Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Global Warming

Please, if you're one of those people (like my brother) who don't believe in Global Warming, come to Seattle, RIGHT NOW!

Here's what we're used to:

Seattle Weather Almanac

Average High: 77°

Average Low: 56°

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Drink Bar

Whoa, Mom, my bowl is dribbling and I didn't do it! Really, I didn't. This thing is defective, there's water flowing down the side. Hey, that's prety cool. I can lick it -- too bad you're not fast enough with the camera!

Sheesh, can't a dog take a drink without a camera always in his face?!?


Monday, July 27, 2009

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Zig Zag Stars & More

The Zig Zag Star quilt top is done. I think this had to be the easiest and fastest top I've ever made. Unfortunately the quilting of it will not be nearly as quick as it must wait it's turn. I'm sure it will be a well behaved quilt top and patiently await it's turn.

Meanwhile, see these adorable little munchkins?

Aren't they cute wrapped up in their quilts. This picture was from two years ago and these are the quilts I made each of them when they were born. They were visiting along with their parents this past weekend and they each had their quilts in the car with them. Jonathan, the older one told me that he really liked his quilt "because it has a cool side and a fuzzy side." This is why I make quilts. This is what I love to see. People not afraid to use and love their quilts. And almost 6 years later they are much loved and used every day. That just makes me smile. I told both boys that when they outgrew these quilts I would make them bigger quilts. I know that those quilts will also be used and loved. I'm guessing they probably won't accompany them on long car trips though.......

Some things are just genetic....

There's something about summer and dry, scratchy grass. The Spotted One has taken to laying out in the dry grass and has even, on occasion, been caught rolling around on his back. Sneakers, his grandmother used to do the same thing in the exact same spot on the grass. Arlo has only just acquired this habit. Ditto, our first Dal would never think of doing it. He much preferred the shade. But both Sneakers and Arlo have always preferred to be excessively warm, whether that means sunbathing or snuggling under a quilt. Yup, it's genetic.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Some (almost) Instant Gratification

It's been a busy couple weeks. I spent the better part of last week and some of this week working on a non-quilting project. I've had a wicker loveseat sitting, buried under fabric, in my sewing room for over a year. It's needed upholstery on the seat back and new cushions along with some repair of the seat bottom. My brother eventually will be taking it over to Chelan since he has a lovely sunroom the loveseat and matching rocker will look good in. With much prodding, he finally picked out some fabric. I just wasn't motivated to work on it since he wouldn't be driving his truck until bad weather.

Well, a friend needs to borrow the set for the sunporch at her Dad's house that they are trying to sell. Their real estate agent feels a little "staging" would help things along. Thus, I got the motivation I needed to work on this project. Naturally it turned out to be more work than I had remembered. But, I can now cross this project off the list. And I can say that this project was MOST DEFINITELY not instant gratification! The Bearded One is also happy this project is complete because it means the rocker will no longer reside in the garage.

Because I had to literally unbury the loveseat from the piles of fabric that were on top of it, that meant I had to do something with the piles. I currently have 2 large shelving units from Ikea that stand floor to ceiling and each have 18 cubicles. Each cubicle is stuffed to overflowing with fabric. Literally to the point that fabric is falling out onto the floor. Let's face it, it's far easier to just stuff the fabric back into the appropriate color cubicle after using. Yeah, I'm lazy. But hey, do fI get any points for admiting this deep, dar, secret to the whole internet? Anyway, After getting some motivation from Bonnie Hunter's lecture a couple months ago, I'm SLOWLY working on refolding these cubicles. (Notice, it's been several months since I went to that lecture.) I've discovered that if I fold the fabric as Bonnie suggested, I can get two stacks, side by side in each cubicle.

Here's the first cubicle completed -- See the pretty pinks, all neatly folded & stacked? Can I boast that I have two whole other cubicles completed? That's 3 down, 33 to go! (GROAN) It's a torturously slow process that really bothers my back. So it will get done a little bit at a time. Did I mention that there's also another shelving unit with 6 shelves that are also filled with fabric? You will notice I'm not showing pictures of all this mess. Nor will you see pictures of the piles of fabric that had been residing on the wicker loveseat.

So, now for the instant gratification. All quilters need some every now and then, especially since progress on the Storm at Sea is so tediously slow. I decided I needed SOMETHING to show for all my time downstairs besides burning through two audio books and a Quilt of Valor was a good diversion. It doesn't help that this morning I stumbled upon a Zig-Zag Quilt Along. That seemed to fit the bill (like I really need another project.)

Naturally I had to do things my way instead of the Quilt Along way. I prefer making my half square triangles using the Easy Angle method. And then there was the problem that I wanted to do this NOW, not week by week, as the instructions were doled out. And, after playing around in EQ6, I decided I wanted to do my squares 6". Ok, so I'm not really doing a quilt-along. But, here's what I got done this afternoon/evening.

This is half the quilt already and this was after I had sorted and folded 1+ cubicles of fabric. Of course I'm paying for it now by having to sit here with the heating pad on my back in the middle of a very hot summer.

There's been some progress on the trailer, but since I've babbled long enough already, I'll save that for another post. This is supposed to be a quilting blog afterall. Sorry KD, no pics of the Spotted One today.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

It's Beginning to Look Like a Trailer!

So, after way more coats of varnish than I can count and then treating the inside and the floor to CPES (Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer), we did a "test fit" today. Actually this was a test fit of the brace that will be used to help hold the sides straight while we put the bracing ribs in. You can see the brace here:

We've located the yellow aluminum that we are going to cover the top in. Only problem, the aluminum is $75 and shipping is $65!!! However, the supplier specializes in homebuilt airplane supplies and they will be at Oshkosh. As it happens, The Bearded One will be heading to Oshkosh with his father in a few weeks. The supplier, Wicks has said that we could pick up the aluminum directly from them at the show. I'm guessing that this is what will happen.

So, next up, the ribs will be installed and construction on the hatch will also start. Thanks to the generousity of our very handy and knowledgeable neighbor, the vertical ribs for the hatch and the doublers for the side walls, just inside the hatch have all been cut.

As for sewing....sigh. Not much has been done. I think I have Storm at Sea burnout. But I am NOT going to put it back away to mellow for another few years. I am committing to working on it along with other projects. Everytime I get a chance to sew, I will make at least one SAS block before I work on something else. That should help the burnout factor.

And, since some people say I don't post nearly enough pictures of The Spotted One, here's one from a few months ago.

I really do need to make the boy his own quilt. During our last campout, we were sititing in the front seats of the bus playing cards and this crazy Spotted Dog was curled up on the bed with the edge of this quilt in his mouth, trying to cover himself with it. I SO wish I'd had the video camera.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Thanks Janet!

Sometimes I just can't see the forest for the trees. In this case, I couldn't get past my original background fabric. Once it was suggested that I simply surround the compass with blocks using the same, lighter fabric and then use the orignal, darker background blocks it all fell into place. Doh!

It's a little hard to see here in this picture, but in real life there is a more obvious difference. For some reason, last night, I kept wanting to keep all the original background blocks in the center, surrounding the compass. But once my dear friend Ms. Janet suggested keeping all the light in the center, working out to the darker background it all fell into place. Or was it after I gave myself a big dope slap?!

Either way, I much prefer the way the blocks with the lighter background blend into the blocks with the darker, original background. The background of the compass now fits too. And the solution was so simple. So, I'll get some more of the lighter batik that I used in the background of the compass and make at least 1 but probably 2 or 3 rounds around the compass with those blocks and then finish off with the original blocks.

Anybody want to take bets on how long it takes me to get really tired of this project and put it back into that box I pulled it out of last week?!?!?

Quilt A.D.D.

I don't have Quilt A.D.D. -- really, I don't. Well, ok, maybe just a little.....all right, more than a little. With all the talk on various quilting blogs about finishing UFO's I decided to revisit some of mine.

Here's what I pulled out from one box. I don't remember just when I started this Storm at Sea, probably about 5-6 years ago I'm guessing, maybe longer....The reason I put it away, these are all paper foundation pieced and I realized that I detest peeling off the paper.

But, I figured I'd rather see this done than sit in a box for another 5+ years. So, this is what I've managed to get done the last couple days.

Now, here's the problem, if you click on the picture, you will see that the background I used behind the compass is not the same cloud background fabric that I used with the blocks. I have a limited amount of the cloud fabric which I bought way back when. I'm hoping that there's enough to add an equal amount of units top and bottom to this to make this square. After that I will have to switch to something else. So, do I get more of the light batik I used in the compass and finish off several rows with blocks made from that? It is much lighter than the cloud fabric. I had hoped it would be a closer match when I bought it, but naturally I didn't have any of the cloud fabric with me at the time. I can get more of the compass background since I just bought that.

My thought was that if I continue the blocks with the current background and make enough to make this square, then switch to the compass batik and make several rounds with that it would tie in with the compass background. What do you think? Should I do that or should I look for another cloud fabric that might be closer to what I'm currently using?

Meanwhile, you might think that this is just a sweet picture of the Spotted One hugging the Bearded One. Wrong! This is Arlo's oh so subtle method of looking out the window since we have all the doggy eye level windows blocked off so he can't stand there barking at everything he sees that walks by.

Oh yeah, check out the spots on his shoulder, they form a capital "A". He was going to be Arlo even before we got him but the "A" really sealed it.

Have a safe and happy 4th. We will be tranquilizing the neurotic Spotted One and trying our best to block out all the sounds from the outside. Unfortunately they still have not banned fireworks in our city so it gets pretty noisey around here on the 4th.