Wednesday, December 24, 2014

So - what's been happening?

I went off the blogging radar in September just before heading out to the Fallen Firefighter Memorial Service and since then life has been quite interesting.

Friends and family have been kept up to date and people who just come here to see quilting, knitting and cat pictures really don't need the whole story so all I'll say here is a quick up date. The day after the service for my sister-in-law (she was a Fire Captain- see older posts) my brother had a massive heart attack and passed away. We were in Colorado for the memorial so dealing with an out of state death was challenging. Since then, as the only surviving family member, I've been flying back and forth between home and California to handle the estate. Changing time zones and weather and life style so frequently has messed with my routine and things like the blog have been forgotten.

The past couple months I have NOT forgotten knitting and quilting. Knitting in an airplane works well if you bring something small. Luckily I've been flying with a friend and she is also a knitter so she understands my need to use those 3 hours to knit.

Here's some of my knitting the past couple months.

I decided to use up some old lace yarn and make some cowls. I made one and kind of got into a grove and before I knew it I had made 3. Then I changed up the stitch pattern a bit and made another one.

The pattern is Liquid Amber by Stacy Simpson Duke and the yarn is Knit Picks Gossamer. This yarn has been in my stash for several years and I notice its no longer available .

I made one in the Pink for a friend's daughter and one in blue and since there was some leftover yarn I made one using  both colors every other row.

Then surprise - I still had more yarn so I tried making a pink one using a Fan and feathers stitch (which I forgot to get an individual picture of). I'm guessing one of these days there will be another blue one. These are great for quick gifts.

Then I found some Knit Picks Chroma in my stash - 2 balls of Impressionist. Another yarn no longer available (colorway that is).  Because of my running back and forth to California, I wasn't sure I could host Christmas for the family this year. My cousin's daughter volunteered and as a thank you I spent a couple flights making a Molly scarf with the Chroma. It's a simple pattern with a different look.

I also grabbed a skein of Patons Classic Wool from the stash and started making a pair of gloves. The pattern I used is Treads  which is a fingerless glove but its easy to just keep going and making the fingers into a full glove. Being a design that isn't fussy looking and the yarn (gray) I'll be able to use these for a guy or girl gift when needed.

The pattern has a braid that requires a paying attention to that row and has linen stitch section to give a bit of interest. All in all I'm enjoying knitting these. (one done - one to go)

I also finished my Desert Star Rug that I was crocheting when I got around to it. It's a lot bigger than I thought it would be and I still need to block it but, here's a shot of the rug pre-blocking.

Finally, I started knitting a lace doily. For a long time I've wanted to to knit a Herbert Neibling pattern and never got around to it. Frosted Ferns has been translated into English and it's been an interesting knit. It's not your typical lace knit. There's cross stitches, large sections of solid knitting, double yarnovers and more to keep you interested.
So, that's the last couple months, at least knitting and crochet stuff. There's also been quilting and other things going on but this post has gone on long enough and its Christmas Eve and time to get ready to celebrate.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Just checking in

I had a friend contact me today saying she had a problem with my blog. So - this post is just to check things out. My life the past 1 1/2 months has been a bit hectic and I'll write some about it and about giving the quilt to my brother but right now is just not the right time for that post.

There were some adventures and some life changes but - that's for another time.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Jan Remembered

This coming weekend is the National Firefighter Memorial ceremony in Colorado Springs. Jan, my sister-in-law will be added to the wall. To add to the special weekend, I worked hard to finish the memory quilt to bring and give my brother. Last Christmas when he came I asked him to bring me some of her fire fighter t-shirts and I would make a memory quilt. Something of hers he could wrap himself in and remember.

Being one of the world's best procrastinators I rarely finish anything early but, the quilt is done and ready to bring to Jim.

Working with t-shirts for quilts creates special problems. You need to stabilze the knit t-shirt material so it doesn't stretch out of shape and cause problems for the quilt.


All the t-shirts were different sized pictures so making standard blocks didn't work. I ended up making 16 - 18" blocked and pieced it 4x4. So it wouldn't be too busy, I decided on one background material and because Jim loves baseball and he and Jan would go to many games together - the background material is little baseballs. The border is bigger baseballs on a navy background to frame the main quilt.


All in all I think it turned out pretty good and hope Jim likes it when he sees it.

One of my "oh my" moments making this was a few days ago on Sept 11 while I was quilting it all together. I realized I was quilting the 9-11 t-shirts from when Jan went out to NY after 9-11 to help out and go to funerals. They had lost so many fire fighters that day and had so many funerals that fire departments around the country sent representatives out there to help honor the fallen at their funerals. And now Jan's name will be added to the wall that contains the names of these fallen heroes.


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Catch Up Time

Summer finally came and it made me forget how to type on the laptop keyboard. At least that's my story....

Father's Day was my last post and so much has happened since then. A quick run down:

The godson's wedding took place. It was beautiful,  exciting, wonderful, all the things you want a wedding to be. New goddaughter-in-law is such a sweet person and I can't imagine anyone better for godson. They went on a cruise around Italy, Greece and other places in that part of the world. They went to the All-star game and events here. Godson was the Target mascot, Bulldog, in the mascot race and won! He also caught a ball in the homerun tourney. They are enjoying their summer and life together to the max!

I had my 15th anniversary at work. Holy cow! 15 years!! It seems like I've been there forever but it also feels like I just got there. So many people have come and gone over the years but also many people are still there from when I started. I got a jacket with company logo and an extra day off. Better than nothing and I'm glad to accept the "gifts".

Between the non-stop rain and the lawn needing to dry out after the rains it took forever to get around to mowing the back yard. Front looked OK but the back got better bad. It's looking OK now but about time to mow again.

I made a wall hanging because I needed to do something fairly small between working on the godson quilt. I've also been working on a few smaller knitting projects - hat, socks, and a crochet project.


Pretend other project pictures are here - I'll get my act together and take some to post later.

Someone at work just had a baby boy so I made a sweater with multiple fronts. Off white cotton with 3 separate front pieces (off white, blue and brown) that button on both the right and the left. I figured cotton would be good for a summer baby and the multiple fronts would be good for the "occasional" spit up and for being able to use the same sweater for multiple outfits.

The boys are enjoying their summer by doing a all of sleeping and eating and running around the house like crazy. Wait - that's what they always do. Guess no changes here.

Life is good, why should we make any changes?!

Go away, I'm busy sleeping!

Finally, I bought a new SUV this week. I loved my Saturn Vue but it was getting a little old and I didn't want to have a car that ended up in the shop all the time. I got a really good deal and talked them into a moonroof for only $300 because it was on the only one available n the color I wanted and I did the whole "love it but don't know if I can justify the extra price" thing and the sales guy was a brand new salesperson and really wanted his first sale of a Rogue. We both came out happy.


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Father's Day

Father's Day is such a different day when you no longer have a Dad living. But - no matter - I had the best Dad in the world. Even when he isn't here, he is. I have memories.So, today I will celebrate the person he was and remember all the great times, teaching times, loving times.

In live in the house I grew up in. That means it is filled with Dad. The clock he made, The basement he finished. His tools. The rocking chair he refinished. I can't go anywhere in the house without some physical reminder of Dad. But there's more.
In the kitchen I remember the time Dad was in his brown hoodie looking out at the back yard and our white cat was sitting on the TV next to him. Both were just looking out seeing something I couldn't see. He was often deep in thought.
In the basement I can see him in his workroom making the bench for my loom because I happene to tell him about one I saw and liked. Or when I was younger, practising shots at the pool table.
In the yard, he's there. Mowing the lawn, clearing out weeds, practising his horseshoes. Everywhere I go, he's here.
So, Happy Father's Day Dad. Thank you for choosing to be my Dad. Thank you for all the wonderful memories that will stay with me forever.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Quilt - Mostly revealed

Godson and future god daughter-in-law (J&K) have seen the quilt mostly done at their party last weekend so I can post a few pictures without worried that someone they know will see it and tell them.

Before showing a few pictures, a little bit of back story. You may or may not remember me talking about BFF in past posts. Laurie and I were joined at the hip for much of our school years and that friendship remained until they day she died almost 10 years ago. At the time the boys were in their early 20s so were grown up but they are such special boys we've always stayed close. J's older brother and J have come to our groups parties and kept us up to date on their lives. I've been so blessed to have them around.

Back 10 (ish) years ago when we cleaned out Laurie's house I kept a box of her shirts thinking some day I would make a quilt of each of the boys. Time passed - no quilts - more procrastination - no quilts. You get the picture. Then J got engaged. Perfect time to make one of the quilts. And this is what I can show you some of the pictures of now.

Back about a year ago I started playing with design ideas. I liked this but the border didn't work and having the stars go all the way to the border just looked wrong.

At Christmas while talking to J&K I found out their bedroom would have sage in it so I started playing with the colors and changed the border. I also added some background between the border center. Much better! 

Liked the colors but tried some different ones. The border seemed too busy and the center stars were going to be paper pieced and time was running out so I simplified the center stars. Also, I kept playing around with the brown edging of the center piece. One thing that's so great about EQ7 (Electric Quilt 7) is the ability to play around with colors, designs and everything until you like the final look. Much better to do that on the computer than with actual fabric!

Then I found out more about their colors and the lilac changed to a green/sage and I made some other color changes. That worked. The stars around the outside are not the pale color but rather the centers are made with pieces of Laurie's shirts.

Design settled on - time to get fabric. I tried buying fabric from an online source and they were wonderful. However, I didn't read one small word in the background fabric description - flannel. OOPS! It was also more orange/gold than I wanted so I've got 7 yards of orange/gold flannel sitting around. The brown was more orange and the pale green was bright and slightly sparkly. All of them match but they didn't go with my vision of what I wanted. Off to the store to get fabric in person, other than 2 of the greens. Oh well, all the fabric was good and it will be used for something else, someday. 
Bert has discovered quilting and the joys of helping out. He loves when I trim up the blocks. The stars and snail's trails block were made by paper piecing so there was a lot of Bert goodies after each block was completed.


The pale color in the center stars is a fabric I had and it worked out perfect. It's pale brown, sage/green and pale-pale pink. It gives a little something else to rest your eyes on between the other green stars. The border (green leaves on the right of the picture) was one of the original fabrics I bought. It's actually the center background and not the outer border. The light green matched the light green of the leaves fabric perfectly even if the picture doesn't quite show that.

Here's the center before it got the green leaves added. Everything blends well and the blocks mix to create and interesting look.

That's it for now. I'll post more pictures when I finish quilting. The border is done, the binding is on. The center stars have been outline quilted. Things are starting to look complete. But before I finish the quilt - I need to head out and find a new outfit to wear next weekend to the wedding. Nothing like waiting till the last minute!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Typical Day

Since I'm working on a project I can't post pictures of (yet) I thought I'd show what a typical day looks like around here when I'm home.

There's usually a little TV watching. I never have to worry about being lonely because the Boys like to watch TV too, Sometimes near the TV like other pictures I've shown and sometimes they like to hang out with me watching TV.

What!? Did you think I was actually going to post pictures of me?
We also enjoy dining together. Of course there are times when I think we share a little too much when dining.
After dining the boys usually like to take a little nap. You'd think with all his fur Chief wouldn't get cold but sometimes he need a little extra warmth.
Yes, that's Chief's tail under the covers and partly under Bert.

Finally, there are times the boys think I need a little extra exercise and they like to create special obstacle course for me to get from the TV room to the bathroom. Actually, this happens quite frequently and I always have to walk between the 2 rooms with a shuffle to be sure I don't step on cats or tails.

Well, there you have it, a typical day around here. As you can see I'm never lonely and life always has new adventures around here.
Pictures of the project will be coming in a week or 2.