Friday, October 31, 2014

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

 

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Hope your holiday is scary and happy!!!!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Catching up a bit….

The last two weeks have been crazy busy!!   I had the privilege of speaking at the Hall County Quilter’s Guild one Monday and then teaching a one day Machine Quilting Workshop on the Tuesday.   It is so much fun to visit different guilds and meet new quilters!!

Even with everything else, I have been able to finish the piecing on the Pinwheel baby quilt.

I have had to be SUPER careful with the piecing because every single non-matching point would show terribly.   Consequently, I meticulously planned which direction each seam would go and pinned like I have never pinned before…..

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As I took each piece off of the design wall, I made sure that each corner was pinned in place…..

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Then as I sewed the pinwheel points, I sewed another line just outside my original stitching….

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….which meant that I had some wonderful extra pinwheel parts!!!

I used those extra bits and made a bunch more pinwheels and then  started playing with border ideas…..

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After about an hour or so, my eyes gazed across this piece of gradation fabric from Caryl Bryer Fallert…..

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When I put it up on the design wall, I knew that it was the way to go….

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The only problem was that I didn’t have very much of the gradation, so some very careful cutting and piecing ensued!!!   Eventually, the top was finished….

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I quickly put together a back…..

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….and now just have to do the quilting!!    I am thinking that I will do some “circle-esque” designs in the plain blocks to echo the design in the fabrics.

Hopefully I can get back to this one early in the week!!!!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Appalachian Trail–Tellico to Wayah Gap

Michael and I had been trying to get an AT trip in this fall but had to cancel once because the weather was not being cooperative.  However, on Wednesday the Weather Channel said that Thursday would be beautiful so we headed North to pick up the Appalachian Trail in the spot that Michael and Brian had ended on their last hike.

We were met at Wayah Gap by our shuttle driver, so we left our truck there and were driven to Tellico Gap to start our hike.

About two hours into the trip we finally conceded that the Weather Channel didn’t know what they were talking about as this was the only thing that we could see……

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It stayed cool and wet all during the day with the sun finally coming out at 5:00pm staying around for about 3 minutes!!!

We managed to have a great day of hiking anyway!!!

When we were waiting at Wayah gap there was a truck parked there with two hunters in the front seat and two dogs in the back of the truck.   Then as we started up the trail at Tellico, we met two more dogs, each with their radio GPS systems on their colors.   A bit further and we came on two more hunters with a dog.  When we asked, they told us that they were hunting bear and apparently there was some sort of race going on to see who could bag one first!!

About an hour later, we were met by a sweet dog who took a fancy to us and stayed with us as we walked.   He acted like he was hungry, so Michael finally fed him a handful of Cheese-Nips.   Then he REALLY stayed around!!!

After about 30 minutes, we could hear other dogs baying in the distance and his ears perked up and finally he took off down the mountain….

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We laughed thinking about the other dogs saying “Hey Ralph.  Why do you have Cheese-Nip breath?”!!

We were wondering if there would be any autumn leaves on the trees, but most had already fallen.  There were, however, some beautiful ones on the trail…..

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After walking 8.7 miles, we found a great campsite and started getting ready for the night…..DSC03503

After we got the tent up, Michael went out to find a good branch to hang the bear bag on and I started setting up our home for the evening.   Here I am using the “Insta-flator” to inflate our sleeping pads….

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Once we had our camp set up, Michael started boiling water to reconstitute our dinner for the evening……Chicken Vindaloo….DSC03516

It was yummy and even had a bit of spice to it!!   We figured that every bear in a 5 mile radius could smell it!!!

After dinner, we relaxed around camp.  Since our last trip, I had purchased a camp stool and found it to be really comfortable and MUCH better than sitting on the ground…..

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Michael’s clothes weren’t as warm as mine so he crawled into the sleeping bag…..

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We finally crawled in and closed the tent up about 7:30 and then read for a while before sleeping.   We both slept well and woke up a bit before daybreak.

Michael climbed out first, pulled down the bear bag so that we could get to our food out and started heating water for coffee and tea….

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He allowed me the luxury of having breakfast in bed…..

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It took us about an hour to break camp, load up our packs and hit the trail again, with beautiful sunny weather.

About 20 minutes later we came to the Wayah Gap Observation Tower….

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The tower was cool, but the views were magnificent……

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The low clouds looked like large bodies of water…..

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We continued up the trail, stopping once to filter some water and refill our water bottles…..

DSC03577 There were several cool trees and fungi that we photographed on the way….

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We happily completed the last 3.8 miles, arriving back at Wayah Gap at 11:45….DSC03611

This trip was a bit of a shakedown to see if we were going to be attempt the Himalaya trip that we want to do in May (remember….NO ONE mentions this to my Mom or to Michael’s Mom!!!!).

I didn’t have any trouble with my knees (even with a 20 pound pack) or with sleeping on the ground, so I think that we are ready to book the trip …..SSSOOOOO EXCITING!!!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Progress…..

I have a friend from my Church who is a wonderful artist and designer.  Her name is Karla and she specializes in repeat designs, having several wallpaper lines and also a number of other great designs on the market.   You can check out her blog here.

Well, she and her husband are having a baby girl.  As a matter of fact, she is at the hospital RIGHT NOW!!!   So exciting!!

When I told Karla that I wanted to make her a quilt, she said that she had two yards of fabric printed at Spoonflower and would I like to use it in the quilt.  It is a wonderful repeat design with fun colors and I was really excited to work with it……

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I started out by picking other fabrics to go with this one…..

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I had been considering patterns.   Karla likes more traditional designs so I was thinking about a pinwheel quilt, however, when I got the fabric, I felt like the scale of the print was too large to cut into a lot of smaller pieces so I got onto EQ and started playing.

I came up with this idea and thought that it would be perfect…..

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However, when I started laying out the pieces, I didn’t like how it was looking….

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My non-quilting friend Charlene looked at it said that all she was seeing was the green fabrics when I really wanted to highlight the pinwheels.

The next day I put on my thinking cap and started drafting more pinwheel block, in larger sizes this time.

I also cut the greet squares down to a smaller size and the result was…..

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SOOOO much better.

Now I have to work on the outside borders and decide if I am going to add the triangles on the side or leave those off and play with the borders instead.

I did have one epiphany during this process.   I realized that accuracy is going to be super important when I actually start sewing so I tried to fold the squares in half VERY carefully.  

As I was cutting down the green squares, I was opening up the fold, cutting the square down to 2 inches and then meticulously re-folding in half.   Then I grabbed for a ruler and accidentally picked up on that a friend had given me recently.   It is the  Eleanor Burns “Quilt In A Day” Triangle Square Up ruler…..

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I was able to leave the triangle folded and use the ruler to square it up……DSC03410

It was SO much faster…..

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So, since the baby is being born as we speak, I had better get busy and figure out the borders so that I can start piecing…..and fast!!!

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