Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Hand Quilting Completed (HAPPY DANCE!!!)

I have completed the hand quilting on my version of the Florabunda quilt.  (Insert here an image of me dancing around the room waving my hands.)  I'm very pleased with how it turned out.  I need to trim it up, make a flange and binding and apply both.  I usually have more hand-work time than I have machine-work time, so I don't know when I will actually get to this part.

So, now that the hand quilting is complete, I've started three or four other projects.  I've been itching to knit, so I started on a wrap using Caron Simply Soft in Autumn Red.  I modified the pattern to make the wrap a bit wider because I think I'm using a yarn that is not as thick as the yarn suggested (but I'm not a terribly experienced knitter, so I'm not entirely sure WHAT I'm doing!).  I had gotten four rounds of cables done and found a few mistakes that I know would have bothered me, so I took it off the needles last night and flattened it out to see if the modifications I made to the pattern worked or not.  On the needles, the end looked wavy, but off the needles it looks like it will lie flat.  So, I ripped it all out and started again.  One of the mistakes was on the very first cable and I thought the stitches I cast on weren't particularly even.  This is how far I got last night.

And, I've got a project I started on the retreat I went on a month ago.  I've gotten all the triangles pieced together and have ironed then and am working on getting them trimmed to size.  Again, I spend less time at my machine than I do hand sewing, so this is somewhat slow going. This is the pattern I will be making with those blocks.  It's from "Scrap Quilts - Fast and Fun" by Patricia Wilens.  Once I get all those blocks trimmed, it will go together fast - if I can spend some time at my sewing machine.

Then I picked up the Tea Leaves pattern again. This is my traveling hand piecing project at the moment.  I made one block a while ago and disliked making it so much I thought it would be an orphan block.  But, I decided I REALLY like the pattern, so I'm working through it and learning new ways to work on the block without hating it. Each leaf is about 3" long and less than an inch wide.  I found that easing the curves together without pinning was making this a little easier, so perhaps this won't be the struggle I thought it might be.  And, I'm putting my new block envelope to good use.

And, because it just makes me happy, here are a few pictures from my quick trip to the beach last week.

It looks like there will have to be some work done to move the sand to make that bench usable before the summer comes.  But, I don't think I'll be swimming on this beach any time soon.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Patriot's Day in Boston

I feel a little strange just ignoring the fact that a senseless act of violence marred my favorite day of the year  in Boston and just going on with my normal blog (as sporadic as it is).  I was there, but far enough away to be out of harm's way.  I was near the hospital district after attending the Red Sox game and saw a line of 20 or so State Police motorcycle officers speeding towards the finish line and a steady line of ambulances traveling back and forth.  The whole feel in Boston was tense and unnerving.  I was also there this past Saturday at the first Red Sox home game since the bombing.  The feeling was still a bit tense, but relieved as the immediate threat was eliminated. The tribute to the victims, and all the professionals, volunteers and bystanders who had a hand in helping was very moving.  And, I will be there next Patriot's Day to watch baseball and runners as they near the finish line.  I will never understand why some think that violence will solve anything, but I will not allow fear to stop me from enjoying all the sights, activities and friendly interactions I normally have in Boston on Patriot's Day.

And, to quote Forrest Gump, that's all I have to say about that.