17 July 2018

Surgery


I've been grounded again, but it's not what you think!!!

I've been riding my bike halfway to work as often as I can. When I can stand this summer's intolerable afternoon heat (30 days above 90 already this summer!!!), I ride halfway home. Lizard picks up me and my bike at whatever point I can't push the pedals another round.

Last week he was loading my bike onto the bike rack on the back of the 4Runner, which incidentally had just recently hit 400,000 miles and then required steering fluid pump surgery (Owie in the bank account!!!), when he noticed we might be in need of yet another repair.

(On the bright side, the 4Runner is still a Runner, and by golly, that fuel pump was original factory install!!!)

As Lizard was preparing to mount my bike on the rack, he asked, "How long has it been doing this?"

"Doing what?" I asked.

He bounced the front end of the bike on the pavement.

"That. How long has it been doing that?"

"Um, I don't normally bounce it. I just ride it."

"Your headset," he explained. "How long has it been rattling like that?"

"Rattling like what???"

He bounced it again.

"I don't play basketball with it. Ever," I answered. "I promise. I just ride it. It might get a little bumpy on the train, but I don't bounce it."

He rolled his eyes and pronounced the diagnosis.

"You need a new headset. This one is gone."

Befuddled, I contemplated what he was telling me. He's replaced it once before, and after talking about which rides we did after he replaced it the first time, I realized this headset has lasted me eight years. When we got home, I tabulated 13,000 miles on the now Dead Head-set.

My spirits sank because I've really enjoyed my morning rides, and I don't want to miss a single day. On the bright side, the headset can be replaced, and I can find other things to do in the mornings for the next couple of weeks.

Including more tabulating!

3 Ride the Rockies, 4 Fall Blazes, 8 MS-150s and 8 Elephant Rocks. This headset has enabled me and my bike to climb Deer Creek Canyon 32 times, Vail Pass 14 times, up and over Colorado National Monument 8 times, up Independence Pass 5 times, up Pikes Peak and Squaw Pass 2 times each, and up Mesa Verde and Hurricane Ridge 1 time each. It's done the Tour de Lavender, a 1,000-mile month, 14 consecutive months with a 60-mile or better day (back when it was still an infant), and it's thrown me over the handlebars twice.

This has been a pretty awesome bike! This will be its 3rd headset. I bought the bike in April 2004, and although it's undergoing major surgery again this week, I will get to ride it again!

16 July 2018

Snowflake Monday


My first thought when this week's Moda Blockheads 2 pattern was released was how I could configure the pattern to somehow fit a snowflake on it.

My second thought revolved around potential names. The block pattern is called Path Through the Woods. That name made me think of all the 14ers I've climbed and all the trail names I wanted to embroider on my 14er quilt so many years ago. (After stitching one trail name into the sashing and looking at it from a distance, I decided it didn't look that good after all, and I frogged the stitches and the idea.)


There are so many great trail names in Colorado! When I quickly reviewed this list of 14er trailhead names, one name jumped off the internet page, so I didn't bother taking the time to dig up my old list of trail names I'd planned to quilt/embroider into the 14er quilt. Does the same trailhead name jump out at you???

Now that I'm getting a little better at free-motion quilting, I may dig up that old trail list one day and try once again to include the best trail and trailhead names in quilt sashing and border. Not necessarily in the old quilt; it's all done by hand, and I don't know that I want to mix in machine stitching. There is a selection of fabric in my stash, however, that would be suitable for inclusion in a new 14er quilt. Such quilt may want and need trail names!


If only I could get all the quilt ideas in my head onto paper before I lose them! I'm still trying to stick to my promise not to start any more quilts until I finish about 10 on my WIP list.




Instead of placing this week's tricky triangles in an X-shape across my quilt block, I decided to turn them sideways to form a scrappy snowflake frame. I then cut all four of the center triangles from the same fabric, which just happens to be the leftovers from the pioneer jumper and bonnet I made for Trek nine years ago. Now there's a trail! No woods, though...


I served as one of four official photographers as a group of about 200 teens and their "families" pushed handcarts and/or walked across 33 miles of the Mormon/Oregon/Pony Express Trail in Wyoming back in 2009 to commemorate a portion of the crossing of the treacherous and wild central plains by pioneers back in the late 1840s to 1860s. Both branches of my dad's family (all of his grandparents' grandparents) made that trek 171 years ago to escape religious persecution, to be free and to be able to raise their families in peace. I was honored to follow in the ghosts of their footprints and to live for five days the way they lived for about 90 days. My experience is still one of the highlights of my life, and you may read more about it here.

I'm thrilled I was able to incorporate fabric from my Trek into my Blockheads quilt. There will be many, many stories behind this snowflake baby by the time it's done, and Trek is one of my most important stories I'd like to pass down to my own grandchildren.


Confession time! It's been a while since I've done this, but I screwed up the count on the snowflake intended for the quilt block. This one is now destined for my mom's tree, where she displays my 7-pointed booboos. She is the mother of seven kids.


Glacier Gorge is but one trailhead to reach Longs Peak, the most difficult 14er I've climbed. That's not which way I went. However, Glacier Gorge is a Rocky Mountain National Park destination in which I have spent many snowshoeing, cross country skiing or hiking hours. I haven't been there in a while, and digging through photos of the location makes me want to go back... with the good camera!


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: 5.75 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

Glacier Gorge Snowflake Instructions

Make magic ring.

Round 1: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 4 dc in ring, take loop off hook, insert hook through 2nd ch of starting ch 2 and replace loop on hook, pull loop through ch (beginning popcorn stitch made), [ch 5, 5 dc in ring, take loop off hook, insert hook through top loop of 1st dc and replace loop on hook, pull loop through top of 1st dc (popcorn stitch made)] 2 times; ch 2, 1 tr in top of starting popcorn st to form 3rd ch 5 sp of Round. Pull magic ring tight.

Round 2: Beginning popcorn stitch over post of tr directly below, [ch 3, popcorn st in next ch 5 sp, ch 3, popcorn st in same ch 5 sp] 2 times; ch 3, popcorn st in starting ch 5 sp, ch 1, 1 dc in top of starting popcorn to form 6th ch 3 sp of Round.

Round 3: 1 sc over post of dc directly below, * ch 7, 1 sc in next ch 3 sp; repeat from * around 5 times; ch 3, 1 tr in starting sc to form 6th ch 7 sp 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 4: Ch 5 (counts as 1 dc and ch 3), 1 tr over post of tr directly below, ch 5, 1 sc in same sp, * in next ch 7 sp work (1 sc, ch 5, [1 dc, ch 3] 3 times, 1 dc, ch 5, 1 sc); repeat from * around 4 times; 1 sc in starting ch 7 sp, ch 5, 1 dc in same sp, ch 3, 1 dc in same sp, ch 1, 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 5 to form 3rd ch 3 sp of group.

And this is what it looks like if you accidentally skip Round 3 and bind off after Round 4...


Round 5: Ch 6 (counts as 1 tr and ch 3), 1 tr over post of dc directly below, ch 5, * sk next ch 3 sp, next 2 ch 5 sp and next 3 ch sp, in next ch 3 sp work ([1 tr, ch 3] 3 times, 1 tr in same sp), ch 5; repeat from * around 4 times, 1 tr in starting ch 3 sp, ch 3, 1 tr in same sp, ch 3, sl st in 3rd ch of starting ch 6.

Round 6: * 3 sc in next ch 3 sp, sk next ch 5 sp, ch 7, 3 sc in next ch 3 sp, in next ch 3 sp work ([1 dtr, ch 1] 2 times, 1 dtr, ch 3, 1 dc in 3rd ch from hook (dc picot made), ch 5, 1 sc in 5th ch from hook, [ch 5, sl st in sc] 2 times) (tri picot made), ch 3, 1 dc in 3rd ch from hook (dc picot made), 1 dc in top of last dtr made, [1 dtr, ch 1] 2 times, 1 dtr, ch 5, 1 sc), 3 sc in next ch 3 sp; repeat from * around 5 times, sl st in starting sc; 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 the snowflake twirl freely whenever you walk by! Snowflake also may be taped to window or tied to doorknob or cabinet handle.






Linking up with Busy Hands Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict and My Quilt Infatuation.

12 July 2018

What a Blockhead!


If I hadn't already cut flying geese rectangles from nearly every snowflake fabric in my blue scrap box, I might have left last week's Impact block from the Moda Blockheads 2 at 16 inches square instead of 24 inches square because I think this is such a dynamic layout. But that's part of the fun of a quilt-along, right? Getting inspired by blocks, falling in love with blocks, taking the quilt map and going your own way?


I've loved every block we've done so far. Like many other Blockheads, I now look forward to Wednesdays, when each new block is announced.

The Impact Block from last week is expected to be a centerpiece in the final quilt because it finishes up at 24 inches square. I think a lot of the coming blocks are going to be itty bitties - six-inchers.


Last week's block called for five 8.5-inch squares of fabric, plus four 8.5-inch flying geese squares. Many quilters improvised and did their own thing with the solid squares. It was so fun seeing all the different interpretations of Impact!

Now that we are six blocks into the quilt, it's fun seeing the different fabric choices and colors from other quilters, too. I think I look forward to other Blockheads' finished blocks as much as I look forward to the new block each week. And I'm simply amazed some quilters have their new blocks done before I get home from work on Wednesdays!


Initially, I wanted to make five snowflakes to add to my five solid Impact block segments. I might do that with a new scrappy quilt one day in the future, but for this one, I decided to break up the four corner segments because I joined this year's challenge to empty my scrap box. I didn't have many scraps big enough from which to cut 8.5-inch blocks. I decided adding four more geese segments would add additional impact to my snowflake and my block.

I drafted the corner segments using recycled typing paper and a ruler. It's a good thing my first attempt was paper because I drafted the large corner triangles too small. No fabric was injured during this experiment. However, the next two attempts also weren't quite right, and they joined the scrap box.

Finally, on the fourth try, I got my diagonal geese figured out, and two nights later, my huge Impact block was finished.


I think I'm going to begin layering and quilting my blocks now as a Quilt As You Go project. I've got a pretty awesome idea for joining the quilted blocks. So today may be the last time I share all my blocks together in one photo until the quilt is finished. I don't want to give away my surprise ending!

Linking up with Busy Hands Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict and My Quilt Infatuation.

10 July 2018

Bike to Work Day

This is what I call enthusiastic!

09 July 2018

Snowflake Monday

Real #snowflake #macro photo.

A post shared by Alexey Kljatov (@alexkljatov) on


With a Moda Blockheads quilt block named Impact, my snowflake needs to have some real pizazz, right? So, time to turn to snowflake photographer extraordinaire Alex Kljatov once again...

I knew the instant I saw this snowflake I had to crochet it. When I got done with the prototype, unstiffened didn't look so good. Check out the progress photos in the pattern below to see what I mean. I wasn't sure about this pattern.

Once I got it pinned, however, boy, did it ever jump out at me! Pure Impact! I love it!

This week's Blockhead pattern, at 24 inches, has plenty of room for snowflake crochet. Initially, I wanted to make a snowflake for each of the five 8.5-inch squares (!!!) in the pattern, but elbow pain, lack of time, absence of appropriate scraps big enough to make all five 8.5-inch segments as shown in the original pattern and some of the inspirational interpretations by other Blockheads convinced me one snowflake will suffice for now.










And here's my unfinished block...


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 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

Impact Snowflake Instructions

Round 1: [Ch 4, 2 dc in 3rd ch from hook (dc picot made)] 6 times; taking care not to twist work, 1 sc in starting ch to form ring.


Round 2: Turning dc bumps to inside of ring, right side facing down, * 5 dc in 2nd ch of next dc picot, 1 sc in next ch; repeat from * around 5 times, omitting last sc of final repeat; sl st in starting sc.

Round 3: Ch 13 ( counts as 1 tr and * ch 10), sl st in 11th ch from hook (or in top of tr on repeats), 1 tr in same sc, sk next 2 dc, 1 dc in next (middle) dc, ch 7, 1 dc in same dc, sk next 2 dc, 1 tr in next sc; repeat from * around 5 times, omitting last tr of final repeat; sl st in 3rd ch of starting ch 13.
NOTE: Binding off here makes a cute little snowflake.


Round 4: Sl st around ch 3 that counts as tr (counts as bottom of back post tr or bptr), ch 3 (counts as top of bptr), * 1 tr in ch 10 loop, ch 3, 1 tr in same loop, ch 10, sl st in top of tr, 1 tr in same loop, ch 3, 1 sc in same loop, 1 bptr around Round 3 tr, ch 9, 1 bptr around next Round 3 tr; repeat from * around 5 times, omitting last tr of final repeat; sl st in 3rd ch of starting ch 3 that counts as bptr.




Round 5: Sl st around Round 4 ch 10 loop (counts as bottom of bptr), ch 3 (counts as top of bptr), * 1 bptr around Round 4 tr, in next ch 10 loop work (2 dc, 2 hdc, 1 sc, ch 3, 1 sc, 2 hdc, 2 dc), 1 bptr around next Round 4 tr, 1 bptr around Round 4 ch 10 loop, sk next ch, 1 dc in next ch, ch 2, sk next ch, 1 dc in next ch, ch 3, sk next ch, 1 dc in next ch, ch 2, sk next ch, 1 dc in next ch, 1 bptr around next Round 4 ch 10 loop; repeat from * around 5 times, omitting last bptr of final repeat, sl st in 3rd ch of starting ch 3 that counts as bptr.




NOTE: Binding off here makes a wonderful 5-inch snowflake.


Round 6: * 1 sc in next bptr, 1 hdc in next dc, 1 dc in each of next 2 st, 3 dc in next hdc, ch 2, sl st into next ch 3 sp, ch 2, sk next sc, 3 dc in next hdc, 1 dc in each of next 2 st, 1 hdc in next dc, 1 sc in next bptr, 3 dc in next ch 2 sp, ch 5, 1 dc in 4th ch from hook and in next ch (long dc picot made), 3 dc in next ch 3 sp, ch 6, sl st in 5th ch from hook, turn, 5 sc in ch 5 loop just made, sl st in loop, ch 2, turn, 2 dc in next loop sc, ch 2, 2 dc in same sc, 1 sc in next loop sc, 3 dc in next loop sc, ch 2, 3 dc in same sc, 1 sc in next loop sc, 2 dc in next loop sc, ch 2, 2 dc in same sc, ch 2, sl st in loop, sl st in next ch (1st ch of ch 6 before loop was made) (tri-petal made), 3 dc in same ch 3 sp as previous 3 dc, ch 5, 1 dc in 4th and 5th ch from hook (long dc picot made), 3 dc in next ch 2 sp, sk next dc and bptr; repeat from * around 5 times; 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.






I changed up the pattern a bit when I made the flake for the actual quilt block. Here are instructions for the final row for the improvised variation.


Round 6: * Ch 5, 3 dc in ch 3 tip, ch 3, 3 dc in same sp, ch 5, sk next bptr, sl st in next bptr, in next ch 2 sp work 1 sc, 1 hdc and 1 dc, ch 5, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, 1 sc in next ch, 1 hdc in next ch, 1 dc in next ch (pointy picot made), 3 dc in next ch 3 sp, ch 6, sl st in 5th ch from hook, turn, 5 sc in ch 5 loop just made, sl st in loop, ch 2, turn, 2 dc in next loop sc, ch 2, 1 sc in 2nd ch from hook (sc picot made), 2 dc in same sc, ch 1, 1 sc in next loop sc, ch 1, 3 dc in next loop sc, ch 2, 1 sc in 2nd ch from hook, 3 dc in same sc, ch 1, 1 sc in next loop sc, ch 1, 2 dc in next loop sc, ch 2, 1 sc in 2nd ch from hook, 2 dc in same sc, ch 2, sl st in loop, sl st in next ch (1st ch of ch 6 before loop was made) (tri-petal made), 3 dc in same ch 3 sp as previous 3 dc, ch 5, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, 1 sc in next ch, 1 hdc in next ch, 1 dc in next ch (pointy picot made), in next ch 2 sp work 1 dc, 1 hdc, 1 sc, sk next dc, sl st in next bptr; repeat from * around 5 times; 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.

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.




Linking up with Busy Hands Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict and My Quilt Infatuation.
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