Sunday, November 27, 2011

Boeing Factory

Dave and I talked about taking a trip to Oregon this weekend for the Thanksgiving break. Ray was out of school and I wasn't working so it is one of the few times during the school year that we can all get away together for a few days. We would drive down the coast, stop and see some friends and relatives, maybe go to the Aviation and Space Museum in McMinnville (again). But, as it turns out, the teenager didn't want to go. Too boring. He wanted to stay home and we were okay with that.

Everybody wanted to go to Everett, however. We took Ray and a friend on a tour of the Boeing factory, the world's largest building (by volume!), where 747s and several other types of commercial aircraft are built by the hundreds. 38,000 people work there. The building is Ginormous! - and was probably the most impressive part of the day.  This picture shows about 1/12th of the factory floor. In the gallery, I could stand next to the vertical part of the tail section of a 747, which was over 30 feet tall, and see the engines and wheels up close, giving me a better idea of how big these jets really are.

Can it really be true that the paint for these planes comes in one gallon cans? That's what the guide said...

Photo by David Brown
Used by permission

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Summer Sampler Quilt

An urge to learn paper piecing techniques has led me to a summer quilt along using spring colors in the fall. 
Happy Thanksgiving!

The first block was Starry Night.

Starry Night

The woman who wrote the tutorial for that block co-hosted a quilt along called the Summer Sampler Series. She and two other bloggers posted instructions for 12 blocks over a four week period, and since the Internet is such a handy storage device, it didn't matter that I was late to the party.


Lucky Pieces

Greek Cross

Star of Virginia

Monday, November 21, 2011

Rivercat Socks

The Daughter came through town a couple of days ago. Refreshed from a month in Hawaii and a trip down on the Alaska ferry, she had her belongings in a bulky backpack and is ready for the next phase of her life. She wants to live on a boat and/or go to graduate school; the plan is vague but she is acting her age. She has another 10 day trip to Oregon before she catches a bus to Bellingham, the place she has chosen for her new home. It will be good to have her close by.

She likes my hand knit socks.  Love that.  I had made up a pair for her and another as a Christmas gift for my friend, Barbara.  I let Katherine choose which ones she liked best and she picked Barbara's Rivercat Socks. She likes the baggy fit and the not-so-lacy design and didn't mind modeling for a quick snapshot on the porch.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Paper Pieced Block

This is my first attempt at paper piecing.  While knocking around the quilt blogs on the web, I found a great tutorial for this pretty block and decided to make up an example to try the technique.  It was easy enough, because the instructions were so clear but it took some attention to avoid mixing things up.  I did have to tear out one small seam. It is all done backwards and behind the back, but once it is complete, it looks nice and neat.

Here's the link for the tutorial:  Starry Night

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Next Quilt

I am close to finishing the next quilt.  Most of the hand quilting is done and I am working on stitching down the binding.  I will do a bit more hand sewing with embroidery floss once the edges are secure.  This one is a gift for my sister.  Once I had the fabric and pattern fixed in my head, I knew who it belonged to. I like when that happens; I can add in a bit more love and affection with every step.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


It seems to be all computers and video games around here but there is evidence that other activities sometimes intrude into a boy's brain.

Monday, November 07, 2011

A Few Small Sewing Projects

Here are a few small sewing projects from the past couple of months.  These were all quick to make and were a way to use up fabric scraps or try a new technique.

A potholder made as a gift for a friend using improvised piecing.

A small pouch, from this tutorial. This pattern is super popular online - because it is well written and explains the little zipper trims very well.

A small bowl, from this tutorial. There is no scale in my pictures, but it is about 2" high and 5" across the bottom.

And a coffee cup insulator, made using this pattern.