Sunday, June 28, 2009

More Productivity

At last -- the varnishing of the sides of the trailer are complete. 8 coats + countless little white Dalmatian hairs later and it is darn pretty if I do say so myself. The floor has been cut. The braces underneath have been glued & screwed in place. Once the glue is dry, the bottom will get at least two coats of roofing asphalt to protect it from water and road gunk. Then we can get on to more of the structural aspects of building this trailer.

Meanwhile I've been busy at the sewing machine.

I fell in love with the Moda Bistro line. Since it is a coffee based theme, it is rather appropriate for me since I freely admit I'm a coffee snob. My siblings also have the same addiction. This will be one of two Christmas gifts for them. I have the companion border print for an outer border.

Meanwhile, since I ran out of polka dot fabric that's been cut, I spent some time on my other "leaders & enders" project, my Confetti quilt. Don't get me wrong, I have NOT run out of polka dot fabric. There's still a rather tall stack that is awaiting cutting. I just wasn't in the mood to cut.

All the squares in this quilt finish at 1". Yeah, I know, I'm nuts! What can I say. I played around with this block with bigger starting squares, 2" but decided I liked the smaller size better. I haven't decided how large this quilt will be.

I also finally got tired of looking at the Blooming 9-Patch quilt top so I pieced the backing and loaded the top. Unfortunately I can't start quilting on it till the thread that I ordered arrives.

Today was one of those absolutely picture perfect days in the Pacific Northwest. The temp was a pleasant 68° with crystal clear, blue skies. From my deck, I can see the top of Mt. Rainier. It's not the prettiest of views since it's behind one house and a light pole blocks part of the view, but it is still an awesome mountain and I just love it when it's this visible. Most of the year you can't see it at all. Sometimes it just looks like a painted backdrop for a stage setting. Today, as we say here in the PNW, "the mountain is out" -- in all it's majestic glory.

So, that's what's new in my world.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Too Many Projects

First off, the varnish coats have been put on hold the past few days due to weather. It's tough to varnish when it's rainy or windy. We're hoping to finish up the varnish this weekend and move on to the floor construction.

Meanwhile, another bus project is the curtains. Here's what I'm doing to the curtains. You can see the old, loose weave curtains on the right. I'm using those as a base and covering the inside bus portion with this cute Happy Camper fabric from Clothworks. Look, it has a VW bus AND a teardrop trailer! How cute is that. My neighbor says I need to make yet another quilt for the bus with this fabric.....hhhmmmmm.

Also in the works is Bonnie Hunter's latest mystery, Christmas Lights. This is a 3-part mystery being published in Quiltmaker magazine. Most of the QB's are joining in on this mystery. Here is the first part, all complete. I had the paisley in my stash so that will be my border. I then pulled a brown from it to use instead of Bonnie's suggested black print.

See the brown in this closeup. I'm sticking with Bonnie's scrappiness, but not using strictly all Christmas fabrics. At least that's the plan right now. Naturally that is subject to change if I decide the quilt is calling to me to use more Christmas fabrics. They do that you know, call to you as you're working on them, or when you've put them aside for awhile. Only a quilter can hear the call of fabrics though. Ain't that right Quilters?

Also in the ongoing projects pile are these polka dot 9-patches. Crazy Mom Quilts has a One a Day quilt-along. I joined figuring it would give me the motivation to move these little guys along. Yes, they are little -- they will finish at 3".

I'm using setting blocks instead of sashing. As you can see, even the setting blocks are polka dot! Unfortunately this project is stalled until I get more of my polka dot fabric cut. I have quite a stack still waiting to be cut for this other polka dot project that's been lingering for quite awhile.

And then there are the couple Christmas gifts I thought I would get an early start on. But, I can't show them here. There is also the request from a fellow Dalmatian owner to make her some more doggie panties, a.k.a. Bitches Britches. Years ago, when we had a female show dog I made panties for her to wear when she was in season. They became quite a hit among the Dalmatain crowd and I made countless pairs to sell to help support rescue.

So many projects, so little time.....Have a great weekend, and for those of you in the hot parts of the country, stay cool.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Didja' Know...

....that when you own a Dalmatian, you CAN NOT get away from those little white hairs! They end up EVERYWHERE. And I do mean EVERYWHERE.

Case in point, we have started an interesting home build it project. We are building a miniature Teardrop Cargo Trailer. I know, what do you mean a "miniature" Teardrop. A Teardrop Trailer is already tiny! Well, we have taken the basic Teardrop trailer and shrunk it. A typical Teardrop is built on a frame roughly 5'x8' or 5'x10'. We have shrunk ours down to fit on a 3.4'x4' trailer frame.
See, isn't it gonna be cute? If all goes as planned, it will have pretty birch sides with a bright yellow aluminum skin for the top. For several years we have talked about wanting a small trailer that we could pull with the bus. Since the bus simply doesn't have much space for storage and we tend to bring a LOT OF STUFF when we camp, a small trailer just makes sense. But, we wanted a trailer that had some character and class, hence a Teardrop trailer.

Now, back to those little white hairs......As you can see, we have been working on this project in the garage. Arlo is not helping with this project. He doesn't get to come out to the garage when the door is open. Here The Bearded One is applying coat number 3 of the varnish on one of the sides. What the picture doesn't show are all the little white Dalmatian hairs that I keep picking out of the sticky varnish. You just can't get away from them, ever. I guess if this trailer is ever stolen, I can put "lots of little white Dalmatian hairs embedded in the varnish on the sides" as part of the description.

And here are "The Boys" relaxing. I think one's done too much varnishing and the other has been busy barking at all the kids outside walking on "his" sidewalk.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A New Appreciation

....for a color that I have never been fond of. It's rather well known among my quilting friends that I have a strong dislike of the color orange. It's true, I've been rather vocal about it. Orange just isn't a color that appeals to me. I've taken a lot of grief about this from some people -- you know who you are. So, it was with much surprise that I recently found myself admiring some beautiful orange batiks. I put it down to going to a quilt show immediately after spending a weekend camping. I must not have been in my normal frame of mind.

So, here's the result of what those batiks (plus a requisite trip to the LQS for even more) turned into. I have to say, I actually like it. As difficult as it was for me to work in a color I'm not fond of, I am really, really pleased with the outcome. I hope the recipient of this bag likes it as much as I do.

Not only did I make this in orange, but you will note that there is also a good bit of pink in several of the fabrics, including the inside. That pocket fabric is pink with tiny orange polka dots. I still cannot believe that I a) made something with all orange fabrics b) even added pink with the orange -- holy batshit, what was I thinking?!?!? c) like how it turned out. It MUST be the Sudafed I've been taking for this congestion in my sinus/ears....
Last week more friends from California were in town for the day on another cruise. We basically did a repeat of Steve & Ray's day minus the 10:00 a.m. cocktails. The flowers in the market are all iris, peonies, poppies and sweet peas. Check out the really dark plum colored sweet peas in these bouquets. I've never seen sweet peas that color before. Aren't they just gorgeous?