Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Just For Fun

decorated pumpkins
Laramie Plains Credit Union
Laramie, WY
October 2019
A local credit union sponsors a fun contest for its employees at various holidays. This month, they decorated pumpkins and encouraged patrons to vote for their favorite.

Some of the displays were cute . . .

Others were whimsical . . .

and some were clever . . .    (note the pins used for the cactus spines)

Which decorated pumpkin is your favorite?

Monday, October 28, 2019

Waiting and Knitting

scrappy Sockhead Cowl
October 2019
Last week, I spent some time in automotive shops, and my knitting bag went with me. One day, the oil in the car was changed and the car was inspected for the winter. Another day, new tires and an alignment allowed me to get a lot of knitting done.

I guess it shouldn't surprise me that the other individuals (young and old) in the waiting areas with me  amused themselves with their phone, laptop, and tablets. The yarn slid through my fingers and the striped rows were quickly added to the cowl. Every knitter knows that waiting and knitting go well together.

The body of this Sockhead Cowl consists of four rubber-ball sized remnants of sock yarn. The brown ribbing is an odd skein of sock yarn (Root Beer) that I found in my stash.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Binding Blitz

trimming excess batting and backing 
Last Wednesday, Cheryl B. from Elk Mountain, WY delivered three QOV that she quilted. On Thursday, I trimmed off the excess batting and backing, and sewed on labels and the binding.

I'm happy to have three finished quilts to send to Riverton for the November QOV presentation. Three more veterans will be awarded a QOV, and that makes me very happy.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Orphan Block Adoption

sample blocks donated by Marty S.
October 2019
Marty S. from TN contacted me a couple of weeks ago and asked if I could use some star blocks that her mother had made. She had fifteen of the large blocks and 24 of the smaller stars. I gladly accepted Marty's offer and look forward to turning them into a Quilt of Valor.

When the blocks arrived, I gently hand washed them, gave them a good press, and then squared the big blocks to 12.5 inches and the small stars to 6.5 inches.

While squaring the blocks, I came up with an idea and look forward to creating a QOV with Marty's mother's blocks.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Community Awareness

section of mural at First and Grand
Laramie, WY
August 2019

This mural is across the parking lot from the Gill Street fish mural.

Matthew Shepard, a University of Wyoming student, who was beaten, tortured and left to die near Laramie in October 1998 left a lasting impression on the community. Since that tragic event, the community of Laramie has focused on public awareness and tolerance.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Do You See What I See?

natural plywood covering a broken window
Laramie, WY
September 2019
This natural and unpainted plywood, covering a broken window on a building near the Eagles Hall in Laramie, caught my attention immediately.  In the woodgrain, I see "eyes" lots and lots of eyes - some that look like frogs and others that look like elephants and even humans.

Do you see what I see?

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Knitting's Dark Side

another scrap Sockhead Cowl
October 2019
The body of this cowl used scraps from four different sock yarns, and I'm thrilled those small balls of wool are out of my stash. Soon, I will have five cowls to donate just as the weather is starting to become cold. The black, ribbed sections literally made me want to give up and throw the whole project into the trash. I frogged more rows and stitches on this cowl than I have on all the other knitting projects I've made this year.  Dark yarns are just too difficult for me to comfortably see and knit, even a simple 2 x 2 rib.

Does anyone want two skeins of Cascade Yarns,  Heritage 150 Sock Yarn (both are color # 5601 but different dye lots) 75% super wash merino and 25% nylon?

If so, tell me in the comments.

I'll gladly send the two skeins of yarn as a gift to that brave soul.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Working with a "Windfall"

186 bonus "waste" HSTs will result in nearly 47 pinwheels
October 2019
Recently, I rearranged some bins in my sewing room and discovered the bonus/waste half square triangles from three QOV (American Wildlife, Buck Fever, and Oh, Deer) that I made in February. I considered using the HSTs for star points but decided to turn them into pinwheels. I don't have a plan for using the pinwheels, but I'm sure I'll get an idea once they are sewn and squared.

I remember picking up windfall apples in the orchard this time of year. Most often the fruit had bruises and some worm holes, but my Mom turned the fruit into delicious apple butter, apple sauce, and apple cakes. Just because something is damaged or considered "waste" by some people does not mean that it can't be useful.

Have you used any "windfalls" lately?

Monday, October 14, 2019


Oops - how did I miss that!

Regan left a comment last Monday alerting me of two flipped blocks on the finished Lone Rider top. I had not noticed the error, even though it is very obvious now that I look at the photo.

Thankfully, it was a relatively quick fix because it was on the outside edge.

the flipped blocks were removed from the quilt top
the blocks were flipped into the correct position
 and sewn into place
the lattice chain is complete now that the error has been corrected
Thank you, Regan for spotting the flipped blocks and drawing it to my attention.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Successful Retreat

proof of a successful quilting retreat
September 2019
From the posts this week, you can see that the last week of September was spent at Marilyn's house. We sewed nearly every day: our sewing machines were humming, and we had a good time. Her husband prepared most of our meals, which allowed us to sew even more.

In the evening, we worked on other projects: Marilyn cross-stitched and I knit. We also took a couple of evenings off to play bingo and to attend a musical production, and we played games.

Marilyn finished one quilt and started two others during the retreat. It's great to share a quilting passion with my sister.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Patched Stars

Patched Stars
58 x 72 inches
Quilt of Valor # 168
Patched Stars is the third quilt I finished during the quilting retreat at Marilyn's.

I had no idea that all the four patches I made in my chain-sewing frenzy would result in FOUR Quilts of Valor:

     Sixteen Patch Stars
     Bubble Stars
     Scrappy Stars
     Patched Stars

Thirty-four of the four-patches were not used and were returned to the scrap bin to become "seed" for future quilts.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Scrappy Stars

Scrappy Stars
58 x 72 inches
Quilt of Valor #167
No, this is not the same quilt that I posted yesterday, but it is the same pattern. Scrappy Stars was also  made while I was at Marilyn's for a quilting retreat.

On closer inspection, you may see stripes on the red star point fabric. Those stripes are actually words that pertain to sailing. I'm sure this quilt will find its way into the home of a sailor.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Bubble Stars

Bubble Stars
58 x 72 inches
Quilt of Valor # 166
Bubble Stars may seem like a strange name for this quilt, but the red star points have polka dots and the border fabric contains blue bubbles.

The blue star point fabric is part of the fabric donation I received from Sharon F., This is one of three quilts that I made at Marilyn's house during our quilting retreat.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Lone Rider - Mystery Solved

Lone Rider mystery quilt
63 x 80 inches
Quilt of Valor #169
Alycia's mystery (Lone Rider) wrapped up last Wednesday when the last clue was released. I changed the final layout a bit, turning four of the on-point squares into pinwheels, to add some visual interest.

image from Alycia Quilts
Lone Rider - clue #5
This quilt is larger than the ones I typically make for Quilts of Valor - I'll prepare a wide back for it this week.

Finished quilt tops are hung by the patio door so I can enjoy them for a couple of days and are wrapped with the backing and binding.

I fixed the flipped blocks soon after they were drawn to my attention. (Thanks, Regan!)

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Autumn's Glory Cowl

Autumn's Glory cowl
made with scrap yarn
September 2019
I used the scraps of two separate sock yarns for the body of this cowl and knit using the helical striping technique. The photo shows the variety of colors, but they are more vivid in person.

Pattern: Sockhead Cowl by Kelly McClure (free on Ravelry)

Needles: US size 6

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Curtain Call

cast of the musical 9 to 5 take a bow at curtain call
PACE Center, Parker, CO
September 2019
I spent the last week in Colorado visiting family: my sister and I try to have a quilting retreat each year. I took three QOV quilt kits to work on, and Marilyn finished a project that she had started and began another one.

The last evening of my visit, Marilyn, her husband, and her daughter, and I attended the stage performance of 9 to 5. It was very well done, and we all enjoyed ourselves.

(The photo was snapped during curtain call - no photos were allowed during the performance)

Photos of our finished quilt tops will be posted soon.

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