Archive for September, 2010

While the cat’s away…

We left Monte, our Border Collie alone for longer than normal yesterday morning.  We’ve stopped confining her since she has proved herself to be more responsible.  Ahem!  She was alone for about 5 hours with nothing to do except wait patiently for mom and dad.  Usually, that’s not a problem.

I’m sorry I missed the picture of this lovely skein of alpaca wool spread all over her bed.  She must have had a wonderful time.  Now mind you, she has never bothered yarn before (electrical cords, yes, but yarn, no) and because of that, there’s usually some lying around where she can get at it.  This particular skein was down in the bottom of a large basket.  There were many other choices available: some on the table near the edge, some on the sofa, a finished project at nose level, etc.  She had to work for this one, not that it was hidden, but she needed to poke her head all the way into the basket.   She had been sniffing in my project basket earlier in the day – that should have set off alarms I guess – but usually she’s just sniffing.

At first I wasn’t sure I could salvage the yarn, but on closer inspection, it looked like some of it was in tact.  There were numerous pieces less than 18″ long that I discarded, but you can see that I have several tiny balls, several pieces that are about 1 yard long and one nice sized ball.  I bought this yarn for making tiny felted hearts so I think it should still be useful.

Of all the yarn she could have gotten, this one was the least disastrous.  There was no time invested in a project and it belonged to me (as opposed to some other stuff that is part of work I’m doing for someone else).  And in her defense, though I don’t really know why I’m making excuses for her, she could have gotten the yarn caught on her teeth and panicked, working hard to get free of it. I guess I’m in denial that she would get into it in the first place and it was too late to yell at her.  And she looks so innocent.

Autumn

Because this is Vermont and because this is the season we excel color-wise, I thought I should post some photos of how lovely it is here.

Our hydrangeas have turned an incredible shade of rose, much darker than normal.  I’m guessing it is because of the perfect summer we have had.

My friend Jenna and I hiked the Wethersfield trail up Mt Ascutney  yesterday.  The trail was steep and rocky but it was lovely being in the woods, at least after the initial thunderstorm went by.  Here and there were bright, beautiful trees in among the conifers and those still hanging on to their chlorophyll.  It still is early here but the red maples are brilliant now and the sugar maples aren’t too far behind.  Soon the roads will be filled with leaf peepers (Vermont speak for tourists who come to see the trees).  We have our own little favorite haunts to see the spectacular foliage.  Come visit in the next few weeks and we’ll take you on our route.

More skinny piecing

I had some skinny strips left over from making the witch hobble project. Actually it was a case of poor planning when I cut them in the first place and I hated to relegate them to the scrap pile when I could enjoy some more experimenting. So I put together this little top, cutting and inserting like Kathy Loomis does in her tutorial. One would think I would work according to the directions the first time instead of the other way round. I’ve started another little piece too and still haven’t used up all the leftover strips. I’ll show that one later when it is further along.

Trout Spots

I learned something new a few days ago.  Did you know that each and every trout has a specific spot pattern that is not duplicated by any other trout?  The variation and beauty of different species of trout is amazing.  And to think that each fish within each species can be identified based on its lovely spots…

I decided to make another piece for the CT group’s challenge under the theme Common Object, Uncommon View.  This time it is a close up of trout spots, brook trout to be specific.  When you look closely, the spots are colorful and beautiful.  My quilt is an imaginary brook trout, but I found a book of beautiful watercolor paintings of actual, real fish, painstakingly rendered in fine detail that I used as a reference.

This piece is made using hand-dyed and commercial print cottons, tulle, acrylic paint; pieced and fused.  It measures 18″x 24″.

Kong Kasualty

One would think I should know better. The Kong is a dangerous dog toy. Actually it isn’t so bad when you fill it with peanut butter or treats to occupy your pet for a while. The danger comes when you throw it. Yes, I know that isn’t what it was made for but it is a wonderfully unpredictable bouncer. And it entertains our border collie Monte for a long time. Our Kong session came to an abrupt halt the other day when it took an unexpected bounce from the floor to the counter, knocking into the side of this lovely handmade bowl by local potter Susan Dunning. I own a set of these bowls and their intense blue glaze gives me great pleasure. I think I’ll be calling her to see if I can get another one.

Witch Hobble

Witch Hobble (or Hobblebush) is a small native shrub that grows in the understory of Northeastern hardwood forests.  It sports white clusters of very early spring blooms which ripen to bright purple-red berries in late summer.  The secondary vein structures in the leaves are unique and lend themselves to Kathy Loomis‘ technique for piecing very thin lines.

Check out Kathy’s tutorial if you’d like to see how it’s done.  If you’d like to see some of my process for this piece, go here.

Witch Hobble was made using hand-dyed cottons; pieced and appliqued (leaf edge), and measures 25″ x 25″.

Work in progress

I’ve been in the studio lately working on a new piece.  It is a challenge piece for the Scrapbaggers group’s annual show in Connecticut.  Their theme this year is: Common Object, Uncommon View.  I chose a close-up view of the underside of a leaf.  It’s a special leaf with an interesting vein structure that lent itself to a technique for piecing with very thin strips perfected by Kathy Loomis.  Here are some images of the work in progress.


Making fabric.


Cutting out my full size templates.


Sewing the pieces together.


Ready for quilting.

I hope to have finished pictures up in a few days.


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