Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Love of Charity

Charity? A gift of your hands, heart and skill! Yes, there is a love for charities and one of our favorite is Binky Patrol. We've always heard the term 'binky' and wondered what exactly was a 'binky'. Well, according to Wikipedia: A binky can be one of the following:
•A stuffed animal or similar toy for small children
•A brand name for a pacifier, used to comfort infants or small children
•A blanket, used to keep infants or small children warm
•A kind of twisting jump made by a rabbit at play
•Binky (polar bear), a bear formerly in an Alaskan zoo
•Binky (Harry Potter), a fictional pet rabbit in the Harry Potter series

On a recent visit to a Quilting Hands Quilt Shop in Lyons, CO, we found two of these panels in the back room, which is partially a sale room.   These panels were marked down to $3.50 each--what a bargain!  We also found the border fabric in the sale room.  We have two of these quilt tops ready for the quilter.

We had fun working up these scrappy tops.  Cutting several scraps from the bins, 2.5" x 4.5", sewing them together and arranging in these blocks, outline with a 1.25" strips and then frame each block with a wider 2.5" border. 

This border fabric was bought last summer at Wooden Spools Quilt Shop, Denver, CO.  It is Kaffe Fassett designed.

Since there were more than 12 of these scrappy blocks made (once you get to sewing, you just can't stop!), we were able to get two tops.  The borders were reversed to get a different design effect and also solve some boredom.

I really like this version better--but, it doesn't really matter.  Both of these tops will be loved and cuddled by some little person.  There are a couple other thoughts floating around in the brain about the next design for a Binky Patrol quilt. These are fun and simple to make and definitely fills a joy in my heart!

Sunday, June 24, 2012


Nothing like working on a 'cool' subject during hot summer days.  We came across these stitchery patterns.  This snowman buddy comes from The Little Wool Shoppe blog.  Each month they will be a different snowman buddy for you to download and stitch.  The best way to transfer the pattern is with the use of a light box.

A pigma red pen is my choice.  Of course, the plan is to use red perle cotton for the thread.  But, you could use any color you wish.

The pattern has been transferred to white fabric and is ready to stitch. 

When visiting with the gals at the Wool Shoppe, we had a discussion about the best way to fasten the fabric for actual stitching.  It was recommend to use a batting for backing.  They used a pellon that had the fusible web included, but since there was none of that in our stash, we decided to try this quilt basting spray.  And it worked well. 

No hoop is required using the spray onto the cotton batting. Easy to hold as you stitch.  Now, we are ready to stitch.  Here is June pattern.

This is July pattern all finished.  A little wrinkled due to traveling, but this will press out fine.

Another 'cool' summer project comes from  Bejeweled Quilts and is called 'Reindeer Games'.  Soon we will have all of Santa's reindeer in red work.  Notice the little smudge near the nose--that's what you get when you try to drink coffee and stitch on a plane!  oh, well, it will either wash out or we'll just paint in some more color.

Here is another one of the reindeers that is playing in our games--the neat thing about these guys--you can either do them in stitchery or applique work.

Such a 'cool' smile on this fella!  The plan is to incorporate the snowbuddies with the reindeer into a December wall hanging--we'll see how that works at a later date.  So, if you are looking for something to keep your 'cool', give these patterns a stitch.........................

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Needed: New Jewelry Pouch

Yes, a new jewelry pouch is definitely needed!!  This one has been taken on many a journey.

Just look inside--what a mess!

How in the world did it get so stained?  Worn out, we know--just so much use.  First, look for info on web!  and there was a good instructable from Cheryl, TX Not this Cheryl, of course, but a different Cheryl.

Next choose two contrasting fabrics.  Our other jewelry pouch was made from our own hand-dyed fabric collection.

Need a pattern--so these two plates will suffice.  Larger one for outside and smaller one for inside pouches.

In a matter of 60 minutes or less, we had a new jewelry pouch.

The inside holds a few bracelets and the pouches will hold earrings.

Just one problem--it's too small!!  Okay, we're off to find a bigger circle and this one will be a great gift for a friend, who just might need a 'small' jewelry pouch.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Chapungu: The Great Stone Sculpturors of Africa

Just off I-25, near Loveland, Colorado, in a most unique setting is the Chapungu Sculpture Park.  We visited this lovely area, located between a busy highway and a bustling shopping mall.  Here it is peaceful with walking paths, picnic areas. 

On this occasion, we took a walk around the Great Lawn loop--just a short walk this day while we photographed some of the sculptures located in this area.

The first collection is in a group entitled The Family.  This piece is "Lovers" by Tendayi Mutasa

"The Betrothal" by Joe Mutasa

"The First Kicks" by Taylor Nkomo

"Coming of Age" by Joe Mutasa

"Happy Family" Fanizani Akuda

"Togetherness in Family" Faro Mavunga

"Remembering the Years" Joe Mutasa

"He is Mine" Gedion Nyanhngo

"Grandson Protecting Grandfather" Enos Gunja

"Tired Boy Drummer" Jonathon Mhondorohuma

"Welcome Home Sister" Nicholas Kadzungura

"Leap Frog" Dominic Benhura

"You Never Listen to Me Mama" Cephas Mashaya

"I Can Dance" Alfred Gutsa

"Angola Boy" Makina Kamaya

"The Lullaby" Taylor Nkomo
If you are in the area, take time from your busy schedule to walk through the pathways and view the public park  which features 82 African stone sculptures carved by artists from Zimbabwe.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Estes Park Wool Market Adventures

It's lunch time! at Estes Park wool market and this is where our Saturday adventure begins.  It is always a must to stop at Haugen's for our fix of kibee (grilled lamb patty served with lettuce, tomato & delicious yogurt sauce). Yummy! 

Wool market is a place where youngsters can bring their livestock for judging.  The lamb judge is giving this gal's animal the once over.  Lots of bleeting is heard as the lambs are handled.

A walk through the alpaca tent offers the opportunity to learn how you can use alpaca fleeces.  This sample of soft down is tempting to touch and feel.

Tables are arranged with various handspun, hand knitted or woven alpaca products.

Good quality fleeces are offered for sale.

A super selection of display items give the visitor the chance to see up close how alpaca feels in the finished garment.  This is a lovely natural colored feather and fan knitted scarf in the making.

Warm and cozy are these wearables.

Want an Estes Park wool market 2012 shirt?  The merchandise table is ready for your purchase.

Inside the main vendor tent, we are treated to those who have traveled far and near to sell their wares.  Here you can most anything of natural fiber content.

These brightly dyed mohair overspun locks are always the hit of the sale.

Here are some wool rovings that are right for spinning.

Some vendors demonstated their craft during their sale pitch.

We found this bison fiber shawl on display in one booth.

Sorry--little blurry, but Brooks Farm yarns are outstanding and always a delight to touch and feel--a must buy if you are in the market for lovely quality fiber. 

This 'sherbet' colored yarn was a purchase from La Plata Farms .  It called my name as we walked by the booth.  It is 100% Wensleydale and will spin up heathery! (f there is such a word)

Bison farm vendors displayed this soft handwoven buffalo rug.

In the main arena, we watched several events take place.  This was the judging of pack alpacas.  Later leaping & limbo alpacas were featured--quite the fun show.  It was how high and low can you go with your alpaca.

Just a little late for wool fleece judgin (which is alright, as there are plenty of fleeces 'aging')  This was a ram fleece--received reserve champion

A Jacob fleece took a prize

It is always so much fun walking through the fleece barn--picking out the ones you would have given ribbons to.

Too bad the photo doesn't show the crimp on these locks--it was superb!

And the grand champion of white fleeces was this beauty!  and alas, it was already sold!

Near one of the back arenas we watched sheep shearing.  Looming in the background was the beginning of High Park wild fire, located west of Fort Collins--quite awesome to watch and know you can't do a thing to help.

The day wouldn't be complete without a walk through the animal barns.  The cashmere goats were resting after their judging feat.

And these Mo's (angora goats) were quite content to pose for a photo.

And there are the curious goats who want to eat your camera!  Wool market is always an adventure.  A place to meet old friends and enjoy the luxury of fiber.