Friday, September 16, 2011

hello again

OK, when I got up this morning I determined that the first priority was to get a blog post done! I have been so sidetracked lately and not feeling like I had anything to say. I'm blaming it on the lovely vacation we had in August and the letdown that I typically feel afterwards. Do you get that way , too? Or am I the only one? I do have the bad habit of over-anticipation for upcoming holidays/vacations, which occupies most of my thought and attention for days preceding the event, and leaves a big black hole in my head afterwards. So coming out of that black hole...

The Minnesota State Fair, also known as the best place in the world to watch people, was a great outing twice this year. Sometimes we don't go at all, but this time I happened to attend twice. This actually worked out better, 2 short visits rather than 1 long one was much more enjoyable. With the heat and throngs of humanity in combination, 4 hours was the point at which it changed from fun and enjoyable to miserable and annoying. This little item on display caught my attention--

How odd! Hardly even looks like a tomato! Brita and I missed out on witnessing the birth of twin calves, but we did see the cow in labor and learned some interesting things from the vet in attendance. Even though I lived on a farm for 17 years, I never saw the birth of anything that big. Saw some piglets born, but never a calf. Probably a good thing, after watching some videos of other calf births.

Last weekend was a fun quilt retreat with members of the Ham Lake Piecemakers. We went to Bridge Creek Cottage in Augusta, WI, near Eau Claire. It is a great place for this type of gathering, and our group of 14 had an excellent visit. Lots of sewing, creating, laughing, eating, and sharing. A little sleeping thrown in there, too! This place has excellent beds, which is very welcome after spending many retreats at church-camp-type facilities that offer bunkbeds without the comfiness that ladies of a certain age desire! A couple things that I worked on:

"Vintage Baby Quilt" by YoYoMama and "Reader Wrap" by Atkinson Designs. The baby quilt is raw edge squares sewn in a grid on a solid piece of fabric, and this one is intended for a boy baby since I sorted out the pinks. Those will go into another little quilt when I accumulate enough to make it interesting. These are mostly 'homespuns' or woven plaids, and finding them in pastel colors is a challenge. That's why you see some of the tans/beiges mixed in there to make enough squares. It was a fun project and I am happy with the way it turned out. The Reader Wrap houses my Kindle, and turned out very neat and professional-looking. It's important for me to avoid that 'dorky homemade look'! The black elastic band makes a perfect closure, and since it is an elastic headband and I had to buy an assorted pack, I now have plenty of other colors for future projects!

I worked on making some more blocks for my selvage spiderweb quilt, it is growing slowly. I also added to my batik hap quilt. Both of these are ongoing projects that will eventually reach completion, but they are the type of blocks that I like to work on sporadically.

A couple projects from others, these gals really put the pedal to the metal! That's Tracy on the left, with a quilt made with the X-Blocks ruler. I have seen this pattern before but seeing it put together with these colors made it much more appealing! She continued on with adding a border of pieced blocks. On the right is Erika holding her quilt that looks like stained glass. It turned out beautifully, but I don't know what the pattern was. I will have to check at our next meeting.

Carol C. used the Little Twister ruler and a pack of Halloween squares to create this little wallhanging or tabletopper-
This little ruler/template is just perfect for making a complicated-looking project from uncomplicated sewing. I have used this template before and highly recommend trying it out in any of the 4 sizes available.

I offered to teach a little tutorial for the group on making 9-patch blocks from fabric squares instead of strips, and put together this sample project with directions for them. I love using this method, learned from a Primitive Gatherings book.

And that brings us up-to-date on the happenings around here. Enjoy your day!

"If I had to live my life again, I'd make the same mistakes, only sooner." --Tallulah Bankhead


MissesStitches said...

Such a beautiful quilt show you've given us! Thanks! I found the vintage baby quilt pattern on line, and was planning to make it "someday." It's similar to a couple of raw edge quilts I've already made.

Daniel said...

Oh how jealous I am of your fair experiences! I miss the Great Minnesota Get Together! Great update!