Monday, April 29, 2013

cross stitch

Making of Patria Restaurant Cross Stitch Art Installation from Henry Salonen on Vimeo.

Thank you, Jan, for sharing this with me!  What a cool idea, and I like the music, too!  I went through a cross stitch phase back in the 70's and early 80's.  I really liked the neatness and precision of carefully counting across the grid and adding color to a plain background.  Then I was attacked by the quilt bug, and the little bit of cross stitch supplies that I have left are tucked away in a corner of a drawer.  Wish I could see this work of art in person!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

some updates

I have finished up some things and it is time to share with you!
Last week, our Busy Fingers Hexie Group at Bear Patch met for our monthly gathering, and I was able to share this little pillow--

This was a great fabric with the hexies printed in wonderful colors, by Riley Blake.  Makes such and easy little pillow cover without a single bit of English Paper Piecing!   Bordered by Kona white and bound with the stripe that matches from riley Blake.

Also, finally have a finish on this--

Sewing Scissors by Bee In My Bonnet

 And don't you just love it when you can find just the right binding?

Also, I have just been recovering from a bit of brain sprain after 2 full days of a wonderful Bernina Software Seminar--what a lot of great information to absorb and dream of ways to apply new ideas to my future machine embroidery projects.

Saturday, April 20, 2013


If you have been living under a rock for the last year, you probably haven't heard of Pinterest.  And if reading this leads you to look at the website, join the website, create multiple boards and pin thousands of pictures, then I am sorry.  Remember, self-control!

I have just been looking at some Pinterest pictures that are especially interesting to me because they are submissions of designs for fabric prints.  I'm not sure exactly how the competition works, but I just like looking.  Here is an example--

There are many styles and colors, and it's fun to browse through them and find the ones that I like.  This design of the rotary dial phone, an object on its way to extinction, is just fun.  What would you design?

Friday, April 19, 2013

what's happening around here

A brief look at the photo below might make you wonder about my purpose in displaying it here.  Well, the fact is, that is one of the side seams on the little letter sweater that I made for Ian.  Apparently, if you read the directions and then follow the directions, you can get a pretty good result!

So good that the seam is nearly invisible on the right side!  And I did try mightily to get a nice picture of  Ian modeling sweater on Wednesday.  I have seen some great pictures by another blogger of the wonderful knits that she makes for her little guy of nearly the same age, so I wanted to give it a try.  I'm not sure what her secret is, but every single picture that I took of Ian was a blur.  He would not sit still long enough to click the camera, so you will have to see what he looks like with a jacket over the sweater!

We went out for a stroll Wednesday morning in his fun little wagon.  It was a good day for playtime, and we even went for an outing to my friend's house to see some of my quilting friends.  We stayed and helped them with their stitching for awhile, ate a little lunch, wowed them with "So Big" and then waved goodbye!  They seemed very impressed!

Then back on task with some quilting that is on a deadline.  This one has now been delivered to Debbie--

The next one, Sewing Scissors by Bee In My Bonnet, is on the frame and ready to be stitched.  The backing fabric is the next picture, perfect for the theme of the quilt.  And actually designed by the Lori Holt, the Bee In My Bonnet creator, for Riley Blake fabrics.

When I can grab a few minutes I am back at my sewing machine putting together the rest of the blocks for this--

22 rows of 12 blocks each.  I am actually really enjoying putting together these tumblers and will have them done before long!  Which is a good thing, since it has to be quilted soon, like this weekend, so it can be all finished up and hung at the quilt shop for the new class display.   So, I have my work cut out for me, and the fact that there is about a foot of new snow in the yard doesn't bother me one bit!  Too bad Bob's golf league had to be cancelled last night, it would have been hard to find those white balls in the snowbanks!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

a little knitty

Over the past weekend, I had some free moments and a baby sweater to finish.  I started this earlier this year, and need to get it done while it will still fit my Ian.  The pattern is in a book by Debbie Bliss, and it is appropriately titled Letter Sweater.  I have all of the components finished now, and even got to try it out on Ian to make sure it would fit over his head.  He has been putting a lot of energy into growing that brain, and I already have had trouble getting a t-shirt to fit over that noggin!  I have clipped together the sleeve and sides.  Then I went looking for my trusty knitting bible--Knitting For Dummies.

And I learned a few important things.  I haven't made a sweater like this before, so didn't know that I should wet block it now, before making those final seams.  Wet blocking is pretty simple, I always do it for the other knits that I make.  I gave it a gentle handwash in cool water and a bit of detergent.  Then I laid it out on a spare bed on a towel, and used a measuring tape and some pins to "stake" it out into the correct shape.  As soon as it is dry, I will be back with my Dummies book learning how to correctly finish those seams.  I really do like this sweater, and have already been wondering how to convert it into a vest and make it a bigger size for next year.  So you may not have seen the last of this little knit!

I also wanted to share another idea with you that I put together for my hexie group at the store.  I always have a bonus project for them each month, and this is one of them.  I found this lidded plastic storage box in the $1 section at the Target entrance, and went to work with needle, thread and glue.  A little batting, four 1" hexagons on a background and a strip of ribbon for the edge made up into a nice little trinket or sewing box.  I love special little storage containers, whether re-purposed or scavenged or  discovered at a store.  Making them over with my own style brings a little feeling of accomplishment!

Friday, April 5, 2013

not done with Asilomar yet!

I have been going over pictures to try to keep them organized in groups, and wanted to share a few more things from my trip to Empty Spools at Asilomar.

One of the women in my class used to have a pet frog, and she used a photograph to recreate her in fabric!  First of all, I never knew anyone who had a pet frog, and on top of that, anyone who was talented enough to applique the frog!  Good job, Linda!

Another person in the group wanted to make a project involving pine branches, and look at those wonderful pinecones she made from a batik print!  The needles will be stitched in sashiko.

When Jan and I stopped for lunch in Pacific Grove, I saw this beautiful little plant in a pot on the sidewalk.  Such a nice contrast to the snowbanks back home!

We had a chance to walk around to other classrooms while we were there.  In Libby Lehman's class, they did a lot of "threadplay" on their machines and used a circle attachment.

The picture below is another example of the use of thread to make a simple design look more complex. The blue and purplish areas are all thread stitched closely together and shaded to create the illusion of twisted ribbon.

Ursula Kern was another guest instructor.  She teaches a method to take a little picture and convert it to a work of art.  In the upper left you can see the original picture, marked off in a grid.  Each section of the grid is then blown up and converted into fabric pieces sewn together.  Amazing!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

nqr--not quilting related

Our family is saddened by the death yesterday of my mother-in-law, Ruth.  She had just turned 94.  This picture was taken at Brita and Ben's wedding with her (favorite!?) son--

She was a fun and busy lady, hardly slowing down a bit.  Last summer she decided it was time to move out of her big house and into a senior-living apartment.  Turned out she really liked her new place, which was great.  The only drawback that I could see was that she said she could no longer make her good cinnamon bread in her little kitchen.  I thought that was almost reason enough to move her back to her house!

She raised 9 (yes, nine!) wonderful kids on the farm, keeping up a great big garden and keeping track of all of those kiddos.  Lots of 4-H projects and animals, sports, FFA, and the church was a big part of the life of the family.  From the first time that I met her when Bob and I started dating, I was always impressed by her energy and vigor.

Below is a picture of her with a few of her grandkids and great-grands.  She earned the name "Mini Grandma" when it became evident that she was shrinking as they were all growing!  She kept track of them all, no matter where their lives took them.  And they all remember her admonishment--"Remember you're a Hansen!"  Just to keep them grounded and a reminder of the importance of family ties.

She had recently had some concerns with her health, and just last week needed a tune-up for her cardiac status.  She had long ago made it clear in her healthcare directives that she did not want to live with limitations, so when she had a major stroke while in the hospital last Thursday, her sons and daughters understood what she meant when she said she was "ready to go home to Heaven".  And so the end of an era passes through our lives, with many good lessons and memories to hold onto.  We love you and miss you, Mom.

Monday, April 1, 2013

progress report

My vacation getaway is winding up with 2 nights in San Francisco, a wonderful city that I always love to visit.  Having my sister here is the best part!  This morning we had a chance to do some window shopping and some actual shopping.  Even made a stop in the nearby Daiso shop, the Japanese $1.50 store, according to their advertising!  I am always fascinated by all of the little containers and boxes that they have, something different than what I usually find back at home.

During our movie-watching time last night, I was able to stitch together another little hexagon block--

I love the little bug in the middle!

And I have had my knitting along, finding minutes here and there to make a few more rows.  I am at 2.5 inches--yay!  I'm aiming for 6" and then will decide if that is enough.  This is about 5 feet long, and these rows do take a bit to complete.  Tomorrow I will be occupying my waiting and flying time with some more rows!

And a parting shop of the grounds at Asilomar--

Thank you, California, for a great visit!