Thursday, July 30, 2015

Retreat Projects

Some of the projects:

 Isn't this a great quilt? 

Some great blocks...

Many blocks put together in a Double Wedding Ring...

Bets spent almost the whole time working on this Christmas stocking. 

This is where she finally stopped for today.
I asked her to smile!!!
 A log cabin quilt - a great variation of the typical log cabin!

It will be a jar quilt...

A large, beautiful quilt...

A small quilt with some appliqué...

It started as a panel and grew to a beautiful wall hanging...

A Wisconsin quilt...
A very soft, pastel quilt...

And last, are my finishes... not sure why my eyes are closed.

I am looking forward to stitching with this same fun, group next July!

July Retreat

A fun retreat! I was again at Prairie Star Lodge with friends - this was a mix of old and new friends and it was GREAT! We arrived on Monday morning. I had boxes of kleenex and lots of meds to try to keep my allergies in check. We all headed home early this afternoon. It was 3+ days of sewing, visiting, laughing, inspiration and, of course, food.

The accommodations at Prairie Star are first rate. I posted pictures in December. Of course, in July, the flowers are gorgeous and the pool is open. I didn't spend time outside due to my allergies but some swam, some used the hot tub, some walked, some hiked, and we all sewed.

Can you believe the size of this single serving ice cream sandwich that our host brought to us? It was sooooo good!

We all focused on sewing and fun.
Rita Rose was focused on her stitching
Polly took a break to visit
Sandy pressing pieces
Sue finished piecing more that half of this Double Wedding Ring quilt!
Cassie sewing

Bets - our entertainer!
Becky concentrating
Stay tuned for projects.....

Saturday, July 25, 2015

When life hands you lemons, knit!

It's been a weird few days - I'm very seldom sick. Last Tuesday night we left the windows open and Wednesday we both got up with allergy problems. We both take allergy meds for about 7 months of the year but evidently the allergens were very high and still are. Ray began feeling better by Wednesday night but not me. I do think I am some better today. 

I am trying to get ready for my retreat but any exertion causes coughing so mostly I've been taking it easy, drinking LOTS of water, and knitting.

That means I have knitting finishes! 

My socks are done! They are wonderful and fit nicely. The yarn is Cascade Yarns Heritage Prints that I bought while we were in Canada recently. The pattern is Fleetfoot by Cat Bordhi.

The socks were very close to matching although not planned. While I was knitting the one on the right, the yarn was knotted/spliced together just after I began the heel. Notice the wide blue stripe at the top of the heel. The yarn pattern was not maintained when they spliced the two pieces. It doesn't really matter though.

I am going to love wearing them!

I also finished my Farmer's Market Bag. I began this before we left on our trip and worked on it as we traveled. I was sure that we would be at many Farmers Markets but we only found a couple. Wonder if we would have found more if my bag had been ready??! The small grocery stores had local produce so it was almost like a market at every stop!

The yarn,  Hemp for Knitting Allhemp6 was hard to work with but is wonderful for this bag. The pattern is Grrlfriend Market Bag by Laura Spradlin yes, the pattern is Grrlfriend! I added a second handle otherwise I followed the pattern pretty closely.

The bag is super stretch and the double handles will go over my shoulder.

I'm thinking a nap is next on my list then I have to get ready for my quilting retreat!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Staying busy

Wow - it sure isn't hard to keep busy when we are home! We've been here a little over 3 weeks and the summer is flying by.

We've been to a few Farmer's Markets. I love Farmer's Markets! The dehydrator is running. This winter we will enjoy the fruits of my labor. We have green beans, wax beans, sugar snap peas, cauliflower, zucchini, tomatoes, kohlrabi, and more. Did I mention that I love Farmer's Markets?! I wonder how much we'll eat in a least it will keep if I have extra! Here is some of my bounty from the Dane County Farmer's Market (Madison, WI) last Wednesday.

Last time I showed you the beginnings of a Life Is Good t-shirt quilt; here is the pieced top. I think the back will be yellow Minkee and I might get to sandwiching it one of these days. There is quite a pile of tops waiting to be pinned.

I did pin one twin-size quilt and will begin quilting soon. I'm also squaring up pieces on a quilt two of our grandsons are making. They want to finish it so they can donate it.

We've also done a little time in the car. Sometimes for Farmer's Markets which I love! and also for photos. Today we were at Lock and Dam #13 on the Mississippi River. There are some sandhill cranes in that area and one family has a little one - we saw them for a couple of minutes but they went into the woods so no photos. The little guy is getting his flying feathers and exercising his wings - it won't be long before they are gone. 

I have been doing a little knitting. In fact, I was able to spend some time knitting and visiting with a friend on Tuesday. Here are my socks so far. I am making progress!

Now I need to get ready for a quilting retreat next week. I have a few projects picked out so I need to get things together and decide what to take for my meals. This place also has an outdoor in-ground pool so I'd better pack my suit. 

Maybe I'll have some retreat projects to show you next time.

Monday, July 13, 2015

A quilting finish and more...

I have a quilting finish! It's a Christmas table runner and it really is flat! I took it out of the dryer and took a photo without flattening it ??? Guess I was moving on to the next thing on my list!

I started this last year before Christmas. When I knew I wouldn't finish it, I just played with the quilting. The back is some fabric that I found in my stash.

I am working on a Life Is Good t-shirt quilt. We have 27 Life is Good shirts that we no longer wear for some reason. I decided they should be made into a quilt.  Some of the designs are rather small so the normal block is about 7" X 7". Now I'm thinking that the sashing will also be made out of the t-shirts. So some blocks are cut with the sashing. This is what I have so far. The pieces are in no particular order on the design wall. The blocks with small pieces are composed of the designs from the back of the shirts.

I figure if I keep knitting once in a while, I'l eventually have a pair of socks. This is the progress on the first one. 

I won't need the socks for a while - it's rather warm here!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Back to Normal?

Normal is in the eye of the beholder.
-Whoopi Goldberg
Some normal knitting:
I finished Ray's cotton sweater before our trip but just blocked it. He's been busy so I didn't ask for a model - maybe one of these days.

You can get all the specifics here.

While we were traveling, I did very little knitting. One thing I worked on was a cowl using a brioche stitch. I had a lot of trouble - a lot! I finally decided to frog it and will do some research and begin again later.

I also worked on a market bag. It is close to being done.

After we got home, I knit this cowl - actually I knit it 1 1/2 times! When I was 1/2 way done, I realized that I read the pattern wrong so I frogged it and began again. It is a fast easy knit. The photos make it look gray; it is actually a very pretty soft blue.
 You can see the specifics here. This is hand dyed wool.
Some normal sewing:
I finally found a little time to be in the sewing room yesterday. I began making HSTs for a quilt I hope to put together at an upcoming retreat.
Some other things:

We've found time for some walks and Ray's been riding his bike.

We've spent time with some friends and the calendar is beginning to fill up.

I've been spending a LOT of time working on Ray's computer. His photos have used up most of his internal hard drive. He uses Lightroom to organize his photos and I am learning way too much about Lightroom since I needed to move well over 18000 photos. I needed to do it correctly - no second chances here! While I've been working - it's rather time consuming - I've been knitting a pair of socks.

Tomorrow we are headed to a Farmer's Market, the Apple Computer store, and hopefully the Dairy where we like to buy cheese. We have a long list of errands.

Yes, this all feels normal!


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