Monday, January 27, 2014

Cold Snap

This month I have juggled three important tasks: building a paneled, vaulted ceiling for our home, sewing and mending for work and fun, and tending pets and spouse. The ceiling has taken precedence and I have had to be a willing helpmate. Willing means I'll do it whether I want to or not. It has been a lot of long hours, lots of physical work that I am unaccustomed to, and giving what feels like patronizing amounts of praise to Mr. Thimblepie. It is turning out incredibly, and we both feel lots of pride and satisfaction. We have been at it for 13 days without a day off. Here is a photo of the work in progress:

Clear acrylic finish, you can see above the light where it stops. 
As we progress, we both feel new aches and pains, and that is especially true for Mr. Thimblepie, who misstepped from the scaffold toward the ladder, and fell 7 ft. He landed on his feet but hit the ladder going down. It was scary to watch. Fortunately, we will be finished with the ceiling today. Tomorrow we will finish the main hallway ceiling, which is a normal height and we will be working on the ground.

My second task, sewing, had to take a backseat. Frown. My sewing loft is going to be glorious when the sawdust settles later today, and I can spread my work table and stuff back out. It is all shoved to one side of the loft right now. I have managed to do some sewing because it is a high priority. I finished 2 Operation Kid Comfort quilts and a pillow sham with fabric donated by a local quilt shop, Huckleberry Patches. Here they are:

Sister quilts.

Big kids get a pillow sham.

I am taking breaks from building and sewing to play outside with the dog, and to cook yummy food for the spouse. Today I made humus, and we had fresh eggs for lunch. Dinner will be enchiladas and sourdough fruit cake for dessert.

I also finished my January goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes. My goal was to get the pattern drafted for my wool applique button project. I did that, and started the applique, using some delightful embellishing techniques learned last year from Sue Spargo. I am doing my wool colors differently from the traditional Pacific Northwest Tribes. I am using an ecru base, then steel blue and lastly some hand dyed teal. I am still searching for more mother of pearl buttons. Here is the work so far:

Finished size will be 18" x 24".  
Have you been busy with New Year resolutions, too?

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Starting Projects Makes Me Happy

I am happily home after a wonderful holiday in Boise with my 3 daughters, and with friends. We all had a good time catching up on news, cooking, laughing, playing, and generally goofing off. I took a break from the internet most of the time, with 2 brief web visits at the library. That was good for me, and I was surprised to not have very much withdrawal. I got to visit my grandkids and gave them some handmade gifts:

Grace got a fimo book and coupon for clay. Lame, but she is a cheerful child anyway.

Luke's Zebra Cape/Towel.

Luke's front view. Adapted from "Cuddle Monsters" pattern.

Addison's Cinderella quilt, with 3-D tulle, petticoat lace, and bling earring and belt.
I went to an awesome meeting of the Boise Modern Quilt Guild. There were about 20 members present, including me, the newest member. I was excited to see everyone show and tell the neatest projects, share so much creative talent, and have a fun pin cushion exchange. I made a lavender stuffed chicken. My motive for attending was to get involved and educated, in hopes of being able to write a class proposal and be accepted  to teach at 2015 Quiltcon in Austin. Big hopes, but either way these ladies are super and worth a 150 mile drive for the meetings.

The center pin cushion was filled with walnut shells and had side pockets for draping over an armchair.
 I made my hip youngest daughter a steampunk bustle from a tutorial and it turned out pretty good. Here she is, with her goggles, lookin' feisty.

I used a leather riveted belt at the top.
And finally, my January project for the group, "A Lovely Year of Finishes": a wool applique button blanket. I am not intending to finish the entire thing this month. Being realistic, I will make all of the pattern pieces and get them cut out. If I am super sempstress, I will get the applique done. I will save the button application for another month. The design is from the University of Washington's School of Public Health. It is the Soul Catcher, a symbol of well being. I took the picture to a copy center and had it enlarged to 18" x 24." Next I trace it onto freezer paper.  Here is my lovely start: