19 January 2017

Done and Undone


I pulled out my Cranston snowflake tree skirt panel in November, fully intending to finish and use it in December. After finally cutting the panels (I can't remember how long I've had these), I realized for the first time I would have to cut out the center of the snowflake to make a tree skirt.

So it didn't get done. I'm still trying to decide if I should make it into a tablecloth instead because it physically hurts to consider cutting out the center of this gorgeous snowflake.

I even cut out all the little ornament snowflakes! They are ready for next Christmas, or for whenever I decide what to do with them.


Have you seen what these snowflake panels are going for on eBay these days???


I thought I could do a little research and find out how long ago this snowflake panel was originally printed, but all I could find is that Cranston Print Works closed shop in the US in 2009. This (old) news made me so sad. Fascinating history, though, very much worth the read.


Another of the projects I wanted to finish for Christmas but didn't make time for was a Cranston cheater quilt panel for my mom, who loves carousel horses. I bought this panel so long ago I can't remember how long it's been, but I bought it specifically to make a quilt for my mom because I knew she would treasure it.


I've already sold off three huge batches of selvedges, and I've wanted to organize the mountain of strips remaining so I can get rid of them, too, but learning Cranston is no longer printing in America makes me want to go through the stash to find out how many more Cranston prints are lurking. I'll bet many if not all of the quillows I've made in the last 20 years were Cranston.


Not all of my panels are Cranston, however. I can't make a quilt for my mom unless I make one for my train-loving dad, too. This Elizabeth Studios panel is a more recent purchase, and it was on the to-do list in December but did not get done. Maybe next Christmas...


Buried beneath these undones are a couple of big finishes. Two years ago, I made something like 230 snowflakes for my Snowbike quilt and used only 110 of them in the actual quilt. All this time, I've had a mountain of snowflakes that needed to be stiffened. I've been doing about three old flakes at a time each time I stiffen new flakes, and right about New Year's Day, I finally got to the final three!!!


I am oh, so happy to report they're all done now! I can't even begin to explain how good this finish feels!!!


Last Year


The Final Three

Most of my snowflake stash went to Children's Hospital for the second consecutive year. The first time I donated flakes, I mailed them. This time, I walked them over on my way to the park and ride. I did not get to see the children receiving their flakes, but I got to see the staff's reaction to my gift, and I will never mail snowflakes to Children's Hospital again. I will always hand-deliver from now on! What a warm fuzzy on a cold day! I will never forget the joy these snowflakes created!


Stiffened Snowflakes in the Snow

Time for Me to Fly, a finished flimsy featuring one of my Spoonflower designs, is ready to quilt!


My final Tuesday night teaching the girls (and a few little brothers who decided to join us because of the awesome treats) was spent tying nearly 100 blankets for Children's Hospital. This has become an annual tradition here, and I expect I'll be invited back again next January to do it again, even though I'm not teaching anymore.

I used up the leftovers from last year's event to make two scrappy fleece blankets for this year's project.






My final quillow is done, although I didn't attach the quillow pocket to the back yet. I'm trying to decide if I want to...

This fabric, purchased some time back in the '90s, didn't include enough of the panels to make a pocket, but there was enough of what I apparently intended to use as backing to make a very plain pocket. The photo doesn't show it, but the pocket is quilted. I suppose I should go ahead and stick it on the back of the quilt because what else will I do with an 18-inch quilted block?




Last but definitely not least, I have finished the first quarter of my first paper-pieced block ever. I have paper-pieced hexies by hand, but I have never done this my machine. I watched four videos before working up the courage to give it a go. I had to rip out the third piece so many times, the fabric finally wasn't strong enough anymore, and I had to cut a new piece. This left a pretty sour taste in my mouth and made it difficult for me to WANT to finish the rest of the quarter, much less the entire block.

I think I'm finally beginning to grasp the concept, however, and I'm going to try to at least finish this block, even if I don't like it anymore and even if I swear off paper-piecing forever. The points do match up nicely. If I can improve my skill (and patience), perhaps it won't seem like such drudgery.



17 January 2017

Memories


I finally had a chance to go through my photos from our September trip to Washington for the Deception Pass Classic. Fun to relive the memories!



















16 January 2017

Snowflake Monday


What a drag to be sick on a three-day weekend!

Typically we'd be cross country skiing on the Grand Mesa or at Crested Butte, which received a total of 90 inches of snow during winter storms Helena, Iras and Jupiter!!! Unfortunately, The Lizard had to work, and we generously shared the timely cold to boot.


Winter Storm Iris Snowflake in real winter storm Jupiter snowflakes!

The office where I work also asked employees to focus on service on our Martin Luther King holiday instead of skiing. I had been trying to come up with a way to serve and yet still be able to go cross-country skiing until I found out my husband would working the entire weekend, all three days.

Now I'm planning a service project today, provided my head cold has abandoned ship, and I hope to report on that in the next week or so.

I guess I come up with some of my best ideas when I'm cranking out the midnight oil. The building where I work is having a tenant art show, and submissions are due tomorrow. I came up with the coolest idea last Thursday, but being under the weather prevented me from moving into deadline mode. I do have a couple of other things I was hoping to submit, and I'll report on those (and share photos!) if they are accepted.

As for the special project, perhaps I'll finish it in time for Snowflake Day on February 6. Hey, that's a Monday! Wouldn't it be a perfect Snowflake Monday blog post?

If I can get it done on time...

And last but not least, I also planned to finish up Remington's baby quilt before my newest nephew arrived. Totally missed the deadline. I thought I had until the 15th, which wouldn't have been doable with the head cold and sinus issues, however, I also had to teach (last time, unless they invite me back again) on Tuesday night last week, and I had to get ready for class on Monday night, so I didn't get any quilting done those two nights. (And it was head cold city after that.)


Remington Jasper LeBeaux was born Friday the 13th, same as me too many years ago! His mom, my niece, Lindsay, sent us the most incredible painting for Christmas. We had it professionally framed and matted, and we picked it up on Friday the 13th! It proudly hangs in our living room. Isn't it awesome?!?


Lindsay's pseudonym or art name is Iris Ink. The name Iras used in the 2017 winter storm list comes from Shakespeare's tragedy, "Antony and Cleopatra." I changed up the spelling for this week's flake because I like the name and the symbolism better.

You may do whatever you'd like with snowflakes you make from this pattern, but you may not sell or republish the pattern. Thanks, and enjoy!


Finished Size: 6-6.5 inches from point to point
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread, size 7 crochet hook, 1.25-inch button (yes, it should work with other sizes with minimal adjustments, but do make sure the buttonholes are big enough for the crochet hook to fit through multiple times), empty pizza box, wax paper or plastic wrap, cellophane tape, water soluble school glue or desired stiffener, water, glitter, small container for glue/water mixture, paintbrush, stick pins that won't be used later for sewing, clear thread or fishing line

Winter Storm Iris Snowflake Instructions

Round 1: 1 dc in button hole, ch 3, 1 dc in 3rd ch from hook, ch 4, 1 dc in 3rd ch from hook,[1 dc in same buttonhole, ch 3, 1 dc in 3rd ch from hook, ch 4, 1 dc in 3rd ch from hook] 2 times, 1 dc in next buttonhole, [ch 3, 1 dc in 3rd ch from hook, ch 4, 1 dc in 3rd ch from hook, 1 dc in same buttonhole] 2 times; ch 3, 1 dc in 3rd ch from hook, ch 4, 1 dc in 3rd ch from hook, sl st in starting dc.

Round 2: Ch 8 (counts as 1 tr and ch 5), * sk next dc picot, 1 dtr in next ch, ch 5, 1 dtr in same ch, ch 5, sk next dc picot, 1 tr in next dc, ch 3, 1 tr in same dc; repeat from * around 5 times, omitting last tr and last ch 3 of final repeat; ch 1, 1 dc in 3rd ch of starting ch 8 to form 6th ch 3 tip of Round.
If you're not reading this pattern on Snowcatcher, you're not reading the designer's blog. Please go here to see the original.

Round 3: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 2 dc over post of dc directly below, 1 sc in next ch 5 sp, 6 dc in next ch 5 sp, ch 5, 6 dc in same sp, 1 sc in next ch 5 sp, 3 dc in next ch 3 tip, ch 7, sl st in 2nd ch from hook and in each of next 4 ch, ch 6, sl st in 2nd ch from hook and in each of next 3 ch, ch 5, sl st in 2nd ch from hook and in each of next 2 ch, ch 6, 1 dc in 4th ch from hook, 1 hdc in next ch, 1 sc in next ch, working back down branch, ch 4, sl st in 2nd ch from hook and in each of next 2 ch, sl st in ch between 3 sl st spike and 4 sl st spike on opposite side of branch, ch 5, sl st in 2nd ch from hook and in each of next 3 ch, sl st in ch between 4 sl st spike and 5 sl st spike on opposite side of branch, ch 6, sl st in 2nd ch from hook and in each of next 4 ch, sl st in next ch after 5 sl st spike on opposite side of branch, 3 dc in same ch 3 tip; repeat from * around 5 times, omitting last 3 dc of final repeat; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2; bind off. Weave in ends.

Of course, this snowflake may be made without a button. You may use your favorite snowflake center, or work up this adaption to make a gorgeous picture frame, so suitable for brand new nephews!


Winter Storm Iris Snowflake Frame Instructions

Foundation Round: [Ch 4, 2 dc in 3rd ch from hook (dc picot made)] 12 times. Taking care not to twist work, sl st in starting ch to form ring.

Round 1: Ch 8 (counts as 1 tr and ch 5), * sk next dc picot, 1 dtr in next ch, ch 5, 1 dtr in same ch, ch 5, sk next dc picot, 1 tr in next ch, ch 3, 1 tr in same sc; repeat from * around 5 times, omitting last tr and last ch 3 of final repeat; ch 1, 1 dc in sl st to form 6th ch 3 tip of Round.
If you're not reading this pattern on Snowcatcher, you're not reading the designer's blog. Please go here to see the original.

Round 2: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 2 dc over post of dc directly below, 1 sc in next ch 5 sp, 6 dc in next ch 5 sp, ch 5, 6 dc in same sp, 1 sc in next ch 5 sp, 3 dc in next ch 3 tip, ch 7, sl st in 2nd ch from hook and in each of next 4 ch, ch 6, sl st in 2nd ch from hook and in each of next 3 ch, ch 5, sl st in 2nd ch from hook and in each of next 2 ch, ch 6, 1 dc in 4th ch from hook, 1 hdc in next ch, 1 sc in next ch, working back down branch, ch 4, sl st in 2nd ch from hook and in each of next 2 ch, sl st in ch between 3 sl st spike and 4 sl st spike on opposite side of branch, ch 5, sl st in 2nd ch from hook and in each of next 3 ch, sl st in ch between 4 sl st spike and 5 sl st spike on opposite side of branch, ch 6, sl st in 2nd ch from hook and in each of next 4 ch, sl st in next ch after 5 sl st spike on opposite side of branch, 3 dc in same ch 3 tip; repeat from * around 5 times, omitting last 3 dc of final repeat; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2; bind off. Weave in ends.

Finish: Tape wax paper or plastic wrap to top of empty pizza box. Pin snowflake to box on top of wax paper or plastic wrap.

If using glue, mix a few drops of water with a teaspoon of glue in small washable container. Paint snowflake with glue mixture or desired stiffener. Sprinkle lightly with glitter. Wash paintbrush and container thoroughly. Allow snowflake to dry at least 24 hours. Remove pins. Gently peel snowflake from wax paper or plastic wrap. Attach 10-inch clear thread to one spoke, weaving in end. Wrap fishing line around tree branch (or tape to ceiling or any overhead surface) and watch snowflake twirl freely whenever you walk by! Snowflake also may be taped to window or tied to doorknob or cabinet handle.

I reversed the snowflake tips on this frame, just for the fun of it.

12 January 2017

If Earth Had Rings


And here is the link, in case you are unable to view the video above.
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