Friday, October 21, 2016

Been Making Shawl

And I finished last night. Haven't taken a new photo, of course, but here is what it looked like shortly after I started last month, which was about halfway through. The pattern is called Dripping Diamonds.
I used just over 2 skeins of Patons Lace in the Bonfire colorway. So it's more than 1000 yards of yarn. I also beaded the last row with small orange beads. Probably should have used larger ones. Now I just have to block it.

Monday, October 17, 2016

A Quilt for my First Grand Niece

I gave it to her and her dad Saturday after a little birthday party when they stopped at Hal's parent
s home on their way through town. I couldn't mention it till now on my blog the very, very slim chance someone from Hal's family actually read my blog, saw it and spilled the beans. But now it's safe. I used 99% new fabrics, a few I had laying around used in other quilts. Only 2 squares have fabrics used in clothing I made, two aprons last year.

This is one of the many variations of a star square. I used the quilt as you go method, in other words I made each square separately with the batting and backing (in this case flannel) which I then quilted and then stitched together with narrow strips. This is the second time I tried this method, it went a little better than the first time.

I did not do the traditional method of quilt making, i.e. make the whole top in one piece, then the sandwich and then the quilting because I discovered flannel is very stretchy and would bunch and pinch and roll and do horrid things because I just couldn't pin it tight enough so it would not move. It didn't help that I used a fluffier batting than I usually use which made the bunching even worse.

Here it is, very colorful because I have read babies like primary colors. There are twenty 10.5" squares total.

I found 2 coordinating flannel prints that I thought would be great from the back as the family has a golden retriever called Henry who is very much a part of the family. Here is a closeup of the back.

I like it so much I'd like to make a colorful quilt for myself someday.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

A Few More Photos from Tower Hill

Henna coleus
I wouldn't mind getting some of this coleus for my garden
 They call this area the Court. That is my older sister way back there on the left.
garter snake
 A denizen of the gardens
young pine cone
 Lots of pines out there.
 I think this is part of the Lawn Garden
 This was definitely out in the Lawn Garden, I love that yellow green tree in the back
 The turtle fountain as seen through some of the fox tails
The turtle fountain in the rain. This is part of the Winter Garden.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

2016 Alcona County Fair Results

I entered 8 items in the county fair this year, 2 quilted items, 3 sewn garments and 3 crocheted items.

For quilts I made a table runner to go with some place-mats I made for my friend. It took 2nd in "Other Quilted Items". I entered a small quilt (a future gift). I wasn't planning to enter any quilt. I know neither this one nor the other one I made so far this year could take first, and indeed, it came in 3rd.

In the garment section I entered the denim skirt I made last summer and did not enter last year because I entered a different skirt. It took first. (last year, too)
Then I entered the gingham flannel shirt I made at the end of winter this year and the green seersucker top I started 2 summers ago and got stuck on because I gained weight since I bought the pattern and forgot to take that into account. It only took 2 years to try again, I added gussets. The same kind I added to the flannel shirt because that too, was too small a pattern. The green seersucker took 2nd and the flannel shirt 1st. They were in competition with each other.

My hat took first in crocheted hats.
My little market bag only took 3rd in the category "Other Crocheted Items".
My shawl took first in crochet shawls AND Best in Category for all crocheted items. I have never won a ribbon like that before.

I never got to the fair during the week after I dropped my items off, but one of the women working there said they had a good turnout of entries so I wasn't only competing with myself. Makes taking first place a little more special.

Presenting my haul.

 Not bad I'd say.

Tower Hill Botanic Garden

In June I went back to Massachusetts with both dogs. Stayed with younger sister again and visited with her and my older sister for 2 weeks. One of the things the 3 of us did together was visit Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston just a hop, skip and a jump from where we grew up in Worcester. I'd never been there before because it didn't exist till 1986 and I had left in 1981.

It was a warm day with a short fast storm in the middle but I managed to take a lot of photos. Unfortunately my photo taking techniques were very rusty so for some bizarre reason I upped the aperture 1/3 instead of down 1/3 so I have a lot of photos with blown hgh lights. Still, here are some of the better ones. It was a nice day.
courtyard entrance
near parking lot
 I would love some of these poppies.
grape poppy
I wish the turtle fountain was turned on. Don't know why it wasn't unless there were some sort of water restrictions, there might have been. Oddly, there was a cloud burst in the middle of our visit.
Turtle fountain
large succulent near the turtle fountain pool
another pool
tall water fountain
cool unknown flower. a lot of plants seemed to be missing tags
Hope to go there again someday.