I Can Stop Holding My Breath

The top is finished.

1 top flat

After I made the red numbers, 4 X 6 seemed overwhelmingly large, so the bottom letters are 2 X 3, enough bigger than the scale numbers (discussed here) to still be an easier accomplishment. Plus using all one color allowed for more chain piecing.

I think I would have liked a bit more background between the year and the top months; however, I was being frugal with the dwindling background fabric. With good reason.

1 left over background

That is all that was left when I finished it as it is.

Today’s project is making the back. I think I have enough of each color to make a striped pieced backing. If not I’ll add another friendly color.

Linking up with Needle and Thread Thursday. Lots to see there–go have a peek.

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Numbers, Numbers . . .

Luckily, the quilt was draped over the sofa, and yet more luckily, I was studying it. Otherwise I might not have noticed that December had been sewn in upside down!  (Bet you didn’t either–here in case you want to check.) I usually avoid ripping if it looks okay as is, but this one needed to be right so that the temperatures came out right. (Yeah, I know, no one will likely ever check.)

Being a glass-half-full kind of person, I noticed that it was in the easiest possible spot to rip and replace.

1 oops

I might have let it pass had it been in the middle or if more borders had been sewn already.

That fixed, I moved on to the numbers. They were indeed tedious. I’m glad I started with them because the larger letters I am working on now seem easy by comparison.

1 left border

Each number block is 3 inches X 2 inches. Not sure I would do it again (until the next time. 🙂  )  You may remember me complaining when piecing blocks about all the solid stretches of one color.  Had I chosen smaller increments than 10 degrees, I’d have had more interesting blocks.  But I resisted that because I didn’t want to make twice as many number blocks. Sound basis for a design decision, no?

I debated about whether or not to use 20 and 100, temperatures we never experienced as highs. (There were some lows in the 20s.) I decided the palette was more interesting with them. And so that they don’t stand alone, I’ll use red and purple in the text top and bottom.

Although it isn’t officially a block-of-the-month project, it had to be worked on monthly and I worked with a group. Besides, I want to say , HI, to BOMs Away.

Here’s to smooth finishing and enough background fabric.

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When a Little Looks Like a Lot

So yesterday I pulled out an old project (here); today I cheated a bit. Instead of following up by working on the numbers, I assembled the blocks.

weather quilt

Isn’t that more impressive than a couple 3-inch blocks?

The papers remain because they identify the month that the block represents.  I want to quilt in month names, and it won’t be possible to check for accurate month identification when the quilt is rolled up under the Featherweight.

I don’t usually design this way, accepting some arbitrary scheme and following it. (Sudoku quilts are another example of assigning a color to a number and creating a quilt without thought to design principles.) But I have to admit it is fun sometimes. Especially when a group of friends is working on the same “paint by numbers” as it were.

The numbers/colors “key” will fill the left border. Maybe tomorrow.

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Quilting Shoves Its Way In

A couple days ago, my UFOs (Unfinished Objects) started yelling. One in particular, the weather quilt I started in 2016, said I had to work on it before its information became paleoclimate studies. (I had left off here, approximately 2 years ago.) So I shoved knitting and reading aside and got the blocks out.

Nothing is worse than trying to pick up where I left off when hurriedly packing a project away, even with notes.

sketch and pieces

When I put it away, I am sure this all made sense. I had the scale noted on the note page for the numbers, and I had cut pieces for the number 20. The pieces for the 2 fit, but the 0??? Nothing made those pieces work. I finally admitted they must have been a mistake and cut more. And order was partially restored.

20

But the other page of notes for the letters? There was no scale noted, and nothing that I pondered made sense for the area available. So I redid all the calculations till I had something that will probably work. I’ll keep you posted.

Linking with Em’s Moving it Forward.

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In Search of Plum Blossoms

After the hectic days around Christmas and New Years, it is hard to shift gears to think to check for plum blossoms at the Lan Su Chinese Garden. Usually I am too late. This year, at the same time of month, I appear to have been too early.

a plum blossom 1

Other flowers were in bloom though.

(I’m posting these for all the people buried in snow–spring will come.) Mostly, though, moss was the feature–that is a Pacific Northwest winter, rain and moss. We haven’t had s much rain as usual, but enough to make moss.

It was a rainy day, and I went on purpose to hear the drip from the tile roof, but it was a  misty rain while I was there, so I still haven’t heard the featured sound. Someday.

That was last week. This week I tried again.

a plum blossoms 2

Still not full bloom. (I don’t think this is the tail end–looked like buds waiting to open to me.) Meanwhile, decorations for Chinese New Year have begun. Here are some more lanterns.

a bridge reflection l

It was a great day for reflections.

a pagoda l

In the foreground might be rosebuds. At any rate, there were no roses in bloom either of these visits, though I did see buds.  These are the first visits I remember that there was not even a single rose. Still there is always much to see, no matter the season or weather.

 

 

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Fascinating ancient history

1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was dense in detail but fascinating. Mann surveys traditional views of pre-contact Americas and shows how recent scholarship has undermined some and challenged others. Several are still unresolved, giving scholars more research to do.

It begins quite slowly, but for me became fascinating in the later 2/3 with the discussion of when and how the first peoples entered via the Bering Straits. Among other things, research has challenged there ever being a narrow window when there was a path between glaciers for them to traverse. Also the date has been pushed back and the three migrations questioned.

The biggest revision is the shift from natives who didn’t disturb nature to natives who farmed and tamed nature to their needs, sometimes successfully and sometimes not. Another revision is the sophistication of civilization achieved. I was also interested in discussions of writing, especially the group who used knots on string, not as mnemonics, but as stories, in a binary system.

The first time history is given, the traditional view was stated more or less as fact with a “gotcha” and introduction of challenges to follow. Gradually the cues that a view was going to be questioned improved.

And the ending sets up the follow-up book, 1493, which I have requested from the library.

View all my reviews

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Sock Time

Once upon a time, a long time ago, I was active in knitting for Mittens for Akkol.  During that time someone was destashing (with the understanding that yarn would be used for Akkol) and I bought some, cheap. But before I started knitting it up, my attention shifted more and more to quilting.

I’d think about it now and again, but the time wouldn’t be right. And then the time was right–knitting being a sedentary project. So out came the yarn.

1 sock yan

And alas, the left over yarn is the only photo you will see.  When I finished the first pair I decided not to take a photo till they were all finished; then when they were all finished the deadline to mail was too close to stop and photograph! So you will have to use your imagination.

Those in the mail, six weeks till Christmas, and the knitting bug still active, I set out to make two pair of socks for Christmas presents. These did get their picture taken.

1 socks

I suppose I should block them, but it seems to me that feet do a good job of that.

The local shops that have a large collection of sock yarn have closed, so to get a color I liked I decided to experiment with dk weight. It makes a thicker, stiffer sock; we’ll see what laundering does for it. I’ll get to test-wear it too as there was a lot left over.

1 mixed sock

Almost, but not quite, enough for a brown (portobello) pair. But the toe will be in the shoe, so blue (coveralls) will work. (Love the names and colors by Hazel Knits!)

By the time I finish the second sock, I will have overdosed on knitting and be ready for a return to quilting. I remember a T-shirt with the slogan, “If I quilt real fast is it aerobic exercise?”–inquiring minds want to know.

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