Saturday, June 4, 2011

I Had No Idea It Would Be So Soft

The other day the post office left a notice to pick up a box.  I saw it was from Danni from the blog "On the way to critter farm . . ."  I was excited, but, alas, life has been in the way so I wasn't able to get it right away.

This morning, my husband was going that direction, so he was nice enough to stop at the post office and pick up the box.  As he handed it to me, he said, "Be careful.  It's heavy."  It was NOT heavy!  I opened the box and here's what I found! 

Fiber from Kai the Llama!!

Chocolate from Danni!!

One of the blogs listed on the side of my blog is Danni's excellent and entertaining blog about her life in Oregon with her animals.  A few weeks ago, her llama Kai got a haircut.  Kai had quite a coat of fiber (hair, fur, whatever).  Danni generously offered to share some with blog readers here. 

Here's what a bag of Kai Llama's fiber looks like.  

Kinda like furry chocolate.  I didn't know what to expect when I took it out of the bag.  It's SOFT.  And dense.  And soft.  If there's some coarser fiber in there, I haven't felt it yet.   It's really very soft. 

Oh.  That's what I'm planning to do with this fiber.   Felt it.  On soap.  I make cold process soap from scratch.  I have some soaps that are sitting around waiting for a new home.  I think those soaps will make excellent experiments with Kai Llama's fiber.  I've studied up on how to do it.  It doesn't look difficult.  It looks like it takes patience.  I'll take a dose of it before I get started and then I'll report back.  I owe that to Kai, you know. 

I have another project that will take a couple of weeks of my time and then I'll be felting away on soap with Kai's fiber.  I'll take photos and notes and let you know how it goes.

To Kai Llama and Danni:  THANK YOU!!  THANK YOU!!  THANK YOU!!

I can already report on the chocolate Kit Kat bars from Danni:

Friday, June 3, 2011

Sewing Weekend at a Friend's Home

Fire engine panel quilt made by my friend Kim
Desert Bear made by my mother
Crazy Eights quilt made by Kim and me (and Mom, too!) (pattern by Bits N Pieces)
Kim is tying these two fleece throws together (sorry about the upside down dogs)
My husband is starting to machine quilt (you might have to click on this one)

Purse I made--from Grids & Grommets pattern by Indygo Junction

It was a great weekend of quilting, sewing, eating, and visiting.  We got plenty done and solved many of the problems of the world--if others would just do what we suggest.  

Mom is making progress on her bear quilt project.  My husband is just learning how to machine quilt and I think he's doing great!  He already has several offers from friends and family to quilt their projects.  He says he's not ready yet.  I think he is.

I'm already planning for our next sewing get-together day.  Hmmm . . . which projects should I take along?

What crafty or other get togethers are you doing with friends and family ?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Mom Finished Her Quilt!

Mom was very excited when she stitched the last bit of binding on this beautiful, colorful quilt on Monday.  She instructed me to call the newspapers.  And then take pictures.  It was afternoon, so the lighting isn't the best, but I usually do what my mother tells me to do . . .
Off and on, it's taken her about two years to complete this quilt.

 It's very special to her and to me because many of the fabrics used in the quilt came from scraps leftover from her mother's (my Grandma Lucinda's) handmade dresses.   Can you tell that Grandma Lucinda liked floral prints?

The modern fabrics are the backing fabric, the diamond print in the corners of the borders, the striped sashing, inner border, binding, and backing.  "Dusty rose" was Grandma Lucinda's favorite color.  Mom included shades of this pinkish color to remember Grandma's favorite. 

The fine quilting, emphasizing the lines on this quilt, was done by Shirley Pratt of Cowgirl Up Quilts in Benson, Arizona. 

The pattern was designed by Pamela Goecke Dinndorf and appeared in Quilter's Home magazine here

Mom loves this quilt, especially now that it is DONE!  I think it will be out to be enjoyed regularly.  It is a great reminder of Grandma Lucinda and all those pretty fabrics. 

Mom--good job!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Sewing Days with Good People

My friend Kim made the above cowgirl rag quilt for a friend of hers.  I think the friend loves it!  She showed a photo of herself wrapped up in the quilt with all three of her dogs, a cup of tea, pinky out, at 1:00 AM watching the royal wedding.  THAT'S the photo that I need for this blog, but she refuses to give it up.

By now, you know that I LOVE to make things.  I love to quilt and sew and make soap and . . . my friend Sue says that my crafts expand to fit the space.  I think I should admit to BEYOND the available space.

My mother and my friends and I get together every so often to sew together.  Usually, we work on our own projects.  Sometimes, however, we work on projects together.  Usually without fighting.

Food is involved, too.  You have to keep your strength up to keep on sewing and quilting, you know.

Kim used the leftovers from the rag quilt above to make a smaller quilt.  Here is her Maddie helping with the layout of the quilt. 

My mother received these fabric circles from a friend.  Mom's plan was to make round placemats.  Well, she got one mostly done.  Pronounced it a centerpiece and moved on to other projects!

Here is Mom's stack and whack quilt in progress.  It was going pretty well until she couldn't find Row 10.  Turns out she didn't make a Row 10, but after all that hunting and aggravation, she was kinda ready for a break. 

Here is a baby quilt in progress.  Kim and I worked together on this one.  Mom worked on it too, but she didn't like the colors, so she made sure to have enough of her own projects ready to avoid having to work on it again.  

Here's a pretty flower from Kim's back yard.  

Here is Kim's Maisy on the bed with the batting that was spread out to "relax" out the wrinkles before it got put into a quilt.  The plastic bins are there to keep Maisy off the bed and batting . . .
Why is everyone looking at me?
 Maddie has no quilt available to arrange or test, so she's sleeping very well on her bed, but there's something wrong with this incline.