Monthly Archives: June 2013

My First Harmony

On my mojo recovery journey, I learned about the do.Good Stitches charity bee, and on impulse, added myself to the waitlist for a spot in a circle. In May, Rachel contacted me to let me know a spot for a stitcher had opened up in the Harmony Circle (which makes quilts for Project Linus), and I said yes. 2 blocks a month seemed manageable…

Of course, the first month, I had a baby quilt to finish and a trip to take… But, just under the wire, I did get my June blocks done (phew). I was pretty amused as the pattern was very very similar to the June Sugar Block Club pattern. The colors were to be “boy”, and the fabrics suitable for an older boy, all on a white background.

Here’s what I ended up with:

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Much of the blocks came from my scrap bin, which felt very very good! There’s some Mably, Kaffe, Anna Maria, Michael Miller, and random otherness as well. My fabrics seem like they may be a bit brighter than those in some of the other blocks, but I think it will be okay.

I’m mailing them off first thing in the morning- here’s hoping they fit the bill! And just think, next week it will be July, and time to start all over again.

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Filed under do.Good Stitches, Finish It Up Friday, Quilts

Our Trip to Knit the Bridge

Last week the kids and I went to visit my 97 year old grandma, who lives in Pittsburgh. It was an overdue visit, but a lovely one.

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Because grandma is frail, our time with her was limited to an hour or so a day- and we explored the city again in the rest of the time. My aunt and uncle were wonderful hosts, and we went to the Zoo and the Carnegie Science Center (one of the kids’ favorite places in the world). As a bonus, a friend of mine from high school recently moved to the Burgh, right down the street, literally, from my family. We hadn’t seen one another in 20ish years, so it was great to catch up- and to see our kids meet!

And of course, we managed a fiber field trip, too. Pittsburgh is soon to be the home of the biggest yarn bombing in American history. The city of three rivers has over 450 bridges, and in August the Andy Warhol Bridge will be covered completely in knitted and crocheted pieces! You can learn loads about the project on their blog and their Facebook page– and also in their Ravelry group. The scale of this project is mind-boggling!

On our last day in Pittsburgh, we stopped by their home at the Spinning Plate Gallery, and checked it out.

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Currently they are collecting and cataloging the pieces. They have nearly enough, but some need to be adjusted to the right size. Each piece is being measured, photographed, and if needed, sized up.

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The ones on the floor are ready to go… but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Yarnberg?

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The pieces on the table are not quite the right size and need some work. Happily, volunteers and guests are welcome to stop in and help. Which is exactly what Annie and I did…

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Annie worked some rows of single crochet on a piece, and I knitted some garter stitch out of some black acrylic- the black bits will be the joining pieces between all the colorful panels, and they still need LOADS of those bits.

When we stopped in we met Amanda and Kitty, and another lovely woman whose name I have forgotten- I am so sorry about that! Kitty gave me a wonderful tour, and was such a gracious hostess. We saw the blueprints for the project…

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and the knitting machines…

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which are using super fine yarn to make some massive solid stockinette pieces…

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which are then being reinforced with strong plastic construction materials.

Even the maps tracking the locales of the participants are fiber-tastic! (Locations of contributors are marked with embroidery floss.)

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While we were there, some folks  came in to drop off some pieces- and they were visiting from Barcelona! There have also been pieces contributed from Buenos Aires! Since Annie and I are both working on pieces for the Denver Satellite Reef, we feel like we represented for Denver- and there were some random crocheted bits and bobs that Kitty gave us to take home to add to some of our coral- so Knit The Bridge will also be a part of the Denver Satellite Reef. How cool is  that?

I am beyond impressed by the scope of this project. My budget is tight, but I did contribute a small amount through the Indiegogo campaign that has been set up… (It’s tax deductible, to boot.) The amount of work, planning, materials, community, and fiber that has gone into this project is simply amazing. And I cannot wait to see the finished project.

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Thank you, Knit The Bridge, for letting us be a tiny part of your amazing endeavor! We wish you all the best!

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Filed under Denver Satellite Reef, Knitting, Travel

WIP Wednesday: my *other* Home Sweet Home block…

Last week was a good week for sewing around here… Not only did I finish the Chevron Kitty baby quilt in time to present it at the baby shower, I got my 2nd June Sugar Block Club block done! I added a totally new fabric in this month, and I am very pleased with how it came out.

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The new fabric is the Kaffe in the center. I love the way it looks in this block, and it works with the other fabrics very nicely.

As always, I could talk about how my points don’t match perfectly, but instead, I’m going to just enjoy it.

Below you can check out all six months to date:

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I am still debating redoing the bottom left (February) paper pieced block. But I’ll wait to decide. There’s no rush, since no matter what I can’t finish the top until December!

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Filed under Gift, Quilts, Sugar Block Club BOM

More Coral

I’ve been yarning away on more coral for the Denver Satellite Reef. It’s been growing by leaps and bounds, but I don’t have any new photos to show you. I’m hoping to make it over there next week, but meanwhile, I can show you what I’ve been up to.

My first few submissions were limited by the amount of yarn I had on hand. I was working mainly with leftovers and scraps, so when the yarn ran out, the coral pieces stopped growing.

Even one of my most recent ones had the same issue:

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The center is so random, I don’t even know what it is or where it came from. I found a tiny ball in my stash. The outer edging is also a random leftover, no idea what project it was from. The entire coral fits in my hand.

I wanted to try something bigger… So a few weeks back I bought myself one of those giant skeins of yarn at Michael’s- not a Pound Of Love, but very similar. Over 1200 yards of worsted weight lavender. My goal was to use the entire skein on one coral. But I didn’t get that far. It grew and grew, and eventually, when I had used up about 2/3 of the skein, each row was taking 3-4 hours to complete. My experiment stopped being fun, so I switched to the multicolored edging yarn.

Check out the leftovers below…

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It took over one entire skein, over 240 yards, to complete the final edge row! And then I added a row of picot edging. THAT row took over 2.5 skeins! Over 600 yards. And 2 weeks. Take a look at my monster-piece. And check out the quarter in the photo for perspective…

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Yikes. And can you guess how much this piece of coral weighs?

Over 26 ounces.

I dropped both these pieces off at the Denver Art Museum this afternoon, so hopefully in a few weeks, after they go through the freezing process, they’ll be visible in the Reef!

Speaking of the Reef, check out this very cool postcard the DAM sent out to members this week:

Scan 20And the back-

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While the reef on the front isn’t the Denver Satellite Reef, the one on the back is! If you’re in the Denver area, come check it out! And if you don’t know how to crochet but you’d like to learn, join in one of the free weekend workshops listed above. You’re not into crochet, you say? Spun covers quilting and spinning and so many other textile arts… you’ll love it all!

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Filed under Crochet, Denver Satellite Reef

Hello, Quilty…

I have managed to shock myself.

With nearly 48 hours to spare before the shower, I actually got the baby quilt done! Pieced, quilted, bound, washed, dried and photographed.

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I just did a super simple crosshatch pattern. I felt like it enhanced the chevrons, and didn’t exceed my skill level. I think it works.

Then I dug through my stash, and found a lovely Michael Miller Fairy Frost that is cora/pink/purple- it works perfectly for the binding. And I had a whole yard, so I still have some left to enjoy later.

The back is sweet. I didn’t bother to piece it at all since the straight yardage was exactly the right width. And I figure a busy quilt back is good for a baby- it will hide stains!

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I can’t believe I actually got it done in time.

I’ve mentioned it before, but last year was my Year of No Mojo. I finished exactly zero quilts. Not just zero from start to finish, but zero tops only as well.

So this may look like one tiny, simple baby quilt, but really, it’s major accomplishment.

I’m back.

Wheeeee!

PS Linked up over at Finish it Up Friday

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Filed under Baby quilts, Gift, Quilts

WIP Wednesday: Home Sweet Home

So, somehow it’s June already.

Yikes.

That means school’s out for both kids, my mother-in-law has come for her visit, and the new Sugar Block Club pattern has arrived. Not necessarily in that order. I wanted to dive right into the June block, but those other June things kept me busy. Not to mention that baby quilt that needs to be done by the shower on Saturday morning. (It’s halfway basted! Go me! And check back for finished project pictures later this week…)

But I did have some time to do some sewing on Monday- and I got one of my two June blocks done. Hooray! Halfway there, and actually on schedule, to boot.

First came picking fabrics… IMG_2225

I’m now at the point where I’m using fabrics that are in other blocks- all of these have in fact been in other months.

The block was simple to piece. Careful pressing, as spelled out in the pattern, was the trick.

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I almost put the blocks together incorrectly, and at the last moment, I realized what I was doing, and saved myself some time spent with my seam ripper… (I almost attached the flowers to the center block, instead of putting them on the outer edge.)

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I really like the way the flowers look in this block. Again, that teal Kaffe Fassett aboriginal dot reads solid, but I love the color so much I’ll forgive it.

I’m happy with the way these 6 blocks are coming together so far.

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In all my years of quilting, I’ve never actually done a BoM before! I’m enjoying tackling a project a little bit at a time, taking time to step back and consider my choices. Have you done any BoM type projects? I might be getting a little bit hooked!

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Filed under Quilts, Sugar Block Club BOM, WIP Wednesday

Youth Baseball Day

Yesterday was Youth Baseball Day at Coors Field- basically, we can buy discounted tickets through Henry’s baseball league, and if he wears his uniform to the game, he gets to walk in a parade on the field before the game. We did it last year and it was fun, even though Henry was the only kid from his team who did it. So we decided to do it again this year. Another player from his team was supposed to be there, but he didn’t show, so Henry and I hit the field together…just the two of us, and, oh yeah, hundreds of other kids/parents/coaches.

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We had to wait in line outside for about an hour, and it was hooooooooot. But it was worth it, because walking on an actual major league baseball field is pretty awesome.

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(It was very crowded, but in that photo, I managed to make it look like Henry had the place to himself…) His favorite moment?

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Being a giant goofball when we went past the camera that fed to the jumbotron. He’s the redshirted blur… And if you know Henry, that photo sums up his personality perfectly.

Of course, the day wasn’t all about Henry. Annie and my mom were there as well, and they watched us parade on by. After all that, there was actually a game to watch… but we needed treats.

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Since I got myself a margarita, I figured the kids could have crazy fro-yo. (Not pictured, Henry’s, but it looked very very similar…) Also, check out that hat. It was a promo day, and they were giving free hats to kids. I personally think it is the ugliest hat, ever- my fashion rule of thumb is if Justin Bieber might wear it, it’s a bad idea… But free hats make for happy kids.

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See? Also see my mom, in her tasteful classic hat… Also again, see that Annie wore her old Rockies hat to the game, and decided to wear it UNDER the new hat. If this catches on, you saw it here first…

The game was a nail biter- the first few innings were awesome, for Rockies fans, and CarGo had two amazing saves out in right field. But then something went wrong and we lost our huge lead. By the bottom of the 7th it looked dire, and we’d been there for 4 hours, so we headed out. And apparently missed a comeback that is one for the books. Oh, well. All in all, a great day out.

Did you do anything special this weekend?

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Filed under Annie, Henry, Kids

WIP Wednesday: Chevron Kitty Progress (and lots of it!)

Last week I showed you all the blocks for my Hello Kitty inspired baby chevron quilt. It’s super exciting that this week, I can show you some MAJOR progress!

I had an unexpected day to myself last week, and I got the top all together!

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It’s not exactly even, and the points are far from perfect, but the top is done! And I like it. The Michael Miller hot pink dot fabric is the only thing I’d change- I adore that fabric, but I don’t like the way the strong lines of the dots turned out in the half square triangles. Ah, well.

Then last night, I ended up home alone unexpectedly- one kid at an impromptu sleepover, and the other (and Rich) at his little league game… So I busted out some Buffy on my iPad (I’m getting close to the end of the final season 😦 ) and started basting…

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It took about the length of one episode to get it done… Do you watch anything while you sew? I stream loads of stuff from Netflix. Recently it was the new Battlestar Galactica, and I’ve been watching Buffy off and on for the least year or so. I find the trick is finding something where listening without looking is okay.

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Did I mention that I found the cutest Hello Kitty fabric for the back?

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(The pun loving part of me is thrilled that there are umbrellas and rainbows on the quilt that will be a shower gift.)

Today, I ended up with even more unexpected alone time. Last day of school, which means the kids get out at 11 and noon, respectively. I took the day off to deal with that. And also, my mom-in-law was supposed to be flying in to visit. But she missed her plane, and won’t arrive until 11pm. So I let Annie go to a friend’s house, and before I picked up Henry, I got the whole darn thing quilted.

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I even managed to finish the quilting while having to stop and change the needle, after I shattered it hit one of the pins… Busted the pin pretty good too.

I can’t count on another run of surprise alone time to help me get the binding on, but hopefully, by next week, I’ll have a done quilt in time for the shower after all!

What did you do this week?

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Filed under Baby quilts, Gift, Quilts, WIP Wednesday

I may not have a green thumb, but I have some awesome Tulips

I just realized yesterday that I finished a lovely pair of socks a few weeks back, but forgot to blog about them. I think it was a combination of not having any decent photos, and my obsessions with crocheting more coral… The socks got finished and put aside. (Also, we went from crazy amounts of late spring snow straight into summer-high heat with basically no in between. Ah, Colorado…)

Which was really a shame, as they are a lovely pair. So tonight I grabbed my husband as he was racing out the door to get Henry to one of his 3 baseball games of the week, and got hime to snap away at my feet.

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The pattern is Tulip Socks, from the April shipment of the 2013 Cookie A Sock Club. It’s one of those lovely simple but elegant patterns that are not hard to knit, but finish to a stunning effect. Check out the detail on the cuff especially- I love the way the tulip shape is formed as the pattern itself kicks in.

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The yarn is a wonderful shade of purple- light and springy but not too soft- and is a club exclusive color called Violet Hour. It is Dream in Color Everlasting Sock. I’ve used other Dream in Color yarns before and loved them, but I have mixed feelings on this one. It’s an 8-ply. That’s a lot of ply for a sock yarn! I had some fiddly, annoying moments where I split the yarn… I had to rip back twice (put yarnovers in the wrong place while watching Dr Who with the fam) and in each spot, you can really tell. Fortunately, only in the stockinette sections on the bottom of the feet, but, still… I’m still trying to decide if the fabulous drape and soft texture were worth the headache of the 8-ply.

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Now back to crocheting my coral… at least until the June Cookie A shipment arrives in a week or so. What’s on your hooks and needles right now?

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Filed under CookieA, Knitting, Socks