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Showing posts from 2021

Keeping It Real . . .

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If life was easy, we wouldn't enjoy it as much.

Star Power

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Star Power  65 x 78 inches Quilt of Valor #205 Star Power was created with a variety of leftovers from other Quilts of Valor. The star centers were pulled out of the 6.5 inch square bin, and most of the star points were bonus HSTs from a recently finished QOV . The sashing was cut from backing trimmings of another QOV.  Very little fabric goes to waste in my sewing room, and what scraps I cannot use, I give to others. Typically, I don't sew with anything smaller than 2.5 inches. This quilt was an exception to that as the blue sashing is 1.5 inches cut and 1 inch finished.  The star blocks are 12 inches finished.  

Automotive Mural

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mural on the south side of the NAPA Auto Parts store on south 2nd Street, Laramie, WY The mural on the NAPA Auto Parts Store has both a vintage and a modern look. Auto parts are sold for all makes of vehicles, so the mural is a good representation of the business. 

American Liberty - a donation

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American Liberty 62 x 80 inches Quilt of Valor Recently, I was contacted by Louise H. in Florida. Louise's friend Sandy M. made this quilt for a donation, but it was too large for Louise to quilt on her domestic machine. She asked if I could use it for a Quilt of Valor.  Once I received the quilt, I gave it a good press, reinforced a few seams, and prepared a backing. It will be sent to a volunteer longarmer as soon as I am paired with someone.  Thank you Sandy for making this beautiful quilt and to Louise for making another Quilt of Valor possible. 

A Reminder . . .

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The Pearl of Great Price - Father Yokota

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stained glass window in  Saint Matthew's Cathedral  Laramie, WY close up of the words on the window This stained glass window is in Saint Matthew's Cathedral in Laramie, WY to honor Father Luke Yokota, a Japanese Episcopal priest who was incarcerated at Heart Mountain during World War II and then stayed on to continue to serve in the Wyoming diocese on the Wind River Indian Reservation.  His story can be read here .  An earlier post written about the Heart Mountain camp in northwestern Wyoming can be found here . 

Bonus Stars - Sneak Peek

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sneak peek at bonus stars July 2021 I finally finished sewing all the bonus HST stars. Last week, I added a thin sashing to create the center of the quilt. I still need to add a frame and an outer border to meet the size requirements of a QOV.  I've auditioned several fabrics for an outer border, but I haven't settled on one.  Two items of good news:     • My sewing machine is still humming along, so I'm confident that the adjustment the technician made solved the problem I was having with it.     • On Sunday, I hosted an afternoon of Mexican Train Dominos with five friends. It's the second gathering I've had at my house since being vaccinated. Slowly, life seems to be returning to normal.

QOV Donation

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QOV donation from Karen M. in IL July 2021 A couple of weeks ago, Karen M. contacted me about donating red, white, and blue fabric to make Quilts of Valor. I gladly accepted her offer, and her donation arrived last week. I was surprised to find the star medallion packed in the box with the fabric, a patriotic panel, and a pattern to use the panel. My photo does not do Karen's pieced star justice because it is gorgeous in person. I'm mulling some ideas to turn Karen's work into a Quilt of Valor.  Karen, thank you for your generous donation.
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from Google Images

Bamboo Forest Mural

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bamboo mural in the alley between University, Ivinson and  First and Second Streets Laramie, WY Check out the detail on this mural. I love how the metal pipe and the electrical meter are incorporated into the design. 

HSTs and Machine Update

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preparing to make  HSTs for star points July 2021 Last week, I showed you the stars made with bonus HSTs . Since I needed more stars, I used the eight at a time method to make more HSTs for star points.  A week ago, I took my sewing machine to the Bernina dealer in Fort Collins, CO where it was serviced in May. Luckily, three technicians were in the shop, and simply by hearing the machine run at high speed, one of techs was able to diagnose the problem. She did some adjustments, and the machine ran smoothly without any problem. I was not charged for the adjustments, and it's been running great. I always oil the machine (usually after five bobbin changes), but the technicians agreed that machines should be oiled after four hours of sewing. 

Lighting Up the Sky

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Laramie, WY July 4, 2021 I sat in my driveway last night and watched the community fireworks display. The show was beautiful and the night delightful with hardly a cloud in the sky. Did you celebrate the holiday by seeing a fireworks display?
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Have a Safe and  Happy Independence Day!

Bonus Stars

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 12.5 inch star blocks June 2021 After trimming the bonus HSTs from Diamonds in the Rough , I paired them with 6.5 inch squares to make stars for a Quilt of Valor. The bonus HSTs will make 12 star blocks.  I started sewing these during Sunday's FaceTime call and had to switch sewing machines because the machine I had repaired last month began acting up again. It sewed perfectly for numerous hours as I worked on Diamonds in the Rough , and then suddenly on Sunday, it quit pulling fabric through the feed dogs again. I tried everything I could think of to remedy the problem: turning the machine off, changing the needle, changing the bobbin, cleaning out the dust bunnies under the feed dogs, changing the spool of thread, but nothing worked. This issue is frustrating because it didn’t act up in the repair shop; hopefully this time it will. 

Diamonds in the Rough

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Diamonds in the Rough 63 x 79 inches Quilt of Valor #204 Diamonds in the Rough was finished last week, and used a LOT of 2.5 inch scraps. The Missouri Star pattern, Sunny Skies , turns even the most random colors into an attractive quilt. I used a 2.5 inch white frame around the center blocks, and added a 5.5 inch border on all sides.  If you look closely, you will see three stars as well as three diamonds. 

Good Advice

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Finding a Frame

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I've worn glasses since fourth or fifth grade, and over the years, I've worn a wide variety of frame styles. I've never been completely happy with the frames I've worn, but it's difficult to select a frame when you can't see well.  In the early 70s, I wore a small oval frame, and later changed to large frames in the late 70s and throughout the 80s. In the 90s, I opted for an oval frame style, but since the mid-2000s, I’ve worn a rectangular frame.  Since I've had cataract surgery on both eyes, it's time to think about selecting a new frame. I'm leaning towards another rectangular frame in either blue, black, or charcoal gray.  What frame styles have you worn? 

Sneak Peek

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sneak peek at the latest Quilt of Valor June 2021 Even though it seems to be taking forever, the sixteen patch Quilt of Valor is progressing bit by bit. First, I tackled the scrap bin to make four-patch units and then sewed them together into sixteen patch blocks .  The gazillion pile of four-patch units made 39 sixteen-patch blocks, 24 of which are used in this quilt. The remainder will be used in another Quilt of Valor.  This quilt will need borders before it can be declared finished. 

Alpine Shire Socks - OTN

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Alpine Shire socks June 2021 It will be fun to wear this bright pair of socks when the weather turns cold. The striping sequence was totally unpredictable, yet the yarn was a delight to knit. I hope the yarn wears and washes well.  This color way would also make a colorful shawl or cowl.  Yarn : Queensland Perth (Alpine Shire) 80% super wash wool/20% nylon Needles : US size 2 Stitches : 64

Timber!

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cutting down Grand Villa trees June 2021 This week chainsaws  and cracking wood can be heard on the morning air -- more trees are being cut down. I was very sad to see the two trees to the west of my front door come down last week. The trees supplied wonderful shade, and I was able to sit on the bench to knit, visit, or read. With the trees felled, it is too uncomfortable to sit in the sun.  both trees were felled in short order I was told the insurance company strongly suggested the trees come down and be replaced with types that did not get as tall.  The Aspen and pine trees will be spared the chainsaw, but all the other species will be felled.  The tree that was planted recently on the south side of my apartment is a Buckeye , and the replacement for  my shade trees will be Hawthorns .

Vaccine Hesitancy

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Wyoming COVID vaccination rates (click image to enlarge) I was disappointed, but not surprised, when I saw this graphic two weeks ago. The areas on the map are the individual counties in Wyoming. I live in Albany County. Wyoming residents were upset last year when Governor Gordon issued a mask mandate and restricted gathering sizes. Wyoming residents pride themselves in being independent, and the mandates and restrictions created feelings that the government was infringing on personal freedoms.  I don't see the statistics changing much even though it's possible to easily be vaccinated without an appointment.  What are vaccination rates like in your community/state?

No Scraps

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ready to add to 16-patch blocks June 2021 These units are ready to add to the 16-patch units sewn a couple of weeks ago, and by making them, I ended up with a . . . ninety-six half-square triangles It's great to use every bit of fabric when making a quilt. These 96 bonus HSTs will be used to make stars for another project. 

Don't Build Here . . .

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nesting deterrent May 2021 For the second year in a row, a pair of doves have tried multiple times to build nests on the top of my patio lights. I got tired of picking up the twigs, etc., so I used a tip from Brenda: tying a grocery sack around the light.  It worked! No more mess and no more frustrated birds.  I'll remove the bags later this week.