Sunday, February 19, 2012

Fruit Salad Quilt finished, Cone Nebula quilt quilted

I had a lot of self-inflicted problems with this quilt, but it is now done. It's about 44.5" wide, and I'm going to pitch it as a table topper for the quilt guild's silent auction at the show this summer. (The proceeds from the auction go to pay the bills for the show, and I have permission from the publisher to use the pattern for this purpose.)

I sort of stumbled over the orange peach and apple fabric a few weeks ago, and I think the fabric really set off the entire piece.

Now, I present to you some beauty shots of the gorgeous quilting that Lynne Bowbeer did on the Cone Nebula quilt. So, without narrative, here are some beauty shots. If you are local and want to get in touch with Lynne so that she can quilt your next quilt, send me a note, and I'll be happy to pass it on to her. (The only perk I get from this is a hug from her the next time I see her.)
Aren't those wonderful? When I show this quilt in the show this summer, I'm listing her as the co-creator. She found energy in the quilt and let it be seen. I am totally blown away by the work she did.

Finally, here is the requisite cute kitty shot. I don't know what was going on, but I noticed this grouping one evening and grabbed the camera. This was the least shaky shot. (We have Baby Boy, Big Guy, and the Princess.)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Cowls, Quilts, Spinning, and Socks

I had a note from a friend this week asking where I was and if I had abandoned this blog. Well, I've been under the weather, buried in two complicated books, and watching Downton Abbey.

First, the books. The parish's book group had a very good discussion about Elizabeth Johnson's Quest for the Living God: Mapping New Frontiers in Theology. I was really glad that I had read the book, the bishops' statement about the book, Dr. Johnson's response to the statement, and the bishops' response to her response. It was pretty dense theological argument for a non-theologian, but it was worth the time spent to read, reflect, and then discuss.

Next, just this morning, I have finished reading Charles Dickens' Bleak House. This is for my other book club. It seemed as though the book took forever, but at the end, I am glad I read this. The characters (and there are a LOT of them) are richly drawn with even minor characters having interior lives and interesting things to do. The plot is carefully drawn, with LOTS of different plot lines thrown out and then all drawn together at the end. I will be carrying these characters and their lives with me for a long time.

After finishing the Christmas knitting, I made a cowl for myself from The Garter Girl's Burberry-like cowl pattern. Here it is:
It's warm, comfortable, and bright pink. Life doesn't get much better!

As soon as I finished it, I started in on a pair of basic toe-up socks from Melissa Morgan-Oakes' book. I am using the dyed sock yarn blank I purchased from Happy Fuzzy Yarns last winter when I took her yarn dyeing class. Here's my progress so far (much delayed because I've been reading Bleak House):
I am about an inch or two up from the toes area.

I have also been spinning a bit. Here are a couple of beauty shots of the lovely silk roving I got at the Fiber Expo back in October:

Finally, I have been working on the Fruit Salad quilt. I started off by auditioning various fabrics for the setting squares, and I still couldn't figure out the orientation of the diamonds.

I didn't like any of these fabrics. Then I got the bright idea of moving away from the standard setting square idea and into a different direction. Here is the start of the notion:
Then, I realized that I had some interesting options from here, including finishing this as a circle. Here is the current state of play - yes, those most recent pieces have to be picked out and moved to new places because, let's face it, a circle has 360 degrees, and a foolish quilter forgets that to her peril.
I am starting to like this piece again.

Finally, here is the requisite cute cat shot. This is the Big Guy - I crept up the basement stairs and set the camera on the floor to get this shot. He is SUCH a cuddler.