Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Monday, October 29, 2007

Hero's Finish

Another effort was made to work on Nathan's game/con costume. He needed an over-vest in primary yellow. I envisioned using a light weight canvas; and so the hunt began. We went to Wal-mart and the only fabric they had in primary yellow was polar fleece. Ummm... I don't think so. Then we went to Beverly Fabrics. They had Palencia, but it wasn't thick enough. No twills, no khakis, no colored denim... nada. What's with this town?

We found 60" wide Duck cloth in natural. At least they had something close to lightweight canvas. I asked the clerk if she thought it would take dye well. "It's 100% cotton, sure." So we decided to dye the Duck cloth primary yellow. Seems like a good duck color to me. =)

Next we went to three stores to find enough yellow dye. It seems all the craft stores think anyone's dyeing these days is tee shirts in the tie dye mode. Dyeing is done by the weight of the cloth and that meant more than just one little packet of dye powder. We got home, prewashed the yardage, dissolved the dyes in the washer and set the clock for an hour.

Not to bad considering we started with natural, not white.

The vest needed to come below his knees so we added ten inches to the suggested length of the pattern and laid it out. I got to use three yards of stash muslin for the lining!

We started mid-morning, broke for lunch at 12:30 and 2:15 - Nathan and I being on different schedules. We sewed in tandem, we took turns using his machine. We took a break in the afternoon. At 3:15 I said, "We'll probably finish by 4 o'clock." He gave me a dubious look. It takes longer to teach someone how to pin right sides together, sew, trim, clip the curves, turn, press and top stitch then it does to just do it. Lots of sharing going on too. It was neat. It was 3:55 when he dressed and pulled on his boots.

"What's this character's name?" "Hero." "Oh..." "From DragonQuest 8." "Okay."

Hero's finish.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Lookin' Out My Back Door

The autumn weather has been *heaven*. Even at work I have my door open during the day. Here's the view from my step.

This is the view on my walk this morning. It was sorta hazy today, so the colors are a little muted from what they really are. Come with me on my walk...

Small town USA.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

First Time Tagged

I just discovered that I've been tagged by Elise.
I've been asked to share 7 facts about myself: some random, some weird.
About me:

At 7 months of age, I remember being on the floor when momma turned on the vacuum cleaner. (!)
At 7, I moved from sunny San Diego, California to Massachusetts. Talk about culture shock!

At 17, I graduated HS in New England and promptly moved back to California.

At 27, I was married and had two sons, the happy, picket fence life.

At 37, I went back to college after my youngest left home and got a second degree.
At 47, we celebrated our 26th anniversary.

I'm not 57 yet, but by then I will've been a quilter for 35 years. Do you think quilting will still be at such a fever pitch in 8 years?

This tagging has been making the rounds in blogland for awhile now, so I chose not to tag anyone. But if you haven't already been tagged and would like to participate; TAG you're it!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Bits of Color

Even in northern California we get enough variation in temperature to produce fall color.

Nature's eye candy. Love it.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Garment Sewing

Nathan asked for assistance with a Halloween/game con costume. I said I wouldn't make it for him but I'd be willing to show him how. "Sure, how long can it take?" I estimated four hours.

There were two pieces to be made. We went shopping Friday night, that took an hour and a half. We cut out the pattern pieces, fitted them to his 6 ft 2 inch height, laid out and cut, that took an hour and forty-five minutes.

We went for a hike in the hills, came back, had lunch and 'closed our eyes' for twenty minutes.

Then the real effort began. I sewed, he sewed, we worked in tandem.

We got the pattern markings transfered, the neck edges stay-stitched, the sleeve caps gathered, the interfacing fused on all appropriate pieces, the collar created, the collar and placket attached and the shoulder seams sewn. It was four in the afternoon.

"Ya know... this isn't really a simple, first garment to learn sewing on."
"No, I'm getting that idea..."

When we came back we got the sleeves attached and it was finally worth trying on.
"It looks like a choir robe."
"Yeah, it sorta does..."

At this point we'd been at it all day and we *still* had to sew the sideseams, gather the sleeves into cuffs and make buttonholes at the neckedge. Nathan said, "Why can't we just make a hem thingy on the sleeves and thread elastic through to draw up the fabric? Would that work?" What a great idea! We broke for dinner.

When we came back we decided there was too much to do to finish this in one day *and* begin the outer vest; another weekend sew day was needed. With the pressure off, we pushed on. It was at the point where only one of us could sew on it at a time.
"Here, let me do that. I can do it quicker at this point."
"Sure. I'm not gonna fight cha for it!" =)

More than eight hours later we had a Buccaneer blouse. Come on, try to look *mean*.


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Falling Leaves Quilt Show Continued

Miniature Magic By Betty Upchurch

Rainbow Sea By Marian Drain

Rosy's Rainbow

It was a good thing these last two weren't hanging within sight of each other. I think they might've spontaeously burst into flames, so brilliant!

Twinkle, Twinkle By Julie Nodine

Stars in the Garden By Sue Haley

My quilty friend Su and I were oggling this one, looking at all the colors, the fabric, the *work*. I said, "I wonder how long it took?" just as the maker, also a Sue walked by. "Hey SUE?!" We stood and talked as she recalled the process; "Oh maybe two years... you know... off and on. Working with so many blues for the block backgrounds was a *real* challenge for me. But I like it..."

What an incredible show... I went home tired but happy.

Falling Leaves Quilt Show Miniatures

The guild has a terrific miniature quilt group. This year there were dozens and dozens shown, featured in these stunning vingettes of threes and fours. The following few quilts give you a sample of their efforts.

Heritage By Mitzi Dowling

Log Cabin with House By Lee Rosendin

Patriotic Pinwheels By Linda Hooper

Stained Glass Window By Dottie Kauffman

Starry, Starry Night By Shirley Viada

Stars Come Out at Night By Janice Head

Falling Leaves Quilt Show

Flight of Imagination by Amy Wilson

French Braid By Doris Menseka

Ladies of the Lake members and friends

Batik Scraps By Sandra Leggett

Diamond Ninepatches By Julie Nodine

Falling Leaves By Dottie Kauffman

Irwin's wallhanging - all batik fabrics

Leaves with Shadows By Sandra Leggett

Mazzorah By DJ Berger

I Won!

Patti from Quilting is My Passion was clearing out patterns and books from her stash and held several drawings. I'm so excited! I won a pattern for these cute Amish Miniatures.

Thank you, I've never won anything from Blogland before!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Autumn Fennel

This looks so pretty growing along the sides of the road.

Green in the spring, gold in the fall, it grows without being watered. And since it hasn't rained in Ukiah Valley since April, that's saying something.

Once the plant dries out, the seeds are edible and quite yummy. They taste like licorice and it's amazing how much flavor there is in such a small seed. I got the idea once to collect more than a few and baked them into scones. Wonderful! Subtle, but pleasant.

So as I was googling fennel pictures I found out it's used in all *kinds* of dishes and baked goods. Everything from broiled salmon to quiche to jam. Who knew? Obviously not me!