24 May 2024

Friday Funny

23 May 2024

Eye Candy

Yellow Sky by Shirley Gisi, Best Interpretation of Theme

There's a festival this weekend in Castle Rock, but I sure miss the Denver National Quilt Festival. These photos are from 10 years ago.

Purple Salsa with a Twist of Lime by Barb Gardner, Colorado Quilting Council on Parade

I bought Ringo, my longarm, at the Castle Rock event in 2019 after Lizard was diagnosed with Parkinson's. We both thought it might be a great form of art therapy for him. I'm still hoping to be able to teach him to use the machine again one day. I'd love for us to be able to create masterpieces like these!

I haven't touched Ringo in about two years. Quilts like these inspire me and motivate me to get back to quilting.

Squared Illusion 6 by Gloria Hansen, SAQA Color Wheel of Emotions

Fire in the Sky by Alice Kay Arnett, Judges Choice

I Dream of Wild Horses by Kristine Vierra, Honorable Mention

21 May 2024

Processed Canned Pork

Bet that title threw you for a loop, huh? You know what I'm talking about, right?

Got a Mother's Day email from a cherished friend from whom I'd not heard in way too long, mostly my fault. I get easily sidetracked these days. Last year's birthday card and Christmas card to this particular friend had been returned, non-forwardable. The email address was strongly suspicious, and the link within the email (which was not filled with conversation I would have expected from this particular friend) looked like one of those links you should not click. Ever. I didn't. I didn't have a choice, but I wouldn't have clicked anyway without checking what my friend was trying to communicate.

The email came to my work address, which I don't use a whole lot for personal correspondence, and that also raised the apprehensive alert level. However, I did meet this girl through work, and it was at one time a legimitate way to contact each other. Rather than try to email this friend, whom I may not have contacted since changing my home email address twice and who has changed jobs at least twice since we last exchanged emails, I looked her up on one of the social media platforms we at one time had in common. (I am not on social media much these days because I just don't have time.)

I was a little shocked to see my friend, who also enjoys photography, had not posted in more than six months. The quizical questioning leapt another level, and I sent a message.

Because all the signs pointed to a possibility I wasn't truly ready to accept, I investigated the source codes in the doubtful dispatch (the suspicious email). Good thing my work email security system automatically blocks all incoming links, not that I would have clicked it anyway. The email originated in Thailand. My friend was known to travel, but I honestly believe she would have found a way to let me know if she had taken a job with a company overseas. And there would be social media posts of her adventures. She typically couldn't go too much more than a week without shooting and sharing a photo!

I hoped like heck my friend was not gone. At this age, that is a real possibility when you haven't heard from someone in a very long time.

Thankfully, that was not the case. My friend reported her social media account had been hacked, and she just doesn't bother with it anymore. And no, she had never been to Thailand, but she had moved. It is so good to be in touch with her again. And it is good to know people don't have to be duped.

20 May 2024

Snowflake Monday

The inspiration for today's snowflake fell on my front porch on January 8 this year during Winter Storm Finn. I've been yearning to crochet it ever since because I see tiny little hearts in the photo! And you know how I love heartflakes!

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: 7.5 inches from point to point
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread, 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

Winter Storm Finn Snowflake Instructions

Make magic ring.

Round 1: Ch 4 (counts as 1 dtr), 23 dtr in ring; sl st in 4th ch of starting ch 4. Don't pull magic circle too tight.

Round 2: [Ch 7, sl st in 3rd ch from hook, 2 dtr in next dtr, ch 4, sl st in 4th ch from hook, 2 dtr in next dtr, ch 3, sl st in 3rd ch from hook, ch 4, sl st in each of next 2 dtr] 6 times, omitting last sl st of final repeat.
NOTE: Binding off here makes a super cute little snowflake!

Round 3: Ch 25 (counts as 1 quadtr (or yo 5 times) and [ch 19), 1 sc in 3rd ch from hook, [sk next ch, 1 sc in next ch] 5 times], ch 6, 1 quadtr (or yo 5 times) in next gap between spokes] 6 times, omitting last quadtr of final repeat; sl st in 6th ch of starting ch 25.
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 4: [1 sc in each of next 6 ch, working up spoke, sk next sc, 1 sc in next ch 1 sp, 1 sc in bottom of next sc, [1 sc in next ch 1 sp, ch 1, 1 sc in next ch 1 sp] 3 times, in spoke tip work (2 sc, ch 1, 2 sc), working back down spoke, [1 sc in next ch 1 sp, ch 1, 1 sc in next ch 1 sp] 3 times, 1 sc in top of next sc, 1 sc in next ch 1 sp, sk next sc, 1 sc in each of next 6 ch; sl st in starting sc; bind off. Weave in ends.

Winter Storm Finn Snowflake Rock Instructions

This pattern was created from the first two-round snowflake prototype I made using the above photo as inspiration. I like this flake, too, but I like the above flake better! However, a few modifications make this a cute snowflake rock for the garden, don't you think?

Make magic ring.

Round 1: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 17 dc in ring. Don't pull magic circle too tight.

Round 2: [Ch 7, sl st in 3rd ch from hook, 2 dtr in next dc, ch 4, sl st in 4th ch from hook, 2 dtr in next dc, * ch 3, sl st in 3rd ch from hook, ch 2, sl st in next dc] 6 times, ending * on final repeat; 1 dtr in next dc, ch 1, 1 hdc in top of dtr just made to form 12th ch 3 picot 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 5 (counts as 1 dc and [ch 3, 1 dc in next ch 3 picot, ch 3, 1 sc in next ch 4 picot, [ch 3, 1 dc in next ch 3 picot] 2 times) 6 times, omitting last dc and last 2 ch of final repeat; 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 5 to form 18th ch 3 sp of Round.

Round 4: Ch 7 (counts as 1 dc and [ch 5), 1 dc in next ch 5 loop] 17 times; 1 tr in 2nd ch of starting ch 7 to form 18th ch 5 sp of Round.

Rounds 5-?: Ch 7 (counts as 1 dc and ch 5), [1 dc in next ch 5 sp, ch 5] 16 times; 1 dc in next ch 5 sp, ch 2, 1 tr in 2nd ch of starting ch 7 to form 18th ch 5 sp of Round. Continue with Round 5 until snowflake fits snugly around rock, leaving about a 1- to 2-inch opening on the back or bottom side.

Final Round, Rock Covering:Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc in each ch 5 sp around, inserting rock after about 2/3rds of Round, gently stitching while finishing Round and closing up hole so as not to damage crochet hook; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2; bind off, leaving 4- to 5-inch tail. Weave end through final Round of dc and pull tight. Bind off again, weave in end. Place in garden!

Snowflake Finish: I've been stiffening my flakes with undiluted, full-strength water soluble school glue for quite a while now, and I've been squishing the glue onto and throughout each flake with my fingers (yucky mess!!!) instead of gingerly painting the flakes with glue. Yes, it's a mess. But it's faster. And stiffer.

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.

17 May 2024

Friday Fascination

It's all AI (Artificial Intelligence), and it's fake crochet. But it's crochet inspiration, too. To me...

16 May 2024

Sky Log

I recorded the 8 April 2024 eclipse in my 2024 digital temperature quilts, so of course the worldwide northern lights must make an appearance, too! Thank heavens I already had a Northern Lights Snowflake!

My sampler (approximately half-year) digital quilts are almost done. I'm so excited by that because I can't wait to make something cool out of the fabric when printed. I don't know yet what I will make... Perhaps a baby quilt or two because I've got so many new babies coming into my circle of family and friends. But I think a couple of these might make an awesome dress or skirt, too. Or a new coat!

I used a piece of rainbow batik to symbolize the northern lights in the digital batik temperature quilt, the one I'd like to make with real fabric one day.

The only thing I could think of to symbolize northern lights in the all-blue HST digital temperature quilt was to smear or swirl the half-square triangles. I wasn't sure at first if I liked the idea, but now it's sort of grown on me.

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