Friday, August 31, 2007

2 Steps Forward, 1 Step Back

Well, we're making progress with the Irish Dance dress, but I had to put the brakes on yesterday to do an emergency fitting for length. None of us knew how long it was supposed to be until Mindy sent pictures to one of the dance school instructors, & she said it had to be 4 inches above the knee when kneeling, which turned out to be about 3 inches shorter than I had it. In the mean time I worked on an edge for the collar. I did a double row of piping with loops of cording & hand applied crystals. Christie liked the results.

To alter the length, I decided the easiest way would be to remove the top 3 inches of the front panel. This will make the skirt fuller around the middle, so I'll remove some of the back to even things out, but it's easier than redoing the hem, since I already have the piping done.
Here's how the pieces are looking now. Just a few more days, & I think I'll have it finished!
Warren has been working on the Quilt Deck. The blocks are all done, now all he has is the borders. Mindy said she'll snap a picture from the air some time after it's finished. (Check out her new blog, she's showing her fused glass works.)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Termination Dust in my Studio

We haven't got any Termination Dust on the mountains yet, but it's happening in my studio. I worked all day yesterday making just a few more snowflakes for the Irish Dance Dress.
This 1st one is butterflies.
Next it's bears.
This next one is stretching cats.
The dress is still in pieces, but starting to come together.
I haven't sewn the snowflakes on to the sleeves yet, that's why the ones on the right have irregular edges.
Warren is still on vacation this week, & the weather has been nice, so he continues to work on the quilty deck. All the blocks are finished, & today he worked on the borders. When it's done I'll post another picture.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Alaska State Fair

Somebody wins $2000.00 for this cabbage.
It was a gloomy wet rainy day in Anchorage, perfect "Fair" weather, so we packed the umbrellas in the backpack & headed out to the State Fair yesterday. When we got to Palmer the weather was actually dry, & not bad at all.

Our 1st order of business was food. It was lunch time, so we each got just what we were wanting. Poppy got a turkey leg, Darian a cheese quesadilla, & I got one of MA's reindeer dogs with the sweet sauteed onions.

Next we hit the quilts.
I had to chuckle when I saw my friend, Ruth Simpson's "Postage Stamp" quilt.

I was really taken with Sharon Polluck's "Katie John". I felt it deserved way better than a second place for her artistry alone.

I was tickled to see Libby Ballard's Ravens. Libby is a former student of mine, that has really taken off & shined. She started her own line of patterns. I love her, she's a great girl.

My fellow Calendar Girl Mary P. Lee won a blue ribbon & Division champion for her Maggie Walker chickens. Mary did another Maggie Walker chicken quilt that I quilted & it got Honorable Mention at APNQ a few years ago.

As far as my 4 small individual quilts,

& the Calendar Girls Nasturtiums that I quilted & finished, every single one of them, much to my shock, won a blue ribbon. That means $30.00 in cash, (enough for admission for all of us to the Fair!).

The flowers were beautiful,
this rooster was crowing,
these chicks ran to Darian like she was their mother,
the lama hissed at us,
the kids didn't care.....
Darian thought the geese were "cute" (of course they were on the other side of the fence)...
Then after the Fair we picked up Winter, (Darian's 1/2 sister, who had school during the day), & took them to the Moose's Tooth for supper.
Tomorrow Darian heads back to Seattle & summer is just about over here.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Mixed Bag

Monday is garbage day here. We have to get up early & put the trash out, because if we put it out the night before bears will get into it. If bears get into your trash here it's a $300.00 fine. So at 6:25a.m. I got up & slipped on a pair of Crocs to go to the car to drive the trash to the end of the driveway. It had been raining most of the night, & the path to the car is uneven, hard-packed clay. It was very slick, & even though I was being careful, I slipped, & my arms flew out to my sides to keep my balance. I didn't fall, but pulled the healing shoulder. By the time I got to my PT appointment at 9 o'clock my shoulder was very stiff, & my ROM measurements way down. Ginny my fabulous PT worked on my shoulder the full 1/2 hour, & loosened it up considerably, so it feels better, but it's been a slight setback.
For the fiber portion of this blog, here is a pile of freshly laundered fabric, given to my by my friend Jackie. She decided she needed to clean out some fabric, & brought a bunch to the Calendar Girls meeting in July. I waited until everyone else had taken what they wanted, then took what was left. It's all solids, & i figure I can paint, stamp, over-dye, & discharge on them, & have a blast.
First I had to tame them though, so I washed & ironed them (using my good arm of course). I love a freshly pressed & folded stack of fabric.
Above are some photos that I took, & printed & will play with with these old glass lenses from some of auntie Ethel's old glasses. They are laeft to right, my grand daughters, Carys's hand, Darian at age 4, asleep, & Carys in my arms yawning. I will embellish with papers & panits & beads & attach them to my Crazy Clock project that I've been working on for a couple of years now.
Mindy & John & the girls came over on Sunday for dinner. I measured Christy for length on the Irish Dance dress skirt, & we talked about the hem. She wanted a scalloped hem. After thinking about it, I decided it had to be the same shape as the cape (on the right in the picture), so the front skirt panel (on the left) is how I'm shaping the hem. I'm going to get this dress done before Sept. 8th because I'm going to hang it in the clothing portion og our quilt show.
Darian has a new project in the works too.
Honey Bunny. I'm not sure how I ended up with this pattern, but she likes it, so she's making it.

This last picture is an ATC from Michelle. It is really beautiful. She stamped the eye & clock image on to heavy card, & layered beads & embossing powder until it was thick & glossy. It has a lot of depth & shimmer that can't be captured well in a photo. I love it! Thanks Michelle!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

August Push to Finish Time

One of the good things that I like about August, is the Alaska State Fair. It urges me to finish those things I've had laying around, so that I can enter them in the fair. It's fun to display there, & most years I manage to win enough ribbons to at least pay for my gate fee. The cash prizes for quilts is a pittance, but the ribbons are fun to collect. A blue ribbon wins $6.00, 2nd place $3.00, & 3rd gets $1.00. Now if you manage to grow the biggest cabbage you win $2000.00. Can you see where the priority is in the Mat-Su Valley?

Eve here has been finished finally. I've posted her before, but now she has a finished edge & bead embellishment. She will be entered in the fiber art, needle felting wall hanging section of the Fair.
Here are some details. You can click on the pictures to see them bigger if you want.

The other thing that happens soon, is our Anchorage Log Cabin Quilt guild show, right after the Fair. We always have a small quilt silent auction for our big fund raiser every year. I decided to make a replica of our raffle quilt from last year. It is 8"x11", and took me about 20 hours to complete.
It is wholecloth, I drafted the whole design on graph paper 1st, by looking at a glossy photo of the original quilt. It placed the drawing on my light box, & laid my fabric on top, then drew the color on using an assortment of fabric pens.
I used an extremely small machine stitch to quilt. It was impossible to remove the stitches once sewn in because the stitch length was so tight I couldn't possibly get the seam ripper into it, so I had to do everything right the 1st time. I used very fine threads. The purple around each block is the Superior Threads' Bottom Line #60 wgt poly thread.
The rest was quilted with #100 wgt YLI Heirloom Cotton .
I bound the edges with a single layer (instead of my usual double fold), & it's only 1/8th inch wide.
I'm pleased with how it turned out.
Thursday at quilt guild we had several people do quick demos about different techniques.
This lady is Caroll Jones (one of 2 Carol Jones in our guild). She talked about Shasiko.
I was really impressed with her work.
She studied under a Japanese lady named Noriko ---- (sorry I forget the last name), but she said she'll be going to Houston this fall to take more classes from her, so you who get to go there may see her wandering around there in her lovely Sashiko jackets.

She offered to teach us a class for free. 8 of us signed up.
PS you should all stop by my friend Kathy's blog. She's doing some beutiful work with her natural dyed wools.