Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Hanging a Shingle

bare wood ready to paint
May 2017
Last week, I hung a shingle to proclaim that I love quilts and quilting.

I love barn quilts - the huge, wooden quilt blocks that decorate many barns in the midwest. They are so popular in some communities that the Chambers of Commerce prepare maps for driving tours. It has been my dream for some time to prepare a mini barn quilt to hang on my house.

Sabid, my niece's husband, prepared the bare wood forms, and I brought them home to paint. It is my goal to prepare a barn quilt for each season. Since summer will soon be here, I started by preparing a patriotic block - the Yankee Puzzle.

The paint contains primer, so I decided to jump right in with the design. I used painter's tape to mark the design and began painting. The color bled into the other areas, so I will not use the tape on the next one.

painting supplies and progress
The block looks best from a distance. Up close, my unsteady hand and wavy lines are clearly visible.

a quilter lives here!
The Yankee Puzzle block clearly identifies that a quilter lives on my street. I'm considering a Maple Leaf pattern for the autumn block, a Bear Paw for winter, and possibly a Tulip or Flower Basket for spring.

Do you have a yard decoration that identifies one or more of your hobbies?

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Spotted in Casper

all-in-one sink
Maverick convenience store
Mills, WY
May 2017
This all-in-one sink was spotted in a new Maverick convenience store on a recent trip to Casper. The dispenser on the left provides soap, the center is water, and on the right is a hand dryer. The hand dryer quickly dried my hand with super turbo air - no more piles of paper towels in the waste bin or a useless wall-mounted hand dryer.

The restroom had two of these sinks for the patrons - very nice and super clean, too. Have you seen these all-in-one sinks in your community?

Monday, May 22, 2017

Dailey Park Cowl #2

cowl knit with reclaimed wool and dyed with food coloring
May 2017
I couldn't resist knitting something from the reclaimed wool that I dyed with food coloring. I had enough yarn in one skein for a Dailey Park Cowl. The yarn was the thick/thin variety and ranged from a sport-weight to a light-bulky weight.

The pattern suggested a special technique called a Suspended Bind-off. The technique was new to me, and I was surprised that it provided a looser and slightly more stretchy edge than the traditional bind off.

Have you tried the suspended bind-off?

Friday, May 19, 2017

Week's End

food and drink to close the week
I had annual medical appointments two days in Casper last week, and after a long day of waiting, being prodded, and some shopping, I decided to treat myself to a margarita and a good meal. I seldom take photos of my meals, and I rarely imbibe in alcohol, but Thursday night was the exception.

A toddler from the table behind me giggled, and I turned to smile. Just as I turned, the little girl threw me the biggest kiss. I caught it, and threw one back to her. Our brief exchange made some of the tension from my day diminish.

I snapped the photo shown above and sent a text to Marilyn and Brenda and asked about their day. Brenda called, and we chatted as I ate.

When I was finished my meal, the waitress said the party at a nearby table had paid for my meal and drink. Again, more of the day's tension slipped away.

Thanks to the kindness of strangers, I walked back to the motel with a spring in my step and a lighter heart.

Have you "paid it forward" lately?

Thursday, May 18, 2017

"Plan B"

"Plan B"
60 x 75 inches
Quilt of Valor
You might remember that I made a set of simple blocks for a Quilt of Valor. "Plan A" was to use the eagle napkins, purchased in a silent auction, and the simple blocks to create a Quilt of Valor with the Purple Daze pattern.
Plan A didn't make the cut
When the units were placed on my design floor, both Marilyn and I thought it was too busy, so I used "Plan B." I like the clean design of the pattern (Fall in the City) and will use it again.

Pattern used for "Plan B" - Fall in the City by Connecting Threads


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Kathyb's Tip

my neighbor's blooming crabapple tree
viewed from my dec
May 2017
Spring is starting to show itself in the area: trees are blooming, grass is green, and flowers are starting to show some color. With all of that growth come critters who can become a nuisance. Enter the annual wasp invasion.

Every year, I have wasp nests under my deck roof, and every year, I attack them with spray and destroy their nests. However, this year I decided to try a tip that Kathyb shared on her blog.

lunch bag inflated and hung on the deck

As I was uncovering the patio furniture, I saw that the wasps had returned and were industriously constructing their nests. They payed no heed to the single bag, but when the second bag was hung, they flew away. I haven't seen them since.

two inflated lunch bags suspended on the deck
May 2017
I hope the bags continue to do the trick, as I dislike using a pesticide.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Wool Roving Chair Pads

Latch Hook Wool Roving Chair Pad class
Fiber Guild Spring Retreat
May 2017
(click collage to enlarge)
The afternoon class at the annual Fiber Guild Spring Retreat was a wool roving chair pad. The woman who taught the class has made numerous pads and brought them to Guild meetings for show and tell. We finally convinced her to teach a class.

The base of the pad is latch-hook canvas, and the pad is constructed with a crochet hook and wool roving. Working the roving and the crochet hook through the doubled edge was tricky and somewhat difficult. After the edge was covered with roving, the process went much faster for everyone.

I got about three rows finished on my pad. More to come as it progresses, but it may be awhile so don't hold your breath.

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