.

First new addition was a fridge.  Our old fridge, which was original to the house, circa 1999, finally crapped out.  The freezer was at frost mode and the fridge was slightly cooler than room temperature.  It gave me the opportunity to throw almost everything out, and even after putting all the stuff back into the fridge (about 2 coolers' worth), it still looked empty.

This quilt block was started over the Pirate Retreat weekend, but I wasn't able to finish putting it together until a couple days ago.  It's from the Harry Potter Project of Doom series--the Monster Book of Monsters.  I'm not entirely happy with the paper piecing assembly, but I think it falls into the "good enough" category.  I had to take apart and re-assemble several of the seams, so I'm not going to freak out if the black pages of the book don't line up perfectly.  The original had white pages, but I didn't like the way it looked.  I wanted to give it more depth and really make the yellow teeth pop.

The guild does a monthly charm swap.  This month's fabric theme was batiks, so I bought six yards in some bright, cheerful colors, and chopped them into 6" squares.  I wasn't able to make it to the meeting, unfortunately, but my new friend, Dorene, picked them up for me.  We'll get together for lunch next week so I can fetch my swapped pieces.  I'm looking forward to getting them!  Six yards of squares will make a pretty sizable quilt, especially if you add a couple yards of black sashing!

Then the quilt will look a little bit like this one!  This is Lauri's stained glass quilt that's on my frame now.  Originally we talked about quilting it in a shiny silver thread, but now I'm thinking it'll look nicer if I do it in an all-over medium purple.  The back is purple, too.

At the guild meeting last month, I picked up this charming little quilt to sew together for their charity program.  It has polar fleece for the back, so no batting is necessary, and quickly stitched some hearts and swirls into it.

I have another bunch of fabric here to make a boy's quilt--they're always short on masculine quilts.  I thought it was another quick-to-quilt thing, but it turns out it's all fabric...it needs to be pieced.  Hmmm...extra challenge.

I have gotten several commissions for beads, weaving and quilting in the last couple of weeks.  I'm a little overwhelmed at the moment.  But...I gotta get some laundry and dishes and other cleaning done before the Thanksgiving holiday.  Toodles!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Patchwork Pirates INVADE!

I know that I haven't done much writing for some time--it's been busy and I haven't done anything remarkably interesting, but I'll catch you up on some of the basics this last month.  Kelly, Tom and I went to a couple Sounders games.  Tom traveled down from Bellingham to see the games and will be joining us next year in our Gang Green (Gangrena, as Daniel likes to call us--he's fluent in Portugese).  In at least one of these games, he had to buy a separate ticket away from our group, but was lucky enough to find a seat just a few rows behind us.

We often grab dinner at a nearby food court.  Clearly, English is a second language and proofreading is an afterthought.  I think that perhaps it was merely an issue with punctuation:  "All Employees Must Wash; Wash Hands Thou Roughly Before Returning to Work [sayeth the Lord]."

I've continued doing a little Geocaching now and again.  I found this lovely log covered with mushrooms.  It looks like a woodland fairy condominium.

I also found some of these really cool looking mushrooms, which I think are Candy Caps (Lactarius rubidus), which are edible.  Otherwise, they might be Jack o'lanter mushrooms which are poisonous.  Not going to pick them and find out...

Made some beads for a couple different people.  I promised to make 40 of them for a Kingdom gift to the Royals that will be attending the big camping event in the summer.  I've done this a couple times before in years past.  It's not very difficult, it doesn't cost more than a few bucks for my materials, and it's a great way to practice bead-making skills.  Here's me making the bead hot with the torch--you can't see the flame, but you can see the glass glowing.  I have everything I need here:  my computer, a cuppa tea, some chocolate, glass, lighter, mandrils, and a bucket of vermiculite to cool the bead slowly.  I was able to complete 9 of them that night, including these 7:

And these two, which I was trying to create a "dragon scale" pattern on the glass, which mostly worked.  I have to ask Bekah to demonstrate her technique since I suspect it could be done with more ease and consistency.

Then I posted those pictures and got a commission from a lady by the name of Jadwiga.  She said she wanted 3 beads, but I made six, figuring that she could have her choice of her favorite 3 or all of them, should she decide that 3 was not enough. :)

I got a call a couple days ago from a lady who said she had a quilt from her Grandmother that she needed to have quilted, and we made arrangements for her to come by and drop it off.  This gorgeous piece of work arrived at my house!!  It's all pinned together, so I will have my work cut out for me taking it apart and racking it up on my machine, as well as checking it for open seams.  I already found one, so I may whip stitch that one closed and any others that I find.

Early on Saturday, Lauri and Linda arrived together and we began sewing up a storm.  A few hours later, Sharon and her daughter arrived just a few minutes after Jean.  While Jean isn't a quilter, she worked on a knitting project while the rest of us cranked out some quilt blocks.  I was able to finish putting this quilt top together, which is made entirely out of scraps and measures 98" square.  It needs just a few more inches for borders to make it big enough for a king size bed, and then it'll be ready for quilting!  I had two people say that they want the quilt already, and I have tons more scraps to make more of these if I want...and I may just do that.  I may get a commission from them yet...although the cost on it is prohibitive for most.

Terrible picture, but here's Jeanie and I trading places.  Lauri called us Mutt & Jeff.

Went out for dinner at the Mexican place--I was driving, but Lauri and Sharon enjoyed macho margaritas...

Then stopped by the fabric store, only to discover that it was closed, so we went to the 7-11 instead, got a couple scratch tickets and played with the hats.  I am the walrus.  Sharon is a lemur.

After I finished the quilt top, I pulled out the Harry Potter Project of Doom that I've been working on over the last many months and began working on the next couple of blocks, numbers 11 and 12.  This was a difficult one--white owl on a cream background.  I'm going to have to do some kind of outline stitch on the bird to make it stand out.  Also, I goofed on the eye color, so I may carefully pick out the seams and reverse applique some gold fabric into place.

This block is a series of books with a feather quill.  I re-arranged the order of the pieces so I wouldn't have the yellow quill leaning against the yellow book--I didn't think that through entirely.  Later, I thought maybe, in honor of Rita Skeeter, I should have done the quill in acid green.  Heck, I may just print up the pattern again and start over...or not.

The girls got to play together all day and night--they always have such a great time together.  We decided that they are the exact same height now, even though their ages are 19 months apart.  They truly are two of a kind!

Jean didn't stay the night--she left around 11 pm Saturday--but the others had cots and inflatable mattresses set up around downstairs.  I stumbled upstairs around 12:15 a.m. for my 8 hours.

We started up again in the morning after I cooked up some pancakes for everyone--mostly the kids.  We made a trip to the fabric store around 2:30 pm where I got batiks for a swap for the guild meeting next week.  I have to wash and dry them before I can cut--batiks are infamous bleeders!  I feel like I'm way ahead by getting the fabrics organized a week in advance rather than at the last minute like I usually do.

Everyone packed up by 3 pm Sunday to head back home.  We had a great time and got a lot done.  I should have gotten more pictures...maybe I'll be able to post more after I get some sent to me by the others.