things to keep one warm and dry

I want to get all of the projects that Alice and I got done during her winter break documented before too much time elapsed. Here is a step in that direction.
Determined to get at least one quilt done, we started and finished this nine patch:

nine patch

When she arrived, she had with her a beloved quilt that she was given after the house fire, but that had seen much better days. There were spots that were transparent due to lack of batting. It was a nice quilt, done in maple leaf blocks of green with a main fabric of solid lemon yellow. We think that it dated from the fifties, to judge by some of the fabrics. Anyhow, it was clear that we needed to get that quilt stabilized somehow, and what better way than to use it as batting?
As neither of us have much experience with complex piecing, it was decided we would make a nine patch, and we sorted through my not-very-extensive stash for just the right fabric. I have stashed a lot of greens and turquoises since I have scrappy projects in mind or underway using those. And I happened to pick up some very unassuming ecru on sale, a lot of it. so there you have it.
We both cut, and she did all of the piecing and made the back. (You can’t really tell, but the centers are a really pretty wonky red polka dot, and so are the small squares on the back.)

pieced back
I love Joel Dewberry’s Floral Drop pattern, and bought a bunch of it when I discovered Hawthorne Threads, many yards in the above colorway, because I knew I would want to use it for a back. Before I had even made a quilt back! I was thinking ahead in the summer when the tips were rolling in! I knew there was a reason I spent hundreds of dollars on fabric, even though I had no time to sew…

I did very simple straight line quilting, using the walking foot for the first time, and then we bound it in more Floral drop, this time red. (Keep your eyes peeled here for an upcoming dress project using that fabric. Coming from Alice’s side of this blog.) The red binding draws attention to the red in the center squares. It’s awesome!

a bit of binding

I was going to post about the parka that Alice made for Mark, but I feel like I should leave that for her to talk about. Here is a picture of it though!

gore tex parka

piecing alice’s quilt

I (Shannon) am a pretty uncommitted blogger but this blog isn’t seeing much action what with Alice in school and anyway, I have been meaning to post progress on a quilt I am making.  This will be the first largeish quilt I have made, when I finish it.  There was baby quilt once that came off my machine when we lived off the grid.  It was sewn on a borrowed Singer treadle out of old dresses and some velveteen, with an daggy old fleece blankie as batting, but that has long since disintegrated.  (That is a good word, think about it.  Dis-integrate…)

Since Alice’s favorite vintage quilt is going south, we decided she needed a new one.  (The conversation went like this:

A: “My quilt is falling to pieces.  I need a new one.”

S: “Okay.  In the meantime you could always use an army surplus blanket.”

A: “Yes, well.  But it has to be pretty.

So, after getting rid of the lion’s share of my quilting cottons last time I moved, I find myself buying them again.  I love buying fabric. Hawthorne Threads is the bomb. Low shipping costs, and the send stuff out so fast!

I started thinking I was going to elaborate on these wonky log cabin squares I made a year and a half ago.

wonky log cabins

I realized, however, that I am sick and tired of that block. When I started sewing those, 8 years or so ago, I thought I was creating something original, but I have since read (in this book that they are the most popular modern quilt square, and no wonder. They are awesome and easy! (Here are some previous examples…)

So, with Sunday Morning Quilts in hand, I decided to make a version of the Candy Coated quilt, which is the one on the cover. Here is a lovely version of it.
And here is my progress so far:

alice's quilt in progress

Work and home and drinking schedules really let me only get one or two rows done per week, so I will be right on schedule for my winter holiday deadline. Hang in there, Alice! And remember, I’ll loan you a wool blanket if you need one!

I really have to travel to blog.

I have been to several locations looking for somewhere with functional internet. I am looking forward to have a connection in my home again. grrr.

Today, red-violet is my favorite color, in as much as I have a favorite color.
Leg warmer in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock colorway Prove It All Night (and yes the name of that colorway did influence my decision to buy this yarn.)
I have two skeins, so these legwarmers will be long and take a long to knit.
The bag is a patchwork bag that I made recently. I have been sewing with intent to sell. Once the internet is back I will give etsy a spin once more, with Mark as my “business partner.”

Yesterday I sat down and taught myself to graft shut holes in knit fabric.

I have done kitchner of course but grafting has never felt intuitive. I am going to graft and graft and graft until I can do it with my eyes shut. I always make promises like that but sometimes I really do keep them.

For example, two nights ago I found myself standing on a street corner in a storm, drunk on cheap red wine, with water blowing sideways into every pocket and pore (wearing cotton no less), heading to Safeway for cigarettes. I did not complete that mission. I turned around and headed back up the hill to my house. Sometimes I do what I say I am going to do!

I will never jump off a rooftop but

My friend Kris at the Bike Garage here in Astoria told me about Parkour today.
Parkour!
Parkour!
Parkour!

I spent some time on the balance board after that; it’s raining so hard, and sideways at that, I can’t conceive of bike riding but I have goals, yes I have goals. I know I am older than some, and a bit old to be discovering my inner athlete (and let me tell you that bones heal slower at 40 than 20, as I found out skateboarding a few months back…) I have mentioned proprioception before however, and I can’t shake that fascination. It’s in me deep.

So, training begins.
I am going to yoga tomorrow.
Finally, after much procrastination. I even bought a mat! And I had to make a bag for it tonight. Of course!
bag for mat
oh for a nice crisp picture…

Yeah, it’s flooding out in Skamokawa! here’s a photo and a post. Thanks Mark. Glad I’m not there!

I think I will start a new feature: the Daily Discovery. Today’s was clearly Parkour!
good night!

a box and a book

Blog as journal.  Blog as organizational tool. Blog as archive.  Blog as command center.  Yes!

My favorite gift received this holiday season:

when what I wanted most was fiber and containers.  Perfect!

Recent book acquisition: The Art of Embroidery by Françoise Tellier-Loumagne. It was while perusing this book that I decided to use my blog once more, as a sort of workbook. A place to continue documenting my journey through the world of fiber art. Perhaps it is winter weather keeping me inside, off my bike, stitching and slowly revisiting the internet.
I have everything to learn about composition!