19 Feb

New Tool

I’m not one to go out and buy the latest gadget. I believe I can make just as wonderful things with a rotary cutter, rectangular ruler, and home sewing machine, or a needle, thread, fabric scraps and junky paper, as I could with a long arm machine, pre-cut templates, specialty cutters, and colorful pins. However, my 44 year old, hyperopic eyes aren’t so good at threading needles anymore and the lovely lady at our local stitching shop, Fiddlesticks, suggested this little goody:

Needle Threader

It has got to be the best thing since sliced bread! It’s too big for quilting betweens, but it will thread just about anything into just about any other needle. And it doesn’t pull apart after two uses like those needle threaders with the thin wire loop. I love it, love it, love it. And how do I know I love it so much? I’ve been using it every day for the last several weeks on my 12×12 “Blue and White with a Touch of Black” challenge.

Delft Back

Our reveal day is on 1 March. In the mean time, this is the back before I faced it.

14 Feb

Honu

While most of the country is enveloped in snow, I am here to bring a little sunshine (or make readers insanely jealous). As part of my ploy to hang out with Deborah as much as possible we met her and her crew at Hanauma Bay for some snorkeling.

We had not yet been, and this snorkeling mecca was on our must-do list. The water is pretty clear and we actually saw a wider variety of fish than we had on our Molokini snorkel day last summer.

There was interesting coral and some anenomes, and the cutest little polka dotted box fish:

And what’s this we’re pointing at?

That’s our state fish, the Humuhumunukunukuapuaa! Which sounds even funnier when screamed excitedly through a snorkel. The kids were thrilled to see and instantly recognize the fish who’s name they’ve been practicing so enthusiasticly.

My big excitement was going further out into the bay with Deborah’s husband and brother in law to see even more fish on the back side of the reef. And, like all good tourists, we were really hoping to see a turtle. And we did! After a quick sighting, it reappeared a few minutes later and we floated with it, very relaxed, for a good 20 minutes. That was cool!

That was the best Furlough Friday yet!

13 Feb

Power Lunch

Kristin, Deborah and Robin

How cool is this? Gerrie called it a trifecta of talented young artists and I can’t disagree. The serendipitous convergence of Deborah’s vacation and Robin’s island hopping for kid stuff allowed us to get together for lunch. We had a little show and tell and lots and lots of talking. Good stuff about artistic direction, current projects, future directions…. I am definitely hopped up on creative girlfriend power. Must go work on projects NOW.

Thank you thank you Deborah and Robin for your generosity of time (and books). I look forward to the next time our paths can cross.

11 Feb

Connections

Me and Deborah

Yet another bloggy connection has been made. Deborah and I have been following each other’s blogs for years. She’s the one who convinced me to join the Twelve by Twelve group, and we are now co-authors with the rest of the “Twelves” of a book about the project. Brenda has made a chart noting which of us have met in real life, and now we can add another line!

I often wonder when I meet someone whom I’ve gotten to know online if the real person is going to be like I imagined them, or if my imagination is way off base. Gerrie’s voice was different than the one in my head (I think I was expecting something huskier, though I don’t know why) and I had somehow expected Natalya to seem more Russian than New York even though I knew both are big influences. Deborah was exactly as I had imagined her to be — though she said I was shorter than what she imagined.

The fun part though is to find out that yes, through our blogs, we really have come to know each other and, at least from my side, we hit it off well. Lots of talking about our artwork, the book project, our Twelve by Twelve work, our kids, living in different places — all the good stuff friends talk about. I am so grateful to have met a community of like minded people online and to be able to extend that connection every now and then to my real life.

09 Feb

How my Brain Works

Hawaiian Fabrics

One of the members of the quilt guild I belong to was asked by a local clothing company if she could organize some sewers to make pillowcases from factory scraps which the company ¬†could then donate to deployed troops as a taste of home. Our “payment” would be all the scraps too small for the patchwork pillows. Of course I’ll sew for troops, and extra scraps are always fun, so I agreed to participate. As I was cutting out my 6″ squares, I was daydreaming about what to do with the oddly shaped ¬†scraps. I pulled out the few hawaiian fabrics already in my stash. And then it hit me — a pineapple block! Has anyone made a pineapple log cabin quilt using aloha shirt fabric? If not, then why? It seems so obvious to me now.

05 Feb

Ripple

Today is my mom’s birthday! Which means, I can now show the Ripple Afghan I made for her. Like the one I made for me, it is attic24‘s “Neat Ripple” pattern.

I started with a chain of 157. After some trials, that was the right length to get two stripes from each skein of yarn. I don’t have the right kind of stitch markers for crochet, but the rolling hook thingies for track-mounted drapes worked just fine, and I have lots of those.

I used Mission Falls 1824 (3 Thyme, 3 Sprout, 6 Earth, 2 Denim, 3 Oatmeal, 2 Russet, 3 Amethyst), superwash merino wool and 2 balls of Dream in Color Classy (Blue Lagoon and Strange Harvest). I’ve completely forgotten the final size, though it’s perfect for snuggling on the couch.

And this is all that’s left of those 26 skeins of wool.