Monthly Archives: August 2008

Winter Quilting Forecast

The Farmers’ Almanac has released it forecast for this winter already. And the prediction is cold!!! For the Mid Atlantic, they are predicting an unusually wet or snowy February. And around here, we can have both at the same time. Snow here can be pretty wet and heavy. (I hate having to shovel this type of snow!!!)

Looking at how the county is divided for the Farmers’ Almanac, I just realized that my protion of Maryland is right on the divide between the Mid-Atlantic and Appalachia.

Now the Hagerstown Almanack has not released it prediction for the upcoming winter yet, so I will be curious to see if the two are close. Since Hagerstown is right over the mountains from me, I wonder if they will be predict a cold winter as well. For our strange local weather , this alamanck tends to be more accurate. Sitting about 50 miles north and about 50 miles west of Baltimore, we are in a valley and right up against the mountains. Our weather in this area depends exactly on where you are in relation to the mountains and where in the valley you are located. Weather forecasts for this area are either done in the Baltimore area or the DC area. Can you guess that they are generally not accurate for my area?

My prediction for this winter is that I will be needing to drag out all of the quilts from the blanket chest and get them washed soon. Plus I need to be finishing up more so I can layer them on my bed. My bedroom gets cold since while old windows are wonderful, they are a bit drafty at times. I tend to pile quilts on my bed when it gets cold but I think I may need a higher pile this winter.

And if I am going to need more quilts, I think I may need more knitted items as well. Must start working on more socks, scarves, and hats. And since I don’t have any new FOs to show off, I will instead post a photo from a shoot in Brunswick Saturday morning. I took part in a national photo shoot and this is one of the ones I am entering for consideration for a local and hopefully a national prize. (You have to win the local to be eligible for the national one.)

This photo is called Lone Fisherman. The light was just right and I was lucky enough to up on the bridge overlooking the river at the right time. Back to photo editing.

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Filed under Misc

Comfort Zones

I have been slowly cleaning up my studio and finishing quilts that have been in the UFO pile for longer than I care to admit. When I first started quilting years ago, I was a member of a quilt guild close to the DC area. This guild was always bringing in national quilters/authors/teachers to not only speak but teach. One of the authors mentioned that as quilters we got tended to stay within our comfort range colorwise and that we sometimes needed to expand our boundaries. I honestly can’t remember who it was but I am thinking that it might have been Jinny Beyer. She was and still is one of the queens of color theory for quilters.

I have never been a fan of browns and yellows or anything in those color families. I have always been funny about what shades of green I liked and would work with as a result. At the time, I tended to work mostly in jewel tones. After hearing this talk and reading one of Jinny Beyer color theory books, I started to experiment with the colors that I worked with. I figured what did I have to lose. If I didn’t like it, I coudl always find some one who did. And since brown was one of those colors I did not like to work with, I made a brown quilt. And I didn’t go small either. The quilt was rather large. I liked the final result but the quilt was never quilted.

I recently pulled that particular quilt out of the pile and decided that it was going to be the next quilt quilted. I bought what I thought would be enough fabric to back what I thought was a queen size quilt. It wasn’t. But I decided that I could trim the borders and maybe make the fabric fit. Well, it turned out the quilt was actually king size. I ended up trimming almost 14 inches off two sides of the quilt and about 10 from the other two sides. The quilt now fits a queen size bed with a generous hang over. I still need to buy another strip of fabric to go with the bright pink I bought. (I am thinking bright lime green or something else that will clash.)

A window on old slave quarters in Frederick

A window on old slave quarters in Frederick

I am not planning on keeping this quilt after it is quilted. Although I like the quilt and the way the colors came out, it is not me. It would end up in the bottom of the blanket chest and never get used. And there are already two quilts in the bottom of that chest that rarely see the light of day uinless it is really freezing outside and I need extra quilts on the bed.

When I look at this quilt top, one name comes to mind every time I see it – Priscilla! She loves browns in all shades. And I know that she can use a nice warm quilt for her bed. And her husband is the reason I picked the bright pink backing fabric. Pink is one of his favorite colors. Strange but that is Mac. And since she already knows that this will be her Christmas present, I can blog about it.

Working on this particular quilt led me to break out of my comfort zone in all areas. Okay, except for clothes that I wear. Certain colors just don’t look good on me. I do this with knitting and quilting all the time now. I don’t have anything that is all yellow or solid brown in any of my stashes. But those colors do show up in variegated yarns.

I am curious as to how many knitters are stuck in their color comfort zone. Have you ever gone through your stash recently and realized that you tend to have lots of the same color just in different tones? I know that I have plenty of greens in my sock yarn stash right now. But that is only because I have pulled out about 6 different skeins to use next. And green is not one of my comfort zone colors. Have you challenged yourself lately? Just curious.

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Filed under Project Spectrum, quilt

Lazy Weekend

Okay, the weekend wasn’t lazy but it feels like it was given that I don’t have much to show for it. Saturday was spend at the LYS but not much progress to show other than a new pair of plain socks on the needles. And Sunday was spent dragging. I wanted to play with catching the early morning light on Carroll Creek so I was up at 4:30 to try and catch the sunrise. And yes, I missed it. But I did manage to get some interesting photos. And on the way back home, I stopped by Rose Hill Manor since I saw that they were having an old car show. Did I manage to take any photos of the old cars? Nope, I spent my time in the garden shooting flowers. It may be mid August but the flowers are looking like we have already have had a frost. Wonder if this means an early winter?

The morning light reflecting back on the leaves

The morning light reflecting back on the leaves

Playing with b&w captures

Playing with b&w captures

I loved this color combination

I loved this color combination

It may be mid August but the flowers look like mid-September

It may be mid August but the flowers look like mid-September

This bee still found something good in this flower.

This bee still found something good in this flower.

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A Post about Quilting

I have been busy quilting lately. The weather has been more fall than late summer here in the mid-Atlantic so I have been motivated to work with fabric instead of yarn. I took my current mini to me to the beach since it is a hand-work quilt. But I have been finishing up quite a few quilted UFOs lately.

My August mini quilt in progress

My August mini quilt in progress

I have also been playing with some of the techniques I have found in an art quilt magazine that I love. I have been rusting fabric. Yes rusting fabric. I like the first piece of fabric that I have dyed using this technique but I need to get more rusty objects and try it again. I can see using this fabric as the background for an applique piece. I will be doing this again after getting more rusty items to lay on/wrap around the fabric.

A shot of fabric rusting

A shot of fabric rusting

Some of the quilts that I have been finishing have been languishing in my UFO pile for quite awhile. I took one to the machine quilter the other nigh and I honestly can’t remember when I pieced it. But I am slowly reducing the UFO pile. Almost all of the small and lap size tops in the pile have been quilted. Next up are the larger bed size ones. And since I don’t want to have to piece together backings for them, I am going to be going to the a quilt store or two this weekend to see if I can find some 108 inch wide backing fabrics that I like. If I can’t find any that I like, I will be piecing fabrics for the bed quilts. I want to give my machine quilter at least one bed quilt in a few weeks.

Hand dyed fabric by me!!!

Hand dyed fabric by me!!!

A closeup of the fabric colors.

A closeup of the fabric colors.

aka Moo cards sewn together

aka Moo cards sewn together

They really do look like Moo cards up close.

They really do look like Moo cards up close.

I hand dyed most of the fabrics in this quilt

I hand dyed most of the fabrics in this quilt

A closeup view of the pattern

A closeup view of the pattern

And just as a note, the quilts were photographed before being washed. The quilting patterns really jumped out after being washed.

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Not the Planned Post

Today’s post was supposed to be about the quilting that is going on. But after receiving a specific email this morning, I changed the post. I have been subscribing to the Daily Green for quite awhile now. This is an environmental website and there is a section for photography. Users are encouraged to submit their photos in a few different categories. I submitted the photo I posted the other day called OBX Sunrise but called it Coastal Sunrise and submitted it under the category worth preserving. The email I received this morning was to notify me that the photo had been selected as the Photo of the Day. This means not only is the photo up on the front page of the site but it is in the daily email that is sent out to subscribers.

Taken in the area of Rodanthe NC

Taken in the area of Rodanthe NC

And while I am on the subject of photography, I have been uploading photos on a regular basis to JPG Magazine. The photos in every issue are voted on by members of the community. And one of my photos meets the theme for the next issue which is Nighttime. If you would like to click on over and check it out, I would appreciate it. And if you like the photo, please vote on it.

Crabbing is great at night.

Crabbing is great at night.

I am spending the afternoon photographing a few small quilts in the hopes of maybe getting them into a local art show that needs some more fiber art. The organizer told me that they have plenty of photograph and scultpure right now but he would like to add some more fiber arts. I am still not sure that I want to sell some of my quilted pieces but I can always set the price high. Of course the last time I did this, I sold the piece. I will share the photos of the quilts later.

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More Beach Photos

I am still editing beach photos so I have decided to post a few more of the photos from the quick trip to the beach. I am also experimenting with making fruit leathers thanks to Step letting me borrow her dehydrator. I am thinking of buying one but wanted to try one out first. I made a blackberry/apple sauce fruit leather last night. This batch has already been kid tested and approved. Tonight, I will try my hand at drying tomatoes.

I am also playing with “rusting” fabric. One of my favorite quilt magazines is Quilting Arts. In the current issue there is an article about how to “rustfabric. I tried it yesterday but I missed several spots on the test fabric. I am going to give it a go again and see what I can get. I also need more rusty pieces. I am going scavenging tonight to see if maybe my neighbor in the back has some rusty tools, springs, and such in his shed. I promise photos of rusted fabric for tomorrow.

So for now enjoy this mini trip back to the beach.

Lace created by Mother Nature

Lace created by Mother Nature

The stairs inside the Cape Hatteras lighthouse.

The stairs inside the Cape Hatteras lighthouse.

Dinner time!

Dinner time!

Crabbing is great at night.

Crabbing is great at night.

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Filed under Misc, photography

The Beach

I am back form a fast trip trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I am sunburnt and tired. I did avoid the sun and did wear sunscreen but still managed to get sunburnt on the trip down. Yes, I managed to get sunburnt on the car ride down!!! I have tons of photos to edit but am going to take my time doing so. Knitting was done on the car ride down and back. Cobblestone is now at 14 inches and i need to measure it against the tall boy who is still growing to see how long the body needs to be. I also did some work on a ne mini quilt. (No photos of these two projects yet though.)

So enjoy your weekend and these few photos.

Sunset over he Palimco Sound in North Carolina

Sunset over he Palimco Sound in North Carolina

Taken in the area of Rodanthe NC

Taken in the area of Rodanthe NC

Focused on photographing the shells and was surprised by a wave.

Focused on photographing the shells and was surprised by a wave.

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Filed under Misc, photography, Project Spectrum