Saturday, December 31, 2011

more holiday related photos

Unfortunately most of the photos I took at the Christmas eve family gathering turned out blurry...
But these anthurium looked wonderful on Christmas, and they still do.

And Ginger looked festive in red.

I don't believe I've shared this cute tree pillow. I was the lucky recipient in the annual ornament exchange, and Darla Cox made it.

Due to an unexplained online ordering mishap, my granddaughter did not receive the baby doll that Santa had planned to give her. So Santa found another one on sale at Barnes & Noble. It's made out of soft plushy fabric, not plastic. Cute, huh? It has a belly button.

I made a little sundress to fit the doll, something unpink.

I also made a tiny hat to go with the dress.

I got the hat idea from this book. Is it not a clever title? I want to make a similar hat for my granddaughter, and I intend to make a lot of the other adorable hats that are in this book.

Meanwhile, I'm still looking for the photos I took of the socks, sweater, etc., that were given as Christmas gifts.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

what I've been working on

I am giddy! I just downloaded images to Spoonflower and placed my first order for fabric from them. My fingers are crossed. Wish me luck! The fabric will be for my next quilt, due in March.

Now I can finally show you what I've been working on lately.

This is the stocking I made for my granddaughter. I made one dresden plate and chopped it up to arrange onto the stocking shape. It got stuffed full of goodies.

I knitted up bunches of these hearts and added fabric scraps, felt and embroidered embellishments. I gave them all away except for a green one for myself.

More hearts, including two in progress. They weren't exactly addictive, but eventually I was making them by heart (ouch, inadvertent pun). All were made with leftover yarns from other projects, mostly Noro.

Here is the cool yule log that Peggy brought to our Cut-Loose Christmas party. I don't know why it took me so long to post this, just busy.

Now I'll have to search my camera for photos of other things I've been working on. I gave away four pairs of socks! And I made Samantha a sweater and pants. And I made two hats.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

holiday discoveries

Samantha was fascinated by this life-sized painted cow at Yankee Candle in Vermont.

It's funny because she lives on a farm and had real live cows in her "backyard." Love seeing her walking around like a big girl.

She wasn't about to sit in Santa's lap, but she was willing to sit next to him with Mom. He's a pretty nice Santa in overalls.

Meanwhile, back here in California, Ginger enjoys cuddling with Dave or whoever is available.

I am knitting, and I am planning my next quilt, I promise. I will post photos when it's safe to.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

busy gal

It's been a while since I have posted, but I've been so busy. The tree is up, shopping has been started, and various projects are underway. My camera is getting full of photos that I can't really show yet. I don't want to spoil anyone's surprise.

'Tis the season....

Photos soon.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

No Two Alike

My Noble Elements/Winter quilt is finished! I'm callling it "No Two Alike."

It will debut at Road to California in January and move on to various Mancuso venues and other quilting extravaganzas, tba. I'm totally excited that all four seasons will appear together at two Mancuso shows.

I even got Matilda to pose nicely on it. Now on to Christmas projects!

Starring.... Samantha

Samantha wearing the pumpkin hat.

Thanks for the photos, guys!

Sammy is fluent in farm animal talk!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Speaking of Rainbows, etc.

Here's another view of the pumpkin hat that I knitted for Samantha.

I'm still hoping for a photo of Samantha wearing it. Hint, hint, pretty please?

I forget if I posted this yet. Three beautiful pomegranates, the first harvest from our tree. Two more split open, and there are two more left on the tree.

We recently did a driving trip up to the Bay area, one of our favorite places. I snapped this on the Golden Gate Bridge heading towards Marin County. It takes me back - we used to ride our bikes across this bridge when we lived in San Francisco in the early 70's.

Here's the rainbow bridge on the way to Sausalito. It was painted this way back in the 70's, too!

Speaking of rainbows, isn't this amazing? We saw this just as we were heading into Yountville, which is in wine country. Cars were stopped along the road to gape at the sight. I took this through our dirty windshield, hurriedly - I can't believe it turned out so well. 

This was the incredible view of the vineyard right outside our hotel window in Yountville..
Now we're back home and I'm facing my snowflake quilt. I tried to get a nice photo of Matilda on it, to add to my "Cats on my Quilts" collection, but she was in no mood to pose for the camera.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

One more shamelessly cute halloween post

Samantha's first Halloween, at least the first one she could participate in. Yum.

Trick or treat with an Easter basket? Well, why not?

Halloween is not complete without a black cat.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween, everybody! I found a very simple tiny witch hat in Craft daily last week and whipped it out. It's nothing fancy. No sewing, just glue gun. Then I added elastic loops to anchor the hat around Ginger's ears. So far she's only worn it for the photo, and that may be as far as it goes.
That said, I've been sewing more tops. They take about 15 minutes to sew, and I just grab fabrics out of my stash, so really it's no big deal. They're mainly to cover up her bald spot from a brown recluse spider bite from a few years ago. But they look nice on her - I think autumn colors are definitely HER. (all the colors I can't wear any more)

One more, with a yoke.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Noble Seasons: Winter in progress

I've been working hard on my Noble Seasons Winter quilt, with both machine quilting and hand embroidery.

Another peek.

I'm excited because I just found out that all four seasons of quilts will be showing at the Mancuso quilt festival in New Jersey in March 2012! They will also be at the Mancuso World Quilt Festival in Pennsylvania later in the year. I'll report more details when they become available. The Winter quilts will debut at Road to California in January 2012.

While I'm at it, here is my holiday ball, finished. Or do you think it needs embellishment?

It's rather large, almost like a soccer ball, so I'm inclined to keep it as is. I'm hoping that the people in my ornament exchange group don't read this blog. If they do, sorry about that!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Margrit's hexagon ball

I hadn't heard from my friend Margrit in ages, and it was so nice to hear from her the other day. She sent me this photo of the Dr. Seuss ball that she made for a grandchild. She lives in Utah, and she used the same English paper piecing method that I use. Cute, huh? You can really see which patches are pentagons and which are hexagons.

Friday, October 21, 2011

My Pumpkin Hat

Here are directions for how to make this Pumpkin Hat. It's my first original knitting pattern, with ribbing to make it look extra “pumpkiny.” I made it for my granddaughter, Samantha. Forgive me if the directions are a little clunky - it's my first attempt.

Fits 1-2 years. I used one skein of orange worsted wool, small amount of green worsted wool, US8 16” circular needles, US8 double pointed needles, and stitch markers.

Cast on 88 stitches onto circular needles. Join in round and work stockinette stitch for an inch. Now work in rib as follows: *purl 2, knit 9*, repeat until end of row. Continue ribbing around and around, until the hat measures 5 ½”.

Round 1: purl 1, knit 2 together, knit 7, purl2, knit 2 together, knit 7, and so on, until the end of the row, ending with a purl 1.

Round 2: purl 1, *knit 3, knit 2 together, knit 3, purl two,* repeat all around, ending with a purl 1. Use stitch markers if desired to keep track of where you knitted 2 together.

Begin the switch to double pointed needles, and continue the two rounds, decreasing until you end up with 24 stitches.

Knit one, purl 1 rib for ½” inch. Decrease 4 stitches evenly throughout next round, continue k1p1 until stem is about ½” long. Cast off, weave in loose yarn ends.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

More classes coming up

I am teaching a class on how to make this flannel baby ball at Flying Geese Fabrics on Tuesday, October 18, from 2 to 5. If you don't want to make the ball but just want to learn basic English paper piecing, I can teach that, too. Better sign up quick, it's coming up fast.

I am scheduled to teach how to make this Holiday Cookie stocking, also at Flying Geese Fabrics, on October 26th, from 4to 6. The phone number for the shop is on the right under "Coming Events." Thanks!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Artful Tour of Chicago part 2

We went to the Chicago Art Institute, home of many famous paintings, such as "American Gothic." I was amazed that people were taking photos. It was allowed, so eventually I took a photo of one of my favorite artists' paintings. It's by Marie Cassatt, unusual among the Impressionists because she was an American and a woman.

We noticed that we had to take a very convoluted passage to get to one area of the museum, and when we went outside afterwards we found out why. There are railroad tracks dividing the museum in two!

Later I went by myself to the Contemporary Museum of Art, which I enjoyed thoroughly. Last time there was a huge Dave Kunz exhibit. This time I found a Nick Cave piece, which I was instantly enamored with. There was a whole collection of his in LA last year that I missed, so it was great to see one piece in person.

Closeup. Check out all the crocheted potholders.

Back view.

Rear detail.

I loved this collaged piece, too. Sorry, I forgot to make a note of the artist's name.

After I left the museum, I began to see art everywhere. This is an artful opening in the pavement to allow a tree to grow.

This coathanger sculpture was in the front of the Museum of Contemporary Art. I'd missed it coming in.

I even saw art on the marble floor of the elevator at our hotel.