28 February 2022

Snowflake Monday

Last week, I fixed the Siglo Snowflake and created a new snowflake in the process. I also fixed the even more problematic Double Dip Snowflake I included with the Siglo pattern, and, of course, I created another new snowflake from that pattern. I was tempted to come up with another twosy moniker because the following Twosday was filled with twos. But Triple Dip is just so cute as a name, and it makes me want to visit Baskin-Robbins for a triple scoop of Gold Medal Ribbon, Chocolate Fudge and World-Class Chocolate. (Oh, man!!! Whatever happened to the French Vanilla?!? My favorite flavor!!!)

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: 6.5 inches from point to point
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread, size 8 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

Triple Dip Snowflake Instructions

Make magic ring.

Round 1: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc in ring, ch 3, 1 sc in 3rd ch from hook (picot made), [3 dc in ring, ch 3, 1 sc in 3rd ch from hook] 5 times; 1 dc in ring; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2; do not pull magic ring too tight.

Round 2: Ch 9 (counts as 1 dc and ch 7), [skip over next picot, 1 dc in middle dc of next 3/dc group, ch 7] 5 times; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 9.

Round 3: [In next ch 7 sp work (2 sc, 2 hdc, 5 dc, 2 hdc, 2 sc), ch 15, 1 dc in 15th ch from hook] 6 times, pulling 2nd dc yo of last dc of final repeat up through starting sc.
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 6 (counts as 1 sc and [ch 5, sk over to middle (3rd) dc of next 5/dc group, in middle dc work (1 sc, ch 3, 1 sc), ch 5, in next ch 14 loop work (3 sc, ch 3, sl st in 3rd ch from hook (ch 3 picot made), 3 hdc, ch 3 picot, 3 dc, ch 3 picot, 3 tr, ch 5, 1 sc in 2nd ch from hook, 1 hdc in next ch, 1 dc in next ch, 3 tr, ch 3 picot, 3 dc, ch 3 picot, 3 hdc, ch 3 picot, 3 sc] 6 times, omitting last sc of final repeat; sl st in 1st ch of starting ch 6; 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.

24 February 2022

Covered

Now that I've finally finished all the mending one of my friends brought by a little more than a year ago, I don't feel so guilty working on something for me. I made a few more scrappy I-Spy houses, although they still need roofs and grass. I also put pockets in a dress I made many years ago. I have four more old dresses that also need pockets in my own mending pile.

But fun projects got put on hold once again when the blinds in the master bedroom gave up the ghost. I'd been planning to use the leftovers from the Lizard Toes quilt I've been crafting for our bedroom to create DIY Roman shades from the blinds that most needed to be replaced.

I got stuck on the final quadrant of Lizard Toes backing because I accidentally turned the second quadrant the wrong way

I decided to do something totally different with the backing for the third quadrant to make sure I would have enough of the Tahiti Dream wide backing to make the Roman shades, too. I used remnants an old sheet I'd used to back one of my grandkids' quilts a couple of years ago for the third quadrant backing.

I really like the way it turned out, but it left me puzzling what to do for the fourth quadrant to make it look like it belongs with the other three and to prevent the backing from looking as if I used two different orphan backs when the quilt is done. On the bright side, I definitely would have enough of the Tahiti Dream to do the Roman shades. But the venetian blinds didn't wait.

Not only did I not have enough time before the next sub-zero plunge to create some kind of window covering, the housing for the blinds were so old and deformed, I wouldn't be able to reuse them. I looked at honeycomb blinds on the internet but didn't have time to order the proper size. I was going to just pin up an old fleece blanket over the window to ward off the -11 chill the huge window projects, but Lizard has been using that fleece as a stand-alone blanket. Parkinson's makes him feel tangled in sheets and quilts.

I decided to go online shopping for a curtain rod and simple, inexpensive blackout thermal curtains, thinking I could either add my Tahiti Dream to the front side later on or make an additional set of curtains that wouldn't need backing if I used them in front of the purchased curtains.

Initially, I went down a rabbit hole of cute curtains I wouldn't have minded buying. But those adorable curtains come from overseas, probably aren't made in advance, and would take at least five weeks to get here... that is, if the shipping backlog doesn't further disrupt.

So I ordered plain dove white thermal curtains with supposed blackout properties, and by golly they really are thick enough to block out the light during the day and keep out the cold at night. I even used a power drill for the first time in my life to get these babies hung on time to beat the polar plunge! I didn't iron the curtains prior to hanging them because it was already -2 when I received them. I think the wrinkles may fall out with time. But if not, I will press them when I add the homemade curtains. Not sure when that will be, but it is the plan.

These new curtains (first curtains we've ever bought as a couple) made me contemplate using similar curtains in the living room, where we have the biggest window in the house. Oh, how I love the sunshine and the wildlife views we get from this window, but we have to cover it in the mornings from March to September or cover our television to keep the sun from hitting it, and we've never had heat/cold protection on that window. The new bedroom curtain windows also make me wonder if I could print my own adorable curtain panels via Spoonflower... Might have to look into that.

I went through my stash, and I'm curious if one of my newest Spoonflower panels might make a nice window treatment...

I could reverse the original image and have it printed, then make the two panels into living room curtains... Maybe. I might have other photos that might make better curtains, but this definitely gives me something to think about.

Linking up with Alycia Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

22 February 2022

Back in the Saddle Again

I'm often asked how Lizard can ride his bike with Parkinson's. It certainly is not easy! But this guy never gives up. He's amazing. Two years ago, eight weeks after total knee replacement (which ramped up the Parkinson's but enabled him to walk), he was able to get a full revolution for the first time. (shown above)

Five days after emergency back surgery in August of 2020, he was able to push the pedals all the way around once again. Oh, we had such high hopes! But the back surgery took its toll on the Parkinson's. And, we've since learned his Parkinson's is an aggressive strain, moving a little faster than normal even without surgeries.

We've worked our way up on mileage (six to twelve miles) a handful of times now, only to have to start all over again from scratch every time we aren't able to get back on the bikes for a few days. Lizard can do three miles, but getting above that in winter is a real challenge.

Last weekend, he was able to pedal eight miles for the first time since September 2021. I was SO proud of him! He experienced some difficulties at about a mile, and he wanted to return to the car. He was done for the day. By the time we got back to the car, he was feeling a little better, and he kept right on pedaling. Boy, was I surprised!

We got about mile away from the car again, and once again, he thought he was done. This time, he wanted me to go back and get the car, then return to pick him up. I encouraged him to sit for a bit and try to collect his strength. He downed a couple of energy gel cubes and drank some water. After a few minutes, he was ready to ride back to the car. When we got back to the car, he kept right on going once again and retraced the entire four miles we'd just completed.

Every time we ride, he asks me if he's regaining his speed. Last weekend, I couldn't hold his pace for about 15 seconds. The rest of the ride got slower and slower, but every time he thought he couldn't go any further, he challenged himself and succeeded.

Sometimes, he has to fight for every single tiny little accomplishment. But he keeps right on trying. This guy is my champion. He's had so many reasons and opportunities to give up, but he refuses to become an invalid. When we got home, he listened to Foreigner's "I'm Gonna Win" about six times, then REO Speedwagon's "Keep Pushing."

It is not an easy road, but he keeps right on spinning those wheels!

21 February 2022

Snowflake Monday

I'm so sorry it has taken so long, but I finally was able to work through Siglo and Double Dip Snowflakes again to fix the errors. I've still got seven more published patterns, I think, that need my attention, and I'll hopefully be inspired with more new ideas as I continue this journey.

I just love how a few simple changes can totally transform a snowflake pattern. Today's snowflake is a result of Siglo inspiration.

Siglo was originally designed back in 2013 but not published until a couple of weeks before lockdown in 2020. This made it an interesting pattern to revisit. So many memories! BUT, I did not remember naming the pattern, and I didn't remember the meaning of Siglo. I thought perhaps it was a foreign word for igloo. Igloos are, after all, cold and snowy...

It's a good thing I looked up the word. We snowflake crocheters were celebrating the century mark of membership in Sisters of the Snowflake. We'd rebooted the Yahoo group just a few months earlier. Now on the FB platform, we're a bit more than two years old, and we're up to 186 members!

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 inches from point to point
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread, size 8 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

Quinzhee Snowflake Instructions

Make magic ring.

Round 1: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc in ring, ch 3, 1 sc in 3rd ch from hook (picot made), [3 dc in ring, ch 3, 1 sc in 3rd ch from hook] 5 times; 1 dc in ring; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2; do not pull magic ring too tight.

Round 2: Ch 12 (counts as 1 dc and [ch 10), sl st in 7th ch from hook, ch 3, sk over next picot, 1 dc in middle dc of next 3/dc group] 6 times, omitting last dc of final repeat; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 12.

Round 3: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), [13 dc in next ch 6 loop, 1 fpdc around post of next dc] 6 times, omitting last fpdc final repeat; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2.
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 10 (counts as 1 trtr and [ch 5), in next in middle (7th) dc of next 13/dc group work (1 sc, ch 5, 1 dc, ch 15, 1 dc, ch 5, 1 sc], ch 5, sk next 6 dc, 1 fptrtr around post of next fpdc] 6 times, omitting last fptrtr of final repeat; sl st in 5th ch of starting ch 10; 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.

17 February 2022

Another Flake Bites the Bobbin

Back in January, I created my first lap temperature quilt using the digital image I created in Photoshop and had printed via Spoonflower. I was still working on the remainder of the 2021 digital temperature quilt segments. I had two more segments printed once I finished a summer month so I could make another lap quilt, this one featuring a totally different color scheme on each side. March is on the front, and July is on the back.

The binding for this little lap quilt is leftover binding from other quilts AND the Spoonflower edges from multiple panels I've ordered. Sometimes the fabric comes with a two- to three-inch white border, and I couldn't see throwing it away after cutting it off. So I pieced all the borders together and made a binding. No scraps went to waste on this baby!

Now my entire 2021 digital temperature quilt is done, and I'm hoping to have it printed on fabric, too, but I have to do some more retouching, first. Some of the flakes in today's quilt aren't as white as I'd like them to be. And some of the dark blues and dark purples look black. Back to the computer drawing board...

My 2021 digital temperature quilt actually displays nearly 13 months instead of 12, and the December 2021/January 2022 segment is my favorite because it includes some of my more recent snowflakes, as well as background colors I really like.

I had a request to share my temperature chart so others can see the temperatures represented in my digital quilt.

I had decided back in December that I wanted my temperature quilt months to be represented by blocks instead of rows. Using this method, I would need an even number of vertical days to accommodate two rows for each day, a high and a low. I couldn't do seven-day weeks because the last week of each month would be missing the overnight lows in a 7x7 block. (Seven rows by seven rows.) Six days by six rows would leave off too much of the year. (216 days instead of 356.) When I decided to do eight days vertical and four columns of highs and lows horizontally, I hadn't done the math, but I knew I would have to include some January 2022 days. (Or some December 2020 days, but I'd already started the January segment and didn't want to have to alter the snowflake squares I'd already digitally pieced.)

Math has never been my strong point. When I was trying to figure out how to describe how I created what I created, the only math term I could think of was square root. And I guess that sort of applies. 28 days, 30 days and 31 days do not have a workable square root. (It would be a fraction.) But 32 days does (when you multiply by two for the high and the low of each day)... 8 times 8!

I thought my digital quilt would be maybe three or four days into this January. As I finished the 11th segment (which I thought would be mostly November with a bit of December), I was shocked to discover I'd nearly finished 2021 and would need nearly the full month of January 2022! I was just a tiny bit tempted to create a really unusual 12th segment with just three days (or six blocks, including highs and lows). The snowflakes would be really big, and I even considered doing real applique! But, in the interest of finishing quickly so I can get on with other waiting projects, I went ahead and used 30 days of this January, far more than the four I thought I'd be using!

So my digital temperature quilt features 768 blocks and 768 snowflakes. I hope to create another digital temperature quilt one day because I actually have enough snowflake patterns to use a different one for each day. I wasn't able to do that with my first try because I didn't have photos of every snowflake I've designed in a range of colors. Most of the white flakes for the first eight or so years of designing were photographed on blue fabric. Many of those flakes have been given away, so I will have to make them again and photograph each on a range of colors.

Needless to say, that project is going to have to wait a while. I've got too many other things that need to be finished first!

Linking up with Alycia Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

15 February 2022

Back in Paradise

I hadn't had the opportunity to walk along the greenway since last July. I am SO glad I took the 50 minutes I had! I can't wait to go back and spend more time!

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