Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Sneaky Block

Cat's out of the bag. We members of the Sew Blues Bee made sneaky surprise star blocks for our wonderful bee mama Staci!



Each of us chose a color for each block and followed this tutorial. My life has been so full over these holidays, but I could manage one, and Staci is certainly worth that. If you've never been in a bee before, I'd recommend being in one of hers!

Hope y'all had a lovely Christmas, to those that celebrate. I have a few more gifts due in January that are in the works, so the season continues for me! In the meantime, I did correct my flying geese block for my Shire quilt - and saw the Hobbit movie, too! (I've been rereading parts of my Tolkien books to double-check the movie interpretation - and now that that's settled, I'll have to see it again!)



My inner geek is satisfied with the correct number of geese for the rings of men and dwarves. It's the little things, right? ;-)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Instagram-Eyed

Despite current controversy over impending changes to the photo-sharing social network Instagram(R), I have enjoyed capturing and collage-ing "moments" of my days. As I settle in for a much-needed holiday rest, I thought you might like to see a bit of what my eyes see, as captured through the affordances of Instagram(R) and other photo-sharing apps.







May your holidays be warm, merry, and bright! Love to all from my little piece of the planet!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

School Gifts

What an incredible first semester it has been with the School of Supernatural Life. Absolutely life-altering, in the best way possible. As I write, I am awaiting the arrival of 3 or 4 of my classmates who are coming over for a holiday dinner and sleepover! While I wait, I thought I'd show a few of the gifts that have already gone to recipients.

First is a table runner made of charm squares and charm-sized improv blocks for the lovely hostess of our class Christmas party!




At first I'd arranged the blocks in a traditional nine-patch form, but a mutual friend suggested I "do what I do best" and make it splashes of color in the grey field. That in turn influenced the quilting, and the back is a chunk of vintage sheet.

When we had our gift exchange, our hostess had not taken a name, but when I got up to give her the gift, the applause was deafening! She hadn't told me her colors, so I had fun making something I felt reflected her, even if it doesn't go with her house. But she loved it anyway, and she is quite encouraging of my artistic endeavors. It was a pleasure making a gift for her!

After the applause died down, I gave my actual swap partner her gift! Part of it included a cheery cowl I'd knit in class!



I knit it before knowing who my swap partner would be, but I was hopeful whomever it was would like it. Interesting time learning to block acrylic yarn, by the way... Anyhow, I was thrilled to find out who the cowl would go to - and she was thrilled to receive it!

The girls are still on their way so I might as well show you what I made for them:




Sweet little stars from this tutorial (although folding the fabric in 4 is quite excessive, I found). My mother caught me making them and requested one set with a pin back to wear with her scrubs. If I had a minute more, I'd get on that directly. Alas, I'm 15 minutes' shy of arrival time, so I best get back to cooking!

Happy holidays, y'all!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Blogging in Shorts from the Front Porch

Mm hmm... it's getting towards mid-December and I am wearing shorts and a tank top as I type! Welcome to winter in the South - if it bites, it will bite in January, but for now, the doors are thrown open and I'm happily barefoot.

Before all the Christmas-making takes over my blog, I have one last School of Supernatural Life homework assignment to share.

This week's topic was systematic theology as taught by Dr. R. T. Kendall (brilliant!) His Oxford-acquired PhD was evident in his teaching, so for homework, we were given a lighter load:  just ask God what His 3 favorite things are about you, then create something to reflect what He says!

I didn't ask that question. Instead, I asked Him to show me what to make, then tell me why I made it, and how that answers the homework question. Here are the results:




Pleated apron based on this tutorial (diverging by omitting hot pads and modifying the ties to look, in my opinion, more "finished".)




Fat Quarter dish towels based on my own tutorial (those are prints from Etchings and Vintage Modern, both by Moda, I believe).




Hot pads using scraps from my Orange You Glad Bee rolling stone blocks. These were a great opportunity to experiment with binding - and I bet you can tell which binding technique I'll be using in the future!

So what do those things say about God's favorite things about me? I'll leave that to you to deduce... some secrets shared between friends are too precious to be shared ;-)

I finished the hot pads just in time to "repurpose" an acorn squash I'd left in the oven and forgotten about!


Yes, Virginia, you CAN substitute acorn squash for pumpkin in baking recipes! (Sunflower seeds and diced dried cherries work for nuts and raisins, while you're at it.)

Looking forward to giving a couple of gifts tonight and showing you what else I've been up to!

Happy Hanukkah, y'all!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Blocks and Progress

Below are my blocks for November for Sew Blues Bee!

A mod mosaic block for Jackie:


A ribbon star for Leslie:


And a practice ribbon star for me!


I finished these and had them in the mail before Thanksgiving. Just to brag on beauty that I didn't create, following are a few sunrise photos from my holiday with my parents. First is the Tennessee countryside as seen from the backseat windows, and then is one of the sunrises from Gulf Shores, Alabama.



I could get addicted to sunrises. That's my mother and I wrapped against the cold. Photo credit goes to my dad!

When I got back, it was time to figure out some flying geese! I wanted to add a geese block to my Shire quilt, so this one represents the 5 rings for the Dwarf lords and the 9 rings for the lords of Men... except there were SEVEN dwarf rings! So I'll be getting out the seam ripper. You can guess where the two other geese will go!


Finally, I finished a paper-pieced "homeward bound" block that I'm using to represent the Light of Eärendil, "our most beloved star":


Here is my Shire quilt so far! And I don't think I'll be adding any more blocks before The Hobbit movie (Part 1) comes out!



(L-R from top)  "Mallorn" leaf for Elrond; Sandyman's Mill Wheel; Fili/Kili/Oin/Gloin; "Mallorn" leaf for Gandalf; Elendil's Star; Balin/Bifur/Bofur/Bombur; Galadriel's "Mallorn" leaf; Four Farthings of the Shire star; Thorin; Dwarf and Man Rings of Power; 4 Hobbits of the Fellowship; Dori/Nori/Ori/Dwalin

I'm also still working on my Fusion Blanket using Urban Cowgirl and a bit of Curio, plus Lion Brand Fisherman's Wool:



Really loving how it's coming together - but it's a slow handwork project, perfect for school lectures! (Some people doodle - I sew and crochet!)


That's all for now. Christmas presents are in the works but those will have to wait to be revealed! Happy December, y'all! (Now where's that seam ripper?)