24 April 2015

Friday Funny

You go, Dude!!!

23 April 2015

A Memorable Quilt of Valor

My Red, White and Blue Fireworks Spoonflower Fabric

My red, white and blue fireworks Spoonflower fabric was the perfect reason to go digging through my patriotic stash. It was so much fun to revisit fabrics that caught my eye over the years! Dig that Daisy Kingdom baseball print!!! I didn't even remember buying it, much less it existing.

Let's Play Patriotic Baseball!

After an attempt to artistically break up the fireworks with black Kona strips, I decided an assortment of 3-inch strips from the stash would bring the overall size big enough to qualify for a Quilt of Valor.

Two days later, I finished the top for my very first Quilt of Valor donation!

Quilt of Valor

While piecing this (the weekend before the Boston Marathon, when patriotism in the office where I work was soaring because one of my co-workers regularly qualifies and participates in the race), The Lizard decided to get into the patriotic mood, too, and watched "Miracle" for about the 10th time. We never tire of that movie. He watched the medal round of the 1980 Olympic hockey team on TV as it happened; I had no TV but was working for a newspaper and relished in the victory while scanning the AP wire, sort of like visually listening to a (slow and delayed) police scanner for play-by-play.

I was in Salt Lake (but outside the stadium to shoot the fireworks and the mountainside Olympic rings of light put up by my uncle's then employer) during the Opening Ceremonies of the 2002 Olympics when the 1980 hockey team lit the gorgeous Rice-Eccles cauldron.

Above the Show

Rings Around the Mountain

2002 Olympic Cauldron

One month later, due to a February 8, 2002, personal tragedy (yes, the very same night as the Opening Ceremonies), and thanks to the most generous bosses in the world, I was ten rows up from the field as Eric Weihenmeyer, the first blind man to reach the summit of Mount Everest, carried the torch inside Rice-Eccles Olympic Stadium for the Paralympics.

No hockey team, but the event, especially the Parade of Nations, still lives on in my memory as one of the most beautiful things I have ever witnessed. Well, that along with the center ice proposal by Boston-born (how's that for a Boston Marathon blog post tie-in???) sledge hockey star Joseph "Momo" Howard to girlfriend Carol Tribuna following Team USA's win over Estonia. Yes, my Utah family, my adopted daughter and I were there, on the glass. Team USA passed team lapel pins through the glass openings to my daughter and my then very young cousins before the game began.

Those, ladies and gentlemen, are my Olympic moments.

Memories

I've long admired the QOV posts at Alicia Quilts, but the spark to my kindling happened near the end of the 2013 Ride the Rockies in Canon City, when The Lizard and I visited a local quilt shop just in time to see volunteers binding donated Quilts of Valor prior to a group presentation. Colorado's Quilts of Valor serves many different organizations.

While perusing Alicia's blog once again to find out more about quilt requirements, I was thrilled to discover many of the same fabrics I've been stashing for many, many years have been used in previous Quilts of Valor!

Charmed

Here are the basic requirements for a donation quilt.

I'm considering cutting some of the stash that didn't make it into the quilt top to piece the backing. I had planned to stitch in the ditch along the strips and get a little more creative with the fireworks, but I see in the requirements that stitch-in-the-ditch is a no-no. I may actually send this off to be quilted for the recipient, since my skills are still budding and I want the finished product to be something a service member can be proud of for life.

I still need to make a coordinating pillow case for the presentation. The finished quilt is placed inside the pillow case for the actual presentation to the recipient. I didn't know about that when I first started this project, but I think it's such a great idea!

One of the scary things about going through stash skeletons of the past is finding things you don't remember buying and wishing you hadn't...

Whoa!  That's Kind of Scary!

Not only did I find ONE panel, but there was a second, too. I must have been planning to make matching quillows for my two adopted kids. Back then, working full time and single parenting, I didn't have much time for piecing, so I did buy and use panels. And my kids LOVED quillows. Each of them had a stash of quillows I'd made every year for Christmas. They often took their favorites with us on vacation. They liked their quillows better than sleeping bags.

I'm really not sure what I'm going to do with these two panels. There is enough coordinating backing fabric for both to be made into quillows, or just lap quilts with matching pillows. I cut the backing for one panel and sandwiched it, so it's ready to be quilted now. But I don't want it!

Boy, hopefully this is the last scary surprise in my stash!!!

Interesting

Linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Crazy Mom Quilts.

21 April 2015

Wordless Wednesday

Bakerville

Bakerville

Bakerville

Bakerville

Bakerville

Bakerville

Bakerville

The Adventures of Dieter and Wolfgang

Always Up To Something

For years, they collected dust on the top of my magazine bookshelf, along with three other little cycling miniatures and a much larger cycling kokopelli.

Before that, they were triplets, a trio of railroad miniatures my dad sent after custom painting them in Tour de France leaders' cycling jersey colors. He'd ordered a population of unpainted figures for his model railroad layout and didn't care for the cyclists included in the 500-count package. He thought he might get a good laugh out of me when he sent his "rejects".

I don't think he ever expected the two survivors to reach viral status...

Die Hards

The yellow-jerseyed cyclist matched a real-life jersey in our closet, so I enlisted the services of The Lizard for a staged photo I wanted to enter in a monthly contest. The Lizard has since named the second and third cyclists Dieter and Wolfgang, so in turn, I guess I should name the yellow guy Jens. Ya, dat name fetes perfektly!

Maillot Jaune

Here's what I wrote about the photo contest way back then:

While pedaling up Squaw Pass two days before the DGrin challenge was to end, I came up with the idea for this "Feathered or Scaled" shot.

The following morning we set out on our bikes with camera and prop for a nearby dam so I could have an uncluttered sky background for the shot. Less than 30 minutes later, we were chased home by lightning, which pretty much lasted the rest of the day.

We tried again the following morning. The Lizard posed, and I pulled the little cyclist out of my pack, only to discover he had been dismembered! I had only two hours to get to church, so I didn't have time to go back for another cyclist and a new matching jersey, if we even had one. I used the cellophane tape I'd planned to use to attach "Jens" to my finger to perform surgery right there on the dam. Of course, the unexpected delay cost me the morning's pink and orange sky. I did manage to get Jens somewhat back together and taped onto my finger. I got in position and took a number of shots, and we headed home so I could get to church on time.

After church, I downloaded and checked out the shots and wasn't happy with the results. I thought The Lizard should be better lit via auxiliary flash. Plus, my on-camera flash reflected on the tape. The Lizard volunteered to pose again. He found a green jersey, and off we pedalled once again to make another masterpiece, and by golly, another storm moved in! We tried to work fast. In my haste, I didn't think to put a scrunchie in my hair, and my unruly locks kept blowing into the frame. I also didn't like the cluttered greenway background we were forced to use, but we couldn't do any better because lightning was flashing. Plus, my auxiliary flash kept getting knocked down by the wind. I didn't want it to break. Eventually, we gave up.


I heavily photoshopped the tape out of the best exposure from the morning shoot and submitted it just hours before the contest deadline. After all that, I didn't make the contest finals. Nevertheless, the experience made for a good story.

Maillot Jaune

Dieter and Wolfgang, joined by Bender, had their initial 15 minutes of fame as I prepared for my second (unsuccessful) climb of Pikes Peak.

Back up on the shelf Dieter and Wolfgang (and Bender, of course) went, and there they stayed until The Lizard needed some experienced riding partners.

Dieter and Wolfgang making some turns...

After learning the mini cyclists have an affinity for snow and water, The Lizard invited Dieter and Wolfgang along for a little mud and dirt. And rock.

Trail 800

And grub.

Stuff Your Face

Like Bighorn to a Salt Lick

They've been joining him regularly ever since. The Lizard fashioned traveling quarters for them from an empty Altoids tin.

Go to Bed

He carts them along in the same pocket with his camera and phone. Because, you know, they are so tiny, The Lizard's 30-plus-mile jaunts are like three trips around the world for them.

Dieter and Wolfgang traveling quarters

They've had some real adventures together! The Lizard features little snippets about Dieter and Wolfgang's antics on his blog. I suspect the boys are going to pirate Ride the Rockies in June, since they didn't get drawn. They didn't learn of the annual tour lottery until it was over.

I suspect they'll be legal and official members of Team Snowcatcher next year. Maybe they'll even get their own Facebook page...

Dieter and Wolfgang Hucking Horns

20 April 2015

Daisyflake Monday

Daisyflake Inspiration

More, you ask?!? Why yes, especially since my flowers just got yet another thick blanket of snow...

late daffodils

chilled tulip

my very first parrot tulip

frosty allium

A Genuine Snowcatcher!

Aren't last week's and this week's flake patterns nearly identical to the Dahlia Snowflake and the Mother's Day Snowflake Motif?

Why, yes! Thank you for noticing! I'm hoping to create a flowery snowflake motif project, perhaps even another shawl, and I'm trying to make all these flowerflake patterns compatible for join-as-you-go. I hope to be able to come up with 8 more different flower centers for a total of 12!

Daisies

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

Daisy

Finished Size: daisy: 2 inches across; snowflakes: 7 inches from point to point
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread in two or three colors, size 7 crochet hook, 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

Daisy Instructions

With yellow or center color, make magic ring.

Round 1: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 11 dc in ring, sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2; bind off. Pull magic circle tight.

Round 2: With white or petal color, * 1 sc in any dc (or next dc on repeats), ch 7, 1 dc in 3rd ch from hook and in each of next 2 ch, 1 hdc in next ch, 1 sc in next ch (petal made); repeat from * around 11 times for a total of 12 petals; sl st in starting sc; bind off. Weave in ends.
If you're not reading this pattern on Snowcatcher, you're not reading the designer's blog. Please go here to see the original.

Strawberries aplenty atop Vail Pass

Wild Strawberry Flower Instructions

With yellow or center color, make magic ring.

Round 1: 5 sc in ring, sl st in starting sc; bind off. Pull magic circle tight.

Round 2: With white or petal color, * 1 sc in any sc (or next sc on repeats), 1 dc in same st, 1 sc in same st (petal made); repeat from * around 4 times for a total of 5 petals; sl st in starting sc; bind off. Weave in ends.
If you're not reading this pattern on Snowcatcher, you're not reading the designer's blog. Please go here to see the original.

alpine forget-me-nots

Forget-Me-Not Instructions

With yellow or center color, make magic ring.

Round 1: 6 sc in ring; do not join. Pull magic circle tight.

Round 2: 2 sc in each sc around for a total of 12 sc; sl st in next sc; bind off.

Round 3: With lavender or petal color, * 1 sc in any sc (or next sc on repeats), 3 dc in next sc (petal made); repeat from * around 5 times for a total of 6 petals; sl st in starting sc; bind off. Weave in ends.
If you're not reading this pattern on Snowcatcher, you're not reading the designer's blog. Please go here to see the original.

Daisyflake

Daisyflake Instructions

With yellow or center color, make magic ring.

Round 1: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 11 dc in ring; bind off. Pull magic circle tight.
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: With white, 1 dc around post (from back of motif) of any dc (or next dc on repeats), ch 5, sk next dc; repeat from * around 4 times; 1 dc around post (from back of motif) of next dc, ch 2, 1 tr in starting dc to form 6th ch 5 sp of Round.

Round 3: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc over post of tr directly below, 2 hdc in same sp, 1 sc in same sp, * 1 sc in next ch 5 sp, 2 hdc in same sp, 2 dc in same sp, ch 3, 2 dc in same sp, 2 hdc in same sp, 1 sc in same sp; repeat from * around 4 times.

Round 4: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc over post of dc directly below, * ch 5, 1 dc in gap between next 2 sc, ch 5, 2 dc in next ch 3 tip, ch 3, 2 dc in same tip; repeat from * around 4 times; ch 5, 1 dc in gap between next 2 sc, ch 5, 2 dc in next ch 3 tip, ch 1, 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 to form 6th ch 3 tip of Round.

Round 5: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 2 dc over post of dc directly below, * ch 3, 1 sc in next ch 3 sp, ch 5, 1 sc in next ch 3 sp, ch 3, 3 dc in next ch 3 tip, ch 3, 3 dc in same tip; repeat from * around 4 times; ch 3, 1 sc in next ch 3 sp, ch 5, 1 sc in next ch 3 sp, ch 3, 3 dc in next ch 3 tip, ch 1, 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 to form 6th ch 3 tip of Round.

Round 6: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 3 dc over post of dc directly below, * ch 3, [1 sc in next ch sp, ch 5] 2 times, 1 sc in next ch 3 sp, ch 3, 4 dc in next ch 3 tip, ch 3, 4 dc in same tip; repeat from * around 4 times; ch 3, [1 sc in next ch sp, ch 5] 2 times, 1 sc in next ch 3 sp, ch 3, 4 dc in next ch 3 tip, ch 1, 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 to form 6th ch 3 tip of Round.

Round 7: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 4 dc over post of dc directly below, * ch 3, [1 sc in next ch sp, ch 5] 3 times, 1 sc in next ch 3 sp, ch 3, 5 dc in next ch 3 tip, ch 7, 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 4, sl st in 2nd ch from hook and in next ch, ch 10, sl st in 9th and 10th ch from hook, ch 3, sl st in 2nd ch from hook and in next ch, sl st in next ch of branch, between picots, ch 4, sl st in 2nd ch from hook and in each of next 2 ch, sl st in next ch of branch, between picots, ch 5, sl st in 2nd ch from hook and in each of next 3 ch, sl st in each of next 2 ch of branch (tree picot made), 5 dc in same tip; repeat from * around 4 times; omitting last 5 dc of final repeat, sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2; bind off.

Round 8, Petal Round: With lavender or petal color, * 1 sc in any dc of Round 1 (or next dc on repeats), ch 7, 1 dc in 3rd ch from hook and in each of next 2 ch, 1 hdc in next ch, 1 sc in next ch (petal made); repeat from * around 11 times for a total of 12 petals; sl st in starting sc; bind off. Weave in ends.

Daisyflake

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 the snowflake twirl freely whenever you walk by! Snowflake also may be taped to window or tied to doorknob or cabinet handle.

Daisyflake Rock and Dandelions

Daisyflake Rock and Phlox

Daisyflake Rock and the last of the Daffodils

Daisyflake Rock Dwarfing Mystery Flower

Daisyflake Rock and Tulip

Daisyflake Rock and Candy Tuft

Daisyflake Rock and (Men in Black, I think) Iris
Final Resting Place

Frosted Daisyflake Rock
Overnight Snow

17 April 2015

Friday Funny

CatManToo... What a great name!!!

16 April 2015

Flimsy Whimsy

Faded Gems

Free-motion quilting practice is on the menu, and a new baby in the extended family is coming in August. Time to pull together pastel leftovers from a host of different projects!

Faded Gems came together rather quickly; all the pieces were assembled in one night. Except! I can't believe I needed one more 2.5-inch strip to finish it off!!! I can't believe I had to buy a yard of gorgeous fabric for just one 2.5-inch strip! Stitchy McFloss stated it well a few days ago with yarn... 5,000 skeins of yarn, and not a single one suited for the newest project.

Quilter's Nightmare
Yes, that's my own photo!

Good thing I love Stonehenge!

I plan to quilt motifs into each square. What motifs, I'm not sure yet. Snowflakes, of course, are a continual temptation. Since this is going to be for a baby whose personality I don't even know yet, perhaps cartoon characters or flowers might be in order.

It will be fun to figure out, and I'm looking forward to increasing my skills with this project.

Another thing I ran out of was batting. This is a very big plus for me. My year-long goal is to finish at least 12 of my WIPs. I think I have eight flimsies now ready for quilting. I probably won't get to do much quilting until after several big bicycle rides ahead (just one month until my first century of the year!), but it's so good to know the blocks and strips are coming together and I'm using up all the bits and pieces of batting I've accumulated over the past five or six years. All I have left was two blocks barely big enough for a couple of project bags or purses.

One thing I'm not running out of is fabric. My newest Spoonflower fabrics have arrived, and oh, are they fun!

Snowbike

First is my Snowbike, without all the hours and hours of crochet and applique! Just hours and hours of Photoshopping. This baby took two weeks of about three hours every night after work last winter. All the snowflakes in the project are my designs. I even turned a few into chrome for the silver portions of my bike!

Snowbike Chrome

I bought a fat quarter bike and a full yard bike. I am not sure how to quilt them yet, but I'll think of something. I'm thinking a pastel blue Kona solid for the backs... Either that, or my stash of blue snowflake fabrics.

Next are a couple of fireworks fabrics. One required a bit of stitching, but was fun nevertheless. Nothing like fireworks to brighten a spring storm! (We're expecting more snow as I type this blog post.)

I played with some Lake Dillon fireworks photos a few years ago, hoping to one day make a quilt with the special effects results. Back then, I thought I'd one day print the fabric myself on my own computer and printer. Not long after, our computer died. After we finally were able to get a new computer, the perfectly good printer was not compatible. I've ranted about that many times.

Now that I've used Spoonflower a few times, I can see their colors are much more intense than mine when I was printing fabric at home. I think this particular fabric was worth the wait.

Lake Dillon Fireworks

The rainbow-colored flimsie might make another great baby or kid quilt. I may have just the perfect rainbow fabric to go on the back already in my stash.

Meanwhile, I haven't stitched the red, white and blue Spoonflower fabric yet because I'm considering adding some stash fabric. I have been collecting red, white and blue fabrics for about 15 or 16 years with the intention of one day making a Quilt of Valor, although Quilts of Valor did not exist when I first started my collection. Growing up near an Air Force base instilled in me a love of the military, and I've always been drawn to service projects that benefit our men and women in the armed forces.

When I first began my patriotic fabric collection, I was making Velcro pajama pants for wounded service members. As the stash grew, so did the yearning to make a very special quilt. Quilts of Valor might be the perfect home for my patriotic Photoshopped fireworks and a few pieces of red, white and blue.

Patriotic Lights

Linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Crazy Mom Quilts.
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