Monday, February 28, 2011

Putts, Spider Webs, and Koi

 I laid the spider web quilt top out on the floor to see the finished product (in case you can't tell, I put a few flying geese down each side) and Putts had to investigate.  She often "helps" me quilt, consequently pet hair is one of my distinguishing marks.  I apologize if I give you a quilt with hair, but with Putts "helping" at every step of the way and the 2 dogs vying for attention, every stitch seems to have a bit of padding.  It is especially noticeable (at least to me) in the hand quilting and applique because I have to take off my glasses and get very close in order to sew and I see every hair... 

This wallhanging is for Dick, my brother in law.  I know he likes oriental gardens so when I saw these Kaufmann panels, I thought that he might like them as a wallhanging in his home office.  I used Maywood Shadowplay fabric as the sashing and appliqued the circles.  I didn't want to have it machine quilted as I wanted the piece to be more open, so I used big stitches and hand quilted it using some gold colored silk thread.  I hand quilted the inside and outside of each seam and around the inside and outside of the circles and along the koi stream.  These pictures aren't terribly good as they were taken on the floor of the library as I was trying to get the best light after dark to take the pictures.  I did learn that the Maywood shrunk more than the panels after I laundered it (to get rid of the majority of cat hair) so I put rod pockets at the top and bottom of the back hoping that it will hang flatter with 2 rods.  I enjoyed making it and I think he will like it.  It's a good thing to bring your gardens inside in February in Vermont.  To that end, I have in progress a much wilder garden hanging for my wall too.  Next time.       

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Galloping Moss and Big Stitches

At this site, you can see photos of moss "galloping" down the slope of stromatalitic limestones (remember Don, like the stuff we looked at last summer off the road behind the hardware in Marquette).  I believe I have also seen this phenonmen on rocks in the UP, although not on the stromatolites...  I will be looking this summer and post photos if I can find them. (and you guys thought we were just going to the wedding...)  Cool website, check it out.  Botany pics every day. 

I returned last weekend from another quilting retreat with P, R, and K at R's cabin.  It was a blast.  3 trips to the local quilt stores, lots of great food and drink, laughter, and funny stories.  I took 6 quilts to work on, didn't actually do much on any of those, but found a perfect fabric for another one and am finishing that up this week.  It's a gift, so you'll have to wait for a photo, but I tried out "big stitch" hand quilting for the first time and am really enjoying it.  You can cover alot of area quickly and I really like the way it looks on this piece.  It will actually contribute to the quilt top and not just hold it together.  I've also been looking through all the quilt magazines that I have been collecting for our guild quilt show in April, and have found at least 100 more patterns, styles, and color combinations that I just HAVE to try out.  I have to live a LONG time.