Friday, October 16, 2009

Fiber Festival

I'm heading out tomorrow to the Southern Indiana Fiber Arts Festival at the fairgrounds in Corydon, Indiana. The festival features knitting, weaving, and crocheting exhibits and supplies.

The weather promises to be cold and drippy, so be sure to wear your woolens!

Hopefully I won't forget my camera again this year so I'll be able to share some pictures.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fall Festival 2009

Here is my entry in the Fall Festival virtual quilt show being hosted by Amy at Park City Girl. I was hoping for a better picture, but it is raining here and this is the best I can manage today.

This is one of my earliest quilts. When I began making it I had just learned about our local quilt shops and, wonder of wonders, fat quarters. I remember driving out to a quilt shop aways out in the country around this time of year to look for fabrics. All the fall colors on the trees were there in the shop in the lovely little bits of fabric I bought for my quilt.

I couldn't decide between the two quilt blocks, so I used both. I like how on the corn and beans blocks the flying geese seem to fly toward the center of the block, while on the rambler blocks, the geese are flying away. Incidentally, I read somewhere there was a superstition that if you gave a quilt of rambler blocks to a son, that would mean that he would leave home.

One of the best parts about making this quilt was choosing the fabrics for each block and seeing how they worked together. Some blocks are subdued, while others sparkle and really stand out.

I hand pieced the quilt, cut the material for the borders, and then put it away. Years later, at a quilt retreat, I met a wonderful longarm quilter. This is one of the first quilts I ever "sent out" to be quilted. I wanted heirloom quilting on it because I had spent so much time planning and piecing each block.

As you can see, she did a wonderful job. The lattices are all feathered, and each individual block is quilted beautifully. I'm really glad that I waited to find someone who would take the time to do such an incredible job on the quilting.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Design Wall Monday :: Nothing

The rail fence quilt is still on the design wall and I haven't made one smidgen of progress.

Nor have I worked on any other quilting projects. Not. One.

Life just kind of got in the way this week.

What I have been doing is lots and lots of sock knitting. There is something about the rhythm of knitting which helps me deal with stress, and since there has been quite a bit of that (stress, that is), socks are practically knitting themselves off the needles these days. And because I'm spending so much time knitting, I decided to make a lot of socks for Christmas presents this year. How's that for turning lemons into lemonade, or something like it? Some of the recipients are readers, so I'll not show pictures just yet.

Let me say, thank goodness for Ravelry. If you knit or crochet, take a quick look around the site. It's like the central office for the on-line knitting community.

It looks like things will be calming down a bit this week. Maybe I'll be able to get up to the sewing room and get the last few rows done on the rail fence. Maybe.

If you would like to see what others have been actually working on and what they have up on their design wall, check out Judy L.'s Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times.

In the meantime, I have some socks on the needles that are calling my name...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


My husband has wanted a kayak for a long time. He's browsed on-line catalogs and Ebay, looking and longing. The problems boiled down to two things:

*What kind and what size?
*They cost so much!

Then, earlier this summer, both of us happened to see an article in the local paper about a man who had a kayak building school in the Big City near us. The ironic thing was that the article ran in the sports section, which neither of us usually reads. It was serendipity.

Problem number one was taken care of because at the school they used an old method of sizing the kayak to the individual based on their height. The second problem? Let's just say that Santa came early this year.

All summer long my husband has been driving over to the Big City a couple of nights each week after work to build his kayak. These are not the short, little boats that you usually see for white water kayaking, which I was most familiar with. These are long, narrow boats built in the Greenland style, used originally by hunters on the open seas. They are built of hard woods and pine, held together with pegs and lashing. They did use some screws to attach the keel strips, I believe.

Along the way he's met some new friends and learned a lot about kayaks.

The weekend before last was the great kayak launch. Would they float? Would they tip?

Here he is making a last minute inspection:

A blurry (sorry about that!) detail of the sewing job he did on the outer skin:

Stepping into the water:

And floating away:

I love the sunshine showing the ribs in the above picture. He chose the clear coating over the outer skin so that he could see all the interior details of the boat.

It seemed a little tippy at first, but after a few strokes across the water, it was pronounced stable and comfortable.

There are still a few things he needs to finish on the boat and some more equipment to get.

But stroking your hand-made kayak across the lake on a beautiful afternoon? Priceless!

Monday, October 5, 2009

I'm Back for Design Wall Monday

I'm back and feeling well, but the same can't be said for most of the people I work with and the children I teach. It seems as though everyone is either getting sick, is sick right now (and therefore at home), or is just getting well. We've got colds, flu, flu-like illness, and now, to top it all off, a couple of cases of hand, foot, and mouth disease. All of us are looking forward to this Friday, our fall break, when hopefully the cycle of illness will be broken, and we can breath a sigh of relief.

The ironic thing is that the weather here has been lovely: cool nights followed by beautiful, mild days. Doesn't seem like cold and flu weather, does it?

The pictures above shows the sum total of sewing I've done in the past two weeks. Actually I think that two of the blocks were done before that, but at least I've put the background fabrics on all of them. I guess you could call this my design "floor" Monday. The rail fence is still taking up the design wall, but I haven't made it into the sewing room to work on it for a long while now.

You can check out what others are working on by reading Judy Laquidara's blog Patchwork Times.

Incidentally, I found an interesting blog called Letters of Note. These are letters, memos, telegrams to and from some famous and not-so-famous people which are fun to read. It's definitely worth checking out.