Friday, May 30, 2014

Guild House Spinners Gathering

Usually, the spinners meet in homes each third Tuesday but this Tuesday we decided to meet at the Guild House, which is located near Houston Museum District.  We had a nice gathering.  We always are chatting as our hands and wheels are at work and then it comes time to share.

Penny had recently taken a barge journey in Netherlands and brought this lovely skein to show off.  Of course, when we travel we always look for the local fiber people.

It is a wool blend with some alpaca

Penny was told by the spinner (in their limited communication) that it was dyed with purple onion skins

Then we had this discussion about achieving  this color with purple onion skins--interesting

Our young spinner, Lucy, pulled out her hugger she is knitting.  The brightly colored yarn is commercial purchased with the black being her handspun.

Here is the skein of commercial yarn

She also had been on a sock knitting spree and produced these warm and cozy socks--we all loved the yarn

These cushiony socks are cotton blend--felt good by hand; imagine how they would feel on your feet.

She had used some of her handspun to create this cell phone case

Carolyn showed off her first knitting project using her handspun alpaca.  We heard her say she had 21 alpacas with 3 new babies in the fold--WOW!  She has lots of fiber at hand.  This scarf was so soft!

Susan was spinning this yummy dyed yarn from Penny's bins  She is Skyloom Weavers

Lovely, lovely, lovely sliding through the hands of Carolyn; some of her own blended fibers

Marion had recently taken a trip to New Mexico and of course, found a neat fiber shop-- Quillin Fiber Arts.  she picked up bits and pieces for her spinning pleasure

Penny brought her spindle, which is convenient to carry wherever you travel.  never leave home without one!

Another good thing about visiting the Guild House are all the looms--dressed and ready for some shuttle throwing--don't you love this block weave?!

Here is the weft for the above warp

This is a sample weave--can you believe?  It was used for demoing and the pattern is perfect to show off the colors

Here is your pattern for goose-eye treadling.  Can you guess what book this is from?

A weaver was busy on her warp, weaving tablemats and runner--super duper!  Yes, there is always action at the Guild House.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Can We Say--CONFUSED!

Okay, I've been working on these strips since early last summer!  It was easy to exchange (25 light and 25 dark) 2"x5" strips with 10 friends, but boy, the sewing up has been a major challenge.  Finally, I just had to drag myself into that sewing room and finish that project!!  It's not that it was difficult, but every time I looked at the stack of strips, I just couldn't fathom how it was all going to work out.  Of course, I had the book from Bonnie Hunter as we had all worked from it last summer during our club sewing days.  I said to myself--"Self, get yourself in there and get to work!  You can do this! Quit being such a wimp!"  And so, me, myself and I entered into the holding box with this project.......
You just keep adding strips to each length--but wait--at some point, all those strips need to be the same length, so once back into the sewing room, I took time to count each red connector square and stacked each into appropriate pile--36 here, 30 here, etc.  Okay, that helps!

Now, lay out the strips to see if we can make sense of this madness--oh, no!  this can not be right!
Must refer to the book instructions--why is this so difficult for me?  I don't think my thinking cap is on straight today.....................


Now, this looks right!!  sigh!  Onto the next step...................

All those points must be trimmed and there has to be a way to keep each strip the same width...ah!  I got it!  Since my rulers are not 6.5" wide, I'll measure a template and use that!

and now there is an exact 6.5" width and using a straight edge, the strips can be trimmed.  Onto the next step....................sewing strips together

Pinning in place is important--make sure all those whites match up perfectly!



First seam--good going!

Look at that would you?!!  great match up!

 
and on and on I continue to measure, cut, pin and stitch--all 20 strips until we have finished
TEXAS BRAID!  WOW!  That wasn't so hard after all--it just took a little pushing from my alter ego--you got this, Gal!  And off to the quilter it goes.................bring on the next challenge! and let's see if it can be finished in less than a year......................................

Saturday, May 24, 2014

In Honor of Memorial Day

Our daughter and her husband wanted a flag pole for their ranch.  As a Christmas gift, we gave them a 25' pole and recently, since the weather was decent, the guys erected the pole in front of their house.

One evening we gathered in the early evening to celebrate the honor and history of our nation by raising the flag.

Neighbors were invited; we had 'poppers' and patriotic music.  Our SIL even wore a special shirt for the occasion. 

Our flags at night with the spotlight on them.
And when night fell, the flags waved bravely!  We are proud to be Americans and Texans!  and Appreciate those who died to give us freedom!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Happy Stitching--

Does it matter that the sewing room has been resting for some days now?  No, not really--quietness in that room only allows the fabrics to age properly.  And I'm sure, they are breathing a sign of relief that there isn't any fabric dust floating around in the air...............................................BUT, now we are back!  And kicking up some fabric dust all around.


It's owl time again--really late for May--Once again, Sindy from Fatcat Patterns has presented us with some interesting creatures of the night!

I rather enjoy using up the scraps in the bin--nothing like digging through and finding just the perfect one for a feather here, a beak there.

And I really like these penguins!!  How fun are they--hanging up the Christmas lights!

Peek-a-boo!  How are you?! 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Are you LOOPY??

Yes, I'm going to be loopy this summer! I am going to Camp Loopy this summer!!  And there is no travel involved--no campfires--no sleeping on the ground--no bugs--and no complainers!!  This is a virtual camp and I'm going to love it!  plus the fact, I'll get lots of knitting finished for gift giving.

Here's what you do--visit Sheri's blog at The Loopy Ewe:  a down right fab-U-lous shop in Fort Collins, Colorado.  Photo: front of our shop 

Each month through the summer, there will be a challenge to knit and prizes to win.  June challenge begins June 1 and runs through June 30:  Find a project that reminds you of one of your favorite books, TV Shows, or movies. It can be based on a character, or a scene, or colors, or names, or however you’d like to interpret your love of that book/show/movie. This first project must have a minimum of 400 yards, used in one project. (Not sets of things, like matching hats or shawls. However, a pair of socks or a pair of mittens DOES count!)

You can also find a group on Ravelry, if you are so inclined.  I have chosen my first project--mittens that I should be knitting in May from Christmas in 12 months Ravelry designer--Meagheen Ryan.  These mittens are going to be soooooooooo cute!! 


Come on and go to Camp Loopy with me!  It will be lots of fun............................................




Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Allegiance to our Vets!!

Let's pay Allegiance to our Vets by building a quilt!  And it's a MYSTERY to boot!  How could I pass up this opportunity??  So, if you want to join in the fun and build a quilt for our worthy veterans, hop over to Alycia Quilts to see the plan.  There are two sizes in this mystery--one is smaller quilt for veterans quilt projects at 48"x63" and for the Quilts of Valor, the larger quilt is sized at 68"x89". 
Vicki Welsh has designed the pattern and is offering a special on her hand dyed fabrics for either quilt. 

I've ordered my fabrics from Fabric.com-- I always like to have extra on hand for other projects or just in case.............................I cut wrong--(of course, I would never do that!)



The clues will come weekly starting Jun 8 for 4 weeks. Here's the background information for the project.  There is plenty of time to find the fabrics and get set for a summer of great sewing. 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Nature's Bounty

As so happens in the month of April, spring showers bring forth the bounty of May's flowers................
Grapes become delicious wines

but, a stop at Wildseed Farms the flowers are constantly on display

walk through their gardens to explore the varieties

bees are a buzzing

hummingbirds are aplenty

and the poppies are the brightest of colors. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

ON THE ROAD.................................

We have been on the road--again!  I love these road trips!  Going to places on my 'to do' list; visiting favorite places of years gone by!  Nothing like being on a long road trip and pulling into an unique shop or restaurant--a place where you find disasters as well as gems in the rough! 
We stopped at our Colorado house for a few days and were greeted with this view from our back deck--what a freshening view after a long drive!  and since we are here only in the summer time, we don't see snow topped mountains often.

and on the "bucket list" or to do list--Easter sunrise service at Red Rocks Theater!  Even getting up at 3 AM for the drive to the mountains is worth it!  How great Thou art!!
Then a drive to Santa Fe--a favorite on our travels--ahhh, the colors

the shapes

the lines

sight of evening rolling in

designs

breath taking views


and there is nothing like walking down Canyon Road to visit local artists

hidden gems in garden settings

bronze statues with artistic touches

the precision of the beads

sounds of wind rushing through the sculptures



and then there are the design elements

building structures


Even the mail comes in colorful boxes............................
Yes, we were on the road again to far off places but so close to the heart!