Sunday, November 25, 2012

Good Weekend

What a great weekend! 4 days of family and fiber. I spent Thanksgiving with family enjoying wonderful food and company and then spent the next 3 days ignoring the shopping craze at home knitting and quilting.

First up - a picture of the lap afghan I finished on the knitting retreat weekend. I kept forgetting to get a pic of it up but finally decided to take one even if the colors aren't great. This is meant to be a cat free afghan so people who come to visit can use it.

It was on the bed for about 2 minutes and the cat-free thing lasted about 1 minute. Fortunately, Chief never got further than that corner and only for a minute so it's still mostly cat-free.
I'm making a few items for Christmas and this is all I can show of this weekends quilting. It's part of a bigger "thing" but this is all I can show till its given away. I'm liking how it is turning out considering it is a first time try at designing quilting with my new sewing machine.

Bad Sweater Pattern Writing
So, I started making this sweater a little while ago. I changed it so I was making both front and the back at the same time. I was well along the way when I realized the pattern was one of those that tell you how to do something and then says, "oh, by the way, you should have started doing another thing back several inches ago". So, I decided to rip out the last 3 inches to get back to the spot where I should have started the 2nd shaping thing. While ripping out I realized the sweater was going to be way too big for me and I ripping all6 inches and started over with 40 fewer stitches.

Then half way through the Celtic knot looking cable in the middle I discovered I had been making all the cables the same direction and that's not a good thing. Instead of being a Celtic knit looking thing it was kind of like ribs all leaning one direction. Yup- that 6 inches was ripped out and reknit.

In the process of all this I ended up writing up a spreadsheet that had all the shaping stuff for each row. Different cables have different timing as to when it happens plus buttonholes and side shaping. Once I got to the collar there were all sorts of things going on: collar increases, neckline decreases, cables moving around, armhole shaping. Busy, busy, busy.
I love setting up spreadsheet to make knitting basically brainless. Much better than going from page 1 to page 3 to page 2 and so on. So, now I'm finally done with armhole shaping and almost done with collar shaping. Only a couple cables are still being made and I even have a few rows where its just knit the knit-purl the purl. I think I may be back on track.

Between knitting and quilting and watching old TV shows there was a lot of resting. Chief and Bert seem to have this resting thing done to a fine honed science.

Hope your weekend was as good as mine was.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Houston Quilt Shw - part 4 Plants

So far we've looked and critters and the Hoffman challenge so this post let's look at some of the quilts with plants - flowers, trees and more.

Fiesta Mexico
Maywood Studio Master Award for Innovative Artistry

Back side of Fiesta Mexico
Again I have to apologise for being terrible at writing down the quilters names. I promise the next quilt show I go to I'll bring a notebook with me and take note!

I don't remember the name of the quilt but the lady with her back to the camera is the artist of this quilt.

by Ted Storm
Founders Award

The leaves and flowers are bits of fabric and held in place by tulle and a lot of quilting.

Next post - more quilts. Hope you're not bored yet.

Houston Quilt Festival - part 3 - Hoffman Challenge

Last night I was sitting watching TV and realized it was one week before that I had the best chimichanga in my life. Seriously, the absolute best. My friend laughed at me because the face I made at the first bite was one of total rapture.

Friday we had gone to NASA and then Galveston where the plan was to go to a seaside restaurant so she could have fresh seafood. I don't eat critters of the sea but knew any place we picked would have chicken of some sort. Anyway, the Galveston Motorcycle Rally and 500,000 motorcycles put an end to that idea - just too many people! So, we headed back toward Houston and I remembered the Kemah Broadwalk was supposed to have some good seafood places. Turns out there was a special military vehicles display at Kemah and it too was way too full of people to get a place to eat. Heading back to the freeway we saw a nice looking restaurant, Berryhill Baja Grill in League City. I got the pick 2 meal and the chimichanga was unlike any I've ever had. It wasn't a tortilla but instead a dough filled with fresh fajita beef. On top was shredded red cabbage and a sauce that was a bit like light cheese and thousand island dressing. I know, sounds strange but, it was incredible! I'm just glad I ate the spinach enchilada first because it was really good but after the chimi I don't think I would have enjoyed the enchilada. If you're ever in the Houston area do yourself a favor and RUN don't walk to the nearest Berryhill!

Back to quilt pictures. Every year Hoffman has a challenge fabric and many of the quilts and dolls are shown at Houston. This year's fabric was a purple floral print. Today's pictures are some of the items made for this challenge.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Houston Quilt Show - part 2 Critters

Time to show a few quilts. If I were to show all the pictures I took we would be here forever so you only get to see a few pictures. These aren't just the ribbon winners but more a cross section of all the quilts at the show. Some competition - some international - some part of special displays.

This post will be quilts with critters on them. Hope you enjoy!

My Gentle Giant - Ben
by Patt Blair
Pfaff Master Award for Machine Artistry- $5000

Ms McDonald Had a Farm
by Hanging by a Thread Group
1st place Group

Other people are incredibly good at taking down notes of who made the quilt and what awards it won. Not me, I'm so busy clicking pictures and having my mouth hanging open in awe of the craftsmanship that I always forget to take notes. Maybe next time I'll get better!