Thursday, April 22, 2010

Busy but Stalled

I've been missing in action around these parts lately. I accompanied DH on a business trip last week to Skamania Lodge in the Columbia River Gorge. (we were there last September too - see this post) I had a wonderful vacation. . . while DH worked! All the wives that were there did some sightseeing together, and had a good time. However, I hardly touched a computer the whole week. I was just too busy. On the way home we stopped for a short overnight visit with my sister. That was fun, but way too short.

Since getting home, I've been trying to catch up on things, including sleep. We both got over-tired last week. "Too much fun", as DH says. Ha! Is there such a thing? And the kitties are very needy right now. . .they're always traumatized after a week in the kennel, especially Shade. (The lady at the kennel said she never saw him outside of his carry-crate.) So I have to spend a lot of time with them right now. And the allergies this year are really getting to me.

But I do have some things to show. I managed to get some sewing done before I left.

First is a charity quilt that I made. My guild is making quilts for seniors in wheelchairs, so the quilts don't have to be real big. My friend in CA sent me some patterns that she had gotten as free handouts from a speaker at her guild (Pat Fryer of Villa Rosa Designs), and this one was just exactly the right size. I tried to use only stash for this one (it calls for fat quarters), and did pretty good. But, I forgot to make sure I had enough for the border and the binding. I managed to use one of the fat quarters (that was really a regular quarter yard) for the border (without piecing it!), and I found something at the LQS that works great for the binding. So, this one cost me $4 and change! Woo hoo! I'll be making the back and binding, and then passing this on to someone else to quilt, as lots of the ladies in the guild have long- or mid-arms.

I made some very-belated Christmas presents for my sister. I haven't seen her since last October, so this was our first chance to exchange our presents. (We're always running a little behind) Anyway, this is the Humbug Bag. This is the largest size. I decided to use batiks, inside and out, because she loves them. I left her ribbons long so that she can add some beads to the zipper pull. These are fun. I hope you can tell from the photo that these are a fun shape and really easy to do. They're flat in one direction on one end, and flat in the other direction on the other end. Nice and roomy inside for storing things too.

This is the smaller Humbug Bag (hand included for size comparison). It fits inside the larger Humbag bag. I used some Asian-style fabric for this one, 'cuz she loves anything Asian. This one has an "antique" zipper that I found in my stash of zips. It's an "Invisible" zipper . . . can you even find these anymore?? I had a few technical problems with this (don't have the correct foot anymore), but it finally worked. I wouldn't recommend using the Invisible zipper for this again.

I made some pillowcases for my granddaughters' birthday presents. I was thrilled to find the "Brown Bear" fabric, as it had been the oldest girl's favorite book for a while. I'm not sure they were as thrilled with it as I was. I didn't use the trim piece this time, but used some rickrack instead. I think it's fun!

These pillowcases were supposed to be Christmas presents, but I couldn't make them after my accident. So, they became birthday presents instead. I had to pay attention to the fact that the designs on these fabrics ran lengthwise, so had to cut lengthwise instead of widthwise. After almost 30 years of sewing, I'm finally learning to recognize this!

When I visited my daughter in January, I discovered that she was using some potholders that were probably older than her! And they weren't very effective either. So, I had to make her some new ones. I found these garlic and mushroom fabrics on a field trip, and they were perfect as they're her favorite ingredients!

I made three potholders for her. One is the garlic with the rusty dot fabric, one is the mushrooms with the brown square-dot fabric and the last one is garlic on one side with mushrooms on the other. So, I had to show all the permutations.

Hopefully she won't be burning her fingers now!

Finally, I am slowly making progress with my Liberated Amish Challenge quilt. I've gotten all the 9-patches made. I got wonkier as I went, which was really fun.

This was a photo to help me decide which fabric to use for the alternate squares. The 9-patches are just kind of thrown up on the fabric to test the color. The final configuration will be a little different. This is a Cherrywood fabric in midnight blue. I have 2 yards of it, which would be enough if I were doing a straight set, but I think I'm going to set my blocks on point. After much painful math (never my strong suit), I've determined that 2 yards isn't enough for the center and the border. So the border will be something different. But I'm liking how this is shaping up. Now I get to play with my 9-patches and figure out my layout for them.

Hopefully this will happen soon! I've only got about a month to get this one done. Then I have a challenge quilt for my guild that needs to be done by July. Because I took a week and more off, I'm feeling behind. I went into the quilt studio last night, and couldn't even decide what to do. So all I managed to do was to trim some crumb blocks down to size. That's not even an active project. It didn't help that Studio Cat wanted to be in my face the whole time. So, I've got to get focused. Sheesh.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

*The Chicken Quilts*

Due to the huge demand (tongue in cheek here), here are all the wonderful chicken quilts from the Quilter's Anonymous show in Monroe, Washington that I attended a few weeks ago. I took these pictures mainly for my daughter, who is missing her chickens (and their eggs) that she had to give up when she moved to an apartment.

My alignment in this post is all wacky. I can't get it to behave, so we'll be going back and forth from the middle to the left side apparently.

Pride Goeth Before The Fall by Elaine Colvin

I much prefer chickens on quilts or on the grill to real ones. I think the real ones are pretty, and I love eggs, but they're scary to me!

You should probably know that I'm a suburban girl, born and raised. I love cats and dogs and other pets, but have a hard time understanding livestock of any kind. I'm mostly scared of all that I've met. I love meeting them and watching them, but that's about all the interaction that I'm really comfortable with. Well, except for my daughter's milk goat. Hazel was a real sweetheart and let me pet her and feed her. I think the feeding was a big help in the "liking me" department!

At this quilt show there were fancy chickens:

A Country Journal by Linda Tellesbo

This is a pattern by Maggie Walker. After looking at her web site, I discovered she has a lot of chicken patterns, all of them beautiful. She must love chickens!

There were starry chickens:

CHIC(ken) Quilt by Cindy Shivley

My daughter kept chickens for awhile. When I visited her, she tried to get me to pet her chickens, but I declined. They didn't seem to like me too much. The roosters even tried to peck my toes (I was wearing sandals at the time). I had to carry a stick to keep them away from my toes!

There were silly chickens:

Chicken Buffet by Carolann Palmer

I did like feeding the chickens the food scraps every day. They seemed to like me better then, for some reason. But it was short-lived. Apparently, chickens have a short memory. Did you know that? It was a surprise to me.

There were dancing chickens:

Tra-La Tra-La Dancing Chickens by Leanna Olmsted

I had a run-in with a rooster at my father-in-law's place once. Everybody else was gone fishing or something, and I went out to look at the chickens who were in a big pen. One of the roosters had gotten entangled in one of the plastic things that 6-packs of soda come in. So, I decided to help the poor rooster get free. I went into the pen. That was when I learned that roosters don't really like help from humans. Especially ones that they don't know and that know nothing of the ways of roosters. I managed to get out of the pen in one piece without letting any of the chickens out, but it was touch and go for a few minutes. I really didn't care if that rooster lived or died by the time I got out of that pen! By the way, they peck really hard with their sharp beaks.

There were chickens in the cornfield:

Nine Ol' Hens by Donna Myers

I tried collecting eggs while at my daughter's. For some reason, she thought I should stick my hand into the nesting box while the chicken was in it. It was dark and I had a flashlight, but there was no way I was getting that familiar with an unknown chicken! She called me a chicken!

There were more starry chickens:

Classy Chix by Judy Irish

This is a Buggy Barn pattern.

There were funky chickens:

This wild little chicken was on a quilt, and I didn't get the name of the quilt or the maker. I don't know if you can tell from the photo, but his/her feathers on the head and tail are just strips of fabric. The legs are 3-D as well.

There were frantic chickens:

Helter Skelter Chickens by Janet Goad

I love the "fried egg" flowers on this one!

There were even more dancing chickens:

Dancing Chickens by Elaine Colvin

There were even some other birds there:

Ole Crow by Marian L. Floyd

My daughter has also raised 6 turkeys. One the first year, and 5 the next year. The first year's turkey's sibling died early on (very common, I understand) and the remaining turkey poult (baby) became bonded to my daugher. Her name was Lady Zany Wobbledy-Gobbets. Zany was a very smart turkey, and had an impressive vocabulary. She followed my daughter everywhere on the property, knew enough to peck on the sliding glass door when she was hungry, and even bonded with a pregnant mare next door to avoid the chopping block on her first Thanksgiving! I never knew turkeys could have such a personality. Oh, and she didn't like me either. And she was really scary, because she was so big! (She weighed at least 35 pounds by her second summer.)

Which brings me to the other poultry quilt in this show:

Whidbey Island Turkey by Lisa Halter

Lisa took a picture of a turkey, and then turned it into a quilt!

I hope you've enjoyed all the chicken quilts!