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.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Artful Tour of Chicago 2011

Finally, here is my artful tour of Chicago, part one. We were there after our visit to central New York. If you would like to see my first tour of Chicago, it's posted on August 30, 2008.

We had a spectabular view from our hotel room. That's Lake Michigan out there, and that's Sears Tower on the right. Except that now they call it John Hancock Tower.

The view from another window. The dark splotches on the lake are from clouds.

There was art I liked in the room.

It looked like pen and ink, which is one of my old passions, but it's really black fibers, layers of them over each other.

I thought they looked great.

I also liked this painting.

Okay, time to leave the hotel room. This building looked rasor-sharp on the top edge. Very dramatic!

Check out this storefront window! Rows and rows of old sewing machines.

You can't really tell from this photo, but this is a much bigger window higher up, with hundreds more sewing machines!

This dramatic display was a block from our hotel. It's t-shirts hanging like flags.

This sign explains the display. Each t-shirt represents one of the 77 Chicago youth killed by violence during the 2010-2011 school year.
I will finish the artful tour tomorrow.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

new art, pumpkin hat, leftover trip photos

We got this surprise gift in the mail the other day, some original art by our talented son, Warren. I love it!

I just finished this last night and need to get it in the mail for Samantha. It's a standard hat, and I had the idea to add ribs to make it look more "pumpkiny." I'm figured out the pumpkin stem by myself, too. If I have time, I'll post instructions for it. Cute, huh?

Here are a few more photos from our last trip that I missed before. I had to show you Samantha wearing her chicken dress.

I thought this was cute.
The rivers and streams were all flooded on the day that we drove to North Brookfield. This was taken in Ithaca, where we spent over an hour detouring around where this river flooded a bridge.

I should have taken better photos of the flooding. Here's a flooded cornfield near my daughter's farm. They didn't have any problems, although their stream was higher than usual.

Nice pic of mom and daughter.

Sammy pushing her little cart.

A good one with Grandpa C at the Colgate Inn.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

flannel baby ball

A friend of mine loved my flannel baby ball but will be out of town when I teach the class at Flying Geese Fabrics. I am amazed that she figured it out all by herself! Cute, huh? Wendy made the cute quilt, too.

If you are interested, I still have openings in this and other classes. Look on the right to my new "Coming Events" section to see my schedule.

I still have photos in my camera from the NY/Chicago trip. One of these days I will bring them out, I promise.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Harvest of Quilts recap

The quilt show was over, I'm exhausted after three days of solid work. But the good news is that I won an Autumn Harvest award for "Best Art Quilt" for "Summertime Cat." (who knows, it may have been the only art quilt?) It looks good with a ribbon attached to it.

I entered this quilt, too. It didn't win any awards, but I am told that it had the distinction of being the smallest quilt in the whole show. :-)

I entered a pair of socks and my "When We Were Children" felt book in the Creative Arts exhibit. I was so surprised that the book won an Autumn Harvest ribbon, too! This was decided by popular vote, whereas the quilt award was decided by the judge. I am touched.

The Quilts on the Wall "Discovery" exhibit was a big success. Here are a few photos that give an impression of how it looked. It was so windy inside that the black curtains blew about, but it still looked great, I thought. Artists: Julie Schlueter, Laura Bisagna, Carolyn Villars.

Artists: Sherry Davis Kleinman, Linda Stone, Marilyn Fromherz

The exhibit was well attended, and I heard lots of positive remarks, which is great because this is mostly a traditional quilt show. Artists: Muna Elias, Sally Gould Wright, Sandra Lauterbach, Karen Valderrama, Carol Nilsen.

I'm sorry I didn't photograph all the quilts, but I got many of them. Artists: Sandra Hankins, Cynthia Catlin, Joann Sarachman, Karen Markley. I didn't have a quilt in the show, but I was responsible for hanging it here.

Here's a peek at a holiday project underway.