Monday, May 30, 2011

Plus Quilt

 I finished the Plus Quilt last weekend.  It is hand quilted with white Perle Cotton 8 and measures 47" x 59".  It will shrink a bit in the wash.  It is a baby quilt or a lap quilt - I dunno - it is just the size I felt like making.  The next quilt I make will likely be a similar size.  Not too big to be annoying but big enough for a real project.

It has a pieced backing which looks a bit random but it actually required some squinting and trial and error.  I am happy with this pretty little quilt and am ready to toss it aside and get started on the next one.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Fingerless Gloves

A couple of years ago, I made a dozen or so pairs of fingerless gloves.  My neighbor got a pair and then she wanted some for two of the elderly women she cares for in their homes.  They were good to wear indoors, I heard; comforting for arthritic hands.

They are also good little projects for the knitter.  I sort of engineered a pattern that worked and remembered at some point to make a few notes.  Now I can make a pair without having to calculate the distribution of finger stitches every time. 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Waterfront Festival

There are a lot of festivals in this town.  Last weekend, down by the water, there was fair food. (There is always fair food.)

There were guys with matching hats -

And our favorite trumpet player played for an hour.  I could only manage to load a short clip.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


The quilt is finished.  I bought the block printed fabric in 1995 so this was a project that has been in the works for awhile but it came together quickly once it got started.  Like many quilts, it evolved as it went along, somehow declaring itself and deciding what it wanted to be.  I am not heavy into the spirit of bedding or personification of objects but it just seems to be the best way to describe the process.  I stand back and look at what I am making, to think about what comes next, but I always want to call it listening.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Red Cedar Bark

Fiber artists often wander off into the world of basket making.  I never had that particular interest but there must be something ancestral on the X chromosome because when I was asked if I wanted to join some fiber friends in gathering some red cedar bark for weaving baskets, I said yes.

Actually, I thought it through in this way.  No, I don't want or need any bark because I don't make baskets.  Well, maybe it would help my friends to have another set of hands along to gather material and do the work.  Maybe I would learn something.  Maybe my sister, who is a serious willow basket maker would like some cedar bark.  So yes became my answer and today seemed sort of tribal as we peeled pieces of bark from young trees while the mist encroached and the eagles circled and cried in the sky above.

My arms are sore from tearing the rough outer bark from the strips with a pocket knife. Soaking and drying and splitting comes next. There is more to learn about this business of bark.

The Weekend

On Friday night, we had dinner with The Parents.  Dave's dad had been up to Juneau on the ferry and had spent a couple of days checking in with people and places in Alaska.  We ate some family-caught red snapper and got the report from his trip.  They also came over for a visit on Sunday.

There was brunch at a barn on Saturday morning - eight former Alaskans eating quiche and fresh sausage and swapping stories. 

The teenage boys opted for a Nerf war - a Humans vs. Zombies event at Washington Park.  We fed them later at a waterfront restaurant opened this week by our neighbors.  How did they find the time to open a full service restaurant in six weeks when they already run a huge catering business and two other restaurants?  The liquor license alone would take forever.  We are friends because our kids are friends.  The two women are a college chemistry teacher and an engineer; the men are Naval officers.  We had great conversations all day and the boys had deep-fried Twinkies.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Works In Progress

I have two quilts that are almost done.  The larger one is just back today from the longarm quilter, Gretchen Monti.  She did a great job, did the work for the price she quoted and had it back to me sooner than predicted.  Thank you!  I love that she stabilized the edges and trimmed it square.  That might be standard procedure but it made it super easy to sew on the binding strip.  Now I just need to handstitch the binding to the back and it will be done.

The smaller quilt is bound with the majority of the hand quilting finished.  I'll post more pictures soon.

Monday, May 09, 2011


We are called "sewists" now, apparently.  People who sew (contrived), seamstesses (old maidish and excludes men) and sewers (calls up images of pipes used to carry sewage) are terms that can be used in a pinch.  Quilters are a only sub-category of sewists but the term is simple and satisfying.

Good thing I am just making quilts lately.  I can be a quilter for now.

I have made a few more mug rugs.  I like having a mat to protect my desk from my cup of tea and I like a few soft landing spots for my camera and cell phone.  These are made from fabric selvages, adapted from this tutorial.

I also made a mat for my sewing machine which matches the cover I made a few months ago. The mat makes the machine look old and unattractive (it is) and the machine covers up the pretty new mat.  Hmm...

Monday, May 02, 2011

West African Batik

When I lived in Zambia in 1995, there was an outdoor market in my neighborhood where fabric was sold in six meter lengths.  I loved the block printed batiks and bought some to make curtains for my flat.  At the time, I thought I could always use some of the pieces to make quilts.

Quilt top

Detail of backing fabric