Yesterday was kind of a low energy day. The weeks on end of dark gray skies tend to sap my motivation to do much of anything at all. We did get a little bit of a sun break yesterday afternoon, and the big wind storm missed us here on the hill. The City of Portland saw substantial and impressive winds. I read that an 18-wheeler was blown over on one of the main side streets near the Portland airport. It's not a very good picture, but here you go:
The Willamette River is the main river flowing through downtown Portland. A little upstream near Oregon City is a big waterfall known as Willamette Falls. Ordinarily, it has a long and treacherous drop. Folks are often killed when accidentally going over the falls in pleasure boats (something we've actively avoided doing ourselves). With the record-setting December rainfall, Willamette Falls is barely a ripple on the surface of the river right now. Here's some video:
If you can't see the video, click right here.
So all of that just makes me glad to be staying at home. Late yesterday afternoon, I worked up the energy to start practicing some snowflakes in preparation for quilting the Quilting Snowladies. I'm using a large practice piece I made when I took a long-arm class last year. There are still some blank spaces left, and so I've been using it when I want to practice with Eliza.
My goal is to use a metallic thread to quilt some snowflakes into the cornerstones for the Quilting Snowladies. I have a 3-inch square of space, and so my first task was to section off some approximate 3-inch areas on my practice quilt. For that, I used the little straight edge template I purchased recently, and it worked great! I just put the needle down where I wanted my line, and then lined up the template along the foot. It's quarter-inch-thick plastic, and so it rides along the foot instead of slipping under it as a regular ruler does.
And lookie there:
Nice straight lines. Well. I was so excited about this that I went online and ordered the 12-inch ruler. I mean...the more unused tools in my "black hole of unused quilting tools" drawer the better, right? Who's with me on that?
So anyway...ahem...back to quilting some snowflakes. So I saw this done by someone else on YouTube. (Why have I not discovered YouTube as a quilting resource before now?) The woman in the video was using a domestic machine, but I liked her design better than any I'd figured out on my own. It's not too difficult to stitch either. I'm just working to get the spacing and "little arm to big arm ratio" correct. Here's one:
I've done 12 so far, and I've yet to make one that is perfect. Still, it's a pretty forgiving design.
It's a little easier to do the opposing arms first before moving onto the next side. So, if I can explain this in words: instead of going around the clock face, I'm quilting first the top, then the opposite side, then moving to the right and doing the next big one and then its opposite side, and then continuing to the next large one and doing its opposite side. After the large ones are done, I do the small ones in the same way...one side and then its opposite. I hope that makes sense. The one in the upper right of the image above was done trying to go around the clock face, and you can see that the center is a lot messier than the subsequent ones.
So I want to practice these a little more before trying them on my little table topper. But I think I'll get a start on that today.
This morning I moved the hoop on the latest Hocuspocusville block. I think I've added as much orange as I'm going to, but I might put a little more toward the top. Sometimes I just get an orange hair, and I have to go with it.
And now it's hooped up ready to go again. That will have to wait for tomorrow morning.
This morning Mike and I got an early start. We left around 9:00 and went to get Egg McMuffins at McDonalds. Then we went to the grocery store. He's off this week, and so it was nice to have him along for a change. We were home by about 10:15, and so that was one fast breakfast and grocery shopping trip. And now I'm happy to say I won't be going out again until the madness is over.
Today, being Tuesday, it's Tuesday Archives:
Today's theme is "Christmas Quilts" and I'm resurrecting a post from November of 2011 and the Christmas Quilt Show. How come we don't do the Christmas Quilt Show any more? Huh? Here's an idea...why don't you get that organized? I'll be right behind you, linking up. Okay, so, remind me next year, and I'll do it. Anyway...this is the "Walking in a Winter Wonderland" quilt. The pattern is from Crabapple Hill Studios. Here's a link to the website, but you'd better lock up your credit cards in a safe and then wipe your brain so you can't remember the combination. Her website is murder on your wallet.
This was my first embroidered quilt. I tried mightily to resist it, but when someone suggested doing it in blue (rather than the redwork I'd seen), I was hooked on the pattern. Not only that, but I was hooked on embroidery forever after. Now I have approximately 30 embroidered quilt patterns waiting their turn on my bookshelf. I've even taken to choosing them by random number since I want to do all of them at once. Do you need more hours in your day too? Anyway, here's my quilt, and here's the link to the original post. You can see close-ups of all the blocks there.